Friday, April 29, 2011

Hope Reichbach Dies; the Royal Wedding; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Hope Reichbach, a rising star in city politics and a key aide to Councilman Steve Levin, is dead at 22. Brooklyn Paper  and Carroll Gardens Patch

- Walcott tries to instill some civility at first Ed Panel meeting. NY1 

- Miss USA's vagina was aggressively frisked by the TSA. Four times. NY Magazine

- U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Brooklyn/Staten Island) held his first town hall in Brooklyn Wednesday night and got into a verbal fisticuffs with his constituents. Brooklyn Eagle

- 2,600-year-old mummy from Brooklyn Museum gets CAT scan, has perfect teeth. CBS

- In Prospect Park there are people who fly kites fitted with devices that make an annoying humming sound. Brooklynian

- Don't forget: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival will be in full swing this weekend. NY1

- Where to watch/celebrate the Royal Wedding in Brooklyn.  Brokelyn

- A Brooklyn fish importer is on trial for attempting to smuggle around 350 incredibly scarey live snakehead fish through Kennedy Airport last year. NY Magazine

- Now we're really sunk: Superman renounces his U.S. citizenship. Comics Alliance

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Sinkhole, Brooklyn Bridge Park

 A sinkhole at the south end of the Pier 1 walkway at the new Brooklyn Bridge Park has swallowed an orange traffic cone.

Com'on people, we need revenue!

Photo by MK Metz

- Housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park . . . Pros and Cons
- Gelber Proposal -- Watchtower to Generate Funds for Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Here Are Some Ideas to Generate Funds for Brooklyn Bridge Park  

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Couple Who Split House in Half With Wall Finally Gets Divorce

 Remember six years ago when a warring Brooklyn couple was ordered to build a wall down the middle of their house because neither would admit to fault in their divirce proceedings?

Simon and Chana Taub had been living in their brownstone separated by that wall ever since. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, on Wednesday a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge finally granted the divorce and also ordered the Taubs to sell their home.

Simon Taub was reportedly happy about the arrangement; his wife was not. Simon Taub, by the way, is charged with several counts of attempted grand larceny in an unrelated case. More here.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cherry Tree, Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

 The statue of a woman with a child (by sculptor Charles Keck) at the Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza Park overlooks a cherry tree in full bloom.

In Downtown Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

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Inclement Weather Advisory in Brooklyn, New York City



            The National Weather Service forecasts possible severe thunderstorms with gusts of wind up to 55 mph for the New York City area today, April 28, 2011. In preparation for the windy weather, the Department of Buildings is reminding all builders, contractors, and property owners to secure their construction sites and buildings.  The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city.  If construction sites are not safely secured in preparation for the inclement weather, the Department will take immediate enforcement action with the issuance of violations and Stop Work Orders if necessary.

            These winds may reach higher speeds than forecast depending on the area of New York City. Property owners must consider the safety of their buildings and construction sites, cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, hoists, and any other building appurtenances that may come loose from exposure to high winds. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or are in delicate condition could be at greater risk. The Department strongly suggests consulting a professional to advise how to safely secure construction sites and buildings. 

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Gowanus Grind Skate Jam and Party this Sunday, May 1

Gowanus Grind-III takes place May 1 from Noon – 4 PM. The Grind celebrates Thomas Greene Park (Third Avenue between Douglass and DeGraw Streets) and features skateboard contests, music and children’s activities. 

Sonic Smithy under the direction of Nicole Federici will perform special selections to celebrate GG3 and the arrival of new skate elements. Kids activities include refreshments, silkscreening workshop, inflatables and pet adoptions. (Apply on line and be pre-approved.

Homage from Smith Street is setting up the skateboard area for the SKATE JAM – show your skills, win some prizes or just be entertained.

 The Friends of Douglass-Greene Park (FoDGP)envisions that by 2016 the park will be an inviting place for all sorts of recreation, from cooling off in the pool, to enjoying the skate park, to sitting in the shade of new trees, to taking in cultural events in a new community center.

Phase I of the park could begin this September and be completed by September 2012. Phase I will include the Play Units with the Spray Shower; and Seating/Picnic Area. 

Photo by Oscar E., Creative Commons license

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Cathie Black Again; Moving Day Parking Spots; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A group of parents filed a $100 million claim against Mayor Bloomberg charging him with committing “misfeasance” by appointing Cathie Black as schools chancellor. Brooklyn Eagle

- Coney boardwalk proposal calls for three towers. TRD 

- The owner of a Brooklyn soccer club was thrown in jail Wednesday after being charged with molesting an 8-year-old player. NY Daily News

- Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander is introducing a bill that would allow people to apply to reserve parking spots on moving day. NY1

- Clockwork Puppet Theatre opens on Columbia Street this weekend. The Word on Columbia Street

- Ikea has switched on its huge rooftop solar energy system -- one of the largest rooftop installations in New York. Furniture Today

- First peek at what Governors Island will look like this summer. Gothamist

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chris Hondros Memorial Service Attended by More Than a Thousand In Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

War photojournalist Chris Hondros was honored in a memorial service attended by more than a thousand mourners today at the Sacred Hearts & St. Stephens Church in Carroll Gardens. Hondros and "Restrepo" director Tim Hetherington were killed in a grenade attack in Libya last week.

