Monday, August 31, 2009

Biker Down at Jay and Tillary, Downtown Brooklyn Monday

Streetsblog reports that a cyclist was struck this morning at around 9:30, riding on Jay Street near the Manhattan Bridge. Streetsblog reader Dave Abraham says the biker is " male, probably late twenties, lying on the ground, bleeding from the mouth and face."

More here.

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Obscene Zucchini, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- How can we describe them? They are almost obscene in their hugeness: the Giant Zucchini of Baltic Street. PMFA

- Williamsburg faux chicken sandwich named one of the top ten in the country. Brooklyn Eagle

- Copious photos from Michael Jackson's birthday bash in Prospect Park Saturday. Brooklyn Vegan More at Gothamist.

- Why is it that all the bags containing body parts are always found in Brooklyn? New York Times

- History buffs gathered in Green-Wood Cemetery Sunday to reenact the largest battle of the Revolutionary War -- the Battle of Brooklyn. Car alarms were set off by the cannon. NY1

- The Brooklyn Cohousing project has reached a critical tipping point, hitting an unexpected wall. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn Judge Arthur Schack shocks banks with his reasoning: If a bank cannot prove ownership, it cannot foreclose. New York Times (More about Judge Schack here.)

- Smith and Bergen Streets get a neckdown. Streetblog

- Vote for which movie plays Thursday night at Brooklyn Bridge Park. BBP

- Police shot a “vicious, loose dog” on Willoughby Avenue. The Local

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Slumlord Watch List' Interactive Map, Courtesy of De Blasio

Public Advocate candidate Bill de Blasio sent us a note saying that he has launched a Slumlord Watch List, displaying landlords who have let their buildings fall into dangerous disrepair. Viewers will be able to use the interactive map to locate existing slumlords, and submit their address as well.

Bushwick and Brownsville have a few addresses already on the map (the names of the slumlords aren't actually listed, just the building addresses) ; Bed-Stuy and Red Hook have one slumlord apiece so far. Guess we can expect a deluge if this thing catches on. (Make sure to use the hand tool to scroll around the whole city.)

“Leaking pipes, exposed wires, no fire alarms, broken locks -- New Yorkers across our City are forced to live under these and many other deplorable conditions each day, with no recourse against their negligent landlords," he said. "The Public Advocate must be an independent leader standing up for tenants, not bogged down by financial ties to the real estate industry."

De Blasio says that as Public Advocate, he will organize disaffected tenants so they can stand up for their rights.

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Reading and Cream Puff Contest for Brooklyn Foodies

On Wednesday, September 9 at 7:30 pm Word in Greenpoint will host the bookstore debut event for Brooklyn writer Michelle Maisto's new book: The Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir of Food and Love (Random House, $15.00)

Michelle will read a little from the book, and will be joined by Ben Sargent, The Brooklyn Chowder Surfer for a conversation about food and family.

Also, Word will host a Cream Puff Contest. (One of the recipes in the book is for cream puffs and Michelle will be bringing a batch of her own.) Word is inviting guests to bring a plate of their own cream puffs, and the audience will eat and judge the winner, who will receive a prize at the end -- a copy of Michelle's book as well as some other treats from the author.

For Michelle's cream puff recipe, email Kelly at

The Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir of Food and Love is the story of Michelle and Rich, two foodies who fall in love over cracked crabs on newspaper, stuffed zucchini flowers, and in the aisles of foreign grocery stores. As they get engaged and move in together, they know they both love to eat, and to eat together, but soon find their differences at the table are numerous . . .

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Downtown Brooklyn at Twilight

Courthouses, the post office, office buildings and the residential towers of Downtown Brooklyn, in the soft glow of twilight.

Photo copyright MK Metz, 2009
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rats In Brooklyn? Not To Worry

It turns out there are no current surveys or studies that track the number of rats in Brooklyn or New York City. But not to worry: NYC's Dept. of Health says that New York's rats don't transmit disease to city residents like those dirty rats in other cities around the world, according to a story in the Brooklyn Eagle.

That's a relief, because residents quoted by the Eagle say Brooklyn is swamped with rats "the size of hamsters." Smith Street and Atlantic Avenue restaurant-goers talk about rats in the dining patios, Boerum Hill residents talk about rats getting inside their homes.

Brooklyn's Rats: Making Us Sick? Or Just a Nuisance? Brooklyn Eagle

- More Rats at Brooklyn Borough Hall

Photo of rat in Borough Hall by MK Metz
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Michael Jackson Block Party vs Battle of Brooklyn?

Spike Lee's Michael Jackson Block Party, which was moved to Prospect Park this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. because of the "massive" crowds expected, will be drawing those huge crowds just as the solemn ceremonies of Battle Week 2009 kicks off in Prospect Park Saturday at 11 a.m.

