Newtown Creek Alliance

Train Thoughts & Trash Talk — The Hook-Up 7/29

Hey, it gets lonely on the G Track. (Via ReThink Studios)
Hey, it gets lonely on the G Track. (Via ReThink Studios)
Though full-size G Trains are very much on the agenda for the coming L Train shutdown, here’s another thought: extending the E to run along the G track to take the pressure off all of us out here.
 
Because the L Train shutdown is consuming all our thoughts lately, senator Daniel Squadron (plus 32 other officials) are calling on Cuomo, de Blasio, and MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast to start working on better solutions now.
 
One more G Train thing and then we’ll stop. Apparently a small number of G Trains are being used as a test group for those futuristic digital display screens you see on other trains from the modern era.
 
Greenpoint’s getting new trashcans, and they’re going in the places community members have suggested. If there’s a spot you’ve got in mind that’s in dire straits for a garbage receptacle, call 311.
 
Things are changing at Five Leaves and Nights and Weekends — but hopefully only in a behind-the-scenes kind of way. Chef Ken Addington is leaving his post there, but he’s apparently got something else up his sleeve.
 
If sewage-related podcasts are your thing, check out this DNAinfo reporter’s chat with Zainool Ali, the manager of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
 
What about urban hikes? Are those your thing? On August 6, Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman will be taking interested parties through our industrial borderlands
 
Investors Bank recently cut the ribbon at its new location on Manhattan Ave. However, it’s already made moves in the community by getting in with local advocacy groups like the Greenpoint YMCA and the North Brooklyn Development Corporation.
 
There’s still time for CitiStorage owner Norm Brodsky to accept the city’s offer of $100 million, but his public auction of the land recently closed, and he’s been playing his cards close to his chest.
 
The Greenpoint entrepreneurs behind spice savant Greenpoint Trading Company are laying on the heat with an expansion into South Bushwick.
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Cartoon History, Park Drama & Hank the Dog — The Hook-Up 6/3

Via Julia Wertz
Via Julia Wertz

The more you know: now you can learn about Greenpoint’s pastry, vaudeville, and industrial history in comic book fashion thanks to cartoonist Julia Wertz.

Is McCarren Park the new hotspot for attempted abductions? This Reddit forum suggests it might pay to be extra careful when you’re leaving Matchless at 3 a.m.

In the next potential round of Cuomo v. de Blasio: the state might strongarm the city into giving the Williamsburg waterfront its long-awaited park. However, some people would rather it turn into an Industry City-esque Maker Park. 

If “Combined Sewage Overflow” didn’t mean much to you before, you’re about to get a very visceral idea of why people think Newtown Creek is so shitty. However, the Newtown Creek Alliance has news about how local residents can do their part by using less water when it rains.
 
The Calyer Building is getting a makeover. Not to worry, though — the more iconic-looking Green Point Savings Bank will remain intact.
 

Few are thrilled about the prospect of an L Train shutdown, but it seems as though the overwhelming consensus is “get the damn thing over with.” However, “getting the damn thing over with” might actually entail closing 14th Street to car traffic, giving buses and bikes their own dedicated space. 

They say 90% of success is showing up. Or is it 80%? Either way, Greenpoint Democratic district leader Linda Minucci is being taken to task by people who admittedly have a vested interest in seeing her challenger best her.
 
Grub Street is wading into contentious territory here, but here’s its definitive ranking of the best Polish food in Greenpoint.
 
Is this you? Some of your neighbors really wish you’d pick up after your dog. #dogpoopshaming
 
Hank. Hank is Greenpoint’s most popular dog name. #dognameshaming
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Local Industry Is Making Brooklyn Great Again — The Hook-Up 4/1

A rendering of Amalgamated Drawing Office.
A rendering of Amalgamated Drawing Office.
Everyone groaned when BMW leased the former Brooklyn Night Bazaar space, but it looks as though the dealership is actually doing something really cool with the space/probably trying a little too hard to do Brooklyn right/might still deserve the benefit of the doubt for now. “Amalgated Drawing Office” will feature a restaurant, retail design store, co-working space, and start-up accelerator. One thing it definitely won’t be is an automotive space, but “design” is apparently an open-ended concept for the time being.
 
Speaking of maker spaces, North Brooklyn is getting its first new privately-financed manufacturing/industrial space in 40 years. 25 Kent will soon be home to its own version of Industry City.
 
After one month and 19 burglaries, it seems as though police have finally caught one of the suspects involved in a rash of break-ins across North Brooklyn. Security footage suggests they entered a lot of (unlocked, why?) apartments at night, taking cash, electronics and other valuables. While his accomplice is still at large, and for forever after, remember to lock your non-suburban doors.
 
Like textiles and feminism? Good. This Sunday, there’s a stitch-in happening at Bushwick Inlet Park to raise awareness for abortion rights. That’s one stitch for every one of the 5.4 million women of reproductive age in Texas.
 
Bioremediation workshops are coming to Greenpoint. Details are still to come, but the Newtown Creek Alliance will be laying down some knowledge on urban soil, harnessing beneficial microorganisms with compost tea, and mycoremediation (that’s using fungi for remediation).
 
