Brooklyn Heights Blog » Brooklyn Heights Dispatches from America's first suburb Mon, 22 Oct 2018 22:59:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mad Eggplant Bomber at St. George Dorms Mon, 22 Oct 2018 22:59:43 +0000

None other than Mrs. Fink herself was a victim of a dangerous veggie dump out of a window at the St. George dorms on Henry St. this past weekend. Mrs. Fink posted on social media on Sunday at about 1:30 p.m.:

So this just happened- walking home from errands/haircuts and some ass from the dorms dumped a bucket of veg from a high floor all over us. Whatever that eggplant looking thing is? Was whole before it whacked my (bad)wrist. Then tomatoes etc. My wrist is killing me. Can’t imagine if there had been a newborn… I’m spitting mad.

Eggplant Assault

This writer personally witnessed the swelling and bruising on Mrs. Fink’s wrist. Young Fink, who was with Mrs. Fink at the time, could very well have been hit too. Couldn’t be the mad soda can bomber or the yogurt chucker from 2011, or the drunken budding scientist testing gravity by throwing down a cinder block from the roof in 2010, since surely she/he/they have graduated, probably, maybe, right?

Asked for a quote for this blog, Mrs. Fink, the best in the biz of one-liners, said, “Eggplant shouldn’t bite back. What did salad ever do to them? I thought vegetarians were pacifists. And what, no dressing?”

But seriously, someone, someone’s baby, someone’s sweet grandma, someone’s child whose parents are paying a ton for plush student housing! could have been very badly hurt.

Even a freshman is 18 or very close, and should know better, right?

Hey guys, how about you stop throwing deadly objects out the window and maybe, oh I don’t know, VOTE?


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Allen Robinson Instituted as Fifteenth Rector of Grace Church Mon, 22 Oct 2018 03:03:29 +0000

In a service this afternoon at which The Right Reverend Lawrence Provenzano, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island (which includes Brooklyn and Queens, as Long Island geographically does) officiated, The Reverend Doctor Allen Robinson was instituted as the fifteenth rector of Grace Church, which has stood on Hicks Street between Grace Court and Joralemon Street since 1847. The service was attended by many Grace parishioners, as well as by local clergy of many faiths and Episcopal clergy from throughout the Diocese. There was also a delegation from Rev. Robinson’s former church, St. James Lafayette Square in Baltimore, along with The Right Reverend Robert Wright, Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta.
IMG_1795Rev. Robinson and his family were warmly welcomed by the congregation.

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That Time of the Year: Halloween Parade! Sat, 20 Oct 2018 17:27:39 +0000

If it’s late October, that must mean it’s World Series Oktoberfest Readathon almost Halloween! The annual Pierrepont Park Halloween Parade will be happening next Saturday, October 27th, at around 10:30 am, so come on down with all your ghouls, goblins, and Joe Lhotas. During and after the parade, there will be food and refreshments for sale. Enjoy this little neighborhood tradition before they ram a highway through it!

Volunteers are still needed, so if you would like to help, or show off your mad baking skillz, there’s an online Halloween Parade sign up sheet here.


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BHA: de Blasio “Blindsided” Brooklyn Heights on BQE Sun, 14 Oct 2018 23:43:46 +0000

Brooklyn Heights Association President Martha Bakos Dietz (in photo, helping at Save the Promenade’s stand during the Montague Street Sunday Social today) issued this statement in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement that he favors the city DOT’s “innovative” option for BQE reconstruction:

As the President of the Board of Governors of the Brooklyn Heights Association, I was stunned to read the Crain’s report that Mayor de Blasio supports the New York City Department of Transportation’s so-called ‘Innovative’ approach to the reconstruction of the BQE.

At a time when the BHA has been trying to meet again with the DOT to urge serious consideration of alternatives to its two proposals, the Mayor makes it clear that the City does not care to hear our community’s opinion.