Mmmn, we hope that someone in the Parks Dept. remembered that something was already going on in Prospect Park when they booked the Michael Jackson extravaganza.

The map above shows the Battle of Brooklyn events starting at 11 a.m. at the Maryland Monument (small red circle). The larger red circle, according to a Parks Dept. map supplied by Spike Lee, is space allotted to the Michael Jackson party in the Neathermead Meadow.

The Battle of Brooklyn remembrance is happening not even a stone's throw from the Michael Jackson shindig. Hey, we like Michael Jackson too -- but we want to know: will DJ Spinna's soundchecks be conducted during the Rededication of the Maryland Monument? Will the Jumbotron be blasting during the Reading of the Maryland 400?

How's this going to work?

UPDATE: The Parks Dept. sent an email assuring us that: "The Parks Dept. has NOT forgotten about the planned Battle of Brooklyn memorial event at the Maryland Monument in Prospect Park. People will still be able to attend that event, scheduled for 11 a.m. on August 29."

* * *
Besides the Commemoration Ceremony Aug 29 in the park, events include a Battle Week Harbor Cruise with Barnet Schecter and the Battle Reenactment at Green-Wood Cemetery/March to Battle Hill Aug 30. Contact OSH for more information about Battle Week 718-768-3195 / See here for a quick history lesson.

Illustration courtesy of Old Stone House

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Pig Roast, Luau At BKLYN Yard

Finger On the Pulse and MeanRed are teaming up with The Hapa Kitchen for "another culinary blow out" at BKLYN Yard this Friday, August 28. Here's what they sent us:

"We are taking it home with a Hawaiian-themed menu with a whole roast pig! Hawaiian favorites like macaroni salad will be given a seasonal and local twist with food from Garden of Eve Farm and Tamarack Hollow Farm. DJ Never Forget and Terry Diabolik will be spinning on the platters that matter, playing everyone’s favorite BBQ jams.

BKLYN Yard // 388-400 Carroll St btw Bond and Nevins (Brooklyn)
6pm - 9pm
Free entry: $10 earns you a full dinner + one free Sixpoint beer

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'Team Spirit Animal Squad' at Galapagos Friday

Team Spirit Animal Squad is coming to Galapagos at 16 Main Street in DUMBO on Friday, August 28 at 9 p.m.
Tickets: $20

"A Totemic Feast of Animals and the Spirit. Aerial Feats, Music, Dance, Dream"

Starring: VIC THRILL, Bamian.TV, Lone Wolf & Cub, The Bad Mittens andT-POW
Come dressed as your favorite spirit animal...

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let Them Laugh: Bob Diamond's Brooklyn Trolley Idea Gains Traction

For years, they laughed at Bob Diamond for his "crazy" plan to bring trolleys back to Brooklyn -- but they're not laughing now.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his support last month, and now Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez is calling for funding for a Red Hook trolley system. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, in her request for funding in the 2010 surface transportation bill, she has included $10 million for “design and construction of a light rail system along the Brooklyn waterfront from Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y.”

Mr. Diamond (famous for discovering the long-lost Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, the world's first subway tunnel) suffered numerous setbacks in trying to bring trolleys back to Brooklyn. The trolley cars stacked up behind Fairway in Red Hook (shown above, as they looked in 2007) are left-overs from an attempt of Diamond's that came too early in Brooklyn's redevelopment.

Some folks are against the trolleys. When we wrote about Diamond's idea two years ago, one commenter remarked, "If Mr. Diamond wants to play with trains, he should do it at home, with his little conductor hat on." (None-the-less, the majority who commented were in favor of bringing them back.)

Diamond told the Eagle that “This idea [mentioned by Velázquez] is precisely what I called “Brooklyn Heritage Trolley Project [BHRA] Phase 3” back in 2002. In fact, I believe the $10,000,000 sum comes from a TEA-21 [Transportation Equity Act] grant application we submitted at that time, but the city declined to sponsor it.”

