Hills and Gardens: Oct. 24, 2012

Halloween will be upon us before you can say BOO!! A red-letter day in the neighborhood due primarily to the famous Cobble Hill Costume Parade, the festivities will begin as usual in Cobble Hill Park at Verandah Place and Clinton Street and wend through the closed-to-traffic streets of the neighborhood.  The parade, organized by the Cobble Hill Association with Melissa Glass heading the team, will be held on Fright Night itself, Wednesday, Oct. 31, beginning at 4 p.m.  The caravan of costumed kids will be led by the music of the Jah Pan Steel Drum Band.  Police officers from the 76th Precinct are always on hand to make sure everything is safe and sound for the revelers.

The success of the Cobble Hill Costume Parade is assured by the efforts of neighborhood volunteers.  Crews are needed to help set up for the festivities at 11 a.m. and for cleanup at 8:30 p.m.  To offer your services, please send an email to [email protected].

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Trade your Sponge Bob Square Pants for that dynamite dinosaur?  When it came to Halloween costumes this year, swap before you shop was the motto at Artcetera Studio at 212 Smith St. The music and art space for young children held a pre-Halloween costume exchange on October 13 and 14.  In addition to taking the pressure off local parents to find the perfect attire for the holiday for their little ones, Artcetera teamed up with Swap Partners (www.krrb.com), a local connectivity site, to donate the best of the remaining costumes to families without the means to buy festive wear for their kids.  Recycling at its best!  You rock, Artcetera!

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Smith Street’s most recent food festival, held on Saturday, October 20, offered everything from soup to, well, soup.  Dubbed the Festivale des Soupes because of the many French-flavored businesses on the trendy shopping strip, the event featured over 25 food purveyors offering 4-ounce soup samples for a small fee.  (Yes, of course, there were French restaurants and food shops involved, but others such as Dassara Ramen, Bombay Dream, and Shelsky’s Smoked Fish, attest to the eclectic nature of Smith’s businesses.)

Proceeds from the Festivale will be shared by the South Brooklyn Local Development Fund and the School for International Studies.  This local high school features a culinary arts program whose daily raw ingredient needs are more expensive than text books, according to Bette Stoltz, the executive director of the South Brooklyn LDC, who was instrumental in getting the academic program started.

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Anyone who has resided in the Hills & Gardens for over a decade knows that the improvements on Atlantic Avenue have been noteworthy.  But the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) strives to make things even better, and it wants our help to do it.  The BID is asking neighbors in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Boerum Hill to take an online survey to register their preferences for businesses that will help further the mix of retail and encourage both residents and visitors to shop Brooklyn.

An email post from the Boerum Hill Association noted that the BID “will be taking this feedback and seeking out the best possible tenants to fill our vacant storefronts.”

To make your voice heard, take the online survey at http://bit.ly/PmcjVd.