Thursday, October 19, 2017

Picture Of The Day: Orange Westfalia

Orange VW Westfalia  and turquoise sun umbrellas.
At the corner of First and Court.

Meet Carroll Gardener Brinda Adhikari, Who Likes To Make Songs Out Of Children's Books

Carroll Gardener Brinda Adhikari 
Brinda is a working mother of two small children here in Carroll Gardens. Like most moms, she reads lots of books to them.  Sometimes, she likes to turn the stories in the books into songs. Recently, she made a video of herself singing the one she created for the classic Goodnight Moon, the beloved 1947 book by Margaret Wise Brown.
Apparently, it is a huge hit with Brinda's kids and all their friends.
Take a listen. It is infectious and she has such a lovely voice. Perhaps there is a child in your life, who will enjoy it as well?
Brinda, please make more such videos.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

'Home Free': Screening Of Documentary By Marie Vanderrusten At The Brooklyn Workshop Gallery On Hoyt Stre

Documentary Filmmaker Marie Vanderrusten

On Friday, October 20th at 7:30 pm, the  Brooklyn Workshop Gallery at 393 Hoyt Street will be hosting a very special screening of "HOME FREE", a documentary on Jack, the bubble man, who has lived in Central Park for years. The film was made by documentary filmmaker Marie Vanderrusten, who moved to Brooklyn from Belgium to pursue her studies and career.
Marie and Jack will both be present and will be available for a question and answer session afterterwards.

Here is a synopsis of the movie:
"Jack is now in his fifties and has been living outside for most of his life. He chose the streets many years ago and decided to step out of society by living on his own and travelling around the US with his backpack. Four years ago, he came back to New York, the city where he grew up, and began performing in Central Park by making huge soap bubbles. Jack, now known as the “Bubble Man”, had been an outsider for years when he met Marie, a young filmmaker. He was used to be on his own but still, he gradually let her in and introduced her to his world. As their unusual friendship grows, he begins to open up and reveal more about why he made the decision to live outside and what the word “inside” truly means to him.

I could not imagine a more timely documentary as New York City continues to face one of its worst homeless crisis.  Make sure not to miss this event right here in the neighborhood.

Stop By Stinky Bklyn On Smith Street For Some Awesome Fall Events...And Order Your Thanksgiving Turkey, Too

(photos courtesy of Stinky Bklyn)
Stinky Bklyn, everyone's favorite purveyor of artisanal cheese and charcuterie in the neighborhood, is celebrating fall and getting ready for Thanksgiving.  So, dear foodies, mark these dates on your calendar!

Stinky is celebrating New York City Cider Week with the help of  Graft Cider on October 28th, from 3 to 5 pm. Join the hard cider revival, help support cider makers in New York State, and stop by Stinky's for  tastings and samples.

On Saturday Nov. 4th from 2-4 pm, Stinky will be hosting The Truffleist . There will be demos, talk about all things truffle, and of course, tastings of such delectables as truffle honey, truffle mustard and truffle butter. Need we say more?

Stinky is also now taking pre-orders for Red Gate Grocer's pasture raised, organic, non-gmo fed turkeys raised on a farm in upstate NY. Your orders need to be in by October 30th, so don't delay.

Best of all, they are also re-instituting beer and cheese tastings on Friday nights!

And of course, Stinky is participating in  Local Mkt's Shop Bococa, which offers a 20% discount to support local business. More information on that here.

Stinky's is located at 215 Smith Street Brooklyn. Follow them on Facebook here.

Families First Brooklyn On Baltic Street, Holds Open House Tomorrow

If you have little ones and live in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill or nearby, you will want to check out Families First Brooklyn, the independent, non-profit early childhood center at 250 Baltic Street.
Families First has been providing support for families and first pre-school experiences for neighborhood kids since 1983. This wonderful program was founded by parents for parents and the love and dedication shows to this day. Many first friendships are forged here, and the warm, welcoming atmosphere makes this such a great resource for new parents and caregivers.
(Both my kids attended classes at the center and it was the best experience. I am still friends with some of the other mothers I met during those early years.)

Memberships at Families First are truly affordable. So are the 'Practically Preschool' classes. The center offers an indoor play room, a lending library, and many drop-in classes.

Families First is hosting an open house tomorrow, Thursday, October 19th from 9am to 4 am. Come see the teachers and kids in action and get to know this neighborhood gem.

For all information on the center, its classes and upcoming events, click here.

No, New Retail Space On Former Met Food Site On Smith Street Will Not Be A T.J. Maxx

The former Met Food at 205 Smith Street shortly after its closing in 2015
Newly constructed two story retail space at 205 Smith Street today
From RKF 's listing of 205 Smith Street in Boerum Hill.

Since construction began on a new two-story retail building at 205 Smith Street between Baltic and Warren Streets in Boerum Hill, the community has been speculating on what retailer may be moving in.  The site had formerly been the home of a Met Food Supermarket, which closed its doors in the summer of 2014 when its owner sold the property to retail investors Jackson Group, Aurora Capital Associates and ACHS Management for $18.5 million.

The community had hoped that a new food market would be moving in when the new building was completed, since Met Food, though never a pleasant shopping experience, was the only large supermarket in walking distance for many in the neighborhood.

Those hopes were dashed when the Brooklyn Paper reported in late 2016 that national retailer T.J. Maxx would be taking over both floors of 205 Smith Street. That information, however, was only based on a conversation with construction workers on the site and was never confirmed by the company.

Since a new Marshalls, which, like T.J. Maxx, belongs to TJX Companies, had just opened blocks away on Atlantic Avenue, the information made little sense. Why would the company open two stores so close to each other? 

(Of course, everyone knows that 205 Smith Street is in Boerum Hill, but what's a little fib to a real estate agent, right?).

So, no supermarket, no T.J.Maxx. The listing does not offer information on the rent price, but it is bound to be steep.  The new renter will likely be a national chain, since no small retailer may be able to afford the space.
What would you like to see in this space? What does the community really need on Smith Street now?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Picture Of The Day: Magic Needed

Spotted in front of ''Auto Magic" on Bond Street in Gowanus

Appeal From Former Carroll Gardener: Does Anyone Have A PS 58 Kindergarten Class Photo From 1966?

Joey, as a wee lad sitting on his aunt's stoop on Carroll Street in the 1960s
 Former Carroll Gardener Joey Vento
Joey with his wife and daughter with some of the displays of his Haunted Barn Museum

I have often mentioned that the best part of posting about Carroll Gardens on Pardon Me For Asking is the people I meet in the neighborhood, as well as the correspondences with former Carroll Gardeners, who moved away years ago, but enjoy all the news and photos of 'home'.
One of these people is Joey Vento. He and I have exchanged emails over the past few years and I always enjoy his anecdotes from his childhood here.
Joey lived on Carroll Street between Smith and Hoyt Streets when he was young. His parents moved him to 'the country', which, as he tells it "ended up being Flatbush."
He now lives in the Hudson Valley, where he owns and curates the Haunted Barn Museum.

Joey recently reached out to ask if I could help him connect to someone in Carroll Gardens, who might have a PS 58 Kindergarten class photo.  He writes:
"I used to have my Kindergarten class photo from 1966 taken at the Carroll School (PS 58.) When we moved years ago, it somehow vanished and I wanted so much to show it to my daughter. I never thought to take a photo of it, and it probably would have done no good, since digital cameras were not quite developed yet. Anyway, I was wondering if you could post a plea from a former Carroll Street resident. If anyone has that particular photo...1966 school year...Kindergarten...Mrs. Borsh, teacher..i. would be so appreciative and...relieved!!!"

So how about it, Carroll Gardeners? Can we get Joey a copy of his Kindergarten class photo?

