Archive for ‘Government’

You Go Double D

By , 28 June, 2010, No Comment

After a Father’s Day protest to stop the closing of the city-run “Double D” pool at Douglas and Degraw, the Boerum Hill oasis will be opening after all. We’re not sure how they could open Brooklyn Bridge Park with such fanfare, then close a pool that has been so well-loved (and well-used) since the 1970s, but we can all give thanks for its launch tomorrow, 29 June. Now, if anyone knows the schedule, please let us know!

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Water Slide Park Coming to Coney Island

By , 25 June, 2010, No Comment

image via NY Daily News

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Yup, it looks like Coney Island is promising even more fun for the kids in its new, 2010 iteration. According to NY1, the Parks Department confirmed a plan to build an inflatable waterslide park next to Steeplechase Pier, expected to open 4th July weekend. “…the centerpiece is expected to be a three-story waterslide. There will also be bungee jumping, beach chair rentals, and snack stands – including a Nathan’s franchise.” The Long Island-based Party Magic USA will run the park and it will remain open until Labor Day.

Save the B71

By , 21 June, 2010, No Comment

Cuts, cuts everywhere. Daycare, senior centers, public pools, transit. Its tough out there for a New Yorker these days, and with the impending loss of the B71–a popular bus line which connects Cobble Hill to Prospect Park and all the fun to be had there–it’s good to know the community is working to help. Come join fellow protesters at a rally to save the B71 on 23 June at 5pm at the Union and Smith St. bus stop.

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RIP Pier 1 Domes

By , 21 June, 2010, 2 Comments

Image via NY Daily News

By now, if you have kids, you’ve almost certainly heard about those scorching hot metal domes unfortunately placed in the playground area of Pier 1. Last week, they were gated off to the public and now, The Daily News reports that the equipment is expected to be replaced in the near future. This comes after a baby girl was burned when touching them.

The problem with the heat of the metal domes has been a danger in the playground since it opened in April. Park officials tried to respond by putting up festival tents that could keep sunlight from raising the structures’ surface temperature. But the tent solution never really worked since they have to be moved throughout the day, as the sun moves, and often still don’t cover the entirety of each orb. And Wednesday morning, the sunlight was hitting the domes, so when a baby girl touched one, it left her hands blistered, sources said. Another child was also burned earlier in the day, but not as badly.

I’m still not sure how these were greenlighted in the first place. With so much money and time put into the new park, you’d think someone would have some experience in, you know, playground equipment and basic science. And here’s a little tidbit for you: there’s another, similar dome in Union Square Park–designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh, the same architect. It’s bigger (called “The Mountain”) and was covered up in May, but there’s no plans to remove it.

10 AM Father’s Day Photo Op for Douglas-Degraw Pool

By , 19 June, 2010, 1 Comment

As you may know, the pool at Thomas Greene Park pool (Third Avenue between Douglas and Degraw) has been closed for the remainder of the year. Sunday at 10 AM, DD Pool lovers will be gathering for a press photo op in full swimming costume. Cameo appearance by Marty Markowitz. That’s right, if you’ve been wondering what Marty Markowitz looks like in his swim trunks, here’s your chance…

Put on your bathing suit (bikinis, yes! Speedos, not so much) and join Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz (who will be donning his swimming trunks) and Councilmember Stephen Levin at a demonstration protesting the city’s decision to close of one Brooklyn’s most popular outdoor swimming pools!

Please bring inflatable kiddie pools, goggles, and inner tubes, beach balls and handmade, colorful (“SAVE OUR POOL”) signs to show the media and elected officials your support for the Douglass-Degraw pool, which serves thousands of local residents and inner city kids.

WHEN: Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 10:00 AM
WHERE: Thomas Greene Park in front of the Pool (Douglass Street between Nevins Street and 3rd Avenue)
WHO: All your neighbors including US Representative Yvette Clarke, Assembly Member Joan Millman, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, City Councilmember Stephen Levin, Boerum Hill Association, Friends of Douglass/Greene Park, Wyckoff Gardens Tenants’ Association, Gowanus Houses Tenants’ Association, Brooklyn Boulders, Homage Skateshop, PS 38, PS 261, Math and Science Middle School

City Wrestles Control of BBP

By , 17 June, 2010, No Comment

Now that Pier 1 and Pier 6 have opened to a happy Bococa public, it’s nice to know Brooklyn Bridge park is in good hands. On 16 June, the state officially handed over control of the project to the city. What this means for us? According to the NY Post,

The Public Authorities Control board’s vote ratifies a plan the Bloomberg and Paterson administrations agreed to in March in which the state hands over control in exchange for the city filling $55 million of the project’s roughly $120 million budget shortfall with money set aside for the stalled Javits Center expansion.

