The SEPTA Train is Leaving its 4th Avenue Station

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Late last week, construction equipment and a new fence arrived at the mostly vacant lot near the entrance to the Union Street subway station on 4th Avenue. The visible signs of pending redevelopment are backed up by the fact that the DOB just gave the go-ahead for a 12-story, 40-unit building on the property. The L-shaped lot has been distinctive because of the rusted SEPTA car that’s been parked on it for quite some time. Above, a photo farewell to 4th Avenue’s SEPTA, whose days appear to be numbered. We’d love to know how it is that the train car came to be parked on 4th Avenue and Union; if anyone’s got the scoop, please fill us in! GMAP DOB

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  • i always wanted to know who parked the Mercedes with the Maine plates in the same lot.

  • I think it’s courtesy of the brother sister team renovating the old bath house. I believe they hoped to turn it into a cafe, but much like their renovation of the bathhouse, it just kinda sat there for a long time.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Screw the 40 unit building, make a diner out of it!!!

  • Not sure how/why it got there, but those cars have a great history … known as a PCC car, it is a real transportation icon and the last of its kind.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCC_streetcar

    There are three more of these down at the Red Hook Fairway. San Francisco has restored a sizeable fleet to their original colors and has them running on Muni.

    - CarollGardener

  • it’s not a train car; it’s a trolley.

  • Maybe someone could refurbish this car and place it in a museum.

  • The same people that own the decaying bath house bought the septa bus, apparently they like taking shabby chic to a different level.
    The residents of 630 union spent years looking at that burnt out mess and now their windows are being blocked completely so they will be staring at bricks. Looks like they get screwed either way!

  • They’re from Philly, right? Anyone know how/why they got here?

  • I believe the car belongs to The guy who owns the Lyceum(Bath house)next door. Nice place, my wife and I were married there.

  • Were you really married there? That building has something like 50 building violations, pieces of it fall into the street all the time. It’s a historical building that isn’t respected at all by its owners

  • There are also some rusting trolleys down in Red Hook, but those are old Green Line cars from Boston’s T. Could the SEPTA train also belong to the same guy? Apparently he has this idea of restoring trolley service down there.

  • WonTon

    I’ve always thought it would be a terrific idea to run a trolley line along Union Street from Grand Army Plaza to Red Hook. What a cool and organic way to stimulate small business along the Gowanus corridor! Plus it would make a great connection betwee Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. Imagine standing by the canal and hearing those trolley bells go ding! ding!

  • Owner here.

    Trolley came to be there when we thought a diner would work well. SEPTA was selling, so we purchased it and brought it here. Neighborhood was much more problematic back then (1995) so it didn’t get much traction. For a time it was even in the adjacent Lyceum (when it went by its original name Public Bath #7).

    Unfortunately the local architect we had used for the lot was not appropriate for that and other Lyceum related jobs. Litigation ensued and is still in progress.

    The architect sold the trolley illegally (he isn’t the owner) to a group from Lancaster PA where they have thoughts of doing what Brooklyn can’t or won’t do, implement light rail. When they came to take it away (Jan 25, 2008) we were here and let them know it wasn’t the architect’s to sell. They gave us a bill of sale and a canceled check. We immediately went to court to enjoin the architect from any more shenanigans. Judge heard oral arguments in chambers with no court reporter, parties, press or public present. Then, 98 days later, judge finds against us in a decision that we believe is faulty.

    Once that decision came in, architect hired scrappers to cut it up. On this past Tuesday we went back to court for an injunction. Same judge happened to be on the bench. Gave us seven days to remove it.

    We will be appealing the decision. Hopefully in time to save old number 2739.

  • Yeah it was brought there a few years ago by the people who own the Lyceum. It once had a blue tarp “protecting” it from the elements which didn’t last long, though you can still make out some shreds of it. I was always hoping they’d do something cool and fun with it but it seems they never had the money/time to invest.

  • As for the trolley cars in Red Hook, they belong to that eccentric character who runs the tours of the underground railroad tunnel beneath Atlantic Avenue, Bob Diamond. They are part of his dream to creat a trolley loop between Redhook and the Atlantic Ave. tunnel, but from what I’ve heard, he’s run up against tons of obstacles and run out of money. Also, the previous DOT Commissioner wasn’t exactly a fan of his so during her tenure, his proposal lost traction. http://www.brooklynrail.net/about_history.html I wonder how the Ikea affected his dream project.

