Greenpoint was on high snow alert yesterday, waiting patiently for our second Nor’Easter in a week. The storm was originally predicted to hit us in the early morning hours, but didn’t. Greenpoint residents awoke to what seemed like a pretty typical rainy winter morning. Commuters went about their business and shops and restaurants opened up, but with trepidation. Around noon, many locals found themselves wondering “Is that all ya got?” because no snow seemed to be falling. Then a few hours later the snow started coming down, gently at first, but soon began to rage, whipping soggy snowflakes around in every direction. Some local businesses closed early, and others fearlessly remained open to serve their most adventurous Greenpoint customers. Below, check out scenes from around the neighborhood. Continue reading
Ughhhh, is it iced coffee weather yet? It’s no secret that we New Yorkers aren’t blessed with a great climate. Winter = grey snow piles for days. Spring = rain, like we’ve had all week. Summer = sweat, gross smells, and sometimes you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. So what are outdoor sport-loving folks to do when NYC weather is THE WORST? Hit up The Pitch, NYC’s only indoor soccer-focused space, which just opened a few months ago in Williamsburg. Continue reading
Now a lot of weird weather has splashed headlines recently–Supermoons , droughts, even rumors of a Polar Vortex September visit–but none of it seems so insane compared to a Dust Devil landing in your own backyard.
As we know all too well from the past month, New York weather BE CRAZY. One day it feels like Spring in January and the next, we wake up only to trek through a few feet of toxic slush to a delayed train. If only there was a better way to get the weather report than sifting through an hour-by-hour forecast in a state of half sleep, trying to determine what shoes to put on…
Welcome to the world of Poncho, a personalized weather service that emails/texts you each morning with an update specifically tailored to your daily habits. It’s just like the device in Her, except instead of Scarlet Johansson whispering sweet nothings into your ear, it’s an adorable cat in a poncho telling you the weather. Continue reading
• Take a dip! The McCarren Park Pool is open from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
• Open a fire hydrant! Spray caps can be obtained by an adult 18 or over, free of charge, at local firehouses. More info here.
• Borrow a kid! Sprinklers (now called “spray showers”) are on in parks, but don’t be creepy. You can’t go into the playground without accompanying a kid. Check out McGolrick Park, American Playground (Franklin St bet. Milton St & Noble St) & Greenpoint Playground (Franklin St. bet. Commerical St. and Dupoint St.)
• Water Balloon Fight! The water fountains in parks were specifically engineered for filling massive quantities of water balloons. Nothing is better than a good old fashioned water balloon fight.
• I love this one: Don’t exercise! Especially from 11am-4pm.
• Wear sunscreen! And cover up.
• Drink plenty of H20! (reduce consumption of alcohol (sorry!) and caffeine)
• Don’t leave your dog or kids in a car! Temps in car get much hotter faster and dogs and kids die every year from being left in cars. If you see this neglectful behavior – call 911!
• Check on neighbors and old folks nearby.
• Here is a list of local cooling centers in or close to Greenpoint.
• Greenpoint Soup Kitchen & Food Pantry will be opening and closing earlier than usual this week. On Thursday from 7am-11am with cold drinks and cool places to sit for pantry guests and volunteers.
Good morning, Greenpoint! Over a year ago when I wrote my first post, I did not imagine how important this website would be in critical times – such as Hurricane Sandy proved to be for New York City.
As a local website, we received an unprecedented amount of online traffic from Greenpointers seeking information about conditions here. We are happy to have been there and grateful that much of the information reported and all the photographs came from you, the readers. Talk about hyper-local, on the ground, real time reporting!
While we wait for things to return to normal, it’s important to think about the lessons that such a huge natural disaster can teach us about life in Greenpoint and New York City.
10 Lessons Greenpoint (and NYC) Can Learn From #Sandy
1. Precautionary Actions Are Critical During Times Of Crisis (And Also Before)
How many of us were saying, “Really? They shut down the subways?”
