Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Open Meeting at the Urban Meadow

The Cabrini Green Urban Meadow welcomes all local residents to our first open meeting:

Saturday, April 4
rain date: Sunday, April 5
1:00pm - 2:00pm
In the Urban Meadow at the end of President street on the corner of Van Brunt.

The Agenda will focus on membership, keys, Sunday jazz shows, Yoga, upkeep and other activities as well as fundraising and bringing greater attention to the Urban Meadow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Family Affair @ Brooklyn Botanica (3/27/09)

Brooklyn Botanica is offering up another round of "A Family Affair" this Friday, 3/27/09 from 4-7 pm. Free entry for the whole event!

The event features:
- A child friendly movie on the large full-wall projection in the back
- snacks for kids
- handmade, unique, cocktail selection for adults

Botanica is also now serving food and coffee:
Now serving small plates of Prosciutto, Lomo, Hot Soppressata, Pecorino and Taleggio. Also serving a selection of Quiche, Croissant and pastry as well as espresso and coffee.

Location: 220 Conover St. at the corner of Coffey


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ikea's bus troubles

Two articles related to Ikea and buses made it into today's Daily's news:

1) One article, found here, reports that Ikea's free bus service has received over 50 violations, including everything from broken taillights to unlicensed drivers. This won't do much to help the already negative perception the buses have in the area for going down Columbia St. too fast or not taking the backstreets that they are supposed to.

2) Local Red Hook bus company Trans Express is upset over not getting a contract to provide shuttle bus service for the store - especially given that Ikea made promises to "hire locally" when they opened. Read that article here.

For the most successful Ikea in America, that sure is a lot of complaints!

Press release: tini wine bar and cafe Announces Community Processional to home/made

Sunday, March 29th 11am
414 Van Brunt St.
Rain Or Shine!

When tini wine bar fell victim to "greedy landlord syndrome", owners Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson decided to raise the bar. And thus, they took a page from the Amish and are having an old fashioned "bar(n) raising". Friends and neighbors will be gathering on Sunday, March 29th at 11am to literally move the "bar" 5 blocks down Van Brunt Street to its new space "home/made" at 293 Van Brunt & Pioneer in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Byrne and Swenson welcome everyone to their old fashioned community processional. Neighbors, patrons and close friends will be gathering and packing up at tini wine bar 414 Van Brunt Street at 11am. Those who help carry a stool or a box down the street will be handsomely rewarded with delicious complimentary coffee, pastries and home/made eats at the end of the parade. Costumes and funny hats are encouraged but not required. The move will begin at Noon and end when everything arrives at home/made.

home/made boasts a back yard, grill, stove, oven and expanded menu since tini has out outgrown the hot plate, panini grill, and toaster! Byrne and Swenson welcome volunteers with dollies or trucks as well as unplugged musical entertainment. Please RSVP to provide help for the move: info@homemadebklyn

Special thanks go out to Gary from City Beautiful Carpentry, Amy from Tom Cat Bakery, Denise & Derek from Metal & Thread, Marsha from She-Weld, Beatrice from Atlantis, Jimmy from Look North/Inuit Art Gallery, Carolina from Portside NY, Mark at Movers Not Shakers and everyone else who has eased the transition. tini's success and expansion into a larger space is testament to the strong small business community in Red Hook during economic crisis.

A final toast will take place Saturday March 28th where all glasses of sparkling wine will be $5.00. tini wine bar will be open this week for regular service: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 5pm for Dinner; Saturday 11am for Brunch and 4pm for Dinner.

home/made will open for regular service by mid-April.






Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Weed n' Seed day '09 at the Urban Meadow

Thank you so much to everyone who came today!
We did great, had fun and enjoyed a truly beautiful day.

