It may come as a surprise but yes, there is a day recognizing one of our favorite caffeinated beverages.

In 2014, the International Coffee Organization declared October 1st as International Coffee Day, with National Coffee Day being celebrated two days earlier on September 29th. Both days give coffee lovers an occasion to celebrate their favorite beverage, which just so happens to be the most consumed drink in the world, as well as a great way to learn more about this ancient drink.

With a very long history, the start of coffee can be traced back to around 700 AD. As time progressed, so did coffee itself, receiving more attention and eventually progressing into the drink it is today. These days the caffeinated beverage is regarded as one of the greatest crops. It’s safe to say, coffee lovers have been enjoying their favorite “Cup O’ Joe” for a very long time!

If you are an avid coffee drinker, then you know what it feels like to smell the aroma of a freshly brewed pot. Day in and day out people all over the world wake up anticipating that first sip. Whether you need that first cup the moment you wake up, to get the day started, or even to help you make it through the day, there are so many ways to enjoy all of the different kinds of blends.

Did you know….

Nowadays, there are many different kinds of coffee to choose from. Whether you enjoy a latte, a cappuccino, an espresso, or maybe an Americano, the different blends, strengths, and flavors provide coffee lovers with an array of options.

With National Coffee Day right around the corner, what better way to celebrate than to try a a new coffee inspired recipe, a new flavor, or even a completely different brew than you normally drink.

Along with the larger coffee chains, there are many wonderful local coffee shops where you can grab your favorite brew. Brooklyn is filled with endless choices so ask around, check out your neighbored, or do a search online to discover some of the borough’s popular spots and hidden gems. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a few local shops to help you celebrate the day.

Sey CoffeeLocated in the East Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the cafe offers coffee lovers a unique experience. With it’s bright and airy atmosphere, this contemporary micro roastery serves a variety of the most dynamic and complex coffee selections.  18 Grattan Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Brooklyn PerkServing up peace, love, and unity along with their coffee, this local coffee shop, located in the Prospect Lefferts-Gardens section of Brooklyn offers cool vibes and a wide assortment of caffeinated beverages to choose from, along with a selection of sweet treats. 605 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Cup of Joe Coffee Co. – This vintage-inspired boutique coffee shop offers its customers the feel of a neighborhood cafe with the convenience of a quick service shop. Here you’ll find only the highest quality beans that are freshly roasted to perfection. 7407 5th Avenue, Brooklyn,NY  11209

Social House CafeThis Williamsburg cafe offers not only an array of different coffees (the beans are imported directly from Italy) but their fall lattes, which include Nutella, lavender, and white chocolate, are the talk of the neighborhood. Along with your coffee, you can pick up a delicious French pastry or take a seat and enjoy a dish from their brunch menu. 60 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY  11249

Pep Bakehouse and Coffee Shop – With four locations within Brooklyn, Pep Bakehouse and Coffee Shop is a true artisan bakery, serving up fresh croissants and pastries daily using only fresh, local, and natural ingredients. And when it comes to their coffees, they work with the best Italian and Columbian manufacturers. From the wide assortment of baked goods, chances are you won’t be leaving empty-handed.

To help celebrate this caffeinated holiday, the Brooklyn MLS has teamed up with some local coffee businesses in bringing you some of the finest roasts. From September 29th – October 1st, we’ll be giving away one coffee basket per day. Participants will have the chance to win one of the following three:

To enter, follow the Brooklyn MLS on Instagram and Facebook. Like our post, comment, tag a friend or two (more tags = more entries). Share the post to your Instagram story for extra entries!

 

However and wherever you choose to celebrate, Happy National Coffee Day!

After a long, cold winter, springtime is back and bringing with it bright sun, breezy filled days, and a breath of fresh air. People feel energized and ready to tackle the tasks of cleaning and decluttering.

Spring is long considered the best time to sell a home, but before contacting your local real estate agent, you’ll want to ensure your home is squeaky clean. This goes beyond the general housecleaning chores—you’re going to want to do a deeper dive which is sure to make a huge difference to potential buyers.

Like the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and when it comes to your home, you’re going to want to “wow” potential buyers from the moment they arrive.

The outside of a home is just as important as the inside and oftentimes, buyers will have already formed an opinion before they’ve made it to the front door. Which is why landscaping, even if it’s minimal, of the front and back property should be on your to-do list.