According to CBS News, Hondros was due to be married to Christina Piaia just months from now in the same church where his memorial was held today. Attendees wept as Piaia spoke of her love for her fiancee.

"Oh, how I wish this were our wedding day," she said.
More here. See some of Hondros' photos here.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The Chris Hondros Fund, which will provide scholarships for aspiring photojournalists and raise awareness of issues surrounding conflict photography.
The Chris Hondros Fund
c/o Christina Piaia
50 Bridge Street, No. 414
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Henry Ward Beecher, with Egg

 At Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims' egg hunt this past Easter Sunday in Brooklyn Heights.

Photo copyright MK Metz

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Boing Boing Buzz; Brooklyn Bridge Park Bridge; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The reaction keeps coming in about the wisdom and legality of the discount that Boing Boing, the maternity shop in Park Slope, is offering to lesbian moms. Joe.My.God.

- 360 Smith Street brochure shows HUGE front garden. Just one problem . . . PMFA

- The pedestrian bridge connecting Squibb Park to Brooklyn Bridge Park will be made of American-grown black locust wood and will be veerrry long.  Popular Mechanics 

- Brooklyn-born Columbia professor's retirement big news in Japan.  NY Times

- The Metropolitan Opera will present a free recital at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park in July. BHB

- So how's it going at the Whole Foods site?  Brownstoner

- If you're one of the 77 million people who use the Playstation Network, the security problem is probably worse than you thought.  TechCrunch

- 14 ways to use dryer sheets that have nothing to do with the dryer. Gizmodo

- The water supply in the western U.S. is rapidly depleting. Huff Post via NY Magazine

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Two Retail Spaces Leased at One Brooklyn Bridge Park

Two out of potentially five retail spaces have been filled at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, the massive residential development on the waterfront at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, a pet boutique and a wine store have signed on for the two spots. The pet retailer will be called "Brooklyn Bridge Bark."

See the full story here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Taxis Built in Brooklyn? Sahadi's Expansion; and More Brooklyn Briefs

The Turkish Taxi Of Tomorrow might be built in Brooklyn! Gothamist

- National Guard gives up on another Brooklyn Navy Yard building. L Magazine

- Bed bug experts are warning New Yorkers to brace for an infestation explosion come summertime. DNAinfo

- Sahadi's on Atlantic Ave. is planning to expand the store.  Brooklyn Eagle

- How to turn a Health Department "B" rating to your restaurant's advantage. PMFA 

- Cop pleads guilty to robbing drug dealers. NY Times 

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DUMBO BID and BBC Request the Honour of Your Presence at the Royal Wedding

The Dumbo Improvement District, with media partner BBC America request the honour of your presence on Friday, April 29, 2011 at the wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton. A live viewing and British-style street party will take place under The Archway in Dumbo. The event is FREE and open to the public.

BBC America’s commercial free coverage of the wedding will be shown from 5:30AM EST and festivities will continue throughout the day including contests and prizes for the best fancy hat and costumes for both children and adults. Dress as your favorite royal (real or imagined), don a fancy hat and commemorate it all with a snapshot from the photobooth on site. For late-risers, BBC America’s coverage will be replayed in its entirety immediately following the live coverage. See all the details at Dumbo NYC.

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Springs On Your Feet

 We saw these two fitness professionals bouncing around Manhattan the other day wearing "Kangoo Jumps." The devices are described in Gizmag as low-impact rebound shoes that absorb shocks and allow you to jog and exercise in a way that won't hurt your joints.

The Kangoo jumpers looked like they were having fun bouncing down the block, and also looked like they were working pretty hard. While you might think you could run faster with springs on your feet, the devices seemed to slow down their forward motion while increasing their up and down motion.

Kangoo Jumps cost $169 for the Junior Kangoo Jumps, $229 - 259 for the regular models and $279 for the heavy duty models for athletes and big people.

If jumping high in the air is your aim, take a look at Poweriser Jumping Stilts. The company claims they give you the ability "to jump 6 feet in the air and run strides up to 9 feet." (They start at $250). A video on the website shows kids jumping off patio furniture without wearing helmets, something that looks a little dubious.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Brooklyn Heights Spring Egg Hunt 2011

Kids, parents, strollers, cameras and Easter baskets poured into Pierrepont Playground on Easter Sunday morning for the 2011 Brooklyn Heights Spring Egg Hunt. (It was held Sunday because of Saturday's rain storm.) The Spring Fling in Brooklyn Bridge Park went on as planned Saturday in spite of the rain.

Candy-filled eggs were on the ground, stuck in fences and trees and all over the climbing equipment. Since the event was held Easter Sunday, Heights Kids toy store couldn't be there to blow up balloons as usual, but music therapist John Samson provided very enjoyable singing, clapping, stamping and dancing fun.

The littlest kids gathered candy-filled eggs on the lawn.

Family bonding over eggs.

The Brooklyn Heights Playground Committee hid little toys as well as eggs. They sold delicious baked goods (brownies, bird nests) and coffee, too.

The money from the bake sale goes to fund the playground's summer arts and science programs.

