Category Archives: Uncategorized

Slow Zone: Should Park Slope Cut Speed Limit to 20 MPH?

Park Slope Debates Slow ZonesFollowing all the buzz around Prospect Heights potentially becoming one of Brooklyn’s first “Slow Zones,” Park Slope may now trying to get in on the action, too.

Is 20 (mph) Plenty for Park Slope? That’s the question the Park Slope Civic Council is going to debate on Saturday, Jan. 21, 11:45 a.m at Congregation Beth Elohim, 274 Garfield Place (at Eighth Avenue).

The New York City Department of Transportation is accepting applications to establish reduced speed zones (i.e., cut it from 30 mph to 20 mph and add some special safety measures such as striping, speed bumps, and gateway signs announcing the presence of a Slow Zone).

Problem is, this is a self-enforcing, reduced-speed area, so some people in Prospect Heights are skeptical that a “slow zone” is little more than a band-aid that cops and speeders will ignore. Moreover, changing velocity on such a grand scale might not be “wasteful” and hard on suspensions and chassis, and decrease the mean time between failures of these and associated components. The truly flagrant violators will likely sail over speed bumps as if they did not exist.

Are there other, better traffic calming solutions, such as zig-zags, chicanes, and speed cameras? Or is a slow zone the perfect thing for Park Slope? Come to the meeting Saturday and let your voice be heard.

12 Horrific Photos of the 1960 Park Slope Airline Collision on 7th Avenue and Sterling Place

The Daily Mail just posted 12 huge and stunningly horrific photos of the 1960 Park Slope airline collision. It’s hard to imagine this post-apocalyptic carnage is on the corner of 7th Avenue and Sterling Place:

The collision took place on December 16, 1960, about 2 weeks before Christmas, and involved 2 passenger planes (United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266) as they were descending toward Idlewild and LaGuardia Airport.

The crash set more than 200 homes on fire. About 2,500 firefighters and policemen came to fight the flames and sort out the chaos.

The Douglas DC-8 had 84 people on board and overshot its holding point by some 12 miles and hit the TWA plane, which had 44 people on board. Snow was a factor in the crash, investigators said.

“Residents were horrified to see a passenger jet’s plane wing careening down a narrow street,” writes Beth Stebner. “There was an explosion, as the plane crashed to the neighborhood, demolishing the Pillar of Fire church as well as several houses. The explosion as well as flying debris blew out many nearby windows.”

The DC-8’s pilot tried desperately to make a landing at LaGuardia, but crashed on Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place in the heart of Park Slope. “What was moments ago an idyllic Christmas scene had turned into carnage – twisted metal, burned plane pieces, and charred corpses littered the streets,” Stebner writes.

The sole survivor was Stephen Baltz, 11, who was flying alone. He died 27 hours later, but not before telling doctors he looked out the window of the plane and saw snow falling on the city:

“It looked like a picture out of a fairy book,” he said. “It was a beautiful sight.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2086028/Photos-1960-Brooklyn-airline-crash-sparked-new-era-black-boxes.html#ixzz1jZCYrork

BARRIO is now BARRIO PLATES is now MIX

Barrio Plates is now MIXGrub Street reports that Barrio restaurateur Spencer Rothschild, who had planned to relaunch as Barrio Plates, made a last-minute decision to call his new place Mix. The idea is that the menu MIXes different flavors and cuisines (get it?) and you can mix it up with a light bite by yourself, or bring a large group and sample the full menu. Rothschild replaced Barrio’murals with orange-and-ochre colors and chef Martell Fonville (al di la) is still doing contemporary American with a tinge of Latin and Asian.

Go to Grub Street to check out the menu and a full slideshow of the new space.

Park Slope “Authentic” Chinese Food Smackdown: Tofu on 7th vs Szechuan Garden

dried tofu & string beans szechuan styleIf you’re done with Hunan Delight or Mr. Wonton, gear up for Park Slope’s newly authentic Chinese restaurants, of which there are at least two good options. Brooklyn Vegetarian writes: “For years we have been content with the same old menus … (but) actual authentic Chinese restaurants have been getting more popular” as evidenced by places like Tofu on 7th, which have brought in actual chefs from China. Here’s BV’s take on Szechuan Garden:

… I was intrigued by the description on the menu that mentioned that they actually use Szechuan peppercorns in their dishes.

When I mentioned I was a vegetarian … they directed me towards the sauteed dry tofu with string beans, which they said has the same sauce and condiments as the meat-heavy items but was completely vegetarian. The tofu was in large, dense chunks and the string beans were cooked perfectly. The sauce was a great blend of different kinds of chiles — dried, pickled, and fresh — which made the dish super spicy (which I love).

F’ed in Park Slope posted a reader review of Tofu on 7th Avenue, which also recently added some spicy Sichuan dishes to the menu: The waitress … went on and on about how the restaurant decided to spend a lot of money to hire a new chef, who specialized in Sichuan dishes … We’re huge fans of Grand Sichuan on 9th Ave and Chelsea, but … it’s nice to have something similar right up the street (though, admittedly, Tofu on 7th isn’t quite as good). I’d recommend trying the Dry Pot Style Chicken, Chong Qing Chicken, and Three Pepper Chicken.

You can also read multiple first-hand reviews of both Tofu on 7th and Szechuan Garden on Brooklynian. Triebensee writes: “Tofu on 7th (226 7th Ave) now offers Szechuan style dishes, in addition to more run-of-the mill chinese food, and they’re quite delicious. I’d say they’re now the best chinese food in Park Slope.”

But wait – rockingood counters with a vote for Szechuan Garden on 7th Ave and 16th: “Got delivery the other night and was quite pleased. Was it the best Dan Dan noodles I’ve ever had? No. Was it Dan Dan noodles delivered to my door in park slope and quite tasty at that? YES! This is my new go-to Chinese.”

