Thursday, June 30, 2011

Walk Fort Greene

Spotlight on Ft. Greene! Walk around the neighborhood, Ft. Greene Park in particular, on the Walt Whitman walking tour. We heard about this recently and the last tour already passed by, it was on June 19th, but mark your calendars because there is another one coming on July 17th. We rarely stray from writing about our hood but this event seemed really cool and we wanted to get the word out. Ft. Greene is an awesome neighborhood too, definitely worth exploring. Plus the tour is free! What more could you ask for? The details (time and place) are below. And you can read more about what to expect while on the tour in this New York Times article.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer fun for kids!

Schools are letting out for summer vacation this week and kids will be running the streets wild, bored out of their minds. Good thing for summer school and other community programs to keep the kids at bay. One program worth mentioning, (because it's fun, educational, and free!) is the Carroll Gardens Library summer reading program. They have great activities every week between Tuesdays and Saturdays (they're closed Mondays and Sundays). They show movies, teach arts and crafts, and have storytelling (of course). A complete schedule is listed below.

Tuesdays Knitting $ Crocheting Circle 4pm-4:45 Ages 9 & Up

Wednesdays Chess Club 6pm-7:30pm All ages & Movie and play 3:30-4:30 Ages 0-5

Thursdays Drawing Time 4-5pm All ages

Fridays Babies and books 10:30-11 am 0-18 months
Toddler time 11:15 am-12pm 18 months-3
Arts and Crafts 4-5pm All ages

Saturdays Board games for kids 10am-12pm ages 4 and Up

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bar Bruno

There are new window decals on the door of 520 Henry St. (see pics above) and also on the windows (below). This new restaurant/bar, called Bar Bruno, has been in the works for a while now. Apparently the space needed a lot of work. They replaced the step up to the door with a ramp, so they'll be wheelchair and stroller friendly. As you can see from the windows this place sounds like it will be a little bit of everything. A lunch spot with sandwiches, a place to get your morning coffee, as well as a restaurant and bar by night. There have been comments made on other neighborhood blogs concerned with the vagueness of the concept. We think that offering lots of different options is a good thing though and as do most restaurants they will probably and find their niche and stand out for whatever they do best. We wish them well and can't wait to see what evolves.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Empire B&B

Montreal bagels are here! At 200 Clinton (corner of Atlantic) there had been a sign up for quite some time promising a new bagel shop and now it has arrived. It's got a "Grand Opening" sign in the window and another above the door that says "Bistro", which makes it look like that's the name of the cafe but it's actually called B&B Empire. So, what's the difference between a New York bagel and a Montreal bagel? Well, The New York Times has a little input on this. They are apparently "chewy and tinged with a tantalizing sweetness. The real thing is still baked in wood ovens, which give the bagels an irregularly charred outer surface. These bagels shine, too, with a gloss that only a short swim in a bath of honey or malt-sweetened water can impart. With no chemical additives or dough conditioners, these bagels stand out in taste and looks." But we definitely want to go try for ourselves. Let us know if you've been out there and what you thought!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mile End Expanding

Photo: Hannah Whitaker
New York Magazine

The much loved neighborhood Montreal Jewish delicatessen, Mile End, has been extremely successful and gotten lots of press. Now it's time to expand. They'll be opening a shop across the river in the Fall according to a report on The new location has yet to be disclosed but will be in the NoHo area and will be called Mile End Sandwich. This plan has been in the works since at least the beginning of the year. The critics love them, we love them, and now Manhattan will love them too. We wish them as much success over there as they've had here!

Read this interview with owner, Noah Bernamoff, about his influences and experience opening Mile End. It's quite interesting.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Opera in the Neighborhood!

I remember walking past 219 Court Street a couple of years ago and hearing the sounds of a full operatic chorus practicing coming from this unassuming building. Taking a closer look I realized that it was in fact a theater for the Vertical Player Repertory, an indie opera company that stages full productions at different venues. The latest production will be at Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union St (at Nevins). They'll be performing Francesco Cavalli's La Calisto July 8, 10, 14 and 16th at 8pm with rain dates July 9, 11, 15, and 17th. You can get tickets by calling 800-838-3006 or going to Go support some local independent opera! We're lucky to have them!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Invisible Dog Dance Performance

Were you aware that The Invisible Dog, at 51 Bergen St, wasn't just an art gallery but an art center? And that they put on performances of all sorts? If you didn't, or even if you did, this Friday would be a great opportunity for you to experience the center and all it has to offer. There will be a dance performance at 8pm and admission is free! We've always loved this gallery and add to it that it's also a performance space makes us so grateful to have this amazing spot in our neighborhood. More info on the event below.

