“So many of the civic successes heralded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,” Ginia Bellafonte wrote in The New York Times back in 2012, “might have happened in Lithuania for all the effect they have had (or could have) on the lives of people in Brownsville,” which Ms. Bellafonte then goes on to helpfully identify as a neighborhood in northeastern Brooklyn.
We’re not sure if gentrification counts as a “civic success,” and we aren’t aware of any pasty-faced, heritage flannel-wearing hipsters wandering around Pitkin Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag, yet. But if trends in nearby neighborhoods are any indication, it won’t be long before Brownsville—a byword for blight, home to the largest concentration of public housing towers in the city and to this day a place that some mail carriers fear to tread—is selling something artisanal besides stamp bags.
This reporter heard from a friend last night that they had seen a line for gas on Empire Boulevard, on the border of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights and Flatbush neighborhoods, that stretched for 10 blocks. Meanwhile, special corespondent Ian Lamb came upon this scene in Kensington:
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
Over the years, Jonathan Butler has covered countless Brooklyn real estate deals and developments—and by extension, the delights and absurdities of living in the borough—for his blog Brownstoner.
Now, he can finally write about his own. Mr. Butler and his partners have paid $11 million for a former Studebaker Service Station on Dean Street in Crown Heights. They plan to convert the 155,000 square-feet of space into a commercial mixed-use development that will house artists and assorted creative types as well as a food hall—a $30 million project, to which Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group will contribute $25.5 million. BFC Partners, the developer behind Toren, is also involved in the deal, which was first written about in The Journal and then, of course blogged about by Mr. Butler on Brownstoner.
A promising first step—bringing Selldorf Architects on board to design the space, which should be interesting given Selldorf’s success with high/low projects in the past: Manhattan galleries and penthouses, a renovation of the Plaza’s famed Oak Room and designing a Brooklyn recycling plant.
Brooklyn's Back Bench
The emcee invoked Matthew 16:24. “Jesus said to his followers if anyone wants to follow me, he must say no to the things he wants. He must be willing to even die on the cross and he must follow me.”
Hundreds of parishioners had gathered in the basement of the 96-year-old Brown Memorial Church in Read More
Hey, coffee fans — ever tried something called the Dieci? That name is Italian for 10, but it’s better known by how it’s advertised on a store’s chalkboard sign: “coffee porn in a cup.”
At The Pulp & The Bean in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this $8 concoction consists of ten shots of espresso in a Read More
“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”
Maybe instead of the Great Recession, we could have called this the Tempest, after Shakespeare’s play. Indeed, the economic fallout has led to some unusual couplings, including Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokorhov; Bill Ackman and Stuyvesant Town; and Charlie Sheen and the Plaza. Add to Read More
It is, perhaps, the ultimate sign of entry into the exclusive club of Brooklyn neighborhoods attractive to New York’s self-consciously creative class: a neighborhood blog.
Now that Crown Heights’ main drag Franklin Avenue has its own blog, the neighborhood, it would seem, has finally arrived. Said blog, at ilovefranklinave.blogspot.com, is the handiwork of Read More
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum — the hands-on instititution popular with tykes from Tremont to Poughkeepsie — is slated to reopen as the first LEED-certified museum in New York City on Sept. 20, according to a spokeswoman for the project and Interior Design.
The Rafael-Vinoly-designed addition to the Crown Heights insititution will, Read More
First came the overhaul of the old Jewish Hospital into quasi-luxury rentals. Then came Saje. Chavella’s. Bristen’s. Two clothing boutiques. The beer garden. Abigail. The gentrification of Crown Heights — in all of its prickly glory — continues apace with the impending arrival of Lily & Fig Fine Cakes and Confections on Franklin Avenue and Read More
Beer nerds, rejoice! Crown Heights can now count itself among the select group of neighborhoods to have a true, brew beer garden.
As reported in the Gothamist, Franklin Park, at 618 St. John’s Place, officially opened its doors on Friday, tapping kegs of Coney Island Lager, Rare Vos Amber Ale, Hoegaarden, Green Flash Read More