Category Archives: grand

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

Chocolate Croissants: Choice Market

Choice Market, at Lafayette and Fulton, was a beacon of gentrification when it opened a few years ago.  Their food is amazing, but the lines and the store setup are not.

chocolate croissant from choice market

Price: $2.25

Chocolate Distribution: One row of chocolate

Outside Appearance: Shiny

Description: While this croissant was a touch on the greasy side, the taste was just about perfect – buttery and light, with just a little bit of crisp in the outer bread.  This pastry offers layers of airy bread that just about melts in your mouth. One of a kind, at least in my hunt, and the price is even on the lower end comparatively.

Score: 9 (WINNER)

Chocolate Croissants: Urban Vintage

This absolutely lovely restaurant / home decor shop, located on Grand Ave, offers food and goods at affordable prices.  I love the look and feel.

Chocolate Croissant:

chocolate croissant from urban vintage

Price: $3.21

Chocolate Distribution: Two rows of firm chocolate

Outside Appearance: Textured and matte

Description: Two generous rows of chocolate, but the most heavy/bready of the bunch.  Their pastries come from Balthazar (Bittersweet on DeKalb also gets pastries from Balthazar). UV lost .5 for having the highest price of the bunch, but gained it back for having the friendliest service by far during the croissant testing period.

Score: 7

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

CHB Finally Visits Urban Vintage

urban vintage

I know, I slacked big time on this one.  I missed their small preview and then hadn’t made time to go check them out after the grand opening.  But I finally made it last weekend and boy am I glad I did!  Urban Vintage is GORGEOUS!  I love the combination of merchandise and retail.  The bright, spacious shop is stylish and comfortable, and the owners Elizabeth and Emily Hazelwood couldn’t be any nicer.

urban vintage owners

Urban Vintage is closed on Saturdays, which seems like an odd choice given the crowds just down the block at Choice (and the limited seating there).  However, they’re closed so they can host private events on Saturdays.  And let me tell you, I would have loved to do my bridal shower there had they been open last summer.  Keep it in mind.

I didn’t check the prices of all of the home furnishings, but the stuff I looked at was surprisingly reasonable.  Like this cute clothespin-inspired garbage bag holder for less than $30:

garbage bag holder

What an awesome way to re-purpose a small plastic bag as a garbage bag and make it look cool!  I’ll be back for this, for sure.

The Local’s covered it here and reviewed some of the food.

Urban Vintage
294 Grand Avenue

A Creperie for the former Brown Betty

I’m not sure exactly when Brown Betty closed shop, but I’m bummed.  Their dinners were amazing (and with only a few small tables inside, you were lucky to partake) and they made a mean thai iced coffee (see one of our posts from 2006 here).  At least Cynthia’s bringing her tasty food over to Black Swan (mentioned yesterday).  And, I hear that the space will soon be home to a creperie!

I’m psyched, as it’ll be something totally new and different.

Free DOT Bike Helmet Giveaway at Grand Earth Day Block Party!

The NYC DOT will be on hand this weekend at the Grand Ave Block Party fitting and giving away free bike helmets for all attendees, 12-4pm.  Kids under age 18 need a parent to sign a waiver for them and those 18 and over sign their own waiver.  Come pick one up while supplies last – helmets aren’t cheap!

FDNY will also be on hand with free coloring books for kids and free smoke alarm batteries for adults.

Still Hip Grand Earth Day Block Party
April 24, 11am-8pm
Grand Avenue bet. Lafayette + Clifton
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

More Earth Day Fun: Grand Ave Block Party on 4.24

The neighborhood continues celebrating Earth Day, this weekend on Grand Ave.  Here’s the info from Still Hip Brooklyn:

Saturday, April 24 | all day!
12:00pm Fati & Charles
1:00pm Graciela of Music Para Mi
2:00pm rolie polie guacamole
2:30pm Sean Kershaw
3:00pm Pistachio: A Brooklyn Girl Made of Trash
4:00pm Tres Leches
4:30pm Rene Collins
5:00pm Audra Rox!
6:00pm LIG funk band

Private Picasso Art Crafts
find out about Green Drinks + Vokashi composting
Book Signing of Brooklyn Baby by Allison Lowenstein
Baby Raising fair with info on Doula’s + Montessori playgroups + classes + more!

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We will have tons of bins set up for your used fabric goodies

Free Tree Giveaway, This Saturday

The MillionTreesNYC Initiative is awesome!  This Saturday, pick up a free tree to plant on your private property as part of the plan to plant one million new trees in NYC at the “Putnam Triangle.”  Love that they are making use of an interesting place that could function better as a community space. Sponsored also by the FAB Alliance and Greene Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, and the NY Restoration Project. Here are the details:

Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill and the FAB Alliance, in partnership with MillionTreesNYC and the New York Restoration Project, are giving away 200 FREE TREES on Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18th from 10am-3pm. Bring your friends and family to the “Putnam Triangle” in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (Fulton St and Grand Ave) and leave with a tree to plant at home, at your business, at church, at school (as long as it’s private property).

Are you planning your spring garden? Do you have an open spot for a tree? Plant a tree that will grow as your kid grows. Commemorate a loved one. Come to the Tree Giveaway and walk away with a FREE TREE!

All trees will be first-come, first-served. All you need is a place to plant and access to water. Free trees will be available to individuals, families and community groups for planting on private property only, and not in containers or on rooftops. Trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis until supplies run out. Limited quantities of the following species of trees are expected to be: Eastern Redbud, Dogwood, Cherry, Oak and Sweet Gum.

Need a hand or a shovel? We will have tools for you borrow. We will have help for those who need it to get a tree home and have people to lend a hand with planting if you (or the senior next door) need it.

Trees are renewable resources that benefit the entire community. They reduce air pollution, beautify the neighborhood, slow traffic and teach important environmental values.

Not sure what type of tree you want? Horticulture specialists will be on hand to answer questions and provide species selection recommendations. Simple tree planting and care instructions come with your tree.

Do you want to help out? Volunteers are needed to give out trees, transport trees, help neighbors plant their free trees, publicize the event in surrounding neighborhoods and answer questions about tree planting. To volunteer, contact Marilyn Shaw at

Presented by Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill and the FAB Alliance in partnership with New York Restoration Project and MillionTreesNYC and through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and David Rockefeller

About MillionTreesNYC:
Led by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project (NYRP), MillionTreesNYC is a citywide, public-private initiative that recognizes the benefits trees provide New York City’s residents, neighborhoods and environment, through an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the City’s five boroughs by 2017.

About Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill: Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill is a volunteer project of the Fort Greene Association. It is reducing the neighborhood’s contribution to global warming and lessening its use of non-renewable resources through projects created and staffed by neighborhood residents and others called to our cause.

About the FAB Alliance: The Fulton Area Business (FAB) Alliance is a newly formed Business Improvement District working on behalf of property owners, merchants, residents and stakeholders along Fulton Street in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill – from Rockwell Place to Classon Avenue (plus adjacent blocks of Lafayette, Greene and Putnam Avenues). Goals are to retain current businesses and improve the atmosphere to make this area of Fulton Street a clean, safe and retail diverse environment that is a destination for people work, shop, dine and play.