Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Totally Off Topic... But Have You Seen this Dog?

It's been all over the news and I found a clip on Google Video. Fox25 did a report and said the dog taught himself. He just jumped on the skateboard one day and off he went!!!

He's amazing, check out Tyson and his skills.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Really Cool Photo from Flickr

Thanks to Paul Guzzo ;-)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reach out and touch ... a truck

A story in the NY Post looks at a new brownstone on Court and Garnett in Carroll Gardens. Units sell for $3,000-3,600 for 1,000 to 1,100 sq ft.

The article pokes fun at what tenants can look forward to seeing out their windows:
jaw-dropping, scenic views - of the truck-filled, exhaust-choked Gowanus Expressway

To be honest, I look at the Brooklyn Bridge (gorgeous!!!) and the BQE. The traffic is constant, the trucks are loud and I can't imagine it is smog-less, but I love it just the same. It wouldn't be nyc without the noise, which after a while just fades into the background. The story says that tenants won't need to get a traffic report... it's the same for me as I can tell the weather and time 24/7 without even going outside.

I think this is the building the article was talking about.


Saw this last week and didn't get a chance to post anything. Gothamist reports that Rebar has opened upstairs in Retreat. That's the coffee box in DUMBO. The owner is really nice and I am glad to see more space is being transformed in that building. I look forward to trying the tapas. $3 for 3 bites sounds good to me!

Anyone been yet? What's the verdict?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

UPDATED: New Blog & Ramblings about Montague ...

Update: Well, now I feel like a loser because I didn't realize the thrift store's merchandise was based on donations. Thank you to ClatieK for pointing that out to me and sending me a link! Now I will have to go bring some things down there. Sorry to anyone for my rant... I should have done my homework first, but I am just sick of "vintage/thrift" stores with junk that sells for hundreds of dollars. Now GO contribute and get down to Housing Works Thrift!

Original Post:
I playing around on the Web and came across this Brooklyn Heights blog (just added it to my blogroll on the right check it out). I had tried to go there previously through another blog in the past and hit a glitch, but seems back up and just fine now.

There was a thread going about the Heights and how it's changed over the years. As a newcomer I haven't had much time to notice many changes, but over the summer my employer gives us summer fridays (yes, you can be jealous) so I used to walk to Montague and walk around and get TastyD. One of my favorite stores is Fishs Eddy. They have the coolest china patterns. I know, you're thinking to yourself that china does NOT equal cool, but if you could see what they have you would likey.

On Sunday, I was on Montague and noticed it was gone. I was disappointed because I had been meaning to get this lovely Brooklyn platter, but I'll have to get it in Union Sq near my office.

Now there is some "vintage store." I don't know what qualifies as vintage these days, but the jeans there look like they got picked up from the salvation army. I saw some from Express and then some of the dishes look like leftovers from the boring collections, of which I must admit there were a few, from Fishs Eddy. Lame......

I think Montague could use some help from a retail perspective. Some of the stores have seen better days. Even the Banana Republic there sucks. It's super small and they never have any good sizes. And WTF is CT Muffins? I know it's a chain but I spent my high school years in CT and seriously, muffins are not a specialty there or anything. It's weird. Not like NY Bagels or something, which totally makes sense. And while we're on the subject, why does the Ann Taylor Loft have to be so big? What does that say about our neighborhood? I am not averse to chain stores, at least they have a dedicated customer base and attract steady traffic.

If you could add your dream store to Montague, what would it be? And if you've had a CT Muffin, let me know if it's good cause I'll totally go get one to eat my words so to speak :-)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Iron Chef House Review

Edited -- Sorry had flip-flopped the name ;-)

I was pleasantly suprised by my Iron Chef House sushi dinner last night!!! (Not that I don't trust my sushi tipsters but I am a skeptic when it comes to sushi and know what I like.)

I didn't have high expectations as it was, since I was ordering it for a delivery. Usually, as soon as you put sushi in a little delivery container, the asthetic of it goes away and it loses some of it's appeal. But I was hungry and I think the food arrived in less than 10 minutes, which is just incredible.

