Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Calls for Stephen Levin to Run for President, or at Least Mayor, After Rescuing Abused Cat in Brooklyn

Levin, 5th Level Druid. (MK Metz)
The public's reaction to City Councilmember Stephen Levin's daring cat rescue on the BQE -- the poor feline had been abused, shot, was pregnant AND had her paw stuck in a storm drain on the world's most terrifying urban highway -- has been coming in overwhelmingly positive.

As reported on Gothamist, Levin was seriously bitten by the creature during the rescue, which took place near Williamsburg. He delivered the cat to Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC), where they are doing their best for it medically. Levin had to go to an ER to get his bites treated.

The general consensus? Levin is a friggin' superhero. Here are a few comments on Gothamist:

"He's got my vote. I hope he runs for president."


"Best story I've heard all week - if I lived in Brooklyn, he'd get my vote for sure!"

"Whoa a good human AND he has dimples. Call me ;)"

"Democrat, Republican, or whatever - if someone is kind to innocents, that is a worthwhile human being."

(There is a comment from at least one hater. That one seems to have been voted down to the bottom.)

Perhaps the highest praise came from a Dragon Master: "Steven Levin is actually a 5th level Druid."

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, March 30, 2015

L Train Heads for Hibernation; Student Handcuffing Uproar; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The L train is about to go into hibernation, and Brooklyn businesses are worried. [Gothamist]

- VIDEO: Coney Island Cyclone gets stuck on opening day. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Fake cabs are stealing riders credit card information. [BK Magazine]

- All about the Mapping Brooklyn exhibit at BRIC. [NYU Local]

- Park Slope PTA protests student-handcuffing incident. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Some details about the budget deal struck in Albany. [WSJ]

- Some people seem to be sensitive to Wi-Fi. [NY Magazine]

- Eyeball hackers have injected a chemical into their eyes to get night vision. [Discovery]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

About that Neil Diamond Concert at Barclays Center

Neil Diamond
Fans attending singer-songwriter Neil Diamond's first official concert in Brooklyn since his career began 50 years ago said the Barclays Center show was a moving tribute to his home town.

Diamond is a famous son of Brooklyn, attending Erasmus and Abe Lincoln high schools.

Here are some of the official reviews of the Brooklyn stop on his "Melody Road" World Tour:

 - "At 74, Neil is at the peak of his powers, putting on a high-energy two-hour show for the feisty ladies of Planet Diamond." [Rolling Stone]

- The Diamond show at Barclays was "both gripping and cheesy at once." [NY Daily News]

- The older, wealthier crowd attending the Diamond concert at Barclays left their limos "idling in the street." [Atlantic Yards Report]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hospital Money Still Up for Grabs in Budget; Attempted Rape in Williamsburg; New Art in Brooklyn Bridge Park; etc.

- Williamsburg woman was punched and nearly raped in her apartment building early Thursday -- but was saved by her 16-year-old son. [Daily News]

- Brooklyn pols fight to restore millions in budget for teetering hospitals, inckuding Interfaith. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Danish artist Jeppe Hein will playfully animate Brooklyn Bridge Park in a new exhibition, “Please Touch the Art.” [NYT]

- Over the next decade, Greenpoint is slated to add some 8,000 new apartment. [NY Post] 

- What to do in Brooklyn this spring: from a zine fest to the Basquiat exhibition to the 17th of May parade. [amNY]

- 2015 All-Brooklyn Team: Girls High School Basketball All-Stars. [Brooklyn Eagle

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cold But Sunny for Coney Island's Opening Day on Sunday

Luna Park
Coney Island's Opening Day is Sunday, March 29 -- and it looks like it won't be snowing, for once.

At Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, the Annual Blessing of Rides takes place at 10:30 a.m. Free rides on Deno’s Wonder Wheel to the first 95 people for their 95th Year. (Plus: They're giving away free rides for 300 kids from the local Salt N Sea Mission.)

