Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bed-Stuy's Best Pizzeria

Focaccino: "Quality Food for Less Money"

On an extremely cold winter day last year, Mrs. Reno and I were on our way to an open house on Greene Avenue between Bedford and Nostrand Aves, when the broker called to tell us that he was running late. It was about 6:30 p.m. and it felt about zero degrees outside. It was too cold to stand outside and wait, so we decided to kill some time by getting something to eat.

Those familiar with that stretch of Bedford Avenue know that it's pretty desolate. I suggested that we go to a bodega to get some tea and walk out the cold. While searching for a Bodega we noticed Focaccino Pizzeria & Espresso Bar. We had seen the restaurant before but figured it would close soon--upscale pizza on that block? Huh? Mrs. Reno was starved and decided to go in for a slice. We left thinking that Focaccino not only offers one of the best slices of pizza in Bedford Stuyvesant, but also a cool atmosphere, putting a twist on the typical pizza shop.

Focaccino opened its doors in February of 2007 and is owned by an israeli real estate broker named Shai Antebi. In an interview with Bed-Stuy Parlor's Monique Greenwood, Shai says his pizzeria offers the neighborhood, 'healthy and quality food for less money.' If you're a fan of thin crust pizza, Focaccino is your spot. Mrs. Reno loved the thin crust pepporoni while I loved the price: $1.50 a slice.

Click here to watch Monique Greenwood's interview with Shai Antebi.

Focaccino Pizzeria & Espresso Bar is located at: 1069 Bedford Ave Brooklyn , NY 11216 Phone: 718-622-2228

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Meet the Brownstoners of Bed-Stuy

Bed-Stuy Parlor's Monique Greenwood interviews the original Brownstoners of Brooklyn and also tours Bedford Stuyvesant's annual house tour.

Sector B: Making Myrtle Avenue Shine

BCAT's Sector B reports on the storefront improvement program, which is restoring some beautiful old buildings (with an eye toward historic accuracy) while helping to attract brand new businesses.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Is Bed-Stuy A Good Investment?

Everytime a property like House of the Day: 78 Halsey Street, is featured on Brownstoner, the post gets well over 60 comments. The posters and trolls on Brownstoner write things like, 'This building looks like quite the lifetime challenge' and 'Are the tenants respectable or armed thugs? That makes a big difference too.'

Another poster wrote, 'This neighborhood is not known for having the best quality rent-stabilized tenants. I would be very careful when buying in Bed-Stuy. Because of the credit crunch, gentrification will come to a halt in Bed-Stuy. Anyone who buys here will be stuck in a low-class hood with (poor) low class people.'

By now we're all accustomed to the incendiary comments that are typical on Brownstoner when it comes to discussing 'fringe' neighborhoods. On many levels, it's disheartening how racist and classist many of these remarks are.

Bedford Stuyvesant has always been a thriving neigbhorhood with arguably the largest stock of brownstones in New York City. The houses in Bed-Stuy are varied, and while many of the great houses are gone, there are several gems left. If you come across a great deal there, it'll be worth your while. Bed-Stuy will continue to change, for good and worse, but I'm convinced that many people will continue to buy there regardless of the opinions of naysayers.

Quick Links

  1. 1. Brownstone Brooklyn Apartments Averaging $661K (NY Observer)
    2.) Retro-inspired Dishwashers (Apartment Therapy)
  2. 3.) Messy Backyard Makeover (O at Home)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Photo Gallery: Prospect Park South

am NY, City Living

Prospect Park South lies deep in the belly of Flatbush. It is an enclave of colossal freestanding houses, characterized by turrets, oriel windows, grand entrances flanked by columns and expansive wraparound porches. (am New York)