Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Crafts Fairs in Brooklyn December 1 and 2, 2012

Photo by Eob
This weekend is a great one for holiday craft fairs and parties in Brooklyn.

From old favorites like the Winter Festival and Artisan Craft Fair at Brooklyn Friends School to the hip new Brooklyn Night Bazaar, Brooklynites looking for an alternative to the big chains will be buying their presents from small-time crafts people this weekend.

Here are a few:

- The Brooklyn Night Bazaar: A holiday fair with good food and music, this year's Bazaar is taking place every Friday and Saturday from November 23 until December 22. Williamsburg. More here.

- Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair: December 1, presented by the Old Stone House and Honey and Wax Booksellers. Features "rare and extraordinary books" from booksellers from across Brooklyn, and a reading of a rare first edition copy of The Gift of the Magi, by a (spoiler alert) surprise Brooklyn lit notable. More here.

- Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, a two day show of items crafted by the "Etsy NY Team" December 1 and 2 in Williamsburg. More at

- Winter Festival and Artisan Craft Fair at Brooklyn Friends School:  A holiday shopping event combined with a children's carnival on on Saturday December 1. More than 40 vendors, food, plenty of activities for kids, book sale, skateboard demo and more. Pearl Street in Downtown Brooklyn near the Marriott. Details here.

- P.S. 8 Holiday Craft Fair: family annual fundraising event on December 1 is designed to bring the P.S. 8 community in Brooklyn Heights together for an afternoon of crafting, shopping and eating. Info here.

*** Many more holiday fairs and shopping ops listed at the Brooklyn Eagle. ***

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Perfect Gift for that Special Brooklyn Someone: A Rosie All-in-One Chicken Coop

Your shopping is over: Here's the must-have gift of a lifetime for that special Brooklynite in your life. We'll let the PR speak for itself:

"Victory Chicken, New York City’s premier provider of backyard chicken coops, has launched a special holiday version of its signature Rosie All-in-one coop-and-bird package just in time for the 2012 holidays.

The Holiday Rosie package includes a coop and run (built in Bushwick, Brooklyn) along with 3 adolescent hens, two months of supplies, Victory Chicken’s “Chicken 101” training for the new chicken keeper and a soon-to-be-iconic Victory Chicken T-shirt.

Purchasers also get an elegant Willy Wonka-esque Certificate Of Announcement for all of the above, made to be handed off on the holiday of your choice to the aspiring chicken keeper in your life."

The entire package costs $785 in Brooklyn only, or can be purchased on a rent to own basis with a $300 down payment and then $50/month for a year. (More to deliver outside of Brooklyn.)

To find out more, visit, email or call (347) 803-0777.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Quadrozzi Wants to Expand Brooklyn Shipping Empire with Toxic Sludge

Brooklyn concrete company head John Quadrozzi wants to dredge toxic sludge from the Gowanus Canal Superfund site, barge it to Red Hook and dump it into the Gowanus Bay to expand his shipping terminal, DNAinfo reports.

The proposal would allow Quadrozzi's Gowanus Bay Terminal to accommodate larger ships and enlarge the property that Quadrozzi rents to industrial businesses.

The EPA declined to comment. Many more details here.

Photo courtesy Dept. of City Planning

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Broker in Brooklyn Defrauds Customers Out of Millions

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has charged a Greenpoint, Brooklyn brokerage firm with defrauding three customers out of more than $4 million, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

The firm, TWS Financial, is headed by Polish-born Roman Sledziejowski and catered to the Polish immigrant community in Brooklyn.

Sledziejowski’s attorney told the Eagle that the charges have "only been made within FINRA, not within the legal system."

TWS's website says, "All client funds are deposited with top-rated and secure financial institutions, client funds are deposited with JP Morgan Chase Bank . . ."

Only maybe they weren't.

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Caring for Imortal Jellyfish is a Full Time Job

Photo: Wild Guru Larry
There is a man in Japan that has spent the last 15 years caring for a brood of immortal jellyfish -- a form of life that, instead of dying when it gets old, ages backwards until it's a baby and then starts growing old again.

He's the only person who knows how to take care of them -- and it is a full-time job, caring for the immortal jellyfish. Full story at the New York Times.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Dad Shows He Cares by Swinging Chain at Kid's High School

Brooklyn dad Michael Canaii (pictured above in FB) showed up at his daughter's Manhattan high school swinging a heavy chain with a padlock at students, yelling that his daughter was smoking weed, and demanding to speak to the principal.

