Friday, February 29, 2008
Things Get Crappy at the Bergen Street 2/3 Station
This morning, I stepped in a huge pile of SH*T on the subway platform at the Bergen Street station. MAN! I was so freaked out. The worst thing is there was no way to clean it off my foot! I left the station and found a puddle but it wasn't sufficient, trust me.Some demands for photographic evidence produced this follow up:How about go to the Bergen Street station, and look next to the garbage can on the Manhattan bound platform, and you'll see all the evidence you need. . . . a pile of crap with a footprint in the middle . . . wasn't in the mood to whip out my phone and take a pic. It didn't occur to me someone would want to see that . . . .
And I'm pretty sure it was human sh*t! AARRRRGGGH! I'm assuming it was from some homeless dude. The crap pile was right by the garbage bin, and I was stepping up to it to through out my coffee cup. Someone was squatting there defecating, trying to keep out of view obviously.
This reminded me of the discussion we had about peeing in public, and on the subway platform. Trust me, this is much worse!
Always look down.
Park Slope Friday #7: Red Hot Death Scene Revealed
Whatever happened to Red Hot Szechuan, the latest restaurant on Seventh Avenue to kick the bucket, appears to have occurred very quickly. (As in, everyone took off running for their lives.) A look inside reveals menus still stacked on the counter and cables where computer equipment was disconnected. The "specials" sign is still in the window as are the Chinese New Year's decorations. In a related development, Hunan Delight on Union Street has added three delivery people and a satellite kitchen on Seventh Avenue. Just kidding.
Labels: Park Slope
Bklink: Cops Vs. Museum?
Park Slope Friday #6: Laila is Turning Japanese
South Slope Middle Eastern Laila closed suddenly a month or so ago. We can now report, based on our keen powers of observation, that it's going Japanese. The new place appears to be called Ten Japanese. We are certain the appearance of yet another Japanese restaurant in Park Slope--which has its share of them on Fifth and Seventh Avenues--will induce many shrieks of delight in the neighborhood.
Labels: Park Slope
Construction Site Du Jour: Busted on Bayard
The site of the former Beauty Addiction Building, which had been the one lone holdout on Karl Fischer Row in Williamsburg, has been cited by the city for a problem again. We last featured 14 Bayard as a Construction Site du Jour in late January. Since then, the construction fence has been padlocked closed again, yet, the curious missing side of the fence remained. Hence, the Yellow Slip from DOB. As Burg construction sites go, it's a benign one. For instance, this is only a couple of blocks away and hasn't been cited recently.
Bklink: Brooklyn Ghostbusters
Park Slope Friday #5: Behind the Second St. Cafe Paper
A big "for sale" sign is now gracing the window of the defunct 2nd Street Cafe on Seventh Avenue. The space on the market via Brenton Realty, which doesn't appear to have an online listing up for it. In the meantime, some of the paper has been peeled back, allowing a glimpse into the former Park Slope restaurant.
Labels: Park Slope
You Can't Photograph That, Continued
so, yesterday, while taking my usual (almost) daily stroll around the Atlantic Yards footprint, i notice that the gate to the recently closed Carlton Avenue Bridge has been left partially open. seeing this as an opportunity to snap a few unobstructed photos of the soon-to-be-demolished bridge, i walk to a spot just outside of the gate, being careful to remain outside of the fenced-off area, and begin to shoot. ["soon-to-be-demolished" is subjective. it's been closed for over a month with no visible signs of demolition] i manage to take about a dozen shots when i hear a shrill woman's voice yelling:There is more and it makes fascinating reading. Mr. Collins' flickr sets are available here.
"You can't photograph that! It's private property!!"
[Image courtesy of Tracy Collins]
Labels: Atlantic Yards
Park Slope Friday #4: Bank Space Goes Red
The temporary wooden front at the former D'Agostino's/Gothic Cabinet Craft space at Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street has acquired a coat of red paint. As we first noted last April, part of the space is becoming a branch bank. At the time, we were told it would be a Bank of America. The identity of the new bank hasn't been revealed, but there is only one bank that we know that uses a red color scheme: Bank of America. Unless the red paint is a coincidence or they couldn't get standard issue construction fence blue because the paint store was out. There is no work going on in the other one-third or so of the space, and a "for rent" sign is still in the window.
