Must all good things come to an end? The English proverb, it seems, should not apply to dive bar aficionado Tracy Westmoreland yet again. With the economy in shambles, the main investor in Mr. Westmoreland’s Prospect Heights bar, the Manhattans, has started to get cold feet.July 9, 2009 Bars, Night/Life, Real Estate, The Locals
Category: The Locals
Sad news for the fashionable man. Williamsburg menswear shop Yoko Devereaux will be closing after its parent company Wing Son Garments / WS & Company became saddled with financial issues and pulled the plug.June 28, 2009 Culture, Fashion, Real Estate, The Locals
Developer-Shelter Receives More Funding from City than Section 8 to House Homeless, Residents Plan Protest
With the recent controversy over a condo development turned homeless shelter on East New York Avenue in mind, I looked up the city budget for homeless families on David Yassky’s new site ItsYourMoneyNYC.com. On average, according to the budget, the city pays $32,400 per year to house homeless families.
That’s about the same as what the city has offered per family to Avi Shriki and HQ Marketing Partners for housing 67 families in their failed condo development on East New York Avenue in Crown Heights.June 18, 2009 Classic, Real Estate, The Locals
One of the noticeable differences in Brooklyn since Democrats took over the state senate from Republicans last year, is the increase in discretionary funding doled out by each senator in their district.
The majority party – in control of everything down to the office supplies in each district office – carries more weight than just backroom dealings with the governor.June 12, 2009 State Politics, The Locals
The morning after residents of Crown Heights took the Police Commissioner to task for drug dealing, prostitution and quality of life issues in the neighborhood, Ray Kelly was awarding the Deputy Inspector of their local 77th precinct a unit citation at Medal Day ceremonies.
The same precinct where, according to department statistics, crime has plummeted 18%.
“If you look at statistics at this precinct, they are very, very impressive,” Commissioner Kelly had told the crowded basement of Berean Baptist Church. “If you’re the victim of a crime, you don’t want to hear about statistics, I understand that, one crime is one crime too many – but the numbers here are really an indication of the work that’s being done.”
With all the talk about statistics, it sounded like the crowd was watching The Wire.June 10, 2009 Classic, Night/Life, Queer News, The Locals
Chanequa Campbell, 21, grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant. The now-infamous Harvard senior, linked to a drug-related homicide on campus, is back in Brooklyn, awaiting the arrival of her possessions.
Whether Ms. Campbell’s involvement in the murder was criminal or not – the main story line in the coverage of this tragic event and subsequent charges of racism on Harvard’s part – is somewhat beside the point.June 5, 2009 Classic, Culture, The Locals, The People
“The frank depiction of anti-Semitism on the part of ostensibly sympathetic characters can make watching it an unsettling experience for modern audiences. Here the play’s religious overtones are almost entirely obliterated,” New York Times Theater critic Charles Isherwood wrote of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, which runs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music through Sunday.May 15, 2009 Classic, Culture, Night/Life, The Locals, Theater
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Reverend Timothy Wright, the Grammy-nominated ‘Godfather of Gospel’ who was equally known and beloved in Crown Heights and throughout Brooklyn as the spiritual leader of the Grace Tabernacle Christian Center Church of God in Christ. The same terrible accident that claimed the lives of Reverend Wright’s wife Betty and grandson D.J. last summer, has now silenced another of our bright, shining lights. All of Brooklyn, the Grace Tabernacle Christian Center family and the gospel community mourn Reverend Wright—now of blessed memory—and our prayers are with his loved ones as they carry on his spiritual work and legacy.” – Marty MarkowitzApril 24, 2009 Culture, The Locals, The People
Around lunch time last Friday, 18-year-old Chad Wilkens was standing in China City, on the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Dean Street in Crown Heights, when he was shot. An ambulance arrived and took Mr. Wilkens to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The media was nowhere to be found.April 22, 2009 City Politics, Classic, Culture, The Locals, The People
Lovable, bearded bar czar Tracy Westmoreland has landed in Brooklyn. His new watering hole, Manhattans— at 769 Washington Ave. in Prospect Heights— will open on Friday, reclaiming the legacy of his former Hell’s Kitchen dive Siberia.April 8, 2009 Bars, Night/Life, The Locals
“I’ve always said that ‘Brooklyn is in the house’ and now it’s official—Brooklyn saw New York City’s biggest increase in the number of residents who prefer to call the borough home. I can’t say I’m surprised. After all, Brooklyn has more character and characters than anywhere on the planet—and we just added 17,392 more. From Williamsburg to Red Hook, from Victorian Flatbush to the shores of Coney Island, from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Brighton Beach, who would want to live anywhere else?” – Borough President Marty MarkowitzMarch 19, 2009 City Politics, Classic, Culture, The Locals, The People
Fredriksson Fall 2009
It’s fashion week in New York City, but not everybody is flashing their luxury wares in the tents of Bryant Park. Out in the borough, designers and boutique owners are worried about the sour turn of the economy, and are coming together to promote locally produced garments, jewelry and crafts. Brooklyn The Borough caught up with Williamsburg designer Helena Fredriksson, owner of the eponymous H Fredriksson, to hear about her fall line, a new Williamsburg pop up shop and get her thoughts on the future of Brooklyn’s fashion community.February 19, 2009 Classic, Culture, Fashion, Real Estate, The Locals
You always hear about the State of the Union, the State of the State and even the State of the City, but damnit, doesn’t anyone care about the State of the Borough? Well, we do.
