Category: bay ridge

What will $11 mil get me in Brooklyn?

It’s a question that probably doesn’t get asked very often, but here’s an answer ready for it: the locally revered landmark “Gingerbread House” at 8820 Narrows Avenue in Bay Ridge, about a mile south of Brooklyn Row House. Not for nothing but this is a bargain compared to the unanswered 2009 asking price of $12 million. Nevertheless, it’s quite a bit more than the “under $1 milliion” that the current owners paid for it in 1985, which should give an indication of property valuations in this neck of Brooklyn over the past 20 years. https://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/piece-brooklyn-storybook-bay-ridge-home-article-1.1333611 The house was built in

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Bay Ridge to get our own Jersey Shore reality show. Lucky us.

If you ask anyone on the streets of Bay Ridge about Oxygen Network’s upcoming Brooklyn 11223 reality show you’ll get a blank stare. Nobody’s heard of it. While it’s been filming around Bay Ridge since last September, there have been a lot of Hollywood crews around here lately, from the TV shows Pan Am, Blue Bloods and Law & Order SVU to feature films like What Happens in Vegas, White Irish Drinkers and Cop Out. It was easy for it to get lost in the crowd of bigger budget productions. But when you tell those folks what the show is

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Most Bizarre Use of a Shop Award

There’s no way I don’t get nominated this year. As prologue, let’s step into the WayBack Machine and bump the dial back to early June, when I casually mentioned to Doc Karen that I had seen several feral cats on my evening dog walks. In addition to being an MD, Karen is also a NYS licensed wildlife rescuer so I should have known that I was shaking a hornets’ nest. A week later, over my fourth or fifth margarita, I found that I had agreed to allow my shop to be used as a holding facility for the Great Owls

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No Night for Dog Walkers

It’s treacherous out there. After two wet snows since Friday and a day in the upper thirties, the temps crashed after sundown, almost instantly freezing any standing water on the sidewalk and stoops. It’s nights like this that I wish I hadn’t housebroken my dogs so well. They’d sooner cut their own throats than mess in the house. Worse, I can’t even push them out the door to do their business in the back yard. They just sit by the back door looking miserable. It’s also nights like this that I’d like to see public flogging of thoughtless home and

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Cops and Robbers

So we’re experiencing a sudden crime wave in my peaceful ‘hood. Nobody’s said WHY this is happening but according to The Brooklyn Paper: During a 28-day period starting on Sept. 5, crooks broke into 39 residences in Bay Ridge — an increase of more than 60 percent compared to the same four-week periods in 2007 and 2006, when there were 24 and 21 burglaries respectively. Yikes! But I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. A few months ago, a junkie broke into a house a few blocks from here. Even though the place had central station, it was a

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The Return of Tony Manero

You forty and fifty-somethings will undoubtedly remember the 1977 anthemic film about the disco era, Saturday Night Fever. What you may not know is that it put my neighborhood on the map. “Fever” was about the disco days and the lives of several blue collar kids in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I love talking with my neighbors about those days. They say the movie was an accurate depiction of what life was like here, at least for the disco heads. In 1977, I was a hardcore jazz poser at Berklee College of Music in Boston so I missed it all, geographically,

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Synchronicity, flashbacks and old photos

Yesterday was one of those strange “theme” days we all experience from time to time. It began with my neighbor, Betsy, and me taking a trip to an art store on 3rd Ave to get some old Brooklyn photos framed that I’d collected over the past year. The centerpiece was something I’d bought from shorpy.com, which I’d discovered on the recommendation of a forum regular on Old House Web. It’s a shot of a freezing cold, February day in Brooklyn Heights circa 1908 with the Manhattan Bridge under construction in the distance. The detail on the photo was mesmerizing (click

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She Talked. This Happened.

Next up in my “Meet The Neighbors” series is one of the largest buildings in NYC, the Brooklyn Army Terminal. It’s not large in vertical terms but as far as the footprint goes, there are few NYC buildings to match it. BAT is located four blocks north of me. Surprisingly, for a complex of its imposing size few people around here know much about it. About the only information I could glean from the locals was, “The Army used to own it. It’s something else now.” With its Pentagon-like utilitarian bulk, the closed-to-the-public perimeter security, the NYPD K-9 facility on

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Street Repaving, Brooklyn-style

Last year, NYC DOT repaved several Brooklyn avenues. Last month, they began ripping up some cross streets, mine included. Even though my street was in good condition, people who have lived on the block for 40 years can’t remember the last it was repaved. I figured this might make a good photo archive moment for my planned neighborhood blog. When I saw the yellow signs pop up all over the street I thought it was going to be yet another annoying film shoot. Over the past couple of years Brooklyn has gotten to be a hot location with Hollywood. You

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Bay Ridge Hum

Out-worlders would probably expect Brooklyn to sound like inner-city traffic, police sirens and “Yo! Vinnie! T’row me down some money fa a’ egg cream!” Actually, it’s pretty quiet down here by the harbor, except for the low-flying NYPD helicopters. And ambulances.  And La Guardia jets on approach.  And Belt Parkway traffic… Nevertheless, I have two “bizarre noise” stories. I’ll talk about the most public one first and, if I can keep it short, I’ll tell the other one. In late 2005, I was at the dog run when an obviously exhausted woman told me that she was kept awake all

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    Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

    This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

    My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

    I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

    This is the third iteration of BrooklynRowHouse.com, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.