Helping Brooklyn’s students make the grade

On Thursday September 8th, New York City’s public schools open their doors for yet another year of learning. Before kids start handing in homework, however, and long before their first report cards arrive, parents in North Brooklyn might want to check out a different sort of report card – one on the school’s performance itself.

Every year a detailed report is issued for each public school in the nation, which includes a profile of the student body, test results in English and mathematics, partnerships within the community, special academic programs and extracurricular activities. The most important thing it lists is the school’s Title I accountability status...

Happy Birthday Block Magazine!

Volume 3, Issue 1

September has arrived and one of the hottest Augusts on record has finally come to a close. The school doors have once again opened to the delight of parents everywhere and the Kool Man trucks head back to the garage, closing their windows for the winter. As you squeeze a few more weeks out of those short sleeve shirts and those dinners in your favorite gardens we hope that you will take a few moments to enjoy the September issue of Block Magazine...

As Summer Wanes, Ice Cream Remains

Nothing signifies summer better than the succulence of a cold, melting ice cream cone. Summer officially started on June 21st with the Summer Solstice but for kids and adults alike, summer really began the day the familiar music of the Kool Man truck was heard driving down the street. As summer comes to a close and those trucks are put back in the garage you can still enjoy the tasty pleasures that made those 90-degree afternoons a little cooler. So, get them while they’re cold and enjoy them while you are still hot!

Romancing "The Crooners"

There's a grace that upholds the masses, a kind hand that gives you a whiskey when your thumb is the size of a damn grapefruit, a bracelet in place of money as an act of gratitude, a room in a boat with a pack of gypsies smoking for fantasy and talking to listen. The Crooners have been gotten and have been given away, they have busked the alleys of France and sold over 3,000 cd's from their guitar case shop, they have listened as a fiddle player swooned into their street show and completed their song, they have called each other state to state needing money, so they play together and become pharaohs...

Broadway Concrete Raises Concern

Broadway Concrete located on Kent Avenue between North 3rd and 4th Streets is currently a major polluter of our neighborhood. Their factory blows clouds of gray dust containing silica into the air and allows water and slurry to run off and clog the city’s catch basin. Their trucks dump concrete on the street, violate traffic regulations, and spread gravel and concrete dust on local streets and cars. While they have a legal right to operate their factory in our neighborhood, their practices are in flagrant violation of environmental laws...

Learning to Defy Gravity

A look at two rare dance classes offered in Williamsburg

The current Downtown New York dance scene, at first glance, is a diverse collage of concepts, abstract images, multi-media and radical movement. Williamsburg has become home to many such emerging and established choreographers and Elizabeth Streb is among the most well-received of rebels. John Cage once wrote, “When I first saw Elizabeth Streb’s work, I was exhilarated. Her energy, inventiveness, uninterrupted attentionaire are great. Every time I hear that she is dancing, I arrange to see her work.”

The “Gold Streets” of Brooklyn

The all-encompassing buzz phrase "indie rock," callously applied to bands with more and more frequency, often does little to truly capture a band's style. To apply it simply to New York-based trio Gold Streets would undermine the complexity of their sound. Fusing the talents of guitarist Norm Vino, along with the melodic bass lines and dynamic flair of bassist Gizella Otterson and drummer T. Almy, Gold Streets crafts a lush, psychedelic sound that renders their particular brand of indie rock powerfully dreamy...

OPEN MAG: Clif Johnson Photography