Brooklyn Public Library


Brooklyn's Literary Landscape

Dec 30, 2010 1:51 PM | 0 comments

I had no idea how rich Brooklyn’s literary history was when I moved here in 2002. Of course I knew that some talented writers had to have lived here, but I’ve been discovering just how many great books life in Brooklyn has inspired. The best part is that even books you thought you knew well can come alive in ways you never expected after you’ve spent some time in Brooklyn: You can see a neighborhood’s personality in the work of a poet who grew up there, and you can’t help but find yourself absorbed more deeply into a novel when you know the streets the characters walk.


If living here is a literary treasure hunt, BPL’s Literary Map of Brooklyn is the long-lost map you need to find the precious gems. It’s an interactive guide to the homes, workplaces, haunts and inspirations of great Brooklyn writers, past and present.


You could use it to plan a low-key date (try reading Whitman and Hart Crane at the foot of the bridge that inspired them before checking out 10 more literary landmarks along the Brooklyn promenade), write a semester’s worth of lesson plans on Brooklyn authors (along with booking field trips to their homes), give out-of-town friends a custom tour or just learn more about your own neighborhood.


The best part of the map? If you know something that’s missing, let us know and we’ll be sure to add it!

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What Would You Do Without the Library?

Dec 28, 2010 12:21 PM | 0 comments

Think of all the ways you use the Library on a daily basis. What would you do without it? Would you be able to borrow the latest books and DVDs? Or get help writing your resume? Or sit in on an Italian conversation class? Or take tango lessons—all for free?


Last year alone, you borrowed more than 19 million books, DVDs and other free materials, and 40,000 of your neighbors came to our free educational and cultural programs. We provided over 2 million 30-minute sessions on 1,100 free public computers, and tens of thousands of you took advantage of free WiFi at every BPL location.


You only have until December 31 to receive a 2010 tax deduction for your charitable contribution.


Please donate today by visiting our website or calling 718.230.2738.


Thank you for your support!

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Movies for the Less Joyful

Dec 17, 2010 12:09 PM | 0 comments

I’ve never been a fan of the holiday season. The shopping, the crowds, the bright lights—it’s all way too much for someone that enjoys low-maintenance celebrations. So, I’m always pleased when I come across a movie that takes an “alternative” view of my least favorite time of the year. Here are some of my choices for what to watch in the coming weeks if you’re anything like me.



Stories intertwine as a broke cashier, an English guy and soap opera actors all have serious (and hilarious) brushes with the law in L.A. and Vegas. And it’s all during Christmas! 



A retelling of Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol, starring Bill Murray as an executive with a heart as cold as the holiday weather.


Pieces of April

Admittedly this movie takes place during Thanksgiving, but it’s a great nod to how tough the holidays can be, as an outcast daughter struggles to reconnect with her family.


Batman Returns

As Gotham City celebrates the holidays, the Caped Crusader has to fend off the villainous actions of Catwoman (played by an awesome Michelle Pfeiffer) and the Penguin.


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Nothing goes right as a family tries to celebrate Christmas under one roof. Watch out for the flying squirrel!

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A Few of My Favorite Things

Dec 14, 2010 3:26 PM | 0 comments

Christmas episodes are a venerated TV tradition, providing longtime viewers a chance to celebrate alongside characters they’ve grown to know and love. At their best, they also serve as great introductions to TV shows—first-timers can learn volumes about characters and their storylines based on the way they react to the holidays.


Over the last few years, there have been some great Christmas specials that my friends and I keep revisiting every holiday season. Here are some of my recent favorites:


At the Bluth Company Christmas Party, “Afternoon Delight” (Arrested Development, Season Two) is the karaoke song of choice.


A “Christmas with the Joker” (Batman: The Animated Series) is anything but dull for the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder.


In a subtle homage to A Christmas Carol, Angel confronts the severity of his crimes in “Amends” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Three).


The Doctor celebrates the holidays aboard a cruise ship modeled after the Titanic, so it’s no surprise that he ends up needing to save the day in “Voyage of the Damned” (Doctor Who, Season Four).


When Lily finds out that Ted called her a “Grinch,” she calls off Christmas. Meanwhile Marshall is off on his own holiday adventure in “How Lily Stole Christmas” (How I Met Your Mother, Season Two).

It took Lost four seasons to cover three and a half months on the Island, so we didn’t get a Christmas episode until “The Constant” (Lost, Season Four). The wait was worth it.


When “The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee” (Sports Night, Volume One) are suspended for standing by a teammate’s good conscience, the entire cast and crew learn a lesson about tolerance and gratitude.


Toby is pulled out of his comfort zone in “In Excelsis Deo” (The West Wing, Season One) when his business card turns up in a homeless veteran’s pocket, and Charlie wonders why Mrs. Landingham is down during the holidays.


“Final Grades” (The Wire, Season Four) is not for the faint of heart, but the fact that it shows us people trying so hard to be kind affirms the holiday spirit—even if the very most they can do is very little at all.


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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Dec 13, 2010 3:59 PM | 0 comments

This time of the year always has me feeling a little nostalgic. While the days of my youth are behind me, the holiday season has a way of bringing out my inner 6-year-old.

I’m sure many of us can recall the days of sipping hot cocoa and staying up all night long, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa. And to get you through those long nights, your parents allowed you to watch classic holiday films like my favorites Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales, Frosty the Snowman or A Christmas Carol.

So, as you make your list, deck the halls and trim the tree, don’t forget it’s a wonderful life!


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