Thursday, December 30, 2010

Police Commissioner Kelly in Three-Car Smashup; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A sport utility vehicle bearing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was involved in a three-car accident on a slick Brooklyn highway Wednesday night.  NY Times

- When it comes to the five boroughs of New York City, why is it nearly always about Manhattan?  Room Eight

- The subways are back in service -- just in time for the fare hike!  Observer

- Village Voice music critic of the year is an anonymous Twitterer.  Fast Company 

- Prince and Janelle Monae attended the Lauryn Hill concert at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Tuesday night. Brooklyn Vegan

- A New York City weekend for $100.  NY Times

- Spine surgeons have prospered from performing fusions, found to be no better for common back pain than physical therapy is -- and a lot more dangerous. Bloomberg  

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

New York City's Gross Anti-Smoking Posters May Be On Way Out

No more disgusting schmeers with that bagel?

Posters like this, which created a sensation at the checkout counter of the Montague Street Bagel Shop in Brooklyn Heights, may soon bite the dust. 

The city's campaign to gross out smokers with grotesque images of cancer-riddled human lungs and other body parts was struck down Wednesday by a federal judge who ruled that only the federal government can require warnings related to cigarettes.

More at Huffington Post.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brooklyn Officials: Never Seen It So Bad; and More Brooklyn Snow Stories

- Mayor urges patience. But Brooklyn officials say they've never seen it so bad.  Brooklyn Eagle

- "Go to hell, Mayor Bloomberg, this is why we're angry."  Sheepsheadbites

- MTA: Wednesday commute OK -- except in Brooklyn.  amNY

- Marty wants to hear your blizzard-related issues and problems.  BHB

- Your chance to add to crowd-sourced unplowed street map in Brooklyn.  BrooklynSnowRemoval2010

- Brooklyn woman waits 30 hours for ambulance in blizzard. WSJ  More, NY Times

- Watch city sanitation vehicle smash up a Ford Explorer in Brooklyn Heights.  NY Magazine

- Mayor says city likely to pay for plow incident caught on YouTube.  NY1

 Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brooklyn Snowball Fight! This Afternoon - 12-27-10

Can you get to Prospect Park by 2 p.m.?

Massive snowball fight! More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

18 Inches of Snow in Brooklyn! Only G Train and 7 Line Without Delays

Snow drifts up to four feet and, according to the NY Times, 18 inches of snow so far in Brooklyn. Here's a round up:

- All New York City area airports are closed; check back this afternoon.

- Oddly enough, Amtrak Northeast Corridor service between New York and Boston will resume on a limited schedule this morning. Other destinations continue to experience delays. See Amtrak for more.The LIRR has suspended all service until further notice. (In some areas cars are stuck in the snow on the tracks.)

- Officials urge travelers to stay off the roads. Cars are trapped all over the place; the Wall Street Journal reports that a tractor trailer and at least two cars were abandoned on the westbound Brooklyn Queens Expressway near Hamilton Avenue.

- Subways: Ironically, only the G train and the 7 line are running without delays. Buses: about half are running. See MTA before riding.

- Commenters at the NY Times say passengers are trapped at local airports, passengers have been trapped on subways and the PATH.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blizzard in New York City: Just Stay Home!

Stay where you are if you can is the message from the National Weather Service and New York City Mayor Bloomberg. Today's dangerous blizzard is causing chaos for travelers at airports, on trains and for drivers -- visibility on roads is, in some areas, down to near zero.  
The current forecast calls for 11-16 inches of snow accompanied by strong winds: High near 28, blustery, with a north wind around 25 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph. Watch out for falling tree limbs!

Airlines have canceled thousands of flights (Delta has just announced they've canceled 850 flights on the East coast), and Amtrak train service between New York and Boston has been canceled, along with the following service changes:

Train #67 (25) is canceled between Richmond and Newport News with no alternate transportation.
Train #66 (26) is canceled between Newport News and Richmond with no alternate transportation.
Train #99 (26) is canceled between Richmond and Newport News with no alternate transportation.
Train #157 (26) will terminate at Washington. Passengers will be accommodated on train #99.
Train #94 (27) is canceled between Newport News and Richmond with no alternate transportation.
Train #86 (27) is canceled between Richmond and Washington. Passengers will be accommodated on train #174.

Call 1-800-USA-RAIL or see the latest updates at Amtrak.

The city has suspended Alternate Side Parking Regulations citywide for Monday, Dec. 27. Parking meters will remain in effect throughout the city.

