Tuesday, November 28, 2006

GL's Brooklyn Holiday Gift Guide, Part I

We were going to compile our GL Brooklyn Holiday Gift Guide and run it in one entry, but decided that if we go that route, it will be mid-December before we ever get it accomplished. So, we're taking an episodic approach.

Our focus in today's first installment will be memberships in or donations to Brooklyn organizations or Brooklyn-based groups that would make cool holiday gifts. The guide is very selective and we've probably left out obvious choices or favorites, but here goes:

Coney Island USA. A basic Coney Island USA membership is $25 and includes free admission to the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, free admission to the Coney Island Museum, free admission to Sunday night lectures at the Museum, a subscription to the Coney Isle-O-Phile Newsletter and a handshake from Coney's "Mayor," Dick Zigun. Higher membership levels get you more. For $150 that special someone gets a bunch of benefits and a seat on the reviewing stand for the Mermaid Parade as a judge. (There's no option on the membership page to sign up someone else, but plenty of contact emails and numbers to ask questions.)

Gowanus Dredgers. You don't have to belong to the Dredgers to go out on the Big G in one of their canoes, but signing someone up as a member would be a cool thing to do. Basic "Deckhand" membership is $25. A "Stevadore" membership is $50 and includes the "Heart of Gowanus" DVD. All members can pay a $75 equipment fee and make appointments to take canoes out on the Gowanus when they'd like. Navigate over to the "Membership" page on their site.

Urban Divers. Truly, we can't determine what membership in the Urban Divers brings, but we do know that they do wonderful working on the Gowanus and other local bodies of water and that they sponsor eco-cruises and offer a lot of volunteer opportunities. That having been said, a General Membership is $40 and you can find out more here.

Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment. BCUE does urban environmental education, but we especially love them for the Brooklyn tours they run with guides like Francis Morrone and Jack Eichenbaum. Their membership page has a contact number to call for more information, and there's an online donation page too. We do know that members get discounts on all the cool tours they run. This could be the gift for the Brooklyn lover in your life.

Added Value. You can't become a paid member of Added Value--the good people that run programs for young people in Red Hook and operate a community farm and farmers markets--but you can certainly make a contribution to the cause in someone's name. They do good work. Helping them would make a cool gift. Check out their donation page here.

Slope Street Cats. No membership here, but you can donate to Slope Street Cats, a Park Slope group that works to control the population of feral cats and links a lot of people to adoptions of cats. They run educational programs and do a lot of good work and you can make a donation here in someone's name as a gift and get a big deposit of Good Kitty Karma to boot.

Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition. We mentioned them last week, but we're doing it again because we didn't mention that for $25 a month the person on your holiday list can sponsor a dog or cat at the BARC shelter in Williamsburg and go over to play with his or her sponsee, which could add an extra element of fun to those Williamsburg shopping and eating excursions. You can, of course, also donate in someone's name to BARC.

Portside New York. Portside does superb work in Red Hook with a focus on the waterfront and the neighborhood's maritime history and is in the process of converting an old tanker, the Mary A. Whalen, into a museum and community facility. You can donate to Portside or support it by making purchases at several sites including igive, not to mention their Electronic Book Store set up through Amazon, which has a bunch of waterfront-related gift options. The Mary Whalen, by the way, just went to the shipyard for its renovation this week.

Broken Angel. You can't "join" Broken Angel, but you can help save this unique Brooklyn treasure in Clinton Hill that the city is threatening with demolition. How? The owners are selling paintings and photos to raise money. So, you will be getting someone a cool gift of a stunning painting or superb photo and contributing to saving Broken Angel. Paintings and photos are on sale at Artez'n at 444 Atlantic Ave. They are also on sale online here. In the words of Chris Wood, a photographer whose father has created Broken Angel: "I guarantee that a work of art bought this holiday season will retain its value better than a Play Station 3." It'll make you feel better about making a difference in Brooklyn too.

We are not focusing on obvious choices, but we'll mention a few here: The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Celebrate Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Historical Society. Good and fun memberships all.

3 Comments:

Blogger Third Street said...

COol idea. I will mention on OTBKB.

9:30 AM  
Blogger rosswords said...

Don't forget the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service.

10:58 AM  
Blogger rosswords said...

I forgot the URL:
http://www.bbcs.org/

11:00 AM  

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