Whether you’re looking to put your home on the market now, or just want to clean away winter’s mess, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get started.

 

Outside Cleanup 

Stage the Backyard

Steam Clean Carpets

 

Let in the Light

Deep Clean Kitchen and Bathrooms

Declutter & Organize

 

It’s the year of the White Metal Rat and beginning January 25th, the people of the culture, and others as well, will take part in celebrations for Chinese New Year (often referred to as Lunar New Year globally).

“The Lunar New Year means new beginnings, incoming good luck, and wiping away any ill fortune and bad luck from the prior year,” says Delton Cheng, Board of Director for Brooklyn MLS.

This time of celebration includes dinners, dragon and lion dances, lantern festivals, firecrackers, and lucky red envelopes (hongbaos) filled with cash. The dragons are a symbol of China’s culture and believed to bring good luck, therefore, the longer the dragon is in the dance, the more luck it brings to the community.

Cheng, who was born and raised in Flatbush, recalls New Year’s celebrations filled with fireworks, all types of Chinese candies, and the elders giving out the “good luck money” to unmarried young ones. Homes were also decorated with plum blossom and pussy willows as they are the most sought after flowers of this season.

“It’s all about gathering with family and enjoying a reunion dinner, the most important meal of the year,” says Cheng.

These festivities take place throughout the various Chinatown communities within NYC, including Sunset Park, the largest Chinatown in Brooklyn (and all of New York).

 

 

In research conducted back in 2017, it was shown that New York City is home to the largest Chinese-American population with over half a million people. In the city of Brooklyn alone, not only can Chinatown communities be found in Sunset Park, the next biggest areas are located in Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay (Avenue U), along with smaller, yet burgeoning communities within Bay Ridge, Borough Park, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Gravesend, and Marine Park.

Dating back to the earlier part of the 20th century, Sunset Park, which got its name from the park itself, was then known as “Little Norway” due to the influx of Norwegian immigrants who comprised most of the neighborhood.

But by the 1950s things had changed; the people were moving out and the area increasingly turning sparse. It wasn’t until the 1980s, when Chinese immigrants started to settle into Sunset Park that one of the city’s most vibrant and thriving Chinatowns began to develop.

A few years later, the first Chinese-American grocery store, Winley Supermarket, laid down roots on the corner of 8th Avenue and 56th Street (34 years later they’re still serving the people of Brooklyn). While many storefronts remained abandoned, more and more immigrants began moving into the area, escaping the higher cost of rent in Manhattan’s Chinatown for the one that was beginning to grow right here in Brooklyn.

Fast forward to 2020 and the neighborhood has become one of the city’s most diverse, and “coolest” areas.  Along with beautiful brownstones are the breathtaking views of downtown Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn, Staten Island, and even some parts of New Jersey.

The community has seen a transformation since those earlier days when 8th Avenue was lined almost entirely with empty stores. Now, the main drag, which runs from 49th to 60th Street, is the heart of Brooklyn’s energetic Chinatown, having transformed the area into a bustling destination. It’s here you’ll find open air markets, selling things like fresh Chinese vegetables and seafood, a variety of specialty Asian foods and ingredients, especially at the Fei Long supermarket (which also has a food court on the third floor, offering a selection of nine different stalls serving up distinctly different styles of Chinese cuisine), along with numerous Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian restaurants.

And while the community is consistently lively, things are about to kick into high gear as residents of Sunset Park prepare for one of their biggest and most anticipated events, the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association’s Lunar New Year Parade which will take place on Sunday, January 26th. The parade will begin at 50th Street and 8th Avenue with performances starting around 11am, although it’s a good idea to arrive earlier to ensure a good spot along the parade’s route.

Established in 1988, the “joyous celebration held on a dreary street brought together people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and successfully marked a turning point for Sunset Park,” according to the BAC’s website.

 

In addition, Brooklyn is also home to some of the best Chinese cuisine. With the New Year right around the corner, there is no reason why you will need to go any further then Brooklyn in search of excellent eats!

Mister Hotpot – One of the tastiest spots for Hong Kong-style hot pot, diners can dip a variety of meat, vegetables, and noodles into a bubbling broth (think fondue). Along with the food, you’ll also find pop music pumping throughout this trendy hot-spot. (5306 8th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220).

