May 30, 2007

Best Italian Heroes - Carluccio's Brooklyn

hot heros, originally uploaded by bondidwhat.

I am not talking about Firemen or the SuperFriends - I am speaking about the kind you eat with lots of salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. The original, the tastiest, the super long Italian Hero. Brooklyn has lots of Italians and lots of heroes but none can stack up to Carluccio's in Bensonhurst!

Here is an excerpt from a great article.

Since I was a Brooklyn kid sitting on a shady stoop between games of stickball, I've held a special place in my heart - and gut - for a really good Italian hero. And, hands-down, Carluccio's Brooklyn Italian Heroes on 15th Ave. and 78th St. in Bensonhurst makes the best hero in Brooklyn.

Don't believe me? Zagat gave it a 23. Ronnie Carluccio has been on "Emeril Live" four times, where the half-mad chef tried to extract his hero secrets. People travel from all over Brooklyn, Staten Island, Jersey, Connecticut just to get heroes or catering from Carluccio's.

"Anybody can stuff cold cuts between bread," says Ronnie Carluccio. "But the secret to our heroes is the seasoning. And our own mozzarella, the imported prosciutto and the very best virgin olive oil, and the spices, and the Boccia bread and the best tomatoes and toppings. All our meats come from our own butcher shop. Top quality. Made with Brooklyn pride."

"A hero gotta be made with love," says Charlie. "The way we love the people each hero is named after."

May 29, 2007

Celebrate Brooklyn - TV On The Radio

Tunde Adebimpe and his accordion player from TV on the Radio play at last years Celebrate Brooklyn Festival under the Prospect Park Bandshell. This year the festival will include a multitude of international artists including:

Sierra Leone’ Refugee All Stars, Irish steppers, Mexican alt-rockers, and a high priest of voodoo drumming! From Brooklyn there’s powerhouse vocalist Joan Osborne, family music superstar Dan Zanes, rock heroes The Hold Steady Other iconic performers abound, from bluegrass granddaddy Ralph Stanley to choreographer Bill T. Jones, guitar god Richard Thompson to hip-hop trailblazer KRS-One. And the Neville Brothers, the heart and soul of New Orleans, kick it all off!

See you at the show! Did you go before? My favorite performance was Burning Spear 4 years ago!

Manu Chao in Prospect Park Brooklyn

Manu49, originally uploaded by carmenelsa.

Manu Chao is coming to Prospect Park, Brooklyn on June 22 and 23rd for a benefit concert! If you are not familiar with Manu Chao you should check out his style.

May 18, 2007

Brooklyn BlogFest Links

green sea of chairs, originally uploaded by SophieMuc.

Here is a partial-list of blogs from this years Brooklyn BlogFest. Some we know and some we have just discovered - I am sad to have missed this event as I was out of town on business. I will definitely make it there next year!

Dance Africa at BAM

originally uploaded by Daniel A. Norman.

Starting this Sunday May 20 - 30th the "DanceAfrica" festival at BAM gets underway. This festival is going to be awesome and don't forget to get your tickets before you go because the event is going to be packed!

BAM celebrates 30 Years of DanceAfrica with a kaleidoscope of dance, music, film, and art. New this year: a showcase of spoken word, dance and music inspired by the spirit of Africa and an archival retrospective. Join us Memorial Day weekend to honor America’s largest festival of African and African-American culture and another joyous milestone: the 70th birthday of Artistic Director Baba Chuck Davis.

May 9, 2007

Brooklyn Book Festival, Sept 16th

originally uploaded by nardell.

is an extremely literary city. I wonder if it is the fact that we get an extra 30 minutes both ways on the train to really think and read about the world. When I lived in Manhattan I barely had time to read a magazine article. Brooklyn is or was home to many famous writers and so last Friday, Marty Markowitz announced the lineup for the second annual Brooklyn Book Fair. It promises to be a blast and our very own Paul Auster will be honored at the Festival Gala on September 15th. Hope to see you there!

BOROUGH HALL — On Friday, May 4, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced publicly for the first time some of the renowned national and international authors who will participate in the second annual Brooklyn Book Festival, which will take place Sunday, Sept. 16, at Borough Hall. The distinguished authors who have confirmed so far are Chris Abani, Colin Channer, Staceyann Chin, Mike Farrell, Paula Fox, Amitav Ghosh, Myla Goldberg, Kimiko Hahn, A.M. Homes, Uzodinma Iweala, Phillip Lopate, Gloria Naylor, Mohammed Naseehu Ali, George Packer, Neal Pollack, Carl Hancock Rux, George Saunders, Robert Sullivan, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Ivan Valez Jr., Colson Whitehead, Mo Willems and Tia Williams.

Markowitz also announced for the first time that legendary Brooklyn author Paul Auster will be honored at the Festival Gala, an evening launch party on Saturday, Sept. 15.

