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Entries in block-off (32)


BLOCK-OFF! Btwn 6th Ave & 7th Ave (from 15th-1st) vs. Btwn 7th Ave & 8th Ave (from 15th-1st) 

WOO HOO FUCK YEAH IT’S BASEBALL PLAYOFF SEASON!!! I’m not actually as excited as all that, but I enjoy baseball enough & was excited because my hometown Red Sox once again made the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, they now have no chance in hell of actually winning the World Series, but I can at least hope that the Yankees don’t win it long as that prick A-Rod doesn't get a championship ring, it's cool with me.

This week, we’ll be taking a look at the numbered streets between 6th & 7th and 7th & 8th, pitting them against each other in a contest of Ruthian proportions. One group of blocks will embody the spirit of my BoSox. While they won't be crowned champions this year, at least they won't be a bunch of millionaire pretty boys. The other set of blocks will be inhabited by the spirit of the Bronx Bombers & will have a good chance of winning it all, but in the end, it won't matter because as we New Englanders say, "Yankees Suck." As some politician or celebrity or dying child throws out the first pitch & the two teams take the field, we'll be reminded of why baseball is both exciting & boring at the same time. Let the uber maudlin, TBS-tastic, steroid-filled judging begin!

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BLOCK-OFF! Btwn 4th Ave & 5th Ave (from Garfield-Baltic) vs. Btwn 5th Ave & 6th Ave (from Garfield-Park)

Holy crap! Have you schlubs seen this new Tarantino flick, Inglourious Basterds? I saw that shit recently & it blew my friggin mind. Back in the day, when I was but a giddy film student, I held Tarantino up to god status. After a while though, basically after Jackie Brown, once he decided that he was more interested in talking about films than making them, he started to seriously get on my nerves & I disowned him for a long ass time. He & Kevin Smith made me want to puke. Recently though, a friend put together a well-crafted series of essays on all his works, a series that often spoke to why his love of films makes his own films so good. It’s definitely an asset when the director’s actually excited about his film. I’m getting older & more forgiving & it’s been five years since Kill Bill II came out, so after hearing nothing but good words about his new film, I decided to give him another shot.

In our last Block-Off!, we took a look at the numbered streets between 4th & 5th and 5th & 6th, so this week, we’ll be taking a look at the rest of the streets between 4th & 5th and 5th & 6th. In honor of Tarantino, we’re going to infuse one set of blocks with his ridiculously over-the-top love of films. The other set will get to embody the raw violence of his flicks. They’ll go on their merry ways for a while, but as we really get into it, one set will run into the other one & start rambling on & on & on about Sam Fuller & Sam Peckinpah & the beauty of violence, After about five minutes, the other set will grow tired of set #1’s inability to shut the fuck up, hit him over the head with some crazy-ass Japanese weapon & tie him up in a basement. At that point, it’ll be set #2’s chance to speak & the awesome torture will begin. It’ll be all you can talk about for the next two weeks. Let the pop-culture infused, Leone-esque, Nazi-scalptastic judging begin!

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BLOCK-OFF! Btwn 4th Ave & 5th Ave (from 15th-10th & 8th-1st) vs. Btwn 5th Ave & 6th Ave (from 15th-10th & 8th-1st)

Smell ya later, August! Seriously, was that an awful month or what? There was a string of disgustingly hot days. The health care debate officially entered Looneyville. We lost both Ted Kennedy and DJ AM in the same week. Third Eye Blind put out another album. It’s just a month I’d rather forget. From this day forth & for twenty-nine days after that, I will only think September. We get a holiday & a few more weeks of summer & a Nachos NY Grito contest & Fashion Week & new episodes of Sons of Anarchy, Dexter & Fringe. That’s a ton of junk to look forward to.

In this week's Block-Off!, we’re going to start looking at the spaces in between the avenues with the streets from 15th to 1st between 4th Ave & 5th competing against those same streets between and 5th Ave & 6th. We’ve already covered both 9th Streets in the Block-Off!, so they don’t count. To prove how much better September’s going to be, I’m going to infuse one set of blocks with the demonic spirit of August & the other with the hopeful spirit of September. As August drips its nasty sweat all over us, September will be asking us over for steaks…unless Labor Day is ridiculously hot & my whole August good/September bad scenario I’ve created here will be factually incorrect. Let the optimistic, non-celebrity death infused, almost-autumnal judging begin!

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BLOCK-OFF! Remaining 5th Ave & 7th Ave vs. Remaining 6th Ave & 8th Ave

Woodstock Woodstock Woodstock! In case you’ve been away from every form of mass media imaginable for the last week or so, these past few days marked the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, with the festival closing out 40 years ago yesterday. What began as a somewhat small festival a few hours north in upstate New York ballooned to a gathering of 500,000 people & became one of the defining moments of the Sixties. Then Altamont & The Manson Family came along, people died because of both & the idealism of the Sixties soon came to a screeching halt.

...but Woodstock was memorable & really brought people together, so to celebrate the anniversary, in this week’s Block-Off!, we’ll be bringing together the remaining businesses we haven’t covered on 5th, 6th 7th & 8th and pitting those on the odd avenues against those on the even avenues. That means that on 5th, we’ll be covering the block from Sterling to Park, on 6th, the blocks between Union & Park, on 7th, the blocks from 7th to 5th and from St. John’s to Flatbush & on 8th, everything from 9th to Flatbush…and no, we won’t be covering the areas of 4th, 5th & 6th beyond Park Place, as on the day when I first drew the boundaries of the Block-Off!, the Wikipedia definition of Park Slope put the north border at Park Place. The Wiki page has since been changed, but I don’t deal well with change, so I’m not embracing this new definition.

To top it off, this week we’ll be ignoring all the apartment buildings & empty storefronts & extraneous crap to give you nothing but the straight, unfiltered Block-Off! poop. There’s just way too much extraneous crap on the blocks. As one set of blocks reflects on Woodstock with memories of free love & Hendrix & Sha Na Na, the other set will get confused & think that the Chili Peppers headlined & won’t be able to understand why everyone’s so nostalgic for three days of literal raping & pillaging. Let the muddy, idealistic, flower power infused judging begin!

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BLOCK-OFF! 4th Ave [from Union to Baltic] vs. 8th Ave [from 15th to 12th & 11th to 9th]

Holy shitballs it’s hot outside. It’s hot inside. It was in the nineties yesterday & could hit that again today. Awesome. Let’s celebrate. You don’t necessarily have to celebrate the heat though. You can celebrate Hulk Hogan’s 56th birthday. You can celebrate Ben Gibbard’s 33rd. You can celebrate the 18th anniversary of the founding of Al Qaeda. You can celebrate Joe Rogan’s 43rd birthday by claming that 9/11 was a conspiracy…or you can just Celebrate Brooklyn! by hanging outside the periphery of the Prospect Park Bandshell & avoiding the ticket price while listening to TV on the Radio. While you’re busy celebrating, Saturn’s rings will be disappearing.

In honor of all this mid-August celebration, we’re reaching to the far corners of Park Slope (a fact that I did not take into consideration re: walking when making the pairing) for this week’s Block-Off! We’ll be featuring another of our tag team-style competitions, with 4th Ave between Union & Baltic going up against 8th Ave from 15th to 9th. Since we already covered the area between 12th & 11th about a month back, we’ll just skip over that part of 8th in our journey & continue with the blocks from 11th to 9th. You’ll probably be too busy celebrating & high on goofballs to notice anyhow.

Since this week’s sections of 4th Ave & 8th Ave are on exact opposite corners of the Slope, it’ll be all faraway combat, sort of like a Block-Off! version of the impending war with North Korea, a war that I’ve come to believe we can only prevent by sending them Bill Clinton once a year for an updated portrait. As the groups of blocks push & shove each other, eventually one’s going to end up getting pushed off the edge of Park Slope all Return of the Jedi emperor style & we’ll all learn the true meaning of Christmas. Then we’ll celebrate Ewok-style, people! It’ll be Endoriffic! Let the drainingly hot, drone-involved, furry wood-creature influenced judging begin!

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