I ordered a mini-feast so I could taste some of the essentials and get a feel for the quality and variety. I got a salad (loved the Japanese ginger salad dressing), steamed shrimp shumai, a fancy spicy tuna roll, a spicy shrimp and crab roll, and a spring roll (not the fried kind; rather a regular sushi roll but without rice and wrapped in rice paper instead of seaweed).

Everything was really delicious. Better than Miso, in my opinion. There was ample wasabi, the soy sauce came in individual containers rather than 8 thousand packates, and most importantly, the fish quality was really really good.

I would like to go to the actual restaurant and try some sashimi and sushi pieces as well, to get a better feel for the place. For some reason I can't deal with delivery sashimi... it's just a bit weird to me.

In any case, I will definitely be ordering again and suggest you try it if you haven't already.

False Alarm

I had gotten an e-mail yesterday that a movie was being filmed at the Brooklyn Bridge and not to be alarmed by the military vehicles and choppers. There are going to be 1,000 people for an evacuation scene, but it's on the Manhattan side of the bridge so I won't be able to see much, except for the lights, which were super bright for a few hours last night. The story is all over the news so that people know what's up.

From the New York Post:
"Don't be alarmed by the fleet of Black Hawk helicopters and military ships converging on the Brooklyn Bridge tonight - it's only the new Will Smith movie, police said yesterday. For the next eight days, these mock military vehicles and more than a thousand extras will shoot an evacuation scene for the next Big Willie blockbuster, 'I am Legend.' The post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick is due out this December."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sushi Tip

A fellow sushi lover left me a post suggesting that I try Iron Chef House sushi in Brooklyn Heights after reading a post from several months back about the lack of quality sushi in the area. I admit I am a sushi snob but I am willing to try anything. So, this week I'll give it a go and let ya'll know what I think. Here is a link to the main Web site.

What $8.6 Million Can Get You

I was browsing thru Dumbo real estate on and saw a listing for 1 Main St. It's the penthouse, and wow, is it amazing! All 3,200 sq ft can be yours for $8.6M. It will be interesting to see how quickly it sells. Here are some pictures from the listing by Sotheby's.

5 room(s)
3 bedroom(s)
2 full bath(s)
1 half bath(s)
cc: $2,061
tax: $1,636

This one of a kind 3,200 +/- sq. ft. published penthouse loft boasts 360 degree panoramic views of the Manhattan Skyline, East River & the Brooklyn/Manhattan Bridges. Keyed elevator opens directly into the loft, which features a huge living room, state of the art gourmet chef's kitchen & a flexible layout that can be used as a 2 or 3 bedroom. Hi ceilings, hardwood floors, w/d & central air. The Clocktower is Brooklyn's most prestigious condo's with 24-hour concierge, roof deck & much more.

Last week I was looking to see what units were available in my building and was suprised to see that the apt next door to my former apt still hadn't sold. The layout was exactly the same, except opposite, and they were asking slightly higher than we were. Now after a year (maybe 2?) the sponsor is asking for what we asked. Unfortunately with all the construction over there I think current owners are trying to get out while new owners are waiting for construction to be completed. I met two nice couples in the hallway here the other day and they were looking to buy in my building. Incidentally, they both currently live in a luxury rental building a block from where I used to live in Murray Hill. They seemed pretty sold on the neighborhood after speaking with them so hopefully they will migrate to Dumbo.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I felt like a little kid waking up to snow this morning. It was really exciting!!!
Of course, it's mostly melted now but it was nice while it lasted and I'm sure there is more to come. I took some pics on the way to the subway this morning.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Overpass Flowers Closing?

