neighborhood watch

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Terminal Market Site

From the defend-brooklyn mailing list, renderings of what the terminal market site will likely look like. My grandfather worked in the GTM. Wah.

See them here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New York Beaches

From the nyc-kyaker mailing list, Rob Buchanan is making a website of all the New York harbor beaches. So cool.

It's here

McCarren Pool and the community board

From the Greenpoint Star.

The company is Live Nation, not Clear Channel--but it is really the same. Clear Channel started spinning off their businesses and resurrecting the names of companies they had taken over a few years ago when they realized the Clear Channel name was becoming a liability. Live Channel is a true spinoff in the sense that it has separate stock and incorporation, but they share a board of directors with Clear Channel.

Also, $34 is just too fucking much money to see ANYONE or ANYTHING.

Story is here

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

First McCarren Park Pool show

Secret Machines and more.

Tickets go on sale Saturday
$34 or something like that. Lord.

fire photos

From Philip DePaolo--taken by the official NYFD photographer.

Monday, May 15, 2006

redevelopment art show

ART 101

The Disappeared and The Endangered

An Exhibition of Photography curated by Nancy Wechter

Works by Meredith Allen, Einat Bar, Vince Cianni, Joyce George, Peter
Anders Goldfarb, Regina Monfort, Mary Quinn, Claudia Sohrens,
Nancy Wechter, Bernie Yenelouis

A long-time resident of Williamsburg, photographer Nancy Wechter has felt
the impact of the typhoon of alterations rained upon a once stable and
peaceful neighborhood. It is just one year since the rezoning plan was
passed, but the changes began with the first whispers of city-sponsored
development along the waterfront and the old manufacturing district.

The loss of much that was familiar and comfortable; the endangered physical
and human landscape, prompted Wechter to seek out documentation by her
peers; to call attention to what is rapidly vanishing, while there is (is
there?) still time. The photographs exhibited at ART 101 are by
professional photographers, who live in the area and are deeply involved in
the daily lives of the neighborhoods that have nourished them, both visually
and personally

“As a born and bred New Yorker, I’m used to the constant changes that come
with living in this city. However, Williamsburg and Greenpoint
experiencing change on the scale of the Robert Moses era
and something
special is being lost. By viewing what has existed in this neighborhood and
what is now extremely vulnerable, we can define what we care about and what
we want to work to keep
” (N.W.)

The Disappeared and The Endangered
May 12 – June 4
ART 101
101 Grand Street between Berry & Wythe
Friday through Monday 1 – 6 pm
Or by appointment 718-302-2242
Reception May 19, 6 –9 pm

There will be two walking tours during the course of the exhibit:
Saturday, May 13, 10 am to 12 noon “Endangered Landmarks” led by Ward
Dennis of The Waterfront Preservation Association
Sunday, May 21, 10 am to 12 noon “Urban Removal” led by Stephanie Thayer
Meet at ART 101 at 9:45 am

Saturday, May 13, 2006

maps of the spill, toxicity, etc.


From, documentation of an installation she did with photogrraphs of every EPA-rated site in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

oil spill meeting may 17


May 17, 2006
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

St. Stanislaus Kostka School Auditorium

12 Newell Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Come hear the latest on…

New information confirming toxic vapors above the spill
Expansion of the area affected by oil contamination
Plaintiffs sue ExxonMobil’s environmental consultant
State Comptroller calls for Department of Conservation to suspend negotiations with ExxonMobil
New reports from Department of Conservation and Department of Transportation revealing contamination

Friday, May 12, 2006

bloggy news

So, Im going to move this blog and reformat the posts. Miss Caitlin will be coming in as restaurant correspondent. If anyone has an area of local expertise, let me know and maybe you can be a part of it too!

terminal market profiteering

From the Daily News, apparently Guttman, the developer, who is suspected of being involved with the fire, is now selling off remains. Gross.

Read it here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

water taxi!!!

Starting this week, the Schaeffer Landing water taxi is in effect. On weekdays it only runs like 4 trips in the morning and 4 at night, but on weekends it runs most of the day and goes to Red Hook and LIC.

What we really need is a ferry that runs on green fuel, but still-thrilling unto me.

Let's go to Red Hook for lunch!

stats on growth

From Rezoned--stats are in bold, but the whole thing is worth reading.

How to Put Out a Fire Without the Hose; Community Struggles to Reconcile
Infrastructure Needs

Tim Curry remembers the first time Engine Ladder 212 closed. As
Williamsburg's manufacturing core withered in the 1970s, the neighborhood
faced an increase in arson and crime. The city, embroiled in a fiscal
crisis, tried to close the firehouse.

Community activists responded by occupying the shuttered building on Wythe
Ave. for 16 months in a successful campaign to keep it open. A city official
called off attempts to remove protestors and said the fire station was "the
People's Firehouse."

"I was part of that struggle," said Curry, now a systems analyst for the
city's human resources department.

When the city, responding to budget cuts, closed the firehouse again in
2003, defiant natives of Williamsburg held all-night vigils. But outside of
a small group of concerned residents, the activist spirit was missing,
according to Curry.

For a community that has fought to keep waste transfer stations from
appearing on Williamsburg's now precious waterfront, it's not uncommon for
long-time residents to take things personally. But with an increasing
transient population of artists and Manhattan transplants, that spirit may
be fading.

"Most of these newcomers, I don't even know if they intend to have roots,"
he said. "I wish some of the newer residents would show up the community
board meetings."

