The Brooklyn Bridge Deserves a Scenic View District of Its Own [Curbed]
A Documentarian of Brooklyn’s Underground Creative Culture [Hyperallergic]
Long-Running Williamsburg Greenmarket Reopens Thursday [DNA]
Brooklyn Staycation: A Day in Park Slope [Bensonhurst Bean]
Legal Beagles Sniff Scumbag Scent at 60 Clarkson [Q Parkside]
City of Saints, Coffee Roastery and Tasting Bar, Opens Soon in Bushwick [Bushwick Daily]
A Prohibition Wreck on Orange Street (1922) [Brownstone Detectives]

Photo by Ajay Suresh via Flickr


Brooklyn Bridge Park fireworks. Photo by Etienne Frossard via Facebook

Pyrotechnic-loving Brooklynites, rejoice! Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are returning to the East River. This year, the 25-minute-long show will be launched from two different locations instead of one. A double barge will be placed just south of the Brooklyn Bridge and four additional barges will sit between East 23rd and East 42nd streets.

The East River location is a major win for Brooklyn — but you’re going to need to strategize if you want an Instagram-worthy view. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up the borough’s most firework-friendly spots. Even though the spectacle kicks off at 9:20 p.m., you’ll need to arrive a few hours early if you want a front-row seat.

Too agoraphobic to deal with the crowds? Start texting everyone you know in north Brooklyn. Williamsburg and Greenpoint will both have stellar views of the display. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to (smugly) watch the fireworks from your friend’s roof. If you prefer teeming throngs, though, these spots should give you a good vantage point. (more…)


The first Manhattan-to-Coney Island subway ride took place 100 years ago this week, as a train left Chambers Street, crossed the East River on the Manhattan Bridge, and headed south along 4th Avenue, to the cheers of 10,000 school children and other onlookers.

It was the inauguration of the 4th Avenue Subway line, opened by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, which a few years later would become the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation — the BMT. (The photo above shows the tunnel being built between 9th and Union streets, circa 1912.)

This weekend you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the subway’s arrival in Brooklyn with rides on a quartet of vintage trains, which will run continuously from the Brighton Beach Station from noon to 4 pm, both Saturday and Sunday.  There will be a handful of different car models to ride on, the oldest being the BMT Standard cars, put into use in 1917. (more…)


It’s raining Tetris buildings in Brooklyn!

We spied another Tetris like facade going up on yet another Bushwick building at 1138 Bushwick Avenue, pictured above. The frame building was undergoing a renovation after it and its neighbors to the right and left caught fire last year. It caught fire again last week, but the facade escaped serious damage, as we detailed in this post.

By our count, this is one of at least five buildings in Brooklyn whose geometric facades bring to mind the 1980s computer game. Most are variations on geometric patterns.

As far as we can tell, only the brightly colored mural on the facade of 1091 Madison Street, pictured after the jump, appears to be an intentional reference to the game. See and read more below. (more…)

Theater for a New Audience

The first Make It in Brooklyn Innovation Summit will bring together 300 Brooklyn entrepreneurs, business leaders, artists, and others to discuss what it means to make it in Brooklyn. Speakers include Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery; David Walentas of Two Trees, who helped transform Dumbo and is redeveloping the Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg; Director of the Weeksville Heritage Center Tia Powell Harris, and hundreds more.

There will be panels on real estate, manufacturing, the arts and the restaurant business. Following the talks will be a business pitch contest, with $50,000 in seed funding going to the winner. (more…)


Is Brooklyn experiencing a real estate bubble that will never pop? That’s the claim of a very long article in Gothamist that examines record high housing costs in Bed Stuy and, more generally, the spread of high sale prices and rents outward from “prime” Brooklyn into “emerging” areas such as Bed Stuy, Bushwick and Crown Heights.

It’s a big grab bag that covers well-worn ground, such as publicly traded firms — most notably Australian REIT Dixon — beating out would be owner occupants of town houses with all cash. (more…)

WELCOME TO THE INSIDER, Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design or renovation project, written and produced by Cara Greenberg. Find it here every Thursday at 11.


