Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Felipe Ramirez, Citizen of Mexico and Clinton Supporter

Felipe Ramirez is a Mexican citizen and lives in Corona, Queens. Although he cannot vote in the U.S., he is an enthusiastic Clinton supporter and has volunteered for the campaign by distributing fliers and speaking to parents of Hispanic children in area schools. He is one of a sizable number of people who are ineligible to vote but who this year have been motivated to support presidential candidates in the 2008 election. See the full story at

Felipe Ramirez from Channtal Fleischfresser on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Clowns don't goof around on environment

The Green Circus is coming to Astoria this weekend!

Through skits and tricks, the Green Circus, a troupe of clowns, artists and teachers, aims to help create a new generation of environmentalists who will value renewable and recyclable resources, and detest power plants and other polluters.

Their motto is “saving the planet one clown at a time.” Like similar acts, the group seeks to perform in every bit of open space, hoping their pro-green acts will tickle children pink.

“It’s not like we do this Power Point presentation that Al Gore is standing in front of,” said Ezra Silverman, one of the members of the Green Circus troupe, referring to Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

This brand of clowning provides a comic counterpoint to the environmental doomsday books and documentaries with laughter.

Green Circus Shows:

Saturday, April 26
12 to 4 p.m.
Dope Swan and The Green Circus Present
“How to Build a Community”
Earth Day in Rainey Park
33-01 Vernon Boulevard, Astoria Waterfront

Saturday, May 3
1 to 4 p.m.
“Green Circus Rock it in Rockaway”
Beach 29th Street @ the Boardwalk
Far Rockaway

Clowns tackle environmental causes, tickle audiences
is a multimedia story produced by Sydney Beveridge, Dave Burdick, Tom Davis and Matthew P. Moll for the Hijinks issue of

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nerdy Games Rock Bars

If you're longing to re-do the time you were ousted in that grade-school spelling bee, pulverized in debate class, or left in outer orbit in Solarquest (my childhood favorite). Now is your second chance. And you can play games while sipping cocktails in bars!

Board games, spelling bees, debates and quiz nights are already standard fare during off-peak nights in New York City bars, but attendance to bar games has become more popular with the rise of online game playing. Web sites like and Yahoo Games, which feature online versions of classic board games and new online gaming applications like Scrabulous, have revitalized interest in playing games in real life, or at least made them cool enough to headline nights at local city bars.

Did you know that "hijinks" is the only word in the English language with three consecutive dotted letters? Super nerdy. For more, check out Nerdy Games Rock Bars, a multimedia story produced by Lisa Biagiotti and Lauren Feeney for the Hijinks issue of

Most of the nerdy bars we found are in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Are there any intellectual games in Queens' bars?

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Mayor of Strawberry Fields

Ayrton dos Santos, Jr., is known by many as Gary and by some as the Mayor of Strawberry Fields. He has been decorating the memorial to John Lennon in Central Park on and off for the last 15 years, and steady for the last six years, he says. He grew up both in Manhattan and Queens, briefly attending Forest Hills High School. Today, he creates peace signs out of flowers, which he places on the circular memorial at 72nd Street and Central Park West. He frequently shares his knowledge of the site with visiting tour groups, which gather in a circle around the memorial site. Last week, he received a ticket from the Central Park police for public assembly. Watch the video, produced by Channtal Fleischfresser:

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Flux Factory Flaunts Final Show in LIC

Last night, Flux Factory, an artist collective in Long Island City, unveiled its final exhibition,"Everything Must Go." Art installations spread out across bathrooms, bedrooms, and even the laundry room of this 7,500 square-foot space, which is set to be demolished to make way for MTA expansion.

Lisa Biagiotti and Kenan Davis produced and edited the following video on Flux Factory's opening night, which marks a month-long goodbye to 38-38 43rd Street.

Flux Factory began as an art community in Williamsburg in 1994. The community moved to Long Island City in 2002 and currently has 18 artists-in-residence. The building will be demolished to make way for the MTA's East Side Access Project. While this is the last exhibition, artists are scheduled to move out sometime during the summer.

Friday, April 4, 2008

City Picklers revive local food, one pickle at a time

City Picklers: Reviving local food, one pickle at a time, has launched its multimedia website.

In the age of pre-packaged, processed food, who would bother to take the time to pickle? But in New York City, mason jars bubble over on home counter tops, hand-crafted pickles line the aisles of gourmet grocery stores and fermentation newbies are raising glasses to salute the pickle. is a website devoted to New York pickles--in all varieties, including vinegar, lacto-fermented, Jewish, Indian, Chinese, and so on. Every culture has its pickle, and we found that pickling still thrives in the historic pickle district on the Lower East Side, in ethnic enclaves of the outer boroughs, in farmer's markets and in pickling classes.

Through multimedia and text, tells the story of:
  • new pickling businesses and the local food culture surrounding home and artisinal pickling, including interviews with Rick Field of Rick's Picks, and Al Kaufman of the Pickle Guys
  • the benefits of pickling and ancient traditions of lacto-fermentation, including interviews with fermentation expert, Sandor Ellix Katz
  • how-to make the crunchers, with instruction by hipster pickler Bob McClure of McClure's Pickles and Inside Park chef Matt Weingarten
The site is best viewed in the Firefox browser.

We'd like to thank the more than 70 chefs, cookbook authors, historians, purveyors and picklers we interviewed over the last six months.

Happy pickling!

Lisa Biagiotti and Lizzie Stark