Friday, October 31, 2008

The Line Ourside the Brooklyn Heights' Ricky's, 4:30 p.m. Halloween

The line to get into the Montague Street Ricky's -- the "hottest, craziest Halloween costume superstore in New York City" -- extended down the block by 4:30 Friday (Halloween) afternoon. Someone on line told us it was the same deal the day before.

The line actually extended past the right hand side of this photo but we were in a hurry to find some blue hair dye so we just shot this on the run.

We really have to plan this thing better, next year . . .

- Ricky's Wishes You Were Here
- Ricky's Brooklyn Christmas
- Ricky's Does Halloween
- Wigs, Soap and Yep, Sex Toys Hit Brooklyn Heights
- Wigs, Soap -- and Sex Toys -- in Brooklyn Heights

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Dormitory Included in Plans for 388 Bridge Street, Downtown Brooklyn

It's been slow-going at 388 Bridge Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The plans for the 49-story residential tower have been disapproved by the Dept. of Buildings numerous times, most recently on October 14 -- but now we notice that Schedule A details a dormitory on floors 4 through 7, with a separate dormitory lobby on the first floor.

The plans also call for 142 parking spaces, 2 floors of retail, a physical fitness center with locker rooms, a meeting room, and two penthouse apartments.

The Brooklyn Eagle reported on this project last May, when developer Greg Wolpert did not return calls. Brownstoner followed up in July.

When it's finally completed, the plans call for 330 apartments plus 32 dorm rooms.

The sign posted at the site calls the project the "Willis Ave Bridge."

- Slow Going on 'Huge' Bridge Street Residential Project

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Evil Pumpkin Devours Small Child in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

This carved pumpkin, in a window on Smith Street near Pacific, gets our nomination in the Evil Brooklyn Pumpkin category.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Haunted Brownstone, Cobble Hill

The crime scene tape adds just the right touch at this brownstone in Cobble Hill.

Sadly, we lost the exact address -- we think it's on Wyckoff, but if someone knows otherwise, let us know.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Baseless But Fun Rumors: Hooters in Brooklyn Heights? Cobble Hill?

There's nothing like a good baseless rumor to cheer up a drab, dull day. Today, we are trying to debunk/confirm the rumor that a Hooters is moving into the old Busy Chef property at Henry and Cranberry Streets in Brooklyn Heights.

Three people have mentioned it to us so far -- which makes it a virtual slam dunk -- but we persist in thinking it's ridiculous! Isn't it? Please?

In researching the Brooklyn Heights rumor, we ran across the NIMBY Brooklyn blog, which maintains that a Hooters is planning on moving into the old Blockbuster Video store at 288 Court Street in Cobble Hill.

What is it with these Hooters rumors? Is it a collective hallucination brought on by too much presidential politics? Or something more sinister?

Here's the research on the Blockbuster site: ACRIS says that University Place Partners with Madison Realty Capital bought 288 Court Street in June for $3,700,000. Brownstoner writes that the buyer goes under the name of Broadmill Development. Pardon Me For Asking reported in July that a "Retail Store for Lease" banner had been hung on the property.

No word yet on whether Hooters snagged the lease.

As for the Busy Chef Hooters, we remember when the rumor mill said an IHOP was moving onto the corner. Alas, we ended up with Busy Chef, and the rest is history.

- Brooklyn Heights: Busy Chef Cover Up -- Stop Work Order
- 50 Ex- Busy Chef Restaurant Employees in Brooklyn, Ready to Work
- And Then There Were None: The Wine Bar, Last in Brooklyn's Busy Chef Empire, Closes
- 'Mired in Scandal,' It's All Over for Brooklyn's Busy Chef

Photo by Noelweather, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cold Morning Sunrise Over Brooklyn

Makes you think you're living on a planet cloaked in water vapor circling a vast blazing star, or something.

Photo by MK Metz

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Let's Play 'Guess That Brooklyn Restaurant with More Than 40 Violation Points!'

Tired of looking up the Dow Jones Industrial Average? Let's play 'Guess That Brooklyn Restaurant with More Than 40 Violation Points!'

- DUMBO locals and tourists line up out front for hours. Who am I? Answer here.

- Washers, dryers and a deli counter, all in one room on Smith Street. Who am I? Answer here.

- I'm a great place to pick up some mango lassi at the west end of Atlantic Ave. Who am I? Answer here.

-I'm where you go to get classy Israeli cuisine on 5th Avenue. Who am I? Answer here.

- I'm a sweet neighborhood flick house. Buy popcorn! Who am I? Answer here.

- I'm a great Red Hook dive bar with a lot of stuffed animals. Who am I? Answer here.

- I'm a "storied Carroll Gardens pub" and may be one of the oldest bars in Brooklyn. Who am I? Answer here.

- I'm a Windsor Terrace Moroccan with a great garden. Who am I? Answer here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Robbery Near Probation Office in Brooklyn Heights

According to the Gothamist Newsmap, there was a robbery at Cadman Plaza West and Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Monday.

Someone pointed out that, oddly enough, this is where the new Federal Probation Office is located. It's also where some Saint Ann's School classrooms are located. (Wonder if the robber was the same parolee who escaped last month, scaring Saint Ann's parents to death? Or if the victim was one of the 53 sex offenders who report the the office?)

Anyone know any details?

- Saint Ann's School: If You Can't Beat It . . .
- Saint Ann's Parents Roar as Brooklyn Probation Office Moves into Pierrepont St. Building
- Something Big Coming In at One Pierrepont Plaza, Brooklyn Heights?

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brooklyn Heights Gristedes: Major Upgrade, Hiring Nov. 5 - 7

Brooklyn Heights residents have been watching and wondering for months about the reopening of the fire-ravaged Gristedes supermarket on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights.

The store was gutted last April 1, and has experienced several delays on the road to reopening. But activity has certainly picked up recently, Gristedes has been kind enough to post a construction update for us here at McBrooklyn. We're reposting it here:

"Our crews are working fast and furious to bring you an updated, full service and modern supermarket as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience while we continue to push for the opening. Our newly renovated full service supermarket will include a full service Chock Full of Nuts Cafe with breakfast sandwiches and a full array of coffee selections. Our in-store bakery will feature a highly qualified baker preparing baked goods fresh daily as well as specialty cakes and pastries. Our Deli will feature a Gristedes original Mike's Sub Shoppe with a cornucopia of fine sandwich selections. Our Deli will also feature a fresh Olive Bar, Hot Food selection, prepared Meals To-Go.

"We will be having career days scheduled on 11/5 through 11/7 from 10AM thru 4PM at the store. Tables will be setup and we will be accepting applications for various store positions.

"We appreciate your patience and look forward to serving the neighborhood with our newly renovated Supermarket.

"Please feel free to contact us anytime to let us know your thoughts. We can be reached at "

- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes to Go Upscale With Coffee Counter
- Brooklyn Heights Gristedes All Cleaned Up
- 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

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Debate Tonight: Squadron vs. Chromczak, Brooklyn Heights

Here's your opportunity to see and hear the candidates for the 25th District NYS Senate seat:

The Brooklyn Heights Blog is sponsoring a debate between John G. Chromczak (R) and Daniel Squadron (D) tonight -- Tuesday, October 28, at 8 p.m.

The debate takes place at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, in the auditorium.

More at BHB.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Howl-o-Ween in Brooklyn Heights

Giuseppe, a spinone dressed as a Chinese Dragon, and his Mandarin owners Matthew and Martina Parker were voted ‘best over-all' in the Brooklyn Heights Promenade Howl-o-Ween parade on Sunday, sponsored by Perfect Paws and Friends of Hillside Dog Park.

Lucy, a toy poodle with a Sarah Palin updo (owned by Elise Bacolas and Jenna Glazer), took first prize.

This dog got our vote in the 'Just Be Yourself' category.

Give a howl for Tom Vasquez, of Perfect Paws.

More Halloween events listed at the Brooklyn Eagle and A Child Grows in Brooklyn.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Packer Pumpkin Patch a Big, Fat Hit

The gods were smiling on Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights Sunday: the day was gorgeous for the annual Packer Pumpkin Patch Halloween festival, and hundreds -- probably thousands -- of Brooklyn families attended.

Packer went all out this year -- the decorations in the front hall were over the top and there were spooky and fun activities all over the campus. On Joralemon Street outside the school (the site of many a scene from Gossip Girl), kids worked off their excitement on the big blowup bouncy contraptions.

Inside, there were two levels of activities including two haunted houses. Out back in the large yard, hundreds thronged to play carnival games (above, kids were "fishing"), buy sweets and toys, eat burgers and make stuff, like apples stuck with toothpicks bearing gummy candy.

