07/30/14 10:45am

photo 4

As you may recall, in our last installment, I was dealing with the “no-show” plumber and was in the process of firing him. Firing a plumber is actually much more difficult than I thought. The plumber has to agree to withdraw his permit from the job or agree to allow another plumber to work under his permit, or the owner has to send a letter to the DOB outlining his negligence, and after review the plumber could be removed.

Well, my plumber would not agree to withdrawing on his own, and going the DOB route would add weeks if not months to an already delayed job. In the end, I was stuck with him.  He continued to leave work half done, late and unacceptable. In the end, I  ignored his objections and had another plumber finish the work. The real drama may ensue when he has to close the job. (more…)

07/30/14 10:00am

1 woodrow court greenwood heights 72014

This interesting addition is rising on top of a townhouse at 1 Woodrow Court in Greenwood Heights, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 30th Street. The little two-story brick townhouse is being enlarged with a third floor and 836 more square feet, according to alteration permits. The architect of record is Eric Safyan, and his website includes more construction photos and a schematic, which we’ve included after the jump. (more…)


After years of getting the brush off on requests to limit building heights in Prospect Lefferts Gardens to six stories, PLG residents, activists and community board members are now meeting with City Planning to consider how the neighborhood should be rezoned.

In addition to supporting a rezoning of Flatbush Avenue, pictured above during this past winter, that would limit building heights there to six stories, neighborhood group The Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP) opposes a brand-new move to rezone commercial district Empire Boulevard to allow residential, MTOPP President and PLG homeowner Alicia Boyd told us. (more…)

07/30/14 8:30am


Australian Cafes Open in Brooklyn, Manhattan [NY Times]
Two Recent Commercial Real Estate Transactions in Brooklyn [NY Times]
Coney Island’s Shore Theater Now Being Used by Homeless Squatters [NY Daily News]
Creative Companies Move to Gowanus [WSJ]
Obama Honors BAM [Brooklyn Eagle]
Park Slope Gay Bar Excelsior Closing After 15 Years [Brooklyn Paper]
Shopper Starts Petition to Save Boerum Hill Met Foods [Brooklyn Paper]
U.S., New York Metro Home Prices Tumble for First Time Since January 2012 [TRD]
Sunset Park Library Goes Weeks Without Air Conditioning, Residents Say [DNAinfo]
Gourmet Food Trucks Roll Into Downtown Brooklyn to Feed Lunchtime Crowds [DNAinfo]

07/29/14 4:30pm

espo icy signs

Affordable Housing’s Missing Link: Residents Knowing How to Apply [Brooklyn Brief]
Being a Zookeeper at the Prospect Park Zoo Is Just as Cool as You Thought [South Slope News]
Tonight: Workshop on $4 Million Storm Plan for Marine Park, Mill Basin [Sheepshead Bites]
Cornerspotted: The Vanderveer House on Nostrand Avenue [Curbed]
The South Side, “Still Not the Neighborhood You Want to Think It Is” [Bedford+Bowery]
ChikaLicious Is Coming to Williamsburg [Bedford+Bowery]
Debunking a Legend About the Japanese House [Ditmas Park Corner]
Kings County Saloon Now Open in Bushwick [Free Williamsburg]

Photo by Joel Zimmer

07/29/14 4:00pm

bergn beer hall

Berg’n Beer Hall will open its doors in a former garage in Crown Heights on August 27, as Grub Street first reported. The 9,000-square-foot space at 899 Bergen Street will offer food from Mighty Quinn’s, Pizza Moto Slice Shop, Asia Dog, and Ramen Burger for lunch and dinner, and locally roasted Parlor coffee and Dough doughnuts for breakfast. Berg’n will also have a 40-foot antique bar that serves locally brewed beer and pints of Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale. The beer hall is connected to 1000 Dean Street, a 150,000-square-foot former Studebaker service station that’s been converted to office space.

07/29/14 3:00pm

193-195 9th St. KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally row houses, then Our Saviour’s Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church, now American Legion Post 1636
Address: 193-195 9th Street
Cross Streets: 3rd and 4th avenues
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Year Built: 1860s, remodeled as a church in 1885, more alterations, 1928
Architectural Style: Italianate under it all
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: As Gowanus grew as an industrial area, the thousands of workers who worked in the factories, warehouses and piers needed homes for themselves and their families. By the dawn of the Civil War, in 1860, a row of small two story Italianate row houses was built here on the eastern side of 9th Street, part of the effort to meet local housing needs. They weren’t fancy or grand; they were utilitarian houses for the working class. Most of them were probably subdivided into apartments or rented out as boarding house rooms. There were not too many people here who could afford an entire house.

As the war began in earnest, most people here were probably not aware that they lived on top of a battlefield themselves. This entire area was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, where the newly minted Continental Army was almost destroyed at the very beginning of the Revolutionary War, in 1776. The British had far superior forces, training and guns, and the Americans soon found themselves retreating towards the harbor. (more…)

07/29/14 2:00pm


We had wondered if the Unity Democratic Club at the corner of Ralph and Howard was still active, but hadn’t seen any signs of life since Obama’s first election. Now it looks like the old sign at 203 Ralph Avenue is coming down, perhaps for a new tenant or repairs. What would you like to see go into this space? GMAP