Open Thread Wednesday 4/14/10

Flickr photo by **viv**

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • WillowSt.

    Why does the shopping on Montague Street have to be so sub-par?

  • Andrew Porter

    I peered into the window of the store that used to be Doug Biviano’s campaign office, and it’s the kid of corner cigarette and convenience store you’d expect not to see across the street from a major supermarket—and up a steep flight of stairs, too. Only way I see them staying in business is if they go for 24-hour operation.

    I also saw that 75 Clinton is being actively gutted, with the former Bolton’s now completely empty, and the entrance where the bankruptcy court was also gutted; obviously, they’re keeping the elevators.

    Meanwhile, I was alarmed to see that the upper right hand window on the back of the empty building on Columbia Heights between Clark and Pierrepont (is that 192?) has partially fallen into the building, so the interior is now exposed to the rain and wind. I called that in to the BHA.

    And the front of 73 Pineapple Street is on, with Tyvek covering the exterior of the building.

  • Josh

    There’s a new Japanese restaurant called Oca on Clark street across from the 2/3 station (the old Sea Asian space). Looks like it just opened up. Anyone checked it out yet?

  • Jen

    Did anyone hear the helicopter (I think) noise around 2am last night? It was particularly loud and annoying…

  • HeightsDiva

    Dimples Kid Spa? Seriously people? Just stick a bowl on the kids head and spend your hard earned money on something useful.

  • concerned

    Has anyone else noticed the increase amount of accidents on the corner of Atlantic and Henry ever since they installed one of those congestion sidewalks??? Last Sunday a car making a left turn from Atlantic onto Henry ran into the building on the corner leaving a huge hole in the wall and taking a chunk out of the side stoop. And then early Monday morning another car plowed into the garbage can (it was one of those big industrial looking one– completely destroyed) and took down a small tree (it was in pieces and uprooted).

    I have noticed that the garbage can has been bashed around more frequently ever since that curb was extended. It is now a very sharp turn and forces drivers to also go into the bike lane. I think someone from DOT needs to watch this corner and see just what occurs here.

    Thank God no one waiting for a bus was hurt or even worse a child coming back from the park…. *shuddder*.

  • jOHN

    Does anyone know what is going on if anything, about 20 Henry Street ?

  • harumph

    @josh – the restaurant is Ozu and was discussed in this thread – I didn’t like it at all, but I think I was in the minority. @jen – agreed, the helicopter noise last night was crazy – I thought it was more early morning though, say 5 am -ish

  • JM

    Yes concerned, you are right about the “neck down” at Atlantic & Henry. I’ve been saying this for a while now. Bloomy and his traffic czar are completely out of control when it comes to installing these things. They say it makes it safer for pedestrians crossing and “helps traffic flow” . Come on, common sense anyone? they snarl traffic (the better for congestion pricing?) and as for pedestrian safety, what I see is that the minute I step off the new curb I am immediately in the path of the cars since the lane is so small! Also, when driving I’ve been stopped at one of these necked down corners for a red light at 2 2-way intersection on numerous occasions, when a car or box truck trying o make a turn has nearly rammed me trying to negotiate the tight turns.
    Are these officials responsible to the public AT ALL?

  • tb

    Ate at Ozu the other night. Loved the food and atmosphere. A couple things..
    They really need to work on the seating and service. The place was empty and they sat us right next to another couple. (awkward) The service needs to be friendlier and they need to work on table clearing. They actually took my plate while I was still eating. Other than that and the crappy cheap wood sliver-inducing chopsticks, we thought Ozu was great. I hope they stick around.

  • Qfwfq

    The “neck downs” are awesome… one of the few things I actually like about this Bloomberg admin is what they’ve been doing with streets and traffic. Perhaps drivers should stop flying down the street like bats out of hell.

  • JM

    Qfwfq, what are the actual real life benefits that you have actually noticed and experienced about the neck downs? (I guess as someone who’s been walking regularly everywhere from red hook to brooklyn bridge and in between for 20 years and quite literally, never experienced a huge problem crossing a street with the traffic lights, I’m curious).

  • Qfwfq

    I would say “no car or truck has tried to bump me, knock me over, or run me down” would be a significant life benefit, given that it keeps me alive. As someone who’s been walking just as long you and just as much, I wouldn’t say it was a huge problem, but my mind is much more at ease now.

