Friday, February 29, 2008


While watching this year's Academy Awards, I caught a fleeting glimpse of footage from when Isaac Hayes performed the theme song from Shaft during the Oscars way back in '71. I could see that he was accompanied by dancers, and right then I decided I wanted to see the entirety of that footage. So yesterday I journeyed to The Paley Center for Media (originally the Museum of Radio and Television) on 52nd Street.

I elevatored up to the 4th floor and hopped onto their database to find the 1971 Oscars. The listing appeared as "Tape 1 of 3" and also said in brackets "Warhol Vintage Television." The running of time was listed as 28 minutes and 55 seconds. That seemed odd, given that the Oscars last for 3 to 4 hours. The guy at the help desk was tied up on the phone so I figured what the heck, I'll just go down to a screening booth and see what this is all about.

So down I went to the screening room and entered the program's code. What it turned out to be was this: Andy Warhol had set up a tripod and filmed the Oscars from his own home. So the program alternated between his shots of the show and shots of his friends lounging around while watching the show. In the backdrop were Andy's continuous and barely-audible comments about everything on the Oscars. When Isaac Hayes came on the Oscars, Andy did catch it on film and made his running commentary. To me, it was an irritating blur of images, music, Isaac's voice, and Andy's voice. So I snapped it off and ran back up to the database room to find something else.

I entered "Jim Henson" and "Muppett Show" and scrolled down 'till I found a vintage episode of Sesame Street which featured Lena Horne, The Globetrotters, and Stevie Wonder. Yay! Back downstairs, I got to see a full commercial-free hour of Sesame Street Episode 536 when Maria and Luis were young adults, when Snuffy was still on the show, and when the pace of the slow was much, much slower.

After watching Sesame Street, I went back down to the lobby of the Paley Center to see a wall and video exhibit about women who have helped to shape the history of media. She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio "celebrates the achievements and preserves the legacy of great women writers, directors, producers, journalists, sportscasters, and executives."

My adventure led me from the 80th Annual Academy Awards to Isaac Hayes to Andy Warhol to Sesame Street to Women Creating Television and Radio. I love how living in New York makes these kinds of adventures possible.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


poster re-make by Michael Sorgatz
(Uno was the beagle who won the Westminster Dog Show this year - first beagle in 100 years!)

Sunday, February 17, 2008


For the past 2.5 years, Mike and I have been blessed to have a wonderful neighbor, Virginia.
Virginia is friendly, fun, stylish (she makes some of her jewelry and clothing), artistic, and she is a kick-a** baker who shares her cupcakes 'n' such with us. Simply put, we could not ask for a more pleasant person to live next door to.

Now, the house where Virginia rents an apartment is being put up for sale. Our neighboor needs a new home. Here's what she's looking for:

One bedroom, large studio or open loft space
Second floor or higher
Close to the subway
In Brooklyn
Sunlight and quiet

If you know of any housing that fits this description, please give me a holler at 917-499-7395 or and I will pass on the info to Virginia.

Your Reward: a bouquet of flowers, a dozen cupcakes, and the good feeling of helping a good person find a good home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Every month, Brooklyn bloggers get together in a different neighborhood of our beloved borough. We are film-makers, teachers, writers, artists, and community activists. We care about the communities we live in and we're willing to go behind the scenes with cameras and notepads to get the scoop.

We call ourselves the Brooklyn Blogade and we grow bigger by the day.

This past weekend, I hosted a blogade at Faan, an Asian restaurant on Smith Street. There were eleven of us there and we all sat banquet style 'round a long string of tables.

Before folks came through the door, I decorated the table with generous gift boxes creatively assembled by Pete Solomita of Little Buddy Biscuit Company and Ann Lopatin of Blue Ribbon General Store.

(For more coverage, including photos, of this event, please go to Flatbush Gardner and The Brooklyn Optimist.)

Pete's pink 'n' blue boxes were filled with a sampling of his delicious cookies. Ann's were filled with an assortment of the whimsical gift items she sells at her store.

After mingling, each blogger introduced him/herself and and his/her blog. We chowed down and then I asked the participants to brainstorm ideas of what they wanted to do as a group. People came up with some great stuff. Examples:

* Put together a book called The Best of Brooklyn Bloggers
* Use video equipment to interview people, get exposure for people
* Video activism: use video equipment to show social problems, then organize events to address those problems - e.g. neighborhood cleanups
* Have a wire service - e.g. Reuters - so there's a repository of stories that people could draw from
* Host debates between local politicians
* Monetize our assets - figure out how to get paid for our work
* Host an annual bloggers conference where we meet and transfer knowledge
* Have a blog carnival hosted by a particular blog where everyone blogs about a specific topic each month
* Share best practices
* Reach out to other parts of the country and world
* Talk more about fair use and creative rights
* Put together a Wiki for Brooklyn Bloggers

So what happens next? Chris of Flatbush Gardner, an amazing organizer I might add, is going to host a blog carnival. Morgan of Brooklyn Optimist plans on holding a neighborhood cleanup.

There's plenty of room for folks to collaborate, and the ideas presented at the blogade are a great place to start.

Here's to our bright future!

PS - The next Blogade will be hosted by Joyce Hansen of Bad Girl Blog on Sunday, March 9, at 12 p.m., in Kensington at the Old Brick Cafe, a little Italian/Balkan/Mediterranean restaurant on Church Avenue. For more details and to RSVP, please go to her blog.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


(1) Today, my blog got its 10,000th visit. Hip hip hooray!

(2) I was asked to be the first guest blogger on Dr. Susan Corso's blog Seeds for Sanctuary. Dr. Corso, an ordained minister, is also a columnist, lyricist, peaceworker, spiritual counselor, and the author of God's Dictionary. She's got a gift for exploring the impact of words on our daily lives.

(3) I scored 62 points by playing the word JOEYS (plural of joey, a baby kangaroo) in a Scrabble game last night.