Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Need of Studio Space? Willing to Share with Sculptors and Painters?

If this is still available, it sounds like a great deal for someone who wants affordable studio space* to do some creative out-letting. See the description below. You can get in touch with Sarah at sarahjulig@gmail.com.

*This is NOT a living space!

from Sarah:

hi all-
we are looking for a studio mate for the 1st or ASAP--
if you know anyone who needs space , or need space yourself, please respond!
the info is below---
thanks so much!

The studio is located in the "industry city" part of sunset park, just a block from the 36th st station and the express N and D trains.
It has large windows, a door to the fire escape/balcony, and 12 ft ceilings.
The room has a shelf, table, and chair.
The space you will be renting is part of the larger room, but we have subdivided it into 3 smaller rooms with walls for privacy.
Your space is 11/16 ft and has some natural light from the windows.
(we are building an opaque plexiglass wall to give it more)
We are sculpters/painters..

Reminder: CB 7 Education Committee to Discuss Eliminating Kindergarten

Tonight at 6:30 PM: CB 7's Education Committee has the proposed elimination of the kindergarten class at the Bay Ridge Child Care Center on 44th Street on its agenda.

The meeting is held at 4201 4th Avenue - enter on 43rd Street.

Where are the Sunset Poets?

Last year at this time I had probably three people who read this website. And I was one of them. During April of last year I posted loads of poems, many about Brooklyn or by Brooklyn poets. This year, I'm hoping to get some participation from actual Sunset Park residents or people who work, play, pass through Sunset Park. Okay, so basically, I'm hoping for ANY participation. What can I say, I'm an optimistic yet realistic public high school teacher.

In my classes, I can bully people into participating with grades and promises of glowing phone calls home. Here, I can only offer you a brief moment of glory on the fleeting electronic tightrope of Blogger's whimsy.

So here is my proposition: Send your original poems (preferably about Sunset Park) to bestviewinbrooklyn@yahoo.com, or put them in a comment. Feel free to take part in the Poets.org free verse project (which looks very cool) with Sunset Park as its focus; you can add photos to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool. Even if you've never written a poem before, just try it. You'll like it. Attempt a haiku, or challenge your syllabic skills with a Petrarchan Sonnet or a Shakespearean Sonnet (student favorite due to its simplicity and ease at being amusing/raunchy). You could even try a limerick, what the heck.

Schoolmarm Alert: Most people think that anything goes in poetry, and that may be true on your website. However, I've been teaching too long and love language too much to go with that flow. Salty language is fine if it's not gratuitous. I say this not because I'm shocked or offended by naughty words (have you walked the halls of a Brooklyn high school lately?), but because it lacks in creativity and effort. As I tell my toddler, "Use your words." (I have to remind myself of that sometimes as well.)

Anyway, let's see what comes of it. My naive hope of hundreds of submissions won't be crushed if it's not a reality by Thursday. But it would be great to see what people create.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Never Tired of the View

, originally uploaded by rembklyn.

Rembklyn has several very cool views from Sunset Park in the photo pool. Check them out by clicking on the photo.

Shares in New Sunset CSA Still Available

While some of the more established CSAs around town have been sold out for a while, the brand new Sunset Park CSA has some unattached shares. They have regular shares and low-income shares available. The farm, MimoMex in Goshen, has been working with Green Markets and CSAs for several years. They grow many of the more typical vegetables, but their specialty is Mexican produce; they are well known for their beautiful squash blossoms. If you went to the Sunset Green Market last year, you probably saw them. One of the links below includes a recipe for squash blossoms. So, if you're looking to get fresh produce right off the farm this season, don't wait! Write to the Sunset Park CSA for more information.

And isn't their logo fantastic? Check out JoFolio's link on the right to see more of his work.

from the informational posting by one of the organizers:

The Sunset Park CSA is still selling farm shares in the CSA. A CSA is a partnership between a farm and a group of people who pay in advance to receive fresh produce throughout the summer. This is a great chance for folks in the neighborhood to meet neighbors and come home with freshly picked produce from MimoMex farm in Goshen, NY. MimoMex sells produce at the Sunset Park farmers market as well as at other farmers markets in NYC. Below are some links to articles about the farm. The CSA drop off site is Wednesday from 5pm to 7:30 pm at St. Michael's Church on 4th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Street. You can purchase either a weekly share (every week for 20 weeks) or an Every Other Week share (every other week, 10 weeks total.)

