Open Thread Wednesday 7/14/10

Flickr photo by bitchcakesny

Flickr photo by bitchcakesny

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • justaneighbor

    This Neighbor Likes: nearly anything behind the bar at Jack the Horse, pop-up pianos, and how our hood is pretty rain or shine. She dislikes: sinkholes, scary subway stairwells and the clipboard mafia on Montague.

  • Andrew Porter

    Brokelyn and Brownstoner report that the thrift/fabric store Baltic Bazaar, on Atlantic Avenue, will close at the end of July, with components moving to Staten Island and elsewhere in Brooklyn.

  • AEB


    The drums have been removed (leaving a blackish ring in the white window-display ledge).

    A second small black ceramic Buddha of nontraditional mien has been added to one side.

    The semi-alive plants in their “cupcake liner” planters have been removed. The plants were transplanted–including one that was in fact quite dead–to one of the two curbside “log cabin” planters, where they remained until some enterprising neighbor removed them and sent them to their well deserved final reward: the nearby trash can.

    Stay tuned!

  • manifooki

    Thanks for you detailed report AEB. Please keep up the good work. I am curious if they support local businesses, e.g. what lunch places do they go to, where do they get their office supplies from. I am a strong believer that local shops should be supportive to each other in order to keep the neighborhood alive.

  • ML

    Question for my esteemed neighbors. Any recommendation about what time to get down to Pier 1 with a decent-sized group for the Movie Nights on Thursdays? What is the latest we can get down there and still reasonably expect to find a spot? I don’t know what to expect, especially since they moved it this year. … Thanks!

  • mike

    I know that everyone likes to complain about the parking disruption from movie shoots, but did anyone see the scene on Cranberry at 11:30 pm last night? The shoot looked to be finished and partly packed up, but a pack of 20 or so of the crew was drinking on the street and yelling at the top of their lungs – it looked like they were having a party on the sidewalk of cranberry st.

    I also saw them shouting at some neighbors when (I am guessing) they asked them to quiet down as it was 11:30 at night. I walked by this morning and the crew left props strewn all over the street, what looked like fake protest posters and paper fliers.

    I understand the (economic) benefit of having movies shoot in NYC, but at some point the behavior of these crew people has to be reigned in. Can the BHA do anything about monitoring / moderating the countless shoots that go on in our neighborhood?

  • north heights res

    A shout-out to Eastern Athletic Club, which last week shot to the top of my list of good customer service.

    I’ve been a member for 12 years, and this summer, I need to go out of town for two months. Though I paid by the month, the manager switched my membership to annual; pro-rated the annual fee; and suspended payments for the two months I’ll be gone. It’ll end up saving me hundreds of dollars.

    Thanks, EAC!

  • T.K. Small

    Last week when we were all talking about Verizon FiOS, I called them up to push for installation in our neighborhood. During the call they offered me a new DSL modem, which they already had recently provided. Even though I declined, they sent me a new modem anyway. If anyone needs a modem, just send me a note.

  • nabeguy

    Is that a picture of another of my2’s signs? They’re getting quite professional-looking.

  • Hicks St guy

    @northheightsres, don’t get too carried away, EAC in BH is a dump. go to other clubs and you won’t see such tawdry conditions and old machines.

  • north heights res

    Hicks St guy, I am very happy at EAC. It’s within a block of where I live, and as I go to the gym at 6 am, its convenience–and now good service–are huge selling points. But thanks for the recommendation.

  • ML

    Glad if EAC works for you. … You are one of only a few I know. I am pretty easy-going, have few expectations for my gym (just let me work out in peace). … and that gym did everything it could to actively drive me away as a customer. I know at least a dozen people who left there during the few years I was a member, all with similar complaints. Management was so callous (broken/old equipment, a slew of robberies (inside job?), dirty locker room, a never-ending renovation that made working out into having to navigate through gravel pits, etc. and their attitude was “it’s not our problem.”). It’s too bad, because I live way closer to EAC than I do to the gym I currently go to. But no way I am paying a gym–and they are overpriced for what they offer–that didn’t seem to want my business and actively drove me (and others I know) away. I always recommend neighbors looking for a gym go anywhere but.

  • David G.

    I have visited pretty much every gym in the area and while EAC isn’t amazing, it’s not terrible. They are close to where I live and it’s pretty easy to get a treadmill and workout.

    Also, the only comparable gym with the same price point is NYSC, which I didn’t like when I visited. If I could afford $230 a month on a gym membership, I would spend it on equinox.

  • Bartmann

    I’m amazed to hear that you find Eastern Athletics good. My experience at Eastern Athletics was pretty bad.

    When I wanted to try out Eastern Athletics I got a five day pass. I thought I would go two days: Friday and Saturday, to get an idea of the weekday and weekend crowd. I found the carpets, layout and machines to be dated and smelly. The patrons were mostly retirees who lived in the building who seemed to use the gym to meet and chat while sitting on the machines. The locker room especially smelled moldy. So the overall feel of Eastern Athletics was not as a high-quality gym, rather as a building gym that was open to the public.

    But what turned me off the most was the fellow at the front desk. When I tried to go back on Saturday for a second visit, the fellow took the card and said it was no longer valid. I explained that it was a five day pass, but he would hear none of it. So we left and never went back.


