Category Archives: arts

Local Muralist


After NYC Pet on Myrtle and Washington opened back in 2008, we wondered who painted the beautiful mural on the exterior of the building.  Now we know- it was Lisa K. Hokans, professional muralist and portrait painter.

Lisa was also the muralist at iStore Green, the green storage facility on Hall between Park and Flushing.


Where else could we use a mural in the neighborhood?

FABfest Schedule for June 27

FABfest Sunday, June 27, 12noon–6pm:
• Salsa Dance Party & Dance Lessons
• BK Misses MJ: On the anniversary of his passing, Brooklyn remembers the life
and legacy of the King of Pop Michael Jackson with an all-day music tribute and
community dance party featuring DJ Reborn
• Readings and prizes from Brooklyn literary magazines A Public Space,
Armchair/Shotgun, BOMB, and Electric Literature hosted by Greenlight
• Literary trivia contest
• Dogs on Parade presented by Fort Greene PUPS and Brooklyn Cares
Veterinary Clinic, plus Pet CPR and First Aid classes and Ask the Trainer
sessions for pet owners
• Crafts, activities and giveaways for kids all day
• Streetside Mad Libs game for all ages
• 3-on-3 Soccer Games for Kids hosted by Ft. Greene Soccer
• SONYA Collaborative Action Mural with Ellie Balk – participatory painting
allowing residents to make their mark on a collective community image
• Environmental demos and activities presented by Habana Outpost
(Schedules subject to change. To get updates, visit

Summer Events at Fort Greene Park

The Fort Greene Conservancy just emailed me a poster detailing their summer events. There’s lots of stuff here for kids, but most intriguing to me are the September performance by Reggie Watts (NY Mag just profiled him) and the Urban Bat Exploration (cool!).  I’m sure the Whitman tour (only one left!) will also be good.  I love seeing such a variety of entertainment and education right here at our doorstep.

Pianos in Fort Greene Park

Non-profit organization Sing for Hope just launched Play Me, I’m Yours, a public art project that brings 60 pianos to the parks and public spaces of New York City. Fort Greene Park now has two pianos–one on Myrtle (at the Myrtle entrance to the Fort Greene Park) and another just up the hill at the north oval, just opposite the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.

The piano is open and available for anyone to sit and play until Monday, July 5th.  I always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but sadly never did.  However, I was in choir, so maybe we can organize a little sing-along?  Who’s game?  I’m thinking CHB meets Marie’s Crisis.


Make Music New York Comes to Clinton Hill!

Make Music New York is a live, free musical celebration across the city that takes place each June 21 — the longest day of the year. Today, hundreds of public spaces throughout the five boroughs — sidewalks, parks, community gardens, and more — become impromptu stages for over 1,000 free concerts.

Eleven participating venues are located on Myrtle Avenue!

