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Wednesday
Jan052011

Prospect Park Mulchfest This Weekend


Not sure what to do with the Christmas still sitting in the corner, shedding needles? This Saturday or Sunday haul it on down to the Third Street entrance to Prospect Park and enjoy some tea and cookies while you watch it get turned into mulch! 

If you can't make it, there are a couple other tree disposal options as well. If you live in the area between Union Street and 15th Street and 6th Avenue and Prospect Park West you can just leave your tree at the end of your block before 1 PM on those days and a truck will come along to haul it away. Or you can just leave your tree at the Third Street Mulchfest site the night before, although it's not the ideal way to go. 

Those who attend will also have the opportunity to grab a free bag of mulch. If you're interested in volunteering, give Jessica Jamhoury at the Prospect Park Alliance a call, or send an email to sustainable@parkslopeciviccouncil.org. 

Photo via NYTimes

Tuesday
Jan042011

Business of the Week: Galaxy Comics

There's something that's sort of quaint about a comic book store. Unlike toy stores, they're a place where both children and adults can go to stock up on comics, graphic novels, action figures, and fantasy- and superhero-related items without judgement, under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable salesman who if you're lucky looks to be right out of Central Casting. They never go out of fashion, and the merchandise is always reliably up-to-date. 

All of the above is certainly true about Galaxy Comics. Opened in 1999 by four friends on Fifth Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets, they've since expanded to two other locations: one further down Fifth in Bay Ridge, as well as a two-year old outpost on the second floor of 123 Seventh Avenue, between President and Carroll. 


The original Fifth Avenue location (above) gets the most foot traffic, and is stocked literally floor-to-ceiling. New releases are the focus here, although some indies are available and there are a few boxes of back issues to sift through. The staff is renowned for their friendliness, and don't have that air of condescension that you might find in some of the bigger stores. 



Over on the other side of the neighborhood, Park Slope native Robin Buckwalter holds court in Galaxy II. Like his counterparts across town, he's super-friendly and has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything comic-related (that's probably the reason why he was chosen to come over from the other store to run this one). As this store is newer, it's a bit sleeker and very well laid-out (the graphic novels are sorted by author, for example). 


In short, these stores have everything you'd want in a good old fashioned comic book shop. Next time you feel like picking up the latest edition of Spider Man, or maybe a Ninja Turtle lunch box or Flash statue, you'll know where to go.


Galaxy Comics and Collectibles, 429 5th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-499-3222; 123 7th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-623-1234.

Tuesday
Jan042011

Artesana Home's Last Day is Tomorrow


After nearly 12 years in business on the prime retail corner of Seventh Avenue and First Street, Artesana Home, the exotic rug, furniture, and housewares store, will close its doors for the last time at the end of the day tomorrow. The reason for the closure? A rent hike, of course. With no new tenant lined up, it looks like the landlord just prefers an empty storefront to an occupied one (an inexplicably growing trend on Seventh).

As much of the merchandise as possible will be moved up the street to El Milargo, the jewelry store on 7th Avenue and 11th Street that's run by the same owners. In the meantime, there's a killer sale on right now as they try to unload the remaining items.

Tuesday
Jan042011

Open for Business: DNA Footwear, 230 7th Avenue


The DNA footwear store that's been under construction on Seventh Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets (where the old A&P laundromat used to be) opened today. It's the fourth outpost of the Brooklyn Ugg and boot chain, and it's basically a carbon copy of the other DNA in the neighborhood, on Fifth and President.

Monday
Jan032011

Bad Times at the Pavilion


When the 1500-seat Moorish-inspired Sanders Theater shut down in 1978, after 50 years in operation, it was a real blow to a neighborhood that had seen just about every other one of its theaters fall to the wrecking ball or be re-purposed in recent years. As it sat vacant, developers squabbled over what to do with it, and ideas ranged from turning it into a co-op to converting the ground floor into a hardware store.

When Norman Adie and three local investors bought the property in 1993 with plans to keep it a theater, the neighborhood rejoiced. In 1996, it re-opened as the Pavilion Theater, with three screens and a really good cafe on the second floor. Eventually more screens were added, with the final tally now at nine. 

The cafe didn't last very long, and I'm not sure if Adie is still the owner, but the multiplex is currently really in disrepair. A couple of the larger theaters there are in okay shape, but the smaller ones, and theater 5 in particular, are really falling apart. A couple of the theaters have no heat. These photos of theater 5 showed up on Brooklynian a few days ago:





Don't know about you, but these are about the grossest-looking movie theater seats I've ever seen. With the bedbug scare still keeping some people away, and management that clearly doesn't care about upkeep, I hope that someone comes along and cleans the place up before it goes the way of the Flatbush Pavilion.