Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Change on Fifth


Update:All About Fifth took a walk down the avenue and confirmed that we will soon have Lulu's Then & Now and a Luscious Foods on Fifth Avenue. Sounds like a win-win! The below referenced article was incorrect.

Well, things continue to change along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue durng these interesting times. On a recent walk along Fifth, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn found that Luscious Foods is closed and Lulus is opening a shop with "children's resale" (could mean gently used clothes and toys). Read the article here.

In addition, on our recent walk we saw that the Green Dry Cleaner between 1st and Garfield is now closed. Just two doors down, though, the space formerly occupied by 3r Living will soon be a Japanese Noodle Bar called "Naruto Ramen".

It seems that the only thing you can really count on these days in New York City is change, right? What other changes have you noticed recently? It's hard to keep up!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wine and Food Tasting Event

TONIGHT (Tuesday, June 29th),two Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID members are teaming up to bring you an amazing wine-tasting event.

Enjoy wine from Sip Fine Wines with passed hors d'oeuvres from Executive Chef Mark Simmons of Melt.

At only $40 dollars per person, this is a great chance for you and your friends to drink, eat, and socialize in the new lounge at Melt, without breaking the bank.

1st: Bonnet-Huteau "La Levraudiere" Muscadet Sevre & Maine, Loire, France 2009 paired with West Point Oysters with hackle back Caviar and Champagne mignonette.

2nd: Tablelands Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, New Zealand 2009 paired with Mini Maine Lobster roll.

3rd: Parker Station Pinot Noir, California 2008 paired with Fried chicken wings with truffled honey

4th Capcanes Mas Donis "Barrica" Old Vines, Montsant, Spain 2007 paired with Miso cured Wagyu Beef with green pepper relish.

5th: Domaine du Vieux Chene "Mouli del Bent" Muscat de Rivesaltes, Languedoc, France 2005 paired with Pavlova with cola braised cherries.

Reservations via phone: 718 230 5925 or 917 224 3023.

Don't miss it!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Park Slope Sidewalk Collective Event

Last month, we told you about a Social Media Event for small businesses that was being hosted by Sidewalk Collective at the Roger Smith Hotel in Manhattan. We attended the event and found it to be really informative and interesting.

Did you miss it? If so, don't worry, the next event by this group will take place right here, in Park Slope, within the BID!

WHEN: July 20th at Park Slope Eye, from 7-9pm.

WHAT: Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope Eye will discuss using Facebook and Yelp to build a loyal customer base. Dr. Bazan has an impressive Facebook following of over 850 fans and maintains a 4 1/2 star rating on Yelp, all the while running a successful optometry practice.

We see Dr. Bazan's Facebook updates every day. He certainly is prolific. Where does he find the time to actually do work?

Find out! The event will cost $5. Light snacks, wine, and beer will be provided.

To register to attend, click here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

News Round-Up

Police Blotter,Theft at Southpaw [The Brooklyn Paper]

Double-D Pool Saved! [Brownstoner]

Mayor and City Council Agree on Budget [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]

Get Ready To Pay More For Meter Parking in Park Slope [New York Post]

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Council Member Lander Weighs in on Fifth Avenue, Sustainability, and Local Green Initiatives

Here is our third and final installment of All About Fifth's interview with Council Member Lander. To see the first two interviews, check out here (district digs) and here (small business challenges), respectively.

AAF: There are a number of groups looking at Park Slope's 5th and 4th Avenues as possible venues for a variety of sustainability initiatives. What is your definition of a "livable street" and what role do you see 5th Avenue playing in your vision for a "greener" Brooklyn?

CM Lander: It’s a real credit to the 5th Avenue BID that they are already playing a significant role in promoting a more sustainable neighborhood – they understand that sustainability isn’t just an abstract do-gooder concept (though it is certainly important that we act to reduce our carbon footprint, and soon) … but that it is all about the quality-of-life and our local economy. If we can get more people walking and biking, there’s a lot better chance they will support local businesses on the commercial strips. And we’ve already seen many examples in which the new “green economy” means more local jobs. I’m really sorry that 3R Living did not make it here, but over time I believe there will be many opportunities. Reducing, reusing, and recycling promotes more economic activity close to home, rather than requiring manufacturing of new products half-a-world away.

