Sunday, August 31, 2008

What To Do Labor Day Weekend 2008 in Brooklyn -- UPDATE


Here we are in Brooklyn for the Labor Day weekend -- what should we do?

Check out these relaxing Labor Day weekend events; we'll list more as they come in.


- Rooftop Films in Gowanus: Romance Shorts Looking for Love -- With live music and beautiful visuals, the Rooftop Films experience starts at dusk. Bring your bug spray and your appetite for a unusual cinematic experience. More here.

Take a self-guided tour of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's water features or a special tour led by a Garden Guide on and Saturdays and Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m. BBG Reflections

- Then walk right next door to see the
Brooklyn Museum's 5,000 square-foot Visible Storage Study Center, an inside look at the museum's extensive American collections, now open to the public. Brooklyn Museum

- McCarren Park Pool: Come hear Sonic Youth. (A Starbucks band) More here.

- This is the last weekend to take advantage of Marco Polo's 25th Anniversary
special anniversary prix-fixe three-course menu, priced at $19.83 for lunch (they opened in 1983) and $25.00 for dinner (in celebration of their 25th year). More here.


- The Brooklyn Green Team is hosting a Labor Day picnic Sunday at Prospect Park on the lawn near the Picnic House. Bring your own food. Brooklyn Green Team, a grassroots environmental group in Brooklyn, will raise money for Barack by selling overpriced baked-goods. More here.

- The Cyclones are playing the Renegades Sunday at 5 p.m. As the playoffs approach, it just gets better. Make sure to bring the kids - the first 1,250 get a Mini Pee Wee Bobblehead doll. After the game, kids get to run the bases. More here.

- Sunday Best at the Yard -- booze-music-and-BBQ parties say goodbye for the summer Sunday in Gowanus with one last blowout, featuring local duo Metro Area as well as resident DJs Justin Carter, Eamon Harkin and Doug Singer. Plenty of homemade, organic BBQ and sunshine. 3 p.m.

Make sure to make Fort Greene brunch plans this weekend. Afterwards, you can hit Brownstoner's gigantic Brooklyn Flea at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School.

Hello Brooklyn (Red Hook's only nightclub) welcomes itself to the neighborhood with an all-day BBQ and DJ party in their courtyard. More here.

- Dimanche Gras - At the Brooklyn Museum: 7 pm: Tickets in advance $30: At the Door: $35. David Rudder, Scrunter, Crazy, Barron, Hunter and others in a dazzling competition for King & Queen of the Bands. The Sunshine Band & Calypso veterans perform, Kings & Queens compete and Dancers entertain to conclude the weekend concert events leading to the big Labor Day.

- Labor Day Music Festival Celebrating Bargemusic’s 30th Anniversary - Sunday, 4 pm. Behzad Ranjbaran “Fountains of Fin” for Flute, Violin and Cello (2008); Daniel Ott “Blue Water” for Violin, Piano and String Quartet (2008) Tickets: $40 (students $15) Floating music barge under the Brooklyn Bridge.

- Polytechnic Institute of NYU is hosting the 1st Polytechnic Open Table Tennis Championships from Sunday, August 31 to Monday, September 1. Open to the general public on Sunday with participants able to compete in as many events as they wish. 6 MetroTech Center, Downtown Brooklyn

- Visit the Dumbo Farmers Market and pick up some fresh fruit, vegetables and baked items. DumboNYC


- West Indian American Day Carnival -- 2008 Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival Parade: The West Indian American Day Carnival is the biggest parade in New York with over 3 million participants each year. Marchers wear fabulous costumes and follow huge sound trucks with live performers.

The festivities actually begin at 2:00 a.m. with the traditional J’Ouvert Morning, a predawn, precarnival procession featuring steel drums and inexpensive costumes. Do not dress up: powder, paint and dye throwing are common. Begins at Grand Army Plaza by the Library, travels through Flatbush to Empire Blvd, and ends on Nostrand Avenue and Linden Blvd.

The Parade of Bands begins around 11:00 am, as trucks blasting Caribbean music and groups of beautifully dressed dancers march down Eastern Parkway to Grand Army Plaza. (Live performers in front of the Brooklyn Library.) The parade rout begins at the corner of Rochester & Eastern Parkway and ends near Grand Army Plaza where non-masqueraders can jump up with the bands. Find a viewing spot early -- the closer to Crown Heights you are, the more packed it gets.

All of Eastern Parkway will be serving up dishes from every Caribbean island: jerk chicken, chicken stew, fried chicken, beef stew, oxtail, rice and peas, salad, macaroni pie, fried flying fish, curry goat, roti, callaloo, souse, salt fish, fried bake, coconut bread, and much more.

More at WIADCA .

