Category Archives: outside the hill

Lunchtime With Tillie: Bubby's

Hey everyone out there, it’s the whole family once again (me, Tillie and Tillie’s mom) with tales of our latest dining adventure. And since it was the whole family, we decided to go to the family-friendliest restaurant of them all, Bubby’s in DUMBO.

None of us had ever been before, but we heard the legends of how this place is supposedly a Mecca for the with-kids set, and I have to say after going, it pretty much was. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself: Let me add our tale to the story of Bubby’s.

We went on a Sunday, when we had all intentions of getting out of the house and doing something fun for the day, especially as how Tillie started feeling better after suffering from an ear infection for about a week and a half. Tillie’s mom was suffering from a cold over that time, too, but was coming around the bend on her illness as well. So after I added up all the factors – healthier baby and mom, nice but cold day, starving dad who needed to write an LWT for this week on a place he’d never been before – the choice was made to go to Bubby’s.

We decided to take a car service down to the restaurant and bring the stroller along instead of trying to march all the way to DUMBO through the blistering wind. The trip was pretty smooth and we entered the sprawling place ready for a fun time. I looked over to my side while we were at the hostess stand and saw a couple of strollers parked, and thought, “Wow, that’s really cool. You don’t have to bring your stroller over to your table and worry about folding it up.” Then I thought, “Wait, where’s our stroller?” I blurted out “Stroller!” then ran outside because I realized we had left ours in the trunk! I ran to the edge of the block, but the car was nowhere in sight. I called the car service and the driver made a return trip, I got the stroller and headed back in.

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Last Day of the Myrtle Avenue El

goodbye glance 10.3.69 lr

The New York Transit Museum will feature a very cool photography exhibit documenting the last day of the Myrtle Ave El – the elevated train that ran down Myrtle Avenue from 1888 – 1969.  Go far enough down Myrtle, near Bushwick, and you can still see the El’s structure, never fully taken down.  It’s crazy to imagine so many NYC streets beneath elevated trains!

The press release includes some wonderful historical facts about the line and the exhibit:

Opening in 1888, the Myrtle Avenue el ran from downtown Brooklyn to Queens, passing through Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Ridgewood, and Middle Village.  After eighty years, to the dismay of many passengers, the Myrtle Avenue el closed in 1969 and was demolished the following year. Yet, in the mid-20th century, the el’s wooden train cars and antiquated stations still held fond memories for riders who grew up in those neighborhoods.

THE LAST DAY OF THE MYRTLE AVENUE EL: Photographs by Theresa King is a photo essay shot in a single day forty years ago. The photographer recalls, “At midnight on October 3, 1969 over a thousand people eagerly awaited a train – not just any train, but the final train to run on Brooklyn’s Myrtle Avenue elevated line.  These people were taking the last ride on this historic elevated train.  As soon as they crammed on, the train rolled along from Brooklyn’s Jay Street station to the Metropolitan Avenue station in Queens.  At the end of this sad journey, some passengers took artifacts to remember this very special old timer and bid a fond farewell. The pictures were taken during this last day at various stations along the Myrtle Avenue el in Brooklyn.  During my childhood, I rode this train daily and loved the look of the station stops and the train itself.  When I realized the line was due for demolition, I wanted to document a part of Brooklyn’s past that would be no more.”