Red Hook Trolley Idea Picks Up Support Brooklyn Eagle

- He Might Be Crazy -- But Wouldn't You Love to Take the Trolley in Brooklyn?
- What's Behind the Wall? Atlantic Ave. Tunnel Mystery
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel: What's Behind the Wall?
- Mole People Back in Brooklyn?
- Lineup For Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return

Photo copyright MK Metz

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brooklyn's 'Virtual Doormen,' and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A new Indian restaurant in Brooklyn Heights seems to have potential, if opening day service bumps can be worked out. Brooklyn Heights Blog

- The New York Times endorsed City Councilman David Yassky of Brooklyn for New York City Comptroller Monday. Brooklyn Eagle

- Using the magic of technology, Shelved@NYC has resurrected the Brooklyn Public Library's response to the whole Tintin Au Congo brouhaha, after the library removed the response from its blog. Shelved@NYC

- 193 members now belong to the Yahoo group dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of the The St George Tower in Brooklyn Heights. TheStGeorgeTower

- Cripes: Now Thor Equities has shut down Dreamland! Is that the sound of something going down the drain? Save Coney Island

- "Virtual Doorman," a high-tech electronic doorman system, is finding acceptance in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle

- The non-profit environmental group Times Up! is hosting a bike tour of Newtown Creek this Saturday at 4pm. Greenpointers

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Race Of the Condiments at Coney

Here's a video from the newish BK Southie blog, which we just added to our blog roll. It shows Mustard, Ketchup, and Relish racing between innings at a Brooklyn Cyclones-Oneonta Tigers game on August 15.

Go Mustard!

Check out the entire post here, where BK Southie reports on the game and soaks up the atmosphere.

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Brooklyn Soul Summer Fling Sunday

Tamboril Lounge sent this in:
On Saturday August 29th Brooklyn Soul will host a special edition of the dance party Summer Fling. The event will feature special guest, DJ Silence. For this special event, all guests will be admitted FREE before midnight with rsvp. Attendees can rsvp via the event website or by email to

Brooklyn Soul dance party is held at the new Tamboril Lounge, located at 527 Myrtle Ave in Clinton Hill. The last Brooklyn Soul event attracted well over 200 guests.

About Brooklyn Soul
Brooklyn Soul is a FREE monthly dance party that takes place on the last Saturday of each month. The dance party encompasses music from the US and around the globe. The dance party feature some of the premier djs in New York City including DJ Silence of Pointblank Sound. DJs play a special selection of music including 80s & 90s Classics, R&B, Latin, Neo-Soul, AfroBeat, Funk, Soul, Reggae and Soca.

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Feast of Santa Rosalia Begins Thursday in Bensonhurst

The BK Southie blog (which we've just added to our blog roll) sends word that the 32nd Feast of Santa Rosalia -- a ten-day street festival through the heart of Bensonhurst, on 18th Avenue from 68th to 75th -- begins this Thursday, August 27 and runs 10 days through Sunday, September 6.

Brian Hedden of BK Southie says the blog will be adding photos and information from time to time, so check back in. (There's already a nice photo montage of the action.)

Hedden says the festival organizers still run their show in an old-fashioned manner: "Even the posters in the storefronts are written mostly in Italian."

Santa Rosalia fest Begins Thursday, August 27 BK Southie

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Smokey Robinson: Downtown Brooklyn Show Sept. 12

Smokey Robinson will play a free concert Sept. 12 in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Heights/ Downtown Brooklyn as part of the Recovery Rally, sponsored by A&E to “raise awareness that addiction is a treatable disease and recovery is possible.”

The rally celebrates the 20th anniversary of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

The event will start at 8:30 a.m. in Manhattan’s Foley Square followed by a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza. At the noon concert, Robinson will sing classic hits as well as songs from his new release, “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun."

Let's hope that local residents don't have to endue midnight and 7 a.m. sound checks Friday night and Saturday morning like they did last year. No other organization holding a rally at Cadman Plaza Park has ever been so inconsiderate to those living near the park.

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Tobacco Warehouse, Acute Corner, DUMBO

Here's an odd, dead end corner in the old Tobacco Warehouse in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in DUMBO.

From DumboNYC: Built in the 1870s by the Lorillard family as a tobacco customs inspection center, the Tobacco Warehouse was saved from demolition in 1898 and repaired in 2002 by the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Photo by MK Metz

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Final Music Concert at First Presbyterian Marks End of Summer

Jami Jackson pulled off a great performance at Thursday evening's final Summer Music Concert at First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights. It was a great way to end to the church's lovely outdoor evening series.

Goodbye summer . . .

- A Joyful Noise on Henry 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.

Here's the latest batch:

- Starbucks is looking for part-time and full-time shift supervisors and baristas. Good benefits. Craigslist

- The Brooklyn Children's Museum is seeking a president/CEO. BCM (They also need a party coordinator and part-time party hosts. BCM)

- Eco Brooklyn is seeking carpenters, plumbers, electricians, laborers, gardeners, painters, green roof installers, radiant floor installers, weather sealers, dumpster divers, educators, solar PV installers, solar thermal installers, gray water system installers, high efficiency boilers experts and clay applicators who are hard working and passionate about green building. Eco Brooklyn

- Front Street Restaurant & Lounge in DUMBO is looking for a full time office manager & event planner. Craigslist

