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

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?


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?

Hours for Customers: Greenlight Bookstore

Last week, I made most amazing discovery ever:  A LOCAL (NON GROCERY) SHOP THAT IS OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 10AM-10PM.  I have been in to Greenlight Bookstore before, but I never realized just how accommodating they were. In addition to offering a great selection (best sellers and NYC-centric books) and a beautiful space, they also host regular readings and author events.  And are actually open after work.  Wayyy after work.

I try to patronize as many local businesses as I can, and I know as a small business owner it's difficult to keep early and late hours every day.  But it is frustrating to come home and need something, try to pick it up from a local shop and then realize they've all closed at 6 or 7pm.  Greenlight makes it easy for me to keep it local.

To show my appreciation, I will be spending my 3/50 local spending money this month at Greenlight, buying at least one book a week at 9:45 pm (because I can!).  First up, City Kid by Nelson George.

Wine Shop on Atlantic?

I've been having a problem with the CHB comments (meaning they're not getting sent to my email), so I apologize if I am delayed in responding to anything. But I just noticed a comment about a new wine shop on Atlantic, down near where the fresh fruit shop operated briefly.  I'll try to check it out this week, but if anyone has any details, please leave them in the comments.

UPDATE: Here's more info from the Village Voice.

Coffee for Fulton; Fashion for Myrtle

The Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is working with FAB, Myrtle Ave BK Partnership and PACC to bring new businesses to Fulton and Myrtle.  They have asked that as many neighbors as possible take the following surveys to help better assess the needs and shopping habits of neighborhood residents.  Here's a chance to weigh in on new local services- jump on it! Dear Friends,

BEDC (Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation) along with Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, FAB (Fulton Area Business) Alliance, and PACC (Pratt Area Community Council) have partnered up to attract several new businesses to your area.

But we cannot do so alone - WE NEED YOUR HELP!

This week we have launched a survey of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill residents about their coffee drinking and clothes buying habits. We are committed to finding business that will complement the existing retail character and provide a much-needed amenity for the neighborhood.

It would be EXTREMELY helpful if you took 2 minutes to fill out the following surveys:

Coffee For Fulton:

Fashion for Myrtle:

ABC Pet Supply Coming to DeKalb

abcpet abcpet2 The fun hat store on DeKalb closed recently, and a pet store will open in its place.  The merchandise has been loaded in over the last week.  No idea yet what it will be like, but this past weekend I could see a whole selection of cat trees / scratching posts in the window.

Will this be an outpost of the ABC Pet Supply on PPW in Windsor Terrace?  (I've never been there - just did a quick Google search).

Negative points for the unimaginative name; positive points for the hearty supply of scratching posts.  What do you think?

(Aside - I remember when there was at most one pet store nearby.  I think perhaps we're reaching our saturation point of pet services.)

Clinton Hill Psychic Coming to Myrtle

Thanks to the awesome reader who sent in this scoop!

A psychic will be opening shop in the former home of Sushi Okdol on Myrtle Ave!

Our tipster spoke to a contractor working there, who said that there would be a store on site "selling all sorts of books / posters / cards associated with the psychic lifestyle." Awesome.

I've always wondered how clairvoyants can afford to pay rent in NYC.  Do they have a regular customer base?  Also, there is a typo on this sign (unless "Taror" cards are different from Tarot cards).

I will gamely try this place out when it opens and assess for accuracy.

(Anyone sad about the departure of Sushi Odkol? I had always heard either really awesome or really bad reviews.)

CHB Interviews: Kathleen Hyppolite of kat flower

kathleen hyppolite, kat flower Grady's Collective Market on Fulton is becoming a really cool mixed bag of wares - new, vintage, home furnishings, paper goods and now flowers.  Kathleen Hyppolite launched kat flower at the collective a few months ago and has recently moved her blooms to the front of the shop.  CHB chatted with her about her new business, how it fits into the Collective and flower shopping tips for spring.

1. Tell us about Kat Flowers and how it fits in to Grady's Collective. kat flower is boutique flower shop that combines charm, elegance, simplicity and beauty.  like the rest of grady's collective market, the assortment of flowers is well-curated, dynamic and fresh, interesting yet always accessible.  having fresh flowers as part of the collective is reminiscent of the markets in paris, amsterdam and london, however we remain true to our unique brooklyn style.

