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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Going Fourth: Brooklyn’s boulevard seems ready for retail

Park Slope: Retail finally looks ready to take off on Fourth Avenue, a dingy thoroughfare that has seen scores of new residential units in the past few years, but has been slow to cast off its identity as a commercial desert between Park Slope and Gowanus. Comments (3).

The Latest Development News

Prospect Lefferts Gardens gets big

Prospect-Lefferts Gardens: It could be the development that finally lights a fire under the long simmering Prospect Lefferts Gardens real-estate market — to the delight of some residents and the dismay of others anxious to retain the character of a neighborhood still relatively untouched by new construction. Comments (3).

Downtown — or Dublin?

Downtown: Talk about artistic license. Check out the rendering of Toren, the 38-story skyscraper under construction at the corner of Myrtle and Flatbush avenues. It’s not exactly the most bucolic of locations, though you’d never know it from this rendering, which depicts one of the noisiest places in Downtown Brooklyn as a sylvan glen right out of County Cork. Comments (1).

MTA to Downtown: We’re keeping 370 Jay

Downtown: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will relocate some workers to an abandoned Downtown building this week, despite calls from the neighborhood’s leading business group to use the Jay Street office tower as a small business incubator and a new shopping strip. Comments (1).

Developer nixes ‘village’

Gowanus: One of the first properties gobbled up in the ongoing land rush around the Gowanus Canal is back on the market, signifying that developer Shaya Boymelgreen’s plans to build a glamorous waterfront community on the canal’s eastern banks are washed up. Comments (1).

Downzone not so ‘Grand’ to some

Williamsburg: A wide swath of Williamsburg will be off-limits to high-rise developers thanks to a City Council vote last week that halted 14 projects, some already under construction. Comments (1).

Green future for old Yard

Vinegar Hill: Even as the economy shrinks, the Brooklyn Navy Yard continues to grow. This week, the development corporation that manages the site for the city requested proposals for a new, green, and at least four-story-tall industrial building at a dilapidated corner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, next to the NYPD’s reviled tow pound. Comment.

Pepper and Potter: a place to stay?

Downtown: A defunct auto dealership that has greeted Brooklyn drivers as they returned over the Manhattan Bridge might start greeting tourists as a hotel. Comment.

City pitches its $240M jail plan

Carroll Gardens: The city will pay a developer $240 million to enlarge the currently closed, 11-story, 759-inmate Brooklyn House of Detention into one that holds 1,469 troubled souls, plus boasts ground-floor retail on bustling Atlantic Avenue. Comments (3).

Plaza-palooza

Carroll Gardens: The developer of a controversial building at the corner of Second Place and Smith Street revealed this rendering, showing his project will reconfigure the adjoining and much-beloved plaza. Comment.

A win in court, but developer still on the Hook

Red Hook: A developer has won what might be a Pyrrhic victory in his battle to build a controversial luxury condo and commercial project in Red Hook — he has defeated the project’s opponents in court, but the real-estate conditions are vastly different than four years ago when the legal war began. Comments (2).

Flower power

Art: It’s not the futuristic nude sculptures or trippy, Alice in Wonderland–style magic mushrooms growing out of the floor that has tongues wagging about the “Murakami” exhibit that opens April 5 at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s the 550-square-foot Louis Vuitton boutique, hawking $5,000 purses and $10,000 canvases within the show, which seems to be the real sensation. Comments (1).

Park without plants

Williamsburg–Greenpoint Waterfront: State officials have turned off the lights on a plan to construct a power plant on the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront — clearing the way for the creation of a long-sought new park. Comment.

Fowl play! Did Gristedes fire begin in rotisserie?

Downtown: Black smoke filled the air in Brooklyn Heights on Tuesday night after a large fire broke out in deli of a Gristedes supermarket on Henry Street — a fire that possibly started in a rotisserie chicken device. Comment.

Atlantic Yards Coverage

Yards foes to sing to Supremes

Atlantic Yards: The Atlantic Yards project is heading to the Supreme Court — if the Court will have it, that is. Comments (1).

Protesting Ratner’s honor

Editorial: The Brooklyn Museum has every right to give Bruce Ratner an award. But the institution should not be shocked when its neighbors get angry about it. Comments (3).

Watchtower: Eye-in-sky is talk of DUMBO

DUMBO: There’s a new high-rise in DUMBO, but this one isn’t residential. Police parked a two-story mobile patrol tower on Front Street between Adams and Pearl streets last week, directly beneath the Manhattan Bridge, puzzling residents of the quiet neighborhood who don’t think of the area as needing 24-hour surveillance. Comments (3).

