Open Thread: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Open Thread Wednesday has arrived again! What’s on your mind, BHB compatriots? Comment away.

(Photo: Chuck Taylor)

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  • lori

    Rats! Taking over Columbia Hts at night, scurrying thru garbage cans. Dead one on Willow Street. Too much scaffolding up in the Heights without work being done beneath them. Bike stations and curb “bump-outs” eliminating much needed parking spots and creating controversy. And finally, according to the N Y Post, “a reputed slumlord who is part of the development team getting slammed over conditions at the moldy, asbestos-laden Chelsea Hotel is taking over the former “Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn”. I think I am going to miss the Watchtower Society on the Heights – they were good landlords, maintained their property in excellent condition, and didn’t bother “leftover” tenants in properties they purchased. .

  • Scrambler

    The rats are getting pretty out of control as of late. On garbage night they are everywhere as I walk my dogs. There has to be something that can be done.

  • JohnG

    Anyone have a recommendation for custom made T-shirts?

  • EHinBH

    JohnG — For custom screen=printed shirts, try:

  • Homer Fink

    Folks – i’m working on a quick post about how the BH library branch – home of last night’s stabbing, inattentive nannies and their charges, damaged books etc.

    Any first hand experience there? How does it compare to other BK libraries?


  • Jorale-man

    I’m afraid I’ve never been inside the BH Library branch so have nothing to add there.

    On a separate note, I saw banana hammock guy (i.e. the nude sunbather) was out in full glory on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Bride Park. (Sorry to break the news.)

  • harumph

    Does anyone know what all the screaming on Montague street was about this morning? Did someone get hurt? By the time I looked all I saw was a truck with a string or wire attached to its top barreling down Montague.

  • She’s Crafty

    I heard the screaming too. It seemed like a woman walking her dog was grazed by the truck you reference – or something like that. I don’t know how that could have happened unless she was actually in the street.

  • She’s Crafty

    Homer, you’ll find the nanny contingent at every library. I really think people need to be more positive about this FREE benefit to us all. If you want perfection why don’t you volunteer there to help out in some way. Put your money where your mouth is and stop b***ching.

  • ifsandsor

    What is with the new Bossert landlord? Does anyone know his plans? Does anyone know more?

  • Heightster

    The nanny problem at the library is terrible. On a rainy day you will find the entire children’s section filled with nannies neglecting their charges, food everywhere (although there are signs that say no eating) and toddlers either running up and down the aisles abusing the books or asleep in their strollers at the end of the aisles.

    I have been there with my kids and have wanted to look at the shelves and can’t because they are blocked by a sleeping kid. The worst part is, you don’t even know which kid goes with which nanny. The cell phone usage is also out of control. I am telling you if these working parents had any idea what was going on they would freak out. I know I would.

    The adults section isn’t much better. It seems to have a very unsavory feel to it – filled with transients hanging out for the day.

    The only other Brooklyn library I have been to is the Grand Army Plaza branch. The children’s room is fantastic there. It is clean and well-run as is the whole library. It is very sad. We deserve something better – as do the kids who are taken there by their nannies. Parents beware!

  • DrewB

    It is becoming more and more apparent that the BHA is completely out of touch with the majority of the neighborhood. The demographics have changed. More younger families are moving in. Yet when you go to those meetings they are dominated by retirees who are concerned with nothing but fighting any sort of change. Their membership is also concentrated in a small, mostly wealthy area of the neighborhood. While i recognize that the BHA has done good things in the past, lately it seems more like a force for obstruction. This bike share thing is only the latest example. I hope that some of the neighborhood’s new residents will join the BHA and try to balance out the conversation.

  • Wrennie

    Can anyone recommend someone to do a small furniture-painting job? Ideally, they’d have a shop where they could take my piece (a console table) to sand, prime, and paint. Thanks in advance!

  • Joe

    Yesterday while driving down Willow, a man walks right into the middle of the street with his dog in the lead with no concern for passing cars.

    Had I been going any faster down Willow, I’d have hit his dog since they sprang out behind a larger car.

  • PS 8 parent

    The children’s section of the BH library is actually great, because it’s a large, open room with only one exit, near the desk–so any roaming toddler won’t get too far. The collection is decent, not as extensive as Grand Army Plaza, but the children’s section there is a nightmare with an active small child, because it’s so easy for a child to duck out of sight. I wish the adult collection were better, but it’s adequate. Recently went to the Bay Ridge library and really loved it. I wish there were a way to make the Heights library more attractive to older children after school; there are so many nannies that it’s hard to get around. But it’s hard to see a real solution, and I’d rather have nannies and babies around than people who stab other patrons!

  • runnic

    Anyone have a recommendation for a good tailor in the neighborhood? I know all the dry cleaners offer tailoring services but it’s hard to tell who’s good at doing easy stuff like hemming pants versus who can re-shape/take in a woman’s jacket. I am looking for someone who can do the latter. Thank you!

