Archive for the tag 'open thread'

I’m sick again.

Standing outside in not-enough-clothing while the sky spat on me and the wind chilled me, I got sick covering Bayfest.

Now, less than 24 hours later, it’s warm and humid. And that’s causing problems, too.

Why can’t we just get some normal weather?

I’ve posted the entire video of President Barack Obama’s segment at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner above, but what I’d really like you to watch begins at 18:45. I don’t care whether you’re liberal or conservative, public sector or private – these statements go beyond the partisanship, and speak to the core of our American values.

I liked it. And this is an open thread. So I’ll do what I want.

Here’s a transcript of the relevant section:

Obviously, there has been no shortage of news to cover over these past few weeks. And these have been some very hard days for too many of our citizens. Even as we gather here tonight, our thoughts are not far from the people of Boston and the people of West, Texas. There are families in the Midwest who are coping with some terrible floods. So we’ve had some difficult days.

But even when the days seemed darkest, we have seen humanity shine at its brightest. We’ve seen first responders and National Guardsmen who have dashed into danger, law enforcement officers who lived their oath to serve and to protect, and everyday Americans who are opening their homes and their hearts to perfect strangers.

And we also saw journalists at their best — especially those who took the time to wade upstream through the torrent of digital rumors to chase down leads and verify facts and painstakingly put the pieces together to inform, and to educate, and to tell stories that demanded to be told.

If anyone wonders, for example, whether newspapers are a thing of the past, all you needed to do was to pick up or log on to papers like the Boston Globe. When their communities and the wider world needed them most, they were there making sense of events that might at first blush seem beyond our comprehension. And that’s what great journalism is, and that’s what great journalists do. And that’s why, for example, Pete Williams’ new nickname around the NBC newsroom is “Big Papi.”

And in these past few weeks, as I’ve gotten a chance to meet many of the first responders and the police officers and volunteers who raced to help when hardship hits, I was reminded, as I’m always reminded when I meet our men and women in uniform, whether they’re in war theater, or here back home, or at Walter Reed in Bethesda — I’m reminded that all these folks, they don’t do it to be honored, they don’t do it to be celebrated. They do it because they love their families and they love their neighborhoods and they love their country.

And so, these men and women should inspire all of us in this room to live up to those same standards; to be worthy of their trust; to do our jobs with the same fidelity, and the same integrity, and the same sense of purpose, and the same love of country. Because if we’re only focused on profits or ratings or polls, then we’re contributing to the cynicism that so many people feel right now.

And so, those of us in this room tonight, we are incredibly lucky. And the fact is, we can do better — all of us. Those of us in public office, those of us in the press, those who produce entertainment for our kids, those with power, those with influence — all of us, including myself, we can strive to value those things that I suspect led most of us to do the work that we do in the first place — because we believed in something that was true, and we believed in service, and the idea that we can have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the people around us.

And that’s our obligation. That’s a task we should gladly embrace on behalf of all of those folks who are counting on us; on behalf of this country that’s given us so much.

One of the Holocaust’s most enduring images, of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which occurred 70 years ago today. Source: Wikipedia

Tonight at 6:54 p.m. begins the first night of the eight day Jewish holiday of Passover. There is no doubt that many of us, this time of year, have sat around a seder table with our loved ones — whether they are our family members or closest friends — and helped to retell the story of the enslaved Israelites’ exodus from ancient Egypt, whose Hebrew name, Mitzrayim, refers to a narrow, constricted place. Indeed, for the Hebrew slaves forced to build pyramids for the Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses, Egypt was a burdensome land of constriction.

Armed with our time-honored Maxwell House Passover Hagaddah, even the most secular of Jews has taken turns re-living the biblical story of Exodus. While we are commanded to never forget the story of how a reluctant, speech-impaired Moses led the Israelites through the Sinai wilderness to the Promised Land (though Moses himself was not permitted to enter), many of us can relate to the tale’s more universal, contemporary themes of enslavement.

