Open Thread: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not only is it Open Thread Day on the BHB, inviting your comments and observations… but on April 4, 1973, the once-consummate view from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade—the World Trade Center complex—held its official opening. The North Tower topped out in December 1970, followed by the South Tower in July 1971. First tenants moved into WTC in December 1970. The ribbon cutting ceremony followed 39 years ago today.

(Photo: Chuck Taylor/Henry Street outside the St. George Hotel 2/3 subway entrance)

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  • maria

    On Monday morning a guy parked on Middagh between Hicks and Henry went to move his car and found ALL FOUR WHEELS W/ RIMS MISSING! The thieves left it on cinder blocks. Poor guy.

  • lois

    Claude, I am eagerly awaiting your review of Colm Toibin’s talk at the BHS on Sunday. He sure has the “gift of gab” – must have kissed the blarney stone many times. I think he would have gone on much longer if not stopped by the moderator, but I think everyone in the packed house enjoyed his talk and the music of Mick Moloney and the fiddler.

  • AL

    Can anyone recommend (based on personal experience) a wood floor refinisher for a very small job (1 room) in the Heights? Must be insured. Thanks

  • hw

    Any recommendations for co-op management companies in Brooklyn Heights? Or are they all just a little bit terrible?

  • BronxKid

    AL – when I moved here about 5 years ago, I used New Wood Co., out of the Bronx. They did an excellent job on refinishing the floors. Phone is 718-665-5400. Contact Peter Downs. Website is
    They are worth checking out – and they are insured (or were when I used them).

  • BronxKid

    LOIS – Agree with you. Excellent program, although I would have liked just a bit more about the writing of the novel Brooklyn.
    Colm Toibin and Mick Moloney might have gone on longer if the moderator hadn’t stopped them. BHS runs interesting programs – their exhibits of late haven’t been that enticing, though.

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    BronxKid–What part of the Bronx did you live in? Am assuming you grew up there. i lived in the Norwood section of the Bronx from 1945-1957 and still consider myself a Bronx Girl as well as-now-a Brooklyn Girl since i have been living in Brooklyn (Hts) for 44 years. A piece of my heart still belong to the Bronx (and another piece to Sullivan County/The Borscht Belt, NY).

  • Dianne

    Can anyone point me in the direction of websites or info about Brooklyn Heights, the Promenade, restaurants, shops, or brownstones in 1968, 1969, and 1970? What were the rents like, what about shops, restaurants, etc. Research is for a book…..Thanks. PS what is the subway stop for the Promenade?

  • She’s Crafty

    We used Verrazzano Flooring 8 years back and they were really good.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    To the Overweight Gentleman in his 60s Walking his Black Lab (off-leash) at 6:50 this Morning on the East Side of Columbia Heights:

    As I was walking home from the gym, on the West side of Columbia Heights, I saw you glaring at me for about 50 feet. Not only were you staring at me, but your body was visibly turning to track me as I walked down the street. Yes, when I turned around even after I had passed you, I saw you standing there, still staring at me. You were embarrassing yourself as you stared at me as if I was about to break into someone’s home. You were embarrassing yourself with that judgmental look on your face. I was the man in his early 30’s, wearing grey sweatpants, a grey hoodie, and a green fleece, covered in sweat, and I look that way every day at that time, as I am always waking home from gym at that time. While it’s clear that you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in decades, this is what people look like after working out. Maybe that spells trouble to you. I regret not stopping to ask you what your problem was. Maybe if you caught me an hour later on my way to work wearing a tie with neatly combed hair you wouldn’t be so alarmed.

    Instead of looking at me at so judgmentally, take a look at yourself. I am your neighbor, jerk.

  • AmyinBH

    Just when all the pretty spring flowers start to bloom a bumper crop of scaffolding goes up!

  • EHinBH

    Verrazano Flooring does a great job:

  • AL

    BxKid, She’s & EHin…thanks for the recommendations. Someone had recommended Verrazano to me but online reviews are terrible. Glad to hear ur positive comments. (Online reviews not the most trustworthy.) New Wood Co looks great but I fear too upscale for me. Will give a call, tho.

  • Janeonorange

    I can’t believe you used this photo! Just Sunday I pointed it out to my husband and remarked on how the travel agent and cleaners had been gone for so long. I think the red sign on the opposite side of the entrance is even older!

  • David on Middagh


    We are blessed with several subway lines in the vicinity. The Clark Street stop (2/3 trains) will do well for the Promenade; also the High Street stop (A/C) if you take the west exit going to Henry/Cranberry Streets; also the Borough Hall stop (4/5).

  • Josh G

    I agree with @Jane – what’s up with those signs? Why are they still there?

