Ok, so we’ve been stuck in the weather purgatory that is Spring (it’s hot/it’s cold/it’s rainy/it sucks), but it’s already time to start planning out our summer outdoor activities—because before we know it we’ll be stuck in blizzard land. In North Brooklyn we’re lucky to have three awesome options for watching movies outdoors this summer! Because who doesn’t love a good excuse to sit amongst the fireflies and watch the sun set on a blanket next to their honey (or doggie) with a pre-hot-mess Lindsey Lohan snarling on the big screen? (See Mean Girls at SummerScreen in McCarren, Wednesday July 5th).
THE SUNSET SCREENINGS — ROOFTOP MOVIES AT DOBBIN STREET A new free monthly rooftop film series, The Sunset Screenings, kicks off May 24th and runs through September. The free movies will screen at local event space Dobbin St (64 Dobbin Street) on their 3,000 sq ft rooftop terrace. Just as the sun sets over the Manhattan skyline, the films will begin. To complement the view, the series is“city” themed, representing the world’s most iconic cities from New York to Tokyo with a carefully curated list of films. Here’s the schedule:
Nothing is scarier than what bubbles beneath the surface of the Newtown Creek – so if you really want to get creeped out for Halloween this year – consider a Haunted Halloween Canoe Tour with the North Brooklyn Boat Club! Too scared to get into a canoe? You can still join the crew for s’mores around the campfire, drinks and boneless troll finer sandwiches.
“You won’t find anything this Halloween that’s more Superfund than this!”
Sure you are proud of your kid and enjoy sunshine in the bleachers while chowing down on a hot dog, but sometimes magic happens when adults participate in kid’s sporting events, as the video below proves.
The Greenpoint Little League will be holding registrations for boys and girls ages 4 to 12 this Saturday, March 8th – 3 to 6pm and Sunday, March 9th – 3 to 5pm at The Cage (62-40 Metropolitan Ave, Middle Village) Continue reading →
McGolrick Park is a hidden gem on the other side of McGuinness Blvd (#OSOM) but many local residents feel the park needs some major love, like updates to the playground and repair to the pathways. It doesn’t help that neighborhood punks have no respect, either; last year they set fire to benches and vandalized the statue.
While crossing over the East River during my daily ride on the East River Ferry, I would often see fishermen cast their lines into the dark polluted waters, hanging out on India Street Pier having a good time, in the rain or sunshine. Some of them were members of Brooklyn Urban Anglers Association, whose fishing derby this year would end with an East River Fish Fry. Continue reading →
In the latest construction news to hit North Brooklyn, the city approved a McCarren Park expansion that has been in the works since 2010. The plan would expand the park by 33,800 square feet, connecting the section of McCarren Park that holds the dog run and farmers market to the park’s southern end. The chunk of Union Ave. between Driggs Ave. and North 12 Street will be dug up and replaced with a fancy shmancy pedestrian plaza.
Naturally, residents are concerned with how traffic will be affected. Additionally, the expanded green area will remove 34 parking spaces. Gothamist reported, however, that these spaces may likely be recovered nearby.
While the the Parks Department works on securing funding for a permanent design, a temporary design is expected to be completed by summer 2014, giving us all something to look forward to just as the weather starts to turn cold.
Thanks to Newtown Creek Alliance and North Brooklyn Boat Club for organizing this fun canoe trip on the Newtown Creek. While nature in the way of lush forests and crystal clear running streams is far from the scenery along this industrial waterway, “nature has returned to the creek,” our guides explained, which is a good sign.
Among the many birds we spotted were cormorants, swallows, cardinals, a great egret, an entire flocks of cormorants, a catbird and a few geese who were demonstrating a curious behavior of swimming along the creek’s edge with their necks down low on the water.
We were very excited to also see blue crabs, oysters, small fish and jelly fish!
I won’t say it didn’t smell, in some parts worse than others. Mostly they were industrial gas and crude oil smells. There was a lot of garbage floating, capri sun containers, potato chips bags, tampons, and I won’t say that I didn’t cringe every time even the most minuscule drop splashed on my arm or even worse right near my lips.
When I asked Jens of NBBC what would be the protocol if someone fell in and swallowed a mouthful of water, he said he would recommend getting a Hepatitis test since the biggest pollutant on the creek nowadays is human excrement.
The most striking feature of the tour was when we canoed up to a partition between the creek and a combined sewage overflow, CSO area. That is where rainwater mixed with sewage from the treatment plant overflows after heavy rain. The water on our side of the partition was very clear, protected from – wait for it – “floatables.” On the other side, where an unknowing egret was hunting, was thick putrid sludge leading from the huge overflow pipe.
When we returned to the boat club dock I was never so excited to wash my hands, especially the spot of water that turned brown on my arm.
Canoeing up the creek is something that everyone should experience, at least once. If not for the birds – for the reality check. Modern conveniences like toilets and sanitation make us forget the impact we have on our own environment. While the creek is on its way to becoming a less vile place, it’s still the toilet of NYC, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to it, especially since it is becoming a viable place for our own native fauna.
Bonus:Laura Hoffman, locally famous environmental hero for Greenpoint, who was a plaintiff in a 2004 lawsuit against ExxonMobil for contamination of Greenpoint and the Newtown Creek that won $19million for an environmental projects fund, was on the same canoe trip! I was honored to finally meet her.
I can’t tell you how many readers were writing in, “What is happening at McCarren Park? When will it reopen?” I wish I had the Mayor on speed dial! What happened is that over the winter they spent about a million bucks to fix the drainage issues and repave the paths that were becoming “hipster lakes” during rain storms. And they kept their promise to reopen by Spring. The lawn is freshly cut, there are new park benches and the roses are in bloom. So now go play in the park!