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Bruce Ratner Doesn’t Use Steroids, But His P.R. Machine Won’t Stop Pumping Up the Atlantic Yards Project

The month of June began with over 500 critics of Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards proposal marching over the Brooklyn Bridge from Borough Hall to City Hall, voicing dissent to what they view as a sweetheart deal between the developer and the power brokers of the city and state.

New Skool Slam

In a shift from the past series of neighborhood-based reportage, students from the spring session of the Brooklyn Rail/Urban Word NYC New Skool Journalism Workshop covered the city’s annual Teen Poetry Slam championships.

Project Street Beat

Unlike right-wing fundamentalists, AIDS groups know that viral transmission will not be halted by moralizing. Instead, advocates work the streets, laboring at the grassroots to teach safer practices to those at highest risk.


I  watched each poet, learned from each poet, slowly felt each poet, but became just one. I hadn’t slept so I couldn’t focus except then, when she was crying, I was crying. Raw passion was onstage, surging from the face, hers. Her body became her vessel; she smacked my brain across the face, Maya’s. Maya Williams.

Coney Island Beer Hustle

For decades, beach goers have relied on an army of venders to supply them with beer, water, pretzels, ICEEs, cotton candy, and anything else that can be carried through the sand.

Rebel Music

Poets are the sensitive scribes of our era. They document facts, mingling emotion, statistics with realities of third world countries to third floor abuse stories recalling mom’s late-night crack flings upstairs.

Madman or Reformer? Some Q’s for CXB

Mayoral candidate Christopher X. Brodeur’s relentlessly outspoken commentaries and performances have made him a thorn in the side of both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations. Given the empty rhetoric that often passes for political debate in the city, the Rail thought it worthwhile to explore a few of CXB’s many iconoclastic ideas.


Over the course of six preliminaries, four semifinals, and one grand slam final, confined in a region of five boroughs and in a mere three weeks, Urban Word NYC hosted its seventh annual teen poetry slam, providing the networking space for a cesspool of eclectic, vintage youth and future revolutionaries.

Keep Writing

It was dark and quiet and the only thing that I could see was a lit stage that became home to teens who filled the room with poetry and energy. Alongside me sat families and poets waiting for their names to be called, names that would someday be called again for a spot on the New York City team for the National Teen Poetry Slam Championships in San Francisco.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2005

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