Councilmembers Call for Full Funding of Hate Crimes Prevention Office

Council Members  Robert Cornegy, Brad Lander, Rafael Espinal, Andrew Cohen, Mathieu Eugene, Mark Levine, Chaim Deutsch, and Speaker Corey John joined a press conference on Monday with the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn  (courtesy of UJO Williamsburg).

More funding is needed for the newly created Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, a group of NYC lawmakers announced yesterday at a press conference on Monday in Williamsburg.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will allot $336,000 in funding in the city’s $92 billion budget for 2020, but the city council says that the hate crimes prevention office will need $475,000 for its first year and $713,000 annually thereafter, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The NYPD’s statistics for 2019‘s first quarter show a 67 percent total increase in reported hate crimes compared to the first quarter in 2018.

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Reserve Your Free Rain Barrel for Pickup in McCarren Park 6/1

Free rain barrels will be distributed in McCarren Park on Saturday, June 1st from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. compliments of the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection and Councilman Stephen Levin.

If you want to reserve a rain barrel fill out this online form.

Rain barrel help to collect stormwater and reduce runoff while providing water for landscaping.

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Hollywood Legend Mickey Rooney’s Greenpoint Roots

 

Mikey Rooney by Flybynight from Pixabay

Few people today might recognize him by his real name, Joe Yule Jr., but the boy born in 1920 at 696 Leonard Street would become an Academy Award winner and Hollywood legend using the stage name Mickey Rooney. Rooney’s career in Hollywood spanned an astonishing nine decades.

The house at 696 Leonard Street where Rooney was born (Google Maps)

Rooney’s career, like that of Greenpoint’s other Hollywood legend Mae West, began in Vaudeville as a child. Rooney’s parents were vaudeville actors, but they could never have dreamed how much their son would achieve on stage, screen, and television. Joe Yule Jr. became the star of his parents’ act by the age of two. In an autobiography, Rooney explained how he first entered the theater world. As a toddler, Rooney was hiding under the scenery when he sneezed. Dragged out by an actor, the toddler was ordered to play his harmonica. He did, and the crowd erupted. The rest, as they say, was history.

An excerpt from The Brooklyn Eagle archives – 7/27/1937

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Class & Co Expands with a Roof Deck and 3 New Private Office Spaces!

Class & Co. (260 Ainslie St) just opened their roof deck on time for summer and built out 3 new private office spaces (2-person, 5-person and 10-person) available June 1st and is looking for creative entrepreneurs to join their boutique sized co-working community.

Ample cozy sitting room at Class & Co

Sun-drenched with all the amenities like coffee, weekly breakfasts, and events free to members, this is a space where you will feel inspired and won’t have to worry about anything except building your new project or business. For more details about what Class & Co has to offer, check out this post we did when they first opened!

Drop by for a tour and mention “greenpointers” to save on one security payment. Simply pay the first month and enjoy your new office. No commitment. Continue reading

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“Dance and Be Free” With Good Move in Williamsburg

Photos by Hayley Hill & Lauren Damaskinos, courtesy of Good Move

Warm weather is (finally)  just around the corner. If rising temps make you eager for a new work out routine, Good Move is the answer. Located at 56 Marcy Ave, Good Move is the brainchild of Jules Bakshi, a seasoned wellness/fitness guru, professional dancer, and choreographer. Good Move is encouraging of all levels and has a mindful approach when it comes to its curation of classes. From its namesake class, “Good Move” to adult beginner dance (known affectionately as “Hot Bitch”) to good ole pilates, all classes are built to be inclusive and empowering. Bakshi picked the location because she adores this community and all its small business owners.

Photos by Hayley Hill & Lauren Damaskinos, courtesy of Good Move

“Gertie, has been a haven for me while I get the studio up and running. It’s so very comforting to walk in at any time of day and see some friendly faces, they’ve seen me on some rough days and nights and always offer an ear (or a drink!). It’s a really cool, supportive community of founders and makers.” It also helped that the location was about 12-minute walk in sneakers, and 18-minute walk in heels from her home, a must on this long-time North Brooklyneer’s list.

This is the place for you if you feel shy about sashaying in public. Inclusivity is the foundation of this studio with Bakshi working for years to create a “safe space where anyone can experience the pleasures of movement,” with the goal for you to “shake off your day or your week, and just keep on shaking and dancing til you feel alright.”

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Vermin Infested Williamsburg Starbucks Is Closed Again

Starbucks at 154 N 7 St. (Google Maps)

The Starbucks located at 154 N 7 St. in Williamsburg has shut down again following a temporary closure earlier this month after an employee/whistleblower reported a vermin infestation prompting an inspection from the Dept. of Health.

Brown paper was taped over the front doors to the Williamsburg Starbucks on Friday morning with a sign stating “Store Closed,” pointing customers to nearby locations.

It’s unclear if the latest closure is permanent or related to the vermin infestation that resulted in the corporate coffee chain receiving a “C” during a visit from the city on April 30th when inspectors found:

1) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
2) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
3) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.

Inspectors returned a few days later after Starbucks reopened on May 2nd and still found unsanitary conditions related to vermin: “Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.” Continue reading

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Why Is McCarren Park’s Soil Lead Contaminated?

McCarren Park (Ryan Vaarsi/Flickr)

Does McCarren Park have a lead contamination problem? A new report from WNYC found lead contamination levels above 150 ppm in 87 percent of the 30 soil samples taken in the beloved Greenpoint park.

The report also found soil with lead contamination in Prospect Park and Astoria Park in Queens.

For the McCarren soil testing WNYC focused on the grassy circle near the western entrance at the corner of Lormier Street and Bedford Avenue behind the restrooms:

Our focus was on an oval-shaped plot at the northeast corner that’s typically crowded with picnicking families in warm weather. Historic insurance maps reveal a company that made window sashes, blinds and doors once occupied the site in the 1880’s. Present-day aerial images show large patches of bare soil throughout the park.

Out of 30 samples tested in this one area, 87 percent were above 150 ppm. All exceeded 80 ppm. The average lead level was 201 ppm, making McCarren the most contaminated park WNYC tested.

The WNYC Map of soil samples

The map uses color coding to show where the samples measure in relation to differing standards of the current EPA’s New York standard (400 ppm), the proposed New York standard (150 ppm) and California’s standard (80 ppm).

Lead exposure can cause neurological damage and children are especially vulnerable, but the study also notes that the vast majority of NYC children who have elevated lead in their blood were exposed to lead paint in their homes.

A brief explanation in the study as to why the soil in Brooklyn is widely contaminated hints at the manufacturing history of the borough.

Greenpoint and Williamsburg had dozens of manufacturers and industrial businesses emitting toxins as late as the 1990s, possibly impacting the soil in our parks today. A Hunter College study from 1989 entitled “Hazardous Neighbors? Living Next Door to Industry in Greenpoint-Williamsburg” profiles buildings where toxic chemicals were being used and stored for various manufacturers.

The 1989 “Hazardous Neighbors” study from Hunter College summarized the potential sources of toxicity at the time.

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Massive Food +Beer Event “The World’s Fare” Returns to Citi Field (5/18-5/19)

The World’s Fare has brought together a group of the most respected foodies to curate what will be a celebration of New York City’s diversity. More than 100 food vendors and 50+ beers will be on site representing more than 100 cultures.

Choose from multiple 3-hour sessions of unlimited beer tastings, as well as full-day access from 11am-8pm to The World’s Fare.

If the food & drink is not enough, two stages will have live music and cultural dance performances all weekend. In addition, the event includes a shopping bazaar of international goods from jewelry to pottery, cooking demonstrations, art installations, martial arts demonstrations and many other activities.

Use discount code GREENPOINTERS within 48 hours for $10 OFF beer tickets

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Immersive “Urban Imprint” Installation Opens at A/D/O Today

“Urban Imprint” (courtesy of A/D/O)

A new installation from artist Nassia Inglessis of Studio INI opens today at A/D/O (29 Norman Ave).

“Urban Imprint” (courtesy of A/D/O)

The “immersive, kinetic,” outdoor installation entitled “Urban Imprint” opens today (5/17) and will run through September 2nd; registration is open for free artist-led tours.

The “immersive” feature of the installation is highlighted by a rubber canopy which shape-shifts above the viewer’s head as they walk underneath, making for great Instagram snaps. Continue reading

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Update: Rubbished Removed From 996 Manhattan Avenue

996 Manhattan Ave (soo to be demolished) (via Google Maps)

 

After multiple Huron Street residents contacted Greenpointers with their complaints regarding the rubbish surrounding 996 Manhattan Avenue earlier this week, we posted pictures of the site and shared their story.

We are happy to report that the developer BHLD Capital responded within 24 hours by removing the garbage that included an abandoned car seat from 996 Manhattan Ave. as well as bringing the site up to code by installing lights on the scaffolding.

Check out the pics for yourself:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

BEFORE: Continue reading

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