April 2007
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Archive for April, 2007

Community Planners Celebrated at Awards Reception

Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park, passionate advocate for the city’s environmental justice movement and community-planning activist, was honored with the second annual Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award at a reception on April 18 at the Urban Center. The award was presented by Yolanda Gonzalez, daughter of the late Yolanda Garcia, and executive director of Nos Quedamos. Continue Reading>>

Demolition for Parking Opposed in Brooklyn

atlantic avenue brooklyn aerialMore than 200 people braved torrential rains last week to rally against planned demolition at the Atlantic Yards development site in Prospect Heights. Elected officials, performers and community residents called on the state and the city to rethink plans to permit Forest City Ratner to demolish two city blocks — including the historic Ward Bakery — to create parking lots. Click here to watch a short video of the day’s events and to learn more about the BrooklynSpeaks.net campaign.

Mandolin Bros, Staten Island, A Place that Matters

mandolin brothers staten island new york place mattersMandolin Bros, at 629 Forest Ave., Staten Island, nominated by Dave Knox. A modest, brown, nearly windowless building in the heart of Staten Island houses a store which many consider to be the center of the American fretted instrument world. It’s home to the world’s best guitars, banjos, ukuleles, and mandolins. Friends and partners Stan Jay and Harold “Hap” Kuffner founded the place in 1971. Thinking that mandolins could use some publicity, and poking fun at music store owners who name their stores after themselves, Stan and Hap became the Mandolin Bros. Kuffner left, but Jay remains, and moreover, he remains in Staten Island. He’s never been tempted to move. Why? He figures that anyone willing to take subway, ferry, and bus to his location “pre-qualifies” as serious and trustworthy. Continue Reading>>

Economy Candy, A Place That Matters

Economy CandyEconomy Candy, at 108 Rivington St. in the Lower East Side, nominated by both Lori Greenberg and Michael Hasselmann. Mary Janes, Tootsie Rolls, Sky Bars, Pez dispensers, Pop Rocks, and Pixie Stix. Halvah. Fox’s U-Bet. Chocolate jelly rings from JoMart, hand-dipped in Brooklyn. Economy is a quintessential NYC candy store. It’s worth a visit not only for the candy but also for the atmosphere. There are shelves piled nearly to the ceiling with chocolates and candy, bins full of penny candy, a gourmet international selection, and vintage children’s games and candy boxes lining the wall. The amazing variety of candy is matched by the diversity of customers. Family-operated since the 1930s, owner Jerry Cohen grew up working in the store, taking it over from his father and uncle in the mid-1970s. Economy is one of the last candy stores left in the neighborhood. So visit now, or if you must, shop online at economycandy.com.

The Empire Roller Skating Center, A Place that Matters

empire roller skating center brooklyn new york signBefore the Empire became one of New York City’s best loved roller rinks, it was a parking garage for Ebbets Field. The Swanson family opened the rink in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in 1941, and until the late 1990s the rink was family owned. Then, the nationwide chain United Skates of America took it over, and now, very unfortunately, the rink has been sold. It’s next life? Probably a storage facility. We are extremely sad to report that the Empire is closing. Its last day is April 23rd. Continue Reading>>