Much more than a red tin shack: WORK

Walker Waugh and Emily Driscoll moved to New York in December '06 with the dream to create a community of under-represented artists of uncompromising vision.
They found the red tin shack in February '07, which used to be a mechanics workshop, and fixed it up to have their first show in May of that same year. The show was a great success: about 100 pieces and an audience of local artists and laymen.
In November of that same year, Emily was tragically hit and killed by a car on her way home on Tiffany Place. Through the shock and pain, Walker has continued the work they had both moved to New York to accomplish.
I strongly recommend taking the time to visit the gallery as they are currently showing Driscoll's work, which the artist described herself as: "My work is as much about self-fashioning as it is about relative identities".

What is the most challenging thing about being a gallery owner and curator?

Building a solid clientele. Everyone loves a good party, but most folks are happy to leave simply with the resonance of seeing and experiencing beautiful artwork. My challenge is to put on exhibitions that enrich people to the point that they want to make the work a part of their life. Art as necessity, not luxury.

You have traveled extensively, how do you compare the artist's experience in Brooklyn from the rest of the world?

The Brooklyn Arts Council just gave me a bunch of grant money so, you know, this borough is the cat's meow as far as I'm concerned.

Do you think you would have even more success if you were in Manhattan, or in a hipper area of Brooklyn such as Williamsburg?

I think WORK has been a success exactly because it's not in Manhattan or Williamsburg. The charm of the red tin shack is the charm of the neighborhood: that feeling of walking down union street toward the water in the evening and seeing the dinosaur cranes silently brooding; catching a glimpse of a light on at the end of the land. and that light is a fire burning inside a 40-gallon oil drum, and chances are marshmallows are being roasted. That's the dream I'm selling.

Walker, what are your favorite things about the CSWD?

The community feel, the isolated neighborhood, the waterfront, the cranes at sunset.

What is missing?

A place to get some food late at night.

Has the neighborhood changed since you first moved here?

There is momentum, things are happening.

What's your favorite hang-out?

The Coffee Den.

Upcoming exhibitions at Work gallery:

Meleko Mokgosi and Matthew Watson
March 27 - April 20, 2009

Mokgosi's layered paintings on PMMA and Watson's hyper-realist portraiture on copper are united by an examination of figurative surface as site of provocation. Without will also feature site-specific installation drawing and text by the two artists.

Outdoor-multimedia-danceParty - Curated by Nini Ayach
Saturday, April 11, 2009

Brigitte Bouquet
April 25 - May 25, 2009

Trevor Babb
DISASTER KIT: This Show Could Save Your Life
June 12 - July 13, 2009

WORK | 65 Union Street | Brooklyn, NY 11231

Gallery hours Thu-Sun 12-5 & by appointment

More info on WORK, here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Annual Spring Egg Hunt at the Brooklyn Urban Meadow

Saturday April 11th, from 11am to 1pm

The hunt will start promptly at 11, so have your basket ready and don’t be late!

The event is organized by The Urban Meadow and The Word on Columbia Street, and is sponsored by local businesses.

The Meadow is located on President street at the corner of Van Brunt.

Weed n' Seed at the Urban Meadow!

Spring is upon us and that means the time has come to shape up the meadow so that it can be re-opened.
There is already a lot of amazing free events planned this year: a series of jazz concerts, other types of performances, the return of the yoga sessions (for adults and kids), and much more.

But before we get to all that, we need your help to make the meadow beautiful again!

We invite you to several WEED n' SEED days, weather permitting: Sundays, March 22nd, 29th, and April 5th, starting at 11am.

Tell your friends and neighbors, the more we are the faster we'll be done!
Child laborers are welcome!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sunday: Squadron presents his vision for Brooklyn Bridge Park

Below is information about a Public Meeting taking place tonight that State Senator Daniel Squadron will host, at which he will unveil his vision for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Update: Squadron's BBPark meeting rescheduled to Sunday

Senator Squadron's office has announced that, due to events in Albany, they have rescheduled their public meeting on Brooklyn Bridge Park from tonight to Sunday.