Image courtesy of National Weather Service

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas To All, from McBrooklyn

 Merry Christmas everyone. 

We'll be on the road for a few days. Hope your holidays are the best ever!

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Japanese Restaurant; Last Minute Gifts; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Last minute gifts for a Brooklyn foodie.  The Local 

- About those new towers coming to Downtown Brooklyn.  The Observer says, "Meh."

- Sakura Tokyo is now open on Nostrand Avenue. Brooklynian 

- Scandals always hit New York City mayors in their third term. Room Eight

- You can't even leave your handbag on the street anymore.  Brooklyn Eagle, comments at Brooklynian

- Holiday penguins in Carroll Gardens.  PMFA  

- The saga of the controversial NY Times Weddings "Vows" column continues to rage on.  Gothamist

- Did you miss the lunar eclipse?  Watch the video here.

- Too busy touching junk? The TSA let a loaded gun get on an airplane.  Gizmodo

-  to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crazy Saga of Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Continues

The Fire Department halted Bob Diamond's famous Atlantic Avenue Tunnel tours last Friday for safety reasons, but the Department of Transportation won't let him implement a major fix that FDNY requires, according to an email Diamond sent in.

FDNY says the tunnel is unsafe because, for one, it has only one entrance -- through a manhole at Atlantic and Court Streets. They say that they might consider reopening the tunnel if ten changes are made, including opening another entrance, perhaps through a ventilator. They also want Diamond (or someone) to install code-compliant electrical wiring and lighting, provide first-aid equipment and more.

However, Diamond told the Brooklyn Eagle yesterday that he has repeatedly asked DOT to build a second entrance, but the DOT has refused to do so.

On top of that, Diamond said in an email to us, "DOT won't give us work permits to open the other existing tunnel entrances. Recall the movie Catch 22 -- this is it!"

Diamond has been giving the tours since 1982. (National Geographic started filming a special about it just this past weekend. That project is now in jeopardy.)

The NY Daily News, Gothamist and the Brooklyn Eagle have more to say about this.

National Geographic to Start Filming Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Documentary This Weekend
- Welcome Back Bob: Hundreds Take Sunday's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Saved! BP Markowitz Prevails Upon Bob Diamond
- Atlantic Tunnel's Bob Diamond Leaving Brooklyn? Say It Ain't So!
- Quite a Crowd for Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour 
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Is Probably Haunted
- What's Behind the Wall? Atlantic Ave. Tunnel Mystery
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel: What's Behind the Wall?
- Let Them Laugh: Bob Diamond's Brooklyn Trolley Idea Gains Traction
- Mole People Back in Brooklyn?
- Lineup For Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return

Photo copyright MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Minute Christmas Shopping at the Brooklyn Flea

 Like most of Brooklyn, we headed out to the Brooklyn Flea's Gifted market this weekend to try to find unusual, artistic and unique presents for friends and family. We're kind of picky AND don't have as much money to spend this year . . .  but we're happy to report that we found some really excellent handmade gifts that we never would have found in the typical department store or gift shop.

This year the Flea is operating through December 23 at One Hanson Place (the old Williamsburg Bank Building) from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

We bought handmade T-shirts (some with really dark designs, like evil-looking black crows); jewelry; cast-iron wall-mount bottle openers; teeny-tiny terrariums; ceramic kitchen stuff; magazines from 1943; fingerless gloves; skin cream and a really unusual jewelry/accessory thing.

Here are a few photos -- the Brooklyn Flea web site lists all of the holiday vendors so you can check it out before you go.

WrecordsByMonkey: These Wrecord bracelets, above, are hand-fashioned out of recycled records. WrecordsByMonkey also makes postcards, mirrors, switch plates and other amazing things, all out of recycled records.

Tiny Terrariums by Twig: We saw Twig's terrariums at P.S. 29 last week and were blown away. These teeny, tiny terrariums are created with little scenarios inside -- scenes of love, crime or  melancholy -- a living world in a little container.

TMR NYC (Total Metal Resource) was selling these chunky rings and other jewelry, above. They were also selling some amazing steel MetroCard holding belt buckles (see here for photos).

If you want to buy someone some jewelry you will probably find something you like here. (If  you want to buy someone an antique typewriter, that's here, too.) There is plenty of cute handmade kids clothing at the Flea, as well as brass knuckle/rosary bead necklaces and raw chocolate.

If you can head out there at odd times you'll be better off as the vendors tell me that the place is packed during your typical shopping hours.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baltic Street Conversion in Cobble Hill, Plus the Ohs Are Back Home!

