Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where to See the 2011 Fireworks From Brooklyn

Wimpy view from Brooklyn

In years past the Macy's fireworks display could be awesomely seen from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and even Staten Island.

Those were the good old days. Now they're going up in the Hudson again -- and don't get us started on why New York City would shoot up fireworks where only one borough and New Jersey can see them.

Want to see the fireworks from Brooklyn anyway? We don't blame you. Over the past couple of years McBrooklyn has scouted out the best places in Brooklyn to watch the Hudson River fireworks. You can read our report listing the best Brooklyn fireworks views here. UPDATE: Good news from Williamsburg!

Photo by MK Metz

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Old Heights Books Storefront On Smith Street to Get Eatery

After Heights Books moved to Smith Street from Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights we didn't have the opportunity to shop there as much. Sadly, the shop closed earlier this year, and now Brownstoner hears that an eatery will be moving into the Smith Street location.

More here.

- Heights Books Packs It Up
- New Home of Heights Books On Smith Street

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Free Sunset Pilates on Pier 6, Brooklyn, Tonight, Thursday, June 30

It's a beautiful night for a workout!

Join Lou Cornacchia, founder of Cobble Hill's Body in Balance Studio, for sunset pilates on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park for an Intermediate Pilates Mat Class tonight at 7 p.m.

Lou's teaching remains true to the basic tenets established by Joseph Pilates. Students will learn proper technique, core muscle strength, spinal alignment and shoulder stabilization.

Classes are open to ages 16 and older. Pilates experience is suggested. Students should bring a good thick mat and a Dynaband.

Participants must complete a waiver form, which can be downloaded (Waterfront Workouts Waiver) and filled out in advance, or completed before the class.

Sunset Pilates on Pier 6
Thursday, Jun 30, 2011
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Pier 6

Photo by Julenne Schaer courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

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Stargazing on Pier 1 Tonight, Thursday, June 30 Brooklyn

Join the Amateur Astronomers as they guide your eyes to the wonders of astronomy.

Look for the telescopes on the Pier 1 promenade in Brooklyn Bridge Park tonight from 8:30 - 10:30 p.m.

Stargazing on Pier 1
Thursday, Jun 30, 2011

Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Center

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Beer Garden at Brooklyn Historical Society Tonight (Thursday, June 30)

Enjoy a cold, refreshing Brooklyn Brewery beer at the Brooklyn Historical Society. This summer, BHS will host monthly Brooklyn Brewery beer gardens the last Thursday of every month, starting tonight from 7 - 9 p.m.

Brooklyn Brewery will be on hand to pour and talk beer (if you like). This week Brooklyn's All City Street Art, the international graffiti app for iPhone, will be on site projecting some of Brooklyn's finest street art and hosting trivia. Download the app and study up for a chance to win a cold beer or two.

Factory Fresh will be onsite and artwork from Leon Reid IV and Skewville. BHS’s first floor galleries will be open during the event-- come explore Home Base: Memories of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field and Painting Brooklyn Stories of Immigration and Survival.

128 Pierrepont Street June 30th, July 28th, and August 25th. Drink tickets $5 each.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Exactly Where On Columbia Street, Brooklyn, Is This?

This photo was taken by George Bradford Brainerd on Columbia Street in Brooklyn sometime between 1872 and 1887. The Brooklyn Museum would like someone to suggest a more exact location so it can be geotagged on Historypin.

Dozens of historic Brooklyn photos have been geotagged already, such as the photo below of the Dime Savings Bank by Irving Underhill , at the corner of Court and Remsen Streets in Brooklyn Heights, from somewhere between 1896-1950.

Here are the Brooklyn photo mysteries that have already been solved.

Here are the photos that still need geotagging.

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Pedestrians vs Bikers On the Brooklyn Bridge

We love bikes. We ride bikes. But we also like to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, along with thousands of other pedestrians. We try to stay in the half of the walkway reserved for walkers but at rush hours, midday or on weekends there are so many pedestrians you feel like you're in a cattle chute.

Why should half the bridge walkway be reserved for bikers? There are hundreds of times more walkers. Pedestrians can't get around each other. If a tourist stops to take a photo, walkers have to take their lives into their hands and duck into the bike lane, risking injury or worse.

It's dangerous for bikers, too. Pedestrians in the wrong lane cause bike crashes, and bikers have been having collisions for years in their narrow lane.

Though most bikers are civil, a sizable minority treat the bridge like a race track. They ride in a hunched over position to gain speed as they blast their way along. If tourists wander blithely into the bike lane this type of biker waits until they are almost upon them, then lets out a rude and frightening roar. They smugly tell themselves that the tourists are stupid idiots and deserve to be terrified.

