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Blog Posts by Subject: East Village

Great Albums You Might Have Missed: Black 47's Fire of Freedom (1993)

I was sitting shotgun on DJ duty during a long volleyball road trip back in high school when I put on a new tape (yes, cassette days) that I was loving of a band I had recently seen playing live at SUNY Albany (yes, pre Internet days). The group was Black 47, the album

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August in the Reader's Den: Slaves of New York, Part 2

Tama Janowitz and Andy WarholAugust will soon come to a close, and so we wrap up Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz, this month's selection in the Reader's Den.

As the stories attempt to tie loose ends with familiar characters such as Eleanor and Marley, Janowitz also weaves in some stand-alone short stories about some even more downtrodden characters, such as "Case History #15, Melinda". Melinda is a bartender in Alphabet City who takes in too many stray animals, and eventually, a stray boyfriend, who inevitably betrays her. "Ode to Heroine of the 

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Learn About Astor Place with New York City Explorers

Fall is a wonderful time to be in New York City. Take advantage of the cooler climate by exploring all NYC has to offer! Saturday September 15, the Ottendorfer Library will proudly present the New York City Explorers. This wonderful duo will give a brief 30 minute lecture at the library before bringing you on a walking tour of historic Astor Place.

Ever wonder who this Astor fellow was and why his name is everywhere in New York? Astor parlayed his fur-trading fortune 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 8: Young Filmmakers and the Seward Park Neighborhood

Don't Shhhh me!.... NOT this time.

We are about to conclude the second season of our Lower East Side Heritage Film Series and for the closer we are ALL TALK.

Along with our now traditional send off (we can call it traditional after the second repetition, right?), the film that started this whole LESHFS, The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves will be projected in all its 16mm glory. I will be orating the original

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 7: Regeneration (1915)

Shhhh.... this one is silent.

One of the great things about silent film is the fact that it is, well, silent.

While this attribute certainly draws attention to body language and visual storytelling, it also provides a blank canvas. As someone who composes and arranges music, this proves a great opportunity to sharpen my skills and have a bit of fun, dropping different types of music into a set of scenes. The fun happens when music intended for one purpose magically enhances another. It is proved to be a much more laborious a task, as I am not able to rely on the timings 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 6: Happy 90th Birthday Mingus!

Happy birthday to Charles Mingus, who would have officially become a nonagenarian this coming April 22, 2012 — a word I am certain he could have cleverly crafted into a title. And to celebrate one of the most unique and gifted voices in not just the jazz world, but, in my opinion, the whole of 20th century music, we are projecting on 16mm this wonderfully insightful film capturing Mingus at a very specific period in his life. A must see for all fans of Charles 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 5: Scorsese & the City

Martin Scorsese has had a quite a run these past two months, with 11 Oscar nominations (four wins) for his film Hugo and a Golden Globe win for the Best Director category, to name just a few. So let's raise another toast (in the spirit of the Bridesmaids' SAG award presentation) to the man who gave us so much great Lower East Side imagery by screening one of his earliest films,

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 4: Bubbies & Beats

Well, Yudie is not exactly a Bubbie, but I simply could not resist the alliteration. (Although, Tante and the Beats would make an excellent band name, don't you think?)

This month's Lower East Side Heritage Film Series (LESHFS) pairs the seemingly improvised storytelling of the Beat Generation with the candid and (seemingly) unrehearsed historytelling of a first generation American to Russian-Jewish parents that landed in the Lower East Side.

We are pleased to offer the following films on Tuesday evening (in the universe), 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 3 — Mascot Flats

It is the beginning of a new calendar year. A time for reflection. A time for resolution. A time for hope.

In this next installment of the Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, we celebrate and reflect on the rebirth of a derelict East Sixth Street tenement building in Alphabet City. Producer and director Josephine Hayes Dean documents the toils and tribulations of its future residents into something that would become a home for their hopes and dreams.

We are pleased to offer the following film on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 2 - Punk'd and Drunk'd

Did you miss CBGB? I did. Well, I should say I missed it in its heyday.

By the time I landed in New York City, the iconic establishment was just a tired bar living off the fumes of its former glories. Listen, I am certainly glad to have made the pilgrimage a handful of times and experienced it well before John Varvatos moved in, but the energy and congregation of locals that helped cultivate a movement of music that still resonates to this day was long gone. All that remained were the 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 1

The Lower East Side Heritage Film Series is returning to Seward Park Library for its second season. To celebrate, we will project Hester Street from 16mm reels.

This 1975 feature film, adapted from Abraham Cahan's 1896 novella

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Pt.9

It might be hard to believe, but the historic Fulton Fish Market migrated away from Lower Manhattan more than five years ago.  In our final installment of the 2010-2011 LES Heritage Film Series, we will take a look back at the Fish Market as it was in the 1950s (sans the olfactorial sensations). We'll be casting the rarely seen extended 23 minute reel for all to sea.  All this on our very own scaled down silver screen. (Apologies, as I am sure I have overfished these waters.) And back by popular demand - to 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Pt.8

Zisn Pesach!  In honor of Passover we are pleased to offer the following film on May 3, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. This FREE monthly series held at Seward Park Branch Library will offer documentary and feature films that were shot on location in lower Manhattan on both 16mm and DVD formats.

8th part in the series:

The Biggest Jewish City in the World (1975, 58 

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My Library: Sydelle

April showers bring Sydelle's flowers at Ottendorfer!

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Pt.7

Showing films on the first Tuesday of every month.  This FREE series at Seward Park Library will offer documentary and feature films that were shot on location in lower Manhattan on both 16mm and DVD formats.

7th part in the series:

Crosby Street (1975, 18 min., 16mm) Director Jody Saslow takes a look at the various economic, social, and aesthetic strata 

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Life After English Class: Yoko's Story

Yoko and Jacqueline reading at a Learning CelebrationYoko, a former student from Japan, stopped by the Tompkins Square Library's Center for Reading and Writing to say hello.  I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.    

How did you find the Center for Reading and Writing?

It was in 2003, November maybe.  I actually visited other libraries and I was looking for a conversation class.  I think I 

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126 Years Ago, a Gift to German Americans

On December 8, 1884 the Ottendorfer Branch opened its doors to the public.

You can relive that day 126 years ago thanks to this article, "Mrs. Ottendorfer’s Gift, The New Branch of the New York Free Circulating Library" which appeared in The New York Times on December 7, 1884.

When Anna Ottendorfer, who along with 

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Changing the Changing City

Seeking further enlightenment into the city we call home, I recently took a class on the literary and cultural history of New York City. Among the many themes common to New York City novels we discussed was the portrayal of the city itself as a character with power to shape the lives of its citizens.

Many of us New Yorkers have felt this pressure in our own lives: we choose where to live based on our budgets, our hobbies, our family situation, and often our ethnic, linguistic or religious 

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A Clue to a Cue

“I’m looking for a pool hall that used to be on 14th street on the east side. I’m not sure what of its name. It was open at least as late as 1989, and it was next to a nightclub. Can you tell me the name of the hall?”

This was an interesting reference challenge. Normally when one is faced with a business name question, it’s as simple as heading to the yellow pages or reverse directory (also known as an address directory) for the time period in question. Without an exact 

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My Library: Sam

Sam is a researcher who makes use of both research and circulating collections at the NYPL. We hope he gets another grant so that he can write "The Library Space as Public Living Room (With Great DVDs): An Anthro-Architectural Analysis." Read More ›
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