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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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Live All You Can: Henry James in the Village

Henry James wrote one of the quintessential New York novels, Washington Square. He lived in Greenwich Village at 21 Washington Place. So on April 15, celebrate something other than paying your taxes. Celebrate Henry James's birthday!

Read one of 

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Gilded Love: Stokes and Sargent

The last time I was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, being classy, I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw this painting:

It's called Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes and it was painted by

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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 Mingus.

We are pleased 

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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 

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Ghost Light: Illuminating Our City's Theaters: RKO Coliseum

A thing of beauty is a joy forever... — Keats

(quoted in opening night program, B. S. Moss' Coliseum Theatre, 1920)

The end of 2011 also brought the quiet demise of the last movie theater in WashingtonHeights, Coliseum Cinemas. Known to most residents as the RKO Coliseum, the large theater, occupying the entire corner of 181st and Broadway, has been a fixture of the neighborhood for over 90 years. As the community now debates the future of the Coliseum 

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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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"Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles: A Review

The fairytale of New York City is just as strong for New Yorkers as it is for those who don’t live here: the glittering world of who’s in or out, swanky hotel bars and Hamptons summer houses. It is a world of movers and shakers and large, beautiful apartments that is longingly aspired to as we go about our daily drudgery. The narrative of the fairytale is learned in childhood, from movies and TV, like some Grimm or Charles Perrault story: ambitious nobody moves to Manhattan, meets the right people, makes the right connections and boom, enters the world of New York 

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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 aromatics 

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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 Yekl: A Tale of the New 

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Whispering Column of Jerash

credit: Charles Kyriazos (onwatersedge on flickr)The Whispering Column of Jerash sounds very intriguing and mysterious. What does this mean, many will ask. Are you whispering to the column or is the column whispering to you? And, more importantly where exactly is this column located...

The Whispering Column of Jerash stands quietly in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens. Many people walk pass this ancient treasure not realizing that it dates back to 120 A.D. Many do not know that this column is the second 

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Library Way

Ask NYPL gets a lot of questions about the sidewalk on Library Way. If you haven't seen it before, on your next trip to the main building on Fifth Avenue, be sure to approach from the east and

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From "Drugstore Photographs, Or, A Trip Along the Yangtze River, 1999;" Lower Manhattan Block-by-Block by Dylan Stone. Block 084: West Thames Street between South End Avenue and the Hudson River Esplanade (north side), Digital ID 504218, New York Public LibraryWhere were you? Uptown, midtown, downtown. Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx. Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey. On the ferry, on the train, in the air, below ground. At the library, at school, at home, at work. Maybe you were somewhere 

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Once Upon a Movie Theater: The Story of Belmont Library

Nestled on a small tree-lined side street just off Arthur Avenue in "the heart of Little Italy, the Bronx" rests the Belmont Library and Enrico Fermi Cultural Center, proudly celebrating 30 years of service this fall. "What the Hester and Mott Street corner is to Little Italy in Manhattan," wrote the New York Times in 1980, "the Arthur Avenue and East 187th Street corner is to the Italian shopping district in the Bronx. It is a central location." The 

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Devlynn's Summer Must List!

Devlynn, 16, is a volunteer extraordinaire at Seward Park Library. She is a life-long resident of the Lower East Side and will be a junior this fall at Bronx Science High School. This is her list of must-reads, must-watch, and must-do's for summer 2011.

1. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress series, book one) by Jeaninene Frost

Cat Crawfield is a young, inexperienced half-vampire who hunts vampires, and she is systemically killing all the vampires who live around her 

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The General Slocum Disaster of June 15, 1904

Illustration by Samuel Ward StantonThe General Slocum Disaster occurred on June 15, 1904. This tragedy is much less well known compared to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of March 25, 1911, and the Titanic Disaster of April 15, 1912. Perhaps these two shocking events happening within a year focused people's attention elsewhere. But the aftermath of the sinking of the PS Slocum radically altered the 

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Heard Any Good Images Lately? The Art of Verbal Imaging

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then those words are priceless to people who cannot see. Verbal imaging is the art of describing pictures, art, and the world for people who are blind or have visual difficulty. For the past few years, Art Beyond Sight/Art Education for the Blind has been conducting art and craft programs at the Andrew Heiskell Library, teaching a variety of techniques to blind and visually impaired people, from sculpting to painting. And through their

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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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A Venture Outside...

Greenery and flowers, birds singing and warmer temperatures ... it's a perfect time to venture outside into the nearest natural spot to find respite. New York City's parks and natural spaces provide enjoyment for millions of people and habitats for plants and animals, some of them rare or endangered.

When you think of New York City images, the first thing that comes to mind might be a bit different than the scenery in the photo below. 

No, it's not a photo of an Appalachian forest, but of a wetland in Staten Island. You can bring the Library with you on 

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