These storefronts extending from the rear of 232 Court Street along Baltic Street were recently garages. In September the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the removal of the four garage doors, to be replaced with black-painted wood storefronts. The wood and glass entrance door is in the eastern-most bay (all the way to the left).

The main building at 232 Court is occupied by Ideal Properties Group, which moved in this past July after the building had been vacant for more than two years. (Killing those Hooters rumors . . .)

Before that, 232 Court Street had been for 25 years the home of Trusting Cleaners, one of the most beloved businesses in Cobble Hill, if not all of Brooklyn.

In 2007 a new landlord hiked the rent from $2,500 to $6,500, and the owners Kyung Dong and Kyung Ja Oh, known as Anne and Joe, were forced out. (The landlord, Salvatore Prestigiacomo, refused to negotiate with the Ohs or with anyone from the community who pleaded in their behalf.)

Sadly, the Ohs home on Smith Street was destroyed in a fire shortly after they lost their business. But here is the good news: the Ohs have moved back home, helped by all the good karma they spread around their neighbors for 25 years. Read the story of their homecoming in today's Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Posts We Almost Understood on Brooklynian

Ever link to an online forum and read a post from the middle of a thread? Sometimes it makes perfect sense but sometimes it will never, ever make sense, even if you back up and go all the way to the beginning of the thread.

Here are a few random posts from the Brooklynian forum that we swear we get. But then maybe we don't. 


- A» I'm at the award ceremony now at St Teresa RC Church. James Caldwell just said that Bruce Ratner is "an angel sent from God". Should we put this on the church and morality thread?

B» Nah, that thread is in a nice place at the moment.
...we will mess it up when the crazy fake nun family appears again.

From: Build to Graduate 36 Apprentices 


. . . Upon arriving home, my dog Dude and I decided that today's walk should be to the new Jewelry Store on Franklin.

For those interested, I give you an account...

Today's cast is composed of:
1. Dude the dog. "Dude"
2. Dude's caretaker, Whynot. "Whynot, WH"
3. Woman at Jewelry Store "Woman, WO"

WH: Hi.
WO: Hi.
WH: You guys are open?
WO: Yea, couple days ago.
WH: Some of the local blogs and organizations tried to stop you.
WO: I know. I don't know what that is about.
WH: I don't either. It's crazy. It's like they think you are going to make people good
or evil.
WO: I know, right?
WH: Anyway, you or your boss posted people should stop by to say "hi", so I decided to.
I post on Brooklynian as Whynot. My avatar is my dog.
WO: Ah. Um, you want to talk to him?
WH: Nah, I just stopped by to say Hi
WH: Dude, come on boy.
Dude: (wags tail, heads toward door)

From: Prospective Park Place Pawnshop!


I think it had a two-year lifespan. The second year that I walked up to get a close up...something was amiss. I think it lost one of its colorways too.

From: Where Is the Grand Army Plaza Christmas Tree? 


yesterday it was the middle of the arch....

From: Where Is the Grand Army Plaza Christmas Tree? 


jerry at latest inventory i now have 4 pounds of mussels those dam mice got into my freezer

From: Brooklyn Back When


if you dig below freddy's basement, past the alligators, through the earth's core, back up to the surface, you're going to hit china. 

From: Wide Man Marty Markowitz Say

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Fort Greene Association: Bring Back the Beat Cop!

Crime is up 11 percent, and the Fort Greene Association is spearheading a movement to bring back the beat cop.  

Back in the early nineties Police Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Dinkins started the Safe Streets program which included beat cops. The FGA says this brought about a decline in crime and "fostered the renaissance of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill." But the program seems to become mired in the budget morass.

A beat cop is a police officer who patrols a specific neighborhood, called a “beat.” He or she becomes well-known and helps to create a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community. Community Policing is the modern offshoot of the historical beat cop.

In 1990, the NYPD selected the 72nd precinct in Brooklyn to test the Community Policing model. According to Crime and Delinquency, results showed that officers "had favorable impressions of community policing and that they were able to identify residents' concerns and develop effective methods for solving neighborhood problems."

The FGA wants you to write to Police Commissioner Kelly to urge him to put the cops back on the beat. See FGA's letter here.

