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Monday, Nov. 5, 2007

BAM gala back to Manhattan

The Brooklyn Academy of Music scrambled to relocate this week’s gala from Brooklyn to Manhattan after failing to get the requisite city permits in time. Comment.

Local planner gets the big job: Carlton Brown to plan centerpiece of BAM district

BAM District: The centerpiece of a world-class arts district that’s going up around the Brooklyn Academy of Music will be built by a local developer, The Brooklyn Paper has learned. Comment.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007

New Downtown Face: Vision of the future

Downtown plan: Downtown planners introduced on Thursday a glitzy vision of Downtown Brooklyn as a 24/7 destination — and neighborhood — putting snazzy window dressing on a retrenchment of the original notion that the Flatbush Avenue corridor and surrounding streets would be a booming business district. Comments (3).

Spelling it out: Artist tapes his anti-Yards message onto buildings

Atlantic Yards: Scott Witter — the curator of Brooklyn’s Other Museum of Brooklyn (a.k.a. BOMB) — has covered an entire brick wall with a caustic message to Mayor Bloomberg protesting the controversial 16-skyscraper–and–arena Atlantic Yards project, warning that the project would result in a neighborhood getting “raped.” Comment.

Politics

In Congress, Clarke last among firsts

Politics: Brooklyn’s newest congresswoman, Rep. Yvette Clarke, has written fewer bills than all but three members of her 54-person freshman class — and she didn’t even roll out her first piece of legislation until earlier this month, after getting wind that an influential political magazine was about to publicly skewer her for failing to draft a bill. Comment.

Cash-rich DeBlasio seeks Beep post

Politics: Yet another person has started dreaming about the day when Borough President Markowitz is term-limited out of office — Councilman Bill DeBlasio announced this week that he will seek Markowitz’s seat in 2009. Comment.

A Republican judge? GOP candidate is running as the anti-Dear

Politics: A Republican contender for a Civil Court judgeship in overwhelmingly Democratic Brooklyn — who has run as a line filler for his party in previous years — is surging this year, thanks to the notoriety that comes from running against a controversial, ethically challenged, homophobic and largely absent Democratic opponent. Comment.

Other Voices

Say no to Noach

Editorial: Voters must reject Noach Dear for Civil Court and choose his worthy opponent, the Republican James McCall. A Republican for judge? In Brooklyn?! Here’s why. Comment.

Teen Spirit is her little mushroom

Smartmom: Teen Spirit is coming out of his shell — but did Smartmom have anything to do with it? Comments (1).

Big deal. Astroland has been saved. Now what?

Letters: Our mailbag is full as usual! Comment.

Begging for help: Slope Rev. has had it with 3 homeless men

Park Slope: Three homeless men have driven one of Park Slope’s most liberal religious leaders to the very brink of what some would consider “Christian” behavior. Comments (1).

Mind over ‘Matters’

Art: For eight years, Umbrage Editions, a high-end art book publisher, has called Manhattan home. This week, however, the operation is moving to DUMBO in order to expand into a gallery and take advantage of the borough’s culture hungry denizens. Comment.

Natural born thriller

Music: It’s been 13 years since Juliette Lewis played Mallory Knox in Oliver Stone’s blockbuster bloodbath “Natural Born Killers,” but the 34-year-old starlet still hasn’t lost her edge. She’s coming with her band, The Licks, to play Williamsburg this week.  Comment.

It takes a train to cry: F-line riders prepare for worst at 9th St.

Carroll Gardens: Subway riders who regularly use the Smith–Ninth Street station in Carroll Gardens were depressed by the news that the station would be closed for nine months for repairs, most likely in 2010. Comment.

Amazing Ross

Music: The annual Williamsburg Live Songwriter Competition draws hundreds of aspiring crooners from across the country, all vying for the glory as well as a $4,000 prize and free studio time. But for Danny Ross, a self-taught pop rock pianist, the competition is part of a much greater and precisely managed plan.  Comments (1).

The Latest Development News

Historic Dumbo? City considers landmarking

DUMBO: DUMBO residents, civic organizations and the area’s most-prominent developer were unified in their support for recognizing the neighborhood as a historic district at a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Tuesday. Comment.

Greenpoint factory ‘penciled’ in as city landmark

Williamsburg: A city panel has landmarked Greenpoint’s Eberhard Faber pencil factory and several surrounding buildings — just in time, one commissioner remarked, to protect the building from “development fever [and] fires.” Comment.

The DUMBO panhandle: Beggars choose rich nabe to ply trade

Downtown: Panhandling in DUMBO has gotten out of hand, judging by complaints from area residents at a crime prevention meeting last week. Comments (2).

