01/30/14 2:00pm

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Kiehl’s will open its doors to the Brooklyn community and celebrate its grand opening at 124 Montague Street Friday. The look of the 830-square-foot space will pay homage to the skincare retailer’s origins as an apothecary in the East Village with a mosaic tile entryway, reclaimed wood floors, exposed brick, vintage photographs, Carrara marble tables and counters and a bronze and crystal chandelier.

There will also be pop-art inspired graphics and neon signs, a Kiehl’s trademark “Mr. Bones” teaching skeleton and a custom painted Kiehl’s motorcycle on display. Kiehl’s also commissioned artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Jon Contino.

The grand opening party will take place from 4 to 5:30 pm. There will be giveaways, including gift cards and facials, and Brooklyn-made refreshments. Entertainment will include a DJ, photo booth and skate clinic. Kiehl’s will also donate $5,000 to the Friends of Douglass/Greene Park.

Kiehl’s Covers Windows With Graphics at Future Outpost in Brooklyn Heights [Brownstoner] GMAP

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Jiajein Highsmith, an actor and the owner of WTF Coffee and Dick and Jane’s Bar, both in Fort Greene, is looking to open a hybrid café/bar at 488 Lafayette Avenue in Bed Stuy. For the moment, at least, the establishment is going by the name Lifting Spirits NYC.

At a meeting last week, Community Board 3 voted against a letter of support for a liquor license, partly over concerns about his stated plan to operate as a cafe by day and a bar by night. The new business would replace a check cashing service. What would you like to see in this spot? GMAP

12/10/13 9:00am

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A larger than anticipated crowd of over 200 people showed up to discuss their concerns and wishes and help plan the future of Gowanus development Monday night at The Children’s School on Carroll Street. The meeting was the first of a series of public planning forums called Bridging Gowanus convened by local politicians about the ongoing development of and cleanup plan for Gowanus. The Pratt Center for Community Development moderated and presented findings from previous invitation-only meetings held over the summer.

City Council Member Brad Lander remarked that with the EPA’s Record of Decision for the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site and the impending transition at City Hall, it’s an important moment for the community to come together and establish a shared vision for the infrastructure of the low-lying and industrially polluted Gowanus area before planning begins. The consensus of the crowd was that every effort should be made to preserve the area’s socioeconomic diversity and keep it affordable for the mixed uses (manufacturing, residential, commercial, artistic) that currently exist. A number of local artists in attendance expressed fears of gentrification and said they felt threatened by the diminishing affordability of studio space. In brief, locals called for a rezoning to preserve affordability and Gowanus’ eclectic identity as a community with vibrant street life and activity.

Other issues raised included the need for a permanent protection plan against coastal disasters; it was noted that the current recovery infrastructure is insufficient to handle even regular rain. The group also said another priority is more schools and suitable health care facilities to accommodate the area’s growing residential population. They would also like the canal to be opened up as a recreational public waterway.

A series of followup meetings will be held early in 2014. In the meantime, anyone interested in joining a working group can contact info@BridgingGowanus.org.

Gowanus Residents Meeting to Create Development Plan [Brownstoner]

12/06/13 2:00pm

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Kiehl’s has filled the windows of its future Brooklyn Heights store with giant images of its products, most likely to hide work going on inside. The skincare company was scheduled to start construction at 124 Montague Street November 1 in anticipation of a post-Christmas opening, according to previously published reports. The prime corner space had been occupied by Corcoran, as the photos show. This will be the company’s first Brooklyn location. It started in the East Village in 1851. Click through for a closeup after the jump. GMAP (more…)

12/06/13 9:30am

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The United States Postal Service and Community Board Two hosted a public hearing on Thursday evening about the relocation of two post offices: the Pratt Station Post office at 524 Myrtle Avenue and the Times Plaza Station Post Office at 542 Atlantic Avenue. Each location’s lease agreement will soon expire, at which point both property owners have other plans for the buildings.

