Brooklyn Heights Blog » News Dispatches from America's first suburb Sun, 17 Jun 2018 02:05:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My Report of Taperia’s Demise Was Greatly Exaggerated Sun, 17 Jun 2018 02:05:05 +0000

Your correspondent walked by this afternoon, and the place was doing business. What can I say, other than I’m delighted? My regrets to the owners, though their earlier apparent closing wasn’t accompanied by the usual “we’re doing renovations; be back soon” sort of sign. Now Montague Street has one less vacant restaurant space.

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Free Outdoor Performances of Theater 2020’s As U Like It in Cadman Plaza Park This Weekend Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:38:27 +0000

This coming Saturday and Sunday evenings, June 16 and 17, starting at 6:00 PM, Theater 2020, Brooklyn Heights’ own professional stage company, will present As U Like It, a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy, with original music by Jason Wynn, at Cadman Plaza Park. Your correspondent saw the show on Saturday, and can attest that it is indeed a “rollicking” performance.

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Neighborhood Safety Meeting – Tues. June 12, 6 pm, at Borough Hall Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:47:22 +0000

A message from 84th Precinct Sector A’s Neighborhood Coordination Officer Donovan Hunt:

Hello All,

This Tuesday, June 12, we are having our next Neighborhood Safety Meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., 2nd Floor, at 6:00pm. Come by and join the discussion going on in and around the community, ask questions, or just listen to what others are talking about. Refreshments will be served. Please forward to your neighbors and colleagues. Hope to see you all there.

NPO Meeting







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In “BJs and Bullet Holes” Ron Maldonado Shows Us the Old, Sleazy Side of Brooklyn Heights Mon, 04 Jun 2018 04:15:42 +0000 Video producer, writer, and erstwhile BHB contributor Heather Quinlan has shared with us her latest production, “BJs and Bullet Holes” (video after the jump), in which Ron Maldonado takes us on a tour of the Heights as it was as recently as the mid 1980s. His tour hits on some places I knew shortly after my arrival here in 1983. After Capulet’s on Montague, which quickly became my favorite bar when I moved here, closed in 1985, Gerry Bose was hired to tend bar at Clark Street Station, and lots of Capulet’s regulars, including me, followed him there. I remember Ron tending bar there. I had no idea the place was mob controlled.

I have one very good memory involving Clark Street Station. I was watching Game Six of the 1986 World Series at home. When it looked like the Red Sox had it on ice, and were cruising to their first championship since 1918, I decided to go congratulate my friend Bill, a Sox fan, whom I was sure would be at Clark Street Station. When I got to the sidewalk outside the the bar, I looked through its large front window and saw my fellow Mets fans jumping and clapping, and Bill looking ashen. I went in and asked Bill what had happened. He gestured at the TV screen just as there was a replay of Mookie Wilson’s grounder going between Bill Buckner’s legs.

Now for a True Confession. I went to Club Wild Fyre once. I was taken there by someone – I can’t remember who – that I met in my early days in the Heights. We entered through the Clark Street door. I don’t remember the man with the can opener mouth, but I must have paid him, unless my friend took care of that. I remember walking through a long corridor that, after a turn to the left. led us into the bar. We took seats at the southwest end of the bar’s horseshoe and sat there, drinking lousy beer, while a bored looking woman, standing on the bar just to my right, shuffled her feet and jiggled her bare breasts. We didn’t stay long.

BJs and Bullet Holes: The Other Side of Brooklyn Heights from Heather Quinlan on Vimeo.

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A Permanent Pool For Brooklyn Bridge Park Fri, 01 Jun 2018 12:54:24 +0000

Posted by Brooklyn Bridge Park on Twitter this morning:

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: A permanent pool is coming to BBP! The location of the pool will be Squibb Park, which sits above Pier 1 and is connected to BBP by Squibb Park Bridge. We are thrilled to add such a desired amenity by park visitors and the community to our world-class park!

More details as they become available.

First thought:  Yay!

Second thought: How psyched are the people in those buildings going to be to have a pool right outside?

Third thought: What does this mean for the bridge from Columbia Heights to the park?

Gothamist has details.

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Subway Service Alerts, and a Town Hall with the New MTA Prexy Fri, 25 May 2018 03:07:40 +0000

Our friends at the Brooklyn Heights Association have notified us that new MTA President Andy Byford (photo) will be present to talk and answer questions about his plan to repair and improve the subway system at a town hall meeting to be held this coming Tuesday, May 29 from 6:30 t0 8:30 PM at the John Jay Educational Complex, 237 7th Avenue, between 4th and 5th streets in Park Slope. If you want to attend, please RSVP by calling 718-788-7221 or emailing the office of Assembly Member Robert Carroll, who is sponsoring the the meeting, at Now for the coming subway nitty-gritty.

