Friday, October 21, 2016

Picture Of The Day: Fall Has Come

It's beginning to feel like fall here in Carroll Gardens. #mybrooklynlife #carrollgardens
It sure feels like fall here in Carroll Gardens.
Wet sidewalk and falling leaves on Carroll Street.

What Happens To Our Recyclables? A Visit To The Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility

photo above  courtesy of

Have you ever wondered what happens to the curbside recycling that the New York City Department of Sanitation picks up weekly in front of our buildings? If you live in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Gowanus and surrounding neighborhoods, what you collect in your blue and green recycling cans is transported directly to the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility, which is operated by Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR).
The three year old state-of-the art facility is located on an 11-acre City-owned pier at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to learn about the facility on a tour organized by Community Board 6. It was and led by Eadaoin Quinn, the Education and Administrative Coordinator for SMR. After visiting the exhibit at the education center, where Quinn answered all sorts of questions related to recycling and re-using, the group got to see the actual sorting of material. It was fascinating and inspired me to be even more committed to recycling.

SMR, a division of Sims Metal Management Limited, has a twenty year contract with the City's Sanitation Department "to provide processing and marketing services for 100% of the metal, glass and plastic and approximately 50% of the paper collected in the largest curbside program in North America."
SMR and DSNY work as partners to make curbside recycling efficient and effective in order to keep trash out of landfills.

Recyclable material is transported to the Recovery Facility from all five boroughs by truck, rail and barge. Here, mounds of plastic, glass, and metal is sorted by sophisticated machinery. The sorted material is then bundled so that it can be sold and shipped out to processors and manufacturers, which will repurpose the material.

Our paper and cardboard is also shipped here. After the paper is sorted, it is directly shipped to a manufacturer in Staten Island who will use the pulp to make pizza boxes, tissues and other assorted paper products with it.

It is humbling to see the cheer volume that gets thrown out every day. Luckily, all these empty cans and bottles will stay out of landfills. So for all who still don't sort out their garbage into the proper bins because they believe that the Sanitation Department throws everything together anyway, that is simply not true.

Recycling, as well as composting, matters for us and for future generations. So, please, just do it!

To take a tour and learn about recycling and sustainability, and witness it in action, contact the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Former Deli On Hoyt Street In Carroll Gardens To Become Liquor Store

A few days ago, reader Ben made us aware of a notice posted on the front door of the former deli at 347 Hoyt Street at the corner of Carroll Street in the landmarked section of Carroll Gardens. According to the public notice, the new commercial tenant is applying for an off-premise liquor store license from the New York State Liquor Authority.

For decades, this was home to a neighborhood deli. For the past few years, it was called the 'Carroll Gardens Deli' and was owned by a young man named Mohammed, who, along with his helper Victor, has served the local community from morning to evening.
Unfortunately, Mohammed was forced to close his business in March of this year because of ever-increasing rent payments as well as several violations on the building that make it impossible for him to apply for permits to use the oven and griddle in his premises.

Interestingly enough, Avery Hall Investments, who is currently developing a 17-unit 'boutique' condo on President Street, purchased this property in 2013 with a partner.  On its web site, Avery Hall states that it "recognized the intrinsic upside of the asset and during the contract period, re-structured several leases at the property." Obviously, the restructuring included raising the rent of the Carroll Gardens deli.
Subsequently, AHI divested its interest to its partner, according to the web site.

Do you live nearby?  Do you miss the deli? Are you looking forward to a liquor store at this spot?  Would love to hear your opinion.

Here are a few photos of the former deli back in March 2016.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Moment In Time: Afternoon Nap

Making the most of a quiet afternoon.
Seen at the small appliance store on Court Street in Carroll Gardens.

