Friday, January 29, 2010

News Round-up

Winter Break Presidents Week Camps 2010 [A Child Grows in Brooklyn]

Bonjour of All Things - Paris Part 1 [What I Wear Daily]

Growlers Are Mainstream in NYC [Brew Hops]

Massages for $50 and under in Brooklyn [Brokelyn]

Fast vs. Clean Travel Routes Brooklyn > Manhattan [NY Bike Commuter]

NYC - NJ - Long Island - Adoption Events - Remainder of January '10 [Shelter Tails]

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Family Folk Dancing on Fifth

Romp over to the Old Stone House on Saturday, January 30, 2010.

Family Folk Dancing
2 pm - 4 pm
$10 per person, ages 6 and up

"Margaret Bary, long-time Brooklyn Friends School dance teacher and dance caller, will teach fun, traditional American folk dances to the live music of Paul Friedman, fiddle, and Cynthia Shaw, piano. No experience necessary - if you can count to four you can dance! Come swing your partner and tap your feet to this lively, joyous, family-friendly dance event." -OSH

5th Avenue and 4th Street
Brooklyn, NY

Hearts Along Fifth

Love it or hate it, Valentines Day is just over two weeks away! Time to start planning! As mentioned here a few days ago, the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID is organizing a week-long celebration along the strip, with sales, restaurant specials and strolling violinists on the day of love, itself!

Over the next few days, you will see shiny hearts like the one pictured above appearing in the windows of businesses that will be participating in the events. Keep an eye out for them and stay tuned for more event details next week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Solar-Powered MUNI Meters

One of our new solar-powered MUNI Meters!

They look great but we have to wonder if parking is free if there isn't enough sun to power the meter. Yeah, probably not.

Our Calendar

Ok, look to the right. No, not your right, the right column of this blog. See the Calendar?

All About Fifth is doing its best to document all of the cool events taking place along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue. As you can see, we have already noted a lot of great things happening at The Old Stone House. Still, you have to believe that there are a lot more events that we don't know about!

This is where you come in. If you have a Fifth Avenue (area) event that you would like our readers to know about, email us at We'll post it immediately!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

News Round-Up

Tip of the Week $1 Breakfast [Brokelyn]

State Moves to Disrupt Street Grid in Atlantic Yards Footprint [Streetsblog]

Taking Care of Mommy [Momasphere]

Music Monday Konceptions at Korzo [South Slope Brooklyn Blog]

Great Dates for the Weekend [Time Out NY]

New Vietnamese Sandwich Shop on 5th Avenue in Park Slope [OTBKB]

Slope Burger Shop Starts the Poutine Revolution [Brooklyn Paper]

Mayor Bloomberg's State of the City Address

Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg gave his 2010 State of the City Speech and it appears that a good portion of the Mayor's focus for the coming year and beyond will be on improving the way that the city works with new and expanding small businesses. In fact, he specifically mentioned Brian McNally and Iain Lake of the new Fifth Avenue Bar Black Horse Pub, who were helped through the city's difficult permitting process by agencies working together. The Mayor sees this case as a model for future policy, where barriers to businesses will be eased through inter-agency collaboration.

What we didn't see is any mention of plans to help struggling businesses that already exist. Perhaps a strong Buy-Local ad campaign is in order?

What would you like the Mayor to do for existing small businesses? Leave your comments, below.

To read the Mayor's entire speech, click here.

Check out the Black Horse Pub's website here. Congrats, guys!

Photo via

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The New U.S. Consumer?

While perusing Yahoo's news feed yesterday, we came across this interesting piece (originally from US News & World Report) titled 17 Ways Consumers Are Changing. They include:

1. Less credit, more cash.
2. The end of the monthly-payer. (Paying down debt)
3. Less trust. (in Government, Wall Street and Banks)
4. More resourcefulness. (the rebirth of do-it-yourself)
5. Less brand loyalty.
6. Smaller is bigger. (from gifts to homes and cars)
7. A rental rebound. (the "ownership" society is over?)
8. Less window shopping.
9. More closet shopping. (we've bought so much that we are starting to finally look at what we bought and use it)
10. Decluttering. (probably after looking at the junk in the closet)
11. Food frugality. (at restaurants)
12. More gardening.
13. Less waste. (renunciation of wastefulness)
14. Less healthcare. (and therefore less disposable income)
15. More negotiating.(It’s no longer cool to pay the marked price for everything)
16. More volunteering.
17. Redefining success.(Americans are seeking more satisfying work)

What is startling about this list is, if it is correct, how quickly American consumers changed following the beginning of this recession. While a lot of the changes are actually quite positive,though, the list actually raises some serious questions:

Are these changes permanent or just a symptom of the recession?

