Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

Share this Story:

Connect with BHB

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

  • Willowtown Resident

    This Saturday, May 21st, Noon to 5PM
    Willow Place between Joralemon and State Streets
    Local Food – Music from the Brooklyn Bards – Bake Sale – Raffle with Prizes – Face Painters – Jump Castle – Games – and More!!!

  • kizz

    A new business named Amai Bā will be opening this month at 70 Henry Street. They will serve espresso and ice cream. I’m curious, based on the name, if it will be Japanese-influenced. Anyway, if you’re on social, here is a post by BHA sharing this news:

  • Mike Suko

    They seem to be unsure which of 2 big moneymakers – coffee or ice cream – will float their boat [hard to think of any place that has a real mix of the 2], and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. It’s a great location – and probably high rent – so I’ll bet it’s $8 gelatos (small, really), at least until Halloween. I predict banner success UNLESS the people living upstairs (avg. price per apt. = $4.6 MM) rein them in. (e.g., Will they be open ’til 10 PM?)

  • Mike Suko

    Pickle Ball – I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen any mention of the now open “new courts” [4] in Brooklyn Bridge Park. They look great, and a good time was being had by very mixed age groups of players on a recent afternoon. The BBP people almost never get their Rev. 1 attempts right, and this is no exception. The courts have NO separation from each other or the surround, so serious players will shun them mostly. But it was a VERY astute move, because the bocce courts they replaced served dozens, while these will serve at least hundreds on any given day.

  • gc

    Just saw a 5 minute story on Spectrum Channel One on the new Pickle Ball courts in BBP.

  • kizz

    Brooklyn Heights Library will open on June 8th, per the Brooklyn Eagle:

  • Andrew Porter

    What happened to the decorative panels that graced the entrance to the old BH Library?

  • Andrew Porter

    Can’t remember if I already posted this. Photo of BH from the air showing the swathe of destruction that demolition for the path of the BQE cut through the northern Heights:

  • Eliz

    I believe they were given to the Brooklyn Museum.

  • Andrew Porter

    Just downloaded and worked on a whole bunch of BH real estate brochures from last century. Here’s one for 65 Montague aka 20 Pierrepont. Note, “Careful restricted selection of tenants.” I wonder (not!) what that could have meant?

  • CassieVonMontague

    Because a federal judge threw out the congressional maps, a special master drew a new one. Our proposed congressional district now includes Manhattan approximately below 14th st, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington and Borough Park. The map will be finalized on Friday.

  • Arch Stanton

    One of my friends dad was the superintendent of those buildings. I remember burning stuff the incinerator and when it was replaced with a compactor sometime in the mid 70’s

  • Mike Suko

    Not so fast, CVM. I happened to hear a WNYC segment on it this A.M., and while there may have been sound judicial underpinnings to the appointment of a “special master” [I’d say, “Almost for sure”] it looks like the man in Western PA who drew the lines (a) did not know NY State; and (b) did not know that the NYS Constitution actually has an important clause – I don’t think I’m distorting, but I sure am paraphrasing: “Don’t screw ‘minority groups’ when you draw the lines.”

    I think this actually took effect within the last 5-15 years, and the thinking then was pretty simple: If a group like Chinese-Americans is concentrated in 3 NYC neighborhoods, drawing lines so that they’re divided into 9 Congressional Districts WOULD – maybe- do them out of a seat that we citizens voted (via the const’l amendment) that they should get.

    Sorry for the civics lesson, but stuff like that IS all over the lines drawn. (Tomorrow is NOT “game over” day.) As the WNYC guest put it, “it looks fair” if the districts are “square” (not gerrymandered, obviously), but does it make sense to split a town or a neighborhood just to achieve that SECONDARY (un-mandated) objective?! It looks like lawsuits WILL be filed, and I’ll bet they imperil having the elections on even the pushed back dates. “Central Brooklyn” has 2 Black Congresspeople. One scenario says that they’ll go head-to-head if the special master’s map stands … “and then there was one.”

    Obviously, if that map gets altered, who knows where B.Hts. winds up?

  • Claude Scales

    My understanding was that they were to be installed inside the new library, but that may have changed.

  • Effective Presenter


    Thank you for this information.

    We had not known of the complexities involved when dividing Congressional Districts.


  • Mike Suko

    Latest news is simple – and arguably funny. With the proposed map putting Bklyn Hts in with Park Slope and part of Lower Manhattan – plus seveal other neighborhoods, Bill DiBlasio has announced that he’s seriously considering running. Name recognition being what it is and primary turnout promising to set record lows this year, who knows? (He would not be my choice, and if you get to rank 5, he wouldn’t be one of them either.)

    One last bit of not-intuitive trivia: you don’t have to live in a Cong. Dist. to run there, per NYS law. (You don’t even have to live there if you’re rep’ing it.) Britain, I think, uses “safe seats” to protect party leaders. I see pros & cons to that system.

  • Banet

    The “where you live” aspect is of note with these new districts as well. Because the fellow who drew them new districts moved the borders on a few as to keep them essentially the same, but left their current elected Representative outside the district. In one case, the border apparently cuts directly between the Representative’s house and his next door neighbor.

    It just goes to show you, the devil is in the details.

  • Andrew Porter

    From the BHA:

    Open Streets is Back this Saturday. Bring your sunscreen! The first Montague Open Streets of the season was an incredible success!

    Read about the opening of L’Appartement 4F last weekend, in which the BHA played an instrumental role:

    Come out and join us this Saturday, May 21st from 12-7pm and enjoy four rounds of live music, story time and crafts led by the Brooklyn Public Library, face painting, a 3pm plank challenge outside Wundabar Pilates and more!

    REMINDER: Please do not park on Montague street from Clinton to the Promenade on Saturday from 11am-8pm. We know parking is difficult, but having wide open streets for our community to enjoy is good for all of us!

    Call for Volunteers: We need help with setting up the street with tables, chairs, tents, etc. and in the evening to break everything down and put it away. If you can help on one or more upcoming Saturdays please email .

  • Andrew Porter

    The BHA wrote:

    The BHA is partnering with Citizen’s Union Foundation to offer a free online training session that will explain how [we] can be involved in the NYC Council redistricting process.

    This session will focus specifically on the City Council level, though there will be a general Q&A at the end of the meeting. It is very important that citizens understand the impacts of redistricting and how to make our voice heard.

    We will be hosting a zoom session on Tuesday, May 24th from 6:30-7:30pm. Please RSVP (link below) if you would like attend. We will send you a zoom link the day of the event.

  • Andrew Porter

    Every residential building in NYC had their incinerators replaced with compactors starting in the 1970s. My building, too. Part of NYC’s plans to drastically cut down on air pollution.

  • Arch Stanton

    Yes, the city also banned coal fired boilers that were still in use, in some buildings, at the time.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Andrew, I grew up a super’s son and we were responsible for the refuse of, at least, 40 apartments. My job, at 14 years old, was to haul the ashes of the incinerators from the basement to the street in refuse containers. Each very heavy. The daily count was numerous and a real pain in the butt. Pops always said it builds muscle and character, the good old days.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Also shoveled coal in the coal oven. We would open up the cellar doors on the street and the coal truck would dump the coal into the basement for future shoveling into the coal oven. The good old days.

  • BH Resident

    Latest rumor on the Bossert is chetrit is going to lease the entire building to Sonder. Sonder sucks.

  • nomcebo manzini

    Thanks for that rumor. It led me to look up Sonder, and I’m intrigued:

    This article (in businessinsider dot com, if the link vanishes & anyone is interested) introduced me to an AirBNB alternative – basically, recognizing that at the right time & place, a company with many millions of dollars might do well to create a hybrid of a hotel and an apt. building. Key sentences: “Most of Sonder’s units are hotel-licensed, meaning they must comply with hotel safety codes and pay hotel taxes. But unlike a hotel, the apartments come with full kitchens and separate bedrooms and living areas.” Since I think AirBNB & similar is classic “Hey, at least *I* can profit from the awful situation that NYC has a housing shortage – yes, making it even worse” libertarianism at its very worst, I love the idea that maybe some Hts people living in a 2nd home may actually give up their rent stabilized apt. once it ceases to be a kind of ATM. Have you SEEN all the “locks” that litter our nabe and could wreck the community and individual buildings if they keep proliferating.

    But anyone who’s heard of WeWork has got to wonder if this really IS “rock solid.” What accounts for your negativity about Sonder and this future for the Bossert if it comes to pass?

  • BH Resident

    It’s not a hotel. Not even close. No housekeeping, bare minimum staff onsite, horrible rep for ripping people off. It’s glorified furnished housing. And they advertise units on Airbnb and vrbo, so it’s the same thing. Sonder went public via a spac earlier this year. Already down from ipo of $10.88 to $1.80/share. They barely survived the pandemic and like we work their future is cloudy at best. Sonder would be a negative for the neighborhood.

  • nomcebo manzini

    FWIW, you were so negative, I was a little suspicious. (Like maybe *you* had a bad experience with them.) Everything you said “checks out.” Only the article I referenced above says different, and it’s easy to imagine that either (a) this (20 Broad in downtown Manh.) is their “showcase” operation, with quality/costs that would kill them if they did it with all properties; or (b) money changed hands in connection with the very positive write-up. [Well, one *could* imagine an orchestrated smear campaign by VRBO/AirBNB operators, I suppose.]

  • RickP

    Why would an apartment-hotel be worse than an ordinary hotel? Seems to me that an ordinary hotel would generate more checking in and out right on Montague. A combination of apartments and short term rentals would seem to have a lighter impact. What am I missing?

    One bias I have is that I need a kitchen when I travel, which can be difficult.

  • nomcebo manzini

    I’m basically WITH YOU, but the negative might be one often associated (if only by people who are dubious about AirBNB in urban/apartment settings) with some “typical guests.” … AT WORST, they can resemble a “fraternity house.” VERY tempting to take a high rental cost and split it 6 ways. (A good night’s sleep is not everyone’s highest priority.)

    A couple getting married in Brooklyn? Could be a natural for the groomsmen or bridesmaids, not so great for the family staying next door, much less renters & owners on or near Montague St.

  • Andrew Porter

    Architect Bjarke Ingels bought a 2-story penthouse in the St. George Tower for $2.16 million. 6SqFt has the story: