Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday Morning Reminder: Go to gowanuslounge.com!


As many people know, we marked the beginning of our third year yesterday by moving GL over to gowanuslounge.com and a new platform. If you haven't already adjusted your bookmarks, please do so, so that we don't lose you in the transition. We're going to try to redirect our RSS feed over to gowanuslounge.com as well, but in the meantime, please reset your feed in Bloglines, Netvibes, Google Reader or your feed reader of choice. Thanks, as always, for reading Gowanus Lounge and for hanging with us through this big change!!! We think the new look and the new platform, not to mention a home of our own are all worth it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

PM Reminder: Go to gowanuslounge.com!!!


As many people know, we've marked the beginning of our third year today by moving GL over to gowanuslounge.com and a new platform. If you haven't already adjusted your bookmarks, please do so. We love our readers and don't want to lose any of you in the transition. We're going to try to redirect our RSS feed over to gowanuslounge.com as well, but in the meantime, please reset your feed in Bloglines, Netvibes, Google Reader or your feed reader of choice. Thanks, as always, for reading Gowanus Lounge and for hanging with us through this big change!!!

Please Go to the New GL at gowanuslounge.com!!!

New GL

The time has come. We've gone live with our new GL site, gowanuslounge.com. Please reset your bookmarks or get used to typing in gowanuslounge.com and leaving out the blogspot. Most important, please, please, please reset your RSS feed. We apologize for this one-time inconvenience and really hope you'll stay with it. We think the new look is better and easier to read and give us a lot more functionality. GL will still be here, but other than reminders to move, we won't be putting up new posts here. The archives, of course, will remain, but we've also migrated them, in full, to the new site.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

GL Reminder: Gowanus Lounge 2.0 Tomorrow!!!

Just a reminder that we'll be debuting the new look Gowanus Lounge on Monday to celebrate our second birthday. We'll have a new design (ta-ta black background) and will be residing on our own URL, www.gowanuslounge.com. We hope you'll change your bookmarks (you can do it now, as it will redirect you back here until Sunday night) and that--most important--you'll update your RSS feed on Monday. The site will have (gasp) jumps inside so readers don't have to scroll forever, a font that's easier on the eyes, a nicer look and should load a lot faster. Today is actually our second birthday--the anniversary of the day we put up our first post in 2006 without knowing exactly what we were getting ourselves into--but we'll have more to say about our first two years (and a lot of thank yous to those who have contributed and been supportive) tomorrow. In the meantime, you have our heartfelt thanks for reading. Please stay with us as we start our third year and get ready to do another few thousand posts.

Disconnected on Craigslist: Who Put the Dead Bird in My Mailbox?

This is not the standard Missed Connection, that much is clear, but in perusing the listings for our weekly Sunday Craiglist Missed Connection we came across this interesting specimen from Crown Heights. We don't know what it, but do know it's worth featuring:
who put the dead bird in my mailbox? - w4m - 27 (crown heights)
a) how did you get into my mailbox in the first place, it is locked
b) did you kill the bird
c) it died horribly, that much was clear
d) you're psycho
e) do I know you
f) if I do know you I don't want to know you
g) if I don't know you, what did I do to inspire you to put a dead bird in my mailbox
h) I don't know how to disinfect a mailbox from a dead bird, I'm worried about diseases and have used five different kinds of cleaner but still feel like the bird's still in there still and like my bills and my catalogues and my coupons have dead bird on them
i) it was a hummingbird, I looked it up - they don't even live in New York - this is so f*ing psycho, I can't believe this
j) are you the mailman?
k) I'm always nice to the mailman
l) the super didn't care when I told him what happened
m) the neighbors didn't care either
n) do you have some kind of problem with birds
o) don't put anything else in my mailbox
p) unless it's an apology
q) no, I take that back, I don't even want an apology
r) what am I supposed to do with this bird - it's in bubblewrap in a bag in a shoebox in the freezer right now - am I supposed to bury it - where? how? in a construction site where they've jackhammered through the concrete - where is a person supposed to bury things in this city?
s) I could drop it in the Gowanus canal, but that seems undignified
t) I could drop it in the ocean, but the ocean is so big and it is such a small bird
u) I could drop it in the toilet but it would probably get stuck
v) I hear this whirring around my ears every time I go to the mailbox and I'm pretty sure it's ghost bird, and I'm all "it wasn't me that killed you, bird!" but still the whirring doesn't go away until I get to the stairwell
w) am I supposed to eat it - maybe you were trying to feed me - don't you know I'm a vegetarian
x) if this was Ricky, I'm gonna beat your ass, mama told you stop bothering the zoo
y) if this was Gina, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, how many times I gotta say I'm sorry
z) I could drop it off the roof, maybe it will reincarnate while falling and I can start reading my mail again
There is is.