This game shown above involved kids pumping up balloons until they burst-- an activity that truly inspired many of the children.

We all agreed that we wanted to go on the ride shown in the video below, but we'd probably break it.

Photos and video by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Week On Brooklyn TV (BCAT)

Brooklyn Community Access Television is on a roll.

Monday at 1 and 9 p.m., watch a new episode of Brooklyn Review's Election Day Special, which documents Brooklynites as they gather for the presidential debates, follows Brooklyn for Barack volunteers as they head to Philly to register voters, and more.

Also Monday at 12:30pm & 8:30pm: Neighborhood Beat looks at Red Hook:
Visit the Brooklyn Waterfront Museum; attempt canoeing with the Red Hook Boaters; take in some avant-garde art at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition; sample a savory bite at Neil Ganic's latest eateries: Annabelles and La Bouillabaisse.

Tuesday, Neighborhood Beat goes to Brooklyn Heights (12:30pm & 8:30pm)
Take a look at Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims for a look at its famous pastor, Henry Ward Beecher; chat with Thomas Calfa, owner of Lassen & Hennigs on Montague Street. Meet Jacque Jones, a Brooklyn Heights poet with a passion for the lost art of hymn writing; and play with pampered pooches at Perfect Paws on Hicks Street.

There are many more attractions on BCAT: reporter's rountables, neighborhoods explored, and behind-the-scenes looks at Brooklyn institutions, businesses and events. (Time Warner Cable channel 56/ Cablevision channel 69) See the schedule and live programming here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Obama Loses Because of 'Joe Brooklyn'

"John McCain defeated Barack Obama by a single vote" is the startling message in the above video, customized by McBrooklyn to blame "Joe Brooklyn."

But the point of the video is that you can input any name you want. The name responsible for Barack's loss will appear in all spots where Joe Brooklyn appears now -- even the graffiti. The technology rocks.

Do you know people who need to be reminded to vote? Just go to and email the video to your friends and acquaintances.

Video by Political Action

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gossip Girl's Chase Crawford in Brooklyn Heights

Gossip Girl groupies clustering around the makeup trailers on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights around 7 p.m. tonight were rewarded -- briefly -- with a glimpse of Blake Lively and Chase Crawford, heading out after a day of filming at several locations in the Heights.

The handsome Crawford, shown above (near the Park Plaza Diner), plays the wealthy Nate Archibald in the show.

Stars were also sighted on Pierrepont Street and on the Promenade.

Above: Penny, Blake Lively's cute little Maltepoo.

- The Food of Gossip Girl
- Paparrazzi Swarm 'Gossip Girl' Shoot at Packer in Brooklyn Heights

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

The Food of Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is filming again today in Brooklyn Heights. The heck with the stars -- we headed straight for the breakfast tables on Clinton Street to gawk at the chow.

We found one of the more elaborate television food spreads, with fresh cut fruit and a juicer, pastries, and a catering truck (Harry's) turning out hot items.

Why does the food on film sets look so delicious? Here we are, hungry again.

Other film food here:
Biscotti ad spread
Earlier Gossip Girl, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, What Happens in Vegas

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

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

City of New York: Don't Die Soon

New York, do you hear us? We all like you. Really. Please don't die soon.

Graffiti on Pearl Street in DUMBO.

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

Amazing Politics, Brooklyn and Beyond

- How to effectively care for a loved one who has received a Rudy Giuliani robocall. 23/6

- The whole scoop on the City Council's vote to extend term limits. NYT Cityroom

- Those were the days: In remarks to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in March, President George Bush said, "I think when people take a look back at this moment in our economic history, they'll recognize tax cuts work. They have made a difference." Think Progress

- John McCain's brother Joe called 911 to complain about being stuck in traffic, then cursed out 911 operator. (Doesn't everyone have a brother like that?) ABC7 News

- How to spend $150,000 at Saks and Nieman Marcus. New York Magazine and NYT Runway blog

- New York Gov. David Paterson is ordering background checks of his staff, after discovereing that 60 percent of them were never fully vetted. Crain's NY

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cars Love the New Downtown Brooklyn Bike Lanes

The new bike lanes on Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn are a step in the right direction -- hundreds of bikers are using the Smith Street/ Jay Street corridor to get to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

Unfortunately, however, motorized vehicles don't respect the lanes. As a matter of fact, cars just love the new double-parking lane. Just five minutes observation on Jay Street this morning provided hundreds of examples -- the new lanes are clogged with cars, buses and trucks.

