We previously compiled a list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Manhattan for design buffs and now we’re tackling Brooklyn. The following is by no means a complete list of coffee shops in Brooklyn, but after checking out many, many coffee shops, we decided to highlight some of our favorites.
Naturally, we were intrigued when we heard about this flower shop/coffee shop that opened recently in Greenpoint. Spina, which means “thorn” in Italian, started as a floral design company. Owners Vanessa Chinga-Haven and Paul Diaz hope to lure people in the door with Blue Bottle coffee and donuts by Dough, then keep them hanging around for floral arrangements and gift items. There’s not a lot of space to sit, but the pint-sized shop is a nice place to stop for a coffee and flower bouquet to go. (more…)
Recently, we took you inside the music shop Retrofret in Gowanus which specializes in rare and bizarre instruments. What we didn’t share with you yet is that one floor below, connected to Retrofret is an organ workshop! The shop not only repairs organs for such venerable churches as Trinity Wall Street and St. Thomas on 5th Avenue and 53rd Street, but builds them from scratch too.
This is a map of Broncks’ New York from 1639 by Cartographer Johannes Vingboons. Notice the spelling of “Staten Eylante.” Image via Library of Congress
On December 3rd 1641, Jonas Bronck, a Danish immigrant to New York City, bought about 500 acres of land above Manhattan.
According to the Bronx Historical Society, the first settlement is in modern day “Mott Haven” by East 138th street. The area was initially a part of Westchester county. The annex onto NYC was spurred by regular railroad service between the Bronx and Manhattan that started in 1841. Jonas Bronck’s original purchase was all farmland, and the area stayed that way until it became a part of New York City in 1895. People would always say they were “going to the Broncks’,” so the name stuck. (more…)
These days, it can be hard to imagine that there are still alternatives to big corporate banks in New York City. The architecture of our main thoroughfares speaks to the large presence of these giants. On Broadway alone between 59th Street and 72nd Street, there are 14 big bank locations—that’s more than one per block. And it doesn’t count the large number of ATMs in pharmacies.
Recently, Untapped Cities reader Rachel Potter submitted the following preservation query to our mailbag:
I have a question about landmark preservation rules – recently I saw the article about the ‘64 World’s Fair [in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park] and the decision whether to restore or demolish them. I also learned that JFK’s Pan Am Worldport is being torn down. I’m confused though, since both of these sites have historic landmark status, how is it possible to demolish them? Isn’t the point of landmark status to ensure their preservation in the midst of projected redevelopment?