  • 1:15,

    wow, that’s the weirdest story i think i’ve ever read on brownstoner.

  • Car 2739 is one of the PCC trolleys SEPTA retired in the early ’90s (some are still running after being rebuilt). This one is in pretty good shape despite the rust, so hopefully it will go on to good use either in Brooklyn or Lancaster. So funny to see a Philly PCC on Brownstoner… I grew up in Philadelphia and I love these cars!

    Here’s a website that gives a good background on trolleys in Philadelphia then and now: http://www.phillytrolley.com/

  • Havemeyer

    But that car is older than the early 90′s, isn’t it? Didn’t they paint them those colors for the bicentennial? What line is it from? It looks too long to be a west philly trolley.

  • Light Rail is a total waste of $ – It offers no advantage to a bus – except that it is separate from traffic – however truly dedicated bus lanes solve this problem far more efficiently, cheaper and with more flexibility then any light rail system.

    Put a truly dedicated bus lane on Hamilton Ave, Atlantic Ave, Boreum Place and 4th Ave and make dedicated stops every 10 blocks or so – Wala = Light Rail System for the cost of some paint and some concrete or metal lane barriers.

  • Light Rail is a total waste of $ – It offers no advantage to a bus – except that it is separate from traffic – however truly dedicated bus lanes solve this problem far more efficiently, cheaper and with more flexibility then any light rail system.

    Put a truly dedicated bus lane on Hamilton Ave, Atlantic Ave, Boreum Place and 4th Ave and make dedicated stops every 10 blocks or so – Wala = Light Rail System for the cost of some paint and some concrete or metal lane barriers.

  • Light Rail is a total waste of $ – It offers no advantage to a bus – except that it is separate from traffic – however truly dedicated bus lanes solve this problem far more efficiently, cheaper and with more flexibility then any light rail system.

    Put a truly dedicated bus lane on Hamilton Ave, Atlantic Ave, Boreum Place and 4th Ave and make dedicated stops every 10 blocks or so – Wala = Light Rail System for the cost of some paint and some concrete or metal lane barriers.

  • I’m shocked that everyone is hypothesizing about what should have/should be done with the trolley/train. It is an eyesore and makes 4th avenue looks worse than it already does. Regardless of whether there were plans to do anything with it, it has been left there to rust and makes that lot look like a garbage dump.

  • This is kind of great, in poor rural communities you often see rusting cars and pickups on front lawns, In Brooklyn we have rusting subways on display.
    Very regional. Nice.

  • Owner @ 1:15:

    Do you (did you) own that lot?

    Did you sell it?

    If so, maybe you can plow some $$$ into a full Bath House reno. More people would come by then.

  • Owner: any hints as to what the building will look like?

  • The MBTA in Boston still runs original PCCs on the end of their Red Line. http://photos.nerail.org/photos/2007/03/26/200703260037419295.jpg

  • Hang in there owner. You had the lot long before the world of Brownstoner.

  • Did anyone else keep thinking about Charles Bronson while reading the owners’ story?

    I would like to say that Bob Diamond’s idea for the trolley loop is fantastic and the fact that a DOT commissioner is/was so enthusiastically against it makes you really wonder what motivation is behind dome of these positions. Remember that they specifically ruled out a trolley loop serving Brooklyn Bridge Park? Why? It would have been perfect. I call bullshit, just more NYC politics fucking up progress.

  • I don’t know if 1:15 is the owner of the Brooklyn Lyceum, but sounds like them. The Brooklyn Lyceum is an utter waste of resources and space. The owner claims that he runs it as an eclectic arts venue and shouldn’t be held to the same standard as other venues. But you know, being varied/eclectic doesn’t mean that the place has to fall apart and be an nuisance to neighbors. People were complaining about the “Don’t Pee Here” place on 5th Avenue being an eyesore and should be torn down. Completely agreed on that. The Lycuem? It has tons of potential and it’s not clear why it’s as “nutty” as it is now. And stories of artists performing their and having their acts shut down arbitrarily by the owner are very common.

    Don’t know what the solution is, but given the overly dramatic explanation about a rotting hulk of a SEPTA trolley about it it seems they would like to spend more time debating petty points and criticizing other New Yorkers for not being “open” enough rather than actually doing something with what they have.

  • I am a fan of historic items. That SEPTA although in a rusted state can still be saved. I know I am dating myself by saying this.. but has any of you not seen PIMP MY RIDE? All it takes is a little sanding and painting and poof! trolley back to normal.

