new york city

Trash Talk – New York’s Fascinating History With Garbage

Invisible Trash
Robin Nagle had all kinds of cool, old-timey photos about trash.

Do you ever stop to think about the enormous undertaking and organization required to keep New York City clean? Robin Nagle does, and she wants everyone in New York City (and beyond) to realize just how different our day to day lives would be without the impressive work of the sanitation department.

On Thursday night, Robin Nagle spoke to a group of about 50 people at Acme Studios in a talk entitled “Invisible Trash: Exploring New York City’s Garbage.” She covered 400 years of garbage collection history and the ins-and-outs of snow removal, street cleaning, and disaster response in the Department of Sanitation of New York. Her book, Picking Up, was also on sale which chronicles her findings while studying the history and culture of sanitation workers, as well as her time working trash removal with the department. Continue reading

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Greenpointers Neon Thank You Video + Neon Sign!

greenpointers neon sign
Greenpointers Neon Sign Made By Robbie Ingui of Artistic Neon

Last Friday night we were so excited to light our Greenpointers Neon Sign. Ain’t she a beaut? Thanks to everyone who donated and made this beautifully crafted piece of art a reality. And thanks to Robbie Ingui of Artistic Neon for doing such a badass job. The sign will be on display at our Holiday Market on 12/8/13! Come by a check it out.

Watch my Thank You video, too… Continue reading

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NYC FAIL: LIC’s 5Pointz Destroyed – All For Luxury High Rises

In a tragic turn of events for the street art community worldwide and the general soul of NYC, 5Pointz’s exterior walls and the works of over 1500 international artists was completely white washed under the cover of darkness last night with protection from the police – all for the development of high rise luxury towers in Long Island City, despite rallying against demolition and an effort to get landmark status for the building.

In a comment to Hyperallergic, 5Pointz curator Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen called the landlord Jerry Walkoff, “the biggest art murder of our time.” Enough said.

There will be a candlelit vigil at 5Pointz tonight according to the Save 5 Pointz Facebook page.

RIP 5Pointz

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Is MTA bringing Citibike to Greenpoint?

There have been talks about the MTA partnering with Citibike to foot the bill for bike docking stations in Greenpoint and LIC given the G train service outage beginning next weekend.

I got on the phone with Citibike and the MTA to find out whether this is happening.

The short answer from the MTA is that “it is being discussed” but “there is no timeline.” Part of the discussion includes the MTA paying for the bikes.

Ronald Leiva, representing Citibike said that it’s “a possibility,” but that I should consider it a “rumor” with “no hard evidence” but that he is “not denying that it is not happening.” He went on to say that there is also “no timeline”, but he did mention that if the MTA were to pay for the program they would get their logo on the bikes. Score! Maybe they could put the G train logo on it.

When questioned as to why Greenpoint was not initially included, he said that the DOT chose the locations which are in more densely populated areas around bridges. Apparently the Queensboro Bridge and our beloved Pulaski don’t count.

According to the Daily News, Greenpoint was in the initial plans which, ”were scaled back, and those neighborhoods were excluded after equipment stored in a Brooklyn warehouse was damaged by Superstorm Sandy flooding.”

Leiva of Citibike went on to say that as they receive more “sponsorship” aka advertising dollars they will expand outward and that they will likely expand into Greenpoint, but this may not be for “a few years” – unless the “rumors” about partnering with the MTA become a reality in the short term.

Do you want Citibike in Greenpoint? Were you disappointed when Greenpoint didn’t receive a docking station? Will you use Citibike in place of G train service to LIC?

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RIP, Tree on Norman Hit By Pepsi Truck

Tuesday morning en route to the Nassau Ave. G train, I was surprised to encounter a large tree branch laying across Norman Ave. while resting partially on top of a guilty-looking Pepsi truck. It appeared, upon closer examination, that the tree had just been clipped by the truck, which caused some of the wood to split, taking down a large chunk of the tree with it. Traffic was closed on the street as a result of this significant obstruction.