Not all bikers do this. Most are just nice people out for a ride. But during one walk over the bridge about five will.

Runners often have to run in the bike lane because there's no room in the pedestrian lane. Children dart out into the bike lane. Why wouldn't they? It's a scenic bridge walkway, for goodness sake. If a child gets hit by one of these speeding bikers the result will be tragic.


Bikers have a hard time in this city. People open car doors on them without looking. Police give them tickets for things that aren't even against the law. Cars park in the bike lanes all the time.

Riding a bike is healthy and more people should do it. But the resources on the Brooklyn Bridge are not adequate for the sheer numbers of pedestrians and bikers.

Is there a solution to this problem?

- What if the city installed rubber speed bumps on the walkway?

- Or removed bikes from the walkway and gave them a lane on the bridge roadway? (Gothamist held a vote on this possibility.)

- Or made bikers dismount and walk their bikes when the bridge was crowded.

- A Streetsblog biker suggests limiting biking to the hours of 5 - 10 a.m. Another suggested closing the bridge to cars on weekends. Another suggested a new deck for bikes above the cars.

The walkway wasn't always a continuous, smooth racetrack. Years ago the walkway had steps in several places -- you had to carry your bike up and down several levels at least twice along the way, and again at the entrance and exit. This certainly slowed traffic down! (And built up your arm muscles.)

It was inconvenient but much safer.

Photos by MK Metz

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Helicopter Buzzing Brooklyn Heights, Tuesday 9 p.m. Anyone?

A helicopter has been buzzing Brooklyn Heights since about 8:45 p.m., flying between the 25 and 30-story level over Cadman Towers and Cadman Plaza Park.

In the dark it's hard to tell what color it is but the copter is dark, possibly black. No spotlight.

Anyone know any more about it?

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Kathleen Henderson Back to Work at Carroll Park, For Now

Despite assurances from Parks & Recreations officials that Carroll Park would once again be allocated a playground associate for summer 2011, the Friends of Carroll Park discovered earlier this month that funding was abruptly revoked.

After the ensuing community outcry, Councilman Brand Lander and his staff were able to restore funding to bring back longtime associate Kathleen Henderson (above), at least for the time being.

Long term funding (i.e., next summer) for the summer associate position is not guaranteed, however. While children in years past deserved summer recreation, it's so much more important nowadays that the top 1 percent of New Yorkers pay less in taxes than they did when things actually worked.

In the meantime, Kathleen's hours are:
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., M-F
Bring the kids.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Carroll Park

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Video: Miss the Gay Pride Parade? Here It Is

Couldn't make the Gay Pride Parade? Karl Junkersfeld, famed video contributor to the Brooklyn Heights Blog, has shared this fabulous video of the parade with us:

More Junkersfeld videos here.

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Republican's Moving In On Weiner's Seat; Parks Dept. Screw-up; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Montague Street Bagels gets a "C." Look where they put the sign. BHB

- No plea yet for P.S. 29 embezzler. CG Patch

- The PLG House Tour, in photos. Brownstoner

- Brooklyn Heights gadfly objects to a Muslim/ Hindu version of Romeo and Juliet playing at local Catholic Church. Brooklyn Eagle

- Some Republicans are making moves on Weiner's seat. Brooklyn Politics Blog

- Federal plan to create the nation's largest urban campground at Floyd Bennett Field overlooks safety considerations, like non-working fire hydrants. Gothamist

- Parks Dept. makes a mess; elderly Flatbush homeowner gets fined. NY Daily News via Queens Crap

- Bizarre town of Kiryas Joel could vanish if lawsuit prevails. Brooklyn Eagle

- Los Alamos lab officials says not to worry about that wildfire approaching a dump-site where thousands of drums of plutonium-contaminated waste are stored in tents. LA Times

- Asian Carp are really scary. YouTube

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Frogmen of the Gowanus: Seeking 55 Gifted Individuals

Improv leading to sketch comedy: That is the plan at the Brooklyn Lyceum. Want to try out?

Meet with the Frogmen; send them your headshot, resume/CV and writing samples.

The basics:
In commemoration of 1955, the year the Dodgers won the World Series, the historic Brooklyn Lyceum is putting out a comedy call to arms seeking 55 gifted individuals.

The landmark institution is seeking a confederation, of writers, actors and improvisers who will provide the basis for a weekly sketch/variety show in the grand tradition of the original Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players (only better, of course). Of the 55 talented folks chosen to bring this all to life, 32 will be part of the primary show. 8 as tech, 8 as writers, 8 as featured actors and 8 highlighted performers.

The remaining 23 will host a weekly improv show (along with teams and troupes invited from across the country) which will serve as a showcase and testing ground for material and performers to rotate into the primary performance.

Next organizational meetings are July 11th, 18th & 25th from 6PM to 7PM.
Live from New York, or more appropriately, Brooklyn... it could be YOU!

For more information visit or email

What: Frogmen of the Gowanus informational meeting
Dates: Mondays July 11th, 18th and 25th
Time: 6PM-7PM
Place: Brooklyn Lyceum

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Brooklyn 6-Year-Old Needs Bone Marrow Transplant -- Donor Drive Today, Monday, June 27

A P.S. 154 student, 6-year-old Aidan Seeger, was recently diagnosed with ALD and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. ALD is a genetic determined neurological disorder and affects the brain with demyelination (nerve cells throughout the brain are destroyed).

Aidan first started showing symptoms in February but was only diagnosed recently while at the University of Minnesota.

On Monday, June 27, P.S.154 will be hosting a Bone Marrow Donor Drive at 1625 11th
Avenue Brooklyn, NY, from 8:30am until 3:00pm in the MMR. Please stop in and sign up to join the Be the Match Registry.

Symptoms of this disorder include visual disturbances, auditory discrimination, impaired coordination, dementia and seizures. Symptoms progress rapidly and lead to a vegetative state within two years and death anytime thereafter.

There is no cure for ALD, but there are some experimental methods available. One treatment is a bone marrow transplant. The idea is to replace cells that have the defective ALD gene with cells that have a normal ALD gene.

The family has requested that this information be kept from the children as Aidan is not yet aware of the details of his illness. They are also asking that he be treated as he always has been. In addition, P.S. 154 is raising funds to help the family with expenses such as medical, airfare, and possibly an apartment rental in Minnesota. Any financial help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Cash and checks are accepted. Checks should be made payable to Elisa and Bobby Seeger and they can be given to Sam Ortiz, the principal of P.S. 154 or Eric Havlik, the Assistant Principal of the school.

Joining the Be The Match Registry is easy. Patients need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 60, meet the health guidelines and are willing to donate to any patient in need. Bring photo ID. You'll be giving four swab samples of your cheek cells to be tissue-typed.

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Atlantic Yards Project in Brooklyn Threatened by Strike

A work stoppage by operating engineers could stop construction on major projects worth nearly $10 billion and idle more than 11,300 workers, according to Crain's NY.

Projects that could be halted include Forest City Ratner's Barclays Center (Atlantic Yards) in Brooklyn, which employs 1,000 construction workers, says Crain's, including crane operators. Builders are stockpiling materials on upper floors.

The contract deadline is a week away. More here.

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Behind the Orange Window

An ordinary building on Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights -- but something orange glows brilliantly behind one window.

Photo by MK Metz

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More Canada Geese To Be Killed; 340 Court Street Progress; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- DEP says the city will round up and kill between 700 and 800 Canada geese in New York City parks. They won't say where or when. NY Times

- Major firepower turned in at NYPD's Brooklyn gun buyback. Gothamist

- A Parisian hotelier and restaurateur plans to open a restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill. Brooklyn Eagle

- Anybody recognize this dude stealing two bikes in Prospect Heights? Brooklynian

- Alchemy Properties meets with Carroll Garden residents to talk about 340 Court Street. PMFA

- Marty Golden loses a supporter over gay marriage. The Brooklyn Politics Blog

- This Brooklyn charter school sounds more like a chain gang than a school. SchoolsMatter

- A 19-year-old was arrested Sunday night, accused of molesting a boy in a Brooklyn synagogue. 7online

- Man's girlfriend dies after he crashes his wife's car in Sunset Park. Gothamist

- TSA orders cancer-stricken 95-year-old woman to remove adult diaper for creepy security pat down. CNN

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Firehouses and Teachers Likely Saved from NYC Budget Cuts

After countless hours of disruption, protests and marches, Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council managed to work out a budget Friday that doesn't require the firing of more than 4,000 teachers and the closing of 20 fire companies. Which was a really stupid idea in the first place, Mayor.

Here's a quote from Borough President Marty Markowitz:

“On this historic day in New York State, I applaud Mayor Bloomberg and his staff at City Hall, Council Speaker Quinn, Finance Chair Recchia and the entire City Council for their leadership in finalizing a balanced, on-time budget that saves 20 firehouses - including eight in Brooklyn - and many of our teachers. This was achieved despite fiscal challenges that seemed insurmountable at times, and I look forward to reviewing details of the spending plan in the coming days to see what other impacts it will have on Brooklyn and City residents.”

The Council expects to vote on the budget Tuesday.

