Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Menus


Tonight is New Years Eve and, before visiting one of Fifth Avenue's many bars for a year-end/year-beginning drink, perhaps you will want to have a special meal at one of the avenue's many restaurants.

Below are the New Years Eve dinner specials that we are aware of. As always, please let us know if we missed anything in the "Comments" section, below:

Alta Voce: 4 course pre-fixe special menu and every item will be available À la carte.

Babouche: 50 dollar special pre-fixe menu plus a D.J.

First Course: is a choice of Oysters or Foie Gras
Second Course: is a choice of a mixed green salad or mixed bean salad
Third Course: is a choice of Filet Mignon with a truffle sauce, Rack of Lamb, Grilled salmon, Duck breast, or Asparagus with Orzo,
Dessert: chocolate soufflé with apple tartar

Blue Ribbon: will be open till 2 am.

Belleville: will have a 40 dollar per person five course tasting menu.

Bogota Latin Bistro: a special menu which will be a condensed version of the regular menu with only the best dishes, plus there will be "a party all night long"

Canaille Bistro: 4 course, pre-fixe menu, 45 Dollars per person.

First Course: choice of chest nut soup or Lobster Terrine
Second Course: white truffle soup
Third Course: a choice of Black Angus Filet mignon with roasted red potatoes and spinach, or fresh pan seared turbot filet.
Dessert: white chocolate mouse with raspberry sauce.

Wine is not included. Reservations are a must.

Convivium Osteria:5 course pre-fixe, 80 dollars

Kappa Sake House: NEW YEARS EVE PRE-FIXE SAKE TASTING EVENT, 6pm-12 midnight, 60 dollars (5 courses of fine food & sake. Please make a reservation.

Miriam Restaurant & Wine Bar: The New Year's Eve menu is available online here

Moutarde: The special appetizer is a crab scallop ravioli. The entrée is veal rack with winter root vegetables. The dessert is a chocolate passion fruit cake.

Sidecar: Surf and Turf special and much more!

Trattoria Mangia: Happy Hour all night. Food service stops at midnight but the bar will be open till 4 am

Trattoria Mulino:Appetizer from $8-10, Entree from $10-15.

La Villa Pizzeria & Restaurant: will have a special menu including smoked prosciutto in penne pasta with sautéed onions, homemade lentil soup, fresh white bean soup, and fresh Atlantic Salmon.

Peperoncino: view a .pdf of the their holiday menu here.

Stone Park Cafe: the New Year's Eve menu is available here.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fifth Avenue Bars to Celebrate New Year's Eve


Do you need a place to party your way into the New Year and new decade? Why treck into Manhattan in the cold when you can stay close to home and raise a glass in one of 31 bars along the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District?

For your convenience, the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID has launched an online business directory that lists and maps all 600+ businesses along the strip. You can find a great bar near you in the business directory at http://www.parkslopefifthavenuebid.com/business-directory/Bars.

Happy hunting and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Look Back at 2009


Yesterday we posted a link to The Brooklyn Paper's review of 2009, so we just had to post the Brooklyn Eagle's year-in-review today.

The Eagle's review is special because it highlights the formation of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID in April. Check it out here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A First Look Back at 2009

Well, we are nearly at the end of 2009 and at the end of another decade. Can you believe it?

If possible, we'll spend this week looking back at the biggest stories of 2009 along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue. In truth, though, the big story can be summed up in James Carville's famous mantra from Bill Clinton's 1992 Presidential run: "It's the economy, stupid."

Here's a good starting point, though:

Love it or Hate it, Here’s Our Look Back at 2009 [The Brooklyn Paper]

Note: the article refers to all of Brooklyn

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

-from the gang here at All About Fifth and from all of the merchants in the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District.

For your Christmas entertainment, please enjoy the video, below. This holiday song was written and sung by Nora Yockey of Scaredy Kat. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve at Fifth Avenue Restaurants

Tonight is Christmas Eve and, if you find yourself tired of making cookies and party platters and/or you are looking to get out for a special meal tonight, consider heading out to Park Slope's Fifth Avenue. Below are some details on what the local restaurants have in store. Some are still deciding what the specials are going to be but by being on the list below, at least you know these restaurants will be open!

Blue Ribbon: chef specials and the typical Thursday night specials

Convivium Osteria: Bacalhau: a Portuguese salt cod and other special fish dishes.

Moutarde: Wild Striped Bass, Creamy Mushroom Soup, Foie Gras, Chocolate Dessert

Sidecar: Pulled Pork Sandwich, Mussels, Cabbage Soup, and a Special Christmas Cocktail "poinsettia"

Peperoncino: Download their special Christmas Eve menu here

Stone Park Cafe: Click here to download their Christmas Eve menu.

Trattoria Mangia: Will have something special. Call or drop by for details.

Trattoria Mulino: Chilean Sea Bass and Filet mignon

Also, in our informal call around to local restaurants we discovered that Sidecar, Babouche and Canaille Bistro are all planning their New Years Eve specials. Check back next week and we'll see if we can get a list going for New Years Eve, as well.

Did we miss something? It's very possible. If you know of any dinner specials going on along Fifth Avenue tonight, leave them in the "Comments" section, below!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Did You Know?


Did you know that the Santa in front of Bob and Judi's Coolectibles has been a part of their holiday tradition for the past ten years? And that it is well over 60 years old? Made in the 1940s? Originally from the historic Abraham & Strauss that once graced the streets of downtown Brooklyn? And talks to children (sometimes)? Check it out, along with what's inside, for some of the best vintage buys in the Slope.

The top selling item at Bob and Judi's this holiday season? Mermaid bottle openers...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Caroling


Today and tomorrow, Carolers from the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music will be walking and singing along Fifth Avenue!

Here's the schedule:

Today (Tuesday, December 22): 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Tomorrow (Wednesday, December 23): 7 to 8 PM

Each night there will be 2 groups, one starting at 18 Street and the other at Dean. Make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for the groups while you are finishing your holiday shopping on Park Slope's Fifth Avenue!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter!


Well, Park Slope got socked with about 12 inches of snow on Saturday. Luckily, the snow really didn't pick up until after prime shopping hours on Saturday and it ended before the stores opened on Sunday. So, while it was inconvenient for drivers, it may have actually helped to put shoppers in the Holiday mood!

Plus, it was right on time for Winter, which officially started yesterday. Happy Winter, everyone!

