This year’s BHB Ten is an interesting bunch. Some have added “flava” to Brooklyn Heights, while other have made it more beautiful, more interesting and dare we say more fun. Some have dedicated themselves to preserving the area’s unique historic character. We know there will be a lively discussion about who made this year’s list… and those who did not. The list, after the jump.
Martin L. Schneider – While he’s too modest to accept the title “Heights Hero”, it was Mr. Schneider who, along with Otis Pearsall and Malcolm Chesney, first sounded the battle call to save Brooklyn Heights from Robert Moses’ wrecking ball. This year, Schenider chronicled that fight in his book Battling for Brooklyn Heights. It’s a must read for all residents new and old.
Peter Hedges – While he’s a resident of Boerum Hill, he keeps an office on Montague Street and has deep ties to Brooklyn Heights. In March, the author of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape released his third novel, The Heights. And while its main characters were fictional, many locals couldn’t help but wonder if they or someone they knew were their inspiration. Hedges also helped the Brooklyn Heights Association kick off its centennial celebration in January with his presentation, Hollywood in the Heights.
Peter Byros – Byros brought his Armando’s restaurant back to its Montague Street location in late 2009 with a new executive chef, new menu and a new version of its iconic lobster sign. With his daughter Maria running the business day-to-day, the eatery’s re-boot has been well received. And, home delivery via Seamless Web is welcome addition.(Photo: Brooklyn Eagle)
Heather Quinlan – While we normally don’t include “one of our own” in the BHB Ten (we did in 2008 fwiw), HQ’s had a banner year. Her planned documentary, If These Knishes Could Talk, is set to become the definitive tome on the New York accent. It seemed like every week she was in the papers on on TV discussing the project. And, yes, she’s done a heckuva job with our Police Blotter too.
Richanda Rhoden – Ms. Rhoden is the force behind the annual Cranberry Street Festival, but her contribution to the North Heights is 24/7/365. Thanks to her efforts, Cranberry and Willow Streets are lined with pots of lovely flora and fauna all year round. Truly a pillar of the community, Ms. Rhoden started the Cranberry Street Festival with her late husband, artist and sculptor John Rhoden.
Jonathan Landsman – Like the flowers on the Promenade? Thank Mr. Landsman, who, with the support of the Promenade Partnership, rallies volunteers to make our esplanade beautiful.
Diane Ravitch – A BHB commenter says of this longtime Brooklyn Heights resident and author should be included because, “Her most recent opus: The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a must read for any parent who has children in the public schools.”
Nate Silver – Baseball stat freaks knew about Silver, a recent transplant to Brooklyn Heights, way before he revolutionized the science of politics by successfully predicting the outcome of the 2008 presidential race on his FiveThirtyEight.com . His blog is now published by the New York Times online. We will forgive him for not twisting the numbers to make Brooklyn Heights the most livable neighborhood in NYC earlier this year.
Ben Bankson – As president of the Willowtown Association, he makes this year’s list for his work to preserve and improve that charming neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood.
Judy Stanton – As the Executive Director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, Ms. Stanton sometimes doesn’t get enough credit for keeping things on an even keel. This year was particularly busy for the BHA as it celebrated its 100th anniversary while also taking stands on serious issues facing Brooklyn Heights including tourist helicopter noise, BQE revitalization and the future of the Tobacco Warehouse.