Thursday, August 30, 2012

3rd Place Street Closure

This just in from CB6:

Please note that on Friday September 7, 2012 thru Sunday September 9, 2012, 3rd Place between Court and Smith Streets will be closed due to placement of crane on roadway for hoisting materials from the subway structure above to street level below through Saturday day. The crane will be dismantled, concrete pump truck set to pour new track on the structure above. The work hours will be 10pm on Friday until 11am on Sunday. In addition we will have signs posted to inform of the street closing. 

Please contact Judlau Contracting, Inc. with any questions regarding this notice at (718) 554-2320

Monday, August 27, 2012

Iceland Did It Right … And Everyone Else Is Doing It Wrong | The Big Picture

Iceland is the model the US and Europe should have followed - and
perhaps would have followed if our political classes weren't almost
completely captured by the financial industry.

It would have been rough on New York, but much better for the US as a whole.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bloomberg: Problem With Homeless Shelters Is They're Too "Pleasurable": Gothamist

The problem with Bloomberg is he has no conception of how ordinary
people live. He's completely removed himself from the realities of
daily life.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Details on Proposed Gowanus Mixed Use Development

Katia attended last night's informational meeting on Lightstone's
proposal to develop the former Toll Brothers site on the canal between
Carroll and 2nd Street. The biggest changes appear to be a shift from
condos to rentals, and an increased number of units with smaller floor

Capital One Courtyard Cleans Up Nice

Credit where due: for years the bank courtyard at Court and 2nd Place
was a blot on the neighborhood. The bare patch of black asphalt
disappeared sometime in the last six weeks, replaced by a landscaped

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crumbling Infrastructure - Bay Ridge Update

The below update on the massive sinkhole in Bay Ridge comes from NYC DEP.  Just a thought, but with millions out of work, record low borrowing costs and crumbling infrastructure in water, sewer, transportation, electric and other categories around the country … maybe we could spend some money on infrastructure?  Or you know, just bail out the banks again. 

DEP Provides Update on 92ndStreet Sewer Collapse

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today updated residents on the progress of ongoing repair work on 92nd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn following a sewer cave-in on June 28th:

  • DEP contractors have stabilized the sinkhole and have excavated approximately 63 feet below the roadway to expose the damaged sewer line. Crews have removed the top portion of the collapsed sewer section and are making preparations for its reconstruction.
  • Two 24-inch bypass lines were installed to divert wastewater flow past the compromised portion of the line. The bypass lines are being continuously monitored to ensure their operational integrity.
  • Repair work should be completed within the next two months.


  • On June 28th, DEP was notified that a sinkhole had developed over an 11-foot diameter sewer tunnel on 92ndStreet between 3rd Avenue and Ridge Boulevard in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The sewer was built in 1902, and carries 15 to 28 million gallons of wastewater to the Owls Head wastewater treatment plant on a normal dry weather day.
  • Responding crews discovered a 30' x 30' void underneath the roadway pavement. The undermining was caused by a partial collapse of the sewer line that runs under 92nd Street at a depth of roughly 70 feet.

Impacts to residents:

  • All area residents have full utility services (water, sewer, gas and electric) with no related disruption.
  • Street parking restrictions have been lifted with the exception of the immediate work area. All streets adjacent to 3rd and 4th Avenues are open to traffic.
  • Buildings adjacent to the work site are being monitored for any vibrations and settlement during all construction operations.
  • DEP will continue to provide the community with regular updates.

DEP manages the city's water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines and 95 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. DEP has a robust capital program with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years that creates up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter

Map of Abandoned Railroads

Pretty cool.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Man Robbed at Knifepoint Outside of Cobble Hill Park - Carroll Gardens, NY Patch

A reminder to be alert to your surroundings when walking home at night.

Congress and Clinton seems like a pretty safe spot - but this guy was
mugged there just the same.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Monday, August 20, 2012

An Unserious Man - Krugman on Ryan

The media portrayal of Ryan's plan has been a joke. Krugman cuts
through the BS and states the obvious - the would-be Galtian Emperor
wears no clothes.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Friday, August 17, 2012

City Planning GIS Map

This is a pretty cool tool - a wealth of information to be visualized citywide.

As always I'm struck by how much parts of NJ fit with NYC - but due to political boundaries, we don't do regional planning as well as we should.  The Port Authority is a decent model (never mind that 90 years on it's founding purpose of a Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel remains a dream).  Perhaps down the road we will see more coordination between the states, or even a shuffling of portfolios among authorities.

All right, I've now wandered way off topic.  Go check out that map. 

