Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Barneys Co-Op Coming to Cobble Hill in September

Barneys New York will be opening a Barneys Co-Op at 194 Atlantic Ave. near Court Street in September, according to NBC New York.

194 Atlantic (shown above) part of the recently-built Cobble Hills Mews just west of Trader Joe's. Urban Outfitters is just down the street, at 164 Atlantic Ave.

According to an earlier NBC article, the Barneys Co-Op offshoot focuses on "coveted mid-range labels like Shipley & Halmos, Loeffler Randall, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang."

Photo by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Greenway News, Nets CEO Makes Nice, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Nets CEO makes nice to fans who wore bags over their heads during game. Huff Post 

- Here she is: Miss Brooklyn 2010 is crowned.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Using $16 million in federal, state and city funds, the DOTis taking over the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.  Gothamist 

- Crop to Cup has opened on Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Clinton.  Brooklyn Based

- New York City will pay $98,000 to five Critical Mass bicycle riders harassed by the police.  NY Times

- By the way, did you lose a suitcase with $78,383 inside on the Lower East Side?  EV Grieve

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

15 iPads in All of Brooklyn Come April 3rd?

- You aren't getting an iPad on launch day (April 3) if you didn't pre-order one.  PCMag

- Your next best bet may be to show up at an Apple Store just before 3 p.m. on April 3rd.  TUAW

On the other hand, Apple says come on by any Apple store at 9 a.m. Apple

- There are no Apple stores in Brooklyn, but they'll also be available at Best Buys with embedded Apple shops. TUAW  

- Of which there appears to be only one listed in all of Brooklyn, at 8923 Bay Pkwy. If it receives its iPads, it will only receive five in each price category for a total of 15. That's right: In the fourth-largest city in the United States,15 iPads, five in each price category.  BestBuy 

- Five reasons to wait to buy an iPad. PCWorld  

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Giant, Blowup Census Form Appears in Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza

It's so much nicer than the union's giant balloon rat, but not as nice as the IKEA flat-packed apartment.

Still, it does serve to remind us to fill out that darn census form (if we can only remember where we put it).

Photo by MK Metz

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Oysters Off Red Hook, Armed Robbers in Brooklyn Heights, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn's state senator Eric Adams has started a billboard campaign telling young men to pull their pants up.  JoeMyGod

- Now California's gay right wing is blaming Brooklyn. GayPatriot

- Armed robbers target the South Heights.  BHB 

- To deal with rising water levels, “Oyster-Tecture,” at MoMA, proposes massive underwater oyster villages along the Red Hook and Bay Ridge shorelines. Brooklyn Eagle

- Why do New York's mayors like to dress up, and why is the result always so disturbing? (video)  NY Magazine 

- Anthropologists will sift through a landfill on Staten Island for 9/11 remains. Village Voice

- Maureen Dowd suggests its time for a nun to become the Pope. NY Times

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So How's the Gowanus Supercleanup Going?

Now that the Gowanus Canal has been Superfunded, crews have already started drilling core samples to figure out just what all that stuff is down there. To retrieve the core samples, contractors use special tubes made from industrial, heavy-duty plastic -- the type of plastic used in space helmets and bullet resistant windows, according to Tracking PlaNYC 2030.

So how's it going?

According to Ink Lake, the regional Superfund director calls the Gowanus, “as heavily contaminated a waterway as we’ve ever seen.”

First problem encountered: "The stuff is eating through the heavy-duty plastic that they use to drill core samples."

And it gets worse from here.

- Gowanus Canal Superfund Designation: Who's Happy, Who's Sad . . .
- Gowanus Whole Foods Brownfield Cleanup Meeting 
- Kentile As a Symbol of Gowanus
- Has Whole Foods Given Up on Gowanus? 
- Toll Brothers Gowanus Development Meeting 
- Gowanus Canal Solution: Aquablock!

Photo by Brainware3000, Creative Commons License

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Melee at Tillary, Enormous Rabbit and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Melee at Tillary and Jay streets?  Brooklyn Eagle

- It's done: Fixes to the health care bill passed, 220 - 207. Huffington Post

- East New York has a Truth Squad, and they're not thrilled with Charles Barron.  R8NY

- Visitors to the Prospect Park Zoo can pet Herbie, an enormous Flemish rabbit. NY Times

- The FBI has developed a new website featuring surveillance photos of bank robbers. Gothamist  

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Please Don't Pee Here

Reminds us of a sign we used to see in Florida -- "We won't swim in your toilet, please don't pee in our pool."