We certainly agree that the rehabilitation of the BQE is necessary and urgent and we are willing, as a neighborhood, to share the pain.

But the Mayor’s reference to the DOT’s alternative plan as a Band-Aid approach is condescending and dismissive of the very real consequences to Brooklyn Heights of an approach that would place six lanes of highway traffic in close proximity to an historic district and its almost two-centuries-old buildings.

We truly think there are other options to be considered and the City needs to meet with us as soon as possible to discuss these.

The BHA urges local residents and anyone concerned with the preservation of the Promenade to support Save the Promenade and to email the Mayor’s representative to Brooklyn Heights, Mr. Daniel Abramson, at

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Coming This Week at Brooklyn Historical Society Sun, 14 Oct 2018 20:46:55 +0000

This coming Tuessday evening, October 16, from 6:30 to 8:00 the Brooklyn Historical Society will present social historian and York University (U.K.) professor emeritus James Walvin, author of Sugar: The World Corrupted: From Slavery to Obesity. in which

he uncovers the fraught history of one of our most prevalent ingredients: sugar. From its role in catalyzing colonialism and slave trading, to its current contributions to health crises, Walvin delivers this history without any sugar coating.

There’s more information here

On Wednesday evening, October 17 from 6:30 to 8:00, Mark Noonan and Benjamin Shepard, authors of Brooklyn Tides: The Fall and Rise of a Global Borough

uncover the local consequences of globalization through the literature, social activism, and changing tides of capital as it crashes onto the shores of this ever-transforming borough.

There’s more information here.

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Repast Baroque Ensemble Presents “Them Foreigners” at First Unitarian Thursday Evening Sun, 14 Oct 2018 04:50:44 +0000

The Repast Baroque Ensemble returns to Brooklyn Heights, and to the McKinney Chapel of the First Unitarian Church, 116 Pierrepont Street, this Thursday evening, October 18, starting at 8:00. They will present “Them Foreigners,” a program of baroque music exemplifying the fact that

[m]any Baroque composers made musical characterizations of peoples who were exotic to them, such as Native Americans, Turkish, Polish, and French. Tapping into the current national issues about immigration and racism, Repast presents a cultural flashback to relevant issues of encountering “the other” in musical discourse.

The concert will include works by Telemann, Rameau, and Guignon. In addition to Repast’s usual complement of outstanding musicians, this concert will feature Arash Noori on theorbo. You may buy tickets here.

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Mayor Prefers Replacing Promenade With Highway During BQE Reconstruction Sat, 13 Oct 2018 02:40:00 +0000

The Brooklyn Paper reports that Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed a preference for the City Department of Transportation’s “innovative” plan that would close the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for at least six years and replace it with a temporary six lane highway that would render some residences virtually uninhabitable. The Brooklyn Paper story quotes the Mayor:

It will definitely have a big impact, but I think it’s the way to address the bigger problem once and for all, and as quickly as we can … It’s a painful approach, it will definitely create a lot of inconvenience for people — I don’t want to underestimate what impact it would have.

The Mayor is also quoted as saying the “traditional” option of rebuilding the BQE in segments while keeping some lanes open and closing portions of the Promenade in order would divert too much traffic to local streets. He didn’t mention any other options, still on the table, such as a tunnel, or some that could reduce truck traffic and allow more time for reconstruction, such as putting two way tolls on the Verrazano Bridge, or tolls on the East River Bridges, or congestion pricing (which would require federal, in the case of Verrazano tolls, or otherwise state cooperation). The Mayor described replacing the Promenade with a highway as “kind of the pull-the-band-aid off approach.” A band-aid that takes six years or more to pull off?

Photo: By Kevin Case from Bronx, NY, USA (Bill de Blasio) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Travails of Eighteen Wheelers in Brooklyn Heights Mon, 08 Oct 2018 02:20:26 +0000

Several days ago, your correspondent spotted this huge tractor-trailer rig trying unsuccessfully to turn from Montague to Hicks Street. Its way was blocked by a smaller bread delivery truck parked on the west (left) side of Hicks, close to the intersection. I didn’t stay around to see how this finally was resolved (I had to make it to my day job), but I suspect it was when the bread truck driver, having finished his delivery, showed up and moved.

