Wednesday, December 23, 2009

D.U.B. Pies closing its Columbia St. storefront

We received a sad email today telling us that D.U.B. Pies aka "Let Them Eat Pie" will be closing its Columbia St. storefront soon. Not only was D.U.B. an important part of the diverse restaurant selection in our area, but also one of the first and only Down Under style bakeries in NYC.

The two pieces of good news in the closing are that they are having a sale today and tomorrow, and that they will also be opening a bakery (without a storefront) in Red Hook proper, which will be offering delivery eventually. Below are the details from an email they sent out to their list. Try to stop by tonight or tomorrow and bid them farewell!

LET THEM EAT PIE will only be open this week on Wednesday (all day) and Thursday (until 3pm) – we invite you to come and say goodbye with/to us at this store and as a last hurrah we re offering hot pies at $4 each and frozen pies to take home for the holidays at $3.50 each!! (Our lowest price point ever!)

This offer is only good if you come to the store – it doesn t extend to delivery, sorry.

One piece of good news is that we plan to continue offering free delivery to the area as our production space is in Red Hook proper (sorry, we don t have a a storefront there – you ll need to come to The Pie Shop in Windsor Terrace for your Flat Whites and Aussie/Kiwi groceries/snacks.) There may be a short teething period as we set this up – please bare with us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Years Eve at Sugar Lounge

All You Can Eat buffet for $35,
champagne Toast,
Times Square live on tv,
and dancing 'til dawn with live DJ'S...

What a great way to celebrate New Years without having to travel outside of the neighborhood!

Sugar Lounge is located at 147 Columbia St.

PS - "Come Celebrate Sylvester" refers to St. Sylvester, who is celebrated on December 31st in France and other European countries

Friday, December 18, 2009

Breakfast with Santa - Sat 12/19

Solar car & charging station come to Columbia Waterfront!

With all the salt in the air and danger on the streets lately, its refreshing to know that our neighborhood is also home to some forward thinking in terms of what we drive - and what we emit while doing so.

A couple months back I noticed an interesting development emerge on Degraw St: The walls of the space were painted white with strokes of green and pictures of plants, and the sign on the lot read "Beautiful Earth Group." Shortly after, I saw a car parked on my street from Beautiful Earth that boasted to be solar powered.

It turns out that Beautiful Earth is a solar powered car company, and their space on Degraw includes a solar charging station! The car is 100% electric and can be charged to full capacity in this charging station, which is constructed from a recycled shipping container (how fitting for our area!).

I was able to read details about it on a recent post from Head over there to read all about it and see more pictures.

Images above from

Car crashes through storefront on Van Brunt

A car crashed through a storefront on Van Brunt near Dikeman today. I'm not sure of the details yet, but either way, this serves as a harsh reminder that traffic isn't just a Columbia st. issue, but a concern throughout the neighborhood. Much of the traffic on Van Brunt passes through Columbia St. to get there, and vice versa, and therefore the issue needs to be addressed on a neighborhood wide scale!

{Photo by Lisa C.}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

RED Hook Holiday Specials 12/18-12/20

The RED group is back at it again with a wide range of specials being offered throughout the weekend of 12/18-12/20 (RED = Red Hook Economic Development). Restaurants, shops, and galleries all have something to offer.

The flyer below offers a full list of participating businesses and the specials that they're offering (click the image for a larger version):

Another accident today/ Columbia St. traffic update

There was another accident on Columbia St. and President St. this morning involving a car and a motorcycle. It happened during the 8 am hour, and it seems that the motorcyclist was taken away in an ambulance. Two reports so far say that he is presumed to have had a broken leg.

Given this incident, its probably a good time to give the community an update on the petition that we previously circulated and other related efforts.

Steps taken to date:
  • A petition with 170 signatures was mailed to DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan last week requesting the implementation of traffic calming and safety measures along Columbia St. (thanks to everyone who signed!). Copies have also been forwarded to the offices of Brad Lander, Joan Millman, Marty Markowitz, Daniel Squadron, Bill de Blasio, and Community Board 6. This petition follows two previous letters mailed in by the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association to the DOT.
  • We have confirmation from the offices of Lander (Councilman elect), Millman (State Assemblywoman), and Markowitz (Borough President) that they will support the community's request. Some of this support has happened already: Markowitz's office has had multiple conversations with staff from the Brooklyn DOT office to find out more information and look into options, Joan Millman sent a follow up letter to Commissioner Sadik-Khan in support of the petition, and Brad Lander will be bringing it up in upcoming meetings with DOT officials.

Next Steps:
  • If you happen to see or have a relationship with any of the above confirmed supporters, express your thanks to them and remind them of the urgency of the matter
  • If you happen to see or have a relationship with any of the elected officials that have not yet responded, please write in or mention the issue to them and ask that they provide some level of support
  • Finally, please feel free to let us know about any other offices that we should forward it to. You can also send in your own letters, emails, and calls to urge elected officials and city agencies to support this.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Novel-Ts: A great gift for literature lovers

Wouldn't it be great if there was a way for literature lovers to show off their favorite characters and writers in a way that sports fans show off their favorite athletes? With the launch of Novel-T earlier this year, that dream can now be a reality!

