Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adult Activites in the Columbia Street Waterfront District

It is only fair to list the adult classes in the district as well! Il y en a pour tous les goûts...

Creative Arts Studio
Ballroom dancing, tap, ballet, and Awareness through Movement.

Everyday Athlete Studio
Yoga, mommy and me classes, and boot camps.

The General Store Brooklyn
Knitting, crochet, sewing, spinning, quilting, embroidery and appliqué.

The Jalopy Theatre
Guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, and vocal harmony.

And just beyond the border:

Mission Martial Arts
Tae Kwon Do (Korea), Muay Thai (Thailand), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Brazil), Veejitsu Jiu Jitsu (Japan), Filipino Kali (The Philippines).

The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop
Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, flash-fiction, daytime fiction, MFA application prep workshop.


Kids' Activities in the Columbia Street Waterfront District

Our district is full of wonderful activities for children of all ages and here is a list of them:

Aunt Bee's Backyard (formerly known as Bija Backyard)
20 Tiffany Place, between Kane and Degraw
On top of the indoor play space, Aunt Bee has added a Preschool Enrichment Program starting on September 8. Ages 18 months to 4 years.

Creative Arts Studio
119 Union Street, between Columbia and Van Brunt
They offer of wide array of dance, theatre and art classes: from tap and hip hop to creative movement and musical theatre. For ages 3 and up.

Everyday Athlete Kids (formerly known as Bija)
273 Columbia street, between Carrol and Summit
Mason offers high quality gymastics and tumbling classes for children from 18 months to 12 years, as well as ballet and hip hop.

Elite Fitness
111 Union street, between Columbia and Van Brunt
(718) 596-0006
They have karate, ballet and fit play. Call for more information.

And right beyond the borders of the district, I would like to add:

The Artistry Project, an Art Studio for Kids
185 Sackett street, between Henry and Hicks
Amazing and inventive art classes for children from 2 to 12.

Mission Martial Arts
517 Henry Street, between Union and Sackett
Tae kwon Do is probably the most popular martial art for children.

So get out there and get busy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

September events and classes at the Moxie Spot

The following events and classes are scheduled for September at the Moxie Spot at 81 Atlantic Avenue (near Hicks)

Back-to-School Concert with The Deedle Deedle Dees: Saturday September
6 at 11am. Including making instruments from recycled materials.

Family Disco Night: Saturday, September 13th at 5:30pm (every 2nd
Saturday of the Month)

Family Movie Night: Fridays at 6:15pm (with a replay Saturday morning
at 9:15am for those who missed it).

Singalong w Lloyd (of the Deedle Deedle Dees) Tuesdays 11:00 am

Storytime w Emily Mon/Fri 11:30, Wed 1:00


The Kid's Music Underground with John Carlin: Wed/Fri 9:30 & 11:30

Baby Fingers with Eva: Thursdays 9:30

Downtown Babies with Maria: Tuesdays 12:30

Please visit their website at for more details and

Opera on the BK Waterfront

This September, the Vertical Players Repertory will be opening up the gates (once again) to the Red Hook Terminal on Pier 9 and performing an opera. This time around, the opera will be"The Tales of Hoffman," also known as "Les Contes D'Hoffman," by Jacques Offenbach.

This will be not only a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the neighborhood's waterfront, but also to experience some artistic performance in the process. It's really great that American Stevedoring was able to work with VPR to host such an event.

September 5, 7, 12, 14, 19 & 21, 2008
All shows at 8pm
Red Hook Marine Terminal
70 Hamilton Ave. (at Van Brunt St.)
Tickets are $35 and $50 and can be purchased at
Photo ID required for entry
More info at

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goodman Gallery - A New Art Gallery on Columbia Street

Visit Goodman Gallery at 311 Columbia St (we're not sure about the hours - sorry!)


Check out more details of their most recent exhibit called "Face First" here

Artists in this photography exhibit include Danielle Dorrian, Stephanie Black, Alan Winslow, and Benjamin Harlow

New Latin sports bar and restaurant on Columbia street

Introducing Phil's Crummy Corner, a new Restauraunt/Bar/Lounge that looks like its about ready to open on the corner of Columbia St. and Hamilton Avenue (323 Columbia Street):

The Cobble Hill Bike Ride

Text from Cobble Hill Association:
The Cobble Hill Association and Brooklyn Greenway Initiative are hosting a 12-mile casual bike ride that will start at Cobble Hill Park and pass through the Columbia Waterfront District, Red Hook, Park Slope, Prospect Park, and Gowanus, and loop back to Cobble Hill.

