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The Park Slope Week in Review: 5/30/11 - 6/3/11

Monday was a fantastically warm Memorial Day, so the only posts that went up were a profile of the great tattoo parlor/ art gallery The End is Near, as well as a few screenshots of The Gate on The Food Network the night before.

On Tuesday I noticed that Boardwalk Empire would be filming for the next couple days on Carroll Street. Anyone see any flappers milling about? Pizzatown also re-opened in the North Slope after a month-long renovation, and it's still as satisfying as ever, with a much improved layout.

Wednesday brought the release of Here's Park Slope 2.0, which will also feature lots of local deals and coupons (there are already a few good coupons up there; just sign up and print them out). Also, in a rather odd development, Chiles and Chocolate and Amin Indian Restaurant both packed up and swapped spaces. Chalk this up as a win for Chiles and Chocolate, long one of the more underrated Mexican restaurants in the borough.

On Thursday the fiasco behind the name of the new Greek restaurant on Seventh near Union reached comic proportions, as the owners put up a sign calling it Faros, even though it's clearly spelled Φaros. Or is is Pharos? Ugh.

On Friday I wondered what the hell this thing on Fifth Avenue is. As of right now I'm leaning towards a camera that catches people who drive through a red light, knocked out of place. The Petco coming to Seventh also put up some signage, and the recently-opened Couleur Cafe all the way down Seventh has got some serious foodporn going on. 


Friday Foodporn: Couleur Cafe


Since opening last weekend on Seventh Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, Couleur Cafe has already become one of the South Slope's top destinations for coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and relaxation.

While "relaxation" may seem like a strange feature to add to that list, one step through the door will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Big windows let in a lot of sunlight, ceiling fans create a pleasant breeze, and light, neutral colors put you at ease. Grab a pastry and a cup of coffee, take a seat, and owner Murat Ozcan, a native of Paris, will drop by and make you feel like a member of his family. Spend two minutes in his cafe and you'll find yourself never wanting to leave.

But onto the food. Pastries include brioche, apple turnovers (above), fruit tarts, and croissants that are to die for (especialy when filled with chocolate, almonds, or both). They're handmade every morning by local baker David Benizeri, who hails from Nice, in the South of France. Coffee is a special blend provided by Brooklyn Roasting. All the meats used in the salads and sandwiches (like ham, smoked duck, sausage, and pork loin) are provided by Aux Fourchettes, a Woodmere-based smokehouse that usually supplies high-end restaurants but made an exception for Ozcan. Baguettes are from Pain d'Avignon.


The high quality of Couleur's offerings is indicative of Ozcan's dedication to his community (he has lived here for over 20 years, and his wife, Kristen Lynch, runs the nearby Young Player's Theater).

"For me, this isn't about making money," he said. "It's about being a part of the community, and letting the community be a part of us."


Couleur Cafe, 435 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. Phone: 718-788-6600.


Petco Signage Unleashed


79-81 Seventh Avenue, which got the full reveal last week, got some signage the other day. As expected, the new building, between Union and Berkeley, will be home to an Unleashed by Petco.


What is This Thing on Fifth Avenue?

I must have walked past this thing a thousand times, but for some reason I never noticed it until now. It's just south of Union Street, and it's a box, mounted on a pole, with a couple lights or lenses in it, facing the sidewalk.


Any ideas as to what this could be? Looks like it's been there for a while.


Then and Now Thursday: The Tower House

When Park Slope was first developing, mansions sprouted up all over the area before settling on the streets closest to Prospect Park. One of these was built for a man named Asa P. Richardson in most likely the 1880s at 300 Eighth Street, just east of Fifth Avenue. It was one of the crazier-looking mansions of the era, with a massive round tower on its southwest corner. Here's another view, looking towards Fifth (both of these photos were taken in 1910):

The view today couldn't be more different, even though the townhouses at right are still standing. The mansion was torn down in the 1920s and replaced by a building that stretches down to Fifth, which today is home to discount store Save on Fifth.