Tuesday, December 20, 2011

MikNic Lounge Trivia Night Tomorrow

Test your trivia knowledge and challenge your neighbors at our local watering hole MikNic Lounge! 

MikNic Lounge
@ 200 Columbia Street
Wednesday, December 21

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Columbia Street

Santa will be paying a visit to our very own MikNic Lounge at 200 Columbia Street (at Sackett St). Santa will take photos with neighborhood kids this Saturday December 17th from 1-4pm.  

By the way, I'm heading out of town for the holidays so you won't see another post from me for a while.

Happy holidays to you all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Five Questions for Brooklyn Collective

This post will be the first in a series of Columbia Waterfront local business profiles in which we ask five probing questions. Here is an interview with Brooklyn Collective co-founder Tessa Phillips. Brooklyn Collective, on Columbia Street between Union and Sackett, is a beautifully curated shop of art, jewelry, clothing and home goods, all made locally. I scored my favorite black blouse there last year, and every time I visit I see something new. More than just a shop, all the members share the rent and keep 100% percent of their profits. Here's what Tessa had to say about Brooklyn Collective and our fabulous neighborhood.

1. How did Brooklyn Collective come to be in the Columbia Waterfront District?
Rachel & I both live in the neighborhood. We met when I began selling my clothes to her other shop, Union Max in 2000. We became friends, often discussing how we loathe selling to boutiques as they tend to edit out all the good stuff! After several brainstorming sessions we came up with the Brooklyn Collective as an outlet for our work and other artists and designers in the same boat. We both love the neighborhood and really only considered Columbia Street for it's convenience (for us) knowing that the neighborhood was evolving and that we really liked the other small businesses around us.

2. What's one thing locals might not know about Brooklyn Collective?
We have grown considerably in our seven years of business, beginning with just ten artists to the current 35+ we currently house... and we plan to expand the work studio space considerably in the next couple of years offering the public a school of sorts for all types of design and art.

3. What is your favorite spot in the Columbia Waterfront?
Jalopy Theater! It's such a treasure & a very affordable place to hear incredible music!

4. What's your favorite meal in the Columbia Waterfront?
Anything & everything at Mazzat. The food is so fresh and delicious and good for you! Not to mention it is run by wonderful people.

5. Anything to add?
We feel fortunate to part of such a great community...and plan to be around a long time!

Brooklyn Collective is hosting a holiday party this Friday December 9 from 6-9pm with loads of new work plus live music, and wine. They make some nice-looking movies of their events, too! Here's a movie of Brooklyn Collective's seven year anniversary party: 

Make a visit to Brooklyn Collective for your holiday gift shopping, and you'll probably find a few gifts for yourself, too. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Join Plovgh at Dekalb Market this Saturday

For those of you already missing our Urban Meadow CSA or interested in fresh, healthy food, read on:

Plovgh, an online community where farms sell their harvest directly to individuals, will host an open house on Saturday, November 26, 12-3, at Dekalb Market. Plovgh is a marketplace where members place orders from farms for pick-up in their neighborhood, and Dekalb Market is the newest pickup point in the Plovgh network.

The event is being held in conjunction with Small Business Saturday. Stop by to sign up for the Downtown Brooklyn farm pickup, get information about starting a Plovgh pickup point in your neighborhood, and meet some of the farms and other communities that are part of Plovgh.

You can find Plovgh right next to Dekalb Farm at the Willoughby Street entrance to the market.
Go to www.plovgh.com to sign up or come visit Dekalb Market to learn more. For more information, contact elizabeth@plovgh.com.

Anyone interested in starting a pickup point in our neighborhood? :)

Shop the Neighborhood for Small Business Saturday

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting the small businesses that make our neighborhoods unique and neighborly. You'll get expert and helpful service that you won't get in the big box stores, and you'll be keeping your money in the local economy. Neighbor-lujah! 

Here is just a sampling of great shops from the District:

Drop in to Union Max to browse their eclectic mix of random bling, kitsch, postcards and more. 110 Union at Columbia.

At Brooklyn General shop fabric, yarn, notions and dry goods. Everything in the shop is 20% off tomorrow. 128 Union Street between Hicks and Columbia.

Old Brooklyn Wine and Liquor Company is a friendly place to stock up on wine and spirits for your parties and gift-giving. 145 Union between Hicks and Columbia.

At Bopkat Vintage find mid-century vintage clothing and accessories for reasonable prices. It's also a great place to find vintage Christmas ornaments and decorations this time of year. 117 Union between Columbia & Hicks.

Brooklyn Collective showcases jewelry, clothing, gifts, and home goods from an everchanging list of Brooklyn artisans.  They're open Thursday to Sunday 1-8. 212 Columbia between Union and Sackett.

Don't forget these great shops further up Columbia Street:

Freebird Books is a cozy shop with an eclectic mix of books with a new emphasis on New York history and culture. 123 Columbia.

Winkworth's collection of lingerie will turn you into the adorable sex kitten you always knew you could be. Open 12-7 tomorrow. The owners encourage appointments for serious try-on sessions. 119 Columbia.

What are your favorite local shops?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Annual New York Harbor Lighted Boat Parade Saturday Night

This Saturday evening, boats of all shapes and sizes will be parading in the harbor and East River for the 3rd Annual New York Harbor Lighted Boat Parade. The parade starts near Battery park at 7pm, makes its way along the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan Bridge before turning back. It looks like the best views might be from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and Pier 1 in DUMBO. Does anyone know how good the view is from Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue?  

You can register to particpate with your boat, view from shore, or buy a ticket to ride a boat in the parade.(For you boaters, North Cove Marina is offering free dockage that day for boats in the parade up to LOA 180'. Contact mike <at> thenorthcove <dot> com.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Clayworks on Columbia Holiday Ceramic Show

Over 20 local neighborhood ceramic artists are participating in the Clayworks on Columbia Holiday Ceramic Show which is part of the Citywide NY Clayfest studio tour.  They are having a reception Dec 3 and 10, 1pm-5pm.  Featuring handmade ceramic gifts, functional pottery, sculpture, jewelry and home decor. Enjoy hot cider, wine, cheese, sweets, and conversation. 

Clayworks on Columbia
195 Columbia Street (Sacket and Degraw), Brooklyn
RSVP on Facebook
Participating artists: Ruth Arberman, Olivia Barry, Jill Bell, Freddy Borges, Douglas Brooks, Elizabeth Casuccio, Demetria Chappo, Peggy Clarke, Adrienne Hecker, Karen Holt, Leslie Huang, Laura Kastin, Bonnie Levine, Lisa Lincoln, Sabina Magnus, Susan Meltzer, Deb McDermott, Tanya Olszewski and more.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Red Hook, The Local Way

Red Hook photographer Tom Rupolo let me know about this new video travel guide series, The Local Way to which he contributed photos. The Red Hook video is a great introduction to neighborhood spots like The Good Fork, Fort Defiance, Brooklyn Collective and Alma. Interesting to us because at each spot they do a short interview with one of the owners.

Monday, November 14, 2011

P.S. 29 Eat Pie & Shop festival December 4

Hey neighbors! I was away for a while to get hitched, but I'm back with some news about a chance to shop for gifts from local artisans and eat PIE! Sounds like heaven to me. 
Saturday, December 4
11:00am - 4:00pm
PS 29 
425 Henry Street (between Baltic and Kane)
Check out details about the pie competition with celebrity judges, kids activities and toy drive at http://www.eatpieandshop.org/

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The 9th Annual Columbia Waterfront District Halloween Party and Parade!

Carroll Gardens Patch

Hey kids, meet in your costumes this Sunday, October 30 at the Urban Meadow for some Halloween fun.

From the site: "There'll be treats and Urban Meadow t-shirts for sale, a costume parade led by the Underground Horns band and a fire engine from a local FDNY ladder company, hula hooping in the Meadow and more!"

Sunday 10/30 10:00 am - 12:00 noon 

Urban Meadow
President St & Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY

This event is brought to you by volunteers for the Urban Meadow. Contact stephanie_cherry@gmail.com if you can help decorate/bake/volunteer in the morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

For the grownups: Halloween Spooktacular on Saturday night

Looking for some Halloween fun in the neighborhood? Miknic Lounge is throwing a Halloween bash at on Saturday.   It's one of their excellent Space // Out parties with a costume contest and cash prize. They'll be spinning house, disco, new wave and Halloween favorites!

Check out the flyer here:

And here are the details:

Space // Out:  Halloween Spooktacular!
Miknic Lounge 
200 Columbia Street (between Degraw & Sackett)

Saturday, October 29

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dance in Unusual Places (Including Red Hook)

Dancers perform on the grounds of Red Hook's Visitation Church. (Brooklyn Based)
Great writeup on site-specific dance performances in NYC on Brooklyn Based today: http://brooklynbased.net/email/2011/10/dancing-on-unconventional-stages/

"Shannon Hummel, artistic director of Cora Dance says that when she created Prey, the music–Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light–called for an extreme environment."

Red Hook is getting an encore performance of Prey at the historic Visitation Church October 27 and 28. Admission by donation online.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Hip Hop Dance Class for Boys at Cobble Hill Ballet Studio

Calling all boys...
AGE 8yrs & up

Starts this coming Friday - Oct 21st- Nov 18th
5 classes $75
At Cobble Hill Ballet Studio- 193 Columbia St (Sackett / Degraw)
No need to pre register, just come on by. Cash or cheque accepted
Call 347 889 7354 for more info

Designed for the young dancer to learn the fundamentals of hip-hop dance through basic choreography (beginners welcome)
The class will develop the accurate skills of a hip-hop performer with the lines strength & technique of a jazz dancer.
Class includes various stretches, warm-ups, isolations, gliding, popping, funk turns. The basic of breaking & some of the latest street-dance moves to improve dancer's freestyle in an energetic fun progressive atmosphere.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Van Brunt Night Detour Next Week and Construction Update

Next week a block of Van Brunt will be closed at night for construction. Maybe this means things are moving along on the delayed street work? It's all in this update from our local Community Board District Manager Craig Hammerman. Fingers crossed they will really get things back to normal by next summer, so traffic and safety issues on Columbia Street can finally be addressed.


