Monthly Archives: April 2008

Fort Greene House Tour: SUNDAY

Each year, Clinton Hill and Fort Greene alternate to host a spectacular house tour. I haven’t yet done the Fort Greene tour, but I’m planning on it this year!

shedding trees

Tickets are available at several locations:

Advance Tickets $20*
In Fort Greene (cash only)
BAM Box Office, 30 Lafayette Ave.
Yu Interiors, 15 Greene Ave.
Gnarly Vines, 350 Myrtle Ave.
The Green Market, Dekalb Ave. & Washington Park (Saturdays only, starting 4/5/08)
Brooklyn Flea, Lafayette Ave. at Clermont (Sundays only, starting 4/6/08)

Day of Tour Tickets $25*
In Fort Greene (cash only)
BAM Garden, Fulton St. at Lafayette Ave.
Brooklyn Flea, Lafayette Ave. at Clermont

Here’s the info:

, MAY 4, 2008
This year’s 29th Fort Greene House Tour, which takes place on Sunday, May 4th, from noon to 5pm, is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable ever. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to view a spectacular modern studio, designed by superstar architect David Adjaye for two well-known artists. This building is his first and only completed work in New York to date.

Other interesting stops on this exciting tour, will include an art filled Italianate Brownstone, featuring an exuberant interpretation of Victorian “Bohemian/Orientalism” inspired by Frederick Church’s Olana, several striking townhouse renovations, deftly blending period details and modern design, a charming 1850’s wood frame house and several fresh and stylish takes on modern living in 19th century spaces. Another singular home on this tour is a newly constructed residence that began in concept as an artist’s studio to occupy the expansive garden next to the owner’s home and morphed into a unique and luxurious four family residence, spanning a double lot and sharing a lushly planted, multi-level garden.

In addition to these fine private homes there will be stops at significant architectural and cultural landmarks in Fort Greene, from MoCADA [the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts] to the 1907 Masonic Temple with its fine terracotta façade and six pipe organs inside. Finally, visitors will have the chance to take in stunning views of Brooklyn and much of Manhattan from the thirtieth floor roof deck of the newly constructed Forte Condominiums.

This year the tour will commence from two locations, the main one at the BAM Garden, Fulton and Lafayette Avenue and the other at the Brooklyn Flea a new outdoor market on Lafayette and Clermont Avenues. Spend a magical afternoon in Fort Greene; enjoy a peek into some special homes, walk our beautiful tree lined streets, stroll through Fort Greene Park. Find out why Fort Greene is one of Brownstone Brooklyn’s most interesting neighborhoods.

For further information, please contact Allen Hobbs: 718-875-4110 or Ursula Hegewisch: 718-875-1996

May Events at Tillie's

May 08 Events
Tillie’s of Brooklyn
248 DeKalb Avenue
Brooklyn NY
(718) 783-6140


Friday, 5/2/08
8 p.m.

The BOB Trio
Oscar Penas, guitar
Brian Landrus, woodwinds
Bridget Kearny, bass

This drum-less jazz group was founded in Brooklyn in 2008. The members of the group met in Boston in 2005 while studying at the New England Conservatory. Their goal is to swing as hard as possible so that the listener doesn’t notice the lack of drums. The combination of three musical personalities presents a continuous flow of always-fresh musical interaction. See for additional information.

Friday, 5/9/08
8 p.m.

Stephan Beasley
Chris Conly, guitar
Ben Altman, guitar
Dave Moore, percussion

A Jersey-based vocalist who swings hard and features gospel, jazz, and pop inflections. For more information see
Friday, 5/16/08
8 p.m.

Etan Haziza Trio
Etan Haziza, guitar
Frank Hauch, bass
Bryan Bisordi, drums
A jazz trio playing mostly original compositions by Etan Haziza, a jazz guitarist of great style and range.
For more info visit

All shows have a cover of $5, $3 with student ID.