If you need more information, email sunsetparkcsa@yahoo.com and we will send you a PDF of our Information/FAQ and a membership form. These contain the share price and other info about the CSA.

Here's a 2004 article from The Daily News about the farm and farmer, Martin Rodriguez

And here's a New York Times Article from 2007.

What You Eat in Sunset Park: Lucky Eight

Duck feet, abalone, and baby bok choy. Still interested in hearing about some interesting 8th Avenue dishes? The review of a meal at Lucky Eight Restaurant from a blog called For the Love of Food actually had me considering trying the duck feet. And I haven't eaten any warm-blooded animals for twenty years.

She describes the dish of duck feet (deboned, happily) and pickeled carrots and daikon as refreshing and a soft landing into the culinary adventure of Lucky Eight. Check out the review and see what you think.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Alive and Kicking (Flicking?)

These fish were still alive, originally uploaded by rembklyn.

You can't say the fish aren't fresh on 8th Avenue. Nor are they expensive.

Thanks to rembklyn for adding this to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ahh Spring! Buds flowering, birds twittering, chainsaws sawing...

branches cut off, originally uploaded by shooting brooklyn.

Yep. It's spring cleaning time. I've been hearing a lot of chainsawing going on, but I haven't seen the City in action yet. This tree's cuts look awfully healthy, but I'm sure it was with excellent reason that the branches were trimmed.

Don't forget, if you're doing your own pruning (you garden-havers, you), bundle it correctly to allow for the chipping and burning of the wood. We wouldn't want the Asian Long-Horned Beetle to have its way with our hardwoods.

Thanks to Shooting Brooklyn for adding this photo to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth Hour is Tomorrow

Tomorrow night, from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM, Earth Hour returns to encourage you to turn off all your electrical equipment (yes, even your computer!) and enjoy an hour of relatively technology free life. Light a candle or two, eat some ice cream, have a conversation face to face, listen to the world instead of your tv/cd/mp3/iPod/PC/Mac and so on.

Go on, I triple-dog-dare you.

Daylight Owls in Sunset

Owls on 44th, originally uploaded by bestviewinbrooklyn.

The supposedly white owl caught my eye because it glinted purple, green, pink, and gold in the sun. It was only when I got up close that I saw its friends.

I'm not sure if they are decorative or working owls. Would owls like these scare rats, pigeons, or bunnies away?

CB 7 Education Committee: Proposed Elimination of Kindergarten Class

On Tuesday, March 31 at 6:30 PM, the Education Committee will meet to discuss the proposed elimination of a kindergarten class at the Bay Ridge Child Care Center (314 44th Street). The meeting is at 4201 4th Avenue (entrance on 43rd Street).

These meetings are open to the public, but they are not hearings. They are for informational purposes only. If this is an issue that could affect you, try to make it!

The Search for Coffee, Space, and WiFi

Despite various bakeries, the search for a "hang-out" spot with coffee and something to nibble has proven disappointing for several Sunset Park residents. Favorites like Gran Via have only counter seating (but many people choose to "hang-out" anyway), bakeries on 8th Avenue are very busy and rushed, and seating at many other places (like Angel's Bakery) is cramped.

Another need has turned up more consistently as well: Room to spread out and enjoy free WiFi (it's short for Wireless Fidelity, but really means you can check your email). These amenities are a necessity for those who freelance and/or work at home. Personally, I'm still paranoid about sending my information through the airwaves in public (picture Mike TeeVee floating through the air in tiny fragments), but many people are much more savvy and trusting than I. And most people are more with it than I am - meaning they have a laptop. I prefer the bulky joys of a desktop.

Many residents of our fair neighborhood don't want to patronize Park Slope Tea Lounges and Ozzie's. They don't even want to travel the shorter distance to Roots or Has Beans in Greenwood Heights. They want to spend their money and time here! So, where can one go in Sunset Park for a good cup of coffee, a snack or meal, and some computer time?

Well, if you don't want an internet cafe (of which there are several in Chinatown), the friendly folks at Brooklynian.com have some suggestions that breakdown into two distinct categories: Room to spread out and not get chased away and Free WiFi (plus some room to spread out and not get chased away).

