Open Thread Wednesday

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  • Andrew Porter

    Claude, I love how in the winter the sun from the Promenade sets over Governor’s Island, while in the summer it goes down behind lower Manhattan.

    I note this because for the first time in 3 months, yesterday the sun shown in my windows after hiding so long behind the buildings across the street.

    Here’s one of my BH photos from the 1970s, showing the colorful stacks of containers and other products that came in via the ships that docked at the PA docks below the Promenade (click to enlarge):

    Photo © Andrew Porter

  • Brooklyn bridge enthusiast
  • Effective Presenter


    We appreciate this great picture of the Remsen Street end, and sunset.

    Our home of nearly 20 years on Montague Terrace this spot had been an urban “backyard, driveway” teaching kids to ride a bike, etc.

    That beautiful tree remains after all these years.

    We wonder how that tree has survived the elements that include the BQE particulates spewing from trucks, limited water, etc.

    Thank you and your volunteers for the Brooklyn Heights Blog.


  • Jorale-man

    Sorry to see St. Francis College gone from Remsen St. The back of its buildings on Joralemon are now covered in graffiti and copious amounts of trash blow around sidewalks (not helped by the empty storefront where Rite Aid used to be and the perennially dirty corner of Court Street). Wondering how long it will take to get new occupants for that real estate.

  • Robert Clark

    Great news. But I saw them setting up this morning.

  • karateca2000

    I saw a few vendors, but their footprint is smaller. There is no loud music. No lights. And the best of all: no more trash on the bike lane.

  • Monty

    The 4F bakery is very nice and I also really like Le French Tart Deli, especially for the spinach, cheese croissant. But my unbiased opinion is that the best croissant in the neighborhood is none of than Lassen and Hennig. Go ahead and blind taste test. They are incredible. So are the baguettes and almost everything else.

  • Banet

    There’s a new stop sign, installed yesterday (Wednesday) on Hicks where it crosses Remsen.

    As the pavement is not yet striped with a crosswalk I watched about 50% of the vehicles blow right through it, about 25% slow down but not come close to stopping, and 25% actually stop but almost get rear ended if there was a car behind them.

    How long until there’s a real accident… anyone want to bet?

  • Lucky Larry

    Any insight into what’s going on with the Saint George Hotel sidewalk bridge? Seems like we’re hitting the end of our Local Law 11 Cycle with sidewalk bridges up and down Hicks Street thankfully rapidly coming down. The 111 Hicks co-op had its scaffolding go down earlier this week, and I could see them doing substantial work on that building over the past 2 years.

    But that scaffolding wrapping around the student dorm buildings of the St George Hotel has been up since 2011. I haven’t seen anyone ever do any work up on the building since it went up with the Clark Street station closing down. No platforms going up or down the building like I have on other buildings.

    I’d hate for this to be a permanent structure that stays up in perpetuity thanks to an absentee/negligent landlord… what is the deal here?!

  • Claude Scales

    For real sidewalk bridge longevity consider that in front of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity church along Clinton Street, and the short stub above the (now closed until the elevators are replaced) Court Street subway station on Montague. They were there when I moved to the Heights in 1983. The long portion along Montague to Clinton came down after the masonry on that side of the church was repaired. I was hoping that the designation of St. Ann’s as a diocesan pro-cathedral would bring funds to complete the repair work; unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet.

  • Mike Suko

    One can only hope that our elected officials will take note. Consider that the Mayor’s State of the CIty speech yesterday (Thurs.) called for efforts to boost employment and boost more housing coming on stream. Construction has been probably a financial life saver for NYC over the past few years, continuing during Covid times when lots else was shut down.

    Of course, big projects employ large numbers of people and certainly add to housing stock. But if there are 10 long term (3 years+) sheds=stalled out projects, the City as a whole must have thousands. They add to the rat problem obviously, but the City is punished many other ways, too. Clearly, tax revenues suffer, but as I suggest the biggest cost is “opportunity.” People could and should be working at these sites and housing units (presumably less expensive than brand new & luxurious) would become available. (1 Monroe Pl. has 16 such units!)

    Instead of trying to convince Albany (wasting time on a bad idea) to reinstate bail, the Mayor should get them to make it possible to prohibit (I’m afraid churches will be exempt) sheds that are near-permanent.

