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USS Discovery Flies Over NYC

September 24, 2017

Yesterday, New Yorkers got a glimpse of the “real” USS Discovery flying over the city in honor of the new TV series premier. Set up by Remarkable Media, the spacecraft was actually a metal skeleton with strategically-placed LED lights hanging beneath a Black Hawk helicopter.

According to Remarkable Media CEO Simon Powell, the company created the visual effect with CBS.


Brooklyn Dad Drives Spaceship Around Town

August 17, 2017

Brooklyn resident Charles Walters is an entrepreneur and father of 2. He is fascinated with drones and space travel, and has fashioned his very own spaceship to drive around the neighborhood.

Parked outside his house on Prospect Heights, the large metal vehicle definitely drew onlookers’ attention. Walters’ goal was to pique people’s curiosity.

“People they stop, and they look, and then they think, ‘What is this’?” he said in an interview with NBC 4 New York. “The number one question we get is, ‘What is this?'”

He explained that he took the spaceship out for a spin to play with his kids.

“”What’s life about if you can’t have fun and freak people out?” he asked.

See more here.

Tropical Themed Venue Opens in Brooklyn

July 11, 2017

download (1)A new tropical complex has been revealed in Brooklyn at the Morgan stop. Measuring 80,000 square feet, the venue, called Avant Gardner, is split into three compounds: The Brooklyn Mirage, the King’s Hall and the Great Hall. The first, which officially opened last weekend, takes the form of a 40,000 square foot oasis complete with palm trees, cat walks, garden lounges and 5 full-service bars. It plans to host a wide range of events, from music to film to fashion to food fairs while offering a LA-like escape in the center of NY.

Though the venue got off to a rocky start with the local community, it has undergone a number of changes and co-founder Billy Bildstein has thanked Avant Gardner’s neighbors and supporters for their patience. He stated that they hope to show how they have improved and resolved some of last year’s issues.

Avant Gardner’s other two compounds are expected to open later this year, with plans to host concerts and other large shows. The entire complex covers one whole block, with the capacity to hold 6,000 people.

Clinton Hill Pizza Sensation Opening Branch in Manhattan

June 12, 2017

Emily, opened by Matt and Emily Hyland in 2014, is a small restaurant with big pizza dreams. The no-frills pizzeria enthralled their customers, catching their imaginations by serving up their delicious wares on metal pans.

Not longer after the small shop on Fulton Street branched out to Williamsburg, where Detroit-style square pizza was the focus, and thus the name Emmy Squared. Their centerpiece of pizza perfection at Emmy Squared was their square pizza topped with banana peppers and ranch dressing.

Emily describes herself and her husband as “the most untrendy people there are,” yet they have become enough of a sensation to take the next logical step of opening another location, their second Emily in the West Village in the space where the Blue Ribbon Bakery used to be.

“It doesn’t matter where you open, opening a restaurant is pretty difficult,” Matt says of their new venture into the city. “I think the anticipation of having a restaurant open in Manhattan definitely is different … It’s more pressure — more eyes on us, more focus on us.”

The new restaurant is not a clone of the old Emmy in Brooklyn by any means. In Clinton Hill the over is a mere 49 inches in diameter. The oven in the Village is an awesome 18 feet by 14 feet. The Hylands say that that oven is what convinced them to open in that space: Matt will use the great oven to bake up some enticing dishes like “bánh meatballs” and baked pasta dishes, and even found pizza.

Feeling hungry for some trendy pizza from the least trendy people in the world? Emily II is located at 35 Downing Street at Bedford. Telephone: 917-935-6434

New York’s Best Doughnuts Come from Brooklyn, Of Course!

May 1, 2017

Dough Doughnuts courtesy of Krista

Those of you have been on a quest for the city’s best doughnuts need search no more. Admired by Business Insider as “some of the city’s best doughnuts,” crowned king of the New York doughnuts by Thrillist, and even discussed at length in an entire feature in New Yorker magazine dedicated to these incredible tasty treats, Dough Donuts has found the perfect balance of ingredients, freshness, and creativity.

The original Dough is located in Bedford-Stuyvesant where the few employees hand-cut the circles out of the donuts, just one tray at a time. Founded in 2010, even at that early stage Dough already began to attract the attention of donut lovers, all over the city.

Achieving maximum freshness is one of Fany Gerson’s (Dough’s founder) primary objectives. In order to deliver on that promise of fresh doughnuts she bakes only in small batches, rather than the usual method of making enough for an entire day at the beginning of the day. This insures that no matter when you drop in to the shop, a new batch is either coming out of the fryer, or has just come out.

The number of flavors is as numerous as it is delicious. How about trying to decide between Chocolate-Cocoa Nib, Café Au Lait, or Dulce De Leche-Almonds? And that is just the tip of the doughnut iceberg.

Today Dough has expanded to other locations if Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn is not convenient for you. In Manhattan there is now a Dough shop in Flatiron, at 14 West 19th Street, at Fifth Avenue; at a kiosk in UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, at 230 Park Avenue at 45th Street; and in the food hall on the second floor at City Kitchen at 700 8th Avenue at 44th Street; and at Smorgasburg, whose exact times and places vary- check their website for more information.

None of those places good for you? Dough doughnuts are sold all over town at third party retailers. Check Dough’s website for exactly where.

Residents Asking for Easier Access to Fort Greene Park with a Curb Cut

March 8, 2017

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The entrance to Fort Greene Park located at Washington Park and DeKalb Avenue needs a curb cut to allow easier access to people in wheel chairs or pushing strollers, say residents.

