Thursday, December 27, 2007

McBrooklyn's on Vacation

McBrooklyn's heading south till January 6, 2008. Have a great New Year!

Dunk Island photo by Melalouise, Creative Commons license

Pedestrian Run Down by Car Service Limo in Brooklyn Heights

An out-of-control car service limo struck a woman about to cross Cadman Plaza West in the north Heights with her family about 7:30 Thursday morning. The limo then smashed into the scaffolding installed around the 140 Cadman Plaza West high rise, demolishing a section.

ABC/Channel7 reports that the woman, her husband and children were on their way to become U.S. citizens at the federal court house. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition -- a person posting to the Brooklyn Heights blog says the doormen at the building are reporting her dead. The driver was treated at the scene.

Photos by MK Metz

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Flatbush Flatiron: It Comes by Night

We know that Flatbush can be pretty spooky at night, but this particular rendering of Ismael Leyva's 21-story "Flatbush Flatiron" building -- officially approved last Wednesday, according to Brownstoner -- reminds us why we want to be home by dark.

The new residential tower will rise at Tillary and Flatbush in Downtown Brooklyn.

Apparently the principals thought they had approval in August, but the DOB disapproved plans related to the buildings foundation/structural underpinning. Or was it that dungeon?

More details available at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Could It Be?

Seen flying high over Manhattan or New Jersey, from a Brooklyn window, Christmas Eve/morning.
Click picture to enlarge image.

Photo by MK Metz

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Petition Going Around Cobble Hill to Save Trusting Tailors on Court Street

Gowanus Lounge says there's an email that's going around Cobble Hill asking people to sign a petition to Bill De Blasio asking him to prevent the eviction of the Trusting Tailors on Court Street. The Oh family has been an asset to the community for years.

Some bloggers have asked what's so special about the Ohs. The Brooklyn Eagle's Trudy Whitman has written about them (called by one couple "the nicest people on the planet") and the place they hold in the heart of Cobble Hill. (There's a follow up here.)

345 Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn

345 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn will soon contain two floors of fairly upscale retail -- like an Apple Store, a Barney's or a Gap. The building is pretty bland, but it has some nice touches -- like this ceiling, for example.

- Red Blooded Downtown Brooklynites to Dine on Barely-Cooked Steak at 'Morton's The Steakhouse' -- and Apple (Or Maybe Barneys) Might Move In Next Door

- Pedestrian Walkway a Pleasant Way To Get to Jay Street

- Apple Store in Brooklyn -- A Recommendation

Photo by MK Metz

Friday, December 21, 2007

Alert: New York Water Taxi Suspending Its East River Service Till Spring

Major bummer: New York Water Taxi has announced that, due to fuel price increases (and the fact that ridership drops in the winter), the East River route is canceled until the spring.

In Brooklyn, this affects riders embarking at Fulton Ferry Landing near Barge Music, and some others. See here.

Dunned If By Land, Screwed If By Sea: Gothamist

Photo copyright MK Metz 2007

Holiday Greetings from Brooklyn BP Markowitz

What do Santa Claus, his reindeer, a Hasidic man handing out menorahs, and this past year’s Bay Ridge tornado have in common?

They're all featured on this year's holiday greeting card sent out by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Holiday Greetings from Brooklyn:
Brooklyn Eagle

Artwork by
Dennis Adler

New Vietnamese Restaurant Coming to Brooklyn Heights

On the corner of Montague and Henry Streets in Brooklyn Heights, where The Greens kosher vegetarian restaurant used to be, the Kim Paris Vietnamese Grill is preparing to open. At one point the "Island Grill" was rumored to be opening in the spot, but that deal seems to have fallen through.

Locals' mouths are watering at the thought of Vietnamese food, especially since Saigon Garden on Remsen Street closed.

A Chowhound contributer says The Greens closed "because the proprietors were getting on in years and their children preferred to focus on the non-kosher downstairs restaurant..."

Photo by MK Metz

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Governors Island, Transformed

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Eliot Spitzer Wednesday announced the selection of a design team that would remake Governors Island, a former military base, into one of the city’s most fabulous parks.

