Graham stop, Williamsburg, circa 2005. My mid-20s Brooklyn newbie roommates and I had a garden in our backyard, and we grew tomatoes, sunflowers, peppers and zucchini. But after one of our zucchinis grew to be three feet long*, we started to wonder whether our dirt was actually safe enough to grow anything. Maybe we should have thought about that before we planted. So before you buy any seedlings to get your summer garden going, you should probably find out whether your soil is home to a family of toxic chemicals. This Saturday (4/22) from 10am–2pm you can get your soil tested for free at the Greenpoint Reform Church (136 Milton Street), and NAG (Neighbors Allied For Good Growth) is hosting free soil testing workshops for three upcoming weekends. Here’s the schedule: Continue reading →
A/D/O (29 Norman Ave.) will play host to two workshops about food sustainability and how it relates to the restaurant industry next Wednesday, March 22nd from 9am-11:30am. The workshops are free, and there’ll be complimentary coffee and snacks. There’s more info to be found here. Continue reading →
If you’re anything like me, the darkest depths of your cupboard house a motley crew of old plastic takeout containers jumbled into a heap, which you rarely use. And since you already have too many, you end up throwing away even more plastic containers whenever you get takeout. But now you don’t have to gift your plastic to the garbage gods every time you order from your favorite restaurant. Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) has just launched a free program for reusable takeout containers—funded by the GCEF and in partnership with Common Ground Compost. Jimmy’s (92 Calyer Street) and Anella (222 Franklin Street) are the first Greenpoint restaurants to participate.
The goal of this pilot program (officially starting tomorrow, December 8th) is to test the feasibility of a wider-ranging effort to reduce waste across the restaurant industry by incorporating more reusables. Folks are frequently ordering from the same restaurants, and end up throwing away one-time-use containers after every meal. This pilot gives repeat customers the opportunity to choose a reusable container option.
The customer will receive their food in reusable containers, and at their convenience, personally drop it off and receive a 10% off coupon. The containers will then be washed in Anella and Jimmy’s dishwashers (following Department of Health standards), and the zero waste cycle begins again. This is a great way for community members to engage in sustainable practices and directly reduce waste from takeout. Continue reading →
The NYC-based band Thirdstory teamed up with hip-hop artist Push T on”G Train.” Checkout the video via Fader which features shots of the Greenpoint Ave. station along with heartfelt crooning on your favorite train.
Manhattan Ave’s Cafecito Bogota (1015 Manhattan Ave.) will host a Love Trump’s Hate gathering on Saturday to help you decompress from the presidential election and the disheartening events that have proliferated since. Co-owner Fernrando Verelo tells DNAinfo he “wants to stay visible and for his restaurant to be a welcoming spot for neighbors of all backgrounds.” Continue reading →
If the trucks, dust, and noise of recent months haven’t been self-evident enough, the Northwest corner of Greenpoint is now bracing itself for more of the above.
In a meeting held Tuesday between developers, city officials, and community representatives, Council Member Stephen Levin attested to the notion that we’re more or less exiting the warmup phase of the current development cycle and heading for the main event.
“The reality is that the pace of development has sped up over the last six months to a year,” he said. “Even since we first start meeting, the pace of development has really accelerated. That’s because the economy’s doing well, banks are lending, developers are getting in the ground, and things are moving.”
Organized by Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), the meeting gave residents an opportunity to ask some tough questions and hear a slightly more unscripted perspective from developers.
Hot topics included Greenpoint Landing, the West Street project (what’s the deal with all those missing trees?), environmental remediation at NuHart, and the not-so-promising future of Greenpoint’s parking situation. The aftermath of the infamous Halloween rave also received some airtime (for those curious, fines will be levied, but the amount is still undetermined).
That construction is inevitable (and that it’s inevitably a nuisance) is hardly breaking news, but it seems as though residents still have a window of opportunity to air their concerns and perhaps influence the direction some of this taking. The public comment period for the Nuhart State Superfund remediation, for example, is still coming up.
In the meantime, here are a few of the latest updates from the land of jackhammers drilling into toxic soil. Continue reading →
What are you doing next Saturday? If you can stomach planning more than two days ahead, come help clean up the neighborhood with Curb Your Litter and NAG on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you like your environmentalism with a touch of interactive data, check out this cool map.
Do we smell another passive-aggressive Cuomo/de Blasio standoff? A state audit found that the MTA fudges its numbers on how often subway trains show up on time, and that service sucked more in 2015 than it did in 2014. But wait! Want to know the real shocker? The G Train performed better than any other line in terms of meeting target wait times: a rate of 81.3%.
At press time, the scaffolding lacked visible street-level permits and extends far beyond Lot 57 to include adjacent Lot 17. This is the latest in a series of well-documented missteps by the Dupont Street Developers and their rotating cast of contractors. Continue reading →
It’s Friday; instead of “Netflix and chill,” why not “Superfund and chill?” After all, you can’t spell “Superfund” without “super fun” — ask CityFox to explain.
In what proved to be a fateful pre-scheduled meeting, the Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) and Council Member Levin’s office hosted a post-Halloween Superfund meeting at the Polish & Slavic Center in Greenpoint.
Local residents fielded their questions to: representatives of Dupont Street Developers, Council Member Levin, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health, City Office of Environmental Remediation and Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office, in addition to NAG board members Mike Schade and Rita Pasarell.
As a result of the Halloween fiasco, CityFox and Dupont Street Developers LLC are now facing city and state investigations.
By now, most of you are familiar with the story of the Cityfox rave that never was. To sum it up briefly, a club promoter sold thousands of tickets to an all-night Halloween fête in Greenpoint’s toxic NuHart Plastics building. Due to intervention from the Fire Department, the party never quite made it to witching hour, but many residents are super pissed that something like this almost went down at a state Superfund site — and across the street from a senior center, no less.
Beyond that, the details are somewhat difficult to follow, which makes it hard to know exactly where to point fingers, even if the impetus is hardly in short supply. Cityfox issued a public apology yesterday, and organizers at Monday night’s NAG meeting made a point to save any rave-related questions for last, but the Q&A session quickly became a sounding board for public outrage. As one resident summed it up, the whole thing was a “huge slap in the face” for a community that’s been impacted by the building’s toxic history and is now grudgingly attempting to trust developers who claim to have its best interests in mind.
Fielding many of these questions was geologist Michael Roux, the environmental consultant for Dupont Street Developers LLC, which bought the NuHart site in 2014. He was joined by Yi Han, a representative of the group. Together, their account was confusing and at times seemingly contradictory to some of the other things we now know about the incident (for instance, Han said the owners never signed a contract, but NAG has supplied copies of the signed party permit on its website. To be clear, the building is owned by multiple parties). Additionally, Roux said that he wouldn’t be “totally forthcoming with everything [he knows],” as he’s been put on notice of potential legal action by the state.
In order to help make heads of tails, here’s a rough chronological timeline presented from multiple perspectives. Continue reading →