    Does anyone here know if the owner was able to get the trolley out of that lot to renovate it? From the postings it seems that maybe the architect did not give the option for him to remove it and prefered to sell it illegally to people in PA. Does that not
    sound fishy? I wouldn’t be surprised if that architect files with the DOB for a 12-story building has questionable aspects.

    This developer must be spending a lot of money on this project considering it has a building next to it. How much do air rights cost nowadays.. does anyone know?… because I’m sure the people living in 630 Union would love some compensation if their sunlight will be gone for good. Ms Gabby are you able to do some reporting on this one? Able to find anything about this proposed plan? if i recall from what Mr Brownstoner said last year when he hired you it was for “bringing a real reporter’s touch to the blog”

    http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2007/07/gabby.php

    I think it would be nice to find out facts about things blogged. I love some of the topics and questions that are brought up in the brownstoner blogs.. but regarding real estate it would be nice if they gave more facts or at least have the writer of the blog comment back on their articles to let the readers know if something they said it’s on the money or not.

    just my two cents.. now I’m off to read about this new awning for foragers! yay!

  • Hey jack(10:56):

    Here is some specific information so you can move on to other things you know nothing about. In seven years there have been hundreds of performances at the lyceum. 99% have gone off without a hitch.

    Five have been shut down:

    1 – high school graduation party – for being, well, a high school graduation party with all that that entails.

    3 – music events for refusing to follow new york city sound ordinances(we measure the sound levels periodically throughout the events).

    1 – arts festival that violated their contract by bringing in more sound reinforcement and refusing to tone it down because it was “art”.

    I am truly sorry if your friends event got shut down. But the building is about more than hipster rock attitude. There are so many better places for that elsewhere. And since we don’t have a desire to police a constant tug against authority our events now consist of film, theater, music(jazz mostly), dance, opera, batting cage, comedy, basketball, cross-training, weddings, parties with a smattering of rock events. Mix in some rentals in realms we know nothing about(but rather enjoyed) such as break dancing contests and you will have some idea better what is happening.

    If that doesn’t speak to you, oh well. Can’t please’em all.

    Also jack, if you really care to know anything more specifically than this, you can always stop by the lyceum and ask for a manager.

  • I’m curious who the judge was, please.

  • Jack
    The solution is, buy your own landmark, then you can do what you want. Sure the owner is a bit of a nutter, but, he unlike every other hideous developer in the neighborhood, out right owns this space. No subsidies, no hand outs, no false claims for housing or hoops or any other circus like scams. If you don’t like it, go to Bam.

  • If you want facts look into public records, it is all out there.

    The “owner” is a dead beat. He lost the lot in foreclosure, which is why he does not own the contents any longer. (i.e. the Trolley, the mercedes with Maine license plates, etc…)

    He also has a large mortgage on the Lyceum, so he does not own it outright. Probably going to lose the Lyceum too the way it is operated.

  • Hey 11:21 – deadbeat here.

    Way off the mark.

    If you actually do a little diligent research(more than immediate web research which is still in its infancy) you would see that there were many irregularities in the transfer of the lot to the architect.

    First of all, the architect did not pay for the lot. There are a host of ways that could have been done. He/his attorney swore they did something that amounted to payment.

    But the architect made statements under oath recently that contradict facts found in a prior decision.

    There is a word for that. And its not good.

    Someone altered deed documents that could not be filed prior to a determination of market value and filed them with the city.

    The deed is being challenged.

    And if you did some much more involved investigation you would find that there are several irregularities in the building permit application that will come to light soon enough.

    Always more than meets the eye. Thanks for playing though.

  • to 2:41:

    Light Rail (LRT) is not a waste of $ and has numerous advantages over both regular bus service and buses running on dedicated lanes (what is now referred to as BRT- Bus Rapid Transit). Regular bus service, BRT, LRT, and metro (subway) modes each have their proper role to play in urban transit systems. While BRT is more flexible, LRT is more permanant, which means businesses and developers have more incentive to improve land around stations and politicians have a harder time letting in cars the minute a few constituents complain about traffic (as happened to the dedicated bus lanes on Chestnut St. in Philadelphia and other places). LRT generally has higher capacity, more comfort, and higher speed than bus modes. It is also proven to have higher passenger attracting capabilities. LRT also has the advantage of being electrically powered, so it is not locked to the petroleum economy (yea, yea, i’m still waiting for fuel cell buses to become mainstream. let me know in 20 years when they finally become competitive with diesel or cng/lng).

    brt is quicker to implement and cheaper in the short term. lrt has better performance and lower operating costs.

