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Safe City and Jail Nightmares

Just this week NYC announced that crime is down to a record low in 17 years and how the city has evolved into a really safe city. Now that statement has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Yes murders and killings may be down but regular vandalism is not. Ask any car owning resident of Clinton Hill or Fort Greene ! Ok, so no more digression.

However this story on Gowanus Canal, shows us another seedier, murkier, darker underside of the justice system and the police in general. A woman was arrested because there was a warrant out for her for having a dog unleashed on the road. She sends in a detailed account

because she was horrified at the conditions at the Brooklyn Central Booking on Schermerhorn Street between Smith and Boerum Place.

The R word comes up in her account and frankly anyone who has lived in NYC has been either a victim or a witness to racial profiling over the years.

Continue reading ‘Safe City and Jail Nightmares’



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FreshDirect going Green

A while ago I had written about Freshdirect and their not-so-green policies.

Therefore I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from them stating

Going green. By early next year, 100% of our delivery fleet will use clean, renewable biodiesel, cutting emissions and our use of fossil fuels. Our boxes are currently made of 100% recycled material, and within the next 3 years, we’ll eliminate nearly all of our cardboard boxes, replacing them with recyclable totes and bags.

All I can say is, better late than never.



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Helvetica Movie at Pratt

Helvetica celebrates the 50th anniversary of this most ubiquitous typeface. From urban spaces to emails, Helvetica presides over our everyday and cultural landscapes, and still elicits strong reactions from designers. According to the Sept. 12 New York Times, “The film’s provocative, lively interviews with graphic designers and theorists . . . assess Helvetica’s impact on human life and thought.. . . you’re guaranteed to spend the next few days scanning the world for Helvetica like a child on a cross-country car trip playing I Spy.”

A free screening of the new documentary film, Helvetica, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 25 in Memorial Hall on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Director Gary Hustwit will introduce and take questions after the film.

Date:Tuesday, Sept. 25 2007

Venue: Memorial Hall, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn

Time: 6:00 -8:00 p.m.

The 80-minute film features interviews with, among others, Massimo Vignelli, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Hermann Zapf, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Beirut, Paula Scher, Jonathan Barnbrook, David Carson, Leslie Savan, David Carson, Rick Poynor, and Jonathan Hoefler.



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CH Tour This Sunday

From the Society for Clinton Hill

THE 2007 HOUSE TOUR

A unique opportunity to see 12 marvelous private homes, apartments, and private spaces in several public institutions. Learn more about the neighborhood, its architectural history, and surprising interiors. Get ideas for your own projects and appreciate the blending of art, architecture, interior design, and creative genius. See the exhibit of posters from the last 30 years of house tours and other events sponsored by the Society for Clinton Hill.

Sunday, May 6, 2007, noon to 5:00 pm

Tour starts at St. Luke’s Church, 259 Washington Avenue, between DeKalb and Willoughby Avenues. Buy or pick up tickets here.

Tickets: Advance $20, Day of tour $25

Purchase tickets now by clicking the Paypal button on the upper-left. Or pick up tickets at the following neighborhood locations: Outpost, Pillow Café, Sister’s Hardware, Tillie’s Coffee Shop, YU Interiors.

More info here



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Cambodia On My Mind at Smooch

Cambodia On My Mind: Photographs by Amir Ebrahimi is a photo exhibition going on at Smooch.

“Cambo on my mind” is a series of images taken while visiting my brother in Cambodia the summer of 2006. My brother, Nader Ebrahimi, has been a huge influence in my life. My move from San Francisco to New York in 1998 was due in part to my brother who was living and working as an artist in New York City at the time. Nader grew tired of New York and moved to Spain in 2003. Three years later, he traveled to Cambodia to shoot a job on the sex slave trade. Learning how fragile the lives of poor young children where in Cambodia is what made my brother finally move out to Phnom Phen after just four months in Barcelona, where he just couldn’t get Cambo off his mind.

In February 2006, my brother began volunteering at an orphanage in Phnom Phen, Cambodia in order to teach English, Photography, and Painting. In a very short time, Nader became very close to the kids yet he had become suspicious about the management of the orphanage. Many of his concerns were valid which meant that he began to spend more time at the orphanage. Due to systems in Phnom Phen, there was very little my brother could do to ensure the well-being of the children which led to a great deal of frustration. Nader met Amjad and Fauzia, a couple who had recently lost their daughter Aziza at the young age of ten.

Continue reading ‘Cambodia On My Mind at Smooch’



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Less Street Cleaning Please

Readers of this blog know about my frustration [1] [2] [3] of parking spots in Clinton Hill.

Today I came across an article in the Brooklyn Papers that talks about a proposal to get the City to enforce alternate side street cleaning rules only one day a week.

Currently, motorists in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have to move their cars two to four times a week to accommodate street cleaning, while Slope and Heights drivers only need move their cars once or twice.

“We only want what they have,” said resident Susan Butler. She and other members of the Fort Greene Association have asked Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Prospect Heights) to fight City Hall.

“Constituents think [the schedule] is inconvenient and nothing more than a revenue-generator,” James told The Stoop. “I tend to agree.”

Moving the car on an average of 3-4 times a week is really a waste of time. However from what I have read on this issue, the alternate side cleaning is a big revenue generator for the city.

