Fashion Dynasty: Antoinette Vintage

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Lexi Oliveri owner of Antoinette Vintage, wears a vintage skirt, an American Apparel top, Pedro Garcia shoes, a Nixon watch, and vintage bracelet. In the shop (clockwise): antique wooden belt buckle case displays earrings c. 50s-80s ($20-$100); 80s mint green pumps by Nine West ($50); armoir drawer of handbags ($30-$48); suitcase of clutches, chain purses, men’s wallets ($10-$30); Lexi’s Pedro Garcia shoes; (center) man’s bow tie ($25); (circle): 80s western maxi with cowboy print ($50).
PHOTOS BY BEN ROSENZWEIG

By Francesca Moisin

Lexi Oliveri remembers playing dress-up with the stash of old clothes in her parents’ attic. “My dad grew up poor in Brooklyn, my mom in the Bronx, and they both mastered a mentality for conserving everything,” she says. Then Oliveri became a teenager, and that cornucopia of retro frocks, skirts, pants, and tops became embarrassing. “I hid the vast collection from my friends, because I thought it made my mom look like a pack rat.” Yet it was this very dedication to accumulation that enabled her to launch the 415-square-foot Grand Street shop, Antoinette Vintage, two years ago. Almost every piece she now sells was sourced from those familiar garment racks, which is why the uniquely curated boutique bears her mother’s name. One could say a passion for fashion preservation is encoded in Oliveri’s genes. One might call it destiny.

In the 1950s, Antoinette worked for Lilly Daché, the most celebrated milliner of her time, who famously designed hats for Marlene Dietrich, and turned the turban into a head-wrap coveted by women around the globe. Even after quitting Manhattan for New Jersey to raise Lexi and four older siblings, Antoinette still made special city trips to browse flea markets and five-and-dimes. “Fashion was my mother’s art, and I think she always hoped I’d one day find a way to display it,” muses Oliveri.

Weeks before she opened her doors, boyfriend JT Sroka and buddy Gavin Compton, owner of the Variety cafés on Graham and Driggs avenues, installed wide hardwood floorboards. Friends and neighbors painted walls and hung French damask paper near the dressing room. With one night to go, everyone worked until dawn, pricing merchandise and sprucing décor. “From the start, I wanted to be part of the community and not exist as a lone shop,” says the FIT grad. “Now I host pop-up animal adoption stands for BARC shelter, and sweep the stoop of the tattoo parlor next door!”

Good things happen inside, too, where shelves burst with shoes, jewelry, handbags, and apparel dating from 1900 to 1994, the cut-off for what Oliveri considers antique. She drools over a pair of camel-colored, linen gaucho pants ($70) once worn by Mom (“I wish I was tall enough to look good in them”) and a late-70s Joan Walters–inspired jumpsuit ($70) recently purchased by The Americans, an FX series about Cold War KGB spies. “It’s so fun when film and TV costume departments come calling,” says the 36-year-old entrepreneur. Garments will grace Keira Knightley in Can a Song Save Your Life?—due to hit theaters this spring—but the famous aren’t her only fans. Japanese and Australian tourists read about the space in special guides and consistently stop to stock up on vintage that’s too costly at home—like an early twentieth-century metal and rhinestone cameo, the oldest bauble in the boutique, passed to Antoinette from a family friend and priced fairly at $70. Apart from winter fur coats, in fact, every item is under $100. “My mom was an organized hoarder, and I no longer mind,” says Oliveri. “Without her, none of this would have been possible.”

Antoinette Vintage
119 Grand Street
(718) 387-8664

There’s Looking Good, and There’s Looking Better—Men Tailoring it Up a Notch

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The CADET USA menswear boutique team co-creators & co-owners Raul Arevalo and Brad Schmidt, found the vintage jacket at the Brooklyn Flea. The buttons on the jacket say “CADET.” It was a big source of inspiration for them. Their Aviator Pant is their signature pant based on a vintage US Air Force pant. Their store is located at 46 N. 6th St in Williamsburg, and their apparel factory is located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Cadet Website CADET Photos by Jason Falchook / Model Randall Harris


By Kelley Shields / Photos by Victoria Stillwell

What is driving the rash of men-centric retail environments in this area, such as barber shops/shaving parlors and higher-end apparel boutiques like Barber & Supply, HW Carter & Sons, Cadet, Robinson Brooklyn, Genuine Motorworks and By Robert James? Could it have something to do with the “recovering” economy?

It could, depending on how one looks at current available stats, but bear in mind that data on unemployment is rampantly skewed by age, ethnicity, data collection time frames—you name it. So maybe the bump up in male-destination retail growth in our area does not really have too much to do with female unemployment surpassing male joblessness for the first time in six years, as reported by the New York Times in January. It would probably be too simplistic to associate guys suddenly having a .1 % advance in employment over gals with the sudden surge in this sector of retail offerings in our area.

Perhaps, then, it has to do with shifts in the gender division in the ongoing tide of new residents. What do those stats look like?

Well, they are pretty close, as reported by citymelt.com, a demographics data site. The figures are close enough, in fact, to suggest that the activity in the retail sector showcasing male assortments and/or services could not be related to a marked difference in population values by gender. In zip 11211, the population is split fairly evenly: 44,522 males and 45,595 females. And in zip 11222, there is an even smaller gap between the two sexes: 18,415 males and 18, 519 females.

CADET Patrol Shirt with matching Patrol Tie and Patrol Pant.

So what is fueling this almost frenetic pace of retail men-centricity?

The associate working the register on a recent Thursday afternoon at Barber & Supply tried to answer my question: “It’s just a trend, and like any other trend it’s related to demand, like all the Americana restaurants opening up.” He also commented on their other Barber & Supply locations in Manhattan, thereby qualifying, I suppose, his statement about demand; on this particular day, and at this particular time, the chairs were empty, employees draped across them chatting with each other. I will concede that on other days, at off-work hours, the chairs are likely occupied, and the beautiful wood waiting-bench is probably full. The only problem I have with his answer is that trends don’t manifest out of nowhere. There is generally something that topples the first domino.

Maybe it has to do with a shift in the historically (read: possibly outdated) female prerogatives of, 1) shopping for pleasure, and 2) curating one’s self image; that is, literally projecting the perception being sought through choices in wardrobe, hair, makeup, body art, jewelry, etc.

Justin, the store manager of HW Carter & Sons, offered his observation that dandyism was most recently revived around the time the influence of two pop icons—Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss—was cresting, pointing out that both figures emanated a powerful opposing energy to their idol category. He was a beautiful boy, and she, a thoroughly non-voluptuous woman. Perhaps the celebration of sexual duality within a single gender was responsible for setting the stage for the dandy’s concerns to not only return, but to thrive. And thrive they have, for some time. It would be a mistake to infer that because shops like By Robert James and Robinson Brooklyn (both labels already established in Manhattan with doors recently opening here in Williamsburg around the same time HW Carter & Sons did) have cropped up in Williamsburg at this time, that dandyism is suddenly a thing again. To Justin’s point “it” has been a thing for a while, citing the long-running success of the RRL label as an example, a brand he feels perhaps HW Carter’s fall assortment shared at least some customer crossover with.

ALTER MEN’S STORE male model wears Globe Crock ó Clock shirt, charcoal blazer, military street cap, ALTER pocket square, Spitfire Modernist sunglasses; Woman wearing men’s clothing: ALTER Shades of Grey Zebra Head Jacket, Shades of Grey crew neck tee. MALE MODEL: GEORGE RICHARDS / STYLING: ALTER
FEMALE MODEL: SHIMENG ZHOU

BROOKLYN TAILORS Grey and White
Striped Shirt. Female model wearing man’s shirt.

HOLLANDER & LEXER RJ Shirt in Blue, Rosario Tie in White Check; HOLLANDER & LEXER Natural Pant / accessories: Rosario Tie with Print, Multi-Cowrie Shell, Black Leather Bracelet with Claws, Woven Cream Bracelet , Leather Double and Single Buckle Bracelets.

That assessment explained a lot to me, paired with his observation that his customer base is densely weighted by tourists from the also relatively new (and swank) local hotels. The takeaway is this: residents of Manhattan and points elsewhere are coming here both to shop for things they are familiar with, and for a little fun thrown in, the fun of “discovering” something new.

The area’s fate is sealed. It is well on its way to being Soho-ized. With Racked’s confirmation of leases being signed by Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, and Anthropologie, someone ought to be working on a tear-jerker of a eulogy: “RIP Williamsburg. From those of us that knew you from way back. It has been a beautiful run.”

