Open Thread Wednesday

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  • Andrew Porter

    I’ve been exploring those 1940 tax photos on the Municipal Archives, and have found numerous photos of scenes I’ve never seen before. For instance, here’s the corner of Orange and Henry Streets showing the building that later become the Heights Cinema. Funny, but it doesn’t look at all historic in this shot. Click on photo to see it at full size:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f1e8474a431fc178feb2e875f74e05cccc30a624c7deaa487b604176a1414c0f.png

  • Sweeties

    At least they had, what looks like, a nice sandwich shop back then!

  • DIBS

    You can get a nice sandwich a block away at the cor of Clark & Henry!!!!!

  • CassieVonMontague

    I don’t understand either it was so important to keep those walls. The rest of the new building looks cheap, especially the windows and the entrance. Must’ve been expensive to keep up those walls. I was hoping for something like the new building on Henry and Middagh. That one is bland, but the materials look better.

  • Sweeties

    Two words. “Boar’s Head”

  • CassieVonMontague

    Here’s another a few blocks away. Can you guess what’s there now? Also note the van on the left. What is that? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f191d216cbe5bd0d32083dff6cce1b361c21200be69bf8a5c70e3a4d57139a2b.png

  • MPIERCE

    Based on the cars, photo predates me. Bake shop sign would eventually be replaced for pharmacy one. He remained in neighborhood for a long time. Can you read the name of the Bakery?

  • Emily Pulaski

    Has anyone else seen the Columbia Heights possum? Saw it while out walking my dog. At first I thought it was a cat or a gigantic rat. But, nope it’s a possum. It was hanging out by some residential trash.

    Couple that with the raccoon on Pierpont and we’ve got some serious woodland creatures going on in this neighborhood.

  • Hayley Geftman-Gold

    Just saw this on Eater:
    And taco chain Otto’s Tacos has signed a lease for its first Brooklyn location, located in Brooklyn Heights at 128 Montague St. at Henry Street.

  • Andrew Porter

    That’s where the Montague Key Food is now. I just harvested this photo off the site, but haven’t run it through image enhancement yet.

  • Andrew Porter

    All the photos are from 1940. I looked for other photos of that corner but didn’t see any. Possibly a Google search on the address might turn up more history.

  • Andrew Porter

    A 2014 post by Homer himself talks about another local one. I’m sure they’re breeding here.

    See:

    http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/65004

  • Jorale-man

    That could be a welcome addition to the street. That’s right above Pinto. Here’s their menu: http://ottostacos.com/#menu

  • Eddyde

    Too bad it’s so limited. It would be nice if we got a full on classic Mexican restaurant here.

  • Andrew Porter

    New article on The Brooklyn Paper about possible alternate route for the BQE:

    http://tinyurl.com/y75matwz

  • Andrew Porter

    CVM, I noticed that a whole bunch of the photos on the Furman Street page are actually for the western side of Columbia Heights!

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    They’re installing more self-checkouts at Key Foods. Who’s ready to gather around the owner with torches and pitchforks?

  • CassieVonMontague

    I noticed that, too. Can you help me find the picture of the Old Courthouse and Hall of Records. They were where Brooklyn Law School and the Municipal Building are now but the block number doesn’t work

  • Andrew Porter

    It’s in those Old Postcards I’ve posted. Here’s one that shows it from an angle:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/be626aa2a762ca29806a971817be6113c68a84cdd66a1b92f0ae80d69aec1789.jpg

  • Andrew Porter

    I told the manager yesterday, “someone is stealing your cash registers,” and he told me about them.

    I hate the things, will never use them.

  • Andrew Porter
  • CassieVonMontague

    thanks! this will help you navigate the old blocks on Columbia Heights:
    http://www.brooklynhistory.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/bhs_v1974.16.176_map-1024×559.jpg

  • Jorale-man

    Yes, well there is Gallito’s Kitchen. I haven’t been there in a while but I seem to recall it getting some decent reviews here on the blog.

  • AEB

    Putting your customers to work while eliminating jobs that are subsistence level to begin with–it’s the American way!

  • Banet

    I have mixed feelings about this. In my 20 years of shopping at that supermarket the cashiers have always been an extremely weak point. There’s typically been tremendous turnover and an incredibly high level of surliness.

    That said, there’s been some stability in the last three or four years and the cashier is that remain have become a friendlier. I always make a point of getting in line with Julie. And I enjoyed talking with Norma is well.

    But I think this is really about the economics. Key Food is a supermarket. They’re under siege. 20 years ago it was one of several supermarkets have the neighborhood. Now, there are to CVS drugstores with big broad I also filled with serial, toilet paper, ice cream, and frozen TV dinners. There are two significant destination supermarkets with parking lots within 10 minutes: Fairway and Whole Foods. Wegmans will be open at the Navy Yard within the year. Have you seen the constant line of customers at Trader Joe’s? Not to mention my regular trips to Trader Joe’s have me spending more money at Sahadi‘s, Dellapietra‘s, and the Atlantic Avenue fruitstand. (Ok, I’ve only spent money at Dellapietra’s twice. Too expensive!)

    And let’s not forget the vast number of FreshDirect trucks in the neighborhood. And Amazon Fresh deliveries. And jet.com also offers grocery delivery. And don’t forget all the Blue Apron boxes and other meal delivery services.

    Lastly, The Borough Hall farmer’s market has grown slightly in its offerings over the years and now there are at least four CSA farm share services available in the neighborhood (that I know of — there may be more.)

    It’s a golden age of choice and convenience (if not quality) for the (monied and mobile) grocery shopper. Every single dollar we spend at the wide and varied variety of choices I listed above is a dollar NOT spent at Key Food. I don’t know who owns the store, but I understand it’s a local family with children at Packer. They must be desperately afraid of going out of business. In the last five years there’s been a huge effort at the store to capture more business. A more sophisticated cheese counter. A wider variety of gourmet food items. The removal of all the low-budget “Key Food” brand items. More organic offerings. They’re trying hard but I doubt it’s enough.

    Bottom line, if Key Food closes in the next three years and a four-story condo building goes up in its place, I won’t be surprised.

  • Banet

    We had a class at Mexican restaurant on Montague Street for over 50 years. Don’t you remember “Old Mexico“? (It was allegedly the very first Mexican restaurant in New York City. There was an article in Smithsonian magazine in the window to prove it.) Where the Subway restaurant was for a few years? I ate there once in the late 90s. It was truly the worst meal of my entire life.

  • Kit

    Thanks for posting this. It explains to me why the “new” building under construction has the street facade it does.

  • Eddyde

    Old Mexico, I remember it well. I lived next-door to it growing up.
    Their neon sign was actually on display at the Smithsonian in DC around 77-78, saw it there on a school trip. I had my HS graduation dinner at OM in 81 the food was very good back then. Sadly it declined in the 90’s to the point I would never see any customers in there at all, couldn’t figure how they stayed open as long as they did. Yeah my last meal there was awful, round the same time, late 90’s. I remember a bucket catching water dripping from a leaking steam pipe in the dining room…

  • Eddyde

    Yeah, Gallito’s is okay but its trying to be too upscale, which I feel doesn’t work well for Mexican. I just want a bowl of guac, a nice sizzling platter of fajitas and a big-ass Margarita. Carefully plated, petit portions with sauce drizzles just don’t cut it.

  • Eddyde

    Well stated. Although I doubt (hope) Key Food is in on the brink of doom, They still get a semi trailer delivery every day. But who knows, we already lost the library, movie theater and hospital…