Boroughwide

OF NOTE- People In The News: Thursday, January 16

January 15, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Teacher William Mason. Photo via linkedin.

At Fort Greene’s Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, social studies teacher WILLIAM MASON teaches students about the history of the holocaust while giving them a chance to better understand their Jewish neighbors. “A lot of our students live in Crown Heights and Williamsburg, on the borders of Orthodox Jewish communities, and they notice the friction between the two groups and they don’t understand why,” Mason told haaretz.com. “So they’ll have a lot of questions about Jewish culture and Jewish ideas.” The class, which he started teaching five years ago, is popular with students, drawing from a curriculum provided by the Anti-Defamation League and Jerusalem’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. AMY GOLDBERG, wife of late Holocaust survivor Ernest Michel, visited Mason’s class recently to tell the students about her husband’s experience. Seventeen-year-old NAH’EEMA WALKER found Goldberg’s talk especially moving. “For him to be able to live his life with no hatred is amazing,” Walker said. 

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BAM President Katy Clark. Photo via americantheatre.org

The Brooklyn Academy of Music will host a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jan. 20, honoring the civil rights leader’s life and legacy, as well as the contributions of other notable black leaders. “Many of the sources of uncertainty and instability that we feel as a nation were addressed by Dr. King. His legacy continually inspires our own work at BAM toward anti-oppression,” said BAM President KATY CLARK. Journalist NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, who created The New York Times’s 1619 project, will deliver a keynote speech to kick off the day, followed by speeches from Brooklyn civic leaders emceed by Borough President ERIC ADAMS. BAM will offer a free screening of the Aretha Franklin concert film “Amazing Grace” at Rose Cinemas in the afternoon. For more info, visit bam.org. 

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. Photo via newamerica.org

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Matchbook Distilling founder Leslie Merinoff. Photo via outeast.com

At Pips, recently opened natural wine bar in Brooklyn Heights, patrons can sip custom-made amari imported from the distant land of Long Island. The liqueur made from bitter herbs is traditionally enjoyed after a meal, or as a “digestivo,” in Italy. Since the amari on sale at Pips is custom-made, it can’t be immediately duplicated by other restaurants — unlike a house cocktail. “It was always a dream of ours to make our own amaro, and over the years we’ve actually been in touch with a few people who wanted to help us make one from local herbs,” Pips partner ELISE ROSENBERG told Grub Street. “It took eight years, but it finally came along.” Along with partners EMELIE KIHLSTROM and TAMER HAMAWI, Rosenberg worked with Matchbook Distilling co-founder LESLIE MERINOFF to create two distinct amari, one drier and more bitter called “Front of House,” the other more syrupy and floral, called “Back of House.” Pips follows Brooklyn restaurants Diner and Marlow & Sons, both owned by ANDREW TARLOW, in offering diners a custom-made digestivo. 

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When Brooklyn resident JUAN VELASCO tried and failed to find a torta, or Mexican sandwich, as good as the ones he’d enjoyed in Mexico, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Along with wife BLANCA GONZALEZ, Velasco opened Tortas Morelos in Bay Ridge, where he serves up novel sandwich creations — like the tecolota torta, which incorporates tortilla chips — on lightweight buns from La Espiga Real bakery in Sunset Park. The restaurant is named for Velasco’s home state of Morelos, Mexico, birthplace of the revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, whose picture adorns the restaurant’s walls. The chicken mole, made each day by Gonzalez, incorporates ancho chiles and plantains in a sauce “so rich in ingredients and skillfully blended that guessing the exact recipe would be hopeless,” reports The New York Times.  

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Transit buff and amateur artist JAKE BERMAN creates unofficial maps for transit systems all over the world, but it wasn’t until he made an alternative map of New York City’s subway system that he ran into legal trouble. Berman’s map was recently removed by Etsy following a copyright infringement complaint from the MTA. “There’s a whole community of people who’ve been trying to reinvent the New York City subway map for decades, and they’re easily available on the internet, so I don’t know why they’re picking on me,” Berman told The Brooklyn Eagle. The agency claims Berman’s map closely resembles an MTA-commissioned map that’s been live online since 2011, three years after Berman says he began drafting his map. Though the MTA issues many copyright infringement complaints, the agency may have tangled with the wrong amateur artist this time — when he’s not making maps, Berman practices commercial law. He responded to the takedown notice with a notice of his own, requiring the MTA to sue him in federal court within 10 days or relinquish their claim. 


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