How many of us are slaves to our jobs, our computers, or our smart phones, or are obsequious to deadlines, manipulative relationships, or even — don’t laugh — food? Personally, I am subservient to a gigantic Katz’s pastrami sandwich, though for the next eight days I would have to eat it on boards of intestinal-blocking matzoh, instead of bread, verboten foodstuff during this eight-day festival. There is a reason why matzoh is called the “Bread of Affliction.” Oy.

For those of you who feel enslaved to anything at all in your lives… whether it is the twinkling eyes and irresistible smile of the cheating boyfriend / girlfriend you think you can’t live without; a huge, honkin’ slab of Junior’s cheesecake, or compulsively checking to see who just left you a comment on Facebook…


Now is the time to slow down (unless of course you have some angry Egyptians on fiery chariots chasing after you), take personal inventory, and just ‘Be.’ I’m not saying shut off your phones and step away from the computer — though, yes, if you are religious, you might want to do those things — but, stop, and reflect upon your freedom. Relish it.

Freedom is something many of us tend to take for granted here in the United States, since a lot of us have not experienced what it’s like to not have it. So that’s your assignment this Passover: Ponder the meaning of freedom (I’m talking to you, Mayor “Taker Awayer Of Things” Bloomberg!) And while the more religious among you give thanks to Hashem, all of us, throughout the year, should thank the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, and who defend our nation so that we never have to know what it is like to live without freedom.

Tonight also marks the 70th anniversary of the brave uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto:

“…the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto, inspired by the Passover story, rose up against the Nazis and demonstrated that a struggling community of half-starved Jews had the power to hold out longer than countries like Poland and France against the Nazis oppressors.”

“Thus, in honor of the brave Jewish resistance fighters, a passage was written for Jews around the world to read during their Seders: ‘On this night of the Passover Seder, when G-d redeemed the Jewish people from slavery and oppression in Egypt, we recall that night, 70 years ago, the first night of Passover 1943, when the Germans assaulted the Warsaw Ghetto. On that Seder night the remnants of the Ghetto, the remnants of the Jews of Warsaw, the remnants of the 1,000 year old Polish-Jewish community rose up against evil and the enemy. Imbued with the call of Moses, they too declared, ‘Let my people go!’’

May their brave sacrifices and struggles for enduring freedom never be forgotten.

To all who observe, and to all who cherish freedom: Chag kasher v’sameach, a Kosher and joyful holiday, and a zisen Pesach, a sweet Passover.

It’s been weeks since we’ve done an open thread – since the Monday before Superstorm Sandy hit, to be precise – so here we are, attempting to return to normalcy.

I had hoped to do the first open thread about my reflections in the wake of Sandy, but it’s been a whirlwind time since then, and I just haven’t had time to sit down and organize my thoughts.

So instead I turn to you. It’s been more than three weeks since Sandy washed up on our shores, taking out homes and businesses, forcing hospitals to evacuate, and leaving cars littered through our streets like fallen soldiers.

But we’ve been rebuilding, all of us, and those stories of hope, optimism and perseverance have been inspiring.

So we want to know, how are you doing? How is your personal recovery going? And how much is there left to do for you?

Of course, it’s also an open thread, so yammer on as you please.

OK, you’ve all had a chance to read Ned’s take on this year’s A Taste of Sheepshead Bay, but now we want to hear from you.

  • Did you have a good time?
  • What worked? What didn’t?
  • What do you want to change? What should we keep as is?
  • Who do you want to see at A Taste Of next year? What restaurant, candy maker, baker, or food monger is missing?
  • Did you enjoy the raffles? Did you buy additional raffle tickets? Were there too many prizes? Too little? Did you win?
  • Should we move A Taste Of to the spring? Should we do it twice a year?

Please tell us of any other ideas you have for next year’s events.

And please, please, frequent the food purveyors that made the event so memorable. Without them, Sheepshead Bay might just be another boring, hipster filled, Williamsburgh.

