Capoeira Comes to Brooklyn

A circle, or roda, forms around two Capoeira players as they move to the drum beat, their fast fluid movements and swift kicks blurring the line between fighting and dance. The players are members of Omulu Capoeira Guanabara, a New York City based Capoeira group that meets regularly to train and teach others about the art of Capoeira.
Continue reading

Gibson: More Than Just a Guitar

Emanuel Gibson at home with his guitar. (Photo: Christine Streich)

Brooklyn may have a reputation for being home to fledgling musicians, but Clinton Hill resident Emanuel Gibson, 28, isn’t just another wannabe rockstar.  It may be a coincidence that he shares his surname with a world famous guitar company, but Gibson’s golden voice and skilled guitar-playing fingers would make the Gibson Guitar Corporation proud to share its name.
Continue reading

Students Complete Service Projects While Learning to Be Environmental Leaders

On Saturday, November 12, 2011, student participants in the Jane Goodall Institute’s National Roots and Shoots program met at Battery Park City School in Manhattan for an annual regional summit.  The 80 participants, who hailed from all over the Northeast region of the United States, spent their lunch hour completing service projects as part of the “One Million Hours of Service” initiative.

In the slideshow below, Roots and Shoots Youth Leadership Fellow Adrienne Bermingham provides a background on the Roots and Shoots program as well as an overview of the various service projects completed at the summit.


The Vendors’ Perspective: The Fort Greene Flea Market

The Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene, Brooklyn is a favorite weekend destination for both locals and tourists alike.  The the market, which runs through Saturday, Nov. 19, is marketed on its website as “part vintage bazaar, part hipster hang, part old-fashioned town square, and part food bonanza.”

But spending Saturdays as a vendor at the flea market isn’t always an ideal job.  Not only does a vendor’s income depend directly on what people are willing to buy, their jobs require early rising, heavy lifting, and regular standoffs against mother nature.

Eddie and His Antiques

Eddie sits on one a piece of antique furniture that he has for sale, waiting for someone to show interest in his merchandise.

Eddie, 56, is a Long Beach, NY native who has vended his antique products at the Fort Greene flea market since the market opened.  He has seen the market evolve, and as the economy worsens he finds himself bringing less and less expensive items to the flea.  The most satisfying moment for Eddie?  “When I get that cash in my hand.”
Eddie Selling His Antique Typewriter Table Ambi by CStreich

Anthony Franck the Carpet Seller

Anthony Franck stands among his carpets.

Anthony Franck, 54, of Bed-Sty spends his weeks working as a master carpenter and a mason.  But the Bed-Sty resident said construction work has been slow recently, and he is happy to be able to make some extra cash by selling carpets at the flea market.  Plus, Franck said, spending a beautiful day at the flea market beats laying sheet rock in a basement.

Anthony Franck, 54, Carpet Seller by CStreich

Franck Talks About the Weather
Carpet Seller Talks About the Weather by CStreich

Patrick “Monkey” Chirico, The Suave Business Man

Patrick "Monkey" Chirco discusses the difficulties faced by flea vendors.

Patrick “Monkey” Chirico, 28, is a true businessman.  The Williamsburg resident uses the flea market to “prototype” his product, getting feedback from the customers.  Chirico spends his weeks making connections and marketing his business, WRecords by Monkey, which sells jewelry, notebooks, and other items that are made from old records.

Patrick “Monkey” Chirico, 28, Talks About The Vendors’ POV by CStreich

Brady and Kowalski’s Typewriters, The Soundtrack of the Flea

Brady and Kowalski encourages flea market visitors to try out their typewriters.

Just across from Eddie and his antiques is the Brady and Kowalski booth vending antique typewriters.  It’s hard to miss the regular sound of the keys hitting the paper as flea market visitors stop to test out the machines.
Brooklyn Flea: Typewriter Ambi by CStreich

Budget Cuts and Schools: Citywide vs Neighborhood Effects

When President Obama announced the No Child Left Behind State Waiver Initiative, it seemed as though New York City public schools may be getting a break.

However, one fact has not changed.  Schools are being asked to increase learning standards, offer more programs, and close the achievement gap, all while their budgets get systematically cut.

Continue reading