Open Thread Wednesday

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  • aeshtron

    Black Lives Matter : )

  • CassieVonMontague

    How was everyone’s first day of school?

  • Heights Guy

    There is a new restaurant on North Henry Street, called the “Cardinal Market”. I give it two thumbs up. Maybe the blog can get a review there. It’s a restaurant that actually opened DURING the pandemic. The food has flavor that is rarely seen in our neighborhood. Very tasty!!!

  • Jorale-man

    There used to be more restaurant news here. I’m sure Claude has his hands full and wouldn’t blame him now for not venturing out to any restaurants. But I would be curious to know if there’s any “word on the street” about some of the closed spaces and what will become of their storefronts (Jack the Horse, Le Pain Quotidien, Teresa’s).

  • JDF

    Five Guys space now vacant, as well

  • KBells40

    Agreed! Tried them for the first time last week – I had the cold sesame noodles and partner had the sweet potato sliders off the kids menu, and both were really good!

  • Mike Suko

    WHAT A FABULOUS photo! Not entirely sure – a fast trigger finger is terrific, but then luck (good or bad) figures in – what’s with the guy at the lower left, … but I can almost imagine some “old master” painting something like this composition … if somehow s/he wound up in 2020. (Near Brooklyn Law School ??)

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    WHAT

  • Mike Suko

    Been away for a bit, so came back to – WTH!! – a business opening during the pandemic! I’ll have to look and see if they use the street for tables on a dense middle of the block.

    Old “Henry’s End” space in case you’re trying to visualize the location.

    Anybody want to speculate on either how quickly in-street dining will shutter or how indoor dining (in BHB) will go?!

  • Rick

    That has to be a photo shoot. That’s the photographer in the lower right. Note the 3 assistants, one of whom is holding a reflector.

  • Reggie

    I also admired the photo, which made me think of Gregory Crewdson: https://gagosian.com/artists/gregory-crewdson/. Welcome back, Mike.

  • TeddyNYC

    Are they relocating?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    Thanks, Mike. It was a lucky shot from my window, looking down at the Montague Street/Montague Terrace/Pierrepont Place intersection. It was a fashion shoot set up by the designer Adam Lippe, who lives on Pierrepont Place.

  • Teresa

    I stopped into Cardinal Market over the summer and spoke briefly with the owner, with the intent of doing a story about her and the business. I had three or four things and they were all fantastic…which is not a word I can apply to how I schedule my to-do list, hence the absence of a post heretofore. Thanks for the nudge.

  • JDF

    They were putting up a sign on Monday that I only saw from a distance saying the location is permanently closed and the awning saying Five Guys was removed. As it is a chain, I doubt they are moving, but there is another location in Metrotech.

  • Tim & Micki

    b. good gone too

  • Andrew Porter

    Another photo of the Heights from 70 years ago. Henry Street looking toward Pineapple in 1951. Everything on the right side of the photo has been torn down and replaced by the Cadman Towers complex. Three globe streetlights encircled the St. George complex; they’re also long gone:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5136dfb833d8c922eeb29f5d1e7af3067af1806925e8c3ef07edf742b6c7aa9b.jpg

  • RD H

    Montague St and the Heights in general have tipped into a retail/restaurant wasteland. Surely some has to do with the pandemic, but it started long ago. Unrealistic landlords are to blame for sure. The old Starbucks storefront is still vacant after all these years. I still miss an easy Subway sub on the way home from working late. No offense to the Cat Cafe, but that used to be an effing DWR where I bought my kitchen stools.

    And that’s where we are…

    What’s to be done? And what establishments do we want here in addition to some decent restaurants that one might travel to from outside the neighborhood?

    FWIW, Pinto (small portions) and Hanco’s are good and appreciated.

  • CassieVonMontague
  • CassieVonMontague

    The new picnic tables in front of the old vacant starbucks has added a bit of color to Montague Street. Many regulars out there every day.

  • Cranberry Beret

    The chain locations are the retail equivalent of the renters without deep ties to the city who’ve all “fled” NYC. They have the luxury of easy flight. The pain is real, but the damage isn’t long-lasting, because they or their ilk will be back the second the pandemic subsides.

    This would be a great time to enact commercial rent regulations. I’m sure Bill d B is right on it (NOT).