“It’s a spot in the community that people use,” said Anne-Elizabeth Straub, a Fort Greene resident who uses a wheelchair. “It’s not just wheelchairs, people with baby carriages, people with any kind of walkers.”

Currently residents who want to visit the park but can’t make it over the high curb must walk about a block away to the South Elliot Place entrance to get on the pathway. In her wheelchair Straub must either take the curving route to the farmer’s market she visits weekly, or else take a chance damaging her wheelchair by backing up over the curb.

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that the city must install curb cuts at crosswalks when they are either repairing old curbs or installing new ones. It is possible that this crosswalk is older than the 1990 law, and therefore has not yet had the cut added. But disability rights activists say this crosswalk is clearly in desperate need of an upgrade. They would like city officials to examine the issue and take action.

“I would certainly hope the city would pay attention to missing curb cuts in a very public area with lots of activity when there are two adjacent walkways,” said Elizabeth Grossman, an attorney with advocacy group Disability Rights New York.

In July Straub and a sympathetic stall operator from the farmer’s market submitted an official request to the Department of Transportation to upgrade the curb. The local community board district manager Rob Perris said the curb has been added to the list for “possible inclusion” for an upgrade.

Unfortunately, there are two problems with adding a curb cut, according to the DOT. The first is that the curb there is made with octagon brick pavers and not ordinary concrete. The second issue is that the curb is part of the Fort Greene Historic District, requiring any changes to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. There might also be a problem with pipes located under the curb.

Celebrate the Best Brooklyn Eateries During Dine In Brooklyn

February 23, 2017
Looking north at Brooklyn Bridge, spanning East River between Brooklyn & Manhattan, New York City, New York County, NY. View of Brooklyn tower emerging behind nineteenth century commercial buildings on the corner of Front Street and Old Fulton Street (also called Cadman Plaza West).

Looking north at Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn is going out to dinner. Borough President Eric Adams announced this year’s incarnation of “Dine in Brooklyn,” a ten-day festival of the borough’s best restaurants.

“Dine in Brooklyn celebrates the five-star flavors that make Brooklyn a ‘must-taste’ destination,” Adams said in the announcement.
“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.”

Beginning on March 20, and ending ten days later on March 30, Brooklyn’s restaurants (that sign up) will offer a special dinner for a pre-arranged price of $28 (not including gratuity or tax). Some establishments will also offer a $15 lunch and a $12 brunch, so there is no reason not to join in the fun.

So far there are already 60 restaurants signed up, with more on the way. The list will grow until the deadline for sign-up on March 13.

At least two great Clinton Hill restaurants are participating:

  • Rustik Tavern
  • Wray’s Caribbean and Seafood Cuisine

So either go to the website to find out which restaurants are participating, and come celebrate the best tastes in Brooklyn.

Clinton Hill House Getting the Attention It Deserves

January 11, 2017

An historic Clinton Hill house, located at 476 Washington Avenue, is finally getting a facelift after years of indifference.

The building went up in 1882 and once had a wonderful porch. But the years have been hard on the house, leading it to literally crumble, with parts of it actually falling down. The Historic District Council’s Kelly Carroll called the site a case of “demolition by neglect.”

Happily, now that a new design has been approved unanimously by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the four-floor, four-apartment residential structure is going to blend in beautifully with its neighboring buildings, at least as far as its height is concerned.

The façade might stand out a bit, as the design by Tom Van Den Bout of NV/design.architecture, seems to be quite modern, with an all-cedar face.
Whatever it is, it is sure to be an improvement to what has become a neighborhood eye-sore.

New Building Holding Lottery for 29 Affordable Apartments

December 15, 2016

As the construction of the mega-apartment building on Myrtle Avenue comes to completion, 29 of the 143 total apartments will be offered to would-be residents through a lottery.

The apartments are located at 50r Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, an eight-floor mixed-use building. The affordable apartments range in size from studios apartments to two bedrooms, and are reserved for tenants with yearly incomes between $30,206 to $54,360. The monthly rents will vary from $735 for the studio to $888 for the two-bedroom.

The ground floor will be occupied by retail space while the upper floors will contain apartments whose square footage will average about 736 square feet. The building comes with quite a few perks, such as a fitness center, storage space for bicycles, a deck on the roof with dining and barbecue areas, plus laundry facilities.

Residents of Brooklyn Community Board 2 will be given half of the affordable units. Applicants can apply online via NYC Housing Connect or by sending a self-addressed envelope to 504 Myrtle Avenue c/o Breaking Ground, PO Box 760, New York, NY 10018. The deadline for applications is February 1st, 2017.

PS/MS 282 to Eliminate Middle School

November 8, 2016

PS/MS 282 in Park Slope. Photo by Jim.henderson.

In Park Slope, there is a school with the rare problem of not enough middle-schoolers and too many grade-schoolers. The K-8 school, PS/MS 282 in District 13, will most likely begin the phasing out of grades 6-8 over the next three years, while simultaneously increasing the number of K-5 students, as soon as the Department of Education’s proposal is approved by the Panel for Educational Policy.

“This proposal is expected to help reduce the excess of middle school capacity in District 13, by decreasing the number of middle school seats at P.S. 282 and allowing this middle school seat capacity to be re-purposed for much needed elementary school capacity,” DOE officials wrote in their Educational Impact Statement.

The makeover will begin during the 2017-2018 school year when sixth graders will no longer be enrolled. In 2018-2019 seventh graders will no longer be accepted, and in 2019-2020 school year eighth graders will no longer be found at PS 282. During these same years, the K-5 population would be allowed to grow by 330 students. The entire school’s population this year is 817.

The proposal is not going to effect the school’s pre-K program of 90 students, not its gifted and talented classes.