WHAT: Senator Squadron's public meeting on BBPark
WHEN: Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m.
Please Join State Senator Daniel Squadron as he presents his proposal for Brooklyn Bridge Park

Sunday, March 22
3:00 pm
Long Island College Hospital
Conference Rooms A & B
339 Hicks Street
(corner of Hicks and Atlantic)

Senator Squadron will outline his plan for how to build a real, world-class Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The meeting will consist of a presentation, followed by a Q&A session.

Please contact Ellen Whelan-Wuest in Senator Squadron's Brooklyn office for more information: ellen( at ) danielsquadron.org or (718) 802-3818

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Co-ed Adult Softball League at Van Vorhees Park

Wow, Spring must really be here because Spring sports leagues are getting started.

(Also, please note that this may be the only time in my life that i've written about two sports related things in a row???)

The Eastern Athletic Club is offering co-ed adult softball leagues this Spring at Van Vorhees park (at Columbia and Atlantic). Some details are below, and more can be found at the Brooklyn Heights blog.

If interested, contact commishna AT yahoo.com

Fees: members $70, non-members $110 - included in price are team shirts, balls, umps, field permits, league party at the end of the season.

Designation: this is a neighborhood open adult co-ed softball league with players of varying ability with the majority of players most easily defined as competent.

Tentative Schedule

March 15 First Practice 10:00-12:00

March 22 Second Practice Draft Day

9:00 10:15 11:30

March 29 Opening Day - Week 1

April 5 Week 2 Passover Apr 9

April 12 Easter Sunday OFF

April 19 Week 3

April 26 Week 4

May 3 Week 5

May 10 Mother’s Day OFF

May 17 Week 6

May 24 Memorial Day Weekend

May 31 Week 7

June 7 PLAYOFFS/or Rain Game Make-Up Date


Red Hook March Madness / Bobbito at Deity

While not a big Sports fan, I'm always excited to hear about locals who have made it big....

Bounce, a basketball magazine, is currently running a series of articles on some of the best NCAA performances of past years in honor of March Madness. One of their choices for great performers is Carmelo Anthony, who spent his early years on the playgrounds of Red Hook:

Carmelo Kiyan Anthony, though most often associated with his hometown of West Baltimore, Maryland, was introduced to the game on the asphalt of New York City. His father, Carmelo Iriate, was a playground baller who, before moving to the Big Apple, grew up on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Melo was born in 1984 and, for the first eight years of his life, lived in Brooklyn’s Red Hook Projects.

Read the rest of the article here.

On another note, while quickly browsing the bounce site, I noticed that a favorite dj of mine, Bobbito will be at Deity this Friday:

*Aside from being a DJ, Bobbito is Bounce'sEditor-in-Chief.

Reopening party for Brooklyn Collective

Brooklyn Collective has moved to 196 Columbia Street!

Come help them celebrate their new partnership with General Nightmare Antiques.

Friday, March 20th

Featuring Over 20 Artists and Designers

Niccole Ugay, Chris Tsanos, Colleen Rochette, CharlieDoes, Casey Miller, AndreaClaire, Alexandra Batsford, Milton Carter, Species by the Thousands, Rachel Goldberg, Lewis Henry Nicholas, Tessa Williams, AshiDashi, Knox, Susan Steinbrock, Jess Yam, David Aloia, LanVy, Melissa Banigan, Tattoo Girl Lingerie, Sarah Nicole Phillips and Modulari

Free beer, wine, live music, and Tattoo Girl Burlesque!

Brooklyn Collective/General Nightmare
196 Columbia Street
(between Sackett and Degraw)

For further info please visit www.brooklyncollective.com

Press release: Red Hook Community Arts Organization Awarded Earmark by Congresswoman Nydia Velásquez

Dance Theatre Etcetera receives funding to expand “tolerance through the arts” programming

