Sunday, May 31, 2009

iMentor Picnic in Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

That music, laughing and applause you heard in Cadman Plaza Park Saturday afternoon? It was the nonprofit organization iMentor holding its end-of-year 2009 picnic for mentors.

Music and food, T-shirt making (above), games in the sunshine and superhero cutouts (below) were some of the day's activities.

iMentor connects 1,000 high school kids with volunteer adult mentors every year.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Mint' Car Sharing at Two Brooklyn Locations

You can probably tell by now that we've been going through our never-ending mail bag this weekend. Here's another one:

We received a reminder from Zipcar's new competitor, Mint, that they now supply cars from two locations in Brooklyn -- at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, and at 353 4th Avenue in Park Slope. Mint says:

All reservations include gas, insurance and reserved home parking. Members are also eligible for discounted parking at parking lots throughout Manhattan. There is a $25.00 non-refundable fee that covers the application, DMV check and access card, but it is waived for existing Zipcar & Hertz Connect members.

New York Magazine compares the three major car sharing companies (Zipcar, Mint and Hertz Connect) here.

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Clowns Number 9 - 13

Seen at one of the carni trucks at the Lebanese Food Festival in Brooklyn Heights this past weekend.

Photo by MK Metz

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'Sustaining Brooklyn' Conference Next Friday

"Sustaining Brooklyn - Energy for the Future: A Skills Building Conference" will take place at Brooklyn College Conference Center, East 27th Street & Campus Road on Friday, June 5, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The conference’s community-focused agenda will explore energy and fiscal conservation as well as community sustainability and preparedness.

RSVP to Dori Zofan at 212-983-4800 x140,, or visit We Are All Brooklyn at

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Into the Evening' with Alan Lupiani at Galapagos in Dumbo

Alan Lupiani, a multi-media artist who has been involved with LIVE!! internet talk shows since 2006, will be making a jump to the stage at Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo with his new show “Into the Evening" with Alan Lupiani.

The event will take place starting @ 8 p.m. on June 2nd. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10.

The link to buy tickets in advance:
OR CALL to buy tickets: 718-222-8500.

Lupiani has lined up an entertaining group of performers and talk show guests which include:

- Helen Hong – NYC comedian
- Collette McLafferty – Lead singer
- Max Miller – Alternative rock musician
- Peter Coffin – Rising youtube superstar and satirist/comic
- Christina Ewald and Fritz Donnelly are hiChristina. – performing artists.
- Ilir Topalli, PhD. – Scientist who will discuss the “nature of cells.”

There will also be a DJ, audience participation, and a "short, short" film fest before and after the show. Sounds like a good time.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lebanese Food Festival, Brooklyn Heights This Weekend

Great food, carnival games and bouncy rides at the Lebanese Food Festival this Saturday and Sunday on Remsen Street between Henry and Clinton in Brooklyn Heights.

Check out these guys dancing in the video below. More guys joined them later -- seemed to be a dance everyone knew. Very cool.

Photo and video by MK Metz

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Friday, May 29, 2009

First Zero-Gravity Wedding, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A Brooklyn couple will be the first to be married in zero-gravity. Their rings are made from a meteorite, and her dress was crafted by Japanese designer Eri Matsui specifically for zero-g's. Brooklyn Eagle

- Small business owners, mostly from the Clinton Hill-side of Fulton Street, delivered a letter of protest against the newly formed Fulton Street Business Improvement District. Brooklyn Paper

- A 9-year-old Canarsie girl has written a plea to Mayor Bloomberg to save the Brooklyn Public Library. The latest cuts give Brooklynites only 25 library hours a week -- compared to Houstonites, say, who get 72. NY Daily News

- Swine flu -- Beth Israel Medical Center says: “It is anticipated that the flu will be back in the fall with a vengeance. It will be an even stronger strain than the one we just saw that was initiated in Mexico." Uh oh. YourNabe

- 10,000 runners: The Brooklyn Half-Marathon is this Saturday, May 30th starting at 8 am in Prospect Park and ending in Coney Island. OTBKB

- Get ready for the BAMcinemaFest, the first annual film festival specially curated for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. indiewire

- A squash seed from Thomas Jefferson makes its way to Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle

Photo by Tanya Ryno, Creative Commons License

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Building Brooklyn Bridge Park, at One Brooklyn Bridge Park

There's a reason it's called One Brooklyn Bridge Park -- and that little earth mover on top of the hill of dirt behind the yellow container is constructing the park as we speak.

