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It’s that time of year when Brooklynites can decide how their tax dollars will be spent by attending participatory budgeting meetings on transit, parks, arts and education. Councilmember Brad Lander’s office has organized five meetings between now and the end of the month, to which anyone can come and suggest projects that deserve funding in the 39th Council District. (Here’s a map of the district, which encompasses Columbia Street Waterfront, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope, Kensington, Ditmas Park, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Park, Windsor Terrace and Borough Park.)

Projects funded by the last round of budgeting included laptop carts for elementary school students, street safety improvements on 4th Avenue, a green roof at the Windsor Terrace Library (pictured) and an outdoor plaza at the John Jay Educational Campus in Park Slope. Click through to see the schedule and how to RSVP. (more…)

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An arts and crafts market called “The Flock” is taking over a newly opened park on Pitkin Avenue in East New York this Saturday, giving more than 20 local vendors a space to sell their work. Visitors will be able to buy clothing, ceramics, paintings and jewelry, as well as food and drinks.

There will also be live painting, music, an interactive community mural, face painting and art workshops for children and adults. The market will take place from 1 to 6 pm on October 11 at Mi Tierra, located at 2501 Pitkin Avenue. Community groups worked to transform the vacant 10,000-square-foot plot at Pitkin and Berriman into a park, which opened in mid-August.

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Brooklyn Museum has just opened its “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed Stuy, and Beyond” exhibit, which highlights 35 local artists through three months of exhibitions, performances and activities. The exhibit, which opened Friday, features work in virtually every medium, including video, sculpture, painting, drawing, installation and performance.

The museum will host a working farm, a greenmarket from local farmers, a life-size equestrian sculpture made of cork onto which visitors can pin notes, a panorama composed of 365 consecutive views of the sky, and a photography series documenting the forced and voluntary migrations of an African American family. This month there will also be a historical walking tour of Flatbush Avenue, a bicycle-powered generator, and an outing on Newtown Creek with the North Brooklyn Boat Club.

Check out the museum’s calendar page for the full schedule, and read the press release to see the full list of artists.

Photo by Bedford+Bowery

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The EPA has been warning since 2012 that the Gowanus Canal Superfund cleanup might require digging up Gowanus’ only public park and swimming pool to install tanks to catch overflow sewage. That scenario is looking more likely — and neighbors are not pleased – following an announcement Tuesday by the City’s Department of Environmental Protection that it has narrowed the list of possible sites for the sewage tanks to just two. Those are Thomas Greene Park and Double D Pool or the “salt lot” on 2nd Avenue and 5th Street next to the Gowanus Canal.

The Friends of Douglass Greene Park issued a statement today, not its first, against the siting of the tanks in the park and is again circulating its petition to save the pool. But if the EPA does decide to dig up the public space, the community group demands a “seamless transition” to park and pool facilities somewhere nearby.

Photo by Park Slope Patch

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Get your architecture, design and history fix for the next few weeks with Archtober, a month-long festival of architecture activities with tours and exhibits all over Brooklyn. BLDG 92 at the Navy Yard is offering bike tours on the Yard’s sustainable architecture and industry, as well as walking tours of the complex’s more industrial tenants, such as metalworkers and recycled glass countertop makers.

The American Architecture Institute (AIA) will also lead tours of Navy Green, an affordable housing development in Clinton Hill, Kings County Distillery and the Brooklyn Army Terminal, above. And you can explore Stuyvesant Heights, Cobble Hill and Gowanus with the knowledgeable tour guides from the Municipal Arts Society. Look through the whole schedule on Archtober’s website.

Photo by Karen Johnson

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The Crown Heights North 7th Annual House Tour takes place this Saturday. Highlights include the Bedford Central Church on Nostrand and an original Kinko-style home built by the Kings and Westchester Land Company. Altogether there will be eight homes, two churches and the Bergen Community Garden.

The self-guided tour starts at 10:45 am on Saturday with a continental breakfast and opening ceremony at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church (pictured), on the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and St. Johns Place. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the tour. They’re available on CHNA’s website, at Barbara’s Flowers at 1096 Bergen Street, or at Yanatiba at 714 Washington Avenue. 

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Gowanus-based nonprofit 596 Acres, which helps transform vacant lots across all five boroughs into community gardens, is hosting a fundraising gala in Dumbo this Thursday, complete with a pig roast, live music, tattoos and palm readings. After three years of helping communities navigate city agencies and approvals, the 596 Acres is in danger of shutting down, an organizer told us. The nonprofit has fostered gardens in 28 vacant lots, including 10 this year.

