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Washington Heights

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Smoothies at Starbucks; Searching for New Sandwiches

Starbucks will introduce "smoothie-like" drinks this summer, the 'Times' sets out to find the next great New York sandwich, and a former Frank Sinatra hangout will reopen in Hell's Kitchen come June.

Brooklyn Bridge Park May Be Bad for the Fishes

Brooklyn Heights: In addition to being way over budget, long-planned Brooklyn Bridge Park may damage marine life with its expected rowing and kayaking facilities, says state enviro-honchos. [Brownstoner] Chelsea: Work has been stopped on "car-chitect" (he-he) Annabelle Selldorf's much-hyped condo tower that allows folks to take their car right up to their own sky-high garages. "The pillars forming the exterior walls are misaligned," says a city buildings-department flack. "This could be characterized as a structural deficiency." Gee, you really think so? [Curbed] Coney Island: In the era of whole hoods going bank branch and condo, don't you just want to smack someone for grumping that the historic Child's Restaurant building will become a roller rink this summer? Come on, Grumpums, that's cool! [NYDN]

Sharks on Coney Island! And Expensive Ones, at That

Bowery: No sooner had this lovable bum moved out of the street box he lived in and into a proper $300-a-month room than his troubles began. [NYT] Bushwick: Behold the new 'swhick-specific haiku trend: "Dude with the corn rows/Stop selling crack, you scumbag/Sell good pot instead." [BushwickBK] Coney Island: The fancy exterior redo for the New York Aquarium may have to be, uh, scaled back due to a planned $64 million exhibition on sharks. [Coney Island via Curbed]

Feral Cats Displaced in Favor of Waterfront Fun

Bay Ridge: Gotta love this "crazy super," whose psychotic signs routinely threaten to kill tenants who don't take out their trash properly. [Right in Bay Ridge] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Elation erupts upon news of an imminent Duane Reade: "No longer will we have to drink Tropical Fantasy ginger ale. We'll be able to step it up a notch with the effervescence of Schweppes." [Bed-Stuy Blog] Greenpoint: A colony of feral cats will have to be displaced as part of plans for a concrete waterfront park here, which will include a twelve-foot view-blocking fence. [Newyorkshitty]

After Taco Bell, Rodents Take On Cobble Hill

Clinton Hill: What? You say you weren't at the Pratt annual antique steam-whistle concert on New Year's Eve at midnight? Like, where else could you have been? At least it was captured on this YouTube video. But, dude, it's not the same thing as being there. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: Is that a squirrel or a rat sunning himself in the window of that shamefully derelict Kane Street walk-up? Locals are bitterly divided over the answer. People, can we all agree that it's a rodent? [Lost New York City] Dumbo: Will the new owners of an old Water Street warehouse really build a theater and host a Korean film festival in there? We'll see, kimchee. [Brooklyn Eagle via DumboNYC]

RIP Burgers and Cupcakes

Chelsea: The Iron Cupcake of 23rd Street has fallen! And there was much rejoicing. [BlogChelsea] South Williamsburg: Are policemen beating up people in Billyburg? That's what one anonymous poster paster thinks. [Gowanus Lounge] Washington Heights: Apparently, on 181st Street, "abomination" and "promiscuous" are the new gay slurs. And they can kill! [Coypranter] West Bronx: Foreclosure numbers in the third quarter of this year (unsurprisingly) were the highest they've ever been in the borough. But the neighborhood may have a remedy. [West Bronx Blog] Williamsburg: Aggressive (and sometimes threatening) graffiti taggers still make us laugh. Ha ha — kill all the rich people making our neighborhood nicer — ha! [Curbed]

Social Unrest on G Platform

Greenpoint: Long waits for the G train are breeding angry calls for socialized medicine. Plus, who impaled these poor tomatoes? [Newyorkshitty] Downtown Brooklyn: A bunch of Morgan Stanley employees were caught on camera cornholing in Cadman Plaza Park yesterday. [McBrooklyn] Dumbo: Yep, Dave Walentas — and a few other big local developers — went down in the dunk tank last night at a fund-raiser to preserve the hood's brick streets. [Brownstoner] Harlem: Columbia has bought a site to build new homes for people its expansion will displace, but the folks in question weren't consulted beforehand. [Columbia Spectator] Prospect Heights: The hood may get landmark status, which some locals hope will protect against the ripple effects of the massive ongoing Atlantic Yards development. [Atlantic Yards Report] Washington Heights: Police broke up a coke ring run out of a deli. God, imagine snorting blow with a slice of rolled-up salami… [NYS] Williamsburg: The city wants to kick out La Marqueta's food vendors to make room for affordable housing, but locals doubt they'll benefit from the new units. [amNY]

Stay Off the Grass. No, Really.