Party Like It's 1993: Get Ready For A 'Pre-Giuliani Era' Basement Party In Gowanus

Party like it's 1993....
Producing duo Vijay & Stephens is getting ready to throw a 'Pre-Giuliani Era' Basement bash  in Gowanus on November 5th.  The even, called Watershed, will be hosted in the downstairs space of Halyards at 406 3rd Avenue.  Tickets are $5 online, $8 at the door.
The fun starts at 10 pm.

From Watershed's web site:
For the dance music audiophile, Vijay and Stephens present Watershed, a pre-Giuliani era basement party. Resident DJs Paul Feder and Miracles - along with a slew of New York's best up-and-coming talent - spin house, hip hop, future r&b, and more, in the low light that makes us all feel good.

All info on the event can be found here. Tickets can be purchased here.

Get Ready For The Carroll Gardens-Cobble Hill Restaurant Crawl This Thursday

This Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 5-8 pm, join Tastes of Brooklyn for a fun restaurant crawl in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. Sample food and drinks at some of this neighborhood's best eateries and food purveyors, including Avlee, Pharmacy, La Cigogne, Stinky and Sahadi's.
Tickets are $20 for 4 tastes, $50 for 11 tastes.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Seeds in the Middle.

From Tastes Of Brooklyn:
Our city's finest chefs partner with farmers, youth and healthy movers and shakers for an extraordinary restaurant crawl in the historic neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. Take a walk to try exquisite delicacies using locally grown seasonal ingredients along Smith, Court, Clinton and Henry Streets, and maybe even Columbia Street, south of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Top chefs and artisans will offer sumptuous fare - all to empower our neediest children to access all they need to get healthy and save elephants. Our talented youth will share fresh beverages. Smoothies, lime/lemonade with fresh mint, fresh orange juice? Stay tuned for news on fitness fun at the local parks. Our local eateries date to the early 1900s to recently opened unique venues. Sample top cuisine and support local businesses without stressing over a reservation. Enjoy our deliciously fun fiesta - while supporting worthy causes!

Tickets available online  here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Carroll Park Kids' Halloween Costume Parade Scheduled For October 30th

Mark your calendars! The yearly Carroll Park Halloween Kids' Custome Parade will take place on Sunday, October 30 at 11:30 AM.  Organized by Friends of Carroll Park, the group of wonderful volunteers who take such great care of our neighborhood park, this is an event not to be missed even if you don't have kids.  Seeing the little ones in their costumes is just too wonderful.

From the Friends of Carroll Park:
It's time once again for one of our biggest treats of the year: the annual kids' Halloween parade! Gather up your little ghouls, get gussied up, and show off your costumes on the neighborhood's streets.
We'll be gathering at 11:30, then kicking off the parade at noon. Once you're back at the park, enjoy mingling with neighbors and elected officials, with snacks courtesy of Friends of Carroll Park!

We're also looking for volunteers to take on the following roles:
Parade leaders (1-3 people) - to head up the parade and help the NYPD officers keep everyone going in the right direction
Banner carriers (2-4 people) - to get prime photo op space at the front of the lineup holding the canvas banner seen above
If you're interested in taking on these fun duties this year, please email us at and let us know!

In addition, the Friends are looking for some help planting daffodil bulbs this fall, so that our park will be even more beautiful in the coming spring.
If you have some time and would like to get involved, here is the information:
Volunteers needed for our daffodil planting "Bulbapalooza" on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
We're looking for some community-minded Narcissus-ists to help plant more than 500 daffodil bulbs we've received from the wonderful folks at New Yorkers for Parks as part of their annual Daffodil Project!

No skills required except the ability to hold a trowel, so come help seed some of the park's planted areas for a beautiful display in the spring!

Stay connected with the Friends of Carroll Park on their web site here or through Facebook here.
They organize some wonderful neighborhood events throughout the year.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

From PMFA's Inbox: What Was That 2 AM Construction Noise On The BQE?

 BQE trench during construction 
photo courtesy: Bridges And Tunnels Special Archive

PMFA received an email from a Cobble Hill resident this morning about some unpleasant noise on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in the middle of last night.

