Crime

Off the Grid, On the Bridge and Out of the Chamber — The Hook-up (5/18)

Williamsburg Bridge (photo: Julia Moak)

Happy Friday, Greenpoint! For some of our neighbors, this has been a tough week. On Sunday, 500 Greenpoint residents lost their heat and hot water when National Grid cut service due to a water-damaged gas line.

But, Greenpoint isn’t entirely without modern conveniences, and a kickstarter campaign launched on Thursday wants to up the ante. The project calls for a floating pedestrian bridge connecting Greenpoint and Long Island City. 

Speaking of Bridges, it became clear at Wednesday’s L-pocalypse Town Hall in Williamsburg that the Williamsburg Bridge can only handle 3 extra trains per hour over the current schedule, certainly not enough to meet the demands of ousted L riders.  Continue reading

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Punch and Pepper-Spray, Hardware and High School — The Hook-up (4/20)

Good morning, Greenpoint! It’s Friday, and time for the Hook-up. Sometimes, I think we should just rename this column “Another Week, the Same MTA,” since it seems that most of the things that get a line here are subway-related. That’s true as ever this week. Punch, Pepper-Spray, Hardware and High School are all, in their myriad and sundry ways, subway stories. So, step in, stand clear of the closing doors.  Continue reading

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The L train is Clobbering Rents and Riders are Clobbering Each Other — The Hook-up (3/30)

kent street greenpoint brooklyn
We know Greenpoint is Gorgeous. Could rents be dropping thanks to L-pocalpse?

Welcome to the Hook-up. We all know the MTA is a diva. But this time it’s not (all) about the L-pocalypse. In fact, this week, MTA honcho Andy Byford was crowing about a different set of repairs. His goal is to update the subway’s pre-war signal system, and he suggests he can get it done in 10-15 years! To put that in perspective, other estimates peg the time frame at 40 years. How will he do it? Suspending a lot of weekend service.

But anyway, back to L-pocalypse. If there’s any silver lining within the impending doom that is the L-train shutdown, it might be that rents have already begun to fall in North Brooklyn ahead of the closure. 

Presumably, those still renting in North BK will be sanguine about the shutdown, and go about their lives as best they can. But not everyone was so serene on the subway this week. In fact, a 25 year-old man punched a 5-year-old in the face on the G train on Monday, and checked himself into Jacobi Medical Center. Police cannot question or arrest him until he is released.  Continue reading

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Gangs of New York: North Brooklyn Edition

Map of North Brooklyn Gangs 1974
Map of North Brooklyn Gangs 1974 via The New York Times

Martin Scorsese acquired the rights to Gangs of New York, Herbert Ashbery’s 1927 history of Gotham’s urban underworld, in 1979. The movie focuses on the murderous mayhem of mid-19th century Five Points, but 1970s New York City was itself a study in violence. Bloodshed was so prevalent here in North Brooklyn that Luis Garten Acosta, founder of the local outreach program El Puente, dubbed the area “The Killing Fields.”

Pre-eminent New York City History podcasters The Bowery Boys unearthed a map produced in 1974 by the New York Times which plots the territory of “youth gangs” in ’70s North Brooklyn. In all, reported the Times, the NYPD had identified 48 gangs in the area with a total membership of 2,500. The police also held that six of those gangs were “responsible for more than half of the criminal gang activity in Northern Brooklyn.” Greenpoint in particular was home turf for the Sinners, the Mad Caps and the Sons of Devils.  Continue reading

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An Art Heist, An Environmental Vision and Another Hit and Run — The Hook-Up (3/16)

One of the paintings stolen from the Crozier Fine Arts Warehouse in Williamsburg
One of the paintings stolen from the Crozier Fine Arts Warehouse in Williamsburg via Brooklyn Paper

Happy Friday, Greenpoint, and welcome to the Da Vinci Code. There’s been an art heist on Bayard Street, and the NYPD has made an appeal for information from the public. The thief broke into the Crozier Fine Arts Warehouse in Williamsburg, and made off 6 Hudson River School landscape paintings worth a combined 1.7 million dollars.

Speaking of the River, this week, local community advocacy groups Riverkeeper,  Newtown Creek Alliance, Guardians of Flushing Bay and Perkins+Will teamed up to launch their Vision Plan for Newtown Creek and Flushing Waterways.

Newtown Creek Alliance is also part of a coalition of nearly 200 environmental groups that staged a rally this week to pressure Gov. Cuomo to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in New York State.  Continue reading

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Crashing Greenpoint and Changing on a Dime in Williamsburg — the Hook-up (3/9)

A rendering of the Dime Savings Bank Development, via YIMBY

Hey Greenpoint, Judd Apatow would like a word with us. He’s filming his latest HBO comedy series here in Greenpoint, at Cine Magic East River Studios, and word Bookstore (126 Franklin Street) will be making an appearance.

If you’re more into condos than comedy, you’re in luck, since yet another building of luxury condos is on the market here in Greenpoint. The new development, calling itself Greenpoint 282, even though it’s at 282 Nassau Avenue near McGolrick Park, has one, two and three bedroom apartments starting at $795K.

Speaking of money and real estate, no plan has merged those two things this week quite as well as the new design for Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh. The building at south 5th and Havemeyer will be refurbished and a new 22-story residential tower will rise beside it. Thirty percent of the apartments in the new building will be let at affordable prices. At the same time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is holding hearings to decide whether or not to designate the bank building a historic landmark.  Continue reading

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Help Catch The 7 Train Groper!

Do you recognize this groper? The victim took this photo of her assailant aboard the 7 train. Via the NY Daily News
Do you recognize this groper? The victim took this photo of her assailant aboard the 7 train. Via the NY Daily News

Cops are looking for a 60-year-old man who groped a Greenpoint woman on a Manhattan bound 7 Train early Wednesday morning. The man reached up the woman’s skirt in the crowded subway car and grabbed her inner thigh. He got of the subway at Grand Central, but not before she snapped a photo of him, which the police are using in their search.

The NYPD asks the public to help them find the groper.

The man is described as Hispanic, around 60-years-old, between 5’4” and 5’6″ tall, with brown eyes and a salt and pepper goatee.

He was last seen wearing a black and white knit cap, brown eyeglasses, a black pea coat, blue shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

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Case Closed Without Charges in Death of Neftaly Ramirez

Brooklyn DA logo

After Neftaly Ramirez, beloved server at Paulie Gee’s, was struck and killed by a private garbage truck at the intersection of Franklin and Noble Streets in July, the NYPD brought no charges against the person who hit him. After conducting an investigation in August, the police claimed they could not press charges because the driver “didn’t know” he had hit Ramirez.

Despite the lack of charges, the case remained open, as the District Attorney’s office began its own investigation. Given that the case was open, the full details of the crash were not available to the public, a situation particularly frustrating to this community as it grieved the loss.

On January 9th, the DA’s investigation also closed without charges. According to Brooklyn Paper, Brooklyn DA, Eric Gonzalez, determined that he could bring no charges because prosecutors failed to find “necessary evidence” against the driver.     Continue reading

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Bank Heist Crime Spree in North BK

Dime‘s Greenpoint Branch (814 Manhattan Ave) was hit on January 9th

Forget Ocean’s 11, try Brooklyn’s 3. Since the New Year, there have been 3 separate bank robberies in North Brooklyn, including one here in Greenpoint.

Read on for information about the crimes, and for NYPD surveillance images of the suspects. The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance in its search for those involved.

Anyone with information regarding the incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577–8477. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.  Continue reading

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