Archive for ‘architecture’

New Bus Stop at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6

By , 2 September, 2011, No Comment

Quick heads up for anyone who takes the but to or from Pier 6. The route and loading area is changing as of this weekend. Rumours have also been rumbling about new signage and traffic patterns by the Department of Transportation in the area to help families and pedestrians get to the park without saying their prayers. Here’s the official message from the folks at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy:
Effective Sunday, September 4th, the B63 bus stop will be moved from the south side of Atlantic Avenue to inside Pier 6 Brooklyn Bridge Park and located on the south side of One Brooklyn Bridge Park on the loop road. Directional signage will be installed around the pier and at both the old and new locations once the change takes effect. This new location will minimize conflicts at the Atlantic Avenue intersection and allow easier access to the park for B63 riders.
Further changes will be made over the next few weeks to the Atlantic Avenue intersection to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety at the Pier 6 entrance. Brooklyn Bridge Park will update its website as these changes get underway.

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Sadie’s Kitchen Comes to Cobble Hill

By , 30 August, 2011, 2 Comments

A new cafe, located at 243 Degraw St. (near Clinton St.), looks like it will be open to the public soon. The space, which in the past few years has gone from take-out darling Chicory to doomed Ultimate Burgers and Dogs, now has cheerful flower boxes lining its windows and Sadie’s Kitchen painted on a new, green awning. But unfortunately, that’s all I got for you folks. The rumor is, the address has no liquor license, so don’t expect a neighborhood drinks spot. Got any tips? Give me a yell at tobey@bococaland.com.

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Watchtower to Fund Brooklyn Bridge Park

By , 3 August, 2011, No Comment

Back in March, we ran a post about the funding for Brooklyn Bridge Park–and lack there of. The fight for building more housing in the well-used park has been on-going, with some factions hoping for none and some banking on more to pay for further construction and upkeep. Of course, like Congress bickering over the debt ceiling, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. This week, a deal was made that would promise fewer luxury condos inside the park’s outlines. According to the Brooklyn Paper,

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State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights) and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Carroll Gardens) accepted a slightly smaller luxury building on John Street in DUMBO in exchange for a Bloomberg Administration flip-flop to allow future tax revenues from the 30 properties owned by the tax-exempt Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to fund the park if those buildings are sold and return to the tax rolls.

If all those buildings are sold, then we won’t have any more condos at Pier 6 and they’ll have more revenue to move ahead with building up the other piers. But, those properties (on which the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t currently pay taxes, by the way) don’t go on the market until 2014. Oh well, looks like it’s going to be a while before we see our floating pool . Maybe it won’t be so hot next summer. Not.

Bikes Get Home on Carroll Gardens Street

By , 22 July, 2011, No Comment

image of bike parking on Portland, OR via Brooklyn Paper

If you’ve ever tried to make a left hand turn onto Smith St. from Sackett St., you understand how nosing your car past the stop sign is about the only way to make sure you don’t get clipped by an overzealous car or truck. And if you ride a bike, you know how the nose of those cars can make this a dangerous corner to navigate. So, in its infinite wisdom, the city has decided to kill two birds with one stone. According to the Brooklyn Paper, eight U-shaped bike racks will replace a two-space no-standing zone, which will make visibility better for cars and riding safer for bikers. Of course, it does seem a stoplight would do the trick just as well, if not better (cause there won’t be as many bikes parked there in winter time, one suspects), but kudos for some ingenuity. Look for the racks to be built by end of summer.

Cobble Hill’s PS 29 Gets a Schoolyard Makeover

By , 11 July, 2011, No Comment

I know this may be old news for many of you, but since I was away last week, it was a nice surprise to see the PS 29 schoolyard looking so shiny and new. With a brand new coat of paint outlining a track and some neat-o games, it was hard to even remember the days of the harrowing playground fire in May (the equipment looked new as well although there’s still some work to do before kids can have a go). A shed was also being set up near the gardens, which looks like a nice touch for our tiny farmers-in-training.

Family Dental Practice Coming to Henry Street

By , 27 June, 2011, No Comment

new family dentist coming to Henry Street in Cobble Hill

And they say Bococa didn’t take off. Obviously, we beg to differ. And we’re glad to see another business in the neighborhood is proudly using the abbreviation. Namely, BOCOCA Dental, a Family & Esthetic Dentistry on Henry St. between Pacific and Atlantic Ave. (formerly the office of my dentist, Dr. Wong, who recently moved to a swanky office on Court St. between Pacific and Amity). Though it’s not yet open to the public, we like this nifty little tooth sign. The one on the window says, “Opening in July!” The website is minimal as of now, but does include a phone number and the name of the dentist (Gregory J. Gangi, D.D.S.). You can also email for more info at smile@bococadental.com.