  • AEB

    There is something–although not too much–to be said for the local NYSC: it’s “functional.” The needed equipment is there and in decent repair. It’s clean enough, and attendants are friendly. It’s cheap, or relatively so.

    The main advantage to having a NYSC membership is that it gives one entree into any of the bezillion clubs in the NYC area. Each has its own “population.”

    I would say that the Remsen Street branch is the best gym in the nabe, all things considered. And you’re not tethered to it, should you decide to work out in Manhattan or other boroughs.

  • Gianluca

    It is almost two years now that at the end of Henry street (on the Dumbo side) the sidewalk is very dangerous with halls and scaffolding and a non sense “no parking sign” because of an abandon construction site:”Henry 20 Condominium” It
    is any authority that would consider to fix it? I tried 311 and I’ll wait what is going to happen.
    The funny part is that somebody got the ticket and post papers saying do not park here because even if it seems you can…They will give you the ticket….
    That would be a nice picture to publish on your blog…

  • bhmom3

    AEB: you keep reporting on this “manifooki” but you never say what it is or where it is. Could you please fill us in?

  • Matthew Parker

    @ML: I happened to be on Pier 1 about 2 hours before sunset on the first night when Annie Hall screened. I was amazed at how full the field already was although there were some spots left. So based on the first showing in the new park, I’d say get there at least 2 hours before. It seemed a lot of people were picnicing before the movie and while it was still light otuside.

  • zburch

    What, no love for the Y? I was a member at EAC until the Y opened, I bet they have the same treadmills I used 10 years ago. The Y is reasonably priced, a great organization and has decent facilities and classes. For some in the Heights it might be a tad bit further of a walk, but that serves as a nice warmup for me.

  • Nancy

    Equinox isn’t $230. It is pretty similar in price to EAC, and is like night and day to them. They do have discounts if you work in the courts or other fields. My complaint isn’t with the retirees, it’s with the students who think it is a pick up bar and hang out on the machines all night long.

  • resident

    I find EAC adequate. Certainly not great, but adequate. I was a member of NYSC for two+ years and have now been a member of EAC for two years and I much prefer EAC. The main selling point to me is that it’s relatviely easy to go in and get your workout done with minimal time waiting around for machines/free weight stations to open up. I can probably count on one hand the number of times i’ve had to pause my workout to wait for something i wanted to use.

    Yes, their equipment is not updated as frequently as I’d like. But they do have a decent amount of modern machines, so I don’t really see that as a huge complaint.

    The final big plus is that they have some things that are pretty rare in a NYC gym (at least a relatively inexpensive one), they have a pool, boxing ring, racquetball courts, etc.

    The one complaint I can’t speak to is the locker rooms. I live close enough that I just generally don’t use them.

  • Ben

    EAC is s dump. With ALL of the planning and so called “vision” of the new Brooklyn Bridge Park there is NO pool, an indoor Aquatics Center leaving the crummy dirty EAC swimming pool the option for swimming in downtown Brooklyn. I swam there for 15 years and the pool was a mess. The new Heights YMCA pool is very nice but it is not an olympic size pool. The EAC and the pool are bad. Why was an Aquatics Center not included in Brooklyn Bridge Park?

  • AEB

    bhmom, I DID address your curiosity the last time around–perhaps you missed the info–but to repeat, it’s the new tenant of the store-site formerly occupied by Rowf, in 43 Hicks, at Middagh.

    The business has to do with real estate–I believe they do property management, though the owners seem to be in residence, so to speak, only occasionally.

    My updates, if it’s not apparent, are an attempt to chronicle what I see as a certain benightnedness regarding appropriate window display (and street planter decor)…though the owners HAVE planted some lovely flowers in their store window boxes.

  • north heights res

    I’m not going to disagree with others’ complaints about EAC, but most of them just don’t apply to me. The treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines all suit my needs just fine; it’s not crowded at 6 am, which is when I go, and as I have to be at work at 8 am, proximity is pretty important. Adding 20+ minutes of RT travel time (to EAC, Y, or Equinox) wouldn’t work for me. And I don’t use the locker rooms.

    And like I said–the customer service that I just received is huge for me. The club didn’t have to do anything to accommodate me, and not only did they do what I asked (suspend the membership while I’m away), they made suggestions that would save me money in the long run.

  • north heights res

    Oops, that should say “…to NYSC, Y, or Equinox…” not “EAC.” Freudian, perhaps…

  • ABC

    I ‘d don’t love EAC but I always find the machines I want available so I can’t complain. Also, I pay $90/month. Far cry from Equinox (which I’m sure I’d prefer).

    Doesn’t Squibb park look great? And safe too! Wonder how many landscape designers it took to realize that sometimes a blacktop yard is just right.

  • lcd

    I’ve been noticing Squbb Park too – looks pretty nice! does anyone know the plan? It’ll probably be the Promenade entrance to BBP.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    lcd, that is the plan.

  • nabeguy

    ABC, don’t you think that blacktop is going to heat up? I scoped it out yestereday and it looks kind of…empty. I know the proposal is to put those steps-to-nowhere along the east wall, so that might give it some character

  • brooklyn

    I am looking for a dentist. The local dentists that accept my plan are Ronald Malen on Joralemon and Frantz Backer on Montague. Has anybody had any experience with either dentist?