Howl & Meow To Support Infinite Hope Animal Rescue

October 21, 2013

Join Infinite Hope Animal Rescue this Thursday night at the Nu Hotel on Smith Street (at Atlantic Avenue) to celebrate a year of helping animals and to help fund the organization’s rescue efforts.

Infinite Hope is an all-volunteer animal rescue based in Boerum Hill that houses, cares for, and places abandoned animals. The organization has a small adoption center at Hope Veterinary Clinic on Atlantic Avenue and relies on a network of foster home; it has helped find permanent homes for more than 1,000 animals.

The third “Howl and Meow” Hallowe’en party benefits Infinite Hope’s efforts and will take place from 6 – 9 pm on Thursday, October 24.  While costumes are optional, body-painter Derrick Smith (profiled last year in the Times) will be on hand for face-painting; the evening will also feature a silent auction with spa packages, trips, and art.

“We’re 100% volunteer,” explained Infinite Hope board member Angelica Hamann, “so this event is to raise money to continue the work that we do.”

Suspicious Handbag will be on hand to provide background music for the evening, and children are welcome, as are, said Hamann, “well-behaved dogs.”  Cats, she said, would be better off left at home.

The evening will also honor former Infinite Hope board member Renee Ann Martin Shatzer, who passed away earlier this year.

The $50 general admission tickets are 50% tax deductible; pet sponsorships are also available to help pay for the food and medical costs of the animals that Infinite Hope rescues. Higher-priced packages that include free tickets and drinks are also available.

Click here to buy tickets and for more information. You can also check out the organization’s Facebook page to learn more about cats like Tomosol, one of the many that Infinite Hope cares until they can find their forever home.


From the Web

Food, Health, Kids

Yoga and Dining “Take Root” In Carroll Gardens

July 9, 2013

Photo credit Heather Phelps-Lipton

Last fall, Anna Hieronimus and Elise Kornack were all set to open their new restaurant/yoga studio, on a quiet, beautiful street in Carroll Gardens, awaiting only the final permit from the city. The Fire Department was scheduled to do the final inspections on October 29, but instead of the visit they expected, they got, instead, a visit from Superstorm Sandy.

“City officials were totally bogged down after that,” said Kornack recently from Take Root, which ended up opening in January. “We had to wait two and a half months to open.”

Located on Sackett Street between Henry and Hicks, Take Root’s warm, cozy dining room is designed, according to Kornack, to make guests feel as though they’re walking into Kornack and Hieronimus’ home—which is where their business began.

The two met three years ago and shortly thereafter moved in together (they’re now engaged and will be married this fall); a former sous-chef at Aquavit and winner on the Food Channel’s Chopped, Kornack became “obsessed” (her word) with the garden of their new apartment in Prospect Heights, and the two began holding dinner parties in their backyard for 10 to 12 people at a time. The dinners grew so popular they began selling tickets; after some neighbors complainted, they decided to open a restaurant that would replicate their homey dinner party experiences.


Hieronimus (left) and Kornack. Photo credit Heather Phelps-Lipton

At the same time, Hieronimus, whose mother ran a holistic health care center in Baltimore—“yoga and Ayurveda have always been a part of my life,” she said—was becoming a more serious practitioner of yoga, and several years ago underwent a teacher training program at Kripalu. Though she was teaching yoga privately, she realized that she really wanted to work with children, so behind Take Root’s dining room, just past the newly remodeled kitchen, is a yoga space for children, for toddlers to age six.  The classes combine traditional yoga moves with singing, dancing, and creative movement.   Hieronimus also offers yoga workshops for adults.

Take Root serves an $85 tasting menu on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, with one seating at 8 pm by reservation. Children’s yoga classes are held Wednesday through Saturday. On Saturday morning, Hieronimus hosts a children’s reading circle in the yoga studio, while parents and caretakers are invited sit in the dining room and chat and munch on Kornack’s home-made baked goods and sip coffee and lemonade. On Sundays, a small-plates brunch is served beginning at 11 a.m.

Take Root’s yoga program is currently offering a summer special: bring a friend or a sibling and get a 50% discount on the class. The classes are $12, with a $2 discount for first time visitors; the reading circle is $5 and designed, said Kornack, to offer a variety of price points for people in the neighborhood.

“Our goal is to create a small community,” said Kornack.  “I cook for people to hang out and eat.”