Re-enter the demand theory, which I find on some level anemic as the complete answer, in that demand is collateral; meaning, it is a response to something. Unsatisfied in my quest to identify the progenitor of “what” is behind this response/surge in male-focused retail activity, I went shopping for some more perspective. I dropped in to Alter Men, possibly the pioneer of the male destination retail trend in this area, established on Franklin Avenue in 2007, and talked shop for a bit with Gordon and George. I also stopped by Hollander & Lexer, a brand first established in Manhattan in ’06, with their Metropolitan Avenue location opening in 2009, and chatted with Manny. I asked them what they thought was driving the growth in men’s-only shops in the neighborhood, and if they felt it was helping or hurting their businesses.

Manny, of Hollander & Lexer, feels there has been a growing interest in men’s wear in general over the past two years due largely to his observation that the volume of male celebrity icons is surpassing females for the first time in a long while. He thinks this has influenced the editorial coverage of men’s fashion and pushed male wardrobing and body care past the previous metrosexual ideal; his sense is that more males than ever now feel comfortable admitting they want to look good.

Gordon and George, of Alter, have not noticed any change—negative or positive—in their business (which looks very healthy from the density of shoppers trying on, cashing out, and perusing racks the Sunday afternoon I was there) since the arrival of the newbies. Their take on what is driving the growth and how it might affect things is demand-based. Gordon believes that filling a population’s need is usually the fuel feeding the fire of any growth, adding amusingly (referencing the glass towers that rim Kent Avenue and perforate the surrounding blocks), “After all, Wall Street needs to be dressed…”

Brad, one half of the gorgeous Cadet enterprise, suggested the surge in demand is most probably a reflection of an insufficient assortment of offerings in the area. Without a doubt, Cadet will make shorter work of searching for well-made, simultaneously elegant and classic, well-priced men’s clothing. To top it off, they also have a Community-Conscience (my term for keeping it local): their factory is in Brooklyn.

Penultimate pioneers on the men’s apparel scene, the Brooklyn Tailors team began their bespoke operation way back in ’07, out of their apartment, opening their storefront in 2011. Client services rep Justin and I talked about the flurry of haberdashery-esque activity. His take is that the male population that arrived here during the first wave of gentrification arrived young; they have since matured and recognize the need for classic, expertly fit clothes with a superior make. Brooklyn Tailors offer both ready-to-wear and bespoke services to fill this need, and they are clearly doing very well. While I chatted (and shopped!) there was at least one client happily waiting outside the elegant little space while Daniel finished fitting an earlier appointment, and Brenna worked with another client finalizing the fabric details of his bespoke order. I mentioned to Jacob that with their volume of business (evident not only from the bodies in the room but also from the full rail of suit bags identified with handwritten order numbers, suspended wall-to-wall near the ceiling), it is a good thing they are a bit off the beaten path. Justin agreed; their goal is to provide design and service of equally high quality, a mission that could not be managed with throngs of “shoppers” milling in and out.

Ad Hoc opened its doors in 2011. I asked shopkeeper Ally about the uptick in foot traffic due to the neighborhood becoming a shopping destination. She observes that, while it has brought more people to the area, the broader swath is not necessarily a focused consumer base. She refers to Ad Hoc’s assortment as being a curated blend of vintage and new production that, hopefully, has the feel of looking through a good friend’s closet, checking out “stuff” of theirs you’d like to wear. I detected concern that the population this appeals to is perhaps shifting. She reflects that a lot of the increased traffic consists of folks coming to shop from outside the neighborhood, or newly arrived residents. Although they’re curious and want to feel as if they know the old artist vibe, there’s so little evidence of it anymore. So they’re more likely to shop at any of the stores, rather than at specific stores. Ad Hoc’s décor is best described as thoroughly authentic, reflecting the neighborhood of yore, sporting the feel of found furniture and spare embellishments, and leaving key aspects untouched, like the wainscoting and linoleum floor tiles.

Woman in men’s clothes, all from HOLLANDER & LEXER.

So if there aren’t more males here than females, and it isn’t that males suddenly are more flush than they’ve been since the depression/recession began, then the reason for the sudden flourish of male-assortment shops is most likely a confluence of three factors: 1) a bigger population in general equalling increased retail opportunity of any type, 2) reduced risk for new arrivals on the men’s retail scene due to the trail being well-blazed by the likes of Alter, Hollander & Lexer, and Brooklyn Tailors, and 3) a “maturing” of males generally, an exponential dial-up from the early ’90s male psyche, one that broke down barriers to dressing well, and enjoying it, and making it the birthright of any male, whether he be metro, homo, or heterosexual. This historic shift took male shopping and preening—openly and with enthusiasm—well past the straight/gay question.

When studying trends, you examine three levels of behavior: what was happening, what is happening, and what will happen. On what might be next retail-wise for this area, Justin of HW Carter & Sons offered the interesting statistic that 40% of his customers are women. That generated an initial assumption that females are shopping for the males in their lives, but something about his response caused me to infer that Justin was suggesting that, at some point, women may be shopping the assortment for themselves.

HOLLANDER & LEXER Indigo Pants, Indigo Vest, RJ Shirt in black & white stripe, Indigo Blazer, Leather Skinny Belt, Rosario Tie with print. MALE MODEL & STYLING FOR HOLLANDER & LEXER: MANNY LEMUS

The whole androgyny and unisex wardrobe idea is, in fact, the next white space I perceive. An indication of a bubble (not nearly an actual bubble yet, but a hint of a potential for a bubble) is blistering. We saw it in Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for Saint Laurent Homme Fall 2013, a unisex collection. Both male and female models walked the same runway wearing the same clothes. And there is also the model Andrej Pejic, a beautiful and handsome person, equally male and female in energy, with an utterly indiscernible gender while modeling, unless you are aware of his renown. In 2011, Pejic ranked simultaneously in the Top 50 Male Models list and FHM magazine’s The 100 Sexiest Women in the World.

The Saint Laurent Homme show was striking and alienating in many respects, as runway generally is. Even so, one can’t help but imagine just slightly more commercial iterations of such clothing, and where shops that feature truly unisex assortments might make their home. Ten bucks says there will be one right here in Williamsburg—sooner rather than later.

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TOWN HALL MTG / Demand Safe Asbestos removal at Domino / Monday, April 29 /

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FACTS:
Asbestos is a known human carcinogen
There is no safe level of exposure
Asbestos fibers can be 700 times smaller than human hair
Homes built prior to 1980 commonly have asbestos
You can’t see, taste, touch or smell asbestos fibers
Asbestos-caused diseases are preventable
Up to 35 million homes in the United States may be contaminated with asbestos insulation
Asbestos has not been banned in the US
The US continues to import asbestos

BACKSTORY:
Shockingly, the company hired to complete the asbestos abatement of the Domino Sugar Refinery is New York Insulation who has had numerous violations from New York State and New York City.  These include but not limited to, dry removal, improper bagging of asbestos, improper preparation of work area, improper personal protective equipment, and failure to provide workers with access to decontamination units/showers.

Community Right to Know—Demand Safe Removal of Asbestos at Domino

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By Genia Gould

Asbestos exposure is a challenge for our neighborhood right now, because wherever there are old factories, there’s typically asbestos. The removal of the asbestos in the case of the Domino Sugar Refinery site is a problem for the community, because asbestos fibers are released into the air when asbestos materials are disturbed during repairs, renovations, removal, or demolition.

Recent video* footage posted online (April 11, 2013) shows improper and unsafe asbestos removal, particularly of transite panels from the Specialty Sugars Building at Kent Ave. and S. 3rd St.

It raises concerns for local residents, as well as experts in the field of asbestos remediation and lung disease. In the video, one sees the close proximity of the asbestos removal to mothers with children, cyclists, and people mingling in the streets below.

Jorge Roldan, a certified instructor for the New York and New Jersey Departments of Health for 13 years, and an apprenticeship coordinator for Local 78, identified a series of violations when he viewed the video.

Roldan speculates that the Domino building may have gotten the green light to do what’s called “dry removal,” which allows certain asbestos abatement to be conducted in open air, but “it must be removed intact,” he says. But because they are breaking up panels with a crowbar, the law stipulates that this be done “in containment and wetted.” “I don’t see tenting. I don’t see garden hoses, or water there,” he says, adding, “They know what they are doing is illegal.”

