Support Gia Forakis’ Indiegogo project: A mash-up of Greek Tragedy & American Film Noir

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What is O.REX?

O.REX is a brand new translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, re-envisioned as a Greek-Noir Classic. (Greek-Noir: a mash-up of Greek Tragedy & American Film Noir.) Translated from the Original Greek by Classics’ Scholar Mark Buchan and Gia Forakis, this production will take place in a nightclub. The audience will be seated at the nightclub tables, where Sophocles’ Choral Odes become acts on the nightclub stage, as the entire performance space is transformed into a black & white world of 1940-50’s film noir with cinematic underscoring, video projection and the gripping drama of the ultimate murder mystery!

Support and learn more about Gia Forakis’ production and her Indiegogo fundraiser.

What becomes a Legend most? You. At the Vogue Ball. If you work it. On the dance floor.

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Albert Einstein said “Dancers are the Athletes of G-d”; if that’s true, Vogue-ing balls are the dance Olympics. Event: The All Night Ball, held on Oct. 27. Olympic Stadium: Lucky Cheng’s, the drag-queen restaurant in the heart of the theater district transformed by screaming fans, disco balls, two DJs, four judges, and more than 30 athletes-of-the-night competing in not one, but two divisions: Vougeing (Old Way — think: Paris is Burning, and New Way) and Hustle. No Aryans at this party. Far from homo-geneous, this scene bridges age, gender, ethnicity, body type, and sexual preference. It is both welcoming and glam.
It is where you need to be if you want to understand how freestyle dance is an accessible, and yet rigorous dance form that deserves to be taken seriously.

Or rather, as serious fun.
Pictured above is the couple who won the $100 Hustle competition prize; but the squeaky-close runners’ up — Anna and David — were a May-December couple who had, to my eye, about three decades separating them. That said, his rock-solid form supporting her swirling blonde tresses and sylph-like delicacy garnered nothing but respect from the largely gay male judges. Olympics, sans discrimination — and politics. It almost sounds like a perfect world, right?

My favorite vogue competitor ended up winning. Can I pick them, or what?
Princess Lockeroo, our hostess (above), performs while the judges deliberate. The 27-year-old dance diva hosts numerous events around the City, many of them featuring Waacking, the dance form begun in gay clubs of the 1970s, in which flamenco-like rapid-fire hand movements are used to carve out melodic and rhythmic song elements in the air. (Lots of body, gesture — and attitude — are also in play.)

As if to illustrate the DIY drama that courses through the beating heart of the Ball scene, Lockeroo’s fellow dancer (and Waacking student) is here pressed into service as human mike stand. A nice touch.
You can wear a work-out suit and vogue. You can wear fishnet stockings and vouge.
And, as one of the judges, the Legendary Javier Ninja told the crowd, “A good voguer can vogue to anything. Opera. Country Music. Anything.”

photo of waacking dancers and of lockeroo from the front, courtesy of choreographer, Angie Chen

all other photos, courtesy of Paulius Nosokas

Apple Pie Contest, Masquerade + Kegger @ Pie Corps

pie corps pie contest, greenpoint

Attention bakers! This is a reminder that Pie Corps Halloween Apple Pie Contest, Beer Tasting, and Masquerade is tomorrow night, and they’re still accepting entrants! Bring your most creative apple pie, savory or sweet; Pie Corps is asking participants to get experimental on Tuesday, October 29 from 7 – 9 pm.

The winner gets a free cooking class with Pie Corps, along with some other great prizes. If you don’t have a pie to enter, no problem. 5 bucks gets you entry to try the pie, and Eastern District will be sourcing a specialty pale ale from Barriers Brewery located in Oceanside, NY.

Pies will be judged by Pie Corps shop owners Cheryl & Felipa, as well as Crista from Phin & Phebes and Vincent of Spina.

To sign up to be a baker, RSVP to to get on the official list.

Buy your $5 tickets to the event here.

Pie Corps
Oct 29 @ 9pm / $5
77 Driggs Avenue, Greenpoint

Big Daddy Kane Raps on Fulton Street

Big Daddy Kane

Big Daddy Kane

By Gloria Fox / Photos by Stacey Muhammad

The Hip Hop Legend Big Daddy Kane headlined the 7th annual Restoration Rocks! music festival in Bed-Stuy on October 12th—it was a splendid October day in Brooklyn, sun high in the sky and a palpable excitement in the air.

Fulton Street closed off, activities abuzz, including vendors of African imports with gorgeous patterned fabrics, original clothing designs, and cool t-shirts; activities included face painting and a public Zumba class. A big stage at one end of the event was the main draw.


