NYC Coop Abatement Property Taxes

Photo by Mary Hautman

If you pay taxes on a condo or co-op in this city, you may feel like you’re getting screwed. NYC has a bafflingly complicated property tax structure that’s inherently unfair to co-op and condo owners. And the city knows it.

Which is why they created the co-op and condo tax abatement. Taking advantage of this break can shave hundreds to thousands of dollars a year off of a condo owner or co-op shareholder’s tax bills. Here’s how. (more…)

Everything ends up here eventually, but Made in Brooklyn is a column exploring native, born-and-bred borough creations.

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At the beginning of the 20th century, a revolution in home cookware was taking American kitchens by storm, with aluminum pots and pans supplanting their unwieldy predecessors: cast iron cookery. But new wares also required new cleaning methods. (more…)

Weeksville Brooklyn History

Imagine being told your entire life that you were not really a citizen of your town or country. Imagine being treated as an inferior, offered only the most menial of jobs, and told to be happy with your lot in life. Imagine being banned from churches, stores and theaters, even cemeteries, because they did not serve “your kind.”

Now imagine finding a town where you were accepted — a town where you were able to build your own home, worship in your own church, buy from stores owned by people like you, and raise and educate your children in a place where they would be welcome. A town where you could reach old age and pass on in dignity and equality.

For Brooklyn’s African-American population in the 19th century, some of whom were recently freed from slavery, this remarkable town was called Weeksville. And it survives today in bits and pieces, some of which now comprise a historic center in present-day Crown Heights. Here is its story. (more…)

DeKalb Market Hall Brooklyn Hard Hat Tour

“I think Brooklyn deserves all this,” said DeKalb Market Hall managing partner Anna Castellani as she guided Brownstoner on a hard-hat tour of the subterranean cafeteria. Beneath the mixed-use behemoth of Downtown Brooklyn’s second City Point tower, a sprawling food market is quickly taking shape. (more…)

Brownstoner takes on Brooklyn history in Nabe Names, a series of briefs on the origins and surprising stories of neighborhood nomenclature.

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Wallabout Market in 1940. Photo via the Library of Congress

This little-known historic enclave dates back to the 17th century, evidenced by the area’s pre–Civil War wood-frame row houses and not one but two historic district designations.  (more…)

Donate Clothes Brooklyn

One of the major barriers to getting rid of stuff is that it’s not always easy to figure out what the heck to do with it all.

If you throw away reusable items, you’re being wasteful. If you stick your things out on the curb with a “Free! No Bedbugs!” sign, there’s a chance the landlord or super will get mad — and an even bigger chance that nobody will believe that the stuff is, indeed, safe to take (making you both wasteful and a litterer), so that’s out.

The ethical and logical action to take with reusable items is obviously to donate it all, and we want to make that as easy as possible for you. Below is some information to help make donation easy, complete with contact information for who can come pick up your items and briefs on what each charity wants and where they are.

What are your favorite donation spots? Together, we can get this done right while clearing the way for a deep-clean in the spring. (more…)

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A gut renovation opened up this now loft-like Williamsburg home. Photo by Ensemble Architecture

Renovating a house can be one of those bank-account-draining experiences that make a designer shoe habit or dining in three-star restaurants look cheap in comparison.

But how much does it cost — or should it cost — to renovate a home? Some believe a top-shelf Brooklyn townhouse renovation costs at least $1 million. But there’s also a vocal subset who hold fast to the idea that almost any house can be renovated for $200,000 — or less.

Who’s right? Read on to find out. (more…)