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A Brief History of Beards

For something as simple as letting the hair on your face grow, wearing a beard can be a strange and sometimes dangerous thing to do. Beards historically have been a common source of cultural controversy.

The Blight and Plight of Condoburg

I visited Phil DePaolo to talk about development. Part of me wondered if Phil didn’t feel like a broken record. He’s been involved in virtually every development fight in North Brooklyn from the People’s Firehouse to the waterfront re-zoning.

Accidentally Caring

Because I am not family, I am not allowed to know what happened to a man I saw Oct. 14 in Park Slope, lying in a pool of his own blood after a car had crashed into his bicycle on 6th Avenue, near Lincoln Place. I spent the entire morning searching the internet, calling local newspapers, posting a question on a blog.

In Staten Island, a Teenage Tour Guide of the Maritime Wastes

I walked through a split in the reeds. The narrow beaten path was strewn with flattened plastic bottles, brown and green shards of glass, and withered shopping bags half-submerged in the dirt or impaled by a desiccated reed.

The Digital Design Process: For All to See: The men and women behind the computer screens take center stage.

It came down to two men. There was Mate—just one word like Madonna or Prince or Pelé—a German known for his technical precision. Dressed in a t-shirt and blazer, he appeared calm, collected, with a scraggly brown beard covering his long face. Facing off against him was Dosa Kim, who’d traveled all the way from Atlanta for the competition to emerge as the crowd favorite.

7 + 3 is 9

She smiled with braces and not with her burgeoning teenage lips. She flapped her hands in class like an anxious toddler about to try something new. Cynthia is twelve with hairy armpits; she’s not a kid anymore. But she speaks in baby tones to me and says things like, “Ms. Berkley, can I tell you something?”

A College Grows in Williamsburg

As a resident of Hoboken, New Jersey and dedicated Manhattan cultural tourist, I had always kept Brooklyn at arms length. Though vaguely aware of the borough’s cutting-edge artistic enclaves, I was never sophisticated enough to be too aware of them until recently. I admit that the relentless assault of bad tabloid press—skewering Brooklyn as the “murder capital of the world”—coupled with events like the Crown Heights riot, caused me to write off the entire county of Kings as a scary, dangerous place.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2007

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