Thursday, July 31, 2008

And Now, a Monster at Montauk

Gawker started it, New York magazine expanded on it: what appears to be a photo, taken by Alanna Nevitski, of an ungodly animal corpse that washed up on Montauk beach. It's a hairless creature with a beak, claws, and scary eyes.

Real, or a summer hoax? Hint: This is "a government animal testing facility very close by in Long Island," says Gawker.

- Cromosaurus Spotted in Dumbo

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Cromosaurus Spotted in Dumbo

This Chromosaurus Kangarenis was spotted yesterday, romping along the shoreline in Dumbo's Empire Fulton Ferry State Park.

Chromo and other intriguing creatures will be inhabiting the park until September 7, as part of BWAC's (Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition) 26th Outdoor Sculpture Show, "Relative Environment."

Chromosaurus was created by Doug Makemson.

Photo by MK Metz
Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Murder Suspect, Four Kids, Found in Brooklyn

71st Precinct cops arrested a suspect wanted in the murder of a woman in Massachusetts. The suspect's girlfriend and four young children were found sitting under a tree in Prospect Park.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn: City of Lost Soles

Sign in Cadman Plaza Park near Brooklyn Bridge.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And Then There Were None: The Wine Bar, Last in Brooklyn's Busy Chef Empire, Closes

What seemed to be the only business to survive the Busy Chef scandal -- The Wine Bar at the corner of Henry and Cranberry Street -- has now also closed, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

An employee standing outside the corner restaurant on Henry Street today told the sad news to would-be customers.

Just Tuesday, the Busy Chef on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, "mired in scandal after the arrest of its manager Dan Kaufman for identity theft and credit card forgery," was closed for business, along with its sister stores – the Blue Pig ice cream shop and Oven restaurant, as well as a Busy Chef on Court Street.

In addition to the $25,000 that Kaufman allegedly stole from customers, one employee told the Eagle on Tuesday that Kaufman stole much more from the business itself, allegedly falsifying the books to cover up the losses.

- 'Mired in Scandal,' It's All Over for Brooklyn's Busy Chef
- Why the Brooklyn Paper Didn't Write About the Crook at the Busy Chef and What This Means For America
- Arrested Busy Chef Partner Has a History in Boston
- A Busy Brooklyn Chef Now Under Arrest
- Downtown Brooklyn Busy Chef Pretty Busy
- Busy Chef Empire: Frozen Dinners or Homemade Cuisine?
- Busy Chef coming to Court Street

Photo of the interior of The Wine Bar by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Coney Island Museum's Weird Curiosities - Step Right Up!

With NY Mag's Chris Bonanos this Sunday:

See here for more.
Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Brooklyn Heights' Booming P.S. 8 to Get a New Building

The Department of Education is going to construct a new building for P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. The school is getting to be so popular that it's way overcrowded -- the photo above shows a trench being dug in preparation for a mobile classroom they're going to have installed soon where the basketball court is now.

The new annex will be constructed in the back parking lot, visible behind the play equipment (covered with plywood in the photo).

Talk about a change. Some people used to be afraid to walk past P.S. 8! Now it's one of the hottest schools in Brooklyn.

All it took was a total commitment from the DOE, a new principal and auxiliary staff, community help, the Brooklyn Heights Association, countless volunteer hours by parents, and a few people who believed it could happen, including then-Deputy Chancellor Carmen Farina.


Eagle story here.

Photo of PS 8 schoolyard by MK Metz
Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

July 29 Fireworks Over South Street Seaport

Those fireworks tonight in lower Manhattan, visible from Brooklyn were sponsored by Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, the largest full-service investment bank that specializes exclusively in the financial services sector.

Don't know what they're celebrating, but their stock is up 11.65% today.

According to Wikipedia, one of their offices was located on the 85th, 88th and 89th floors of the World Trade Center's South tower at the time of the terrorist attacks. 67 out of the firm's 172 New York employees died when the South tower collapsed.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Mired in Scandal,' It's All Over for Brooklyn's Busy Chef

It's over.

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that The Busy Chef on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, "mired in scandal after the arrest of its manager Dan Kaufman for identity theft and credit card forgery," was closed for business Tuesday, along with its sister stores – the Blue Pig ice cream shop and Oven restaurant.

