Williamsburg

Vote for Participatory Budgeting Projects March 30th – April 7th

(Courtesy of justgrimes/Flickr)

Voting for Participatory Budgeting, the NYC program where residents vote on how to allocate $1.5 million in funding for projects conceived and pitched by locals, will take place between March 30th – April 7th. Here’s the list of District 33 poll sites.

There are two ballots to vote for three out of seven expense projects ($20,000 total) and five out of nine capital projects ($1.5 million total).

According to NYC Council Member Stephen Levin’s Participatory Budgeting website, expense and capital projects are as follows:  Continue reading

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Woman Randomly Assaulted at Pulaski Bridge by Man With Wooden Cane in Greenpoint

The Pulaski Bridge staircase at McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint (Google Maps)

A Greenpoint woman was allegedly attacked by a stranger resulting in her receiving 16 staples to her head after she walked down the Pulaski Bridge staircase onto McGuinness Boulevard at Box Street just over two weeks ago.

The Greenpoint-based artist who wishes to remain anonymous says that she exited the staircase after returning from Long Island City at approximately 9:50 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5th, when the suspect appeared to walk past her and up the stairs to the Pulaski Bridge.

The attack allegedly occurred across the street from the Box House Hotel (Google Maps)

The suspect, described as a middle-aged man approximately 5′ 10″ tall and wearing a dark baggy hooded sweatshirt, struck the woman on her head from behind with a wooden walking cane multiple times across the street from the Box House Hotel (77 Box St.).

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Memories of a 90s Childhood in Williamsburg Recalled in Group Photo Exhibit

Before the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront ushered in dozens of luxury buildings with the 2005 rezoning, the yearning to create something out of nothing permeated the native youth in the 1990s recalls Dominic Bielak, who was born and raised with his identical twin brother Damian on Berry Street.

Dominic and Damian in McCarren Park in 1999

“Things felt neglected,” Dominic said recalling the days when he would explore the abandoned, decrepit industrial buildings near the Williamsburg waterfront.

A group photo exhibition, “I CAN BE PRETTY TOO” from the creative collective The Brooklyn Social Club, which includes the Bielak twins and photographer Terrence Miele, will showcase 90s-era photos from their forthcoming book on Friday, March 29, at the Sideshow Gallery (319 Bedford Ave.) at 7 p.m. The show will be displayed through March 31st.

 

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Williamsburg Waterfront. North 7th Street and Kent Avenue. 1991. Photograph by Ted Barron. When me and my brother were young this was our playground. In some ways it was dangerous and it other ways it was safe. It felt safe for us always maybe because we were small and Naive from the worlds dangers. No one bothered you here and no one owned it so you were able to get away with anything and everything. My dad used to come here and go fishing and drinking with his polish friends and sometimes catch a fish maybe to eat it or throw it back into the east river restoring its life. #Williamsburg #Brooklyn #Film #Photo #Photography #Pretty #Escape #Greenpoint #Williamsburgbridge #Home #Family #documentary

A post shared by The Brooklyn Social Club (@thebrooklynsocialclubnyc) on

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The Local Purple Heart Recipient Memorialized With a Park

Sergeant William Dougherty Park (courtesy of DOT)

Recently there was a $ 12,000,000 renovation of Sergeant William Dougherty Park, which lies right by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway at the corner of Vandervoort Avenue and Anthony Street. Sergeant Dougherty died in one of the most horrific battles of World War II. He was one of almost 3,000 young Americans who died in the bloody battle. Tragically, the 22-year-old Sergeant Dougherty survived the worst fighting of the battle and died on July 10, 1944, the day after United States Navy Admiral Turner announced that Saipan was officially secured. Dougherty was posthumously awarded two of the highest honors a soldier can receive: The Bronze Star and The Purple Heart.

The Greenpoint park was named in his honor in 1948. Dougherty was born near the park on Hausman Street on November 9, 1921, and as a child, he played in the park. He graduated from high school and was a messenger boy for employment. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 126 pounds when he enlisted in the “ Fighting 69th” New York Irish Regiment that had won fame for its valor in the Civil War and in World War I, and was even the subject of a film made about the famous regiment’s exploits in the Great War. Dougherty enlisted in the National Guard Regiment before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Continue reading

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Tonight: Greenpoint YMCA’s Annual Campaign Kickoff

 

The Greenpoint YMCA (99 Meserole Ave.) will host its annual campaign kickoff event tonight (3/21) at 6 p.m. at the Early Childhood Center (176 Java St.). Donations can be made here.

The Greenpoint YMCA’s programming includes Early Childhood programsswim lessonspersonal training sessionskids’ classes, and afterschool programs; the schedule is available here.

In 2015, the Greenpoint YMCA expanded its early childhood center to include 5 classrooms (up from two) and doubled student capacity to 135 students from 65 students.

 

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Third-of-its-kind Industrial Development Gets Green Light

103 N. 13th St. rendering ( via CityLand; Albo Loberis/CPC)

Another Industrial Business Incentive Area for a seven-story office, retail, and light manufacturing development at 103 N 13th St. was approved by the City Planning Commission in February, making the greenlighted development the third-ever in NYC. Another IBIA will be needed for Acme Smoked Fishes’ redevelopment at 30 Gem St.

103 N . 13th St. (Google Maps)
The planned office and manufacturing building to (tentatively) open in 2021 at 12 Franklin St. (FXCOLLABORATIVE/BEZIER)

The other two unique IBIA developments, 25 Kent Ave. and 12 Franklin St., are also within the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone and gained approval for special permits to increase the legal floor to area ratio and to remove parking lot requirements. Continue reading

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Enid’s Final Two Weekends Take Shape

(Enid’s crew)

Enid’s (560 Manhattan Ave.), will close on March 31st, meaning you have less than two weeks to say goodbye in person. The neighborhood bar and restaurant originally opened in 1999 and is going out with a series of dance parties:

Friday 3/22One More Time Throwback Party

Saturday 3/23 – @grandpajeremy hip-hop dance party Continue reading

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Environmental Cleanup to Begin at Toxic Williamsburg Parking Lot

510 Driggs Ave. in 2012 (via Google Maps)

Environmental cleanup will begin this month at 510 Driggs Avenue under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. The cleanup will be performed by “187 North 8 Street Owner LLC” with oversight by the NYDEC.

510 Driggs Ave. in 2018 (via Google Maps)

The vacant parking lot has been closed for the past year and was home to the Bulletin Market during recent summers. A manufactured gas plant (MGP) was demolished on the site in 1887, and it later became a garage and a chair manufacturer after an industrial conversion in the 1940s.

508 Driggs Avenue in 1940 (via NYX tax photo archives)

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Open Jazz Session Launches at Warsaw for Monthly Series

Warsaw Jazz Sessions launched in Feb. 2019

A monthly live jazz night for local musicians and jazz-appreciators launched last month in Greenpoint hosted by keyboardist Jesse Lynch. The second session happens on Wednesday, March 20th, at Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave.) from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Lynch, a Greenpoint-based pianist began hosting live jazz sessions at a Greenpoint loft last year under the name Brooklyn Vortex. With the Warsaw Series, he hopes to bring together local jazz players to exercise their improv skills.

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Legendary Writer Henry Miller Recalls Williamsburg of The 1890s

The NY Times 1971

Henry Miller is not only one of the greatest writers Brooklyn ever produced, but also a chronicler of the now vanished North Brooklyn before the building of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903. Honestly, there are times when I do not like Miller’s writing: it can be macho, self-obsessed, vain and highly egotistical, but when writing about old Williamsburg he approaches literary genius.

Henry Miller (via Carl Van Vechten collection at the Library of Congress)

In 1971, the New York Times (PDF) invited the then 80-year-old Miller back to Williamsburg to recollect on his childhood. Though he had been away for five decades, Miller had a crystal clear memory, recalling many fascinating stories from that vanished world of his childhood. Miller was born of German-American parents in Manhattan in 1891, but moved to the area as an infant, living at 662 Driggs Avenue, a house that still stands.

The Henry Miller House (662 Driggs Avenue vias Google Maps)

His fondest memories, which occupy much of his writing, concern his boyhood friends from the neighborhood. He said, “As I walked the streets the names of my boyhood companions, or better said, my idols, came back to me: Johnny Paul, Eddie Carney, Lester Reardon, Jimmy Short, Tim Buckley; Matt Owen, Gus Fowler, and last but not least, my first real chum, Stanley Borowski. With Stanley I maintained a friendship until I left for France in 1930. Like myself, he wanted to be a writer; I doubt that he ever made it however.”

Reading Miller’s writings, the neighborhood comes into focus through the eyes of a mischievous young lad who would later be censored by the United States Post Office for his shocking prose. Miller recalled first being rebuked for his language at the police station at Bedford Avenue where he was dragged by the arm one afternoon by a babysitter at the age of 6 or 7 years old; the crime he had committed was to use dirty language in her presence – the first of many times Miller would shock people with his language.

Miller’s writing later shocked another, more prominent Williamsburger, Presbyterian Minister John D. Wells. Today John D. Wells Middle School on S. 3rd St. is named for the preacher Miller knew as a child. He recalled, “Later, on some crazy impulse, I sent this rather pompous and aristocratic minister one of my first pieces of writing from Paris. He replied that he had thrown it in the garbage can; he wondered, he said, how one of ‘his boys’ could ever have conceived such filth.” At 7 years of age, Wells had presented Miller with a handsome little New Testament, his name inscribed in gold letters, for reciting by heart the 23rd Psalm. Continue reading

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