Monday, October 20, 2014

Kapri Jewelry: Another Long Time Neighborhood Business Forced To Close Because Of High Rents

IMG_1377 1
IMG_1378 1
IMG_1379 1
IMG_1375 2
IMG_1376 1
IMG_1374 2
IMG_1380 1
Kapri Jewelry at 198 Court Street in Cobble Hill just recently closed its doors and the storefront is now for rent..  A sign on the door indicates that the closure was a result of "'excessive rent."
Granted,  Kapri certainly did not carry fine pieces of jewelry, but if you needed a gold chain repaired or a new battery for your watch, this was the place to go.
Luckily, the owner promises to continue offering repair services to the community as soon as he finds a new location.  In the meantime, he can be contacted at the number on the flyer above.

Meanwhile, North Star Real Estate Group  has listed the storefront for $5,000 a month.

TD Bank Branch Will Open In New Union Sackett Building At 340 Court Street This Saturday

The windows of the ground floor commercial space at 340 Court Street in the new Union/ Sackett building have been plastered with TD Bank posters announcing a new branch opening for quite a few months now.
Apparently, the branch will officially open its doors this coming Saturday, October 25th.  TDBank is sending out invitations to local residents for the grand celebration with a promise of gifts for the first 100 customers.
Forget the gifts.  Most of us are probably more interested in finding out if this branch has a free coin counting machine.

By the way, what is your experience with our neighborhood banks? Does one stand out for customer service?
And here is another question for you: Why don't most banks with branches in Carroll Gardens offer mortgages or home equity loans for three family homes in a neighborhood full of such buildings?

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Brooklyn Spirits": A Very Special Book Launch

Last night at Powerhouse Arena in Dumbo, Brooklyn
Peter Thomas Fornatale and Chris Wertz
Signing copies of 'Brooklyn Spirits'
Chris Wertz, Max Kelly and Peter Thomas Fornatale 
Photographer Max Kelly with his super proud mama.

This being Friday, perhaps you may allow me to slip from neighborhood blogger into the role of very proud mother just this once.

Last night, I attended a very special book launch for "Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World's Hippest Borough" at PowerHouse Arena in Dumbo. Special, because all the photographs in this book were taken by my son Max Kelly.

Co-authored by Peter Thomas Fornatale and Chris Wertz and published by Powerhouse Books, 'Brooklyn Spirits' highlights many of the borough's new craft distilleries like Breukelen Distilling, Greenhook Ginsmiths and Noble Experiment and the producers behind these Brooklyn start-ups.
Photographs  for 'Brooklyn Spirits' were taken on location at the distilleries and in some of the most popular watering holes in Brooklyn.  Most of the 95 cocktail recipes contributed by the authors, distillers and borough bartenders have been beautifully photographed.

The New York Times writes about "Brooklyn Spirits"
"Lavishly photographed, the book chronicles the experiences of a dozen start-up whiskey and liqueur makers in the borough, including Breukelen Distilling, Van Brunt Stillhouse, Cacao Prieto, Greenhook Ginsmiths and Uncouth Vermouth. Threaded throughout are stories about the bars that use the spirits and the cocktails they create, like the Crown Heights Negroni and the Gravesend Smash. It includes several recipes and an excellent index of the cocktails."

I wonder what Grandpa Kelly would think of all this. Back in the days, he owned the White Shutter Inn at 98 Wyckoff Avenue in Bushwick. Though he probably didn't serve fancy spirits and drinks like those photographed by his grandson Max, I know that he would have been as proud of him as I am.

The book is available at Powerhouse Arena here and from Amazon here.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Moment In Time: Cyclists

Arriving at their destination.
Henry Street in front of Farmacy.

NBC's "The Slap" Filming On Smith Street Tomorrow

IMG_1373 2
IMG_1372 2
IMG_1371 2
Seems like NBC is filming in the neighbor hood twice. Today, "The Blacklist" is shooting a scene
on 4th Place between Court and Clinton Streets.
Tomorrow, "The Slap", a new show with Peter Sarsgaard and Mary-Louise Parker will be shooting on Smith Street near Atlantic Avenue.
Don't forget to one your car by tonight.