- Pratt art school needs to hire an administrative secretary. Jobs@Pratt They are also looking for a digital imaging technician. Jobs@Pratt

- A Mommy & Me toddler arts and crafts program in Brooklyn Heights needs a part time teacher ASAP. Craigslist

- A master carpenter in Park Slope is looking for an apprentice. Craigslist

- The Futures in Education Foundation, a Catholic non-profit in Park Slope, wants to hire an Associate Director who believes that low income children deserve the opportunity to attend quality Catholic schools. NY Times

- Godiva Chocolate in Kings Plaza is looking for a store manager with some experience in retail. Career Builder

- A coffee shop at the corner of State and Hoyt Streets is hiring a barista. $8/hr. plus tips part time, no experience necessary. Craigslist

- Rosewater in Park Slope is looking for a server. Craigslist

- Century 21 in Bay Ridge needs full- and part-time customer service representatives. Career Builder

- A wrecking/junk yard is looking for an inventory clerk for work with car parts. Up to $20/hr., possibly more if extensive knowledge of cars. Craigslist

- A local TV station seeks a receptionist. Competitive salary, full benefits. Craigslist

- A large pharmacy on Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope is looking for a junior office assistant. Craigslist

- Wireless Generation, which supports PreK-12 educators through mobile technology, needs a Jr. Project Coordinator in DUMBO. NY Times

- A manufacturer in Sunset Park is searching for "dynamic and talented people" to fill office positions. Craigslist

- IKEA Brooklyn has a few open positions, from cashier to "Goods Flow Manager." IKEA

- A health care organization is looking for a part-time Human Resources clerk (entry level). NY Times

Find all Brooklyn Headhunter posts here.

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Black Cloud Looms Over Brooklyn

An ominous black cloud is moving in quickly over Brooklyn. Looks like it's going to burst any minute!

Photo by MK Metz

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Montague Street Summer Space: Three Weekends, Three Themes

Remember last year's 'Piazza' Days on Montague Street? (photo above) While a nice idea, they never attracted much of a crowd.

So it seems like the Montague Street BID has refined and expanded the "pedestrian plaza" concept, changed the name and changed the time as well. Here's a notice we received about the new, upcoming Montague Street Summer Space weekends:

Brooklyn Heights will have a car-free haven for outdoor relaxation on September 13th, 20th, and 27th. On those Sundays, two blocks of Montague Street, between Clinton and Hicks, will become pedestrian plazas, with outdoor seating, expanded cafés, and great activities that celebrate Montague Street’s local merchants and the Brooklyn Heights’ community.

An informational meeting about Summer Space will be held on Wednesday, September 2nd, at 6 p.m. in St. Ann's Parish Hall, at 157 Montague Street. Merchants and members of the community are invited to attend for a presentation and Q&A session. Updated information about Summer Space will also be made available online at

More details:
September 13 will be a foodie celebration, a 'festival of nosh.' Visitors can taste their way up the street, then take in the Brooklyn Book Festival. Tickets to dozens of free readings and literary discussions will be available at an info booth located on Montague Street. Plus the Martha Cardona Theater will be offering up free live opera.

On September 20 Summer Space offers brain-enriching activities, including walking tours of Montague Street led by the Brooklyn Historical Society, chess tables sponsored by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and drawing lessons from artist Charles Warner, sponsored by Daphne Art. The Heights Players will perform pieces from their fall production of Candide, and more.

September 27 wraps up with games: hula-hooping, jump-rope, and "street croquet"; learn to ollie with free lessons from the Brooklyn Skateboard Academy; or shoot free-throws against Eddie the Eagle. Other activities include a wheeled parade, a yoga class, a community chalk mural and much more.

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

Hurricane Bill 'Will Likely Cause Extremely Dangerous Surf' Here in NYC

Even though Hurricane Bill will probably not get within 200 miles of Brooklyn, a public advisory by the National Hurricane Center warns that "large swells generated by the hurricane" will "likely cause extremely dangerous surf and life threatening rip currents" along most of the East Coast this weekend, starting Friday and building Saturday.


Sounds like we should take a pass on the beach this weekend.

Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Six Dogs In Front of Peas n' Pickles, Brooklyn

Waiting for the other dog walker to come out with the cool drinks.

