In May 1984, as Christopher Clarey of The New York Times recently noted, six of the world’s Top 10 were American, as were 24 of the Top 50. A decade later, there were four in the Top 10 and 11 in the Top 50. Last May, there was only one American in the Top 50, and that was the lumbering 29-year-old journeyman John Isner, who has never made it past the quarterfinals of a major tournament. Spain, meanwhile, has 10 players in the Top 50; France has seven.
Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest is set for Saturday - am New York
The contestants who vie for prizes ranging from $100 to $400 are diverse in age, background and aesthetic sensibility, but there is one fact upon which they all agree: The sand in Coney Island is among the best in the world.
"The sand in Coney Island is truly magnificent," for building and carving, affirmed Matt Long, a professional sand sculptor from West Brighton, SI, who also owns a wood restoration business.
Just as Manhattan schist makes a great anchor for skyscrapers, Coney's sand has "a fine angular grain and good silt content to help hold it together," that allows sculptors not only to build higher, but more elaborately, resulting in mind-boggling tall and precise sand sculptures, Long said.
Coney Island's Shore Theater now being used by homeless squatters - NY Daily News
A squalid and long-abandoned Coney Island movie palace has been taken over by homeless squatters.
A woman was seen Tuesday sleeping on a mattress among the peeling plaster and collapsing walls on the fourth floor of the historic Shore Theater on Surf Ave.
The interior has the apocalyptic air of a bombed-out shell that might be seen in a horror movie. Steel wires hang from the rotting ceilings above heaps of dust-strewn wood and bags filled with debris.
Andrew M. Cuomo, NY governor, signs New York City speed-reduction bill - Newsday
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday morning signed a bill to let New York City drop its default speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30.
The bill signing ceremony, held inside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, was attended by more than a dozen families who have lost loved ones in crashes involving motor vehicles.
"New Yorkers like to do things fast. Everything is time. Everything is pressure in New York. But this says 'slow down and save a life,' said Cuomo, standing between two "SPEED LIMIT 25" road signs.
The chance of a pedestrian's death is "cut in half" when the speed of the traveling vehicle is lowered to 25 mph from 30, the city's transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, said at the ceremony.
The new speed limit can go into effect in as soon as 90 days, once City Hall enacts its own law formally lowering the limit, which it is all but certain to do.
The default limit is the maximum speed motorists can legally travel unless a posted sign indicates otherwise.
The city Transportation Department is reviewing each street across the city to determine where a new 25 mph default speed limit would be suitable. The new speed limit has already been established in certain sections where accidents are common. Slowing down motorists is a key part of Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths.
(Excerpt-click on link for full text)
Citi Bike doesn’t publish numbers on how many people are renewing their memberships. While the system does release monthly reports on how many people sign up or renew, it doesn’t break out renewals as its own figure.
We know that at the end of May, the system had 105,355 active annual members. Those are people who have paid $95 for a year’s worth of riding, and have activated their little blue key. At the end of June, the system had 96,318 members. Does that mean almost 10,000 people didn’t renew at the end of that month? Unclear.
But a WNYC analysis of Citi Bike data suggests that about 22,000 people renewed during May and June of 2014. At the end of last June, the system had 52,125 members. Which indicates almost 30,000 of the system’s first users have chosen not to renew so far. Click link above for the rest of the story.
A new development aimed at making Coney Island more of a year-round destination is currently in the works.
Dubbed Seaside Park and
Community Arts Center, it is an entertainment complex and public park
that will be housed in the empty landmarked space that was once home to
the historic Childs Restaurant at 2102 Boardwalk West between West 21st
and West 22nd streets.
The project, estimated to
cost $53 million, is being developed and operated by a partnership
between iStar Financial, an affiliate Coney Island Holdings LLC, and the
community-based non-profit Coney Island USA.
According to iStar Financial,
the project will include a 5,000-seat amphitheater, a 20,000
square-foot restaurant overlooking the ocean, a playground and an
amusement park district, which will be open year-round. The amphitheater
will host roughly 15 free and 25 paid concerts during the outdoor
concert season. And during the year, an array of community-based
recreational and educational events will be held.
“We hope the amphitheater is a
catalyst for a neighborhood resurgence,” said Julia Butler, senior vice
president at iStar Financial, in a statement.
Though the project is largely
welcomed by the community, some residents harbor safety reservations.
Evangelean Pugh, a resident and member of Community board 13, said the
project could cause too much traffic.
“With the stadium that’s here
now you can’t move when there’s events. It took an hour to get from
25th Street to Stillwell Avenue in the middle of the day once,” she
said. “And if an emergency happens, what do we do?”
But Butler said the company
studied traffic and transit capacity as part of the project’s
environmental impact statement and the results allowed it to move
Residents also hope the project will give back to the community in some way. Butler is certain this will happen.
from movie nights and poetry slams to high school graduations and
community theater performances are all envisioned for the Amphitheater,”
Butler noted that construction is expected to begin this fall. The opening has been pushed back from 2015 to May 2016.
