By storres

About storres

Susan has lived in Brooklyn for four years, only one of which wasn't spent in Greenpoint, which she prefers not to talk about. When she's not wasting her money on fancy grilled cheeses, she works at an environmental advocacy nonprofit, and stays as close to the East River as possible.

Save your Food Scraps! Composting is Coming to Greenpoint

Photo by Kate Hooker

Americans waste A LOT of food–35 million tons a year! In fact, we throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal, or glass. If that wasn’t scary enough, this disturbing trend is increasing each year. In NYC, approximately 35 percent of our garbage consists of discarded food. This is where the beauty of a city wide composting program comes into play.

A couple years ago, New York City set an ambitious goal of diverting 75 percent of trash from landfills by 2030. With food waste taking up such a big chunk of valuable landfill real estate, it’s no wonder the city wants to expand its composting programs. Lucky for us, Greenpoint is next on the list!

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Celebrating the Future Environmental Stewards of Greenpoint

What was there to celebrate on a freezing cold evening in the heart of winter in Greenpoint? The kickoff of the Greenpoint Eco Schools program, which was recently awarded funding from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.

To celebrate the funding and the beginning of the program, the National Wildlife Federation invited community members to Cafe Edna’s on Nassau Avenue for drinks and delicious snacks. Assemblymember Joseph Lentol, principals from participating schools, local environmental groups, representatives from City Councilmember Stephen’s Levin’s office, and the GCEF were all on hand to join the night’s festivities. Continue reading

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The Gross World of Food Warehouses

In the back of my mind I kind of know restaurants are disgusting, I just choose not to think about it because I need to eat. Even a fancy “A” rated restaurant has some seriously gross stuff going on. Restaurant grades are dolled out based on health code violations; an A restaurant can have no more than 13 points in their most recent inspection. For example, if a restaurant is found to have an ill employee in the kitchen they receive 10 points for the violation. So, an inspector can go to a restaurant, witness a sick person handling your food and that restaurant can still earn a top health rating. If you were eating while reading this article, go ahead and stop right now.

An opossum recently spotted in Greenpoint that I assume is freely allowed in our food storage facilities.

As gross as some aspects of eating out can be, a lot happens to your food before it even gets to your favorite restaurant. But don’t worry, Senator Chuck Schumer has added better food regulation to his plate.

Senator Schumer is asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review its policies and increase the amount of inspections to food distributors after discovering nasty stuff going on at a food distribution company based in Greenpoint. As reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the New Yung Wah Trading Co. headquarters, located at 311 Richardson Street, has big vermin control and storage problems at some of its warehouses. Continue reading

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The Blue Bikes Are Coming

Greenpointers, get your helmets ready. The bicycle share company, Citi Bike, is doubling in size and Greenpoint is one of the first places on the list to receive the new bikes.

6,000 bikes will be added at 375 new locations by 2017. The expansion will begin in 2015 with station installations happening in northern Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Long Island City, and Bedford-Stuyvesant. 1,000 new bikes are expected to be in service next year.

Blue bikes coming to the greenest of points.

While popular, Citi Bike hasn’t been without it’s share of problems since it’s inception in May 2013. The initial rollout was delayed a year because of software issues and damage to bikes after Hurricane Sandy. There have also been complaints of broken docks and kiosks as well as cracked seats. A lawsuit has even been filed about the bike designs. But none of this stopped 100,000 people from signing up for the ride-share program and riding 14.7 million miles in it’s first year.

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New Homeless Shelter Could be Coming to Greenpoint

66 Clay Street - possible site of new homeless shelter.

New York City just hit a milestone you might not have heard about. The amount of homeless people living in shelters is 57,665 people – a new record. According to a report released in October, New York’s homeless population grew last year, with almost 68,000 people without a permanent residence–all this while the number of luxury apartments for sale in Manhattan doubled in the last year. Meanwhile, homelessness is down across the country.

In the wake of this new reality, New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) announced a new homeless shelter will open in Greenpoint at 58-66 Clay Street. The shelter will be operated by Home Life Services, Inc. and will shelter 91 homeless adult families. A timeline for opening has not been set.

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Getty To Pay $16 Million Towards Clean Up Of Toxic Newtown Creek

In 1978 a US Coast Guard helicopter on a routine check spotted oil spilling into Newtown Creek. An estimated 30 million gallons leaked into the soil and water, causing health and environmental problems to the residents of Greenpoint – human and otherwise – ever since.

Look how pretty that toxic site is though!

This week, 36 years after the spill was first noticed, the government will receive more money to clean up the site from the people responsible for turning the creek into a polluted waterway. On Tuesday, the US government reached a settlement with Getty Petroleum which will pump an additional $16 million into the clean up of the designated Superfund site. As reported in the New York Post, Getty filed for bankruptcy back in 2011 and the federal government will receive the $16 million as part of that process.

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Survey: How do you feel about the transportation here in the hood?

Our portal to the rest of New York.

Few things unite New Yorkers quicker than transportation. Whether complaining about the MTA, giving someone directions, or debating the best possible route to get where you’re going, New Yorkers love talking about how we get around the city. For those of us in Greenpoint, who only have access to one subway, transportation can be an especially touchy subject.

Now you have the opportunity to share your thoughts on your transit situation with someone who can actually do something about. The Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) are working on their first advocacy campaign centered on transportation. They are conducting a survey on transportation issues in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The results will be shared with representatives and city officials next week.

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Kickstarting Justice

If two recent burglaries are any indication, being a thief in New York is kind of easy. On

The Kickstarter headquarters on a recent morning, pictured not getting robbed.

September 24th two Macbooks Pros, a MacBook Air, and an iPhone 5S were allegedly stolen from the Kickstarter headquarters on Kent Street. How did they gain access? By holding the door open after a food delivery. That’s it. Continue reading

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A Subway Closing in Greenpoint That We Can All Get Excited About

Observe the beauty of that non-Subway sign

Some of my friends tell me my hatred of Subway sandwich shop borders on the obsessive and unhealthy. I counter this claim by saying it is no more unhealthy than eating a subway sandwich. Continue reading

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McGolrick Makeover: The Funding of a Semi-Forgotten Park

A pretty lackluster game of tic-tac-toe for the kiddies.

Did you know that New York City was recently ranked as the second best city for parks in the country? Did you also know that when I originally typed that sentence I accidentally wrote “tanked as the second best city for parks” which might sometimes seem more accurate to residents? It’s true though – only Minneapolis beat us out. In fact, 97 percent of New Yorkers are within a 10 minute walk from a park according to a recent article on WNYC.

Greenpoint ranks pretty high in the city in terms of access to green space, but not all parks are created equal. While a lot of money has recently been pumped into revitalizing the waterfront (a worthwhile and daunting task), some parks are getting left behind. Like McGolrick Park. With rundown playgrounds and missing swings, residents and parents have been working together to get McG (new nickname?) a much needed tune up. Continue reading

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