Thursday, December 13, 2007

GL Brooklyn Gift Guide: Cool Brookyn Organizations

We ran a version of this installment of our GL Brooklyn Holiday Gift Guide last year and decided to update it and run it again. It includes a very selective list of memberships in or donations to Brooklyn organizations or Brooklyn-based groups that would make cool holiday gifts:

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.

The Coney Island History Project. Membership at the Coney Island History Project starts at $35 for a basic members and includes a History Project t-shirt. The organization, which was founded by Coney historian Charles Denson, has a small exhibition space in Coney Island, maintains and oral history project, a publication and photo collection and more. If someone you know is a fan of Coney and its history, this is a great option.

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. The Urban Divers do wonderful work on the Gowanus and other local bodies of water and 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, cool gift. Check out their donation page here.

Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service. This organization runs programs for families and children all over Brooklyn. One can't join, but can certainly donate, and it's a great option for someone looking to give a gift of support for someone that wants to do help out in the community.

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. If you or someone you care for loves animals, you might consider BARC, which has lots of options for a gift that will helps some dogs and cats, and make everyone feel good. BARC has a wish list for its animals on its home page. Our favorite, though, is 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 rocks. They do 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.

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.



Blogger - jesse said...

Thank you for the mention!

1:52 PM  

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