The Brooklyn Eagle has done some digging into this -- and quotes Caroline Samponaro, director of bicycle advocacy for Transportation Alternatives speculating that double-parking may have even gotten worse since the new bike lanes have arrived: “Now drivers feel there’s more space to double park.”

Samponaro met with the 84th Precinct Tuesday to ask that a pilot enforcement campaign be started for the Downtown Brooklyn segment of the Jay Street bike lane. Unfortunately DOT has no traffic enforcement capacity -- it's up to the Precinct. (Now if we just get the guys from the Precinct from parking in the bike lane!)

Community Board 2 District Manager Rob Perris provided the Eagle with an interesting analysis of the treacherous Adams Street bike lane as well.

Read the full story here.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Petition to Save LICH

McBrooklyn received this letter from Councilman Bill de Blasio's office yesterday:

Yesterday, Continuum Health Partners, the parent company of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), announced that it would terminate one hundred employees and eliminate another fifty open positions. In recent months, LICH has submitted plans to close its maternity ward, pediatrics department, rape crisis center, and dentistry program in an effort to reduce costs.

Without a sound financial plan for LICH's future and meaningful community involvement in this process, Brooklyn residents have no way of knowing if this is only a cutback in service or the prelude to closing the hospital. As the population of Downtown Brooklyn is projected to increase by over 24,000 residents over the next four years, Long Island College Hospital will play an increasingly important role in ensuring that Brooklyn residents have access to high quality health care.

Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez and Yvette Clarke, Congressman Ed Towns, Assembly Members Joan Millman, Hakeem Jeffries and Felix Ortiz, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Members Bill de Blasio, Letitia James and David Yassky, the Cobble Hill Association, the Brooklyn Heights Association, the Boerum Hill Association, and the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, together with the doctors and nurses at LICH, are continuing the fight to keep Long Island College Hospital as a full-service neighborhood hospital.

If you would like to support our efforts, you can:

  1. Sign the petition online:
  1. Send a letter to Governor Paterson's office. Just cut and paste from the petition. Then, call 718-854-9791 or email to see what else you can do.
Thank you for your assistance in working to save Long Island College Hospital.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Slimy IDT Energy Scammers Are Everywhere! And More Brooklyn Briefs

- Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to run for a third term may be in trouble. Councilman David Yassky and Manhattan Councilpersons Gale Brewer and Alan Gerson are calling for a public referendum. Crain's NY

- BQE Watch has just blogged about the 65th traffic accident he has happened to see from his window overlooking the BQE, on an improperly designed entrance ramp. He started in August, 2007. BQE Watch

- Stroller hell in Fort Greene? Nope -- just the filming of "Bored to Death." Filming in Brooklyn

- They were in Carroll Gardens (and here)Wednesday -- and now those slimy IDT energy scammers have hit Gerritsen Beach! And Greenwood Heights! And Manhattan, and upstate NY and EVERYWHERE!

- Fabulous crazy Halloween houses in Greenpoint. Newyorkshitty

- No more damaged, leaking banana ruining your CDs, wallet, books or papers in your bag: Banana Bunkers, at MoMA. (Dave Barry's commenters are a bunch of flaming perverts. . . )

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get Ready For the Art Frenzy at BKLYN 111

There's going to be an art frenzy party during the closing reception of BKLYN 111 at the Brooklyn Artists Gym (BAG) on October 25th from 6pm to 10pm.

Ticket buyers -- 111 of them -- will have 11 seconds to take a piece of art from the extraordinary show off the wall (65 artists are participating) . The entire process will be filmed as the 111th piece of art.

All of the works are valued at more than the ticket price of $200. Collectors -- this is your moment.

Shown: Landscape Interference by Radek Szczesny. Brooklyn Artists Gym is an artist studio and gallery facility in Park Slope/Gowanus. BAG’s mission is to help make it possible for artists to further their work and careers at a reasonable cost.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Mole People Back in Brooklyn?

Naw -- it's another Atlantic Avenue Tunnel tour, captured by correspondent Lucien on his cell phone.

He wrote in: "Thought you might find this interesting - I saw a child climbing out of a manhole in the middle of Court and Atlantic as I went by . . ."

Interesting, you betcha! The Atlantic Avenue tunnel is one of our favorite pieces of Brooklynalia. Back in July of 2007, we discovered that Bob Diamond's famous Atlantic Avenue Tunnel tour had started up again, after a hiatus of roughly five years.

Diamond discovered the long-lost tunnel -- which runs under Atlantic Avenue between Boerum Place and Hicks Street) in 1981, after hearing about the legend of a Civil War era rail tunnel on a radio show. After an eight-month search (during which he was repeatedly advised by City officials to give up on his lost cause) he struck gold -- uncovering, intact, the world's first subway tunnel.

To see photo and video of the tunnel, see here.
More about the tunnel, see here.

Photo by Lucien

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Floating Brothel Comes to Brooklyn's Galapagos

Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO presents The Floating Brothel on a platform on its indoor lake on Monday, October 27 (note -- not the 28th, as was previously posted) at 8 p.m.

In this production, five actors tell the story of convict women pulled out of their world-- a 1789 brothel from London's underbelly-- and thrust into the helm of a ship sailing to a unknown continent where they will begin their lives anew.

This epic journey is performed entirely within the confines of a 3'x6' platform that the actors never step off of. With the help of a few everyday objects, they transform the playing space from the bustle and noise of London, to the dank bilge of a ship and the harrowing voyage across the sea to a new world.

And all for $5. Tickets here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Meeting: Parents Want Involvement In Their Kids' Schools

Many parents say that since the Mayor took control of the schools, they feel disconnected from them. Here's a chance to do something about it.

Wednesday evening from 5:30 - 8 p.m. (tonight), Councilmembers Letitia James and Bill de Blasio, in conjunction with the Alliance for Quality Education and the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, will host a parental task force meeting aimed at promoting the inclusion of parents in the DOE's decision making process.

Where: Klitgord Auditorium, New York City College of Technology, 250 Jay Street

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brooklyn's 'F. Martinella' Deli Open for Business

You want ham? Salami? How about soup, a sandwich and coleslaw?

Yesterday Brooklyn's new Boar's Head "food laboratory," named F. Martinella, opened for its first day of business at 117/119 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn, across the street from the movie theater.

While we haven't tasted anything yet, the staff seems friendly and it looks like it's going to attract quite the lunch crowd -- lots of lunch meats (naturally), a variety of sandwich cheeses, cakes and cookies, coffee.

The "F. Martinella" name was decoded on the Lost City blog: Boar's Head CEO is Robert S. Martin; their President is Michael Martella.

"Martin + Martella = Martinella"

UPDATE July, 2009: CLOSED!

- A Look Inside Brooklyn's "F.Martinella" Boar's Head Food Laboratory
- New Downtown Brooklyn Deli -- F. Martinella -- Now Hiring
- State and Court $$$ Rentals Still Available in Downtown Brooklyn
- Where's the Beef at Court and State? Downtown Brooklyn Food Retailer Still Under Wraps

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Frozen Meals Return to Brooklyn's Trader Joe's

Brooklyn's starving masses rejoiced Monday to find the freezer compartments of Trader Joe's appear to be 80-90 percent restored with ready-to-eat stuffed chicken breasts, spinach pizza and crustless quiche.

Just about the only thing we discovered missing was the frozen gyoza -- which was what we were after, but never mind.

As we posted previously, a fire broke out in a Trader Joe's warehouse earlier this week, wiping out the frozen food departments of Brooklyn and Manhattan TJ's.

According to Racked, the warehouse was in California, and the fire consumed "mass quantities of the frozen meals, fruits and veggies."

Here's what you won't hear from TJ's: According to a post from Osama bin Laden on Newsgroper, the Trader Joe's warehouse fire "was no accident."

-Trader Joe's Warehouse Fire: Frozen Food Meltdown in NYC, Brooklyn
- An Insecure Fruit Stand Guy in Brooklyn's Trader Joe's Territory
- Brooklyn Hulas To New Trader Joe's

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE

Monday, October 20, 2008

Money Talks on Brooklyn's Court Street

Money signs are everywhere on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights, but what are they saying?

Sovereign Bank's $ Talks sign (above) seems a little cheeky, considering that Sovereign lost a major bundle in the recent troubles and is being acquired by a Spanish bank.

The economy's nosediving, but McDonald's is giving away $100,000 every day. AND we can still afford a Happy Meal.

Now that the 401K has officially dissolved, we are not exactly looking forward to old age. Should we buy a Lotto ticket?