Materials from demolished military barracks would be recycled into fill for rolling hills and climbing cliffs; public art would inhabit a forest; and wooden bicycles would be available for free. The design, led by Dutch firm West 8, calls for 90 acres of parkland and a two-mile promenade. More at the Brooklyn Eagle

- Water Taxi from Brooklyn to Governors Island Starts Saturday

- Chapin Family to Gather on Governor's Island for Big Sing

- Circle Line Statue of Liberty Tour Boat to Leave from Brooklyn Bridge Park?

Rendering by West 8

It's Bay Ridge, Not Fort Hamilton

Let's just clear this up.

The Right in Bay Ridge blog wants everyone to know that the term "Fort Hamilton" designates the military base in the neighborhood, not for the entire southern-tier of the neighborhood as once had been the case.

Right in Bay Ridge supplies a big red arrow pointing to Fort Hamilton on the ORC map. While correct historically, "this nevertheless reflects epistemological dissonance today," says RIBR.

Fort Hamilton is the Base, Not the Neighborhood

Chinese Splendor, in Brooklyn Borough Hall

Traditionally garbed Chinese cultural representatives were handing out brochures in Borough Hall to publicize the Holiday Wonders show at the Beacon Theatre by The show is running at Radio City from January 30 to February 9.

UPDATE: The New York Times reveals the show to be a somewhat-disturbing outreach of Falun Gong.

Photos by MK Metz

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reasons to Love New York

New York Magazine lists 124 reasons to love New York. Here are a few:

    * Because We Could Actually Hit the 2008 Election Trifecta

    * Because Broadway Is Back

    * Because We Proudly Harbor Illegal Immigrants

    * Because Your Foot Can Make You Famous

    * Because Philip. Seymour. Hoffman.

    * Because the Yankees are the New Red Sox

    * Because Brangelina Is Gone

    * Because Rupert Murdoch Thinks Newspapers Are a Growth Business

    * Because We're Finding Out Who's Worth Their Paychecks on Wall Street

    * Because We Shed Our Skin Like Lizards

    * Because You Can Find Love Underground

    * Because the UES Isn't Interested in Being Cool

    * Because of the Retro Glamour of 'Mad Men'

    * Because We’re Not Afraid of Frying

    All reasons to love New York here.

Red Blooded Downtown Brooklynites to Dine on Barely-Cooked Steak at 'Morton's The Steakhouse' -- and Apple (Or Maybe Barneys) Might Move In Next Door

"Morton’s The Steakhouse," an upscale eatery for carnivores that originated in Chicago, will open in the new addition of the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in Downtown Brooklyn, it was announced Monday by Muss Development.

New York Magazine reports: "This international chain of steak restaurants may not have the gritty personality of Peter Luger or the classic Old New York feel of establishments like Wolfgang's or Keen's, but it's a decent option if you find yourself near West 45th Street just wanting an honest steak." (Other reviews here.)

The Brooklyn Eagle reported on Morton's -- but also reported that Muss has entered into a contract to purchase the first two floors of the adjacent 345 Adams St. from the City of New York in “a highly unique transaction,” and will convert that space from offices into 40,000 square feet of retail.

Concentrate, people: "Stan Markowitz, a senior vice president at Muss who has been involved with the 345 Adams conversion, did confirm that the interested retailers include Barneys, The Gap, Banana Republic and Apple."

Morton's to Open at New Downtown Brooklyn Mariott -- Brooklyn Eagle

Building photos by MK Metz
Pewter pig lamp available at Morton's

Dumbo Is Landmarked, vs. Dumbo Is a Forbidding Outpost, and More Brooklyn in Brief

- Dumbo preserved: The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to protect the blocks and 91 historic buildings in Dumbo. DumboNYC

- Dumbo is "a forbidding outpost lined with dark industrial buildings, some with broken windows and graffiti. Mainly an industrial and commercial district, its choppy, potholed streets are deserted at night." From a 1995 article in the New York Times