Photo by MK Metz
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New Illegal and Unsafe Greenpoint Gym, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Greenpoint's new Cutting Edge Gym has opened in an illegal basement space in a building with a Stop Work Order that's been illegally tampered with. And the owner has been forbidden by the Attorney General to ever operate a gym. Other than that, it looks great! Newyorkshitty

- Brooklyn Heights solar panels, before and after. GreenBeat Brooklyn

- A most unlikely sight -- a tree covered with sweet, delicious peaches -- in Brooklyn. PMFA

- "Tired of all the stereotype and location judgment? Do you believe that Williamsburg and Greenpoint are Over Rated neighborhoods that truly do not care about humanity, just one's salary...? Ever heard of being too dark to be a Jew.... I heard it on Bedford Ave, Williamsburg!!! Such misjudgment is based about upon projection of people's paranoia and in their closed society!!!" (In other words, Room For Rent.) NY Magazine

- Fighting foreclosure for the people: a Volunteer Lawyers Project director stands guard over Brooklyn homes. Brooklyn Eagle

- What all that work is on the Washington Street underpass in DUMBO. DumboNYC

- A 19-year-old guy from Midwood is the latest winner of the New York Lottery’s Millionaire instant scratch-off game. Yournabe

- This saturday August 22nd will be the 11th Annual Clinton Hill Day. Clinton Hill Chill

- Eastern Cicada Killer in Flatbush. Flatbush Gardiner

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Health Care Panel Discussion Tonight at Doug Biviano's in Brooklyn Heights

Doug Biviano, City Council Candidate for Brooklyn's 33rd sent us word that he's hosting a panel discussion tonight (7 - 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 19th) designed to help small businesses and individuals navigate the intricacies of America’s health care system.

The forum will include discussion on the history of our system, the current debate in congress and what it means for businesses, and how to protect yourself and your business from the spiraling costs of insuring your employees and your family.

Panelists will include:
Columbia University Professor David Eisenbach, who has been featured on the History Channel; local pediatrician Stephen Turner, M.D.; and health care policy expert Dr. Betsy Rosenthal from Physicians for a National Health Program. Representatives from Health Plus and HealthyNY may also be in attendance. There will be time for a Q & A session.

This event is FREE and open to the public at 89 Montague Street (at the corner of Hicks St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11201

For more information on Doug Biviano’s Campaign for City Council in Brooklyn’s 33rd, visit

Photo by Clevercupcake

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Developing a Local Brooklyn Currency, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A group of artists in North Brooklyn is trying to develop a local Brooklyn currency -- and it's legal. NPR

- A worker was killed and two others injured when a scaffold broke at an apartment building in Park Slope. NY Times

- Filmmaker Spike Lee will commemorate Michael Jackson's birthday with a birthday bash on Aug. 29 in Fort Greene Park -- the same day he will be publicly buried in Hollywood. Brooklyn Eagle

- Lots of pictures of last night's lightening storm on Gothamist.

- A Greenpoint ad agency AD has pledged to wear one dress for a year -- sort of -- to raise money for kids in the slums of India. NY Daily News

- Earn $4.41 per syllable in a political haiku contest. Brokelyn

- BK Hajj, the Brooklyn Shop & Dine Weekend, is Aug 22-23rd. Participating restaurants, retailers, etc. will be offering specials, and event-goers will buy a "Passport." Minority Report

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Escaped the Tomato Blight So Far

We didn't expect to get any tomatoes this year because of the "explosive" spread of the dread tomato blight throughout the northeast. But we've had good luck so far -- not sure why -- and out little Brooklyn crop is still coming in. We have just three plants -- you can see the three varieties in the photo above -- and the tomatoes are delicious.

Our gardening neighbors haven't been so fortunate. The tomatoes rotted on the deck next door and according to the New York Times, farmers across the northeast are plowing under their diseased plants. Even Martha Stewart lost her tomatoes!

We're keeping our eyes open for the signs, which include "white, powdery spores; large olive green or brown spots on leaves; and brown or open lesions on the stems."

Until then, we're savoring every bite.

Photo by MK Metz
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Little Fellers With Orange Whatsits, On Brooklyn Lamp Posts

These little signs have been glued here and there throughout Brooklyn Heights and maybe DUMBO -- can't quite remember where we first saw them.

Follow the link to The Oranges Sound, Sight, Sense web site and listen to some music. Is this the Oranges Band? Anyone know?

Photo by MK Metz

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Mangia Vita -- New Brooklyn Food Blog

We received an email the other day about a new Brooklyn blog called Mangia Vita (Eat Life) by Nicole Tereza, who hails from DUMBO.

Nicole says, "Raised in a Sicilian-American household I learned very early that food IS life. And not just any food - fresh, simple, and authentic food. It's my saturday night with friends, the most important part of any holiday, and the primary requirement of any and all vacations."

Nicole blogs her Saturday breakfast with Bryan, her lunch with her sister and her favorite sushi restaurant. (Her recipes sound and look delicious.) She also rates Bryan's cooking -- and while he usually seems to be a fabulous cook, he may decide to serve up a few Hungry Man frozen delights after he reads this post. Ouch!!!

