Brooklyn Heights Blog » Brooklyn Heights Dispatches from America's first suburb Wed, 12 May 2021 04:31:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Normandie Doors at Our Lady of Lebanon Wed, 12 May 2021 04:16:55 +0000

Flickr photo by Tom Rupolo

Flickr photo by Tom Rupolo

Untapped New York has a story about the doors on Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral at Henry and Remsen streets. The doors were taken from the great French ocean liner Normandie, which burned and sank in 1942 while in the process of being converted to a troopship while docked on the West Side of Manhattan. The story says the doors are on the Cathedral’s main entrance on Henry, but there are others (photo) on the Remsen Street side. They had to be re-sized to fit the existing church entrances, and were installed in the late 1940s.

The story notes that the building was designed by Richard Upjohn, who also designed Trinity Church in Manhattan and Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights. It was completed in 1846 as the Congregationalist Church of the Pilgrims, and was sold to the Lebanese Maronite Catholic Community in 1943, after Church of the Pilgrims merged with its Brooklyn Heights neighbor Plymouth Church.

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Repast Baroque Ensemble Returns for In-Person Performance May 28 Sat, 08 May 2021 20:44:02 +0000

The Repast Baroque Ensemble – in photo, clockwise from top right: Amelia Roosevelt, violin; Sarah Stone, viola da gamba and cello; Gabe Shuford, harpsichord; and Stephanie Corwin, bassoon – will have their first in person public performance since January 2020 on Thursday evening, May 27, starting at 7:30, in the main sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church, 119 Pierrepont Street (corner of Monroe Place). The concert will feature works by the composers J.S. Bach and François Couperin.

Our program includes Bach’s great sonata in A major for violin and obligato harpsichord, a trio sonata arranged for violin, cello and continuo, and and organ trio arranged for violin, bassoon, and cello. Interspersed are Couperin’s 8th Concert from “Les Gouts Reunis” (The Tastes Reunited,” a duo for cello and bassoon, and a solo harpsichord suite.

The audience will be socially distanced and masks are required. Tickets must be purchased in advance – no sales at the door. You may reserve tickets here.

Repast also presents a concert, “Pachelbel – Beyond the Canon,” that will only be available on line and for which admission is free, although a donation of $20 (or whatever you can afford) is suggested. Violinist Theresa Salomon will also participate in this concert. It will be available for viewing and listening starting next Saturday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. and continuing through Saturday, May 29 until 11:00 p.m. There’s more information here.

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Poplar Street Community Garden Workday Saturday Tue, 04 May 2021 01:41:50 +0000

Want to get your hands dirty in a beautiful setting? Or, if you’re of the “Work fascinates me; I can watch it for hours” state of mind, you’re still welcome to show up at the Poplar Street Community Garden, northwest corner of Poplar Street and Hicks, this Saturday, May 8, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, when “we’ll plant more native pollinator perennials – also trim, weed, collect seed, water, and whatever else the Garden is asking for.”

Photo courtesy of Poplar Street Community Garden

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Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar Reopens! Sat, 24 Apr 2021 00:12:34 +0000

Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar reopened today after a hiatus during the frigid months. Early in the evening, the sun was shining and sidewalk seats were bustling. Inside, a few tables were occupied by patrons who all happened to be silver foxes with their silver-locked dates. Fully vaxxed life is good!

Wine Bar 1

The Wine Bar’s hours will be Tuesday to Friday – 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday – noon to midnight.

Meanwhile, a few doors down, Cardinal Mkt has raised the white flag, undone by an unfortunate March 2020 open date which was delayed to the summer. Cardinal Mkt opened for a few months, then abruptly closed as the cold weather set in. Sad news as the food was quite good and the storefront attractive.

What would you like to see in its place? Comment away!

Cardinal Mkt



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PSA: City-Run Vaccination Sites Now Accepting Walk-ins – No Appointments Necessary! Fri, 23 Apr 2021 16:41:13 +0000 Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning that the vaccination sites operated by the city will now accept walk-ins  of all ages 16 and over. You can find the list of vaccination sites here. Spread the word! Here in the 11201 zip code, we are at 71% of residents over 18 with at least 1 dose and 44% fully vaccinated — that’s well above the percentage Brooklyn-wide (45% 1st dose) and city-wide (50% 1st dose). If you are in that 29% that have not received their first dose, what are you waiting for, walk on over to the City Point/Albee Square location and get it today!

Note: The NY State-run sites (Javits, Medgar Evers, etc) right now only accept walk-ins if your age is 60 or older, though that may change if Governor Cuomo feels he’s being upstaged and/or he’s caught in another bombshell scandal.

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It’s 4/20 And There’s A Pot Thief On The Loose! Tue, 20 Apr 2021 14:28:01 +0000

According to the NY Post, Willowtown has recently been plagued by flowerpot theft. Two stoops on Willow Place were hit last Friday, but homes in the area have been seeing their potted plants disappear since December 2020. The NYPD appears to be on the case, looking for local surveillance footage that may have perhaps caught the thief (or thieves) on camera.

Have you or your neighbors recently had their flowerpots, or planters, or some other type of receptacle stolen? Are these thefts specific to Willowtown, or is it a problem across all the Brooklyn Heights micro-neighborhoods (Fruit Streets, Montague BID, Columbia Heights, etc.)? Let us know! And if you have any information (or video!) concerning these recent thefts, you can email the local Neighborhood Coordination Officers (Det. John Condon and PO Donovan Hunt), or call the 84th Precinct at (718) 875-6811.

Photo: C. Scales for BHB

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PSA: GET VACCINATED!!! Sat, 17 Apr 2021 12:46:36 +0000 Just a friendly reminder for those out there who haven’t scheduled their COVID-19 vaccination yet: DO IT NOW!!! As of this post’s publish time, there are thousands of appointments available — including over 20,000 slots at the Brooklyn residents-only Medgar Evers College site. There’s a plethora of ways to make an appointment:

For keeping up with vaccine appointment availability, TurboVax and NYC Vaccine List have been useful, as well as the CDC’s VaccineFinder.

According to the city’s COVID-19 Vaccine Data site, the 11201 zip code has doing pretty good — 64% of residents over 18 have received at least 1 dose so far, and 39% fully vaccinated. Across all of  Brooklyn, though, only 40% have received at least 1 dose, so spread the good word about vaccinating! Tell your neighbors, your friends, random people you meet, even cold-call local stores and businesses! DON’T HESITATE — VACCINATE!

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Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Presents Silhouette Artist Deborah O’Connor – Send Her a Photo Thu, 15 Apr 2021 01:33:21 +0000

Thanks to the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, as she has in past years, silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor is available to work her scissors magic and produce silhouette portraits that make welcome Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any day presents or keepsakes. To have one made, you need to send a photo of the subject – child, adult, or pet – to Ms. O’Connor by Sunday, April 25. Various gift packages are available. You can get the full details and photo instructions here. “[Y]ou will be able to pick up your finished silhouettes, matted or framed, at the Exchange within 2-3 weeks.”

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Poplar Street Community Garden Open Again Wed, 07 Apr 2021 12:05:49 +0000

The Poplar Street Community Garden, at Poplar and Hicks streets, has re-opened after being closed for a year because of COVID-19. The Garden is open for visitors Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until noon, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Masks and social distancing are required.

This coming Saturday, April 10 from 9:00 to noon, there will be a workday to which all are invited. It

will be a happy reunion with all that’s living in the Garden and with each other. Please join us! Our plan is to give the Garden’s roses and raspberries their annual spring pruning and to do a bit more raking and weed removal (it’s a workday after all), but otherwise just to say hello! Come on by – we welcome you to work hands-on with us or just walk around observing and enjoying the experience.

There will be more workdays on the second Saturday of each month.

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Will Hell Freeze Over – er – the Bossert Open Next Month? Sun, 28 Mar 2021 01:43:25 +0000

A big hat tip to reader Cassie Von Montague who alerted us on OTW to this Brownstoner story about the Bossert Hotel at 98 Montague Street (corner of Hicks), which has been undergoing renovation for some years and has had many projected opening dates come and go. The Brownstoner story refers to websites showing furnished hotel rooms and inviting reservations, starting on April 30, with prices that “range from $246 to $303 a night.” It also indicates that the Bossert has a new manager, IHG Hotels & Resorts. Brownstoner tried to contact IHG, but got no reply.