The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has advised us of an upcoming Night Work Operation that will involve a Night Street Closure of Van Brunt Street from Union Street to President Street (Southbound traffic).

Southbound trucks on Columbia Street will be detoured onto Congress Street, then Hicks Street.

This street closure/detour will be in affect on or about Wednesday, October 19, 2011 through Wednesday, October 26, 2011, from 9:00pm to 5:00am.

NOTE: Van Brunt Street will be open to all traffic during the day and non-construction hours.

Click here for more information, or use the following link:

As for the balance of the Reconstruction of Columbia Street (HWK700A) Capital project, DDC reports that they are anticipating the completion of work on the Sewer Chamber at President and Van Brunt Streets by the end of October.

Other remaining work includes: the Completion of the Sewer along Van Brunt Street (between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue), which should be completed by the end of December 2011.

The Completion of the Water Main along Van Brunt Street (between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue), which should be completed by the end of February 2012.

The Completion of Curb, Sidewalk, and Roadway surface of Van Brunt Street (between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue), which should be completed by the end of April 2012.

The Re-opening of Van Brunt Street, which involves the removal of the detour at Van Brunt Street/Hamilton Avenue/Summit Street and the restoration of two-way traffic along Van Brunt Street, which should occur by the end of April 2012.

Lastly, the Completion of work on Summit Street (between Columbia and Van Brunt Street), which should occur by the end of June 2012.

We will continue to provide updates as they become available to us.  Please bear in mind that work schedules are susceptible to slippage due to weather, field conditions, and other variables.


Craig R. Hammerman
District ManagerBrooklyn Community Board 6

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Festival at the International School of Brooklyn this Saturday

This Fall Festival sounds like a lot of fun...

Join us for a Fall Festival at 
International School of Brooklyn
477 Court Street, corner of Nelson Street
Saturday, October 15
11 to 2 pm

Rain date is Sunday, October 16 

Delicious food sold by the Cubana Cafe
Homemade baking by ISB parents
Several arts and crafts stations for the kids-  design your own Fall felt crown, create a wooden bracelet, apple printing Fall mural, decorate Fall sugar cookies  and paint a pumpkin station hosted by Barking Cat Studio
Sports & Games
Mid autumn Chinese lantern making with Lango Brooklyn
11.30 -12 pm Spanish Puppet Show with P is for Puppets
12 - 12.30 PM, Live Concert with the multicultural kids music sensation the Bilingual Birdies 
1 - 2 pm, Live Bluegrass with the Wild Blue Strawberries

For more information go to www.isbrooklyn.org or call 718. 369.3023.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Fair at P.S. 29

PS 29 on Henry Street (between Baltic and Kane) is holding a book fair. Support the school by purchasing books for the classrooms, home, and holiday gifts.  For more information about PS 29 and this event visit www.ps29brooklyn.org
Monday, 10/17 through Friday 10/21, 
Sunday, 10/23 10:00am-4:00pm
Monday, 10/24 and Tuesday 10/25 
Wednesday, 10/26 8:30am-3:00pm


Friday, October 7, 2011

Blind Wine Tasting in Red Hook

Friday nights Botta di Vino hosts blind wine tasting from 8:30-10. Cost is the purchase of one bottle. With live guitar, snacks, and games for a chance to win a free bottle.

Tonight, Friday October 7, 8:30-10 p.m.

botta di vino
357 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall Recycling Day: Electronics, Textiles and more! October 23

Wil Blanche, flickr
Inspired to do some Fall Cleaning? Here's a local and convenient place to get your old electronics, clothes, and documents recycled.

Did you know that electronics recycling in NYC is now required by law? Old computers, monitors, and other electronics must be recycled at a dedicated eWaste recycling facility.

At this event there will also be free shredding and you can learn about composting. Check the links for details.

Sun October 23, 10:00AM - 4:00 PM
Fall Recycling Day: Electronics, Textiles and more!
PS 29 Schoolyard - Baltic St. between Henry St. and Clinton St.

Public School 29 at 425 Henry Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn will be hosting its fall recycling day.  All items collected during the day will be recycled according to the highest environmental standards.

Old computers and electronics will be collected by Lower East Side Ecology Center, in conjunction with Cobble Hill Association.   See www.lesecologycenter.org to review the list of accepted items from households.

Computer hard drive shredding provided by eRecycleNY, PS 29 parent owned EPA compliant electronics recycling company serving the NYC area.  See www.eRecycleNY.com for more information.

Clothing rummage sale, proceeds go to PS 29 PTA.  Wearable Collections will be picking up remaining clothes, as well as stained & ripped clothing, textiles & stuffed animals.  www.wearablecollections.com

Confidential Documents shredded on-site (& then recycled) for a small fee. by Time Shred Services

Composting Workshop led by The NYC Compost Project in Brooklyn.  Backyard composters will also be for sale.  

For more information, please contact us at PS29RECYCLES@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Bike Shop Open in the Columbia Waterfront

There's a nice writeup on our new bike shop, Dog Day Cyclery on Patch.com:

Dog Day Cyclery Fills a Void

"The small store has so far has been working mostly in repairs, with sales of accessories like bike lights, streamers and seats going steady. Nesbit hopes to soon sell bikes, too, and is open to discussing with customers what else they'd like to see on the shelves."

