In a neighborhood where you can easily find several inspiring new stories every day of the year, it’s hard to choose just a few that represent how Park Slope is such a special place to live. But annually for the past seven years, Louise Crawford of Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn has managed to do just that with her Park Slope 100, choosing 100 of the most interesting people, places, and things that have made the past year unique.
For the 2013 list, we here at Park Slope Stoop and our sister site South Slope News helped a bit on the list, along with OTBKB readers and Facebook friends, and we are proud to be able to share it with our readers and neighbors as well.
His Honor the Mayor of NYC Bill de Blasio: Park Slope’s mayor. Now and forever.
Lawrence Abdullah, the good Samaritan who helped police catch an alleged groper; as Council Member Brad Lander said, he’s a “model citizen helping to ensure the safety of his neighbors here in Park Slope.”
Jennifer Jones Austin, named co-chair of Bill de Blasio’s transition team, has an impressive resume filled with public service, but that’s not all. A few years back, she had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant and difficult to find a donor. But she did it. Her energy amazes.
Barclays Center: Love it or hate it, it’s here with Jay-Z, Beyonce, Streisand, Bieber, Rihanna, Miley, McCartney, Billy Joel, Bruno Mars, Cold Play, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Leonard Cohen, Alicia Keys, and the Video Music Awards. Oh yeah, and the Nets!
The BEAT Festival with its immersive art all over Brooklyn, including Dispatches from Sandy, reflections from relief volunteers at the front lines of Hurricane Sandy.
The benches that have appeared throughout Park Slope, courtesy of the Department of Transportation as requested by diligent members of the Park Slope Civic Council.
Sarah Brasky, who runs Foster Dogs NYC — she lives in the neighborhood, and has not just placed a lot of dogs not just with foster families (many in the Slope), but has found lots of them forever homes. Plus she organized a great scavenger hunt over the summer!
Bogota Latin Bistro for the food, the service, and the atmosphere. We always feel welcome, well taken care of, and well-fed there.
Breaking Bad at The Gate. Again. Another summer with Walt, Jesse, and the BB gang plus great bartenders, and a hushed crowd at Fifth Avenue’s best dive bar.
Martha Cameron and Gary Goff for their work on climate issues and with Brooklyn for Peace.
Ken Carlton for his self-published novel Food for Marriage. The Big Chill meets delicious food and juicy secrets and lies.
Citibike, we could use some more…
Sammy Cohen-Eckstein: “Sammy was a remarkable kid. We heard heart-wrenching, beautiful stories at the funeral, and from kids and adults all around the neighborhood, about his young wisdom (some in his class called him ‘the philosopher’), his compassion and his smile, his skills as a soccer and trumpet player, and the rock-solid support he gave as a sibling and friend. His bar mitzvah was going to be November 16th,” wrote Council Member Brad Lander in remembrance of this son of Park Slope who died. RIP.
Jill Cornell because she used her corporate and theater background, street smarts, and network of friends to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Chiara de Blasio because she bravely told her story about depression and substance abuse. Bravo.
The dolphin that found its way into the Gowanus. The borough watched as this seven foot long mammal turned up in the filthy headwaters of the Superfund canal, more than a mile from the harbor, and struggled for a day before he died. RIP.
Eidolon, Park Slope’s indie design boutique since 1999, is closing. A 5th Avenue treasure for 14 years, Eidolon was a cooperative venture with Andrea’s clothing designs, Yukie’s handbags, Mimi’s jewelry, and Amara Felice’s own variety of clothing and accessories, plus all of the designers who have consigned their goods to the store.
Lucy Farrow, the South Slope 3-year-old who is showing cystic fibrosis who’s boss.
Mark Russ Federman, author of the marvelously entertaining and appetite inducing book Russ & Daughters.
Martha Foley, archivist at Congregation Beth Elohim, who is uncovering and preserving CBE’s rich history and the history of the people and families, many of them Park Slope residents, who have been part of that vital community.
Forever Brooklyn, a short film by Francesco Paciocco.
Fourth Avenue. Block by block. Rising to its potential.
Gail Ghezzi for her blog and exhibition at Jalopy: Birth, Death, Repeat, an art/writing project that featured shadow boxes that are meditations on mortality that use antique artifacts and found objects she acquires at antique fairs, online, and on her sidewalk. Each box imagines the final moments of a fictional character, and then surrounds that character with the detritus of a life.
Goodbyes: Mindy Goldstein and Charlie Libin, longtime Park Slopers who are leaving for greener pastures in Greenpoint; Sweet Melissa decided to call it a day — and what a loss to those who love great patisserie and Saturday morning coffee with her sister. Two Boots: Where do we begin?
Katie Goodman for Sh*t Park Slope Parents Say (and continuing to be funny after that).
The greed and avarice that exists among commercial building owners and landlords on 7th Ave, leaving storefronts vacant for years at a time. Shame.
