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Some Old CBGB Punks Think the John Varvatos Store Isn't That Bad

Fancy cornices aim to redeem Fedders homes in Carroll Gardens, aging rockers defend CBGB's new retail use on the Bowery, and a Billyburg record store faces shutdown. Oh yeah, the boroughs are alive and well in our handy-dandy Neighborhood Watch!

Alexander Hamilton Just Wouldn't Have Approved of a Northeasterly View

Broadway-Flushing: As landmarking honchos drag their feet on protecting this enclave of pretty early-1900s homes, locals wonder if it's more evidence that city pooh-bahs care more about Manhattan and Brooklyn brownstones than they do historic Queens cribs. [NYDN] Brooklyn Heights: How will the city get Brooklynites to the hard-to-get-to Brooklyn Bridge Park? It will bus them! [Brooklyn Paper] Harlem: Some folks are protesting the move of Alexander Hamilton's Colonial house from a cramped street to St. Nicholas Park because — get this — it won't be facing the same way. [Curbed]

Ghost Towns and Old Bones

Flushing: Time to buy a new bathing suit! Or, um, ice skates? The plush, $66.3 million Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Natatorium and Ice Rink is opening today. [Curbed] Lower East Side: Loud messy construction from Jason Pomeranc’s hotel at 200 Allen Street and Morris Platt’s 26-story condo on Orchard Street has turned the surrounding blocks into "a ghost town." [NYO] Lower Manhattan: Signs that speak of the World Trade Center in the present tense will be removed. [NYT]

Condos Eating Up Ethnic Restaurants; Eleven Madison Park Chef Bringing Some Bling to the UWS

Astoria: The café Oleput at 31-13 Ditmars has reopened, and they might have a liquor license. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Krumbs (or whatever the bakery will soon be called) is now open at 154 Vanderbilt between Willoughby and Myrtle, and mini–carrot cakes seem like a hit. [Clinton Hill Blog] Flushing: The legendary Chinese food court at J & L mall may be closed for good after a brief shutter this summer. The condo curse strikes again. [Eat for Victory/VV] Hell's Kitchen: Kyotofu’s hosting a winter sake pairing Monday with the theme "An Evening at an Izakaya, a traditional Japanese Pub.” It includes real food like miso-grilled ten-grain yaki-onigiri rice balls and shiitake-and-pork-yuba dumplings. [Grub Street] Park Slope: A new reason to join the CSA: Find a tiny frog in your lettuce and get a hilarious feature in the Daily News. [Gothamist] Upper East Side: A San Francisco restaurant critic goes to Park Avenue Winter and other top-billed New York restaurants and admits being "struck by a trend that seems to be taking root [here]: Market-driven menus. Of course, this is common to the Bay Area." [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle] Upper West Side: Eleven Madison Park chef Kerry Heffernan has outfitted the old Cafe Botanica with mirrors and glass to prepare for the opening of South Gate, his new restaurant slated for a mid-February opening. [Restaurant Girl]

Esca’s Pasternack to Pitch Fish-and-Chips at Citi Field

We’re not Mets fans or anything, but Gael Greene’s (Web-only!) scoop that David Pasternack of Esca was planning a Fish Shack for Citi Field has really got us in a Flushing frame of mind. Pasternack told us the new Fish Shack would feature “simple stuff” like fish-and-chips, fried clam sandwiches, and lobster rolls. As at other Citi Field concessions, you'll be able to see the game while you wait. So what makes Pasternack's menu special? “I don’t know yet,” the chef told us. “But it’s going to be really good.” Pasternack also hears that there will be a Shake Shack at Citi Field, the same rumor we told you about in August. Is this going to be the greatest stadium food court ever or what? Related: Hark! New Shake Shack to Open at Shea Stadium

Riding the V Line: The Life Aquatic at Ping’s

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way. This far along the V, you can tempt death crossing Queens Boulevard, wander for blocks alone on the sidewalk, and pop into several houseware stores and travel agencies. Or you could go to Ping’s, a citadel of classic Cantonese food that makes even doubters delight and shout, “This is why I love Queens!”

