03/28/15 10:30am

This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.


North of Manhattan Beach and south of everything else in Brooklyn, this waterfront district is brimming with old-school Brooklyn character. Sheepshead Bay is named for a striped fish species that was once catchable in the adjacent bay, but these days is found in more southerly waters. The neighborhood once boasted a race track—originally for horses and later for automobiles—that shuttered in the early 20th century. (more…)

03/27/15 4:30pm

juni safont j train station 32015

Giant-Bathtub Mystery Solved: “Float Ventures, LLC” to Occupy Space Above Buschenschank [PMFA]
Newkirk Avenue Fire Victims Have Been Begging for Repairs for Years [DPC]
NYCHA Quietly Sold off Supplies Needed for Repair in Brooklyn [NYDN]
Watchmaker Shinola to Open First Brooklyn Store at Empire Stores in Dumbo [Crain's]
Controversial Bushwick Building CastleBraid Full of Helpful People [Bushwick Daily]
South Williamsburg’s Newest Boutique Is a Road Trip in Store Form [Racked]
Gaslights of Brooklyn Heights [Forgotten NY]

Photo by Juni Safont

03/27/15 4:00pm


The Transit Museum is hosting its yearly “Platform” performances inspired by mass transit and urban development next week, where attendees can experience animation, dance, film and interactive art pieces. In a decommissioned subway station on Court Street, the Shakedown Dance Collective will perform “riffs on real-life NYC transit experiences collected from the general public” — including manspreading and public drunkenness.

Genevieve DuBose will host a museum-wide game of human bingo, and Bob Goldberg will present a video time-capsule and live accordion journey based on riding the subway through Brooklyn and Manhattan. There will also be a two-man play based on the demolition of the old Penn Station, and live comedy inspired by conversations overheard in a subway car. (more…)

03/27/15 3:00pm

305 Livingston St. SB, PS


Name: Mixed use retail and residential row house
Address: 305 Livingston Street
Cross Streets: Nevins and Bond streets
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: Before 1880
Architectural Style: Probably Italianate wood frame, now neo-Classical
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

Nowhere is Brooklyn changing faster than downtown. The pace is astounding.

Many of the new buildings replace parking lots and banal government buildings that were built in the mid-20th century. But others replace much older building stock. Some of it was pretty ordinary, and some of it is a real loss. This block of Livingston Street is one of the last of the old-time small store blocks on the avenues behind Fulton Street.

Most of Livingston and Schermerhorn streets looked like this block 100 years ago. Both streets began their lives as purely residential, with rows of brownstones and wooden row houses dating mostly from the 1840s to 1860s.

As Brooklyn grew, and this area became part of the Fulton Street shopping and theater district, some of the row houses were converted into mixed-use storefronts with apartments above, and many more were torn down and replaced with commercial buildings.

305 Livingston is a holdout from the very old days. (more…)

03/27/15 2:00pm


Mapei or Bostik grout? Color suggestions?

What grout do you suggest for bathroom floor and wall tiles — Mapei or Bostik?

And we’re looking for a gray, similar to these photos. Does anyone know what color this could be?

And while we’re at it, what do you think of using the large subway wall tile with the octagon dot floor tile? (Click through to see the floor tile and some answers from readers.)


03/27/15 1:00pm

This week our Open House Picks consists of two outliers and two flips. The most expensive property is a single-family house in Victorian Flatbush that appears to be a custom-built home dating from the mid to late 20th century. Bargain hunters should check out the pick at the other end of the price scale, a circa-1900 neo-Colonial in Old Mill Basin. The two flips, both in Bushwick, are unusually decent, plus they also have original details such as mantels, window surrounds and stairs.

200 rugby road ditmas park 32015Prospect Park South
200 Rugby Road
Broker: Halstead
Price: $2,100,000
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00

73 cornelia street bushwick 32015Bushwick
73 Cornelia Street
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,200,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:00

1163 putnam avenue bushwick 2 32015

1163 Putnam Avenue
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $950,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:00

1457 east 58th street flatlands 32015Old Mill Basin
1457 East 58th Street
Broker: Fillmore
Price: $444,000
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00

03/27/15 12:15pm

Three out of four sold ain’t bad. We’re surprised by the closing price of the Bushwick sale, which went over ask. Even for a freshly renovated property, which it was, $1,225,000 is a very high number for a house in this location, near the Halsey J train stop.