Get Ready For Halloween In Carroll Park With Scary-Oke Karaoke And Children's Halloween Celebration

Friends of Carroll Park, the all-volunteer group that keeps everyone's favorite neighborhood oasis looking its best, has quite a Halloween week-end planned. From Scary-oke Karaoke Party to a Children's Halloween Celebration, no need to make any other plans. Just show up at the park and have fun with friends and neighbors.
Here are all the details from the Friends group.

Scary-oke Karaoke Party
at Carroll Park's Robert Acito Park House on Friday, October 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.!
Come by to belt out one of your favorites, or just to enjoy some cider and snacks while being serenaded by friends and neighbors!

on the Louis Valentino Jr. Ballfield
SAT., OCT. 28, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. 
Instead of a neighborhood parade, this year we're keeping it all local to the park, with a two hour festival of fun on our ballfield!

We'll kick it off at noon with comments from elected officials, then we'll open up stations around the athletic field which will offer a whole bunch of activities, games, prizes, music, and treats for the next two hours.

Just some of the fun we have in store: inflating our bouncy house, two face painting stations, an arts area (including a sidewalk chalk "quilt"), a crafts area (including make-your-own jewelry kits), a daffodil bulb giveaway and education station courtesy of New Yorkers for Parks, our book swap cart and refashioNYC clothing/textile/accessory donation bin, a photo area staffed by a professional photographer, and a big ol' group photo from the top of our highest ladder.

This Saturday, Don't Miss The Eighth Annual Smith Street Soup Festival

Smith Street Soup Festival, October 2010
Smith Street Soup Festival, October 2010
I am pleased to announce that the Smith Street Soup Festival will take place on Saturday, October 21 from 1 to 4 pm for its eighth year. It is one of the funnest events in the neighborhood and perfectly timed, now that the weather has gotten colder. Many favorite local restaurants along Restaurant Row will participate by serving samples of their special soup. For a small fee, people can sample and judge all the entries. A final Gold Laddle winner will be chosen and announced at the end of the event.

This beloved event was first organized by Bette Stoltz, the director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation. The "Festivale Des Soupes", as she liked to call it, promoted local eateries and provided vital founding for the culinary arts program at High School For International Studies on Baltic Street.

After Bette's passing in 2015, daughter Erica has kept her mother's organization as well as the Soup Festival and the Smith Street Fun Fair alive.

From Erica:
Join us for the eighth annual Smith Street Soup Festival! We have amazing restaurants such as Phil & Anne's Good Time Lounge, Bar Tabac, Hanco's, Stinky Brooklyn, Kittery and many more participating. 5 Tastings are $7, 12 Tastings for $15. Tickets sold at the corners of Bergen, Butler, and Union Street.
All proceeds go to the Culinary Arts Program at the High School for International Studies!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Olympian Aly Raisman To Speak At Hannah Senesh Community Day School In Carroll Gardens

Hannah Senesh Community Day School at 342 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens will resume its Steinhardt Speaker Series on Tuesday, October 24th at 7:30 pm, by featuring Aly Raisman.

Raisman, a two-time Olympian and six-time medalist, will be speaking about t"he drivers of her success, the challenges of growing up as an elite gymnast, and the values that have fueled her gymnastics career and her advocacy work around positive self-image."

The conversation will be moderated by Virginia Heffernan, a Brooklyn journalist and Senesh parent.
Tickets are $36 per person and can be bought here.

From Hannah Senesh:
Aly Raisman is a two-time captain of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics gold medal-winning Olympic teams in 2012 and 2016. She is the second-most-decorated American female gymnast in the history of the sport, having earned six total medals during her Olympic career.

A Massachusetts native, born in 1994, Raisman discovered gymnastics not long after she began walking. In an interview with USA Gymnastics, she said, "I was two years old when my mom put me in mommy and me classes. I always had a lot of energy so it was the perfect fit!" The oldest of four children, Raisman is the daughter of two athletic parents. Her mother was a gymnast in high school and her father played hockey.

