Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Save the Date: Recycling Event!

Electronics Recycling Event

Sponsored by 3r Living 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.

Saturday, October 17, 11 am - 3 pm

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

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

Stay tuned, more details to follow!

Thursday: Young, Gifted & Black (Men) at the Old Stone House

This from our friend Louise at OTBKB:

Brooklyn Reading Works presents: Young, Gifted and Black (Men) with Clifford Thompson, Victor LaValle and James Hannham. This reading is curated by Martha Southgate.

Where: The Old Stone House on Fifth Avenue and 3rd Street in Park Slope

When: October 1, 2009 at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Important Park Smart Update

All About Fifth has learned that, after hearing community and merchant feedback at the public meeting on September 9th, the New York City Department of Transportation has decided not to raise parking meter rates along Fifth Avenue.

Fifth Avenue is part of a pilot program called Park Smart, which raised meter rates along Fifth and Seventh avenues to help improve parking space availability. Merchants were concerned that another rate increase would scare away customers during this difficult recession.

According to the Park Slope Courier, no decision has been made about the rates on Seventh Avenue yet.

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Avenue Feedback Loop

Here is our second in a series of feedback loops on one of Park Slope's most vibrant commercial avenues. This one is of Vanessa, a Park Slope resident for a little over 5 years.

Where did you just shop along the Avenue? The last place I shopped on 5th Avenue was Associated Supermarket at Union Street. This market serves our neighborhood so well and the recent expansion is great. Not only is the Associated a staple in our landscape, but so is the awesome staff. Shout out to the whole crew for always being so friendly, helpful, and an ongoing part of our community.

People say the Avenue has most everything-- what do you think, any gaps? As much as I love 5th, there are still a lot of gaps that fall under the “errands” category. As Park Slope has developed over the past few years, 7th Ave has become known as a go-to for errands and 5th Ave for restaurants, boutiques, etc. This can be hard if you live below 6th Avenue. I’d like to think I speak for all of us below 6th-ers, and even below 4th-ers!, when I say that I’d love to see: a video store, a real liquor store, and a pharmacy!

Any other stores you want to give a shout out to? There are so many stores that I want to give a shout out to because they help make Park Slope, well, Park Slope. If forced to pick, a big-up to:

Cog & Pearl: for adding an artistic flair to our neighborhood, supporting local & independent designers, and helping us fill our apartments with smart, unique design.

Bierkraft: for building a great community out of their shop, supporting and promoting both brand new and staple locally produced/manufactured food items and…. for sometimes giving away free beer!

Bob and Judi’s Collectibles: big shout out to Bob and Judi for maintaining this staple in our neighborhood, reminding us that we don’t always need to buy new, and allowing us to purchase cool old stuff for a reasonable sum of money! Please never leave us!

Friday, September 25, 2009

News Round-Up

Introducing Charles Long [Save the Slope]

Retail Vacancies in Brooklyn and Queens [The Real Deal]

Al di La Trattoria [High Low Food Drink]

Hey, You, Spot the Wild Boar on That Building! [Brooklyn Paper]

Park Slope Merchants Blast City Parking Plan [Courier via Your Nabe]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Interview with Peggy Aguayo of Aguayo & Huebener

All About Fifth interviews Petty Aguayo of Aguayo & Huebener about all things real estate—including the development on 4th Avenue and Park Slope’s new historic district bid.

AAF: Where are you from originally?

Aguayo: Brooklyn, NY, where else?

AFF: When did you open your business and what drew you to the field?

Aguayo: I started real estate part time in 1983. Then in 1984 then I got my broker’s license and opened my own firm. At the time, I was teaching at St. Anne’s in Brooklyn Heights. I always considered it a treat, living in Park Slope. The homes fascinated me and all the renovations that were occurring at the time. At that time there were many vacant buildings and I was fascinated by the potential of making these viable homes.

AAF: Has the local market hit bottom?

Aguayo: That’s a good question. Not having a crystal ball, it is difficult to be totally definitive. But if pressed, I would say that the market has leveled out and that I would expect the prices in 2010 to be slightly higher.

AAF: What is your best advice to first time buyers in any climate?

Aguayo: One word: Prioritize. As in life, you can’t have everything. But a home should meet, at the very least, your top 4-5 needs. As a realtor this next statement might seem a bit oxymoronic: I would not push myself beyond my means as a first time buyer. A home should be a haven, not a yoke.

AAF: What's your professional view on all the building going on 4th Avenue?

Aguayo: It is wonderful to see growth and change, as I believe stagnation is the alternative. Personally, I find some of the architecture of these new buildings not aesthetically pleasing.

AAF: What is your stand on expanding the Slope's historic districts?

Aguayo: I would love to preserve the beauty of the Slope’s architecture and if expanding the historic district would do so, I am for it.

AAF: What are the greatest benefits and challenges of running your business?

Aguayo: Greatest benefits are: freedom and independence and the ability to be creative. The challenges of running my business are managing ambitious and highly energetic sales agents and also competing successfully with firms that are gargantuan compared to mine.

AAF: Does a fig tree bring value to one's property?

Aguayo: I sure do hope so, I have one in my back yard.

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Green Brooklyn, Green City

Tomorrow at Brooklyn Borough Hall! Drop by and check out the events and workshops, starting at 12:00, with the "State of the Climate" speech.

We always knew that Brooklyn was a Green leader. After all, it's the original home of Fifth Avenue's 3r Living! ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Restaurant Rumor

Well, somehow our recent interview with Josh Grinker of the Stone Park Cafe failed to uncover the latest rumor on the avenue.

According to Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, it seems that the Stone Park gang, plus an investor or two, is looking at the empty Tempo/Tempo Presto space between Carroll Street and Garfield Place. This is really great news because a) Stone Park's food is really great and we can expect more in this new venture and b) the block has been dark and quiet for months since Tempo and Tempo Presto closed.

If anyone has any further information on this development, please feel free to share it in the comments, below.

Photo via Brownstoner

Monday, September 21, 2009

237 Fifth

All About Fifth is devoted to highlighting what's going on along our Avenue's busy commercial corridor. And we are always eager for tips from our readers. One of our new features will begin to explore some of the "empty" storefronts that dot 5th Avenue. For some, we will report what we know. For others, query you.

This is one of the author's particular favorite "question marks" of local urban geography-- the old Joe's Shoes Repair store (with Joe's Shoes having moved just a few stores north.) Any scoops? Let us know: And we'll look into it too...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Timboo's 40th Anniversary this Weekend!

Timboo's is celebrating their 40th anniversary. One of the oldest bars in the neighborhood, Timboo's is a family bar with a long history. "People feel comfortable when they walk through the door, like they are home," says co-owner Tara Hodgens, a fourth generation Slope resident.

It is a bar always worth its patronage, but particularly so this weekend when it opens it doors to ring in its many years in the neighborhood. Cheers!

Here is a quick run down of activities:

Friday Night the 19th: DJ and free food starting at 10pm

Saturday Night the 20th: Live music and free food 10pm-2am

Sunday Night the 20th: Football Heineken Girls and free BBQ free give aways all day and night

Timboo's is located at 477 5th Ave 11th Street. Go check it out!

Picture via Lost New York

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jobs on Fifth

On a recent walk along the avenue, we noticed a bunch of job openings in various shops and restaurants along the avenue. Since the economy is still slow and times are tough, we thought that you might be interested in seeing job openings on Fifth Avenue here at All About Fifth. Check out the job opening below, if you are interested, or pass it on to someone who might be! If you know of any other openings, please leave them in the "Comments", below, and they will be added to this or future blog posts!

* The Chocolate Room at 86 Fifth Avenue is looking for an Assistant Pastry Chef! For more information on The Chocolate Room, go to For inquiries, visit the shop or call 718-783-2900.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Avenue Feedback Loop

This is the first in our new series of interviews or feedback loops, where we ask Avenue shoppers to give some props to their favorite businesses. This one is from Elizabeth, a Park Slope resident for nearly 10 years. Keep an eye out for the AAF blogger near you!

Where did you just shop? Eidolon: I love this boutique which is owned and operated by three local designers. It is my favorite place to find dresses for work or special occasions. The dresses Andrea Fisher designs are very comfortable, affordable and I just love the fabric she uses.

People say the Avenue has most everything—what do you think, any gaps? I agree, 5th Avenue does offer a lot of variety, although having a small non-chain pharmacy would be convenient. I love independent bookstores and I would like to see one that sells both new and used books on 5th Avenue.

Any other stores you want to give a shout out to? Picada y Vino is great little wine shop with a very engaging and helpful staff. Their pairing suggestions are always spot on. They offer a wonderful variety of wines in all price ranges. Scaredy Kat is always my place to go for unique and fun cards, wrapping paper and gifts. And A & S Pork Store is a great butcher shop. They make great sandwiches; my particular favorite is the Carroll Street.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Atlantic Yards Arena: Good or Bad for 5th?

A new design for the always controversial Atlantic Yards basketball arena was unveiled this week, just hours before a report by the city's Independent Budget Office revealed that the arena would actually cost taxpayers nearly $40 million over the next 30 years.

According to The Brooklyn Paper, the report also questioned whether the arena's developer, Bruce Ratner, will ultimately be able to repay the $726 million in "special government benefits" that came with the project.

The developers of Atlantic Yards have long argued that the project will ultimately benefit the merchants of Fifth Avenue, when it is complete. What do you think, is the project good or bad for Fifth? Also, if it's good for Fifth but bad for the City, is it really worth doing? Let us know what you think in the "Comments" below.