Photo (above): The sidewalks on Fifth Avenue were largely cleaned up by Sunday at 11:00 AM. Taken outside of 3r Living (5th between 1st and Garfield Place)

Friday, December 18, 2009

News Round-Up

Jingle Bell Blues [Gotham Gazette]

Closing Bell: Inflatable Rat Makes Rare Slope Appearance [Brownstoner]

Holiday News [Stitch Therapy the Blog]

Brooklyn Food & Drink Round-Up [Brownstoner]

In a Matter of Speaking [What I Wear Daily]

Armed Robberies in Park Slope Put Shop Owners on Edge [Neighborhood Beat Box]

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Online Shopping on 5th Avenue

Today is one of the last days that consumers have to shop online and ship their goods via the cheapest, ground option for arrival by Christmas. It is also Free Shipping Day (for large to midsized web businesses).

Believe it or not, if you prefer shopping online, there are still many great ways to support local businesses from the comfort of your home and office. Below is a list of Park Slope Fifth Avenue Businesses that have either A) online shopping cart sites or B) online coupon or Gift Certificate offers. Check them out!

Brooklyn Arts Exchange (tickets)
Jonathan Blum Print
Tabeel
A. Cheng
3r Living
Beacon's Closet
Bird
Brooklyn Industries
Cog & Pearl
Diana Kane
Flirt
Hog Mountain
Le Vedette (part of Wonderbloc.com)
Razor
Serene Rose
Blossoms on Fifth
Zu Zu's Petals (phone and local delivery)
Opal Center (online Gift Certificate)
5th Avenue Gym (download trial offer)
Amerikick Martial Arts
Body Reserve (Guest Offers/Passes)
Dmai Spa (Gift Certificates)
Element Beauty (Gift Certificates)
Park Slope YMCA (gear and registration)
Ceasar's Carpet Center (online coupon)
Extraordinary
Area Kids
Corduroy Kid
Pink Olive
Matter
Buttercup's Pawtisserie
DNA Footwear
Fabco Shoes
Bierkraft
Brooklyn Bicycles
R&A Cycles
Red, White & Bubbly

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Small Businesses are Weathering this Holiday Season


At All About Fifth, we've been covering the shop local angle this holiday season--and we are not the only ones. Here is a feature article (and slideshow) from Gotham Gazette on how some other neighborhoods (and BIDs) in our great City are holding up. As you can tell by the title, Sour Holiday, the outlook is less sanguine than recent reports suggest.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Go to OTBKB for Some "Shop Local" Ideas for the Holiday Season


Check out the popular blog, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn (OTBKB,) for some holiday shopping tips for Park Slope's two main commercial corridors. On 5th, OTBKB's holiday gift guide takes you from Flatbush to 9th, but keep your feet going deep into the teens-- as the Avenue's richness doesn't stop there! Here is a sample, starting at Flatbush. Check it out!

☆BERGEN STREET between Flatbush and Fifth

Babeland: Sex toys for women; great gifts!

Bump Brooklyn: Fashionable pregnancy wear and more.

Bergen Street Comics: Cool and sophisticated comics in a sleek atmosphere.

Ride Brooklyn: Bikes, bikes, bikes and accessories.

Bark Hot Dogs: A great place to stop when you get hungry. Great beer, too.

Eponymy: "One-of-a-kind cleverly-curated boutique–part clothing store, part gallery, part antique shop."

☆FIFTH AVENUE Bergen to St. Marks

Lulu's Cuts & Toys: Great toys including Ugly Dolls in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Schilling vintage toys.

Lulu's for Baby: Right next door to Lulu's Cuts & Toys. Gifts, clothing, strollers and more.

Visit OTBKB for more...

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Reminders to Shop Local



We have mentioned the 350 Project here a number of times but on this, the beginning of the stretch run till the end of the holiday season, the lessons that the organization is working to publicize about the importance of supporting local businesses is worth repeating.

According to the 350 Project:


If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,700,000 in revenue.

For every $100 spent in independently owned stores,$68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. In a national chain, only $43 stays here.Spend it online and nothing comes home.


Yes, this means that shopping local is really more of an investment in your local community. It keeps shopping districts vibrant and healthy and that's good for your property values, taxes and even crime rates!

For more about the 350 Project, click here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

News Round-Up

Speaker Doesn’t Win Over Small Businesses [NY Daily News]

Atlantic Yards Foes Hope Columbia Case Matters [NY Post]

Flanks - Live at the Southpaw - Park Slope, Brooklyn [The Session Spot]

Veggie Talk – Dining on Organic Foods [From the Blue Couch]

Adoption Events in NYC Area [Shelter Tails]

StreetLevel: Pizza and Maybe Banh Mi for 5th Ave [Brownstoner]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shop/Buy in Brooklyn


Tonight is the Third Annual Snowflake Celebration along Park Slope's Seventh Avenue. Many businesses will be staying open late and offering discounts (see buyinbrooklyn.com for details).

Many businesses along Fifth Avenue will also be staying open late tonight and offering discounts as part of Borough President Marty Markowitz's Shop Brooklyn campaign. For details about the Shop Brooklyn discounts available along Fifth Avenue, go to ishopbrooklyn.com!

Shop Brooklyn? Buy in Brooklyn? Confused?

Don't be! Just get out there and shop local!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

All About Fifth interviews Pete Solomita, chef/owner of the Little Buddy Biscuit Company



All About Fifth interviews Pete Solomita chef/owner of the Little Buddy Biscuit Company about crumb buns, ice cream, gruyere galettes and more.

AAF: It is well known that you started your business at home while juggling parenthood. What’s it like to move a business from your home to a storefront—are there challenges you did not anticipate?

Solomita: There are so many challenges that you either can’t anticipate or can’t fully imagine until you live through it. The tough part of starting a new business of course is the amount of hours it takes in the beginning. With my wife working full time as well and helping me in the store too it has been hard running the household and being a parent as well. Plus being a good chef/baker is enough of a challenge, but you also have to do so many other tasks that you might never have done before or that is not in your comfort zone.

AAF: Out of the dozens of cookies and treats you make—what are some of your favorites?

Solomita: For cookies I am really proud of the Deep Chocolate with ground chile peppers (think Oaxacan hot chocolate) and spice and the Orange Coconut with Cardamom, Currants and Macadamia. I love my crumb bun, a treat that reminds me of my childhood and our devil buddy cakes (devil’s food filled with espresso butter-cream and topped with ganache).

AAF: When you say that your ice cream is from an artisanal purveyor, Jane’s Ice Cream of Kingston, New York—what does that mean?