Mayor Bloomberg would have been ridiculed if Hurricane Sandy had not turned into “a storm of historic intensity.” And if he had not taken such important precautionary actions when he did, like shut down the subways early on, there would have been more emergencies, deaths and damage.
Next time the city government plays it on the safe side, remember we would have been sorry if they had not done so this time around.
That being said, precautionary actions should have been taken before this crisis well, and perhaps we should look back to “the city’s former colonial overlords,” the Dutch, for ways to control flooding in the future.
2. Evacuate Means GTFO (Get The F$&K Out!) Greenpoint
Evacuation orders are not a minor inconvenience and should be taken seriously. No one wants to leave belongings, impose on family members or move into a shelters, but staying not only risks your own life, but the lives of rescuers when they have to come and save your sorry ass.
In Greenpoint Zone A, there was significant flooding from the East River and the Newtown Creek. The water was reported to have contained raw sewage released from the sewage treatment plant. In places that sustained unprecedented devastation due to flooding and fires, such as Breezy Point, we can see how important it is to take evacuations order seriously.
Two people were killed in Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy. They were crushed by a tree. It is a terrible tragedy but one we can all learn from.
When winds are over 90mph, there is no reason to leave the safety of your home and unnecessarily risk your own life and the lives of rescuers.
It may seem fun to check out the East River or take photos of downed trees or flooding, but none of those photos are worth the risk of being crushed by a tree or electrocuted by live power lines.
And, I can’t stress this enough: the most dangerous place to go during and right after any storm is to your local Park!
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I witnessed parents wheeling baby strollers through McGolrick and McCarren Parks. That is just stupid!
Entire trees can not only fall on top of you, but branches can kill or severely injure you.
4. Local Businesses Should Think Of Public Safety First
What a great article I could have written about what bars and restaurants were open during the hurricane and what great parties were going on, but I chose to encourage readers to stay inside and not patronize local businesses. I was torn because I did not want to hurt business in Greenpoint but in the end, public safety comes first.
I was so relieved when The Skint posted “Today Everything Is Closed.”
For business owners, it is irresponsible during times of great emergency to expect employees and encourage customers to risk their safety in order to patronize your business. While at first you may feel like you are doing a service to your customers, but you are actually unnecessarily putting them in harm’s way.
We can all go without drinking for one night. (Shake. Shake.)
5. Social Media Is A Great Tool During A Crisis (But Also A Great Liar)
While I found it extremely useful that the @NYCMayorsOffice was live tweeting updates from the Mayor’s regular press briefings, information which I could then pass on to Greenpointers, there was also a lot of noise and a lot of lies.
Just like it is important for drivers to avoid using roadways during times of crisis so emergency crews can move around more quickly, internet users should also think twice about keeping the social media airways clear, but more importantly not put out false information that alarms and frightens people just to get attention.
Aside from the ridiculous Statue of Liberty Armageddon photo going viral, there were valid concerns about the water supply and Greenpointers received a photo of brown water in a Greenpoint bathtub. Had I posted or retweeted the image, it would have caused unnecessary fear just for some attention.
Brown Water? “Don’t Drink it; Call 311.” And don’t freak everybody out!
6. Environmental Hazards In Greenpoint, Local Infrastructure and Emergency Planning
Now is a better time than any to take a good luck at the neighborhood we live in and think about the environmental issues here that pose a threat to public health.
The toxic state of our waterways, the sewage treatment facility that overflows into them, the under ground oil spill, the hazardous plumes that contain carcinogenic vapors, the garbage processing facilities – these are all facts of life in Greenpoint that potentially pose a significant threat to public health, especially during near catastrophic weather events that challenge local infrastructure.
What kind of affects do such weather events have on public health in Greenpoint? How should Greenpointers safeguard themselves? Is there a specific plan in place to deal with emergency situations that could negatively impact residents with respect to environmental hazards? These are important questions for our local government.
