Open Thread Wednesday, 6-6-2012

Happy Birthday, Paul Giamatti! Our Henry Street neighbor was born June 6, 1967, and turns 45 today. The actor’s first prominent role was 1997’s film adaptation of Howard Stern’s “Private Parts,” as Kenny “Pig Vomit” Rushton, Stern’s antagonistic PD at WNBC. Since, he has gained acclaim in “American Splendor,” “Sideways,” “Cinderella Man” and mini-series “John Adams,” the latter for which he won an Emmy and Golden Globe. Giamatti won a second Golden Globe for “Barney’s Version.”

So here’s an idea. On this Open Thread Wednesday for June 6, 2012, instead of spewing personal “pig vomit” attacks at one another, let’s have a constructive conversation on the BHB. What’s on your mind?

(Photo: Chuck Taylor)

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  • BH’er

    get ready for the bike racks coming next month!

  • Livingston

    Had lunch w/ a friend at Panera yesterday (yes, that statement alone will probably bring howls from the “I never eat at chain restaurants” brigade).

    They were doing a brisk lunch business (happy to see that as there is a lot of constructioun around it), but they were quick and efficient in handling the line, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

    The better seating is upstairs, where they’ve made use of the original and large arched windows. Good noise level for sitting or having a casual conversation. Saw a few people w/ laptops so they must have wifi.

    Overall, not bad and a good alternative to Starbucks,etc.

  • Bette

    Livingston – where is the Panera? is it on Adams street? thank you!

  • X

    Panera is near where Morton’s used to be

  • GHB

    The rat problem in the middle of the block of Columbia Heights between Clark and Pierrepont seems to be getting worse. They’re out there every night scurrying back and forth. And it seems to be only in that specific area of the block.

  • Livingston

    345 Adams Street by the corner of Willoughby, Just a few doors north of Shake Shack.

  • lori

    Loved Giamatti in Sideways, Win Win, and especially in John Adams.

  • princess

    And don’t forget…this weekend at Pier One in the Brooklyn Bridge Park…FREE SHAKESPEARE for everyone! Theater 2020, Brooklyly Height resident professional theater company’s People/Puppet production of “The Comedy of Error’s” will perform on Saturday & Sunday, June 9 & 10 at 7pm. Show is just over an hour with no intermission and TONS of fun. For more info and a rockin puppet video, go to –

  • runnic

    Walked past Custom House a few days ago and a guy jetting in and out, doing repairs, etc., said the bar may open in time for this weekend. When I went past yesterday, it looked like they still had a bit to do, though. I’m excited for a new watering hole on Montague Street.

  • Derek

    Does anyone know what the garage under the BQE is for, or whats inside? It’s the segment behind the Riverside Heights apartments at the end of Joralemon where it meets Furman st. There’s a faded metal sign by the door that says impound, but I’m curious what is in there now.

  • Toff

    Boy will Montague Street get loud and messy with all these new drunks falling about.

  • X

    Maybe the Pace students from st George will take over the custom house as their local hangout

  • Hicks St Guy

    @X & Toff, people complain when it’s quiet, and some when it’s noisy.

  • Carlotta

    The volunteer Promenade Gardeners are having another wonderful bake sale on Saturday, June 9, starting at 9:30 a.m.

    Purchase a delicious home baked cookie, cake or special apple tart, have a cup of coffee, and know that you are helping to keep the Promenade Gardens looking beautiful all year long.

    All proceeds go to the Promenade Garden Conservancy, a joint effort of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation and the Brooklyn Heights Association with additional support from the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

    For more information email

    Thank you for your support!!

  • PierrepontSkin

    Maybe the Custom House will just be a nice new bar that everyone in the neighborhood can appreciate.

    HAH! What am I thinking? This is Brooklyn Heights. SOMEONE is going to have a problem.

  • Jorale-man

    I doubt that Custom House is going to be a girls-gone-wild style bar. My guess is it will be a par with Henry Street Ale House or Floyd. I do hope it has some character and style and isn’t a generic, midtown-style Irish pub. And some Newcastle on tap wouldn’t be bad.

  • JT

    Could the rats have anything to do with the abandoned 164 Columbia Heights building? WIthout a doubt, the block between Clark and Pierrepont is one of the dirtiest in all of BH. Such excessive amounts of poorly cleaned up dog poop, and puddles of dog pee everywhere, I hate walking on my own block.

  • Carlotta

    Oops – the Promenade Bake Sale is on the Promenade at Montague St.

  • Scrambler

    The rat problem is getting way out of control on Columbia Heights. I was just out there and saw no fewer than 5-8 rats in about 2 minutes. What can be done about it? Is there a deadbeat building owner with a building infested with rats?

  • malanga es malanga

    Tonight, I noticed a group of roughly 15 dog owners and their off-leash dogs in the middle of the Cadman Plaza soccer field around 9:45pm. Is there some sort of exception to the posted “no dogs allowed” rule for the field?

    And yes, of course, I saw one of the dogs urinating on the fake grass. Lovely.

  • A math major


    Yes, city parks generally allow dogs OFF leash from 9pm until 9am.

  • Matthew Parker

    ^ That’s not exactly correct information. Out of the hundreds of parks in NYC’s 5 boroughs, only 89 have designated 9pm-9am off-leash hours rules. Cadman Plaza Park is one of those 89 parks.

    The names of the 89 parks, the specific designated off-leash areas within each permitted parks, and the rules for off-leash recreation are available on the Department of Parks and Recreation’s website here:

    More information about the history of the off-leash hours policy in NYC available here (disclosure: I built and maintain this site for the New York Council of Dog Owners Groups, a non-profit umbrella organization for many of the dog run and off-leash hours groups in NYC):

    Specifically regarding Cadman: Dogs are never allowed on the artificial turf, whether onleash or off. Dogs are never allowed offleash on the south side of the Brooklyn War Memorial building. They are only permitted offleash from 9pm until the park closes (which I believe is 1am), and then from when the park opens (which I believe is dawn) until 9am on the north side of the War Memorial building. Dogs must be licensed.

    The entire set of rules is on the Parks Dept page.

    Dog owners: The NYC offleash hours policy was hard fought and almost was eliminated by a lawsuit in 2006-7 (you can read all about that on the NYCdog website linked above). You must obey the rules–anything other than that is illegal, and inconsiderate to your neighbors.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Thanks Matthew. Your diligence and reasonableness are appreciated. (And refreshing for a blog!)

  • Hicks St Guy

    scum dog owners, if there’s no one is on patrol with a gun to stop you, you’ll let your mutt do anything, go anywhere. that’s right, dogs are people too! (puke)

  • GHB

    People like Matthew and me are responsible dog owners. It’s a shame that a few make us all look bad. I won’t even dignify Hicks St Guy with a response.

  • Hicks St Guy

    @GHB, too few of you, but the sidewalks are disgusting.

  • PierrepontSkin

    Oh! I meant to post this yesterday!

    So, Monday night, my bandmate dropped me off around 12:30-1:00am after band practice. As we pulled up to Montague and Hicks, 2 NYPD squad cars whipped around the corner onto Hicks and flew up to Pierrepont where another 2 squad cars were already pulled over. As we slowly pulled up to the Pierrepont/Hicks intersection, we saw a yellow cab that was pulled over. 4 officers were huddled around the back door.
    It was late, and my friend was in a hurry to get home, so he dropped me off and went home. I stood on the corner and observed the situation for a few minutes. Turns out that it was just a drunk girl who didn’t have enough money for her cab (or her cards weren’t swiping).
    Luckily, 4 squad cars (that’s 8 police officers) were there to take care of the problem.

    Tax dollars at work, my friends.

  • malanga es malanga

    Thank you Matthew. I was hesitant to say anything to the group, unless I was certain that there wasn’t an exception to the off leash hours policy for the park.

  • Andrew Porter

    Okay, I filed a rat complaint with 311. The service # is C11755571257.

    I don’t suppose anyone else here bothered to do that?

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Andrew Porter,
    I made a complain a few years back regarding the rats on the Promenade. I counted 7-8 scurrying back and forth in a very short period of time. I e-mailed the BHA and got a response from Judy Stanton who had notified someone in the parks department.