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Brooklyn Victory Garden Closing After Five Years

February 3, 2016
After five years of selling locally sourced meat, cheese, breads, flowers, herbs, and vegetables, Clinton Hill’s Brooklyn Victory Garden has announced it is closing shop as soon as its inventory is exhausted, which could be as soon as this week.

In addition, Brooklyn Victory Garden sold ethically and sustainable-sourced food and gifts to residents and all who stopped by.

This closure is just one more in the neighborhood as Brooklyn continues its gentrification to elite, hipster status, rents climb through the roof, and competition becomes fierce.

To speed things along the shop is offering a 35 percent discount on everything, until there is nothing left. Tess and Tom, the owners, do not anticipate the store will stay open past Saturday, February 6. So come in, buy something, and say good-bye.

Buffered Bike Lane Proposal Approved by Transportation Committee of CB 2

January 26, 2016
Buffered Bike Lane. Photo by Adam Coppola.

Buffered Bike Lane. Photo by Adam Coppola.

The Department of Transportation revealed at a District 2 community board meeting last Tuesday that the DOT is hoping to add a buffered bike lane to Lafayette Avenue between Fulton Street and Classon Avenue.

The proposal predicts that the bike lane will be ready sometime this summer.

The plan will create a bike lane which is set off from vehicular traffic using a striped, painted section. One lane of traffic will have to be removed to accommodate the three-foot-wide buffer and the five-foot-wide bike lane. Lafayette Avenue is a one-way street heading east. In addition, the parking lane will lose one foot, shrinking from 10 feet down to only nine.

It is also believed that the new bike lane will increase the use of CitiBike at the five stations found on Lafayette Avenue. Since cyclists are reluctant to travel down Lafayette eastward, those stations are not used much. The DOT is hoping that a safer passage will bring a larger number of bikes to those five CitiBike stations.

The plan also proposes that the speed limit be increased from 20 to 25mph, and traffic signals will also be readjusted. The change in the speed limit and signals should help reduce traffic congestion on the street.

Community board 2’s transportation committee unanimously approved the DOT’s plan, asking the DOT to present its plan to other community boards before heading forward with the street redesign. They also would like to see if there are additional ways for the DOT to further deter double parking in the bike lane.

Police Officer Helps Rooster Cross the Road

December 17, 2015
320px-Rooster_J2

Rooster Photo by Jamain

 

Sgt. Anthony Egan performed a rather unusual duty last week: he rescued a rooster who seemed to not be able to cross the road.

Egan spotted the rooster at about 9am last Thursday wandering the streets near the 67th Precinct at Flatbush and Snyder Avenues in Brooklyn. Egan usually works in anti-crime patrol, but this duty seemed right up his alley.

Egan and his partner brought the bedraggled foul back to the station and place him in the kennel. Having once kept a pig named Willy, Egan took to the bird, gave him a name, “Justice,” and even considered bringing him home.

“I was going to take him home at first,” he explained. “But then I realized how much work it would be. And I don’t think my neighbors would’ve appreciated it.”

The Staten Island native instead got in touch with Farm Sanctuary, a non-profit organization that seeks to end abuse of farm animals, and has an animal shelter in Watkins Glen in upstate New York. Egan brought the rooster to the shelter, where he says he is doing fine.

Marc Lasry on Early Business Challenges

November 16, 2015
Marc Lasry

Marc Lasry

On being asked what challenges he had to surmount to early on, Marc Lasry, head of an investment firm answered: “I think the biggest challenge is the same challenge everybody’s going to have; in the beginning there’s two employees. So everybody’s got the same question: why should I deal with you when there’s only 2 of you. So when you’re three employees, same thing.  There’s always somebody bigger and better. And ultimately you’ve gotta convince people that you will do a better job. And I think ultimately that is the challenge. It’s hard to do.”

Good-by Library, Hello High-Rise

November 8, 2015
All renderings by Marvel Architects.

All renderings by Marvel Architects.

The City Planning Commission voted unanimously to build a 36-story luxury residential tower on the lot where a 60,000 square foot branch of the Brooklyn Public Library stands today. The move was also approved by the District 2 Community Board and endorsed by the Brooklyn Heights Association.

Cadman Plaza West branch of the BPL will make way for a high-rise building which will house a new, smaller, 21,500 square-foot library, 139 market-rate condos, and two retail spaces on the ground floor. The BPL will get compensated for its property with $52 million. Part of the deal includes 114 affordable housing units offsite; one will be at Fulton Street and the second on Atlantic Avenue in Clinton Hill.

There are voices objecting to the plan. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle stated that

“the planned development has provoked a chorus of impassioned objections over concerns of overcrowded [Brooklyn] Heights schools, the shrinkage of library space and the off-siting of the affordable housing component.”

Co-founder of Citizens Defending Libraries Michael D.D. White is unhappy with the way the vote went. The pro-labor group Build Up NYC was also dissatisfied with the Board’s decision. The BPL was happy, however, calling the project a “win-win.”

Unique Public Film School Opens in Brooklyn

October 18, 2015
Steiner Studios. Photo by Charles Nguyen

Steiner Studios. Photo by Charles Nguyen

Mayor Bill de Blasio gushed with enthusiasm at the ceremony marking the opening of the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. The ribbon-cutting took place on Thursday, October 6, and was truly a moving moment in history for all present.

The Brooklyn College graduate film school is the first publicly funded film school to open in New York. It is also the only film school in the entire country to be located on an actual working film and TV studio, the 20-acre Steiner Studios, said to be the largest such studio not found in Hollywood.

The opening of Brooklyn College’s newest campus, which is in the Brooklyn Navy Yard inspired Mayor de Blasio to express is excitement at the prospect and potential of this new endeavor:

“Now, we are one of the great capitals of film and television in this country and on this earth. And we got that way by continuing to innovate. We got that way by never sitting still. And the extraordinary fact is there is more film and TV activity now in this city than ever before. We once were strong for a period of time. Somehow, some of the folks who make the films and television shows wanted to go elsewhere, and then we were rediscovered with a vengeance. And now, rightfully, people want to be here, because the talent is here; more and more, the great studio capacity is here; the stories are here; the scenes are here; it’s more and more of the place that makes sense for the industry. So now, over $7 billion dollars being spent annually in the film and TV industry. $7 billion dollars — you can clap for that.”

New Condo Project Approved in Clinton Hill

September 8, 2015
Clinton–Washington Avenues (IND Crosstown Line) Photo by Gryffindor

Clinton–Washington Avenues (IND Crosstown Line) Photo by Gryffindor

Seven years have passed without a decision about what to do with 538 Washington Avenue; but now we can look forward to a nice building on this lot.

Between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street, the building will house ten condos and will be called Aperture 538, perhaps due to the small windows and perforated screens in the design.

Sam Boymelgreen is the developer, and Luca Andrisani is the designer. Andrisani also designed a building which is described as “an abstract expression of the Brooklyn Bridge” on its web site, so we can expect equally inspired things from this new project.

The ten apartments will be a combination of studios and two to three bedroom apartments. Some apartments will come with home offices and/or private outdoor space. The kitchens will be equipped with high-end appliances from Liebherr, Sharp, and Bosch.

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