Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Last On-Site Inspection of Five Atlantic Ave. Parcels Thursday

The last on-site inspection for bidders interested in the five connected Atlantic Avenue parcels up for auction on Valentine's day takes place tomorrow, Thursday, January 31 at 11 a.m.

Sheldon Good & Co. auction house sent McBrooklyn the following instructions:
Those interested should gather at the entrance to the surface parking lot at 262-276 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill and register for a tour of the site.

- More Details About the Five Big Parcels

- Real Estate Auction: Sheldon Good & Co.
- Atlantic Avenue Development Site Going, Going ... Brownstoner
- Under Siege III: Breaking on Boerum: Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens
- 5 Atlantic Avenue Development Sites on Market for $24 Million: Brooklyn Eagle
- Yassky, Neighborhood Groups Continue Battling Atlantic Avenue Hotel Plan: Brooklyn Eagle

Photos by MK Metz

Man Falls 11 Stories, Dies, in Fort Greene Construction Accident

One construction worker (age 43, with children) died and one was severely injured this morning in a fall from a scaffolding at a 13-story building going up at 525 Clinton Avenue in Clinton Hill.

According to wcbstv (video, above), the City Building Department sent warnings to contractors this morning about the expected high winds. It appears that inadequate safety measures were taken at this construction site, and pipes and scaffolding (and the men standing on the scaffolding) blew right off the roof.

The builder is Clinton Court Development. The contractors had six violations on the building, according to wcbstv.

The architect is Meltzer/Mandl. David Mandl passed away in August, according to the One Hanson Place blog.

Watchtower's Hotel Bossert -- Brooklyn's 'Waldorf Astoria' -- Up For Sale

The fabulous Hotel Bossert in Brooklyn Heights (Montague and Hicks) is on the market.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, "As has been its custom, the Watchtower has attached no asking price to the property and is seeking bids and a private transaction."

Brokers contacted by the Eagle were hard-put to put an exact price on the grand hotel, but one, Arlene Waye of Awaye Realty, said, "This is a phenomenal property. It will probably bring a price in the $100 million range.” Timothy King, a senior partner at Massey Knakal Realty Services Brooklyn, said, “This is perhaps one of the most unique and most well-maintained trophy assets in Brooklyn." More.

Commenters on the Brownstoner blog offer guesses ranging from $20 million to $80 zillion.

Photo by MK Metz

Get Paid to Wave

Need a little spare cash? Liberty Tax Service in Downtown Brooklyn will pay you to dress up like the Statue of Liberty and wave at people.

Photo by MK Metz

Steroid Supplier in Bay Ridge Death Ruled "Suicide'

The city Medical Examiner’s Office said that John Rossi, 56, the Bay Ridge pharmacy owner who was found shot to death Monday night, committed suicide, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. Rossi co-owned Lowen’s Pharmacy on Third Avenue at Bay Ridge Avenue.

Rossi was seated behind a desk in the office with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. He had also left a note to his wife Josephine that said, “Please forgive me.” He was shot in the chest and the head.

Rossi’s store was at the heart of a major steroid investigation. Last May, more than $100,000 in steroids shipped from China were seized. According to the NY Times, a bigger raid in September seized nearly $8 million worth of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids.

The Left in Bay Ridge blog doesn't buy the suicide hypothesis. LIBR notes a few "peculiar" things:

- Rossi was the subject of a criminal investigation and at the heart of an internal probe by the NYPD into steroid use among cops yet he was still allowed to keep a licensed gun?

- Three "suicide" shots?

- The building where the pharmacy is located is owned by Rossi and Julius Nasso. Nasso used to be Steven Seagal's business partner and in 2002 was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to extort Seagal He was charged with a bunch of people with alleged ties to the Gambino crime family.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Tragedy That Was Averted in Brooklyn

But for the grace of a fingertip blown off, the odds are that a terrible tragedy was averted in Brooklyn last week.

Though joking called the "mad bomber" and written off as a dog-walking kook, Remsen Street's Ivaylo Ivanov was charged Monday with 105 counts of hate crimes as well as criminal possession of a cache of rifles, handguns, and 8 pipe bombs, including one with a remote control, according to

Rabbi Serge Lippe of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue told CBS 2 HD: "We've had Virginia Tech, we've had the Omish school house, I think but for a miracle and our thanks to the detectives, we would have been looking at a similar situation."

