Monthly Archives: December 2007

Midnight Steam Whistles

Each year, Pratt engineer Conrad Milster puts on an amazing steam whistle show on campus on New Year’s Eve at midnight. For some reason, I’ve never heard them sound! I’ve seen the smoke from my window during test runs, but have yet to venture over for the official show.


The steam whistles were installed in 1900 to power the campus. They remained in use until a few years ago (they were still operating two campus elevators!).

Milster has maintained the steam plant since 1965, and has been conducting the midnight show for years. The NYT listed it here, back in 1980 (last listing on page). Also check out this YouTube video of last year’s presentation.

The steam plant at Pratt is still in its original condition, and was declared a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1977.

Check it out tonight!

New Bar on DeKalb!

Bed-Stuy Blog has stumbled upon something wonderful — a new bar on DeKalb between Franklin and Kent! Called Rustik Tavern, the spot will also offer a full menu.

They open on New Year’s Eve at 4pm!

Most impressive to me are the wonderfully-designed fliers and website:


Not only does this look nice, but the photo on the card was taken on DeKalb and Kent in 1887!

Rustik Tavern
471 DeKalb Ave (bt Franklin and Kent)

Dentist on Fulton?

I think this is new, as I haven’t noticed it before:


OK, I just Googled it and found a bunch of places it’s been listed, so maybe it’s NOT new. Anyone go here?

And as an aside, does anyone have a good doctor in Brooklyn? Either primary care, lady doctor, specialist, etc? I love my PCP, but am have long grown weary of trekking up to her office on East 90th Street. What do most Brooklynites do?

White Lilly Cafe

I finally had the chance to peek in on the new restaurant on Fulton at Grand. It’s now open, and here’s the menu:


Not sure if this is permanent, but it looked pretty dead inside and there’s no signage outside:


I like that a few brave folks are trying to take the plunge on Fulton, but with a limited menu, no signage and all that horrible construction there, I don’t know if this place has a very favorable outlook.

Anyone been?

Christmas Eve Shooting

I wanted to do a post or two from Buffalo, but my Dad’s Internet was down (!!!!!!). I was less than pleased.

I am sad to say that the first news I received when returning home was about a horrible Christmas Eve shooting outside of 121 Lefferts Place. Here are a few links to the info:

ny sun


ny daily news


The reader who notified me walked past the scene after it happened, describing it as “gruesome.”

Isn’t this near where the prostitution hotel was shut down? As I recall, this isn’t the safest corner in the area.

Sincere condolences to the families of these boys.

Christmas Vacation

Hi all-
I’m headed to Buffalo today and will return on Christmas night. Back to posting on or around the 26th!

And just a friendly reminder that blatantly cruel and/or racist comments will be deleted from CHB. Sorry to any of you who may have encountered one in the wee hours of the morning today.



CHB Interviews: Eda Sanchez-Persampieri, Owner of Square Root Cafe

opening soon on myrtle

If you’ve walked down Myrtle recently, you may have noticed some work being done in the corner storefront of the Renken Dairy building at Classon. Maybe you’ve also noticed the new sign hanging above it, or stopped in to speak with the folks renovating the space. Good news! This new hot spot, a retro-cool restaurant called the Square Root Cafe is almost ready to open!

I stopped in a few weeks ago to get some photos of the progress being made and to talk to the owner, Eda Sanchez-Persampieri. She and her husband Joe are doing an amazing job retaining many elements of the historic space (which has sat empty for years), as well as brightening up the interior. The corner windows are gorgeous! (swoon)

Square Root Cafe will open on January 1, offering FREE BRUNCH from 1-5pm! It’ll be the perfect opportunity to feed your hangover and welcome the restaurant to the area!

1. You’ll be opening a new restaurant on Myrtle called Square Root Cafe. What’s the theme going to be? How about the cuisine?
My husband Joe and I are totally stoked about opening in Clinton Hill! The restaurant will feature a casual environment decorated with the mid century antiques & collectibles ( funky junk) that we have collected over the past 10-12 years.

The food will be homestyle gourmet- lots of classic dishes with some updated ingredients. Joe is a 2001 graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. One of Joe’s classmates was the then-wife of Richard Dreyfus and he actually came to the commencement- How cool is that?

2. Do you live in Clinton Hill? How did you decide to open the cafe?

We actually live up by the Navy Yard.

We had the idea for a cafe about five years ago and seeing the explosion of independent retailers on Myrtle decided we should go ahead and do it before the neighborhood became oversaturated with cafes!


3. What did you do before the restaurant? When did you decide to take the plunge?

Actually we are both continuing to work.

I work in apparel production/sourcing and my job stints have included being on the teams that launched the Sean John & Daisy Fuentes brands.

>Joe is a 25 year veteran of FDNY but he plans to retire next year.

We decided in June to take the plunge and looked at a lot of available storefronts but we knew we definitely wanted to be on Myrtle!

4. Will the restaurant be in the building with the milk company sign? Any info on the history of that place?

Yup we are in the milk building. Renken Dairy owned a number of buildings in the area. Our building was actually home to the corporate offices and retail storage. The basement has this cool old-fashioned walk-in refrigerator (which is now our office) and another smaller room was used as the vault — there’s a real vault door you have to walk through!


5. Tell me about the thriving community of Myrtle Ave merchants. How did you decide to open there?

Myrtle has just exploded in the last 3-4 years, We moved to the area when it was first stating to pop and the energy in the streets is inspiring. We definitely wanted to be on Myrtle hands down over any other street — even Dekalb!

6. What’s your favorite local hangout in the neighborhood?


7. How long have you lived in Clinton Hill? How has it changed since then?

We have lived as a couple in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill/Wallabout area since 2004, first in a loft in the Choclate Factory and now over on Cumberland down the street from the Sweet & Low Company.

What we love about the area is that it is so diverse and that the residents embrace the diversity.

8. What kinds of events will the cafe be hosting?
Art exhibits ( painting and photos) , live music (most likely Jazz, Blues or Jazz Fusion 2-4x a month) and weekly Movie/TV night with classic vintage movie& tv shows. We might do an open mic night 1x a week. I am also kicking around the idea of a film festival- showing local artists films.


9. What else would you like to see open in the neighborhood?

Gourmet Deli- Like Fourage in Dumbo
Gourmet Cheese shop- Like Stinky’s in Carol Gardens/Cobble Hill>

We would love to open a gourmet deli- If Square Root is successful, we might give it a go.

10. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be and why?

Joe is definetly chocolate ice cream because just about everyone likes chocolate ice cream and everyone immediately likes Joe!

I am green tea flavor — an acquired taste but once you like you love it.


Square Root Cafe
584 Myrtle Ave. at Classon