The Queens Anti-Gentrification Project and Progress Queens will be hosting an event tonight called “Money, Power and Politics: Queens Democrats Examined.” The Queens County Democratic Party is also known as “The Queens Machine.” According to a press release for the event, “activists will participate in a panel discussion on the upcoming New York City Council speaker’s race, the influence of money on elected officials, and the impact on local Queens communities of legislation and policy favorable to the real estate industry.” The panel’s special focus on issues surrounding real estate development might make it of interest to community members here in Greenpoint grappling with changing landscape of the East River Waterfront.
What: Money, Power and Politics: Queens Democrats Examined
When: Tonight (12/4) 6:30-8:30pm
Where: LaGuardia Community College (31-10 Thomson Ave., Room E242)
Who: Anyone interested in local politics or community advocacy
The 94th Precinct is hosting a coffee talk session this afternoon (11/16) at Sunset Diner (593 Meeker Ave) from 2-pm to 4pm. You’ll have a chance to sit down with Captain Peter Rose and Captain Victoria Perry, along with other 94 Precinct Personnel, for a cup of coffee and a chat about your neighborhood questions or concerns.
What better way to cure a case of the Mondays than to tap into the wisdom of tarot over a glass of wine? You can find this calming and enlightening experience at Budin (114 Greenpoint Avenue) every Monday from 5-10pm courtesy of Eva Jane Peck, who has been studying the language of tarot and astrology for more than ten years. (And, if you sit for a fifteen minute “mini reading” with Eva, you can get $2 off wine at Budin). Eva, of Electric Lamassu Tarot and Astrology, has been collaborating with Budin to offer readings since May, and I stopped in last week to see what my cards would reveal. For the the reading, Eva used the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, “the traditional Victorian deck,” and her her kind, thoughtful and insightful reading was a joy. I particularly appreciated how she solicited my questions and interpretations, and made me feel a part of the process.
Helping others learn though tarot is a big part of what Eva does. She says, “I think of Tarot as a language to sort of figure out life. It was kind of an objective way to understand myself…It helped me get grounded and just sort of accept myself and who I am.” Since she has found tarot so helpful in her own life, she hopes that continued study of the cards and the imagery, coupled with continued readings, can help her help other people “come to an understanding for themselves.” She notes that people often get their Tarot cards read when they’re feeling nervous about something, “so it’s about trying to work through that.” Continue reading →
Limited space is a hallmark of city life, so it’s not everyday that New Yorkers ask themselves, “where should I put the hammock.” A/D/O, the creative design hub and co-working space at 29 Norman Avenue, has answered this question, and many more in its new MINI Living Urban Cabin. The Cabin is installed in A/D/O’s courtyard, and is on view for free daily between 9am and 7pm through November 22nd. The instillation seeks to “create a house within a limited footprint that is inspired by local surroundings; a cabin that blends into the landscape and illustrates New York as a vibrant city that incorporates cultural influences from around the world.” Continue reading →
Recently, I did a series of stories for Greenpointers about the twenty-fivemosthistoriclocalbuildings. One of the posts I wrote was about 85 Calyer Street, the residence of Thomas Fitch Rowland, whose company, the Continental Iron Works, located around the corner on Quay Street built the famous ship. In 1859, Rowland founded the innovative factory. Two years later, he would help make history when visionary Swedish naval engineer John Ericsson approached him about building a revolutionary ship in Greenpoint, the ironclad Monitor, which would revolutionize warfare and make wooden ships obsolete. Ericsson was a frequent visitor to the house and the many conversations in Rowland’s house led to the realization of Ericsson’s plan for the United States Navy’s first Ironclad battleship, which fought the legendary battle against the Rebel ironclad, the Virginia, in 1862. Thanks to the Monitor’s victory, the North won the Civil War and slavery ended. Rowland produced a number of ironclad ships locally, employing 1,500 workers at his works during the Civil War. Rowland also received the first patent for an underwater oil drilling well, an invention that had dramatic effects on the oil industry. He died a millionaire and the house changed hands a number of times.
The house has been sold and is evidently set for demolition. The new owner of the property, Daniel Kaykov of the Renovation Group, a Forest Hills-based construction firm filed demolition paperwork with the city on August 31st and additional paperwork for a demolition has also been filed. The frame house, which has had its facade remodeled, is an important part of local history and allowing its demolition would rob the community of an important landmark. Currently, the house has no landmark status from the city so its destruction could occur quickly. I described the awesome achievement that Ericsson and Rowland accomplished in my book Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past when they built the Monitor in just a hundred and one days, so I would feel great loss seeing the building be demolished. The Continental Iron Works was also demolished, so 85 Calyer Street is the last building that is a direct link to the building of the Monitor. I hope that the community can rally to save this authentic Greenpoint Civil War landmark.
The 94th Precinct will hold a community meeting tomorrow (10/4) at St. John’s Lutheran Church (155 Milton Street) at 7pm. The meeting is a monthly opportunity for community members to connect with local officers and express area concerns. This is a community-wide meeting, covering all NCO sectors, and all are welcome.
We might live in the concrete jungle, but according to this fantastic interactive tree map made by the New York City Parks department, Greenpoint is blessed with arboreal abundance. Our lovely neighborhood trees benefit from the care of volunteer environmental stewards, known as Citizen Pruners.
The Citizen Pruner course trains and certifies New Yorkers in “tree care, biology, identification and pruning.” Sarah explains that all of these skills and areas of knowledge are intertwined when it comes to properly caring for New York’s Trees, because knowing about a tree’s species, and the specific challenges that species has with weather or growth, helps inform how you prune it.
Trees New York is the only organization in the city that trains and certifies Citizen Pruners, and only certified Citizen Pruners can legally prune street trees in New York. Trees New York certifies about 200 Citizen Pruners every year, but Greenpoint residents are particularly lucky. Anyone who lives in zip code 11222 is eligible for the Greening Greenpoint Scholarship, and can take the course for just $15, thanks to funding from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund!Continue reading →
Even though Labor Day began as a New York City tradition, lots of us like to get out of town over the holiday. If you were off soaking up the last days of summer outside of the lush tropical paradise that is North Brooklyn, catch up on local news here!