A few have been popping up since I arrived in Brooklyn, but I went away for the weekend and when I returned, they had reached a critical mass. I'm speaking of the new decorative streetlights going up on Franklin Avenue, the black, angular, retro models that are replacing the standard-issue curving gray ones. In addition to being snazzy, the new lamps sit higher than the ones they replace, which purportedly will increase their capacity to light our paths.
According to this posting from the Crow Hill Community Association, the lights were made possible by Assemblyman Roger Green, and were slated to start going up in 2003. Green was succeeded by Hakeem Jeffries in 2007, but presumably the funding remains. The black lamps are a handsome addition to the thoroughfare (as well as fodder for Dana Rubinstein's Crown Heights Gentrification Watch), though in places they've already been tagged and scratched.
The traffic lights are also being replaced with black numbers of a similar style (no photo, sadly), which employ a pair of cables to cantilever the arms off the poles. All in all, they're a welcome new look for the Avenue, one that complements the older architecture along the street.