Let’s see if this finally works out.

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New Staten Island Ferry Named for Dorothy Day, Brooklyn Heights Native Fri, 26 Mar 2021 02:47:06 +0000

The newest Staten Island Ferry boat is named for Dorothy Day. Ms. Day was born in Brooklyn Heights in 1897, but her father, a journalist, took a job in San Francisco in 1903. The family later moved to Chicago, where she reached adulthood. As a young woman, she returned to New York and lived a Bohemian life, espousing radical causes. In her early thirties she became a convert to Roman Catholicism, but combined her faith with a continued advocacy of social justice. She lived much of her later life on Staten Island. Along with Peter Maurin she founded the Catholic Worker Movement, which advocates nonviolence, works of mercy, the dignity of manual labor, and “voluntary poverty,” meaning

by casting our lot freely with those whose impoverishment is not a choice, we would ask for the grace to abandon ourselves to the love of God. It would put us on the path to incarnate the Church’s “preferential option for the poor.”

Photo: New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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BQE Cadman Plaza Exit to Close Monday Until August Thu, 25 Mar 2021 03:08:54 +0000

Our friends at Montague Street BID have advised us that, starting this coming Monday, March 29, and continuing until August, the Cadman Plaza exit from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which serves northbound traffic, will be closed while the Hicks Street wall that borders the ramp is repaired. This may also lead to some construction noise in the North Heights. Those coming from the south on the BQE who would normally exit at Cadman Plaza are advised to take the Atlantic Avenue exit, then turn left onto Furman Street and follow it to Old Fulton.

Photo: Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons. Used with permission.

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DeBlasio Announces Opt-In Window for Blended Learning Tue, 23 Mar 2021 05:17:43 +0000

Patch reports, Mayor DeBlasio has unveiled a new opt-in period for families who had initially chosen fully remote learning for the 2020-21 academic year. (Families were initially told there would be opt-in periods throughout the academic year. In late October 2020, the DOE abruptly announced a two-week window in November would be their last chance. So, this latest change is actually a reversal of a reversal.) This development comes on the heels of the Center for Disease Control‘s update that students may now safely distance three feet apart instead of six.

Beginning Wednesday, March 24th families may sign up for blended learning which affords students two days of in-person schooling. Parents must complete this survey by April 7th. DeBlasio said, “This obviously opens up a world of possibilities for bringing kids back.”

But the announcement provided few timelines and left room for many questions. 3K, elementary school and elementary-aged children in D75 Special Education programs may return by “the end of April.” Middle and High School options will be announced next week. High Schools only just re-opened for the first time since November on March 22nd. How the schools will accommodate an influx of students depends on the constraints of their facilities and available resources. Gothamist’s reporting does a good job of further exploring the considerations and challenges schools face.

While parents may be thrilled, according to ChalkBeat, the Principal’s Union is “miffed” the announcement was made before sharing information with school administrators. Union President Mark Mark Cannizzaro responded, “Once again, detailed plans should have been shared with principals prior to any citywide announcement, and it is essential that the DOE immediately issues further guidance as principals will now be responsible for answering their community’s pressing questions.” The UFT is also consulting their “trusted independent medical experts.”


Also pressing, what will Fall 2021 look like? Of the 1.1 million children in the system, over 70% of families chose fully remote learning this September. (Conversely, roughly 70% of PS8 families opted for hybrid learning. The school also lost just under 10% of its student body.) On the March 5th Brian Lehrer show, Mayor DeBlasio suggested there would only be two options for next year: fully remote or five days of in-person learning. “My hope is that we have advanced so far by September that there’s literally no one who wants to be remote anymore…I do not foresee blended being a part of the equation anymore.”

Meanwhile, the new School Chancellor, Meisha Porter has started her second week on the job. CLICK HERE for her weekly updates. She spoke at length with Gothamist on March 10th, saying, in part, “I would like to see us back 100%. I would like every student who wants to be in school five days a week to be able to have that option.”