Photo by Video4net, Creative Commons license.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

- Quite a fuss over a young man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk! (Make sure to read the comments.)  Crown

- Now it seems the police are giving out tickets for merely walking your bike on the sidewalk! Gothamist 

- Secret police videotaping to begin in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Coney Island's Shore Theater is named a landmark.  NY Times

- "Brooklyn Heights," the novel by Miral al-Tahawy, has received the 2010 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. BHB

- A lawsuit has been filed in Brooklyn against Jimmy Kimmel for using footage of an eccentric local rabbi from a YouTube video without permission. Brooklyn Eagle 

- A 29-year-old man was arrested on Dec. 6 for not only encouraging his son to beat up a 10-year-old classmate — but for holding his child’s opponent down during the fisticuffs.  Brooklyn Paper 

- The cure nearly killed him, but a man is officially rid of HIV.  Gizmodo 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Giant Menorah Trucked Away from Brooklyn Borough Hall

 It seems early for Chanukah to be over -- but yesterday a crane airlifted the giant Menorah set up at Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza and trucked it away.

This year the official Chanukah celebration took place on December 3, when Borough President Marty Markowitz joined quite a crowd to preside over the festivities and give out Chanukah gelt to the kids. (The web site Crown has dozens of photos of the event.)

Now the question is, where do giant Menorahs live when it's not Chanukah?

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Scenes, Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

 Just a light dusting, but out in Cadman Plaza Park (Brooklyn Heights / Downtown Brooklyn), it looks like a real snow!

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Rooftop Films in Atlantic Tunnel Cancelled; Neighborhood Boundaries; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Oops! Fire Department cancels this past weekend's Rooftop Films down in the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Widower keeps wife's body. The Local

- Christmas caroling Wednesday on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights.  BHB

- Street artist solves age-old question of Brooklyn neighborhood boundaries. Observer

- Brooklyn Brainery helps you figure out what gifts to buy that your giftee will really like. Brooklyn Brainery

- City Council committees postpone Brookyn Walmart hearing, books a bigger hall. Brooklyn Eagle

- Researchers have found teeny, tiny letters and numbers hidden in the Mona Lisa -- probably some kind of code. Gizmoto

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Emotionally Disturbed Man Arrested After Swinging Pipe at Passersby in Brooklyn Heights -- UPDATED

An emotionally disturbed man was detained by police in front of the Park Plaza Diner on Cadman Plaza West at 4:30 p.m. yesterday after swinging a metal pipe (or possibly a hammer, see below) at at least two Brooklyn Heights pedestrians. One woman narrowly avoided serious injury when she dodged the attacker while walking along Montage Street.

A witness said that a second person who had been threatened rode with police around Brooklyn Heights and spotted the attacker near the diner.

The man was said to be in his 60s, balding, with dark skin, a gray beard and gray sweat pants.

He was arrested and sent to Long Island College Hospital.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Eagle has a photo of the man and more information, such as the weapon may have been a hammer: "One woman said something about the man caused her to turn around to look at him just in time to dodge the hammer swinging towards her head . . . "

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Elephants on Flatbush; Walmart in East New York; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Bruce Ratner: “I can’t wait to see circus elephants marching down Flatbush Avenue and into the Barclays Center." Gothamist

- East New York is bracing for what could be the city's first Walmart. NY Daily News 

- Get your holiday gift shopping done on the way to Fairway.  Brooklyn Based

- Some sensible reasons why a huge parking lot should not be built in the middle of the downtown area of one of the most densely populated counties in this nation.  Environment.Change 

- Five deaths in 19 months linked to Lowen’s Pharmacy in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

- After the rabbinical court known as the Beth Din of Crown Heights ordered members not to speak to the cops (see NY Times), Brooklyn DA Hynes says he's not going to let the Beth Dins stop him from doing his job.  FailedMessiah

- Gawker data base hacked -- change your password.  Huff Post

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, December 10, 2010

National Geographic to Start Filming Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Documentary This Weekend

At long last, we may finally learn What's Behind the Wall!

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel discoverer Bob Diamond tells McBrooklyn:

"Its been a long time coming -- National Geographic TV is going to start shooting the one hour Atlantic Avenue Tunnel documentary this weekend! It's expected to air in November, 2011.
Needless to say, I'M VERY EXCITED !!

"This weekend, they plan to start interviewing me in the tunnel. I'm told that the City (DOT) is going to let them scan Atlantic Avenue the second week of January 2011, and if they get a good 'hit,' then dig.

"Stay tuned for updates!"

*   *   *
Yay, Bob!

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.

Since then, thousands have ventured down into that mysterious place deep under Atlantic Avenue between Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill to hear his incredible tale of how it came to be built in 1844, then forgotten, and then found again in 1981.