Anyone else notice that the florist on Washington Street next to Rice seems to be closing? It was called Overpass Flowers but I walked by the other day and it was closed and appeared there was nothing inside the shop. I think it might be the case as now Peas & Pickles is selling flowers in front of the store. Perhaps they were there the whole time and I never noticed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Brooklyn Heights Movie Theater

We finally saw a movie at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema on 70 Henry Street and it was much nicer than I had expected. Sure it doesn't have all the features and bells & whistles of a multiplex, but there were no previews or annoying advertisements prior to the movie. There was a big screen, popcorn, fresh coffee, pixy sticks, soda, candy and cushy seats.

I'm not sure how much business they do there so I hope it stays around for years to come. I like the UA Court Street facility a lot; I just prefer walking down the street to the Heights instead of to the downtown area. The place has a nice feel to it. I would definitely recommend checking it out.

[Photo courtesy of Flickr user teradome]

The Doctor's In -- my mouth is healthy

After a commenter told me to "get my mouth examined" if I thought the food at Noodle Pudding was amazing, I decided to go there for dinner again to make sure I wasn't losing my mind, or rather, my mouth. As I thought, everything was delicious. I had the taglietelle bolognese and my husband had the special pasta with a lamb and olive ragu and we both left very happy. We started with fried calamari, which were delicious and ended with a chocolate hazelnut torte. I had a glass of wine at the bar and my husband had one at the table. Our check was about $60 dollars. I definitely recommend Noodle Pudding on Henry if you haven't tried it yet.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Surf and Share

Just being lazy on this very foggy Sunday afternoon. I came across some articles about Brooklyn restaurants I thought I'd share ...

From New York Magazine, "A New Breed of Restaurants," highlights 15 local restaurants . I've heard of some of them and been to others on the list, but there are many I had never heard of and look forward to trying.

I have come across this article before, also in New York Magazine (no affiliation), where writer Adam Platt names his top five picks for 2006. I really would like to try Applewood and 360 this year.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

NYT Spotlight on Park Slope

I am sure many of you are familiar with the Real Estate section in the Saturday section of the New York Times. This week it's focused on Park Slope. Check it out.

Comme Ci Comme Ca

That's all I can say about Le Petite Marche and our experience last night.

The waiter, the hostess and everyone else was very nice and attentive. The decor was really nice (only one bathroom though) but very dark. I realize the feel they were trying to acheive but it was too dark. It was also busy. We opted for the table in the window, cause we hate sqeezing into the sea of rows of tables for two that so many restaurants in NY have. It was nice and private but the menu was on the window next to my head so everyone that came by and wanted to check out the menu, it felt like they were right on top of me, which was slightly annoying.

On to the food. The bread was really good... as expected it was a baguette and then instead of butter, it was a roasted garlic spread which may or may not have also had butter in it. I ordered a salad with goat chees brulee, as they called it. Very nice and different from the traditional goat cheese salad. The two rounds of goat cheese had been sprinkled with sugar (it wasn't over powering) and torched like the dessert would be. My husband had the escargot and was disappointed they didn't arrive in the traditional french escargo plate where each is seperated into it's own garlicy goodness. Still he said it was good, but not great.

Moving on... we both had steak frites. It was very traditional and cooked well to our liking. However, the cut of meat itself wasn't that great. It was kinda fatty and since it was so dark it was hard to tell which pieces were the fat. The frites were good. If I were to go back, which I probably wouldn't considering Henry's End and Noodle Pudding are right next store and the food is always amazing, I would have gone for the moules frites.

So all in all, the food was good, not great. If you want a really great bistro experience go to Artisinal, Balthazar or Pastis. The bill was still nearly 100 so I would have rather been at another restaurant.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tonight's the night

We're going to Le Petit Marché for dinner and I'll let everyone know if it's as good as Time Out says:

"If the moules frites, escargot and bouillabaisse (pictured) don’t give it away, the reproductions of Renoirs and French bottled beer should: Le Petit Marché is as French as they come. The 50-seat restaurant, on quaint Henry Street, serves only classic bistro dishes. 46 Henry St between Cranberry and Middagh Sts, Brooklyn Heights (718-858-9605)."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Getting Out ... Just in Time

I found a link to this story in the NYO from Gawker. I too recently sold a condo in Manhattan to move to Brooklyn. We got out after two years, in large part due to the slow, but soon to be accelerated demolition of the Con Ed building between Tudor City and Murray Hill. I totally sympathize with the guy profiled in the story.