She quickly became a strong competitor, winning the gold in the vault event at the 2009 American Classic and in the all-around category at the 2011 CoverGirl Classic. Raisman also helped the U.S. gymnastics team win the 2011 World Championships. The following year, she won two gold medals—one in the gymnastics team competition and the other in the individual floor exercise—and a bronze medal for the beam at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In 2016, Raisman returned to the Olympics in Rio, winning silver medals in the women's individual all-around final and floor exercise and a gold medal in the women's gymnastics team competition.

It is bound to be an interesting conversation. Tickets will go fast, so don't wait to buy yours now.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Moment In Time: Standing In Line

Oh, the temptations at Caputo Bakery.
(Just tried their new pretzel buns. So good.)

A New Push By Local Politicians To Bring Back The B 71 Bus, Which Was Discontinued Seven Years Ago

Council Members Brad Lander, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon and Councilman Steve Levin

Back in 2010, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (M.T.A.) cut service to several local bus lines and eliminated the B71 bus completely. The B71 ran along Union Street and connected Carroll Gardens to the Park Slope neighborhood and its public institutions like Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, the Children's Museum and the main Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.
The route was popular with older citizens, young families and area school children. To this day, its services are great missed.

In the seven years that have passed, our local politicians have held rallies several times to push the M.T.A. to re-instate the bus route. This morning, Council Members Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon once again gathered with constituents for a "Bring Back The B71 Bus" rally.

This time around, our politicians are pushing for an extended route that would pass through Red Hook and end in Manhattan.

According to a press release, the new B71+ route would:
● Connect seniors, students, families, NYCHA residents, and people with disabilities to schools, stores, and Brooklyn’s cultural institutions: Nine schools, three senior centers, multiple public housing developments, and Brooklyn’s best cultural institutions (Brooklyn Museum, BPL Central Branch, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum) would be served by this new route. That means better access and increased mobility for residents of Red Hook, Columbia Waterfront, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Crown Heights.

● Provide a new connection through Red Hook to Lower Manhattan: Red Hook is not served by any subway stop, and only by two local Brooklyn bus routes. A direct connection between Red Hook and Manhattan would make 90,000 more jobs accessible for Red Hook commuters within a one-hour transit zone. And everyone along the route would gain a convenient new commuting route to Lower Manhattan.

● Serve a growing population: Since the elimination of the B71, population around the route has grown by more than 10% -- much more than the increase for NYC or Brooklyn overall -- but no new transit capacity has been added. The potential rezoning of Gowanus would mean even more demand.

The plan also has the support of Congresswoman Velazquez, Council Member Laurie Cumbo,  Council Members Menchaca,  and community partners like the Eileen Dugan Senior Center, Gowanus Alliance, TWU Local 100, Transportation Alternatives, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Fifth Avenue Committee, Gowanus Alliance, Park Slope Civic Council, Red Hook Initiative and many.

Why our elected officials think that there may be a chance now to re-instate the bus route after falling on deaf ears with the M.T.A. for the past seven years, is unclear.  The main push for this latest effort may have a lot to do with the proposed re-zoning of the Gowanus Corridor.  One of the big concerns voiced by the community during New York City Planning Department's  Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study 'listening tour" was that the local subway stations were already overcrowded. Many felt that more residents in Gowanus would make a bad situation worse.
Since this proposed B 71 + route would go all the way to Manhattan, it would certainly accommodate some of the new residents in Gowanus.

Remember that  our politicians holding another "Bring Back The B 71 Bus"  rally and posing for a photo op is NOT the same as getting the bus back. We need to make sure that they continue to fight for it to make it happen.

To add your name to the  petition, please click here.

Miele, The Court Street Appliance Store Cat, Needs A New Home.

