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Manhattan Mall: Ghost Town?

Less rice in Jackson Heights! Less theater space in the Village! And one less groundhog on Roosevelt Island. All that and more (less?) in today's boroughs report.

Fort Greene Restaurant Scene's Crescendo; De Niro Hotel So Close You Can Book It

Astoria: The Southwest restaurant that's been under construction near the Ditmars stop on 31st Street is named Mojave and opens tonight. [Joey in Astoria via Astorians] East Village: The Mermaid Inn reopens tomorrow after a one-week renovation, which may have been inspired by Time Out‘s mouse sightings. [Eater] Fort Greene: New restaurants the Smoke Joint and 67 Burger have joined older favorites like iCi and Thomas Beisl to build a thriving restaurant scene near the Brooklyn Academy of Music. [NYT] Tribeca: De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel is now taking reservations for the spring. [NewYorkology via Eater]

Lovescool's Bakery Open in Gramercy; Pupu Platters From the Fifties in Queens

Astoria: Chickenhead is playing at the beer garden this Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: J & J Cafe on Fulton near Waverly is already closed, but don't hold your breath for the next newcomer. With all the construction in the area “there's little use opening anything in that space…it's almost completely invisible.” [Clinton Hill Blog] Fresh Meadows: Old-school Chinese-American restaurant Kim Yum has been serving Pupu Platters and strong drinks since the fifties. [Gothamist] Gramercy: Dessert blogger and Golden Scoop award winner Kelli Bernard has opened her bakery and tea house at 171 Third Avenue between 16th and 17th streets. [NewYorkology] Harlem: Harlem Tea Room tries to pull a fast one: “This may not be a sticking point if you haven’t grown up with scones, but they are not biscuits. They just aren’t. Biscuits are lovely things, but you cannot claim to sell homemade scones and serve biscuits.” [Uptown Flavor] West Village: Gusto chef Amanda Freitag puts oodles of autumn into her recipe for free-form pumpkin ravioli with apple-cider reduction. [Restaurant Girl]

Robert Moses's BQE Dream House

Brooklyn Heights: It was bound to come to this: Bar bocce is now cutthroat and competitive. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Central Park: The Claremont Riding Academy is closing because of a lack of business. The stable has been on the west side of the park since 1892. [NYP] Cobble Hill: Part of Mayor Bloomberg's long-term plan for the city calls for covering nine blocks of the BQE to create additional space for housing. [NYP] Dumbo: Artist Jane Walentas, wife of theatrically lampooned area megadeveloper David, wants to put her restored carousel in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. [NY1 via DumboNYC] Fresh Meadows: Queens councilmember Tony Avella was among 75 who massed Saturday to protest a new building that violates just about every code in the book. [Queens Crap] Greenpoint: The line of demarcation between Greenpoint and Williamsburg is formed from waste. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: South Harlem will get its first veterinary clinic this summer on 112th and Frederick Douglass. [Harlem Fur] Prospect Heights: Demolition began at the Atlantic Yards site today, and so did the protests. [The Brooklyn Paper]

Where Do I Party With Pupu Platters? And Strong Drinks? And, Oh, Mirrors?

Dear Grub Street,
I’m on a quest to find the perfect restaurant venue, so naturally I went straight to the source. A group of fifteen to twenty desperately seeks a Chinese restaurant with over-the-top hokey décor, mirrored walls, and decent food. And strong drinks. Well, the mirrored walls aren’t a requirement, but someplace that will allow semi-raucous, dressed-in-a-theme patrons and hopefully not be more than $25 a head. Does this place exist?

Community Board Trumps God in Chelsea

Brooklyn Heights: Even after the suspect of a bank robbery yesterday was shot by police and hauled into an ambulance, his iPod earbud never fell out of his left ear. We can't wait for that to show up in an Apple commerical. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chelsea: Community Board 4 voted down General Theological Seminar's plans to build a fifteen-story luxury condo building on its pretty Ninth Avenue property. [BlogChelsea] Fort Greene: Days before Mayor Bloomberg announces tougher construction safety standards, John Martinez, 46, falls to his death working on the rising Forte Condo, reportedly due to a lack of precautions. [Brownstoner] Fresh Meadows: A mere $1.3 mil will get you this brand-new brick box on 185 Fifth Street. And the ire of neighbors whose driveway is cluttered with your leftover bricks. [Queens Crap] Midtown: Quick! Before the rates change. Book a room at the brand-new, boutique-y Hotel 373 on Fifth and 35th starting at $134 a night. [Newyorkology] Red Hook: Archeologists are overseeing Ikea's construction at Graving Dock No. 2 on Beard Street. They haven't made it over to Graving Dock No. 1, which Ikea is filling in to use as a parking lot. [Gowanus Lounge] *Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Bill Moyers had protested luxury condos at General Theological Seminary. He actually spoke out against high-rise construction on the Upper West Side.