State Senator Velmanette Montgomery voiced concern over the relocation of Myrtle Avenue’s post office, as its current location is convenient for many area residents. She said she would like to work with the post office through a committee to help find a suitable new location.

USPS Real Estate Specialist Joseph Mulvey said every attempt will be made to keep retail services and carrier operations together in the new locations. However, if a large enough space cannot be found — 8,600 square feet — the services may have to be separated, he said.

The post office will take written comments on the move for the next 15 days (by mail). After that, the post office will outline its plan for conducting the search in a letter to the borough president, mayor, and the community board.

After this, any member of the community will have up to 30 days to appeal the decision. Once a decision is made, the search for suitable properties will continue. The borough president and community boards will be notified of proposed new locations, and then another round of feedback and comment will start.

The post office has engaged CB Richard Ellis, a commercial real estate firm, to help with the search. They’re already in preliminary talks with property owners, he added.

08/02/13 8:45am

Films on the Green – A Summer’s Tale
On Friday, August 2, the Open Space Alliance, in partnership with Cultural Services of the French Embassy, will screen A Summer’s Tale (1996). The film unravels as follows: While Gaspard waits for his girlfriend Léna to join him for the summer holidays in Brittany, he meets and finds himself juggling two other women before she arrives. The film is in French with English subtitles. The screening will be held at Transmitter Park near Greenpoint Avenue.

Hosh Family Yoga
Sunday, August 4 at 11 am, Hosh Yoga presents Hosh Family Yoga in McGolrick Park (on the lawn at Russell and Nassau). The class is free and open to the public and is co-presented by Friends of McGolrick Park, Town Square and OSA.

Homer Fink’s Hidden Brooklyn Heights Walking Tour
Brooklyn Bugle Media Kingpin Homer Fink hosts his “Hidden Brooklyn Heights” walking tour Saturday, August 3 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Highlights include learning about some of the odd, weird, controversial and amusing history of America’s first suburb. The 90-minute walking tour will meet at the Clinton Street entrance to St. Ann’s.

Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg
The Brooklyn Flea runs Saturday in Fort Greene and Sunday in Williamsburg, and the Smorgasburg market runs Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Dumbo. A map, details, and times for all the markets lives here. At the Flea, check out hundreds of antique, furniture, food, jewelry and art vendors. Smorgasburg features every type of food, beverage and treat imaginable. Entry to all markets is free.

07/26/13 8:45am

4th Annual Coney Island Talent Show
Hosted by World Famous *BOB*, the 4th Annual Coney Island Talent Show will take place on the boardwalk (between 10th and 12th streets) on July 27 from 3 pm to 8 pm. Contest categories include Creative Kids 9-12 years old, Creative Kids 13-17 years old, Circus Freaks & Sideshow Geeks, and Song & Dance. First, second and third place prizes in cash and tickets to Coney Island Amusements will be given away in each category. The best dressed person in each division will also receive a special mystery prize.

Shakespeare in the Courtyard
A family-friendly, five-actor version of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It will be performed at 3 pm on July 27 and 28 in Greenpoint’s Monsignor McGolrick Park. Both performances are free and open to the public.

Animation Block Party
Animation Block Party, the East Coast’s premier animation festival, returns for its 10th annual edition, showcasing international works, experimental shorts, computer animation, student films, local cartoons, a special Animation for Kids show, and more. Animation Weekend screenings will take place at Rooftop Films and BAMCinématek.

Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg
The Brooklyn Flea runs Saturday in Fort Greene and Sunday in Williamsburg, and the Smorgasburg market runs Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Dumbo. A map, details, and times for all the markets lives here. At the Flea, check out hundreds of antique, furniture, food, jewelry and art vendors. Smorgasburg features every type of food, beverage and treat imaginable. Entry to all markets is free.

