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Brooklyn Boom Extends to Gowanus

Dec 26, 16 Brooklyn Boom Extends to Gowanus

Posted by in All, Featured

Once disdained as a go-to place in Brooklyn, Gowanus, found between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, has been making a (positive) name for itself. Once known for its stinky canal and plethora of car repair shops, the area has been remaking itself into a fun place to visit, and maybe even live. Here are a few new fixtures in the constantly changing landscape of Gowanus, Brooklyn: Twig Terrariums: This must be a real rarity, if not unique. It is certainly brilliant. This shop offers easy-to-care-for terrariums; either custom-made or DIY with a kit. This partnership between two friends, Katy Maslow and Michelle Inciarrano, gets their greenery from local nurseries, and their fabulous glass bowls from boutique glass blowers across the country. Some of the glass globes are hand-blown. For those of us that enjoy being surrounded with greenery, but just don’t have the time to care for plants, a terrarium is a wonderful compromise between the joy of growing something and the care it requires. 287 Third Avenue, 718-488-8944, The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club: Mimicking the great shuffleboard clubs of Miami Beachand the great cruise lines, this club will even let people under 55 years old play this fascinating game, made all the more interesting by the incredible drinks available from the bar. Playing shuffleboard brings out the “cruise-desire” in all of us, which is can be readily satisfied with the tropics-inspired cocktails the in-house mixologists concoct. All that drinking and shuffling can make a body hungry, but do not fear just because the establishment does not actually serve any food. Every day a new food-truck pulls up to the premises, making a visit to the Royal Palms even more of an incredible adventure. You can find Indian food one day, lobster rolls the next, and on and on. 514 Union Street, 347-223-4410, Pig Beach: What does a Brooklynite do in the middle of the winter when he is craving some good old barbecue? He heads on over to Pig Beach and...

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Great Brooklyn Eating Along the J-Train Line

Dec 18, 16 Great Brooklyn Eating Along the J-Train Line

Posted by in All, Entertainment

Looking for something new and wonderful to try in the world of gastronomic adventures? Get off at the Crescent Street stop where the J-train passes through Cypress Hills in Brooklyn and explore a great new world of tastes. Aztec Soul: Named after the great civilization which occupied the area now known as Mexico, the food available is traditional Mexican snack food, like tacos and hand-made quesadillas. Son of the owner, Hector Vasquez, says try the burrito. Hector says his dad, Facundo, makes a burrito you will not forget. Chef Quang: Just a short walk away this restaurant offers the tastes of Guyanese-style Chinese food. Customers have come from as far away as Philadelphia, says manager Bibi Bakridi, who runs the eatery with her husband Quang Choo-Kang. What is drawing in the customers? Either the Lo Mein or the Fried Rice, which Chef Quang dresses in sugar, soy sauce, and a bit of hot chili pepper, topped with shredded cabbage and carrots. Antojitos Ecuatorianos: If you arrive in the morning you will find yourself in what feels like an authentic South American café. But the restaurant also offers some great main courses, such as Ecuadorian empanada with beef, chicken or cheese; pork, chicken or steak with lots of rice and beans; and of course Ecuadorian-style tamales like humitas, which are made with fresh, sweet corn kernels. When you are in Brooklyn there is no need to travel to satisfy your wander-lust. It is all found right nearby, along the J-train line on Fulton Street or Atlantic Avenue in Cypress...

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Montauk Colony – Living the Dream

Dec 14, 16 Montauk Colony – Living the Dream

Posted by in Business, Real Estate

If you want to own a piece of property in Montauk or you’re hoping to find a rental, you have many options. There are many real estate agents who can help you to find the right property for your needs. After all, if you’re investing your time and money in a property, you want it to be the right property for you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Speak to friends who already own property in the Montauk Colony area. Which realtor did they use? Were they happy with the experience that they had? Why have they chosen to live in the area where they live? The Montauk Colony collection is a unique location at the very tip of Long Island. As you think about a property it’s important to consider the climate and location. Do you want a property that is closer to town so you can walk and feel like you are part of the area? Or would you prefer one that is on a cliff and that offers a far-away feel of isolation? As you look at properties, make sure to ask questions about the insulation, heating costs, leaks and other winter related questions. Consider your purpose as you look at properties. Are you looking for a place that will be a summer home and an occasional location for family get-togethers? Or are you hoping to settle in the Montauk Colony area? Do you want a property that includes grounds and are you willing to do the upkeep on those grounds? Or would you prefer something smaller that will provide you with a place to get away, but with less headaches to do so? There are many real estate agencies that are ready to help you with your search. A few of the names in the area include classically large companies like Century 21 LLC. There are a number of real estate agencies, as well, that are unique to the area and specialize in this lovely location. These...

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BookCourt Closing After 35 Years in Brooklyn

Dec 12, 16 BookCourt Closing After 35 Years in Brooklyn

Posted by in All, Business

To the dismay of many a Cobble Hill denizen, BookCourt, a key literary presence in the gentrifying neighborhood, is closing on December 31st, 2016. The store has been through a lot over the years since it opened on Court Street in 1981 by then-married couple Henry M. Zook and Mary B. Gannett. Despite setbacks like the opening of a Barnes & Noble down the street in 1999; the rise of Amazon as an on-line purveyor of books; the slowdown in booksales in general; the store continued to flourish, becoming one of the country’s premier booksellers. The store even survived the owner’s own marriage. So what went wrong? Really nothing but the march of time, say Zook and Gannett. Now that they are in their 60s, the feel the time has come for them to retire. “We know the store will be missed, and we are very proud of what we accomplished,” they said in a statement. They explained the lasting power of the store because they had “invested in the neighborhood and the real estate which housed the bookstore.” The store was a magnet for the literary minded. It hosted many famous authors for readings, lectures and talks of all kinds. Some of the more well-known among the visitors were Junot Díaz, Megan Abbott and Don DeLillo. But the less well-known were welcome, too. The store became a base for the growing writing community in Brooklyn, and was a starting point for many newcomers to the profession. Emma Straub, the novelist, did her first reading at BookCourt in 2009. It was around the same time she began working as a bookseller. She even sold from the store copies of a small-run novella she wrote at the time. “Lots of people I sold them to were editors that then bid on my novel later,” Ms. Straub, 36, said. Straub and her husband considered taking over BookCourt from Zook and Gannett, “but that didn’t work out,” she said. They are instead going to open their own...