3rd Annual Harvest Festival and Pie Contest At South Brooklyn Children's Garden Coming Up

3rd Annual Harvest Festival_sign_140910 copy
photo credit courtesy South Brooklyn Children's Garden

Here is another fun fall event in the community.  This one will be hosted by South Brooklyn Children's Garden on Columbia Street.  Mark your calendars and plan to bring your family.

3rd Annual Harvest Festival and Pie Contest 
South Brooklyn Children's Garden
Saturday, October 25 | 10 am – 1 pm 
(rain date Sunday, October 26)
204 Columbia Street (Corner of Sackett and Columbia Streets)

The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden is celebrating the autumn harvest and the role a farm plays in our food cultivation.
As our crops mature during October, autumn crops are ripe and read to eat straight from the garden. There's no better time than now to demonstrate the importance of farm to table eating and for children to learn about our food sources. The neighborhood, schools and children's programs have proven to be fantastic partners and we are excited to celebrate with them.
Harvest Festival activities will include:
Arts and Crafts
Harvest Pie Contest with prizes (judging at 12:30)
Live Music by the Dad Beats
Apple Cider Press
Pedi-cab Hay Rides
Pumpkin Patch
Raffle with great prizes!!

This event is open to the public and free.

'Sprout San Francisco" Celebrates Grand Opening Of New Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Location

IMG_1295 1
Just recently, Sprout San Francisco, a natural and organic children’s boutique with outposts in San Francisco, Chicago and Manhattan, opened in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. The new store at 376 Court Street features items made of organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for infants and toddlers, as well as toys, furniture, nursery decor, and baby care products.
To help celebrate the new store, join Spout Brooklyn this Saturday for a grand opening party, featuring fun events and prizes.
Here is more information:

11:00am - 6:00pm

Join us to celebrate the opening of our newest store!

11:15am - 12:15pm: Rockin with Andy

12:00pm - 3:00pm: Face Painting provided by Urban Sitter

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lil Yogis yoga class for toddlers

2:00pm - 3:00pm: music with Moosiki Kids

The first 50 customers will receive a gift bag stocked with goodies, and there will be a number of major raffle prices including:

A Naturepedic organic crib mattress, a Bumbleride flite stroller, an Honest Company diaper cake, a Nook lilypad mattress, and a bundle of Green Toys!

We'll be serving juice from Bundle Organics and other yummy treats!

Expect More Banging From Lightstone Group's Gowanus Site For Next Two Days

Rendering Of Lightstone Group's Mega 700-unit development at 363-365 Bond Street in Gowanus
view of 363 and 365 Bond Street between Carroll Street and 2nd Street 
After driving more than 1200 piles into the ground on one of their two development sites at 365 Bond Street this past summer, Lightstone Group will be doing some additional banging today and tomorrow.
Voice Of Gowanus, a forum for our neighbors in Gowanus/ Carroll Gardens who want to know more about developments at the proposed Lightstone project on Bond Street, has posted the following information:

"On Thursday, October 16th and Friday, October 17th Lightstone’s construction team will be driving 18 piles required to be installed to support necessary utility infrastructure improvements. The work will be completed over the two-day period. The pile driving will take place between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00pm."

Banging started promptly at 8 AM this morning.
Don't expect the noise to stop any time soon. Over 1,000 piles will need to be driven into the neighboring site at 363 Bond Street.
The piles are needed to stabilize the water logged ground near our toxic canal to be able to build Lightstone's 700-unit, 12 story mega development.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Best Comment Of The Day: Once A Funeral Home

Philip Van Cott left the following comment on the post: "Blue&Black, The New Barber Of Court Street":
That was a funeral parlor when I was a kid. The chairs facing the mirror was where the deceased was laid out, coffin , flowers and all. It was one step down from the sidewalk and the window was always open in the summer revealing the coffin and the body within. I always looked the other way while passing that window . It still gives me the creeps.

Fun October Events At Carroll Gardens Greenmarket

The Carroll Gardens Greenmarket at Carroll Street and Smith Street has two fun events planned in October.
Be sure to check them out after your weekly shopping.

Sunday, October 19th, 11am
Apple Pie Bake Off

Think you have an homemade Apple Pie worthy of awards? Sign up for this Sunday's Apple Pie Bake Off by sending an e-mail to Natalia the market manager at
Don't feel like baking? Be the judge by sampling them all!

Sunday, October 26th, 11:00am to 1:00pm
"Harvest Pumpkin Decoration and portrait day"
Enjoy a day at the Greenmarket with Pumpkin painting and decorating, apple ID activities and portraits taken at our fall/ halloween stage.

Please let others know.

A Moment In Time: On Top Of The Rock

Playtime in Carroll Park

5th Annual Smith Street Soup Festival Is This Saturday

Smith Street Soup Festival, October 2010
Smith Street Soup Festival, October 2010
Now in its 5th year, the Smith Street "Festivale Des Soupes" has become a favorite neighborhood event. Organized by South Brooklyn Local Development Corporations (SBLDC), the Food Festival will allow people to sample and judge about 25 soups made by some of Smith Street's best eateries as they stroll along the sidewalks of Smith Street from Atlantic Avenue to Second Street.

Not only is it drawing bigger crowds every year, but the list of participating eateries is getting longer.
So come early. Below, please find all the pertaining information.

A 14 Block Soup Crawl On Smith Street

Saturday October 18th, 2014
(Raindate Sunday 10/19/14)
1PM to 4PM

Thousands of people come to Smith Street to enjoy this Family Friendly Foodie Event. Some 20 of our Restaurants & Food Shops simmer up their favorite soup recipe in sufficient quantity to serve at least 300 4oz tasting cups each, and provide a person with a smiling face to collect the tasting tickets and serve up the soup at their business location. They are: BAR TABAC,  CIBAO, CEOL, HUNTER’S,  THE H.S. FOR INTN’L STUDIES,  STINKY BROOKLYN,  ANGRY WADES, PAZZI PASTA,  JOLIE CANTINA,  PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF BKLYN,  RAMNA INDIAN RESTAURANT,  PROVENCE EN BOITE,  DASSARA RAMEN,  CUBANA CAFÉ,  MAD DOG AND BEANS,  ZAYTOONS,  THE JAKE WALK, KITTERY,  CLAUDINES, and AVLEE GREEK CUISINE.

Tastings are served in 4oz tasting cups, with plastic soup spoons and napkins. Restaurants must be sure to save enough soup for our panel of Celebrity Judges who will taste them all, and rate them on Appearance, Texture, and Taste to award Gold, Silver, and Bronze Ladles to the winners. The judges are the only ones allowed to “cut” the lines – and there will be lines. This year’s Celebrity Judges this year will include Mr. Brooklyn Foodie himself – Marty Markowitz, Peter DeNat of YELP, and others TBA.

It is all for a good cause as well because SBLDC shares the proceeds of the day (and the work) with the Culinary Arts Program at the High School For International Studies on Baltic Street between Smith & Court. Keeping a Public High School Culinary Program running properly all year long takes a bigger food budget than the Department of Education provides so this event is a very important Fund Raiser for them. Students man the ticket selling tables, 3 of them at the corners of Smith & President, Butler, and Bergen Streets, as well as serve up their own soups.

Prices are 5 Tastings for $7.00, 12 Tastings for $15.00, or 25 Tastings for $25.00 – affordable for everyone!! This is a real community building event and we hope you will be a part of it.

No reservation needed, but arrive early so that you can sample as many soups as possible.  You don't want to miss this event.

A Closing Of Sorts: "Henry Street Wines" Changes Hands

A few days ago, I received the following email from reader Edward:
"This Thursday Henry Street Wines changes hands. Dominic will hand over the store to new fellows and customers are waiting to see what the changes will be."
I swung by there on Sunday and sure enough, a notice for a NYS Liquor Authority application under a new name was posted in the window."Henry Street Wines has been operating at 494 Henry Street since 1989. According to many Yelp reviews, owner Dominic was not only friendly and helpful, he also knows his wines. One reviewer called the store a "real neighborhood gem."
Obviously, Dominic will be very much missed.