Columbia Street Waterfront
District / South Brooklyn Neighborhoods Items that we find of interest in South Brooklyn that we want to share with the world.
The BQE trench from Kane to Sackett Streets
It was a part of South Brooklyn without a name.
When the boom started, Tiffany Place was an oasis in a sea of empty storefronts, limited transportation, and cut off from its Brownstone
neighbors by the ditch of the BQE.
Realtors began calling it Cobble Hill West, giving it legitimacy. The Columbia Street Waterfront
District is poised to become a new playground. Unfortunately, the neighborhood is caught in a
massive reconstruction project that brings back memories of the birth of Smith Street, now one of
Brooklyn's hottest restaurant and nightlife locations.
The $17 million Capital Construction Project will change the face of the waterfront in South
Brooklyn. Like Smith Street before it, the infrastructure of the waterfront has not been
touched in over 30 years. The influx of residents to the area was a major factor in the timing of
the efforts. Columbia Street is receiving new roadbeds, water mains, sewers, sidewalks, and street lighting.
Columbia Street is one of the few areas in South Brooklyn that still maintains a feel of the
20th century. Live poultry markets operate in close proximity to trendy restaurants. Trucks use the
route as an alternate to the BQE causing untold damage to the roadbed. The stacks of cargo containers
on the west side of the street block the Manhattan skyline from street level and remind us of our
maritime roots. Some of the businesses have been there for years.
Moonshine, located at 317 Columbia by Hamilton Avenue, opened three years ago in a space once
known as Rocco's, a bar that served the dockworkers from 1937 to 1975. Owner Nick Forlano
discovered the former bar and immediately decided it was for him. As he renovated, he kept much
of the original bar and woodwork intact. The kitchen gave way to a pool room with Blues Brothers'
chicken wire seperating it from Big Buck Hunter II and Miss Pac-Man. The back yard replaced the
kitchen with two gas grills and a Bring-Your-Own-Meat policy, drawing parties and those with
no-outdoor-space apartments. It is a Cheers of the neighborhood, a place where everybody knows
Automated slide show of Columbia Street reconstruction
"I knew that the 'shine would be the diamond in the rough for some time until people caught on to the potential of the neighborhood," he said. "Brooklyn is Brooklyn. People love
it here. The growth potential on Columbia Street is enormous."
Mayor Bloomberg, in his PlanNYC speech on Earth Day 2007, proposed major changes to Brooklyn's waterfront and addressed the issue of the
"Our plan calls for doubling the amount of land available for possible housing development," he said. "We can do it by decking over railyards
and highways, and using government land more productively."
PlanNYC documents show a completely covered BQE opening nine-blocks of land two blocks from the waterfront to development. Columbia Street would
once more become a part of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway trench was rammed down the throat of the neighborhood
during Robert Moses' great expansion of the highway system in the 1950's. The BQE and the Gowanus Expressway
created a barrier, cutting off the waterfront and Columbia Street from its affluent neighbors.
In 1975 further setbacks struck the area. During construction of a sewer trunk line at Columbia and President Streets,
water seeped into the constuction trench. As workers pumped it out, the water table fell, weakening the
foundations of nearby buildings. Two buildings collapsed, and one man was killed. 33
buildings were demolished as a safety measure, and many remaining businesses and residents were
pulled out. The area was designated for urban renewal, with the city pledged in part to assist in
In 1984, Columbia Terrace was constructed from President to Summit Streets. The first phase, consisting of 51 condominium units
in three-story buildings, sold out instantly. Tiffany Place, a cobblestoned street one block east of Columbia Street, saw the former factory of
Louis Comfort Tiffany converted to condos in 1986. The neighborhood seemed poised for recovery.
The recession of the early 1990's halted the march. Many projects were put on hold as property prices plummeted.
As property prices recovered, Columbia Street seemed to lag behind the fierce building boom in its eastern neighbors. The exception is Tiffany Place,
which quickly became the hottest location west of the BQE.
The construction is causing new headaches for the businesses along Columbia Street.
"Columbia Street is the last vehicular route in South Brooklyn area to be exploited as an alternate route to the BQE," said Whitlock.
During the project, many of the streets suffered direction changes. Columbia Street is now one way going north from Hamilton Avenue to Degraw Street. Van Brunt Street is
one way going south on the same blocks. Coming from Red Hook and the Cruise Ship Terminal, parts of Columbia Street are nearly inaccessible. Concrete barriers are in place and
traffic agents are stationed regularly in the area.
The cranes on the waterfront and the views of Manhattan are side by side on Columbia Street.
"We are cut off from the Cruise Ship terminal by the Battery Tunnel, separated from the end of
Brooklyn Bridge Park (ending at Atlantic Avenue) by working docks, and the ditch of the BQE
is between us and the main residential areas," said David Whitlock of the shop Main Street Ephemera.
Whitlock moved Main Street Ephemera from Smith Street in 2002 when rents spiraled out of control on the trendy boulevard.
Dealing in paper collectibles from movie posters to vintage postcards and magazines, Columbia Street was a complete
change from Smith Street. The neighborhood businesses on the street were few and far between with many empty storefronts
and little foot traffic. Whitlock was joined by Consuelo's Corner within his shop, featuring vintage cosmetic jewelry.
The Red Hook Container Terminal is the last vestige of large shipping in the Columbia Street Waterfront District. With natural 40-foot depths and up-to-date
facilities, the terminal accommodates fully loaded ships with deep drafts. Its existence is the source of major debate
on nearly every level of government and local residents. In negotiations with the city, American Stevedoring (which operates the container
port) was unable to receive a long term lease. Granted a three-year extension in 2005, Economic Development Corporation officials refused to
guarantee that the Red Hook port would remain open through 2009. The city wants to make way for a hotel and shops, a boat repair facility, a Brooklyn Brewery plant and tourist-friendly beer garden, as well as a smaller industrial port, a ferry connection to Governors
Island and a second pier for cruise ships.
Residents point to EDC's claim that the new usage "would triple the number of jobs on the waterfront." In the past, however, EDC's projections have not come true.
The addition of The Brooklyn
Cruise Terminal, for example, created just 10 full-time jobs and 245 part-time jobs, while EDC
originally said 370 full-time jobs would be created.
Now, the EDC is claiming that the container terminal currently supports just 133 full-time jobs -- a number it intends to greatly improve. But
which operates the port, claims the number of jobs stand at 623.
360° image in Jalopy
Moves automatically or
click inside, hold and move your mouse around!
"It will be a sad loss to lose the Red Hook shipping terminal," said Mark Ehrhardt of MoversNotShakers, located at the intersection of Columbia Street
and Hamilton Avenue. "They are good, steady jobs for Brooklyn."
Ehrhardt moved into the former restaurant location four years ago. He worries that as the street gains reputation and status, businesses like his will be priced out.
"We felt much more out of the way four years ago," said Ehrhardt of the location for his moving company. "There are plenty of people who like the remoteness of Columbia Street
and that is slowly being stripped away."
"The one ways are terrible. It makes it tough for the people getting off the BQE," said Lynette Wiley. "I Meet a lot more people giving out directions to Fairway."
Lynette and Geoff Wiley opened Jalopy, an eclectic performance hall with a community arts center feel. Sporting a vintage instrument store, espresso maker and wireless internet
access, they quickly became a neighborhood hangout. With live music, movie nights, and music classes, they quickly joined and became a major player in Columbia Streets
burgeoning nightlife scene.
The times will change on Columbia Street. If the BQE is covered, if the greenway is extended from Brooklyn Bridge Park, if the waterfront becomes accessible -- not quite as
overwhelming as it sounds. The times, they are a-changing.
Mark D Phillips of SouthBrooklyn.com spent twenty years as a working photojournalist. On the morning of September 11, 2001, he captured an image during the attack that came to be known as "Satan in the Smoke." This is the story of the profound effect this image had on him and the thousands of viewers who emailed him in the days and years to follow.
Pirate Ball begins the Centennial Celebration of the Waterfront Museum
The Lehigh Valley No. 79 is going to be 100 years old! All thanks to one man.
When David Sharps rescued the sunken railroad barge, he began an odyssey that developed into the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, one of Red Hook's, and New York City's, premier maritime showcases.
In 1986, he founded The Waterfront Museum aboard the Barge to promote understanding of New York Harbor’s maritime history and its importance to the commercial, cultural and recreational life of the city and the world. Since 1994, the Museum and the barge have been docked in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and have become both a neighborhood landmark and a source of pride for the community.
Built in 1914, the Number 79 represents the only surviving all-wooden example of the Hudson River Railroad Barge from the Lighterage Age (1860-1960) that remains afloat and is accessible to the general public.
The Barge survived Hurricane Sandy, riding out the storm at its dock in Red Hook. David's harrowing tales of the storm give an extra meaning to the 100th birthday..
A year-long celebration begins this week for BARGE 100 with the Pirate Ball, held aboard the historic Barge on Thursday, September 19th, 2013, with a special First Mate Sunset Reception 6:30pm to 7:30pm and the Pirate Ball from 7:30pm to 10pm.
The gala affair will honor The O’Connell Organization and George and Alison Tocci for their sustained support of the Barge and Waterfront Museum.
The event will feature vocalist Bliss Blood and guitarist Al Street who have been performing their unique blend of flamenco, jazz and North African music to New York audiences since 1996. Specialty cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and sunset views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty will make this a truly memorable event.
The mission of BARGE 100 is to raise awareness of this historic vessel and to ensure that future generations continue to learn from her. All proceeds from The Pirate Ball and all 2014 BARGE 100 special events will benefit the Waterfront Museum Barge.
Don't miss this event and watch for more events coming up in the yearlong celebration for this unique waterfront gem.
9/11, Twelve Years Later, still seems like yesterday
The crystal blue sky today was just like 9/11. Each year as the date approaches, the September skies bring the memories back.
September was always my favorite month in New York City. The US Open brings the world to our doorstep. The Mets and the Yankees are always ensconced in postseason fever, no matter how bad the teams are. Football starts its season, and the kids are going back to school.
The beautiful blue skies matched that feeling of hopefulness that was always a part of the September season.
2001 changed all that. We try to get excited about the season but 9/11 colors it pale. Gone is that feeling of hopefullness and the thoughts that we will always be safe.
Everytime we look at the skyline, the gaping hole still exists. The Freedom Tower, or One World Trade Center, just does not feel the same. We still don't know what to call it.
On that fateful day, I watched the entire event from my roof in Brooklyn. It has colored every day since. That day was one of my last as a working photojournalist. The photograph I took became my legacy as a photographer. I have found myself introduced by friends as "the guy who took that picture." It is a haunting and daunting legacy.
Over the past twelve years, I have relived the experiences that this photograph from 9/11 brought to my life. I am a lucky one -- no one close to me was killed in the attack. But not a day goes by that I don't see the buildings on fire and then collapsing. Everytime I drive up the West Side Highway, I see the buildings as they were, not the empty space where they stood.
It still does not feel like 12 years. For those who lost fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, best friends.....Those of us who were here that fatefull day will grieve with you. And Never Forget.
Order a commemorative 11 x 17 print on the 12th Anniversary for $100.00 with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
Receive a free copy of "Satan In The Smoke? A Photojournalist's 9/11 Story" with the purchase of each print.
The Gallery Players
47th Season opens September 7th!
Announces 2013-14 season, the company's 47th!
Subscriptions to The Gallery Players start at just $120 and enable you to see all seven productions, including each program of the Black Box New Play Festival, for less than the cost of one orchestra seat on Broadway. We don't think there's a better deal in town!
Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward / September 7 - September 22, 2013
This much-revived classic from the playwright of Private Lives offers up fussy, cantankerous socialite-novelist, Charles Condomine; his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira; one Madame Arcati, the 'happy medium' enlisted by Condomine to 'call up' new material for his book; and his current wife, Ruth, who accidentally 'passes over' as a result. As these (worldly and un-) personalities clash, Charles' gets more material than he bargained for.Four months after it's first production set a performance record in London's West End in 1941, this smash comedy hit was produced in New York, at Broadway's Morosco Theatre. Its many manifestations since include movies, television, radio, and the musical, High Spirits.
The Pajama Game October 19 - November 10, 2013 Equus by Peter Shaffer December 7 - December 22, 2013 A Little Night Music January 25 - February 16, 2014 Medea by Euripides March 15 - March 30, 2014 Rent - Book, Music, and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson April 26 - May 18, 2014 The 17th Annual Black Box New Play Festival May 29 - June 22, 2014
BRIC Media Arts Fellowship Submissions Open This Week
Each year, BRIC sponsors the BRIC Media Arts Fellowship, which makes BRIC Media Education courses and facilities available to professional Brooklyn-affiliated visual artists at no charge.
The application process for the next Media Arts Fellowship will open this Thursday, August 15, with applications being accepted through September 15, 2013.
The BRIC Media Arts Fellowship provides training programs and technical assistance in video and digital production and in post-production technologies.
Coursework will take place between January and October 2014, culminating in an open house, which is open to the public. This will be an opportunity for fellows to show the projects they created during their fellowship and network with community producers.
