08/04/15 3:09pm


Our Brownstoner Queens columnist Kevin Walsh continues his stroll along the entire length of Metropolitan Avenue. The latest installment takes us from Middle Village to Forest Hills.

It’s a cornucopia of delights, including Myrtle Avenue’s famed German restaurant Zum Stammtisch, a taxidermist shop, Eddie’s Sweet Shop — in business since 1909 — and Queens’ vast Forest Park. Read all about it on Brownstoner Queens.

Photo by Kevin Walsh

08/04/15 2:00pm


A Fort Greene warm-weather music staple, the Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival returns to Fort Greene Park Saturday, September 12.

The free event, now in its sixth year, features nonstop jazz by local musicians and singers from 3 pm. to 7 p.m. It happens twice a year, once in July and once in September.

The festival was started by Fort Greene resident and musician Eric Frazier. Raised in Brooklyn, Frazier — who studied Conga Drum and African Dance — performs jazz and world music throughout the New York area at venues including Madison Square Garden and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Every year he brings the music back to Fort Greene for Jazz Fest. (more…)

Bedford Rest composite 2

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

The Bedford Rest was established as a destination and rest stop in the late 1890s for the hundreds of cyclists enjoying Bedford Avenue and Eastern Parkway. As the years passed, and the cycling fad waned, the Rest maintained its reputation as a fine restaurant and event space near the excitement of Ebbets Field and Automobile Row. All was well, until Prohibition.

When we think of Prohibition today, it’s remembered as a time when the nation disastrously toyed with a powerful experiment in social engineering. Banning alcoholic beverages seems ridiculous today. No doubt people thought so then, too, and were shocked when it actually happened.

Between 1920 and 1933, alcohol was illegal in the United States. The effects were devastating not only to consumers, but to businesses.

Across the country, breweries, distilleries, wine and spirits merchants, restaurants, saloons and bars went out of business by the thousands.Organized crime, based on bootlegging, grew and flourished.

The country went dry on January 17, 1920. By November of that year, the Bedford Rest was finished. Although the Rest had been running out of steam for years, Prohibition was the final nail in its coffin. (more…)

08/04/15 12:00pm

570 44th Street 1

This one-bedroom co-op at 570 44th Street in Sunset Park has an open and airy feel, with a dining room as well as a living room and lots of windows. The combined living and dining space is a massive 23 feet long.

There are also original details such as hardwood floors, high ceilings, moldings, built-ins and French doors. Interestingly, the apartment also has an old wall safe that apparently has never been opened — at least not by the current residents. (more…)

08/04/15 11:45am


Pioneer Works is Red Hook’s answer to the Dia Art Foundation, a place where anyone can wander in off the street, take off their shoes, and perhaps even lie down on the cool concrete floors to contemplate the art and the soaring ceiling and exposed beams of the former industrial space.

If you’ve never visited the Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation before, you’re in for a treat and a surprise. Located in a former industrial space with an open garage door on a side street in Red Hook, inside you’ll find a sprawling complex with resident artists and scientists at work, galleries with art work on display, an extensive library of arts-related publications, and a well-maintained flower garden with sculpture outside.

There are even drinks and food for sale, if you time your visit right. All in all, it’s a pleasant place to chill on a hot afternoon. (more…)

08/04/15 11:31am


Sponsored By Rocket Factory Lofts.

Rocket Factory Lofts in Williamsburg offers chic, renovated apartments with authentic industrial charm and stunning views.

Created By BlankSlate

Rocket Factory Lofts is shaking up Williamsburg’s rental market. Located in the neighborhood’s vibrant Southside area, the property offers industrial-chic lofts in a former rocket and plane parts factory. (How cool is that?)

The pre-war building has had many incarnations over the years. Built in 1910 as a Gretsch musical instrument factory, the seven-story building also served as the headquarters of the Interstate Electric Novelty Company in the 1920s. Fun fact: they developed the first portable electric flashlight there in 1923.

Rocket Factory Lofts underwent an extensive renovation after it was purchased by Meadow Partners in 2014. Although they were careful to preserve the property’s historic character, the developer outfitted the turn-of-the-century factory with marble hallways and a glass-paneled elevator. (more…)

08/04/15 10:33am


Workers are wrapping up the foundation at a small but attractive apartment building going up at 170 South 1st Street in south Williamsburg. We expect these will be condos and walls will be rising soon.

Permits approved in July call for a five-story building with seven apartments over ground-floor stores. The architect is Nataliya Donskoy of ND Architecture & Design, a former Robert Scarano protege who is building a reputation for better-than-average design with an average budget.

This particular building is a variation on a motif Donskoy has used elsewhere in Williamsburg: A building housed within a geometric frame.

The rendering we found on the fence is new, although the design does not appear to have changed. (more…)

08/04/15 9:45am

Brooklyn-Roasting-Company-072315_0019_Brightness_Contrast 1

Artisanal coffee purveyor Brooklyn Roasting Company is about to move into a newly renovated building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Brownstoner got a sneak peek of Building 123, a former power plant built in 1900 that is now part of the Yard’s Green Manufacturing Center. Brooklyn Roasting Company will soon transform the entire 32,852 square foot industrial space into a haven for the coffee-obsessed.

Company co-founder Michael Pollack told Brownstoner, “What we work with is the original power plant — coffee trees and beans. So this is the perfect place for us to call home.”

The building will serve as a centralized location for the company’s roasting, packaging, and distribution process, which is currently spread across BRC’s two existing Brooklyn locations.


08/04/15 9:06am

2015_07_26 250 Ashland Place 17

After many years stuck in development, the BAM Cultural District is starting to take shape as several towers in the master plan start to rise. One of the farthest along, BAM North Site 1, at 250 Ashland Place, has fewer than 10 floors to go before topping out at 52 stories.

Developed by a partnership between the Gotham Organization and DT Salazar along with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation on city-owned land, it will offer a significant amount of affordable housing and cultural programming.

FXFOWLE is designing the 568-foot tower, which features a bundle of rectangular volumes clad in glass and bricks of different color to distinguish the separate extruded forms. Bricks on the central volume facing Fulton Street are dark maroon, while the tower elements facing Ashland Place and Rockwell Place are light tan. (more…)

08/04/15 8:30am


State Senator Savino: Cops Should Patrol “Other” Coney Island [Eagle]
De Blasio’s LICH Problem [Capital NY]
Rare Batch of New Brooklyn Heights Rentals Now up for Grabs [Curbed]
New Look for 39-Story Tower at 10 Huron Street in Greenpoint [NYY]
Bergen Beach Shopping Center investor Sells Stake for $32 Million [TRD]
Greenpoint Park’s Renovation Fully Funded With $850K From Borough President [DNA]

Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

08/03/15 4:30pm


Watch out for High High Levels of Harmful Blue-Green Algae in Prospect Park Lake [DPC]
BQE and Atlantic Avenue Are Among the City’s Worst Roadways for Potholes [FGF]
Truck Crashes Into Nostrand Avenue Storefront to Avoid Hitting Bicyclist [Sheepshead Bites]
Tasty Deals at Grand Street Summer Restaurant Week [Greenpointers]
Checking in on the Conversion of Dumbo’s Empire Stores [Curbed]
Photos: The Mysterious McMansions of Mill Basin [Gothamist]

Photo by Joel Zimmer via Flickr