An employee told the Eagle that all three businesses were now permanently shuttered, along with the Busy Chef on Court Street.

In addition to the $25 grand that Kaufman allegedly stole from customers, one employee told the Eagle that Kaufman stole much more from the business itself, allegedly falsifying the books to cover up the losses.

Now, in this terrible economy, four stores worth of employees are out on the street and the owners are out who knows how much income.

More at the Eagle.

The Brooklyn Heights Blog has posted quite a bit about Dan Kaufman. Here's the latest.

- Why the Brooklyn Paper Didn't Write About the Crook at the Busy Chef and What This Means For America
- Arrested Busy Chef Partner Has a History in Boston
- A Busy Brooklyn Chef Now Under Arrest
- Downtown Brooklyn Busy Chef Pretty Busy
- Busy Chef Empire: Frozen Dinners or Homemade Cuisine?
- Busy Chef coming to Court Street

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE

Paparrazzi Swarm 'Gossip Girl' Shoot at Packer in Brooklyn Heights

Paparrazzi were swarming around Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights yesterday, where a Gossip Girl shoot was taking place. But what an annoying location! "They really couldn’t have picked a more obstructed site, a courtyard behind multiple fences and lots of shrubbery." says Filming in Brooklyn.

"As if all of that weren’t enough, when the paparrazzi got too aggressive and annoying, the crew set up additional screens to block everyone’s sight."

But wait! Here’s Leighton Master taking her dog for a walk! And here's Blake Liveley! And here's a production assistant trying to get a paparazzo down off of the fence!

See Filming in Brooklyn for pictures.

-'Gossip Girl' Filming in Brooklyn Heights Monday
- Why Does the Food on Film Sets Always Look So Good?

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Banana Stand 1, Brooklyn Heights Association 0

Last Tuesday we ventured that this illegal fruit stand, squatting blatantly in front of the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights, would be "dragged outa here by a squadron from the Brooklyn Heights Association any minute."

Turns out that the BHA did indeed put in a call to the authorities to have the oversized cart removed, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

But the cart is still there -- and getting busier every day. It seems the fruit is cheaper than Peas n' Pickles up the block, which has been King of the Mangoes since Gristedes burned down.

The illegal stand even has the temerity to expand it's illegal real estate, with a sign around the corner on Clark Street which reads in part: "Fruit Station is Now Open! . . . On Henry Street. This is what you need! 24/7"

How long can the banana stand hold off the powers that be? Have they bested the BHA? And will they ever get avocados?

- Rogue Fruit Stand Pops Up on Henry Street

Photos by MK Metz
Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Why the Brooklyn Paper Didn't Write About the Crook at the Busy Chef and What This Means For America

So then Kuntzman tells Gothamist that the Brooklyn Heights Blog, being a blog, has a lower standard of what they can print, and that's why he didn't follow up Homer's hint to the Brooklyn Paper about the Busy Chef's manager being a crook. And then Homer says, as for a blog’s standards being lower than a newspaper’s, well let's look at what your classy newspaper prints anyway. Then he links to one of the Brooklyn Paper's memorably gross T & A shots (Hello, neighbor!), and a disgusting poop video and more, and then says "Yes, we bloggers live in the gutter. Those newspaper guys are so classy."

So that's why the Brooklyn Paper didn't write about the crook at the Busy Chef after Homer gave them the head's up. And furthermore, Kuntzman says, the fact that the Busy Chef was an advertiser has nothing to do with it.

We hope that clears it up.

- Arrested Busy Chef Partner Has a History in Boston

- A Busy Brooklyn Chef Now Under Arrest
- Downtown Brooklyn Busy Chef Pretty Busy
- Busy Chef Empire: Frozen Dinners or Homemade Cuisine?
- Busy Chef coming to Court Street

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE

Monday, July 28, 2008

2,000 Chinese-Americans at Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

Wondering what that huge crowd was in Cadman Plaza Park Saturday?

Senior center budgets are being slashed, so Chinese-Americans in New York are raising money to take care of their seniors.

As part of the fund-raising effort, the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) held a "Honoring the Seniors" walkathon Saturday. Two thousand participants walked from Columbus Park in Manhattan, over the Brooklyn Bridge, to Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn. (You can view a video of the walkers streaming into the park, below.) Queens Councilman John Liu was Grand Marshal.