- AIDS Researcher Roomie of Brooklyn Heights Bomber Stays Mum

Monday, January 28, 2008

Smith Street Murder Still Unsolved

On September 25, SoHo hairstylist Francis De La Hoz was left to die after his throat was slashed in his Brooklyn apartment at 114 Smith Street. According to Newsday (via Bellook), there are no leads to identify the man he met on the Internet and had been dating.

Friends had discovered the 39-year-old’s body after he failed to show up at work for three days, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Photo by MK Metz

The Running of Brooklyn's Idiotarod 2008

The Iditarod is the famous race in which huskies pull sleds across Alaska. The Idiotarod is the same thing, except it's goofballs pulling shopping carts through Brooklyn.

The Gowanus Lounge shot the above video of the race as it leaves "Checkpoint Two" at The Yard, next to the Carroll Street Bridge in Gowanus and at the finish line, Moonshine, on Columbia Street in Red Hook. More photos and links here.

Map by Sonya

Sunday, January 27, 2008

De Blasio Announces Major Zoning Change for Carroll Gardens

Councilmember Bill de Blasio sent us the following statement regarding the redefining of certain streets in Carroll Gardens as "narrow." This a development which could help protect the character of Carroll Gardens by mandating a lower building height:

"I along with community leaders, Brooklyn Community Board 6, and Carroll Gardens residents have brought to the Department of City Planning (DCP)'s attention concerns about the zoning implications of the 'wide street' definition in the R6 zoning district on 1st through 4th Place in Carroll Gardens. I am happy to announce that in response to these concerns, DCP has agreed to put forward an application for a change to the zoning text whereby these streets would be defined as 'narrow streets' for zoning purposes, permitting a lower Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and maximum building heights that are more in keeping with the surrounding character and context of the neighborhood."

"This zoning text amendment would go through a public review process, and DCP hopes to have this ready for referral by the City Planning Commission in March."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

When Famous People Die in Boerum Hill

Boerum Hill , famous people, getting to be a zoo.

Brooklyn in Brief, Weekend

- Some people call this the ugliest new building in Brooklyn. Brownstoner

- Not looking too good for the Red Hook ball field vendors. Curbed

- Senior centers may be replaced with "Healthy Aging Centers" featuring fitness gyms and cafes, if the Department for the Aging has it's way. Brooklyn Eagle

- A bicyclist was robbed and beaten by a gang of 20 teenagers on the Brooklyn Bridge footpath on at 11:45 pm on Jan. 16. They beat the man unconscious, then stole his iPod and bicycle. Brooklyn Paper

- The 11233 zip code that encompasses Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights had the highest foreclosure rates for subprime mortgages in the entire nation in October. Gothamist

- BCAT (Brooklyn Independent Television) visits DUMBO Monday, January 28, 12:30 and 8:30 p.m. Powerhouse Arena and Books, a gallery walk -- Spring, The Gloria Kennedy Gallery and The Dumbo Arts Center and finally, Smack Mellon. BCAT

Racial Slur Shocks Brooklyn Surrogate Court

Racist graffiti scrawled in an elevator inside Brooklyn Surrogate Court called Diana Johnson, the first black judge elected to Surrogate's Court in New York state, a "dumb n___."

"This is inside baseball," said state Sen. Eric Adams, an ex-cop and former head of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement. "Someone who wrote that, I guarantee you, graduated from one of the most prestigious universities in this nation." Daily News

There are surveillance cameras inside Brooklyn Surrogate Court, but police are not yet revealing what they show.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Details: Brooklyn Heights Financial Conwoman

More details emerge about the chameleon-like Jennifer Wilkov, the Brooklyn Heights financial advisor/ author/ neuro-linguistic programmer/ entrepreneur/ wunderkind/ conwoman, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding 23 real estate investors. Wilkov is the author of "Dating Your Money."

See Brooklyn Heights Financial Advisor Admits Guilt Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn Heights Financial Adviser Guilty in Scam McBrooklyn
- Poor Planning by Brooklyn Heights Real Estate Fraudster McBrooklyn

Photo courtesy of ESP Press

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Downtown Brooklyn: 189 Schermerhorn Coming Along

The top photo shows the progress of the 25-story portion of 189 Schermerhorn (near Hoyt) shot Thursday from the Livingston Street side. The same project on the Schermerhorn Street side will be a connecting seven-story loft building, as seen in the rendering below the photo.

