Many local Greenpoint hosts who make ends meet by renting out their places using Airbnb are in for a rude awakening. On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill to make it illegal to advertise entire unoccupied apartments for less than 30 days on Airbnb, according to multiple reports. New York housing law restricts short-term rentals for certain housing, and housing advocates in the city argue that many of the units listed on Airbnb are illegal. Although these hosts can already face steep fines, the new law would make it illegal for Airbnb to allow listings for these units on their platform. Continue reading
New York City has incredible opportunities for an ambitious person, so it’s an attractive permanent destination for thousands of people each year. In fact, it’s likely you yourself came here from elsewhere. Did you know that more than half of New Yorkers are transplants? Furthermore, more than one out of three New Yorkers are immigrants. That includes your adorable friend from the UK who works in fashion, the handsome singer from Australia you dated, and maybe even your next door neighbor here in Greenpoint! How did all of our immigrant friends get here? What is the process like for someone who wants to stay? If you’re an immigrant, WILDES & WEINBERG P.C. can help you understand your options.
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.
Rev. Ann Kansfield
Greenpoint Reformed Church
Spring is here and everyone is dusting off their bicycles and hitting the pavement. Here are some tips on staying safe and making your bike street legal from the dudes at Silk Road Cycles. This is your life we are talking about, so take it seriously!
GP: How do we make a bicycle street legal in NY?
Silk Road Cycles: The three things we focus on are:
1. Working brakes (according to the law, a brake that is able to make your rear tire skid on level ground.)
2. Bell or other audible signal
3. Lights and reflective material – from dusk till dawn)
GP: Are there fines associated with not complying?
Silk Road Cycles: Yes. You can be ticketed for any of the above issues.
GP: What lights do you recommend?
Silk Road Cycles: Both front and rear are a must! Any light that is clearly visible to drivers, but the brighter the better (NYC has a lot of lights everywhere, so stand out). In the shop we have a penchant for USB rechargeable lights. Easier, brighter and they run about $80 for a pair. (They’ll also double as strobe lights for your next party.) Well worth it, if you ask us.
Purchase a helmet that is bicycle specific and approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
You should replace your helmet immediately after a crash and/or after 3 years of use. Over time the foam in the helmet deteriorates. Now and again, look over your helmet – make sure the plastic is still entirely connected to the styrofoam and check for cracks in the foam.
GP: Can you wear a skateboard helmet instead of a bike helmet?
Silk Road Cycles: Legally: yes. With confidence in your safety: no. Bicycle helmets are made for single use high impact. Skateboard helmets are made for multiple impacts at much lower speeds.