Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Andrew Porter

    No snow this winter, no problem! Here’s one of my photos from what I call “The Blizzard of 1983,” on Cranberry Street:

  • Andrew Porter

    And on Henry Street, same day, back when they didn’t plow all the streets after a big snowfall, but let people have a good time for a few days:

  • Cranberry Beret

    The optician DEO at 128 Montague (upstairs) opened in late October, appeared to close in early December. This week the windows are all papered over. A new record for coming & going on Montague Street?!

  • Mike Suko

    Anybody feel as I do that a little more “content” on this blog would be a good thing?

    NOT a knock on Claude – not at all. All of us have finite bandwidth, whatever differences we may have.

    But this isn’t me throwing a coin in a fountain. Rather, it’s wondering whether my $50 to something like Kickstarter would be joined by enough others so that Claude might be able to engage a “journalism student.” Candidly, given what it costs to live anywhere in NY – certainly, in BH – what I anticipate would be a small “target fund” might only “buy” fairly minimal additional content…. But since St. Ann’s & Packer & Friends are all nearby, … and since a truly unpaid (or minimally paid)
    talented 16-year-old intern might constitute a WIN-WIN, does anybody think that’s worth considering? (Maybe, even some “Honors English class” trying their hands collectively/individually at reportage….)

  • Banet

    Well, that didn’t take long. 2 of the 3 brand new elevators at Clark Street are already offline, allegedly for at least the next 48 hours.

  • Banet

    I would happily donate $25 to a GoFundMe.

  • meschwar

    No unpaid or “minimally paid” internships ever.

  • Anna

    Hi all! Does anyone have a recommendation for an affordable cleaner? Someone you like/trust? Thank you!

  • Mike Suko

    Even for kids below college level? … I happen to know that (no one is suggesting coercing them!) enhancing one’s college application portfolio is something many (of those who can afford to do so, one way or t’other) HS students and their families spend “through the nose” to do. Taking Tennis, squash, [a VERY long list of similar] seriously is far more expensive than “donating” some hours … that may also give them an extremely valuable and remunerative skill. [“Banet” – are you pro or con about “internships?”]

    One reason I suggest it (as a possibility) is that a “target” of $300 is a much lighter “lift,” and if this comes to pass and raises $3,000, we would presumably consult with Claude or Mary Kim as to what THEIR preferences are. One likely entails more supervisory work, but it ALSO might be more gratifying for the reasons I allude to above.

  • C.

    Barnes & Noble on Court street closed down today. They are moving a block away to Atlantic Avenue next to Trader Joe’s taking over the Barney’s space.

    There are now no tenants in the previous building that housed the Regal theatre and Barnes & Noble. I wonder what will take their place? I noticed the sign on the front door of Regal said they were “temporarily closed”. Holding out hope that they or another movie theatre will return. Would be a massive renovation to covert that to residential. Hopefully something good goes in the B & N space.

  • Claude Scales

    Please do not start a Go Fund Me to hire an intern for BHB. I do not own the Blog; taking on an employee would create serious problems. We are all volunteers; all of us have other work and family commitments. We do the best we can.

  • Effective Presenter

    Claude, you do a GREAT job with volunteers and BHB does NOT need “content” as is this is an excellent communication vehicle for Brooklyn Heights.

    Thank you for your work,


  • Effective Presenter

    Call a local church, temple, house of worship they may have a cleaning person for y”all.

  • Effective Presenter

    Optical shops have been hit hard by the Internet, and glasses available retail at CVS, etc. It is difficult for an optician to run a business, rent, etc.

  • Mike Suko

    Of course. No arm-twisting, … but I *would* encourage both some thinking & some planning, because – as you must know, but it bears repeating – you HAVE at least a small “community” of readers, admirers, etc.

    You – as I understand it – are “an accidental publisher,” and you’re entirely transparent that you are well past mid-life.

    Your mention of “ownership” – speaking candidly – is absurd. You ARE the only person who can take a step or 2 to make MORE likely (as opposed to LESS or none at all) the continued existence of BHB some number of years from now.

    Again, I believe I read that you felt a kind of debt to Homer Fink … and have given copiously of your time over the years for that reason. The beginning of a new year really IS a wonderful time to think about things like this. I hope you will.

    I have no doubt that you know how much the world (and “publishing”) have changed in the 21st century. Is there even ONE change you can point to in the BHB since you “signed on.”

    SORRY for any stridency here. I, too, am grateful for all that you’ve done. But in 3 words: What Comes Next?

  • Banet

    The movie theater’s “temporarily closed” sign went up when the theater temporarily closed for Covid – Regal will never open up there again. Maybe a different chain could open there at a much lower rent, but that the owner wasn’t willing to drop the rent on the bookstore to a price they would pay tells me they intend to convert the building to residential. Likely the existing shell cannot be repurposed so they will tear it all down and build a new condo tower – I expect a big one.

  • Banet

    NextDoor is a good source of cleaning people recommendations.

  • Mike Suko

    I’d be 100% with you, except that I suspect the height limit there works in the opposite direction – NOT a tear-down.

    Would the BHA be up for an expensive fight? “Should they be?” Could just be bad luck that their 2 tenants are both in industries with cloudy futures. (B&N’s business model is so different from Books/Magic that the success of the latter shouldn’t mislead anyone.)

    It’s why I still predict & hope for some sort of health/medical repurposing.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Did someone say snow.

    Remember th great blizzard in 2010 and its effect on the Heights:

  • RW

    That’s sad. I just looked at their website, they’d even launched a “Brooklyn Collection” with glasses named after streets in the Heights. But no Montague St. store listed in their Locations section. Only in NJ and PR.

  • Banet

    What height limit? It’s outside the historic district so a new building could be quite tall, not unlike the ~40 stories of the new building above the library.

  • Cranberry Beret

    The regular zoning height limit. A new residential building at that spot, as of right, would be roughly the same height as the current. Might still be worth rebuilding even if same size, if cheaper than a complicated theater conversion. The owner could seek a rezoning to go higher, if they wanted to risk delay. The site of 1 Clinton was already zoned for taller buildings than the Court St theater.

  • Banet

    Got it. So even if limited in height I expect they’d rebuild. The current structure is just completely wrong in every possible way for residential. From the massing to the floor plates to the plumbing to the curtain wall to the elevators to the parking. Literally all they could use is some of the exterior framing.

  • Mike Suko

    Wrong for residential – definitely. BUT quite doable for a variety of commercial options. When “residential” is going up seemingly all over 11201 (except core Heights), “smart money” may very well look elsewhere, esp. if it can start generating returns sooner & at a far lower cost.

  • Cranberry Beret

    “Three elevators at the Clark Street subway station in Brooklyn have combined for at least 35 non-scheduled service outages and 11 sets of trapped passengers since a nearly $30 million replacement project was completed in May.”

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Books Are Magic owner gets barred in Texas. Insanity. Thank goodness I live in Brooklyn.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


  • Jorale-man

    Exactly. Brought to you by the same state that traffics immigrants to NYC and legally allows people brandish guns in stores and restaurants.

  • Banet

    Apparently Regal is closing down 39 additional locations:

    This includes their Union Square location on Broadway and 13th. Man, if you can’t make that location work you’re really screwed.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Yep. The chance that any movie theater rents the Court St space in the near future, before it gets redeveloped into something else, is zero.