The first time I saw Malina Nealis, it was in a the video below, where she is recorded beating the cameraman with a file folder, yelling in a thick Eastern European accent ‘Don’t take the pictures of me!’”
In the grand finale to our Valentine’s Day power couple series, we saved the most unique neighborhood love story for last, as it encompasses not one, but three couples with Greenpoint roots. Beth Lewand, who owns craft beer and cheese emporium Eastern District on Manhattan Avenue and Eagle Street with her husband Chris Gray, wrote a beautiful and historical narrative of her family’s relationship to the neighborhood. We think you’ll really enjoy it. Happy Valentine’s Day to our readers and to all the couples who shared the love in this series! Continue reading →
Speaking of McCarren, our humble park may be the future home of a giant bubble. Inside this bubble, there will be tennis year ’round, for a price.
Some camels strolled down Graham Ave to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. Totally normal.
ICE + FIRE = an epic blaze that lasted over 5 hours at a Brooklyn lumber yard.
Local real estate developer, Menachem Stark, was kidnapped from his office last week. His body was found on Friday, in Greak Neck, Long Island, and confirmed to be the missing man on Saturday; over a thousand mourners gathered for the funeral in Hassidic Williamsburg. According to the NY Times, he owned several neighborhood buildings, including the Greenpoint Hotel and 239 Banker Street, which he converted from a factory to trendy lofts. Both had some serious building violations and the latter was vacated in 2009, leaving him with more than a few enemies, but investigations into the murder have yet to be resolved.
This past year a public walk-thru of the Greenpoint Hotel, a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) at 1109 Manhattan Ave revealed mold, rats, and heat, hot water and electrical problems. The property has been purchased along with authority over ALL the tenant leases and there is talk that it may be demolished completely and transformed into a hostel. Continue reading →
goodyoga owners Flannery & Ray are so zen that while you were doing your goodflow you probably didn’t notice there was an annoying landlord dispute happening at the Calyer St space. They are putting all that bad energy behind them and have moved into a brand spanking new space at 114 Greenpoint Ave and are hosting classes at The Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Ave) in Williamsburg! And there is talks of a sauna!!!
Beacon’s Closets, the infamous vintage clothing warehouse is relocating to Greenpoint at the end of this year. It is among the many recent Williamsburg businesses to be priced out and seek more affordable rents here.
“Soaring rents are forcing out another pioneering Williamsburg retailer. The latest to join the exodus is Beacon’s Closet, a consignment clothing store and long-time hipster hangout. It is decamping from its North 11th Street home of 11 years…to its new 7,500-square-foot ground floor space at 74 Guernsey St.”
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?
That was the question on everyone’s mind at Wednesday night’s CB1 public hearing. In part, the public hearing was called to discuss the proposed rezoning of a block-long portion of McGuinness Boulevard from a manufacturing zone to a residential zone with a commercial overlay. This stretch of McGuinness between Calyer & Greenpoint is currently home to a gas station, several auto parts stores, Key Foods and Risqué Billiards. The owner/developer of 209-231 McGuinness– landlord to Risqué Billiards and ‘Strauss Discount Auto Parts’- thinks his site’s highest and best use is a new, 140 unit apartment building. Several members of the community certainly disagreed at the hearing. Continue reading →
You know the old expression - there goes the neighborhood. Nowadays in North Brooklyn, that sentiment is in the air when new high rise condominiums go up or when the hipsters move in. Robert Anasi’s latest book, The Last Bohemia: Scenes From The Life of Williamsburg, describes a time in our neighborhood’s recent past when North Brooklyn wasn’t a destination for artisanal restaurants and a good investment for foreign millionaires, but a long and sometimes scary ride on the L train to a place filled with drugs, prostitution, affordable housing and for Anasi, freedom: “a city you didn’t have to be rich to live in.”
Robert Anasi will be giving a reading at Word (126 Franklin St) tonight Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 7pm.