Hollywood actor and heart throb Leon MC-ed and charmed the crowd with his smooth delivery and extreme good looks.

The line up of performers included the ubiquitous Questlove. Unfortunately, I missed his performance, but I caught several outstanding performances. Among them was Alex Kelley, a young singer songwriter who was one of two slots in an online talent competition sponsored by Blazetrak. A pop rock stylistic bent, her voice suits the genre with a strong, and emotional intensity that said to me “young star on the rise!”

Maya Azucena

Maya Azucena with her 10-piece band, soul and R&B warmed up the crowd for Daddy Kane. Azucena is a physical powerhouse in stature and voice. Her voice commands over the instrumentals, including four horns and a conga drummer, rich and soaring. Beautiful to watch. She sang about relationships, and empowerment with songs titles Shine, Black Butterfly, and Fearless—sung in tandem with guest appearance by Toni Blackman. It was an awesome set.

Then Big Daddy Kane came on! Talk about a powerful presence! He was classic cool, in his sagging jeans and shiny patterned jacket, a bit more filled out now at 45 than from his 80′s days. He also had a big band accompaniment, super tight with three horns, keyboards, drummer, guitarist and bass and a female backup singer. That man can rap, shooting rapid fire lyrics so quick they become less word like and more music like; the rhythmic speed of his voice blends with the music seamlessly. As soon as his back up dancers joined him onstage, they had the crowd entranced. It was an exciting show that stayed with me for hours.

Chrisette Michele

Kudos to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp for staging such an impressive, free outdoor event.

BSRC is a non-profit organization working towards community awareness and involvement with goals to better empower through self-sufficiency and family well being.

Check out for upcoming events, and ways to get involved.

Brooklyn Record Riot @ Warsaw on Sunday

brooklyn record riot warsaw greenpoint

DJs, vinyl, kielbasa and beer—it’s the Brooklyn Record Riot. The needle hits the vinyl Sunday at Greepoint’s Warsaw, where the BRR features 40+ tables of music stuff in all formats and genres from a diverse group of dealers, some of whom travel hundreds of miles to to get to the show.

Check out the Quebecois psych stuff from Josh Rock of Montreal, reggae stock from Virginia’s Tim Harris, funk 45 action from Barry Soltz, and who knows what the Baker Brothers of Allentown, PA will have up their sleeve (answer: plenty of cheap, good stuff as usual). And then there’s the dollar room, filled with the weird and not-so-weird, vinyl, CDs, books, DVDs—all for a buck.

Rock and sway to a great line-up of SEVEN female DJs, including Girlsoul and The Empress. Enjoy great Polish beer and kielbasi, provided by the Warsaw, all day long.

The Warsaw

261 Driggs Ave, Greenpoint

$3 regular admission

$20 early admission
10am – noon

50+ tables of merchandise from 40 dealers around the US and Canada.
Seven DJs, Polish food and beer provided by the Warsaw
Facebook page

Jailbreak of the Mind—New Required Educational Curriculum

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By Albert Goldson

The new school semester is well underway, applying the same feudal methods to educate our young people, which will fail to prepare them to compete globally.

According to an article in the Times Union on April 13 an unnamed Albany High School educator with an excellent track record, was verbally eviscerated and suspended because this educator requested that his/her three English classes write compositions as 1930s German civilians supporting the Nazis and denouncing Jews under the threat of prison or death. The purpose was to feel the terror imposed on the general population.

“Talk is cheap” so requiring a written statement, committing pen to parchment, has a profound psychological and indelible resonance. This tactic is exploited by ruthless regimes as “proof” of the people’s support. As the old Chinese proverb states, “The weakest ink lasts longer than the strongest memory.”

The fact that one of the three classes refused to participate becoming obedient National Socialists in a role play scenario—in a democracy no less—confirms the powerful emotional effect of dictatorships. It’s the fear that to refuse to participate would result in some form of punishment like mediocre grades or tepid recommendations for university applications.

These visceral exercises create a powerful empathy for oppressed peoples, internationally and domestically, who are frequently demonized because of their race, ethnicity or religion simply because they may have been forced or coerced under extreme conditions to support a ruthless leadership.

A visceral “you are there” experience always trumps a vicarious one in that students experience and recognize the hidden messages and subtle creeping power and control that governments and corporations apply to eliminate your rights “for your protection.” You must question these proposed new laws like Captain Kirk did in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) who boldly asked, “What does God need with a spaceship?”

Perhaps not as draconian as the Albany affair, we need to apply changes in education to protect our freedoms which many of us take for granted. How can we constructively engage with the world if we refuse to understand how they feel if we refuse experience their daily trials and tribulations?

Amanda Ripley’s book “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way” debunks the “more money, better product” theory and adds that, “Low expectations are often duly rewarded.”

And to paraphrase Joanne Lipman in the September 28 Wall Street Journal article “Tough Teachers Get Results”, “Studies have now shown the benefits of moderate childhood stress and why grit is a better predictor of success than SAT scores. It’s time to review old-fashioned education.”

Her interviews of now successful middle-aged men and women reveal that “the best and the brightest educated by the old-fashion, gruff teachers of the past, though their journey was difficult, they all succeeded far better than their contemporaries who had teachers who taught with kid gloves.  A moderate amount of stress in childhood promotes resilience.”

This Albany educator is not alone. There are thousands of extraordinarily creative educators throughout the country who are hesitant to introduce bold methods out of the same fear that the students felt if they refused to participate in that exercise.

Educators have a teacher’s license but politically don’t have a license to teach because they run the gauntlet between a decades-old, provincial-minded, political beast in educational institutions and soft, coddled and entitled students all enabled by mainstream media. Big Education is Big Business when university tuition costs are greater than a down-payment for a condo at One57.  Any educational institution that is engaged in “dumbing down” American students should be charged with child abuse.

It’s a brutally competitive global environment and without the proper educational methods American students will sink to greater depths of mediocrity. It’s the execution of providing a good education, not the amount of funding.

Albert Goldson is an Architectural & Engineering Contract Manager specializing in transportation megaprojects, energy, security and urban planning. An internationalist, he is a long-time Williamsburg resident.

2nd Annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume + Trick Contest

halloween dog costume contest mccarren park

This Saturday afternoon, the McCarren Park Dog Run is the place to be, for the 2nd Annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume + Trick Contest. The weatherman is forecasting 55 degrees with plenty of sunshine, so get Fido gussied up and head on over, and plan on spending the afternoon, from 1 – 4pm.

Packs of dogs will line up for the main event—THE DOGGY COSTUME CONTEST—led by MC DOG-E-DOG (backed by a DJ) and judged by local dog fanatics, Todd Goldstein of the band ARMS (formally of Harlem Shakes), Molly Simms of BUST magazine, and Deenie Hartzog of There will also be a myriad of other activities such as doggy TRICKS-N-TREATS competition, professional photo portraits for pups and their owners, and tons of great raffled prizes generously donated by local Brooklyn establishments.

You have four more days to cut, sew, glue, and practice tricks. There is no registration fee, but only the first 50 arrivals will become contestants, so get there early.

All dog lovers can contribute to the BARC Shelter; bring toys, food, poop bags, treats, water bowls. They’ve also got an Amazon wish list, so you can take a look and see what they need, and pick it up locally. Please support our local no-kill shelter as they wrap up their 20th year serving the community.

Invite your dog lovin’ friends by sending them here. The Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume + Trick Contest is brought to you by the wonderful folks at Dog-E-Dog.

Art Show on Pulaski Bridge Circles Through Greenpoint’s History

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Viewers were treated to four video projects and two live dances capturing the history of Greenpoint and LIC, and its connecting bridge the Pulaski Bridge, as they moved across the  bridge. It is a project by Chris Henderson, and presented by the interactive arts group Moviehouse.

Read full story by Jason Silverstein, here at Greenpoint Gazette.

$19.5 million Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund Now Accepting Proposals

greenpoint community environmental fund

Oil spill (Newtown Creek). Photo by Mitch Waxman

The $19.5 million Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF) is ready for  proposals for projects to improve Greenpoint’s environment. Go to their site for full information on how to apply. (Note: based on feedback at the September 25the Greenpoint Community Meeting, the deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to December 18, 2013).

If you plan to apply, sign up for one of the GCEF’s applicant workshops or webinars. These events will provide helpful information on the grant program and guide you through the application process.

How Can We Help Foster Project Partnerships in Greenpoint?

At the September 25th Greenpoint Community Meeting, we heard many requests for the GCEF to assist prospective applicants to find partners to work on projects of shared interest.

To help us focus this assistance, we’ve prepared a short survey designed to identify the community’s greatest needs. So, take a moment to fill out the survey below. We ask that you complete the survey by Tuesday, October 22.

Have questions? Need help? Contact Laura Treciokas or Filip Stabrowski at the GCEF Community Liaison Office by emailing or call 718-389-9044, ext. 15.

And follow us on Twitter @gcefund and visit our site.