The site of the accident on Norman Ave. (off of Lorimer St.)

However, as of that evening, the entire tree had been cut down and almost entirely removed. It’s a shame considering that it was a good tree that just got hit with some bad luck (or, in this case, a Pepsi truck). An innocent casualty in the transport of carbonated beverages, the city had no choice but to take it out it entirely.

Don’t you agree that Pepsi corporation should pay to replace it? Let’s keep our Greenpoint green!

All that's currently left of the sad tree
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Composting Feels Oh So Good! Especially For Greenpoint and North Brooklyn

How many of you Greenpointers have your own compost bin? Or bring your food scraps to the Greenmarket on Saturday in McCarren Park? Doesn’t it feel so good? Do you get giddy when you see all the food waste that doesn’t get thrown into plastic bags and sent to a landfill? Now the rest of this city is finally getting on board and this will directly benefit Greenpoint and North Brooklyn.

The city announced yesterday a volunteer composting program that may become mandatory. At first 150,000 households, 100 high rises and 600 schools will participate from all five boroughs, then the entire city will be on board in a few years.

What do you think about a mandated composting program in NYC?

As Greenpointers, this program will directly improve public health in our neighborhood because a large percent of the garbage that the rest of our fellow New Yorkers throw out ends up in Greenpoint before it gets trucked off to landfills. The more everyone composts, the less trash we have to deal with here, and the less garbage truck fumes we will inhale.  Continue reading

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Sunday Snaps: Magnolia Trees in Brooklyn

© Jen Galatioto
© Jen Galatioto
© Jen Galatioto

Everyone goes nuts about the Cherry Blossoms, but the true stunners are the Magnolia Trees, which make the most glorious giant pink and white flowers that only last a week. My last apartment in Greenpoint had a huge Magnolia in the yard and when it bloomed last spring we had a punch party to celebrate. These photos are dedicated to my Mom and Dad who took me to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens an infinite amount of times as a kid.

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So Mayor Mike Took The Subway To Work: Feeling Safe After The Boston Marathon “Whatever” Attack

mayor mike on subwayOur hearts truly go out to the people of Boston. After yesterday’s tragedy there, which was shortly followed by a man killed by the G Train in Greenpoint, many of us may be starting off the day confused, saddened, and scared.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg wants you to know that he feels okay taking the subway after the “bombing” or “explosions” or “whatever” attack that happened yesterday during the Boston Marathon because NY is on high alert. Thanks Mike, but in a post-911 New York, many of us are probably shook up. But like brave New Yorkers, we carry on. Which can often make us feel even worse, guilty for acting like nothing happened.
While on a photo shoot yesterday, Jon texted me as the tragedy was unfolding and I quickly brought up the news on my iphone. The art director took one look at the horrific video and continued putting jewelry in front of my camera. It was disturbing to keep working, while at that moment amputees were being rushed to the hospital, but in all reality, what could I do in NY, but watch or keep working? Watching powerlessly can be worse.
After nervously returning home on the train, we listened to the news because watching would mean seeing the explosions on repeat, which is what many of us did after 911, which is even more traumatizing for our already shattered nerves. It’s not like after Sandy, when we could all come together and do something. In times like this, we can only watch and wonder and chose how to continue on.
And today we go back to our regular lives and think about how the people who were standing on the finish line yesterday had no clue how in one moment their lives would change forever. There is no comfort in this, that living in a city like New York, packed with people, vulnerable to such catastrophes, that at any moment any one of us could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is the chance we take to live in such an amazing place. It was the chance the people in Boston took to be part of such a spectacular event. We are never 100% safe but we can’t give up on those things.
Today the best thing we can do is keep Boston in our hearts and cherish the people and the city around us that we love.
Go home early, hug your dog, make dinner with your sweetheart, get a drink with an old friend, call your Grandma. Enjoy life.

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