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ON THE AVENUE

Fifth Avenue merchants create brochure and weekend of events

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A band of more than 80 Park Slope merchants have taken it upon themselves to improve the local economy the weekend of Nov. 9 - and you can enjoy the savings.

Calling their weekend-long event "Fall Into Fifth," the merchants on Fifth Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and Ninth Street have scheduled fashion shows, dinner specials, art exhibits, performances and lots of sales.

The merchants are also prematurely celebrating the ending of construction projects on Fifth Avenue, which are slated to wrap up this month - just in time for holiday shopping. The Fifth Avenue construction had slowed foot traffic to a trickle for some merchants for the past year. According to Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6, the majority of the work may be out of the way by Nov. 16, except for the intersections of Union Street and Fifth Avenue and St. Johns and Fifth Avenue.

"We are pushing for two-way traffic and bus service to be restored prior to mid-November," said Hammerman. "We are advocating for full access, so there will be a close to normal shopping season. We are advocating for it and seem to have the construction crew’s cooperation - it just depends on what they find in the streets."

"Fall into Fifth" is hoped to be a shot in the arm for the merchants hurt by the construction. This weekend of events grew out of a successful "Spring Out on Fifth" weekend hosted by just seven merchants in April, and has mushroomed to include 80 stores and restaurants.

"We’re doing it again on a larger scale. Many [stores] expressed interest in participating because it was such a success," said Yvonne Chu, a clothing designer and owner of Kimera boutique, one of the original seven merchants. "There are 80 stores participating in this brochure [a map of the stores along this one-mile stretch of Fifth Avenue] which hopes to put the word out that Fifth Avenue is a shopping and dining destination. The people in the immediate neighborhood are aware, but outside of Fifth Avenue, they aren’t aware of it - yet."

 

The food

On Friday Nov. 9, new Thai restaurant Long Tan (196 Fifth Ave. at Union Street) will offer a prix fixe dinner ($20.01) from 5:30 to 9 pm. The bonus? Choose any appetizer, entree and dessert from their full menu.

Additional restaurants offering dinner specials or discounts on Nov. 9 include Aunt Suzie’s (247 Fifth Ave. at Carroll Street), Bonnie’s Grill (278 Fifth Ave. at First Street), Convivium Osteria (68 Fifth Ave. at Bergen Street) and Al Di La Trattoria (248 Fifth Ave. at Carroll Street).

If you’re already agonizing over your family’s Thanksgiving wine menu, you’ll want to go to Red White & Bubbly (211­213 Fifth Ave. at Union Street) on Saturday to stock up. Sommelier Darrin Siegfried will host a free wine tasting from 5 to 8 pm. After all, a good wine helps even the driest turkeys down.

"We do this every Friday and Saturday," said Siegfried of the tasting, but, on Nov. 9, visitors will enjoy wines from Domaine des Quatre Vents from Fleurie, France. Siegfried said he spent two weeks in France this summer and visited this vineyard.

The store carries one of the wines from this domaine, named an "overlooked treasure" by Wine Spectator magazine, according to Siegfried.

"It received a terrific score," he said. "It’s an incredibly versatile wine, and at $14 a bottle, a great value."

On Saturday, Nov. 10, from 2 to 6 pm, Siegfried will be offering a tasting of wines from Domaine Fabre Mont Mayou of Argentina.

"These wines are made from 50-year-old vines and aged 12 months in French oak barrels. They’re absolutely delicious," assures Siegfried.

A tasting of another sort will be taking place on Saturday from noon to 4 pm at Panorama Fine Foods (152 Fifth Ave. between Douglass and DeGraw). They will host a "traditional cheese tasting" - also free of charge.

On Nov. 10, Black Butterfly Cafe (381 Fifth Ave. at Sixth Street) will serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 5 to 8 pm and Los Pollitos (148 Fifth Ave. at Douglass Street) will offer a free glass of wine with dinner - if you remember to mention "Fifth Avenue Open House."

On Sunday, Nov. 11, Rosewater (787 Union St. at Sixth Avenue) will offer a prix fixe brunch ($10) from 11 am to 3 pm that includes an entree and beverage. For reservations, call (718) 783-3800.

 

Health & beauty

On Nov. 10, you’ll want to stop by Opal Center for Massage and Allied Therapies (158 Fifth Ave. between Douglass and DeGraw streets) to enter their raffle to win a free 70-minute massage. According to co-owner Sarah Falkner, the winner can choose from the menu of therapies at Opal - heated stones, aromatherapy and more. These therapies are incorporated into the Swedish massage.

Opal will be taking names for the raffle from 10 am to 12:30 pm, and the winner will receive a gift certificate valid for one year. For more information about Opal, go to their Web site, www.opalcenter.com.

Rapunzel Rapunzel salon at 158 Fifth Ave. between Douglass and DeGraw streets will collect names throughout the weekend for a drawing for a free makeover.

 

Shopping


Brooklyn FrameWorks at 169 Fifth Ave. at Lincoln Place will offer 10 percent off their Maxfield Parrish prints and Indian miniature paintings on Nov. 10 and 11.

