Brooklyn in Bloom


I CAME BACK TO BROOKLYN after a few days in East Hampton to find the place exploding — florally speaking, that is. Whereas the East End of Long Island is still brown and bleak, except for the relief of roadside forsythia, Brooklyn’s daffs and other bulbs are popping, and the street trees — white Bradford pears, magnolia, and redbud, are in full force, an immensely cheering sight against dark brownstones and rainy skies.







Flower$, Flower$$, Flower$$$

p10303141LAST WEEKEND of winter (YAY!)  The stores that survived the dismal season were full of people, including even the 17 new yogurt shops on Court Street. Bruno’s Hardware was schizoid, half snow shovels and rock salt, the other half barbeque grills, camp trunks, and tomato cages. Above, the scene at GRDN on Hoyt Street in Boerum Hill.

p1030319Purple and yellow crocuses have suddenly exploded in front yards, and the Korean delis are abloom with hyacinths and daffodils in pots, cheap.

From low to high, here’s what I saw today in the way of local floral offerings:

Want a single hyacinth in a tiny ceramic pot for $3.29?  You can get it at Trader Joe’s.



Below, outside and inside GRDN, a lovely off-avenue shop, florist, and nursery dedicated to the urban gardener, where prices have always seemed reasonable to me.p1030311


p1030330Then there’s Atlantic Avenue’s posh and precious Opalia, in a new, larger location on the north side of the avenue between Hoyt and Bond. More power to them!p1030332


Name That Look


Somebody come up with a name, please.  There’s an aesthetic out there that’s reached critical proportions on Atlantic Avenue between Hoyt and Bond, but nobody knows what to call it.

City Foundry is a mad, fascinating jumble of early industrial-era relics and mid-20th century lamps and furnishings

City Foundry is a mad, fascinating jumble of early industrial-era relics and mid-20th century lamps and furnishings

The sign outside City Foundry‘s annex  reads “vintage industrial.”

Brian Cousins of Darr says, “We’re a prop shop.”

The owner of the new cafe/ restaurant, Building on Bond (large photo, bottom), around the corner at Pacific and Bond, whose interior is an ingenuious re-purposing of found wood and industrial parts, calls it “3-D collage,” with a nod to the Arts and Crafts movement.

City Foundry

City Foundry

90-year-old wood molds from an upstate factory at Rico

90-year-old wood molds from an upstate factory at Rico's annex store

The look involves machine cogs from the early industrial era, antique medical supplies, Edison light bulbs in metal cages, drafting stools from bygone architectural offices, bones and antlers, bronze busts and worn wood library shelves — even (at Darr, top photo) taxidermied bison heads and a ten-foot-tall stuffed grizzly.

Cabinet of curiosities?  Mad scientist?  Industrial chic?

Any other suggestions?  Or thoughts on when it’s gonna stop?!

Busted at Darr

Busted at Darr