- Back to School Bash at Habana Outpost -- An afternoon full of back-to-school events for young children: craft;, a mini worm-bin workshop; story time, a dance party and more. See Habana Outpost

- At Cha Cha's on the Boardwalk (call ahead for hours): The 2008 Miss Pin Up Coney Island Contest; The Tarantinos, Catspaw, Los Pocos Locos, The Designer Drugs plus photography by Cigar Man Mike. It's part of the 2008 Coney Island Rockabilly Fest. (1229 Boardwalk West; call ahead for tickets and admission fee; Must be 21+) More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Remember Dondi the Painting Elephant? What's Next for the DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival

If you like the unexpected, make sure you're in town September 26 - 28 for the Dumbo ART UNDER THE BRIDGE FESTIVAL.

According to Dumbo Arts Center (DAC), art will be happening everywhere: "Streets, sidewalks, storefronts, elevators, lobbies, the water, the waterfront, parks, nooks, crannies, NY Water Taxi, and more."

Along with the public art projects, over 100 local artists will open their studios to the public, and at the new Galapagos Art Space, video_dumbo will feature a non-stop program of cutting edge video.

Anything can happen at this festival. Remember last year when Dondi the elephant executed some excellent and quite colorful paintings? Dumbo 'Arts Under the Bridge' Festival

Poster Design by Gabriela Monray
Photo by MK Metz
Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Getting Your Kid into a Good School in Brooklyn

Recommended reading if you're trying to get your child into a good public school (or even a private school) in Brooklyn:

In Kensington Stories, one man's account about "our private struggle to get my son into a decent school." From the sublime to the ridiculous, a true story of what it takes to get your kid into any decent school in Brooklyn.

In the Brooklyn Eagle: Middle School Situation Stresses Out Brooklyn Parents. The demand for good middle schools in Brooklyn far outstrips the supply, according to Clara Hemphill, author of the New York City's Best Public Middle Schools guide book. “It’s very difficult for parents to deal with uncertainty,” Hemphill said. Essential advice: “Do whatever works for you: meditation, Valium or a stiff shot of bourbon! But try not to let your child see your anxiety.”

In New York Magazine: Cracking the Kindergarten Code -- "Landing your child in a quality public elementary school is a real-estate play." (It's a couple of years old but so New York!)

And if you really want to get your kid into a great public school, New York parents' number one choice:

Photo by Avolore, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Join the Cobble Hill Bike Ride: 12 Miles of Pure Brooklyn Fun

The Cobble Hill Association and Brooklyn Greenway Initiative are hosting their first ever Cobble Hill Bike Ride.

September 14th, 2008, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cobble Hill Park
Free! To participate simply email your full name and daytime telephone number to

It's a 12 mile casual bike ride that will start at Cobble Hill Park and then pass through the Columbia Waterfront District, Red Hook, Park Slope, Prospect Park, Gowanus and loop back to Cobble Hill.

There will be several scenic rest stops as the ride follows mostly calm streets with some light vehicular traffic. Several Bike Marshals will travel alongside the group, guiding the ride. (Bike Marshals will also be prepared to handle any urgent bike repairs needed.)

Light snacks and water will be provided but riders should be prepared with sunblock, plenty of water, and ready for a light pace that will include some cobblestone streets (bumpity bump) in Red Hook and the 9th Street hill in Park Slope, with an option to also ride the hill within Prospect Park's car-free loop.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Steve Jobs Is Not Dead, and Other Fun Tech News

- Oops! Bloomberg wire service accidentally published the obituary of Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs Wednesday. Boy, is their face red! Gawker via CRN

- That 3 a.m. call never came. 40 percent to 50 percent of people who signed up to receive Obama's vice-presidential text message either received it late or not at all. CNET

- Apple has acknowledged a huge iPhone security flaw, promising an update for September that will fix the hole that can expose all your private emails, text messages and contacts. Gizmodo

- Comcast, the country's largest broadband provider, is shutting down heavy users. Subscribers whose use more than 250 GB of data a month will first get a warning call, and then their service will be suspended for a year... Washington Post

- New iPods are coming out very soon, and they'll be cheaper. Kevin Rose blog

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama Vows: Cut Taxes, End War in Iraq, End Oil Dependence

For those who missed Obama's acceptance speech, here are a few highlights.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Biscotti Ad Shoot Takes Over Clinton Street, Cobble Hill

Cresent Moon Films took over Clinton Street near Verandah Place all day Wednesday to film an ad for Nonnis Biscotti. They set up a table in the street and characters walked down the steps of nearby brownstones as well.

As it got dark, they shot some footage in the restaurant across the street.

Crescent Moon develops very "filmish" ads. You can see more of their work here.

Once again, we can't help salivating at the food spread provided to the workers on any kind of film shoot. These are just the snacks!

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Six Bedbug-Filled Mattresses in Brooklyn Heights?

Six people in one building just decided to redecorate.

