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The Chelsea Hotel Undergoes a Voice Change

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Someone who lives on this cute block has a thing against homeless people. Or hipsters. We can't tell which. [newyorkshitty] Chelsea: After 30 years as the voice of the Chelsea Hotel, telephone operator Amy Miller is retiring. Bet she's heard some bad verbiage in her days. [Living with Legends] Cobble Hill: Are those yellow boxes on top of this Walentas building going to be bulkheads or illegal beachy cabana things? Only time and angry neighbors will tell. [Brooklyn Paper]

The Lower East Side's Latest Sustainable Restaurant; Plus, Rayuela's New Takeaway Outlet

Clinton Hill: Don’t be fooled by Met Foods window painting claiming the supermarket has the “[l]argest fresh organic products in the area.” You’ll be “hard-pressed to find any (just the usual half-rotten produce they usually carry). It’s clearly a reaction to the threat of all the discerning customers shopping at Green Planet.” [Clinton Hill Blog] Greenwich Village: The Starbucks on 8th Street between Fifth and University is closing and has posted in its window a bizarre, farewell letter of sorts, which begins, "This thing we have together, it’s bigger than this place." And in a weird way, the epistle is spot-on. [Gothamist] Harlem: Where can a gal just get a beer and a burger in this gentrifying area? [Uptown Flavor] Lower East Side: Rayuela is expanding with a Latin takeout spot set to open at the end of March in the former LoSide space. [Eater] Lee Gross’s organic eatery Broadway East opens March 7, and like this week’s ecofriendly thirst quenchers, "filters and carbonates its own water." [Strong Buzz] Freemans will totally let you order artichoke dip before you place your entrée order; they changed their policy two years ago after Bruni’s "Satisfactory" review. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

The ‘Crazy Super’ Has a Dog Named Pretty Girl

Bay Ridge: Richard Martin, the "crazy super" who posts homicidally threatening signs about trash disposal, says of his tenants "They're Arab; they don't give a f*ck"; has a cute Pekinese named Pretty Girl; and worships Jeanine Pirro. Feast on his cranky, strangely lovable weirdness. [NYP] Chelsea: Facing lawsuits from folks who say it's too loud and polluting to be there, the 30th St. pier heliport floats a plan to move itself onto two barges offshore. And Curbed is right... this homespun sketch of the plan indeed features the quaintest, gentlest West Side Highway we've ever seen. [Villager via Curbed] Ditmas Park: Folks in these gentrifying, pretty parts know that the hatred currently directed at Park Slope will soon be visited upon them. And they're probably right. [Ditmas Park Blog]

Flatbush to Rise?

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Guess which dark lord lives in this sleekly hideous black fortress? It's your dad, Luke Skywalker! [Newyorkshitty] East Village: Big-time developer Ben Shaoul thinks the East Village will always be "gritty and inexpensive and arty," even though he's renting $7,500 marble-bedecked apartments here. [NYO] Flatbush: Look for some major redevelopment on shabby Flatbush Avenue, where the Pintchik family, long the owners of the local hardware store, own about $100 million in property and are readying to class it up to the level of Park Slope or Cobble Hill. [NYS]

Ivy League Grad Will Rub Your Shoulders, Write Your Biography

Astoria: Councilman Vallone, if you thought you could just put that preconstructed, toxin-belching smokestack there on 37th Street and nobody would notice, you were sadly mistaken. Oh, and "you're slowly turning the area into a ghetto," too, by the way. [Queens Crap] Carroll Gardens: If you give this "Ivy-educated" author, psychologist, educator, and editor a free place to live, he (she?) will be your shrink and write your memoir. Yeah, we've heard that one before. [Pardon Me for Asking] Harlem: They're standing by original funk-soul brother Bill Clinton up here, especially with that Obama being "a nice white middle-class guy." Ouch! [NYT]

Battery Pier: A Beautiful Disaster?

Battery Park: Are we weird because all the decrepit buildings the city wants to renovate — like this pier with a Victorian clock tower — we think are beautiful just as they are? Yeah, we're probably weird. [NYT via Curbed] Greenpoint: It was difficult to visit friends yesterday at this crazy-ass apartment because "the buzzards" weren't working. Well, it was a holiday, after all. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: The Rev. Al Sharpton said yesterday that if MLK were to walk through Harlem today, he might not like what he saw. You mean his dream didn't include "the gentrification people"? [NYS]

Beware the Castle Astoria

Astoria: People who live in this building get their very own Rapunzel balcony in their very own profoundly ugly castle. Call this style Middle Ages middlebrow. [OuterB via Curbed] Bushwick: This cancer survivor who runs the music joint Goodbye Blue Monday is a cool dude. But when he says you could toss a cat in any direction around here and hit a building owned by his landlord, we hope he doesn't mean that cute kitty he's holding in the photo. [amNY] Harlem: Guess which Manhattan neighborhood didn't make it onto this (clever but not quite accurate, given gentrification) "White Folks' Map of the NYC Subway System"? [Gothamist]