I am very committed to the “livable streets” effort. Although I’m in my car a lot, and appreciate the very real and practical need to keep traffic moving, we live in a neighborhood where our quality-of-life is very directly related to the quality of our life-on-the-street. My kids have started to do more walking and biking on their own, and it has given me a new appreciation of how much difference it makes to have safe intersections, so I love the many places where we have new “bulb-outs” or “neck-downs.” While there has certainly been some controversy around them, I value and appreciate the new bike lanes. While I still drive more than I cycle, I think the trade-off is well worth it. I’m also hoping we can do even more to improve our streets: wider sidewalks, more trash cans and recycle bins, drinking fountains, healthier street trees. Our neighborhood has come a long way since the days people were scared to walk down the street – but we could do even more to make people want to.

I’m excited about the 5th Avenue BID’s idea to make the piece of 4th Street between MS 51 and Washington Park into a safer, more community-friendly, greener place. Since it is not needed for traffic (since it doesn’t go anywhere), it’s the perfect place for a public plaza (either permanently, or at least on weekends). And it would help build on the fantastic partnership between the BID, MS 51, and the great programs at the Old Stone House. I’m also very encouraged by the many ideas people have (thanks to the great leadership of the Park Slope Civic Council and Community Board 6) to make Fourth Avenue safer, more pedestrian-friendly, and more active -- although Fifth Avenue will always be my favorite local commercial street to walk and shop!

Finally, on the sustainability front, I hope people will consider participating in our “Reduce Your Use!” Green Homes Challenge, which my office is co-sponsoring with NYSERDA and Con Ed. I am challenging residents of the 39th district to take simple steps toward greening their homes by reducing their energy consumption (unplugging phone and computer chargers, replacing light bulbs, etc). And since my family and I will be taking part in the challenge as well, I will be making these changes right along with you. Together, we can both lower our carbon footprint and save money on our home energy bills. The competition will begin August 1st. To participate, simply fill out this short online application.

Again, thanks so much for this opportunity to talk a bit about the challenges and opportunities facing our community … and much more for all your great work to strengthen Fifth Avenue. It really does make an enormous difference.

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

* image taken from NYCLeaves: Project LeafDrop:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shop Online...Shop Local?

The Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID is launching a new website that will allow you to shop with some of your favorite local merchants without leaving the comfort of your home.

If you are a Fifth Avenue Merchant and you are interested in selling online, please contact them at If you are a resident of Park Slope, we'll keep you up-to-date as the site gets built and launched. We hear that it will feature local (Park Slope) delivery!

Photo via Flickr

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fifth Avenue Made Music

We walked along Fifth Avenue last night, capturing some photos and video of the official Make Music NY event. The weather was perfect, people were out and about and the music was really great! Still, we weren't quite sure that some of these performances were officially permitted. Eh, who cares, right? The more music the better!

Click here for the photo slide show.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer!

Summer begins at (or began at, depending on when you are reading this) 7:28 am today. Did you feel it? Happy Summer everyone!

Just a reminder that tonight Make Music NY will rock Fifth Avenue and many other streets and venues throughout the five boroughs. For the official Fifth Avenue schedule, click here. Other musical acts will be spread out throughout the avenue. Take a walk tonight and be surprised!

The full schedule of events for Make Music NY is available at

Friday, June 18, 2010

There Will Be Music in the Streets

This Monday, June 21st is the 4th Annual Make Music New York, an event known as “the largest music event ever to grace Gotham”. Musicians will play in venues and on street corners throughout the five boroughs from 11 am to 10 pm. It's a great way to usher in the summer, which officially begins on the 21st!

The Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID is so excited about the return of summer that they have decided to extend Make Music NY from the 19th - the 21st. Look for musicians on local street corners throughout the coming weekend. On Monday, the official lineup on Fifth is as follows:

Aunt Suzie's
247 5th Ave
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
The Great Republic of Rough and Ready

191 5th Ave
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Sunset Afire

Bogota Latin Bistro
141 5th Ave
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
The Roof Walkers

The Chocolate Room
86 Fifth Ave
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Council Member Brad Lander Weighs in on the Challenges Facing Small Businesses

All About 5th continues with its second (of three) installments of our interview with Council Member Brad Lander. See earlier interview here.

AAF: What are the major challenges facing small businesses locally and what are your plans to address them?

Council Member Lander: As readers of this blog know very well, the small, independently-owned businesses that line our commercial avenues are a key part of what make our neighborhoods, well, real neighborhoods. We are lucky to live in a place where we can walk to do so much of our weekly shopping, where we are likely to see neighbors, where we know the proprietors, where we have a choice to support local businesses instead of only global chains. Unfortunately, our small businesses face big challenges. Real estate, energy, and other costs of skyrocketed in recent years. Too many of us these days are doing more of our shopping online. And the economic downturn has been especially hard on those businesses without deep pockets or cash reserves.