Is it back to "bling" when things turn around?

What do these changes mean to our small local shops, like the ones along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue?

Have New York City's consumers (especially Park Slope's) changed that much over the past year?

Thoughts? Leave a comment, below.

To read the entire article on Yahoo News, click here. There is also a short slideshow version.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Upcoming Fifth Avenue Events


Here are a couple of cool events taking place along Park Slope's Fifth Avenue in the coming weeks:

Valentines Week Specials: February 8 - 14, specials at stores and restaurants (details to be announced) and, on Valentines Day, strolling violinists along the Avenue from 6:30 to 8 PM

Mardis Gras on Fifth: Tuesday, February 16th, jazz musicians will be walking along the avenue playing and giving out bead necklaces!
Starting at 18 Street and Dean Street, meeting in the middle at Washington Park on 3rd St & 5th Ave. Approx. 6:30-8:00 PM

Both events are planned and sponsored by the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District

Monday, January 18, 2010

Some Good Food News

A couple of Fifth Avenue restaurants were recently highlighted online for their good eats. We thought it was worth letting the readers of All About Fifth in on the news so that you can plan your meals accordingly:

Slope Burger Shop Starts the Poutine Revolution [The Brooklyn Paper]

"Poutine? That literal mess of French fries, gravy and cheese curds that is both a national joke and a national dish in Canada? Yes, Quebecois line up for it in the cold. But will Brooklynites?"

El Pollo: Little Gem in the Heart of the Slope [24/Seven]:

"...the food is first rate, the prices are very reasonable (special kudos go to the $6 lunch) and it is confusing, considering the former two, why you can always find a table free."

Photo of authentic Canadian Poutine via Flickr (Joe Shlabotnik)

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Word on Fifth: 2009 Holiday Season

Back in early December, we asked a few Fifth Avenue merchants how the 2009 Holiday season was going and what their outlook was for the rest of the month. Now that the holidays are over, we hit the streets again to ask merchants how the season ended for them. The results were mixed:

All About Fifth: How was your holiday shopping season overall?

Tamara from Brooklyn Mercantile (

The weekend before Christmas it snowed, so we had almost no foot traffic. However, right before Christmas, the last-minute shoppers poured in. One day people were knocking on the window before I even opened, and there were people trying to get in right as I closed. However, the traffic was just not what I was hoping it to be considering the amount of people who live in this neighborhood. I did sell a lot of small items and gift certificates ranging from 10 dollars to 150 dollars. But now that Christmas is over, business is really bad. I had a 20 dollar day last week.

Maxine from Stitch Therapy (

Since I sell knitting supplies, this is my busy season. However, I thought that Shop Brooklyn could have really been much more helpful. Nobody came in because of it! I felt like I was expected to promote their program. I could have really used the extra support from Borough President Markowitz.

Alexandra from Allure on Fifth (

People are scared about losing their jobs, and people are not spending. Since I sell used clothing, Christmas is never a good time of year. But this Christmas was very bad; sales were down 50 percent. I have been here 13 years and this is one of the worst Christmases

Judi from Bob & Judi's Coolectibles

The season was about equal to last year sales-wise, and the year overall was good. Last year Bob and I went on vacation after Christmas, so we didn't notice the drop off as much. This year it's like night and day.

Lydia from Goldy and Mac (

Christmas was definitely better this year. We were able to keep a full staff and unlike last year, we didn't have to cut any employees' hours. People are more willing to shop. I think we did well because we had reasonable prices and had a good sale going on throughout.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Empty Storefront or Billboard?

This storefront at Fifth Avenue and Berkeley Place caught our eyes yesterday. It wasn't the fact that the space was empty that made us do a double-take, though(there are plenty of empty storefronts these days). Instead,it was the major advertising campaign on the front windows that really got our attention.

The question is: is the landlord getting paid for these ads or is this a case of gorilla marketing? Could this be a new trend for empty properties?

What do you think? Is this a good temporary use for empty store windows or an eyesore? Share your opinion in the "Comments" below.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Two Important Street Notices

1) MUNI Meter installation has been completed along the Fifth Avenue Park Smart test area. At last check, the meters were still not operational due to a small glitch. However, they should be running soon and will hopefully generate more spaces in each block in the coming weeks.

2) We received the following notice from Brooklyn Community Board 6 about some upcoming, significant street closures in the area:

COMMUNITY NOTICE -- Closure of sections of 5th Avenue and Pacific Street

It is anticipated that beginning on or around Monday, February 1, 2010, the following streets in Brooklyn will be *permanently* closed:

*5th Avenue (between Flatbush & Atlantic Avenues)
*Pacific Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues)
*Pacific Street (between Vanderbilt & Carlton Avenues)

Local and emergency vehicle access will be maintained as needed.

