Jan 27, 2012

Culture and Action in Greenpoint, Jan 28 - Feb 27

Image by Erin Knutson

It's an especially active season of culture-and-community-meeting right now in Greenpoint, so we want to make sure friends and colleagues are fully aware of everything we know about that's coming up. In particular, we would like to encourage everyone to support the Greenpoint Monitor Museum folks who have put together a stellar three-day line up of events starting tomorrow commemorating the 150th anniversary of the launch of the Monitor, the ironclad Civil War ship built on our shore. 

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In addition, we want to call attention to a couple of recent initiatives in our neighborhood, including the Java Street Collaborative's efforts to create a community garden on city-owned property at 59 Java Street, and the new art space founded by Light Industry, Triple Canopy and Public School New York at 155 Freeman Street--also a potential place for community meetings. 


Since we founded the Bring to Light project, there's been an incredible amount of new activity around the Greenpoint Terminal building, and we're encouraged that the historic landmark is being reclaimed for new uses, including all kinds of studios, rehearsal spaces, alternative spaces, and offices. Moreover, real estate development on the waterfront promises to finally make way for legal public access to the East River in Greenpoint, in accordance with the 2005 rezoning of the district. 

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This raises many vexing issues that will no doubt be explored at upcoming community and environmental advocacy meetings, many of them listed below. We are also working on a new set of documents--a kind of pamphlet containing up-to-date and detailed information maps of the district meant to serve as a tool for new cultural producers and advocates. It collects all of the publicly available information in one place about community-based projects, advocacy organizations, cultural initiatives, planning and urban design proposals, waterfront property ownership, and environmental conditions in our community, designed by Erin Knutson in collaboration with our wonderful colleague, architect and curator Jacqueline Miro. The documents will be released in the coming month as a contribution to the new online magazine RIPP, which focuses for its first issue on the incredible dynamic subcultures of Greenpoint. Look forward to announcement of a release party in the coming month or so, as well as, potentially, a new urban design competition for the WeGee waterfront district. 

Apart from that, we would like to reiterate to all cultural producers that environmental-benefits grant programs are indeed open to proposals for cultural projects, so keep your eye out for announcements of new cycles. 

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Original C-Print by Bob Recine


Jan 28, 9 AM
Winter Bird Walk, Veronica People's Club 
Join Greenpointers on a winter bird walk guided by Peter Dorosh, president of the Brooklyn Bird Club on January 28, 2012. Meet at 9am at Veronica People's Club. BYOB (binoculars) & the kids! Grab a coffee then we will begin the tour on the river to identify waterfowl, then head to McCarren then Winthrop-McGolrick Parks.Suggested donation: $5 (to be donated to Bird Conservation)

Sat - Mon, Jan 28 - 30
150-Year Anniversary Celebration of USS Monitor Launch 
On Jan 30, 1862, the USS Monitor was launched from the Continental Works located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York. 150 years later on Jan 28th, 29th and 30th, there will be a great celebration to honor this historic launching of the USS Monitor, the ship that saved the Union. We will honor John Ericsson, the inventor, Thomas F. Roland, the builder, the crew and the Continental Works workers who built the USS Monitor. The event is a Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Sesquicentenial Signature Event. The New York Department SUVCW, Oliver Tilden Camp #26, SUVCW, Co. I, 83rd New York Vol. (9th NYSM) Sons of Veterans Reserve, The Greenpoint Monitor Museum and the John Ericsson Society are sponsoring the event. The event is being led by the Oliver Tilden Camp and the Greenpoint Monitor Museum. Come out and be part of history!!!

Sat, Jan 28
History Fair – 10 AM to 3:30 PM, Capital One Bank (former Greenpoint Savings Bank) 
Thomas Fitch Rowland, the builder of the USS Monitor, was a first Trustee of the Greenpoint Savings Bank
Concert – 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Wine and Cheese
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Civil War Concert at the Church of the Ascension

Sun, Jan 29
Memorial Service – 10:00 AM - Church of the Ascension
in Memory of the USS Monitor, her builders, her crew and John Ericsson
followed by coffee, cake, assembly for parade
Parade – 12 PM From Church to the Museum’s land
(Launch Site of the USS Monitor) land donated by Motiva Enterprises
Ceremony - at the Launch Site approximately 12:30 PM
Reception - at the Grand Prospect Hall