Bike-Share Program Won’t Share Bikes Until Next Spring

"The Citi Bank–sponsored bike share program that was supposed to launch last month won't arrive until next spring."

Disappointing. But better to wait than to roll out a debacle. 

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Bike-Share Program Won't Share Bikes Until Next Spring

It's official: The Citi Bank–sponsored bike share program that was supposed to launch last month won't arrive until next spring. "Hopefully the software will work by then," Mayor Bloomberg said on his radio show today.

Software was blamed for a delay on July 31 as well, when the Citi Bike program was to launch the first 1,000 of 10,000 shiny blue rides. At the time of that delay, a Department of Transportation spokesperson insisted that the program was still planned for 2012.

"The software doesn't work. Until it works, we're not going to put it out," Bloomberg said. "We did think there would be a possibility we would have bikes on the streets this summer. We think ... this spring."

At a Coney Island press conference yesterday, Bloomberg insisted that there's no "secret agenda" with the delay. "The software doesn't work. And putting it out when the software doesn't work, it wouldn't work. Period." He added that the delay isn't costing the city any money. "The city loses because we don't have bicycles, but the city doesn't lose any money," he said.

Read more posts by Adam K. Raymond

Filed Under:
,citi bikes
,bike share

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lhota open to ‘more equitable’ payroll tax replacement « Second Ave. Sagas

The obvious (and correct) equitable solution is a return to the old
commuter tax that captures the cross border commuters from CT and NJ
as well as the MTA's NY catchment area.

With that revenue stream in hand, the MTA should endeavor to focus on
the regional transit picture - and politicians should take a hard look
at combining authorities in ways that make operational sense. The NY
metro region overlaps three state boundaries, but planning needs to be
done on a regional basis. No easy task, but worth focusing on.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Streetsblog New York City » Markowitz: Loosen Downtown BK Parking Regs for Older Buildings Too

Moving in the right direction. I'd eliminate the mandatory parking
minimums altogether.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Signage up at 340 Court Street, Now Named Sackett Union

Hard to believe this was just a giant hole in the ground not long ago.  Or a LICH facility just a few years back.  

Signage up at 340 Court Street, Now Named Sackett Union

Signage is up at the Carroll Gardens development site formerly known at 340 Court. Now it's called the Sackett Union and has a teaser website to match. As previously reported, there will be 32 two-, three-, and four-bedroom condo units. Four of the 11 townhouses will be built as single-families, the others will be configured as two-families. Constru... More

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Ayatollah Cameron Threatens to invade Ecuador Embassy re: Assange (or, Whitewashing Iran for the US National Security State) | Informed Comment

Good for Ecuador. Remember when the US and the UK were supposed to be
the defenders of international law, and supposed paragons of
transparent governance?

Maybe that never existed in fact, but at least we had stated ideals.
We've fallen far in the last 12 years.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Bunker Rises on Smith Street

This was the deadest, ugliest spot on the Smith Street commercial
strip. I'm looking forward to this building opening up and
contributing to the block.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

USA Today: Brooklyn Is Back

Uh oh. This is troubling, but if we make the cover of TIME, all is lost.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Monday, August 13, 2012

For New York Bike Advocates, Delayed Gratification -

Transportation Alternatives is not an overnight success story. It's a
story of a team of hard working, dedicated and incredibly talented
people working to implement good policy. Paul Steely White and the
rest of the TA crew should be a case study in effective civic

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mark Ames: Paul Ryan’s Guru Ayn Rand Worshipped a Serial Killer Who Kidnapped and Dismembered Little Girls

Ayn Rand (born Alisa Rosenbaum) was an all around awful human being. And the people who fetishize her and her objectionable Objectivist philosophy (cough Paul Ryan cough cough Alan Greenspan) are at their cores truly horrible people. 

But all that said, even I was not prepared to learn the depths of her depraved thinking. 

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Mark Ames: Paul Ryan's Guru Ayn Rand Worshipped a Serial Killer Who Kidnapped and Dismembered Little Girls

Yves here. There is one way that Mark Ames' underlying post needs a smidge of updating. Sadly, the technocratic elites in Europe are now firmly trying to inflict bone-crushing austerity on ordinary workers, despite visible evidence of its failure (debt to GDP ratios keep rising as the economies contract) and widespread public opposition. There the rationale is a bizarre combination of "punish the borrowers" when countries like Ireland and Spain were held up as poster children of economic success until the bust, and a need to hide the fact that what looks like rescues of the PIIGS is in fact bailouts of French and German banks.

