Brooklyn Public Library


Snark Bite

Feb 25, 2009 11:52 AM | 2 comments

In David Denby’s new book, Snark, "snark" refers to cruel commentary and the laughter elicited by it; or as Walter Kirn describes it in his review, “a species of vicious contemporary humor.” After reading about the book and listening to an interview with Denby himself, it got me wondering if Denby is right, that there is a glut of this kind of commentary and humor in the media, especially now with more anonymous forums such as websites and blogs.

It makes a lot of sense to me that there has been a growing campaign against “cyber bullying,” online bullying amongst junior high and high school-age kids, usually anonymously, on message boards and social networking sites. There seems to be a connection between cyber bullying and snark; Denby argues that the instantaneous, even democratic nature of the internet has bred a special kind of contempt. “The trouble with snark is that it doesn’t engage. It’s almost bulimic: It takes something into its mouth and then regurgitates it,” Denby says.

I tend to agree with him (though I haven’t read his book), but what of the role vicious satire has played in history in helping to bring down corrupt politicians, monarchs and greedy financiers? Might snark help to ease the pain a bit as we watch the economy go down the tubes?

Weigh in: Have you been guilty or the victim of snark? Is it good or bad for society? Who in popular culture do you think is "snarky"?

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Neighborhood Know-It-All: Pepperoni Pinchers

Feb 23, 2009 3:08 PM | 0 comments

The economy may be in shambles, but there’s certainly no deficit of pizza joints in Brooklyn. While that has always been a good thing, it especially is now. Pizza’s cheap, it can be found everywhere, and it’s good. Before you go out to get your next slice, take a look at where our library staff recommends you get a pie flung in the air:


Di Fara Pizza (Midwood)

“For over 40 years, Domenico De Marco has been making the best pizza in Brooklyn with the freshest imported ingredients. Yum yum!”


L&B Spumoni Gardens (Bensonhurst)

“Best square Sicilian pie in the world!”

“Sometimes you are just in the mood for a square slice of Sicilian. And this one seems to have the perfect combination of cheese and sauce. Plus you can follow up your pizza with Italian ice at the next counter over.”


Totonno’s Pizza (Coney Island)

“This is one of the legendary pizzerias in the city and is absolutely incredible. Great crust, perfect ratio of sauce to cheese.”


And let’s not forget the pizzeria recently named by Zagat as one of the best restaurants in Brooklyn: Lucali in Carroll Gardens.

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And the Winner is...the Wrestler/Stripper/Grinning Maniac/Reverse-Aging Guy/Nun

Feb 19, 2009 4:43 PM | 0 comments

The 81st Annual Oscars show happens Sunday, February 22. Don’t be the loser in your Oscar party competition—check out DVDs of nominated films from your library and bone up on obscure art directors, animated shorts and foreign films. Here’s a random list of nominated films available at the library, with synopses.  

Wall-E - In a post-apocalyptic world, a robot needs love, too. 

The Dark Knight - The Joker is insane and without moral standards. Or is he??? 

Frozen River - Life in this cold, poverty-filled landscape is hard—but it gets worse. I mean, really bad. 

Tropic Thunder - Fat jokes, an actor in blackface, the Vietnam War—sounds like Oscar material to me! 

Kung Fu Panda - In this amusing animated feature, an unlikely hero emerges to fight a powerful force of evil that threatens ancient China, etc., etc. 

Here’s my wishlist for the winners in the top categories: Lead Actor: Mickey Rourke, Lead Actress: Melissa Leo, Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Directing (Best Picture): Milk 

What are your picks for real winners and/or your wish-list winners and why?

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Aspiring Writers, This Post's For You!

Feb 12, 2009 1:25 PM | 0 comments

In its March issue, on stands now, Woman’s Day magazine announced a call for entries on a timely topic: using the library to help save money.

From Feb. 17 through May 18, women ages 18 and up are invited to send in stories in 700 words or less to Up to four stories will be profiled in the March 2010 issue.

Learn more.


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Neighborhood-Know-it-All: Shaken, Not Stirred

Feb 12, 2009 9:47 AM | 0 comments
Not too long ago, America witnessed a new take on cool. No, it wasn’t skinny jeans or nude lipstick.  It was the birth of the hip and trendy coffee shop. If you’re like most folks over the age of 25, a trip to your local coffee shop isn’t “cool” but simply a chance to indulge in your favorite warm beverage alongside a sumptuous pastry. Many may say that Starbucks kicked off this trend but BPL staff members beg to differ. Our staff members came up with these Brooklyn coffee shops as their favorite places to get a hot Cup O’Joe.

One coffee shop recommendation from our staff is Crossroads Café: “The coffee is outstanding and the food is amazing.”

Tea Lounge: “Its excellent variety of coffee, tea and desserts makes this place one of the best.”

Red Horse Coffee (at 497 6th Avenue) : “They know how to make an Americano for real.”

We’d love to hear about your favorite coffee shop. Tell us where it’s located and your favorite menu item. You never know, you may see a No Shusher there.

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