The BHB Ten: The Most Influential People In Brooklyn Heights For 2013

Our readers have spoken and our editorial team has weighed in on the BHB Ten for 2013. In no particular order, here’s the list of the people who made a difference in (or from) Brooklyn Heights last year:

Michael DD White – White, via his blog Noticing New York and Citizens Defending Libraries, the organization he co-founded with his wife Carolyn Mcintryre, has kept the drum beating to save the Brooklyn Heights library. Agree or disagree with his group’s position, you cannot deny the fact that they’ve been responsible for keeping the dialogue about the issue in the public eye.

Sue Raboy and the #SaveLICH movement – Raboy, whose life was saved at LICH, organized and spearheaded the community effort to save the embattled hospital. BHB reader “-j” nominated Raboy, noting: “She has led the group in vigils outside the hospital, in front of the Supreme Court & in collecting petition signatures all over the area – in all kinds of weather & even with a cast on her leg. Her efforts & dedication of this grass roots group of neighbors and LICH patients resulted in media attention for the community & the hospital & thousands of petition signatures that will be handed over to Governor Cuomo along with NYSNA’s. Sue Raboy, retired librarian turned into a community advocate to help save her hospital & so far has helped manage to do just that.”

Sociale from Karl Junkersfeld on Vimeo.

Francesco Nuccitelli: Almost singlehandedly (with a major assist from owner Michael Keefe who also owns the building), Sociale manager Nuccitelli instantly created a comfortable and wildly popular eatery on Henry Street. While others tried to change the Henry Street restaurant game this year, Sociale truly did. No doubt it will join Henry’s End and Noodle Pudding as one of the street’s culinary stars.

The work of Captain Cleanup

Captain Cleanup – While his identity remains a secret, the man known as “Captain Cleanup” fought against lame graffiti on mailboxes, fireboxes and the like in his own special way. Who needs to obey the law when you have such style?

Roberto Gautier – He organized the 140 CPW Peace & Quiet Committee to fight construction noise coming for Brooklyn Bridge, drawing citywide attention. Score one for the little guy who just wants some peace and quiet.

Residents of 150 Joralemon – Speaking of fighting back, the spunky bunch at 150 Joralemon didn’t like the placement of a Citibike rack in front of their building. With some guerilla tactics (throwing garbage on the bikes) and a lawsuit against the city they embodied the late Bob Grant’s catchphrase “your influence counts….use it!”

Mary Frost reading Tarot at the Cranberry Street Fair 2010. Photo: C. Scales

Mary Frost – The veteran Brooklyn Eagle reporter’s coverage of the #SaveLICH movement was best in class citywide this year. We’ve always been a fan and in 2013 she brought her “A” game.

NPR photo

Hamid Rahmanian – The Brooklyn Heights based author spent three and a half years working on the English translation of the epic Persian poem Shahnameh, bringing what is widely regarded as a centerpiece of Persian culture to a broader audience.

WSJ photo

Fabien Cousteau – The State Street resident will attempt to break his grandfather Jacques’ record by living underwater for 31 days this spring.

Alexis Ohanian – The Reddit co-founder stepped up his game in 2013. With the publishing of Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed he gained attention outside of the tech world, spreading his message about the importance of the open Web.

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  • marshasrimler

    KUDOS TO MICHAEL AND CAROLYN. This is very well deserved. Maybe next year the award can go to our elected leaders who work to get the $ to refurbish and improve the library. I know you are out there now it is time to step up to the plate and lead. You will get community support-go for it.

  • francesco

    Thank you very much for this beautiful honor.
    Without our great staff the dream we are living everyday wouldn’t be so amazing. They really are hardworking, dedicate, passionate, honest people…so… besides Mike (owner, landlord, brother, mentor) and the wonderful Brooklyn Heights residents that everyday support us, my big THANK YOU goes to: Rosendo, Ismael, Pablo, Matias, Marco, Giuseppe, Rodrigo, Adan, Mace, Sergio, Monica, Alain, Sheila, Jose Jr., Istuardo, and Faustino.

  • Steven A. Levine

    Interesting association of 150 Joralemon St with one of the most vile racists on NY talk radio. Not sure you meant that double entendre. I found their opposition to bikeshare overwrought, but I wouldn’t go so far as to associate them with Bob Grant. Given the amazing success of bike share, maybe they’ll reconsider Citibikes now.

