Open Thread Wednesday 10/24/07


Lots of things to talk about this week —

Stores in the Brooklyn Municipal Building?

So much for that new bus shelter…

Nabe thesp writes, directs new feature 

Happy conductor 

BHA gets $10Gs from Coens 

Asbestos abatement sign has Eagle writer miffed 

Hate crime creeps still on the loose

… and whatever else you want to talk about…

BHB Photo Club pic by jacques rivard via Flickr

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  • BHBabe

    Love that picture of our local gangsters posing as food service workers at key food … looking like they’d shoot you if you ask for help!
    Anyway – I saw the “Goggle brothers” on Joralemon yesterday – made me so happy to see both of them together! I’m still dying to know their story … and has anyone else noticed an obscene number of mosquitoes in the ‘hood lately? They’re making this resident pretty miserable.

  • Jen

    I caught a giant mosquito in my bathroom this morning! What’s up with them?

  • Cranky

    The Goggle Twins! I haven’t seen them in ages. I think they talk in one of those secret twin languages.

    Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Suitcase Man in a while either.

  • BHBabe

    Cranky, suitcase guy scares the crap out of me! I swear, there’s probably a head in that suitcase :)
    He lives in the building on Clinton, between Joralemon & Remsen, ac ross from the closed dry cleaners & the fancy fruit-basket place … I see him out there ALL the time muttering to himself & scaring kids!

  • nabeguy

    Well, after a few months of the old “under renovation” tease, the signs and butcher paper have offically come down from the windows of the space that held Uncommon Grounds. Any suggestions for the name of the latest incarnation? I vote for “NEXT!”
    And yes, there has been an especially aggressive invasion of mosquitoes this year. There small to the point of invisibility and you don’t even know you’ve been bit until the scratching begins.

  • Cranky

    LOL bhbabe– Suitcase Man could join the Halloween Parade as he is. Someone told me he takes pictures of people on the Promenade and tries to talk the ‘subject’ into buying the picture. Never seen him do it myself though.

    The Goggle Twins aren’t scary.

    nabeguy Someone told me now Uncommon Ground is going to be a wine bar. It looks nice in there now though.

  • Simon

    of course UC will be a wine bar, they need to get rid of all the wine they bought for Oven aka Restaurant Titanic

  • beth

    The mosquitoes are continuing to EAT ME ALIVE in my tiny studio. At what temperature exactly will they all die?

  • cranberry

    The mosquitoes are driving me insane…they are all over my house and i don’t know where they are coming from. I got bit on the face the other night. Speaking of neighborhood characters…does anyone remember or know of Al, the old man who sat in front of 196 columbia heights all day talking to people who walked by or came to see him? I haven’t seen him out in a long time and i was wondering if he passed away or moved?….and about that wine bar. It’s too bad they are turning that into one. It would actually be really nice to have a wine bar in the neighborhood…for more than 3 months.

  • GHB

    Yeah, I wondered about that guy at 196 too…haven’t seen him in months. What about the homeless woman who made the Promenade (and the surrounding area) her home for years? She seems to have disappeared, and she was always around…

  • lifer

    Very weird, I had never heard of the goggle twins ever, until this morning here, then, I walk out of my shop at 130, and there they were, wow….. anyone in the neighborhood here long enough to remember Nelson? long beard, trench coat (typical bum look), lived along Clinton street by Packer, and claimed to have spoken to presidents such as Washington, and Lincoln?… that was way back in th’day….

  • nabeguy

    Nelson, AKA Lefty due to his missing right hand. Sure I remember him. Rumor had it that he was, in fact, quite rich. Maybe he was talking to his one’s and fives when he referred to Washington and Lincoln!

  • Teddy

    I’ve noticed since early Sept. an increase in the number of mosquitos in my apt. as well as outside. I killed a small mosquito this morning which was trying to fly outside, but couldn’t because of my window net. A couple of weeks ago, I killed 5 mosquitos in my apt. in a two-day period. I think they’re coming in through my bathroom vent.

    Anyway, according to Accuweather it’s supposed to go down to the 30s (at night) by Halloween, so that should fix them.