- The giant inflatable rat is gone, and the Smith's (Atlantic and Smith) ground floor retail spaces have just hit the market. Brownstoner says construction on the project should be finished sometime in January. Brownstoner

- A father abandons his children at the age of two. He never sends birthday presents or attends graduations. He never asked about their well-being or education, except to obtain their social security numbers after they became of age in order to terminate child support payments. Then one of his kids dies in the World Trade Center -- and the kid's estate is worth $2.9 million. Guess who shows up, claiming his fair share? Brooklyn Eagle

- You have to wonder at the wisdom of having a bike lane running right past the busiest hotel in Brooklyn, in the drop off and pick up lane. Brownstoner

- Dump trucks made 19 pickups on Montague Street last night. Residents are tired. Brooklyn Heights Blog

- Dermot now controls three "primo properties" around BAM, including One Hanson/the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower. Brownstoner

- Life in Downtown Brooklyn will never be the same. What the Daily News is calling the "Hip Hop IHOP" started serving up silver dollar pancakes, Belgian waffles and the like at Livingston and Bond yesterday. Curbed

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Trouble at 'Toxic' Preschool in Boerum Hill

It seems that the organization that opened an unlicensed and unsafe preschool in Boerum Hill is imploding. The Brooklyn Eagle reports that no one seems to be returning calls lately to families who had left deposits with the Brooklyn Children's Academy Preschool on Dean Street, run by a non-profit called Better Brooklyn Community Center (BBCC). The "toxic" school has been closed, and so has a temporary space on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights.

The Fulton Street offices of the BBCC are closed as well.

This story has been UPDATED here.

'Toxic' Preschool Parents Wonder: Where's the Money? Brooklyn Eagle
Toxic Preschool in Brooklyn? Brooklyn Eagle
'Toxic' Preschool in Boerum Hill? McBrooklyn

Slow Going on 'Huge' Bridge Street Residential Project

What with all the hoo-ha on Duffield -- not one but two hotels in the construction phase -- we've overlooked a site at approximately 388 Bridge Street in Downtown Brooklyn (just south of St. Joseph's High School on Willoughby Street), slated to be the location of a 49-story residential building.

According to the Department of Buildings, work is on hold for a while -- the plan was "disapproved" over the summer.

But when it's finally completed, 360 units are planned. WiredNY supplied the rendering to the right. Brownstoner has been watching this one as well.

Photo by MK Metz

Carroll Gardens Park -- Employees Gone

There are currently no Parks Department employees in Carroll Park, reports the Pardon Me For Asking blog: "Zero! Zilch! Not even Kathleen, the wonderful recreation person who does Arts and Crafts with the children in the park house remains.All of the personnel has been reassigned to other parks within Brooklyn."

Why? See here.

The Wrestling Ring in the Woods, and More Brooklyn News in Brief Monday

- Early next year, the city hopes to make a decision on which development team will get the nod to develop the Public Place, a more than six-acre site stretching from lower Smith Street to the Gowanus Canal. Brooklyn Eagle

- Apparently, there was a wrestling ring in the woods of Gerritson Beach, and it's really a mess. Gerritsen Beach

- Tourists can't afford Manhattan, so they're flocking to a "cheap" Brooklyn hotel -- only $400 a night. wcbstv

- T
he phone companies have allegedly been helping the Bush administration to illegally spy on American citizens, without warrants, since before 9/11. First and Court

- December 16th is Bay Ridge's "birthday." This year, Bay Ridge turns 154 years old, says the Right in Bay Ridge blog -- which also says the naming of the area "Bay Ridge" in 1853 had as much to do with a real estate deal as anything else.

- Williamsburg parent wants to bribe his child into a better school. Can you blame him? (If you can, do you have kids?) NewYorkShitty

- Death row doggie: A Brooklyn court freed Duke, the Long Island pit bull terrier who's been on "death row" for four years for attacking another dog. Brooklyn Eagle

- BCAT TV: Errol Louis of the NY Daily News moderates a discussion on the race for Brooklyn Borough President. Tonight, December 17 at 1pm; Tuesday, December 18 at 1:30pm & 9:30pm; and Thursday, December 20 at 2pm & 10pm.