More violations Roldan cites:
 Dropping asbestos at a height greater than 10 ft.
 Scaffolding lifts without plastic on them, to collect any asbestos dust that may fall to the ground.
•  Scaffolding lifts with open sides, no fall protection being used.
•  Critical barriers (openings to the building): the plastic wrapping was open and no one repairs it.
 An individual is seen at start of the video not wearing protective clothing or a respirator.

(*The video posted online shows 3 1/2 mins. of a 3 1/2 hr. tape, according to unnamed sources.)

“The concerns are warranted,” says Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the ADAO (Absestos Disease Awareness Organization) “as there is consensus from every government agency that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.”

(Reinstein shared the video on her blog, with additional information and images.)

Exposure to asbestos dust, microscopic glass-like particulates, is a known carcinogen which causes mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer of the lungs, for which there is no known cure, and other asbestos-related diseases. There are 10,000 asbestos-related deaths yearly in the US (107,000 globally). But because diseases are under-reported, Reinstein suspects the numbers are closer to 40,000 in the US.

This has prompted several members of the community to call an emergency Town Hall meeting, to be held on Monday, April 29 at 6:30pm, at Picture Farm Gallery at 330 Wythe Avenue (bet S. 1st & S 2nd Sts).

The California-based activist Linda Reinstein will be in attendance at the meeting to answer the community’s questions, and to help the community organize a plan of action. She was cautious when commenting about the video: “one needs to be careful when viewing a video, because it could have been monkeyed with, but my concern when viewing it is seeing workers in disposable protective gear, and respiratory protection, yet breaking apart transite panels. I can see the dust, and they’re on top of a roof, and it’s airborne.”

Transite is an asbestos-cement product typically used in wall construction. Demolition of older buildings containing transite materials, requires special precautions and disposal techniques to protect workers and the public.

 

Asbestos and Human Lung Cells
Photo credit: Onchy Adornetto and James S. Webber, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany

Reinstein said she didn’t want the community to panic in any immediate way, but that her greater concern, now, is looking at the ongoing disposal of the large transite panels, and protecting the public. “It’s an expensive process, and when it’s not done properly, it’s expensive to the people (who have no benefit to the project, ordinary folk) in dollars and lives. Someone gets sick and dies.” [Editor’s comments in parentheses]

Two Trees Management Company, the developers who bought the Domino property in 2012 from CPCR, have indicated that the asbestos abatement process will take a considerable amount of time.

The Two Trees plan for the site, which includes 3,372,777 gross square feet of five towers, ranging from 40 to 60 stories tall, has yet to be approved by the Community Board or New York City Council, or the voting population of the community.

It raised red flags for both Reinstein, and for the entire city, when it was learned that New York Installation was contracted to remove asbestos at the 12-acre site. The controversial company has been cited for dozens of violations from OSHA and EPA. They are additionally “blocked from doing public sector work after it stiffed workers,” it was reported recently in the NY Daily News.

Surrounded by Demolition and Renovation

Reinstein says it is “monumentally important” for the community to keep a heightened level of vigilance around Domino asbestos abatement activities; demand government transparency, and honest engagement with the community. She also disclosed, given the sheer extent of development activity in our community, that the issue goes beyond Domino: “the people in your community are surrounded by demolition and renovation of buildings.”

Asbestos was especially prevalent in buildings up until the late 1970’s. It was a commonly used building material, everywhere for many purposes, including insulation for sprinkler pipes, in walls, electrical, and sound proofing, even in linoneum tiles. “The ‘beauty’ of the fiber was its tensile strength. It was added to cement to make the cement stronger. It’s impervious to water, it’s heat resistant, lightweight, and inexpensive. It was once considered a ‘miracle mineral’,” she says, adding, “but it isn’t biodegrable.”

Penny compares 20,000 asbestos fibers to grains of rice and human hair.

“The important part most people don’t know, is that as early as 1906, it was already known to cause disease, so for 100 years despite that knowledge, it has continued to be in wide use.” The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports that “The United States produced about 3.29 million metric tons (Mt) of asbestos and used approximately 31.5 Mt between 1900 and 2003. About half of this amount was used after 1960.” According to USGS, most of the imported asbestos came from Canada.

A big part of Reinstein’s efforts in her tireless work around the issues of asbestos are towards having the material asbestos banned from continuing to be imported. Believe it or not, it’s still being imported and used in products today, including “in some building insulation, ceiling tiles, floor tiles and dry wall, as well as automotive brakes pads, gaskets and clutches,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Reinstein works with U.S. Senate every year to draft and help pass a resolution designating the first week of April 2013 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” (In her resolution, there are 17 facts regarding asbestos and mesothelioma which have been entered into the Congressional Record.)

“Asbestos was heavily used to build our country—now we have to prevent exposures to eliminate asbestos-caused diseases,” says Reinstein. The effects are also not immediate, they are long term. It can be as long as 10 to 50 years before the symptoms of disease are evident. Given the time that it takes a person to develop symptoms, it is almost impossible to know when and where the exposure took place. The responsible parties are off the hook. It’s, if you will, a perfect crime. When the symptoms develop, the pleural tissue separates from the lung, and for the sufferer, “it feels like you are trying to blow up a balloon in a pail of water—the pressure around the balloon, like cancer around the lung, makes breathing extremely difficult and painful.”

“Where is it, and what can I do?”

There are regulatory laws in place, because of the Clean Air Act of 1970. (OSHA protects workers’ health, and the EPA protects public health.)

Because it is known that there is asbestos in the Domino buildings, there are certain regulatory steps the owners must take before they can demolish the building or do any kind of gut renovation, Reinstein explained. “The first step is to confirm presence or absence of asbestos and then follow government regulations to prevent exposure.”

“The common questions I’m hearing in Williamsburg, and around the nation, are ‘what is asbestos?’ ‘where is it?’ and ‘what can I do?’” says Reinstein. “The great news is, government resources enable us to build our roadmap of knowledge.”

Here’s a look at how tiny asbestos fibers lodge themselves in lung tissues after being inhaled, eventually leading to inflammation and scarring of the lungs. The condition may progress to mesothelioma, or cancer of the pleural lining. Graphic by Mark Boswell

The EPA states, “If the asbestos-containing material is more than slightly damaged or could be disturbed, there are two types of actions that can be taken by trained and accredited asbestos professionals: repair and removal. Improper removal may actually increase you and your family’s exposure to asbestos fibers.”

Shift in Community Action

Reinstein believes that a major shift is afoot in the Williamsburg community, and will create a new model of action for the nation, so she has agreed—incredibly—to travel to New York to address the issues at the meeting this Monday, April 29. She will also tell her own story. Her husband, Alan, was a victim of mesothelioma and succumbed to the disease in 2006 at the age of 66.  She will talk about how her personal experience caring for her husband, and working with him on the issues of asbestos, while he was still well enough, shaped her into “an accidental activist.” Renowned guest speakers also include Dr. Jay Parkinson, MD, MPH, the founder of Hello Health; a mom from the neighborhood; and possibly a representative from the American Lung Association.

Reinstein sees the growing Williamsburg demographic of young urban families in their 30 and 40s who are not only technologically savvy, but engaged with public health and safety issues by bringing awareness and community action into play. There’s a shift to get back to the wholesome part of being an American, the way we once were, when we recognized the importance of “community.”  It shouldn’t be a request, rather a requirement to breathe safe air and to have our environment free from toxins.  Williamsburg is willing to pull together a Town Hall meeting to address the matter, and take a stand in Brooklyn.

Linda, Alan, Emily Reinstein.

“Too often community rights are usurped. I see Williamsburg empowering its residents with knowledge; and community organizing to protect public health and their environment.”

Linda Reinstein also says, she’ll bring the message about what’s happening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to Washington DC, and will bring national attention to the issue.

See you at the Town Hall Meeting on Monday!

Right-to-Know Act

  1. Identify the location of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in homes, schools, workplace, and public/private buildings
  2. Post asbestos abatement jobs publicly online
  3. Identify structures with known asbestos-containing materials (ACM) undergoing renovation and demolition.
  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will manage the asbestos information received

In a natural disaster like a tornado, there are invariably asbestos (and lead) issues from destroyed buildings and homes. Reinstein sent us this image showing the amount of asbestos removed after a tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. NYC is no stranger to disasters, and the image below was taken in Far Rockaway, where asbestos statistics have not been determined. Reinstein also cites 9/11 of course which resulted in horrific illness to first responders and rescue workers, due too hazardous air quality conditions.

 

Additional INFO:

EPA
Where asbestos may be found:

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes

EPA
If You Have an Asbestos Problem
If the asbestos-containing material is more than slightly damaged or could be disturbed, there are two types of actions that can be taken by trained and accredited asbestos professionals: repair and removal.

