North Brooklyn’s Hispanic community is mourning one of its most beloved members, Luis Garden Acosta, who passed away yesterday. A towering community leader with a deep concern for social justice, Acosta was the founder and president of El Puente, a nationally celebrated, Brooklyn based, community/youth development organization. A man of great passion, Acosta was so active in a variety of fields that he defied easy identification. The community organizer and advocate for the disadvantaged, was also an environmental leader, a housing activist, and an educator, but he was something even bigger than these various roles. Acosta embodied the fighting spirit of the Hispanic community in North Brooklyn and his death leaves a massive void.
Perhaps his greatest legacy is the founding of the community organization El Puente, which means ‘the bridge’ in Spanish. As the name implies, ‘bridges’ connect people to major initiatives in health, the environment, education, and the arts. One of Luis’ ideas, the “Green Light District”, a 10-year project that has taken El Puente’s message door to door, engaging, virtually, every family in transforming the Southside of Williamsburg, from a crime infested underserved community to America’s model neighborhood for community health and environmental wellness.
His biography is worthy of being made into a film. Born locally in 1945, Acosta grew up in a poor mixed Dominican-Puerto Rican family. Entering St. Mary’s Seminary in Pennsylvania at age 15, he earned a college degree before starting to prepare himself to serve as a Catholic priest. Acosta’s plans changed, however, when he heard Martin Luther King Jr. deliver a speech on social justice. Instead of becoming a priest, Acosta became a political activist. A pacifist, he left the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer without taking his final vows as a priest, becoming a Catholic antiwar organizer in Brooklyn.
* URBAN-X Panel Discussion: Exploring The Future of Affordable Housing @ A/D/O (29 Norman Ave.), 6:30pm, FREE, RSVP * 94 Precinct Community Council Meeting @ St. John’s Lutheran Church (155 Milton St.), 7pm, FREE,More Info ♫ Afroperuano Group (Live Recording Video) Free Pisco Tasting @ Scholes St. Studio (375 Lorimer St.), 7pm, $20, Buy Tix ♫ C Z A R I N A, Bunny X, Turbo Goth, Valentine @ The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave.), 8pm, $10, Buy Tix
♫ Goldie Awards 2nd Annual DJ & Beat Battle @ Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost St.), 6pm, $25, Buy Tix ♦ Art Opening: Brett Satterlund & Friends @ Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Ave.) 6pm, FREE, Photography Exhibit, More Info ^ An Evening with Michael Lally & Lonely Christopher @ Brooklyn’s House of Kava (238 Central Ave.), 7pm, FREE, an evening of poetry and chatting, more info ♫ BRIC After Dark: Gala After Party @ Brooklyn Navy Yard (63 Flushing Ave.), 9pm, $75+, Buy TixContinue reading →
♫ Sic Tic // Ben Pagano (Single Release) // Pinc Louds // Egg Peckers (Mike Campbell) @ Secret Project Robot (1186 Broadway), 7pm, $8, An eclectic night of music, art and performance, More info # Sumo Stew @ Brooklyn Brewery (79 N 11th St), 8pm, $55, Plentiful bowls of chankonabe, paired with the live streamed bimonthly grand tournaments, makes for a lively event, bringing hungry first time and long-standing sumo fans ringside, Buy tix * Trivia Night @ Archestratus Books + Food (160 Huron St), 8pm, FREE, There will be three rounds + a lightning round, but only one epic trophy. Win Beer! Win Food! Study up Renaissance man style! Surprise theme: Russia, RSVP ♫ Animal Collective (DJ set), Ben Steidel + Journey 2 The Light @ Good Room (98 Meserole Ave), 9pm, $7, Animal Collective combines a love of sonic free form electronic horror gospel hip-hop soul pop madness, Buy tix
♫ The Planes/The Sharp Shadows/The Regrets/Shelter Dogs @ Cape House (2 Knickerbocker Ave), 7pm, FREE, More info ♫ Rhyton & Mike Wexler @ Magick City (37 Box St), 7pm, $5, The Brooklyn singer-songwriter Mike Wexler pairs his musical folk exploration with psychedelia, Buy tix ♫ Haux w/ Strings, Gracie and Rachel @ The Park Church Co-op (129 Russell St), 8pm, $12, Gracie and Rachel are a study in duality: light and dark, classical training with a pop sensibility, Californians in New York. Their music pits anxiety and tension against an almost serene self-assurance, Buy tix ♫ Talib Kweli: Radio Silence Album Release Extravaganza @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave), 11:30pm, $10, Buy tix Continue reading →
