Friday, July 30, 2010

Honor Guard, Cobble Hill Chapels

A Rolling Thunder honor guard in front of Cobble Hill Chapels. Inside was a man who died much too young.

Photo by MK Metz

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'Non-Native New York' Brooklyn Exhibition

From the de Castellane Gallery:

While Congress debates immigration reform, an influx of foreigners continue to make Brooklyn their home, adding new accents, flavors, and art to the neighborhood cultural landscape. Non-Native New York is an art exhibition curated by Linn Edwards and Brian Bell, celebrating the cultural contributions of international artists living in Brooklyn. This exhibition examines the artwork that results when an artist is uprooted by moving to a new country, leaving behind a social support system, cultural commonality, and first language.

de Castellane Gallery, 525 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY, August 5-22, 2010

Opening Reception August 5 (6-9 pm)

Gallery hours: Fridays 3pm-8pm, Saturdays 11am-7pm, Sundays 11am-7pm, or by appointment.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Explosion on Willoughby Street, Downtown Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Willoughby Street near Jay Street was closed off due to an explosion this morning caused by a burned out underground electrical cable. Nearby subway stations were closed and manholes along the street were seen emitting smoke.

More here

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Hundreds March Over Brooklyn Bridge to Protest Arizona Immigration Law

Hundreds gathered in Downtown Brooklyn's Cadman Plaza Park and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Thursday to protest Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, which went into effect today.

Roughly ten organizations representing churches, immigrants and youth groups headed for Foley Square, where they encountered counter-protesters.

 According to AP, Arizona is preparing to ask an appeals court to lift a judge's ruling that put most of the state's immigration law on hold. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he was about to start a crime sweep targeting illegal immigrants.

More at DNAinfo.

Photos by MK Metz 

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All of Mayor Bloomberg's Friends Have Bedbugs

Be careful if you hang out in the canyons of power and privilege:  Mayor Bloomberg told bedbug foe Councilwoman Gale Brewer, "Gale, all my friends have bedbugs; what am I going to do?" according to the New York Times.

We don't know what he's going to do but we're going to -- politely -- turn down that invitation to tomorrow's press conference. Uh, dentist appointment.

In the meantime, as part of its latest $500,000 bedbug attack strategy, the city will create an informational campaign that will include a web site and a dedicated staff to help residents and businesses control infestations. More here.

- NYC Starts Taking Bed Bugs Seriously
- Bed Bugs hearing Coming Up at NYC Council
- Six Bedbug-Filled Mattresses in Brooklyn Heights?
- The Secret Life of Bedbugs Brooklyn Eagle
- Bedbugs in Brooklyn: They're Here. Get Used to It Brooklyn Eagle
- Brooklyn Bed Bug Complaints Soar 1,900 Percent!
- Brooklyn Living: Beware of Garbage With Something Written on It
- Brooklyn's Bed Bug Club: Everybody Welcome

Photo by CarbonNYC, Creative Commons license 

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

205 Montague Street Acquired for $33 - 35 Million?

The iconic building at the corner of Montague Street and Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights has changed hands, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Home of Massey Knakal and TD Bank, rumors have been flying that the sales price was in the range of $33 to $35 million.  See full story here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Hundreds of Perfect Specimens at Brooklyn Bridge Park

 Hundreds showed up for the The Fitness Guru's Pilates mat classes at Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday. Why is it that everyone who showed up was already is shape? Where did all these fit, beautiful people come from?

Classes are free every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Show up at 6:30 to snag a yoga pad (need ID to "rent.")

Brooklyn Bridge Park is becoming a prime destination for all kinds of relaxing fun. Thursday's movie is "Rear Window" (one of Hitchcock’s best ). You can go kayaking on weekends. There's an international festival this Saturday. Check out this summer's calendar here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Foxy Brown Dumped by Lawyer, Toxins in Store Receipts, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Dumped by her lawyer, Foxy Brown appears at Brooklyn Criminal Court in a Lamborghini.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Where to get half-price tickets to the sold-out Good Beer Fest at BAM tonight (Wednesday).  Brokelyn 

- Flatbush Ave. to lose a lane next month.  Brooklyn Paper 

- Quite a corn crop growing in Boerum Hill. Brooklyn Eagle

- Four great beaches you can easily get to without a car.  Gothamist

- Average time in NYC emergency room: 5 hours.  Crain's NY

- Massive amounts of toxic BPA have been found on many store receipts. Fast Company

- NASA: 2010 on track to become the hottest year in recorded human history.  Huff Post 

- Even more scary things that can happen at BP's disaster in the Gulf.  Fast Company 

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Get Your Lemonade in Cobble Hill This Morning!

 Lemonade and treats will be sold from 9:30 a.m. till 1 p.m. today at 185 Court Street in Cobble Hill.

Get it while it's cold!

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Young Brooklyn Man Dies From Heat, the Geese Problem, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Gothamist asks why the Brooklyn Paper is trying to kill the concerts at Asser Levy Park. Gothamist

- NBCnewyork reports that a 22-year-old Brooklyn man died from the heat over the weekend, the third to die in the recent heatwave.

- The building where the pink rubber balls known as “spaldeens” were once manufactured is being demolished.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- It sounds like an animated cartoon company in Manhattan is trying to screw a Brooklyn artist.  Gothamist

- A former basketball player from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School faces robbery and weapons charges after an armed robbery.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- There's a gaggle of problems with New York's plan to kill Canada geese.  Huff Post

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Plants Surrounded by Moat, Brooklyn

An island of freshly planted greenery and flowers, protected by a moat.

Back in May, this same pit was the site of  the Brooklyn Heights equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster.

Photos by MK Metz

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Monday, July 26, 2010

'Blue-Box Cafe' Newest Brooklyn Bridge Park Venue

 You're looking at Brooklyn's newest party venue -- called the Blue-Box Cafe -- located on the south end of Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

As explained on the door of the Blue Box Cafe (shown below), customers must be 18 to party and 21 to drink. The cafe sign says it will be open 24/7.

The cafe is probably much larger on the inside than it is on the outside -- "blue box" is a reference to Dr. Who.

(Actually, it's just a metal container belonging to the Trevcon Construction Company, doing work on the pier this week.)

Photos by MK Metz

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'Spit-a-Pit' Contest Returns to Ditmas Park and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Long Island guy is Lord of the Coney Island Sandcastles. NY Daily News 

- The Spit-a-Pit contest returns for the second year to the Greenmarket in Ditmas Park.  Ditmas Park Blog 

- Brooklyn's unemployment rate is well above the state and national average.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Park Slopers are overjoyed after a decrepit property on Garfield Place was finally sold last week. Brooklyn Paper

- "Parking minimums" force new developments to include huge garages. Now, according to Atlantic Yards Report, Downtown Brooklyn interests are starting to mobilize against them.

- The Brooklyn Botanic Garden commissioned Patrick Dougherty to create a huge sculpture made of woven saplings and twigs.  Brooklyn Eagle

- MTA layoffs mean more MetroCard readers clogged with dirt.  Gothamist 

- That email from a traveling friend begging for a loan is probably bogus.  Gothamist

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

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:

- Monday (July 26) and Tuesday (July 27) at 10 a.m.  Workforce 1 will be holding a large job recruitment event in Brooklyn. Jobs include administrative assistants, clerical associates, data entry clerks and more. Craigslist  Also Monday only at 2 p.m.: Another recruitment event for hospitality jobs like waitstaff, cooks, cashiers and restaurant managers. See here.

- Barneys, opening soon on Atlantic Avenue, is hiring sales associates. Monster

- Like kids? A health club in Park Slope is seeking childcare providers for the Kids Club. Need CPR training. Craigslist 
- Crumbs bake shop opening in Brooklyn Heights needs customer service people.  Craigslist  Also assistant store managers. Here

- A marketing research firm in Carroll Gardens has positions open for Market Research Recruiters.  Monster

- Toys "R" Us is coming to 11201 and they're hiring.  Monster    

The Citywide Council on Special Education is looking to hire an Administrative Assistant. Pays $27,355 + . Hot Jobs

- Research Triangle Institute needs part-time field interviewers to conduct research health-related interviews in people's homes. Pays $16.50 per hour.  Career Builder 

- The Brooklyn Pickle Company seeks picklers.  Craigslist 

- J.P. Turner & Company is seeking candidates for a paid stock broker / financial advisor management training program in Brooklyn.  Career Builder

- A small, local cafe in Downtown Brooklyn is looking for a barista. Craigslist

- Red Hook dog biscuit company (moving soon to Park Slope) needs biscuit packers to work in hot and cramped space. Bright side: Friendly management provides ice pops, ice cream, breakfast and lunch treats. Craigslist 

