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					Atlantic Currents
Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association Newsletter                                                      SPRING   2004   VOL   4,   NO   2

A       x
      Land Grab
        ABA supports development
        over the MTA railroad yards
        with local control over plan-
ning. Local architects and urban plan-
ners have developed several alterna-
tive plans which merit consideration.
However New York State is poised
to take over development of the site.
                                                 t’s attractive, easy-to-navigate and
                                                 the latest word on the Avenue!
                                                 At AABA’s new web site www.
                                    , designed by
                                              Four Eyes Production and partially
                                              funded by Assemblywoman Joan
                                                                                         neighborhood services, such as delis,
                                                                                         laundries, veterinarians and real estate
                                                                                         brokers. Advertising space is available.
                                                                                              The all-inclusive site presents
                                                                                         AABA’s mission and information on its
                                                                                         successful grants programs as well as
                                              Millman, you will find listings of          upcoming AABA meeting dates and
Surrounding streets have been desig-          new stores as they open. Our online        agendas as they become available.
nated an Urban Renewal Area, allowing         shopping section offers links to           Look on the newsletter segment for
the City to condemn properties and turn
                                              individual store web sites, identifies      the current issue and a complete
over land to a private entity, which then
has the right to negotiate exclusive con-     members and shops that give AABA           archive of past newsletters. Visit www.
tracts with a developer without local         discounts, and features listings of
input or control.
     Therefore AABA strenuously ob-
jects to the 20,000-seat arena/Atlantic              What’s Buzzing on the Avenue

Yards plan for the site, proposed by de-              ore comprehensive and better       to add more bulk to the building in or-
veloper Bruce Ratner, which includes
                                                      than ever! — AABA’s summer         der to offset the expensive clean-up of
eliminating streets, widening Flatbush
Ave., constructing 17 skyscrapers (from               shopping guide, designed by        contaminated soil.
210 to 620 feet high) and condemning        Four Eyes Productions, is now in stores             SIGN ON
homes and businesses. AABA opposes          on Atlantic. The guides have three new            New store signs
the plan because it                         categories to identify stores: Fitness &     are popping out all
   n Bypasses open-bidding, giving the      Bodycare, Kids & More and Pet Supplies.      along Atlantic and
land to one favored developer.                           FILLING IN THE GAP              side streets. AABA
   n Threatens the economic and his-             The Mobile Gas Station on the           has sponsored 19
toric fabric of the existing surrounding    southeast corner of Boerum Place and         of these attractive
neighborhoods.                              Atlantic has been sold. Renaissance Re-      additions that
   n Requires eminent domain to con-        alty plans to build a seven-story residen-   reinforce the identity
demn houses and businesses to profit                                                      of the avenue as a vibrant commercial
one developer.                                                                           shopping strip. AABA members are
   n Does not protect jobs. Any devel-                                                   eligible to receive one half of the cost
opment should safeguard businesses                                                       of a new sign (up to $500) from the
and build on existing commercial                                                         Association.
strengths.                                                                                         SOLD OUT DOWN UNDER
   n Traffic congestion will increase.                                                         Bob Diamond, Brooklyn Historic
There is a 3,000-car garage planned for                                                  Railway Association, led visitors into the
the 20,000-seat arena; what about the
                                                                                         historic Atlantic Avenue Tunnel for an
residential and commercial tenants in
the proposed 17 skyscrapers and the                                                      AABA fund raiser on Sunday, May 16.
remaining 17,000 sports fans?                                                            Even though three tours accommodated
   n Erases streets off the map, isolat-
                                                                                         75 people each, the event was such a
ing neighborhoods.                          tial building with street-level retail and   runaway success that AABA and Mr.
                                            underground parking. Sandy Balboza,          Diamond added two more tours the
   n Does not address community
needs, such as schools and public parks,    AABA president, spent an afternoon with      next Sunday, May 23. Special thanks to
for more than 10,000 new residents.         the developer, addressing the concerns       Circa Antiques, A Cook’s Companion,
                                            of merchants and residents and express-      Brooklyn Heights Bike Shoppe, The
 To Protest Against the Arena
  At 2pm, June 19, on Pacific St.            ing AABA’s focus that new development        Melting Pot and Silk Road Antiques for
between 5th and 6th Aves., Develop—         in The Gap (between Court and Smith          selling tunnel tickets.
Don’t Destroy is holding a rally and        Sts.) must include retail to unite the                   WANT A TREE GUARD?
block party against the Ratner/Nets         Avenue’s divided shopping strips. The             Anyone interested in a matching
Arena/17 high rise proposal. For info:      developer is requesting a variance from      grant for a tree guard on Atlantic Ave.,                 the City Board of Standards and Appeals      contact Sandy Balboza, 718/852.7418.
              More Shopping (And More Fun, Too!)
A    Brooklyn Table, 140 Atlantic
     Ave., Tu-Sa, 11-7pm, Su 12-5pm,
718/422.7650, www.abrooklyntable.
                                                                                       resemble a home setting with a theme.
                                                                                       From the sun catchers made with real
                                                                                       pressed flowers to the sunflower glass
com - This store is the dream                                                          tumblers and hand-painted spice boxes,
of two neighborhood Moms, Carolyn                                                      there is no missing her love for nature.
Humphrey and Nathalie Roy, who                                                         She also carries quilts, limited edition
decided “to go with what we loved”                                                     prints, body lotion, jute tote bags, dried
— dining accessories, indoors and out.                                                 lavender, roses and chili peppers, gar-
You’ll find fine linens, crystal, china,
outdoor bamboo furniture, antique           G    RDN: for the Urban Gardener,
                                                  108 Hoyt St., Tu-Su 11-pm,
                                                                                       dening books, candles — yes, all with a
                                                                                       botanical or herbal theme.
dining furniture, even a wine stain
remover. My favorites are the Brooklyn
Bridge plates.
                                            718/797.3628, -
                                            Urban gardeners beware. Whether you
                                            garden outdoors or in, there’s a lot to
                                                                                       A    rtez’n, 444 Atlantic Ave., W-Su
                                                                                            11-7pm, 718/596.2649 www.
                                                                              - It’s all Brooklyn-
                                            tempt you here. Former chef, Susanne       made by Brooklyn artists. This eclectic,
                                            Kongoy has filled GRDN with “things
                                            for small spaces”: what she found
                                            missing when she began gardening in
                                            Brooklyn — handsome pots, garden
                                            ornaments, lanterns, seeds for growing
                                            indoors, terrariums, hand-forged tools
                                            and, of course, growing things: topi-
                                            ary, cut flowers and outside behind the
                                            store, a marvelous collection of annu-