Brooklyn, NY – (March 16, 2009) When President Barack Obama signed the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill into law, he gave local politicians across the country an opportunity to infuse resources into projects with direct impact on their constituents. Among the projects singled out by Congresswoman Nydia Velásquez (D- N.Y.’s 12th district) was Dance Theatre Etcetera’s Tolerance Through the Arts Initiative, a series of programs at local schools, after-school programs, and community centers in the underserved neighborhood of Red Hook and adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Dance Theatre Etcetera (DTE), a community based cultural organization located on the Red Hook waterfront, has been working in the area since 1992 and currently serves approximately 1,000 at-risk youth, annually. DTE’s award winning arts education programs at the Brooklyn International High School, which serves recently immigrated youth from across the globe, and at the South Brooklyn Community High School, a small transfer high school in Red Hook that serves teens with issues of chronic truancy, use theatre, dance, and digital media to engage students in arts-based dialogue about critical issues of social justice. Students in DTE programs have produced documentary videos on constitutional rights (Know Your Rights), created performing arts festivals that celebrate the Native cultures of local immigrants, and have participated in international exchanges with student activist/artists from Brazil and Colombia. Principal Pam Taranto from the Brooklyn International High School gives credit to the school’s annual, DTE-produced International Festival for contributing “to the remarkably low incidence of violence” in a school that matriculates students from over forty countries around the globe. “Students learn to understand and value their cultural differences through this event,” she says.

Federal funding will allow DTE, hit hard by cuts in funding to the arts, to continue its successful programs and to work with consultants to publish a Tolerance through the Arts curriculum guide. The organization will look to transport its successful model to the schools where it is most needed, eventually spreading its high-quality curricula to programs across the country, ensuring that arts education act as both an incubator of transferable skills and a forum for students to engage with the real-life issues that most affect them.

DTE’s programs have established safe spaces for students to have the kind of transformational experience that Nebajoth Jean, a BIHS student originally from Haiti, details here in a letter to Executive Director Martha Bowers: “[l]iving in a world where you can't even picture your future is really hard, you've made me think differently, being with you guys have (sic) changed me, I was unable to think for myself, proudly now I am.”

For students like Nebajoth and for the thousands of people in Red Hook who are touched by Dance Theatre Etcetera’s programs every year, Congresswoman Velásquez’s federal earmark stands as an important promise- to invest in, to sustain, and to build our communities as we seek local solutions to the challenges we face.

To see a DTE program in action, visit the Brooklyn International Festival at 7 pm on April 3rd at JHS 113 in Fort Greene, when over 100 students share dances, songs and poems inspired by their Native cultures!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Updated Future of the Atlantic Basin, Pier 11, and Pier 7 (CB6 Meeting last night)

For those who weren't at last night's Community Board 6 meeting in Red Hook, it got pretty intense at points. Booing, cursing, and yelling are never pretty in community gatherings, which in an ideal world should remain civil and courteous.

That being said, I've decided to make this post mostly about the actual plans for the waterfront, which are pretty much a done deal at this point, rather than focusing on the negatives that people see in what is or isn't included in the plans.

THE PLAN - Based on a presentation by Venetia Lannon of the Economic Development Corporation at the CB6 Meeting on 3/16/09

1) The Southern end of Pier 11 will go to PortSide NY, including a portion of the warehouses, the outdoor space, and the Atlantic Basin. This will allow PortSide to station its mascot, the tanker Mary Whalen, in a publicly accessible space as well as host cultural events, waterfront tours, youth programs, educational programs, and more. The outdoor space will be publicly accessible and, through the help of PortSide, could also be used to invite other historic ships to the Brooklyn waterfront or host community events, such as markets, fairs, art shows, etc.

2) There will be a Governor's Island Visitor's Center at Building 185, which lies to the South of Pier 11. There will be ferry service departing from the pier that will take visitors directly to Governor's Island to enjoy park space, bike paths, and everything else that the island has to offer. It is estimated to be a 1 minute ferry ride from the Basin.

3) The space in the Atlantic Basin not utilized by PortSide or the Governor's Island Ferry will be utilized for tie ups of other ferries and workboats. It was stated that there will RFPs issued for deciding which boats can use this space.

4) The Brooklyn Greenway will be accomodated along Pier 11, as opposed to along Van Brunt. This will extend the existing portion of the Greenway further South, as well as allow for a ride directly along the waterfront.

5) Phoenix Beverages will occupy the remaining portion of the Pier 11 storage shed (the Northern side of it). They will use this space for storage, break down, and distribution of kegs. Phoenix will not be shipping into the Atlantic Basin, but rather into Pier 10 (the one to the North of Pier 11) and will forklift the loads over to Pier 11.

- Phoenix will also occupy Pier 7 through a separate deal with American Stevedoring Inc. (the EDC only has control over Piers 11 and 12). This will be for their case beer and spirit operations. Spirits is a new business for them, and they will be partnering with spirit companies such as Southern Spirits.

- To address concerns of traffic and pollution, representatives from the EDC, Phoenix, and the Port Authority mentioned the following:
  • Phoenix's trucks will be converted to run using CNG (compressed natural gas). The EDC plans to make the penalty for not meeting this requirement strict - with one possible punishment being default of the lease.
  • A large majority of the traffic will leave through Pier 7, which has direct access to the BQE via Atlantic Avenue
  • The Port Authority will work to re-orient the exit from Pier 7 to cause even less interference by trucks accessing the BQE
  • The truck traffic will be equivalent to the traffic that existed when ASI imported Cocoa to the port, which didn't end until fairly recently.
Key differences between what is presented here and what was presented at the meeting in January:
  • PortSide will definitely be the cultural use, rather than a suggested one
  • The Greenway will definitely be accomodated along the waterfront, rather than up for debate
  • Phoenix will occupy Pier 7 and part of Pier 11, rather than just Pier 11.
The first phases of this plan, such as PortSide events, should begin as early as this summer, while the plan in its entirety should be in operation within about 2 years.

The Negatives
While I choose not to focus on the perceived negatives, I do feel the following are worthy of mentioning and should not be overlooked:

1) It is very upsetting that the community was led to believe at the meeting in January that if Per 7 were made available, Phoenix would be able to move there and proposed uses for Pier 11 and the Atlantic Basin would be re-ealuated (i.e. the suggested use of Tom Fox's NY Water Taxi Company). Pier 7 was made available, but rather than re-avaluate, the Phoenix operation was expanded to include both piers.

2) The existing business at Buidling 185, BDI, seems to be continually neglected in this process. The EDC should make a serious effort to acknowledge them and assist them in relocating within the neighborhood.

For a map of many of the key sites in discussion, click here

For Brooklyn Daily Eagle's coverage of this, click here

For my post on the plans presented at the CB6 meeting presented in January, click here

Monday, March 16, 2009

Columbia St. Merger

According to Racked, local store Brooklyn Collective has merged with their next-door neighbor General Nightmare Antiques, so that both businesses will now share the space at 196 Columbia St.

Glad to hear that they could work out a deal that sounds mutually beneficial, rather than just having to close or move out of the neighborhood!

COWNA Meeting on 3/19 @ Jalopy

The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association (COWNA) is having its next general meeting this Thursday, 3/19, at 7pm at Jalopy (315 Columbia St b/w Woodhull and Hamilton):

The agenda will include:
  • Reports from all standing committees.
  • Update on neighborhood re-zoning request (see also recent announcement).
  • Latest news about waterfront development and usage proposals.
  • Guest speakers (to be announced).

Please tell your friends and neighbors! Come out and get involved in the future of our neighborhood.

Check out COWNA's website here

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reminder: CB6 Meeting on 3/16

There will be a Community Board 6 Meeting this Monday evening at PS 15 where community members will have a chance to continue the dialogue with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Port Authority regarding plans for the Atlantic Basin (Pier 11) and Pier 7.

If you haven't been following this story very closely, you can get up up to speed a little here, here, here, and here.

From the CB6 Website:

Mar 16 Econ/Water/Comm Dev and Housing

Orientation: Rules, regulations and procedures governing committee participation.
Continued dialogue with representatives for the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on planning efforts for Pier 7 and the Atlantic Basin at the Red Hook waterfront.
Public School15
71 Sullivan Street
(between Richards/Van Brunt Streets)
Brooklyn NY 11231
6:30 PM

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mayoral Control....of State run Parks???

It was announced today that the mayor has made proposals for the city to take over two park projects that have either been entirely or partially run by the State up until now. One is just to the North of our neighborhood - Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the other is to the West - Governor's Island. Both have potential to be easily accessible to our neighborhood within the next few years, if everything (i.e. ferry or water taxi service) goes right, and could be a big force in providing our area with an influx of visitors, boosting the local economy.

1) Brooklyn Paper: "Breaking news! Mayor to take over Brooklyn Bridge Park?"
Read the article here.

2) Crains: "NYC Proposes Plan for Governor's Island."
Read the article here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Red Hook: The Future Biking Capital of NYC?

This past November, the Forum for Urban Design hosted a competition in which urban designers and planners from around the world submitted plans for Red Hook with the theme "Reimagining Red Hook as the Most Bicycle Friendly Community in NYC."

After the $10,000 prize was given out and the plans were unveiled in November, 2008, many were left wondering - what happens next? Well today, Lisa Chamberlin, one of the masterminds behind the competition, wrote an article for Urban Omnibus explaining some of the future possibilities for the plans and making some very strong arguments as to why they can and should happen.

Some excerpts are below, but I highly recommend reading the entire article here.

At the very least, the Forum saw this design competition as a way to introduce the concept of the bicycle garage to New York City.....But rather than call it a “garage,” which is not terribly sexy, we called it a “loft,” to reflect not only the ideal New York apartment, but the garage’s proposed location: near the elevated Smith and 9th Street train stop

Because amenities such as bike lofts and bike paths are usually developed in wealthy neighborhoods first, which already tend to have multiple transportation options, we challenged designers to focus their attention on Red Hook. Sparsely populated and isolated from the rest of the city due to a lack of public transportation, most New Yorkers have never been to Red Hook and cab drivers can’t find it. The Smith and 9th stop on the F line is a mile from the heart of Red Hook and bus service is notoriously slow and frustrating. While this situation has contributed to the unique character of the community, it has resulted in sporadic economic development despite its close proximity to Lower Manhattan.

So, while the Forum is primarily concerned with urban design, the not-so-hidden agenda of this design competition is to propose a new economic development model. Red Hook has a genuine need for both transportation and sustainable development, and bicycling could very well be the key to both. .......

Back to the original question, however: Might any of these great ideas ever get built? It’s hard to say. But we do know that Brooklyn’s Community Board 6, led by district manager Craig Hammerman, supported the competition in hopes of seeing good street design ideas to propose to NYCDOT for lower Columbia and Van Brunt Streets, as they are slated to be torn up for sewer repairs. What’s more, as many of the submissions proposed, a bike loft with supportive retail and recreational activities is certainly a viable development program, particularly if land costs are minimal.

*Images above from the Forum for Urban Design and Urman Omnibus

Craft Market 'Specially For Kids At Brooklyn Lyceum - Sat and Sun March 14 + 15

From 11am to 5pm, the market will feature kids' products crafted by local artists, facepainting, food, drink, music, hands-on arts and crafts activities and demos, and a toy swap.
There will also be a a performance by the cast of Sunshine Again, a Jim Henson-inspired new educational television series for kids (ages 2-7). You can purchase tickets for this performance online here.

The Brooklyn Lyceum is located at 227 4th Ave (between Union and President) in Park Slope.
More information here.

Dine in (South) Brooklyn

The Dine in Brooklyn 2009 list is out and overall it looks pretty good. My only complaint is that Red Hook doesn't seem to be included AT ALL.

The specials will run from March 23rd - April 2nd, and will feature three-course meals for $23. A small number of places will even offer 2-for 1 meal specials at the same rate. Below are the nearby restaurants on the list. Go here for the fully detailed list.