Anima Italian Bistro
458 Myrtle Avenue Anthony Cedras Global soul and R&B 1:00pm-8:00pm
Brooklyn Junior 150 Clinton Avenue
-PEMG, a community based program focused on teaching young people about Hip Hop from a cultural and Indie perspective. -Jesse Goldman (, Experimental / Swing / Americana 2:30-5:00 pm.
Castro’s Mexican Cuisine 511 Myrtle Avenue
5:30p-10pm -DJ Fuerte
Chez Lola 387 Myrtle Avenue
7:30p to 10:30 pm Sedric Choukroroun Brazilian Jazz Trio Shukroon, Smith & and Monaco are a joyous trio, playing their own blend of Samba-Jazz-Pop: acoustic harp-guitar, saxophones-flute and percussion
Chez Oskar 211 DeKalb Avenue
7:30p to 10:30pm The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn consists of: Billy Nemec-guitar/lead vocals, Chris Pistorino-bass/vocals, David Langlois-washboard percussion/vocals, Sam Hoyt-Trumpet/vocals
The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, an early jazz, swing, and blues band, composed of acoustic guitar/vocals, upright bass, homemade washboard percussion, trumpet and saxophone, plays its’ repertoire of witty songs from 1920’s and 30’s, along with its’ augmented original tunes and often bawdy lyrics sung in catchy 4 part vocal harmony.
Fort Greene SNAP 324 Myrtle Avenue
-Anisa Fujah from 3 to 5 (Jazz) -Soulfolk Experience 5 to 6 (also jazz) -Jesse Goldman from 6 to 7 (experimental jazz)
Gnarly Vines 350 Myrtle Avenue
-Carolyn Leonhart and Jay Leonhart (daughter and dad)—vocals and bass (jazz, soul, standards) 1:30pm-3:00pm and Claire “Raji” Rodriguez folk, indie, pop 5p-6p
Green in BKLYN 432 Myrtle Avenue
Carolyn Leonhart and Jay Leonhart (daughter and dad)—vocals and bass (jazz, soul, standards) 12p-1:15p and Claire “Raji” Rodriguez folk, indie, pop 4p-5p
Los Pollitos III 499 Myrtle Avenue
-5:30pm to 9pm Edwin Vasquez Band, Live Latin band
Move with Grace Yoga, Dance & Pilates Studio 469 Myrtle Avenue
-Nucomme – rock/soul artist 8pm -Cavalier – Hip Hop/Soul artist 8:30pm -The Outabodies – Hip Hop/Jazz/Rock artists 9pm
Sans Souci Restaurant 330 Myrtle Avenue Metric Man aka The Freedom Fighter (reggae) 1pm-9pm
Fort Greene Park (Myrtle Avenue entrance)
All day Upright piano (Sing For Hope): all day (on-site)
12p-1pm WATCH High School
2p-3:00p JHS 185 Drumline [note: I wish this was after work! Damn.]
3:00pm-4:00pm Ronald Edmonds Middle School 113 Choir
6p-7p Maracatu New York (Brazilian Percussion)

FABfest Schedule for June 20

FABfest Sunday, June 20, 12noon–6pm:
• Salsa Dance Party & Dance Lessons
• Performances on the mainstage presented by Greenlight Bookstore, all with
a focus on local artists and organizations including
– Performance poetry by URBAN WORD
– Stand-up comedy from the STEAM BOAT series
– Readings by authors such as VICTOR LaVALLE, TOURE & NELSON
GEORGE and more
• Environmental demos and activities presented by Habana Outpost
• Walking tour of historic Fort Greene with Adrienne Onofri, author of WALKING
BROOKLYN (3rd of 3 different tours during FABfest)
• SONYA Collaborative Action Mural with Ellie Balk – participatory painting
allowing residents to make their mark on a collective community image
• Crafts, activities and giveaways for kids all day
• Streetside Mad Libs game for all ages
• 3-on-3 Soccer Games for Kids hosted by Ft. Greene Soccer

FABfest Schedule for June 13

An awesome foodie-based lineup this wknd at FABfest!  My personal picks- the mozzarella and jam-making sessions.

Cooking demos, food tastings, moonshine sipping and a chilled organic soup pureed making — with the aid of a human-powered bike-blender are all part of the line-up for second weekend of FABfest a month-long three-block street festival EVERY SUNDAY IN JUNE on Fulton Street between Lafayette Avenue and South Oxford Street, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

A schedule of demos and tastings is below.

Also at FABfest on Sunday June 13, from 12noon-6pm:

• 12noon-1:30pm:  Salsa Dance Party & Dance Lessons featuring Brooklyn Salsa Party (everyone is welcome to join in!)

• 1:30-2:00:  Live Gospel Concert featuring the Lafayette Inspirational Ensemble (performing as they make their way down Fulton Street to the stage!)

• 2:00-6:00:  Toasters Delight: a Reggae Party featuring DJs Geko Jones and Matt Shadetek of Dutty Artz, Jahdan Blakkamore, Cool Places Soundsystem, Gael Dubourg, DJ Gravy, and special guests. Toasters Delight celebrates the June 15th BAMcinemaFEST screening of the Brooklyn indie film Wah Do Dem.
Visit for screening info

Plus games, crafts, balloons and activities and…. 3-on-3 soccer on the street… all afternoon!