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Meeting the Burg's Edge in Miniature

There something about miniature models, especially really nicely done ones, that is compelling. We photographed the model of the Edge in Williamsburg, a waterfront development that has one with incredible detail. Check out a small selection of photos and do pay attention to the action figures herein.

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On the Sofa: GL Reader Comments

Every Sunday, we like to take a look back at a few comments left on GL during the previous seven days. Here's a random sampling from this week:

PM Update: Boerum Hill "Asian Garbage Bag Thief". "This happens all over the city. What makes you feel like your trash is any better than anyone else?" [Anonymous]

PM Update: Boerum Hill "Asian Garbage Bag Thief". "As you said that you are not heartless, there are several levels of actions you could take on.
Of the highest, you would show up at her arrival, speak to her regardless of her understanding English. Offer her what she needs next to your trash bag and basically convey in your imaginative ways to her that you want to help, but with your household, she needs not to open the trash bag.
Remember, even though her browsing is pesky and bordering unlawful, your generosity is beyond the legal or cultural realm. Put it this way, she is still a human being in desperate needs, but not a raccoon in the burb. Give her a break and continue to leave her needs next to your bag if you can't seem to confront her with your generosity." [Jason]

Bolt of Enlightenment: Gowanus Bunker is "Satori"!!! "Satori is phonetically identical to "Satory" , a military compound in France.
I understand now why this building looks like a bunker." [Jacques Clouseau]

Brooklyn Nibbles, Special: Five Guys Burgers Coming to Slope. "You thought D'Agostino's stunk of bad food and rotten produce? Wait until you get a whiff of this greasy spoon. Too slow for NY.
And if you have a coronary ... there's Methodist across the street ... on second thought ..." [Anonymous]


Gl Sunday TV: The Park Slope Collection

It's been a while since we offered up some Park Slope vids on a Sunday, so here are few, newer and older.

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Greening the Burg: Tree Planting on Driggs

Tree Planting Driggs

Our Carroll Gardens Correspondent sometimes travels widely. She sent us this photo of trees being planted in Williamsburg by the New York Restoration Project. The location of the greening and trees that will be a lot bigger in 2020 and 2030 and beyond is on Driggs Avenue near N 11th Street.

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Brooklinks: Sunday Lite Edition

Eye on the Street: Grand Street Sign

Art-Keap Street

We found this painted sign on Grand Street at Keap in Williamsburg. We believe it's a relatively recent addition or, perhaps, it's something we just noticed. It's not far from one we featured Friday.

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Bklink: Snake in the Garden

So, there's a snake at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It is a sculpture. There is also a cherry vandal. He is seen here snapping cherry blossom branches off the trees and giving them to a female. Nice.--Flatbush Gardener

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Sunday DIY FSBO Special II: Windsor Terrace Edition

Seen an interesting FSBO (For Sale by Owner) posted somewhere? Send a photo and any relevant info along to us at thegowanuslounge (at) gmail (dot) com. Everyone loves a nicely taped up FSBO.

Windsor Terrace FSBO

This FSBO flier comes to us from Flatbush Avenue (and from Prospect Park West) where this $495K 2BR number on Prospect Park SW, facing the park, was being shown around in advance of today's open house.

