Brooklyn Life

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“Can’t find a cab to take you to Brooklyn? Join the club. The city is seeing a big rise in complaints about scofflaw cabdrivers who refuse rides based on the passenger’s requested destination, officials said on Thursday. The Taxi and Limousine Commission said it received 2,341 reports of refusals in the last half of 2010, a 38 percent increase from the same period a year prior, when 1,693 complaints were received…David S. Yassky, chairman of the taxi commission and a Brooklyn Heights resident, said he was alarmed by the trend. ‘A core component of taxi service is that the passenger chooses where to go in the five boroughs,’ he said in a statement. ‘Unfortunately, it is getting to be like the bad old days when taxis wouldn’t go to Brooklyn.’ Mr. Yassky and the Bloomberg administration now want to raise the penalties on cabbies who are found to have refused a ride. A proposal floated on Thursday would levy a fine of $500 for first offenders, up from the current $200 penalty. Cabbies could have their licenses revoked if they commit three such infractions in a three-year period.” -City Room

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Charity Bazaar
If you are in Park Slope this weekend, you might want to consider dropping by St. John-St. Matthew Emanuel Lutheran Church for a charity bazaar this Saturday. The MOMS Club of Park Slope, a 50-family organization, will be holding its annual indoor rummage sale to benefit Jonah’s Just Begun (seeking a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome). There will be lots of kid’s and baby clothing, toys, books, CD’s, DVD’s and more. In addition, they will be accepting donations for sale. Saturday, February 26. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free. 283 Prospect Avenue, St. John-St. Matthew Emanuel Lutheran Church.

3rd Annual “Greening Flatbush: Garden Where You Are”
“Greening Flatbush: Garden Where You Are” is an afternoon of short demonstrations and fun, practical hands-on workshops. Presentations will include: Start Your Own Seedlings, How to Cultivate Edible Mushrooms in Your Apartment, Church Avenue Communal Garden, Flatbush Farm Share CSA, Compost for Brooklyn!, Gardening for Children, Lefferts Community Food Coop, Worm Bin Composting, Vertical Gardening and more! There will also be an information table featuring sustainability education opportunities specifically for youth. All are welcome! Sunday, February 27. 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. $5 suggested donation includes a raffle ticket. 1401 Flatbush Avenue, Flatbush YMCA.

The Brooklyn Flea
The winter Flea is located at Skylight One Hanson (the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank across from the Atlantic Center mall) on Saturdays and Sundays. The Flea features over a 100 vendors offering a great mix of vintage, antiques, jewelry, and food. Saturday & Sunday, February 26 & 27. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Free. One Hanson Place/Williamsburg Savings Bank.

Please send your events listings to events@brownstoner.com

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Runner Warms to Williamsburg After Moving There This Winter [NY Times]
New Offices for Brooklyn Bridge Park Staff and Conservancy [NY Post]
City Sued Over Woman’s Death During the Blizzard [NY Post]
Foundation Builds Computer Lab For Bed-Stuy Senior Residence [Eagle]
Supporters Rally at Tweed To Save P.S. 114 in Canarsie [Eagle]
Field Guide to Brooklyn’s New Family Restaurants [Eater]
‘Pro Bono’ Work of Anti-Bike Lane Case Lawyer Questionable? [Streetsblog]
Parking Reqs Force BX Affordable Project to Shrink [Streetsblog]
Hidden Video Store Signage on Seventh [HPS]
Construction at Sixteen Sycamores Park [CG Patch]
Fewer Broken Windows in ’09 [Metro]

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The map above is part of a Country Living feature called “Brooklyn’s Small-Town Charms.” Here’s part of the piece’s intro: “Today, Brooklyn still feels more heartland than Big Apple, with ribbon-worthy pie cafés hanging out shingles next to soda shops and general stores. To make navigating this supersized Mayberry manageable, we planned day trips around three of our favorite areas — Greenpoint and Williamsburg; Atlantic Avenue, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook; and Prospect Park and Park Slope (highlighted on map) — then homed in on the best spots to shop, eat, and explore.” Brooklyn as a “supersized Mayberry”? OK.
Brooklyn’s Small-Town Charms [Country Living]

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It was only earlier this month that we checked out the very snowy, relatively quiet site at PS 133. Since then, the snow has melted and construction has really begun at 4th Avenue and Butler Street. A recent peek in reveals that the frame is beginning to take shape. Expect construction to last throughout 2011.
Development Watch: The Snowy PS 133 Site [Brownstoner]
Onward and Upward at PS 133 [Brownstoner]
Last Wall Comes Down at PS 133 [Brownstoner]
Chipping Away at PS 133 [Brownstoner]
PS 133: Memo on the Demo [Brownstoner] GMAP

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We’ve been anxiously waiting for a new tenant at the large storefront on Court Street, at 1st Place, and now PMFA’s got the news that Vinzee’s Magic Fountain, a burger joint, is moving in. Looks like there’s already a website and Facebook page, but PMFA points out there’s also a current SWO on the building. According to the website, Vinzee’s is “a fast casual restaurant with an American style cuisine and wonderful ice cream desserts.” Today Eater complied a list of kid-friendly restaurants in Brooklyn and included this one, saying “We’re fairly certain it will either be a place where servers do magic tricks, like Ninja, a karaoke bar with food, or a (potentially earth-shattering) combination magic parlor/karaoke den/50s style diner, which might make it the perfect new family dining destination.” Can’t wait to find out!
410 Court Goes Very White [Brownstoner]
410 Court Looking Big [Brownstoner]
Fast Food for 410 Court [Brownstoner] GMAP

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Yesterday Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman sent out a note reminding residents that the city has tightened restrictions on block parties, reducing “the total amount of time for block parties from what had been up to 12 hours (from 9am to 9pm) to a new maximum of any 9-hour period between 9am and 9pm.” In addition, the city is now requiring that all applications for block parties be submitted electronically; the new procedures and rules are explained in this PDF memo. Killjoy or good news?
Photo by Sugar Pond.