There were refreshments and entertainment at Cadman Park, along with rousing speeches by CPC President Chester Lee, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and others. (BP Markowitz's speech, given while standing on a folding chair, is classic Marty. Check out the bottom video.)

Then the crowd marched back to Manhattan, where there was more entertainment, including a magic show and a math competition.


Here's a video of the walkers streaming into Cadman Plaza Park from the Brooklyn Bridge:

And here's Marty being Marty:

Photos and video by MK Metz

Where Did All Those Trees in Brooklyn Heights Come From?

That's this year.

The Brooklyn Heights Association -- the guardian angel of street trees in the Heights -- planted 1,081 trees in the Heights in 1940 alone. (NY Times)

More about trees in Brooklyn Heights here.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Holy Holes! Religion in Dumbo Sunday

Take a look at religion from a humorous, poetic and critical perspective in Dumbo tonight.

"Holy Holes: Absolute Stalls" is a multimedia exhibition that explores different viewpoints on religion. A curator's talk takes place tonight from 6 - 7 p.m. at the Dumbo Arts Center (DAC), 30 Washington Street. 718-694-0831

If you missed the talk, that's OK -- just go see the show.

See for more.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wurst BBQ Party Sunday in Gowanus

It's an easy-going, late afternoon, barbecue come dance party. Sunday Best! is once again taking over The Yard, a leafy waterside lot on the Gowanus Canal for a nice, mid-afternoon barbecue.

It’s no ordinary weenie roast, though. The food’s fresh and authentic, with quesadillas and tacos made on homemade tortillas--and today, Wurst is serving up some sausages alongside sets from Runaway, Lee Douglas, and My Cousin Roy, the artists that make tracks for The Wurst Edits label (pictured).

Resident DJs Justin Carter, Eamon Harkin and Doug Singer are playing as well.

Doors 3pm; Tickets: $8; All Ages.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Miniature Flea Circus Today in Coney Island, and Other Brooklyn Briefs

- The Acme Miniature Flea Circus is performing today in Coney Island! (Now if we could only train bedbugs ...) Kinetic Carnival

- An NYPD “SkyWatch” tower has been installed at the corner of Flatbush and Church avenues. Flatbush Life

Senator Hillary Clinton will join Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns and others at a press conference at Starrett City on Monday. Room 8

A former Haitian paramilitary leader/ruthless killer was convicted Friday in Brooklyn of helping to hatch a mortgage fraud scheme that cheated lenders out of $1.7 million. Brooklyn Eagle

- Muggers are getting younger -- and the iPhone is to blame. NY Daily News via Gothamist

- Google announced Friday it has indexed 1 trillion unique Web pages. Mercury News

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Cops Catch Man Raping Teen in Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Narcotics cops stopped a sexual assault in Sunset Park. A 65-year-old ex-construction worker was caught attacking a teenage boy between two parked cars. Neighbors were shocked because the man is married, with four daughters.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brooklyn's TKTS Booth: Lots of Shows, No Lines

We were wondering what would be available at the new TKTS booth at MetroTech in Brooklyn. We've had some pretty long waits at the Times Square booth, and often the show we wanted was sold out.

So we walked down to MetroTech at 5 p.m. Friday, one hour before closing. (The booth is closed Saturday and Sunday.) There was no line at all, and look at all of the available performances! (Click on picture to see them all.)

OK, Mama Mia wasn't available, and you're not going to find Wicked at the half-price booth, we think. (Anybody ever?) But it was 5 p.m. on a Friday.

This is definitely the way to go, at least until people catch on.

- Countdown to Brooklyn TKTS Grand Opening Begins

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

HAve You Seen Sasha? Lost in Brooklyn Heights

This sign is hanging on Columbia Place (Willowtown) in Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Bunnies and Other Grotesque Icons at Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn Heights

Grotesque Histories, at the Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn Heights, presents the work of three artists — Enrique Chagoya, Aaron Johnson, and Miguel Luciano — "who deploy iconographies based in history, both ancient and recent, to address the current world condition." Each artist uses "grotesque visual forms" to make his or her point. (BRIC Arts)

The Rotunda Gallery is on Clinton Street behind the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library, not far from Pierrepont. The show runs through August 8.