New Brooklyn blog Mangia Vita

Photo by Nicole Tereza

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Brooklyn's Newest Ponzi Guy Is a Regular Joe

Philip Barry may be Brooklyn's Bernie Madoff, but a lot of the people he ripped off still stand by him. According to the Daily News, even Michael Long, boss of the state Conservative Party,who lost $15,000 with Barry, but bears no hatred. "I don't think he's a crook," Long said. "I think he really felt that he was investing wisely and making money for people."

Barry has filed for bankruptcy, but he's not charged with any crimes -- yet.

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Explore the Life of That Plant In the Parking Lot

The kids from Urban Plant Research are turning Open Source Gallery into a center for urban plant discussion,through August 30. They're inviting community participation inside the gallery as well as hosting plant walks through the neighborhood.

UPRis a collaboration between the artists Sara Bouchard, based in Brooklyn, and Leslie Kuo, based in Berlin, dedicated to investigating the lives of plants in urban areas.

The two explore, document and interpret their green subjects through photography, drawing, text and video, and maintain the online journal

Gallery hours, with artists in residence:
Thursday-Friday 3-7pm
Saturday-Sunday 12-6pm

Week One
Sat. August 15, 7-10pm: Opening
Sun. August 16, 1-5pm: Herb tea on the stoop

Week Two
Sat. August 22, 6pm: “A Walk Around the Block,” an urban nature walk led by the artists, followed by a happy hour featuring local mint mojitos

Week Three
Fri. August 28, 3-5pm: Activities for kids
Sun. August 30, 1-5pm: “Acoustic Jam for the Plants,” a jam open to all levels and genres of musicians. Bring your acoustic instrument and join in, or just bring along your houseplant and listen.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

More Changes Coming to Downtown Brooklyn

A series of changes, some big, some small, are coming to Downtown Brooklyn. Here's a roundup of the latest:

- Columbus Park and its plaza next to Brooklyn Borough Hall will be transformed into “a vibrant, engaging public space." Plans include improving the park's landscaping and increasing activities on the plaza, such as a Brooklyn-themed miniature golf course, evening movies etc. Brooklyn Eagle

- The Bloomberg administration has picked City Point, the big housing and retail complex already started (but stalled) at the old Albee Square Mall, to receive $20 million in tax-exempt bonds financed by the federal stimulus program. New York Times
More details: affordable units going in first.

- Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz is pushing for the city Department of Finance to move out of the Brooklyn Municipal Building and into the City Point tower, above. (He's also called for retail in the ground floor of the Municipal Building.) Crain's NY

- Catsimatidis' project on Myrtle Ave., near Flatbush Avenue Extension will be partially built by the first quarter of 2010; it will house a Duane Reade drugstore, a full-service neighborhood supermarket and 95 residential apartments. Brooklyn Eagle

- Hundreds of new residents will pour into downtown Brooklyn when its tallest building—the 51-story Brooklyner—opens in 2010 at 111 Lawrence Street. Observer

- Phase I of the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project is finally underway. Streetsblog

- The city has all of the parcels necessary to create Willoughby Square Park. Construction was projected to start late 2009. Brooklyn Eagle

- Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn may soon be known as “Hotel Row.” On a block with three other hotels under construction, a fourth is planned. Brooklyn Eagle

- The Fulton Streetscape Project continues with new sidewalks on side streets, the demolition of old bus shelters, kiosks, etc. New bus shelters, benches, lights and more will be installed. An open space around Albee Square is being constructed. FMIA

- Upscale retail is planned for 345 Adams Street within the year. Brooklyn Eagle

Top photo by MK Metz
Municipal Building Rendering Courtesy of Studio AMD

Fulton St. rendering courtesy of the FMIA

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Cobble Hill Lion Awakens: All Hail Leo

The life-size Cobble Hill lion celebrating all things Leo is back on the ledge at 368 Clinton Street.

Happy Birthday Leos - you artistic, generous, sincere, warm and protective folks.

368 Clinton has done this before.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Floating Kabarette at Galapagos Saturday, August 15

We received word that the Floating Kabarette will be appearing (free) at Galapagos tonight. The description includes the words:


Saturday, August 15th
Doors at 10PM | Show at 10:30PM

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Audio Walking Tours of Coney Island -- Free

Now here's an idea for your stay-cation:

The Coney Island History Project has come out with their first-ever Audio Walking Tours of Coney Island. Their goals is to "make the People's Playground accessible to visitors and armchair travelers 365 days a year," and provide perspective on this world-famous neighborhood on the cusp of redevelopment.

You can download the tours (audio or video podcasts and files) for free from here.

