Although the former Domino Sugar refinery on Kent Avenue does not lie in Greenpoint, the building and the firm that ran it, Havemeyer and Elder, cast a long shadow over local history. Having spent the summer researching the plant for my upcoming book The Rise and Fall of the Sugar King, it is hard to express how much suffering is associated with the refinery.
The plant, which was opened in 1858, employed thousands of Greenpointers over its almost a century-and-a-half of existence. Much of the reason that we have a Polish population today is because the refinery had a policy of hiring Slavic men, principally Polish, who could not recount to outsiders the misery that working in the plant entailed. They worked in horrendous conditions that we can scarcely imagine today. Continue reading →
New York City Council Member Stephen Levin is hosting a North Greenpoint Development meeting at the Polish Slavic Center (176 Java Street) on Wednesday, 11/8 at 6:30, where community members can engage with local developers around how new construction in the neighborhood will impact Greenpoint.
According to WNYC, the MTA has 119 closed entrances throughout the system. The MTA shuttered these access points when the subway fell into disrepair in the 1970s, but as ridership climbs toward its post-war high of 6.9 million riders a day, inaccessible entrances only contribute to the crowding and delays that plague the system. Minor told WNYC in 2015, “This is a major cause of subway delays, because you’re forcing people to enter at basically one or two access points,” which causes people to bunch up when they get on the train, and to bottleneck along the platform when they exit.
With the impending L closure, Minor’s plan takes on a new urgency. The Lorimer/Metropolitan Station served over 15,000 people per weekday in 2016. That’s over 5 Million riders per year.According to the MTA, Lorimer/Metropolitan ranks 101 out of 422 stations in the system when it comes to ridership, which makes the station busier than many stations in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Add to this that the station will likely see a surge in riders switching from the L to the G during the shutdown.
The Station’s closed staircases and entrance are situated on either side of Union Avenue at the intersection of Hope and Powers Streets, and at the corner of Union Avenue and Grand Streets. These defunct entrances are just a few of the 10 closed entrances, and 27 closed staircases in North Brooklyn, along G, L, J, M and Z lines. Minor’s plan to reopen the shuttered access points calls for full ADA Accessibility in the station, to make commuting easier for New Yorkers during the shutdown and after.
According to Second Avenue Sagas, the MTA is looking into opening the closed entrances, but non-committal on when, or if, it will follow through on the plan. The MTA has this to say on the issue: “As part of our efforts to accommodate growing ridership, we are studying and evaluating closed access points throughout the subway system and we’re looking at every idea for how to provide alternate service to L customers during any potential shutdown.”
You can sign Minor’s petition to “Expand access[ibility] to, at and from the Lorimer St L-Metropolitan Av G station complex.” on Change.Org here
Every Thursday from 7-10pm in October, you can get to know North Brooklyn and its culture and history a little better with FREE bike tours hosted by Brooklyn Bicycle Co. and Loudest Yeller Bike Tours. Bring a neighbor or friend, or kids—ages 10 and up are welcome! The biking is super easy, and all skill levels are welcome. The tours leave from 141 South 5th Street at 7pm. Pro tip: be ready to eat some ice cream along the way.
What to bring: Bring your bike if you have one. If you don’t have one, you can borrow a Brooklyn Bicycle Co. cruiser. They’ve got bikes that fit everyone from 4’11 to 7’6, as well as helmets. If you need to borrow a bike please send a message ahead of time by emailing [email protected].
Williamsburg is full of a lot of fabulous things like delicious food, beautiful art and exciting entertainment, but our neighborhood can’t boast a lot of park space. In fact, when it comes to parkland Williamsburg is ranked 46th out of 51 districts in New York City. And even within the neighborhood, the North Side has 15 times more park space per person than the South Side. The Friends of BQGreen hope to change that.
BQGreen will create a “park out of thin air” by extending a concrete platform over the BQE between South 3rd and South 5th Streets. The Green will incorporate Marcy Green and Rodney Park and include “3.5-acres of open space with a flower garden, a playground, a baseball diamond, barbecues, grassy and wooded areas, an indoor pool and a water play zone.”
Renderings of the proposed park are dynamic and inspiring, and Friends of BQGreen, including Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, Los Sures, El Puente, and Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, see their project as akin to the High Line in terms of innovation, but the initiative could have an even more profound affect on the neighborhood when it comes to fighting air pollution and delivering “environmental justice” to residents who live in the shadow of the BQE.Continue reading →
Rally for a Better Loft Law | Thursday May 25 | 7-9pm @ San Damiano Mission | 85 N 15th St
If you know any North Brooklyn artists in live/work spaces, you probably know someone who is affected by the Loft Law. Artists and creatives are being pushed out of many NYC neighborhoods, including our own Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and luckily you can support the local art community to help artists stay put. On Thursday evening, all are welcome to join tenants, artists, elected officials and housing advocates to show support for the 2017 Loft Law “Clean-Up” Bill. Speakers will include state and local elected officials, loft lawyers, artists and tenant advocates.
We’re looking for a News Editor to join us! You will be responsible for keeping up with local news and creating a weekly news roundup post, managing and writing stories of your own, and assigning stories to contributing writers. You should be able to attend monthly Editors meetings, and occasional community-related events and meetings. Must be detail-oriented, highly knowledgable about Greenpoint (you live here!), and have a great personality and fun writing style. You should generally be comfortable with technology, as you will be working in WordPress and using our content management platform (it’s not hard, and we’ll teach you).
This position is paid per post written and per post edited.
In a move that seems like it can’t come soon enough, the MTA has announced that it will start increasing L train service starting next June.
Beginning in June 2017, to accommodate the increased rider trends, the L line will have:
11 additional weekday roundtrips between 9am – 7:30pm.
12 additional Saturday roundtrips between 7am – 3pm.
27 additional Sunday roundtrips between 7am – 8pm.
During these hours, L train service is currently running at more than 100% capacity (or “peak load point”) guidelines. The additional trains should help bump capacity down below 100%. Why it took the MTA this long to increase service on the ever-crowded L train is perhaps one of the great unsolved mysteries of North Brooklyn. Continue reading →
Participatory budgeting meetings have been happening all week, and there’s more to come. You can submit your ideas here or attend a meeting in person (click here for a schedule). Get a piece of that $1.5 mil!
In light of several assaults that allegedly occurred near McGolrick park recently, a community meeting was held Thursday night at the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell St.) Concerned citizens asked questions of several attending officers of the 94th Precinct and then brainstormed ways to make the community safer. Greenpointers attended the meeting and we will have an update coming soon!
You got a job in Manhattan and live in Brooklyn baby, you ballin’! And then, after a couple birthday dinners you blew all your cash MC Hammer style. When it’s the end of your pay cycle and you’re hard up for skrill but still want to go out, free bar food might be your best option for “dinner”.
After the jump, check out our list of nearby joints serving FREE food, and free or nearly free drinks: Continue reading →