Archive for ‘Design’

Carroll Gardens Gets Levi’s Pop-Up Boutique

By , 15 February, 2012, No Comment

image via Racked NY

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Sometimes shopping is funny in this hood. No doubt you’ll find the hippest clothing and accessories at our upscale boutiques. But sometimes, just unearthing the basics can be tough. So here’s a small compromise: Levi’s Made & Crafted, the brand’s premium line of denim, is now available in a pop-up shop in the back of the handsome retailer, Smith & Butler (225 Smith St.). According to Racked NY, “The spring 2012 collection is inspired by Levi’s catalogs from the late ’60s, as well as the west coat prep sported by Steve McQueen and Jacqueline Bisset in the 1968 police drama Bullitt.” The pop-up won’t close until summer, so no need to bum-rush for your denim fix.

New Kid’s Boutique to Open in Cobble Hill

By , 14 February, 2012, No Comment

It’s been years since anyone has set foot in the tiny storefront at 192 Amity St. Formerly an upscale shoe store (damned if I can remember the name), it is finally getting ready to reopen in a new iteration. This time as Picnic, a kid’s clothing boutique. From the website, here’s what to expect, “Inspired by lazy afternoons in the park and hanging upside down on the monkey bars Picnic is the brain child of owner Lindsey Engler. Lindsey, a new mom and Brooklyn resident had always wanted to open a small, neighborhood boutique and after many years of work in Manhattan’s garment district she decided to make the move shortly after the birth of her daughter Grey. Picnic isn’t just a boutique, it’s a mind set… we want kids to run barefoot in the grass, gaze dreamily up at the clouds and get popsicle stains on their lips. In short, we think kids should be kids.”
Ok, I admit, I thought they were going to be selling sandwiches, but I’ll certainly stop in. Look to see doors open by March.

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Carroll Gardens Plus-Size Store Getting Its Close-Up

By , 29 January, 2012, No Comment

Let’s face it ladies, sometimes we just can’t squeeze into that size 8. At least not all of us. So Lee Lee’s Valise, a plus-sized clothing store at 368 Court St., is a welcome oasis for larger sizes–10 to 18. According to Racked NY, the store will soon have its very own reality show with Stacy London of TLC’s What Not to Wear, giving the hood even more reality TV cred.

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Safer Walk to Pier 6 Being Implemented

By , 23 January, 2012, No Comment

As much as we love Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, we totally hate getting there. Whether walking on Columbia or Atlantic, the ramps to and from the BQE are always scaring the living stuffing out of us. And yes, there’s been some changes, but not enough to make it safe. The Brooklyn Heights Association has been working to make some fixes and recently sent out an email detailing four things they say will be implemented by the Department of Transportation to make it safe for pedestrians to cross the BQE’s northbound entrance on Atlantic Avenue–starting this spring.

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Following a diagram produced by BHA President Jane McGroarty, the agency will: 1) prohibit the right turn on red at all times; 2) change the existing signals to create a dedicated pedestrian-only crossing; 3) add arrow signals to channel the left and right turning vehicles at this intersection. These improvements will make the intersection much safer, and we’re very grateful to the DOT for moving forward with the requests.
Before doing the above, the DOT plans to build up the triangular shaped “island” on Atlantic in the westbound left lane (the island is now marked with stripes just west of Hicks Street on Atlantic Avenue). Because this involves pouring concrete, it probably won’t be done before spring (2012), but “Jane’s Plan” is definitely in the works.

I know we’ll be grateful for these changes, though there’s still a lot that needs to be done.

Columbia Waterfront to Get New Park Space?

By , 17 January, 2012, 1 Comment

rendering via

Ok, so there’s been a ton of crazy construction on Columbia St. recently, all having to do with building the Gowanus Flushing Tunnel. In fact, just a few weeks ago, the Yeung Sun Live Poultry shop collapsed because of the heavy duty work (gaining sighs of relief from many local residents). But now we’re being told it may be for the best. Tomorrow night you can join The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Regional Plan Association and the Cobble Hill Association to discuss the planning of a Columbia Waterfront Park–a new public open space on Columbia Street between Kane and Degraw Streets. According to the CHA, they plan on sharing preliminary renderings for the park design and gathering community feedback. Details as follows:
What: Columbia Waterfront Park Report-Back Meeting
When: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012, 6:30-8:30 PM
Where: The Union Street Star Theater, 101 Union Street
RSVP to with Columbia Waterfront Park in the subject line.