Park Slope Back When: 7 Amazing Historical Photos of the Montauk Club

Gothamist just posted a series of great photos of The Montauk Club courtesy of New York Public Library’s old image archive. Park Slope’s private social club founded in 1889 by Charles Pratt, Richard Schermerhorn, and Edwin C. Litchfield. In its heyday, it hosted prominent politicians including John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Today, it’s come back to life as a low-key and relatively non-exclusive club (I can attest, since they actually let me into the place for an actual function once).

Today, it’s focused on recruiting unmarried and “good looking” thirtysomethings, according to its website: “But our older members are holding their own and the mix of ages and the diversity of points of view make for engaging conversation.” Membership is only $350 a year.

Who’s a member of Montauk? Will there be a Super Bowl party, and is it too late to get in the betting pool?

Oxycontin Prescriptions Rising Sharply in New York

Until now, oxycontin (oxycodone) abuse has been a phenomenon associated with states like Tennessee and West Virginia. But now, a new report shows that prescriptions for oxycontin, a highly addictive and frequently abused narcotic painkiller, are up by 82% in New York state. State attorney general Eric Schneiderman released the report to support his idea of establishing a statewide drug-tracking system.

In the area, oxycodone has been a big problem in Long Island, where there were 6 people killed last year in 2 different robberies (that’s a trend too – people are robbing for pills, not money). Inpatient oxycodone treatment programs continue to be in high demand, and a number of centers in Long Island (and elsewhere) have seen quite a few individuals come in for services.

According to the New York Times, there’s also been a sharp increase in hydrocodone (Vicodin) prescriptions, up 16.7% from 2007 to 2010.

If the state attorney general gets his way, there would be a new Internet-based tracking system that pharmacists would have to use to report sales of controlled substances. And Doctors would have to check a patient’s prescription history on the tracking system.

Pharmacists are outraged about the large and “ridiculous” fines they (and doctors) would face for ignoring the requirements: $500 for their first offense, $1,000 for a second offense, and $5,000 thereafter.

“Pharmacists don’t need further distractions.”, Craig Burridge, the executive director of a pharmacists society, told the New York Times. “Have they been behind the counter of a pharmacy?”

A Day in the Life of Two Park Slope Hipster-Yuppie Transplants

So Brooklyn hipsters are an easy target, and hating on them may be passe. But you have to admit–this xtranormal video is inspired, relevant, occasionally humorous … and a bit eerily familiar. Here’s an approximate and partial transcript of some highlights, below. Troll alert: some of the dialogue is deliberately inflammatory (duh).

Emily: Hey, Ethan. Funny running into you here on 7th Avenue in the middle of a weekday afternoon. Having chance encounters on the street with other hipster yuppie suburban rejects identical to myself is one of the main reasons I moved here to Park Slope. As for you, you must have already taken care of your 3 hours of freelance creative consulting this week, no?

Ethan: Yeah, you know how it is in the Slope, Emily. Just another day in the nabe, trying to make ends meet. But you know how it is, Emily. I mean, you’re from Brooklyn and all.

Emily: Oh yeah. I hear you, Ethan. Say Ethan, how are you planning to kill your gratuitious amounts of free time today? any suggestions on how to spend as much of my infinite leisure time and my parents’ 401k money as possible today in the nabe? I’m trying to kill two birds with one stone.

Ethan: Actually, why don’t you head on over to Union Market. I hear they’ve just jacked up their prices yet again. You can stock up on some organic olives, rat-nibbled baguettes and goat cheese. That should easily run you a few hundred dollars, at least.

Emily: Sweet. That’s a great idea, Ethan. Now I remember why all we yups get along so well. We’re so much smarter than those Brooklyn natives …

As it Turns Out, It’s Actually a Bad Idea to Leave Your iPhone Unattended for 1 Hour at a Bar

Via the Brooklyn Paper’s PROSPECT HEIGHTS crime blotter:

Pool sharked: “A crook jacked a fancy cellphone from a bar-goer on Vanderbilt Avenue … The 29-year-old victim told cops that he set his iPhone on a table at Branded Saloon near Bergen Street at 1 am, then headed to the pool table. He came back an hour later and discovered the $750 phone gone.”

In what universe does an iPhone cost $750? That is “fancy” indeed. Or is this one of those cracked, hacked, unlocked iPhones from eBay?

See more hijinks and shenanigans at BrooklynPaper.com.

Homeless, Evicted from Rotting Prospect Park Trees, Are Now Even More Homeless Than Before

Tearing out Rotting Trees Used by the Homeless in Prospect ParkSo guess what – all that publicity embarrassed Prospect Park into cutting down those rotting, hollow trees that homeless people were using to store their stuff and take shelter. And to be honest…  now it feels a little bit awful to see this happening without any clear indication of what’s going to happen to those people.

Anne-Katrin Titze–a freelance crusader for Prospect Park who pushed hard to get rid of the rotting trees–says matter-of-factly to the Brooklyn Eagle: “If the Alliance/Parks allow people to live in the park, then they should feed them, provide toilets, garbage collection and potable water.”

Really–are we going to be that hardcore? Why can’t the homeless just temporarily abide in the park, despite the lack of modern amenities? Was it really such a big deal for a small group of unfortunates to pee in the pond, and store their junk in the rotting tree trunks–is that really “destroying a delicate ecosystem“? It seems like the compassionate option here would have been to leave the shelter intact, while advocates discuss with Prospect Park what they “should” be doing to get these people to an appropriate shelter.

Summary: Tearing out rotting trees is a hollow victory (Sorry… just got a brief flash of inspiration from Punderdome).