Friday, October 30, 2009

Dog 'Snoopy' Abducted From 80-Year-Old in Downtown Brooklyn

These flyers posted all over Downtown Brooklyn tell a tale of woe: a sweet and loving little teacup-sized Yorkshire Terrier named 'Snoopy," with a slight rear leg limp, was reportedly abducted from his heartbroken 80-year-old owner on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The owner is "sick over losing his only real friend left in his life."

A $1000 reward is offered.

A second set of flyers gives more details: Snoopy was abducted from the sidewalk of Boerum Place between Livingston and Joralemon Streets. A half a dozen young males were "hanging around" who must have seen the deed, the flyer says.

Anyone who can find out where the dog is will get the reward -- no questions asked. Call the Hope Vet Hospital, 390 Atlantic Ave. (south side between Hoyt and Bond) at 718-352-4219 if you have any information.

Photos by MK Metz

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Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Is Probably Haunted

We at McBrooklyn have written often about Brooklyn's amazing Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, discovered by Bob Diamond. (See links below.)

Diamond discovered the long-lost tunnel -- which runs under Atlantic Avenue between Boerum Place and Hicks Street -- in 1981, after hearing about the legend of a Civil War era rail tunnel on a radio show. After an eight-month search (during which he was repeatedly advised by City officials to give up on his lost cause) he struck gold -- uncovering, intact, the world's first subway tunnel.

Now (just in time for Halloween) an article in the Brooklyn Eagle reveals what may be evidence that the tunnel is haunted.

Fact: There have been sightings of a hovering green orb with a “sickish color."

Fact: Sleuths from both the Long Island Oddities and Paranormal Society and the Long Island Society for Paranormal Research have taken their voice recorders, electromagnetic field detectors and cameras into the tunnel, hoping to capture concrete proof of the haunting.

Fact: Numerous souls have met an unpleasant demise in the lonely tunnel deep below Atlantic Ave., including one body that was chopped up and embedded in the tunnel wall.

Fact: Huge spikes on electromagnetic field detectors have been recorded in the tunnel.

Fact: We still don't know What's Behind the Wall . . .

And there's more. Read all of the hair-raising details at the Brooklyn Eagle.

- 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 by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Law's Illegal Downloaders, 'Demonic' Halloween Candy and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Law School won't turn in illegal downloaders after all. Above the Law via ABA Journal

- The City Council passed a zoning proposal Wednesday that will protect 89 blocks in Carroll Gardens from being transformed by high-rise development. Brooklyn Eagle

- A slew of discounted Brooklyn brownstones are coming on the market -- but not in prime neighborhoods. The Real Deal

- Sensible bond buyers may want to think hard before they buy Atlantic Yards Nets Arena bonds. Noticing New York via The Real Deal

- Excited foodies had a full night out at Brooklyn Eats. But is the Brooklyn version of Bubble and Squeak authentic? Brooklyn Eagle

- The city's parents aren't really all that certain about the swine flu vaccine. Gothamist

- The Brooklyn Heights Association will meet with the Economic Development Corporation today to discuss banning tourist helicopter flights over Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Brooklyn Heights Blog

- Why texting is better for your health than talking on your cell phone. Huffington Post

- The Brooklyn Chili Takedown will choose Brooklyn's finest chili on Nov. 22. "There will be blood." White Trash BBQ

- The Christian Broadcasting Network warns against "demonic" Halloween candy, saying that "most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches." Huffington Post

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Transit Workers Union's 'Day of Outrage 2' -- Over the Brooklyn Bridge

In what was billed "Day of Outrage 2," the Transit Workers Union Local 100 "Took It to the Bridge" yesterday afternoon -- and all the way to City Hall.

In spite of the drizzle, hundreds gathered in Downtown Brooklyn at Cadman Plaza West and Montague Street, heard fiery speeches, then marched along Cadman Plaza, over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Manhattan.

The union is angry at the MTA, which is appealing an arbitration panel's binding decision to give transit workers 11 percent wages spread over three years. (Some legal details here.)

Union members blame Mayor Bloomberg, who has spoken out aggressively against the raises, according to the NY Times.

Getting a little support from the UFT.

Photos by MK Metz

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Low Flying Helicopters Over New York Today (Oct. 29 - 30)

McBrooklyn received this notice from new York City:

Starting 10/29/09-10/30/09 from 7AM-7PM expect low flying helicopters in and around Manhattan for the filming of a movie. Locations will be Midtown, Wall Street, George Washington Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and the Verrazano Bridge.

Could this film be "The Other Guys" -- the Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg buddy-cop comedy? (Also starring Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) The Other Guys recently filmed helicopter scenes in the city on October 8, and On Location Vacations puts them in New York City today.

Whether or not it's The Other Guys, here's an amazing clip of a stunt from the film taken on the streets of New York the other day. This clip comes from (who got it from

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Bug Dies in Brooklyn

There's nothing like a sweet little yellow VW painted with hundreds of fat red bed bugs.