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Former Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone Dead at 91

Dec 01, 16 Former Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone Dead at 91

Posted by in All, News

Sebastian Leone, known for his struggle to improve Brooklyn’s reputation during the 1970s, long before the borough’s recent renaissance, passed away on November 14 at the age of 91. His wife Helene Leone said that he had succumbed to the effects of pneumonia. Leone was the borough president for six years from 1970 until 1976. During those years Brooklyn was not the up and coming hot spot among the young professional crowd and celebrities. It was more like, as journalist McCandlish Phillips wrote in the New York Times: “a neglected stepchild of Manhattan.” Most accounts credit Leone with begin the first Brooklyn official to put up the famous “Welcome to Brooklyn” sign. In 2010 Leone told The Brooklyn Paper that: “In those days, you always had to be Brooklyn-positive. I used to say, ‘One out of every 80 people that live in America live in Brooklyn!’ If you consider people that were born here, worked here and have relatives here, then one out of 10 people have some affinity for Brooklyn!” Leone left his job as Borough president in 1976. A few months later, at the beginning of 1977, he became a State Supreme Court justice. He retired in 2001, and lived the remainder of his life in Bay Ridge. His wife, their son Matthew and two grandchildren survive...

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LinkNYC Hooking Up with Brooklyn

Nov 21, 16 LinkNYC Hooking Up with Brooklyn

Posted by in All, Technology

New York City has been transitioning to a city of free-WiFi, but somehow Brooklyn has been left behind. But not anymore. Brooklyn joined the world of superfast communication when two hot-spots were switched on. Both of them are in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, on Fulton Street, but do not fret; that is just the very beginning. Brooklynites should not fear that to get their free Wi-Fi they will have to travel to points far flung. The near future is poised to bring free Wi-Fi to nine more areas in the weeks ahead. Expect to see free internet access near LIU-Brooklyn and in Prospect Park. Staten Island is not being left behind, either. It already has its first kiosk, with many more on the horizon. All this connecting is made possible by LinkNYC, which offers more than just free internet access for phone calls. In addition to  free domestic phone calls there will be easy connections to 311 and 911. Plus, if your phone’s battery is running low (again!), just plug into the USB ports also available at the kiosks. Tablets will allow users to look up services in the city, and the kiosk itself will have on display public service announcements. LinkNYC does not allow free web browsing, which it did in its early days. But it does allow travelers and the homeless, and others without guaranteed internet phone service to stay connected in the greatest city on...

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Brooklyn Bridge Repairs Running High

Nov 14, 16 Brooklyn Bridge Repairs Running High

Posted by in All, News

Back in 2010 the original estimated cost for the much needed repairs to the 133-year-old Brooklyn Bridge was put at about $508 million. In 2015 the bill was then set to reach about $600 million. Now New Yorkers can expect to pay in the vicinity of $811 million. That is an almost 60 percent increase over the original cost estimate. The steep increase in cost is blamed on “scope changes” and “unforeseen field conditions.” And not only will it be costlier to build than originally expected, the probable completion date has been moved back to April 2017. That is four years later than the original plan called for. “Big public projects take too long to complete and routinely run over budget,” said Maria Doulis, from the Citizens Budget Commission, a watchdog group. “The city has made attempts to be more transparent about this by posting information online, but it’s unclear what actions are being taken to evaluate and address the root causes.” New Yorkers will be footing 54 percent of the cost, while the federal government will pick up the rest of the tab. The Department of Transportation said the additional work will include steel repairs, painting of more areas of the bridge, and even fixing damage that was caused to protective shielding which occurred as a result of a barge...

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Affordable Brooklyn? Try Sheepshead Bay

Nov 07, 16 Affordable Brooklyn? Try Sheepshead Bay

Posted by in All, Real Estate

Although the average rental in Brooklyn is considerably less than Manhattan’s sky-high prices, the range in Brooklyn is wide. Some people who might be thinking, based on Brooklyn’s overall average rent, that living in Brooklyn is still too costly, should consider some of the borough’s less expensive neighborhoods. There are three areas in Brooklyn where the average rental goes for under $2,000. That’s a bargain if you compare to Brooklyn’s most expensive area, DUMBO, where rents average out at over $5,500. Compare that to the Manhattan average of a bit more than $4,100 and Brooklyn’s average rent of almost $3,200. It kind of makes you want to know what horrible places have rentals for under $2,000. Well, it turns out these places are nice. In Sheepshead Bay, which is on the southernmost border of Brooklyn, just east of Brighton Beach and Coney Island, there is a charming, quiet, calm feel in the air. “It’s a tight-knit neighborhood that is relatively quiet compared to living in, say, Downtown Brooklyn,” says Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel. “A key draw continues to be its location on the water and, thus, the area has been seeing more new development activity,” he added. The downside is that it takes about one hour to get to midtown Manhattan by the B and Q trains. The other two neighborhoods which have rentals for under $2,000 per month are Sunset Park and Flatbush. Not as cheap as Sheepshead Bay, and maybe not as charming, but a bit closer to Manhattan, and overall, nice places,...

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