Tuesday Open Thread
September 20, 2011 6:21 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Monday Open Thread
September 19, 2011 6:34 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Weekend OT
September 17, 2011 7:56 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Friday Open Thread
September 16, 2011 6:40 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Thursday Open Thread
September 15, 2011 6:35 AM - Open Thread - admin

This is Our Neighborhood, This is Our Brooklyn
September 14, 2011 10:02 PM - Open Thread - InsertSnappyNameHere
Tonight I went to the Take Back Our Streets Rally to mark the communitys outrage against the rash of attempted rapes in Greenwood Heights and Park Slope. We met at 8pm outside the Prospect Avenue R Station. Hundreds of men, women, teenagers and children gathered wielding flashlights, glow sticks and signs. It was, in a word, amazing. I have never before felt such a strong community presence and unity over an issue. Ive lived in this neighborhood for 12 years, but I didnt know these people. Still, these were not strangers. These were my neighbors. And we all got together to let each other and the City at large know that we will not be too afraid to help each other. We will not be too afraid to call 911 if we see something or someone suspicious. We will not tolerate this type of violence in our neighborhood.

Feeling powerful as an individual and as a part of a large crowd, I marched down the middle of the street with all my neighbors and shouted the slogans at the top of my lungs. I was sweating profusely, even panting at times, but I didnt care. I was a strong voice among many strong voices, and it felt damn good.


That was one of the many phrases we shouted. Several times while chanting this, I choked up, fighting off tears that threatened to overcome me. I was taken over by emotion of the unity and power of the crowd. I felt strong. I felt safe. As a former victim of sexual assault, the NO MORE SILENCE part of the chant really resonated with me. I stayed silent for many years about what happened to me, but I eventually found my voice. I can only pray that others find their voice as well - that they arent too afraid or ashamed to speak out and say NO MORE SILENCE, NO MORE VIOLENCE.

Tonight, my neighbors and I said that we would not tolerate a culture of violence and fear. This is our neighborhood. This is our Brooklyn. We won't let this drive us out of here. Instead, Mr. Rapist(s), it is you who needs to get the fuck out.

Wednesday Open Thread
September 14, 2011 6:24 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Tuesday Open Thread
September 13, 2011 6:36 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Third Annual Buster Bailey Jazz Day at Greene Acres Community Garden
September 12, 2011 8:42 PM - Open Thread - rf
Jazz in the Garden
Saturday, September 21 at 2 p.m.
Live Music!
Learn more about local jazz history, our cultural heritage!
Community BBQ!

The Greene Acres Community Garden is at the corner of Greene and Franklin Avenues. All are welcome!

G train to Classon Ave., C or Franklin Ave. Shuttle to Franklin Ave., or take the B52, B48, or B25 or 26 buses.

Taking charge of your digital camera Pt. 3
September 12, 2011 6:54 AM - Open Thread - denton
In earlier installments we covered the operation of our camera in P (Program) and A (Aperture Control) modes. Lets finish up the other modes here, which are T (Time Value), M (Manual Mode) and B (Bulb Mode).

As you recall, A mode allows us to control the size of the lens aperture, while the camera then chooses a shutter speed. T mode is the reverse: We choose the shutter speed (Time Value) while the camera then chooses the aperture. (The more common name for T mode is Shutter Priority).

Why would we want to choose the shutter speed? Basically, the shutter speed controls how we want to have motion and/or moving objects displayed in our image. A fast shutter speed ensures that moving objects will display as sharp. A slow shutter speed ensures that moving objects are displayed as blurry, or moving.

You might ask, who wants blurry pictures? Well, consider the following pair of waterfall photos.
The subject (rapids downstream from a waterfall) is exactly the same in both images. In the first image, the rapidly moving water is frozen. In the second, the water is a blur. The first image was shot at 1/500th of a second. The second image was shot at 1/15th of a second (and yes at speeds that slow you should have the camera on a tripod).

Heres another waterfall image showing how forcing a slow shutter speed results in some interesting creative effects.

(And Ill use these images to point out one great thing about digital photography over film. If you can imagine it in black and white, you can convert it to black and white with one mouse click).

I can think of any number of situations where I would want to switch to Shutter Priority mode, besides waterfalls:
-Cat photos! Chasing that damned cat around the house, Id want to use a fairly fast shutter speed to stop it in its tracks (assuming there is enough light).
-Baby photos at the playground! Ditto.
-Fireworks! A slow shutter speed allows light trails to appear just as we want them, as in this image:

The last two camera modes we can dispense with rather quickly, as they are of limited usefulness.

