Maker Park, the proposed 7-acre waterfront space once home to Astral Oil Works and now within the larger scope of Bushwick Inlet Park, has been aiming to bring art, education, community and performance to the Williamsburg waterfront by adapting industrial infrastructure since 2015. Now, the team behind the reimagined industrial-space-turned-community-hub is moving forward with a whole new vision based on open dialogue, communication and feedback from the community.
Since their December 2016 design display for Maker Park, Stacey Anderson and Karen Zabarsky, co-founders of Maker Park, and the project’s Executive and Creative directors respectively, have taken the past year to listen to the community. Each time, they heard community members call for open space, and environmental remediation of the land.
Stacey and Karen touted North Brooklyn’s “Civic Warriors,” who have worked so hard to get the city to deliver on the full 28-acres Mayor Bloomberg promised for Bushwick Inlet Park in 2005. They hope that Maker Park will be one feature of Bushwick Inlet Park, which they aim to incorporate into the community’s vision for the park space as a whole.
Given the increased density that Bloomberg’s 2005 rezoning has engendered, open space is a paramount concern on the North Brooklyn Waterfront. In order to increase green space, Maker Park will no longer advocate for repurposing the 3-story brick factory building on the site, and will instead focus on remediating the 50-foot decommissioned fuel tanks that speak to the land’s long and sometimes painful industrial history.
The Maker Park team hopes to honor the community’s complex relationship with the tanks, and the industrial history they represent, while also reinventing them in “playful and contemporary ways” that will make them available to the community as a resource for art, education and performance.
The idea has successful precedent. For example, in 2017, the Mapo Oil Depot in Seoul, South Korea was repurposed as Mapo Cultural Depot Park; the site’s oil tanks are now used as exhibition spaces and concert halls.
To make sure our own tanks here in North Brooklyn will be a safe and sustainable asset to the community, the Maker Park team is working with environmental lawyers, scientists and architects on a preliminary remediation plan, which they will make accessible to the public.
Ultimately, Stacey and Karen said, they hope Maker Park will help transform the tanks into something “beautiful and green,” which will be “literally creating new life.”
For on-going updates on all things Maker Park, you can follow the project on Instagram @makerparkBK
The community organization Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park has been fighting for green space in North Brooklyn since 2005. That year, the City rezoned Greenpoint and Williamsburg, leading to frenzied development in both neighborhoods. At the time of the Rezoning, the City promised to compensate North Brooklyn by adding park space to the neighborhood, with 27-acre Bushwick Inlet Park being the most prominent among the green parcels. But, 13 years later, residents are still waiting for that park space, and local advocacy groups like Open Space Alliance, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning, and of course, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, have been fighting from that time til this to hold the City accountable.
Goal 2: Create a balance between active and passive recreation opportunities to serve the diverse recreation needs of the community
Goal 3: Identify appropriate opportunities for direct interaction with the river, such as boating
Goal 4: Promote a healthy east river environment through sustainable design practices, habitat enhancement, and public education
Goal 5: Develop design guidelines to unify the waterfront as a whole, while encouraging the creation of unique, memorable spaces on an individual basis
Goal 6: Reflect the rich character, heritage and culture of the community in both publicly and privately developed open spaces.
Neighborhood advocates had enormous success working toward those goals in 2017: In April, Mayor de Blasio closed on all 27 acres of parkland, ensuring that Bushwick Inlet Park will be a reality; in October, the Mayor pledged an additional $17.5 million in funding to develop the park, and over the summer, the City finished remediating the 50 Kent parcel of parkland. Following those spectacular strides, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park hopes to take advocacy “to the next level” in 2018, pushing the City, the Parks Department, and other involved stakeholders to remediate, design and develop the rest of the park with community input, in a way that adheres to the principles of the original Master Plan. Continue reading →