8pm / free admission

Site specific performance by choreographer Judith Sánchez Ruíz in collaboration with visual artist Ian Trask. Composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist John McGrew will create the music score. Performers: Judith Sánchez Ruíz, Simon Wehrli, and Simon Courchel.

Site-specific work incorporates improvisational structure, and instantaneous movement by performers. Composers often interact with the choreographer and the dancers to provide an original, semi-spontaneous score. Combining architecture, movement composition and edgy emotion, spaces come to life as structures are re-envisioned and re-assembled into vertiginous life forms.

The performance will take place on the 3rd floor of the building where Ian Trask’s ” Worm” long of 165 feet and made of cardboard, will be snaking around, creating open, empty and hampered spaces for the performers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Portside was the life of the party ths Sunday in Red Hook!

Report from Waterfront Sunday 6/19 in Red Hook

PortSide assembled a Power Team to man our set-up at the Red Hook sidewalk sale organized by RHED. Fresh off the Mermaid Parade, we had Will Van Dorp Tugster; and Frank Hanavan, the creative omnicompetent and maker of the Schooner Pioneer and Admiral Nelson costumes; from PortSide, Stephanie Ortiz, one of our interns, Dan Goncharoff and Carolina Salguero, and Michele Kogon, copy editor, ensuring that all our written emissions were spot on.

Smitty played the guitar for a while.

Will Van Dorp aka Tugster

We engaged in some family-friendly, maritime street theatre to raise awareness of our programs (so hard to do while locked behind the port fence!) and money for our teen Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

Most of us took turns being Admiral Nelson to the amusement of passersby.

Frank, who also believes a good prop is key, used the kiddie pool to flag cars.

Suited up as the traffic schooner for the first time since the Bar Tini move, Carolina slowed traffic with a flamboyant leaf-letting technique and got cars to stop, talk, donate and/or take information on PortSide's fundraising drive for the teen Summer Youth Employment Program.

Frank - creating maritime awareness one knot at a time - left one of his Turks Head Tags on the bus stop pole.

One new storekeeper of the Fulla T-shirt shop liked our hubbub so much he asked if we'd be out every weekend. He said if we were, he'd open up on weekends - even though we looked pretty strong in the t-shirt department ourselves!

BK Swappers event

We know we generally write about our hood and surrounding hoods but we aren't just proud of Red Hook and Bococa, we've got Brooklyn pride! So here's a little news about a cool event going on in Williamsburg with the BK Swappers this weekend. This is normally an invite-only event that fills up fast but this time it's open to everyone so it would be a great opportunity to check it out.

On Saturday, June 25, 2011, BK Swappers, a Brooklyn based food swap event, invites each and every one of you to come down to Williamsburg to the new all-food market Smorgasburg, where the swap will take place. No need to RSVP or scramble to get on a limited Eventbrite list—just come. There is also a Facebook event page, so that we can all communicate before the event and get a sense as to who is coming, but no need to register officially.

One swap note special to this event: please limit the number of items you bring to swap to 2 or 3. I know that sounds crazy, but if we have tons of people and everyone brings 6 or 8 or 10 items, there is simply not enough time or table space to accommodate all the swappables! I promise that we will have another swap in the next month or so where everyone can bring loads of amazing homemade goods to trade and come home with the usual bounty.

The details:

BK Swappers at Smorgasburg!

Saturday, June 25, 2011, 12–2pm (the swap itself will take place around 1:30pm)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lost and Found

We've come across a couple of really cute posters within the last few weeks and we wanted to share them with you. One (seen above) was posted outside of PS 29 and it's asking for your help to find a lost baby blue bear blanket that was lost last month at the school yard. Call that number listed if you know anything. The next poster (below) we saw in Blue Marble's window on Court Street. Apparently the found a baby tooth on their counter? We weren't sure if it was for real but after reading the details it didn't seem like a joke. Very strange thing to lose and an even stranger thing to find.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Waterfront Sunday 6/19 in Red Hook

Kayaking, seafood, barge circus, Red Hook-wide sidewalk sale & more...

