On Saturday the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will host its annual Ghouls and Gourds festival. There will be tons of activities and entertainment for everyone: stilt walkers, giant puppets, crafts (make a potato person and drop him or her off at the Potato People Resort and Spa), live music and more. Children’s book authors will be reading stories and signing their books. The day will culminate with a costume parade at 4:30.
The event runs from noon to 5:30 pm on Saturday, October 25. Tickets are $15. Children under 12 are free. Click here for more details.
Work is moving forward on a few sites at the massive Greenpoint Landing development at the northern tip of Greenpoint. Excavation is underway at 21 Commercial Street, above. The 82,476 square foot building will have 93 units and 2,577 square feet of commercial space when its complete.
Last week the Daily News took a look at the design of the 22 acre waterfront park that will be an integral part of the development. Rather than building high sea walls to protect the development against future storms like Hurricane Sandy and rising sea levels, the designers are taking a softer approach. They are using sloping terraces and areas planted with salt-tolerant plants. “When people think of resiliency measures, they think they have to look tough and ugly, but there are actually innovative ways to do the same things while still looking soft and beautiful,” Lisa Switkin, one of the landscape architects on the project with James Corner Field Operations, told the News.
Across the street and a bit further south, on Dupont Street, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection has torn down the sludge tank that had been on the site, as reported, and was busy conducting remediation, removing soil, to prepare the site for its transformation to parkland. At 33 Eagle street a block over, the site of another future mixed-income building, construction has yet to begin.
Click through for more images of 21 Commercial Street, a rendering of the park and the sludge tank site.
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.”
The city is building a methane gas recycling facility on land it promised for a park 10 years ago, according to community group The Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. The group supports the facility but is demanding the city move it elsewhere, Brooklyn Paper reported.
“It does not look like we are going to get any of the open space they promised us,” at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at 329 Greenpoint Avenue, pictured above, a member told the paper.
The Department of Environmental Protection said they put the gas facility, which includes “an 18-wheeler-sized mechanism” to produce energy from sewage and compost, as close to the plant as possible. The site between North Henry and Humboldt Streets will be a fenced off construction site till 2016.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is revamping its old water main testing building at 99 Plymouth Street into a community center and park facility, and park officials held a ceremony yesterday to kick off the building’s renovation. The $3,600,000 conversion will bring a community room, a classroom for environmental education programs, two public bathrooms, a locker room, a kitchen, maintenance space for the park and basement storage. The classroom will also feature a 600-gallon aquarium where children can interact with marine life.
When renovation finishes next summer, the new structure will have a 28-foot-wide glass entrance facing Plymouth Street, and the back entrance will be a floor-to-ceiling glass wall facing the park, the Manhattan Bridge and the waterfront. The exterior brick walls will be painted gray, and the highly visible interiors will be contrasting bright blue and white. Stalco Construction and Architecture Research Office are leading the renovation of the 11,300-square-foot site.
We got a look inside the building, which is completely gutted. The brick facade has been repointed, and the building already has new windows. Click through to see more photos and renderings.
Yesterday the restored war memorial in Saratoga Park was unveiled at a moving ceremony with an honor guard and local politicians. The field behind the statue, draped in a gold cloth until the end, was dotted with flags in memory of the 106 locals who died in World War I. After speeches by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Council Member Darlene Mealy and others, the names of the dead were read out loud and Mealy placed a wreath at the foot of the statue. A bugle played taps and the gold cloth was drawn up to reveal it.
It was so hot in the sun we worried someone would faint of heat stroke, but luckily no one did. (more…)
The shoreline area of East River State Park in Williamsburg reopened today. The deteriorating waterfront has been spruced up with more beach sand, a new kayak launch and a wall of reclaimed granite blocks around the edge of the lawn. The state spent $526,000 restoring the park, which was flooded during Hurricane Sandy and has lost several feet of beach to erosion in recent years.
The state also added new plantings, removed invasive plant species, installed dry wells to collect storm runoff, and created channels in the waterside rocks to prevent fish from getting trapped on the beach during low tide. Assemblyman Joe Lentol and Council Member Steve Levin joined State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey (pictured), Regional Director Leslie Wright and several other individuals who have played a critical role in the park’s creation and continued development to celebrate today’s reopening of the shoreline area of the park to the public. Check it out at Smorgasburg tomorrow!
The dedication ceremony for the newly restored Victory and Peace World War I memorial in Saratoga Park — now draped in a blue plastic tarp behind a fence so it is not visible — will take place at noon on Wednesday, September 10. Speakers and attendees will include veterans, service members and residents of the community.
Bed Stuy resident and former marine Brian Hartig of Brownstone Detectives, who let us know about the date, has researched the lives of some of the 106 men honored on the statue and contacted the descendants of 22 of them. So far, a great-niece and a great-great niece and nephew of one of them plan to attend the event. “As a Marine who’s fought in a war, myself, this is another passion of mine,” he told us.
All the servicemen honored on the statue were born and raised in the neighborhood. World War I was “a devastating event for Stuyvesant Heights,” said Hartig in a statement he prepared about the unveiling. (more…)
The city has allocated $5,200,0000 to upgrade nine Brooklyn parks and public spaces in 2015, a 10 percent increase over this year’s budget, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced yesterday. Some of the improvements, reported by The New York Daily News, include: (more…)
The war memorial in Saratoga Park has been restored! A reader tipped us off the finish line might be in sight. “Big news!!!” he emailed. “The Victory and Peace statue is resting on the pedestal again behind the chain-link fence!!!” When we stopped by recently, we could see the pedestal and the honor rolls of World War I dead on each side through the green fence, but the statue wasn’t there yet. (more…)
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. has released 14 proposed designs for the two remaining housing developments on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the focus of a controversy over affordable housing in the park. The proposals will be discussed at a board meeting today, reported The Wall Street Journal, and the winner will be chosen around the end of the year. (more…)
Brooklyn Bridge Park is doing better than expected financially, so building affordable housing in the park is now feasible, according to a long story in The New York Times about the controversial proposal and the politics of the groups that oppose it. A jump in housing prices and park use have filled the coffers of the park, which is supported by private development on the park grounds. (more…)