Investigators have identified the lifeless body of a man pulled from the Marine Park salt marsh on Friday, and they don’t suspect any criminality was involved.
Alex Bender, 45, was pulled from the waters behind the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center, at Avenue U and East 33rd Street, by authorities after being discovered by a passerby. According to the New York Post, Bender’s parents reported their son missing earlier in the day, and sources told the paper he suffered from depression.
Though little details emerged in the hours during and after the recovery, neighbors described the scene and their concerns on GerritsenBeach.net‘s comment section.
Commenters wrote that sirens rang through the neighborhood for more than half an hour and were heard as far away as N&D Pizza on East 29th Street and Avenue U. Another commenter said he witnessed firefighters pulling the body from the water.
When we told you about the Pop-Up Piano at Marine Park’s Salt Marsh Center - on Avenue U and East 33rd Street – we asked readers to send in videos of themselves playing at the piano. We weren’t sure what we were going to get. Would it be 5-year-olds playing Chopsticks? A lovely couple mashing the keys for some fun? Or would we get a virtuoso giving an impromptu performance?
Luckily for us, the first videos that came in were from the latter. Professional pianist Mikhail Pais hit up the hidden venue to play some Chopin and Tchaikovsky to an audience of birds and grass.
Pais is a classical pianist born in Odessa, Ukraine and raised in Sheepshead Bay. A graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School, and attendee of the Boston Conservatory, he currently studies at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. As recently as June 26, Pais played the Davidzon Radio Theater Hall, performing pieces from Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and others. You can find more about Pais at his website.
Of course, you should also check out the videos above and below, to see his stunning performance at the Salt Marsh Center.
Oh, and this doesn’t mean the rest of you would-be pianists are off the hook. Don’t worry if you don’t stack up against Pais – we still want videos of your 5-year-old playing Chopsticks.
You know those cool pianos that have been popping up all over the city? Well, the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center is playing host to one of only two pianos in Southern Brooklyn.
The Pop-Up Piano Project is organized by Sing for Hope, a non-profit organization that mobilizes professional artists in volunteer service programs that benefit schools, hospitals and communities.
Aside from the Salt Marsh – on Avenue U and East 33rd Street – the other Southern Brooklyn piano can be found in Coney Island, on the Riegelmann Boardwalk. But if you want to play these very public pianos in private, we strongly recommend the Salt Marsh. The place was empty when we stopped by for a photo, and the piano was still covered in a tarp (we uncovered it for the photos, and someone came by to play moments later).
Wondering about the moss on the side of the thing? No, it hasn’t been there that long. Here’s the description from the Sing for Hope website:
A tribute to nature and the piano’s wooden origins. The design means to emphasize the wood of the piano and capture the environment through moss and painted leaf, liana, xylem, and phloem cell patterns.
It’s got a name, too: Llana, designed by artist Jenn Wong.
Go check it out, and send us videos of your performance. We’ll post them on the site!
On Thursday, we told you about the composting class at Marine Park happening on Sunday, January 25 (yes, that’s today). If you’re heading out for this earth-saving event, you might want to bring the kids and stay a little longer. Every Sunday in January (and this being the last), the park has a Book Blitz read-along and craft activity.
It is going to be pretty cold today, but if you want to give your kids a breath of crisp, winter air and a little break from the Nintendo Wii, Disney DVD, or whatever is their favorite screen glue — this just might be the ticket.
Here’s the information:
Brooklyn Book Blitz
Sunday, January 25, 2009
It’s Book Blitz Month! Every Sunday in January bring the kids for a read-along with the rangers. Craft activity follows.
Location: Marine Park: Salt Marsh Nature Center, Marine Park (East 33rd Street and Avenue U)
If you saw the animated film, WALL-E, and felt moved to do something to try and forestall the fate of the planet, you can get started right here in Sheepshead Bay.
The New York City Parks Department is having a class in Marine Park this coming Sunday where you can learn how to start composting. Start saving those scraps and head on out to the Salt Marsh Nature Center.
Check out the Virginia Cooperative Extension’ article, Compost: What Is It and What’s It To You and the Environmental Protection Agency’s website to learn more about the differences between soil and compost, as well as how it can be used.
Composting 101 at the Salt Marsh
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Come to the Salt Marsh Nature Center and learn the basics of composting. The benefits will blow you away. Your garden or
potted plants will never need store-bought fertilizer again!
Location: Marine Park: Salt Marsh Nature Center, Marine Park
(East 33rd Street and Avenue U)
(Photo of the Dark-eyed Junco bird courtesy of Wikipedia)
Dillon de Give, an artist living and working in Brooklyn, extends an invitation to everyone to attend a free and very creative protest/birdwatching event this Saturday, 11/22/08. To send the message about how detrimental it will be for our local birds for six artificial grass turf soccer fields to be put in place at Calvert Vaux Park (a.k.a., Dreier-Offerman Park).
The event is entitled “Hello My Name is Dark-eyed Junco” – A Birdwatching Adventure and here is how it is described in the press release on the Implausibot website:
Junco examines the identity of the bird watcher in nature. The play will begin in a decentralized fashion at various stations around the park that humorously “teach” people about birding- transforming the entire area into a kind of military base configuration of psychic avian awareness. The audience will then come together and use the skills they’ve learned in an actual bird-watching tour.