Archive for October, 2007

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Trick or Treat Tonight

October 31, 2007

The Society for Clinton Hill is sponsoring a trick-or-treat walk for neighborhood kids tonight.  In their own words:

October 31, Children under 12, in costume, accompanied by parent can pick up the map for the 40 most generous homes at the SCH TT [Society for Clinton Hill Trick-or-Treat).  The show at 313 Clinton Avenue plays every half hour starting at about 5 pm. You will be amazed!

Maps will be handed out between 5pm and 6:30pm at the community garden at the corner of Dekalb and Hall.

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Favorite Fort Greene Dishes

October 31, 2007

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite dishes at Fort Greene spots: 

What are your favs?

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Portrait of a Greeneist: Jason Grote

October 30, 2007

Playwright and Fort Greene resident Jason Grote’s New York debut, 1001, is playing now through November 17th at the Baruch Performing Arts Center.  Described by the Village Voice as “a poignant, sometimes goofy riff on a post-modern paradox,” the play reinterprets classic stories from the East, intermixing them with ideas, events, and people of the West.  He recently spoke with Easy Being Greene about his writing and about living in Fort Greene…

 


Tell us a little bit about your career as a playwright.

1001 is my big New York City debut, even though I’ve done dozens of workshops and readings here.  Most new plays premiere regionally throughout the US before coming to NYC, and 1001 is no exception; it had its world premiere in Denver and a second production in West Virginia.  In 2008, it will receive productions in Seattle and Los Angeles.  

Locally, I have staged readings coming up at Playwrights’ Horizons and The Fire Dept. and a short Christmas play at The Brick in Brooklyn. Currently, I’m working on commissions for Ensemble Studio Theater, Clubbed Thumb, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and am contributing to Comedy Central’s “Indecision 2008″ blog.  I was also just named to the artistic advisory committee of Soho Rep. Upcoming projects include productions of other plays in Austin and Washington DC.

How did this play come to be?
Around 2003-04, I kept having weird little synchronicities with The Arabian Nights stories – references to the Thousand and One Nights or Scheherezade kept popping up in weird places.  I thought the universe was trying to tell me something.  I decided to do a version of the Arabian Nights that had weird anachronisms in it, as if the traditional tales (which most people know as stories like Aladdin, Sinbad, and Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves) had modern things like cars and computers in them.  Eventually I was led to Edward Said’s book Orientalism, which is about the creation of the Arab “Other” over
centuries of European art and literature, and I thought the play might be an interesting way to approach the topic.  On the way, I did quite a bit of research that made its way into the play.  Scheherezade’s tales in the play include appearances from Gustave Flaubert, Jorge Luis Borges, and Alan Dershowitz; a love story between a Jew and a Palestinian; a parody of Hitchcock’s Vertigo; and a dirty bomb attack on Manhattan, among many other things.  

This strikes me as a quintessentially post-9/11 work.  How did events unfolding in the world today inform 1001?
I definitely wouldn’t have written the play if not for 9/11.  Previously, I was always very interested in globalization (which plays a large role in 1001), but not necessarily about the Middle East.  In many ways, the play is a response to the events of 9/11 and what came after, much of which was and is equally traumatic.  The big event in the play is the nightmare attack that everyone in New York is living in fear of, even in small ways.  I don’t want to give away too much, but the values of the play really encapsulate my own personal response to 9/11 – joy and grief instead of fear and violence, even in the face of the most horrible events.

How did you end up in Fort Greene, and long have you lived in here?
I moved here in 2002.  I was previously living in a weird but cheap arrangement in Williamsburg, and my now-wife was in Murray Hill, in Manhattan.  I got into the graduate Dramatic Writing Program at NYU, and decided to take advantage of their housing service and my student loan money and find a place where we could both live.  Our landladies are both NYU alums.  I had been to Fort Greene a few times, but didn’t know it well; we both loved the apartment and the neighborhood.

Do you work in the neighborhood?
I write at home all of the time, but my commute is very far!  I am a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

What’s your favorite spot in Fort Greene?
My stoop!  I love my block and have some great neighbors.

1001
Written by Jason Grote, Directed by Ethan McSweeny
Running now through November 17, 2007
Baruch Performing Arts Center
55 Lexington Avenue (entrance on 25th St)
Mon-Sat 8pm, Sat at 3pm
$25 General Admission, $35 Reserved Seating

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Slow News Day: Scaffolding All Gone

October 29, 2007

Curbed reports that the remaining scaffolding has now been removed from the Williamsburgh Bank Building, but that the clocks are still not telling time…

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Update on Habana Outpost

October 26, 2007

I spoke by email to someone from Habana Outpost about the rumor that they’ll remain open this winter — sadly, they won’t.  But he did say that they are considering it for next year. 

I for one, would happily continue to frequent the restaurant in the winter.  Cravings for that veggie burrito don’t disappear with the warm weather!

Earlier: GOOD Magazine Profiles Habana Outpost (now open year round!)

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Hallo-Greene Weekend…

October 26, 2007

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Fort Greene Park: 9th Annual “Great Pupkin” Dog Costume Contest

    This one can’t be missed… Voted “Best Halloween Dog Costume Contest” in 2005 by the Village Voice, the annual contest is put on by the Fort Greene Park Users and Pets Society.
    Updated! A representative from PUPS has confirmed that the costume contest will be using the raindate,  Sunday, October 28. Thanks.
    Date: Saturday, October 27, 2007  Now on the rain date! Sunday, October 28
    Time: Registration begins at 11:30a and the contest will be from 12pm-1pm
    Where?: At the top of the hill, near the monument
    Cost? $5 to enter, proceeds go towards paying for the event.

Fort Greene Park: The Eighth Annual Halloween Festival

    If you prefer something more human, Cirque Boom Stilt Walkers and Jugglers kick off the Halloween Fest at 12:15p. There will also be hayrides, face-painting, children’s music and dance, a children’s costume parade and much much more…Date:
    Saturday, October 27th
    Time: Noon to 4:00pm
    Cost: FREE!
    See you there…
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Keur N’Deye Closes!

October 25, 2007

As reported by Eater via Eating in Translation, Keur N’Deye has closed after 17 years of serving Senegalese food on Fulton Street.

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