Saturday, November 29, 2008

No Black Friday Lines at Brooklyn IKEA

This took us by surprise: There were lots of folks at the Brooklyn IKEA on Black Friday but no frantic mobs, no pushing and (by 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.) the shortest lines we've ever experienced at IKEA!

While many people were at work yesterday, we still expected more of a Black Friday-style scene. Instead, while the store was full of people milling about, the vibe was mellow and we were out within five minutes.

There was even a clown making kids smile near the checkout lines.

Can't say this will be repeated over Black Weekend. But it's got to be better than the lines that confronted us on one horrible Saturday in August.

Photo by MK Metz

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Brooklyn Rabbi and Wife Killed in Mumbai

A Brooklyn rabbi and his wife were among those killed during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. The couple ran the local headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group.

"He was the nicest gentleman you can imagine," said one of his mourners.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday Shopping in Brooklyn

You know the drill: Many stores offer get-up-early sales the Friday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday shopping madness. While you can often snag just as good a deal online, some outlets offer extra special discounts if you drag your self into the store at 5 a.m. -- Best Buy is one of these. Check out these Brooklyn Black Friday sales, starting with "Shop Brooklyn."

Shop Brooklyn:
As part of the “Shop Brooklyn” campaign, many Brooklyn retailers, restaurants, bars, and other service providers will offer special “Brooklyn Bonuses” on November 28 (“Black Friday”—now renamed “Brooklyn Friday”) and each weekend from November 23 through December 21. Complete list of participating stores at

Target: Doors open at 6 a.m. 15% off cooking gifts; 2pk gloves or mittens, 99 cents; 2pk Home 300-thread-count sheet set in any size, 39.99; Aiptek red handheld digital camcorder, $69; Cooking, my Fashion studio, Sims2 Castaway for DS, sports for Wii or God of War of PS2, $15 each; Guitar Hero World Tour guitar bundle for Wii, $59; Greatland queen airbed with pump, 19.99 -- see the whole list at CultureMob

IKEA: On Friday, November 28 the water taxi and shuttle bus service will begin at 9:40 a.m. and end at 9:40 p.m. Free breakfast until 10:30. Malm queen bed frame $99; Mysa Vete down comforter, $49.99. See the whole list here.

Best Buy: Doors open at 5 a.m.; tickets handed out for Black Friday specials at 3 a.m. Check the website for the doorbusters -- some items will be stocked only 20 to a store, so it's gonna be a loooong night. Here.

Circuit City: Stores open at 5 a.m. Check out deals here.

Macy's: Store opens at 5 a.m. Print out a $10 saving pass here.

Home Depot: Opens at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Here.

Thistle and Clover: Starting Friday, November 28 at 10AM, they’re taking up to 40% off items by designers like Eskell, Rachel Comey, Tylho, Iro and Publicka. More here.

Brooklyn Circus: Speed Pass for The Brooklyn Circus Black Out Sale of 2008. Savings from 50-70% off on selected items. Refreshments will be served (first come, first served). Doors open at 9am-7pm.The first 50 readers to email will be granted the Pass. Here.

Black Friday in Greenpoint: NewYorkShitty goes into details here.

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Turkey Hotlines Open Thanksgiving Day has compiled a list of Thanksgiving hotlines open for emergency cooking questions on Thanksgiving day.

These include the famous (USDA Meat and Poultry hotline, open till 2 p.m.; and the Butterball Turkey Talk Line -- 1-800- BUTTERBALL -- open till 6 p.m.) along with the odd what-to-do-with-leftovers hotlines. All Hotlines here.

Photo by CarbonNYC, Creative Commons license

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Holiday Craft Fairs Good Way to Buy Brooklyn

In keeping with the theme of 'Buy Brooklyn,' the Brooklyn Eagle has assembled a list of holiday craft fairs taking place between now and Christmas.

This is a great way to keep it in Brooklyn, get some great gifts and feel good about it, since most of these fairs support schools, local artists and other non-profit institutions.

Saturday, December 6 is a big day for craft fairs, with the Brooklyn Friends Holiday Craft Fair in Downtown Brooklyn, the PS 321 Crafts Fair in Park Slope and the Children's French and Spanish Book Fair, also in Park Slope. In Greenpoint, the Hearts and Crafts Affair takes place on Dec. 6 and 7. Also on the 7th, the 3rd Ward Handmade Holiday Craft Fair looks like a winner in East Williamsburg.

The weekend of Dec. 13 and 14 features three more fairs; more events will take place on the 18th and the 20th.

So make your list and shop local. Full details here.

Photo by Eob, Creative Commons license.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Oliver House' in Carroll Gardens Receives Height Variance

CORD reports that the Board of Standards and Appeals granted developer Stein a variance on Tuesday to build Oliver House seven stories high, as opposed to the mandates of the new Carroll Gardens text amendment which would have allowed only five stories.

In July, the Narrow Streets Zoning Text Amendment was passed by the City Council, restricting Carroll Gardens building heights on defined "narrow streets" to 55 feet. It was thought that the out-of-scale building proposed for 360 Smith Street ("Oliver House") would have to shrink to a size similar to other buildings in the neighborhood.