The developer of the Downtown Brooklyn condo project is SDS Procida, which, according to Brownstoner, tried to sell "the entire 250-odd-unit project mid-stream."

The rendering is from the Web site of architect Stephen B. Jacobs Group.

Photo by MK Metz

'Busted Walk' Filming in Downtown Brooklyn This Weekend

From Friday, January 25 – Sunday January 27 the production “Busted Walk” is scheduled to shoot interior and exterior scenes from 6AM-6PM at the following locations:

345 Adams Street between Willoughby Street and Tech Place;
Joralemon Street between Court and Clinton Streets; Bridge Street between Willoughby and Fulton Streets

"Busted Walk" is set in New York City on the first winter day in 1974, according to Casting Now. These details are excerpted from the site:

It follows a father, who is the owner of a company and his 17 year old son who is temporarily working for him, as they walk to work in the morning. The son was suspended from school because pot was found in his locker.

The father has an urgency to interest his son in the family business and straighten him out. They appear to be the embodiment of the typical generation gap of that era but they do have something in common; each is silently suffering from the onset of a drastically different ailment with outwardly similar symptoms.

Steven Tanenbaums previous feature film was "Coming Soon."

Brooklyn Heights Financial Adviser Guilty in Scam

A financial adviser and author from Brooklyn Heights (with an office on Montague Street) pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that she schemed with two California women to steal more than $1.6 million from investors in a housing fix-and-flip scam.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Jennifer Wilkov, 39, admitted she used her job at American Express Financial Advisors to find victims in New York City to invest in a fraudulent scheme to fix up houses in California and resell them for big profits.

Wilkov is the author of "Dating Your Money."

UPDATE here.

- Poor Planning by Brooklyn Heights Real Estate Fraudster McBrooklyn

Photo courtesy of ESP Press

Got a Post Office Complaint? Call the Boerum Hill Association

For the longest time, Boerum Hill residents have complained about the Times Plaza Post Office. People waiting at home all day for expected packages have even reported their mail carriers sticking "While You Were Out" slips on their doors without bothering to ring the bell.

Packages are sometimes lost forever, they say, and post office staff can be anything but helpful.

Now the Boerum Hill Association is conducting a survey to take to the Post Office management and elected officials. The goal? To replace Times Plaza with a "real" post office, reports the Brooklyn Eagle and the Gowanus Lounge.

Photo: "Mail" by EditorB, Creative Commons license

Aids Research Roomie of Brooklyn Heights Bomber Stays "Mum"

The NY Sun reports that the prominent AIDS researcher linked to Ivaylo Ivanov -- the man charged with gathering an arsenal in a Brooklyn Heights apartment and allegedly painting swastikas around the neighborhood -- declined to cooperate with police until he could secure a lawyer.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers picked up the Michael Clatts at JFK Wednesday as he returned from Vietnam, where he had been doing research.

Some comments on the Brooklyn Heights Blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Update on Heath Ledger Death Coverage

NY Magazine keeps us up-to-date about the Heath Ledger coverage here. Police are no longer touting suicide, according to NY Magazine.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bruce Ratner's Plastic Surgeon, and More Brooklyn in Brief

- Workers at 340 Court Street seem to have taken the easy way out when transporting bagged asbestos from roof to dumpster. Gowanus Lounge

- Bruce Ratner to marry the plastic surgeon who called Michael Jackson a "nasel cripple." NY Post

- Phillip Anderson and his dog remain holed up at 475 Kent Ave. even though FDNY officials evacuated it on Sunday, citing potentially combustible grain from an illegal matzo factory in the basement. Metro

- Heath Ledger: Why, why why? Huffington Post

- Notorious Brooklyn landlord Joshua Guttman, owner of the explosively flammable Greenpoint Terminal Market, claims he's doing God's work through a $40 million real-estate deal in his native Israel. NYPost (Curbed has some advice: "Sprinklers.")

- CORD says "the RALLY date for our downzoning is January 24th not January 29th." Carroll Gardens Petition

Monday, January 21, 2008

Brooklyn Heights Pipe-Bomb Man Confesses to Painting Swastikas

Sunday morning's discovery of an arsenal of weapons — including pipe bombs, guns and a crossbow — at 58 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights has solving a tantalizing mystery.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, 31-year-old Ivaylo Ivanov has confessed to painting swastikas and writing "Kill Jews" in the neighborhood in September. He'll be hit with dozens of charges for this, on top of his weapons charges.

