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Design Week in NYC

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May 8 through May 19 is Design Week! The 12-day NYCxDESIGN festival hosts events throughout the city celebrating people in the creative field, their creations and their clients. There are house tours, trade shows, open studios and more. It’s not one stop shopping. It’s sort of a design orgy throughout the city.

Reclaimed Home is excited to be a part of Bklyn Designs this weekend at the Franklin Expo Center. So excited (and behind schedule) that we are CLOSING THE STORE ON WEDNESDAY to get on track with our preparation. We’ll remain open on Thursday through Sunday.

So, here’s the cool thing about the Brooklyn events. There are bus loops between all three of the big venues. Don’t worry about transportation on Saturday or Sunday between the Brooklyn Museum, Franklin Expo and Industry City’s Wanted Design. It’s taken care of!

We still have some comp tickets left. If you swing by the shop to pick them up over the weekend, walk around the corner to the museum for the shuttle and Bob’s your uncle.

See you there!

Bklyn Designs Comp Tickets

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IMG_2592Hey kids! We’ve received a packet of comp VIP tickets for Bklyn Designs 2015 to distribute among our clients. It’s not enough to leave out at the shop for just any old walk-in, so we’re saving them for folks who definitely intend on going. Is that you? Just pop into our shop or email and have us save it for you to pick up before May 8th. Each ticket is a $15 value and VIP allows you to enter in the morning before general public.

Hope to see you there!

Bklyn Designs 2015!

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So, you know the old saying “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.”? Well, guess who got into Bklyn Designs this year?!

The event, which takes place annually, will be held at Brooklyn Expo Center on May 8th-10th, with Friday being open to trade and press only. Tickets go on sale to the public on March 15th.

Reclaimed Home is squeezing into a 5×10 booth because we’re too cheap to spend more. That means we’ll be showing the tiniest of furniture along with tabletop, samples and portfolios. The good thing about this is that we’ve been looking for ways to highlight our services rather than just sell vintage furniture, so hopefully this will be our chance to do to so.

Hello, Loews Kings Flatbush!

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Even though we’re alta kockers, there are plenty of reasons to be grateful about our place in time. Experiencing life as it’s happening is one that I can think of. Not that old people haven’t succumbed to the digital age, but at least when we went to concerts as kids, we were able to enjoy the show instead of recording it.

Remember when going to the movies meant something? It didn’t cost a whole paycheck and the films weren’t on the telly within a week’s time, but that wasn’t the only thing. Theaters were something to behold. A single, huge screen and comfy seats. It was meant to be an escape from your home, not smaller than your living room.

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One of those childhood theaters that I can barely remember now was the Loews Kings in Flatbush. It closed down and fell into disrepair in the mid 70’s, but guess what? It’s being restored as a performing arts space and is set to reopen in early 2015.

Check out the fabulous restoration photos and info over at Brooklyn Eagle. It’s ta die faw, Brooklyn!

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West Indian Carnival Schedule

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Anyone living near Crown Heights knows that Labor Day means it’s time for the Caribbean pride festival known as the West Indian Parade.  If you haven’t been, that’s the one where people out dress and out dance the Mermaid Parade by a long shot.  For most New Yorkers, it’s something like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  We stay away.

The festivities start today and culminate with Monday’s parade down Eastern Parkway. The Brooklyn Museum (our neighbor up the street) acts as a hub for the entire gig; hence, Reclaimed Home will be closed Saturday through Monday as this is right in our backyard and we feel that it will not only be crazy hectic, but nobody will be able to get through the traffic to load large pieces into their vehicles.

If you do decide to venture out to the parade or any of the weekend events, it’s worth the trip and don’t forget to bring your camera! Even I, a jaded native New Yorker, did go once…which is more than I can say for New Year’s Eve in Times Square.  I also went to the Mermaid Parade two whole times! But that was back when it first started and only included a few eccentrics.

I digress.

Here’s the schedule of events for West Indian pride:

Thursday, August 28th: Caribbean Woodstock. 7pm-1am. Tickets $30
Featuring Skinny Banton, Problem Child, Mikey, Zouk and the Gang and more.

Friday, August 29: Stay in School Youth Fest. 11am-3pm. Free
Talent show-case highlighting the leaders of tomorrow as they perform hip-hop, dance, steel-pan, karate, fashion, spoken word and much more. This event is meant to encourage young people to pursue higher education and develop their talents.

Friday, August 29th: Brass Fest. 6pm-3am. Tickets are $55
Featuring Machel Montano HD, Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy, more.

Saturday, August 30th: Kiddies Carnival 9am-3pm. Free
Featuring a whole bunch of cuteness along with tired parents who stayed out the entire night before.

Saturday, August 30th: Steel Band Panorama. 8pm start. Tickets are $45.
Competitive steel-pan showdown for the 2014 Panorama Championship crown!

Sunday, August 31st: Dimanche Gras. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $40
The final concert features the King and Queen of the bands competition and winners from previous nights. Performances from The Mighty Sparrow, King David Rudder, Lord Nelson and more.

Monday, September 1st. The Parade. 11am-6pm on Eastern Parkway from Schenectady to Flatbush. Free

Certified Brooklyn Made

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The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday the first round of companies that qualified for “Made in Brooklyn” certification. Products were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze certifications and only 47 businesses were submitted in this initial application program.

Guess who caught that first train to Certificationville? Reclaimed Home is proud to announce that we now carry the Gold Brooklyn Made Certification! That means all of our handmade products are made by Brooklynites in our Brooklyn workshop with locally sourced materials.  True, many of our vintage items come from parts north, west, south and east, but we’re talking the hand made merch.  As far as the antiques go, 95% of it is ‘Merkin!

There were plenty of newbie Brooklyn hipster businesses that were also certified but we’re happy to see some old school NY peeps included: Michael’s of Brooklyn, Sahadi’s and Gillies Coffee.

Bed Stuy East Tour

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Wouldn’t you prefer to meet people while learning about history rather than hanging out on the beach this weekend? Then get thee over to Bed Stuy tomorrow for a guided tour lead by Suzanne Spellen and Morgan Munsey!

Tickets are $20.  Here’s the full blurb…

“The 19th century Eastern District of Brooklyn encompassed parts of modern day Bedford Stuyvesant, East Williamsburg and Bushwick. The Bedford Stuyvesant end of the community started out as farmland, then became a suburban enclave of large houses, all built for wealthy German-Americans who called this entire area home. Later 19th century development brought row houses and apartment buildings and some very important and impressive churches and civic institutions, including the original home of St. John’s University. Join tour guides Suzanne Spellen, writer and architectural historian, aka columnist “Montrose Morris” on Brownstoner.com, and Morgan Munsey, architect, historian, and expert on the architecture of Bedford Stuyvesant for a look at this development, the great architecture, and the history of the neighborhood then and now. For too many years, this part of Brooklyn has been neglected and forgotten, but no more. Join us for a re-discovery of this part of the Eastern District.”

Bed Stuy 3BR Duplex for Rent

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Our tenant is buying a house! That means our upstairs apartment is available.  Who wants to live with the coolest landlords evah? Available mid June or July 1st. $3200.

The Neighborhood

The home is located in the south west end of Bed Stuy. This means the A train express stop at Nostrand Avenue is only a block away!  Foodtown at Restoration Plaza is a decent supermarket and there are a few smaller groceries around as well. There are 3 wine shops within walking distance and some great restaurants, cafes and vintage shops, although we won’t lie….the neighborhood can use some more restaurants. The YMCA on Bedford is pretty awesome and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Planet Fitness to open up right around the corner on Fulton Street.

Bed Stuy consists of treelined brownstone streets and super friendly people.  Meaning, you should get to know your neighbors if you want to make the most of it here.

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The Apartment

The upper duplex was renovated in 2006 and will be updated again in early June. The apartment is currently full of boxes as the tenant is moving at the end of the month, so these photos may differ a bit from what it looks like at the moment as they were shot awhile ago.

The main entrance is on the parlor level and your private entrance is upstairs. The third floor has high ceilings, 2 marble mantels, original shutters and of course, hardwood floors.

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The galley kitchen features a hand painted antique tile backsplash on one side and tin on the other. Stainless refrigerator and dishwasher, plus over the stove microwave. Floors are tumbled marble.

To one side of the kitchen is a large L shaped living room. You have the option to use the separate room on the opposite side of the kitchen as a formal dining room or a third bedroom.  There is a full bath with clawfoot tub located in this room.

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There are two bedrooms and a full bath upstairs with a walk in shower and washer/dryer. This level has 3 skylights, but the ceilings are lower.

The apartment has zoned heating, which means you control it, we pay for it.

The House

We bought the 4 story brownstone in 2005. We fell in love with it because it retained so much detail but we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us to restore it back to it’s former glory. We had done some extreme DIY renovations in our day, but this was by far the biggest project we ever took on! It took us 9 months just to finish the duplex. This involved running new plumbing, heating and electric as well as restoring the walls, flooring and woodwork.

We live in the lower duplex with our menagerie. They wake us up at 5am and we’re falling asleep by 9pm.  Pets are welcome, but smokers are not. Sorry.

$3200 per month plus stove gas and electric.

**Disclosure: Owner is a licensed real estate agent.  This is a no fee apartment.

Brooklyn Back in the Day: 1870-1930

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Have you ever said to yourself “I wish I knew more about the history of Brooklyn architecture?”  Well, here’s your chance! If you’re available tomorrow night, then do attend this free illustrated lecture by Suzanne Spellen a.k.a. “Montrose Morris”.  If you don’t know who the real Montrose Morris is, then all the more reason to go to this event.