Blooms are blooming, and the Greenway is showing the first signs of life. The two-way bike lane that’s been three years in the making is finally in the construction phase on West Street.
 
While things are popping, other things are drawing to a close. Verboten just got shut down. Fraud, mismanagement, sexual harassment and racism weren’t the official reasons, though. The government seized the property over unpaid taxes.
 
Are countdown clocks finally coming to the G Train? Gothamist spotted some suspicious-looking packages at the Classon stop. If you see something, say something.
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It’s Time to Speak up About That Proposed Toxic Water Bubble Plant

We in Greenpoint know better than to swim in the toxic, bacteria-laden Newtown Creek. We might soon be exposed to the contents of the creek regardless through a proposed aeration plant that would go in the Dutch Kills area of the creek.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is accepting public comment on the matter through Monday, April 4, and the Newton Creek Alliance drafted a letter in strong opposition  (PDF) to the current plan.

Aeration Map via Newtown Creek Alliance

The process of aeration increases the water’s oxygen content levels to support marine plants and fish, which were depleted after a century’s worth of industrial pollution and wastewater overflow. The air bubbles travel from installed pipes at the bottom of the creek, releasing oxygen bubbles — but the air doesn’t stop there.

A 2012 study by researchers at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found that the air bubbles transfer bacteria to the air near English Kills, an especially contaminated mile-long area of the creek in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A pilot aeration system was launched at English Kills in 2009. Continue reading

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A Little-Known Newtown Creek Access Point Takes Shape

Site location of the future project on North Henry Street in Greenpoint via Newtown Creek Alliance
Site location of the future project on North Henry Street in Greenpoint via Newtown Creek Alliance

If you walk along Greenpoint Avenue toward Queens, you will eventually approach North Henry Street, which appears to be a private road for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. A little-known fact is that the street is open to the public and leads to a city-owned Newtown Creek access point.

This access point — and the plans to revitalize once-thriving marshlands — were discussed last week at Sunview Luncheonette in Greenpoint. Willis Elkins, program manager at the Newtown Creek Alliance, presented his team’s “18 months of historic analysis” and forward-looking vision for the decrepit shoreline. While the plans are still in their early stages, NCA’s goal is to reintroduce an ecosystem that can also provide natural protection against rising waters. Continue reading

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Newtown Creek Pollution and Monsanto’s Roundup Pose Double-Duty Health Concerns for Greenpointers

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Newtown Creek as seen from the Pulaski Bridge. Photo by Laura Apperson

Recent city investigations have revealed new information about two major health concerns for Greenpoint residents: details on the contaminants—and the plans for clean-up—in one of the nation’s most polluted waterways, Newtown Creek; and the locations of and possible health problems associated with Monsanto’s potentially cancer-causing Roundup, which can be found in many of Greenpoint’s green spaces.

Continue reading

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A Streetcar Named Whose Desire, Exactly? — The Hook-Up 2/12

Photo: Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector
Photo: Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector

Is it the Streetcar Named Desire for the people of New York, or is de Blasio’s proposed streetcar linking Brooklyn and Queens a developer’s fantasy in the making? In either case, here’s what we know so far.

We know slightly more about the L Train Shutdown than we did last week. Brace yourselves, because it seems as though “1 year vs. 3 years” was a generous estimate.

It only took a year, but the reports from the CitiStorage fire investigation have been wrested into public view by The Brooklyn Paper. The fire was allegedly sparked by a light fixture, subdued, and then reignited. Kind of weird that department reps maintained their line that the investigation was ongoing, even though investigators signed off on the report on Jan. 8. Continue reading

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Walter White Coffee, Development Sagas, & Life in Newtown Creek — The Hook-Up 10/16

Here's your flat white, bitch. (Via Kickstarter)
Here’s your flat white, bitch. (Via Kickstarter)

Greenpoint Avenue is a Bike Blockers clusterfuck, according to WNYC. Most of us might be willing to make exceptions for vans delivering smoked salmon, however.

Perhaps fitting that owner Deniz Kosan chose our charming toxic wasteland as the proper setting for his Breaking Bad-themed Turkish coffee shop, but a Walter’s Coffee Roastery may just provide some pleasant smells for once.

Not convinced that life can prosper in Newtown Creek? Come down to the Newtown Creek Alliance’s North Henry Street location this Sunday afternoon (from 12-4) to check out its Living Dock project. Greenpointers will be on the scene to provide verified coverage of this scientific marvel. Continue reading

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What Lurks Under the Pulaski Bridge? A Dose of Greenpoint History

Mitch gestures from the Pulaski Bridge
Mitch gestures from the Pulaski Bridge

 

“I’m gonna keep you alive, I promise!” says Mai Armstrong, member of Newtown Creek Alliance.

It’s Saturday morning – a scorcher, by the way – and a group of 31 culture enthusiasts from all over New York have assembled by St Anthony’s Church for a free two-hour guided walk of Newtown Creek (and environs) as part of Jane’s Walk NYC. One woman, an ex-resident, has brought her two daughters from Manhattan to check out the old ‘hood.  It’s a beautiful day, and we bristle with anticipation. Continue reading

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