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Friday
Dec172010

Metro PCS Store Headed for Fifth Ave and First Street


Signage went up today at a soon-to-open branch of cell phone service provider Metro PCS at 274 Fifth Avenue (between First and Garfield), next to the also soon-to-open spin studio Cycle Bar (which is actually having its first open house tomorrow).

While a new cell phone store isn't incredibly exciting, it's always good to see a long-vacant storefront find a new occupant.

Friday
Dec172010

Open for Business: Dao Palate, 201 5th Avenue


As recently reported, a branch of the popular Asian vegan spot Dao Palate (on Flatbush opposite Seventh) has come to Fifth Avenue near Union Street. And as of earlier this week, it's open for business. 

The chef emphasizes super-fresh ingredients instead of just fake meat, so while it's easy to compare it to Zen Palate, it actually has a bit more of a greenmarket twist. 

Dao Palate, 201 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-638-1995.

Thursday
Dec162010

Know Your Bartender: Jaclyn Dima, Cyprus Avenue

 
Since replacing the popular tapas spot Cafe Tapeo in June 2009, cozy Irish pub Cyprus Avenue (on Fifth and Bergen) has become successful in its own right, serving up good beer and traditional Irish fare in a comfortable, relaxed setting. It never seems to get too crowded, and its friendly bartenders, great variety of inexpensive sliders, sports on TV, and solid happy hour have earned it a devoted base of regulars. It's owned by the same folks as the low-key Black Sheep Pub next door, but Cyprus (named after the Van Morrison song), is a lot more charming and open, and the Irish vibe always helps with the craic. 

Cincinnati-raised Jaclyn Dima, who's also a singer-songwriter, can be found behind the bar here on Thursdays and Fridays, from open (5 PM) to close.

HPS: How long have you been a bartender here?

Jaclyn: I've been here since June, so about six months.

HPS: What's your favorite thing about this bar?

Jaclyn: The regulars. They're very cool people. Some have become pretty good friends, actually.

HPS: Can you talk a little about the Happy Hour? 

Jaclyn: Our drafts are four dollars, well drinks are $3.50, and we've added a few specials like ten sliders and a pitcher for $16, which is a great deal. It goes from 5-8 every weekday, and weekends from noon to 8. 

HPS: What's the strangest drink order you've received here?

Jaclyn: This is mostly just a beer place. There's always the people who order the buttery nipple. Seriously, I don't even know what that's about. There's a lot of Guinness drinks too. Like, someone ordered a black and blue, which is Guinness and Blue Moon. Or a black and Sam, which is Guinness and Sam Adams. Guinness and cider too, I do a lot of those.

HPS: If you could have a drink with one person, who would it be?

Jaclyn: I want to have a drink with Katy Perry. I do. I think she's hilarious. Russell Brand can come too, that would be a party. He says he doesn't drink any more, but I think he's full of it.

HPS: Are there any cocktails that you make that you pride yourself on?

Jaclyn: We do have a few with a bunch of berries and gin and deliciousness, but those are really summer specials. I make a mean Bloody Mary, but we don't have any celery salt here.

HPS: What bottle is poured from the most frequently here?

Jaclyn: Jameson and Powers are about even. 

HPS: There aren't too many bottles, but among them which one is poured from the least?

Jaclyn: I don't pour from the Van Gogh espresso vodka ever. And it's the most delicious thing. Just nobody knows about it. But the people that do know about it can drink a whole bottle by themselves. A lot of people just chill and sip it.

HPS: If you weren't tending bar, what other profession could you see yourself in?

Jaclyn: I'm a musician. I bartend in the evenings so I can have my days to write. I'm working on a few projects right now.

Cyprus Avenue, 52 5th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-638-1066.

Thursday
Dec162010

Then and Now Thursday: December 16, 1960

Fifty years ago today, when two airplanes collided over Staten Island, sending one crashing down in a field and the other by the corner of Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place, the shockwaves were felt throughout the entire country. This was history's first major passenger airline disaster, and the sudden death of 136 people not only helped shed air travel's glamorous image, it inspired a revolution in radar and airline safety, and tested the mettle of the fledgling TV news industry.

In the ensuing years the crash was all but forgotten. The wreckage was cleared away, the damaged buildings demolished and eventually replaced by new apartments. Those who were there got older, and those who came after never learned about the crash (there's no marker on the site, after all). Thankfully, fifty years later, this tragedy is once again entering the public consciousness. A memorial to those who died was unveiled this morning in Green-Wood Cemetery, and New York Times City Room has published articles every day this week exploring every detail of the disaster, from the state of the neighborhood ("in transition") to the scene in the cockpit, to the media response, to the story of Steven Baltz, the 11-year old who survived the crash only to die the next day. 

Here are some photos of the scene of the Park Slope crash, both then and now. 

Looking north up Seventh, towards Sterling.



Looking east on Sterling, towards Seventh. The 1887 Lillian Ward Mansion (r.) emerged unscathed.

North side of Sterling, looking east towards Seventh. Note the distinctive fence (l.)


The wing tore a gash through 126 Sterling Place before crashing into the church across the street.

Seventh and Sterling, looking west


Seventh and Sterling, looking northeast


Seventh and Sterling, looking northwest


North side of Sterling, looking towards Seventh, 1961


Looking south on Seventh, towards Sterling, 1961


View east up Sterling, towards Seventh


If you're looking for any trace of the crash on this corner, you're not going to find any aside from the new corner buildings and 126 Sterling's missing cornice (those corner sites remained vacant lots until very recently). However, if you look carefully you may notice one remaining relic of the Pillar of Fire Church, the ironically-named epicenter of the crash. Some of its distinctive iron railing (noted in the photo above), with its squiggle pattern meant to symbolize fire, was salvaged from the wreckage and can now be found guarding the ground-floor windows of 109 Sterling Place.

Wednesday
Dec152010

Something Up at 63 Fifth


63 Fifth Avenue (at St. Marks), most recently home to the beloved but completely unnecessary bakery for dogs Buttercup's Paw-tisserie, has gotten a paint job and the windows have been papered over. Work is going on inside, and the permit on the door provides for the installation of a wall partition, sinks, and a counter, as well as a hot water heater in the basement. Could this mean a restaurant is on its way? Judging by recent trends, it'll either be an upscale pizza place or cafe.