Friday, February 27, 2015

Who is Behind Bars in Brooklyn on #theother5th?

Push the bike handle to open the front door and you walk into a beautifully bright and warm space, full of bike 'stuff' filling all the walls, and in the center is Sandra, the owner of Behind Bars in Brooklyn which is located near 17th Street on #theother5th, Park Slope.

Sandra dealing with a customer's repair needs
Behind Bars is a bike repair shop. They don't sell bikes but will assess and repair. I asked Sandra why they don't sell bikes. She told me that there are a number of  good bike stores in the area, but many of them don't focus their attention on maintenance and repair. "Bikes last forever and things can be fixed", she says.

I had to ask Sandra about being a woman running a bike repair store. She smiled and told me a few anecdotes about her experiences. Customers do come in and ask her when the mechanic will be available. In fact Sandra has been in the industry for 24 years and is a certified mechanic. She is very aware that many people ride a bike like they drive a car, but have no clue how it really works. Her service aims to make people feel comfortable about what she is offering and what needs to be done. There is no hard sell, ever, she told me. It's professionalism all the way.

Water Bottles
I was intrigued to know why Sandra chose the South Slope to set up shop. She explained that she knew the area well, having lived there once, but she also knows that this is an area where people commute on their bikes to work. She rides in from Bay Ridge every day. Because of this fact, she opens from 8am to 8pm; ready to fix flat tires or dodgy brakes on the fly. Come in and she'll lube up that squeaky chain for free and outside, you can pump up your tires for free. Safety comes first, Sandra tells me. Get your bike checked out after the long winter months. Make sure you have helmets and you must have lights if riding in the dark, it's a legal requirement. There are a lot of accessories in the store and for us parents; kids helmets, and baskets. Sandra will even repair scooters and skateboards.

The Store
Whilst I was there a man came in with his bike and immediately Sandra greeted him in Spanish whilst pulling parts off the shelf. She appeared caring and professional. We are pleased Sandra chose the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID to put down her business roots (or spokes!).

Behind Bars in Brooklyn
610 5th Avenue
Between Prospect Avenue and 17th Streets
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook: Behindbarsinbrooklyn

Joanna Tallantire

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Taste of Fifth: 5 Weeks Away!

There's just 5 weeks left until A Taste of Fifth!

No Fooling: Wednesday, April 1st, from 6:30 - 9:30pm at The Grand Prospect Hall

Buying a ticket not only allows you to sample all the savory offerings from our many local restaurants and bars (complementary wine and beer), but you'll also be benefiting local charities.  Tickets are $55 online ($60 at door) with $20 of every ticket going to the local charity of your choice!  

Here is the start of our participating restaurant list. More coming soon!

Participants (In Formation)

200 Fifth
ACME Wine and Spirits
L'albero dei gelati
Blue Sky Bakery
Bogota Latin Bistro
Bonnie's Grill
Brooklyn Crepe
The Chocolate Room
Coco Roco
Du Jour Bakery
Freddy's Bar
Gorilla Coffee
La Villa
Le Pain Quotidien
Loki Lounge
Luke's Lobster
The Monro Pub
O Live Brooklyn
Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn
Palo Santo
Pure Bistro
Russo's Mozzarella and Pasta
Sky Ice
Stone Park Cafe
Taco Santo
Uncle Louie G
Yayo's Latin Bistro

More info on participating restaurants and bars in the coming weeks. In the meantime, buy your tickets today via

Participating Charities:

*Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX)
*Brooklyn Pride
*Brooklyn Dream Factory
*Fifth Avenue Committee
*Good Shepherd Services
*Imani House
*Middle School 51
*The Old Stone House
*Park Slope Civic Council
*President Street Garden
*Spoke the Hub
*Public School 39
*Public School 118 Maurice Sendak Community School
*Public School 321


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Katie Couric and Ashley Graham on #theother5th

Well this is cool!

It seems that Fifth Avenue's own Body Reserve is the home gym to plus-size model Ashley Graham (recently in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue). She was interviewed by Katie Couric about her career right on the workout floor Body Reserve, a few days ago!

Not only is it a nice little piece about the gym and Park Slope, but Ashley's message is spot-on! Check out the interview here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First Anniversary: Gluten-Free EatUP!

If you are gluten-free, believe it or not, Freddy's Bar has been a real hotspot for locally crafted, gluten-free, taste-full foods for the past year!

This Sunday, March 1st from 1 to 6 pm, come celebrate the 1st Anniversary of Levine's General Store's Gluten-Free EatUp at  Freddy's. Admission is free and there will be drinks, hot foods, baked goods and snacks. Plus...BEER!

Vendors include:

 -Levine's General Store
 - Kimcheelicious
 - Gone Pie
 - Krumville Bakeshop
 - Polvilho Bakery
-  Smart Snack Bites
- This Pie is Nuts
 - Sans Bakery
 - Cali Girl Bakes
 - Brooklyn Porridge Co. (the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID's own!)
- Kulushkat

Monday, February 23, 2015

Reminder: BID Board Meeting on Wednesday

The next meeting of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID will be Wednesday, February 25 at 9:30 at Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn (254 5th Avenue). This is a make-up meeting for the January meeting cancelled, due to the "storm of the century" that wasn't. Bagels are being donated by our friends at Bagel Pub (9th Street bet 4th and 5th Avenue). Thank you to Grand Central Oyster Bar and Bagel Pub for their help!

Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID
February Board Meeting
February 25, 2015
Brooklyn Grand Central Oyster Bar (256 Fifth Avenue)

1) Welcome
2) Guest Speaker: Car2Go
3) Minutes
4) Financial Report
5) Audit Report
6) Vote: Vice President
7) Presentation on Activities
8) Open Forum/Questions

Friday, February 20, 2015

Think Spring!

Yeah, it's cold. We know. But let's not think about that right now. Here is some information about upcoming spring and summer Fifth Avenue events to help warm you up. It's the best we can do. Think spring!

A Taste of Fifth: April 1st at The Grand Prospect Hall, 6:30 pm. Tickets are available here.

Park Slope Civic Council Spring Clean-up: Sweep, dig, plant, and paint Park Slope! Make our community cleaner and greener! End of April (date to be confirmed).

Fifth Avenue Family Festival: April 25th at 4th Street and 5th Avenue, by Puppetry Arts, featuring food, fun, games and more for the whole family.

The Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair: May 17th from Sterling to 12th Street. NYC's BEST street fair!

Brooklyn Pride: The annual festival and parade will take place on Saturday, June 13th along Fifth Avenue. More details at

Make Music NY: Music will fill the air along Fifth Avenue from Dean to 18th Street on June 21st. Stay tuned!

South Slope Summer Strolls: The South Slope's best block party returns on July 18th and 25th from 12-18th Streets. Food, rock climbing walls, music and live Shakespeare!

North Slope Summer Strolls: The North Slope celebrates summer with Shakespeare, music, food and more. August 15th and 22nd.

Warmer, yet?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chocolate Love @ Nunu Chocolates on #theother5th

We recently had a chance to meet Justine and Andy, owners of Nunu Chocolates in their new Fifth Avenue cafe and tap room. This is their second store in Brooklyn but even if you haven't stepped in one of them, you will know their products. Nunu Chocolates seem to appear everywhere, even in the Brooklyn Public Library cafe!

Chocolates are made in-house (with Cocoa from a sustainable family run farm in Columbia).  You can sometimes catch them being made in the stores. Watch the show whilst trying out a frozen hot chocolate, a glass of wine, a craft beer or coffee which can (and probably should) be paired with a choice of chocolates. We hear the salted caramels are the most popular. Follow Nunus on Instagram to keep up to date on what is being made and if there are some seasonal specials in the stores.

With their youngest strapped to Justine, we talked about how  Andy renovated the space with some local business friends, as well as the ups and downs of growing a small business in Brooklyn while living and bringing up a family in Park Slope (the family lives on the Avenue).

Bizarrely, Justine and I attended the same (not well known) UK University, so we had an immediate connection, but both Andy and Justine are fun, warm and open. The neighborhood businesses must think so as well, as they are partnering to bring some specials offers to you (a recent was with Pink Olive. Watch out for more).

Oh and when it ever warms up, enjoy their backyard!

Nunu Chocolates Cafe and Tap Room
179 5th Avenue (between Berkeley and Lincoln)

Joanna Tallantire