WHERE MOST PEOPLE SEE A WRECK, architects see glorious opportunity. So said Elizabeth Roberts, founding principal of Gowanus-based Ensemble Architecture, of this four-story brick row house whose new owners are a young family late of SoHo.

“The house was in really bad shape,” said Roberts of the neglected 20-by-36-foot structure, into which the architects managed to fit four bedrooms, a study, three full baths and two half baths.  “It had been vacant, water had been leaking for a few years, and the rear wall was falling down. The opportunity was there for opening it up a lot, and putting on a two-story addition.”

That 13-foot-deep addition was the project’s boldest stroke. Now, the new garden-level kitchen, as well as the back parlor on the floor above, open into a two-story volume containing a high-ceilinged dining space. (more…)


The lack of affordable housing in a city where rents are skyrocketing is a full-blown crisis that threatens to tear at the city’s social fabric, a panel of four local experts agreed Monday, at a discussion hosted by the Museum of the City of New York.

“We need to preserve the diversity and vitality that makes New York what it is, and I’m worried that escalating housing costs are threatening that very vitality and diversity,” said panelist Ingrid Gould Ellen, director of the Urban Planning Program at NYU Wagner.

The panel, held as part of the museum’s current exhibition on the history of the city’s Landmarks Law, was called “Preserving the Fabric of Our Neighborhoods” – though moderator Simeon Bankoff, executive director of preservation advocacy group Historic Districts Council, suggested at the outset that an alternative title could be “Surviving Our Own Success.”

Several decades ago, the conversation would have been about a fleeing populace and vacant buildings, he noted. Michelle de la Uz, executive director of Brooklyn nonprofit community organization Fifth Avenue Committee, recalled that she “started in Park Slope when there were many abandoned buildings and vacant lots. Obviously now the neighborhood is a very different place.”

The panel broke down the current picture: spiking rents, a burgeoning population that’s expected to grow further, an influx of global capital that’s helping drive prices up and, in the midst of those trends, a declining number of rent-stabilized housing units.

It makes for a “double whammy,” noted Ellen, who said 200,000 rent-stabilized units were lost between 2002 and 2011. (more…)


African Arts Museum Moves to Larger New Space in Fort Greene [NY Times]
Two Houses on Narrows Avenue in Bay Ridge Slated for Demolition [Eagle]
City Insists It Is Still Committed to Finishing Bushwick Inlet Park [BK Paper]
New Clinton Hill Apartments at The Refinery Debut From $2,155 [Curbed]
The Oosten Gets Glassy at 429 Kent Avenue in South Williamsburg [NYY]
Historic Tanker Finds New Home in Red Hook [DNA]
Windsor Terrace Library Welcomes $10K Prize Amid Funding Crunch [DNA]
Boerum Hill Fights to Save “Neighborhood Institution” Jesse’s Deli [DNA]

A door on North 4th Street in Williamsburg.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran


Bar Bolinas, the bar and restaurant that has replaced Maggie Brown, opened at 455 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill Thursday, workers told us when we stopped by yesterday. As befits an eatery named after the Northern California coastal hippie town, the menu is heavy on unusual vegetable combos and seafood.

There is a green chili and coconut soup and an appetizer that combines watermelon radish with cabbage and asparagus. There is also a cheeseburger and a flap steak for red meat fans.

Anyone checked it out yet? 

Maggie Brown Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP


A gas main was broken by city workers on Broadway between Roebling and Havemeyer in Williamsburg this morning and the entire block has been evacuated, according to a Brownstoner reader who works on the block and sent us some photos.

The block has been blocked off and traffic is backing up, he said.

We found this MTA Tweet too: #ServAdv: b/d #B32, #B44-SBS, #B46, #B60, #Q24 & #Q59 buses are delayed & detoured. Gas leak on Broadway b/t Havemeyer St & Roebling St.”

Update: The main has been fixed and the block can be re-entered, as of about 12:20 pm.