Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas: A Brighter Brooklyn


A bunch of local police officers have taken on a beautiful Christmas tradition over the last few years.  Thanks to them, almost 100 kids will have their holiday season brightened with some wonderful Christmas gifts like other – more privileged – kids take for granted each year.

For those who happened to be at the Spring Creek (Gateway Drive)’s Target earlier this month, they would likely have bumped into some NYPD officers chaperoning kids from underprivileged families enjoying a much deserved shopping spree.  One local 9 year old reported how he got a Mario Hot Wheel an other exciting gadgets.  As Officer Sherry Levan-Lewis said:

 “It’s an amazing, amazing experience as this is my first time and I’m so excited. Some children may not get the opportunity to go into a toy store. I love this and I’m sure the children are ecstatic about it and their hearts are beating really fast, as mine is.”

With $150 per kid, it really will be a brighter Brooklyn Christmas!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Kent Towers

With an abundance of light, green space and community amenities, the towers on Kent Avenue, Brooklyn are becoming a fabulous architectural landscape site. Architectural firm ODA is the brains behind this development taking a step away from classic New York residential towers.

In this Williamsburg project designs, most units come out as corner apartments. This is a fascinating way to please everyone since usually the four corner apartments are the most expensive due to their popularity. So ODA solves that issue.

“ODA is relatively new in the architectural playing field,” said Olivia McCormick who has long dabbled in architecture and interior design, mainly for her family and friends. “And that’s what makes its success and recognition so impressive. It’s designs are somewhat off the beaten track but they are gaining popularity at incredible speed.”

Corner apartments in this particular venue are even more welcome given the location – right alongside the waterfront. As such every unit is subject to incredible views that almost seep into their apartments.

“When I first saw the design and then thereafter the actual tower,” reminisces retired architect Moshe Victor Keinig, I was blown away. ODA really knows what they are doing. I would love to one day purchase a unit at the towers,” he added.

Who could blame him? With views of the east river, Williamsburg bridge and areas of Downtown Manhattan these really will be prime locations. The towers take up four addresses from 416-420 Kent Avenue. The first one on 416 is now finished and each one will have more than 20 stories with over 850 units. Affordable housing will comprise 20 percent of this (those will be the only ones not in the corner status).

Sunday, November 17, 2019

New York Festival for Motherless Brooklyn


At the recent 2019 New York Film Festival premiere of Motherless Brooklyn, Ed Norton spoke to Emerson Unger about the movie.  It tells the story of lonely private detective Lionel Essrog (whom Norton plays) and his life with Tourette Syndrome and how he tries to solve the murder of his mentor and one friend, Frank Minna (played by Bruce Willis).




Friday, November 1, 2019

Kensington: One of NY’s “Best Kept Secrets?”

Why do people choose to live in Kensington, Brooklyn? According to 264Webster.com, the area is Brooklyn’s “best kept secret [providing] a balanced setting fit for all, nestled in New York City’s most beloved borough.” Here we take a look at some of the reasons why this might be true.

First, in recent news it was found that at 264 Webster Avenue (just off of Ocean Parkway), an apartment complex has been described as one of the “hottest” buildings in New York. A report from Property Shark found it to have been one of 2019’s top 15 best selling buildings between January and June. In sales it came in at number 8, securing the sale of 37 deals in six months at a $614,000 median unit price. the building has recently added some attractive amenities including a gym, spa for pets and rooftop terrace with outdoor showers.

With a population of just under 58,000, Kings County Kensington features many eateries, green space and an above average education system. A couple of years ago local resident Mimi O’Connor decided to buy in Kensington too. Of her search to find a place to live she explained:

“We ended up in Kensington, just south of Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, in a compact three-bedroom attached house with a porch and a small concrete-paved space in back. I had passed through, but did not know the area well. Now that I’m here, there are many reasons why I love my new home base, but that’s different from why I chose to live here in the first place.”

Her reasons became: the schools in District 15; the house prices (a listing of $497 from Streeteasy per square foot – less than half of Gowanus and Park Slope); the many public transportation options in particular, the subway; an ability to own some outdoor space; and ultimately the fact that they loved Brooklyn for its familiarity, architecture and that all the basics are on their doorstep.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Local Business Events

The MREA Business Planning Clinic is taking place in just a few days’ time (October 21st at Leonard’s Palazzo on Northern Boulevard). This event (from 9am to 1pm) is free for anyone interested in starting their own real estate company or want to develop an existing one.

Team Leader Michael Brown is the host. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Bringing Muslim Culture to Brooklyn


Muslim artist Brooklyner Nsenga Knight has found that historically, Brooklyn has lacked any real Muslim culture. Some years ago – equipped with her research grant – she went to the Brooklyn Historical Society looking for available information on Muslims in Brooklyn. She found hardly anything. The East Flatbush-raised Knight explained:



“They’re missing a lot of stuff. There were hardly any images of Muslims in their archives. They didn’t have that many images of black people. The archive of Brooklyn isn’t necessarily representing Brooklyn.”

Thankfully since then there have been some major developments in the expression of Muslim information and culture in Brooklyn.   Much of this can be attributed to the work the Brooklyn Historical Society’s oral historians did. They went around the area and conducted interviews with dozens of Muslims in an effort to “fill the gaping cultural hole in [the museum’s] archives.”

This resulted in the assemblage of 54 oral histories, totaling 100+ hours of audio – all which was published for the public. Along with immigrants from Pakistan, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago (among other places), many of the interviewees were born and raised in Brooklyn and hail from various religious sects such as the Nation of Islam, Shiite and Sunni.  They have now substantially filled the gap

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

IFP Week 2019


Two days ago saw the beginning of the 41st annual IFP Festival. The Independent Filmmaker Project seeks to “foster the development, production and promotion of hundreds of feature and documentary films a year.”  It is the “largest and longest running not-for-profit dedicated to independent film,” and is dedicated to the indie filmmaker.

Taking place in Brooklyn, some of the events that are taking place until 19th September include:

1.       Screening: The Report (CIA agents’ interrogation following 9/11 attacks)
2.       New Voices! Reading Series Sponsored by Sagindie
3.       Screening: Knock Down the House (four women taking on the establishment)
4.       Screening: American Factory

This week long event has been lauded as being the “premiere place to meet bold talent and learn about exciting projects through curated meetings with 150 new feature, documentary, series and VR projects from over 22 countries.”