Proposed design for the Pier 6 towers (Rendering by Asymptote Architecture).
Opponents suing to stop a plan to build two luxury towers on the Brooklyn waterfront–with 30 percent of their units eyed for affordable housing by the de Blasio administration–today insisted that their resistance to the proposal has nothing to do with concerns about reduced-rate tenants moving in, even though their lawsuit says otherwise.
The two structures are the latest phase of a 10-year-old Bloomberg-era plan to turn disused piers in Brooklyn Heights into the massively popular Brooklyn Bridge Park–and pay for the recreation area’s maintenance by planting condominiums alongside the green. Resistance in the community surfaced earlier this month when it was revealed one of the towers would be 31 stories high–and that the project would include bargain bin apartments for middle-class renters, as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s design to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units citywide.
Leaders of the People For Green Space Foundation, which has sued to prevent the project from moving forward, insist however that class concerns have no part of their objections–contrary to claims made in a recent New York Times article. Instead, they say they want to ensure the park does not become overcrowded with too many tenants.
“We love the mayor’s plan for affordable housing,” said Lori Schomp, one of the plaintiffs in the suit. “But if he wants a denser city, we have to think about quality of life, and green space, trees, is a part of that.”
Fourteen designs have been submitted for the two new towers at the southern edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Above is a rendering by Asymptote Architecture. Asymptote Architecture
The city has received 14 designs for two new towers on the southern edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park that have been at the center of a debate about whether to add affordable housing to what some community groups view as a waterfront oasis.
Some designs for the development play off the park's location near Dumbo with industrial touches. Others look more like Midtown office towers. Some add flourishes of foliage to anchor the buildings to the park.
A number of developers are proposing to provide amenities, such as additional public restrooms, a swimming pool, space for a prekindergarten and a spot for bike repairs.
The proposals for two towers—of about 31 stories and 15 stories—are expected to be discussed Wednesday afternoon at a meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., which runs the park.
Park officials said they were hopeful the quality of the proposals would help refocus the community conversation from a testy debate over the de Blasio administration's requirement that developers dedicate at least 30% to affordable housing.
A rendering by NV/da+O'Neill McVoy Architects NV/da + ONeill McVoy Architects
"Before we had the responses it was really an abstract idea. Now with the design and with the proposed ground-floor uses, we have the opportunity to think through new uses and assess whether those designs are compatible with the park," said Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.
Community groups sued to stop the project from moving forward, saying the inclusion of affordable housing meant the park needed to undergo an additional environmental review. They sought to prohibit park officials from soliciting and reviewing proposals from developers.
A proposal by Marvel Architects Marvel Architects
A judge's order, however, will allow park officials and a community advisory council to review the proposals. Park officials expect to have a decision around the end of the year. The project could break ground about a year later, if the lawsuit is resolved.
Under a 2002 agreement, the city and state contributed about $160 million to develop the 85-acre park. Private development, including revenue generated from One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a hotel and residential complex at Pier 1 that is under construction, helps pay for the continuing maintenance.
The developer will sign a 95-year lease with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. The rent to be paid will go toward routine park maintenance and repairs to the piers on which the park sits.
Some community groups said they were concerned that adding affordable housing to the plan would mean less money for maintenance of the park. Others wanted to see the heights of the buildings reduced.
City officials have said that due to increased rents and condo prices only 70% of the housing planned for the site under the 2006 plan is needed to support the park. Instead of reducing the size of the towers by 30%, they said they decided to create lower-cost housing.
Some developers are proposing to build the affordable housing in one building and the market-rate apartments in the other. Others are proposing to mix the units. The proposals may change through discussions with Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.
William Dalambert, 58, was driving a Gray Line bus south on Seventh Avenue when it hit a blue City Sights tour bus, jumped the curb near 47th Street and knocked a street light onto pedestrians standing nearby, police said.
Fourteen people were injured, including a tour guide who was the only person aboard the Gray Line bus aside from the driver. They were taken to St. Luke's and other area hospitals, officials said. Three people's bones were broken in the crash and they were in serious condition, officials said.
Macon Street between Howard and Ralph Avenues in Bed-Stuy was declared Brooklyn's Greenest Street today by Greenbridge, the community environmental horticulture program of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
At this morning's festive award ceremony, Felicia Kinsey, the Macon Street block president, called out to an audience of families and long-time Bedford-Stuyvesant residents, "What have I been saying all year?" The crowd responded in unison: "Our block rocks!" They will receive a $300 award and a plaque naming them the greenest block.
The block scored a perfect 100% on participation; every house and tree bed was decked out in planters, flowers, vines and whimsical signs that promote the power of gardening. Brooklyn Botanic Garden President, Scot Medbury, said the 200 entrants from 33 Brooklyn neighborhoods were judged on variety, upkeep of street trees, use of color, community participation, and use of native plants.
