Brooklyn Public Library


Neighborhood Know-It-All: Black History Month, Brooklyn-Style

Feb 9, 2009 12:28 PM | 0 comments

February is Black History Month, and there’s no better place to celebrate than in Brooklyn. So many groundbreaking African Americans started out here, from Jay-Z to Shirley Chisholm to Chris Rock. Is it any wonder? Brooklyn is such an inspirational place. Do something great to commemorate this important month. You won’t have to go far!


One recommendation from our staff is the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum. On February 28, they will host African Lives: From Wyckoff to Weeksville, during which there will be crafts, dance performances and tours of the museum.


Central Library’s Dweck Center is also offering a rich array of events, all month long. From hearing a special concert by the Brooklyn Philharmonic to meeting some of the most relevant African American authors of our time, you’ll find plenty to do.

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Neighborhood Know-It-All: Vday Hot Spots

Feb 6, 2009 9:58 AM | 0 comments

Many adages and axioms about love are untrue or outdated, but one that seems to ring true has something to do with the best way to someone's heart being through their stomach. One surveyor said it best: "Food is love and what better way to celebrate?"

Many of our staff feel the love (about food) and chose various Brooklyn restaurants as the best way to spend Valentine's Day.
 By far the favorite was River Café in Brooklyn Heights as it's a "romantic spot under the Brooklyn Bridge." Other food faves include Blue Ribbon and Miriam, both in Park Slope. 

If you can't get a reservation at this late date, don't fret: our staff had a few top date spots where no jacket is required:
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: "Despite the stillness and barrenness in the winter the quiet garden is still beautiful and is all the more poignant to share with someone special."
- Promenade: "Sit and look at the Manhattan skyline."
- BPL: "Check out a date movie." 

For those of us who are less inclined to celebrate the cloying holiday, check out a show in the BAM Sounds Like Brooklyn Music Fest. Or just stay home and listen to J. Geils Band's Love Stinks. Yeah yeah.

Any other ideas of how to spend Valentine's Day in Brooklyn? Share them here.

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Neighborhood-Know-It-All, Vintage-Style

Feb 3, 2009 12:54 PM | 1 comment

Growing up in Seattle, I had my pick of great vintage stores and had the closet to prove it. I still love scoring a cool vintage item, but it’s been more of a challenge to find affordable, good vintage shopping in Brooklyn. Luckily, BPL staffers had some answers when we asked for favorite places to shop vintage.  

Beacon’s Closet, which has two locations (one in Williamsburg and one in Park Slope) was a top choice, for its “funky, quality items at a good price.” Years ago, this was the place for vintage in Brooklyn because it had a huge selection in a market with few competitors. Buffalo Exchange, another top choice for best vintage, is now getting its share of young, hip and cost-conscious Williamsburg shoppers. 

Several Salvation Army outlets were nominated, including an outlet on Quincy and Classon Avenue, that is “…huge and cheap and not as picked-over as other locations.” 

Hooti Couture on Flatbush and Seventh Avenue got an enthusiastic shout-out: “You can find inexpensive items and others that are a bit [pricier]…they are truly one-of-a-kind.” Owner Alison Houtte and her sister, Melissa Houtte, co-authored a book about their experiences collecting vintage clothing. Find their book and many others about vintage fashion and shopping at your library. It’s the perfect time to show off your economic as well as sartorial savvy.

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