So I'll throw in my suggestion for Room to Spread with WiFi: The Sunset Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at 4th Avenue and 51st Street. It can get crowded, but the tables serve as good spots for your laptop. Sans WiFi, Puebla's back area (5th and 39th) is usually very empty any time except for lunch hours. The tortas are enough to have for lunch and dinner. Starlight Ice Cream, on 8th and 44th, has plenty of room at their tables as well.

Other options offered up by members of Brooklynian and other neighbors are Eclipse on 4th and 45th, Los 3 Petrillos on 4th and 39th, and Dunkin Donuts on 3rd and 35th. Georges Diner on 5th and 57th has a huge menu and lots of space. Just don't go on a weekend morning/early afternoon. And don't forget the 24 hour McDonald's on 4th and 37th. I'd REALLY avoid that when school lets out. All have lots of room to spread out, food/drink options, and apparently friendly attitudes to those who sit and work for a while.

None has WiFi access as of yet. Also, a couple of caveats include that Eclipse is more of a restaurant, so choose off hours. Los 3 Petrillos can get loud due to the jukebox, but mornings and afternoons are quiet. Some say that food options are overpriced. Also, the Dunkin Donuts can get a little hairy later at night.

Places with WiFi include Sunset Park Donuts and Diner on 5th Avenue and 39th and Maria's on 5th and 38th. There is a warning about cockroaches with the donuts and that Maria's can get crowded. Also, the WiFi at Maria's is password protected, so you have to ask.

Places that have been overlooked? Other suggestions for sitting down with some work (paper or computer)? Other free WiFi that are underutilized?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ikea is the Horizon

ikea, originally uploaded by shooting brooklyn.

Ah the lovely view of Red Hook and Manhattan. All the vista needed was a splash of color, don't you think? Well, we sure have that now.

This is a photo from the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool on flicker. If you have great photos from around Sunset Park, join in and add them.

Reminder: Tonight is the Dog Run Meeting at CB 7

Don't forget! For those interested in Dog Run issues, the Parks Committee of CB 7 is meeting tonight at 6:30 PM. The meeting is at the CB 7 offices at 4201 4th Avenue. Enter the building on 43rd Street.

• Presentation by the Sunset Park Dog Owners – Proposal for a Dog Run in Sunset Park

Two-Fer Sale in Sunset Park

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that two residential buildings were sold as a $2.5 million package recently. They are on 39th between 5th and 6th Avenues, and on 7th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets. And it was an all cash deal. Is someone thinking of more condos? Perhaps the 7th Avenue address would work out, since it's across from the park. But the 39th Street address could have some trouble. Hopefully, either way, the new owner will do right by the neighborhood and its residents.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On the Other Side of Third

_MG_8353, originally uploaded by adi_01.

This is Industrial Beauty. For those of us who occasionally (or often) venture down to 1st and 2nd Avenues, the lines and lines of windows are intriguing. In many buildings, it seems like it's deserted inside until a shadow passes by the window pane or someone actually leaves or enters the building.

This comes from adi_01 in the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool. If you have great Sunset Park photos, join the flickr group and add your photos!

El Bohio #3 Gets the Spotlight

El Bohio moved in a while ago on the corner of 5th Avenue and 45th, and being less than a fan of pork, it hasn't been a stop for me. I have noticed, however, that there are some seemingly great deals for people who want to be social while they eat. The window often has package deals for four or ten people that sound pretty reasonable. It is also getting some Village Voice attention.

So, if you want to have a night of restaurant meals or take out, but your wallet is feeling a little light (and if you eat meat), try this place. It always looks busy when I peek in, but there seems to be a decent amount of seating. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tabla Rasa Presents Two Free Films with Adult Content: Quentin Crisp and Life-Size Dolls

You know I love the free events we have around here...And Tabla Rasa Gallery never disappoints.

from their email:

TABLA RASA GALLERY presents 2 FREE movies on Saturday, March 28, 2009.

1:15 pm The Naked Civil Servant (1975 running time 80 minutes)

The Naked Civil Servant is based on Quentin Crisp's autobiography, starring John Hurt as Crisp, a flamboyant character who publicly declared his homosexuality during the brutally homophobic and misogynistic England of the 1930s and '40s -- a time when this alternative lifestyle was still an offense punishable by imprisonment in Great Britain. The film was directed by Jack Gold.