Photos by MK Metz 

- Egg Hunters Invade Brooklyn Heights' Pierrepont Playground 2010
- Can't Be Blue On Easter 2009
- The Running of the Eggs at Brooklyn Bridge Park 2008

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Walmart Redux; Subway Ceiling Falls on Kids; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A plan to turn a Brooklyn landfill into a huge shopping mall - possibly with a Walmart - has ignited a controversy over whether developers are getting a sweetheart deal.  NY Daily News

- Kevin Mooney, the owner of "a legendary old man bar" in Park Slope, died last week after a five-year cancer battle. Brooklynian

- Two kids are sent to the hospital after getting hit by falling ceiling at Brooklyn Museum subway stop. Prospect Heights Patch

- Man from South Carolina visits his aunt in East Flatbush, gets shot to death by total stranger. Video. CBS

- PetSmart, the national chain offering live pets, supplies and services, is coming to Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill. Brooklyn Eagle

- Boing Boing, a maternity and breastfeeding store in Park Slope, offers a 10% discount only to same-sex moms. Brokelyn

-Brooklyn student sues Hartwick College over frat hazing. WSJ

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Antoin Dodson of Bed Intruder Fame Busted for Pot Possession

Rapists in Lincoln Park, Alabama, may be climbin’ in your windows and snatchin’ your people up but never you mind because Antoin Dodson (who famously threatened the lowlife who tried to rape his sister) has been arrested for possession of marijuana, according to TMZ.

No word on whether the attempted rapist has been caught . . . but this gives us a chance to reprise one of the world's most beloved videos, Autotune The News' “Bed Intruder Song" by Brooklyn's Gregory Brothers.

"Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cause they’re rapin’ everybody out here.”

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Egg Hunts and Spring Flings in Brooklyn. UPDATE: Pierrepont Brooklyn Heights Egg Hunt Moved to Sunday Because of Rain

Tomorrow (Saturday -- UPDATE: and Sunday) is the time to gather the kids and the baskets and head to parks around Brooklyn for Easter egg hunts and spring celebrations.

UPDATE: The Pierrepont Playground Spring Egg Hunt will take place Sunday because of predictions of rain!

The Pierrepont Playground Spring Egg Hunt in Brooklyn Heights takes place at 10 a.m. sharp. (That means sharp!) Candy, treats and balloons and a bake sale are part of the event.

DUMBO Spring Fling at Brooklyn Bridge Park runs from 10:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.on Saturday, rain or shine. The sixth Annual Spring Fling features Easter Bunny, AudraRox!, Butterfly Boogie with the Wildlife Theater Company. Brooklyn birdwatcher Carolyn Murphy, an egg toss, egg roll, duck race and much more.

More egg hunts and Easter events take place in Crowns Heights, Brownsville, Red Hook, Prospect Park, and McKinley Park. For details see Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo by MK Metz

- Egg Hunters Invade Brooklyn Heights' Pierrepont Playground
- The Running of the Eggs at Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Interesting Timing On Dock Street DUMBO Middle School Announcement

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Two Trees Management Co. announced yesterday their signed agreement with the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) for the creation of a new 300-seat public middle school at their proposed Dock Street project in DUMBO.

But the Dock Street middle school has long been approved and budgeted for by the School Construction Authority (search "Dock St" in the 1020-2014 SCA budget). Why this big announcement now?

Could it be related to the letter-writing campaign and petition started by P.S. 8's PTA to extend their school through the 8th grade? Principal Seth Phillips is about a week away from turning in the required paperwork and support for a P.S. 8 middle school.

Could this be the SCA's way of killing P.S. 8's expansion plans?

If so, SCA is wrong. P.S. 8 alone holds more than 500 kids. The Dock Street middle school -- if it is ever built (note lawsuit appeals have not yet been heard) -- would serve 300 kids coming from all over District 13. About 20 schools would be feeding into Dock Street middle school, not just P.S. 8.

Meanwhile, P.S. 8 kids have nowhere to go after they leave elementary school. It's time for a P.S. 8 middle school.

Photo: P.S. 8 by MK Metz

- P.S. 8 Annex Going Up Fast; Now Parents Want a Middle School

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Jane's Carousel Pavilion, Brooklyn Bridge Park

 Work continues on the glass pavilion that will house Jane's Carousel in the Empire-Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Work is also continuing on the Brooklyn Bridge, seen shrouded overhead in the photo above.)

Rendering of the pavilion with carousel inside
 The pavilion was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel. According to Dumbo NYC, it should be ready by this August.

Jane Walentas restored the historic 1922 carousel made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company over the course of two decades.The Walentas family is donating the carousel to the park.

- Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park Closed for Renovations, Including Problematic Placement of Jane's Carousel

Top photo by MK Metz
Rendering courtesy of Brooklyn Eagle

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amazon Cloud Goes Down Same Day Skynet Launches Its Robot Onslaught. Coincidence?

 Dozens of websites -- including Reddit, Foursquare and Quora -- have been down all day due to an Amazon Cloud meltdown. Using a cloud-service provider like Amazon helps websites lower data costs, but also takes control of the data out of the hands of the users. Amazon is so busy trying to get the servers back up it hasn't had time to answer questions from news providers like Bloomberg, referring them to its web site.

From the Wall Street Journal: "William Marler, a lawyer for the Seattle law firm Marler Clark, said his food-safety blog and online newspaper have been down since Amazon's issues began. 'It is simply amazing how dependent we have all become on the Web--that we do not control,' he said."

