Community

Brooklyn Community Board 1’s Monthly Public Hearing is Tonight (9/10)

Brooklyn CB1

As a reminder, the combined public hearing and Brooklyn Community Board 1 meeting is tonight at the Swinging 60’s Senior Center (211 Ainslie St.) starting at 6 p.m.

According to the agenda available here, there are 43 new liquor license requests to be reviewed on top of the 62 liquor licenses up for renewal. Other topics scheduled for discussion include the fiscal year 2021 budget priorities and a presentation by the NYC Dept. of Transportation regarding improvements at the intersection od Wythe Avenue and anf the BQE exit ramp. Here is the full agenda: Continue reading

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From Tibetan Soundbaths to Heated Vinyasa, [email protected] Classes Offer Something for Everyone

The [email protected] (31 Nassau Ave) Grand Rebrand had an enthusiastic turnout last Saturday, in a day filled with activities and classes living up to its ”Zen Chill Zone” reputation while debuting the new local vendor retail space.

Greenpoint’s “Zen-Chill Zone”

Owner Dishan Elise describes the refreshed direction of [email protected] classes as a “revolution of fitness and wellness.” The variety of classes include a weekly Tibetan Soundbath, heated power Vinyasa, and Tabata circuit training. The B.E.S.T Plan is [email protected]’s flagship program that runs 12 weeks and promotes self-growth through group strength training, Elise says. The At Ease Membership is $99 per month and drop-in classes range from $17 – $25.

A new retail space at [email protected] collaborates with local and global vendors and artisans with a unique selection of clothing, apothecary and other handmade goods from local artisans.

The new retail space at [email protected]
The new retail space at [email protected]

We asked Jessica Dolese, HumanAEase events manager, to send descriptions of upcoming classes that she especially recommends:

A Chakra Balancing Kundalini Workshop

Throughout this workshop series, instructor Paola Dattner will guide attendees on a journey of chakra balance and mindfulness to the tune of live music played by Peruvian musician Piero Rossini.

Within our bodies lie seven energy centers called chakras. Physical illness or emotional stress can cause the chakras to become blocked or cloudy. Healing of each chakra may offer relief to some physical and emotional conditions. This series continues with the second chakra, the sacral chakra which is connected to emotional balance, sexual expression and creativity.

A Kundalini practice, meditation, breathwork, and focused journaling will be combined with live music intended to create and enhance group vibrational frequencies. These musical frequencies are tuned to the frequency of the sacral chakra intended to give power to your sensuality, creativity center and help bring balance your sacral chakra.

 

Lay down as deep resonant sounds of antique Tibetan singing bowls surround you to end your day with a restorative sound bath. Release the stress of the day allowing sound and vibration to guide the way. Enter a state of deep relaxation. Leave feeling rested and prepared to enjoy a good nights sleep.

This class focuses on the practice of linking breath to movement in a classic vinyasa style. A slightly heated atmosphere helps muscles open to supporting safe transitions into more challenging postures. With a focus on balance between strength and flexibility along with providing modifications for all levels, this class is a great option for all: new practitioners looking to explore vinyasa for the first time, or experienced yogis looking to deepen their relationship with their practice.

Tabata circuit training is a form of High-Intensity Interval Training that requires the body to work hard in short bursts and rest for even shorter periods. With this protocol, the body’s anaerobic and aerobic systems start to work in tandem, thus improving overall performance in athletes. Circuit training is also a fantastic cardiovascular conditioning workout for anyone of any fitness level. The Ace of Swords Tabata focuses on strengthening with body weight, improving overall mobility, and providing functional physical tools that any busy New Yorker can incorporate into their daily life. Beginners are very welcome and encouraged to join this class.

Signature Introversion Group Strength Training with Dishan Elise and Geo Malave

Introversion means to go within. Owner and creator, Dishan Elise, utilizes her dynamic, unique approach to personal training in a group setting. Combining a special blend of meditation, coaching, motivation, and mind/body strengthening techniques, the class begins with a warm-up, breathing and body awareness followed by 30-45 minutes of an intense variety of moves including partnered cardio, manual resistance exercises, calisthenics, & other training tools; covering a full-body routine followed by a light centering stretch. Small group training is a great way to get personal training for a fraction of the normal cost. The group collaboration, motivation, and energy in this class will be unlike any other class you’ve experienced. Limit 8 Students per class.

 

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[email protected] Bounces Back With a Grand Rebrand After Almost Closing

Being consistent with exercise has never come easy to me. Even though I like the exhilarating feeling of a good post-workout sweat, it’s getting up and actually going that is my challenge. My mind would make up all kinds of excuses to avoid going to the gym, everything from the bad weather to just not feeling like it, but mostly I would tell myself that I don’t have time.

The fact that for several years, I’ve managed to go to [email protected] (31 Nassau Ave) at least once per week is a telltale sign of its appeal. I find [email protected] to be a warm, welcoming environment that distinguishes itself from your run-of-the-mill commercial gyms, and their signature Introversion Training whips me into shape in 30 minutes.

Self-proclaimed as a”Zen Chill Zone,” I can say from personal experience that [email protected] feels like a wellness sanctuary, rooted in the neighborhood but with elements reminiscent of exotic parts of the world. After a long week of work, I come here, push my muscles into exhaustion in the most meditative way. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Library Community Forum Is Tonight (7/1)

A public forum on the Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Ave.) will take place tonight at the Pencil Factory building (61 Greenpoint Ave, 6th floor) at 7 p.m.

The note posted on the Brooklyn Public Library’s website regarding tonight’s meeting reads: Continue reading

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Your Guide for Special Events This Weekend (6/8-6/9) for Greenpoint Open Studios!

Blast from the past: Juan Miguel Marin adding a new piece to his ongoing series titled “Drawing Under The Influence” live outside of his studio at The Pencil Factory during GOS in 2018.

Back for its sixth year and stronger than ever, Greenpoint Open Studios will bring the neighborhood an art-filled weekend this Saturday and Sunday (June 8th & 9th) with more than 350 local artists opening up their studios to the public — plus parties, special events, and some stellar artist-organized workshops. We will also, hopefully, be bringing the sunshine. Continue reading

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COUNTDOWN: One Week Until Greenpoint Open Studios (Sat 6/8-Sun 6/9)

Get ready because in just one week Greenpoint Open Studios (GOS) is returning to the neighborhood June 8th – 9th with more than 350 local artists opening up their studios to the public to showcase their works. What should you expect?
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Are We Ready to Celebrate Walt Whitman as Brooklyn’s Gay Poet?

Walt Whitman
(via Wikimedia Commons)

This week all over Brooklyn, there will be celebrations honoring Walt Whitman. With the 200th anniversary of the birth of Brooklyn’s greatest poet, one has to ask the question: Was Walt Whitman gay and does his poetry celebrate the joys of being gay? Reading his poetry there are so many clear homoerotic images that many students of Whitman conclude that despite the fact that Whitman never came out as gay, he was gay, or at least bisexual.

Were Whitman to return to Brooklyn today, he would probably be pleasantly surprised by the many Brooklynites who live an openly gay lifestyle.

During Whitman’s time admitting to a gay relationship was taboo, but he hinted at it in a letter he wrote at the end of his life with his discussion of “fervent comradeship.” In the passage below he seems to suggest to a time when gay relationships would be accepted by the broader American society:

Many will say it is a dream and will not follow my inferences: but I confidentially expect a time when there will be seen running through it like a half-hid warp through all the myriad audible and visible worldly interests of America, threads of manly friendship, fond and loving, pure and sweet, strong and life-long, carried to degrees hitherto unknown, not only giving tone to individual character and making it unprecedentedly emotional, muscular, heroic and refined, but having the deepest relation to general politics. I say democracy infers such loving comradeship as its most inevitable twin or counterpart, without which it will be incomplete, in vain and incapable of perpetuating itself.

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Tonight: East River State Park and Kent Avenue Town Hall

East River State Park entrance (Google Maps)

Local elected politicians are holding an East River State Park and Kent Avenue town hall meeting tonight in Williamsburg.

The town hall takes place tonight (5/28) at the Bushwick Inlet Park community room (86 Kent Ave.) at 6 p.m.

State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, NYC Councilman Stephen Levin, and U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney are sponsoring the meeting.

 

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$26,000 SUV Purchase by Community Board Raises Questions

(courtesy of Y.Leclercq)

Brooklyn Community Board 1 (CB1) purchased a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SUV at the cost of $26,000 with funds intended to help NYC community boards. CB1 “was the only one of the city’s 59 community boards to use any of the $42,500 budget-booster to buy a vehicle,” a new report from THE CITY claims.

The Toyota purchase, which is “the board’s single largest expense outside of payroll” was cleared by CB1’s executive committee. The board’s base budget is $288,000.

THE CITY goes on to explain that CB1 board manager of 40 years Gerald Esposito whose salary last year was $123,535, lives four blocks away from where the SUV is parked in a designated space at the corner of Graham Avenue and Frost Street.

The eight-member executive committee’s decision to spend $26,000 on an SUV from a one-time $42,500 city grant raised questions from other CB1 members, as THE CITY reports:

Earlier this week, some board members said they were surprised and dismayed when they learned of the vehicle purchase during a recent CB1 meeting. The SUV marks the board’s largest single expense outside of payroll.

“What? A vehicle? What is it used for?” board member Ryan Kuonen recalled asking at the May 14 board meeting.

“To go different places,” replied Dealice Fuller, the board’s chairperson, according to Kuonen and two other people who attended the meeting.

New limits that were approved by NYC voters last fall took effect this April to cap the number of terms members can serve. Under the new rule, community board members are limited to four consecutive two-term limits, and borough presidents are encouraged to find “persons of diverse backgrounds” to serve.

 

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Horti Play Opens Experiential Plant Store in Greenpoint

The new Horti Play space at 70 Eckford St. (courtesy of Horti)

When the Greenpoint-based plant subscription service Horti started about two years ago co-founders Puneet Sabharwal and Bryana Sortino began shipping houseplants to friends and quickly found great interest from a growing network of aspiring green-thumbs.

Inside Horti Play (courtesy of Horti)

Now that Horti’s subscription-based business has taken off, Sabharwal and Sortino premiered their first brick and mortar location, Horti Play, at 70 Eckford St. two weeks ago pushing the boundaries to redefine what a retail plant shop can be.

Horti Play defines itself as an “experiential space, designed to help our community form connections with plants and also with plant-loving people.”

“A lot of times people walk into plant stores and most of the decisions are based on transaction,” said Sabharwal who said he was inspired to start his own business and improve his relationship to nature after spending “years behind the keyboard,” at his former job.

The plants that Horti ships out to their subscribers come with care instructions to help novice-level gardeners’ skill-sets grow with their plants.

Building upon the educational aspect, Sabharwal envisions Horti Play as space for people to learn new skills and share ideas.

Horti Play also works as Horti’s office space, and subscribers have access to Horti Play during weekdays, while the general public can visit on the weekends for drop-ins or for classes and events. “We’re not trying to push plants onto people,” Sabharwal said.

Co-founders Puneet Sabharwal and Bryana Sortino (compliments of Horti)

Sabharwal spent the first 18 years of his life in Delhi, India and has lived in Greenpoint since 2011.

“I grew up on a commune basically, so this mentality of building a community is engrained in me. I’m not really a person that is constantly looking for transactional values, so I’m trying to minimize that aspect for our retail showroom as well, so that people don’t feel like the only way to be in the space is with an exchange.”

Horti Play features a selection of titles curated by Word bookstore.

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