07/28/15 5:10pm


Public Hearing for Pier 6 Towers Scheduled for This Thursday Evening [BHB]
Photos: Antique Cars Rumble Into Dumbo [Gothamist]
Fort Greene Park Playground and Slope Brightened With Paint And Flowers [FGF]
Improvements for Some Historic Properties on MacDonough Street [BSB]
Favorite Watering Hole 773 Lounge Slated to Reopen in September [KensingtonBK]

Photo by actor212 via Flickr

07/28/15 4:13pm


Metropolitan Avenue was once a farm-to-market road plied by farmers bringing wares to East River barges and then back east through fields and meadows to the town of Jamaica. Now a busy truck route, in some places it is still a clogged two-lane road.

If you use your imagination a bit you can envision it plunging through farms and fields, populated by horses and carts. A stroll along the 13 miles from Williamsburg to Jamaica reveals all sorts of interesting historical remnants. (more…)

07/28/15 3:05pm

home-tour-nhs-3 - 1

If you’re behind on your mortgage and looking at a possible foreclosure, you can find some help at an open house tomorrow at Neighborhood Housing Services of East Flatbush.

HUD-certified foreclosure intervention counselors will be on hand to explain your options, help with paperwork, speak to your lender and otherwise assist.

You’ll need to bring your most recent mortgage statement and a month’s worth of consecutive pay stubs. It helps if you can also bring recent bank and credit card statements, tax returns, utility and water bills, your title deed, and any legal paperwork you’ve received regarding your delinquency. (more…)

Coney Island Bike race, 1890s, theroadswerenotbuiltforcars.com 1

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Last time we visited the Bedford Rest, a unique restaurant/café/rest stop developed primarily for the thousands of people from all walks of life enjoying the cycling craze of the 1890s. A place like that would be equally popular today. The owners wanted to expand with the new century. But how far could they go?

The Bedford Rest was Brooklyn’s most popular restaurant/café/event space of its day. Opening in the last years of the 19th century on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Eastern Parkway, it catered to the young men and women of the new leisure class.

Eastern Parkway was still primarily a beautiful road through undeveloped fields at this point. The Rest stood alone, a large tented structure on the northwestern side of Bedford and the parkway. It was a convenient rest stop for the many cyclists taking a break here at the top of the hill.

Bicycles were enormously popular at that time. Cycle technology had advanced the bike so that it resembled and rode like the single-gear bikes of today.

Unlike most sports, bicycling was equally popular with men and women, and it was one of the few sports a couple or a family could do together.

The streets of Brooklyn were filled with cyclists, and on weekends they rode up and down Bedford Avenue and Eastern Parkway by the hundreds, even thousands.

Bedford Avenue was part of a popular route to both Long Island and Coney Island. Professional and amateur racing clubs and excursionists used the Bedford Rest as a starting and ending place for their trips. (more…)

07/28/15 12:50pm

1 Hanson Place #14A-Living-Dining Room-NYC

Today’s condo is at 1 Hanson Place, aka the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, aka the clock tower that looms over the Brooklyn skyline. The building is home to some seriously luxe, big-ticket units — this isn’t one of them, but it’s still quite a nice one-bedroom, on the 14th floor.

There’s a nice view from up there, to be spied through the two good-sized windows in the good-sized living room. The ceilings are high, the floors are a nice dark walnut. The kitchen is sleek and attractive, with Viking appliances, a Lavastone counter and lacquered cabinets. (more…)

07/28/15 11:43am

eric adams

After confronting problems with bad landlords and tenant harassment, at a pair of hearings earlier this month, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, in an article in City & State, tries to take on gentrification.

For well over a decade people in Brooklyn have been complaining about it, hoping for it, praising it and condemning it — and moving in and out of Brooklyn because of it. Just about everyone has a different definition of what it is, what causes it, how it changes neighborhoods and whether it is good, bad, inevitable or some combination of all of the above.

That’s Adams above, flanked by tenant advocates, announcing the hearings last month. One more is scheduled for July 26 (you can read all about it here).