Twelve fellowships are awarded annually. Fellows may enroll in any course offered at BRIC for no fee. Certification courses include Basic Field Production, Non-Linear Editing, and Basic Television Studio Production. Successful completion of any of these courses leads to becoming a Certified Producer, which gives free access to our video equipment and editing facilities. Once certified, Fellows will have up to 80 hours of facility time to work on their projects during their residency, as well as five opportunities to check out field camera equipment.
BRIC will reopen its renovated facility, BRIC Arts | Media House, at 647 Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn in October 2013. BRIC’s Community Media Center provides Brooklyn residents with access to television studio facilities, equipment, and training that enables the creation, production, and cablecasting of non-commercial programs on BRIC's four cable channels. Our new facilities will include a state-of-the-art HD television studio and studio control room, a training studio, a mini studio designed for use by a single producer serving as talent and technician, video editing suites, field camera packages, and a multimedia lab equipped with industry-standard media production software.
DUMBO, in its quest to be the art capital of New York City, began an art project on a massive scale this week.
Eight artisits have been given the opportunity to paint on a grand scale using blank walls as their Mural canvases around the neighborhood. As anyone knows who lives or travels around DUMBO, there is no shortage of large, blank walls from the base of the BQE, to the large walls surrounding the bases of the bridges, to the walls around the DOT lots.
The project, DUMBO Walls, is a series of eight outdoor murals packed within a four-block stretch of DUMBO along the BQE.
The DUMBO Improvement District and Two Trees Management Co in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation Urban Art Program (NYCDOT) and the Jonathan LeVine Gallery have given the eight artists a unique opportunity to showcase their work in a high traffic area, and perhaps prove that street art has become mainstream.
MOMO is an artist working outdoors with systems and homemade tools. His "Tag the Width of Manhattan" utilized the existing street grid and a custom bicycle paint-dispensing unit to write his name the width of New York City. His Street Collage demonstrates a minimalist postering technique free of printing. The MOMO Maker group of works are serial, and installed in the city with invented equipment. PLAF is an unauthorized sculpture project in New York’s water ways, taking power from NY’s tides and currents. Most recently Practical Geometry is a developing set of tools to draft, design, and organize wall murals with adapted masonry techniques. Born in San Francisco, MOMO has travelled most of his life, lived in New York for six years and currently keeps a studio in New Orleans.
The participating artists include CAM, DALeast, Eltono, Shepard Fairey, Faith47, MOMO, Stefan Sagmeister, and Yuko Shizimu. Works by CAM, MOMO, Stefan Sagmeister and Yuko Shizimu are presented by the DUMBO Improvement District and Two Trees Management Co. Works by DALeast, Eltono, Shepard Fairey and Faith47 are presented by Jonathan LeVine Gallery and Wooster Collective, in conjunction with 10 Years of Wooster Collective 2003—2013, a group exhibition on view at 525 W 22nd Street from August 7—24, 2013.
Sunny Balzanno (in Red) celebrates as Sunny's Bar is reopened 10 months after Hurricane Sandy
A Red Hook Original Returns from Sandy Hell with a 3 Day Celebration
Sunny's Bar has always been in Red Hook. So it seemed, until along came Sandy, almost destroying the beloved waterfront bar.
Walking into the establishment returned patrons to the days when Red Hook and Brooklyn led the nation in maritime pursuits. One felt like you had entered a scene from "On the Waterfront."
The Balzanno's operated the longshoreman's restaurant and bar continuously since the late 1800's.
Sunny Balzanno continued the family tradition when he took over the family property in the late 1990's, creating Sunny's Bar.
Super storm Sandy changed all that. When the storm surge barreled up Conover Street, water flooded the basement to the ceiling, and left 2 feet of water in the bar area. The force of the water undermined the buildings structure and repairs were extensive and expensive.
The Red Hook community responded to its beloved speakeasy.
Volunteers helped pump the water from the building. Two fundraising campaigns, benefit concerts, and donations by its many previous patrons raised $100,000. The funds were used to completely fix the damage in the basement and to the foundation, as well as replace nearly all the mechanicals and appliances needed to reopen the business.
Sunny's Bar is celebrating the reopening with a 3 Day REBIRTH Party, beginning with the ribbon cutting on Thursday, August 29, at 7:30pm. Music was provided by the Luna Sisters.
For the REBIRTH Party Day TWO on Friday, August 30, the Xylophone People perform in the former speakeasy.
Saturday, August 31, closes out the REBIRTH Party with the return of the Bluegrass Jam, this time with a Pot Luck Dinner element included. Everyone is invited to join in on a neighborhood celebration and thank you to the community.
The return of Fairway was exciting for Red Hook, but now the true heart of the area has returned. Come down to the foot of Conover Street to welcome back the legend.
Sunny's is located at 253 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY, 11231, at the end of Conover Street in Red Hook.
Jaden, Willow and Will Smith at Barclays Center either reacting to Lady Gaga or just making regular faces if you believe the Huffington Post.
Was This Good for Brooklyn? VMAs Send Strange Message of the Music World
The arrival of the VMAs was a sign that Brooklyn's Barclays Center had eclipsed Manhattan as the scene for a world-class event. Instead, it was as cheesy as a cheap Vegas revue.
As the dad of a 14-year-old daughter ensconced in the Internet music scene, I was appalled by the way women were in one breath praised by the hosts, and then referred to as "Bitches" by comedians in the next. What kind of message is being sent by the powers of music?
When Macklemore's song about gay love received the award for "Best Video with a Social Message," I was thrilled, as was my daughter, who introduced me to the artist. Unfortunately, the same show featured Miley Cirus in a grinding performance that was better suited for a strip club then an internationally broadcast event from Brooklyn.
The number of female performers seemed to outnumber the men, but none of the women made derogatory comments about their sex. It seemed like open season on women from their male counterparts. Is this what we have come to in the music industry?
As the Miley performance took over the screen, all I could think was how this girl started as a Disney star that my daughter watched religiously. Now she has devolved into selling her music through sex. It was not what any of us expected, but hey, everything today is done for shock value. We really shouldn't have been surprised. Watching an artist's self-destructive behavior is just fodder for the masses.
The Wanted's Nathan Sykes
The same weekend, my daughter attended a concert in Pennsylvania by The Wanted. In an example of sending the correct message to fans, the five members of the band spent nearly 3 hours greeting and taking photographs with all their fans who waited for them to leave the venue. All were female and all were young. When Nathan Sykes greeted my daughter, he spoke in a respectful and humble way, showing his appreciation of the people who made them stars.
When I thanked him for being so nice to my daughter and his fans, he shook my hand and said that "they made my day."
This is the message that should have been sent at the VMAs. It was unfortunate that it was not.
Red Hook Firefighter Cook-off
Just when you thought summer was cooling off, Fairway Market in Red Hook brought out the fire department to slave over grills in their annual "Firefighter Cook-off."
Teams of firefighters competed to see who could cook the best BBQ. The four teams - two from Brooklyn Heights' Engine 205/Ladder 118 and Engine 224 and two from Red Hook's Engine 279/Ladder 131 and Engine 202/Ladder 101 - battled for the title under the watchful eye of Borough President Marty Markowitz and a large group of admiring fans.
Fairway is provided all of the ingredients for each team. Firefighters cooked with a surprise ingredient revealed at the showdown that had to be included in their burger. The other items required in the cook-off were ribs and either a chicken dish or vegetable skewers. Firefighter Jimmy Carino of Ladder 205 was up at 4am to start smoking his ribs. "Look at this place," he said. "Cooking on the water, what a great day this is."
The men from Engine 224 at 274 Hicks Street took home the trophy and the bragging rights for the next year. Their victory gave their charity pick a $500 shopping spree at Fairway.
We all see the trend in South Brooklyn. Local businesses are being forced out one-by-one as the national chains move onto our tree-lined blocks.
News came that Sephora is opening a HUGE store at Borough Hall. Now comes news that Pacific Green Gourmet Food, one of our last food stores on Court Street is being forced out for J. Crew. I guess we will all be forced to eat in restaurants and have even more Fresh Direct trucks clogging our streets.
A neighborhood petition has begun asking J. Crew to rethink their decision to move onto Court Street. We invite our readers to take a look at the petition, and if so inclined, make a statement about the way our neighborhood is changing.
PETITION: Pacific Green has been a neighborhood institution in Cobble Hill since it opened in 2001. It provides great food and great service, and is beloved by the community. Fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and lots of other foods fill the store. The friendly staff is always there to help you find whatever you need.
All that is about to change. The landlord has told them they are going to have to leave by the end of the year. A new J. Crew is set to open up in their space. The owners of Pacific Green have offered to pay more money, but the landlord has not changed his mind.
Locally owned businesses are part of the fabric of communities. They provide good jobs, they put money back into the community, and they support and understand the issues affecting the community. National chains don't have that same connection to the community.
Tell J. Crew not to move forward with this location. They can find another place that doesn't displace a local business. They may not be the ones directly forcing Pacific Green to close, but if they decide not to use this location, Pacific Green will be saved.
Outdoor Movies with the Greatest Views in the World
One of South Brooklyn's best events opens this Thursday night for its 14th season, as Movies with a View screens Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
How's that for a great start?
Each season features a theme and this year's "With Love from..." is a global tour of movies that take place in a specific city and make the city nearly a character in the film. Ferris Bueller definitely made Chicago look like a cool place to party.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy launched the film series 14 years ago and a volunteer committee of film lovers chooses the films. SyFy joined the mix six years ago as the presenting sponsor.
Starting in Chicago, the featured cities and films include Hong Kong (Enter the Dragon), London (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Rome (Roman Holiday), Detroit (8 Mile), Philadelphia (Rocky), San Francisco (Vertigo), and a location that the public will choose later in the summer. In line with the “With Love From…” theme, DJs from Brooklyn Radio will feature pre-movie music from the films’ locations. BAMcinématek will continue to curate short films to be shown before the feature each week.
The free film series takes place on the Harbor View Lawn of Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Music starts at 6:00 pm, and the films begin at sundown. Park concessionaires Blue Marble Ice Cream, Luke’s Lobster, No. 7 Subs, Lizzmonade Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar will be offering food and drink for purchase.
While in Red Hook yesterday, the NYC DOT stuck a flier under my windshield wiper with the glaring headline, "What's Happening Here?"
New Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, Increased Safety, Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, Atlantic Basin Connector, Improved Traffic Flow, Enhanced Waterfront Access -- It was throwing more boxed catch phrases than any store flyer I have ever seen.
What it was really saying through all the needless eye candy, is that beginning July 13th, DOT is improving traffic by converting narrow two-way streets to one-way in Red Hook AND adding two-way bike lanes to the streets..
Don't get me wrong, I know that the streets in Red Hook are narrow. But now cutting the routes in and out of a neighborhood is not always a good thing. Have any of these designers driven in Red Hook and gotten trapped on Van Brunt with a truck blocking the entire street?
The horribly designed flyer contained pictures of the existing Imlay Street and Conover Street without even saying which direction each will go. Imlay Street is one of the main streets used by residents and locals to avoid the truck traffic on Van Brunt. Assuming that it will go southbound, that means that the only way to get to Summit Street and Columbia Street by car is via Van Brunt Street. One real exit out of the neighborhood, except for Hamilton Avenue. It does not sound like a good plan.
I am no fan of the NYC DOT or its far reaching plans to remove car traffic from the streets.
Those of us who cannot travel by bicycle because of infirmities or the need to move equipment along our journeys are being villified and penalized by New York City. The DOT Commissioner has an "US against THEM" attitude.
BY the way, from NY Daily News in 2005 (unless it was changed, this flyer is not legal thing to do):
BUSINESSES THAT SLAP their handbill ads on car windshields are about to get slapped back a little harder. Starting tomorrow, a law signed by Gov. Pataki in August prohibits putting ads anywhere on a vehicle. The measure broadens a two-year-old state statute that made it illegal to place flyers and advertisement postcards on windshields, under wiper blades or rear windows. The law holds "any person or group whose name, telephone numbers or other identifying information" on the handbill liable. The fine will continue to be $75 for each handbill. Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said the stiffer rules will go a long way toward cutting littering by irate motorists who toss the ads onto the street. Motorists who find handbills can call the city's 311 hotline to alert the Sanitation Department, said department spokesman Keith Mellis.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Summer Pop Up Pool opens June 27!
Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy will be opening the Pop-Up Pool at Pier 2 at 10:00 am on June 27, the same day as all New York City public pools.
The Pool will be open for the second year from 10 am to 6 pm seven days a week through Labor Day and is free to enter. Sized at 30’ by 50’, 3.5 feet deep, the pool is ideal for families. The day is divided into 45-minute swim sessions that begin every hour, on the hour, with a maximum capacity of 60 people per session. Moderately priced learn-to-swim lessons will be available from 8 am to 10 am beginning in July. Children under four feet two inches must be accompanied by an adult.
The area immediately surrounding the pool, which will be serviced by a new concessionaire, Lizzmonade Brooklyn, is bordered by a sandy beach with lounge chairs, picnic tables, and umbrellas where visitors can rest, enjoy snacks, or soak up the sun from 10 am to 11 pm.
After 6 pm, the lemonades will lend themselves to fresh sangrias, locals craft beers will be on tap, and activities such as trivia and bocce ball will be hosted on-site.
Throughout the summer, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers a wealth of free entertainment along with its fabulous views and outdoor amenities.
Beginning July 11, Syfy Movies With A View begins its outdoor run of movies with Ferris Bueller's Day Off, one of our favorite high school movies, and an ode to Chicago.
The free, outdoor film series will take place on Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and will feature films from different cities around the globe. Running weekly through Thursday, August 29, the audience will be taken on a journey each week with feature films that take place in cities such as Hong Kong (Enter the Dragon), London (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Rome (Roman Holiday), Detroit (8 Mile), Philadelphia (Rocky), San Francisco (Vertigo), the afore mentioned Chicago (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and a location that the public will choose later in the summer.
This weekend, June 28 to 30th, In its second year at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Random Access Theatre Company presents an exciting spin on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Casey Cleverly.
Set in colonial Macau, this production explores Much Ado's wickedly enjoyable themes of love, intrigue, power, betrayal, and wit with a talented culturally diverse cast and a vivid Chinese/Portuguese inspired design concept. With lower Manhattan as the backdrop, the performances will be held each night at 7 p.m. at the Granite Prospect.
Nearly every day, the Park has activities and events including Youth Volleyball Clinics, Kayaking, and beginner's chess clinics.
New weekly events include Astronomy events with Volunteers from the Amateur Astronomers Association each Tursday (off on July 4th), Down to Earth Farmers Market each Sunday through November 24th, and Smorgasburg, an all-food market presented by the Brooklyn Flea, is back at the Tobacco Warehouse each Sunday through September 1.
For a full list of movies and their dates, and other events both in the park and around the area, visit Happenings on SBN.
In November 2012, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and its partners at the DUMBO Improvement District and Brooklyn Navy Yard designated a consortium led by WXY architecture + urban design as the winning team to develop a master plan to grow the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, an area where the tech sector currently employs 9,628 people, generates $3.1 billion of economic output, and is poised to double over the next three years.
Focused on the areas between Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Plan calls for enhancing workforce development, increasing the availability of affordable real estate, and improving transportation and placemaking. The Triangle is now home to nearly 10% of all tech firms citywide.
Speaking at an Association for a Better New York breakfast event held at NYU-Poly on June 18, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed outlined five key challenges identified in the study – as well as a number of new initiatives that are already being implemented as a result. Projects spearheaded by the Tech Triangle coalition include a new Master Lessee program, which would designate the Partnership to oversee a portfolio of long-term commercial leases; the B67 bus extension from Downtown and DUMBO that will go through the Navy Yard; a web developer training program and a clean-tech incubator to be located in Downtown Brooklyn.
Additionally, in order to create areas that are vibrant and attractive to tech and creative companies, the Plan includes a series of space improvements – from new cafes to an urban dog run to an ambitious plan for an observational hot air balloon overlooking the Tech TriangleThe initiatives were produced from a collaborative process led by wxy architecture + urban design and involving local tech firms, entrepreneurs, government representatives, real estate firms, residents, civic leaders, and educators.
One item discussed that we would love to see is the reopening of the Brooklyn Bridge anchorage in DUMBO/Fulton Ferry. Closed after 9/11, the anchorage was one of the most beautiful locations to view Manhattan. In the late 90's, I produced a 360° image with the World Trade Center and waited for one of the most incredible sunsets I had ever seen over the city.
The Smith Street Patanque Tournament transforms the street into a sand covered playground.
Bastille Day Party and Petanque Tournament on Smith Street: July 14, 2013 from 12PM-8PM
From: South Brooklyn Local Development Corp.(SBLDC)
Perhaps it was the size and scale of the buildings & streets, --maybe it was influenced by the character and interests of the people living nearby -- certainly it has been helped by the French/English Bi-Lingual Program at a local public elementary school -- but suddenly the neighborhoods off Smith Street have become peopled with Expats, many of them European, many of those French. Very quickly came the French Restaurants, Bistros, Patisseries, Hair Salons, and "Voila" the new merchants came to us with the idea to celebrate their day as is done in France. And we said "Pourquoi Pas?"
With the help of neighborhood resident John Quadrozzi, who for the past 11 years has been donating and spreading the sand with his trucks, the joie de vivre of our heroes at Bar Tabac, and the participation of many other Smith Street chefs, we produce the biggest Bastille Day party (the French equivalent of our 4th of July) and Petanque Tournament (click on the link to learn more about the game) outside of France in the world -- right here in Brooklyn.
The food & drink at this event comes from our own restaurants and shops on Smith Street. Competitors in the Petanque Tournament come from -- the neighborhood -- the NYC Metro Area --all over the world.
A Blast on Governors Island makes way for a park
With a series of explosions, the tallest building on Governors Island was imploded to make way for a softball field.
The abandoned apartment building was part of the housing for military families during the islands long tenure as a Coast Guard base.
It took just 10 seconds to bring the structure down.
Red Hook is one of @ 100 communities up for nomination in Benjamin Moore's Main St. Matters campaign
Cast Your Vote Online for Red Hook
When Benjamin Moore Paints announced the launching of “Main Street Matters,” an all-expense-paid program provided FREE to spruce up rows of properties located in twenty communities throughout North America, the Mazzone family immediately took it local to Brooklyn.
Mazzone Hardware, owned and operated by the Mazzone family
in Carroll Gardens since 1950, launched its own campaign to include Red Hook on the list of selected communities being considered for this great opportunity.
What’s needed now is for people to go online and vote for Red Hook. The twenty communities that will be chosen as the most in need of revitalization will be based solely on the amount of votes received.
Considering what the Red Hook community has suffered in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, this could be one more way we can all come to the aid of our neighbors in need. Just look at what Benjamin Moore is willing to do.
Benjamin Moore will not only provide the paint and supplies needed for facades, railings, and other exterior building trims, but will also provide color experts to consult on the best choices to enhance the architectural style, regional influences and historic references in each community. And in addition, this program will put local professional painters to work – again, all paid for by Benjamin Moore.
For years, my daughter and I have enjoyed "CircuSundays" on the Showboat Barge and Waterfront Museum. Now it is Manhattan's opportunity to see this great event.
The Showboat Circus offers old-time family entertainment and classical circus artistry aboard a century-old covered wooden barge. Featured in Tribeca this June are the rope tricks of Chris McDaniel, the masterful juggling of Jen Slaw, and the delightful songs and laughs of Ilene Weiss. Hosted by Captain David Sharps aboard his beautifully restored Lehigh Valley No. 79, the show offers a glimpse into an authentic NY Harbor showboat in the late 1800?s.
The Showboat Circus features:
Chris McDaniel – a cowboy rope artist. This world champion rope trickster with immense charm has performed at the Grand Ole Opry, on Late Night with David Letterman, and on the National Rodeo Circuit.
Jen Slaw – an award-winning female juggling genius fresh from David Letterman. Jen combines grace, humor, skill and beauty with an absolutely captivating style.
Ilene Weiss– a twinkling and tender gal-with-guitar presents an assortment of family friendly songs with a charm that is wildly hysterical and heart-warming, all in the same verse.
THE SHOWBOAT CIRCUS is part of the North River Historic Ship Festival June 20 - 23. The fifth annual ship festival features free public boat rides aboard the Tug Pegasus and the John J. Harvey Fireboat, and dockside tours of the steam-powered lighthouse tender LILAC and Lehigh Valley No. 79. Also featured are Outrigger Canoe Races at Pier 26. For more information on the Festival visit http://www.nrhss.org.
Hudson River Park's Pier 25 is located in Tribeca, Manhattan along West Street at N. Moore Street. Nearest subway stations are the Franklin Street stop on the 1 or Canal Street on the A/C/E (exit at Walker Street.) N. Moore Street is one block north of Franklin Street or a block south of Walker Street. Walk west on N. Moore to the pier.
The Waterfront Museum is housed aboard the only surviving wooden example of "The Lighterage Era" (1860 –1960) -- an era in transportation and commerce history when goods were transported by Tug & Barge across the NY Harbor. The Lehigh Valley No. 79 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Group Tours are available daily by appointment by calling 718 624 4719 or by visiting www.waterfrontmuseum.org.
Come enjoy waterfront breezes and views, see antique vessels docked at Tribeca?s new historic ship pier, marvel at the George Rhoades Ball Machine and view the original art exhibition entitled "Pollywogs & Shellbacks" – Marine Paintings by Frank Hanavan hanging on the barge?s walls.
Mayor Bloomberg in Red Hook
Tax Relief and Business Loans and Grants announced for Sandy Victims in NYC
Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Red Hook today to announce a $90 million property tax reduction for homes and businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
The reduction takes into account the damages, as well as the loss in market value following the storm.
"Since Hurricane Sandy struck, weve been doing everything possible to help homeowners and business owners whose properties were damaged," said Bloomberg. "The $90 million reduction will stay in the communities hit hardest by Sandy, helping families rebuild and supporting local businesses."
Giving his speech in the glamorous space at the end of Pier 41 in Red Hook, little can be seen here of the impact the superstorm had on the surrounding neighborhood. Red Hook suffered catastrophic flooding as the storm surge raced through the streets, inundating numerous homes and businesses. The resiliency of the residents has been remarkable.
The announcement today included the opening of the application process for the city's business and loan grant program, a part of the Federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief Program. The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated $1.77 billion in aid, with $293 million to be spent on business recovery programs:
• $72 million for business loans and grants
• $90 million for investments in business resiliency
• $90 million for "Game-Changer Investment Competition" to reward innovative ideas for spurring economic development in hard hit areas
• $41 million for a competition to develop resilient technologies
NYC Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh announced the opening of the process. "The city's low interest emergency loan and matching grant program has helped hundreds of small businesses get back on their feet. The federally funded business loan and grant program will help provide a boost to small businesses still working to recover from Sandy."
Business owners can find out more information about the application and other requirements by visiting nyc.gov
The bikes are just as bad as we thought they would be, but on Memorial Day in Brooklyn Heights, we did not see a single one outside of the racks. Plenty of people were looking and touching them, but not a soul on our 2-hour walk was aboard one of the blue monsters.
The stories in the newspapers on Tuesday gave some good and some bad.
The New York Post reported:
Even Mayor Bloomberg looked a bit unsteady as he hopped on one of the hulking blue behemoths after much goading for a photo op outside City Hall with DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Hizzoner warily straddled the bike for just 18 seconds — with his left foot firmly planted on the ground — and didn’t budge the wheels an inch.
The mayor quickly hopped off and passed the bike to Sadik-Khan, who expertly took it for a quick spin.
The New York Daily News reported:
Musician David Byrne was on hand for the rollout event, and said the program would appeal to avid cyclists who'd take advantage of the convenience of one-way trips.
"I own a bike, but I know there's time when this will be handy, like when you think it’s going to rain," said Byrne.
The New York Times reported:
By midafternoon, the passing flickers of blue were already ubiquitous — negotiating light taxi traffic in the West Village, hurtling through the protected lanes of Midtown, drifting toward the Brooklyn waterfront.
Definition of UBIQUITOUS: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly
We will withhold judgement and see where the bike program stands in a month. As is obvious, my complaint has always been the haphazard way the racks have been placed around our neighborhood. As pedestrians, we have been assailed with delivery men traveling the wrong way down our streets, dueling with riders in the crosswalks, and the total lack of courtesy by the existing riders.
Now we have CitiBike thrown at us. We will see.
A Parade returns to Red Hook!
Red Hook Earth and Surf Parade & The Red Hook Fest
It has been 11 years since the last Red Hook Earth and Surf Parade. Many local folks have been asking when there might be another. This seemed to be the year to celebrate Red Hook's rebirth with a parade!
Join with neighbors, friends, local businesses, organizations and schools and participate in the Red Hook Rebirth Parade on Saturday June 1st (rain date Sunday June 2nd). The parade will line up outside Coffey Park at 10 am and march through Red Hook's streets to Valentino Park and Pier.
This is a great way to remember how we became an even stronger community after Hurricane Sandy. Individuals, organizations, businesses, faith-based groups and/or schools can participate. Decorate your strollers, come on bikes, make your business vehicle into a float, paste spring flowers on your old hazmat suit or march with your organization! There are loads of creative people in Red Hook - let's take our strengths and talents to the street.
To register, please complete the Registration Form by using this link. If you have any questions, please contact our Community Organizer, Paulie Anne at email@example.com
For more information about the festival, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (718) 643-6790 or visit dtetc.com.
THE RED HOOK FEST
The 20th Annual Red Hook Fest (May 30-June 1, 2013). "Rebuild, Restore, Rebirth: Resilience after Sandy."
With our neighborhood and region still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, the Red Hook Fest is more important than ever.
DTE Red Hook Fest 2012 Selected Footage
The event features world class music and dance and fun activities for all ages (like free kayak rides in New York Harbor courtesy of the Red Hook Boaters).
Friday, May 31 @ PS 15 (71 Sullivan St.) enjoy an outdoor BBQ/Dance Party (6pm-9pm).
Saturday's Mainstage lineup ( June 1, 12pm-7pm @ Louis J. Valentino, Jr. Park & Pier) features:
Brown Rice Family, winners of WNYC’s Battle Of The Boroughs. An 8-piece world roots band, BRF’s sound incorporates elements of jazz, afrobeat, reggae, rock, Latin rhythms, hip-hop, and funk.
Gangstagrass, Emmy-nominated musicians behind the theme song for FX’s Justified, may be the world’s only “Rappalaichan” band, combining elements of hip-hip and bluegrass for a unique sound equal parts Jay Z and Ralph Stanley.
Camille A. Brown & Dancers is led by a Jamaica, Queens native who has choreographed everywhere from the Ailey Company to Broadway. “Gutsy. Wild. Smart. Original.” (Wendy Perron, Dance Magazine)
Avenida B, an oldschool Salsa Dura band out of the Lower East Side.
Nicholas Leichter Dance (“whose slippery, rhythmic style slides between street and classical”- Claudia La Rocco, New York Times) creates ecstatic cultural mash-ups with dancers who “move with ferocious abandon and clarity,” (Jennifer Dunning, NYT).
The Hungry March Band (“irrepressibly entertaining”-The New Yorker) opens the Festival, leading a raucous Red Hook Rebirth Parade through the areas of the ‘hood hit hardest by the storm. Parade begins at 10am.
As a photojournalist, this was too much to let go past.
Anthony Weiner announced through a YouTube video that he was jumping into the arena in the race for New York City mayor.
In a quirk of fate, I had to go to his first campaign event at the 125th Street subway station at Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem, greeting voters as they entered the station.
In this day and age, with media from every outlet - news, entertainment, blogs - you all know that it ended up as a media circus. The number of voters who actually got to shake his hand and speak to him were the digits on one hand.
The highlight of the morning was when a reporter showed him the Daily News that said "He's Got Some Balls" as an interior full page, not the cover of the paper, which Weiner pointed out.
In a time when the city faces multiple fiscal and social issues, is this the sideshow we really need?
Coming May 27th to numerous locations in New York City, thousands of new bike riders going the wrong way on one way streets, going through red lights and threatening pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks. All with the city's blessing.
The Citi Bike System goes operational on May 27th. With bike docks appearing all over town in the most ludicrous and dangerous locations, it seems another example of the anti-car, anti-pedestrian attitude of the current administration.
Who is policing this?
On Montague Street in the heart of Brooklyn Heights, a 100-foot section of street was filled with a bike dock, taking away parking places by the main Chase bank branch. The dock is positioned so bikes are removed out into traffic, further funneling car traffic into an even smaller and more dangerous corridor on a very busy street. You wonder who was the brilliant tactician for this invasion. D-day would have been an abject failure.
Maybe we are skeptical, maybe it will be a complete success. Yesterday's news of changing parking regulation signs above bike stations and ticketing the cars at the same time did not give anyone undying love of the DOT or the city. We are losing more and more parking to the bike docks.
The launch for annual members is Monday, May 27, as the 6,000-bike, 330-station system goes online for the 10,000 members already registered. June 2 is the target date for weekly and daily riders. Reading the FAQ page on their website is a little frightening.
Do I have to wear a helmet?
Citi Bike strongly encourages you to wear a helmet when you ride.
Along with their Citi Bike key, Annual Members will be provided with a manufacturer's coupon good for $10 off the purchase of a helmet at any New York City bike shop (find a list of bike shops by borough our Resources page). You can also call 311 to find out when NYC DOT is offering free helmet fittings.
The initial service area includes Manhattan below 59th Street and the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. So we in South Brooklyn will get the first results of this new endeavor.
NYU-Poly Research Expo Takes Over Brooklyn's MetroTech Plaza with Robots and more
As a newly minted class of engineers walk the stage at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) Commencement next week, New Yorkers will have an opportunity to walk into the future, as Downtown Brooklyn's MetroTech Plaza transforms for the university's first annual Research Expo.
The Expo will be highly interactive, showcasing 40 of the most promising research projects across all 10 NYU-Poly academic departments, as well as work from NYU-Poly's business incubators and outreach programs to boost science and technology learning in New York City public schools.
Visitors to the MetroTech commons will have the chance to interact with ground-, water-, and aerial-robots; peer beneath the murky surface of the Gowanus Canal; conjure up their own instant augmented reality experience, and more. The NYU-Poly Research Expo will take place on Monday, May 20, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at MetroTech Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn. The event is free and open to the public.
NYU-Poly President Dr. Katepalli R. Sreenivasan believes there's no better time to celebrate. "Commencement is about pride and accomplishment, and it is a time that many of our students feel very connected to the work they've done here in Brooklyn," he said. "It's fitting to use this opportunity to show the breadth and depth of our research, which isn't just about innovating in the lab—it's about designing practical solutions for the real world, and instilling a passion for science and engineering in the next generation."
Vikram Kapila , professor of mechanical engineering at NYU-Poly and one of the organizers of the Expo added, "This inaugural NYU-Poly Research Expo will present a wide range of research projects that will appeal to everyone from scholars to youngsters. From energy-harvesting building materials that have won international recognition, to math that demonstrates how timely therapeutic interventions can stop a cancer from spreading, and wireless monitors for epileptic seizures, this event will demonstrate the excitement of the life-changing science, math and engineering that can be found year-round at NYU-Poly."
The NYU-Poly Research Expo will feature the scholarly results of masters, doctoral and faculty research as well as family-friendly exhibits such as:
• An opportunity to design, build and "drive" robotic fish, learning how size, shape and tail motion can attract or repel live fish.
• CAESAR, a humanoid robot-head that can engage with people by following their moving faces, recognizes faces and greets visitors. CAESAR may someday aid the disabled.
• Create your own augmented reality experience through a revolutionary new mobile app, and see an object of your choice—from a Tyrannosaurus Rex to a roller coaster—appear on the MetroTech commons.
• Want to know what's really in the Gowanus Canal? Check out Brooklyn Atlantis, a submersible robot that is demystifying the site and offering everyday people the chance to contribute to scientific research.
• A newly-patented fiber optic sensor may be the future of home security. Visitors can test the sensor in action, and learn how it may safely monitor not just homes, but airplanes, spacecraft, and even oil spills.
• Taxi! An award-winning mobile app created by Weeels, a startup at one of NYU-Poly's business incubators. The app is revolutionizing the hail and making ride-sharing affordable and social.
• A new wireless video game controller will move much more than virtual characters—it's part of a project to devise new therapies for stroke victims.
The 100th Anniversary of Ebbetts Field: Brooklyn On Site
This year marks Ebbets Field's 100th Anniversary. Earlier this month, die-hard Brooklyn Dodger fans celebrated the anniversary of our borough’s beloved baseball park of yesteryear at an event hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Baseball and borough historians gave lectures on the lasting legacy of the Dodgers, and long-time Brooklynites shared their Ebbets Field memories.
This is an entertaining video with great stories of the park that everyone wishes was still in the heart of Brooklyn.
Library Crisis in New York City
The Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is in dire disrepair and there is no money available in the near future to help the situation. In a letter just received from BPL's Linda E. Johnson, President & CEO, the organization is taking steps to alleviate the problems and develop a plan to bring a new library building to the same location:
"BPL is not closing the Brooklyn Heights Library. In fact, we are developing a plan to build a new, better, more modern library of comparable size to the public portion of the current branch, so that we can serve the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood for generations to come."
According to the same letter, the BPL "faces a staggering $230 million in deferred maintenance across the 60 neighborhood libraries (including $9 million in capital repairs needed at Brooklyn Heights Library), but has received $15 million per year on average from the City to address these needs."
The Friends of Christ Church Cobble Hill (FCCCH), a recently formed group whose purpose is to support and participate in the future uses of the historic church closed after a lightning strike July 2012 is holding a Cabaret fundraiser, “Spring Up: Bizet to Broadway”, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm at 75 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights. The cost is $75 per person and includes a cocktail hour with dessert following the performances.
An exciting cast of singers who have performed nationally and internationally including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the Vertical Player Repertory, Broadway musicals, the Brooklyn Heights Players and the Canoni Chorale has volunteered their talent to support Christ Church. Don Barnum, the Cabaret’s Music Director, organized the event.
"After lightning struck Christ Church last summer, the community was faced with its potential loss. Neighbors have come together to support and restore the church through the formation of Friends of Christ Church Cobble Hill (FCCCH)," explained Gary Ravert, a founding board member of FCCCH. "We hope this event will serve to inform and involve the many people in brownstone Brooklyn who have expressed concern for this vital historical institution and want it to remain an integral part of the community for another 175 years."
The building is undergoing repairs in compliance with the NYC Department of Buildings statutes and code. It has been stabilized in a safe manner and interior and exterior scaffolding has been erected. Its iconic bell tower has been dismantled.
"Christ Church is one of the handsomest pieces of architecture I know, much admired by many of us," said Ben Baxt, an architect and board member of FCCCH. "But the displacement of the more than 40 community groups who use the church is the true indication of how important Christ Church is to the community as a cultural and social resource, as well as a place for inspiration."
Father Ron T. Lau, Rector of Christ Church, said he has been heartened by the outpouring of support from the community including the FCCCH and the clergy and congregants of the Kane Street Synagogue and Sacred Hearts, St. Stephens Church.
“We look forward to the day when our beautiful church can be reopened to our parishioners and for cultural and community events; when the sounds of our tolling church bell can be heard throughout the neighborhood, when our majestic church spires can serve as a guide to Cobble Hill and our garden can provide beauty and peace, said Father Lau.
For information about FCCCH, to purchase tickets or make a donation, go to FCCCH.org.
Fairway reopens in an emotional moment for Red Hook
Four months after Hurricane Sandy, Fairway Market made its grand debut in a celebration featuring large crowds and luminaries from the city, state and federal government.
"Fairway ushered in the rebirth of Red Hook, and its reopening is a milestone in the neighborhood's physical, emotional and economic recovery from Hurricane Sandy," said Senator Chuck Schumer. His presence at the event gave weight to the importance of the business' return to the ravaged area.
Even Mayor Bloomberg made his way across the river to keynote the event.
"Red Hook has always been defined by its place on our waterfront - during good times and bad - but it's also been defined by incredible toughness and resiliency," said Mayor Bloomberg.
The event drew hundreds to the newly cleared parking lot in front of the store, which even yesterday, was full of machinery completing the rebuilding of nearly every piece of infrastructure to run the business.
Vendors handed out free samples to the crowd, giving a feeling of a street fair.. The throngs gave it the feeling of a "Black Friday" shopping event, lining up at 7am to be the first to enter the new store.
Borough President Marty Markowitz put it best. "Since Hurricane Sandy, Fairway's absence in Red Hook left Brooklynites with an emptiness in their daily routines - and their refrigerators."
Since the store opened in 2006 in the sprawling brick Civil War-era building, it became the lifeblood of the neighborhood. Its loss devastated many of the small businesses along Van Brunt Street, losing a steady stream of visitors to the area.
Fairway's loyalty to its employees and the area was cemented during the last four months. Hundreds of Red Hook Fairway employees, the majority of whom live in the neighborhood, were kept on staff, with some working on the store's cleanup while others were placed temporarily in other Fairway Market locations, according to Charles Santoro, Fairway Market Chairman. The company even provided free shuttle service to and from the transportation-challenged neighborhood.
As part of a continuing effort to help the community, Fairway Market is teaming with ReStore Red Hook, a non-profit which is providing funds directly to small businesses damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Fairway will donate matching funds up to $20,000.
In an exclusive interview in today's New York Daily News, SUNY Chairman Carl McCall paints a doomsday picture for the Long Island College Hospital (LICH).
The Cobble Hill hospital celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008, and now just five-years later, faces the prospect of closing its doors forever.
Hopes were high when LICH became a part of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. According to McCall's statements in the Daily News, the struggling hospital "was not a sound acquisition." With consistent monetary losses, the SUNY trustees will vote within a month on whether to close LICH.
The Hospital has struggled in the gentrified area as new residents of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill consistently stayed with their Manhattan doctors and hospitals. The addition of a pediatric Emergency Room was well perceived within the neighborhoods, and the SUNY trustees may keep those services available.
Founded in 1858 as a medical school and hospital, LICH was the first U.S. medical school to incorporate bedside teaching to its students in 1860. Its early achievements included the introduction of anesthetia and stethoscopes.
The EPA's plan for the cleanup of the Gowanus Canal is another session of dredging to remove contaminated sediment and preventing raw sewage overflows.
What will this cost? The estimate is somewhere between $467 and $504 million, which we have learned that in real non-government money, means $1 billion after cost overruns and underestimates.
Who pays for this cost at the Superfund site? The two main responsible parties according to the EPA are National Grid and the City of New York. So our electric bills and city taxes are going to be used for cleanup.
The proposed plan breaks the cleanup and the canal into three sections with distinct actions in each area.
The first segment, which runs from the top of the canal to 3rd Street, and the 2nd segment, which runs from 3rd Street to just south of the Hamilton Avenue Bridge, contain the worst of the contaminants. As this is the main body of the canal, it is kind of a ridiculous statement, but hey, it is a government report.
