FOLK-SINGER AND SONGWRITER LEAH LAWRENCE just put the finishing touches on her second album, Everywhere To Go, Folk by Foulke, Vol. II, which she recorded while pregnant with her now-3-month-old son, Luca. “He was definitely present” for the making of the CD, she says, with a laugh. “He kicked.” She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the final product to her Park Slope home on Monday.
Lawrence, who was born in Park Slope and raised in Westchester, has returned to the neighborhood to raise her own family. The release party for the album will be held — where else — in Park Slope, at the Perch Café on July 23 at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public, the party will feature the artist performing songs from the album.
All tracks of “Everywhere To Go” were written and performed by Lawrence and recorded and mixed by Dan Stein at King Kuts in Brooklyn. Five of the 11 tracks are musical collaborations with family and friends, including a song she scribbled in her journal while sitting in a coffee shop in post-Katrina New Orleans, inspired by a sign on the wall that said “Be Nice or Leave.” Lawrence says most of the lyrics came to her while driving in her car to visit family in Westchester and South Carolina. Among her own vocal inspirations are Carole King and Sweet Honey in the Rock, and she has collaborated with many talented musicians including Rufus Wainwright. Lawrence is also an actor and yoga teacher.
Visit Lawrence at www.leahlawrence.com.
HEKIMA HAPA of Crown Heights and Ngozi Odita of Bed-Stuy, co-owners of Harriet’s Alter Ego, have announced the second installment of the Backyard Couture garden party series at the boutique and gallery. On July 19, from 5 to 11 p.m., Hapa and Odita invite the neighborhood to stop by, nibble on complimentary cocktails and appetizers, check out the art, jewelry and clothes, and groove to an eclectic lineup of live music and DJs. Harriet’s Alter Ego is located in Prospect Heights at 293 Flatbush Ave. For more information, call www.harrietsalteregoonline.com.
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HOW IS YOUR POSTURE? Stage presence? New Bay Ridge residents J. Michaels and Mary Elizabeth MiCari, partners in life and work, have started offering their expertise in theater and voice in the form of classes and workshops at the Narrows Community Theater. With the addition of these two talents, theater VP Ann Gubiotti says, the theater is launching a full arts education program. Michaels has Broadway credentials including Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees and more, and has served as professor of speech and theater at numerous local schools. MiCari is a celebrated operatic singer and instructor. The pair says they are thrilled to make Bay Ridge and NCT their new home. For details, visit www.narrowscommunitytheater.com.
IN OTHER NEWS:
IS DUMBO THE FASTEST-GROWING BIKE CENTER? KATE KERRIGAN, the new director of the DUMBO BID, noted in a recent meeting that more than 35 new bike racks have been placed in public spaces in DUMBO, responding to public demand. Under Bloomberg’s new city Department of Transportation (DOT) head, Astrid C. Glynn, a more progressive and responsive approach to biking is under full steam in all of New York City, according to Transportation Alternatives.
A modest proposal: Maybe DUMBO should be the site of a new pilot project to test the free bike exchange that works so well in Paris?
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BROOKLYN COLLEGE’S glossy and ever-tasteful quarterly magazine holds profiles this spring of many high-caliber characters from Brooklyn, including:
• Professor HOBART JARRETT, one-time undefeated member of the Wiley College debate team — represented in this year’s movie “The Great Debaters” with Denzel Washington — who saw much on his journey from the Tulsa riot, at age five, to the classrooms of Brooklyn College.
• Assistant Professor of History PHILIP NAPOLI, who has documented the stories of scores of Brooklynites who fought in Vietnam, and has a new book called, “In Our Own Words: Portraits of Brooklyn Vietnam Veterans,” on display through the end of the year at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
• The “revered and hated” ERIC ALTERMAN, professor of journalism in the Brooklyn College English department and blogger, who has just written a book called “Why We’re Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America.”
• MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hours,” who has stepped down from his leadership position at the college’s Creative Writing Program after six years.
• HANK KAPLAN, a boxing historian who recently passed away and left his collection — “easily the largest boxing-related collection in the world” — to the college.
Brooklyn Assemblyman WILLIAM COLTON is drafting legislation that would toughen the penalty for fuel theft from a misdemeanor to a class E felony. Fuel thieves can now serve up to four years in prison if convicted.