Red Hook Sidewalk Sale 11am-4pm:
Enjoy hunting for treasures and discounts along Van Brunt Street. Or SELL. Set up your own table along Van Brunt (not in front of a store without permission.)

PortSide will be in front of 281 Van Brunt Street (just north of Pioneer) selling t-shirts, talking about our programs and raising money for our Summer Youth Employment Program. If you can't see us in person, please donate here

We'll be next to Kevin's Restaurant selling smoothies outside and seafood inside.  Eggs Chesapeake (eggs benedict with a crabcake instead of ham) is a favorite.

Around the corner to the west on Pioneer is the new Filipino eatery Philly Pinoy  This hole-in-the-wall centers around a sidewalk tikki hut and is targeted at the Filipino crews of the cruise ships. They're hoping that the Brooklyn foodie scene finds them. Hot food is made on the spot, and imported bagged and canned goods are inside.

Waterfront Museum Barge is running the annual Showboat Shazzam of family entertainment & circus artistry. $10 in advance, $15 at door. Shows 1pm, 4pm

Red Hook Boaters free kayaking Valentino Pier Park 1-5pm

For last minute shoppers, father's day gifts can be found at our three garden centers or Red Hook's unusual boutiques which include Metal & Thread selling lamps made from blowfish and curious, antique hardware.

Dads can end the day listening to live music at Bait & Tackle surrounded by taxidermy.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cobble Hill History Walking Tour

Here's a great idea for a fun and educational (because dad always emphasized the importance of a good eduction!) thing to do on Father's Day. The Cobble Hill History Walking Tour! On June 19th from 2pm-4pm walk the streets of Cobble Hill and learn about this beautiful neighborhood's history while walking off that Father's Day brunch you just ate. It's $20 per person or $10 for Cobble Hill Association members. More details below.

Join Francis Morrone, director of the CHA Cobble Hill History Project, on a walking tour of Cobble Hill history and architecture, ranging from Jennie Jerome to the impact of the BQE to Cobble Hill's unparalleled collection of ornamental ironwork--and much, much more. The roughly two-hour walk begins at Court and Congress streets in front of St. Paul's Church. The tour will also be a chance to learn more about the History Project and opportunities to volunteer and share information.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Camp

PS 58 will be holding a French Summer Camp this season. If you have a child between the ages of 4 and 9 and have been thinking of something to get them involved in this summer, this may be just the thing. All levels are welcome at this educational camp and there will be lots of fun outdoor activities as well. It runs from July 5th to August 26th and you can choose between two sets of hours, the regular hours are 9am-4pm or extended hours from 8:30am-5:30pm.

Go to to learn more about the activities, rates and registration.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ice Cream Club

"Ice Cream Club is a group in NYC that does a buncha things with ice cream. Pint-swapping, Ice cream classes, an ice cream CSA, we do it all."

Does that sound good to you? Of course it does. Head over to the Brooklyn Brainery, 515 Court Street, this Sunday the 19th and you can see first hand what this sweet club is all about because they'll be having a meeting there from 1-3pm. Here's an example of a treat you'll find mixed in with some ice cream while you're there. Sign up for Ice Cream Club’s newsletter if you'd like to here more about their future events and you can visit their website for more info on this Sunday's meeting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


We were very excited to here that a new Japanese Tapas restaurant was opening on Smith Street. We took the picture you see above a little while back when we first learned about it. It's called Izakaya and is located at 176 Smith, between Warren and Wyckoff. The spot used to be a Chinese restaurant called Szechuan Garden. They made some pretty big changes both inside and out. The interior is really gorgeous. Katia Kelly, author of a great neighborhood blog called Pardon Me For Asking has a wonderful spread of pictures of the new interior, exterior and decor. Check it out!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Urban Art Program in Red Hook

The Urban Art Program is a citywide program meant to beautify and invigorate New York streets with temporary art installations. Red Hook is one area they are looking to engage. Specifically the median at 9th Street and Hamilton Avenue. According to an email sent out by the Department of Transportation (see more of that below) they are "interested in enhancing the pedestrian environment at this important crossing location and..pursuing several types of improvements."