Special summer hours: 12 to 6 pm Monday to Thursday, and 10 am to 2 pm on Friday.

Above: Miguel Luciano, Barceloneta Bunnies, 2007, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72 in.

Friday, July 25, 2008

'Gossip Girl' Filming in Brooklyn Heights Monday

Packer Collegiate summer camp ends today, and guess who's moving into the neighborhood?

Gossip Girl will again be pretending that the hallowed halls of Packer in Brooklyn Heights are actually a school in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Today, the "Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate" show is filming on Madison and E. 82nd-85th, according to On Location Vacations.

- Why Does the Food on Film Sets Always Look So Good?

Photos by MK Metz

Siggy's Outdoor Seating a Hit

We've noticed that Siggy's new outdoor cafe on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights always seems to be busy, even at odd hours. Many of the diners seem to be tourists, often speaking languages other than English.

What is it about Sigggy's outdoor seating that draws them in?

Perhaps the answer can be found on Yelp, where the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. And then there is the waiter, who is described as "sexy" by one satisfied customer.

Brooklyn Heights' 'Siggy's' Opens Outdoor Cafe

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Images From Admiral's Row Forum, Brooklyn Borough Hall

Tuesday evening the National Guard held an informational forum at Brooklyn Borough Hall to solicit public input about the future of Admiral's Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Admiral's Row is the disintegrating row of 19th-century houses which are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Navy Yard wants to demolish them and build a supermarket with a large parking lot and a light industrial complex.

Preservationists, such as Brent Porter, an architecture professor at the Pratt Institute, have developed an alternate plan which calls for "adaptive reuse" of the buildings. These include a supermarket but with a smaller parking lot.

A rally organized by City Councilwoman Letitia James took place on Borough Hall’s front steps. A crowd, bused in by James, demanded the Navy Yard's version ASAP.

The two photos below are of renderings that were on display at the rally. (You can click on the second photo to read the text.)

This last rendering is of Brent Porter's "adaptive reuse" plan.

Better minds than mine have written excellent summations of the forum and the issues. Here are three:

Public Hearing on Admiral's Row Held Last Night Brownstoner
Decrepit Admiral's Row Houses Must Go, Say Pols, Local Residents ... Brooklyn Eagle
Wrecking Ball or Preservation? Admiral's Row Get a Hearing Curbed

Photos by MK Metz

Obama in Window on Remsen Street

Looks like someone's an Obama fan on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Columbia Place Plant: Somebody Pot Me, Please

It's a rose bush on the corner of Joralemon Street and Columbia Place in Brooklyn Heights, and it's crying out to be re-potted.

A few years back, the Columbia Place Association transformed this short street -- running from Joralemon to State Streets -- into a lush, whimsical landscape. Plants were not only growing from barrels, they were sprouting from chairs hanging on posts, from tall boots, funny buckets, etc. In 1999 the street took 3rd place in the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest for "Most Creative Planters," and for several years thereafter the block was fabulously green

Adding to the allure of the Columbia Place was Alicia's Cafe, a flower shop and a general store, all on the ground floor of Alfred T. White's historic Riverside Houses.

The restaurant, flower shop and general store were mysteriously emptied by the owner, the controversial Pinnacle Group and partner Praedium, a couple of years ago. The planters are disintegrating.

(Incidentally, in May, the Landmarks Preservation Commission nixed Pinnacle's plans to uproot century-old trees and build a two-level garage in the courtyard of the Riverside House.)

The rose bush is in front of the closed general store on the corner, if anybody wants to give it a new barrel.

Photo by MK Metz

Saint Ann's School: If You Can't Beat It . . .

So we strolled past the future Federal Probation Office on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights, cradled in the bosom of Saint Ann's School.

Looks like the offices are coming along nicely (photo above).

Saint Ann's -- according to the Brooklyn Eagle -- says it is trying to reach "a constructive understanding with the U.S. Probation Office," soon to be a very close neighbor.

Parents were somewhat upset when they learned that federal probationers would be frequent visitors (same building, different entrance). But the Saint Ann's administration has come to the realization that "the neighborhood has long been loaded with courthouses and other facilities dealing with convicted felons," and one more won't really make a difference.

They may be on to something. Brooklyn Heights is crawling with court houses, probation facilities, the U.S. Attorney's Office, plus lawyers and their clients.

As Palmolive dish soap's Madge the Manicurist used to say, "You're soaking in it!"

The Eagle reports that Raymond J. Dearie, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, has called a meeting with parents, set for next week, “to talk about the situation.” (Full story here.)

As we continued our stroll, we saw that the sign on the entrance to the new probation facility had been artfully desecrated.

Not sure what this means.

- Saint Ann's Parents Roar as Brooklyn Probation Office Moves into Pierrepont St. Building
- Something Big Coming In at One Pierrepont Plaza, Brooklyn Heights?

Photos by MK Metz

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brooklyn Terror Imam to Plaster Subway with Ads Explaining Islam

A Brooklyn imam linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks has paid the MTA $48,000 to plaster 1000 subway cars with ads explaining "the true meaning of Islam."

The MTA says there's nothing wrong with the ads, adding they have to adhere to the First Amendment.

Rogue Fruit Stand Pops Up on Henry Street

Something tells us this blatant fruit stand in front of the St. George on Henry Street -- clearly illegal -- is going to be dragged outa here by a squadron from the Brooklyn Heights Association any minute.

The umbrellas say "Lovely. Fruit. Share, Care, Fair."

Photo by MK Metz

Bob Dylan Brooklyn Concert Tickets Edging Up in Price

As D-Day* is approaching we decided to check back and see what scalpers are getting now for tickets for the August 12 Bob Dylan concert in Prospect Park.

We last checked on June 5, when general admission lawn tickets -- face value $55 -- were going for $140 - $200 at TicketTriangle.

Last night, those same lawn tickets were selling for $250 - $290. (Try StubHub for cheaper lawn tickets -- last night there were still some for $190.)

On June 5, the reserved seats, face value $85 - $100, were going for $300 - $600 at TicketTriangle.

Last night, they were fetching from $300 - $927. (On StubHub, they were running about the same, from $299 - $972.)

Is there a price too high for Dylan fans?

UPDATE: Bob Dylan in Brooklyn Aug. 12, 2008: How to Get There and Other Details

* We stole this phrase from Dylan fan Tom Kane at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo by BinaryApe, Creative Commons license

Monday, July 21, 2008

Police Catch Creep Who Mowed Down 9-Year-Old Brooklyn Girl, Then Cursed Her

He was speeding and driving without a license. Before driving off, he got out of the car and cursed at her as she lay critically injured on the street.

What do you do with a guy like this?

Power Back in Most of Brooklyn

Fewer than 50 customers are left without power this morning in Brooklyn, according to Con Edison.

Yesterday, roughly 2,000 were in the dark in parts of Park Slope, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Borough Park.

Most of those triangles in the map above, taken from Con Ed's web site at 9:51 this morning, represent only 1 or 2 customers without power.

- Power Outages in Brooklyn: Park Slope, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Borough Park

Work Begins at 114 Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights; DOB Disapproves Plans

Work has begun -- or maybe not -- on the basement and ground floor of the five-story 114-116 Henry Street (near Clark St.) in Brooklyn Heights, which, though closed for more than a year, recently held a decent Thai restaurant (Thai Grill).

The Department of Buildings job description say that the building's owner, Stuart Venner, plans to "convert the basement and first floor from a restaurant to a commercial space." A worker on site last week told McBrooklyn that "an office and showroom" was going in.

In spite of the Call-A-Head installed outside the door, the project's plan (by Ernst Architect) was disapproved on July 7, according to the DOB.

UPDATE: A permit was issued yesterday to renovate existing 2nd, 3rd and 4t floor apartments in the building. The renovations include new attic and convenience stair on the 4th floor, minor partition re-configuration and new misc. plumbing fixtures. In addition, a permit to do the basement, cellar and first floor work has also been approved.

At least money shouldn't be an issue. Last month, according to Brownstoner, Venner -- the original owner of the Carlton Mews project -- was bought out by the equity partners he brought in a couple of years ago. Venner received $6.75 million. (The project includes the conversion of a church on Adelphi Street and the construction of a group of new townhouses on Carlton Avenue.)