You Aren't the Only Person Who Comes Home to Find Random People Smoking in Your Stairwell

Clinton Hill: Beware of undesirables who sneak into your apartment building to smoke butts, do drugs, copulate, urinate, and drink coffee. Because it's happening. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The latest bank branch hopes that if it puts up a big photo of the hood in Ye Olden Days, no one will notice that it's filled mostly with bank branches now. [Vanishing New York] Flushing: Local Quaker farmers demand freedom of worship! Well, they did in 1657. But the tatty document in which they listed their demands, called "The religious Magna Carta of the New World," is on display up in here. [NYT]

Jennifer 8. Lee Tackles Fortune Cookies

The galleys for the The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee’s forthcoming book about Chinese food and restaurants, have flooded the city, and people are getting hungry. Since the mysterious, crowded world of Chinese food is something about which we can never get enough intel, a quick chat with Jennifer was in order.

Green Greek Comes to Flatiron; Thanksgiving Eats Aplenty

Chelsea: Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit will present a free Thanksgiving 101 wining and dining seminar on Saturday, November 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that will be catered by City Bakery and feature chef Don Pintabona of Dani, pastry chef Nancy Olson of Gramercy Tavern and chef Galen Zamarra from Mas (farmhouse), giving cooking tips in addition to the requisite wine tasting. [Grub Street] East Village: Chikalicious will be serving on Thanksgiving, if you’d like to pass up a traditional feast for a $12 tasting of “warm cornmeal pound cake with corn ice cream and a duo of grapes in Moscato d’Asti.” [Restaurant Girl] The new and improved Momofuku Noodle Bar now features soft-serve ice cream served in brownie-stuffed cones. [Eater] Financial District: Blue Ribbon Sound on Ann Street is a recording studio brought to you from the restaurant group of the same name because the owners of the sushi houses and bakeries around town are also “dedicated to high quality sound production in a comfortable and professional environment.” [Down by the Hipster] Flatiron: Parea will be remade into a rustic Greek eatery, with an organic menu and green architecture. [Restaurant Girl] Flushing: Sai Bhavan Snack & Sweets at 141-20 Holly Avenue is a good place to find vegetarian South Indian fare to celebrate the India’s annual Festival of Lights. [Gothamist] Harlem: The farmer’s market outside of Morningside Park at 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. will close for the winter after November 17. [Uptown Flavor] Midtown East: Alto has a special table for two that overlooks the dining room, but protocol for securing the prized seating remains hazy. [Eater]

Cobble Hill Shall Only Remain Yea High

Cobble Hill: In a last-minute about-face, Councilman Bill De Blasio said he'll vote to deny developer Two Trees the right to build ten feet over the height limit in the quaint hood. [Brooklyn Eagle] Coney Island: The deal has been inked, folks. Starting in March, Astroland will be open for one more season before the bulldozers roll in. [NYDN] Flushing: Yeah, we know this blog features hideous new architecture around Queens every day, but these specimens are particularly heinous. What's that thing atop the building in the first picture, a big brick handle? [Queens Crap]

The Coen Brothers Pony Up for the Heights

Brooklyn Heights: The figures are in: To say thanks for letting them shake up the hood while shooting a new Clooney flick here, the Coen brothers gave the Brooklyn Heights Association $10,000, and a few other groups one or two thou each. [Brooklyn Paper] Ditmas Park: In this fast-gentrifying hood, "Go back to Park Slope" is a four-letter word. [Ditmas Park Blog] Downtown Brooklyn: A Renzo Piano–designed complex of housing and office space is planned to take the place of City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium. With a name like that, maybe best that it come down after all. [McBrooklyn]

