Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival at Brooklyn Botanic Garden coming this weekend

The cherry blossoms are blooming, which means that it's time for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 33rd annual Sakura Matsuri Festival. The festival, which celebrates traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, will take place this weekend.

“This is getting bigger and bigger every year,” said Yoshi Amao, a samurai sword master and the master of ceremonies for the festival. “People enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms and the high-quality performances and also a very fun emcee. People are so, so energetic and I do some interactive activities with anyone that wants to enjoy it.”


Junior League of Brooklyn announces 6th annual Day of Beauty

he Junior League of Brooklyn (JLB) is proud to announce it will again make prom dreams a reality for young women in need across the borough through its Annual Belle of the Ball initiative. In its sixth year, the program’s “Day of Beauty,” which provides young women with dresses, shoes, accessories and mini-makeovers, will take place on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at MS 35 - Stephen Decatur Middle School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section. This year’s event is being run in conjunction with the Brooklyn Prom and Scholarship Project.


Bushwick poised for new development and growth

Bushwick caught the eye of commercial real estate investors years ago, but more recently developers have started snapping up vacant lots and building rentals for young professionals drawn to the neighborhood for its great transportation, affordable rents, and flourishing restaurant and art scene.


Recent Market Activity


P.S.: Bushwick housing, historic versus hipster

Sometimes the old and new in Bushwick look kind of odd together.

What do you think when you see these two buildings? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.

This is 1075 Bushwick Ave., a fine 1890s-vintage historic home with a prime corner location. The checkered thing behind it is 64 Palmetto St.


Gotham City Lounge, where hipsters and Hispanics intersect

Holy Cultural Diversity, Batman! There's a melting pot of old-time Bushwick residents and newcomers at Gotham City Lounge.

The 20-something guys shooting pool under the watchful eyes of Superman and Captain America, who look down from posters on the wall, probably don't know that until a few years ago, the bar's clientele was pretty much all Puerto Rican.

Then owner Ray Torrellas made some hipster-friendly changes to the bar at 1293 Myrtle Ave., like adding $2 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer to the beverage offerings.


Guacuco – snack city for Venezuelan-food lovers

Quick: What's a cachapa? And don't Google it.

In cosmopolitan New York City, just about everyone has eaten empanadas, those fried pastries with savory fillings that cooks from several different Latin American countries make. Multiple-location eateries such as Ruben's Empanadas have helped popularize them among non-Hispanics.


El Mío Cíd – bring on the flaming dessert

Tapas are for the young and trendy. That's why El Mío Cíd at 50 Starr St. added them to the menu – to draw customers to Ecuadorian immigrant Julio Hugo's restaurant, which serves up the cuisine of Spain.

But if you want to show you know your way around a Spanish menu, order the crema catalana for dessert.


The Sugar Shack, where the guarapo flows

Need a sugar fix?

Valentín Palacio Bautista's got one for you at an outdoor fruit and vegetable stand on the sidewalk at the intersection of Irving and Myrtle avenues.

He grinds up stalks of sugar cane in a metal machine and out comes guarapo, a cup of liquid sugar. Yep, sugar-cane juice. Who knew such a thing existed? It's a sweet tooth's dream come true.

Mexicans, Dominicans and Ecuadorians buy guarapo from the open-air sugar shack, but not hipsters.


Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union – welcoming to Bushwick residents and entrepreneurs, Hispanic or not

It gives immigrant entrepreneurs business loans when mainstream banks say No way – but this is a good neighborhood place to keep your cash even if you're not Hispanic.

Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union at 1474 Myrtle Ave. has online banking and ATM service like a regular bank.


Esmeralda's – for the prettiest pargo frito this side of Quito

It's got the prettiest pargo frito this side of Quito.

The place is Esmeralda's, a restaurant at 1497 Myrtle Ave. The dish is fried red snapper, which blogging foodies invariably mention as a must-try when they seek out Ecuadorian eateries.



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