The season opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by park owners, Dennis and Steve Vourderis.The NYC Fire Department Color Guard will present the colors and sing the National Anthem.

At the Cyclone at Luna Park: Festivities kick off at 12:00PM and if you get in line early you might be part of #TheFirst100 and get a free ride on The Cyclone Roller Coaster.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Cards Against Brooklyn,' Montague Citibank Building Sold, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- There's a Kickstarter for a fresh new card deck: Cards Against Brooklyn, designed to deflate Brooklyn's image of being a cool place. [Gothamist]

- Ideas aired at first Brooklyn Heights Library workshop (plus video). [Brooklyn Eagle]

- 'Brooklyn Game Lab’ creates new versions of existing board games. [Pix11]

- Remembering the wild times at Brooklyn’s DIY venues. [Slate]

- Goosebumps! R.L. Stine, king of kids horror books, to read at BookCourt. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Jonathan Rose Companies closed on the Brooklyn Heights Citibank building at 181-183 Montague Street for $36.5 million. [TRD]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Chamber Is Making It Easy to Find a Spot to Tie the Knot or Throw a Party in Brooklyn

We just found out this is Open Venue BK week in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Boulders
Open Venue BK gives event-minded folks the opportunity to explore prospective venues for their parties, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Quinceneras, Sweet 16s, conferences and anything else they want to celebrate.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Everyone knows that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the perfect spot for a wedding. But looking at the extensive list of venues makes you realize there are more places to throw a party in our borough than you might have thought -- like Brooklyn Boulders (capacity 1,000 with two party rooms), or the cutting-edge Deity in Boerum Hill (capacity 150).

The Green Building
One of our visual favorites is the former brass foundry now known as The Green Building in Gowanus. It is described as a "unique raw space featuring original brick walls, soaring exposed beam ceilings with gorgeous chandeliers, and newly renovated restroom and food-staging facilities." (capacity up to 250)

Tours began March 22 and runs through March 29.

RSVP for the venues you'd like to see.

This event is masterminded by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

VIDEO: Cops Looking for This Sexual Predator in Bed-Stuy

The New York City Police Department put out the word on Wednesday that they are asking for the public's assistance identifying a suspect wanted for sexual abuse in Bedford-Stuyvesant's 81 Precinct.

On January 27, at 7:28 p.m., the suspect shown in this video followed the victim, a 36 year-old female, into her building, located in the vicinity of Van Buren and Lewis Avenue. As the victim ascended the stairs, the suspect followed closely, pulled the victim's pants down and sexually abused her. The victim resisted and the suspect fled the location.

The suspect is described as a black male, thin build, approximately 5'6" and 19-20 years-old.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

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LICH Sale Heads Back to Court in Brooklyn

LICH. By MK Metz
SUNY's ethically-troubled sale of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Brooklyn is back in court this week.

The Concerned Physicians of LICH, one of the many groups who fought the sale of the Cobble Hill hospital for more than two years, is trying to have SUNY’s decision to award the campus to Fortis Property Group annulled, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

The doctors group says in its filing that SUNY’s methodology didn’t match that described in the original stipulation hammered out in court -- after much litigation --and the Request For Proposals (RFP) that followed, among other errors.

Regiggering the bidders scores would put Trindade Value Partners on top. Trindade proposed a full-service hospital at the site, opposed to the current walk-in emergency clinic operated by NYU Langone. NYU says it plans to increase the size of the clinic in 2017, if the deal is finalized.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BP Adams Calls for Burn Center in Brooklyn

Photo: Kathryn Kirk/ BP's Office
 Yesterday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for the creation of a burn center in Brooklyn, which currently has no burn facility. Adams asked all of the borough’s hospitals, both public and private, to put forward any proposals. He said that any plan that he feels is strong would be supported with funding from his capital budget.

He also announced a borough-wide fire safety education campaign, following a fatal fire Saturday in Midwood that claimed the lives of seven siblings, aged five to 16, from the Sassoon family.