“As a literary mecca, Brooklyn’s legacy is only growing,” said Markowitz. “I’m very excited that today’s Walt Whitmans and Hart Cranes and Betty Smiths and Paule Marshalls — who may have been born in Ghana or Guyana, in Jamaica or Jakarta, in Mexico or Minsk — are busy beaming their ‘Brooklyn attitude’ out to all corners of the globe.”

Markowitz joined members of the Borough President’s Literary Council, which organizes, produces, and promotes the Brooklyn Book Festival, as well as top authors, publishing-industry leaders, editors, and literary insiders.

Last year’s festival attracted more than 10,000 attendees to see top Brooklyn-based authors such as Jonathan Lethem and Jhumpa Lahiri, and visit more than 100 exhibitors and vendors.

May 8, 2007

The Best Bread in Brooklyn

Royal Crown Bakery, Brooklyn, originally uploaded by 536.

The Gothamist writes a great post on the Best Bread in Brooklyn.

Along 65th Street near Fort Hamilton Parkway in Brooklyn are a number of culinary gems: The sidewalk-sprawling Three Guys Produce, billed as “The Original Poor Person’s Friend;” Asian markets with fresh shiso and lily bulbs, and also the legendary, cafeteria-style Rocco’s Calamari. With a fledgling greenmarket in nearby Leif Ericson Park, this Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights/Bensonhurst interzone has quietly become a destination for inexpensive, quality provisions.

The three Royal Crown Magnifico locations should also be at the top of the shopping list. South of 65th Street, at 6512 Fourteenth Avenue, is Royal Crown Paneantico, specializing in sfogliatelle, Sicilian sweets, and a full line of breads. North of 65th on Fourteenth Avenue next door to each other are Paneantico II and Royal Crown Magnifico Panini, a full service cafĂ© with a hot and cold line, a few patio seats, and a workhorse espresso machine. There’s a standard selection of hot or sweet Capicollo, Mortadella, and Soppressatto paninis, with customizable add-ons like olive paste, marinated artichokes, and melted fontina. The Eggplant Parmigiana ($7.50) is especially good, with thick slices of the lightly batter fried vegetable, in sweet sauce with fresh mozzarella.

Royal Crown Magnifico
6314 Fourteenth Avenue
(718) 331-5402
6512 Fourteenth Avenue
(718) 234-1002

Do you have any other favorites? My favorite bread is at Patois.

May 7, 2007

Top Brooklyn Film Festivals

come get em, originally uploaded by lomokev

This past week-end I went to the Tribeca film festival and I was blown away by the film and concert of The Orchestra Di Piazza Vittorio.

An unlikely story of how two Romans created an orchestra comprised entirely of immigrants from all over the world living in one area of the Eternal City. When 30 different musicians playing 15 unrelated instruments finally take the stage, they provide a rousing call to arms for all who believe in the mini-miracles of neighborhood cultural initiatives.

This got me thinking about the fact that Brooklyn could do this better than any city because we have the most ethic groups of any American city. Brooklyn loves music and Brooklyn loves film! Here are a list of the some amazing film festivals in Brooklyn.

Did I miss any?

May 4, 2007

Top Brooklyn Street Festivals!

good showing for an empty pool
, originally uploaded by icopythat.

