Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Matthew

    Just curious, anyone know/have any update on L&B opening in DUMBO?

  • Andrew Porter

    Love your photo, Claude. I’ve often taking photos of the side of that house on Remsen, with its wonderful garden!

  • Mike Suko

    SORRY for the length, but my focus here is clearly shared by many of the readers/writers on BHB!

    It occurs to me that the BHA’s Executive Director (Lara Birnback) has made a comment or 2 on BHB, … and maybe, it would be possible for one of the contributors or the editor to interview her.

    Of course, she answers to her organization, and – to an extent – that organization is responsive to the perceived needs of the community we all reside in.

    But – although I’ve lived in B.H. for a long time, I respectfully suggest that the BHA is not – stylistically – all that “interactive” with most of Bklyn Hts. Yes, their website gives you some ideas as to what they’re up to and it may be that their annual meeting is open to members of the public, but I always thought one of the best things about “the press” is that it sometimes is ideally situated to ask questions of those in power … and often gets answers from those people.

    All this is, of course, prompted by someone’s recent question on the BHB re “Alice’s,” namely, “Is the BHA [still] concerned about what we all agree is quite a few empty storefronts? … And – if so – does their concern extend beyond Montague St.? Yes, the North Heights has both fewer commercial occupants and hardly any vacancies at present, but whatever is hurting Montague St. and the people who might be doing business on it – be it rents or regulations or taxes or whatever, it seems unlikely that they’d affect Montague Street but not Henry St., say. Since Atlantic has its own B.I.D., let’s leave it out, but there are also a handful of commercial establishments on Hicks, Remsen, Columbia, Court and Joralemon. (Maybe, I’m missing 1 or 2.)

    Anyhow, if Ms. Birnback took questions “from the floor,” mine would be, “After its survey was tabulated, what has the BHA done about the problem they certainly identified and explored? What would they like to see the new Mayor and City Council do?” Also, what does she/the BHA think are key factors in the continued high vacancy rate? Clearly, the survey “wish list” that included “a fish monger would be nice” didn’t move the needle, but aren’t eateries over-represented? Is that a concern?

    Actually, I could not find a word on their website about “retail,” and while they’ve done a fair amount re the BQE Cantilever Reconstruction, even that section is 6-9 months out of date.

    It could be that lots has happened and is happening – maybe, this is a good chance (and space) to “fill us in.”

  • StudioBrooklyn

    That the one from The Sentinel? Or the one on the other side of Montague Terrace? (Cue the Scott Walker song…)

  • Cranberry Beret

    Dear lord, why would you take the time to write a long 8-paragraph post on this blog instead of just emailing her?

  • Andrew Porter

    I just called the BHA and told them to look at today’s Open Thread.

  • Andrew Porter

    The one at the end. Here’s the image from the movie with the old building supposedly torn down and replaced by his ugly monstrosity:

  • Jo

    When I called in early September, the person said next summer…

  • Cranberry Beret
  • StudioBrooklyn

    Was the new building a matte painting, I wonder?

  • Mike Suko

    Cause she’d likely ignore the latter. Hey, run your own life – not everybody else’s.

  • Banet

    I’m confused. Where was this building? It’s not there now, is it?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    The southernmost house on the promenade before the cul de sac on Remsen (also on the northwest corner of Montague Terrace and Remsen).

    It was the location for the gates of hell in the 1977 horror film The Sentinel, which also contains a scene in which a character uses the promenade payphone, if you’re really thirsty for nostalgia, and now that I am thousands of miles away, I am thirsty for nostalgia.

    Nothing happened to the actual building but in the movie it is fictionally replaced by an “ugly” modern one. My suspicion—haven’t seen the movie in ages so I’m going from memory, and I’d forgotten about this part until Andrew brought it up—is that they used a special effect called matte painting to sort of photoshop the new building into the shot.

    If you don’t know about matte painting you should look it up; fascinating process, often used in old George Lucas films.

  • Jorale-man

    Very interesting. Here’s the trailer with a young Christopher Walken.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Maggie’s right.

  • Claude Scales

    Thanks, Andrew.

  • J

    Does anyone have a list of various Brooklyn Heights “attractions”? From historical sites to where famous people lived, etc… I have family coming in and want to give them a proper tour. Thank you.

  • cool

    I tend to like pedestrian ways so this looks nice to me. It will be interesting when the dust settles from all that new construction if work like this pulls a neighborhood together.

  • Mary Kim

    I would watch this video of BHB’s late founder Homer Fink/John Loscalzo doing his hidden Brooklyn Heights tour.

  • Andrew Porter


  • Andrew Porter

    It was never there. It’s a matte shot of a nonexistent building, for the movie.

  • Andrew Porter

    Here’s the actual building in question, on the far right in this photo. The garden next to Remsen Street isn’t visible in this photo:

  • Cranberry Beret

    For all of you whose garbage wasn’t picked up today due to the sick-out and/or crew shortages, don’t forget to make a 311 report tomorrow morning so there’s a data trail of the attempted blackmail from a certain segment of the sanitation workforce.

  • CassieVonMontague

    My first thought is that the skaters will really like whatever that yellow ramp-thing is in rendering of Borough Hall.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Found this nice walking tour

    However it makes the common mistake that 24 Middagh is the oldest house in the Heights. I’d take Jeremy’s word for it that that designation belongs to 38 and 40 Hicks.

  • Jorale-man

    Yes, that ramp doesn’t seem like much of an enhancement. But I do like the renderings of Adams and Fulton. Fulton, especially, would benefit from trees and plantings IF they could keep them healthy and free of people’s trash.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Jeremy is a genius. His support documentation is amazing and well researched. Jeremy’s intellect plus his willingness to do the dirty work, when researching the archives, is a unique combination. Mr. Lancaster did some important work with his book to support those campaigning for Brooklyn Heights historic status but Jeremy’s work is much more detailed than Lancaster. Jeremy is a treasure and one of a kind.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Miss you John.

  • Andrew Porter

    One segment of the local population likely appreciates the garbage piles:

  • Cranberry Beret

    Diem Eatery is coming to 79 Atlantic Ave. Per website: espresso, banh mi and gelato.