mccarren park pool

The Many Local Legacies of Pete McGuinness

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-12-16-20-pmThere is a famous quote related to English architect Sir Christopher Wren: “If you seek his monument look around you.” The same could be said in Greenpoint of Peter J. McGuinness, the local ward boss who ran Greenpoint from 1923 to 1948. McGuinness profoundly altered Greenpoint and his many achievements are still visible everywhere.
How did you get to Greenpoint? If you arrived by subway it was McGuinness who secured the G train in 1933. The original route of the crosstown train did not go through Greenpoint, but McGuinness complained so loudly the route was changed. Did you drive over the bridge at Greenpoint Avenue? McGuinness also got that for our area in 1929 by being the firmest supporter of Mayor Jimmy Walker. Continue reading

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McCarren Park Pool Now Open Through Labor Day

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Photo via New York City Parks Department

The McCarren Park pool, which has only been up and running as a functional pool since 2012, is back in business for the summer 2016 season.

The pool was originally opened in 1936 by Robert Moses, who was curator for many of New York City’s open spaces and actually opened one pool every week during the summer of ’36, totaling 11 pools for the Works Progress Administration project, with the help of Mayor LaGuardia. At the time of its opening, it was one of the biggest public pools in the world, and is three times the size of a standard Olympic pool. It had a capacity of 6,800 swimmers. Today, officials cap it at 1,500 people. Continue reading

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Who was Patrick McCarren?

PatrickMcCarren

Recently there was controversy about the naming rights to the McCarren Park Pool. A company offered money for the naming rights and many locals became angry about the proposed name change. Truth is, few people know anything about Patrick McCarren.

I have been researching McCarren for a book I am writing about Williamsburg . He was a fascinating, amazingly corrupt figure. In his day he was not just a powerful local boss, but was also powerful on the national level. Born in 1849 in Massachusetts, he grew up locally. Too poor to afford higher education, McCarren started life in the local sugar mills, but was ambitious. Politics in the eighteen seventies was almost the only way a humble man could acquire wealth and power. Continue reading

Category: Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Holy Crêpe! Crepeteria Brings Tasty Treats to Manhattan Avenue

Crepeteria_Greenpoint
Crepeteria, Manhattan Avenue

If you’ve already been for a dip in McCarren Park Pool this year you’ll know that all that splashing around can leave you hungry! But the good news is that now Greenpoint has the perfect snack for a post-swim refuel: CRÊPES!!

Crepeteria opened two weeks ago, and is handily located mere minutes from the pool at 614 Manhattan Avenue, between Driggs and Nassau. Continue reading

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McCarren Park Pool Blows Barclays Out Of The Water – As Far As Real Estate Goes

Via, Brooklyn 11211, who thinks this article from Crains is a bunch of baloney, “the trophy for the Brooklyn project that has had the most transformative impact goes to the renovation of Greenpoint/Williamsburg’s McCarren Park Pool.”

Does this surprise you given the bad behavior and poop issues following the pool’s opening last year?

According to Eastern Consolidated who created the report, the “transformative impact” refers to real estate in terms of the price of land and buildings. The article stated that:

In terms of land sales, there were 14 within half a mile of McCarren Park in the last two years, with an average price $10.8 million. That compares to 10 deals within half a mile of the Barclays Center, where prices only averaged $2.6 million. The volume of multi-family properties around the park also outpaced the Barclays Center’s with about $95 million in sales in both 2011 and 2012 in the area around the park, compared to roughly $85 million near the arena in 2011 and $41 million in 2012. The average price for the former was a little over $490 a foot, compared to $400 a foot near Barclays.

Cainns goes on to report that Barclay’s outscored the pool in terms of retail development.

Brooklyn 11211 argues that “I’d bet that the prior redevelopment, not to mention the massive rezoning of the area in 2005, had a lot more to do with the price of development sites in the area than a few million gallons of water in a pool do (as fantastic as that pool might be).”

While the pool may just be that – a pool, in terms of amenities it’s much more of a value to the local community than a big rusty looking arena that draws a crowd from outside of the area. Let’s not forget the actual park, which has been renovated on the northern end and also has a great running track and work-out area. Considering the high real estate values of areas surrounding Prospect and Central Parks, it makes sense that as Greenpoint and Williamsburg continue to develop that the housing prices around McCarren Park will follow that same pattern.

Do you think the pool is a valuable asset to the North Brooklyn community?

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McCarren Park Pool Opens Today! (6/27)

It’s a bitch out there, so cool off at the McCarren Park pool, which opens today, for $free dollars.

That being said, it’s not a free-for-all, there are rules and procedures to follow. Behave and don’t act like a fool so everyone can enjoy the pool.

Last year we put together this 12 Step Guide to the McCarren Park Pool.

Keep cool, Greenpoint!

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McCarren Park Pool: A 12 Step Guide

1- The night before the big day, freeze a large bottle of water in your freezer.

2- Go to bed.

3- Wake up and get some breakfast and coffee.  There is no food or drink available for purchase at the pool and you don’t want your time cut short by hunger pangs.

4- Bring a gym lock.  They will not let you in without one. There are no bags allowed on the pool deck.  Everything is to be locked up.

5- If it’s the weekend, get over to the pool by 10AM.  It opens at 11AM, and you want to be one of the first people in. Waiting an hour isn’t the end of the world.  The line is mostly shady, but there are some sunny spots, so wear sunscreen. Continue reading

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Mayor Mike “Dufus” Boomberg: “The McClarren Park Pool … to make Waves in Williamsburg.”

Photo courtesy of Joe Lentol

Yep, the pool is open! There was a line around the block after the ribbon cutting when according to Gothamist, the mayor mispronounced it as “McClarren” and then said: “Today we’re going to make some waves in Williamsburg!” Greenpointers had a problem with that and corrected him on both fumbles. Na doy, everyone knows that McCarren Park is in Greenpoint, Mayor Boomberg. 11222!

Either way the pool will be enjoyed by Williamsburgers and Greenpointers alike. According to the park’s website: “Outdoor pool hours are from 11:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m., with a break for pool cleaning between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The outdoor pool season begins on June 28 and ends Labor Day, September 3.”

There will be designated morning and evening lap swims and an ice skating rink in the winter. No word on what will happen in the off season (Spring & Fall). After last night’s stellar The Big Splash! – OSANB’s fundraising event, I hope it can be used as an event space in the off-hours, too.

Check out Gothamist’s photos of the opening.

Check out Joe Lentol’s photos of the opening.

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Opening: Where They Swam // Other Relics

fish, alaska

It was hot, humid, sticky.  It’s summer in New York.  Friday nights are often special; this friday in particular was the opening of Gina Pollack‘s solo exhibit of Where They Swam // Other Relics.  It was hosted at the one well, a fabulous local shop/gallery space whose owner Kerry Jones is also the curator/designer.

Gina came in, price sheets and artist info in hand.  “So sorry, I forgot about these,” said the Silverlake native-turned New Yorker.

Untitled, Where They Swam, V
Untitled, Where They Swam, V

I was admiring her photographs earlier while helping Kerry prep.  A part of me always wonders what the artist looks like in comparison to the art they make.  Her photos were colorfully vivid and vibrant.  They were filled with beautiful nostalgia and juxtaposition of man-made elements and forces of nature.

With her vintage red pumps, ethnic-inspired black dress and no-fuss hair,   Gina was the perfect petite embodiment of her artwork. 

I was curious what inspired her to take these photographs, so I asked if she had a couple of minutes to answer my questions.

Y:  So, aside from the fact that the McCarren Park Pool is opening soon, I want to know what spurred your interested in taking photographs of it in the first place?

G:  It was actually a spur of the moment thing.  My friend and I were walking past it and curiosity got the best of me. Continue reading

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The Big Splash! at McCarren Park Pool 6/27!

It’s official, McCarren Park Pool is opening on Thursday June 28, 2012! For real! This weekend, a park employee named Guy (as in Gaetano) told me in the best Brooklyn accent you’ve ever heard, “make sure ya have a lock and a bathin’ suit, or ya ain’t gettin’ in.” Word.
Blogs are teasing that you can pay $150 for a sneak peek the night before on Wednesday 6/27 during The Big Splash! or just wait 24 hrs and get in FREE on opening day when it opens at 11am. (Better start camping out now!)

But the $150 ticket price isn’t just for premium Instagram bragging, even though that is going to be sweet. It is an important fundraising event for Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, a non-profit thats serves our community by raising funds to expand and improve our local parks. I can get behind that. Parks rule! And so will the pool.

The ticket will also get you cocktails, a fancy dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, a toast to honoree Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation and the chance to see someone christen the pool. Because you know once one person jumps in, everyone jumps in.

You know you BLOW your money on ridiculous things. I’m sure you’ve spent more on a bathing suit or a pair of sunglasses that you’ve already lost. Make it count and buy your tickets to The Big Splash! for a beautiful Brookyln evening you won’t forget.

Proceeds from this event will supplement the Parks Department’s programming in McCarren Play Center and maintenance for the park.

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