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Atlantic Avenue “Spring Fling” Saturday, April 3 Mon, 22 Mar 2021 03:22:40 +0000

Last October the annual Atlantic Antic, the Atlantic Avenue street fair sponsored by the Atlantic Avenue LDC, had to be cancelled because of COVID-19. There are tentative plans to have it, conditions permitting, on October 3 of this year. Meanwhile, to make up for the loss of last year’s Antic, the AALDC is having “Spring Fling” – a socially distanced event – on Saturday, April 3 from noon to 5:00 PM on Atlantic Avenue from Fourth Avenue to the waterfront. It will feature a “virtual no-touch egg scavenger hunt” and contests for Best Bonnet, Best Couple, and Best Mask, with prizes. There will also be stations for taking selfies. There’s more information here.

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Peter Kendall Clark’s “Songs From The Ledge” Moves To Montague St. Wed, 17 Mar 2021 13:43:55 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights community can’t say nothing good came out of the pandemic. How else would we have been treated to a free weekly concert from Peter Kendall Clark, performed from the ledge of the Mansion House on Hicks St.? According to the bio on his website, when the pandemic hit, Peter was in rehearsal to portray the Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti in the NYC premiere of The Parting with the Chelsea Opera. Peter’s other canceled 2020 engagements included Fredrik in A Little Night Music at TriCities Opera and Mr. Mister in The Cradle Will Rock at Union Avenue Opera. For now, the Brownstone Baritone will be performing at a new venue on Montague St. starting tonight at 6:00 p.m.

From Instagram @pkclarkbar:

I’m very excited to announce that #songsfromtheledge has a new time and venue beginning [this] evening: Wednesdays at 6:00 PM at 62 Montague Street. Thank you to my friends at the @brooklynheightsassociation for helping out with this relocation, as our crowds were getting to be too big for little ole Hicks Street. Coincidentally, my first apartment in New York was right across the street, and I also lived around the corner for a few years. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in Brooklyn, adjacent to the Promenade entrance. [This evening] should be beautiful with Finian’s Rainbow and Danny Boy on the list (for St. Patty’s) It feels like we are moving to the Schubert Theater!


Photos courtesy of Instagram @pkclarkbar.


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Oula, New Service for Women, Has Opened on Montague Sat, 13 Mar 2021 04:03:20 +0000

Oula, a new maternity care center that provides a full range of services for women, including those who wish to become mothers (preconception coaching, available on line), prenatal care for those going through all phases of pregnancy, delivery, postpartum and neonatal care, has opened at 109 Montague Street, between Henry and Hicks. They have a team that includes obstetricians, midwives, doulas, lactation counselors, a pediatrician, and a “clinical nutritionist and postpartum chef.” You can book an appointment here.

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“A Novel Kitchen” Opens on Atlantic Avenue Tue, 09 Mar 2021 04:12:19 +0000

A new combination café and used book and record store, A Novel Kitchen, has opened at 151 Atlantic Avenue, between Clinton and Henry streets, on the Brooklyn Heights side. Their menu features a wide variety of dishes suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, combining influences of many different cuisines. IMG_4649Vinyl records, CDs, and DVDs are in the case at the center of this photo, with books in the case at the rear. There is another, much larger bookcase to the right, not in the photo.IMG_4650Here is their dining area.

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Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Now Open Sundays Sun, 07 Mar 2021 01:09:55 +0000

The Brooklyn Women’s Exchange (photo), which has been open Thursdays through Saturdays as well as taking orders on line (and you may still do so) has now opened for in person shopping from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. If you shop on line, you may now pick up your purchases curbside Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m. During the Thursday through Sunday in-store shopping hours you may now come in (mask required, and limited number of customers allowed inside at any time) and browse their extensive collections of crafted items, many by local artisans. These include, among others, housewares, jewelry, kids’ and dolls’ clothes, toys and games, greeting cards, and delicacies, as well as books of local interest. The Exchange is now featuring cold weather accessories (we may have some more cold weather coming) as well as items and gifts for Easter and Passover. The store is located at 55 Pierrepont Street, between Hicks and Henry.