Highlights include the 1920 Wonder Wheel and 1927 Cyclone Roller Coaster; the 1939 Parachute Jump ("Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower"); the 1924 Childs Restaurant building on the Boardwalk; the Grasshorn Building (Coney's oldest, circa 1888); the 1925 Shore Theatre; Ruby's Bar and more.

The Coney Island History Project is a not-for-profit that aims to increase awareness of Coney Island's legendary past and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island today.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

New 9-Hole 'Putting Lot' in Bushwick

There's a new Putting Lot (as in golf) in Bushwick -- it's a parking lot transformed into a nine-hole miniature golf course, designed by nine artists and architects.

The theme of the course is “neighborhood sustainability," but it's also just cool. The "Ghost Hole," for example, is played on a life-sized photo of what was in the lot before it was cleaned up for the Putting Lot. And when playing hole number three -- called "Are You Wet Yet?" -- you have to take off your shoes and stand in the water to play.

Check out the video on Babelgum.

Photo by lucyfrench123

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

2009 Candidate Debates To Run On Brooklyn Independent TV

Starting Monday, August 17th, Brooklyn Independent Television will present The Candidates Debate, a series of 2009 Democratic Primary forums hosted by Brooklyn Independent Television and Community Newspaper Group.

The debates start at 9 p.m. on:

Monday, August 17th for the District 33 City Council debate
Tuesday, August 18th for the District 39 City Council debate
Wednesday, August 19th for the District 45 City Council debate
Thursday, August 20th for the City Comptroller debate
Friday, August 21st for the Public Advocate debate
And Tuesday, August 25th for a re-airing of the Public Advocate debate.

For a complete list of participating candidates and moderators, or to watch all of these debates online after their airing, visit More coverage on CNG's website,

The democratic primaries take place on Tuesday, September 15th.

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Fun in Red Hook, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The New York Comic Con will have a "powerful presence" at this year's Brooklyn Book Festival on in September. OTBKB

- So these two artists walk into a bar . . . Brooklyn Eagle

- Fun in Red Hook: More than just IKEA and Fairway. Mommy Poppins

- Losing it: A new poll shows that Sarah Palin's favorability rating has dropped to just 39 percent. New York Magazine

- Brooklyn’s "somewhat-infamous" federal pen, the Metropolitan Detention Center, is looking for a warden tough enough to handle thousands of the country's most challenging prisoners, from accused al-Qaida operatives to the "whiny" John Gotti Jr. Brooklyn Eagle

- The Knitting Factory will reopen in a smaller space in Williamsburg on Sept. 9. The club's TriBeCa lease expired in July. NYTimes

- Michael Locke, recently laid off from Time Inc., is preparing to launch My Little O, a news web site serving Fort Greene/Clinton Hill. Folio Mag via NYConvergence

- The MTA confirmed that the agency is “in negotiations with a buyer” for its drab building on the corner of Wyckoff and Smith Streets. Brooklyn Paper

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Turf War Over Brooklyn Heights' Cadman Park: Have Soccer Players Taken Over?

First there was the outcry over putting artificial turf in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Heights.

Now, parents of small children complain that soccer players have taken over the park.

A mom quoted in the Brooklyn Eagle story says the adult soccer games take place “seven days a week, from morning to night.” It's no longer safe to take your children to the park, she says.

The Heights Association has received multiple complaints from local residents and parents, according to the article. (And let's not even talk about Saint Ann's, which uses the park as their own private gym morning, noon and after school during the school year . . . Or those damn Corporate Cornholers.)

Our favorite quote: "Moreover, because the turf is not officially an athletic field, Parks says it has no means for making rules about organized sports because 'supposedly that doesn’t happen.'”

Soccer Players vs Tots, At Cadman Plaza Park Brooklyn Eagle

- That Brooklyn Astroturf is Hot!
- Synthetic Turf Hazards and Cadman Plaza Park
- With Hoopla But No Protests, Brooklyn's Astroturfed Cadman Plaza Park Unveiled
- Cadman Plaza Park Opens --- Officially
- Blue/ Green Slime Invades What Remains of Cadman Plaza Park
- Cadman Plaza Park Opened -- But Not by Parks Department
- Parks Dept. Refuses to Study Synthetic Turf Health Risks
- Keeping 'Em Down on the Farm
- Toxic Park in Brooklyn Heights?

Photo by MK Metz
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things We Found By the Water In Brooklyn

We took a walk along the waterfront in Brooklyn, between DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. Here are some of the things we found:

A wreath that says "September 11, Broken Sky."

A wedding, with lots of people milling around getting their pictures taken.

A cool art thing that you can climb on.

A DeSoto!

A yellow sunset.

A Waterpod where people make coffee with a "rocket stove."