3:15 pm Lars and the Real Girl (2007 running time 106 minutes)

Lars and the Real Girl is a 2007 American drama/comedy directed by Craig Gillespie. The screenplay by Nancy Oliver focuses on a shy, lonely, socially inept young man played by Ryan Gosling, who develops a relationship with a life-sized, anatomically-correct doll he orders on the internet.



224 48 Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)
Brooklyn, NY 11220
718. 833-9100


Photoblogger Leaves Sunset Park

I was afraid of this. Gunset Park's site has a "Farewell, Sunset Park" entry on March 20th. There hadn't been new submissions since mid-January, so I figured we were losing the person behind the photo-blog. He had some great photos to share. You can still see them (at least for a while) at gunsetpark.blogspot.com. Here are a couple of my favorite photos from his site.

Tropico Has Left the Building - Despite Lack of Egress

These guys were busy taking down the Tropico sign from the orange creamsicle walls of this club at 39th and 4th. Curious, I looked it up figuring something must have occurred to prompt this sort of behavior. Sure enough, there is a Full Vacate order on the building. According to the order, the "cabaret" operating here was for 106 people, but there was "inadequate means of egress also "no" valid COFO "no" valid certificate of operation "no" fire alarm. No adequate fire supression system." Sounds like a recipe for disasters repeated. And repeated.

It took a while for the violations to come to light, but once the Vacate notices went up, it didn't take long to make Tropico disappear.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dog Park Proposal

On Thursday, March 26th at 6:30 PM, a group of Sunset Park Dog Owners will present a proposal for a dog run in Sunset Park to the Parks Committee of CB 7. The meeting will be at the CB 7 offices at 4201 4th Avenue (entrance on 43rd Street).

If you own a dog, are thinking about owning a dog, or if you love/are bothered by dogs in Sunset Park, you may want to attend this meeting. It's purely informational at this point; it's not a hearing to air grievances or support.

There seems to be a split in the dog owning community between people who want an official dog run and those who enjoy the pre-9 AM and post-9 PM off-leash hours. Apparently, with an official dog run, those hours would no longer exist. I could be (very) wrong, but I'll bet it's cleared up at this informational meeting!

What You See in Sunset Park: Rims and Tires

This place on 39th Street always has a pretty decent display. Sometimes the tires are piled up closer to the street. Still, I'd rather buy a "new" tire from Costco; at least then you get a warranty. Now the rims, that's another matter.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Greenwood Heights Graffiti on 5th

I've often said that the graffiti in Sunset Park is pretty sad. Not only is it all over the place, but it's unimaginative and ugly. It's vandalism without any kind of artistic redemption. I mean, at least tell the friend who can write legibly and/or draw well to be the scribe. Well, perhaps Greenwood Heights graffiti will start to travel southward. (Not that I WANT more graffiti; I'd just prefer something less boring.)

These two samples are within ten feet of each other on 5th Avenue in the 20's. The revolutionary soldier peers around the corner at the upside-down-heart-guy. The UDHG could be waving, saluting, or surrendering.

Guest Post: Responding to Dog Poop

This comes from one of my daily stops in the world of blogs, and she's also a neighbor. Instead of just whining about careless or apathetic dog owners, she shares a couple of ways that her corner of Sunset Park deals with its frustration and annoyance towards this scourge on our sidewalks. Enjoy.

One problem we have in our little corner of Brooklyn is that dog owners don't always pick up their dog's poop. They leave it smack in the middle of the sidewalk so we have to maneuver our way with great care as we hike it around the neighborhood. I forget how much the fine is for it, I think $200 if caught. And people still do it!


It turns out this causes a bit of annoyance with many residents. I feel empathy, the few times it has happened in front of our house I have been a tad huffy myself. Also one time Sophia and I also watched from across the street as a lady looked around after her dog pooped on the sidewalk. It was obvious she was going to jet outta there, we made eye contact (accidentally on her part I'm sure) and then she whirled around and took off at a brisk pace the other direction. "Hey!", I yelled, "that's gross! Pick that up!" (I couldn't help it, the anger overpowered me.) The funny part of this story is that it turns out she lives close to me and since the incident we pass each other all the time. I can tell she recognizes Sophia and I too, she won't make eye contact. Ha ha! Too bad she doesn't know that in addition to my verbal abuse I also called 311 on her and gave them a detailed description of her and her two dogs.

