Open Thread Wednesday

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  • naprice74

    Does anyone else find gristedes extremely unsettling? I feel like I always go in there to buy one specific thing due to most of the items being noticeably overpriced, but I swear I barely ever see anyone in there except for two cashiers and maybe 2-3 elderly people living in cadman towers/101 clark street. This is also considering they have to pay upwards of 100k in rent a month.. It’s not that it’s a bad store per say, but just walking in the store, especially towards the back/pharmacy area, gives off a very odd, almost ominous vibe, don’t even get me started on how strangely the aisles are arranged. Feels like I’m in a liminal space of some sort. Anyone else? (posted this earlier but didn’t get many responses)

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

    That’s why It is known as Gougestedes or Grosstedes. Do you know for a fact they “have to pay upwards of $100k in rent a month”, or is this speculation?

  • CassieVonMontague

    Regarding the news of the Montague St massage parlor https://nypost.com/2021/09/26/illegal-massage-parlors-outnumber-starbucks-in-nyc/

    The world’s oldest profession has a long history in America’s oldest suburb. In 1976, Brooklyn Heights was one of the “liberal areas” that pushed to stop prostitution roundups by police. Probably because police would arrest a lot of gay men cruising on the Promenade.

    It was from these areas—and Greenwich Village and Brooklyn Heights—that the District Attorneys, judges and legislators have received their greatest support in ignoring prostitution.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1976/04/04/archives/new-police-policy-frees-prostitutes-of-roundup-fears-new-policy.html

    Just a few years before, in 1973, the Pierrepont Hotel was “a Brooklyn Horror House” according to the Times.

    “Men come at all hours of the night shouting and looking for the prostitutes, and there are fights and knifings right here in front of my house. The people have been mugged in their doorways across from the hotel.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/1973/09/24/archives/the-pierrepont-a-brooklyn-horror-house-a-serious-annoyance.html

  • Andrew Porter

    I live less than a block away but almost never go in. I do often shop at the former Peas & Pickles store just across Pineapple Walk.

  • Andrew Porter

    Another of my photos of the Heights. Here’s 60 Pineapple in 1970, when it was still derelict. I have several photos I took during its reconstruction which I’ll post next:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4354da2a6ce805abf4bd4670f51809e5af188ddebf67c37454bda50cef09436.jpg

  • Andrew Porter

    Forgotten New York takes a long look at Court Street all the way down, starting at Tillary and Cadman Plaza East, with many photos:

    https://forgotten-ny.com/2021/09/court-street-cobble-hill-carroll-gardens/

  • aarrrrrimapirate

    I like to call it “Greasy Ted’s” lol

  • naprice74

    Not confirmed, but the ceo was interviewed a few years ago – https://www.wsj.com/articles/neighborhood-supermarkets-chase-the-slow-dollar-1499774402

  • Heightguy

    Gristedes is usually a spot I only go to if absolutely needed (since I live a block away) but generally avoided as much as possible. 1. Absurdly (off market) high prices for many items. 2. The place pretty gross 3. Most cashiers are rude and unhelpful. I generally feel bad for the elderly buying overpriced items there due to not being able to make it to keyfood on montegue st.

  • Jorale-man

    Quite an exposé. So Anne Taylor and Le Pain Quotidien can’t afford the rent on Montague but a brothel can?

    I’ve been speculating about the basement massage parlor on the corner of Clinton & Remsen ever since it opened a couple years ago. I never seen any clients outside, only a couple of young women hurrying in an out at odd hours.

    Then, of course, there was the infamous brothel on Henry near Atlantic that closed a few years ago…

  • CassieVonMontague

    Here’s the listing for the space. 1000 sq. ft. 5000/mo. The article said services were about $100 so we can do the math.

    https://www.officespace.com/ny/new-york/2013034-143-montague-street

    This facebook post states the buyer in 2018 was Uri Koptiev.

    https://www.facebook.com/TRADEDNY/posts/462379630833849

    He has been named in the past as one of Brooklyn’s worst landlords for housing violations.

    https://bklyner.com/2019-worst-landlord-list/

  • AEB

    [reposted:]

    Of course with you. The store is pure Twilight Zone (to use an ancient
    descriptor), spatially endless and, as you say, usually empty. One can
    walk for days, lose one’s sense of direction, even forget why one came
    or one’s name–and one is still THERE.

    Perhaps the reason it has
    so few customers (except when you want to pay quickly, then the cashier
    lines are endless) is that the prices are almost comically inflated.
    Containers of Haagen Daz ice cream, for example, can cost almost eight
    bucks per; paper towels–don’t get me started!