Bark Hot Dogs Takes to the Roof at Pier 6

By , 24 June, 2011, No Comment

In May, we reported on the opening of gourmet hot dog joint Bark Hot Dogs on Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Now, the Park Slope-based foodie haven is expanding to a rooftop terrace in the very same area. Not only can you enjoy wieners and burgers, including a cheddar brat and veggie dog, sides include potato chips, baked beans and home-made cole slaw. Also count on beverages like beer, wine, soda, cold-brewed iced coffee and iced tea–with a Finger Lakes Riesling and California Zinfandel from Gotham Project Wines and Sixpoint Bark Red Ale all on tap, as well as all four of Sixpoint’s newly released Tallboy Cans.
I’m thinking classic hot dog with cucumber relish and habanero hot sauce, a glass of Zinfandel and sunset over the skyline of lower Manhattan. Anyone?

UPDATE: This Sunday, 26 June, you’ll also be able to grab kosher falafel sandwiches and platters, fresh cut fries and delectable dipping sauces from Porto’s, also at Pier 6. Open Sundays and holidays through Labor Day. Also, Bark is only taking cash right now, so better stop at the ATM before you head over.

New Preschool in Carroll Gardens

By , 21 June, 2011, No Comment

If you didn’t already know, the preschools in Bococa are bursting. Finding a space for your pre-kindergarten child for a few hours a week sometimes resembles applying to Harvard–with phone calls, referrals, loads of paperwork, essays and lots of begging. So it’s nice to see a new face in the crowd. Little Brooklyn Preschool is the brainchild of a PS 58 mom who’s decided to go back to work close to home. In fact, the school is on the bottom level of her brownstone. The school will open for business this fall and is now accepting applications on a first come, first serve basis (you don’t even have to send in a picture or financials!), with the submission date as the level of priority. You can choose from two, three or five mornings a week and find the tuition and application process here.
So what can expect from this home-y preschool? Here’s what they told Bococaland, “Little Brooklyn Play School, owned and operated by a local mother with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, is a new home-based playschool opening this fall in Carroll Gardens for 3 and 4 year olds. We offer a child driven, play based, exploratory curriculum where children will engage with high quality open ended materials to re-create their world and imagine new ones. The schedule for a typical day has a basic framework to provide the children with a stable routine, but it is flexible to adapt to the rhythms and natural energy of the children. We encourage children to explore materials and subjects over extended periods of time in multiple ways through play, experimentation, observation, discussion, construction, and art.”
To avoid over-crowding, a maximum of six children will be enrolled per session. Want to get in on the action? Open Houses are scheduled for this upcoming Friday, 24 June from 10am to noon and Monday, 27 June from 6pm to 8pm. To RSVP, please email kate@littlebrooklynplayschool.com or call 718-596-6955 (or just show up!). Private tours can also be arranged.

Hey Ho-Carroll Gardens Pit of Doom to Be Reanimated

By , 17 June, 2011, 1 Comment

If you live in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood, there’s no way you could ignore the giant hole in the ground at 340 Court St. (@ Union). With peeling, blue fences standing guard, this nasty eye sore has become a daily nuisance in the center of our world. Like a fly you just can’t swat away. So I’m happy to have read good news from Crain’s Real Estate. It seems not one, but two real estate firms have agreed to provide financing for the project.

Now The Davis Group, based in Boston, and Manhattan-based Alchemy Properties have agreed to partner with original property co-owner Prudential Real Estate Investors to restart the on-again off-again development. The two real estate firms will act as co-investors on the project, with Alchemy Properties serving as the development partner. Construction is expected to begin within the next two months. Materials are being ordered now, and the entire process is expected to be completed within 20 months, according to Kenneth Horn, president of Alchemy Properties.

Expect a seven story building with 32 condos, 11 townhouses, 67 parking spaces and a space for retail. And PS 58, you can expect some new students!

One Brooklyn Bridge Gets Tax Bill Slashed-Park Loses Revenue

By , 16 June, 2011, No Comment

More bad news for Brooklyn Bridge Park this week. In March, we reported on how the park is not fully funded and how housing may be the only way to keep it running and pay its maintenance and operations. According to yesterday’s Daily News,

Luxury condo owners at One Brooklyn Bridge Park got $1 million chopped off the bill – by mounting a challenge to their city tax bill and successfully getting it lowered from $1.8 million to $800,000 a year. The park is spending $4.2 million on maintenance for the coming year – running a $1.8million deficit. Despite objections from Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D-Brooklyn Heights), a park committee yesterday approved the findings of a report that concluded that options besides housing couldn’t raise enough money.

Sure, it would be nice if we didn’t need condos inside a public park, but I’ve always been rooting for whatever gets it finished. Staring at huge swaths of unused land we thought would be part of our waterfront is depressing, especially when Piers 1 and 6 turned out so beautifully. But if park housing is going to wrangle millions of dollars in tax cuts–it doesn’t quite seem as helpful. Stay tuned.