Photo credit Heather Phelps-Lipton

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Celebrity Residents

Too Cute Comes To Brooklyn Heights

May 29, 2013

Juno with Kate, Paddington, Winnie,and Ballo

When Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition took in a pregnant cat who appeared  after Hurricane Sandy, the organization had no idea that she would become a TV star.

Juno gave birth to three of her own kittens, and then the magnanimous mom also adopted an orphan kitten, nursing her along with her own babies, who are now all of adoptable age and who will be featured at this Sunday’s Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days free adoption event in Union Square.

Also attending the event will be an Animal Planet television crew, filming the final episode of a Too Cute series that will feature Juno and her babies, focusing on the day that they get adopted and get to go to their forever home.

“She was just an amazing mother to her own kittens,” BBAWC’s Anne Levin said of Juno. “She’s incredibly sweet and good-natured.”

“In February we got a call from Animal Care and Control—not everyone will take orphan bottle babies, and these were particularly sad cases, and Juno was just so sweet and affectionate towards them.”

Juno has been fostered in Brooklyn Heights since she was taken in last fall, and she and the four kittens—three of her own and one she “adopted”–have been filmed every couple of weeks since they were born.

Levin doesn’t know exactly when the Juno episodes will air. Animal Planet airs in Brooklyn Heights on TWC channels 86 and 786 and FiOS 130/1565.

Click here for more photos of Juno and her babies here, and here to see other cats and kittens available for adoption from BBAWC.









Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Books, History

History, Horse Racing, & Politics On Brooklyn’s Sportsmen’s Row

May 8, 2013

An archaeologist by training, Lucas Rubin has spent a good deal of his life immersed in the past. He also loves cities, and he loves sports. In his book, Brooklyn’s Sportsmen’s Row: Politics, Society & the Sporting Life on Northern Eighth Avenue, he indulges his passion for all three.

Rubin earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in classic archaeology with a concentration in urban topography from the University of Buffalo, going on to work at the Brooklyn Museum as an assistant to the director, and he’s held a variety of positions at Columbia University, currently directing the Master of Science Program in Sports Management at Columbia University.

A Brooklyn native, he’s lived for much of his life in Park Slope, most recently on Eighth Avenue, in the home he and his parents purchased in the late 90’s, a vintage Brooklyn brownstone at the northern end of the avenue.

“One day,” Rubin said, “my father made a passing, cryptic comment to me – ‘We finally made it to Sportsmen’s Row.’  I thought to myself, ‘Maybe one day I’ll look into that.’”

It was no idle thought, and last year, the History Press published Rubin’s book, the history of the block that in the 1890’s was home to some of Brooklyn’s brightest sporting luminaries, at a time when the city of Brooklyn, then the borough, was home to three race tracks, at Brighton Beach, Gravesend, and Sheepshead Bay.

The first owner of Rubin’s house was James G. Rowe, Sr., a famous jockey and Thoroughbred horse trainer who was elected to Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame in its inaugural 1955 class; the block also attracted other trainers, jockeys, and horse owners.  Some of its more celebrated residents were the Dwyer brothers, butchers who had a shop at the corner of Court St. and Atlantic Avenue before dominating the racing world as owners.

Other residents of Sportsmen’s Row included men well-known in politics, the arts, business, and law, among them William James Gaynor, mayor of New York City from 1910 to 1913.

Rubin made extensive use of Brooklyn resources in researching his book, finding particularly valuable the collection and librarians at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

“I love what I do, but I love the BHS,” he said. “Working for them would probably be the only other job I’d consider.”

He also used the resources of Green-Wood Cemetery, itself a National Historic Landmark and the location of the burial sites of several of the sportsmen about whom he writes in the book.

This Sunday, Rubin will speak at Green-Wood on “Life and Death Along Sportsmen’s Row: Brooklyn’s Eighth Avenue and Green-Wood,” looking at both the famous and the not-so-famous people he writes about, followed by a trolley tour of some of the cemetery’s sites.

Among those whom Rubin is certain to mention is Edward “Snapper” Garrison, a Hall of Fame jockey who rode from 1882 to 1897 and who lived at 30 Eighth Avenue until about 1897.  In addition to their geographical kinship, Rubin discovered something else he and Garrison have in common: their birthdays. Both were born on February 9.

Rubin’s book is available at The Community Bookstore in Park Slope and from Amazon.  The Green-Wood talk starts at 1:00 and is free; the accompanying trolley tour costs $10 for members of the Green-Wood Historic Fund and $15 for non-members. Space is limited and reservations are recommended.