So, just how slow can you go? If you’re the B63, about five miles per hour

Park Slope: Bedraggled riders of the B63 bus weren’t the least bit surprised to hear that their tortoise-like ride is actually the slowest in Brooklyn — averaging less than 5 miles per hour, according to the Straphangers Campaign. Comment.

The Lohan lowdown

Cinema: In honor of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s “Takeover” party on Nov. 3, which will feature live bands, beer and, most important, a Lohan retrospective — BAM will be screening “The Parent Trap,” “Freaky Friday,” “Mean Girls” and “I Know Who Killed Me” all in one night — GO Brooklyn has compiled a timeline of Lohan’s greatest achievements.  Comments (3).

Off the menus: Groups seek to curb handouts

Two more groups have mobilized to turn the fight against fliers and menus into a dual-front war. Comments (3).

Art by the bowl

Dining: The differences between new Korean restaurant Moim and its Park Slope neighbors begin at the restaurant’s window. Beside the gaudy awning of an old Mexican eatery is the large front window of this newcomer, its panes covered with a screen of dark wooden slats. Peer inside during the day and a room unfolds that is as serene as a lake in the early morning hours, with curved pieces of dark wood forming a subtle wave pattern over a wall of shale colored bricks. Following that undulating surface, the eye is drawn to a room where tables face a quiet garden.  Comment.

Nick Monte, 90, beloved restaurateur

Nick Monte, a former owner of Monte’s Venetian Room on Carroll Street, died on Oct. 13 at age 90. Comment.

All drawn out

Cartoon: Our cartoonist’s take. Comment.

Monkey see

Event: The Guerilla Girls — those sarcastic, gorilla-mask-wearing, women’s rights champions who have been rousing the rabble for two decades — are finally getting some institutional support. On Nov. 9, the Brooklyn Museum will honor the anonymous activists/artists at its fifth annual Women in the Arts fundraiser.   Comment.

Neighborhood Columnists

Actresses and their ink

PS … I Love You: Our columnist — an actual writer — was so inspired by all the actresses putting out kids books that she now vows to crank out a story for the illiterate set. Comment.

The syringe don’t fit

Yellow Hooker: Our columnist thinks Lowen’s and Dolphin Fitness are being railroaded in the steroid probe. Comments (1).

Cobble Hill on a sweatshirt

Brooklyn South: Our columnist examines Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Cobble Hill” sweatshirt and finds it, um, uncomfortable. Comment.

Doing the Fulton shuffle

Greene Acres: Our columnist looks at why so many Fulton Street stores are closing. Comment.

Dogs parade — no, really

Heights Lowdown: Our columnist dresses up her dog and joins the party on the Promenade. Comment.

Reader mail — a tradition

Beside the Point: Our columnist opens the mailbag. Comments (2).

Toothless crime

Fort Greene: Thugs steal a man’s caps — plus all the crime news from Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s 88th Precinct. Comments (1).

’Easy does it

Dining: Most restaurateurs boast that their chef is tops, but few can honestly say they have a “Top Chef” in the kitchen. With celebrity chef Josie Smith-Malave — a former contestant who sliced and diced with the best of them in the popular reality show “Top Chef” — behind the stove, Fort Greene’s Speakeasy has bragging rights.  Comments (1).

A midnight mugging on Montague Street

Downtown: A woman is robbed in her car on Flatbush Avenue — plus all the other crime news from Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Downtown’s 84th Precinct. Comment.

He leaves bar, then is jumped by 7

Bay Ridge: A 26-year-old man was jumped by seven guys who followed him home after an argument at a Fifth Avenue bar on Oct. 28. Plus all the other crime news from Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. Comment.

Robbed at knifepoint

Park Slope: Two men were robbed a knifepoint by an unshaven thief on Union Street on Oct. 26, cops said. Comment.

Green thugs

Carroll Gardens: A gun-wielding trio of robbers busted into a community garden on Henry Street near Fourth Place and held up three gardeners on Oct. 22, police said. Plus other crime news from Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook’s 76th Precinct. Comment.

Drive-thru rob

Bay Ridge: A man who was beaten and robbed by two thugs as he was waiting in a fast-food drive-thru lane on Oct. 21 later helped police nab them. Plus all the other crime news from Bensonhurst. Comment.

He threw out the umbrella so they chose to stab him

Williamsburg: Two thugs stabbed a guy with his own umbrella on Oct. 27 after he discarded it near the car in which the men had been sitting, said police. Plus all the other crime news from Williamsburg and Bushwick’s 90th Precinct. Comment.

Capt. Vorbeck gives us the 411 on 911

Williamsburg: Greenpoint continues to be the Mayberry of Brooklyn, with crime rates remaining low, at least according to Paul Vorbeck, the commanding officer of the 94th Precinct, which encompasses the neighborhood. Comments (1).