Tempo clothing store, at 56 Court Street, has the right idea!

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Bone Man Blown Away

This smiling skeleton in a window near 367 Atlantic Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn is getting blown away by what appears to be great sounding speakers.

We'd like to know how they got the martini glass to stay like that.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Downtown Brooklyn = College Town, and Other Brooklyn Briefs

- Downtown Brooklyn has a new "aggressive" marketing initiative, and a press release says the area will be promoted as a College Town. Gothamist

- The years-long process of fixing the Downtown Brooklyn portion of the BQE has now begun. Brooklyn Eagle

- Did you know there was a "Tarot for Obama" fundraiser Friday? Why do we miss all the good parties? ireport

- Not only are the judges parking their cars in a public park in Downtown Brooklyn weasels, now they're un-patriotic as well. Brooklyn Paper

- Rude neighbor on First Place. PMFA

- The American Civil Liberties Union elected Brooklyn Law School professor Susan Herman as president. Democratic Underground

- 39 percent of the latest bedbug complaints at the Bedbug Registry come from Brooklyn. Bedbug Registry

- Back in the day: The Gowanus Lounge got a hold of some great images of Brooklyn in 1958. The first is a video of an iconic 50's family frolicking at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Next is a photo of Downtown Brooklyn (but we don't know what street that is); and finally there's the Williamsburg waterfront.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Anti-Obama Robocalls Coming From Brooklyn Company

Those nationwide robocalls that accuse Barack Obama of being affiliated with terrorists -- the ones that John McCain once called "hate calls" -- are coming from a company in Brooklyn, according to Huffington Post via Daily Kos.

The company is King TeleServices, 140 58th St # 6I, Brooklyn, NY 11220 (212) 269-5578, (212) 709-3260, (800) 817-5468, (718) 238-7924, Tom Del Vecchio, president. It's a subsidiary of D F King & Co. which was recently acquired by the international company Sage Holdings. (Sage Holdings' website avoids mentioning what its little subsidiary does besides proxy communications.)

King TeleServices is also famous for its campaign of fear and intimidation against employees who want to join a union.

King TeleServices got the contract from the political firm FLS-Connect. FLS-Connect was behind the pro-Bush robocalls in the 2000 primary that helped defeat John McCain. Those robocalls said that "Mr. McCain's current wife, Cindy, was a drug addict and that the couple's daughter Bridget, adopted from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh, was a black child Mr. McCain had fathered out of wedlock," the New York Times reported (via The Nation).

Get DireKing TeleServices may soon start feeling the heat -- Daily Kos is running a poll asking: "Should NYers Protest Brooklyn's King TeleServices for being complicit in slandering Obama?" As of 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, the results were 62 to 1 against King TeleServices. Clarknt67 is going to organize a protest. (You can email him at "clarknt67ATnycDOTrrDOTcom")

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Trader Joe's Warehouse Fire: Frozen Food Meltdown in NYC, Brooklyn

The vegetable dumplings and and other frozen Trader Joe's delights were thawed out well before their time when a fire broke out in a Trader Joe's warehouse earlier this week. The sign above was posted in the Brooklyn Trader Joe's, but Manhattan is also out of freezer items.

We believe the fire erupted Wednesday -- someone send more details if you have them. A Twitter post says that it was an electrical fire.

UPDATE: Saved!

- An Insecure Fruit Stand Guy in Brooklyn's Trader Joe's Territory
- Brooklyn Hulas To New Trader Joe's

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Italian-American Heritage at Brooklyn Borough Hall: 'Celebrazione E Ricevimento'

Brooklyn Borough Hall was packed Wednesday night for the annual "Celebrazione E Ricevimento" to honor Italian-American Heritage Month in Brooklyn.

BP Marty Markowitz, who was of course Italian for this night, honored Monsignor David L. Cassato, pastor, St. Athanasius Church and NYPD chaplain; Patricia M. Di Mango, Justice of the Supreme Court, Kings County; and the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn.

Music, dancing -- the unbridled performance of the tarantella is remarkable --
and food, food, food from the borough's best Italian restaurants make this a very popular affair.

Stations were set up throughout the Rotunda of Borough Hall.

Last year's celebration here -- see the tarantella.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Is McCain Possessed?

This is an undoctored Reuters photo of John McCain and Barack Obama at the conclusion of the final presidential debate.

Is this natural? It appears that some irresistible force is controlling his movements. Many people have noticed that his personality seems to have changed over the last year.

