The Brooklyn Book Fest is descending on the park behind Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn this Sunday, and it’s bringing a full slate of Bookend events throughout the borough every night this week. Literary discussions and events on everything from comic books to parenting will take place from 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. The slate of speakers includes Zadie Smith, James McBride, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates and Salman Rushdie. Check out the full list of Sunday’s festival events and Bookend events happening throughout the week.
Real estate investment firm The Jackson Group has paid $20,000,000 for the Gothic Revival Church of the Redeemer in Boerum Hill, DNAinfo reported. Neighbors spent years fighting to preserve the 127-year-old structure at the corner of Pacific Street and 4th Avenue, but the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island began marketing the church as a development site last year. Church officials told DNAinfo that “mounting monthly costs” forced them to sell the building, which needs an estimated $4,000,000 in repairs.
The deal does not include space for the congregation, which was part of the church’s original plans to sell the property. The sale closed the week of September 5, but it hasn’t hit the public records yet. The Jackson Group hasn’t revealed whether they’re going to demolish the building, which sits on a lot zoned for a building as large as 70,000 square feet and up to 10 stories tall, a source told us.
The R train will finally run between Brooklyn and Manhattan on Monday morning, after 13 months of repairs following Hurricane Sandy, the Post and the Daily News report. The MTA shut down service in the Montague tube last August so workers could replace tracks, signals and communications equipment that was devastated by the storm. Since then, R trains have run only between Bay Ridge and Court Street in Brooklyn, and between Whitehall Street in the Financial District and Forest Hills-71st Avenue in Queens.
Tour some Brooklyn apiaries and learn how to infuse your own honey in honor of NYC Honey Week, which has a whole host of programs on nature’s great pollinators. The Gowanus Canal Conservancy is hosting a free lecture tonight at 6:30 on the role bees play in urban areas, in FIND Home Furnishings at 43 9th Street. It’s also giving a tour of its apiary on Sunday, September 14 at 11:30 am. For more details, you can RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are classes in beekeeping and honey infusion at the Brooklyn Grange‘s Navy Yard rooftop farm, pictured above, this Sunday afternoon. And, although technically it’s after Honey Week officially ends, Brooklyn Queen beekeeper Margot Dorn is offering a tour of her Brownsville bee hives on September 27 at noon. You can RSVP by emailing email@example.com.
Several leaders of historic black churches throughout Brooklyn will gather at the Brooklyn Historical Society next week to discuss how they used their pulpits to shape the civil rights movement. Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Organizations and cochair of Mayor de Blasio’s transition team, will lead a discussion inspired by her father, the late Reverend William A. Jones, who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and led Bed Stuy’s Bethany Baptist Church.
The panelists include pastors who played a vital role in the fight for civil rights: Reverend Dr. Herbert Daughtry of House of the Lord, Reverend David B. Cousin, Sr., of Bridge Street AMWE, above, and Reverend Dr. John L. Scott of St. John’s Baptist Church. The free event will happen at 6:30 pm on Thursday, September 18.
The Beat Festival is bringing its funky vibes to Green-Wood Cemetery this weekend with site-specific dance performances and evening tours highlighting the musicians, actors and artists buried on the cemetery’s hallowed grounds. Atlas Obscura is leading the tours, which will focus on the tombs of performing artists and conclude in the catacombs.
The performances, called “Crossing Over,” will feature choreography from Elisabet Torres Aguilera, Shige Moriya, Ximena Garnica, Shirel Jones and Sophia Schrank. There are four tours starting at 7:30 each night on Friday and Saturday, and tickets cost $35. Head over to the Beat Festival for tickets and details.
The festival has a full schedule of spoken word, musical and dance events starting this Thursday with a free opening opening night at the Brooklyn Museum, and continuing through the closing party on September 20.
The shoreline area of East River State Park in Williamsburg reopened today. The deteriorating waterfront has been spruced up with more beach sand, a new kayak launch and a wall of reclaimed granite blocks around the edge of the lawn. The state spent $526,000 restoring the park, which was flooded during Hurricane Sandy and has lost several feet of beach to erosion in recent years.
The state also added new plantings, removed invasive plant species, installed dry wells to collect storm runoff, and created channels in the waterside rocks to prevent fish from getting trapped on the beach during low tide. Assemblyman Joe Lentol and Council Member Steve Levin joined State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey (pictured), Regional Director Leslie Wright and several other individuals who have played a critical role in the park’s creation and continued development to celebrate today’s reopening of the shoreline area of the park to the public. Check it out at Smorgasburg tomorrow!
Forest City Ratner and Skanska are at it again… This time, Forest City sent out a letter asking to take over Skanska’s modular factory at the Navy Yard. They say it’s for the good of the 157 workers! We reached out to Skanska for comment, and they called the proposal “a propaganda exercise.” Click through to see the letter and Skanska’s response. (more…)
Creative Time — the arts organization that produced Kara Walker’s Domino installation – and Weeksville Heritage Center have partnered to create four month-long exhibits exploring black history, politics and jazz at sites throughout Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. “Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn” launches September 20 at Weeksville Heritage Center in Weeksville, pictured above, one of America’s oldest free black communities and now part of Crown Heights.
For “funk,” artist Xenobia Bailey worked with students at Boys & Girls High School in Bed Stuy to design upcycled furniture “created in the African American aesthetic of funk,” which will be on display at Weeksville’s Hunterfly Road Homes. Then cinematographer Bradford Young is exploring the concept of “god” with a video installation paying tribute to the “pioneering Black women, men, and children who embarked on countless journeys in search of refuge” at the former site of the Bethel Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church in Crown Heights.
Also, an exhibit at Stuyvesant Mansion will examine the history of black female nurses and doctors, including the United Order of Tents, New York’s first black woman OB-GYN, and the Black Panthers’ community healthcare efforts. Finally, artist collective Otabenga Jones and Associates will broadcast live jazz from a temporary radio station in the back of a 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville at Fulton and Malcolm X. For more info on the exhibits and the opening party, head over to Creative Time.
The mudslinging has begun over construction delays at Atlantic Yards, with Skanska and Forest City Ratner trading lawsuits today over issues at the first tower, B2. Forest City accuses Skanska of massive delays and cost overruns amounting to tens of millions of dollars, according to a complaint filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court. Last week, Skanska shut down its modular apartment factory at the Navy Yard and halted construction on Dean Street. Work began on the 32-story, 363-unit modular B2 tower in December 2012, and it’s risen to about 10 stories so far.
Forest City wants a judge to order Skanska to restart construction and re-open the factory. The work suspension has left 150 union employees out of work and — here’s a juicy detail revealed in the lawsuit — the project’s construction lender has temporarily stopped giving funds for a loan until it receives a new anticipated completion date, the Daily News reported. (more…)
If you live in Crown Heights, you’ve seen the bright, elaborate costumes, the stiltwalkers and the steel drums that herald the coming of the West Indian Day Parade, which happens Monday along Eastern Parkway. There’s a full schedule of events happening all weekend at the Brooklyn Museum, starting tonight with a “Caribbean Woodstock” concert featuring a long list of popular Caribbean and West Indian musicians. Tomorrow there’s a free showcase of young reggae, steel-pan, rap, dance and spoken word performers in the afternoon, and a big brass and reggae concert is slated for the evening. (more…)
Pratt is kicking off the launch of its new MFA writing program with performances and readings from local artists tomorrow. Performers include Jacques Servin, cofounder of the Yes Men; LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, interdisciplinary poet and sound artist; Celina Su, author and Associate Professor of Political Science at CUNY; Mendi Obadike, poet and a member of Pratt’s writing faculty; and Keith Obadike, composer and sound designer teaching at William Patterson University. The event will take place tomorrow from 6 to 7:30 pm at the auditorium in Pratt’s Higgins Hall at 61 St James Place (pictured).