This Memorial day weekend is almost a repeat of the previous, except that service changes will last until early Tuesday instead of Monday morning. Apart from the absence of 2/3 service in either direction at Clark Street and at the 2/3 platforms at Borough Hall, which the MTA tells us will end at midnight on Sunday, June 24, the only route diversion affecting local stations negatively is that, from 9:30 Friday, May 25 to 5:00 AM Tuesday, May 29, F trains in both directions are being re-routed to the A/C line from Manhattan to Jay Street-MetroTech, which means no service at York Street in DUMBO. D trains are also being re-routed to the A/C line: since A/C trains should be running normally, this means there will be lots of service in both directions at High Street. There will be free shuttle buses connecting Jay Street and York Street, ans also connecting the LES stops on the F with West 4th Street. There will also be extra service at Court Street and on the N/R platforms at Jay Street, as N trains, which normally follow the R route only during late night hours, will be taking the R route all the long weekend.

The following work week (Tuesday, May 29 to Friday, June 1) late nights from 9:45 PM to 5:00 AM there will be no service in either direction at Clark Street or at the 2/3 platforms at Borough Hall. 4 trains will provide alternative service. These same nights from 11:45 PM to 5:00 AM there will be no R service in either direction at Court Street or at the N/R platforms at Jay Street-MetroTech, but N trains should be running normally at these stops. For service to or from R stops in Bay Ridge, transfer to or from free shuttle buses and the N at 36th Street.

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

Andy Byford photo: By HiMY SYeD [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Arrivederci, Armando’s, and the Lobster; Adios, Taperia Wed, 23 May 2018 02:59:55 +0000

The Eagle reports that Ristorante Armando’s, a fixture, with one brief interruption, on Montague Street since 1936, has closed for good. Along with the loss of what, for many in the Heights was a favorite eating place and hangout, will come the loss of the iconic (What other word can I use to describe it?) lobster on its neon sign. Back in March of 2008, when owner Peter Byros (Did I catch im in the lower left corner of the photo above I took early this evening? I think so.) decided to retire, and the space was leased to a fast food chain, BHB’s beloved and sorely missed founder John “Homer Fink” Loscalzo started a “Landmark the Lobster” campaign. The lobster came down, but fortunately went to storage. It remained there only a little over a year, and returned to its place on Montague in July of 2009, when Mr. Byros decided to re-open Armando’s and put it in charge of his daughter, Maria Florea.

According to the Eagle story, the restaurant’s closing was precipitated by the Byros family’s sale of the building to a real estate agent. A sign in the window above Armando’s (see photo) says “Restaurant for Lease.” Maybe the new lessee will put up a new lobster sign (but only if Landmarks approves it).

IMG_0030Meanwhile, across the street, as the Eagle story reports, Taperia has closed again. It’s “again” because, like Armando’s, Taperia was in its space before, then closed, and was replaced — all too briefly in your correspondent’s opinion — by an excellent Argentinian steakhouse. When that closed, Taperia returned, but its tenancy was brief. The spot seems cursed.

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“Window Concert” Tomorrow Sat, 19 May 2018 19:36:59 +0000

Tomorrow (Sunday, May 20th) beginning at 4:00 PM, if you go to the corner of State and Henry streets, you may enjoy the ninth annual “4th Window Concert.” This year’s concert features a copious selection of music, including pieces by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Guns & Roses, Kansas (I know you’re all eager, as I am, to hear “Dust in the Wind” once again), Nirvana, Black Keys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Joel (who channeled the Heights’ own Harry Chapin for his first hit, “Piano Man”), and others. It sounds like great fun. If the weather cooperates, I’ll be there.

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“Glassbarge” and Schooner Lois McClure at Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park Sat, 19 May 2018 16:22:20 +0000

The “Glassbarge” and the canal schooner Lois McClure (photo) are docked at Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park through Memorial Day, May 28. They will be open for tours every day from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Tours of the Glassbarge, which is owned by the Corning Museum of Glass, and that include lectures and glassblowing demonstrations, are free, but require reservations, which you may make here. Tours of the Lois McClure are self guided, and require no reservations.

Brooklyn is the vessels’ first stop on a summer long tour celebrating the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal. From here they will sail up the Hudson to Albany, then across the Erie Canal to Buffalo, stopping at towns along the way. Returning from Buffalo, they will take a side trip southward through Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, to Watkins Glen. From there, a ceremonial land journey will end with the tour’s conclusion in Corning.

Lois McClure is a replica of a schooner built in Burlington, Vermont in 1862 for the trade between there and other ports along Lake Champlain as well as southward through the canal connecting to the Hudson and westward on the New York State canal system. It’s possible the original McClure visited Brooklyn, perhaps carrying grain taken on in Buffalo for transshipment to oceangoing vessels at the Erie Basin. She was able to navigate the canals, with their low bridges, because her masts and spars could be folded down. This meant she needed an external source of power. On this trip, that will be supplied by the South Street Seaport Museum’s historic tug W.O. Decker. South Street is a co-sponsor of the tour, along with the Corning Museum of Glass and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vermont, which owns the Lois McClure.

A theme of the Lois McClure’s participation is the effect of the construction of the canals, and the commerce they fostered, on the forests of New York State and New England. The schooner will be carrying a cargo of white oak and white pine seedlings to be planted in locations along the tour’s route.