Are you waiting to get your tickets to A Taste of Sheepshead Bay 2012 at the door? Well, don’t!

If you buy online, you save money over the door price!

Remember, it’s $25 online, and $35 at the door. Additionally, check-in should be that much quicker, so you won’t have to wait in a long line as people rifle through their wallets.

And with all that money you save, you can go buy something from one of A Taste of Sheepshead Bay’s participating restaurants over the weekend. Amazing!

Finally, studies show that people who buy tickets online are cooler, smarter, faster and stronger than all their friends combined. Sounds like you, right?

Buy tickets now.

(Find the full list of participating eateries and event details at the link above.)


Hailed as “the biggest tasting this side of the East River,” A Taste of Sheepshead Bay is Southern Brooklyn’s premier food event.

Organized by Sheepshead Bites ( and sponsored by Il Fornetto Restaurant (, A Taste of Sheepshead Bay features 20 restaurants teaming up to serve samples of their best dishes to hundreds of locals.

Some of last year’s scrumptious offerings included lamb shank over truffled mashed potatoes, handmade lamb samsa, Peruvian ceviche, stuffed mussels, Peking duck, an assortment of gourmet chocolates and sweets, clams corona, frozen yogurt, specialty burgers, wings and so much more.

In all, there were approximately 60 dishes to be tried from restaurants including Randazzo’s Clam Bar, Il Fornetto, Coney Island Taste, JoMart Chocolates, Chop Stix, Arbuz, Tete a Tete and many more.

The event takes place at 7 p.m. at Baron De Kalb Knights of Columbus at 3000 Emmons Avenue (corner of Nostrand Avenue).

A fully stocked cash bar will be open. Live music will be playing.

Limited valet parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets purchased online are $25. Admission at the door is $35.


Participating Restaurants include:
Il Fornetto
Wheelers Bar & Restaurant
Nargis Cafe
Tete a Tete
Sushi Mikasa
Masal Cafe
& many more!

Sheepshead Bites is proud to once again present A Taste of Sheepshead Bay, our now-annual event highlighting the best restaurants, bakeries, cafes and other eateries in our little corner of Brooklyn.

The event is sponsored by Il Fornetto, Sheepshead Bay’s premier waterfront dining establishment.

More details are to come, but mark your calendars: A Taste of Sheepshead Bay will take place on Thursday, October 11, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets will be $25 if purchased online in advance, and $35 at the door.

That’s right: food from 20+ restaurants for only $25!

Labor Day. That’s supposed to be a day of labor, right?

Well for us at Sheepshead Bites it is, so we’re in the office working. But we’re not posting much today; instead we’re working on content for the upcoming few weeks.

So, while we’re sweating it out, you guys go and have a terrific day off.

Just a few notes:

  • Alternate Side Parking is suspended for the day.
  • Parking meter regulations are also suspended.
  • There is no garbage collection for those scheduled for Monday morning pickup. If you normally put your garbage out Sunday night for Monday pickup, put it out tonight for Tuesday morning pickups. Pickups may be delayed. If you have Monday morning recycling pickup, do not put your recyclables at the curb. Your next recycling pickup will be next Monday.
  • Subways operate on Sunday schedules. That means there is no B train today.
  • There are service detours on the B49 and B1. The B49 is rerouted near Eastern Parkway to accommodate the West Indian Day Parade. The Bay Ridge terminus of the B1 route has been changed to accommodate a change in S79SBS bus service. Details of these and other detours can be found here.
  • There will be fireworks at Coney Island tonight, immediately following the Brooklyn Cyclones game. Approximate time will be 9:30 p.m. The team’s final game of the season is this Wednesday.

Just sayin’.

Anyway, the open thread is now open.

Please talk about whatever you want to talk about.

Like bidets. What the hell is that about? Bidet… Biden? You see where I’m going with this, right?

(‘Cause I don’t.)

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