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
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
When Mayor de Blasio unveiled his plan for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) in February 2016, he projected that the 16-mile streetcar route would pay for itself through increased property tax revenue garnered from neighborhoods along the route, leading opponents to dub the project “the Gentrification Express.” Now, it seems the BQX will need federal funds to meet its $2.5 Billion budget.
Without the funds, the BQX may not go forward. This is not the first setback for the project. As of January, it has missed its fourth deadline to produce a feasibility study. Right now, there is no stated date for when the city might see that study.
While this might lead casual observers to call the BQX simply unfeasible, the mayor is optimistic about the project, telling WNYC that he feels Chuck Schumer will be able to use his clout in the senate to get money earmarked for the BQX. Continue reading
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
L-pocalypse looms just a year away, and the MTA doesn’t appear particularly interested in dealing with it, so New York residents have taken up the mantel of transit vigilantism, and moved forward with plans of their own. Last month Parker Shinn took to Kickstarter to drum up community support for an “L-ternative” Pontoon Bridge, which would run across the East River from North 8th Street in Williamsburg to East 10th Street in Manhattan. The Bridge would support 2 lanes of bus traffic, two lanes of bike traffic and command a $1 toll. It would also connect commuters to the Bedford Avenue L-train, and crosstown bus service along 14th street. Continue reading
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
The MTA has seen protests in Brooklyn due to its laissez-faire relationship with the impending L-pocalypse. In response, they’ve promised to make community engagement a “central priority” as the March 2019 L train closure nears. Part of that community engagement was on display last week, when the MTA and the DOT appeared before Brooklyn Community Board 1 to offer a joint presentation to this neighborhood offering new information regarding their plans for alternate service during the transit shutdown. In a word: Ferries.
While the proposed direct ferry route between North Williamsburg and Stuyvesant Cove isn’t technically new (it was part of the MTA’s original L-pocalypse mitigation strategy ominously entitled Planning Ahead for the Crisis), the agency offered new details on the route at last week’s meeting. During the presentation, transit honchos noted that ferry service along the route would run 6:00am-12:00am Sunday through Thursday, and that service may be extended until 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. Continue reading
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
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
This week, New Yorkers have been making their voices heard underground, underwater and in church.
On Sunday, Rev. Yolanda, a Drag Queen who leads an inter-faith congregation in Bay Ridge, brought Drag Queen Story Hour to the Park Church Co-op (129 Russell Street) to help children master the art of kindness and encourage them to embrace diversity. Continue reading