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Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004

ABSINTHE-MINDED

LeNell’s, a year-old wine and spirit boutique in Red Hook, educated customers about the charms of Versinthe - a legal version of absinthe, the hallucinogenic aperitif popular in late 19th century Paris - with a tasting on Aug. 7. Comment.

A TOAST TO THE CHEFS

Restaurateurs competed in the kitchen - and on sailboats - on Aug. 8 to raise funds for a teen sailing program as part of the Restaurant Regatta 2004. After the chefs and their crews each raced J-24 sailboats owned by the Manhattan Sailing Club (a knowledgeable skipper from the club was assigned to each boat), they sped into the Bubble Lounge champagne bar at 228 West Broadway to set up for the second leg of the competition. Comment.

NAUGHTY BY NATURE

A few days before I dined with a friend in Le Gamin, a new French cafe in Prospect Heights, I stuck my head in to get a feel for the place. It was around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and a few people were picking at late lunches while they read. A couple of mothers, infants sleeping soundly in carriages nearby, were deep in conversation over huge cafe au lait cups. Through the back windows I could see tables in a sun-dappled garden shaded by huge trees. Comment.

BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS

With a disarming mix of treacle and bloodshed, the fourth annual New York Korean Film Festival more than lives up to this year’s titular catchphrase "Inner Turbulence." In the seven features and six shorts - screened at BAMcinematek from Friday Aug. 20 to Sunday Aug. 22 - characters, movies and even the industry itself appear at war with themselves. But victors do emerge. Comment.

BAD HAIR DAY

Four weeks of eternal damnation at The Brick Theater’s Hell Festival continued on Aug. 2 with "The Iron Wig," written and directed by Jonathan Valuckas. Comment.

NEWS FROM THE HILL

If you think a face becomes more attractive with age and Botox is a sin, you’ll be disappointed with two-year-old Hill Diner’s extreme makeover. Once the scruffy-yet-loveable new kid on Court Street, owner Refael Hasid (pictured) gutted the space next door to the diner, turning it into a lean, mean, burger-dishing machine. The new Hill Diner, which opened July 10, won’t make you nostalgic for the greasy spoons of your youth, but it’s a stunner. Comment.

REGULAR FOLK

Grab your banjo, fiddle and bagpipes, the Eisteddfod Folk Festival is in town. Comment.

NEW AT WAX

Choreographers Erica Sobol and Chris Hale will debut their dance company, Collide, at the Williamsburg Art Nexus on Aug. 14 and 15. Comment.

GET ON THE BUS

Theater for the New City’s 28th annual street theater extravaganza, "Code Orange: On the M15," starts with the amiable, but frustrated, Bus Driver taking his bus uptown and ends with him and all his passengers urging the audience to get on the bus, singing the inspirational lyrics, "We can change. We can move. We can get back in the groove." Comment.

TRACING OUR ROOTS

On Friday Aug. 20 the Act Now Foundation will host a fundraiser for the documentary-in-progress, "Footsteps of our Fathers" by Cecil Carter (pictured). Comment.

CHECK OUT CONEY

Coney Island fans can appreciate the charms of the beach and boardwalk in a whole new way at an exhibit now on display in the Brooklyn Public Library’s Grand Army Plaza branch. Comment.

Nets protestors making demands       

Atlantic Yards: Developer Bruce Ratner received the final stamp of approval from the National Basketball Association to purchase the New Jersey Nets, but elected officials and opponents of the Atlantic Yards say the game is not over. Comment.

Under pressure, Walentas scales back 38 Water St., near Brooklyn Bridges        

Following community outcry over a proposed 16-story building adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, developer David Walentas unveiled plans this week to scale back part of his residential and commercial project. Comment.

Bruce quietly buying up Prospect Heights        

Atlantic Yards: Over the past several months, developer Bruce Ratner has been quietly plowing his way through Prospect Heights, purchasing everything property owners are willing to sell. Comment.

CITY AGENCY TO PROBE RATNER PLANS        

Atlantic Yards: The Independent Budget Office will conduct an economic study of Bruce Ratner’s $2.5 billion Atlantic Yards development, the city-funded fiscal watchdog agency announced this week. Comment.

Clones fans react to Mets latest trades

Play’s the Thing: Keyspan Park is normally a pretty happy place. After a 44-year absence, the return of professional baseball in 2001 to Brooklyn was greeted with open arms. Those arms aren’t so open right now, and here’s why. Comment.

Cyclones salute Negro League players

Cyclones: The faces looked familiar, but the uniforms didn’t, and some fans were confused by the sight of the Cyclones in Yankee-like pinstripes. Comments (1).

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