08/28/14 4:30pm

stillwell avenue Q train axel taferner

Ralph’s Bodega in Fort Greene Reopens Two Years After Owner Caught Selling Marijuana [DNAinfo]
Dumbo First Thursday Art Walk Coming September 4 [Brooklyn Brief]
Demo Permits Issued for Funeral Parlor on Fulton [FGF]
You Guessed It: 13-Story Condo Coming to 4th Avenue and 15th Street [South Slope News]
First Look at 263 Union Avenue Condos in Williamsburg [BBH]
Now Open: Brooklyn Bodyburn Sets up Its Second Studio in Cobble Hill [Racked]
Pio Pio Peruvian Restaurant Opens on Kings Highway [Bensonhurst Bean]
14 Bushwick-Loving Celebrities Who Hang Out and/or Live in the Neighborhood [Bushwick Daily]

Photo by Axel Taferner

08/28/14 4:00pm

crown heights carnival

If you live in Crown Heights, you’ve seen the bright, elaborate costumes, the stiltwalkers and the steel drums that herald the coming of the West Indian Day Parade, which happens Monday along Eastern Parkway. There’s a full schedule of events happening all weekend at the Brooklyn Museum, starting tonight with a “Caribbean Woodstock” concert featuring a long list of popular Caribbean and West Indian musicians. Tomorrow there’s a free showcase of young reggae, steel-pan, rap, dance and spoken word performers in the afternoon, and a big brass and reggae concert is slated for the evening. (more…)

08/28/14 3:00pm

240-244 8th St. Higgins Ink, NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Higgins Ink Building
Address: 240-244 8th Street
Cross Streets: 4th and 5th avenues
Neighborhood: Park Slope
Year Built: 1898
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Stone Brothers
Other Buildings by Architect: Factory and warehouse buildings in Dumbo and elsewhere
Landmarked: No

The story: The Charles M. Higgins Company, manufacturer of Higgins India Ink, was founded in 1880 by an Irish immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1860, eager to make his mark in his new country. Charles Higgins was a naturally curious and inventive man. In 1875, he patented a screw pegging machine, which led to a job at the Scientific News as a patent solicitor – a salesman who finds marketable inventions worthy of a patent. Higgins Ink company lore has it that Charles was fooling around with different ink formulas in his sister’s kitchen in New York, when he invented Higgins India Ink and Eternal Black Ink. He founded his company in 1880, and the rest is history. Higgins ink became the universal ink used around the world. (more…)

08/28/14 12:56pm

27 schermerhorn street brooklyn heights 82014

We wrote about the fourth-floor apartment at 27 Schermerhorn Street back in 2011 when it was asking $695,000. Now the top floor unit, which has been redone in a much more modern fashion, is on the market for $915,000. The brownstone floor-through co-op is 25 feet wide and 1,000 square feet in total. Monthly maintenance is $1,218. We’re usually not big fans of going modern in a brownstone but this renovation looks pretty successful to us.

27 Schermerhorn Street, #5 [Real Direct] GMAP

08/28/14 12:15pm

1351 dean street crown heights 82014

This top-floor one-bedroom in Crown Heights has a nice renovation and charming original details, but it doesn’t come cheap. The kitchen features stainless steel counters and appliances, exposed brick and wooden cabinets, while the living room and bedrooms are more traditional. The apartment is huge, though: At a whopping 1,200 square feet, according to the listing, the size might possibly justify $2,000 a month in this part of Crown Heights. What do you think of the look and the rent?

1351 Dean Street, #2 [Corcoran] GMAP

08/28/14 11:31am

greenpoint-houses-monitor-street-082814

Greenpoint has a charming old-world European feel, as anyone who has visited its Polish grocery stores knows, but house prices have moved into the stratosphere in the last two years, despite new apartment developments. A look at the area in the Times real estate section yesterday started off with a slightly misleading anecdote about a couple who almost gave up but then found their dream house there – in 2011.

Prices for two and three family row houses, most clad in vinyl siding and often in need of renovation, have risen from $750,000 to $850,000 in 2012 to $1,300,000 to $2,000,000 today, according to the story. The story also described other amenities in the area, including “destination restaurants” — and the ever-popular “destination” donut maker, Peter Pan — as well parks and schools.

