Open Thread Wednesday 4/13/11

What’s on your mind? Comment away!
BHB Photo Club pic by fkuffel via Flickr

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  • Confused

    @Heighster That’s her alright. When I saw her the first time, I thought it was a fluke. But I’ve seen her without shoes numerous times. I can’t even imagine what kind of stuff she’s stepping on…

  • nabeguy

    Jeez, people, this is a neighborhood, not your personal ivory tower. Stop all the moaning about things that barely rise above the level of annoying and which are hardly exclusive to BH. You don’t like kids and mothers? Move to Chelsea.

  • harumph

    @sky – well now i know you are not observant or you would really be slamming the door on the nannies…

  • sky

    I thought this Open Thread was “What’s on your mind? Comment Away!” ?
    I guess if Nabeguy doesn’t like what is on our minds, we should move to Chelsea! Nice.


    Demonter: re: who is the first suburb?
    In 1961, architectural historian Clay Lancaster ‘s seminal book “Old Brooklyn Heights” carried the prominent subtitle “NEW YORK’S FIRST SUBURB.”
    Going back a bit, Gleason’s Pictorial Newspaper in Boston, in 1854,detailed the many virtues of the Heights including the quick ferry ride from Manhattan and its fresh airs, being 70 feet above the water.
    So, let’s hear it from all comers and see who can do better.

  • T.K. Small

    A few weeks ago Homer complained about April Fools’ Day news stories. Next year I’m going to write a piece entitled “Brooklyn Heights Residents Run out of Complaints”.

  • spm

    For those of you who love “Top Chef” and also want to do something to support Japanese children affected by the events in Japan, here’s a fundraising event tomorrow night at The Bowery Hotel (I know, in Manhattan, not the Heights):
    and it’s hosted by several of the “Top Chef” winners and alumna.

    And epc, you made me laugh. I don’t think any topics generate more discussion then dogs and children in this blog…

  • HarryK

    On the sizzling hot “first suburb” controversy: it all depends what you mean by a suburb. On what I thought was an excellent walking tour of the area, I was told (i.e., this is educated hearsay) that the earliest Brooklyn community got nicknamed “Manhattan’s Bedroom,” making it the first “bedroom community” in the U.S. The early residents (not talking about the farmers, obviously) who regularly commuted to Manhattan on the ferry were a pretty wealthy bunch and the houses they built in what is now our neighborhood reflected that fact. The Wikipedia claims that Northern Liberties regards itself specifically as “Philadelphia’s First Suburb,” though another neighborhood in today’s Philadelphia, then called Suffolk and now (part of it) called Queen’s Village, vies for that distinction. I don’t doubt that the reported sign is there, though I never saw it in the many years I lived in the Philadelphia area.) But to quote from the Wikipedia itself regarding Levittown, NY, the first of four Levittowns:

    William Levitt is considered the father of modern suburbia. Levittown was the first truly mass-produced suburb and is widely regarded as the archetype for postwar suburbs throughout the country.

    Note the specificity of “modern” and “mass-produced,” i.e., planned. So, looping back, it all depends on how you define “suburb.”

  • cat

    Not-so-wildlife: There has been a big red cardinal singing high up in a sycamore tree behind our house all week. And I thought I might have glimpsed the female out there one day. There is a big nest in the tree, too, but I can’t tell if it belongs to them or not. I can’t wait for the leaves to come out, but then I won’t be able to see the nest, and I’m going to miss watching what plays out in this tree.

    Anyway, it sure is nice to hear all the birds singing when I walk down the streets these days. Spring is here!

  • nabeguy

    Interesting link
    Originally, the Heights was known as Clover Hill.
    And yes, sky, this is an open thread, but if that’s all that’s on your mind, maybe you can spare us and find a good shrink instead.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Well even if the Heights was the first suburb, it certainly isn’t one now.

  • Tb


    This is what’s on my mind: You are behaving in a manner which is much worse than the people you want to slam doors on. I hope you feel good about that.

  • Jorale-Machine

    Is it uncouth to think Saint Ann’s and Packer seem really cool? I grew up attending mediocre Long Island public schools with limited funding that patted themselves on the back for offering a single drama class, or for simply having a music program. My choices in academic classes were “Regular _____” or “AP _______.”