Repair usually involves either sealing or covering asbestos material. With any type of repair, the asbestos remains in place.

  • Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibers together or coats the material so fibers are not released. Pipe, furnace and boiler insulation can sometimes be repaired this way. This should be done only by a professional trained to handle asbestos safely.
  • Covering (enclosure) involves placing something over or around the material that contains asbestos to prevent release of fibers. Exposed insulated piping may be covered with a protective wrap or jacket.

Removal may be required when remodeling or making major changes to your home will disturb asbestos-containing material. Also, removal may be called for if asbestos-containing material is damaged extensively and cannot be otherwise repaired. Removal is complex and must be done only by a trained and accredited asbestos professional. Improper removal may actually increase your and your family’s exposure to asbestos fibers.

Asbestos Professionals: Who Are They and What Can They Do?

In general, there are two main types of accredited asbestos professionals that can be hired to handle asbestos-containing material:

  • Asbestos Inspectors. These individuals can inspect a home or building, assess conditions, take samples of suspected materials for testing, and advise about what corrections are needed. If repair or removal of asbestos materials is chosen, inspectors can ensure the corrective-action contractor has followed proper procedures, including proper clean up, and can monitor the air to ensure no increase of asbestos fibers.
  • Asbestos Contractors. These professionals can repair or remove asbestos materials.

Federal law does not require persons who inspect, repair or remove asbestos-containing materials in detached single-family homes to be trained and accredited; however, some states and localities do require this. For safety, homeowners should ensure that workers they hire to handle asbestos are trained and accredited.

Reinstein points to the recent Hurricane Sandy disaster and 9/11, and the issue of air quality …

A TIMELINE FROM LINDA REINSTEIN

•        Science
•        1906 The first clinically recorded case of asbestos-induced lung disease Dr. Murray
•        1955 Dr. Richard Doll publishes study-linking asbestos to lung cancer.
•        1964 Irving Selikoff publishes a study linking asbestos exposure to mesothelioma

•        Policy
•        1970 Clean Air Act & Occupational Safety and Health Act
•        1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
•        1977 International Agency for Research (IARC) declares asbestos a human carcinogen

•        Advocacy
•        1907 American Lung Association (ALA)
•        International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
•        2004 Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

ADAO house graphic, interior and exterior of where asbestos might be in your home.

VINTAGE CRAWL’s Emily & Kathryn—Behind the Scenes

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Vintage Crawl impressarios Kathryn Irby (left), and Emily Lichtenberg.

By Genia Gould

Vintage Crawl is upon us, TODAY, Saturday, April 27, starting at Noon. What a great opportunity and incentive to see what’s out there: 18 Williamsburg/Greenpoint vintage boutiques are joining in on the fun (the bars open a bit later around 2/3pm). One of the highlights is an outdoor music performance by Kendy Gable at 3pm at Antoinette. The evening culminates in an after-party at Brooklyn Bowl, which officially starts at 8pm (but doors open at 6pm).

Vintage Crawl Map / Stores & Discounts / Tickets

The charisma and charm behind the event, are two self-styled and grassroots organizers, Kathryn Irby and Emily Lichtenberg. They “sat down” with WG for a quick chat.

WG: Hi Emily!  Hi Kathryn! So how’d it all get started?!

Emily Lichtenberg: What can I say, we’re just two girls who are VERY passionate about drinking and shopping!  But actually I had been organizing vintage crawls on a MUCH smaller scale for me and my friends since I moved to the neighborhood in the Spring of 2010. I met Kathryn when I happened to wander into Antoinette a couple of years ago and she was consulting there. We got to talking and she convinced me that it was an idea to be taken to the next level.

Kathryn Irby: I remember Emily said the words, “Vintage Crawl,” and it just HIT me we could do it, and that it could be BIG in our neighborhood.

Were you surprised by the AMAZING success you had organizing the first Vintage Crawl?

EL: Yes! It was our first attempt at this type of event on this scale, so I think we didn’t even really know that success was happening until after it happened, and we were like, “Oh wow! People really liked this!”

KI: It was all such an exhausting yet fun… how do you say… I guess, “organic roller coaster!” Especially when major publications picked us up, like The New York Times and we even had a segment on the CW11 morning news!

This is the 3rd Vintage Crawl, what are you cooking up, this year?

EL: This year, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Neon Gold Records to present a post-crawl after-party at Brooklyn Bowl, featuring performances by Javelin, Jamaican Queens, and Tiny Victories. And what’s even better is, if you buy a ticket to the show and bring it with you on the crawl (either printed or on your phone) you get even more discounts at all of our stores and bars. Get tickets here!

What’s your line-up of shops looking like?

EL:  We definitely have our vintage store power houses like: Le Grand Strip, Malin Landaeus, and Rabbits, with 18 stores offering a range of Men’s, Women’s and Home Goods.  And let’s not forget the 7 bars, offering drink deals throughout the day!  For brunch, Nitehawk bar/restaurant is offering bottomless mimosas with purchase of their “Breakfast Club” special.

KI: It’s been interesting to watch our vintage stores evolve along with their customers in the neighborhood. A few of our stores, such as Lavai Maria, reconstruct vintage pieces to make them a bit more modern and unique.

Do you have favorite shops? For whatever reason? Favorite finds you cherish?

EL: Maybe its just territorial alliance because I live over there, but I’m really loving all the stores on Graham Ave, right now. Last Vintage Crawl in November, I bought this amazing green silk varsity jacket, that says SCIENCE on the back from Tiger Blanket, and I wear it almost every day. Also this yellow cable knit sweater that I found at Slow Fax basically got me through the winter. GO GRAHAM!

KI: Personally, my favorite vintage store (that I endearingly refer to as my, “happy place”) has always been Horizons on Metropolitan and Havemeyer.  The owner, Breanne, has such an incredible eye for classic American sportswear, and is reasonable with her prices. The store has really developed a personality onto itself—it’s somewhat of a local girl’s hangout where we have picnics out on the sidewalk in the summertime, and have friend’s bands perform in the store.

In your opinions, how relevant is vintage in today’s world, and today’s lifestyle?

KI: Honestly, I used to work in the concept department for Gap Women’s, and the fabrics used in the early- to mid-90’s silks and cottons is FAR superior to today’s clothing. Since fashion is cyclical, it’s simply common sense to shop pieces from such recent decades. Easy on the wallet, and you support small businesses in the process!

EL: Vintage will always be in style because culture is constantly nostalgic for the past—even if the past was only 15 yrs ago. For instance 90’s fashion trends are on the rise and considered “vintage” even though it only feels like yesterday that they were current! And as Kathryn pointed out, vintage is easier on the wallet, and who doesn’t love that?

From the Vintage Crawl Photo Album:
More photos on Vintage Crawl FB

The Virgin Chase: You Can Trust These Olives

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O Live Brooklyn, 60 Broadway (718) 384-0304 olivebrooklyn.com

By Mary Yeung

Americans have always had a love affair with the olive tree. While visiting the Italian Alps back in 1788, Thomas Jefferson grew very fond of this squatty, ancient plant and declared that “the olive is surely the richest gift of heaven.” When our first foodie president came back to America, he appointed himself the father of the first American olive colony and ordered olive tree seedlings. They arrived in Charleston in 1791.

Today, America’s “olive colony” resides mainly in Northern California, where it is producing some very fine olive oils indeed. The keen interest in the health benefit of olive oil worldwide has enticed many farmers into joining the so-called “Liquid Gold Rush.” There are now more than 50 olive oil producers in California, and farmers in Texas, Georgia, and Arizona are also diving into the gourmet oil business. Claiming that his state has a climate comparable to Spain, a farmer in Arizona has planted 43,000 olive trees near Phoenix.

What’s fueling the olive oil fever? A 2007 article in The New Yorker magazine may have opened the door for more domestic oil production. In “Slippery Business,” by Tom Mueller, the story revealed that two-thirds of the oil from Europe labeled Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) was adulterated with inferior oils. Some were colored with added chlorophyll and beta carotene to give it that enchanting greenish golden hue. Recent chemical tests conducted by the Olive Center in Davis, California, did not fare much better. Some European producers have challenged these findings, but the simple fact that Italy sells three times as much “Made in Italy” EVOO each year than it produces, tells the tale. It has been said that selling fake olive oil is as profitable as trafficking cocaine.

