Brooklyn

New Use For G Train: Sending Soup

Do you have a friend or family member that lives along the G train? Well, maybe you would consider sending them afternoon lunch via the G train (the Garden has a delicious selection of homemade soup); that’s exactly what one NY Times reporter did on Sunday.

I just put some lentil soup on the G train to see if it makes it all the way to my friend in Greenpoint, unescorted.

It’s a 21-minute trip. I’ll update here as the experiment progresses.

— Annie Correal (@anniecorreal) June 2, 2019

On Sunday, Annie Correal tweeted that she sent lentil soup inside a bag on the G train to see if it would make the trip from Carrol Street to Greenpoint “unescorted.” Continue reading

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Besieged Brooklyn Loft Tenants Have High Hopes But Few Options

240 Broadway in Williamsburg, on May 8, 2019. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

This story was originally published on 5/31/19 by THE CITY. (By: Claudia Irizarry Aponte and Josefa Velasquez)

For months, residents of a Williamsburg artists’ loft have been pleading with city agencies to help them gain protection under the state’s Loft Law.

Now the Department of Buildings is finally paying heed — just as the building’s management has begun asking tenants to leave 240 Broadway.

The residents called on the Department of Buildings in January to revoke the property’s certificate of occupancy as a mixed-use building, arguing the department overlooked dangerously shoddy construction 16 years ago.

If the certificate from 2003 is yanked, the tenants believe they will be able to apply for protection under the Loft Law, which would shelter them from arbitrary eviction, inordinate rent increases and subpar living conditions.

“You just assume your sprinkler system is up to code and there are no flags,” Britta Riley, a painter who has been living in the cast-iron building for 12 years, told THE CITY. “We didn’t even know to look into the Department of Buildings’ records.”

The building’s construction permits were obtained beginning in 2003 by Henry Radusky, an architect investigated in 2002 by the Department of Buildings for questionable paperwork on another project and sanctioned with a one-year curtailment of his filing rights. Radusky did not return calls for comment.

The Department of Buildings disregarded tenants’ pleas, for months, they say — only to inspect the building on May 17 and again on May 23, after THE CITY started asking questions.

Now, an audit of the original certificate of occupancy is underway.

“Following concerns raised by the tenants and local elected officials, DOB has initiated an audit of the 2003 alteration project at 240 Broadway and the resultant Certificate of Occupancy,” the department said in a statement to THE CITY last week. Continue reading

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“The Greenpoint” Developer Offers India Street Elevated Walkway for Flooded Ferry Entrance

Crossing the India Street “pond”

The entrance to the NYC Ferry at India Street has been flooding for months (if not more than a year) and the city vowed to take action after last week’s flooded ferry commute where multiple ferry riders shared their experiences.

 

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A throwback to Summer 2018’s Greenpoint Ferry shuttle truck //Repost @paigetaylorconnell

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Now the developers of “The Greenpoint,” the 40-story tower/mixed-use development nearing completion at the adjacent lot on India Street, have reached out to Greenpointers stating that they intend to remedy the situation:

While our development is not the cause of flooding on India Street near the ferry terminal, we are willing to help ease the pain for commuters while the City resolves the underlying issues regarding drainage on its property. The Greenpoint would like to immediately install a temporary elevated walkway connecting the current dead end of the northern sidewalk directly to the ferry landing on the south side. This work could be completed within days presuming cooperation and support of local officials, and would be performed at our cost. We believe this would provide a clear path for commuters and demonstrate our commitment to the good of the local community.

We have learned that the lack of proper drainage along the dead end of India Street is a condition that long predates our project. According to City records, approved drainage has never existed there. The permanent resolution of this lies with the City, and may be a slow process. The Greenpoint previously proposed alternative permanent solutions to applicable City agencies, which were rejected, but we are glad to revisit them with the City in light of the growing difficulties being faced by so many commuters.

The current walkway for India Street ferry commuters that often floods during rain.

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B91A Bus to Replace Two “Williamsburg Link” Buses Starting Saturday (6/8)

(via MTA)

To help remedy the disrupted commute for L train riders during the partial shutdown between Manhattan and Brooklyn for Canarsie Tunnel repairs, the MTA introduced two bus routes, the B91 and B92, which have turned out to be a flop.

Beginning this Saturday, the MTA will introduce the B91A bus to replace the B91 and B92 buses in response to low ridership where “two or three riders per trip,” are the norm, NY1 reports.