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Immaculate Heart on Montague Street

Sacred Immaculate Heart in a baggie with an old prayer book and rosary beads hangs from a railing on Montague Street near St. Ann's Church in Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

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Two Acres in Red Hook, Former Brooklyn Heights Precinct, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The city is calling for creative proposals about how to use two acres of waterfront property in Red Hook.   Crain's NY 

- The former 84th police precinct building on Poplar Street in Brooklyn Heights may be back on the market. Brooklyn Eagle 

- One Front Street restaurant in DUMBO has been awarded its cabaret license, and will host a dinner and dancing series. Brooklyn Paper 

- Crumbs Bake Shop is coming to the Montague Street site once occupied by Heights Books.  Brooklyn Eagle

Now they're whining about too much security in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Gothamist 

- The third annual Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Pageant is happening this Sunday, Mar. 28.  Broklyn 

- Legislation compelling employers to provide workers with either five or nine paid sick days is scheduled to be reintroduced Thursday.  Crain's NY 

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,' As Retold by Brooklyn's Folks On the Street

Walt Whitman would be so proud to see this excerpt from his "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," as retold by Brooklynites and filmed by Heather Quinlan.

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No More Bus Rides Between Brooklyn and Manhattan

How pathetic is this? The only bus that travels between Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan -- the B51 -- is about to be cut, along with the B39, the only bus from Williamsburg to Manhattan.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz hosted a press conference with and transportation advocate Christopher Greif at the Joralemon Street bus stops outside Brooklyn Borough Hall yesterday to complain about the effect this will have on elderly and disabled riders, and everyone else as well.

The B51 serves nearly 1,000 riders each weekday; the B39 carries 1,300 passengers daily. Cuts to these routes, along with other bus and subway service reductions, are expected to be voted on by the MTA board today.

Markowitz points out these buses "are absolute lifelines for riders with disabilities or who are elderly. There is simply no reasonable way for people with mobility and accessibility issues who cannot take the subway—especially considering many stations along these routes are not ADA-compliant—to get over to Manhattan without these vital bus routes.”

Here are some of the planned cuts:

- The MTA plans to cut a dozen other bus routes in Brooklyn, eliminate the M train to Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, cut the X27, X28, X29, X37 and X38 (Bay Ridge, Bath Beach and Gravesend, Coney Island).

- Also, the MTA plans to reconfigure Brownstone Brooklyn’s B69, B71, B75 and B77 routes, which will complicate commutes and lead to increased wait times. Also on the table are reductions for Borough Park’s B23, Marine Park’s B2, Greenpoint’s B24, the B7 on Kings Highway, the B31 in Gerritsen Beach and several other routes.

- The MTA plans to slash millions of dollars from Access-A-Ride, used by disabled people.

Brooklyn Screwed?

Assemblywoman Joan Millman said that the cuts “disproportionately affects Brooklyn. "Contrary to the MTA’s assertion, bus service does not replicate subway service because so many of our city’s subway stations are truly inaccessible to the elderly and people with disabilities. Buses are not only easier to board, but deliver riders closer to their destinations. Yet again, the most populous borough has been short-changed by the MTA.”

- Brooklyn's B25 Bus Restored
- MTA's Bus Cuts Will Hit Bay Ridge Seniors Especially Hard 
- Bus Cuts: Manhattan Riders Yelling Louder
- Crucial Brooklyn Bus Routes Face the Ax

Photo by Kathryn Kirk

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Huge NYU Brooklyn Expansion? Not So Fast, Says NYU

Backtracking from stories published in the New York Times and other papers that NYU would be building “a new engineering school in Brooklyn,” and adding a million square feet of space at MetroTech as part of an overall expansion, NYU told the Brooklyn Eagle Tuesday that any new additions to the Brooklyn Polytechnic campus would not be a million square feet, but a smaller amount on top of the university's already existing 700,000 square foot campus.

Which is already an engineering/ technology school, so it wouldn't exactly be a "new engineering school."

And any construction that did happen would not actually be happening right away, "but not until the second and third phases" of the plan . . . 

That noise you hear is the sound of a balloon slowly deflating.
Photo by MK Metz

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Leases at 345 Adams, Nets Fan Wears Bag Over Head, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Leases are out or signed for tenants at 345 Adams, the city-owned building next to Morton’s/ Marriott.  Brownstoner

- Brooklyn Republicans are unhappy with the health bill. The Brooklyn Ink 

- The DUMBO Neighborhood Foundation has filed for a summary judgment to reverse the zoning changes which would allow a controversial 17-story Dock Street tower to be built adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO. Brooklyn Eagle

- The Nets "may go down as the worst team in history." On Monday a fan sat with a bag over his head. USA Today

- David G. Greenfield, the executive director of the Sephardic Community Federation, was elected Tuesday to succeed City Councilman Simcha Felder.  New York Times

- The Williamsburg Walks event is having a bumpy time this year. Gothamist  

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NYU Wants to Build One Million Sq. Feet at Brooklyn's MetroTech

NYU wants to build one million square feet of new space in Downtown Brooklyn's Metrotech complex, site of Polytechnic University of NYU, according to the New York Times.

