Monthly Archives: December 2006

"Boiling Kettle, LLC"

I heard the Gardens on Myrtle between Hall and Ryerson was a pretty cool dive bar, but I never paid it a visit. And now it’s closed.

Opening in its place is something called Boiling Kettle. A kind reader sent me these photos:

boiling-kettle-1.jpg

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Intriguing garden statue…

Anyone have more information?  I swore I was going to spend all week scoping the ‘hood, but laziness and a cold have impeded my goals…

Year-End Donations

There’s less than a week left to sneak in tax deductions, and I myself have a whole bag full of clothing to donate. You know, making room for all the new pants I need post-cookie binging.
A few years ago when I first came to Clinton Hill, I tried to find a local charity looking for clothing donations.  At the time, I also hoped to find something walkable due to my lack of a car.  I had a very difficult time finding something.  I started by emailing Leticia James, who gave me the contact info for someone at S.N.A.P.  That woman unenthusiastically referred me to a local organization that provides housing and education for teen mothers.  THAT contact was even more difficult to get a hold of, and then couldn’t provide a pick-up for the goods.  This is one of the most frustrating aspects of material donation in NYC — getting the stuff there!

Since inheriting a car, I’ve been dropping off clothing donations at the Goodwill at 1100 Fulton (bt Classon and Franklin).  They have a huge collection bin and a donation desk right inside for easy receipt pickup. There’s also a Salvation Army near Broken Angel, but I’ve never been inside.

Aside from these two standbys, are there any neighborhood-specific organizations accepting clothing (or furniture/housewares) donations?

Merry Christmas…

…Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Winter Solstice.

I noticed yesterday morning that someone hung up several origami ornaments on the trees of St. James Place. Most of them looked like this:

unexpected ornament

unfolded

Pratt student?  Religious group?  Random neighbor? No matter — I really like them.  Thanks to whoever hung these beauties.

I’ll be posting this week, though on a lighter schedule.

Hope whatever you’re celebrating is merry.

xoxo, CHB

Not Me?

Merry Christmas Eve, dear neighbors.

My Xmas Wish: If you are not me, do not post as me and enter an email address that is not mine but looks like it should be. The worst part is the fact that my impostor has mixed up “your” and “you’re,” and posted it under my moniker.

NOT cool.

xo, Lesterhead

Little House on Clinton

Little House on Clinton
150 Clinton Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 237-7780

Chicken and Waffles.An odd combination that’s oh so right.

And oh so good.

I was first exposed to them in California at the famous Roscoe’s House of Chicken’ n Waffles. It was love at first bite.

So obviously I was SUPER EXCITED when Little House on Clinton advertised that they would be serving Chicken and Waffles. When they finally opened I couldn’t wait to give them a try. So plans were made with my friend 1UP and, of course, Lesterhead, and off to dinner at Little House we went.

Upon entering you are very warmly and robustly greeted making you feel immediately at home and comfortable. As Little House is quite small, 3 booths and 2 small tables, we had a bit of a wait but was treated to a couple of mini waffles for our troubles. Mmmmm…

We decided to look over the menu and order our food in hopes that we’ll be seated by the time the food arrives. (We were.) The menu consists mainly of breakfast type fair, some burger selections, Quesadillas (???) and, of course, Chicken and Waffles – all at pretty reasonable prices.

1UP ordered Little House Meal number 2 (4 mini waffles, 1 chicken leg and 1 chicken thigh for $7.49) while Lesterhead ordered the Little House Meal number 1 (4 mini waffles, 4 chicken wings at $6.99). I opted for 12 wings at $7.49 so that I could try serveral of the sauce choices. I chose Jerk, Buffalo and Teriyaki leaving House BBQ and Honey BBQ for next time.

(I know, I know. I didn’t order any waffles. BUT I knew 1UP was gonna hook me up with some of her’s so that I could write up a fair evaluation. Food Review 101: Rule 153 – you’ve got to know your dining companions.)

And, of course, we had to get a side order of (Freedom) Fries.

The Waffles were light, golden brown and DE-licious! A nice fluffy interior with a crisp exterior that holds up to the syrup so that it doesn’t get soggy before it’s time.

The chicken wings were extremely crispy, well breaded and seasoned and very flavorful plain and as is. As for the sauces the Teriyaki was good, the Buffalo was good, the Jerk was better but the best sauce was…maple syrup.

Really.

Maple syrup. Squeeze a little on…oh my. Crunchy, sweet, salty…yum!

It’s honestly the best way to eat them and probably what makes Chicken and Waffles such an awesome combination.

The regular chicken pieces were just larger versions of the wings.