This particular car, photographed in Downtown Brooklyn, states on its license plate: "BUG DIES."

Can't make it any clearer.

Photos by MK Metz

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

'Imminently Perilous' Apartments, Crowded Brooklyn Bridge Walkway and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Martha Stewart tried all the nibbles at the Brooklyn Flea on Sunday! Brooklyn Flea and Brokelyn

- Streetsblog has an eye-opening video of the crowded conditions on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway on the average day at 4:15 p.m. -- not even really rush hour. It's a wonder more people aren't killed up there! Streetsblog

- Facebook wants you to reconnect -- with dead friends. Huffington Post

- Bed-Stuy will lose its last yoga studio on Halloween. Bed-Stuy Blog

- "Damages" is filming in Ditmas Park with a powerhouse cast, headed up by Glenn Close. Filming in Brooklyn

- Brooklyn really doesn't do very well, recycling-wise. Hawthorne Street

- How does it feel to come home and find a sign on your front door saying your apartment building was "imminently perilous to life" ? (Oh, and here's the number of the Red Cross . . . ) New York Shitty

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McBrooklyn Mailbag: Reindeer Art, The Bushwick Boat, and More

With apologies to everyone who has been sending mail, we're finally listing a few things that we have totally sat on (in no particular order):

- Patrick May presents “Portrait Photo Considered Harmful” at Open Source Gallery until Nov. 3. He "remixes the familial portrait and vacation photography of social networking into mythical icons." 255 17th street between 5th and 6th Ave (street level) in South Slope, Brooklyn.

- In The Brooklyn Ink, there's a story by Alessia Pirolo called "The Bushwick Boat" -- "One of the best-kept secrets in Bushwick is a former ferry boat from the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard. It serves as a home for three men who were living down to earth existences on dry land until the boat dramatically changed their lives."

- Brad Nack 100% Reindeer Art Show: Stop by Brooklyn book and comic store Desert Island in Williamsburg on Friday, November 6 from 7 -9 p.m. to see Brad Nack's first East Coast show on his 100% Reindeer Art Tour. Check out his reindeer paintings at this free event , Desert Island, 540 Metropolitan Ave. (Take the L Train and get off on either Bedford or Lorimer and it's just a short walk.)

- The Brooklyn Flea Market reminds us that it is located at 194 20 St. (20 - 21 St. between 4th & 5th Ave.) in Brooklyn. Things for sale include: Accessories, Antiques, Arts & Crafts, Baby Gear, Beauty Supplies, Bicycles, Books, Car Accessories, CD's & DVD's, Clothing, Coins, Collectibles, Decor, Musical Instruments, etc. (This is NOT Brownstoner's Brooklyn Flea.)

- 303GRAND in Williamsburg is showing an installation by The Next Generation Design Leader Grant winner, Dongyun Lee. “Eternal Flow” opens on October 28th from 7 - 10 p.m. and runs through November 2nd at 303GRAND, located at 303 Grand St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

- Live in Boerum Hill? “Jaws,” The Hoyt Street Association’s professional chipper/shredder machine is available to shred your material on Shredding Days. Bring your leaves, branches, etc. Saturday, Nov. 7th 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Hoyt Street Garden; and Saturday Nov. 21st 11 a.m. -1 p.m. at the David Foulke Garden.

- The Experience of Green by Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen runs at DAC (Dumbo Arts Center) through November 29. Come by November 5 at 7 p.m. for an artists' talk and walkthrough. Gallery hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12-6 p.m. 30 Washington St. (F train to York Street, A/C trains to High Street.)

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Doggies On Parade for Brooklyn Heights Howl-O-Ween 2009

Dozens of dogs dressed in their finest Halloween costumes Sunday afternoon and promenaded down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for the 7th Annual Brooklyn Howl-o-Ween Doggie Costume Parade and contest.

Above is the Michael Jackson dog, a crowd favorite. (UPDATE: Some of the winners posted below.)

Tom Vasquez, of Perfect Paws, was a howl.

Here's Mummy dog. The poor thing.

Above is Rock Lobster dog, with some kind of dude dog in the background.

This is submarine sandwich dog, though it's kind of hard to see all the lettuce and tomato from this angle.

Above is a banana-thingy dog.

This high-spirited event is a charity fundraiser, organized by Perfect Paws and Friends of Hillside Dog Park.

More Halloween events can be found at the Brooklyn Eagle web site.

UPDATE -- Here are the top winners:

Best overall costume:
Jamie Tropia and her Poodle, Baby as The Phantom of the Opera

Best group or duo: Mathew Parker and Martina Sabacka with their Spinone, Guisseppe as Pilot, Flight Attendant and Airplane.

The list of all winners can be found here.

Photos by MK Metz

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Free KFC Grilled Chicken Today (Monday, Oct. 26, 2009)

Hungry? Want to try some KFC grilled chicken? Today's your lucky day -- KFC is giving away a free piece of chicken to each customer all day today, Monday, Oct. 26, 2009.

Last time they did this Oprah announced the promo on her show and KFCs across the country were overwhelmed by thousands of customers.

According to Yahoo News, KFC promises they'll be ready for the crowds this time.

No coupon necessary -- just show up hungry. Here's some nutritional information about the chicken.

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Packer Pumpkin Patch a Hit in Brooklyn Sunday

The annual Packer Pumpkin Patch was a big hit in Brooklyn Heights Sunday, with its two(!) haunted houses, carnival rides and games, arts & crafts, food, etc. Hundreds of kids, moms, dads and grandparents enjoyed the activities and the beautiful sunny day.

The school's interior was transformed into a spooky playhouse. Joralemon Street was closed from Clinton to Court to accommodate the giant inflatable bouncy rides.

Even these robots had a great time.

Photos by MK Metz

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Brooklyn Portfolio: Fully Funded and Ready for Business

The Brooklyn Portfolio, the Brooklyn Fund put together by McBrooklyn and McBrooklyn readers, became a reality Friday, October 23, with the purchase of 10 shares of each Brooklyn-related stock or ADR in the fund.

The fund (not public but anyone can copy these purchases if they like) now holds 80 shares, 10 each of the eight stocks listed below.

National Grid plc (ADR) - NGG - 48.22/share * 10 shares = 482.20
Pfizer Inc. - PFE - 17.25/share * 10 shares = 172.50

Bristol Myers Squibb Co. - BMY - 22.24/share * 10 shares = 222.40

Corning Incorporated - GLW - 15.65/share * 10 shares = 156.50

Nathan's Famous - NATH - 14.38/share * 10 shares = 143.80

Dime Community Bancshares - DCOM - 11.59/share * 10 shares = 115.90

Novartis AG (ADR) - NVS - 51.89/share * 10 shares = 518.90

Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank - BFSB - 12.10/share * 10 shares = 121.00

The initial cost of the all the shares was $1933.20. (We are ignoring transaction costs at the moment, but these will have to figure in later.)

As we explained in our original post about The Brooklyn Portfolio, every once in a while we'll review how the portfolio is doing. (We might even create a fancy bar chart.) If the portfolio is up, that will be good news for Brooklyn. If it's down we'll cry and pound the table.

The Brooklyn Portfolio includes shares in companies that have a strong Brooklyn presence, started in Brooklyn or have some other significant connection to Brooklyn. Several companies were recommended by McBrooklyn readers. (See post one and post two.) The fund doesn't include every business founded in or related to Brooklyn -- just the companies that seem to be sound and offer opportunities for growth and/or income.

These companies are subject to change, but our aim is to hold onto them as long as is prudent.

Yield: We notice that the yield is rather generous on many of the stocks in The Brooklyn Portfolio. [NOTE: These are the yields reported by Google Finance. We've noticed that sometimes yields vary depending on who reports them] National Grid, for example, reportedly yields 7.23 (as of Friday, Oct. 23). Pfizer yields 3.71. Dime yields 4.83. Bristol Meyers Squibb yields 5.58. Novartis yields 3.30; Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank yields 3.31. Corning, however, yields less -- 1.28 -- and Nathan's pays no dividends at all -- but they do make good hot dogs.

So there you have it. We sincerely hope the Brooklyn Portfolio makes us all rich, but even if it doesn't it will be interesting to see how this fund performs compared to other funds based around equally flimsy principles.

- The Brooklyn Portfolio Takes Shape
- The Brooklyn Portfolio: Investing In Brooklyn

Photo by Don Hankins, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cobble Hill Gets Ready for Halloween

For those with little children, Cobble Hill Park will be ground zero at 4 p.m. Halloween afternoon. The costume parade will set off behind the Jah Pan Steel Drum Band, then the older kids will trick-or-treat around the neighborhood.

The Brooklyn Eagle has extensive Halloween listings here.

Photo by MK Metz

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The Brooklyn Portfolio Takes Shape

Based on reader recommendations, we've added several companies to out investment vehicle, The Brooklyn Portfolio. As we explained in our original post, The Brooklyn Portfolio includes shares in companies that have a strong Brooklyn presence, started in Brooklyn or have some other significant connection to Brooklyn. We started yesterday with:

- Pfizer
- Dime Community Bancshares, Inc. (DCOM)
- National Grid (NGG)
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY)
- Corning Incorporated (GLW)
- Nathan's Famous (NATH)

New additions based on reader suggestions:

- Novartis (NVS), which makes health care products including pharmaceuticals (they took over Brooklyn's Ex-Lax), was selling for $52.20 yesterday, with a PE=15.76 and a yield of 3.28*.

- Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank (BFSB), a bank headquartered in Brooklyn. They're down about 10% year to date, have a PE= 28.39, and yield 3.16%. It was selling for $12.64 yesterday.

So here we have our Brooklyn Portfolio, subject to change depending on which way the wind blows. Three of the eight stocks are in the health/pharma area, and two are banks. Then we have an energy company, an industrial/tech company, and a restaurant.

In a couple of days we'll start producing charts and all kinds of lists of official looking numbers!

A reader also mentioned Forest City Enterprises (FCA.A), parent compant to our own F.C. (Bruce) Ratner. We don't feel confident yet about commercial real estate, and Forest City seems to have a little cash flow issue. So we'll wait on this one.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Portfolio is funded!

- The Brooklyn Portfolio: Investing in Brooklyn (previous post)

*Yields as reported by Google Finance. May vary.

Photo by Don Hankins, Creative Commons license

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

What a Day at Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn

Moms and nannies with their kids, yoga stretchers, gymnastic tumblers, homework-doers and anybody who could find an excuse to go outside today gathered at Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Heights / Downtown Brooklyn. What a day!

Photo by MK Metz

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The Brooklyn Portfolio: Investing in Brooklyn

Isn't this stock market just crazy?

We at McBrooklyn decided we wanted in -- so we're setting up The Brooklyn Portfolio.

The Brooklyn Portfolio includes shares in companies that have a strong Brooklyn presence, started in Brooklyn or have some other significant connection to Brooklyn. We'll carefully screen each company (that might even include looking them up somewhere). We can add a stock (for example, if someone points out a Brooklyn-based company that we didn't know about, and it seems like a good buy), or drop a stock (for example, if it's sinking like a rock thrown into the waters off Coney Island).

Some famous companies which began in Brooklyn (like Cumberland Packing Co., makers of Sweet'N Low) are privately owned so we can't buy their stock. But others, like the drug company Pfizer, producers of Viagra, are fair game.

Every once in a while we'll check how the portfolio is doing. (We might even create a fancy bar chart.) If the portfolio is up, that will be good news for Brooklyn. If it's down we'll cry and pound the table.

Here are our initial stock considerations:

Pfizer (PFE) -- Is a global pharmaceutical company which started in Brooklyn. It was selling for $17.48 yesterday. It's down 1.7% year to date. PE=15.8; yields 3.66*

Dime Community Bancshares, Inc.(DCOM) -- The parent company of The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh. It was selling for $11.59 yesterday, and is down almost 13% year to date. PE= 16.33, and it yields 4.83%.

National Grid (NGG) -- Is an international electricity and gas corporation based in great Britian that bought KeySpan, which started out as Brooklyn Union Gas. Its shares were selling for $49.42 yesterday, down roughly 2% year to date. PE=16.2; yields 7.06

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) -- Makes pharmaceuticals and nutritionals. Bristol-Meyers merged with Brooklyn's ER Squibb (as in Squibb Park in Brooklyn Heights). It was selling for $22.69 yesterday. It's down 2.4% year to date. PE=13.24; yields 5.46

Corning Incorporated (GLW) -- Used to be known as Corning Glass. They started as the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works. Now they're big in liquid crystal flat panel displays, fiber optics, ceramics, glass and plastics for scientific applications. It was selling for 15.51 yesterday. It's up 63% year to date. PE=14.84; yields 1.29%

Nathan's Famous (NATH) -- Started at their famous Coney Island hotdog outlet, now they own restaurants and sell doggies nationwide. It was selling for 14.46 yesterday. It's up 14% year to date. PE=16.96; no yield.

That gives us exposure to pharma, financials, industrials, restaurants, and energy. Any other quality investments we've forgotten about?

UPDATE: Suggestions so far include Berkshire Hathaway, which bought Brooklyn's Benjamin Moore paint company; Novartis, which took over Brooklyn's Ex-Lax (which, as our commenter pointed out, has a history on Atlantic Ave. like Benjamin Moore); and Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank. We like all of these companies, but we agree with commenter 1 that Berkshire Hathaway "is a bit rich for our blood." At almost $100,000 a share for the class A shares and $3,292 for the B shares, Berkshire would overwhelm our other holdings.

UPDATE 2: The Brooklyn Portfolio takes shape here.

UPDATE 3: The Brooklyn Portfolio: Fully Funded and Ready for Business

* Yields as reported by Google Finance; may vary

Photo by Don Hankins, Creative Commons license

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where To Get a Flu Shot In NYC

New York City has set up a web portal where you can get information about where to get a flu shot, along with forms you can download so your child can get vaccinated for free. If you think you have the flu and don't have a doctor (or can't afford one) the web site provides a widget that tells you where to find a free clinic near you.

Here are a few quick links for further information:

- Who should get the vaccination for both regular flu and the H1N1 virus? Here
- Is the new H1N1 vaccine safe? Here
- What should you do if you get the flu? Here
- What about getting kids vaccinated? Here

More here.

