Isa Del Bello with a porgie she just hooked. Photo by Peter Park
Isa Del Bello, the director of education at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, may have grown up in the desert, but she loves working on the water.
The Sante Fe, NM native taught elementary school in Albuquerque for three years, but she moved to New York in 2010 to pursue a graduate degree in developmental psych with the intent to do academic research, instead of teaching. While in grad school at the Teachers College of Columbia, she worked as a per diem teacher at Brooklyn Bridge Park and as an educator with Solar One’s Green Design Lab. That’s when she realized teaching city kids about nature was what she really wanted to do.
Whether lecturing about the history of East River oysters during a Wednesday night tour, wading out into the river with groups of volunteers to catch fish with a 20-foot seine net, or showing a class of elementary school kids what critters lie beneath the surface of the East River, Del Bello is passionate about educating kids and adults alike about the Brooklyn waterfront.
“A lot of city people look at the water and they don’t think there’s anything living in it, when in fact it’s a thriving ecosystem that is becoming stronger and stronger as time passes,” she says. The 33-year-old, who lives in Clinton Hill, joined Brooklyn Bridge Park full-time in 2013.
Isa Del Bello is today’s focus of Brooklyn Wild, our series where we talk to Brooklynites who have found a way to make their living by working in nature.
We spoke with Del Bello about jonesing for the ocean while living in the desert, her love of fishing and boating, and which upcoming Brooklyn Bridge Park events we should put on our calendars. (more…)
When you think “Odd Couple,” you might think of this (and the theme song will probably get stuck in your head, so, sorry). Or, you might think of your parents. OR, you might think of a musical duo comprised of musicians from very different bands: Indie rockers Interpol and hip hop’s legendary Wu-Tang Clan, for instance. That last one, specifically, is this week’s New Music Friday feature: Banks and Steelz, otherwise known as Interpol’s Paul Banks and Wu-Tang’s RZA.
But here’s the thing: it’s actually not that odd. If you listen to the album, which combines the best parts of Interpol and Wu-Tang, it makes a lot of sense. Though it took a while to get to a truly solid collaboration, they bonded as “chess buddies.” They’ve both gone by cool aliases, and they’re both “music geeks” who obsessively collect new instruments and ideas. And though their styles as individual musicians may have seemed disparate at first, they combine into something pretty awesome.The album is equal parts fun, dark, danceable, and hypnotic. It blends electronic beats with acoustic instruments, RZA’s hard-hitting rap with Banks’ smooth vocals. Basically, it’s great. But it’s got a harshness to it.
RZA told Noisey: “[Our music] is like one of them seasonings … called ‘Flavor All;’ you can put that shit on anything.”
We should note here that, though New Music Friday is usually dedicated to local acts that are currently based in Brooklyn, we really focus on artists that represent New York City. Banks and Steelz are definitely that, and their new album, Anything But Words, drops today via Warner Brothers Records. (more…)
Free books abound — if you trust your neighbors’ selection. Via Flickr user Squid Ink.
New York City is expensive … if you actually try to pay for everything you need. The city is a giving tree that will help support your basic needs, if you know where to look, and save you the hassle of paying for stuff that is freely available everywhere: Moving boxes, magazines, condoms and more. Here are 10 things you never have to pay for in the city; add your own picks to the comments. (more…)
1. Take in some drama at the Bed-Stuy Theater Group’s August in August, with performances this weekend of “Two Trains Running” by August Wilson. (Friday in Fulton Park; Saturday in Herbert Von King Park, FREE)
2. Check out Smash Industries, a brand new community space, at a pre-opening party with music by Cutters, Forfeit, Zanois, and more, plus a visual art gallery, a mosaic-making room, and more. (Friday, Smash Industries, $10)
3. Laugh it up at the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, with shows all weekend from Knitting Factory to the Bell House starring Reggie Watts, Julie Klausner, Phoebe Robinson, and tons more. (Friday through Sunday, varies) (more…)
A new mini-golf course has opened in Coney Island. Photo via @anthony_0358 on Instagram.
Recently, we recommended Shipwrecked, Brooklyn’s first indoor mini-golf course, as a fun, air-conditioned diversion on a hot day. Since opening in Red Hook a couple months back, Shipwrecked has filled a huge hole in the summer fun market, since there isn’t much else in the way of mini-golf in Brooklyn. But now, a new course called Brooklyn Miniature Golf opened last week in Coney Island, according toGothamist. (more…)
You probably have 10 places exactly like this one by your office. Via Jazz Guy on Flickr.
Most of the entries in the big book of fake holidays are terrible: Best Friends Day, Raccoon Appreciation Day, Green Day, Father’s Day, to name just a few. Tomorrow, however, is National Duck Out for a Drink Day, a holiday Alex Balk at The Awl created six years ago because it’s the rotting corpse part of the dead of August and you deserve to slip out of the office for a shot or a beer, or a shot and beer (note that he created this holiday five years ago, which I think was when the first republican debate was being held, I can’t be sure as I can’t remember a time when this campaign was not happening.) So take advantage of it, why not? You do truly deserve it, we all deserve it, let’s keep drinking until we feel like we don’t deserve it any more. (more…)
The Pour House of Bay Ridge has Friday Teacher Happy Hours, where the teachers bartend. Photo via Facebook.
We’re all upset that summer is drawing to a close, but teachers throughout the city are especially bitching right now because their two-month-plus vacation is ending in just two short weeks. That’s right, kiddos and profs, the first day of the (public) school year is Thursday, Sept. 8. But luckily for the teachers (we don’t have any news with which to console the kids, unfortunately), there is one silver lining to going back to work: once school starts, a number of Friday teacher happy hours at Brooklyn bars start back up again as well.
It’s good to get drunk with your fellow teachers, so you can commiserate with those who share your particular grievances—unlike your non-teacher friends, who are done with hearing you complain about your “kids.” But we at Brokelyn, and the select bars providing the deals, appreciate your hard work; we can only imagine how molding young, or really, any minds, must drive you to drink!
Check out these six BK bars providing opportunities to get f-cked up for less after a rough week in the classroom —they’re all on Fridays, which we guess is good, because teaching hungover really sounds like hell. Let us know in the comments if we missed any! (more…)
The yearlong feminist art show will include Marilyn Minter’s Blue Poles, Via Brooklyn Museum.
Good news, everyone! We finally killed sexism. According to this Pew study out this week, most men thing sexism is over and thank god someone finally asked men about that, because both being in the patriarchy and trying to fight it is exhausting. So now that sexism is over, what are we all supposed to do with our time?
One idea is to take a break from the realm of Dead White Guy art and go to the Brooklyn Museum, which is kicking off a yearlong feminist art exhibit starting in October. According to DNAinfo, the “Year of Yes” will be stocked with female-centric artwork and programming with the goal of “reimagining feminism.” Luckily, they don’t mean reimagining it this way. (more…)