Open Thread Wednesday 12/10/08

Flickr photo by cronopio snowstone

Flickr photo by cronopio snowstone

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Peter Steinberg

    A bit outside the neighborhood, but has anyone been to the new restuarant in Vinegar Hill — Vinegar Hill House?

    I went last night and liked it a lot — didn’t LOVE the food but did LOVE the room. Just looking for a bit of affirmation.

    Peter Steinberg
    Recommending books so good, they’ll keep you up past your bedtime (Oh, yeah and of course books make great holiday gifts.)

  • esme

    Is the tree lighting on the Promenade tonight? If so, does anyone know the exact time?

  • Matt

    Really nice to see that National Grid is tearing up the newly paved stretch of Court Street. Couldn’t they have done this work before they repaved?

  • Resident

    Tree lighting followed by caroling starts at 5:45.

  • Alex

    I’m looking for a Catholic church for Midnight mass with out of town family on Christmas Eve. Impressive architecture and not-particularly-religious services would be ideal. Any ideas?

  • nabeguy

    Matt, that kind of inter-agency communication break-down is the norm. I work on Hudson Street, which has been paved, and torn up and re-paved so many times, I beginning to think they’re using is as a training facility.

  • LD

    Does anyone know of any local churches or community centers that are running volunteer projects between now and the holidays? I’m a member of NYCares, but I was hoping to do something in the neighborhood. Thanks and seasons greetings!

  • curious

    what’s going on with the partially collapsing house at monroe and clark? the scaffolding is partly gone and there appears to have been construction work done.

  • AEB

    Burning issue: how do we feel about “decorative” cabbages, which look like an alien life-form, planted in planters in front of BH windows, etc.?

    There’s a bunch of them in front of Noodle Pudding and Ive seen others in the nabe, too.

    Ye gods, what’s next?! Giant turnips? Toadstools? Ears of corn?

  • Josh

    Just got a used piano and looking for recommendations on a tuner and someone who gives lessons (for both an adult and a young child neither of whom have ever played before)


  • Claude Scales

    Alex: while I’m not R.C., so can’t report from experience, I’ve heard good things about the Oratory Church of St. Boniface, which is not far away, on Duffield Street in downtown Brooklyn. I can’t find any indication on their calendar of a midnight mass, but you could give them a call.

    AEB: I find those cabbages intriguing, and wonder what they might taste like. As for other decorative plant possibilities, I’d like to see giant mushrooms.

  • AEB

    Dear god, Claude!! I won’t sleep for weeks.

    Just promise me they’re not radioactive….

  • henry & state

    Alex: St.Charles Borromeo on Sidney has a midnight mass – if you go early the choir will be singing. (they also will have a 5:00 children’s pagent mass which is allot of fun & light.
    Josh: on court & pacific is a woman who gives piano lessons – she may help you on the tuning of the piano as well.

  • since47

    This being an Open Thread Wednesday, where anything goes, I will post this – even at the risk of annoying those who can’t stand the fact that many of us write about Montague Street the way it used to be. But please – I’m obviously older than you are, so bear with me. Having not walked up and down Montague Street with a camera when I was a child, it drives me crazy that although I grew up in this neighborhood, I can’t put the pieces together. I try to recall what was on that street in the 50s and 60s (maybe extending into the 70s) and this is what I come up with: Silver’s (always #1 on my list); Womrath’s, Lassen & Hennig’s (when it was on the north side of the street); the Piano Bar, Nettie’s (now Banana Republic); Old Mexico, the Chinese laundry (still there); Peter Reeve’s (Einhorn? Bohack? – I’m not clear on those); Mammy’s Pantry, Sam’s Meat Market (in the Corcoran corner spot); the Chinese restaurant upstairs (now Hair Profiles); Pincus Framing (now Montague Art); a restaurant with a fish net in the window (maybe in the Radio Shack spot); Kleinman’s Pharmacy – and – well, that’s where it stops. Can anyone fill in the missing pieces?

  • Pete

    Assumption Parish on Cranberry also does a midnight mass –

  • T.K. Small

    This is scary that I actually remember this, but wasn’t there an episode of Gilligan’s Island with giant vegetables that they were able to grow from some radioactive seeds?

    Also, is anyone going to the community board meeting this evening? Is being held at congregation Mount Sinai, if you are interested.

