Brooklyn Heights Blog » News Dispatches from America's first suburb Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:25:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Coming at Brooklyn Historical Society Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:25:26 +0000

It’s a busy week coming at the Brooklyn Historical Society. At 6:30 on Monday evening, May 1, there’s a program for two wheel enthusiasts, “Bike Month: A Conversation with Paul Steely White and Mark Gorton.” White is Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives and Gorton is founder and publisher of Streetsblog and Streetfilms. Admission is $5, or free for BHS members; there’s more info and purchase or reserve tickets here.

On Tuesday evening, May 2, at 6:30 there will be a very timely discussion, “Bringing Truth Back: Reporting Facts in a Post-Truth Era.” It will feature a panel of distinguished political journalists, and will be moderated by Sopan Deb, “a culture reporter for The New York Times, writing about the intersection of politics and culture, among other topics.” Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members; more information and purchase tickets here.

A book titled City of Dreams:
Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles
may seem to be an odd basis for a reading and discussion likely to appeal to Brooklyn baseball fans, especially on the sixtieth anniversary of the Dodgers’ departure. The book’s author, Jerald Podair, will be at BHS Wednesday evening, May 3 at 6:30, to read from and discuss his book. In it, he “challenges the narrative that owner Walter O’Malley happily abandoned Brooklyn and moved west,” and finds a villain familiar to Brooklyn Heights residents: Robert Moses. Admission is $5, or free for members; more information and purchase or reserve tickets here.

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Grace Chorale Of Brooklyn Presents “Songs of Spring” at First Unitarian Friday Evening Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:09:31 +0000

Grace Chorale of Brooklyn, an 85 member choral group based here in Brooklyn Heights, is celebrating forty years of presenting fine choral music. They take their name from Grace Church, where they began rehearsing their music many years ago, but do not have any affiliation with the church or any other institution. This Friday evening, April 28 at 7:00, they will present a concert, “Songs of Spring,” at the First Unitarian Church (Pierrepont Street at Monroe Place). There’s a full concert program here and you may buy tickets here.

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Some Scenes From Today’s Earth Day Celebration Sun, 23 Apr 2017 03:22:48 +0000

Rain, never heavy, but scattered showers, put something of a damper on today’s Earth Day celebration, sponsored by the Montague Street BID. Who can blame Mother Earth for a little rain? April showers, as they say, bring May flowers. In any event, things got going as scheduled at 10:00 AM, with the Brooklyn United Marching Band marching across Montague to the Promenade, then (photo) going back, playing spirited marching music.


Kids were enjoying some games, writing boards, and hula hoops set up near the corner of Montague and Hicks.


Here’s “The Gratitude Tree,” which bore messages of gratitude for “water,” “my eyes,” “my family,” “the bees,” “my life,” “healthy food,” and “clean air.”


Your correspondent poses as a pollinator. Photo courtesy of “Love Yourself.”


These nice folks invited all to stamp on a balloon “your pledge to make earth better.”

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BHA Issues “Fake News Alert” About Pier Six Sat, 22 Apr 2017 02:57:31 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association has issued a notice under the headline “Pier 6 Rumors Have No Factual Basis.” This is in reaction to rumors it has heard in response to Judge Lucy Billings’ order to the BHA and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation that they have “dialogue” in an effort to reach a compromise on the issue of housing on the Pier Six uplands. Because settlement negotiations are, by court order, held in confidence, there has been, the BHA said, speculation that it “is entering into a ‘secret deal’ that would somehow harm some of our neighbors.” The BHA responded:

We are writing to reassure everyone that those rumors have no basis in fact. The BHA has not and would not enter into any resolution of the Pier 6 issues without consulting with our community and we have consistently said just that to the Court and to the respondents, i.e., the other party.

The BHA added that, to assure community representation in the negotiations, it had persuaded the court that “we could expand the confidentiality tent to include the two community leaders with whom we have worked most closely from the beginning of this case.” In conclusion, it said, “no one should have any concern that we would enter into any resolution without input from our community.”

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Brooklyn Folk Festival at St. Ann’s Church April 28-30 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:08:56 +0000

The ninth annual Brooklyn Folk Festival will be at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church (Clinton and Montague streets) from Friday evening, April 28 through Sunday evening, April 30. Your correspondent has attended the last two festivals–see here and here and enjoyed them enormously. This year’s promises to be even better, given the superb roster of musicians–some veterans, some new–who will be performing.

On the bill for Friday evening are Anna and Elizabeth, who are Anna Roberts-Gevalt, a Vermont native who now lives in Brooklyn, and Elizabeth LaPrelle, a native of Rural Retreat, Virginia who still calls it home. They’ve managed to combine the Southern and Northern Appalachian traditions in spine-tingling harmony. I heard them for the first time on March 11, at a Celtic Appalachian Celebration. In the clip above they do “Lovin’ Babe,” a song from the Southern tradition.

Also on the schedule Friday is Jim Kweskin, shown in the clip above singing “Blues in the Bottle” on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion in 2009. Kweskin has been a fixture on the folk scene since I was in law school during the Cretaceous Period late 1960s. Friday’s lineup also includes, among others, Native American dancers and Ukrainian vocalists.

One of the performers Saturday afternoon will be Peter Stampfel, whom I first knew of as part of the Holy Modal Rounders, described some years ago as “the originators and sole exponents of the genre known as acid folk.” In the clip above he does a frenetic version of the pop standards “I Will Survive” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”

On Saturday evening Delta blues fans, of which I’m one, can enjoy the music of Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, shown in the clip above doing “Mississippi Bottom.” Others performing that evening include The Calamity Janes, from Waxahachie, Texas, and Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir.

Among the performers Sunday afternoon will be Meredith Axelrod whose set was, for me, one of the highlights of last year’s Festival. In the clip above she sings “Nothing in Rambling” in front of the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Red Hook. Jalopy is the organizer of the Festival. Others on the Sunday afternoon bill include local kid favorites (but also loved by adults) the Deedle Deedle Dees, and the old time music masters, the Down Hill Strugglers, joined by the many talented John Cohen, formerly with the New Lost City Ramblers and the Putnam String County Band. At 1:00 PM Sunday, on the banks of the Gowanus (take the F train to Smith and 9th), there will be a banjo toss contest. The winner gets – you guessed it – a banjo.

The Last Poets formed in the late 1960s, doing poetry to conga accompaniment. As such, they have been credited with inspiring rap and hip-hop. The clip above shows them doing “This is Madness” accompanied by the great jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. The Last Poets are among the performers on the Festival’s final, Sunday evening concert. Among the other performances Sunday evening will be of music from the Balkans and from India.

The performances described above will all take place on the Festival’s Main Stage, the chancel area of the church, viewed from the pews in the nave. There will be other performances in the Parish Hall, including opportunities to do salsa dancing Saturday evening and square dancing Sunday afternoon. In the Workshop Room there will be book readings and discussions, films, a kid friendly instrument building workshop, and singing instruction, among other things.

There’s a complete schedule of events here, and you may buy tickets here.

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Sanitation Town Hall Tomorrow Evening, Wednesday, April 19 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:50:21 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association has advised us that the twice postponed Sanitation Town Hall will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, April 19, starting at 6:00 PM, at Founders Hall, St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street. Representatives of the NYC Department of Sanitation will be there to answer your questions and hear your complaints. City Council Member Stephen Levin invites you to come and “talk trash.”

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BBP News: At One End, Squibb Bridge to Re-Open This Wednesday / On the Other, Judge Tells BHA and BBP to Work It Out Tue, 18 Apr 2017 01:59:57 +0000

Love it or hate it, after three years of shut-down and unanswered questions, Squibb Bridge will be back in bouncy action this Wednesday, albeit with a lot less bounce. According to today’s New York Times report:

What was billed as a temporary closing dragged on for months, then years, as a successful fix eluded the bridge’s designer, a noted engineer named Ted Zoli, the recipient of a MacArthur grant. Compounding the problem was the fact that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which operates the park, was strangely reticent about the exact nature of the trouble and what was being done to address it.

While BBPC commenced a lawsuit for breach of contract and professional misconduct against Zoli’s firm, BBPC footed the $2.5M bill to repair the bridge. “I didn’t want the litigation to impede our ability to move forward and get this bridge open as soon as possible,” said Alicia Glen, deputy mayor and chairperson for BBPC. “This is such a great amenity to the neighborhood. It was better to spend the money necessary to fix the bridge and then try to recover as much money as possible.”

And on the other end of the park, Brooklyn Paper reports that a hearing was held in the Brooklyn Heights Association’s lawsuit against the proposed towers at Pier 6. Presiding over the hearing was Judge Lucy Billings who admonished BHA’s lawyer that “[w]hat you would want to talk to [BBPC] about is what changes you’d want to make to the project to make it more palatable for the community. My first question when you come back [into court] is going to be how much dialogue you’ve had.”

Meanwhile, BBPC’s lawyer complained to the Judge that the BHA would not budge from its position unless affordable housing units in one of the buildings were eliminated and the project was changed “in a major way.” BHA, on the other hand, had previously suggested compromises, “such as moving the proposed affordable housing to the park’s headquarters on Furman Street in exchange for reducing the height of one of the towers.” The hearing ended with the parties being called into the Judge’s chambers for off-the-record discussions, which neither side would comment about.


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Earth Day Celebrated on Montague Saturday Mon, 17 Apr 2017 03:36:54 +0000

This coming Saturday, April 22, there will be an Earth Day celebration on Montague Street, all the way from Court Street to the Promenade entrance. The events will begin at noon, with music by the Brooklyn United Marching Band until 1:00. Immediately following that, from 1:00 until 4:00 PM, there will be other music and entertainment.

Given the time needed for set up and take down, it appears traffic will be banned from Montague all day Saturday. Parked cars may need to be moved. We’ll give you further information when available.

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Silhouette Artist Deborah O’Connor Returning to Brooklyn Women’s Exchange April 21-23 Thu, 13 Apr 2017 02:52:49 +0000

Silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will be at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Henry and Hicks) Friday, April 21; Saturday, April 22; and Sunday, April 23, during regular store hours.

Her silhouette portraits of children or pets are priced at $35 each, with duplicates available for $15 each. The silhouettes are cut freehand and mounted on a 5 x 7 buff mat suitable for framing. They make ideal Mother’s Day or Father’s Day presents. More information here.

To make an appointment, please call 718-624-3435 or e-mail

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Coming at Brooklyn Historical Society Tue, 11 Apr 2017 11:17:27 +0000

Tomorrow evening, Wednesday, April 12, at 6:30, the Brooklyn Historical Society will present a screening of part one of Ken Burns’s documentary, Jackie Robinson. This film focuses on Robinson’s early life, from his childhood in Georgia through his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers. It will be introduced by co-directors, producers, and writers Sarah Burns and David McMahon, and is presented in conjunction with BHS’s exhibition on Jackie Robinson and his historic breaking of major league baseball’s color barrier. Part two of the documentary will be shown the following Wednesday, April 19. The event is free, but you must reserve tickets here.

On Thursday evening, April 13 at 6:30, BHS presents Randy Cohen, of Person Place Thing, with award-winning novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt. Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members; purchase tickets here.


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Floating Restaurant on Sailing Vessel Coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park Sat, 08 Apr 2017 15:06:04 +0000

The Brooklyn Paper reports that restaurateur Alex Pincus plans to open an upscale, seafood oriented restaurant on an historic sailing vessel that will be moored to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier Six, locared near the Park’s Atlantic Avenue entrance. The identity of the vessel hasn’t been revealed, but Pincus already has a restaurant, Grand Banks, operating on Manhattan’s shore aboard a Grand Banks style fishing schooner, the Sherman Zwicker (see photo).

According to the Brooklyn Paper story, the floating restaurant will be operating by this summer.

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Subway Service Alerts: Brooklyn Heights and Vicinity Fri, 07 Apr 2017 01:44:04 +0000

This weekend, from 11:45 PM tomorrow, Friday, April 7, to 5:00 AM Monday, April 10, there will be no service in either direction at Clark Street or at the 2/3 platforms at Borough Hall. 5 trains, which don’t normally serve Brooklyn on weekends, will provide alternative service to and from Manhattan and to or from 2/3 stops in Brooklyn. 4 trains will also be running normally.

The following work week–Monday, April 10 to Friday, April 14–each night from 11:45 PM until 5:00 AM, there will be no Manhattan bound service from High Street, as Manhattan bound A trains (C trains don’t run late at night) will be diverted to the F line between Jay Street-Metro Tech and West 4th Street. Use 2 trains from Clark Street (3 trains won’t be running) as an option.

For planned service changes that may affect travel on other parts of the system, either during the weekend or the following week, see MTA Info or The Weekender.