However some “elite” neighborhoods have it only for one day a week. So why the discrimination.

New York City….don’t you like Clinton Hill…..eh ??



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“Brooklyn Matters” Documentary Viewing

“A powerful documentary by a well-respected filmmaker, Brookyn Matters is a must see for all New Yorkers who care about the future of their neighborhoods and the role that public policy and process plays in determining that future.”

-Marilyn Gelber, Former Commissioner, New York City Department of Environmental Protection

“Brooklyn Matters is a remarkable film that slowly, quietly, calmly reveals the extreme ugliness at the heart of one of the most ill-conceived mega-development schemes in New York history.”

-Francis Morrone, Architectural Historian

“It wasn’t until viewing Isabel Hill’s film that I realized the true scope of what is at stake for the future of Brooklyn in proceeding with the development of the Atlantic Yards in its present form.”

-Carmi Bee, FAIA, RKT&B Architects & Planners

January 31 7:00 p.m. Belarusian Church-Atlantic Ave and Bond St, Bklyn (sponsored by Boerum Hill Asso).-RSVP-718-858-3822, ext 100, 917-868-5332 or suebrownstone@att.net

February 1 6:00 pm Pratt Institute, Higgins Hall Auditorium, 61 St. James Pl, Bklyn.

February 21 7:00 pm Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School on Clermont and Greene, Bklyn.( sponsored by Fort Greene Association and Society for Clinton Hill.

February 27 7:00 p.m.Fifth Avenue Committtee-621 DeGraw St, Bklyn RSVP-718-237-2017, ext. 162 or vrentz@fifthave.org

March 7 7:00 p.m.Two Boots Pioneer Theater (sponsored by the Historic Districts Council) East 3rd St bet Aves A & B, NYC, RSVP: 212-614-9107 Ext/ 10 or lbelfer@hdc.org

For more information check link below

http://www.brooklynmatters.com/



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Image Copyrights: The Gothamist

FreshDirect trucks plying all around the city is now a city staple. Like the yellow cab and the hotdog vendor it is part and parcel of New York life. When FreshDirect started out, it served Manhattan initially and slowly spread to the outer boroughs. This inspite of the fact that its warehouse and facilities are in Queens.

Since then it has followed an arbitrary pattern of opting neighborhoods into its delivery zone. Many parts of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are not yet served by FreshDirect.

These are neighborhoods that FreshDirect deems underserved, or in plain terms…not worth the bother.

Bed-Stuy my old neighborhood is one such place. It borders Williamsburgh and Clinton Hill but FreshDirect wont go there. And this has riled a lot of residents, who are venting their frustration on this discussion board.

As one poster to the board writes

….they had the nerve to have a subway ad in the Myrtle-Willoughby train station and they don’t even deliver here!….And what’s more insulting is that I think some of the people around here actually WORK for Fresh Direct! Evil or Very Mad Fresh Direct can go directly to hell.

Having ordered from FreshDirect initially when they started out, I was baffled by the number of boxes they used to pack things. Groceries worth 40$ came in 5 boxes. And after I unpacked, I had to discard the boxes. There was no system of returning them to FreshDirect to be recycled.

Also the trucks park all over my neighborhood and are idling all the time. Each delivery takes about 10-15 minutes from the time the driver stops to the time he pulls out of his illegal double parking spot. Is an idling diesel engine good for the environment. I can understand that it is necessary that the refrigeration units stay chilled but that does not mean that I, living on the first floor breathe the exhaust directly aimed at my window. And all that because one of my neighbors wants to eat healthy.

As much as organic healthy food is necessary for a nation of people battling obesity and all kinds of related health conditions, FreshDirect may not be right answer. At what cost does one demand convenience ?



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I have come across this trend more and more in recent times.

Shops in our neighborhood dont accept debit or credit cards. On the other hand they install ATM machines in their shops.

A case in point is Conneticut Muffins on the corner of Myrtle and Clinton.

They dont accept credit cards, and there is no sign informing one of that. I orderd a hot choclate and when i gave my card i got the retort back “No credit cards”. And the sick part is that it came with an attitude. I felt as if by offering a CC i was doing a guilty act. I just wanted hot choclate, not attitude.

Another such place is the Dry cleaners on the same block on Myrtle. To be fair though, the employee there said that everyone complains about it but the owner does not care and does not want to do anything.

What’s with this whole no CC issue.

I personally now don’t go to Conneticut Muffins, for that simple reason. I hate to carry cash around and prefer all expenses on my debit card which allows me an easy access to keep tabs on what I spend.

If as a customer I cannot be provided a service, I take my business elsewhere.



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Lower Standards at Retail Chains

Everytime I go to retail chains here in Clinton Hill, its always a strugggle to get the customer service reps to be helpful. In most cases they could care less. I get the attitude that I am somehow disturbing them by asking them a question about something sold in their store. The biggest defaulter is Home Depot. I think the guys who work there are unknowledgeable about the products, lazy and lethargic, and could care less. And the women, well not to be prejudiced, but they are pure bitchy. Many a times, I have observed them laughing away at a customer after they give them some bullshit and turn them away.

The scenario is the same at Macy’s Brooklyn, Office Depot at the Atlantic Avenue Mall and the Pathmark at the same location.

This post was inspired by an interesting discussion going on at the Brooklynian. Check it out and voice your woes



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