Government can't solve all of these problems, but we should do all we can to provide a level playing field. So I've been troubled when I've asked small business owners their biggest problem - and they've indicated it was agency inspectors who seemed bent on levying fines in order to raise revenue for the City, rather than attending to public health or safety, much less to help make our small businesses better and stronger. So, I was proud earlier this month when the City Council passed the "Small Business Owners Bill of Rights," an important first step towards ensuring that small businesses in the city are able to survive and thrive in these difficult economic times. The new legislation requires inspectors, upon entering a business, to give owners a written bill of rights, that lets them know how they can contest a claim (which they will soon be able to do online) or make a complaint, and sets a standard for fair and consistent enforcement.

The idea of a small business owner's bill of rights was one of 14 recommendations that were proposed by the Regulatory Review Panel, a joint task force between the City Council and the Mayor's office that reviewed City regulations and their impact on small businesses. Many local businesses and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce weighed in as part of the Panel's efforts. One of my favorite of the other recommendations is giving small businesses the opportunity to fix non-emergency violations first, and not to levy any fine if the violation if fixed in a reasonable period of time. You can see more of the others here. This is just a first step, but I believe it is a good one.

There are many other things I’d love to be able to do to help small businesses locally over the next few years. We need some way to help address the real estate challenge than confronts businesses in our ever-more-expensive neighborhood. I think one solution would be a property tax break to building owners who rent commercial spaces to small, independently-owned businesses … but that will probably have to wait until the City’s budget picture improves, as we are currently facing cuts of over $1 billion, so it is not a good time to propose new tax breaks.

I’d also be interested in helping Brooklyn businesses expand their online purchasing presence, perhaps through an expanded “Buy Brooklyn” website. One challenge is that so many of us do our shopping late at night, after the kids are asleep. Its easy enough to choose a local business over a chain store when you have the time to shop in person … but hard to make more time in our busy lives. What I’m imagining is a site that offers you options to buy gifts and household products online, from local businesses, before you click the purchase button on Amazon.

Interview with Rebeccah Welch

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Brooklyn Pride Parade Photos

By all accounts, last weekend's Brooklyn Pride Parade on Fifth Avenue was a big hit and a huge success.

People were having such a good time, though, that it appears that they forgot to take photos! We really don't have many photos of the event to share with you!

Anyway, we did receive the photo (above) from Erika Clark (via her Blackberry) and we did find these great Flickr photo sets, below. Enjoy! By the way, if you are reading this and you have some great shots, let us know and we'll post them or add a link.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup Fever on Fifth

Have you caught World Cup Fever yet? If so, there might just be a venue on Fifth Avenue for you to root for your favorite team/nation.

This week, the New York Times published an interactive map that tells you where to watch the game, based on the flag that you wave. On Fifth Avenue, Loki Lounge was identified as a hot spot for fans of Argentina's national team. The Black Horse Pub, of course, is a favorite spot of football fans from England (it must have been a sad place to hang out on Saturday).

Still, we couldn't help but think that the Times' map is a bit incomplete. There have to be more places in the city that act as a sort of home base for fans of a particular nation's club, no? Hell, there are probably more along Fifth Avenue!

If you know of any spots on Fifth that the New York Times missed, let us know in the "Comments" below and we'll publish them as an update to this post.

Photo via Flickr

Monday, June 14, 2010

BID Mobile Website

Today the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District launched a smartphone-optimized version of their website (

What does that mean? Well, these days devices like the iPhone render websites in much the same way you would experience them on a laptop or desktop computer (minus Flash). The problem is that the screens on most devices are so small that the user ends up spending a lot of time moving the web page around and zooming in and out to properly view the content.

Now, when you visit the BID site with a Smartphone, you get a more simple, easy-to-use site which contains basic information about the BID, their latest news and the full directory of Businesses within the BID's borders (Dean to 18th Street) complete with addresses and phone numbers!