Children Banned From Hotel Chelsea Lobby

Chelsea: Children have been banned from the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel, reportedly because a rude kiddie called a maid a bitch. [Living with Legends] Flushing: Angry residents have stopped the LIRR from cutting down trees along the rail line, which they did to keep wet, slip-slidey leaves off the tracks. [Queens Chronicle via Queens Crap] Greenpoint: It's getting ugly between outspoken hood blogger Miss Heather and commenters who appear to be linked to 110 Green Street, the noisy condo-in-progress that Miss H. and other locals hate. [Newyorkshitty] Gowanus: Brooklyn parrots have landed in Thomas Greene Park — and they're so cute! (Though the linked photo, while of a Brooklyn parrot, wasn't taken in Gowanus. Aw.) [Gowanus Lounge] Prospect Heights: Locals cleaned up the hood this weekend while socking it to Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner. [Atlantic Yards Report] Times Square: Thankfully, there's plenty of places on Seventh Avenue where you can buy computers, cameras, luggage and … galerie? What's galerie? [East Village Idiot] Upper West Side: The line outside the Delacorte for tickets to tonight's free 40th-anniversary staging of Hair is out of control! [Newyorkology]

Queens Restaurant Week Is Upon Us

Queens Restaurant Week
The idea of Queens Restaurant Week, we maintain, isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. Sure, the borough is defined by great restaurants that cost next to nothing, so a $20.07 dinner special may not sound worth schlepping to Elmhurst for. But in fact, anything that brings people to Queens is worthwhile; its restaurants are the source material for so much of what is happening in Manhattan, and most chefs, at least privately, will admit that the ethnic kitchens of Bayside and Jackson Heights are usually better than their midtown emulators.

Anyone for Tennis? And Lobster Salad?

Patio Cafe
Damn! You’ve been so busy bragging about the tickets you snagged to tonight’s showdown between Federer and Roddick that you’ve forgotten to eat. Obviously, when you get to the Tennis Center, you’re going to want to know what’s what. According to our rundown of U.S. Open offerings, it looks like Aces is the best place to catch Newt Gingrich, Janet Jackson, Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart, or any of the other weird celebs that have been spotted courtside this year. Heineken’s Red Star Café? Not so much. U.S. Open Eats [NYM]

The New Cold War: Fro-Yo Standoff in Flushing

Fro-Yo Map
The Frozen-Yogurt Wars have intensified in Flushing. We spotted two new stores going up a mere 85 feet from each other on Roosevelt Avenue. Does Pinkberry have the advantage, being so close to the heavily trafficked Main Street stop on the 7 train? Or will the discriminating dessert aficionado bypass the throngs (by walking about 40 steps) to Red Mango? Too soon to tell, but we fear New York’s post-apocalyptic future where the only structures standing are bank branches and frozen-yogurt stores. Oh, and the Arepa Lady. —Aileen Gallagher Earlier: Our coverage of the frozen-yogurt invasion

Tennis Shoes

The U.S. Open started today. Roger Federer, the No. 1 seed, played Scoville Jenkins, an American. Federer won in straight sets. These are his shoes. We can only imagine what parts of Federer the AFP will be offering by the time this thing ends, in two weeks.

U.S. Open Stadium Eats; Red Hook Vendors' Bread and Butter in Jeopardy

Astoria: Get your feet rubbed while eating ice cream at Freeze Peach this Saturday — or maybe just stick to sampling the variety of flavors at this $9 tasting event that will also feature reflexology and tarot-card reading. [Joey in Astoria] Flushing: New reasons not to fill up before a match: Five serious restaurants including a steakhouse, seafood restaurant, and Cuban café flank the U.S. Open stadium, all under the supervision of Charlie Palmer–trained chef Michael Lockard. [NYDN] Hell’s Kitchen: Mitchel London Pizza from the owners of Burgers & Cupcakes has been open for a couple of weeks, but they’re still working on good char. [Slice] Lower East Side: Whole Foods’ beer room, which stocks over 200 international, domestic, and local beers, opened this morning. [Gridskipper] Meatpacking District: Los Dados from Sueños chef Sue Torres opens Monday. [Eater] Red Hook: Department of Health inspectors are now turning a critical eye to restaurants associated with the ball-field vendors. Honduras Maya is already closed. [Brooklyn Eagle]