Archive for ‘NYC’

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Boogies It Up

By , 26 January, 2012, 3 Comments

It may be a while until the spring flowers push through the (almost) frozen ground, but the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens wants you to party with the posies. Its Lush Boogaloo & Latin Soul Dancy Party is an evening celebrating the Garden’s collection of over 6000 tropical orchids–but with the added fun of booze and tunes. The event takes place Friday, 10 Feb, from 8pm to midnight at the Palm House and features live music from boogaloo band, Spanglish Fly. Not only will you take in the beauty of these gorgeous flowers, there will also be an open bar and all kinds of Latin eats–like our favorite icy treats, Mexican fruit paletas by La Newyorkina. Also expect classic 45s spun by WFMU’s Mr. Fine Wine and DJ Turmix, a behind the scenes tour with orchid curator Dave Horak, and posing for leaf portraits with graphic novelist Aaron Birk. Tickets are $65 each and you can buy them here. Just remember ladies, tropical orchids can equal bad hair weather, so plan accordingly.

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Safer Walk to Pier 6 Being Implemented

By , 23 January, 2012, No Comment

As much as we love Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, we totally hate getting there. Whether walking on Columbia or Atlantic, the ramps to and from the BQE are always scaring the living stuffing out of us. And yes, there’s been some changes, but not enough to make it safe. The Brooklyn Heights Association has been working to make some fixes and recently sent out an email detailing four things they say will be implemented by the Department of Transportation to make it safe for pedestrians to cross the BQE’s northbound entrance on Atlantic Avenue–starting this spring.

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Following a diagram produced by BHA President Jane McGroarty, the agency will: 1) prohibit the right turn on red at all times; 2) change the existing signals to create a dedicated pedestrian-only crossing; 3) add arrow signals to channel the left and right turning vehicles at this intersection. These improvements will make the intersection much safer, and we’re very grateful to the DOT for moving forward with the requests.
Before doing the above, the DOT plans to build up the triangular shaped “island” on Atlantic in the westbound left lane (the island is now marked with stripes just west of Hicks Street on Atlantic Avenue). Because this involves pouring concrete, it probably won’t be done before spring (2012), but “Jane’s Plan” is definitely in the works.

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I know we’ll be grateful for these changes, though there’s still a lot that needs to be done.

Columbia Waterfront to Get New Park Space?

By , 17 January, 2012, 1 Comment

rendering via

Ok, so there’s been a ton of crazy construction on Columbia St. recently, all having to do with building the Gowanus Flushing Tunnel. In fact, just a few weeks ago, the Yeung Sun Live Poultry shop collapsed because of the heavy duty work (gaining sighs of relief from many local residents). But now we’re being told it may be for the best. Tomorrow night you can join The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Regional Plan Association and the Cobble Hill Association to discuss the planning of a Columbia Waterfront Park–a new public open space on Columbia Street between Kane and Degraw Streets. According to the CHA, they plan on sharing preliminary renderings for the park design and gathering community feedback. Details as follows:
What: Columbia Waterfront Park Report-Back Meeting
When: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012, 6:30-8:30 PM
Where: The Union Street Star Theater, 101 Union Street
RSVP to with Columbia Waterfront Park in the subject line.

Got Family for the Holidays? Consider These Brooklyn Hotels

By , 16 November, 2011, No Comment

The new Aloft New York Brooklyn Hotel

When we first moved here, the pickins’ were not good when it came to housing family and friends in local New York hotels. There was the Marriott (333 Adams St.), the Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn Downtown (279 Butler St.), and a handful of bed and breakfasts with shared bathrooms. Thankfully, as the neighborhood grew, so did our choices of cheap Brooklyn hotels. My in-laws stayed at the boutique-y Nu Hotel (unfortunately facing the jail on Smith St. and Atlantic) and earlier in the year, the Sheraton opened in the MetroTech Center on Duffield Street, offering amenities like a rooftop lounge and swimming pool with a retractable roof.
So what’s new on the scene for this year’s upcoming holidays? Here’s a small list of alternative hotels we think would be appropriate for anyone visiting BoCoCa. They may not be walking distance, but what’s NYC without a little public transportation? Please let us know if you have any additional knowledge we missed.

Aloft New York Brooklyn Hotel
(216 Duffield St., Downtown Brooklyn): With 176 air-conditioned guestrooms, a restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and free Internet and wireless, we like this shiny, new hotel. Also good to know, pets are allowed!

Hotel Le Bleu (370 4th Avenue, Park Slope): Another “boutique” hotel on a not-so-gorgeous drag of Park Slope, this property promises complimentary breakfast and guest parking, which is pretty good for this area. Alas, wireless is only free in public areas. Expect blue-tinged rooms with FREE bottled water! But tell your mom to leave her Yorkshire terrier at home for the holidays, no pets allowed.

Hotel Le Jolie (235 Meeker Ave., Williamsburg): Come on, hipster it up at this B’burg hotel near the Williamsburg Bridge. Again, you’ll get complimentary on-site parking, breakie, bottled water and wireless Internet in public areas. Plus, fancy Egyptian linens in the 54 guestrooms. No pets here either.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Open House

By , 8 November, 2011, No Comment

According to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the park attracted over 60,000 visitors on an average weekend this past summer. To celebrate, it will be premiering Brooklyn Independent Television’s (BIT) 25-minute documentary, “New York’s Next Great Park” as part of an open house on 17 November from 6:30pm to 8:00pm (at it’s new administrative offices at 334 Furman Street), to welcome and talk with community members about the park and its ongoing construction.
In addition, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council will meet on 22 November from 6:30om 8:30pm at Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street). The agenda includes a presentation of the responses received for the Pier 1 Hotel and Residental Development.

Charter School Coming To Cobble Hill: Yea or Nay?

By , 1 November, 2011, 1 Comment

image via Daily News

I’ve been reading about this for quite a while but wanted to see how it progressed before I reported anything on it. Eva Moskowitz, Success Charter Network CEO, is planning on bringing one of her infamous charter schools to Cobble Hill, and parents aren’t sure what to think. Using meetings and many, many, flyers to educate the community, the Success Academy Cobble Hill is on course to open in 2012, according to the website, along with schools in Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg. Here’s what the official press release says, “Both Success Academy Cobble Hill and Success Academy Williamsburg will begin with a kindergarten and first grade comprised of roughly 190 children and grow by one grade each year until the schools serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade…More than 1,500 residents in District 15 where Success Academy Cobble Hill will be located signed a petition requesting that a Success Academy come to the neighborhood.”
Having not attended any of the meetings so far, I don’t have first hand experience on the thoughts and feelings of neighborhood parents, but according to GothamSchools, protestors are coming out of the woodwork.

“Moskowitz is holding an informational session tomorrow [that was 29 Oct] to detail her plans for a new charter school that is likely to open in the affluent Cobble Hill neighborhood next year. Most of tomorrow’s protesters are parents from the neighborhood, who say they are planning to attend the meeting to tell Moskowitz that the Success Charter Network is not wanted there.Opposition is also starting to rise from another group: School leaders in the Baltic Street building where the city has proposed to house the new school. The principals say they are nervous that the charter school’s presence could derail their attempts to improve their schools.”

However, according to the Daily News, here’s why Moskowitz believes this neighborhood is perfect for one of her controversial schools.

“You’ve got a lot of schools here that aren’t working for a lot of families,” Moskowitz told the group last Wednesday night. “We see our schools as identifying talent and nurturing that talent.” Moskowitz said she became interested in putting a charter school in the Brownstone neighborhood because friends told her good neighborhood public schools are overcrowded. City Education Department officials plan to place the charter school in building on Baltic St. “So I go to neighborhoods where there is need and where there is space,” she told the group at Kash’s home. “And there’s a fair amount of space in multiple buildings in this neighborhood.”

What do you think? Would you welcome a Charter in the hood? If not, what puts you off? Would love to hear your comments and thoughts.

Another Brooklyn Bridge Park Disappointment

By , 10 October, 2011, 1 Comment

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 is, surprisingly I know, right next to Pier 6′s playground and water park facilities. The gist of the area has always been about sports fields, the centerpiece being a seasonal indoor structure which would provide active recreation at the Park during the off-season and promote the use of Brooklyn Bridge Park during the winter months. According to the Request for Proposals (RFP) released in August, “The seasonal recreation structure will be approximately 200’ by 300’, containing one soccer field, situated in an east-west configuration. The structure will be open from December through March.”
Sounds pretty good, right? But here’s the problem–according to the Brooklyn Paper, nobody has any interest in actually developing the project, rendering it dead in the water.

The facility… had no rest rooms or locker rooms, and the operator would pay for maintenance, operations and off-season storage. The city vowed to spend up to $750,000 on construction, but the developer would be responsible for everything beyond that.

That might be why. The rest of the pier will begin construction, with the hope to open in 2012. That will include three multi-use artificial turf fields, a playground and a snack concession during warmer months.

Protestors Get the Big Net on Brooklyn Bridge

By , 3 October, 2011, No Comment

More than 700 protestors were arrested yesterday as they attempted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge roadway from the Wall Street area. According to the NY Times,

The police said it was the marchers’ choice that led to the enforcement action.
“Protesters who used the Brooklyn Bridge walkway were not arrested,” Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the New York Police Department, said. “Those who took over the Brooklyn-bound roadway, and impeded vehicle traffic, were arrested.”

Strangely enough, we were the last car allowed on the bridge before it was closed down by the marchers, as these pics show (note sign: “I won’t believe a corporation is a person until Texas hangs one.”). Though we saw the police officers running beside them and corralling them away from the car, we heard no warnings or signs that the cops were planning on doing any arrests–though it may have been made clear before they turned onto the ramp. As it turned out, the protestors were allowed to walk about halfway across the bridge, and then caught in a large orange net and arrested. I mean really, it’s just not a protest until someone gets pepper-sprayed or arrested, now is it?

Hello Atlantic Antic

By , 28 September, 2011, No Comment

It’s that time again. Put on your comfy shoes, tie your children to your waist and head on out to the Atlantic Antic, the quintessential BoCoCa fall event. A little late this year, the Antic will take place this Sunday, 2 October on (yes) Atlantic Ave from Hicks to 4th Ave. Billed as the largest street fair in NYC, it is comprised of local and national vendors intertwined with restaurants and boutiques, as well as music stages and cultural performances. Kid-friendly activities include pony rides, face-painting, storytelling, bouncy castles and tours of vintage buses at the Transit Museum. Come hungry for local delicacies and lots of beer–the fair runs from noon to 6pm come rain or shine. Here’s a schedule of events in case you want to do some planning. See you there (or at least pass you in the crowd).

Brooklyn Nets It Is

By , 26 September, 2011, No Comment

Well, original it ain’t, but I guess it gets the job done. According to the Brooklyn Paper, the up-and-coming Barclays Center basketball team will keep it’s brand, but add a little style to become the Brooklyn Nets.

Partial team owner Bruce Ratner, who is developing the team’s arena at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, said he was happy that the name will not change, even as everything else is changing. “ ‘Nets is a good name,” he said. “It’s got a whole legacy, a history. It’s a new arena, a new borough, but an old name.”