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


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, 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

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 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

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 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!