  • T.K. Small

    As a lifelong resident, we had different names for these neighborhood characters. The goggle twins were always referred to as “Bubble Brothers” and Nelson was called the Captain. Back in the late 80s I apparently startled him with my wheelchair and, without missing a beat he muttered “they will give anybody a driver’s license these days”.

    With respect to the mosquitoes, they probably came from Cleveland!

  • hoppy

    Whatever happened to the woman who sat on a milk crate outside of Montague bagels asking “can you spare some change please……….have a good day.” Re. the mosquito invasion, I’ve been applying ‘OFF’ to my head before going to bed…that high pitched buzzing in my ear canal got to be really annoying.

  • dineen

    Who is “suitcase man”? Is it the smoking man with the mustache, the smoking blonde guy with the discman, or is there a third character?

  • hoppy

    I’m guessing “suitcase man” is that seemingly mentally challenged guy in a rumpled suit who occasionally walks up and down the promenade with a roller-case and a disposable camera looking to take pictures of couples. He accosted me and my girlfriend on a bench one night asking if he could take a photo. We said OK, just to humor him, but then he kept insisting that my girlfriend remove her purse from her shoulder. At that point, we just got up and left. Pretty creepy guy.

  • Bklyn Native


    The woman who used to sit in from of Montague St. Bagels asking \\\”can you spare some change please\\\” died a few years ago.

    She was only in her mid-30s, though she looked like she could be double that age. She had a very tough life and obviously didn\\\’t take care of herself, and she was apparently in an abusive relationship. I heard that she died of an untreated infection.

    I used to see her everyday and talk to her. I never gave her money because that\\\’s my policy, but I used to buy her food at the bagel store because she was hungry. Sad.

  • Heights97

    I love the goggle twins and anyone else who makes life around here a little more interesting. Speaking of which, did anyone notice the guy who was selling poetry on Pierrepont Street between Hicks and Willow a few weeks ago? He had them set up on a little table, each rolled up into a little scroll, and was charging between $1 and $3 for them. I regret not buying one.

  • CJP

    Interesting ad on page 3 of “Clipper Magazine,” the neighborhood publication full of coupons that no one bothers using. This one however might be different. “UCG Bar and Restaurant” at 50 Henry Street has published four coupons for lunch/dinner. But what’s interesting is the name.

    UCG is an abbreviation for Uncommon Grounds, right? And I do have the address correct? The half-page ad appears at the bottom of another half-page ad for Oven.

    One of the coupons is for a $29.95 deal for 2 that includes 2 tapas, 2 entrees and dessert. Looks like they’re offering a full menu here. But wasn’t this place going to be a coffee shop, or at least that was my interpretation?

  • No One of Consequence

    yeah.. note that there is a website listed, too, for which is the uncommon grounds website.. or it was. Now it’s just a logo.
    Here they go again, putting the cart before the horse.
    On the opposite page are 1/2 page ads for Blue Pig Ice Cream and busyCHEF, so again, it’s not hard to make the connection that these establishments are somehow connected.

  • cranberry

    well now they are literally connected…if you’ve noticed they tore down part of the wall in busy chef so that blue pig and busy chef are now open to each other…why was that necessary i wonder? And why is it necessary to give out coupons for 2 for 1 meals at a “restaurant” that is obviously far from being open….which brings me to the next question..why did they take the paper down from the windows exposing the incomplete construction anyway? maybe it’s to get us all talking about them again.

  • Cranky

    hoppy Yup, you got it, that’s exactly who suitcase man is.

  • nabeguy

    One of my favorite neighborhood characters growing up in the north Heights was Mamie, otherwise known as the Cat Lady. She took it upon herself to feed every stray in the area, and was often seen with a can of Figaro in hand leading a parade of cats like the Pied Piper. She also insisted, to no one in particular, that the Brooklyn Bridge was in Baltimore. Imagine my surprise when I actually drove across a bridge from Baltimore Maryland to Brooklyn Maryland. I guess she had the last laugh.

  • steve

    Uncommon Grounds insists on using the abbreviation “UCG.” Yet, “Uncommon” is one word, so it should be “UG,” which, of course, is less than euphonious, but perhaps more than apt.

  • No One of Consequence

    Oh boy, the weather module is back!!!

  • nabeguy

    Yes, the module’s back, but I don’t really think it’s 25F out, do you? I think Homer put the thermometer in his fridge by accident