UPDATE: NYU says not exactly.

Part of the largest expansion in NYU's history includes plans for the Greenwich Village area, Brooklyn and Governors Island.

NYU told the Times that it is really trying, this time, to listen to its neighbors and not just try to steamroll the expansion plans through.

In January, officials at Poly laid out their preliminary plans for building improvements and the redesign of some areas of the MetroTech campus. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the founder of the Jonathan Rose Companies, Jonathan Rose, presented examples of grand architectural transformations for inspiration, such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the new Cooper Union Building.

The overall aim, according to the NYU web site (Framework 2031, and the NYU Plans Space 2031 initiative), is "to provide the necessary square footage (estimated at 6 million square feet) to advance NYU’s academic trajectory while committing the University to contextual development that respects the character of the neighborhoods, improves the streetscapes and green spaces it shares with the community, and aims for a high standard of architecture."

- Brooklyn Polytech Alumni Sue to Block NYU 'Merger'
- Come On, Brooklyn Polytechnic Students: NYU Student Protest Today
- Brooklyn's Polytechnic Votes to Merge with NYU

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Images From a Perfect Spring Weekend in Brooklyn

Could it get any better? The first weekend in spring was darn near perfect in Brooklyn. Saturday and Sunday were great days to sit outside Montague Street restaurants or Siggy's on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights (above) and watch the world go by.

Sparrows enjoyed their own outdoor cafes, too.

James Weir, Florist, on Montague Street, with pastel balloons for no particular reason.

And flowers are blooming all over.

Photos by MK Metz

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This Is What Change Looks Like: House Passes Health Care Bill

History continues to be made by the Obama administration: By a vote of 219 to 212, the House passed a health care bill that that will provide medical coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. (Full details at the NY Times)  

219 Democrats and 0 Republicans voted yes.

The costs of the plan, according to the budget office, would be more than offset by savings in Medicare and by new taxes and fees, mostly on the wealthy. The bill would reduce the federal budget deficits by $143 billion in the next 10 years. A fix incorporating changes now goes to the Senate.

The Christian Science Monitor has a primer on the details here.  It's important to note that many of the major provisions won't start until 2014, such as the requirement for most Americans to buy coverage, which will be subsidized for many (those earning under $88,000/year). But some provisions will start right away (or very soon): Health insurers won't be able to deny coverage to children with medical problems or suddenly drop coverage for people who become ill. Small businesses will obtain tax credits to help them buy insurance. Adults with pre-existing health conditions will be able to enroll in a new (temporary) national high-risk insurance plan.

Republicans say the American people don't want this bill. But most likely, in a very short time, Americans won't know how we ever managed without it. 

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Working to Get Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 Ready for Monday

From a distance they look like little toy trucks zooming over the paths on the six grassy acres of Pier 1 as workers seem to be scurrying to get ready for the official opening on Monday of the first section of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The design of Pier 1 includes a 30-foot wide pedestrian and bike path, a waterfront promenade, Bridge View Lawn, Harbor View Lawn and the granite River Steps (pictures on Brownstoner) facing lower Manhattan.

There will eventually be four food concessions on Pier 1, including two mobile food carts, a 130-square foot location inside the Pier 1 gatehouse and a 2,500-square foot elevated outdoor plaza with the option of selling beer and wine. According to Eater, those interested in the concessions include Red Hook's The Good Fork, DUMBO's Rice and Superfine, and at least 30 others (including Danny Meyer).

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the opening will be preceded by an invitation-only groundbreaking attended by Gov. David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Borough President Marty Markowitz and other officials.

On March 10 Mayor Bloomberg said that a proposed not-for-profit organization, known as the Brooklyn Bridge Park Operating Entity (BBPOE), would be responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of the park. BBPOE will have a 17-member board.

A Community Advisory Committee will be formed, and also a Subcommittee on Alternatives to Housing to look into possible revenue sources other than the development parcels intended for Pier 6 and John Street.