Grand Sichuan House – It’s been called the best in Bay Ridge, serving up authentic spicy Chinese food.  This traditional Sichuan- style cuisine offers up choices like Dan Dan noodles, soup dumplings, and cumin flavored beef, to name just a few. (8701 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11209).

Lucky 8 – This Cantonese style cooking focuses on both fresh meats and seafood, some of which you can see swimming in the restaurant’s tanks. Caught live and cooked on the spot, diners can choose from numerous types of fish. Whether you’re looking to take out or dine- in, it’s a great spot to enjoy the Chinese New Year. (5204 8th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11220)

Park Asia – Offering both dim sum and traditional Cantonese dishes, the restaurant offers diners two floors of beautiful dining space, making it a great location for events as well. (6521 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11220)

East Harbor Seafood Palace – Although this dining spot is located in Brooklyn, you’ll feel like you’re eating in a Manhattan hot-spot when you sit down at this wildly popular and always crowded Chinese restaurant. Offering a huge selection of classic dim sum dishes, diners will also find an extensive menu to choose from. (714 65th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220)

Buntopia – If it’s low calories dishes you’re looking for, look no further than this vegan friendly sushi spot serving up fusion and healthy cuisine for everyone.  (994 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY  11221)

Kathy’s Dumplings – Whether you choose to dine in or take out, it’s here you’ll find both a variety of dumplings and a modern interpretation of classic Chinese dishes.  (7924 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11209)

Joe’s Bakery – If you’re looking to get your dum sum fix on, this Chinese style bakery is the perfect choice. (8517 18th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11224)

As Brooklynites and the neighboring boroughs come out to enjoy and embrace the beauty of the culture, Cheng is proud, and thrilled to see the Chinese community flourishing in New York City. “Home ownership is the American dream and with support and contributions of Brooklyn MLS, the growing Chinese and Asian community here in Brooklyn can obtain that dream!”

 

What was once an isolated, rural summer resort town in the late 19th century, Bay Ridge, formerly known back then as “Yellow Hook,” is a neighborhood that continues to exude a small-town feel while still being part of a much larger city.

With an overall estimated population of 2.6 million, approximately 87,000 are residents of Bay Ridge, an area that is bounded by Sunset Park on the north, Dyker Heights on the east, the Narrows and Belt Parkway on the west, and Fort Hamilton Army Terminal and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, visible from almost everywhere in this neighborhood on the south.

Renamed in 1853 to avoid any negative connotations with what was an outbreak of yellow fever, wealthy residents were drawn to the area’s natural beauty and built country homes along Shore Road, overlooking the water. Today, luxurious homes line this waterfront stretch between 80th and 83rd Street.

Bay Ridge is home to a mixture of co-ops, condos, and rentals, but is well-known for its single and multi-family homes. As a result of neighborhoods located closer to Manhattan (i.e. Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bed-Stuy) becoming almost as expensive as the city itself, residents have been traveling a bit more south to look at property in Bay Ridge.

“Brooklyn residential real estate continues to evolve as we see the popularity of neighborhoods change each year,” says Rich Schulhoff, CEO of Brooklyn MLS.

Although the commute to Manhattan is a bit longer, potential home buyers who want to reside in Brooklyn are finding a substantial savings over the other areas, making Bay Ridge a bit more affordable.

Named in 2010 as the 12th most livable neighborhood in NYC by New York Magazine, what sets Bay Ridge apart from some of the other areas in the borough is not only more affordable prices, but the chance to be a part of a close-knit community.

Interesting fact – Almost 100 community organizations exist in Bay Ridge

Between Fourth and Fifth avenues is “Doctors’ Row,” the neighborhood’s first historic district consisting of 54 row houses on Bay Ridge Parkway. Dating back to the mid-20th century, doctors moved to the block and practiced medicine in their basements. Many long standing Brooklynites can recall traveling to the area when they were younger for a doctor visit.

Today, “Doctors’ Row” continues to be a hub for medical professionals, maintaining that long-standing tradition occupying the area.

The neighborhood’s main drag runs along 86th Street where shoppers can find both big chain stores like Century 21, TJ Maxx, and the Gap, along with smaller mom-and-pop shops.

