Friday, March 16, 2018

A Moment Back In Time: What Improvements Did Carroll Gardeners Want To See In Their Community In 1983?

Let us take a step back into time. We came across this old, yellowed page from the Carroll Gardens-Cobble Hill Newspaper, dated October 1983.
It features a column entitled 'Your Turn', in which reporter Sylvia deMonte-Bayard asks local residents what improvement they would like to see in their community.
Well, turns out that 35 years ago, rents were already too high, which forced many out, the neighborhood was dirty, people were not picking up after their dogs, and there was nothing to do for kids except play video games.

How would you answer the question in 2018? We would love to hear your answer.

Also, does anyone know/remember Anthony, William, Carmela or Ann? Do they still live in Carroll Gardens?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Photo Of The Day: Favorite Carroll Gardens Greengrocer

K&Y Fruit and Vegetable on Court Street in Carroll Gardens.
By far, one of my favorite neighborhood stores.

This Saturday, St. Paul's Church On Carroll Street Invites Community To Its 2nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Feast


photo credit: St. Paul's

photo credit: St. Paul's

One really does not need to be Irish to have a bit of fun on St. Patrick's Day, wouldn't you agree?
That's why St. Paul's Church at 199 Carroll Street is inviting everyone to its 2nd Annual Corned Beef And Cabbage Dinner with some traditional Irish beer and music.

From St. Paul's
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Please join us on Saturday, March 17th, for the 2nd annual parish St. Patrick’s Day party. Corned beef & cabbage, Irish beer & fun, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Live Irish Music presented by Alex Canovas and the St. Paul’s Irish Players. Suggested donation: $15 for adults and $5 for kids. All proceeds will go to support Episcopal Charities.

Reconstruction Of B.Q.E.Triple Cantilever Structure In Brooklyn Heights Will Reroute Thousands Of Trucks Through Neighborhoods Like Carroll Gardens For Years. But There Is A Way To Cut Down On Construction Time.

Construction of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway Cantilever Roadway 
in Brooklyn Heights in the 1940s
Robert Moses' Brooklyn Queens Expressway Cantilever Roadway
in Brooklyn Heights,
Early 1950s, shortly after completion
Brooklyn Heights Promenade in the 1950's
Traffic on the BQE Cantilever Roadway
photo credit NYC DoT
photo credit NYC DoT
Please Add Your Voice (And Signature)

Built in the 1940's, the Brooklyn Queens Expressway triple cantilever highway/promenade structure in Brooklyn Heights has deteriorated and is well past its expected design life.

Unless repairs are made before 2026, it will no longer be able to safely support the truck traffic which uses it and these trucks (around 16000 per day) will be rerouted through our neighborhoods, including Carroll Gardens. This does not have to happen if we act fast.

The community is counting on New York State to authorize New York City to utilize a Design / Build procurement process rather than the typical Design / Bid / Build process. This has allowed many other states and municipalities to save significant time and money on large projects. It has been recently used on Brooklyn's Kosciuszko and the Hudson river's Tappan Zee bridge replacements which are being built below budget and ahead of schedule.

So far, the New York State senate has failed to act despite the assembly passing this authorization last year and including it in their One House Bill just this week. Governor Cuomo has just last week indicated his support for this authorization and a delegation of local neighborhood leaders spent last Tuesday in Albany lobbying for support from our elected officials. Everyone told them that no one was against this and that, since New York City is paying for the entire project, there is no reason to delay it. It is imperative that this happens before the city begins the usual double track design bid build process.

Please add your name to the petition by clicking the link below. Let's make sure that we protect our street from being overrun during these repairs. Do it now !

Read more about this issue on Brooklyn Height's Associations' web site.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Photo Of The Day: The State Of Our Carroll Gardens Roads

More pot holes than asphalt
Corner of Court Street and Hamilton Avenue

This past fall, many of our local streets in Carroll Gardens got repaved, which was a good thing, given the state they had been in. However, there are so many more stretches here in the neighborhood which urgently need to be addressed. They are riddled with huge pot holes and it is truly difficult to avoid them all when driving or crossing the street.

All the rock salt that was dumped on the road this winter when it was not necessary certainly did not help.  Yesterday at noon,  while it was 40 degrees and just a few light snowflakes were falling from the sky, I saw not one, not two, but three Sanitation Department trucks spreading salt.  Why, when the roads were not icy?