Solomita: Jane’s Ice Cream is made in small batches using local dairy and high quality ingredients, some organic and it just tastes so good and fresh. It’s really hard to beat. My son loves the killer chocolate, the strawberry is great and my favorite might be the Cappuccino Kahlua Calypso.

AAF: South Slope on 5th is becoming quite a vibrant spot for local businesses—do you want to give some plugs to the scene and your fellow business owners?

Solomita: I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 30 years first on 17th street between 4th and 5th and now on 16th. It has changed so much its unbelievable. There’s a lot of bars, cafés and restaurants that have opened really recently or in the past few years which makes this immediate area more vibrant. For instance Adam’s Wine Shop, Has Beans, Sidecar, and Buttermilk got the ball rolling then followed by Ellis, Toby’s, now South and Black Horse.

AAF: I saw chicken pot pie on your website—should we expect more non-dessert fare in the future?

Solomita: We already do quite a bit of savory. For instance every day we do three kinds of biscuits (cheddar and black pepper, scallion cream cheese with poppy seeds and home-style), roasted pepper and feta muffins and soup and sandwiches. Some of our specials include spinach and goat cheese frittatas, potato, caramelized onion and gruyere galettes (free form pies), flat bread pizzas, mac and cheese, chili with jalapeno corn bread to name a few.

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Brooklyn Mercantile and Stitch Therapy Join Forces



It bears reminding, especially during this holiday season when hand-made gifts are making a big show, that 5th Avenue has one place to shop for all hand-made needs. For a little over a month now, Brooklyn Mercantile and Stitch Therapy have joined forces at 335 5th Avenue. The strategic alliance made a lot of sense to these two long time friends and entrepreneurs, Tamara Lee and Maxcine DeGouttes (pictured here-- middle and right respectively).

With Brooklyn Mercantile's mission focused on the “hand-made, the hand-selected, must-haves" and Stitch Therapy serving as a critical home to Park Slope’s community of knitters (and crocheters and weavers) the partnership is a natural fit. There is a great energy to the store. Check them out!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Word of Fifth

ABF: How does this holiday shopping season compare to last year, so far?

Amara from Eidolon:

It feels worse. A lot of people wait till the last second to do their holiday shopping, However, people are not even buying small items. Last year we did really well with socks and stockings before the end of the year. That's not happening this year. The luxury market has really gone away.

Adam from Red, White and Bubbly:

The amount of people buying is about the same, but the bottle price has gone down. We have a line of six-to-seven dollar quality wines, which are selling very well though, so I feel we will do just as well as last year.

Arlene from E Lingerie:

I thought it would be worse but people have already adapated. I have read some survyes that say that big box stores are seeing an increase in sales, but I don't know if people accustomed to high-end will go low-end. In my gut I think things will go well.

We'll keep checking in with merchants on a regular basis throughout the holiday season.

Shop Local, Park Slope!

Friday, December 4, 2009

News Round-Up

StreetLevel: Slope's Love=? Once Again Says It's Closing [Brownstoner]

Ruling Lets Atlantic Yards Seize Land [NY Times]

Zuzu's 5th Re-Birthday [OTBKB]

Muni-meters Coming to Park Slope in January [Brooklyn Paper]

Park Slope Restaurants Found To Violate Labor, Wage Laws [Huffington Post]

Corner Burger [Culinary Adventures of Fork Knife Spoon]

Funk Yeah Its Jewltide 7! [Jewish Books]

Two Days, Two Events

Tonight! Friday, December 4, 2009
8-11 pm
Old Stone House Winter Wassail Fundraiser
Bring your dancing shoes and celebrate the season!
8:15 pm Contra Dance* lessons
8:45 pm Contra Dance

Live music with caller,festive drinks and dessert

$45/person in advance, $50 at the door to benefit the Old Stone House & Washington Park

There's still time to RSVP!
info@theoldstonehouse.org or 718-768-3195

Advance tickets: www.nycharities.org

Saturday, December 5, 2009
5:00 PM
Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID Holiday Tree Lighting
5th Avenue @ 3rd Street in Washington Park

Come on down for live holiday music, free hot chocolate, tasty holiday treats and a festive atmosphere.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Art Opening: Jonathan Blum



TONIGHT! ART OPENING FOR FIFTH AVENUE'S JONATHAN BLUM!

Rabbis, Goats and other Characters: Paintings from Jonathan Blum's First Decade in New York: (1999-2009)

OPENING RECEPTION AND AFTERPARTY IS TONIGHT, DECEMBER 3RD, 2009

FROM 6:30pm to 2:30am.


All the action will take place at The Green Building: 450 Union Street (corner of Bond St.) Brooklyn, NY. on the Gowanus Canal.

6:30-9:15 Charles Sibirsky Trio with Lena Bloch and Dan Schuman
9:15-9:30 Barry Blumenfeld (from TAPFUSION) with Nir Sadovnik
9:30-10:00 MC and DJ Andy Gensler
10:00-10:45 Jeremiah Lockwood (from Sway Machinery)
10:45-11:15 DJ Baxter
11:15-12:00 Daniel Kelly Trio with Eyal Maoz and Rob Garcia
12:00-12:30 DJ Gensler and/or DJ Baxter
12:30-1:15 Raul Rothblatt introducing Transylvania United with Sarah Alden and Aron Szekely
1:15-1:45 Josh Diamond
1:45-till the end DJ Gensler and/or DJ Baxter

The show will run through Jan 14th and can be seen every Sunday and Thursday from 12 to 6 pm or by appointment.

In addition, if you cannot make the opening:

This Sat. and Sun. (Dec. 5 & 6) and next Fri, Sat. and Sun (Dec. 11, 12, & 13) Jonathan is having his annual studio sale at his storefront space: 285 5th Ave. (between 1st and 2nd St) in Park Slope. 12am -7pm

Drop by for hot apple cider (spiked if you wish).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interview with Kim Maier, Executive Director of the OSH, continued...


Here is the second half of the interview with Kim Maier, started last Wednesday.

AAF: You’ve been widely credited with reviving the park’s relevance in the community—what animated that, and what are the challenges of running a nonprofit?

Maier: I'm typical of many Brooklynites, in that I'd lived in the neighborhood for 15 years and had no idea that the Old Stone House had this incredible story. In 2004, I was the co-president of the MS 51 PTA and we were invited to the House to learn more about their education programs. I started asking questions about programming and funding and the park, and suddenly found myself with a job. It was the perfect intersection of my interests, neighborhood development and an institution waiting to be discovered. I see the park and the House as a town square, or a kind of cultural campus, where people meet and share ideas and experiences, making the kind of human connections that people don't typically think of as being part of an urban lifestyle.

The Old Stone House is an independent not-for-profit organization, so we face the same challenges as others in our field. Our future is truly dependent on support from the community - financially, as volunteers and as audience members. Every donation is meaningful - from the $3 suggested donation at the door to a $25 annual membership, to the income from event rentals, to the larger individual, city, state and foundation grants that fund things like our education program. Perhaps the biggest challenge is finding ways for busy people to take an active role in their park, and for us to develop programming that is interesting and engaging enough that people will choose to be here at the Old Stone.

AFF: So what is the next big event on the horizon?

Maier: Next up is a contra dance with live music and a caller on December 4 at 8 pm, which is a fundraiser for OSH. $45 for some wonderful dancing, food and drink. The Park Slope 5th Avenue BID tree lighting is on December 5 at 5 pm, and our annual holiday concerts with the Brooklyn Brandenburgers are on December 12 at 8 pm, and December 13 at 2 pm. There's always something going on - be sure to check our website, www.theoldstonehouse.org

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Avenue Feedback Loop



AFF interviews Greg, resident of Park Slope for 10 years, as part of our Avenue feedback loop series.

Where did you just shop along the Avenue?

The Pork Store-- M & S Prime Meats.

People say the Avenue has most everything-- what do you think, any gaps?

I would like to see a used bookstore, but I expect the rents are too high.

Any other stores you want to give a shout out to?

Picada y Vino – good selection of wines in all price ranges, and a friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Trois Pommes – good scones and coffee.

Benny’s Barbershop – nice, affordable, no-frills barbershop.

Willie's Dawgs – great hotdogs served in a variety of interesting ways.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Reminder: Holiday Tree Lighting this Saturday!


Can you believe it? December is almost upon us! The holiday street lights are lit, the store windows are decorated and the temperatures are chilly (okay, maybe the weather is still a bit warm).

Next, of course, is the lighting of the world famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (Wednesday, December 2nd if you are interested). Following close behind is the lighting of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID's Holiday Tree in Washington Park. Details below:

WHEN: Saturday, December 5th, 2009 5:00 PM
WHERE: 5th Avenue @ 3rd Street in Washington Park


Come on down for live holiday music, free hot chocolate, tasty holiday treats and a festive atmosphere. What's not to love?

We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Top Ten Reasons to Shop Local


With all the shop local campaigns afoot, All About Fifth wanted to remind its readers what all the fuss is about. Here is SBNYC’s list of the top 10 reasons to shop locally:

1. Significantly more money re-circulates in our community when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned, businesses: More money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses and service providers. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the city’s tax base.

2. Non-profits receive greater support: Non-profit organizations receive an average 350% greater support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

3. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of our city’s distinct character: The unique character of New York City is what brought us here and what will keep us here. Shopping at local businesses will help maintain our city’s unique urban landscape.

4. Reduced environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases, requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing in fringe areas.

5. Most new jobs are provided by local businesses: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and provide the most new jobs to local residents.

6. Customer service is better: Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service.

7. Local business owners invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

8. Public benefits outweigh public costs: Local businesses in urban commerce centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.

9. Competition and diversity leads to more choices: A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

10. Encourages investment in New York City: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interview with Kim Maier, Executive Director of the Old Stone House



All About Fifth caught up with Kim Maier, Executive Director of the Old Stone House, to talk about the historic site’s past and future in an exclusive two-part interview. Stay tuned for the second half next week!

AAF: Where are you from originally?

Maier: I'm originally from Dover, MA, a small town west of Boston, but I've lived in Brooklyn since 1984.

AAF: When did you start your tenure at the Old Stone House (OSH) and what is its mission?

Maier: The Old Stone House is part of the Historic House Trust of New York City - a network of historic sites located throughout the five boroughs, each with a unique mission. OSH's mission is to raise awareness of the Revolutionary War era in Brooklyn, as well as the history of the House, which was originally built by the Vechte family in 1699. We provide an opportunity for place-based education to the people of Brooklyn, as well as residents of New York City as a whole, and act as a cultural and community partner. We're working to promote a strong appreciation and enthusiasm for the role that each of us can play in our communities and our democracy.

AAF: How do you keep its historical bent in close conversation with its many modern faces?

Maier: When I began working at the House five years ago there was low-level community awareness about the history of the Old Stone House, but the park was very run-down so it wasn't a destination for many people. The OSH Board of Directors was supportive of developing programming that would attract diverse audiences and introduce people to their local history -- history that had a major impact on the development of the United States.

The Board also realized that for the House to thrive, the organization has to be an active liaison between Parks and the community. Because the Old Stone House has been on this site in one form or another since 1699, it's part of the continuum of the development of Brooklyn. This gives us an opportunity to create programming that looks to the past, the present and the future from a variety of perspectives.

AAF: With so many interesting programs, events, series… what’s in the OSH’s future?

Maier: Our goal is to continue to work with the community and Brooklyn Parks toward the complete renovation of JJ Byrne Playground and Washington Park during the next five years. In terms of programming at the House, we're focused on improving the way that we tell the story of the House's colonial, revolutionary and baseball history with active events like cooking demonstrations, a native and heritage gardening program with a strong community component, vintage baseball games, Revolutionary War encampments, and improved gallery spaces inside the House. We're also devoted to continuing to strengthen our education program, which served more than 6,000 students last year, providing professional development programming for teachers, and expanding our internship and community service opportunities. And we'll continue to offer a strong array of contemporary cultural events programming, including our visual art exhibition program upstairs at OSH.

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

Stay tuned for the second half of the interview next week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Introducing: Parkslopefifthavenuebid.com


Perhaps you weren't aware of this but this blog is officially part of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, which formed earlier this year, from Dean to 18th Street.

Now, the BID is proud to announce the launch of its official website, www.parkslopefifthavenuebid.com. The site was developed with help from the New York City Department of Small Business Services' Avenue NYC program and a local company called npower.

While daily stories about Park Slope's Fifth Avenue will be available here at All About Fifth, you will find information about official BID events, announcements and programs on the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID website. You can even search a map and/or browse the official business directory, to help you find what you are looking for along the Avenue!

To check out out the new site, click here.

Shop Brooklyn!


