Gowanus Residents Worried Beloved Neighbor Will be Mixed Up with Crook

Sep 19, 12 Gowanus Residents Worried Beloved Neighbor Will be Mixed Up with Crook

Posted by in Gowanus, News

Thomas D’Alessio was a well-loved neighbor and friend to people in Gowanus. He was also a veteran of the Normandy invasion of France during World War II and a person remembered for his good deeds and upbeat attitude. D’Alessio was also known as “Tommy the Mayor” and loved to tell stories about his life, and buy ice cream for kids in the neighborhood. According to D’Alessio’s son, pop stayed optimistic even after he was run over by a drunk driver, an even which left him with damaged legs. He always put a positive spin on stories about the Great Depression and the history of the Brooklyn that he loved. “The people on his block got a much better appreciation of the neighborhood through his stories” said his daughter Marie D’Alessio. Mr. D’Alessio lived on Sackett Street for 91 years, until he died in 2008. Now his neighbors want to remember and honor him by renaming part of the street after him. They have already petitioned the city for the renaming, but they are full of worry that a curious visitor passing through the street might decide to “Google” the new street name, and will be shocked to find that the street is named after a New Jersey sheriff who was caught and imprisoned after he spent campaign funds on real estate and vacations during the 1990s. Unfortunately, Googling the name “Thomas D’Alessio” brings up a different person than the Sackett Street neighbor and war vet. Due to the high news interest of the sheriff’s crimes, the New Jersey “Thomas D’Alessio” trumps the Brooklyn “Thomas D’Alessio” and comes out on top of the Google results. Making for much confusion, and embarrassment for the Gowanus neighbors and Brooklyn’s D’Alessio’s family, they are trying to resolve the dilemma. One simple way to relieve the confusion is to make sure that the middle initial is included in the street sign. The petition to the city for the new street name requests that the street be called “Thomas A....

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Brooklyn Stuffed Animal Repair Team to the Rescue

Jun 18, 12 Brooklyn Stuffed Animal Repair Team to the Rescue

Posted by in Gowanus, News

Some might argue that getting a teddy bear mended isn’t the most important thing happening in Brooklyn — but it you were the little kid with the torn teddy bear, it just might feel like it is. That’s why a Brooklyn mother-daughter team started NYC   Lovey Repair, “operating” on stuffed animals that need repairs.   Becca Benghiat and Amalia take the animals into their homes. As Becca said, “So far, it’s a 100% success. We’ve been able to get the animals back in the same day. The kids are so happy.” They’ve turned their own house in Prospect Heights into a veterinary hospital, of sorts, welcoming stuffed animals in for plastic surgery, operations and more.   As Benghiat said, “We seem to do lots of plastic surgery. We’ve had some people bring in identical donors – take the head off this one, and put it on the other one. That’s usually a secret exchange with the parents.” As of June 23rd, the NYC Lovey Repair will be officially open for business, enabling people to make appointments to get their stuffed pets completely refurbished free of charge.   Those who are interested can find the duo at...

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Everybody Eats- A Gluten-Free Bakery in Gowanus

Nov 28, 11 Everybody Eats- A Gluten-Free Bakery in Gowanus

Posted by in Gowanus

Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood is home to the small business called Everybody Eats, a baking company which excludes gluten, nuts, soy, seed and pod plants in its products. The business owners, Pedro Arroba and Bruce Bassman, created the project out of necessity. “We came up with this company because I’m a celiac” Arroba explained. “I have celiac disease; it is an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a vegetable protein in wheat, barley and rye.” A Rising Trend The baked goods include things like deli rolls, baguettes, pizzas, cookies and cakes. Due to their lack of preservatives, the products are frozen and shipped out to retail stores, restaurants and numerous other customers. The products are ready to eat immediately after heating. Gluten-free food is a rising trend, even in those who do not suffer from the disease. Arroba and Bassman know that while that is undoubtedly good for business, it may not be an ideal diet. “It’s a Serious Disease” “There’s this kind of ‘fad’ eating thing going on. People latch on to things because they believe it will help them. Recently we have sports figures and celebrities claiming all kinds of benefits. They are not diagnosed” Bassman said. “We don’t think that is much help to the gluten-free community, because it is a serious disease and should be taken seriously. If you get off the diet, you can get very sick.” Arroba added: “We believe that gluten is wonderful and if I could eat gluten, I would. We are not experts or doctors, we are just cooks and bakers and we create this to make the celiac happier and gluten-intolerant people happier. We are not sure if people would be doing better, being without gluten.” Though they refuse to reveal their secret, the bakers are confident that their goods are the best in the...

