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Friday
Jan072011

Friday Foodporn: Sweet Melissa Patisserie


Chef Melissa Murphy had been running one of Cobble Hill's most successful bakeries for close to eight years before she decided it was time to open up a second branch. Thankfully the location she chose was right in our backyard, and Sweet Melissa Park Slope opened its doors on Seventh Avenue between First and Second in August of 2006.

The small baked goods counter is consistently filled with top notch cakes, pies, and pastries, and the cozy bi-level seating area is a great place to take a date for dessert or a small bite to eat (savories include soups, salads, and sandwiches, and breakfast items like granola, oatmeal, and savory muffins are always a knockout). The homemade ice cream is also a huge draw come summertime. 

The dainty Queen's Cake petits fours, above, have a layer of raspberry preserves in between two layers of hazelnut almond cake, covered with a fondant icing.

Sweet Melissa Patisserie, 175 7th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-788-2700.

Friday
Jan072011

F/G Suspension Delayed Until Next Weekend

Because of the snow currently falling, MTA officials have decided to mercifully postpone shutting down Manhattan-bound 15th St/ Prospect Park F/G service to start their rehab of the Culver Viaduct. We'll get one more week of access before the months-long shutdown goes into effect on January 15th. 

I guess they figure that snow-delayed service is better than no service at all. Or possibly they just don't want to start a huge project under snowy conditions. 

Pray for more snow next weekend!

Friday
Jan072011

203 Fifth Completely Gutted


203 Fifth Avenue, the storefront between Union and Berkeley that was last home to a pizzeria with a great Coca-Cola sign, looks like a bomb went off inside it. The landlord's DOB application states that only the storefront and floor will be replaced, so odds are there's no new tenant lined up yet, so even after it's renovated it might still be some time before it's occupied once again.

Friday
Jan072011

Hog Mountain to Shutter January 19th


Hog Mountain, the rustic, Southern-inspired "general store for men" that opened in October of 2009 at 192 Fifth Avenue between Union and Sackett, will close its doors for good on January 19th. 

The store, which owner Jess Draper modeled after the general stores of his native Alabama, was a place where you could find Levi's jeans and Carhartt jackets alongside tools, sweaters, boots, shoe polish and drug store toiletries.

"Park Slope wasn't the problem, it's been nothing but wonderful to me," Jess said. "Unfortunately the problem was inventory. We didn't sell things that you couldn't just go online and buy."

Friday
Jan072011

Sponsored Post: 718 Cyclery, New South Slope Custom Bike Shop


Joe Nocella's always had a thing for bikes. From going over jumps as a kid to an early career as a bike messenger, something about the mechanics of the bicycle always attracted him, and in 2008 he started building his own in addition to his day job as an architect. 

Eventually, Joe realized that there was a need in the area for a customer-focused bicycle shop that focused on high-quality components. 718 Cyclery, which opened in November, isn't just a store, though. It's a workshop. This is an opportunity for the cyclist to have a hand in building and designing the perfect bike for their needs. Joe purchases the highest-quality components and builds it from scratch for you, even the wheels.

By collaborating with Joe on your custom bike, you'll choose the parts, the style, and have a hands-on, collaborative experience that's far more rewarding (and less intimidating) than walking into a huge bike shop and trying to pick one off of a wall. You'll learn how to maintain it, and gain a real understanding of the true mechanics behind the bicycle. You can get your hands as dirty as you want, from sitting back and taking notes to coming home with axle grease under your fingernails. 

Custom bikes under construction
If you're not looking to go through the whole custom-build process, and just want the highest-quality bike available, there are plenty of bikes on the walls you can choose from, all hand-built by Nocella and his mechanics. There are also classes you can take, as well as occasional movie nights.

There's also a wide open service department, where you can bring your bike and have it repaired with the same high-quality components (no cheap "replacement parts").

The average collaborative build appointment only takes a couple of hours, and you can expect to ride off with your new your bike within a week. Whether you're a die-hard, serious cyclist, or just looking for the ideal bike for a ride through Prospect Park, a visit to 718 Cyclery will put you in the right hands to ride away with the perfect bike for your needs, as well as a true knowledge of the mechanics behind the bike. Book your appointment today.

Joe in his workshop
718 Cyclery, 461 7th Avenue (between 16th and Windsor Pl). 347-457-5760. info@718c.com