Illustration courtesy of the NYC Dept. of Health, from the cover of the "Cover Your Cough" brochure.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall Comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park

The park may as yet be just mounds of concrete and jumbled piles of rock, but these trees, lined up on a couple of inches of dirt, are turning glorious fall colors.

On the Brooklyn Heights waterfront.

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

Photo by MK Metz

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60 Singers, 40 Musicians and 16 Yoko Ono Impersonators -- and More Brooklyn Briefs

- NYC will begin its massive Brooklyn Bridge renovation in December, but the walkway will likely become even more crowded and dangerous for bikers and pedestrians . Streetsblog

- A Brooklyn native was one of several who died in an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony. She was an avid surfer and hiker who was “in top shape,” and took self-improvement seriously, her family said. Brooklyn Eagle

- Every Beatles song will be performed on ukulele in Brooklyn on Dec. 5 and 6. That's 185 songs, with over 60 singers, 40 musicians -- and 16 Yoko Ono impersonators. Brooklyn Vegan

- Just what we need: another nail salon comes to Downtown Brooklyn. Brownstoner

- Thirty Republicans lined up against an amendment that would have required defense contractors to allow their employees access to U.S. courts in cases of rape or sexual assault. Republicans for Rape (via Huffington Post)

- 100 New York Times positions will be cut by the end of the year. NY Magazine

- Life goes on, at the Scotto Funeral Home. Cobble Hill Blog

- Here's a real nice story about a rock. The Local - Fort Greene

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The Recession Comes to Smith Street

Even the Tarot Card reader at 95 Smith Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, feels the pinch of the recession. The $5 Special Reading has been cut to two bucks.

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, October 19, 2009

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:

- A producer in Brooklyn Heights is searching for someone with excellent writing and editing skills to work as an assistant on a documentary film. $12.50/hr part time. Craigslist

- The New York Aquarium in Coney Island is searching for a Director of Park Services. Web Hire They are also looking for a Membership Sales Associate. Here

- Brooklyn College is looking to hire a publications writer and editor. Higheredjobs

- Michael at Dandy-job needs a part-time doer, a go-getter, a packer and helper for his music-related electronics business. $10/hr to start. Craigslist

- The Heights Cafe in Brooklyn Heights is hiring servers. Craigslist

- HSBC needs a part-time bank teller. Career Builder

- A company is looking for someone to work on Saturdays and Sundays promoting pet food in stores in Park Slope and Cobble Hill. $14/hr. Craigslist

- Wireless Generation seeks a Literacy Editor for its educational publishing operation. Craigslist They also need an Executive Editor. Here

- LIS Translations is hiring part-time simultaneous interpreters for the Dept. of Education. Craigslist

- Pratt Institute is hiring a cashier/bursar. Kijiji

A large corporation needs an "anti money laundering representative," but only for three months. Pays $15 - $18/hr. Career Builder

- A Japanese restaurant in Fort Greene is hiring servers. Craigslist

- A large hospital needs a friendly front desk clerk who knows Word and Excel. $15+/hr. Craigslist

- Loftstel, a youth hostel, is hiring an assistant manager. Must know Excel. Craigslist

- American Eagle Outfitters is looking for a store manager. Career Builder

- A small law office in Midwood needs an experienced legal receptionist who can deal with phones, faxing, paperwork, typing etc. Craigslist

- Home Depot needs an assistant store manager (to work a 55 hr week). Home Depot

- VerdictSearch in Downtown Brooklyn seeks an experienced reporter to report civil court cases. Craigslist

Find all Brooklyn Headhunter posts here.

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Quick Action By Park-Goers Averts Loss of Benches in Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn Heights

When a fluctuation in Earth's gravitational field caused the benches in Cadman Plaza Park to start floating off the other day, these Brooklyn Heights park-goers jumped into action.

It took their combined effort, but the benches were successfully pinned down till the fluctuation passed.

A small water fountain drifted off, but no other park furniture was lost.

Photo by MK Metz

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Brooklyn's 'Tour de Grub' Sunday: Bike Ride In Search of Best Street Food

Brooklyn by Bike is combining the love of bicycles with the love of street food for a tour called Gears and Grub.

They're teaming up with VendrTV in search of the best street food in Brooklyn. The ride starts on Sunday 10/18 at 11 a.m. from the Grand Army Plaza Arch and ends in Williamsburg. This is an all day event that will be streaming live on Twitter, so you can join in along the way.

Tentative stops along the way include Chinese food in Sunset Park; the Red Hook (Latin) vendors; Schnitzel and Things and Green Monster in Dumbo; and Swedish meatballs and drinks at Eurotrash in Williamsburg.

More at Brooklyn by Bike.