07/19/13 8:45am

Piper Theatre Productions
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Experience the Tony-award winning musical based on Charles M. Schulz’ beloved Peanuts gang outdoors at the Old Stone House in Washington Park on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. The song-and-dance production, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, shares the adventures of Lucy, Schroeder, Linus, Sally, Charlie and everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy. Both shows are free.

Frankenstein
On Friday and Saturday Piper Theatre Productions also presents its final performances of its take on Mary Shelley’s classic tale of horror. Its interpretation of Frankenstein is staged outdoors and will be augmented by live music and six original rear film projections. Both shows are free and begin at 8:30 pm.

Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
On Friday, July 19 at 7 pm a free performance of favorite opera arias and duets featuring rising Metropolitan Opera stars Erin Morley (soprano), Isabel Leonard (mezzo-soprano), and Stephen Costello (tenor), accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore will be given at Pier 1.

Sunset Park Landmarks Committee Fun-Raiser
On Saturday, July 20 from 7 pm to 10 pm the SPLC will host a fundraiser supporting its mission to preserve Sunset Park’s historic architectural character. Admission is $20 and includes two drinks, a light buffet, a live blues ‘n’ country band, and a salsa dance performance.

Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg
The Brooklyn Flea runs Saturday in Fort Greene and Sunday in Williamsburg, and the Smorgasburg market runs Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Dumbo. A map, details, and times for all the markets lives here. At the Flea, check out hundreds of antique, furniture, food, jewelry and art vendors. Smorgasburg features every type of food, beverage and treat imaginable. Entry to all markets is free.

07/17/13 10:00am


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We checked up on State Street’s 9 Townhouses project, and work on the remaining facade is under way. The final facade will feature more copper sheeting than any of the other buildings, according to already visible appearances, meaning a more complicated installation. Copper has been used as a facade feature on several of the houses; inspiration was drawn from historic homes in Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill with copper clad oriel windows, architect Scott Demel of Rogers Marvel Architects told us. “During the design phase, the initial idea came from walks and observations of some of the historic homes in Brooklyn Heights, Boreum Hill and other nearby neighborhoods that have projecting oriel windows, many clad in ornamental copper work,” he said. At 309 State Street, the copper is used on a larger scale because of the building’s anchor position on the corner of State and Hoyt Streets. We took a peek inside and found that the first two townhouses in the row (Nos. 301 and 301a) are very near completion, featuring fully installed kitchens and finished bedrooms and bathrooms. Work remaining on these two lots includes paving the exterior entrances and external staircase installation, of which there will be two: one in steel leading to the second stories and a second in concrete with stone and brick accents leading down to the lower floors.  An estimated two to three months remain before the entire project reaches completion. Click through for more images of the exterior and interiors.

Eight Facades Finished at the 9 Townhouses [Brownstoner]
One of the Nine Townhouses Now on the Market [Brownstoner]
New Details About State Street’s “9 Townhouses” Project [Brownstoner]  GMAP (more…)

07/12/13 8:45am

ArinMaya Concert at Fowler Square
Tonight from 6 pm to 8 pm, ArinMaya and Djibril Toure and The People’s Express will perform original music and their favorite covers at a free outdoor concert at Fowler Square on Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene.

Starchitects of Yore Trolley Tour
On July 13 at 1 pm, Ruth Edebohls, urban historian and tour guide for the Green-Wood Historic Fund, will lead a tour through David Bates Douglass’ Green-Wood Cemetery, stopping by samples of great architecture by luminaries like Richard Upjohn & Son, Warren & Wetmore, and Stanford White. The tour will meet at the Gothic Arch inside the entrance to the cemetery at 25th Street and 5th Avenue. A trolley tour will also be led on Sunday, exploring the hidden gems of Green-Wood — you’ll get to tread where George Washington and his troops fought the Battle of Brooklyn. Fees: $20.00, $15.00 for Historic Fund members.