IMG_1726Behind the big rig was an FDNY ambulance; fortunately not on an emergency mission, as its siren was silent, as were the horns of the cars stopped behind it.

Earlier the same day, a similar eighteen wheeler tried to make a left from Montague to Pierrepont Place (perhaps because the same bread truck was blocking the turn to Hicks) and struck a tree on the west side of Pierrepont Place.

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Coming This Week at Brooklyn Historical Society Sun, 07 Oct 2018 20:28:09 +0000

This coming Wednesday evening, October 10, from 6:30 to 8:00 the Brooklyn Historical Society will present “Immigrant Women, Labor, and the Quest for Gender Justice,” in which award winning journalist and author Bernice Yeung will discuss her writings and work concerning the protection of immigrant women in the work force from violence, sexual harassment, and exploitation. She will be joined in discussion by three other women active in this field. More information here.

On Thursday evening, October 11 from 6:30 to 8:00, historian, biographer, and Brooklyn resident Ron Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the musical that became Broadway’s hottest ticket, will read from and discuss his latest work, Grant, a biography of Civil War general and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. More information here.

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Montague Street BID Hosts Sunday Social October 14th Sun, 07 Oct 2018 18:39:00 +0000

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! The Montague Street BID is set to host their annual street fair, Sunday Social next Sunday, October 14th from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm between Court and Hicks Streets with Kids Zone sponsored by Brooklyn Bridge Parents.


The event features a bouncy house and loads of family/kid friendly activities including a ninja obstacle course, outdoor blocks, soccer, hands on science and crafting activities, face painting, glitter tattoos and more! It’s a great day to shop local too with discounts from merchants including James Weir Florists, Kiehl’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Chocolate Works.


  • 11:30 am Special reading of Aunt Lilly’s Laundromat by local author, Melanie Hope Greenberg
  • 12:00 pm  Paprika Music Parade
  • 2:00 pm ZCO Dance Project, a wheelchair dance troupe
  • 3:00 pm Bucket drumming with Brooklyn Music School
  • 4:00 pm Acclaimed Brooklyn Diamonds Cheer Squad


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Have You Seen Fay Livingstone? Sat, 06 Oct 2018 21:20:08 +0000

Notify NYC has alerted us to a missing person last seen in our neighborhood. Fay Livingstone (photo) was last seen yesterday (Friday, October 5) at about 9:52 AM, near Court and Remsen streets. She is 5’5″ tall, weighs about 120 pounds, and has gray hair. When last seen she was wearing a black leather jacket, a white and purple striped dress, gray leggings, and black and white sneakers. She has dementia and may be in need of medical attention. If you see her, please call 9-1-1.

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City Council Member Levin Talks BQE Rehab on WNYC Sat, 06 Oct 2018 16:34:20 +0000

In case you missed it, the BQE rehab was the topic of the day on ALL OF IT with Alison Stewart on WNYC on October 4th.  A new show, ALL OF IT “is a live daily conversation about culture and the culture in and around New York City.” Transportation reporter Stephen Nessen gave a breakdown of the DOT’s BQE Project Update Meeting held on September 27th. Council Member Stephen Levin joined the candid discussion and took calls from constituents.  Have a listen:

Claude’s recap laid out the gist of the contentious gathering. Both DOT plans called for the closing of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.  The “innovative plan” proposed a six lane highway to run in place of the 1.5 mile stretch. Many called for the DOT to swing the highway over Brooklyn Bridge Park citing that the BQE rehab should have been considered during the construction of the park. Others were in favor of a tunnel option. The take-away is an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) will be conducted and the conversation will continue over the next two years. Within a few days, The BHA issued a statement directing the DOT to “Go Back to the Drawing Board.”