2. What's your background, and how did you start arranging flowers? i am a native brooklynite and event planner of many years and have had the opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the city's best floral designers.  i have always loved playing with flowers, arranging them for myself, family, friends and clients. i got tired and frustrated of having to leave my neighborhood for flowers and being limited to the farmer's market and deli tulips.  i want to make beautiful, fresh, high-quality flowers accessible.

3. What kinds of flowers are typically available this time of year? spring is springing so there is so much beauty to choose from.  i love tree blossoms...dogwood, forsythia, peach and of course cherry.  also lilac, sweet peas, hellebores, tulips, narcissus, hyacinth, daffodils and jasmine.

4. What kinds of services do you offer? kat flower sells blooms by the stem, hand-tied bouquet and arrangement. for gift orders, we buy fresh per order so please contact us and we will arrange something special for the next day. for weddings and events, please email for a consultation.

5. What do you recommend as a floral gift for a romantic partner who isn't into the cliche dozen roses? a floral gift is no different from any other kind of gift -- it should be thoughtful, personal and meaningful.  if they like fresh scents, an arrangement with freesia, hyacinth or lilies would be lovely.  if they love color, ranunculus and tulips have quite a range.  if they love simple beauty, you can't go wrong with an orchid.  and i also am in favor of the perfect single stem...a single peony or dahlia would definitely make me happy.

(flower photos by derrick raphael)

Kathleen maintains a blog on her latest inspirations and inventory at

kat flower 923 fulton street (inside gradys collective market) cross streets clinton & washington avenues c train to clinton-washington

tuesday-wednesday 12-7 thursday-friday 12-8 saturday 11-7 sunday 12-6

Pratt Post Office: How's It Going?

I never thought I'd be glad to say that my post office is Adelphi Station, but it's true! So far, I've heard of some snafus up at Pratt.  A northside neighbor recently received a package slip notifying him that he had a package for pickup at Bushwick Station, and after spending a whole morning trekking out there and waiting in line, they told him his package was actually being held at the mobile van on Myrtle outside Pratt Station!

UG.  My suggestion - no matter what the slip says, just check the trailer first.

CHB Revisits: The Threading Place

When The Threading Place first opened, I admittedly made fun of the spelling errors on their sign.  I did go in a few times, but found the employees to be high pressure and not-so-friendly. (One employee loudly told a woman getting her brows done that she REALLY needed her lip done, too.  Even if it was true, no woman wants to hear that yelled out loud in front of strangers!) A neighbor of mine told me they changed owners awhile back, so I decided to stop in to check them out again.  I was pleased to see there were a few people waiting and I got an amazing brow shaping- the best I've had in awhile.

If you haven't stopped in since 2007 (like me), you might want to check them out again.

The Threading Place 262 Vanderbilt Ave corner of DeKalb 718-622-0883

Five+ Local Gift Suggestions

It's been a crazed December in the CHB household, so I didn't have the time I would have liked to spend a day or two browsing all sorts of neighborhood shops to look for local stocking stuffers.  (Last year's guide is probably still relevant, if you want to check it out.) Here are a few quick picks for this year's shopping.  It is by no means complete or comprehensive.

1. Root Stock & Quade Aunt Sadie's Candles (one potential scent: Pine Tree in a Can): $23 Birdhouses (wooden or ceramic, various sizes): $32-52


2. Outpost Lounge A pound of coffee beans (specifically the RING OF FIRE house blend)for the holidays: $10/lb

And while you're there picking up some coffee beans, Outpost is offering $1 off all regular priced glasses of wine each day after 5pm as part of Shop Brooklyn! (until Dec 24)


3. Green in Brooklyn SodaStream Soda Makers: Jet Starter Kit: $110 / Penguin Starter Kit: $250 (This one's a bank-breaker, but how cool would it be to make your own soda!  They have plenty of inexpensive items, too, plus a killer selection of greeting cards.) sodastream seltzer starter kit

4. RePop Assorted vintage elf ornaments: $10-$12 (These make a wonderful tree trimming gift, and will remind people, hopefully fondly, of childhood Xmases.)