A Chabad Blogs

Astoria: Hm, if we get on the list now, can we make it into this de-gorgeous affordable housing complex for the elder set by the time we're 65? If our income stays where it is now, we know we'll qualify. [OuterB] Crown Heights: The Chabad Orthodox sect here has a totally pimped-out ride memorializing the late, great Rebbe Schneerson. And did you know they also have their own blog? They're so now! [Curbed] Harlem: At P.S. 161 on Convent Ave., the teachers park on the sidewalks! Do they think they can get away with this just because they make subsistence wages? We think not. [Streetsblog]

Dancer Boy Does Greenpoint

Carroll Gardens: Hey, have you heard the one about the yacht that got stuck trying to take a left turn onto Second Place from Smith Street? [Gowanus Lounge] East Village: Wow, look at that ... they actually put two bike lanes on Second Avenue to make it easier for bikers to cross Houston without incurring death from left-turning traffic. [Streetsblog] Greenpoint: Upper East Side office girls may have Chippendales strippers for their birthday and bachelorette parties. But the lucky ladies of Greenpoint have ... Dancer Boy! [Newyorkshitty]

Peter Hoffman Served a Rubber Band to His Mentor; Bloomberg to the Veggie Rescue in Harlem

Astoria: La Flor de Puebla on Astoria Boulevard between Steinway and 38th Street makes a mean carnitas taco. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Peter Hoffman of Back Forty (and Savoy) reveals to Frank Bruni that he "once served a watercress salad to Richard Olney, my mentor and culinary hero, only to discover upon going to his table to see how he liked it that we had also served him a rubber band." [Diner's Journal/NYT] Harlem: Only 3 percent of bodegas in the nabe carry leafy green vegetables, so Mayor Bloomberg's coming to the rescue. No wonder Mizrahi loves him. [NYS via Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: The end of Donuts Coffee Shop on Fifth Avenue is near; Associated Supermarket is about to swallow up the landmark diner. [The Gowanus Lounge] West Village: It's a Q&A kind of day: Centro Vinoteca and newly anointed Gusto chef Anne Burrell says her trademark "cowgirl skirts are a good luck charm when we do Iron Chef … I figure if all the old ladies in Italy wear dresses in the kitchen, why can't I wear a skirt in NYC?" Though she may not have seen our kitchen fashions for the preening chef. [Restaurant Girl] Gusto is also hosting a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, which includes this recipe for zuppa di pesce. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Trust Carroll Gardens, for the Rest of Your Life

Carroll Gardens: Locals are pissed off that Carroll Park is so understaffed that nobody's around to haul away old mattresses. Hey, locals: You could do it. Either that or keep on looking at old mattresses in your park. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: Santa was spotted here in a butcher's apron, smoking a cigarette, with his wife nearby, waiting for kielbasa (not Santa's, you perv!). Also, people are fornicating in the shadow of the onion-domed sewage-treatment plant. (In this weather!?) [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A real-estate investor just broke the record for a property in the hood by paying $6.6 mil condo at Central Park North. But they may soon be topped by a triplex in the same building, on the block for $8.5 mil, that Esquire just named the "Ultimate Bachelor Pad." [Luxist via Uptown Flavor]

Malcolm Gladwell: Big Hair, Big Feet, Big Heart?

Upper East Side: Malcolm Gladwell revealed his big feet, gesticulated intensely, said people shouldn't be allowed to say where they went to college, and stole bloggery hearts at the 92nd St. Y the other night. [UES Informer] Bushwick: Now the hipsters are staging Punk Rock Pillow Fights. Will their crazy, ironic, lo-fi fun ever stop? [Brooklyn Rink via the vaguely anti-Semitic BushwickBK] East Harlem: A principal at a high school here sent teachers a memo telling them to dumb down their standards for the kids. Uh-huh. [NYDN] Harlem: Amid its massive, seventeen-acre expansion in the hood's west side, Columbia says it won't tear down the Cotton Club on 125th after all. That's Christian of them. [NYP]

Preschool in Brooklyn Just Got More Toxic

Boerum Hill: Parents who shelled out $1,200 for a preschool found that it was full of toxic hazards, running without a license and bouncing teachers' checks since last summer. That's so not the New Brownstone Brooklyn! [Brooklyn Eagle] Bushwick: In which a bored cop mistakes a narcissistic gay Russian taking pictures of himself for a terrorist. Sounds like the start of a porn vid. [BushwickBK] Harlem: Will a possible rezoning of 125th Street into towers of luxury condos and chain stores be a good thing for Harlem, or "Katrina-fication done by the swipe of a pen"? [VV]

Can't Beat Building Sex

Carroll Gardens: Nobody wants to buy into this notorious new building, pictured here mounting an older, prettier structure from behind. [Brownstoner] Corona: The sad thing about this (apparently) new building is that, if you squint, it might even pass for Deco period if it weren't for the hideous balconies and front door. [Queens Crap] Flatiron: Edwidge Danticat "reads from his memoir" tonight at B&N. Dude looks like a lady to us. [East Village Idiot]

‘Heeb’ Parts River, Crosses to Dumbo

Bedford-Stuyvesant: On her recent Bed-Stuy cable show, the hood's buppie doyenne (and former Essence editrix) Monique Greenwood kept calling the Brownstoner blog "Brownstone." Like that nineties En Vogue ripoff group! [Bed-Stuy Blog] Dumbo: Heeb magazine moves here from Soho, perhaps launching an influx of snarky hipster Jews into the hood. If they're not already here. [DumboNYC] Forest Hills: According to this blogger, the rudest people around here are the white, non-immigrant ones. [Forest Hills 72]

Battery Park, Do We Need More of It?

Battery Park City: Should the hood, itself built on landfill, be extended out into the Hudson with more landfill? The local community board says, "No, no, no!" [CityRealty] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Herewith, twenty reasons to love the hood's hated-on, not-so-trendy north side. ("11. The selection of current bootleg DVDs at the laundromat." Can't argue with that.) [Bed-Stuy Banana] Downtown Brooklyn: One of those sleek, new bus shelters has been smashed to pieces … again! [McBrooklyn]

Ditmas Park Manse Finds a Fixer to Up It

Ditmas Park: Remember that beautiful, dilapidated mansion on the market for $1.75 mil that New York featured a while back? It just sold for $1.55 mil. Happy fix-up, somebody. [Ditmas Park Blog] East Village: Gentrification haters have two fun protests tonight — one of the imminent Cooper Square Hotel, another of a local shoot for SATC ripoff Lipstick Jungle. [Vanishing New York] Greenpoint: Chuck, fuck, but definitely not marry. That's how Miss Heather feels about the daily papers that rip stories off from her posts (like last week's one about sneakers hanging from phone lines) without crediting her blog. Girl, you gotta change that scatological blog title … yeah, even for the gutter mouth Post! [Newyorkshitty]

Curbed Takes on Red Hook, ‘New York’

Red Hook: OMG, you guys, like, every post on Curbed today is about le Hook Rouge! And half of them provide photo evidence aiming to disprove New York's latest story saying that gentrification there bombed. We might just have to get our writer to react to this! More soon. [Curbed] Chelsea: We don't want to start any blasphemous rumors, but, well, yes, that was Depeche Mode shooting a (gypsy-filled?) video at the Chelsea Hotel last night. Reportedly. [Living with Legends] Fort Greene: If you go to the greenmarket here on Saturdays, you'll not only get an ecosensitive reusable shopping bag, you'll meet many "engaging and beautiful" neighbors. Is this a front for an escort service? [Clinton Hill Blog]

Brooklyn's Top Bed-and-Breakfasts; Free Cupcakes in the Financial District Friday

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Akwaaba Mansion at 34 Macdonough Street made it to the top of this list of Brooklyn bed-and-breakfasts. [Gridskipper] Financial District: Crumbs has opened a bakery at 87 Beaver Street between Hanover Street and Wall Street, and to celebrate the shop will give away 1,000 cupcakes this Friday starting at 7 a.m. [Snack] Harlem: Among its other delicacies, Fairway sells flagels, which are “to the bagel what nuggets are to fried chicken. When toasted, they are delightfully crunchy, but the inside still has the chewiness a bagel should — “just less of it” — because they’re flattened, of course. [Eat for Victory/VV] Jackson Heights: The city's first Tibetan street-food cart is up and running near the 74th Street stop. [Gothamist] Lower East Side: Six Point Ales debuted a new flavor called 8 Days of Wheat at the Whole Foods Beer Room last night, and the first impression is that “it’s pretty darn good.” [Down by the Hipster] Upper West Side: Senor Swanky’s has put its space on Columbus Avenue between 84th and 85th up for rent. So line up, if you just happen to have a business plan that incorporates giant chile peppers and underage drinking. [Eater]

Just What You Always Wanted: A Philippe Starck Bike Rack

Clinton Hill: Tonight, the Pratt design gang unveils new street-furniture ideas for the hood. Eames chairs in the bus shelter, anyone? [Clinton Hill Blog] East Side: Bloomberg will ban schoolkid field trips to the U.N. if its myriad fire-safety violations aren't fixed by March. They won't be, if the kids are lucky. But what about the pope?! [Newyorkology] Elmhurst: Hey, Asians, don't think that just because the cops served Chinese food at the last community meeting in an effort to reach out to you that it'll happen again. At least not this month. [Junction Boulevard]