- Allstate is looking for a field investigator trainee with a vehicle to investigate accidents, medical providers etc. to determine fraud. Career Builder

- Paper Source paperie and retail shop opening soon in Brooklyn is seeking top management. Career Builder

- J. McLaughlin, a high end retailer is looking for a Visual Assistant to assist with preparation and creation of props for store windows, etc. Craigslist

- An education technology company in DUMBO is looking for a temporary proofreader.  Monster

- Sell video games. Need a passionate interest in gaming.  Monster 

- Brooklyn Woods offers a free woodworking job training program in Gowanus.  Craigslist 

Find all Brooklyn Headhunter posts here.
Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license

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Wild Lightening Friday Night in Brooklyn

 Hundreds of lightening strikes lit up the sky around 8:45 p.m. in Brooklyn last night.

 Here are two photos we took looking north from Brooklyn Heights. The second photo shows the illuminating power of just a moderate-sized flash.

According to the Daily News, a man was critically injured when a bolt of lightning zapped him as he walking along Eastern Parkway.

Photos by MK Metz

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Tornado Warning for Brooklyn, Queens, New York City

NOTE: For September 16 tornado news go here.


The National Weather Service reports that Tornado Watch 525 remains in effect until 1:00 am EDT for the  following locations:
Brooklyn (Kings), Queens, and Nassau.
Severe thunderstorm warnings are also in effect. The rain is wreaking havoc in Queens, according to 1010 WINS.

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Now the Feds Are Parking In Front of 20 Henry

When last we visited the city's little parking violation cash cow in front of 20 Henry Street, WCBS was interviewing Karl Junkersfeld, a frequent contributor to the Brooklyn Heights Blog, about the outrage.

Today the Brooklyn Eagle reports that federal agents are now parking to the "illegal" spaces.  Judy Stanton, Exec. Director of the Brooklyn Heights Association told the Eagle that that's a no no.

Feds parking illegally. Bad, of course. But for every illegal unmarked space the Feds take up, another innocent citizen is saved from parking in front of 20 Henry and getting towed!

- City's Parking Cash Cow at 20 Henry Street Covered by WCBS

Photo by MK Metz

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Coffin on Hicks, Art Space Shut Down, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Just another coffin on Hicks Street.  BHB

- Judge gives gavel to 8-year-old, tells her to bang it if she feels uncomfortable.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Charlie Rangel is in real trouble.  NY Magazine  

- City shuts down Brooklyn art space for partying.  Gothamist

- Not that many Brooklyn Heights people complained about the noise from the "Movies With a View" film series, really.  Brooklyn Eagle

- City builds bus shelter on Prospect Park West after it cancels bus service there.  Brooklyn Paper 

- A boat composed of 12,500 plastic bottles and other recycled materials has sailed from San Francisco to Australia.  Fast Co.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Brooklyn Borough Hall Prayer Station: Time Is Running Out, People

 It was all about the end of the world at Brooklyn Borough Hall yesterday as a crew of blue-shirted prayer consultants (shirts read: Life Is Short, Pray Hard) handed out literature and a sign proclaimed that time is running out for the People of Earth

Signs of the end of the age include: tsunamis, cyclones, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, pestilences, famine, economic crisis, and threats of nuclear war.

We would like to add:
Full body airport scans, Fox News, Disney World souvenirs made in China, KFC Double Downs (shown left), the cast of Jersey Shore and Vagisil TV commercials.

Top photo by MK Metz
Bottom photo by KFC

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Rabbi Visits Ricky's, Feral Eagles, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Oy! Rabbi Aaron Raskin bought a load of cosmetics at Rickey’s on Montague Street, bucking protesters who rallied outside the shop last week.  Vicious Babushka 

- So it's 100 degrees and this guy's walking around Brooklyn Heights in a full-body Eagle costume. BHB

- The guy who replaced Stanley Bosworth at St. Ann's was nothing like Stanley. Wasn't that the idea?   NY Times

- Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz accepted more free travel than any other elected official in New York City last year. WSJ

- Charles Rangel introduced a bill to bring back the draft for both men and women. Again. And again.  

