Recently there was controversy about the naming rights to the McCarren Park Pool. A company offered money for the naming rights and many locals became angry about the proposed name change. Truth is, few people know anything about Patrick McCarren.
I have been researching McCarren for a book I am writing about Williamsburg . He was a fascinating, amazingly corrupt figure. In his day he was not just a powerful local boss, but was also powerful on the national level. Born in 1849 in Massachusetts, he grew up locally. Too poor to afford higher education, McCarren started life in the local sugar mills, but was ambitious. Politics in the eighteen seventies was almost the only way a humble man could acquire wealth and power. Continue reading →
If you’ve already been for a dip in McCarren Park Pool this year you’ll know that all that splashing around can leave you hungry! But the good news is that now Greenpoint has the perfect snack for a post-swim refuel: CRÊPES!!
Crepeteria opened two weeks ago, and is handily located mere minutes from the pool at 614 Manhattan Avenue, between Driggs and Nassau. Continue reading →
Via, Brooklyn 11211, who thinks this article from Crains is a bunch of baloney, “the trophy for the Brooklyn project that has had the most transformative impact goes to the renovation of Greenpoint/Williamsburg’s McCarren Park Pool.”
According to Eastern Consolidated who created the report, the “transformative impact” refers to real estate in terms of the price of land and buildings. The article stated that:
In terms of land sales, there were 14 within half a mile of McCarren Park in the last two years, with an average price $10.8 million. That compares to 10 deals within half a mile of the Barclays Center, where prices only averaged $2.6 million. The volume of multi-family properties around the park also outpaced the Barclays Center’s with about $95 million in sales in both 2011 and 2012 in the area around the park, compared to roughly $85 million near the arena in 2011 and $41 million in 2012. The average price for the former was a little over $490 a foot, compared to $400 a foot near Barclays.
Cainns goes on to report that Barclay’s outscored the pool in terms of retail development.
Brooklyn 11211 argues that “I’d bet that the prior redevelopment, not to mention the massive rezoning of the area in 2005, had a lot more to do with the price of development sites in the area than a few million gallons of water in a pool do (as fantastic as that pool might be).”
While the pool may just be that – a pool, in terms of amenities it’s much more of a value to the local community than a big rusty looking arena that draws a crowd from outside of the area. Let’s not forget the actual park, which has been renovated on the northern end and also has a great running track and work-out area. Considering the high real estate values of areas surrounding Prospect and Central Parks, it makes sense that as Greenpoint and Williamsburg continue to develop that the housing prices around McCarren Park will follow that same pattern.
Do you think the pool is a valuable asset to the North Brooklyn community?
1- The night before the big day, freeze a large bottle of water in your freezer.
2- Go to bed.
3- Wake up and get some breakfast and coffee. There is no food or drink available for purchase at the pool and you don’t want your time cut short by hunger pangs.
4- Bring a gym lock. They will not let you in without one. There are no bags allowed on the pool deck. Everything is to be locked up.
5- If it’s the weekend, get over to the pool by 10AM. It opens at 11AM, and you want to be one of the first people in. Waiting an hour isn’t the end of the world. The line is mostly shady, but there are some sunny spots, so wear sunscreen. Continue reading →
Yep, the pool is open! There was a line around the block after the ribbon cutting when according to Gothamist, the mayor mispronounced it as “McClarren” and then said: “Today we’re going to make some waves in Williamsburg!” Greenpointers had a problem with that and corrected him on both fumbles. Na doy, everyone knows that McCarren Park is in Greenpoint, Mayor Boomberg. 11222!
Either way the pool will be enjoyed by Williamsburgers and Greenpointers alike. According to the park’s website: “Outdoor pool hours are from 11:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m., with a break for pool cleaning between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The outdoor pool season begins on June 28 and ends Labor Day, September 3.”
There will be designated morning and evening lap swims and an ice skating rink in the winter. No word on what will happen in the off season (Spring & Fall). After last night’s stellar The Big Splash! – OSANB’s fundraising event, I hope it can be used as an event space in the off-hours, too.
It was hot, humid, sticky. It’s summer in New York. Friday nights are often special; this friday in particular was the opening of Gina Pollack‘s solo exhibit of Where They Swam // Other Relics. It was hosted at the one well, a fabulous local shop/gallery space whose owner Kerry Jones is also the curator/designer.
Gina came in, price sheets and artist info in hand. “So sorry, I forgot about these,” said the Silverlake native-turned New Yorker.
I was admiring her photographs earlier while helping Kerry prep. A part of me always wonders what the artist looks like in comparison to the art they make. Her photos were colorfully vivid and vibrant. They were filled with beautiful nostalgia and juxtaposition of man-made elements and forces of nature.
With her vintage red pumps, ethnic-inspired black dress and no-fuss hair, Gina was the perfect petite embodiment of her artwork.
I was curious what inspired her to take these photographs, so I asked if she had a couple of minutes to answer my questions.
Y: So, aside from the fact that the McCarren Park Pool is opening soon, I want to know what spurred your interested in taking photographs of it in the first place?
G: It was actually a spur of the moment thing. My friend and I were walking past it and curiosity got the best of me. Continue reading →
It’s official, McCarren Park Pool is opening on Thursday June 28, 2012! For real! This weekend, a park employee named Guy (as in Gaetano) told me in the best Brooklyn accent you’ve ever heard, “make sure ya have a lock and a bathin’ suit, or ya ain’t gettin’ in.” Word. Blogs are teasing that you can pay $150 for a sneak peek the night before on Wednesday 6/27 during The Big Splash! or just wait 24 hrs and get in FREE on opening day when it opens at 11am. (Better start camping out now!)
But the $150 ticket price isn’t just for premium Instagram bragging, even though that is going to be sweet. It is an important fundraising event for Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, a non-profit thats serves our community by raising funds to expand and improve our local parks. I can get behind that. Parks rule! And so will the pool.
The ticket will also get you cocktails, a fancy dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, a toast to honoree Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation and the chance to see someone christen the pool. Because you know once one person jumps in, everyone jumps in.
You know you BLOW your money on ridiculous things. I’m sure you’ve spent more on a bathing suit or a pair of sunglasses that you’ve already lost. Make it count and buy your tickets to The Big Splash! for a beautiful Brookyln evening you won’t forget.
Proceeds from this event will supplement the Parks Department’s programming in McCarren Play Center and maintenance for the park.
Have you stopped by the one well on Greenpoint Ave, yet? It’s an amazingly curated shopping experience. Kerry, the owner, has an great eye not only for picking out unique vintage finds and the wares of local makers, but she also puts on great art exhibitions.
Tonight, Friday June 8th, is the Opening Reception for Where They Swam/Other Relics, a photographic exhibition by Gina Pollack that documents the pre-construction of the soon to be re-opened McCarren Park Pool in 2009.
Would you believe a bag is what brought Kerry & Gina together? Gina loved a bag in the one well, which she found on a KRRB, an online flea market for locals. (Think Craigslist has a baby with Pinterest.) “On a whim,” Gina sent Kerry her website, and now Gina is for the first time is having “my own show, my own work.”
Like all multitasking creative Greenpointers, Gina has a pretty cool day job, designing a book for street artist JRs, Inside Out Project, who is known for his outstanding gigantic portraits on the landscapes of flavellas in Brazil and the South Bronx.
For Where They Swam, Gina operated like a street artist in order to get shots inside the pool by climbing over construction zone barricades.