A new talk show, broadcasting from opposite McCarren Park, is bringing neighbors together to discuss the major issues facing the community today.
Bittersweet Brooklyn is hosted by Meredith Chesney and Dennis Farr (aka Dennis sinneD) who discovered their shared passions on Facebook. Both were concerned about the development in the neighborhood and how to approach it. They felt a radio show would be a great way to share their thoughts and those of their weekly guests with the community.
Farr and Chesney grabbed a microphone and Farr’s band mate, Danny Robo, and started recording in late June.
“It must have been the heat, we got pissed. We were so tired of the unfair mischaracterization presented by the media,” explained Farr. “The media representation is basically that Williamsburg has laid down and decided to die. It’s not true.”
The three have tackled issues surrounding the McCarren Park pool, the “War on Brunch” and vandalism at McGolrick Park. Each episode they invite guests to join the discussion, including El Puente’s Esteban Duran, Domino Effect’s Brian Paul and the Gazette’s Publisher Jeff Mann.
“We speak with people that exist in the shadows of the very issues that we are describing and don’t get a chance to play a central role,” said Farr.
Created to compel the community to voice their opinions about development and recent changes, the show provides a venue to express those beliefs. During the latest episode, on which Mann was the guest, they discussed the battle between cars and bikes and questioned the necessity for bicycles in an urban setting. Emotions intensified as they discussed gentrification and its implications. When Mann mentioned the positive changes it had brought to the neighborhood, Farr and Chesney lamented the loss of the community’s culture.
Chesney was worried about the consequences of keeping silent on such matters, “If we don’t all engage then we are doomed to just be ’Anytown, USA’.”
New episodes are posted every Wednesday on the Bittersweet Brooklyn Facebook page and Farr’s YouTube page.