The NY Post reports that he was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and pot possession.

A number of Post commenters expressed the opinion that Canii (whose daughter lives with her mother) was "just looking out for his kid." Thanks, dad.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Madonna's Bra; New Gas Pipeline; Holiday House Decorations; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Court issues restraining order for Carroll Gardens homeless shelter. Brooklyn Eagle

- Coming to the Brooklyn Museum: Madonna’s provocative conical bra that she wore on her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. NY Daily News

- A new natural gas pipeline is coming to Brooklyn and Queens, after President Barack Obama cleared the way for it to be built on Tuesday. DNAinfo

- Looters stole over $100,000 worth of equipment from schools after Hurricane Sandy. Gothamist

- The 10 best Dyker Heights holiday house decorations. The FW

- Awesome ‘Global Rainbow’ over NYC honors Sandy victims. Brooklyn Eagle  

 - Mock all you want, but if you want to write literary fiction or poetry, "Brooklyn is still the place to be." The Millions 

- A U.N. report says sea levels are rising faster than projected. Reuters

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Your Couch Is Probably Making You Sick

Photo by Chris H Connelly
Up to 85 percent of couches have been found to contain toxic flame retardants, a number of newspapers reported yesterday, including USA Today.

Flame retardants are linked to hormone disruption, cancer and neurological toxicity, according to scientists.

Children of mothers who had retardants in their blood during pregnancy had lower birth weight, lower IQ scores and other problems.

Devilishly, flame retardants are even more dangerous when they burn -- and they burn like crazy, researchers say.

After catching fire, they emit toxic gases, soot and smoke that account for most fire deaths and injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

So why use them? USA Today says: "An investigation earlier this year by The Chicago Tribune, citing tobacco industry documents, found that tobacco companies surreptitiously pushed for flame-retardant furniture -- rather than fire-safe cigarettes -- as the best way to reduce house fires."

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

You Did Not Win the Powerball Lottery

The Powerball lottery numbers for November 28, 2012 have been announced and you can be fairly certain that you did not win the biggest jackpot in history -- $579 million.

A university math professor told ABC News that a person is three times more likely to die from a falling coconut than win the Powerball.

However, even if you didn't correctly pick all five white balls and the red Powerball numbers, don't throw away that ticket(s) until you see if you got any numbers right. There are smaller prizes for partial matches.

If you get all 5 white balls right (but not the Powerball) you still win a million dollars. If you got four white balls right you win $100. Even if you just pick the one red ball correctly, you win $4. There are nine possible winning combinations -- check them out here.

If you haven't yet crumpled your worthless tickets, the winning numbers are: 5-23-16-22-29-Powerball 6.

And if you did win, here's some advice from financial experts.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shopping Deals and Holiday Discount Coupons 2012 on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn

Attention shoppers: McBrooklyn has gathered a slew of holiday shopping discount coupons for stores up and down Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Click on the image or on the name of the store to find the full-size coupons, print them, and bring them with you to the store. Don't make poor-quality copies -- they have to be scannable. Check the dates: Some run out November 30; others are good through December 3, 4 or 5; while still others are good till Christmas.

Good shopping!

Aeropostal offers $25 off when you spend $100 or more in the store through November 30. Aeropostal is located at 472 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn (and also at Kings Plaza). * * * A second coupon good through December 24 can be found here. * * *

Macy's has several printable coupons -- like this one for 25% off most items, good through December 3.
Get a WOW Pass for December 4 and 5 here. (422 Fulton Street.)

Here's a coupon for Children's Place good for 15% off through December 31. Located at 485 Fulton Street. (Note: We found this one on a coupon website, not the store website, so we can't swear it will work. Let us know.)

If you buy stuff worth $75 or more at the Gap Factory store at 400  Fulton Street, you can get 15% off through February 28, 2013.

Here's an interesting proposition: Modell's (at both 360 and 464 Fulton) will accept coupons from competitors! They have to be for the identical item, and can't be used for certain purchases. See rules here.

Conway is offering 50% off any item in the entire store with a purchase of $20 or more. Not bad! Expires 12/31/2012. (427 Fulton Street.)