- State OKs NYC Controlling Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Fall Comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park 
- The Spiral Pool Takes Shape at Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Sunset Over Decaying Pier 4, Brooklyn
- Future Home of Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Birds in Brooklyn Heights

And while we're on the subject of birds, we'd like to point out this lovely couple in the window of the Salon Van Sickel, at 34 Middagh St. in Brooklyn Heights.

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Bird Condos at the Park Plaza Diner, Brooklyn Heights

Every year the appearance of bird nests in the Park Plaza Diner lettering is a local sign of spring. This year the sign is once again abuzz with sparrows carrying grass and straw to line the protected loops.

 The east-facing sign gets the morning sunlight and has Cadman Plaza Park views.

Location, location, location.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Housing Works Spring Preview Sales End Soon

Housing Works is advertising its Spring Preview sales which lasts through March 20. We're not sure how it works at the Montague Street location; at their other sites they close the store for a day and then pile up mounds of great finds for very cheap prices. Housing Works members get in free (others pay a $10 donation).

Anybody ever shop the preview sale at the Brooklyn Heights store?

Photo by MK Metz

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DUMBO Condo, Shipping Containers at City Point, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Toll Brothers will be meeting with the landmarks committee of CB 2 on Wednesday to reveal its plans for a new condo development on Water Street in DUMBO. Crain's NY

- What you probably shouldn't eat on the subway. WYDNKBYANM 

- The land not being immediately used by City Point’s Phase IA design may be filled with repurposed shipping containers. Brooklyn Eagle  

- The mother of the Brooklyn Tech student slashed on his way to choir practice thanks two local men who came to his aid and probably saved his life.  The Local 

- Brooklyn Bridge Park will have an outdoor wine bar and plaza if everything goes according to plan.  Brooklyn Paper 

- About a quarter of all Brooklyn funeral homes violate the city's pricing rules, compared to only 5 percent in Manhattan.  New York Times

-What's next for the former Café Bueno on Smith Street, which was the former Trout and before that the former Gravy? PMFA

- The Dept. of Education won't rehire Khilil Gibran school's founding principal Debbie Almontaser, in spite of that pesky Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling. But they did announce a new, different Arab-American principal.  Brooklyn Eagle 

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Boymelgreen's Bank, Exploding Popcorn Machines, and Other Brooklyn Disasters

- Boymelgreen's bank has been shut down by the Feds. Brooklyn Eagle

- The popcorn machine caught fire again at the United Artists theater on Court Street. You know the drill, another evacuation. A Brooklyn Life (Note comments.)

- Splattered blood on the rocks, smashed turtle shells, a suspicious attempt at a campfire — and arson in the reedy underbrush. Welcome to Prospect Park.  Brooklyn Paper

- Many attended the vigil against bias crimes in Carroll Gardens Monday night.  PMFA 

- Mysterious sirens, garbled instructions, and startled residents near the Columbia Street waterfront Monday. The Word on Columbia Street

- Great tacos. Make that mind-blowing tacos, at Calexico on Union Street. (Note comments.) A Brooklyn Life 

- Toll on trees from the nor'easter: 20 in Prospect Park, 100 in Green-Wood Cemetery. Plus a couple of huge specimens down in Bay Ridge. Brooklyn Eagle

Did you miss the Brooklyn Mutt Show? Video here.  Quirky New York

- That stuff at the bottom of the Gowanus Canal? It's black mayo. NY Magazine

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Hard Working Ladies Can 'Woman Up!' in Brooklyn

You lug, you hammer, you strip and you glaze. Then you go home, pick up the kids and start the dinner.

A new business on Washington Avenue and Prospect Place caters to female construction workers, set designers and MTA workers.

BCAT TV Network brings us the story of Brooklyn's Diedre Olivera-Douglas, who was working in the predominately male world of construction and saw a need for clothing and equipment that properly fit the female form.

She put down her jackhammer and picked up her business plans for Woman-Up!, a boutique that supplies women with perfectly-sized work gloves, body braces, steel-toed boots and, naturally, pink hard hats. Customers are thrilled with pliers that actually fit in their hands and protective gear with just a touch of pink.

See the video of this Brooklyn Review segment here.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Filming for HGTV in the Rain, in DUMBO

Pity the poor crew from Sedna Films who took over Washington Street in DUMBO Friday to film promos for HGTV (Home & Garden Television). Since their filming date coincided with the beginning of the weekend's devastating nor'easter, equipment had to be stowed under tents, tarps and umbrellas. Unfortunately, the talent -- the guy standing next to the taxi, below -- had to do his part standing in the rain. And again.

Photos by MK Metz

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Car Fire On Brooklyn Bridge Shuts Down Traffic

(UPDATE for Thursday, May 31, 2012 here.)