Serena Icart-Pierre, a Macon Street resident for 19 years and a Bed-Stuy native, spearheaded the gardening projects. Her neighbor, Shirley Bradey, is the one who originally entered the block in the contest, but she passed away. "I said, I'm doing it no matter what," Icart-Pierre told us. "Gardening is an excellent activity. It brings the best out in people. If you can't plant a flower with a smile on your face, you're not a person I want to meet."
Sheila Gay-Robbins, who has lived on Macon Street for 9 years, said the project has brought the whole community closer together. "First we were neighbors, now we're friends," she said.
And Borough President Eric Adams was on hand to congratulate the block, telling the green thumb residents, "Just one type of tree wouldn't be a garden. A garden is supposed to have diversity, that's what makes it a garden. It's representative of what we are. More than a tree is growing in Brooklyn; families are growing in Brooklyn."
Here are all the winners and runner-ups to the Greenest Block in Brooklyn awards. Last year author Jen Doll was chosen to judge the contest; here's her account of what it takes to find the greenest block in Brooklyn.
Council Member Chaim Deutsch is pleased to announce the success of his first community clean-up event that drew nearly 100 volunteers to Sheepshead Bay Road on Sunday. Armed with rakes, shovels and brooms, volunteers turned out to pick up trash from neighborhood streets.
“We’re taking pride in our neighborhoods – block by block across our district. Coming out and volunteering is sending a message to violators that we demand a clean neighborhood,” Deutsch stated. “Cleaner streets promote social and economic improvement, whilst giving our children and families a clean, safe place to reside.”
This event, the first in a series of clean-ups in Council Member Deutsch’s district, aims to promote unity and community activism, all the while drawing attention to the Council Member’s top priority: cleaner streets. Council Member Deutsch is proud to have funded various clean-up initiatives in this year’s budget and is actively reaching out to local small business owners to educate them on ways to keep storefronts clean.
“Many thanks to the Department of Sanitation for their commitment to working with me to promote cleanliness, as well as for the donation of gloves and garbage bags and the loan of brooms, shovels, dustpans and rakes,” said Deutsch. “Together we are making our neighborhoods an even better place to live, work, and do business.”
Please contact Council Member Deutsch’s office at 718-368-9176 to learn more about future community clean-up events or to share suggestions that will help Deutsch address problem areas.
The next Community Clean-Up Event will be held on August 17th on Avenue U
By Matthew Taub
Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn Brief
The second of two suspects who assaulted a young woman in an apartment building in the vicinity of Avenue M and East 18th Street in Midwood on Sunday were arrested early Friday morning. The other suspect was apprehended on Thursday.
The Battle of Brooklyn Bridge Park - NYTimes.com
The internal message board of the One Brooklyn Bridge Park luxury condominium is generally used to post “babysitter wanted” notes or to remind residents to pick up their dry cleaning. Last spring, residents used it to air their dirty laundry.
When city officials said they were ready to solicit requests for proposals to develop two parcels of land north of Atlantic Avenue and directly south of the building, they altered a 2006 plan so that it would include affordable housing, for moderate- to middle-income residents. Some condo owners reacted with unfiltered fury.
The messages expressed outrage over how the two new buildings would increase crowds in the park and cramp the already oversubscribed local public school, P.S. 8. Other residents were angry that a 31-story tower would block their views. When some people intimated that affordable housing could bring down property values, the debate took a tone that was offensive to Nina Lorez Collins, a writer and former literary agent.
“It felt very Nimby, like ‘We don’t want poor people in the backyard,’ ” she said recently.
“After two months of those comments, I sent out an email to everyone. I said, ‘You are making me ashamed to be your neighbor, please stop.’ ”
The tone of the posts softened, but the uproar has not ended.
In the largely liberal sandbox of Brooklyn Heights, the debate is not restricted to One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a former Jehovah’s Witnesses’ printing plant transformed into a condo in 2009 with the purpose of financing the park’s operations. A park activist group, Save Pier 6, has been responsible for pasting laminated fliers along Joralemon Street leading to the park; it also started an online petition against the two buildings that has gathered 3,000 signatures.
The battle is taking place in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s home borough and among many people who might have seemed to be his core constituency. As new basketball courts and soccer fields have opened and proved wildly popular on the Brooklyn Bridge Park’s piers, the issue of private development and public authority in the park continues to divide neighbors and neighborhood associations, split some households and forge unions in others.
This is a continuation of a battle that goes back 30 years, in which civic leaders in Brooklyn Heights fought to make a park on the shipping piers that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was ready to sell.
“The bleeding-heart liberals, of which many of my great friends are, say we need affordable housing,” said Judi Francis, 59, who lives in Cobble Hill and is the president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, an advocacy group that fought any kind of housing in the park.
“Affordable housing is a noble and fine thing. But a park that has to pay for itself is not supposed to pay for the ills of the city.”