Are you driving? Park for $12 a day using this coupon at Supreme 85 Parking, 85 Livingston Street (between Adams Street and Court Street) in Downtown Brooklyn. Good till Dec. 31, 2012.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Standing In the Shadows, on Atlantic Avenue

Mysterious shadowmen seem to emerge from reflected buildings on Atlantic Avenue, at the Bertrand Delacroix Gallery in Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklynite Held in Bolivian Jail May Have Been Fleeced

Jacob Ostreicher by Judae1
Here's a cautionary tale: Brooklyn resident Jacob Ostreicher has been imprisoned in Bolivia for 18 months without any charges being filed. He was arrested in a money-laundering investigation but no evidence has been presented.

While in jail, he claims that corrupt officials have fleeced him, seizing 18,000 metric tons of rice from his farming venture, selling most of it, and pocketing the cash, according to the Timesleader.

According to Wikipedia, Ostreicher and Geneva lawyer Andre Zolty, along with others, invested at least $25 million in the rice farming project in 2008. 

Jose Manuel Antezana, an official in the Presidential Ministry, was arrested Monday and accused of receiving $9,900 in proceeds from the sale of Ostreicher's rice in a personal bank account -- and Ostreicher says he was told that more arrests were coming.

But he's still in jail.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Accused Rapist Nechemya Weberman Goes to Trial in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Supreme Court/
The trial of accused Williamsburg Hasidic rapist Nechemya Weberman began Monday in Brooklyn. Weberman allegedly sexually abused a young Hasidic girl for years.

Since coming forward, the woman, now 18, and her husband have allegedly been the target of a massive intimidation effort. Brooklyn Eagle

More at Failed Messiah and NY Daily News

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Unemployed New Yorkers: Apply for Sandy Cleanup Jobs! The Brooklyn Headhunter

Gov. Cuomo visits Rockaway Sunday with Congressman Meeks & NYS Sen. Smith
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the state has secured a $27 million federal grant that will hire more than 5,000 unemployed New Yorkers to work helping clean-up communities still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

The funding will be provided to communities to quickly hire young people and the unemployed to help with clean-up efforts.

“The enormous amount of work to be done gives us a chance to provide young and unemployed New Yorkers with job opportunities cleaning up their communities,” Governor Cuomo said.

People who are interested in applying for a job  are encouraged to contact the Department of Labor at 1-888-4-NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365) or by visiting

All individuals must be unemployed to be eligible. Once hired, workers will earn approximately $15 per hour to work on short and long-term projects. The work will include cleaning and repairing damaged public structures and property in each of the nine counties declared disaster areas.

In addition, Governor Cuomo said that the state has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to launch a local hire program to replace FEMA employees, often from out of state, with New Yorkers. The goal is to hire upwards of 700 New Yorkers.

Individuals interested in applying for a job with FEMA should visit Governor Cuomo’s Jobs Express website at

The full-time, temporary positions range from Community Relations Specialists providing outreach to the disaster-stricken communities, to administrative assistants.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Regulations Would Eliminate 'Too Much Parking' in Downtown Brooklyn

Photo: takomabibelot
Today a City Council panel will be considering new zoning regulations that would eliminate parking spaces in Downtown Brooklyn.

It seems that many residents of Downtown Brooklyn don't own cars and spaces in residential developments are going empty.

The New York Times reports the new.regulations would allow developers who already have built excess parking to convert the unneeded space to other uses.

BP Marty Markowitz thinks some of those spaces should be converted into bicycle parking -- not a bad idea, but one the Council will not consider.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Shopping at the Brooklyn Flea Holiday Market

Alphaville table. Photo: MK Metz
We dropped into the Brooklyn Flea's holiday market at the Williamsburg Bank building (1 Hanson Place in Fort Greene) over the weekend to make a desultory stab at holiday shopping.

If you're wondering where all the shoppers were this weekend, that would be here. The cathedral-like space was packed but not too claustrophobic. (At least not upstairs. You'll never get us into the vault.)

Vendors included Odette Williams with nice presents for kids: child-size striped cooking aprons with a big pocket in front stuffed with wooden cooking utensils; vintage sunglasses and toys at Alphaville (shown above); fancy-schmancy cutting boards from Gowanus Furniture shown below (the kind you're too
Photo: MK Metz
cheap to buy for yourself); and all kinds of jewelry, art and clever things made out of re-purposed other things.

We also bought a delicious loaf of yeasty raisin bread at the Commerce Bakery booth to bring to a friend.

The holiday market returns for four more weekends with more than 100 vendors.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Riding the 'Speakeasy Silverliner' in Philly

Photo: MK Metz
While the subway in Brooklyn sometimes looks and smells like a speakeasy, in Philadelphia they got the real thing.

We traveled to Philly over Thanksgiving and rode the "Speakeasy Silverliner."