 

When it comes to dining out, you can find just about anything you want in Bay Ridge as the borough has some of the best restaurants and bars. With so many options to choose from, you’ll never be at a loss on where to go. Some must-have spots include:

Gino’s – The Italian eatery first opened in 1964 and has been a staple amongst the locals ever since. (7414 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Tuscany Grill – Serving contemporary Tuscan food, this cozy Italian restaurant serves up a comfortable vibe. (8620 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Tanoreen – Considered by many to be the best Middle Eastern eatery in the city, patrons will find a blend of classic Palestinian and Middle Eastern home-style cooking. (7523 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Elia – When you step inside you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a Greek village tavern, serving up some of the finest Greek dishes with the chef’s modern day interpretations. (8611 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Positano – This upbeat Italian restaurant features an outdoor dining area, perfect for when the weather is warmer. (10018 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

BaciAuthentic Italian cuisine with a classic modern twist in the heart of Bay Ridge. (8424 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Ponte Vecchio A staple in Bay Ridge for over 35 years, this authentic Italian restaurant offers a large variety of options for even the pickiest of eaters. (8810 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Paneantico – This bakery cafe has been serving family inspired recipes from Italy for the past 20 years. Along with a selection of pastries and desserts, breads, and coffee, diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well. (9124 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Vesuvio Restaurant & Pizzeria – Established in 1953, this family-owned restaurant in the heart of Bay Ridge serves up Neapolitan home-style cooking. They also have a private party room and specialize in off-site catering.

 

Whether you’re looking to grab a sweet treat after dinner, or something to bring to family and friends, the following spots are a must if you’re in the neighborhood:

Little Cupcake Bake Shop – A neighborhood staple, the bakery specializes in wholesome traditional American desserts, and uses only the freshest, sustainable ingredients, which are locally sourced and made on-site every day. The “Brooklyn Blackout Cake” has been hailed by Food and Wine as the “Best Chocolate Cake in America.” (9102 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Mike’s Donuts & Coffee – Serving Bay Ridge for over 30 years, this neighborhood staple is a family affair. With around 35 different kinds of donuts, baked fresh twice a day on premise, customers can grab a cup of coffee and a real “New York tasting donut.”

 

Along with excellent food, Bay Ridge is widely known for their bars, with over 40 different watering holes to choose from. Some of the popular spots include:

The Pour House – A bar with a real neighborhood vibe, patrons can choose from a variety of different beers and whisky while catching up with friends or making new ones. (7901 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

The Wicked Monk – An authentic Irish pub, offering live music on the weekends. Once you walk through the door, you’ll immediately feel as if you’ve been transported back to a Gothic Irish Monastery. (9510 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Lock Yard – The 1300 square foot heated beer garden is the perfect spot to hang out with friends. (9221 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11209)

The Kettle Black -Serving up some of the best wings in town, Kettle Black was named by Food and Wine magazine as “One of The Top 5 Wing Joints in America.” (8622 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Salty Dog – This renovated fire station is a popular neighborhood hangout. You’ll find a vintage firetruck displayed inside this full service bar and restaurant. (7509 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY11209)

The Owl’s Head – Named after a local park, this intimate bar offers up a curated wine and beer list along with small bites. (479 74th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

 

When it comes to finding things to do in Bay Ridge, any one of these options is a great choice to explore:

Owls Head Park – Bay Ridge’s version of a mini Prospect Park, Owl’s Head is a great spot for a picnic or BBQ with family and friends. Dog owners can also bring their four-legged friend for a run in the dog park.

69th Street Pier, aka American Veteran’s Memorial Pier – This spot is a fisherman’s delight and the benches that line the pier are make it a great location to watch the sun set.

John Paul Jones Park, aka “Cannonball Park” – A landmark dedicated to Revolutionary War patriot John Paul Jones, the park received its nickname from the 58-ton Civil War Cannon that’s on display.

The Belt Parkway Promenade – The area measures approximately 4.5 miles along the Belt Parkway from 69th Street pier to Bensonhurst Park. The paths are wide enough for a bike ride, a run, or even a nice long walk. Along the way you can see Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and some of the most beautiful sunsets.

 

Bay Ridge still remains home to many lifelong residents who have grown up in this “small-town” neighborhood along with attracting a new generation of homebuyers looking to plant roots in the borough.

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