Labels: Park Slope
Bklink: Rat-Squirrel Shed
Park Slope Friday #3: Tempo Presto Concerto for Power Saws
This is the former Tempo Presto space at Seventh Avenue and Third Street in Park Slope. What's not clear from the photo is the cacophony of construction work yesterday afternoon that was going on inside behind the grates that were pulled down and locked up tight. If one had passed by with earplugs on, one wouldn't have noticed anything at all. But coming from inside was loud hammering and power saws. The fascinating thing to us is that any type of substantive renovation work requires permits from the Department of Buildings and not a scrap of paper has been filed for the address in nine years, when a permit was granted to put up a sign for Mojo. OTBKB has noted that the newsstand person next door says it will be a Mexican restaurant. There is some crazy speculation in Park Slope that it will be Burritoville, but it's just that--totally crazy speculation that isn't based on anything. Yet, given the neighborhood rent structure and some early statements about "chains" being interested in the property, it's not as far fetched a possibility as one would think.
Labels: Park Slope
Park Slope Friday #2: Park Slope Books Closed
Park Slope Books on Seventh Avenue, which is the second bookstore to shut down on the block between Second and Third Streets, is done. The lights were still on yesterday, but the store had been emptied. It is reopening on Montague Street. The "for rent" sign is still in the window.
Labels: Park Slope
Brookbit: Action at Court Street Blockbuster?
Park Slope Friday #1: Brooklyn Industries in Its New Location
The great Seventh Avenue space swap that brought Brooklyn Industries to the corner storefront at Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street and relocated Urban Optical to space that once housed a salon, is now somewhat complete. Brooklyn Industries is now in its new digs. Urban Optical is in its new space. All that remains now is for the former Brooklyn Industries space, which was a bread shop called Uprising for a while.
Labels: Park Slope
Bklink: Rental in the Burg
Organic Bok Choy on the Gowanus May Take a While
Broolinks: Friday Leap Day Edition
Brooklinks is a daily selection of Brooklyn-related information and images:
- Call Atlantic Yards Affordable Housing "Delayed" [AYR]
- Brooklyn Condo Market is Driving Miss Brooklyn [AYR]
- Atlantic Yards Reports Shorts [No Land Grab]
- Thoughts on the Revived 421-a Developer Tax Break Debate [Brooklyn 11211]
- "Notorious Brooklyn Punk" Causes Fatal Car Crash [NYP]
- Miss Brooklyn is a Manhattan Resident from Virigina [NYDN]
- Inside Third & Bond, Week 26 [Brownstoner]
- More on Dumbo Rezoning [Dumbo NYC]
- Burg's Gimme Coffee! Talks About Starbucks [Metro]
- Less Than Two Weeks Until Atlantic Ave. Urban Outfitters [Racked]
- Check Out the Carolina Country Store on Atlantic [Gothamist]
- Appreciating 4th Avenue Burning & Heating [Brooklynometry]
- Prospect Park Pods [A Year in the Park]
Fun on the Gowanus, 1903 Edition
We happened upon this story from the October 23, 1903 edition of the New York Times and were amused enough by it to offer it as diversion here:
Battling with a big blaze on the bank of Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, last night, the firemen were driven back by the sudden breaking loose of a great volume of electricity supplying a motor used for operating a drawbridge across the canal. This was a spectacular feature of the fire, in which half a dozen firemen were partially overcome by smoke and which caused about damage to property, destroying the big coal pockets of Nelson Brothers, at Hamilton Avenue and the canal...The pockets immediately adjoin the big draw-bridge over the canal at Hamilton Avenue. In a small frame structure beside the bridge was electrical machinery used for opening and closing the bridge. The wires were burned through and the machinery deranged. Then followed a display of electrical pyrotechnics which startled the neighborhood and drove the firemen back. Great sheets of white flame shot out in all directions and the freed electricity flashed along the ironwork of the bridge like streaks of lightning, causing the crowd looking on there to scatter in alarm. The woodwork of the bridge near the little shed caught fire, but the firemen could not get to the spot because of the electricity which filled the air...Two of the crew, armed with axes, made their way cautiously and chopped away the transforming apparatus and the wires about it, and cut off the current from the supply wires leading into the motor. The somewhat awe-inspiring electrical display then ceased, and the firemen put out the blaze on the bridge before it could do much damage...The fire caused a complete tie-up of traffic on the Hamilton Avenue trolley line at a time when travel from Hamilton Ferry was heaviest.Ah, the old days.
Upcoming: Brooklyn Greenway Presentation
There's a presentation on the Brooklyn Greenway next week for Community Board 1's Parks, Environment, Waterfront and Transportation Committees. It will take place on Wednesday, March 5 at 6:30PM at Lady of the Snow Society, which is located at 410 Graham Avenue (between Withers and Jackson). The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway project area covers 14 miles of Brooklyn waterfront from Sunset Park to Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. The full right of way, which would be 30 feet wide, is still being assembled. For more info, click here.