Kenneth Murray

Born 1949 in Carlisle, England to an English father and Dutch mother, Ken Murray has traveled to the Greek island of Paros for the past 20 years. There he shoots pared-down images that isolate the subject from its original surroundings, transforming it into an individual object. He calls his style “graphic minimalism.” Stunning in their abstract simplicity, the photographs have a beauty as timeless as the light that inspired them.

Murray has a degree in graphic design and photography from the Stadsacademie in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where he now lives. He is a frequent visitor to Brooklyn.

He has shown his photos widely:

Kunstsalon, Rijksmuseum, Sittard, Netherlands
Fillenon Centre, Athens, Greece
Kunst Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Mercedes-Benz CAC, Maastricht, Netherlands
Aghios Athanasios, Paros, Greece
Gallery Parthenis, Mykonos, Greece
Kunstcentrum Lindenbrau, Unna, Germany

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 10th 2008 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Open Mic

Thursday 5/8/08
Thursday, 5/22/08

Host: Nick Noir

No cover

8:00 p.m. sign-up

8:30 performance

All poets, writers, singers and songwriters are welcome.

Tillie’s is at the corner of DeKalb and Vanderbilt in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. For directions see “Getting Here” on our website. For more information, call Patricia Mulcahy at 718 783-6140.

"Mourning" the Loss of Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels Cafe was long the bane of my existence. I’d call them and they were open, but when I’d go by (I tried at least five times), there was no sign of them — no open storefront, no signage, nothing.

Finally, it seems they’ve thrown in the towel:


(525 DeKalb Ave at Skillman)

I really do try to patronize as many local places as possible, and even when a new business is full of problems, I try to point out the positive.

But let this be a lesson! If you say you open at X am, then BE OPEN at X am. And certainly be open two hours AFTER X am.

Tree Planting in the 'Hood

This just in from Green Fort Greene and Clinton Hill:

Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill had hoped to plant street trees this weekend but our tree donor, the Parks Department, will not get the trees until next week. Planting will be May 3 and 4. (On May 4, combine planting with the Fort Greene House Tour!)

Fun for all. Bring your friends. Bring the kids. Make a piece of Clinton Hill or Fort Greene better forever. Commemorate something or somebody. The digging is not too rigorous because the trees will be delivered bare root rather than with big balls of soil. Your tools or ours. A couple of hours will make a big difference.

If there is an empty street tree pit near your house that you would like to plant, claim it by sending a reply message. Trees also can go on private property.

Let us know if you can help organize things before next weekend, as well.

The trees will most likely be a mix of lindens and oaks. Both very stately. Lindens bloom in June and will cast a lovely scent over our early summer nights.

In addition to the city’s trees, we have donations of tools from The Home Depot (Bed-Stuy) and soil supplements from Plant Health Care. Amy Bennett of Greene Grape and Justine Fasciano will provide trucks for moving our forest, etc. where we want it. Jessica Arnold is confirming planting sites in areas surveyed by Jill Rehman and Mary and Hannah Tager during Green FG & CH’s comprehensive neighborhood tree survey. Steve Hurwiitz of GFI Capital arranged for us to use the parking lot at 470 Vanderbilt, at the border between Fort Greene and Clinton HIll, as our staging area. Jonathan Barth is planning the reforesting of Univesity Towers’ grounds. And Yes! we will use compost made from vegetable waste deposited at the Green Market courtesy of Charlie Bayrer.

Many more Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill projects are brewing.

Together we will do great things.

Earth Day at Luz

(OK, so you only have one day left to check this out. Apologies- I just started a new job and have had no time to read my email!!!)

inside luz

Luz is definitely one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood. The interior is absolutely gorgeous, the food is great and the cocktails are among the best in the area.

From Myrtle Minutes:

Get ready to raise your glasses of organic beer and wine in honor of Mother Earth.

For two days, April 22nd and 23rd, Luz Restaurant will continue to serve up delicious and delectable meals with an added big time nod to our environment.

Luz is serving up special 5-course prix fixe meals which feature all natural, sustainably-grown and/or organic ingredients purchased solely from local farms and markets.