The only disappointment was the fries. They were just eh. I think they could’ve been a bit crispier and SALTED. I’ve gripped about this before but I hate it when they don’t salt the fries while they are HOT. Ugh. Salting after the fact…the salt just never sticks to it. Who’s with me on this?
Another minor grip is the lack of an easily accessable bathroom.  After eating sticky waffles and greasy chicken you wanna be able to easily wash your hands and…you can’t.  I hope they clear that up soon.

So, overall, an awesome addition to the nabe.  Good fair at a good price.  If you go and plan on eating there plan on waiting a bit as it’s pretty small inside but as a place for delivery or pickup – AWESOME.

Chicken and Waffles.  Yum. Who would’ve Thunk It?

Inside Body By Brooklyn

Body by Brooklyn opened months ago, and I still haven’t been. I had planned on it, but I just keep forgetting it’s there. I did take a tour once, and the facilities seemed amazing. Yet it does seem a bit mysterious and those who have gone say a few things seem a little “off.”

Thankfully, reader mizbrooklyn gives us the DL on what goes on inside:

BODY BY BROOKLYN.
275 Park Avenue

It’s not that every neighorhood NEEDS a place to get a massage, but since even the pets in Clinton Hill have a spa, I was excited to notice Body By Brooklyn’s ambitious opening last spring. Truth was, I missed having a local place to go when my back felt crunched-up, and if a spa can make a go of it in a building overlooking the BQE…well, it can probably make it anywhere. I’ve been to BBB a number of times by now, more out of neighborhood loyalty than anything else — but I’m still convincing myself to like the place.

First, the concept. If you’ve ever been to a really high-end spa — think “Ten Thousand Waves” in Santa Fe, NM or even “Juvenex” in Koreatown — the idea behind BBB will be familiar: you’re supposed to spend a couple of hours here, having a drink or a snack, getting a massage, maybe plunging in their pools or sitting in their sauna. There’s a big room filled with magazines — and a bar! — just for lounging. If you’re there for a “spa day”, you’re supposed to use the locker room to strip down, and pad around the building in a robe and slippers. (If you’re there for just, say, a waxing, they’ll show you right back to your room.) In Santa Fe, I found this idea kind of novel and fun — in Brooklyn, I have to say, I found it a bit…weird.

It didn’t help that the whole place is eerily quiet and empty, even on weekends. With every room appointed in couches and poofs from West Elm, it’s a bit like being in a furniture showroom after midnight. Mostly naked.

So far I’ve gone for a waxing and a massage. The good news is that this place is spotlessly clean. Having gotten manicures and at places I cringe to remember, there’s something great about walking into a truly pristine space in the middle of the city. Service has always been fairly friendly (spas not being known for their warmth), and the rates are reasonable. But there is definitely something a bit fishy going on that’s hard to put my finger on. Despite the prominently posted signs asking patrons to keep their bathing suits on (which really make you wonder why they’re there in the first place), the one time I wandered into the bath area, I was greeted by a pair of naked (male) buttcheeks. I quickly fled, not knowing if this was a cultural miscommunication — BBB is a Russian-style spa — or a health code violation. The naked guys definitely seemed to have more run of the place than I did.

The massage wasn’t bad but definitely wasn’t like any other massage I’ve had, featuring an unexpected neck-cracking session and lots of limb-pulling: you shouldn’t go in expecting Swedish Massage, even if you say you’re there for deep tissue work, like I did. Then again, the first time I went to a Korean spa and had a body-scrubbing, I was pretty weirded out, too.

Mostly, the owners of BBB seem to be just figuring out how to market themselves and get customers in — in a way, they seem to still be figuring out what customers they WANT to get in. Are they going super-high end? For the first few months there was a whopping cover charge levied just for entering the place — suggesting they were going for the (maybe non-existent) high-luxury client. It seems like that charge has been dropped since the summer — but BBB is still figuring out how to get things done.

I think what this place needs, more than anything, is more local patrons to make it their own: it seems more like one person’s vision of a spa than a reflection of the neighborhood growing up around it. But I may go back with friends — there is something irresistible about having a massage – or waxing – within 10 minutes’ walk.

Nabe Map!

You asked, and we deliver: a detailed neighborhood map so you can see how far you are from everything cool and noteworthy. It’s not interactive, but a reader (anonymous clinton hill fan) has really gone out of her way to create something well-designed and comprehensive. She’s also included adjacent neighborhoods in case you find yourself straying across the CH borders.

(I know there are still a few things missing, Tessan Boutique for example. Hopefully we can do regular updates!)

The map is linked on the right (In + Around CH, Clinton Hill Map) for easy regular access (and so you can enlarge!).

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