H       O Express, 224A Atlantic            als, perennials and small shrubs.
       Ave., Tu-Sa 11-7pm, 718/852.
8828, -
You’ll never think of water the same
                                            T   arragon, 407 Atlantic Ave.,
                                                 Tu-Su 11-7pm, 718/624.2585,
                                                                                       imaginative mix of art is organized by
                                                                                       Jessica Furst who produces her own col-
again after talking with Raymond            Indira Hamilton has set up her store to    lage-furniture, frames and mirrors under
Pendleton. He discovered “restructured                                                 the name “Messy Jessie.” Other artists’
alkaline water” on his search for healthy                                              works include beaded jewelry by Tsili-
living. The store sells bottles of water                                               ana, glass pendants by Sara Jane McIl-
(ask about discounted water club cards),                                               vain, blank books with recycled record
“cutting-edge health supplements,”and                                                  covers and traditional Japanese binding
a counter top device that “turns tap                                                   by Kathleen McCafferty, and pint glasses
water into a liquid antioxidant,” using a                                              depicting Brooklyn landmark images by
process of filtering and electrolysis.                                                  Adam Suerte.

          Current Names Making News                                                                  Red Alert
A    shop blooms. GRDN got rave
     reviews in The New York Times, Apr.
8, and in The New York Sun, Apr. 1.
                                                 Kimera, Ouvrez La Porte and
                                            Michelle New York presented designs in
                                            Fashion on Fulton and Friends, a fund
                                                                                         S   anitation is ticking merchants
                                                                                             along Atlantic Ave. for untidy
                                                                                         sidewalks — and improperly placed
     Fashion, Fashions, Fashionista!        raiser for Brooklyn Community Housing        sidewalk signs and merchandise.
presented by The Hoyt St. Association,      and Services, May 13.                           Sweep daily in front of stores,
May 4 featured Care Partners, Gumbo,             An apartment (once a loading            cleaning 18 inches into the street.
Kimera, Maleeka, The Melting Pot, Silk      dock) in the Ex-Lax Co-ops and GRDN             Properly dispose of sweepings.
Road Antiques, Silver Tao and Zawadi.       are being featured on the Boerum Hill           Sidewalk signs and merchandise
     A new look. The owner of Darr          House & Garden tour, June 6. Call            cannot extend more than 3 feet from
is collaborating with set designer Bill     718/797.2757 for advance tickets.            building walls.
Groome in his front windows.                     Art on Atlantic. See “Crossing the         For a free brochure on Sanitation
     May: bike month. Brooklyn Heights      Bridge,” a group exhibit thru June 13 at     regulations, call Sandy Balboza,
Bike Shoppe, 278 Atlantic, gives free air   Axelle Fine Arts, 314 Atlantic; “When        718/625.7418.
for bikes and free NYC Cycling Maps.        in Rome” by Bradley Wester, thru June
     Atlantic on the Pier. Jessica Furst,   6 at Bruno Marina Gallery, 372 Atlan-            This newsletter is made possible
Artez’n, is showing in The Brooklyn         tic; and “Psychographic” by Charles                by public funds provided by
Waterfront Artists Coalition’s (Red         Yuen thru June 19 at Metaphor Con-            State Senator Velmanette Montgomery
                                                                                           and City Councilman David Yassky.
Hook) Pier Art Show ending June 27.         temporary Art, 382 Atlantic.                           Editor: Betsy Kissam