Mon, Jan 30 9 AM
Bus Tour of Civil War Historic Sites including Brooklyn Navy Yard’s New Bldg 92 Center
Laying of Wreaths - USS Monitor Statue at McGolrick Park,
John Ericsson Statue Battery Park, NYC

Mon, Jan 30 6:30 PM
Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting,  CB #1's District Office, 435 Graham Ave 
The Parks & Waterfront Committee will meet at the CB #1's District Office, 435 Graham Ave (Corner of Frost Street) AGENDA: • Presentation: Proposal to Develop a Farmer’s Market in the Vicinity of McGolrick Park – by Ms. Miriam Haas, Director, Community Markets.

Mon, Jan 30 7 - 10 PM
Greenpointers Open Meeting, Cafe Royal, 195 Nassau Ave 
Greenpointers is a neighborhood website that serves as a communication hub for people who love Greenpoint. The more diversely and openly we can share our skills, ideas and information, the better we can support one another and grow as a community. Greenpointers is holding general weekly meetings on Monday evenings at 7pm at Cafe Royal for contributors new and old, to discuss ideas, talk, write, shoot, film, draw, plan and create content content for Greenpointers.com. Photographers, Writers, Artists, Organizers, Directors, Thinkers, Lawyers, Cartoonists, Accountants, Psychiatrists, Environmentalists, OTHER BLOGGERS, Chefs, Mechanics, Stylists, Animal Lovers, Bicyclists, Politicians, Children, Curators, Social Media Gurus, Illustrators, Designers, Bartenders, Fitness Instructors, ANYONE WITH ANY SKILLS to share or with something to say that is relevant to Greenpoint.

Tue Jan 31, Feb 7, Feb 13, Feb 21, and Feb 28, 7-9pm
Tuesday Night Open Drawing Studio
Join Round Robin Collective members for a loosely structured studio drawing workshop where participants can come in and draw, discuss their work, hang out and learn about RRC and Arts@Renaissance. Some drawing material will be provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own.
For more info on this or other Hospitality events please visit www.roundrobinbrooklyn.blogspot.com

Tue, Jan 31, 7pm 
Kristina Talking Pictures, Light Industry, 155 Freeman St
Yvonne Rainer, 1976, 16mm, 90 mins - $7
Kristina Talking Pictures is a narrative film inasmuch as it contains a series of events that can be synthesized into a story if one is disposed to do so. (A European woman lion-tamer comes to America and takes up choreography.) The film can also be characterized by its discursions from a strict narrative line via reflections on art, love, and catastrophe sustained by the voices of Kristina, the heroine-narrator, and Raoul, her lover. Within its form of shifting correlations between word and image, persona and performer, enactment and illustration, explanation and ambiguity, KTP circles in a narrowing spiral toward its primary concerns: the uncertain relation of public act to personal fate, the ever-present possibility for disparity between public-directed conscience and private will.Having just put your check to Amnesty International in the mailbox, you are mugged....or discover you have cancer....or perhaps you betray an old friend. Nothing can ensure that we remain honorable, nor save us from betrayal and death. In the next-to-last shot a love letter is recited. So you see, things aren't all that bad.- Yvonne Rainer 

NAG State of the Neighborhood Town Hall, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Holy Ghost,160 N 5th Street
If you could give the neighborhood a grade, what would it be? Join new and long-time community members as we discuss the crucial issues in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, like affordable housing, tenant rights, homelessness, transportation, safe streets, development, open space and parks and environmental justice. NAG will be presenting a Community Report Card reporting on where we’re at and where we’ve been on these issues. Community members can then discuss and decide on the main issues that are the most important; the issues that need action to make our neighborhoods more livable. After selecting what needs to be addressed at the State of the Neighborhood Town Hall come out to the State of the Neighborhood Forum on Saturday, February 4th, to discuss how we are going to take action and make changes in our neighborhoods!  

