Friday, February 27, 2009

Appellate Division: Yes to Atlantic Yards

Today the New York State Appellate Division ruled in favor of the Atlantic Yards project in a lawsuit that challenged the project's environmental review process.

“Once again, the court has ruled favorably and the numerous public benefits of the Atlantic Yards project for Brooklyn have been reaffirmed," said Borough President in a statement.

"More than ever, in this economy, Brooklyn needs the thousands of units of affordable housing and most of all, the good, solid union jobs that Atlantic Yards will create—as well as the permanent jobs that will be created to meet the demands of new residents and visitors to Barclays Center, home to the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn’s shovels are ready. Let’s pick them up and get to work!”

Mayor Bloomberg said: “The Atlantic Yards project will create thousands of jobs and generate badly-needed tax revenue. The court’s unanimous affirmation today that the review and approvals processes were comprehensive and properly completed is a big step towards the start of construction.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brooklyn Museum Calendar Update

The calendar of the Brooklyn Museum now can be viewed by either date or event type.

For example, guided tour can be found at here. Or each weekend's events can be seen here.

Based on a study, 75% of the museum visitors now visit the website to see what will be offered beforehand. Thus the searchable database, exhibition information and event calendar are crucial.  If you cannot remember the link, here is the easy way:

Subscribe the event calendar from here

Peeping at Peeing Under the Post Box

Irene Kaoru sent this interesting shot from Sheepshead Bay. It makes you wonder who's watching. You might also think twice about touching the mail. photo credit

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Experience Early American Life at the Lefferts House

Every week at Lefferts, kids engage in arts, crafts, and games just like they did in 19-century Brooklyn. Bring history to life! Using your hands and your skills, make arts and crafts the old-fashioned way and play games that were popular 150 years ago.
Every Saturday & Sunday, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flushing in Grand Army Plaza

No, the neighborhood in Queens is not setting up an annex, but a public toilet may soon grace the landscape in Grand Army Plaza with its presence. Not discounting the need for public toilets, these self-cleaning mechanisms are commonly used as shelters by the homeless in San Francisco. Will they be used for their intended purpose here?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Transformation of Grand Army Plaza Through Viewing Vintage Postcards

A lot of early postcards of GAP dated between 1892 and 1902. The relative abundance from this period indicates that Broolynites’ pride and joy in the grandeur of the park entrance and the arch designed by McKim, Mead and White. Devoid of automobile traffic, the plaza is reminiscent of European neoclassicism; yet the large empty space around the arch declared it American: Here, with enormous growth in wealth and confidence of the late Gilded Age, the order, dignity, and harmony of the old civilization still hold, but on a bigger and more ambitious scale. READ MORE Join the Grand Army Plaza Group on LinkedIn

Friday, February 20, 2009

Walking in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is relatively walker-friendly as far as American communities go, but it isn't all equally walkable. One web site gives Brooklyn Heights a walk score of 98. Park Slope gets a 95. Williamsburg gets a 92. Bay Ridge Gets an 88 and Manhattan Beach gets a 69. Check out the walk score for your neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Plane Crashes in Park Slope

If you have ever noticed a corner on 7th Avenue in Park Slope with two newer buildings, you might wonder why. I was asked this same question and the only answer I could think of was that perhaps there had been gas stations there. The correct answer would have been a plane crash in 1960. The recent crash of the Conair plane into a house in Buffalo brought this to mind. The long ago event was more horrific, however. It was the result of a mid-air collision, following which a crippled United DC-8 careened into brownstone apartment buildings, the Pillar of Fire Church, the McCaddin Funeral Home, a Chinese laundry and a delicatessen. Wreckage was spewed over the Seventh Avenue at Sterling Place intersection, killing six people on the ground, including a sanitation worker shoveling snow and a man selling Christmas trees.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Restaurant - Shitake

A new Japanese restaurant opened in the busy section of Flatbush (at Sterling) Ave.

I was attracted by a big "Grand Opening" sign yesterday and went in to get the menu. Geo and I decided to try the dinner considering there was 15% discount.

The food was plenty and delicious. We both ordered bento with four shumais, 6 sushis, seaweeds, salad, rice and meat. I ordered scallop which was abundant and tender. Geo was equally happy with his teriyaki salmon. We were even treated with a free potion of light salted edamame. Probably it was not very authentic (the dialect between waiters were not Japanese), but good food is good food. I always follow my stomach and nose, not the ear.

The deco has some room to improve, especially it needs more decorative objects on the shelf and wall arts. But the service is good (maybe too many around). But overall it was a very good experience.

Shitake Japanese Restaurant, 385 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Monday, February 16, 2009

March 2009 Programs and Exhibitions at Brooklyn Public Library

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Brooklyn Public Library. BPL has programs and activities that the whole family is sure to love. Programs are free and open to the public. SEE PROGRAMS

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No More Obama Ale

Federal agents have ordered a Red Hook brewery to stop making its popular “Hop Obama” ale. Read the story in the Brooklyn Paper

Miss Brooklyn

Miss Brooklyn by Daniel Chester French sits proudly in front of the Brooklyn Museum, overlooking Eastern Parkway. Miss Brooklyn, and Miss Manhattan, which sits on the right, were once installed on the Manhattan Bridge, but were moved to their new home with the rebuilding of an entrance ramp. More about sculpture by Daniel Chester French

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Peeing on Eastern Parkway

Perhaps On Prospect Park, the new glass apartment building at One Grand Army Plaza, doesn't leave enough to the imagination. For lack of a curtain or screen, one resident seems to have blocked the view into a room (perhaps a bathroom?) with cardboard.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Country, Vodka and Sour Cream

Writing requires research, and research in Brighton Beach ― if it is to be faithful ― requires drinking. READ MORE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Atlantic Station Features MOMA Display

In an attempt to attract more visitors, MOMA has started a new project inside Atlantic and Pacific Subway Station in Brooklyn.

More than 50 reproductions of works in MOMA’s permanent collection is now on display inside the subway station. MOMA described the project as “a gift to the city’s subway riders”. By displaying them in one of the busiest station in Brooklyn, it reminds Brooklynites that the real MOMA is only a short ride away (especially along the B/Q line).

On the way to 2/3 line transfer yesterday, I stopped to look at one reproduction of Jackson Pollock’s works even though I was on a tight schedule of an appointment. New York subway stations are always a place of quintessential New York in that the natives waste a second to step out of it while the tourists get lost easily among the crowd. Having something to behold and breathe, at one of the most unexpected site of New York city, is a real gift to enjoy. READ MORE AND SEE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

Celebrate Women Power at Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday March 7

In honor of Women’s History Month and the second anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, the Brooklyn Museum’s March 7 Target First Saturday event celebrates Women Power. Highlights include a showcase of feminist performers Mango Tribe, Mahina Movement, and Climbing PoeTree; storytelling by Diane Wolkstein; a dialogue and performance by feminist burlesque artists; and a deep groove dance party by DJ Sabine. The Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays event attracts thousands of visitors to free programs of art and entertainment each month. MORE

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Giant Brooklyn Borough Hall Holiday Tree Turned to Mulch

It was always a conundrum to me. Which is better, immitation holiday trees or real ones? The plastic isn't discarded and it seems like such a waste to cut donn so many young trees. I was happy to learn from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden web site that Borough Hall's giant holiday tree was turned to mulch at Green-Wood Cemetery on January 10.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Final Blast?

Don't bet on it... Chuck, the Statan Island groundhog didn't want to come out this year, and found the mayor's tug a little annoying. Sure enough, another snowfall came down upon us. A bitten mayor and a white coat of powder were what remained of a rodents wrath Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Having lived in Pittsburgh for six years before I moved to Brooklyn, I totally understand a recent comment by a blogger about Pittsburgh:

I would not move back to in Pittsburgh because the Post-Gazette's Twitter page only reports on crimes and the Steelers.

No doubt every Pittsburgher should feel proud of the sixth super bowl champion, but isn't it too much when even the Pittsburgh Symphony waved Terrible Towers in the concert?
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl maybe just joking by renaming himself as Steelerstahl and city council renaming the city as Sixthburgh sounds fun; but it is at such a moment that the leaders of the city should realize more should be reaped from the glory of the football and it is a great chance to advertise the city as what it is: a city of bridges, mountains and rivers, world-class educational institutions and a national-level cultural center. Sure, Pittsburgh is not just about football, but the stereotype would have it that way.

I like Brooklyn, a neighborhood where nobody is anybody and anybody can be anybody. Sure, here are plenty of Steeler fans on the night of Super Bowl in a bar of Cobble Hill, but there aren't so many who didn't give a damn.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Help Keep Grand Army Plaza Clean

The Prospect Park Volunteer Department is starting a new weekly group to meet on Wednesdays from 10:00a.m. until 2:00p.m.

The group is seeking volunteers who are willing to help keep the beautiful, visible Grand Army Plaza/Bailey Fountain area irristably inviting both to the public and Park staff.

This is a great opportunity to help maintain one of the most grand and
historical entrances to Prospect Park. To volunteer call 718-965-8960 or

The Red Show: A Valentine’s Arts and Crafts Fair and Celebration

With Valentine’s Day approaching and with the economy in the red, everyone needs a special stimulus package. What better way to please your loved one and to help the economy than to come to the 3-day Red Show: A Valentine’s Arts and Crafts Fair and Celebration sponsored by NYCreates at the Brooklyn Historical Society in cooperation with BWAC (the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition.)

The Fair features high quality and creative hand-crafted gifts – ceramics, jewelry, apparel for adults, plush toys, organic cosmetics, glass works, and home goods – as well as fine art works at affordable prices. The Valentine’s Arts and Crafts Fair is free and open to the public on Thursday from 11 AM – 7 PM, Friday 11 AM – 8 PM, and on Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.