  • That SEPTA streetcar is of the type known as “PCC”. That car dates from about 1947, but the PCC design was developed in the late 1930s and Brooklyn had the first PCC streetcars.

    The PCC was an advanced design developed in a laboratory by careful study and experimentation. It featured advanced suspension for a smoother and quieter ride, faster motors and brakes, so the streetcars could pick up speed quickly after a stop, better internal ventilation, and a light weight but strong body. They were very popular with riders.

    Unfortunately, Mayor La Guardia did not like trolleys and pushed to convert routes for buses. Subsequent mayors continued that policy and by the 1950s trolleys were gone from New York City.

    Until a few years ago, PCC trolleys ran in the little-known Newark City Subway, from Newark-Pennsylvania Station to Branch Brook Park. These have been replaced by modern light rail cars and a new line opened to the Broad Street Station. New light rail cars also connect North Bergen with Hoboken and Jersey City. In south Jersey, diesel trolleys run between Trenton and Camden.

    Philadephia still runs streetcars as part of its subway-surface system. Trolleys run on the street on five routes in West Philadelphia and converge into a subway for City Hall.

  • 11:21
    You know not what you speak of. And, to say he does not own the place because of a mortgage, well then, no one really owns anything do they?

    Have known so called “dead beat’ a while now. He is slow and steady, opinionated, stubborn, and does things the way he wants. And guess what, he can, he earned his money, and once again received help from no one ( name any site anywhere who claim such a prize, you can not!) That rubs people the wrong way. But, he has been growing and hanging in there, before anonymous angry posters started spewing lies on websites.

    Don’t mess with the “dead beat” he’ll beat you every time.

  • 11:21
    You know not what you speak of. And, to say he does not own the place because of a mortgage, well then, no one really owns anything do they?

    Have known so called “dead beat’ a while now. He is slow and steady, opinionated, stubborn, and does things the way he wants. And guess what, he can, he earned his money, and once again received help from no one ( name any site anywhere who claim such a prize, you can not!) That rubs people the wrong way. But, he has been growing and hanging in there, before anonymous angry posters started spewing lies on websites.

    Don’t mess with the “dead beat” he’ll beat you every time.

  • Dear Deadbeat,

    Please stop being such a terrible neighbor and do something great with the amazing space you have. Please get help. You’re running the best place in the ‘hood into the ground. It’s not your fault. But it’s time to stop.

    Thanks!

  • It is the best place in the hood because of him, you numb nut. Anyone else would have tore it down and built an ugly “luxury” condo with feders air conditioners. Shut your 2:49 am up in self up!

  • @ guest at July 3, 2008 7:35 AM (aka: manager of the Brooklyn Lyceum):

    “I am truly sorry if your friends event got shut down.”

    ??? I never said I knew anyone who was shut down.

    “But the building is about more than hipster rock attitude. There are so many better places for that elsewhere.”

    Seems like you’re building a straw man here since I never said anything about “hipster rock attitude”.

    “Also jack, if you really care to know anything more specifically than this, you can always stop by the lyceum and ask for a manager.”

    Not really. I’m simply a person who lives in the neighborhood who has seen shows there, and have heard stories, and generally it seems the Brooklyn Lyceum is a mismanaged mess filled with good intentions and management more hellbent on fighting petty fights than making real change.

    The “manager”‘s passive aggressive defensive posts here and elsewhere speak volumes. And his complete lack of respect towards his own neighbors is amazing.

    For those who care, right around the corner is a community garden that is built on a vacant lot that works with—and for—the neighbors. And what is right next to the Lyceum? An empty garbage strewn lot with a rusty hulk of a Septa trolley. Which brings us back to this post.

    It’s dubious for anyone to claim ownership over that rotting rat infested mess of a trolley only AFTER foreclosure.

    You’re have more support in the neighborhood if you actually did something with the building.

    And FWIW, the variety of shows you have is impressive; how many people come back after dealing with “management” the first time and then go elsewhere afterwards.

    Just a thought.

  • The owner borrowed money from some investors an

  • Jack:

    Again, spouting off about which you know little and apparently don’t care to learn.

    First of all, no one ever asked about the trolley. Therefore any question of ownership cannot be dubious, your sharp legal mind notwithstanding.

    Second, the “petty fights” you speak of are the result of acts(save the high school graduation) that refused to follow sound ordinances. And they were acts all about how big a guitar amp they can get into the building.