In efforts to really drive home the importance of helping to conserve our Earth, there will be no electricity, no gas, no heat lamps, no telephones, no computers, no credit card machines…

Luz owner, Pedro Munoz, shares, “we hope that at least on these two days we can promote awareness of environmental issues. We want to help spread the fact that consciousness of what we do, buy, use or dispose of has a direct impact on planet Earth.”

Live music both nights. Come out and help celebrate our Planet Earth.

RSVP or 718.246.4000

($55.00 per person five courses)

Cocktail Opening at Tamboril!

opening soon on myrtle!

Tasty Tamboril is finally getting a liquor license, and they’re having a party to celebrate:

A night of cocktails as we unveil our cocktail menu. The menu features nuevo latino inspired martinis to timeless classics such as the sidecar. Best of all enjoy our mojito or a caribbean cosmo.

The celebration begins at 5:30pm with a happy hour until 7:30pm

…it’s gonna be a cocktail affair…enjoy your social experience

April 26th, 2008


If you haven’t been yet, the interior space is really beautiful (love those interesting lamps above the platform seating) and the last time I was there (for brunch, which was delish and even satisfied my very pregnant and picky friend visiting from Queens), the art on display was really gorgeous.

527 Myrtle Ave.

Root Stock & Quade: Open By May 1!

(Before I started grad school, I thought maybe I’d like to open a supercute flower shop in the ‘nabe. But, not having a business plan or any experience running my own store, I decided to wait for an expert to take care of it. And here they are!)


On Friday — one of those gorgeous spring days we’ve had recently — I met up with John Rattigan, co-owner of Park Slope’s Root Stock & Quade along with Kerry Quade. As I reported earlier, the duo are opening a branch of their flower-gardening business on Myrtle Avenue.

john rattigan

As it turns out, Rattigan is actually a two-time resident of the Hill (he lived in the ‘nabe twenty years ago and currently lives on Washington Avenue). He and Quade originally came upon the Myrtle Avenue space while trying to find a vase for a job they were working on. At the time, the storefront hosted a one-hour photo and chair rental service (along with other random rigmarole), and the two marveled at what poor shape the storefront was in. Soon after, Rattigan noticed a For Rent sign in the window. The landlord happened to be inside, and Rattigan signed the lease soon after. “It was the easiest thing ever,” he says, in comparison to negotiating his lease for the Park Slope outpost. “A snap!”

The lease was signed on February 13, and they plan on being open by May 1.

inside the shop


The shop will be offering garden design, full service floral design for weddings and events, retail, indoor and outdoor plants (herbs, perennials, shrubs, etc) and flowers by the bunch and the stem. Come fall, they hope to offer the occasional class on window boxes and basic houseplant care (note: can I sign up now for the latter?).

The storefront, an ice cream parlor in the 1940s, will incorporate as many traditional elements as possible. “I really want to make the space correct for the building and the neighborhood, and fill it with cool, modern stuff,” Rattigan explains. He was able to salvage the old tile flooring and hopes to frame some old photos of the building, along with some of the vintage wallpaper he came across during renovations. He tells me that the new store will be a “vibey” place with cool music.

Rattigan is a huge fan of the energy in Clinton Hill. “I love the mixed vibe,” he says. “There’s no malaise. People here are always doing something or fixing something. And MARP is so ‘together!’

“I love Maggie Brown — I’m always there! — and my favorite is A Bistro. I love everything about it,” he gushes. “And Castro’s! I’ve heard people come from New Jersey to eat there!”

Rattigan is prepared for the inevitable backlash on pricepoints at the store, but stresses that high quality plants and flowers (ie non-refrigerated!) aren’t inexpensive. They’re also extending a 10% discount on all plant purchases to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens members. RS&Q won’t be the go-to place for every day things, at least for me, but I know I’ll welcome the opportunity to swing by for a small bouquet after a pedi at PBB.


Root Stock & Quade
471 Myrtle Ave (bt Washington and Hall)