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“Moonstruck” House For Sale Again Mon, 01 Mar 2021 04:22:42 +0000

As reported by House Beautiful, 19 Cranberry Street, a.k.a. the “Moonstruck House” because it was the principal location for the 1987 romantic comedy Moonstruck, starring Cher and Nicholas Cage, is for sale with an asking price of $12.85 million. Our founder, John “Homer Fink” Loscalzo, noted here that the house was for sale in 2008 with an asking price of $3.95 million, down from an earlier ask of $5 million. Of course, 2008 was the year financial markets went south because of the mortgage loan market crisis.

Perhaps Cosmo’s Moon will inspire someone to buy.

Flickr photo by 24 Gotham

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Reminder: BHA Annual Meeting Tonight Tue, 23 Feb 2021 20:04:56 +0000

The Annual Meeting of the Brooklyn Heights Association will be held this evening by Zoom, beginning at 7:00 p.m. At least eight of the nine announced candidates for City Council from District 33, which includes Brooklyn Heights, will be present on line and available to answer questions. Incumbent Council Member Steve Levin is term limited. You do not need to be a BHA member to attend, and admission is free, but to get the Zoom link you must register here.

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Delivery Bikers Assaulted at Henry and Remsen Wed, 17 Feb 2021 17:53:15 +0000

As she reported on Nextdoor, at about 7:30 yesterday (Tuesday, February 16) evening Heights resident Olivia Guerreiri observed “a group of five teenagers” who “ran up the block [Henry between Remsen and Joralemon] and began assaulting a delivery driver who was traveling in the bike lane.” The man evidently was able to get away after being knocked off his bike by a fusillade of thrown objects, including “a traffic cone, a full garbage bag, a bottle of water and ice.” Ms. Guerrieri then saw the teens attack another bike delivery man at the intersection of Henry and Remsen. “[T]hey were trying to rip the driver off his bike and were hitting him.” Ms. Guerrieri and this delivery man were able to summon police, who arrived in time to nab two of the assailants as they were pursuing another prospective victim.

According to Ms. Guerrieri, several neighbors told her “this isn’t the first time this has happened in the area.”

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Of Addresses Renumbered and Other Curiosities of Brooklyn Heights History Tue, 16 Feb 2021 02:15:59 +0000

I like to take walks through Brooklyn Heights. I’ve lived here going on 38 years, longer than I’ve lived anywhere, and there is no block in the neighborhood I haven’t traversed many times. (Well; Love Lane and College Place only a few. I’ll remedy that.) Still, I seldom take a walk on which I don’t notice some architectural detail, or a whole building, that hasn’t caught my eye before. If I find it sufficiently interesting, I’ll take a photo. When I get home, I’ll look the building up in Clay Lancaster’s Old Brooklyn Heights, which lists and describes, sometimes with photographs, all buildings in the Heights dating from before the Civil War.

A typical entry from Lancaster’s book is like this, for 36 Pierrepont Street (photo):

“3-storied brick on high brownstone basement, 4 bays across façade; Gothic Revival; brownstone entrance porch with bond molds over lancet arches, tracery balustrade; trefoil balustrade 2nd floor rear gallery; tracery frieze and hood molds over windows; shallow balcony of delicate cast-iron work, covered by dipping roof, on main floor of Hicks Street side; fine contemporary cast-iron fence encloses yard; listed in 1845 city directory (c[orner] Hicks) George Hastings, merchant (No. 32 in 1849 directory); plate glass in windows; front steps of porch removed, section of former railing inserted between posts, which accounts for quatrefoil leaning at rakish angle; narrow addition at west flank.” (Emphasis added.)

So far as I’ve known, Lancaster’s book gives a previous, always it seems lower numerically, address for each building listed. Heights resident Jeremy Lechtzin has, as reported in The New York Times, done research on how the renumbering of street addresses, along with the re-naming of some streets, was done. It was a Brooklyn wide project undertaken in the 1870s, spurred by the expansion of Brooklyn through annexation of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick, which had streets with the same names as ones in pre-annexation Brooklyn and consequently duplicative numerical building addresses.

Mr. Lechtzin collaborated with Aliza Aufrichtig, Graphics and Multimedia Editor of The Times, who calls herself a “Brooklyn history nerd,” to produce this interactive web site that tells the story with photos, maps, and art works, as well as commentary, from the time of the renaming and renumbering.

Several years ago I went on a walking tour led by Mr. Lechtzin. The route was limited to the North Heights, ending at Clark Street. His thrust was to demonstrate that the Heights had a history that went beyond being “America’s First Suburb.” It was, he said, a neighborhood for workers in factories, warehouses, and other commercial establishments located near or in (remember “Peaks Mason Mints”) the boundaries of the Heights. He noted that some of the early residents of the North Heights were Black, pointing to a house on Hicks Street that, he said, had been occupied by a former slave, who had been freed by Mr. Hicks, and his family.

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Brooklyn Heights Resident Hank Gutman Named City Transportation Commissioner Mon, 08 Feb 2021 03:07:40 +0000

The Eagle reports that Henry “Hank” Gutman, a long time Brooklyn Heights resident, has been named by Mayor de Blasio as the City’s new Transportation Commissioner. According to the Eagle story, Mr. Gutman has promised to create 10,000 new bike racks by the end of 2022. The Eagle quotes him:

We have an opportunity to chart a new path for this city – one that leaves Robert Moses’ vision behind, beats back COVID-19, protects our environment, and builds a fair, safe, and equitable recovery for all of us.

As many readers will recall, Mr. Gutman served on the Expert Panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio to study repair of the cantilevered portion of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway below Brooklyn Heights. The panel recommended against the Department of Transportation’s recommendation that a temporary six lane highway be built in place of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade while repairs are made to the cantilevered portion below.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Mr. Gutman’s appointment

has raised hopes of progress on a stalled project to replace a deteriorating interstate highway bridge that cuts through Brooklyn Heights, an affluent neighborhood in Brooklyn.

The Journal quotes former Transportation Commissioner Ross Sandler: “If he walks out his door, it’s what he sees, … I know Hank on a personal level would love to resolve the BQE issue.”

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The Results Are In: BHA’s Future of Montague Street Survey Wed, 03 Feb 2021 02:39:11 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association recently called for community input on the future of Montague Street, and the survey results are in. BHA promises to use the 1,381 responses “to support the creation of a vibrant and successful Montague Street,” while working with community members, local real estate brokers, and the Montague Street Business Improvement District.

Some highlights from the survey:

1.  Survey respondents want a different retail mix on Montague. Specifically, 80% asked for a bookstore, followed closely by new restaurants and/or cafes. Many would also like to see new types of fresh food establishments, like a butcher, a fishmonger, and a bakery.

2.  Most survey respondents (over 60%) want a greater prioritization of pedestrians/bikes on Montague Street, with more outdoor dining, shopping and seating, along with music and events to bring a more “neighborhood feel” to the street.

3.  Many respondents noted that they currently go elsewhere (DUMBO, Cobble Hill, etc.) to shop and dine. This “retail leakage” could be addressed by bringing more unique and desirable options to Montague Street.

See the complete survey results here.

What’s your wishlist for zhuzhing up Montague Street? Comment below!



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Meowvelous News! Fri, 29 Jan 2021 18:29:16 +0000

Several weeks ago, Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, the non-profit behind the Cat Café, announced that it had received a $25,000 grant from the ASPCA as part of the ASPCA’s Relief and Recovery Initiative, which has provided $4 million in funding for animal welfare organizations that have been affected by the pandemic.

The Café certainly falls under that category: closed for months, it lost 85% of its income, while at the same time, the number of cats needing assistance double and the cost of their care nearly quadrupled because of the severe reduction in low-cost/free spay/neuter services as a result of COVID-19.

“ASPCA’s grant is helping us to bridge the gap during this crisis, allowing us to pay for spay/neuter surgeries, exams, tests, vaccines and often extensive veterinary care to meet the demands of increased intake and prepare cats for fostering and adoption,” said Anne Levin, executive director of the BBAWC. “We are honored and grateful to be selected for this COVID Relief grant from the ASPCA in a very competitive process for limited funds.”

Great news, right? Definitely…but $25,000 doesn’t go as far as it used to.

