Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation Successfully Concludes Series of Holiday Events Promoting Business, Culture, Community and Charity

Release Date: December 21, 2015
Contact: Michelle Karshan, Communications
Telephone: 917-853-0433, Email: Michelle.Karshan@gmail.com
 
Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation Successfully Concludes Series of Holiday Events Promoting Business, Culture, Community and Charity

Brooklyn, New York – December 21, 2015 — On the heels of producing its 41st annual Atlantic Antic™, New York City’s largest street festival, this year the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corp. (AALDC) embarked on a series of additional holiday activities in line with its mission to support local economic development by showcasing and strengthening small businesses along Atlantic Avenue between Hicks Street and Fourth Avenue. The AALDC’s pro-active measures serve to motivate the more than 100 restaurants, boutiques and shops to get their holiday windows up early.

In addition to beautiful holiday windows, incentives for shopping on Atlantic Avenue were created through a two-week Shop & Dine promotion that provided discounts on selected items and/or other specials at participating stores and restaurants.  And on December 12, from 11-7, the Walk the Windows activities created a big draw for shoppers, families and those eager to participate in the free activities and hear holiday carolers.

These events, including the Holiday Windows Design Competition and the one-day Walk the Windows — with over forty businesses featuring in-store free events or complimentary holiday tasty treats or refreshments — gained the attention of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out, BRIC TV, as well as dozens of other prominent media. The AALDC also secured television interviews for some of the newest businesses along its stretch of Atlantic Avenue.

The Walk the Windows event drew hearty crowds to the avenue’s charming shops and restaurants along its one-mile span through Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill where participating businesses were easy to identify via their red balloons and signs on their windows. “During Walk the Windows there was a great feeling of holiday and community spirit on the avenue.” exclaimed Karen Zebulon, owner of GUMBO children’s store, and board member of the AALDC.

“Business was great with lots of foot traffic and sales, cheered Collier West owner, Suzi West, who served holiday treats and featured a special art exhibit. ARCO, a luxury boutique salon and spa, demonstrated an excellent use of the day’s increased shoppers by placing a table outside their salon with products, complimentary tasty treats, their price list, other info, and a mailing list with pen made available. ARCO’s manager reported that they drew in at least six new clients for immediate services that day. “We need more activities like this,” urged Lenny Finklestein, the owner of Grape Hill Liquor Traders, who held a complimentary Wine Tasting during Walk the Windows. “We were busy all day!”

At the Tree Lighting Party, holiday window winners were announced and presented with framed awards or gift baskets: 1st Place: Dig garden; 2nd Place: Betty Bakery; 3rd Place: Collier West; Arco New York and Honorable Mentions: Grandma’s House; The Primary Essentials, Parlor, Kadampa Meditation Center, Inc. dba Vajradhara Buddhist Center, Ciao Bow Wow, and Nest Egg Kids.

In their article, “Window Displays Put New Twist on Holiday Themes, Beyond Manhattan, holiday windows get a little more interesting,” The Wall Street Journal’s Anne Kadet, wrote that “Shops on the west end of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, meanwhile, feature elaborate holiday windows thanks to a contest sponsored by the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation.” Kadet described the window of 1st place winner, DIG as “a dreamy snowflake, cactus and silver eucalyptus affair,” and also described some of the quirkier windows such as at pet boutique, Ciao Bow Wow, where they “…strung up a stuffed beagle in a stocking cap and goggles, merrily surfing the galaxy on a blinking UFO.” But Kadet admitted that “my favorite was the display at Hollow Nickel, a bar and kitchen. It looked like the work of folks who had enjoyed a few libations before raiding a craft shop.”  The window “features handmade dolls guzzling mini bottles of Smirnoff and Jose Cuervo,” but she reported that the owner, Dan Wilby, said that despite a mixed reaction, the window attracted new customers.

The Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Party, held December 4, 2015 at the Belarusian Church, at 401 Atlantic Avenue, corner Bond Street, and officiated by NYC Councilmember Stephen Levin, was dazzling with the tree lighting in the church yard surrounded by children carolers, Santa and families partaking in the joy of the season. Holiday lights adorned the church auditorium where local officials spoke briefly and children performers amazed the crowd with their talent and enthusiasm. While DJ Frank Posa engaged the audience at the end of the evening with his repertoire of popular music and dance moves, children jumped up on the stage to dance and lip sync to their favorite tunes.

In addition to a visit by Santa, many local officials attended and addressed the crowd: Daniel Abramson, the Brooklyn Borough Director from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Community Affairs Unit; Brooklyn Outreach Coordinator, Brian McLaurin, from the Public Advocate’s office; New York State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon; New York City Council Members Stephen Levin and Brad Lander; Denise Patterson from the Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson’s Office of Public Engagement; and Captain Sergio Centa of NYPD’s 84th Precinct.

Performances. The audience was inspired by a wide range of performances by local children: Brooklyn Youth Chorus Choir, the Mark Morris Hard Nut Singers, Public School 38 chorus and tap dancers (led by Choir Director, Laura Chzaszcz, and Dance Teacher, Andria DeVito), Brooklyn Music Factory’s Big City Country Band, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s Suzuki Violin Students, Brooklyn Ballet (under the direction of its Founder/Director Lynne Parkerson) together with rising star, opera vocalist, Sara Stevens, and DJ Frank Posa of Powerhouse Entertainment and Rockland Sound & Lighting.

The evening concluded with ample tasty holiday treats and refreshments provided by Atlantic Avenue’s generous restaurants and stores: Nunu Chocolates, Ganso Yaki, Moon Café, Hollow Nickel, La Flor Del Paraiso, Betty Bakery, Bacchus, Grandma’s House, The Soul Spot Restaurant, Sottocasa Pizzeria, Two 8 Two Bar & Burger, Sahadi’s, Brado, Pair Wine & Cheese, and Luzzo’s BK.

The AALDC sponsored a toy drive to benefit two local mother and child homeless shelters: the Arbor Inn and Providence House (for women transitioning back into society following incarceration). Toys were donated as well as some purchased by the AALDC. Sponsors of the toy drive were NYU Langone Medical Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, St. Francis College, Grandma’s House and Fillmore Real Estate. 

Sponsors of this year’s holiday activities were Investors Bank, Con Edison, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, St. Francis College, Grandma’s House, Fillmore Real Estate Brooklyn, Inc., Dodge YMCA as well as to our Media Partners: New York Daily News, BRIC TV, Yelp, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, 92.3 AMP Radio, Fresh 102.7 FM, CBS FM 101.1, and the New York Daily News.

The mission of the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation (AALDC) is to further economic development, historic preservation, and cultural enrichment in the greater Atlantic Avenue area.

Editors: For photos, please contact Michelle.Karshan@gmail.com or at 917-853-0433.

AALDC holiday blog at www.atlanticavenuebrooklyn.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AtlanticAvenueLDC

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AtlanticAveLDC

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