Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Speak out about Atlantic Yards

Just a quick post - whatever your thoughts on Atlantic Yards, make sure you are heard...
The entire plan was developed without community input, but it's still not too late, send a letter with some of your own comments at

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

taking a hiatus

I figure the holidays are as good as time as any....

I have come to the realization that I do a lot more eating, drinking and playing around Clinton Hill thank I actually write about. I took a whole bunch of pictures of buildings I wanted to see renovated, and never posted them. I have shopped at Who's Your Doggy, Natural Heights, Cloth and the Habana Outpost Market, eaten meals from Choice, Fulton Thai, Kush, Urban Spring, Brown Betty, Black Iris, Outpost and Smooch. And I never wrote about them (much less photo'd them).

So while its been fun, and hopefully helpful to anyone who has come across this site, I am going to take an extended hiatus. I might check back in and leave a note now and then, but considering what an incredibly great job Lesterhead and Brooklyn Jay are doing covering the Clinton Hill scene (inside and out!) with ClintonHillBlog, then I will bow out gracefully.

I am looking forward to upcoming meals at Ici, Bonitas, Pillow Cafe and Burger 67. And if I ever get around to the project where I sample every one of the sinfully yummy treats at Choice Market, I will let you know about that too!

I will also keep the map updated with new (and old) restaurants and shops.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bloging live from Green Brooklyn, part 2
Panel 2, The Natural Environment with Brooklyn Botanic Garden, ConEdison Solutions, Gaia Institute, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Slow Food USA, Solar Energy Systems, and Sustainable Table (the meatrix guys). Right now we are listening to the story of compost, I take my compost to the Farmer's market in Fort Greene, this part weekend I got a nice little container of it back. San Francisco, as part of their efforts to divert 75% of its waste from the dump, a large scale residential compost pick up program was enacted. The compost was resold to farmers in the surrounding areas. After about a year, the compost was a highly sought item. It seems to me that New York is an ideal place to create an extensive composting project. Apparently we already have a large compost center on Riker's Island.
Now we are listening to a discussion on the damon value of the urban jungle (my term), including street trees which save the city $3000 each year from their carbon sequestering and capturing rainwater runoff.
We just heard about the slow food movement and are now hearing about the perils of factory farming (antibiotics, manure lagoons, i will add a link because they are enormous). Next up, my dream city presented by Gaia. Green roofs, green streets, living edges and blue waters, creating a sustainable New York City. Storm water capture, permeable surfaces, urban wetlands, retring brownfields. Living edges means getting natural filters (like mussels). It's an incredibly nice day for sitting inside, but if we can make even half these ideas work we could have a lot more beautiful days.
The hardest part of these conferences are the question periods. I often think it would be more interesting to have the panelists discuss amongst themselves.
Final presentation for the day, the architects, Workshop/APD, who won the Global Green competition to design a green low income complex in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward.
Following that was a "workshop" on transportation that because of time was focused on bicycling (which is fine with me). The presenter was really rushed and anxious to get across to the audience some points about which she was clearly passionate, all of which made for a rather frantic presentation. She did have some salient points to pass on including the idea that all a biker really wants is safe space (thats why they/we sit in crosswalks instead of squeezed between traffic and parked cars, its why a biker might jump a light - to get ahead of the traffic that is going to squeeze him out when passing the double parked car). She also talked about the idea that if bikers were better respected, then bikers will be more respectful (of traffic laws). As it is, bikers and pedestrians are forced to share precious little space while automobiles (and the 10% of new yorkers who drive them) take up the lion's share of the road. It would be nice to have a more car-free city - have you ever noticed how different the city looks when viewed from the middle of the street - its really cool! (You can stop on some streets in SoHo and look around - but most of the streets are too traffic-ridden to even try). For more information on livable streets - check out and Transportation Alternatives (who could just as easily rename themselves traffic alternatives).

Cross-posted from "works in progress."