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Shred Fest 2018 at Cadman Plaza Saturday Fri, 18 May 2018 18:23:19 +0000

Not to fear, it’s not a guitar contest. Organized by NYC Consumer Affairs, “shred Fest is a free paper-shredding citywide event that aims to increase public awareness about identity theft prevention. At Shred Fest you can safely shred personal papers for free using shredding trucks and get free identity theft prevention tips.”

The event begins at 10:00 am in Cadman Plaza Park (opposite Clark Street) and is scheduled to end at 4:00 pm or once the shredding trucks are full, whichever comes first.  So arrive early!

What to Bring:

  • Old bank statements
  • Old papers with personal identifying information
  • Old pay stubs
  • Credit card applications
Protect your identity. Download tips (in PDF) in different languages:

Shred Fest is taking place in all five boroughs on both Saturday and Sunday.  Download event flyer (in PDF) for all locations and times.

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Theater 2020 Presents As U Like It Tue, 15 May 2018 02:57:38 +0000

Theater 2020, Brooklyn Heights’ own professional stage company, presents As U Like It, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy — the Bard’s script is here, but there is original music by Jason Wynn (no, not that Jason Wynn) — and a setting in contemporary Brooklyn.

Shakespeare tackles gender fluidity with comic gusto and director adaptor David Fuller embraces that in this romantic romp set in modern times. Meet some of the Bard’s most famous characters and speeches, including the guitar strumming melancholy Jaques (“All the world’s a stage”), the rapping jester Touchstone (who is joined by the puppet Audrey) and the most bountiful lead he ever wrote for a female, the cross dressing Rosalind.

Performances will be at The Great Room, ART NYC, at 138 South Oxford Street in Fort Greene, all starting at 8:00 PM on the following dates: Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28; Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3; and Fiday, June 8 through Sunday, June 10. Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors over 64 or students with ID); you may purchase them here. You may also reserve by emailing or calling 718-624-3614 and paying cash at the door.

There will also be two free outdoor performances, no reservations required, on the War Memorial Lawn (north end; enter from Middagh Street) at Cadman Plaza Park, starting at 6:00 PM on Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17.

For both indoor and outdoor performances, the play runs for 90 minutes without intermission.

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Willowtown Fair This Saturday, May 19 Mon, 14 May 2018 03:08:01 +0000

The annual Willowtown Fair will take place on Saturday, May 19 on Willow Place (between Joralemon and State streets) from noon to 5:00 p.m. This year’s fair will include: food from Iris Cafe; live music by the Willowtown Bluegrass Band; face painters; a plant sale; a baked goods table; games (including a three legged race — see photo above from the 2014 fair, by C. Scales for BHB — and a tug-of-war); boutique tables; a raffle; a bounce castle; and antique house histories. Plenty of fun for adults and kids. Admission to the fair is free.

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P.S. 8 Middle School Responds to “Biased” NY Post Article Fri, 11 May 2018 22:14:19 +0000

On Sunday May 6th, The New York Post ran an article by Sara Dorn and Susan Edelman featuring P.S. 8 parents who have chosen to send their children to a local charter school rather than M.S. 8.  (The Robert Fulton School is a K-8 school). The detailed response was jointly signed by the PTA Executive Board and School Leadership Team (SLT). It is reproduced  HERE in full.

“Dear New York Post editorial staff, Sara Dorn and Susan Edelman,

We write in response to a biased and poorly reported story that ran in the New York Post on Sunday, May 6, 2018, regarding Brooklyn Heights parents choosing to leave the neighborhood for middle school. Many 5th grade parents were approached for comment, but those that shared positive experiences and stories were left out of the article. One parent of an MS8 graduate and current 5th grader excited to attend MS8 was told by the reporter Sara Dorn that her comments were not needed because the reporter had already heard positive things about MS8 from parents sending their children there and she was specifically looking for parents sending their children to charter schools. Despite the good expressed about MS8 by so many, there was little positive language about the school in the article. The article’s purpose appeared to be the denigration of a neighborhood public school in favor of another school. To have the hard work and success of MS8’s teachers, students, administrators, and parents reflected so poorly, for the sake of pitting one hard-working school against another, is a disservice and an insult to all involved and invested in public education in New York City.

School choice can be valuable for parents and guardians in pursuit of the right educational fit for their children. To disparage a school like MS8, which has successfully traversed the various transitions one might expect at a fledgling school, is unnecessary and unappreciated by the community that has poured its heart into ensuring its success.

Furthermore, at a time when the stark racial segregation in NYC public schools is again in the headlines, the under-reported story is that MS8 is a success. It is an example of a racially (34% white, 41% black, 16% Hispanic, 1% American Indian/Alaskan, 4% Asian, 1% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and 3% multiracial), ethnically and socio-economically mixed public middle school serving students of all academic levels that is working hard to support and foster an inclusive, supportive school environment. The commitment of MS8 teachers, administrators, students and parents to racial diversity and equity shows in the ELA and Social Studies curriculum and has led to various programs to support restorative justice practices and persistent dialogue about equity both in the school and community at large. With the continued efforts of engaged students, parents, guardians, administrators and teachers, we continue to strengthen our MS8 community.

Most importantly perhaps, MS8 is succeeding academically. MS8’s high school admissions have been strong. MS8 offers Regents Algebra and Living Environment to all students in 8th grade, and students have historically done very well on those tests. MS8 also has a new science lab, a lovely art room, a fitness room upstairs (MS8 students currently have exclusive access to the larger gym one period a day, and additional access is expected to be available for sports team practice next year), and we are forging science and other partnerships with neighbor universities City Tech College and NYU Tandon. That the Spanish teacher left in the beginning of the academic year due to familial illness and could not be replaced was difficult, but the program is expected to resume in the fall.

Every marker indicates that MS8 is growing nicely into its position as a cornerstone of middle school education in District 13. The MS8 community is excited to welcome the many students continuing from our lower to our middle school next year, and all those joining us from the other amazing District 13 elementary schools.


The PS8/MS8 PTA Executive Board & School Leadership Team”

DISCLOSURE: SongBirdNYC is a PS8 parent and member of the School Leadership Team.

Photo Credit:


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PS8 Student Art Premiers at Guggenheim Museum Thu, 10 May 2018 20:58:34 +0000

From the “It’s never too late to report good news” files…

On the evening of April 26th the Guggenheim held an opening reception for A Year of Children 2018, an annual exhibition featuring student work from the museum’s teaching artist’s residency program, Learning Through Art.  Per the Guggenheim website, “the program sends experienced teaching artists into New York City public schools, where they collaborate with classroom teachers to develop and facilitate art projects integrated into the school curriculum.” Brooklyn Heights’ own, P.S. 8 has enriched their third and fourth grade art curriculum with this 20-week program for many years. And, as previously reported by Bklyner, two blossoming artists from the school are featured in the show, 4th Grader, Zoe and 3rd grader, Fionn.


Third grade students worked along the theme of “Finding Their Way” and fabricated soft sculptures of their “wayfinders” or landmarks that represented things they either saw, heard, felt or smelled on their travels back and forth to school.  Text accompanying the work explained the Fourth graders “learned about the concept of avatars as a representation of an alter ego or character and created their own based on aspects of their identity but with added imaginative or exaggerated elements.” Students then created relief self portraits using monoprints, stamps, foam etching prints and other methods.

IMG_5563The museum also invites at least one student per grade to act as docents. Those chosen attended training sessions, wrote a speech, practiced delivery, and spoke at the adults only opening about their work and their experience with the residency.  Fourth grader, Zoe shared, “It made me feel excited about continuing to make art, knowing that I’ve had the privilege of being a student docent at the Guggenheim.”

Congratulations to Zoe and Fionn! The exhibition is on view through June 13th.


Guggenheim Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Jean-Christophe BENOIST
Gallery Photo Credit: Caren Gandelman


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Heights Artist John Tebeau Illustrates and Chronicles the City’s Bar Scene Mon, 07 May 2018 02:30:26 +0000

Brooklyn Heights resident artist John Tebeau has, in common with your correspondent, a love for good drinking spots. Several years ago he started to do drawings of some of his favorite places. With some encouragement, he expanded this to a tour of Bars, Taverns, and Dives throughout the Five Boroughs, and accompanied each drawing with a description of each place, along with helpful hints on when to go, where to sit, what to order, and how to get along. John is as effective a writer as he is talented with pencil and brush.

It’s not surprising that John, being a Brooklyn resident, includes more Brooklyn bars (22) in his book than those from any other borough. Manhattan comes a distant second with 14. Staten Island is a surprising third with six; the Bronx and Queens are tied with four each.

There are only two spots in Brooklyn Heights that make his list: the Atlantic Chip Shop, at which my wife and I are regulars, and Montero’s, where I’ve been twice and should go back. He includes two very nearby spots: the Long Island Bar and Restaurant, on the Cobble Hill side of Atlantic at Clinton Street, and gives Honorable Mention to the rooftop bar at Fornino at Pier Six in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Some Last Minute Weekend Suggestions Fri, 04 May 2018 17:38:11 +0000

Tomorrow (Saturday, May 5) Brooklyn Bridge Park will be host to a kite festival, to be held on Pier 1’s Harbor View Lawn from noon until 2:30 PM. Admission is free. BYOK, or buy or make one there. There’s more information here. (Photo by C. Scales from 2013 festival.)

Alert reader Andrew Porter has compiled a list of Sacred Sites open house events in the neighborhood this weekend and posted it in a comment on OTW. I’m re-posting it here:

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), 110 Schermerhorn Street, Saturday 11am-2pm & Sunday 10am-1pm

Plymouth Church, 75 Hicks Street, Saturday & Sunday 12:30pm-2:30pm

Grace Church, 254 Hicks Street, Sunday 12:30pm-4pm

Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Maronite Cathedral, 113 Remsen Street, Saturday 10am-5pm & Sunday noon-5pm

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, 157 Montague Street, Saturday 12pm-4pm and Sunday 12pm-3pm

First Unitarian Congregational, 119 Pierrepont Street, Saturday 10am-3pm & Sunday 1pm-3pm

There’s more information here about the Sacred Sites events (link provided by Mr. Porter).

