• Avlee Greek Kitchen is Now Open!


    The Avlee Greek Kitchen on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens has finally opened its doors to the public. The restaurant has been under construction in the former spot of the beloved Joe’s Superette since early summer 2012 and missed the previously promised open date of “Fall 2012,” but the completed storefront and interior look gorgeous. As of 1pm today, when the top photo above was taken, several patrons could be sign trying out the restaurant’s Greek fare.

    An official website for Avlee offers no additional information about the menu or hours, although this Time Out NY post gives us a general idea (“moussaka, spanakopita… casual Hellenic favorites, including feta salads, gyros, souvlaki and roasted lamb with potatoes”). Guess we’ll just have to show up and try it out for ourselves.

  • Kittery Seafood Restaurant is now Open!


    Kittery, the seafood shack restaurant on the corner of Smith and Union Streets that’s been under construction since the summer, finally opened its doors this past Friday (December 7th).

    The restaurant promises “Coastal Cooking From Maine to the Gulf,” and it’s the second New England-inspired seafood establishment to open its doors in the area in as many years; Littleneck opened on Third Avenue and Carroll Streets in late 2011.

    The same space was briefly the home of Diego, an ill-fated, decent but unspectacular Mexican restaurant that didn’t last very long. Before that, The Union Smith Cafe occupied the corner lot for a number of years.

    View Kittery’s opening weekend menu here; according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, “a second page of more extensive dishes” made its debut this Monday. Follow Kittery on Facebook here.

    via Kittery’s Facebook page

  • Go Shopping Sunday Without the Kids

    If you have kids you know one of the hardest times of year is from now to the end of the month. This month is jammed packed with so much holiday stuff. It so difficult to go to every little event and even more impossible to find time to shop! When you do find a moment to run and get gifts, what do you do with the kids? Leave them at home to cause chaos? No! That’d be silly. You can totally just drop them off for a few hours at the Brooklyn Robot Foundry! They have this amazing class called “Kids Play, You Shop”  that take place on Sundays this month. Kids get to learn about, you guessed it, ROBOTS, while you run around and get their or everyone elses gifts. That’s seems awesome enough, but there is an even more awesome element to this class. If you drop your kids off at Robot Foundry you can totally get discounts at local restaurants, boutiques, and even a gym!

    Right now you can get a discount at the following places: 718 Cyclery, A. Cheng, By Brooklyn, Film Biz Recycling, Flirt, Juice Haven, Root Hill Burger, Root Hill Cafe, the Brooklyn Craft Central Annual Holiday Market (Dec 15/16 & 22/23), Garfield’s, Cotta-Bene, and Captain Quinn’s.

    This sounds too good to be true! It’s like a dream!

    Check out the class info here.

  • Our Adventure Into The Abandoned Bergen Street Subway Station

    If you’ve ever waited for the F or G trains at the Bergen Street subway station, you may have noticed several sets of large, steel doors on the station walls. Utility closets? Not a bad assumption. But what few people know is that those doors lead to one of Brooklyn’s hidden gems, an abandoned lower level of the Bergen Street subway station that sits directly below the active station thousands use every day. Similarly, if you’ve ever waited for a train one stop deeper into Brooklyn, at Carroll Street, you might’ve wondered where those two submerged, middle tracks lead… the answer is to the abandoned lower level of Bergen Street.

    In the wee hours of the morning on a blustery night last March, a friend and I descended into the abandoned level of the Bergen Street subway station and we filmed the whole thing. But first, a little history.

    From its inception in 1933, the Smith Street and Culver Sections of the IND subway line (now the F and G) were intended to run both express and local trains. With four sets of tracks continuing on the line all the way through Brooklyn to Church Ave (and three sets thereafter), one can imagine how the MTA might set up such an express/local scenario, although they only actually ran it that way for a very brief period between 1968 and 1976. The F ran as an express, gliding through the middle tracks and skipping the Carroll, Smith-9th, and 4th Ave stops, stationing at 7th Ave, then continuing on to skip 15th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, stopping at Church, and continuing on making all stops down to Coney Island / Stillwell Avenue. Meanwhile, the G served all local stops between Church and Hoyt-Schermerhorn before continuing on its northward journey through Brooklyn to Queens.

    Why won’t the MTA bring this kind of service back? Park Slope and Windsor Terrace residents would undoubtedly appreciate shaving 10-15 minutes off their daily commute.

    The upper level of Bergen Street was completely renovated in 1991-1992, and, for reasons unknown, all the tile and other decorative construction were stripped from the lower level at the same time rendering the platforms unsuitable for passenger service. The tracks are still in working order, though; work trains occasionally use the passage (which goes directly to the outer [F] tracks at Jay Street, but also has a switch leading to Hoyt Schermerhorn), and if you’re lucky, you might find yourself passing through it when F trains are overcrowded / behind schedule and are informed by the dispatcher to skip straight from 7th Ave to Jay Street.

    Much of this information has been culled from Joseph Brennan’s excellent article on the matter. I encourage you to read more here.

