Via the Behind the Scenes blog of the New York Historical Society we get this treat in advance of an upcoming exhibit called “BE SURE! BE SAFE! GET VACCINATED! Smallpox, Vaccination and Civil Liberties in New York.” The blog post notes: “The film is based on the real-life story of the 1947 smallpox scare in New York City. An American businessman returning from Mexico was the first to die from the disease, though he was misdiagnosed as having bronchitis. Two others were diagnosed as having smallpox soon after, and all who came in contact with them were required to be vaccinated. The New York City Health Commissioner recommended vaccination to all New Yorkers, and the city provided vaccines for free across the city. Through propaganda and public education the program became incredibly effective, all without encroaching on personal civil liberties, which wouldn’t have been the case had the city instituted mandatory vaccination. Over six million New Yorkers were immunized within a few weeks; according to CNN, ‘Doctors immunized residents at a rate of eight injections per minute – 500,000 in one day. The feared smallpox epidemic was averted.’ The last naturally-occurring case of smallpox was in 1977.”
The Horror of Smallpox! Disease and Film Noir [Behind the Scenes]

A new video called “Ikea Brooklyn: 4 Years Post-Controversy” looks at whether local fears about the big-box store coming to the neighborhood—including that it would gobble up too much prime real estate and cause traffic jams—have been proven true. The filmmaker, whose website is here, comes to the conclusion that the gorgeous waterfront park Ikea built is sadly underused. Think that’s the case?
Ikea Brooklyn: 4 Years Post-Controversy [theresident/Youtube]


The video above comes courtesy of Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, the “Battle for Brooklyn” filmmakers, and shows some Occupy protesters illuminating images and chanting about Atlantic Yards at the Atlantic Terminal Mall yesterday. Atlantic Yards Report notes: “‘This is what kleptocracy looks like,’ marchers chanted, and ‘the Illuminator’ broadcast photos of Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and former Governor George Pataki.” AY Report said it involved a few dozen folks.
Illuminate Atlantic Yards [Vimeo/Michael Galinsky]
The Occupy Movement Comes to the Barclays Center Arena [AY Report]


On Friday Councilman Vinnie Gentile organized an event to protest the soon-to-air Oxygen TV show “Brooklyn 11223,” a reality series about three female friends in Bay Ridge. Politicker, which reported on the protest, noted that politicians Carlo Scissura of Marty Markowitz’s office slammed the show for the way it portrays women. As shown in the video above, Gentile notes that the show even has the wrong Zip Code in its name (11223 is Gravesend’s Zip) and says “the producers…degrade all women and certainly denigrate women who call themselves Brooklynites and Bay Ridge-ites.” Here’s the show’s official description: “This ain’t Jersey. It’s Brooklyn. Brooklyn 11223 is a new docu-series taking viewers into the small, close-knit community of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Nothing is more important in this Brooklyn neighborhood than loyalty, respect and family. Vividly shot in a lush documentary style that showcases the urban streetscapes of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn 11223 follows the story of childhood friends Joey Lynn and Christie and their respective group of friends as they spend their summer learning about themselves, the bonds of friendship and the price of betrayal.” Click through to see a trailer for it.
Local Neighborhood Rallies Against ‘Jersey Shore’ Knockoff ‘Brooklyn 11223′ [Politicker] (more…)

Here’s a video of the press conference on Tuesday about the lawsuit over Atlantic Yards jobs. The footage, shot by Milica Petrovic, shows some of the plaintiffs saying they were promised union jobs at Atlantic Yards after completing a training program. Maurice Griffen, one of the people suing, has this to say: “They guaranteed me a union card. They said it’s not a question of if we have it, it’s just a question of if you complete the program or not.” Meanwhile, a lawyer from South Brooklyn Legal Services says the suit hinges on “contract law…if a promise is made it has to be kept…these were promises made at the Community Benefits Agreement, they were made at orientation…” Councilwoman Letitia James says the plaintiffs “were had.” Atlantic Yards Report had more video coverage of the event by Jonathan Barkey.
Lawsuit to be Filed Over Atlantic Yards Jobs [Brownstoner]

Michael Galinsky, one of the filmmakers behind the Atlantic Yards documentary “Battle for Brooklyn,” has uploaded this deleted scene from the movie to Vimeo. Galinsky says that people who have seen the film frequently ask why ACORN isn’t featured in the movie and “the answer is you can’t do everything in a 90 minute film.” This scene from the cutting room floor, though, shows an encounter between Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s Daniel Goldstein and ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis following a press conference in which Lewis is shown talking about ACORN’s support for Atlantic Yards. Things get a little heated around the 1:55-minute mark, after Goldstein tells Lewis that a lot of tenants in the project’s footprint have already been booted from their apartments. The movie is screening at Cinema Village; more info on its official site.
Bertha Lewis – ACORN scene from BfB [Vimeo]
Battle for Brooklyn [Official Site]


“Battle for Brooklyn,” the documentary about Atlantic Yards, is opening the 2011 Brooklyn Film Festival this year on June 3rd. The movie was shot over seven years and focuses on “the very public and passionate fight waged by owners and residents facing condemnation of their property to make way” for Atlantic Yards. It’s also being shown as part of Rooftop Films’ summer series on June 9th in Fort Greene Park.


Back in December, Brian Williams poked fun at the New York Times‘ coverage of Brooklyn, saying on “Morning Joe” that the media story of 2010 was the paper’s “discovery” of the borough. Now, via Huffington Post, we learn that Williams has brought an abbreviated version of the routine to taxi TVs. The spot isn’t about the paper of record’s coverage this time around but a riff on the “people watching” Brooklyn affords via its “hipsters.” Gotta wonder what a tourist would make of this!
Brian Williams Ribs Brooklyn Hipsters In New Video [Huffington Post]
‘It’s Like Marrakech Over There!’ [Brownstoner]