Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, December 16, 2021
NEW ADA ELEVATORS FOR SUBWAY STATIONS: Following the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s announcement that it will install elevators in several subway stations in Brooklyn and around the city, particularly the Sheepshead Bay B/Q and Kings Highway F stations, Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) is commending what he calls a long-overdue move. The vote by the full MTA board on Wednesday, Dec. 15 calls for new or renovated elevators at more than two dozen stations citywide, including the Sheepshead Bay B/Q stop (at East 16th Street) and the Kings Highway F (McDonald Avenue) station. Long an outspoken and proponent of the need for accessibility upgrades at stations in his district, Cymbrowitz said that more still needs to be done and will urge MTA Acting President Janno Lieber to include the Brighton Beach station in the next capital plan.
According to an MTA press release published on Dec. 10, in advance of its board meeting, other Brooklyn stations selected for elevators and other ADA improvements are the express-station Church Ave. (on the B and Q lines, and the Junius Street in Brownsville on the New Lots/ 3 line, the 8th Avenue N train station in Sunset Park, and the Flushing and Marcy avenues J, M and Z station in Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg, respectively.
TAX LIEN SALES HURT COMMUNITIES, SAYS COALITION: The city is missing an opportunity to create affordable housing, claims the Abolish the NYC Tax Lien Sale Coalition, making its statement ahead of the city’s tax lien sale this Friday. The coalition released a new analysis revealing the lien sale list includes 392 vacant lots that could support the development of more than 3,600 affordable housing units. This represents a recurring missed opportunity for the city to partner with community land trusts to acquire these vacant lots and develop deeply-affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers, the organization said. New Economy Project, a member of the coalition, prepared the analysis as the coalition calls on the city to end the lien sale – a decades-old policy that fuels speculation and extracts wealth from Black, brown and immigrant communities.
The tax lien sale scheduled for Friday, Dec. 17, would be the first to take place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MOBILE VACCINE BUS IN BAY RIDGE: Community Board 10, serving Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton, wants constituents to know that a Covid Mobile Vaccine Bus will be available through Friday, Dec. 17. The bus, which will be stationed on 5th Avenue between 68th and Senator streets, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. will also affect parking during those hours.
The announcement did not indicate which of the vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) will be provided.
SANTA VISITS ST. PATRICK’S CATHOLIC ACADEMY: Forget reindeer! Santa Claus visits Bay Ridge in horse-drawn carriage. St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church and St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy co-hosted a special celebration of Christmas on Tuesday, starting with an outdoor Christmas concert featuring the students, a fireworks display, and the anticipated arrival of Santa Claus — on a horse-drawn carriage.
‘UNITY IN ACTION’ PARTY HONORS REP. CLARKE: THE BRIDGE Multicultural Project, based in Flatbush, held its annual ‘Unity In Action’ Holiday Party last Sunday, honoring U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, Dr. Monalisa Ferrari and Kelly Muse, and with City Councilmember Farah Louis as the event’s Honored Chairperson. More than 300 community members attended the event, at which THE BRIDGE Founder Mark Meyer Appel commended all those who assisted with Blood Drives, Domestic Violence Programs, Food Pantries to the Haitian Emergency Supply Drive, as well as many other successful programs during 2021.
THE BRIDGE’s mission, for more than two decades, is to advocate social change, and has a proven model of petitioning and legislating social issues and health initiatives into laws.
HOLIDAY CAROLING: The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music invites the community to join this Saturday, Dec. 18, in a beloved tradition — holiday caroling around the neighborhood. Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale Director Nick Nicassio will lead the group in a preparation warm-up from 2-2:30 p.m., then groups will split up to stroll and carol until 3:30. All ages, voices and faiths welcome.
A fundraiser reception follows in the Conservatory Garden, with snacks and drinks available for purchase. More information on the afternoon is available via https://bkcm.org/event/holiday-caroling/
ATTENTION: STUDENT FILMMAKERS: Applications are open for the 4th Annual New York City Public School Film Festival, that celebrates the talent and diversity of student voices, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the NYC Department of Education announced on Wednesday. The New York City Public School Film Festival was created to provide opportunities for students to have their work recognized by industry leaders and explore careers in filmmaking. Middle and high school students can apply now through March 25, 2022 at www.nyc.gov/nycpsfilmfestival, with winners announced in May.
A panel of educators and media professionals will select and screen the films, which can be animation, short feature/narrative, documentary, experimental or P.S.A./Advocacy. For more information on the NYC Public School Film Festival, including full rules and regulations, please visit filmfreeway.com/NYCPublicSchoolFilmFestival
ARTS PANELISTS NEEDED: The Brooklyn Arts Council is looking for about six to nine persons to serve on a panel for SU-CASA arts applications alongside Department of Cultural Affairs and Department for the Aging representatives. https://form.jotform.com/213437048914053 Panelist duties include reviewing and scoring 30-35 applications, on one’s own, between Wednesday, Dec. 22 and Friday, Jan. 7, and participation in a secondary review during a day-long meeting with 2-5 other panelists (taking place remotely via Zoom), and they will receive an honorarium for their work.
Priority will be given to applicants with prior experience working in Creative Aging as artists, arts administrators, senior center management, and any other roles closely involved in the field.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES HOSTS SANTA’S TOY SHOP: Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens will distribute gifts to support families this Christmas season. Volunteers will act as “Personal Shopper Elves” at two parishes, in Brooklyn and Queens to help families pick out the perfect gift this Christmas.
Gifts are from generous supporters of Catholic Charities including local businesses, parishes and schools throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn. This year Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens expects to provide toys to over 1,500 families in need, serving over 3,000 children throughout Brooklyn and Queens.
FESTIVE 5TH AVENUE: The 5th Avenue BID will host “Festive 5th Avenue” this Saturday, Dec. 18. The BID will host the Broadway Carolers, a professional caroling ensemble that will stroll along 5th Avenue with Santa from 2-4 p.m.
Investors Bank is sponsoring the event, designed to support local businesses, and which will culminate with a concert at the Christmas tree at 7428 5th Ave from 4-5 pm. and a visit from Santa Claus.
LATIN JAZZ CHRISTMAS AT ALL SAINTS: Grammy Award Winning artist Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra will perform a concert at All Saints Episcopal Church, 7th Avenue in Park Slope, on Christmas Eve. O’Farrill, a parishioner at All Saints, performs at 9 p.m., followed by the 10 p.m. Christmas Eve Service.
Pianist, composer, and educator Arturo O’Farrill, directs the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, an octet made up of some of the most virtuosic musicians in jazz today. O’Farrill’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro Latin Jazz Suite” from the album Cuba: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition, as well as the 2016 Latin Grammy Award (his fifth Grammy) for Best Latin Jazz Recording.
BROOKLYN MILESTONE: His family was famous for the Coney Island landmark restaurant Gargiulo’s, but Michael Gargiulo made his own fame as a television cameraman who captured the famous Moscow “Kitchen Debate” between then-Soviet premier Nikita S. Khrushchev and Vice President Richard Nixon. Michael Gargiulo’s obituary (a fascinating read bearing veteran Times writer Sam Roberts’ byline) chronicles his life growing up above the restaurant, and especially the repartee between Khrushchev and Nixon, each bantering on the set of a model American kitchen about his nation’s superiority, while the marvels of color TV marketed itself during the encounter.
The Times’ Roberts observed that Michael Gargiulo’s career had more success than either Khrushchev’s (who was later deposed) or Nixon’s (who lost the 1960 Presidential Election). Gargiulo went on to direct stage and game shows including “The Price is Right,” He won 10 Daytime Emmys in his career, including a lifetime achievement award in 2015.
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