    So, back to our adventure. I can’t reveal how we were able to get down into the station, but you can probably figure it out. Do NOT try this at home. Apologies for the dark footage. Soundtrack provided by Deafheaven. Click “Full Screen” and enjoy. Photos below by yours truly.

    NYC Urban Exploration from Frank Godla on Vimeo.

  • Photo Gallery: Halloween in Carroll Gardens

    The seasonal lawn decorations in the historic district portion of Carroll Gardens are the stuff of legends, with brownstone owners going all-out in an effort to best their neighbors through all of fall and winter’s holidays. Halloween is no exception, as residents typically adorn their front yards with skulls, scarecrows, jack o’ lanterns, blow-up ghosts and other spooky accoutrement of all sorts.

    The Halloween decorations on the evening of October 28th were a bit tamer than usual, as Hurricane Sandy was scheduled for landfall the following day and residents wisely chose not to leave their giant-sized, inflatable decorations out for Sandy to chew up and spit out. Still, an impressive array of holiday flare was on display.

  • A Drawing For Your Help

    Orange You Glad, Brooklyn’s creativist, well, creatives, have a really unique kind of fundraiser coming up. They are going to draw-o-thon to benefit the NYC Food Bank on November 11, 2012.

    Say what?

    Yeah, it’s an all day drawing done by some of the best artist out there. The donation site says:

    It’s pretty interesting right! But what food do you want them to draw? The cupcake featured is nice, but maybe a pumpkin pie to go with the fall season or broccoli cause it’s sexy (it’s not really sexy) or maybe a good old fashion burger!

    Read more ›

  • Images of Relief At Gowanus Houses

    To the surprise of many South Brooklynites 5 buildings in the Gowanus Houses had been without power since Sandy flooded the city. The group Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) reached out to the community asking for volunteers to help Saturday with delivery of food and water to residents living in buildings without power.  They also asked volunteers to help refill prescriptions for those who were unable to leave the housing due to elevators being unavailable. At the same time as FUREE was requesting support from the community, the National Guard rolled into Gowanus Houses to provide assistance. The National Guard and all volunteers worked together to provide for those in need.


  • South Brooklyn Unites To Help Red Hook

    Small Businesses all along Smith Street and throughout South Brooklyn are doing what they can to help Red Hook small business owners devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Today, Saturday November 3rd, participating South Brooklyn small businesses will donate 10% of all sales (in store and on-line) to Red Hook small business owners! This is a wondrous idea. You can do basic stuff like shop, get a tattoo, buy wine, eat, & drink, and make a difference!!!

    The following businesses are a part of this badass idea and if you are near their store today, buy something to help Red Hook!

    Arthur on Smith
    Bar Great Harry
    Brooklyn Refinery
    Brooklyn Social
    Brooklyn Tattoo
    By Brooklyn
    Exit9 Emporium
    Henry Public
    Jolie Cantina
    La Casita
    Musicians General Store

    Shelsky’s Smoked Fish
    Smith & Vine
    Stinky Bklyn
    Van Horn

    In addition you can do the following to help Red Hook:

    If you are not aware of how bad it got in Red Hook, take a moment to hear from the residents in the area.

    Red Hook resident describes getting through Hurricane Sandy from Keith Collins on Vimeo.

  • Help Needed At Gowanus Houses

    Volunteers are needed this Saturday at Gowanus Houses in Brooklyn. Five buildings are still without power. Three of them are 14 stories high and we need people power to check on the elderly, the sick and to deliver needed supplies to residents.

    Meet at the FUREE Office at 12 p.m.(81 Willoughby Street between Bridge and Lawrence Sts. in Downtown Brooklyn) or meet at Gowanus Houses (211 Hoyt Street at the corner of Baltic Street) at 1 p.m.

    We need volunteers who can climb 14 flights (or less); drivers to move supplies to the tenants association’s office; runners to refill prescriptions and others to help sort out food, donations, etc. If you can donate supplies, please drop them offbetween 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the FUREE Office including non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, sanitary napkins, diapers, toiletries, Ensure, Pediasure, (canned, ready made) formula and toiletries. We can accept blankets but they must be new and packaged.

    Please e-mail valery[at]furee[dot]org if you can help and please spread the word


    For the 16th year artist in Brooklyn will open their doors to the public for the Annual Gowanus Studio Tour (AGAST). This year there are 150 artist participating in the event, which stretches across all of South Brooklyn: Gowanus, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill in 40 different venues. Artist of all types will have their work on display to show just how freaking creative humanity can be! What’s really cool about this event and why it’s extremely popular, even internationally, is because you get to actually meet the artist behind the work. This means when you wonder through the residential and industrial streets on this self guided tour you will be able to discover the artist behind interesting, unique, fabulous, and brilliant creative art!

    The is Oct 13th & 14th 12-6pm with a closing party 6pm Sunday.

    Check out AGAST’s website for more details, a pdf of the tour map, and an interactive google tour map.



Gowanus, Brooklyn

The crack between two hipster neighborhoods, home to the now superfunded Canal, the flash point for the new 'Buy Local' and textile revolutions, & filled with brilliant bohemians. . . this is Gowanus & it’ll awesome your face off.

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