From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, News

Two Members of the Central Park Five Visit Packer Collegiate

February 7, 2013

On Wednesday at the Packer Collegiate Institute, students and faculty listened raptly as two members of the Central Park Five shared their stories of being arrested, convicted, and jailed for the infamous 1989 Central Park jogger assault—a crime they didn’t commit.

Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam spoke to members of the Packer community for two hours, explaining how they came to be arrested and convicted, and later exonerated.

The event was coordinated by Alice Lurain and Sarah Strauss, who teach chemistry and history respectively in Packer’s Upper School. Lurain teaches an elective in forensic chemistry, Strauss one in criminal justice, and last year, they began to talk about a way to offer inter-disciplinary work to their students.

“Sarah and I had spoken last spring,” said Lurain, “about getting a speaker who could talk about the use of forensic evidence, possibly in exonerations, as a way to begin our collaboration between our classes so that the students would have a more concrete understanding of why it was important to examine science and the law as fallible human institutions that can be improved if we understand their limitations.”

And at a conference last summer, Lurain found exactly the speaker she was looking for.

“I attended the American Chemical Society meeting,” said Lurain, “and there happened to be a symposium co-sponsored by the Division of Science and Law and the Innocence Project. I heard three exonerees, one of whom was Raymond Santana, speak, along with a number of forensic chemists and other people involved in law enforcement. That prompted Sarah and me to contact the Innocence Project back in August about the possibility of having Raymond visit Packer.”

The Innocence Project suggested that Salaam visit as well, a suggestion Lurain eagerly accepted.

“Raymond’s story really struck me, particularly because he was so young at the time of his arrest,” she said. “We had no idea that their case would begin to get so much press with the release of the documentary and the book.”

The film is The Central Park Five a documentary produced by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah, and David McMahon; it  was released last fall in the United States and is currently showing at the IFC Center.

Joining Santana and Salaam was Edwin Grimsley, a case analyst at the Innocence Project, which is based in downtown Manhattan.

“Can you imagine,” Salaam began, “being at school, leaving to go hang out with your friends, doing what normal kids do, and then a portion of them don’t show up because they were kidnapped by the police department?”

A naïve teenager, he learned that the police were looking for him, and his first instinct, he said, was to go to the precinct and tell them he hadn’t done anything.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” he said. “’I’m going to tell them, and my name will be off this list.’ I came home seven years later.”

Arrested at age 15, Salaam spent five and a half years in prison and three more on parole before being exonerated in 2002.  Santana was 14 when he began his five-year term.

“One decision,” Santana told the Upper School students gathered in Packer’s chapel, “going to hang out with my classmates, some guys from the neighborhood, changed my life.” 

Both Santana and Salaam were classified as sex offenders and had to register with local precincts every time they moved.  Following their exoneration and the publication of Sarah Burns’ book on which the movie is based, the men feel that they have been able to re-claim some pieces of their lives.

“It’s awesome for people to embrace us,” said Santana. “It says how far we’ve come as a city.”

Salaam concurred. “We’ve been welcomed back, back into society.”

Neither man, though, was so generous that he’s put what happened wholly behind him. Santana still feels the sting of losing his mother to cancer while he was incarcerated and of her never knowing that he’d been exonerated.

Salaam spoke bitterly of Mayor Koch and Donald Trump. Koch was captured on camera at the time proclaiming gleefully, “We got ‘em!”, while Trump took out full-page ads in city newspapers calling for the death penalty to be reinstated so that the five convicted boys could be executed.

Despite the exoneration, the city has never publicly apologized to the Central Park Five or admitted any wrongdoing in the handling of their cases. The other men who were convicted and exonerated are Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Kharey Wise.

Said Salaam, “We channel our rage into coming to schools and talking to students.”

“We love these engagements because of you guys,” Santana told the students. “Nobody wanted to invest in us, and we decided to invest in you, by telling our story.”

Disclosure: The author has taught at Packer since 1998. 

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Around Brooklyn, Brooklyn Nets, Downtown Brooklyn, Sports

“Popular sports league” to Knicklyn: Cease and desist

January 26, 2013

A couple of weeks ago we brought you Knicklyn, created by Brooklyn-dwelling Knicks fan Mike Sorisi to bring together fans he thought were being overlooked in the media coverage of the Nets’ invasion of our fair borough.

Response to Knicklyn on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and tumblr had been enthusiastic, so enthusiastic that Sorisi recently started selling a line of Knicklyn gear, an endeavor that is about to come to a screeching halt.

From Sorisi today:

“Knicklyn has been pressured by a popular sports league to temporarily restrict the online sale of all “Knicklyn” goods and apparel or face substantial legal action.  Despite meeting with and receiving clearance from several trademark lawyers prior to the launch of the site, this large sports association still feels the “Knicklyn” logo infringes upon their trademarks and intellectual properties.  We have attempted to reach an amicable agreement with said sports league but were left with only two options; either pay millions of dollars in licensing fees, or shut down all together.”

Reached by phone on Sunday, Sorisi sounded discouraged but undaunted.

“This isn’t a big deal,” he said. “It’s not going to slow me down.”

While unsurprised by the NBA’s action, he didn’t think it would come quite this quickly, and he pointed out that the objection is not with Knicklyn itself, but with the decision to sell goods that could represent copyright infringement.

He toyed with some design changes to his merchandise, but decided ultimately to suspend sales as he contemplates his next moves.

“This is only a temporary setback,”  he said.

And given the response to his announcement about ceasing sales, which Sorisi characterized as “great” and “positive,” along with an article in the NY Post about this recent development, he might be right when he says, “This isn’t a bad bump. It’s a good bump.”

Read Sorisi’s full letter here, and let us know what you think. Corporate behemoth strangling creative expression and fandom? Or legitimate copyright infringement?


Originally posted on January 27, updated January 28 with additional information.


From the Web

Around Brooklyn, Arts and Entertainment, Brooklyn Nets, Features, Sports

Knicklyn, Bringing Brooklyn’s Knicks Fans Together Since 2012

January 17, 2013

So you’re a lifelong Knicks fan. You’ve spent all of your life in the New York area, much of it in the five boroughs; you’ve lived in Brooklyn for four years.

And you watch as a new team moves across two rivers to take up residence in what had long been Knicks territory, and you watch as they dominate the local press, and you watch as this heretofore suburban team attempts to re-invent itself by embracing urban cool.

You’re a lifelong Knicks fan. So what you do?

If you’re Mike from Gowanus—who’s got the perfect name for a sports-talk radio caller—you create…Knicklyn.

Knicklyn is a website…and a state of mind.

“I’m a resident of Brooklyn,” said Mike, who asked that his last name not to be used, preferring to keep his site separate from his professional life. “I’m a devout Knicks fan. And when the Nets moved, I just felt that a lot of people were supporting the Nets kind of blindly, which I get, because there’s a lot of pride in the neighborhood.

“But I felt that there had to be people out there that wanted to be able to relate to the team that they’re loyal to. It’s a pride thing.”

Knicklyn was born when Mike started “fooling around” with some graphic art, which eventually grew into a website. It grew virally, he said, as Knicks fans in Brooklyn found the site, so he expanded into a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, an Instagram account.

This week, Knicklyn started offering hats and stickers for sale, in response, said Mike, to user requests.  Aware of his brand as the Knicklyn logo started to spread, he wanted to capitalize on the interest before someone else latched on to it.

“With so many social media streams,” he explained, “the art was starting to spread without any real credit, and before anyone could compromise the integrity of what I was trying to do, I started to produce some products.”

While admitting to some resentment about the people who have jumped from the Knicks to the Nets, Mike, a marketer by day, acknowledges the success of the Nets’ marketing scheme.

“I thought it was a little gimmicky—‘Hello, Brooklyn!’—but in Jay-Z, they chose the best person possible to be the face of the team; a lot of people from the neighborhood can relate to him,” he said.  “They did everything how you should do it, but some people see through it and their loyalty remains with the team they grew up with.”

During Knicks games, the 26-year-old tweets commentary, engages in ardent debate with other fans, and after each victory, “tapes” the logo of the opposing team. Knicklyn’s Facebook page has more than 1,600 likes, and its Instagram account attracts regular commenters along with requests for Knicklyn gear.

In short, Knicklyn is doing exactly what Mike wants it to.

“Knicklyn is about bringing community together,” he said, “people who have the same passion and loyalty to both my neighborhood and my team.”







From the Web


The Pines Joins Littlenecks on Third Avenue’s (mini) Restaurant Row

December 27, 2012

Walking down Third Avenue in Gowanus to The Pines restaurant is not what you’d call taking the scenic route. Head south from Atlantic Avenue, and the landscape quickly changes from upscale boutiques and gift shops to gas stations and car repair shops. But keep walking, down to President Street, and then go just a few steps further, and you might start thinking that Third Avenue is the new Smith Street.

Earlier this fall, Alan Harding, the man who brought Patois to Smith Street in 1997, opened The Pines,  moving in as Littleneck’s next door neighbor. He served briefly as Littleneck’s chef before joining Littleneck’s owners Andy Curtin and Aaron Lefkove, along with Carver and Sonya Farell in The Pines, hiring chef Angelo Romano to oversee the kitchen. Romano previously worked at Roberta’s, Lupo, and Masten Lake.

A former bagel shop, the restaurant at 284 Third Avenue required little renovation, according to Romano, and the décor is almost quaintly minimalist: wooden tables and folding chairs, unfinished tin walls and ceiling, the occasional picnic bench. Soft lighting offers a glowing, almost dreamy ambiance.

The menu is limited but inventive, aspiring to what Romano calls an “interesting level of comfort food.”

“We might use products our customers haven’t seen before, but we use them in a flavor profile they can relate to,” he said. “The flavors will bring back their childhood, or take them back to their college days.”

On an early December Monday evening, the less-than-straightforward bill of fare was presented simultaneously with a query from the bartender: “Would you like me to explain the menu to you?”

Though at first resistant, my friends and I eventually, and reluctantly, succumbed, seeking guidance on the menu’s organization, each of item of which is structured around a key ingredient whose preparation or accompaniments vary. It seemed, perhaps, a little more precious and inaccessible than necessary.

Skepticism from the brain gave way quickly, though, to approval from the taste buds: every single thing we ate, from the chick-pea amuse-bouche, to the jicama salad with yogurt, to the greens with guanciale and egg yolk, to the pork shoulder with rye berries, sparkled with flavor and texture, vividly, extraordinarily so.

Ours were not, apparently, the only such reactions to the food. According to Romano, the wait for a table can run to two hours at peak times, and The Pines doesn’t take reservations (or credit cards), at least for prime dining hours.

“I’ll take reservations subjectively,” he said. “If someone calls and is really passionate about coming and wants a reservation for two at 8:30 on a Monday, we’ll accommodate that, and we’ll always take reservations for parties of six or more.”

“The restaurant is really small,” he explained, “and we can’t risk people coming in late or not showing up.”

Romano doesn’t want to be seen as a draconian gatekeeper, though. “The obvious nature of the business is hospitality,” he said. “Our guests leaving happy is much more important than anything else.”

jicama salad

He pointed to a recent example of a woman who called to make a reservation for a Friday night. Her parents had lost their home in Superstorm Sandy, and he suggested that they arrive right at 6:00, when the restaurant opens.

“I wanted to make sure that her parents had the best time of their lives,” he said. “This was about give and take, and we went out of our way to make sure it was a special night.”

Come spring time, The Pines’ backyard, which Romano calls “the big upsell of the restaurant,” will re-open. Until then, diners will need to make do with the restaurant’s 42 seats and the bar, taking advantage of an atmosphere that Romano hopes beckons to a variety of diners.

“We designed the place,” he said, “so that you can come by yourself or you can come in a group.”

Given the number of diners finding their way to this less-than-hospitable stretch of Third Avenue, the approach seems to be working.  “The neighborhood is giving us a shot,” Romano said appreciatively, “and they’ve embraced the food that we’re doing.”

More photos of The Pines here.

The Pines is located at 284 Third Avenue. It’s open every day for dinner from 6 – 11 pm, and for weekend brunch from 11-3.

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Downtown Brooklyn, Music

The Who at the Barclays Center: Not A Teenage Wasteland

November 17, 2012

When a friend asked me last summer if I wanted to see the Who at the Barclays Center in November, I said yes, but not without reservations.

A Who fanatic through high school, college, and early adulthood, I’d seen them once before, in 1989, when we were both a lot younger, they in their 40’s, I in my 20’s, when it was easier to pretend that they were a band in their prime.

So it was with some trepidation that I headed to the Barclays Center last Thursday night, and with satisfaction that I left it.

First impressions of the venue are that it’s gone overboard in an attempt for sleek, Brooklyn coolness. Its darkness—both in décor and in lighting—feels more foreboding than urban hip, and at least for this particular event, which did not pack the house, the arena itself felt like a vacuous barn.