    When Lincoln Restler was campaigning, one of his better ideas involved disincentives (fees & taxes) for NOT renting empty space (think the store next to Key/Montague) for years & years. The related problem getting my focus is much bigger – greater rewards AND a far greater cost to the polity for inaction!

  • Effective Presenter

    Well over 20 years ago we used to see packs of rats’ BIG rats running down Remsen Street toward the Promenade.

  • Effective Presenter

    The 1950s, early 1960s the St. Francis College building was the home of Brooklyn Union Gas, before BUG moved to 195 Montague Street, then to MetroTech Center as Keyspan, National Grid.

    It could take a LONG time to fill both the college and the pharmacy spaces.

  • mac
  • MaggieO

    That’s a great development! I have always hated that intersection.

  • MaggieO

    they appear to have not filed the last LL11 inspection at all. They have permits and approval from landmarks to do some pretty significant work on the facade in 2021 and open permits for the work in 2022. beyond that maybe a contract dispute? as for why the sidewalk shed was up as far back as 2011, hard to say, they passed their 2013 LL11 inspection with a SAFE filing…

  • Mike Suko

    Just the obvious thought that an awful lot depends on zoning and the ability to (possibly) repurpose the structures involved. NYU recently bought what was – I’m 95% sure – an office building in Metrotech to add to Poly’s space, enrollment, etc.

    Pace and CW Post have at least 2 campuses each, … and it’s possible that some college or university would see value in a “turnkey” annex in lovely B. Hts.

    But if such a one doesn’t exist, the only question is how soon the college will morph into SFC Tower – and whether the bldg will bulk up in the process.

    Related – does anyone know about Bklyn Law’s brownstone dormitories on Clinton or Henry? Sold? Being refurbed?

  • TeddyNYC

    A stop sign at that intersection was long overdue. Sometimes it feels like a traffic light would be needed there.

  • Banet

    For those looking to clean up for the winter, Grace Church is accepting donation of children’s gear, clothes, books and toys – and pretty much everything else (adult clothing, kitchenware, sporting goods, etc) for their annual rummage sale which is this coming Saturday.

    Go donate now – they need a LOT.

  • Robert Grace

    Model Trains
    Im 70 years old in the north heights and I like to tinker with n scale trains. Ive been unable to find a model railroading club in the area and would like contact anyone locally into the hobby

  • MaggieO

    swing by the bike shop on Atlantic between Court and Boerum Place. Speak to the owner and I’m sure you’ll find common ground!

  • MaggieO

    the ones on Clinton are going through a full gut reno. permit for the building at 150 Clinton shows reduction in dwelling units from 10 to 3 and at 148 Clinton from 13 to 5.

  • Andrew Porter

    In the last half century, model railroading clubs have disappeared from Brooklyn and NYC in general. One club moved to NJ!. I suggest you go to the website for O Gauge Railroading Magazine; you’ll find many useful links there:

    I used to have “N” Gauge trains, but am now into collecting streamlined “O” Gauge steam (and I’m 76 now). Here’s part of my collection—display ’em, don’t run ’em!:

  • Andrew Porter
  • Cranberry Beret

    The law school sold the Clinton buildings to a developer in October

  • MaggieO

    they were filing docs with DEP and getting landmarks approvals as early as August so I can’t imagine the sale was just completed in October.

  • North BK Heights Couple

    Any idea what the work being done down in Brooklyn Bridge Park right in front of Empire Stores is? They have a large chainlink fence and a large barge with equipment and wood beams on it. Looks like they may have added some more boulders to the shoreline there (between Pebble Beach and the Carousel pier)

  • FatFreddy’sCatheter

    Kids were always picking up stones from Pebble Beach and hurling them into the river. Maybe they’re increasing the pebble size–to boulders–so the kids can’t do that anymore.

    Damn kids.

  • clarknt67

    Now they can get motorized vehicles out of the bike lanes and on the roadway where they belong. .

  • clarknt67

    I read on CBS News the college was selling the old location to finance the new move. Seems like a big incentive to sell and if/when someone buys they’ll probably have a plan for occupancy. Fingers crossed anyway. We really don’t need more vacant space here.