BBAWC expects to spend $10,000 this week alone on veterinary bills. Sixteen cats need echocardiograms. A few need dental surgery or eye surgery. Among some of the animals recently rescued that have required care:

Chickadee, a wee one found running around JFK Airport all by himself. Photo courtesy Cat Café

Chickadee, a wee one found running around JFK Airport all by himself. Photo courtesy Cat Café

Taylor, whose owner recently passed away. Photo courtesy Cat Café

Taylor, whose owner recently passed away. Photo courtesy Cat Café

Marsupial, rescued from a garbage can. Photo courtesy Cat Café

Marsupial, rescued from a garbage can. Photo courtesy Cat Café

In 2020, BBAWC helped nearly 1,300 cats and found homes for 1,021 (2019 numbers: 810 animals helped, 430 adopted).

The Café is now open for visitors on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon-7pm. Reservations are required and all visitors must wear masks.


So while $25,000 is nothing to sneeze at, the Café continues to seek donations to support its work with Brooklyn’s felines.

Unable to donate? Perhaps you’re interested in fostering? Or adopting?

If you have a car, you can also volunteer to drive Café cats to and from vet appointments, foster/adoptive homes, and the Café.

Follow the cats on Facebook, Instagram, and the 24-hour Café Kitten Cam.





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The BQE is Still Crumbling Thu, 28 Jan 2021 03:04:12 +0000

The Daily News has a piece by former City DOT Commissioner Ross Sandler, who describes in detail the ongoing process of corrosion that is weakening the supports of the cantilevered portion of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade above it. As we reported a year ago, an expert panel appointed by the mayor, on which Mr. Sandler served, recommended that repairs to the highway begin immediately, and that they be done in a way, as Mr. Sandler is quoted as saying, that would “avoid encroaching on Brooklyn Bridge Park or the homes of Brooklyn Heights.”

Now the Brooklyn Paper reports that Mayor De Blasio

revealed that city will resume planning for a long-term fix to the crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in the coming weeks, after a year of radio silence from officials regarding the beleaguered roadway.

The Brooklyn Paper story quotes the mayor as saying he’s “hopeful for help from the feds under the new Democratic presidential administration of Joe Biden,” and praising the president’s appointment of former NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg as a Deputy Secretary of Transportation. The story also notes that the City DOT

has started some repair work on the 1.5-mile section between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street the agency has jurisdiction over (the remaining stretches of the highway are run by the state), such as a fix to the wall at Hicks Street near Poplar Street, which started in October.

According to the Brooklyn Paper, “[a] spokesman for DOT did not return a request for information whether the agency had done any other work on the BQE since January 2020, or to reveal the city’s future plans.” As we noted here, in June 2020 some resurfacing work was done.

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There Are Eight Candidates to be Your Next City Council Member; Meet Them All at the BHA’s Annual Meeting February 23 Wed, 27 Jan 2021 03:05:50 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association will hold its annual meeting via ZOOM on Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. You do not have to be a BHA member to attend the meeting, but you must register here (it’s free). All eight of the candidates to succeed the term limited Steve Levin as City Council member from the 33rd District (which includes Brooklyn Heights) will be present on line. You can learn more about them and their qualifications here. If you have questions for them, you can submit them here.

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Heights Cafe To Close Temporarily Mon, 25 Jan 2021 14:09:08 +0000

Chilly weather, along with the ban on indoor dining, have caused the Heights Cafe (photo) at Hicks and Montague streets, to close temporarily starting tomorrow (Tuesday, January 26), pending either warmer weather that will facilitate outdoor dining, or removal of the indoor dining ban. As the New York Times noted on Saturday, diners at the Heights Cafe’s outdoor tables have been ordering “soups and hot toddies.”

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Brooklyn Heights Braves the Chill to Dine Out and Support Local Restaurants Mon, 18 Jan 2021 01:07:11 +0000

After a long shutdown, indoor dining was allowed at 25% capacity in late September 2020, only to be shut down again in December, leaving restaurants to resort to take-out, delivery, and outdoor dining only. People wondered whether outdoor dining would remain viable with winter settling in. But, as with most things, New Yorkers were underestimated.

