Growing Pains
From Low-Rise to High-Rise

Williamsburg and Greenpoint are on the fast track to becoming Little Manhattan. They are trendy, busy and rent is a bit on the expensive side for Brooklyn. These areas are literally rising.

Some residents, like Cynthia Carpluk, think Williamsburg is growing in the wrong direction. A true Brooklynite, Carpluk has lived in Williamsburg for over forty years and believes that the high-rises “are destroying the very flavor of the neighborhood.” She thinks these additions will substitute “a transient feeling [in place of] the very tight-knit, family-oriented community.” She further explains that “development isn’t the problem; it is the excessive structure size and height that is damaging Brooklyn’s essence.”

The Art of Baby Wearing

Dara Freed has never used a stroller. She and her husband have carried their 18-month old baby Haakon in slings since he was born. “I can’t imagine using a stroller in the city,” says Freed, a Williamsburg resident. “It is so much easier to use a sling. I would never bring a stroller on the subway.”

Baby wearing has gained popularity in New York in recent years, as many new types of slings have come on the market and the benefits of baby wearing have become more known...

Letters to The Editor
Response from The Writer

Dear Block Magazine,

I object to how Riverkeeper was represented by Adrian MacDonald in your current issue (“Greenpoint Oil Spill Part III: The Lawsuit – The Residents of Hausman Street Speak,” 10/27/06). Emil A.’s comment seems to imply that Riverkeeper will make money from the lawsuit against ExxonMobil. This is not the case. Private citizens like Emil A. may express their opinions freely, but Block Magazine should have been more diligent about noting Riverkeeper’s role in the fight to bring ExxonMobil to justice...

I Say Williamsburg, Toronto Says...

Hey, Williamsburgers. Your ears must be burning, eh? Right now, whether you know it or not, a gaggle of Toronto canucks are talking about you. Well, not exactly you, per se, but about Williamsburg. Turns out, they’re very opinionated about our sleepy little hamlet, whether it is adoration or diatribe from across the border.

I had the good fortune of spending a few days with our hockey-crazed, free-health-care-enjoying neighbors to the North, and I thought it a good opportunity to investigate Williamsburg’s reputation outside of the New York City bubble...

The Poland Extension

Just north of McCarren Park, running from Nassau Avenue to Newtown Creek and then farther east to Gardner Avenue, it is common to find an apteka, obiady and ksiegarnia, which perhaps only people living in the Greenpoint neighborhood recognize. Throughout this northernmost area of Brooklyn, typical Brooklynese takes the back seat and Polish prevails as the dominant language and culture.

Is it the comfort of being around other people familiar with the language, customs and culture or is it fear of what is outside of those essentials that makes Greenpoint a magnet for people of Polish decent?

Leave the Kitsch at Home
A Real Kitchen Store in Williamsburg

A red-faced Harry Rosenblum is wrangling fiercely with a turkey’s leg. He grabs onto a bone and, with a pairing knife in his other hand, scrapes the flesh away, gently twisting the bone out of the carcass without disturbing its yellow elastic skin. A crowd of six to eight onlookers lean in over his shoulder to get a look, dodging the occasional microscopic spray of turkey.

While this scene may sound a bit like a high school biology lab, rejoice: the “students” are a motley crew of local Williamsburg friends, neighbors, and drop-in shoppers sipping from cups of wine and munching on small-batch pickles and cranberry relish as they “learn.” Yep, it’s just a free neighborhood event on how to de-bone a whole turkey...

The Seasonal Flu & You
Good Health Habits for Prevention

It’s that time again. Coughing, runny nose, fever, headaches, body aches…the flu season is here and in full swing. According to the New York Department of Health and Mental Health (DOHMH), over 2,500 New Yorkers die of flu and pneumonia every year. The organization states, “A flu shot is just as important as any other life-saving medication.”

The flu, or influenza, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Dr. Diogene Almonte, who has a practice in Williamsburg, sees many patients with the flu every season. “The main symptoms of the flu are a severe headache, muscle aches, a high fever, and possibly a sore throat and cough,” says Almonte...

Hope Rides on Spitzer

On Election Day in November, Councilwoman Diana Reyna trekked up to Yonkers and volunteered from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. to help Democratic challenger Andrea Stewart-Cousins with her tight race for State Senate against Republican incumbent Nicholas Spano. In 2004, Stewart-Cousins had lost by a mere 18 votes. This wasn’t going to happen again this year.

“I think this was an anti-war driven election year,” says Reyna, who represents Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn. “The empowerment of the right to vote goes to affect change in government. We had the perfect storm to confront the government.”

Mr. Mojo Rising
An interview with a music giant

You don’t forget a person like Mojo easily. At 6’4” he cuts a striking figure, and his signature booming laugh cuts through any crowded room, but it’s more than that. He has the energy of someone that has been around the block a few times, and has more than a few stories to tell about it all. He’s spent the majority of his fifty something years in Brooklyn, working the door at such clubs as Berlin, Pyramid, Danceteria, and Niagara, writing for magazines like Spin and Slash, playing in several bands (including legendary noise rock band SWANS), running a radio show at WKCR for Columbia University and DJing and promoting all over town...

Mute Swan Descends on Newtown Creek

In November, Captain John Lipscomb of Riverkeeper, a not-for-profit environmental watchdog group that often patrols the Newtown Creek area, came across a swan, white and majestic set against a drab background on the steps of the in-progress Department of Environmental Protection nature walk.

Although this particular swan; identified by the New York City branch of Audubon as a Mute Swan because of its signature orange bill and curved neck, was the first of its kind to be spotted at that location, it is not the first to be spotted in New York City...

Nicole’s Sweet Holiday Indulgences
A Look at Some “Heavy” Months Ahead

Most people view the Holiday Season as a time for sharing and enjoying family. The season usually evokes generosity and high spirits throughout the area. Even though I appreciate and embrace the abundance of positivity during this time, I also tend to focus on the spirit of holiday eating. Absurdly, my season of holiday eating runs from approximately October through February. Indulging in cookies, cake and gigantic meals that leave me in a complete food coma seems to be my annual holiday game plan...

Local Poetry, Photography & Illustration

The Yes Men
at The Change You Want to See Gallery

On November 14, two of the Yes Men made an appearance in a Brooklyn gallery, not to dupe an assembly of bankers or economists, but to share those experiences, and more, with an audience who was in on the joke.

An innovative, resourceful group of activists and self-described “standard-issue revolutionaries”, the Yes Men have made headlines by impersonating employees of government agencies, multi-national corporations, and the World Trade Organization in order to perform “identity corrections” at lectures and press conferences around the world...

Jezebel Music at Supreme Trading

Jezebel Music, a Williamsburg-based music promotion company that partners with Block Magazine, hosted two fantastic live music events. Consignment was the Friday night event, and featured three up-and-coming rock bands (Low Water, Hoy, Action Painters) at Supreme Trading (213 North 8th Street). Bands Night on Saturday featured 5 more (Kinetic, Rocket Surgery, Print, The Art of Shooting, Fur Cups For Teeth) at the same venue. These two nights of high-energy rock were part of a larger effort on the part of Jezebel Music to promote the new and newsworthy talent that is constantly springing up from the fertile Williamsburg music scene...