Archive for BROOKLYN

Coney Island USA’s Spring Gala is One Month from Today!

Posted in BROOKLYN, Coney Island, Dime Museum and Side Show, PLUGS, SOCIAL EVENTS with tags , , , , on February 25, 2017 by travsd


Last Night’s Town Hall in Brooklyn

Posted in BROOKLYN, CULTURE & POLITICS with tags , , , , on February 23, 2017 by travsd


In recent days we’ve been seeing footage of Town Hall meetings across the country as congresspeople meet with their constituents to hear what they have to say about our first month of President 45. Most of the clips we’ve been seeing have been of angry people yelling at Republicans, over such things as cancelling Obamacare without having the promised replacement system ready to go. Last night, my congressperson, Representative Yvette Clarke, held her own meeting at the Union Temple in Brooklyn just a short walk from my house.

I gather it was a huge success. Arriving at the announced start time I was amazed to see that the line to get in stretched all the way around the block. And when I say “all the way around”, that’s just what I mean. 360 degrees. The back of the line reached almost to the front. Several hundred people (including me) were turned away. But in a democracy, that many people taking an interest is a good problem to have. My good friend Gabriele Schafer got there good and early though and here is what she reports:


Panelists included representatives of Planned Parenthood New York, the NYCLU, SUNY Downstate Medical School, and the NYS Department of Health, as well as experts on climate change and civil rights/immigration law. On the environment, presenters cited how this kind of poll is consistent with the public’s attitude. On healthcare, the audience heard that 40+% of women in NY don’t get any prenatal care; but New York has and will continue to have “Obamacare”. SUNY Downstate Medical say that they provide healthcare to ALL comers. An NYCLU lawyer and a local immigration lawyer said that under the law you do not have to show nor carry ID; and that you can remain silent. The authorities may hold you and try to intimidate you but to remain silent may be considered a legitimate form of protest.
In her own presentation, Clarke called Kellyanne Conway “Kellyanne ConArtist” to big cheers. Her mentions of Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Rudy Giuliani all garnered loud boos. The biggest cheer and standing ovation she got was when she used the term “act up”…. “I’m going to act up!” Clarke she said that it is vital that the public keep doing everything they can to resist and let their feelings known to their electeds, even though they may think it does no good, especially in blue districts. Elected officials need the cover, they need the motivation, and they need to be able to point to the discontent and groundswell behind them. More on last night’s event is here. 


The Coney Island Secession Movement!

Posted in Amusement Parks, BROOKLYN, Coney Island, CULTURE & POLITICS with tags , , , on February 13, 2017 by travsd


Yesterday, after I posted my piece about the various contemporary secession movements (hint: none of them are in the middle of the country), Dick Zigun, Coney Island’s Unofficial Mayor protested that I had left out his own movement to make a separate nation of Coney Island. Tut tut tut! Never you fret!  In reality, I only wanted to set this proposal apart so that I could give it the serious consideration it deserves.

As you can see from the map above, Coney Island was once completely surrounded by water, hence its name. The stream on its north side was then partially filled in, giving the neighborhood its modern contours, outlined in white on the map. Zigun’s proposal would dig out those streams again to resume the physical separation, or build a Trumptastic wall. Actually, his entire program, laid out in the attached article, is approximately as coherent and sane and just as Trump’s plans for America.

Coney Island on its own could be the American Monaco. A People’s Playground for the People. Why, a separated Coney Island would be more American than America! Hot dogs for every meal! Middle aged men with pot bellies walking side-by-side with women in bikinis — and that’s in church! And everyone would have fun all the time, except the people on the other side of the tracks, who are all living in poverty!

And Dick has all the qualifications necessary to run a county by contemporary standards. A hat! A sash! A drum to beat! And a following among the biker community!  For Dick Zigun’s full proposal, which I fully endorse, go here. 

