Microsoft Live Portrait Studio on Montague Shuts Down, You Know Just Like Vista

Nabe blogger Jared Brodsky laments the demise of that temporary oasis of weirdness the Microsoft Live Portrait Studio:

jared.brodsky: A few weeks ago I noticed that Microsoft made an interesting move and opened up Microsoft Live Picture Studio on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. At first I did a double-take thinking, “Could they really have opened up a picture studio?” What a waste. Apparently, they opened up for a “three week pre-Mother’s Day program.” Never once did I see anyone walk in. The only action I saw around the store was a few young girls dressed in the Microsoft garb, (khakis and a dark blue/black shirt with the Microsoft Live logo) hanging outside the store on the steps. Well, on my way home from work tonight I walk passed, and guess what, bye bye Live Studio. Your three weeks have expired. Good riddance. Now show me an Apple store will ya, Steve (Jobs)?

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  • Monty

    I went there with family the first weekend it was open. It was a warm, sunny day and the studio was packed with families and they had coffee and snacks from Lassen and Hennigs. The pictures turned out really nice. I think it was a really nice promotion. That space is way, way too small for a major retailer of any kind.

  • wh

    not saying it was a great idea, but agree with above on the facts…

    stopped by once, just to see what in god’s name it was. absolutely buzzing with kids and moms.

  • bongo

    Always seemed to be buzzing with activity when I went passed it. Put your barbs away, Apple fan-boy Jared.

  • nancy

    And if not an Apple store, how about a Pinkberry??

  • Monty

    Pinkberry? Wasn’t this the site of a failed Tasti D-lite?

  • Bart

    I’ve noticed lots of retail turnover in Brooklyn Heights in general and on Montague in specific.

    Compared to Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights is sparsely populated, (a side effect of Historic Districting). It is possible that newly opened retailers don’t get enough foot traffic to stay in business. Because BH is a non-growing environment, people already have their favorite: grocery store, expensive restaurant, daily eating restaurant, shoe store, liquor store. When a new restaurant opens, it has to be better in both quality and price than the ones we already go to. Usually it is more expensive because as a new retailer usually pays more rent than a long time retailer who has worked out a deal with the landlord or who is the landlord. So this type of economic environment will always set a very high bar for new retailers.

    But this is fine because all we really need are retail necessities. Everyone knows that for all high end shopping, Manahttan is the place to go.

  • Carol Gardens

    What are you people talking about? It was always meant to be temporary so it has nothing to do with turnover. And since it is geared to families, of course it would be quiet during school hours. It was packed last Saturday.

  • ABC

    Well, this store was a pop-up store. It was designed to be temporary. I don’t see why this is being painted as a failure.

    And it was packed every weekend. We got our picture taken (well, the kids did), and they were really great.

    I’m a 20-yr Mac fan, but this hating on MSFT has always seemed a little 5th grade to me.

  • JJ

    Let’s try to get a Jamba Juice there!

  • nancy

    But that was a horrible Tasti-d-ilite. And yup, I could go for the Jamba Juice.

  • Ice Cream Lover

    Agreed, I think this particular Tasti-D was done in by poor management and not poor location or traffic.

  • JGM

    I suppose a successful Montague store needs to please the lunchtime govt crowd as well as be able to please the neighborhood after work/weekends. Just not enough foot traffic or non-buying foot traffic on Montague to support a place that generates most revenue from the neighborhood residents. Hence the numerous cell phone and eye glass stores. I think a Jamba or Pinkberry could satisfy both crowds and does not need much space…so could fit in this location. My imaginary upscale bistro/bar needs more space than this ;-)

  • Joe

    Hmm how about a year round Kustard King. Pinkberry’s nickname may be crackberry but Kustard King gets my vote for dessert addiction. It also got to be better for the environment for Kustard King to be a storefront than it’s current incarnation as a truck.

  • Teddy

    What happened to the Apple Store that was supposed to come to the area ?

  • No One Of Consequence

    If we’re voting for desert places to go in the space, mine goes for Ralph Ice, but then, that’s not made year ’round, either.
    Yes, I know they have it at Fascati’s, but it’s only a fraction of the selection they have on SI.

  • Andrew Porter

    Hey BART, know what you mean about the Heights being sparsely populated. Now, maybe we could have the Landmark status taken away, and then all those cute little 3 and 4-story high buildings could be torn down and replaced with 70 story condo towers. Then we’d have six times as many people in the Heights, the streets would be as crowded as upper Broadway in front of Fairway, and you’d be happy. But no one else would be.

    BTW, I own a Mac. My several computers previously were also Macs. I suppressed the urge to put one of those colorful Mac decals on the front of the store. But only just…

  • Bart


    You misinterpreted my comment. In fact I love the Brooklyn Heights landmark status because it ensures the value of my three bedroom apartment will keep going up. In 2005 after selling the apartments in Chelsea, I bought in BH precisely because it was quiet and treelined.

    I think your desire to have the landmark status in the Heights would never fly because we like the neighborhood just as it is.


  • JJ

    Well, we can definitely let Jamba Juice know we want them in our neighborhood.

    “Play your part in spreading the Jamba goodness! If you are an owner or listing broker with a site opportunity for Jamba Juice, please contact the Real Estate Department by calling 1-877-RE-JAMBA (735-2622). Or shoot us an email at

  • bornhere

    Can someone recommend a painter/contractor-lite who is reliable, an ace painter/plasterer, and able to navigate minor renovations?

  • sue

    Bornhere, I strongly recommend Scott Reid, he has done much plastering and painting for me, as well as many other renovations. He is reliable, reasonable, and trustworthy, and does the work himself. His number is 1-347-277-9637. Please tell him Sue Goss recommended him.