This section is south of the luxury condos, at Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street.

Photo by MK Metz

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Condos, 17 Bergen Street, Boerum Hill

Three condo units at 17 Bergen Street in Boerum Hill (the former home of the Paramount Print Company) are for sale, and the prices have come down a bit since they went on the market in April, 2008.

A three-bedroom loft was listed on Trulia on April 23 for $1,995,000. The interior is spiffy, with a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Viking oven, etc.

A two-bedroom is for sale for $1,395,000 on Sothebys. (This one was listed on Street Easy last year by Prudential Elliman at $1,825,200.) The other three-bedroom is being listed for $2,250,000 (was $2,312,300), according to Street Easy. They're also available for rent.

The Unique Marble & Granite Organization filed a notice of a pending mechanics lien against the building, according to Property Shark.

A commenter on Brownstoner noted that the rooftop to the left is the Montessouri rooftop playground.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Zipcar Comes to One Brooklyn Bridge Park

Zipcar just announced that they now have a couple of vehicles parked in the garage at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, on the waterfront at Joralemon and Furman Street (the tan colored marker above).

One -- a BMW 328 -- is named Bess. The other -- a Honda Civic Hybrid -- is called Carrizal.

Other Zipcars in the Heights live at 180 Montague Street and at 75 Henry Street.

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Free Housing Going Fast at 100 Henry Street, Brooklyn

The big sign saying "We're Giving Away Free Housing" certainly caught our eye, and the eye of others passing by 100 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. The sign is in the window of the Educational Housing Service dormitories in the St. George. EHS, which operates seven different buildings throughout New York, has been giving away dorm rooms this summer (including free telephone, Internet, cable and gym) as a promotion.

They'll be giving away the last one tomorrow, May 29, so enter today if this is your kind of thing. Winners must be college students or interns. (Knew there was a catch.)

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tour Buses Clog Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn

Fulton Ferry Landing -- near Barge Music, the Ice Cream Factory and the Future Home of Brooklyn Bridge Park -- is rife with tour buses nowadays.

Watch your step walking to the waterfront. The buses swing left at the end of Old Fulton Street, where they park along Furman Street for a while before wending their way onward.

A hot dog vendor plopped down in a formerly deserted spot to the left of Olga's barge knows what he's doing. A steady stream of tourists line up to buy real Brooklyn hot dogs.

There must be certain days when they are not so thick, but we haven't figured it out yet.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Grand Opening Specials Already Posted at Downtown Brooklyn's Checkers

A "Big Buford" -- that's a Grand Opening special advertised in the window at Downtown Brooklyn's soon-to-open Checkers on Court Street (ex-home of the notorious Busy Chef).

The store's interior features a food counter and kitchen at the rear, booths to the left and a high counter with chairs running along the wall to the right. Everything's still wrapped in plastic.

The Checkers website defines a Big Buford as "two juicy, all-beef patties and two slices of American cheese on a toasted bun. It’s loaded with mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, onions, crisp lettuce, tomatoes and mustard." It's got 570 calories and 1090 mg of sodium. Yum.

Checkers will no doubt avoid the theft problem that brought down the Busy Chef. Each Checkers restaurant is outfitted with a minimum of 9 (up to 16) video cameras. The cameras are connected to a digital video recorder encased in a metal box in each store and the company’s computer network.

Managers and other authorized personnel can dial in from any computer to access the password-protected network and monitor the stores in real time or download a recording.

- Busy Chef Conversion to Brooklyn Checkers in Progress

Photo (top) by MK Metz
Photo of Big Buford courtesy of Checkers.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And So the Mighty Rat Falls in Brooklyn

The famous inflated rat, symbol of the scorn that unions heap upon contractors using nonunion workers, was being deflated this morning in front of the Brooklyn Marriott.

The rat stood in front of the Marriott last week while Muss Development was doing asbestos removal work in a nearby Downtown Brooklyn property.

Photo by MK Metz

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Got the Flu? Stay the Heck Out of Our Office!

This sign hangs in front of a doctor's office on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights.

"To all patients: If you have the following symptoms:
fever; coughing; headache; body aches; sneezing; sore throat --
Please wait in the vestibule and wait to receive a mask."

(We might add: Just DON'T COME IN!)

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, May 25, 2009

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's the latest batch:

- Lots of work in politics this week: Someone is putting together "a dynamic team to run an aggressive grassroots/ netroots campaign in NYC’s biggest race." They're hiring a Communications Director, Press Staff, Scheduler, a Social Media and Computer Guru, a Field Director, and organizers. Craigslist

- More politics: A Democrat in Park Slope is looking for part time campaign field workers. Min. $200/week. Craigslist

- Still more politics: Work for the Working Families Party, earn about $400/week after a training period. Craigslist

- Into horticulture? Brooklyn Botanic Garden's GreenBridge needs a program manager. BBG

- G4S (they do insurance claims) seeks "flexible, energetic, and creative applicants" for a part time Field Investigator position in Brooklyn. Career Builder

- Dyker Beach Golf Course is hiring for the following positions: Restaurant Server; Banquet Server; and Banquet Captain. Career Builder

- The Brooklyn Hospital Center needs someone to do graphic design, web development and marketing communications. Oodle

- The New York League for Early Learning is looking for substitute teacher assistants for children with disabilities on a Per Diem basis. Career Builder

- A public interest group needs a paralegal. Lawcrossing

- Dance Theatre Etcetera in Red Hook seeks a part time general manager skilled in both accounting and the arts. Craigslist -- In a similar vein, Spoke the Hub Dancing needs a part time office manager with good organizational skills. Craigslist

- Rapid Reality is looking for people to be rental agents (to show apartments) in Brooklyn. Oodle

- The Brooklyn Children's Museum is searching for a party host -- live animal handling experience a plus. Other jobs are also available in the gift shop and at various desks and stations. BCM

- A small design/tech company in Gowanus/Slope needs an all round studio manager with graphic design and internet skills. $15/hr. Craigslist

- Green Cleaner is offering a part time job as an upscale house cleaner providing natural cleaning services with aromatherapy. $15/hr. Craigslist

Photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brooklyn Memorial Day Events

Staying in Brooklyn on Memorial Day? We are, too. We're thinking picnic, maybe at Green-Wood. (See the event listed below.)

There's lots of other relaxing Memorial Day happenings here in Brooklyn -- here's a few we dug up:

Memorial Day Events in Brooklyn

142nd Memorial Day Parade: From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Parade kicks off at 11am on Third Ave. & 87th St. Route along Third to Marine Ave. to 4th Ave. and over to 101st Street at John Paul Jones Park. Ceremony immediately following the parade. Third Avenue & 8th Street, Brooklyn. 917-873-1508

Canarsie Memorial Day Parade: 11:30 am- 5:00 pm. 92nd Street & Conklin Avenue, Brooklyn

Green-Wood Memorial Day Concert: 2 p.m. Green-Wood Historic Fund presents the ISO Symphonic Band under the direction of its founder Brian Worsdale. The concert will feature works by Green-wood residents Leonard Bernstein, Louis Gottschalk and fred Ebb, as well as a tribute to the history of Green-Wood Cemetery. Bring a folding chair, a blanket and a picnic lunch. Cookout food, snacks and drinks, as well as Historic Fund books and apparel will be for sale. Free.

DanceAfrica 2009 at BAM: May 24 & 25 at 3pm
A Memorial Day weekend tradition, DanceAfrica is packed with dance, music, art, and film events—plus the DanceAfrica outdoor Bazaar.

DanceAfrica Bazaar: Mon, May 25, 12noon—7pm
Lafayette Ave and Ashland Place. Over 250 vendors from around the world converge on the streets surrounding BAM, transforming the neighborhood into a global marketplace offering Africa, Caribbean, and African-American food, crafts, and fashion.

Human Powered Amusement Park and Funhouse: 6 p.m. Cyclone runs on human muscle and clever tricks. Soar to death-defying heights, spin, splash, and float over a sea of smiling faces. Join the 'carnies' and help make rides possible for everyone. Sideshows galore! 632 Grand Street in Williamsburg.

Street Fair: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. East 21 St. between Foster Ave. and Farragut Rd.

Cyclone Coasters West 10th Street Festival: 10:00 am- 11:00 pm. West 10th STreet between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk.

Graham Ave, BID Sidewalk Sale: 10:00 am- 7:00 pm. Graham Ave. between Broadway and Boerum Street.

5th Ave. Sidewalk Sale: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Fifth Ave. between 38 and 64 St.

Tour Victorian Brooklyn Heights, with Friendly Native New Yorker Tours. 12:45 p.m. Meets in front of Borough Hall. 2 spots left — RSVP deadline: May 25, 2009 11:00 a.m.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Teen Hit By Motorcycle On Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn

A teenager was struck by a motorcycle this morning on Adams Street while trying to cross the street just north of Joralemon.

This is just one of dozens of tragic accidents, many fatal, on this highway that runs right down the middle of one of the busiest section of Downtown Brooklyn. Eight schools lie within three blocks of this intersection.

A witness told the Brooklyn Eagle that the teen’s leg was broken “in about 10 places . . . both the tibia and the fibula. If it wasn’t for the flesh and bones, it’d be gone.”

The motorcycle rider (photo below, left), though slightly injured, jumped off his damaged bike and tried to help the youth.

Why isn't the city taking this carnage seriously? According to statistics compiled by Transportation Alternatives (CrashStat), there were more than 46 crashes with injuries or death at this intersection between 1995 and 2005 and 11 at the adjoining intersection of Adams and Willoughby streets.

Motor vehicles struck 39 people during that period a block north of here, at Adams and Livingston, where little Alexander Toulouse was run down by a mail truck in September.

A Brooklyn Heights' woman was killed in April, about 15 feet away from today's accident. This is less than a block away from where Judge Bookson was struck and killed, and two blocks away from another deadly intersection, Adams and Tillary Streets. Teacher Ron Mortensen was killed at this intersection in April 2007.

Community Board 2 District Manager Robert Perris told the Eagle that speed bumps were not being considered. “We have asked for ‘countdown’ crossing signals. But those are in a pilot study, and we were not able to secure one for Adams Street,” he said.

Another Pedestrian Hit On 'Treacherous' Adams Street Brooklyn Eagle

Past posts on this topic:

- Another Accident On Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn

- Tillary Street Redesign Meeting: DOT Gets Input

-Traffic Changes Saturday at Dangerous Downtown Brooklyn Intersection

- Remembering the Dead at a Dangerous Brooklyn Intersection -- Tillary and Adams Street

- Another Accident at Tillary and Adams Streets

- DOT traffic cam at the intersection of Adams and Tillary streets.

- Intersection Where Boy Died in Downtown Brooklyn One of City's Most Dangerous

- Another Death on Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn

- A Name on a Lamppost

- Another Tragic Death on Brooklyn Streets

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Car With Boot, Downtown Brooklyn

This is the first time we've actually seen a car here in Brooklyn getting booted. Technically called a Denver Boot, these wheel clamps are usually installed on cars belonging to ticket scofflaws. This car, parked on Cadman Plaza East just north of Cadman Plaza Park, had Connecticut plates.

Some people get really upset -- while others get awfully creative -- when their car gets the boot.

Photo by MK Metz

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Manhattan Bridge, Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park

It was so deliciously sunny yesterday we decided to walk down to Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Dumbo. It's always beautiful down there but it really outdid itself these past few days.

