Monday, October 16, 2017

Olympian Aly Raisman To Speak At Hannah Senesh Community Day School In Carroll Gardens

Hannah Senesh Community Day School at 342 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens will resume its Steinhardt Speaker Series on Tuesday, October 24th at 7:30 pm, by featuring Aly Raisman.

Raisman, a two-time Olympian and six-time medalist, will be speaking about t"he drivers of her success, the challenges of growing up as an elite gymnast, and the values that have fueled her gymnastics career and her advocacy work around positive self-image."

The conversation will be moderated by Virginia Heffernan, a Brooklyn journalist and Senesh parent.
Tickets are $36 per person and can be bought here.

From Hannah Senesh:
Aly Raisman is a two-time captain of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics gold medal-winning Olympic teams in 2012 and 2016. She is the second-most-decorated American female gymnast in the history of the sport, having earned six total medals during her Olympic career.

A Massachusetts native, born in 1994, Raisman discovered gymnastics not long after she began walking. In an interview with USA Gymnastics, she said, "I was two years old when my mom put me in mommy and me classes. I always had a lot of energy so it was the perfect fit!" The oldest of four children, Raisman is the daughter of two athletic parents. Her mother was a gymnast in high school and her father played hockey.

She quickly became a strong competitor, winning the gold in the vault event at the 2009 American Classic and in the all-around category at the 2011 CoverGirl Classic. Raisman also helped the U.S. gymnastics team win the 2011 World Championships. The following year, she won two gold medals—one in the gymnastics team competition and the other in the individual floor exercise—and a bronze medal for the beam at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In 2016, Raisman returned to the Olympics in Rio, winning silver medals in the women's individual all-around final and floor exercise and a gold medal in the women's gymnastics team competition.

It is bound to be an interesting conversation. Tickets will go fast, so don't wait to buy yours now.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Moment In Time: Standing In Line

Oh, the temptations at Caputo Bakery.
(Just tried their new pretzel buns. So good.)

A New Push By Local Politicians To Bring Back The B 71 Bus, Which Was Discontinued Seven Years Ago

Council Members Brad Lander, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon and Councilman Steve Levin

Back in 2010, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (M.T.A.) cut service to several local bus lines and eliminated the B71 bus completely. The B71 ran along Union Street and connected Carroll Gardens to the Park Slope neighborhood and its public institutions like Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, the Children's Museum and the main Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.
The route was popular with older citizens, young families and area school children. To this day, its services are great missed.

In the seven years that have passed, our local politicians have held rallies several times to push the M.T.A. to re-instate the bus route. This morning, Council Members Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon once again gathered with constituents for a "Bring Back The B71 Bus" rally.

This time around, our politicians are pushing for an extended route that would pass through Red Hook and end in Manhattan.

According to a press release, the new B71+ route would:
● Connect seniors, students, families, NYCHA residents, and people with disabilities to schools, stores, and Brooklyn’s cultural institutions: Nine schools, three senior centers, multiple public housing developments, and Brooklyn’s best cultural institutions (Brooklyn Museum, BPL Central Branch, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum) would be served by this new route. That means better access and increased mobility for residents of Red Hook, Columbia Waterfront, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Crown Heights.

● Provide a new connection through Red Hook to Lower Manhattan: Red Hook is not served by any subway stop, and only by two local Brooklyn bus routes. A direct connection between Red Hook and Manhattan would make 90,000 more jobs accessible for Red Hook commuters within a one-hour transit zone. And everyone along the route would gain a convenient new commuting route to Lower Manhattan.

● Serve a growing population: Since the elimination of the B71, population around the route has grown by more than 10% -- much more than the increase for NYC or Brooklyn overall -- but no new transit capacity has been added. The potential rezoning of Gowanus would mean even more demand.

The plan also has the support of Congresswoman Velazquez, Council Member Laurie Cumbo,  Council Members Menchaca,  and community partners like the Eileen Dugan Senior Center, Gowanus Alliance, TWU Local 100, Transportation Alternatives, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Fifth Avenue Committee, Gowanus Alliance, Park Slope Civic Council, Red Hook Initiative and many.

