The BHB Ten: 2008

We thought it would be interesting to compile a list of 10 people who live or work in Brooklyn Heights who we think made an impact on our neighborhood, our city, our country or the world.  We asked for your input as well and the list reflects that.

None of those named in the BHB Ten were notified ahead of time regarding their selection.  If you’re on the list (or if you didn’t make it!) we welcome your comments.

And now, the first ever BHB Ten:

1. Daniel Squadron
In defeating 30 year incumbent NYS Senator Martin Connor,  NYS Senator-elect Daniel Squadron provided Brooklyn Heights (and the NYS SD-25) with its own face of change.  While the 28 year old protege of Senator Chuck Schumer enters one of the most dysfunctional legislative bodies in the Free World this week with no seniority, he’s already keeping his promise to voters that he’d “work hard” if elected.

2. Paul Giamatti
With his Emmy Award winning portrayal of President John Adams, Paul Giamatti helped feed America’s renewed interest in Presidential politics. We’re looking forward to his performance in the upcoming sequel to BubbaHotep.

3. Tim Oltmans
Honored by the BHA in 2007, we applaud Jack the Horse Chef/Owner Tim Oltmans for keeping to his own high standards, rising above the culinary debacles unfolding a block away at the Corner of Cranberry, and continuing to excel at bringing great food, innovative cocktails and an amazing vibe to the (hopefully) burgeoning North Heights food scene.

4. Alan Fishman
While Alan Fishman made an estimated $60K an hour and a $7.5 million signing bonus in the few weeks he spent at the helm of the doomed WaMu Bank, he kindasorta redeemed himself a tiny bit when it was announced that he would refuse a reported $11.6 million severance package.

5. James Grant
BHB’s Claude Scales gets to the point, ” James Grant [had] the prescience to see the omens of the current financial crisis.” He published his fifth book, Mr. Market Miscalculates: The Bubble Years and Beyond in 2008.

6. TK Small
We hadn’t planned to be self-indulgent and name one of our own to the BHB Ten.  However, the efforts by TK Small in 2008 to save LICH, fight for voter accessibility and his countless insightful comments and blog posts here earned him a spot on the list.

7. David Yassky
Whether he’s fighting for parking permits or casting a controversial vote on term limits, our man in the City Council David Yassky seems to be at the center of everything.  The next year is a pivotal one for the Brooklyn Heights resident, he’s got stiff competition should he decide to run again for his council seat (provided term limits are really “readjusted”). If he doesn’t do that, he’ll face uncertain challenges in the race for City Comptroller.

8. Greg Clayman
A local boy and St. Ann’s alum who made good.  As one of the foot soldiers of Web 1.0 companies, Greg Clayman co-founded Upoc a mobile social networking company that pre-dated Twitter by almost a decade.  Now as EVP, Digital Distribution & Business Development at MTV Networks, Clayman is one of the innovators who are laying  the track for the entertainment and music industry’s future.

9. Simon Rich
Son of NY Times columnist Frank Rich, Simon Rich had the distinction of being a writer this year during the most watched and talked about season of Saturday Night Live in two decades. At 24, he’s the youngest writer ever at the show.  His second book  Free Range Chickens was released in 2008. He is currently working on a third book.

10. Melanie Hope Greenberg

The author of 16 books for children, Brooklyn Heights resident Melanie Hope Greenberg released her ode to Coney Island, Mermaids on Parade, in 2008.  Her work keeps art alive in kids’ homes and classrooms everywhere.

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  • melanie hope greenberg

    I’m thrilled. Thanks so much. Glad to know that children will grow up to know they can be influential and can reach their highest potential. As the only woman on this list I “hope” to see that “change” along with our new administration in 2009.

    I will also be one of the only independent women author-illustrators to have a solo art exhibition at the Brooklyn Central Library branch Youth Wing at Grand Army in quite some time (there’s many husband and wife teams in Brooklyn).
    “Ordinary Into Extrordinary” April- June 2009.
    A retrospective of my picture book career with 28 showcases to visually see my process.

    My blog (link) tells the story and process of the MERMAIDS ON PARADE.
    Please tell your friends and their children.

    Happy New Year!

  • etc

    Seriously? This is the best people could come up with? I haven’t been a resident long enough to know many people that reside or work here, but, just off the top of my head, I’d nominate anyone that has ever voulnteered in BHS’s homeless shelter over Alan Fishman who did absolutely nothing but collect $19 million dollars for three weeks of “work” while WaMu’s stock price dwindled to pennies.

  • Anon

    Homer–Thanks for listening to the reader recommendations!

    Can we get a 10 worst list, too?

  • Jazz

    etc – this list seems to represent a new generation of thinkers and/or people who broke ranks to change the status quo.

  • jzang

    What about John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director at the International Monetary Fund? He lives on Hicks Street with his family and is currently saving the world from financial ruin one country at a time. He just bailed out Iceland and Hungary!

    Before joining the IMF he was an economist at JP Morgan and a board member at BAM. He is also an avid cyclist.

  • T.K. Small

    Thank you Homer and whatever additional selection committee might have participated in my inclusion. It is nice to be acknowledged for trying to simply make a difference. I especially appreciated that you did not characterize me as somehow being “inspirational” and/or “courageous”.

    As the facilitator, organizer and motivation behind The Brooklyn Heights Blog, your name should have also been on the list.

  • Tim N.

    Great choices all, except for the JtH chef, who is a four-star asshole… so much so that it’s become impossible to enjoy his otherwise nice place.

  • my2cents

    Tim N, you are dead wrong about tim from JtH. he is such a nice guy! You probably had a bad experience with him I am sure. But I feel I must defend his good name because he is a very nice fellow and his restaurant has been a very good, respectful neighbor on our block.

  • Tim N.

    I’ve actually had several bad experiences, from his deceptive pricing practices on Valentine’s Day to the day he threatened to slam my car because I parked too close to him. Guy’s a jerk.

  • Ignacio

    Our fate lies not in the stars but within ourselves, Horatio.

  • Lisa K

    Grant has been doom and gloom forever. It finally happened, hurrah!
    Fishman should be ashamed of himself

  • nabeguy

    Yeah for TK! Keep up the good work.