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Around Brooklyn: Early photos on display at Transit Museum

February 11, 2020 Editorial Staff

Early photos on display at Transit Museum

Photos of early 1900s subway construction will be on view at the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn when “Streetscapes & Subways: Photographs by Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis” opens on Feb. 13. Transit officials, way back when, hired the Pullis brothers to document the building of the subway. In addition to the construction process itself, the brothers’ large-format prints captured many aspects of the city’s daily life, from children playing to men congregating in taverns to merchants selling their wares. The exhibit will run through Jan. 21, 2021 at the museum, which is underground at 99 Schermerhorn St. 

Chinese American group hosts Census kickoff

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The Brooklyn Chinese-American Association hosted a 2020 Census kickoff forum on Friday, according to the Brooklyn Reporter.  The group and several other organizations discussed plans to assist Southwest Brooklyn’s Asian Americans to ensure their full participation in the Census. As of 2010, Sunset Park and Bensonhurst had the largest Asian population in the city.  Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Southwest Brooklyn), who offered his assistance, said, “For each family with two children that goes uncounted, you’re talking about losing between $5,000 and $7,000 that goes to health care, that goes to education, after-school programs and so many other services in the city.”

Brooklyn singer to compete on ‘American Idol’

A Brooklyn singer will be featured in the first episode of the 18th season of “American Idol,” which is set to air on Feb. 16.  Meghan Fitton, 24, will audition in front of an all-star judging panel that will include Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Fitton describes her music style as “folk soul with a blues and jazz influence.” Among her influences are Norah Jones, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Amy Winehouse. Fitton is originally from Foxboro, Massachusetts, and moved here soon after graduating from the University of Miami.

Pool hall where champ trained is being sold

A Bay Ridge pool hall where a woman who won seven U.S. Open Championships trained is being sold, according to NY1 News.  Jean Balukas, the daughter of the family who owned Ovington Billiards, began playing at the age of 4 and won her U.S. Opens when she was still a teenager. After she was inducted into the Billiards Hall of Fame at 26, her family renamed the place Hall of Fame Billiards. After Balukas, now 60, sells the pool hall, she plans to concentrate on golf.

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HS student newspapers available online at BPL

The Brooklyn Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library’s main branch now has a new resource — a digital database of more than 900 issues of high school newspapers from the borough, according to Brownstoner.  The newspapers date from 1853 to 1994, although most of the papers come from 1958-64.  The newspapers have colorful names like the Red Owl, the Dutchman, the Liberty Bell and the Lincoln Log. If you want to find out what famous Brooklynites like Janet Yellen, Bobby Fischer, Bernie Sanders and Shirley St. Hill (Chisholm) were up to in high school, you can do a text search. No word on whether the scanned-in collection includes any of the underground student newspapers that were so popular from around 1967-72.

Brooklyn photographer allegedly scammed models into sex

A Brooklyn photographer, using a stolen shot of Kylie Jenner to boost his credentials, is accused of conning aspiring models into having sex on camera, according to the New York Post. Under the name of Scarlet Lexicon, Brhonson Lexier St. Surin sought women for fine-arts photo shoots, but then he pressured his subjects into having sex with him, his victims charged in a lawsuit. One woman claimed he locked her in a basement after she refused his request. Four alleged victims, whose names are not given in Brooklyn Supreme Court papers, went public to urge other victims to speak out.

City shuts down building site in Marine Park area

City enforcers shut down a development site in Marine Park after the contractor allegedly disregarded previously approved construction blueprints and played fast and loose with safety regulations, according to the Brooklyn Paper.  Neighbors have filed 11 official complaints with the Department of Buildings since June 2018, saying that the project at the intersection of Avenue T and Hendrickson Street was exceeding allowed height limits and creating an unapproved elevator shaft. The building under construction was also missing guardrails and netting meant to protect construction workers, the DOB said. The building is surrounded by one-family houses. The developer did not respond to requests for comment, the Brooklyn Paper said.

Brooklyn-based cafe closes in Los Angeles

Five Leaves, a West Coast version of a Greenpoint café by the same name, has thrown in the towel in East Hollywood after only nine months in a historic Art Deco building in La-La Land, according to Los Angeles Eater. Reached for comment, the management of Five Leaves said, “All involved have made the incredibly difficult decision to close. We are certain something great will go into the beautiful space and building.”

Cops open homicide Investigation in Red Hook

Police announced Monday that they’ve opened a homicide investigation into the death of an unidentified man found in a burned-out car in Red Hook on Saturday morning, according to amNewYork. Officers from the 76th Precinct and the FDNY responded to a 911 call about a vehicle fire at the corner of Court and Bay streets just before 2 a.m. on Feb. 8. Shortly before they put out the fire, firefighters saw the lifeless man sitting in the front passenger seat.

Judge puts hold on real estate brokers’ fee ban

A judge issued a temporary injunction on a New York State Department of State ruling, intended as a clarification of the new Housing Tenant and Protection Act, that banned tenant-paid rental commissions to landlord-retained real estate agents. The Real Estate Board of New York and several other prominent real estate-related organizations had filed an Article 78 response to the ruling. The plaintiffs said the new “guidance,” as it’s known, would subject real estate brokers to loss of income and jobs.

Permits filed for 6-story Greenpoint building

Permits have been filed for a six-story residential building at 17 Eckford St. in Greenpoint, according to New York YIMBY. The closest subway stop is the G train’s Nassau Avenue station. Yisroel Greenfield, under the name 494 Manhattan LLC, is listed as the owner on the application. The building is slated to have 23 residences, most likely rentals, as well as 12 enclosed parking spaces. Jeffrey Kamen is listed as the architect of record. The site, which borders on Manhattan Avenue, is now occupied by a boarded-up one-story commercial building.

Six-story apartment building planned for Prospect-Lefferts

Permits have been filed for a six-story apartment building at 408 Lefferts Ave. in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, according to New York YIMBY. The site, near the 2 and 5 trains’ Sterling Avenue station, is currently occupied by several vacant low-rise wooden houses and a large vacant lot. The building is slated to have 56 units, most likely rentals, as well as 27 enclosed parking spaces. Tolub Mansurob is listed as the owner, and Alexander Zhitnik of Z Architecture is listed as the architect of record.

Cumbo, Adams praise American jazz legends

Councilmember Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene-Clinton Hill-Prospect Heights), the office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet this week present Remembering: A Tribute to American Jazz Legends, featuring performances by Eric Frazier, Danny Mixon and Stanley Banks. The show combines African dance, music and African drumming with contemporary American music and the spoken word. Shows will take place today at noon and Friday at 10 a.m. and noon at the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, 212 Tompkins Ave. in Bed-Stuy.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer. 


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