CORD says the vote was unanimous on both applications: on the completion of the foundation, which was only 20 per cent complete, and on the A application which claimed the developer would suffer substantial economic financial loss.

- 360 Smith Street/ Carroll Gardens Public Hearing Wednesday

- Everything we've ever posted about this topic: here

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brooklyn H&M at Fulton Mall: It's Official

Rumors of an H&M opening on the Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn were confirmed last week, according to the Brooklyn Eagle and the Observer.

Cushman & Wakefield reported that the Swedish clothing and cosmetics store will soon open on two floors at the corner of Fulton and Bridge Street, called "one of the best corner locations on Fulton Street."

According to H&M, the store should be opening in the spring of 2010.

More at the Eagle.

More at Racked.

Photo by MK Metz

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'The Unusuals' To Film in Fulton Ferry, Dumbo

"The Unusuals" -- a "one hour comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct" -- will be filming near Fulton Ferry Landing all day on Thursday, Dec. 4.

According to Production Weekly, The Unusuals, produced by Topanga Productions for Sony Pictures Television, is directed by Stephen Hopkins. Producer: Peter Tolan - Merrill Karpf; Writer/ Producer: Noah Hawley.

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Digging Up Henry Street

After spending a solid week resurfacing Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights (nice and smooth!) last month, work crews were out last week digging it up again.

Couldn't they have thought of this before they resurfaced the road?

Naw, guess not.

Photos by MK Metz

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After Gristedes and Trader Joe's, What's Next for Downtown Brooklyn?

Now that Brooklyn Heights has their Gristedes back, and Cobble Hill has Trader Joe's, Downtown Brooklyn is waiting for their own spiffy supermarket.

Back in March, The Real Deal reported that Freshway Marketplace inked a 15-year lease at 200 Schermerhorn (that's ground floor at State Renaissance Court, shown above) for its first NYC retail space.

Brownstoner reported that the deal had fallen through. In October, however, Brownstoner got a tip that a market called Brooklyn Fare was coming in.

The Brooklyn Paper confirmed the story, and the Brooklyn Eagle reported that Brooklyn Fare has negotiated a 30-year lease. Owner Moe Issa, who says he hopes to open in January, told the Eagle that the market will have "food to go, a seafood department and a butcher, a cheese bar with a selection of at least 500 cheeses, a chef onsite, a bakery and a kitchen."

The Eagle also reports that "a new market will soon replace the Associated market that closed this summer at the Concord Village residential complex at Tillary and Adams streets."

Photo by MK Metz

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Missing Brooklyn Girl, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A 12-year-old Brooklyn girl, missing for a week, may have been lured into a trap by someone she met on MySpace. She was last seen climbing into the back of a black sedan. NY Daily News

- The Freelancers Union has launched a health insurance company to insure the city’s nearly one million independent workers. Crain's NY Business

- The Bloomberg administration, which once pushed to upscale the Red Hook waterfront, has begun moving towards expanding the maritime industry instead. New York Times

- Putting people in buildings next to the Gowanus Canal as a way of getting it cleaned up "sounds like an evil experiment." Pardon Me For Asking

- This weekend's subway service is a total mess. After the MTA budget cuts, it will look like this every day . . . 2nd Ave. Sagas

- A list of stores that are closing due to the horrific economy -- many will surprise you. OTBKB

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Brooklyn Heights Gristedes Opens With a Bang

The totally rebuilt Gristedes supermarket at 101 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights reopened in a glorious fashion Friday morning with a VIP party and actual VIPs!

John Catsimatidis, chairman and CEO of Gristedes Foods (above), Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz (below), Councilman David Yassky, and State Senator-elect Daniel Squadron and various store managers were among the ribbon-cutters.

Half of Brooklyn Heights enjoyed free breakfast as delicious nibbles -- including fruit, bagels and lox, fresh-baked muffins and free coffee -- were generously handed out.

Neighborhood shoppers' reactions were generally awestruck. The store appears to be much larger than before last April's disastrous fire, owing to a new traffic-flow design, and the shelves are stocked with fresh, clean items. Service, at least Friday morning, was cheerful and polite. The produce department is particularly impressive, fully stocked with fresh and organic greens.

There are many more choices for carnivores than before as well -- the poultry department now carries Murray's and Coleman's organic chicken.

The store has new freezer units, stocked with Lean Cuisine and other convenience foods. The deli looks pretty awesome.

One drawback is the prices. We had to notice that many of the items that we generally buy seem to be about a dollar more at Gristedes than at Key Food or Trader Joe's. This probably won't deter many North Heights shoppers, especially if Gristedes keeps the store clean, the shelves stocked with fresh items and the service friendly, but it might hurt them with South Heights customers who are closer to the other stores.

But we commend Gristedes on a job well done. The supermarket is completely rebuilt, modern clean and friendly. The large amount of organic items is a big plus. The greens look scrumptious. And Lydia is back!

Check it out. Free coffee all week.

More details at the Brooklyn Eagle, the Brooklyn Heights Blog and the Brooklyn Paper.

