Archive for February, 2010

New Brew for New Coney Island

By , 19 February, 2010, No Comment

We’ve already reported that Italian-based Zamperla USA has been named the new amusement park operator at Coney Island, with rides set to open before the summer season begins (Bloomie is saying Memorial Day weekend to be exact). Now you’ll be able to drink to that, with a new beer called Coney Island Luna Lager by Coney Island Craft Lagers (Shmaltz Brewing Co., which also brought you faves like HE’BREW Beer, Sword Swallower and Mermaid Pilsner).
The lager will be available this summer and the company promises that proceeds from Coney Island Craft Lagers will also continue to help Coney Island USA, an Arts Non-Profit fulfill its mission to defend the honor of lost forms of American popular culture in Brooklyn’s historic Coney Island neighborhood.

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Jacko in Brooklyn

By , 19 February, 2010, No Comment

The Post reports that plans are underway for a Michael Jackson memorial mural on the building that sits above the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, where Jackson filmed the video for his 1987 single “Bad.” The MTA had previously passed on a naming deal and even a Jackson tribute plaque for the station. Check it out, below — the King of Pop and friends killing time between G trains, nearly 23 years ago.

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Vivienne Tam Butterfly Headphones

By , 19 February, 2010, No Comment

Yup, I know this has nothing much to do with Bococa, but thought I’d share with you the nifty, very pretty headphones I got to see yesterday at designer Vivienne Tam’s Soho showroom and store. The in-ear Butterfly headphones, which the Chinese-American designer collaborated on with Monster (maker of well-known headphones Beats by Dr. Dre) are delicate, beautiful and totally different than any gadget you’ve probably seen recently. Styled after her Spring 2010 Butterfly collection, they are embossed with a red butterfly on one ear and a blue butterfly on the other, and draped in a mellow, champagne gold (including the wires). This helps it look more like jewelry than technology (which we women tend to like).
The designer herself was gracious, smart and interesting, telling me about her love for gadgets and staying ahead of the curve with this partnership. Tam also was forthcoming on how her design process works, citing her need to be up to date on world happenings and politics (her Fall 2010 collection has a Chinese Zodiac theme, with an environmental twist). The headphones will be out in early April for $200 and will include a toggle that will let you answer and control your iPhone.

Wanted: Pals for Huge Pooch

By , 19 February, 2010, No Comment

You’ve seen them walking down the street–those huge, scarily large dogs. Tongues lolling, drool dripping, big, sad eyes scanning for, well, it appears they’ve been scanning for pals. Doggie pals to be precise. And according to Julee and Greg Whalin in the Daily News this week, it’s high time they get some.
The couple, who own a 181 pound American-Mastiff puppy (yes, I said puppy) have created a support group called Brooklyn Giant Breeds which meet at the dog run in Brooklyn Heights. Other than just friendship, the group hopes to support each other as well–including tips on how to hail a cab with their pets in tow. Check the website if you’re interested in more info. Or just fascinated for that matter.

The Snowmen of Cobble Hill

By , 17 February, 2010, No Comment

Standard three-sphere model snowman


Now THAT was a great New Year's party


Aqualung


Those are golf balls that were his eyes!


Definitely the best snow penguin in the park


Notable achievements and noble efforts in snowman building, from last week’s storm. Visit the BococaLand Flickr pool to see more pics from the neighborhood, and to contribute some of your own.

Hoping to Make Lemonade Out of Building Lemons

By , 17 February, 2010, No Comment

Tired of staring at the nasty fences, half-built construction and massive, stalled wrecking balls in our neighborhood? So is Councilmember Brad Lander of the 39th District. And to shine some light on these stopped and stalled construction sites (there are at least 10 in the Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront area alone) his office has created a website called Stalled Development in the 39th Council District. Here you’ll find all kids of goodies like project descriptions of certain sites, along with its status, a full background and even a map of where each one is located. Here’s what they say about their blog:

We need to make these sites into assets for the community. Many of these developments are causing real hazards for their neighbors, with fences falling down on sidewalks, loose construction debris that can become deadly in high winds, and unsecured sites that are dangerous for children and an invitation to squatting.
Help the effort to convert local blight to community benefit by providing feedback and tracking the progress of each site.
Leave comments below on a individual site to update us on the conditions. If you call 311 about an issue, please leave a complaint number in the comment.

Not a bad idea. Whether or not they’ll be able to actually do anything is another story. The plan is to hit the builders with a fine if they aren’t doing anything–that way, they’ll either sell the land for a workable price or start the work again. So check it out and start commenting–I’m so tired of that nasty blue fence in Court and Union!

Toy Fair 2010: The Buzz

By , 16 February, 2010, No Comment

Fighting snow and massive crowds, I spent my day carousing the floor at the annual Toy Fair at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Though most of what I saw is coming out in Fall for the holiday rush, I promise to enlighten you on some of the cool stuff you’ll find in stores now and the next few months–we’ll talk about the other things as they come closer to launch. Needless to say, folks like Lightning McQueen, Barbie, Dora and the entire cast of Toy Story 3 were not hard to catch sight of, but there were some interesting surprises as well. Tired now. Going to soak my feet, eat some dinner and clear my head of all things toy-related. More tomorrow for sure.

Is Cafe on Clinton Closed?

By , 15 February, 2010, No Comment

I walk by this darn restaurant every morning and it never occurred to me that it might be closed. The tables are still there and everything looks in place, but I just read a post on Eater that says Cafe on Clinton has been closed for a few weeks with no sign of reopening. Huh. Another reader mentions that it is being shown to potential owners but heard them say the restaurant has “had its day.” If anyone’s heard anything, I’d love to know what’s doing. We were just saying how they have a nice weekly special board (especially lobster night).