The “Mapping Matters” gala will feature a pig roast by chef Erika Nakamura, veggie sandwiches from Foragers, pita and salads from Sahadi’s, an open bar and Latin Balkan music from Consumata Sonidera. Guests can enjoy a raffle, dance party, palm readings, tattoos, hair trims and ‘dos, and personal map creations by artist J MacDonald. The party will happen this Thursday, October 2 at 7 pm at Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo. Tickets are $50 and up.

Flyer via 596 Acres

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See the oldest Brooklyn subway station house, gravestones in Dutch and the original Ebinger’s Bakery plus, of course, historic neighborhoods and houses on a tour of Ditmas Park and Flatbush tomorrow led by Kevin Walsh, who blogs at Forgotten New York and Brownstoner Queens.

The tour starts at noon at Avenue H station house for the Q train (on the Manhattan-bound side of the station), located at Avenue H and East 16th Street. Tickets are $20 or $15 for members of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, which helps fund the tour. More details here or RSVP by emailing info@astorialic.org. 

Image by Forgotten New York

dumbo arts fest

The Dumbo Arts Festival transforms the normally sleepy streets near the waterfront into a celebration of art and performance this weekend. The free event is expected to draw over 200,000 people to Dumbo, where they’ll find installations tucked into every corner and more than 100 open artist studios. Highlights include Dumbo’s industrial history explained through stencils on the railroad tracks, a hydroponic tomato plant sculpture paying tribute to Dr. Seuss’s Trufula Tree, and a traveling dance party with music played from a street vendor cart. It starts Friday evening from 6 to 9 pm and runs through Sunday at 6 pm. Head over to Dumbo Arts Festival for more details or download the full festival guide for the schedule of events and a map.

Photo via Dumbo Arts Festival

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In response to Eric Garner and Ferguson, BRIC and Brooklyn Independent Media are hosting a community town hall on how race and policing affect the civil rights of Brooklynites. Panelists include Councilmember Jumaane Williams; Esmerelda Simmons, Executive Director Center for Law & Social Justice at Medgar Evers College; Lumumba Bandele, Senior Community Organizer for Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Rinku Sen, Publisher of Colorlines and Executive Director of Race Forward; and Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of Arab American Association. 

Brian Vines of Brooklyn Independent Media will moderate, and the event takes place from 7 to 8:30 pm in the 240-seat BRIC House Ballroom at 647 Fulton Street on Tuesday, October 14. The free event will also be broadcast on Brooklyn Independent Media.

And next week, two demographers from the City Planning Department will come to Brooklyn Historical Society to explore our borough’s shifting racial and ethnic groups. Joseph Salvo, Director of the Population Division at City Planning, and his colleague Peter Lobo will talk about the major demographic changes in recent years, as well as the challenges Brooklyn will face in the coming decades. It’s happening next Thursday, October 2 at BHS at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $10 or $5 for members.

Designer James Victore created this fascinating video tour of typography in Brooklyn and Queens, with a particular focus on signs in Williamsburg. He praises font choices at a few well-known ‘Burg restaurants, critiques the J.Crew mural painted by graffiti artist Greg LaMarche, and talks about why we use Helvetica. The video was made to promote three events for designers and font lovers at Makeshift Society in Brooklyn. The “Working Late” events will happen from 7 to 9 pm on October 2 and 14 and November 11 at 55 Hope Street.

Video: A Font Tour of Brooklyn and Queens [Gothamist]

From We Live in Brooklyn Baby.Photo by Nema Etebar

Photoville kicks off tomorrow evening in Brooklyn Bridge Park with 60 shipping container exhibits, photography workshops, artist talks and an exhibition showcasing 30 years of Brooklyn street photography curated by photographer Jamel Shabazz. United Photo Industries collaborated with Shabazz, a Red Hook and Flatbush native who’s been documenting the city’s street life for 30 years, to create a powerful collection of images depicting life in Brooklyn from the 1980s through today. (The photo above, by Nema Etebar, is part of the installation.)

The installation, “We Live in Brooklyn, Baby,” will open tomorrow at 7:30 during Photoville’s opening celebration. There will also be seven days worth of workshops and talks on topics ranging from how photographers can market themselves to photographing war zones. You can check out all the Photoville exhibits and events at the Pier 5 uplands at Brooklyn Bridge Park through September 28.

Photo by Nema Etebar