The men on the stage were undeniably old, and someone tweeted to me during the show, “Enjoy the Two!”, referring to the absent Keith Moon, who died in 1978, and John Entwistle, who died in 2002.

But instead of avoiding the passing of their youth and bandmates, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend invoked them, the screens behind the stage regularly displaying images of the very young Who, in their 30’s when Quadrophenia, the centerpiece of the show, was released in 1973.

At several points, the musicians on the screen replaced those on the stage, bass player Pino Palladino stepping aside during one number so that Entwistle’s performance, projected on the screen, is the one that the audience heard; Keith Moon reprised his role as the Bell Boy in the song of the same name and treated those in attendance to an extended drum solo, while current drummer Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr) looked on.

Quadrophenia is the story of a British mod in the 1960’s, and the band played it, uninterrupted, start to finish; while the quality and complexity of the music stand up nearly 40 years later, a sense of anachronism couldn’t help but pervade the performances of two men in their late 60s singing about youthful disaffection.

The largely middle-aged Barclays Center crowd received appreciatively the performance of Quadrophenia, but predictably, it was the “greatest hits” part of the show (“Who Are You?”, “Baba O’Riley,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again”) that brought it to its feet.

Known for transcendent live performances in its heyday, this version of the Who set more modest goals and achieved them, successfully linking the band’s past and present. And if the performances relied a little too heavily on the band’s former selves, the audience was happy to indulge them.

Were you there? What did you think?

Photo: Alison Wright via Twitter

The Who at Barclays Center

Storified by Brooklyn Bugle · Tue, Nov 20 2012 18:40:09

Rocking Who concert last night at the new Barclays Centre Brooklyn. Wright
@scharpling Keith Moon on the screen during Bellboy. Who @ Barclays Center hanratty
Pete Townsend/ The Who/Brooklyn hanratty

From the Web

Brooklyn Nets, Downtown Brooklyn, Features, Profiles, Sports

Nets’ Announcer Ian Eagle Comes Home (sort of) To Brooklyn

November 8, 2012

Last Saturday night, the Nets finally got to call Brooklyn their own when they played the Sandy-delayed opener in their new Barclays Center home, beating the Toronto Raptors 107-100.

Their announcer of 18 years, Ian Eagle, had to wait a little longer to make his Brooklyn debut, calling his first game on Monday when the Nets lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Eagle became part of the Nets broadcast team in 1994 and joined the YES network, the Nets’ television home, 10 years ago. And though he grew up in Queens, coming to the Barclays Center is a sort of homecoming.

“My dad was from Brooklyn,” Eagle said last week, preparing to head out of town to cover the NFL.  “He went to Erasmus Hall for high school, and that was his life, growing up in Brooklyn.”

“After my father got divorced, his first wife lived in Brooklyn, and I spent weekends in Brooklyn with her for the first five years of my life. I remember going to Prospect Park, getting off at the Church Avenue station; she had an apartment on Caton Avenue, and Brooklyn made up a lot of my childhood memories. It definitely made an impression on me.”

Eagle also spent time in Mill Basin, as a teenager frequently visiting a sister who lived there. “I used to go out there about a once a month,” he said. “Growing up in Queens, the only frame of reference I had for an indoor mall was Kings Plaza.”

Eagle’s first impressions of his return to Brooklyn are equally favorable.

“I’m really impressed,” he said. “It’s very tastefully done, not over the top like a lot of the newer buildings. It feels intimate, and the lower bowl feels very close to the action. I went upstairs, too, and for a basketball game, I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the house.”

Of the move across two rivers, from New Jersey to Brooklyn, Eagle said that the first task was persuading the players that it was a good idea. “The biggest challenge initially was convincing players that Brooklyn is a legitimate destination,” he said. “That happened pretty quickly.”

“There’s automatically a fan base in Brooklyn,” he went on. “Knicks’ ans aren’t going to give up their allegiance, but Brooklyn is a proud area, and a number of fans have already accepted this team.

“That’s a byproduct of the pride within the borough. There’s a different vibe with this team.”

While Eagle is enthusiastic about the move, he has no plans to move from his New Jersey home to the Brooklyn.

“I have a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old, and the timing just doesn’t work. But I’ve already done the drive a couple of times and it really hasn’t been that bad at all,” he said.

“I’m Mr. Traffic,” he continued. “I listen to all the traffic reports.”

The Nets’ next home game is Sunday at 3 pm against the Orlando Magic.





From the Web