Friday, August 18, 2006

Tout Va Bien

Well, this restaurant is not in my neighborhood, but went there to have dinner with The Mysterious Chinese Woman and two of her sisters. One was going to a play so it fell to me to pick a restaurant in the theater district. This one got good reviews and is on 51st between 8th and 9th.

Of course, before dinner, I had to have a cocktail at the bar and the bartender, and damned if I can remember her name, mixed me up an excellent Bombay Martini. I asked to have it in a smaller glass than the normal, much too large, in my opinion, ones you usually get and she accomodated me and put the extra in another glass on the side.

They had a very nice French bistro menu and a reasonably priced Prix Fixe menu for the before the theater crowd. We shared a couple of flank steaks, mussels, scallops, duck, chicken, pate, and, of course, snails. They had a plate of celery and radishes on the table and I got everyone to try the radishes with butter. When I visited Paris I noticed that people ate them this way. The general consensus was that this combination was very tasty indeed. Desserts were included but I opted for Pernod and espresso. The decor was somewhat simple in a rustic sort of way and the service was most friendly.

The service was great, the wine reasonably priced, and I would come back again at the drop of a hat. I am looking forward to having the rest of the steak that I took home for dinner tonight. The portions were most generous and the French fries that accompanied the steaks were delicious as well.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Banquet of Banks

Just an addendum to my last post about how banks are springing up like mushrooms in my neighborhood. The following banks are all on a one block stretch of Montague Street between Court and Clinton. Many of them are right next door to each other. Well, they would have to be, there isn't room for much else. Keep in mind that all of these banks are with two or three blocks of where the new ones are beind installed.

And yet, still they come.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Banking On It

Ahh, my neighborhood. So many things to like, and a few that I don't like quite so much. There is a lot of construction going on in Downtown Brooklyn and there will be much more to come. Mostly residential, but some commercial as well. I think a forty story office building is slated to go up just a couple blocks from where I live. I guess you can't stop progress.

One thing that does puzzle me is the number of Bank's that have decided to put up branch offices in the area. You would think that a saturation point would be reached, but that doesn't seem to be the case. There are two up and two more being built on Court Street within one block of each other not more that one or two blocks from where I live.

Brooklyn Federal Savings

Brooklyn Federal Savings, on the Corner of Court and Livingston Streets. This was the first one to move into the area many years ago. Sadly, it replaced a Blarney Rose, a mighty fine dive bar with a decent steam table. It is convenient and I do use the ATM a lot.

Washington Mutual

Not long ago this bank moved in and they were just plain obnoxious. They actually had someone outside with a bullhorn trying to lure in new customers. I think they replaced a 99 Cent store but appear to have taken over the whole building. They are also on the corner of Court and Livingston Streets, kitty corner from Brooklyn Federal Savings.


The impending appearance of Chase, on Court Street between Livingston and Schermerhorn, is a bit sad because they are taking over the space formerly occupied by Nick and Joe's Pizzeria, a neighborhood fixture since well-before I moved here. Luckily Nick, or is it Joe, own the building and said they got more from Chase to lease the space than could be made selllng pizzas. Still, they were mighty fine pizzas.


I know there is a bank moving in here and I am pretty sure it is a Citibank. Where Chase goes Citibank follows. This is on the corner of Court and Schermerhorn Streets. There used to be a Pizza Shop and Bakery on the corner, a barber shop next door, and a car service next to that. They are all gone now so we can have another bank.

There is a bit of irony here because the pizza shop was open 24 hours a day. When it first moved in, just a few years ago, it was hailed by our Borough President, Marty Markowitz, as a wonderful thing because it was making Downtown Brooklyn more of a 24 hour neighborhood. He has been strangely silent about it being replaced by a bank that will certainly be dark at night.

Well, there you have it. Banks springing up like mushrooms with a lot of the amenities that once made the neighborhood a neighborhood slip slidding away.