The problem began at 1:41 a.m. Thursday morning. At 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) website provided this information: "A single Availability Zone in the US-EAST-1 Region continues to experience problems launching EBS backed instances or creating volumes." That zone apparently handles the data of major websites like Reddit, which are still down.

Many media devotes, however, say they know the "real" explanation for the crash. Today is the day that Skynet, which became aware on the 19th, "launches its robot onslaught against mankind."

A commenter on Amazon's Developer Forum asks, "Did SkyNet destroy zone us-east-1c?" 

Another comments, "That would explain the robotic forum answers 'Zach@AWS' has been posting. SkyNet likely took over equinox and now controls all of NoVA."

On the same forum, an Amazon administrator replies: "From the information I have and to answer your questions, SkyNet did not have anything to do with the service event at this time."

At this time.

Photo by ewen and donabel, Creative Commons License

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Bubby's Cow Has a New Look

Remember when the Bubby's cow was a Holstein? That was so last week. 

DUMBO, Brooklyn

Photo by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Photojournalists Remembered; Craigslist Scam; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Friends remember Brooklyn photojournalists killed in Libya. NBC

- Equal-opportunity gross-out: Nathans announces the first-ever women’s-only hotdog eating contest set to occur just prior to the men’s. Brooklyn Eagle 

- "Hey, I just killed my girlfriend. I just want to come out and see my kids one last time." Gothamist

- Yet another Brooklyn Craigslist apartment scam.  Brooklynian

- The six remaining penthouse units at One Hanson Place will go on the auction block in May.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- 84th Precinct Community Council wrap up.  BHB

- A children's aid group has built a hydroponic farm in Clinton Hill that will provide their food pantry with leafy greens all year long. The Local

- The FCC and Congress want to know why Apple is tracking every move of its iPhone users. Politico

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Iacono Knifing; Smorgasburg; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn writers make strong showing in this year's Pulitzers.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- There will be no liquor license moratorium in Brooklyn. Gothamist 

The brutal knife fight between pizza maker Mark Iacono and a convict may have been over a woman. Daily Mail

- The Brooklyn Flea is starting the largest outdoor food market ever in Williamsburg, to be called "Smorgasburg." Brownstoner

- Despite foot-dragging by DOE, P.S. 8 families make mighty effort to expand to the eighth grade. Brooklyn Eagle

- NYPD ticket-fixing scandal runs from Harlem to Brooklyn? DNAinfo

- It's time for the Brokelyn Country Club Spring Gala! (Thursday) Brokelyn

- Forest City Ratner exec offered new details about the Barclays Center basketball arena. TRD

- A worst-case scenario looms for New York: two Wall Street losers may vie for Mayor. Marketwatch

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Panasonic Not Moving HQ and Thousand Jobs to Brooklyn

 Panasonic decided not to move its headquarters and almost a thousand jobs to a Brooklyn property owned by Forest City Ratner.

Instead, it will move from Secaucus, NJ to Newark, NJ, acccording to Crain's New York and Gothamist. Brooklyn apparently could't compete with a $102.4 million subsidy offered to Panasonic to move to Newark. But trouble looms: the town of Secaucus is suing.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Work Soon to Begin On New Willoughby Pedestrian Plaza

The blue street furniture on the Adams Street side of the popular Willoughby Pedestrian Plaza has disappeared in anticipation of the construction of a permanent pedestrian plaza. (In this photo we're looking north along the Adams Street Service Road towards the 345 Adams and the Marriott; the future Shake Shack is out of sight on the right.)

It looks so bare now, after several years of planters, street furniture, and the friendly fruit and hot dog stands. But the planned plaza, a project of DOT and the MetroTech BID, will have a new surface, landscaping, turf restoration, outdoor seating, new drainage and a water fountain.

According to MetroTech BID, the success of the “test” plaza lead to an allocation of two million dollars to make it permanent, and the creation of DOT’s city-wide Plaza Program, now popping up all over the five boroughs. DOT is accepting applications to work with selected not-for-profit organizations to create neighborhood plazas throughout the City. Information sessions take place throughout May.

Are you wondering where they put the cement planters, blue metal tables and umbrellas that were in the Adams Street Service Road?

 Here they are -- inside a fenced in area at Brooklyn Bridge Park, of course!

Photos by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Pulitzer Prize Winner; 600 Bogus Summonses; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn author Jennifer Egan wins the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. NY Daily News 

- Report shows upsurge in Brooklyn real estate sales.  Brooklyn Eagle

- The Columbia Street Waterfront District experiences a resurgence. Carroll Gardens Patch

- Brooklyn man wrongly slapped with more than 600 summonses by the Department of Sanitation. CBS Local

- In a quaint springtime tradition, the Brooklyn Supreme Court held an evacuation yesterday. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Suspect in double homicide may have fled to Russia. amny

- No charges for school safety agent who fired at thieves in Bed-Stuy gun battle. NY Daily News  

- NYC lawmakers propose domestic violence registry.  Gothamist

- to weed out sex offenders from dating pool.  Gothamist

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Local Roots CSA Opens in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Williamsburg and Tribecca

 A new CSA is coming to Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill / Boerum Hill, Williamsburg and Tribeca. The CSA is quite unique -- members can pick and choose from a variety of share products, which means members can get the week's groceries all at one CSA location. Below is more information:

The Local Roots CSA is now accepting members for the 2011 Summer Season:

Local Roots is a unique CSA model designed to offer greater convenience for its members with features like enhanced product variety and payment flexibility. Members have the opportunity to pick and choose product shares, allowing members the convenience of picking up a week's worth of fresh, locally grown groceries at one distribution location.

Local Roots offers vegetable, fruit, duck, beef, egg, grain/bean, juice, and/or bread options. The summer season runs from June - August, so members pay upfront for 12 weeks of produce as opposed to 24 weeks (there will be a Fall CSA as well). By paying for half a season upfront, the group hopes this will be a bit more flexible for members.

CSA locations are in Cobble Hill/Boreum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, and Tribeca.

Check out all the details on the website and sign up for shares before they are sold out. Membership applications are due May 23, 2011.

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New Summer Opportunity for Writers in Downtown Brooklyn

 Calling all fiction writers:

Long Island University is accepting applications for the first annual Summer Writers Lab at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University. This urban fiction immersion will be held from June 16-18, 2011, and features Marlon James, Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan and Gabriel Cohen leading master fiction workshops. There will also be readings, performances, and panels by an assortment of writers (including Rick Moody and Wesley Stace), publishers, and agents.

Many of the events taking place during the Summer Writers Lab are open to the public for $5, and
Jessica Hagedorn, novelist and playwright, at the helm as Director of the Lab, has crafted a flexible, affordable program designed to provide both beginning and advanced writers the opportunity to hone their skills in intimate settings.

More information at The Summer Writers Lab (SWL) is hosted by the M.F.A in Creative Writing Program and will include workshops, panels, readings and performances by prominent writers working in fiction and crimefiction. The Brooklyn Campus is located in Fort Greene.

Workshops will be held during three sessions: Thursday through Sunday, June 16-18, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m or 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Applicants need to submit a writing sample, along with a $20 application fee. Tuition is $300 for one workshop or $500 for two workshops. Admission to panels and events is included in the workshop fees. For more information or to apply, contact (718) 488-1050 or email or visit

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New York Post Official Policy: Rip Off Blogs, Don't Credit Them

True News sent us several examples of old media ripping off new media -- especially the New York Post, which has a "policy" of not crediting original blog reporters when they rip off their stories.

According to newyorkshitty (A.K.A. That Greenpoint Blog) the reporter from the New York Post who ripped off Miss Heather's original story without attribution sent her an email saying:

"Post policy prevented me from crediting you in print. Allow me to do so now. You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).
I won’t discuss at length the policy of not crediting blogs (or anyone else). I’ll just briefly explain that as long as we can independently verify every bit of info, we don’t credit."

From here on out we will refrain as much as possible from linking to stories in the New York Post (and its affiliated papers such as the Brooklyn Paper) on the assumption that they stole them from somewhere else. We will make every attempt to find the original source and link to it instead.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wind Advisory in Effect in Brooklyn, NYC, Saturday Night, April 16

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for Brooklyn and the surrounding NYC area until 2 a.m. Sunday. Strong winds with gusts up to 50 miles per hour are expected, with the strongest mid to late evening.

Downed tree limbs and power lines are possible. Remove items from balconies, rooftops and lawns.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Owner of Lucali Pizzaria Stabbed on Smith Street, Condition Critical

Sources are reporting that Mark Iacono, owner of the famous Brooklyn pizzeria Lucali, is in critical condition after a vicious stabbing attack on Smith Street, almost directly across the street from the Hannah Senesh School.

The Daily News has the story. PMFA has photos and more details.

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Walmart; MetroTech; the MTA and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Developer lied to City Council, Walmart probably coming.  Queens Crap

- Big deal with Poly-NYU pending at Ratner's MetroTech. Observer  

- Rhode Island is not liable in a lawsuit filed by a Brooklyn man who became a quadriplegic after he fell from Newport’s Cliff Walk on his honeymoon. Brooklyn Eagle

The twenty residents that were living in what has come to be known as the Bushwick Trailer Park are now being taken care of by Red Cross. Gothamist

- A new website is designed to help parents find great schools in affordable neighborhoods. TRD

- Negotiations with the MTA have led to the return of express bus service on the X27 and X28 bus lines. Brooklyn Eagle 

- The MTA double-paid vendors $3 million this year. Gothamist

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The Black Squirrels Are Baaack

 It's been a while since we saw one of the black squirrels of Brooklyn Heights, but here's one we saw a couple of days ago in a tree on Cadman Plaza West.

First reported in the Bronx, in 2006 there were reports that black squirrels had moved into Boerum Hill, and McBrooklyn saw them in Cobble Hill in 2007. (Ditmas Park Blog sees them in Ditmas Park.)

While the Washington Post said a sizable population started when "18 Canadian squirrels were released at the National Zoo during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt," the Brooklyn Eagle Almanac noted them on Long Island in 1881. 

There's a snow white squirrel in Prospect Park.

Photo by MK Metz

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Marijuana Causes Global Warming

First we learn that sugar is bad for you. Now scientists are saying that people growing marijuana indoors use 1 percent of the U.S. electricity supply, creating 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year.

