Posts Tagged ‘Sunset Park’

Dancing, discussion, and dishes

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Folk Feet on Fifth, a demonstration—with food—celebrating the neighborhood dance traditions of Bay Ridge and Sunset Park (which encompasses a lot) will be held Thursday. Participants include:

  • Newyorican salsero Carlos Vasquez
  • Cliff Matias of Redhawk Native American Arts Council
  • Paul Busse, Norwegian Folkdance Society of New York
  • Benito Bravo, Mexican folklórico dancer
  • Greek dancer Chrisafo Madimenos
  • Lebanese debke hot stepper Jad Lebbos
  • Victoria Hofmo, Founder of the East Coast Scandinavian Museum
  • Arab youth dance group director Sheren Attal
  • Senior citizen folk dancers of Brooklyn Chinese American Association
  • and unspecified other Irish & Scandinavian contributions.

The event is from 6 to 9 pm Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Danish Athletic Club, 741 65th St, Brooklyn. (Not really 5th Avenue; it’s between 7th and 8th.) It’s free! To RSVP or learn more, call (718) 625-0080 or e-mail

Scandinavian East Coast Museum

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Sunday’s Times City section has an interview by Jennifer Bleyer with Victoria Hofmo, who grew up in Bay Ridge in a family of Norwegian and Danish descent. She’s been collecting material for the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, which she founded, and now she’s trying to find a home for it in Brooklyn—or perhaps off the coast of Brooklyn. A century ago, there were so many Norwegians in Bay Ridge and lower Sunset Park that, Hofmo says, they called Eighth Avenue Lapskaus Boulevard, after a traditional beef stew.

Although the museum’s home is virtual at the moment, the site includes a forum for Scandinavian genealogical research, a block-by-block map of old Eighth Avenue as well as vintage pictures, a page of history, and a gift shop.

This is just the kind of thing to make an immigration nerd like me jump up and down. I wish Ms. Hofmo all the best and I’ll be sure to report any further developments about the museum.

¡Que rico!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

It was 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, and all we wanted to do was have a good, affordable lunch. We walked into Epocas in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a medium-sized room with a long bar decorated with football (soccer) balls & jerseys & scarves. And a little pot of bamboo and a bartop burbling stone fountain.

Their menu includes Italian and Mexican dishes, but their heart is Ecuadorian. We started with an empanada de queso ($2), which came sprinkled with powdered sugar. It was hot and fresh and filled with a mild, agreeable cheese. The arroz con camarones ($9.99; leftovers pictured above) was really good, suffused with a savory, oniony quality and topped with fried plantains. It was such a big plate I could eat only half, but it made for a delicious lunch on Monday. The encebollado mixto ($11.99; fish & shrimp with onion and cassava) was a hearty soup, with a tangy lemon accent and a rich, buttery quality as well.

The sangria, which we ordered by the glass ($4) and which came without fruit or ice, was excellent, ruby red, cold and fruity rather than overly sweet. Next time we’ll order a mini pitcher and linger a little longer, listening to Spanish pop. That is, if there’s no game on TV.

You can get a cheaper plate of rice in Sunset Park, but this was a good deal, and the waitress was friendly, even when she had to tell us that we couldn’t have arepas or cazuela. How do they compare with the Ecuadorian places on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens? I don’t know. All I know is it made me happy. And I wish I had a glass of that sangria right now.

Epocas restaurant (not to be confused with Epoca in Fort Greene) is at 6124 Fifth Ave, near 62nd St, (718) 748-3650. It’s just the edge of Sunset Park before you go under the BQE and emerge in upper Bay Ridge.