Ivanov is a Bulgarian immigrant who shared an apartment at 58 Remsen St. with AIDS researcher Dr. Michael Clatts, says the Eagle. More here.

UPDATE: Photo of Ivanov on the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

UPDATE: Ivanov says he is Jewish, and claims he was going to use the bombs to go fishing.

- Explosives and Weapons Found in Brooklyn Heights Apartment

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Explosives and Weapons Found in Brooklyn Heights Apartment

Several Remsen Street buildings in Brooklyn Heights were evacuated early Sunday morning after police found explosives and a cache of weapons in an apartment.

A 31-year-old man who lives either on the fourth or third floor of 58 Remsen Street went to Long Island College Hospital at about 12:45 a.m. Sunday morning . He had called 911 and reported that he had shot himself in the hand. When police searched the apartment, they found enough weapons to raise worries of terrorism.

Other report: abc
Comments on Brooklyn Heights Blog

Martin Luther King Day Comes to Brooklyn

The city is coming to Brooklyn to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. At BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), BP Marty Markowitz, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, and Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes are all speaking at the big event.

Soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples and Gary Anglin and the Voices of CCC are performing, and look for the free movie and exhibition.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden celebrates Martin Luther King Day with a performance of spirituals featuring the Great Day Chorale, led by founder and director Louvinia Pointer. Performances are at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Photo of future MLK by dbking, creative commons license

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Obama Rally Sunday, Brooklyn Heights

Obama supporters will be signing up volunteers at the War Memorial in Cadman Plaza Park at 2 p.m.

Fired Up and Ready to Go!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Brooklyn in Brief: Weekend

- It get worse: fetus found in jar in murdered Nixzmary Brown's apartment. Newsday

- Brooklyn's controversial but brilliant chess champion, Bobby Fisher, dies in Iceland of kidney failure. Brooklyn Eagle

- A Red Bull-swilling nanny acts tough at Pierrepont playground in Brooklyn Heights. But correspondents at the I Saw Your Nanny Blog give her the benefit of the doubt. I Saw Your Nanny

- A plan to tear down 10 historic houses at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and replace them with a supermarket has been delayed "indefinitely." Brooklyn Paper

- Our friends at CORD have a list of questions from Carroll Gardens community members who reside near Mr. Stein's proposed project at 360 Smith Street . Sixty-seven questions, actually. Carroll Gardens Petition

- City to sponsor bedbug seminars. Gowanus Lounge

Markowitz to the Aid of Brooklyn Children's Academy Preschool Families

A reader emailed this cell phone photo of one of the many Brooklyn Children's Academy Preschool bus shelter ads "popping up like mushrooms" around Downtown Brooklyn lately.

This particular bus shelter is just steps away from Borough Hall, where Borough President Markowitz said he's contacted the state Attorney General in an effort to help Boerum Hill's "toxic preschool" parents collect, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The preschool was closed in November after parents dropping off their kids discovered exposed wires, unpainted walls and noxious fumes. This was after the school moved to 25 Dean St. from Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights. Since then families have been waiting for roughly $70,000 worth of refunds.

The People's Court TV program has apparently been in touch with the elusive director of the school, Andy Lewis, but he rejected the option of having his bookkeeping methods explored on nationwide TV.

'Toxic' Preschool Families Get Help From Brooklyn Borough Hall Brooklyn Eagle

- 'Toxic Boerum Hill Preschool to Reopen, Director Says McBrooklyn

- 'Toxic' Brooklyn School to Reopen? Brooklyn Eagle
- More Trouble at 'Toxic' Preschool in Boerum Hill McBrooklyn

- 'Toxic' Preschool Parents Wonder: Where's the Money? Brooklyn Eagle
- Brooklyn Children's Academy Preschool Nightmares A Child Grows in Brooklyn
- Toxic Preschool in Brooklyn? Brooklyn Eagle
- 'Toxic' Preschool in Boerum Hill? McBrooklyn

Busy Chef Coming to Court Street

The kids at Chowhound aren't thrilled with the food at Busy Chef on Henry Street in the north Heights ("plastic boxes of mediocre-looking food..."), but the owners are expanding anyway to Court Street near Schermerhorn in Downtown Brooklyn.

When Busy Chef opened on Henry Street, we ate the sandwiches and the Caesar salad several times, and found them to be delicious. But then came the change to what appears to be prepackaged airline food, and the taste and quality went drastically downhill. The baked goods are still homemade, however.