The Brooklyn Eagle says Venner paid $4.4 million for the Henry Street building.

The Eagle also quotes local historian Don Evans, who recalled that the the Henry Street space was once the site (40 years ago) of the Candlelight, a popular family restaurant known for its “fluffy oversized popovers” served with cottage cheese.

Roadfood says that the restaurant's full name was Patricia Murphy's Candlelight, and it was part of a popular and beloved chain. New York Magazine's "Whatever Happened to American Food" describes "boyhood treats at Patricia Murphy's Candlelight Restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, where waitresses in gingham walked around with baskets of popovers."

Photo by MK Metz

Air Gun 'Rampage' in Brooklyn Heights, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Two teenagers were arrested Saturday night after going on a rampage in Brooklyn Heights with compressed air pistols fitted with laser sights. Brooklyn Heights Blog

- Enough! Yet another child run down in the streets of Brooklyn, this time a 9-year-old girl. And the driver got out of his car and cursed at her before he drove away. WCBS

- Two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers were in court Friday in Brooklyn. Charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud in connection with their hedge funds’ collapse, the two were sharply dressed, according to the Wall Street Journal Law blog.

- Want to buy a Vespa? Special prices for Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn readers. OTBKB

- Now that the vendors are back at the Red Hook ballfields, the lines are longer. A Brooklyn Life

- The Carroll Park concert series continues with Randy Kaplan on Wednesday, July 23th at 4 pm. A Child Grows in Brooklyn

CompStat statistics show that Brooklyn South’s homicides have jumped by three percent over the last six months, while robberies have climbed by nearly eight percent. Courier Life

- Dog owners are letting their animals poop in
the children's sandbox at the Lincoln Road playground. Hawthorne Street

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Power Outages in Brooklyn: Park Slope, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Borough Park

Not a good day for a power outage: It's 90 degrees and muggy, and Con Edison is distributing dry ice and working to repair electrical power lines serving residents of Sunset Park, Red Hook, Bay Ridge, Borough Park, and Park Slope.

Approximately 1,150 customers have no power; 600 customers have had their power restored, according to Con Ed. The dry ice can be picked up here:

  • 41st Street and 10th Avenue in Borough Park; and
  • 3rd Avenue between 48th Street and 49th Street in Sunset Park.

(Keep children and pets safely away from the dry ice, Con Ed warns.)

Con Edison continues to ask all customers these neighborhoods to discontinue their use of non-essential electrical appliances, including air conditioning, until problems on electrical cables can be resolved.

Report power interruptions online at, or by calling Con Edison’s toll-free customer service number 1-800-75-CON ED (1-800-752-6633).

Gothamist has more on this.

3 p.m. SUNDAY UPDATE: Con Ed says that most of the outages in Brooklyn will not be fixed until tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Arrested Busy Chef Partner Has a History in Boston

The blogosphere is buzzing about the arrest of chef Dan Kaufman of Busy Chef, on Henry Street in the North Brooklyn Heights. Kaufman was arrested yesterday, accused of double-swiping customers' credit cards to the tune of $25,000 and other crimes. Charges against Kaufman include Grand Larceny, Attempted Grand Larceny, Possession of a Forged Instrument and Criminal Impersonation.

Whether Kaufman is found guilty or not (innocent until proven ...) he appears to have made a lot of enemies in his travels. Many commenters on the blog profess a hatred so intense it's almost sublime.

We can't print most of the comments. Okay, here's one we can print:

" I mean these are some pretty nasty things being said here , and maybe I'm just one of those gullible people who think people can change or make mistakes . But don't you think there just might be a time to let go ? how many possibly can read this site ?"

And another:

Dan has caused so much anger and resentment in Boston that I think people post here because they know Dan will read it."

Those are practically the only printable remarks. Here are a few links:

- We Really Don't Like Dan Fan Club
- We Really Hate Dan Fan Club

Previous posts:
- A Busy Brooklyn Chef Now Under Arrest

- Downtown Brooklyn Busy Chef Pretty Busy
- Busy Chef Empire: Frozen Dinners or Homemade Cuisine?
- Busy Chef coming to Court Street

Photo by MK Metz

A Busy Brooklyn Chef Now Under Arrest

Seems like the Busy Chef has been really busy.