All we know is, some people walked around this pile o' mattresses (on the northernmost end of Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights) as if they were radioactive. Others didn't even seem to be aware that they shouldn't walk too close. Probably a few people took some home eventually.

Last week we saw (roughly, because we didn't really start counting until we had, unconsciously, seen four or five already) about ten mattresses on the sidewalk in the Brooklyn Heights area.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Eagle just came out with part 2 of their bed bug series. This one's called "The Secret Life of Bedbugs." (Part 1 terrorized us with the statistic that bed bug complaints in Brooklyn have increased by 1,900 percent since 2004.)

Bed bug expert Richard Cooper is quoted as calling for intervention on the national level.

When enough politicians get infestations in their own houses, this just might happen.

- The Secret Life of Bedbugs Brooklyn Eagle

- Bedbugs in Brooklyn: They're Here. Get Used to It Brooklyn Eagle
- Brooklyn Bed Bug Complaints Soar 1,900 Percent!

- Brooklyn Living: Beware of Garbage With Something Written on It
- Brooklyn's Bed Bug Club: Everybody Welcome

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

One Dozen Somewhat Puzzled Ducks in Dumbo

These ducks were clustered around the entrance to the handcrafted wood furniture store called "From the Source at 65 Jay Street in Dumbo.

We love how they seem to be baffled by the whole thing.

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

On Fire: Hillary's Speech at DNC: Video

Electrifying: "No Way. No How. No McCain."

Video via Huffington Post

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prisoner Escapes from Brooklyn Court; Birds Die on Court Street, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A prisoner apparently escaped from the Brooklyn Criminal Court at 120 Schermerhorn St., Sunday evening, but nobody's talking about it. Brooklyn Eagle (UPDATE: They found him! Here.)

- Ladies -- the Dr. Zizmor of private parts is now in Greenpoint. Newyorkshitty, via Gothamist

- Uh oh. An unusual number of birds are dying at the south end of Court Street. Gowanus Lounge

- UFO alien picks Obama for president. NY Magazine

- The EPA has committed to a new series of tests at toxic Newtown Creek, which could be designated a federal Superfund site. Brooklyn Eagle

- OMG: Brooklynites move to Buffalo. It's cheap. They can live in a house with a yard for the cost of a garage in Brooklyn. They can have children. And . . . they like it. NY Magazine

Photo by Cdogstar, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Dumbo Dive: Pedro's Spanish American, All Prettied Up

Pedro's Spanish American restaurant at Front and Jay Streets -- one of the original Dumbo dive restaurants -- is still here, and the new mural looks great.

How's the food? Here's the Yelp consensus:

A "charming dive."

"Decent food. Grimy interior. Cheap prices."

"This place has character (and character's). Go before it's gone like affordable housing."

"I felt dirty and not in a good way."

"I'm sure I'll be back anyway, hopefully it'll be better the next time. the beans and pork were really good though!"

"Pedro's is that awesome neighborhood place that you're a little scared to go into but once you do you're hooked."

"Has anyone ever had a burrito with peas and carrots thrown in? I think they might have been the packaged frozen kind."

More reviews at Yelp.
Read about the mural and more at Green Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Obama Assassination Plot?

- Federal authorities have scheduled a press conference for Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. regarding reports that a traffic stop by Aurora Police may have disrupted an assassination attempt against Barack Obama. Denver Post

- Aurora police seized -- from a suspect's pickup truck -- a bullet-proof vest, two rifles, ammunition, drugs and walkie-talkies. Rocky Mountain News

- Federal sources said this incident may have had more to do with methamphetamine than with any plot to assassinate Obama . . . FoxNews

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, August 25, 2008

'Black Chick from Brooklyn' Running Democratic National Convention, and Democrats Get Religion

Leah Daughtry
-- a "black chick from Brooklyn," she calls herself in a Newsweek interview -- is chief of staff of the Democratic National Committee and is also the person in charge of planning the Democratic convention, which starts today.

She's also a Pentacostal minister who's trying to show the world that Democrats can have religion, too.

In Brooklyn, the Rev. Herbert Daughtry of the House of the Lord Church on Atlantic Avenue is well known as a defender of human rights and proponent of Black-liberation theology. (The rather infamous Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's minister and mentor before this past year's flap, was quite the Black-liberation theologist.)

Newsweek profiles Leah as a power player who works "to shake Democrats free of their image as a faith-averse party whose candidates care about 'values voters' only in an election year."

The New York Times has an excellent 5-page report on her and why, this election year, the Democrats may get religion.

Can Leah Daughtry Bring Faith to the Party? NY Times
Putting Faith in a 'Black Chick from Brooklyn' Newsweek

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Vegetarian Ginger on Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights

The new Vegetarian Ginger restaurant, upstairs on Montague Street (corner of Henry, in Brooklyn Heights where Kim Paris used to be) has been open a couple of weeks now, but business seems middling.

To be fair, the restaurant business in Brooklyn Heights takes a nosedive anyway in August as locals take their late summer jaunts.

We're glad to see that the windows have had their shade treatment removed. That dark glass made it hard to tell if Kim Paris was open or not.

Vegetarian Ginger is continuing the Asian/ vegetarian theme that was happening on the corner when it held a place called The Greens kosher vegetarian. The menu features items like "Mixed Vegetables Soy Protein," "Soy Cutlet Sizzling Platter," "Eggplant and String Beans in Basil Garlic Sauce," and "General Tso's Soy Protein."

While upstairs restaurants come and go, Andy's, on the ground floor, is starting to look like an old, dependable standby.

- Montague Street's Vietnamese 'Kim Paris' Closes
- New Vietnamese Restaurant Coming to Brooklyn Heights

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

Buy a NYC Homeless Kid Some Crayons, Easy, No Sweat

The Mommy Poppins blog has been working with Seneca Houses, an organization that provides temporary housing for homeless families in NYC. They've asked her for help in providing school supplies for the 100 children that are currently living in their apartments.

So Mommy has created an Amazon Wish List for the kids with all the school supplies that they have requested (and she's also collecting PayPal cash if you'd rather donate online).

The wish list is quite fun -- everything's all addressed, you just click on what you want to buy, from crayons to backpacks.

Mommy Poppins readers have already purchased about half the requested items -- now it's up to everyone else to kick in the rest. Hurry up -- school starts Tuesday!

Photo of School Supply Mountain by EvelynEshere, Creative Commons license

Welcome New Brooklyn Blog, 34 Crooke Avenue

We'd like to welcome SamHall, the blogger behind the new 34 Crooke Ave. blog, named for the address of the 23-unit Scarano building called the Alvora.

Sam says, "If you are buying an apartment in Brooklyn you are required to blog about it, right? Well I've always been a rule follower so I am doing my part..."

Neighborhood-wise, 34 Crooke Avenue seems to be in a murky position.

According to Sam, "I have been doing a lot of research and I can't see any definitive answer as to what neighborhood this building is in ... I thought, and was told, that it is in Prospect Park South (PPS) but since the north boundary of PPS is Church Ave. then this building is too far north to be part of PPS even though it is south of the park."

Try this one on for size: The Brooklyn Eagle quoted Judah Domke, lead sales agent for Corcoran Group Brooklyn, as saying, “Most New Yorkers are familiar with Park Slope, the celebrity-rich, food fantastic neighborhood that runs along the northwest border of Prospect Park,” he added. “We expect the Parade Ground to be more familiar to New Yorkers very soon.”

34 Crooke Ave. blog
New Condos Planned Near the Parade Grounds Brooklyn Eagle

Rendering courtesy of

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last McCarren Pool Party/ Brooklyn Obama Fund Raiser Today

The Democratic convention starts Monday -- and the last pool party at Williamsburg's McCarren Pool (produced by Jelly NYC) doubles as a sun-filled all-day fund raiser for Barack Obama today!

Yo La Tengo, Titus Andronicus, Ebony Bones and other guests will be performing. (Brooklyn Vegan posts rumors about those other special guests here.)

Party starts at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but there’s a suggested contribution of $20, with proceeds going to the Obama campaign.

More at Gowanus Lounge and Brooklyn Vegan.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday: Last Chance to See David Byrne's 'Playing the Building' in NYC

David Byrne (Talking Heads) has converted the 9,000-square-foot landmark Battery Maritime Building into a giant playable instrument -- and today is the last day you can see (and play) the building.

Playing the Building is a "sound installation" in which the structure of the grand old building itself is converted into an instrument. Devices are attached to the metal beams, the pipes — and these are wired to an organ to produce sound when you hit the keys. The whole place vibrates, moans and squeaks. (It may not be in Brooklyn, but the line is shorter than the Brooklyn IKEA's!)

For more details, visit the David Byrne site here.
To read about David Byrne's Williamsburg bike racks, see here.

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

Poplar Street Community Garden, Brooklyn Heights

A hidden idyll, the Poplar Street Community Garden nestles in the curving corner of Hicks and Poplar, Brooklyn Heights.

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

Saturday, August 23, 2008

One-Legged Prostitute Killed in Boerum Hill, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A one-legged prostitute was killed in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn after a john hit her over the head, causing her to fall backwards out of her wheelchair and slam her skull against the wall. She died at Long Island College Hospital. NY Post

- An art group is looking for participants throughout Brooklyn to adopt and temporarily house a "simple fountain." On the Blog Knows Brooklyn

- Watch out Cindy McCain: Jill Biden is a working mom. Steve Clemons via Huffington Post

- Four-eared cat becomes Internet sensation. SunTimes

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE

Obama Picks Sen. Joseph Biden as Running Mate

The text message went out early this morning.