When we first moved into our former building, which recently turned condo at the time, we were thrilled at the idea of a fully renovated apartment. But as buyers new to the real estate market, we didn't think about what life would be like in the building as they gutted the lobby, gave the exterior a face lift, and gutted the apartments above us and on either side. At the time I was working from home and seriously wanted to kill myself. At the stroke of 8 am every morning the construction noise began. They were also rebuilding our terrace, which took a year longer than promised, and every morning there would be people outside my bedroom window smoking cigs on my terrace. It was a living nightmare.

Once the internal construction subsided, we noticed the buildings around us were evolving. The smoke stacks at Con Ed were slowly coming down. Our lovely view of the East River was sure to disappear in the coming years. We didn't want to live through it or listen to it. Now if you drive by where the Con Ed stacks were, you can peer in (from the FDR) and see what a disaster and eye sore it is. They are also building a new condo building on 34th and Third. And just to one side of my old building they are building another building.

While on the bright side, this new construction promises significance business boosts and neighborhood improvements to the Murray Hill neighborhood. But if you don't have an escape, take a cue from me and this guy and get out while you can...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For Those Obsessed With Real Estate

I wouldn't call myself obsessed, but definitely quite curious, as I often find myself searching through property listings in Brooklyn for fun. I like to know what's out there...I think I get it from my mom.

For those like me, I highly recommend the Yahoo Real Estate search. I believe it's powered by Truilla, a real estate Web search engine that offers markers on a map to property listings - another cool feature.

Brooklyn Looks Good in Blue

I just came across a story in the New York Daily News that said Brooklyn was included in something called the "Blue List," an annual list of the top destination spots by travelguide publisher Lonely Planet.

This is the first time the borough has made the "To Go" section of Lonely Planet's Blue List, a collection of travel ideas submitted by readers and staffers. Other Brooklyn recommendations range from the well-known - the hot dog-eating contest in Coney Island - to insider favorites like a Slope bed-and-breakfast or dinner at the Carroll Gardens Mexican restaurant Alma.
(For more on Alma, refer to my earlier post with the lovely cartoon shrimp image.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Three's The Charm. Promising French Cuisine Close to Home.

After taking my two friends with us for dinner on Saturday night to Henry's End, we emerged from the restaurant to find a new French restaurant had popped up next door. Already blessed with fantastic Italian food (Noodle Pudding) and a range of options from fish to wild game at Henry's End, the addition of a French restaurant is certainly welcome.

The restaurant, called Le Petit Marche, was bustling. A man smoking a cigarette outside said he was dining there that night and knows the owner. Inside, candlelight and exposed brick set the scene for a cozy, warm experience (which wasn't necessary given the 70 degree temps on Saturday, but will be something I look forward to in the coming weeks).

Here's a write up in the NYSun. There are also reports on ChowHound and Brooklyn Record, among other blogs, although the link to the write-up in Time Out was broken. I plan to eat there in the near future and will let you guys know how it is.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Better Sushi than Gari?

I am always open to new sushi restaurants but find I am usually disappointed. I was looking at CitySearch's best sushi of 2006 review and think I may have to try Kiki and Gen in Brooklyn. As you all know, I adore sushi and just can't believe that any place could be better than Sushi of Gari East on 78th and First Ave or a little-known place called East in Milford, CT.

I also went to a place called Pokie on the upper east side that has expanded and is super busy. It's BYOB, which makes it very popular, but it's not Gari quality. It's definitely better than average and delicious though. Try the truffle roll.

As for the others, let me know if you've tried either place ...

Kiki Sushi
453 7TH Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215-5539View Map
(718) 369-1155

659 Washington Ave (Cross Street: St Mark's Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11238View Map
(718) 398-3550