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Upcoming: Brooklyn Heights E-Recycling

Have some electronic devices that need to be disposed? The Third Annual E-Recycling Days at the First Unitarian Chapel in Brooklyn Heights (at Pierrepont St.between Clinton and Henry Sts.) are coming up on Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th from 9AM-4PM on Saturday and Noon-2PM on Sunday. It's sponsored by Denominational Action and the Green Team. They're accepting air conditioners, answering machines, batteries (including household batteries, but not car batteries), cables and wiring, CD players, cell phones, copiers (floor and desk models), DVD players, electric typewriters, fax machines, hard drives, laptops, desktops, modems, pagers, monitors, keyboards (and other peripherals), printers, circuit boards, radios, remote controls, scanners, mainframes and servers.

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Brookspring: Baby Leaves

Fresh Leaves

We loves these leaves because they look a little like Fall in Spring as they're born. The tree is in Prospect Park.

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Bklink: April Showers

Outside the Brooklyn Weather Observatory this Sunday morning it is cloudy and somewhat wet. Today is one of those days when a few April Showers will catch up with us. It will also be colder than it has been. The official forecast calls for some showers this morning and mostly cloudy skies the rest of the day. The high will be 59. Tonight will be mostly cloudy and breezy with a couple of late night showers and a low of 50. Up next: May flowers.--Accuweather

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Sunday DIY FSBO Special: Mill Basin Edition

Seen an interesting FSBO (For Sale by Owner) posted somewhere? Send a photo and any relevant info along to us at thegowanuslounge (at) gmail (dot) com. Everyone loves a nicely taped up FSBO.

Sunday FSBO Mill Basin

Who says you can't get room to stretch out anymore? We found this Mill Basin baby, reduced to $410K and priced to move, taped up on the Coney Island Boardwalk. The house was renovated in 2005 and the owner is motivated, so bring your offers.

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Bklink: Current Dumbo Weather Conditions

Here, in something very close to real time, are the current weather conditions in Dumbo, from high atop an undisclosed location between the bridges. Regardless, we call it the Dumbo Weather Center (aka KNYBROOK32) It comes from the Weather Underground site, which features Brooklyn Pesonal Weather Centers in Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. --Dumbo Weather Conditions

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back to the Park Slope Library: "I Have Felt Unwelcome"

Park Slope Branch Library

Back in February, we posted someone's negative observations about "terrible service" at the Park Slope Library.
Today, we find another email in our inbox, forwarded to us by a reader of the Park Slope Parents list:
Has anyone else had problems with the staff at the park Slope library? While the librarians in the children's room have always been very nice, with a few exceptions, the staff at the check out desk, and the guard, are unfriendly at best and (today especially) downright rude at worst. This is especially true when it comes to stroller issues (I have to use the ramp in back for a stroller I cant pull up the front steps). I am planning to write a letter of complaint, but also wondered if anyone else has had the same experience? I understand that people can have a bad day here or there, but just about every time I have been there, I have felt unwelcome.
We'll say two things: (1). Based on the earlier post and comments, it's probably a shared perception. (2). They are less than understanding when it comes to stroller issues?!


GL Reminder: Gowanus Lounge V.2.0 Debuts on Monday!

Just a reminder that we'll be debuting the new look Gowanus Lounge on Monday. Other than a new design, it means that we'll be residing on our own URL, www.gowanuslounge.com. We hope you'll change your bookmarks (you can do it now, as it will redirect you back here until Sunday night) and that--most important--you'll update your RSS feed on Monday. We'd hate to lose anyone in the transition!

Prospect Park's Lakeside Center Fully Revealed

Yesterday, around 5:30 the Prospect Park Alliance released detailed renderings of prelimary plans for the Lakeside Center, the 36,000-square-foot two-level facility with two ice rinks that would replace the current Wollman Rink and do extensive landscape restoration to undo damage that was done when the original rink was built. The images give a much better sense of what the early plans, particularly of some of the landscape ideas. The facility is being designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. The current renderings are described as "very preliminary designs" and there will be a series of public meetings before there's a final version.


Adoptable Brooklyn Cutie of the Week, Part II: Rocko

Here's another adoptable pet of the week from the Brooklyn Animal Rescource Coalition (BARC) shelter in Williamsburg.


