Picture Of The Day: No Feeding

Seen on Pacific Street at the old Pacifico restaurant location

Small Wood Clad House On Smith Street Soon To Be Altered

I always wondered about the unusual three-story, mixed-use building at 159 Smith Street between Wycoff and Bergen Streets in Boerum Hill.  Amidst a row of brick buildings that seem to have been constructed at the same time, it was the only one that had wood cladding.  Over the last few years, the paint on the cladding had begun to peel and the house looked in need of  care, but it had a certain charm and had kept its  original ornate cornice as well as nice window details.
Sadly, instead of getting renovated, the building will soon be altered.  Permits for a two-story addition have been approved by NYC's Department of Buildings.

Not only will the addition make the building stick out from the others on that block, the work will most likely include a new fa├žade.  Most probably, the cornice may not survive this alteration either.

Some roof demolition has already begun.

Of late, the building's storefront had been the home of Dr. Garry Levingard, a dentist, who relocated to #208 Smith Street recently.

Another Casualty Of Rising Rents: 'Knit-A-Way' On Atlantic Avenue To Vacate Current Location

IMG_5110 1
IMG_5109 1
Not everyone in the neighborhood knits or crochets, but for those who do, here is some sad news. Seeta Heeralal, owner of "Knit-A-Way', will be forced out of her current location at 398 Atlantic Avenue because of higher rent.

Seeta was just informed by her landlord in November that her monthly rent will increase from $3,000 to $9,000 in January. Any attempt to negotiate has failed so far. (In fairness, Seeta's landlord had lowered the rent from $4,700 to $3,000 during the recent downturn in the economy.)
According to Seeta, the landlord gave her till January 31st, 2014 to vacate.  She hopes for just a bit more time. After ten years building a clientele at this location, she says: "My heart would break if I had to leave."

Seeta took over "The Knittery" from a former boss in 2004 and renamed the business "Knit-A-Way".  At that time,  it was the first yarn store in the area. Today, there are others, but Seeta points out that she took a chance at a time 'when no one wanted to come here."

Seeta is currently weighing her options and is looking at several other locations, but the rent is either too high or the space too small.  She would appreciate any help or tips, so if anyone knows of a small 'affordable' storefront in the area, please contact Seeta here.

Picture Of The Day: Poetic Post Box

As seen on a USPS Box on Court Street:
"Je me nouris de souvenirs"
(I sustain myself on memories)

Notice Of Upcoming Work At Lightstone Development Site In Gowanus

Renderings courtesy of Lightstone Group
It would appear that Lightstone Group is moving forward with its 700-unit rental development on the shores of the Gowanus Canal.
A notice of upcoming site work on the development site located at  363-365 Bond Street and 400 Carroll Street in Gowanus was sent out by Community Board 6's District Manager Craig Hammerman this past Wednesday.

The work is starting today, Monday, and will involve demolition, soil boring, asbestos abatement, and construction of fencing.

Below is the entire notice:
Beginning Monday, December 2nd, 2013, The Lightstone Group will begin pre-construction site preparation at its Gowanus property, located at 363-365 Bond Street and 400 Carroll Street.

The site preparation work that will be conducted includes:

363 Bond Street:
Completion of sidewalk bridge & fence installation
Routine asbestos abatement on roof and inside building, performed by personnel in full protective gear as required by code

365 Bond Street:
Construction fence relocation
Demolition start
Soil boring at bulkhead
Subcontractor walk-throughs

400 Carroll Street:
Deliveries to construction trailer
Brick mock-up installation
Soil boring at bulkhead
Routine asbestos abatement on roof and inside building, performed by personnel in full protective gear as required by code

Langan Engineering will oversee the asbestos abatement and ensure that the work is conducted in accordance with standard procedures.

Lettire/Pride will conduct the demolition work.

Hours of work: The work will be conducted between the hours of 7:00am and 6:00pm Monday through Friday. On Saturday work may be conducted between 9:00am and 6:00pm.

A Moment Back In Time: The Founding Of St. Paul's Church On Clinton Street At Carroll Street

The wooden structure that first housed the St. Paul's congregation
The Gothic Revival church designed by Richard M. Upjohn, which still stands today.
vintage photos courtesy of St. Paul's Church

For all those who enjoy the past, here is a beautiful video of the history of St. Paul's Church at 199 Carroll Street right here in Carroll Gardens. The video was made in celebration of the church's 160th anniversary and highlights its story and that of its "volunteer parishioners who kept the church going through good times and bad times."
St. Paul's was  founded on Christmas Day of 1849 in a stable on lower Union Street.  By 1850, the congregation had swelled in numbers and soon after constructed its first house of worship, a simple wooden building on a plot of land that had once been part of the elegant John Rankin home on Clinton Street.
Just ten years later, the growing congregation had outgrown this first structure and  "inspired ideas of a more noble and permanent church were beginning to rise in the hearts and minds of its congregants."

