L Train

Thursday Spotlight: Tony Falcone Captures Portraits of L Train Commuters in the Face of Change

Photo by Tony Falcone

The L Train is closing, this we know. Brooklynites will relocate, biking will increase, businesses may shut down. It’s a great deal of change in an ever-changing borough, and no medium captures this evolution as well as photography.

Enter local artist Tony Falcone, whose portraits of neighbors and commuters will soon be relics of an L Train past. His simple and stirring photos depict people going about their lives — lives that soon will face fierce readjustment and perhaps unwelcome change. We caught up with Tony — a celebrated street photographer — to discuss his experiences and method in capturing his subjects, and a changing neighborhood.

Greenpointers: What inspired you to capture these portraits on the L?

Tony Falcone: It is a current issue that affects lots of people and businesses who had moved to neighborhoods near the L line because of the quick and easy commute to Manhattan. The L Train is a big reason why neighborhoods like Williamsburg grew to what they are now. Continue reading

Category: Art/Music | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

L Train Shutdown Meeting This Wednesday! (5/16)

L train shutdown meeting flyer

This Wednesday evening, May 16th from 6:30-8:30pm the MTA and NYC DOT are hosting a town hall to discuss L-Train shutdown plans and the impact that the closure will have on our commutes and local businesses. Part of the plan includes increasing the number of cars on the ever-short G Train (it’s about time!), increasing ferry service, adding a few hundred buses to traverse the Williamsburg Bridge, and expanding bicycle access. Wednesday’s meeting will be held at Progress High School (850 Grand Street at Bushwick Ave).

More info can be found on the L Train Coalition’s site.

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Small Biz Owners: What You Should Know About Commercial Leases, Workshop (4/25)

As a North Brooklyn resident you probably feel like you’re doomsday prepping for the impending L-Train Shutdown—and let’s not forget that local business owners are, too. No one is quite sure how much the clusterf-k of reduced transit options for more than a year will affect small businesses, but the general consensus is that it’s not gonna be pretty. On one hand we will have less tourists and foot traffic in the neighborhood (which many of us are rejoicing about), but on the other hand those people will not be patronizing local businesses.

The city is offering a workshop for small business owners, Signing A Commercial Lease: What You Need To Know on Wednesday, April 25th from 5-6:30pm at the Swinging Sixties Senior Center (211 Ainslie Street). The workshop is free, and lawyers will explain helpful tips on preparing to negotiate a fair commercial lease. More info and registration on Eventbrite. The workshop is part of NYC Small Business Services course series.

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Dogs, Dreams, Data and Design — The Hook-up (4/13)

Greenpoint is on Track this week
Greenpoint is on Track this week! via wired

It’s gorgeous out, Greenpoint! And that’s not the only reason to celebrate. This week started out with some sweet news. On Monday, an MTA subway track inspector rescued that had wandered into the L tunnel. The hero, Edlin Cruz, caught up with the dog at Graham Avenue.

In other L-train news, Wired took a look at “The Dreamers of the L-Train Shutdown,” noting how the impending L-pocalypse has really spurred some quixotic creativity in New York, inspiring such proposals as gondolas, pontoon bridges, and inflatable bridges.

Meanwhile, the Village Voice asked, “Is the Rest of the Subway Ready for the L-Train Shutdown?” focusing on the impact that service changes will have on our beloved G train. For example, “No station illustrates the scale of the challenge, or raises questions about whether the MTA is doing enough to mitigate the impact of its own planned work, better than Court Square in Long Island City, where internal MTA documents warn that corridors could be “crush-loaded” once erstwhile L riders crowd onto the G.” Get ready for the crush, Greenpoint.  Continue reading

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Best Dressed Awards, New Elevators at Greenpoint Ave Station + More Notes From Last Night’s CB1 Meeting

Dealice Fuller at the Community Board 1 meeting, March 13, 2018
Dealice Fuller (Chairperson) and Simon Weiser (First Vice Chair) at the Community Board 1 meeting, March 13, 2018.

