Brooklyn Public Library


Freewheeling Ways

Nov 12, 2008 12:01 PM | 1 comment

There’s gridlock on Brooklyn’s bridges, but it’s not on the roads. According to the Daily News, the number of bike riders crossing all three bridges has increased since last year. The Manhattan Bridge has seen a 70 percent increase, while the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges have seen sizeable increases of their own. And this is all happening as the weather gets cooler, which is normally a time when the number of bike riders begins dropping.


Why is this happening? Maybe it’s the looming threat of tolls on the East River crossings. Or, the fact that there are more bike paths and safety measures now. But I say it’s the troubled economy. Why bother shelling out money for gas or subway fare when you can just hop on your bike and get to your destination, faster and a whole lot cheaper?


If you’re one of those thrifty bike riders, you might want to also save some money by going to your library. You’ll only need to take out your wallet to grab your ABC card for access to our collection of books, DVDs, magazines, eResources and so much more.
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BPL is Brooklyn’s Neighborhood Know-It-All

Nov 10, 2008 1:33 PM | 5 comments

Brooklynites are tired of people from that other borough telling us what's the best in the city... and inevitably leaving top spots in our beloved borough off the list. With a staff of over 1500 people working in 60 locations across Brooklyn from Bed-Stuy to Brighton Beach and everywhere in between, we think our collective knowledge of the Borough of Kings trumps everyone else's.

So we're doing our own list of the best of the best in Brooklyn, called Neighborhood Know-It-All. And we need your help. Twice a month, we'll post our staff's favorites in the week's topic, and then, we want you to give us your thoughts. Argue with us. Agree with us. Offer other suggestions. However you want to respond is up to you, just be sure to respond, so we have the best of the best listed. We'd also love it if you can offer up topics for our staff to vote on in future surveys.

To kick off the column, this week's survey was on best views. We asked and our staff answered. Here are our top picks for places where you can get the best views in Brooklyn – and why these are our favorites:

1. Brooklyn Heights
Promenade: “Funny thing is that the Manhattan night time skyline looks the best from Brooklyn.” (Right on!) 
2a. Red Hook waterfront (tied for second): “Sitting on the back porch [of Fairway] you can look out at the harbor and Statue of Liberty.”  
2b. Brooklyn Bridge Park (tied for second): “At sunset, you are surrounded by the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges and DUMBO – one of the last reminders of Brooklyn’s industrial history. Beautiful.”    

Agree? Disagree? Then tell us about it!
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Election Night Party Recap

Nov 5, 2008 12:49 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday night, I was at a pro-Obama election party in Park Slope. It was a long, emotional and amazing evening! Here are some highlights. 

7:40 PM We’ve been watching the TV since 6:30. A few predictions, but nothing much else. I’m a nervous wreck. Vermont goes to Obama, Kentucky to McCain, and they have three and eight electoral votes, respectfully. 

9:20 PM Obama’s campaign strategist describes the situation as all signs good. The crowd in Grant Park, Chicago swells into the thousands. A member of the crowd holds up a poster, Yes We Did. 

9:24 PM ABC breaks into a commercial break with a “Special Report” and projects Ohio will go to Obama—the room goes nuts! 

9:51 PM McCain’s electoral votes jump to 130 and the mood of the room grows subdued. 

11:00 PM Polls on the West Coast close. A moment later, the words “Obama Elected President” scroll across the bottom of the TV as the announcer repeats it. Everyone is freaking out. I’m in shock for a moment, then start jumping up and down and screaming. People are hugging each other, a few crying. Onscreen Tally: Obama 388, McCain 155 

11:20 PM McCain gives a decent, respectful concession speech. His supporting crowd is dour and boos during his speech. 

11:40 PM Obama at last walks out on the stage at Grant Park and delivers a stirring but sober speech. It is an awe-inspiring moment that makes me teary. 

1:05 AM We arrive back in our Fort Greene neighborhood and come upon an impromptu celebratory street party. A couple hundred people have gathered on a corner and spill out into the street, chanting, cheering and dancing, police mostly benignly directing traffic. We stand for a minute and join in with the cheers. I’ve never seen a sight like this in Brooklyn, before. 

1:25 AM Just outside our apartment, a woman passing by us says, almost under her breath, “Yes we can.” 

Whether you’re celebrating or mourning the outcome, learn more about the president-elect or electoral process by checking out a book from your library. Yes, you can!

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It’s All Politics

Nov 3, 2008 2:54 PM | 0 comments

Just in case you haven’t already heard, there’s a little election going on tomorrow. Politics has always been too serious for me, but this year has been a humorous change. From frequent guest turns by the candidates on Saturday Night Live to Tina Fey’s dead-on Sarah Palin to the array of colorful ads aimed at youth, this Election Day feels more like a holiday than ever. Brooklyn Public Library is also keeping things on the lighter side.


Come to Central Library tomorrow to see The Art of Politics, an exciting new exhibition of editorial art by illustrator Randy Jones, in which he pokes fun at politics, both past and present. His work has been in publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Newsday. Whether you’re a politics know-it-all or you’re trying to figure out how to apply to the Electoral College, you’ll find this display entertaining. Where else can you see Barack Obama and John McCain smearing lipstick on each other? This exhibition will be up until January 10.


What’s your take on this year’s exciting race for president?

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