    What I feel most when, of necessity, shopping there is that I wear an invisible sign (except to me) that reads SUCKER!

  • KDHicks

    Seriously — the common argument for stores not being able to survive on Montague bc of rent prices doesn’t really ring true when vape shops and massage parlors seem to be making it work (unless these are national chains with tons of $$, who knows!). Hoping there’s some kind of plan in place to figure this out…

  • meschwar

    Fair, but vape shops are tiny, and massage parlors are often not at street level. So they’re not the prime retail space that an independent bookstore or ice cream shop would want.

  • Jorale-man

    Very interesting. The pieces start to add up. I wonder what the Montague Street BID makes of this. It’s not exactly a discreet location if you’re one of the “gentleman clients.”

  • Pierrepont

    Lordy, I couldn’t agree more! Deeply dysfunctional that store is! The prices are actually offensive for most items, like $7 jars of peanut butter and it just worse from there. The staff wander around like ghosts, and I too feel like it couldn’t be a worse place to shop if it tried. Luckily, the former Peas and Pickles, across Pineapple Walk, couldn’t be nicer or less of a ripoff. I take my business to them with pleasure.

  • Mary Kim

    It’s confirmed that Mad for Chicken will be taking over Teresa’s space. The owner sounds like a nice guy and said “by the end of the year” is his best estimate for opening date. Check out the menu at https://madforchicken.com/blog/stores/brooklyn.

  • Susan O’Doherty

    I’m one of the elderly who live in Cadman Towers and I’m dreading the day (possibly not too far off) when I’m reduced to shopping in that nightmare palace. The pharmacy is great, though.

  • MaggieO

    somehow i hadn’t realized that this blog was still active! it was among my old favorites along with “scountingny”

  • Cranberry Beret

    Good news! The Corcoran real estate broker office on Henry/Montague is being replaced by…Compass real estate broker office

  • Jorale-man

    Cool. It looks like it has kind of a pub-style ambience, judging by the other locations. And hey, it’s not a massage parlor!

  • Banet

    Susan, if you can comment on this site you can order groceries from FreshDirect and get much better prices than Gristede’s. But I recommend walking to Key Food – it’s important to keep active!

  • Susan O’Doherty

    Thanks, Banet. Please note that I didn’t say at that I do shop at Gristedes, only that I fear that one day I may have to. At this moment I’m more than capable of walking to Key Food or Trader Joe’s. But I appreciate your concern and advice.

  • TeddyNYC

    I guess the only reason they’re still there is because some older residents don’t want to or can’t walk to Montague. People living in that area deserve better.

  • nomcebo manzini

    Reality check – vape shops AND brothels … and (arguably) pawn shops and other “Sin-based” enterprises are “high margin” affairs. It’s why organized crime prefers them to ice cream stores, although sometimes what THEY charge borders on criminal.

    But is that what “the community” wants by way of products and services for sale on what used to be Brooklyn Hts’ principal commercial street?

    I’ll admit that a “vape shop” – soon, we’ll have competing places to buy cannabis products, no doubt – is not conceptually different from a liquor/wine store, and the one on Montague (selling beverages, that is) “fits in” with prevailing Heights mores.

    But one wonders what payoffs to policemen enable a brothel to survive for years and years!

    I know that “sting operations” are tricky, but have we really reached a point where the NYPD has NO alternative to turning a blind eye?!

  • aeshtron

    “László Jakab Orsós lives in Brooklyn Heights, where busy men on bicycles will deliver just about anything: Thai food, craft cocktails, firewood, cocaine, deli sandwiches.”

    – Poetry in Motion Side-Street Project, Sept 27th New Yorker –

    Some people have reached a point where they believe no amount of prohibition will reduce and/or eliminate sex work and intoxicant consumption.

  • Andrew Porter

    Same here!

  • Andrew Porter

    They get a lot of students from the dorms across the street, who don’t know any better.

  • Andrew Porter
  • Mike Suko

    My understanding – never have had a chance to see for myself – is that places like Amseterdam don’t outlaw it … but they DO “district” it. I know that NIMBY has a very bad rep these days, but if ever there was a neighborhood (and street or 2) that don’t need a wink-wink (well, now it is!) sign and the people it attracts and the people it employs … this would seem to be it!

    C’mon germ-phobes – you who can’t rant enough about the virtues of mask-wearing: D’y’think that maybe sex-work is not even worse than gyms on the transmission scale?!