Bard girl

Books: In her debut novel, “Among Other Things, I’ve Taken Up Smoking,” Prospect Heights resident Aoibheann Sweeney turns Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on its head with a modern interpretation. Her protagonist, Miranda, shares a name with the Bard’s character, but is raised on an island off of Maine, not Italy, and instead of running off to Milan, she sets her sights on New York.  Comment.

A tall ‘Toll’ on the Gowanus

Carroll Gardens: Community activists were treated to a glimpse of the Gowanus Canal’s high-rise future when the Toll Brothers development company, which owns property on the western bank of the canal, unveiled preliminary plans for affordable housing, co-op and rental units, and public access to a 40-foot swath of greenery along the canal. Comments (1).

Tasty restaurant gossip

Breaking Chews: We’re dishing up Brooklyn’s latest food news. Comment.

Clinton Hill crime on the mind

Fort Greene: Drug dealing and muggings are up in Clinton Hill, residents say, a result of the ongoing influx of wealth into the neighborhood. Comment.

Power plant’s gas pains

Williamsburg: The Bloomberg administration wants to pull the plug on plans for a massive power plant on Brooklyn’s northern waterfront and is pushing ahead with its own plans for a 28-acre park surrounding the Bushwick Inlet by condemning the property parcel by parcel. Comments (1).

Performance artist Aaron Cedolia

Checkin’ in with: The man behind that weird line of “customers” at Trader Joe’s is unmasked! Comments (2).

Skin flick

Cinema: On a recent rainy Friday afternoon, Windsor Terrace residents pressed their noses up to the glass entrance of Dr. Javier Zumaya’s dermatology office on Prospect Park West. No, there wasn’t a special on fruit acid peels. There was a movie being shot in Zumaya’s waiting room. Comment.

Will Greenpoint museum be next victim of city land grab?

Williamsburg: While the city turns up the heat on TransGas, a smaller landowner is feeling the pressure from a city plan to condemn property to create Bushwick Inlet Park. Comments (3).

Riders don’t see L of a difference

Williamsburg: L train commuters certainly didn’t notice much of an improvement on their crowded line on Monday, the first day of newly expanded service. Comment.

Spike’s sounds

Music: Spike Hill, the tavern sitting on the corner of Bedford Avenue and North Seventh Street in Williamsburg, is a neighborhood favorite for a beer or burger, but something new is on the menu: live local bands. Comment.

The $40-a-month health risk?

Park Slope: The city’s post–9-11 reality hit home this week with Prospect Heights coop owners, who grumbled about the possible health effects of a city plan to install cellular phone equipment on their roof. Comments (1).

We be stylin’

Books: We’ve had hip-hop on our stereo for years now, but on Nov. 3, it will be invading our bookshelf. “The Breaks: Stylin’ and Profilin’ 1982–1990,” a new coffee table book by famed hip-hop photographer Janette Beckman, unearths classic shots of that era’s most significant players, from Slick Rick and Grandmaster Flash to Tone Loc and the Beastie Boys.   Comment.

‘Watchdogs’ claim victory as synagogue construction halts

Bay Ridge: Work on a new synagogue on 60th Street was halted by the city after a new neighborhood watchdog group discovered that the developers were planning to build a structure taller than current zoning allows, along with other violations within the building code. Comments (3).

New Utrecht Church turns 330!

Bay Ridge: More than 100 residents showed up last Saturday at the New Utrecht Reformed Church to celebrate the old parish’s 330th birthday with an old-fashioned church dinner, followed by worship and stories chronicling three centuries of enduring the elements. Comment.

New group starts ‘watching’ DUMBO

Downtown: Local cops came to DUMBO last week to tell residents and business owners how to protect themselves against the mini–crime wave that has hit the neighborhood since this summer, but a group of locals is putting pressure on the police to do more to stop it. Comment.

Pool time at 9th St. Y

Park Slope: A coterie of local pols, community activists, kids and YMCA members broke ground on the Prospect Park Y’s new $5.7-million pool center on Monday — kicking off an 18-month construction project in the Ninth Street facility’s back lot. Comments (2).

Hospital wants to sell a lot

Fort Greene: Brooklyn Hospital, the Fort Greene medical center that has, until recently, been mired in bankruptcy, may get at least its financial health back by selling its parking lot to a private developer. Comments (1).

Jog your memory: On Marathon day, avoid the V-Z, 4th Ave

Park Slope: Tips for drivers on Marathon Day. Comment.

Family Calendar

Parenting: All the action for you and your kids! Comment.

Civic Calendar

All the important meetings you should be going to. Comment.

Free for all!

In the spirit of encouraging a free exchange of ideas, The Brooklyn Paper makes this space available to our readers. Comments (2).

Links