By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine. Cross posted from The eXiled

To celebrate today's announcement that Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan will in a few months' time be a heartbeat from the presidency—and to honor this special moment, marking the final syphilitic pus-spasms of America's decline and fall–we are reposting for your edification Mark Ames' 2010 article about the man behind the Rand: Ayn Rand's unrequited adoration of a notorious serial killer, William Edward Hickman. Yes, Vice President-to-be Paul Ryan owes his entire "moral" worldview to a lowly groupie of serial killers, a 1920′s prototype of today's "Joker" wannabees. Yes folks, in a few months' time Americans will finally be able to stand up and declare: "We are all serial-killer groupies now."

There's something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people go frothing batshit angry at the suggestion that maybe health care coverage should be extended to the tens of millions of Americans who don't have it; or when they froth at the mouth in ecstasy at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare. It might not be as hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of their population who thought like this, but the US is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. Where do they find their philosophical justification for this kind of attitude?

It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand, a popular cult-philosopher who plays ...

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New York City Sand Pit

200 million tons of sand excavated from LI to build NYC buildings and infrastructure. That's a lot of scratch. 

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New York City Sand Pit

The previous post reminded me of a site I've meant to post about literally for years now, ever since first reading about it in Michael Welland's book Sand.

[Images: Sand mines, via Michael Welland's excellent blog Through the Sandglass].

Toward the end of his book, Welland points out the role sand plays in the making of concrete—and, of course, the role concrete plays in the making of a city like New York. But where, he asks, did all the sand that made the concrete that made Manhattan actually come from?

"In 1865," we read, "mining began on the northern shore of Long Island to collect sand washed out from retreating ice age glaciers."
Immigrant workers from Europe, many from Sardinia, first hauled sand with wheelbarrows; the excavations grew with mechanization, and eventually the cliffs and the landscape were leveled. Port Washington was the center of the business, as endless convoys of barges carried the sand to Manhattan. The last sandpit closed in the 1990s, by which time more than 200 million tons of sand had been excavated to build the city—bridges, highways, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the World Trade Center.
As the New York Times reported back in 2008, a "monument honoring the sand mining industry" has since been erected in Port Washington, from whence more than 140 million tons of sand were excavated. There is still one open tunnel there, as well as "the remains of a conveyor," in the landscape—which has since been turned into a golf course. Historic photos of the site in its sand-mining heyday are pretty incredible.

A helpful website exists, meanwhile, courtesy of the Port Washington Public Library, offering a wide swath of resources about "the geography and geology of the sandmines; t...

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Friday, August 10, 2012

South Brooklyn Pizza files for bankruptcy | Crain's New York Business

Surprising news. I wonder if this will have any impact on operations
at Hanley's or Buschenshank. My guess would be that those operations
are profitable and would remain business as usual. I guess we'll see
soon enough.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

The un-Flipper of Carroll Gardens

Unfortunately I cannot afford his work. But Alex Barrett has done
some nice projects around the neighborhood. I wish the flippers on my
block over the past couple of years were as discerning.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's the little things (transit)

The ability to show the expiration date when you swipe an unlimited
Metrocard is something the MTA should have pursued long ago - and the
lack of this feature is something I have often cursed. Nice that it's
finally happening!

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Project S.H.A.M.E.: The Recovered History of Adam Davidson « naked capitalism

The most effective right-wing shills are the ones who slip below your
radar, like Malcolm Gladwell. Or Adam Davidson.

Know your shills and you won't be taken in by these hucksters passing
as neutral arbiters.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More on Brooklyn Bridge Access Improvement Proposal

Pols Call For Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Expansion

Good to see Brad Lander pushing another important project. The
Brooklyn Bridge is a major tourist attraction that gets oppressively
overcrowded in nice weather. We're past due for expanded access for
peds and cyclists on the bridge.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Monday, August 6, 2012

Big Boerum Hill Lot Up for Sale

I'm surprised this one has remained undeveloped this long. After a
couple of years hiatus it looks like the building boom is back in
Downtown Brooklyn and ancillary areas that were up-zoned since the
turn of the century.

One to watch will be the former Toll Brothers site on the Gowanus
between Carroll and 2nd. Another large site, controversially
spot-zoned for denser residential in a far less contextual location.
Brooklyn CB6's land use committee will be getting a briefing on that
project on August 23rd.

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Progress at Pier 5

I took this picture last weekend from Brooklyn Heights. The progress
at Pier 5 is a slow but steady grind. I'm looking forward to the big
increase in completed Brooklyn Bridge Park space next season.