Watch the DOT meeting in it’s entirety HERE:

EDIT: The post was revised to reflect the DOT’s “innovative plan” would replace the promenade with a six lane highway, not run adjacent to it.

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BHA to DOT on BQE: “Back to the Drawing Board” Tue, 02 Oct 2018 02:15:38 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association has issued a statement, following last Thursday evening’s meeting with City Department of Transportation representatives, at which many Heights residents expressed strong opposition to the DOT’s “innovative” plan for the needed reconstruction of the cantilevered portion of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway below the Heights that would involve building a temporary six lane expressway at the level of, and replacing, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for a six year duration. The BHA says it was “extremely heartened” by the community’s response; its statement is:

The message to DOT is clear: Back to the Drawing Board.

The BHA calls upon DOT to work with the community to identify and evaluate other options that do not prioritize motorists at the complete expense of residents.

In addition to the “Traditional” incremental, lane-by-lane approach, DOT must consider other locations for the temporary roadway, including pushing it west of Furman Street.

Other community suggestions that deserve more attention:

• implementing strategies to reduce the volume of BQE traffic, such as reinstituting two-way tolls on the Verrazano Bridge, which requires Congressional approval;
• instituting tolls at East River crossings which would require State approval of the MoveNY Plan;
• using transit solutions similar to the plan for the L train shutdown;
• considering other traffic management measures, such as HOV lanes.

The BHA is committed to leading a campaign to protect the Heights community, as we did in organizing a borough-wide campaign to secure Design-Build authorization.

We ask that DOT take the Innovative Approach off the table. We need to see more options, and we ask that DOT listen to and be responsive to the concerns of our community.

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Brooklyn Historical Society Presents Gargoyle Epic Tuesday Evening Mon, 01 Oct 2018 02:54:27 +0000

If you’re an admirer of gargoyles, the decorative, often grotesque drainage pieces that adorn many gothic, beaux arts, and art deco (see examples on 55 Pierrepont in the photo) buildings, you may wish to attend a presentation at the Brooklyn Historical Society this Tuesday evening, October 2, starting at 6:30 PM. In “New York’s Gargoyles: The Immigrants Who Made Them and the Hunters Who Saved Them” John Freemen Gill, author of the novel The Gargoyle Hunters, will tell of their history and preservation in a discussion moderated by writer and documentary filmmaker Laurie Gwen Shapiro. There are more details here.

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City Will Consider Options for BQE Reconstruction Sun, 30 Sep 2018 18:30:39 +0000

A large crowd assembled for Thursday evening’s meeting at which City Department of Transportation officials discussed plans for the reconstruction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway below Brooklyn Heights. I took the photo some minutes before the program began; by the time it did there were even more standing in the back or along the sides, and some were turned away because of lack of space. The size of the crowd, almost all of whom made the trek from the Heights to Myrtle Avenue just beyond the Flatbush Avenue Extension, was occasioned by the DOT’s recent announcement of an “innovative” plan to build a temporary elevated highway that would replace the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for six years and put highway traffic, including many trucks, close to residences and playgrounds. These are my takeaways from the meeting; for other accounts see The Brooklyn Paper and Curbed.

Nothing is settled. DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said that this meeting was only the first of many public events to be held as part of the environmental review process that will continue from now until 2020, when the request for proposals to design and rebuild the BQE will be issued. While the DOT’s Chief Engineer, Robert Collyer, stated his preference for the “innovative” plan, he allowed that the decision on how to proceed would be made as a result of the environmental assessment. Even the tunnel option is still a conceivable outcome, although DOT’s Senior Program Manager Tanvi Pandya noted that the only tunnel alignment the DOT considers feasible would place its northern entrance and exit north of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. This means that traffic to and from these bridges would still have to use the present BQE alignment, or else be routed over local streets. Other means of reducing the traffic burden on the BQE, such as putting tolls on the East River bridges and effecting congestion pricing in Manhattan, would require cooperation at the state level. State Senator Brian Kavanagh, addressing the meeting, said he would support whatever state actions were necessary. Any action with regard to the Verazzano Bridge tolls would require federal approval.

