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Around Brooklyn: Home combines 19th century charm, 21st century tech

May 13, 2020 Editorial Staff
These rowhouses can be found on 36th Street near the cemetery. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Home combines 19th century charm, 21st century tech

A 19th century limestone house at 154 Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights recently got a 21st century “passive house” makeover, complete with triple-pane windows, rooftop panels and more, and its owners are now selling it for $3.495 million, according to Brownstoner. The row house was originally built in 1906 as a two-family home. It got a major overhaul in 2012 by architect Thread Collective, focused on energy efficiency and eco-friendly details. The home is now configured as a duplex over a garden rental. The entryway has recessed LED lighting, and the wooden floor is reclaimed barn wood. The rooftop panels result in an “almost net zero” energy cost, according to the property’s listing. In addition to the triple-paned windows, the walls have six inches of insulation and the interior temperature of each room can be regulated individually, Brownstoner said.

Brooklyn gravedigger goes above and beyond during pandemic

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit New York, The Evergreens Cemetery has been handling up to 10 burials a day, more than three times its usual workload, according to the New York Post. But gravedigger Juan Manon says he won’t stop until every person is laid to rest. “I will keep lifting my shovel until I have no more power left,” the 64-year-old Brooklynite told the Post. Six days a week, Manon punches in at the cemetery on the Brooklyn-Queens border — which covers 225 acres and houses over half a million dead New Yorkers — at 6:53 a.m. so he doesn’t risk being late for his 7 a.m. shift. He credits his strong work ethic for his performance.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Brooklyn has more social distancing summonses than other boroughs

Cops have given summonses to more people in Brooklyn for COVID-19-Related offenses than anywhere else in the city, with black residents making up two-thirds of the police stops in the borough, according to amNewYork. Between March 16 and May 5, police issued summonses for “acts likely to spread disease” and “violating emergency measures” to 206 Brooklynites out of 374 citywide. Of these 138 were to black Brooklynites. There were 99 summonses in the Bronx, 41 in Manhattan and 27 in Queens, with no summonses issued in Staten Island, amNewYork reported.

Famed Williamsburg suit maker switches to masks, gowns

Longtime East Williamsburg suit maker Martin Greenfield Clothiers have switched from sewing business apparel to face masks and medical gowns, according to the Brooklyn Paper. “It’s break-even at best, but we’re doing a lot of good for the local neighborhood here and essential workers,” said Tod Greenfield, a second-generation head of the company. His father, Martin Greenfield, opened the company in 1977, and clients have included Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio and many others. After seeing an online tutorial of how to make a face mask, Greenfield and his brother decided to do the same. The company brought 25 workers back to the factory and have since sold about 6,000 masks, the Brooklyn Paper said.

Sunset Park mourns local deli owner

Sunset Park is mourning the loss of the beloved owner of a local deli, according to the Brooklyn Reporter. Kevin Lee, owner of Sunset Park Deli, 4301 Fourth Ave., has died. The news was announced via social media on Monday, May 5. Lee is survived by his wife, Anne, three children and several grandchildren. The deli is loved by locals and Brooklynites. It is famous for its high-quality sandwiches and hot food. However, what made the establishment special was Lee, according to locals. “I worked there from when I was 13 until about 19 years old,” said Luis Morales. “These people looked after me those years and encouraged me to go to school because I was involved in gang activity in the city.”

Battle of bottle of booze leads to three arrests

Three men were arrested in Brownsville after a brawl broke out with police officers after one of the men refused to hand over a bottle of whiskey, according to the New York Post. A video posted to Instagram shows at least six officers struggling to arrest two men. Police said the melee erupted around 8 p.m. Sunday night near Bristol Street and Livonia Avenue when officers approached the group of men, including Jerry Akbar, who allegedly was smoking marijuana and drinking. Officers were going to let Akbar go without a summons but he became “combative and belligerent” when asked to hand over his bottle, the Post said. As cops tried to collar Akbar, another man, identified as Sam Moore, jumped into the fight, allegedly spitting on a cop and kicking another in the stomach. The two men were charged with felony assault.

Affordable housing lottery opens in Brownsville

An affordable housing lottery has opened for 37 new apartments in an eight-story building at 7 Livonia Ave. in Brownsville, according to amNewYork. The affordable apartments include 26 one-bedroom units, nine two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units. Rents start at $666 and top out at $1,279, amNewYork reported. Eligible incomes range between $25,303 and $73,680, depending on household size. A preference for half of the units will be given to neighborhood residents. The building will be known as Edwin’s Place.

Exclusive restaurant reopens as grocery

Olmsted, which New York Eater calls “the ambitious Prospect Heights restaurant that’s one of the toughest spots to get into in the city,” is now reopening, not as a restaurant but as a grocery store selling some of its favorite items. Olmsted Trading Post, as the grocery store is known, is selling items like Olmsted’s XO sauce, duck liver mousse, truffle butter and sweet-and-sour sauce. Later on, it may be selling meat, fish and pasta, New York Eater said. The new shop is located in what was the restaurant’s private dining room on Vanderbilt Avenue between Prospect Avenue and Park Place. The owners plan to operate seven days a week. In addition to the restaurant items, there will be a selection of breads and cookies made by Olmsted’s pastry chef, Alex Grunert, as well as wine and batched cocktails.

Work on med facility on LICH site gets ok

Work on a new medical building at 339 Hicks St. at the corner of Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill can technically proceed under city rules related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Brownstoner. The site was previously occupied by Long Island College Hospital. According to the deal that resulted in the closure of LICH, the rights to develop the site were given to Fortis Development, and Fortis sold the site to NYU Langone Hospitals in March for $10.1 million, Brownstoner reported. Fortis still plans to develop an adjacent part of the site as a condo development, to be known as 2 River Park.

Park Slope chef meets demand for pasta

In many supermarkets and grocery stores, pasta has been in short supply, according to the New York Times. To meet this demand, Allison Averalo, a Park Slope chef and cookbook author, “dusted off her fancy pasta maker” and ordered a 50-pound bag of seminola flour. Soon, she was making bags of “Pasta Louise” for her neighbors and others. She now sells 120 pounds of pasta a week, the Times said. Other items that have become scarce in some places include bread, chicken nuggets, frozen vegetables and oat milk. And while toilet paper is no longer scarce, familiar brands have been replaced by discount brands at many supermarkets.

Park Slope Food Coop adapts to virus pandemic

The Park Slope Food Coop may not be as crowded as it used to be, but it is still in a financially strong position because it can call on the services of its members to keep the operation running, according to Bklyner. For social distancing reasons, only 35 members are allowed in the store at a time. Another change is that the store has hired 55 temporary paid workers, presumably because fewer of the members are available. To meet financial challenges, many of the co-op members have increased their equity investments in the well-known institution. Much of the $139,000 increase in investments is needed to make sure that the co-op stays financially sound, Bklyner said.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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