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Happy Bike Guy, Dumbo

Couldn't help but admire the positive attitude of Bike Guy, getting his picture taken on the Belgium Block streets of Dumbo in Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Out With the Old Sidewalk, In With the New On Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn

These workers are ripping out the old brick sidewalks on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn and replacing them with standard cement.

The work is part of the ongoing $15 million Fulton Streetscape Project which includes 67 new trees, new benches, bus shelters, bicycle racks, and streetlights and the creation of a public square outside the domed Dime Savings Bank building.

Construction started in May 2009 and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2011, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

- Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn: Will Its Glory Days Return?

- What Brooklyn's Fulton Street Will Look Like in 2009

- Fulton Street Mall To Get Quite the Overhaul (2007)

Photos by MK Metz

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A Barnes & Noble e-Reader In Your Christmas Stocking?

See photos of what may be the (secret) new Barnes & Noble e-reader on Gizmodo. It could be ready by Christmas, according to the Wall Street Journal. Barnes & Noble refused to comment, according to CNET.

Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster is working with a multimedia partner to release four “vooks,” which intersperse videos throughout electronic text, according to the New York Times.

Photo: The magical Daily Prophet newspaper, from the Warner Bros. Harry Potter series, based on the book series by JK Rowling, via

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love Nipped In the Bud at the Burger Bash in Dumbo

This artist was chalking out the words "Ultimate Vodka" in front of Galapagos in Dumbo last Friday. We found out later an Ultimate Vodka event was about to take place there as part of the New York City Food and Wine Festival held all Columbus Day weekend.

Down the block, top burger chefs from around the country were competing at the star-studded Blue Moon Burger Bash at the Tobacco Warehouse, hosted by TV personality chef Rachael Ray. People paid $200 to attend. (Two tickets sold on a charity auction site for $800.)

You can see photos from the Bash on Dumbo NYC and at the Brooklyn Paper.

Here's another viewpoint: What went on there was called "a spectacle of excess" by Josh Ozersky (a judge at the Bash), writing for Vanity Fair. The winning burger was fine, he writes, but could have won without "its hideous toppings, its cynical marketing ploys, and the chef's ridiculous fedora."


Those who didn't travel straight back to Manhattan afterward on the Delta Airlines Burger Bus (complete with flight attendants and snacks) may have drifted over to Galapagos for a glittering night out and a bit of vodka.

But the Bash wasn't all burgers and vodka. There was love -- and love lost. Yesterday, under "Missed Connections" on Craigslist we read:

Rachael Ray ultimate vodka event/burger bash - w4m - 28 (Brooklyn)
I saw you as you walked into the Rachael Ray ultimate vodka event/burger bash this past Friday in Brooklyn. You were wearing a white thermal and jeans, you are tall with dark hair. We made eye contact and I was going to come over to say hello. But then you suddenly ran out. I thought you were going to come back but you never did. I felt we had a momentary connection and would like to get to know you. Please email if you felt the same way.

Girl, it's a crazy city. You eat your burgers, you drink your vodka, and just when you meet a guy, he hops on the Burger Bus -- and he's gone.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Highlights from 'El Tour de Taco' and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Where to find flu shots in Brooklyn. OTBKB

- New York’s top court will soon decide if the state has the power to seize private property to build the Atlantic Yards development. Brooklyn Eagle

- The public mural showing a "red-thong-and-neon-heel-clad woman" under the "predatory gaze of a gray-faced guy with big scary teeth" on Myrtle Avenue is causing a stir. The Local/ NY Times

- The Urban Divers Enviromedia Mobile will be unveiled at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Oct. 21. PMFA

- Win tickets to an Oktoberfest pig roast at Brokelyn.

- The sales team for the Oro condos in Downtown Brooklyn reports that the volume of traffic to the sales office has increased and there has been "at least one offer a day" recently. Brooklyn Eagle

- Highlights from the 36-mile long "El Tour de Taco!" Brooklyn by Bike

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Film Race Starts Friday, Oct. 16

The 2009 Film Racing Tour will be coming to Brooklyn on this Friday, Oct. 16, 2009.

Filmmakers will be challenged to create an original short film in just 24 hours, from 10 p.m.on Friday, October 16 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. All of the completed films will premiere at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, 70 Henry Street, a few days later. The teams will be competing for over thousands of dollars in cash and prizes against filmmakers from 20 other cities.

Here's last year's Brooklyn winner, "Plane Face" by Yellow Line Pictures.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daffodil Day in Kensington This Sunday

Sunday, October 18th, is Daffodil Day in Kensington, Brooklyn. Join your neighbors and plant daffodil bulbs on Church Avenue and its side streets. In the spring, watch the flowers that you planted bloom!

From 9:00 a.m. to noon, volunteers will
* loosen soil in tree pits
* plant daffodil bulbs
* go to Connie's Cafe for free coffee and a muffin

Wear clothing and shoes that you don't mind getting some dirt on. If you can, bring a hand cultivator, trowel, bulb borer, anything else that's useful for digging and planting and some for your neighbor, too.

Meet at 9 a.m. in front of Astoria Federal Savings, at the corner of Church and McDonald avenues.

Connie, the owner of Connie's Cafe (corner of Church Avenue and E. 5th Street), has graciously agreed to donate coffee and muffins for the volunteers.

This neighborhood event is sponsored by KARMABrooklyn (Kensington Area Resident/Merchant Alliance) and WKAG (West Kensington Action Group).

Photo by Dimitry B., Creative Commons license

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Rocky Horror Live in Brooklyn: Let's Do the Time Warp Again

C'mon you sweet transvestites, bring your black knit nurse corsets and heavy eyeliner down to the Lyceum to relive the classic stage musical of the Rocky Horror Show.

Love and Light Productions brings the full production to life with a one-night stop at the Brooklyn Lyceum on their East Coast tour. Director Alicia Starr and her talented full cast come ready to get you primed for the Halloween week ahead. More info about the cast and production at

The Brooklyn Lyceum, known formerly as NYC Public Bath No. 7, is a performing arts and cultural center in Park Slope.
227 4th Avenue in Park Slope, right atop the R train station at Union Street. 718.857.4816

To get in the mood, here's a snippet of
Time Warp from 20th Century Fox's Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Video and music copyrights of 20th Century Fox and the respective parties.
Written by Jim Sharman and Richard O'Brien
Directed by Jim Sharman
Music by Richard O'Brien
Cast: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Peter Hinwood, Charles Gray, Meat Loaf, Jonathan Adams, the Transylvanians

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Health Care Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall Tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 14)

We received this post from Move On:

The fate of the public option will be decided in the next few weeks—and Sen. Schumer will need to fight like hell to win real health care reform. Let's thank him for his strong support and show him we've got his back heading into these final, crucial weeks.

Come to Brooklyn Borough Hall tomorrow (Wed., Oct. 14) at noon for a "We're Counting On You" rally. We'll show Sen. Schumer that we need him to keep fighting for a strong public option all the way to the finish.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, October 12, 2009

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:

- BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn seeks a receptionist and office assistant. Craigslist They are also looking for a full-time Special Arts Management Assistant. Here

- Weight Watchers needs a Brooklyn Territory Manager. Cannot be overweight! Career Builder

- The Prospect Park Alliance is seeking a Boat Captain to pilot the electric boat Independence. $20/hr. ProspectPark They are also looking for someone to man the front desk at the Prospect Park Tennis Center. $10 an hour. Here.

- Rent-A-Center needs a customer account representative who can drive. Decent benefits. Career Builder

- A Brooklyn Assemblyman and Chairman of the NYS Assembly Housing Committee seeks an outgoing, community-minded individual committed to social justice issues. Pay in the high 40's. Craigslist

- The Brooklyn Public Library needs a stock handler who can drive and deal with inventory paperwork. BPL

- A "gem of a restaurant in the heart of Brooklyn Heights" is looking for a new head chef with Italian/ Mediterranean cuisine experience. Craigslist

- The Greenpoint YMCA is searching for someone to manage the administrative aspects of the Strong Kids Campaign and create graphics as well. Craigslist

- A Park Slope dog daycare business is looking for a morning person to drive the minivan around picking up and dropping off dogs. "Piercings, dyed hair, one or even three legs OK as long as you’re on time, have a sense of humor, and get the job done." $10/hr. Craigslist

- The JAR Group is looking for "a good person who rocks hard on search marketing." Create your own job description as a creative linkmaster. JAR Group

- A fine artist seeks a sculptor's assistant for assisting with art work, doing general office work and keeping the place neat and organized. PJMA Jobs

- A leading printing company is looking for an ace desktop publisher with illustration and painting skills. Craigslist

- Organic Heights at 460 Bergen Street (between Flatbush and 5th Ave) is looking for experienced counter staff. Craigslist

- Looking for a job in finance? Morgan Stanley has 12 openings in their Brooklyn office, from information security to trade support to FX. Career Builder

- A busy upscale hotel is in need of a friendly front desk clerk. $15 - $17/hr. Craigslist

- Williams-Sonoma is looking for a Buyer of Decorative Accessories at their Brooklyn location. Lots of job functions. Apply2jobs

- FedEx needs temporary seasonal drivers. NY Times

- The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy seeks an energetic, politically skilled, goal-oriented executive director. BBPC They are also looking for a Public Programming Director. Here.

- An office in Downtown Brooklyn (11201) needs a mail clerk. $10-$11/hr. NY Times

Find all Brooklyn Headhunter posts here.

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE

Friday, October 9, 2009

OMG. No Freakin' Way. MetroPCS 'Protesters' in Downtown Brooklyn

OK so they weren't real, but it was a pretty good gimmick. These pretend protesters were employed by metroPCS the other day to tout their wireless plan. Unlimited texting. OMG. No freakin' way.