This should be yet-another way that local residents can easily find what they want and need on Fifth! If you have an iPhone, Blackberry, Android device or pretty much any other brand of smartphone, give it a try and let the BID know what you think at

The site was design by local Park Slope company Mobile Meteor. Check out their site and see what they can do for you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

News Round-Up

Maternity and Baby Stores for Park Slope [Browntoner]

7/29: Toshi Reagon and Friends @ SOUTHPAW! [Southpaw]

Fat Pants Friday: Trois Pommes Patisserie's Pumpkin Whoopie Pie [Village Voice]

Community Calendar [Indypendent]

2010 Brooklyn 5-Boro Pizza Tour Leg Wrap-up [Jeffrey Eats]

Kick it! World Cup comes to Brooklyn [27/7 Brooklyn]

Moutarde Gets a Makeover, Reopens [Brownstoner]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All About Fifth Interviews Council Member Lander

All About Fifth caught up with Council Member Brad Lander recently to ask a few questions about the Avenue. We’ve broken up the interview into three installments over the next three Thursdays. Here, Council Member Lander talks about his Fifth Avenue District digs, Neergard Pharmacy, and great views of Fifth. Check in next week for more…

CM Lander: First, I want to say how excited I am about the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID, and the All About Fifth blog, and what you’ve been making happen on Fifth Avenue. It has been great to see businesses and building owners coming together to make a real difference. “Films on Fifth” was one of the most creative things I’ve seen a BID do, the blog is great, and Fifth Avenue is already noticeably cleaner. There’s always been a great energy on Fifth Avenue, but the BID is channeling that energy into tangible action and progress.

All About Fifth: Well, how do you like your district digs on 456 5th Avenue (between 9th and 10th Street), and how did you pick the location?

CM Lander: We’re delighted to be settled in to our district office, which is in the Neergard Pharmacy building, on the 3rd floor (there’s an elevator). We picked it mostly for its centrality and convenience in the 39th District (see map) that I represent, which stretches from Cobble Hill out to Kensington -- so being on both the F and the R train lines, and served by the B63 & B75 (though the latter is being replaced by the B61) bus lines makes a big difference in allowing people from all the neighborhoods of the district to get here. And we had a small budget, so an upper floor space helps a lot.

But of course, personally, I was very excited to be on Fifth Avenue, which I’ve worked on and cared about Fifth Avenue for twenty years (as you may know, I ran the Fifth Avenue Committee for 10 years, and worked hard to renovate buildings and bring in new small businesses). There’s a great feeling on the avenue – we’ve got a great view of the 5th Avenue & 9th Street corner from our third floor window – and it makes a big difference to me and our staff to walk to and from the office, and to see and be a part of what’s happening on the street.

And I also liked the idea of supporting local ownership. We rent the space from the owners of Neergard Pharmacy, Maria and Serafino Tomasetti, who are long-time Brooklyn residents and business owners, who have succeeded in keeping a locally-owned pharmacy not just in business, but thriving, even in the face of all the chain stores. We want to do everything we can to encourage people to shop locally.

I hope people will drop by and check out the office. No need to make an appointment (although you can call or email, of course, if you prefer, 718-499-1090, or, or ) just drop by and say hello.

Stay tuned. More next week...

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dancing Under the Stars

We thought we would give you a heads up about a fun, upcoming event coming to the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID.

Every Tuesday in July and August, 3rd Street at 5th Avenue will be transformed into a hot spot for dancing under the stars. The events will start at 6 with kids programming and the adult, dancing portion of the program will begin at 7 and continue till 9.

More details in the coming weeks.

Photo via Flickr

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BID Logo Contest Winner

Back in February, the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID announced a logo and slogan contest to help brand their newly formed organization. Recently, the winning design was chosen and refined and is ready to be used all over Fifth.

So, without further delay, we give you the new Fifth Avenue BID Logo (see above) and slogan: "The Color of Park Slope" by Aimee Schneider (of Brooklyn, of course). Congratulations to Aimee and to the hundreds of designers that submitted their ideas, earlier this year.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brooklyn Blogfest 2010

Tomorrow night, the Brooklyn Lyceum is host to the Fifth Annual Brooklyn Blogfest. Everyone knows that Brooklyn is basically the world capital of blogging and the Brooklyn Blogfest is like a power summit of our best and brightest.

According to their website, the event is basically "Sold Out", which makes sense because Spike Lee will be dropping by as a featured speaker. If you are interested in attending, though, it appears that there is "overflow" seating upstairs which you can stand in line for, starting at 6:30 PM.