The Brooklyn Heights Blog has the word that chief chef Dan Kaufman at Busy Chef, on Henry Street in the North Brooklyn Heights, was arrested yesterday. Charges against Kaufman include Grand Larceny, Attempted Grand Larceny, Possession of a Forged Instrument and Criminal Impersonation.

The word on the street is that Kaufman (allegedly) ran up hundreds -- make that thousands! -- of dollars on customer credit cards, and (allegedly) stole from the till, besides his culinary crimes.

More here.

UPDATE: New York Post has the story here.

- Downtown Brooklyn Busy Chef Pretty Busy

- Busy Chef Empire: Frozen Dinners or Homemade Cuisine?
- Busy Chef coming to Court Street

Happy July 17 Fireworks Over South Street Seaport

We had to call 311 to dig up information about those mysterious fireworks Thursday over South Street Seaport, between Manhattan and Brooklyn. This is all the information that the City of New York had on the event:

"The fireworks were held over Pier 14 [South Street Seaport] and they were sponsored by White & Case LLP."

White & Case is a global law firm involved in sophisticated corporate and financial transactions -- such as mergers and acquisitions -- and complex dispute resolution proceedings. For example, the firm represented Visa a couple of months ago in the largest initial public offering in US history.

Celebrating the comeback of M&A activity? The Dow up 207? Or just for the heck of it?

Photo by MK Metz

Just Another Beautiful Brooklyn Sunset

"Hey, look at the sunset!"
Cripes, where's my camera?
"Hurry up, it's not going to last long."
Got it!

Photo by MK Metz

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bring a Gun to Church Day in Brooklyn!

Heads up -- this Saturday is Bring a Gun to Church Day in Brooklyn.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, you just bring your guns to church and receive $200 apiece, up to $600, at any of six participating churches.

So dig into those closets, call back your loaners, and bring the whole family and their guns, too.

But don't be late: Only $300,000 will be paid out by the Brooklyn DA and the NYPD. That means that only the first 1,5000 guns will be accepted. Be there!

More details here.

Photo by Steve Deger, Creative Commons license

Still No iPhones in Brooklyn -- Blame the Aliens?

Following last Friday's iPhone tech mess, in which software problems temporarily prevented the activation of thousands of iPhones around the world, some bloggers apparently blamed the glitch not on Apple -- but on an alien invasion. A commenter called Corey C. says that the phones' failures were the byproduct of "alien infiltration of our technology."

The Bizzy Life thinks that iPods are aliene technology; the invasion is over, and the aliens have won: "Have we been conquered and we don’t even know it? Is Steve Jobs actually an evil war lord from the planet Apple. (Pod - iPod - is that just a coincidence?) "

Fear not. Marvin the Martian means no hard. He warns Earthlings (on his blog, of course) that iPhones are just "the latest brick in the wall of soulless 'me too!' consumerism."

Something -- aliens, whatever -- is certainly preventing iPhones from being sold in Brooklyn. All three AT&T stores are sold out. (Apple stores in Manhattan still have inventory.) According to CNBC, Apple has sold one million iPhones since Friday, and users have already downloaded more than 10 million applications from its new App Store -- apps like mobile versions of the New York Times, the Associated Press, and Bloomberg.

One you get a hold of an iPhone, and download your software, that still doesn't mean your phone will work everywhere in the city/north east. Pogue writes about AT&T's dead zones in the NY Times -- dead zones so big you can drive a truck through them.

They can't blames aliens for these, can they?

- Buying an iPhone in Brooklyn -- Good Luck
- Where to Buy an iPhone in Brooklyn: The List (from 2007, not 2008)
- iPhone Mania -- Hey, That's Brooklyn!

Photo by MK Metz

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dog Collapses from Heat Stroke on Remsen Street

This poor dog just collapsed on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights, and its owners said they believed it was heat stroke. They said the dog wouldn't drink any water so they were trying to cool it off with ice wrapped in a towel.

Their car was parked down the street and they were planning on driving the dog to the vet. I don't know how it worked out. If anyone knows these people or their dog, please let us know.

According to
Dr. William Fortney, because of the way dogs cool themselves, they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion than humans. Below are some steps for the identification and treatment of heat exhaustion (which can lead to heat stroke):

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

* Heavy panting
* Dog begins huffing and puffing or gasping for air
* Dog begins to weave when it walks because of dizziness
* Dog lays down or collapses and can't get up
* Dog becomes unconscious

Depending on the seriousness of the situation, these are the steps an owner should take if your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion:

1. Move the dog out of the sun and into the shade or into an air-conditioned building.
2. Give the dog water to drink.
3. Rinse the dog off either in the bath tub or with a garden hose.
4. Place the dog in front of a fan while it is still damp.
5. Place ice bags around the dog's head and neck.
6. Take the dog to the veterinarian only after the dog has been cooled down.

More here.

Photos by MK Metz

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Brookly Heights Laundromat Gave Her Clothes Away

You can't make this stuff up.

This was posted on Craigslist yesterday afternoon:

"Missing female clothing from JCrew, Banana Republic, Gap, Victoria Secret and other yuppy stores. Laundromat gave our bag to someone else and the guy returned it with 1/4 of the clothes (my husbands) but all of mine was missing. Women's clothing are size 12 or a Large. I got too fat so had to buy new clothes only to have the laundromat give it to some guy who's probably wearing my funderoos."

Location posted was on Montague Street.

Brooklyn Living: Beware of Garbage With Something Written on It

When we were walking home from the Bastille Day celebration on Smith Street Sunday, we passed some garbage on the sidewalk. Everyone, including us, was walking blithely around this untidy pile without giving it much thought.

We noticed the mattress had something written on it. So naturally, we had to track back and see what it said.

Whoa baby! THANKS FOR TELLING US. We felt itchy all the way home.

After we got home, we remembered hearing that someone in our building recently had bedbugs. We looked at the mosquito bites we recently acquired while gardening ... We never actually saw any mosquitoes ... (Cue the Jaws music.)

We looked up bedbugs on Wikipedia and the news is grim. It seems that bedbug populations in the United States have increased by 500 percent in the past few years.

Then we found the Bedbug Registry, where people report their bedbug sightings. Here's a map of what's been reported in Brooklyn so far:

What if you itch but don't know if you have bedbugs?

Wikipedia says, "The easiest trapping method is to place double-sided carpet tape in long strips near or around the bed and check the strips after a day or more."

We don't think we have them, but we're going to get some tape tomorrow. For scientific reasons.

UPDATE: Brooklyn Bed Bug Complaints Soar 1,900 Percent!

- Brooklyn's Bed Bug Club: Everybody Welcome

Photo by MK Metz

Monday, July 14, 2008

Court Street Brooklyn: Car Crushed by Cement Bucket

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that a bucket of wet cement fell from a scaffolding at 66 Court St. and crushed a Department of Environmental Protection vehicle Monday. The roof was destroyed and the windows were shattered. A pedestrian was taken away in an ambulance, and the construction workers reportedly fled the scene.

More here.

Bastille Day in Brooklyn: The French Conquer Smith Street

Petanque, Gauloises cigarettes, Ricard, French music, French food, even a guillotine. Smith Street celebrated Bastille Day Sunday and there was something for everyone.

Again this year, a couple of blocks were covered in sand for the famous petanque tournament, played with tennis-ball-sized metal balls, hosted by restaurants Bar Tabac and Robin des Bois.

Music was provided by the big band Baby Blue Orchids, shown in the video below, and the Francois Wiss Ensemble, playing French gypsy music. Pockets of dance broke out spontaneously.

Actual French people were everywhere, smoking cigarettes and speaking actual French.

People were laughing and talking to strangers.
They played games ...

The young and the reckless competed in the skateboard tournament.

More great photos and commentary at the Pardon Me For Asking Blog.
More Bastille Day video at StreetFilms.

UPDATE: Who won the petanque tournament? See the Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn's Bastille Day: Smith Street, Sunday
- Bastille Day in Brooklyn -- La Rue de Smith Sautait!
- Bastille Day Rendez-Vous 2008: Pétanque, Bal Musette And... The Solex: Pardon Me for Asking

- Smith Street Goes French Again Brooklyn Eagle
- Bastille Day Means Pentanque on Smith Street Bergen Carroll

Photos and videos by MK Metz