Open Thread Wednesday 9/8/10

BHB Photo Club pic by Quartley

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Melissa

    Has anyone experienced very poor service at the hardware/variety store on Montague? The husband and wife are usually hostile. The son seems to be ok. What’s up with this?

  • eg

    . For complaints to Fresh Direct, go to and find a complaint link. or 311 for a DOE complaint.

    .That store has been like that since I’m here for 32 years. What you experienced is standard behavior on the parents part, especially the tarted-up wife. I have many stories, as almost everyone I know, but try not to shop there. Somehow they never get the message. And they don’t take credit cards either – only cash, so they must be cheating on taxes too.

  • bhmom3

    Brooklynite: Could you tell us what you heard or know??

  • Sam

    Anyone know of any bar trivia nights in the vicinity (ideally on Wednesdays)? I know of the every other Monday one at Last Exit, but there don’t seem to be any in Brooklyn Heights…

  • DrewB

    I’ve never had any problem with the folks in the variety store on Montague. I usually only run in there if I need something small, but they’ve always been helpful. I have noticed a decline in the service at Bruno’s on court street. Since the owner died and Sid’s closed it seems like they’ve gotten pretty indifferent. They sold us a bunch of mislabeled items the other day and when we went to exchange them they basically shrugged and said tough.

  • north heights res

    Been going to the hardware/variety store on Montague for 13 years and have never had any problem; in fact, I’ve found them pretty friendly and accommodating. And I’ve used my debit card there, so I’m pretty sure that they take credit cards, too.

  • DrewB

    @Willowcop – SODASTREAM?!?!?!? Thank you! I’m a seltzer addict, and this is just what I need!

  • MartinLBrooklyn

    Keyfood introduces another stupid credit card rule. Now the clerk has to eyeball the signature on your card, if the purchase is over $25, and verify that its yours. My check-out counter signature is not close to the one on my AmEx card. So, I had to show her photo ID which she carefully studied before okaying the purchase of about $30. My patience was exhausted and I confronted the manager/owner with the complaint that it is a waste of time and insulting to the regular customers. Fairway doesn’t do it. Trader Joes and Sahadi’s don’t do it. What’s the problem. He claims he lost $4000 last year. Probably an exaggeration but at face value, it adds up to maybe $80 a WEEK. Let’s all let him how insulting and time-wasting this is. Next time for me, perhaps I’ll just leave the purchase on the counter and walk out. Ah, Key Food and Gristedes, what have we done to deserve such crummy markets.

  • WillowtownCop

    @ Drew- they sell them at A Cook’s Companion, and you can exchange the CO2 cartridges there, too.

  • Me

    What is going on with the corner garbage cans along Hicks St.? They haven’t been emptied in a long time and the garbage is overflowing, fly-covered and rotting.

  • bornhere

    Variety Mart has been on Montague for as long as I can remember (which should make “Mom and Pop” about 140 years old), and I always felt a certain trepidation waltzing past the watering cans and glassware to get to the “one tiny can of caulk, please.” But when I started going there with my son shortly after he was born, “Mom” fell in love with him and that was good enough for me. I always ask “Mom” how “Pop” or her son is, and I always ask the son how his parents are, and everyone seems happy. Not fabulous prices, but there’s something good about the place. And in the old days, it was either Variety Mart or navigating “Shecky” (who was actually a decent guy) at the “upstairs hardware store.” I also think that “Mom and Pop” own more on Montague than just the Variety Mart building, but that might be Heights folklore.

    Me — the garbage can on Remsen and Henry last evening was breathtaking (and beyond overfilled). I chalk it up to Labor Day, the Mayor’s new rules, and so many more visitors to the neighborhood.

  • Melissa

    During my few visits to the hardware store, only the son has been pleasant. The parents always insist they don’t have what I’m looking for (basic hardware items) and are borderline rude. Will get more exercise walking to Tony’s on Smith St. where I have always had very pleasant and helpful service.