Photo by MK Metz

- Second Rally to Save Engine Company 205 in Brooklyn Heights

- Brooklyn Heights Rallies to Keep Engine Company 205 Open

- Save Your Firehouse Rallies in Brooklyn Today

- Eight Pins Coming Off This Brooklyn Fire Company Map

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fireworks Over Manhattan, June 26, 2011- NYC

Those fireworks over New York City tonight were brought to you courtesy of The Dance on the Pier, part of Gay Pride Week. The event, according to NYCPride, was "born out of a time when LGBT New Yorkers could not dance openly and proudly together."

2 PM - 10:30 PM at Pier 54 (13th St. @ the Hudson River)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gay Marriage Now Legal in New York State

- The State Senate passed the gay marriage bill 33 to 29 as the chambers cheered "USA! USA!" NY Daily News

- A huge street party erupted outside the Stonewall Inn, with celebrants waving rainbow flags and dancing after the historic vote. WSJ

- And now that New York has become the sixth state to perform same-sex marriage, couples who tie the knot here will gain a variety of financial benefits and legal rights. NY Times

- New York marriage bill paves way for same-sex divorce. Reuters

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Purchase Building's Boiler House Lives On in Brooklyn Bridge Plaza As 'Smokestack Building'

The historic New York City Department of Purchase Storehouse, known as the Purchase Building, has been torn down, but its boiler house lives on in the newly renovated Brooklyn Bridge Plaza at Fulton Ferry Landing, next to DUMBO.

According to the NY Times, in 1977, when the Purchase Building was declared part of the Fulton Ferry Historic District, preservation officials noted the boiler house, with its "boldly designed, tiered and faceted chimney-stack."

In 2006 the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to demolish the Purchase Building to make way for Brooklyn Bridge Park. But the boiler house survived and has been renovated.

Now called the "Smokestack Building" by Brooklyn Bridge Park folks, the unusual little structure will be used as "a future park concession," according to BBP. In the photo above, you can see that a service window has been grafted onto the building.

Photos by MK Metz

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pop Up Piano, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Sing for Hope, a NYC-based non-profit, has placed 88 pianos in parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs through July 2. The beautiful piano above, painted by Adam Suerte, is in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Pier 1. It's just waiting for you to play it.

Photo by MK Metz

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Red Hook Bike Tour; New BAM-Area Theater; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- It took 38 years, but Sunset Park finally got a high school. Guess it's time to cram a charter school inside it and ruin it for everybody. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brokelyn's running a Brooklyn Bike Tour, Red Hook edition, featuring food, swimming, drinks and the Pier. This Sunday. Brokelyn

- Construction’s already started on a 299-seat theater in the BAM Cultural District, but its official groundbreaking will take place on Friday. Brownstoner

- BP Markowitz is urging developer Joe Sitt to include a waterfront destination restaurant in his proposed Bath Beach BJ’s project. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklynites will get a taste of Texas in a few months when a chicken wings franchise lands in Downtown Brooklyn. Crain's NY

- Tonight: Community meeting addressing the rat problem near Atlantic Yards. DSBA

- Legendary Brooklyn judge presiding over neighbor's strange land squabble. NY Daily News

- Cobble Hill's P.S. 29 playground being dismantled (the one the teens burned down). Brownstoner

- 7-year-old kid in Michigan steals his stepfather's car, drives 20 miles to visit his dad. Video. Gawker

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Engine 205, Ladder 118, Brooklyn Heights

Even in the rain Engine 205 and Ladder 118, in Brooklyn Heights, is beautiful.

Photo by MK Metz

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brooklynites Desperate for Giant Floating +Pool Kick In More Than $25,000 To Get It Rolling

Money is pouring into the Kickstarter campaign to build a giant, plus-shaped floating pool in Brooklyn, preferably off Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Just a few days after the designers Kickstarted it, the +Pool campaign surpassed its goal of raising $25,000.

As the Brooklyn Eagle reported Friday, an engineering company’s feasibility report has confirmed that the Plus-Pool is technically possible. Now the design team is raising money to test the filters.

After testing is completed, the biggest hurdle the pool faces will be the regulatory, permitting and approval process, one of the designers told the Eagle. “We’re just starting off. That will be by far our biggest challenge. We need to finish our filtration report before we go there."

- Could a Giant, Plus-Shaped Pool Be Coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park? McBrooklyn

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Unexpected: Head of Brooklyn's LICH Stepping Down

This caught some folks by surprise: The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Dominick Stanzione, head of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), is leaving his post as executive director of what is now University Hospital of Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

Last month Stanzione said he would be staying on at the hospital.

As of yesterday, even Ronald Najman, spokesperson for SUNY Downstate (which took over LICH), said that he wasn’t aware that Stanzione planned to step down.