Novel-Ts are jersey style t-shirts with a literature theme, featuring graphics and names that refer to writers and characters from classic books. There are currently 9 different designs available, with more to be released in the future.

Novel-T is a Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood operation - the creator behind the line lives here - and the shirts themselves are printed at Quist, a screenprinter located in Red Hook.

On top of all that, you can buy the shirts right on Columbia St. at our favorite local bookstore, Freebird Books. (People in other parts of the city can find them at BookCourt, Powerhouse, and the New Museum as well.)

To help ensure that there will always be new names to add to the Novel-T line-up, Novel-T donates $1 of the purchase price of each shirt to 826NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills.

Check out more details at their site here, or read reviews and interviews from the NYtimes, Brooklyn Paper, Time Out New York, the New Yorker, and more here. Also check out this new Novel-T video here:

Columbia Waterfront history presentation by Pratt students - this Thursday 12/17

On Thursday, 12/17, graduate students from Pratt will be making a presentation about the history of the Columbia Waterfront neighorhood, based on research they have been doing as part of their Historic Preservation Program

Thursday, December 17th, 2009 10am
@ Pratt's Higgins Hall North
The presentation will be made in Room 406 of Higgins Hall North, located at the corner of St. James Place and Lafayette Avenue in Clinton Hill (near, but not on, the main Pratt campus). The building houses the School of Architecture, which includes the planning & preservation programs.

The closest train to to this location is the G train to the Clinton-Washington stop

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Salt Pile Update

As of early yesterday the salt pile was returned to a (mostly) covered state. As we mentioned before, this does not appear to be a longterm solution, and we have thankfully heard word that efforts beyond this will be made in coming weeks. Please stay tuned for details about that as they are soldified, and be patient while the process is underway. Of course, if anyone is aware of the salt pile cover coming loose again before this happens, please let us and your elected officials know.

Thanks to anyone who made calls or sent emails to elected officials, as it seems they were instrumental in getting this problem resolved. Further details on that to also come at a later date.

Anyone who has leads in terms of getting lab analysis on salt samples done would also be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Time to start making some calls (Salt Pile)

Please start calling the following phone numbers about the salt pile. Enough is enough, as the salt in the air may potentially have health risks, and is also causing damage to our trees, plants, and vehicles.

*Call American Stevedoring (port operator, responsible for managing the pile)



*Call 311 (outdoor air quality complaint-DEP)

*Call Community Board 6


*Call your local elected officials

Council Member David Yassky (port)


Council Member Bill de Blasio (Columbia Street)


Friday, December 11, 2009

Columbia Waterfront Forecast: 100% chance of salt

Could American Stevedoring Inc. have chosen a windier set of days to uncover the infamous Columbia St. salt pile? Check out these photos that were submitted to us by someone who lives on Kane St nearby (pardon the cellphone camera quality). Every backyard North of the pile is experiencing a similar salt glaze.

Keep sending us pictures and stories.

Holiday Crafts at the Coffee Den this Sunday 12/13

How about enjoying a nice warm drink while your children are engaged making holiday crafts?

If that sounds like a plan, go hang out at The Coffee Den this Sunday, 12/13, from 10am to 12pm. The project will be a Holiday picture frame, children from 3 to 7 years old are welcome to participate!

Reminder: Tree Lighting Ceremony in Columbia Street Tonight - 12/11

We hope to see many of you at this community event:
It starts at 5:30pm at the Human Compass Garden, we'll have treats and hot cocoa by the fire and enjoy the holiday lights in good company.

The Human Compass garden is located on Columbia street at Sackett.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New plantings along the greenway / cleanup day on 12/12

Thanks to all of the volunteers who recently helped plant some new grass seed along the Columbia St. stretch of the Greenway. We can't wait to see how it looks when it starts growing!

Here is a description of the event where this took place, as well as information about an upcoming cleanup day, from the Greenway website:

"On the weekend of November 21-22, 2009, a half-dozen energetic and hearty greenway volunteers worked to prep the site and plant it with a native grass seed mix. The existing weed root systems were extensive and deep, but perseverance prevailed! Most of the work involved completely digging out the root systems in a compacted gravel and clay mix, complete with bricks, concrete and tar pieces...."

"The team finished the area from Degraw Street to Sedgwick Street, and will continue further north along Columbia Street as part of Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s next cleanup, to be held Saturday, December 12th. Keep an eye out for the results in the spring!"

Image above from Brooklyn Greenway Initiative site

Red Hook Green Map created by Hook Productions

The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative sent out a link this week to a Green Map that was created by 24 teens from Hook Productions after a project this summer where the teens took a bike tour along the proposed greenway route and took down details to be included on the map. Check out the map here and a video from the project below:

This project was done in collaboration between BGI, the Partnerships for Parks, Red Hook Catalyst, and Recycle-a-Bicycle

Return of the salt menace!

There were reports at the CoWNA meeting on Monday that the cover on the salt pile at the piers along Columbia Street was starting to come loose. It seems that today it has really come loose, as we've begun to receive reports of salt blowing in the wind and leaving a salty film on cars, windows, and everything else in its path.