    If that makes someone angry enough to hold a grudge, they can operate their own venue. Since we have only ever shut down five events, we have a good idea who is complaining to you.

    We have found, as stated earlier, that rockish events are mostly served better by other venues. Thus we focus on jazz, opera, comedy, weddings, parties, film screenings, theater, weightlifting classes (crossfitsouthbrooklyn), birthday parties, batting cages, dance, classical music and an occasional rock act.

    Obviously we don’t speak to you. You probably missed Fiona Apple, Yo La Tengo, Klezmatics, Wayne Krantz, The WIYOS, MobyDick:the sermon, Amanda Palmer, The Knights Orchestra, the Brooklyn Repertory Opera, Christina Courtin, etc.

    None of these were problematic. All went off without a hitch.

    Your repeat business zinger is kind of a red herring. The Lyceum is too large a venue to expect that. As a general rule, those who pay to use the Lyceum have good shows, those that don’t less so.

    Lastly, the initial brownstoner article asked for a history of how it came to be on 4th avenue. We obliged.

    You are(obviously) welcome to patronize whatever venue you like, but understand that a venue that doesn’t speak to you may very well speak to others.

  • I don’t normally post on these blogs but as a recent attendee of an event at the Lyceum I felt I should at least say that the event (breakdancing competition) was very well run both by the organizers and the lyceum management. The building is certainly old and showing it’s age, but that is what gives it it’s character. As someone else stated, I’m glad the current owners have done what they have with it instead of putting up luxury condo’s like most other real estate developers. I actually noticed the old SEPTA car sitting in the adjacent lot and was wondering what it was doing there.

    By the way the first event went so well a few weeks ago we had another competition this past weekend that was even better.

    A.D.

  • Dear Pseudo-Anonymous Lyceum Manager,

    “We have found, as stated earlier, that rockish events are mostly served better by other venues.”

    The straw man building doesn’t stop. Why do you keep bringing up this point when nobody said anything about the type of shows and types of bands? Where do you get the idea that somehow the Lyceum would be loved if they were a “rock venue”? Who ever said that?

    “Second, the “petty fights” you speak of are the result of acts(save the high school graduation) that refused to follow sound ordinances. And they were acts all about how big a guitar amp they can get into the building.”

    Actually if you read what I wrote I was referring to you tendency to get into petty flame-wars on any blog/site that dares to make any comment regarding the Brooklyn Lyceum. I don’t know anything about the conflicts you’re talking about in any way, but your need to confess speaks volumes.

    “If that makes someone angry enough to hold a grudge, they can operate their own venue.”

    Obviously there are issues you need to deal with (see above) such as your own anger and grudges. Good luck!

    “You are(obviously) welcome to patronize whatever venue you like, but understand that a venue that doesn’t speak to you may very well speak to others.”

    I think you’re continually mixing up content of a venue and style of the management. I think the content of the venue is admirable. The style of it’s management is confrontational, combative and doesn’t work with it’s immediate community. Thus the comments questioning the venue.

    Now please explain to everyone one simple thing: How exactly does a vacant garbage strewn lot and a rotting rat infested SEPTA trolley contribute to the NYC community? And I find it unbelievable that not one person has ever asked anything about the SEPTA trolley in any way.

    Jack

  • FYI, I also am continually amazed at how people are criticizing that ANYONE who comments against the Brooklyn Lyceum somehow wants “luxury condos”. That’s a canard point at best. As someone who grew up in Brooklyn, I can assure you I don’t want to see the Brooklyn Lyceum torn down to make way for another glass tower. Not at all.

    But you know there is a middle ground. Like with Atlantic Yards. People want development in that area, just not THAT much development.

    So please stop polarizing this into a gentrification argument. It insults us all.

  • hey jack:

    as a journalist you wouldn’t get away with unresearched/unsubstantiated snark.

    cant let you get away with that here.

    you complained about hearing second hand stories of arbitrarily canceled shows. i called you on it and described in detail the shows that got canceled.

    as to being anonymous, its all out there for someone to see. just don’t have need of yet another login on a real estate as sport site.

    as to my mistaking petty to be what you mentioned(interaction with artists and shows) instead of what you changed it to(your snarky posts). oops. go figure.

    eric

  • Jack. Since it seems you are a person who likes to quote and break down postings whether here or in Brooklynvegan… how about this extra fact for you as to what this blog was REALLY ABOUT! I will apologize in advance if it seems long.. I will admit as I write this I have re-read this like 10 times. For I do not want to cause a stir over this. Just looking to put some random facts out there that could be useful about certain things regarding the PRESENT.. not the past..