    From just quickly perusing Saint Ann’s website, kids interested in music can study Jazz Guitar, Music Composition, Jazz History, Opera, The Broadway Musical…

    Kids interested in drama can study playwriting, play production, costume production, puppetry…the list goes on and on…and that’s just arts classes.

    If I had only been able to take classes like “Russian Literature,” or “Understanding The Cold War,” high school might not have been so boring/miserable and I probably wouldn’t have had to wait until college to meet interesting and intellectual people, which were few and far between at my high school.

    Maybe the grass is always greener, but schools like these seem amazing and I hope to be fortunate enough to send my own kids to one like them someday.

  • nabeguy

    Eddy, it’s still superb.

  • cc

    does anyone else notice the guy (and sometimes his companion is with him and they’re identically dresssed) who wears a tight hood and clear goggles (like you wear in chemistry class) around the neighborhood? what’s his story? i want to assume he’s harmless and just a little quirky?

  • AEB

    Not to worry, Jorale-Machine. In my day, in a so-called progressive, private school, life was still (at last for me) boring/miserable.

    Of course each person’s pain–or happiness–is her or his own; and the traveler takes her- or himself everywhere.

    So, yes, the grass is always–or usually–greener.

    There–feel better?

  • AEB

    And Eddy, I beg to differ.

  • yesitsthetruth

    If you think saint ann’s/packer are full of bratty kids, you probably should not step foot in the manhattan private school system. I went to packer till 6th grade and then switched to a school on the upper west side.. I spent some of the most miserable years of my life there… Manhattan kids are way worse..

  • Claude Scales

    cc: the “Goggle Brothers” have lived in the neighborhood for many years. They are harmless.

  • yesitsthetruth

    cc: they are known as the “goggle twins”. they are LEGENDS of the neighborhood. I <3 them

  • WillowtownCop

    I haven’t set foot in Starbucks since I bought a Keurig. If you can’t handle the line, perhaps you should learn to make coffee.

    I have also learned my lesson about going barefoot in the neighborhood. I was in college and I was walking home from the train after a night out at a restaurant in Manhattan I couldn’t afford and I was wearing stupid shoes that actually made my feet bleed. I had spent all my money on dinner and I couldn’t afford a cab home, so I just took my shoes off. I made it to Hicks and Grace Court when a SNAKE came out of the church yard right next to my bare feet. It was small and probably harmless but it remains the only one I’ve ever seen around here and I put my shoes back on and ran all the way home in them.

  • Freck

    I for one don’t let my toddler approach strange dogs unless the owners approve and he also wants to. Most dog owners I’ve encountered seem very gracious. I do wonder if all the child-hating commenters forget that they were once children. Or maybe that’s where all the self-loathing started. I guess it’s too bad their mothers didn’t share their views on procreation.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    nabeguy, yes it sure is :)

    @AEB, you can beg all you want but you will still be wrong. We live in downtown Brooklyn by no definition could our neighborhood be still be considered a suburb.

  • Jorale-man

    @north heights res I stand corrected from earlier. NY1’s Dan Eaton is indeed still on. The spring fritata looks delicious too!

  • San

    What about the guy who jogs around BH wearing a gas mask, I’ve seen him around Henry and Cranberry a few times, anyone know his story?

  • Demonter

    Nabeguy thank you for the excellent link. Also, thanks to everyone who posted a comment concerning my query regarding “America’s First Suburb.”

  • AEB

    Eddy not talking about Downtown Brooklyn, but our own sleepy sub-urban enclave….

  • Just A Neighbor

    The majority of this thread is making me very happy that I have neither a dog nor a child, simply so I don’t have to deal with this angst every day.

    There, I said it.

  • alex

    Has anyone seen this scrappy looking homeless lady around the r train on court street? She mutters something to herself about having hiv. Just curious if anyone else has seen her before.

  • ABC

    I have kids and a dog, and they all bring a lot of joy to my life.

    Of course, if you’re the kind of person who complains online about the lines at Starbucks, you are a certified crank.

    An old lady wrote a check at key food in front of me yesterday. Took forever to get that signed off on. The guy behind me yelled (really yelled), THIS IS THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS THING I HAVE EVER SEEN! and stormed off. The old woman nearly cried. Honestly, I told her, if THIS is the most outrageous thing he’s ever seen, the guy is living a charmed life….