It’s a frigid Tuesday night in March, currently breezy, but there was a Nor’easter in the morning. The day and the commute hasn’t been easy. You probably feel like parking yourself on the couch, ordering a giant pizza and throwing back a few glasses of red wine. Well, a handful of Greenpointers staff did just that AND we watched the livestream of tonight’s Community Board 1 meeting. Every month, the CB1 meeting livestreams on YouTube via PBS Thirteen, and if you’re a little late or you miss it entirely you can watch it after the fact, from your damn couch. Our neighborhood is one of the lucky ones around town—not all Community Board meetings get the YouTube treatment. We’ve written before about how entertaining the meetings are—if the idea of a “real life episode of Parks & Rec” doesn’t hook you, then check out the cast of local characters and issues below. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Before L-pocalypse: A History of Transit in North BK

B.R.C.C. Crosstown Trolley, Via the Transit Museum
B.C.R.R. Crosstown Trolley, Via the New York Transit Museum

As the MTA’s planned 15-month suspension of L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan draws near, all 200,000 daily riders of the L-pocalypse have been asking the same question: how will we get across the river? Brooklynites have been asking that question for generations, and personal ingenuity, along with municipal planning, has yielded several answers. All we can say for sure is that this is not the first time aggrieved Greenpointers have been up in arms over inadequate inter-borough transit. I’m just glad we don’t have to take a rowboat.

The rowboat commute was the first in a line increasingly efficient methods of getting from Greenpoint to Manhattan that includes horsecars, trollies, ferry services, elevated trains, and the dawn and growth of the subway. Step in, stand clear and read on for a history of transit in North Brooklyn.   Continue reading

Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Newtown Creek Flows all the way to Utah — The Hook-up (2/8)

Newtown Creek: The Art of Toxic Tides via Slug Magazine

The mighty waters of Newtown Creek will be in fine form this weekend, as lovebirds and sewage nerds turn out for Saturday’s tours of The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, but this week, they’ve taken the spotlight as far away as Utah.

While Utah might have the Great Salt Lake, but artist Kelly Larsen found his muse in Greenpoint, affixing a 9-foot canvas to the wall of the creek to record the ebb and flow of toxic tides.  Continue reading

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L Train Shutdown Meeting TONIGHT (2/8)!

L Train Shutdown Meeting

The DOT is continuing its community outreach by holding meetings open to the public, so folks can ask questions, make comments and raise fists about the upcoming L train shutdown, aka L-Pocalypse, aka The End Times happening starting in April 2019. Tonight you can attend the third in the series of meetings, held at the Williamsburg Community Center (195 Graham Ave), from 5-8pm—you can feel free to arrive at any point during the meeting. Continue reading

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The L-Pocalypse is Nigh: Attend These Open House Meetings to Ask Honest Questions

L-Canarsie-Tunnel-Open-Houses-2018_WebO

As part of their plan to engage our extremely concerned local community, the MTA and the NY DOT will be holding an open house meeting on the L train shutdown next Wednesday, January 24th. Last month, the MTA released their plans for the 15-month shutdown of the L line (starting in 2019), to the chagrin of many residents—who felt that what they’ve got in store (more buses, bike lanes, among other things) is simply not enough to fulfill needs of the 200k+ riders who use the line to travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan every day.

Here are the details for the meeting if you wish to air your grievances or ask hard questions:
WHAT: Canarsie Tunnel Open House
WHEN: Weds, Jan 24, 5pm-8pm
WHERE: Progress High School | 850 Grand Street

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On the Struggle Bus: The MTA finally reveals its plans for L-Pocalypse

Alternate Service during L-Pocalypse via Free Williamsburg

As we reported earlier this week, the MTA has taken a glacial approach to coming up with an alternative transit plan for commuters who will be affected when L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn shuts down for 15 months beginning in April 2019. But, lo and behold! It’s here! The MTA’s transit plan.

The big fix? Busses and bike lanes.

  • The MTA plans to create a dedicated “busway,” and upgrade Select Bus Service along 14th street.
  • While the DOT refuses to designate bus lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge, the outer-deck of the span will be a dedicated HOV3+ lanes at rush hour, catering to busses, trucks and vehicles making right turns.
  • Bike traffic is expected to double, so 13th will feature Manhattan’s first two-way protected crosstown bike lane.
  • There will be new pedestrian space around Union Square, and bike parking on University Place
  • Delancey Street will get a protected bike link to the Williamsburg Bridge.

But, the MTA estimates that 80% of the 225,000 riders who take the L between Manhattan and Brooklyn every day will seek alternate subway routes, and thereby turn to the G and J/M/Z trains (oy!).

  • Commuters can expect increased service on those lines, as well as higher capacity G and C trains.
  • There will also be free MetroCard transfers between the Broadway G and the Lorimer and Hewes JMZ trains.
  • Free transfers will also be available between the 3 train at Junius St. and the L at Livonia Avenue.
  • On the weekend, and overnight, the M will run to 96th Street/2nd Avenue.

Read on for information about new ferry services and street improvements!  Continue reading

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