- Paul Robeson Music Series:
December 19th-22nd at the Paul Robeson Theater, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Ticketweb. To Usher: send an email to

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dyker Heights Must-Sees: Where Christmas Goes Over the Top

Gawkers travel from miles around -- even as far as New Jersey -- to see the Christmas decorations and light shows put on by the neighbors in Dyker Heights. This is Brooklyn's own little Disneyworld.

The Brooklyn Paper has compiled a list of their favorites. These include The Polizzottos (1145 84th St.), whose decor includes "mechanized horses weighing a ton each, 29-foot-tall toy soldiers marching in place, and 10-foot-tall lords a’leaping keep the front porch busy — while a two-story Santa waits at the door to collect the mail."

The Gowanus Lounge has put together a YouTube playlist of Dyker Heights Christmas videos. Definitely over the top!

Gothamist provides photos of the epic spectacle and provides a Google map.

And Channel 13 will be broadcasting a program about this outlandish phenomenon on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fireworks Over Manhattan/ Brooklyn Thursday Night -- No Cause for Alarm

The full-fledged sky spectacular started around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night and went on till 9 p.m. A call to the City of New York revealed this bit of information:

"Fireworks are scheduled for 8:30 on December 13 on Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport. There is no cause for alarm."

Anyone know the sponsor?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Saving Officer's Row For Only $20 Million?

Why is preservation of an asset for future generations less important than building a supermarket parking lot, especially when some thoughtful planning and architecture could achieve both goals?

The Gowanus Lounge asks this thoughtful question about the rush to demolish Officer's Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The report that was delivered to a public meeting about Officer's Row on Tuesday night said that the buildings can be saved, and put the cost at about $20 million -- a mere pittance in these days of $10 million dollar row houses.

But as reported in the Brooklyn Eagle, Andrew Kimball, president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, said he thinks the number is much higher, and doesn’t want the property if the homes must be restored. “Whether it’s $18 million, $30 million or $50 million, the question is who’s going to pay for it?" he asked.

More at

Illustration courtesy of The Brooklyn Navy Yard -- From Harper's New Monthly Magazine, December, 1870

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Horrific Plumb Beach Brooklyn Fire

Photographer Butch Moran took some spectacular photos of a house engulfed by flames in Plumb Beach Wednesday. (McBrooklyn nominates the photo above for Brooklyn fire photo of the year.)

According to the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association blog, the home -- located at 2825 Haring Street -- is owned by Mikhail Gourgov, but has been occupied by tenants who may have been involved in an outgoing dispute.

Go here to see this story, and more photos.

Photo by Butch Moran -- more photos of this fire by Butch Moran on Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach blog.

Brooklyn Mailman Caught With The Goods

It's amazing how few mailmen are crooks, actually.

- Hidden Transmitter Discovers Christmas Mail Crook in Brooklyn

Round-the-Clock Accidents on The Brooklyn Queens Expressway

The BQE -- Brooklyn-Queens Expressway -- has some extremely dangerous on-ramps. The BQE Watch blog has been chronicling the accidents that occur at one particular on-ramp, the one for west-bound traffic just north of Congress Street, since August.

"Frequently there are ambulances, police cars, and, worst of all, distraught people emerging from automobiles," says Werner Cohn, who industriously shoots photos of the carnage from his window. Cohn has also filed a FOIL request (Freedom of Information Law) about the number of accidents and other details at this on-ramp and a few others.

A stroll through his blog is a daily march through a driver's nightmare -- smashed cars, blinking lights, ambulances. Cohn points out that he doesn't monitor this spot 24/7. The photos on his blog are those he just happened to see when he glanced out his window.

Blog here.

Photo courtesy of BQE Watch blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

'Toxic' Preschool in Boerum Hill?

No heat, exposed wires, unpainted walls and noxious fumes emanating from newly installed carpeting.

These are just a few of the conditions parents say they found when they dropped their toddlers off at Brooklyn Children’s Academy Preschool at 25 Dean Street (near Boerum Place) last month, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. The preschool moved to the Dean Street location on Nov. 5 -- it was originally located in Brooklyn Heights, but lost its lease.

