Sunday, January 30, 2011

Here's a portrait of Maurice Franklin, who at 91 is still working as a virtuoso wood turner in Shoreditch (Spitalfields Life, via The Dish).
This attractive window, above Blooms on Fifth, has seen better days.  The air-conditioner decorative motif is kind of sad.  It looks as if the adjoining building had a matching window, now replaced with something a lot uglier.  You can see a sliver of it in the second photograph, below.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Johanna Popp - Holy Name, 1953

In 1953, Johanna Popp was a student in Class 4a at Holy Name School. , A couple of years back, when working on a boarded up fireplace in our house, we found a bunch of crumbling, sooty Sunday News funnies, and Johanna's school notebook.  Here are some extracts.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Condo Dwellers Rally

Like many others in the community, I'm not too keen on the Grand Prospect Hall's hotel plans.  The Park Slope Patch, covering the story, quotes the response of a nearby resident to the project:
"Our apartments all face the back of Grand Prospect Hall, and we’re going to be faced with a lack of light and a lack of privacy,” said Diana Mora, the President of the condo board at Suite Sixteen Condominiums at 200 16th Street.
Yes, lack of light and privacy is a very serious issue, as those of us who live in the shadows of ugly condo buildings know only too well.   We miss the sun and the views.

At the Promenade

NY Times City Room: A Guide to Houses No Gentleman Would Dare to Frequent

Record and Tape Center Still Firmly in Place (Except for That Front Door Glass)

Back in mid 2009, the Record and Tape Center (5th & 9th) was in danger of losing its lease and about to decamp to a smaller storefront up the block.  This was sad news to its many fans, and the story was widely reported. The store had been around on Fifth since 1965, and at the 9th Street location since 1971.  A one-off place, it represented an earlier kind of Slope, and the blast of good music you got when passing the corner always lifted your spirits. 
Well, Tony Mignone's place stayed put, but as far as I can tell (and I'm probably wrong) no news ever circulated about its fate.  Was it still teetering on the brink of eviction? Today, waiting for the B63 and cheered by Nina Simone, I went inside and found out that they did secure a new, four year lease with their next door landlord, only after going to some expense preparing their new spot for the move.  Good (old) news, and a happy 46th/40th to Mr. Mignone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I missed this. When the Park Slope Diner merged with Green Kitchen, late last year, one piece of the past went with them.  The diner sign!

NY Times - the Pop-Pop-Pop of New Brooklyn Neighbors

The NY Times continues its daring forays into Brooklyn, focusing this week on some of our newer, condo-dwelling neighbors.  This week we can learn about the "New Cityscape" of Fourth Avenue:

Joseph DiFiore, a broker with Awaye Realty in Carroll Gardens, said that with each new building the avenue’s popularity had grown. “They’re hard to get started, it’s hard to sell to the first people,” he said. “But all of a sudden, once people see other people living there, it’s pop-pop-pop, like popcorn.”

We can also find out about cool young couples w. kids, who need to spice up their childrearing duties with a little Williamsburg excitement & a few mod. cons.

Eve and Rich Kessner left the West Village for Park Slope with their daughter, Avi, last March. But after six months, they found themselves looking for a new place to live.
“It felt really suburban to me,” said Ms. Kessner, 29, a jewelry designer and blogger. “Park Slope has puppets and guitar strumming for kids. In Williamsburg, it is like rock ’n’ roll for kids.”

The couple bought a two-bedroom corner unit in the Edge, two towers on Williamsburg’s waterfront, and moved in at the end of December. They have already become accustomed to the building’s long list of amenities for adults and children: a full-size indoor basketball court where Avi likes to kick balls around with Ms. Kessner; a swimming pool and a separate shallow pool for children (another of Avi’s favorites); a screening room; a gym; and a large playroom.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Freddy's Set for Next Month Opening

Lots of buzz on the announcement of an opening date for the new Freddy's.  February 4th.  Here's some of the info, from Found in Brooklyn, whose artwork is incorporated into the bar's new/old look.

New Views from Fourth Avenue

If your subway travel is now disrupted by repairs to the Culver Viaduct, you're doubtless miserable & inconvenienced.  If, however, you use the Fourth Avenue station, you might get a pleasant surprise when you shuffle over to the temporary platform to take a Manhattan/Queens bound train.  Magnificent views!  With the new stairs in place (yes, the strange structure was finally installed), the panorama is just great.

Heating Oils

Sunday, January 16, 2011

End of the Day on Fifth

I love this cluster of two storey houses on Fifth.  This size of building is unusual on this part of the Avenue, and the storefronts put up a dogged resistance to change.  Walk by when they're caught in end of the day sunlight, and store the moment.