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2nd Annual "Dancing with the Brookline Stars" Nov. 8 at Our Lady of Annunciation Church

2nd Annual

 

October 27, 2014: I have to admit I don’t watch the hit ABC TV show Dancing with the Stars but I get the appeal: minor celebrities from the worlds of sitcoms, sports, and music wearing skimpy outfits and doing their damndest to wow the judges with their over-the-top dance routines. We as viewers imagine ourselves in their dancing shoes, showing off our new moves, perhaps becoming temporary sensations through viral YouTube videos. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of being crowned a dancing queen (or the Tony Manero of the new millennium?)

 

Take a Trip to Germany Without Leaving Brookline

German Week at Clear Flour Bread is Wed. Oct. 22-Wed.Oct. 29, 2014

October 21, 2014: Starting tomorrow, Clear Flour Bread, 178 Thorndike Street, will begin its third annual German Week at the popular bakery. Baked goods will vary depending on “the bakers’ whim” but will include Poppy Nusstorte (short dough with an almond, sugar, lemon, & rum filling), Bienenstich (sweet, yeasted cake with a layer of whipped cream, topped with honey & almonds—a personal favorite!), Apfelstreusel (short crust with a layer of apples, topped with an almond crumb), and of course, traditional soft German pretzels, with the option of adding mustard butter.

Brookline Community Flu Clinic Schedule, Fall 2014

 

October 18, 2014: The Brookline Department of Public Health announced dates for the 2014 Brookline community flu clinics. This year Brookline will offer four clinics, including a weekend clinic at Devotion School on Sunday, November 9. The Brookline seasonal flu clinics are open to all Brookline residents, including infants 6 months of age and older.

Join Me for Dinner Wednesday Night?

 

This February 17 students from Brookline High School will embark on the "Sojourn To The Past" trip -- a ten day journey to the 5 Southern states to visit sites related to the Civil Rights Movement. The BHS students will meet some of most influential activists from the 1960s and 1970s.  As in past years, the trip will be a life-changing experience for all involved. Pleas join me at the Village Smokehouse on January 29th for a BBQ buffet to support this amazing journey.

Brookline's MLK Celebration Resonates

How great it is that Brookline has an annual event at the Coolidge to commemorate and celebrate Martin Luther King’s dream of equality and and the joint is packed every year? This year may have been the most moving of all the Town’s celebrations to date.

As in past years, BHS US and African American history teacher, Malcolm Cawthorne, emceed the event. The son of a civil rights leader and named after Malcolm X, Malcolm puts “Keeping the Promise” into perspective, “This is a day I always look forward to every year. The MLK celebration always challenges me to think about how I can better my community and myself.  It is truly an honor to be a part of this celebration and a member of a town that thinks enough to have a celebration every year”.


 

One of the highlights of this year’s event was keynote speaker Reverend Liz Walker. Reverend Walker’s “Mission of Grace” speech was nothing short of dynamic. Walker entertained us, moved us, and most of all taught us how we should treat everyone who comes in contact with us. Her talk spanned from being gracious to one and another on the Jamaicaway, how a Sudanese woman showed her grace despite the woman’s circumstance, to MLK teaching activists to show love toward their oppressors, to the grace Nelson Mandela showed his jailers after he was freed. Reverend Walker believes in grace and when she was finished so did every person in the theater.

Key contributors to “Keeping the Promise” were BHS students Tyreik Mosley, Taylor James, Roy’al Sanyika-Hall, Tahira Saaliq, Eana Meng, and Tee Tee Adams; who spoke about education, economic justice, and the struggle of all poor people. Their words inspired along with BHS a cappella groups Note-A-Fy, Perfect Pitch, and the Testostotones.

This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee Chair was Selectman Ken Goldstein.  Goldstein, "This year's Dr. Martin Luther King Day Commemoration marked a renewed effort to keep this event relevant and vibrant.  It is important that we, as a community, take time to celebrate Dr. King, his message and the advancements of the Civil Rights Movement.  It is equally important that we pause to reflect on the substantial work still to be done to build a completely inclusive society.   Many thanks to our keynote speaker, Rev. Liz Walker, for reminding us that grace should be our motivation; to the BHS a cappella groups, for inspiring us with song; to the students of BHS's Sojourn to the Past Program reminding us of the Promise and the struggle still to come; and to Malcolm Cawthorne for keeping it all on track."

Special thanks to committee members Malcolm Cawthorne, Elizabeth Childs, Rob Daves, Lloyd Gellineau, Lynette Glover, Rebecca Joachim, Bobbie Knable, Evelyne Milorin, Larry Onie, Betsy Shure Gross, and Rita McNally.

Good Stuff.

R. Harvey Bravman

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Publisher

Brookline Climate Week is Here!

 

Brookline Climate 4th annual Climate Week runs from January 20th to 26th. Brookline is responding to the climate crisis in many ways, from incentives to spur solar installations and energy-saving home upgrades to cultivating green spaces and tree plantings.

At Special Screening, Folk Singer, Historian Elijah Wald Talked Dave Van Ronk, Llewyn Davis.