Brain Bank Freeze King
Street Couch Series: Finished
Our wonderful Carroll Gardens Correspondent provides this image of furniture on the street, which is clearly done with the living room part of its existence and just kind of out there with the trash.
Labels: Street Couches
Bklink: Snow & Rain Tonight?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Carroll Gardens Hell Building Burns Bright at Night
The building at 333 Carroll Street that has been nicknamed the Carroll Gardens Hell Building is looking bright this week. Someone in the area sent us photos and noted "Looks like some signs of life at 333 Carroll Street. Lights were on last night leading me to believe they're up to something." The photos of the top floor lit up like a beacon were taken on Tuesday night. Daytime work has been going on at the building, which had a Stop Work Order lifted before the holidays. The building has been a lightening rod for controversy and earned the nickname "Hell Building" because of how badly early work on the structure disturbed people on Carroll Street. The huge addition on top designed by Robert Scarano increased sentiment in the neighborhood for a downzoning.
Labels: Carroll Gardens
Piano Finito: Big Ratner Tower is Dead
Labels: Downtown Brooklyn
"Terrible Service" at the Park Slope Library?
It seems that every time I am at the Park Slope branch library (usually Saturdays) I get terrible service from the check out and returns staff. The clerks at the desk are always deep in conversation with each other, and I have to wait for them to finish the latest neighborhood gossip before they acknowledge my existence. More often than not, they will physically have their backs turned! I went last Tuesday night to pick up a hold book, and the woman didn't even look me in the eye. I have such a great experience with my NYC library near work being friendly, but my Brooklyn home library makes me feel like I am interrupting them in the middle of something very important. I tend to get my reserved books from Brooklyn faster than NYC, but is it worth it? Am I just being overly-sensitive or are they that way with everyone else? (Hearing that they are just plain rude to others might actually make me feel a little better!)One person agreed, saying, "I have had similar experiences. When I go there they often have teenage girls at the counter that couldn’t care less. Last time I told one of them to try harder, she looked at me like I was nuts." Another, however, said "I haven't had any problems...I've actually had discussions with them about books." Yet, another suggested buying the books at Barnes & Noble. So, the answers seem to be coming down all over the place.
[Photo courtesy of Paula Jenkins/Picassa]
Labels: Park Slope
Brookbit: Slope's Red Hot is Totally Dead
More Public Place: Hudson Companies 'Gowanus Green' in Detail
This is Gowanus Green from the Hudson Companies team. The design is from Rogers Marvel Architects and landscape designers West 8 and Starr Whitehouse. (Rogers Marvel and West 8 designed the winning proposal for Governor's Island and the architectural firm is also designing the redo of McCarren Pool and 340 Court Street in Carroll Gardens.)
New McCarren Park Group Forming
We were going to categorize this as an "Upcoming" event, but it's more than that because the meeting is about forming a group tentatively called United Friends of McCarren Park that will try to build support for and work on a variety of McCarren Park-related issues. An email has gone out from the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning (GWAPP) about the meeting, which will take place on Monday (3/3) at 7PM at Automotive High School on Bedford Avenue. The email says in part:
The best way to get the parks we deserve is through persistent community attention to each park. GWAPP...wants to help kickstart a big (and sustained) Push for Parks all across our North Brooklyn neighborhoods by helping to create (where one doesn’t exist) support (where one does exist) and unite (where, as with McCarren Park, several active groups co-exist) park-specific Friends Groups.Among the issues up for discussion are: requesting a comprehensive survey & study of park usage & potential, a status update on the McCarren Pool project, seeing if "comfort stations" adjacent to the pool can be rebuilt first, seeing if the park's wading and spray pool can be running by summer and the fascinating topic of "Fieldhouse 'Comfort Stations'--the most disgusting bathrooms in Brooklyn?" Also up for discussion are benches & paths, gardens & trees, dog runs, a plan to put artificial turf on a paved field next to the park's tennis courts, a plan to study de-mapping Driggs and/or Union Avenue through the park and entertainment programming, which is enough for a 12-hour meeting. The emails says that "Anyone interested in working together to improve McCarren Park is welcome."
The purpose of these groups will be to gather information about the way the community uses the park, the issues and needs of each park and, most importantly, establish a community representative (or two or six or twenty) of that park, acting as a watchdog and persistently (key word) pushing for improvements – whether from the city, the Open Space Alliance (www.openspacealliancenb.org), neighbors, local businesses, grants…
I am volunteering to help set up an initial meeting of what, for now, might be called the United Friends of McCarren Park. We have an opportunity, with this particular Mayor and the promises made regarding the McCarren Park Pool, Ice Skating Rink and SkatePark, to push for real improvements in McCarren Park. We need to make sure we have a unified and coherent voice in the way the park is maintained and plans made for future developments. With the Pool reconstruction underway (design-wise at least) it seems the various user-groups of this potentially wonderful park have a shared purpose. Let’s use it to make the park better.