♦ SummerScreen: Donnie Darko @ McCarren Park, 6pm, FREE, 16th anniversary celebration of Donnie Darko. Gates open at 6pm, grunge-infused rockers Sharkmuffin plays the TIDAL Rising Stage at 7:30pm, and the film starts at sundown, More info # Banned Countries Dinner Series: Sudan Edition @ Franklin Guesthouse (214 Franklin St), 6:30pm, $125, Celebrate Sudanese food and culture by enjoying a family-style feast inspired by Omer Eltigani, author of the forthcoming cookbook The Sudanese Kitchen. Multiple courses, unlimited house wine and vegetarian options are available, Buy tix ♫ WHAT NOW? Sessions: The Sifer, Sakinah Iman, Paco G Train Bandit @ Terra Firma (119 Ingraham St), 8pm, $5, Fusion of the Hip Hop cypher and the Jazz jam session. Emcees bring your bars. Singers bring your melodies. Musicians bring your instruments. Everyone bring your vibe and let’s rock out, RSVP * Microdosing Workshop: Sacred Plants to Enhance Mind-Body-Spirit @ Narayana Integrative Center (191 Nassau Ave), 8:15pm, $20, Learn how you can feel better, increase energy, improve focus, inspire creativity, balance mood, relax, sleep well, and expand awareness with sacred plant microdosing, More info
# American Food and Immigration Policy @ MOFAD (62 Bayard St), 6:30pm, $20, An evening of thought-provoking discussion, followed by an informal reception featuring light refreshments from Brooklyn Brewery and Sonia Perez, a street cart vendor and member of Street Vendor Project’s Leadership Council, More info ♦ Superhero Figure Drawing @ Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost St), 7pm, $10, Practice your cape drawing skills, with everything from pen to graphite — but leave your kryptonite at home, Buy tix * 3D VHS Festival @ The City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave), 7pm, $10, In the garden, the Museum of Interesting Things takes us back to a future that the past never saw coming! See excerpts from movies–not just on VHS, but 3D VHS, More info ♦ Jonathas de Andrade Presents Bodanzky and Senna’s Iracema @ Light Industry (155 Freeman St), 7:30pm, $8, Inspired by neorealism as well as the films of John Cassavetes and Jean Rouch, the directors constructed Iracema by enacting a road-movie scenario inside everyday settings, combining artifice and documentary to yield a richly atmospheric parable whose lessons still maintain a grim relevance, More info ♫ DJ Questlove Presents: Bowl Train @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave), 11:30pm, $10, Buy tix Continue reading →
WEDNESDAY 7/22 ♫ The Hunger: Fourth Course @ Bar Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, $10, With Hungry March Band / Bella’s Bartok / Vic Thrill, RSVP ♫ Warper Party @ Tender Trap (66 Greenpoint Ave) 8pm, FREE, With 18+ electronic music acts, plus two rooms of omnidigital art, RSVP
THURSDAY 7/23 * MUFF Society Presents Jawbreaker @ Videology (308 Bedford Ave) 6:30pm, $5, a night full of candy and broken teen dreams, More info * El Puente’s Homeowner ResourceFair @Williamsburg Public Library (240 Division Ave) 6:30pm, FREE, An opportunity for residential property owners to meet with representatives from city agencies, public utilities, and non-profits to learn about financing and incentive programs, More info * Urban Omnibus Block Party @ Anable Basin Bar & Grill (4-40 44th Dr)7pm, $50, Enjoy drinks and light fare while hanging out with designers, artists, policymakers, and urban enthusiasts passionate about New York City, More infoContinue reading →
Well I hate to say I told you so, but even as CitiStorage still burns, the 11 acre lot could be sold to private developers–as soon as tomorrow, warns City Councilman Steve Levin. Many of you may recall from last week’s post, the future of the CitiStorage site was on shaky ground, but I doubt any of us would imagine losing our parkland so soon.
According to the FDNY, the site is still under investigation and investigators have yet to access the origin of the fire due to hazardous conditions. For the unforseeable future, we won’t know if there was foul play that sent CitiStorage up in smoke, but we do know the land is up for grabs, and perhaps to the highest bidder.
So while I don my silk turban and gaze once again into my crystal ball to predict what other crazy conspiracy theories might come true–like arson charges and measly insurance payouts–I am here to warn you: A war is afoot to reclaim CitiStorage as parkland and it’s time we start sharpening our skewers.
The South Williamsburg neighborhood group El Puente is hosting a CRITICAL CALL TO ACTION tonight and everyone from Williamsburg and Greenpoint should be there. Continue reading →