The full article in The Brooklyn Paper is available here.

You can read the IBO report here (PDF).

Photo via The Brooklyn Paper

Monday, September 14, 2009

Interview with Jennifer De Luca, owner of BodyTonic

All about Fifth interviewed BodyTonic owner, Jennifer De Luca, about precision exercise and what ails (and cures) the modern body.

Q: Where are you from originally?

De Luca: I am originally from Bayside, Queens. I was introduced to Park Slope through my best friend at the High School for Performing Arts. She lived here then and lives here now. Our kids are best friends now. We each have 2 kids, 3 and 1 year old.

Q: When did you open your business and why did you choose Park Slope?

De Luca: I first started taking clients in my apartment in 1996 on Garfield Place and 7th Avenue. I had been living with a boyfriend, but traded him in for something more useful...Pilates equipment.

Q: What, exactly, is Pilates?

De Luca: Pilates is a form of exercise that requires your precision, control, centering, concentration, breathing, and flowing movement. Pilates is strength and stretch simultaneously. It is as challenging as any strength training out there and as kind to the body as a massage. It focuses on strengthening your core (abs and back) and lengthening the limbs away from that. It uses gravity as the primary form of resistance and spring tension on top of that. It changes the way people sit, stand, breathe, appear, and feel about themselves.

Q: I heard you have a dancer’s training—do you think there is an art to most forms of exercise?

De Luca: Only those worth studying.

Q: You see a lot of bodies in motion. What part of the modern-day body takes the greatest beating in contemporary life?

De Luca: Shoulder stabilization and lower back strength are a tie. Our humerus bones (upper arm bones) remain fixed now most of our day. To give an image—we are missing the days that grandma spent hanging the sheets on the high clothes line. The muscles that draw the humerus bone to the body are short and weak. I see a lot of shoulder problems. For the low back, no one wants to sit up properly and we are sitting much of the day. The integrity of the low back musculature (abs and erector spinae) goes and everyone wants to balance their entire upper body on 5 little lumbar vertebrea with no muscular support. There's a lot of disc pathology out there because of it.

Q: Are men and women equally drawn the Pilate's philosophy and form?

De Luca: Unfortunately no. I have had many male clients and they are always challenged physically and intellectually by the work. Joe Pilates was a man--a boxer and acrobat. He designed the work. More men should try it.

Q: Can you recommend a do-anywhere Pilates move for the busy urbanite?

De Luca: Yes, two of them. One is to sit tall in a chair like you are giving a speech. Place your hands on your hips, keeps your hips still and twist your shoulders to the right and then to the left. This works your oblique abdominals. Next just draw the navel to the spine and exhale through your mouth. Think of sucking in your gut as you exhale. This is a great transverse abdominal action.

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

De Luca: It's always on you and there are lots of organizations out there that protect customers and protect employees but very little assistance for small business owners. But I love what I do and look forward to going to work. I am inspired by my clients, my co-workers and Pilates every single day.

Interview by Rebeccah Welch

Note: BodyTonic is offering 10 weeks of Deals and Discounts leading up to a 10th Anniversary Party on November 1st. To hear about the deals, you can become a BodyTonic Pilates Fan on Facebook or follow BodyTonicBKLYN on Twitter. You can also sign up as a client at

Friday, September 11, 2009

Heritage Fest at OSH!

This weekend it is Heritage Fest at the Old Stone House. Check out all the great activities they have planned from September 12-17, 2009

Saturday, Sept. 12
Artichoke Dance Company
Recession Dances and So Can You
3 pm Workshop
4 pm Performance

Learn inspiring dances and rhythms like the Lindy Hop, the Shim Sham and the Hustle, then stay for a FREE performance!

Rain or Shine!

Saturday, Sept. 12
6-8 PM
$5 suggested donation
The Long Voyage of Henry Hudson, 1607-1611 or How to Visit New York When You Wanted to Go to the North Pole
Upstairs at OSH

Sunday, Sept. 13
11 AM
Vintage Baseball!

11 AM: NY Gothams v. Brooklyn Atlantics
1 PM: Brooklyn Atlantics v. Newark Eurekas
3 PM: Newark Eurekas v. NY Gothams

Appearing once again in Washington Park!

Thursday, Sept. 17
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Brooklyn Utopias Exhibition Opening
Artists Consider Differing Ideas of an Ideal Brooklyn/Curated by Katherine Gressel

for more information contact OSH at 718-768-3195 or

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Park Smart Public Meeting

Last night, neighbors and merchants gathered at a public meeting hosted by the New York City Department of Transportation(DOT) to discuss the initial results of the Park Smart program and to lay out the agency's plan for the remaining 3 months of the pilot program.

The Park Smart program started in May in an effort to increase the availability of metered spaces at peak times along a test portion of 5th and 7th Avenues. By raising the meter rates from $.50 to $1.50 per hour between Noon and 4PM, DOT found that:

* Overall space availability increased between April (before the Park Smart program began) to June by 4 percentage points (88% in April to 84% in June)

* 13% of block groups in April averaged at least one available space compared with 25% in June.

Clearly, the increased prices have had an effect on parking congestion in the test blocks. However, merchants who attended the meeting painted a different picture:

* Many customers are coming into stores and restaurants, asking for quarters for the meters

* Customers are expressing shock and frustration at the higher rates. At some point, these rates may be high enough to scare customers away, if they have not already.

* The test results average findings along 5th and 7th Avenues. These two avenues are very different: people do more quick shopping runs on 7th and longer shopping/browsing trips on 5th.

DOT noted that the results had differed along the two avenues with 5th Avenue seeing a bigger "benefit" from the higher rates.

Next Steps:

DOT is considering another meter rate increase, in order to gain more open parking spaces in the test area. In addition, another full study of space availability will take place in November, along with a merchant and resident survey.

So, what's your opinion? Frustrated with the higher meter rates? Glad the rates are going up so that you can park along 5th and 7th Avenues? Let us know in the comments, below.

Even better, if you are not happy with the rates, please don't share your opinion with the area's merchants, CALL 311. DOT is measuring the number of complaints that the Park Smart program is logging through 311 and so far, they haven't heard a single complaint. If you want to have your voice heard on this issue, call!

Stay tuned to All About Fifth for more details, in the near future.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mid Fig Season Tips

For Brooklyn foodies, a listing of “Fig Tree in BKYD” is almost as appealing as “New Kit” on Craigslist. These trees, many of which are well over 75 years old, represent the likely legacy of Italian immigrants and grace neighborhoods across the borough, from Park Slope to Williamsburg.

All About Fifth tried Chef Judy Rodgers’ classic braised chicken with fresh figs in honey vinegar sauce featured in the Dining section of the New York Times in September 2002. It is worth taking a look: New York Times.

Have any favorite fig recipes? Give a shout out here.

Photo from author’s garden behind 5th Avenue.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reminder: DOT Public Meeting Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, September 9th at 7:30 PM, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) will host a public meeting at the Park Slope United Methodist Church (6th Avenue & 8th Street) to allow residents and merchants to share their opinions about the pilot "Park Smart" program.

For more details, click here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

News Round-Up

Chaos to Compliance [Report-Transportation Alternatives]

Recession Forces Ritzy Restaurants Such as Café des Artistes to Close Doors [NY Daily News]

Tallying Stimulus Jobs Is Not Easy in New York [NY Times]

Tree Gets Cut in Brooklyn [Best View in Brooklyn]

Brooklyn Condos in Financial Distress [Crain's]

Complete Blockfront [Save the Slope]

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to School on 5th Avenue!

Well, the lazy days of summer are almost over and, as is traditional every year in early September, parents in Park Slope are beginning to focus on "Back to School" shopping.

If you have a child heading off to school this fall, please remember that Park Slope's 5th Avenue has just what you need, from clothing and sneakers to lunch boxes and school supplies. Why, you can even buy some fresh apples for your child's teacher at our Farmers Market, this Sunday!

According to The 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in locally-owned shops, $68 returns back to the community in the form of taxes, payroll, etc. Shopping at a national chain brings only $43 back to the community.

This year, please consider doing some of your Back to School shopping locally and invest in Park Slope.

Photo via Fernando (Flickr)

*UPDATE: Here are some Back To School specials and items from local stores and restaurants. If you are a merchant, share yours in the Comments (below) or email them to

*Aunt Suzie's: Back to School Special for celebrating parents!$10.00 bottles of Wine(Chardonnay, Merlot or Montepulciano offer good til Sept.15th)

*3r Living: a whole new line of eco-friendly Back to School lunch boxes and utensils in stock now! Check out our storefront window to see them!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Historic Photo of Fifth

Here's a nice trip back in time: 5th Avenue and Ninth Street, looking east towards 6th Avenue and (up the hill) the park, taken some time in the 1940's. You can see the famous Park Slope YMCA on the left, in the distance.

Unfortunately, we don't have a current photo of this block handy. So, if you have a current photo of this block that you want to share, leave a link in the Comments, below, or email it to us at

Thanks, again, to Bob and Judi's Coolectibles for sharing the photo!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Last Week: Art & Photo Walk!

The summer is quickly coming to an end and with it, the first annual Art & Photo Walk along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue.

Labor Day is the last, official day of the event. If you haven't checked out the great art in the stores, restaurants and bars along the avenue yet, do yourself a favor and download the map and take a stroll!

If you have checked it out, leave us a comment and let us know what you thought about it.