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Pier Six Towers Court Hearing Set for Wednesday, April 12 Thu, 06 Apr 2017 03:01:25 +0000

The already twice delayed hearing on the Brooklyn Heights Association’s lawsuit against the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to prevent the construction of two high rise residential towers on the Pier Six uplands, near the park’s Atlantic Avenue entrance, is now scheduled for this coming Wednesday afternoon, April 12, at 2:30, at the New York State Supreme Court, 71 Thomas Street, in Manhattan, before Justice Lucy Billings.

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Eric Landau Nominated for Brooklyn Bridge Park Presidency Wed, 05 Apr 2017 03:25:58 +0000

The Eagle reports that Mayor de Blasio has nominated Eric Landau, who presently serves as deputy commissioner of public affairs and communications at the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, to be the new president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. Before taking his post at DEP, Landau was vice president of government and external affairs and special assistant to the president of the Prospect Park Alliance. If confirmed, Landau will assume the presidency as Brooklyn Bridge Park is undergoing its last stages of construction (photo: Pier 3). He will also inherit the controversy over the need for two high rise residential buildings on the Pier 6 uplands to provide revenue for future park maintenance.

According to the Eagle story, Landau is “[a]n advocate of environmental issues, open space and community voices, [who] also has experience in government and urban park planning.”

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Pete Hamill and Sam Roberts at Brooklyn Historical Society Thursday Evening Sun, 02 Apr 2017 03:27:21 +0000

On Thursday evening, April 6, starting at 6:30, the Brooklyn Historical Society will present acclaimed journalist, novelist, and Brooklyn native Pete Hamill (photo) in conversation with Sam Roberts of the New York Times. They will talk “about life, writing, and coming home to Brooklyn.” Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members; you may purchase tickets here.

Photo: by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

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Pierrepont Playground Egg Hunt 4/8: Volunteers Needed! Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:42:57 +0000

jsw_easter_egg_hunt_2Saturday, April 8th, will be Pierrepont Playground’s umpteenth annual Egg Hunt! Over a week away! Plenty of time to clear your schedule! The great hunt will start at 10am, and there will be a (nut-free) bake sale as well.

They are still looking for volunteers, so if you want to help clean up, or provide (nut-free) pastries, go sign yourself up.

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Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Hosts Spring Craft Workshop For Kids Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:17:29 +0000

This Sunday, April 2 the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Hicks and Henry) will host a spring craft workshop for kids five years old and up, accompanied by a caregiver. The project will be the making of hand-sewn sachets (see details here). Stop by anytime from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. No RSVP needed. Suggested donation is $5.00 per family.

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Local Hero Saves BQE Cat Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:46:09 +0000

Our very own Anne Levin of Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition and the Brooklyn Cat Cafe sprang into action Tuesday to save an injured, stranded cat on the BQE, reports the Daily News.

After learning about the cat from from an animal rescue Facebook post, Levin made her way to the highway where the cat was crouched under the Promenade.


“New York drivers were shockingly polite,” she told the News. “Usually, they stop and honk. Everyone went around us.”

Levin approaching the terrified cat. Photo courtesy Anne Levin.

Levin approaching the terrified cat. Photo courtesy Anne Levin.

BBAWC has taken responsibility for the cat, now named Suzy Q, who is being treated for a broken tail. It will be put up for adoption after it’s had a chance to recupterate in a foster home.

You can donate to the Cat Cafe or BBAWC at their websites, and follow their social media accounts:

Brooklyn Cat Cafe  Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Read the full story at the News.

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Coming at Brooklyn Historical Society Tue, 28 Mar 2017 03:38:16 +0000

This coming Saturday, April 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Brooklyn Historical Society will host a Family Play Day

where families get to try hands-on activities and games that will be featured in a new exhibition about the history of the Brooklyn waterfront.

The activities will include building puzzles, making postcards, drawing murals, and others, and are designed for children ages two to twelve. Participants will become important in deciding what becomes a permanent part of the Society’s exhibition when it opens later in 2017. Snacks will be served, and those who attend will receive a gift from BHS. Admission is free, but you must reserve tickets here.

Did you know that Brooklyn briefly had an NHL team before the Islanders? Word has it that the Isles stay here may be brief, but not so much so as the Brooklyn Americans, who had previously been the New York Americans, and who played under the Brooklyn name for one season (1941-42) that proved to be their last. On Monday, April 3, starting at 6:30 BHS will present a screening of Dale Morrisey’s new documentary, Only the Dead Know the Brooklyn Americans. The film will be followed by a discussion with Stan Fischler, MSG’s “Hockey Maven,” and Allan Kreda of the New York Times. Admission is free, but you must reserve tickets here.

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It’s Participatory Budget Time Again-Vote for Worthy Community Projects in D33 Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:49:26 +0000

It’s Participatory Budgeting (or PB) time again and City Councilmember Steve Levin has “dedicated 1.5 million dollars to capital projects [in District 33] suggested and developed by community volunteers and you can help decide which ones get funded.”  Of the many proposals up for a vote are lockers for thirteen classrooms at M.S. 8 for a cost of $115,000.  The middle school currently has no lockers for the 6th through 8th students’ books and belongings.

Others proposed projects include repair of a Williamsburg toddler playground ($500,000), technology upgrades for two special needs schools ($250,000) in Bed-Stuy and Downtown Brooklyn and and STEAM and STEM labs for two schools in Williamsburg ($218,000 and $250,000 respectively) among others.  The full list can be found HERE.

District 33 residents 14 and over are able to vote online starting midnight on Saturday March 25th. Ballots may also be cast in person at several Brooklyn Heights sites (below) and others across the district found HERE.

P.S. 8 Robert Fulton School
37 Hicks Street
Monday, March 27th and Friday, March 31st
8:00AM – 10:00AM

Brooklyn Heights Library
109 Remsen Street
Tuesday March 28th
1:00PM – 3:00PM
Saturday, April 1st

Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street, Borough Hall Plaza
Monday, March 27th – Friday, March 31st
9:00AM – 5:00PM

Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket
209 Joralemon Street, Borough Hall Plaza
Tuesday, March 28th and Thursday, March 30th
8:00AM – 10:00AM

Want to volunteer to help with the process? Have questions? Contact Benjamin Solotaire at 718 875 5200 or

EDIT: The cost of the MS8 lockers has been corrected from $150,000 to $115,000.

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Eric Adams’ Dine In Brooklyn Showcases Borough Eateries Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:45:37 +0000

Borough President Eric Adams has launched Dine In Brooklyn a restaurant-week style program featuring $28 Prix Fixe dinners, $15 two-course lunches and $12 brunches at eateries throughout Brooklyn. The program launched on March 20th and runs through Thursday, March 30th.

Dine in Brooklyn celebrates the five-star flavors that make Brooklyn a ‘must-taste’ destination. Our restaurants fuel our borough’s economic engine, and this event is an opportunity to support their continued growth while encouraging diners to discover – or rediscover – their favorite Brooklyn dish. Most importantly, Dine In Brooklyn fosters the connections and memories that make ‘One Brooklyn’ like no place else on the globe.

Participating Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn restaurants include Armando’s, Heights Cafe, Pinto, Friend of a Farmer, Asya Indian Restaurant, Hill Country Barbecue, La Defense, Junior’s among many others across many Brooklyn neighborhoods.

So, put your money where your mouth is.  Enjoy a night out while supporting Brooklyn restaurants.

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Now We Know What’s Replacing Housing Works Thu, 23 Mar 2017 01:30:48 +0000

Just what we all wanted and needed: another real estate office. The words above “Halstead” in the large window are “The new home of”…

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Update: Sanitation Town Hall Postponed Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:59:04 +0000

We’ve just been advised by City Council Member Stephen Levin (photo) that, because of a scheduling conflict, the Sanitation Town Hall meeting, originally scheduled for this evening, has been postponed until Thursday evening, April 13 from 6:00 to 8:00, at St. Francis College auditorium, 180 Remsen Street. According to Council Member Levin:

The Department of Sanitation will be present to answer questions pertaining to the CleanUp NYC Initiative; Litter Basket Replacement and Additions; Increasing Collection; Street Cleaning Enforcement; Containerization; and Organics Recycling Expansion. There will also be free reusable bags for attendees.

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Mathnasium To Move Into Heights Kids Space Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:16:50 +0000

Neighborhood tiger moms and dads, rejoice! Mathnasium, a math tutoring center, will be moving into the empty space on Pineapple Walk that used to be home to Heights Kids. The recently-posted sign on the window says Mathnasium will be opening this spring.

The space has been empty since last July, when the neighborhood collectively grieved over the loss of Heights Kids. Ever since, parents have been forced to wander the toy desert for blocks and blocks to pick up that last-minute birthday party gift. Still, no oasis has been found anywhere to match the charm of Darek and those collectible Schleich figurines.

According to its website, Mathnasium is a franchise, like a McDonald’s serving up math, with more than 700 locations worldwide and an average of two more opening every week. Good luck to the new occupants and let’s hope another one doesn’t sprout up on Montague St.


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Coming at Brooklyn Historical Society: Remembering Jane Jacobs; Appreciating Immigrant New York Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:08:25 +0000

This Thursday evening, March 16, at 6:30, the Brooklyn Historical Society will present “The Legacy of Jane Jacobs,” a panel discussion moderated by New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante and featuring Matt Tyrnauer, director and co-producer of the documentary Citizen Jane; Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line; and Samuel Zipp, Associate professor of American and Urban Studies at Brown University and co-editor of Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs. Jacobs’ pioneering work on urban preservation, initially focused on her home neighborhood, Greenwich Village, inspired the movement that led to the designation of Brooklyn Heights as New York City’s first Historic District. Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members; buy tickets here.

On Monday evening, March 20, at 6:30, BHS presents Tyler Anbinder, Professor of History at George Washington University, to discuss his book City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York, which

shares the sweeping story of how newcomers have continually helped to define and redefine this city and country over the past few centuries, and shows how together, we have created a beautifully dynamic, deeply complex community.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is $5, or free for BHS members and one guest. Reserve tickets here.

Photo: Human Transit

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Snow Day! Nor’easter Stella Set to Dump Up to Two Feet on NYC Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:12:46 +0000

Something wicked this way comes. The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for Winter Storm Stella. The Nor’easter is is on track to begin overnight tonight and continue into Tuesday evening dumping up to two feet of snow on the Tri-State area. Expect temperatures in the upper 20’s, white out conditions and high winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts of 40 to 50 mph.  At the height of the storm, 2 to 4 inches of snow is predicted to fall per hour.  The recent full moon also puts coastal communities at risk for flooding.

The NYC Office of Emergency Management issued a Hazardous Travel Advisory for Tuesday, March 14th. Here’s what New Yorkers need to know.

  • NYC Public Schools are closed on Tuesday, March 14th. After school programs are also cancelled.
  • Avoid driving.  Use mass transit whenever possible.  If you must drive, drive cautiously and use major roads.
  • Alternate side parking is suspended on Tuesday March, 14th and Wednesday, March 15th. Meters are in effect.  (Tip: Park on the left side of the street if possible, plows push snow to the right).

Follow and sign up for direct alerts at Notify NYC.

Photo credit: Axel Taferner/Creative Commons

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“Handel and the Voice” at First Unitarian This Friday Evening, March 17 Sun, 12 Mar 2017 21:23:23 +0000

This Friday evening, March 17, at 8:00 at the McKinney Chapel of the First Unitarian Church, 116 Pierrepont Street (between Monroe Place and Clinton), the Repast Baroque Ensemble (photo) will present “Handel and the Voice,” a concert of works by Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, and Telemann, including vocals by bass-baritone Jonathan Woody. Tickets are $30 general admission; $20 seniors; $10 students with valid ID. Buy tickets here or by calling 800-838-3006.

The program is sponsored, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Photo: Inigo Garayo

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Security Cameras Coming Along Joralemon Street Thu, 09 Mar 2017 04:27:54 +0000

DNA Info’s Alexandra Leon reports that about ten to twelve street-facing security cameras will be placed on residential buildings on Joralemon Street between Clinton and Furman streets this spring. This is in response to residents’ complaints about an increase in crime because of Joralemon’s becoming the principal entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The DNA Info story quotes Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Peter Bray as saying the cameras will be placed on the buildings of residents who volunteer to have them there and agree to make footage available to the NYPD as needed. Mr. Bray also said this constitutes a expansion of Borough President Eric Adams’s “Safe Shoppers” program, originally targeted only on commercial areas.

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P.S. 8 Kindergarten Waitlist Strikes Again-Now What? Thu, 09 Mar 2017 00:48:04 +0000

Kindergarten placement notifications were emailed on Wednesday and some families are in for a disappointment. Just one year after rezoning, P.S. 8 will have a waitlist for the 2017-2018 academic year. This year 22 children received an alternate placement (vs. 50 children in 2015). The grapevine indicates children were offered seats at P.S. 307.  P.S. 8 received 187 in-zone applications and 165 offer letters were sent for the 125 available seats.  The number of offers is determined by the Office of Kindergarten Admissions.

Anecdotally, the impression has been that the rezoning of P.S.8 and 307 would stave off the problem for at least a few years.  But while waitlists at P.S. 8 could be the new normal, given historic rates of attrition (number of offers vs. numbers of actual registrations) there is a good chance the waitlist could clear for 2017-18.  Parents just have to be patient. NYC School Help consultant, Joyce Szuflita advised in her March 2016 blog post (“A Tale of Two Waitlists”), “People who panic drown. Remain calm.”  OK…easier said than done. So what else can parents do, right now?


The wait list is stressful for families and all the impacted schools, both the overcrowded and those receiving overflow. So, be a good neighbor. PLEASE NOTIFY P.S.8 ASAP if you DON’T plan to send your child to the school whether your child was offered a seat or placed on the waitlist.

If you DO plan to send your child to P.S. 8, pre-register them without delay.  Bring your child with you to the school along with the required documentation Monday through Friday, between 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, until April 7th.  The sooner parents notify P.S.8 of their decisions, the sooner the administration can contact wait-listed families.


  • Read the P.S. 8 Waitlist FAQs.  Many of parents’ initial questions have been addressed by this document.
  • Confirm your child’s position on the waitlist. Contact the Office of Kindergarten Admissions at (718) 935-2009 or via email:
  • Tour the school where your child received alternate placement. P.S. 307 is offering tours on Tuesday, March 14th – 9:00am and Tuesday, March 21st – 9:00am.  Parents are asked to call 718-834-4748 if they are unable to attend on those dates and times.
  • Investigate ALL D13 options.  The Kindergarten Admissions Guide lists schools by district with full contact information.
  • Be patient. The wait list tends to move in mid-April after the close of pre-registration (April 7th) and charter schools hold their lotteries. Expect more activity mid to late June after the Gifted & Talented acceptance deadline (June 16th).  Spaces often open up at the very end of the summer and even through the first weeks of school.
  • Pre-register your child at the school where they received alternate placement by the April 7th deadline. Your child must accompany you.  Please bring the required documentation.  This ensures your child a Kindergarten seat in September.

Joyce Szuflita is adamant about this last point. She emphasizes, “You WILL NOT get some imagined advantage by not registering. Not pre-registering does not force the DOE’s hand in any way. You will be placed on a regular wait list (like everyone else) for any school that you have ranked higher than the school that you were placed in (except your zoned school – where you are on the special Capped Zoned School wait list).” The capped wait list is explained in full in the P.S. 8 FAQs.


  • Research and apply for charter schools by April 1st. Most charters conduct their admissions lotteries in April.
  •  If your child tested and qualified for either district or city-wide programs, submit a Gifted & Talented application by April 24th.
  • Check with private Pre-K’s such as Plymouth Church and Kiddie Korner, among others.  Many offer private Kindergarten programs.
  • Try the old stand-by private schools such as Packer Collegiate, St. Ann’s, Brooklyn Friends, etc. They belong to the Independent Admissions Association of Greater NY (ISAAGNY).  Acceptance letters were sent in early February and the reply deadline was February 17th.  But, it may be still possible to apply and placed on a wait list.  AltSchool and Basis Independent Brooklyn are not part of ISAAGNY but have similar admissions timelines. Parochial schools are another avenue to explore as well.  It has been suggested too that parents investigate tuition insurance if they apply to private schools late in the game.


DISCLOSURE: This correspondent was an active participant in advocating for wait-listed families in 2015-16.  She is a P.S. 8 parent, school volunteer and frequent attendee of various D13 meetings.  Views expressed in this post are gleaned from this experience and are solely those of the author.

EDIT: This post has been updated by removing Grace Church from the list of schools offering private Kindergarten as their program will be discontinued after this academic year.  A link for P.S. 307 has been added along with information about school tours.

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“Area” Woman Arrested for Shoplifting Wed, 08 Mar 2017 16:44:43 +0000

As reported by DNA Info, the woman who owns the chain of children’s stores Area Kids (located in our fair neighborhood on Montague Street, was arrested last month along with a partner for stealing more than $1,000 of merchandise from the Whole Foods in Gowanus.

Among the items stolen were beauty supplies, clothing, food, healthcare items and music. Read the full story at DNA Info.



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