    @Dianne – subway stop for the Promenade is the Clark St 2/3, unless you count the recently-patched sinkhole on Clark St *on* the Promenade.

  • Will Pill

    Dianne, you should go to the Brooklyn Public Library for the information you’re seeking. Librarians are your friend, and can point you in the right direction!

  • Alec

    Should I be worried about how loud/noisy the ventilation system will be at Le Pain Quotidien? My window faces directly out to the roof of the LPQ and they’ve been installing a massive looking AC unit.
    In the event its extremely loud, who would I contact to file a complaint?

  • harumph

    Ha! that is hilarious – you want to get ready to complain about a noise that hasn’t happened yet?

  • Isabel

    Can anyone recommend a good, trustworthy house cleaner? Any replies much appreciated.

  • Neil

    Reply to Dianne (April 4, 2012 at 8:42 am):

    Dianne, this blog is actually one of the best sources for the information you seek, as there are many potential respondents who have first-hand knowledge.

    Unfortunately, the site’s configuration does not allow for optimal communication among posters (a perfect example being the lack of a contextual reply format) but with a little perseverance, there is a wealth of information to be mined.

    Good luck with your project.

  • Eddyenergizer

    One of the problems with floor sanding or any type of remedial finish work, is matching the customers expectations to what is realistically posable, at least for the price. Floors in particular are prone to contention because any refinished floor is going to have imperfections. If the customer is imagining the work is going to look perfect “like new” they may be disappointed.However, If the contractor accurately conveys what is to be expected in the finished work, there usually won’t be any problem. Stay away from contractors who say things like “It will be perfect” or “like new” they will just be lying to get your business.

  • Homer Fink

    @Neil – hilarious comment about lack of contextual reply. the “mob” voted it down a few weeks ago after we activated it.

    and so it goes…

  • AL

    EddyE – Thanks

  • Alec

    I am working on becoming a curmudgeon. But seriously, you should see the size of this thing. (pictures tomorrow when i get home…) I used to live on Schermerhorn and you could hear the McDonalds ventilation system very loudly.

  • Melissa

    House/apt cleaner – the woman who cleans my apt is Aida Soriano 347-235-7641. She’s worked for me for 4 years and I’m very happy with her and have found her to be very honest.

  • Isabel

    @Melissa, thank you so much!

  • escapee

    Is the guy with the black lab that character who runs Housing Works? Definitely comes off as a busy body. Also likes to price used things at a thrift store like they’re new.

    While I’m at it- is anybody else “over” Housing Works? The staff there is rude and immature, the quality of the stuff for sale has gone down markedly, and the prices continue to be outrageous for used junk. Other branches of HW are better than ours on all fronts.

  • Neil

    Reply to Homer Fink (April 4, 2012 at 11:39 am):

    Thanks, Homer.

    Yes, I noticed the change, and then the reversion, a few weeks back, and it’s a huge puzzle to me why anyone would find the present configuration preferable to one in which replies are attached to an original post, creating a logical and intelligible thread.

    As it is, a respondent wishing to reply to a previous post must accept that such response will be placed chronologically, at the bottom of the list of whatever has been posted previously, related or not to the original. This is the most primitive, and thus the least useful, of the many possible formats presently in use by bloggers and web masters.

    Another problem is that when posts are placed in descending order, one must scroll to the bottom of the list to see the most recent, which is tedious and time-wasting. In blogs and forums that thrive on more than just “drive-by” posters, who care little for follow-up or even extended conversation, this probably is sufficient, but for frequent visitors, it’s awkward, at best.

    Ordering posts with the most recent at the top allows easy exposure to new topics, and for those who may happen upon a thread some time after its beginning, it’s a simple matter of starting at the bottom and reading one’s way to the top, if one is interested enough.

    I’ve noticed that at least offers user-configurable ordering of posts, which in my view is a nice touch, and they USED to use a reply format that attached replies to the original post, but now offer only a reply link that dumps the response in the same manner as found here. The only difference is that there is an automatic indication of to whom one is responding (but not the specific post). Hardly worthwhile, in my opinion.

    In my deep experience with blogs and forums, I often see this sort of resistance to the logical and contextual, and, as I said, it’s baffling why this is.

    P.S. An EDIT function would be nice, as well!

  • JoJo

    @AL: I just had my 1-bedroom in Cobble Hill refinished, the wood-covered area was around 500 square feet in 2 rooms and 3 closets. The work took either 2 or 3 days, it was sanded down and refinished with a matte finish, looks absolutely beautiful for 60 year old wood. The work was done by Carlos Salazar at JC Martin & Sons (Google search will bring their name up, didn’t know if there were restrictions on posting a number or URL). Cost was around $1200 I believe.