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What’s in the Crystal Ball for Brooklyn?

The Eagle’s Mary Frost interviewed prominent Brooklynites, asking for their views on Brooklyn’s future. Carlo Scissura, head of the Mayor’s panel studying the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, predicts that “the BQE will get some much-needed love and attention.” Love? He also thinks the Nets will make the playoffs. Karen Johnson, owner of DUMBO’s Olympia Wine Bar, thinks the BQE will continue to be an issue, along with subway overcrowding (that’s what happens when your only convenient subway is the F train). Both Lara Birnback, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, and Regina Myer…

Eagle’s Mary Frost Goes Deep With New BHA Exec Director

The Eagle’s Mary Frost interviewed in depth the new Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Lara Birnback. Ms. Birnback is a California native, but has lived in the Heights for many years. Her husband grew up here. She has extensive experience in community development in the U.S. and abroad.As a Heights resident she is aware of the major issues affecting the community: the BQE reconstruction: development around the Heights; and the proposed new jail on Atlantic Avenue. She also wants to focus on “micro” issues, like broken tree pits and …

BHA Issues “Call to Action” on Clark Street Station Closure

The Eagle reports that the Brooklyn Heights Association has issued a “call to action” concerning the possible one year closure of the Clark Street subway station while its ramshackle, breakdown-prone elevators are repaired. The MTA has so far failed to give an answer as to whether it intends a complete shutdown. A complete shutdown would greatly inconvenience many subway riders, and could spell death to several businesses, some of long standing, in the arcade connected to

Arrivederci, Armando’s, and the Lobster; Adios, Taperia

The Eagle reports that Ristorante Armando’s, a fixture, with one brief interruption, on Montague Street since 1936, has closed for good. Along with the loss of what, for many in the Heights was a favorite eating place and hangout, will come the loss of the iconic (What other word can I use to describe it?) lobster on its neon sign. Back in March of 2008, when owner Peter Byros (Did I catch im in the lower left corner of the photo above I took early this evening? I think so.) decided to retire, and the space was leased …

New Life for 186 Remsen? Bye-bye 192 Montague?

In a post this past September I speculated about the future of 186 Remsen Street (photo, by C. Scales), which I have long liked as an example of Victorian Romanesque architecture. In the post I noted that the building had been acquired by Up Ventures LLC, who had filed plans for a fourteen story hotel on the site. Being east of Clinton Street, the site is outside the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, with its fifty foot height limit on new construction, but it is in the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District, …

Recent Developments on BQE Controversy

There have been several recent developments concerning the plan to repair the cantilevered portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that lies below Brooklyn Heights and its Promenade, including the City Department of Transportation’s “innovative” proposal to replace the Promenade with a six lane highway while the two levels of the BQE below are repaired. This would cause complete loss of the use of the Promenade for a period the DOT estimates as six years and, according to public health expert Laurie Garrett, as reported by Mary Frost in the Eagle, would cause dangerous increases in airborne pollutant levels in the Heights.More developments are summarized very well in another Mary Frost Eagle story. City Comptroller Scott Stringer…