Community Bookstore & Cafe, 143 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-783-3075.
Monday, September 13, 2010 at 5:29PM
Community Bookstore & Cafe, on Seventh between First and Second, may just be the most quaint and charming bookstore I've ever visited. And in a city overwhelmed by Barnes and Noble and Amazon, a visit to a truly independent bookseller can be just what the doctor ordered.
Opened in 1971 by Susan Scioli, the shop has changed owners just a couple of times over the years. The young staff is friendly and down-to-earth, and they know the inventory inside and out. There are plenty of nooks in the small, well-worn space to skim a novel or two, and the selection isn't massive but it's very well-curated; recent bestsellers can be found on the front table and the selection of literature, non-fiction, and children's books is great. If they don't have a book you're looking for they'll be more than happy to order it for you.
The back room is a dedicated children's area, and the garden out back is an oasis. The cafe is long-gone, unfortunately; after a visit from the DOH several years back the owners had to decide between the cafe and the cats, and I think they made the right decision. Tiny and Marjorie are about the friendliest cats you'll ever meet. I'm pretty sure I spotted an iguana in the backyard, as well.
One of my favorite elements of the shop (and something you'd be hard-pressed to find at Barnes and Noble) is the Mystery Swap section. Bring in a book you've read and swap it out with another for a buck, no questions asked. There's also a great used book section.
Be sure to look out for book-signing events and readings, which are always well-organized and accompanied by wine and finger food. Jonathan Safran Foer lives in the neighborhood, and he drops in frequently.Here's to another 40 years!
Monday, September 13, 2010 at 4:30PM
Slope Sports, the high performance athletic gear shop on Seventh between Berkeley and Lincoln, has closed.
The store, a literal mom and pop shop run by Kristen Marino and her husband Haig, was much more than just a place to buy running shoes and socks. The couple would frequently organize group runs through Prospect Park, and their focus on each individual who walked through the door was second to none. When I bought a pair of running shoes there last year, Kristen measured my feet in about ten different ways and watched me jog down the block in about five different shoe styles before settling on the pair I purchased. Try to get that level of service at Modell's.
Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 9:09PM
At the end of the month, a Halloween outpost of Ricky's will be opening on the corner of Bergen and Flatbush, as usual. But wait, there's more! We've also got a full-time Ricky's opening just a few doors down at 478 Bergen (in a space owned by Pintchik Hardware), and a second Halloween pop-up shop at the other end of the neighborhood, on Seventh Avenue and 11th St.
All your Halloween costumes, beauty supplies, wigs, sex toys, and novelty gifts will be walking distance!
|478 Bergen Street|
Friday, September 10, 2010 at 8:40PM
Beer Table, the beer drinker's Utopia on 7th between 14th and 15th, will be hosting a beer and Kimchee pairing event on Monday the 13th. For fans of Korean fermented cabbage, it doesn't get much better than this.
It'll run from 7-8:30 PM and costs $35 per person. To RSVP, email email@example.com.
Friday, September 10, 2010 at 3:02PM
Andrea Dal Monte is either a genius, a madman, or both. At his unassuming osteria on Fifth and Berkeley, Dal Monte is creating pizzas that are entirely unique to New York City, a near-impossible feat in this day and age. The former Del Posto manager spent fifteen years working on his dough with a certified flour engineer (that exists), and the end result is nothing short of remarkable: authentic Roman-style pizza alla palla, square pies with a light, airy crust, crispy on the bottom and soft on top. His toppings are flown in from Italy: San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, cold-pressed olive oil.
A variety of pizzas are available by the slice during the afternoon; the Peperoni e Caprino (roasted peppers, sweet onions, olives, and goat cheese) and the Affumicata (potato, smoked scamorza, onions, and speck) were well-balanced and perfectly messy. Both are pictured above.
Dal Monte is almost always there, greeting patrons and helping them through the menu, which changes seasonally but always includes a selection of cured meats and cheeses as well as sfizi, little snacks like a killer eggplant caponata. The space is as light and airy as the pizzas, and the wait staff is charming and helpful.
Campo de' Fiori, 187 5th Ave (at Berkeley Pl) Brooklyn NY 11217. 347-763-0933