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BookCourt to party with creators of Brooklyn book

The Brooklyn Paper
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On Sept. 8, BookCourt (163 Court St. at Dean Street) will celebrate its 20th anniversary with two special guests. Owners Mary Gannet and Henry Zook have invited Cobble Hill residents Michael Robbins and Wendy Palitz to be on hand at 2 pm to join in the celebration. Robbins, editor, and Palitz, designer, have a reason to party, too - the publication of their new book, "Brooklyn: A State of Mind" (Workman Publishing, $19.95).

The soft-cover tome is a collection of essays by and interviews with a wide array of Brooklyn personalities including filmmaker Spike Lee, comedian Mel Brooks, playwright Arthur Miller, actor Eli Wallach, choreographer Eliot Feld and BAM LDC chairman Harvey Lichtenstein.

Palitz includes photos taken by The Brooklyn Papers’ own Tom Callan, as well as dense, anecdotal timelines for each decade from the 1900s through the 1990s.

While there are humorous attempts to explain the logic, or linguistics of the lilting sounds of "Brooklynese," there are also essays about the serious business of politics and the Battle of Brooklyn.

Light is unexpectedly thrown on some dark corners of Brooklyn history, like a sketch an essay about poet laureate Norman Rosten by Carroll Gardens resident Glenn Thrush. There are also essays on some of Brooklyn’s ethnic groups: including Thrush’s sexy profile of a Russian nightclub in Brighton Beach, the Italian giglio festival of Williamsburg and Haitian and Jewish communities.

A recurring feature is "Brooklyn on Film," culminating with an essay about Vitagraph Pictures, the high-quality silent film studios formerly on East 15th Street and Locust Avenue.

"Brooklyn: A State of Mind" also has a roundup of the "literary lights" that have made their homes here, and essays about the borough’s amusements, from pigeon coops to the Cyclone roller coaster.

Certainly this book is hard to put down, and has something for history buffs, Brooklyn fanatics, baseball aficionados and art lovers, too.

For more information about BookCourt’s free event, call (718) 875-3677.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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