Anyway, here are a couple of examples in our neighborhood of other people who struggle with some pent up animosity toward lazy dog owners.

(The other side of the tree had another sign (also weather proofed of course) that said, "Smile, you're being video taped!")

Next up...

Imagine you're walking to the park on 2nd and 55th with Sophia doing the park sign the whole way and freaking out with excitement, but something catches your eye instead of the upcoming oh so exciting park. "Hmmm...what does that piece of wood all surrounded by dog poop say?", you may be asking yourself?

Well if you slowed down to take a closer look you'd read this...

I hope it helps, dear neighbor.

(But if not, I thank you anyway.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunset's Filipino Pancit Bihon is Noticed by The Voice

I've never been inside Sandra's Kitchenette on 39th and 4th, but apparently, the noodles are really good. Has anyone been there to eat? Either way, check out the link from The Voice. It's the bottom of the first page.

Hooray for Spring!

Let's hear it for getting a real spring this year. Hold off the humidity and heat for a while, please Ms. Nature. Let us thaw out prior to melting away. (And yes, I know, spring began yesterday, but today is the first full day.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Little Pink House and Garden

Looks like the color of the day is pink.

What could possibly make this three story, silver-lined, pink-bricked home more sweet? (It's sandwiched between two large apartment buildings.)

A mini-forest garden! Only some of the plants are real. I'm so desperate for garden space that I have envy towards these folks.

Potential New Restaurant: Steak House

I noticed this sign on 5th Avenue and 42nd weeks ago, but then the shutters were down for a while and I figured it was down for the count. On Wednesday, the shutters were back up and the door was open. My neighbor went inside while I snapped a photo. It will be a steakhouse, perhaps Argentinian, and they are working to set it up now. I don't know. Judging from the sign, it might be a while.

Anyone know more about this location?

Sunset Mural on Third Avenue

Red sky at night, sailors delight...so pink sky is still pretty good, no?

This mural is on the Third Avenue wall of the Charles O. Dewey school and playground courts. It's one of many murals that decorate various walls around the school's backside. It depicts the western view from Sunset Park itself. The colors are pretty intense; I like that even the clouds are tinged in pink.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday

A reader just pointed out that Best View in Brooklyn is a year old today. Cool. Can't wait until it's potty trained.

Here's the first post. Still no stop sign on my block. Keep signing the petition, though.

A Crime Deferred

The Brooklyn Eagle also has this fairy-tale-like story of a couple, an attack, and a rescue.

ANOTHER Hotel for Sunset Park-ish Area

The Brooklyn Eagle rocks. Really. Few, if any, gratuitous exclamation points or Post-like headlines, lots of community events listed, and it give Sunset Park attention once in a while.

According to an article published on-line yesterday, Sunset Park (26th Street, which many would say is now called Greenwood Heights) is getting another hotel. And this one is a high-class chain. Watch your back Days Inn!

This ten-story Best Western will be on 4th Avenue. Will it be blocking any views? That's something to consider since it will be just west of Green-Wood Cemetery. The owner is listed as Joseph Yunatanov, and it is supposed to have 99 rooms.

We'll see if it actually happens, and let's hope it has better news items than the Best Western in Bay Ridge, the Gregory, which has had several deaths occur on its floors.

Frogs Lose their Heads, Reveal Webless Hands in Playground

It's shocking imagery, I know. These poor frogs, all sitting in a circle around the sprinkler in the playground on 3rd Avenue and 40th Street. (Playground Three-Forty, if you want a name.) I don't usually frequent this playground, but it was totally empty...perhaps because of the exhaust coming from the BQE/Gowanus just feet away.

I can't imagine that hacked off concrete is a particularly safe situation for kids running and shrieking during the warmer months when water sprays from the center of the frogs' circle. Sharp concrete frog necks versus soft, squishy child flesh and limbs = no good outcome. Since this area is maintained by both the BOE and NYC Parks, hopefully someone will get around to replacing or fixing up these amphibians.

Another shocking discovery was that these frogs do not have webbed feet. Even frogs that live most of their time on land have SOME webbing, don't they? Are these actually Sphinx-like creatures? Perhaps the missing heads are actually human and that's what ticked off the vandals enough to destroy the tiny statues.