Don’t forget the Repast Baroque Ensemble concert tonight (Friday, May 4) at 8:00 at the First Unitarian Church, and the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn concerts at Plymouth Church Saturday at 7:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00 PM.

If anyone knows of an event or events that should have been included, please tell us in a comment.

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Repast Baroque Ensemble Returns With “Bohemian Fantasy” Friday Mon, 30 Apr 2018 01:07:22 +0000

The Repast Baroque Ensemble will return to the McKinney Chapel of the First Unitarian Church, 116 Pierrepont Street (between Monroe Place and Clinton Street) on Friday evening, May 4 at 8:00, to present “Bohemian Fantasy”. The program is “[i]nspired by the improvisatory, imaginative, contemplative, and funny works by the Baroque era’s great Bohemian virtuosi”, and “explores the music of Biber and his contemporaries”. It will also include “a written-out improvised fantasy” by the members of Repast. There’s more information and buy tickets here.

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Neighborhood News Round-Up Sat, 28 Apr 2018 17:21:50 +0000

Filed definitively under “better late than never,” here’s a look at some local news from the last few weeks. Please support the publications that produced these stories by clicking the links and getting the details from the folks who did the reporting.

Cover photo by Roger W, 1965. Creative Commons License.

Sean Penn was the subject of protests back on April 19, when he appeared at St. Ann’s Church for a sit-down with journalist Jon Lee Anderson. Apparently locals were none too happy with the actor’s interview with alleged drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman (scheduled for trial here in Brooklyn) that appeared in Rolling Stone in 2016.

“Whether it’s Chapo, Hitler or Donald Trump … they are just people,” Penn said.

PS 8 kids make the Guggenheim in an exhibit that opened yesterday and runs through June 13. The students, along with others in the city, participiate in the Guggenheim’s Learning Through Art program, founded in 1970 by Guggenheim volunteer Natalie Kovner Lieberman in response to the elimination of art and music programs in NYC public schools.

Perfect Paws goes mobile. Formerly housed on the corner of Hicks and Pineapple (in the space now occupied by Joe’s), then at Clark Pets, the grooming service now operates from an easily identifiable van. There doesn’t seem to be a website, but there is a Facebook page that provides context information: Text 929-391-9097 or leave a message at 718-852-6200.

Perfect Paws

Requiem for Court St. Office Supply. “The wounds have been so bone-deep that the store found it difficult to cover its overhead and turn much of a profit,” writes Joseph Berger in the TimesPacker student Rhea Lieber pretty much sums it up:

Rhea Lieber, a senior at the nearby Packer School (sic), wrote a letter, in both Hebrew and English, lamenting the loss. “The Packer community is devastated to say goodbye to such a neighborhood staple (no pun intended),” she wrote.

A regular shopper there, I’ve already headed in that direction dozens of times to pick up a card or some school supplies, only to remember that it’s another huge loss for our neighborhood.

Local group seeks BBP entrance from Montague StreetThe POVs pro and con are nothing new. Easier access to the Park; dispersal of crowds throughout the neighborhood rather than concentrated at a couple of entrances; an increase in foot traffic for Montague St. businesses vs. residents’ distress at the prospect of that same foot traffic.

In other BPP news: hot dogs. Beginning June 9, free hot dogs from a “bloated and bizarre hot dog stand” that doubles as an exhibit from the Public Art Fund.

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Update on Bonnie Burke and Steve Messier Sat, 28 Apr 2018 13:41:14 +0000

Their one-of-a-kind love story was chronicled here at BHB. And now, an update on Bonnie and Steve (via email from Steve, published with permission).

Awright Sportsfans, here’s the big update: a few months ago I started to lose a high degree of my remaining physical abilities. On top of that, Bonnie, my DSW, has moved steadily towards the worst stage of Alzheimer’s and I was her only care giver. Obvious crisis in the making.  Long story short, we both ended up in Brooklyn Methodist hospital where, charmed by our back story, everyone worked hard to keep us together in the same room. This has now extended to placement together in the same room at a physical rehab facility right on the boardwalk in Coney Island.

This is not a bad thing. Life had gotten pretty bad for us living by ourselves. Finally I stopped being so stubborn about seeking and accepting help and our life is now going to be different, but, I hope, better.

After we get back on our feet, who knows. Probably back to a fixed-up apartment, but maybe a senior assist place on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn. You catch a theme here? I only ever wanted three things in this life: to have a useful career, like as a psychologist; the eternal love of a good woman, like my DSW; and a place to live with a water view. I have never done any of it in a traditional way, so I am thinking our move tomorrow rounds out my personal trifecta!

Admittedly, this is a very depressing story, but also a very hopeful and exciting one: a new adventure for Steve and Bon!

Thanks for listening, more as it develops.