One way to avoid getting fake oil is to shop at places like O Live, a specialty olive oil store located at 60 Broadway (diagonally across from Marlow & Sons). The husband and wife team of Greg Bernarducci and Elizabeth Weiss opened the store in the fall of 2012, specializing in true extra virgin olive oils and carrying about 15 varietals from around the world. O Live also has many infused oils that are flavored with blood orange, lemon, garlic, rosemary, and other aromatic herbs. The oils are stored in airtight metal drums, and you are encouraged to taste them before you buy. “I know my oils are pure because I get them from a reputable supplier—Veronica Food Co. They are passionate about their products. They visit the farmers and build special relationships with them,” Bernarducci says.

Before becoming an olive oil merchant, Bernarducci worked as a cable television producer. A couple of years ago, he went to California, where he visited an olive oil shop and tasted some locally grown oils. “I was shocked to discover how good they were. They were so fresh, so grassy and peppery. I’ve never tasted oil like that,” he says. Intrigued, he read up on the subject and was smitten by the romance of it all. He had found his calling. Now he wants to sell good oil and educate the public about its health benefits. Since opening the shop, he and his wife have conducted olive oil seminars, tasting sessions, and food and wine pairings.

Greg Bernarducci and Elizabeth Weiss, proprietors of O Live, bring real “liquid gold” and balsamics to Williamsburg.  PHOTOS BY BEN ROSENZWEIG

How to buy good olive oil? These days, says Bernarducci, it’s best to check with trusted food sites to get the latest updates. Tom Mueller runs a website called Truth in Olive Oil, where he lists suppliers and shops he trusts. Since olive oil should not sit on the shelf for more than a year, check the harvest date whenever possible; the fresher the oil, the better it will taste, and the better it will be for your health. Heat and sunlight will quickly degrade olive oil, so make sure your oil comes in a can or in dark bottles. Contrary to common belief, the color of the oil has very little to do with quality, and not all EVOO congeals in the refrigerator. For products like olive oil and honey, where adulteration is rampant, it is best to check with informed and unbiased food blogs before making a purchase. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting good money on cheap oil and honey-flavored corn syrup.

At O Live, information about each oil is clearly displayed on the drums. You’ll learn the different varietals. Mission originated in the U.S., Picual and Arbequina are from Spain, Koroneiki is from Greece, Chemlali is from Tunisia, Souri is from Lebanon, Maalot is from Israel, and Leccino, Pendolino, and Coratina are from Italy. Bernarducci changes up his oils every few months, so his foodie customers can sample new oils from different parts of the world. Bernarducci said he has sampled some very fine oils from Chile and Australia, as well. Also listed is the percentage of oleic acid (it lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure) and polyphenols (fights inflammation), and the flavor profile and harvest date. Because olive oil has a cooking range of 365– 410F, Bernarducci can even advise you on which oil is appropriate for cooking and which ones should only be used as dips or salad dressings.

Bernarducci says he opened his shop in Williamsburg because there are so many chefs and foodies living and visiting here. In addition to olive oil, it also carries balsamic vinegars, natural olive oil beauty products made by local cosmetologists, olive oil salsas and condiments, and Mediterranean spices. They even sell beautiful salad bowls made from the wood of olive trees. Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson is beaming like a proud daddy.

Inspiration, Childhood & the Meaning of Black Ice Cream—Interview w/ Helado Negro

Helado Negro performing

at Glasslands in March.

Photo by Victoria Stillwell

Helado Negro performing at Glasslands in March.
Photo by Victoria Stillwell

By Victoria Stillwell

On a recent cold, spring evening, I met with Roberto Lange, the mastermind of Helado Negro, outside of Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg. He just released his latest album Invisible Life in March, mixing songs with electronic beats and Spanish lyrics, but also switching it up for this record by adding tunes in English, and collaborating with other artists and friends, including Juliana Barwick and Devendra Banhart. I sat down with the relaxed and smiley artist, before a concert he played at Glasslands, to discuss his latest record, and to talk about what drives his music and inspires him.

How has your multi-national upbringing influenced your music?

I was born in Florida but my family is from Ecuador, and we have a big family, so in my childhood there were a lot of parties, a lot of fun. Miami is like the capital of Latin America, there’s everything down there in terms of Latin people. So I was surrounded by that, but also surrounded by the culture of the United States, so it was kind of divided as far as what was happening in my house versus what was happening outside my house.

How did you first realize you had talent and start to create music?

I haven’t realized that. I don’t think I have musical talent (laughs). But I like making things that I like to hear. I started moving in the direction of creative things in college when I had more time to myself. I purchased this piece of equipment called an MPC and it gave me the ability to make electronic-music sounds. I was focusing on making hip-hop music at first, mostly hip-hop beats and stuff like that. I sampled music, collected records, and started kind of deciphering and tearing it apart.

Your latest album, Invisible Life, stands out from your other records because you sing in English. What inspired you to write lyrics in English?

I never had a premeditated plan. There are a lot of different stories and one of the stories is working on that first song, “Dance Ghost.” The words just started coming out. I think that’s with everything, there’s just a process within it, and I ended up singing in English.

Would you describe your creative process for Invisible Life?

I took the whole month of August last year, and worked nine, ten hours a day, just on those songs. I had 40 songs that I was working on, and a lot of them were either loop ideas of melodic patterns or samples of rhythmic patterns. It all started really bare bones, and I just built and built on it. When I sing I break up words a lot with the syllables, which I think I do to kind of mimic instruments. And it’s the other way around, too. I mean instruments have always essentially been mimicking voice. I was just trying to find different sounds, and then I was like ‘oh shit, I am singing about this, I guess.’ It’s a natural progression that happens for each song.

You have released many albums since 2009, so you’ve been busy. What would you say is your biggest inspiration for continuing to create so much music?

I guess, honestly, I think, I feel good when I do it, and it’s just like doodling. When you are drawing on a piece of paper or when you are talking on the phone, it’s like the same thing for me, where it is just like, I am just doing it.

How would you describe the style or genre of your music?

Oh man, that’s the toughest. I never know what to say about that. I think it’s just, I don’t know, music for the generation that I am, you know, the son of Latin American immigrants, and I am making the music that we are surrounded by and kind of like what we are influenced by. It’s a nerdy way to answer it. I have no idea. Electronic maybe?

Do you have any great musical inspirations?

Many musicians inspire me. My friends, you know, honestly, the people that I work with, are a huge musical inspiration to me. Like my friend who has been touring with me, on bass guitar, Jason Ajemian, he is a huge inspiration for me. I have worked with him for so long. My friend Jason Trammell, he plays drums in the band Sinkane. He has been a huge inspiration to me. Who else? The people that were on my record, this girl Adron, she is a huge inspiration, my friend Eddie Alonso, he’s got a band called Feathers. My friend Matt Crum who plays drums with me a lot. Devendra Banhart’s new record is great, he is a friend. He played on the record, too. I’ll keep going if you want…

Do you have any new projects coming up, in addition to promoting Invisible Life?

I work with a friend of mine, Nin Humphrey, a visual artist, and we have been collaborating for years. I do sound for her. She has a performance coming up in May at Dixon Place, in the city. And we also have a twenty-person choir piece, which I created for her, that we’re going to perform in California. That should be really awesome.

How did you come up with the name Helado Negro?

I think, people expect it to be this really crazy story, but it reflects the way I make music, which is the way I write lyrics. They are memories all tied together. I take fragments of different things and piece them together. These are two things that are really intimate to me. Helado means ice cream in Spanish, which is my wife’s favorite food. And Negro was a nickname my family gave me when I was growing up.

 

Baby Rave–Parents Welcome

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By Shana Liebman

On April 27, the first-ever Brooklyn BabyFest Expo will debut at Middle School 126 (424 Leonard Street) in Williamsburg. The one-day event, which showcases local support and educational resources for parents of prenatals to preschoolers, is the brainchild of Jessica Glorieux, founder of parenting consulting firm Motherburg. “My business puts me in touch with so many wonderful vendors, service providers, and people who help parents in their journey, and I wanted to get them all together in one place.”

The April 27 expo will feature over 20 experts including “baby-wearing” demos by Caribou Baby and a unique “All About Dads” seminar. There’s also a Q&A for first-time homebuyers with local real estate attorneys and brokers, and Joyce Szuflita of NYC School Help will discuss Brooklyn’s preschool options. Filmmaker Abby Epstein, who directed “The Business of Being Born” and runs My Best Birth, will be the keynote speaker.