Since our cup runneth over with creatures needing a home, we're featuring two dogs today (kitties tomorrow). This is our second Adoptable Cutie of the Week, Rocko. We'll turn it over to the wonderful Lisa from BARC:
Meet Rocko! He's an energetic 2-year-old, playful and friendly in spite of being from an abusive home. He arrived at BARC from the city shelter and has made lots of friends but would really thrive in a loving, safe home. Rocko's a medium sized, pitbull mix, up to date with all the medical stuff, microchipped and neutered of course!
For more info about BARC click here or call 718-486-7489 and tell them you want Rocko. Also remember that Clearly, any potential adopter has to decide if a particular creature in need of a home is right for their living situation, needs and their ability to provide the proper level of care and attention.

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Bklink: Eat Out(side)

Here's a very, very nice guide to places in Brooklyn where one can imbibe or consume (or both) outdoors, with photos. Never seen Rocky Sullivan's rooftop deck in Red Hook or the patio behind Palo Santo in Park Slope with just one table beside a fountain. Then you must check this out. And, yes, we should have posted this a couple of days ago, but it's relevant at this point through fall--Brooklyn Based


Adoptable Brooklyn Cutie of the Week, Part I: Jonah

Here's another adoptable pet of the week from the Brooklyn Animal Rescource Coalition (BARC) shelter in Williamsburg.


Every weekend, we feature beautiful cats and dogs that need homes. We've been running a lot of cats, so to provide equal time, we're feature a couple of pups today. Above is a Shar Pei named Jonah who lives a BARC. If you look at his face and he captures your heart, run, don't walk over to the shelter in Williamsburg, because a dog this nice won't be available forever. For more info about BARC click here or call 718-486-7489 and tell them you want Jonah. Also remember that Clearly, any potential adopter has to decide if a particular creature in need of a home is right for their living situation, needs and their ability to provide the proper level of care and attention.

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Upcoming: Tenant Aid Workshop

There's a "Tenant Aid Workshop: Fighting for Affordable Housing" session coming up on Monday, April 28, at 7PM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel RC Church, which is located at 275 North 8th Street at Havemeyer St. The announcement says: "Learn About Your Legal Rights as a Tenant, See if You Qualify for Rent Subsidies, Learn About Affordable Housing Opportunities, Sign-up for Further Counseling, Get Legal Representation if Needed." It's sponsored by the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Tenant Anti-Displacement Collaborative, which includes Brooklyn Legal Services, Churches United, Los Sures, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), North Brooklyn Development Corp., the People's Firehouse & St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corp.

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Bklink: Hotel Fischer

Work has started on the Indigo Hotel, the big hotel on Duffield Street designed by the ubiquitous Karl Fischer. It will be 22 stories and have 164 rooms and was originally supposed to be completed.--Brownstoner

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Brookspring: A Mix of Colors

Brookspring Many Colors

This is the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park where an awful lot of colors are currently on display.

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Brooklinks: Saturday a Little Visual & Quite Lite Edition


Brooklinks is a daily selection of Brooklyn-related information and images.

Words + Some Pics


Bklink: Cooler

Outside the Brooklyn Weather Observatory the trees are totally bursting into neon greens and the sun is poking in and out from behind clouds. Today will be cooler, with variable cloudiness and a high of 64. Tonight, look for mostly cloudy skies with some showers and a low of 50. Some showers tomorrow too.

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Brookpring: Greenpoint Colors

flowers on greenpoint avenue

The flowers are blooming in Greenpoint too, from which this lovely photo originates. It comes to us from Miss Heather, of course. The specific location is Greenpoint Avenue.

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Upcoming: 23rd Street Mega Stoop Sale

23rd St Stoop Sale

Mark the calenders for a very, very big stoop sale in Greenwood Heights. It's the 3rd Annual 23rd St. Mega Stoop Sale (23rd St. between 6th & 7th Avenues). It will take place on Saturday, May 17 from 11AM-5PM. Per an email: "Houses will have lots of stuff for sale, at, of course, very reasonable prices! (or you can just haggle with everyone). ON SALE: Housewares, Tchotchkes, Books/CDs, Clothing, Furniture, Food and a wee bit of “junk” too!" The rain date is Sunday, May 18.

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Gl Photo Du Jour: Virgin Mary, Spring Night

adrian virgin mary image small

This image from Hicks and Carroll Street on a beautiful evening this weeks comes to us from Brit in Brooklyn photoblogger and GL photo contributor Adrian Kinloch (who will also be the esteemed AV consultant for the Brooklyn Blogfest on May 8).

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Friday, April 25, 2008

PM Update: Boerum Hill "Asian Garbage Bag Thief"

This is an email circulating via the Boerum Hill group. We present it in its entirety:
Of late I have had a weekly visitor who is a fairly dapper Asian woman. She apparently does not speak English. She enters my yard, rifles my garbage cans and containers. Today she blithely stole a new garbage bag out of one of the cans and toddled away. When I confronted her that I had watched her steal the bag and leave with it, she said, "NO!" evidently thinking that concluded the matter as the bag was now in her possession.

As I am not one to tangle with middle aged ladies, she won this round. However, has anyone else had to deal with this person and who does one call to get her convinced that A; trespassing is not how we do things here and B; she is not entitled to simply steal whatever she finds convenient to have.

Before I get branded as heartless, I will point out that not only do I organize the returnables so that the derelicts can find them separately from my trash and that of my tenants. Furthermore I organize the bags on the sidewalk so that the sanitation workers can easily see what's what and lift is with a minimum of difficulty.
We now return to our regular programming.


Controversial Carroll Gardens Developer Waging War on Love?

broken heart 004

Call it the War on Love. The latest "love message" to go up on the construction fence that covered up the Carroll Gardens Democracy Wall didn't even last 24 hours before workers scraped it off and repainted the fence. We have many questions: Will the developer get more love? Will the next poster last 24 hours? Will this riveting cat-and-mouse Love Game (now being photographed, per the pics passed along by a reader who was quick with the camera) go on and on and on? Will an anti-love message go up on the Oliver House Condo website? Will a local elected official be called in as the Henry Kissinger of Carroll Gardens, doing shuttle diplomacy between developer Billy Stein and the Love Makers? Will we be entertained by this all summer long? Stay tuned for the next installment because we feel fairly safe in saying there will be one.

broken heart 003

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A Word from GL: New Look GL Coming on Monday!

We'll be rolling out a new look GL on Monday that we've been slowly working on over the last few months. We say that in order to say this: GL will be moving from Blogger which has been our (more or less happy) home for the last two years and over to gowanuslounge.com, which has been redirecting people to blogger for two years. On Monday morning, we hope you'll reset your bookmarks or, at least, remember to type in gowanuslounge.com. For those of you that read GL via your RSS feed, we hope you'll change over on Monday and we'll keep broadcasting RSS messages asking you to do so. All of our archives will be migrating over to our new server, although they'll always be available here too. We hope you'll make this long overdue switch with us and, of course, we'll have more to say about it on Monday.

Bklink: Discrimination Suit

Real estate agency Brown Harris Stevens is being sued for allegedly discriminating against families with children. The suit charges that the agency discriminated against a couple with a child looking at rental apartments in Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope. Testers without children were able to get apartment for which couples children had been turned away. Discrimination against families with children is said to be fairly widespread, particularly with apartment rentals.--NYT


Park It Here: Thor Finds New Use for Coney Land

Thor Parking Lot

It's anyone's guess what the final Coney Island resolution will be, but for now, we can say that developer Joe Sitt and Thor Equities have found a new use for some of their land: a parking lot. The big plot of land along Stillwell Avenue that experienced premature demolition last year was being used (at least, temporarily) yesterday as a parking lot. Thor intends to have carnival rides on the land starting on May 22 for about a week-and-a-half. There are also "space for rent" signs all over its properties (example below), which would indicate the developer is trying to derive revenue from land from which tenants were removed in the winter of 2006.

For Rent Sitt

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Bklink: Groovi Gardens

A new shop called Boiy Krazy's Groovi Gardens has opened on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. It's 500 square feet of psychedelia/punk and there are chandeliers and Latin American art hung on the walls. And, oh yeah, clothes.--Racked

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Brookvid: Spring Evening in Brighton Beach & Coney Island

We hit Brighton Beach & Coney Island yesterday evening. Here are 59 seconds of that experience.

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Bklink: Atlantic Yards "Time Out" Rally

"The 'Atlantic Yards stall' has brought groups representing different flavors of project criticism and opposition together for a rally at 2 pm on Saturday, May 3, with a range of local political officials confirmed as attendees. The location is 752 Pacific Street near Carlton Avenue in the AY footprint, a block planned to hold "interim surface parking" that could last indefinitely. (The Brooklyn Paper broke the news, though the lead of the article says Sunday rather than Saturday and stresses stopping demolitions.)"--AYR

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The Berry Street Boom: Meet 40 & 44 Berry

2008_04_44 Berry Exterior

Berry Street in Williamsburg between N. 11 and N. 12 Street is quite the booming place in terms of new buildings. While 40 Berry (above) is the site of a new rental building designed by Perkins Eastman, 44 Berry (below) will be a renovation of an existing building into rental units. When all is said and done 40 Berry will wrap around 44. We have more about 40 Berry, including more renderings, here, and more about 44 Berry here. Together the two buildings will have more than 220 new apartments.



"Symbol of Luxury": Mini Dachshund Puppies

Luxury Puppies

Do you have your mini dachshund puppy? They are, after all, symbols of luxury. We found this flier posted in Brighton Beach. So, if mini dachshunds in unique color patterns and colors are symbolically luxurious, what are chihuahuas? In any case, they sure are cute in those photos, symbols of luxury or not.

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Prospect Park's Lakeside Center Somewhat Revealed

Lakeside Center
[Original photos courtesy of A Year in the Park]

We held off on posting about this yesterday because we were hoping to get high quality versions of these images that were presented publicly on Wednesday night. It is not be, however. The Prospect Park Alliance has declined to make quality images available, saying that these are not the final version of the $75 million Lakeside Center that would replace the Wollman Rink and be part of a landscape restoration that will be welcomed by many people. The design is coming from Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. The images here are considered schematics and the final design could differ considerably. Additional public sessions incorporating feedback and offering updated renderings will be held later in the spring. Yet, until then or until there is a change of heart, these images from photos are what the public can see of the ice facility. Earlier this week, Jotham Sederstrom reported in the Daily News that the cost had increase from $50 millon to $75 million. In fact, when Alliance head Tupper Thomas told the Park Slope Civic Council about the center last year, she put the cost at $35-$40 million (including $10 million in landscape restoration work.) These images are from A Year in the Park, which described the facility, as it was shown, like this:
The new building will lie beneath a sloping "green roof" rising from the current picnic area into a tree-studded promenade. Beneath it will be two layers: a sort of mezzanine, and a sheltered hockey rink, with a recreational skating rink laid out in front and connected by an ice pathway. Here, the center looks like a particularly pastoral Ikea.
We ran AYITP's images through Photoshop, tweaked the levels, tried to remove some noise and sharpen them a bit so that everyone can get a rough sense of the current thinking about the Lakeside Center. Unfortunately, they're like looking at a bootleg version of a movie rather than a high definition DVD. There are more images over at At a Year in the Park. The design and project have to be reviewed and approved by a variety of agencies.

Lakeside Center Landscape

Lakeside Center Two


Brooklinks: Friday Loving Spring Edition

Astroland Crowd

Brooklinks is a daily selection of Brooklyn-related information and images:


Gowanus Lounge Photo Du Jour: It's That Time Again

Brighton Beach Volleyball
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

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Upcoming Brooklyn Community Board Meetings

The tail end of the month is not a big time for Community Board meetings, but there are a couple coming up next month, culled from the Daily News compilation of Brooklyn meetings:

Community Board 13. (Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Seagate) will hold its next board meeting at 7 p.m. April 30 at Coney Island Hospital, 2601 Ocean Parkway. On the agenda, reviews of these committees: Parks and Recreation; Public Safety; Education, Library and Youth Services, and Nominating.

Community Board 15. (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Kings Bay, Gerritsen Beach, Kings Highway, East Gravesend, Madison, Homecrest, Plum Beach) will convene at 7 p.m. April 29 at Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Blvd., in the faculty dining room. The agenda for the evening will include a review of construction in the area.