Brooklyn Public Library


Brooklyn Friday

Nov 26, 2008 9:16 AM | 0 comments

Hey No Shushers, M-Gran here. If you’re like me, Thanksgiving is more than just football, turkey and sweet potato pie. For shopaholics near and far Thanksgiving is the prequel for all out bedlam and pandemonium that will take place on Friday. Yes shoppers, Black Friday or Brooklyn Friday is upon us.

Though this economy may have you a little strapped, don’t get your Hue brightly-colored tights (all the rage this season) in a bunch. Brooklyn Public Library has just what you need to soothe those “I am a shopaholic on a budget” blues. Many of us have chosen to forgo Black Friday this year in efforts to save money- smart choice. For those of you unable to tame the shopping beast within, keep it local this year -- Shop Brooklyn.
Brooklyn has some great shops for the dollar-conscious spender. Here are a few of my favorites.

H&M in Kings Plaza
Beacon’s Closet
Not Just Vintage 

Remember, you too can be frugally-fashionable!

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Booklyn’s Best

Nov 25, 2008 10:37 AM | 2 comments
With the holidays coming up, travel time is a great time to read (for those who don’t get car-sick, that is…) As you’d expect, our librarians each have strong opinions about what you should be reading, but many agreed on the top books about Brooklyn to read: 

1)       A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Why? “… because it’s such a touching story and because it captures the geography and culture of Brooklyn during such a definitive time for the borough. Really portrays the heart and soul of immigrant communities and the struggles they faced – the classic NYC Story, Brooklyn-style.”

2)       Motherless Brooklyn (tied for second) by Jonathan Lethem. Why? “… for {depicting} the gritty side of our Borough.”

2)       Fortress of Solitude (tied for second) by Jonathan Lethem. “Completely captures the feeling of being in NYC and Brooklyn in the 1970s when the subways were covered with graffiti. Written so well that you can even smell it.”

3)       Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall. “This book explores themes that are universal – identity, racism, values. It is so well-written that one feels as though one is living in the Brooklyn brownstones depicted in the novel.” 

If you haven’t read our top “Booklyn” picks, you can borrow these from your local library, or put one on hold via our website. 

We have some other top Brooklyn books on our list, but we're curious what are the top Brooklyn books on your list?
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How Sweet It Is

Nov 21, 2008 12:13 PM | 0 comments

Brooklyn’s very own Sweet Melissa will be at Central Library this weekend! On November 23, at 1:30 PM, you can meet Melissa Murphy, the chef and co-owner of Park Slope’s Sweet Melissa Patisserie. With Thanksgiving next week and all those other holidays soon to follow, why not get holiday baking inspiration from this expert?


I’m not much of a cook, but lots of you probably are. Here’s a recipe Melissa gave us, selected from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. So, go get some cooking done early! And if you try the recipe out, let us know how it goes!


Pear Cranberry Pie with Gingersnap Crumble

Yields (1) 9” or 10” pie


For Crust

1 Unbaked pie crust fit into a 9” or 10” pie plate, chilled
For Gingersnap Crumble 1 cup A.P. Flour
  ¼ cup Sugar
  ¼ cup Lt. brown sugar
  ¼ # Gingersnaps (about 10 cookies), crushed
  1/8 tsp. Ground ginger
  1/8 tsp. salt
  6 T. Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For Pie Filling 2 # Ripe Bosc Pears (about 6), peeled, cored, quartered, sliced into ¼” slices
  1 ½ cups Cranberries, fresh or frozen
  1 T. Grated lemon zest
  2 T. Fresh lemon juice
  ½ tsp. Vanilla
  ½ cup Sugar
  ¼ tsp. Salt
  2 T. Cornstarch

Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Make the gingersnap crumble:

In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry crumble ingredients. Stir in the melted butter and set aside. (You can make the crumble and store in an airtight container at room temperature up to two days, or refrigerate it up to one week. If refrigerating, be sure to let it come to room temperature for easier crumbling.)

Make the pear cranberry filling:

In a medium bowl, combine pears, cranberries, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, salt and cornstarch, then stir into fruit mixture.

Sprinkle the gingersnap crumble over the top.  

Place on a lined baking sheet. Bake until the juices are bubbling thick, about 50-60 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

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Neighborhood Know-It-All Strikes Again

Nov 17, 2008 11:22 AM | 3 comments

As the largest of the five boroughs, Brooklyn has tons of neighborhoods, enclaves, and nooks and crannies to explore. Each area has its own distinct flavor from the backgrounds of the people who live there to the geography/landscape to the celebrations/customs/food those people bring; each neighborhood is like a mini-country within this great borough. So not surprisingly, the best neighborhood to get lost in/explore was a hotly contested topic.

Here’s where our staff netted out:
1) Bay Ridge: “Great restaurants and bars, 86th street shopping and Century 21, walk along the Narrows and see the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano Bridge...”                                                                                                            

2) Coney Island (tied for second): “There are a myriad of activities and characters along the boardwalk.” 

2) Brooklyn Heights (tied for second): “The promenade and houses are gorgeous - and there is plenty of shopping and food on Montague street. A great place to wander.” 

2) Red Hook (tied for second): “There are still signs of the ship building era, alongside quirky touches of local artists...”  

The most diplomatic of staff said it best: “Any neighborhood you don't know is good for this.” What's your favorite neighborhood to wander? Are there any good/better ones we left off our list?

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A Night of Excellence

Nov 14, 2008 4:25 PM | 0 comments

It was an evening of excellence at Brooklyn Public Library as we hosted our 12th Annual Gala. CNN's Soledad O'Brien served as mistress of ceremonies as we honored Russell Simmons, Dr. Lucille Thomas, Andrea Davis-Pinkney and Brian Pinkney for their contributions to the community and the literary world at large. The Brooklyn Vanguard culminated the evening with a rockin' after party with DJ Beverly Bond.

For more information about upcoming events and membership in the Brooklyn Vanguard, please visit:

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