Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lunchtime With Tillie: Pilar

Can you believe it? Scooped by The New York Times!

Hey everyone, it’s Van and Tillie, and this time the Lunchtime With Tillie Express stopped off at Cuban restaurant Pilar, located on Classon Avenue, the day after the place just hit the big time with its review in The New York Times’ Dining section.

I thought T and I would have been the first major players to write up the place, but I guess if we have to come in second to someone it might as well be the Times!

Pilar worked out as a logical choice for us to go because I was dropping Tillie off for a couple of hours at one of her little chum’s house, who only lives a block or two down from the place. Then I was off to get some daddy time (or rather, hit-the-computer-and-look-for-freelance-work time).

Before going there, I had a pretty good idea of what we were going to eat: I was going to get the quarter-chicken, black beans and rice lunch special and Tillie would have one of whatever empanada they had. (And maybe an extra empanada would make its way into the mix for the big guy!)

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Clinton Hill Psychic Coming to Myrtle

Thanks to the awesome reader who sent in this scoop!

A psychic will be opening shop in the former home of Sushi Okdol on Myrtle Ave!

Our tipster spoke to a contractor working there, who said that there would be a store on site “selling all sorts of books / posters / cards associated with the psychic lifestyle.” Awesome.

I’ve always wondered how clairvoyants can afford to pay rent in NYC.  Do they have a regular customer base?  Also, there is a typo on this sign (unless “Taror” cards are different from Tarot cards).

I will gamely try this place out when it opens and assess for accuracy.

(Anyone sad about the departure of Sushi Odkol? I had always heard either really awesome or really bad reviews.)

CHB Interviews: Kathleen Hyppolite of kat flower

kathleen hyppolite, kat flower

Grady’s Collective Market on Fulton is becoming a really cool mixed bag of wares – new, vintage, home furnishings, paper goods and now flowers.  Kathleen Hyppolite launched kat flower at the collective a few months ago and has recently moved her blooms to the front of the shop.  CHB chatted with her about her new business, how it fits into the Collective and flower shopping tips for spring.

1. Tell us about Kat Flowers and how it fits in to Grady’s Collective.
kat flower is boutique flower shop that combines charm, elegance, simplicity and beauty.  like the rest of grady’s collective market, the assortment of flowers is well-curated, dynamic and fresh, interesting yet always accessible.  having fresh flowers as part of the collective is reminiscent of the markets in paris, amsterdam and london, however we remain true to our unique brooklyn style.

2. What’s your background, and how did you start arranging flowers?
i am a native brooklynite and event planner of many years and have had the opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the city’s best floral designers.  i have always loved playing with flowers, arranging them for myself, family, friends and clients. i got tired and frustrated of having to leave my neighborhood for flowers and being limited to the farmer’s market and deli tulips.  i want to make beautiful, fresh, high-quality flowers accessible.

3. What kinds of flowers are typically available this time of year?
spring is springing so there is so much beauty to choose from.  i love tree blossoms…dogwood, forsythia, peach and of course cherry.  also lilac, sweet peas, hellebores, tulips, narcissus, hyacinth, daffodils and jasmine.

4. What kinds of services do you offer?
kat flower sells blooms by the stem, hand-tied bouquet and arrangement. for gift orders, we buy fresh per order so please contact us and we will arrange something special for the next day. for weddings and events, please email for a consultation.

5. What do you recommend as a floral gift for a romantic partner who isn’t into the cliche dozen roses?
a floral gift is no different from any other kind of gift — it should be thoughtful, personal and meaningful.  if they like fresh scents, an arrangement with freesia, hyacinth or lilies would be lovely.  if they love color, ranunculus and tulips have quite a range.  if they love simple beauty, you can’t go wrong with an orchid.  and i also am in favor of the perfect single stem…a single peony or dahlia would definitely make me happy.

(flower photos by derrick raphael)

Kathleen maintains a blog on her latest inspirations and inventory at

kat flower
923 fulton street (inside gradys collective market)
cross streets clinton & washington avenues
c train to clinton-washington

tuesday-wednesday 12-7
thursday-friday 12-8
saturday 11-7
sunday 12-6

Serial Rapist?

I admit I am behind on this story, but it’s worth posting to make sure everyone is extra aware of this story.  Just because it is the middle of the day, doesn’t mean one is safe from a crime.

Here is the info from Tish James’ office:

Armed Sexual Assaults Indicate Possible Serial Rapist in Central Brooklyn
(Brooklyn, NY) A man is wanted for two sexual assaults in Brooklyn, which happened near Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street.  The sketch below of the rapist was released by police.
Tuesday’s armed attack of a 42-year-old, near Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street mirrors the sexual assault that occurred on March 16 when an armed man approached a 56-year-old women. He took both of his victims to isolated areas, raped them and struck them on the head with a firearm before fleeing on foot.  This rapist attacked during the early morning hours, as well as in the late afternoon.
“In light of two recent sexual attacks that occurred in the ‘border district’ between the 79th and 88th Police Precincts, a possible gap in NYPD coverage is cause for concern.  I call for an undercover detail in that area, and well as increased early morning patrols at transit facilities, including the Franklin shuttle, and C train.  This attacker seems to be aware of the black hole in policing that exists on the edge of Clinton Hill and Bedford Stuyvesant,” said Council Member James.
Police described Tuesday’s attacker as 25 to 35; between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-11; 160 to 180 pounds; wearing a green jacket, dark pants, and white sneakers. The cases are under investigation by Brooklyn’s Special Victims Unit.
“In light of the recent sexual assaults and muggings that have occurred over the past few weeks on our streets, the CLEXY (Classon, Lexington, and Quincy Block Association) group is urging Police Commissioner Kelly to increase the police presence in the 88th Precinct.  We are in desperate need of more foot patrol, particularly during the late night, early morning shift,” said Laura Benko, vice president of CLEXY.
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.

Old Tree Damaged by Storm

A reader snapped this shot of a beautiful old tree on the Washington Park side of Fort Greene Park that was damaged by the recent rain storm.  No word yet if it will have to come down.  I know a tree is a plant and not a person, but it makes me sad to see that a living thing that’s been in the park for so many years, and so many generations of neighborhood residents, might be removed.

Free Bike Helmet Giveaway a Pratt's Green Week

Every year Pratt Institute holds its annual Green Week celebration, promoting green design, sustainable living, and environmentally conscious community.  As part of Green Week and for the last three years in a row, student group Envirolution has invited the Department of Transportation to give away FREE bicycle helmets.  This event is free and open to the public, as with all of this year’s Green Week events.

The details:

DOT Free Helmet Giveaway
Next Tuesday March 30th 11am – 3pm
Center of Pratt Campus
** In the Student Union in case of rain
A parent or legal guardians must come with children under 18 to receive a free helmet

For more information about Green Week and the DOT Free Helmet giveaway – please take a look at

Helmets can be expensive, and this event is a great all-ages stop for a free helmet and some cycling safety tips.

Fort Greene PUPS Annual Spring Cleaning

This weekend: bring your dog to off leash, help clean up, and earn treats!  This info just in from Fort Greene PUPS:

Every spring in Fort Greene Park, Fort Greene PUPS hosts our annual poop pick-up. We call it a treasure hunt, since it is sometimes difficult to find the offending substance. We realize that runs contrary to what some park users think, but all you have to do is look in one of the trash cans at Fort Greene Park to see that the majority of dog owners do indeed pick up after their dogs. Unfortunately, there are some renegades who are either unobservant or uncaring, so PUPS works to promote responsibility among local dog owners. And since us dog folks use the park 365 days a year, we are usually the ones who end up stepping in dog doo if it gets left behind. Not to mention the hardworking park staff, who get the unenviable task of cleaning up the mess when it’s not picked up by dog owners.

In the war against poo, PUPS knows that a once yearly clean-up is a drop in the bucket. We do our best, but as you can imagine, this “event” is a hard sell. To promote this unglamorous affair in the past, we’ve had a “Grand Poo-Bah” poop weighmaster come in and weigh the amounts picked up, with the winner walking away with a prize.

This year PUPS is trying something new for our annual spring cleaning. We’re giving away plastic Easter eggs stuffed with a free poop bag, dog ScooterSnack, and chocolate egg. We’ll be in the park during morning off-leash hours this Saturday and Sunday distributing the eggs. If you have a dog, and you use the park, consider it your doo-ty to clean up any leftovers from winter.

Parents Around the Hill

I do not have children, nor am I expecting, but I am definitely more aware of kid-related stuff now than I was when I started this blog four years ago.  Recently, I came across a group called Parents Around the Hill.  It’s members only, but looks to be a free group.

Are any readers members?  Membership is restricted to parents and expectant parents, so I can’t join and tell you more about it.

What are your favorite kid-related resources in the neighborhood?