Born to Lead

Born to Lead

Tonight’s Protest at Cadman Plaza

Posted in BROOKLYN, CULTURE & POLITICS, Protests with tags , , , on January 28, 2017 by travsd

My first ever two-protest day, and my first 4 protest week, though that’s not as remarkable as it sounds. The Cheeto-in-Chief is working havoc on a thousand fronts, and both of today’s protests were close to my house, so no excuse for NOT going, really. Thousands gathered tonight outside the Federal Courthouse at Cadman Plaza to show support for the travelers who were detained as a result of Trump’s travel ban against Muslims. This in addition to the ones happening simultaneously at JFK, and other airports throughout the nation. The judge granted a  temporary stay. As the crowd chanted when we dispersed, “We’ll be back.” We may well have years of yelling ahead of us. Much pride in Brooklyn for showing up in such numbers, on such short notice!








Grow a Spine, Schumer!

Posted in BROOKLYN, CULTURE & POLITICS, Protests with tags , , , on January 28, 2017 by travsd

“Watch what we do” was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s boast in response to the public’s fears about the installation of America’s new fascist President — before proceeding to be intolerably accommodating to the new dictator in ways big and small, not the least of which has been his approval of several unacceptable cabinet appointments. In protest, the group #NotOneInch organized a picket outside Schumer’s house this afternoon. I and several dozen of my neighbors joined in. The gist was, “Stiffen your spine, Schumer.” If he’s the one leading a “resistance” he’s doing a mighty gelatinous job of it.

Folks were already gathering as I arrived. Note well the address in case you'd care to send your own message!

Folks were already gathering as I arrived. Note well the address on the awning in case you’d care to send your own message!

Hey, here's a guy with a backbone!

Hey, here’s a guy with a backbone!

As an insecure male, I was a little signing off on a slogan involving inches

As an insecure male, I was a little unhappy signing off on a slogan involving inches






The gent in the center (back to us) was leading the chants. Passing cars honked their support and encouragement.


Say! This IS a big tent!

Say! This IS a big tent!







We were already dispersing when the men in blue showed up, but their arrival did definitively expedite the matter. And anyway there’s something more time sensitive to protest today — the Muslim ban. Hundreds are going out to JFK airport to protest even as we write.

As for getting our message across to Senator Schumer: Brooklynites and other New Yorkers, please join us for the much larger “What the Fuck, Chuck?” rally at Grand Army Plaza planned for this coming Tuesday evening.

Where Roscoe Arbuckle Filmed His Brooklyn Vitaphone Shorts

Posted in Comedians, Comedy, Fatty Arbuckle, Hollywood (History), Movies, Silent Film with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2017 by travsd

There’s no way the Travalanche readers won’t LOVE this article and the blog it comes from. Thanks John Bengtson!

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

(C) 2017 Google. Looking south, the recently demolished Vitaphone Studios (yellow outline) in relation to many of Roscoe’s filming sites. The landmark Vitagraph smokestack, for the moment still standing, appears at bottom due right of the “North” marker. (C) 2017 Google.

Starting at page 2 below, this multi-page post reveals more than two dozen Brooklyn movie locations filmed over 85 years ago. Click each image for a larger view.

The Silent Clowns - MoMA Arbuckle filming Hey Pop at 3rd Ave and 80th in Bay Ridge – see page 7 below.

The recently demolished Vitagraph (Vitaphone) Studio, once standing at E 14th between Chestnut and Locust in the Midwood community of Brooklyn, holds a giant place in cinema history. One of the earliest and most prolific studios, it was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1925, where it became instrumental in the widespread production of talking pictures.

ca The Chestnut Ave side of the studio – Brooklyn Public…

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International Day of Friendship Parade

Posted in BROOKLYN, HOLIDAYS/ FESTIVALS/ MEMORIALS/ PARADES with tags , , , on August 7, 2016 by travsd

Who knew it was International Day of Friendship in Brooklyn today? I didn’t until I was walking through Fulton Mall on my way today’s performance of The Iron Heel and passed a parade! Here’s some of what I passed (and passed by me):


Chinese Dragon!


Flag team from Guyana!


Stilt walkers! At least I HOPE they’re stilt walkers!


Adorable cherubs of Mexico!


Europeans in their native folk costume!


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