Diamond has tried for years to get permission and funds to knock down a wall at the west end of the tunnel. He thinks there may be a perfectly preserved locomotive from the 1800s behind the wall -- or even the missing pages of Booth's diary that list the conspirators involved in Lincoln's death.

He is influenced in this thinking by the civil war "docudrama" the Cosgrove Report, which asserts that the missing diary pages of John Wilkes Booth were hidden in the tunnel in April, 1865  as the assassin escaped to Europe and then India.

Sound far fetched? Maybe not. Take a look at the actual history, as reported in Brooklyn Daily Eagle articles from that era here (and make sure to click on the old Eagle articles at the bottom; they will totally weird you out.)

- Welcome Back Bob: Hundreds Take Sunday's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Saved! BP Markowitz Prevails Upon Bob Diamond
- Atlantic Tunnel's Bob Diamond Leaving Brooklyn? Say It Ain't So!
- Quite a Crowd for Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour 
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Is Probably Haunted
- What's Behind the Wall? Atlantic Ave. Tunnel Mystery
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel: What's Behind the Wall?
- Let Them Laugh: Bob Diamond's Brooklyn Trolley Idea Gains Traction
- Mole People Back in Brooklyn?
- Lineup For Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return

Photo copyright MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Christmas Creshe with Angel, Brooklyn Borough Hall

The wise kings, a shepherd, Joseph, Mary, another woman and animals are watched over by a hovering angel as they admire the Child in his manger in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court in Columbus Park, Brooklyn Heights.

This creche is installed every year by The Catholic Lawyers Guild of the Diocese of Brooklyn, which held the Nativity Dedication and Blessing yesterday afternoon, followed by a cocktail party at Eamonn’s on Montague Street.

- Christmas Creshe Returns to Brooklyn Borough Hall, 2009
- Christmas Creshe at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 2007 

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SantaCon NYC 2010 this Saturday (Dec. 11)

 OK all you white-bearded drunken lunatics: SantaCon is on for Saturday. If you've ever been caught up in this all-day revelry, you know it's not to be missed. (Or maybe it's to be avoided like the plague?)

According to the official web site, "Santacon is an annual convention for Santa and his holiday brethren.
Expect holiday cheer, unconventional gifts, naughty carols and general mayhem." 

After hundreds of authentically-dressed Santas and the odd reindeer meet up at a secret location (sometimes in Brooklyn, sometimes not) they invade bridges, subways and buses in their trek around town, showing up en mass at tourist destinations, malls and, most importantly, bars. Where they are expected to tip decently. Because if Santa screws you, the world is a bleak place indeed. 

For official SantaCon rules, see here

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Rooftop Films in the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, SOLD OUT (Dec. 11 and 12)

UPDATE: This event has sold out. See note below.

UPDATE 2: Fire Department cancels event! 

Bob Diamond's famous Atlantic Avenue Tunnel is the awesome venue for this weekend's Rooftop Films presentation.

Diamond's regular Atlantic Avenue Tunnel tours, where flashlight-bearing urban spelunkers climb down into a half-mile ling, cavelike tunnel deep under the avenue (near Trader Joe's), attract hundreds. Prior to the screenings, Bob will be conducting a tour of the tunnel, and his recounting of the history of this historic treasure is not to be missed. Following the screening, there will be an after party at Last Exit Bar and Lounge at 136 Atlantic Avenue, with complimentary drinks courtesy of Sailor Jerry Rum.

Saturday's event is sold out. Some tickets left for Sunday; see below.
- On Saturday, several films will be presented in the theme of "Trapped In the Tunnel" -- Here's the blurb: "Freaks lurk deep below ground, and normally they stay out of sight and don't interfere with the lives of us surface dwellers. If you are curious about subterranean life and aren't feeling too claustrophobic, join us on December 11th for a program of films about people who wander into mysterious realms from which they just might never escape. The only way out is the way you came in."

UPDATE: Sorry, the Sunday show just sold out, too. Rooftop Films informs us that there will be more of these shows in February.

- On Sunday the theme is "Tunnel of Love."

1:00 p.m. Doors Open
1:45 p.m. Presentation by Bob Diamond
2:15 p.m. Films begin
4:15 p.m. After-party following the screening at Last Exit bar with complimentary Sailor Jerry Rum (136 Atlantic Ave)

Tickets are $20 online or at the door. Tickets and more information here.

