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OF NOTE- People In The News: Tuesday, November 26

Jenny Kwak. Photo via koreanamericanhistory.org

In an airy spot on the corner of Carroll Street and Fifth Avenue, chef JENNY KWAK is dishing up a fun mix of traditional Korean fare and experimental fusion. Her Park Slope hangout, Haenyo, named for the famously independent female divers of the Korean island Jeju, serves bibimbap, broiled oysters with seaweed butter and pots of simmering shellfish in a spicy, garlicky bouillabaisse. Now Eater is recognizing Kwak’s trailblazing cuisine by nominating Haenyo for the 2019 Best Restaurant of the Year Award, the only Brooklyn restaurant to make the list. Kwak got her start as one half of the mother-daughter team behind Dok Suni, an East Village Korean spot that she opened in the 1990s with her mom, MYUNG JA KWAK, and one of the city’s first Korean eateries outside of Koreatown. Since those days, Kwak’s culinary ventures have grown increasingly creative, but she still treats Korean staples with special reverence. “For me, staying true or preserving Korean flavors is the main goal,” Kwak told Eater. 

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Rev. Dr. Brett Younger, senior minister at Plymouth Church. Photo via plymouthchurch.org

The congregation at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights has been transforming the church into a temporary homeless shelter for one month out of the year since the 1980s. This fall, under the direction of the church’s senior minister, REV. DR. BRETT YOUNGER, volunteers served a group of 10 homeless men a hot meal each evening before the men bedded down in the church for the night. The project is part of the “Respite Bed Program,” which has 10 other member churches across the city and is organized by the nonprofit CAMBA. “I think about some of the financial ups and downs that I’ve had, and I think about, I could be here in the same situation,” volunteer NANCY TROTT told NY1. “They’re persisting, they’re working hard, and if we can make their lives a little more comfortable on a night-by-night basis, that’s what inspires me.”

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For a little over a year, NYPD officers HARLEY GRECO and TYLER BARBOUR have been partners, patrolling the streets of the 19th Precinct side by side. But it was only this month that they discovered they’re more than partners, they’re family. After Greco’s grandmother took a DNA test and entered the results into an online database, she discovered several family members she was previously unaware of, and through Facebook realized that some of her new relatives also had a family member working at the same station house as her grandson. After some investigating, Greco pieced together that he and Barbour’s great, great grandmothers are sisters, making the cops distant cousins. “We’ve always been close since the beginning, always had each other’s backs and everything, so it really doesn’t change much,” Greco told NY1. 

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Borough historian Ron Schweiger. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

Filmmakers ROB MARTIN and JAY CUSATO are hoping to make a documentary paying tribute to Farrell’s, a Windsor Terrace watering hole on the southwest corner of Prospect Park that’s been part of the neighborhood’s fabric for 86 years. Martin and Cusato, of Park Slope Films, described Windsor Terrace as “a traditionally working class neighborhood, where generations of residents have followed the same arc, being born in Methodist Hospital and ending up in Greenwood Cemetery, along the way, making their stop right in the middle, in Farrell’s,” on the project’s fundraiser page, which has a goal of raising $24,000. “Very few commercial establishments last for more than 40, 50, 60 years in one place,” said Brooklyn Borough Historian RON SCHWEIGER in a 90-second promo for the project, “But Windsor Terrace has Farrell’s Bar.”

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Choreographer Leslie Cuyjet. Phoyo via acanarytorsi.org

Choreographer LESLIE CUYJET is presenting “Roam” as part of her VW Dome residency at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City. The Brooklyn-based collaborative artist has performed at La MaMA, Gibney Dance, Center for Performance Research and elsewhere, and has worked with dance stars like KIM BRANDT, JANE COMFORT, DAVID GORDON and more. As part of the museum’s VW Sunday Sessions, organized by Assistant Curators TAJA CHEEK and ALEX SLOANE and produced by ALEXANDRA ROSENBERG with CHRIS MASULLO, Cuyet will perform “Roam” at the museum on select dates. Visit moma.org for tickets and info. 

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