Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Consumers Spend Big During Black Friday Weekend

November 29th, 2010 by Brooks Newkirk

Black Friday line
photo by tshein
Creative Commons License

Although the country’s unemployment rate is still high and the recession wages on, consumers didn’t let that stop them from shopping ‘til they dropped over Black Friday weekend. According to stats released by the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, more than 212 million shoppers hit stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, Nov. 25-27, spending a total of $45 billion.

On average, shoppers spent $365.34 this weekend, up from $343.31 last year; a 6.4 percent increase.

Shoppers came out in full force early to get some of the year’s best deals. Some started the shop-a-thon on Thanksgiving Day and one Florida family set-up camp outside a Best Buy nine days before Black Friday.

This is all great news for retailers as holiday shopping gets into full swing.

“While Black Friday weekend is not always an indicator of holiday season performance, retailers should be encouraged that a focus on value and discretionary gifts has shoppers in the spirit to spend,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, stated in a press release. “As retailers look ahead to the first few weeks of December, it will be important for them to keep momentum going with savings and incentives that holiday shoppers simply can’t pass up.”

Chestnuts Roasting By the Subway Station…

November 28th, 2010 by Ichi Vazquez

It’s that time of year again, New Yorkers. The holiday season is upon us, and the city has been gradually putting up celebratory lights. Sooner or later, the mad dash to find presents and shopping deals will make Black Friday look like a joke. But shopping isn’t the only thing that should be on your mind – here is a list of things you can do to ease yourself into the holiday spirit in the city…

* If you haven’t been to Rockefeller Center yet, that’s okay – because the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be take place this coming Tuesday.Word of advise to those who are extremely claustrophobic: wait until after Tuesday to go pay a visit! The turnout for this event can be pretty overwhelming…

* It’s finally getting chillier outside, but that shouldn’t deter you from going ice skating in either one of the rinks in Central Park! Rockefeller Center also has an ice skating rink, but you are likely to find a much longer wait to get on the ice…

* Ever wanted to drink a lot and dress like Santa for a day? Well, now you can! The annual and notorious Santacon event is coming up on December 11. Don’t be surprised if you see a mass of Santas take over the city as they move from location to location, hitting up bars on the way. You can even follow the group on Twitter.

* Get musical and join a free community sing-along event with award-winning choir Songs of Solomon. On December 1, 4 and 10, this choir will hit up Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx to sing and let others join in the merry-making. The sing-alongs take place until February…

* Hit up Union Square’s holiday market. It’s a great place to find an ideal holiday gift for anyone or just browse around to enjoy.

* Go to and browse around the site for numerous fun, free things you can do around the city! Events range from holiday musical performances to poetry readings to tours.

* Attend a wreath-making workshop at the Queens County Farm Museum December 4 and 5. Everything is provided for you to craft and have fun, as long as you book your place in advance: (718) 347-3276 Ext. 301.

* Take a walk down 5th Avenue starting front Central Park. Window shopping at the stores on this street will get you in a cheerful mood thanks to the unique display of lights and holiday decorations.

B.A.M. Boo!

November 28th, 2010 by An Phung

Fort Greene’s tiniest ghouls and ghosts showed up for the ninth annual B.A.M. Boo! event that took place on October 31, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music located on Lafayette Avenue. It was a spectacle of colorful superhero costumes, princess dresses, scary face paint, fake teeth and empty bags waiting to be stocked with sugary swag.

Kids and parents gathered in this afternoon, family-friendly event to play carnival games, listen to ghosts stories, paint their faces and indulge in candy before they embarked on a long night of trick-or-treating.

B.A.M. Boo! 2010 from An Phung on Vimeo.

Crime on the Rise in Red Hook/Carroll Gardens

November 22nd, 2010 by Daniel Prendergast

Crime is on the rise in the Red Hook and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods. A string of assaults, robberies, and grand larcenies plagued the area over the past two weeks, causing cops in the 76th precinct to beef up patrols and initiate a more aggressive strategy to combat crime. Below is a map illustrating some of the problems this Brooklyn community is facing.

View Crime in the NYPD’s 76th Precinct in a larger map

Flushing, NY

November 22nd, 2010 by Paul DeBenedetto

After the jump, a tour of Flushing, NY.

Mixed Cuisine in Diverse District

November 22nd, 2010 by Ichi Vazquez

In Brooklyn’s Community District 12, which includes the neighborhoods of Borough Park, Kensington and Midwood, the food is just as diverse as the residents who reside there. In Kensington alone, the diversity of cultures range from Bangladeshi to Mexican to Polish. If you’re feeling adventurous (and very hungry!), it might be worth exploring the different foods available in these neighborhoods. Bon apetit!

View BK Community District 12 in a larger map

Tribeca points of interest

November 22nd, 2010 by Chase Lindsay Rosen

Tribeca is a .6 square mile area part of Community District 1 in Manhattan. Tribeca stands for the Triangle Below Canal and is an area rich with old buildings and cobble stone streets, great restaurants, luxury buildings and a bumpin’ night life. There is a ton to do and see in the area but below, find some noteworthy places when visiting, moving to or just walking around Tribeca.

View TriBeCa POI in a larger map

Crime Blotting

November 22nd, 2010 by An Phung

It was a tough week for women in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, as they were the victims of four different muggings in the 88th Precinct’s ongoing battle against subway robberies. There were seven teenagers arrested for robberies and teen-on-teen violence. A number of the robberies, burglaries, purse theft and auto break-ins were concentrated in a crime-heavy area with a border that includes Willoughby Avenue to the north, Vanderbilt Avenue to the east, Green Avenue to the south and Flatbush Avenue to the west. Several incidents resulted in violence and one left a woman hospitalized for her injuries.

Click on the icons below to see a detailed description of the time, location, crime and charges for incidents that resulted in arrests.

View The Local Crime Blotter in a larger map

Senior Centers in Bed-Stuy

November 21st, 2010 by Jacqueline Vergara Amézquita

The senior citizen population of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn saw the closure of two local senior centers this past summer. They were part of the 50 senior centers ordered to close their doors by the city during budget cuts in July. A total of 11 centers were mandated to close in the borough of Brooklyn.

However, the seniors of Bed-Stuy can still count on six local senior centers for social, economic, and health services. If you are a senior citizen in search of help, or you know of a senior who wants to access services in Bed-Stuy, this map will help you find the six available centers in the area.

View Senior Centers in Bed-Stuy in a larger map

Bargain Shopping in NYC

November 21st, 2010 by Brooks Newkirk

New York City is one of the fashion capitols of the world. It’s home to Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York and a slew of other high-end retailers. But it’s also home to hundreds of consignment shops and discount retailers that are a bargain shopper’s dream. Here are a few of my favorite spots to shop for bargains around the city:

View Bargin Shopping in NYC in a larger map