Prospect Heights

NYC Service and the Citizen’s Committee for New York City are giving out grants to help neighborhood groups spruce up their communities. The Love Your Block program awards $1,000 grants and allows groups to partner with the departments of transportation, sanitation and parks to beautify streets. The city will help with things like graffiti removal, repairing signs and streetlights and free mulch for tree pits.

Applications are due by November 7 and projects need to be started between April and June. Since the program began in 2009, 225 grants have been given out. Find out more about the program here.

26 Bridge Street

The Brooklyn Historical Society‘s annual fundraising event, Brooklyn Bounty, will showcase food, drinks and dessert from more than two dozen borough purveyors. The evening will include the 4th Annual Brooklyn Food & Heritage Awards, honoring innovators in the world of Brooklyn cuisine.

Red Hook Lobster Pound, Scratch Bread, Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbeque, Brooklyn Farmacy and more will be serving up tasty treats.

Tickets start at $200 per person and can be purchased here. The event will be held at 26 Bridge Street in Dumbo (pictured above) and runs from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm on Wednesday, October 22.

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Beginning Monday, the Brooklyn Public Library debuts a series of panel discussions, oral history recording sessions, film screenings and workshops about gentrification in the borough. Brooklyn Transitions aims to start a dialogue about changes both good and bad as many once affordable neighborhoods become expensive, the resulting displacement of many longtime residents, and what people can do to remain where they live.

The first panel will look at the history of gentrification in Brooklyn. Sharon Zukin, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and City University of New York; Sulieman Osman, assistant professor of American studies at Georgetown University and author of “The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn”; and Isabel Hill, an architectural historian, urban planner and filmmaker will speak October 20 at 7 pm.

A panel on November 17 will address gentrification in Brooklyn today and one on December 15 will ponder the Brooklyn of the future.

For the Brooklyn Transitions Oral History Project, the library is looking for people to tell stories about the neighborhoods where they were born and raised and how they have changed. Recordings will be archived in the Brooklyn Collection.

Find out more on the Brooklyn Transitions website.

Photo by gigi_nyc

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This weekend is the 18th annual Gowanus Open Studios, when neighborhood artists open their doors to allow the public to visit their studios, learn about their art and the creative process and to buy artworks. This year 315 artists and arts organizations are participating, including a huge range of types of artists: painters, sculptors, performers, printmakers, photographers, installation artists and many more.

Those planning to attend can check out a list of participating artists here and can find a map of studio locations here. In addition to visiting studios, those attending can sign up for curated tours which will take place on Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. There will also be a panel discussion on how to build an art collection on Saturday and a walking tour of murals on both days. For more information about the event, visit the Arts Gowanus Open Studio page.

Photo by Arts Gowanus

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This Saturday the Sunset Parks Landmarks Committee is hosting a party to raise money for its preservation work and for the tenant advocacy organization Neighbors Helping Neighbors. The $20 admission ticket will help both these worthy causes and it includes two drinks, light food, live music, a dance performance and prizes made in Industry City. The proceeds will be split equally between the groups.

In an email, Lynn Massimo, the committee’s project manager, said that both preservation and affordable housing are important to the future of the neighborhood. “Together we, the community groups and our electeds, must keep Sunset Park viable for a diverse population. That doesn’t have just one answer. It has multiple answers. Affordable housing, safe streets, cultural diversity, economic diversity, local jobs, and yes, preservation of historic rowhouses,” she said.

The event will be held at Irish Haven at 5721 4th Avenue at 58th Street this Saturday, October 18, from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets are only available at the door.

Photo by Sunset Park Landmarks Committee

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It’s that time of year when Brooklynites can decide how their tax dollars will be spent by attending participatory budgeting meetings on transit, parks, arts and education. Councilmember Brad Lander’s office has organized five meetings between now and the end of the month, to which anyone can come and suggest projects that deserve funding in the 39th Council District. (Here’s a map of the district, which encompasses Columbia Street Waterfront, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope, Kensington, Ditmas Park, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Park, Windsor Terrace and Borough Park.)

Projects funded by the last round of budgeting included laptop carts for elementary school students, street safety improvements on 4th Avenue, a green roof at the Windsor Terrace Library (pictured) and an outdoor plaza at the John Jay Educational Campus in Park Slope. Click through to see the schedule and how to RSVP. (more…)

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An arts and crafts market called “The Flock” is taking over a newly opened park on Pitkin Avenue in East New York this Saturday, giving more than 20 local vendors a space to sell their work. Visitors will be able to buy clothing, ceramics, paintings and jewelry, as well as food and drinks.

There will also be live painting, music, an interactive community mural, face painting and art workshops for children and adults. The market will take place from 1 to 6 pm on October 11 at Mi Tierra, located at 2501 Pitkin Avenue. Community groups worked to transform the vacant 10,000-square-foot plot at Pitkin and Berriman into a park, which opened in mid-August.

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The crisp fall weather is finally here, and that means it’s time for the annual Bed Stuy house tour, where old house lovers can get a look inside the neighborhood’s historic homes. The self-guided tour, organized by The Brownstoners of Bedford Stuyvesant and now in its 36th year, runs from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday, October 18.

The tour starts at Boys and Girls High School at 1700 Fulton Street. A workshop about financing a purchase or renovation starts at 9 am and the Bed Stuy Bazaar starts at 10:30 am.

See the full schedule here. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the same day. Tickets are available through Eventbrite or at neighborhood businesses Brooklyn SwirlBed-Vyne Wine and Peace & Riot.

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Brooklyn Museum has just opened its “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed Stuy, and Beyond” exhibit, which highlights 35 local artists through three months of exhibitions, performances and activities. The exhibit, which opened Friday, features work in virtually every medium, including video, sculpture, painting, drawing, installation and performance.

The museum will host a working farm, a greenmarket from local farmers, a life-size equestrian sculpture made of cork onto which visitors can pin notes, a panorama composed of 365 consecutive views of the sky, and a photography series documenting the forced and voluntary migrations of an African American family. This month there will also be a historical walking tour of Flatbush Avenue, a bicycle-powered generator, and an outing on Newtown Creek with the North Brooklyn Boat Club.

Check out the museum’s calendar page for the full schedule, and read the press release to see the full list of artists.

Photo by Bedford+Bowery

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The EPA has been warning since 2012 that the Gowanus Canal Superfund cleanup might require digging up Gowanus’ only public park and swimming pool to install tanks to catch overflow sewage. That scenario is looking more likely — and neighbors are not pleased – following an announcement Tuesday by the City’s Department of Environmental Protection that it has narrowed the list of possible sites for the sewage tanks to just two. Those are Thomas Greene Park and Double D Pool or the “salt lot” on 2nd Avenue and 5th Street next to the Gowanus Canal.

The Friends of Douglass Greene Park issued a statement today, not its first, against the siting of the tanks in the park and is again circulating its petition to save the pool. But if the EPA does decide to dig up the public space, the community group demands a “seamless transition” to park and pool facilities somewhere nearby.

Photo by Park Slope Patch

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Get your architecture, design and history fix for the next few weeks with Archtober, a month-long festival of architecture activities with tours and exhibits all over Brooklyn. BLDG 92 at the Navy Yard is offering bike tours on the Yard’s sustainable architecture and industry, as well as walking tours of the complex’s more industrial tenants, such as metalworkers and recycled glass countertop makers.

The American Architecture Institute (AIA) will also lead tours of Navy Green, an affordable housing development in Clinton Hill, Kings County Distillery and the Brooklyn Army Terminal, above. And you can explore Stuyvesant Heights, Cobble Hill and Gowanus with the knowledgeable tour guides from the Municipal Arts Society. Look through the whole schedule on Archtober’s website.

Photo by Karen Johnson

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After a cyclist struck and killed a pedestrian in Central Park, the 78th Precinct is rolling out ways to get cyclists in Prospect Park to slow down and stop for pedestrians at lights. Park Slope Stoop attended the precinct’s local community council meeting last night, where the cops said they’re going to set up portable stop signs and pedestrian-activated signals manned by officers during the day starting Saturday, October 4.

When cyclists stop at the signs, officers will remind them to stop for pedestrians at the signals and give out a flyer noting the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. Eventually, Captain Frank diGiacomo said, if cyclists don’t stop for pedestrians, cops will pull out their radar guns and start giving out tickets.

“A summons blitz is just going to piss off a bunch of people, so education first,” he said. “But we’ll go there if we have to.”

Prospect Park Safety in the Spotlight Again Following Deadly Crash in Central Park [Park Slope Stoop]
Photo via Park Slope Stoop