Open Thread Wednesday 1/2/13

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • T.K. Small

    First open thread Wednesday comment of 2013!

  • MattEv

    Can anyone recommend a good local travel travel agent? Thanks!

  • Gerry

    @ MattEv – as I understand it the Internet has erased the profession of travel agent

  • DIBS

    Why do you need a travel agent to travel locally??? Do’t you just take a car, a taxi or the subway?

  • MattEv

    @ Gerry: certain complex international itineraries can’t be booked online.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    @MattEv, not exactly “in the area” but I booked a great trip using Rose Amato at Liberty Travel in Park Slope.

  • DIBS

    I’ve done all my international travel onlne.

  • Brian P. Cleary

    Anybody have a clue when the scaffolding will come down on Court between Jorlemon and Livingston? It took an already narrow, overcrowded sidewalk and made it substantially worse.

  • MattEv

    @ ColumbiaHeightster: thanks, I’ll give her a call!

  • hicksanthrope

    Why was access closed to BBP yesterday? Just got back to town and wasnt able to run through it last night around 4pm. What’s up with that?

  • Gerry

    @ MattEv- we dont travel out of the USA and barley travel in the USA i will not go to an airport and am only willing to drive 3 hours to our place in Ocean City, New Jersey. I hate airports avoid them at all costs.

  • Joe

    Interactive map on the rat problem in NYC. Wish they had a legend.

  • Winston Smith

    Gerry, isn’t Ocean City in a floodplain?

  • Rick

    Can anyone give me a recommendation for a place with good eggplant or chicken parmigiana heroes in the neighborhood? Cobble Hill & Carroll Gardens will be OK, too.

    Has anybody had them at Fascati?

  • GHB

    @Rick, have you tried Vinny’s of Carroll Gardens? They’re on Smith between Union and Sackett.

  • elaine comstock-leirer

    a glorious new year for everyone. What a wonderful neighborhood.

  • DIBS

    I’ve had the meatball sandwich and the lasagne at Fascati’s…both quite good but have not had those.

  • Knight

    @GHB: I’d give Vinny’s two thumbs up myself. I haven’t had their eggplant (don’t like eggplant anywhere!) but their chicken parm is terrific.

  • Mr. Crusty

    One of the worst rat infestations is on Montague Terrace. Horrible street. Won’t live there for free.

  • DIBS

    Casa Rosa (sp?) down on Smith???? I’ve had some great food there.

  • Thruxton

    There are rats everywhere on the promenade that runs along Montague Terrace as well. It should be avoided.

  • Still Here

    For any trip with simple legs, and when you are confident about your dates, then online is the best. But if less straight forward (NY, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, back to NY, e.g., several people, and or approximate dates) it is easier with an agent.

    On a recent trip to Europe (airfare + cruise) the air side of it was complicated (several legs and variations in intinerary within our small group). TA’ s can book and hold, and subsequently change, a flight reservation for longer time than I could on the internet or directly with the airlines. One trip with several people took more than a week to sort out. $50 ticket charge which they later dropped. For Mileage award travel I used the airlines directly and they acturally did a much better job on the routing and cost than I had planned.

    The best thing the TA did was save each of us more than $100 a ticket on the cruise – and I am pretty good at getting the best price on my own and they beat all prices.

    Unfortunately, I cannot recommend my agent as they dropped the ball further down the road.

    I would suggest that when using agents do not assume that they have gotten everything right – I always check for connection times between flights. Also, check your cruise payment schedules – make sure the agent follows through on this.

  • Mr. Crusty

    He is rather parochial. In addition to being a dick of course.

  • Rick

    Thanks so much for the food advice, I’ll try those recommendations.

  • Martin L

    On Baguettes, good and bad. Now that DUMBO’S Almondine has been flooded out and it seems that they may not be coming back, the pursuit of really good world-class baguettes is a new necessity. Some observations: Sahadi’s Tribeca Oven version is terrific…it has that special yeasty Parisian flavor that approaches the real thing. In contrast, the Montague St. Pain Quotidien’s version is a disappointment, it comes across as your basic white bread in a crusty enclosure but not the real thing altho toasting it makes it acceptable. Tazzas and Garden of Eatin’ seem to be more a step in the right direction. We’re curious to hear of other reactions to the tragic loss of the Almondine baguette.

  • MattEv

    I was really just looking for a travel agent recommendation, and not a discourse on whether I need one. While many travel agencies have closed in recent years, I can assure you that it’s still an actual type of business that exists. For high end travel, it’s really the way to go.

  • lois

    That headline picture is at least a few years old – that’s my 1986 Volvo parked on the corner – looking pretty good; maybe I should have kept it. Happy New Year, everyone. Looking forward to 2013.

  • lori

    Rick – We’ve been ordering delivery from Pronto on Court Street lately. Very good service, delicious chicken parm heros and very good penne a la vodka.

  • C.

    @ Brian P. Cleary:

    I assumed that scaffolding was up as they were converting the municipal building for retail. If that’s the case, it will be up awhile.

  • Jorale-man

    @Martin I hadn’t seen Almondine had closed. That’s a shame. The place has always been a bit overpriced but still, an excellent standby for a pastry or sandwich (and in warmer weather, a picnic in BBP).

    Speaking of restaurants, has a couple nice photos and a menu of Red Gravy today: