Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crow Hill Community Association Meeting Tonight

The Crow Hill Community Association will be hosting their monthly meeting tonight at LaunchPad (721 Franklin) from 7:30 - 8:30 pm. For those who aren't familiar with the CHCA, they're the neighborhood's leading civic organization, and they do a great deal for the residents of "Crow Hill" (Northwest Crown Heights). If you're new to the area, these meetings are a great way to get to know your neighbors, learn about the rich history of the community, and get involved in addressing the challenges that all local residents face. You can check out their various initiatives at their website and their blog.

On the docket for tomorrow night's meeting (which ILFA is dismayed to be missing) is a discussion of the future of the brewery complex on Franklin between Bergen and Dean (pictured above in 1907 - that building, on Bergen, now reads "Heinz" in faded lettering). Ideas on the table include landmarking and renovation for community use, which will entail working with the city and the developer(s). This sort of discussion goes to the heart of the questions Laurel, Mike, and others have been asking of last Friday's post, and while it's too late now for extended ruminations, I'll likely devote more space to these issues later this week.

Regarding the brewery complex, it's one of ILFA's absolute favorite buildings on Franklin, and half of it has already been renovated to some acclaim. The Franklin side of of it, however, remains mostly lovely (I'm not a huge fan of the various cinder-block additions that occupy the Dean Street end of things) and empty. While I love the idea of a preserved public space, funding for developments of this size remains very tight and landmarking (if the building was indeed landmarked before construction began) makes any sort of renovation considerably more time-consuming and expensive (I'm sure the folks at the CHCA know this, but it bears mentioning). One potential route to developing the space would be with city money, which is also scarce, but recently reared its head in the form of an RFP for a Central Brooklyn small business incubator. All that said, if all the parties involved can come to the table in a spirit of creativity and compromise, the potential for a beautiful project is lurking at that site.

15 comments:

  1. I'm moving to Franklin Ave soon and found your blog after doing a google search of what to do in the area. awesome job, keep up the good work!

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  2. Did you guys know that Bristen's is closing? "Island Thyme" will be taking its place...I kind of wish it was something else besides another Caribbean joint. It's sad about Bristen's, but I honestly didn't care much for their food.

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  3. Can't say I'm surprised. Their food was fine, but the hours were ridiculous, they did 0 advertising, and their food was inconsistent. Always sad to hear a place is closing, but glad something else is coming in. And I'm fine with a Caribbean place if it's good! And delivers!

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  4. The owners of Bristen's need to understand that whether they are serving burgers, dumplings or beef patties is of little importance when a few business truths remain that they seem to continually ignore. Until they figure out what customers want and how to deliver that to them they will undoubtedly change their menu again in due time. As for another Caribbean spot. The supply/demand pendulum is not in their favor unless they have a real compelling offering. We shall see...

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  5. When Bristen's first opened, the food was good. It was a great spot to have brunch. However, quality of of food went down. Tried them again when they changed their menu, the food was just ok. Hopefully whateve rtakes their spot can offer and maintain good food with good pricing. A good Caribbean spot would be nice. The others on Franklin don't have great service.

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  6. How about some diversity? what if it was something random like a burrito joint or a really good sandwich shop? Heck, Italian or Polish. Tired of all the jerk chicken and patties.

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  7. all you need is for 1 good Caribbean place to improve its service, not 12 with mediocre service...

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  8. I can't say I'll miss Bristens

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  9. I saw the sign in the window -- it was worded to sound like the Bristens people were opening a new place elsewhere that was called Island Thyme -- not that a place called Island Thyme was moving to that space. Which one is happening?

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  10. I just moved to the area and I do find it odd that there are two "hip" coffee shops within a few blocks of each other, and a couple other places that seem to be cafes/bakeries.

    I keep seeing Oaxaca Taco looking empty, I hope they survive, it's so great to have something different around. Which makes me really happy a about Chavellas and a Thai place.

    Can't wait for the brick oven pizza place to open - "Slice of Brooklyn" is (sorry guys) terrible. Some of their slices taste like stale peanut butter.

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  11. I think Oaxaca is empty because you can't sit and eat -- we only do take-out. At least that's my guess.

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  12. Oaxaca is also empty because it isn't very good...

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  13. I like Oaxaca a lot and hope they're ok too.

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  14. whats this i hear there was a beating in the laundromat and you guys let it happen
    you guys should be ashamed of your self you made a big deal about a pawnshop but what about the crimes that are caused bye your own neighborhood people
    you people are unbelievable
    shame on you guys for not helping the poor lady out

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