The third segment, which runs from the Hamilton Avenue Bridge to the mouth of the canal and into Gowanus Bay, will receive an "armored layer" of concrete or similar material to stabilize the sediment and a layer of sand to rebuild the habitat for marine life.
Between the three segments, the EPA estimates the removal of 588,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments. That is a pile 3 feet wide by 3 feet high stretching 334 miles, the distance from New York to just outside Richmond, Virginia.
What is in this sediment? Here is the official line from the EPA:
"More than a dozen contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals, including mercury, lead and copper, were found at high levels in the sediment in the Gowanus Canal. PAHs and heavy metals were also found in the canal water. PAHs are a group of chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage or other organic substances. PCBs were used as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment and their manufacture was banned in 1979. PCBs and PAHs are suspected to be cancer-causing and PCBs can have neurological effects as well."
The problems also are not just in the water. Completed in the mid-1800s, the Gowanus Canal was once a major industrial transportation route. Manufactured gas plants, paper mills, tanneries and chemical plants are among the many facilities that operated along the canal. Contaminated land sites along the canal, including three former manufactured gas plants, are being addressed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Third Avenue and Third Street is to become the location of the newest Whole Foods superstore. The EPA ruled that the company had cleaned the site enough to begin construction, but then Hurricane Sandy struck and flooded the property. No one has stated that it was water from the canal, but are we ready to buy food from a store at this location?
We have a chance to discuss this publicly and listen to the parties involved. The EPA will hold public meetings on January 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at Public School 58 (the Carroll School), 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn and on January 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Joseph Miccio Community Center, 110 West 9th Street, Brooklyn to discuss the proposed plan and answer questions.
Once you listen, The EPA will accept public comments on its proposed plan until March 28, 2013.
Watch the ceremony for the start of B2 at Atlantic Yards.........
WORLD'S TALLEST AND CITY'S FIRST MODULAR HIGH RISE: B2 GROUNDBREAKING AT ATLANTIC YARDS
When we first saw this story, the immediate question was "Why B2?"
It sounds so weird. "Where do you live?" -- "Oh I live in B2"
So when it was compared to a Lego set, the name sort of fits. Is B2 that piece that you can never find that keeps you from finishing the entire project?
A modular building. It does sound so futuristic and sort of cheap. All the politicians were there for the groundbreaking, with Mayor Bloomberg leading the charge calling the new building "innovative" and "changing the way cities are built in the future."
The pieces will be first constructed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and trucked to the Atlantic Yards site where the piece will be added to the overall B2 development. Fores City Ratner, the developer of Atlantic Yards, has created a new company called FC +Skanska Modular, LLC (FCS Modular) that will build the modular components ina 100,000 square-foot space located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said, "This groundbreaking is the first down payment on the promise of affordable housing in the Atlantic Yards Project. It is only fitting that today’s ceremony comes during the holiday season, as the provision of affordable housing and the innovative modular construction process - which will assuredly be a major new job provider for Brooklynites who need work most - are both wonderful gifts for Brooklyn. The B2 development will help ensure that Brooklyn continues to be a perfect home for those of all economic backgrounds, and preserves our unique cultural identity. Bravo to Bruce Ratner and his team at Forest City Ratner for their unwavering commitment to affordable housing in Brooklyn."
This will be a project to watch. Will it look like a Lego set or will it look classy? We will wait and see.
New York City handed out $250,000 in grants to seven community-based Business Improvement Districts to spur change.
Launched in June, BID Challenge is a competitive grant initiative that provides more than $250,000 in seed funding for the most innovative neighborhood improvement proposals in Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across New York City. The program awards up to $75,000 to BIDs with annual assessment budgets under $1 million.
So with our tax money at work, the Atlantic Avenue BID came up with "Funderpass." Atlantic Avenue BID
Brooklyn Heights/Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill
The Atlantic Avenue BID will partner with the Design Trust for Public Space to redesign and program the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway underpass to draw pedestrian traffic from the newly completed and popular Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 6. The project will include a bike service station, seating, lighting improvements, prominent wayfinding signage, and wall murals.
The BID has also secured a maintenance partnership with Long Island Hospital to keep the space clean and will create a website that describes the potential to replicate this transformation on similar underpasses citywide.
The New Brooklyn Bridge! Finally, A Waterfront Connection to the Heights
With two lanes and no cars, the Squibb Park Bridge will be one of the most used and important spans in Brooklyn history. For the first time in generations, a direct link will be available in the part of the Heights totally cut off from the waterfront by the BQE!
It will also create a direct method of travel to the new Brooklyn Bridge Park by Subway riders, putting the closest station less than 10 minutes away.
In today's NY Post, local officials praised the announcement:
"This bridge marks a milestone in the transformation of our waterfront," said Borough President Marty Markowitz. "It will make people watching on the other side of the river green with envy."
"This is going to be fabulous for our community," said Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association.
"Pedestrian connectivity is the challenge of the next generation," said Ted Zoli, technical director for bridges at HNTB. "In an urban environment it makes less and less sense for pedestrians to take back seat."
Initial plans called for a straight and steep shot descending between the property lines of two development parcels. But Zoli saw an opportunity in an abandoned little sliver of green between the BQE and Furman Street below. The designer proposed a meandering path that would take visitors out into the tree tops of the small sliver, then track back across Furman at an angle, before turning again to clear the property lines of the parcels. The bridge then takes a sharp turn north before merging into a landscaped slope and, eventually, the park itself. The extra turns make the 400-foot-long expanse particularly wheelchair-friendly, allowing for a 5 percent grade drop from a 32 foot height.
The bridge will be built off-site and installed for opening next summer. The bridge sounds like the perfect addition to the waterfront, adding a touch usually seen in walkways in nature preserves or above wetlands.
The waterfront will only get better.
TimeWarner ups your bill by $3.95 if you use their Internet Service in Brooklyn (and I'm sure other locales)
When the mysterious $3.95 raise in my TimeWarner bill occurred, I was aware and just hadn't done anything to stop it, and didn't realize it would happen so fast. I could kick myself.
Our wonderful cable company sent out postcards about a month ago saying "if you use TimeWarner for your Internet connection, you must now pay a monthly lease payment for our cable modem."
I don't know about the rest of you, but this really just seemed like a punch in the face from the company that I have no choice but to use. The only other option I have is dish network and Verizon DSL, which in the long run, I suppose is an option. But we will never get FIOS in this part of Brooklyn, that seems to be written in stone by the Verizon gods.
So the crappy little Westell modem that has been replaced 3 times in my house because of how cheap and unreliable it is, will now cost me $47 a year plus whatever extraordinary taxes they add on that amount on a TimeWarner bill.
I placed an order from Amazon this morning for one of the modems that they tell me I can use in it's place. I would rather pay Amazon than TimeWarner.
Sandy and Small Business - The Casualties Mount Ever Higher
Christine Quinn, NYC Council Speaker, ventured to Brooklyn this week to announce a new city program to urge residents to shop at businesses devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The ads are underway and the website is live now at supportnycsmallbusiness.com.
This week in Red Hook, lunch was brisk at Hope and Anchor, but around the devastated areas, restaurants and businesses are failing at a terrible rate. The businesses in these areas need our help during this holiday season. For some, the loss of revenue around the holidays is a death sentence.
We are much like a small town in Brooklyn. The community has rallied in a way that surprised some, but not all. The people we meet around Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, DUMBO.....They all care intensely about their neighbors and how to keep this area as beautiful and viable as possible. Government will not bring us back, the community will.
From Brooklyn Independent Television's BIT Specials: Brooklyn Storms Back.
From the first-hand accounts of displaced homeowners and struggling artists, to the tireless work of local community organizations,Brooklyn Storms Back highlights the stories and heroic efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.
This is amazing coverage of what is actually happening in the devastated areas around Brooklyn. The personal stories are moving and giving us all a true understanding of how bad the devastatiton really is. It also gives an understanding of how the community has come together to help in ways that the government cannot.
The personal stories of Red Hook residents are harrowing. David Sharps speaks on camera about riding out the storm aboard the Waterfront Museum & Barge at the foot of Conover Street. After his wife and daughters abandoned ship, he watched as "the monster storm" overwhelmed the area. Carolina Salguero, PortSide Founder and Director, helped bring back the Internet to the neighborhood so residents could file claims. RestoreRedHook.org was begun by Leisah Swinson and Monica Byrne of Home/Made Wine Bar and Roquette Catering & Special Events, Matt Lewis of Baked, St. John Frizzell of Fort Defiance, and others to help the small businesses in ways that are above gaining more debt.
It is a testament to the small business teamwork that takes place in a neighborhood like Red Hook.
Trolley in Red Hook in the 90's
Free Saturday Trolleys to connect Brooklyn Bridge Park and Barclays Center
Kudos to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership with their plan announced today for FREE Saturday trolley service connecting Brooklyn Bridge Park and Barclays Center.
The looping, mile-long route starts at Boerum Place and runs east along Livingston Street, then down Flatbush Avenue, passing the Barclays Center arena.
It then loops north, briefly weaving through Fort Greene and passing by the Brooklyn Academy of Music district.
The route then heads back downtown, west along Fulton Street to Joralemon Street and south on Court Street before ending back at Boerum Place, passing the Fulton Mall, Borough Hall, Junior’s Restaurant and other attractions.
Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, has long been a forward thinker for Brooklyn. What better way to think forward, than grab something from the past that never should have disappeared. Between 1888 and 1940, Brooklynites got around via first horse-drawn and then electric trolleys that ran on tracks in the street — so much so that the Dodgers' name was based on local residents skillfully "dodging" trolleys while crossing bustling streets.
Over the past 20 years, the possibility of bringing light rail or trolleys back to downtown Brooklyn has come up over and over again. With the resurgence of Red Hook and its lack of public transportation, the use of trolleys has been studied and at one point, seemed like a real possibility when Bob Diamond rebuilt part of the line running behind the current Fairway store to Conover Street. That expansion ended in the late 90's with the cars still sittlng behind the Fairway store, exposed to the elements and rotting away.
More than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the EPA released information that "there were high levels of bacteria in the flood waters of the Gowanus Canal."
In a newsletter from New York City Councilmember Brad Lander, he states:
As Hurricane Sandy approached our community, I reached out to US EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck and NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland. The two agencies commited to do testing in Gowanus following the storm and to work together to address the impacts. My office connected the EPA to some of the affected businesses and residents and, on October 31st, the EPA took water samples from the ground floor of two buildings that were flooded directly from the canal.
We now have the EPA test results. There were high levels of bacteria in the flood water, which means anyone doing cleanup should take precautions recommended by the EPA (if you have specific questions, please contact my office). Thankfully, the toxic chemicals in the Gowanus Canal were not found at dangerous levels in flooded businesses near the canal.
Is this a surprise? Not really. But it is troubling, as those of us around the flooded areas cleaned out our locations without bio-hazard gear because no one in government thought it might be a prudent precaution. The Gowanus Canal flows into Gowanus Bay which flows into New York Harbor at Red Hook. So whatever is in the canal more than likely is in Red Hook. No wonder the guys cleaning out Fairway were wearing bio hazard suits. Those of us across the street were not.
What were the EPA guidelines? Levels of bacteria were high. While this type of bacteria becomes inactive over time, these findings reinforce the need for people to protect themselves when cleaning up flood waters that contain sewage and therefore contain bacteria. When you click the link for the EPA guidelins, the resulting EPA.gov/Sandy website tells you nearly nothing about protecting yourself during cleanup. But it does tell us "the first and immediate priority is the protection of people's health and their safety."
When you click on "Fact sheets on flooded buildings, mold cleanup, household hazardous waste, lead paint, NJ & NY hotlines, and more," the resulting page (http://www.epa.gov/sandy/factsheets.html) lists nothing about what to do for coming into contact with bacteria.
SouthBrooklyn.net has long been involved with the Gowanus Canal and the area. Having a Superfund site in the neighborhood is not something we have been proud of. In the 20 years we have lived here, nearly nothing has been done about the toxicity of the canal. Yes it was dredged and the flushing tunnel was worked on. But now that we have had a major flood from the canal, what does that mean for the residents who have moved to its shores as the developers moved in?
Councilmember Lander ends his newsletter with:
That is why I called on the Lightstone Group, a developer who has proposed building a 700 unit residential building on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, to withdraw the proposal until a forward-looking planning process can take place. We must figure out what infrastructure improvements are needed all along the canal to contain flood waters. We need to think about how many new residents the neighborhood can handle and what additional services they will need. And we need to decide which areas make sense for private uses and which should be reserved for everyone. That can’t happen on a piecemeal, building-by-building basis.
We hope that this is the case and that we are not going to place more residents into harms way.