IMPORTANT - Please Note: Must be 18 or over to attend the screening (after-party is 21+). Entrance is through the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel via a ladder through a manhole in the middle of Atlantic Avenue. Attendees should wear comfortable shoes and those who are incapable of climbing up and down a 10-foot ladder should not plan on attending the event. You must sign a liability waiver before entering the tunnel. There are no chairs in the tunnel. Tarps will be placed on the ground to sit on, and attendees may bring small cushions as well. There are no bathrooms in the tunnel. Plan on using a restroom before you enter.

Photo courtesy of Rooftop Films

- Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Saved! BP Markowitz Prevails Upon Bob Diamond

- Atlantic Tunnel's Bob Diamond Leaving Brooklyn? Say It Ain't So!
- Quite a Crowd for Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour 
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Is Probably Haunted
- What's Behind the Wall? Atlantic Ave. Tunnel Mystery
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel: What's Behind the Wall?
- Let Them Laugh: Bob Diamond's Brooklyn Trolley Idea Gains Traction
- Mole People Back in Brooklyn?
- Lineup For Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Live Musical Performance by Jimmy McMillan of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party

A live music performance by Jimmy McMillan of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party is presented by Scenic at Europa on Thursday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m.

UPDATE: A commenter points out that Mr. McMillan has made a series of offensive anti-Semitic remarks. See comments below.

 If you can't make the party, why not buy the Jimmy McMillan action hero doll from Herobuilders?

Only $39.95 -- or, for $10 more, you can get the SPEAKING  version of the Jimmy McMillan action hero doll. Click here to hear what he says.

Top photo courtesy of Scenic
Bottom photo courtesy of Herobuilders

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Green-Wood Cemetery Will Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Airplane Crash in Park Slope

We received this from Craig Hammerman at CB6:
On the morning of Dec. 16, 1960, 134 people lost their lives when United Airlines Flight 826 and TWA Flight 266 collided over the skies of Staten Island. The United aircraft crashed in Park Slope, at the intersection of Sterling Place and Seventh Avenue.

On Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010, at 9:45 a.m. -- 50 years to the day of the tragic crash -- Green-Wood Cemetery will be honoring those who perished, both in the sky and on the ground, by unveiling a new eight-foot memorial. The granite monument will stand sentinel near the gravesite where the unidentified remains of victims have rested for half a century.

This special unveiling ceremony and memorial service are co-sponsored by New York Methodist Hospital and the Park Slope Civic Council, and are free to the public. Participants will gather at the cemetery's main entrance at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue at 9:45 a.m. The service will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

Please RSVP with Isabella Vlacci at 718-210-3024.

Photo of newspaper courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cathie Black Visits School in Bay Ridge; Graffiti Artist Sure Killed; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Park Slope Food Co-opers discuss their feelings about the coming of Whole Foods to Gowanus. Observer 

- Cathie Black visits a school in Bay Ridge, where she was welcomed with open arms.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn graffiti artist Sure killed in action in Afghanistan. BSA  via Gothamist 

- The second public hearing on Alternatives To Housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park will be held on Thursday, December 9th. PMFA 

- Little worlds inside light bulbs.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Drinking cocktails and dressing up while watching the season finale of a period specific television show is all the rage. CarrollGardensPatch

- Spike Lee book signing at powerHouse Arena.  BHB

- Where to see Santa in Brooklyn and other boroughs. A Child Grows

- Brooklyn Heights Association remembers Thomas Wolfe.  Brooklyn Eagle 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Tree Lighting Tonight at Brooklyn Borough Hall (Tuesday, Dec. 7)

The tree has been ready for a couple of days now: Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree tonight  in Columbus Park, right in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall. The event, at 5:30, will include entertainment, refreshments and a visit from Santa.

Dress warmly, it's going to be FREEZING and windy.

Borough Hall is already decked out and looking cheery for the holidays.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Rabid Racoons; Singing Barber's Shop Reopens; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Oh, oh: rabid raccoon found in Prospect Park.  NY Times

- Brooklyn Heights co-op on Promenade opens at $405,000 in Tuesday's auction.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Today on Etsy: a slinky, sexy 7.5 inches of earrings dripping from vintage .22 gauge brass bullet shell casings. Etsy

- "City of Hamburgers" coming back to Hawthorne Street on Dec. 12 by popular demand.  Hawthorne Street

- The cop son of a legendary singing barber in Sheepshead Bay has reopened his father’s shop. Courier Life 

- Odds your Social Security number is being used by someone else? One in seven. Queens Crap

- How will you spend your $87? The U.S. government sold its stake in Citigroup and netted taxpayers a profit of $12 billion. Reuters  

- Daily aspirin cuts many cancer risks. Reuters

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Menace to Society Finally Arrested, Thanks to New York Times

It took one of the most powerful newspapers in the free world to bring to justice a Brooklyn criminal who terrorized customers over the Internet.