Astoria: How cool would it be to rent an apartment in a house with secret passageways? (Scooby snacks not included.) [OuterB] Brooklyn Heights: You might want to stay off that swank new Astroturf in Cadman Plaza Park on hot sunny days, when the turf (allegedly) hits 125 degrees. Talk about smokin' grass! [McBrooklyn] Chelsea: Condo-in-progress the Caledonia will sport fancy glass sheathing to help distinguish it from the nearby projects. [Blog Chelsea] Long Island City: The guy who'd hold parking-lot spaces for folks in exchange for a cup of coffee, profiled recently in the Times, is being wedged out of that ad hoc job by — you guessed it — a condo. [Long Island City] Lower East Side: That mesh-y cladding for the new New Museum on the Bowery was supposed to be zinc-plated steel. But workmen are saying it's aluminum. What kind of a, uh, shell game is this? [Curbed] Rego Park: Devotees of the area's last kosher deli don't care that the Health Department just closed it. Seems that it beats a Russian pharmacy or a Bukharian plumbing-fixtures shop any day. [Queens Central] Washington Heights: Tonight, Da Heights becomes the latest hood to be sprayed down to prevent West Nile virus. Locals are warned to stay indoors and to clean their swimming pools and hot tubs. Because you know how many of those there are in these parts. [Gothamist]

A Higher Level of Cleanliness in Washington Heights

Brooklyn Heights: An 1844 train tunnel, rediscovered in 1980, is now open to tours, via a manhole at Court Street and Atlantic Avenue. [NewYorkology] Chelsea: Health clinic's trash is a rat magnet. Yum! Medical waste! [Blog Chelsea] Clinton Hill: Pratt students, not the projects on DeKalb Avenue, are the source of filthy sidewalks on Kent Avenue. [Brownstoner] Kew Gardens: Queens beep Helen Marshall wants a grimy statue of a zaftig naked dude taken down because she thinks it's sexist. [NYS via Queens Crap] Little Neck/Douglaston: Tired of trust falls? Alley Pond Park has a huge ropes course. [Gothamist] Washington Heights: Sounds awesome, but exactly how much does the Grand Ba Ba, "ascended master of cleaning," cost? [Copyranter]

Horseshoe Crabs Invade Washington Heights

Bay Ridge: A community board here enthusiastically green-lighted a new Home Depot at 200-plus housing units. [The Brooklyn Paper] Chelsea: The don't-walk signal on Eighth Avenue and 19th Street has mysterious stigmata. [Blog Chelsea] Cobble Hill: Freebird Books and Goods is up for sale on Craigslist; $45,000 will buy you the store with inventory and liquor license. [Brownstoner] Maspeth: An ugly confrontation took place yesterday between tree-cutters and protesters at the site of the set-for-demolition St. Saviour's Church. [Queens Crap] Washington Heights: How did a dead horseshoe crab come to be on 185th Street? [Copyranter] West Village: Nothing ruins a birthday cruise for 3-year-olds more than spotting a body in the water. [Gothamist] Williamsburg: Locals are pissed that the brand-new East River State Park closes before 8 p.m. on beautiful summer evenings. [Gowanus Lounge]

Park Slope Kids Experiment With Spontaneous Play

Brooklyn Heights: The scaffolding at 185 Montague, up for years, is finally down, revealing a stunning Deco façade. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Highbridge: Cycling advocates want the graceful 1848 High Bridge, connecting the Bronx and Washington Heights, to be bike-friendly now that it's up for refurbishment. [Streetsblog] Lower Manhattan: The naked or undie-clad illustrated hotties once populating the Website for André Balazs' forthcoming Beaver House condo have disappeared. Perhaps under the orders of a new sales team? [Curbed] Park Slope: Parents loosen scheduling death grip and encourage kids to play pickup baseball. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] Sunnyside: Signs pleading "no dumping your garbage here" are lavishly decorated. [Newyorkshitty] Williamsburg: Nearly a year after it was hastily erected, this Kent Avenue synagogue still doesn't have a proper façade … or a certificate of occupancy. [Brownstoner]

No Olympics, But Maybe the X Games?