The temporary highway may be re-routed over part of Brooklyn Bridge Park. This was suggested by a local resident during the question and answer period, and was also alluded to by City Council Member Steve Levin, who noted in his remarks at the meeting, “there are these berms ….” The Wall Street Journal reports that, after the meeting, Commissioner Trottenberg expressed willingness to consider this option.

No matter what, the Promenade must be rebuilt. In her opening remarks, Commissioner Trottenberg said that like many of Robert Moses’s structures, the cantilevered portion of the BQE “was not built to last.” Ms. Pandya noted that the Promenade is part of this “not built to last” structure and that, while it doesn’t bear the weight burden that the BQE lanes below do, it is still structurally unsound. The question is whether the rebuilding of the Promenade will be done in one fell swoop (and, under the “innovative” plan, following a six year closure) or in segments, allowing access to parts of the Promenade while work is done on others.

Direct access from Columbia Heights to DUMBO, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Squibb Park, and Hillside Dog Park will be interrupted. This is because the bridge that carries Columbia Heights over the BQE must be removed during the reconstruction. This will also entail temporary loss of the Harry Chapin Playground, which sits atop that bridge. Asked about the effect of the “innovative” plan on the Pierrepont Playground, which would abut the temporary elevated highway, Ms. Pandya said the playground would be all right. There were also assurances that, apart from the access issue, Hillside Dog Park would not be affected.

Existing BQE environmental problems may not be cured. During the question and answer period, Willowtown Association member Martin Hale said he had measured noise levels from BQE traffic at Adam Yauch Park, near his home, and found they sometimes exceeded eighty decibels. He said the federal regulations governing environmental assessments included provisions allowing the grandfathering of pre-existing conditions or those that cannot be mitigated by technically available means, and asked if the DOT would rely on these. Mr. Collyer said they would not rely on them with respect to the construction work, and would do their best to mitigate any noise and air quality problems. However, no assurance was given that, following completion of the project, pre-existing environmental problems would be alleviated.

Update: The BHA has now announced its opposition to the “innovative” proposal and urged the DOT to “work with the community to identify and evaluate other options that do not prioritize motorists at the complete expense of residents.” The BHA has yet to take a position. The first speaker during the question and answer period was Peter Bray, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Heights Association. He began by comparing the available options to the circles of Dante’s Inferno, an analogy with which Commissioner Trottenberg agreed. Mr. Bray said he had heard from many Heights residents, all of whom were strongly opposed to the elevated highway proposal. He said the BHA “will listen to all alternatives and be responsible to the community.” He also noted concerns that the city would run short of money needed to complete the restoration of the Promenade. Commissioner Trottenberg replied that it’s not up to DOT which option to choose, that there are “many stakeholders” as well as those directly affected by the elevated highway proposal, and that the “Design/Build” procedure authorized by the state for the project meant that the contractor would agree to a firm price. Ms. Pandya added that bonds and insurance would cover the contractor’s obligations.

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Reminder: Meeting Thursday Evening on BQE Repairs and Promenade Wed, 26 Sep 2018 03:28:27 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association has details on the Update meeting on BQE Rehabilitation, a project that could include closing the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for years and building a temporary six lane highway that would bring traffic to the level of Heights residences. Alternatively, it could cause major diversions of truck and car traffic to local streets.

The meeting will be held at the National Grid Auditorium, on the second floor of One Metrotech Center (enter from Jay Street). Presentations begin at 6:30 and ends at 8:30, but doors open at 5:30; best to get there early if you want a good seat. The presentations by officials will be followed by time for comments from the audience. The meeting location is ADA accessible.