It appears that the preschool didn't even have a license to operate at its new location.

McBrooklyn strolled by the preschool today. It definitely was not in move-in condition, at least for little kids. Wires were sticking out of the wall in the front entranceway, and piles of boxes and other stuff were scattered around.

The school's reaction to the charges here.

Updates on this story here and here.

New York 'Newbies' Find a Home in Brooklyn Heights

IntoTheBox.TV presents their (younger demographic) take on Brooklyn Heights. A bit precious, but worth viewing all the same. (Hit the pause button till it loads in.)

Hidden Transmitter Discovers Christmas Mail Crook in Brooklyn

A mail inspector set up a sting with a card containing a hidden electronic transmitter.

They caught a postal carrier -- accused of pocketing dozens of greeting cards he was supposed to deliver to get at the cash inside.

Brooklyn Eagle

Wine Tasting: Tapas, Music in Dumbo Thursday

'A Taste of Spain' -- a selection of wines to taste and try accompanied by delicious tapas, raffle prizes and live Spanish music by the Subway Band


Tickets $40 in advance, $45 at the door

After Party at Rebar, 147 Front Stree.
All proceeds to benefit Dumbo Arts Center, the non-profit contemporary arts organization that has been bringing you the Art Under the Bridge Festival each year free of charge since 1997

For tickets call 718-694-0831 or email

A 'Splashy' First Look at 'Hotel Indigo' in Downtown Brooklyn; They're Throwing Paint

Described to McBrooklyn as "a V3 Hotels super-luxury," the 164-room boutique Hotel Indigo (the Marino Organization, Inc.), a “hip, new lifestyle hotel," joins the list of new hotels under development in Downtown Brooklyn on Duffied Street.

To draw attention to it's groundbreaking,
V3 Hotels CEO Ben Nash, Hotel Indigo executives, and public officials will celebrate by splashing the walls with “Indigo” paint.

It happens Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. at 237 Duffield Street
(Between Willoughby and Fulton Street).

Photo by MK Metz

Monday, December 10, 2007

Brooklyn Office Building Slows -- But Albee Square Mall Is Coming Down

The Observer notes that developers will complete only 20,000 square feet of new office space this year in Brooklyn, compared to 165,000 feet in 2006. They got their numbers from a report out Monday from investment-sales brokerage Marcus & Millichap.

Regardless, says the Observer, "two big variables dangle in Brooklyn's commercial future: Atlantic Yards and Albee Square."

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that demolition has already begun on the parking garage of The Gallery at Fulton Mall to make way for the mammoth new Albee Square high-rise development.

The pretty rendering of the future home of Target and perhaps other major department stores in the former Fulton Mall (above left) comes from a promotional brochure for the Albee Square Mall obtained by the folks at The Real Estate, and to us via Curbed.

For some reason, it doesn't show the humongous (maybe 60-story) City Point tower, "a mixture of residential, retail [and maybe] hotel and office" that will be bonded to it.

The gritty two photos to the right are the Fulton Mall as it stood a couple of days ago. Workers were maneuvering equipment inside, preparatory to demolition.

Photos on right by MK Metz

Bench Apartheid in Fort Greene Park?

On one side of Fort Greene Park, nine sets of park benches offer a seat. Take a stroll on the other side, says the Brooklyn Eagle, and only gnarled chunks of concrete and metal jut out of the sidewalk.

Apparently, the park serves as a geographical dividing line between the Walt Whitman public housing projects on one side and the historic district of mid-19th century brownstones on the other. The benches along DeKalb Avenue were torn out long ago by the Parks Department, and there are conflicting stories about why that happened.

More here.

Santa in the Perfect Paws Window, Brooklyn Heights

Perfect Paws on Hicks Street always does their window display up big time. Looks like St. Nick himself in there.