- Gristedes Workers Scramble to Get Brooklyn Heights Store Ready
- VIP Party Friday at Brooklyn Heights' Gristedes!
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Major Upgrade, Hiring Nov. 5 - 7
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes to Go Upscale With Coffee Counter
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes All Cleaned Up
- Inside the Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
- The Line at Peas and Pickles
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Closed Until July
- Schumer Endorses Former Aide in Front of Burnt-Out Grocery Store
- Fire-Damaged Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Pharmacy To Reopen?
Cleanup Begins at Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
Brooklyn Heights Gristedes Fire Dismal Aftermath

Photos by MK Metz
Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sad, Sad Death of Park Slope Teacher

It seems sometimes like Brooklyn is a very small town. Over the last couple of days, we've heard this sad, sad story from many people from Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope. (We also read it on Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.)

Now the Brooklyn Eagle has published the obituary of Karen Rothman-Fried, a resident of Brooklyn Heights, who died tragically Sunday at the age of 36. Ms. Fried, a third-grade teacher at Public School 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, died suddenly while dining at a restaurant with her husband:

"Sadly, Ms. Rothman-Fried was six months pregnant. Her son was delivered by emergency caesarian section, but died in his father’s arms two hours later."

This story has touched so many people. Our sincere condolences to her family, her husband, and all who love her.

Karen Rothman-Fried, Beloved Brooklyn Teacher, Dies Unexpectedly Brooklyn Eagle

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Short Films Tonight at Galapagos, Dumbo

The new, "green" Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo, Brooklyn, is screening a series of short films tonight (Friday). The screening is presented by New Yorker films in partnership with Galapagos Art Space, and follows their 2-for-1 Happy Hour (5-9 pm).

This promises to be a "film festival in miniature," where you can get a taste of up-and-coming, innovative directors from around the globe.

Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 222-8500

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gristedes Workers Scramble to Get Brooklyn Heights Store Ready

Workers at the Brooklyn Heights Gristedes were still scrambling tonight to get ready for tomorrow morning's VIP Grand Opening party. Expectations are high; workers are hustling, and debris is stacked up at the front of the supermarket, on Henry Street at Clark.

Will the store be ready? Will the neighborhood render a positive verdict?

We'll know tomorrow . . .

- VIP Party Friday at Brooklyn Heights' Gristedes!
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Major Upgrade, Hiring Nov. 5 - 7
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes to Go Upscale With Coffee Counter
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes All Cleaned Up
- Inside the Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
- The Line at Peas and Pickles
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Closed Until July
- Schumer Endorses Former Aide in Front of Burnt-Out Grocery Store
- Fire-Damaged Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Pharmacy To Reopen?
Cleanup Begins at Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
Brooklyn Heights Gristedes Fire Dismal Aftermath

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Rat Condo in Columbus Park, Downtown Brooklyn

This multifamily dwelling in beautiful Downtown Brooklyn is conveniently located near schools, subways, retail, Brooklyn Borough Hall and the Post Office. With multiple entrances and exits, the project includes a gym, laundry room, and rooftop fake rock.

Photo by MK Metz

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Online Petition to Stop Brooklyn House of D, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Trout on Smith Street (pictured left) goes belly up. Gowanus Lounge

- A little roadside memorial to a guy killed in a motorcycle crash is causing a whole lot of controversy on the Gerritsen Beach blog.

- Now, an online petition to stop the Brooklyn House of Detention. Brownstoner

- Brooklyn Heights' PS 8 may have gotten an "F" on the city's school report card, but it was honored with a Blackboard Award anyway. Brooklyn Eagle

- The Danish Seamen’s Church in Brooklyn Heights will host its annual holiday season fair this Friday evening and Saturday day. Brooklyn Heights Blog

- Fun Atlantic Yards Deathwatch site. AYD

- Markowitz: Buy Brooklyn! Starting this Friday. Brooklyn Paper

- Brooklyn's demographic changes as reflected by the election night chaos in Williamsburg. Brooklyn Ron

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oops! Frozen Fountain at Brooklyn Borough Hall

Funny how this sub-freezing weather just kind of creeps up on you. One minute you got a gushing cascade, next minute you got icicles.

The Parks Department came out around 8:30 a.m. to turn off this lovely (but rapidly solidifying) fountain in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Photo by MK Metz

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VIP Party Friday at Brooklyn Heights' Gristedes!

The Big Opening Day is coming up fast for the Brooklyn Heights' Gristedes!

A VIP party will be held Friday, Nov. 21 from 8 - 11 a.m. All are invited to come and help celebrate the reopening.

Burnt to a crisp last April 1st, the wheels of change have spun full circle and a reloaded, replenished and redesigned supermarket is almost ready to roll.

Last month, Gristedes sent us this message about the store:

"Our newly renovated full service supermarket will include a full service Chock Full of Nuts Cafe with breakfast sandwiches and a full array of coffee selections. Our in-store bakery will feature a highly qualified baker preparing baked goods fresh daily as well as specialty cakes and pastries. Our Deli will feature a Gristedes original Mike's Sub Shoppe with a cornucopia of fine sandwich selections. Our Deli will also feature a fresh Olive Bar, Hot Food selection, prepared Meals To-Go."

- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Major Upgrade, Hiring Nov. 5 - 7
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes to Go Upscale With Coffee Counter
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes All Cleaned Up
- Inside the Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
- The Line at Peas and Pickles
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Closed Until July
- Schumer Endorses Former Aide in Front of Burnt-Out Grocery Store
- Fire-Damaged Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Pharmacy To Reopen?
Cleanup Begins at Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
Brooklyn Heights Gristedes Fire Dismal Aftermath

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Mickey Fights the Serpent in Dumbo

This aluminum foil Mickey Mouse bravely battles a serpent while a spider watches. The action takes place in the window art gallery of the League Treatment Center on Front Street in Dumbo.

Artist unknown. Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rally at Brooklyn House of Detention This Morning, and Other Brooklyn Briefs

- State denies Long Island College Hospital's plan to close its obstetrics and pediatrics practices. Brooklyn Heights Blog

- The Municipal Art Society released new renderings for re-imagining Coney Island — as “New York City’s greatest seaside stage” and as “an amazing entertainment destination for New York City and the world.” Brooklyn Eagle

- Should the workers at 1 Hanson Place get a better insurance plan? Brownstoner commenters feel strongly about this question. Brownstoner

- Rally this morning: Brooklyn House of Detention, 11:30. Get those prisoners outa here! Brooklyn Eagle

- It looks like East River State Park in Williamsburg, one of the coldest places in all of New York on windy winter days, may remain open this winter after all. Curbed

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Open House Party For 20 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights

Just got back into town, and there's lots of email in our inbox. Halstead spokesperson Jill Feldman sent us this message about a party -- all are invited -- at the newly-opened sales office for 20 Henry Street:

You're invited to attend a special event to celebrate the just-opened sales office for 20 Henry, a newly converted and constructed luxury condominium in Brooklyn Heights.

This event will feature a live performance by Chris Washburn and The SYOTOS Band (an Afro Cuban and Latin Jazz band), along with a "winter whites" wine tastings from Brooklyn Heights favorite Michael Towne Liquors. All are welcome to attend (it's free and open to the public).

The party takes place Thursday, November 20, 6PM - 9PM at
114 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights. Free, but RSVP required:

Demolition of the courtyard at 20 Henry Street (Peaks Mason Mints/ “candy factory” building) -- once the site of artwork and landscaping -- is well underway.

Halstead says they have received more than 1,900 inquiries from potential buyers about the building since it began conversion and construction in early 2008. (The artists who once populated the former Mitchell-Lama were forced out in a big ugly controversy in 2003.)

The 38 newly restored and constructed residences range in price from $580,000 to $2,560,000 and are a mix of studios, one, two, three and four bedrooms. Many residences have ceilings of over 11 feet. Sherida E. Paulsen, principal of PKSB Architects, is the lead architect behind the conversion and new construction of 20 Henry.

For a full list of available units and floor plans, visit:, or or call the Sales Center at 866-924-7120. Open houses will be held this weekend.

More on this development:

Correspondents chatter on Curbed about how these units will sell in this down market.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, seven apartments sold over a month ago (including two penthouses).

The Brooklyn Heights Blog posts more about the history of 20 Henry and its planned amenities.

Previous posts:

- 20 Henry Street Courtyard Plowed Under
- 20 Henry Street Was NOT On Fire
- From Mints to Condos at 20 Henry Street Brownstoner
- New Architect, Joseph Lombardi, Hired for 20 Henry Street Brooklyn Eagle
- High Winds Cause Scaffolding Problems in Brooklyn

Artists rendering courtesy of Halstead; photo by MK Metz

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Brooklyn's 'Toxic Preschool' Boss Charged With Fraud

Andy Lewis, the man who defrauded a school full of parents out of their tuition money when he closed down his shoddy Boerum Hill preschool (Brooklyn Children's Academy Preschool, or BCAP, seen left), was arrested last Wednesday on charges of defrauding the government out of half a million dollars.

According to two stories in the Brooklyn Eagle (here and here) and in other papers including the Daily News, the NY Post and the NY Times, Lewis defrauded the Department of Agriculture’s National Child Food Program of more than $500,000 in funds that were supposed to have been used to feed children participating in after-school programs run by Lewis' questionable umbrella organization, Better Brooklyn Community Center (BBCC).

This shouldn't surprise anybody: According to a series of stories over the past year in the Brooklyn Eagle, Lewis also neglected to pay his teachers or his landlord, and he opened up his preschool at 25 Dean Street without a license.

Back in February, Lewis told Councilwoman Letitia James that he couldn't return parents' tuition and deposits because he was flat broke. According to the Eagle, Lewis owes parents anywhere from $70,000 - $100,000.

The Daily News says he cried at his court appearance. A fine move, but bail was still set at $100,000. Should be no problem for a guy who allegedly pocketed $500,000 meant to feed low-income Brooklyn children.