We will miss seeing Bonnie and Steve sitting on the promenade, while neighbor after neighbor stops to chat and bask in their orbit of love and positivity. If anyone is interested in visiting or sending a note, they are, for now, at Sea Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near Coney Island.

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Nxivm Sex Cult Housed Secret “Pod” in Brooklyn Heights Fri, 27 Apr 2018 19:40:29 +0000

File this story under “you can’t make this stuff up!” With the arrest and arraignment of “Smallville” actress, Allison Mack on sex trafficking and other related charges, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports an offshoot of the pyramid scheme”self-help” group and purported cult Nxivm (pronounced NEKS-ee-əm) took up residence at “111 Hicks St., a Brooklyn Heights tower, where up to a dozen [sex] slaves allegedly stayed for various rituals over the past year, according to Frank Parlato, a former publicist for Nxivm who has turned whistleblower.”

Among the women allegedly housed in Brooklyn Heights are daughter of Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, India. Artvoice blog reports Canadian “Battlestar Galactica” actress Nicki Clyne recently married Mack in order to remain in the United States and hold sway over the Brooklyn “slaves.” Mack leveraged her celebrity status to recruit victims at events held at a private residence in Williamsburg. The reported “rituals” are likely to have subjected the victims to the group’s known tactics of blackmailing with “collateral” of incriminating photos, videos or other damaging information, the branding of their bodies, starvation diets, forced labor all leading up to sexual encounters with leader Keith Raniere.

Spurred by Frank Parlato’s accounts, many news outlets have published in-depth exposes on the group’s exploits including  The New York Times,20/20, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. Founded in Albany, NY by Keith Raniere and associate Nancy Salzman in 1998, the group touts itself as a “multi-level marketing organization” offering “Executive Success Programs” as a series of seminars. Attendees were required to address Raniere and Salzman as “Vanguard” and “Prefect” respectively. The group has boasted billionaire Richard Branson, Dynasty actress Lynda Evans, daughter of former Mexican President Vincente Fox, Ana Cristina Fox and BET Co-Founder Sheila Johnson as patrons.

Seagram’s heiresses Sara and Clare Bronfman, are also among the group’s most entrenched devotees. Raniere was arrested in Mexico last month and Parlato reports Clare Bronfman, “a true fanatic,” has moved to South Brooklyn to be near her svengali, fund and run the organization while he is held in federal lock up in Marine Park. If convicted both Raniere and Mack face mandatory 15 years to life.

And it just gets weirder and weirder. Unsurprisingly, a television show is already in the works.

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“Rats the size of burritos”: is Chipotle or Construction to Blame? Wed, 25 Apr 2018 02:14:27 +0000

Update: Chipotle has now said they will get secure metal containers for their trash, the Eagle reports. Local residents have complained about very large, aggressive rats in the area along Montague Street between Clinton and Court near the Chipotle restaurant and the neighboring construction site, as reported by Mary Frost in the Eagle. Those complaining have noted that Chipotle puts out trash in plastic bags that rats can easily rip open. The Eagle story quotes a Chipotle manager as saying she never saw the rats until the construction began. The story also quotes Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Peter Bray as saying, “If there is no food available, the rats would not be foraging on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. It is incumbent upon Chipotle to put their garbage in rat-resistant containers.” The Chipotle manager also said, “the rats are not good for us, either.”

Rat image:

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Increased Security at Brooklyn Bridge Park this Summer Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:18:23 +0000

The Eagle’s Mary Frost quotes Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation President Eric Landau saying that increased police presence and newly installed security cameras should prevent the sort of incidents that have troubled the Park during previous periods of warm weather.

The Eagle story also notes that Joralemon Street and Willowtown residents think that more needs to be done to thin the crowds heading to and from the Park along Joralemon. Their preferred solution: a Park entrance/exit to and from Montague Street.

Photo: Teresa Genaro

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Brooklyn Folk Festival Delights Sun, 22 Apr 2018 03:05:33 +0000

The tenth annual Brooklyn Folk Festival happened April 6th through 8th at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church. As it always has been, it was presented by the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Red Hook, now a not-for-profit institution.

The opening act on Friday evening was Little Nora Brown (photo). She’s twelve years old, and began her banjo training at six, taking instruction from the late Shlomo Pestcoe. She played a rousing set, later joined on fiddle by Stephanie Coleman. Nora demonstrated great skill with her instrument, and received a tumultuous audience response.

IMG_9773Grammy nominated Innov Gnawa are exponents of gnawa, or Moroccan trance music. This musical tradition has roots in Morocco similar to those of blues and jazz in the U.S., as it was brought there mostly by slaves from sub-Saharan Africa. At right in the photo above is Maalem Hassan Ben Jaafer, the bandleader, who plays a three-string sintir bass lute. The lyrics are chanted, call-and-response style, between Ben Jaafer and the chorus, whose members also shake hand-held instruments.

IMG_9770The Boxcutter Collective presented a puppet show featuring Judy (at right in photo above), a “tough as nails New York City grandma” who has a perils-of-Pauline sort of day, beseiged by various patriarchal figures and even attacked by birds and flowers, until she discovers and is taken into a witches’ coven that cooks up a potion to thwart Google’s attempt to take over the world.

IMG_9782This year the Festival featured a return performance — he was here in 2016 — by Claudio Montouri, the “Birdman of Rome.” He’s a popular street performer in the Eternal City. After performing some squeeze-box magic (photo above), he sat on the stage and invited children, of whom there were many at the Festival, to gather around while he played some electronic music and amused the kids with many toys arrayed around him.

IMG_9788Jerron Paxton has been a regular performer at the Festival for some time, and never fails to impress. This year did a mixture of blues, folk, and ragtime numbers, accompanying himself on guitar and banjo, and playing harmonica (photo above).

IMG_9795I couldn’t resist an entry on the Festival’s schedule for a movie, Gold, that I’d never heard of, described as follows: “Filmed in 1968 in the remote foothills of the Sierra Mountains, this wacky piece of celluloid captures the essence of the sixties with a reasonably coherent story.” The “essence of the sixties” turns out to be the ancient struggle between the followers of Hermes, the trickster god, and Apollo, the guardian of Order, as described in the context of 1946 by former Heights resident W.H. Auden in his poem “Under Which Lyre”. Seen from today’s perspective, is anything new under the sun? Your correspondent was delighted to find his late Lion’s Head drinking companion Garry Goodrow playing a prominent role. Besides, how could I hate a movie with a soundtrack that includes both the MC5 and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott? Gold’s co-director and auteur-on-the-fly (now that’s Hermetic) Bob Levis was on hand (photo above) for a lively post-viewing discussion.

IMG_9798The Down Hill Strugglers were joined by John Cohen (second from left in the photo), formerly of the New Lost City Ramblers and the Putnam String County Band, for a very lively set, highlighted, for this train buff, by a stirring version of “Casey Jones.” On guitar, at left in the photo, is Eli Smith, who also served as emcee for the Festival.

IMG_9814The Festival closed with a set by Julia Patinella, accompanied on guitar by Andreas Arnold. She did songs from the Spanish Flamenco and Latin American traditions in a voice of remarkable range and expressiveness. It was a fitting adios.

There were many other musicians and groups, as well as non-musical events and workshops, not all of which your correspondent could cover. One of these groups included cartoonist R. Crumb on mandolin. Over its ten year history, the Festival has grown in breadth and quality. We look forward to its next incarnation.

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Grace Chorale Presents “Messiahs False and True” at Plymouth Church May 5 and 6 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 00:28:59 +0000

On Saturday, May 5 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, May 6 at 3:00 PM, at Plymouth Church, Orange Street between Hicks and Henry, Grace Chorale of Brooklyn will present “Messiahs False and True,” a concert featuring “[t]hree works exploring the allure of charismatic leaders in times of crisis.” The three works are: “Cry Out and Shout,” bu Knut Nystedt; “Messiahs False and True,” by Rex Isenberg; and “Rejoice in the Lamb,” by Benjamin Britten. Britten was one of the residents of February House, on Middagh Street, in the late 1940s.

There’s more information here. You may buy tickets for the Saturday concert here and for the Sunday concert here.

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Collapsing Scaffolding Injures Three at Court and Joralemon Sun, 15 Apr 2018 00:37:28 +0000 The Daily News reports that scaffolding being taken down from the building at Court and Joralemon streets that houses a Starbucks and is adjacent to an entrance to the Borough Hall subway station collapsed at about 11:00 AM this morning (Saturday, April 14), causing minor injuries to three pedestrians. Two of them were taken to Methodist Hospital for treatment; the other declined medical attention. The collapse also knocked down a traffic signal.

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Final Weekend of Voting for Participatory Budget Community Projects Sat, 14 Apr 2018 15:54:08 +0000

District 33 Council member Stephen Levin would like to remind you it’s that time of your when you can decide how to spend 1.5 million dollars in our community. The only two requirements to vote in Participatory Budgeting are that you live in a participating district and be in 6th grade or at least 11 years old. You don’t have to be registered to vote or be a citizen.

Your best opportunity to vote in person in Brooklyn Heights is TODAY, Saturday, April 14th at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Farmer’s Market, Borough Hall Plaza   12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

You can also vote online until Sunday at!

For a full list of projects, including improvements to Westinghouse High School & security cameras in the 84th District, check out this list HERE.

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Poplar Street Community Garden Workday Saturday Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:03:23 +0000

Our friends at Poplar Street Community Garden have sent us this message:

We will indeed have another workday in the Poplar St. Community Garden this coming Saturday 4-14 (noon to 3pm). With the compost now turned and going onto plots and other growing areas, we’ll next give the roses their spring pruning, check the fruiting shrubs and trees, spread wood chips on some paths, and more – all while enjoying the Garden’s new life and each other!

Join us! Stroll the Garden, delight in the emerging greenery and colorful blooms, talk gardening talk with us, lend a hand if you wish!

Would you like to become a member? We welcome people who like to garden! Member-gardeners work together to care for the whole of the Garden, from the trees on down to the soil life, each engaging with whatever features are of personal interest. Previous gardening experience and skills are not required, tho’ certainly most appreciated. We learn from each other and from the Garden itself.

