Monthly Archives: June 2010

CHB Visits Chance II


Cleaning out our drafted post queue, I realized I never published this short review of Chance II on Fulton near Clinton.  Back in December, we stopped in at PACC‘s holiday party, held at the then brand-new Chance II on Fulton!  While it was a private event and not a regular night at the bar — and so I can’t attest to a regular night — the staff was strikingly friendly and the light up bar is pretty cool (see above).  The space will be great for parties, and has a small upstairs area as well.

Have you been?  What did you think?

Food Access on Myrtle Avenue

Another great program from MARP!  Here’s the press release:

Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Receives
Community Experience Partnership Grant to Fund Food Access Initiative
Weekly Thursday Farm Stand Kicks Off on July 8th from 4-7pm in Front of Ingersoll Community Center

FORT GREENE and CLINTON HILL, BROOKLYN, June 29, 2010—The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC (MARP) received a three-year grant through the ‘Community Experience Partnership’ to support and expand its Food Access Initiative. The $210,000 grant over 3 years will support projects under MARP’s new Myrtle Eats Fresh program, which aims to engage community members of all ages in activities to improve access to healthy, affordable food on Myrtle Avenue, and in the surrounding neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Projects include a community-run farm stand, creating and expanding community gardens on public housing grounds, a community chef program, and the formation of a hyper-local food policy task force.

The Community Experience Partnership (CEP), a national initiative, aims to support projects that specifically engage the talents and energy of older adults for the benefit of their communities. In New York City, The Atlantic Philanthropies is partnering with the New York Community Trust and United Neighborhood Houses of New York (UNH) to develop new program models that engage older adults to increase access to healthy food in low-income communities.  “Over the last few years, older adults in Ingersoll and Whitman Houses have emerged as natural leaders in local efforts to get more fresh food in the neighborhood. We are thrilled to be able to support this trend by establishing community-based projects that address the serious need for more fresh food options on Myrtle Avenue,” commented Michael Blaise Backer, Executive Director of MARP.

With the CEP grant, MARP has hired Kassy Nystrom, formerly of GrowNYC, to manage and expand programs under its food access initiative, which started with seed funding from the Brooklyn Community Foundation in 2008 with the founding of the Fort Greene CSA, and grew to include the creation of the Ingersoll Garden of Eden in 2009. Myrtle Eats Fresh will expand that community garden, built in collaboration with Ingersoll residents, and start new gardens at both Whitman and Farragut in the following years.  A community-run farm stand will be held every Thursday in front of the Ingersoll Community Center (177 Myrtle Avenue) from 4pm-7pm from July 8th through October 28th, and will be staffed by three youth and two elders from the neighborhood. MARP has also launched a ‘Community Chef’ program, whereby several residents who have a passion for healthy cooking have been trained as certified Community Chefs and will now conduct cooking demonstrations at neighborhood events. In fall 2010, MARP will begin the process of forming a neighborhood ‘Healthy Food Task Force’, bringing together representatives from interested organizations and other groups to help synergize efforts around improving food access in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

A Bistro: YUM

Abistro on Carlton in Fort Greene is one of the tastiest restaurants in the area.

a bistro

Hidden behind a simple white gate, you might have just passed by without noticing.  Don’t let the exterior fool you.  This tiny, cozy space offers some of the most interesting food around, not to mention  some of the friendliest service. It’s a family affair – chef and co-owner Abdoul Gueye mans the kitchen, while his wife serves patrons.  The couple’s young daughter is often on hand, too.

It’s also BYO, which helps save some cash, and communal table often spark discussion between diners who didn’t arrive together.

I’ve recommended this place to many locals and people visiting from other neighborhoods who are looking for a unique dining experience. What’s your favorite dish?

154 Carlton at Myrtle

Local Muralist


After NYC Pet on Myrtle and Washington opened back in 2008, we wondered who painted the beautiful mural on the exterior of the building.  Now we know- it was Lisa K. Hokans, professional muralist and portrait painter.

Lisa was also the muralist at iStore Green, the green storage facility on Hall between Park and Flushing.


Where else could we use a mural in the neighborhood?

