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The Daily Mail is based out of London, England. It is a tabloid publication and is the second such best selling publication in the area before The Sun. Started in 1896, it was one of the first publications to be […]
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When one is walking down Bedford Ave in Brooklyn, the first thing to stick out are the vast amounts of businesses that are in the area. Whether its a small cafe that specializes in fruit smoothies or a book store […]
Luis Lucero wrote a new post, BARC-ing Up The Right Neighborhood, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond 2 years, 4 months ago
One never expects to find a coop full of chickens in an animal shelter. But that’s the case in a Williamsburg animal shelter that houses the birds that used to belong to people who tried (and failed) to harvest eggs in their own home. Poultry aside, there’s many other animals up for adoption to be found in the Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition, or BARC.
Founded in 1987, this shelter is actually part of a small strip of pet related businesses in the neighborhood. To the right of the shelter is an independent veterinarian office that supports the shelter despite not working directly with them and a pet store that is directly responsible for funding the shelter and using part of their store profits to do so. Inside the shelter, potential pet owners can either go straight for the large and restless dogs, or go upstairs for smaller and more manageable animals, like small dogs, cats, and even chickens.
As with any other animal shelter, BARC is run primarily by volunteers, with a handful of full time employees on the side. One such employee is Jim, who initially started out as a volunteer before quickly making his way up to being a full-time member. “Ever since I had my first pet at eight years old, I’ve always felt attached towards animals. I just find them easier to get along with compared to people.”
When asked about how long the animals stay on average in the shelter, Jim explains that it all depends on the breed and any and all health issues. Younger animals don’t last long in the shelter. Larger breeds, and of all animals, black cats tend to stay for long periods in the shelter. He even says that there are very rare cases of animals staying in the shelter for their entire lives. A couple examples are these two old dogs that live in the upper floors of the shelter. One dog came from a puppy mill and suffered from birth defects as a result of inbreeding. Another was a rescue dog that stuck around the shelter and was definitely showing its old age by constantly wheezing and struggling to walk.
While the adopted animals usually walk out of the shelter for good, some of them still visit from time to time. Visiting the shelter on this particular day, a terrier named Jerry was dropping by for a visit. Abused by his initial owners for several years, Jerry acts very nervous and defensive amongst strangers, but very open and loving towards familiar faces.
Another volunteer named Colin, who has volunteered with the cats since 2011, also gives a few stories from the shelter. “About a year and half ago, we had a cat named ‘Sunny Boy’. While he was a great cat, he was prone to having frequent epileptic seizures. When he was adopted, Sunny Boy’s new owners have given him medical treatment and now his seizures have more or less ceased to happen. Hearing that alone was the most satisfying part of volunteering.”
While it’s a relatively small animal shelter, BARC provides a service that helps people who want a new pet and animals who are in desperate need for a place and family to call their own.
Luis Lucero wrote a new post, Community Story: Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond 2 years, 4 months ago
Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition
An animal shelter located in Williamsburg, mainly giving dogs and cats for adoption.
As far as multimedia goes, I’ll most likely go for a photo slideshow.
Luis Lucero wrote a new post, “Book Thug Nation”, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond 2 years, 5 months ago
Ever since its rebirth, Williamsburg has seen a lot of niche stores open up around the neighborhood. From the abundance of bars and cafes, to the copious amount of boutiques, there’s something in the neighborhood for anyone. For literature lovers, there’s Book Thug Nation.
Unlike a major bookstore chain, like Barnes & Noble, this small store located in a fairly quiet part of the neighborhood specializes in selling used books. From rare first editions to more recent bestsellers from the past couple years, Book Thug Nation is a great place for people to not only get a quick and cheap literary fix, but also to donate any unwanted books.
But rather than just be another small niche bookstore in the city, it also has small community events from time to time. One of the major draws is that works from independent writers and artists in the Williamsburg area. A part of the store sells several pieces of literature from said writers, be it novels or poetry collections.
There were readings and Q&A sessions with the authors several occasions since the store’s opening. Aside from that, there were also various evenings in which the hosts would throw a weekly screening party that would have the owners invite customers to join them in watching movies with a side of pizza and drinks.
As for the name “Book Thugs”, according to co-owner Corey Eastwood, it comes from book dealers who would wait for days on end to get into the book sales held in suburban areas that usually began early. Also, when preparing to open the store back, Eastwood and three other friends used their experiences of selling used books on the neighborhood streets. Using this, they opened the store in Williamsburg in 2009.
Despite being a small space, it has books in a wide variety of genres, from science fiction and music, to film and literature classics. Throughout the cramped sections of the store, various selections from authors of all walks of life are on display. In the center, there’s a small cart devoted to selling several popular fantasy and sci-fi novels such as Watership Down and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones saga.
Near the entrance are several milk crates packed with vintage LPs. While several genres of music are included, an entire crate is focused on The Beatles and each of the member’s respective solo careers. The back of the store has a vinyl player that plays various selections from the LP crates, from jazz to rock.
Considering their vast amount of used books that they’re selling, each of the four owners have a vast amount of knowledge of the books to the point where they don’t even need to keep their catalog on a computer. All a customer needs to do is ask for a certain title and the staff can find it in a quick amount of time. Also common in the store are the staff and customers getting into long and in depth conversations on a variety of topics. This casual atmosphere radiates through the small space of the store and it’s also one of the biggest draws amongst loyal customers.