On Saturday you can enjoy informal fashion shows at both Kimera and Eidolon clothing stores.

From 2 to 5 pm Kimera clothing boutique (274 Fifth Ave. at Garfield Street) will celebrate its second anniversary with champagne and informal modeling.

Owner-designer Yvonne Chu says, "My designs are influenced by different cultures from around the world, though for this season the emphasis is on the Eastern cultures."

Chu has recruited a few of her "best customers" to model her clothes, "so other customers can see how outfits look put together on somebody."

Kimera - the name a play on the spelling of "Chimera," the tripartite monster of Greek mythology - also sells vintage clothing, accessories, jewelry, handbags and gift items.

Eidolon (233 Fifth Ave. at President Street) will also host an informal fashion show and "meet the designers," including co-owners Amara Felice, Andrea Fisher and Yukie Ohta from 3 to 4 pm on Nov. 10. Also, for the entire weekend, enjoy 10 percent off of Eidolon boutique’s wares which include knit scarves, hats and sweaters and shoes.

According to Felice, "Everything is very unique, handmade by primarily Brooklyn artists. And we’re not trendy - we have great things for all ages, not age specific."

On Saturday, Knitting Salon (361 Fifth Ave. at Sixth Street) proprietress Prophet will host a half-hour spinning demonstration beginning at 4 pm. This year-old, full-service knitting store, offers a wide selection of yarn and knitting needles, from vintage bone to wood needles, handmade by Prophet.

The store is a "salon" because "people can come and knit at any time - just pull up some floor," said Prophet.

Prophet teaches knitting, crocheting, spinning and some weaving classes. "I make a lot of my own yarn and I sell good, real deal wool - grass roots products mostly by local spinners and dyers," says Prophet. For more information, go to www.theknittingsalon.com.

On Nov. 11 from noon to 6 pm, Albert & Piccolo (276L Fifth Ave. at First Street) will open a group show of paintings, sculpture and photography in the gallery at the rear of this retail clothing store.

Albert & Piccolo also sells clothing and accessories - everything from T-shirts to dresses designed by Natti Samuel Jackson. Accessories include handcrafted leather goods and jewelry by local designers.

 

Performances

On Saturday Nov. 10, Patrias (167 Fifth Ave. between Berkeley and Lincoln places) will host a free performance by a trio of Brooklyn percussionists.

Performing Cuban Son music - Buena Vista Social Club-type music from Cuba - the trio of members from Son Yuma, led by music director Barry Cox, will perform at Patrias from 4 to 6 pm.

This authentic Latin American folk art store sells jewelry, home furnishings, music, books and paper products and is owned by Cobble Hill resident Paulina Perez Bemporad.

"We will have a sale that weekend to kick off the holiday season," Bemporad told GO Brooklyn. "We have a whole new shipment from Mexico. We have a lot of really great ceramics from Mexico - a lot of artists from the wonderful book ’Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art.’ We located the artists featured in that coffee table book - we really do try to locate very authentic folk art from Mexico.

"We have a lot of new ceramics from Colombia and Peru and ornaments from Haiti, Honduras, Peru and Mexico. We’re very excited about new stuff for Christmas," said Bemporad. For more information about the store, go to the Web site at www.patrias.com.

Stomp your heels to the sounds of flamenco fusion band Manue at Moda Cafe (294 Fifth Ave.) on Nov. 10 at 9 pm. On Nov. 9 at 11 pm, go to 200 Fifth, a restaurant-bar on Fifth Avenue at Union Street, to hear Salsa band Rayjay y su Orquestra. Admission: $5.

At 2 and 4 pm, Brooklyn Arts Exchange will present three interactive dance programs with choreographer Shannon Hummel. The program, suitable for young audiences, will take place at BAX, 421 Fifth Ave. at Eighth Street. Tickets are $8 adults, $6 children, $4 low-income.

 

For kids

Scaredy Kat, a card and gift shop at 219 Fifth Ave. at Union Street, invites kids to help decorate their windows on Nov. 10 from noon to 8 pm. Scaredy Kat will provide the art supplies, the kids provide their imaginations.

Go Fish (260 Fifth Ave. between Carroll and Garfield streets), a re-sale shop featuring children’s clothing and maternity clothing, as well as parenting books and movies and fitness tapes, invites you and your little ones to storytelling at 10 am and 2 pm on Nov. 10.

In addition to "gently used" clothing there are a number of new gift items at Go Fish, such as Music for Aardvark CDs and Dan Zane CDs. The store also features clothing designed by local artists including handmade ponchos and tutus.

Also on Nov. 10, LuLu’s Cuts and Toys (310 Fifth Ave. between Second and Third streets), a kids’ hair salon and toy store, will host a special performance by "Billy Bones the Good Pirate" from 11 am to noon. LuLu’s will give away balloons and lollipops, while "Billy Bones the Good Pirate" performs magic, puppetry, interactive games, nonsense competitions and pirate lessons for all.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, Eggshell the Clown will roam Fifth Avenue, from DeGraw Street to Third Street from noon to 6 pm, performing magic, painting faces and performing music.

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