Monday, March 15, 2010

Earth Hour; Lights Out March 27th

From our esteemed colleague Paco at the Cobble Hill Association:
On March 27th, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, a world wide event will take place called Earth Hour. It is a simple yet bold way to acknowledge climate change: turn off your lights. In 2009, nearly one billion people in 4,100 cities in 87 countries in each of the seven continents turned off their lights to observe Earth Hour.
And the best part is it won't cost you a cent.

The Intersection of Luxe & Fail

The once mighty Boymelgreen empire continues to crumble. Boymelgreen's bank LibertyPointe last week became the first New York Bank to fail in 11 years; a win by a nose, as the FDIC devoured another NY institution, Park Avenue Bank, the very next day. Unlike Park Avenue, however, LibertyPointe's failure was not immediately followed by criminal indictments. So they've got that going for them.

Boymelgreen is perhaps best known in Brooklyn for foisting the NOvo on 4th Avenue, as well as developingt 75 Smith (aka Luxe & Pop, across from the jail), and the ill-fated Gowanus Village concept that was never developed. A good thing, actually, since the Gowanus Village site will almost certainly require significant remediation during the Superfund process.

Boymelfail Link

Park Avenue Bank

Full Schedule Tonight - CGNA, Hate Crime Vigil

We'll be shutting down the CGNA meeting early tonight to stand with our electeds and community leaders to send the message that Carroll Gardens will not accept hateful intolerance.


CGNA Monthly Meeting, 7:00 @ Hannah Senesh Day School

followed by

Hate Crime Vigil, 8:30 @ Luquer Street and Hamilton Avenue

From the Brooklyn Pride Center:

As you may know, a member of Brooklyn's LGBT community was recently assaulted in Carroll Gardens by a group of men shouting hateful, homophobic epithets. There will be a rally on Monday, 3/15 at 8:30pm. Join us and send the message that hate crimes against LGBT people or any other group will not be tolerated.

Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn
Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City
The Brooklyn Community Pride Center


Public Advocate Bill de Blasio
NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
Congressmember Nydia Velazquez
Congressmember Yvette Clarke
State Senator Daniel Squadron
Assemblymember Joan Millman
NYC Councilmember Brad Lander
NYC Councilmember Sara Gonzalez
NYC Councilmember Rosie Mendez
NYC Councilmember Danny Dromm
NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer

In a vigil to condemn these hateful acts and demonstrate the strength and unity of our community on

Monday, March 15, at 8:30 p.m. at Luquer Street and Hamilton Avenue

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Scarano Banned; Good People Everywhere Rejoice

The NYT reports (via Brownstoner) that Robert Scarano, Architect and posterboy for everything that is wrong with self-certication, has been banned from filing construction plans with DOB.

Scarano of course is best known to Carroll Gardeners as the scurrilous fiend responsible for 333 Carroll Street (aka The Carroll Gardens Hell Building), the Satori (aka The Gowanus Bunker), and for the original Heavy Metal design of 360 Smith. Reviled by contextual development afficinados, people of good taste, and those who believe in complying with our building laws, Scarano was specifically targeted by then-Councilman Bill deBlasio for his flagrant, repeated and unrepentant abuse of the zoning code.

Scarano could conceivably be described as an honorary founding member of CORD, as his 360 Smith design proved to be a rallying point that the group coalesced to oppose. (I kid, I kid . . . sort of.)

His comeuppance was long past due.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Future of 4th Avenue Forum - March 4

The Park Slope Civic Council is hosting a forum on the Future of 4th Avenue this Thursday night. The event is being coordinated by PSCC Livable Streets Chair and transit guru Michael Cairl, and will focus on a vision for the future of this key Brooklyn artery. The forum goes beyond Park Slope/Gowanus to include Sunset Park and look at the broader picture presented by this key piece of connective infrastructure.

As Cairl says, this will be the beginning of a conversation about the future of 4th Ave. There is a tremendous potential here, but the corridor is currently facing a number of issues, from traffic to streetscape to zoning. The most recent (and controversial) rezoning, for example, has had the paradoxical consequence of creating dead spaces on the street where new residential towers have gone up, due to ground level parking and mechanicals.

And given that 4th Avenue features excellent subway access, these structures point up the absurdity of requiring onsite parking construction in new buildings. City Planning currently forces developers to suburbanize New York - a practice that must end.

This should be an excellent forum.

The Future of 4th Avenue
Thuresday, March 4, 2010, 7-9pm
St. Thomas Aquinas Church @ 4th Ave and Ninth St.


Gowanus Superfunded

Via Pardon Me For Asking, some good news for the polluted Gowanus Canal.

I saw the rumor this morning via the Courier and had my fingers crossed. My view has always been this was the only possible outcome from the moment DEC made the request to EPA to list the Gowanus Canal.

Opponents of Superfund were laboring under the illusion that Superfund designation would leave a cloud over the Gowanus . . . when in reality Superfund cleanup was the only way to clear the air once the referral was made. The die was cast when DEC had the integrity to make the request; Gowanus and Superfund would be discussed in the same breath thousands of times over the ensuing months. But the designation only acknowledges the underlying issue: the Gowanus Canal is heavily polluted. We could bury our heads in the muck like (soon to be) mutant ostrich, or face the issue head on.

Now let's get about the process of cleaning up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cobble Hill Association Happy Hour

What the title says - CHA happy hour this week:

When: Wednesday March 3, 6-9pm
Where: Watty & Meg, corner of Court and Kane Streets

No word on whether Norah Jones will be there to take questions about window treatments.

Squadron Steps Up: Carroll Gardens Courtyards Must Be Protected

Hats off to Senator Dan Squadron, for recognizing how important it is to preserve the courtyards that are the signature of Carroll Gardens.

Pardon Me For Asking has the statement - forgive the formatting, I'm having some technical difficulties.