Pork Sloop back in the 1990s. Photo via NYPL, by Bill Barvin
Despite its rich array of multi-generation mom and pop shops, stunning historic architecture and abundance of locals, Park Slope is increasingly thought of, by Brooklynites and the rest of the world, as a whitewashed yuppie-haven full of luxury developments and wildly unaffordable housing. The area’s demographics have undeniably experienced a rapid change in recent years as rents and property values skyrocketed higher than the high rises being built along the neighborhood’s landmarked perimeters and longtime businesses close to be replaced by nail salons and chain stores.
It’s the sad reality of gentrification, and more than a few decades-old businesses have been casualties as of recent: after 29-years in business on 7th Ave., Sport Prospect called it quits earlier this year, a true loss considering their excellent sock collection and wonderfully familiar awning. Even Mayor de Blasio was a regular.
Below, though, are six shops that are still kicking, peddling their wares and holding down the fort in the name of indy businesses everywhere. You can’t bring back the dead fronts, but you can help keep those that remain alive, so next time you go to buy something on Amazon, be a good neighbor and consider buying local instead. (more…)
Levan Wright is gonna fancy up the Juice Hip-Hop Exhibition (#10)
1. Go your own way — right to C’mon Everybody for their monthly Monday Night Tribute. This month more than a dozen musicians will pay homage to the great Fleetwood Mac. (Monday, C’mon Everybody, $10)
2. Bring all your talents to the BYO Art & Open Mic: anyone can hang a piece on the wall or present a poem, story, song, or other work. Plus BBQ! (Monday, Living Gallery, $5)
3. Don’t get wet at the Society for the Advancement of Social Studies’ History of the High Seas, an evening of short funny lectures on pirates, the Battle of Midway, and the history of whaling. (Tuesday, The Bedford, FREE) (more…)
As we journey ever deeper into the world of digital publication, audiobooks ringing in our ears and e-readers clutched to our breasts, it seems as though big publishing houses might not be long for this world. These days, you’d think that an emerging writer’s only hope to get discovered would be through a clever tweet.
But you’d be wrong. First of all, even if print is dying, publishing is not. And secondly, here in Brooklyn there’s still a loving home for the literature enthusiast (or just for anyone who prefers to write in complete sentences). If you’re eager to meet other bookworms and discover new voices, the best way to do it is through any of BK’s local reading series. Lucky you, we’ve compiled a list of said reading series, all of which feature free admission and — arguably the secret of all great writers — proximity to alcohol. (more…)
Trade out your eyebrows for high-brows this weekend with some lofty discussions at the BKBF. via website
Calling all word nerds, bookworms, poets and dreamers, culture-seekers and diarists and people who are just looking for something to do this weekend: the Brooklyn Book Festival is this Sunday, September 20! It’s a day of free poetry readings, panel discussions, meaningful conversations and celebrations of writerly achievement. It’s a day, in short, not to be missed.
There are so many events happening every hour, on the hour, but if you’re the kind of person who gets overwhelmed by choices, we think we did a pretty good job of hand-picking the ones you ought to check out. (more…)
Everyone’s reading (locally bought) books. Illustration by Brian Floca, via Independent Bookstore Day
Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday and it’s more important to recognize than ever, what with Amazon steadily taking over all distribution of the written word. The day itself will be filled with all sorts of ways to show your love for your local readery, from a photo booth with authors at Greenlight to a free shot of Absinthe with purchases at Spoonbill & Sugartown. Of course, you can get books from your local bookstore any day of the year, so to encourage reading and local commerce, we asked some bookstore employees at local indie shops what new books and summer pleasures we should be reading so we can someday be smart and well-read like them. (more…)
The Patti Smith appearance from 2012 still pretty much says it all. Photo by Julienne Schaer, via Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn is nothing if not literary, and we also love our parks. So it makes sense we’ve made Brooklyn Bridge Park’s outdoor summer reading series Books Beneath the Bridge successful enough the past two years that it’s coming back for 2014. So we’ve got another year of all your favorite local bookstores hosting readings at the park’s Pier 1 Granite Prospect. (more…)
Patti Smith enraptures the crowd last year. Photo by Julienne Schaer
Sure summer movies and summer concerts are great. But what if you want some culture that doesn’t involve explosions or guitar solos and you want it outdoors? Good news! Brooklyn Bridge Park has your back, thanks to the return of Books Beneath the Bridge, a weekly reading series at Pier 1 of the park. (more…)
Community Bookstore: Good enough for Parker Posey, good enough for teachers.
As The Wire showed us, teachers are the second most tragically under-appreciated part of urban life, right after dock workers (we keeed!). But we know all you teachers out there go through heckfire every day; Community Bookstore in Park Slope knows it too. That’s why it’s offering an Educators Night this Thursday: Teachers get 30 percent off any book in the store; plus a children’s books representative from Random House will be on hand, and there will be refreshments too. The teach appreash kicks off at 7pm Oct. 11.
Some local bookstores (okay, one) might be shut down by the age-old tale of a New Yorker not wanting to pay their rent, while others are just struggling through the crappy economy. We don’t want to see any of them disappear, but if the thought of shelling out for brand-new books gives you bank-account anxiety, know that your hard-earned money gets you an expertly chosen book and keeps these important community meeting places alive. There’s also often free wine, beer and food at local bookstore events, and that’s far more than we can say for Amazon. With the final death knell of Borders ringing in our ears, and the annual Brooklyn Book Festival already underway, here’s a quick guide to some of the best deals, straight from the mouths of the local bookkeepers themselves: (more…)