Monthly Archives: August 2008

Public Art and MARP

(A quick cut-and-paste before I head to Richmond for the weekend.  This event, happening today, sounds very cool.  MARP is slated to be woking on a number of public art projects!)

Myrtle Avenue Public Art Program presents:

Saturday, August 30, 2008, 12-3pm

During Ingersoll Family Day

Ingersoll Houses, Myrtle Avenue between Prince & Navy

The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (the Partnership) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have collaborated to inaugurate the Partnership’s new Myrtle Avenue Public Art program this Saturday, August 30, with the 11-month installation of pieces from the internationally-known Tree Hugger Project ( on NYCHA Ingersoll housing development grounds near Myrtle and Prince.  The Partnership’s new Myrtle Avenue Public Art program is an effort to bring public sculpture, art installations, studio art, and creative street furniture elements to the public spaces and sidewalks of the 20-block retail district, increasing access to art for the entire community.  The sculpture installation at Ingersoll will include an opportunity for community members to participate in the building of Tree Hugger figures as part of Ingersoll’s annual family day celebration. Both the Partnership and Ingersoll Tenant Association invite all local residents to join the celebration, and welcome the Tree Huggers to our community during the community build, which will take place from 12:00pm – 3:00pm that day.

Tree Hugger Project artists Wiktor Szostalo and Agnieszka Gradzik will be installing a total of four pieces on Myrtle Avenue as a part of their ongoing public art project that combines environmental sculpture made of natural, found and free materials such as twigs, vines and tree branches with a simple environmental message. The Project is an ongoing work of Environmental Art designed to help us re-discover our relationship with nature at a very personal and intimate level. The focus on the stewardship of public space demonstrates that standing up for the environment can be done in a fun and non-political way, and that contemporary art can be entertaining and make a difference in how we view our world. Community participation in the construction and installation of the Tree Huggers helps to highlight the role that we all can play as stewards in our very own neighborhood, reminding us that we humans are still very much a part of our natural surroundings.  The Tree Hugger Project has been brought to cities and parks all over the world as a way to bring attention to the environment and to bring communities together, and Myrtle Avenue is excited to be part of this international movement.

These art installations are part of the larger Myrtle Avenue Arts & Enterprise Initiative which represents a multi-faceted effort to establish the retail corridor as an access point to visual art and cultural activities for community members of diverse socio-economic backgrounds. The Tree Hugger Project serves as a kick-off for the Partnership’s new public art program, launching both an open call for proposals for additional temporary sculpture pieces for locations along Myrtle Avenue as well as a request for sponsors to support future artists and their installations. Seed funding for the new program was provided by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation and Myrtle’s Business Improvement District.

Where: Myrtle Avenue near Prince Street (adjacent to the community center)

Date: Saturday, August 30, 2008

Time: 12 pm – 3 pm

Price: Free, with free food and drink from the Ingersoll Tenant Association’s annual Family Day for those who come

Organization Hosting Event: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, Ingersoll Tenant Association, New York City Housing Authority


Contact Name: Meredith Phillips Almeida, Director of Community Development

Phone: 718-230-1689

Fort Greene: Moving Towards a Bookstore

I heard about the potential plans to open a bookstore in the ‘hood months ago.  Now, a local advocacy group is working with BK Library Power Up winner Jennifer Stockton Bagnulo to make this happen here!


Press Contact: Steve Sachs,

Bookstore Entrepreneur Plans a Store in Fort Greene; Fort Greene Indie Bookstore Initiative to host Bookstore Kickoff Event on September 16

Last year the Fort Greene Association’s retail committee surveyed 380 locals about their shopping preferences. 75 percent of respondents (281) cited bookstores as a category in which they wanted more choices.

To meet this need, the Fort Greene Indie Bookstore Initiative (FGIBI) embarked on a campaign to find an independent bookstore. After months of talking with Brooklyn-based bookstores, the group met Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, a Brooklyn entrepreneur who won the 2007 Brooklyn Public Library PowerUp! Competition for her business plan to open a bookstore in Fort Greene.

To raise community awareness and rally support for Jessica’s independent bookstore, FGIBI is hosting an event in Fort Greene at the Cumberland Greene (237 Cumberland Ave) on September 16, 2008 from 7pm to 9pm. The event will feature local Brooklyn authors. Complimentary beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres from local businesses will also be served. RSVP required; email to be added to the guest list.

About the Fort Greene Indie Bookstore Initiative

The Fort Green Indie Bookstore Initiative (FGIBI) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that seeks to attract small business owners to Fort Greene to open a bookstore and other stores in response to the community’s needs. The group also encourages current retailers to open new businesses locally and seeks to help local residents open their own businesses.

To contact the Fort Greene Indie Bookstore Initiative, e-mail

About Jessica Stockton Bagnulo

Jessica has worked in New York City independent bookstores for the past eight years, and is currently the events and publicity coordinator at McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan. She is active in numerous book industry organizations and is often called upon to speak and write about independent bookselling. Her business plan for an independent bookstore in Brooklyn won the grand prize in the 2007 Brooklyn Public Library PowerUp! business plan competition in January 2008. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and blogs at

To contact Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, e-mail

L'epicerie Closed!

I was surprised to hear that the polarizing L’epicerie (either you loved it or you hated it) on Vanderbilt near DeKalb closed!  A friend and neighbor who knows the owner of the space said he’s curious to know what we’d like to see there.  (He’s thinking a restaurant-type place open from 8am-1am — maybe a new Grand 275-type joint?)  This is a rare opportunity to have a say, so leave your requests here!  I’ll have my friend direct the owner here for suggestions.

I only went in once to get a sandwich, years ago.  I did hear that they started serving delicious dinners, but I never went in to try.


Dajeh on Fulton has been open for a few weeks now, first for brunch and now with regular hours.  Has anyone been yet?  I hope to try it out next week.

In the 4.5 years I’ve lived here, this is the third restaurant in this space (first a sandwich place and then Boca Soul).

Fort Greene Fulton Observations

A few commenters beat me to mentioning the fro-yo on Fulton.  Houseowax says it was pricey and overly sweet.

After a frustrating day at work the other day, I took the express train home and walked from DeKalb. I came across two interesting things:
1. The delicious but bizarre restaurant New Orleans seems to have closed! Based on the service I had there last winter, I’m amazed it stayed open this long.

2. Looks like Fort Greene is about to be home to a chi-chi fro-yo shop. I hope it tastes just like Eks at half the price. (just past Lafayette)

Crime Map

Several months ago, Leticia James mentioned an interactive crime reporting map at an anti-crime rally. I finally figured out where it is — the Society for Clinton Hill website!

I’ve included it in the blogroll under “Important Contacts.” It’s currently on the SCH homepage, and can also be accessed at its permalink.

It looks pretty cool, and incidents can be categorized in different ways (violent crimes, theft, and even street/quality of life problems such as potholes). This map was set up for the purpose of accurate crime reporting and information sharing. Use it!