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The Green Pits of Gowanus

Nov 17, 11 The Green Pits of Gowanus

Posted by in Gowanus, Lifestyle

Environmental officials recently opened four “green” spaces on Dean Street near the Gowanus Canal in an effort to absorb water during heavy rainstorms. The rainwater usually results in the sewer systems overflowing into the waterway. The $16,000 drainage ditches, located in Park Slope near Fourth Avenue, are filled with mulch and shrubs capable of absorbing 7,200 gallons of water. However, at just 80 square feet, the pits cannot handle heavy rainstorms. According to city planners, the pits will overflow and be relatively ineffective when it pours. Despite these facts, Carter Strickland of the Department of Environmental Protection supports the project. He said: “They are a perfect example of how green infrastructure projects not only help retain stormwater, but also beautify our streets and sidewalks.” Some residents remain skeptical, and doubt that the pits will have any significant impact. Still, supporters of the project believe it is a small step towards improving the canal’s water quality. “This is a quick and easy step in the right direction” Craig Hammerman of Community Board 6 said. According to Strickland, the plan is to install green roofs, rain barrels and many more of the landscaped pits, in order to manage 10% of runoff in the...

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Clover Barrett: Unique Opportunities in Brooklyn

Oct 31, 11 Clover Barrett: Unique Opportunities in Brooklyn

Posted by in Gowanus, New York

Certainly, there are all sorts of unique people doing extraordinary things in our area of the world.   One of them is Boerum Hill attorney Clover Barrett.   Purchasing a property at 338 Atlantic Avenue about six years ago, she worked to restore the five-story structure into her home, her law practice and…believe it or not…an art gallery. One Woman’s Dream As she said, “I wanted to create my own my world, and in order to create your own world you have to be captain of your own ship.” While she works as a lawyer most mornings, working on cases that range from divorces to criminal matters, she leaves the later part of her day for Clover’s Fine Art Gallery.   Opened in 2009, her gallery allows her to display mostly artwork by artists with Carribean roots. Barrett moved to the U.S. from Jamaica after high school and she wanted to offer Caribbean artists similar opportunities to those offered for other artists. Gallery Fun As she told the New York Daily News, “The art gallery is the lighter side of me – the fun side of me. It allows me to do what I don’t do in my law practice.” Her gallery is located on the first floor of her building and it even includes a café that sells coffees from Jamaica. Barrett’s next show called “Transplanted” starts on November 10th and will feature five immigrants and their art. The artists will include Alison Wells from Trinidad, Catriona Herd from Scotland, Sophia Sejourne from France, Roger Beckles from Barbados and Robert V. Reid from Trinidad. Picture by Mark Bonifacio for the Daily News. Pictured is Clover Barrett, posing inside Clover’s Find Art Gallery on Atlantic Avenue in...

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Keeping Women Safe in Brooklyn

Sometimes, it’s simply necessary to take things into your own hands. That’s the mantra that Brooklyn’s Tim Malloy uses, helping women to feel safer in the Brooklyn area. As a security guard with his own security firm, Malloy decided to start a patrol service to help women get to their homes safely. Trained Guards Helping Out Each night a group of his trained security guards stand around the F station exit in neon green shirts, waiting to escort women home from their commutes. He started to volunteer escort program as a result of a recent string of sexual assaults in the area. The attacks, which began in March, have left 20 women victims of sexual assaults on the street and in the subway. So far, the police have arrested one man and they believe there are another three still at large. Starting the Patrol As a longtime Windsor Terrace resident and married father of two, Malloy decided it was time to do something about it. He started his patrol on October 10th. He admits that it was a bit difficult at first, as the women coming out of the subway didn’t trust these men to walk them home. With time, however, word has gotten out and the women have begun to understand what these men are doing. In a similar way, Jay Ruiz, who is a messenger dispatcher from Prospect Heights, has also started a Brooklyn Bike Patrol. Women can call him to say where they’ll be and he will send an escort. He’s started a Facebook page for his services and has reached out to area cops in the hopes of expanding. As he said, “If everyone had an escort home, it would be so cool...

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