Archive for the ‘Brooklyn’ Category

In fact after listening to samples from the Tiny masters Of Today’s earlier releases, I’m not convinced that young man could play his guitar at all prior to the recording of their current album, Skeletons.

Regardless, there is something to a child act that can achieve credibility in so rich an indie punk scene as Brooklyn’s. The Beastie Boys (who received a major nod in the video above) would seem like the obvious comparison. They also started as a NYC punk act, getting their first taste of local notoriety at 14 and 15 years old. Ada and Ivan were 10 and 12 years old when Newsweek picked up on the home-made music tracks on their Myspace page going semi-viral.

At 13 and 15, they’ve now released two full length studio albums and also two EPs, and will be performing at this year’s Siren Music Festival on Coney Island.


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Keeth Smart is flying to New York on Monday to begin his new life at Columbia Business School. He is carrying an Olympic silver medal for fencing.

In addition to winning the silver medal Sunday in men’s sabre, ending with a 45-37 loss to France, the United States won five other medals here. The women, among them Smart’s sister, Erinn, won a silver medal in foil, and they also won a bronze in sabre.

“This is the greatest performance in American fencing, and I am proud to be part of it,” Keeth Smart said.

In the first round of team competition Sunday, Smart went last, with the Americans trailing Hungary, 40-36. He then outpointed Zsolt Nemcsik, 9-4, to allow the United States to advance. In the semifinals, the Russians held a 40-35 lead, but Smart outpointed Stanislav Pozdnyakov, another experienced fencer, 10-4, to give the United States a 45-44 victory.

“Keeth Smart is our hero,” said James Williams, another American fencer. “He had those two losses in Athens, and he was so brave today.”

Smart, who turned 30 on July 29, is a graduate of St. John’s University. He grew up in Brooklyn and was attracted to fencing when his father, Thomas, read that Peter Westbrook, a 1984 bronze medalist, was running a program for city children. Erinn Smart, now 28 and a graduate of Barnard College, followed her brother into the sport, as New York became a magnet for young fencers.

The women have made more of a mark than the men. In 2004, Zagunis won the gold medal in women’s sabre, and Jacobson won a bronze. But Keeth Smart has been the leader of this generation.

“People don’t realize how much he brought to fencing,” said Tim Morehouse, another New York fencer who was part of the silver-winning team Sunday. “This is a coming-out party for U.S. fencing. We never did anything before.”

Congratulations Keeth and Erinn!

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The Daily News interviewed Pakistani immigrants in my Brooklyn neighborhood for a story in today’s paper.

It’s not surprising that Pakistanis in the US would dislike Musharraf but it’s pretty rare that Little Pakistan is ever mentioned in the news. So I’ll indulge myself and take a moment to talk about what I think is one of the terrific perks of living where I live.

Little Pakistan is a working-class and family oriented immigrant neighborhood that established itself on a rather unaesthetic, mostly commercial length of Coney Island Avenue. It spills over into the neighborhoods on either side; Kensington on the west is mostly Russian, Jewish and Carribean and Ditmas Park on the east is gentrifying and in it’s current state is very diverse – a less common neighborhgood trait in Brooklyn than most people probably know. The entrance to my apartment building is one block off CIA on the Ditmas Park side.

The Pakistanis are friendly neighbors and welcoming business owners. I’m always recognized in their shops and restaurants and never made to feel like an outsider in the little niche they’ve carved out for themselves. I will admit that regularly seeing women in full burkahs took a little getting used to, but now I barely notice them. Little or no crime emanates from their community and on the whole their presence only benefits the greater area that I consider my neighborhood.

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Today is the 8th annual Siren Music festival at Coney Island. An all day free concert featuring multiple bands performing on two stages. Its easily my favorite Brooklyn event and with the future of Coney Island sadly uncertain, I don’t know how many more Siren Festivals there will be. I’ll be sure to post lots of photos when I get back.

Check the link under “Pages” on the right for my photos from the day or just click here.

Update II
Here’s a link to The Village Voice’s photos. A more comprehensive offering than mine.

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From my neighborhood, Ditmas Park, in Brooklyn.

Brother-sister fencing stars Keeth and Erinn Smart, of Brooklyn, were two of four New Yorkers to clinch spots on the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team.

Keeth Smart, who attended St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y., is a two-time Olympic team member and two-time Olympian. A five-time world championship eam member, Smart was NCAA Saber Champion in 1999 and 1997.

At 6 feet tall, Smart, 29, maintains a full-time job in the finance department at Verizon and began his fencing career through the Peter Westbrook Foundation at the New York Fencer’s Club in 1990 after his father saw a newspaper article advertising the club.

Keeth’s sister, Erinn, started fencing lessons at the Peter Westbrook Foundation about six months before her brother. A Barnard College of Columbia University graduate, Erinn, 28, is a three-time national champion and a bronze medalist in the 2001 Senior World’s Women’s Foil Squad. Her coach is Buckie Leach.

Best of luck, Keeth and Erinn, you’ve already done Ditmas Park proud.

Hat Tip: Ditmas Park Blog

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