Friday, March 16.
I just received an email from Danielle Zuckerman, Senator Kavanagh's Brooklyn Liaison on this subject. She writes:
"I saw the post on Pardon Me For Asking showing the potholes on Court and Hamilton, and I wanted to let you know that I reached out to DOT about it and a request has been submitted to fix up the area.
I'll let you know if I hear anything else! Feel free to get in touch with me about anything like this.

Thanks, Danielle. That is awesome.

Empty For Ten Years, The Old Sparky's Ale House Space On Court Street Is Now For Rent

Last week, PMFA reported that the former P.J. Hanley's space at 449 Court Street was for rent after being empty since 2014, prompting Carroll Gardeners to hope that a new establishment will open another pub at this location.

Well,  just a few blocks further South at 481 Court Street, another retail space is currently for lease, and this one has been empty for ten years.
This was once the home of Sparky's Ale House, which closed in 2004, and of the short lived Leo's Bar and Lounge, which called it quits in 2008. Since then, there was talk  of someone planning on opening a restaurant at this location, but those plans obviously fell through.

This corner spot at Nelson and Court Street sure could use a well run establishment. However, any new restaurant or bar may have to settle for a NYS Liquor Authority Beer and Wine license only, instead of a full liquor license.  This is due to the proximity to St. Mary's Star of the Sea and the International School of Brooklyn.
There are also some outstanding NY City Buildings Department violations stemming from a major renovation on the 481 Court Street building, which might scare a potential lessee.

The retail space does not seem to be advertised by a realtor, but we found the following description on Loopnet:
1200 SF dining room and bar area
Features 1 150 year old oak bar, marble finishes, custom mill work and handmade tiles.
400 sf fully fixtured, show-case kitchen
1600 sf prep-cellar
Long term lease available.

What would be a good fit for this Carroll Gardens corner?

Friday, March 09, 2018

Gearing Up For Spring At The Carroll Gardens Greenmarket

There may still be snow on the ground, but at the Carroll Gardens Greenmarket, there are signs of spring.

Julia Raggio, the market's manager, sent us a few updates for March.:
On Sunday, March 11: After a long winter away, Lani's Farm returns to Carroll Gardens for the season. Stop by for fresh, organic greens and vegetables from Burlington County, New Jersey.

On Sunday, March 18: Beth's Farm Kitchen returns for the spring. Stop by for delicious, locally produced jams, preserves, chutneys, and pickled vegetables from Colombia County, New York.

ALSO Sunday, March 18: Popup Repair returns! Pick up your newly mended goods from last month, and drop off your broken household items to fix from 8am-2pm every third Sunday of the month.

So don't forget to stop by this Sunday to get your fresh produce.

Families First Invites To Its Burgers & Beers Benefit At Mooburger On Court Street

Families First, an independent, non-profit organization which has supported Brooklyn families since 1981, is holding its annual fundraiser and silent auction on March 12 between 6 and 9 pm.
The Burger & Beer benefit will be hosted at Mooburger, 240 Court Street. Tickets are $40 for individuals, $70 per coupe and gets you unlimited sliders and two drink tickets.
From Families First:
"This is our one “adults only” event at Families First. So, book your babysitter, invite your friends and get ready for a great night out in support of Families First! We have planned a fun-filled event - great food, drinks and some amazing silent auction items on which to bid. We are also having a raffle with the chance to win a reservation for two at Rao’s Restaurant – the “most exclusive restaurant in New York” according to Vanity Fair! Purchase your ticket with an easy click or in person at Families First."

Raffle tickets can be purchased online, even if you can't make it to the event.
Click here to purchase.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Market.Kitchen.Table.: A New Café On Court Street That Also Offers A Meal Plan Delivered Right To Your Home

Have you tried Market.Kitchen.Table. yet? The recently opened café at 521 Court Street in Carroll Gardens offers wonderfully healthy food options made with local ingredients, whole foods and grains, and organic produce whenever possible.
Market.Kitchen.Table.'s owners Willy Anderson and Amanda Schoppe pride themselves in offering meals that "nourish your body inside and out".