FABfest Schedule for June 27

FABfest Sunday, June 27, 12noon–6pm:
• Salsa Dance Party & Dance Lessons
• BK Misses MJ: On the anniversary of his passing, Brooklyn remembers the life
and legacy of the King of Pop Michael Jackson with an all-day music tribute and
community dance party featuring DJ Reborn
• Readings and prizes from Brooklyn literary magazines A Public Space,
Armchair/Shotgun, BOMB, and Electric Literature hosted by Greenlight
• Literary trivia contest
• Dogs on Parade presented by Fort Greene PUPS and Brooklyn Cares
Veterinary Clinic, plus Pet CPR and First Aid classes and Ask the Trainer
sessions for pet owners
• Crafts, activities and giveaways for kids all day
• Streetside Mad Libs game for all ages
• 3-on-3 Soccer Games for Kids hosted by Ft. Greene Soccer
• SONYA Collaborative Action Mural with Ellie Balk – participatory painting
allowing residents to make their mark on a collective community image
• Environmental demos and activities presented by Habana Outpost
(Schedules subject to change. To get updates, visit

Friday Photo, Fort Greene History Edition


Pivotal in the march of African Americans toward human rights was Marian Anderson, a contralto of “intrinsic beauty.” Only once did she appear in opera, preferring recitals or concerts. When she sang at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1938, the hall announced “Standing Room Only.” That was just a year before Eleanor Roosevelt asked her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial after the DAR refused her entry to Constitution Hall in Washington. (Courtesy BAM.  From “Fort Greene” by Howard Pitsch, Foreword by Paul Palazzo, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, $22.  Available online:

CHB at Greenlight Bookstore

Fulton Street’s Greenlight Bookstore has been hosting a blogger / author pairing once a month that pairs a local blogger with an author whose subject matter or writing style matches nicely for a discussion.  I’ve been invited to lead a discussion with Maggie Pouncey, Fort Greene resident and author of Perfect Reader on Monday, July 12.  We’ll be discussing literary fandom, urban “small town” life, and Brooklyn’s writing culture.

I’m very excited to be a part of this event, especially since I so admire Greenlight’s friendly staff, great selection and customer-friendly hours.  Hope you’ll join us!

More info available on Facebook.

Summer Events at Fort Greene Park

The Fort Greene Conservancy just emailed me a poster detailing their summer events. There’s lots of stuff here for kids, but most intriguing to me are the September performance by Reggie Watts (NY Mag just profiled him) and the Urban Bat Exploration (cool!).  I’m sure the Whitman tour (only one left!) will also be good.  I love seeing such a variety of entertainment and education right here at our doorstep.

The Winner: Senegalese Summer

Thanks to all the great entries for free admission to Senegalese Summer at Le Grand Dakar!  It was a tough decision, but we picked the entry that best described  a Clinton Hill experience.  Congrats to Samantha V!

I hope you’ll all attend and enjoy the sangria — and have some for me.  Sadly, Lesterhead has an evening work event.

Long before I knew that Pierre was an acclaimed Chef with a cookbook in stores and a fabulous restaurant in our neighborhood, he was my new neighbor with the bright and warm smile.

I moved to Clinton Hill in 2004 to a block that still had defunct factories and boarded up churches, so very rarely would I see neighbors as I traveled to and from my daily destinations. But one day as I came out of my brownstone, a gentleman was coming out of his dwelling. He smiled and said ‘Good Morning’ and that became our ritual- to greet each other at the train station or bus stop and discuss neighborhood and social happenings, as neighbors do.

Shortly after, my mate and I decided to try out a Senegalese restaurant in our hood. We sit down at the bar, and ease into what promises to be a nice relaxing dinner. I ordered the coconut curried mussels with yuca frites. As I am deep in conversation, guess who descends from the kitchen with my meal? Non other than Pierre, my neighbor!

Here is a man with so much reason to brag or walk with his nose up in the air, yet he remains so humble. Like me, he understands that sometimes just being one’s beloved neighbor, is all the nobriety one needs:)

This is why I would love the opportunity to celebrate with my ‘neighbor’ and congratulate him on his great new opportunity!

Thank You and Congrats Pierre!

Samantha V, Clinton Hill