Archive for ‘architecture’

Ditchin’ It

By , 16 November, 2010, 4 Comments

image via Brooklyn Paper

One less mf guy you have to click in! They get into a system, and the copyright has to pry them out.
Oh how I dare to dream. But after reading The Brooklyn Paper’s update on the “Fix the Ditch” plans (over the BQE in Cobble Hill/Columbia Waterfront), I’m going to have to see it to believe it.

The cheapest plan, about $10 million, involves a massive tree-planting effort along the highway-created chasm — creating one of the greenest stretches in all of Brooklyn. Another option calls for the construction of six, lightweight bicycle and pedestrian bridges over the ditch, costing between $20 million to $45 million. And the most expensive plan calls for the construction of an iconic, $85 million, energy-generating “green canopy” along the length of the trench, from Atlantic Avenue to Hamilton Avenue.
The plans were revealed on Monday at Long Island College Hospital — but experts there were unable to provide a definitive prognosis, conceding that they are not sure yet how they will be funded, or maintained.

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Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhh, I’m not buying it. I mean, I LOVE it, but I don’t see any of this happening in my lifetime (or at least my tenure at Hicks St.). Yup, I’m just a nasty old pessimist (better known as “journalist”), so come on city, prove me wrong! Let’s see some green on that BQE. What do you think, can it be done anytime soon?

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Holland Center Stage

By , 15 November, 2010, No Comment

As part of the citywide Five Dutch Days/Five Boroughs, our corner of Brooklyn will be center stage for at least two very cool events. The Prequel And Sequel of the Half Moon’s Voyage into American History takes place Thursday 18 November at Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street) from 4pm to 5:45pm, featuring 70 slides on 70 years starting with an English Captain on a Dutch ship and ending with a Dutch king on England’s throne. Images include Hudson’s voyage, American liberty, the Dutch Republic and stock trading origins. Register by emailing The weekend brings The Gardens of New Netherland on Saturday 21 November at the Lefferts Historic House. At 2pm, Historian Firth Fabend describes the orchards, produce gardens, flower gardens, and crops that were planted when New York was a Dutch Colony. Afterwards, you can walk through the Lefferts garden to see what’s growing now.

Last Chance to Help Fix the Ditch

By , 8 November, 2010, 4 Comments

As we reported back in July, the BQE Enhancement Project is seeking to improve the pedestrian conditions along the BQE between Hamilton and Atlantic Avenues — to “Fix the Ditch” as the Cobble Hill Association puts it. Now, the third & final community workshop has been scheduled. Want to swing by and put your two cents in? Here’s the info:
When: Monday, November 15th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Long Island College Hospital (LICH), Conference Center, Rooms A &B, 339 Hicks Street, Brooklyn
What: The project team will present finalized alternatives and preliminary cost estimates, and discuss next steps for the project.

I may be more invested than many considering my apartment on Hicks St. is perched above said ditch–but as with any NYC bureaucracy, I’m hoping for the best–expecting the worst.

Can We Do BBP Without Housing?

By , 25 October, 2010, 2 Comments

Can Brooklyn Bridge Park go forward without new housing to fund it? Though there have been plenty of meetings dedicated to this burning question–no answers have been forthcoming. We know most folks in the community would prefer more park–less condos, but where exactly is the money coming from? In order to help find alternative sources of cash, a consultant has been hired by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., according to the NY Post.

The subcommittee tapped Bay Area Economics, which has offices in New York and California, to evaluate over the next few months if other sources can be relied upon to help finance the planned 85-acre park’s anticipated $16.1 million maintenance budget besides housing set for John Street in DUMBO and by Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights. This evaluation will include public hearings to be held later in the fall.

Because the city has total control of the park, rather than the state, it will allow up to $100,000 to be spent on this service. Cross your fingers, let’s hope that kind of cash buys us a new swimming pool.

Take a Peek Inside Those Studios

By , 22 October, 2010, No Comment

Like Soho in the 80′s, Bococa is lucky enough to have a blooming creative community. And though we may be in the process of gentrification (um, can you say Barney’s?) nobody’s kicking our starving artists just yet. To celebrate this thriving spirit of creativity, the 2nd annual fall tour themed “ARToberfest 2010″ is taking place this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday from 12PM-6PM. You’ll be able to tour open studios of more than 25 artists in Red Hook and Carroll Gardens, revealing fine art, mixed media, photography, ceramics and more. The tour map hasn’t been released yet, but should be by end of day. And if you can’t make it in person, there’s also a Virtual Studio Tour.