Tomorrow (November 24th) Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will be launching his Shop Brooklyn promotional campaign. If you would like to attend or cover the press conference, the details are:

12:15 PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
686 FULTON STREET (AT S. PORTLAND)
(OUTSIDE OF GREENLIGHT BOOKSTORE)

Borough President Markowitz will be joined by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and merchant groups, elected officials and local business owners to officially launch the initiative.

“Shop Brooklyn” is an awareness campaign highlighting the uniqueness of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and thriving shopping corridors, re-introducing Brooklyn to Brooklynites and urging them to “Shop Local”­--- while also inviting visitors to experience the borough as a cultural and shopping destination.

As part of the “Shop Brooklyn” campaign, Brooklyn retailers, restaurants, bars, and other service providers will offer special “Brooklyn Bonuses” starting November 27 (“Black Friday”—renamed “Brooklyn Friday”) and running through December 25.

Participating retailers will display the “Shop Brooklyn” logo in store windows. To find out what kind of bonuses will be available along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue, keep checking in at ishopbrooklyn.com or check back here over the next few days.

Yes, the holiday shopping season has begun!

Friday, November 20, 2009

News Round-Up

Brooklyn Speaks to File Its First AY Lawsuit [Brownstoner]

Finally, Real British Football with Real British Food [Brooklyn Paper]

The Bookshelf: Gastropolis [Delights and Prejudices-JBF]

Group Hopes Text Message Service Will Curb Parking Space Woes in Park Slope [NY Daily News]

City's Economic Health [Report-Comptroller]

The Fight over Paid Sick Leave [Gotham Gazette]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Store: Little Buddy Biscuit Company


The Little Buddy Biscuit Company opened back in August, so technically they aren't new. All About Fifth was still getting its sea legs this summer, so we missed this exciting new business.

So, take a look at the photo, above. Does it make you hungry? It should! This Brooklyn-based microbakery specializes in premium handcrafted baked goods. That means that there is quality and love in every batch of cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins & scones, biscuits & savories that they make! They even have a selection of vegan goods and more.

Thanksgiving is coming next week. Save yourself the time and pain and order your baked goods from the Little Buddy Biscuit Company! For contact info, go to Littlebuddybiscuitcompany.com.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brooklyn Reading Works: Young Writers



Check out Brooklyn Reading Works at OSH this Thursday, Nov. 19 - 7:00 pm.

Brooklyn Reading Works will feature its first ever Young Writers Night, an evening of fiction, poetry and songs by writers ages 13-18 from across the city -- Henry Crawford, Hannah Frishberg, Eli Greenhoe, Lily Konigsberg, Maria Robins- Somerville, Ben Waldman, Lucio Westmoreland, and Avery Whitted.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Social Media and Your Business!


Friday, November 20th, 2009
7:00 P.M. To 8:30 P.M.
The FAC Center
621 DeGraw Street


Brooklyn Pride has partnered with Certified Social media Marketing Specialist Doreen DeJesus to present an informative workshop focused on the importance of implementing a social media strategy into the marketing of your business. Interesting in learning about these new tools or just curious? Details are available here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Recession Survival Guide

We recently read a great post on a local blog called Get Real NYC that is well worth linking to here on All About Fifth. It seems that back in August, the Kings Highway BID distributed a recession survival guide to its members, after doing some research on the help that is available during these difficult times. Get Real NYC then passed on some of the BID's advice to its readers, including links to SBA lenders and microlenders.

If you are a small business owner on Park Slope's Fifth Avenue or anywhere in the city and you are feeling the pinch of this recession, check out the blog post here. We think you'll be glad you did.

Friday, November 13, 2009

News Round-Up

Stroller Recall Stirs Unease in Park Slope [NY Times]

Outer Boroughs Digest [Chow]

1114 Hartzveytik Southpaw Brooklyn [The New Gay]

The Ultimate NYC Hot Dog Crawl [Endless Simmer]

Stalled Construction Sites Add to More Blight in Brooklyn [NY Daily News]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Store: Hog Mountain


A quick Fifth Avenue welcome to Hog Mountain, "A General Store for Men" which recently opened at 192 Fifth Avenue. Described as "the improbable love child of LL Bean, Barney’s New York and your local hardware store," Hog Mountain brings men's fashion and accessories to the avenue, just in time for the holiday season.

For more about the shop, go to hogmountainstore.com or, just stop by and check it out in person! We certainly will!

Photo via Brownstoner

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Old Stone House: 5 Dutch Days


Park Slope's Fifth Avenue plays host this week to 5 Dutch Days!

Great, you might be saying, but what is it? Well, 5 Dutch Days is a five day cultural event which takes place in New York City every November. It celebrates the continuous influence of Dutch arts and culture in New York City and brings together arts and cultural organizations from across the city.

Starting Thursday, The Old Stone House will be hosting a series of events and installations as part of 5 Dutch Days. Details below:

Heart is where the Home is: A Video Installation by Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukacs
Curated by Jo-Anneke van der Molen

Thursday, Nov. 12
3-4 pm: Artist & Curator talk with Persijn Broersen, Margit Lukacs and Jo-Anneke van der Molen
Join us prior to the 5 DD kick-off at Brooklyn Boro Hall @ 6 pm

Saturday, Nov. 14
7-9 pm: Opening Party. Celebrate the continuity of life with beer from Brouwerij Lane & live music.


Enjoy the celebration, Breukelen!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Empty Storefront Series


What’s the story behind the old His and Hers Social and Athletic Club on 5th Avenue between Carroll and President? According to the writer Anthony LaSala and photographer Seth Kushner in “The Brooklynites,” Sopranos actor and local resident John Ventimiglia did some rehearsing there after its first incarnation as a club. But that’s all we could find in our initial search. Write us. We eager to hear more about its past and future...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Holiday Lights


If you find yourself walking along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue today, stop and look up. Do you see those holiday lights and decorations strung across the avenue? No, they aren't lit yet but we think that you know what this means. Yeah, it's coming! Fast! In fact, in a little less than a month, on December 5th, the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID's tree lighting ceremony will be taking place on 5th Avenue and 3rd Street (inside Washington Park).

Where did the time go?

Photo: Last year's tree lighting ceremony via Flickr

Thursday, November 5, 2009

News Round-Up

The 38 Essential New York Restaurants, Nov. '09 [NY Eater]

Lander Triumphs Again [Brooklyn Paper]

Illegal Dumping, Drugs, Rats [Brownstoner]

These Superhero Rockers Saved Rock and Roll — in 2048! [Brooklyn Paper]

We’ll Drink to Austrian Wine Month in Brooklyn [Brokelyn]

Don’t Forget: Compost-o-Rama this Sunday at OSH!