Vitaly Borker, who operates the eyeglasses web site with the awkward  name DecorMyEyes was finally arrested Monday. Even though his victims had complained to the police that he cheated them, threatened to sexually assault them, sent "I know where you live" photos of their own buildings to them, sent manacing letters to their employers and more, no one did anything until the New York Times visited the creep. Borker bragged that every online complaint only raised his Google profile.

After the story came out in the Times, Google said they were going to recalibrate their algorithms so crime doesn't pay (at least crime won't push a company's search rankings higher on Google). And finally, law enforcement got into gear and arrested Borker (the load of guns found in his apartment doesn't help his case).

Blogs are wonderful -- but may we suggest that everyone go out a buy a copy of the Times now and then?

Photo by kitty27, Creative Commons License

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Pies Up the Wazoo at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

There were literally hundreds of delicious pies at P.S. 29's “Eat Pie and Shop” Holiday Gift Fair and Pie Social in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn yesterday. Local bakers – both amateurs and professionals – cooked up sweet pies (fruit and berry, along with pumpkin and custard) and savories, like quiche. The pies were judged by parents and a panel of celebrity chefs, and were eaten by hoards of ravenous shoppers like us.

Where to start? Pumpkin is usually one of our favorites but this time we couldn't resist the double-crust apple pies, which looked like they had black birds baked inside.

The pecan pies were teeth-rattlingly sweet.

Some people went for the chocolate cream. We don't really hold with that.

After stuffing our faces we staggered out of the cafeteria to do some shopping at the gift fair, which had a really nice assortment of cute handmade items.

Our favorite: tiny little moss terrariums built inside light bulbs, little glass jars and blown glass orbs made by Twig Terrariums, run by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow from Brooklyn. Beside plant life (easy to maintain, they say) each terrarium contains a little scene with teeny-tiny people.

Inside this one, for example, a cop is arresting a guy in a graffiti-strewn park. Very cool.

All in all it was a great event (sponsored by Fork + Pencil, Half Pint Citizens and Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain), and even better because the proceeds went to support the P.S. 29 PTA.

To see the action at the Brooklyn Friends School Winter festival, look here

Photos copyright MK Metz

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Brooklyn Friends School's Winter Festival 2010

 Once again the selection of crafts at the Brooklyn Friends School's Winter Festival on Saturday was outstanding. Several floors of the school (in Downtown Brooklyn next to the Marriott on Pearl Street) were transformed into a winter wonderland with the huge craft sale, a holiday plant sale, lunch and baked goods, entertainment and children's stories, a book fair and a children's carnival.

There were many different styles of jewelry in roughly two categories: the pretty, delicate kind and the clunky, heavy kind. Above -- the pretty, delicate kind.

 These T-shirts featured 3-D bugs in a little clear pouch.

 Fine & Raw Chocolates makes famous "artisan confections." If you missed them Saturday, try the Brooklyn Flea.

 Upstairs , there were games and bouncy things for kids at the carnival, including this School of Sorcery and Academy of Alchemy castle. Our favorite was a huge bouncy maze, which, if no one was looking, we would have been all over.

The proceeds from this extravaganza benefits the Horizons Program for public school children in Downtown Brooklyn. Nice work!

To read about the Pie Festival at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, see here

- BFS Winter Festival 2009
- BFS Winter Festival 2008

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Flatbush Gardens -- Like Home, Depending On the Home . . .

According to Flatbush Gardens, the 59-building Brooklyn complex in East Flatbush "is home to an eclectic, friendly community of families, young professionals, and seniors alike. It's a place where neighbors know each other and the management and maintenance staffs are always ready to help. Flatbush Gardens is what home feels like. "

So how is it possible that, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the massive complex has 8,100 current, open violations and counting? An HPD spokesman told the Real Deal, "this is bad -- and we're probably not getting the full extent of it."

A look at one of the building's records on HPD's web site confirms hundreds of violations ranging from roaches to defective carbon monoxide devices to mold to defective wood floors and broken door knobs. 

Seems like that friendly maintenance staff is locked in a contract dispute with landlord Renaissance Equity Holdings. They've put together a video (see the Real Deal) that raises a number of questions about what exactly is going on in the basement out there . . .  

