Newtown Creek

Open Space Alliance Sweeps Up Around McGolrick Park

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Located in the heart of Greenpoint is a park named for longtime neighborhood advocate Monsignor McGolrick, an Irish pastor who became a major community figure in the late 1800s. These days, the Greenpoint area has a new community leader. Her name is Konstancja Maleszyńska.

She works for the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, a non-profit that partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to help “fill the gaps” that result from underfunding and understaffing within the city department. One of her current projects is organizing monthly “Saturday Sweeps” of McGolrick Park, where neighbors can come meet one another and work together to pick up litter. Continue reading

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All Eyes On You, G Train — The Hook-Up 8/12

Screenshot: Brand New Subway
Screenshot: Brand New Subway
 
NAG’s beta-test for its ToxiCity Map is over. Now, take a gander at the fully complete version of this interactive guide to the environmental hazards lurking in your backyard.
 
Podiatric peril in Greenpoint: a dog bit a poor housekeeper’s toe off in a luxury condo.
 
The New York Times writes: “Once Mocked, the G Train Is Now Cool. Kind Of.”
 
But that didn’t do anything to persuade NYC Transit chief Ronnie Hakim, who denied a request to add more service and cars to the G Train prior to the L Train shutdown and said rush hour service is fine as is.
 
If the reality of all this transit stuff is too much to grapple with, try escaping into a fantasy Sim City land of sorts where you can design the perfect subway system.
 
Polonaise Terrace is about to serve up a different kind of banquet. Brooklyn Night Bazaar is moving in for its Grand Opening weekend on September 9th and 10th.
 
Police are still looking for the perpetrator who killed a cyclist in a hit and run on Grand & Manhattan a month ago — even though the car was found.
 
Have you tasted Maman’s ice cream sandwiches yet? The new cafe is serving McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams out of its new Greenpoint spot.
 
Parents in town? New to the nabe? Here’s the Brooklyn Eagle’s short list of architectural and sightseeing hot spots in Greenpoint.
 
Did you know Newtown Creek had a Nature Walk? Did you know there was nature in Newtown Creek?
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DEP Fudged Newtown Creek Water Quality Reports, According to Former Employees

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Newtown Creek as seen from the Pulaski Bridge. Photo by Laura Apperson

We’ve already talked about how Newtown Creek is one of the most polluted waterways in the country  (AKA, don’t even think about taking a dip or eating its fish). And while everyone knows this is true, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reportedly lied about the already horrific water quality in city reports—and former employees have banded together to potentially sue the City of New York. Continue reading

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Volunteers: Cleanup at the Newtown Creek Living Dock This Sunday

The Newtown Creek Living Dock
The Newtown Creek Living Dock

Please join the Newtown Creek Alliance in helping to clean up and improve the North Henry Street shoreline site this Sunday. Volunteers can assist with tasks like garbage pickup, weed removal, planting and path making. Gloves will be provided, and please dress accordingly. No RSVP required.

Sunday July 17th
North Henry Street – NCA Living Dock
1 to 5pm
540 Kingsland Avenue Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The North Henry Street site is host to the NCA Living Dock. With money from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, NCA created the Living Dock; a 200-sq foot floating habitat structure for marine organisms. Despite poor environmental conditions, wildlife is returning to the Creek. The Living Dock is a way to encourage and document this trend. Come see the site, visit the Living Dock and lend a hand!

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Pokemon Go Takeover, Evolved L Train & Turf Battles at Bushwick Inlet Park — The Hook-Up 7/15

The commute of the future. Via Van Alen Institute.
The commute of the future. Via Van Alen Institute.

2019 isn’t that far off, and it’s certainly not too soon to pit designers against each other to dream up alternative transit solutions for the dreaded L Train Shutdown. Although some fantastical entries included the above Donnie-Darko-esque translucent tunnel, the winning design involved small (and speedy) ferries jetting along Newtown Creek and the East River.

Because roving Transmitter Park on your own is not as fun as joining a marauding gang of eager Pokemon trainers, North Brooklyn will get to enjoy its very own Pokemon Go Bar Crawl next Saturday.
 
Though park advocates have been literally camping out in Bushwick Inlet Park and counting down the days left for CitiStorage owner Norm Brodsky to accept the city’s offer of $100 million, Brodsky recently thumbed his nose at them by putting the site up for public auction.
 
How depraved can you get? Someone allegedly set a homeless man on fire in Transmitter Park. The New York Post being the New York Post, it managed to crack a few jokes at the victim’s expense.
 
There’s something meta about being caught on film while robbing a film set. Police are looking for a man suspected of committing a string of robberies at mostly unlocked production studios around Greenpoint.
 
This architectural game-changer just had its grand opening in Williamsburg on Monday. 
 
After a $315,000 facelift funded by Nike, the McCarren Park skate park is back in action with more ways to do tricks (and keep it safe).
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Ironic Ironing, Free Citi Bike, & Film Favorites — The Hook-Up 6/17

Meet your local domestic hero. Photo: Sarah Francoise
Meet your local domestic hero. Photo: Sarah Francoise
This is some next-level Marina Abramovic shit. A Greenpoint dad is bringing his love for ironing to Pete’s Candy Store next month, offering to iron everyone’s clothes for free every Tuesday night in July.
 
Could Bedford Avenue be on its way to becoming a safe space for inebriated pedestrians? One local politician is suggesting it be turned into a pedestrian plaza and a right-of-way for the proposed Brooklyn-Queens streetcar.
 

What do you do to fight toxic waste? Plant more flowers. The city is planting more than 300 rain gardens in Sunnyside, Maspeth and Ridgewood to help relieve the overtaxed sewer systems.

 
This weekend, you can avail yourself of free Citi Bike. Don’t let this opportunity coast away.
 
An award-winning short from the Brooklyn Film Fest is all about that magical-realist charm of Greenpoint. Check out the review.
 
Well, that was quick. One bumbling (or opportunist?) driver was already caught in the bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge.
 
One band got booted from Northside over the drummer’s rape-apologist letter penned in defense of Brock Turner. Here’s some more deflection toward drinking culture.
 
Here’s a first look at the newly converted 108-year-old Eberhard Pencil Factory buildings that had been sitting vacant at 74 Kent Street for so long.
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Cartoon History, Park Drama & Hank the Dog — The Hook-Up 6/3

Via Julia Wertz
Via Julia Wertz

The more you know: now you can learn about Greenpoint’s pastry, vaudeville, and industrial history in comic book fashion thanks to cartoonist Julia Wertz.

Is McCarren Park the new hotspot for attempted abductions? This Reddit forum suggests it might pay to be extra careful when you’re leaving Matchless at 3 a.m.

In the next potential round of Cuomo v. de Blasio: the state might strongarm the city into giving the Williamsburg waterfront its long-awaited park. However, some people would rather it turn into an Industry City-esque Maker Park. 

If “Combined Sewage Overflow” didn’t mean much to you before, you’re about to get a very visceral idea of why people think Newtown Creek is so shitty. However, the Newtown Creek Alliance has news about how local residents can do their part by using less water when it rains.
 
The Calyer Building is getting a makeover. Not to worry, though — the more iconic-looking Green Point Savings Bank will remain intact.
 

Few are thrilled about the prospect of an L Train shutdown, but it seems as though the overwhelming consensus is “get the damn thing over with.” However, “getting the damn thing over with” might actually entail closing 14th Street to car traffic, giving buses and bikes their own dedicated space. 

They say 90% of success is showing up. Or is it 80%? Either way, Greenpoint Democratic district leader Linda Minucci is being taken to task by people who admittedly have a vested interest in seeing her challenger best her.
 
Grub Street is wading into contentious territory here, but here’s its definitive ranking of the best Polish food in Greenpoint.
 