Wonder if the Dock Street project -- if approved today -- will throw the park into shadow?

Photo by MK Metz

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dock Street Sides (Even the Roeblings) Get Ready for Thursday's Hearing

The City Council's Land Use hearing on the contentious Dock Street project takes place this Thursday, and those both for and against the idea of a large development (shown above) very near the Brooklyn Bridge are loading their cannons.

While the major issue is the diminishing of views of and from the historic Brooklyn Bridge, too much attention is being paid to the developer's distracting sideshow -- space for the small (300 seat) middle school he promises to give to the city if they let him build next to the bridge.

Two Trees has used locals' hunger for a middle school to build support for the project among desperate parents. The School Construction Authority (SCA), until the offer by Two Trees, was unresponsive to the needs of the growing Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo community.

Against: Documents made public by the SCA after a freedom of information request by Councilman David Yassky indicate that the agency decided to let developer Two Trees include the middle school in the 18-story apartment tower without considering alternate sites proposed by neighborhood groups and Councillman David Yassky.

As the NY Post put it, "the fix was in."

A report in the Brooklyn Paper said that in deciding on a site for a middle school in the Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo area, "the School Construction Authority has only looked at two alternatives: P.S. 8 and the former police precinct on Poplar Street."

For: Dennis Holt, commentator from the Brooklyn Eagle, has recently come up with other documents from the SCA that he says refute the claims that the SCA didn't really try very hard to scout out other sites.

Holt says that documents submitted to the community board on Dec. 1 show an analysis of three alternative sites studied by the SCA. These sites include P.S. 8 and the former police precinct on Poplar Street, plus the former Jehovah’s Witnesses industrial building at 360 Furman St. in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (The last was thrown out because the state and city forbid building a school in the park.)

The "most compelling attribute of the Dock Street project," the SCA said in those documents, is "that it will provide a core and shell structure for a school at minimal financial cost to the public."

Yassky: The Brooklyn Heights Blog reports that Councilman Yassky, speaking at a recent blogger's breakfast, said, “I don’t know why the SCA is so wholly committed to this project, but they plainly have failed to look for the best possible site for the public.”

Roebling Rolls Over in Grave: More than a dozen high-profile local and national preservation groups have made statements of vigorous opposition to a building project “that will forever alter New York’s legendary landscape,” according to Doreen Gallo, Dumbo Neighborhood Alliance executive vice president. One of those opposed is Kristian Roebling, a direct descendant and spokesperson for the descendants of Brooklyn Bridge designer John A. Roebling, reports the Brooklyn Eagle.

Others are historian David McCullough, filmmaker Ken Burns, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Municipal Art Society of New York, the Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology, Historic Districts Council, The Society for the Architecture of the City, and a lot of movie stars.

The Hearing: While a new middle school is certainly needed in the area, the issue of an oversized building that close to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge is an issue that needs to be considered separately from the need for a school.

The Brooklyn Bridge is not just a way to get to Manhattan. It's a part of New York City's history, too important to let the wishes one one developer, however successful, alter forever.

The hearing takes place Thursday, May 21, at 10 a.m., City Council Chamber, City Hall, 260 Broadway. All are encouraged to attend.

- School 'Not Allowed' in Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Dumbo Dock Street Public Hearing Tonight (past)
- Put Middle School in Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8, Says Yassky

Image courtesy of Two Trees Management

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Swine Flu? Parents at Brooklyn School Say 'Shut Us Down'

Parents at P.S. 255 in Sheepshead Bay want the city to shut down the school because of rampant absences, reports the Brooklyn Eagle.

“Today there are 90 kids absent, plus five more were sent home,” Alice Hibsher, president of the school’s Parents Association, told the Eagle on Monday. Parents are worried that the kids have H1N1 (swine flu).

Flu fears have spread to schools in Bay Ridge as well, with parents at P.S. 204 calling for help from Councilman Vincent J. Gentile.