In addition, both piers can now stay open until 1am. Not really something I’m going to be able to enjoy anytime soon, but woo-hoo for those of you without tots!

Brownstone/BQE Scare

By , 16 June, 2010, No Comment

I’ve been trying not to cover this story because it seems a little like scare-mongering, but it’s EVERYWHERE–so I figured it should get a few words. It seems the state Department of Transportation wants to finally fix up the BQE between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street, including the part that runs under the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. And in announcing this, the department’s Spokesman, Adam Levin, thought it would be a good idea to mention that there is a tiny, itty bitty chance that they will use eminent domain to seize properties in the immediate area. Now, I’m not saying that’s ok. Sounds insane to me. But I’ve got to guess that if it ever came to that (which I sincerely doubt), there would be such an uproar–it would make Atlantic Yards look like a day at the Pierrepont playground. Here’s what the NY Post had to say:

This includes parts of a roughly five-block stretch in tony Brooklyn Heights, running north from Pineapple Street to Poplar Street and between Columbia Heights and Willow Street. The proposals were outlined in maps recently released by the DOT.
The strip includes some of the borough’s most expensive homes, including brownstones with views of the Manhattan skyline.
The project would be first major rehabilitation of the BQE since it opened in 1954. Back then, master builder Robert Moses designed the highway’s triple cantilever underneath Brooklyn Heights after local activists defeated his earlier plan for the highway to run right through the heart of the neighborhood.
Although unlikely, the proposal as mapped could also lead to the demolition of part of One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a high-rise condo complex at Furman Street that is supposed to generate funds to help pay for maintaining a long-delayed 85-acre park under construction.
This is because the BQE overpass hovering above Furman Street – which is separated from the 440-unit condo building by a mere 20 feet – needs to be widened even further.
Officials for a state development corporation overseeing the park’s construction declined comment. The condo complex is part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park project.

In my belief, you would have to wrench those homes from the owner’s cold, dead hands before they handed them over to the state. And demolish part of One Brooklyn Bridge? WHAAAAAAAAAAAT? The $3 million payoff David Goldstein took to leave his home for the new Barclay’s Center wouldn’t even scratch the surface of what they’d have to give these owners. So really, let’s not get carried away just yet.

Congress Street Crumble Gets Court Order

By , 27 May, 2010, No Comment

image via The Daily News

About a month ago, we reported on the decrepit brownstone on Henry and Congress, owned by John Quadrozzi. Seems the city and Landmark Preservation Commission brought a lawsuit against the building owner to get his ass in gear and make the proper repairs to his home and neighboring carriage house. Yesterday, this came to fruition with an out-of-court agreement and, according to the NY Daily News, the properties must now be kept “in top condition.”

City officials want the buildings to resemble their original facades. After obtaining permits, Quadrozzi has 10 weeks to finish the first phase of work and six months for phase two. If he misses the deadlines, he faces fines of $1,000 a day.

Pretty hard core, but it will be interesting to see if he sticks to the schedule. I’ve gotten so used to seeing that scaffolding, I’ve forgotten it’s there–but I suspect his neighbors will be doing a jig over the settlement.

Overflowing Garbage Can Here to Stay

By , 17 May, 2010, 2 Comments

This afternoon, I walked about four blocks with an empty can of Snapple in my hand, waiting to find a trash can to chuck it in. On Atlantic, I was rewarded with an overflowing basket and just barely got it on top of the heap. Turns out, this wasn’t an isolated incident. According to the Brooklyn Paper,

A Sanitation official admitted this week that it ended regular pick-ups of public trash cans along commercial strips last July — instead only picking up the trash when trucks making residential runs happen to drive by.
As a result, pick-ups that occurred as many as times 21 per week — three times a day, every day — are only happening once or twice a week, said Ignazio Terranova, the agency’s citywide community affairs officer.

With budge cuts to blame, the Sanitation is $80,000 in the hole, nobody sees this changing anytime soon.

Willowtown Spring Fair

By , 13 May, 2010, No Comment

Saturday’s supposed to be a beautiful day, 70 and sunny, so take advantage of this gorgeous weather and head to the Willowtown Spring Fair from 11:30am to 5pm–the full length of Willow Place. Festivities include a self-guided walking tour, a silent auction, music by Johnny Sheperd and Billy Swing, a rafffle, pony rides, bouncy castle and food by the Iris Cafe. Want to help out? Check here to see how you can volunteer.