Chris Hennessy has Multiple Sclerosis but that doesn’t stop him from being a serious biker and athlete.
Reverend Cheri Kroon for her work organizing fast food workers and her ministry at the Flatbush Reformed Church.
Caroline Hiteshew (pictured above) and Tali Biale, of the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket and Barclays Center Greenmarket, respectively, for organizing great food events and finding creative ways to get us to taste new fruits and veggies every week.
Pam Katz, because as co-screenwriter of Hannah Arendt, she was nominated for a Lola, the German Academy Award. The film was picked as one of the top 10 of the year by AO Scott in the New York Times. Nicely done.
Madelyn Kent and Peggy Stafford for their Sense Writing workshops.
The LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park’s new skating center!
Dr. Larisa Litvinova, a compassionate, kind MD with a holistic approach.
The mayoral forums in Park Slope. Lively.
The Maurice Sendak Community School (PS 118) at 4th Ave and 8th Street.
Chirlane McCray because she will always be OUR first lady.
Steve McGill for documenting the city in photographs — especially the birds in Prospect Park (that’s his photo above).
Josh Miele, as reported by the New York Times: Forty years after an acid attack by a neighbor in Park Slope, he is productive, forgiving, and inspiring.
Miss America is a Park Sloper/Windsor Terracian. Mallory Hagan: You go girl!
Nemo hits Brooklyn: Snowy backyards.
Connie Norgren, long-time incredible teacher at PS 321, volunteer at PS 10, and peace activist.
Major Owens (RIP), member of US House of Representatives from 1983-2007, representing Park Slope.
The continued expansion of the Park Slope Historic District, the largest historic district in New York City, containing the most significant contiguous swath of protected buildings in the entire city.
Park Slope Street Safety Partnership for getting neighbors started with actions to help make our streets safer for everyone.
Park Slope Veterinary Center for working so hard to find families for the neighborhood’s homeless dogs and cats.
Prospect Park, the book about Olmsted and Vaux’s Brooklyn masterpiece, by David P. Colley with photographs by Elizabeth Keegin Colley, out from Princeton Architectural Press.
Lou Reed (RIP), born in Brooklyn.
Sale of a certain building on Seventh Avenue (and the potential for it’s renovation). Mazel tov!
Shavuot Across Brooklyn: A consortium of Brooklyn’s minyanim and synagogues came together for an all-night celebration for the holiday of Shavuot commemorating the giving of the Ten Commandments. It started at 8pm with services and cheesecake and ended with a sunrise service at 5am. They are surely gonna do it again, and you can come for all or part of the night and enjoy a program of learning, singing, and dancing as some of Brooklyn’s finest teachers gather.
Bruce Shearhouse of American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) because not only he is one of the soccer guys, but he collects equipment and school supplies for poor kids.
Josh Shneider and the Love Speaks Orchestra. New LP, lots of airplay. Great music.
Sock Monkey Press, started by Scott Adkins and Erin Courtney, represents strong literary works with publications that have a visual focus. Recent publications include Terence Degnan’s The Small Plot Beside the Ventriloquist’s Grave, Martin Kleinman’s Home Front, and My Apocalypse, an anthology. Coming soon: Nicole Callihan’s debut book of poetry.
Paula Tarzian, just because.
Matthew Taub, lawyer, OTBKB contributor, and now Local Write Up, his new venture.
Teddy bears on Prospect Park West put up by 13-year-old Alison Collard de Beaufort after she found out that Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, one of her classmates at MS 51, had been hit by a car and killed in October.
Jeanne Theoharis for her book The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, published in 2013.
Ugly Duckling Presse, located in the American Can Factory building on Third Street, for its support and publication of poetry.
Andrew Violette, former PS 321 teacher, Juilliard-trained composer, pianist, organist, and music director at St. Augustine Church.
Ned Vizzini, a precocious son of Park Slope, he was writing for the New York Press and New York Times while still a teenager. He is the author of four books for young adults including It’s Kind of a Funny Story, which NPR named #56 of the 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels of all time. It was made into a film. RIP.
War/Photography Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath continues through February 2, 2014.
What My Daughter Wore, a blog you’ve just got to see for its artistry and casual hipness.
Whole Foods! Yes.
Miles Wickham, graffiti artist, teacher, and person who inspires. From an interview with Creative Times: “First, I believe we all have creative abilities, and we need to discover and refine them. Some of us grew up without the proper support to know this about ourselves. Remember that graffiti, like all other skills, take LOTS of experience, lots of hours of practice, to refine to a level to where you know you are good. There can and probably will be LOTS of frustration and disappointment on the path. Don’t give up on yourself.”
William A. Butler School, PS 133, brand new school at corner of 4th and Baltic. Beautiful school.
Avra Wing, author of a wonderful young adult novel called After Isaac.
Candace Woodward, promoter and advocate of all good things in Park Slope.