    Just take a moment.. breath and read this.. I am writing only because it seems that you keep bringing up Lyceum management and how in the past there have been issues. It is pretty sad to see inflammatory comments about a place that in the last few months has worked out many kinks to create a place for many to enjoy. Renovations have been made and many more to come. So please.. for now at least.. give the Lyceum a break regarding its history with past events. You mentioned “I’m simply a person who lives in the neighborhood who has seen shows there, and have heard stories”. You say this, yet you have never replied to the owner’s request as to WHICH events you were here for that left you dumbfounded regarding how the lyceum is MISMANAGED. He is just curious as to which event. Consider this forum right now a SUGESTION BOX. When was the last time you were here and the which event was it? It would be helpful to know if it was it this year or was it 5 years ago? In the past few months MANY shows have occurred at the Lyceum and by the end of the night.. everything was good. A couple of posters have stated that they have been here recently for a few events as and there were no issues. The audience and the organizers have been happy with the final product. So.. as I’ve said.. how about giving it credit for its recent leaps?

    As for the trolley and the “vacant lot”?

    Trolley belongs to Lyceum… yes..

    The lot.. if you even bothered to look at the work permit that was EASILY accessible through the link that Gabby put for ALL to see regarding who is in charge of the building being erected.. It states that JEAN MIELE (aka “Jean G. Miele” architect… not to be confused with his son Jean Miele a photographer) is the proprietor of the vacant lot. His firm Jean Miele AIA are the current “owners” of the lot where the Trolley is at the moment. And yes.. this Jean G. Miele IS the same architect that the owner of the Lyceum is dealing with at the moment in court. There are other issues at hand to be dealt with at the moment. Has anyone here had to deal with this architect in the past?

    SO.. basically a few things on the Trolley AGAIN.. it is on a disputed space that Jean Miele AIA is building on.. and for that reason it hasn’t been able to be protected recently from the elements.

    Jack.. why don’t YOU call Jean G. Miele or the firm Jean Miele AIA.. their number is right there on the Dept of Building permit and ask THEM why the space was in its current state this whole time. Weeds left and right… garbage.. and just a mess. Ask THEM why THEY didn’t turn the space into a playground or common space for the community of Park Slope? Let THEM know how nice it would be to have another space like the one on 5th and President..

    There is always more than meets the eyes. Not everything is always black and white. In the case with the trolley and the lot… there is a HUGE gray area! When all is said and done and justice is done.. the sooner the better I hope.. there will be less fog on this topic.

    So Jack… Why don’t you look into a few layers of THIS Onion.. and realize that it’s all fun and games in life.. but certain things… should not be defamed without knowing all the facts… some of which obviously aren’t meant for all to see…

    Jack.. Please call The firm, or the “owner” of the lot, and asked them why the space was a dump. Please! ONLY after that feel free to place a post here with some more info on the matter. Do some real research. Don’t be like those New York Times article writers who are afraid of admitting there was a mistake pointed out by a reader. If you want to be a know-it-all.. be one that REALLY is a know-it-all.. not for just posing as one from random facts thrown out there over there years.

    Just a friend of the Lyceum who obviously knows a bit more than you… but is open for a real exchange of ideas here.. I am not looking to start fires… Just looking to clear some facts out there that perhaps aren’t being taken into consideration regarding this matter.

    For the purpose of this post.. consider me Gio..

  • Eric,

    In all seriousness, with each knee-jerk post you dig your own hole. For example:
    “as a journalist you wouldn’t get away with unresearched/unsubstantiated snark.”

    Indeed, you are 100% correct. But I am not a journalist and have never been on ever. Might as well say that I’m a doctor, because I’m not that either!

    “as to being anonymous, its all out there for someone to see.”
    Not really. Until this post you didn’t identify yourself. And having a login for a site to post as a valid user would enhance your credibility. And is not as difficult as you make it sound.

    You’re seriously building straw men and avoiding issues. And in this behavior proving by example what lots of people have said about your behavior and style.

    Take care,
    Jack

  • You Lyceum folks need to get your story’s straight. First, Eric says there were never any issues. Then “Gio” says there WERE issues, but now they have worked it out.