Bklink: Seventh Ave. Corner of Death Going Mexican?
Dumbo: Rezoning Issue Gets Instantly Hot
We have to say that the issue of rezoning a small part of Dumbo to allow for higher density residential development almost seemed to come out of nowhere. On Tuesday, the Architects Newspaper reported that the Department of City Planning is considering rezoning an area bounded by Bridge Street on the north, John Street on the west, the Manhattan Bridge on the south and Front Street on the east. Yesterday morning, the Dumbo Neighborhood Association had a meeting to announce its own very detailed proposal ahead of City Planning. Our friends at Brownstoner attended that meeting and offered a full report by lunchtime yesterday. The city's idea will be revealed at a closed meeting today. So, in the span of 48 hours, there is not only a proposal that would could result in taller 10-12 story buildings in some places, but a counter proposal from the neighborhood itself. Per a quote in Brownstoner, the neighborhood proposal aims to create "contextual zoning both for historic preservation and new development." The plan was developed in response to a Two Trees proposal to build an 18-story building on the St. Ann's Warehouse site. There is, of course, more detail at the Architect's Newspaper.
Bklink: Fighting the Power
New Online Petition to Link the G to Trains at Atlantic Avenue
Help improve life in Brooklyn and Queens, connect the G train to Atlantic Terminal! The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has promised Councilmember Letitia James this week that it would study what it would take to connect the G line Lafayette Avenue stop with the Atlantic-Pacific station, a move that would simplify commuting for tens of thousands of people. The time is now to tell the MTA that Brooklyn and Queens need this!!!The petition can be found here.
Brooklinks: Thursday Elvis, Cell Phones & Measles Edtion
Brooklinks is a daily selection of Brooklyn-related information and images.
Cell Phones & Measles:
- Some Brooklyn Students Getting Cell Phones with Free Minutes For Getting A's [NYT]
- Health Dept. Probing Measles Cases [NYDN]
- Brooklyn Measles Cases Raise Concerns [Sun]
- Why Didn't Forest City Ratner Announce Miss Brooklyn Cuts? [AYR]
- Deals by the Dozen Offered in Brooklyn Court to Gambino Members [NYP]
- Bay Ridge Hospital May Close ER [NYDN]
- Carroll Gardens Development Doings [Brownstoner]
- Mystery Solved: Starbucks Was Teaching Baristas to Make Frothier Foam [OTBKB]
- Residential Parking Forum in March [Kensington Brooklyn]
- Pay Phone Pop Quiz [New York Shitty]
- New 14th Street Slope Armory Entrance [Brooklynometry]
- Unsolved Bed-Stuy Mystery [Bed-Stuy Banana]
- Sheepshead Bay's El Greco Diner May Close [GerritsenBeach.Net]
- Local Writers to Talk About Food [ABL]
- Swizzle Going Out with Bang [BHB]
- Checking Out Rustik Tavern [Clinton Hill Blog]
Bklink: Bookish Ambitions
Upcoming: "Rezoning the Atlantic Yards Footprint"
What if our community was given a voice in planning redevelopment over and around the Vanderbilt rail yards? What's your vision for our neighborhood' s future? The original UNITY Plan, the community-created alternative to Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic Yards" project, covered only the publicly owned Vanderbilt rail yards.It takes place on Saturday (3/1) from 10AM to 2PM at St. Cyril's Belarusian Cathedral, which is located at 401 Atlantic Avenue (at Bond Street). RSVP to Hunter College CCPD at 212-650-3328 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FCR has since taken control of and blighted or torn down many properties around the rail yards. But now the financing for "Atlantic Yards" is in doubt, even according to the developer - the bond financing for the arena and the affordable housing may not be feasible! What happens next?
Join your neighbors, elected officials and expert planners for a public workshop devoted to creating a community plan for the entire area - now that the global credit crisis threatens to scuttle "Atlantic Yards."
Labels: Atlantic Yards
Bklink: Dollar Bagels
Upcoming: Future of Coney Island Panel
Lynn Kelly, President of the CIDC, will present the latest proposal for the area and join a panel discussion moderated by Brad Lander, Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development. Additional panelists include David Gratt, Managing Director, Coney Island USA, Domenic Recchia, representative to the City Council from the 47th District, and Chuck Reichenthal, District Manager of Community Board 13. Reservations required. $9 for non-members, $5 for Museum members, seniors & students...Museum of the City of New York. 1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street.More info and tickets by clicking here.