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BrooklynBornThis blog started in my head when I listened in the 90's to friends who feared Brooklyn and newcomers who blogged about BK as if it barely existed before they arrived. Brooklyn as Tabula Rasa. My blog satisfies my need to hear and air feelings of B'klyn from the people whose life experience was born here. Also I hope to provide balance to some of the revisionist historical musings I've seen how Brooklyn and her residents used to be, we're still here. If we can all live as best possible while appreciating the past and neighbors we've inherited that would be great too.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photo Wednesday 02/24/10 : Burger & Shaun White-less Edition

To paraphrase Bizarro,"the internet am so funny!" I'm talking about what I assume is a surge in Olympics inspired internet searches, that can be the only reason why this photo I took last spring:
Park Delicatessen 2009 edition - Shaun White stunt double
suddenly received a burst of new views last week, after laying around for months unnoticed.

Despite the title, "Park Delicatessen 2009 edition - Shaun White stunt double" the young man featured in the photo is of course, not Shaun White. Although I didn't ask him... and anyway that didn't stop many web searchers from sniffing it out.

Which leads me to my next and more current photo. Whereas this pic shows off Park Delicatessen (featured in this blog last spring) which is run by very cool people with a just as cool mix of Skate gear and home gardening wares. As a new biz in the Prospect becomes Crown Heights neighborhood I thought Park Delicatessen so cool I felt inspired to write about my long history with an earlier incarnation of the store and locale, and I summarized by saying despite my issues with the dreaded beast, gentrification, Park Delicatessen is the kind of gentrification I can believe in. I'm always down for new people with good ideas in under utilized spaces.

Along those lines I was all ready to add this newcomer to that list:
Dutch Boy Burgers on Franklin Av

Dutch Boy Burgers, which takes it's name from the fact that it was once housed a Dutch Boy franchise paint store. In fact when the current renovations to the space revealed that the very cool and original Dutch Boy Paint sign was still present under a newer sign, the finding garnered excited blogger responses about the significance and rarity of the sign so much that you'd a thought Noah's ark had been found sitting pristine on Franklin Av near the corner of St. Johns where Dutch Boy is located. And for those in the know it's said to soon be connected to Franklin Park the bar around the corner.

For the record, that Dutch Boy Sign was a beauty,(great pics on I Love Franklin Ave's Blog) and did date back to at least the 1940's but... it was visible in the 'hood for years, at least into the early 80's if not later. A fact many excited newcomers would have known if they weren't...well, so new.

Anyway despite that intro, and the uber original naming scheme (fine why not) I've been waiting for the burger joint to open because I love burgers and frankly, Franklin Ave has a lot of useful spaces and not a enough useful businesses (although there are these good folks) and let me say for the record, Franklin Ave which was rough edged in a bad way when my parents were young, has been blossoming but could still use a little more gentry in my mind.

However lo and behold, before I could continue my bourgeois burger dream (with Root Beer Floats! no less) I couldn't help but notice this notice:
IMG_7693.JPG
Considering the stop work order extends to, "the ENTIRE site" Dayum! It seems Dutch Boy Burgers is gonna need more time in the pan before we can dig in. Well I'll think happy thoughts or keep hope alive or whatever cliché will get this place open faster, cause Brooklyn, she needs good burgers.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Photo Wednesday 02/17/10 : Elevated Edition

(This Photo Wednesday originally appeared last two weeks ago and was bumped because of this)
4th Avenue F/G Train Platform at night illuminated


This image comes from the 4th Avenue subway station offices at night,(served by the F and (for now) G lines. The 4th Avenue subway station is one of those points in the MTA system that gives a sense of how interconnected a railway the subway is. Above street level is a wide set of four tracks and two platforms, then two stairs below you have the underground R,W (and sometimes N & D lines).

The next Manhattan bound station, Smith–9th Streets has the best view in the subway system and is the highest altitude station but this picture shows a rare view too. Those upper windows with decades of graffiti are yet to be buffed but somehow illuminated and the are part of former offices of the old IND transit company. I've been using that station since the 70's and I've never seen those windows lit up. I'm wondering if it has to do with the renovations of these stations that is going on for the next few years.

Two sites I love and have never given enough credit to: www.forgotten-ny.com and www.nycsubway.org provide more details about this station situated at the bottom of Park Slope, such as the fact that  it's a viaduct, level in it's construction, although it looks like a bridge, because the west end is elevated and the east goes straight into the hill of Park Slope which rises around it.