There will be several scenic rest stops as we ride along mostly calm streets with some light vehicular traffic. Several Bike Marshals will travel alongside as well as a mechanic for any urgent bike repairs needed. Light snacks and water will be provided, but riders should be prepared with sunblock, plenty of water, and ready for a light pace that will include some cobblestone streets in Red Hook and the 9th Street hill in Park Slope, with an option to also ride hill within Prospect Park's car-free loop.

More Chain Stores for Red Hook

The Revere Sugar Factory site, neighboring Ikea on Beard street, has been the subject of two articles since yesterday. One in the Brooklyn Paper confirming rumors that BJ's had made a deal with Thor Equities, and will be selling flat screen TVs and sunglasses as soon as the rezoning goes through. However, today the New York Post is saying that no such deals have been made, that BJ's is merely one of the many suitors for the site.
Both articles include Marty Markowitz's non-committal statement: “Red Hook — and Brooklyn — are open for business, but while welcoming major retailers to our borough could bring economic vitality and much-needed jobs to previously underserved and underutilized areas, we must also be sure to ‘grow smart’ and preserve a neighborhood’s character."

Where is Brooklyn Brewery? Where is the promised Red Hook Winery?

On the upside, a 68-year-old Manhattan landmark will be moving in on Reed street, the Cheyenne Diner.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Labor Day Weekend at Hello Brooklyn


The Introduction of HELLO BROOKLYN

Kick-off Labor Day Weekend right with a

sneak peek of Red Hook, Brooklyn's newest

event / performance space, HELLO BROOKLYN!

18 Commerce St (btw Richards & Columbia St)

Trains: F or G to Carroll St / Bus: B61

10pm | $5 all night

rotating sets provided by DJs


OP! |





18 Commerce St (btw Richards & Columbia St)

Trains: F to Carroll St / Bus: B61

2pm - 8pm | $5 all day

Join us in the courtyard!

music by

DJ BRAINCHILD (2pm - 5pm) www. onesoulfulnegro. com

DJ ELEVEN (5pm - 8pm) www. myspace. com/deejayeleven

and edible goodies provided by


(Ziti, cornbread and more!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Late Post: Latin Festival in Coffey Park on 8/3/08

I meant to post this a while ago, but didn't get a chance to upload the videos. On August 3rd, my family and I were walking around Red Hook, and after eating lunch at the ballfields, we made our way over to Coffey Park where we stumbled upon the Red Hook Latin festival. Performances included salsa, merengue, reggaeton and more. It was a fun time for sure and my only complaint is that i didn't hear about it before hand. Check out these videos for a sample of the music:

View from the Water Taxi

I haven't ridden the Water Taxi to or from Red Hook yet for some reason, but looking at some pictures that someone named Askrom took, the views look rather nice. Check out more here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Park easy

Parking just got a little easier in the area due to the city's recent change in parking regulation and the need to change all of the parking signs because of them. Here's whats relevant to this neighborhood via the NYTimes:

The New York City Department of Transportation announced on Monday that street-cleaning rules will be suspended in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and other neighborhoods west of Court Street starting next Monday in the third phase of a four-phase overhaul of parking regulations in much of Brooklyn. The project involves the gradual replacement of some 8,000 traffic signs, and alternate-side parking rules are being suspended in phases......
.....The Transportation Department announced today the boundaries of the third phase of the overhaul, which will include parts of Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Gowanus East. Alternate-side rules will be suspended there starting next Monday, Aug. 18, to allow for 1,600 new signs. The suspension will last for three to five weeks. The affected area is bounded to the north by Atlantic Avenue (included) from Columbia to Court Street; to the east by Court Street (not included) from Atlantic to Hamilton Avenues; to the south by Hamilton Avenue (not included) from Court to Van Brunt Streets; and to the west by Columbia Street (included) from Atlantic Avenue to Degraw Street; by Degraw Street (included) from Columbia to Van Brunt Streets; and Van Brunt Street from Degraw Street to Hamilton Avenue...The fourth and final phase will be in Red Hook, but the boundaries and dates have not been announced yet.

For the rest of the article, including more information on the new regulations and progress in other Brooklyn neighborhoods, click here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cooking classes in French for children (5 to 8 yo) of all levels

I will be teaching a new class in September at Creative Cooks on Atlantic Ave and I am very excited about it. I hope many will come!

Tastemakers interested in practicing or learning basic French conversation can do so in this kitchen classroom while being taught to prepare French favorites, such as crepes, tartes, fondues, and much more. All class instruction will be taught in French by Jessie Barker, native speaker and teacher of the French After-School program at PS 58. Children of all levels are encouraged to register. Interested participants should email us at or call 718-227-2218. Space is limited.

French Conversation Through Cooking classes will take place Saturday, September 6,13,20 and 27. Cost is $200/child.

For more information about Creative Cooks go to

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Producers @ The Backyard Garden

Free outdoor movie night is back at the Backyard Garden with a showing of the hit 1968 movie "The Producers," as well as a cartoon, on August 16th at 8:30 pm. Bring the whole family out for a fun night, and don't forget to bring folding chairs or blankets.

The Backyard Garden is located on Hamilton Avenue and Van Brunt.

The Producers on IMDB

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I was sad to see yesterday, that one of the most interesting structures in the area has been torn down for something new to be built in its place. While I'm not quite sure what is going to be built there, here are a couple of ideas of what could have been an interesting use of the space as it was:

1) An outdoor market (that sells more than just chicken)
2) Community garden
3) Outdoor bar/cafe
4) An art space
5) Outdoor movie theater

Any other suggestions?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Help Clean up the Columbia St. Greenway!

This just in from the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative:

It's not officially open yet, but a ½ mile off-street segment of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway along Columbia Street (just south of Atlantic Avenue) was paved this week and it’s being actively used by bicyclists, walkers and runners! Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, in collaboration with Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association, will be holding a mini-clean up along the new route this Saturday, August 9th, 12:00-2:00PM to get the Greenway in tip-top shape for the anticipated rush of new users. Meet at BGI's office: 145 Columbia Street, and bring your garden gloves. Trowels are also welcome to pull up the most stubborn weeds. BGI will supply tools, trash bags, and water.

RSVP to Brian at

When: Saturday, August 9th, 12:00-2:00PM

Where: BGI’s Office, 145 Columbia Street (b/t Kane and Degraw)

Freebird Books: One of the best

Congratulations to Freebird Books for being listed as one of the best independent bookstores in NYC by L Magazine in the "Best of New York City" article

Here's what they had to say:


Freebird Books, Red Hook When we saw the Craigslist ad announcing that Freebird was for sale, we figured it’d be purchased, gutted and turned into a frozen yogurt shop. Much to our relief, it’s still a bookstore, and a damned good one at that.

Freebird Books is located at 123 Columbia St. Also, check them out online here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Survey for Bilingual/Multicultural Families

We're two moms who live in South Brooklyn raising bilingual/multilingual kids. We're interested in building a network of families in Brooklyn who want to do the same. In order to gauge the need, we've put together a short survey. If you're a parent interested in raising bilingual/multilingual kids, we'd appreciate your filling it out.

Here is the link:

Feel free to pass it along to others who may be interested!

Thank you so much,

Jessie (French, mom to Lucas - 2 years old) and Angela (German/Spanish speaking, mom to Ale - 3 years old)

Now a weekly free yoga class at the meadow!

Wonderful instructor Katrina Duncan has agreed to do a weekly Monday class at the Meadow, as long as the weather is pleasant!

Here is the schedule for August:

Monday 4, 18 and 25
@ 7:30pm

Come enjoy the sunset, the incense, and the music!

According to Buddhist tradition, the teachers will give without
expecting any form of payment and if the students feel the inclination
to give back for the offering made, they may do so.
It is called « dana ».

The Art Space

Below are pictures of the current pieces on display at the Art Space, an outdoor space for rotating art exhibits on Columbia St. and Sackett St. (Right next to Mazzat). Go check it out!

Here's a link to a posting on Brownstoner about one of the past displays at the Art Space