Keep Calm … And Chalk On

Konditori Swedish Coffee Shop in Prospet Heights, Brooklyn

Konditori Swedish Espresso Bar in Prospect Heights

Konditori Swedish Espresso Bar, BrooklynFor Swedish espresso aficionados, or the merely curious, Konditori in Prospect Heights is on Washington Avenue between St. Marks and Prospect, where it projects a friendly attitude. “Keep calm and stay Swedish” is the message of the day. Cardomom Brod is a featured menu item. Or you could choose the hairy calorie bomb, aka the CocoBall.  Other Konditori locations are in Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg and Greenpoint (plus one on the Lower East Side in Outer Brooklyn). (Photos: Brooklyn Artisan)

Chalk It Up: A Romantic Notion for Autumn

Seen outside of Poppy at 217 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. (Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool).

Seen outside of Poppy at 217 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. (Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool).

Chalk a Menu Idea for Your House

Chalkboard from Fleishers

(Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

OF COURSE THE WEATHER TURNED FREAKISHLY WARM a few days after this sign was put out by Fleishers, the artisanal butcher on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope that specializes in grass fed, organic meats. But a timely menu suggestion has been made. Dust off the trusty stew pot or set out to acquire one, for chilly days will soon be here.

Chalking the World and a Stilton Cheese?

Don Stitt ChalksignTRAVEL THE WORLD AND THE SEVEN SEAS, EVERYBODY’S LOOKING FOR SOMETHING: Today it might be a cheese or a chalk sign that makes you laugh in spite of yourself!  After this, the Eurythmics’ song may never sound the same. (Photo thanks to Don Stitt)

Getting Your Message Across?

sayitwithsnapIT’S A 140 CHARACTER WORLD NOW, and what used to be called a magazine article is now “long-form journalism.” But this Mather poster advocates not only brevity but “snap.” Brooklyn Artisan long ago offered thoughts on quotability, but here snap means directness, too.

Some examples of this are in the Brooklyn Artisan photo pool. A favorite:ChalkWoodlandURhungry

Business Lessons from a Master

Where Park Place meets Flatbush, looking out through the front window.

Where Park Place meets Flatbush, looking out through the front window.

WHATEVER WE MAY THINK OF STARBUCKS COFFEE, THEIR PRICES OR UBIQUITY, we can all take a lesson from the new Starbucks location on Park Place at Flatbush/Seventh Avenue, where the oversized and under-busy 5 Guys burger place recently failed. The premises reportedly rents for $20,000 a month. Can even Starbucks bring in enough to do business there profitably? Time will tell, of course, but certainly the managers are trying to make a go of it.

Starbucks Chalkboard MessageLet’s infer some items for our checklist: Yes, Starbucks put out the welcome sign, literally, in chalkboard vernacular.

Yes, the Seventh Avenue Q/B subway stop is right there, and Starbucks has put in the pedestrian equivalent of a drive-by window: the long bar-height shallow counter right in front for commuters and other muffineers. There is enough open floor space for a long line at 8:40am, even allowing for a four-wheeler or two en route to Eladia’s Kids, near the 2/3 station.

Starbucks stroller parkingYes, the setup is neighborhood-savvy. Although the ramp at the entrance is wheelchair-friendly, the greater traffic is sure to come from the stroller-moms and -dads. Traffic control is smart: there’s stroller parking for the stay-awhile or coffee-date set.

The community bulletin board is right by the entrance, with a small mural in the style of the Starbucks-on-Seventh location (we hear the artist there is one of the partners).Starbucks changing table

There are more chalkboards in the back, toddler height, near the low table and small chairs, that signal little guys are welcome and allowed to roam free (relatively). There’s a play shelf with crayons and other amusements.

The half-dozen deep leather chairs welcome long-term loungers: those who want to read the Times thoroughly, say, or polish off the review copy of a new book. Easy-to-pull-up stools in a skateboard aesthetic allow kibitzers to interrupt them, but if the kibitizers really want to engage long enough to make their point, there are a few leather-cushioned stools around as well.

2013-04-29 11.21.54And blogger heaven: wi-fi and a huge, two-sided laptop-friendly work table. While the hard metal chairs might discourage you from settling in to finish your thesis here, they are a good sit for long enough to post a blog entry or handle email away from the kids.

We didn’t forget to check for the critical amenity! Yes, it’s here, the changing station in the bathroom. At this juncture of Park Slope/Prospect Heights, the diaper table really says, “Welcome, families.” Starbucks shows it knows.

Chalk-worthy Announcements on 5th Avenue

Seen at 184 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, HiHo Batik sharing its news from a recent issue of New York Magazine. This is a batik shop with a DIY spin.

Seen at 184 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, news from a recent issue of New York Magazine.

The flip side of the HiHo Batik sign at 184 Fifth Avenue.

The flip side of the HiHo Batik sign.

THE HIHO BATIK STOREFRONT invites craft wannabes for a DIY session with a difference–in this case, the D stands for Dye. And its recent designation as a Best Thing about New York by New York Magazine is definitely something to chalk about. The crafts and storytelling session announcement for ages 2 to 4 sounds right on target this part of town (Park Slope).

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