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Tuesday
May102011

Checking In on Prime Six


Prime Six, one of the most controversial neighborhood construction projects in recent years, will be moving into the old Royal Video Space, on Sixth and Flatbush, at some point in the near future. Whether you're for it or against it, construction is progressing. Workers have taken down the old Royal Video signage, and have installed a facade on the Flatbush Avenue entrance.


Here's a reminder of how it used to look: 


Tuesday
May102011

What to Expect: Bicycle Habitat, 476 Fifth Avenue


When Bicycle Habitat opens on Fifth Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets this weekend, Slopers will find a great resource for everything bike-related in a sprawling, 3,000 square feet storefront. 

General Manager Coy Derbogen tells me that this shop, the first Brooklyn outpost of the trailblazing 33 year old SoHo store of the same name, will become a central gathering place for the cycling community, welcoming cyclists from professional to amateur. "We'll have events, classes, bike nights, and group rides, and will sell everything from kids' bikes to carbon road bikes," he told me. "It'll be a little bit of everything. We'll help you find something you like, but won't be pushy."


On top of a huge selection of every type of bike imaginable, they'll also sell gear like helmets and cycling outfits, and will offer a full-service repair shop with full-time staff mechanics who will take appointments but also handle drop-in tune ups.

Their soft open will be May 15th, with an opening party scheduled for June.

Monday
May092011

Here Come the Food Trucks!


Here's some good news for you: The Sunday after next the first official NYC Food Truck Rally will be taking over Grand Army Plaza, bringing all of the city's finest food trucks together for the first time. 

From 11 AM-5 PM on Sunday May 22nd, over 20 food trucks will set up shop in the Plaza, and it's sure to be a real party (I'd recommend getting there early). The rally is being organized by the NYC Food Truck Association. Here's a list of the participating trucks:

Monday
May092011

Falafilo to Move Next Door into Mama Rosa Space


Falafilo, the two month-old falafel joint on Union Street near Fourth Avenue, will be moving into the old Mama Rosa Space right next door, Falafilo's owner told me over the weekend. 

If all goes as planned, Falafilo should be moving in within a couple months, and the owner tells me that he'll be adding more Middle Eastern specialties to the menu of falafel, kebabs, shawarma, and the like.


Mama Rosa, the Latin Bistro that closed right around the same time that Falafilo opened in March, was formerly Maria's Mexican Bistro, and is on the corner of Fourth and Union. It was never much of a success, and its main claim to fame was an altercation with some FIPS bloggers.

Monday
May092011

Business of the Week: Sport Prospect, 362 Seventh Avenue

This article originally appeared on Patch.

Walking around this city, it's nearly impossible not to come across someone wearing a shirt that says "Brooklyn" on it, in some way, shape, or form. They're ubiquitous, sold everywhere from sidewalk tables to high-end boutiques. But do you know where the trend started? Right here in Park Slope, at Sport Prospect, on Seventh between Tenth and Eleventh Streets. 


Owner Carl Manco grew up in Park Slope, and ran the baseball and basketball programs at St. Saviour's before working for Paragon Sporting Goods on Broadway for 13 years. Then, in 1988, he had an epiphany. 


"Every town has a little store where you can buy a tee shirt with the name of the town on it. I realized that Brooklyn had nothing like that, and it was starting to become trendy," he said. "I saw some changes coming to my neighborhood, so I came back here and opened the shop up."


Shirts in all colors and sizes are sold here, but the main theme is always Brooklyn, and Park Slope in particular. "We develop all our own logos, and there's really something for everybody," Manco told me. We control all the inventory, and design and print everything ourselves."


Designs range from the straightforward to outlandish, with one of the more popular sellers depicting King Kong on the Brooklyn Bridge. "We keep it simple here," said Manco. "We know people aren't really into rhinestones these days."


He runs the shop with his brother Anthony, and they keep their store immaculately clean. Without a website, Manco isn't certain how so many people know about his store. 

"We don't advertise, we have no online store, but tourists from all over the world come here to shop for tee shirts," he said. "I have no idea how they find us! We once sold a Dodgers hat to the Dalai Lama! I'll be up in the Hamptons and I'll see someone wearing my shirt! It's a great feeling."

A large portion of their business comes from local sport teams, who have their uniforms printed up by the shop. He's good friends with the landlord (Manco was once his little league coach), so the rent has remained low enough that Manco hasn't had to raise prices in years. "All our tee shirts are ten bucks. Cotton's gone up in price recently, but I'll die before I raise my prices."

He also sells some sporting goods like baseball bats and gloves, but the bulk of the business comes from those looking for a Brooklyn-branded tee shirt, including young mothers dressing up their babies. 

For Manco, and his loyal customers, these are more than just tee shirts. 

"I see guys walking around with 'Aeropostale' in big letters on their shirt. Why be a walking billboard for Aeropostale when you could be a walking billboard for Brooklyn?"

Sport Prospect, 372 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-768-1328.