Friday, August 06, 2010

Grand Army Plaza Gets Ready to Bike and Roll!

Bicycle Rentals in the Heart of Brooklyn are a Convenient Way to Bike the Borough

Brooklyn, NY-- Heart of Brooklyn (HOB) is excited to announce a green new way to visit its cultural campus and Olmsted and Vaux designed Prospect Park: on the seat of one of the bicycles now available to rent at Grand Army Plaza thanks to Bike and Roll NYC’s arrival in Brooklyn! In partnership with Prospect Park Alliance, a Bike and Roll kiosk offering bicycle rentals for both adults and children will be on site just east of the Grand Army Plaza arch each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through September 26.

Bike and Roll NYC bicycle rentals provide an engaging new way to explore the cultural offerings in the Heart of Brooklyn and the unique small businesses nearby. A cultural partnership comprised of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park and Prospect Park Zoo, Heart of Brooklyn is accessible by several major subway lines, and current transportation links onsite include The HOB Connection, which offers free monthly trolley rides between the popular Target First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum to nearby places to eat, drink and shop. Bicycle rentals at Grand Army Plaza are a fun, green new way to further explore the cultural campus. Information about bicycling in Prospect Park can be found at .

“Two-wheel travel is a superb way to explore everything our cultural campus has to offer, and the rich landscape of Prospect Park,” said HOB Director Ellen F. Salpeter. “We are thrilled to welcome Bike and Roll to Grand Army Plaza.”

“Bike and Roll helps visitors and residents alike get around town in a fun, healthy, and green way. Bike and Roll NYC is excited to be coming to Brooklyn, and to Grand Army Plaza, a gateway to beautiful Prospect Park,” said Scott Cavanaugh of Bike and Roll NYC.

The Bike and Roll kiosk will be at Grand Army Plaza (located across from the entrance to Brooklyn Public Library on Eastern Parkway) Fridays-Sundays through September 26, 2010. For more information, visit

Bike and Roll NYC is the New York branch of America’s leading bicycle rentals and tours company with six locations in the city. Bike and Roll locations nationwide are known for outstanding customer service, exceptional value, and quality rental equipment with additional locations in Chicago, Miami Beach, Washington DC, and San Francisco. For more information, visit

In partnership with the City of New York and the community, the Prospect Park Alliance restores, develops, and operates Prospect Park for the enjoyment of all by caring for the natural environment, preserving historic design, and serving the public through facilities and programs. Prospect Park's 585 acres of meadows, waterfalls, forest, lakes, and athletic facilities comprise a masterwork of urban green space. For more information on Prospect Park events, programs, membership, and volunteering, call the Park Hotline at (718) 965-8999 or visit

Heart of Brooklyn (HOB) is a partnership of the leading cultural institutions located near Grand Army Plaza in central Brooklyn: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, and Prospect Park Zoo. Heart of Brooklyn encourages tourism and learning by making its world-class collections and historic treasures more visible and accessible. As an integral part of Brooklyn’s renaissance, Heart of Brooklyn is committed to strengthening the future of its neighborhoods. Learn more at

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Will Prayer Help Improve Our Neighborhood?

An interesting discussion on Brooklynian about today’s prayer walk event in Crown Heights.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Welcome Back!

The Crown Heighster is back in business under new management! Please let us know about anything going on in the community so we can get back to telling the tales of our favorite neighborhood. Our first new post in a while is below, check it out. Thank you all!