These streets are being closed to accommodate the Atlantic Yards project.Northbound traffic on 5th Avenue can use Flatbush Avenue or 6th Avenue to continue north; southbound traffic can use 6th Avenue. Eastbound traffic on Pacific Street can use Dean Street; westbound traffic can use Bergen Street.

To facilitate vehicle circulation, 6th Avenue (between Flatbush Avenue & Pacific Street) and the block of Carlton Avenue (between Dean & Pacific Streets) will become two-way.

These changes necessitate the removal of the Cobble Hill B63 bus stop on 5th Avenue, between Pacific Street & Atlantic Avenue. Passengers can use the existing bus stops on 5th Avenue (at Bergen Street) and on Atlantic Avenue(at 4th Avenue).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Store: Yona Lee Vintage

All About Fifth and the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID welcome a new addition to the strip: Yona Lee Vintage (5th Avenue Bet. Sackett and DeGraw).

According to Brownstoner, the owner used to own a vintage store in the East Village. Yona Lee specializes in vintages threads from the 60's, 70's and 80's. We'll get more details when we pop in and take a look, some time over the next few weeks.

Photo via Brownstoner

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Couple of Important Eco-Events

The dead of winter isn't exactly the time when most think about the environment (ie. brrrr, it's cold! What Global Warming?) but nonetheless there are a couple of upcoming eco-events in the slope which you should be aware of:

Sunday, January 17: Electronics Recycling Event Sponsored by the Lower East Side Ecology Center
Prospect Park West and 3rd Street (okay, it isn't on Fifth Avenue, but all of us need events like this)
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Saturday, January 30: The Brooklyn Green Team's Year 2 party!
Bar Reis (375 Fifth Avenue)
8pm till ?

The party will benefit 5th Avenue eco-store 3rLiving's in-store electronics recycling program, to help keep it free for the community!

Raffle prizes, local and organic drink specials and more!
$10 suggested cover

Friday, January 8, 2010

Brooklyn Hot Spots for My Favorite Foods! [Tomjin Adventures Blog]

FDNY - Park Slope Apartment Fire Two Rescues [Fire Fighter Spot]

David and Gargantuan and Growing List of Atlantic Yards Opponents [Noticing New York]

Oysters [Fun with Food in NYC & Beyond]

What Designation Might Not Allow - Part 2 [Save the Slope]

Balaka Opens in Indian-Food-Starved Park Slope [Village Voice]

Housing Opportunity [Real Flatbush]

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A New You

Did you promise yourself a whole new look in the New Year? There are lots of businesses along the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District that can help you with your transformation!

Check out their new online business directory for:

  • Clothing & Accessories (38 shops)

  • Eyeglasses (5 shops)

  • Gyms & Fitness Centers (mentioned yesterday but an important part of any transformation)

  • Medical & Dental (16 offices)

  • Pharmacies (6 locations)

  • Beauty & Barber Shops (35 shops)

  • If you are perfectly pleased with yourself, find a great restaurant or shop in the Business Directory and show yourself off along the avenue!

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Fifth Avenue Fitness

    Did you promise yourself that you would get back into shape in the New Year? Yeah, everybody does. It isn't as easy as it sounded at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, is it?

    Well, we have some good news. There are twenty-two fitness/yoga/spa businesses along the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District! So, if you live in the area, there is a place for you to get in shape just steps away from your front door.

    Find one near you on the BID's convenient Business Directory!

    Photo via Pudgyskunk [Flickr]

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Social Parking Update

    Given the comments left on yesterday's post, we'd like to clarify that neither All About Fifth nor the Park Slope Slope Fifth Avenue BID specifically endorse the Roadify program.

    Frankly, it's just an interesting idea that is in its infancy. That's all. Please stop claiming that we are anti-bicycle. It is far from true. In fact, we'd love to promote any cycling program which could benefit Fifth Avenue Merchants and our cyclist neighbors/customers.

    If you have interest in developing such an idea, contact us at

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Social Parking

    We have spoken about Park Slope's many parking issues here at All About Fifth a number of times.

    Recently, the Brookln Paper highlighted a new Park Slope company called Roadify which is trying to solve the parking issue through the use of technology, social networking and good old fashioned communication and generosity. The basic idea is that members of Roadify identify spots they are leaving via text message and then, the information is shared with any member of the network who is seeking a space.

    Roadify is still in its infancy but, any idea that will help to ease parking and traffic (caused by people driving around in circles looking for a spot) is welcomed.

    To read the Brooklyn Paper's take on Roadify, click here.

    Photo via Roadify