The coming of 5,500 new units over 22 acres at Greenpoint Landing was noted briefly in passing without additional comment. Notably, the story did not mention “Girls.”

Living in Greenpoint [NY Times]
Photo by Bridge and Tunnel Club

08/28/14 11:00am

2 and 4 strong place rendering cobble hill

Construction at the three neo-traditional townhouses at Strong Place and Kane Street in Cobble Hill is close to finished, and Curbed got the first look at some renderings of the interiors. Number 2A, which hit the market last year at $4,475,000, is a 3,720-square-foot home with five bedrooms and 3.5 baths. That house entered contract in April, and the two single-family brownstones at Nos. 2 and 4 have yet to be listed.

Both of those will measure 3,730 square feet and include five bedrooms and 3.5 baths, according to developer Brennan Realty. Each home will feature a backyard, penthouse terraces and a double-height window wall at rear garden and parlor levels. Designed by CWB, the homes are modeled after classic brick townhouses, but the insides are modern. Click through to see the interiors. What do you think of the design?

Peek the Strong Place Townhouses [Curbed]
Three Townhouses Rise on Strong Place [Brownstoner]
Images via Brennan Realty

(more…)

08/28/14 10:45am

Arthur D. Howden Smith, 1918, BEAfter spending a few months as a foreign correspondent in the mountains of Macedonia, Arthur D. Howden Smith would always seek a life of adventure and danger. He travelled to the Balkans to write the story of a lifetime; his adventures as a freedom fighter with a gritty band of Chetniks who were waging a bloody guerrilla war with the Turks. Young Howden Smith came from a family of world travelers, his forbearers were sea-faring men, and close relatives were famously trekking through the wilds of Africa, killing elephants and importing ivory.

Part One of our story introduced us to Arthur Douglas Howden Smith, who spent his youth and young adulthood living in what is now Crown Heights, at 907 Sterling Place. He was the descendant of New England shipping merchants, and in spite of his tony upper class British sounding name, was born in New York City, in 1887, lived as a small child in New Jersey, and grew up in this house in Brooklyn. He would live in Brooklyn for much of his life. He didn’t look like the adventuring type; he was a small man, about 5’7” tall and weighed 160 pounds, soaking wet. He wore round-lensed glasses and looked like someone who would be more at home in the stacks of a library than the mountains of Macedonia. But, he was a lot tougher and more determined than his appearance would warrant. (more…)

hancock-street-040714

A dramatic surge in sale prices and rents is causing change and displacement at a head-spinning pace in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to a story in Bloomberg. Buyers with more than a million to spend are choosing to buy whole houses in Crown Heights and similar neighborhoods rather than cramped apartments elsewhere. The story said:

Young buyers and renters who can no longer afford such established communities as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Williamsburg are moving to Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick, bidding against investors for townhomes that have been neglected for decades. Longtime tenants too poor to afford the new rents in the predominantly black districts are moving out to less-well connected, more dangerous places.

We were particularly struck by this stark — and potentially depressing, depending on your situation — description of the wealth now required to buy in much of Brooklyn:

Families with children are increasingly choosing to stay in New York City and if they don’t have millions to spend, their options are limited, said Kathleen Perkins, a Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who helped the Katzes find their Crown Heights townhouse. “My cheapest house for sale in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill is $2,500,000,” Perkins said. “If you have $1,500,000 and you’re my client, I’m driving you to Bed Stuy or Crown Heights.”

The story is pitch-perfect, in our opinion, in its overview of what is happening here and why, even though none of it will be news to regular readers of Brownstoner. Does it ring true to you?

Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights [Bloomberg]

08/28/14 9:30am

76 north 4th williamsburg lewis steel 1 82014

We are sad to report the amazing and unusual interiors planned for the Steelworks Loft conversion at 76 North 4th Street in Williamsburg will not be happening after all. Now that the building has changed owners and is a rental rather than condos, AvroKo is no longer designing the interiors, which originally had kitchen cabinetry resembling iceboxes, beams salvaged from the site, and other reminders of the building’s past as a steel factory in the 1930s.

new teaser page for the building shows a few tiny thumbnails with less expensive finishes that are more typical of rentals in the area, such as a kitchen with dark wood cabinetry and white subway tile.

Leasing starts this fall, according to developer Cayuga Capital — and fall is almost here. (more…)