Monthly Archives: November 2009

Plenty: The Ultimate Guide to Life and Leisure in Clinton Hill / Fort Greene

Jelani Bandele, a four-decade resident of Clinton Hill, is readying to publish her second edition of Plenty, a guide featuring listings of brick & mortar and home-based businesses, houses of worship, community organizations, restaurants, bars, web sites, Wi-Fi locations, elected officials, history, ongoing events and more in the neighborhood.  To be green, the guide will be printed on-demand.

The first guide was printed in 2003.  It just predates my time in the neighborhood, so I’m eager to see what the new guide will look like.

I spoke with Jelani about her timing, and how businesses that have opened since 2003 can be included:

Why did you decide to publish the second edition in 2010?
I was prompted to get to work on an update when the neighborhoods began to experience a large influx of people from other boroughs and overseas, a large number of ethnic restaurants, cafes and other businesses, began opening en masse; and residential development seemed endless.  So much has changed, including some of our elected officials, that the first edition is almost obsolete.

Will businesses that have opened since 2003 need to ask you to be included?
We’ve done our homework, so new businesses don’t have to ask to be included.  However, to be sure, we have opened the door so that businesses opened since July 2003 and those that are still under the radar, with plans to open by the end of May 2010, may contact us via email ( to see if we have them listed and to provide us with specific information.  Details on getting listed in Plenty may be found at our blog and in the Notes section on our Facebook page.

The cover of Plenty 2010 will be revealed in late December or early January.

Thanks, Jelani, and we look forward to seeing the new guide!
Check out the guide’s blogspot siteFacebook page and  Twitter account.

Bike Shop at 478 Myrtle?


Last week, I noticed that the space formerly occupied by the Healthy Body vitamin shop (478 Myrtle) has been transformed into a bike shop!  I remember the space was once a makeshift bike shop and repair outfit, and now it seems to be back.

The folks at the Myrtle Ave Partnership confirmed that it’s the same operator as before (and the owner of the building).  No word yet on whether the shop is temporary or permanent.

Lunchtime With Tillie: Madiba

Greetings neighborhood, this is your captain Van writing, and on behalf of my co-pilot Tillie, we’d like to welcome you to LWT Airlines! Next stop, South African restaurant Madiba, on Dekalb between Carlton and Adelphi.

As you can probably tell, I’ve had Tillie in that plane on my mind for quite some time! On a nice day last week, we finally made it happen. And it worked well for me because I was on a personal redemption mission with Madiba.

In all my years in the ‘hood, I’d only eaten there once and it wasn’t the greatest of experiences –  and that’s no one’s fault but my own. When I went before, I was a complete African restaurant neophyte, and instead of asking my dining companions or the waiter for recommendations, I decided to try to figure things out myself and thus, not be penalized any “cool points.”  I ordered some type of beans and “slap chips,” or twice-fried french fries, thinking it would be a tasty combination. It wasn’t, and I hadn’t eaten there since.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, it was a nice day out, a perfect one , actually, for sitting outside. And by the time we made it out there, we had our choice of where to set up camp, which it becomes in a way when you’re unloading snacks and toys.

While I was doing this, the waiter came back with T’s high chair and menus for the both of us. And Tillie’s menu – besides the simple fact of it being a menu, which is usually exciting for her – also doubled as a coloring sheet. Tillie’s really gotten into coloring: as much as a 13-month-old can, I guess. I was torn between ordering her the chicken “madibits” and fries or the veggie plate. I know, it shouldn’t be that tough a decision, but don’t worry: The veggies won out! For me, though …

I felt myself flashing back to Madiba ’05. I wanted to try something outside the norm, and finally decided on the meat pie with mashed potatoes. I felt good about my choice, but the waiter came back and told me they were out of the pies. I went to my backup option, the Yebo burger and chips. That’s exotic, right? (I know, not really!)

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Barking Brown to Add a Second Location

Back in 2006, readers were less than pleased when a Quiznos opened on Myrtle Avenue. (And yes, CHB has been publishing since 2006!) We had all hoped for a non-chain.

They’ve since closed.


A source tells me that Barking Brown will be opening a second location there in order to split up their products (clothing and accessories).


Their current store is located at 468 Myrtle between Washington and Hall.

Myrtle Windows Being Painted for the Holidays!

Artists are beginning to paint their windows on Myrtle Ave storefronts.  Local artist and friend of CHB Ellie Balk will be painting on Sunday and invited readers to stop by:


Please join me at Karen’s Body Beautiful (MYRTLE-BTWN WAVERLY/CLINTON) this SATURDAY/SUNDAY as I create a “Stained Glass” Map on the front window for the MARP Myrtle Ave. Windows Project.

• 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 from Monday, November 23rd until Sunday, December 13th (winners will be announced shortly afterward).

The Project from Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP):  “We hope that this unique program will help to drive visitors to the avenue to view your works, and to support our merchants (the majority of whom are local, independent, small business owners) during this holiday season by shopping locally.”

Ellie painted the beautiful mural on the side of Tillie’s!

MARP Celebrates 10th Anniversary


The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary on December 2 with food tastings, wine and live music.  The party is open to the community (tickets are required and can be purchased here).

So much of Myrtle Avenue’s transformation is due to the amazing team at MARP.  I for one am grateful to have so many independent (and locally owned) businesses nearby.

Next week, CHB will chat with M. Blaise Backer, Executive Director of MARP, about his job, the organization and how to get more involved.