SBLDC decorates our Victorian style lampposts with fresh garlands and red bows every Holiday Season.
Muni Meters,/Trees/Bike Racks/Parking....
We wanted them all--SBLDC had been lobbying for them for several years. We asked for Muni -Meters to give us consistent and long enough parking time for diners(at least 2 hours), perhaps room for an extra car or two, less street hardware, more room for tree planting. We got one hour muni meters but we will keep trying to make our case to DOT to institute business friendly parking rules .
We worked with DOT to help site more bike racks on Smith Street - mostly on our subway grating where they would not interfere with tree planting, and especially for the all important delivery bikes we know our restaurants need. The curb extensions at 2 main subway entrances; Bergen Street and 2nd Place could each accommodate small bike parking lots.
We will continue to encourage DOT to remove obsolete Parking Meters where trees might be planted and turn those meters on subway grating into bike racks. We have had some small victories--a few trees, several well- placed bike racks, but this is still a work in progress !
Smith Street - Shops, Restaurants, Bars
Singles, Couples and Family Living
Culinary Arts Program. For 20 years, while nurturing a restaurant renaissance on Smith Street, SBLDC has also been nurturing a Culinary Arts Program for local teens--at first as a Middle School after school program taking place in a 1970's style "Home Ec." room which miraculously still had a few functioning appliances. "Guest Chefs" from local restaurants, delis, pizzerias, bakeries etc (familiar faces from behind area counters) came in for a day to talk about how they trained for their work, what it is like to make a living in the food business and demonstrated a favorite dish letting students help "hands on". Later each week, they recreated the same dish supervised by their teachers. We did this for 12 years.
Meanwhile the school building morphed from Middle School to Grades 6-12 and the new High School Administrators saw the value of expanding the Culinary Arts Program from an after school program to a full fledged 3 year accredited vocational course of study.
SBLDC began a 3 year campaign to raise $375,000 (thank you's to then Council Member David Yassky and Boro President Marty Markowitz), then 3 years of design work and contracting by the School Construction Authority and well, you can see the result below.
It has now been 3 years since the classes began (although we are still working our way through the NYS accreditation process). In the pictures below, you can see our students catering and serving a full meal to over 200 people at Brooklyn Borough Hall this winter. Not bad huh??
SBLDC and by connection, the Smith Street Food Businesses work closely with this program, fund raising for them, putting together a Food Industry Advisory Committee, arranging trips, guest chefs, catering gigs. We can be proud to have this program in our community and our future.
The Transit Garden. Sometime around 2003-2004, Community Board 6 called SBLDC. $50,000 had been allocated through the NYC Economic Development Corporation to create a garden atop a paved 2,500 square foot space belonging to the NYCMTA at the corner of Smith Street and 2nd Place . The project needed a sponsor to guide it through negotiations and contracts with both the EDC and the MTA, and bidding and contracting /management with first a landscape designer and then a construction contractor -- plus get some very unusual insurance coverage and coordinate the community input and participation---all this pro-bono. Would we accept the mission? We did.
This project has brought such great satisfaction to all involved. For SBLDC it has given us the chance to bring something beautiful to our community. Even more importantly it has helped make wonderful friendships. The "Transit Garden" now has 40 key holding gardeners. The public is welcomed as long as there is a key-holder inside.
For the past 4 years we have given a home, on Saturday mornings to the Carroll Gardens Community Supported Agriculture program wherein a local farmer distributes his harvest weekly to its members. Art and story telling programs take place here from time to time, and we are open to other programming possibilities. Contact us at "the Office". Click here to visit the Transit Garden.
The Annual Calendar The first Smith Street Calendar was published in 1989 as a joint project with two local Middle Schools. Smith Street Merchants sponsored months as a way to cover costs. There has been a Smith Street Calendar (including a complete Business Directory) every years for the past 23 years.
People look forward to it every years. Smith Street Businesses continue to sponsor months to cover the costs and be able to give this annual gift to their community. We print 4,500 copies every year and distribute them throughout the neighborhood.
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