The Aggressively Freaky 'Mr. Lower East Side' Pageant Is Forced to Brooklyn

Photo by Jason Speakman for the Village Voice
Claude Debris, center, in the houndstooth suit, was crowned Mr. Lower East Side 2015 this week at a bar in Brooklyn. "The Lower East Side is a state of mind," says the pageant's organizer.
After fifteen years of celebrating an anti-pageant featuring nudity, bizarre genitalia-related talent shows, and an all-night bacchanal in Manhattan, the annual Mr. Lower East Side was moved to Brooklyn this year.

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These Two Ladies Started a 'Pin-Up School' to Unleash Your Inner Bettie Page

Courtesy of Brooklyn Pin Up School
Renee DiDio, right, and Anna Patin want to get you pinned.
Aside from the tattoo sleeves and profanity-laced speech, Renee DiDio is the granddaughter your Nana always wanted: Her A-line dress falls just below her pantyhosed knee, and her hair is carefully coiffed into a classic bob. Her scarlet lipstick matches her shoes, and her handbag has a crisp clasp from which, one imagines, she might daintily extract an embroidered handkerchief.

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Love (and Methane) in the Air at Valentine's Day Tour of Wastewater Treatment Plant

Pranay and Erin Reddy
Like most successful romantic endeavors, the Valentine's Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant began with a release form.

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The Wire Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe Fights Global Injustice From Brooklyn

Being a performer has never been enough for Gbenga Akinnagbe. More »

Under Pressure, NY State Agrees to Scale Back Planned Gowanus Parole Center

Categories: Brooklyn

Katie Toth, Village Voice
Protesters in November demonstrating near the site of the future Gowanus parole center
A Brooklyn community group that formed in opposition to a massive proposed parole center in Gowanus has achieved a major victory as the state has agreed to scale back plans for the facility, which had been intended to serve 6,000 ex-criminals per month.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced on January 14 that it had settled a lawsuit filed in November 2014 by Gowanus United — a collective of nearby residents and business owners who opposed the facility — that accused the state of sidestepping city zoning laws to build the center and failing to consult the community before submitting plans. Residents argued that the center, located at 15 Second Avenue near the Gowanus Canal, would flood the neighborhood — which includes schools, churches, and many small businesses — with thousands of potentially dangerous past offenders, as well as impede truck traffic in the manufacturing-heavy neighborhood.

As part of the negotiated settlement, the state agreed to reduce the number of parolees reporting to the facility from 6,000 to 2,000, at least for the first two years of operation. During that time, the Department of Corrections will create a program of decentralized reporting locations throughout Brooklyn to serve the remaining 4,000 parolees.

See also:
Literally No One Is Happy About the Massive Parole Center Being Built in Gowanus

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Literally No One Is Happy About the Massive Parole Center Being Built in Gowanus

Categories: Brooklyn

Katie Toth
Construction continues on November 12 at the Brooklyn parole headquarters in Gowanus.
If a good compromise is one in which neither side is happy, then New York's prison system leaders should be proud of themselves for angering just about everyone with their decision to build a giant facility for ex-criminals in the middle of Gowanus. Except it kind of wasn't really a compromise at all. And they're actually being sued.

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Betsy Head Playground in Brownsville Is Getting a Much-Needed Renovation

Albert Samaha
Betsy Head Park, across the street from Betsy Head Playground in Brownsville, BK
For years now, some Brownsville locals kept their kids away from Betsy Head Playground. One father, James, walked by the playground with his nine-year-old son one day over the summer. It was a nice, warm, bright day, and as father and son walked down Dumont Avenue, two boys inside the playground started calling the son's name.

"Can I go play with them?" the son asked James.

"Nah, not today," said James. "We gotta get home."

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Brooklyn Gets Its Own Football Team at the Worst Possible Moment

Categories: Brooklyn

Coney Island's MCU Park
On Tuesday, Borough President Eric Adams officially welcomes Brooklyn's new football team, the Bolts, to the neighborhood. The Brooklyn Bolts are a Fall Experimental Football League franchise; the FXFL is hoping to become a development league for the NFL, the way minor-league baseball is for the MLB.

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Charles Barron Wins Inez Barron's Former State Assembly Seat, Completing Swap

Categories: Brooklyn, Politics

Christopher Farber
Last year, 60th District State Assemblywomen Inez Barron vacated her seat after winning the election for the 42nd District city council seat. Her husband, Charles Barron, had held that seat for 12 years, and he had termed-out.

On Tuesday, Charles Barron won the election for the state assembly seat Inez Barron had vacated. The couple pulled off the seat swap.

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Brownsville's Mo Better Jaguars Open Pop Warner Season With Dominant Win

Albert Samaha
After weeks of tackling drills and wind sprints, the season has finally begun.
Last year was a lean one for the Mo Better Jaguars Pop Warner program of Brownsville, Brooklyn. As we chronicled in a November feature story, the 2013 season was the first time none of the program's teams made the playoffs. But while it was a down year, it did not lack flashes of hope.

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