The NYCDOT is also looking for artists and community organizations that would be interested in this program. It's a great opportunity for contributors and a great contribution to the neighborhood


The NYC Department of Transportation is launching the spring round of the pARTners’ track of the Urban Art Program. To find out more information about the program track, review current priority sites and download the application, visit Submit your application by Friday, June 17, 2011 to be considered for this opportunity.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Greenway Benefit Feast

Would you like to help out the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative in a big way? Well, here's your delicious chance. On June 16th from 6pm-9pm the BGI will be hosting a benefit called Festa D'Estate!, a summer Italian feast, at One Brooklyn Bridge Park. Dine on the best Italian food Brooklyn has to offer and drink wine and Peroni beer while taking in the beautiful skyline and harbor view and, of course, supporting the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Project. Click here for more info and to buy your tickets.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Casa Di Campagna Open Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the grand opening of a new restaurant on Columbia Street called Casa Di Campagna. To celebrate they are offering 10% off your meal from June 10th-June 24th as well as free ice cream for children under 10 years old if you get a hold of a coupon. They've been passing them out on Van Brunt Street and other places around the neighborhood but you can try emailing for one as well. This pizzeria and Italian restaurant has been in the works for a little while now and following the fairly recent opening of Caselnova just down the block they have a little competition. If you try it let us know how you like it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Film Shoots

Filming at 400 Court Street last week was a project called "The Woman in the Dress". Not really sure what the project was but it's not listed on IMDB. Possibly a commercial? It was a very small crew and set though so it's more likely that it was a small indie film. The filming was taking place at the C H Plaza Dry Cleaners. It seems that this spring and summer has been a particularly busy year for film shoots in this neighborhood. Carroll Gardens especially has had a number of street closures. Two of the most notable are Men in Black and Better off Dead. Has anyone gotten the opportunity to watch any scenes while they were shooting?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Brooklyn Folk Festival! From June 10 to 12

A weekend of Old-Time, Ballads, Blues, Pre-Blues, African, Bluegrass, Author-Vocalists, Mexican, Caribbean, Balkan and more! Instrumental Workshops, Film Screenings, Square Dance, and the Banjo Toss!

Friday, June 10th, 6:00 pm

Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, 
315 Columbia Street Brooklyn NY 11231 718-395-3214 [map]
Price: $20 ($55 weekend)

6:00pm...Winston Fleary and the Big Drum Nation Dance Company
7:00pm...Jay Gandhi and Nitin Mitta (North Indian Classical Music)
8:00pm...Major Contay and the Canebrake Rattlers
8:45pm...Uncle Monk
9:30pm...Peter Stampfel and the Ether Frolic Mob
10:15pm...Feral Foster
11:00pm...Jake Sanders Sextet
Midnight...Mystery Film Screening

Saturday, June 11th, 2:00 pm

Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition - BWAC
499 Van Brunt St Red Hook, Brooklyn NY 11231 718-596-2506 [map]
Price: $20 ($55 weekend)

2:00pm...Tamevate Kapelye (The Foolish Band)
2:30pm...Jake Sanders performs Mexican folk tunes
3:15pm...Larry Hanks & Deborah Robins
4:15pm...The Americans
5:00pm...Hubby Jenkins
5:45pm...Lankandia Cissoko
6:30pm...Walker, Jay & Steve from Baltimore
7:15pm...Black Sea Hotel
8:00pm...Roulette Sisters
9:00pm...Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton
9:45pm...The Dust Busters
10:30pm...Radio Jarocho
11:15pm...Clifton Hicks
12:00am...The Whiskey Spitters

Sunday, June 12th, 2:45 pm

Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition - BWAC
499 Van Brunt St Red Hook, Brooklyn NY 11231 718-596-2506 [map]
Price: $20 ($55 weekend)

2:45pm...Alan Friend
3:30pm...Willy Gantrim
4:15pm...Jackson Lynch
5:00pm...Elizabeth Butters
5:45pm...The Pearly Snaps
6:30pm...Boom Chick
7:15pm...Brotherhood of the Jugband Blues
8:00pm...Little Brothers
8:45pm...The Tillers
9:30pm...The Whistling Wolves
10:15pm...The Newton Gang
11:00pm...Kerri Lowe

Downstairs Stage
3:00pm...Banjo Toss & Banjorama
4:00pm...Square Dance

Five Guys on it's Way!

