Open Thread Wednesday 1/21/09

BHB Photo Club pic by fkuffel

BHB Photo Club pic by fkuffel

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Publius

    Anyone else notice a significant uptick in grafitti? I was noticing it for the past few weeks, and on my way home recently documented by cell phone camera over 10 separate tags on stop signs, walls, gates, garage doors, and several on houses within a two block radius in the North Heights.

    What, if anything, has worked in the past to reduce the tagging? I’ll be doing my part this weekend by going to the hardware store to buy some paint to cover the tag that has suddenly appeared on my property. I just noticed it a few minutes ago when taking out the trash.

    Homer, if you think it’s useful, I have lots of shots of tagging in the nabe.

  • Anonymous

    Hot Bagels. Are they under new management or new ownership, or have they just hired some new hands?

    There’s a white woman behind the counter, who’s been there the last few weeks, every time I’ve visited. And about a month ago, there was a white guy taking orders (who messed mine up), but I’ve only seen him the one time. If her sweatshirt was any indication, she’s from Texas; I’m not sure about him.

    And forgive the racial delineation here, but it’s the most straightforward way of describing them, and they’re the only white employees I’ve ever seen working there.

    Any info on these two? They’re both very friendly, though she’s somewhat slow and deliberate, and also seemingly frustrated by the usual NYC speed of transactions, which makes things a bit awkward sometimes. Very fish out of water.

  • Just a Neighbor

    One more time, can someone please give me the web site for alternate side of the street parking info? I thought I’d saved it into my favorites but I apparently did not and was the only idiot out there at 7:50 a.m. today getting ready to move my car :( Thanks!

  • BKBS

    Here’s the calender

    But it wouldn’t have done you any good this morning, as street cleaning was suspended yesterday and today for snow removal (!!). will list unexpected changes on the front page, and 311 will list them in a recording.

  • Jeremy


    Besides removing as soon as possible to avoid attracting repeats, you should call 311 to report (or 911 if you see it in progress).

    The NYPD has a brochure with a little more info:

    The 84th precinct has someone assigned to graffiti issues:
    Special Operations Lieutenant – 718-875-6288

    It’s probably a good idea to report to the BHA as well (718-858-9193; because they can help coordinate reports from multiple people and follow up with the police if necessary.

  • Bart

    Issue: Gristedes

    Although I do the bulk of my shopping at Trader Joes, occasionally I stop into Gristedes to pick up milk or eggs. After picking up some milk I wandered up and down the empty aisles checking prices. I can say with confidence that every item I looked at was more expensive at Gristedes than at Trader Joes. For me this vast difference in prices just reinforces the idea that Gristedes is just a place to do supplemental shopping.

    I wonder how many people are of a similar mindset. And are there people who still do the bulk of their shopping at Gristedes.

  • AEB

    Thanks, Jeremy. My building was also freshly anointed yesterday.

    Does the defacing happen at any time of day, or do perps wait until night?

    Not that such things run by a schedule….

  • AEB

    Bart, you are among many who think as you do about Gristedes–or Gougestedes or Greedystedes, as it’s been called.

    I for one only buy stuff there only in “emergencies,” and then in the smallest possible quantity.

    Perhaps the graffiti-writers can put their talents to good use and tag the store with one or more of the above epithets.

    Just joking, just joking!

  • Neighborhood Observer

    Bart and AEB – You are so right. Gristedes prices are way out of sight. For example, I bought Bigelows green tea bags at Sahadi’s recently – $3.59/box and the same box at Gristedes is $4.99!! Actually, the combination of Trader Joe’s and Sahadi’s works well, with a stop at Two for the Pot, which doesn’t have the lowest prices but great coffee and gracious service. All three of these stores are well worth the trudge from the North Heights to Atlantic Avenue.

  • Publius


    This dead horse has been beaten in many past posts. I’ve axiomatic that Gristedes is a high priced convenience store impersonating a supermarket.

  • Publius


    Thanks for the anti-graffitti tips. I will report it to 311 and the BHA.

  • GHB

    Observer, what’s Two for the Pot? Is that the small store off Atlantic (Hicks maybe?) that has teapots and coffee supplies in the window? I’ve always meant to drop in there…

  • Publius

    Two for the Pot has been around for at least 25-30 years. As a child I remember it was on the other side of Atlantic avenue.

    Great store for tea, coffee, paraphernalia for brewing aforementioned, and lots of goodies (especially for British expats).

    The owner’s a quirky and nice guy.

  • Claude Scales

    GHB: Two for the Pot is on the west side of Clinton just north of Atlantic. It’s well worth a visit.

  • Peter

    I went to Gristedes last week and asked a manager where I could find Saffron seasoning, which I used to buy regularly at Key Food and is usually on the same shelf as beef bouillon and similar seasonings. The guy told me that stopped selling it cause it was a popular theft item. Are you kidding me? Does Brooklyn Heights really have a hoard of bandits that pilfer Saffron during their crime waves??

  • JGM

    With the loss of the Blue Rose store and maybe others on the way, just wondering how Montague’s stores and street in general fared during previous recessions. Were there a number of empty spaces that went unrented for long periods, etc? Also wondering whether the emergence of Smith Street and Dumbo as alternate close destinations may make this downturn particularly perilous for Montague during this recession.

  • vspingola

    greedystedes… lol. So true. $2.19 for a 20oz bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper.
    We won’t shop in the area now.

  • AEB

    Peter, as saffron is generally costly, and (thus) because its packaging is small, it’s often kept apart from other spices.

    I’d love to dish Gristedes for being paranoiac, but….

  • Tumbleweed

    Has anybody noticed the young fellow who occasionally sells old VHS tapes/comic books/other assorted nostalgia on Henry right near CVS? He was outside today in a t-shirt, peddling his wares…

  • MZ

    What is going on with the construction on Henry St in the North Heights? I find it very unpleasant to hear the loud jackhammer at 7:30 in the morning.

  • Senor Salsa

    Tazo Awake Tea:

    $8.99 – Gristedes
    $4.99 – Peas & Pickels
    $2.99 – Walmart in Surprise, Arizona


  • soulman

    re:food shopping~

    Two for the Pot is a great store – their (his) English Breakfast Tea is truly the best blend I’ve ever had.

    As someone who lives over Gristleturdies, we avoid it like the plague. Not to imply that one can catch it there. {8-)

    Finally ~ what are some of the best times to shop at Trader Joe’s? It’s a great addition to the nabe, but the neighbors are always there in vast crowds, whenever we’ve gone (both times). Is there a trick, since I’m now hooked on exotic dried fruit like dragon fruit and pomelo?

  • bhmom

    Yes, Tumbleweed, I noticed that guy. Actually remarked to myself that it is a sign of the economic stuff going on.

  • frances k

    I’d love to see a Shop Local scorecard up here. Birthday cards bought at Overtures vs. CVS, etc. & also to know what is & isn’t mom & pop-owned. Any ideas?

  • joe

    I’m addicted to the dried mangosteens.

    That has to be the highest grossing Trader Joes. Anyone knows if it is. They always run out of stuff, line is out the door, and I see workers waiting with bags of groceries outside on the corner while the owner gets their car to load up. Plus the workers are very friendly and helpful unlike my local key food.

    Two Trees really scored getting them and TJ really scored going in that space rather than one brooklyn.

  • Andrew Porter

    Found caffeine-free Typhoo Tea (80 bags) for $15 at Gristede’s; it’s only $11 at Myers of Keswick, the Brit foods place on Hudson Street in Manhattan. I admit to buying several half gallons of Smart Balance Lactose-free, fat-free milk at Gristede’s ($5.49); normally I go for the LF FF milk at Trader Joe’s where it’s $4.29. But surprise! they’ve run out of the stuff at Gristede’s, so that’s that. Did they just stock a lot of stuff they’re not going to resupply, just to impress the neighborhood? That would be more Business as Usual for them.

    Two For the Pot has lots of good Brit food items, and their McVities Ginger Nuts are actually cheaper than you can get them at M of K.

    Times to shop at TJ’s: never on weekends, and it can get pretty harrowing around 5pm.

  • Anonymous

    Gristedes: At a dinner last Thanksgiving I started a conversation with someone who works at Gristedes as a lets say higher paid employee. The jizz of the conversation was basically that the person never does any shopping at Gristedes. Reason being is dirty stores and totally overpriced. Apparently the management attitude is that customers are wealthy enough to pay more at their stores. The customers would not care about the extra $ or would not notice the difference. Also, they would not necessary have another choice as a competitor would be too far away.

  • RemsenSt

    Hi posters – this may have been hit before, but I can’t seem to find it on the site. My fiance and I are getting a puppy and could use a recommendation on a good vet. We don’t have a car, so something local would be helpful. Does anyone have a good (and inexpensive – but that’s definitely secondary concern) recommendation? Thanks everyone. Stay warm.

  • yo

    remsen street – hope vet on atlantic avenue is very good, although always crowded.

    in a pinch, we’ve had great experiences at the Veterinary Emergency Referral Group (really more for emergencies):

  • nabeguy

    Wow, Andrew, that is quite a discrepency from MOK, where I always get the impression that the pricing includes the air-fare from London.