Sat, Feb 4, 12 PM
NAG State of the Neighborhood Forum, Ground floor of NAG office building, 110 Kent Ave. (at N8th), Brooklyn, NY 
How can you make a difference in North Brooklyn? The State of the Neighborhood Forum will provide new and long-time residents a space to discuss how to take action on local issues. These issues will be chosen by you at the State of the Neighborhood Town Hall on Thursday, February, 2nd. Come to the forum and meet with other community members to discuss how to make changes on specific neighborhood issues like affordable housing, tenant rights, homelessness, transportation, the waterfront, parks and safe streets. This will be a great opportunity to engage in community advocacy and activism in North Brooklyn, learn about the local issues, meet with your neighbors and take part in making a collective action plan for our communities.
Check www.nag-brooklyn.org for more details.

Fri, February 10-26
Opening Reception: Fri, Feb. 10th from 7-10 pm
Fowler Arts Collective, Of Mind, Body & Soul: An Exploration of the Personal, Greenpoint Terminal, 67 West Street 
The exhibition presents works that address the theme of questioning and exploring the self, bringing together a diverse cross-section of the current Brooklyn arts scene. Each artist was selected for their singular approach to the title subject. Carolina Duque, Katya Grokhovsky, J.F. Lynch, Ellie Murphy, Caitlin Peluffo, Katarina Riesing, and Ryan Turley uniquely explore deep and critical relationships with themselves. These works, many of which were created specifically for this exhibition, allow for an insight into each artist's psyche, but they also pose broader questions of an individual's internal relationship with the self.

Wed, Feb 15, 6:30 PM
Community Board 1, Combined Public Hearing & Board Meeting,  211 Ainslie Street 
Combined Public Hearing and Board Meeting, held at Swinging 60's Senior Citizens Center, 211 Ainslie Street (Corner of Manhattan Avenue) - to see agenda, please click on the "agendas" button.

Thu, Feb. 16, 6:30 PM
Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee,  329 Greenpoint Ave. (corner of Humboldt) 
NCMC will be meeting with the NYC Dept of Environmental Protection on February 16, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public and held at: 329 Greenpoint Ave. (corner of Humboldt). Enter the gate and go to the security booth to the left. Tell security you're there for the meeting and continue on to the administrative building, 2nd to last door.

Monday, Feb 27 at 6 PM
Newtown Creek Alliance Public Meeting, LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave,
Room E500 (E Building), Long Island City

This meeting will feature a presentation on the AWISCO green roof, a DEP-funded Green Infrastructure project we are building this spring with Highview Creations. Come learn about the project, and of course get all the remediation and planning updates on the Creek. As mentioned at the December NCA meeting, we are convening workgroups around our growing program areas. The workgroups will be digging into Education, Bioremediation, Green Infrastructure and Workforce Development. NCA members who have indicated interest in these areas will be getting together between now and the public meeting.  ***RSVP to  kzidar@newtowncreekalliance.org if you want to join a workgroup!
NCA Workgroups:
Education – Tue, Jan 31 at 6pm, Pratt Institute, Higgins Hall North, Room TBA, Green Infrastructure – Fri, Feb 3 at 10am, Greenpoint Coworking, 240 N Henry Street, Workforce Development – Wed, Feb 8 at 10am, St. Nicks Alliance, 790 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Bioremediation – Fri, Feb 10 at 2pm, Greenpoint Public Library, 107 Norman Ave

Jan 13, 2012

Aberration on Hollywood Boulevard

Enjoyed this talk on the theme of Aberration at Woodbury University School of Architecture's space on Hollywood Blvd. The school has smartly hired writer Mimi Zeiger to give itself a stronger identity within the field. Zeiger and Chicago-based designer Iker Gil of MAS Studio, who publishes the journal MAS Context, introduced what turned out to be very intellectual discussion on the theme, which is a good thing in this case. It featured a presentation by guest editor John Szot, architect and professor at Pratt Institute. You can download the journal as a PDF.


Szot's presentation on the issue and his own argument touches a soft spot for observational research-based urban thinking. Architecture has an immense capacity to recognize in physical form a world of politicized ideas, and Szot takes us on a journey through a set of "pathogical activit[ies] that present overpowering ideas that are captivating in their grotesqueness." He concludes with his own project for a hotel in Tokyo [truncated in the video above].

Contemporary architecture often references politicized ideas without being able to transform the economic conditions or consciousness through which new forms of the social are produced. The effect is often a rationalization of innovative form rather than an architecture that can conceivably offer a pathway to new social conditions: form we can believe in but not much change.