- Brooklyn Social Services Exec Accused of Stealing Funds Was Also 'Toxic Preschool' Owner Brooklyn Eagle
- $500K Meant to Feed Local Brooklyn Children Missing Brooklyn Eagle
- CARE Boss Stole Kids $500G NY Post
- Man Charged in Theft of Food Aid NY Times

Past Stories:

- Brooklyn 'Toxic Preschool' Parents Out of Luck? McBrooklyn
- Promises of Refund to Parents Underline History of Scandal As Toxic Preschool Moves On Brooklyn Eagle

- '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

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, November 17, 2008

McBrooklyn Back Online, Thanks For All the Good Wishes

Hi everybody,
We've returned from our trip to my mom's funeral. Thank you all for your kind words and support.

It constantly amazes me how many positive people there are in this world.

All my regards,
MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

McBrooklyn Will Not Be Publishing for the Rest of the Week

Hi folks. My dear mom died and we'll be traveling a distance to be with my family for the rest of this week.

Thanks for your understanding. I hope to start up again when we get back Tuesday.

All my regards,
MK Metz

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161 Henry Street Puts Up a Good Front

This impressive facade decoration is meant to grace the front of 161 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. We actually took this photo on Oct. 29 and wanted to wait for the "after" photo, but fate has decreed that we post it now, without seeing how it all turned out.

The front is much more impressive than the back, pictured below. Guess that's what a facade is all about. (And there's a baby facade hidden behind the big facade!)

Photo by MK Metz

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Giant Waffle at MetroTech, Downtown Brooklyn

This giant waffle – entitled “Waffle (rendering)” by Martha Friedman, is part of the Public Art Fund’s exhibition “Trapdoor” now showing at MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn.

Trapdoor features works by Ethan Breckenridge, Martha Friedman, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, and Francis Cape.

For more about this show, visit the Public Art Fund website.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Edible Art: 'Soup Kitchen' in Park Slope

For the month of December, open-source-gallery is about "Cooking, Eating, Sharing and Celebrating." Here's the email they sent us:

"We are looking for artists, cooks, friends and neighbors to join us for SOUP KITCHEN, where for as many days as we have volunteers, we will be offering a "one-pot meal" to all on a first-come, first-served basis. Unique dishes from any ethnic tradition are more than welcome. We will provide cookware, utensils and help with logistics. We ask that you supply the love.

255 17th street between 5th and 6th Ave (street level) in South Slope, Brooklyn. Opening hours are monday through wednesday 10 am - 2 pm and appointments. For information about the play, please contact: Dramahound Productions: 917.991.4395

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Brooklyn TKTS Booth Now Open Saturdays, Closed Mondays

Folks from the other boroughs are jealous about the short lines and easy access to theater tickets Brooklynites have at the Downtown Brooklyn TKTS booth at 1 MetroTech (just off Jay Street). Now it's open Saturday instead of Monday, which makes a lot of sense, since most shows are dark Monday.

The Theatre Development Fund sent us an email saying the booth will now be open from Tuesday - Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

TKTS Downtown Brooklyn offers Broadway, Off Broadway, music, dance and Brooklyn performing arts events at discounted prices. TKTS offers same-day evening and next-day matinee tickets (i.e., Wednesday matinees sold on Tuesday; Saturday matinees sold on Friday and Sunday matinees sold on Saturday) at discounts of up to 50% off for Broadway and Off Broadway productions.

As an added service to the Brooklyn customers and to help performing arts groups in Brooklyn, TKTS Downtown Brooklyn offers tickets to events in Brooklyn for the full week in which an event performs.

-Brooklyn's TKTS Booth: Lots of Shows, No Lines

- Countdown to Brooklyn TKTS Grand Opening Begins

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shop Local, Have Full Day O' Fun at Brooklyn Friends Winter Crafts Fair

There was such a good response to this event last year, we're trying to spread the word: The Brooklyn Friends school Winter Crafts Fair will take place on December 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 375 Pearl Street in Downtown Brooklyn right next to the Marriott Hotel.

This is the ultimate fun holiday event -- and a great way to Buy Brooklyn!

While the main event features 45 local artisans selling unique holiday gifts, the Fair offers locally produced food, carnival games, a book fair, and all-day entertainment for children and families.

And you can feel good about it, because proceeds benefit the Horizons at Brooklyn Friends School, an academic enrichment program the school provides for children at PS 307 and PS 287 in Fort Greene.

Kids will enjoy: bouncing rides, face-painting, and carnival games, old-fashioned holiday crafts, and building life-size Gingerbread Men.

There will be strolling singers and a student jazz band, and a professional photographer's booth, composting and karate demonstrations, winter wreaths and plants, and more.

Childcare is available so that parents can shop. A complete Winter Craft Fair preview is on the school website.

Thanks to correspondent MF.

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Plymouth Church Yankee Fair, Brooklyn Heights Tradition

The petting zoo and children's rides were rained out fairly early Saturday, but the action moved inside and the Plymouth Church Yankee Fair in Brooklyn Heights attracted big crowds eager to shop for holiday presents and enjoy kids' programming.

Besides all kinds of new and used merchandise to buy, there was an exotic creature show out on the lawn and an excellent band led by John Carlin inside, which attracted a huge crowd of kids. Talking Hands Theater puppet ensemble and Liam the Magician also performed.

The used book and CD fair was a hit. By the end of the event, people were carrying out bagfuls of loot.

