kottke.org posts about brooklyn

Severed goat heads are haunting BrooklynMar 16 2015

park-slope-goat-heads.jpg

"Severed goat heads keep turning up in nearby Prospect Park," reports Adrien Chen. Was it religious sacrifice? A prank? Something else?

A mysterious flood of goat heads is the only interesting thing that has happened in Park Slope since I moved to the neighborhood three years ago. Yes, the rush to blame a little-understood religion practiced largely by immigrants smacked a bit of lazy xenophobia, but the idea of Park Slope as a hotbed of animal sacrifice, in addition to child-friendly bars, was undeniably intriguing. In a city where everyday occurrences are casually weighed against the events of September 11, 2001, it was shocking to find that so many of my neighbors and I were actually shocked. The goat heads seemed to rear out of some shadow New York City that was even gnarlier than the pre-Guiliani version I'd seen in the movies, and at the edge of Brooklyn's most thoroughly gentrified neighborhood, to boot. When New York asked me to investigate the goat heads, I leapt at the chance. I wanted to see if the world they hinted at lived up to the hype."

His investigation includes a Freedom of Information Law request ("'I'VE SEEN AS MUCH AS SEVEN SQUIRRELS DEAD IN THE PARK,' went one report. 'I'VE SEEN ONE THAT'S DECAPITATED'"), a Vodou priest, and multiple trips to the butcher.

Novelist (and former "Jeopardy" champion?) Arthur PhillipsJan 16 2008

Novelist (and former "Jeopardy" champion?) Arthur Phillips talks to Robert Birnbaum:

RB: I haven't managed to read writers who I now see as cultish-Proust and Wodehouse.

AP: I have enjoyed him enormously. I don't know that I'd read all 95 or 150 or 300 books or whatever it is-

RB: There's an example of productivity or hypergraphia.

AP: There is a famous story-I'm going to get the details wrong, but he was in New York for a while and someone asked if he was hanging out at the Algonquin and he said, "I don't know how those guys get any work done." That's the problem with Brooklyn-you have to really try not to meet other writers.

Slideshow of the making of Barcade, theJul 10 2005

Slideshow of the making of Barcade, the bar/arcade in Brooklyn.

A letter from Jane Jacobs to MayorMay 16 2005

A letter from Jane Jacobs to Mayor Bloomberg concerning the rezoning of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront.

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