Buh-Bye Bayh? UPDATE: Secret Service Assigned to Sen. Joseph Biden

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Buh-Bye Bayh? UPDATE: Secret Service Assigned to Sen. Joseph Biden

It's Friday night, and Obama still has not text messaged his choice for vice president to a waiting world. Guess we'll have to wait until Saturday. In the meantime, it's time for competing rumors:

- The United States Secret Service has dispatched a protective detail to protect Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., a source told ABC News.


- According to NBC News, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine have been told by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama they will not be his vice presidential choice.


- KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported that a company in Lenexa, which specializes in political literature, has been printing Obama-Bayh bumper stickers like crazy.


- Officials said the Obama campaign had taken the trouble to print material bearing the names of several potential ticketmates. NBC


- Officials said Rep. Chet Edwards, whose district includes President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, has (suddenly) made the list of finalists. AP


- Techies have figured out how to send out fake VP announcement text messages and have been freaking out their friends with phony VP choices, including Hillary Clinton and various superheroes. SMH

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Flatbush 'Gossip Girl' House For Sale, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Friday's fire at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been put out. NY Times

- A Brooklyn man hired what he thought was a hit man to kill his wife and cut off her hand with a samurai sword so he could get back a $27,000 diamond wedding ring. 1010 WINS

- Hillary is back on the job! The Junior Senator from NY skewers the EPA for their negligence on the Newtown Creek oil disaster. Green Brooklyn

- John McCain doesn't know how many houses he owns or what car he drove. Think Progress - Cindy McCain said she was "unsure" about the exact number of half sisters she has but would have "a staff member look into it." Huffington Post

- The Flatbush Gossip Girl house is on the market. Curbed

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Bay Ridge Hum' -- Gone at Last?

The annoying low-frequency world-famous Bay Ridge Hum has "plagued sleepers and terrorized children, been the butt of jokes, and even the source of a Cornell University investigation," but according to an article in today's Brooklyn Eagle, the hum has finally stopped.

It started in 2005, waking children up at night and distracting workers. Scientists investigated a number of possible causes -- construction, the water treatment plant, noise-making fish, low-flying UFOs -- but never really figured it out.

Could our three-year nightmare finally be over?

More here.

UPDATE: The Bay Ridge Rover has more on this as well.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Carroll Gardens' 360 Smith Rising From the Dead?

Remember when the Narrow Streets Zoning Text Amendment was passed last month, restricting Carroll Gardens building heights to 55 feet? Many people were happy because that meant that the "out of scale" building proposed for 360 Smith Street would have to shrink to a size similar to other buildings in the neighborhood.

Not so fast, happy people.

Community Board 6 is holding a Public Hearing on behalf of the builder, Oliver Developments, who is asking for an extension of time to complete the construction.

The hearing will take place Thursday, August 28, 6 p.m. at P.S. 32, 317 Hoyt Street at Union Street.

After the Zoning Text Amendment was passed, construction was halted at 360 Smith because the plans (calling for a building 70 feet high) didn’t conform to the new zoning, and the foundation was only 20 percent complete, not enough for a gimme.

The Gowanus Lounge called it back in July: "The developer presumably will appeal to the Board of Standards and Appeals to try to get 'vested' under the old zoning, which is a possibility."

Public hearing notice here.

- Carroll Gardens Wide Street Hearing Wednesday Morning
- Marty Markowitz Approves Carroll Gardens Narrow Streets Zoning
- New, Improved Renderings of Planned 360 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens
- A List of Questions
- Carroll Gardens Landmarking Meeting

- DeBlasio to Meet with 360 Smith Street Petition Signers
- Size DOES Matter on Second Place
- Brooklyn Wednesday in Brief
- Smith Street: Zombies? Performance Art?
- 'Stop Scarano' Rally at DOB Today
- Brooklyn's Smith Street Today

- 'Protect Our Homes in Carroll Gardens' Petition

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Frickin' Smokin' Planes Flying Over Brooklyn Heights, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Some Brooklyn Heights residents "freaked out" Wednesday over those planes "flying so low and close to each other with the smoking coming out the back ..." Brooklyn Heights Blog

- The teenage girl who shot the 62-year-old Haitian cabbie in the face? She says she's sorry. Brooklyn Eagle

- A Brooklyn Life has discovered a dumpling shack that serves up five fresh, huge, tasty, hot dumplings per order for a mere $3.50. A Brooklyn Life

- Cindy McCain's (John McCain's wife) assertions that she is the "only child" of the late multimillionaire Jim Hensley are false, it turns out. NPR via Brooklyn Ron

- Spectacular photos of a dashing Blue Dasher dragonfly -- with mites no less! Dope on the Slope.

- Lola Staar's Dreamland Roller Rink will be hosting a fun day of free live music on the boardwalk in front of the rink on Saturday, August 23. Kinetic Carnival

Photo by zhaonameloc, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Prime Retail' Space at 340 Jay Street, Brooklyn

Remember when this used to be an American Airlines ticket outlet? Wonder what ever happened to that . . .