  • concerned

    I agree JM. Qfwfq the problem I am referring to is not caused by people who are driving to fast. This is caused by people who have to take a severe turn that was never there before. It is a very awkward turn for them to have to make going the normal speed. It actually puts pedestrian waiting on the curb at a much greater risk because of how narrow that street now is. At certain intersections I am sure it might come in handy, but I do not think that this intersection has benefited from it at all.

    Let us also not forget about the poorly planned bottleneck curb that was installed on hicks street but had to be removed b/c the fire truck could not make that turn. This is also a turn that ambulances need to take to get to LICH.

    As someone who has crossed that street everyday for over 20yrs, I can tell you that it is not safer b/c of those bottlenecks. If anything it is causing more accidents and putting everyone at risk.

    Pedestrians — please also be aware that with the new curbs (especially crossing Atlantic) when you step off of them, you are stepping out into a traffic lane and oncoming traffic. Be more observant and make sure your children/strollers stay on the curb.

  • concerned

    Mr. Leroy Branch
    Community Board 6
    250 Baltic Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
    718 643-3027

    Also call 311, ask for DOT to complain about traffic issue with new curbs and/or accidents.

  • Josh

    @harumph Thanks for the info. Missed that thread, but will check it out.

  • melanie hope greenberg

    My history with our very own BH neighbor and Poet Laureate, Norman Rosten, and the book we collaborated on together, is featured in this new blog post. April is Poetry Month!

  • Remsen

    Has traffic really slowed down that much due to the “neck downs”? Always wondered why in a city strapped for cash, that one never sees any radar traps set up anywhere. The cabs (equipped with V8 engines) are up to 50 in no time zooming down Hicks/Henry…

  • Jonny

    I am 28 years old and moved to BH in September from the Upper East Side. Am I the only person in this neighborhood under 40 that doesn’t wear diapers? I came here because I wanted better subway access and fell in love with the beauty, but other than that it’s been a drag. I still do all my socializing in Manhattan because that’s where I have friends my age! Is this the wrinkle ranch of NYC or am I just exaggerating? :)

  • tb

    I don’t know Jonny, it kind of sounds like you DO wear diapers.

  • yo


    try the bars on atlantic or smith…not as much of the geriatric crowd

  • Montragrue

    @ Jonny, if you check out Armando’s or Eamonn’s, you’ll see that most of the over 40s in BH also wear diapers. Is that so wrong?

  • harumph

    @jonny –
    There are a tons of students (Brooklyn Law dorms) all over the hood, but for hipness try places on atlantic, smith (all walkable)…personally I love Henry Public on Henry just beyond Atlantic, not a diaper or wrinkle in sight.

  • dotti


    Nice. Yes, this place is a bit geriatric. Atlantic is better — Floyd, Last Exit, Brooklyn Public (or whatever it’s called) at the corner of Henry. As for restaurants, it’s a sad scene. You have to be willing to go to Dumbo, Cobble Hill, etc. for good food. But those options are all pretty close and a nice walk in this weather. The tradeoff for real beauty and some quiet (minus helicopters) is a non-hipster crowd. I’m a few years older, and get what you’re saying. But I’ve found the tradeoffs worth it.

    One other tip: Avoid the Starbucks on Montague. It’s like an old age home took up residence there in the last two years. They should start blasting the hipitty hoppity music to clear that place out.

  • AEB

    Johnny, Sat night at Great Wall, last table to the left as you enter, really rocks!

  • ABC

    a new shop going into the old Hamilton Design storefront.

    not bad, right? not my thing per se, but looks nice enough. I’ve always liked the look of that storefront btw.

    jonny, UES to Brooklyn Heights? At 28? What’s next? Palm Beach?

  • Sweet Pea CSA

    There’s still space available in Brooklyn Heights’ Sweet Pea CSA! For more information and to sign up, please visit or email

  • Norman E-Mailer

    Went out with a girl from Hamilton Design once. Never heard from her again.

    I think she was a redhead.

  • aliG

    dotti, I thought Last Exit closed. It’s now a Diaper Genie.

  • Ari

    One of dumber placements of the neck-down’s in the neighborhood has to be on the corner on Joralemon & Hicks.

    If you’re driving on Hicks, the neck down protrudes on the passenger side of the car. The problem is that on left side of the street is reserved for the firefighter’s to park their civilian cars on the street. So it’s a really tight squeeze at that corner and poor placement in my opinion.

    I’m a car-owner and a dog-owner. I do a lot of driving and walking all over the area, and as pedestrian, I see no true benefit of the neck-downs.

    As a driver, it’s nothing but a pain and makes turns more extreme.

    However, I will say that as a driver, they do force you to drive a little slower and I reckon, makes the streets safer