Monthly Archives: October 2009

Marathon Madness!

The NYC Marathon will make its way down Lafayette Avenue this Sunday!  It’s a great time in the neighborhood- local bands play, people blast music, neighbors cheer in the street.


Want to watch the marathon with kids?  Head down to Still Hip, who will be partying with noisemakers and banners (and bloody marys for mom and dad at Mirrors).

Myrtle Holiday Windows Returns!

Holiday Windows_ JOSEPH TYLER SALON  (5)

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is almost here once again.  That said, Saturday is November 1!

Myrtle Ave Partnership will once again be coordinating a holiday window painting contest for storefronts on Myrtle Ave.  If you’re artistically inclined, please consider submitting an idea.  last year’s entries were awesome.

The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership is excited to announce the second annual Myrtle Holiday Windows Contest!

To usher in this holiday season we’re inviting local artists to use storefront windows along Myrtle Avenue as a canvas for festive holiday art, and to compete for some great prizes at the same time! The goal of the project is to bring contemporary art and holiday cheer to the Myrtle Avenue streetscape while helping to promote both local businesses and artists. Artists or small teams of artists will be paired with local merchants to create a festive holiday window design in a portion of the storefront window.

The window ‘decorating’ must occur Thursday, November 12th through Sunday November 15th, bringing creative holiday spirit – and hopefully shoppers – to Myrtle Avenue throughout the weekend. The holiday windows will be on display through the end of December and all visitors and shoppers will be able to vote via text message for their favorite storefront design until Sunday, December 13th (winners will be announced shortly afterward).  The top three designs will be awarded Myrtle Avenue gift certificates valued at $250 (first place), $100 (second place) and $50 (third place).

Visit our blog from last year to view the winning windows:

Visit our Flickr site for photos of all the 2008 holiday windows:


  • The materials used to create the holiday window scene may include paint, lights, paper, or any other material agreed upon between the artist and the merchant.  Be creative!
  • If paint is used, it must be temporary and easily removable (all products applied to the windows must be removable and must not damage the glass in any way). Painting will take place on the INSIDE surface of the storefront window.
  • The Partnership will supply a $50 stipend per storefront window to cover supplies and services.
  • If selected, artists must commit to painting their assigned window between Thursday November 12th and Monday November 16th. This time can be determined during discussions with the merchant partner.
  • Artists must include the Myrtle merchant in the design process to ensure that the concept is appropriate for their business.   At least one, in-person meeting to discuss preliminary ideas is required.  The merchants are very excited about this project, and looking forward to working with a local artist. Some of the most popular designs in 2008 creatively incorporated the business theme somehow. This is not required, just an idea to provide some inspiration!

How to apply to become a Myrtle Holiday Windows ARTIST:

Please send the following VIA EMAIL to by Wednesday, November 4th:

  • Name, address, telephone and email contact information
  • Select up to three Myrtle Avenue businesses that you would like to work with from the list below(or you can let us pair you with a Myrtle merchant if you don’t have a preference).
  • Very briefly, tell us about your proposed design ideas for the storefront window.
  • A simple sketch, photo or other imagery that represents your idea would be very helpful
  • Photos or links to examples of your past work.

Halloween Festivity Roundup

Just so you have a listing of all of the great stuff going on this Saturday:

*The Fort Greene Park Conservancy Halloween Festival, 12-3 pm, in the park.  This event includes games, entertainment, costume parade, free pumpkins, hay rides and more for kids of all ages. It is a thrill, so make sure to come. SCH is a co-sponsor and loves to do this for the kids.

*The Great Pupkin Dog Costume Contest, registration at 11:30, judging at noon – 1 pm. New location: on the steps of the Monument for observers and on the lower terrace for the dogs (in costume.) Finally everyone can see these hilarious pups in their refinery.

*Society for Clinton Hill Halloween Walk, 5-6:30 pm. Kids, in costume with parents, pick up maps of generous homes at the Pratt/SCH garden at DeKalb/Hall. Great treats and even greater decorations!

*313 Clinton Avenue Carnival of Carnage, shows run every 30 minutes between 5 – 8 pm. This year’s circus theme is more extravagant than ever before and will amaze all spectators. Talk about unbelievable acts…fire balls, weird things and more. The street will be closed off and multiple homes will be participating. SCH is a major sponsor of the fun.

In addition, there are many, many homes with decorations and treats even in addition to those on the map, so get out and see and enjoy! The entire neighborhood is alive with decorations and fun.


Saturday, October 31 | all day block party at Still Hip on Grand at Lafayette:
The street is closed off and we are going to have Halloween fun all day! Here is what we have scheduled so far:

  • 11-2 face painting
  • 11-3 – portraits by Orrie King
  • 1pm – Rolie Polie Guacamole
  • 2pm – Let’s Dance Brooklyn performance
  • 3pm – Pistachio: A Brooklyn Girl Made From Trash
  • 4pm – Grand Avenue March of the Costumes!
  • 5pm – LIG funk band
  • + MORE

B38: Still Crappy

My new job necessitates taking the R train at DeKalb, so I am back to taking the B38 (at least on days when I am wearing heels).  Today, I saw a huge crowd waiting for the bus and groaned.  And then four (yes, FOUR) B38s pulled up, all in a row.  Seriously?  They still haven’t worked this out?

And btw, why does the B38 now turn down Ashland?  Is it because of the new building construction? $!@&!!!

My Favorite Haunted House: Finally For Sale

When I first moved to the neighborhood, almost the entire row of houses on the east side of Waverly between Greene and Gates were boarded up.  Now, just one remains.  It’s long been a favorite of mine, as I watched its neighbors get redone and once again become beautiful homes.

Now, this last shell standing is for sale, through Brooklyn Properties.


This purchase is not for someone looking to move right in.  The listing states:

Shell property in Historic Clinton Hill for sale
by auction on November 12, 2:30 pm in
Judge Betsy Barros’ Chambers, State
Supreme Court, 360 Adames St.
Part 76G, room 575,
Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Requirement: Buyer must be prepared to
make immediate emergency repairs to back
wall and roof. Both DOB and LPC are
prepared to expedite permits for repairs.

Price: $450,000

I hope someone will give this place the love it needs.

Renovation on Vanderbilt

I’ve noticed it a few times and a reader recently called it to my attention – the carriage house that used to house a preschool, and that was once a candy workers’ union, is undergoing a rehab inside:

whats up in the space on vanderbilt next to the yellow carriage house — looks like a new school or something? betw, dekalb and lafayette.

For some reason, I assumed it was a residential renovation.  I thought maybe I saw it on Brownstoner, but I couldn’t find it just now when I did a search.  Anyone know for sure what’s up?


The Great PUPkin: Saturday, October 31


It’s time once again to dress your dog up in costume and bring him or her to Fort Greene Park for the annual Great PUPkin Contest.  I’ll be judging again this year (and it’s a relief to not have to think of something to top last year’s winner- a working dog fountain!).  Bring your A Game.

The 11th Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest will be held on Saturday, October 31 (rain date November 1) at noon in Fort Greene Park. Held by Fort Greene PUPS, the contest usually has between 60-80 dogs in costumes parading in front of judges for prizes donated by local merchants.

To find out more about the history of the event, I recently chatted with my neighbor Kath Hansen, the founder of PUPS, who has been organizing this annual contest for over a decade as a way to get neighborhood dog owners together.

Why does PUPS organize the PUPkin every year?

Because I can’t wait to see what crazy costumes people will come up with for their dogs. Plus I’ve been lucky enough to have two dogs in a row who are pretty easy to costume.

Is the PUPkin part of the Fort Greene Park Conservancy’s Halloween Festival?

We started the Pupkin in 1999, and Ruth Goldstein, who was head of the Conservancy back then, thought it was a fun idea. So she expanded on it and the Conservancy has been doing their Halloween Festival since 2000. Their event is larger and geared more toward children, with face painting and games and such. Since they usually have a horse-drawn hayride, we try to keep the dog event separate since dogs can get freaked out by horses.

How much does it cost to enter a dog in the competition?  What do you do with the donations raised at the event?

It costs $5 per dog for entry.  We use the money to cover the costs of running the event, and to keep the park’s poop bag dispensers filled. Each plastic bag costs about five cents. We go through about 200 per week, and that’s not even enough. We also occasionally buy trash cans for the park.

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Lunchtime With Tillie: Maggie Brown

“Must … get … food. Somehow, someway … must eat.”

Those, my friends, are the words of a hungry man whose daughter is transitioning to a later naptime.

Hey everyone, It’s Van and Little Miss New Nap Schedule Tillie, with more “Lunchtime” adventures. I was almost afraid we’d have to change the name to “Dinner With Tillie” since she’s sleeping now from late morning to early afternoon. But we made it out before Happy Hour and went to Maggie Brown on Myrtle Avenue for our latest excursion.

So our day, like most LWT days, started off pretty regularly: There was nothing major on the agenda, except for a little playground action, which we knocked out in the morning. We came home and I tried to put her to sleep, thinking she’d be up at a reasonable hour for lunch. Well, turns out that plan of mine wasn’t what she was looking to do, which she made pretty clear to me by jumping up and down in her crib. I took her out of it and brought her to her little play area with the idea of that winding her down. But by the time she started showing some signs of exhaustion, it was 12:30! That’s around the time we go out! I guess she’s good, but what was I going to do? The only thing I had for breakfast was a snack pack of Lorna Doone cookies!

I could’ve fixed something or ordered delivery, but that would’ve been pretty lame: “Lunchtime With Tillie’s at Van’s House.” And this was the only day this week we were going to be able to go out, working around our busy story-time and play-group schedule. So I buckled down and got ready for the test of my endurance. After two hours and some change, just when I started hallucinating and seeing visions of pizzas dancing around my head, she woke up! Sure, it was 2:45, but I figured we could make it out quick enough. Good thing I packed up her stroller with her food while she was out.

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