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Brighton Beach Memories

Today,without a tuna fish sandwich and towels and yoo-hoo in tow,but with air-conditioning in the subway, I returned (after nearly 50 yrs.) to Brighton Beach via the BMT. First, we ate the requisite Nathan’s hot dog and fries, smaller and less crisp than before but still with delicious hot sauerkraut and served by an entirely new ethnic group! Then we walked the boardwalk with another great guide who grew up in the Coney Island neighborhood and went to, Tilden(my alma mater) High School’s rival, Lincoln High School. Then we walked the boardwalk to Bay 4 where I spent many summer days. I always wondered why my family went to Bay 4 and I learned the answer today. Before I was born, my family lived in the first apartment building in Brighton, The Miramar. After we left Tatiana, a wonderful Russian restaurant that was not there 50 years ago, we turned down Brighton Fourth Street and there was the Miramar. I have heard family talk about it, but had no idea it was still standing. I called my sister who remembered my brother had his “bris” there and she and our Cousin Solly would use its fire escapes to go from one apartment to another. Finally an old building elicited an emotional response from me!!! Thank you Brighton Beach and thank you NEH!!

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Happy Birthday Henry!

Today we went to Plymouth Church where Henry Ward Beecher preached and it was his birthday (or so the local paper said !). In the morning, we had a tour of Brooklyn Heights with Francis Morrone. He explained the different architectural styles and I found it interesting that the Italianate style was popular in the 1840’s and 50’s because it parallels a similar interest in literature, for example, in Hawthorne. Below are different doorways representing the different styles.

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More Navy Yard

In my Internet sleuthing about Admiral’s Row, I found this hysterical exchange (only in New York) about the money needed to update the Admiral’s Row houses:

I am so frustrated by this issue. Demolishing these buildings to make a parking lot is so short sighted. Why can’t some deal be worked out where the space for the supermarket is also used for some additional (vertical) space and the sale of those development rights be used to repair Admiral’s Row?

#1. 12/07/07 11:07 AM

$18 million to restore 10 100-yo houses? Aren’t there like a thousand Slope families who’d jump on that deal in about two seconds?


3 anonymous comments


I would have like those buildings to be saved BUT those buildings are way too deteriorated and it would cost way too much money. Money that could be spent on other worthy projects as opposed to wasting $20 million, $40 million, or $80 million and so on ad nauseam.

#3. 12/07/07 12:09 PM


What happens to them once they’re restored? and who is supposed to pay? Just tear them down already, they’re in terrible shape.

#4. 12/07/07 12:32 PM


I agree with #2. Historic, big fancy houses? Well-located? Only $18 million to fix them up? Yeah, no one in this city, where shoeboxes routinely go for $2+ mil, would ever be interested in something like that!

#5. 12/07/07 01:20 PM

yeah, who in brooklyn would ever want to spend two million dollars restoring a massive, historic townhouse on a giant yard across the street from a park? 150 comments

yes, I agree with #6, if the city can sell burnt out shells for $1mm in Harlem and get put back together for 1-2mm just fine, why is it so impossible in brooklyn? Just make the supermarket a Trader Joe’s, and slap some waterfront cafes along those drydocks, I don’t see what the big deal is. You are really visionary, #6.

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“The BrooklynBridge: Do I Have a Deal for You!!

On Wednesday, Richard Haw spoke about the artistic renderings of the Brooklyn Bridge and I showed him the picture Janice Clayton found(at a garage sale) of the Brooklyn Bridge by Ernest Fiene(he says it is pronounced like “fine.”) and told me I had a “fine” print!! “Antiques Roadshow” here we come!!!

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“Hey Sailor – Meet me at the Brooklyn Navy Yard”

On Tuesday, we went to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the excellent guide Daniella Romano was proud of all the modern innovations in the Yard, especially this building pictured below which won a gold award from the LEED foundation. A LEED Gold award is a designation a building receives for being green.  It’s quite an honor., and she also talked about the need for 10 million dollars to refurbish Admiral’s Row(see picture below for decaying building). I say choose one: old or new!! Mother Nature(see below) has so overrun Admiral’s Row that you can no longer see the houses. Let Mother have her way and use that 10millions dollars for more eco friendly development.

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OMG I am on!!!

Welcome to my homecoming to Brooklyn! Whatever happened to it in the 40 years that I have been gone? The walk in Greenpoint reminded me of East 51street and I am not nostalgic to save the neighborhood. In fact I am surprised how now negative I feel about saving the old neighborhoods. On this one corner the old and new were juxtaposed. Guess where I would choose to live??

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