toxic

Greenpoint Walks, More Trains, Toxic NYC, Bipolar & Monogamous, ‘Wiches — The Hook-Up (11/18)

Artwork by Tamara Garvey

 

New website, Walkscore, gives Greenpoint a 94/100 rating for walkability in NYC, but also ranks it as the 58th most walkable neighborhood in NYC. This site says that Washington Heights, Harlem & Crown Heights are all more walkable, but don’t you think they should factor in the increased chance that you’re going to get jacked for your iPhone as a walking factor? Or what about street harassment? I’m not sure the ranking system is cohesive enough.

Joe Lentol is getting the MTA to bring us more G & L trains next Summer. Thanks, Joe, now let’s see if we notice a difference.

It’s not just Greenpoint that is toxic. It’s all of NYC! Property Shark made an obsessively comprehensive map of every possible toxic situation in New York City and we’re not even talking about your boyfriend that all of your friends don’t like.

The Atlantic did a piece about New Yorkers moving to Jersey City that described moving there as much more welcoming than when you move to NYC neighborhoods that are gentrifying so quickly that there’s an inherent rivalry between new transplants and longtime residents.  Greenpoint was described as “totally bipolar” because of this dynamic.

According to a recent survey conducted by NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Greenpointers have less sex partners than most New Yorkers. It also probably means that there are more non-cheating couples in our neighborhood than most of Queens and downtown Manhattan.

And finally, North Brooklyn’s freshest butcher, the Meat Hook, will open a sandwich shop at 495 Lorimer next to Gimme Coffee in January. According to their email blast, expect “cold beer” and “sandwiches like momma used to make, if momma was drunk.” Yum. (Grub Street)

 

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Greenpoint Landing Public Hearing (10/9)

Tomorrow is the 2nd to last public hearing on Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial St. The City Planning Commission will cast a vote on the project. 

Residents will be able to sign up to speak for 3 minutes each to voice opinions and concerns.

The developer has approval to build 300 market-rate apartments in a 15-story tower at 77 Commercial Street, but still needs approval for necessary zoning modifications in order to build an additional 500 units.

Greenpoint Landing would add 700 units as well as a new public school to the waterfront. The towers are currently above the height allowed by current zoning laws.

Controversy has arisen with regards to the affordable housing units in the building, de-funding of the park project, as well as additional population increases in the neighborhood, and the strain that increase will cause on public transit.

The local organization, Save Greenpoint, is fighting agains the towers, arguing that the development of Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial St will unearth harmful toxic chemicals into the local environment. They warn that residents will be exposed to harmful VOC’s from excavation for 3 years, impacting even indoor air quality.

They are still collecting signatures on this petition, to urge Governor Cuomo and the state to order a comprehensive Environmental Assessment of the redeveloped area before construction begins.

Meeting Info:

Where: Spector Hall, 22 Reade St

When:  10/9 at 10am

Note: From Kim Mason of Save Greenpoint: “If people cannot attend the meeting, they should write letters to Amanda Burden, the Director of City Planning. Her email is aburden [at] planning [dot] nyc [dot] gov.

 

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Is Greenpoint Safe? Important Panel Discussion Wed 5/23

Oil spill? Toxins? Plumes? Is Greenpoint safe? If you live or work here, you should be concerned about how your health is affected by these big problems. Please come and learn about the history behind our neighborhood’s toxic legacy and how it can be cleaned up. This important topic will be the focus of a discussion on Wednesday May 23, 2012 at 7pm in Anella’s backyard (222 Franklin St), in a panel moderated by Cara Canella of Speak Easy Series. Panelists include Kate Zidar of Newtown Creek Alliance, Laura Hoffman of O.U.T.R.A.G.E. (Organizations United for Trash Reduction and Garbage Equity), Mike Schade of Center for Health & Environmental Justice. RSVP: lincoln (at) lincolnrestler.org.

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These Guys: Shart Attack

These guys: (left to right) Rowland and Joe’s appropriately named canoe “Shart Attack” embarked from the Sewage Treatment Plant Nature Walk yesterday. The canoe was quite a looker on Driggs as they gave it a good scrub down. We couldn’t help but take a step back when they told us it just came out of the Newtown Creek. Rowland assured us it was a great ride and the water doesn’t look dirty. And, there were signs of life, fish, mussels, clams, ducks and cormorants.

Newtown Creek 05.jpg
Nature Walk at Sewage Treatment Plant

 

“Did you wear life jackets?”
“Yes.”

“Did you wash your hands yet?”
“Not yet,” Joe said as he puffed a smoke.

I guess a ride on the Creek is less harmful than nicotene and unlike the Gowanus, it won’t give you gonorrhea. We have something going for us over here in Greenpoint!

But, just because it’s contaminated doesn’t mean we should give up on the Newtown Creek. As my Mom says, “use it or lose it!” The more we get out there and the more awareness we bring to the problems, the better chance we have of revitalizing the creek.

Newtown Creek Alliance
North Brooklyn Boat Club

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Pastor Marries Choir Girl Who Swims In the Newtown Creek


Everyone gives me crap for not being a “real” Greenpointer, but my great grandfather G. Clement Edson was the pastor of the Noble Street Presbyterian Church (1907-1911) and my grandmother Isabelle was born on Noble St. Why does this matter?

Great Grandpa’s wedding to his new wife, Gertrude, a choir girl, after his first wife, who was my biological Grandmother died, caused major drama in Greenpoint. The old ladies of the church had another dame picked out for him, but old Clem knew who he wanted. A headline in the Brooklyn Eagle read, Pastor Marries Chorus Girl, which is very different from a choir girl. 20th Century Greenpoint gossip! While I need to do some digging in the Brooklyn Eagle archives, the story even made it into the NY Times.

And aside from personal validation, my great grandmother Gertrude used to swim in the Newtown Creek! Explains a lot, right? We can imagine it was a beautiful and natural place back then.

Annie Edson Taylor

This is not the first instance of a ballsy female ancestor taking risks with water. I’m also related to the infamous Annie Edson Taylor, who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Today, I would do that before taking a plunge into the Newtown Creek.

These days if you see someone swimming in the Newtown Creek, (after you lol,) call 911.

The New York State Department of Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry completed a public healthy assessment of the Newtown Creek. This is very important information considering the North Brooklyn Boat Club has been taking to the waters! (I just became a member, it’s $30.)

Today, May 4th is the deadline to comment by filling out this form.

Their key findings:

  • 1. DON’T EAT ANYTHING OUT OF THE NEWTOWN CREEK! “Eating fish and crabs taken from Newtown Creek could harm people’s health, due to the chemical contaminants. Women under 50 years old and children under 15 years old should not eat any fish or crabs from these waters. Others should follow the State Health Department advisories for eating fish and crabs taken from this and other waterways. There is currently a fish consumption advisory for Newtown Creek.”
  • 2. DON’T SWIM IN THE NEWTOWN CREEK! “Swimming, scuba diving and wind surfing (with full body immersion) could harm people’s health, due to biological contaminants and physical hazards (underwater debris, commercial boat traffic).”
  • 3. YOU CAN TOUCH IT, BUT WASH YOUR HANDS! “Canoeing, kayaking, boat touring and catch-and-release fishing are not expected to harm people’s health, if people use precautions (properly washing their hands) to avoid swallowing biological contaminants from surface water.
This is an important step for public safety information. Is there any hope for the Newtown Creek? Can it ever be cleaned up back to the time when Great Grandma Gertrude swam there? 

Reference:

Vice’s Toxic: Brooklyn Series 2007
PBS Map of Newtown Creek
PBS Video Series: The City Concealed: Newtown Creek

Brooklyn Genealogy: City of Churches
Brooklyn Genealogy: The Eastern District of Brooklyn; The N Streets
Brooklyn Online: Historic Greenpoint

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