More details at

Brooklyn Blogfest 2010
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 at 7:00 PM
The Brooklyn Lyceum
227 Fourth Avenue at President Street in Park Slope

Friday, June 4, 2010

News Round-Up

Restaurant of the Day: Baluchi's [Browntoner]

New RAFFLE OF THE CENTURY prize: $50 at Guvnor’s Vintage Thrift [Brokelyn]

Beer war! [Brooklyn Paper]

Is This An Accurate Portrayal Of A Park Slope Douche? [Gothamist]

Brooklyn Blogfest 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Interview: Paul Kennedy of Belleville

AAF: I was just looking at Belleville's Dinner Menu on an empty stomach. Now I'm starving and my stomach is growling! What is your favorite item on the menu and why?

PK: We are constantly changing all of our menus, so it's tough to say. If I was to order something right now off of the dinner menu, it would have to be the cod. I ran a fish market for years so fresh seafood is a must for me... and the chef pairs it with a black olive potato puree, and tomatoes and spinach from the farmer's market drizzled with a light vinaigrette. It's such a simple dish, but with amazing flavor. The same with the eggplant salad, it's so far from complex... you can taste all of the ingredients individually. For brunch, besides the croissants, the Mediterranean Eggs are definitely a favorite. People tend to forget how much Mediterranean influence there is, and always has been, in French cuisine. That's why you'll often see gnocchi, risotto, etc. in French restaurants.

AAF: Belleville has been a staple along Fifth Avenue for some time but
now you have a lounge in the back. What inspired you to open it and how are things going?

PK: We felt it was time. Business increased tremendously when we changed ownership and we needed the space. We also felt that we wanted to expand, but with something a little different. So it's still 'Belleville', but it's Belleville Lounge. It's a place for live music, comedy, storytelling, etc. We also put a twist on the menu, offering French-style tapas in addition to our restaurant menu. As for the location, it only made sense. We are fortunate to share a kitchen with the restaurant, which, in turn, allows us to have an even more affordable menu because of less overhead.

AAF: We like to ask this of all of our local restaurant/bar owners: What are some of the biggest challenges of opening and running a restaurant in New York City?

PK: What isn't a challenge? There are challenges in all businesses. I don't go a single day without a handful of challenges. The biggest challenge for me is always the one right in front of me, at that time. Would I recommend the business to anyone? Never in a million years. Do I love it? Absolutely!

AAF: When (or if) you have free time away from the restaurant, where do
you shop and eat along Fifth Avenue? Any favorites?

PK: Well, time off isn't often (see question 3). Luckily I live a block from Belleville so my commute is about a 3 minute walk. I did take off recently and bought some great items for my place at Bob and Judi's. Stone Park is extremely close so I do get to frequent them quite often and when I'm not in a rush I can stroll down to Bogota for a great meal!

Belleville: 330-332 Fifth Street @ 5th Avenue

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Foursquare on Fifth

Do you use Foursquare? Do you even know what it is? If not, here's a brief description from the site, itself:
foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.

In other words, smart phone users around the world are "checking in" (dropping by and letting Foursquare and their network of friends know through an application) at bars, restaurants and stores as part of a game/social-networking experience. In many cases, these Foursquare players are now receiving real-life benefits by doing so, like discounts, free drinks and more. And, merchants are beginning to wake up to the potential benefits of this online tool for driving traffic to their businesses. To others, though, it's just an annoyance.

Last week, Brokelyn posted a piece that detailed some of the best Foursquare offers in the borough. Two venues, located within the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID were highlighted( Belleville and Union Hall) and a third, Canaille Bistro, was mentioned in the comments section.

Pretty cool, but we know that there have to be more Foursquare offers along the avenue, especially with all of the iPhone users walking through the streets. So, if you are a merchant with a great Foursquare offer, let us know and we'll post it! Or, if you know of other deals that were not mentioned in Brokelyn's piece, please tell us!

Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks, we can build a good list and post it here permanently.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Coffee Controversy on Fifth

Last week,Brownstoner reported that two of the sibling owners of Cafe Regular were leaving to strike out on their own. Their first effort, which will soon be known as "Cafe Martin", will open just blocks from Cafe Regular at 355 Fifth Avenue near 5th Street.

While something somewhat sad is happening here (it appears that the brothers are leaving their partner/sister behind after some sort of disagreement), Fifth Avenue caffeine addicts should ultimately benefit from all of the great coffee choices.

Still, when you add in the recent controversy at Fifth Avenue's Gorilla Coffee you have to wonder whether it might be time for us all to switch to decaf?