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Park Slope

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

Health, News

Denis Hamill on LICH: SUNY “is going to kill people.”

February 17, 2013

In a Daily News piece, “Long Island College Hospital merged to death”, Denis Hamill retells an ambulance driver’s account, told to Hamill at Thursday evening’s community forum, about picking up a man in cardiac arrest on Hamilton Avenue, administering first aid, taking an EKG that was forwarded to LICH electronically, and getting the patient to LICH where the doctors were able to open an artery to save him, all in an elapsed time of seven minutes. Had the ambulance had to fight traffic to get to Methodist Hospital in Park Slope or Lutheran in Sunset Park, the driver said, “My opinion, add another 12-15 minutes, he wouldn’t have made it.”

In Hamill’s words: “Make no mistake: Close LICH, and people of Red Hook, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights will die.”


Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Around Brooklyn, Beer

Beer Goggles: Park Slope Eye Doc @JustinBazan Breaks Out the Booze

February 10, 2013

The New York Post reports on Dr. Justin Bazan, a Park Slope eye doctor, who breaks out the beer and booze for patients on occasion. That’s legal, right? It’s like Mad Men era doctors smoking with their patients, right?

Heck, dilate our pupils and hang up a disco ball and we’ve got a party!

NYP: Patients are offered tea, snacks and craft brews on arrival. Most finish their libations in the lobby, but Bazan allows unfinished ales in the exam room, too.

One recent patient wanted to get pie-eyed after a hard day and asked for something stronger.

Bazan took out a bottle of Jack Daniel’s — left over from an art show held at the lens shop — and poured him Jack and Coke.

“The guy had a cocktail instead of a beer,” Bazan said. “He had three of them, actually.”

Not for nothin’ but it seems like Dr. Bazan is a regular Dr. Oz, what with the appearing on TV and the apparent hiring of a publicist (hey he got on WCBS-TV !):

Speaking of press, Business Insider called the good doc a “social media evangelist” who loves the Yelp (which….ahem… is mentioned in the NYP piece today) in a 2011 article.

Not all of Bazan’s Yelp reviews are great, as this excerpt shows:

Like at least one other reviewer, I also witnessed Dr. Bazan verbally berate his staff in front of customers, which is consistent with his hostility toward any critical reviewer on this page. (Take note, especially, of the instance where he responded by posting details of a customer’s medical care on Yelp, which needless to say is unethical behavior for a medical professional.)

I’m truly disappointed PSE turned out to have so much baggage – I was very happy with my treatment, and wish the rest of the experience had matched it.

Like any decent “social media evangelist”, Bazan engages his critics and responded:

Anyone who knows me ,knows I have a huge heart and my head is always in my patients shoes. We maintained a perfect 5 star rating for over 100 yelp reviews. However, when we reminded people that they owed money, the boo brigade began. Sometimes a little pruning is needed if you want to have a prize rose bush.

Love him or hate him you have to respect Bazan’s hustle!

NY Post photo

From the Web

Around Brooklyn

Park Slope Baking Up New Outpost For Historic Leske’s

January 30, 2013

The beloved Leske’s Scandinavian Bakery in Bay Ridge will be opening a second location in Park Slope, at 588 5th Avenue, a space last occupied by Sweet Treasures Bakery. Leske’s has been a Brooklyn institution since 1961, and has 5,700+ Facebook followers, reports the South Slope News.

The bakery is renowned for traditional Scandinavian baking, Danish, B&W cookies and Brooklyn blackout cakes. According to its Facebook page, the South Slope location will open before Valentine’s Day. (Photo: South Slope News)

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web

Around Brooklyn, Arts and Entertainment

There She Is… Miss America 2013 From Brooklyn!

January 13, 2013

Mallory Hagan, a 23-year-old Brooklyn resident by way of Alabama, was crowned Miss America 2013 on Saturday, January 12. Miss New York, who resides in nearby Park Slope, attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, and her platform issue is child sexual abuse prevention. Read more on the Cobble Hill Blog.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Chocolate Room To Donate 20% Of Wednesday Sales To Hurricane Relief

November 5, 2012

The Chocolate Room in Cobble Hill and Park Slope will be donating 20% of its sales to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to benefit the hurricane relief effort this Wednesday, November 7th. This includes locations in Park Slope (86 Fifth Ave between St. Marks Pl and Warren St) and Cobble Hill (269 Court St between Butler St and Douglass St) as well as its online store. The stores are open from noon to 11 p.m. on Wednesday. More info is here. Or you may contact owners Naomi Josepher and Jon Payson at 718-246-2600.

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web


New York Marathon Is On… So Far

October 31, 2012

New York City Marathon officials continue to check damage caused by Hurricane Sandy before deciding what impact the storm will have on the race, scheduled this Sunday, November 4.

Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday the race will “go on as normal, as of now,” although he will continue to discuss logistics with city and marathon officials before a final decision. According to the Marathon website, “NYRR continues to move ahead with its planning and preparation. We will keep all options open with regard to making adjustments necessary to race day and race weekend events. We will provide an update and more detail as information becomes available.”

The 26.2-mile course begins in Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island and passes through Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights and Boerum Hill, and into Manhattan over the Queensboro Bridge, finishing in Central Park. See the course route here.

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web


Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Blog Espouses Her Favorite Area Brooklyn Eateries

October 21, 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP blog, in which the actress oozes opinions about lifestyle & culture, offers a post on Brooklyn, in which she espouses: “Brooklyn has changed so much since I was a kid, and parts of it are probably unrecognizable from when my dad was born at Brooklyn Jewish hospital in 1943. A lot of this has been good change in the form of art, culture, neighborhood-defining restaurants, shops and more.”

Paltrow includes hot spots in Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Gowanus. Read her reviews below.

Park Slope’s Al di Là, 248 5th Avenue
“A homey and casual neighborhood trattoria so popular it has Manhattanites lining out the door (reservations aren’t taken, but you can wait in their charming wine bar next door). The menu hasn’t changed much since opening in 1998, because it’s pretty much perfect Venetian fare, with particularly excellent pastas.”

Prospect Heights’ Franny’s, 295 Flatbush Avenue
“Franny’s churns out some of the best pizza and locally-sourced food in Brooklyn, maybe even NYC. Hit the original location while you can, as they will be moving to a larger space by the end of the year, keeping the old space for a new restaurant, Marco’s, to open in the spring of 2013.

Prospect Heights’ Ample Hills Creamery, 623 Vanderbilt Avenue
“Handcrafted ice cream and sorbet made in small batches, Ample Hills gets its cream and eggs from local farms upstate for the freshest (and most sustainable) product possible, in 24 flavors that change with the seasons. They also do really delicious and beautiful custom ice cream cakes, for any occasion.”

Cobble Hill’s Henry Public, 329 Henry Street
“This handsome, old-timey Brooklyn saloon, with a limited “Bill of Fare” of simple and homey food, including a great burger, is perfect for a late supper and whiskey cocktails with friends.”

Cobble Hill’s Pok Pok, 127 Columbia Street
“People are crazy for this Thai via Portland import to the BK, for good reason – the fresh takes on Thai classics are seriously good (and run on the hot side), from the signature charcoal roasted hen with lemongrass to the sweet, spicy salads and more, plus an awesome Thai-inspired cocktail menu (the Pok Pok Bloody Mary with Thai chilies is a serious kick in the ass.)”

Carroll Gardens’ The Grocery, 329 Henry Street
“Quality ingredients, imaginatively prepared from this superb market-driven menu keeps this tiny place on the top of the borough’s fine dining list year after year. It’s pricey, but for one of the best bargains in the borough, try the Green Plate Special – $40 for the four-course veggie tasting menu.”

Boerum Hill’s Mile End, 97A Hoyt Street
“Hearty, meaty sandwiches and Montreal-style deli food (think house-smoked meats, poutine, brisket and more) served deluxe. Make sure to get a pickle on the side and wash it all down with a good glass of wine.”

Gowanus’ The Pines, 284 3rd Avenue
“While this highly-anticipated Gowanus opening keeps the atmosphere casual, with an artfully shabby, worn in dining room and larger garden in the back, the menu is decidedly ambitious with an Italian bent (think cavatelli with duck heart) with lots of interesting seasonal salads and antipasti.”

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment

Manic Antic: 38th-Annual Atlantic Antic Draws Thousands Of Brooklynites

September 30, 2012

Despite an early afternoon shower and cool temps, Brooklynites came out in force Sunday for the 38th-annual Atlantic Antic, which spans one mile along Atlantic Avenue, from Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue. Check out many more pics on our sister Brooklyn Heights Blog here. (Photos: Chuck Taylor)

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web

Celebrity Residents, Life

Celebs Just Like Us! Time Warner Cable Baffles New Park Sloper Patrick Stewart Too

September 19, 2012

Legendary actor Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) may have travelled the galaxy as Star Trek’s Captain Picard but while he may have triumphed over the evil Borg, Time Warner Cable nearly vanquished him this week.

The actor’s tweet about his problem getting cable installed for his new Park Slope pad inspired hundreds of retweets and stoked the flames of Time Warner Cable hate throughout Brooklyn and beyond. Check the tale of the tweets after the jump and add your TWC horror story. Continue Reading…

From the Web