MAYOR BLOOMBERG LAUNCHES NYC RESTORE, A COMPREHENSIVE NEW INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE ONE-STOP LOCATIONS FOR CITY RECOVERY SERVICES AND FEDERAL DISASTER RELIEF
Seven NYC Restoration Centers, Located in Far Rockaway, Breezy Point, Coney Island, Red Hook, Gravesend and Staten Island
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched NYC Restore, a comprehensive effort to connect residents and businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy with financial, health, environmental, nutritional and residential services, as well as Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) reimbursement processing. The initiative consists of seven NYC Restoration Centers, accessible, neighborhood offices located in the communities that were hit the hardest to provide long-term assistance to New Yorkers. The centers located in Far Rockaway, Gravesend, Coney Island and Staten Island open today, while the Centers in Red Hook, Breezy Point and Throggs Neck-Pelham Bay will open later in the week.
The Restoration Centers bring together information and referral to all of the City government services available in the aftermath of the storm. FEMA staff is onsite to perform benefits intake, as well as provide ongoing management and updates of applicants’ FEMA cases. NYC Restore also partners with non-profit community-based organizations including SCO Family Services, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Catholic Charities of Brooklyn & Queens, Jewish Board of Children & Family Services, Catholic Charities Community Services – Staten Island, FEGS, Good Shepherd Services, Red Hook Initiative, Shorefront Y and Bronxworks to provide support services in the Restoration Centers.
The moon and Jupiter are putting on a wonderful show here at the end of November 2012. They are near each other for some nights, with a penumbral eclipse of the moon on the morning of November 28 for North American observers (evening of November 28 in Asia), and with the moon and Jupiter closest on the night of November 28. You won’t want to miss seeing the moon and Jupiter – the brightest and second-brightest orbs of evening – lighting up the nighttime from dusk until dawn.
Why is Jupiter so bright and so near the November full moon?
Next week, on December 2-3, 2012, Earth will pass between the sun and Jupiter. Our own movement in orbit is what’s placing Jupiter opposite the sun in our sky – or, as astronomers say, at opposition. A full moon is opposite the sun, too. It must be, in order to have its fully lighted face – or day side – turned in our direction. Moon opposite the sun. Jupiter opposite the sun. So Jupiter has to be near this November full moon. Read more about Jupiter’s 2012 opposition here.
By the way, the upcoming opposition of Jupiter on December 2-3 will be the closest opposition of Jupiter until the year 2021. Read more about Jupiter’s closeness at the 2012 opposition here.
The moon and Jupiter soar upward during the evening hours, climb highest in the sky around midnight, and sink low in the west by morning dawn. So if you wish to see Jupiter, the giant planet of our solar system, simply look for the full or nearly full moon and note the very bright starlike object nearby. You can’t miss it.
Brooklyn Nets take on the Knicks in start of a new cross-town rivalry
For the first time in many years, I sat and watched an NBA game on television and found myself wishing that I was at Barclays Center for the first meeting of the Knicks and the BROOKLYN Nets.
How anyone could have been against the building of the arena is beyond me. It has placed Brooklyn into the pantheon of world class venues with the chance for a world championship to take place at any given moment.
As a sports photographer through the 90's, I photographed the Knicks and the New Jersey Nets. Going to the Meadowlands never felt like a cross-town rivalry. The Nets were always from another state and were never given the credibility of a big city team. They played in a swamp. The Brooklyn Nets are in the center of the universe.
As the game goes on, it's not Manhattan that gets showcased, it's the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn feels like its own city.
Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to reopen for New Year; Portside New York needs your help!
According to today's New York Post, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is on track to reopen for debarkations by late December.
The terminal, lacated just below the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, was completely inundated by Hurricane Sandy. The Queen Mary 2 was at the terminal the day before the storm struck New York City.
Since the storm, all scheduled dockings in Brooklyn have been moved to Manhattan's west side cruise terminals.
The Red Hook waterfront took a beating during the storm. The damage at the cruise ship terminal is another example of the devastation that took place.
Red Hook's Portside New York reported minor damage to their flagship, the Mary Whalen, which rode out the storm at the inshore end of Pier 9B in the Red Hook Container Terminal. They are in need of a marine electrician and probably a new transformer. Their shorepower transformer was inundated and have a short in the ship's electrical system.
During this difficult time in Red Hook, the community has come together in a way we can all be proud of. The number of volunteers who have come to help clean up the debris and damage has been remarkable.
Help PortSide by volunteering this Sunday 11/18 1-6pm. They need to empty a flooded storage area and wash it out, and tidy up the tanker. People with TWIC cards are REALLY wanted as current port rules limit Portside to only 5 non-TWIC card holders. RSVP by calling Carolina Salguero at 917-414-0565.
Join the Red Hook community on Wednesday, November 21st at 7pm @ The Bell House for a benefiit night of music and square dancing. The evening starts out with a square dance with the NYC Barn Dance, followed by musical performances by John Pinamonti, Jesse Lenat, Alex Battles and the Brotherhood of the Whiskey Spitter Rebellion, and our headliner Rosanne Cash!
Also, there will be a screening of Michael Buscemi's film "B61."
The show will benefit Restore Red Hook (restoreredhook.org). Restore Red Hook aims to raise funds to help the small businesses of Red Hook, Brooklyn reopen their doors as soon as possible after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. From the restaurants, bars, and vintage shops to the corner bodegas, these businesses define and serve our community. Tickets are $30 and are available here.
This week's hour-long Brooklyn Storms Back special features stories about Brooklyn artists, businesses and volunteer relief efforts from Red Hook to Coney Island, as well as original video content contributed by the local community.
From Brooklyn Independent Television's BIT Special: Brooklyn Storms Back, episode 2. Original air date: 11/26/2012
From the first-hand accounts of displaced homeowners and struggling artists, to the tireless work of local community organizations, Brooklyn Storms Back highlights the stories and heroic efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.
In case you missed it, we want to point you to last week's Brooklyn Storms Back special, which featured stories on Fairway in Red Hook, Occupy Sandy, the Coney Island recovery, the DUMBO business response, animal rescue efforts, and much more.
Launched by BRIC (Brooklyn Information & Culture) in 2006, Brooklyn Independent Television (BIT) is the only television programming devoted to the borough of Brooklyn. Composed of more than a dozen programs, BIT explore Brooklyn’s every corner; with coverage of issues including public affairs, arts and culture, health and sports, and business, and much more.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden report on Hurricane Sandy...
By BBG Staff
Four days after the worst of the storm hit Brooklyn, the newly reopened Garden was full of visitors and goodwill, suffused with the sort of community spirit that seems to catch New Yorkers by surprise after winter’s first snowfall. On Sunday, birdwatchers documented 26 visiting species, families enjoyed drop-in children’s activities, and a group of visitors practiced calming yoga and meditation in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium. Immediately following the storm, the BBG horticulture team jumped into action to clear major areas and make the Garden safe for visitors, and we were happy to be able to offer a place of beauty and refuge.
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy remains amply evident in the piles of brush and downed trees lining paths and areas of the Garden that remain cordoned off for visitor safety. Though the Garden was lucky to be spared more extensive damage, the storm’s impact was substantial. In the Osborne Garden, a line of 80-year-old little-leaf lindens (Tilia cordata) lie on their sides, roots exposed. In other parts of the Garden, several large pin oaks (Quercus palustris), fruit trees (Prunus species), and a historically significant Chinese parasol tree (Firmiana simplex) were destroyed.
The past few years have been particularly tough for New York City’s green spaces. Droughty summers and early, wet snows have created challenges only compounded by a series of major storms that have struck the area—the worst snowstorm in 60 years, an unprecedented tornado, and two hurricanes, the last one of nearly unimaginable magnitude. In recent years, BBG has lost or sustained major damage to more than 100 mature trees and shrubs, all of which were historically and botanically significant. Replacing them will require care for generations to come. The good news is that, however distressing the losses, we can plan for the future and start again. Times like this remind us that plants, trees, and gardens are about renewal. Seeds and saplings will be nurtured and the collection will rebound.
Meanwhile, post-storm cleanup continues. On Monday, four arborists hoisted themselves into treetops (to heights that lifts can’t reach) to assess crown damage and remove hanging limbs so that teams can work safely below. Where trees have fallen, staff are sectioning and chipping them into a mountain of future mulch for BBG’s collections. Cleanup work will be ongoing through the next month, and restricted areas of the Garden will reopen as they are cleared. We plan to post additional blog items as the cleanup proceeds.
The Musical EXTRAVAGANZA to restore RED HOOK
Announcing a wonderful, exciting benefit show next week.
Join us on Wednesday, November 21st at 7pm @ The Bell House for a night of music and square dancing. The evening starts out with a square dance with the NYC Barn Dance, followed by musical performances by John Pinamonti, Jesse Lenat, Alex Battles and the Brotherhood of the Whiskey Spitter Rebellion, and our headliner Rosanne Cash!
Also, there will be a screening of Michael Buscemi's film "B61."
The show will benefit Restore Red Hook (restoreredhook.org). Restore Red Hook aims to raise funds to help the small businesses of Red Hook, Brooklyn reopen their doors as soon as possible after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. From the restaurants, bars, and vintage shops to the corner bodegas, these businesses define and serve our community.
We need help from inside and outside Red Hook to help rebuild our neighborhood for business owners, residents, and everyone else who loves our little seaside town.
Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 7:00 PM EST (6:00 PM Doors)
The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY
21 years and over
MAYOR BLOOMBERG EXTENDS EMERGENCY ORDER FOR ODD-EVEN LICENSE PLATE SYSTEM FOR GASOLINE PURCHASES
Odd-Even System Helped Stabilize Fuel Purchasing; 30 Percent of Gas Stations Still Not Operating Going into Heavy Travel Week
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today extended the emergency order that established an odd-even license plate system for gasoline and diesel purchases to keep the system in place through this Friday. Hurricane Sandy caused significant flooding and damage to petroleum infrastructure throughout the tri-state area, forcing terminals and distribution networks in the region to close. The odd-even license plate system – which went into effect on Friday, November 9th – helped reduce wait times at gas stations and helped stabilize fuel purchases throughout the five boroughs. An estimated 30 percent of gas stations in the city still are not operating, and the coming week is historically one of the heaviest travel weeks of year.
Yesterday, I went to the BP station on 4th Avenue in Park Slope, pulled up to the pump, filled my car and was not asked by anyone what my license number was. The car behind me had an even number (it was an odd day) and no one said a word to him while he pumped his gas. There were no police, there was no one watching or overseeing the opearation.
Great story about Red Hook in the Gotham Gazette. Writer Sarah Crean puts forth great information:
"Red Hook provides a real world window into the vulnerability of coastal residents, and the urgency of planning for future storms. Residents and workers described five feet of water — above ground level — that poured into the neighborhood. The water, said New York Water Taxi employee and neighborhood resident James Caldwell “went to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel intakes and all the way to the Gowanus.”"
NY Aquarium at Coney Island and the Prospect Park Zoo: How the animals fared the storm
At the NY Aquarium in Coney Island, Hurricane Sandy caused devastating damage. Miraculously, nearly all the fish survived. Saltwater flooded everything, destroying much of the electrical equipment used to power life support systems.
But like everyone else, the Aquarium staff has done an amazing job in a harsh situation. We first read about the Aquarium immediately after the strom when Salon.com wrote about Mitik, the 234-pound Walrus calf, who staff stayed with during the storm. Mitik had been rescued off the Alaska coast and arrived at the aquarium with serious health problems. Prior to the storm, NY Aquarium was one of the few locations to house walruses across the country. Mitik weathered the storm and has become a rock star of the walrus world thanks to the NY Times and NBC news. (Watch the report from NBC News).
The NY Aquarium is closed indefinitely while repairs are underway. To learn more, visit their website: nyaquarium.com
The NY Aquarium is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society's four zoos in New York City. Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn has reopened to visitors, as have the Bronx Zoo and Queens Zoo. Prospect Park Zoo, located on the east side of the park, is back open. The Zoo itself suffered
little damage, but the park in general is another story. According to ProspectPark.org: "The damage to Prospect Park from Hurricane Sandy far exceeds what any storm has done to the Park in the 25 year history of the Prospect Park Alliance. Over 300 trees are down or so badly damaged that they will be taken down for safety. There were over 100 hanging limbs and almost 1,000 large branches and limbs are down or damaged."
As we all move forward post-Sandy, the damage will be with us for a long time. But at least we know that the animals will still be there to entertain and amaze another generation of New Yorkers. Thanks to all the staff of the zoos and aquariums. You amaze us!
No help from the MTA
Today's NY Post reports that the MTA will not give monthly metrocard users any extra days on their cards like they did for the commuter railroads. Just another slap in the face from an organization that acts more and more like it hates the people who most use their system.
This comes right after a hearing at the Brooklyn Marriott the day of the Nor'easter to address fare hikes. How inappropriate.
Beginning today, November 12, the Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel will be opened to buses only, during specific time frames.
Manhattan bound bus travel will be permitted from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM, and Brooklyn bound bus travel will be permitted from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
The tunnel is not currently open to private vehicles.
With today's holiday, Post offices and other government buildings are closed. City offices are closed. New York City public schools are closed. Sanitation will collect recycling and garbage scheduled for Monday. At the same time, the Department will continue to clean up debris from Hurricane Sandy. Alternate Side Parking rules are suspended; all other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.
What to do with recycling when there are no pickups?