But Assemblywoman Joan Millman appears to have some insight into Stanzione's plans.

More here.

- Donald and Mildred: We're Sorry About Losing All Your Money, and the Hospital, Too
Gov. Paterson Announced LICH /SUNY Deal in Brooklyn Today- Insurance Trouble at Brooklyn's LICH- Petition to Save LICH- Sucking Long Island Collage Hospital Dry?- Long Island College Hospital In Big Trouble

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New Yorkers Made Music Like Crazy Yesterday

The minute you walked outside yesterday afternoon you heard them. More than a thousand free public concerts took place across the city for the annual Make Music New York celebration. (Yesterday was the longest day of the year so they squeezed in extra music.)

Musicians were everywhere: on the sidewalks, in parks and in nooks and plazas.

In Brooklyn Heights, a folk group called MELA -- combining sweet vocal harmonies with piano, guitar, flute, ukulele, bass and percussion -- played the dinner hours on Montague Street in front of the Grand Canyon restaurant.

Their sound was just right for dining and they attracted quite a crowd of onlookers. (Judging from the numbers, Grand Canyon may want to invite them back.)

If you were anywhere near Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn (and by anywhere we mean at least a half mile) you heard Manhattan Samba and their driving percussion. Manhattan Samba is a Brazilian samba drum ensemble.

The group is a traditional Brazilian "bateria," one of the drum groups that accompany the yearly carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro.

In DUMBO, in The Archway under the Manhattan Bridge, Nick Franglen (of Lemon Jelly) played a 24-hour piece on a Theremin. The PitchBlak Brass Band played jazz on Water Street.

The Soulfolk Experience entertained at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Dan Aiello performed pop on Flatbush Ave. In Carroll Gardens, MaDDan & NottyMinds played Jazz; Naomi Frank provided funk. The Birdhive Boys played on Smith Street.

18 different performances took place in and around Fort Greene! And 85 in Williamsburg!

Three shows took place at Grand Army Plaza -- including a choral performance by the Youth Choir of First United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge, TN.

Pop Up Pianos

While Make Music New York day has ended, there are still Sing for Hope Pop Up Pianos -- 88 of them -- scattered all over the city, just waiting for folks to sit down and play.

Sometimes there are pop up concerts as well. For example, on Thursday, June 23 Johnny Young, an award winning composer will perform original songs and improvise on the piano at Grand Army Plaza from 6 - 6:30 p.m.

At Brooklyn Bridge Park on June 24 from 1 - 1:30, Lois Berseth will play old standards – love songs from the 40s and 50s. These Foolish Things, Body & Soul, Because of You, When I Fall in Love, Deep Purple, etc.

The complete piano schedule and map is here.

Photos by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Museum Cancels Graffiti Show; New Ferry Too Popular; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Blaming tight finances, the Brooklyn Museum cancels a popular but controversial graffiti exhibition. NY Times

- New East River ferry proves too popular. Brooklyn Eagle

- City Comptroller John Liu is holding a fundraiser in likely rival Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s old territory. The Brooklyn Politics

- All charges dropped in the pizza king knife attack in Carroll Gardens. NY Times

- Parking permits for Atlantic Yards area still a big "maybe." Carroll Gardens Patch

- City Council members and union officials vowed to conduct mass demonstrations if Mr. Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts go through. NY Times

- There's just something creepy about all those birds. Lined up. Looking down at you. PMFA

- Video shows wild shooting in Brooklyn. Fox

- 70% of street cocaine is now cut with a drug that causes users skin to rot off. NY Daily News

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fireworks Over Brooklyn and NYC Tonight June 21, 2011

Those fireworks you heard tonight celebrated the 10th Anniversary of New York Water Taxi.

They were launched from an area near Red Hook, south of Governor's Island.

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Three of NY State's Best High Schools Are In Brooklyn

According to Newsweek's annual survey, New York State boasts 63 of the nation's top schools. Of these, three are in Brooklyn:

- Number 85 in the nation, Brooklyn Technical HS (SAT scores average 1863, Newsweek score 0.804) comes out on top

- Number 191 nationwide is Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences (SAT scores 1550, Newsweek score 0.527)

- Number 277 nationwide is Medgar Evers College Preparatory (SAT scores 1440, Newsweek score 0.403)

More here.

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GAP Coming to Fulton Mall; Greenway Input Needed; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The GAP is coming to Fulton Mall! Brooklyn Eagle

- City plans special commercial district for Fourth Avenue. Carroll Gardens Patch

- DOT seeks your input on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. Brooklyn Eagle

- USPS turns its back on loyal employee caring for disabled daughter. Room8

- Two tech companies are reportedly all set to introduce the world’s first personal jetpack for commercial sale. NY Magazine

- More glitches: Due to a software malfunction nicknamed Shrek, 30,000 ugly people managed to join the dating website Beautiful People. Guardian

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Park Slope Tenant Patrol May Start Sunday If Its Founder Really Exists

After the theft of his family's bicycle seats (the bikes were chained out front) Brooklynian commenter VinceInTheBay says he is starting a neighborhood Night Watch in Park Slope.

Some neighbors are
for the idea and others against it; some think he writes in an oddly stilted manner, and still others think he may not even exist, but VinceInTheBay has this to say:

"Like it or not this Tenant Patrol is going to happen and it will function devoid of any N.Y.P.D presence and above all it will be modeled to reflect the makeup of the community. This tenant Patrol will not be modeled like those inbred fools in Crown Heights. Yes I said inbred because last summer I had my own run in with them as I bicycled down Ocean Parkway."

Sounds like the patrol is getting off on the right foot! Brooklynian

Photo by Maveric2003, Creative Commons license

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Could a Giant, Plus-Shaped Pool Be Coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park?

The Brooklyn Eagle reports on an amazing plus-shaped, floating pool a trio of designers wants to tether off Brooklyn Bridge Park.

An engineering company’s feasibility report has confirmed that the pool is technically possible, and enthusiasm (as measured by +Pool's Kickstarter campaign) seems to be building.

The Kickstarter goal is $25,000 (to conduct filter testing). According to the Eagle, by last Thursday roughly 80 backers had kicked in $7,000. Just one day later, more than $10,000 had been raised, donated by 185 backers.

When we checked early this morning, 326 backers had pledged $14,757.

More at the Eagle.

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Full Scale FDNY Subway Drill on Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights

There was quite a scene Saturday night as firefighters and emergency personnel dragged realistic "bodies" out of an inferno scenario at the Montague /Court Street Subway Station. A crowd watched as FDNY and the NYC Transit Authority rehearsed a full scale emergency.

The "victims" suffered bloody injuries and burns -- and some were just incinerated body parts, apparently the result of an explosion. Most victims were dummies, but we did see at least one live actor.

Some had their clothes blown clear off.

Dozens of emergency vehicles were stacked up and down Court Street and Cadman Plaza West along with Montague Street, which was closed to traffic. Stretchers were deployed at the entrance to the subway as the rescuers carried the injured up the stairs.

A portable command center was set up on the north corner of Montague and Cadman Plaza West. The scenario was realistically enacted, and FDNY and NY Transit showed a great deal of professionalism.

Now let's hope they never have to use it.

Photos by MK Metz

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Sex-Slave Absconds; More Party Shootings; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- One day after eight people were shot at a Brooklyn house party, five more people were shot at another Brooklyn house party early Sunday. NY1

- The woman who accused a Brooklyn man of forcing her to live with him as a sex slave didn't show up to testify and may have absconded to Wisconsin. Brooklyn Eagle

- Celebrate the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel Centennial with a parade and celebration. Proteus Gowanus

- A serial bike part thief is roaming through Park Slope. Also, a man who licks the handles of car doors at night. Brooklynian

- Man gets tired of unruly kids in Marine Park, shoots them with semiautomatic. NY Times and NY Daily News

- Residents of a large loft building on Eldert Street have been served with a partial vacate order. BushwickBK via Queens Crap

- Mayor Bloomberg's mother dies at the age of 102. NY Magazine

- David Walentas' Clock Tower triplex in DUMBO has been pulled from the rental market after less than a week. TRD

- Brooklynites take up window-farming. Brooklyn Eagle

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Sea Creatures Take Over Coney Island, Again

Coney Island's annual parade of sea creatures, mermaids and merguys once again ushered in the swimmy season. Photographer Bob Jagendorf took the above photo of two beautiful mercreatures. Miss the action? For more photos of the annual revel, visit Gothamist, Metromix, and Flickr.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Men Wearing Black, Filming On Clark Street, Brooklyn Heights

This well-dressed lineup cruised around Clark Street recently as part of an independent film, Propellerheart.

Photo by MK Metz

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Prisoner Escapes In Downtown Brooklyn; Weiner's Wife; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Manhunt continues for prisoner who escaped custody near Brooklyn Criminal Court in Downtown Brooklyn yesterday around noon. NY Daily News

- Anthony Weiner’s alma mater -- Brooklyn Tech -- confirmed Thursday that it had canceled his speech at its graduation. Instead, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio will give the commencement speech. NY Times

- Why Anthony Weiner's wife should run for his seat.

