The NYC Department of Transportation is getting ready to release the results of a Transportation Study for Brooklyn Community Board 1 (That’s us)! The study, focusing on issues like street design, traffic flow, public safety and environmental impact, was funded by Councilman Stephen Levin’s office. While North Brooklyn residents have already contributed over 400 unique comments and concerns to the study, Levin’s office is now inviting community members to submit last minute input “to make sure this process reflects everyone’s voices.”
The North Brooklyn streetscape is not the first to be surveyed by the NYC DOT. For example, the department assessed conditions on Jay Street in 2016. Past studies like this one have analyzed existing issues on the street, then offered solutions based on public input, so your ideas are essential to the process. Continue reading →
As we mentioned last month, the regular CB1 meetings are a great opportunity to support our local community (or at least know what the hell’s going on around here) from the comfort of your own couch—so make some popcorn, throw back a few beers and throw on the livestream. Between committed neighborhood busy-bodies, awkward and often inane comments from the peanut gallery, and Dealice Fuller’s formidable facial expressions, the CB1 meetings are thoroughly entertaining. You can watch last night’s meeting (11/14) in full, here on YouTube. The agenda can be viewed as a PDF here. The next CB1 meeting will be held on December 5th at the Swingin’ 60s Senior Center (211 Ainslie Street) at 6pm, and will also be livestreamed via Thirteen.
Here are the highlights:
Neighbors are concerned that the crowds from Painting Lounge (309 Roebling Street) could be a boon for “drug peddling and mayhem,” and that perhaps applying for a liquor license is a clever way for the humble-seeming business to disguise its true motive of actually operating as a bar. Others brought up that there are already two liquor stores nearby, and, citing prohibition, questioned whether the community is being too harsh: “Is this 2017 or is this 1917?” And:“Am I in some lala land where this quiet little place where women come and paint is the thing that’s gonna wreck a whole community?” A motion was passed to recommend denial on the lounge’s application for a beer and wine license.
The question was brought up and not resolved… Should CB1 be recommending name changes to businesses with potentially offensive names?Xixa (241 S 4th St) is Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman, Traif (229 S 4th St) refers to non-Kosher food, and now there’s Greenpoint newcomer Ramen Mafia (opening at 208 Franklin Street).
The monthly Community Board 1 meetings are highly entertaining if you have even a passing interest in local goings-on, and as we’ve previously reported, if you don’t want to attend in person you can watch them from the comfort of your own home livestreamed via public channel Thirteen on YouTube. At the meetings, you get to find out who’s applying for liquor licenses, which block association has beef with which developer, and watch bright-eyed millenials with new business ideas get torn a new one (pass the popcorn). One of the most enjoyable parts of watching the livestream of the CB1 meeting is the closeups on chairperson Dealice Fuller’s face—this woman does not play. She’s badass and amazing. You can watch last night’s meeting in full here.
Here are the highlights from last night’s meeting (which ran over by about an hour): Continue reading →
If you thought the pilot composting program was good idea for Greenpoint then wait until you hear the latest news coming from the Department of Sanitation. The agency has officially upped its own ante by announcing that Greenpoint and Williamsburg streets will be getting nearly 200 new solar powered trash compactor bins in just a few short weeks.
Dubbed Big Belly Solar Compactors, these trash bins will be replacing the traditional green wire cans-a common fixture on nearly every major street corner in the neighborhood. So what makes these new compactors so great? A peek on the manufacturer’s website boasts Big Belly Solar’s trash bins can compact over 150 gallons of garbage compared to only 35 gallons of the standard-issued green trash can.
The company says Big Belly cans are aimed at reducing fossil fuels and are designed to be used without the use of hydraulic fluids. To date, Big Belly Solar Compactor bins have been such a hit they can be found everywhere–including 13 US cities, Scotland, the rest of the UK, and Sweden. Soon enough Greenpoint will be added to that growing list.
McGolrick Park is a hidden gem on the other side of McGuinness Blvd (#OSOM) but many local residents feel the park needs some major love, like updates to the playground and repair to the pathways. It doesn’t help that neighborhood punks have no respect, either; last year they set fire to benches and vandalized the statue.
This week’s CB1 ULURP hearing focused on the development at 77 Commercial St. which is just up Newton Creek from the Greenpoint Landing project that we covered last week. 77 Commercial street is currently a vacant commercial building that was purchased in 2012 by Manhattan-based developers, Chetrit Group. What makes this development notable is that it sits next to the long promised, but never delivered Box Street Park at 65 Commercial Street. Continue reading →
Tonight – August 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM there will be a Public Hearing on the 77 Commercial Street Project and an Informational Presentation on Newtown Barge and Box Street Parks at Automotive High School (50 Bedford Ave).
Like Greenpoint Landing, 77 Commercial St has also begun its ULURP process. (WTF is ULURP?) Approval of the proposal will mean 30-40 story towers in exchange for a park and affordable housing.
Aside from the impact on the character of the neighborhood as well as issues with infrastructure and transportation, the environmental issues at this site and the risk to public health are of great concern.
According to the convoluted and endless Environmental Assessment Statement issued on 8/1/13, the 77 Commercial St site is “currently or was historically a manufacturing area that involved hazardous materials” … “a site where there is reason to suspect the presence of hazardous materials, contamination, illegal dumping or fill or fill material of unknown origin.” When is the open house?!
Based on the findings in this statement, a detailed analysis of air quality, noise and hazardous material in respect to public health needs to be conducted. If you can get a word in edgewise this evening, it’s very important that questions with respect to these vital issues are addressed.
There are plans to convert the old Chopin Theatre at 910 Manhattan Avenue into a full-service gym! The existing Starbucks will remain on the ground floor where you can stock up on calories to burn off in the 13,700 square foot health club. While no pool is planned, there will be a full range of equipment, classrooms, locker rooms and sauna & steam rooms. At last night’s CB1 public hearing, a representative for the building owner stated that they have plans to develop and independently operate the gym with a capacity for roughly 250 people. The proposed operating hours are 5AM-12AM on weekdays and 8AM-9PM on weekends, which some neighborhood residents felt allowed the gym to be open too late. Perhaps most importantly, the building owner has plans to keep the majestic eagle perched on top of the building!
So, Greenpointers, is a gym the right use of space for the old theatre? What kind of classes would you take at the gym?
When I heard Lokal got a citation for serving Brunch on the sidewalk before noon on Sunday because it would prevent people from making it to church, I thought, “You gotta be kidding me!” Aetheism, laziness and in my experience hangovers are what stop people from attending. But let’s hear what my badass and hilarious preacher Ann Kansfield has to say:
Dear Members of Community Board 1:
This letter is in regard to sidewalk café seating, specifically the City prohibition against outdoor seating before noon on the Lord’s Day. The notion that sidewalk dining in some way restricts, inhibits or in any other way interferes with church attendance is utter hogwash. Consequently, I respectfully request that you not cite religious observance, specifically church attendance, as an argument against sidewalk dining. Unless a local clergyperson or other representative from a faith community actually complains about an issue, it is not an issue for us. To my knowledge, neither I, nor none of my clergy colleagues, have voiced any complaint about this issue.
Two observations might be additionally relevant. If there were so many church-going people in Greenpoint and Williamsburg that sidewalk seating would interfere with church attendance, all of our churches would be packed full of people. This is not the case.
Sunday morning worship at the Greenpoint Reformed Church is so exciting and my sermons are so riveting and life-changing that sidewalk seating in no way keeps our congregation from attending services here. We simply traverse along the empty portion of the sidewalk and are able to get to church.
Lastly, regarding the law itself. By only pertaining to Sundays, the law clearly discriminates against others who observe Sabbath on other days of the week. Therefore, it would be my hope that the community board would petition the City to eliminate the law all together.