Brooklyn in the Spring and Summer is all about walking through the tree lined streets discovering hidden restaurants (like Petite Crevette) and then stumbling upon a street you may not have been down before only to discover that there is a massive street fair going on. This happens in Manhattan as well but the fairs there seem to always have the same rigid format and they rarely have any flavor. I have put together a list of the top street fairs here in this generous borough of Brooklyn so mark your calendars and sync up your PDA’s and I hope to see all of you out on the streets!
  • Norwegian-American Seventeenth of May Parade
    Sunday, May 20th - Bay Ridge
    1:30 P.M
    It is the purpose of the Norwegian-American 17th of May Committee of Greater New York, Inc. to encourage and develop a deep appreciation of the ideals of independence and freedom that the 17th of May and Norway’s Constitution signifies by holding an annual celebratory parade in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, on the Sunday closest or otherwise most appropriate to the 17th of May
  • Atlantic Ave ArtWalk
    June 9-10
    Atlantic Avenue ArtWalk is a self-guided tour of open artist studios and area exhibitions, a range of public art projects, special events, and extensive local merchant participation. The tour provides a relaxed setting for dialogue, collecting, and for artists to discuss current bodies of work, while offering a glimpse into the creation process.
  • Celebrate Brooklyn!
    Prospect Park Bandshell
    Consistently chosen by the press as New York City's best summer performance festival, Celebrate Brooklyn is praised for its wide array of eclectic live performances and film screenings, spectacular venue, and highly diverse audience that cannot be found anywhere else. A program of BRIC/Brooklyn Information & Culture, Celebrate Brooklyn is one of New York City's longest-running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals, offering music, dance, film and spoken word at the Prospect Park Bandshell each summer.
  • Mermaid Parade June 23rd - Saturday
    Coney Island
    -You have to see this!
  • Annual Singapore Food Festival
    Friday June 29th-Sunday, July 1st
    The annual iconic food event of Singapore is back on 29 June to 31 July 2007 ! Like past years, let us take you on a gastronomic journey of Singapore's taste and cultural diversity. Showcasing the gourmet finesse of Singaporean cuisine from authentic hawker fare to modern ethnic food, the Singapore Food Festival is an event not to be missed.
  • International African Arts Festival
    July 4-8th - Commodore Barry Park
    10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
    Today the festival is known as the International African Arts Festival and has an estimated annual audience of 75,000. It is still held in Brooklyn but is now in its third transition to a larger venue to accommodate growing audiences. That original line-up of local folk arts entertainment has also remained but has since been accompanied by artists such as The Mighty Sparrow, Fela Anikaputi, KRS-1 and Lauren Hill, Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, and Gil Scott-Heron.
  • Puerto Rican State Parade and Festival - July 8t
  • The Village Voice Annual Siren Music Festival
    Saturday, July 15th - Coney Island
    The Village Voice independently produces the Siren Music Festival. Set against the backdrop of Coney Island, this free festival is an alternative-minded music event that showcases renowned and emerging bands on two outdoor stages.
  • Bastille Day on Smith Street
    Saturday, July 14, 2007
    Sign up early for
    Petanque it is the most fun you have ever had playing with balls!
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert Series
    Wingate Field
    New York City's most celebrated, FREE outdoor music festival celebrates its 24thspectacular season with some of the greatest names in show business.We invite you, your family and friends to join in the fun every Monday night at 7:30 p.m.
  • Seaside Summer Concert Series
    Also, Thursday nights in July and August AsserLevy Park, Coney Island
    Who could believe this concert series which began 28 years ago on Midwood Field would evolve into one of the greatest summertime traditions in Brooklyn. The Seaside Summer Concerts have become the most successful and largest entertainment series of its kind in Brooklyn and indeed, all of New York City. So for the best in family entertainment, Asser Levy Seaside Park is the place to be every Thursday night by the beautiful beach here in Brooklyn. Enjoy the shows!
  • Independence Day Parade
    For more information(718) 680-9216
  • Giglio Festival
    ”Facing a new world of uncertainty and adversity, Italian immigrants did what they could to provide stability into their family lives. They focused on the staples of life that most resembled their world back home. Staples such as Food, Culture, Religion and preserving Traditions would be the foundation from where they could build a new life upon. Enacting the Dance of the Giglio was a natural progression for the Italian immigrants of these neighborhoods to uphold. The first Giglio feast held in the U.S. took place in 1903.
  • West Indian Labor Day Parade
    "Labor Day Carnival Parade" has grown over the years from thousands of participants and tourists to over 3.5 million people in attendance since the mid - 1990's.
  • Atlantic Antic
    Sunday, September 27th (This is one of my favorites because of the sheer size of it. Last year I bought a great bike for $10 and the guy at the bike store offered me 300 buck for it! Ha!)

May 2, 2007

Top Brooklyn Meetups!

May 1, 2007

Best Burgers in Brooklyn!

DuMont, originally uploaded by Slice.

May 1st is the start of the most beautiful month of the year. The rain gives way to the flowers and the colors really push through the gray green hibernation of winter. Then the grills come out and the cows get sacrificed - all for our burger eating spring/summer rituals. Nothing compares to a fresh cheeseburger on the grill, a cold Corona with lime and seedless buns that absorb all of the juices. So spark up your grills and clean your backyards because daylight savings time is going to last even longer this year!

May is National Hamburger Month and in celebration of I have put together a list of the Best Burgers in Brooklyn.

Pit Stop (great with a game of Pentanque) (my Favorite!)
Schnack (Columbia Point)
Bonnies (Park Slope – Say hi to her for me!)
Salonike Diner (Smith Street - get the deluxe!)
Cafe Lafayette (Fort Greene)
Peter Luger’s (Williamsburg)
Chicory (Carroll Gardens – great place – cool owner!)
Relish (Williamsburg)
Gowanus Yacht Club (Carroll Gardens) (update - lost their grill!)
McDonald's (in your neighborhood)
Rhythm & Booze (Windsor Terrace)
Farm on Adderley (Ditmas Park)
Hope and Anchor (Red Hook)
67 Burger (Fort Greene)
Crave (Carroll Gardens)
Dumont (Williamsburg)
White Castle (Sunset Park – Don’t get thrown out!)
Bar Tabac (Smith Street)
Junior’s (Downtown Brooklyn)
WaterFront Ale House (Cobble Hill)
Ceol (Smith Street)

Did I miss any?