Central Brooklyn CSA Kicks off in Crown Heights

By Connor Adams Sheets

The Central Brooklyn CSA is already a huge success only two weeks after beginning to bring fresh, small-farm food to residents of Crown Heights and other sections of Brooklyn with limited access to good produce.
The Community-Supported Agriculture group is a means for city-dwellers to eat healthy food that they can feel good about, its organizers say.
Based at the Hebron SDA Church at 1256 Dean Street, the group distributes bags of vegetables dropped off each Wednesday night by the agrarians at MimoMex Farms in Goshen, N.Y., located about 46 miles from North Brooklyn.
“It’s going very smoothly. Everyone seems really happy with the quality,” Maia Raposo, a community organizer at New York City Coalition Against Hunger who is leading the CSA’s organizing, said. “People are really excited. They’ve been taking photos of what they’re doing with the produce, sending recipes, posting it on blogs.”
The NYCCAH helped facilitate the CSA in order to help provide a positive food service to an under-served neighborhood.
Members pay a fee for one or more of three distribution types: vegetables, fruit and eggs. Members can either sign up for a full share - one pick-up per week - or a half share - one pick-up every two weeks. Fruit distributions have not begun yet, so Wednesday was all veggies and eggs for the eager Brooklynites who flocked from BedStuy, Clinton Hill and all corners of Crown Heights to get bags of the tasty bounty. Spots are still available, so head to the CSA’s Web site listed below for more information or to sign up.
“Typically CSAs close intake a couple of months before the season, but we are still accepting memberships because we’re new and want to give people an opportunity to join,” said J.T. Crockett, a BedStuy resident and member of the group’s outreach team who said he and his girlfriend Emily Nickerson (see photo of the couple below) got involved in the CSA because they love to cook healthy food.
The June 23 distribution - the second of the 2010 growing season ending in November - greeted attendees with a white dry-erase board with a list of vegetables they would be getting this week: Romaine lettuce, radishes, spinach, cilantro, garlic, kale, scallions, basil, parsley and mint.
Northwest Crown Heightser Rhoda Belleza (see photo above) said she recently moved to the neighborhood from Seattle, where fresh food abounds, and that she joined in order to have a means to get good food in a city not known for such access.
So she signed up for a half share and said she was enjoying the opportunity to cook with fresh ingredients. She picked up her first half-share at the first pick-up, but attended the second distribution as a volunteer. All members must volunteer several hours over the course of the growing season to keep the CSA going strong.
"It was not as easy to get good food here, and I've always wanted to help local farmers," she said. "I made a spinach daal. It's an Indian dish with lentils, and then I made kale chips, which is really fun, and I made cilantro pesto."
Crown Heights was chosen as the location of this new CSA because NYCCAH wanted a location in Brooklyn that has a mix of income levels, Raposo said. Prices at the Central Brooklyn CSA are stepped, so that lower-income members pay less and higher-income members balance out costs by paying higher rates to join.
Also, Congressman Ed Town’s district, which includes Crown Heights, is known for being a “food desert” with limited access to food, high diabetes rates and the sixth-highest food insecurity in the country, Raposo said.
Central Brooklyn CSA Web site:

Monday, April 19, 2010

This Is Crown Heights

I opened my eyes to the sun.

Sleeping in after a night out always seems like a good idea, except that I forgot to take out my contacts....The world is blurry, and my head hurts.

I pry open my window just a crack, and hear the sounds of a boisterous BBQ on a stoop nearby. I’m in pain from a hangover, but the smell spurs my interest and overrules my comfortable bed. I hit the stereo, turn the volume down, and lean into a nice cool shower. Donning some fresh clothes, and it's a quick stroll down the stairs to sunshine, blooming flowers, and that evervesent BBQ smell.

It’s hot and it's only April -this is amazing! I see a street full of smiles, haircuts, and good vibes. I make my way down to Franklin Ave, hit up the local coffee spot, and I’m on my way.

I'm smiling as well. I know, with those of us in the know, that this is the spot and the only place that people are having this nice of a morning.

This is Crown Heights.

My name is Eli and I love Crown Heights.

(Guest Post)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Will someone please take over this blog....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weeksville: An African-American Community Established in the 1800s

The City Concealed: Weeksville from on Vimeo.
The Hunterfly Road Houses of Weeksville are the discovered remnants of a free African-American enclave of urban trasdespeople and property owners. The community provided safety for fugitive slaves and those later fleeing the Civil War draft riots of lower Manhattan. By the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, Weeksville was a thriving area with its own doctors, teachers, publishers, and social services.

The Houses help fill a historical gap between slavery and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The Weeksville staff clearly promote the idea of a successful African-American project that can be remembered with pride.

The discussion of Weeksville’s place within an always changing, mostly African-American neighborhood might forget the fact that it is, for everyone, a fascinating piece of American history with an equally amazing story of that history’s rediscovery.

-Bijan Rezvani, producer