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 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?

Area Antiques: Mercantile Gallery

Received this email from a reader awhile back and realized  I never posted it: I did a little walking around in the rain today and came across an amazing store of antiques - full of quality RESTORED antiques. I spent some time talking to the owner, a very nice man, Ken. He's been in Clinton Hill/Bed Stuy for a long time but doesn't advertise. He certainly had some beautiful pieces and very fairly priced (a tall 5 drawer, curved front, oak dresser - $300!).

Just wanted to point out another resource! -g

Mercantile Gallery 1055 Fulton Street (Near Bedford)

Google street view shows them closed, but it's not clear if they were just closed at that time.

Have you been?  How's the selection?


Lost Hedgehog

I get a lot of emails about lost items, animals, and the like, but for some reason this one was really touching.  And I think hedgehogs are cute.  If you see this toy hedgehog, please help return it to its owner:

My son just got back from an outing to Target where he lost/had taken a stuffed animal that was attached to the front of his scooter.  This wasn't any normal stuffed animal - this was Magical Mystery Hedgy - his stuffed hedgehog his aunt made him for his birth.  I don't know how it left the house but it did.  It was attached with a ribbon to his scooter which my mom and he left on accident at the base of the elevator bank to Target - the one that just goes to target.  When they realized that they left the scooter - five to ten mins later, they came back down and the scooter was there but the hedgehog was gone with the ribbon pooled at the base.  So, there is a possibility it fell off in that last block, but unlikely...  If anyone happened to see our little Hedgehog or accidently borrowed it, we would be very grateful for it back - no questions asked!  $50 reward!
See link for pic of Hedgy (2nd one down looks like him except our Hedgy was rainbow colored where this one is gray.)
Thank you!!
(CALL 503-490-5511)

Buka: Have You Been Yet?

Reader Ursula just reminded me that Buka's having its soft opening on Fulton.  She says:

i don't  see anything about it on your blog yet, but Buka on Fulton is now (softly) open. i peeked inside, it looks nice, exposed brick, wooden floors & bar - it was all pretty bare on sunday... i'm attaching a pic of menu & window... personally while we already have Joloff right on the corner of st.james/fulton (i was really hoping for something else...), and here's yet another african restaurant, this one looks "classier"... so let's hope it's tasty and becomes a good dining/drinking option in this neck of CH.

I meant to give it a try late last week, but the focus on spicy on the menu dissuade me for the time being.  The prices look really reasonable - bravo.

Have you been yet?  What's your reaction?  I'll try to go in the next few days.

Here's the coverage from B'stoner.

Police "Sting" on the B38

This in recently from a disgruntled reader: This morning I was waiting for the B38 at the corner of Classon and DeKalb. As usual when it came, it was packed - or at least the front half was. Every time I get on the bus, we are all squeezing into the front because nobody moves back. On the rare occasion, the bus driver asks that people move back, but nobody ever does. I missed the first bus this morning as there was no room to get on and waited 15 minutes for the next one to come. Again, the front was packed, so I joined about 15 people who got on at the back of the bus. I am not trying to avoid paying the fare - I buy my monthly ticket every month for over 6 years now - I am simply trying to get to work on time. About 6 undercover cops got on the bus and asked everyone who walked on through the back door to get off. They held us there for about 20 minutes while they checked our identification and wrote us all tickets for $100 for trying to evade the fare. One man was taken away in handcuffs - I heard him say he was a felon and I believe he had an outstanding warrant or something.

I have mixed feelings about this. I mean, why are the cops spending time on this?  Then again, fare evasion costs the MTA millions of dollars every year.  Then again, I'm sure some if not most of these riders were MetroCard holders who just needed to get to work.

In the six years I've lived here, the B38 has been consistently effed up when it comes to rush hour.  I'm not sure why they can't get the timing right.  If it was me who had been stopped by the cops, I'd be pissed.  Maybe Tish James can help make this route function better.

Thank You to a Good Samaritan

We always go through phases here where we get increased reports of crime, of muggings, of the callousness of life in the city. But one reader took the time out to email in a thank-you to a Good Samaritan on the G train last week:

To the wonderful kind person who found my iPhone this morning at the Clinton/Washington G train stop,

I can think of no other way than this to sincerely thank for turning my iPhone in to the station manager. After scrambling around all morning trying to figure out the enormous steps I would have to take to recover everything, I was totally bowled over to discover that my phone was not a complete loss.  You have saved me far more than the money it would have taken to get a new phone.  You are totally awesome, thank you thank you thank you.

Best regards, Sara

It's nice to know we're still looking out for one another here.

Advice From Neighbors

A CHB reader has emailed me a quandary and has asked me to post it for neighbor feedback. I have lived in the same Clinton Hill apartment for 8 years, in a rent-stabilized, small apartment building near the C train. Over the years I've seen a lot of changes in the neighborhood, obviously, though I'm right off Fulton where gentrification has been far less rapid - for better or worse.

I was born and raised in Manhattan and don't consider myself a reactionary when faced with the neighborhood's, and my building's, charms. Crackhead neighbors with weekly cop visits, general landlord neglect, and the friendly corner drug dealers.

Recently, however, there has been a change - now there seems to be a group of dealers operating out of the lobby of my building. It's a group of young men who are there every morning at 8 when I leave to walk my dog and remain around the area all day. I haven't witnessed any handoffs myself but have seen cash change hands and general shadiness with this group, none of whom seem to live in my building but somehow have access through one of the tenants.

I'm curious as to what other neighborhood readers have experienced in the way of actually hosting this kind of activity in their buildings, versus just passing it on the street, and what advice they might have. Call the landlord? Mine have been consistently neglectful and there are no security cameras in the building. Call the cops? Seems like a stretch that they'd be able or willing to do much.

Is Kif Closed?

A few readers have emailed asking if Kif restaurant on DeKalb is closed.  Apparently, it's been shuttered for two weeks.  I did a walk-by on Monday and saw people having beers at the bar, but when I called later no one answered the phone.  There are no signs on the door that point to a closure.  What gives? outside at kif

Kif has the most gorgeous back yard area, so I am hoping they're just on vacation.

Recent Neighborhood Scam

Received this from a reader, detaining a recent scam taking place on the eastern side of the hood: I just wanted to let you know about this scam I've stumbled upon in CH. A few weeks ago a friend of mine was walking around Franklin & DeKalb, and from what I understand some guy bumped into him while carrying some plastic bags. After it happened he held one of the bags up to my friend, and told him that whatever liquors bottles he'd had were now broken, and that my friend needed to pay for them. He followed my friend to his door, and some awkward standoff ensued, until a more savvy stranger intervened and told the guy "accidents happen," at which point the person with the broken bottles left.

Last night, the same exact thing happened to me. I was walking on Franklin & Monroe, and a guy turned the corner sharply, bumped into my brother, and suddenly he was reaching down to open one of his bags. I waited until he shook the broken glass pieces, and I told him that nobody broke his bottles, and that someone tried this scam on a friend of mine weeks ago. He got very confrontational. Some kind of "almost-fight" happened, and he said something about how he works for a living, and how he was going to a New Years' Party (apparently on the 28th). I told him "This is ridiculous. I'm leaving." My brother paid him $2 and he walked away. Anyway, the guy is in his mid-30s, dark black, sort of thin & wiry, average height, really angular face. Hopefully the more people know about this scam, the less it will work. Oh, and we went back later to look at the "bag" he'd left on the ground, and it contained the tops to two bottles of hennessy, and the rest of the glass was literally pulverized. If anything about his story was valid, my brother would have had to've taken his bag and stomit for a few minutes for the glass to get so broken. Oh, and there was no liquid spilled on the sidewalk.

Have you encountered the glass bottle scammer?

Word of a Shooting in Fort Greene

This just in from a reader about an alleged shooting in Fort Greene: There was a shooting in front of Provisions (Fulton & S. Portland) about an hour ago. Ralph said a bunch of teenagers have been mugging people in the neighborhood. And apparently this time their "victim" pulled out a gun and shot them. No idea how accurate this is (other than there is a swarm of cops out there).

Embora: Closed

embora A tipster recently emailed me to ask what happened to Embora, the yoga-dance studio on Fulton near Washington.  Sure enough, it is closed.  The sign is still up, but the interior is empty.  No explanation, no nothing.  Embora moved to the neighborhood around the same time I did, coming up on six years.  Their website is still up, but their phone number has been "temporarily disconnected."

A comment on Yelp from September 15  laments their closure.  Wish they had something up on their site!

Anyone know any specifics?

Renovation on Vanderbilt

I've noticed it a few times and a reader recently called it to my attention - the carriage house that used to house a preschool, and that was once a candy workers' union, is undergoing a rehab inside: whats up in the space on vanderbilt next to the yellow carriage house -- looks like a new school or something? betw, dekalb and lafayette.

For some reason, I assumed it was a residential renovation.  I thought maybe I saw it on Brownstoner, but I couldn't find it just now when I did a search.  Anyone know for sure what's up?


Fort Greene Park Dance Parties?

A reader writes:

I was wondering if you knew what was up with the dance party in the park that seems to happen every Sunday??  They set up a couple of seriously loud speakers by the park and play house music for HOURS.  I remember this happening when I used to live in the neighborhood five years ago as well.
I haven't actually seen this, but a quick Google search yielded this information:
a Mu5ic Series -- FREE Outdoor Dance Parties in Brooklyn running from Aug 29 - Oct 10, 2009 @ Von King Park and Fort Greene Park

Featuring House, Funk, Soul, & Club Classics by DJ Legend, DJ Greg, DJ Ron, Phantom P, and Donny

DATES & LOCATIONS ( 2pm - 9pm ) w/ our GUEST DJs

Aug 29, 2009 -- feat. Guest DJ Markus Rice (at Von King Park)

Sept 05, 2009 -- feat. Guest DJ Jovonn (at Von King Park)

Sept 12, 2009 -- feat. Guest DJ Cloud 9 (at Von King Park)

Sept 19, 2009 -- feat Guest DJ Lil Ray (at Von King Park)

Sept 20, 2009 -- feat. Guest DJ Ray Vazquez (at Fort Greene Park) 2pm - 8pm

Sept 27, 2009 -- Plus another round ... (at Fort Greene Park) 2pm - 8pm

October 10, 2009 -- Summer2009's CLOSEOUT JAM (at Von King Park)

Visit our website for more info such as recommended related events, updates, possible schedule changes, additions etc.

Candy Shop on Clinton?

There's been some activity in the former Little House on Clinton space (Clinton just north of Myrtle).  I've seen some folks working while driving by, but haven't been able to catch anyone when I was walking by on foot.  Recently, this sign appeared in the window: eat more candy

It could, literally, be a candy shop (which would be so fun!).  A reader who emailed me about the space hypothesizes it will be a children's clothing store.

Have the scoop?  Email us!