An SUV caught fire in the Manhattan-bound side of the Brooklyn Bridge about 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Multiple fire engines and rescue vehicles rushed to the scene. Manhattan-bound lanes were closed, and cars stuck behind the blaze slowly backed out or turned around and drove in the wrong direction towards Brooklyn to get off the bridge.

Cyclosity posted a photo of the car on Flickr and noted its license plate: CIN4LIFE
No word on injuries.

More photos on BrownstonerJonmah.Posterous, pdhyman (via Brooklyn Heights Blog).

Photo by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Storm: Not a Happy Time For Umbrellas

The twisted bodies of wrecked umbrellas littered the streets of Brooklyn Sunday after the weekend's nor'easter. This pile appeared near Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza.

Photo by MK Metz

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More Than 1,000 Still Without Power In Brooklyn

At 8 p.m. Sunday evening more than 1,000 homes in Brooklyn were still without power in the aftermath of Saturday's nor'easter. Con Edison has been busy all day -- more than 10,000 were without power Sunday morning. The map above was produced by Con Ed's Storm Center. Each colorful little group of triangles represents multiple outages.

Customers are urged to call Con Edison immediately to report any outages at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

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9,000 Without Power in Brooklyn, 11 p.m. Saturday

 As of 11 p.m. Saturday night, 9,000 residents of Brooklyn were without power, according to Con Edison.

A Con Ed bulletin said, "Con Edison crews are working to restore power to customers throughout its service area who have been affected by the heavy wind and rain storm that struck the area Friday and intensified on Saturday.

"Fierce winds and heavy rain have driven trees into power lines and knocked out electricity. The company expects the wind and rain to continue through the night, causing more tree damage and outages. As the rain continues, extensive flooding could damage underground electrical equipment in low-lying areas, which could also cause customers to lose power.

"Con Edison has additional customer service representatives, electrical and construction crews, along with tree-clearing crews working around the clock to respond to customers and power outages that may occur.
Customers are urged to call Con Edison immediately to report any outages at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). Customers can also report power interruptions or service problems as well as view service restoration information online at and on their cell phones and PDAs."

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Brooklyn's Hannah Senesh School Drops Controversial Plan to Expand into Protected Garden

The Hannah Senesh Day School has announced to parents that it will not pursue its controversial plan to expand into the courtyard next to its building at Smith Street and First Place, according to the Pardon Me For Asking blog.

The courtyards -- or gardens -- in Carroll Gardens are protected by a 160-year-old law that states that the courtyards can not be built on (OR used for parking, as is presently the case).

Kenneth Fisher was paid $7,500 by the school to lobby in 2008 for the "acquisition of a lot currently owned by the City of New York." Bill de Blasio had planned to introduce a bill to amend "old Brooklyn Law" (without community input) to allow the Hannah Senesh School to build in the courtyard, and Carroll Gardeners were furious at the "sell out."

Fisher told the Brooklyn Eagle in December, "I specifically noted, and invited the participants to take a look when the meeting was over, that the lot in question is a fenced parking area with a wall on the neighbor's property at the western end. It is not a garden.”

Maybe something needs to be done about that?

More juicy details at PMFA.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

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More Details On Montague Wine Shop Fire, Brooklyn Heights

Here are more details and photos of the fire that took out the popular Montague Wine & Spirits shop and the laundromat at 78 Montague Street yesterday.

 According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the fire started in the laundromat, then spread to the wine shop, causing extensive damage. There was a “heavy body of fire in the rear,” Chief Costello told the Eagle, with extension into the liquor store through the ceiling in the rear of the store. (The Brooklyn Paper says the fire started in the wine shop.)

No official word yet on the cause of the fire, though a commenter on the Brooklyn Heights Blog says it was an electrical fire that started in the laundromat.  

The tin ceilings were pulled down inside the wine shop and there's a hole in the roof. (Above, firefighters carry charred pieces of the roof.)

The windows were boarded up by 9 p.m. last night, though workers were still at the scene past that time. Karl Junkersfeld has posted a video on the Brooklyn Heights Blog showing the aftermath of the fire.

- Fire At Brooklyn Heights Wine Shop

Photos by MK Metz

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fire at Broolyn Heights Wine Shop

Just in - a fire broke out at the Brooklyn Heights Wine and Spirits shop at 78 Montague Street about 8:30 this morning. More details to come.

UPDATE: More details and photos here

Photo by MK Metz

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Over the Brooklyn Bridge For a Free Tibet

Every March 10th, Tibetans and Tibet supporters hold marches to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising against China’s occupation. In Brooklyn, Tibetans gathered in Cadman Plaza Park Wednesday morning in preparation for a march across the Brooklyn Bridge.