The city says it's monitoring the situation, and that the cases have not been confirmed as being caused by the H1N1 virus.

Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein announced today that the City Health Department recommended closing three more school buildings in Queens.

Flu Scare Hits Sheepshead Bay School Brooklyn Eagle

- In 1887, Smallpox Was the Problem
- Tracking Swine Flu Cases
- U.S. Declares Swine Flu Public Health Emergency

Image from Google Maps

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Tracking Swine Flu's Spread

On April 28, we published an article called Tracking Swine Flu Cases, where we listed several ways of tracking the spread of the H1N1 epidemic, including the Google mashup map shown above. (Pink markers are suspect. Purple markers are confirmed or probable. )

We went back to Dr. Niman's map yesterday to see how many new cases there were since late April; here's the updated image.

As of Monday, May 18, there were 6095 suspected and confirmed cases in the U.S., with about 53 in Brooklyn. (This doesn't include the hundreds of kids staying home sick in Brooklyn and Queens with a variety of flu-related symptoms.)

- Swine Flu? Parents at Brooklyn School Say 'Shut Us Down'
- In 1887, Smallpox Was the Problem
- Tracking Swine Flu Cases
- U.S. Declares Swine Flu Public Health Emergency

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Future Home of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Sign at Fulton Ferry Landing.

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

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Cohousing Project in Brooklyn: Meeting Tuesday

People interested in a modern, sustainable version of communal living may be interested in attending tomorrow's meeting about a new project planned by Brooklyn Cohousing.

Brooklyn Cohousing’s new property is in Greenwood Heights/South Slope. The circa-1929 factory and warehouse (sketch left) will be retrofitted as a 30-unit apartment building, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The Eagle reports that the project will have private apartments, but also large communal areas including a dining room and kitchen (“for sharing occasional meals together”), a living room and game room, kids room, guest room for visitors, a workshop and tool room, and outdoor space.

The meeting will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Belarusan Church, 401 Atlantic Ave. More details here.

Sketch courtesy of Brooklyn Cohousing.

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In 1887, Smallpox Was the Problem

The swine flu pandemic is our worry de jour, but in 1887, it was smallpox. The Feb. 25, 1887 New York Times lists recent cases of smallpox deaths, including three members of the family of William Coakley, who lived at 187 State Street in Downtown Brooklyn, shown above.

The last one to die, reports the Times, was the father, who was sent to Flatbush Hospital (probably against his will). "The mother and one child are still alive."

At one point the Flatbush Hospital -- said to be "filthy," "wretched" and disgraceful" -- was called the Flatbush Smallpox Hospital.

The Flatbush Hospital started as a notoriously squalid Almshouse, located upon what was once a farm of 70 acres in Flatbush about three miles south of the City Hall of Brooklyn.

Flatbush Hospital is now called Kings County Hospital; problems persist.

Photo by MK Metz

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Rainbow Shirts at Ann Taylor Loft

Maybe you came to observe the parking meters wrapped in woolen cozies, but you stayed to admire the rainbow effect created from ladies' blouses at Ann Taylor Loft.

Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great Birnam Wood to Brooklyn Heights Comes

What eerie happenstance! Espied from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, it seems Great Birnam Wood has marched upon the future home of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

But hold -- Macbeth need not fear. The Brooklyn Eagle says the trees will soon as not find their separate ways throughout that fair rambling plain.

Macbeth was told by the three witches that he would "never vanquish'd be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him." Macbeth took the prediction lightly, until the woods showed up.

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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New York Photo Festival 2009 in Dumbo This Weekend

The New York Photo Festival is back in Dumbo this weekend. Photos are being exhibited all over the neighborhood -- St. Ann's Warehouse, Tobacco Warehouse, Smack Mellon, powerHouse Arena, Dumbo Arts Center, and more (map here).

The photo shown here is a low-res version of one of a breathtaking and disturbing series of must-see animal shots by Elliot Ross. (A high-res version can be seen at the show and at the Photo Festival web site here.)

“New Documentations” Special screening tonight at 8pm in St. Ann’s Warehouse, followed by a Q&A with the artists.

