6 Films we're supposed to like

In order to honor the announcement of Williamsburg’s forthcoming six-screen Cineplex, The Village Voice Blog decided to make a list of six films “Average Williamsbug Residents” would like to see available on the big screens at all times, year-round. I don’t know what the “Average Williamsburg Resident” is exactly, but what do you think of the list?

1. Annie Hall
2. The Wackness
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
4. Garden State
5. 500 Days of Summer
6. A Clockwork Orange

I would’ve bumped a few of these, and included Blade Runner, Goodfellas, and The Squid and the Whale.

Free Tron (1982) showing at indiescreen

No need to go see that hyped new Tron: Legacy movie opening Friday. Williamsburg is not even getting a big fancy movie theater until next fall. That will probably be a nightmare, and tickets are pricey. Best go to indieScreen on Kent Avenue and watch a free screening of Tron, the original 1982 version, at 7pm that night instead. Brought to us by the internet service provider, Clear, the showing at the new Southside cinema is sure to fulfill your sci-fi needs on Friday and many other entertainment wishes to come with a digital cinema, a restaurant, and a full bar. As far as the Tron event, according to indieScreen’s box office:

The evening … includes cocktails at 7pm before the private screening of the original 1982 Tron followed by dinner at indieScreen.”

The event is RSVP only, so get on it:   [email protected]

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is the place to be on Saturday for those who make visual art or just like to look at it. Saturday from 12pm-8pm the house of worship at 275 N. 8th Street between Havemeyer Street and Union Avenue, will host indy comic book illustrators, painters, designers, and craftspersons in everything from printmaking and silk screening to graphic novel creators and other pictorial artists. The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival will attract artisans and fans alike, with a few special guests. From The Brooklyn Paper:

Get a load of this lineup: New Yorker Art Editor Francoise Mouly; Lynda Barry, long considered the queen of non-mainstream cartoonists thanks to her 20-year run writing and illustrating “Ernie Pook’s Comeek”; comic book legend Irwin Hasen, who began his career drawing “The Green Lantern” in the 1940s; and Charles Burns, author of the acclaimed graphic novel “Black Hole.”

This is the second year of the festival, and turnout is expected to be even bigger than last year. In addition to the camaraderie and impressive guest list, discussion forums, displays, and exhibitions will make the afternoon a sure success. Best of all, the event is free, and when it’s over, you can probably go to confession to atone for Friday night.

Alexa Chung's Willy B Insights

Style.com trotted around the neighborhood recently with British model/VJ/personality Alexa Chung, and produced a cutesy video in which she proclaims her love for Brooklyn and her perspective on the differences in culture and style between London, Manhattan and Brooklyn:

Is he in MGMT? Isn’t he in MGMT? That’s the kind of shit that goes down in Brooklyn.

Indeed (?). But hey-lloooo Bird, Amarcord and Goods!

Williamsburg circa 1910

There use to be trolleys and horses. And hey, after the Williamsburg bridge was finished in 1903, “the small village of Williamsburg” became the most populated area of Brooklyn. So morning commuters at the Bedford stop at 8 A.M. watching packed train after packed train go by, history knows your pain.

No, Camel isn't making rollies

So, enough local papers, blogs, and e-zines have covered this, that I don’t have anything else to say, but in case you missed it:

From the Brooklyn Paper: Joe Camel- a hipster? R.J. Reynolds markets its smokes to Williamsburg

By Aaron Short

I do have one question.  In 2012 when the FDA starts making cigarette packs feature huge photos of toe-tags and black lungs, will the gross cancer guy be all tatted up on a fixie?

"I'm Waiting for my Man"

The junkies in Williamsburg will have to wait longer, or maybe clean up their act and get a job.  Okay, the job part might be crazy, it is Williamsburg.

The NYPD announced today they have shut down the drug-ring which investigators claim ran the North Williamsburg heroin game.  After a four month long sting officers arrested seven alleged dealers who had sold heroin to undercover narcotics agents over 20 times throughout the investigation.

According to the police, these guys were devoted.  They stood on the corner of Jackson Street and Kingsland Avenue near the Cooper Park housing projects, so much that investigators say they showed up on a Google Earth photo of the intersection.  On a more disturbing note, these guys didn’t seem to care they were selling smack within 1000 ft. of a preschool.  Authorities went on to explain that the ring allegedly had a clever method of peddling dope.  From MSNBC:

The suspects, who range in age from 18 to 32, were seen on surveillance cameras hiding heroin by stuffing it in a magnetic lock-box behind a metal sign on a storefront…The heroin sold was packaged in glassine envelopes and was stamped with different logos including “Fed Ex,” “KFC,” “Powerful Impact,” and the “Monster” energy drink logo.

Criminals beware, the NYPD is on a roll.  In addition to busting these drug dealers, authorities also charged several employees at the surrounding bodegas with possession and sale of untaxed cigarettes.

The new Duane Reade or How Williamsburg is the New Brooklyn Heights

According to the “I’m Boycotting Duane Reade to Save Williamsburg” facebook group, a Duane Reade will be opened on Bedford, directly across from Kings Pharmacy this Saturday.

First off, I need to state that I don’t really give a shit about saving small business in this case.

I do, however, give a shit when urban planning is totally disregarded and services are doubled up. We already have several pharmacies all of which are a stone’s throw from each other, reminding me of the Lewis Black sketch where he declares “the end of the universe” when he discovers a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks. Duane Reade will be open 24 hours, which will probably end up being the downfall of Kings. This “perk” still does not justify its existence. Space is at premium on Bedford and needs to be utilized effectively.

You know what we could use? A Trader Joe’s. Or a Bank of America. Or better yet, how about some green space? Williamsburg and Greenpoint have one of the lowest people to park space ratios in all of Brooklyn at .06 acres per 1,000 residents, when the city planners recommends at least 2.5 acres per 1,000 residents. It’s only getting worse with the likes of the Domino Sugar development and Duane Reades among us.

Let’s face it, we are maybe 40 baby-filled strollers and one more high-rise away from being a perfectly lovely and totally gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood (read: Park Slope). Corporate outposts don’t spring up spontaneously in neighborhoods. They did their cost-volume-profit analysis and, bingo, Williamsburg looks good. Our consumption habits are bringing them in. But when corporate businesses have to waste our time with their march on independent business, we lose out.

So, instead of the hollow-sounding and vague argument of “Saving Williamsburg,” don’t forget that corporate greed is actually wasting our space for their purposes, not ours.