January 14, 2014: Throughout the screening of Inside Llewyn Davis at the Coolidge Corner Theatre Monday night, I kept wondering about the significance of the orange tabby cat that kept popping up, sometimes improbably, in the story. Did the cat symbolize aspiring folk singer Llewyn’s rootless circuit from friend’s floor to acquaintance’s couch and back—claiming no real home as his own? Or did the cat represent Llewyn’s fragile dreams that kept escaping his grasp, only to be injured beyond repair on a doomed road trip to Chicago? Or was the cat a symbol of Llewyn’s inability to bond with anyone for very long—and the cat’s return indicative of Llewyn finding his way home again?

 

I’m still not sure about the cat, but luckily Elijah Wald was there to shed some light on other little-known facts about the movie. Wald, a musician, music historian, and author, was on hand to introduce the Golden Globe-nominated Inside Llewyn Davis and he re-appeared after the credits to play a few songs from the era and answer audience questions.

 

Wald is the co-author, with the late folk singer Dave Van Ronk, of The Mayor of MacDougal Street, a memoir about Van Ronk that served as the inspiration for the Coen brothers’ new movie.
Wald opened his talk by addressing the most commonly asked question about the book and the movie: is Llewyn Davis a faithful rendering of Dave Van Ronk?

 

“Dave and Llewyn were different,” Wald said to the crowd of thirty or so people who had stayed behind after the movie ended. “Dave came from a jazz background—he didn’t do folk music at first. But he worked out a [folk] guitar style based on his jazz training. It’s a style you still hear in music today.”

 

Van Ronk was the biggest name in Greenwich Village folk of the late 50’s, early 60’s, before Bob Dylan appeared on the scene. He was Wald’s mentor, teacher, and friend, “the smartest man I’ve ever known,” Wald recalled wistfully. He died in 2002 from complications during post-operative surgery for colon cancer.

 

“Peter, Paul & Mary—they were ‘pretty.’ Dave didn’t sound like that. He had a rough voice. A new generation of folk singers that Dave led didn’t want to sound pretty—they wanted to sound real, like sharecroppers or farmers…they referred to themselves as ‘Neoethnics.’”

 

Wald also refuted the claim that Van Ronk would have been a better-known folk singer but he never wanted to “sell out.”

 

“Dave Van Ronk would have loved to have had a goddamn hit,” Wald said, punctuating that fact by flashing an image on the big screen of the magazine Disco Scene with Van Ronk on the cover. Although a big hit never materialized, Van Ronk closed The Mayor of MacDougal Street by writing, “I wanted to be a musician and I’m a musician and that’s what it’s all about.”

 

Wald’s own professional breakthrough—the Coen Brothers buying film rights to The Mayor of MacDougal Street—came as a surprise to him when he read about it on the Internet. The film rights were optioned six years before, he said, and he expected they’d be used to make a biography of Van Ronk for the Discovery channel, not a major motion picture directed by two Oscar winners. But once he heard what the Coen Brothers were doing, Wald didn’t hesitate to audition for a part in the movie—a role that was eventually given to someone who, as Wald put it, was better suited to play it than he was.

 

“The Coen brothers are fans of this music,” Wald explained, “one day Ethan turned to Joel—or maybe Joel turned to Ethan—and said, “Let’s do a movie that opens with a folk singer getting beat up outside Folk City (the club on which the Coens based their Gaslight Café)?” Wald loved that the movie featured a live, uncut performance by Oscar Isaac of an old folk song, “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me.”

 

“They had me from there,” he remarked with a wide smile as he recalled the experience of first seeing the film.

 

As for the cat, Wald only commented that, despite the fact that a cat appears in the doorway on the cover of Dave Van Ronk’s album Inside Dave Van Ronk, the Coen brothers swear they didn’t see it; the casting of a cat in the movie was purely a coincidence. And Wald added, “Dave’s not a cat person.”

 

--Jennifer Campaniolo

Puppet Showplace Presents Two World Premieres by Local Artists in Annual ‘New Year, New Shows’ Series

Two puppetry productions by Boston-based artists will have their world premiere performances at Puppet Showplace Theatre in January and February 2014.

Commonwealth Care Members Meeting About Re-Enrollment In The Affordable Care Act.

Attention Commonwealth Care enrollees living in Brookline. Your health insurance will switch to the federal Affordable Care Act as of January 1, 2014. You must re-enroll in your health insurance, and pay for the premium for the month of January 2014, no later than Sunday, December 15, 2013. The Brookline Department of Public Health will host an information session on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 6:30-8:00pm in the Denny Room, Brookline Department of Public Health, 11 Pierce Street, Brookline, to present the changes.

Inaugural Dreamfar Breakfast of Champions To Honor Dave McGillivray November 19

Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray will be honored at the inaugural Dreamfar Breakfast of Champions, Tuesday, November 19th, 7:30am to 9:30am at the Brookline Holiday Inn.  Proceeds from the first annual event benefit the Dreamfar High School Marathon Team.

Brookline's Sandra Mueller-Dick Featured in New York Exhibition

Chelsea's Agora Gallery will feature the original work of Brookline artist Sandra Mueller-Dick in The Kaleidoscope of the Mind. The exhibition is scheduled to run from October 29, 2013 through November 19, 2013. The opening reception will be held on Thursday night, November 7, 2013 from 6-8 pm.

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