Many, including yours truly, were pleased with the recent redesign of the House of Pizza and Calzone on Union Street in Brooklyn. It looks completely different from what it was, but the look is an attractive, tradition-conscious reimagining of the space.
What a disappointment, then, that the pizzeria's owner, Gino Vitale, didn't bring the same sense of style and appropriateness to the faux-Italianate piece of crapitecture he's erecting at 91, 93, 95, 97 and 99 King Street, corner of Richards Street, in Red Hook (below). According to a article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that reads like an advertisement (a quote from the broker saying the building is beautiful and unique? Come on!), Vitale based the five single-family townhouses on carriage houses he saw during a recent trip in Italy. A guess a few arches makes for a palazzo, huh?
Granted, this creation of Vitale's (he designs everything he builds) is a notch about the usual callous pile of bricks that we see these days. But it's also more vulgar, because those pile of bricks don't pretend to be grand or artistic. They're just crap. He's built fancy crap and is calling it gold.
The one-to-three bedroom homes are going for $750,000 to $1.3 million. Buyers can enjoy "skylight-lit living areas and a full package of high-end appliances." Vitale thinks they'd be great for artists, given the high ceilings and large windows. He must mean established artists. What other artists have a mil sitting in the bank?
The worse news? "Vitale...plans 20 more similar carriage house-style homes."