Here’s some of Marty’s talking points from the State of the Borough address – via his press office – which took place at Kingsborough Community College tonight.February 12, 2009 City Politics, Real Estate, The Locals
A tipster sends in this picture of Frances McDormand – of Fargo fame – digging through some vintage duds at the expanded Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo this past weekend.
McDormand shot scenes for husband Joel Coen’s film Burn After Reading in Brooklyn Heights in 2007 and lives in New York, though we’re not sure if she actually lives in the borough.
We hope she found something unique!February 9, 2009 Fashion, The Locals
About 1,140 feet inland from the banks of the East River sits the Navy Yard Cocktail lounge, also known as J.J.’s, a watering hole with no telephone and an unseemly reputation dating back to Brooklyn’s waterfront days of yore. A sign on the door screams PRIVATE.
Get past that sign and you’ll find a shabby bar with a few video poker screens and a sassy broad behind the counter. No big deal. However, this one’s a doozy.
Dubbed everything from secret stripper bar to the scariest bar in Brooklyn, neighbors often wear a visit to this dive, on the corner of Washington and Flushing Avenues, like a badge of honor; the bar as portal to a forgotten yesteryear.February 4, 2009 Night/Life, Real Estate, The Locals
“If I had a nickel for every smores party I’ve been to…” said one guest at a Park Slope soiree on Saturday night.
“You’d have a nickel,” responded a new acquaintance from across the fire pit, which was perfectly centered in the frosty backyard of a brownstone on 5th Street.February 2, 2009 Night/Life, Real Estate, The Locals
Like many things, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s price tag seems a little heavier these days. Yesterday, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and Council Members Bill de Blasio and David Yassky issued a statement after meeting with Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Development Corporation, the ESDC and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe regarding the release of the current financial status for Brooklyn Bridge Park at a public meeting this Thursday.January 27, 2009 Real Estate, The Locals
Boerum Hill resident and the city’s Commissioner of Housing, Preservation and Development Shaun Donovan, was confirmed late last night by the senate to fill the role of HUD Secretary under President Obama.
After the city struggled with slashed HUD resources under President Bush, let’s hope that Mr. Donovan can forge a healthier relationship between New York City and HUD, whose federal dollars keep roofs over the heads of many Brooklyn residents.January 23, 2009 City Politics, Real Estate, The Locals
Anyone who has ever tried to take a taxi from Manhattan to Brooklyn is familiar with the hostile tone of a cab driver that generally refrains a Brooklyn address.
But rarely does it come to blows as it did on Washington Avenue and Prospect Place on January 13. Around 10pm, one male and one female passenger in an SUV cab began arguing with the driver, who demanded payment after hitting the male passenger in the face. Shortly after, another car pulled up, the driver hopped out, ran up to the scene and hit the male passenger twice in the face.
So much for a hassle free ride.January 14, 2009 Night/Life, Real Estate, The Locals
A week ago, I received an email about a vacant industrial warehouse on 46th Street in Sunset Park that recently sold for $1,100,000. Each of the 4,900 square feet came to $225. I wondered why a bare bones property like this would cost so much, but somewhere out there a landlord was probably excited that it cost so little.
This is the landlord-tenant language divide.December 19, 2008 Boroughing, Classic, Real Estate, The Locals, The Original BTB
On the day before Thanksgiving, at the corner of Prospect Place and Washington Avenue, Harvey Keitel put back the driver’s seat of a vintage ambulance and caught a little shut-eye. Looking like his role as the similarly vice-ridden cop in the 1992 film Bad Lieutenant, Mr. Keitel awaited set-up for his next scene as Lieutenant Gene Hunt on the ABC show Life On Mars.December 5, 2008 Boroughing, Classic, Culture, Film, Real Estate, The Locals, The Original BTB
Last Wednesday, on the evening of the final presidential debate of this cycle, held at Hofstra University, Senator John McCain alleged in the most cautious terms he could muster, that ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”
Nearby, in the Uniondale section of Hempstead Iona Emsley cringed. For the last 19 years, Ms. Emsley has worked with various chapters of ACORN—in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island—to fight for social, housing and immigrant rights.October 24, 2008 Boroughing, Real Estate, The Locals, The Original BTB
“Do you hear the crickets?,” asked Ali Jafri, a broker for Prudential Douglas Elliman. We were standing on the ninth-floor balcony of a brand-new three-bedroom condominium for sale at 20 Bayard Street in Williamsburg. “That’s something you won’t get in Manhattan.”
These days, Mr. Jafri might hear crickets more often than he’d like. It was the Sunday before the European markets began to tumble, during peak open house hours, and the buyer traffic through Brooklyn’s newer towers was slow. Just a few days earlier, The New York Times had declared that “the credit crisis and the turmoil on Wall Street are bringing New York’s real estate boom to an end.”October 16, 2008 Boroughing, Real Estate, The Locals, The Original BTB