On a global level let us take seriously the state of the planet, how global warming results in such extreme weather, the most extreme I have seen in my entire life living in New York City. At the same time, think about each and every action you take and how that affects the world.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost, Eat Locally, Walk, Bike (Drive Less) and Stop Buying So Much Shit!
7. It Takes A Neighborhood To Run A Blog
Without contributions from locals this blog would not have been such a crucial information source for people living in Greenpoint, especially those who were evacuated from their homes and wanted to see photographs of their blocks and find out hyper local information.
Information from the Mayor was very broad, which made it so important that on a local level we could communicate and share information that immediately affected the neighborhood.
Thanks to everyone who contributed!
8. “We Can Judge The Heart of A [City] By [Its] Treatment Of Animals (& Homeless)” – Gandhi, sort of
I found it surprising, relieving and inspiring that hurricane shelters accepted evacuees with their pets. Greenpointers are animal lovers and would find it hard to leave pets behind.
Let’s hope the next Mayor takes into account this great city’s love of animals and realizes that sheltering pets can encourage people to evacuate.
Let’s also really look at the local homeless population we have living in Greenpoint. Many people live in our local parks, the worst place to be during a storm. Outreach to the homeless is very important. The homeless are not problems, they are people, our neighbors who we need to think about everyday, not just during times of crisis.
9. Thank The Mayor And City Employees
You may not like the Mayor, but he did a good job. Think about how f’ing crazy it must be to run this town, especially during times of extreme crisis. He kept calm and took care of business with a team of tireless city employees who worked around the clock and risked their own lives to take care of all of us. And they still have a lot of work to do.
Lesson learned here is that it’s important to have one information source and a strong chain of command. There is a reason why the Mayor is an elected official who is in charge of keeping us safe. Ultimately what he says during these times goes. So listen up and stay out of the way to let his team do their job safely. With Sandy this meant staying inside and keeping roadways clear. The less people out, the safer everyone is.
10. Greenpoint (and NYC) Is the Greatest Place In the World!
‘Nuff said. Stay awesome Greenpoint!
As Hurricane Sandy makes landfall, approaching at around 30mph with wind speeds up to 90mph, we have not yet seen the worst of the storm.
We can’t stress enough to stay inside!
Any standing water from East River or Newtown Creek overflow should be considered unsafe due to raw sewage releases in the local waterways. More info.
Updates (via Mayor Bloomberg)
• Public Schools Closed Tomorrow
• MTA Closed Tomorrow
• All East River Bridges Closed Tonight at 7pm
• Expect power outages
• Expect Severe Flooding (especially from 8:15pm-10:30pm tonight)
• No deaths resulting from Sandy in NYC
A reporter asked about potential environmental consequences of Gowanus area flooding given the toxic nature of the waterway. The Mayor did not respond specifically to environmental impacts, just said the water will rise and recede. He passed it on to another official who said, “We don’t think there is any immediate danger to anybody… We’ll clean it up like anything else.”
Hurricane Sandy is expected to reach the area Tuesday, catching up with some other messy weather systems and sticking around for Halloween in what dramatic meteorologists are calling a Frankenstorm. Damage is estimated to be in the billions.
If you live in Greenpoint or Williamsburg your home may be in an evacuation zone, with those of you closest to the Easter River at the most risk of flooding. The best thing to do is know what zone you are in A, B, or C, with A being the most likely of damage.
If the city deems it necessary for you to evacuate, find a friend who is not in an evacuation zone or go to an Evacuation Center.
We got so many #greenpoint_storm submissions on Instagram. Check them out!
I love the phrase, “we are going to get some weather,” as if we don’t have weather when it’s nice out. Well we have been getting some major weather and some spectacular skies in Greenpoint. Here are a few shots from our Instagram buddies – @kim_nowacki, @skellynyc & @thecityandtheocean. If you’re on Instagram, share your photos by tagging them #greenpointers.