Parishioner Richard M. Upjohn, an influential American architect and co-founder and president of the American Institute of Architects, volunteered his free services to design a new Gothic Revival structure. In 1869, "a mere twenty years since its founding", the congregation was able to raise enough money to lay the cornerstone for the structure that stands at the corner of Clinton Street and Carroll Street today.

In the 1980s, the aging church structure was in desperate need of costly structural repairs. A major fire in 1987 damaged the roof, stained glass windows and much of the interior of the building.  The congregation vowed to save the church and started a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of an ambitious renovation, which ultimately saved the structure.

St. Paul's Church was placed on the National Registry of Historical Places in 1991.

The video highlights beautiful old photos of the church and features recollections by life-long parishioners.
I am sure you will enjoy this glimpse into the past of St. Paul's and the neighborhood's history.

Smith Street Stage Presents 'A Christmas Carol (A Radio Play)' In Carroll Park

Photo credit: Smith Street Stage
Photo credit: Smith Street Stage
For the second year in a row, Smith Street Stage, a local theatre group,  will transform the Robert Acito Park House in Carroll Park into an intimate playhouse to bring the delightful "A Christmas Story (A Radio Play)" to the neighborhood.
Adapted and directed by Beth Ann Hopkins, Charles Dickens' perennial classic will be performed  as a radio play set in the 1940s. Seven actors playing the role of thirty-four characters will create special sound effects to accentuate the tale.
 Don't miss this wonderful production.  In all, there will be twelve performances. The first one will be performed this Wednesday, December 4th.  Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children. Seating is first come, first served.  Doors open ten minutes before performances.

Smith Street Stage Presents: 
Charles Dickens' "Christmas Carol  (A Radio Play)" 
at the Robert Acito Park House in Carroll Park
Corner of President Street and Smith Stree

December 4, 5, 6 at 8 pm

December 7 at 5 pm and 8 pm
December 8 at 5 pm
December 11, 12, 13 at 8pm
December 14 at 5pm and 8 pm
December 15 at 5 pm

Tickets are available here.

Bullett Raja Movie Review

Bullett Raja
Saif Ali Khan in a Bullet shooting a Bullet.
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Raj Mishra, Jimmi Shergill, Chunkey Pandey, Gulshan Grover

Bullett Raja tries to explore the issues of male bonding, friendship, love and comedy. Raja Mishra,(Saif Ali Khan) an angry unshaven young man looks no different. Raja who has been looking for a job, is chased by goons, and to escape them, he joins a wedding procession. Raja immediately befriends the bride's cousin Rudra Tripathi (Jimmi Shergil). Lallan Tiwari (Chunkey Pandey), a relative of Rudra has a plan to kill all the family members. With Raja's help, Rudra is able to save his family and their friendship deepens after this. Their friendship is such that only death can part them.

Raja and Rudra then rise from modest beginnings to become India's most infamous gangsters courtesy the safety net provided by various political leaders, Bajaj (Gulshan Grover), businessman, tries to take revenge on the duo, which results in Rudra's death. The movie then turns to be more of an ego trip for Raja, a quest to avenge the murder of a beloved friend.

Ram Babu Shukla (Raj Babbar), one of the strong politicians, plays a great role in uplifting the protagonists. He turns out to be a green serpent. Sumer yadav (Ravi Kishan) with the potential to leave a mark as a villainous character hasn't been used properly by the director.Mitali (Sonakshi Sinha) plays as a Bengali girl. She immediately gives up her dream of acting after Raja proposes her. Appearing in a few scenes, Sinha has nothing to do in the movie.

Sajid Wajid's music has tried to give a rock touch to the movie, however it fails to maintain the standard. The music is very similar to Dabang's music. The formula of having an item numer by Mahie Gill distracts the audience with her belly jiggles.

Sonakshi Sinha
Sonakshi Sinha in a movie song
The movie has tried to bring a kind of Sholay's Jai - Veeru bonding and that too in similar rural settings where Gabbar Singh wants Basanti to perfrom a dance for him. However, here the scene is replaced by the demand of the gangster for Bipasha Basu's dance performance. Overall the whole storyline of the movie is unattractive with hero beating and shooting only the villians without being beaten, placement of irrelevant songs in inappropriate places is a complete disappointment.