The custom train car (part of SEPTA, Southeastern Philadelphia's MTA) was decorated inside and out with graphics including flappers, Al Capone,  a bartender pouring martinis, liquor cabinets and a faux tin ceiling.

The car publicized "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" exhibition on display at the National Constitution Center.

It was pretty amazing (also clean and untouched). Wonder if something like this could work on the New York City subway?

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Where to Shop in Brooklyn Today: Small Business Saturday

Photo: MK Metz
Thanks goodness Black Friday is over! Now that we've survived that mess, it's time for Small Business Saturday (today, November 24, 2012), when local shops and small crafts-people offer special deals and holiday activities.

Brooklyn goes in for Small Business Saturday in a big way (and American Express will kick in $25 towards your shopping spree if you have a card).

In Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, shops along Fulton Street and Myrtle Avenue are offering trolley rides, Santa Claus, music and kid's activities today. Businesses along Atlantic Avenue will join in with holiday carolers, trolley rides up and down the avenue, holiday lights and refreshments. DUMBO shops are also getting in on Small Business Saturday by donating a percentage to Sandy victims. More details about these events at the Brooklyn Eagle.

According to Amex, dozens of shops in Park Slope, especially along 7th Avenue (between 1st and 7th Streets) and nearby side streets are also participating. In Williamsburg, numerous shops along Graham and Bushwick Avenues between Scholes and Seigel Streets and along nearby Meserole Street are getting in on the action.

In East New York, look for participating businesses in the rectangle bounded by Fountain Avenue, Sutter Avenue, the Belt Parkway, and N. Conduit Blvd. Sheepshead Bay and Bay Ridge are also Small Business Saturday hot spots. See the map for exact locations.

Additionally, this weekend marks the start of the annual Brooklyn Night Bazaar, at 45 N. 5th Street (between Wythe and Kent) in Williamsburg.

The Bazaar takes place every Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight through December 22nd. Expect live music, creative and artisanal Brooklyn vendors, art, and delicious food and drink.

Also, don't forget the Brooklyn Flea's Holiday Gift Market takes place this Saturday and Sunday at One Hanson Place (Williamsburg Bank Building) in Fort Greene.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Donate a Turkey to Operation Sandy in Brooklyn

Turkey recipe here.
#OccupySandy has been getting requests from all over New York City for turkeys during the Thanksgiving Holiday season.

For example: They need to collect 2,000 turkeys to be donated to residents of hard-hit Coney Island, Brooklyn. Fresh turkeys can be dropped off or shipped to:

Coney Island Generation Gap
2904 Neptune Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11224

If you want to cook a turkey or are working to provide hot meals in your area Occupy will do the driving and provide the volunteers.

Cooked turkey donations should either be delivered to The Church of St. Luke & St, Matthew at 520 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn or be ready to be picked up by #SandyVolunteer drivers at 10 AM on Thursday, November 22nd.

Get more details about the operation here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Some People Want You to Stay Home on Black Friday

Now there's an "Opt Out of Black Friday" movement. You know, where you visit friends and family instead of joining the midnight shopping frenzy.

Story of Stuff is behind the movement to "Buy nothing. Do something."

There's even a pledge: "I pledge to skip the mall and stay home with friends and family this Black Friday. Instead of spending money on things I don't need, I will spend my time with the people that I love."

But what about the economy, you ask? Isn't it every citizen's duty to spend money like a drunken sailor during the "holiday season?"

You can always support your local small businesses and buy yer stuff on "Small Business Saturday." Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue will plug into this Saturday’s event and kick off the holiday shopping season with a bunch of free festivities and holiday happenings.

No lines, no frenzy. Probably some free cider, too, if it's anything like last year.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'John Doe Duffle Bag' Picked Up; Kids Can Go to School Online; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A Staten Island man in his 60s, dubbed "John Doe Duffel Bag," was picked up by police for questioning in connection with a series of shopkeeper slayings, ABC News reports.

- Kids affected by Hurricane Sandy can go to school online now. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Some local people protested the opening of the new Armani Exchange at the former Albee Square Mall on Saturday. The Local

- Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley want a serious review of the New York City 911 system, which couldn't keep up with call volume during Hurricane Sandy. Brooklyn Eagle

- U.S. food banks raise alarm as drought dents government supplies. Reuters

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rockaway Starts Petition for FEMA Emergency Housing

With tens of thousands of people in the Rockaways still living without heat, electricity, or running water almost three weeks after Superstorm Sandy, Rockaways groups under the banner of "Greater NYC for Change" have started a petition urging FEMA to set up emergency housing there.

FEMA, however, says there's no space for FEMA trailers in densely-populated New York City, and very limited available rental apartments and hotels. So they are "bent on making flood-soaked homes inhabitable as winter weather moves in," according to CNN.

Officials are focusing on getting power restored, and are jerry-rigging structural repairs to make the homes adequate shelters for incoming winter weather. Repairs could include tarps, plastic and plywood, says CNN.

According to the Queens Tribune, the Long Island Power Authority has removed the Rockaways from its power outage map, citing the area as simply too damaged by Superstorm Sandy to restore electrical service at this time.

About 10,000 people have signed the petition for FEMA housing so far.

The photo above shows a type of emergency alternative housing designed by the Federation of American Scientists that is safer than the FEMA trailers used after Hurricane Katrina, which emitted dangerous formaldehyde.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Criminal Minds' -Type Experts Called In; Bullet Through Both Cheeks; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Meeting at Borough Hall November 29 on the design for the first residential building at Atlantic Yards. Atlantic Yards Report

- "Criminal Minds" type profile experts to work on the murders of the three Brooklyn shopkeepers. Brooklyn Eagle

- A woman was washing dishes in her Crown Heights kitchen when a bullet came in through her right cheek and went out through her left. NY Post

- The city slapped down a volunteer group’s plan to cut up uprooted trees blocking Brooklyn streets in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. Brooklyn Daily

- The Gowanus Canal has gone through a war. PMFA

- Where to make last-minute reservations for Thanksgiving. Carroll Gardens Patch

- The new city District Council map, explained. Brooklyn Eagle 

- The EPA has suddenly decided to clean up an atomic bomb site in Queens contaminated with the radioactive element thorium since the 1930s. Queens Crap

- Just in case: here's how to make your own Twinkies. Gawker

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Many Hands Clapping: Buddhist Group Donates $10 Million to Sandy Victims

The Tzu Chi Foundation, a Buddhist disaster relief organization, is donating an amazing $10 million to Superstorm Sandy victims in New York City -- in the form of Visa debit cards.

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that eligible families can sign up for cards loaded with $600, which they can use wherever Visa cards are accepted, which means almost anywhere.

The group is also distributing blankets and bags containing daily necessities.

City Comptroller John Liu announced the gift Sunday outside P.S. 277 in Gerritsen Beach.

The words ‘Tzu Chi’ mean ‘Compassionate Relief’ in Mandarin. More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Julemarked! Danish Seamen's Church 2012 Christmas Fair, Brooklyn

Good cheer all around at the Danish Seamen's Church 2012 Christmas Fair in Brooklyn Heights this past Saturday and Sunday. In the courtyard above, folks enjoyed Danish-style snacks, frikadeller (like meatballs) and sweets, along with beer and a delicious hot mulled alcoholic drink called glogg.

Christmas ornaments, elfs, angels, candles and holiday crafts filled the hall. Danes and Swedes do Christmas with great spirit. We bought ribbon, present tags, decorations and a raffle ticket. (Top prize = tickets to Denmark).

Danish Seamen's Church translation: "Danske Sømandskirke."

A second fair location -- at nearby Plymouth Church -- featured the restaurant with open-faced sandwiched (smørrebrød) and other food.

Did you miss it? See other upcoming holiday fairs here.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Deadline for Free Barclays Tickets; Rosanna Cash for Red Hook; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Last Smorgasburg of the season in DUMBO on Sunday. MK Metz
- Registration deadline coming up for free tickets to events at Barclays Arena. Atlantic yards Report

- Grammy-winning country music artist Rosanne Cash will headline a benefit at The Bell House on Wednesday, Nov. 21, to raise funds for flooded Red Hook.

- Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is reopening at 6 a.m. today (Monday). Trucks will remain banned until further notice, but all other traffic is good to go in both directions. NY Magazine

- The Silent Barn do-it-yourself art collective will be moving to Bushwick after its location in Queens was shut down by police and saw all its equipment stolen. CBS

- Hurricane Sandy will change the way New York is built, experts say. TRD 

- Our new favorite 72-year-old grandpa. Offbeat China via Gothamist

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Con Ed Hurricane Sandy Mobile Posts in NYC Closing Today

Photo: Con Ed
The Con Edison mobile posts set up in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island following Hurricane Sandy are closed as of today (Monday, November 19), but there will be a Con Edison representative at the following locations:

NYC Restoration Center, Coffey Park, Verona Street (between Richard & Dwight Street)
Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

American Legion Hall(Broad Channel), 209 Cross Bay Blvd
Hours: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Staten Island:
1976 Hylan Blvd,(former Manfredi Mazda dealership)
Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Do you have questions about the self-certification process? Contact Con Edison Energy Services,
seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. In Brooklyn, call 718-802-6349.

See here for other boroughs and more info.

If your electrical equipment is storm damaged, see here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Boarded Up Rice Kind of a Downer in DUMBO

Photo: MK Metz
That old DUMBO standby Rice has been closed since mid-October; now the boards nailed over its windows give Washington Street a post-Sandy look.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Person of Interest' Filming Around Brooklyn

Photo: MK Metz
Person of Interest has been filming around Brooklyn this past week -- in Brooklyn Heights on Wednesday (shown above on Schermerhorn Street near Court Street in a nighttime shoot); and around 3rd Street between 4th and 5th Avenue on Saturday.
Michael Emerson by zsumoz

Person of Interest stars Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman, Taraji P. Henson, Jim Caviezel and more.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, November 16, 2012

How To Get Tickets to Obama's Inauguration; and More Brooklyn Briefs

River Cafe closed.  Photo: MK Metz
- Want to attend Obama’s inauguration? Schumer has tickets! Brooklyn Eagle

- There's a crime spree on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. Here's Park Slope

- The beautiful, century-old Linden tree in Carroll Park fell during the storm and is being cut up and hauled away. PMFA

- Williamsburg cinemas ready for December opening. DNAinfo 

- Report: Majority of Americans not prepared for major disaster. Sheepshead Bites

- Grants for community projects offered now, including hurricane relief. Brooklyn Bureau

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn 2012 Holiday Fair Roundup

Photo by Eob
The weather has turned cold, and holiday fairs are starting to come fast and furious in Brooklyn. This weekend two great fairs take place -- the Danish Seaman's Church Christmas Fair in Brooklyn Heights and the Renegade Craft Holiday Fair in Williamsburg.

Like to browse handmade stuff, listen to music and drink hot cider? Here's a list of many of the holiday fairs coming up in Brooklyn.

- The Danish Seamen's Church 2012 Christmas Fair at 102 Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights takes place on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18. Danish art, crafts and delicacies: Christmas ornaments, fritters, frikadeller (like meatballs) and candy, with a Danish bar in the courtyard. A second location -- at nearby Plymouth Church -- hosts the restaurant with open-faced sandwiches, beer and mulled wine. More here.

- Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market will take place on November 17 and 18 at the East River State Park in Williamsburg. Crafters, hands-on workshops, food, music, more. Info here.

- The Brooklyn Night Bazaar: One part holiday fair, one part foodie destination, and one part concert series, this year's Bazaar is taking place every Friday and Saturday from November 23 until December 22. Williamsburg. More here.

- Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair: December 1, presented by the Old Stone House and Honey and Wax Booksellers. Features "rare and extraordinary books" from booksellers from across Brooklyn, and a reading of a rare first edition copy of The Gift of the Magi, by a (spoiler alert) surprise Brooklyn lit notable. More here.

- Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, a two day show of items crafted by the "Etsy NY Team" December 1 and 2 in Williamsburg. More at

- Winter Festival and Artisan Craft Fair at Brooklyn Friends School:  A holiday shopping event combined with a children's carnival on on Saturday December 1. More than 40 vendors, food, plenty of activities for kids, book sale, skateboard demo and more. Pearl Street in Downtown Brooklyn near the Marriott. Details here.

- P.S. 8 Holiday Craft Fair: family annual fundraising event on December 1 is designed to bring the P.S. 8 community in Brooklyn Heights together for an afternoon of crafting, shopping and eating. Info here.

- P.S. 321 Holiday Shop takes place on Saturday, December 8, at 180 7th Avenue, Park Slope. Lots of artisanal vendors, arts & crafts, hair braiding. More here.

- 3rd Ward's sixth annual Handmade Holiday Craft Fair features great and unique DIY items from jewelry to art. Saturday Dec 15. Details here.

Did we miss any? Let us know at

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sahadi's in Brooklyn Has Expanded

Baklava from Sahadi's. MK Metz
Sahadi’s famous retail store in Brooklyn Heights has just completed an expansion and renovation, connecting the interiors of 187-189 Atlantic Ave. with 191 next door, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. The square footage of the main store has increased by 2,000 feet

Among the changes detaild by the Eagle: The coffee bins now have their own boutique, where customers can order a home supply "while enjoying a cuppa of fresh-brewed joe." The deli has also expanded.