Circle of life (and death)

For every beginning, there is an ending, and animal lovers learned that lesson again last week. Comment.

Chamber doubles down on ‘15’

Beware the ides of September — if you’re using a 2008 calendar from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Comments (1).

Enjoy the view

There’s a virus spreading through the borough. Triggered by the blooming of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s collection of cherry blossom trees, it seems that no one is immune from becoming infected with excitement over this gorgeous horticultural event, “Hanami.” Comment.

What’s in a name? Marty says a lot

Kensington: Borough President Markowitz is siding with the descendants of Doris Cohen in their battle to get a Kensington elementary school to retain their mother’s name. Comments (1).

Other Voices

Judge for yourself — Abe speaks

Brooklyn Angle: Nobody likes a bad review. So when former City Councilman Abe Gerges — now the newly minted administrative judge at the Adams Street courthouse — read our recent editorial slamming judges for parking on a walkway in Columbus Park, he did what any former show-business performer would have done. He called me to complain. Comments (2).

Readers respond to Bruce Ratner’s Yards failure

Letters: The mailbag is filled with letters on Bruce Ratner’s no-longer-mega mega-project; The Paper’s bias in favor of Styrofoam trays and against Williamsburg 311 users; film crews; and even a letter from Broken Angel creator Arthur Wood. Comment.

Footnote: Editor of Year’s ankle mending slowly

Brooklyn Angle: Gersh Kuntzman’s bones are proving slow to heal, nearly 11 weeks after his Jan. 11 slip-and-fall in a Vermont parking lot. Here’s an exclusive update on this breaking story. Comment.

Japanese hybrid

Music: Perhaps it was fitting that Kagero — a Japanese gypsy rock band helmed by Bedford-Stuyvesant-based frontman Kaz Fujimoto — was playing in a Colombian bar in Queens named after an island in the West Indies. Comment.

Congestion pricing: The Brooklyn vote

Politics: The City Council approved the mayor’s plan to charge car drivers $8 and truck drivers $21 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street by a 30–20 vote on Monday. But here in Brooklyn, the vote went the opposite way. Comments (3).

We need a real supermarket!

Brooklyn South: Our columnist discovers that the fastest way to strengthen a neighborhood’s heart is to feed its stomach. Comments (1).

’Zen’ masters

Dining: I’d heard rumors about the building forever. Perched on the corner of North Sixth Street and Wythe Avenue, completely encased in vertical wood planks, some people said it was a restaurant, others claimed it was a private dining club and still more swore it was a warehouse with some dark, nefarious purpose. What’s inside of 77 N. Sixth St. was quickly growing into a Williamsburg urban legend, like the affordable studio apartment or pleasant rush hour commute on the L train. But it’s a Toyko-style Japanese restaurant. Comment.

Kicking the tar habit: Gowanus Canal site cleanup begins

Gowanus: A highly contaminated former refinery that is “bleeding” coal sludge into the Gowanus Canal will take at least three years to clean before the city can implement its plan to put housing and open public there. Comment.

Arty party

Dining: ”Japanimated” — focusing on the art and culture of the land of the rising sun — is the theme of the Brooklyn Museum’s “First Saturday” on April 5. Comment.

Cash cab

Downtown: A cabbie picked up a woman — but she picked up his wallet — on March 26. Plus all the crime news from Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Downtown and Boerum Hill’s 84th Precinct. Comment.

Spring goods at Sid’s on Jay

Advertorial: There’s a massive display of gardening supplies at Sid’s Hardware, the largest hardware store, lumber yard and home center in Downtown Brooklyn. Sid’s has been servicing the community, residentially and commercially, since 1932. Comment.

Two women, two thefts, too bad

Park Slope: Two thieves pounced when two women put their purses down during separate shopping expeditions this week. Plus all the crime news from Park Slope’s 78th Precinct. Comment.

Light up at Lamp Warehouse

Advertorial: You may be surprised to hear that the largest lighting showroom in all of the five boroughs is right here in Brooklyn! Comment.

Greyhound from Brooklyn to Atlantic City … and beyond

Advertorial: Three years ago, Greyhound buses started servicing customers in Brooklyn with a convenient new Downtown Brooklyn location — now there are fewer reasons to travel to the Port Authority Bus Terminal! At the Brooklyn terminal, customers can purchase bus tickets in advance and find low fares and comfy seats to dozens of destinations. Comments (6).