This year, a Portfolio Review at powerHouse is for all levels of "aspiring and professional photographers."

- A Thousand Suns in Dumbo (festival 2008)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Cotton Candy at P.S. 8 Paddlewheeler

Perfect weather Saturday for the Paddlewheeler festival at P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights. Spin art, bouncy rides, face painting and cotton candy made the day a hit for the younger generation.

Photo by MK Metz

- NYC's 'Nearly Perfect' Schools vs Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8
- Brooklyn Heights P.S. 8 Caught in DOE Statistical Nightmare
- Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8 Gets Its Porta-Classroom
- Put Middle School in Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8, Says Yassky
- Brooklyn Heights' Booming P.S. 8 to Get a New Building

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Montague Street Parking Meters Get All Cozy

We have to jump on the bandwagon and post a couple of photos of the Montague Street parking meters lovingly covered with hand-knitted cozies.

Volunteers have covered 69 of the shopping street's meter posts with these colorful "socks," in a project led by artist Magda Sayeg.

Some of them don't all get the respect they deserve.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Waiting for Master At Pierrepont Playground

This dog can't come in, but he keeps his eye on his young master at Pierrepont Playground in Brooklyn Heights.

Photo by MK Metz

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Gregory Hotel in Brooklyn Should Probably Lose a Star At Least

What is it with the The Best Western Gregory Hotel in Bay Ridge?

It seems decent enough. The rooms come with cable satellite television with HBO and pay per view movies, daily complimentary continental breakfasts and complimentary newspapers.

So why do bodies keep turning up?

A woman named Pamela Hanson was convicted of murder this week for killing a guy at the Gregory after he spit on her. From today's Brooklyn Eagle:

"At the death-plagued Gregory Hotel, an enraged stripper was spit on by a customer and then stabbed the man in the neck — paralyzing him — before sticking the knife down his throat."

Not for nothin', but that was the third death at the hotel in a six month period. What is it about that place?

Oddly, the guests commenting about the Gregory on Expedia think it's pretty OK -- while the guests commenting on Trip Advisor think it's pretty dreadful. No one mentions the bodies,

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

It's Sea Monster Time Again In Long Island

It's sea monster time again -- specifically, it's that time of year when the bloated, corroded corpse of a "Montauk Monster" comes washing up on shore somewhere in Long Island and we bloggers have a field day speculating on what top secret government lab is producing these creatures from hell.

This season's Montauk Monster (let's call it Monty 2) was recently brought to our attention by ("The Official Montauk Monster Web Site"). They said that the smelly old thing was found by a local couple in Southold, on the island's North Fork. They also provide a video, taken in the dead of night, of the group examining the item.

Remember last summer's Montauk Monster?
And the Dumbo Sea Creature?

They're baaaack.

- And Now, a Monster at Montauk
- Yet Another Creature Crawls From the Sea -- This Time in Dumbo

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crystals, Tarot at 395 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn

This new Crystal Gallery has popped up at 395 Atlantic Avenue near Bond Street in Boerum Hill. According to the signs, you can get your cards read, your aura charted, your chakras unplugged or your crystals tuned at the shop. There's a "special reading" for $5.

A while back there was an antique shop here; years ago, The Phoenix newspaper (a Downtown Brooklyn weekly now owned by the Brooklyn Eagle) was headquartered at this site.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Circus Amok's Miller Tells the Madoff Tale In 'CRACKED ICE'

CRACKED ICE, a new show by Circus Amok’s founder and director, Jennifer Miller, riffs off the damage caused by Ponzi artist Bernie Madoff. A review in the Brooklyn Eagle describes it as "a vaudeville telling of this tragic, classic tale."

But, as people familiar with the bearded Miller might expect, “Bernie” is the "mustachioed villain, and the ending is happy, with lots of intrigue, masquerading and gender-switching characters in the middle."

For those unfamiliar with Ms. Miller, here's a clip from the 2006 Circus Amok Parks Tour.