But it won’t be all talk. Hero Company (a new venture by the owners ofAnella, Calyer and Saint Vitus) will cater the event with ice cream by LIC’s Malu. Attendees can sip cocktails (or mocktails) while watching performance by Puppetsburg. Even Tribeca Pediatrics is bringing along a clown. The most exciting five minutes of the event however might be the Diaper Derby, sponsored by Brooklyn Based and hosted by local dad and comedian Dave Hill. Get your tickets now.

Tickets are available now for pre-purchase online:
$15/per person ($25 at the door)
$25/per family ($40 at the door)
$45/VIP tickets per person ($60 at the door if available)
*VIP includes express entrance + reserved seating at all talks + goodie bag + special raffle prize drawings

Brooklynbabyfest2013.eventbrite.com

BABYFEST SCHEDULE: (click on schedule for larger image)

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FULL LIST OF VENDORS EXHIBITING AT BABYFEST:

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ABC Infant & Toddler Center- ABC Child Center is a fully licensed daycare/preschool program for children ages 6 months – 6 years in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Our program allows you to pick and choose the days your child is to attend on a weekly basis.

Active Labor Gown- A beautiful labor and delivery gown made of revolutionary performance fabric, uniquely designed to maintain privacy and dignity, keeping women comfortable, centered and in control for the most important workout of their life!

Allstate - Matthew Mullen is an Allstate agent in Greenpoint. He offers a broad range of financial solutions, I can offer my knowledge to help you achieve your financial goals. That includes planning for your child’s education or planning your retirement.

Amanda Greavette - Amanda Greavette is a painter based in Ontario, Canada. Her paintings from the series, “The Birth Project,” are life-sized, breathtaking, and emotionally powerful. Beautiful work of women in labor, birth, and postpartum, displayed with expressions of strength and achievement.

Arbonne - Carlye Hirsch-Wolf is an Independent Consultant with Arbonne, a 33 year old Swiss company that creates personal care and wellness products that preserve and enhance the skin, body and mind for an integrative approach to beauty.

Baby Bodyguards - Baby Bodyguards is a professional baby proofing service based in New York City. We provide home safety consultations , stair gate and safety product installations as well as car seat installation classes and Infant/Child CPR classes in New York City and its surrounding areas.

Baby Bootcamp- Baby Bootcamp instructor Jody Camarra combines her knowledge of group fitness and exercise science, a pre and post natal concentration, and the joys of being a mom into her classes. She understands the struggle moms have with trying to get and stay fit while being able to spend quality bonding time with their new baby.

Barefoot Books - Barefoot Books creates carefully crafted children’s books, children’s CDs and children’s gifts that spark imagination, exploration, and creativity.

Belle & Beanzer - Belle & Beanzer designs a line of baby clothes to strengthen the connection between parent and child through smart design. Made of the softest cotton for comfort, lasting quality, and snuggling and inspired colors and artwork to literally wrap our babies in our love.

Bird River Studios - Bird River Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn offers art, craft media, knitting and sewing, theater and acting, playwrighting, creative writing classes for children & adults.

Bizu Brooklyn - Bizu Brooklyn is a high-end consignment site for maternity and children’s clothing, where you can find that one of a kind piece, and be able to buy some of the most desired brands without the expensive price tags.

Blue School - Blue School is an independent progressive school in lower Manhattan. The program is where creativity is cherished and encouraged and where children fall in love with the joy of learning. The program runs from 2′s to 5th grade.

Bright Beige - Bright Beige is a design and screen printing studio based in Brooklyn, New York. We make every effort to only use earth-friendly, sustainable, or re-purposed materials in the shop.

Caribou Baby - Caribou Baby is an eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store in Greenpoint – Williamsburg, Brooklyn offering products and classes for pregnancy, birth preparation and parenting.

Carpingo - Carpingo is New York City’s hometown Car Share, with compact, midsize, SUVs, sedans and even cargo vans carveniently parked at a garage or lot near where New Yorkers work, play and sleep. Currently serving Brooklyn and Queens with over 20 locations! Gas, basic insurance and mileage are always included with each rental.

Carriage House Birth - Carriage House Birth offers birth doulas, postpartum doulas, body workers and placenta encapsulationists. Their space in Williamsburg Brooklyn offers classes and workshops in birth education, breastfeeding support, yoga & pilates.

Celine Dolls - One of a kind dolls handmade with love in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. Brimming with personality, they bring smiles to both children and adults, inspiring us to dream, travel, create – shine.

Childs Space NYC - Child’Space NYC is a unique, joyful program for babies and their parents or caregivers. The program fosters new connections between parent and child through touch, through teaching parents hands-on techniques to support their babies’ development.  All classes are taught by Dan Rindler Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner and Child’Space Practitioner.

Citibank - Citibank offers a full range of checking and savings accounts as well as mortgages and college savings plans.

Cleaning Brooklyn - Cleaning Brooklyn is just a phone call away. They have the best staff in Brooklyn. Staff members are professional, reliable and hard working. We have a range of services to fit everyone’s lifestyle and budget includes home & office cleaning, laundry services, ironing services & commercial cleaning.

Coney Island Baby - Coney Island Baby is a team of artists, designers, writers, and scholars striving to provide families a cultural experience through educational clothing and an interactive website. Our designs feature original artwork inspired by timeless wisdom, and our online platform invites further consideration and discussion of those ideas.

Cultural Care Au Pair - For over 20 years, Cultural Care Au Pair has helped American parents secure flexible, affordable, live-in childcare. We have placed over 90,000 screened and trained au pairs from all over the world to live with families and provide childcare for up to two years.

Cute Attack! Kids - Cute Attack! is the newest boutique for all things young, sweet and hip in Williamsburg. We offer a curated collection of Brooklyn-chic and organic clothing for infants – toddler 5yrs as well as a fantastic variety of toys and trinkets for hip mamas and cuties of every age.

DenArt - DenArt creates a forever lasting bond between you and baby during this special time in your life with our body painting experience for expecting moms in their seventh or eighth month of pregnancy.All our paints are water-based to protect you and baby from any chemical harm.

Diaper Kind - Diaperkind cloth diaper service for New York City. They provide you with a weekly supply of 100% organic cotton diapers that they launder using an EPA-certified plant-derived detergent.

Eco-Bonk - Eco-Bonk is a gentle alternative to rough-and-tumble playtime with fun-loving creatures that are not only specially designed, but also destined to “bounce back”. Eco-Bonk is developed, manufactured and assembled in the USA.

Edward Jones - Timothy Mullins is a financial advisor in Greenpoint Brooklyn. He makes every effort to build one-on-one relationships with clients, offering personalized attention and financial guidance.

Family Tree Gallery - Sarah Fantuzzo is a figurative painter based in Manhatan’s Upper West Side. She earned her MFA from the New York Academy of Art where she pursued her love of the portrait and of depicting the human form.

Fastrackids - FasTracKids offers early learning programs for children from 6 months up to 8 years. Your child will enjoy interactive programs that develop key school and life readiness skills such as critical thinking, creativity, confidence, communication and collaboration. Using innovative technology, your child is actively engaged in his or her own unique learning process.

Frolic Playspace - Frolic! is a 5,000 sq ft children’s indoor play space and enrichment center located on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – membership-based playground, classes, birthday parties, music lessons, coffee lounge, boutique and events, Frolic! is the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll play space for the urban “under six” crowd and their parents.

GoGo Babies - GoGo Babies is an interactive joyful class for baby and parent/caregiver utilizing song, dance, yoga, play, massage, and breath work with a variety of stimulating props, instruments, and activities. GoGo Babies classes are designed with the development of babies and their particular needs in mind.

Green Mountain Energy - Green Mountain was founded with the mission to change the way power is made.  From electricity products made using clean, renewable sources like wind to carbon offset products that help neutralize carbon emissions, every single product offered by our company has an environmental benefit.

Hosh Kids - Hosh Kids is a program of Hosh Yoga Inc. for parents, schools and children communities across the New York area. We are committed to providing the most accessible and affordable classes in health, wellness and movement for children.

Kalulu Kids - Kalulu stands out from the crowd thanks to the unconventional color combinations and distinctive border prints of the kikoy fabric from which it is made. From school to parties to family gatherings, the styling provides a sophisticated look without compromising your child’s ability to play, roam and have fun.

Khaki Bedford Photography - Khaki Bedford is a Greenpoint based Children’s and Event Photographer, who loves capturing local families in their natural environment with candid, light infused photography.  She also offers Photo Booths for events and will be setting up a family fun Photo Booth at BabyFest!  Be sure to stop by to have your family portrait taken. Prints will be available for purchase on site.