Is this you? Some of your neighbors really wish you’d pick up after your dog. #dogpoopshaming
 
Hank. Hank is Greenpoint’s most popular dog name. #dognameshaming
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Bike Raves, Secret Seders & Even More Secret Puddles — The Hook-Up 5/13

Photo by Sunny Jhooty Photography via Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
Photo by Sunny Jhooty Photography via Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
A state study is claiming that there’s no obvious connection between pollution and the increased incidence of health issues in people living near Newtown Creek. But said residents are calling bullshit.
 
It’s no naked bike ride, but there are glowsticks involved. The Brooklyn Bike Rave is happening this Saturday night.
 
There’s a new 90-unit mixed-use residential development going up where seven buildings have been sitting (up til now) at 1050-1066 Manhattan Avenue and 154 Eagle Street. Of course, you can’t make an omelette without demolishing a few existing apartments (and tearing down that iconic J. Josephs & Sons Co. signage), but demolition permits haven’t been filed yet.
 
Passover might be pretty passé at this point in May, but this was too cool not to share. It seems as though the Sunview Luncheonette was home to a secret, alternative Passover Seder.
 
It’s been a while since Greenpoint first caught the attention of the New York Times trend watch, but now it looks like The Wall Street Journal has caught on.
 
It’s happening: the old Polonaise Terrace building is bringing in some new, well-known tenants. The Brooklyn Night Bazaar is moving in and creating a space that’s “much weirder than its predecessor.
 
There’s no place like home, and there’s no place where per-foot condominium sales prices are rising faster.
 
Have you seen this shirtless cyclist who attacked a driver with a bike lock?
 
 

There’s been a debate happening re: how viable that Brooklyn-Queens Connector streetcar is. A commissioned study seems to say it’s pretty viable.

A group of second graders at P.S. 31 Samuel F. Dupont won a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. Just look at those faces!
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The New Waterfront Trolley: Is it Money Well-Spent?

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One reader responded to a recent post on the problems involved in building a bridge over Newtown Creek, suggesting that the article was too negative toward the project and that no infrastructure would ever be built if people only saw the inherent flaws — certainly a valid viewpoint.

However, before we begin a new multi-billion dollar project, we need to evaluate the time, expense and displacement it will create and decide if those billions of dollars might be better spent on subways or other existing forms of mass transportation. The city says that the streetcar will be ready in 2024, but critics feel this is a wildly optimistic timeframe.

John Orcutt, a streetcar critic and spokesman for Transit Center, a non-profit public transportation advocate group, stated, “The biggest concern is these kinds of transit projects haven’t performed well and have been difficult to implement.”

Washington D.C experienced years of delay and large cost overruns on a much smaller streetcar line, and the New York plan is far bigger than what any other American cities have recently built. The de Blasio administration envisions 30 stops over a 16-mile route and 60 streetcar vehicles. The very scope of the project almost ensures many more years of delay than Washington’s tiny system.

Another issue that many have with the streetcar is that in a city already short on parking, the rail line would eliminate hundreds of parking spots, so that drivers all along the route would be vehement enemies. It is hard to imagine City Council members backing a plan that would draw the ire of their driving constituents, especially if they never take the streetcar line.
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It is still not clear if the streetcar would be woven into the subway system or if it would be an independent system. There is also the huge question of whether the system would honor MetroCards. It is hard to imagine that many riders who already pay a lot for public transportation would shell out even more money for the tram if the streetcar fare costs extra. A limited ridership would mean that the billion-dollar cost of the streetcar cannot be justified.

There is one other problem with bridges: bureaucracy. Besides the time and expense of constructing a bridge, building spans today mandates conducting long and costly environmental impact studies that could take years and push back the 2024 date even further into the future. Let’s not even begin to contemplate the delays legal challenges to the light rail line would create.

Perhaps the more than $2 billion earmarked for the trolley could be better spent on a renovation of the inadequate G line. Certainly improvements to the G would have a greater impact on the local transportation situation in the near future. Clearly, the city needs to explain how the plan for the streetcar is more positive for Greenpoint than a subway overhaul.

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