  • Kitty

    mike kooper: have hired this handyman before, he’s very good —

  • David on Middagh

    @MartinLBrooklyn: May I ask why you make a habit of using your credit card for small purchases? Did you know that stores are charged several percent for this service, which means that CC users induce higher prices for everyone?

    I’m sorry that your signatures don’t match, but… the card signature is not your agreement to pay your debts, it’s a security measure that (in theory) is checked every time a charge is made in person. Again, the merchant pays for preventable fraudulent charges, raising prices for everyone.

  • Mo Scribe

    Sorry to say I’ve had a few poor experiences with ‘mom & pop’ too … But is walmart better?

    Spoke with some youngsters earlier who suggested staying out of Cadman park – muggings. Can anyone shed some light on this? Thank you. Mo

  • Remsen

    Just discovered Damasus Bakery spinach pies available at Roebling Inn…

  • Eddy de Lectron

    I have been going to the Variety Mart all my life. From what I remember “mom & pop” bought the store sometime in the mid 70’s,
    from the previous owner. I think his name was “Louie” he had a ring of gray/white hair. I think they also own a couple of buildings on that side of the block.
    The store always had a reputation for high prices. I have experienced a “variety” of service from curt to friendly… One thing I find annoying is the way they call out the price of each item as they ring it up, hammering home the fact that you are being ripped off. “Five ninety eight, seven sixty two, fourteen eighty three…

  • ABC

    David, really? I don’t think $25 is such a small charge. And what do you want us all to use – cash? check? Cash leads to far greater pettty/employee theft (and mistakes in making change) and checks take up all sorts of time and bounce. If I were a shop owner, I’d take a credit card every time. Debit card can have a lower % but only if you don’t have a signature line and aren’t as widely used by senior citizens which is a problem for Key Food.

    Anyway, I’ve never heard your gripe before. People are against using credit cards for groceries?

  • EHinBH

    @Mo Scribe: I have not heard anything about muggings in Cadman Plaza Park. That would be a bummer to say the least… All I see are kids playing, soccer games, and in the morning tons of people running or working out with trainers.

  • brooklyn

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a great tailor in the Heights? I have a suit that needs some tricky tailoring and I just want to make sure it gets done the right way. Thanks

  • Henry

    Brooklyn- Henry street Tailor has done fine work on a couple of suits of mine.

  • Homer Fink

    Folks – if you haven’t already done so, please take a few minutes to take our 2010 reader survey:

    we’ve gotten some really great feedback so far… thanks!

  • Mo Scribe

    Thank you. I enjoy walking in the morning. It’s upsetting me to hear that the folks at 140 cadman plaza have notices posted in their building that muggings and car break-ins are taking place in and around cadman park. Have no idea if this is true or BS. Thank you again.

  • justaneighbor

    Melissa-they’re AWFUL. Go to one of the 2 on Court St near Livingston/Schermerhorn. They’ve got a major attitude, and they’re a ripoff.

    Martin- if your signatures don’t match, then get them to match. And while you’re at it, thank them for asking you for ID. Too many identity thefts happening these days.

    If I were you, I’d be more insulted at the obvious ripoff that is Gristedes.

  • David on Middagh

    ABC, unless I’m traveling, I try not to charge any purchase that can be covered by a few twenties. And MartinLBrooklyn seems to think $25 is small–at least, he thinks Key Food shouldn’t complain about $80/week losses due to credit card fraud, and shouldn’t insult him by double-checking his $30 purchase.

    Yes, I’m suggesting people use cash when they can. (Those cardholder “rewards” can’t be free. We pay for them in higher prices everywhere, and no doubt some of those “rewards” are extracted from our friends, family and neighbors–anyone who is paying the tremendous interest on these accounts.)

    Now if only we can get the government to revalue the dollar so that a pocketful of change can actually get you through the express lane, the way it did before inflationary policy rendered our coins impotent.