Archive for the ‘Audio_clip’ Category

M.S. 571’s Phase Out Explained

December 20th, 2010 by Jonathan Vit

Prospect Heights’ troubled M.S. 571 would close its doors permanently by 2013, announced the Department of Education on Dec. 6th and 7th. The middle school was included in the department’s plan to shutter 26 of the city’s lowest performing schools.

“I don’t see why this school was targeted,” said M.S. 571 P.T.A. President Maria Salichs. Listen to Salichs discuss where the school goes from here:

Maria Salichs on M.S. 571’s closing by jonathanvit

The Underhill Avenue school earned a “D” on its most recent annual progress report. An investigation this fall into M.S. 571 by department officials found consistent problems at the school, including low attendance rates, poor test performance and concerns over student safety. Here’s a closer look:

The Prince of 125th and Lexington

December 6th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

Prince Arala Osula has no lavish palace but rules the downtown train platform at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue. If you’ve taken a four, five or six train, headed downtown from that stop, you have probably heard him. And if you had a hankering for some reggae or rock that day, you may have even spoken with him.

Prince isn’t into performing just to get the royal treatment. He claims he was called by God to play not just at 125th and Lexington, but specifically to play on the downtown platform. Whether it was a calling from God or the desire to be discovered, Prince is serious about his work.

He’s been at the station for five years and has regulars. Fans range from school kids to the New York Police who Prince ubiquitously calls “Finest”. But Prince also welcomes tourist and often has a song from a visitor’s native country.

Here is a brief “backstage” tour with Prince. 

“That Guy” Revisited

October 18th, 2010 by Stuart White

While this blog has covered the foibles of obnoxious bar patrons in the past, it has only examined the issue from the point of view of fellow bar-goers.  But what do the bartenders have to say?  After all, we may be briefly inconvenienced by obnoxious drunks, but bartenders are the ones who are perpetually saddled with their inane requests, their loud remarks and—at times—their disgusting bodily functions.  With that in mind, we take a look at the pet peeves of the brave men and women who pour our drinks and deal with us at our most obnoxious.

Note:  As a caution to the reader, in true bartender fashion, some of the following language is not safe for work.

Brian M., a bartender at the venerable Brooklyn hangout Farrell’s, offered this criticism of amateurish holiday drinkers.

Brian by Stuart White

Kar G., who tends bar in Park Slope, takes umbrage with those who ask for a glass of water only after being kicked out of the bar.

Kar by Stuart White

Nick S., another Park Slope bartender, numbers amateur attorneys among his biggest pet peeves.

Nick by Stuart White

Finally, Rich V. of Bar 4 gives the lowdown on every bartender’s biggest annoyance: cheapskates.

Rich by Stuart White

Community Up In Arms Over Franklin Avenue Pawnshop

October 17th, 2010 by Jonathan Vit

Photo by Jonathan Vit

Struggling with a significant increase in burglaries, Crow Hill residents protested a new pawnshop Saturday that they feel will only bring more crime to their growing section of Brooklyn. It’s a dispute that places the pawnshop at the center of a heated debate over the future of what is arguably the front line of gentrification in the rapidly developing Crown Heights neighborhood.

Opponents argue that the pawnshop, opening at the corner of Park Place and Franklin Avenue, is a step backwards for the budding Franklin Avenue commercial strip. Once a neglected avenue of dollar stores and shuttered storefronts, Franklin Avenue has witnessed a resurgence in recent years as restaurants and bars capitalized on the changing community.

“It is not consistent with what we are trying to do with Franklin Avenue,” said Councilwoman Letitia James, of District 35. “We are trying to attract businesses to Franklin Avenue based on what the needs are of the community and right now the needs of Crow Hill are not for a pawnshop.”

The pawnshop is also located on a block where zoning prohibits pawnshops from opening, said Nina Meldandri, project manager for the Crow Hill Community Association. The association is now working to get Department of Buildings inspectors to the site in an effort to force Community Pawnbrokers to close its doors.

But owner Eugene Josovits says, protest or not, the pawnshop will open.

“I am not breaking the law,” said Josovits. “I have nothing to be afraid of, I followed every single rule in the book.”

Protest chant by jonathanvit

Nina Meldandri by jonathanvit

Mike Bedford by jonathanvit

Stacey Sheffey by jonathanvit

A popular hand game in Brooklyn

October 17th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Let’s talk about Handball. American Handball. This game is quite popular in Brooklyn, where we can find children playing it almost every day after class in one of the numerous outdoor fields of the borough. James, Diana, Kary and Thomas were playing last Friday evening at the Fish playground park, between Saratoga Ave and Fulton Steet in Brooklyn.

Diana, 29, is a matron who takes care of special needs persons. She lives a few blocks away, and come here quite often to teach the rules to children who want to improve their skills.

Diana (rules) by edemareschal

Thomas, 14, plays handball almost every day.

Thomas Harris (challenge) by edemareschal

He came with Kary, his niece. She is only 7, but she is already addicted to handball.

Kary by edemareschal

James is one of Thomas friends. He explains some tricks about the game.

James (the killer) by edemareschal

If these people were playing for fun, tournaments of American Handball exist, as well as a United State Handball Association, which counts 8,500 members. A low figure which shows that American Handball’s hearing is still confidential.

Acting in essence, seasoned actor reveals all

October 17th, 2010 by Tuan Thanh Nguyen

By Tuan Nguyen

After more than forty years working as an actor both on stage and movie, Richard Hughes, 67, has the insider’s knowledge to the business. He sits down with me this weekend and shares some of his thoughts on fundamental principles of acting, the importance of experience as well as the difference between acting on stage and on movie.

The Essence: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Richard Hughes on the essence of acting by Tuan_Nguyen

Experience and acting
Richard Hughes (experience and acting) by Tuan_Nguyen

Stage vs. movie acting

Richard Hughes (Stage actor and film) by Tuan_Nguyen

Clip of Richard Hughes and Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Departed” (as ambiance)
Clip from “the Departed” by Tuan_Nguyen

MTA Beefs

September 27th, 2010 by Paul DeBenedetto

Part of being a New Yorker is dealing with the ultimate pest — poor MTA service. So what are your MTA beefs? Bianca Siedman-Shvarts, Edouard de Mareschal and Paul Pedersen recount some nightmares.