Photos by MK Metz

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Monday, August 10, 2009

The 'Vampire of Brooklyn,' and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A man in Florida spends five years and $200,000 in his laboratory tinkering with formulas and finally produces . . . a Brooklyn bagel. PBPulse

- Schumer endorsed City Council candidate Stephan Lenin at Brooklyn Borough Hall and the only intelligent question was asked by a drunk. OTBKB

- New: A protected bike lane at the Manhattan Bridge and Sands Street. Brooklyn Eagle

- Buyer, beware when you book hotel rooms through "Hotwire." You may not get what you asked for. Unemployed Brooklyn

- Boston paper describes DUMBO's Superfine as "affordably hipster-chic." Boston Globe

- Officials and religious leaders in Brooklyn took part in a H1N1 flu pandemic exercise. Vos Iz Neias

- Inside a Brooklyn gallery are five monitors, "each featuring a virtual copy of the real space occupied by a different virtual artwork . . ." Fast Company

- Weird History: Albert Fish, the notorious “Vampire of Brooklyn.” Socyberty

- A 27-year-old Brooklyn cop dies from swine flu. Gothamist

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20 Henry Street Roof Finally Repaired

It only took six months . . . but, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, the giant hole in the roof of the disintegrating Peaks Mason Mints ("Candy Factory") building has finally been patched.

The Eagle reported in an earlier article that a neighbor complained to the DOB that 20 Henry had been “shaking and vibrating,” possibly due to structural instability caused by the exposure to the elements.

- 20 Henry Street Roof May Finally Be Fixed
- Worrisome Hole in the Candy Factory Roof May Finally Be Repaired Brooklyn Eagle
- Big Hole In the Candy Factory Roof
- 20 Henry Street Sales Office Dismantled
- Open House Party for 20 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights
- 20 Henry Street Courtyard Plowed Under
- Work Begins at 114 Henry Street; DOB Disapproves Plans
- 20 Henry Street Was NOT On Fire
- High Winds Cause Scaffolding Problems in Brooklyn

Photo by MK Metz

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Hillside Park, Brooklyn Heights

Though from the placement of this sign Hillside Park appears to be a highway, the park on Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights is actually one of the nicest (and largest, at more than two acres) dog parks in the city.

Photo by MK Metz

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pratt Student Attackers Caught on Video

The Local/Fort Green blog obtained this surveillance video of the five suspects in last Tuesday night’s vicious beating of a 22-year-old Pratt student at Grand and Lexington Avenues. See The Local for more details.

This is not the first assault in the area.

The Local also has video of a man robbing a Verizon store on Myrtle Ave. here.

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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.

Here's the latest batch:

- Trader Joe's is looking for an entry-level grocery store supervisor. Long hours, decent pay ($14 - $21/hr.). Craigslist

Jacques Torres Chocolate in DUMBO needs someone to work in the chocolate factory. Must be able to lift 50 pounds. $10/hr. plus benefits. Craigslist

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music needs a part-time registrar for its Park Slope location. About 20 hrs/week, some evenings and weekends. idealist

- Open call: A new bistro at Smith and Pacific Streets will be interviewing for all positions this Thursday. Craigslist

An e-commerce company in Williamsburg is looking to hire a couple of people to deal with pricing, database, other commerce-related things. Craigslist

- A vet in Windsor Terrace seeks a part time veterinarian's assistant. Must be a dog and cat person. Craigslist

A Brooklyn Councilmember seeks a full-time Community Liaison. Spanish a must. Craigslist A Central Brooklyn Assemblymember needs a liaison, too. Low-to-mid 20s. Craigslist

The Brooklyn Workforce1 Career Center is seeking a Center Director in Downtown Brooklyn. The NonProfit Times

- A small cafe in Clinton Hill is looking for an experienced barista who lives right nearby. Craigslist

An afterschool and summer program seeks teaching artists for elementary schools serving children ages 5-12 in Bushwick. Craigslist

A new real estate brokerage firm in Brooklyn Heights needs an office manager. Craigslist

The National Park Service has a job for a carpenter/painter in Gateway National Park. Federal Gov Jobs

A Japanese restaurant seeks experienced servers. Craigslist

The Brooklyn Economic Development Corp. is looking for an experienced project manager. Pay: high 30s to mid 40s. idealist

A toy store in Park Slope needs sales people. Craigslist

A Carroll Gardens technology startup that helps consumers digitally convert their old photos and videotapes is looking for a paid media intern. 16 hrs/week, $12/hr. Craigslist

A baby care company in DUMBO seeks an executive assistant with many responsibilities. $40K plus benefits. Craigslist

- NYCOED Soccer is looking for an experienced soccer coach. Craigslist

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Find all Brooklyn Headhunter posts here.

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license

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