2nd Night Added for Bonny Doon Dinner at Buttermilk Channel

By , 15 February, 2010, 1 Comment

Because of an overwhelming response to a dinner and wine pairing with Bonny Doon founder Randall Grahmat Buttermilk Channel, owner Doug Crowell is adding another night on 24 February. Space is limited so give them a call at 718-852-8490 asap to reserve your spot.
And while we’re on the subject, I’m still thinking about the chunky country pate; salty, sweet, maple and bacon roasted almonds; fried chicken and ridiculous pecan pie sundae I imbibed Saturday night at our pre-V-Day meal. Add to that a great atmosphere, a not-so-hip-I’m-embarrassed-crowd, and well-poured cocktails. Thanks Doug for making it special!

Food Allergies and Kids-An Increasing Problem

By , 15 February, 2010, 1 Comment

Have some questions about food allergies in children? We sure do. So we got some exclusive advice from professional dietitian, nutritionist and Bococaland pal, Ann Margaret Kane. Here she talks about how patterns can differ in kids from adults, why it’s become so prevalent and what you can do to make sure you don’t miss anything in your own child.
We hope this helps. Feel free to email me at tobey@bococaland.com with any additional questions or information you may want to add.

You may have noticed that food allergy patterns in adults differ somewhat from those in kids. In fact, the most common foods to trigger allergies in adults are shrimp, lobster, crab and other shellfish; peanuts; walnuts and other tree nuts (pecans, etc); fish; and eggs. In children, eggs, milk, peanuts, soy and wheat are the major culprits. Peanuts in both populations are one of the main foods responsible for severe allergies–or anaphylaxis. Thankfully, kids tend to outgrow their allergies to milk, egg, soy and wheat, though aversions to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shrimp usually tend to linger.

Why It Happens
“The prevalence of food allergies is increasing and probably will continue to grow along with all allergic diseases,” says Robert A. Wood, M.D., director of the pediatric allergy clinic at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore. Wood says the last three decades of research show the number of people with allergies skyrocketing in developed and developing countries, but, ironically, not in underdeveloped areas. At least three million children in the United States now have food allergies. “In these super-clean environments, the immune system essentially lacks a normal workload. However, it does what it is built to do, and finds something to attack, often directing its attention toward such harmless things as pollen grains, even healthy food,” he says. Normally your immune system protects you from germs and bacteria by building antibodies to fight off infection and disease. Food Allergies occur when your immune system mistakenly treats something in a certain food as if it’s dangerous. So, the food itself isn’t harmful but the way the body reacts to it is.

As a registered dietitian who consults for the western region NJ school systems, I have seen an increase in both the amount and types of food allergies. Aversions to fruits and vegetables such as apples, mangos, strawberries, and tomatoes are increasing–coupled with intolerance to gluten, a storage found in wheat, rye, and barley products.

Finding and Treating Allergies
Now that you’re aware of why allergies happen, how can you tell if your child has any? Reactions could be mild reaction or more severe. An allergic reaction could happen right away or a few hours after the child ingests the food that he is allergic to–which isn’t very reassuring. Some of the first signs could be just a runny nose, an itchy skin rash like hives, or a tingling in the tongue or lips. Other signs effect both the respiratory and gastro intestinal system to include tightness in the throat, hoarse voice, wheezing, cough and/or nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. In the most serious cases, a food allergy can cause anaphylaxis (mentioned above)–which is a sudden, severe reaction in which several problems occur at once and can involve many bodily dysfunctions. Obviously, if this is the case for your child, you’ll need a plan for handling emergencies.

Once you’ve realized your child has allergies, the next step is to figure out what they’re allergic to. I strongly suggest keeping a diary for a few weeks and recording the foods your child eats, especially new foods. Also include when they develop symptoms. You’ll want to allow time for recording, as it could take months and even years for your child’s immune system to build up a reaction against something that he or she is allergic to. Unfortunately, there is no special medication for food allergies. The best treatment is to avoid the food itself and any foods or drinks that contain the food. In fact its best early on to eliminate products like cow’s milk and other dairy products until your child is one; eggs until two and peanut butter and shellfish until three.

My Experience
Just because your child has food allergies doesn’t mean that they can’t live a normal life–including dining out and enjoying special occasions. To illustrate how multiple food allergies can affect a family, I’ve sited my own brother William Kane, his wife Lori and their son Owen–who has multiple allergies to food.

At one, after solely breastfeeding , Owen was given a bottle with a combination of regular whole and breast milk. Lori soon noted allergic reactions, but tried again the next day with cheese. Unfortunately, she got the same puffy and swollen cheeks and eyes, as well as itchy skin. Since Lori has allergies, she figured that was the culprit. After going to the doctor, Owen was diagnosed as allergic to dairy and nuts. Happy to have found out early and quickly, the Kane’s take their son to the doctor for yearly skin, blood and allergy tests. This summer, an annual visit showed additional allergies to soy, eggs, and wheat.

But how has this changed their lives? Obviously, it’s most difficult when not in their own home. The Kane’s always pack a bag of “safe” foods for restaurants and now at five years old, Owen has learned to ask if something has dairy before he eats it. But the most difficult environment is birthday parties, where Owen watches other kids enjoying pizza and cake. Thankfully, dairy-free cakes and cupcakes are available and they bring these with them, helping to make the event special.