Recycling Pickups begin Sunday; New York City Rapid Repair announced; Alternate Side Parking suspended through Wednesday.
November 10, 2012:
What happens when you realize over 70% of your garbage is recycling and they stop pickups? Recycling took over my house. It was astonishing how skipping two pickups caused a pile to grow that I could not control. And it is bulky. Maybe the milk in a bag idea that I saw in Canada isn't such a bad idea.
Between all the drink bottles and plastic cleaning bottles, the sheer size is daunting. So we were all especially glad when the city announced that RECYCLYING PICKUPS RESUME SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11! Sunday will be pickup for anyone regularly scheduled for Saturday, and Sanitiation workers will pickup Monday instead of taking the Veteran's Day Holiday.
Spent yesterday in Red Hook once more. Saw volunteers, EPA people, but hardly anyone from New York City government. The deli at the corner of Wolcott and Van Brunt street is on Day 14 without power. But wonders! The Statue of Liberty was relit last night. They can see it from down the street.
I have not been to the Rockaways, I have not been to Staten Island. I do wonder how the mayor can be happy about his job performance when people less than 3 miles from his office still don't have power. How about a visit to Red Hook with a generator?
According to NBC.com, the mayor announced New York City Rapid Repair, which will deploy general contractors to oversee the work in the hard-hit areas. The contractors will manage electricians, plumbers, carpenters and others to complete the repairs, Bloomberg said. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is supporting the project and will pay for most if not all of it, he added.
Beginning Tuesday, homeowners will be able sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs by going to NYC.gov or by calling 311. They will need a FEMA ID number, which they can get by registering at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. The first wave of applicants must have received a green card and be on a street where power has been restored. Residents affected by Hurricane Sandy, including homeowners, renters, and businesses should contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or visit disasterassistance.gov to register for federal disaster assistance.
Alternate Side Parking regulations will be suspended citywide through Saturday, November 10 to facilitate storm recovery efforts. Alternate Side Parking regulations are not in effect on Sunday, November 11 and will also be suspended for Veterans Day, Monday, November 12, and Diwali, Tuesday, November 13, as previously scheduled. All other parking regulations remain in effect.
Officials impose gas rationing for New York City and Long Island
Why? Where is the gas? There was an abundant supply in Massachusetts. Why can't New York get its act together?
Andrea Peyser in the Post yesterday quoted Bloomberg as saying, "There’s always somebody who screams, ‘I didn’t have coffee for 24 hours. What an outrage!'" he actually said. "But for most people, they understand we’re in this together."
This comes from the man who gets driven around in a Chevy Suburban that our tax dollars both bought and fill with gasoline. I'm sure no one in his entourage spent 3 hours in a gas line.
So now we have odd-even restrictions on sales. For those of us alive in 1973, the memories are harsh of the long lines and short tempers.
To all of our friends outside of New York City, please understand that things are not back to normal. We haven't found the new normal yet for NYC.
Nor'Easter of November 7, 2012
Nor'Easter of November 7, 2012
Waking up to more damage......
Will update as day goes on.....
Nor'Easter of November 7, 2012
Another Hard Night in New York City: Snow
The wet snow hit again just like last year with leaves still on the trees. Trees began falling around our neighborhood, and we worry to see the results around the area once more.
The weight of the snow was amazing. Just scraping it from the windows of the car was frightening. Everywhere you looked, tree branches were sagging.
Accocrding to The New York Post, the Long Island Rail Road suspended service tonight due to a series of weather-related problems, including a signals meltdown.
A tree fell on the tracks on the Port Washington and a fire in the Rockaways also caused the service disruptions.
Officials do not know when service will resume.
In addition, Penn Station was shut down due to overcrowding.
Heavily-Impacted Neighborhoods Receive Collection and Debris Removal Around-the-Clock
Sanitation Collections may be Reduced from Three Days to Two or from Two Days to One in Areas not Heavily Impacted
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced changes to refuse collections to ensure Department of Sanitation crews continue to provide 24 hour a day cleanup services to Staten Island, south Queens and southern Brooklyn to clean up storm debris. The continued redeployment of personnel to meet storm cleanup needs will result in reduced refuse collection services in areas of the City that were not, or only slightly, impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Areas normally receiving three times a week collection may only receive two collections per week, while areas that receive two times per week collection may only receive one collection while the emergency debris removal work continues. The heavily-impacted areas will continue to receive collection and debris removal around the clock.
"I've been visiting the parts of our city hit hardest by the storm – here in the Rockaways, and in Coney Island, and the South Shore of Staten Island and one thing I hear in all those places is the need for debris removal and the incredible work the Department of Sanitation is doing," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today we are announcing that we will reduce garbage collections going forward in areas not heavily impacted by the storm to allow us to keep our resources in the neighborhoods that need it most."
In addition, the Department will NOT be collecting curbside recycling, until further notice.
To help prevent future flooding issues, residents should also keep debris away from storm drains
Sanitation crews are currently working 12-hour shifts – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM and 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM."
Holland Tunnel reopens, Brooklyn Battery Tunnel remains closed
The Holland Tunnel is reopening today for all commuter traffic.
The Queens Midtown and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels remain closed to cars. Buses are allowed in the Midtown Tunnel.
Meanwhile, the MTA announced it's restoring service to the eastern portion of the Long Island Rail Road’s Montauk branch, which had been terminating at Speonk.
Subway service has been restored to most lines, with some service operating at close to normal levels. Work continues to restore full service to lines that are currently offering only partial service.
Repair work is ongoing to restore Canaries Line L Train between Brooklyn and Manhattan and Crosstown G Train between Brooklyn and Queens after serious water damage in the Canarsie and Greenpoint Tubes. Crews continue to pump out the Montague Tube, in hopes of restoring full R Train service. The South Ferry 1 Train station in Lower Manhattan is closed until further notice, after suffering serious waster damage. Sea Beach service on the N Train line in southern Brooklyn, A Train Far Rockaway and S Train Rockaway Park Shuttle service remain suspended. Access-a-Ride is providing regular service.
"Mother Nature is not cutting us a break along the East Coast," winter weather expert Tom Niziol told The Weather Channel on Wednesday. "We've got a lot of cold air in place down in the lower part of the atmosphere, and it is looking more like snowfall event for good portions of New Jersey, up through eastern Pennsylvania, right up through southeastern New York into New England.”
"This is a nor'easter. It's not a massive nor'easter by winter standards, but at this time of year immediately after Sandy's wrath and destruction, this isn't what we want," he added.
MTA rail and subway network coverage continues to improve, as additional service is restored while work to repair the damage caused last week by Hurricane Sandy continues.
Subway service in the Bronx and on Manhattan’s Upper West Side was restored for this morning’s rush hour with A train service extended to 207th Street and C train service extended to 168th St. In the Bronx B train service resumed between Bedford Park Blvd and Kings Highway. All service is operating with very limited capacity due to ongoing work to restore full service.
MTA Long Island Rail Road is restoring modified train service between Ronkonkoma and Riverhead with connecting bus service between Riverhead and Greenport. Other schedule improvements for this morning include restoration of some service to Hunters Point Avenue, as well as Freeport-Atlantic Terminal service.
Branch line service has resumed on MTA Metro-North. Harlem Line regularly scheduled service is in effect between Wassaic/Southeast and Grand Central Terminal. Train service is in effect on the Danbury and Waterbury Branches. The New Canaan Branch will have bus service in effect. Regularly scheduled service is in effect between New Haven/Stamford and Grand Central Terminal. On the Hudson Line, regularly scheduled service is in effect between Poughkeepsie and Croton-Harmon and Grand Central Terminal. On the Port Jervis Line, partial service is in effect, with NJT operating four AM local trains to and from Hoboken, skipping Secacus.
All MTA Bridges remain open. The Cross Bay and Gil Hodges-Memorial Bridges are operating toll-free. The Hugh L. Carey is closed due to ongoing waster remediation efforts. A bus only lane will be in operation at the Queens Midtown Tunnel.
Major Subway Service Restorations
Additional subway service has been added this morning in Upper Manhattan and Southern Brooklyn, improving travel options for customers as repair work following Hurricane Sandy continues. The added service is as follows:
B train -- Bedford Park Blvd – Kings Highway
Q train -- Extended to Brighton Beach
The South Ferry 1 train station in Lower Manhattan is closed until further notice, after suffering serious waster damage. Work is ongoing to restore Canarsie Line L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan and Crosstown G train service between Brooklyn and Queens. Sea Beach service on the N train line in southern Brooklyn, A train Far Rockway service and Rockaway Park S train Shuttle service remain suspended.
If possible, customers are urged to stagger their commute by leaving earlier or later to avoid peak rush hour travel. Customers should check the Hurricane Recovery Map, the Service Advisory poster and monitor Service Status on this page for the latest service information.
More work needs to be done to restore normal subway service to all lines across the city. Heavy duty pump trains continue to rid several under river subway tunnels of water. Crews are checking track, signals and other components, and then testing them to make sure they will function properly when service is restored.
Bus service is operating normally, but some routes may be operating with minor detours due to street conditions, customers are advised to look for signage at bus stops.
For Election Day,
some poll sites have been relocated and/or combined due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Find your poll site now. Poll sites are open from 6 am to 9 pm.
The Department of Sanitation is picking up garbage, BUT all recycling pick ups are suspended
indefinitely. We are all trying to figure out where to store bottles, cans and paper. Hopefully, this will come back soon.
The Dept. of Health advises that direct contact with the water at Hudson River, East River, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay, and the Kill Van Kull for recreational activities should be avoided until further notice due to untreated wastewater being discharged into the NYC waterways.
According to today's New York Post, FAIRWAY in Red Hook faces a two-month rebuilding of the store. With more than four-feet of water on the first floor of the building, it will be a long process to prepare for reopening. 240 of the 300 employees are local Red Hook residents, putting many of them in very hard situations as we approach the Christmas season.
IKEA — the neighborhood’s other mega-retailer, which was largely unscathed by Sandy’s wrath — yesterday announced a hiring event for displaced Red Hook workers at its Beard Street store on Nov. 12 and 13.
They may not have had the glory of an opening night victory over the Knicks, but let's face it, after this week any victory is a good one.
The Nets played their home opener to officially bring professional sports to Barclays Arena last night and defeated the Toronto Raptors 107-100 before a sell-out crowd of 17,732.
As the city recovers and the Marathon was cancelled, should the Nets keep playing? It is a conundrum.
Many of the city's residents and politicians gave the Marathon such hell for taking away resources. It was a different animal than a basketball game in the arena. Everyone stressed that a mega event was not what we needed to focus on today.
The NYRR club should be ashamed that they blamed the media for the cancellation of the race.
Let's try to rebuild and refocus where the priorities belong.
"We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it," the Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. "We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event — even one as meaningful as this — to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."
This statement came after a day of defending the decision to keep the marathon on track for this Sunday. News reports throughout the day gave both sides of the debate as the mayor compared the decision to 9/11/2001 when Mayor Rudy Giulliani allowed the race to proceed after the terrorist attack on the city.
With the devastation that occurred throughout the five boroughs, Hurricane Sandy has left little resources available to proceed with the race that draws 40,000 runners from around the world. With hotel space at a premium just for displaced residents, it is a prudent decision on the city's behalf.
When my friends Jill and Joell told me they could not stay at the hotel they relocated to in Sunset Park from their lower Manhattan home because of the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON, they decided to drive to Boston to get away from this madness.
Normally, we love the marathon and watch it and cheer for the runners. But how can this go on? 26 miles of police barricades, police manpower, traffic tie ups, and resources that would be much better spent helping the people trapped in buildings with no power and no food.
They have used the ridiculous "Road to Recover" tag line. If that is the case, have the 40,000 runners volunteer for 8 hours to help all the people around the city that they are "inconveniencing."
The Subways start their way back from the devastating storm.....
The city is taking its first baby steps on the way back to semi normalcy as some of the key subway lines begin operating today. The graphic at left lists what is operational so far.
There is no subway service below 34th Street in Manhattan for any line, and no service under any of the rivers. Within Brooklyn, service is available on the F line from Jay Street to Avenue X. The second section is within Manhattan from 179th Street to 34th Street/Herald Square. A Train Service is in two sections as well within Manhattan and Brooklyn/Queens. (View Graphic of all open lines)
Parts of South Brooklyn suffered incredible damage, but it is so hard to put our suffering in the same category as Breezy Point, or Long Beach, or the Rockaways, or the Jersey Shore. Our hearts go out to everyone.
We were able to celebrate Halloween in Cobble Hill last night. It was the first moments of normalcy for many of us. Now today, the reality returns. It is time to go to Red Hook and clean out the office and realize that everything there is a loss. It's time to move on.
New York will come back and so will Mark and Liz.
NY Islanders coming to Barclays Center in 2015!
Watch AP video on You Tube of Barbra Streisand
Jay Z at Barclays Center
UPDATE: NETS/KNICKS Home Opener cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy......
The Brooklyn Nets open the sporting season with the first-ever pre-season matchup against the Washington Wizards on October 15, 2012. Cheap tickets are still available through StubHub.