Dog Day Cyclery just opened on Van Brunt between Union and President and the owners sound like nice folks. Welcome to the neighborhood, Damien and Bill!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jalopy to Expand to become Jalopy Tavern!

A message from our friends at Jalopy:

We’d like to let you in on a little secret…
The Jalopy Theatre is expanding. As of two days ago, Jalopy and some of our friends
got our hands on the building next door, and will be expanding into Moonshine Bar!


We’ll keep you posted on our progress. We will invite you all down for a holiday toast.

Also, join us on Sunday for a special blues session led by Pat Conte, Show starts at 7 pm.

And…look for a special trivia question in tomorrow’s email and win a pair of tickets to JALOPY’s 5th Anniversary Party!

Congrats to Geoff, Lynette, and the whole Jalopy team! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's get in on this Bike Share!

A bike share station in Barcelona
The city is introducing a bike share and wants to know where the bike share stations should be.

Go to this site to vote for sites in the Columbia Waterfront:

The bike share will be privately operated. Users can rent a bike with a membership card or credit card and return it to any bike share station.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An incident on the F Train last night

Tonight we received this message from Peter from Just Another Brooklyn Blog:
Hi there, 

I'm trying to get the word out about an incident that happened on the F train last night.  My neighbor was hit on the head in a crowded train.  I would appreciated it if you'd mention it on your blogs.

Granted, the real problem is bystander inhibition, but the cops could have sent an officer to pick up the assailant.  The story is briefly summarized here.     


A few years ago I worked in a neighborhood in Queens where I saw many loud, aggressive teen girls like this one, and there were incidents where they screamed at me and threatened to kill me. Once one of them smacked my coworker in the head in front of the police. I was told that girls like these would cut me with a knife or worse. I left that job as soon as I found a better one.

I have to admit that if I witnessed what happened to our neighbor on the train, I don't think I would be brave enough to say anything. What would you do?


Coming up at the Urban Meadow

Good times ahead! Here are the upcoming events at the Urban Meadow.

Sunday September 18 Red Hook Star Revue Music Fest
Noon - 6 PM
$10 at the door

Saturday September 24 Super Sonic Kindie Music Fest
Noon- 4:30 PM
tickets available in advance and at the door http://www.tonickids.com/

Sunday October 30 9th Annual Columbia Waterfront Halloween Party and Parade
10 AM - 1 PM
More details on the Urban Meadow blog: http://urbanmeadowbrooklyn.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fall Classes at Clayworks on Columbia

Haven't you ever wished you could throw a pot like Demi in Ghost? (Just admit it.) Well fall classes have just begun at Clayworks on Columbia, Inc. Below are the days and dates.

Fall Class Schedule


Thursday evening – 7pm-10pm                  9/8 thru 11/17 (no class 9/29)

Saturday morning - 10am-1pm                  9/10 thru 11/19 (no class 10/8)

Monday morning – 10am-1pm                  9/12 thru 11/21 (no class 10/10)

Wednesday evening – 7pm-10pm             9/14 thru 11/16

Sculpture with Clay

Monday evening -7pm-10pm                   9/12 thru 11/21 (no class 10/10)

For more information about our classes and studio visit  clayworksoncolumbia.org.

Register now by calling 917 428 3128 or 718 694 9540 or  email Deb directly at

A $50 deposit will be required to hold you place since spaces are limited.

A Simple Memorial at Hamilton and Van Brunt

New Upholstery Class at Brooklyn General

Friends of mine have had great things to say about the sewing classes at Brooklyn General, so I was interested to see that they are adding an Intro to Upholstery class. The five-session $325 course starts Monday, September 12th and runs from 6:30-9 pm. Here's a description:

"In this five-session class, you will learn the methods of professional upholstery for furniture. We will be covering upholstery methods for reupholstery, including basic sewing techniques, working with different densities of foams to create forms, stretching webbing, selecting, stretching, and tacking fabric, and covering finishing methods such as piping, tufting, tacking, and general tricks of the trade. By the first day we will complete an upholstered slip seat by utilizing webbing on frames, and by the end of the class everyone will have completed a small re-upholstery project. Preliminary woodworking, sewing, and general furniture construction skills are not necessary, but be prepared to work with sewing machines and staple guns."

Sign up here. They're also holding a Back to School sale right now -- 30% off all yarn and fabric Sunday September 4th through Sunday September 11th.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Super Sonic Kindie Music Fest September 24

Mark your calendars for this music fest for kids! Sounds super fun.

Tonic Kids presents
The Super Sonic Kindie Music Fest
Featuring Elizabeth Mitchell, Jon Samson,
Karen K and The Jitterbugs and The New Raspberry Bandits

Saturday September 24th Noon - 4:30pm
at the Urban Meadow in Brooklyn's Columbia Waterfront District
Drum lessons, arts-and-crafts and food!

Former owner of the renowned venue Tonic, Melissa Caruso-Scott has shifted her focus from avant garde jazz to outstanding kindie music.  She and Karen Kalafatas, founder of Jitterbugs music classes, local mom & kindie musician herself, have teamed up to present a full-fledged kindie music festival on Saturday September 24th at The Urban Meadow, a community garden in Brooklyn's Columbia Waterfront District.  Four top children's music performers share the bill on what is sure to become a most anticipated annual event.