Five guys is almost finished! We took a peek inside 266 Court Street the other day and things were really coming along. The kitchen seemed pretty much complete and the red and white tiles on the wall that we all know and love have been installed. It's a good sized space. Pretty narrow but long with the kitchen tucked away in the back. Looks like the floor might be the last and final piece of the puzzle before we can shove some burgers in our mouth! Can't wait!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Teach a class!

Have something you want to teach? Brooklyn Brainery, a learning space at 515 Court, is looking for people to share their knowledge. We've already covered the Brainery in a previous blog and we've even taught our own real estate class over there and it was so much fun that we wanted to let everyone know not only about the awesome classes they have but the oppurtunities for a great teaching experience. If you think you have a great class to offer go to their teaching page to learn more about moving forward. We've included a list of June classes as well.

One Session Classes:

Dinosaurs: Myths and Legends
DIY Food Photography
Investing without Losing Your Soul or Your Shirt
Introduction to Web Technologies
Summer Blooms: Paper Flower Construction
Intro to Urban Forestry
Cooking Vegetarian Thai
Ruby on Rails - day long workshop!
How to Make a Zine
Down the Rabbit Hole: Exploring the Hidden History of Found Objects - we're psyched to be hosting this lecture in partnership with the Brooklyn Historical Society! (Important things: the lecture takes place at their space in Brooklyn Heights + your ticket purchase includes a free beer!)

Two + Three Session Classes:
Ethnographic Research Methods
Surface Design Techniques
WordPress 101: Easy Blogging for Superstars
WordPress 201: Conquer the Internet with WordPress
Bookbinding Basics - back for a three week course!
DNA: the Helix, the Myth, the Legend
Design for Non-Designers

Living Cheaply in NYC - Thursday, June 23, 7pm
Learn how to stretch your paycheck a bit with our (free!) session on how to live cheaply in the most expensive of cities. We'll share tips on everything from finding free booze and concerts to making some extra cash. RSVP to!

Friday, June 3, 2011

New tenants for 120 Union.

Cozy Quarters is out and Computer EZ is in. Their sign is up it looks like they'll be open soon. They do computer sales and repairs, including virus removal and protection. It says their website is but it doesn't seem to be up yet. Check back soon if you need some repairs or call them at 718-524-9999.

Bye Bye Za.

It seems like every day there's a new pizza place going up in the neighborhood, and we've reported on a lot of them. Now we are reporting pizza leaving the neighborhood. South Brooklyn Pizza has gotten rid of their brick oven and replaced it with bar games and TV's. Manager, Ruben Alban says they're "going to have pool tables, shuffle board, darts, foosball and video games". This new game room will be all ages. No need to change their name though, you can still get pizza at the next door take-out section.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

If I were a crepe...

Since If I were a toy...opened at 369 Court Street they've constantly been evolving and expanding. They used to be called Giggles & Green back when they were simply a toy store. Now they not only sell toys but also give children's haircut. They have classes, as well, and if you'd like to see their schedule click here. The newest addition to the store is the crepe stand! Coming soon, as you can see in the picture above. Not sure if they are also doing italian ice, which they've done in the past summers. Such a good idea though. Crepes are a great addition to the neighborhood and a stand that you can get a quick bite and head across the street to Carroll Park sounds even better!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flea Market in Carroll Park.

"It's My Park Day" in Carroll Park on May 21st was a big hit. People really came out to support their local park and the courtyard area was teaming with Carroll Gardeners. Hopefully the next event will be just as successful. On June 4th (rain date is June 5th), this Saturday, the annual flea market will begin at 10AM. Come out and check out the merchandise!

There is still room for vendors too, so if you have something to sell or promote just contact Gary Dolan at or 917-574-0745. It's $30 for a 10X10 spot or $40 for a spot against the fence.