Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Must Eat" Panelle at Ferdinando's

The Panelle at local restaurant Ferdinando's Focacceria was listed as the number 2 "must eat" item for the summer in a recent Daily News article. Here's what they had to say:

2. A Panelle at Ferdinando's Focacceria:
This old-school restaurant near the Columbia Waterfront District offers a taste of summers past. So stroll over one afternoon and get the fried chickpea and ricotta sandwich called a panelle, says Levine, and wash it down with an icy cold bottle of Manhattan Special. 151 Union St., Brooklyn; (718) 855-1545

(image above from

Parks Parks Everywhere!

Just days after the opening of the new Erie Basin Park by Ikea, a short walk South from the Columbia St. Waterfront District, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has announced that a temporary park will also be opened for the summer at Pier 1, part of the future Brooklyn Bridge Park to the North of the neighborhood.

The park, located on the East River at the base of Old Fulton St and Furman St, boasts beautiful harbor views, first time public access, a close up look at the temporary "New York City Waterfall" installation by Olafur Eliasson, a cafe, sand, grass, picnic tables, and more. The plans of the space by by Diand Studio, as seen above, also show what looks like a giant sandbox!

The park opened on June 26th and will remain open until Labor Day

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fading Ad Blog's journey down Union St.

One of the goals I have for this blog down the line is to upload photos of many of the buildings and other sites to be seen around the neighborhood. However, when other people beat me to it, and do a better job than I would do at that, I have to tip my hat to them.

After recently taking a walk down Degraw St, Frank Jump of the Fading Ad blog apparently also took a walk down Union St and found a lot worth photographing. Below are some of the pictures that he took as well as links to the posts they appear in, which in some cases contain more photos.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Degraw St. Mural

On my many walks through this neighborhood, i've often passed by the above mural on Degraw St. between Columbia and Van Brunt in not only admiration, but also mystery. I've wondered, who lives in this building - an artist, an art collective, someone who decided to pay for an artist to paint a huge mural? Short of knocking on the door or asking random bypassers, I just assumed I wouldn't be able to figure it out.

Well, thank God for the internet. While stumbling around random blogs, I found out some info about the mural on Fading Ad Blog and a link to the artists website.

Apparently, the artist is Damon Ginandes, who is a Brooklyn based artist with other large scale, 3 dimensional and public mural projects in the works, and this mural was commissioned by the buildings' landlord. Be sure to keep an eye out for this piece and more!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ikea and the Erie Basin Park

This past Saturday, 4 days before the scheduled opening of Ikea Brooklyn, my family and I decided to take a walk down to the new location and check out the massive waterfront park that Ikea built around its new store. While not really looking forward to the massive crowds and traffic that the store will bring to the area, we must say that the park looks rather promising. While workers were still busy putting on the finishing touches, here are some of the sights we saw:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The summer at Korhogo 126

Our local French African restaurant, Korhogo 126, is happy to announce their Barbecue Nights on Thursdays and Sundays. What better way to enjoy these delightful summer evenings than by sitting back in a secretive garden while sampling delicious food.

The Barbecue menu is a Prix Fixe of $29.99 with an appetizer and dessert from the regular menu:

  • Lamb and Eggplant Brochette with Provencal Dressing
  • Orange, Mustard and Ginger Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Dried Fruit Chutney
  • Korhogo Mini Beef Burger (photo attached)
  • Grilled Marinated Tilapia (Poisson Braisé Abidjan Style) with Mango and Tomato Salsa
  • Smoked Black Pepper Crusted Salmon Filet with Aubergine Sauce
  • West African Style Grilled Jerk Chicken
  • Grilled Whole Lobster with Nigerian Piri Piri Sauce

Side Dishes (Local Organic Vegetables Produce): Grilled Ratatouille, White Rice, Atieke.

Regular Menu Available on Request.

Chef Abdhul Traore is also available for private barbecue parties in our garden or in yours...

Korhogo 126 is on Union St. at Columbia Street. Entrees: $16-$24. The restaurant serves dinner Sunday through Tuesday, and Thursday through Saturday. Closed Wednesdays. For information, call (718) 855-4405 or visit

The Urban Meadow Brooklyn is now OPEN!

Finally, this past Wednesday was the official opening ceremony for the meadow, on President street, at the corner of Van Brunt. Anyone can now enjoy the grass between their toes, and the shaded grove, everyday, from morning to sundown. The rules are simple: no dogs, no litter, no bikes.

We have great hopes and projects for this special place (Thank you again Julie Farris): free yoga sessions, movie nights, potluck picnics... If you are interested in being a part of the meadow's events, please send your name and email address to jessievencat ( at )

Here are some pictures of the opening:

The Children from the Cobble Hill Playgroup

Visitors and neighbors enjoying the food and beverages provided by Foragers Market (from Dumbo) and Korhogo 126 (from the CSWD)

Marty Markowitz: "We all know that a tree grows in Brooklyn, but a meadow?... Fuggetaboutit!"

Students from PS 15

Friday, June 13, 2008

Support the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

There are two ways that people can support the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative in coming weeks, according to their recent newsletters:

The BGI Fundraising Event:

You’re invited to join the Board and supporters of Brooklyn Greenway Initiative for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music along the Brooklyn waterfront – the perfect way to kick off summer! We’ll be celebrating the significant progress the Greenway has made over the past year, as well as building support for the upcoming design and construction phases of several segments along the route.

This year our Guest of Honor is Andrew Kimball, President and CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, who will be honored for his role in implementing the Greenway around the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We will also honor Teresa Toro, Community Board 1 Transportation Committee Chair, as our Community Partner of the Year for her outstanding work in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.

Mark your calendars – we look forward to seeing you!

When: Wednesday, June 25th, 6:00-8:00PM (music continues until 10:30PM)

Where: On the Terrace at One Brooklyn Bridge Park (360 Furman Street, between Joralemon and Atlantic)

Don’t wait, purchase your tickets today! For more information, contact Brian McCormick at 718.522.0193 or


Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is submitting proposals for several million dollars in design and construction funds and we need letters of support! Please take a moment to write a letter to NYS DOT in support of these funding applications. Below is a model letter, which you can adapt as you wish. Just make sure to sign the letter, then fax, email, or mail it back to BGI for inclusion in our application. Please do not send directly to NYS DOT, as these letters need to be attached to our application package. Contact info: fax 718-643-6736; email:; mail: Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, 145 Columbia Street, 11231. Letters must be received at BGI by Friday, June 20th.

Thanks in advance for helping to secure the next stage of construction funding for the Greenway!

Astrid C. Glynn
New York State Department of Transportation
Main Office
50 Wolf Road

, NY 12232

Dear Commissioner Glynn:

I am writing to request your approval of the application to the TEP program from NYC Department of Transportation for funding the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. This project will create a Class I bike/ped facility that will be a valued route in these waterfront areas that have little transit service. It will also take cyclists out of the street along the waterfront truck route. The greenway will include separate paths for bikes and pedestrians and continuous landscaping. It is part of the new opening up of waterfront access that has been long awaited by communities from Red Hook to Greenpoint.

The surrounding communities have been advocating and planning for this greenway segment since 1998. Their efforts have been supported by federal and state funding and New York City Government.

Please determine favorably to provide the funding needed to construct it.

Yours truly,

(full name and contact info)

The Neighborhood in the News

Two stories that take place in the CSWD made it into this week's edition of The Brooklyn Paper.

1) "Green on Presdient Street"
The Brooklyn Paper's coverage of the newly opened Urban Meadow Bklyn. We'll be posting up our pictures of the opening event soon, but in the meantime take a look at this article.

2) "Columbia Street wants normalcy"
Could Columbia St. construction finally be nearing the end? The Brooklyn paper gives an update as well as points out recent concerns over garbage on the street and bus routes

Monday, June 9, 2008

Don't forget the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Urban Meadow!

Only another couple of days and we'll be able to feel the grass between our toes and enjoy picnics at the meadow. Here is the program for the opening:
We hope to see you there!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Don't put that old furniture on the curb, use it in your garden!

Recently my wife and I took it upon ourselves to plant a variety of vegetables in our garden, including tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, cucumbers and several different herbs. Having never done this before, we went the traditional route and bought planters and garden supplies at a nearby gardening store. If only we would have attended an event like the one coming up on June 10th at the Backyard Garden first, we could have maybe saved some money AND been more environmentally friendly by re-using household items that would have normally been put in the trash. Now we'll know for the future. Event details below:

Garden Design
with Edie Kean
“Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to
Garden in Less Space with Less Work”
by Mel Bartholomew

Tues. June 10th 5:30-7:30pm
at The Backyard Garden
61-73 Hamilton Avenue (between Van Brunt & Summit Aves.)

Ever plant in an abandoned bath tub or toilet? How about an old tire or rotting tree stump? Whether you are crazy about different ways of doing things or are just curious about what is out there, this workshop is for you. We will explore some old, new and downright funky ways of building beds, trellises, plant supports and other structures as well as some unique approaches to large scale garden designs. A special emphasis will be placed on recycling old furniture, refuse and just about anything you see that you can make work to the garden’s advantage. A book on alternative garden design will be given out to the first 10 garden groups in attendance.

Subway: Take the A train to Jay Street - Borough Hall, and transfer to the F to Smith/9th St.Walk west on 9th St towards Court St.Turn right onto Hamilton Ave. Bus: Take the B61 to Van Brunt St and Summit St. Walk east on Hamilton Ave towards Summit St.