Myrtle Avenue—named for the myrtle trees that once grew in the area – has been a major roadway since the early 1800’s. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Knickerbocker Stage Coach Line ran omnibus service on the avenue. In April 1888 the Myrtle Avenue elevated train began operation from downtown Brooklyn to Grand Avenue Junction, where Pratt Institute had opened one year earlier. That September, the line was extended west to Sands Street, where passengers could transfer to a cable car to cross the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. In 1889 it was extended east to Wyckoff Avenue in Bushwick, and then to Metropolitan Avenue in Queens in 1906. When it first opened the neighborhoods along the western end of Myrtle Avenue – downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, and Clinton Hill, were already densely populated. The Brooklyn Bridge had been completed five years earlier and omnibus lines and railroads served the area. Beyond Grand Avenue Junction, however, the area was still mostly rural, and much of eastern Myrtle Avenue developed along with the el.  Bushwick’s housing and industry boomed in the late 1880’s, as German immigrants opened successful large-scale breweries, and Ridgewood developed just after the line was extended there in the prosperous years before World War I.  But beginning in the 1930s, with the decline of business along Brooklyn’s once vibrant waterfront and the opening of what is today the G subway line, ridership on the Myrtle Avenue el began a decline that would culminate with the closing of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1966.

The exhibit features color and black and white photographs by Theresa King, along with historic photographs, archival material, and station signage from the New York Transit Museum collection.

New York Transit Museum
Located on the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn Heights
Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Admission: $5 Adults, $3 children (3-17) and Seniors (62+)
Seniors admitted free every Wednesday

TOMORROW: Free Shuttle Between BK Flea and other BK Destinations

The Brooklyn Flea has become a hotspot for NYC bargain hunters near and far. This Saturday, May 30, Brooklyn Flea visitors can score another deal: Heart of Brooklyn’s FREE hop-on, hop-off shuttle to the cultural attractions near Grand Army Plaza will be running from the Flea in Fort Greene between 10am and 6pm. The HOB Connection stops at Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park/Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Children’s Museum. A full schedule with times can be found at The Connection will depart the Flea at 10am, 12:30pm, 2pm and 4pm on Saturday.

More than just free transit, the shuttle features on-board tour guides providing information about the restaurants and shops in nearby Prospect and Crown Heights, summer calendars with suggested activities and coupon books full of local discounts (also available to print online at

The HOB Connection regularly offers free transit to the cultural attractions in the Heart of Brooklyn from various neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Bay Ridge, DUMBO and Williamsburg) each Saturday, and from Manhattan’s Museum Mile each Sunday.

Brooklyn Blogfest 2009

It’s time once again for the ever-growing Brooklyn Blogfest!  This year’s event looks to be the most diverse and interesting yet — the program is full of new faces, and will include breakout sessions based on blog-type.


May 7, 7pm
powerHouse Arena, DUMBO

It was the very first Blogfest that inspired me to start this site.  If you have a blog, love blogs, or are thinking about starting a blog, come by to network, learn and meet others obsessed with blogging.

Memorial for Bob Guskind

Several dedicated Brooklyn bloggers have been working together on a memorial event to remember and honor Bob Guskind, founder of Gowanus Lounge.  Details are now available:

A memorial gathering to honor the memory of Robert Guskind will be held from 2 pm to 5 pm Saturday, April 4 at the Brooklyn Lyceum, 4th Avenue between Union and President Streets in Park Slope.

Please RSVP if you can. (There is an opportunity to sign up to speak.)
If you’d like to make donations in Bob’s memory, four charities have been designated.
For updated information, please check Gowanus Lounge.
Bob, we will miss you and your enthusiastic dedication to the borough of Brooklyn.

Return from Dubai

My apologies for not posing more while I was away!  I meant to, but with Flickr not accessible (and the regular WordPress photo uploader not working), I just didn’t make the time.

One of many giant buildings on Sheik Zayed Road in Dubai

One of many giant buildings on Sheik Zayed Road in Dubai

So, a brief recap:

Dubai couldn’t have been less like Clinton Hill.  The entire place is a buzzing hive of development and almost everything is brand new and very tall.  It’s impossible to cross any major street.  In fact, one night we went to a bar across the street and had to take a cab!  There are approximately six major malls there, with more on the way.  The malls are filled with expensive chain stores that cost twice as much as they do in NYC or London.  And that’s what you do there (as a Westerner, anyway) — go to malls, or go to hotels so you can drink.  It’s not unlike Vegas in many ways.