Elizabeth Mitchell  -
Winner of the Amazon Critic's Award for Best Children's Album of the Year and won the Parents Choice Gold Award. An Elizabeth Mitchell performance is a warm, family style hootenanny that engages everyone, parent and kids alike, in a fun, all ages interactive event that is part celebration, part learning adventure. “Elizabeth Mitchell has bridged the gap between independent rock and
post cradle kiddo-core…Gorgeously lucid.” - Chicago Reader

The New Raspberry Bandits -
This children's music debut with luscious vocals performed and written by Vanessa Saft boasts folk roots but covers a lot of ground.  Rockin' whippersnappers will be head bopping to "Big Trucks" and seemingly angelic types will soon be belting out "Lula". "Like Bob Dylan for Kids". - John Zorn

Karen K & the Jitterbugs -
A musical theater veteran, Karen began teaching her Brooklyn-based Jitterbugs kids classes in 2008, but later expanded her classroom to the stage with her warm, funny, and utterly delightful original songs. Called “one of the starts of the local kindie scene” by the Brooklyn paper, Karen K & her Jitterbugs have been featured in New York Magazine's Best Of 2011 issue and Time Out NY Kids.

Jon Samson -
South African native and local favorite, Jon Samson produces and
performs "alternative family music" for kids of all ages and has been
featured in Time Out NY Kids and Parenting Magazine.

The Urban Meadow
Corner of President & Van Brunt Streets
in the Columbia Waterfront District
F train to Carroll Street
Tickets: $12 adults, $8 kids in advance
$15 adults, $10 kids at the door
Ages: Best for ages birth - 8 years old

For more information and photos contact:
Melissa Caruso Scott

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summit Street Community Garden Tag Sale

The Summit Street Community Garden is having a tag sale this Saturday September 10 to benefit the garden.
"Find new & pre-read books (fiction, self-help, cookbooks & more), clothing, jewelry, electronics, assorted home items, baked goods and more. Everything priced to sell!"
Summit & Columbia Sts
9 /10 from 9 am - 2 pm

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Changes on Columbia Street

We're seeing some new businesses opening soon in the Waterfront District, and one sudden and sad closure.

First, the good news.
The long-closed Waterfront Restaurant
space will soon be a new diner called
Water's Edge Diner.

We hope it will be a 24-hour diner!

What WILL be open 24 hours is a new
bagel shop on Summit and Hamilton.
New signage was posted this week and
a neighbor says the opening is imminent.

I also recently passed by the space on Union and Hicks which housed
The Coffee Den (RIP). A few gentlemen were seated around the bar tasting wines, and they told me the bar will have an excellent wine list and will be opening

image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarescott/
And I'm told the space on Columbia St next to Margaret Palca will be a ballet school!

The windows were uncovered last week to reveal the interior. It looks almost ready to open!

image from http://barsinbrooklyn.com
And the sad news. Many of you know that Moonshine's last night will be September 17. The bar's owner wanted to move on. Rumor has it that the new owner plans to keep the space a bar but with a new look and new staff. We will miss the friendly bartenders and unpretentious, friendly community that gathers there. The Columbia Street News wants your stories,  photos, and memories for a tribute they are putting together. Send them to columbiastreetnews <at> gmail <dot> com.

If you have more of a scoop on these openings and closings than I do, please share in the comments.

Monday, September 5, 2011

ClockWorks Puppet Theatre September Performances

Our new local puppet theatre is back with an evening series for grownups and weekend afternoon shows for kids.

Go to cosmicbicycle.com for details.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Columbia Street Waterfront Festival this Saturday

Photo from http://www.carrollgardensassociation.com/
It's time again for the annual Columbia Street Waterfront Festival! The street fair takes over Columbia Street from DeGraw to Union, and  Union Street from Columbia to Hicks. This year’s event features the North Shore Animal League Adoption Trailer, live music, rides, games, and shopping.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 
11:00am to 6:00pm

Monday, August 29, 2011

Improvements soon at Pier 6 / Atlantic Avenue intersection

"Construction to improve pedestrian access to the beloved Brooklyn Bridge Park is slated to begin at the end of the month, the DOT says."


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Registration open for music classes at Jitterbug NYC

From Karen at Jitterbugs NYC, who offer retro-style music class for babies, toddlers and preschoolers:

Calling All Jitterbugs!

Thanks again to all of those who joined us at Carroll Park last week for the Karen K & the Jitterbugs concert.  Over 300 people came out, and we had a ball!  Check out photos on Facebook at Jitterbugs NYC! 

FALL REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!  Classes offered with Karen & Aaron in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook!  Check out the Schedule & Register at www.jitterbugsnyc.com. Classes are already filling up, so be sure to register soon!  10 weeks for $225 / Classes begin Sept. 19th.  $25 / siblings.  Remember, Stroller Strides participants get $10 off. (Sing, wiggle, shake and...exercise with baby!)

LATE SUMMER / EARLY FALL DROP-INS!  $20/family, and FREE if you've never been to a Jitterbugs class before!  Classes offered the weeks of September 6th-9th & 12th-16th.  Check www.jitterbugsnyc.com for details. 

FAQ: Who's teaching what?  Karen will be co-teaching the Wednesday and Thursday morning classes with Aaron this fall, so you'll see her often.  And you'll see Aaron more often on Mondays, Thursday afternoons and Fridays! 


Karen Kalafatas
Jitterbugs, Inc.

Columbia Waterfront District After Irene

Minor flooding at Van Brunt and Union St
I took the dog out at 10:00am when he couldn't wait any longer. We walked up and down Columbia and Van Brunt and I didn't see any trees down or any damage or debris except for leaves and small branches. This large puddle on Van Brunt St and Union St was the worst of the flooding that I saw in the District. There must be some basement flooding close to the water, though, because I saw one basement flood through its open door and another basement getting water pumped out.

I didn't see any businesses open. If you see a local business open today, post in the comments. 

Glad our neighborhood was not too badly damaged. I hear that there is some bad flooding on Imlay Street in Red Hook and other neighborhoods.

Now the wind is picking up and the sun is coming out. What a crazy weekend.

No Apparent Flooding on Columbia Street

Columbia at the corner of Sackett Street

As of 11 am between Kane and President, Columbia Street appears to have been spared any surge from the storm, and certainly any major wind damage (more blown leaves than downed tree limbs). Just checked the basement at Freebird and other than a wet floor (which happens with any significant rainfall), no water is accumulating above the floorboards.

However, there is still the risk of a secondary surge from departing Irene. Will check again later this afternoon and hope that there are no hidden leaks or broken lawn furniture.
--Peter Miller, Freebird Books

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A message from the 76th Precinct

A message from the 76th precinct: There have been numerous calls to the precinct inquiring as to whether or not they need to evacuate their homes. As the mayor has stated repeatedly if you live in "Zone A" you are in a mandatory evacuation zone. Much of the RedHook area is in "Zone A". If there are any questions as to what zone you reside in go to nyc.gov and click on hurricaine info.

Inquiries can be made to the 76 Precinct at (718) 834-3211, if that number is busy try (718) 834-3231. The mayor has requested that evacuees ride out the storm with friends or family. For those requiring shelter, the nearest evacuation centers are NYC Technical College located at 300 Jay Street, John Jay HS located at 237 4th Avenue , Brooklyn Tecnical HS located at 29 Fort Greene Place and Cobble Hill High School at 347 Baltic Street.

There will be increased patrols by the 76, to deter crime and aid those in need thoughout the duration of the storm.

Those requiring routine Police assistance are asked to call the numbers above, as well as utilizing the 311 system. As always, emergency situations should be called into 911. Be safe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wine and Southern Fried Chicken tonight in Red Hook

A special event at wine shop botta di vino:

Tuesday's Education in a Glass is here.
Inexpensive, delicious and fun.
How do you Southern Fry your Wine?
Menu: Southern Fried Chicken with Fennel & Grapefruit Salad.
Wine: Comelli Sauvignon Blanc, Soffembergo & Moscato
$20 per person
Only 12 Seats
First come first serve
Tuesday, August 23, 6-8 p.m

botta di vino
357 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brooklyn Women's Rugby Club Celebrates Five Years

A message from your local women's rugby club:

Join the Brooklyn Women's Rugby Club on August 27th as we celebrate our 5th birthday at PJ Hanley's! Have some cake, dance the night away and party with the Brooklyn Women's Rugby Club as we celebrate our 5th year as a club!

Specials at PJ Hanleys (449 Court Street, BK, NY)
- $20 for all you can drink
- $25 for all you can drink plus a birthday t-shirt
- Fun rugby-themed birthday games
(Pin the scrumcap on the rugger, Sir Says, Bobbing for mouth guards and many more!)
- Birthday cake!
We have come a long way since 2007 and aren't stopping now!

Our home games are coming up so please check out our website for the complete schedule!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or if you would like to get in touch about another project!

Sasha De La Cruz
Public Relations Chair
Brooklyn Women's Rugby Club
Cell: 917.573.5943

Follow us on Facebook! <http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=13222988493&ref=ts>
Or on Twitter! <http://twitter.com/BrooklynRugby#>

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Save the date for the first annual RED HOOK FALL FLEA

Save the date for the first annual


LOCATED IN THE PS 15 SCHOOL YARD, along Van Brunt between Sullivan and Wolcott


Red Hook's local community school PS 15 (Patrick F. Daly School) in conjunction with Red Hook Economic Development (RHED) will host the first annual Red Hook Fall Flea on September 25th in the PS 15's school yard from 10am-5pm. Attendees will enjoy diverse vendors, a variety of activities and entertainment including children's music fave Audra Rox, Added-Value's green-market, and so much more!

The Red Hook Fall Flea is currently accepting applications for vendors of all kinds, from food to clothing, antiques to crafts & collectibles, and services to community groups. The modest commercial vendor fee of $40 to $75 will go to benefit the PTA-sponsored programs at PS 15. Special consideration for nonprofits! Early confirmed vendors include The Good Fork, Metal and Thread, Tiburon, and more! Vendor confirmations are due by Friday, September 2.

Additionally, RHED will operate a 'Made in Red Hook' themed booth for local artists and artisians. Ideal for those who want to participate in the flea on a smaller scale. No upfront fee; but 15% of booth sales will go to benefit RHED'S activities. Contact info@redhooked.org for more info about the 'Made in Red Hook' booth.

To apply for a vendor booth, or to get more information,

CORRECTION: info email PS15flea@gmail.com
or call 718-791-1968.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What are you doing tonight?

Tonight, Thursday, August 18, 2011 @ 7pm; Rain or Shine

Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance will present portions of their latest choreographic work, “Prey” as a benefit concert in support of Visitation Church’s restoration efforts and Cora Dance’s “pay-what-you-can” performance and dance education programs in Red Hook.

Admission is by donation at the door or online by clicking HERE (Suggested donation $20 or pay-what-you-can).*Those making a $100 donation in advance will receive a private tour of the church and surrounding property at 4pm the afternoon of the event.

Go to the Cora Dance site for more information:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The reason Degraw Street is ripped up...

If you've wondered what was happening behind the barricades on Degraw and Columbia, this Carroll Gardens Patch writeup gives some insight. The EPA is improving the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel which runs under the street. Wayyy under the street, apparently. See photos taken from Alma's rooftop in the article below:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Port Authority Failure

Thanks to Brad Kerr of the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association for keeping us up to date on the port pollution issue. The Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports has posted this damning report on the Port Authority's failure to spend the 33 million appropriated to their clean truck program. Here's the full article.


“Replacing 11 trucks out of a fleet of more than 7,000 does nothing to reduce diesel pollution, eliminate childhood asthma, prevent heart disease and clean the air in New York and New Jersey and it certainly didn’t create any jobs for our residents – instead it created more hardships for the drivers who are already overburdened by debt and low wages. This is an environmental injustice for both the drivers and community residents impacted by port pollution every day.” - Ana Baptista with the Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark

Amen to that.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Help Improve B61 Bus service

Brad Lander's office is still looking for volunteers in the effort to improve B61 service:

Councilmember Brad Lander, Councilmember Sara Gonzalez, and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez are looking for volunteers to help improve the service of the B61 bus. Our goal is to find easy ways to speed up the bus line and reduce travel time for those who depend on the B61, especially as the Smith-9th Street station closed for rehabilitation through March 2012.

As the MTA is advising riders to take the B61 bus to the 4th Ave-9th St station as an alternative, we are expecting heavier ridership on the route. By collecting data on B61 performance, you can help us determine what can be done to help improve the speed of the B61.

What We Are Doing
We are collecting ridership data to assess:

  • The number of riders that use the B61;
  • Which bus stops have the highest and lowest ridership;
  • Which buses are the most chronically delayed;
  • How the closure of the F train is impacting B61 riders’ commute; and,
  • Where “bunching” most frequently occurs among buses along the route
This data will be used by the Councilmember’s office to identify issues with the bus line and recommend possible service changes to help improve the riding experience on the B61 bus.

How You Can Help
We need volunteers to collect data about the B61, including rider count and bus arrival time, to help us know more about overcrowding and delays along the B61 route. Our office will provide volunteers with the necessary field sheets to record their data.

Volunteers will collect data Monday-Thursday. Morning shifts are 7-9am and evening shifts are 4:30-6:30pm.

Bus Stop Monitoring: Volunteers will collect data at several major bus stops, including the 4th Ave/9th Street and Atlantic Ave/Hicks bus stops, among others. Our volunteers will count the number of riders at each bus stop for roughly 2 hour shifts. We will collect data at peak hours of bus service in both the morning and evening.

Ride the Whole B61 Route: To help us know more about B61 ridership characteristics, volunteers will also ride the complete B61 route and count the number of passengers who get on and off the bus at each bus stop. We would like volunteers to ride the complete bus route both northbound and southbound so we know more about ridership levels throughout the B61 route.

Rider Surveys: During August, we will get a more detailed picture of who is riding the B61 bus by conducting a survey of passengers who board the B61 at the Park Slope 9th Ave / 9th in the Red Hook direction. Contact Matt Green at MGreen@council.nyc.gov or 212-788-6969 to volunteer!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wild Flowers in the hood!!!

Every Friday Saturday and Sunday wild flowers are for sale outside the Pharmacy at Henry and Sackett. Maria will make you a bouquet with your choice of colors or style. Or you can pick a lovely already assembled bouquet. Priced by the stem. For me it fills a real void in the hood. Thank you Maria.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Night of Bluegrass and other Delectable Americana at Jalopy Theatre - Sun 24th

An evening of old-time Americana Sunday, July 24th at the celebrated Jalopy Theatre in Red Hook, beginning at 7:30pm. Brooklyn-based string band Union Street Preservation Society's spirited vocals and runaway-train instrumentals breathe fire and soul into their original blend of bluegrass, blues and early jazz. With fellow Americana roots group The Third Wheel Band starting off the evening, it’s sure to be a night of electricity and a rip-roaring, foot-stomping good show.

