Piano Lessons on Hall Street

piano lessons I've always loved this house on Hall Street, just south of Myrtle.  The windows have custom ironwork and the front walk has a trellis covered in climbing roses.

The house is home to the Clinton Hill School for Piano, run by Jim Porter.  While his website does say he teaches beginners and children, it looks to be mostly a school for advanced students.  Have you taken a lesson here? What do you think about the school's philosophy?

Wayfinding at BAM

Noticed those green decals on the sidewalks in Fort Greene?  The DOT and BAM are behind the project, aimed at helping people find their way to our local cultural institutions. I think they look pretty neat.  Plus, I still get confused going to the Harvey theater.  If only they could direct me to the best subway entrance for each line.  It gets so confusing down there, with the Q, N, B, D at different platforms.

Green Space at Grand - Fulton-Putnam

The intersection of Grand, Fulton and Putnam creates a small triangle with a fenced in NYC Greenspace.  I saw a few flowers amongst the overgrowth recently, but does anyone keep it up? IMG_0877

Has anyone ever tried to program that little space, open up the fenced in area or put some benches out?  The sidewalk (which looks great - was it redone during the Fulton repaving?) is plenty wide enough for seating.  With all of the restaurants nearby (Kush, Michael Sllen, Brown Betty, Samantha's Southern Cuisine), it might be a nice place to grab some food to go and sit outside.

Honor System Fresh Foods

My boyfriend was on his way to the C station recently and as he headed up Franklin Ave. he saw something puzzling and, as he put it, "so f---ing cute," near the intersection of Monroe and Franklin. Remember that old house that was profiled in the City Section of The Times a few months ago? It was the cover story, and was written by the woman who lived in the house? She found century-old objects in a tunnel underneath it? Well, now she and whoever else lives there are gardening and harvesting and selling to the neighborhood...using the honor system.farm stand When I went to check it out, there was no one around, just an adorable farm-stand set up, some basil and sage in water, a big bushel of light purple kale, a very large fennel stalk with a small bulb and a huge bushel of lemongrass. (It said "figs" on the sign, but I didn't see any.) I waited around to see if a person would appear, but they didn't. So I put a dollar in the mailbox, chose the fennel after many (what felt like minutes) of uncertainty, and hopped down the street.

I hope the experiment in community friendliness works. I watched from afar for a few minutes and I didn't see any funny business. I didn't see anyone buy anything either.

But I've got a beautiful fennel stalk with soft leaves! What will I do with it??

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Rain = Good for Hydrangeas

The weather finally seems to have cleared up now that July is here, and this past weekend was the perfect opportunity to walk around the neighborhood!  As I was marveling at all of the breathtaking hydrangeas around town, a neighbor told me that all the rain was extremely beneficial for the flowering bushes.  At least something good came out of June's rain! A house on DeKalb just west of Mike's Coffee Shop has the most breathtaking blue hydrangeas:

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These next shots were taken on Lafayette at Washington, right near the G stop.  My favorite selection of hydrangeas thus far, this house offers a rainbow of colors, ranging from deep pink to almost white, surrounding the house:

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lafayette and washington

Clinton Hill Buildings and Homes

This beautiful neighborhood of ours shouldn’t be called Brownstone Brooklyn. Sure, we’ve got those row houses made of brown stone that often have big stoops outside and high ceilings detailed with crown molding and ornate touches inside. But we have more than that- Clinton Hill architecture is as diverse as the borough of Brooklyn itself. Let's take a look at the outside of some of the neighborhoods most well-maintained and architecturally interesting structures.  Clinton Hill boasts Victorian brownstones, Italianite town houses and mansions and charming “antebellum frame houses,” according to The New York Times.  The following examples make for a lovely self-guided walking tour!

My favorite street in Brooklyn used to be State Street, which runs from Brooklyn Heights through Boerum Hill. It’s a gorgeous street that’s lined with trees and boasts a variety of row houses: brownstones, brick three or four story homes, newly renovated row houses with modern facades and even clapboard single family homes. But once I moved here I discovered an even better street, and it’s only 2 blocks long. Cambridge Place.

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Typical to Cambridge Place are narrow three-story homes like this one. What I like about the building is the clean lines of the windows and frames made clear by the contrasting yellow and slate blue paint. Also, the ivy-covered brick wall with gate attached to the side of the home gives the property a European feeling. Through the gate is a vineyard. (Not really). Check out the stained glass in the windows.

Cambridge Place is a smorgasbord of homes.

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Across the street is this recently renovated and added onto stand-alone house. Three stories with lots of windows and a front porch- this is a real beauty. The stark white color is also interesting. In a city made of glass and brick, when wood presents itself it is often painted a color. Not here. I like the simplicity of it.

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Many homes on Cambridge Place stand together in two’s. I’m not sure of the history and reasoning behind this architecturally but I think it just made sense to build a bigger structure and have one side mirror the other. It makes for a beautiful contrast.

St. James Place, one block south of Cambridge Place, also features narrow three-story homes. St. James, home to Biggie Smalls (near Fulton Street) has particularly interesting painted buildings. See this yellow home:

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and this brown-tinged home with blue trim and a red door:

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Clinton Hill is also home to “the first multi-family apartment building in Brooklyn.”

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The Vendome, built in 1887, is on the corner of Grand Avenue and Gates Avenue. It is a beautiful 6-story building. Research did not turn up any documents confirming the claim above but there were many articles from the 80s in The New York Times about the building.

Across the street from the Vendome are 2 structures, with 2 separate homes in each. These buildings all feature beautiful covered porches held up by columns and are made of stone. They remind me of Italy.

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For more images of buildings around Clinton Hill, (including Broken Angel on Downing Street), click here.

Please alert us to other buildings in the neighborhood worthy of mention! I certainly didn’t even scratch the surface.

Which are your favorites?