Our host, a friend in his late 20s, is there to make money.  Yes, he’s met and made friends there, through work and other connections.  But he’s not chilling with the Emirati, and he’s not having TV night with neighbors in his building, and he’s not chatting with people on the street.  It’s a very segregated place, between service workers and the wealthy.

Still, an interesting trip nonetheless, but not a place I’d consider putting roots down.

More lovely was a side trip to Khatar, Oman — a little ancient town on the Arabian Gulf.  While there, my boyfriend and I just happened to get engaged!  I mention that sappy little bit only to say that we’re going to try to use at least a few Clinton Hill businesses in the planning process.

I’m planning on getting right back to business as usual, but bear with me this week.  I am going right back to work and I expect jetlag to be a bitch (Dubai is 9 hours ahead of NYC).

Happy 2009!

A traditional dhow in the Arabian Sea, Oman

A traditional dhow in the Arabian Sea, Oman

Resources South of the 'Hood

Received this from a reader and neighbor:

Hello.  I am opening a cafe on Washington between Pacific & Dean avenues.  Although technically in Prospect Heights I live in Clinton Hill and look forward to reaching this community as well.

I am also trying to contact some block associations in the area but am having trouble finding any contact information.  Could anyone help me with this?  I am trying to find contact information for the Wa-Greene Association, the Prospect heights heibghborhood Development Council and the Atlantic Avenue Betterment Assocation.

Please leave your tips for Sarah in the comment section.  This isn’t too far from us, so I suspect it could be a good hangout for neighbors in the soutn end of CH!

Crown Heights House Tour

This October, Crown Heights North Association, Inc. is hosting its 2nd Annual House Tour on Sat. Oct 4, 2008. Opening ceremonies will begin at 11:15 a.m. in front of St. Gregory’s R.C.C. School at 991 St. Johns Pl. between New York and Brooklyn Avenues.  Self-guided tours will start at noon and end by 5 p.m. The tour is preceded by a free homebuyer’s workshop with info on mortgages, avoiding predatory loans, and financing, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Attendees will have a once yearly opportunity to enter and view some of Brooklyn’s finest residential and sacred architecture. Among the homes this year, we are featuring a Romanesque Revival mansion restored from ruin, a period perfect Renaissance Revival limestone, a thoroughly modern townhouse, as well as homes with enviably large, landscaped gardens. We are also highlighting our newly renovated Children’s Museum, designed by world class architect Rafael Vign*oly, three remarkable houses of worship, and our entire neighborhood of architecturally significant free standing houses, row houses, apartment buildings and churches that have been praised by the Landmarks Commission as some of the finest in New York City.

The recent designation of the Crown Heights North Historic District – Phase 1, has sparked enormous interest in Crown Heights North, not only for its history, but for its housing stock and business opportunities. As Brooklyn real estate values skyrocket, the beauty of this neighborhood, and its local attractions such as the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the world famous West Indian Day Parade, as well as the close proximity of the Brooklyn Museum, Botanical Gardens, Prospect Park, and convenient public transportation, have attracted more and more people to the area.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the Tour.

The Crown Heights North Association, Inc. (CHNA) is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

CH Resident Leads Children's Culinary School!

Clinton Hill Resident Lisa Sicilia will be the head instructor at a cooking school for children in nearby Boerum Hill:

Creative Cooks Culinary Center is a culinary school designed just for kids between the ages of 3 and 13!! We will be opening our doors in June for summer programs, after-school classes & birthday parties. Come check out our new space at one of our Open Houses on June 4th or 11th from 6:30-8:30pm.

Young tastemakers learn the art of cooking in our kid friendly kitchen. We provide a warm and nurturing environment where kids are taught kitchen safety, basic food handling and preparation, following recipes, measuring and most importantly, self expression through food. Students work in small groups and are supervised and taught by professional chefs.

Creative Cooks is located at:
298 Atlantic Avenue between Smith & Hoyt, Brooklyn, NY 11201 US (our page is still in the works!)