There were speeches and music at Cadman Plaza. Then the group, which numbered roughly 200, marched into Manhattan to the United Nations for another rally.

From there they headed to the Chinese Consulate, then to Union Square Park for more music and speeches.

The event was organized by Students for a Free Tibet, who says that Chinese security forces are now a permanent presence in Tibetan towns and villages and a new “Strike Hard” campaign was launched in Lhasa in advance of this 51st anniversary, with hundreds of Tibetans being interrogated and harassed in recent days.

Photos by MK Metz

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

State OKs NYC Controlling Construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park

State officials have agreed to let New York City finish building (and paying for) Brooklyn Bridge Park, the New York Times reports. While a chunk of the work has been started (especially on Piers 1 and 6) the rest has been delayed while the state and city argued over who would get the control.

The agreement is expected to be approved Wednesday by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, according to the Times. (Many more steps lay ahead.)

Interestingly, the city seems a little flexible on the matter of housing in the park. According to the Times, "Officials said they would explore adding a floating pool and skating rink."

- Fall Comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park 
- The Spiral Pool Takes Shape at Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Sunset Over decaying Pier 4, Brooklyn
- Future Home of Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Brooklyn = Food Town -- Dine In Brooklyn Plus: New Checkers, Bagel Place and Even a Food Truck

- Dying to try out a new restaurant in Brooklyn? Dine in Brooklyn runs from March 15 - 25; lunch is $20.10 and diner costs $25. More than 175 restaurants are participating this year, from Alma in Carroll Gardens to Queen in Brooklyn Heights to Bar Tabac in Boerum Hill to Blue Ribbon in Park Slope, etc.  Some restaurants are even offering 2-fers:  Brunch 2-for $20.10; Lunch 2-for $20.10 and Dinner 2-for $25.00 (like Rice in DUMBO). Full list of participating restaurants here.

 - New food truck options come to DUMBO.  DumboNYC

- A new bagel place at the corner of Prospect and Vanderbilt, by the owners of Zaytoons?  Brownstoner

- Two new Checkers will peddle their burgers and fries in Bushwich and East Flatbush.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Eating champ Kobayashi beats world meatball record at Fulton Ferry Landing. That's 29 meatballs in one minute! DumboNYC

- A new restaurant appears to be coming to Bridgeview Tower at 189 Bridge St. Brooklyn Paper 

- A group of ultra-Orthodox rabbis says smoked salmon should no longer be considered kosher because the fish often contain parasitic worms. NY Post

- "The appetite of a hunter comes in handy at Vinegar Hill House," writes NYC Food Guy. Skip the appetizers and move right on to the entrees.  NYC Food Guy

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Coney Island History Project Open House March 28

The Coney Island History Project's public exhibition center under the Cyclone roller coaster will host an open house to celebrate Coney Island's and the Cyclone's opening day on Sunday, March 28 from 12-3 p.m.

All are invited invited to view historic artifacts, photographs, maps, ephemera and films of Coney Island's colorful past and preview selections from the History project's 2010 exhibition season. Admission is free of charge.

Photo courtesy of the Coney Island History Project

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Little Bear in DUMBO

This jolly little bear (that's our interpretation, anyway) stands outside of the Spring 3D studio on Front Street in DUMBO.

Photo by MK Metz

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gov. Patterson To Hold Town Hall in Brooklyn Monday

New York Gov. Patterson will hold a budget town hall meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Monday, March 8, to give the public an opportunity to discuss the budget and fiscal issues.

Members of the public who wish to attend are asked to RSVP at (212) 681-7123. Seating is limited and will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis.  More details here.

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Students Go Wild in Brooklyn Heights, Gross Hipsters, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Cuomo and Ravitch get ready, just in case . . .   Gothamist 

- Attention: Aromatherapy for dogs has been rescheduled for March 11.  Brokelyn

- Students go wild on Pineapple Street.  BHB

- MTA to Brooklyn: The cuts aren’t as bad as they were when they were really bad.  Brooklyn Paper

- Nancy Webster has been appointed as the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy's executive director.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn hipsters in blanket forts: cute or gross?  NY Magazine

- Animated plans of I.M. Pei's never-built NYC Hyperboloid.  TRD

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE. Is Back is back up and running earlier than we expected. Thanks for your patience everybody.

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Friday, March 5, 2010 Will Be Back Up in 48 Hours

We apologize for the mix up with the web address folks. It will be back up in 48 hours.