M (Manual Mode) means that we must set _both_ the aperture and the shutter speed. Therefore, it becomes incumbent on the photographer to make sure the overall exposure is correct. Almost the only time I use M mode is with studio flash.

B Bulb Mode is found mostly on DSLRs. Its T mode, Shutter Priority on drugs. Depending on the camera, Bulb Mode can operate in either of two ways. With some cameras, when you depress the shutter release, the shutter opens up and stays open, until you depress the shutter release again, which closes it. Other cameras keep the shutter open as long as the release is depressed. So, you can get exposure times of many seconds, minutes, or hours. Obviously you will need to have the camera on a tripod. This mode is typically used by astronomers and photographers working in the deep night. Experiment!

This concludes the series on camera control modes.

Monday Open Thread
September 12, 2011 6:37 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Coming to Brooklyn
September 10, 2011 1:50 PM - Open Thread - InsertSnappyNameHere
It was the middle of August in 1996. I was young, impulsive and looking for a challenge. College was behind me and I was unsure of what lie ahead. I had previously applied to law schools in Washington, D.C. and New York and was accepted at both schools. But law? Really? I had put it all in the back of my mind. And it remained there until the middle of August 1996.

About ten days before classes began at the New York school, I decided I would in fact become a lawyer. Sitting at my parents kitchen table, I turned to Papa Snappy and asked him for a ride to New York City. He laughed, and gave me his favorite one word response. Shiiiiiiiiiiit! After convincing him that I was serious, we shoved all my necessities into his car and planned to hit the road at 10pm the following evening. That next night, I hugged and kissed my mother goodbye. Grammy Snaps, who had been in town for a visit, held me tight and gave me a warning. Baby, those New York peoples are crazy. Watch who you talk to out there, you may mouth off to the wrong person and wake up dead!

It was a short drive having spent many years traveling to Louisiana and Mississippi by car with only one stop along the way, Pittsburgh to New York was quick. When we emerged from the Holland Tunnel, Papa Snappy and I were awestruck. It was 5am on a Saturday and the streets were packed. Having lived in Chicago and Pittsburgh, I was no country mouse, but this city was palpably different. Watching the people skitter around like ants, I could only remark I guess it really never sleeps.

Crossing Canal Street took forever and a day, but we didnt complain. Papa Snappy and I were too busy taking it all in. The people, the lights, the traffic, the smells, the sounds it was sensory overload. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time proved to be even more awe-inspiring than the trip across Canal Street. For the first time, I began to wonder just what the hell I was doing. Was I really about to start a life here? In this rat race? A small part of me wanted to tell Papa Snappy to turn back. Take me back to Pittsburgh. Take me back home. But as we took the Cadman Plaza exit, I looked around at Brooklyn and realized I was home.

It took a while to unpack my stuff. I think both Papa Snappy and I went slowly because it was hard to believe that Id be staying and hed be leaving. Being a typical man who simply must make good time, Papa Snappy handed me the last of my things, pressed $90 into my right hand, patted me on the back and told me to be careful. With that, he got back into his car and drove down Henry Street.

Just after Papa Snappy died last year, Mama Snappy told me that he had remarked, I didnt wanna leave her there. Leaving her there was the hardest thing Ive ever done.

Ive done many things in my life that I regret. I guess we all have. But for me, coming to New York isnt on that list. It may sound hokey, but New York changes a person and Im no exception. There are good changes and not so good changes, but there are changes nonetheless. I dont know if Ill stay here forever, but for now, Im comfy. I like Saturdays like this one when I get to relax and just take in my surroundings. More often than not, I listen to what I call pretty good music while I stroll around the streets of Brooklyn. One of those songs is New Yorks Not My Home by Jim Croce. Every time I hear that song, I think of Papa Snappy and I sitting in the car as we glided across the Brooklyn Bridge. Its a nice memory for me, and I hope youve enjoyed reading it.
New Yorks Not My Home, by Jim Croce


Things were spinnin' 'round me
And all my thoughts were cloudy
And I had begun to doubt all the things that were me
Been in so many places, you know I've run so many races
Looked into the empty faces of the people of the night
Somethin' is just not right

'Cause I know that I've gotta get outta here
I'm so alone
Don't you know that I gotta get outta here
'Cause New York's not my home

Though all the streets are crowded
There's somethin' strange about it
I lived there 'bout a year and I never once felt at home
I thought I'd make the big time
I learned a lot of lessons awful quick
And now I'm tellin' you that they were not the nice kind
It's been so long since I have felt fine

That's the reason that I gotta get outta here
I'm so alone
Don't you know that I gotta get outta here
'Cause New York's not my home

That's the reason that I gotta get outta here
I'm so alone
Don't you know that I gotta get outta here
'Cause New York's not my home.