09/12/14 4:30pm

bushwick ghost bike 92014

‘Burg Starbucks Denied Liquor License for Being Sneaky [Eater]
Previewing Park Slope’s Pricey Eco-tastic Condos (Sans Tesla) [Curbed]
Platinum Plays in Bed Stuy: 183 Halsey Street [BK Fullest]
A “Seasonal Wood-Fired Kitchen” Opens in Williamsburg, With Roofdeck Coming Soon [B+B]
Kensington’s Gaddy Lane to Debut at Sycamore’s Flatbush Food Court This Sunday [Kensington BK]
5Pointz Graffiti Artists Honor 9/11 with a Mural in Crown Heights [Untapped]
Williamsburg’s Newest Gay Club Opens Tonight [Free Williamsburg]

09/12/14 4:00pm

r train

The R train will finally run between Brooklyn and Manhattan on Monday morning, after 13 months of repairs following Hurricane Sandy, the Post and the Daily News report. The MTA shut down service in the Montague tube last August so workers could replace tracks, signals and communications equipment that was devastated by the storm. Since then, R trains have run only between Bay Ridge and Court Street in Brooklyn, and between Whitehall Street in the Financial District and Forest Hills-71st Avenue in Queens.

Photo by Alex

09/12/14 3:00pm

198-204 Jefferson Avenue, CB, PS 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 198-204 Jefferson Avenue
Cross Streets: Nostrand and Marcy Avenues
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: 1891
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: Montrose W. Morris
Other Buildings by Architect: Clinton, Alhambra, Renaissance Apartments in Bed Stuy, Imperial and Bedfordshire Apts in Crown Heights. Also in Bed Stuy – Kelley Mansion and many other houses on Hancock, between Marcy and Tompkins Avenues. Also houses and apartments in Clinton Hill, Crown Heights North and South, Park Slope, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg.
Landmarked: Not yet. Calendared for landmarking in 2012.

The story: By 1891, when this group of four houses was built, Montrose W. Morris was one busy man. He had completed his magnificent Alhambra Apartments, just down the street, on Nostrand Avenue, and was in planning for the Renaissance, Imperial and Bedfordshire Apartments which would begin in 1892. He had also just completed the Hulbert and Arbuckle mansions in Park Slope and Clinton Hill, respectively, and only a few years before had designed the Kelley mansion around the corner on Hancock Street, effectively establishing his reputation as one of the go-to architects for Brooklyn’s wealthy.

He also was working on some speculative row house work on Hancock Street and on DeKalb Avenue in Clinton Hill. Those projects were very different from this group of four houses, designed for Arthur C. Mason. At first glance, these houses are nothing like his other works, and far less impressive, but they still have the Montrose Morris touch, and were home to his favorite kind of people: wealthy and prominent folk. (more…)

09/12/14 11:30am
97 maple ave catskill ny

97 Maple Avenue, Catskill: $89,900

To renovate, or not to renovate? That is always the question here in upstate New York. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous amounts of renovating, rebuilding, and the possible tearing down of structures, or to take up arms and simply purchase something that doesn’t really need much work but doesn’t look quite right. Is there no middle ground? Of course there is. There are multitudinous options between near-teardowns and pristine turnkeys. In fact, that’s where most of the options lie. With this in mind, we’ll be exploring two properties that need a quite a bit of work, and two that are passable as is but might be nicer with some updates. Three are in Greene County (west of the Hudson, north of Ulster County), and one in Sullivan County in the Catskill Mountains. All are less than $100,000. Reality check: Sometimes five-figure properties are cash deals. FYI.


Downtown Brooklyn from Temple Bar Building

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Downtown Brooklyn is one of my favorite neighborhoods to compare what was with what is. Because it was the center of civic and commercial life in the city, changes in that part of town happened often, sometimes dramatically. But also because of the area’s importance, many of the buildings there are now important landmarks, and still stand. Because of this, we have a wonderful frame of reference when looking at old photographs and postcards. Here’s another example. (more…)

09/12/14 10:00am

hot seat christopher allen edit

Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview people involved in real estate, architecture, development and design. Introducing Christopher Allen, Founder and Artistic Director of UnionDocs, a documentary film collective based in Williamsburg. We talked with Allen about UnionDocs’ ongoing collaborative project Living Los Sures, which chronicles the culture, history and stories of Williamsburg’s Southside. You can check out a video installation with some of the project’s short films at the Ildiko Butler Gallery at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. They’ll also screen some of their short films on September 19 at 7 pm, during the Southside Connex street festival in Havermeyer Park.

Brownstoner: What neighborhood do you live in, and how did you end up there?

Christopher Allen: We live in Clinton Hill. We moved there last year after living in Williamsburg since 2002. We found a place that we liked, and rent was going up in our building and it didn’t feel like it was a good deal anymore.

BS: Can you talk about the beginnings of “Living Los Sures”?

CA: We’ve been involved in a restoration project with the New York Public Library to restore and rerelease a film from 1984 called Los Sures by Diego Echeverria. That film we’ve been working with for four years — it’s inspired about 30 documentary projects made by people in our studio. Over 50 people have been involved in creating short documentaries about the neighborhood today over the last four years. We’re also doing a participatory platform where we’ve split the film from 1984 into different shots and we’re splicing in longtime residents of the neighborhood talking about places in the film.

So the project is three parts: the participatory website, called Los Sures Shot by Shot. There are 30 short documentaries, produced by our collaborative fellows. One of the characters from the original documentary, we’re updating her story as she sells her apartment and leaves the neighborhood. It’s an interactive documentary called 89 steps. She’s considering leaving the city and moving out — and the film follows her as she goes through that process, and we learn a little bit of history about the building she’s lived in for 40 years.

That’ll be launched at the New York Film Festival September 27.

After the jump, Christopher talks about gentrification on the Southside, Sternberg Park and how rezoning has shaped the neighborhood.


09/12/14 9:30am
The dream

The dream

There is something deeply satisfying about a lush, emerald green lawn. It’s soft underfoot, evokes childhood memories of running in forbidden park expanses, or rolling down hills hoping no bees will sting you.

I can’t ignore the strength of the emotional appeal, when so much of my work is tied to how people feel about their surroundings.

But! Having a lawn in the city requires an amount of commitment equal to parking your car in the street: a weekly mental calendar of choreographed moves, timed precisely; the fortitude to deal with the inevitable dents and fines; and the willingness to pay for and fix every mistake and bit of forgetfulness. And just like a car that sleeps in the street, you will have to accept a certain level of imperfection, or you can drive yourself crazy. (more…)

09/12/14 9:00am


We were surprised to see Curbed reblog a story of ours about the third Edge tower from December yesterday but appreciate the shoutout. Later, Curbed tracked down a rendering of the tower we haven’t seen before.

The design looks pretty similar to the other Edge buildings. There is one big difference, however, that stands out: Apparently the tower at 2 North 6th Place will be dark colored. In fact, it looks black in the rendering. The other Edge buildings are glassy and white.

Has the Edge gone goth? What do you think of the design?

Photo by Curbed

09/12/14 8:30am


Two Sides Sounding at BEAT Festival in Brooklyn [NY Times]
Data for a New York “Smellmap,” Collected Sniff by Sniff in Williamsburg [NY Times]
Budget Cuts Reshape New York’s Public Housing [NY Times]
Rents Soar High in Bushwick as Popularity Grows [NY Post]
Brooklyn Remembers 9/11 [Eagle]
Fourth Avenue Undergoes Transformation [Eagle]
Brooklyn Hospital Center affiliates With Mount Sinai [Eagle]
Brooklyn Family Authors Children’s Book Inspired by Park Slope Students [Eagle]
Median Brooklyn Rent Decreases for First Time in 15 Months [Curbed]
Like Dominoes They Will Fall [Q at Parkside]
Boymelgreen Windsor Terrace Complex Hits Market for $90 Million [NYO]
5Pointz Graffiti Artists Expand Into Brooklyn with Commemorative 9/11 Mural [DNAinfo]
Suit: Former Owner of Fort Green’s No. 7 Restaurant Drank Too Much and Stole Money [DNAinfo]