Photo by MK Metz

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Open House New York 2009 This Weekend

The Seventh Annual openhousenewyork Weekend is Oct. 10 & 11. The goal is to experience the city’s architecture and design in all five boroughs, free of charge.

Brooklyn highlights include open studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a BellTel Lofts tour, Coney Island Talking Sidewalk tour, the Green-Wood Cemetery tour, 93 Nevins, a Prospect Park walk, a Writers and Religion in Old Brooklyn Heights tour, the Atlantic Ave. Tunnel tour, a Brooklyn Bridge Park hardhat tour, the Barzel Ironworks, and countless churches, museums, libraries, societies, converted performance spaces, carriage houses and the oldest home in New York City.

There are also plenty of educational and entertaining events for kids, such as the Weeksville Scavenger Hunt.

The entire schedule can be found here.

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Pointy Tomatoes, Brooklyn Borough Hall

Is it just us, or are these tomatoes unusually pointy?

They were for sale at the farmer's market at Brooklyn Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn / Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Traffic Calming Project Underway On Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights

Traffic-calming "neckdowns" or "bulbouts" are under construction at Henry Street intersections from Cadman Plaza West (Old Fulton Street) to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights. The work is part of the Department of Transportation’s Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project.

The sidewalk protrusions (the one shown above at Henry and Middagh Street is a granite curb) will make it easier for pedestrians to cross Henry street at the intersections and may slow traffic as well.

This graphic from DOT's report shows, in addition, textured (or high visibility) crosswalks and a bike box at Clark Street and Henry, though these parts of the plan may have changed since it was first set to paper in 2004.

More on the Henry Street improvements at the Brooklyn Eagle; here's the Henry Street segment of the 2004 DOT report.

Traffic calming improvements are popping up all over Brooklyn. Streetsblog discusses the very large sidewalk extension at the northwest corner of Smith and Bergen. Brownstoner has another photo of this intersection that shows the extension more clearly.

Community Board 6 created a summary of traffic calming work being done this month.

UPDATE: Check out Jonathan Ross' comment below to find out what one artist is planning for all those "neckdowns" and "bulbouts" popping up all over the neighborhood.

Photo by MK Metz

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Waiting for Master in Downtown Brooklyn

These three dogs, each in their own world, sit outside a school in Downtown Brooklyn waiting for their masters.

Photo by MK Metz

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Letterman's Blackmailer Hires Brooklyn Lawyer (Naturally), and More Brooklyn Briefs

- New worries on Old Fulton Street: Vibrations from all that construction worry business owners and residents, who point out that many of the fragile old buildings were built on landfill and "sit on water – there is water running underneath them.” Brooklyn Eagle

- Bargain hunters: Oro's developer, Greenfield Partners, has announced that it will cut prices for the remaining Downtown Brooklyn units by up to 25 percent. Crain's NY via Curbed

- Who does the man who allegedly tried to blackmail David Letterman turn to? One of Gotti’s former attorneys, Brooklyn Law School professor and defense attorney Gerald Shargel. Brooklyn Eagle

- The Archdiocese of Brooklyn has banned drinking the sacramental wine during communion because of the spread of the H1N1 virus. NY Daily News

- SNL's criticism of President Obama is based on "flimsy" (read wrong) evidence. New York Magazine

- Researchers found that airplane pilots who ate the fattiest foods such as butter or gravy had the quickest response times in mental tests and made fewer mistakes when flying in tricky cloud conditions.

Huffington Post

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Art Exhibition at One Brooklyn Bridge Park

BOFFO, an arts organization that uses temporary locations, is presenting their first exhibition, Objective Affection, through October 30 at One Brooklyn Bridge Park (the condominium located at 360 Furman Street below the Brooklyn Heights Promenade).

The exhibition and consignment shop (which holds objects important to the creation of the art) is open Thursdays - Sundays from 11 am - 7 pm, or by appointment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and is free to the public.

According to a release from BOFFO, Objective Affection "explores the influence and allure of tangible entities in contemporary culture."

The exhibition showcases the work of over 100 emergent and established artists and designers including Terence Koh, Caraballo-Farman, Jason Tomme, Efecum Kutuk, Tom Fruin, Josh Owen, Erin Fetherston, as well as designers from Areaware and Kikkerland.

Release: "Through a wide variety of multi-disciplinary media including graphic design, visual art, performance, fashion, video, architecture and industrial design, the exhibition juxtaposes a mass of independent voices from artists of all ages, backgrounds and interests as a representation of the our universal similarities and individualities that are established through objects."

The gallery space at One Brooklyn Bridge Park is 14,000 – square - feet. BOFFO is the first organization to use this space, which has been donated to the arts program by building’s developer RAL Companies & Affiliates, LLC.

Photo by Anthony Lord.

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