Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Still hoping to find this for my neighbor:

    **** LOST: Husband’s gold wedding ring ****

    Happy marriage of 39 years
    Sentimental value
    Engraved on the inside of the ring are our initials and wedding date.
    Lost in Brooklyn Heights (maybe on Remsen St. between Promenade and Court Street )

    REWARD offered

  • Andrew Porter

    Good photo, Claude. I noticed the first few crocuses a week ago at the corner of the Promenade and the Montague Street entrance.

    Here’s another photo of the Heights once upon a time. East side of Court and Schermerhorn, looking north, on Oct. 12, 1928. Then and now photo below:

  • Andrew Porter
  • Mike Suko

    I almost wrote this last week when this “note in a bottle” first appeared on this blog.

    I don’t know how many lost dogs are ever found, but a wedding ring?? But if there’s the tiniest chance that someone either found it and is wondering or – are we at 1 in a million? – it’s still on the ground somewhere & someone picks it up – move this “post” over to Nextdoor – the website – because hundreds of Heights people are active readers. If 50 even see what you put up here, I’d be shocked.

    Sincerely, you’re a wonderful friend/neighbor!

  • Andrew Porter

    109 State Street was bought recently for $4.25 million by Ricky Van Veen, head of global creative strategy at Facebook, and former husband of actress Allison Williams. The house was bought by an LLC named “Ned Ryerson, LLC”. Yes, as in the film Groundhog Day.

    Article in the NY Post here:

  • Meg Magliozzi

    Does anyone know what’s going on with Heights Cafe? I know they closed down in January until indoor dining reopened, but now there is brown construction paper covering the windows… I hope they are not gone for good!

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Thank you for the suggestion and the lovely complement!

  • Arch Stanton

    My guess is they are taking the downtime to do some renovations.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Another multi-family townhouse converted back to single-family. This building previously had five units.

    The BHA and the Montague BID need to consider the effects of ultra-gentrification when trying to attract businesses to the district. You can’t rely on a shrinking population to patronize a bookstore, restaurant/cafe, butcher, fishmonger, or bakery unless the business caters to employees and tourists in the neighborhood.

  • Cranberry Beret

    I don’t think this building has been converted yet. (Although I’m sure it will be.)

    This conversion issue is a real problem for housing affordability but I doubt it has much effect on the mix/viability of commercial businesses. Cobble Hill has the same problem of conversions causing diminishing housing stock in brownstones, but Court Street is in much better shape than Montague. The real problem for healthy commercial real estate here is that the rents are too damn high.

  • Cranberry Beret

    What’s the city’s excuse today for no garbage pick-up? There’s no snow, it’s not a “sanitation holiday”…?

  • Steve R.

    I’m not disagreeing with the sentiment here but it’s hard for me to believe that the neighborhood’s density is decreasing because of some brownstone returns to single family. I mean, there are quite a few large ex-Jehoviah’s Witness properties that’ve been converted, alongside the major high rises in Bklyn Bridge Park, the former LICH site, several ex-parking lots, etc., etc., etc. If anything, I think that the density has increased significantly.

  • Angela De Marco

    Was told mid March opening

  • Cranberry Beret

    According to NYC data, the central Heights (between Joralemon & Pineapple) had a net loss of housing units 2010-2020. Zoom in on this map:

    No cause is given, but if new units came available, then something needs to explain why even more units were lost. Or perhaps, there weren’t actually any new units at all in the central Heights, and just a few losses. Either way, not great news for affordable housing.

    More coverage here:

  • Jorale-man

    I noticed too. As if this time of year isn’t grimy as it is. Tip of the hat to the super/owner at 131 Joralemon St. who this morning was sweeping up all the loose trash that had reappeared when the snow melted.

  • Banet

    A slight decrease in housing units but a large increase in household income, which can therefore afford to buy more on Montague Street.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Now that you mention it, I have noticed more pharmaceutical billionaires and shell corporations eating at Happy Days Diner.

  • CassieVonMontague

    The record-breaking $25 million brownstone at 8 Montague Terrace had eight units before it was converted to single-family. Vinny Viola sold it to a shell corporation.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    It’s a problematic trade-off. I’m thinking of all the pre-Covid conversations that used to happen about PS8 admissions, and remembering when a decrease in population was a good thing for families looking to get their kids into Kindergarten. Then there’s still the issue of lack of diversity…

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Yes, the per capita increase means that more residents can afford Tango prices. hehe
    One point I would like to make, selfish on my part, is the housing stock in the neighborhood structurally experiences a major upgrade when homes are converted to private ownership. Just looking at the street around my corner, Middagh Street, the transformation over the years has been nothing short of miraculous. We have come a long way from “February House”. Every building, with a few exceptions, has been upgraded through private ownership. A consequence may be less affordable housing but coupling affordable housing and Brooklyn Heights real estate seems a bit disjointed from a city-wide point of view.

  • Brixtony

    What about the new hi-rises that aren’t occupied yet? One giant example is the tower at #1 Clinton St.

  • Concerned
  • Heightsman

    They own the building.

  • Andrew Porter

    How many here never received their $600 Stimulus check (raises hand)?

  • gc

    I got the first one and oddly not the second one.
    I guess I will need to claim the $600 on my tax return.

  • Andrew Porter

    Then there’s all the dog poop that appears when the snow melts. Everyone knows that NYC ordinance that you don’t have to pick up after your dog if they go on the snow, right?

  • Andrew Porter
  • Mike Suko

    And at least for now, I’m pretty sure the Downtown Brooklyn residents – thousands of them already, thousands more “in the pipeline” would patronize Montague Street if it had anything like a healthy mix of stores … and some “magnets.” OK, Sahadi probably won’t ever have an outpost 5 blocks from the mother ship, but the “Loft” location has lots of potential.

    Yes, the rents clearly foster the retail equivalent of predators – did I see a sign for a kind of pawn shop near the now gone Conn. Muffin? – but if that’s the “rock,” the “hard place” is online shopping.

    The Times reports today that “normal” is clearly “in sight” now, and to me that means that multiple restaurants will be trying their luck there before very long.

  • Mike Suko

    PRICELESS. Spoiler alert – it’s not an April First piece, but it surely could pass for one.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    The Heights will NEVER provide “good news for affordable housing.” I dare say – if it ever did, we’d switch from a couple of left-of-center good-hearted people to a torrent of “everything’s been ruined.” But on a positive note, entirely:

    a) It’s surely not 2010-2020, because the City won’t have 2020 numbers ’til about 2024 at the earliest.
    b) We’re part of “BK2,” one of the top 4 in the city in terms of POSITIVE growth.
    c) There are a few big empty buildings by the Promenade – 1 may not be JW, either – plus, I think, a dorm for NY Law School on Monroe Place went “offline” for a few years.
    d) I think at least one bldg on Montague (a tall one) was new that decade, so if the assertion is that “the Heights from Joralemon to Pineapple has fewer housing units,” I say, “Trust your eyes. They say the opposite, and they’re right!
    e) 1 Clinton & plenty of other units don’t have a C of O yet, so 2011-2021 (accurately counted) will probably turn the orange to blue on that map.
    f) if >50 units got lost to ultra-gentrification in the decade, I’d be very surprised.