Saturday, January 24, 2015

Above Third

The city has gone crazy on rabbits' rights.  What with the City Council voting to ban the sale of rabbits in NY pet shops, pubs holding benefits for rabbit rescue groups, and those interfering Big Apple Rabbits zealots calling in the Brooklyn DA on a resident innocently raising a hardy and healthy warren in Gowanus, it's all got out of control.  I swore I'd leave the subject of the Third Ave rabbits alone - I'd only written about them originally because they were such a beautiful discovery there in the tire shop yard & shouldn't we celebrate the acts of an eccentric & kind-hearted hobbyist in a rapidly homogenizing city? - but a blog consultant insisted I take a shot of the yard from the F train.  And here it is.  As you can see, contrary to the allegations of our joyless rabbit "defenders," there's shelter galore for our furry friends!  Let a lady keep her rabbits in peace.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fittingly Enough

Across from the cemetery & out with the trash, a poster of a (bad, bad) poem for Jim Morrison: A New Epitaph for Pere Lachaise. Rock is not Dead!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Support the Striking Workers at Vegas Auto Spa

Striking workers at the Vegas Auto Spa Wash (7th & 19th) are rallying again today for their right to form a union and in protest against low wages, unpaid overtime & unsafe working conditions.

Hernan Lopez, who has worked at Vegas since 2009, said: “We are fighting for our rights. We want the owner to accept the union so we can go back to work. We only want to be treated fairly and paid honestly for the work we do.” 
Eight workers at Vegas Auto Spa sued owner Marat Leshehinsky in Brooklyn Federal Court on Oct. 7, 2014, alleging wage theft of at least $600,000 and perhaps more than $1 million through wage and hour violations. 
They claim they were sometimes paid less than the minimum wage and worked as many as 90 hours a week without overtime. They went on strike November 19, 2014, demanding to be allowed to join the union of their choice, the RWDSU. The owner is refusing to recognize the union and is trying to block the workers from voting on whether to unionize.

                                                           News - Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (12/14)

A worker outside the car wash this morning told me that there will be a vigil around 4:30 this afternoon.  Please show up and offer your support.

More information here about how you can help.

The Geek is Gone

The Brooklyn Geek, a small, independent computer repair & diagnosis business, has closed shop at Fourth Avenue & 8th Street. The business was originally based on 1st Street (I remember us lugging our larger, heavier PCs there in earlier years) and moved to Fourth in 2008. Over the years it garnered a reputation for accurate, fairly-priced and friendly service.  And you always felt you were leaving your vulnerable information in honest hands.  In addition to repairs & other computer services such as data retrieval, upgrades, virus removal etc, the Geek ran computer classes, and more recently had a sideline in Italian ices.

Happily, the owners, Patty & Gabe Feliciano, still have an online business, serving customers in Brooklyn & Staten Island.  They'll provide tutoring (seniors a specialty), make house calls by appointment, & offer free pick-up and delivery.  Contact details are available at their website.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Update on construction at the Lightstone Group's Gowanus Construction (Pardon Me for Asking)

"Though only a fraction of the Lightstone Group development has gone up so far,  it has become all too clear to most local residents that it will change the nature of Gowanus forever."

City to sue owner of crumbling 68th Precinct House & Stables on Sunset Park's Fourth  (Brooklyn Paper)

Atlantic Ave. P.O. moving to Flatbush Ave.  (Brownstoner)

"The Boerum Hill post office is relocating from 542 Atlantic Avenue to 290 Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope, according to the Atlantic Yards Report. Last we heard, the post office was going to move into a newly renovated warehouse at 594 Dean Street, across the street from a big piece of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. But a few weeks ago, Crain’sreported that a coworking company, Industrious, had signed a lease for a 19,000 square foot space at the Dean Street warehouse. 
So what happened to the post office? Rob Perris, District Manager for Community Board 2, told AYR the postal service switched plans because it “discovered belatedly that the proposed location isn’t in 11217.” (Seems kind of strange the post office didn’t know the zip code.) The new space is a former Chase bank branch in the ground floor of a condo building between Prospect Place and Park Place, above."

A Real Charmer

The building facade is now in place at 540 Fifth

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Revealed & Hidden on Fifth

The scaffolding is finally coming down at the Hellenic Classical Charter School (18th). "It looks like a college!" a passer-by exclaimed.

The (Pablito's) Taqueria sign is up (23rd) but the restaurant doesn't appear to be open yet.

At Fifth & 25th renovations at the old McGovern-Weir greenhouse (purchased by Greenwood Cemeter for use as a visitor center), have reached a tented stage.

Nearby, at the S. Batrouni Auto Service Center, this one's been under wraps for a while. Any guesses as to what model's underneath?

Monday, January 19, 2015

They're Back?

Just when you think the saga of Jo, Brian & Joseph is over, a new twist in the tale emerges!  A J,B & J worker, present at Fifth & 12th today, told me today that they were "taking everything out" and "renovating" the store...  The taking out part sounds likely, but the renovating part not so much.  Still, we must suspend our cynicism!  Even after more than three months closed, and apparently owing over $30,000 in rent, a new act is always possible.

The J,B& J story, & and some bonus block trivia of earlier years here

Moving Along

Excavation has begun at 470 Fourth.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Underworld Plaza

Looking down from the 62nd Street Station

I've passed by here plenty of times, but this time I got off the train to dawdle on the platform.  I've always loved the name - perfect for a lingerie store underneath the tracks.  Maybe Eurydice is somewhere inside, getting a fitting from a no-nonsense saleswoman, or maybe there are figures in the shadows of the parking lot, whispering deals on girdles and slips.  Anything might happen here...

Or maybe not.  At wedding planners website Chosson & Kallah, the place is listed as "one stop shopping" for kallahs, though some Yelp reviewers remember the terrors of adolescent visits.

I had nightmares after visiting this place the first time.  Rows and rows of bras.  And underwear. And fat pants.  I had nightmares about suffocating in undergarments...

As a child a visit to Underworld Plaza was traumatizing.  Strangers touching me, feeling me up, estimating size and fit - could there be anything worse for an awkward adolescent?  As an adult I must admit that their selection is remarkable, their salespeople knowledgeable, and their prices more than fair...

Discounted deals abound, apparently, though largely aimed, perhaps, at the matronly customer rather than the fashion-seeker.

Who likes Victoria"s Secret, this store not for You. In store are big selection minimizers,full figure classic bras, night gowns, robs and girdles for discounted prices. I shop in the store few times a year with my girls. Sales ladies are very helpful.