Until then, please access McBrooklyn with

Thanks for your patience

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Sid's Hardware Files for Chapter 11, DUMBO Puppets Offend, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Sid's Hardware in Downtown Brooklyn files for Chapter 11.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Former Mayor Ed Koch plans coup to take over Albany.  Gothamist

- Construction incident at 360 Smith Street.  PMFA

- Arrests, protests, unruly happenings: Everybody is against the MTA's cuts in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- DUMBO puppets offend some members of the Hindu community. Gothamist

- Adventures in outdoor meat drying. (Your neighbors will love you . . .)  Brokelyn

-  Police jargon, explained.  NY Times City Room

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Brooklyn Heights in 1836

“A View of Lower Manhattan and South Street From Brooklyn Heights,” painted by John Burford in 1836, was auctioned Thursday at Christie’s. (You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.) 

Notice the windmill. Anyone know if the area shown is today's Fulton Ferry Landing? 

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NY Premiere of "Homewrecker" Friday, March 12 in Brooklyn Heights

The Institute of Magical Dance presents the New York premiere of Homewrecker, a film by Brad & Todd Barnes, Friday, March 12, at 7:00 pm at Founders Hall, St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

Winner: Best of NEXT, Sundance Film Festival, 2010: “The last romantic in New York City is an ex-con locksmith on work release.”

The cast and crew of Homewrecker will be there. Doors open at 7:00 pm, film begins at 7:20 pm. A very special raffle prize drawing will take place and a Q & A with the cast and crew will follow the screening.

The screening is a fundraiser for the Brooklyn Aikikai Scholarship Program. The funds raised will be used to subsidize the travel expenses of four dedicated female students as they travel to Japan this spring for intensive aikido and misogi training at Hombu Dojo and Ichikukai Dojo in Tokyo.

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Incredible Rube Goldberg Apparatus: OK Go's 'This Too Shall Pass'

This incredible Rube Goldbergian contraption was built for the video of "This Too Shall Pass" off of the album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky." The video was filmed in a two story warehouse in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The machine was designed and built by the band, along with members of Synn Labs ( ) over the course of several months. Directed by James Frost, OK Go and Syyn Labs. Produced by Shirley Moyers.

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'Villains Vaudeville' -- Tonight in Williamsburg

Le Chat Noir Presents: Villains Vaudeville --A Night of Music, Film, and Performance
Premiering: Kendra Morris' music video "Telephones"
Trailers for "CUT", "Werewolf", and "S&M"

March 4th, 9pm (open bar 9-10pm)
Note: Online ticket sales are now closed. Please purchase your tickets at the door.
Public Assembly, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn (between Wythe and Kent)

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time to Get Riled: Billionaires vs. Brooklyn's Best Bar

Want to get really mad about something? This excellent video by ReasonTV will have you wanting to throw yourself in font of the bulldozers, too.

It may sound like China but this abuse of eminent domain is happening right here in Brooklyn. Thriving homes and businesses have been seized by the state on a false pretense and then immediately handed over to the billionaire boys for private gain. Meanwhile, the destruction of the "best bar in America" fast approaches.

Ratner plans to break ground on the site on March 11, if not before. Customers plan to handcuff themselves to the bar, and a state senator will lie down in front of the bulldozers.

ReasonTV: "Ratner, whose partners in the venture include rapper Jay Z and the Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, stands to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars on the deal, all thanks to the brute force of the state."

- Ratner, the Nets and the Russian Billionaire 
- Funny Crowd at Ratner's 'Brooklyn Day' Rally
- Q: What Do Anheuser-Bush, Izod, Foxwoods and Cushman & Wakefield Have to Do With Forest City Ratner?
- Brooklyn Museum Ratner Protest: Dress Formal
- Walkathon Against Atlantic Yards Oct. 14
- Atlantic Yards: Uh, Is It Too Late to Stop the Check?
- Another Erie Atlantic Yards Occurrence: 'Ratner Curse?'
- Ward Bakery Rains Down On Cars Below

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'What Would Bob Say ?' -- Remembering Bob Guskind

Phil DePaolo, community activist in Williamsburg sent CORD (Carroll Gardens Coalitions for Respectful Development) a letter reminding us that that one year ago Bob Guskind, passionate Brooklyn community activist and author of the Gowanus Lounge blog, died.

DePaolo's letter -- "What Would Bob Say?" -- is a moving memorial to the mark that Bob left on Brooklyn. He writes about what Bob would be proud of today ("he would be thrilled and very proud of the residents of Gowanus who won a Superfund designation yesterday over the objections of the Mayor") and what would piss him off  (what happened at Atlantic Yards).