Bike Trail
Not content to sprinkle skate parks amid its acreage, the city will open its first BMX and mountain-bike trail this Saturday in Washington Heights’s Highbridge Park. The three miles of trail includes jumps and a BMX track and will give cyclists a legal place to ride. "We had had mountain bikers riding through historic landscapes, so we had to criminalize it," says Parks Commission Adrian Benepe. "This was a way to come up with a positive use for a remote area of the park." The New York City Mountain Bike Association supported the trail with money and volunteers, and the commissioner hopes the peer endorsement will keep kids from turfing the city's lawn. —Alec Appelbaum All-City Cross Country Race [NYC Mountain Bike Association]

No Pets, Less Money in Washington Heights

143 Bennett Ave.
Even for affordable Washington Heights, this 862-square-foot two-bedroom at 143 Bennett Avenue near the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park seems reasonable at $459,000. The kitchen and bath have been renovated and the co-op's gilded to the hilt with parking, storage, a tenant's lounge, and a children's play space. The catch? "The building doesn't allow cats or dogs," says listing broker Simone Song, who cites 143 Bennett's pet aversion as a big reason the unit hasn't moved. There's another two-bedroom on the block, so if you know how to wheel and deal, you may be able to use it as leverage to negotiate an even better price. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Park Slope: The Movie

Brooklyn Heights: The city recently took Red Hook Lane, one of the borough's oldest pathways, off its official map in order to make way for development. [110 Livingston via McBrooklyn] Fort Greene: Residents will rally this Wednesday against development of an eighteen-story condo that would tower over its three- and four-story neighbors. [Brownstoner] Gowanus: Seems like work is moving forward on Whole Foods on the Canal … but why are the workers dressed in what look like Hazmat outfits? [Curbed] Jamaica: The city has yet to take action against a developer whose crane smashed the windows of an adjacent apartment, according to its tenants. [Queens Crap] Park Slope: Behold the inevitable … the hood will be the set for a forthcoming flick (with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) about, big surprise, yuppie parenting. [Gowanus Lounge] Washington Heights: An uptown resident's association is saying "no" to those who can't say "no." They want to block a proposed drug-treatment facility for 200 clients on 159th Street. [Uptown Flavor]

Parched Residents Demand Clinton Hill Beer Garden

Clinton Hill: Thanks to the advocacy of Clinton Hill Blog–master Robin Lester, you might not have to go to Astoria's beer garden anymore. [Gothamist via Clinton Hill Blog] Fort Greene: Will the guy who eats local fauna get a visit from the authorities soon? [Brooklyn Record] Greenpoint: Do we detect just a touch of resentment from blogger Miss Heather now that someone else is stealing some of her anti-poop thunder? [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: When the BBC shot in Sylvia's last week, tempers flared over crime and gentrification. [Uptown Flavor] Midwood: Poaching of Brooklyn parrots is on the decline, but it will take several years to repopulate the bird colonies. [Gowanus Lounge] Rosedale-Laurelton: Denizens of this quaint stretch of Queens are fed up with zoning that allows for McMansions on small plots — and they yelled at a councilman to prove it. [NYDN] Washington Heights: Someday, the gentrification chroniclers will look back and say it all started with the loss of the cheap roast-chicken place. [NYPress]

Greenpoint DIY Just Got Easier

Astoria: Some days, it just smells like crap around here. [Astorians] Clinton Hill: Forgot your Seder supplies? Catholic St. Joseph's College is offering $1 Seders-in-a-box, with the necessary prayers and ritual items. Also good for Holy Thursday celebrations. Coming soon: kosher communion wafers. [Clinton Hill Blog] Coney Island: No matter how nice the design, Thor's proposed 40-story towers will look ridiculous on Coney Island. [Gowanus Lounge] Dumbo: It's up to you to decide what will happen to the Pearl Street Triangle. Or you can at least take a survey about it. [Dumbo Improvement District via Dumbo NYC] Greenpoint: It'll be easier than ever to make your own merch with the new Staples on Morgan and Meeker. [Racked] Prospect Heights: There are naked men jogging or roller-skating through the hood, apparently. Very seventies. [Daily Heights] Washington Heights: Drug agents bust an apartment cultivating 700 marijuana plants with stolen electricity. [WNBC via Gothamist]