  • BKBS

    I am a parishioner at Assumption and can attest to the beauty of the interior and the simplicity of the sermons. Its midnight mass is wonderful–biased though I am…

  • melanie hope greenberg

    Since 47, I moved here in 1977 and remember a vegetable and fruit vendor in the middle of Montague on the north side between Henry/Hicks, also a small record store right near it. Between Henry and Clinton was Meneuirs Art Gallery on the street and Perelandra up the stairs. Wasn’t there a Lenny’s Clam Bar in the late 70’s? i sorta remember red and white stripes. Capulet’s on Montague where Bon Gusto is now. And the Saloon where Housing Works is now. OMG, my brain cells are being tested and they’re losing.

  • Berkeley Grosvenor

    Since 47 and Melanie, you don’t know the pain of losing the green grocer only to see the space reopen as Starbucks. I also fret that Sleepy’s abandoned their second story space above that storefront to take up the street level Van Vleck liquor store (what was the horrible restaurant that preceded Sleepy’s there?).

    Anyway, here’s a partial flashback to the magical year of 1955. I can dig up some 70s/80s era names and addresses using an old BHA directory I have kicking around…

    Pajion & Paltos Giftwares, 152 Montague
    Dolores Beauty Salon, 148 Montague
    William H. Van Vleck, 124 Montague
    Plaza French Cleaners 116 Montague
    Hotel Bossert

    Lassen & Hennigs 107 Montague

    What was in the Connecticut Muffin space before Brooklyn Heights Nuts?

  • AEB

    From the enumeration of ’50s-’70s M. Street stores, it sounds like the tenor of the area wasn’t much different from what it is now.

    Was it? I mean, it must’ve had a greater mom-and-pop contingent, yes? And what, for example, did William H. Van Vleck sell? I’m flashing on that store in the move version of The Big Sleep that sold “rare books” but that actually purveyed oo-la-la porn.

  • melanie hope greenberg

    What about that 5&Dime Store which sold stationery, greeting cards and toys next to Teresa’s? Who was the tall cigar smoker character who ran it? I also have a soft spot for Cousin Arthur’s bookstore when my book career was just beginnning, but that was the late 80’s. BTW, the fruit vendor was across the street from the current Starbucks if I recall.

  • Jazz

    Dallas Jones BBQ on ATL only taking Amex now. Great move guys.

  • No One Of Consequence
  • bornhere

    Since47 (hi!)-
    Have you forgotten Rozelle’s Hair Salon (although it was probably just a “beauty parlor”), probably where Hair Profiles is now?
    And, Melanie, I agree that, for a short time in the 80s, there was a HUGE produce store, but I think it was more where Jennifer Convertibles is now. And where the vegetarian restaurant is now (upstairs from Andy’s), there was Stuff ‘n’ Nonsense in the 60s — great clothing.
    Wasn’t Connecticut Muffin Old Mexico? Or was it the vacuum-repair place?

  • Francine

    Sounds like Montague Street was as boring then as it is now. This neighborhood is too inbred-whitebread for its own good. We need a little ethnic joye de vivre or at least a transvestite piano bar.

  • Curmudgeon

    Francine – what you infer is not true. Montague Street was far, far more interesting than compared to what it is now. There were more interesting stores and places to eat and drink. Mind you it was not the end all, but you could spend a good deal of time there on a weekday night or weekend and really feel that you had a good time out.

    It is a pity to see what it has been reduced to today. I blame the greedy landlords and the Brooklyn Heights Association and their push to get “clean” tenants into the Montague Street locations. Pity. When things happen slowly it is harder to see the change for the worse!

  • melanie hope greenberg

    Old Mexico is now the sub shop (?) Remember the cleaners who had a downstairs spot right there? The Heights is beautiful but I hang out in Dumbo for fun.

  • AEB

    Alas, Francine, I’m afraid that BH’s boho days are (long) over. An infusion of hip occurs in neighborhoods that are, at least initially, relatively cheap to rent in. Not exactly the BH story.

    The heterogeneity/raciness for which you (and others) long requires demographic diversity, but…see paragraph above.

    As far as commercial property is concerned–there’s relatively little store-stock in BH, and landlords ARE greedy. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the five (!) vacant stores on Henry near Cranberry. I’m not betting on cool, idiosyncratic restaurants, clothing shops, or even a bar making the cut.

  • Teddy

    I grew up here (70s & 80s) and basically it goes like this, BH is/was where you live(d) and Manhattan (and now other parts of Brooklyn) was where you really live(d). I know a few people who didn’t like this arrangement & moved to Manhattan. However, I know more people who stayed or moved to Cobble Hill.

  • Monty

    @AEB, I haven’t been by Noodle Pudding in a little while, but if I recall correctly from last year, the “cabbages” are purple kale ( which are not only edible, but rather delicious.