Kindling Quarterly - Kindling Quarterly is Brooklyn-based magazine for men interested in creativity, community and parenting. The quarterly explores fatherhood through essays, interviews, editorials, art, and photography.

Lalaalu - The Coolest Kid Stuff, Delivered Monthly to Your Door ’Man’. As city parents, it’s tough to find the time (or the energy) to hunt down all the cool kid stuff that’s out there…and what’s truly worthy of a place in our (already jam-packed) apartments. That’s why we created the LaLaaLu.

Lango Kids NYC - Lango offers dynamic and engaging Spanish, French and Mandarin classes and summer camps to kids. Our classes teach children a new language in an immersion-based setting using songs, stories, games, dance — even yoga to engage children in their new language.

Little Duck Organics - Little Duck Organics makes no-sugar-added freeze-dried fruit snacks using the most nutritious natural ingredients out there. All of our ingredients come from certified organic U.S. farms, and our products are certified Kosher and gluten free. And because we want every baby to be as happy and healthy as they can be.

Malu Ice Cream - Malu makes the best homemade ice cream and chocolate treats. They use the best quality ingredients available (from local vendors when in season) in order to satisfy every sweet tooth in NYC.

Metro Tots - MetroTOTS makes the ‘Stroll-Away’ over the door storage system for most brands or models of foldable strollers. Made of durable steel and adjustable to 9 different positions, it is the first and only storage solution for bulky strollers.

Mind Body Fitness NYC - Mind Body Fitness NYC provides superior private yoga and personal fitness training services to clients in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Our mind-body approach to exercise makes living a healthy lifestyle fun, simple, and obtainable.

Mom Kneads - Mom’s Kneads is the Brooklyn-based, private practice of Bethany Nevin, NY State Licensed Massage Therapist, DONA-trained Birth Doula and Infant Massage Instructor. Knowing that everyone has different needs, she tailors her services to fit the specific concerns of each client.

Mother Brooklyn - Mother Brooklyn offers personalized services to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival. From research to helping you choose and buy baby items, refer you to classes and medical providers, and more. Whatever your needs may be, just ask Mother Brooklyn for assistance.

My Best Birth - My Best Birth is Ricki Lake’s community for people to share experiences and options about pregnancy, natural birth and holistic parenting.

Nourish by Chef Karolina - As a a chef, mom, health coach, and blogger Karolina works to help women and families establish a healthy way of living by filling their bellies with delicious healthy meals and supporting them in their goals with personal coaching.

NY Kids Club - NY Kids Club is New York’s premier children enrichment center renowned for an exemplary preschool program and creative and innovative kids classes, day camps, birthday celebrations, and special events!

NY Metro Parents- NY Metro Parents is the largest publisher of regional parenting content on the East Coast. The paper and online site help New York City parents find family-related businesses and services and to locate any story from the archives

NYC Dads Group - NYC Dads Group is a diverse community of over 700 members created to give fathers an opportunity to socialize and support each other as we navigate parenthood. They meet at various venues around the city including museums, parks, zoos, indoor play-areas, parent-and-me classes, etc. They also organize evening events for dads to socialize, learn from each other, and meet with journalists, authors, and other experts related to fatherhood and parenting.

NYC School Help - NYC School Help helps Brooklyn families with the school search, public and private, nursery school through high school. If you are thinking of relocating to Brooklyn I can give you insight and information on appropriate neighborhood schools and the parenting culture of Brooklyn.

Parents League of NY - The Parents League of New York is a not-for-profit membership organization of Independent Schools and families. The Parents League is affiliated with 300 independent schools, including New York City preschools, K-12 day schools and boarding schools.

Pediatric Associates of NYC - Pediatric Associates of NYC strives to provide the highest quality compassionate, comprehensive medical care for children, from infancy through adolescence.  Affiliated with NYU School of Medicine, the group has offices in Manhattan & Brooklyn.

Petit Organics - Petit Organics uses 100% organic, fresh ingredients for their baby food. All handmade in small batches and packaged less than 24 hours before it’s delivered to your door. They deliver all over Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Photosanity - Alethea is a family photographer & photography coach. She is on a mission to help parents more fully experience the precious fleeting moments of their children’s lives through photography.

PLAY - PLAY is an early-childhood education center and indoor playspace located on the corner of Williamsburg & Greenpoint. PLAY provides an ideal environment for children (newborn through age five) to discover and develop, cut loose and create, all in a facility committed to safety, cleanliness, innovation, and imagination.

Red Anchor Photo - Sarina Cass is a wedding, children’s and portrait photographer. At the end of the day she likes to give you exactly what you want: A representation of your love, whatever form that takes, as you see it. I come in joy and honored to be part of that which you wish captured.

Seamless - Seamless is the best way to order food for delivery and pickup. The nation’s largest online and mobile food ordering company and has made ordering food fun and easy. On Seamless you can browse menus, view ratings, read reviews, and discover great new food delivery restaurants in your neighborhood.

Shine NYC - Shine is for families of all make-ups to learn, play and party. Our goal is simple: to unlock individuality and potential through exploration, creativity and acceptance. Based in traditional teaching philosophies, but with a modern understanding of today’s urban child, we believe in inspiring both children and families through experience and community.

ShutterCal - ShutterCal is a calendar based daily photo journalling community build by four friends, to be enjoyed by the world. The concept is simple: We give you a calendar, link you to the site’s community, and encourage you to document your life with one daily photo. The image and subject matter are up to you, but the idea is clear — documenting one image each day will leave you with an impressive visual history of your life.

Strategies for Wealth - Strategies for Wealth has boldly risen to transform the conversation around money and planning. We invite both our advisors and our clientele to view the world from a vantage point of possibility, not limitation. Our steadfastness to this ideal has evolved the Strategies for Wealth family into a well established, successful and highly respected firm in the financial services industry.

Sweet Bum Bum - Sweet Bum Bum provides quality products for babies such as natural and organic lotions, powders, oil, laundry detergent, and more.

Teeny Tiny Foodie - teeny tiny foodie introduces you to recipes created along the way for my toddler and the rest of the family, the tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout this adventure and stories about my experiences cooking for and feeding a toddler.

The Boyhood Project - Kristian Orozco is a parenting strategist specializing in emotional intelligence. He is also facilitator of Positive Discipline, the renowned parenting method.

The Therapy Corner of Brooklyn - The Therapy Corner of Brooklyn is a multi-disciplinary private practice offering speech-language, physical, and occupational therapy services to children with special needs from birth through school-age.

Tribeca Parenting - Tribeca Parenting is an educational resource for new parents directed by Erica Lyon, renowned childbirth educator and author of The Big Birth Book.

Tribeca Pediatrics - Trusted by New York parents for over twenty years Tribeca Pediatrics is your local pediatrician. With 9 locations all over Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey, they provide a large pediatric network made of small and personable satellite offices.

Viacord - Viacord provides the highest quality, umbilical cord blood stem cell collections for families, and has been involved in cutting edge research to find new stem cell therapies for diseases like cancer, juvenile diabetes, and heart disease. Their mission is to provide the highest quality stem cell preservation service and care to our patients, families, and their physicians.

weeSpring - Expectant parents read the blogs, and the books, and we downloaded the checklists from all of the retailers but at the end of the day, all we cared about was what our friends had already figured out. Not “experts,” not salespeople, not anonymous internet raters. Just our friends.
weeSpring is: advice from your friends on essential baby products.

Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center (WMAAC) – WMAAC is classes for all levels & ages, from infants to adults, we teach engaging dance, circus, theater, voice and fitness classes that develop the body, mind and spirit.

Zeel.com - Zeel is a revolutionary way to book same-day, in-home massages with the best licensed massage therapists in New York City online and via their app. PLUS they’ll be providing massages at the event!

 

 

Post Pocket-Poem Day Report: Aaargh!! Reading poems to strangers takes beer—and balls.

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DATELINE: April 21, 2013, Brooklyn. REPORTER: Sarah Schmerler

It was much harder than I expected. I mean, I have nerve. And I have creative ideas. But reality did not cooperate with my over-active imagination of just what would happen on April 18th, official “Poem in Your Pocket Day.”

by 8:00AM:  I had already read a bawdy poem to the proprietor of my local coffee shop. He liked it. See?:

It was called “Them Moose Goosers” and I’ll let you have it (apologies in advance for any offense or copyright infringement issues):

Them Moose Goosers

by Mason Williams

How about Them Moose Goosers,
Ain’t they recluse?
Up in them boondocks,
Goosin’ them moose.

Goosin’ them huge moose,
Goosin’ them tiny,
Goosin’ them meadow-moose
In they hiney.