The soon-to-be former Williamsburg Link buses shuttle subway riders between the Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street L subway stations en route to the Marcy Avenue J and M station.

According to the weekly L train newsletter:

  • The new route will be shorter and focused on connecting the Marcy Av Station with the Bedford Ave area.
  • It will have two new stops—one on Driggs Ave at Grand St and another on Roebling St at Grand St—for a total of four stops.
  • The new route will run every 8 minutes during busiest times, and will keep the current late night and early morning frequencies as is (every 10 minutes).
  • The bus will still be free.
  • The new route also helps you connect to other buses: Customers going between Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St and Marcy Av Stations can take the B24 bus for a direct connection between the two stations. Customers going between Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St and Bedford Av can take the Q59 to the B91A at Grand St.

 

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Your Guide for Special Events This Weekend (6/8-6/9) for Greenpoint Open Studios!

Blast from the past: Juan Miguel Marin adding a new piece to his ongoing series titled “Drawing Under The Influence” live outside of his studio at The Pencil Factory during GOS in 2018.

Back for its sixth year and stronger than ever, Greenpoint Open Studios will bring the neighborhood an art-filled weekend this Saturday and Sunday (June 8th & 9th) with more than 350 local artists opening up their studios to the public — plus parties, special events, and some stellar artist-organized workshops. We will also, hopefully, be bringing the sunshine. Continue reading

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COUNTDOWN: One Week Until Greenpoint Open Studios (Sat 6/8-Sun 6/9)

Get ready because in just one week Greenpoint Open Studios (GOS) is returning to the neighborhood June 8th – 9th with more than 350 local artists opening up their studios to the public to showcase their works. What should you expect?
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Lack of Drainage Under India Street May Take Years to Fix

Commuters cross the flooded India Street entrance to the NYC Ferry during the rain on Wednesday evening (via Jonathan Vanasco)

The routine flooding of the India Street entrance to the NYC Ferry is finally receiving attention from city officials, but the lack of sewage and drainage infrastructure underneath the street may take years to fully construct, NBC 4 reports.

NBC 4 paid a visit to India Street to speak with Greenpoint ferry commuters on Thursday to see how they’re dealing with the flood waters, that Greenpointers reported is an ongoing problem. The current makeshift pedestrian walkway is sandwiched between “The Greenpoint” waterfront development and construction fences in an area prone to flooding.

 

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Taking the #eastriverferry is usually great. I have 11 screws in my foot and take it daily; until this happens. The flooding is a constant when over a 1” downfall occurs and began only once this 40+ story high rise started going up on India Street. As a trained architect and Professor of Architecture in Brooklyn, I’m ashamed of this developer, the contractor, the mayor and our borough “reps” who haven’t stepped up sooner. No one cares about ADA? Or simply doing the right thing and fixing infrastructure? @nycmayor wants to develop more AND run for President, all while not taking care of his own own city? What a joke. Kudos to @greenpointers and NBC 4 news for following up on this over many of our travelers stories recently. My first photo was from December 2018. @billdeblasio @nycmayor @nyc @eastriverferry #yoelgoldman #mackrealestategroup #palinenterprises #ismaelleyvaarchitects #pandisciogreen ? Really?? @newyorkyimby #urbandevelopmentpartners @nyccouncil #councilmanstephenlevin

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“It’s impacting hundreds of commuters and it totally undermines all of our efforts to have the ferry be a viable way to commute to work,” NYC Councilman Stephen Levin tells NBC 4 in the video.

“It’s still a public street from our understanding, which means as far as I can tell, that it’s the city’s responsibility to make sure there’s adequate drainage,” Levin said.

NYC Ferry canceled service to the India St. stop in Greenpoint on Thursday night.

The NYC Ferry implemented a shuttle bus to transport commuters last night as service at India Street was bypassed during the rain. Serviced returned to normal on Friday morning.

The official reason for last night’s ferry service disruption was “ponding” along India Street.

A city spokesman told NBC 4 that they’re “working on a long-term solution to get the sewers up and running,” but that may take “years.”

 

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Brooklyn Board Manager Defends SUV Splurge: ‘I’m Not Going to Parties’

Brooklyn Community Board 1’s vehicle parked in front of the office, May 29, 2019. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

This story was originally published on 5/30/19 by THE CITY.

The manager of a community board under fire for buying a $26,000 SUV with public funds defended the purchase Wednesday night — insisting the vehicle was needed to get around Brooklyn for business.