  • Boerum Bill

    Great list, but I think Adam Sandler should be #11.

  • Jazz

    Yeah, that’s a little too much thinking on your part.

  • Susan Raboy

    I am honored to be on this list & thank those who nominated me but believe that this honor should go to the group Patients for LICH.

    It is the dedication, hard work & caring of LICH nurses, doctors & hospital workers that inspired me to form Patients for LICH. LICH saved me so now it is my turn to join with the community in their fight to save LICH.

    LICH Saves LIVES and together We Will Save LICH! Our community needs a full service hospital and Patients for LICH promises to keep working for this no matter how long it takes. We need hospital rooms not Condos!

    Thank you!

  • Captain Clean-up

    I am more than a bit surprised that Captain Clean-up, aka Mr. X., was selected for this “honor” for 2013 from the Brooklyn Height Blog readers. In terms of being “influential”, I am not sure whom I influenced. I was hoping that my efforts, which remain ongoing (most recently the painting of the worst mailbox I ever encountered at the Grace Court and Hicks Street intersection), would lead to other energized citizens to pick up a paint brush and hit the streets! Alas, this has not come to pass, although my activities continue to generate thanks and compliments from many passerbys as I wield my trusty paint brush. The public support has been gratifying, but not a necessity, as I intend to continue my cause for some time, hopefully below the radar screen of those who claim I am breaking the law and are seeking my incarceration. Much works remains to be done and, as soon as the weather and my schedule permits, I will be sneaking around the Heights ridding the neighborhood of as much of the local blight as humanly possible.

  • Jorale-man

    As a resident at 150J, I was very embarrassed by the actions of a few people in our building around that episode, as were several of my neighbors. Many of us are wholehearted supporters of the bike-share program and it just took a bad apple or two to bring us a lot of bad publicity. Thankfully, the bike rack stayed and, as far as I can tell, it has peacefully coexisted with the building since.

  • Peter

    As a resident of Grace Court Alley I was thrilled to see you finally visited our beleaguered mailbox… though my wife and I were both disappointed to see that it lacked any of your flair for detail.

    Is there any chance that we can entice you to return once the weather warms up to detail a few rivets or a US mail logo? ;-)

  • -j

    Sue Raboy speaking for Patients at a saveLICH rally summer 2013. With NYSNA Executive Director (& LICH nursing school alumna) Jill Furillo, Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, & Borough Pres Marty Markowitz. Congratulations.

  • -j

  • Captain Clean-up

    Peter, As you noticed, the mailbox at Grace Court Alley is not complete. It was by far in the most terrible condition of anything I have ever painted in the neighborhood. It was cold on the day I painted it and it took longer than I expected to get as far as I did on it. The mailbox still needs a second coat of blue paint. After that is applied, I will add the customary detail work. Alas, I have to wait for warmer weather to finish this project. Despite this, the mailbox still looks so much better than before. You will get your white rivets, etc!

  • Boerum Bill


  • Mary Frost

    I’m honored to be mentioned with people who have been working so hard to make a difference in Brooklyn. Our job at the Brooklyn Eagle and Heights Press is to report the facts as best we can so that people will have full information, not rumors.

  • Jazz

    Did you just zing BHB after they’ve honored you? Don’t see rumors here much as opposed to other blogs based in Brooklyn Heights.

  • Jane

    left-handed thank you much?

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    I didn’t get what you or Jazz are reacting to from Mary’s comment. She didn’t seem to be pointing a finger at the BHB — erroneous information has been spread by the NY Times, the Daily News and the Post.

  • Susan Raboy

    Mary, if it wasn’t for your articles about LICH many in the community would not have known what was going on. You attended all the rallies and meetings. You made sure you knew everyone involved. You have made a difference by providing information when other publications wouldn’t. You took the time to get all the facts. I know you’re going to say that is your job but while it is your job you did amazing work. Congratulations!

  • LICHer

    Thank you for the extensive accurate reporting about what’s been happening at LICH over the past year. The “mainstream” dailies in this city were only interested in spreading SUNY lies & rumors about LICH. None would tell the real story. Thank you Mary for keeping us all informed.

  • DIBS

    Congrats Francesco