The Great PUPkin: October 30

October means Halloween time in the nabe, and it’s time to start prepping for one of my favorite events in the city: The Great PUPkin. This will be the 12th annual dog costume contest, hosted by Fort Greene PUPS.

The big event will be held October 30 from noon to 1pm, and I expect the competition to be fierce.

The official Westminster Dog Show photographers, Wild Coyote Studios, will be at the event to take dog portrait photography (in or out of costume). The suggested donation for a portrait is $25 (normally $475), and Wild Coyote Studios is donating all proceeds from donations to Fort Greene PUPS.

For more info on prizes, click here.

li'l panda!!!

Start planning, now.

Also in Fort Greene Park that day, the 11th Annual Halloween Festival in Fort Greene Park will offer face painting, hay rides, sack races, entertainment, pumpkins, a costume parade and more, FREE from 12-3pm.

WA-GREENE Block Association Street Fair

The WA-GREENE Block Association, on Washington Avenue between Greene and Gates, will hold its first ever street fair on Saturday, September 18 from noon to 6pm. The active block association, which has been in existence since 1973, is hosting the fair to celebrate some of its recent accomplishments – working with the DOT, the block now boasts a new speed bump in front of the PS 11 entrance on Washington Avenue, and new truck route signs to prevent trucks from illegally using Washington Avenue.

The Association will be including merchants from Fulton Ave between Vanderbilt and Classon at the fair, to help residents learn more about new local businesses and support businesses on that stretch of Fulton. The Greene Hill Food Co-op to have a representative on hand to register new members.

If you’re around, stop by to meet your neighbors and celebrate the strength of community. And if you live on or near the block, find out how you can get involved!

Move About Myrtle Returns!

Car-free Sundays are returning to Myrtle Avenue starting this weekend, as part of the DOT’s Weekend Walks program.  Each of the four Sunday events will feature programming, art, fitness, activities for kids and more.

The Myrtle Minutes blog has all the details for this Sunday, which will include mural-making with Ellie Balk (yay!), food prep classes, free yoga.  Come on out and enjoy streets as public space, hang out with neighbors, enjoy free stuff.

Props for Urban Vintage

Back during my first visit to Urban Vintage, I noted what a lovely space it would be to host a bridal shower.  Thought I’d share this brief note from a reader about a recent baby shower:

Wanted to share with you the great baby shower I had at Urban Vintage this past weekend. The ladies there are so great and put together a wonderful event. They even made the cutest cupcake boxes for guests to take with them that had my name and date of the shower on it. Very happy they are in the neighborhood!

Nice!  I love to hear about people staying local for their special events. Check out the space if you’re looking to organize a small event.

Urban Vintage
294 Grand Avenue

Deep Fried Pizza?

I haven’t had the time to actually check this out in person yet, but the description sounds intriguing:

Hi, I just wanted to tell you about a new pizza place that is on Myrtle right off Classon. I think it’s called Vino’s, though I don’t quiet remember right now…you should probably double check that…It’s in the same spot that another pizza place used to be but it’s a new name / new owners and unlike the last spot, this one is actually really good. Not sure if I can say it’s better than il porto pizza, but they do have deep fried slices and I doubt any other clinton hill spot has that….

Deep fried pizza!  I’ve never heard of this period, never mind just in Clinton Hill!  Might be worth a trip back to the Hill to check this out.

Have you tried it?

NabeWise Profiles CH

A website called NabeWise.com recently contacted me about their site, which helps New Yorkers (and people in a few other cities) find the right neighborhood for them.  Of course, I looked up Clinton Hill to see what it had to say:

Clinton Hill is home to the Pratt Institute and beautiful late 19th century mansions. The area is a mecca for students, creatives, and families seeking a more affordable alternative to Manhattan, or even from neighboring Fort Greene. Home to brownstone-restoration enthusiasts, Clinton Hill is also celebrated for an ever increasing number of foodie restaurants and independent boutiques.

According to the page, the neighborhood is good for empty nesters, singles and families.   Site users who live in CH also identified the neighborhood as having: students, gay/lesbians, liberals, hipsters and “beautiful people.”

It ranks other neighborhood characteristics such as cleanliness (“somewhat clean”), community (“strong”), and hip factor (“very trendy”).  If you play FourSquare, it also lists the most popular venues for check-ins (Choice and Mike’s).  It also displays transit options, an area map, and adjacent neighborhoods.

The photos on the site are pretty captivating, and it’s fun to see how the nabe compares to other neighborhoods in NYC.  What do you think of the site’s presentation of Clinton Hill?  Leave a comment or review that reflects your experience!

One complaint: the site creates a new neighborhood near the Navy Yard called “Navy Hill.”  That’s news to me.  Last I checked it was Wallabout.

A/C Trains to Stay Running (Instead of Becoming Fish Colonies)

Ugh. I often feel like the A/C line will be the very last to see new train cars.  And now that suspicion is validated.  AM NY recently reported that the MTA’s decided to keep them in service even longer than scheduled, instead of tossing them into the ocean.  I’m sure the G is not even in the plan for new trains.

How nice are those super new trains that show all of the upcoming stops (and thus can be programmed for any line, instead of having to see the “this route not in service” light on the 4,5 when you’re in a 1,2,3 car)?  The only thing I don’t like about them is the fact that they all have their letter / number in red on the front car.  Part of the fun is seeing the colored circle rounding the corner into the station.

Renting in Clinton Hill: 1955

Sometimes, the strangest stuff happens.  For example, one day we came home and went upstairs to inspect some of the reno work we’re doing, and the contractor had left behind some little slips of old newspaper from 1955 that had seemingly been in a wall or in the floor (it’s amazing what kinds of treasures are hidden in an old home). One of the slips was apartment rental listings, and what do you know- there were some listings on Clinton Avenue!  Check out the below, which lists an apartment at 286 Clinton Ave for just $90 a month.

Clinton-Hill-Rental-1955-150x150

Here’s the building courtesy of Google Maps:

286-clinton-150x150

Too bad the rest had been torn away, but it was almost like the old neighborhood was sending me a little hello.

The Brooklyn Free Store

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Writing in this space has become such a big part of my life, so I’m going to continue posting when the spirit moves me.

Anyhow, Mr. LH and I have been making regular trips to the Home Depot in Bed Stuy (yes, I know it’s a mess, but they do have most things in one giant store, at least when they’re not out of what we need, which happens regularly), and on several occasions I’ve noticed something interesting on Walworth Street across from the west side of the store parking lot – a makeshift tent filled with stuff and a giant sign that reads, “The Brooklyn Free Store.”  I’ve been almost jumping out of my skin to go take photos of it and poke around.  And then I remember that I didn’t say I’d never post here again!  So on our last trip, I jogged over to see what was up.

Surprisingly, the tent was filled with some decent stuff – clothing, some nice handbags, a decent collection of books.

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There was no one nearby, and I didn’t take anything.  Although I’m pretty sure the whole point is to take-something-and-leave-something in some kind of hipster experiment.  I Googled “Brooklyn Free Store” and came up with some references to something like this in Williamsburg in the early aughts that has since closed.

Are the same people behind this?  Have you ever “purchased” anything from this store?