Columbia Waterfront

Alma Restaurant (D)
187 Columbia Street

Korhogo 126 (D)
126 Union Street

Mazzat (B/L/D)

208 Columbia Street

Petite Crevette

144 Union St.


Carroll Gardens

Chestnut (D)
271 Smith Street

Hana Café Japanese Restaurant (L/D)
235 Smith Street

Marco Polo Ristorante (L/D)
345 Court Street

Panino'teca 275 (D)
275 Smith Street

Pó (D)
276 Smith St

Provence en Boite (L/D)
263 Smith Street

The Grocery (D)
288 Smith Street

Union Smith Café (D/B)
305 Smith Street

Cobble Hill

BarTabac (L/D)
128 Smith Street

Bocca Lupo (D)
391 Henry Street

Café on Clinton (D)
268 Clinton Street

Hibino (D)
333 Henry Street

Quercy Restaurant (D)
242 Court Street

Boerum Hill

Apartment 138 (B/L/D)
138 Smith Street

Bacchus (D)
409 Atlantic Avenue

Brawta Caribbean Café (D)
347 Atlantic Avenue

Downtown Atlantic Restaurant (D)
364 Atlantic Avenue

Jolie Restaurant (D)
320 Atlantic Avenue
718- 488-0777

La Flor del Paraiso (L/D)
491 Atlantic Avenue

Lunetta (D)
116 Smith Street

Mai Restaurant (D)
497 Atlantic Avenue

Stan's Place (D)
411 Atlantic Avenue

Brooklyn Heights

Café Buon Gusto (B/L/D)
151 Montague Street

Eamonn's Irish Bar & Restaurant (B/D)
174 Montague Street

Le Petit Marche (D)
46 Henry Street

Queen Ristorante (L)
84 Court Street

Waterfront Ale House (L/D)
155 Atlantic Avenue

2 for $23:

The Atlantic ChipShop (B/L/D)
129 Atlantic Avenue

Red Hook openings update

There has been some action recently at the big yellow rug store on Van Brunt, which it turns out will not be featuring Hellenic Rugs as previously advertised, but rugs nonetheless. Read about it over at Realty Collective's blog (image above from Realty Collective)

Further down Van Brunt, the new coal-fired brick oven pizza place, Anselmo's, should be opening as early as this weekend. Check out the official website! Apparently there are only two other ovens of this nature in Brooklyn, and the decision to make it a pizza restaurant resulted from finding the oven in the building.

The Mary Whalen gets new engine parts

This weekend, volunteers at Portside NY helped to clean new engine parts for the tanker Mary Whalen, which were recently acquired from a similar ship that was scrapped in Seattle. These parts are a big step in the ongoing restoration of the tanker, and were an important find as these types of ships and their parts are growing increasinlgy scarce.

We're always glad to hear about the progress of the Mary Whalen, as it plays an important role in maintaining the waterfront history of our area and offers great cultural programs and events.

Read more about it at the Brooklyn Paper or at the Portside blog

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taste of Red Hook: Final Week

Just a reminder that everyone should try to get out this week and support both local restaurants and local organization the Red Hook Initiative. If you eat or drink at the following restaurants/bars on the corresponding days, they will contribute 10% of the bill to RHI.

Here is the list:

391 Van Brunt Street
347 Van Brunt Street
Rocky Sullivans
34 Van Dyke Street
Tini Wine Bar Cafe
414 Van Brunt Street
277 Van Brunt Street
220 Conover Street

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Vote online to help the Greenway get funding

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is making four separate grants - each for $200,000, payable over 5 years - to support work on reducing climate change. The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is competing to win one of these grants, and you can help them out by voting online at this link

This will be extemely helpful to the Greenway because they are eligible for $335,00 in matching funds from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund if they can raise that amount - and that money will go towards the hiring of landscape designers for three new open spaces on the Greenway, among other things.

In the current financial environment ,coming up with the required match for the funding from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund is proving challenging, but winning the Green Mountain Competition will be a big step.

For those who aren't familiar with the Greenway, it will be a 14 mile path along Brooklyn's waterfront that will include paths for biking and walking, and have connections to recreational areas, parks, and bridges. Learn more about it at their site here.

Clean Cruising

The NYTimes featured an article this week about the pollution emitted by ships at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and potential plans to clean them up in the future. The article, which serves as a good update to comments made in recent weeks by Port Authority officials, says:

Environmental groups say that a single ship, docked for one day, emits as much exhaust as 10,000 cars, maybe more....

Most vexing, [local resident Adam Armstrong] added, is that a better alternative exists: San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle are among the West Coast ports that employ a process called cold ironing, in which docked vessels plug into what amounts to a giant extension cord from the shore. The system allows the ships to use land-based power and turn off their engines.

No such technology exists at the Red Hook terminal, but to the relief of residents, that may soon change.

Representatives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the piers, and the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which leases Pier 12 for the cruise ship terminal, said that cold ironing is set to come to Brooklyn by 2011. That, they said, could make New York the first port on the East Coast to provide shore-based power for cruise ships.

Hopefully these plans work out! This neighborhood already faces so many environmental issues with the BQE, truck traffic, shopping traffic, and more, that we could really do without fumes coming off the water on top of it all.

Read the rest of the article here.

Image above from the NYTimes article.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Great News: Pit Stop to reopen!

Who has been wondering when this small and delicious French bistrot was reopening? I know I have!

Owner Laurent will be opening for dinner at 5pm on Wednesday April 1st.

They will also be serving brunch from 11AM to 4PM Saturdays & Sundays, can't wait for warmer weather and go enjoy their backyard!

Pitstop is located on Columbia street, between Degraw and Kane streets.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Richard Price at Book Court tonight!

I just received word that one of my personal favorite authors will be at Book Court tonight at 7pm for a Reading/Q&A/Signing! Wine will be served. Not sure if I can make it, but this sounds great!

163 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 875.3677

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Degraw St. murder story

I'm sure most people have heard about the dead body that was discovered on Degraw St. this past Friday, but for those who haven't, some links are below.

We have been a little hesitant to write about this story, opting to leave it up to more established news venues (i.e. those with crime blotters) to report on such matters, but given that this is obviously a big event in the neighborhood, we thought we should at least touch on it.

Here are some links related to the story, including some with local interviews and updates:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle update as of today (including updates, interviews, and rumors) here

ABC Local News video from last Friday here

Rezoning victory for Columbia St. Waterfront!

For over a year, the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association (COWNA) has been working on a plan to have a big chunk of the neighborhood rezoned from R6 zoning to R6B, which in summary means that all new developments will have to fit into the neighborhood's existing context (i.e. through stricter building height and setback requirements).

As of this week, all of the hard work that COWNA has put into this plan has paid off! Amanda Burden, the Director of City Planning has stated her support for the plan and will include the Columbia St. Waterfront's zoning change into the larger Carroll Gardens plan.

Read COWNA's release of this news here.

For aspiring Urban Planning nerds or anyone else who is generally interested, a crash course of the various Residential Zoning codes can be found here

Monday, March 2, 2009

Red Hook Family Happy Hour @ Botanica

Brooklyn Botanica, home of our recent "A Family Affair" event, will now be hosting Red Hook Family Happy Hours.

Every Thursday, from 4-6 pm, parents are invited to bring their children along and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere while sipping on Botanica's unique drink selection. All adult participants will be able to get their first drink at half price (which is a great deal for some fancy handmade drinks!) and children can play in the large space - which includes board games, a big back room with couches, and a toddler proof gate at the stairway entrance.

The start date is this Thursday, March 6th, from 4-6pm and it will continue each Thursday after. Expect it to pick up this Spring when the front doors can be open and the kitchen starts serving snacks!

Brooklyn Botanica is located at 220 Conover St. at the corner of Coffey.