20 Henry Resurrected

By , 12 October, 2010, No Comment

If you’ve ever walked all the way down Henry St. towards Brooklyn Heights, you’ve probably noticed the hulking mammoth of 20 Henry Street, a construction site between Poplar and Middagh, which is now only 30 percent finished. Though work stopped at the former Peaks Mason Mints candy factor about two years ago because of lack of funds, a new partnership of investors–including Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (owned by Magic Johnson)–has taken over and is planning on luxury condos to be ready for the market in just 14 to 16 months. According to Curbed, the original seven-story building will hold 25 units, while 14 apartments will be added in an adjacent building. As for cost, the original pricing was in the $580,000 to $2.56 million range. Now, with Pier 1 right next door, I wouldn’t expect a discount.

PS 29 Schoolyard Coming Along

By , 11 October, 2010, 3 Comments

My children aren’t at PS 29 yet, but we still miss the schoolyard. It was a place to run, play soccer, ride bikes. It was also one of the only yards in the hood which opened weekends. Here’s a quick update from the school’s website, in case you’re missing it too:

As you know the progress of the schoolyard was recently delayed by a string of extremely soggy days. Thankfully, construction was back on track this past week. On Tuesday, 10/12, the pipes and catch basins will be inspected. Once the contractor gets the green light, the schoolyard will be filled and graded in preparation for the blacktop paving. The plan is for the schoolyard to be paved the week of October 18. Again, once that is complete, we’ll have at least partial access to the schoolyard for play, as work allows.

Brooklyn Rising

By , 7 October, 2010, No Comment

According to the folks at The Brooklyn Lyceum, Brooklyn ain’t what it used to be. BUT, and we’re not promising anything, if we work hard and become better artists, scholars and brewers, we may be able to capture lightning in a bottle and become great once again. In that vein, the organizers of this weekend’s The Beer and Whisky League Marketplace want to wow you with food, a marketplace, activities and tours. It takes place 9 and 10 October, 11am-7pm, at 227 4th Avenue.

The Brooklyn Lyceum(aka Public Bath #7) welcomes you to where the past meets the present and the slope meets the swamp. For you non-locals the swamp is the Gowanus Canal Area and the Slope is Park Slope, an idyllic, if not controversial neighborhood.
Take a look to see what is on tap for the event.
Till then…
Carpe Brooklyn. It’s the only one we got.

Here’s what you can expect:
# Architectural tour and tales of intrigue and neighborhood history as gleaned by the official Public Bathhouse historian.
Arts/Crafts Market(sample of vendors)
malagueta, Roxy’s T-Shirts, Bugsella, Kim Last, Pink Tuttu Ballet, Sportsball, Brooklyn Postcards, Lauren Haupt, mercato, Cory Creations, GreenMountain Energy, Doug Desjardins, Serimony, Ami Nyitray, Hecho en Brooklyn
# Luke’s Lobster on Saturday
# Bakesalery Saturday and Sunday
# Lyceum Cafe baked goods & Intelligentsia coffee
# Cherry Lime Rickeys
# Egg Creams
# a few more in the works…
* Come VOTE for an arts group to get a subsidized run at the Lyceum!!! NOMINATE them before the Marketplace.
* Saturday – Batting Cage. Today, its free. Come take a swing!
* Sunday – Three Point Contest
* Sunday – Slam Dunk Contest

Meeting for BBP Housing

By , 20 September, 2010, 1 Comment

Whether you’re worried about housing being plopped in the middle of Brooklyn Bridge Park for revenue or can’t wait to move in, you’ll want to attend the public meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Committee on Alternatives to Housing, this Wednseday 22 September. The Cobble Hill Association will be there advocating against any additional building–the only housing now is One Brooklyn Bridge next to Pier 6, filling up quickly–which they say will take away from recreation in the park.

This meeting is yet another opportunity for the public to come out and speak out on their desire for a park, a true park… one that does not include private housing within it. The CHA prefers year round recreational facilities such as a pool, ice rink and indoor field house which could offset costs the City cannot burden.

To get all the facts, come on over to the Blue Room at City Hall at 11am (across the bridge on Chambesr St). Can’t make it? The CHA encourages you to call or email comments to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation:
tel: (718) 222-9939

Fundraiser Tix for Jane’s Carousel Going Fast

By , 17 September, 2010, No Comment

Want to get a sneak peek of the new Jane’s Carousel in the Empire-Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn Bridge Park? A limited number of tickets are still available for the Preview Tour and Cocktail Party being held by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy on Tuesday 28 September from 6 to 9pm. The tour starts at 56 Water Street in DUMBO and ends at the River Cafe with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets start at $100 and go up to $250 each. Purchase yours here.