NYC Parks and Brooklyn Bazaar co-owners Belvy Klein and Aaron Broudo presented two weeks ago at January’s Brooklyn Community Board 1 meeting on the plan to bring a “family-friendly” restaurant to the rear of the McCarren Park house by spring 2021 following $1.2 million in renovations.
The goal is to maintain and improve the historic brick structure that was originally built in 1911 and was last renovated in 1938 when the McCarren Park Pool was under construction.
“This will still be a parks-use building as well as a public amenity. People will be able to go into this building and see it, and enjoy it for what it is, and enjoy it both either as a patron or not,” Jonathan Chesley of INCA Architecture said during the presentation. Continue reading →
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 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.
Outdoor movie season is upon us, and here’s a roundup of the listings! No word yet on the lineup for Summerscreen this year, which usually kicks off in July, but we will definitely keep our neighbors posted.
We know McCarren Park is a great spot for chilling, but come May, it will be a great spot for grilling! In previous years, would-be Brooklyn grill masters have had to keep their grilling on the DL or risk getting a ticket. Not anymore! The parks department in kicking $50,000 our way for nine double-wide grills, 18 picnic tables, 3 charcoal-disposal bins and two additional trash cans. All this new equipment will be stationed around the park in 3 separate locations.
For park-goes who don’t want to do their own grilling, but would still like to chow down, the Parks Department will be soliciting bids for on-site food vendors. Of the applicants, the department will choose 3. Two will operate trucks in the park, and the third will set up shop in the field house!
On March 19th, the city will close the Track and Field at McCarren Park for a year. The field and quarter-mile running track on Lorimer Street between Driggs and Bayard will be getting a facelift thanks to a 4 million dollar overhaul funded by the mayor’s office. During the year-long closure, the parks department will lay new turf, and a new rubber track, at the complex.Additionally, the department will install new bleachers, planters and fitness equipment around the track. The rest of the park will remain open while the track and field overhaul is in progress. Continue reading →
Why run when you could walk? That seems to be question guiding this fall’s newest athletic not-quite-feat: The New York Sorta Marathon. Organized by comedian and former Greenpointer Zach Broussard, the Sorta Marathon is the first short marathon. Instead of 26.2 miles, the length of a traditional marathon, the race clocks in at just .2 miles.
Broussard explores some hard truths about marathons in his YouTube promo video for the event, including this rock-hard reality: 26.2 miles is way too long for most people. Designed to be a race anyone can finish, the event’s Kickstarter page exalts, “finally, a marathon FOR THE PEOPLE.” Broussard knows that not all of us have the time or the ability to train for a traditional race, but that we all face challenges personally or globally. So, how can we feel good? Skip the running and go straight to the runner’s-high! He told me, “lots of our online experience is watching people brag about things that are sometimes out of our own reach. So I thought it would be fun to create an event that allowed literally anyone the chance to brag about some crazy accomplishment.”Continue reading →