Community

A New Jail for Greenpoint?

Not very likely. However, there has been talk in recent weeks of a new satellite jail being built in Greenpoint to compensate for a proposed closure of Rikers Island.  The idea to close the city’s main jail complex is nothing new – it was first presented a decade ago by the then-commissioner of the New York City Correction Department, Martin F. Horn. Horn envisioned closing down the troubled Rikers facility and rehousing thousands of inmates in new state-of-the-art facilities built in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Recently, the former Brooklyn Union Gas Company location at 287 Maspeth Avenue has been scouted as a possible location for a new jail.

Photo via the New York Times
Photo via the New York Times

The New York Times has been following this story for years and has several articles documenting the struggle that is Rikers Island. The dilapidated jails, built on a landfill, are not structurally stable and are prone to flooding and other issues. In addition to the environmental concerns, Rikers has a pretty serious culture of violence (one that goes both ways). An investigation by the Times reported several cases of brutality against mentally ill inmates, which currently make up nearly 40 percent of the Rikers population. These incidents included gang assaults by officers that resulted in serious injuries.

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Tommy James: DJ & Live Music Curator for Good Room

Screen shot 2016-04-30 at 7.31.40 PMAt first Tommy James, DJ and live music curator at Good Room on Meserole Avenue, comes off as just another humble British expat living in Greenpoint. Only upon researching this piece did I discover his many musical accomplishments. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that in some circles Tommy James is even something of a legend, but one thing is certain: success has not jaded him, nor dimmed his passion for music. And it’s this passion for music that has helped make Good Room an epic venue for live music.

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Goodyoga Flips Teacher Payment Structure On Its Head

Goodyoga's Greenpoint Avenue Studio
Goodyoga’s Greenpoint Avenue Studio

If you’ve been to Goodyoga, you know they’re doing something right. Their app makes class sign-up easy, their down-to-earth teachers blend alignment with humor, and their prices beat everywhere else. What you may not know is that Goodyoga is promoting physical and emotional health for instructors by changing their business model.

As of the first of the year, they’re offering full-time employment with benefits to their yoga teachers. This may signal a new direction for the yoga industry, with concerned teachers and studio owners who see the current industry standard of employing teachers as Independent Contractors as broken. Meanwhile, more than one yoga studio has been audited by the Department of Labor over the practice. Continue reading

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Construction to Begin on New Greenpoint Library Later this Year

gplibrary
Those of you who have ever laid eyes on the public library in Greenpoint know that it is a bit of an eyesore in an otherwise picturesque neighborhood. But not for long. The Greenpoint Library is about to enter a new incarnation to bring residents the modern, sustainable facility that’s increasingly necessary in an age that’s threatening to make books obsolete.

The original Greenpoint Library was constructed in 1906 and only replaced once in the 1970s due to deterioration. The current building will be replaced by a larger, more modern green building with an added environmental education center that’s due to open in the spring of 2018.

The project is being funded by a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund and a $6,030,300 matching contribution from the Brooklyn Public Library. GCEF is a $19.5 million grant program established with the settlement funds from the ExxonMobil oil spill in Newtown Creek.

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Trading Waste For Abundance with Stevie Van Horn

Stevie Van Horn, Conflict Palm Oil free/Trash free/Plastic free
Stevie Van Horn, Conflict Palm Oil free/Trash free/Plastic free at Homecoming

“I love the trees in Greenpoint!” says Stevie Han Horn, 28, who moved to Brooklyn from Colorado in 2012. “Part of it makes me feel as though I’m in a small town. There are a few roads in Greenpoint that make me feel so smitten because the trees funnel the street making it extra dreamy.”

Nature lover? Sure. But when I learned that Stevie lived “trash free”, that seemed a little too hippy dippy for me. Yes, even by my standards! At first I didn’t believe her, like, is it even possible to live trash free? What does that even mean? Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Traveling Boutique Will Now Open Shop in June!

Clotilde-WalkTheWest-GreenpointLike an old friend you might see once in a blue moon, Walk the West is Greenpoint’s traveling boutique that comes bearing goods and stories, often unexpected and unannounced. Continue reading

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MTA Introduces Two Major Plans for L Train Renovation

On Thursday, May 5, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) held its first community meeting to discuss two proposed plans for the Canarsie Tunnel renovation, the final step in the MTA’s Sandy Recovery Work plan and a major concern for Brooklyn residents who use the L train daily.

The first plan, which all officials seemed to favor (emphasized by the noticeably longer “pro” list in the presentation), proposes an 18-month turnaround, with work beginning in January 2019 and ending in July 2020, and requires a complete shutdown of the L train from 8th Ave to Bedford Ave. The train would run as normal from Bedford Ave to Rockaway Parkway. This plan would give the agency more flexibility with contractors and would get the work done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

IMG_3030 IMG_3029

The second plan, which would take three years, would leave one tunnel open, allowing the train to run at 12-to-15 minute intervals from 8th Ave to Bedford Ave: only 20% of the current level of service the L train provides. There would be no train service at all between Bedford and Lorimer, with a shuttle bus as an alternative. Service would run as normal between Lorimer and Rockaway Parkway. Continue reading

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Austin-Style Tacos, Screenprinting And More At The Greenpoint Library This Saturday

Bike the Branches 2016If you hadn’t heard, Bike The Branches is this Saturday, and offers bike lovers a two-wheeled tour of Brooklyn via our public libraries. Stop at as many branches as you can, get your event passport stamped at each spot and then head to Central Library where there’ll be a block party with awards, live music, food, beer, and activities for adults and kids alike.

In conjunction with this fun event, The Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Ave.) is going to be poppin’ all day, and they’ve got a robust schedule of events planned. Continue reading

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An Inside-Out Pickup Joint: Soccer At The Pitch

The-Pitch_Williamsburg_02Ughhhh, is it iced coffee weather yet? It’s no secret that we New Yorkers aren’t blessed with a great climate. Winter = grey snow piles for days. Spring = rain, like we’ve had all week. Summer = sweat, gross smells, and sometimes you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. So what are outdoor sport-loving folks to do when NYC weather is THE WORST? Hit up The Pitch, NYC’s only indoor soccer-focused space, which just opened a few months ago in Williamsburg. Continue reading

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Long-Awaited Pulaski Bridge Bike Path to be Unveiled This Week

After a lot of complaints, plenty of false starts, and a two-and-a-half-year wait, it looks like we are finally getting that Pulaski Bridge bike path. The path will connect the increasingly popular waterfront neighborhoods of Long Island City in Queens and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

Photo via NYC DOT
Photo via NYC Department of Transportation

The project, backed by Assembly member Joe Lentol, was initiated in response to community complaints about the shared pedestrian and bike path on the six-lane bridge over Newton Creek.

In 2013, when the project was first approved, the NYC Department of Transportation released a report, which revealed that there had been a 106% increase in cyclists over the Pulaski Bridge in the previous four years, versus a 47% increase in pedestrians. As traffic increased over the bridge, the width became a cause for concern. The addition of a separate bike path will improve safety for bikers and pedestrians alike. Continue reading

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