Dance Brooklyn: Riffing On the Madoff Scandal Brooklyn Eagle

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Concord Market, Downtown Brooklyn, Hoping For June Opening

The new Concord Market in Downtown Brooklyn (on Tillary Street at Jay in Concord Village) sounds like it's going to be a huge improvement over the Associated supermarket that used to occupy the space. (The photo to the left is the old Associated, still hanging around on Google Maps but no longer with us.)

The owner, Victor Vora, is a resident of Concord Village himself and knows what the neighborhood needs, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. He's been totally rehabbing the place, and plans to offer residents free delivery, “even for single grocery items.” The way things stand this week, he's hoping for a June opening.

Now if he could only do something about the nearby Celeste Diner.

New Supermarket for Downtown to Open Next Month Brooklyn Eagle

Photo from Google Maps

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brooklyn Industries Hangs Tough

It's a tougher, meaner look for a tougher, meaner world.

Brooklyn Industries had plans to open 40 more stores by 2011. Now, according to an interview with co-founders Lexy Funk and Vahap Avsar (by Lisa Chow on WNYC radio), as Brooklyn Industries watches some of its neighbors on Smith Street go out of business, the priority has shifted from growing to scaling back.

The two-part interview is here and here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Cancel Your Cancun Vacation and Party in Brooklyn, and More Briefs

- Car drives into Gowanus Canal, does not immediately dissolve. Photos on the Pardon Me For Asking blog.

- Just one more legal glitch in the way of Ratner's Atlantic Yards project. Brooklyn Eagle

- People are canceling Memorial Day flights to Cancun to party hardy right here in Brooklyn. High-heeled shoes seem to be involved. Minority Report

- The Park Slope Civic Council is aiming to triple in size Brooklyn’s largest historic district. Brooklyn Paper

- There’s Brooklyn's Chili Takedown, Tofu Takedown, Bacon Throwdown, Chili Cook-off, Emily Farris’ Casserole Contest . . . and Monday's 3rd annual Brooklyn Kitchen Cupcake Bake-off. The Brooklyn Kitchen

- Several thousand dwarfs and family members will be descending on Brooklyn this summer. Your Nabe

- Dumbo company makes Tyvek wallets, goes viral on YouTube. The rest is history. GreenBeat Brooklyn

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Monday, May 11, 2009

The Dumbo Sideshow -- What Was Happening Outside of Bklyn Designs

While crowds thronged to Bklyn Designs this past weekend, what passes for normal in Dumbo continued outside the boundaries of St. Ann's Warehouse.

The night before the exhibit, someone decided it would be nice to "replant nature into the urban facade" by adding birds, trees and other natural shapes to the scaffolding on Water Street (above). The artist called it the "De-fence Project." Lovely, but officials decided they had better pick the low-hanging fruit (er, birds), before someone conked themselves on the head and sued somebody.

Around the corner closer to Front Street, people against the Two Trees Dock Street project ("a super-size development situated too close to the Brooklyn Bridge") engaged in a postcard writing campaign. The final step in the ULURP process for Dock Street DUMBO is upcoming this month with hearings at City Council May 21st, 10 a.m., at City Hall.

The Brooklyn Flea was packed. We never found the hidden three-panel cowhide and leather satchel, which we really wanted, but we did get some great fried bananas at the Red Hook Vendors stand.

These bible guys had a table parked down near the entrance to the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park. Their sign asked the question: "Who really rules the world?" The only answers allowed were: A. God; B. Jesus; C. Satan; D. Man.

The young men sitting behind the posters kept their eyes glued to their bibles. Why? It might have had something to do with the beautiful but scantily-clad beauty not ten feet away, practicing for her upcoming role in the West Indian American Day Parade.

Related topics:
- Great Weekend At Bklyn Designs
- Brooklyn's West Indian American Day Parade Wrap Up
- Dumbo Dock Street Public Hearing Tonight
- Feral Art in Dumbo
- Dumbo Art Under the Bridge Festival -- Neither Wind Nor Rain

Photos by MK Metz

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