Monthly Archives: January 2010

Knit+Wine First Birthday

Local knitting group knit+wine celebrates its first anniversary on Sunday!  Here’s some info bout the group and this Sunday’s event:

Knit+Wine is a monthly casual gathering of knitters and wine-drinkers at Bar Olivino, a lovely wine bar in Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. We meet on the last Sunday of every month, from 5-7:00 p.m.

All levels of knitters & crocheters welcome — this is not a class but an informal gathering to knit, share projects, tips, and drink wine all at the same time!

Knit+Wine Night (1 year birthday party)
at Bar Olivino
in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Sunday, January 31st
5:00 – 7:00 pm

or Facebook

899 Fulton Street (Clinton-Vanderbilt)

Gallery House Presents "Earth" Art Exhibit

Speaking of trees, a local art gallery is holding an exhibition that benefits the MillionTreesNYC initiative!
Opening Receptions:  February 10 & February 25, 2010 and by appointment

Two original paintings will be raffled off with the proceeds donated to MillionTreesNYC

Brooklyn, NY: Gallery House is proud to present “EARTH,” an environmentally themed group exhibition. This exhibition in both form and function is meant to celebrate and highlight the challenges our planet is currently facing. It is critical for our own survival that we learn to put a priority on the environment’s needs. Many of us have become so immersed with day-to-day responsibilities and possessions that we have begun to neglect the stage that our lives play out on. “EARTH” refocuses the viewer’s attention to nature through the medium of art.

Two receptions will be held during which one original painting will be raffled off with the proceeds donated to MillionTreesNYC, a public-private initiative between the City of New York and New York Restoration Project to plant and care for one million trees across New York City by 2017. The gallery will be open by appointment from February 5th through March 12th.

What: Gallery House Presents “EARTH’”

When: Wednesday, February 10 & Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 7:30pm – 11:00pm

Where: Gallery House 272 Clinton Ave. Brooklyn NY, 11205

About Gallery House
Galley House is a Clinton Hill based organization dedicated to the sharing of ideas pressing our world today. Through our hosted reception, we aim to gather and communicate said ideas through art, music and other types of artistic expression. For more information, visit us at

About MillionTreesNYC
MillionTreesNYC is a citywide, public-private initiative with an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the City’s five boroughs by 2017. By planting one million trees, New York City can increase its urban forest – our most valuable environmental asset made up of street trees, park trees, and trees on public, private and commercial land – by an astounding 20%, while achieving the many quality-of-life benefits that come with planting trees.

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (Parks) will plant 60% of the trees in parks, on streets, and in other public spaces. The other 40% – coordinated through New York Restoration Project (NYRP) – will be planted by private organizations, homeowners and community organizations. Parks and NYRP are working with community partners to assess tree planting opportunities on schoolyards, public housing campuses, health care facilities, business districts, commercial and residential developments, front yards and other private lands.  For more information about MillionTreesNYC, visit or call 311.

Local Trees

Recently, I downloaded an iPhone app called Trees Near You, which allows you to see what kinds of trees grow on NYC streets.  Today, I learned that Waverly Ave between Lafayette and Greene is home to a few London Plane trees.  These trees’ leaves, combined with the Maple leaf, make up the Parks Department logo!

CHB Interviews: Jess Liese, Host of Rope's Trivia Night

I’m a huge fan of LOST.  So when I heard that Rope’s next monthly trivia night was going to be LOST-themed, I just had to know more.  I chatted with trivia host Jess Liese about her event, and what to expect on February 3.

1. How often does Rope hold trivia night?

Trivia happens once a month, usually on the first Tuesday. For February, though, we’re postponing it until Wednesday so that it won’t conflict with the Lost premiere. A good number of trivia regulars are avid fans, and I figured if President Obama can rearrange his schedule to accommodate Lost fans, so can I!

(…and okay, fine, I didn’t want to miss it either.)

2. What are the rules?  How many people per team, and what’s the prize?

Teams are typically 3-5 people, though we’ve had as few as 1 and as many as 8 playing on one team. Basically, there are four rounds of competition – two where I read the question and your team writes down the answer, a music round, and an “identify the pictures” round. After the second and fourth rounds, I tally up the correct answers and review the standings, share snarky wrong answers, and hand out a couple of prizes.

Prizes are many and varied. Everybody pays $2 each to play, and the winning team gets everybody’s money, with shots or rounds of drinks going to the runners-up. I offer bonus questions occasionally, which earn teams the chance to spin our Bonus Prize Wheel. Most of the wheel prizes are either free booze or free candy, but there are a number of really oddball things (mostly junk I find at the dollar store near my office) up for grabs as well.

At the last trivia night, I found so much cool stuff at the dollar store that I wound up giving a prize to every team.  There were some very awesome plastic robots and I should have just bought the whole lot. But part of the fun is coming up with stuff to give out, so I’m sure I’ll find something just as cool this time around. (I’m looking to stock up on Lost-themed stuff for February, so expect some polar bears, backgammon, and Virgin Mary statues.)

3. How did you end up running Trivia Night?  How long have you been at the helm?  What’s your “day job?”

I’ve been hosting trivia at Rope for about five months now. Years ago, a bunch of coworkers and I regularly attended a weekly trivia night in the west village, and after awhile I started hosting that on occasion. Eventually the bar closed, I changed jobs, and I never did find new trivia as awesome as that had been. Fast forward a few years and one of my ex-coworkers, now tending bar at Rope, heard they wanted to re-establish a trivia night there. She immediately thought of me. I was excited to get back into it, especially as they’ve let me design my own game and bring in theme nights.

By day, I work for an educational publisher, developing content and features for online reference databases. My trivia credentials are many and varied, though. In addition to previous hosting experience and basically getting to absorb useless facts for a living, I competed on Jeopardy about four years ago. (Unfortunately, I didn’t win, but I only missed one question!) I keep trying out for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and passing the test, but their contestant pool is a lot smaller. I guess I’ll stick to this side of the trivia podium for the time being.

4. How do you pick your questions?  Is it difficult to bring fresh material to quiz night on a regular basis?

Initially, I thought it would be. But actually, coming up with questions is the most fun part of the whole experience. Usually I have a theme night, and if not a theme night then theme categories. In November, I hosted a night devoted to my favorite trivia category, U.S. presidents, which brought a huge crowd of history teachers and assorted pedantic trivia nerds. It was so much fun, and came so naturally to me, that I’ve been coming up with themes ever since. It is far easier to come up with, say, ten questions about medically-themed TV shows than it is to come up with ten questions about anything at all in the world.

5. Where do you live, and how did you come across Rope?

Technically, I don’t live in the neighborhood. I’m a short G train ride away in Park Slope.  I’ve been hanging out at Rope on and off for about five years, though, and I love the area. I was coming to the neighborhood even way back when I had to take two trains and a bus to get there!

6.  Tell us a little more about Rope – the clientele, the vibe, etc.  What makes it a cool place to grab a drink?

Rope is exactly the kind of bar I have been wanting to hang out in since I was old enough to want to hang out in bars. Come to think of it, it’s probably good that I don’t live in the neighborhood, because I’d probably be an alcoholic if I did. It’s cool but not elitist, the drinks are thoughtfully prepared but won’t kill your budget, the music is listenable but not overwhelming. The crowd is basically a cross-section of local residents – not just hipsters and Pratties, but people who’ve lived in the area for decades, young professionals, regulars. It’s really the kind of place you can visit once or visit daily and you won’t feel out of place either way.

Also, they have DUB pies and there is nothing not awesome about that.

7. Give us the 411 on the LOST-themed trivia night in conjunction with the season premiere.  Can non-Losties participate?  And while we’re at it, who is your favorite Other?

The great thing about LOST, and one reason I’ve been so addicted to it throughout its often-infuriating five seasons of “let’s explain this one tiny thing you don’t care about while introducing six other new questions” and “let’s spend half a season focusing on characters that don’t further the plot only to kill them off when we realize you’re on to us” is that it pulls in so many elements of history, science, literature, philosophy, and pop culture in a way that adds to the suspense and mystery.  So if you’re into any of those things, regardless of whether or not you’re a Lostie, you’ll probably get a few questions right, as I do plan on exploring that in at least one round. (Although it may benefit you to have a rabid fan on your team!)