Do you like smashing pumpkins & shredding leaves?

Bring your pumpkins to the MS 51 Garden at Washington Park and learn more about composting and gardening on the site.

Sunday, November 8, starting at 1 pm.

(The event benefits MS 51, the Old Stone House and Washington Park by improving the soil for their historically referenced garden.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Word on Fifth


Today we ask some local bartenders:

What is your most popular drink?

Nick from A.O.C Bistro: "Martinis. People want them extremely dry. Some people send them back if there's too much vermouth."

Jessica from High Dive: "The most popular drink used to be Miller High Life back when we had two dollar specials. Now that the High Life special is three dollars, Six Point ale is our most popular beer."

Julia from Union Hall: "Our most popular drink is our signature Makers Mark dark and stormy. The owners are from Kentucky so we have a wide selection of bourbons, which are also popular."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Muni-Meter Installation on Fifth


The next phase of DOT's Park Smart program is being implemented along Fifth Avenue this week. Crews have been spotted installing Muni-meters (electronic meters that take coins and parking cards) along the strip. Combined with the pilot program's increased meter fares, it is hoped that the Muni-Meters (which are not assigned to specific spaces and, therefore, may generate an extra spot or two every block) will make Fifth Avenue an easier place to shop, eat and do business on.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Parade Video



On Saturday, the Park Slope Children's Halloween Parade made its first visit ever to Fifth Avenue, traveling down Third Street from Seventh Avenue and ending near the Old Stone House.

We managed to capture the above video from the corner of Fifth and Third. Enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to check out the second video from the Music in the Streets series!

Friday, October 30, 2009

News Round-Up

Brooklyn’s Food Network [Brooklyn Based]

150 Rally to Make Vacant Condos Affordable [Brooklyn Eagle]

Park Slope Civic Council Halloween [Hip Slope Mama]

Now Open: Hog Mountain Brings Country to Park Slope [Racked]

5th Avenue [Street Level]

Living Off 5th Avenue [Courier via Your Nabe]

Where to Watch the World Series/Drink Away the Shame of Being a Mets Fan [Brokelyn]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tonight: Music in the Streets (Part 2)



Tonight is the second of two nights in the Music in the Streets series along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue. Details below:

Where?
Along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue, between Dean and 18th Streets

When?
Tonight from 6:30-8:00!

What? Musicians from the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music will be playing jazz, blues, folk and classical music on every other corner of the avenue between Dean and 18th.

The Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District, in partnership with the Conservatory, are pleased to present “Music in the Streets.” Visitors will experience many different kinds of music as they dine, drink and shop their way along the avenue.

See you there!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Save the Date: "Howloween" Pups on Parade!


As part of the larger festivities this Saturday, October 31st the OSH will hold Park Slope's first annual Pups on Parade – a dog costume parade and contest – from 12pm-3pm at Washington Park. The event is designed to build community and fundraise for ongoing maintenance of the dog run.

There are a number of local businesses supporting the event, donating gift bags, prizes, and also judging the event! Check them out:

Pet Boutique & Supply
www.petboutiqueandsupply.com
(718) 832-7600
320 5th Ave

Willie's Dawgs
www.williesdawgs.com
(718) 832-2941
351 5th Ave

Paws in Paradise
www.pawsinparadisenyc.com
(718) 768-1888
410 5th Ave

Mobile Mutts
mobilemutts.com
718 722 9336
257 3rd Ave

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Route for Halloween Parade


As every good goblin and ghost knows, this Saturday, October 31st is Halloween. In Park Slope, this means that it is once-again time to march in the Park Slope Civic Council's annual Children's Halloween Parade! This year's parade will be better than ever because, for the first time in its 22 year history, the parade will take a new route and end on Fifth Avenue.

Officially, the 2009 parade will start at 14th Street and 7th Avenue at 6:30pm, travel down 7th to 3rd Street, then turn left down the hill across 6th and 5th Avenues to end in Washington Park and the Old Stone House. Events in the park will continue until 9:00 PM!

This is great news because, after all, Fifth Avenue is an important part of the Park Slope community. For more details on the parade, click here.

We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Music in the Streets



In case you missed it, here is a brief glimpse of the amazing performances along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue during last week's Music in the Streets event. Watch the video, above, and then remember to come out this Thursday (10/29) from 6:30-8:00 for more great tunes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

News Round-Up

Store for Dudes Opens in the Slope [Brownstoner]

Brooklyn Indoors: A Quarter 'Til [Brooklyn the Borough]

Bill Thompson's Campaign Opens an Office on 5th Avenue[Best View in Brooklyn]

Black Horse Pub Finally Opens [Brownstoner]

CNN: Park Slope is Cursed [Curbed]

Los Pollitos Rotisserie Chicken in Park Slope [Eating Brooklyn]

Gorilla Coffee [Amateur Gourmet]

TONIGHT: MUSIC IN THE STREETS!



Where? Along Park Slope's 5th Avenue, between Dean and 18th Streets

When? Tonight from 6:30-8:00! (oh, and October 29th from 6:30-8:00)

What? Musicians from the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music will be playing jazz, blues, folk and classical music on just about every corner of the avenue between Dean and 18th.

The Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District, in partnership with the Conservatory, are pleased to present “Music in the Streets.” Visitors will experience many different kinds of music as they dine, drink and shop their way along the avenue.

See you there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

274 5th Avenue


The sign has been up for weeks-- but All About Fifth caught up with Zelda Victoria (formerly on the corner of 3rd Street and 5th) to find out the skinny on when they plan to re-open on the Avenue. The answer? November 1st, or close to it.

Zelda Victoria handles all phases of interior design. And if you cannot wait until they open shop at 274 5th, give them a call now: 718.369.9369.

REMINDER: MUSIC IN THE STREETS!


Just a reminder that this Thursday, October 22 from 6:30-8:00 PM, professional musicians from the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music will be playing jazz, blues, folk and classical music on just about every corner of Brooklyn’s fashionable Fifth Avenue from Dean to 18th Street.

The Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District, in partnership with the Conservatory, are pleased to present “Music in the Streets.” Visitors will experience many different kinds of music as they dine, drink and shop their way along the avenue.

It looks like the weather will be fine, so come on down and enjoy the evening on Fifth Avenue! And, don't forget to spread the word because Music in the Streets will return on October 29th!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Avenue Feedback Loop


All About Fifth talked to Moe, long-time Slope resident (37 years) about the Avenue.

Where did you just shop along the Avenue? Leopoldi's hardware. They are store owners and neighborhood guys, satisfying customer needs with product and advice. Although not the neatest of stores-- it is homey, in a way. They are not cold efficient entrepreneurs who know how to process for efficiency.

People say the Avenue has most everything-- what do you think, any gaps? The neighborhood needs a really good hobby store for adults, nothing x rated. I mean things such as miniature train sets, ant farms, stamps and coin collections, etc. And the store should have a bar in back.

Any other stores you want to give a shout out to? I don't want to wax nostalgic but, when we moved into the neighborhood there was more than restaurants, banks, real estate offices, and chic boutiques. Between President and Garfield there was a fruit and vegetable store, butcher, bakery, shoe repair, coffee shop, women's and children's clothing, and more, where the owners knew you. It had a real neighborhood feel.

Friday, October 16, 2009

News Round-Up

Restaurant of the Day: 200 Fifth [Brownstoner]

Brooklyn Borough Hall to Host Brooklyn’s GLBT Center [Brooklyn Eagle]

So Long, Slope Socksmith [Brownstoner]

Seltzer Man Returns, and the Fizz Flows Again [NY Times]

Where the Ladies At? [SkaterGirl]

Halloween Event Picks [A Child Grows in Brooklyn]

Brooklyn Indoors: A Talking Head and Free Popcorn [Brooklyn the Borough]

High Court Hears Arguments in Atlantic Yards Case [NY Times]

Neighbors Say F.U. to Le Bleu Rooftop Bar [Brooklyn Paper]

Pechefsky Says: Go To Ginger's on Sunday Night at 7 p.m [OTBKB]

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Word on Fifth


We are always looking for new ways to inform you about what's going on along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue. Recently, we came up with a new idea that we think will yield some interesting results.

From time-to-time, we will be developing a single, relevant question and then travelling along the avenue, asking a number of merchants for their answers. We'll probably call the weekly blog post The Word on Fifth and it will probably change and morph over time. Honestly, though, we might have gotten the name and idea for this feature from Sesame Street. Of course, what haven't we all learned from Sesame Street, right?

Question: Have you noticed buying habits changing in the past year?

Mark (3r living):
I have seen many more fake 100 dollar bills. A warning sign is someone buying less than a hundred dollars worth of items so they get lots of real cash in the transaction.

Mohammed (Galaxy comics):
Spending has gotten worse. People are dropping a lot of comic titles they normally buy.

Tony (Record & Tape Center):
People only want to spend 50 cents to a dollar. My stuff is a luxury; people are spending their money on necessities.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thursday at 8 pm: Poetry Punch at the Old Stone House


Thursday, October 15th at 8 p.m.

Featuring: Edmund Berrigan, Louise Crawford, Bill Evans Sharon Mesmer, Wanda Phipps, Joanna Sit, Michael Sweeney and Jeffrey C. Wright.

At the Old Stone House. Fifth Avenue and 3rd Street in Park Slope. Suggested donation of $5. includes punch, wine and snacks. 718-768-3195

Spread the Word: E-Waste Event This Weekend!



WHAT
Sponsored by 3r Living and the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID in conjunction with the Park Slope Civic Council's Clean Sweep program, this electronics recycling event will take place in two locations, simultaneously, in the neighborhood.

WHEN
Saturday, October 17, 11 am - 3 pm

WHERE
4th Street @ 5th Avenue (Washington Park): with ePlanet eWaste

9th Street in front of the YMCA: with Greg's Express and Per Scholas

Spread the word! Everyone has at least one piece of unwanted e-waste that they are looking to get rid of!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Interview with Diana English, owner of Diana Kane


All About Fifth talks to Diana English, owner of Diana Kane, about her "must-haves" and the latest trends in fashion for the fall/winter season.

AFF: Where are you from originally?

English: The simple answer to that is Northern California- although my earliest years were spent in rural midcoastal Maine, and Maine is still really close to my heart.

AFF: What's your background and what inspired you to open the store?

English: I had been designing and wholesaling my jewelry collection for a number of years. I wanted a new studio space and saw an opportunity on Fifth Avenue to indulge a life long fantasy- my own store. So, with the jewelry studio in the back of the store and acting as insurance if the retail didn't work, I took a chance on what, in the winter of 2002, was a pretty quiet stretch of Fifth Avenue. The store allowed and continues to allow me to bring beautifully crafted small designers' work to an audience who can enjoy and appreciate it. It's one of the facets of the store I most enjoy, being able to introduce and share great designs and designers with a larger community. And Park Slope really is an ideal community- happy to find something new and beautiful, excited to support our neighbors, and having cultivated tastes and an appreciation of style and craft.

AFF: What styles do you consider classic and timeless?

English: Well, I'm really a sucker for the most basic styles-- I just want the best versions of them. So for me, timeless is great fitting jeans, perfect t-shirts in super soft (preferably organic) cotton... Or in the fall, luscious long sleeved versions in cotton cashmere blends. Handcrafted belts, simple gold jewelry in uncluttered designs you can wear every day, but make you look and feel polished and put together.



AFF: What are the trends for this fall/winter season?

English: Lots of scarves, which are a great way to enliven and refresh your wardrobe, chunky sweaters, and great boots. There are so many excellent options for all of those this season!

AFF: What are your must haves?

English: Well, I had to have Calleen Cordero's amazing hand made black leather boots... They have a very subtle reference to good ol' Doc Martens-- only the sumptuous grown-up and refined version. And Majestic's navy to black dip dyed cashmere long sleeve shirt is like a warm second skin, and lately I'm lost without Steven Alan's wool/cotton woven shirts.

AFF: Where do you shop?

English: In the neighborhood!! I love Scaredy Kat, the Community Bookstore, St. Kilda, Babeland.

AFF: What are some of the greatest challenges of owning a small business?

English: Big box store competition is probably the single biggest challenge. And Internet shopping is a close second. The designers I love and support are working with small production runs, usually here in the US, and hand crafting their wares... It makes for incredible products, but the prices also reflect their standards. And wearing lots of hats throughout the day can sometimes be daunting. Some days I'm the bookkeeper, buyer, jeweler, merchandiser, cleaning lady all at once.

AFF: And, oh, who is Diana Kane?

English: Me. (Kane is my maiden name). Long term Park Slope resident (15 years, where does it go?), mom, wife, friend, designer, shop keeper, neighbor, reader, dreamer, appreciator...

