Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

Program Locations:

Fully accessible to wheelchairs
Program is free, but advance registration is recommended. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance.

The oldest building in New York City, the hobbit doors of Dennet Place, a hidden museum in a Williamsburg apartment—Brooklyn is filled with secrets.

Secret Brooklyn book coverAway from the crowds and standard attractions, Brooklyn offers countless offbeat experiences. Michelle Young and Augustin Pasquet, founders of the online magazine Untapped Cities, join us for a conversation their book Secret Brooklyn: An Usual Guide.

After presenting an overview of the borough’s hidden treasures, the authors will discuss their popular website and the power of urban discovery. A Q&A follows.

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From Hyperallergic:

Aerial view up the East River (May 27, 1960, photo by Theodore V. Donaldson)
Aerial view up the East River (May 27, 1960, photo by Theodore V. Donaldson) (all images courtesy NYC Municipal Archives)

The Brooklyn waterfront is radically changing. The Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg is transforming into residential and commercial space, both inside its hollowed-out brick building and outside with new glassy high-rises. Towers are pending for long-quiet Greenpoint. And Brooklyn Bridge Park is altering the former industrial area of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights with green space and, naturally, condos. It’s from the perspective of that park that the NYC Municipal Archives examined the East River shore’s long history of change.

A Century on the Brooklyn Waterfront was one of the shipping container exhibitions at Photoville, held earlier this month in the Pier 5 Uplands in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Curated by Public Records Officer Quinn Berkman and Paper and Archival Conservator Cynthia Brenwall, the exhibition drew on the NYC Municipal Archives’ 221,000 cubic feet of material, particularly its collections on the WPA Federal Writers’ and Art projects (1935–43) and the Department of Bridges (1901–39).

“The ability to appreciate what parks were before they were public recreational areas is important, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park is so relevant because the transformation is so recent,” Berkman told Hyperallergic. Many of the photographs were printed from glass plate negatives, and date from between 1870 and 1974, revealing the rise of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the concentration of maritime commercial activity on the Brooklyn piers long before they were replaced with parks.

View of Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1890)
View of Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1890) (click to enlarge)

“I think it is important to remember that Brooklyn was the heart of the city’s import business,” Berkman explained. “What is now seen as real estate opportunity was once used purely for the ports and trade industry.” It was only in the 1970s that the area was designated as a landmarked neighborhood and the repurposing of warehouses began. “It’s pretty incredible because once the Brooklyn Bridge opened, this part of Brooklyn was considered Manhattan’s first suburb, however by the 60s it cycled back into an industrial zone and now it is back to being a residential neighborhood,” she added.

The NYC Municipal Archives has recently been making more of its photographs accessible online, from the documentation of the NYPD’s “Alien Squad,” which monitored potentially subversive political groups in the 1930s and ’40s, to the around 30,000 crime photographs from 1914 to 1975 released earlier this year. As the photographs were taken for municipal government use — during the construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or the renovation of the Brooklyn Piers, for instance — some of the creators’ names are now lost. In addition to their original purposes, they now form an essential record of the city’s changing character.

“These photographs are not just ‘iconic’ images of old NYC, they are used to understand and preserve the history of the city,” Berkman said. “Photography is one of the best mediums to use to tell a story and send a message, which is also why it has just as complex of a history as New York does.”

View of the Manhattan Bridge from Jay and York Streets (January 4, 1912, photo by Eugene de Salignac)
View of the Manhattan Bridge from Jay and York Streets (January 4, 1912, photo by Eugene de Salignac)
Aerial view of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Atlantic Avenue (September 19, 1956)
Aerial view of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Atlantic Avenue (September 19, 1956)
Aerial view taken above Atlantic Avenue and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park was once home to the New York Dock Company. (September 19, 1956) (photo by Theodore V. Donaldson)
Aerial view taken above Atlantic Avenue and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

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From Untapped Cities:

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The people who make New York New York can often be said to be living landmarks.  One such individual passed away recently…

from The New York Times:

“For decades, if there was an empty bench on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Leonora Russo was there to take it. With her electric dresses, chunky jewelry and oversize, Elton John-esque sunglasses, Ms. Russo was a familiar sight in the neighborhood’s ever-changing landscape.

If there is a tale of two Williamsburgs, Ms. Russo occupied the realm alongside the waiters and the shopkeepers. At Vinnie’s Pizzeria, on Bedford Avenue near North Ninth Street, a photograph of Ms. Russo in a bright red dress still hangs on the wall.

As the neighborhood became more popular, she was featured in short documentaries, magazines and blogs. Some referred to her as the Queen of Williamsburg.

… Up and down Bedford Avenue last week, Ms. Russo’s death this month was announced on pink fliers taped to lampposts. She died at New York University Medical Center in Manhattan after a short illness. She was 91.

Karen Holley recalled the first time Ms. Russo sauntered into her clothing shop, Lawanna’s, about 10 years ago. There had been a young man eyeballing a $50 silver skull ring he could not afford.

“She bought it for him,” Ms. Holley, who now lives in New Orleans, said in an email. “They didn’t even know each other. That was the type of woman she was, generous. She was a true wild gem of a woman.”

“She was our Iris Apfel,” she added, referring to the fashion icon.

Ms. Russo was born and raised on East 28th Street in Manhattan. Her parents were Sicilian immigrants. She had lived in her third-floor, rent-controlled railroad apartment on North 11th Street in Williamsburg for 68 years. Her sister, Marie Coradetti, 90, lives in Queens, and her brother, Ignacio Ferraro, 93, in Pennsylvania. Neither attended a memorial service for her on Monday night. Their mother had lived to be 102.

The service, organized by Ms. Russo’s nephew, John Labarac, who lives on Long Island, was held at Arthur’s Funeral Home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The crowd was sparse but diverse, a snapshot of both old and new Williamsburg. Many loved ones, who had left the city years ago, could not make it. Others were stuck at work, just down the street.”…

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Tuesday, 11th October 2016

From 7:00pm to 9:28pm

This is a free event

Rough Trade NYC

Tim Lawrence, author of Life and Death on the Dancefloor, will be hosting a book event in support of the book with special guests Bruce Forest (Better Days), Will Socolov (Sleeping Bag), Steven Harvey (New York Rocker), and Tom Silverman.

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From Videology Bar & Cinema:

The Lost Arcade

Wednesday, August 31st @7PM

Eventbrite - 'The Lost Arcade' Q&A with Director Kurt Vincent & Producer Irene Chin after the film!

“Kurt Vincent’s new documentary introduces Chinatown Fair, made famous by Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Letterman – but made a haven by loyal young gamers.” The Guardian

“Part scrappy, part sweet and wholly enjoyable, The Lost Arcade is a love letter to a vanished piece of New York, and a little wish for the future.” New York Times

“”The Lost Arcade” is an engaging minor movie, but it touches on something that’s being lost in the age of technology that’s much bigger than video-game arcades.” Variety

Chinatown Fair opened as a penny arcade on Mott Street in 1944. Over the decades, the dimly lit gathering place, known for its tic-tac-toe playing chicken, became an institution, surviving turf wars between rival gangs, changing tastes and the explosive growth of home gaming systems like Xbox and Playstation that shuttered most other arcades in the city. But as the neighborhood gentrified, this haven for a diverse, unlikely community faced its strongest challenge, inspiring its biggest devotees to next-level greatness.

Dir. Kurt Vincent. 79 min. 2015.

 At Videology Bar & Cinema
  • 308 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11249
  • 718-782-3468
  • info@videology.info




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Shown at Spectacle

124 South 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY, 11249

Admission price: $5

TUESDAY, JULY 26 – 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM

Dir. Nelson Sullivan, 2001
Curated by Steve Lafreniere and Dick Richards
USA, 300 minutes.

MONDAY, JULY 18 – 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 26 – 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM

PLEASE NOTE: in keeping with the original intent of the footage, the screening is 5 hours long with admittance throughout its runtime. $5 will get you entry to the entire 5 hours; we’ve listed two screening times to indicate this program runs all night.


Last presented in 2001 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise gallery in the Meatpacking District, Steve Lafreniere’s exhibition of Nelson Sullivan’s video work paints a remarkable portrait of downtown New York in the 1980’s.

Reviewing hundreds of hours of Sullivan’s recorded work, co-curated by Sullivan’s friend and colleague Dick Richards, Lafreniere’s presentation distills nearly a decade of downtown life into five hours, broken into five hour-long acts. In their original presentation, each act was presented sequentially, with a different hour presented each day, for a five day period.

Prior to his sudden death, Sullivan was located at the center of the 80’s downtown queer arts community, creatively documenting the entertainment, personalities, and places commonly recognized today.

Nelson Sullivan Video Collection courtesy of Dick Richards, Robert Coddington and David Goldman, Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University.…

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NY Obscura Society Cinema Club: Monday Night Matinee Monday, February 22nd @7PM

In the 1930s, the war between cinema and vaudeville was in full swing. Many of the grand old theaters that had been dedicated to hosting live shows were being retrofitted to accommodate the increasingly popular new medium, replacing performers who were convinced that moving pictures were merely a passing fad. After all, in a pre-television world, an audience could get all manner of entertainment from a vaudeville show, from music and comedy to drama and dance. Hollywood was quite aware of this difference, however, and developed their own diverse programming that attempted to combine the novelty of motion pictures with the variety offered by vaudeville. Shorts, in the form of newsreels, cartoons, serials, trailers and more, preceded almost every film that people went to see in the theater.

Join the Obscura Cinema Club for an evening of entertainment that harkens back to this time of novelty and innovation, with this carefully curated selection of shorts from 1930’s through the 1960’s. Join us on a trip back to when the price of a ticket not only paid for a double feature, but also a filmic variety show of shorts. These films will provide a fascinating, enlightening, and at times hilarious look at the events, popular culture, and social mores of the time.

Videology Bar & Cinema

  • 308 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11249
  • 718-782-3468
  • info@videology.info



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Get tickets for Colin Quinn in The New York Story now through August 16th.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday @ 8:00 pm
Saturday @ 5:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sunday @ 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Monday Performance Added July 20th @ 8:00 pm
75 minutes. No intermission

In Colin Quinn The New York Story, Colin bemoans the rise and fall of his hometown, the city formally known as NY, from its modest beginnings as Dutch outpost to the hipsters of modern Williamsburg to the vermin below and above ground. Quinn is once again at his satirical best, taking aim at the prejudices, paranoias and peculiarities that make New York City the crossroads of the world.

“I’m doing this show because I’ve already covered the world with ‘Long Story Short,’ the country with ‘Unconstitutional’ and now the city. I’m working my way down to the most fascinating subject: me!”

— Colin

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Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Thru 7/19)
Since 1903, when the Nolani immigrants first held their transplanted feast in this Brooklyn neighborhood, this festa has attempted to maintain many of the traditions from the Mezzogiorno, while adjusting to the new culture in America and accommodating the pressure to change.
$Free. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 275 North 8th St, Williamsburg.…

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