Happy New Year Brooklyn

By , 31 December, 2011, No Comment

Hi Bococaland. Sorry, been having a little too much holiday cheer (which will cost me countless hours at the gym next month), but wanted to check in before the end of 2011 and wish you all a happy, healthy new year. A few things going down tonight if you’re still undecided on plans, so wanted to give you a small smattering of ideas. And of course, the fact that you don’t have to don scarves, gloves and hats (or spend an hour wrapping your children in appropriate layers) to leave the house may inspire you to head out as well. See you in 2012, and thanks for coming back to check us out.

Bar Bruno (520 Henry St.), a newcomer to the scene, promises a little fun with your food–Mexico City-style. Wash down the salty, professionally-charred Shishito peppers and duck taquitos with a $6 Tecate and Maker’s shot special (until 10pm, then you should probably switch to one of the well-chosen Micheladas). Come early with the family and let the children play with the goodie bags provided by the establishment while they choose from the large kids menu.

Bark Hot Dogs (474 Bergen St.) will be serving specials until 9:30pm on New Year’s Eve and a soak up brunch the next day.
The Resolution Special
$2 Salt & Pepper Fries
$3 Classic Dogs
$4 Sixpoint Ales
$5 Bark Burgers
$12 Half Bottles of Blanc de Blanc or Rose Sparkling Wine from Gruet
$8 Any Egg Sandwich + Hash Browns + Coffee, Tea, or Juice
$6 Mimosas (Gruet Sparkling Wine and Fresh Squezed OJ)
$12 Half Bottles of Blanc de Blanc or Rose Sparkling Wine from Gruet

In addition to a $49 three-course dinner, Provence en Boite (263 Smith St.) is offering a Galette des Rois on New Year’s day–a classic French pastry filled with an almond cream. It comes with a crown in case you’re on the fence.

Bocca Lupo (391 Henry St.) is doing a four course prix fixe dinner with prosecco toast. Though they are taking ressies at, they welcome walk-ins and promise to accommodate anyone who turns up. A DJ will be spinning so expect to stay late.

Char No. 4 (196 Smith St.) promises a bourbon and whiskey-soaked night with an $85 four-course meal, with entrees including venison, beef two-ways, and lobster. Brunch starts at 10am on Sunday and Monday morning, though January 2 patrons will receive a gratis chipotle bourbon bloody mary or mimosa.

And, I’m gonna throw this in because a friend owns the place, and maybe you’ll be shopping sales at Bergdorf’s and need a place to put down the bags. New joint Amali (115 East 60th St.) promises to change your well-worn image of the upper east side. In fact, with inviting decor and design (all the wood is re-purposed from New York City buildings) and a menu offering farm-to-table Mediterranean cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients (I’m still dreaming of the crostini with buffalo ricotta, fresh red chilies and olive oil), it’s kind of a Colonie for the shopping set. Tonight you can get a $75 prix fixe meal which will take you on a trip through Italy, Greece and France with luxe offerings like truffles, foie gras, oysters and cavier.

Pool Coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2

By , 21 December, 2011, No Comment

A temporary, outdoor pool is coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2 and we should see it open this summer. According to Ellen Ryan, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s VP of Strategic Partnerships, they don’t know how big it is expected to be, but it will be in place for the next five seasons. “We don’t have any renderings or project specifics as yet, this project is still in the planning phases. We should know more by the end of the first quarter. Certainly we expect this to open for the summer 2012 season. Just to stress that this is a temporary pool and it’s not a floating pool,” Ryan says. I’m intrigued! More to come when I get more information.

Coney Island to Stay, Well, Coney Island

By , 13 December, 2011, No Comment

image via NY Daily News

Though darkness is falling at approximately 4:47pm, we’re here to tell you summer is right around the corner. Kind of. Sort of. Not really. But if you could bear with me and imagine a sunny day at Coney Island sometime in 2012, it should make you happy that Italian amusement operator Zamperla has decided to leave the boardwalk more Brooklyn than Miami Beach. Last November, we reported that the company was looking to gentrify the area–and asked nine longtime businesses to pack their bags and make way for $15 cocktails. But, according to the NY Daily News, Zamperla has seen the folly of its ways and decided to stick mainly with Brooklyn businesses–including Prospect Heights favorite Tom’s Restaurant. Other mainstays will include the beloved Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter (I see your bucket of Corona’s and raise you a paper plate of oysters).

“We understand that Coney Island is not Miami Beach. We want to keep what is already working there,” Zamperla USA President Valerio Ferrari told the Daily News Sunday. Zamperla, the Italian ride maker tapped by the city to take over its Coney Island land last year and open new amusement parks, did go ahead with evictions of several businesses: Beer Island, Cha Cha’s bar, Coney Island Souvenirs, Grillhouse, and Gyro Corner.
Also set to return with eight-year leases are the Lola Staar boutique, Coney Island Beach Shop, and Nathan’s — in a new bigger space.
Rounding out the Boardwalk space will be more new rides — including go-karts and the 109-foot SkyCoaster — and a beer garden run by Zamperla, Ferrari said.

Legos Take the Movies On for Holiday Gifting

By , 12 December, 2011, No Comment

Recently, the Lego folks have been in touch, hawking their movie-based play sets for the holidays. And after taking a look, I gotta admit, they look pretty nifty. I’ll start with Pirates of the Caribean-Black Pearl ($99), which coincides with the release of all four flicks. Your 9 to 12 aged kids can put the 805 piece ship together, then model the mini Davy Jones and Johnny Depp lookalive Captain Jack Sparrow on-board wherever they prefer. Next, I’m loving the DUPLO Brand Cars 2, Big Bentley ($39.99), which is the perfect first Lego kit for the toddler set. As well as building the famed clocktower from the film, it also comes with a Lighting McQueen, Finn McMissile, and of course, our fave redneck Mater. Lastly, we head over to everyone’s favorite wizard–who’s had a pretty big year. Harry Potter- Battle for Hogwarts ($49.99) is meant for years 7 and up, and comes with 7 minifigures: Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom, Professor Sprout, Professor Lupin, Gregory Goyle, Death Eater, and Dementor.

Carroll Gardens Buschenschank is Italian, People, Not German

By , 1 December, 2011, 2 Comments

Peeking into the shiny, new Buschenschank tavern at 320 Court St. (at Sackett) this weekend, I forgot that just a few months ago I had written about its roots in the northern Italian region of South Tyrol, and promptly started thinking about how much I was looking forward to sampling German fare and well-curated beer and wine. Lucky for me, this Italian region borders on Germany, so the food is heavy on wursts, pork, burgers, potatos, dumplings and other carb-heavy grub. As you can see from the pics, the interior is all cozy brown wood, shiny fixtures and a kick-ass tin roof. As you venture further in, you’ll find communal tables for larger groups and hunkering down with your neighbors, as well as some serious comfort food (and yes, they have “das boot” for your beer if interested). The owner is Jim McGown, who’s also responsible for the South Brooklyn Pizza chain (451 Court St.), so in addition to three fondues (two cheese, one chocolate), there’s also pizza on the menu. You can stick to the NY style pie or go for one of the white pizzas, with toppings like mushrooms, arugula, caramelized apples and chives (not all on one pie, thankfully). But beware the Buschenschank Burger, which packs a heart-attack worthy combo of rib-eye, bison, black truffle, foie gras, fried egg and pickled veggies, and is more than a little reminiscent of Daniel Boulud’s DB Burger with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle–though the former is $35 and the latter $32 (that’s right, it’s more expensive in Brooklyn folks). If digestion is more your thing, you may be interested in a few smaller bites with your drinks, like a house-made pretzel with beer cheese and sides like kale with belly speck, braised red cabbage, german potato salad and spekknodel.