Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • CassieVonMontague

    New York Magazine—”Here’s a solution for fixing the BQE: Get Rid of It”

  • Banet

    What happened to the story about the new Cat Cafe that was promised last week?

  • Andrew Porter

    I’ve just finished working on 140+ images of the Heights off the Municipal Archives—boosting contrast and sharpness, etc.—and the images are stunning. I got a big bunch of the buildings that were demolished for the BQE at the north end of the Heights, plus others that are still here but changed since 1940, for instance stores added to residential buildings on Montague Street, etc., etc.

    I’ll post as many as you find interesting in weeks to come.

    Here is 2 Willow Place, looking down Poplar toward Columbia Heights. All these were demolished for the BQE:

  • Andrew Porter
  • brooklynbull

    Post as many as you can! Your histotical views are always appreciated – thank you!

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    I am confused. Willow Place is in Willowtown in the southern part of the Heights. Poplar is here in the north end. How are they intersecting? Can you explain? love the pictures, Thanks.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Never mind. I now realize you meant Willow, not Willow Place. My fault.

  • Andrew Porter

    Revised my post to say Willow Street, not Willow Place.

    If you look at the first house on the west side of Willow Street at the corner of Middagh, it’s #20. Everything north of there was destroyed for the BQE.

    Here’s #20 in 1940 (as usual, click on image to see it at full size):

  • Teresa

    I stopped by twice this weekend, but the people responsible for it were swamped. We’re supposed to talk this week.

  • Teresa
  • Carly

    Are they open again, or was the sign just removed?

  • AnonyMom

    FABULOUS! I just had breakfast there onTuesday with Mrs. Fink!

  • Assemble


    Please spread the word and if possible make this its own post to raise awareness.

  • Andrew Porter

    There’s a long article on the Brooklyn Eagle site, posted Wednesday, about how no matter what happens, the Promenade will be closed for a long time:

  • Brixtony

    I’ve been trying to tell people that since the news broke. Honestly, I’m more worried about Hillside Dog Park.

  • Rick

    I just walked by (3:30 Thursday) and there were 2 cute cats sleeping in the window and a 3rd was leaping. Couldn’t see in past the curtains, though.

  • Andrew Porter

    I was by Wednesday, coming back from the Christmas Tree lighting, and saw cute kitties in the window, and two people (and two unhappy dogs) staring in.

  • Andrew Porter

    The Hillside Dog park, once upon a time, was the shaft entrance when they were building the sewer lines connecting the Heights to water treatment plants.

    Before that, you could flush your toilet in BH, then go down to Fulton Ferry pier and watch the untreated [stuff] go into the harbor from a pipe underneath.

    Yeah, I know, TMI…

  • Teresa

    They were closed on Wednesday night when I walked past at around 5pm

  • Pierrepont
  • South Brooklyn Boys

    Andrew, these are great. Keep them coming!

  • Cranberry Beret

    I’m opposed to the park giving a long-term tenant the boot for no discernible reason other than they think they can squeeze more money out of the space. The value to the city of having long-term tenants should weigh in the equation besides the level of rent they pay.

    That said, I don’t get all the love for Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. That linked article uses the word “beloved” or similar several times. The product is mediocre, the prices are inflated and the lines are way too long. I always viewed that place as popular based on its touristy location alone.

    Now if someone wants to mourn Peter’s on Atlantic Avenue, THEN I’m in.

  • Brixtony

    Not tmi- I’m a history teacher (retired) and I love to know such trivia. Besides, as a dog run, there’s still the “untreated stuff” factor. €;-}

  • Rick

    I think it is open now, as I just saw a number of people sitting and playing with cats. Don’t know if it was the official opening, as I was in a hurry and had no time to go in and ask.

  • Arch Stanton

    A thoroughly ridiculous proposition, backed up by no coherent plan… NY Mag has sunk to an all-time low.

  • Heights Guy 77

    I find their ice cream to be extremely delicious and fresh. Especially the strawberry.

  • Banet

    I haven’t been since their first year, but back then the ice cream was authentic and delicious. That said, Ample Hills is ALSO authentic, delicious, creative and a Great Brooklyn story.

    The Park is required, by law, to make all their retail spaces available for bidding. They don’t have to go with the absolute highest bid, but the rent is a major factor.

    The park required that whoever rented the space renovate the moribund upstairs space (on their own dime) and make it publicly accessible and historically informative.

    Very fittingly, Ample Hills won the bid. They’ll turn the upstairs space into a space shared with the Brooklyn Historical Society. It will depict the history of Fulton Landing and Robert Fulton’s historic ferry business. I say this is fitting because Ample Hills derives their name from a Walt Whitman poem titled Crossing Brooklyn Ferry that is *specifically* about taking a ferry to that *very* location.

  • Andrew Porter

    As I’ve posted elsewhere, when this building was a fire boat station, the tower was where they hung the hoses to dry. It once housed the National Maritime Historical Association.

    Here’s my photo of the place when it was vacant, before the surrounding piers held Olga Bloom’s “BargeMusic” and the River Café:

    Photo copyright © Andrew Porter

  • DIBS

    Was it ever high? I’ve never seen it anywhere except on the table of the waiting room at the dentist’s office.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Just for fun, and not to date yourself or anything, can we get a year on that copyright, Andrew?