A personal plot, if available, is one of the benefits of membership, and two are available at this moment, first come first serve. Members without plots are accommodated in other ways, such as in our communal plots, tho’ some are content just to care for other aspects of the Garden.

In the Garden, we grow native plants and traditional garden favorites, fruiting trees and shrubs, cooking and medicinal herbs, and perennial as well as annual vegetables – all in the good company of many kinds of pollinating insects and birds. The Garden has a beehive, nice benches, stepping stone and earthen paths, charm, beauty, magic, joy!

During the growing season, we welcome visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3pm, Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6pm to 8pm, and any other time one of us is there to open the gate. We hold dedicated workdays, trainings, and a gardening party too.

See our Facebook page – but better yet, come to the Garden – this Saturday!

The Poplar St. Community Garden lives at the northwest corner of Hicks and Poplar Streets, at the north end of Brooklyn Heights where Hicks Street bumps into the BQE off-ramp. Enter on Poplar Street.

See you in the Garden!

The weather people say Saturday will be a gorgeous day. What better than to visit a garden and, if you wish, help the gardeners?

Photo: Karl Junkersfeld

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Your Days of Perelandra Lunch Deprivation Are Over Wed, 11 Apr 2018 00:06:48 +0000

After several months of renovation, Perelandra is back to serving lunch–and maybe more importantly, coffee–to the neighborhood.
The new space will include a hot buffet, made-to-order sandwiches, and prepared meals, in addition to old standbys like a fresh juice and smoothie bar.
Among the new items on the vegan menu:
  • Smoky pulled jackfruit with red cabbage avocado slaw, pickles and cashew queso on a toasted gluten free bun
  • Sweet potato chimichurri with smoky roasted sweet potato, caramelized onion, coconut bacon, marinated kale & chimichurri spread on a toasted ciabatta roll
  • Promenade bagel with housemade cashew cream cheese, balsamic tomato relish & baby spinach on a toasted bagel 
  • Peanut butter chocolate mousse whoopie pies
  • Chickpea-vegetable frittata
  • Spicy adobo tempeh with peppers and 0nions
  • Tofu reuben: oven-roasted tofu, Hawthorne Valley biodynamic caraway seed sauerkraut, Russian dressing and cashew
  • Thai peanut salad with zucchini noodles
  • Southwestern salad with quinoa, black beans & sweet potatoes
  • Peanut butter chocolate mousse
  • Whoopie pies

While it all sounds delicious, those last two items are the ones that will have me stopping by tout de suite.

Baked goods and pastry offerings will include  root vegetable muffins, banana chocolate chip coconut muffins, chocolate chip cookies, black bean brownies, zucchini bread, coffee cake and seasonal fruit crisps.

100% of all packaging is easily recycle, and any prepared foods that aren’t sold will be picked up nightly by Rescuing Leftover Cuisine and brought to shelters to feed hungry New Yorkers that same night.

The food is prepared by kitchen manager Aly Weigle, who has been at Perelandra since 2012. A native of New Hampshire, Weigle grew up in the food industry, working in it from the time she was a teenager. While in college, she became a vegetarian and immered herself in the world of plant-based cooking.

 Perelandra is located at 175 Remsen St. (between Court & Clinton) and is open every day from 8am – 10pm.  The kitchen and juice bar close an hour earlier, at 9pm.

Open daily, and for the first time-ever, the kitchen now will be serving the full menu through the weekend, the new Kitchen & Juice Bar’s operating hours are 8am to 9pm. Perelandra is located at 175 Remsen Street (between Court & Clinton St. ) Brooklyn, NY 11201 and open daily 8am-10pm. Please visit


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Mail Bandits in Brooklyn Heights Wed, 04 Apr 2018 17:49:52 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association alerted members via email to be vigilant when using the corner mail boxes.

In recent months, there has been a raft of mail being illegally removed from street corner mailboxes in Brooklyn Heights, which has led to stolen identities and bank and credit card accounts being compromised.

“The NYPD has issued an alert to warn Brooklyn Heights residents that if you are mailing checks, money orders, or tax returns, to protect yourself from mailbox fishing and check fraud by taking these precautions:

  • Drop mail containing checks inside the post office
  • When writing checks, use permanent ink that cannot be erased
  • Check your bank account balance frequently to ensure that the proper amount is debited, and
  • Call 911 immediately if you see anyone tampering with a street mailbox.

The NYPD is working with the appropriate U.S.P.S. authorities to apprehend the responsible individuals.”

Image courtesy of Brooklyn Heights Association

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Silhouette Artist Returns to Brooklyn Women’s Exchange April 20-22 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:59:08 +0000

Silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will be at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Henry and Hicks) Friday, April 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. She will “create beautiful heirloom quality silhouettes for your whole family.” Adults, children, and pets are all welcome. The silhouettes make excellent Mothers’ or Fathers’ day presents.

For more information, or to make an appointment, call 718-624-3435 or e-mail

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