    Look, let me lay it out straight. I’ve ben to hundreds of venues—large and small—in NYC and with the advent of blogs and review sites one thing has made filtering the wheat from the chaff a lot easier. How much time the “owners” spend during a day to defend their business defaming the posters versus owners who simply acknowledge the issue and admit that maybe the “customer” has a point.

    The sheer endless volume of screeds posted by Eric and others who works with him speaks volumes. Instead of actually doing something positive to a vacant lot and—by that example—showing a true spirit of working with the community, you guys spend endless hours berating ANYONE who says ANYTHING about the Lyceum with the fervor of an over-defensive failing business owner.

    Also, personally, anyone who considers my stint as a comedy writer for “The Onion” as being a “journalist” is just a bit shy of being nutty. Do I have to explain how ridiculous that is? And how stalkerishly menacing that is?

    Please folks, take the energy you spend arguing into fixing up the Lyceum. And maybe invest in a basic customer service course.

  • @ Jack

    You say “Instead of actually doing something positive to a vacant lot and—by that example—showing a true spirit of working with the community, you guys spend endless hours berating ANYONE who says ANYTHING about the Lyceum with the fervor of an over-defensive failing business owner.”

    How much more does it need to be made clear that the lot being discussed for “showing a true spirit” does NOT belong to Lyceum.

    Regarding your stint at the Onion. It is referred to here only because of ALL PEOPLE.. You should be one to realize how often people take what’s on paper or the net to be TOTALLY TRUE.. and will not look into who is putting the info out there.

    That’s all. How many people have not looked at the Onion and said.. wow no way? I have to sacrifice my first born or God wont take me? All that is being stated here is that a lot of things you said were not really all on the nose as to the PRESENT state. Last time I checked many things in life are work in progress. You obviously have not been to the lyceum recently nor have the comments you have heard been to recent shows.

    Why can’t you just cut it some slack as to where it is right now. It is just a pain to see someone who seems to at least know a thing or two about what the internet is capable of making such comments.

    If you feel stalked regarding the putting it out there that you were a web designer and worked for The Onion.. well it is all out there.. for all to see.

    you seem so fixed on being critical as to what you have seen on the past or heard… but yet it seems you have not attended any recent shows at that building.

    That is the point that I think the owner is trying to say. There have been many shows there and it appears that maybe.. just maybe.. you are judging things for something it isn’t anymore. Why must the owner of that building say.. YES, A SHOW WENT WRONG.. when .. it has moved on and done what it could to make sure organizers and audience can have a good time? and btw… I don’t work for Eric.. just know him well enough to know that he is doing what he can to make sure he gets shows here that are fun for all. Go to his website and see images of recent shows and how great the space looks when professionals are putting something up. He is trying to make a space that allows organizers to create a space for their shows that they can’t create in other venues.

  • Jack:

    I usually read what is said about many things in Brooklyn. From food to politics to sports to real estate.

    Rarely do I bother to enter the fray. The internet is half amusement after all.

    Here I bothered because you were making snarky, unsubstantiated claims that I knew full well were false. And its not the first time.

    I called you out. If that means I spend too much time on the internet, I guess I’ll have to quit the 21st century.

    The fact is that 5 shows have been canceled in 7+/- years. And for good cause.

    What on earh can customer service have to do with anything when you need to keep a sound level in check and the level is ignored? Deal with it after the police arrive after a neighbor calls them? That would be being a bad neighbor.

    Just because you heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend doesn’t help anything in the new media age you so actively engage.

    I leave it to the readers of brownstoner, having heard from several sides, to make an appropriate choice or better informed decision than was possible after your first post. If I shot myself in the foot for being open, then so be it. C’est la vie.

    The floor is yours. I have to get ready for crossfitsouthbrooklyn(shameless plug for a cool activity).

    eric

  • I’m going to the Lyceum and hang out with the fun bunch! You guys are great!

  • Eric,

    “The floor is yours.”

    I can’t tell you how amazingly hilarious your tone and arrogance is. “The floor is yours.” Really? This isn’t your floor to be clearing. This is a public blog that reports on local neighborhood events and news. And it’s very accurate and on the ball. As a local business owner you have no superior right to dictate what/how people talk about your business for the simple reason that you OWN your business and you have power that none of us have. You have the power to affect change to your business and work with the neighborhood to be a “good neighbor”. The reality is you don’t. And while you are claiming that they lot is not connected with the Brooklyn Lyceum, this is clearly a “lovers spat” between land owners and architects with petty differences standing in the way of larger good.