The first regular season game on November 1, 2012, pits the Nets against the New York Knicks as a new cross town rivalry comes into being with a nationally televised matchup on TNT. Sure sounds better than a rivalry with New Jersey. And it should be, with tickets selling in the hundreds to thousands of dollars.
The NY ISLANDERS coming to Barclays Center in 2015!
In another big announcement for Brooklyn, the NY Islanders are making Barclays Center their home arena beginning with the 2015 season.
A 25-year agreement was announced yesterday, giving Brooklyn its second professional team in the new arena.
Though the stadium was not built to house professional hockey, the owner of the Islanders made the decision to leave the Nassau Colisseum and move into the heart of Brooklyn. Last year, Nassau voters overturned a referendum that would have provided funds to replace the aged arena.
The seating configuration for hockey will be unlike any other NHL franchise. In its current configuration, Barclays' will seat 14,500 for an Islanders game, making it one of the smallest arenas in the league.
Barbra Streisand made her homecoming with two sold-out shows at the Barclays Center following Jay Z's inauguration of Brooklyn's premier location for entertainment.
Arriving at the first Jay-Z show, the crowds were calm and beside the backup at the multitude of airport-style metal detectors, getting in and out of the arena was no problem. The crowd was electrified and Jay-Z was emotional. As a part owner, he could not believe that a kid who grew up in the projects a stones throw from the arena was now opening the venue. As he says, "You can make it anywhere." His message was heartfelt and moving.
The Brooklyn-born rapper debuted his new Life and Times channel on YouTube with Saturday, October 6, final show live streaming on the Internet. Watching the event from our home just over a mile from the arena made us realize just how spectacular this arena will become.
The list of events coming in the first few months include such acts as The King's Men, The Smashing Pumpkins, Rihanna, World Championship Boxing, Pat Benatar, Journey, Rush, and The New York Masters.
October's New York Masters, an Olympic-level equestrian event featuring the world's top 30 riders competing for $1 million in prize money. This global event will mark Brooklyn's debut (alongside Paris and Hong Kong) as home to one of the three most prestigious equestrian show-jumping competitions in the world.
A world-class entertainment venue now exists in Brooklyn. Watch out MSG, Brooklyn is becoming the center of the universe!
Will it be back and where?
Dekalb Market featured in The Atlantic... Where will it be next year?
I just walked by the Dekalb Market for the first time two weeks ago.
Then I was devastated to see a story about the location's closing party on September 30th (which we missed!) and how the lease was up and no one knows where it will be or if it will come back.
Walls appear on the Brooklyn Bridge as it is announced thet Brooklyn to Manhattan will be closed every night till 2014! Photo by Mark D Phillips
BROOKLYN BRIDGE CLOSURES CONTINUE AT NIGHT ONLY.....
The NYC Department of Transportation is performing rehabilitation work on the Brooklyn Bridge ramps and approaches, which are in urgent need of repair. As part of the project, the steel components of the entire span will also be repainted to prevent corrosion. This work started in the spring and will continue until 2014.
To facilitate this work, DOT announces that the Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic overnight, beginning on Monday, August 23rd and will continue until this project is completed in 2014. All Brooklyn-bound traffic will be maintained, and there will be no closure of the pedestrian/cycling promenade. All work will occur during off-peak hours, and the bridge will be re-opened for traffic in both directions each morning.
On Weeknights: closures will begin at 11PM and the lanes will reopen at 6AM Saturdays: closures will begin at 12:01AM and the lanes will reopen at 7AM Sundays: closures will begin at 12:01AM and the lanes will reopen at 9AM
Christ Church damaged horribly by lightning strike
Christ Church, the stately and majestic cathedral located in the heart of Cobble Hill, suffered a devastating lightning strike during a violent thunderstorm on Thursday, July 26. (KANE STREET AND CLINTON STREET REOPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE ACCIDENT ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14th.)
One whole spire of the bell tower came crashing down when the stones crushed scaffolding on the sidewalk. Local resident Richard Schwartz was killed as he passed beneath the scaffolding just blocks from his home.
Over the last 20 years, I have photographed the church dozens of times and felt its presence as one of the grand landmarks of the Cobble Hill Historic District.
Designed by Richard Upjohn, the brownstone building was completed in 1842. Upjohn also designed Trinity Church in lower Manhattan and the stately gates of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. In 1916, an interior renovation brought the church even more historical significance when Louis Comfort Tiffany completed his final personal commission, redesigning the nave and installing new windows.
Cochrane, who at 68-years-old is celebrating his 50th Anniversary on the highwire, has announced that he will retire at the end of 2014. Cochrane's "Great China Skywalk" in 1995 is considered the greatest highwire walk ever. The skywalk across Qutang Gorge over the Yangtze River was higher than the World Trade Center towers and nearly half-a-mile across.
A five-year-old boy in France learns a poem that captures his imagination….
An 18-meter long ant With a hat on its head That doesn’t exist, that doesn’t exist….
And for the next 30-years as the boy grows into a man, he asks himself “Why Not?”
On January 23rd, that little boy, Xavier Roux, will debut The Ant on Bergen Street for the grand opening of The Invisible Dog, a creative arts space in Cobble Hill. The sixty-foot-long sculpture made of structural steel and nylon balloons will fill the gallery space, and the imagination of all.
The poem’s author, Robert Desnos, wrote The Ant after his arrest by the Nazis and deportation to Auschwitz. The 18-meter length was the size of a cattle car used by the Gestapo to transport their prisoners to the concentration camps….
Tim DeKay (center) and Sharif Atkins (right) play FBI agents in White Collar
Law and Order may be gone, but there are still plenty of other TV shows and movies using the neighborhoods of Brooklyn as their sound stage.
This past week, we got a taste on our block as USA network's "White Collar" came to film a scene.
It wasn't the fact that we couldn't park on our own block that made us despise them. It was the security guards at each end of the block with orders to not allow anyone to walk down the sidewalk that really perturbed us. We live here, you don't.
So now they create this unreal sound stage in New York. Two cars come screaming down our street, tires squealing as they skid to a stop. Like that would happen on our narrow street that usually has cars parked on both curbs. The "Municipal Utility" workmen with tools behind the parked panel truck (not even ConEd?) turn out to be FBI agents who charge down the street to the bad guys' cars with guns drawn.
I thought William Wegman was just about cutesy dogs.
Then I saw William Wegman:Funney/Strange at The
Brooklyn Museum running from March 10 through May 28, 2006.
Wegman is an experimenter who happens to use a funny looking dog as his main subject. His photographs are combinations of form and texture, shapes that capture the imagination. As Wegman says, "They are shadows and hues. They inspire me."
His work is as accomplished in all mediums. I went to the show expecting to only see dogs. Wegman's paintings and video work were every bit as captivating as his still images of dogs.
Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky by Mark D Phillips
It's not very often that photographs of man's destruction of the environment can be called "beautiful." Or that one photographer will heap praise on the
works of another photographer. But, such is the case with the new exhibit, Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky, at the Brooklyn Museum of art.
Travelling the world in search of devastation is usually done by the photojournalist in a quest to show news. Not so with the work of Edward Burtynsky.
His images are not a political statement nor are they meant to celebrate technology. According to Burtynsky, they are just great visuals that he wants to
Several adventurous projects have taken Burtynsky on a worldwide quest to photograph extraordinary landscapes. Most recently, he traveled to the construction site of the Three Gorges Dam,
the world's largest hydroelectric engineering project, located on the Yangtze River in the People's Republic of China. The dam is of unprecedented proportions, and it has required the
relocation of millions of people. In addition to the dam itself, Burtynsky also photographed upriver sites of mass displacement, where residents destroyed their own homes at the behest
of the government, recycling many of the materials in order to rebuild on higher ground.
As a photojournalist in 1995, I travelled to Feng Jie to document a world record high wire walk above the Yangtze River in
Qutang Gorge. Feng Jie was a sprawling city stretching from the riverbanks of the Yangtze to the mountaintops of Qutang Gorge and was our base of operations for the length of our stay.
One of the oldest towns on the river and rich with history, it was cut off from the world in a way that is hard for many outsiders to understand. From Beijing,
I travelled to Feng Jie in the same manner as Mr. Burtynsky almost ten years later, by train and boat.
The Changing Face of South Brooklyn: The Gallery Players bring Broadway to Park Slope by Mark D Phillips
Nestled in the basement of the Park Slope Family Neighborhood Center on 14th Street off 4th Avenue is a hidden South Brooklyn jewel.
The Gallery Players, Brooklyn's premiere off-off Broadway theater, is marked by a sign set by a side door of the building leading to their 99-seat space.
"Local residents don't even know we are here," said Matt Schicker, a board member and heralded director of many of the Players' productions, including their newest, "Side Show," opening February 18, 2006.
With a reputation well beyond the boundaries of South Brooklyn, the Gallery Players have never had a problem filling seats. Their season consists of four plays, three musicals and the annual Black Box New Play Festival, World Premiere performances of works by tri-state area playwrights. And the fact that their alumni make leaps to Broadway hasn't hurt.
"The secret of our success is we treat every production as a professional show," said Schicker. "The Gallery Players have become a great first stop for many new drama graduates nationwide."
Looming out of the fog was the largest ship Red Hook has seen moored to its shore.
The Queen Mary 2 arrived in the wee hours of the morning on April 15, 2006, for its inaugural stop at the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook.
For the county of Kings, and particularly Red Hook, the terminal is the first step in a revitalization of the long-neglected waterfront.
People always ask, "What are those beautiful doors on
Our Lady of Lebanon Church?"
When Our Lady of Lebanon moved into the old Congregationalist Church of
the Pilgrims on Henry Street in 1944, Monsignor Mansour Stephen planned
extensive changes to the interior of the building.
The Normandie was the greatest passenger ship of its day, and suffered a
terrible end when fire ravaged the ship, causing it to capsize at the
dock on Manhattan's west side.
The Monsignor heard that the Normandie's salvaged treasures were to be auctioned,
and with the blessings of his parish, attended the event and purchased the
bronze doors and ten placques. The doors, which once were the entryway to
the majestic banquet room of the luxury liner, now grace the entry to the church in Brooklyn Heights. The ten placques
were added to the doors. The cost of the doors was $1,025 and all ten placques for $975.
For the sixth year, Angels and Accordions brought Greenwood Cemetary alive.
With its unique presentation of accordions, singing, striking visuals, and creepy graveyard scenes, Angels and Accordions is a site-specific show, with the audience taken on a mile-long walking tour, punctuated by scenes of angels around different memorials.
Greenwood Cemetary is one of the most beautiful sculpture gardens in the world. With mausoleums structured from pyramids to Greek cathedrals and statues for war dead to cherished child, the stages for angels are designed by Martha Bowers of Dance Theatre Etcetera.
Martha's visions come to life within this unique venue. Angels sing from a vine covered path, bringing "Over the Rainbow" to a chilling feeling of sorrow.
In 2008, the Brooklyn Bridge celebrated its 125th anniversary, and this monumental occasion presented the Dumbo Improvement District the opportunity to unveil a new and improved pedestrian experience on the Brooklyn side of the Bridge.
Working with Emphas!s Design and artists Linnaea Tillett & Karin Tehve, the Dumbo Improvement District undertook this great project to provide a sense of direction and place to the one million tourists who cross over the Brooklyn Bridge each year. In the past when pedestrians reached the Brooklyn end of the Bridge, they frequently turned around and returned Manhattan when confronted with uninviting entrances, poor lighting and inadequate signage. Today, pedestrians are greeted with signage welcoming them to Brooklyn and a large map highlighting attractions within walking distance.
“This Way” serves as a grand entrance point to the fine borough of Brooklyn.
The Friends of the Brooklyn Bridge was formed by the Dumbo Improvement District to bring together the resources to maintain improvements made to the world's greatest bridge. The initiatives website, mybrooklynbridge.com, will be a major resource for the bridge. Share your memories of your favorite experience on the Brooklyn Bridge. Watch an 1899 movie by Thomas Edison Studios of a train travelling over the bridge, and read the history of the construction.
Contributions to Friends of the Brooklyn Bridge will be dedicated to the supplemental maintenance of this project. With donations of $150 or more, you will receive a framed image of your choice from our collection, including historical images of the bridge from our partner, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and new images by Mark D Phillips. They make great gifts.
THE JAIL BATTLE
According to the NY Post's Rich Calder:
Foes of City Hall's plan to reopen and expand a Brooklyn jail scored a victory yesterday when the city agreed to temporarily halt work on the $440 million project and cap the number of overnight prisoners there.
Comptroller Bill Thompson, Councilman David Yassky and civic groups cut the court-OK'd deal just days after suing the city for "secretly" and "illegally" repopulating the Brooklyn House of Detention in family-laden Boerum Hill with 31 prisoners.
The agreement runs through Dec. 18, at which time the case is to return to court. Under the deal, the jail may accept up to 50 prisoners.
The USS Intrepid returned from its two-year restoration in Staten Island Thursday, October 2, to Pier 86 on the West Side. Two hundred fifty former Intrepid crew members took the short voyage, passing by the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero.