Open Thread Wednesday: September 5, 2012

Mercy… On this date in 1902, James D. Crichton, assistant librarian at Montague Street’s Brooklyn Library, was suddenly stricken blind on the job. “The trouble came very suddenly and strange to say, was accompanied by no pain. The afflicted man could not tell what ailed him,” reported the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. A doctor diagnosed that oxygen failed to “nourish” his optic nerves, creating atrophy. Crichton told the Eagle, “It is the most depressing, weakening feeling a man could have.” Thankfully, there’s a happy ending: By next morn, he was able to distinguish objects, hearkening a full recovery.

So, as we start the (eye)ball rolling on September, what see you on this Open Thread Wednesday? (Photo: C&C99/BHB Photo Club)

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  • lori

    Well, I think that the POP UP pool turned out to be a success! Despite everybody’s reservations about the depth, the size, the capacity, etc. it worked out well. The wristband system worked out well and I was even able to gain entry a few times when I arrived on the hour. It’s too bad it had to be closed because of a faulty filter the last Saturday of its operation, but it was fixed in time for Sunday and Monday. The last day, it was so sparcely attended that they didn’t even need to give out the wristbands. AND, it was good to have the Brooklyn Beach Shack there for food and the picnic tables, too. Looking forward to next year.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    We have a lot of clothing to donate. Can anyone recommend a service that will pick up? We have too much to drop off. A place that provides a donation receipt would be ideal too. Thanks, neighbors.

  • Tclinton11201

    I think there is a salvation army on Atlantic just East of Smith (South side of the avenue)

  • north heights res

    A not uncommon observation, but given the number of streets that are torn up for various types of construction, it’s sort of boggles the mind that permits to close down several streets for TV production were approved. Both driving and parking just a frustrating mess yesterday.

  • ColumbiaHeightster


  • JL

    Salvation Army will pick-up clothing directly from your home. Minimum of 5 bags usually. Call them at 718-622-4705. They seem to have a truck in the neighborhood at least once a month or more.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Perfect. Thanks, again.

  • Ytsaeb

    Thanks for the advice regarding the Salvation Army. It is at 436 Atlantic (near Bond). Any other recommendations for places? (Ever since Housing Works failed to apologize for — or even acknowledge — how disruptive their 6 a.m. protest was last fall to their neighbors, I have been avoiding patronizing them.)

  • GHB

    Ytsaeb, Housing Works may employ a slew of douchnozzles, but don’t let that keep you from donating to a very worthwhile cause.

  • Joe

    @north heights res I agree. It was like a maze driving out of BH and into BH yesterday and looking for parking was extra difficult last night from shortage of parking due to filming/road work.

  • Knight

    I heard that Park Plaza Diner should be reopening tomorrow. Anyone know if that’s true? I’ve missed ordering “The Big Mess” on Saturday mornings!

  • Sharryn

    Someone has been vandalizing my car once every month or two, for years now, as it sits parked on Garden Place. Stupid things, like bending and stealing windshield wipers! Stupid, but potentially deadly. I almost hit and killed someone when it began to rain and I had no wipers. If anyone knows anything about criminal mischief going on on our otherwise peaceful streets, please put a note here. The police are aware, but it’s so minor they certainly can’t be expected to patrol. I have placed a camera in my vehicle but the night vision doesn’t work well through the glass. Thanks so much.

  • willowl

    Anyone get interviewed by the daily news about the rat problem in her our neighborhood? Two news reporters were walking up and down hicks street trying to get comments. Personally I don’t think much about the rat problem. Yes, it is disgusting.. but we do live in a highly populated city that accumulates dozens upon dozens of trash bags as well as overflowing garbage bins..moral of the story is, is our rat problem really front page news ? haha

  • willowl
  • Homer Fink

    @willowl – I should send them an invoice for doing their homework for them. A linkback would be nice too.

  • Zipporah Dvash

    Downstate LICH is happy to accept donations of adult clothing for indigent patients. Please contact me at if you’d like to donate. Thank you!

  • Monty

    Not sure I’ve ever seen a rat outside of a subway station. Have they actually been bothering anyone? Infesting buildings?

  • David on Middagh

    Sharryn, I don’t know who’s been vandalizing your car, but it sounds like either someone is very bored or the car is being annoying in some way. Is there a car alarm installed? Is the car potentially blocking someone’s way? I don’t know your street well–is yours the only car there, or the only car that is vandalized? Anyway, I hope it stops.

  • David on Middagh

    Monty, you can sometimes see rats scurrying around in the underbrush around the plaza at Borough Hall. I think they’re kind of cute, but we surely don’t need so many as we have. “Wingless pigeons”, I call them.

  • GHB

    I see rats on Columbia Heights on a regular basis late at night. I walk my dog around 11, and I see them almost every time.

  • JV

    ColumbiaHeightster, go to

    put in your zip code and it will give you three charities that pick up donations. it will give you the phone #’s and you will have to call.

    I just called salvation army last week and they do pick up but I was told they have a 3 bag minimum.

  • Chuck Taylor

    KNIGHT: appreciate the park plaza tip! the post above is all thanks to you. =CT=

  • north heights res

    Homer, I’m a little surprised at your comment about the News. Other than the missing link, how is the Daily News article any different from what this site does all the time, which is take someone else’s work and re-package it? At least the Daily News article did a lot of original reporting of its own, which BHB seldom does when it picks up stories from other outlets.

  • MonroeOrange

    @ Sharyn… So you have a camera in your car, which is parked on garden place? I predict more than just your wipers are gonna get stolen….lol

  • henrystreetgal

    Regarding rats in the ‘hood, there are definitely a lot living in the ground in the grassy areas around the court house. They’ve been there for years, but some summers seem to have more of them than others. But I saw several scurrying about when I was walking home from the 4 train recently. Also, all along the promenade today, there are A LOT of big rat holes in the ground behind the back row of benches. They were recently baited with poison – a number of signed were posted a few weekends ago. I can imagine they frequent Columbia Heights And, alas, a rat poison trap was installed on the patio outside my building entrance recently. All I can think is that a resident saw one in/near our trash bins one night. All this said, it has to be a much, much better situation here than anywhere in Manhattan. And I’m so grateful there are no rats in or near the Clark St. subway station!

  • Wiley E.

    How about adopting some rat terrier dogs? Just, please, pickup after them.

  • Sharryn

    I actually took the camera out because it was useless at night, when the vandalism is most likely occurring.

  • Sharryn

    (I’ve got five or six very kind neighbors instead keeping watch whenever possible.) My hope is that in time, the person targeting my car will work out his emotional issues in some more constructive way :)

  • Sharryn

    I’ve got five or six very kind neighbors instead keeping watch whenever possible. My hope is that in time, the person targeting my car will work out his emotional issues in some more constructive way.

  • M from Montague

    On a different subject-My growing peeve is bikes riding against the traffic, and sometimes on the sidewalks. I would guess 80% of them are food delivery bikes, the remainder, fast riding inidviduals. I was knocked down by a delivery bike at the corner of Clinton and Montague while looking in the direction of the oncoming cars and crossing. Yes, I should have looked both ways, but I must admit, like many of us who walk for transportation in the city,I am programmed to look towards the oncoming cars- and it is a hard habit to break! Other times I am walking my dog on the sidewalk and all of a sudden I feel the air move and I am brushed by a delivery bike riding quickly from behind to pass me. What if my dog or I change sides of the sidewalk at just that moment? Do we now have to look backwards on the sidewak before moving to one side or the other to be safe? Many individuals on their bikes are part of the problem as well. (Thank you to the those of you who are not!). I yelled out to an individual riding very fast against the traffic on Hicks Street, “Why can’t you go up two blocks and use the bike lane? You are going the wrong way!”…his response was to give me the finger.Nice community-minded guy. I have begun to speak to local restaurant owners and managers about it. Lychee Nut manager says he instructs his delivery guys to obey the traffic laws but admits they will do anything to make better time with deliveries. Yes, its all about time and money, not safety or concern for pedestrians. Kudos to the owners of Dellaroccos, who have not yet begun delivery, but have promised their delivery persons will not do this. There are slow moving older folk about ,and those of us with dogs and yes, strollers, who are on the streets here a lot, who deserve to be safe while crossing and walking. Now there are motorized bikes too! Not knowing what restaurant the delivery bike is from is also part of this problem.The guy that hit me had no identification and rode away while I was still on the ground. In Chelsea, a 40 something man died after being struck by a delivery bike and hitting his head on the curb. His wife started a campaign in that neighborhood that asked participating restaurants to identify their bikes,and have some kind of visible ID showing they were part of this initiative, and had agreed to obey traffic laws. Chelsea neighbors were asked to only patronize restaurants that participated. Don’t remember where I heard. or read about this, (maybe NPR?), and don’t know how it is working it or how it worked, if it was short lived. Short of taking to yelling “wrong way!” and “you are causing accidents””, “obey the traffic laws!” ,(which i admit I have taken to doing in my anger and frustration)…does anyone else find this a serious safety problem and have any suggestions?