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Russians Lose Control of Satellites -- Is LIPA Involved?

A road crew near Moscow accidentally cut a communications cable and now Russia has lost control of most of its civilian satellites.

“Communications have been lost between civilian ground-based tracking, command and control stations,” the source told RIA Novosti, according to Satnews.

It will require at least 48 hours to fix the problem, the source said. This could place on hold the return of three personnel from the International Space Station.

Americans can't talk -- we have the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). While LIPA probably had nothing to do with the Russian cable problem, they've certainly treated some American customers like they were in Siberia.

LIPA received a subpoena Wednesday in response to their bungled response to Hurricane Sandy.

About the photo: Screenshot from Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), a film classic by Georges Méliès

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Did You Know You Can Stand Your Car at a Fire Hydrant During the Day but Not at Night?

Photo: David Boyle
In the legal weirdness category: Currently, drivers in New York City are allowed to temporarily stand at fire hydrants during daylight hours, but not at night.

Councilman David G. Greenfield (44th council district: Bensonhurst, Boro Park, and Midwood) says in an email that he heard from irate constituents who received tickets after dropping off passengers near fire hydrants at night.

So yesterday he introduced what he calls "common sense legislation" in the City Council that would allow motorists to temporarily stop at fire hydrants at all times as long "as they are ready to immediately move their vehicle in the case of an emergency."

“Allowing drivers to temporarily stop at fire hydrants to pick up and drop off passengers will reduce emissions from vehicles circling the block, free up other parking spaces and reduce double parking, which often brings our commercial strips to a standstill," he said.

Earlier this year, the City Council passed Greenfield’s legislation ending the city’s use of neon stickers (remember them?) to punish drivers violating alternate-side parking laws, and he says he played an instrumental role in passing legislation to give drivers a five-minute grace period when paying for parking at a nearby Muni-Meter.

Greenfield also supported a law allowing the use of Muni-Meter receipts on different blocks than where the receipt was issued. All of these bills were passed unanimously by the City Council over the objection of Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Time for Another Round of Sandy Volunteering in Brooklyn

Volunteers sort through clothing in Red Hook. Photo: MK Metz
Thousands of New York City residents have volunteered in ways big and small to bring food, water, blankets and other supplies to Hurricane Sandy sufferers in across the city.

But people are STILL without electricity two weeks after the storm. Have you been looking for a way to help? Here's what to do:

Text ‘Brooklyn’ to 25383 to donate $10 to The Brooklyn Recovery Fund, a joint effort between the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. They funnel the money to the non-profits out in the field.

- Occupy Sandy operates a highly-lauded central command hub, sending volunteers all over the city to where help is needed most. 

- The Brooklyn Eagle has compiled a page of volunteer opportunities by neighborhood.

- Are you an animal lover or a foodie? People are needed to board displaced pets and help find owners; and people with cooking and kitchen management skills are needed to work as supervisors. See Brokelyn

- Check out New York City's service page. The entire bottom half is devoted to Sandy-related volunteer opportunities.   

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Was There Before Park Plaza Diner?

Photo: MK Metz
The Park Plaza Diner sits at the north-west corner of Cadman Plaza West and Pineapple Walk in Brooklyn Heights. We thought it would be fun to see what was in the same spot in the past.

The Park Plaza Diner was founded in 1981 by Peter Likourentzos. Old-timers remember when a Key Food stood where the diner now stands.

Further back in time:

Back in 1922 when Cadman Plaza West was still called Fulton Street (it was connected to the the Fulton Street of today in Downtown Brooklyn) an entirely different building stood on the spot, and the elevated ran in front. Pineapple Walk was Pineapple Street (see the street to the left, below). This building was constructed sometime after the great fire of 1848.

Photo: NYPL
 In 1880, Mr. Adolphe Ketchum engaged in the clothing business at the corner. According to The History Box,  Ketchum started with a small store and stock, and gradually made additions and improvements "until he gave employment to upward of one hundred hands."

Here's a description:  "Mr. Ketchum is one of the liberal employers, and does not believe in the theory of starving body and soul. Frequently during the year he gives picnics, excursions and other entertainments to his hard working employees. He owns the house in which he lives in Pearl street, together with other real estate, and is worth from $40,000 to $50,000. He is married, has an interesting family, belongs to Temple Israel and several charitable lodges."