And I don’t know how anybody’s favorite Other is NOT Ben Linus. That dude owns the entire show.

8. Favorite restaurant in the neighborhood?

Big fan of Graziella’s and the General Greene (which I realize is about two blocks out of the neighborhood…hopefully it still counts!).

9. If you could change one thing about the nabe, what would it be?

It is perfect in all ways but one – it should be closer to a major train line. I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could be close to a number train or the Q.

10. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be and why?

Raspberry basil with a vanilla-mascarpone swirl.

A note to CHB readers from Lesterhead- Bring your A game to this event.  I have been watching LOST since it began and my knowledge is no joke.  See you there!

Lunchtime With Tillie: Kum Kau

Hey everyone, it’s Van and Tillie again, and making her first appearance of the new year, it’s Tillie’s mom, too! This time, we went out for a little family dining at Chinese restaurant Kum Kau on Myrtle Avenue.

Tillie and I were a little hard-pressed to make it out somewhere during the week as I picked up some freelance work out in the city for a few days. (LWT doesn’t pay all the bills!) Waiting for the weekend was good, though, as TM was able to come along. We all went out last Sunday afternoon, and as it was raining, we decided to find a place close to the homestead. That was really a necessity because we couldn’t find Tillie’s stroller cover to go traipsing around the neighborhood, so Kum Kau was duly elected!

Tillie’s mom packed up some blueberries and milk for the little one, whom we had to carry around in her backpack, and we were off. Kum Kau seemed to be a good choice as far as Tillie was concerned because greeting us in the entranceway was a huge tank of fish, just like at neighboring Sapolo. With that there we knew our entertainment options were in good hands – or fins, as the case may be!

Anyway, we were shown to the spacious dining room and were told we could sit anywhere as the waiter grabbed a high chair for Tillie.

The menu had more than enough to offer, but Tillie’s mom and I just ordered a few items that weren’t too out of the ordinary: She got the chicken with broccoli with brown rice and I ordered Singapore chow mai fun – rice noodles with curry, shrimp, chicken and pork – and fried chicken wings.

As we were waiting for the food to come out, we took turns walking Tillie around the place, especially as we couldn’t keep her pinned down in her high chair. I’m sure they weren’t made for standing in them! TM had her captivated by the walls with the water running down into what looked like a coin trough, while I took her back to her finny friends.

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Is Kif Closed?

A few readers have emailed asking if Kif restaurant on DeKalb is closed.  Apparently, it’s been shuttered for two weeks.  I did a walk-by on Monday and saw people having beers at the bar, but when I called later no one answered the phone.  There are no signs on the door that point to a closure.  What gives?

outside at kif

Kif has the most gorgeous back yard area, so I am hoping they’re just on vacation.


This Thursday’s Society for Clinton Hill meeting will be focused entirely around local blogging.

I’ll be there with Van (of Lunchtime with Tillie) on behalf of CHB.  Also slated to present are Jon Butler of Brownstoner and Andy Newman, recently departed from The Local.

Come on out to learn more about the folks behind these blogs, ask questions and get aquainted with the Society.

Hope to see you there!

General Meeting Thursday, January 21, 2010, 7 – 9 pm

St. Angela Hall, St. Joseph’s College, 267 Waverly Ave., (DeKalb/Willoughby)

AGENDA 7:00 pm Refreshments. Meet and greet your neighbors.

7:30 pm Welcome and announcements: Dave Haberer, President A special welcome to all those new to the neighborhood.

7:45 -8:45 pm The World of Blogging – how we all get our up-to-date news.
Presenting a panel of our neighborhood’s most powerful and interesting websites and blogs…those sites that keep us all informed – an“informal” Q&A about what they do, what their challenges are today and how they find that balance between comments from the really angry to those that may be civil but boring. So, bring your questions and plan to be entertained
Don’t we all love blogs? We do!

Moderators: Sunny Argan


Clinton Hill Blog – Robin Lester

Brownstoner – Jonathan Butler

Clinton Hill Blog – Cultural Events – Van

NYT Local Blog – Andy Newman

8:45 pm Open Mic – please sign up at the door to make your 1 minute announcement or comment.

9:00 pm Adjourn