    In this case, this blog are reporting the the rotting, rat infested hulk of an old SEPTA trolley that you might have a receipt of ownership for but that has clearly been abandoned on that lot. There is a basic concept in property law known as abandonment. By having that SEPTA trolley sit there in the state it’s in for years with no effort to do anything, it’s easy to see why the courts would consider it abandoned property.

    FYI, I am no blind “flag waver”, but this is America. Neighbors in your community and all over this country have the right to say what they feel and express opinions. My apologies if this rubs you the wrong way.

    But if it’s any comfort, there are hundreds of businesses in this city that thrive with nobody making any issue about anything. Wonder why? Wonder what their secret is?

    J

  • The name up on the lot as contractor? Bayside Builders. Be afraid, children, be very afraid.

  • Jack:

    By the floor is yours I meant, obviously, that I had said what I had to say.

    Same still holds, your recharacterizations notwithstanding.

    eric

  • “This is a public blog that reports on local neighborhood events and news. And it’s very accurate and on the ball.”

    wow.. blogging and accurate you say. IF you read the LAST line on the original post that opened this forum up in brownstoner.. the poster is asking readers “if anyone’s got the scoop, please fill us in!” The poster was creating a discussion regarding what locals know about the trolley. The comments were supposed to be facts (at least a poster always hopes they are facts when creating a blog). She simply put out there a topic that she found interesting and thought others in the neighbor would be curious about. The post didn’t rely on being accurate, it wasn’t the source of information regarding how the trolley got to the lot. Instead, it was asking for people to comment on HOW it got there. In this case.. the readers were relied on for accuracy. Obviously someone felt something you said was not accurate and you got “called out on it”. It is that simple. Blogs can be accurate as you say… but since the posters are not monitoring comments or giving any feedback, the commenter’s words are the ones left to try and set the stories straight.

    Yes Jack, you are right that people are allowed to say what they feel and express their opinions.. but you keep missing the fact that quite frankly… MANY things you felt you could say were not accurate. It is a no brainer that the person being discussed in your comments would have something to say about it. All that was asked was that as you express your opinions it would have been appreciated if you pointed out your RECENT encounters with the business at hand.

    I think it would make you a “good neighbor” if you mentioned the shows you used as the basis for your opinions on the Lyceum. Any local business would welcome comments on a customer’s experience and yours would be welcomed by them too. But.. how can your experience be addressed if no trace of it can be found in the comments. There is no mention anywhere as to WHICH event (or events) you attended.

    You also keep attacking things you aren’t able to even give a hand with. You act as if the owner has no right to defend or take some sort of stand on your comments. You feel the comments made somehow are based on his powers of ownership.. yet, you are not addressing the fact that he hasn’t been using the good old “because I said so” in the replies he has made. All the comments posted addressed issues that were brought up in the comments left here in Brownstoner. Plain and simple. For better or for worse.

    If you do care about the neighborhood and greater good… give a clear example of what you saw. State something you have experienced and how it can be fixed.

    You said that the Lyceum is “claiming that the lot is not connected with the Brooklyn Lyceum, this is clearly a “lovers spat” between land owners and architects with petty differences standing in the way of larger good.”

    Whether or not an agreement could have been made…It has already been made clear here that having a garden in that empty lot like you expressed was not a possibility. The architect is building his foundation in the space. There is construction going on and as you can see (if you walk by the lot at all) and having a garden is definitely out of the question now.

    If you have actually been within the lyceum in the last few months.. You would have noticed tons of changes that have been made inside. The shows organized at the Lyceum have gotten listed in Time Out New York, The New Yorker, and even received reviews in the New York Times for a couple of dance AND music events held there… But, obviously that means it is mismanaged.

    Contrary to your comment on the Lyceum not working with the community. It HAS worked with the neighborhood too.. maybe you are not part of those local circles. There has been a Brooklyn Blogfest, a local school had a fundraiser, families have had birthday parties in the main space, the batting cage has also been used for parties, local Meetup groups have been accommodated with space to craft, local little league teams were able to practice in the space, certain times of the year there is often a space available for families to play with their kids on Saturday mornings for free. I think this short list of events should let you know that some locals have been able to use the space for their needs.

  • You lyceum guys are really not passive aggressive control freaks who abuse anyone who says anything that might be contrary to your biased opinion. Not at all.

  • I have not stake in any of this, but this Jack guy sounds like a real c—.

  • Does anyone know where to buy this or any other trolley?