From the flyer: “Brooklyn was one of the great cities of 19th Century America.  Fortunes of all kinds were being made in this vibrant metropolis, fueled by the talents and hard work of it’s vibrant citizens.  In response, her streets were ringing with the sounds of hammers and saws as entire neighborhoods sprang up, and were settled in the space of decades.  The real estate developers who saw opportunity everywhere and the talented architects they employed to create beauty and profit in brick and stone, created an architecturally rich city that has endured.  There were dozens of great architects working exclusively in Brooklyn between 1870-1930.  This lecture will focus on the best of the best, and take a look at their lives, their work, and their legacy.  The times they lived in, and how society and technology shaped their work will also be explored.  The authors of Brooklyn’s fine streetscapes will be anonymous no longer.”

Suzanne Spellen is an architectural writer, researcher and preservationist who spent 30 years in Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. She currently lives in historic Troy, NY where she maintains a blog named “Spellen of Troy” and she continues to write for Brownstoner under the pen name “Montrose Morris”.

She also happens to be a friend.

More information over at New York Public Library.

SoEP: South of Eastern Parkway

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It’s been two weeks since Reclaimed Home opened on the less hip side of Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights. Ok, so we’re not on ON Franklin. We’re on Carroll, just off of Franklin. We chose this location because the rent wasn’t crazy, first and foremost. There is no such thing as “affordable” Brooklyn anymore, but this area is easier on the wallet than most.

It takes people time to realize that this part of Crown Heights is perfectly convenient to Prospect Heights, Flatbush, Ditmas and Park Slope as well as the more gentrified part of Crown Heights. It’s not such a terrible commute from Bed Stuy either.  Oh, and the transportation is top notch so you can make it to the city in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

At the moment, the north side of Eastern Parkway is lined with trendy new restaurants, trendy new cafes, trendy new shops, trendy new bars. You get the point. Cross Eastern Parkway and it’s like stepping back in time to ungentrified NYC (the one we miss!)  But that’s changing rapidly.  Let’s just say that we’re not the only new kids on the block. About 70% of the walk in customers just moved to the neighborhood. As for the old timers, they’ve been awesome! They’re very supportive and appreciative of a new type of business that differs from the bodegas, check cashing places and beauty salons on the avenue.  Not that there’s anything wrong with those businesses, although we have purchased items at some of the food places that were less than fresh.  Sorry, but we wouldn’t be upset to see these places lose business to new ventures who actually respect their customer base.

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We are currently only the second “new” shop to open up in **SoEP © (South of Eastern Parkway). Owl and Thistle opened up early this year after moving from another location on Franklin **NoEP © (North of Eastern Parkway). They sell locally sourced Brooklyn items that are handmade, fair trade and dare we say “artisan”. Their merchandise ranges from clothing to coffee to cards, all very gifty. They also host sewing and knitting classes in the shop.

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An apothecary kitchen called I Love Mountain will be opening up right around the corner from us, next door to an Associated market that is kind of sucky. We’re psyched that we won’t die of food poisoning in that foodie wasteland after all.

Bob and Betty’s is expanding down south on Franklin (SOF) as well. The grocery is brought to you by the same owners of the Pulp and Bean cafe on both sides of Eastern Parkway, just a few blocks from each other.

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If you want to learn more about this area, check out Jane’s Walk on May 4th.  It covers both the north and south sides of Crown Heights’ Eastern Parkway.  The 2 hour walk will be led by Urban Affairs lecturer Lisa Schreibman, Brooklynian blogger Michael Fagan and Franklin Avenue shop owner (Stork), Eyana Carballo. The talk will focus on the rapid transformation of the area.  It is free of charge and dogs are welcome!

** We are not responsible for any eejits using this word blend without tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Oh, That’s What It Is!

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Word on the street (Wall Street Journal, that is) is that the ice skating rink at Bed Stuy’s Restoration Plaza may be resurrected as early as next year. That’s exciting! But how many of you knew that thing was an ice skating rink?

I live around the corner. Been through that courtyard plenty of times. I don’t know what I thought it was. I guess maybe an old fountain or some kind of spectator area. For what? I don’t know. It’s one of those many things you see all the time and don’t really think about. It’s just there.

Well in any case, it’s good news for Bed Stuy! Now when are my restaurants coming?

NYC Man

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We lost one of our own here in New York. Lou Reed’s untimely death is dispiriting to everyone but it’s especially depressing when we grew up with this guy right in our back yards.

Reed was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island and became the embodiment of the Lower East Side 60’s/70’s music and art scene. Surely there are thousands of Lou Reed tributes floating around right now, but being a photographer myself, I’d just like to share some of Reed’s images.

All photos via Steven Kasher Gallery.

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