  • Cranberry Beret

    There’s no way to solve this collective action problem (of individual landlords sitting on vacant storefronts for years, each doing their own profit maximization calculation based on the hope of a never-ending supply of high-paying national chains appearing 2, 3, 4 years down the road) without commercial rent regulation. It’d be nice if the city took this opportunity to do something. Not holding my breath with this administration.

  • Mike Suko

    Mystery solved. Thanks, peeps. Of course, it’s not only right, but it fits…. But so, too, did what I took as glowering from the dutifully masked to an “I’m too good looking to wear one” … model.

    Bit of “good news” on this picture perfect Wednesday. Took my first subway ride (from Clark St.) today to get a flu shot. 1:30 or so and the first 2 cars so empty I went to the 3rd out of “urban caution,” however nutty. Almost everyone properly masked, except one guy sitting under the fairly clever poster showing the 5 ways to wear a mask. He had made to “almost,” and I didn’t have the you-know-whats to do some outreach. Alas, there was a homeless man on the platform, and I wished it was wider. (no mask) Oh, yes, and barely anybody on board.

    As a retiree, I keep thinking I should try to make the ferry system work. The “coverage” seems to be excellent in Manhattan (and Brooklyn Heights), and one can make a case that thousands of extra steps are also salubrious.

  • Karl Junkersfeld
  • Karl Junkersfeld
  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    The exacerbation of Covid-related problems that have to do with landlords—even just as a concept—has not endeared them to me.

  • SongBirdNYC

    The owner is the Executive Chef of a New Brunswick, NJ restaurant, The Frog and the Peach. It’s been there for decades. When I was at Rutgers, and my poor college friends and I wanted to celebrate something we’d go for A drink and appetizers. The food was delicious then and based on their longevity, it still is. Cardinal Market should also be top notch.

  • Mike Suko

    There are a handful of OTHER ways to tackle what everybody except landlords agree is a serious problem. (And many of THEM are not entirely unhinged.)

    Not all incentives (tax breaks or deferments) or disincentives (fees, regulations) are bad – not that that’s a tough case to make on BHB.

    Just imagine a carefully drawn law that levied a fee on vacant storefronts. To make it equitable and salable to a Council that probably owes a lot to REBNY and the like, make it kick in after a certain length of time vacant.

    I’m appalled that an eyesore (and rat breeding ground) like 100 Clark can stay there for a decade. After we fix the Fed. tax code, we can tackle community/public’s interests vs those of property owners.

    Movie theaters claim they’re facing extinction nationally. But the rock-and-a-hard-place stuff is nowhere more obvious than with those who rent (TO AND FROM, i.e., the 2 parties in what is a zero-sum game. Yes Fed. money would change that [both res’l and comm’l], but it might dwarf even the airlines’ lifeline.) (Plus, any Trump plan would not get by Nancy, and any Biden plan wouldn’t get by Mitch or even 51 Democrats who would roll their eyes at what space goes for on the 2 coasts.)

    It could be that restaurants – like movie theaters & bookstores, among a much longer list – are staring down headwinds that did in entities like Blockbuster…. And “national chains” – e.g., “the Gap” – really are NOT any more a viable Plan B – not in NYC.

    The most optimistic I can get is that suburbs have been “bedroom communities” for almost a century – there are worse prospects than Montague looking more like Remsen and Henry St. looking more like Hicks

  • Cranberry Beret

    I’ve taken the ferry extensively during the pandemic and it’s great (for people near the waterfront like us). It’s a natural in a water city like NYC. I wish they’d open even more stops, esp. along Manhattan’s west side. I’m a big fan.

    It has a political problem in that the city has put a boatload (no pun intended!) of $ into subsidizing it, b/c those are dollars that the mayor controls, even though it has a relatively low ridership. In an ideal world where we hadn’t given up control of our transit system to the governor via the MTA, there would be a more equitable distribution of dollars to transit. We would do ferries AND add more busways and express bus service to the non-waterfront areas further out in Brooklyn and Queens that have huge riderships and low service. At least before the pandemic, there was definitely enough money to do both, but not the political will or process to make it happen.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon launches bid to be Brooklyn’s first female Borough President

    https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2020/10/01/assemblymember-jo-anne-simon-launches-bid-to-be-brooklyns-first-female-borough-president/