- Effeminate Brooklyn Dog Has Two Daddies

Photo by MK Metz

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The View From Bay Ridge on BCAT

Tuesday, BCAT's (Brooklyn Community Access Television) Neighborhood Beat gets all festive for the holidays in Bay Ridge. See chic gift ideas at Patouki boutique; then over to Hip Squeak, to outfit those uber-cool youngsters; have a heart to heart with dynamic community leader Rev. El Yateem; and grab a hearty bit of traditional German fare at Schnitzel Haus.

Premiers Tuesday, December 11 at 12:30 and 8:30 p.m.

More good stuff at BCAT's web site here.

The Brooklyn Headhunter: Find a Job in Brooklyn

From time to time, McBrooklyn puts on its Headhunting gear and scouts out a handful of Brooklyn employment opportunities.

Here are today's listings:

- The Mark Morris Dance Group seeks a full time Finance Associate. The Mark Morris Dance Group operates the Mark Morris Dance Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Craigslist

- Senior investment analyst needed for the Brooklyn Public Library's investment portfolio. Brooklyn Public Library

- Office of a New York State Assemblyman and Chair of Assembly Housing Committee seeks an experienced organizer to work with community. Craigslist

- IKEA Brooklyn is looking to hire managers in Red Hook. CareerBuilder

- Housekeeping manager needed at the Marriott in Downtown Brooklyn. HCareers

- Skilled sculptor wanted for modeling prototypes for medical models, decorative objects, toys. Craigslist

- Brooklyn Industries needs an assistant manager for their warehouse. Craigslist

- Dyker Beach Golf Course is looking for a Catering Sales Manager. Event-Job-Finder

- Small jewelry studio seeks part-time assistant. Craigslist

- Movie theater manager wanted for independently owned theater in Cobble Hill. Craigslist

- Bank branch manager needed in Downtown Brooklyn; earn about $100K per year. CareerBuilder

- Ramp Operations Agents for Delta at JFK airport. Responsible for directing the ground movement of the aircraft in terminal ramp areas, among other tasks. Training is provided, and this position is part-time (at least 30 hours guaranteed) with benefits. Craigslist

PR Assistant for boutique Park Slope PR agency. Craigslist

- Reglazing company looking for a handy, motivated individual sprayer to reglaze tubs. They'll train you if they like you. Craigslist

Previous job postings here.

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Brooklyn Artists' 'Mug Shots' of Bush & Co. Hanging in NYC Library

The New York Public Library is displaying photographs of Bush administration officials doctored to make them look like police mug shots. The pictures were created by two Brooklyn artists, Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, as part of a privately financed exhibit called "Line Up" Fifth Avenue space.

Also in the mug shot gallery are images of Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Bush adviser Karl Rove, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The dates on each image match days when each official spoke about Iraq in ways the artists consider criminal - with sound clips of them speaking, along with a camera flash going off and a prison door closing.

Posted by UnitedOffensiveIII on YouTube

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Future Trader Joes, In Cobble Hill Brooklyn

A sign in the window says work is going on in the basement. Which has been reported to be haunted.

- Will Trader Joe's Be Haunted by the Spirits of Bankers Past?
- Everybody Gonna Hula to Brooklyn Trader Joe's
Sovereign Bank Moving to Make Room for Trader Joe's
- All Trader Joe's comments on McBrooklyn

Dear Mayor Bloomberg: Regarding Brooklyn, Especially Carroll Gardens

Did you ever read those prayers to God? The ones from children who asked God to please cure their grandmothers, or dads, or sisters?

That's kind of like the letter we got today from CORD, about 340 Court Street, addressed to Mayor Bloomberg and other area representatives:

"We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the 'as of right' ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes" ... and so it goes.

So what is going on at 340 Court Street? A Gowanus Lounge correspondent shot a photo showing that "a big dig is underway in the back of the former medical building that is going to be demolished."

Gowanus Lounge also says that complaints have been filed with the Department of Buildings from people whose homes are shaking from bulldozers. DOB complaints here.

More here.

- Huge Drilly Thing at 340 Court Street in Brooklyn
- Developer Promises to Limit Height at 340 Court Street; Will Build Three and Four-Bedroom Units
- 'Something Big' About to Happen at 340 Court

Thursday, December 6, 2007

All Kinds of Happenings in Brooklyn

- The first 110 Livingston unit is up for resale. 110 Livingston Blog

- Next Tuesday (December 11) there will be a chance to have a say and listen to proposals for the future of the threatened Navy Yard Admirals Row buildings. At 202 York Street @ Gold Street in DUMBO). Brit in Brooklyn

- How to get a recreation pass to Brooklyn College. Brooklyn Junction

- New architect for 20 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn Heights Blog

- A profile of Dan Zanes, Cobble-Hillbilly, here. Cobble Hill Blog.

- Any local musicians interested in playing at the tree lighting, Dec. 16, in the lot on Cortelyou Road and Argyle? (There will also be hot cocoa and cookies...) Ditmas Park Blog

- "I want to thank the Mayor for listening to our plea,” Joy Chatel, an owner of 227 Duffield Street said. Photos of the underground railroad Duffield press conference on Monday at Duffield Street Underground.

- This Saturday and Sunday, Bargemusic (under the Brooklyn Bridge -- come on, it's time you got into culture) is presenting "Mice War: An Opera for Kids." Saturday, December 8, 12 pm & 2 pm; Sunday, December 9, 12 pm & 2 pm. Free admission; reservations required. Bargemusic

Brooklyn's City Tech Tower Complex -- One Building? Two?

It Looks Like Five Buildings. But It's Not.

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the really tall tower (and smaller buildings) soon to be built by City Tech and Forest City Ratner at the corner of Jay and Tillary Streets in Downtown Brooklyn ...

News came Thursday from the Brooklyn Eagle that the "complex" of five buildings isn't really five buildings, even though the rough draft looks like five buildings.

“Note that there will be one foundation for the building that will replace Klitgord,” a City Tech spokesperson said in an email to the Eagle. Though the rendering appears to show five separate buildings, “there will actually be just one.”

The taller "section" -- read tower -- will be residential and the shorter section will contain the City Tech classrooms and offices, an underground theater and a gymnasium. The tower section will have its own entrance; the City Tech section another entrance.

More here.

- Brooklyn's City Tech -- It's Not a Tower, It's a Complex!

- You Compare: City Tech 'Old Model' to City Tech 'Today Model'

- Biggest Building in Brooklyn -- So Far -- Proposed for City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium Site

- Digging For Gold at City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium

Death of Brooklyn 3-Year-Old: 'It Was Murder'

She lived on Marcus Garvey Blvd., and someone living in her apartment killed her.

UPDATE: It was her father. Brooklyn Eagle

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Brooklyn's City Tech -- It's Not a Tower, It's a Complex!

More information is trickling out about the planned City Tech tower(s) on Jay Street at Tillary. As reported in the Brooklyn Eagle, it turns out that there are more buildings involved than previously reported:

"Details are emerging about what is now known as a 'complex of buildings' being planned for the corner of Tillary and Jay streets in Downtown Brooklyn — currently the site of New York City College of Technology’s (City Tech’s) Klitgord Auditorium.

"City Tech spokesperson Michele Forsten told the Brooklyn Eagle that the college, in partnership with Forest City Ratner, is building not one, not two but five connecting buildings in the one block fronting Jay Street."

“The two towers will be residential,” Forsten told the Eagle. “The three others will contain college classrooms and offices, an underground theater and a gymnasium.”

More about the City Tech complex here.

This article was updated here.

- You Compare: City Tech 'Old Model' to City Tech 'Today Model'

- Biggest Building in Brooklyn -- So Far -- Proposed for City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium Site
- Digging For Gold at City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium

Photo of the existing Klitgord Auditorium by MK Metz

Judge Rules Against Ex-Principal of Brooklyn Arabic School

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Sidney Stein ruled Wednesday that the Department of Education will not have to reconsider Debbie Almontaser’s application to be reinstated as principal of the Brooklyn Arabic-themed school, the Khalil Gibran Academy, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The DOE will delay its announcement of a permanent principal until Friday to allow Almontaser to appeal.

More here.

- Arabic School, Taxi Strike, and Other Brooklyn News in Brief
- Brooklyn in Brief -- Weekend Edition
- Rally in Support of Brooklyn's Arabic School Principal
- Brilliant or Crazy? Jewish Principal Appointed for Brooklyn's Arabic School
- Brooklyn's Arabic School Principal Resigns in 'I-Word' Flap
- Arabic-Themed School Finds a Home
- Brooklyn in Brief, Monday P.M.
- DOE to 'Cram' Arab-Themed School into Slope Elementary School

Brooklyn's Xaverian High School Choir Going to White House

Xaverian High School Choir -- from Bay Ridge -- has been chosen to sing at the White House this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

In Brooklyn Borough Hall, a Giant Menorah is Lit

The first candle was lit tonight on the giant menorah set up in Brooklyn Borough Hall, and a crowd of roughly 200 stomped their feet in the kalt (it could be worse!), clapped and enjoyed the music.

BP Marty Markowitz gave interviews; a boy's choir sang nice Hanukkah songs; some people (okay, some men and boys) danced; and everybody was invited to a party at Borough Hall afterward.

Officially, the menorah is the Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht Menorah, a project of Chabad Lubavitch and the Congregation B'Nai Avraham.

Photos by MK Metz

Monday, December 3, 2007

'Tri-Level' Amy Ruth's to Open in Old Gage & Tollner in January?

Zagats reports that January 2008 is the due date for Harlem's famous soul-food restaurant Amy Ruth's to open "a tri-level eatery" in the former Downtown Brooklyn Gage & Tollner space. (We don't recall the old Gage & Tolner being tri-level, or even bi-level.)

The planned configuration: a dining room on the ground floor, private dining spaces above and a bar area that spreads across two floors.

McBrooklyn took a look inside the space yesterday. Nothing has visibly changed since May, when we last visited.

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that: “The menu will contain all of the Harlem eatery’s traditional favorites as well as new choices giving a nod to the restaurant’s Downtown Brooklyn past and present.”

- Famous Harlem Soul Food Restaurant Coming to Gage & Tollner Space
- T.G.I. Friday's Cleared Out -- What's Next for Gage & Tollner?

Photos by MK Metz

Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Goes 'Higher and Deeper'

Oh baby... "Higher and deeper” is apparently the new theme for the affordable units at the proposed Domino Sugar Refinery development on the waterfront in Williamsburg.

Michael Lappin, president of the Community Preservation Corp., told the Brooklyn Eagle at an apparently exclusive meeting, “We have pledged both a higher percentage of units and a deeper income level” than other developments in Brooklyn.”

More here.

Photo by MK Metz

Christmas Creche at Brooklyn Borough Hall

Three wise men, a shepherd, Joseph and Mary admire the Child in his manger in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court in Columbus Park, Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

You Compare: City Tech 'Old Model' to City Tech 'Today Model'

After all of the excitement about the new City Tech/Ratner tower at the corner of Tillary and Jay Streets -- possibly the tallest building(s) in Brooklyn to date -- the NY Daily News reported that Forest City Ratner spokesperson Loren Riegelhaupt claims that the breathtaking rendering being displayed on blogs and in newspapers (seen on upper left) is stale. "This model is an old model," said Riegelhaupt, who said a height for the building has not been decided. "It's an early rendering and not a reflection of what we're considering today."

Compare the rendering to the draft shown today on the City Tech Web site (lower right). The configuration, adjusting for angle, is remarkably similar, though the final height is hard to fathom.

City Tech's site confirms: "City Tech will soon be the home to what is sure to be the architectural landmark of Brooklyn. Standing at the corner of Tillary and Jay Streets, directly across from the Namm Building will soon be the most original piece of architecture since the Brooklyn Bridge, a masterpiece conceived by the celebrated architect Renzo Piano."

- Biggest Building in Brooklyn -- So Far -- Proposed for City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium Site

- Digging For Gold at City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dumbo Snow Scenes

It was about 4:30 p.m. when we headed down to Dumbo. Just a handful of people were on the pebbled beach at the foot of Main Street, quietly watching the water. It felt like New York City was a hundred miles away.

Photos by MK Metz