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Hearing on New Brooklyn Jail Thursday Evening Wed, 19 Sep 2018 02:15:48 +0000

As you may know, the City is proposing to close Rikers Island and expand jail capacity in all boroughs to make up the difference. This includes a large expansion of the Brooklyn House of Detention on Atlantic Avenue, just a few blocks from Brooklyn Heights. The good folks at the Brooklyn Heights Association have notified us that there will be a hearing “on the scope of the environmental assessment” for this and other proposed new jails, on Thursday, September 20th at 6:00 PM at PS133, the William A. Butler School, 610 Baltic Avenue at 4th Avenue.

According to the BHA, its “position is that the planning process is seriously flawed and should be halted to allow the affected communities to help shape a better plan.”

In particular, the [BHA and other community groups object] to the enormous scale of the new jail that would replace the current Brooklyn House of Detention. At a Floor Area Ratio of 20 and a height of 430 feet (excluding rooftop mechanicals), and holding up to 1,510 detainees, the project’s density and impacts are too great for this sensitive site.

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St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Celebrates Designation as a Pro-Cathedral Mon, 17 Sep 2018 03:44:29 +0000

Today St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, at Clinton and Montague streets, was made a Pro-Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. As a Pro-Cathedral, it will serve as a secondary seat from which the Bishop may officiate. The celebration of this event began with a procession (photo) beginning at the Montague Street entrance to the Promenade and continuing along Montague to Clinton and the church.

Once in the church, the celebration continued with an evensong service. In his remarks, Bishop Lawrence Provenzano noted that Holy Trinity, as the church was known before the merger with St, Ann’s, was the original cathedral of the Diocese of Long Island. He was delighted to make it a Pro-Cathedral in recognition of the importance of Brooklyn and Queens in the diocese.

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Is 186 Remsen Doomed to the Wrecking Ball? Mon, 17 Sep 2018 02:54:57 +0000

I wish I could have gotten a better photo of what I consider to be a magnificent building, but the lighting and shadows were against me, as was a bit of sidewalk shed protecting pedestrians from falling debris generated by renovation work on the building at the corner of Court and Remsen. “Magnificent?” I know some readers are thinking. “That old pile?” Old it is, completed in 1887. It was designed by Parfitt & Parfitt, two English brothers who also gave us the Montague and the Grosvenor, on Montague Street. I’ll also confess that I have a love for Victorian Romanesque architecture, of which I think this is a fine example. In 2012, its history was related as a Brownstoner Building of the Day.

As for its recent history, when I arrived in the Heights in 1983 it was the National Headquarters of the NAACP. After the NAACP departed for Baltimore, the building was taken over by the Little Flower Children’s Services. Then it became vacant, and has remained so for some years. I kept hoping St. Francis College, its next door neighbor to the west, would find some use for it. Now, according to this New York YIMBY post, it’s been acquired by Upventures LLC, who have filed plans for a fourteen story hotel on the site. The plans do not contemplate keeping the existing building and adding to it, but demolition plans have not yet been filed.

186 Remsen, which is between Court and Clinton streets, is outside the Heights Historic District, but it is inside the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District, which means that any plan to demolish 186 Remsen would need approval of the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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Fascati Pizzeria Back From Vacation as of Yesterday (Sat. 9/15) Sun, 16 Sep 2018 14:35:31 +0000

That is all….

UPDATE: But not open today (Sunday) and likely not tomorrow (Monday). Get your slice on Tuesday.


Photo from Google Maps.

Photo from Google Maps.

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Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Open After Summer Vacation Sat, 15 Sep 2018 23:31:36 +0000

The Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Hicks and Henry), has re-opened following its customary summer break, occasioned by the fact that it is staffed by volunteers (disclosure: your correspondent’s wife is one of those volunteers), most of whom take summer vacations. It is a not-for-profit craft and gift shop that supports “craftspeople from Brooklyn and beyond.”
IMG_8997The exchange’s fall offerings include children’s clothes, toys, and books as well as items for adults, including t-shirts, housewares, condiments, and books.

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Vote Tomorrow Wed, 12 Sep 2018 12:35:03 +0000

Tomorrow, Thursday, September 13, is the statewide primary election to choose candidates to run in the November general election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and other state offices. Polls are open from 6:00 AM until 9:00 PM. By entering your address at this website, you can see who is on the ballot in your location for each office, with further links to the candidates’ own websites and other sources of information. It will also give you the location of your polling place.

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Parking Tickets Issued in Heights on Rosh Hashanah Wed, 12 Sep 2018 02:06:39 +0000

Community Board 2’s Executive Director Robert Perris has sent us the following:

Several people got tickets in Brooklyn Heights today despite the fact that alternate side of the street parking was suspended for the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Shana tova!

Similar incidents have happened in the past because the parking regulations on the narrow streets in Brooklyn Heights, where parking is permitted on one side of the street only on six days of the week and the other side on the seventh day, do not have street cleaning parking rules but the rules are nevertheless suspended when street cleaning rules are suspended.

People who wish to fight their tickets should invoke Section 4-08(a)(7)(iii)(D) of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Traffic Rules (aka Title 34, Chapter 4 of the Rules of the City of New York), which states, “Posted signs restricting parking for a period of six or more consecutive hours on one day per week or on alternate days are not street cleaning parking rules. However, such restrictions are suspended on the days that street cleaning rules are suspended.”

The City’s Traffic Rules are available online here.

Thanks, Rob!

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Brooklyn Book Festival This Sunday Tue, 11 Sep 2018 10:54:22 +0000

The Brooklyn Book Festival will be on Sunday, September 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m at Borough Hall and other nearby venues, and in Columbus Park (immediately north of Borough Hall). There will be readings by and discussions with writers, and books for sale. There’s more information here. There will also be a special Children’s Day before the main festival, on Saturday, September 15.

During this week and the Monday following the Festival there will be “Bookend” events held in various venues around Brooklyn and in other parts of the City. A full schedule is here.

In conjunction with this year’s Festival, Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge, is inviting bird enthusiasts and those curious to learn more, to meet at the booth (#312) of her publisher, The Experiment, at noon on Sunday and to go from there to Brooklyn Bridge Park to look for some migrating birds. More details and RSVP here.

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Alice’s Tea Cup Coming to Hicks and Middagh Tue, 11 Sep 2018 02:52:33 +0000

We’ve been alerted by reader Andrew Porter that

[t]he whimsical teahouse, bakery and restaurant Alice’s Tea Cup will open this year at the corner of Hicks Street and Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heights, across from PS 8.

The photo is from their present location at 102 West 73rd Street, in Manhattan.

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Heights Players Open Season With Oliver! Mon, 10 Sep 2018 01:57:58 +0000

Our neighbors at the Red Hook Star Revue have an excellent story about Brooklyn Heights’ community theater, the Heights Players, who stage their productions in the old chapel at 26 Willow Place (photo), between Joralemon and State Streets, in Willowtown. The Players began their 2018-19 season — their 63rd — this weekend with Lionel Bart’s Oliver!. There are six performances remaining on the following two weekends: Friday and Saturday, September 14, 15, 21, and 22 at 8:00 PM, and Sunday September 16 and 23 at 2:00 PM. You may buy tickets here.

We will endeavor to keep you posted on the Players’ future productions. Those planned for this season include, among others, Detective Story, Harvey, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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Signs of Progress? Bossert Replaces Awning Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:09:31 +0000

Just a week after Brooklyn Paper’s August 3rd missive on the never ending delay of the Bossert Hotel re-opening, the building’s tattered eyesore of an awning was removed without fanfare.  The property’s manager, Stephen Allen was later quoted in the publication on the 14th, “We’re restoring the frame, and putting it right back. It will look exactly like the old one.”  The Montague BID had tried, in vain, on many occasions to have the problem addressed.