Miele, the cat.
One of Carroll Gardens' friendliest store cats its urgently looking for a new home. Miele, a female tabby with white markings, has delighted many in the neighborhood by sunbathing in the shop window of Expert Appliance Center at 293 Court Street for the past few years.
On November 1, the appliance store will be moving to  212 Smith Street, but the landlord at the new location, who lives in the building, is allergic to cats. So is the son of the appliance store owner, otherwise, he would take Miele to his home.

Miele, who is named after the German manufacturer, whose appliances are sold at the store, is a real character and as friendly as can be. She is is 7 years old.  Her only quirk: she does not like dogs.
The owner and the employees at the store are committed to finding her the best home.

Any wonderful locals out there who would like to adopt Miele and keep her right here in the neighborhood?  Please, please?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Moment In Time: The Haircut

"Persons Of Interest" on Smith Street
Still love the big ocean mural on the back wall. It remains from Sal, the barber,
who used to have his business there before.

South Brooklyn Children's Garden To Host Its Sixth Annual Harvest Festival This Week-End

(photo credit: South Brooklyn Children's Garden)
South Brooklyn Children's Garden at 204 Columbia Street will be celebrating its sixth annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 14, from 10 am to 2pm. The event is free and open to the public and a wonderful opportunity to meet others in the community. So mark your calendar and Mark your calendars and plan to bring your family.

From the Garden:
The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden (the Garden), a community garden and urban farming cooperative at 204 Columbia Street in the Columbia Waterfront neighborhood of Brooklyn, announced today that it will host its annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 14, from 10 am to 2 pm. Now in its sixth year, the Harvest Festival, which is free and open to the public, brings together community members of all ages to celebrate the autumn harvest and the role of urban farming in sustainable agriculture.
This year’s festival will include:
-Bake sale
-Pumpkin patch and decorating
-Face painting
-Live music from The Dad Beats
-Slices from House of Pizza and Calzones

Doors open at 10am and the Dad Beats perform at 12:30. This year’s Harvest Festival is made possible with the generous support of House of Pizza and Calzones.

Get more detail on South Brooklyn Children's Garden web site here and stay in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Workshop Gallery Artists Foundation On Hoyt Street Hosting A Bauhaus Evening On The Life Of Photographer Lucia Moholy

Self-portrait, Lucia Moholy, 1930. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016.
(Lucia Moholy Photograph by Michael von Graffenried 1987)

The Workshop Gallery Artists Foundation at Brooklyn Workshop Gallery is hosting a special Bauhaus evening this coming Friday, October 13, 2017 7:00 p.m. on the life of Lucia Moholy, whose photography documented the architecture of the Bauhaus. The lecture is lead by
Meghan Forbes, a C-MAP fellow for Central and Eastern Europe at the Museum of Modern Art and a visiting scholar at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.

From the Foundation:
In 1933, the Prague born German Jewish photographer Lucia Moholy was forced to flee Berlin with the rise of National Socialism. She left behind most of her worldly possessions, including hundreds of glass negatives of images that she had taken at the Bauhaus school of architecture and design; in essence, her life’s work. It would be decades before she received but a partial restitution, as her work was stolen and reproduced without her consent by the very men in whose care it had been left.
Meghan Forbes will talk about the life of Lucia Moholy, from her origins in Prague, years at the Bauhaus, failed attempts at immigration to the United States during World War II, and eventual settlement in Switzerland, where she lived until her death in 1989 at the age of 95. The talk will feature a glimpse into Lucia Moholy’s remaining archive, including photographs, letters, and diary entries, to tell the story of a woman whose important place in the history of twentieth century Modernism has been subsumed by her male counterparts.
The discussion will be followed by a screening of a ballet created by another Bauhaus member, Oskar Schlemmer.

A Bauhaus Evening
Friday, October 13, 2017 7:00 p.m.
at the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery
393 Hoyt Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets
Light refreshments served - $10 suggested donation