According to a report in the Denver Business Journal, authorized growers alone use $5 billion worth of energy. That works out to the output of seven big electric power plants. In Humboldt County, Calif., a center of marijuana production, per-person residential electricity use jumped 50 percent compared to other parts of the state after medical marijuana was legalized there in 1996.

Read more: Scientist: Marijuana causes global warming.

Photo by Warrantedarrest, Creative Commons license

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Walcott Gets His Waiver; Park Slope Painted Silver; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A state panel unanimously recommended that Dennis Walcott get his waiver to become the next chancellor of the NYC school system. NY Times

- Death of Brooklyn waterfront shows greatly exaggerated. WSJ

- 3,000 or so applicants waited two hours or more to attend the Brooklyn Job Fair Wednesday at LIU. Brooklyn Eagle

- Overeager good Samaritans paint Park Slope silver. Gothamist

- Budget cuts mean more trash for outer boroughs. Queens Crap

- The Justice Department said it disabled a “massive fraud scheme” that infected more than 2 million computers worldwide. Businessweek

- To understand the U.S. federal budget, divide by 100,000,000.  Boing Boing

- Researchers have developed a system that allows users to dial a phone number on a cellphone using only their thoughts. Mashable

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Over-Radiated Babies; Rent-Stabilized Apartments; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Long after SUNY Downstate medical center said it had stopped over-radiating premature babies, inspectors found that inappropriate X-rays were still being administered. NY Times

- Bridge repair fund looted.  Queens Crap

- Rent stabilization battle: almost half of Brooklyn apartments are regulated. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Wal-Mart announced they have a new web page showing how popular they are with New Yorkers. Observer  Plus, musical protestors aim at Wal-Mart's developer. Observer

- The city is paying an expert $175,000 per year to kill geese near the airport.  Brooklyn Paper

- Looks like the DOE is trying to cram a charter school into Prospect Heights' P.S. 9 -- again.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Interesting picture of a tractor-trailer stuck in a toll booth after being rear-ended by a dump truck. Gothamist

- The rebels have hacked Gadhafi's cellphone network. Gizmodo 

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Magnolia, Brooklyn Heights

All of a sudden magnolias are blooming all over Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

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Saturday Is Deadline to Join Brooklyn Bridge CSA

 The registration deadline is approaching for the Brooklyn Bridge CSA.

Get your locally grown organic produce each week June - November, pick up each Wednesday at Congregation Mt Sinai on Cadman Plaza West. Registration is first come first served until the deadline -- April 17. More info can be found on the website at

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Big Brooklyn Job Fair Today, April 13, at LIU

 On Wednesday, April 13 (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.), Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will host the Brooklyn Job Fair at Long Island University’s Arnold and Marie Schwartz Athletic Center at 1 University Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn. The event is free and open to the public. Nearly 80 employers will be on hand to offer hundreds of available jobs.

“Like everywhere else in the country, Brooklyn is feeling the effects of this economic downturn,” said BP Markowitz. “We’re been here before and we know we’ll get through this. But in the meantime, those of us in government have a special responsibility to do everything we can to get people working again. Jobs are ‘job one’—and jobs two and three. So believe me when I say that what Brooklyn and New York City need to get back on track are jobs, jobs, jobs.”

The Brooklyn Job Fair is presented by BP Markowitz in partnership with Citi, ResCare, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the New York State Department of Labor, and Workforce1 with the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

For more information on the Brooklyn Job Fair and a complete list of participating employers, visit

Brooklyn Headhunter

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Space Creature Lands In Brooklyn Bridge Park

Walking in Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday, we saw this man shooting a photo of something standing on a rock in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Was it a bird? A bug? We were pretty far away so we couldn't see what it was until we zoomed in.

 Darned if it wasn't a tiny creature from outer space!

Welcome, little space guy. Live long and prosper.

Photo by MK Metz

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Last Call for Absolut Brooklyn; UFO Sightings and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Last call: Absolut Brooklyn is about to be retired. The final batch has been shipped to liquor stores and once its sold, it's gone. PMFA

- The House of Yes will stage their own version of Spider Man that “will blow the Broadway version out of the water, featuring high tech aerial production and stunningly dangerous entertainment.” Brooklyn the Borough

- A Brooklyn man wants to hear about your UFO sightings  Huff Post

- The walk to Pier 6 is dangerous, and Councilman Brad Lander is doing something about it.  Brooklyn Eagle

- A new movie theater/ restaurant is opening in Williamsburg.  Brooklyn Paper 

- Video shows ordeal of subway riders trapped in an MTA elevator in Manhattan.  City Room

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Judge: Tobacco Warehouse and Empire Stores Belong to Park, Not Private Developers

Tobacco Warehouse (left), Empire Stores (right)
United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano ruled late Friday evening that the National Park Service violated federal law by removing the historic Tobacco Warehouse and Empire Stores from federally protected parkland in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Court issued a preliminary injunction ordering NPS to protect these structures from the development plans of the Bloomberg Administration, at least for now.

The city recently approved a proposal from St. Ann's Warehouse to take over the Tobacco Warehouse for use as a theater.

The decision follows a hearing held in Brooklyn Federal Court on March 21. The lawsuit was filed by the Brooklyn Heights Association, the Fulton Ferry Landing Association, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and the Preservation League of New York State.

According to a release from plaintiffs lawyers Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the Commissioner of the New York City Parks Department, Adrian Benepe, declared that the structures had been "mistakenly" included on the federal map in 2001 and that the Tobacco Warehouse, a roofless structure enjoyed by the public for free outdoor programming between 2003 and 2008, was "not intended" to be used for public recreation.

"The house of cards erected by the defense cannot withstand the gentlest breeze," Judge Vitaliano wrote. Addressing the claim that the structures were included on the federal map "by mistake," the Judge labeled it as "revisionist," and flatly rejected it, saying, "there is . . . not a shred of evidence [to suggest a mistake]."

Elizabeth Merritt, Deputy General Counsel of the National Trust for Historic Preservation said, "The Court sent a clear message that NPS cannot evade a mandatory public-review process by secretly altering documents."

Jane McGroarty, President of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said, "We are gratified by Judge Vitaliano's clear decision. The National Park Service and the State Parks Department acted illegally by removing the Tobacco Warehouse from the public domain.  It belongs to the park, where it can be enjoyed by all."

Joan Zimmerman, President of the Fulton Ferry Landing Association said, "The decision was a resounding rejection of arguments made to justify backroom deals between the City and NPS, and a strong affirmation of the principle that parks are to serve the public, not private interests."

Release here. More on this at the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal

- When the Tobacco Warehouse Had a Roof
- Saint Ann's Warehouse a Go -- Again -- at DUMBO's Tobacco Warehouse
- Handing Over Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO 'Insulting': Flemming
- Three Brooklyn Heights Association Members Resign in Tobacco Warehouse Flap
- RFP Issued for Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO
- Tobacco Warehouse, Acute Corner, DUMBO

Photo by MK Metz

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Cathie Black Was Not the Problem

 Cathie Black, a formerly respected publisher who was transformed as if by wizardry into the Chancellor of the New York City school system by a Mayor who grows ever stranger, has been released from her spell.

Who can forget the crowds of booing parents, the all-night scream-fests masquerading as meetings of the Panel for Educational Policy, the constant upheavals of closing schools and the cramming of charter schools into regular public schools?

Don't worry, these haven't gone away.

Educators Walk
At least five top educators -- three of them deputy school chancellors -- have left the DOE in the three months since Black was appointed, and yesterday the state education commissioner announced he would step down as well. The Mayor has threatened to fire four to five thousand experienced teachers.

City Councilwoman Letitia James has called for all co-locations and school closures to be suspended until this mess can be straightened out.

Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott appears to be a creditable choice. He has years of experience in areas related to education, including serving on the old Board of Education.

Walcott will not be the problem. Cathie Black was not the problem. Neither was Black's predecessor Joel Klein, or Diana Lam, or Michele Cahill. The four or five thousand experienced teachers are not the problem, nor are the crowds of screaming, sign-waving parents.

It's not the kids' fault either.

- After Three Months, Mayor Replaces Schools Leader  New York Times
- Brooklyn Parents Relieved at City Schools ‘Black-Out  Brooklyn Eagle
- Mayor Makes a U-Turn  WSJ

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

DUMBO's American Indian/ Alaskan Population Increases 600 Percent

Census maps on WNYC
 While Mayor Bloomberg is furious that the 2010 census appears to have under-counted New Yorkers in many neighborhoods, census figures show that the neighborhood of DUMBO has increased its population 218 percent over the last ten years.(See DumboNYC)

There are 3,604 people living in DUMBO. The breakdown by race shows that whites have increased by 272 percent, blacks by 25 percent Hispanics by 101 percent and Asians by 491 percent.

But American Indians/ Alaskans show the most amazing growth of all comes -- they have increased by a whopping 600 percent in DUMBO! That means that DUMBO's  population of American Indians/ Alaskans has grown from one in 2000 to seven in 2010.

Pre-1600, the population of DUMBO was 100 percent American Indian. They called themselves the Lenape, which means "the People."

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Father Finds Son Dead in Basement; Municipal Building Vote Coming Up; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The Nets unveil the latest billboard reminding people that they'll be moving to Brooklyn. NY Magazine 

- You're not dreaming -- It's Christmas in April on Smith Street. PMFA  

- Judge sentences racist Brooklyn woman to jury duty for life. NY Daily News

- The Brooklyn Blogfest website is up and running. OTBKB 

- Father finds son and another man shot to death in Brooklyn basement.  NY Times

- Foxy Brown's attorney sued for alleged "masturbation attack." Brooklyn Eagle

- Lefferts Historic House is seeking volunteers to maintain fires and “prepare foods using traditional tools and methods.” Brokelyn 

- CB2 is voting on April 13 to convert part of the Brooklyn Municipal Building to retail. Brooklyn Eagle

- Reginella calls it quits on Atlantic Avenue.  Brownstoner 

- E-mails show that U.S. regulators privately doubt some nuclear power plants are  ready for a disaster. Huff Post 

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Prospect Park Bike Lane Family Party/ Ride Sunday

From We Ride the Lanes:

Kids and parents: Show your support for the new Prospect Park West bike path by riding it as a family this Sunday, April 10!

 Families and friends of the new Prospect Park West will be gathering at Grand Army Plaza at 10:30 a.m and getting some cool free t-shirts. Starting at 11 a.m. folks will be be riding (and walking) the entire length of the bike path to the Bartel-Pritchard entrance of Prospect Park at 15th Street.

At the end of the ride there will be free hot dogs from Bark, cupcakes from Blue Sky Bakery and more from bike shop sponsors Bicycle Habitat and Ride Brooklyn.

Volunteers from Transportation Alternatives will be stationed along the route to keep the ride safe and hopefully free of skinned knees.

It should be a lovely day, a great ride or walk for everyone and an important opportunity to celebrate safe, family-friendly streets for Brooklyn.

Top photo courtesy DOT

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Time Travel: Washington Street, Downtown Brooklyn,1906

This is one of our favorite early Brooklyn photos: Taken in 1906, it's called "Post Office and Eagle Building. Brooklyn, N.Y." The cobblestone street was named Washington Street. It is what we call Cadman Plaza East today. Make sure you go to the original site, Shorpy, to see the photo at full size. The detail is magnificent.

We're looking south. The buildings on the right, which include several dance academies and newspaper offices, including the Brooklyn office of the New York Times and the Standard-Union building, were knocked down to build Cadman Plaza Park. A couple of snappily-dressed men are walking in front of the dance studios. One is carrying several packages. We can see only one woman, on the far left, wearing a long skirt.

Straight ahead we can faintly see Brooklyn Borough Hall and the dome of the spectacular old Kings County Courthouse. Designed by Gamaliel King, it was razed in 1961 after "bitter controversy," according to Old Brooklyn. Brooklyn Law School is now on the site.

To the far left is the Alcazar Theatre where they held "smoking concerts." (The U.S. District Court is there today.) Continuing on the left, past the Alcazar, is the same Post Office we have today. (Tillary Street would later cross roughly between the Alcazar and the Post Office.)

According to Andrew Porter (see comment below), the Alcazar is where the 1920s addition to the Post Office building was erected. Tillary Street is roughly where the photographer is standing, so you can't see the elevated train there.

Just past the post office on the left is the beautiful Brooklyn Daily Eagle building. Make sure to look at the full size image to find the eagle at the top of the building and the great bronze eagle over the door at the bottom. (See another photo of this street on page 50 of Old Brooklyn.) The Eagle building and the building beyond it were later knocked down to build the Supreme Court building. Pity.

If you follow the trolley tracks you can see the top of a trolley car peeping out from behind the first horse wagon (best seen in the full sized photo). Those tracks were recently ripped out and thrown into a dumpster when they redid the paving in front of the courthouse at the Post Office, according to Andrew Porter at this post.

The snappily-dressed men, the Alcazar, the Brooklyn Eagle building, the dance academies -- they are all gone, but they live on in this photo.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge Closed to Manhattan at Night Again

Forget about driving to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge at night for a while. The city says that rehabilitation work on the Brooklyn Bridge will resume tonight, April 4, 2011.

The bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic daily based on the following schedule: Sunday-Friday 11PM-6AM, Saturday 12:01AM-7AM, Sunday 12:01AM-9AM. The bridge will remain open to Brooklyn-bound traffic, pedestrians, and cyclists at all times. Motorists will be detoured to the Manhattan Bridge or other crossings during closure times. For more info visit:
Photo by MK Metz

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Atlantic Yards Prokhorov Inquiry? Columbine Teacher Free; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Atlantic Yards hitch? A NJ congressman demands a government inquiry into Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire poised to buy the Nets, for his illegal business dealings in Zimbabwe. NY Post

- The Brooklyn teacher accused of making “Columbine-style” threats at her school was out of jail Sunday night. CBS

- Crocheted bike by Olek under the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO. Laughing Squid And more here.

- Author Anna Lappé and musician Dan Zanes will serve as chairs for a Heifer International gala to benefit Haiti on Tuesday, April 5 in Dumbo. DumboNYC

- Three shot, wounded at Brooklyn baby shower.  NY1

- To the relief of parents at P.S. 9, the State put the brakes on the city's vote to co-locate a charter school inside their building. Brooklyn Eagle

- Survey: What new business should go in on Pacific Street?  Brooklynian 

- Photographers and artists are moving into DUMBO. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Con Ed rates to go up 12 percent this summer. Gothamist 

- Mad scientists producing human breast milk from cows. Gothamist

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Giant iPad2 Hovers Over BQE, Brooklyn Heights

 Over the years this giant billboard has displayed an ever-evolving array of Apple products to drivers on the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway), most recently this giant iPad2.

As seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Photo by MK Metz

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Friday, April 1, 2011

UFO Support Group; Sbarro Bankrupt; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- There is a Brooklyn support group for people who have seen UFOs.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Brownstoner reports on Thursday night's Brooklyn Bridge Park alternative revenue meeting.  Brownstoner

- Sbarro, the "king of mall food court pizza," is headed to bankruptcy court.(Sbarro started in Brooklyn.) Gothamist

- Heartwarming video: Three weeks after the tsunami, a dog was found alive on debris floating in the sea off the coast of Japan. Telegraph

- 14 of the city's 24 subway lines will be undergoing service changes this weekend. Gothamist 

- Did you know a casino was opening in Queens? TRD 

- Oh oh. Just what you don't want to hear about America's nuclear plants. NY Magazine

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