(The Brooklyn Heights Blog has had some discussion about the food at the Busy Chef as well.)

Photo by MK Metz

Five Boerum Hill Parcels to Start at $16 Million

Last year they were on the market for $24 million, but the bidding is starting at $16 million for the five linked parcels across the street from the jail on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the owner is willing to sell them together or separately. The auction is on Valentine's day.

More here.

- Real Estate Auction: Sheldon Good & Co.
- More Detail About the Five Big Parcels McBrooklyn
- Atlantic Avenue Development Site Going, Going ... Brownstoner
- Five Atlantic Avenue Properties To Be Sold at Auction... Brooklyn Eagle
- Under Siege III: Breaking on Boerum: Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens
- 5 Atlantic Avenue Development Sites on Market for $24 Million: Brooklyn Eagle
- Yassky, Neighborhood Groups Continue Battling Atlantic Avenue Hotel Plan: Brooklyn Eagle

Photo by MK Metz

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Going Out of Business in Brooklyn Heights

So go out already!
32 Court Street, Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

'New Gods Through Science' in DUMBO

The Dumbo Arts Center sent us the following public service announcement:

DAC is presenting the Charismatic Rally, to be
presented by artist, Michael Weber and the Corporation for Public Good. The gallery event will promote the Interactive Social Contract, an experimental new form of government, philosophy and religion, developed to achieve the Biologically Ideal Social Form.*

as seven Charismats battle to become the supreme demagogue of the
Interactive Social Contract, HEAR as they espouse the inherent truths revealed in the ISC, FEEL the excitement of having your own greatest desires for humanity repeated back to you in a new process called "Mass Feedback Hypnosis".

The Interactive Social Contract is a web application, which automatically
describes the Biologically Ideal Social Form via public input and voting. You can be sure your own opinions are adequately represented by participating at ** before coming to the rally.

Come one, come all! Submit today, and avoid being amongst the first
against the wall when the revolution comes!

The Interactive social contract will address all of humanity's natural habits and develop up to date social norms based on people's input, automatically creating the Biologically Ideal Social Form.

January 19, 2008

Free Beer & Governmental Construction: 8 - 9 pm
Battle of the Charismats:
9 - 10:30 pm DJ from 10:30 pm
Dr. Feel Questionable
Christopher X Brodeur
John F O'Donnell
Suenteus Po
The Citizen
Dr. Coop
Jessica Delfino

Referee Boss Lady

Sound by Deep Sound Diver

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Feeling a little stressed out lately?

Maybe you need some relaxation therapy. New York Magazine has put together a Peace + Quiet section, with advice from fellow New Yorkers on how to cope, where to chill, how to relax those hard-to-reach body parts, how to decorate your office cube for peace and serenity, where to try out a free yoga class -- and how to achieve that perfectly pronounced "om."

Peace (Or at Least Quiet) New York Magazine

Remembering the Dead at a Dangerous Brooklyn Intersection -- Tillary and Adams Street

A sign has been installed to honor the memory of Ron Mortensen, run down by a car on Tillary and Adams Streets at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.

The sign was put up on the east side of the Adams Street intersection as part of the third annual Memorial Ride and Walk for People Killed by Cars. Loved ones attached a copy (shown above) to the lamppost that has served as a memorial to Mr. Mortensen since the April 13 accident.

Mortensen tried to make it across the dangerous intersection but tripped over his own sneakers.

- A Name on a Lamppost
- Another Tragic Death on Brooklyn Streets
- Another Accident at Tillary and Adams Streets

Markowitz Gets a Free Parking Pass, and More Brooklyn in Brief, Wednesday

- Borough President Marty and his staffers are still parking on the pedestrian plaza next to borough hall - but now it's officially legal. This ticks off permit abuse advocates no end. NY Daily News as picked up from the Uncivil Servants blog.

- De Blasio calls for downzoning of Carroll Gardens. Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens

- Update on Carroll Gardens development issues. Brownstoner

- Changes in G train service. Gowanus Lounge

- More about the rampant credit card fraud going in in parts of Brownstone Brooklyn. Gowanus Lounge

- Brooklyn Heights movie theater to expand (a wine bar!). Brooklyn Eagle

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Brooklyn 2012 Video, in Celebration of Citypoint

In light of the newest renderings of the Citypoint development to be located at the present site of the Fulton Mall , we thought it'd be fun to watch the Brooklyn 2012 video again.

