Brooklyn Public Library


What’s Cookin’ in Brooklyn

Mar 27, 2009 10:06 AM | 0 comments
It’s Dine In Brooklyn again, the Borough of Kings’ answer to NYC’s Restaurant Week. And this year it’s bigger than ever. If you’re having a hard time choosing just one, check out our picks of top spots.

Able's pick: is a classy (if a bit cramped) Carroll Gardens offshoot of Mario Batali's NYC restaurant. An emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients makes this one of the best choices in this neighborhood. I don’t know if the white bean bruschetta is part of the Dine In Brooklyn menu, but I assure you, “It’s the best, Jerry. The best!”

Anthony's pick: Goodfella’s in Bay Ridge was my Friday night hangout in high school. But this is no dive; it has fantastic food, including fresh pizza that was voted America’s Best. The service is always friendly, and I know from experience. My friends and I would annoyingly order plates of whipped cream for dessert, and they’d bring it every time without protest -- or charging us!

Jeanie's pick: Great for lunch, brunch or dinner, Olea Mediterranean Taverna is a lively, busy spot in Fort Greene. Tapas are the way to go for dinner, while for lunch or brunch I love the Turkish Breakfast. On “Spanish Fridays” there are wine and paella specials to enjoy, along with live Spanish guitar.  

M-Gran's pick: If you have a taste for island cuisine then make your way over to Footprints Café, a Caribbean restaurant. Their virgin Pina Coladas, cod fish cakes and rasta pasta is the trifecta for a great meal in Canarsie. 

Sarck's pick:

You'd be hard-pressed to find a Mexican restaurant that can impress like Alma. With a covered roof-top deck featuring amazing views (See picture), you'll find fresh food, reasonable prices… and definitely don't forget to order a margarita.

Extra pick:
Luz is luxe! Delicate pan-Latin flavors served in a modern atmosphere make the list for one of the best in Brooklyn. 


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Artistically Minded

Mar 26, 2009 2:18 PM | 2 comments

Ever wondered what influence Africa had on the art of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse; why some of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits show her confined to a hospital bed; or what all those paint splatters in Jackson Pollock’s paintings are about?

The MoMA Presents/2009 Art Lecture Series taking place at several BPL libraries from now through June is a chance to hear a friendly expert cover topics ranging from the urban landscape in contemporary art, women artists in MoMA’s collections, and new work by artists from the Caribbean and South America. Gain a whole new perspective on these and other themes in modern art, and pick up a free ticket for entry to MoMA while you're at it.

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A Change of Green

Mar 24, 2009 10:40 AM | 0 comments

There’s so much disheartening news about businesses lately. What’s closing this week? Who needs to be bailed out now? So, I was relieved to get better acquainted with Elissa Olin, who’s making a business dream come true. Elissa was a runner-up in our 2008 PowerUP! Business Plan Competition, winning $5,000 to make her eco-friendly business idea, Green in Bklyn, become reality. I had a few questions for her.


Tell me a little bit about your winning business idea. What inspired it?

When my family and I committed to making our home greener, we found it difficult to find the products we needed. Green in Bklyn offers a one-stop shop where people who’d like to live an eco-friendly lifestyle can find the information and products they need.


Now that you’re a PowerUP! runner-up, what’s next?

Green in Bklyn will open on Earth Day, April 22 [432 Myrtle Avenue (between Clinton and Waverly Avenues)] In the future, products will be offered online.


What advice would you give to other business-owning hopefuls out there?

I highly recommend lots of research into the viability and necessities of the industry and business. There are lots of free professional business assistance programs. Be very prepared and informed. Ask lots of questions. Accept the gifts that come your way. Be nice. Say thank you.


What did you want to do when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a rock star, a firefighter and an actor. I’ve been an actor and, at times, a rock star in my mind. Two out of three ain't bad!


If you have a business idea, think about entering yourself into 2009’s PowerUP! Visit our website for more information.

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Put Some Spring in Your Step

Mar 19, 2009 3:44 PM | 0 comments

If you loathe cold weather, love flowers in bloom and long strolls in the park, then spring must be your favorite time of year. It’s t-minus 24 hours before the start of spring, so kick the winter hat hair to the curb and forget the spring cleaning. Nothing says change like a little personal upgrade. Check out our BPL staff picks for salons/barbers and spas. These Brooklyn locales are guaranteed to put some spring in your step.

For the perfectly coifed 'do visit:

The Beehive Salon in Williamsburgh: “It’s funky without the hipster attitude.”

Salon de Quartier on Smith Street: “They give great cuts. They even offer tea and cappuccino while you’re being beautified.” 

Time Salon in Fort Greene: “Every stylist in the salon provides star treatment.”

After an afternoon of beautification, check out our top Brooklyn spa picks. 

Cynergy Day Spa on Fort Green Place: “This hidden gem is the perfect place for relaxation.”

Providence Day Spa on Atlantic Avenue: “They have heated, liquid-filled beds that are incredibly soothing."

Pilo Arts in Bay Ridge: “It’s relaxing and welcoming with great prices to boot.”

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No Consonants, Just a Vowell

Mar 18, 2009 2:24 PM | 0 comments
At the end of this month, BPL will host Brooklynite Sarah Vowell for a reading from her newest book, The Wordy Shipmates 

Sarah is a This American Life contributor, a NY Times guest columnist and a board member of 826NYC, a creative writing center for kids. We asked her a few q’s to find out what makes her tick. 

Q: What are three of your favorite books?  
A: Three recent favorites are The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta, Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris and Winston Churchill's History of the English-speaking Peoples. 

Q:  What drew you to working with 826NYC?   
A: Dave Eggers (who founded 826 Valencia) roped me in. In the beginning, there were about six of us sitting at a table at Old Town Bar dreaming it up. I had no idea what I was getting into -- how hard it would be to get going and sustain, but mostly, how much my life would change for the better because of the people I've had the privilege of working with there. It's been so satisfying to watch our Park Slope space morph from a raw hole to a place with floors and, eventually, students and volunteers and the growing sediment of ongoing publishing and film projects. It's very homey and lived-in now, as if it's always been there.   

Q: What drives you to write about history?   
A: There are certain themes or topics I'm always attracted to: community, misfits, good writing. The founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony sure had all three going for it -- a communitarian ethos, a smattering of outsider weirdos and a literary heap of journals, letters, sermons and religious tracts.  

See Sarah on Saturday, March 28 at 4PM at Central Library.
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