Here was the scene along restaurant row on Henry St. on Saturday night, when the temperature was a brisk 40 degrees with a “real feel” of 37. At Henry’s End, Henry Street Ale House, Bevacco, and Noodle Pudding, there was nary an empty table outside.

Henry's End

Henry’s End

Henry's End

Henry’s End

Henry Street Ale House

Henry Street Ale House



Noodle Pudding

Noodle Pudding

At a cozy corner table at Henry’s End, Sophia Stutzer and Joel Wesley were just starting their dinner, dressed in their winter coats and hats. When asked “May I take a photo of you for the neighborhood blog?” Sophia responded, “Only on one condition… if you mention that it’s Joel’s birthday.”

It was Joel’s birthday and they had come from Prospect Heights for a celebratory dinner. The dishes on order were the chicken breast stuffed with spinach and goat cheese for Sophia, and the blackened lamb sirloin for Joel. When asked whether there was a threshold temperature that would keep them from dining outside, Sophia said, “It’s not really about the temperature, it’s about the elements, like rain, snow, and wind.” As for the birthday boy, he hadn’t expected the weather to be so windy that night, but the table-side heat lamp and canopy tent were helping to keep him comfortable.

Sophia Stutzer and Joel Wesley Celebrate Joel's Birthday at Henry's End

Sophia Stutzer and Joel Wesley Celebrate Joel’s Birthday at Henry’s End

Meanwhile, Mark Lahm, owner of Henry’s End, and his daughter Hallie were moving quickly in and out of the restaurant tending to the packed tables outside and making sure everyone was fed and warm.

Owner of Henry's End, Mark Lahm, and daughter Hallie Lahm

Owner of Henry’s End, Mark Lahm, and daughter Hallie Lahm

Mark Lahm Firing Up the Heat Lamp

Mark Lahm Firing Up the Heat Lamp

Let’s keep it up Brooklyn Heights and support our local restaurants, whether by take-out, delivery, or dining al fresco in our cozy winter hats.


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Long Line for Covid-19 Vaccine Leads to Hope for More Time with Grandkids Sat, 16 Jan 2021 23:40:28 +0000

There was a long line-up this afternoon at George Westinghouse High School, down Tillary St. and around the corner onto Flatbush Ave., for the first day of Covid-19 vaccine distributions at the location. The crowd was diverse, with people of all ages patiently waiting their turn. A man in a neon vest spoke through a bullhorn, “Welcome to your first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine!” He then explained that because it was the first day, there were technical difficulties causing the long line, although everyone there had a time-specific appointment. The man informed the crowd that they would be receiving the Moderna vaccine and that they will need an appointment for a second dose in 28 days.


Harriet and Mike Gordon, a married couple, were on line today to get their vaccines. Harriet, 69, and Mike, 74, moved from Florida to Brooklyn Heights in 2010 to be closer to their daughter Sheryl Posnick, son-in-law Jeff, and their newborn grandson Zachary. Harriet reports that the workers managing the line were super friendly and helpful, and apologized for the first-day snafus. Once inside, the process went smoothly. They were asked a few questions, given the vaccine, and then waited in another room for 15 minutes to be monitored for any side effects. “The shot felt like nothing! And that’s coming from a big baby,” said Harriet. “Mike and I are really looking forward to being one step closer to ‘normal.’ We can’t wait to spend more time with our grandson, Zach, and enjoying simple pleasures we used to take for granted – going to dinner with friends, seeing a show, and holiday get-togethers with loved ones.”

Harriet and Mike Gordon during easier times.

Harriet and Mike Gordon during easier times.

Phase 1B of vaccine distribution started this past Monday. Those now eligible to get the free vaccine include people 65 and older; select groups of at risk New Yorkers; a range of frontline essential workers including teachers, school and childcare staff, first responders, public safety workers, public transit workers, food and grocery store workers; and those residing or working in homeless shelters. According to recent reporting, appointments for the vaccine are hard to come by. The recommendation is for people to continue checking the City’s appointment finder at this link, or the State’s website at this link. You can also try calling 1-877-VAX-4NYC for help finding a same-day appointment.


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