Attacking teens

Prospect Heights: Two teens attacked and robbed a bicycle deliveryman on Plaza Street East near Butler Place on March 27 — but they didn’t get far before they were collared by cops. Plus other crime news from the 77th Precinct in Prospect Heights. Comment.

Every family needs Moxie

Advertorial: The new Moxie Spot is a unique family friendly restaurant that welcomes kids of all ages. Comment.

Invitations galore at Court

Advertorial: Amidst the boxes of file folders, adding machines and office furniture, there is a great source for fancy invitations. Court Street Office Supply store, across from Borough Hall, offers hundreds of styles of quality invitations for all kinds of events, as well as custom ordered invitations to fit the needs of every costumer, all at a reasonable price. Shoppers can count on individualized attention as well. Comment.

Rare reels

Cinema: Prostitutes, policement and gangsters. Not another gubernatorial fiasco, it’s “Tomu Uchida: Discovering a Japanese Master,” a film series celebrating the world of the late director coming to BAMCInematek on April 11. Comment.

Dirty shame: Residents of housing project must walk a half-hour to clean their clothes since city shut down laundry room

Vinegar Hill: And you thought your laundry situation was the pits. Try walking a mile in these folks’ shoes — literally. Comments (8).

Bad workers

Bay Ridge: Two suspects posing as maintenance workers attempted to rob a 70th Street house on March 27. Plus all the other crime news from Bay Ridge’s 68th Precinct. Comment.

Big haul

Williamsburg: An enterprising perp made off with $35,000 from a home office on Hewes Street on March 30. Plus all the crime news from Williamsburg and Bushwick’s 90th Precinct. Comment.

Shoplifted

Fort Greene: A shopper spent more than she thought she would when she left her pocketbook on the counter of a fancy soap shop on March 24. Plus all the other crime news from Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s 88th Precinct. Comment.

Two murders

Two murders shocked normally quiet South Brooklyn last week — the first involving the stabbing of a man by possible sex partner and the other a murder-suicide. Plus all the other crime news from Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Red Hook’s 76th Precinct. Comments (1).

Gibran finds a new home

Vinegar Hill: Parents at a Vinegar Hill elementary school say the city has “bamboozled” them with its decision to cram the first Arabic-language academy into their building without extensive discussion. Comments (1).

Graphic display

Art: James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer and other famous American artists caught J-fever in the late 19th century, and the Brooklyn Museum has 25 works on paper to prove it in its Luce Visible Storage Center, beginning April 16. Comment.

Gymtrification

Williamsburg: First comes the condos, then comes the cardio. Williamsburg’s first 24-hour fitness club will open in the coming months, marking a watershed (or is that a sweat-shed?) moment in the neighborhood’s high-speed transformation from bohemian to bourgeois. Comments (4).

Truck off! Rigs gone wild

Williamsburg: Kingsland Avenue has become a highway to hell — thanks to hundreds of big rigs that illegally use it as a shortcut through the residential neighborhood. Comments (1).

The cost of Victory: Hospital sells for $45M

Bay Ridge: A local corporation paid $45 million for Dyker Heights’ ailing Victory Memorial Hospital in a private auction this week. Comments (1).

Your family

No one has dibs on ugly red chair

Smartmom: Smartmom has to get rid of the big red chair — but, o, the memories! Comment.

Family Calendar

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

Vito: Inspect the homeless

Bay Ridge: A Bay Ridge rail yard site that has become a haven for the homeless people will now be inspected weekly to clear out the area and increase safety. Comment.

All drawn out

Atlantic Yards: Bruce Ratner will lose $200 million in public money if all lawsuits are not concluded by the end of 2009. Our artist’s take! Comment.

Bananas? In Brooklyn?

Williamsburg: Ricci Albenda tried to grow bananas in his backyard — and even though the crop failed (hey, this is Brooklyn!), something else took root for the Williamsburg artist. Comment.

Ad school does a (student) body good

The choice of the next generation could be a new Brooklyn high school for students who want to become “Madmen.” Comments (1).

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. Comment.

Friday, April 4, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Gehry to Brooklyn Paper: Miss Brooklyn ain’t dead — in fact, she’s hotter than ever

Atlantic Yards: Atlantic Yards architect Frank Gehry told The Brooklyn Paper Thursday night that his “Miss Brooklyn” tower at Atlantic Yards is not dead. In an exclusive interview, he told The Paper that not only will it be built, but it will “look better than anyone imagines.” Comments (3).

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