Top photo courtesy Flatbush Gardens
Second photo from union video

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Tomorrow: Brooklyn Friends Winter Festival in Downtown Brooklyn

Fun, food and get your holiday shopping done: Don't miss Brooklyn Friends School’s Winter Festival tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brooklyn Friends is located at 375 Pearl St., (one block from Borough Hall and the Marriott Hotel). This is one of the great shop-local holiday fairs and has been going on for 31 years now.

Festivities include an “all by hand” craft fair with 45 local artisans; holiday plant and wreath sale; book fair; children’s carnival with bouncy rides, mazes and games; a children’s craft activity center; and readings by local children’s book authors, headlined by Tad Hills of "Duck and Goose" fame.

Info: (718) 852-1029 or

Proceeds benefit the Horizons at Brooklyn Friends School summer enrichment program for public school children in Downtown Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park Timetable; Zombie Apocalypse; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Just in time for the holidays, Coney Island's Storybook Burlesque is bringing back their Bible Show. Kinetic Carnival

- The timetable for constructing buildings in Brooklyn Bridge Park was revealed at Tuesday's meeting. Brooklyn Eagle

- Ferry service is coming to Greenpoint and N. Williamsburg in May. Gothamist

- NASA's going to make an unusual announcement tonight that has something to do with alien-like microbe life. Gothamist

- They know when you've been sleeping: By the end of next year, a tech company expects to have "fingerprinted" one billion of the world's computers, cell phones and set-top boxes. WSJ

- A nanny's guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse.  I Saw Your Nanny

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Walmart : We Don't Need No Stinkin' Hearing in New York City

Walmart officials "have made it clear they intend to open stores in the five boroughs," says Crain's, and the City Council is doing the right thing by holding a public meeting about the store's potential impact on small businesses and the surrounding communities on Tuesday, Dec. 14 (details in the Brooklyn Eagle).

One potential location, the Gateway II complex in East New York, Brooklyn, has already received land-use approval.

But Steven Restivo, Walmart’s director of community affairs, told Crain’s the company didn't see the need for a council hearing.

“This hearing is particularly curious since it seems to ignore the fact that the city is already home to hundreds of stores similar to Walmart," he told Crain's.

Hundreds? What? Where?

The Neighborhood Retail Alliance (composed of mom and pop store owners) wants the City Council to reconsider the" myth" that the retail giant -- whether in the form of superstores or "Little Wallies" -- will be an overall plus for New York. They say that Walmart would have a negative effect on the city's supermarkets and the "immigrant business class" that is heavily represented in the food business here.

As part of a study, they've asked store owners to make lists of their local suppliers  -- meat and produce in particular -- and will contrast this "local nexus" (the Hunt's Point Market, for example) with the way Walmart brings much of its inventory in from outside the city.

They also point out tactics that have worked for Walmart in other cities. In Chicago, for example, Walmart created "a fake community group that purports to represent a community's residents and interests," according to Neighborhood Retail Alliance.

That's a tactic familiar to many Brooklynites, and it always seems to work.

According to NY1, Mayor Bloomberg -- who isn't bothered by the store's low wages and anti-union stance -- is in favor of Walmart coming in.

Photo by Robert Stinnett, Creative Commons license

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Large Tree Down on Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights

 A truck owned by North Star Food Service backed into a mature pear tree on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights about 9 a.m. this morning, ripping it out of the ground by its roots and knocking it down.

Fire fighters from Ladder Company 118 arrived about ten minutes after the tree fell and sawed it into pieces.

Very sad.

UPDATE: More at the Brooklyn Eagle

Photos by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Bridge Park Meeting; Domino Sugar Suit; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Dozens of Brooklyn residents spoke out Tuesday night against plans to put residential buildings inside Brooklyn Bridge Park.  NY1

- Opponents of the $1.5 billion mixed-use redevelopment of the crumbling Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg sued last week to overturn the waterfront plan.  TRD 

- Brooklyn Bridge Park has released a Request for Proposals for a full-service restaurant with an outdoor terrace and rooftop seating area on Pier 6. Brooklyn Eagle

- So we had a little earthquake yesterday.  NY Times

- Pedestrian islands are driving Borough Park CRAZY. CRAZY!  Gothamist

- Opponents of new Schools Chancellor Cathie Black will be wearing red Thursday to show their outrage. Brooklyn Eagle 

- The real story: the first groups of Christmas carolers were nothing but a bunch of rowdy drunks. AOLNews via Huff Post

- Even the otters are against us now.  CNN

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