  • GHB

    Yes, the late-night rats on Columbia Heights are out of control. My dog notices them before I do… kind of like they were squirrels. What’s with the scaffolding around the building on the northwest corner of Willow and Pierrepont? Work is never being done there, and that sidewalk is a lawsuit waiting to happen!

  • Tclinton11201

    any word on Catania on Atlantic? A sign on the door says “on vacation, back in on 05/10″ but nothing so far, is it over already? it’d be a very sad news…

  • GHB

    I saw one of the ‘goggle twins’ the other day on Atlantic, but I haven’t seen both together in ages. Anyone know if we lost the other one?

  • epc

    If you believe the BHA is out of touch with residents in the neighborhood, JOIN THE BHA and effect change.

    As a private organization, the BHA needs to answer to its members. If it takes non–members opinions into account, that’s great, but they’re not required to do so.

  • Livingston


    I’ve had good luck w/ the tailor at the dry cleaner next to the City Chemists. Also the dry cleaner on Livingston (between Court & Boerum), they’re Russians and into the details.

  • DrewB

    Agreed EPC. That was my point. I think the problem that arises is that community groups like the BHA are often populated by people that have the most time on their hands. That skews older. If you’ve got two working parents with young kids, they aren’t likely to have the time or energy to sit in long meetings that often focus on minute insignificant issues, just so they can have a say in the issues that matter to them. I’m not saying that is an excuse, just a reality. But I agree with your point.

  • Hicks St Guy

    I agree the BH library is a dump, and it’s not the librarian’s fault. whatever happens, please don’t close it. It just needs a transfusion of resources and volunteers. I’m going to look into that.

  • runnic

    Thanks, Livingston. I will check them out.

  • She’s Crafty

    @HSG they just had a shout out for volunteers for Friends of the Library, if you are indeed considering volunteering. I also agree that the librarians (the ones with degrees, not the hourly workers they sometimes employ, although I’ve always found those people to be nice) are very knowledgeable and helpful.

  • SidneyPlaceLifer

    I will weigh in on the Brooklyn Heights brach of the library question. I’m therre at least twice a month (often weekly) with my seven-year-old. It has become the noightmare described above, with the nannies using it as a dumping ground for their charges and the noise level is intolerable. I have personally witnessed unsupervised kids pulling stacks of books off shelves or wandering around with no one watching them (we’re talking two and three-year-olds here). Another charming feature will be the screaming baby who is left to scream for minutes at a time while the nanny chats with her firends. Believe me, my son could be noisy at times, at which point I would remove him from the scene in order to not disturb others. I finally had enough when the nannies (who had been feeding their charges snacks forever) started putting their own lunches on the tables and using the library as their eating area. I complained to the librarian, who thanked me, and told me to go to the security officer downstairs because it was up to him to enforce the rules. I told him what was going on, he thanked me, and said he’d talk to the librarians about it. He didn’t budge. I honestly think he was afraid of those women.
    I have witnessed them screaming at a stay at home mom who asked one to look after her charge.
    This is truly a shame, as there are computers available for kids who don’t have them at home, and a system now with swipe cards so there is not only a thirty minute limit, but a record of what they were doing at the comp0uter. My experience has been that the kids who use these machines mostly use them for harmless games and some web surfing, and hopefully even a little homework. they can get a little boisterous, but they will listen to the librarian, unlike the nannies, who are a law unto themselves.

  • She’s Crafty

    What to do about the nannies? Noise control/no eating rules would certainly help, because they’d have to be quiet and not eat/feed the kiddies there.

  • David on Middagh

    The library’s security guard needs replaced. If he can’t stand up to the nannies, there are surely people who can.

  • debfrombrooklyh

    Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library (FBHBL) is looking for individuals to help energize its future endeavors. The non-profit 501c3 organization, formed in 1993, and incorporated in 1997, hosts an annual fundraiser that honors authors or illustrators and supports other community initiatives.
    We invite all who are interested to a meeting Tuesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m., at the Brooklyn Public Library at 280 Cadman Plaza West. Please join us in the Children’s Room on the second floor.
    FBHBL’s mission includes: bringing crucial library issues to the attention of the community and elected officials; supporting the library by raising money to purchase books, furniture, audiobooks, and computers (as well as their ongoing maintenance); sponsorship of author visits and events; and Friday book sales.
    FBHBL is working toward launching a Facebook page and is looking for trustees to be placed on the slate for election on June 5; for more information, please contact Deborah Hallen at

  • Michael Towers

    Goggle brothers are still a pair, at least last month when I saw them sweeping out the loading dock next to Perelandra.

    On another note, am curious why Con Ed blocked off Henry Street between Remsen and Joralemon this busy Wednesday morning even though the only work vehicle in sight was a normal sized van and the work was going on in a sidewalk manhole.