Schedule forA Taste of Fulton… at FABfest 2010

12 noon
– Louisa Shafia, author of LUCID FOODS shows how vegetarian food is both delicious and healthy – creating a chilled cucumber soup from organic produce from Fulton Street’s MetFoods (985 Fulton @ St. James) with the aid of the Bike Blender from Habana Outpost (757 Fulton @ S. Portland), and powered by…. spectators at FABfest.

– Mozzarella-making at Greene Grape Provisions (753 Fulton @ S. Portland)

– Buka (946 Fulton @ Cambridge Place), Nigerian restaurant

– Jam-making by Anarchy in a Jar, available at Greene Grape Provisions

– Chef Michael Allen of Desserts by Michael Allen (1015 Fulton @ Grand) shares his secrets on sugar and decorating an elaborate cake – a demo you don’t want to miss!

– Max Watman, the author of Chasing the White Dog will be in conversation with Gable Erenzo, son of the founder of Tuthilltown Distillery, the first (legal!) distillery in NY since Prohibition, at Greenlight Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton @ S. Portland). Tasting to follow at 4:00 at The Greene Grape

– Pickling by Rick’s Picks, also available at Provisions

– Comparative tasting of white whiskies at The Greene Grape (765 Fulton @ S. Portland)

– Deniz (662 Fulton @ S. Elliott),Turkish cuisine

In front of Bati Restaurant (747 Fulton @ S. Portland) samples and an introduction on Ethiopian food and Smoke Joint (87 S. Elliott Place @ Fulton) will be offering samples of house-made grilled sausages.

For updates on the list of activities and schedules visit or facebook at fab fulton

About The FAB Alliance
The Fulton Area Business (FAB) Alliance is a newly formed Business Improvement District working on behalf of property owners, merchants, residents and stakeholders along Fulton Street in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill—from Rockwell Place to Classon Avenue (plus adjacent blocks of Lafayette, Greene and Putnam Avenues). Goals are to retain current businesses and improve the atmosphere to make this area of Fulton Street a clean, safe and retail diverse environment that is a destination for people work, shop, dine and play. For more information, visit:


FABfest is presented by the FAB Alliance, the newly formed Fulton Street Business Improvement District in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. FABfest is part of the Weekend Walks Program of the New York City Department of Transportation.

FABfest Schedule for June 6

FABfest Sunday, June 6, 12noon–6pm:

• Salsa Dance Party & Dance Lessons
• Children’s Clothing Swap
• Fashion Show featuring designers along Fulton Street, including Courtney
Washington, Moshood, Michael Shane Bridal, Jacob’s Garden, Tribal Truths, Raif
Atelier, Super Nova, Swagga 360, B2 Gear and Senagelese Fashion Center
• StoryCorps Listening Sessions at Greenlight Bookstore
• Crafts, activities and giveaways for kids all day
• 3-on-3 Soccer Games for Kids hosted by Ft. Greene Soccer
• Streetside Mad Libs game for all ages
• Environmental demos and activities presented by Habana Outpost
• Pet CPR and First Aid classes presented by Brooklyn Cares Veterinary Clinic
• Fitness evaluations and information from Crunch
• Walking tour of historic Fort Greene with Adrienne Onofri, author of WALKING
BROOKLYN (a different tour to be given on each day of FABfest)

Piano Lessons on Hall Street

piano lessons

I’ve always loved this house on Hall Street, just south of Myrtle.  The windows have custom ironwork and the front walk has a trellis covered in climbing roses.

The house is home to the Clinton Hill School for Piano, run by Jim Porter.  While his website does say he teaches beginners and children, it looks to be mostly a school for advanced students.  Have you taken a lesson here? What do you think about the school’s philosophy?

Bird Town

On Saturday, I checked out the birdhouse-making event that was part of Myrtle Avenue Bird Town.  It was awesome!  The artists were on site constructing bird houses and feeders, and when I arrived around 11:30, the tables were packed with kids.

That didn’t stop me, though, from sitting down myself to paint a house.  And a handful of adults followed once I started.


While there, I got to see some of the actual bird houses that are a part of the installation.

This (above) is a bat house!  Awesome.