Anyway, this site on the "backside" of the Marriott is available. We can't really think what would do well there. Funny spot. It is prime, though; it's across the street from Metrotech.

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

More 'Free Tibet' Artists from Brooklyn Detained in China

Beijing: Activists detained after lighting up "Free Tibet" LED Throwies banner near Olympics site from Students for a Free Tibet on Vimeo.

Yesterday, Graffiti Research Lab founder James Powderly was arrested in Beijing; now five other American artists being held for unfurling a lighted banner reading "Free Tibet." (According to the NY Times, Powderly is a Brooklyn artist who recently showed his work at an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York entitled “Design and the Elastic Mind.”)

The five were detained by security personnel after displaying the banner for about 20 seconds at 11:48 pm August 19th. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.

Two of the five activists are from Brooklyn: Samantha Corbin, 24, and Lauren Valle, 21. The others are Amy Johnson, 33, , Liza Smith, 31, Jacob Blumenfeld, 26,

According to Free Tibet 2008, the lights used on the banner were blue 10 mm light-emitting diodes (LEDs) powered by small batteries, commonly known as “throwies.”

More at Free Tibet 2008, the NY Times, and Gothamist.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Amy Ruth's a No Go in Downtown Brooklyn

We are so bummed: The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Harlem soul food restaurant Amy Ruth’s, which had signed a lease for the former Gage & Tollner space on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, is probably not coming here after all.

Robert F. Hebron IV of Ingram & Hebron Realty told the Eagle on Monday that the deal had fallen through.

Zagats had reported that "a tri-level eatery" would open in the space in January 2008.

Full details here.

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

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

'Big Daddy Rules' in Brooklyn

Graffiti in the cement near the Manhattan Bridge overpass.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Fairy Tale Dumbo Clouds

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a magical land called Dumbo . . .

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Downtown Brooklyn Deli -- F. Martinella -- Now Hiring

The new deli at 119 Court Street at State now has a sign saying it's to be an F. Martinella deli. (The talk was it was going to be a Boar's Head deli, which it may still be . . .)

According to the sign, F. Martinella was established 1949.

That's a little shorter than earlier talk. Massey Knakal broker Tim King said at the November session of the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable that the tenant was "a company that's been in the food production biz for the last hundred years." (See Brownstoner)

Oddly, there is no online trace of F. Martinella at all.

Anyway, according to the sign, the store is hiring August 20, 21 and 22 at the Brooklyn Marriott between 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.


- State and Court $$$ Rentals Still Available in Downtown Brooklyn

- Where's the Beef at Court and State? Downtown Brooklyn Food Retailer Still Under Wraps

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Just Married in Dumbo

This lovely bride and groom were having their picture taken near the entrance to Empire/ Fulton ferry State Park in Dumbo yesterday.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8 Gets Its Porta-Classroom

Overcrowded PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights had its new portable classroom installed (as the Dept. of Education calls it, a TCU -- Transportable Classroom Unit) early Friday. Midddagh Street was closed all night while a crane lowered the two-piece metal classroom onto cement blocks.

Looks rather drab, but it's only temporary. The DOE announced recently that an annex will be built for the school in the back parking lot, just seen through the opening in the rear.

- Put Middle School in Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8, Says Yassky
- Brooklyn Heights' Booming P.S. 8 to Get a New Building

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

Brooklyn's IKEA: Havoc at the Checkout Counters This Weekend

So we went to IKEA in Red Hook Saturday to buy a few household supplies and to have lunch. Shoppers were pouring in by bus, car and probably boat as well.

We had a wonderful time looking at the little pretend apartments and even with all of those thousands of shoppers, we got a table in the cafeteria, no problem. (The food, btw, is delicious and reasonably priced.)

But OMG! When we went to check out this is what we found: the lines extended all the way out of the check out area and almost all the way through the self serve furniture area! If you zoom the photo above (by clicking on it), you can just barely see a little blue sign with the number 13 on it way, way in the distance. (UPDATE: We drew a red circle around it because it's almost impossible to see.) That's the check out area. And we were by no means at the end of the line.

We're talking checkout waits of an hour or more.

Flat Packed: People were getting pretty grumpy, let me tell you. A woman jumped ahead of us in line. When we pointed this out, she moved behind us, only to be challenged by the customer back there. She moved behind that customer, only to be berated by the next one. And so she worked her back to the back of the line, irate customer by irate customer.

We were so far back there was no way to even tell if we were in a cash only line or a credit and debit only line. This accounted for some delays, it turns out, because people were finding themselves in the wrong line when they finally got to the checkout counters.

Since there were three members in our party, we split up and communicated via cell phone. One of the lines we were in didn't move for 15 minutes. Seems there was some kind of trouble with someone's credit card up front. Dozens of shoppers were muttering and a small rebellion was starting to break out because nothing was happening.

One of us stood in the checkout line all the way to the right. This eventually turned out to be a good move, because the store sent a cashier to one of the (non-functional, for some reason) self-checkout machines stacked against the extreme right-hand wall.

Though there is no counter there, there is a working register and a scanner, and the management pulled half of our line over into this pseudo-lane. We sent out a code red via cell phone and our party reassembled at the non-lane and checked out.

It took us more than 45 minutes to make it through the lines, even with all of our conniving and rapid response cell phone work. People who couldn't do this -- those with children or unwieldy purchases -- were just screwed.

IKEA, we love you, but something has to be done. Why aren't the self-checkout machines set up? And why are there so many delays at the cash registers? You have to do something about this.

OK, on a positive note, the bus service to Brooklyn Borough Hall is efficient and plentiful. Even on weekends, the buses keep coming, and coming and coming . . .

UPDATE 2: This past weekend was one of the busiest weekends of the year because the 2009 IKEA catalog just came out, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. Another interesting fact: The Red Hook IKEA “is one of the highest-performing stores in the country." More here.

- Ducks, Red Hook's Erie Basin
- New York Gets Flat Packed
- Brooklyn Ikea Quote of the Day
- Goodbye Ikea Apartment
- Ikea Setting Up Entire Apartment in Borough Hall Plaza, Brooklyn

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

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:

- Celebrate Brooklyn needs a new Operations Manager. Work with the Director to put together the fabulous Celebrate Brooklyn Performing Arts Festival. Idealist

- A Kitchen Designer is needed for busy Brooklyn showroom. Craigslist

- VerdictSearch (at MetroTech) seeks an agressive reporter to write about civil court cases. $35,000. Craigslist

- Kid-loving hair cutters, nail doers and face painters wanted for little girl's salon opening up in Brooklyn Heights. Craigslist More skills -- like airbrush tattoos - here.

- Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) seeks a Patron Services Assistant who will deal personally with BAM's patrons, getting them great tickets and special customer service. Idealist

- Radio Shack is looking for full and part-time sales associates. Career Builder

- An experienced Corporate Paralegal is needed for Wireless Generation in Dumbo. Craigslist

- IKEA needs a Recovery Manager. Career Builder

- Starbucks in Cobble Hill is filling Barista & Shift Supervisor positions. Apply Tuesday, August 19th, 12 – 4 pm, 167 Court Street (@ Dean Street) Craigslist

- The NYC Dept. of Education needs an experienced Project Manager. Career Builder

- Go Dog Go is hiring part-time and full-time dog walkers. Craigslist

- Brooklyn Child and Family Services is looking for a Director of Human Resources. Craigslist

Previous job postings here.

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Huge Counter-Terrorism Exercise Under Brooklyn's Verrazano Bridge

If you were enjoying a ride in a boat today in New York Harbor, you might be aware that the NYPD (and ten other law enforcement agencies) mounted the largest counter-terrorism exercise in New York history today under the Verrazano Bridge.

All vessels near the bridge were boarded and searched in a drill to see if new high tech equipment can detect terrorists with nuclear bombs in the harbor.

It's part of Operation Sentinel, a plan to track every vehicle that enters the city using imaging and radiation detection technologies.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE

Put Middle School in Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8, Says Yassky

Community groups and Councilman Yassky, fighting Dumbo's Dock Street development, want the Dept. of Education to put a middle school in Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8 instead, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. The Brooklyn Heights Association says they'll even pay for the study.

But DOE says its not getting into this. From their point of view, this makes sense. It's not the DOE who decides whether the Dock Street building will block views from the bridge. Why pay for a school building when a developer (Two Trees) is offering one for free?

Groups Seek Alternative to Controversial DUMBO School Brooklyn Eagle

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

Photo (showing preparations for a mobile classroom in overcrowded PS 8 schoolyard) by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

A Peek Into Brooklyn Trader Joe's Cathedral of Commerce

We got a peek into the cathedral-like interior of the historic Independence Bank building, where Trader Joe's is still setting up.

We're happy to report that there are no dropped ceilings, at least yet. While the outside of the old bank building is landmarked, the interior is basically up for grabs.

But what in the world is that cement wall, just below center right? That wasn't there before.

- Is Atlantic Avenue's Key Food 'Trader Joe'sing?'
- Brooklyn Trader Joe's! Apply This Week
- Trader Joe's Construction Begins: Brooklyn Roundup
- Trader Joe's Work Begins! Brooklyn Saved!
- Chunky Salsa Gets Closer: Landmarks Approves Brooklyn's Trader Joe's
- Trader Joe's: It's On the Map
- Trader Joe's to Open 'Late Spring?'
- The Future Trader Joe's
- 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

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Who Lost This Little Yellow Parakeet Near Cobble Hill?

Awwh, it's the cutest little thing. Did you lose it in Brooklyn near Court and Atlantic? Come pick it up!

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brooklyn Heights Gristedes All Cleaned Up

Behind that paper plastered all over the windows at Gristedes on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, the fire-gutted store has actually been cleaned up. The above was shot from the front of the store.

Below you can see what the same approximate area looked like in May. This photo was shot from the back -- the front windows can be seen to the right.

The fire took place April 1st. Back in May, the manager said he hoped the store would reopen in July. Now, he told McBrooklyn he's hoping for September, but no promises. One problem they ran into had to do with insurance, he said.

Workers say the store will be "better than ever" when it reopens.

- Inside the Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
- The Line at Peas and Pickles
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Closed Until July
- Schumer Endorses Former Aide in Front of Burnt-Out Grocery Store
- Fire-Damaged Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Pharmacy To Reopen?
Cleanup Begins at Brooklyn Heights Gristedes
Brooklyn Heights Gristedes Fire Dismal Aftermath

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Photo Shoot With Skateboard, Brooklyn Bridge

A photo shoot was taking place at the Brooklyn entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. The skateboarder was holding perfectly still while everyone else moved around him. Some people hesitated to walk in front of the camera, but the photographer wanted random pedestrians in the picture.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Storm Clouds Over Brooklyn

Yes, it does look like Dementors are flying in, as several people have mentioned. It was actually Monday's wild storm looming over Brooklyn.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Dylan in Brooklyn: Packed House, Happy Fans

About 7,000 fans showed up for the Dylan concert in Prospect Park last night. The line was sooo long it doubled back on itself (till the cops made everybody unwind down a side road). Not too many teens -- average age probably in the 40s, but still a good number in their 20s and 30s. Met one 83-year-old guy who told me Dylan was his main man.

It started to lightning and thunder, but then it cleared right up without any rain at all. Good omen.

Though the show was scheduled for about 7 p.m. according to the papers, everyone didn't even get inside the bandshell area till almost 8. We weren't checking the time (it was dark and we had to keep the balloons bouncing) but we think Dylan came on stage about 8:20.

What a beautiful night and what a mellow crowd. Dylan came on wearing a black cowboy suit and flat-brimmed hat and got right into it. Honestly, his voice is shot to pieces, but it got better as the show progressed and there was a lot of love. The band was really first rate.

Here's the first five songs: Rainy Day Women; Lay Lady Lay; Lonesome Day Blues; Girl of the North Country and the Levee's Gonna Break.
You can see the whole set list at Bob Links.

We weren't supposed to bring cameras in so we just shot one cellphone photo, no flash.

Bob Dylan, Prospect Park, August 12, 2008.

UPDATE: More reactions at Gowanus Lounge, DITHOB, and photos on flickr.

- Bob Dylan in Brooklyn Aug. 12, 2008: How to Get There and Other Details
-Bob Dylan Brooklyn Concert Tickets Edging Up in Price
-Scalpers Push Dylan Ticket Prices Up for Brooklyn Concert

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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

Going to Dylan's concert in Prospect Park Tuesday?

Here are some details:

The concert starts at 7:00 p.m., and the gates usually open one hour prior. (Note: tickets say 6:30) What time to get there? All we can say is there are 2,000 reserved seats and 5,000 general admission spaces on the lawn.

Performance is RAIN or SHINE.

The Dylan concert is not an official Celebrate Brooklyn concert, but it will likely have the same rules. For most Celebrate Brooklyn concerts, beer and wine are sold for on-site consumption, and Two Boots Brooklyn is the food concessionaire. (Sandwiches, salads and grilled specialties.) Official rules: "Do not bring cans, bottles, coolers, alcoholic beverages, pets, video cameras, audio recording devices, or professional cameras into the festival site." No lawnchairs.

Location: The Bandshell is located inside Prospect Park in Brooklyn, at Prospect Park West and 9th Street.

By Public Transportation:
F Train to 15th Street/Prospect Park station
2 or 3 Train to Grand Army Plaza (much further away)
Here's a link to the MTA subway map.

B-68, B-69, or B-75 Buses to Prospect Park West & Ninth Street.
Here's a link to the Brooklyn bus map.

By Car:
• From Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges: Take Flatbush Ave. to Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park West exit to 9th St.
From BQE: Take BQE to 38th St. exit. Make left on 4th Ave, then right on 9th St. to Prospect Park West.

If you don't have tickets, hang out as close as possible. The Bandshell, according to BRIC, has a new "distributed" sound system "which provide excellent sound quality while tightly directing the sound at the audience and away from other areas."

-Bob Dylan Brooklyn Concert Tickets Edging Up in Price
-Scalpers Push Dylan Ticket Prices Up for Brooklyn Concert

AFTER THE SHOW UPDATE: Dylan in Brooklyn: Stay Forever Young, Bob

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.