The subway makes for an appropriate "Photo Wednesday" since I've been seeing a whole lot of subway lately.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Which Valentine's Photo is You?

This
Couples in Crown Heights bonded against winter
or This?
Winter Walk in Crown Heights
Well, no matter how you roll this Feb14th, solo or tied down (yes you) I hope you at least stay warm in spirit and use protection, yes pvc.

And why not be optimistic, it's the start of the new Chinese Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger.

According to the interwebs(specifically, Yahoo):
Nuptials aren't a good idea in the upcoming days, at least not in Beijing. Thanks to a disconnect between solar and lunar calendars, the Year of the Tiger apparently doesn't have a spring: No spring makes this a "widow year," which portends infertility—and explains the last-minute rush of newlyweds in China before the New Year kicked in.
Grrreat! That's muuuch better.

Generally Wednesday is photo day around here, but I braved the storm and took these shots and some if you'll excuse my pride, are quite nice:
nearly monochromatic Easter Parkway
People can say what they will about Manhattan versus the outer boroughs, (frankly I talk a lot of smack about Manhattan) but a day after the Blizzard I left work to clean sidewalks not remembering it had snowed until I walked back out of the subway and into the Brooklyn.

winter aura brooklyn

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Photo Wednesday 02/09/10 : Snow Job Edition

snowsign NYC Blizzard start 2/10
As the flakes of NYC Blizzard 2,10 start to fall... the sign seems to be saying something....

Canceling school. A day early. Mannnnnnnn..... the Mayor must be missing my rants.

But I won't give in to the Mayor or anyone else. (I'm not your MONKEY!)

Nope.

But I will say the idea of school closures in New York City, shock and annoy me. Instantly I can't help but question the toughness of today's kids, and my peers, their parents. My sole anecdotal utterance would be that I once walked to school in nearly two feet of snow two miles and in two hours time. True story. If the city didn't closed the schools, I had to go to school. So I went. During that trek the swirling snow and I were the only things moving. When I finally got to school, I was one of about 37 students who showed up. We sat in the auditorium watching 16millimeter Bullwinkle films. I never liked Bullwinkle.

I found this in the NY Times coverage of the school canceling decision:

"On Jan. 8, 1996, officials closed schools as a huge northeaster approached, and kept them closed for two days under a blanket of 20 inches. It was the first time since 1978 that a snow day had been declared the previous day."
And just like that the light came on. Within that period fits my entire Public School existence. All those mornings listening to the radio, watching the news waiting for my school's name to be called as closed. It never happened. No matter how bad, I never got a snowday off. Just left out in the cold.
snowsign2 NYC Blizzard start 2/10

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Photo Wednesday 02/03/10 : Retouched Edition

The derelict Loews Kings Theater in Brooklyn, Aug09
I just wrote what was my Photo Wednesday post for today, then I read today's New York Times and saw this that the Leow's King's Theater, a classic movie palace of the 1930's, 40's and 50's on Flatbush Avenue (in the Heart of Flatbush, Brooklyn) long left to neglect and ruin, is being restored. I had to stop my "presses" I didn't even read the whole times article but my first response is this is great news.

And it's the only major thing I agree with boro prez Marty about.

The Times has pics of the interior which I've never seen, I took a few shots of the exterior which is still mighty despite the disrepair.
The derelict Loews Kings Theater in Brooklyn, Aug09

Flatbush was once a marquee avenue in more ways than one. A few blocks east of the Loew's stood the Albemarle Theater at the start of Albemarle Avenue.

The Former Albemarle Theater now a Jehovah's Witness Church
Seen above this theater has become a Jehovah's Witness church, but I remember when it was a theater. I saw the film "The Empire Strikes Back" here. It was my mom and I, afterward I was so distraught by the ending (I was young, and huge fan of the previous Star Wars movie) that my mother couldn't take me home. To cheer me up she brought me over to the little McDonalds on Flatbush where I ate till I felt better.

It'd be great if a new generation can enjoy a grand theater on Flatbush again. Of course I should probably read the article, for all I know it could be the new home of an unwanted sports team.

(btw this week's photo wednesday was of the 4th Ave subway station illuminated, but that'll come next week.)