Why our elected officials think that there may be a chance now to re-instate the bus route after falling on deaf ears with the M.T.A. for the past seven years, is unclear.  The main push for this latest effort may have a lot to do with the proposed re-zoning of the Gowanus Corridor.  One of the big concerns voiced by the community during New York City Planning Department's  Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study 'listening tour" was that the local subway stations were already overcrowded. Many felt that more residents in Gowanus would make a bad situation worse.
Since this proposed B 71 + route would go all the way to Manhattan, it would certainly accommodate some of the new residents in Gowanus.

Remember that  our politicians holding another "Bring Back The B 71 Bus"  rally and posing for a photo op is NOT the same as getting the bus back. We need to make sure that they continue to fight for it to make it happen.

To add your name to the  petition, please click here.

Miele, The Court Street Appliance Store Cat, Needs A New Home.

Miele, the cat.
One of Carroll Gardens' friendliest store cats its urgently looking for a new home. Miele, a female tabby with white markings, has delighted many in the neighborhood by sunbathing in the shop window of Expert Appliance Center at 293 Court Street for the past few years.
On November 1, the appliance store will be moving to  212 Smith Street, but the landlord at the new location, who lives in the building, is allergic to cats. So is the son of the appliance store owner, otherwise, he would take Miele to his home.

Miele, who is named after the German manufacturer, whose appliances are sold at the store, is a real character and as friendly as can be. She is is 7 years old.  Her only quirk: she does not like dogs.
The owner and the employees at the store are committed to finding her the best home.

Any wonderful locals out there who would like to adopt Miele and keep her right here in the neighborhood?  Please, please?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Moment In Time: The Haircut

"Persons Of Interest" on Smith Street
Still love the big ocean mural on the back wall. It remains from Sal, the barber,
who used to have his business there before.

South Brooklyn Children's Garden To Host Its Sixth Annual Harvest Festival This Week-End

(photo credit: South Brooklyn Children's Garden)
South Brooklyn Children's Garden at 204 Columbia Street will be celebrating its sixth annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 14, from 10 am to 2pm. The event is free and open to the public and a wonderful opportunity to meet others in the community. So mark your calendar and Mark your calendars and plan to bring your family.

From the Garden:
The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden (the Garden), a community garden and urban farming cooperative at 204 Columbia Street in the Columbia Waterfront neighborhood of Brooklyn, announced today that it will host its annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 14, from 10 am to 2 pm. Now in its sixth year, the Harvest Festival, which is free and open to the public, brings together community members of all ages to celebrate the autumn harvest and the role of urban farming in sustainable agriculture.
This year’s festival will include:
-Bake sale
-Pumpkin patch and decorating
-Face painting
-Live music from The Dad Beats
-Slices from House of Pizza and Calzones

Doors open at 10am and the Dad Beats perform at 12:30. This year’s Harvest Festival is made possible with the generous support of House of Pizza and Calzones.

Get more detail on South Brooklyn Children's Garden web site here and stay in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Workshop Gallery Artists Foundation On Hoyt Street Hosting A Bauhaus Evening On The Life Of Photographer Lucia Moholy

Self-portrait, Lucia Moholy, 1930. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016.
(Lucia Moholy Photograph by Michael von Graffenried 1987)

The Workshop Gallery Artists Foundation at Brooklyn Workshop Gallery is hosting a special Bauhaus evening this coming Friday, October 13, 2017 7:00 p.m. on the life of Lucia Moholy, whose photography documented the architecture of the Bauhaus. The lecture is lead by
Meghan Forbes, a C-MAP fellow for Central and Eastern Europe at the Museum of Modern Art and a visiting scholar at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.

From the Foundation:
In 1933, the Prague born German Jewish photographer Lucia Moholy was forced to flee Berlin with the rise of National Socialism. She left behind most of her worldly possessions, including hundreds of glass negatives of images that she had taken at the Bauhaus school of architecture and design; in essence, her life’s work. It would be decades before she received but a partial restitution, as her work was stolen and reproduced without her consent by the very men in whose care it had been left.
Meghan Forbes will talk about the life of Lucia Moholy, from her origins in Prague, years at the Bauhaus, failed attempts at immigration to the United States during World War II, and eventual settlement in Switzerland, where she lived until her death in 1989 at the age of 95. The talk will feature a glimpse into Lucia Moholy’s remaining archive, including photographs, letters, and diary entries, to tell the story of a woman whose important place in the history of twentieth century Modernism has been subsumed by her male counterparts.
The discussion will be followed by a screening of a ballet created by another Bauhaus member, Oskar Schlemmer.

A Bauhaus Evening
Friday, October 13, 2017 7:00 p.m.
at the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery
393 Hoyt Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets
Light refreshments served - $10 suggested donation

Community Board 6 Releases Statement In Regards To Manager Craig Hammerman's Resignation

 Craig Hammerman at a public meeting in 2015
Community Board 6 district map

By now, most everyone in the neighborhood has probably heard that Craig Hammerman, Community Board 6's longest serving manager, has resigned his post. The resignation comes after an incident in his private life became quite public earlier this year.
Hammerman had taken a leave of absence during the summer. His last day of work was October 11.

Below is a statement by Community Board 6's Chairperson Sayar Lonial:

After twenty-five plus years of service, Craig Hammerman has submitted his letter of resignation and, on behalf of the Board, I have accepted that resignation. Craig sent out a letter on Friday, October 6th stating that his last day of work would be October 20th, but after careful consideration all parties involved agreed that, in fact, his last day of work for our Board would be Wednesday, October 11th. I want to thank Craig for his years of service.

After what can only be described as a difficult time for everyone involved, we thought the decision to make a clean break was the best decision. I want to thank the members of the Finance, Personnel and Law Committee for devoting so much of their time dating back to May of this year, throughout the summer and into the fall. Daniel, Deb, Dolly, Mark and of course our committee Chair Jerry Armer; your dedication to the goodwill, good standing and good future of this Board can never and should never be called into question.

The institutional knowledge that Craig brought with his years of experience will be missed, but times change, and with those changes we ourselves must look to change; not as something to fear, but instead as an opportunity. I must once again thank Liza, Sarah and Ty for their ability to keep our office running smoothly throughout the summer and ask that they continue to do the amazing job they have done, allowing us the time during this transition to post, interview and find the right person to be the next District Manager of Community
Board 6.

With regards to next steps, we need to speak to our counterparts at the City, post the job and start the interview process. The interviews will be handled by the Finance, Personnel and Law Committee, with approval of any candidate coming back to the full board for a vote for approval.

I want to thank the members of the Board for their patience and I look forward to turning the page, and turning our whole focus back to the work of our neighborhoods and community.

Craig Hammerman, a Brooklyn native, is well known in Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Gowanus, and Cobble Hill, the neighborhoods served by CB6. During his tenure as manager, the district saw many changes and development pressures, from the controversial Lightstone development on the shores of the Gowanus Canal, as well as the loss of,  and subsequent plans for the former Long Island College development in Cobble Hill, to name just a few.
Hammerman navigated these issues with knowledge, but his sometimes cynical attitude could  stand in the way of local residents engaging with their community board, especially in the past few years.
As issues like the re-zoning of Gowanus corridor loom, it will be interesting to see who will be hired to replace him.
Any thoughts?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Moment In Time: Getting Dinner

Halal Food Truck
A little moment captured on Smith Street in the early evening.

The Folks Of Bar Bruno on Henry Street Join Mexican Chefs And Mixologists To Raise Funds To Rebuild Earthquake-Damaged Schools In Mexico

Bar Bruno, along with Slowteria, La Newyorquina and several other Mexican eateries, is participating in a special evening of Mexican chefs and mixologists to raise funds to rebuild schools in Mexico that were damaged during the recent earthquakes in Mexico.

All proceeds will go to Global School Spirit and every dollar donated will be matched with two extra dollars by a group of Mexican sponsors.

From Bar Bruno:
"Please join us for a night of great food, great Mezcal and help us raise funds for the people of Oaxaca, who have endured so much the last month with 2 massive earthquakes and devastating rainfall.
Rest assured your money will be directly funneled to the people who need it the most without "administrative expenses and corruption" eating into our donations.
Please buy your tickets now.
Only 400 are available for this great event with some of New York's most exciting chefs."

The fundraiser will be held on Friday, October 13th, at Remezcla Headquarters, 203 Moore Street, Brooklyn,  from 7pm to 11 pm.

You can purchase your tickets here.

Get A Locl Mkt BOCOCA Discount Key Tag And Save Money While Helping Your Community

You will love this!
Locl Mkt, a new online community shopping service for Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, has been featuring fresh and seasonal items from some of our best neighborhood purveyors.

The site, which launched earlier this year, was created by Mark Cooper and Sonja Kristofferson, who want to show support for our local shops, and help these amazing businesses thrive.

Cooper and Kristofferson are now expanding on the concept with SHOP BOCOCA, which will run from October 28th through November 12th.

According to Cooper:
"The goal is to get more people to support our neighborhood shops during the crucial weeks leading into the holiday season.
To encourage this, Locl Mkt has developed a discount key tag that lets customers get 20% off select products at 13 shops in the area. Customers just show the key tag at any of the stores, and they receive 20% off selected products / product categories. Save money, and help your community – all at the same time

Here is a list of participating businesses and the products that they will discount:
Caputo Bakery:  Multigrain, cranberry walnut & olive breads
Damascus:   All house-made pita bread
Dellapietras:  12 varieties of house-made sausages
Fish Tales:    All house-made soups
Heights Chateau:   New York State wines
Henry Street Wines:    Rosé wines & hand-picked wines
Mia's Bakery:    All whole cakes & pies
MilkMade:    Signature 'Scream pints of ice cream
Paisanos:    House-brand pastas, ravioli & sauces
Sahadi's:    House-brand pre-packaged cheeses
Scotto's:    Rosé wines
Smith & Vine:    All glassware
Stinky Brooklyn:    All cheeses

A portion of the proceeds will go to St Paul's/ St Agnes community outreach programs.
The discount key tags are $6 (plus $1 for shipping). Get yours now by clicking here.

31 Years On Court Street: Help Try Rae's First Celebrate With Anniversary Sale

Rae's circa 1986
Try Rae's First, the beloved Carroll Gardens clothing store, has been in business at 430 Court Street since 1986. To mark her boutique's 31st anniversary, owner Raina Passo will be holding a celebratory sale next week-end.

With neighborhood stores opening and closing at an alarming rate lately, it is worth celebrating those businesses that continue to thrive. Raina credits Try Rae's First success to her customers loyalty and support of small businesses.
"Fashions come and go and neighborhoods change but the one thing that I have strived to remain the same is good old fashion customer service," Raina told us last year.

Help Raina celebrate her  boutique's success and take advantage of the sale this Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, October 09, 2017

On The Passing Of Peter Rogakos: A Very Sad Loss to Carroll Gardens And To Avlee On Smith Street.

Avlee owners Andrew Poulos and Peter Rogakos on the night of Avlee's opening in 2013

I am so saddened by the loss of Peter Rogakos, one of the co-owners of Avlee Greek Kitchen.
Peter passed away on Monday, October 2nd, of a heart attack.  He was a devoted father of three children and a Bay Ridge resident.
He opened Avlee at 349 Smith Street with his partner Andrew Poulos in February 2013 and worked tirelessly to make his eatery the success and welcoming place that it has become.

At the time of his passing, Peter was busy on another restaurant venture.

One of his friends reached out to PMFA to say:
"I knew Peter not only as a friend, but as one of the hardest working individuals I have ever met. He was a loving husband and father who will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him."

My condolences go to his family and to the Avlee crew.  Yes, Peter and his big smile will be very much missed in Carroll Gardens.

Though it must be very, very hard,  Andrew has reopened Avlee. The best way to honor Peter is to stop by to his beloved eatery on Smith Street and to make sure that it will be part of our neighborhood for any years.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

A Trip To Austin For A Very Special Reason

Dear Readers,
Just in case you were wondering why there were no updated posts on PMFA this week, I am actually in Austin, Texas, currently.  You see, I have a very special reason to come here.
Partially, I came here to do some touristy things, like hiking through some incredible landscape,
and to revisit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
In part, it was to visit the State Capital
and to admire its spectacular dome.
I even managed to visit the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library
which features such cool artifacts as his limousine, and highlights inspirational quotes by him.
I loved this one:
"To deny a man his hopes because of his color or race, his religion or the place of his birth is not only to do injustice; it is to deny America and to dishonor the dead who gave their lives for American freedom."
But the main reason for the trip is to visit this little munchkin.
This is Dove, my grandson who was born in Alaska in May.  After my summer  weeks in France, I couldn't wait to see him again.
Here is Dove with my son and with my 85 year old father, who joined us on this trip.
It was the first time that my father met this newest member of his family.
Words can not express how special it is to spend a few days with little Dove.
The only thing that could improve on it is if he lived closer to Brooklyn...

I will be back in Carroll Gardens early next week, so check back in for new posts.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Moment In Time: The Advice

"Buy gold, drink beer." 
Advice from the folks at the Gowanus Yacht Club in Carroll Gardens.
Whatever that means.

What Do We Think Of The Newly Installed LinkNYC Kiosks In Carroll Gardens?

Newly installed LinkNYC on Smith Street in front of Bar Great Harry
Just one block away, another one at Douglass and Smith
In front of Bird, also on Smith Street
Just a bit further down Smith Street, yet another.
And one of the newly installed ones on Court Street.
A map of all the LinkNYC kiosks recently installed in BoCoCa

During the summer, quite a few LinkNYC kiosks have been installed in and around Carroll Gardens.  It is all part of an initiative to replace New York City's old payphone infrastructure with state of the art public communications network.  Eventually, "at least 7,500 Link kiosks will be installed across all five boroughs over the next eight years," according to LinkNYC's web site.

The 9.5 ft tall kiosks offer the public "high-speed Wi-Fi, phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., device charging, a touch screen tablet for access to city services, maps and directions, and a 911 Emergency Call button."
The kiosk's side also feature two 55-inch high-definition displays, which will be used to display public service announcements and advertisement. The free service is paid for by the advertisement revenue. According to its web site: "LinkNYC’s advertising platform will also generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for New York City. The project is also expected to create 100 to 150 new full-time jobs in manufacturing, technology and advertising."

Obviously, the revenue is nothing to sneeze at, and the project is expected to create between 100 to 150 new full time jobs in technology, manufacturing and advertisement, according to the City.
The access to free wi-fi for those who can't afford it is also a huge benefit of this free service.
However, one wonders why it is necessary to have so many kiosks grouped together.
In our immediate area, 11 such stations have, or are ready to be activated along Court Street and Smith Street.  They are so concentrated, that there is actually one on almost every block from Sackett to Warren Street along Smith Street.
Doesn't that seem a bit excessive?

Despite the  benefits of the free services offered by LinkNYC, the system has already come under scrutiny  regarding the risks of data collection and access to personal information.
In several neighborhoods, local residents have complained that people congregate at the kiosks to drink and do drugs, as well as deal drugs.  Last year, the operators of the kiosks, CityBridge, L.L.C., had to shut down the browser capability on the kiosks, after some users started watching pornography right on the sidewalk.
“These kiosks are often monopolized by individuals creating personal spaces for themselves, engaging in activities that include playing loud explicit music, consuming drugs and alcohol, and the viewing of pornography," Councilman Corey Johnson, who represents Greenwich Village, Chelsea and part of Midtown, told the New York Times in 2016.

Just a few weeks ago, Greenpoint residents in Councilmember Steve Levin's district attended a Community Board 1 meeting on September 18th to report on the activities at one of the kiosks on Manhattan Avenue, which had "become an electronic concierge for a neighborhood 'drug den,' allowing people to schedule drug purchases and warn each other about approaching police," according to DNA Info.

At the meeting, members of the Community Board received dvds  featuring video clips documenting the criminal activity, littering and noise at this particular kiosk from one resident living right next to it.  They were also presented with a letter that states, in part:
"We face becoming unwilling witnesses to a drug deals, meet‐ups and other illegal activities. Activities we, as law‐abiding citizens understandably want no part of. We encounter individuals under the influence of narcotics or, even worse, those who are mentally and emotionally volatile (often due to withdrawal from narcotics). To say we are living in “terror” may be an overstatement, but there is an element of truth to it nonetheless."

Nothing of the sort has been reported here in our neighborhoods in relation with these Link NY kiosks, as far as we know.  We did want to start a conversation regarding their recent installation and want to hear from our neighbors:
How do you feel about them?  Have you used one yet?  Do you live near one?  How about their location and numbers? Too many? Not Enough?
Leave a comment.