Bloging live from Green Brooklyn!
Marty Markowitz started us of with the typically ebulliant Marty style. One thing he talked about was understanding global issues at the local level. That's a key part of Sea Change, so you can bet I will be trying to get a little face time with him!
He was followed by Jeffrey Hollender, President/CEO of Seventh Generation who gave an extemporaneous talk on business and sustainability. Although he was hesitant to use the term "sustainable" because he thought it was too vague. I have to agree, I also want to know just what it is that we are sustaining. We can't really sustain the current patterns (of population, lifestyle, business, etc).
We are now in the first panel "The Built Environment" with a somewhat diverse panel, including Bettencourt Green Building Supplies, Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, Conservation Services Group, Earth Pledge, Green Maps and Jonathon Rose Companies. Earth Pledge is doing some really great projects including the green roofs initiative, waste to fuel initiative and future fashion initiative. Their efforts are to promote new technologies in sustainable efforts.

The question session, I am having a little difficulty figuring out just who the audience is for this conference. I am guessing businesses, educators, city officials (at least I hope some of those people are in the audience). More later.

As a side note, check out the original Jonathan Rose Atlantic Center Design. Wouldn't that be a nice alternative?

Cross-posted from "works in progress"

Monday, November 06, 2006

food, food, food & GO VOTE

Here's the latest mass download food roundup...

In the category of third times the charm, our once beloved Olea had a stupendously bad showing. We popped in for brunch after deciding that as much as we wanted to go to Luz, their seating wasn't appropriate to our easily spooked puppy. The service at Olea, usually so friendly and welcoming seemed a bit, well, annoyed to be serving us. Their espresso machine was on the fritz so we opted for the less than stellar regular coffee. They use Dean's Beans, which I have tried to like, and maybe it's the blends, but it's just not good. Can I make a blanket recommendation? All people serving coffee on the east coast should just use Jim's (west coast, y'all should be serving Blue Bottle). They are excellent beans that make complex and varied coffees pleasing to the most discerning palate. Anyway back to Olea, this was the second time we also had to stir our coffees with spoons (spoons?!? oh no! -- I meant to write "knives" that's what I get for writing it on my phone on the train). On to the highly anticipated food! I so enjoyed g-pups savory french toast from the first visit that I ordered that while he had the omelet with salmon. It took quite a long time for the food to arrive, which was fine, as we were busy reviewing grant applications. Unfortunately when it did arrive it tasted like it had spent some rather serious time under the heat lamps. My meal, previously so bright and fresh, tasted old, dry a little stale and extraordinarily lacking in flavor. The eggs were over cooked for this dish and it tasted like the savory french toast had been replaced by the sweet. If this had been our first visit I would have a hard time justifying a return. As it is now we have to see if it was a fluke.

More in the category of shame on us... We finally got over to Habana Outpost for brunch (our excuse has been that the patio, while inviting, isn't super dog-friendly). It's kinda pathetic since, as an ardent greenie, this ALL solar powered restaurant - complete with bike powered blender - should be a frequent haunt for me. Sadly they are closing down on Halloween, but based on the straight forward no fuss tastiness encountered in the huevos rancheros, we'll be back to sample quesadillas, sandwiches and veggie dogs. (or not, since I am completing this post now on 11/6 & I didn't get back to habana - blame the travel and the cold.)

We continue to spend a lot of time eating Choice Market food because it is right on the dog path. We had a tartine one day and then went for full blown egg & bleu cheese on croissant (only to repeat it a week later). We grabbed some take away from them (carrot ginger soup, quiche and mac&cheese) and topped it off with an awesomely complex chocolate fudge chipotle cake. Get one of those before they are gone!

We recently went back to Brown Betty for a little brunch - the really beautifully simple breakfast pizza. It is the kind of thing that is artfully done and really lets the flavors come through. Grabbed an empanada stuffed with papaya and queso blanco (one of the dessert options on the dinner menu) - ho-my yumminess! We also kept pushing the lovely Cynthia to put together an email list so that she can send out the weekend menu - I want to try that jerk tofu sometime!

By the way, don't forget to vote tomorrow! (If you need to find your polling place check here: