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Friday, April 29, 2005

BETTER PUB GRUB

Williamsburg’s Spike Hill is the place for Irish delicacies: whiskey and fish & chips

Admit it. You’ve never heard of a "gastropub." Neither had I until September when Spike Hill, an English pub in Williamsburg, opened. Couple the word with a menu of food from the United Kingdom, and you’ll understand why it took six months for me to visit. Had I known that the place was an unpretentious bar and grill with chef Brett Ackerman in the kitchen, I’d have stopped in sooner. Comment.

IN FULL BLOOM

This Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, kimono sleeves will swirl and koto strings will be plucked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 24th annual "Sakura Matsuri," the annual Japanese art and culture extravaganza - featuring 60 special events - to celebrate the blooming of the garden’s 220 cherry trees. Comment.

COMIC TURN

When it came time to cast the role of intergalactic roving reporter Ford Prefect in the new movie based on Douglas Adams’ hilarious sci-fi novel, "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy," filmmakers didn’t panic, they just sent the script to hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def. Comment.

GOOD CAUSE

On May 3, actress-comedian Kim Coles will emcee a fundraiser for the Learning Spring Elementary School at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Palm House. Comment.

PEEP SHOW

Admit it: we’re voyeurs. We may never afford one, but every time we pass a Brooklyn brownstone we want to explore its interior, observe how its occupants live, and for one afternoon, bask in the garden’s just-blossomed azaleas. Comment.

WIRED FOR LUNCH

Windsor Terrace has its share of creative folk, but it did not have a single comfortable eatery on the south side of the neighborhood for them to plug in a laptop or just linger over coffee and excellent pastry. Comment.

WHAT’S COOKING

Park Slope authors Rozanne Gold and Arthur Schwartz have recently published two very different cookbooks. Gold’s "Low Carb 1-2-3: The Low-Calorie, Low-Carbohydrate Cookbook" offers easy-to-follow, three-ingredient recipes that make counting carbs a breeze. Schwartz’s "New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes" takes the reader through a delicious New York-style culinary adventure. Comment.

DESIGN IN DUMBO

Eat your heart out, Manhattan designers. Comment.

PEEL THE LAYERS

Now that the fine weather is here, get out of the gym and onto the sidewalk with Seth Kamil and Eric Wakin’s new book, "The Big Onion Guide to Brooklyn: Ten Historic Walking Tours" (NYU Press, $17.95). Comment.

City Planning hears Hurst rezone arguments

Several dozen homeowners and developers showed up at the Department of City Planning offices in Lower Manhattan Wednesday to plead their cases for and against a proposal to rezone a portion of Bensonhurst. Comment.

In Dyker Heights, Doctoroff says nabe rezone plan likely this fall

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Daniel Doctoroff said this week that a zoning plan now being tailored for Dyker Heights could come before the public as early as this fall. Comment.

CB6 says no to Indy bank plan

Community Board 6 unanimously voted down plans by DUMBO development company Two Trees Management to build an 81-foot-tall, 80-unit luxury-apartment complex above and adjacent to the flagship Independence Community Bank branch on Atlantic Avenue at Court Street. Comment.

Residents say clean Gowanus before building

Residents of the greater Gowanus neighborhood got their first look recently at plans by the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation’s plan to redesign the area. Comment.

CB2 OKs DUMBO districts

While DUMBO residents and office workers acclimate themselves to the constant clang of construction coming from several new high-rise building projects, the local community board’s support of a historic district proposal could slow the pace of high-rise development in the future. Comment.

After meeting, ‘park’ plan foes see pols as allies

A meeting between local elected officials and established community groups held at Borough Hall April 22 to address concerns over plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park left both sides of the table realizing they have their work cut out for them. Comment.

Doctoroff prescribes cruises, not shipping, for Red Hook piers

Daniel Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding, said this week the city has no plan to maintain shipping operations on the Red Hook waterfront past 2007. Comments (1).

DEP: Ikea asbestos investigator lied

An asbestos investigator with a record of violations has been charged by the city with understating the presence of toxins on a waterfront site in Red Hook where home-furnishings giant Ikea plans to build a megastore. Comment.

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