Demolition has already begun on the parking garage of The Gallery at Fulton Mall to make way for the mammoth (expected to be taller than the Williamsburg Bank Building -- but GREEN! -- high-rise development.

Previous stories about the redevelopment of the Albee Square Mall site here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

No Pants! Video of Saturday's No Pants Subway Ride

As reported, more than 900 New Yorkers hit the subways sans pants Saturday as part of Improv Everywhere's grand wackness. Here's an AP video clip of the hilarity.

- No Pants! Subway Ride Saturday McBrooklyn

More Details About the Five Big Parcels Between Atlantic Ave. and Pacific Street in Brooklyn

More details arise about the Valentine's Day auction of five contiguous parcels between Atlantic and Pacific Streets (between Smith Street and Boerum Place).

The five back-to-back properties are at 262 and 280 Atlantic Ave. and 253, 257 and 259 Pacific St. On the Atlantic Avenue side, the Brooklyn House of Detention will be facing Parcel A, shown in the top photo. On the Pacific side, Parcel E abuts Pacifico restaurant.

Linda Collins of the Brooklyn Eagle reported in March 2006 that these very same properties were on the market as a package deal. The asking price at the time was $24 million.

One of the interesting nuggets reported by the Eagle concerned a 2003 approved permit application to construct a seven-story, 53,000-square-foot, extended-stay hotel with 46 residential units and commercial space on the first floor, at the site of Parcel A.

The Boerum Hill Association, the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Association and the Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association (along with Council Member David Yasskey) all "voiced their concerns about this hotel development," the Eagle reported in April of 2007. A public hearing before the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals on a variance to allow construction of the hotel was postponed. But the Web site of auction house Sheldon Good & Co. lists "Extended Stay Hotel" as one of the possible uses of the parcels.

In a separate development, right next to Parcel A, on the Boerum Place corner where the Mobile gas station once stood, a seven story residential building with 59 units is planned.

- Real Estate Auction: Sheldon Good & Co.

- Atlantic Avenue Development Site Going, Going ... Brownstoner

- Under Siege III: Breaking on Boerum: Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens

- 5 Atlantic Avenue Development Sites on Market for $24 Million: Brooklyn Eagle

- Yassky, Neighborhood Groups Continue Battling Atlantic Avenue Hotel Plan: Brooklyn Eagle

Photos by MK Metz

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DOT: No Mercy for Brooklyn's Elderly and Sick

An elderly man, trying to pick his sick wife up after a dialysis treatment, was ticketing and fined for double parking in front of the medical center in Brooklyn.

Friday, January 11, 2008

No Pants! Subway Ride Saturday

All are invited to participate in the 7th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride. The event will take place at 3:00 PM on Saturday, January 12.

The main requirements:

1) Willing to take pants off on subway;
2) Able to keep a straight face about it.

For full details, see Improv Everywhere (they cause scenes).

UPDATE: Improv Everywhere reports that there were 900 participants in the No Pants Subway Ride. The crowd was so large that they spread out over three subway lines, using the 6, R, and 2 trains. Reports from the field are pouring in, so check out the site here.

UPDATE 2: See the video here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brooklyn in Brief: Are We Having Fun Yet?

- A fun photo essay of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Bridge Park. 1000 Bars
- A fun article on the serious suggestion to place a middle school inside the Brooklyn House of Detention. Brooklyn Paper
- A fun photo from the Gowanus Lounge's ever-amusing series, "What's That Thing on Top?" The Gowanus Lounge
- No fun: Consuming too much sorbitol, a sweetener widely used in "sugar-free" chewing gum and sweets, can cause serious bowel problems. Reuters
- Not even funny: Phone companies repeatably cut off FBI wiretaps because of unpaid bills. Washington Post

Goodbye Supersized, Butt Ugly Brooklyn House of Detention Condos, Hello Bigger Jail

Back in May, Martin F. Horn, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Correction was personally offended with the Brooklyn Eagle's description of the proposed expansion of the Brooklyn House of Detention as “dispiriting and … ugly.”

The plans included a 165,000 "ground square feet expansion" for 720 inmate beds; and -- here's the weird part -- up to two huge towers of residential or commercial space wrapped around the jail -- arranged so neither the inmates nor their luxury neighbors could actually see one another. (Though they might be able to visit by drilling their way through with a sharpened toothbrush.)

