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New Hinsch Bay Ridge Poster

November 3, 2011
hinsch-bay-ridge

Hinsch Bay Ridge

Open for Hinsch Luncheonette, opened in 1948, is an historical Soda Shoppe and Candy Store in Bay Ridge at 8518 Fifth Avenue.  It closed September 20, 2011 and new owners hope to reopen keeping the same classic diner ambiance with vintage signage. The poster is rich in color and reflects an antique style.

New Brooklyn Baseball Style T-shirts and bags

May 4, 2011

Classic Brooklyn Baseball style products in include messenger bags, t-shirts, caps and more.

MESSENGER BAG DETAILS:

From school, to carrying your laptop, to a hip alternative diaper bag, our versatile, spacious messenger bag is practically all you need to get you through every stage of your life — and look hip doing it.
One front adjustable clasp closure.
Main compartment has inside slip pocket.
Front panel has zipper compartment.
Adjustable 2″ shoulder strap.
600 Denier Polyester
Size: 14 1/2″ x 12″ x 5″

See them at http://www.cafepress.com/718brooklyn/6749125

brooklyn baseball style messenger bag

Brooklyn Baseball-style Messenger Bag

College Bakery Mousepad

December 10, 2010

College Bakery in BrooklynCollege Bakery in Cobble Hill was once Brooklyn’s favorite place for a birthday cake and has been sadly missed by all since it closed suddenly in September of 2005. The bakery took its name from St. Francis College, which was formerly on nearby Butler St.

Keep your memories of College Bakery fresh with great products like this Commemorative Mousepad. We now have lots of new products including iPhone and iPad accessories, water bottles and tons of new BABY CLOTHES available in the 718BROOKLYN Store.

Do you have stories about College Bakery? Add them to the comment box.

Many of you are trying to reach the Baker, please read trough the comments to contact him through The Baker’s Wife.

A Visit with Vinnie Russo

November 12, 2010
Russo Realty

Vinnie Russo's Famous "Building as Art" - Russo Realty

Years ago, before Vinnie Russo died, I stopped by Russo Realty to show the owner this photograph that I had taken and to leave it as a gift. I was overwhelmed when I first went in because every surface was covered with photos, mementos and news clippings. Even the walls and furniture were covered.

Sitting in the middle of everything was an old man bundled in layers of flannel shirts. I gave him the picture and he went wild, he loved it. He showed it to the woman who was there who turned out to be a friend named Susan who cared for the aging Real Estate king. I sat down and she made me a plate of delicious pasta with clam sauce.

During dinner, Vinnie’s nephew joined us. He is a body builder in his 50s who looks like Elvis, hair sunglasses and all.

Vinnie told me that when he returned from Pearl Harbor in 1947, he went into real estate purchasing buildings all over Cobble Hill. Over the years he’s had a lot of trials and tribulations, which he couldn’t wait to tell me about.

I took a break to go to the bathroom, which is another work of art. It was a good-sized room with a tiny cot and walls covered with nude pictures. I realized this was Vinnie’s bedroom. When I came out, there were more visitors crammed into the tiny office including a huge, handsome, bearded man wearing a hairdresser’s outfit and makeup.

The small group talked and laughed and told me they were trying to make a museum out of the place. There was a great deal of warmth in the room and his friends seem to make him happy. I felt very privileged to have been there and shared the moment and was saddened by his passing.
Visit the 718 Brooklyn Store Russo Section

Kitchen Table Memories

May 5, 2009
College Bakery in Cobble Hill (Closed)

College Bakery in Cobble Hill (Closed)

When I was 16, somewhere around 1971, I lived in Fort Lauderdale and had an Italian boyfriend from Brooklyn who was incredibly exotic. He was thin as a rail, had a two-foot wide Afro, wore tight, low-cut t-shirts and elephant bell-bottoms with custom-made multi-colored platform wingtips.

My short-haired, tank-top and flip-flop wearing school chums hated him but he was too weird to beat up and who knew if he has a switchblade in that Afro or not.

He once took me home to Brooklyn to meet his 12 (or maybe it was 13) brothers and sisters and all of their names ended in “y” or “ie”: Charlie, Butchie, Dottie, Jimmmie, Margie, etc.

DiSalvo Italian Bakery in East NY

DiSalvo Italian Bakery in East NY

Everything about them was exotic also but one thing that stood out was a nightly ritual practiced like a religion. Each evening at 6 or 7pm we gathered at one of the sisters’ or brothers’ homes in the kitchen around a cheap, beat-up Formica table surrounded by mix-and-match chairs. A steaming pot of Chock-full-of-Nuts coffee was put on a potholder and white, string-wrapped boxes of pastries  were put out.

Other family members dropped by and stories were told all night long. My family does not, and never did, “visit” unless someone got married or died. We still don’t. We forget birthdays with amazing consistency and regularly promise to remember the next time. I see my brother once a decade and when we part we cry and make more promises to see each other more. But we don’t.

Court Pastry in Cobble Hill

Court Pastry in Cobble Hill

The feeling of closeness I felt around those tables comes back to me every time I see someone carrying a white box tied up with bakery string and it makes me ever grateful that I finally moved to Brooklyn.

The shot of College Bakery was taken right before it closed suddenly a few years ago. DiSalvo and Court Street are still open.

Please share your stories about bakeries with us and visit our 718 Brooklyn Store to see photos.

New 11215 Park Slope Zip Code Apparel & Gifts

April 28, 2009
Park Slope Zip Code T-Shirts, Totes and More for the Whole Family

Park Slope Zip Code T-Shirts, Totes and More for the Whole Family

Show off your neighborhood pride with our new 11215 Park Slope Zip Code Section in the 718 Store. Oversize totes are perfect for shopping at the Food Coop or Back to the Land and we’ve got t-shirts for mom, dad, baby and even the dog. They make great gifts for friends and family or even for yourself.

Sunview Luncheonette Closes

April 26, 2009

Luncheonette in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYCIn August of 1963, Dimitria and her husband came from Greece and opened their little dream restaurant. The Coca-Cola Company generously supplied them with a fancy sign with 3-dimensional letters and the Coke logos.

Forty-one years later they are still here. Hamburgers still sell for only $1.75 and a soda is just .50 cents. I spent an hour or so enjoying a cream soda at the counter and watching Dee’s knarly, water-soaked hands skillfully make sandwiches piling on generous amounts of tuna and chicken salad.

She is camera-shy and was reluctant to talk to me at first.

“My name? They call me Dee. I don’t even remember my name. Oh yes, Dimitira. We’ve been here for over 4o years and never closed one day. Not one. Well, maybe a half day
in an emergency.”

The neighborhood is mostly Italian and Dee knows every customer’s name and what they order. “Coffee Lenny? Burgers for the kids Maria? The usual Jimmy?”

Located on Nassau and Russell, Sunview is currently closed by the
health department and the future is uncertain.

NOTE: Sunview Luncheonette was closed.

Visit the Greenpoint Section at 718Store.com or see more Greenpoint Photos in the gallery.

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