“I’m not going to parties,” Gerald Esposito, Community Board 1’s district manager told THE CITY.

He broke his silence days after THE CITY reported the Williamsburg and Greenpoint board bought the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid with part of a one-time $42,500 budget-booster the City Council gave to all 59 community boards last year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an investigation Friday as the City Council promised to examine community board spending citywide and other public officials questioned the purchase.

The issue came up at an at times contentious CB1 session Wednesday night, where Dealice Fuller, the board chair, tried to clamp down on questions. When one member of the public asked about the SUV, Fuller slammed her hand on the table in front of her and said, “I don’t have to talk to you.”

Tempers frayed as the meeting wore on. “To have my name ruined over $26,000 is ludicrous,” Fuller said.

Esposito complained of getting “calls from random people asking me to use the car. It’s personal!”

‘I Don’t Need This Car’

Earlier, Esposito, the head of a local Democratic club and the board’s manager for four decades, told THE CITY the vehicle was needed to shuttle Fuller, CB1’s volunteer chair.

Brooklyn Community Board 1 District Manager Gerald Esposito said during a public meeting he felt unfairly blamed for the purchase of a vehicle for the board, May 29, 2019. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

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1,000 Electric Mopeds Released Onto Brooklyn and Queens Streets

A new batch of Revel scooters spotted on Franklin Street on Wednesday afternoon.

A fresh fleet of 1,000 rentable electric mopeds were released in Brooklyn and Queens on Wednesday by Brooklyn-based electric moped tech company Revel, the NY Daily News reports.

To access a Revel moped, you must download the app and sign up and pay a $19 fee to “verify your identity and safe driving record.” Rides cost $1 to unlock the moped and $0.25 per minute to ride ($0.10 per minute to pause a ride).

You might have spotted a Revell moped in North Brooklyn previously, as NY Daily News notes:

The company launched a pilot last July with 68 bikes, limited to the Brooklyn areas of Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Wednesday’s expansion widens that zone to cover areas up to Astoria, down to Red Hook and over to Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Revel service area map (via Revel)

The current Revel service area excludes Manhattan, but the street-legal two-wheelers are available in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick, along with South Brooklyn neighborhoods; operation of Revel mopeds on highways and bridges is not permitted.

Revel mopeds on Greenpoint Avenue

Revel is reportedly planning a 40 percent discount to NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients.

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In “Cabin,” A Queer Thriller Takes Over The Bushwick Starr

Tyler Ashley in “Cabin,” photo by Maria Baranova

We’re always voyeurs, as audiences in a theater, but the three-paneled walls we peer through in Cabin only heighten our perverse role. In this titular cabin, men are spied on by more than just the audience.

Is Sean Donovan’s new play a bittersweet romance, a queer thriller, or a haunting look at outsiders in unfamiliar terrain? It boldly marries all three in its intricate constellation — or cobweb — that is now playing through June 8 at The Bushwick Starr.

S meets Paul, then S meets Stewart, and soon the three are escaping the city to galavant and smoke and make love deep in the woods, high in a relative’s getaway home, so elevated it sits above the rolling fog. The home’s clear vistas offer no safety.

Not long into their increasingly regular sojourns, S (Sean Donovan, who also directs) meets a mysterious older townie who develops a strange and off-putting obsession with the three gay men, who together exist in a relatively stable friendship and romance.

Sean Donovan in “Cabin,” photo by Maria Baranova

This is what S regales in a mammoth monologue at the geographical center of Cabin. We learn about the cabin’s history and tchotchkes, we see Stewart (Tyler Ashley) try out a new dance routine with Paul (Brandon Washington), and we then worry for their safety. But how the play’s eerie quality emerges is both jarring and subtle — it happens all at once, and yet it was there all along. Can queer men be safe even in isolated, fortressed havens?

Brandon Washington and Tyler Ashley in “Cabin,” photo by Maria Baranova

To clearly answer that would both spoil and undermine this play, which provides no easy answers. But here’s what this sly and dangerous play does do: it uses those three window panes for more than just peering, as in one mystical touch they become a reflector for the warm vignettes of memories past. It showcases Tyler Ashley’s virtuosic dance and lip sync talents. (For proof, see last year’s Bushwig performance.) And it ends with a lyrical blow so theatrical you’ll be reminded, again and again, how marvelous The Bushwick Starr is, how idiosyncratic its programming, and how mysterious and tender this gem of a play is.

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