04/24/15 8:30am


East Wind Snack Shop in Windsor Terrace [NY Times]
Swimmer Finds It Isn’t So Easy to Scrub off Gowanus Gunk [WSJ]
Construction Update: Church Redevelopment at 267 Rogers Avenue, Crown Heights [NYY]
Change of Developer for Walgreens Site in Boerum Hill [TRD]
Adam America Keeps Its Lending Worldly for Brooklyn Projects [TRD]
New Sex Shop Wants to Help Park Slope “Rediscover Sensuality” [DNA]

Domino Sugar Refinery.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

04/23/15 4:28pm


Sleep Beneath Brooklyn’s Water Tower Bar From $250 a Night [Curbed]
18-Unit Mixed-Use Project Planned for 577 Hart Street in Bushwick [NYY]
The Gowanus Tastes Like Mud, Poop, Grass and Gas, Canal Swimmer Reports [Gothamist]
A Peep Inside Cacao Market: A Place Where Chocolate Dreams Come True [Greenpointers]
Flea Market With Vintage Airstreams Opens on Fulton Street [DNA]
Sinkhole Opens on Bed Stuy Street, FDNY Says [DNA]

Copper bay windows on Pierrepont Street.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Megan Cerullo

04/23/15 4:00pm


The countdown to the Red Hook Criterium has literally begun: A timer on the event’s site lets visitors know exactly how many days, hours and minutes are left before the race kicks off this Saturday. The grueling and competitive track bike crit will draw entrants who run the gamut from professional road racers to bike messengers, all of whom will test their handling skills and fitness levels on fixed gear track bicycles.

“It’s the most exciting cycling event I’ve witnessed,” four-time champion Neil Bezdek told us. “It cuts across cycling subcultures by attracting all types of athletes and transcends cycling culture by appealing to a mainstream audience.” (more…)

04/23/15 3:00pm

649-651 Myrtle Ave, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Wood-framed store buildings with apartments above
Address: 649-651 Myrtle Avenue
Cross Streets: Franklin and Skillman Avenues
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: Before 1872, probably late 1860s
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Although we hold up the Brooklyn brownstone as the building block of our city, in truth, buildings like this built Brooklyn. These were the types of buildings that lined the streets in the 1840s, when Walt Whitman was rhapsodizing about his city.

These simple two story wood-framed buildings, with a store on the ground floor and an apartment above lined our commercial streets until well after the Civil War. The fact that any of them have survived anywhere in this constantly changing city to this date is amazing.

Most of this commercial block probably looked like these two houses when they were built, probably in the 1860s. By the 1880’s the twin wood-frames were surrounded by brick and brownstone buildings. Somehow, they survived, probably because they were constantly in use.

The addresses start to appear in 1872. 649 is listed in a city directory as the location for a grocery store owned by Joseph H. Corliss. He and his family lived upstairs. (more…)


Another cafe has opened in east Bed Stuy. Butch & CoCo Cafe serves cheddar and blue cheese sliders, chicken tacos, and red velvet waffles and fried chicken.

“It is easy to miss because the signage is not that eyecatching, but their limited menu is super delicious (mostly tacos and sliders),” a Brownstoner reader who lives nearby told us. Inside there is counter seating at the window and reclaimed wood around the main counter and the walls.

T Roc Homestyle Cooking opened nearby on Ralph in October, and Manny’s reopened on Patchen the same month.

For now Butch & CoCo is open only on weekends from 9 to 6:30 pm, workers told us when we stopped by. They deliver. The address is 153 Howard Avenue.  GMAP (more…)

04/23/15 12:15pm


Just listed is this two-bedroom parlor and garden level duplex in an 1890s Neo-Grec townhouse in Bed Stuy. Many original details remain, including wood work, window shutters, decorative fireplaces with colorful tile, and ornate plaster work.

In addition to 1,900 square feet of interior living space, there is a private garden and a deck. The one bathroom is located on the garden floor, in the extension.

What do you think of the $4,000 ask for this Bed Stuy location?

191 Hancock Street, #1 [Park Property Advisors] GMAP
Photos by Park Property Advisors (more…)


Workers were sprucing up the storefront for rent at 112 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights when we walked by yesterday morning. The wood trim around the front door and windows on the lower level have been primed and are being painted green.

The vacant storefront looks a tad more inviting, although inside there is still some trash and construction materials scattered sbout. This prime retail spot has been vacant since Starbucks relocated further down Montague Street to No. 134 way back in 2012. (more…)

04/23/15 10:00am

Holy Cross Cemetery, Flatbush. Jim Henderson, Wiki 1

Pretty 16 year old housemaid Barbara Gronenthal was dead, and her boyfriend, James Walsh killed her. Now he was in jail, awaiting his murder trial. Would he end up like his older brother, sentenced to Sing Sing Prison, or, as we learned in the last chapter, would his fate also match his brother’s – death?

James Walsh sat in Brooklyn’s Raymond Street Jail alone and friendless. His mother, Catherine Duffy, came to visit him once, and left shortly thereafter, weeping bitterly. The guards told reporters that James would be calm and quiet in his cell, and then suddenly rage and throw himself at the bars. He also liked the prison food, which in their estimation proved he was insane.

An autopsy was conducted before Barbara was returned to her family for burial. It determined that the four inch knife had been plunged into her heart up to the hilt, killing her in minutes. She never had a chance. Her funeral took place on January 6, 1881. Only her mother, her two sisters, her brother-in-law, and a few family friends followed the funeral procession to Holy Cross Cemetery in Flatbush. The Carlisle family was not there.

Investigators went to talk to anyone who knew James Walsh. They visited his job and found out a lot of information that was not positive for James’ case. His supervisor said that James had been a fine worker until about a year ago, when his brother Buck had been arrested for the home invasion robbery. After that, James had started to pick fights with management and with fellow workers.

The day James killed Barbara he had suddenly taken off from work in the afternoon, and never came back. That was it for his supervisor, who told other workers that if James came back the next day, he was going to be fired. (more…)


Now taking applications for seven affordable rentals: 96 Brooklyn Avenue. If you’ve spent any time in north Crown Heights, you’ve probably seen this eye-catching 1880s Queen Anne building. Designed by noted 19th century Brooklyn architect firm Parfitt Brothers, it’s landmarked but has crumbling and hidden under overgrown shrubbery for years.

Nonprofit housing developers NIA JV LLC and ELH Management LLC acquired it in 2013 with plans to turn it into seven affordable rentals and restore the exterior as per LPC requirements, as we detailed at the time. (ELH Management also handled the award-winning restoration of Montrose Morris’ Imperial Apartments on the corner of Pacific Street and Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights.)

Also now taking applications are seven more affordable rentals in other historic buildings in Crown Heights and Bed Stuy, as this online notice from HPD and New York City Housing Connect details. The deadline to apply is May 13.

Rents range from $877 a month for a studio to $1,541 for a three-bedroom. Income requirements range from $36,680 for one person to $120,240 for a household of six. Check out the online notice for more details on rents and income. (more…)



Construction is finally coming along at 180 Myrtle Avenue, where grocery mogul John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group is planning a 15-story mixed-use residential tower. The first level has risen, with 14 more to go, we saw when we stopped by Sunday.

Summer 2016 is the anticipated completion date, according to the sign on the construction fence. The building will be a rental with 213 apartments and will feature plenty of amenities, including a landscaped roof terrace.

Click through to see more construction photos and a previously published rendering of what the building will look like once complete.  (more…)