WEDNESDAY 11/16 ♥ The Greenpoint Get-Down @ No. 7 North (931 Manhattan Ave) 9pm, FREE, Mixmasters are your tour guides: Bartender, Christopher Fisher, will be taking charge of the delicious drinkables, and DJ Patrick A. Reed will spin the world’s grooviest tunes, More Info * Shakespen & Marlboro @ Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave) 9:30pm, $5, Wilboro Shakespen and Christopen Marlboro are roommates with a terrible secret… they’re history’s greatest playwrights! They’ve also got a terrible mission… to write history’s greatest play, or else get evicted from their chill bach’ pad!, Buy Tix
THURSDAY 11/17 ♦ “The Placeless Place” @ The Boiler (191 North 14th St), 7pm, FREE, Exhibition of new works on paper and two new videos by Ati Maier. Video Screening with a live performance by Vostok, More info ♫ Ambient Church with Steve Hauschildt @ Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell St) 8pm, $12-15, Steve Hauschildt celebrates his new release “Strands” on Kranky. Live performances and visuals by Eric Epstein, Buy tix #The Masters of Social Gastronomy present Chinese Takeout @MOFAD (62 Bayard St), 6pm, $20, Join Sarah Lohman and Jonathan Soma to learn about the history of Chinese takeout and the stories behind our modern American Chinese food experience, Buy tix
FRIDAY 11/18 ♦(Kay)rock Paper Scissors @ Kayrock Screenprinting (1205 Manhattan Ave) 6:00pm, FREE, Michael Hambouz’s newest print on view along with cut-paper works, 3D and 2D paintings, screenprints, and video. Opening reception w/ Special Guest DJ Edley O’Downd of Psychic TV. RSVP *TV Hangover: How I Met Your Mother Party@ Videology (107 Norman Ave)9:30PMpm, FREE, Get in the Thanksgiving spirit with festive episodes of How I Met Your Mother with TVHangover. Trivia & drinking games, RSVP
SATURDAY 11/19 # Whiskey Feast @ Brooklyn Expo (72 Noble St) 1pm, $59-$115, 40+ whiskies and cocktails paired with 20+ seasonal dishes from local restaurants, Buy tix #Tuna Cutting Ceremony @ Amami (57 Nassau Ave) 5pm, $60, Chef Nick Wang will cut a 200lb Bluefin Tuna, which will be served in a four-course dinner and unlimited sake, Buy tix #Brew in Motion 2.0 @ Green Space (37-24 24th St, LIC), 4:30PM, $25, Sustainable performance platform in celebration of contemporary dance and craft beer, Buy tix
SUNDAY 11/20 * Family Funhouse@ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave) 1pm-5pm, FREE, Presented by The Little People Party with three floors of family fun including family oriented market, cellar play area, rockin’ dance parties for ages 1-4+, More info *Sound Bath and Deep Mantra @ Maha Rose (722 Metropolitan Ave) 7pm $35, Dive deeply in mantra and vocal toning to align your inner being. Then immerse in a sound bath with singing bowls, tuning forks,hand pans, gong and more. You will leave drenched in sonic vibration, Buy tix
MONDAY 11/21 ♫ Play Date @ Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St) 6pm, FREE, Hear new dramatic works & reinterpreted classics read with extreme vigor and pizazz, More info ♫ Memory Palace Release Show @ National Sawdust (80 North 6th St) 9pm, $29, live performance by Ian Rosenbaum from his debut solo album to be released in January 2017, Buy tix ♫ Reverend Vince Anderson and the Love Choir @ Union Pool (484 Union Ave) 10:30pm, FREE, Dirty gospel and good vibes, More info
TUESDAY 11/22 * Inglorious Basterds Screening @ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave) 8pm, FREE, Quentin Tarantino fans rejoice for movie night in the main ballroom, RSVP ☺ Escape to Eveningtime! @ Tender Trap (66 Greenpoint Ave) 7pm, FREE, Live variety show podcast! Comedy night by AbeMixture, More info
* Greenpointers Pick ♫ Music ^ Literary Event ♦ Art Event ☺ Comedy Event # Foodie Event ♥ Pheremones Likely
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 →
The notion that not one, but two parks, are coming to Greenpoint as early as 2015 may SOUND like good news. Who doesn’t love green space?
But, don’t forget to read between the lines.
On 5/2, Crain’s reported: Construction on the first of two long-awaited parks along the Greenpoint waterfront is set to begin in 2015, spurred by money from the developers of two massive residential projects on the waterfront that were approved last year. Continue reading →
The Greenpoint Waterfront is moving into a new era of massive development, but the community still has some say in the direction of those changes.
The 2005 Rezoning promised open waterfront space to the community and tomorrow, the NYC Parks, NYC Economic Development Corporation and Community Board 1 are inviting community members (along with elected officials and stakeholders) to a group “listening session” to review the upcoming Newtown Barge Park and Box Street Park Projects.
The proposed Box Street Park will be located at 65 Commercial Street and will include a playground, a multipurpose field, and a shade picnic terrace overlooking the East River, encompassing 2.27 acres total. Kayaks will also be able to launch from the park area.
A free, self guided tour of private gardens in Willamsburg. On Saturday afternoon, September 15th, from 2-5pm, 7 households will open their doors and invite you to see the green spaces they’ve created and lovingly tend. All the gardens are within walking and biking distance of Crest Hardware and Urban Garden Center. More info.