The population of Greenpoint-Williamsburg has increased from 142,942 to
160,338 in the last 20 years, according the U.S. Census Bureau. But with a
projected influx of 30,000 to 40,000 new residents in the next 10 years,
some community activists fear that the Department of City Planning failed to
properly account for it in its infrastructure plans.

"We said you're not looking at infrastructure. You're not looking at schools
in the community. We don't even have a hospital here," said Phil Depaolo of
the People's Firehouse, community tenant rights group that takes the name of
the shuttered firehouse.

Greenpoint Hospital closed in the 1980s, and Depaolo says the neighborhood
now depends on ambulances from Woodhull Hospital, located on the edge of
Bushwick, and Bellevue Hospital on 34th Street in Manhattan.

"Planning reacts, and for the most part, acquiesces to what the development
community wants to do."

- Lance Freeman

The L train, which services an average daily ridership of 14,000, will have
to accommodate the new commuters. In its Environmental Impact Statement, DCP
proposed adding 1,000 new daily subway trips and enlarging the stairways for
the Bedford Ave. stop by three to five feet. According to the report, the
additional two feet would accommodate 300 more people over a period of 15

Additionally, the neighborhood suffers from an acute shortage of parks, open
space and waterfront access. Under the current zoning plans, the developers
who own the largest parcels on the waterfront are responsible for building
the proposed public esplanade. The one-half-acre Grand Ferry Park at the
foot of Grand Street is the only city park on the East River in
Williamsburg. Street ends provide the only public waterfront access.

Lance Freeman, a professor of urban planning at Columbia University, says a
more comprehensive analysis of the rezoning's impact on schools and services
should have been done. But he believes that City Planning's duties no longer
include actual "planning."

"The planning department has almost morphed into a permit approval office,"
said Freeman. "Planning reacts, and, for the most part, acquiesces to what
the development community wants to do."

For Depaolo, the real problems are occurring, not on the waterfront, but in
the upland areas where community residents live. And so far, DCP has not
given community residents the answers they seek.

"What they came up with in the rezoning, which is your classic political
punt, is that after 25 percent of the infrastructure is developed, they will
revisit the issue."

fire pictures and an interactive map of the remains

From Greenpointer and the Defend Brooklyn email list. The interactive one is pretty cool

lentol's statement on the fire

From Lentol's office. This is the guy who grandstanded at the oil remediation meetings, but hey maybe we need a grandstander.

Lentol Criticizes Mayor’s Firehouse Policy

For immediate release
Contact Person; Catherine Peake (518) 455-4477

Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol today expressed profound disappointment about
the devastating fire that is still burning in Greenpoint, and the ill
conceived policy of the Bloomberg Administration that closed a local
Firehouse. That firehouse had protected the very neighborhood that is now
burning and injuring NYC Firemen.

Lentol said, “Today an eight alarm fire devastated our Greenpoint
neighborhood, endangering our residents and the brave men and women who are
working to bring the fire under control. We know that successfully fighting
fires is a matter of response time. Engine Co. 212 was closed by Mayor
Bloomberg in an ill conceived budgetary ploy that has now come back to haunt
and burn our community. Unfortunately, hindsight is always 20/20. I and my
community fought tooth and nail to save Engine Co. 212, which was only 10
blocks away from the Greenpoint Terminal. That company should have been the
first responder to this fire. While I can not say that the fire that now
rages in Greenpoint could have been controlled had Engine 212 still existed
and been able to respond, I can and do say that, in a heavy industrial area
with vacant buildings that may contain hazardous materials, any reduction in
fire safety or manpower is short sighted and dangerous.”

Lentol added, “I am angry about Greenpoint’s waterfront burning. Brooklyn
has more than its share of big and dangerous fires. Closing firehouses is
penny wise and pound foolish. Vacant buildings that are slated for
redevelopment are conflagrations waiting to happen. Closing a firehouse in
an area with large uninhabited buildings may be one way to speed urban
redevelopment, but is irresponsible in the extreme.”

Lentol concluded, “One fireman injured it is too many. Government in this
City has its priorities wrong. We need to support and expand fire and police
protection, not save pittances by cutting these essential services, while
spending billions to assist developers.”


studio facility in east williamsburg

From Smitty, a new membership-based studio with a photo studio, dance space, etc.

rally for fire investigation

From the North Brooklyn Alliance.


Rally and Press Conference
Thursday, May 11
10:00 a.m.
Corner of Oak and Franklin Street
One block form the Greenpoint Terminal Market


We Demand:

= Independent investigation to determine fire's cause
= Study of potential health impacts on local residents
= EPA and DEP air monitoring during cleanup
= Greater scrutiny of all local development projects
= Community oversight & promised rezoning benefits

Below are links to our media release, advisory and flyer for downloading:

Thank you,

The North Brooklyn Alliance

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

air quality post-fire

From the Department of Environmental Protection, the air quality was tested after the Terminal Market fire and found to be within the acceptable range.

Important Information About Air Quality in Greenpoint

The Department of Environmental Protection performed air monitoring at
the site from 10:15 AM to 9:00 PM on May 2, the day of the fire.
Monitoring was done for volatile organic compounds, chlorine, ammonia,
cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide and various flammable
gases. Field results were negative for any unusual levels of these

Additional air samples were collected to be taken to a laboratory that
day for analysis. Laboratory results were received Thursday, May 4 and
showed that all levels were below regulatory values as dictated by the
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the National
Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and the American
Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).

More information is available at:

greenpoint oil spill on the move

From Curbed, speculation that the 17 million gallon spill underneath Greenpoint and the Newtown Creek is now seeping into Long Island City.

read it