Brooklyn Boom Extends to Gowanus

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:

Photo courtesy of Sonny Abesamis.

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 orders some mouth-watering, if not addictive, baby back ribs or purple coleslaw with jalapeno and pineapple. The establishment used to be seasonaly open with only outdoor seating, the restaurant added indoor seating and now offers 13,000-square-feet of dining space, indoors and out. Roomy and lively, there are several bars, great beers from local breweries, and space for the kids to more their legs, Pig Beach is a great way to spend family time together, or to go with friends.
480 Union Street, 718-737-7181,

Rachel Thornbee

When it comes to politics and deal making in the streets of Brooklyn, Rachel is on top of it. With a degree in political science and another in business leadership, Rachel can discuss the inner workings of the system with the best of them. We are excited to have Rachel joining Gowanus Lounge, reporting on the great goals and challenges of Brooklyn's political infrastructure. Contact Rachel at rachelthornbee(at)