Further back:

In 1863, the Father Matthew Total Abstinence Benefit Society occupied the building. According to the New York Times of Feb. 2, 1863:

"The new Hall of the Father Matthew Total Abstinence Benefit Society, located in Fulton-street, corner of Pineapple, was inaugurated yesterday with appropriate ceremonies . . . . It has recently been rearranged and fitted up for the above Association, and is now one of the finest and most capacious halls in the city. Societies Nos. 1 and 2 of Brooklyn, and No. 2 of New-York, assembled about 2 o'clock P.M., and, preceded by two bands of music, marched through Fulton street . . . The members all appeared in full regalia, and presented a very good appearance . . ."

The Father Matthew Society was a temperance (anti-alcohol) organization. According to the Temperance Handbook, "In the Stygian and pest-ridden Twelfth Ward of Brooklyn, not a solitary one of the 500 members of the Father Matthew Society resident therein has been attacked by cholera."

Much of the surrounding land was farmland owned by the Middagh's.

1854: Horse carts ran past this building.

1843: Different building, same lot: In 1843, the Universalist Church commenced the erection of a building on several lots they had purchased on that corner.. According to Universalist Churches, the lower part was used as stores; and the upper part, including a small building adjoining used for Sunday school purposes, was leased to the society for twenty-one years with renewals, at $600 per annum. This building was first opened and occupied June 22, 1843.

In the great fire of 1848, the building was burned; "and the society having disposed of their lots on favorable terms, purchased a lot and erected an elegant new edifice" on Monroe Place.

The fire had started in the store of George Drew at 122 Fulton Street. The houses on both sides of the street, from Poplar to Pineapple Street, from Henry to Washington (now called Cadman Plaza East) burned to the ground. Wonder why Cadman Plaza West is wider here? After the fire, the building line was set back on both sides in the devastated section, widening the street.

1830: Stage coaches ran along Fulton Street past this plot of land.

1818-1822: According to Long Island Genealogy, sign posts were erected along Fulton Street to the village limits in 1818. A gravel sidewalk was laid, curbstones were set up, and the houses were numbered in 1822.

Previous to 1817, Fulton Street was known as the Old Ferry Road. (Robert Fulton and William Cutting obtained a franchise for a ferry to begin to run in 1814 from Old Ferry landing.) The plot was almost certainly farmland.

1666: The Indian trail was widened to a road.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Brooklynites Still Without Power; Dov Hikind AWOL for Hurricane Relief; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Empire Stores.  Photo: MK Metz
- Con Ed says it has now restored power to nearly all who lost it -- not counting some 35,000 customers, many in Brooklyn. NY1

- AWOL during hurricane relief efforts, Dov Hikind comes back to town and attacks Mayor. Failed Messiah

- Brooklyn man facing felony charges for trying to cut the gas line. CBS 

- Drunk assistant D.A. in Brooklyn jailed after assaulting city EMT. NY Times 

- Since the election, Mitt Romney has lost 847 Facebook friends per hour. Mashable and Disappearing Romney

- Paul McCartney almost crashes in his helicopter. Monsters and Critics

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

2012 Plymouth Church Yankee Fair Helps Sandy Victims

Kids had a great time at Plymouth Church's Yankee Fair in Brooklyn Heights on Saturday morning. The fair is a sweet neighborhood tradition, with rides and bouncy castles on Orange Street, arts & crafts, entertainment, gifts, books and hot lunch in Hillis Hall.

Besides raising money to restore church buildings and fund scholarships for Plymouth Church School, this year proceeds are also going to the St. John's Bread and Life mobile soup kitchen, which is helping victims of Hurricane Sandy. People also dropped off donations for Red Hook Initiative, the organization helping hard-hit Red Hook.

Pony rides were a big hit, as always. The ponies came from Brooklyn Stables.

Old-fashioned cotton candy.

Home-baked goodies.

Kudos to the many volunteers who baked goods, cooked lunch and manned the booths and tables.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Shell Gas Station Reopens in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

The Shell gas station on Atlantic Avenue and Henry Street in Cobble Hill has been closed intermittently  since the Hurricane Sandy gas shortage hit.

But on Saturday, with odd-even rationing in full swing, we noticed that police had set cones to block off the southernmost lane of Atlantic Avenue and the station had reopened. A police van was parked conspicuously in front and two officers directed traffic. (The line continues along Atlantic, out of sight of the camera lens.)

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.