Interview by Rebeccah Welch

Thursday, October 8, 2009

News Round-Up

Park Slope Riot [Save the Slope]

Confusion, Lack of Space Discourage New Yorkers from Recycling More [Daily News]

Zagat: New Yorkers Eating Out Less, Skipping Booze [Newsday]

Finding a Bottom in Brooklyn [Real Deal]

Gowanus Canal Pumping Mechanism to Get Upgrade [Brooklyn Eagle]

The Slope's Most Cursed Corner? [Brownstoner]

Halloween Shocker: The Parade Route Has Changed! [OTBKB]

The ‘5th’ Dimension! Avenue to Become Music Central Later This Month [Brooklyn Paper]

Local Businesses Sponsoring Oct. 17 Walkathon [No Land Grab]

Merchant Perspective: Irene LoRe, Aunt Suzie's Restaurant



In the coming weeks and months, we hope to bring you brief interviews of merchants along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue. After all, who knows All About Fifth like the store, restaurant and bar owners along the the avenue?

Our first interview: Irene LoRe, Owner of Aunt Suzie's Restaurant and Executive Director of the new Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District.

As a merchant what do you appreciate about Fifth Avenue?

I appreciate the fact that Fifth Avenue is mostly small, mom and pop businesses. It has quaint shops that have both character and personality. Big box stores, like those generally found outside the city, have no charm or uniqueness. They're nationally envisioned and don't reflect the local community. I have been in business on 5th for over 20 years and feel that we are an integral part of the neighborhood.

As a merchant how would you like to see Fifth Avenue improved?


Unfortunately the vacancy rate is going up and that is never good for a commercial strip. I would like to see more unique and fun retail shops open on 5th. In terms of stores, I would like to see a bookstore on Fifth Avenue. I think it would do well and would be a great addition to the avenue. It would also be great to have a municipal lot here. I think that would bring more customers to the area. Local bus transportation is slow and erratic. A bus that looped around Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue from Flatbush to Eighteenth Street would go along way in making the neighborhood easier to get around.

What are the biggest challenges facing a Fifth Avenue business?


Staying alive (laughs). Frequently reinventing yourself is the only way to stay in business. You have to face what comes straight on and find ways to push back at a bad economy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zuzu's Bouquet: Spotlight in Time Out Magazine


Zuzu’s Petals was asked to create a reasonably priced Bridal Bouquet typical of their style for the Wedding Issue of Time Out Magazine. Their choice? Amelia roses, cool water roses, Saint-John’s-wort, scabiosa, thistle and nigella create a lushness of textures within a simple color palette, at $175. See the link: http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/weddings/78984/bridal-bouquets.

Zuzu’x Petals is located at 374 Fifth Ave between 5th and 6th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-0918

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Save the Date: Music in the Streets


On Thursday, October 22 & 29, from 6:30-8:00 PM, professional musicians from the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music will be playing jazz, blues, folk and classical music on just about every corner of Brooklyn’s fashionable Fifth Avenue from Dean to 18th Street.

The Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District, in partnership with the Conservatory, are pleased to present “Music in the Streets.” Visitors will experience many different kinds of music as they dine, drink and shop their way along the avenue.

Save the Date and make sure to come down and enjoy the sounds of fifth.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Interview with Mark Gerbush of 200 Fifth


All About Fifth Interviews Mark Gerbush, owner of 200 Fifth, on Park Slope fandom and the passage of time.

AFF: Where are you from originally?

Gerbush: Brooklyn, New York

AFF: When did you open in Park Slope?

Gerbush: 200 FIFTH Restaurant and Bar opened January 14, 1987.

AFF: You’ve been around a long time, what has changed most in the neighborhood?

Gerbush: Huge changes: First, the demographics. When I came to Park Slope the people in the Slope were much more diversified and less affluent. There was a larger range of age group and less educated - but street smarter. Second is the way the 5th Avenue looks, there were abandoned stores everywhere - some of them, shells just lived in by the homeless and unfortunate. Fifth Avenue has come along way and has become one of the best avenues in all of New York.

AFF: What do you miss about the old 5th Avenue?

Gerbush: The pioneer attitude. A lot of people fought hard to make 5th Ave better; livable. The camaraderie that existed between us, the common bond, brought out the best in us. We had a sense of social justice, but we also wanted a certain quality of life and we wanted people held accountable and to respect their neighbors. Most of us were not born with silver spoons and we fought hard for what we had.

AFF: As a sports bar, you must have the inside scoop—-does Park Slope have any discernible favorites, even by slim margins? Are we Mets or Yankees town? What about Jets and Giants? (And, of course, what about you?)

Gerbush: I’m a New York Fan, and proud of it. I root for all NY teams and that’s good for business. We get a great crowd for all NY teams, but I lean towards the Giants. Often, it depends on who’s winning. It seems whatever team is on top will have a large draw. We also get a buzz for Boston teams and Pittsburgh Steeler Nation.

AFF: In a word, what kind of sports fans are Brooklynites?

Gerbush: Brooklyn sports fans demonstrate the classic Brooklyn traits: Passionate, Loyal, and Thirsty.

AFF: The layout of your establishment has a hybridized feel. What’s your model? Are there challenge to making a bar and restaurant work closely together or are they naturally complementary?

Gerbush: I came up with the model on my own. I had talked thoroughly with my friend Ron Beasley, who owned The Carriage House, about creating a sports bar that served quality food, not the prefab food other sports bar serve. Now at 200, we have the best of both worlds. The sports bar provides one of the most electric atmospheres to watch any game, while offering great Sports bar food, like burgers and wings. While the dining room offers an upscale menu with Chef’s specials which include the best steaks in the area.

AFF: How do you make beer choices, and what are the rotations?

Gerbush: 200 Fifth is a huge believer in the sense of community in Park Slope. We believe in promoting how great the neighborhood and Brooklyn are. Although we’re always open to storming anywhere for new great beer, we are adamant about showcasing the great brews that were birthed right next door.

AFF: What are the greatest challenges of being a small business owner?

Gerbush: The City: Dealing with the way the bureaucrats change or interpret the way they are going to enforce the regulations is maddening. We are at the mercy of agencies who now have to justify their existence. The way they justify their existence is by being revenue producing which means taking money from people who risk and give their all and are the backbone of this city. The other hardest job is dealing with your employees. You spend more time with them than your family and most of us want to be liked, but you have to insist on certain standards and employees eventually come to resent it. But it’s with this tough love that you find the strongest staff, which I feel 200 Fifth always has to represent it.

Interview by Rebeccah Welch