Is it possible that John McCain is possessed?

Maybe we don't need an election -- maybe we need an exorcism.

Photo: REUTERS/Jim Bourg

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish Women Buying Sarah Palin Wigs

Orthodox Jewish women in Brooklyn are going crazy over Sarah Palin wigs. It's not necessarily a political statement: their husbands are buying Obomica yarmulkas!

These are just a few of the unusual politically-themed items selling out all over New York.

We think the Obama underwear is oddly attractive, in bold red and blue colors. Luckily, there's no McCain underwear for sale. . .

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Inside the Crumbling Empire Stores Warehouse in DUMBO

Structural damage at the Empire Stores Warehouse has closed one exit to Empire State Park in DUMBO. The building -- which used to store coffee in the 1800s -- has been disintegrating for years. (Various developers had various plans for the building, but they all fell through.)

The Bushwick Courier reported in April that, according to the BBP General Project Plan, "ultimately a request for proposals (RFP) to privately develop the Empire Stores will go out, with money raised to go toward making Brooklyn Bridge Park self-sustaining."

Brownstoner mentioned in July that AMNY listed the Empire Stores as one of "10 historic buildings in the five boroughs that seem to be dying of neglect."

We had a chance to take a peek of the interior the other day. It's rather eerie, and confirms the state's report that there are "structural deficiencies and deteriorating conditions" there. Don't know what that hook-like structure that descends through the ceiling was used for.

Empire Stores at night.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

At Least We Don't Do Punkin Chunkin in Brooklyn

We don't grow pumpkins in Brooklyn, but this time of year they're piled everywhere. Aliens would think these are our main food source.

Of course you can eat them, but most of us will just carve them into grotesque shapes meant to represent demons and use them as bizarre decorative objects.

Of course it's wasteful, but at least we don't go in for punkin chunkin in Brooklyn.

Punkin chuckin is a competition where teams use mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. (Note: The pumpkin must remain whole after leaving the device.)

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin takes place in Delaware in 15 days. The Charlie Daniels Band and Randy Owens will be there, and you can rent a campsite!

Last year, Wolfman Joe Thomas' winning shot went more than 3,000 feet. The event drew more than 20,000 people and grossed more than $100,000. There's a book, a movie, a Little Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Punkin Chunkin. There's a Punkin Chunkin Anthem. This year's sponsor is Kaiser Compressors ("Built For a Lifetime"). The Polaris Ranger is "The Official ATV of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin."

Want to bring your pet to the chunk? "Bad idea," says the official website.

Photo of pumpkins at Peas and Pickles by MK Metz
Alternate spelling: Pumpkin Chucking

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brooklyn's Toren, Almost Half Clad, Almost Half Sold?

The outer cladding on the Toren, the 38-story tower going up at 150 Myrtle Avenue, is almost halfway there.

And according to the NY Times, nearly half of the building's 240 units had been sold -- and half of those to Asians.

BUT -- many commenters on Curbed dispute these figures vociferously. Comments range from "That is 7% sold, 31% in contract," to "In the end, we're talking MAXIMUM 1/3 of apartments sold here, maybe just 25%."

Sales data and interesting comments at Streeteasy.

Photo by MK Metz

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'Peace Is Possible' Car in Brooklyn Heights

Peace is possible, but not in a car like that. . .

This rolling statement, parked on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights, falls into the "it seemed like a good idea at the time" category.

Photo by MK Metz

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'Updos for Obama Contest' and More Brooklyn Briefs

- It's looking bad for Long Island College Hospital (LICH), and another rally is planned for today at 1 p.m. Gowanus Lounge

- Obama sighting on Van Brunt Street. Brit in Brooklyn

- A very strange mouse in Sunset Park. NYShitty

- McCain is having a hard time filling all the seats at his fundraiser here in NYC tonight. Huffington Post

- Enter the Park Slope 'Updos for Obama Contest!' OTBKB via NY Magazine

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Numerous Complaints About Brooklyn Diesel Concert

Well kids, it was a lot of fun but not everyone enjoyed the Diesel Rock and Roll Circus on the Brooklyn Heights waterfront. The concert, staged in a Big Top tent easily seen from the Promenade, started Saturday night and lasted until 2 a.m. Sunday.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, both the Brooklyn Heights Association and 311 received numerous complaints about the noise. A BHA spokesperson told the Eagle:

“It was horrendous for people getting the full blast. I’m up to six pages of complaints. I’m just cutting and pasting the e-mails to present to Regina Myer [president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation]."