Witches Close Out Kids' Movies at El Pequeno Artista

The last movie of the season...soon the weather will be far too lovely to watch movies indoors. The final film will be an adorable children's movie for all ages. It also features the voice of too-soon-departed Phil Hartman.


In director Hayao Miyazaki's gentle, animated adventure, young witch Kiki (voiced by Kirsten Dunst) moves away from her family to practice her craft, but she finds that making friends in a new town is difficult. With her cat, Jiji (voiced by Phil Hartman), in tow, Kiki puts her broom flying skills to work for a baker's wife by starting an express delivery service. She quickly discovers, however, that she can't take her abilities for granted.

249 20th St. @ 5th Ave.
T: 718.965.1406
Fridays 5:15pm
$6 per person, includes one juice box per child
Feel free to bring dinner, snacks and/or drinks - tables are available to eat while they watch!

New Karaoke "Restaurant" Gets a Big No-No Recommendation for its Liquor License

Both The Brooklyn Eagle and The Brooklyn Paper have articles about a new Karaoke bar - or restaurant - going in on 64th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. The owners say it's for business men. I say, judging from the crowd outside the 100 FUN establishment (opens at 2 PM!), you're going to see much younger clientele. Of course, without hard liquor, you don't get to have fun drinks like "cookie monster," so maybe not.

According to The Brooklyn Eagle, the main issue seems to be its proximity to PS 69; it's less than 500 feet away. The school's dismissal times overlap with the Karaoke establishment's hours of 4 PM to 4 AM, and the principal is concerned about her students' safety.

The existence of 13 private rooms also concerns members of the CB 10 and residents. They are picturing less Lost in Translation, and more, mmmmm, shall we say Private Dancer? Can't we have both? Anyway, the liquor license asks for beer, wine, and sake. The CB 10 members voted to recommend that the establishment NOT receive a liquor license, but they don't get final say.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Lonely Heart

Lonely Heart, originally uploaded by herrC.

From the BViB photo pool and herrC comes this little guy. Very sweet.

Direct Marketing: BOOZE

Will this bring in the Maria's customers? The board was already out at 11 AM. Their garden is ready and waiting for the warm weather. The reviews of their food have fallen off lately (except the Chile Relleno, that's still good, apparently), but what about the drinks?

How Does That Happen?

This curb on 4th Avenue by the 59th Street N/R entrance has been like this for several days now. Sometimes there is a "warning" item - tape, can, cone - other times there isn't. I'd really like to know how this happened. Was it road-work gone wrong, the imps underground trying to leave, skateboarders attempting to create a ramp? Anyone know?

Five Floors of Furniture for North Fork Bank

Lots of new bank branches are popping up around Sunset Park. Besides the seeming dozens of Chinese banks on 8th Avenue, the new Amalgamated on 5th and 45th, and now North Fork Bank will show up on 5th and 50th. What's too bad, however, is that the deep red lettering that adorns the top three stories of the building will probably be removed or covered up.
I'm not sure why I like the lettering so much. Is it the "kick" that the Rs get to do? Is it the shade of red that we don't see much anymore?

I tried to figure out why the New York Furniture facade seemed so new to me lately, and when I looked up the intersection on Google Map's Streetview I remembered that the banners seen below had been up a long time.

I wonder if NFB will use some paint to create their logo...somehow I doubt it. They did have a fantastic mosaic at their branch in Harlem, however. Check it out here. Could we get them to put up a mural or other artwork inspired by Sunset Park? Citibank did.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Be An Opportunist

Don't want to commit to buying a condo? No problem! Check out this opportunity on craigslist!

The listing is slightly misleading (AND ANNOYING TO READ!!!!!), but the new Kings Hotel (with day rates!) is a few blocks up the street, and the park is a couple of short blocks away. Not bad for three bedrooms with two baths. Of course, opening your windows and enjoying your terrace is tough with all those trucks...

Pig Heads and Tacos in Sunset Park

Hello from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, originally uploaded by ext212.

This photo comes from ext212 on Flickr (click on the photo to see more); she has a photostream that shows some yummy looking tacos from Matamoros on 5th Avenue and 45th. Enjoy.

If you have cool Sunset Park photos, consider adding them to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool on flickr. We'd all love to see them!

42nd Street Condos - Plenty for Sale

This is the controversial building that started out as a 10-story twinkle in Johnny Chan's eye. Thanks to community action, it ended up halved at five stories; the park view of St. Michael's is safe! These are not your average condos in Sunset Park; they have Friedrich a/c covers. High class. Seven of these condos are sold or under contract, but the rest are available to you! Two bedrooms, one bath, and a balcony for just 350K or so. You can even add in a parking spot for 30K. What a bargain. It wasn't such a bargain for the neighbors on 43rd Street...several backyards sank thanks to the ruckus caused by digging up the former funeral home parking lot for the foundation.

According to the sheets posted in the windows, all 3rd, 4th, and 5th units have balconies (but no 4th floor units are listed on the sheet). 5th Floor units have extra balconies. There's also roof access for all units. With tax abatement for 25 years and low-ish common charges, what's not to love? The highest price is 468K for the 2 bed/2 bath, but that's in contract. After that, the prices drop to 388K for just over 950 square feet.

My question is: Attempting to ignore the unpleasant exterior, does the inside have anything to redeem itself? And what happened to the day care center that was supposed to be housed on the ground floor?

If you have answers, especially if you've been in to see the units, do tell!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Coupe de Ville in Blue

I know it's a gas guzzler. I know it's a parking space hogger (it really is a huge car). I know it's wrong in so many ways. But this car, parked neatly in a space just the right size, is very pretty.

A man and his daughter got out of the car after parking it. After exiting the passenger side, the girl gave the hood a lovingly gentle rub with her sleeve. The man glanced back at least four or five times as they walked down the hill. He certainly looked the part of a Cadillac Coupe de Ville owner.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New York Times on Bob Guskind and the Future of Gowanus Lounge

* This isn't directly related to Sunset Park, and it's unusual in that it's more editorial than observation. So walk on by if that's not your thing. *

Today's New York Times has a short article pondering what will happen to Gowanus Lounge now that Bob Guskind is not around to plunge into the topics that generate joy and disgust and fear and hope across Brooklyn. I don't know about you all, but Gowanus Lounge was a bit of an addiction for me. It still is, even though new items haven't been posted since the obituary his close friends created as a post. I used to check in during the morning, and then back twice in the afternoon, baby's nap-willing. I always knew that there would be something new up since I last checked.

In the article, different people comment on whether or not Gowanus Lounge should be kept up. That is, whether other contributors could or should continue what Bob Guskind started - without his active input. I have to differ with one of the contributors when she said that new posts would be "pushing Bob's work down." While his work wouldn't be the "newest" postings (and thus not at the "top" of the page), his influence on bloggers across the borough has been so strong that anyone who helped GL to continue couldn't help but reflect some of Bob Guskind's work.

I think that if a small group of people close to RG, or one very motivated person, were to serve as publisher, Gowanus Lounge could continue in the same manner and form. There would be a lot missing; Guskind's passion for Coney Island and his biting commentary on irresponsible development have been echoed, but few have been able to match his in-depth and detailed "analysis" of the events closest to his heart.

Featuring the fun items like the "Street Couch Series" and videos from around Brooklyn could continue. Linking to various other sites that have compelling or just plain strange (or goofy) items could continue. Focus on development (and destruction) in Brooklyn could continue. Hopefully the passing of the Gowanus Lounge founder won't mean the death of something that meant so much to him. Hopefully it will mean that others who relied on Gowanus Lounge for information will be inspired to go out and find it, and then share it themselves. How great would it be if more people got involved in their neighborhoods, Community Boards, community councils, and so on? Imagine, something to talk about other than rents and square footage.

I think that would be a fitting legacy from someone who was intensely vigilant where Brooklyn's well-being was concerned.

Tabla Rasa: Artists Talk About Personal Inspiration

Robin Ross. Inside The Green Drum, oil on canvas with detachable metal ring

Tabla Rasa presents
"What Inspires What is Personal?"
Artists Talk - FREE
March 21, 2009 - 3 PM

In this "quintalogue" led by co-curators Robin Ross and Guistina Surbone, the five artists currently exhibiting in Portraits: Painted and Personal at Tabla Rasa will discuss what is inspirational, personal, and unusual about their concepts of portrait painting.