While it’s fairly hidden in a rapidly changing neighborhood, Book Thug Nation is a unique bookstore that is full of personality and charm that is sorely lacking in most major bookstores across the country.
(Since the owner didn’t feel comfortable with me taking pictures of the store, here’s a slideshow of pictures from the website)
Luis Lucero wrote a new post, Norman Issacs Profile, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond 2 years, 5 months ago
The phrase “being at the right place at the right time” has never had more meaning than right now in the neighborhood of Williamsburg. In the case of Norman Isaacs, his arrival in Williamsburg was also the result of another neighborhood going through drastic changes. Isaacs is a self proclaimed music lover. Whether it’s rock, blues, jazz, or classical, he enjoys any type of musical genre, so long as it results in great music.
From an early age, Issacs knew that his future would involve working with music. In the late ‘60s, he joined a rock band and served as their bass guitarist. The gig, as fun as he remembers it, didn’t last very long and he ended up dropping out of the band in the early ‘70s, citing a difficulty being able to schedule his time with the band. Several years later, he soon decided to open up a record store in Manhattan.
The store, known as Norman’s Sound and Vision, became a cult hit in Greenwich Village and inspired him to open two more stores in the borough. Initially, the store’s music catalog was provided with his own collection, but over the years, the store has received a significant influx of donations from people who were either moving out of the neighborhood and wanting to sell of some of their belongings or just by those who didn’t feel like holding on to some of their records.
In the early days of the store, Issacs carried CDs just like any other store, since they were considered the main standard for physical music. Then, vinyl records started gaining more of a cult following amongst young people. “I’m not going to lie. When I found out that vinyl made a comeback, it surprised me. Here I was, expecting digital to completely kill the music scene.” Issacs says that vinyl is probably to only true way of listening to music, since it forces listeners to hear all the tracks in one sessions rather than giving them the luxury of skipping through to a certain track they want to listen to. Sure enough, a big chunk of the store now consists of vinyl albums, both new and used.
But over the past few years, demographics in that part of the city have changed dramatically, resulting in several of the small businesses to either relocate or flat out shut down. “When I was just starting over in the Village, there were plenty of music fans. Now there’s a lot of businessmen and lawyers who would rather head over to the country club and play some golf. instead of going a record store and browse some LPs”. The final straw came for Issacs in 2012 when the landlord of the building raised his rent. He soon closed down all three of his Manhattan stores and decided to move his business to another neighborhood in the city.
Later that year, Issacs set up shop in Williamsburg. He says that it was his only natural choice since its demographics were more or less the same as the original East Village. “I really focused on finding a neighborhood that would have low rent and would have the right customers. Williamsburg looked like it would fit the bill.” At first, the store had a hard time getting its business numbers back to its original Village numbers. “For one thing, there aren’t as many tourists in Williamsburg as there were in the Village. But business from independent musicians and locals still continues to be as high as back in the Village days.” Similar to the Village, a big chunk of the new store still consists of LPs, new and used. While a wide variety of genres and artists are available, amongst the most popular acts that are featured in the store’s catalog include such classic rockers such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. Aside from having original pressings of the vinyl copies, Isaacs also takes it upon himself to stock the new vinyl re-releases when they are put out.
Recently, Isaacs has taken part in the annual Record Store Day event since its beginning in 2008. While he has been open to idea of having small record stores like his honored for a day, he has soon grown annoyed with the amount of special promotional material that was given out specifically for Record Store Day. “At first, it started out as a nice little event. Then it became an event that saw record labels decide to make a quick buck by offering albums and singles that are really nothing all that special except for someone looking to sell it for a high price on eBay.”
While music today is now more or less completely digital, Norman Isaacs still feels that there is still a market out there for people who want to buy music on a vinyl LP. And considering that he opened his record store in a rapidly growing neighborhood like Williamsburg, it appears that he will be in the neighborhood selling music for a long time catering to a popular niche.
Luis Lucero commented on the post, NEIGHBORHOOD PITCH: BRIGHTON BEACH, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond 2 years, 6 months agoIn reply to: Lynette Grodskiy wrote a new post, NEIGHBORHOOD PITCH: BRIGHTON BEACH, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond Brighton Beach is home to hundreds of small shops, 50 plus origins, one […] View
Judging by this proposal and the subsequent presentation in class, it looks like you’ve got this topic down perfectly. As everyone else already stated, you should put emphasis on the economic situation over in Brighton.
Luis Lucero wrote a new post, Community Board, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond 2 years, 6 months ago
The neighborhood of Williamsburg is represented by Brooklyn Community Board 1.
Luis Lucero commented on the post, Analysis of Coca-Cola Anthem Campaign Ad, on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond 2 years, 7 months agoIn reply to: Roz Bernstein wrote a new post, E.B. White Reading (Question), on the site Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond Question: E. B. White’s Here is New York was published in 1949. How has it dated? […] View
As the commenter stated, nobody in 2014 New York would actually know, let alone care about where and when a certain person was executed. Another part of the piece that makes it outdated was the predominantly European ethnicities in Manhattan. Nowadays, culture groups from all over the world can be seen throughout the borough.
In my updated…[Read more]