Apparently there is no protocol in place with the state or the Development Corporation regarding noise, as there is in the city section of the park.

T.I., O'Fracas, Franz Ferdinand, M.I.A., N.E.R.D., Hot Chip and Chaka Khan performed. More at the Eagle

- Diesel Concert in Brooklyn Goes Live
- Rock and Roll Circus

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Monday, October 13, 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.

Listing of the week:
- Yelp Community Manager: Yelp needs a new "Mayor" in the Brooklyn area -- writing, event planning, socializing. Meet Yelpers, be in the scene. "You know who you are. Pencils down. Has a fire in the belly. Walks through walls. Takes no prisoners . . . You know everyone. Everyone knows you. You are the Mayor." $50,000 - $60,000. Craigslist

Looking for something else? Here are more listings:

- The American Cancer Society is looking for a person who can build relationships with Brooklyn-based health care providers and promote their smoking cessation methods. Don't even think about applying if you smoke. Career Builder

- Advertising Copywriter needed in DUMBO. Craigslist

- Warehouse clerk required for Apria Healthcare company. Package/prepare equipment and supplies. Career Builder

- Housing Works needs a Director of Grants. Monster

- Get into management at CVS. Career Builder

- An insurance company is looking for an experienced private investigator. Career Builder

- Morton's The Steakhouse is opening soon in Downtown Brooklyn. They need: Reservationists/Host(ess); Servers; Bussers; Captains; Line Cooks; Pantry Cooks; Dishwashers; Porters; Bartenders; Cocktail Servers. HCareers

- Director of Development for Soliya, an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization using technology to bridge the divide between the “West” and the “Arab & Muslim World.” Craigslist

- Office Manager needed for Brooklyn Heights real estate firm. Craigslist

- Branch Manager for a regional bank $70,000 - $90,000 depending. Three years experience. Career Builder

- Toys 'R Us on Flatbush Avenue is looking for a Manager Trainee. Monster

- Brooklyn Industries needs a District Manager. Monster

- Pet-boarding facility needs a kennel assistant, dog walker and grooming assistant. Craigslist

Previous Headhunter job listings here.

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Economic Breakdown Trickles Down to Small Businesses

Crain's New York reports that an American Express survey of small business owners shows the economic downturn has hurt their businesses:

79% Have seen a decrease in sales
63% Are affected by credit crunch
18% Are at risk of going out of business
12% Have laid off staff

Spending is down at New York City restaurants, sales are down significantly at Macy's and Saks, and banks are denying loans and reducing credit lines.

In another article, Crain's reports that Massey Knakal Realty Services has eliminated eight brokerage positions in the last two months.

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Zombie the Vote 2008: Republican Nightmare

Starting to get into the Halloween mood?

Thanks to Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn we shivered to this video written and directed by Mark Greene called "The Night of the Living Bush Supporters."


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Diesel Concert in Brooklyn Goes Live

Diesel unleashed their international party xXx Rock and Roll Circus last night and McBrooklyn followed the action via live feed. T.I., O'Fracas, Franz Ferdinand, M.I.A., N.E.R.D., Hot Chip and Chaka Khan performed. Here's some image grabs from Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the huge tent set up below the Brooklyn Heights Promenade:

9:00 - Trying to view the London Diesel concert and don't see anything? The audio is still coming in, but there was a "riot" around 9 p.m. and kids unplugged all the video cameras.

9:15 - Zurich video back up but what the hell is happening on stage?

9:15 - Cameras not up yet for the Brooklyn Diesel concert. . . Maybe the Brooklyn Heights Association sent in a RIOT squad!

UPDATE: London's plugged back in!

9:25 -- UPDATE: Brooklyn video is up!

The line before the show. People with tickets turned away at the door -- FDNY says tent has reached capacity.

Host Joey Arias

Fire eaters

O'Fracas -- indie act from UK

10:45 - Diesel CEO and BP Marty Markowitz

12:00 Franz Ferdinand mash-up with T.I.


12:20 - Fire marshals close balcony. Lindsay Lohan spotted. Chase Crawford (Gossip Girls) spotted.

1:00 - Crazy trapeze things flying overhead

1:20 - M.I.A. pregnant.

More at Brooklyn Vegan.

- Rock and Roll Circus

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