Please send us your pictures and stories of the current situation! The more attention we can generate the better. We need to actually get the pile removed this time so that we don't have to continually worry about the next salt storm! (reminder: you can email, comment, or tweet us @wordoncolumbia)

As a reminder, the salt pile first emerged last winter and grew to enormous proportions last Spring. It was initially uncovered last Spring, sending salt flurries through the air and leaving a film everywhere, but it was eventually covered due to pressure from CoWNA and elected officials. It was determined at the time that the pile could remain at this location, as long as it remained covered. It seems that whoever was responsible for keeping it covered has not done their job, and the neighborhood is once again subject to this annoying and potentially dangerous situation.

Also, check out some past posts about the issue here:
The Cover Up Begins... (4/29/09)
Salt Pile Update (4/28/09)
Salt Piles: Not a new issue (4/27/09)
"Salt Mountain" Coverage from other sites (4/27/09)
Emergency neighborhood meeting about the salt pile (4/27/09)
A Salt Storm hits Columbia St. (4/24/09)

Image above from "Emergency Neighborhood meeting.." post above, 4/27/09

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

PS 58 Holiday Book Sale - 12/9-11

Lobstah Feast at Rocky Sullivans'

This Saturday (12/12) from 5 to 8pm,
the PS 58 PTA and The Red Hook Lobster Pound brings you a kid-friendly lobstah feast
at Rocky Sullivans', located at 34 Van Dyke at Dwight street.
$35 buys you a Maine lobster with all the fixins.
[kid food and pizza available]

TIX online, click here.

Coffey Park tree lighting - Tomorrow 12/11/09

There will be tree lighting festivities in Coffey Park tomorrow, 12/10/09, from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm.

The event will feature: hot chocolate, caroling, and holiday activities for kids, including Santa Claus vist, in Coffey Park

Check out the Parks Department website here for more details

DDC Columbia St reconstruction project update

Earlier this week at the COWNA meeting, it was announced that the Department of Design and Construction has received funding to complete the remaining parts of the Columbia St reconstruction project, which are actually on Van Brunt and Summit St (this project is also known as HWK7000a).

Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Community Board 6, also sent out the email below this week, which provides some additional details:

Recently, I had requested written confirmation from the Department of Design and Construction regarding the resumption of the Reconstruction of Columbia Street as we were told that they had intended to resume work on the Van Brunt Street leg of the project "sometime around Thanksgiving." Sadly, the department is still unable to provide a start date for the resumption of construction activities. What we did learn was the following:

"As for the project, the funding to resume work has been approved in late October. When the funding was approved the NYC-DDC instructed the contractor to prepare and submit the necessary paperwork to resume work on Van Brunt Street. The contractor has to obtain Environmental Permits from both the city and the state. The contractor also has to prepare and submit sheeting plans for the new scope of work, any new subcontractors, etc. The contractor also must take new soil samples on Van Brunt Street because the previous samples are too old. The contractor, the field office and NYC- DDC are reviewing what environmental sampling is necessary to proceed with the scope of work.
An actual start date is difficult to determine at this time because it is dependent on the results of the environmental samples. Some (but not all) of the factors that impact the start date are the following:

1. the level of contamination and the type of contamination (metals, VOC's,SVOC's, etc)
2. finding and approving an appropriate disposal facility based on lab results; and
3. the location of contamination. For instance, if the contamination is at a location where we are about to start with or a location that the contractor will not get to for at least two or three months?

When a start date is chosen by the DDC, we will notify you such that you will be able to schedule a task for meeting before work resumes.
Please remember to call Ms. Nurse* at 718-875-3981, if you have any questions."

Monday, December 7, 2009

COWNA meeting tonight - 7pm at Jalopy

The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association (COWNA) is having a general meeting tonight, 12/7:

1. Election of officers
2. BQE Enhancement Study
3. Meet Brad Lander, the newly elected City Council member for our district

Place: Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street (between Woodhull and Hamilton)
Time: 7 PM

Brooklyn Bridge Park public meeting tonight - LICH, 7 PM

State Senator Daniel Squadron is hosting a public meeting to give the community an opportunity to hear a presentation from the City of New York about Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Details for this event are below:

Hosted by State Senator Daniel Squadron
WHEN: Monday, December 7, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Long Island College Hospital, Conference Rooms C & D
(Corner of Hicks and Atlantic Avenue, enter on Hicks Street)

For questions contact Ellen Whelan-Wuest at (718) 802-3818 or by e-mail at ellen {at}

Tree Lighting on Columbia street

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flip the Switch Party (Red Hook Sign lighting) tomorrow at 6:30 pm!

The Red Hook sign on the corner of Hamilton and Van Brunt will come back to life during a neighborhood lighting ceremony tomorrow night. People who wish to participate are urged to join local residents at Bait and Tackle at 6:30 and march up Van Brunt to the sign for a casual party/ceremony.

Feel free to bring cider, cocoa, and snacks!

image above from Save the Red Hook Lights via Flickr

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Community input needed for BQE enhancement study!

The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association (COWNA) has announced that the EDC will soon release details about their choice for a consultant to conduct the BQE Enhancement Study (aka Fix the Ditch).

In preparation for the likely public participation meetings, COWNA would like community members to provide input on the topic through a simple online survey.

Here is the email that COWNA sent out:

The NYC Economic Development Corporation will soon announce the selection of a consultant to perform the Brooklyn Queens Expressway enhancement study. In order to prepare for participation in the public meetings that will be conducted during the study, we would like to gather opinion from Columbia Waterfront residents. Having a sense of the neighborhood's feelings about potential alterations to the BQE will enable us to effectively represent the community for the study. You can access the study here:

There are 9 questions, the study is anonymous and it should take only a few minutes to complete. We plan on incorporating the results of this survey into the discussion at our upcoming General Meeting on December 7th.

This process can have major implications for the future of the neighborhood so please participate!

Save the Red Hook Lights on Van Brunt & Hamilton!

Anyone who's walked around near Van Brunt and Hamilton Ave. anytime in the past year or so will have noticed that the big red Red Hook lights on the side of the Golten Marine building have been out. Well now's your chance to help bring them back - just in time for the holiday season!

Head over to a site called "Save the Red Hook Lights" to give a donation via paypal and have your name added to the growing list of donors. We've also read that Bait & Tackle is collecting donations, if you prefer to keep your money off the internet.

Walking past today, we noticed that the H and the O are already lit!

Image via Save the Red Hook Lights via Flickr

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

F Train Town Hall meeting with Sen Squadron on 12/10/09

The following email was sent out from Sen Squadron's office yesterday regarding an upcoming town hall discussion of the F train:

This past summer, State Senator Squadron called on the MTA to conduct a full line review of the F Train in response to the many constituent complaints he received regarding ongoing service problems. In October, the MTA released the findings from this review in a comprehensive report (which you can find on Senator Squadron's website at:

To make this report even more accessible to the public, Senator Daniel Squadron and Community Boards 2 & 6 invite you to attend a Town Hall Meeting about the F train. MTA representatives will discuss the recent report about F train performance, and discuss proposals for improving service.

F Train Town Hall
Hosted by State Senator Daniel Squadron

WHEN: Thursday, December 10
6:30 pm

WHERE: PS 58 Auditorium

330 Smith Street, Brooklyn NY
(Corner of Smith and Carroll streets, at Carroll Street stop
on the F line)

A History of Cycling at Brooklyn Historical Society through Jan. 3rd

A local artist named Eric Corriel who lives on Columbia St. has an exhibit showing at the Brooklyn Historical Society from now through January 3rd about the history of cycling in Brooklyn

The official website of the installation describes it as:

A History of Cycling in Brooklyn is an interactive video installation that explores the history of bicycle culture in Brooklyn from 1880 to today. The piece uses the Brooklyn Historical Society's east-facing windows as windows into different time periods of this historical narrative. It is part of the group show Brooklyn Utopias?, which takes place at the Brooklyn Historical Society from October 1st, 2009 - January 3rd, 2010. It can be seen from Clinton Street, in Brooklyn Heights, sundown to sunrise, according to this calendar. The artwork is interactive in the sense that it invites anyone with Brooklyn-based cycling media to submit it for possible inclusion in the piece itself.

Go check it out and participate!

O'Barone: A Great Destination for Italian Cuisine on Van Brunt

O'Barone opened in the early part of this past summer and, after reading several great reviews, we'd been meaning to try it ever since. Luckily for us, we recently got the opportunity to go out (without the kids!) and we headed straight there.

We loved every aspect of this place. The food was delicious and reasonably priced, the wine was one of the best we've had in sometime, the decor was comfortable and welcoming, and the chef/owner was a fantastic host, explaining the origins and ideas behind each item, from the olive oil to the meat.

We started our meal with a shared plate of beef carpaccio, arugula, and shaved parmesan, which proved to be simple yet delicious, as it was made with top quality, hand selected ingredients.

After the appetizer, we went with entrees of "Casaresce with sausage Bolognese" and "Tagliatelle with mushroom and a touch of cream." We traded both plates back and forth, and neither of us could decide which one we liked better. Both were cooked to perfection and were full of flavor.

We hadn't planned on having three courses and wine, but everything tasted so great that we plunged ahead with dessert. We ordered one plate of strudel (Fulvio, the chef/owner, has some Austrian heritage mixed in with his Italian) and a dessert that was made to look like Italian sausage (really a crushed and molded chocolate cookie) that came with ice cream. Once again, we were not disappointed.

All in all, we highly recommend O'Barone and will plan to go back there ourselves the first chance we get. Readers should also take note that there are flyers floating around the neighborhood that offer a coupon for 10% off (and include a coupon of the same value for Red's Tapas Bar - another local favorite!).

O'Barone is located at 360 Van Brunt in the old 360 space.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dec 5th - ISB's 5th Annual French and Spanish Book Fair

Dance Theatre Etcetera Holiday Party on The Red Hook Waterfront

Dance Theatre Etcetera, a community arts organization with a nearly twenty-year history of programming, performances, and arts education in Red Hook, Brooklyn, invites the community to their end-of-year celebration Thursday, December 17, from 6pm-8:30pm at the DTE studio in the 2nd floor of the Fairway supermarket building (480 Van Brunt Street)

The event will feature student performances, light refreshments, and the world premier of the latest film to come out of DTE's media education programs, Welcome to Change, a documentary looking at transfer high schools, produced entirely by students at the East Brooklyn Community High School, a transfer school in Canarsie.

There’s no cost for admission, but donations are gladly accepted. To donate to DTE online visit For more info and directions visit

The Holiday Event at Brooklyn Collective

Presented by Brooklyn Collective and General Nightmare Antiques

Friday, December 11th 2009
196 Columbia Street
(between Sackett and Degraw)

Please join them for our special holiday event featuring over 20 local artists and designers!

Claudia Pearson
grow house grow!
Jacqueline Bos
Emily Falco
Design And Labor
Jess Yam
Tattoo Girl Lingerie
Fort Pottery
Happy Clay
Rachel Goldberg
elle s'appelle
Lewis Henry Nicholas
Alexandra Batsford
Species By The Thousands
Nathan Gelgud
Niccole Ugay
Sean Mahan
Courtney P. Hewitt

Wine and refreshments will be served throughout the evening.
Plus! A special live performance by The Static Jacks

For further info please visit

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great gift idea: an Urban Meadow t-shirt!

Celebrate the Urban Meadow and show your neighborhood pride!

Meadow t-shirts are available for purchase at Everyday Athlete, 136 Union Street (bet. Hicks and Columbia).

All proceeds from the sales go to the Meadow, allowing us to purchase supplies for the garden and to organize all the wonderful activities that are held there during the year.

Prices: $12 for babies' onesies and children's shirts, $15 for adult shirts.

Sizes currently available: Infant onesies, Children (2, 4, 6), Men (L), Women (M and L).

Thanks so much to Meadow members Alejandra Belmar and Tomas Anthony, owners of Everyday Athlete.

Tree lighting ceremony in Carroll Park - Dec 4th

Friday, December 4th at 7pm
(rain date: Dec 11th)

Tree Lighting Ceremony
in Carroll Park

  • Say hello to Santa and his Elves
  • Sing Christmas carols
  • Free refreshments
  • Gifts for the children

Hosted by The Court Street Merchants Association, with the cooperation of The Committee to Improve Carroll Park.

Winter Holiday Emporium at Hands on World

Hands on World is hosting an exclusive seasonal event, supporting the debut of these women owned businesses:
Class Ceiling
Massilia Home and Garden
Amini Jewelry

Find gifts for everyone on your list:
Men's, women's and children's attire from up-and-coming NY designers
Quality hand-crafted jewelry from across the globe
Unique home accessories by Brooklyn-based artists
Delightful children's décor

Saturdays, 10am - 3pm
Sundays, 9am - 12pm
Until December 20th
A kid friendly shopping environment - cash only.

Hands on World is located at 132 4th Place (corner of Smith street)

Dec 5th - "Eat Pie and Shop" at PS 29

Pie! Shopping! Movies! Crafts!

On December 5, PS 29 will host the first annual “Eat Pie and Shop” Holiday Gift Fair and Pie Social. Proceeds from this family-friendly Holiday event will support the PTAs of the school and neighboring PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights.

The Gift Fair will highlight local artisans, craftspeople and merchants, and promises to provide a wide array of handmade, local and sustainable gift-giving choices, from jewelry by Virginia Galvan, to handmade wool hats by Nadege Brunacci, to toys and books by Fork + Pencil and Half Pint Citizens. In all, nearly two dozen vendors will be displaying and selling their wares.

To keep your energy up during your shopping trip, fortify yourself with homemade pie. Local bakers – amateurs and professionals – will supply pies for the Pie Social. For a $5 tasting ticket, the public can sample two pieces of pie of their choosing. Bakers are also invited to bring pies, and a friendly competition will begin at 9:30 a.m.

And while you shop, Rooftop Films will show a selection of independent short films for kids at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Tickets to the movies are $2.
In addition, children can make free holiday crafts – perhaps an ornament or a frame as a present for Mom and Dad.

We are thrilled to host the first annual Eat Pie and Shop event. It’s nice to have this wonderful alternative to all the holiday craze, one where children and adults can spend some time together, and the fantastic arts programs at our public schools benefit.
Melanie Raneri Woods, Principal of PS 29

Eat Pie and Shop will be held on Saturday, December 5, from 10 am to 4 pm, at PS 29, 425 Henry Street, between Baltic and Kane Street. For more information on the event, including a list of all vendors and information on how to enter a pie, click here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

RED Friday in Red Hook on 11/27

A number of businesses have united in Red Hook to form a group called RED: Red Hook Economic Development. Their first event is RED Friday on 11/27, featuring specials and discounts in all of the participating businesses. Confirmed businesses so far (as of 11/25) are below:

Metal & Thread
Red Lipstick
Foxy & Winston
Pier Glass
Home/made - has a promo on their website apparently
Suite Hair Boutique
Thrifty Couture

Fort Defiance
Nate's Pharmacy
Bait and Tackle
Liberty Sunset Garden Center
Hair or No Hair (according to their twitter page: "Hair or no Hair will be having all our services 50% off. Only one time a year.917-318-1052")

Check back here or at A View from the Hook as the list grows

Check each of their sites or stop by to see what the details of the specials are. Any store window that has a sign with the image below is participating.

Support local business!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cobra Clutch Comedy at Moonshine on 12/4

Head over to Moonshine on 12/4/09 at 11 Pm for a Free comedy show - the perfect compliment to Moonshine's cheap buckets of beer!

This show will be happening on the first Friday of the month from now on, so check out the official Cobra Clutch blog page for more details about this and other upcoming events.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Trash and Concrete Problems in Red Hook

The Courier touched on two issues this week that are affecting Red Hook's quality of life: trash and concrete

In an article about State and City procedures for keeping the new Red Hook concrete plant on a "short leash," the Courier's Gary Buiso writes:

State and city officials are vowing to keep a close watch on a concrete plant once it opens in Red Hook — but those hoping for an environmental assessment before that day should expect to be disappointed.

Critics of the arrival of United States Concrete’s facility to 640 Columbia Street are urging the city and the state to conduct air quality testing to determine if the plant’s arrival is even suitable for the site, which stands near neighborhood ballfields and an organic farm.....

According to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the plant will require an industrial process permit for each type of processing equipment, such as ventilation or exhaust machines, that will be employed. The equipment that has a permit is inspected when it is ready to go into use and then it is inspected every 3 years in order to renew the permit. The company also has to ensure that the piles of sand and dirt on site are sufficiently covered or sprayed with water.

Then, in another article, Buiso writes about a trash problem on Halleck St:

Forget about traffic, a Red Hook roadway has a problem of a different sort: trash.

Halleck Street between Court and Clintonhas been transformed into a veritable dumping ground, and Community Board 6 is urging the city to either turn the messy parcel into a park, clean it up, or both.

While the tract of land is under the jurisdiction of the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), the agency never built it as an actual street, leaving it fertile territory for the accumulation of all manner of trash. And that’s exactly what happened several years back when a contractor dumped enormous mountains of fill material there, creating a mountain of dirt that seemingly encouraged similar activity, according to Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman. “The DOT is unwilling to remove the dirt, claiming they are not responsible for putting it there and they don’t have the resources......”

Read the rest of the concrete article here and the trash article here

Local business profiled in the Daily News

The Daily News ran an article earlier this week called "Red-hot deals in Red Hook" where they highlighted a number of local businesses that often don't get media attention. Its almost like a Not-for-Tourists guide to Red Hook. Here's what they included:


480 Van Brunt St.; (718) 694-6868

Fairway has the best selection of fresh meats, dairy and produce in Red Hook. Be sure to check the circular every Saturday for weekly in-store specials, like Bartlett pears for 99 cents per pound; fresh-cut swordfish steaks for $6.99 a pound; General Mills cereals, two for $5, and Kleenex tissues for $1.89.

HAIR SALON AND NAIL SALON: Golden Fingers Dominican Style Salon,

70 Lorraine St.; (718) 797-3303

Golden Fingers is the place to be pampered. Monday through Wednesday a wash and set is only $10. Everyday prices include braids for $35 and up, box braids for $80 and up and natural cornrows for $25 and up. Manicures are $8 and pedicures go for $13.


289 Van Brunt St.; (718) 899-8116

At this corner hardware store, you can get keys made, get help with your locks and buy hardware, paint, heating supplies or vanities.

DINER: Flaco Luncheon,

54 Lorraine St.; (718) 222-3078

Since 1985, Flaco's has been serving up the best homemade food in Red Hook. Be sure to check in every day for the daily specials, like a small plate of rice with pork or steak for $5.50 or a large for $7. A small soup is just $3 and a large is $6, and come in varieties like chicken, beef, oxtail and tripe.

LAUNDROMAT: The Wash Stop Laundromat

34 Lorraine St.; (718) 625-7250

The Wash Stop is a block-long laundromat that really makes getting your laundry done easy. The place has more than 100 machines, drop-off service, a play area for kids and satellite television. It also has private mailboxes for rent.

DELI: F & M Bagel,

383 Van Brunt St.; (718) 855-2623

At F & M, a ham and egg sandwich is just $3, a bacon cheeseburger is $4.50 and a hot roast beef sandwich is just $5. F & M also serves hot plates of food, like meatloaf and chicken parm, starting at $6.50. Fish is served on Thursdays and Fridays, and Boar's Head cold cuts, soup and salads are fresh daily. Free delivery.

TAKE-OUT: Red Hook Cafe & Grill

228 Van Brunt St.; (718) 643-0122

This is a great place to grab a quick breakfast or lunch. The cafe serves up a variety of burgers for about $5; salads run about $6; a BLT is just $3.25; pancakes are $4 and gourmet tortilla wraps are about $6. Free delivery.

DRY CLEANERS: Y and M Cleaners

592 Clinton St.; (718) 852-0264

For the past 19 years, Van La has been keeping Red Hook's duds looking dapper. All work and alterations are done on the premises. Base dry cleaning prices are $8 for a suit; $5 for jackets; $7.50 for dresses; $3.50 for skirts and $3 for blouses, sweaters and shirts.

PHARMACY: Red Hook Pharmacy

598 Clinton St.; (718) 923-1600

Besides filling your prescriptions, for the past nine years this corner pharmacy has also carried health and beauty aids and over-the-counter medicines.

smART Hop to local galleries this weekend

Marty Markowitz's office is sponsoring the 2nd annual smART Hop this weekend, which offers five different bus loops around Brooklyn to bring people to local art galleries.

Neighborhood participants in the tour include:
Kentler International Drawing Space

They are included on the same bus loop as Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights. There are also bus loops for Boerum Hill/Park Slope/Gowanus, Bushwick/Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Bed Stuy/Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, and Bay Ridge/Sunset Park/Crown Heights.

The bus rides are free and run every hour, but it is recommended that you reserve a spot on your preferred loop and time.

More details can be found here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Community Round Table with State Senator Daniel Squadron

The Cobble Hill Association is offering us an opportunity to meet with our elected officials through a series of Community Round Table.

The CHA is kicking it off with State Senator Daniel Squadron.

7:30 PM on Monday, November 23rd
@ Christ Church, at the corner of Clinton and Kane Streets

More info on the Cobble Hill Association and this event here.


WORK Gallery presents


November 21 - December 14, 2009

a group exhibition of photography

opening SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 7-9PM.

Curated by JOSIE MINER, the exhibition features eight New York City based photographers whose works collectively consider the meditative quality of photography. Featuring a range of representational and abstract imagery, the exhibition explores the ephemeral and enigmatic interstices of life and offers an opportunity for reverie and feeling.

Featuring the works of Michael Ackerman, Mae Fatto, Allen Frame, Leila Hekmat, Allan MacIntyre, Mariah Robertson, Go Sugimoto, Hannah Whitaker.

More information about the exhibition and about Work Gallery here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New pieces at the Art Lot

We're a little late on this one, but some new stuff recently popped up at the Art Lot on Sackett and Columbia. Our favorite of the pieces is this robot statue:

Urban Farm Conference from MAS

The Municipal Art Society recently hosted a conference called "Designing Urban Farms to Feed Our City," and they now have a podcast (here) and slideshow (embedded below) related to it up on their site, which describes the event as follows:
Representing a variety of perspectives on sustainable agriculture, architecture and planning, and touching on issues as diverse as zoning, organic farming, national agricultural policy, and climate change, the panelists addressed the question: Can New York, a city with a growing population and shrinking acreage, eventually grow enough food within its boundaries to become self-sufficient?
Our own local Red Hook Community Farm, run by Added Value, was mentioned in the discussion, which shows how this neighborhood is on the forefront of a growing trend! Considering that this area has not only the farm, but a number of community gardens and backyards, its interesting to think about the future of urban farming in NYC.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's happening to Pit Stop?

A couple of weeks ago we walked past Pit Stop and saw signs on the window advertising that the restaurant would soon be making changes to appeal to families and kids by becoming a racecar themed Bistro 4 Kids. This made a lot of sense, since they had always been popular among families anyway - especially when they previously had the playspace in the back that kids could run around in.

Then, a few days later, I ran into Laurent, the owner of Pit Stop, and asked if I could write a post about the new concept. He told me that it would actually no longer be happening, because he had finally found a buyer for the restaurant. Indeed, Pit Stop had been for sale since the beginning of the summer, and when it seemed that there were no takers, Laurent came up with the new concept, only to find a buyer soon after.

So now there will no longer be Pit Stop as we've known it in the past, or the new kid's Pit Stop concept - that is unless the new buyer decides to run with either or both of those.

Whatever the new buyer decides to do, we can only hope that the food and atmosphere are as good as what Pit Stop had to offer.

Pit Stop has been open for 6 years, but this past Spring Laurent became head chef at a new restaurant at the Hotel Rivington in Manhattan, LEVANTeast.

Red Hook Pupusa Recipe (via Martha Stewart)

Earlier this week, we heard around the internet that there was a taping for a Brooklyn episode of the Martha Stewart show. Then, earlier today, the Red Hook Food Vendors posted a link to their Twitter account for the pupusa recipe below, which is featured on Martha Stewart's website. This is the recipe of Reina Soler, one of the Red Hook Food Vendors that can often be found at Brooklyn Flea.

Makes about 15 pupusas

  • 1 pound masa
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Curtido, for serving
  • Salsa de Tomate, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, mix together masa and salt. Add water, a little bit at a time, until a soft, pliable, nonsticky dough is formed.
  2. Using damp hands, form dough into 2 1/2-inch balls. Flatten each ball into a 4-inch patty and place 1/4 cup cheese in the center of each. Fold sides of patties over cheese to enclose and reshape into a ball. Flatten each ball into another 4-inch patty.
  3. Preheat a griddle and lightly coat with oil. Place patties on skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately with curtido and salsa.
Image above from

Off the Hook!: Plays by Red Hook kids

On 11/20 and 11/21, the Falconworks Artist Group will be sponsoring a theater event featuring local Red Hook youth:

"Six young playwrights, with the support of professional writers, actors, directors, and creative artists, take center stage in their own plays for an evening of funny, moving, raw, original theater."

The event will be taking place at PS 15.

Click here for more details and registration information

Falconworks Artists Group is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and empower communities and individuals through theater that addresses personal and local issues......

Story Pirate event at PS 58 on 11/20

On Friday, 11/20, the PS58 PTA brings the Story Pirates to Brooklyn and they
are opening the event up with welcome arms to the entire community!

Details from the organizers:

For months our PS 58 kids have been busy writing stories for the Pirates
review. After reading all of our stories, the Pirates will select a sampling
of them and turn them into short plays. Each Story Pirates show is 100%
original, with the kids being the original authors each performance!
This show is NOT just for PS 58 families. We open our doors to the entire
community and welcome anyone who enjoys theater, improv, comedy and creative
art forms! The Pirates are super talented and unique. I guarantee you've
seen nothing like them! Come see what they've done with us and spread the
word. Maybe someday they can land their boats on your school shore!

$15 General tickets, pay through credit card online
Doors at 6:30 pm, show at 7 pm

$20 Reserved tickets, with front row seating AND dinner are available
mornings in the PS 58 school lobby only, available for the first 100
customers. Doors at 6:00 pm, show at 7 pm

Thanks to Kingfisher books, EVERY child attending this performance will
receive a Pirate book of their choice FREE.

This will be a 1 Hour show.
100% of profits go directly to the PTA to fund PS58 programs and events year

PS 58: Carroll St between Court and Smith, Brooklyn NY 11231
Subway: F/G trains, Carroll stop
Bus: B71, B75

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Concrete Plant fight continues

Despite Red Hook's new concrete plant nearing completion, the neighborhood fight against it continues on.

The NY Times published an article about the struggle last week, saying:
So the plant, which is nearing completion, has spurred protests in this split-personality neighborhood. The clouds of dust stirred up could be quite literal: What mostly worries opponents are the airborne particles they say the plant will scatter to the yellow-and-blue Ikea next door, heavily used baseball fields across the street, and a 2.75-acre farm nearby on a former playground.

“There’s a certain irony that we have a mayor talking about no smoking in parks, but he has no problem allowing the construction of a concrete plant that would shower cement dust on children in the park,” said John McGettrick, a co-president of the Red Hook Civic Association.

Seven hundred people signed a petition opposing the plant, and 70 residents picketed on a rainy September day, with children in dust masks holding signs that said “Honk 4 No Cement.”

But city officials, who want to preserve factories and the jobs they provide, have declared a swath of Red Hook that includes the plant site an industrial business zone. Ikea, less than pleased, realized there was nothing it could do....

Read the rest of the article here or some Gothamist coverage here

Also be sure to check out a more detailed, neighborhood based, commentary by A View From the Hook that includes a detailed map of the area.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Freebird Party11/15: Red Hook Chickens, Six Point, and Moxie


Sunday, November 15, 2-4 pm

In conjunction with the New York Independent Book Week (not to mention the present management's 2-year anniversary), Freebird will join forces with WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint to encourage our patrons to B-61 it (along the route of the future Greenway) between neighborhoods for a sampling of Brooklyn authors and food.

Freebird will host John Bemelmans Marciano, Freebird customer and author of the recently released work, Anonyponymous. John lives in Red Hook and will be supplying free range chickens raised in his next door lot (you can see pictures of it in this NY Times article from a few months ago). The chickens will be "moxied" till they are tender and falling off the bone. And by "moxie," they mean roasting a few with a half-filled can of Moxie soda, a process was tested at the Freebird labs earlier this week (Note: Freebird is the only place in NYC to carry Moxie). Six Point beer will be on hand to wash it all down.

WORD will host the Brooklyn author/illustrator duo of Randall and Peter de Sève (who will read and sign copies of their new book Duchess of Whimsey) and offer up grilled cheese sandwiches and milk from local vendors of the Greenpoint Food Market.
Freebird interviewed their featured author, John Bemelmans Marciano, about his book and the chickens. That interview appears below:

So what is an anonyponym?

An anonyponym is an anonymous eponym. When you have a person whose name becomes a word but you never heard of that person, both the word and the person are anonyponymous. Think Jules Leotard, Charles Boycott, Etienne de Silhouette.

What were your determining factors for these words?

Anonyponyms cannot be defined absolutely, as everyone's knowledge is different. Take the case of 'hoover'. When an older person talks about hoovering something up, they do so with the knowledge that Hoover made vacuum cleaners; a younger person uses the word free of that context. The older person is using an eponym; the younger one an anonyponym.

Who didn't make the cut?

The Earl of Sandwich, who has become famous for his very obscurity.

Would "moxie" qualify?

Absolutely. A certain Lieutenant Moxie discovered a rare sugar cane-like plant in South America from which is made the near-magical elixir that is contained in each can of Moxie. Whether Lt. Moxie is real or fictitious, he is still anonyponymous.

Tell us about the chickens. What kind are they?

They are called 54-day chickens. This is a case of a breed being named after its expiration date. I don't have a word for that yet.

Were they easy to take care of?

It was a shared project, and my share had less to do with the caring part. (And even less with the eating, as I'm a vegetarian.) On the days I did have to take care of them, I would have to say no, not easy. Fifty chickens is not easy.

Would you recommend others do this?

I definitely recommend raising your own food. For myself I recommend a lot fewer chickens.

Where did they meet their fate?

At the Yeung Sun Live Poultry Market on the corner of Columbia and DeGraw.

Would you do it again?

Yes and no. I want to raise chickens again, but ones that make food, not that are food.

Freebird Books
123 Columbia Street (between Kane and Degraw streets)

Images above from NYTimes and Wikipedia

Friday, November 6, 2009

Honey, I Shrunk Red Hook video

A video has been released about the "Honey I Shrunk Red Hook" project by Luis Blackaller and Andy Cavatorta that appeared at Lucky Gallery this past August.

This art project and installation - described on Lucky's site as a little Red Hook in the big Red Hook - is such a great concept, and the video does a great job of documenting it.

Check out Lucky Gallery's site for more great installations and events.