- Weiner actually had a "mixed reputation" in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Activists say the Atlantic Yards fight is "re-energized," and urge litmus test for candidates. Carroll Gardens Patch

- The new Coney Island "concretewalk" is already cracking! Gothamist

- Today's men increasingly turn to arts & crafts. Brooklyn Eagle

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John Wesley Harding, Rick Moody Perform at LIU, Downtown Brooklyn Tonight

As part of Long Island University's Summer Writers Lab, novelist Wesley Stace (aka singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding) and novelist Rick Moody will converse and perform in the Spike Lee Screening Room at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, June 17.

Followed by Q&A with audience, book signing and reception. Tickets: $5 for the general public.

Wesley Stace
By Xavier Thomas
Both men are author/musicians. Wesley Stace is the author of the international bestseller “Misfortune,” as well as the novel “by George.” His most recent novel, “Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer“ will be published by Picador in February 2011. He has released fifteen albums under the name John Wesley Harding.

Rick Moody
By Seamus Kearney
Rick Moody has published novels, short fiction and nonfiction, including “The Four Fingers of Death,” “Garden State” and “The Ice Storm,” which was adapted into a feature film directed by Ang Lee; “The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven,” “The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions,” “The Diviners; and Right Livelihoods: Three Novellas.” His work in music has been extensive. It includes the album “Rick Moody and One Ring Zero” and two albums with The Wingdale Community Singers.

LIU is at Flatbush and deKalb Avenues in Downtown Brooklyn. Directions here

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Huge Crowd of Union Protesters Rally in Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

Many thousands of union members gathered for a spirited rally in Cadman Plaza Park yesterday afternoon to protest what the country (and city) is doing to middle class workers. After the rally they marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall, in what was called the "March for the Middle Class."

Denis Hughes, president of the AFL-CIO said, "Every solution to our country’s economic troubles is directed at working-class men and women. Budget cuts, wage cuts, layoffs, cuts to education, reductions in job security — we’ve had it." Hughes said that the union members were marching "to point out the plight of the middle class."

In a statement, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said, “New York City is the income disparity capital of the world, where the richest 90,000 households earn $10,000 a day, while half of all city households earn under $30,000 a year. We want a country, state and city that works for everyone.”

More at the Brooklyn Eagle and NY1.

Photos by MK Metz

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Brooklyn's Million Dollar Baby; Fire at Muhlenberg; DUMBO Yeti; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn’s million dollar baby unbeaten female pugilist Serrano captures featherweight title. Brooklyn Eagle

- Residents of the Single Room Occupancy building the Muhlenberg were lined up on Atlantic Avenue near Third yesterday after a fire broke out. Carroll Gardens Patch

- A Brooklyn inmate has confessed to shooting rap star Tupac Shakur 17 years ago. CTnow

- Can Brooklyn build a pedestrian-friendly arena at the Atlantic Yards site? Streetsblog

- Brooklyn day care center owner busted with ten pounds of pot wants to work with kids again. Gothamist

- History mystery: which Cobble Hill house was Winston Churchhill's mother actually born in? Brooklyn Eagle  

- This year the city’s slaughtered geese will not go to waste: They will go to feed hungry Pennsylvanians. NY Times

- Giant moss Yeti sighting in DUMBO. Gothamist

- Schools to get dirtier: The city’s Department of Education is cutting over $10 million from its custodial budget. NY Times

- Man who hid dead granny in closet during sex romp also hid dead transvestite under bed. Gothamist

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Maison Premier in Williamsburg; Lost Peahen on Pacific; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The NY Times reviews Maison Premiere in Williamsburg: "a fake that sometimes improves on the original." NYT 

- Parisian restaurateur Cyril Aouizerate plans to open a restaurant, Maimonide of Brooklyn (or M.O.B.), in Downtown Brooklyn. TRD 

- State Senator Dan Squadron has started a committee that would allow him to run for Borough President, City Council, City Comptroller, Public Advocate, or Mayor in 2013. Brooklyn Politics Blog

- The difficulty of taking your child to Prospect Park by bike when all the other bikers want to run you down. Bike Snob NYC

- Forest City Ratner reports multiple new leases at MetroTech (including a new French Bistro) and at One Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Lost peahen on Pacific Street.  Brooklynian

- You'll be able to buy Brooklyn Cyclones tickets on your cell phone in time for opening day. MCD

- The summer schedule for Red Hook Films here. Brownstoner

- They may be kind of shaggy, but big-hearted bikers have donated more than $8,000 to the Brooklyn Hospital Center's Oncology Department. The Local

- New York was ranked least free state by a Libertarian think-tank. Gothamist

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Brooklyn Bridge Park, Wedding Photos

A dynamic photographer takes pictures of a wedding party on a blustery afternoon at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The park is Wedding Central on weekends, with couples and wedding parties stacked up like airplanes at JFK.

Photo by MK Metz

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Here's the New East River Ferry Map

The new East River ferry launched Monday. Finally -- an easy and fun way to get to all the places we want to go! You can find the interactive version on New York Waterway's web site.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WTF? Kicked Off a Plane for Swearing; Camping at Floyd Bennett; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn man kicked off airplane for swearing. Is it odd that we can't tell which word is the swear word? Gawker and Village Voice

- Does Tazo -- an orphaned sea otter pup being raised at the New York Aquarium -- look like your Uncle Seymore or what? Brooklyn Eagle 

- The Fulton Area Business Alliance is going to hold workshops so community members can offer input on the public plaza that will be created at Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue. Brownstoner

- At Floyd Bennett, the National Park Service is developing the largest urban park campground in America.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Here's a video of a violent fight on the subway. HuffPost

-Damn. The secret's out: Where Brooklynites go on weekends. A Child Grows

- A manufacturer of decorative firepots and pourable fuel gel that were involved in several horrific accidents asked retailers on Monday to stop selling its products nationwide. NY Times

- Facebook is losing millions of users -- and its coolness. NY Magazine

- Did you miss the Republican debate? NY Magazine has it in a nutshell.  NY Magazine

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'Mayor Markowitz' How's That Sound?

With Weiner no longer viable, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is "strongly considering" a run for the Mayor, reports the NY Post. On the other hand, Markowitz told the NY Daily News that he puts the chances he'll throw his hat in ring at "less than 50-50."

Some commenters on  Brownstoner say "Never!" Others say that if succession is part of the deal, they might consider it.

Fuhgeddaboutit? (Atlantic Yards Report heaps scorn on the idea.) Or is he starting to look electable? (Marty wants you to tweet what you think.)

Room Eight says, "Well, at least we never need worry that there are any shots of him from the gym."

Maybe not the gym, but stay out of his way in a bike lane.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Brooklyn DA Gets Bedbugs Again; New Condos at Clinton and Montague; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Dems worry Weiner could make trouble.  Politico 

- Serious bike accident in Prospect Park Saturday. At least one in hospital, looking for witnesses. Brooklynian

- Brooklyn DA gets bedbugs -- again. Brooklyn Paper

- Lawmakers demand public oversight for Atlantic Yards project. NY1

- So the Naked Bike Ride was cancelled due to rain, but never mind: here are photos from the Coney Island Pet Costume Contest. Gothamist 

- The Corcoran Group gave a tour of the shiny new condominium development at 75 Clinton St., corner of Montague Street. Brooklyn Eagle 

- We was robbed: Census undercounted Brooklyn.  NY1 

- Two beloved Brooklyn day care centers closed Friday, slated to get replaced by a controversial charter school. NY Daily News

- That "Seriously McDonalds" picture is a hoax. Gawker

- Harold Camping, guy who wrongly predicted the Rapture, has a stroke. Gothamist

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Good Show: Figment Art On Governors Island

Hundreds (thousands?) of people got the same idea we had when it didn't rain after all on Sunday -- we took the ferry from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park to Governors Island for the annual Figment Art Show.

Figment is a feel-good art event where hundreds of art projects, plays, performances and improv experiences take place all over the island. Governors Island is magic anyway, so add some art and it's just about perfect.

Many of the participants wear costumes.

A lot of the works use recycled materials. The piece above, for example, is called "Plastic Fantastic" -- a geodesic dome made from over 6,000 used water bottles. People kept contributing their bottles all day.

Or you could write a message and put it in a bottle, like these inside the dome.

The True Mirror Palace was one of our favorite exhibits. You never think about it but normally, when you look into a mirror, you actually see yourself backwards. Subtle irregularities make the two sides of your face slightly different. So your true image looks different than your mirror image.

But when you look into a True Mirror, you see yourself the way you really are -- the way other people see you. You probably look better than you think. (Or at least different.)

It was a great day. If you missed the show, you can still experience a little bit of it when you visit Governors Island. Some of the exhibits, like the mini-golf course and the tree house, will remain up for the summer. (Here's a list of these pieces.)

Here's a list of all the exhibits and happenings that took place at this year's Figment.

Photos by MK Metz

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Help Find These Missing Cats in Brooklyn Heights



These two beloved cats are missing in Brooklyn Heights. The top one, an orange tabby named Doggie, was last seen on Willow Street. Click on the photo below for more information.

Boycat usually hangs around Cranberry Street. Click on the photo below to see more information about Boycat.

If you see any cats skulking about in the neighborhood, look closely to see if it's one of these!

Photos by MK Metz

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