Sweeping the Floors of a Yoga Studio or How I Learned to Touch My Toes and Stand on My Head

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Once I was allowed to work at a Yoga Studio in Brooklyn. I say, “allowed” because at the time I was a mess (and that’s putting it lightly). I was trying to stop drinking, trying to stop being sad, trying to stop being in love with every tattooed beauty I met in Prospect Park, trying. I was trying to stop trying. A generous studio owner in Windsor Terrace gave me the opportunity to run the front desk at her Yoga studio a few days a week in exchange for free classes. I could check everyone into the class and then…

#GetOrganizedBK

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“Here’s the first of many flyers you’ll get tonight,” smiles a bookish white man, extending a sheet of paper as I approach Congregation Beth Elohim’s Temple House, located across the street from their majestic but under-repair sanctuary in Park Slope. It’s a humid, mid-September evening, and, as I pass through the open doors, an older woman hands me another page. “Unrelated,” she explains. A Progressive Movement Grows Strong in Brooklyn  In the time it takes to climb the stairs and claim a folding chair in the steadily filling ballroom, I have, indeed, run a gauntlet of progressive politics. I…

The True Progressive

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On September 12, New York City’s incumbent Mayor, Bill de Blasio, sailed through the mayoral primary with 74.6% of the vote. The next day, Park Slope resident Libby Edois-Alb, one of the mayor’s longtime advisers and friend of the family, announced she was running a write-in campaign against him as the “true” progressive candidate. I sat down with her ahead of the November 7 general election to discuss what made her decide to run, whether the decision has created a rift between her and the mayor, and what she means when she says “true” progressive. Roberto Paul: So you…

Park Slope Reader Fall Reading Recommendations

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“With the arrival of chillier weather comes a new batch of books with which to curl up. Here, a list of 11  titles to enjoy this fall.” Sing, Unburied, Sing — by Jesmyn Ward — In her first novel since 2011’s National Book Award-winning Salvage The Bones, Ward tracks a mixed-race family through rural Mississippi. Jojo is a lonely 13-year-old who helps his grandparents raise his baby sister, while his mother, Leonie, struggles with drug addiction, visions of her dead brother and an obsessive love for Jojo’s white father, recently released from prison. Combining allusions to The Odyssey and…

Larger Questions: Our Conversation with Nicole Krauss

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The characters in Forest Dark are neither “empathetic people from the first page,” as they were in The History of Love, nor are they quite those “who, from the first, were difficult people, as people are,” such as populated her Great House. They defy easy categorization while tempting you to draw connections between their own journeys through parts unknown with what you might think you know of Krauss. They include the elderly Jules Epstein, a wealthy and formerly gregarious New York attorney who has begun selling off his considerable possessions. On page one we learn he has disappeared from the…

ONE BAD APPLE

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You know when you share something you love with someone you love only to find they don’t love it the way you do? Or, even, at all? I’ve been on the receiving end of this equation frequently. It happens every time my 12 and 10-year old kids show me something on Youtube. “Isn’t this hilarious?” they’ll ask, peering over at me expectantly. “Uh huh,” I’ll reply, trying to simulate a smile. “Funny.” But really I am thinking, “Is the damage done to my children’s brains from this onslaught of insipid garbage reparable?” I love my kids but I do not…

PLEASURE SAGE

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A Conversation with Sid Azmi, a resident of Park Slope, and the owner of please, an educated Pleasure Shop. It’s an Fall afternoon in Park Slope and pleasure boutique Please sits perched on the corner in a swirl of sunny windows, glass tables, and exposed brick. A song spills out of the speakers as a man wanders in and owner Sid Azmi leaps up to assist him. He needs something specific for his girlfriend; they don’t carry it, but could she suggest something similar? He asks how much, already keen to purchase it, but she advises him to talk to…

Knowing I Have a Body – The Art of Being Present

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I was standing on the curbside under an old pomegranate tree in front of my therapy office, delighting in the smell of Fall and the hint of chill in the air as my colleague spoke intently about a new concept he had about what motivates interpersonal behavior.  “I’m not who you think I am,” he said, moving so he stood directly in front of me, entreating me to look him in the eyes, “I’m not even who I think I am.” He raised his eyebrows to emphasize this important new discovery, index finger pointing to his chest. “I’m who I…

The Autumn Equinox: The Dark Season

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Fall is when we reap what we have sown Autumn is inexorably associated with ripe maturity, harvest and death, as well as the implicit understanding of an eventual rebirth, the offer of resurrection. The autumn ushers in the dark season. The season of diminished light. From now until the Vernal Equinox, six months hence, the nights are longer than the days. Shade and chill prevail. The year, the season, the sun, are slowing down, growing cold, getting old. The insidious forces of death sweep in and overshadow the vibrant life source. The air and land, once alive with teeming species,…

Slope Survey: Martin Medina

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The Slope Survey returns for its 5th installment with Martin Medina, owner of Varrio 408 and Rachel’s Taqueria on Fifth Avenue. Medina is commonly hailed as the man who first brought Taquerias to Park Slope. Here, his California dreamin’ helps us kick off summer. What brought you to Park Slope? I met a woman. What is your most memorable Park Slope moment? That’s so many moments. I’ve been here almost thirty years. There won’t be one, there are just too many—opening up in Park Slope on Seventh Avenue, back in 1990. A good day for you is… Being busy.…

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