Over the weekend a shiny new awning was installed. It does in fact look exactly like the old one, sans holes. So yay, progress! But, don’t hold your breath on an opening. Despite the latest news coverage, neither partner, real estate tycoon Joseph Chetrit nor Clipper Equity’s David Bistricer have commented publicly on the status of the project or if they have tapped a new operator to run the establishment.

Photo Credit: Martha Foley

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BHB Stalwart Andrew Porter Sounds Off About Helicopter Noise Tue, 07 Aug 2018 02:01:30 +0000

Last week the New York Times asked for comments on noise complaints. Loyal BHB reader and commenter Andrew Porter had this response, which the Times approved:

The noisiest things here in Brooklyn Heights are the helicopters, whether NYPD one hovering over accidents on the BQE, Brooklyn Bridge or other trouble spots, or the ones passing by en route from LaGuardia to Newark, which don’t bother to fly over the East River as required by law.

Recent changes in flight paths of arrivals and departures from the Wall Street helipad have lessened the noise, to some extent, from that source of many problems.

Anyone have a different complaint?

Photo by Chuck Taylor for BHB.

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Is a Bistricer/Chetrit Feud Behind Lack of Progress on the Bossert? Sat, 04 Aug 2018 22:09:20 +0000

In early July the Eagle reported, in a story we linked to here, that one of the hotel’s owners, either David Bistricer or Joseph Chetrit, had said that “a major announcement” about the hotel would be made soon. It was presumed that this would be of a firm opening date for the hotel, which has been postponed several times since six years ago. No such announcement has been made, and no visible work has been done on the hotel for some time. The Bossert’s renovation process is beginning to rival in length the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Now the Brooklyn Paper reports that, after the paper’s unsuccessful attempts to get information from the developers and their property manager, an unidentified “local community leader” has said he or she believes the developers, Bistricer and Chetrit, “have been bickering — likely about money — and it’s causing the holdup.”

The Brooklyn Paper piece ends with a quotation from BHB stalwart Andrew Porter.

PHoto: SongBird NYC for BHB.

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Party at Rocco & Jezebel to Honor Hillary Demetropoulos’ Life – Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm Wed, 01 Aug 2018 02:15:14 +0000

Rocco & Jezebel for Pets, and all of Brooklyn Heights and beyond, are mourning the loss of Hillary Demetropoulos.

Andrea Demetropoulos, Hillary’s mother and owner of Rocco & Jezebel, shared the sad news that Hillary passed away on July 26, 2018 from Stage 4 non-smoking lung cancer. She would have celebrated her 44th birthday on August 15, 2018.

Hillary was born in Maine and moved with Andrea to New York when Hillary was six years old. Hillary attended St. Ann’s, Meredith Manor (an equestrian school), and St. Francis College where she majored in Biology. She also danced with the Joffrey Academy. Her friends and regular customers of Rocco & Jezebel know, however, that her true passion was for cats and dogs.


Asked about her daughter’s life, Andrea said,

Hillary was instrumental in our business. She was a brilliant woman, genius level, truly. She did TNR (trap, neuter, release) for years and taught herself so much about nutrition for cats and dogs. She changed the lives of pets and their owners, with her advice about how to care for and feed their pets. Some pets have food allergies and Hillary was so good with recognizing them. With her TNR work, she really knew the cats she was adopting out and paired them with certain people who would be good matches. Right now, we’re focusing on finding homes for the seven cats and three dogs she left behind, especially Jeannie and Baby, who are mother and daughter dogs. They have to stay together.

In lieu of a wake, Andrea invites all to attend a party to honor Hillary’s life.

I want to celebrate her life and invite the hundreds and hundreds of people whose lives she touched. She once told me, “If you die I won’t be able to live,” but she died before me. Our relationship was tumultuous at times, but she was my best friend. She finished my sentences. Everybody who knew her knew how kind she was and how giving she was.

Sat., Aug. 18, 2018
1:00 p.m.
Rocco & Jezebel for Pets
89 Pineapple Walk
Brooklyn, NY 11201


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