Mar 30, 2007

Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Matsuri

little kids, originally uploaded by notchet.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden's 26th annual cherry blossom festival, Sakura Matsuri, celebrates the arrival of Spring with an all-weekend Cherry Blossom Festival complete with a huge list of activities and events - April 28th and 29th.

See you there and don't forget your camera's!

Brief Summary from
With over 200 trees in bloom, Brooklyn Botanic Garden's flowering cherries take center stage during this phenomenal weekend celebrating Japanese culture with over 60 events and performances. The Okinawan pop sounds of happyfunsmile, a J-pop concert by Tokyo sensation ZAN, hip-hop artist Akim Funk Buddha's "Urban Tea Ceremony," a taiko drum concert by the kids from the Genki Daiko team, and a presentation on the history of geisha by documentary filmmaker Miyuki Sohara are just some of the new performances lined up for the weekend.

Mar 29, 2007

Brooklyn Rules - The Movie - May 18th

originally uploaded by gynoezeum.

From the Brooklyn Enthusiast blog we learn that Alec Baldwin (he used to be skinny) will star in a new film named "Brooklyn Rules". This photo was taken from Flickr and was chosen based on the fact that men with hairy chests -do- exist in Hollywood. My wife loves my hairy chest but hates Alec Baldwin.

Here is a brief synopsis of the film:

Written by three-time Emmy winner Terence Winter (The Sopranos), Brooklyn Rules is a powerful story of loyalty, friendship, and sacrifice. Set in Brooklyn circa 1985 against the backdrop of John Gotti's rise to power, the film revolves around three lifelong friends whose different ambitions threaten to shake their enduring bond.

Mar 28, 2007

Best Brooklyn Street Signs

Originally uploaded by Jon Cronin.

Originally uploaded by photojennic

Originally uploaded by Triborough

Originally uploaded by Triborough

Best Restaurants on Court Street, Brooklyn

making Suzanne's quesadilla, originally uploaded by pastoralia2002.

I live between Court and Smith Streets in Brooklyn. I am a little closer to Court - so - I spend more time there especially in the winter. We all know that there is a big difference between Court Street and Smith Street restaurants but for me Court Street is much more relaxed and the people make an effort to know your name (yes there are way more babies as well). I have put together a list of my favorite restaurants on Court Street ranked in order of top to bottom.

1. Sweet Melissa (Best Quiche and Tea)
2. Joya (Best Thai/Deal)
3. Cube 63 (Best Garden)
4. Osaka (Best Modern Japanese)
5. Miriam (Get the Crispy Dough at Brunch)
6. Sam’s Restaurant (Best place to feel like you will get whacked)
7. Lobo (Best Huevos Rancheros)
8. Quercy (Best French on Court)
9. Layla Jones (Best Pizza on Court)
10. South American Summer Food Tents (at the end of Court during the Summer Football Matches – Best Empanada’s, Taco’s and Corn)

Best Restaurants on Smith Street, Brooklyn

BABY LAMP CHOPS2, originally uploaded by smoothdude.

Brooklyn isn’t just about pizza! After living on Smith Street for over 7 years I have decided to make a list of the top 10 restaurants ranked in order from top to bottom. Keep in mind that there are many more great restaurants in the neighborhood but these are the ten that I spend my money in regularly.

1. The Grocery (Get the Tasting Menu)
2. Saul (Star in Michelin Guide)
3. Patois (Best Steak – Price Fixe)
4. Chestnut (Great Brunch)
5. Bar Tabac (Best Late Nite)
6. Panino'teca (Best Place to Eat at the Bar)
7. Robin des Bois (Best Atmosphere and Garden)
8. Zaytoons (Best Healthy Meal)
9. Hanco’s (Best Lunch)
10.Pacifico (Best Mexican)

For a complete list of restaurants go here.

A Brooklyn Life - Music Blogs

There are hundreds of amazing blogs out there that can give you a unique glimpse into the richness of Brooklyn.

Here are a list of top blogs from A Brooklyn Life that focus on music.

Mar 15, 2007

Best of New York - Neighborhood Pizzeria

Photo by Julien Jourdes
The pizza battle continues! This time New York Magazine writes that the Best Neighborhood Pizzeria in New York goes to Brooklyn's Own - Lucali Read the whole article here
575 Henry St., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-858-4086

Mar 11, 2007

Top Things to Do with Kids in Brooklyn

Brooklyn's Children's Museum Opens March 24th

kaleidoscope-1, originally uploaded by HeartofBrooklyn.

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is a general purpose museum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Founded in 1899, it was the first museum in the world to cater specifically to children. Its success has sparked the creation of 300 children's museums around the world. With award-winning, hands-on exhibits and innovative use of its collections, the Museum engages children from pre-school to high school in learning adventures.

The museum was undergoing renovation for quite some time and it is to come back at twice its previous size in Spring 2008. The new design includes more than 15,000 square feet for exhibition space, doubling the area available for the Museum's award-winning science and cultural exhibits. At home in Brooklyn or traveling to other children's museums around the United States and Canada, the Museum's signature interactive exhibitions have received widespread recognition and acclaim.

Offical Site

Mar 9, 2007

Williamsburg Bridge

flatlining, originally uploaded by nj dodge.

The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Construction on the bridge began in 1896, with Leffert L. Buck as chief engineer, Henry Hornbostel as architect and Holton D. Robinson as assistant engineer, and the bridge opened on December 19, 1903 at a cost of $12,000,000. At the time it was constructed, the Williamsburg Bridge was the largest suspension bridge on Earth, and remained so until the Bear Mountain Bridge was completed in 1924. The entire bridge is 7308 feet (2227 m) long.

The bridge is one of only two suspension bridges in New York City to currently carry both automobile and rail traffic. (The Manhattan Bridge is the other.) In addition to this two-track rail line there were once two sets of trolley tracks.

The Williamsburg Bridge is featured in the movies The Lost Weekend (1945) and The Naked City (1948) and the novel The Alienist (1994) by Caleb Carr.

The bridge has been under reconstruction since the 1980s, largely to repair damage caused by decades of deferred maintenance.
The bridge celebrated its 100th anniversary in December 2003.

Top Musicians from Brooklyn

Mos Def, originally uploaded by dreadfuldan.

Brooklyn Musicians range far and wide. The roots of the borough are steeped in musical tradition. A place to incubate and grow your unique style freely. The list is much longer than this one below but I wanted to start it off. There are so many musicians from Brooklyn that I am going to need all of your help to get this full and robust so please comment here and let me know who is missing!

Top Musicians from Brooklyn

Mar 7, 2007

Most Famous Brooklyn Sports Stars

Michael Jordan, originally uploaded by marmotfotos.
Did you know that Michael Jordan was from Brooklyn? What about Mike Tyson? Brooklyn has a bit of everything and many people come from Brooklyn. It is going to be an exciting time to be a basketball fan in Brooklyn once the Nets officially move to Atlantic Yards. Throughout time Brooklyn has consistently produced some amazing athletes and here are a few that stand out.

Howard Cosell, Joe Paterno, Joe Pepitone, Joe Torre, Larry Brown, Vitas Gerulaitis, Paul Lo Duca, Rico Petrocelli, Vince Lombardi, Gil Hodges, Bob Ferguson, Mickey Welch, Dave Orr, Dickey Pearce, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Lenny Wilkens

Can you add any to the list?

Painting by Jerome Lagarrigue

Brownstone Brooklyn

The Brownstones, originally uploaded by Linus Gelber.

Brownstone is a brown Triassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. While brownstone is often popularly associated in the United States of America with New York City and Chicago, the stone was used widely around the world before losing popularity around 1900 in part due to rapid failures of carved surface details in the weathering process. The quarries used for the early brownstones of New York City were in New Jersey, and in the Connecticut River area. Brownstone with qualities approaching granite is currently being imported from Germany.

In New York City a "brownstone" is understood to be a terrace or rowhouse clad in brownstone. These brownstone apartments typically have stairways which lead from the sidewalk to a second-floor apartment entrance, a design originally intended to avoid bringing in the mud and horse droppings commonly found at street level, a problem that existed when these apartments were built and horses roamed the streets. New York City brownstones tend to be found in certain older neighborhoods, which are perhaps most common in Brooklyn. For example, the neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant has the largest inventory of brownstones in the entire City of New York, followed closely by Park Slope. Many brownstones have been renovated in recent years, leading to (and/or as a result of) gentrification in areas like Park Slope, Bedford Stuyvesant and Fort Greene. On the popular 1980's-'90s American television program The Cosby Show, the affluent Huxtable family, the show's central characters, lived in a Brooklyn brownstone.

Excerpt from Wikipedia

Mar 2, 2007

A Shamrock Grows In Brooklyn!

As St. Patrick’s day approaches I have decided to dive back into my roots (last name Cronin) to explore the Irish side of this diverse borough. We all know of the Manhattan parade and although it may have the size the Brooklyn version is on Sunday March 18th and it has a lot of flavor!

“The turn of the century also witnessed an influx of Irish immigrants. The northern edge of Fort Greene, a center for the growing Irish community, was dubbed Vinegar Hill, after a tragic last stand in the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798. Many of these Irish immigrants found work in the small factories that grew up along the waterfront and in the new Navy Yard.”

Irish Bars & Pubs.

Irish Neighborhoods of Brooklyn

Some Famous Irish people from Brooklyn

If you have any more Pubs, Famous Irish Brooklynites, Irish Neighborhoods or anything Irish whatsoever please leave me a comment below and I will add it to the list!

All the Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

NASA_photo_of_Brooklyn, originally uploaded by Jon Cronin.

I have taken the list of all neighborhoods from Wikipedia and integrated their location from Google Maps. Have you ever heard of Pigstown? Or Weeksville? What about Rugby or Plum Beach? I am fascinated by the number of neighborhoods inside this amazing borough and I hope you have as much fun trying to test your location skills as I did.

Please let me know in the comment section here what part of Brooklyn you are from and what do you love about it and what do you hate?

Also here is a Google Map hack that will let you zoom even further into the map. Find a location. Then switch to satellite view and click the "link to this page" URL (top right). Then make change the number after the "z=" in your URL to a higher number and you will get images that can look in your backyard.