On Cranberry Street, this is one of those neighborhood fairs that locals go to year after year, like the Brooklyn Friends Winter Crafts Fair (coming up December 6).

- Yankees Persevere in Brooklyn Heights

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TD Bank Gives $100K for Affordable Housing in Flatbush

We recently blogged about TD Bank, which has taken over Commerce Bank. Now we have received word from TD Bank that they have presented Brooklyn's CAMBA Housing Ventures (CHV) with a check for $100,000.

CHV will use the grant award towards developing a 53-unit affordable housing development at 97 Crooke Avenue in Flatbush.

Here's part of the release:

"97 Crooke Avenue will offer affordable and supportive housing to both lower-income community residents and formerly homeless individuals exiting the City’s shelter system," Joanne M. Oplustil, Executive Director of CAMBA, Inc. "This beautiful building will provide . . . on-site case management, community rooms for tenant and community use, and a landscaped back patio and garden."

Of the 53 units, 20 units are targeted for individuals earning no more than approximately $30,000 and 32 are reserved for formerly homeless individuals exiting the New York City Shelter system; 1 is reserved for an onsite superintendent. CAMBA staff will provide on-site case management services, group facilitation and recreational activities.

More at the CAMBA website. More at TD Bank.

Photographed left to right: Joanne M. Oplustil Executive Director at CAMBA, Beverly Morris, President of CAMBA Housing Ventures, Peter Meyer, TD Bank Market President for NYC; Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island.

Photo courtesy of TD Bank

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Tolls on Brooklyn, Manhattan, W'brg and 59th St. Bridges?

The MTA is going to reveal Monday just how much in the red it is -- and unnamed sources tell CBS (see video, above) that the news is grim.

Putting tolls on some or all of the East River bridges -- the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and 59th Street Bridge -- is part of the bailout plan being considered.

Since both the city and state are basically broke, New Yorkers are also looking at fare increases, budget cuts, tax increases, and congestion pricing. More details in the NY Times.

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Attack by Fountain at Brooklyn Borough Hall

Police searched the Brooklyn Borough Hall fountain and the ground around it by flashlight about 7:45 Thursday night, looking for a heavy object that was allegedly used to attack a passerby.

The guy seen sitting on the bench in the bus shelter -- with his hands cuffed behind his back -- was accused of hitting a man in the head with the object. The victim of the attack was loaded into the ambulance seen here. The extent of his injuries aren't known.

Four police cars with uniformed officers -- and what appeared to be several plainclothes officers -- were at the scene.

Photo by MK Metz

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What They Throw Over the Wires in Dumbo

Looking like a tattered little angel, this doll was thrown over some overhead wires like an old pair of sneakers, on Pearl Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

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Big Trouble at Brooklyn Heights Key Food, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Big trouble at Key Food on Montague Street. Mamodou “Mohammed” Doucoure, who has worked for Key Food for more than 15 years, said they “bring about fear in their employees.” Brooklyn Heights Blog

- The four most expensive rentals on the market in Dumbo. We're talking more than $14,000 a month for a three bedroom, and more than $11,000 for a two bedroom. DumboNYC via Brownstoner

- Spencer Tunick, the photographer best known for his live nude-photo portraits of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, got a bunch of people naked at a Brooklyn election party the other night. At least, he said he was Spencer Tunick . . . New York Magazine

- The hedge fund business, explained. Huffington Post

- Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that they will not bring criminal charges against Eliot Spitzer for his role in a prostitution scandal. Now he just has to worry about Mrs. Spitzer. Brooklyn Eagle

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama Ashtray

Party's over.

The grungy remains (cigarettes and bottle rocket stems) of Tuesday night's Obama party, outside the Water Street Restaurant and Bar in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

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Commerce Bank Disappears Overnight, Replaced by Canadian TD Bank

Commerce Bank disappeared on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights Saturday, as it did at 575 other locations.

Green signs bearing the unfamiliar TD brand were quickly installed, and thank goodness, the clock was returned to standard time. It had been stuck in military time for weeks, and we were getting pretty tired of translating 1800 hours into 6 o'clock.

So who is this TD, and what happened to Commerce?

From BizJournals:
"Headquartered in Portland, Maine, and owned by TD Bank Financial Group of Toronto, Canada, TD Banknorth bought Commerce's parent, Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Commerce Bancorp in March for $7 billion."

According to a press release published in MarketWatch, the bank may have a new name, but "the brand positioning as 'America's Most Convenient Bank,' with its legendary focus on convenience and service, remains unchanged."

The legendary lines remain unchanged as well, we notice.

Thank goodness the legendary change machine is still working! This is where we bring in all those pennies that we have been collecting to pay off our credit cards . . .

TD stands for Toronto–Dominion.

Photos by MK Metz

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Yorkers Face New Taxes, Fewer Cops, Layoffs, School Budget Cuts

New Yorkers were told by Mayor Bloomberg today just how hard the crumbling economy would hit NYC residents: he is proposing new taxes (both sales tax increases and a huge income tax hike), layoffs (the city is aiming to cut 3,000 from the workforce), attrition, possibly 1,000 fewer cops hired, a 7 percent property tax hike (kiss that $400 rebate check goodbye), and even more school budget cuts.

Under the Mayor's plan, libraries would cut a half day of service; five fire houses would cut nighttime hours. Protective Specialist slots -- 127 of them -- would not be filled at the Administration for Children's Services. Health and dental care for children would also be cut.

The City faces a cumulative $4 billion budget gap for 2009 and 2010, in spite of fiscally sound planning by the famously prudent Bloomberg. Surplus funds generated in 2007 totaling $4.6 billion were used to help close budget gaps in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

November 2008 NYC Financial Plan

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Brooklyn Celebrates Barack!

- News 12 video about Barack party on Brooklyn streets, via Gowanus Lounge

- Brooklyn goes all out in election day voting. Brooklyn Eagle

- The night they were dancing in the streets of Fort Greene. New York Magazine

- Bedford Avenue in euphoric celebration at SummerRayneOakes

- Brooklyn celebrates Barack -- Flickr photos via Gowanus Lounge

- How it went down in Fort Greene, at NYCNewsService

- How it looked on the street in Williamsburg. I'm Not Saying

- Obama revelers in Williamsburg clash with police! BrooklynVegan

- Brooklyn school children figure out why we vote on Tuesday. Brooklyn Eagle

- Bell House Obama-Mania! A Brooklyn Life

Photo by MK Metz

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2008 Election Results Live Stream -- The Day After

MSNBC live video stream with election results. UPDATE: Election live feed now closed. Thanks for watching!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Unbelievable Numbers Voting in Downtown Brooklyn

The line at 8:30 this morning at the District 104 polling place was out of sight. It stretched from Johnson Street, around the court house to Brooklyn Borough Hall.

People, dressed for work, brought newspapers, coffee. The attitude was "We're not going to work until we vote."

Remember -- don't wear any campaign items like buttons or shirts, and don't carry campaign material, or you will be turned away. Bring a photo ID.

If you have any trouble at the polls, call 866-VOTE-NYC.

Photo by MK Metz

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Is 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park Dead in the Water?

After only a third of the units at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park were sold, sales have essentially stopped, according to an analysis of a Bloomberg report by the Brooklyn Eagle.

"No one really knows how long the 'drying up' period will last, and therefore the unsold units," according to the Eagle -- but the implications for Brooklyn Bridge Park, slated to be supported by revenue streams from the real estate plopped down in the middle of the park, are not good.

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Election Parties in Brooklyn!

Here's a list of every election party we can find in Brooklyn. More are popping up every minute.

Got a party? Send it in!

- The Bell House’s Red + Blue Election Night celebration with Eugene Mirman, The Blue Album Group, the Red Hook Vendors, Brooklyn Based and 49 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave., Gowanus, Nov. 4, 7pm-?, free. More at Brooklyn Based (Thanks to A Brooklyn Life)

- Abilene has a brand new flatscreen that will be tuned to election coverage, and a brand new menu. A Brooklyn Life

- Galapagos Art Space presents the Obama-Fabulous Election Night Party-- Results projected Live on a 14x12 Screen! ~ with ~The Yes We Can!-Can Girls; A Presidential kissing booth; Santa Claus will make an appearance; Free doctor's notes so you can go to work late the next morning!

- Pacific Standard has only 15 tickets left for election night party featuring state-related $2 off deals, e.g., "if Obama wins Virginia, Dogfish Head beer will be $2 off for the next 30 minutes."

- Union Hall -- party and watch the returns from 6 p.m. to midnight. (Thanks to Brooklyn.about)

- Election Night @ Southpaw on the Big Screen with DJ 's Mikey Palms & Little Shalimar
hosted by Alex Grashow.

- Join SuperVegan in Fort Greene for their election night party with discounted drink specials like Joe The Plumber Cocktails and munching on yummy vegan grub at Red Bamboo Brooklyn, from 8 p.m. on.

- Election night dance party in Williamsburg. Public Enemy

- Parties in Bushwich, Greenpoint, Williamsburg: The Brooklyn Ink

- 3rd Ward Election Hoedown in East Williamsburg.

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No Bull! Get Out and Vote (But Don't Wear Campaign Buttons)

Every single vote counts, and that's no bull! (Unlike the patriotic cow above, grazing outside Flipsters in Park Slope, Brooklyn.)

It will be crowded, so pay careful attention to voting rules so you don't get kicked out of line:
- Bring photo ID.
- Don't even think about wearing campaign buttons, hats or shirts near the polls.
- If you have any trouble, call 866-VOTE-NYC

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, November 3, 2008

The Civilians Are Looking for Stories About Brooklyn

We received this email from Michael Premo, project coordinator for The Civilians, a production company that develops "original projects based in the creative investigation of actual experience":

The Civilians want to hear from you. Brooklyn is changing fast. We are creating BROOKLYN AT EYE LEVEL a theater show inspired by interviews about the transformation of Brooklyn and the controversial Atlantic Yards Project. If you have something to say about the communities surrounding the proposed project (Downtown, Ft. Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights & Park Slope), we want to listen. We want to talk to long-term residents, recent arrivals, players in the Atlantic Yards story, as well as those who work or live in the area. Eager to hear from all perspectives. If you want to be interviewed send us an email with a little information about yourself to Michael Premo, Project Coordinator: Premo(at)thecivilians(dot)org. For more information: . These interviews will be performed along with original music and dance by Urban Bush Women live at the Brooklyn Lyceum, December 4th – 7th.

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Dan Kaufman Pleads Guilty -- But Not Brooklyn's Ex-Busy Chef

UPDATE: We were all excited for a while to hear that Dan Kaufman -- the notorious restaurant manager who passed himself off as an owner of The Busy Chef eatery on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights -- pled guilty to some of the charges leveled against him.

But now it's time to eat crow -- a commenter pointed out that there might be two Dan Kaufmans -- and indeed that is the case! Dan Kaufman number 2 pled guilty to similar charges -- but on Staten Island, not Brooklyn.

Brooklyn's Kaufman, charged with identity theft, falsifying business records, grand larceny and attempted identity theft, will be seeing the judge on December 26.

Thanks commenter number 2, for setting the record straight.

And now it comes to our attention that there is still another Dan Kaufman, scheduled to come before a judge in Manhattan in April!

Background: Kaufman was arrested in July. His activities are credited with driving the Busy Chef -- along with its sister stores, Blue Pig ice cream shop, Wine Bar, Oven restaurant and Busy Chef Court Street -- out of business.

In addition to the $25,000 that Kaufman allegedly stole from customers, he also allegedly took much more from the business itself, falsifying the books to cover up the losses.

Previous posts on this topic here:
- Brooklyn Heights: Busy Chef Cover Up -- Stop Work Order
- 50 Ex- Busy Chef Restaurant Employees in Brooklyn, Ready to Work
- And Then There Were None: The Wine Bar, Last in Brooklyn's Busy Chef Empire, Closes
- 'Mired in Scandal,' It's All Over for Brooklyn's Busy Chef
- Why the Brooklyn Paper Didn't Write About the Crook at the Busy Chef and What This Means For America
- Arrested Busy Chef Partner Has a History in Boston
- A Busy Brooklyn Chef Now Under Arrest
- Downtown Brooklyn Busy Chef Pretty Busy
- Busy Chef Empire: Frozen Dinners or Homemade Cuisine?
- Busy Chef coming to Court Street

Photo by MK Metz

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The Brooklyn Headhunter: Find a Job in Brooklyn

From time to time, McBrooklyn puts on its Headhunting gear and scouts out a handful of Brooklyn employment opportunities.

Note to job seekers: We've noticed a tightening of the job market in Brooklyn just in the past two weeks. So, breaking with tradition, we're also listing some part time/ temp jobs at the bottom of our job listings.

Listing of the week:

A Council Member who represents a Brooklyn district is seeking a Legislative Director. You would be responsible for all matters involving the development and research of legislation, tracking of introduced bills, consideration of legislative solutions to district and city-wide issues, following the progress of and researching other members' legislation, and other related tasks. Craigslist

Not into politics? Here are some more job openings:

- The Brooklyn Marriott is looking for an accountant, a guest services rep, a maintenance engineer, a housekeeper and a security guard. Marriott.

Brinks (as in armored cars) needs an Operations Manager. NYT/Monster

A family run Brooklyn manufacturing company seeks a staff accountant; the job pays up to $60,000 plus bonus. (Now don't you wish you got that accounting degree?) Career Builder

- Just your
basic office job. Filing, etc. Craigslist

- A Brooklyn
Staples needs a Sales Manager. SJobs

The Brooklyn Museum is looking for "an extraordinary communicator/scholar" for the position of Curator of African Art. NewYorkJobsNetwork There are other job openings at the museum as well, including Assistant Graphic Designer. Heart of Brooklyn

AIG needs a very good accountant. This is not a joke. NYT/Monster

- Be an
animal caretaker at an army installation in Brooklyn. Pays about $10/hr. USAJobs

Hall Street Books, an "up-and-coming internet bookseller" located by the Brooklyn Navy Yard, has several positions. Craigslist

Pratt Institute needs an Assistant Chairperson. NYT/Monster

- A very busy
Boerum Hill photographer needs someone to organize their life and their photos, and change the cats' litter pan. Craigslist

The Little Gym is looking for a full or part time gym, dance and karate instructor for little kids. NYT/Monster

Part Time or Temp Positions:

- Century 21 is gearing up for the holidays and is looking to hire seasonal cashiers, sales people, guards and others. The Bay Ridge store is holding a job fair Monday, Nov. 5 and Tuesday, Nov. 5. Careerbuilder (H&M is also looking for part time sales help. Here.)

- Try out for a job as an
Inventory Counter. Walk around with a little handheld computer and count stuff on shelves in stores. Career Builder

The Prospect Park Alliance is seeking a Per Diem Educator to help present school and public programs at Lefferts Historic House. Heart of Brooklyn (click Employment Opportunities at bottom of page)

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is searching for an Education Resource Center Library Assistant, part time. Apply by Monday, Nov. 3 (that may be a typo -- looks like the job was just posted). Idealist

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license.

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