See Tabla Rasa's website for more information about the current show.
224 48th Street (btw 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
718 833 9100

Review: http://pintamanuel.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lost Dog: Sophie

I'm not sure how recent these are, but the signs looked fresh. They were on 44th between 6th and 7th. Have you seen Sophie?

Dim Sum Suggestion: 8th Avenue Seafood

Dim Sum!, originally uploaded by mysteryship.

from the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool on flickr comes this lovely photo of congee and dim sum. Thanks to mysteryship's photostream. If you have cool Sunset Park photos, join in!

8th Avenue Seafood is on 8th between 44th and 45th.

If you're interested in more than dim sum at 8th Avenue Seafood, check out this link to a description of a full-on meal, including a melon-flavored fish made of jelly.

NYPD Scam Alerts About Town

Focused on scams that involve opening your door to someone you don't know, the NYPD has signs around the neighborhood warning residents (in English and Spanish) about scams and advising them about how to avoid them.

Some of the tips given:

* Never allow anyone inside without an appointment or proper ID; even if ID is shown, call your utility company to verify.
* Keep a check on neighbors, be alert to anyone looking to perform home repairs and asking for entry.
* Immediately report any suspicious activity to the police. This can be a 911 call, based on what we were told at a June Community Council meeting.

Types of scams:

Imposter: Utility Worker Scam - claiming there is an emergency, claiming you must give cash or service will be shut off, asking to see a bill.

Stranger Scam: Claiming to be a victim of a crime (call 911 for them, and say so), claiming his car broke down "up the block," claiming a sick family member is in the car, claiming to be looking for someone at your address and needing help with a new address.

The sheets also provide numbers to assist in our vigilance:
Con-Ed: 1800 75CONED DEP: 718 595 7000 National Grid: 1800 642 4272

5th Avenue Loses Blankets and Sheets

This store usually has Dora and Diego blankets hanging off the awning. They would always make my son start chanting "Dee-go, Dee-go" as we walked or rode home. He doesn't know Spidey or Betty Boop, so that little ritual is already a thing of the past. Anyway, get your sheet sets or animated blankets soon.

This store is the latest in 5th Avenue's closings. I think we'll be seeing a few more GOOB signs soon. Then again, there have also been several fairly recent additions to that area of 5th Avenue. Two cellular/electronics stores, another Mexican restaurant, a Lechonera, and a 99cent type store.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Adopt a Pet from a Shelter Tomorrow

Salem Church, at 450 67th between 4th and 5th Avenues, is hosting the Love Wanted Adopt a Shelter Pet event tomorrow from 11:30 - 4:30. Considering the mild weather expected tomorrow, it would make a nice walk down to the northern-most reaches of Bay Ridge.

Adoptable animals are from North Shore Animal League and Animal Care and Control of NYC. There is an adoption fee, and proof of identification is required.

CSAs Are All Over Brooklyn (including Sunset Park!)

The Brooklyn Eagle has an article highlighting Brooklyn's CSAs. Left off the list was the brand-spanking new Sunset Park CSA. Lucky for you, and as posted last week, I have the information about how you can get fresh vegetables for 20 weeks (or 10 weeks) this summer.

A cool detail is that the farmer with whom the Sunset Park CSA was matched actually lives in Sunset Park during the winter months. Way to support organic agriculture AND a neighbor.

From the FAQ sheet for the Sunset Park CSA, here's a little about the farmer:

We are partnered with MimoMex Farms in Goshen, New York, (formerly Rodri-Mex) run by Martin and Gaudencia Rodriguez, and we are very excited! Some of you may have already seen MimoMex and their produce at the Sunset Park Greenmarket during the summer months on 4th Ave. and 59th St. The Rodriguez family is based in Brooklyn during the off season, but once the growing season starts, they move upstate to their farm in Goshen.

The deadline for the deposit is coming up (well, not so quickly, but if you want to guarantee a share...) on April 30th; you need your deposit and your agreement form completed by April 30th to secure a share. Full payment is due by June 1st. The vegetables will begin arriving the third week in June.

For more information, email your contact information to SunsetParkCSA@yahoo.com. Below is the pricing chart for all four plans. These are for vegetable shares, although fruit is a possibility sometime during the summer.

Help make the first year of the Sunset Park CSA a success!