Lovin' 5th ave. from 11th to 25th

It is the last day of the month and I had to go get the car inspected. Usually, I grab a coffee at the Red Horse (6th Ave./12th St. - they also have great scones I think from Baked in Red Hook), drop the car with the St. of Ancient Silver Hondas (Mohammed at Bartroni on 5th Ave./24th St.) and go up the hill across the street to sit by Minerva in Greenwood
to watch the ferries go back and forth. But today we needed more work and I walked home, discovering and remembering some wonderful things along the way.

Officially the second best pizza in the USA is in a tiny ordinary looking store front named Luigi's (according to them, the first best pizza makers eat at Luigi's) on 5th between 21/20th St. Get the "grandma" pizza. If you don't enjoy watching them make it one pepperoni at a time go two doors down to Laurntino's for pastry (supposidely a former baker from Veniero's owns it). We heard that there were great empanadas along that strip and I think that I found them at La Boulangerie Lopez (20/19th St.). We have always taken out of town friends for a vodkha tasting at Adam's Liquors (corner of 17th St.). Don't go in asking for Grey Goose..."unless you are using it to kill rats". Try the Sobieski, Bull Grass or Honey Vodkha. Skip Eagle Provisions and go straight to Jubilat Provisions for your local Polish sausage fix (they smoke it in the back, or get the fresh which is garlicy and wonderful) - also great poppy seed loaf. Kumon has opened a new bigger location (15/16th St.) right across the street from the beautiful new home of Park Slope Schoolhouse (they should be moving in any moment now). I have been missing the Salvation Army that moved out of the big corner space on 13th St. years ago and was surprised to see a groovy new second hand store there, Life. They accept donations and give tax receipts for all clothes and furniture. It is staffed by volunteers and the proceeds go to Pediatric Cancer Research as well as other programs for children with serious illnesses. My daughters did all their tween budget fashion shopping at Rainbow and Mandees (12/13th St.) but Fresh (11/12th St.) is still the only place to get your skinny jeans. I was surprised at how many new little interesting bars have popped up like crocuses on the avenue and I am making a May 1st date with my husband. We will send off the first college check and then go for a pub crawl down 5th Ave.


Brooklyn Prospect Charter has its location!

Brooklyn Prospect Charter has announced that they will be located within the Sunset Park High School building in the fall of '09. Sunset Park HS will be in a brand new building on 35th St. and 4th Ave. in Sunset Park. The high school will be accepting 400 students next fall in their first year growing to 1600. So for the first couple of years there will be room in the building. Brooklyn Prospect was planning on accepting about 88 6th graders in their first year.

The Brooklyn Prospect Charter says, "We are grateful to Principal Corinne Vinal, Council Member Sara Gonzalez, the Center for Family Life Co-director, Julie Stein-Brockway, Community Board 7 and the Sunset Park High School Task Force who have worked tremendously hard in the creation of Sunset Park High School. We look forward to working closely with them to ensure a seamless collaboration and strong foundation for both schools."

You still have a couple of days to sign up for the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School's lottery. They are extending the deadline to April 5. If you can't do the registration on line call (718) 289-3174. This is an extension of the deadline. Go to their website to register. www.brooklynprospect.org This does not effect the regular middle school application. It is an extra option. You have nothing to loose, and another option to gain.

All Hail Sunset Park Parents!

The parents in Sunset Park are awesome. I attended a town hall meeting last night in celebration of their 40 year effort (supported by hundreds of parent activists and community organizers, yes!) The auditorium was packed to capacity with standing room spilling out into the halls.

Sunset Park has schools! A brand spanking new state of the art, 1650 seat HS building is going up on 34th St. and 4th Ave. to open Sept. 09. The construction authority was there to give progress reports (not grades.) It is on schedule.
This school that has already chosen it’s Principal, Corrine Vinal (a longtime educator and experienced administrator). It will have three learning communities within the school: Performing and Visual Arts, Health and Human Services, Business and Entrepreneurship. The themes were chosen by the community, as was the currently unprecedented model of having one principal to oversee the school. It is not a screened program. They are focused on college prep and there is priority for Brooklyn students.

8th graders, if you want to place this school on your list of 12, this is how you do it. It sounds weird, but it IS the procedure straight from the DOE. This school will not be listed in the directory. Don’t panic. Fill out your application. Don’t list Sunset Park HS yet. Hand in your registration on or before the appointed day in the fall. File a NEW FORM during the February 2009 application period for new schools. This form overrides the previous form. Rank Sunset Park High School along with your other schools in the order you want them. If you have questions about admission call OSEPO (212) 374-2363. If you have questions about the high school call the Sunset Park Task Force (718) 788-3500.

But wait there is more…for you preschoolers. There is a brand new public Early Childhood Center being built on 4th Ave. and 64th St. (on the 4th Ave. subway line) The first green designed school in Brooklyn. It will house 18 classrooms PreK through 2nd grade. It opens in 2010. This is a trend that local principals endorse. As the Elementary Schools become more crowded and PreK programs lose their spots, it makes more sense to group the PreKs into a centralized site. More on that later.

...heh Park Slope Parents, that sounds like a good idea! What is the Diocese doing with the St. Thomas Aquinas school building on 4th Ave. and 9th St? Would it be enough PreK seats for everybody who wants one, and relieve the overcrowding in all of our Kindergarten classes? You guys need to start making some calls.