Brooklyn Heights Blog » News Dispatches from America's first suburb Thu, 16 Aug 2018 02:16:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 BHB Stalwart Andrew Porter Sounds Off About Helicopter Noise Tue, 07 Aug 2018 02:01:30 +0000

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

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

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

Anyone have a different complaint?

Photo by Chuck Taylor for BHB.

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

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

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

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

PHoto: SongBird NYC for BHB.

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

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

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

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


Asked about her daughter’s life, Andrea said,

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

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

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

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


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Should Hardhats be Required at Borough Hall Subway Station? Sun, 29 Jul 2018 04:51:02 +0000

Just over a month ago, part of the ceiling over the Manhattan bound 4/5 platform at Borough Hall station collapsed. Alert reader Andrew Porter notifies us of a Brooklyn Paper story about a similar collapse on the Brooklyn bound side. Fortunately, things are more or less back to normal now. Perhaps those of us who use that station would be wise to wear protective gear. Borough Hall station has gone postmodern: it’s now a deconstruction zone.

Image: public domain.

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Grand Canyon to Return to Montague Street Tue, 24 Jul 2018 22:37:00 +0000

Those of you who, like me, miss Grand Canyon’s superb burgers are in for a treat. While the “Restaurant For Lease” sign remains above the former Armando’s site at 143 Montague (see photo by your correspondent taken this evening), the Commercial Observer reports that the restaurant’s owner, who kept open another Grand Canyon in Park Slope, has taken that space and will return to Montague. It will be right next door to Grand Canyon’s old location, now occupied by B.Good.

The one downside to this, although it was probably foreordained by Armando’s closing, is that we will lose the Armando’s sign with its iconic lobster, much loved by many, especially our beloved founder, John “Homer Fink” Loscalzo.

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Apple Tree Pruning Event at Poplar Street Community Garden Sun, 22 Jul 2018 18:46:35 +0000

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

Join neighbors and friends in the Poplar Street Community Garden for our annual Apple-Tree Pruning event on Saturday, August 4th, noon-3 pm. Learn about fruit trees and their care, gain hands-on experience with pruning tools, climb ladders and/or help spot other climbers. Enjoy the Garden and maybe even pick some fresh apples! This event is ideal for adults and children 8 years and older.

FYI, these apple trees were planted about 1960, decades before the Garden was started. Standard-sized (not dwarf or semi-dwarf like many sold these days) and left untended for many years, they had grown very large and had produced many dead branches by 2002. That’s when early Garden members arranged for a NYC Parks Dept crew to start to clean them up and bring them down to manageable size. The work took ten years, having to be done slowly. In 2012, we called upon Trees New York to train us in pruning the trees for shape and yield, and we’ve been doing it ourselves ever since.

Children eight and older are invited.

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“Bouncy Bridge” Closed Again Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:11:55 +0000

If you’ve walked by the entrance to Squibb Park on Columbia Heights or along the pedestrian and bike walkway that parallels Pier One in Brooklyn Bridge Park (which is where your correspondent got the photo) anytime since Friday you’ve probably noticed that the Squibb Park, or “Bouncy” pedestrian bridge has been closed again. Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation President Eric Landau has given the following explanation:

We recently completed a routine inspection of Squibb Bridge, and unfortunately, discovered a piece of wood in poor condition. Out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily closed the bridge while our engineers conduct further analysis. This analysis will fully inform the appropriate repair and associated timeline.

Since Squibb Bridge reopened in the Spring of 2017, it has again become a popular and vital access point to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and we are committed to ensuring that it remains one.

We are working closely with our engineers to reopen the bridge as soon as possible and will provide updates. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.

We hope it will re-open soon.

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Heights Streets, Milled Weeks Ago, to be Paved This Week Sun, 15 Jul 2018 03:05:04 +0000

On June 22 we warned that certain streets in Brooklyn Heights were to be milled, and then repaved, during the following week. The milling got done, but the repaving is taking longer. So far, Poplar, Schermerhorn, and Willow streets, as well as Monroe Place, have been repaved. The Brooklyn Heights Association has notified us that the remaining unpaved streets will, weather permitting, be repaved this coming week. The schedule is:

Monday, July 16: Middagh Street (photo).

Tuesday, July 17: College Place, Love Lane, and Remsen Street.

Vehicles left on these streets when work is ready to be performed will be relocated, generally within three blocks. DOT encourages owners of relocated vehicles to first walk around the neighborhood. If owners are not able to locate their vehicle, they may telephone their local precinct, 84 (718) 875-6811 to learn where it was towed to.

Photo: C.Scales for BHB.

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BQE Rehab Prep to Begin Next Week Tue, 10 Jul 2018 02:53:19 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association has notified us that, beginning next week and going for a three week period during the hours 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, you may see workers using a device “larger than a hand-held metal detector but smaller than a lawn mower” along the inner edge of the Promenade. The device is a “ground penetrating radar” and will be used to map the exact location of the highest and innermost wall of the BQE’s triple cantilever (see image by NYC DOT), all of which which will later be undergoing extensive repair and reconstruction. The Promenade will remain open during this surveying operation. It may result in damage to some plants along the edge of the Promenade Gardens, but “any damaged plant materials will be replaced.”

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Battle Brewing Over Park Bridge On Montague Wed, 27 Jun 2018 01:51:47 +0000

It was just a matter of time.

A few days ago, we shared Brooklyn Paper‘s news about the possibility of an access bridge from Montague St. to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Today, the Eagle writes about the inevitable objections raised by Montague St. residents.

Montague Street to Brooklyn Bridge Park will ruin the “peace and relaxation” of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and infringe on the Promenade’s protected views, say some Heights residents who live near Montague Street.

Predictably, the business interests on Montague feel differently:

…the increased pedestrian traffic would be a boost to businesses, said Kate Chura, ‎executive director of the ‎Montague Street Business Improvement District.

But Rick Dean, president of the co-op board at 2 Montague Terrace, says the idea requires much more study before any support is given. The stately 2 Montague Terrace is adjacent to the walkway connecting Montague Street to the Promenade.

Among the most serious objections came from the president of the co-op board at 2 Montague Terrace, Rick Dean, according to the Eagle, which quoted him as saying in a letter to the Brooklyn Heights Association that a new bridge could “kill the neighborhood.”



The comments came at a meeting last Thursday.

Was anyone else present? Anything to add to the conversation?

Check out the Eagle for more details, and let us know what you think…



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Where, What, Who is Brooklyn Heights? Sat, 23 Jun 2018 22:43:03 +0000

Some years ago I set up a Google alert for “Brooklyn Heights” in order to get any news about our neighborhood soon after it appeared. One thing I quickly learned was that city-wide publications were inclined to give an expansive definition to “Brooklyn Heights”, often reporting incidents in Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, or even Gowanus, as happening here. I also noticed that I was getting news about a suburb of Cleveland (see photo). Later, I learned that Brooklyn Heights is part of Thomaston, Maine and a park in Maryland. Then there’s Prestige Brooklyn Heights, a luxury high-rise in Bangalore, India’s tech capital.

As for the “what?”, “Brooklyn Heights” is a line of handbags by the late Kate Spade. It’s also a Pizzeria in Austin, Texas.

Now for “Who?” As it turns out, there are two drag queens who use “Brooklyn Heights” as their stage name: one in Baltimore and one in Toronto. Also from Toronto, but now living in Nashville, there’s Brooke Lynn Hytes.

It seems we have quite the brand.

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Many Brooklyn Heights Streets to be Milled and Paved Next Week Sat, 23 Jun 2018 01:07:52 +0000

Brooklyn Community Board 2 has advised us that many Brooklyn Heights streets are scheduled for milling and repaving during daytime hours next week. The schedule is:

Remsen Street from the Promenade entrance to Clinton Street: Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26.

Monroe Place, College Place, Love Lane, and Willow Street: Tuesday, June 26.

Middagh Street and Poplar Street: Wednesday, June 27.

Schermerhorn Street from Clinton to Court Street: Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29.

CB 2 provides this advice:

Vehicles left on these streets when work is ready to be performed will be relocated, generally within three blocks. DOT encourages owners of relocated vehicles to first walk around the neighborhood. If owners are not able to locate their vehicle, they may telephone their local precinct, 84 (718) 875-6811 or 88 (718) 636-6511 to learn where it was towed to.

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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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