Look at Them Moose Goosers,
Ain’t they dumb?
Some use an umbrella,
Some use a thumb.

Them obtuse Moose Goosers,
Sneakin’ through the woods,
Pokin’ them snoozy moose
In they goods.

How to be a Moose Gooser?
It’ll turn ye puce.
Gitchy gooser loose and
Rouse a drowsy moose!

Don’t jump to conclusions. I am very very highbrow in my taste. I’m just telling you that I had to, you know, change up, keep it ‘real’ and all that.

8:15AM: a gentleman whom I had told about PIYP day was waiting for me inside the coffee shop, ready with a stack of fresh poems. He has a weekly poetry group. He writes his poems ‘old school,’ by hand. And he didn’t have any spare copies. I said I didn’t feel comfortable carrying around originals, so we sat and listened to him read them to us. I had already copied one down by hand for myself to fit into my pocket. Here it is, called “Wheat and Water Dreams”:

All the books you see in this post aren’t mine — they belong to Alanna Wray, who got her poetry M.F.A. from Hunter and introduced me to a whole lotta great poetry.

9:00 AM: I try to read something to a woman in the coffee shop, but she censors me first, saying she refuses to hear any Ezra Pound, and I must be sure to pick something else. So I read her “Shedding Skin” by Harryette Mullen.

Shedding Skin

by Harryette Mullen

Pulling out of the old scarred skin
(old rough thing I don’t need now
I strip off
slip out of
leave behind)

I slough off deadscales
flick skinflakes to the ground

Shedding toughness
peeling layers down
to vulnerable stuff

And I’m blinking off old eyelids
for a new way of seeing

By the rock I rub against
I’m going to be tender again

She nods, quickly. Rushes off. Impossible to tell, but I think she liked it.

9:30AM: My friend, Alanna Wray, showed up with a sh*tload of impressive poem books. One of them was of the work of Eileen Myles. Turns out, not only is Alanna packing Myles in her book bag, but she’s also driving Myles’ personal pickup truck. So we pile in (no, it does not smell like a rotten banana, even though Wray unceremoniously removes a rotten banana from the front seat) and head out to a local bookstore where we figure people will be more ‘well disposed’ — literary types, aching for fresh art. Alas, “Girls” the TV show is filming up and down the block and has taken over the bookstore vibe completely with their whirring generators and long trailer-trucks. As we sit in the pickup, Alanna spots a short-story writer walking down the street. She comes over, and assails us with her many observations about life and contemporary culture. (Translation: we all bitch.) She calls our little quest “cute” and then says she feels bad that she doesn’t have any poems for us. She asks us if “Green Eggs and Ham” would be okay. I say ‘sure.’ But she still doesn’t recite it.

11:30AM: We go into the bookstore (which has displayed its contemporary poetry holdings prominently) and see all the titles of poets and writers whom these two gals know, all of whom seem to have been published before either of them. Jealousy sets in and gets layered over our desire to be open and happy poetry lovers. We look around, and Alanna and I pick out the shortest poem ever by (one of my very favorite authors!) Proust. Who can begrudge Proust fame? We decide that if she takes the first line, and I take the second, we can memorize it. It goes like this (apologies if I memorized it incorrectly!):

Perhaps you love much less than me, these storms.
Could be. The mind is varied in its forms.

The day is far more overcast and cold than we’d like. Why can’t it be a sunny day? Ah, well. Maybe there’s poetry in that. It seems appropriate, the unsettled feeling we’re having… Outside the book store, I stop a lovely Jamaican man on the street, and recite “Wheat and Water Dreams” for him. He gives over some verse, something (I forget!) he learned back in his early school days. Heartened, we pile back into the truck.

1:00PM: My editor texts and says we should try to see a sculptor at Long Island University who, ostensibly, will have someone in a local faculty or class or something to whom we can read. We drive and drive. We can’t find parking. We head on up to Pratt Institute, my Alma Mater, largely because it’s not far away.

2:00PM: After a few more random encounters, Alanna and I are pretty tuckered out, and I am rather car sick. I suggest that we just start drinking beer. Only, no place is open yet. The only place we can find is the cafe of a yoga studio, and the only near-fermented style thing we can have there is Kombucha. So we drink. We read each other really dark things like “(Carion Comfort)” by Gerard Manley Hopkins and “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath. We start to feel a bit better, but I think the yoga studio people must be bugging out:

40. (Carrion Comfort)

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

NOT, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

3:30PM: We go, at my insistence, to a coffee shop where Alanna used to work, and where I know the baristas enjoy poetry (it was a barista there who first introduced me to Harryette Mullen’s work). We assault a lovely Czech woman who is writing her dissertation on Modernist architecture while waiting for her kid to get out of school. She loves everything I read, and says what a great idea this all is. But we are already too cynical for words. We leave the coffee shop and move on, killing time until 4PM and the first bar we can find, opens. We sit down, order a Tecate and a Jameson, and I, finally, get to read the Ezra Pound. No, I don’t like his politics or his taste in much of anything, but what he says speaks to me:

SILET

—from “Ripostes” by Ezra Pound

WHEN I behold how black, immortal ink
Drips from my deathless pen – ah, well-away!
Why should we stop at all for what I think?
There is enough in what I chance to say.

It is enough that we once came together;
What is the use of setting it to rime?
When it is autumn do we get spring weather,
Or gather may of harsh northwindish time?

It is enough that we once came together;
What if the wind have turned against the rain?
It is enough that we once came together; Time has seen this, and will not turn again;

And who are we, who know that last intent,
To plague to-morrow with a testament!

5:00PM:  We part ways in the too cold and slightly rainy evening. We have little more to say.

—finis—

N4 Med Spa Salon Grand Opening—Treatment Demos and more

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N4 Med Spa-Salon
47 N 4th St.
(718) 246-4772
GRAND OPENING

By Genia Gould

It’s simple: “One feels better, when one looks better,” says Dr. George Aglialoro, board certified physician/aesthetician, and one who enjoys the process of helping women and men feel and look their best. He recently opened a full-service medical spa/salon in the Northside Piers, on North 4th St and Kent Ave.

With the limited amount of time most people have to devote to self care, he’s created a kind of one-stop shop, a salon where it’s possible for his patients/clients to get a myriad of treatments all in one place, from botox and filler treatments to hair, makeup and waxing; medical and prenatal to hot stone massage; facial peels; custom-spray sun tans; laser hair removal; even laser tattoo removal.

In fact, N4 Med Spa-Salon is the only local salon to offer botox and fillers, and other services such as the tattoo removal, and no argument—this is a good neighborhood for that. The N4 office features state of the art equipment including a laser that removes almost all colors, says Aglialoro. “I see some remarkable tattoo artwork come in to my office, but I see some bad decisions, too.” He understands “tattoo regret” and regularly removes them, often for the purpose of creating a new “canvas” for the tattoo artist to redo one, over an old one, or add new elements to an existing tat.

The staff consists of a group of seven highly trained practitioners: four aestheticians, including the doctor, a nail tech, a hair stylist, and a masseuse. “I’ve hand picked individuals who are incredible at what they do,” says Dr. George, as he is also called. The doctor himself performs derma filler and botox cosmetics, treating lines and wrinkles, or for the purpose of preventing them; he also applies those techniques to enhance features; he does laser hair removal and laser tattoo removal.

Not to forget the “look” of the salon itself, Aglialoro didn’t spare expense and hired the well known interior designer and architect Robert Henry to design N4. Henry is known for his spa designs across the country, including The Setai Wall Street, and The Mandarin Oriental.

I was given a tour into the back area of the salon. One enters a hallway of calmness created by candles softly illuminating the passageway. On either side of the hall are five small rooms where treatments are performed, and you’d gladly fall into any one of them.

Because I have redness to the skin, the Dr. recommended a hydrafacial treatment using three different serums that deeply hydrate the skin, and treats discoloration and fine lines. He explains: “The hydrafacial machine is a great device which heats up the collagen beneath the layer of the skin to help with fine lines and wrinkles, and gives the skin a little tightening affect.”

Aglialoro is proud of their hand-harvested and organic Irish seaweed facial treatments, and the skin care products by Aveda, which they use.

The fees for treatments are not over-the-top expensive, but competitive.

Here’s a chance to get a taste, for both men and women. Dr. George Aglialoro and his staff will be demonstrating and offering free laser revision, custom spray tans, and skin consultations FREE. April 21, 2013 — from 1-5 pm. Wine and appetizers, too, for their GRAND OPENING.