5.  Gnarley Vines Gnarly 2009 Everyday Super Value Six-Pack: $45.90 (That's less than $10 a bottle, folks!  Give them all to one loved one, or create six separate gifts!)


Bad with the wrapping?  Let the brand new Gradys Collective Market wrap it for you. Make an appointment ( Pricing is as follows:

$5.00 - per present General examples: CD’s, Novel Books, Jewelry, Box of Chocolates, iPod, Desktop Calendar, Watch, etc. For small presents, we offer custom designed & printed wrapping paper for an additional $2 per gift.. $7.00 - per present General examples: Shirt Size Boxes, Journals, Medium Sized Hard Bound Books, Small Board Games, Wall Calendars etc. +2.00 All odd shaped items (small, medium, and large), will incur an additional $2 fee per item. $9.00 - per present General examples: Large Clothes Boxes, Shoe Boxes, Medium Kitchen Appliances (blender, coffee maker, and so forth), Tabloid Calendars - 11X17, etc.


I really wanted to focus on Fulton this year to celebrate FAB, but with back to back holiday events this week I couldn't make it.  Look for a special Fulton shopping feature in 2010!

A Gym on Myrtle?

464_E The retail space on the ground floor of the Absolute on Myrtle is mighty large.  A source told me that a gym might be interested in the space.

Thoughts?  Do you want a chain gym, or a local gym?

Personally, I'm cool with the Bed-Stuy Y, although it's become about 100xs more crowded this year.  And I'm not surprised, given the affordable pricing and the nice facilities (although I do wish they would separate the cardio machines from the weight machines, which are cramped in so tightly that it's hard to move around when people are using the machines!).

I hope it's not a NYSC, which I found to be way overpriced (at least last time I was a member).  It would be nice to have an option closer than the Y or the Crunch (which I hear is also super crowded).

Toy Drive, Discounted Manicures and a Grand Opening

Tomorrow, there's lots going on down on Fulton, thanks to Lashunda Davis (owner of both 'Cure and Grady's).  Head down to donate some holiday cheer to a needy child, get a well-deserved holiday mani, and celebrate the opening of a hip new boutique!

  • From 11am-7pm, bring a new, unwrapped toy to 'Cure Beauty Bar and receive a $10 mani'cure (921 Fulton St)
  • Gradys Collective Market (923 Fulton) holds its Grand Opening: Wine and food tasting, discounts, raffles, flowers and of course Fashion...Men and Women!


Little Flower Shop in the Park

IMG_1016 Remember when we didn't have a single flower shop in the neighborhood?  Well, now we have several!  I recently checked out the Little Flower Shop in the Park on Vanderbilt just south of Myrtle.

Little yes, and not in the park.  But the shop offered several very affordable bouquets that had been thoughtfully assembled for just $10 each.


I really liked the monochromatic arrangements - hefty bouquets using the same color in different shades.  Not something you typically see at a non-high-end shop.  I opted for a yellow and green arrangement.

flowers on vanderbilt

The bouquet lasted more than a week and I was able to preserve it even after I had to remove a few of the flowers that wilted.

Overall, a great place to pick up a well-arranged basic bouquet that won't break the bank.

The Little Flower Shop in the Park 154a Vanderbilt Ave

Bike Shop at 478 Myrtle?

bikes Last week, I noticed that the space formerly occupied by the Healthy Body vitamin shop (478 Myrtle) has been transformed into a bike shop!  I remember the space was once a makeshift bike shop and repair outfit, and now it seems to be back.

The folks at the Myrtle Ave Partnership confirmed that it's the same operator as before (and the owner of the building).  No word yet on whether the shop is temporary or permanent.

30 Days of Yoga for $30! ENDS THURSDAY

Move With Grace's 30 days of yoga for $30 deal expired Wednesday... but she's willing to extend it ONE DAY ONLY FOR CHB READERS!  Readers must purchase the special online by 7pm, Thursday, October 1.

Today is the final day to sign up for the $30 for 30 days of Yoga!

After today new students can still try us out for for one including ALL classes on the schedule for $49 for 30days.

The Fall special for membership at the studio is $79/month for your first 3 months and then $89 for the remaining months. One may cancel after 6 months.

Click HERE for the yoga special!

Move With Grace 469 Myrtle Ave