Adams singles out four issues he says amplify problems associated with gentrification:

Tenant Harassment
The first is criminal harassment of tenants in an effort to empty units so the landlord can take advantage of rising rents. After an outpouring of horror stories from tenants whose landlords had denied them heat, hot water, or sanitary living conditions at the hearings he hosted earlier in the month, Adams is referring cases to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and to the state attorney general’s office for prosecution. (more…)

07/28/15 11:31am


Sponsored By BRIC.

BRIC is a nonprofit arts and media cultural organization that presents free and low-cost programming to the community.

Created By BlankSlate

BRIC, the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, is bringing fantastic new opportunities for creativity and voice to Coney Island and the surrounding community!

After two years of planning and hard work, BRIC’s Brooklyn Free Speech has launched its new, state-of-the-art television studio at the Coney Island Library. This partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library will provide Brooklynites access to up-to-the-minute video technology, a range of free and low-cost classes, and the opportunity for having the programs they create cablecast throughout Brooklyn. (more…)

07/28/15 11:28am


A group of seven 19th century buildings on Atlantic Avenue close to the water, including the home of the last of the longshoreman’s bars, Montero’s, is for sale for $56,000,000. However, despite a wave of development on this gritty stretch by the BQE on-ramp, the chances of the row being razed and turned into condos — or even selling at all, at this price — are slim, because they are all landmarked.

Just across the street is the former Long Island College Hospital campus, where two 40-story condo towers are brewing, and a block away near the water Brooklyn Bridge Park is preparing for two more towers on Pier 6. (more…)

07/28/15 9:48am


When the Long Island College Hospital closed in 2014 after a 16-month legal battle, Cobble Hill residents weren’t happy. When developer Fortis Property Group officially signed on to buy the former LICH compound a month later, residents weren’t happy. When Fortis revealed renderings in May for the site’s proposed residential development, residents still weren’t into it.

But now, a few of the unhappy inhabitants of Cobble Hill have created a virtual location to lobby for what they do want: NoTowersInCobbleHill.org.

A place for news updates, actionable steps, and donation collection, the “No Towers” site is just the latest in a number of online initiatives helping (and hoping) to shape Brooklyn development.



Some of the last buildings that the government seized from their longtime owners in order to make way for the Atlantic Yards project are likely to be demolished soon. Demolition permits were filed on Thursday for 491, 493 and 495 Dean Street. The three 19th century row houses sit close to the corner of 6th Avenue, right across from Barclays Center in Prospect Heights.

The buildings, pictured below (491 is on the left), were part of a long dispute with developer Bruce Ratner of Forest City and the then Empire State Development Corporation. Eventually, the owners and their families, some of whom had lived here for generations, were ordered by the state to vacate the properties in September of 2014 and reportedly had 90 days to do so. The sums they were offered by the state for the properties were not made public. (more…)

07/28/15 8:43am


In the Williamsburg Apartment of Cara Nicoletti, Butcher, Baker and Author [NY Times]
Two Brooklyn Cultural Leaders Take on Different Roles [WSJ]
Amnesty in Brooklyn [New Yorker]
A Few Developers Switching From Rentals to Condos to Meet Unmet Demand in Brooklyn [TRD]
Brooklyn Investment-Sales Dollar Volume up 74 Percent in First Half of Year [TRD]
Holy Ghost! Musician Buys Williamsburg Building for $2.6 Million [TRD]
Benchmark Close to $40 Million Buy of Brooklyn Heights Rental [TRD]
Bed Stuy Building Owners Who Fired Union Workers Hit With Lawsuit [DNA]
New Pitkin Verde Farmers Market Debuts in Cypress Hills [DNA]
One-Third of Brooklyn’s New Condo Sales Were in Williamsburg, Report Says [DNA]

Brownstones and gardens on Macon Street in Bed Stuy.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

07/27/15 5:04pm


Following Dispute, Community Board 13 Looks to Hire New District Manager [Sheepshead Bites]
Williamsburg Shopping District Expands Upscale Portfolio With Ralph Lauren [Gothamist]
The 66th Precinct Is One of the Most Dangerous Places to Ride a Bike in the City [Bensonhurst Bean]
Four-Story, Eight-Unit Redevelopment Planned at 280 Linden Boulevard, Flatbush [NYY]
Windsor Terrace Could Get 15 New Speed Humps as Part of Street Safety Push [DNA]

Photo by Robert S via Flickr