As for the other sales, the most expensive and the least expensive homes on the list, Park Slope and Greenwood Heights, both sold for slightly under ask. South Slope is still available.

Evidently, the high asking prices we’ve been seeing for a while in the outer fringes of Bushwick are no longer just pie-in-the-sky but actually reflect the market.

open house picks six months later 3-27-2015

Open House Picks 9/19/2014 [Brownstoner]

03/27/15 11:30am

75 willow glen milan ny

That Friday afternoon drive to the country is long enough. Why add an extra hour along windy back roads at night just to get to your upstate abode’s driveway? We think you shouldn’t. Get home faster by sticking close to the main thoroughfares.

This week, we’ll be doing just exactly that by looking at some fabulous housing situated 10 minutes or less from the Taconic State Parkway, which runs east of the Hudson River, passing through both Dutchess and Columbia Counties.


03/27/15 10:45am

President, 7th, 8th Ave, Composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

One of the fun parts of writing this particular column is matching a vintage photo or postcard to its present-day site. Sometimes a perfect match is possible, and other times, the scenery has changed so much, it’s impossible to tell exactly where a building or event was located. The clues or markers that place or date a photo just don’t exist any longer. But that’s not the case here.

The historic photograph was taken in late February or early March of 1906 on President Street, between 7th and 8th avenues. This is the north side of the street, closer to 8th Avenue. The men are tearing up the sidewalk area to lay down new sidewalks and curbs.

My vintage photo had a caption, President Street, 1906, which narrowed down the street and date. A bit of research turned up public notices in the Brooklyn Eagle announcing road and sewer work throughout the borough, as well as the “regulating, grading, curbing, flagging and laying cement sidewalks” on many blocks, as well.

The paving and road work were spread out with great planning, so traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, could get around without too much difficulty. The notices began appearing at the end of February, 1906, and continued through March. One by one, block by block, the city infrastructure was improved. (more…)

03/27/15 10:00am


Hudson Companies just sent us this new rendering (above and below) for the 170-unit building they are planning at the corner of Nostrand and Clarkson avenues in East Flatbush. The architect for 1295 Nostrand Avenue, also known as 310 Clarkson, is Jonathan Kirschenfeld, of Floating Pool fame.

The parcel down the street Hudson just closed on (see our 9:30 am post today) will be a separate building. That one will have about 250 apartments, and the architect will be CetraRuddy, a Hudson exec told us. (more…)

324 clarkson aveue flatbush 32015

Developer Hudson Companies is on a tear through East Flatbush, buying up more property on a block where it’s already planning an eight-story, 170-unit apartment building. The developer, which of course is behind the 23-story tower on Flatbush Avenue a few blocks from here in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, recently picked up 318, 324, 326 and 350 Clarkson Avenue for $13,119,997, according to public records.

The new parcel is contiguous with its previous acquisition, so potentially Hudson could be planning a huge development here. (more…)


A rundown and altered Second Empire-style wood frame house at 40 Cambridge Place in Clinton Hill is getting a total redo using Passive House technology. The exterior will be restored to match its twin next door, including windows that appear to be double hung, because it is in the Clinton Hill Historic District.

The missing porch and altered bay window will be restored. The inside will be retrofitted according to Passive House standards, according to DOB permits.

Right now, the whole thing is shrouded in scaffolding — as is the house next door at 46 Cambridge Place. (That may be to protect it. The house did recently have some work going on inside, but apparently it’s not related to this project.)

When 40 Cambridge was a House of the Day in 2011, we said it had lots of details in and out but appeared to need work. Click through the jump below to see what the exterior looked like in 2012 and to see the house under construction now.

The house last changed hands for $740,00 in 2011. The owner plans to obtain a new certificate of occupancy but will keep it as a two-family, according to permits.

This should be an interesting one to watch.

House of the Day: 40 Cambridge Place [Brownstoner] GMAP
Last photo below by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark