Op/Ed: Getting Gay Married is Good for the Economy—and the Neighborhood

Men kissing at recent New York Gay Pride Parade, 2011. Photo by Eric Wol man

Men kissing at recent New York Gay Pride Parade, 2011. Photo by Eric Wolman

Interview with Teresa Toro

WG: According to financial analysts, New York will be impacted in a very positive way by the new gay marriage legislation. It could bring in millions? TT: Everyone understands that weddings are a billion dollar industry. With same-sex couples in the mix, and New York not requiring residency for same-sex marriages, we should definitely see a major boost in the local economy. In June 2011, the Huffington Post noted: “In a 2007 report, former city Comptroller Bill Thompson found gay marriage would pump $142 million into the economy of New York City alone.” Our city government recently announced its “I Do” campaign to encourage same-sex couples to marry here. It’s on the official nyc Guide online.  More > >

Mary Poppins playing @ East River State Park tonight

Town Square’s next SUMMERSTARZ 2011 family evening at the EAST RIVER STATE PARK (N 8th Street & Kent Avenue, Brooklyn) is TONIGHT, THURSDAY, JULY 28.  Come enjoy this wonderful FREE program for kids & families, starting at 6 pm with tumbling activities by Ms J and Town Square Chess.  Tonight, we have a special treat with two live performances:  the Brooklyn Jazz Rebellion, a big band (as in +17 players!), will perform at 6 pm and The Rock Doves, a wonderful children’s rock group, at 7 pm – all followed at sunset by MARY POPPINS, a classic magical musical about a nanny and her young charges.

Brooklyn Cupcakes and Brooklyn Taco will be selling yummy cupcakes and tacos, all homemade in Brooklyn!

Movie Review: Hood to Coast—a Woodstock of running races

In the documentary "Hood To Coast" Thunder N' Laikaning's Jason running his last leg

In the documentary "Hood To Coast" Thunder N' Laikaning's Jason running his last leg of 197-mile relay race.

By Philippe Theise

Hood to Coast | Dirs. Christoph Baaden & Marcie Hume | 102min | Doc | 2011 | US

IndieScreen through Thurs, 7/21  8pm

Hood to Coast, a documentary playing through Thursday at IndieScreen, follows four 12-person teams as they participate in a 197-mile relay race in Oregon. The event, which began in 1982 and attracted 12,000 runners in 2008, has evolved into what one commentator calls a “Woodstock on wheels” (the teams travel in vans). A Phish show in running shoes would be just as accurate: preppy fraternity brothers, friendly punks with dyed hair, Old & in the Way men, and lots of other unpredictable characters crowd the gorgeous roads of the route.

Starting 6,000 feet up on Mt. Hood and ending at the Pacific Ocean, the race consists of 36 legs of varying difficulty. Each runner does three, the third on little sleep, suboptimal food, and as one veteran points out, little physical energy. It’s at this point, he says, that spirit enters the equation, because a runner can’t finish the race without it. Plenty of spirit is evident in teams such as Thunder N’ Laikaning, convivial animators from Portland who decide that pub night is their kind of training run; Dead Jocks in a Box, a clan of fit but fading pranksters; Heart ‘N Sole, women over 50 who learn CPR after a teammate’s near death on the course the year before; and R. Bowe, a group of family and friends running to honor and grieve for their namesake, Ryan, who died a month before the 2007 race.  More > >

BOE: watermelons & bing cherries will dance on your tongue

BOE Riesling

I gathered a few friends for an impromptu tasting of Alie Shaper’s (of Brooklyn Oenology) summer wines last night. The group consisted of socially responsible, wine-loving people of diverse ages—no high-falutin’ flaw/fault-hunting critics or winos (as far as we knew). Here are the results: The guys liked the Shindig best, a dry, crisp white wine which is a blend: 90% Vidal Blanc and 10% Riesling. It’s very crisp, with a hint of lemon and green apples, the perfect accompaniment for seafood or salads. The girls picked the 2010 “Friend” Riesling as their favorite, sweet, yet complex, with summer fruit notes: lemons? pineapples? honey? The group also liked the 2009 Social Club White; it’s a well-priced Chardonnay with notes of apples, papaya, mineral and a hint of ginger. The 2009 Cabernet Franc Rose could be a crowd pleaser at summer parties, as it’s light and refreshing; a real thirst quencher; watermelons and bing cherries will dance on your palate. Several years ago, Shaper, an aerospace engineer from Long Island, joined the Brooklyn artisanal food movement and went into the wine making business. She founded Brooklyn Oenology, created eight different wines in a few short years and today they are served at over forty restaurants in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. Among them are Momofuku Noodle Club, Back Forty, Tribeca Grill, Fette Sau, Buttermilk Channel, The Palm House at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and M.Wells, a celebrated eatery in Queens. Brooklyn Oenology has a tasting room in Williamsburg, where one can sample all of her wines (by the glass or a flight of three) plus a few from other winemakers. The wines are as local as you can get. The grapes are from Long Island and the Finger Lakes region, and the product is made and bottled in North Fork, Long Island. So if you’re curious about what a distilled New York countryside tastes like, Brooklyn Oenology’s tasting room is located at 209 Wythe Ave. Give Alie’s wines a twirl. —Mary Yeung Brooklyn Oenology tasting room 209 Wythe Avenue Brooklynoenology.com 718.599.1259

A Mom’s World Tour starts w/ a dream + a blog

Bushwick writer Melissa Banigan and her daughter.

I’ve just started a new blog, “BREAK OUT OF BUSHWICK,”—the planning process for a long-term educational trip around the world with my daughter.  Perhaps your readers would be interested in hearing more about it?  I’d certainly appreciate you mentioning it on your blog.

The first entry “Independence Day”:

Don’t miss TWO amazing FREE KIDS’ CONCERTS in July & August:

Friday, July 15, 10:30 am
McCarren Park, Brooklyn
Lorimer St / Nassau Ave

Experience the thunderous rhythms of the ancestral Japanese Taiko drums. Roughly translated, Taiko means “big drums”—and that’s exactly what Taikoza delivers!

Friday, August 19, 10:30 am
PS 31 Playground, Brooklyn
Lorimer St between Calyer St & Meserole Ave

Ballet Los Pampas combines folklore, music, and tango, the legendary Argentine dance in an exhilarating program for kids and adults.! Each show lasts for about an hour.  Please bring a towel and a hat for the ground can be damp and the sun can be bright.

For more information, please contact the Greenpoint Y (718.389.3700):

kimberlyd@ymcanyc.org or
Town Square (347.559.1410),

Rain venue is the Greenpoint Y (99 Meserole Ave between Manhattan Ave & Lorimer St).
Town Square LIVE is made possible by the generosity of NYC CM Stephen Levin & NYC CM Diana Reyna.