Read the letter here (you'll have to scroll down a bit to see it.)

You can still see Bob Guskind's writing and thoughts at and

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Gowanus Canal Superfund Designation: Who's Happy, Who's Sad, and What Do the Werewolves Think?

Now that the contaminated Gowanus Canal is the country's newest Superfund site, we thought it'd be nice to draw up a list of who's happy and who's sad. Here it is:

State Senator Velmanette Montgomery
State Senator Daniel Squadron
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez
State Assembly Member Joan Millman
Councilman Brad Lander
The Municipal Art Society
Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy
Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus
Other community groups
Most local residents

Mayor Michele Bloomberg
Toll Brothers
Buddy Scotto
Bill de Blasio
Bayside Fuel Oil
Gowanus Canal Community Development Corp.
National Grid, the Navy, Con Ed and roughly 20 other polluting companies

We're not sure where Brooklyn's werewolves fall on this issue. According to A Werewolf Blog in Brooklyn, some of them use the Gowanus Canal "as a means of transport and hideout whilst terrorizing the boroughs." There seems to be a question about the canal remaining suitable for Hell Hounds after the cleanup.

In any case, EPA will hold its third general public meeting to discuss next steps with community residents and stakeholders on Thursday, March 4th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of P.S. 58, 330 Smith St.

Sources: Pardon Me for Asking blog; Brooklyn Eagle;the Brooklyn Ink; the New York Times

Photo courtesy of Dept. of City Planning

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Tonight in Brooklyn: Two Big Meetings and a Happy Hour

- Tonight, Wednesday -- March 3rd -- the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is having a public hearing about proposed service cuts and getting rid of discount student MetroCards. 6 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway. More at CWNA

- Also tonight, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is hosting a Town Hall Meeting for public school parents, students and educators. The goal is to to figure out how to increase parental engagement in NYC's public education system. Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom at 209 Joralemon St. From 7 - 9 p.m. More at CWNA  

- Is it all just too much? Join the Cobble Hill Association's Happy Hour at Watty & Meg. 6 p.m. More at Cobble Hill Association

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blogging Brownsville's Skies for Aliens, Etc.

Those recent videos of UFOs over Williamsburg have created a frisson of excitement across the media. (We've always wanted to use the word frisson in a post.)

Now we've heard from Yvonne, who lives in Brownsville and blogs about UFOs, aliens and government secrets. Her web site is called "Blogging Brownsville's Sky's for Aliens, UFOs and Stargates" and it's packed with interesting videos.

The blog description reads: "I've google searched and read mountains of UFO documents and have come to a stunning conclusion that needs to be blogged. The rabbit hole is deep and leads to information people have been killed for even speaking about. But I'm not scared - I'm here online in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Who's going to believe me?"

We believe you Yvonne!

Photo by Kevin Dooley, Creative Commons license

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Four City Pools to Close, BP Markowitz Throws Himself a Party, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Gov. Patterson is said to have personally directed two state employees to contact the woman who had accused his aide of assaulting her. NY Times 

- Those who own businesses or homes in the footprint of Atlantic Yards do not own them anymore. Brooklyn Eagle 

- City parks' budgets about to get cut and four city pools to close. Gothamist 

- Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz drummed up $122,000 to turn his State of the Borough Address into "a carnival featuring song and dance acts, beer, food and a 'multimedia production.'" Gothamist 

- There is unrest in the forests of Brooklyn.  Brownstoner 

- Three buildings on Sackett Street were evacuated by the Office of Emergency Management yesterday.  PMFA

- A Brooklyn judge ordered the state to begin emptying adult homes of mentally disabled residents who want to live in their own apartments. NY Daily News

Brooklyn woman traffics raw milk, feeds it to her baby.  Brooklyn Paper via Gothamist

- Domino affordable housing to be permanent.  TRD 

- On Feb. 28, 1925, Brooklyn was rocked by an earthquake. It was the worst quake on the East Coast in two centuries.  Brooklyn Eagle

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Snow Mountain On Tillary Street, Downtown Brooklyn

Tillary Street heading west was closed to traffic Sunday as a huge mountain of snow was created by the Sanitation Dept.

Earth-movers dumped the snow into a wide-load snow-melting vehicle, turning it back into water. The water was poured into storm drains via hoses.

All day and night Sanitation trucks ate away at the mountain, turning solid into liquid.

Photos by MK Metz

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Creepy Snow Thing Just Plain Evil

We ran across this -- thing -- Sunday night in Cadman Park. We can't wait till it melts.

Photo by MK Metz
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