Open Thread Wednesday

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  • AEB

    Has anyone besides me discovered the totally delightful Sam, who owns and runs Pet Emporium on Montague? He has a terrific gift-of-gab and a wicked sense of humor; he chats up his customers naturally. If you don’t know him, I suggest you give him–and the store, which is small but replete–a try.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Neighborhood legend.

    He has appeared in the New York Times:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/14/nyregion/nyc-immigrant-small-business.html

    And he’s good friends with Lena Dunham
    https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/lena-dunham-on-her-old-friend-sammy.html

  • CassieVonMontague

    Friendly neighbors are worth their weight in gold. And the one’s with the gift of gab are worth double.

    The two that I remember have both sadly passed:

    Pete on Willow St, who would perch on her stoop and tell you about sitting on the floor of Mayor Laguardia’s office while he read the funnies over the radio.

    and Rocco the barber in the Clark St Station who would tell you about the man with the funny voice who needed a haircut before traveling to Kansas to write a book.

  • Andrew Porter

    I already posted this, but a good photo is worth a second look. It’s an aerial photo of the St. George Hotel complex and surrounding area, before the BQE, before the Cadman Towers. Click to enlarge and enjoy the detail:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af895bbdd4c088de1f08d98376b91793c2dbbf97bdebab16bd1294a6f86f814a.jpg

  • disqus_NCsPYOIlUl

    Sam is one of the nicest and kindest store owners ever! Our dog and cat have died – and I miss our visits.

  • travy

    he is much less nice behind the wheel of his car when looking for parking but i suppose we all are

  • AEB

    Thanks for these, Cassie. Who knew? Now I do.

  • Effective Presenter

    Great pic thank you for sharing this.

    Years ago Miss P. Herd told me about beautiful terraced lawns, rose gardens, etc. her backyard @ 2 Montague Terrace.

    When the BQE was built “We lost our yard and rose garden due to Eminent Domain”

    Do you have any pictures of the grand back yards down to the river of homes on Montague Terrace and Columbia Heights before the BQE had been built?

    Do you have any pictures of the Penny Bridge at Montague Street and the Promenade?

  • Effective Presenter

    Maybe he had a bad day?

  • CassieVonMontague

    Once a month, I see a fight over a parking spot in front of my building. I once saw a pregnant woman shouting the most vulgar obscenities for a good fifteen minutes at a Hasidic man who pulled into a spot behind her. Parking is no joke.

  • Angela De Marco

    He has been around for ages. He is a love.

  • EY at Henry St

    I have a queen size memory foam mattress and ikea sleeper couch i’m willing to give away for free if you can pick it up from Bergen County. Reply for more info!

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    Sammy is the reason nobody in BH should be buying from Chewy. He is a gift.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Here is a video I did with a few pictures of backyards of Montague Terrace before BQE:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y1meVKTPRE

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    There are additional pictures and a more in depth explanation about the removal of gardens and the construction of the BQE and the promenade in this video with a conversation between two historic figures in Brooklyn Heights history, Martin Schneider and Henrik Krogius.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE9eCSFEKao

  • Heightsguy77

    Sammy is a nice man. And I always will pay a premium for small business in the neighborhood. But his price for my dog’s food is literally 3x the price of Chewy. At some point, a small neighborhood business has to meet me, halfway.

  • Andrew Porter

    Here’s a photo of Furman Street before the BQE, showing some of the gardens:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4ad25a3c04fe8aa35f38e696fca91321f4e03a4b873ba1b198547acefa29d1d.jpg

  • aeshtron

    What is a fair percentage premium to pay to purchase identical products from a local independent retailer instead of chain-store/on-line?

    IMHO – once something is more than twice as expensive I begin to feel icky about my purchase and less likely to return to that store. There’s wiggle room when the sale of a product requires time and/or expertise on the part of employees.

  • AEB

    Sam’s prices ARE higher. But using CHEWY means a delay (I’m not very forethoughtful) and, as a north Heights resident, getting to Pet Smart on Atlantic is a schlep.Sometimes one pays more for convenience.

  • Susan O’Doherty

    I once found a lost dog running in traffic on Henry Street. I brought him to Sammi to see if he recognized the dog. He did, and directed me to the owners’ house, but they weren’t home and he didn’t have a phone number, so I took the dog to my home for the day. We didn’t have dogs, only a cat, so we didn’t have any food, leash, or anything for the dog. Sammi insisted on giving me everything I needed and wouldn’t let me pay for anything. He is more expensive, but you can’t get this kind of community from Chewy so I will shop with hi for as long as I can afford it.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    I happened to see online some “chat” between a small store-owner and a customer, a little cheesed about their prices. It boiled down to “We’re not Costco. We don’t pay what they pay when we buy and we can’t charge what they charge when we sell.”

    The comments here either remind one of one of the 2 biggest downsides of Amazon driving tens of thousands of small busineeses out of …

    or they don’t. Sadly, anyone with even a modicum of biz savvy knows what will happen to prices once there IS no local competion!

    And -one thing’s for sure –

    You don’t know what you’ve lost ’til it’s gone!!

    Sure hope – from what I’ve read – that Sammi keeps his head above water until he’s good & ready to do something else.

    Save the “survival of the fittest” rhetoric for species … and even there, we’re capable of bending the curve.

  • RickP

    Just curious. What are the recessed archways (for want of a better term) on the right? Reportedly, there were warehouses on both sides of Furman and the gardens were built on the roofs. So are those the entrances to the warehouses? They look more like retaining walls. But when were they built? If they’re warehouses how deep are they? Still in use? Thanks in advance for any info.

  • Dr. Joann Mathias

    Please recommend a compassionate vet.
    Dr. Norton was the gold standard in the neighborhood for years and is sadly passed on.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7nPOzGeyaw Arch Stanton

    Dr. Heather Thomson at Brooklyn Heights Veterinary Hospital, 59 Hicks St. She was able to help our dog when other vets failed.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    WHAT a fascinating video – on multiple levels (hmm.) KARL: any chance that these and other of your videos can be viewed in “full screen.” Postage stamp size is not ideal with our world-class views.

  • Andrew Porter

    They might be artistic buttresses, but I really don’t know. Really doubt the back-of-warehouse conjecture, because where would the fronts be? There are also subway lines under the Heights.

    Anyone else?

  • Jeremy

    Those are retaining walls in the foreground of this pic, holding up the bluff. This pic is taken just north of the penny bridge and the Montague ramp, showing the backs of the houses on Pierrepont Place. The bluff was highest here – buildings on Furman were only on its west side. The section of Furman with buildings on both sides was further north (starting about halfway between Pierrepont and Clark), where the bluff was less steep. A few of those Furman buildings did have gardens on top, but not most.

  • Rick

    To see them in full screen, all you have to do is click on them and select “copy video url” Then open a new browser window and paste the URL into that window, which will take you to that video on Youtube. There it is a simple matter to expand them to full screen.

  • Effective Presenter

    Mr. Porter,

    Thank you for the videos, pictures, information, etc.

    We have lived on Montague Terrace for over 20 years never saw a picture of the terraced lawns my neighbor Miss. P. Herd had explained until this information.

    Kevin FitzSpeaker

  • RickP

    Thanks. That makes sense. If I may ask, where did you learn about this?