Archive for ‘Neighborhood News’

Playground Incident: Warning to BoCoCa Parents

By , 22 March, 2012, 9 Comments

Got an email from a friend today, forwarded by a local mom. Though I think we all try to be vigilant in watching our children at the playgrounds and parks, this is certainly something to be aware of:

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Something upsetting happened at the park today and everyone needs to be aware of it.
Today, around noon, I was with the kids at Pierrepont playground. We were getting ready to walk out and I stopped about 5 feet from the gate to talk to another mom. My boys were standing at the gate and a man came over and started talking to them, from outside the closed gate. I couldn’t hear what he said but as soon as I started walking over, he looked up and quickly walked off. I asked Henry what he said and Henry said, “he asked if I was allowed to leave the park.” This guy was completely normal looking (could have been anyone’s dad)– jeans, a blue short sleeve T-shirt, about 5′ 10″, caucasian with dark hair. I called the police and gave a description.
This was a major wake up call to me. I am always watching my kids, but I must say, I felt safe at Pierrepont today. There were so many people – kids, nannies, mom’s and friends everywhere – and I was so close to them. But the reality is, anything can happen, any time. The only way to keep our kids safe is for us to be vigilant….all the time. Tell your babysitters too — keep an eye out for this male — anyone alone near the playground is suspicious. Call the police and report it…he’s in our neighborhood and he’s hanging around our park.
Send this to everyone you can think of — I want to get the story out there and get this guy.

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Brooklyn F/G Trains Running With Delays

By , 16 March, 2012, No Comment

image via Patch

Yesterday Afternoon, I was coming back from a meeting in Manhattan. Grabbed the A around 12:30, was making great time, then rolled into Jay St. to change to the F. That’s when things started going sideways. We were alerted to a stalled train at the Carroll St. station for police investigation. Indefinitely. Which made a lot of folks grumble and moan. Including me, I admit. But we got off our asses and hauled ourselves the extra few blocks from Downtown Brookyln.
This morning, I was sad to read in Carroll Garden Patch that the delay was actually a man jumping to his death.Though you hear about these incidents across the city, it’s jarring when it happens so close to home. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. We don’t have any further info, but if you have anything you’d like share, please let us know.

Helloooo Sephora Brooklyn

By , 14 March, 2012, 1 Comment

I was as surprised as you to find out Sephora, the giant time-suck of a cosmetics store, is coming to Downtown Brooklyn. According to the NY Post, the high-end chain will soon be moving into the Brooklyn municipal office building (Joralemon and Court Sts.).

Broker Peter Ripka of Ripco Real Estate, who is representing the Laboz family’s United American Land, which bought the retail from the city, confirmed the deal is in progress. Ginny Pittarelli of Crown is representing the cosmetics emporium in this first location for Brooklyn. Asking rents here are also $150 a square foot for the ground floor spaces.

In the same story, it’s also being reported that Whole Foods doesn’t think its Gowanus location will be enough for this burgeoning borough. Another store will be opening in Williamsburg at 242 Bedford Ave. by North Fourth Street.

Next Week is Brooklyn Restaurant Week

By , 14 March, 2012, No Comment

Dine In Brooklyn, the borough’s own answer to Restaurant Week, kicks off 19 March and will run 10 days through 29 March. Featuring approximately 200 restaurants, you can expect three-course dinner menus for $25, three-course lunches for $20.12 and even some “two for the price of one” brunches, lunches and dinners. Of course, heading to particiapant Oh My Pasta (142 Montague St.) may not yield the same results as, say, Strong Place (270 Court St.), but you’ll have to make your own edits when surveying the list. Here’s where you can expect to find Dine In Brooklyn menus in the Bococa neighborhood.

Boerum Hill
Apartment 138 (138 Smith St.)
Bacchus (409 Atlantic Ave.)
Lunetta (116 Smith St.)

Brooklyn Heights
Armando’s Restaurant (143 Montague St.)
Bevacco (60 Henry St.)
Caffé Buon Gusto (151 Montague St.)
Eamonn’s (174 Montague St.)
Heights Cafe (84 Montague St.)
Queen Ristorante (84 Court St.)

Carroll Gardens
Casa Rosa (384 Court St.)
Chestnut (271 Smith St.)
Jolie Cantina (241 Smith St.)
Marco Polo Ristorante (345 Court St.)
Palo Cortado (520 Court St.)
Provence en Boite (263 Smith St.)
Sue Perette (270 Smith St.)

Cobble Hill
Bocca Lupo (392 Henry St.)
Hibino (333 Henry St.)

Columbia Waterfront
Alma Restaurant (187 Columbia St.)
Caselnova (215 Columbia St.)
Lilla Café (126 Union St.)
Mazzat (208 Columbia St.)
Petite Crevette (144 Union St.)

Bubby’s (1 Main St.)
The River Café (1 Water St.)
Water Street Restaurant &
Lounge (66 Water St.)

Brunch 2-for $20.12
Lunch 2-for $20.12
Dinner 2-for $25.00
at these Restaurants

La Flor Del Paraiso Restaurant
& Bar (491 Atlantic Ave.)
The Atlantic Chipshop (129 Atlantic Ave)
Baluchi’s (46 Henry St.)
Jake’s Bar-B-Que (189 Columbia St.)

Update on Vehicular Safety Meeting for PS 29

By , 8 February, 2012, 1 Comment

Last week, we showed you the result of some seriously bad driving on Kane St., near PS 29. And Monday night, residents gathered to discuss how to slow drivers down in the neighborhood. Maureen Hogan, who hosted the meeting in her home, sent me just a few details to share–and she seems optimistic that something will be done to make the area safer for everyone. Though I couldn’t be there myself, here’s what was discussed:

Chris Hrones from the DOT, presented several options, and a subgroup is planning to apply for Speed Bumps, as well as exploring the potential for other traffic calming measures. he also explained the concept of “Slow Zones” (a program that reduces speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph and adds safety measures, such as speed bumps, within a select area), which might be a good long range goal.

Both Hrones and Paul Grudzinsky from the 76th Pct. were well versed in the many problems in our area, especially on Hicks St and various Court St “problem areas” and were very receptive to discussion of problems immediately around the school and along Kane , Clinton, Baltic and Congress streets, which suffer from motorists that drive inappropriately for circumstances.

There was a general agreement that some measures are needed to prevent future tragedy, and a willingness from our representatives and elected officials and the Police dept to work towards some measures that will accomplish this.

Hicks St traffic calming studies are already underway, but the DOT might try in short term to put up a “your speed is” radar sign, and more signage. The timing of lights requires more research.

Now, we wait, and hope some of these issues will be addressed. In the meantime, you may not want to park your car at any corners!

Northern Thai Coming to Cobble Hill’s Columbia Street

By , 6 February, 2012, 1 Comment

I’m always fascinated by how many Thai restaurants we have in the BoCoCa hood. And none have stood out enough to keep me coming back for more. So I was super, crazy-psyched to hear of the impending opening of Pok Pok Ny, a Portland, OR-based eatery featuring a James Beard awarded chef and outstanding Northern Thai street food. Known for its fish sauce chicken wings, it will open at 127 Columbia St. (in the old 5 Burro and Pit Stop space: so expect a big outdoor component). According to the Brooklyn Paper, “The new Thai joint will open by March, offering Brooklynites acclaimed dishes such as hoy thawt…and egg-and-mussel crepes inspired by street markets in Thailand.”

Traffic Safety Meeting Planned in Cobble Hill

By , 31 January, 2012, 3 Comments

Quick update on our post from earlier in the week. We received this email from Maureen Hogan, we THINK the owner of that totaled Volvo on Kane and Henry St. If you’d like your say about traffic safety, you may want to stop by 155 Kane St next Monday, 6 Feb @7pm.

Meeting to discuss need for traffic calming on our roads around PS 29.
We will have a representative from the DOT: Christopher Hrones, and P.O. Paul Grudzinski from 76Pct.
Please spread the word, and ask people to bring specifics about accidents and near misses that they have witnessed, as the classification of accidents as “side swipes” or “disobeying of traffic lights” does not tell the whole tale as to the reckless driving we have been experiencing on our streets.
Various politicians are making every attempt to come, as well.
Thanks, and hope to see many of our neighbors there! m

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.

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.

Community Chanukah Party for the Family

By , 15 December, 2011, No Comment

Chanukah and Christmas hit head on this year, but the Festival of Lights begins next Tuesday for its eight day stint–so why not start it out right by hitting The Big Gigantic Chanukah Celebration Starring Uncle Moishy? Really, it’s just a nice party at Borough Hall with Borough Prez Marty Markowitz. Come at 5pm for the Menorah Lighting, then stay for latkes, dreidle spinning, doughnuts and presents for all children who attend. “Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men” will play a concert at 6pm–we hear it’s not to be missed.