Reader Charles writes:
Hi Katia
At 2 in the morning we are woken up by the noise of trucks backing up and construction vehicles working in the bqe trench by kane street. We never saw community notices telling of the work. Do you know anything about it or have you been woken up by it yet?

How about it? Did anyone else hear the noise? Or does anyone know of any work currently being performed on the BQE in Cobble Hill?

'White Maize' Will Soon Offer Authentic Venezuelan Arepas On Smith Street

"White Maize", a new Venezuelan eatery, will be opening at 277 Smith Street soon. According to its web site, it will be "the home of the best authentic Venezuelan arepas in New York City."
That sounds promising and may just succeed on Smith Street, which is in dire need of some simple,  inexpensive, tasty food options.

Arepa is a patty made of ground corn which is traditionally stuffed with meat, grilled cheese, beans avocado and other tasty fillings.
White Maize posted this 'teaser' photo of  some of their food trials on their Facebook page. Obviously, the menu will include more than arepa.
photo credit:

Previously, 277 Smith Street was home to the much loved Savoia and, more recently, the short lived Ravioli Wine Bar.

Let's hope White Maize will stick around for a while.
Looking forward to the opening?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New 17-Unit "Boutique" Condo Building To Rise At 145 President Street

New 145 President Street development. credit: Avery Hall Investments

Avery Hall Investments, a New York real estate and investment firm which is currently developing or completing luxury residential buildings in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Columbia Waterfront District,
has filed construction permits for a 7-story, 17 unit condo building at 145 President Street, between Hicks and Henry Street.

The site is zoned R6A, which has a 70 foot height limit, designed, according to New York City Planning Commission, "to be compatible with older buildings found in medium-density neighborhoods."

From Avery Hall Investments' web site:
Avery Hall Investment, in partnership with Allegra Holding and ARIA Development Group, is developing a 50,000 gross square foot boutique residential development in the heart of Carroll Gardens. The project will be composed of 17 condominiums, a fitness center, resident storage, both common and private terraces and on-site secured resident parking. 

According to New York Yimby, which first reported on the new development this past August, the new building will not only fill an empty lot, but will also incorporate two old four-story brick buildings right next to it.  Apparently, Avery Hall Investments has also acquired air rights from 151 President Street, just a few doors down.

It would seem that demo inside the two small townhouses has already begun and construction fences have been put up.
Completion is scheduled for 2018.

Check Out Court Tree Collective's October Events

Court Tree Collective, the small gallery/event space at 371 Court Street between Carroll Street and First Place, continues to curate interesting art exhibits and cooking classes.  If you have not discovered this lovely neighborhood place yet, make sure to check it out.
This month, Court Tree will feature a Kaiseki-style meal inspired by the writings of Murakami presented by Table of Contents Supper Club. The cost is $65. Tickets are available here.
If you are a new parent, you may want to check out this great class which will teach you how to make the best and freshest food for your little one.
Here is more information:
Court Tree Collective and local chef David Siegel present Cooking for your Baby. A hands-on class making delicious and nutritious food. Learn how to develop your little one’s adventurous palate. Being new parents we are super excited to be bringing this to the table. As our daughter’s taste buds change so does ours. It’s a completely new experience and as food lovers it has us intrigued. This is a great opportunity to learn how to make your own baby food. The right way and the healthy way!

A hands-on primer for making delicious and nutritious food from scratch. We will cover everything from purees to finger foods, discussing how to incorporate interesting flavors and textures into your little one’s diet, helping them develop an adventurous palate. Tentative menu: beets and green beans with chia, Moroccan spiced carrots, salmon with red lentil curry and the perfect whole grain porridge for breakfast and beyond.

And don't miss Common Ground, the special photographic exhibit on the work by Court Tree Collective’s co founder Stephen Lipuma. The exhibit will be up from October 15th to October 16th.