Alas, the whole supersized jail-aganza is over, reports the Eagle. Only one developer expressed interest in the proposal. So now the city Department of Correction is dropping the condo-wrapped-around-a-jail part and they're just going to make the jail bigger.

So there, concerned neighbors!

Brooklyn Jail Expansion Moves Forward, Sans Residential Towers Brooklyn Eagle

Past posts on the Brooklyn House of detention here.

Photo by MK Metz

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mother Nature Fooled on Montague Street

Warm weather has fooled this tree into bringing forth hundreds of velvety buds. The tree (is it a magnolia?) graces the corner of Montague and Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights -- that's St. Ann's Church in the background. Unfortunately, when a freeze hits (and a freeze always hits) those buds are screwed.

The bottom picture is how it looked last April. Click on the photo to see the flowers close up. Pretty darn glorious.

Photos by MK Metz

Sucking Long Island College Hospital Dry?

There are many fine doctors and professionals affiliated with Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. It used to be an exceptional hospital.

But mismanagement by Continuum Health Partners is crippling the place.

One family member needed an emergency tetanus shot after 6 p.m. Emergency room wait time: 9 hours. Cost of shot: more than $1000. Another needed a broken bone X-rayed and set. We were advised (by a LICH-affiliated doctor) to bypass LICH altogether and go to another hospital in Manhattan. A relative of ours was told by the urology department after a five-minute consultation that -- I kid you not -- he couldn't possibly be the father of his own three children! (Hmm, they look like him...)

Adding to LICH's financial troubles, some patients have been told by their insurance companies that LICH's billing procedures are chaotic.

Doctors told the Brooklyn Eagle that ever since Continuum Health Partners and Beth Israel Hospital of Manhattan took over, they've been sucking the hospital dry.

Donald Othmer, a Brooklyn Heights chemical engineer who worked at Polytechnic University -- and an old friend of Warren Buffet’s -- left $140 million to the hospital in 1995. Soon after, Continuum bought LICH. And ever since then, says LICH, it has diverted money away from the hospital, and refused to disclose to LICH the details of how the $140 million bequest was appropriated.

Now LICH wants a divorce. But is it too late? More at the Eagle.

Photo by RM, Creative Commons license

Still Life With Hot Peppers and Kale

In Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

'Toxic' Boerum Hill Preschool to Reopen, Director Says

The director of Brooklyn's "toxic" preschool -- the Brooklyn Children’s Preschool Academy on Dean Street in Boerum Hill -- told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Monday that he plans to reopen the school -- at a future date yet to be decided. (Oddly, the sign hanging on their door, seen left, pinpoints the re-opening date as the "2008-2010" school year...)

Executive Director Andy Lewis also swears that he will refund the thousands of dollars in deposits owed to parents and teachers -- one of these days.

Last month the Eagle reported about the unsafe conditions parents found at the school (no heat, exposed wires, unpainted walls and noxious fumes emanating from newly installed carpeting).

Story UPDATED here.

- 'Toxic' Brooklyn School to Reopen? Brooklyn Eagle
- More Trouble at 'Toxic' Preschool in Boerum Hill McBrooklyn

- 'Toxic' Preschool Parents Wonder: Where's the Money? Brooklyn Eagle
- Toxic Preschool in Brooklyn? Brooklyn Eagle
- 'Toxic' Preschool in Boerum Hill? McBrooklyn

Photo by MK Metz

Monday, January 7, 2008

Flatbush Firefighter Remembered

It started when a six-year-old put wrapping paper on a lit stove.

Where's the Beef at Court and State? Downtown Brooklyn Food Retailer Still Under Wraps

Brownstoner reported in November that the 5,000 square feet of retail space at 117/119 Court Street (at State, shown above) was rented for a record-high $125 a foot after "long and protracted" negotiations.

Massey Knakal senior partner Tim King dropped the hint that the space has been let to a company that's been in the food production biz "for the last hundred years."

A month later, no clue as to the identity of the venerable incoming tenant has yet to appear. The folks at Chowhound seem to be leaning towards a grocery store or upscale food merchant, but a restaurant might better fit the two-story space -- which will be quite near the incoming Trader Joe's at Court and Atlantic.

Anyone have any news?

Photo by MK Metz

Great Seats. Court Street, Brooklyn

First come, first served.

Photo by MK Metz