Stop in to taste one of the café's delicious energy bowls, or sign up for Market.Kitchen.Table.'s meal plan, which will be delivered to your Brooklyn home each Tuesday morning. Each delivery includes three days worth of meals, (Each delivery will contain 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 snacks, 3 dinners and 3 desserts.)
The menu changes weekly and can be modified to accommodate dietary restrictions.

It's a great idea and certainly a convenient, healthy option for those too busy to cook at home.

Carroll Gardeners Not OK With Those Who Routinely Forget To Shovel Snow

 Photos of the corner of Union and Smith Street above taken by reader M. at 6 am this morning.
Photos of same corner at 9 am taken by reader B.

By 10 am this morning, PMFA had received not one, but two emails from Carroll Gardens residents complaining about the corner of Union Street and Smith Street that routinely remains unshoveled long after it stops snowing.
The emails were accompanied by photos of the sidewalk in front of Kittery, showing a rather treacherous layer of icy slush.Reader M simply captioned her photos: "Seen at 6am. They never salted. Or cleared."
Independandly, reader B. wrote:
"Just FYI, the Kittery landlord was in typical non-form yesterday and this morning. These pics are from 9 AM and in the few minutes I stood there taking pics, I saw an older woman and I think her mid-age daughter struggle across, then a younger professional woman wiped out. She was only walking too, no text & walk etc. I asked if she was OK and said, that was no “accident” btw, these people NEVER shovel on time.
I came back out at 9:45 & they had started shoveling but still, that’s (obviously) totally unaccepetable. Last night when I was I stopped in that gym next to Park Natural because THEY hadn’t done a thing, while Park Natural and the rest of blocks were spotless. Hate to admit it but the building management for the condos where Longshoremen’s Medical Center were ** are ** total pros and both sides of the building were perfect.
On the local level Food U Desire among the sidewalk heroes!"

Good neighbor! Food U Desire, on the opposite corner.
photo taken by reader B.

In January, after the first significant snowstorm, PMFA awarded  a neighborhood "Iciest Sidewalk Award" to illustrate that this issue continues to be a problem in the wintertime.
So here is yet another reminder to those who may not know or have conveniently forgotten that there is actually a law  regarding removal of snow from one's sidewalk
From New York City's Sanitation Department's web site:
"According to the NYC Administrative Code, every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any lot or building must clean snow and ice from the sidewalks adjacent (i.e., in front of, on the side of, in back of) to their properties.
If the snow stops falling between:
7:00 a.m. and 4:49 p.m. - you must clear within four hours
5:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. - you must clear within fourteen hours"

After this latest round of snow, who would you give the "Iciest Sidewalk Award" to in the neighborhood?

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Picture Of The Day: On President Street

Another beautiful block in Carroll Gardens.
President Street between Court and Clinton Streets.
What a pity that these beautiful buildings are not landmarked.

Empty Since Late 2014, The Former P.J. Hanley Space On Court Street In Carroll Gardens Finally For Rent

It has been so very long since the former Irish tavern P.J. Hanley at 449 Court Street on the corner of Third Street has stood empty. The bar, one of Brooklyn's oldest, was tangled in a messy bankruptcy proceeding between the Hanley family, who owns the building, and the last tenant of the commercial space, James McGown.

(Many may better remember McGown as the owner of 320 Court Street, which housed Buschenschank for a number of years.)

McGown, known as 'the bankruptcy baron' for the trail of failed businesses and real estate investments he left in New York City, took over Hanley's in 2005. By February 2013, he filed for Chapter 11 for the bar. Months before, he had done the same for his South Brooklyn Pizza chain that occupied the retail space next door at 451 Court Street.

Rather than vacate the premises to return it to the Hanley family, he remodeled the space (without permits) and renamed the bar Goldenrod.

The matter ended in court when the Hanley family accused McGown of having "breached his lease by making substantial alterations without getting consent from the building owner or the Department of Buildings" and for paying rent only sporadically. The Hanleys began eviction proceedings and City Marshals finally seized the property in November 2014.

The place has been empty since then.

That may soon change. A PMFA reader alerted us to the fact that a new "space for lease" sign has gone up at the former bar  and the former pizza place just this past week. Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, has the listing.

It would be wonderful to see a new tavern or restaurant bring some life back to this corner of Carroll Gardens. What type of establishment would you like to see here? What do you think would do well.