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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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Friday, January 28, 2011

Snowstorm Slideshow So far...

"Mila Kunis is bored" in Williamsburg

Recently I needed to engorge on copious amounts of succulent BBQ beef & pork as well as potent liquor, all tenderly prepared and unceremoniously presented (wax paper! recycled mason jars!!) so of course I headed over to my fave Bk BBQ spot, Williamsburg's own Fette Sau (which we all know means "Fat Pig" in German, right? no? well there it is then).


To get my hands clean and ready for the tender rendering of yummy morsels, I headed to the lavatory and while washing my hands, my eyes spotted a provocative communique just above the familiar call for employees to wash their own.

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In WillyB armed with my Hipstermatic App in my iPhone and I hyperactive imagination, how could I not click away.


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It's funny to image the real Mila Kunis, being dragged out to dine at Fette sold on the idea by Hipster Zealots on an obsessive pilgrimage for all things authentic. So many evocative considerations came to mind as a result of that little tag, I figured the best way to go is sharing and letting you decide how the Mila Text should be read. Is it:

Critical review? Statement of wellness? Award show fatigue? or projected result of what happens when you don't keep a celebrity interested?

Of course there's always the chance that Black Swan Mila Kunis was the source of the writing, for all i know she might have been in Fette Sau, sampling choice cuts of meat, or even in Brooklyn or possibly bored. How can we be sure??? Mila?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Brooklyn Biggie Snowman


Brooklyn Snowman, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

Happy Snow - Bus service in the borough is spotty so are the subways as of noon. check MTA.info for details

Chained to this Winter - Snowstorm Part V

Chains, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.
This shot is from the Dec blizzard, those chains didnt do much, and judging by the silence I heard last night, theres gonna be tough haul for sanitation and the rest of us today.

The pic above shows how little use those chains can be against serious accumulations.
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At last count nearly a foot of snow has fallen on the city in the past 36 hours. I gotta think that somewhere, probably in one of the major city parks, there's gotta be at least 3 feet of snow standing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Great Park Proposal for Williamsburg near Broadway

Brownstoner has the word on this park proposal which would be built on some of the currently open space over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
 

As Brownstoner points out,

"the plan is to create a park network that would serve local kids, according to a story in Architect's Newspaper. The plan is the five-years-in-the-making brainchild of Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who hopes to improve the quality of life.

I for one didn't know that noise levels from the BQE in that area are 10 times louder than traffic noise from Park Avenue in the City.

I hope it goes ahead. That part of Williamsburg is not the one Manhattanites(and others) project their hipster musings on, and the residents of that immediate area really could use some urban renewal with them in mind.

link here: http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2011/01/plan_for_parks.php

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bundled in Bushwich Brooklyn : Photo Wednesday 01/19/11


Bundled in Bushwich Brooklyn, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.
Bushwich is the only section in Brooklyn that I have knowledge of and yet have no interest in going to. It's not that I don't generally enjoy Bushwich, I've had good (and random) times there, and it's not the people or the culture, it's the blocks. The streets of Bushwich themselves drive me up and wall and down again. The paucity of right angles throughout the avenues of Bushwich is more than I can generally abide. Despite that I went on a little mission this weekend and took a variety of shots, some familiar some unexpected. I'll get into all that in another post, but for now, this pic makes this week's Photo Wednesday.

PS: I really like the kid's aura.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A new Star on Bedford : Photo Wednesday

A new Star on Bedford is born.
Alpha Star Burger - Crown Hts  Open
Happy New Year! After a much needed vacation, I'm back on blog.

Since moving back to Crown Heights a few years ago I've made an attempt to check out as many local food spots as possible with the intention of adding a little light and awareness to these generally small business that are a vital element of thriving communities.

Even with the accumulation of local blogs and the New York Times' discovery this past decade of Brooklyn there are still places under-seen who make more than a little hash.

I spotted a corner restaurant on Bedford and Park Place about a year ago and was immediately intrigued because of it's signs advertising African Cuisine and the fact that I could never tell if they were open or not. The entrance right on the corner and it being one of only two restaurants on that stretch of Bedford from Atlantic to Eastern Parkway I went in and I'm still not sure what I found. The place was less than stocked with cooked or other food, the person behind the counter a nice enough woman seemed more caretaker than proprietor. I took a menu and left. Never to return.

So imagine my surprise last week, when I noticed activity and then a new awning and signage. Now advertising BURGERS in large capital letters. Other signs intrigued. Halal offerings seemed to paper the entrance as well as effusive "YES, WE'RE OPEN" signs. It seemed they were trying to reach out.

Upon entering a number of apparent changes. While still a simple food shop, the interior was brighter and seem more spacious. New menus, a working fridge half stocked with beverages, a large tv merrily blaring sports and more importantly people, cooking, food.

"Alpha Star Burger" is the name of the place and they are under new management.

I met Smokey mid 30ish guy appropriately dressed in a fry cook's hat, apron and easy smile.

He explained they've been open only since the beginning of this year. When asked why the name he reminded me that the previous name had been "Alpha Star". I don't know smokey's background but with all the Halal references and his complexion I assumed a broad swath from the Middle East to Southern Asia. Smokey corrected me, he's from Fresno.

I mentioned my experience with the previous place and Smokey expressed some surprise at how key things were left undone, there are exterior lights which worked but the blown bulbs had not been replaced) and he felt there was a good potential between the location and the food they offer.

Finally I asked the money question, "why burgers?" "We've made burgers for 15 years... were good at them." he spoke in all confidence.

How could I not try one.

The double cheeseburger was my choice, chased with a Coke, in a glass bottle.

Alpha Star Burger was winning me and the meat wasn't even off the grill. Pictures tell the story of the burger best from here:
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I was so busy eating I almost forgot to take a pict with the Coke bottle involved. Not Kosher, Halal and very good!

Alpha Star Burger - Crown Hts - IMG_3860

Afterward, I wanted to order a second, even though my stomach was bursting with joy and burger all a sudden.

While I was there, during my 15 or so minutes at least 5 customers came in off the street, seemingly for the first time (no banter between them and Smokey who seemed up for it) there were also a couple cops who just seemed to be around for a moment.

The meat was tender juicy, the burger held together only deliciously coming apart as I chewed it and the cheese I liked though I'm not sure what you all might feel about it, it tasted similar to the cheese in baked macaroni I've gotten from Halal shops all over Brooklyn, which I love.
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My take away, it's bright, looked clean, the burger was delicious and now all of a sudden I have to put in work to not go in a buy one daily.

*Alpha Star Burger is located on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Park Place in Crown Heights Brooklyn. Two blocks from the Franklin Shuttle (Park Place Station). Besides burgers they have a menu of diner and Halal fare, and I was told they're working on getting cappuccino. The phone # is on the awning above, give them a call and see if they deliver for you.