Living Los Sures: Preview in the Park
A special public preview of nine short documentary projects made this year as part of UnionDocs Collaborative Production Living Los Sures, will be held Saturday, July 13 at 7:30 pm in Sternberg Park. The event will transform the local handball courts into a free outdoor cinema complete with popcorn, “Brooklyn Cupcakes,” music and more. Southside community activist and poet David Lopez will host at the park; live bands, a midnight screening and after-party in the garden at UnionDocs will follow the screening.

Bastille Day on Smith Street
On Sunday, July 14, Bar Tabac will host its 10th Annual Bastille Day extravaganza with festivities starting at 11 am and continuing until 10 pm. Celebrate France’s independence with pétanque, pastis drinks, live music and more. Eighty teams with players from around the world will take over Smith Street between Bergen and Pacific for the day to participate in North America’s largest pétanque tournament.

07/03/13 8:45am

4th of July Bar-B-Q and Acoustic Country Jam at Freddy’s Bar
Freddy’s Bar is hosting a special Bar-B-Q starting at 2 pm on Thursday to celebrate the nation’s anniversary. Grill what is at Freddy’s or bring your own food. There will be $2 PBRs and beers on tap for $3. A classic-style acoustic country jam open to anyone who wants to play country songs written before 1970 will follow at 8 pm. Both events are free.

Free Fireworks at MCU Park
The Brooklyn Cyclones and the Alliance for Coney Island are teaming up to host an Independence Day celebration and fireworks show on Thursday, July 4 at MCU Park. Gates to the park will open at 4:30 pm, and all ballpark concessions will be available to the public. Attendees can enjoy a pig roast, a performance by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, live music, and other family activities. The fireworks show will commence at 9 pm. Admission is free, however donations will be accepted to benefit the Brooklyn Public Library and ConeyRecovers, an initiative of local organizations working in partnership to assist with the recovery of the Coney Island community.

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest
From 1 pm to 3 pm at its Coney Island boardwalk location (91310 Surf Avenue, at Stillwell Avenue), Nathan’s Famous will host its annual hot dog eating contest, with Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas competing to defend their titles as male and female champion, and win the $20,000 cash prize for each division. About 40,000 spectators will watch as contestants stuff as many hot dogs as they can down their throats in ten minutes.

Dance Party911: July 4th Afterparty
Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg) will host a free July 4th afterparty with pop and hip hop hits starting at 10 pm. They will be offering $3 tallboys and $6 tallboy and shot specials.

06/28/13 8:45am

Much Ado About Nothing
This weekend, Random Access Theatre Company will present three performances of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Set in Colonial Macau, this production explores the play’s themes of love, intrigue, power, betrayal and wit with a culturally diverse cast and Chinese/Portuguese inspired design concept. Friday, June 28 – Sunday, June 30 at The Granite Prospect in Brooklyn Bridge Park. All performances start at 7 pm.

Summer Nostalgia Rides at the New York Transit Museum
On Saturday, June 29, Independent Subway System (IND) R1 through R9 cars from the 1930s will journey from the Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn to Coney Island for a day at the boardwalk. The cars feature rattan seats, paddle ceiling fans, incandescent light bulbs, and roll signs. After the vintage ride, passengers can cool off at the beach, snack on a Nathan’s Famous hot dog, or brave the Cyclone at Luna Park. This is the first ride in a series of three; all rides run from 10 am to 5 pm.

Stuyvesant Heights Expansion District Tour
This Sunday at 11 am, the Municipal Art Society of New York will lead a tour that explores the recently expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, which surrounds the original HD. The tour features residential, civic and sacred architecture by some of Brooklyn’s most important architects and developers and will be led by Suzanne Spellen, writer and architectural historian, aka Brownstoner columnist Montrose Morris, and Morgan Munsey, architect, historian, and expert on the architecture of Bedford Stuyvesant.

After the jump, a DIY workshop on Myrtle Avenue and the Underground Thrift Store… (more…)