- Thinking of visiting Alberta, Canada? Think again. Huff Post

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You're Invited to See Those New Fangled Electronic Voting Machines

Find out if they really do delete your vote if you press the wrong button!

In order to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, New York State must implement new electronic voting machines in the upcoming September 14th Primary Election. 

Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman, Chair of the Assembly’s Election Law Committee, has arranged a series of public demonstrations of the machines so you can learn how to vote before you get inside the booth for the real thing. 

Next week, two demonstrations will take place:

Wednesday, July 28th at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Carroll Gardens Branch, located at 396 Clinton Street (at Union Street)

Thursday, July 29th at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Brooklyn Heights Branch, located at 280 Cadman Plaza West (at Tillary Street)

BTW, there are still a few mysteries surrounding the machines, reports Gotham Gazette -- like why the city's Board of Elections chose a voting machine company that (almost) no one else chose -- Elections Systems & Software -- and why that company's lobbyist Anthony Mangone was indicted by federal prosecutors on corruption charges the day after the city voted to use his company's machines.

Also, why the machines can be pre-programmed in the warehouse prior to delivery to poll sites, and how come poll workers can illegally open the machines without a password.

Give us back our old reliable lever machines!

Photo courtesy Gotham Gazette

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City's Parking Cash Cow at 20 Henry Street Covered by WCBS

Karl Junkersfeld over at the Brooklyn Heights Blog has been all over the city's deceptive little parking cash cow in front of 20 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Now the story is getting citywide coverage as WCBS interviews him about this "regressive tax on hard working individuals." Check out the latest video and Karl's earlier videos here.

- Don't Park On Henry St. Between Middagh and Old Fulton!

Photo by MK Metz

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Public Session About NYC's Environmental Quality Review Process

From CB6: Anyone who is interested in learning more about recent changes that were made to the City's Environmental Quality Review process (including revisions to the Technical Manual which provides guidance on how land use actions are reviewed and analyzed) is invited to attend a public session by the Mayor's Office of Environmental Coordination (MOEC).

The public sessions will be held at 125 Worth Street in the 2nd Floor Auditorium from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 17, and Thursday, September 23.

RSVP to and list the date of the session which you plan to attend, as space is limited. For those who cannot attend, the presentation will also be posted on

Graphic by The Value Web Photo Gallery, Creative Commons license

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Big Dig On Downtown Brooklyn's Fulton Street

Downtown Brooklyn's Fulton Street is slowly, in by inch, foot by foot, transforming itself.

Just yesterday we heard that construction is actually beginning on City Point at the old Albee Square site on the Fulton Mall. 

As work begins on that long-anticipated four-story, retail building, the Fulton Streetscape Project in Downtown Brooklyn continues with the street itself being dug up for two blocks east of Adams Street. The project has already brought new sidewalks and lighting to Fulton Street. Other improvements will include new street trees, furnishings such as bus shelters, and infrastructure improvements. 

According to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, new benches and bicycle racks will be installed along the length of Fulton Street. The new 17,000 sf open space at Albee Square across from City Point will receive new benches and plantings, creating a larger public gathering space.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Eagle reports that the project is actually ahead of schedule and may be completed this fall.

- Out With the Old Sidewalk, In With the New On Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn (2009)
- 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)

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Brooklyn's Bastille Day , 2010: Smith Street Goes Oh-So-French!

Bastille Day, the celebration of French independence, came to Smith Street in Boerum Hill Sunday and je ne sais quoi was breaking out all over the place.

From the petanque tournament to the little glasses of Lillet, to the food, music and song (don't forget the guillotine), this year's party was just so cooly French.

Smith Street was covered in sand for the petanque games, played with tennis ball-sized metal balls (boules). Competitors try to throw their boules so they will land close to a little ball called a "pig" (cochonnet).

You didn't have to be French to play. 80 teams from around the world competed this year.

Do people really wear these hats in France?

Ricard, a sponsor, must have given out hundreds of them.

For those not competing in the petanque, the Foosball games were pretty fierce.

Plenty of good food and drink. Bar Tabac is a major sponsor (along with Robin des Bois and Ricard). Bar Tabac set out extra tables this year and there were all kinds of French refreshments up and down the street.

 Good wine, good times.

Skateboarders competed at the north end of Smith Street again for the fourth year, courtesy of the Homage skateboarding shop.

Previous posts on this topic:
- Brooklyn's 2010 Bastille Day Celebration Looking Big
- Brooklyn Bastille Day 2009 -- Great Day, Big Crowds
- Bastille Day 2009 in Brooklyn
- Bastille Day in Brooklyn: The French Conquer Smith Street
- Brooklyn's Bastille Day: Smith Street, Sunday
- Bastille Day in Brooklyn -- La Rue de Smith Sautait!

Photos copyright MK Metz

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Daddy's Little Jaguar

"Drive carefully, this is my daddy," reads the license plate on this '87 Jaguar parked on Old Fulton Street in Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn.

Photos by MK Metz

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Droid X Sold Out in Brooklyn Heights Verizon Store

 McBrooklyn wandered over to the Verizon store on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights yesterday to check out the new Droid X.

Google's new Android 2.1 phone has a 4.3" display, 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, and runs on a 1GHz processor.

Even though Verizon said two days ago there would be plenty of the devices on release day, the weary-sounding staff told us that they had sold out.

"We might be getting more tomorrow, but we've been experiencing some inventory problems," one staff member told us.

According to PC World, the next shipping date is July 23. Android 2.2 will roll out sometime later this summer. It's also rumored that the Droid 2 (which will probably have a real keyboard) will be out late August.

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Brooklyn's 2010 Bastille Day Celebration Looking Big

The biggest Bastille Day party in the U.S. takes place this Sunday in Boerum Hill on Smith Street between Bergen and Pacific Streets (and on Dean Street on both sides of Smith) from 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. 

Every year more and more French speakers, eaters, dancers, drinkers, and petanque competitors surge onto Smith Street for this crazy good time celebration. (Even though Bastill Day was technically on the 14th, just go with it.)

The street will be covered in sand for the famous petanque tournament, played with tennis-ball-sized metal balls. 80 teams from around the world are competing this year.

There's plenty of French food and drink. Bar Tabac is a major sponsor (along with Robin des Bois and Ricard). A Bar Tabac rep told the Brooklyn Eagle that they counted 12,000 people last year -- they're adding more tables this year so it should be a little easier to get one.

The north end of Smith Street will be busy with the dare-devil skateboarding competition, courtesy of the Homage skateboarding shop. According to the Eagle, Homage is going to have the entire DC Pro skateboarding team there signing autographs, giving out free products and hanging out.

- Brooklyn Bastille Day 2009 -- Great Day, Big Crowds
- Bastille Day 2009 in Brooklyn
- Bastille Day in Brooklyn: The French Conquer Smith Street
- Brooklyn's Bastille Day: Smith Street, Sunday
- Bastille Day in Brooklyn -- La Rue de Smith Sautait!

Photos by MK Metz

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Job Openings at City Chemist in Brooklyn Heights

 Putting on our Brooklyn Headhunter hat today: the newly-opened City Chemist, the upscale pharmacy and beauty products boutique on Montague Street at Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights is still looking for pharmacists, a cosmetician, salespersons, an aesthetician, clerks and register people. Visit their website to apply.

 The boutique is bright and cheery, and much larger than it first appears. There are lots of beauty products, vitamins, and gifts in the front but quite the candy and toy sections in the back -- to keep the little ones busy while mommy buys her eyeliner.

Photos by MK Metz

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City Council Members Rally Today to Keep Subway Booths Open

A group of New York City Council members sent us a release saying that they will be gathering on the steps of City Hall today at noon to urge the passage of Assembly Bill 1483, which would keep 89 subway booths open and avoid laying off more than 200 additional Station Agents.

The bill would prevent the MTA from closing additional station booths (260 Station Agents have already been laid off) until "competent authorities" can complete a study on the advisability of such a move, especially considering the role station agents play in keeping the subways safe.

Council members say that Station Agents are 'the eyes and ears' of our subway system and removing this important layer of security in this error of terrorism will leave our public transportation network deaf and blind.

Going to City Hall: Melissa Mark-Viverito, Letitia James, Brad Lander, Jumaane D. Williams, Margaret Chin, Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras, Jimmy Van Bramer, Deborah Rose and TWU Local 100.

Like we said before: We would be all for mass transit service cutbacks if the MTA would only add one requirement: that every single MTA employee, from the chairman on down, ride the subway or bus every time they had to get somewhere in New York City.

Photo courtesy of MShades, Creative Commons license.

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'Bridge Culture' International Fest at Brooklyn Bridge Park this Weekend

This Saturday, July 17, 4-6pm, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1 will host Week 2 of a performance series called BRIDGE CULTURE: An International Festival of Music, Storytelling & Dance. This free series showcases communities from throughout New York City and cultures from around the world.


Saturday, July 17: INDIA
4:00pm - Pooja Makhijani: storytelling  
4:30pm - Dhoonya Dance: dance  
5:00pm - Suphala: music  

Saturday, July 24: RUSSIA
4:00pm - Mikhail Smirnov / Barynya: storytelling 
4:30pm - Brighton Ballet Theater Company: dance 
5:00pm - Ljova and the Kontraband: music 

Saturday, July 31: HAITI 
4:00pm - Jennifer Celestin / Haiti Cultural Exchange: storytelling  
4:30pm - Peniel Guerrier Dance Company: dance 
5:00pm - Buyu Ambroise and the Blues in Red Band: music

Note: In the event of rain, the festival will take place at the nearby Tobacco Warehouse.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flavor Paper Impresses a Tough Brooklyn Crowd

While we were away the Flavor Paper wallpaper design showroom / production facility opened at 216 Pacific Street (between Court and Boerum Place) in Boerum Hill and seems to have blown away the neighborhood.

The four-story space was for years a pretty drab beer and soda distributor. Now designer Jon Sherman has brought his hip wall treatment business from New Orleans to Boerum Hill.

The "Flavor Lair" (this is where items like scratch and sniff wallpaper are produced) is a street level printing studio; the showroom is on the second floor along with a design center and office headquarters.

 Forbes Life described Flavor paper as "Wall-covering suppliers to the hipoisie nationwide (including Jonathan Adler, W Hotels and David Yurman) . . ."

Back in April the Brooklyn Eagle described the incoming establishment as "whimsical" and in early July the Cobble Hill Blog chose Flavor Paper as their Business of the Week, saying that Sherman's attention to detail "makes their headquarters a feast for the eyes."

According to Brownstoner, all three upstairs units are occupied by Flavor Paper employees. 

Photos by MK Metz

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A Zero Gravity Tank in Sunset Park, Spike the Cat Returns, and More Brooklyn Briefs

 - The opulent Loew’s Pitkin in Brownsville will be transformed into the new home for the Ascend Charter School, with stores on the ground floor.  Brooklyn Eagle

- How's the work on 25 Washington Street coming along?  DumboNYC

- Starting soon, Brooklynites can don bathing suits, climb into a large, egg-shaped “isolation tank" in Sunset Park and hear an audio composition on politics and zero gravity.  Brooklyn Eagle

- The government gave BP permission to start trying to slowly choke off the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday.  Huff Post

- Spike the cat has returned to Hawthorne Street. Cow had long been suspected in Spike's disappearance but was never formally charged. Hawthorne Street 

- Paul the Octopus could be worth millions!  Huff Post

- Will Apple announce a mass iPhone recall Friday?  NY Magazine

The Cobble Hill Association's annual series of summer concerts in Cobble Hill Park is soon to begin again in August. More at CHA 

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Prospect Heights Tree Branch Attacker Arrested

If you have been following the saga of the crazy Prospect Heights / Prospect Park tree branch breaker on Brooklynian's forums, you'll know that there is a guy named Steve -- who lives on Sterling Place -- who walks the neighborhood ripping tree branches off of street trees. Occasionally he's arrested but is always released and soon back to his branch-ripping ways.

Countless Brooklyn residents have called 311, reported him to the Parks Department, called the 77th precinct, chased the guy, complained to Councilwoman Letitia James and have written long, impassioned posts on Brooklynian since April asking why an obviously deranged guy can't be picked up and either charged with something or sent somewhere for treatment.

phcfarm has posted photos of dozens of mutilated trees. More photos on Brooklynian.

Now the New York Times confirms a Brooklynian post that Steve Maynard, 35, was arrested in Prospect Park on Wednesday and charged with criminal mischief. The violation could result in up to $15,000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

Commenters on Brooklynian are urging officials not to let this guy out again.

While the Times reports that the anger against him has softened somewhat since his arrest, some Brooklynian commenters dispute that.

One, named MHA, writes, "I have NO sympathy for his illness. I am terribly angry at Crazy Steve. I am going to invest what little money I have in a tree to plant one where he destroyed one, and I swear, if he touches it, I am not going to go through any of this bullshit again. I am just going to walk up to him and start rockin' and rollin'."

Photo courtesy of John-Morgan, Creative Commons license

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gulf of Mexico: It's Not the Oil, It's the Methane

 So while the U.S. has been on tenterhooks wondering if BP finally got a proper cap on all that oil billowing out into the Gulf of Mexico, it seems that there's something even worse to worry about.

Across the great mind hive, discussions of the implications of the huge concentrations of methane gas appearing in the Gulf have caught the attention of readers who figure it would be just like BP to end the world.

DK Matai reports in Huffington Post: "As much as one million times the normal level of methane is showing up near the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher, enough potentially to create dead zones in the water." (Also here.) Even worse, great clouds of flammable gas could belch out from the earth creating catastrophic fires and explosions, says Matai.

"Even a small explosion of that methane could cause a catastrophe. Imagine what would happen if such an event occurred. Tsunamis could be generated in continuous waves. Methane and water clouds would auto-ignite and the massive fires could cause widespread destruction. Consequences could be global."

Terrence Aym writes in Helium that the disaster may be about to reach "biblical proportions." (Don't you just hate that?)

"The oil giant drilled down miles into a geologically unstable region and may have set the stage for the eventual premature release of a methane mega-bubble," Aym writes.

Aym points to warning signs that a disaster is already unfolding -- the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water.

Aym and other Doomsday predictors points to studies by Northwestern University's Gregory Ryskin that link mass extinctions on Earth to massive eruptions of explosive methane gas.

But Dr. Ryskin told Business Insider that he is not predicting the end of the world on this one. The methane hydrates that have been released in large quantities in the Gulf of Mexico "may suffocate aquatic life or cause a pressure explosion. But they probably won't poison the atmosphere and destroy 96 percent of life on earth."


Gary Byerly, Professor of Geology at Louisiana State University, also put a damper on the end-of-the-world scenario: “It’s extremely unlikely that something like (an explosion and tsunami) could happen. I just don’t know how this bubble could form. You’re not going to have an explosion that deep underwater because there’s not enough oxygen down there.”

Just for the heck of it, here's a pre-Gulf disaster video from the History Channel where Dr. Ryskin explains how a prehistoric methane gas explosion could explain the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event.

Photo by Andrew Kuznetsov (Cavin), Creative Commons license

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For Those Who Eschew Hot Dogs: Brooklyn Burger Eating Competition Tonight

Borough President Marty Markowitz writes to let us know about the 4th annual Brooklyn Burger Eating Competition happening tonight (Wednesday, July 14) at 6:45 p.m. at MCU Park (home of the Cyclones), 1904 Surf Avenue at W. 19th Street, Coney Island.

The winning burger eater advances to the next level of competition to be held at Citi Field on July 30. Last year's burger champ woofed down 13 two-ounce sliders (with bun) in three minutes.

Let's hope last year's champ doesn't storm the stage and get arrested.

The competition is sponsored by Brooklyn Burger, official hamburger of the New York Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones and the Nets.

Photo by reynolds.james.e, Creative Commons License

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hissing Lebron, Traffic-Calming Party, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn-born La La Vasquez married Brooklyn-born Denver Nuggets basketball player Carmelo Anthony over the weekend. The crowd hissed when Lebron James walked into the hall. Examiner 

- Lost: one magical hedgehog. Reward!!  Clinton Hill Blog

- 130 guys lifted the Giglio Sunday.  Brooklyn Eagle  

- A Coney Island cabbie who offered free rides to pretty neighborhood girls was sentenced for killing and hacking up one of them. Courier Life

- Traffic-calming party Sunday, July 18th, all day, in front of Vox Pop.  Ditmas Park Blog
- Exactly why the Tea Party movement is gaining so much traction in America. Unemployed Brooklyn

- Play the "Plan Your Future Park" game.  Gotham Gazette

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Don't Park On Henry St. Between Middagh and Old Fulton!

Don't even think of parking on the west side of Henry Street between Middagh and Old Fulton in Brooklyn Heights. As this sign kindly explains: "They will ticket you!"

The post further explains:
"The 'No Parking Anytime - Temporary Construction' sign down the street applies to the whole block. They want you to park here so they can write you a $60 fine. They got me, and that's why I made these signs."

So be warned.

(And BTW, there doesn't seem to be any construction whatsoever going on at 20 Henry Street, the old Candy Factory / Peaks Mason Mints building. Hasn't been any work since they fixed the hole in the roof last year.)

Photo by MK Metz

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And a Star to Steer Her By . . .

The schooner Clipper City sails under the dramatic rays of the sun yesterday off Pier 6 in Brooklyn.

Photo copyright MK Metz

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Protesters at Ricky's, Carroll Gardens Opossums, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Con Ed cuts power in parts of Brooklyn again Sunday night. CBS

- Protesters gathered outside Ricky’s on Montague Street, raising signs and chanting about an “evil” cosmetics company.  Brooklyn Eagle

- The Calexico Cart is at Brooklyn Bridge Park!  BHB

- Carroll Gardens is experiencing quite an opossum population boom!  PMFA

- Phosphorescent’s rental van -- and all of their equipment – was stolen in Greenpoint. Among the stolen items was a custom 1955 Gibson ES-125. Muzzle of Bees  

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Giglio Today: 130 Men to Carry 80-Foot Tall, 3 Ton 'Giglio' in Brooklyn

There will be celebration and spectacle on the streets of Williamsburg this Sunday as 130 men carry the 80-foot tall, 3 ton ‘Giglio’ (Italian for lilies) in the 123rd Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Paulinus of Nola. While the street festivals and celebrations take place all week, the giglio lift takes place on Sunday, July 11th at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (275 North 8th Street at Havemeyer, Brooklyn).

To accompany the Giglio, an additional 120 men will carry the life size boat of St. Paulinus (la barca) through the streets as well. The high point of the day occurs at the cross streets of Havemeyer and North 8th. At this juncture, the giglio and la barca meet; the front ranks of each structure clasp hands in the symbolic re-enactment of the historic return of San Paolino to Nola.

On Giglio Sunday, an 11 a.m. Mass will start the day’s activities followed by the traditional dancing of the Giglio at 1pm. The Feast (40 years older and second in size to San Gennaro) will have live entertainment nightly, vendors selling Italian specialties and international delicacies, parades, a bazaar with games, children’s rides and amusements.

See last year's Giglio feast here.

Background: Upon his return from captivity, St. Paulinus, the Bishop of Nola, Italy, was met by joyous townspeople who held lilies as a sign of homage and welcome. The boat commemorates his passage home. This was cause for a great festival which became famous throughout Italy and was brought to Brooklyn by Italian immigrants 119 years ago.

Photo by Adam Lerner, Creative Commons license

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Children's Art Workshop at Dumbo Arts Center (DAC)

Teaching artist Victoria Calabro will kick off DAC's new series of children's art programming with a "scratch printing" workshop. Children will learn how to create a relief with special foam blocks which they will use to print their own original series to take home at the end of the class.

Ages 4 years old and up are welcome accompanied by an adult. The workshop will run from 10:00 - 11:30 AM on Friday, July 16th. $25 per child/adult pair

All supplies are included and each child will take home a series of their own art prints.

For additional information or to register, please call 718-694-0831 or email with the subject line: "Art Class." Registration is suggested but not required.

Dumbo Arts Center (DAC), 30 Washington Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Thousands of Happy Campers Packed Brooklyn Bridge Park's 'Movies With a View' Last Night

 Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 was packed last night for the summer's first episode of the Movies With a View series, Annie Hall. After the hellish weather of the past few days, it was a happy and mellow crowd enjoying the free film and cool breezes that blew in off the East River.

The new Pier 1 location seems much bigger than the old Empire State Park venue -- are we right?  Though crowded, there was enough room for the thousands who showed up. Seemed like the sound carried better, too. (It echoed off the buildings across Furman Street and came back at you from the east.) And the trains on the Manhattan Bridge didn't drown out the dialog!

Sponsor Syfy set up a tent offering raffles, giveaways and popcorn.

Next Thursday's film (July 15) is Monsters vs. Aliens presented in  Real D Logo (PG). The screening will kick off with a special outdoor premiere of Syfy’s brand film House of Imagination, featuring on-air talent from Syfy series such as Warehouse 13, Eureka, Stargate Universe, Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth and Sanctuary. DJ: Lupe Loop.

You can see the season's full schedule here.

Many folks biked in; a bike valet was again provided by Transportation Alternatives.

Photos by MK Metz

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