Jalopy is located at 315 Columbia Street b/w Woodhull and Rapelye (Carroll St. F/G stop)

Sunday, July 24 at 7:30pm

$5.00 cover

Best grilled sandwich competition to profit the Amazing Garden this Saturday!!

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Talk at Tonight's CoWNA Meeting

If you missed tonight's Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association meeting, here's what was discussed:

Traffic Safety on Columbia Street

Some improvements have been made, like daylighting (removing parking spaces at an intersection to increase visibility) and striping, but more substantial and effective improvements are still needed. A more comprehensive analysis of the traffic patterns in the neighborhood is the first step. Some large trucks are still using Columbia and we would like to press for more enforcement. Phoenix Beverage trucks have also been seen driving through. State Senator Dan Squadron, who attended the meeting, will continue conversations with Phoenix Beverage. Wondering when the Van Brunt Street project be finished? No one seems to know, and the last completion date given was in February. A rep from NYS Assemblywoman Joan Millman's office described the work they have been doing to support traffic safety measures.

B61 Bus Service

Matt Green from City Council Member Brad Lander's office is still looking for volunteers to report on the B61 service. Write mgreen@council.nyc.gov if you are interested. They are also distributing a survey at bus stops and counting riders. Dan Squadron is asking riders to email his office when the bus is not on time or bunching. Email the bus stop, date, and time to squadron [at] nysenate [dot] gov. His office will pass the information to inspectors. A rep of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez explained that there was a meeting with the DOT to follow up on the Red Hook trolley connection study results. The trolley idea was rejected, but the study revealed some ways the bus route can be improved to be less circuitous.

"Noisecopter" Protests Continue

If you see a helicopter flying low over the pier or neighborhood, call 311 with the exact time. Get the tail number if you can. Check out Red Hook Noisecopters at http://www.facebook.com/public/Redhook-Noisecopters if you can't take the flyovers anymore.

Lowering Air Pollution from our Ports

CoWNA is part of the Coalition for Healthy Ports (http://healthyports.org/). Cruise ships will being plugging into shore power next spring or summer. Brad Kerr talked about his work in the Healthy Port Initiative to reduce port truck pollution. Diesel pollution from trucks is 40% of port air pollution. One goal is to ban old trucks from the port so they are replaced with newer, cleaner vehicles. The first step is to conduct a truck count. Volunteers are needed to hang out at Hamilton and Van Brunt to count how many trucks come out of the port and where they go. Contact contact bhkerr [at] gmail [dot].com to help. You can also ask your elected officials to support legislation that will get the neighborhood's air cleaner.

The federal bill is the Clean Ports Act of 2011:

The state bill is Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act:

Fix the Ditch

It's important that we keep up interest with the BQE enhancement project. EDC has done their study and DOT has showed willingness to take some first steps but we must keep the pressure on to get results.

Get Involved!

CoWNA is seeking board nominations. Nominate yourself or a neighbor. Email a brief bio to contact [at] cowna [dot] org. Brooklyn Bridge Park is also seeking a new member for its Community Advisory Board.

And in other news… it was reported that a new bicycle repair and rental shop is getting ready to open on Van Brunt Street!

That's the short version, folks. Attend the next meeting of your local neighborhood association to get all the goodness.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let's Improve B61 Service!

A message from the office of our City Councilmember, Brad Lander:

Councilmember Brad Lander is looking for volunteers to help improve the service of the B61 bus. Our goal is to find easy ways to speed up the bus line and reduce travel time for those who depend on the B61, especially as the Smith-9th Street station closed for rehabilitation through March, 2012. As the MTA is advising riders to take the B61 bus to the 4th Ave-9th St station as an alternative, we are expecting heavier ridership on the route. By collecting data on B61 performance, Councilmember Lander’s office is seeking to determine what can be done to help improve the speed of the B61.

What We Are Doing We are collecting ridership data to assess:
· The number of riders that use the B61;
· Which bus stops have the highest and lowest ridership;
· Which buses are the most chronically delayed;
· How the closure of the F train is impacting B61 riders’ commute; and,
· Where “bunching” most frequently occurs among buses along the route.

This data will be used by the Councilmember’s office to identify issues with the bus line and recommend possible service changes to help improve the riding experience on the B61 bus.

How You Can Help!

We need volunteers to collect data about the B61, including rider count and bus arrival time, to help us know more about overcrowding and delays along the B61 route. Our office will provide volunteers with the necessary field sheets to record their data. Volunteers will collect data Monday-Thursday, starting July 11 and ending July 28. Morning shifts are 7-9am and evening shifts are 4:30-6:30pm. Thanks for letting me know if you, or other people you might know, would be interested in helping us collect data on the B61!

Feel free to write me an e-mail with the time and days you are available, or by calling me here in the office at 212-788-6969. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Many thanks,

Matt Green
Office of Councilmember Brad Lander
212-788-6969 / 718-499-1090

Monday, July 11, 2011

Neighborhood Association Summer Meeting

Please join the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association for our summer

Thursday, July 21, 2011
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

On the agenda:
Helicopter Noise
Columbia Street Safety
Campaign for Healthy Ports
Fix the Ditch
Nominations for Board Positions

Jalopy Theater and School of Music
315 Columbia Street
Between Woodhull & Hamilton