"This is not just about borough equity; this is about providing the necessary medical infrastructure that can save lives," he said. "I look forward to addressing this gap in care and working to bring the first burn center to the borough.”

The Sassoon family’s mother and one of her daughters are currently in critical condition at burn centers in the Bronx and Staten Island, after sustaining severe burns and smoke inhalation.

Adams’ fire safety education effort will include translation of materials in Spanish, Yiddish, and other languages, as well as the distribution of free smoke detectors.

He is hosting an event tonight from 7:00 PM until 9:30 PM at PS 193 Gil Hodges, located at 2515 Avenue L, in partnership with Council Member Chaim Deutsch, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Public Advocate Letitia James, in conjunction with Representative Yvette Clarke, Assembly Members Rodneyse Bichotte, Dov Hikind, and Helene Weinstein, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, and Community Board 14.

Adams was joined yesterday by elected officials, including PA Letitia James,  and Jewish leaders inside FDNY headquarters at MetroTech Center.

“This tragedy has shaken us all,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. “One thing is clear: we need to be better educated about fire safety and when the unspeakable occurs, Brooklyn needs to be ready to treat its burn victims here."

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sign Up: 17th Annual Eileen C. Dugan Memorial 5k, at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photo: Brooklyn Bridge Park
 The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, St. Francis College, and Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) have announce the 17th Eileen C. Dugan Memorial 5K. The race, with more than 350 participants in 2014, will return to the Brooklyn waterfront for the fourth year on Saturday, April 11 at 9:00 am.

This 3.1-mile race remembers Eileen Dugan, a New York State Assemblymember who represented the local 52nd AD (Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, Sunset Park, and Bay Ridge) from 1980 to 1996.

Her early advocacy to create a public park on the Brooklyn waterfront were instrumental in making Brooklyn Bridge Park a reality. In 1996, at the age of 51, Assemblywoman Dugan passed away from breast cancer.

"It makes me proud to see my sister’s vision for the Brooklyn waterfront realized with such a beautiful park and to see so many people come out to honor her memory each year,” St. Francis College President Brendan J. Dugan said in a statement.

Nancy Webster, Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, said, “Enthusiasm from the community plus a beautiful course, make this a fantastic event for runners and supporters alike."

For 13 years, the Eileen Dugan Run was a tradition on the streets of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. This year’s course in Brooklyn Bridge Park will begin and end at the Pier 6 entrance at Atlantic Avenue, and will cover all of the park’s active piers along the waterfront.

The run is limited to the first 500 entrants. All proceeds from the run will support Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s cultural, recreational, and educational events.

Event Details

What: 17th Eileen C. Dugan Memorial 5K

When: Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 9:00 am

Where: Pier 6 entrance at Atlantic Avenue

Purchase tickets: brooklynbridgepark.org/events/eileen-c-dugan-memorial-5k

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Juan Rivera, Owner of Variety Mart in Brooklyn Heights, Dies

Photo by MK Metz
Juan G. Rivera, long-time owner of Variety Mart, at 136 Montague St. in Brooklyn Heights, died last week.

Mr. Rivera went back decades on Montague Streeet. He was a co-owner of the store in the 70s, and long ago became sole owner.

Mr. Rivera was a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather. Our sincere sympathy to his family.

A wake was held on Sunday at the Cobble Hill Funeral Home.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Today: Heights Library Workshop Monday; Man Needs Skin Removal Surgery; and More

- "There's only one way to survive this. There is only total and complete, utter surrender." Gabriel Sassoon of Brooklyn, about the tragic deaths of his children from a hot plate fire. [Yahoo News]

- Monday: Public’s chance to offer input on new Brooklyn Heights Library. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Touching video: Brooklyn man who lost 270 pounds needs $20,000 to surgically remove sheets of excess skin. He has raised more than $45,000 $54,000 at Go Fund Me. [News 11]

Here's a photo of three people the cops are looking for in connection with the shooting death of an 18-year-old in Flatbush over the weekend. [NBC]

- Not far from the above shooting, someone shot a one-year-old baby, visiting Flatbush with her family from Bangladesh. [Gothamist]

- Schumer relives his days at James Madison HS. [Brooklyn Eagle]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Now They're Predicting 4 to 6 Inches of Snow on Friday in NYC

Here we snow again:

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 6 AM Friday, March 20 through 2 AM Saturday, March 21.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management has also issued a travel advisory for Friday -- as has the Dept. of Sanitation (and the Holy Mothers of the Rosary).

Snow will begin Friday morning and will continue throughout the day.

OEM says it will begin to intensify in the afternoon with the heaviest snow expected to fall during the Friday evening rush. It will taper off late Friday evening.

A total of 4 to 6 inches is expected. So exercise caution and be prepared for limited visibility and slippery conditions.

According to NOAA, the high will be near 35. Wind chill values between 20 and 25.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 44. Wind chill values between 20 and 30.

Welcome to spring!

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Officials Want Medicaid to Pay for Oxygen Treatment that NYS Calls Unproven

By Edward Stauch /Wlm Schultze*
State officials announced legislation Wednesday that would require Medicaid to pay for a medical treatment involving topical oxygen, currently used to treat severe, non-healing wounds of the type common in diabetes.

DOH said it was going to end payments for the treatment, calling it unproven and saying other treatments were available.

State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Park Slope, East Flatbush) and Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) told reporters that the issue is important to Brooklyn residents because the largest percentage of patients using this treatment live in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn suffers from disproportionate diabetes.

For the full story, see the Brooklyn Eagle.

*Illustration courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

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Grimm's Military Angle; Jonathan Lethem in DUMBO Tonight; and More Brooklyn Briefs

More snow predicted for Friday! Photo by MK Metz

- New video shows more of brutal Brooklyn beating at McDonalds. [Gothamist]

- Michael Grimm's mentor says judges don't know what military combat is like ... [Observer]

- Jonathan Lethem to launch latest collection of stories in DUMBO Thursday. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Composting is coming to Greenpoint: save your food scraps. [Greenpointers]

- Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez is hosting a FEMA Flood Insurance Meeting in Red Hook. [Pardon Me For Asking]

- VIDEO: The Voice Behind the Voice: Arrested busker opens up about music roots. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Controversial 60 Water Street in DUMBO -- once called the Dock Street project -- is now open to residents. And there's no poor door.  [NY1]

- Record-breaking cyber attack exposes 11 million more health records. [Observer]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hacker at a Brooklyn Precinct; Brooklyn Kids and Their Robots; and More Brooklyn Briefs

How did we not know giant games of hide-and-seek were going on at IKEA?

- A rogue auxiliary cop hacked into an NYPD database -- and installed a spy cam at his Brooklyn Precinct --  to obtain information for his fake lawyer scam. [Daily News]

- Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor visited Downtown Brooklyn yesterday. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Sharon Davidson, the former director of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, was charged on Monday with stealing $85,000 from the group. [DNAinfo]

- The 10th annual Coffee and Tea Festival is set to boil over in Brooklyn on March 21 and 22. [Brooklyn Paper]

- How Bed-Stuy school kids used robots, a 3-D printer and a mapping program to study issues of gentrification in their community. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Here's something unexpected: Greenpoint rents are dropping. [Brooklyn Magazine]

- Kraft just recalled more than 6.5 million boxes of mac and cheese. [AP]

- In case you missed it: Yesterday, the Associated Press confused murder suspect/millionaire Robert Durst with Fred Durst, the one-time frontman of Limp Bizkit. [Slate]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at an Irish Pub in Brooklyn

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

Want to visit an Irish pub, drink some stout, maybe eat some shepherd's pie on St. Patrick's Day? Here's are some of the most authentic and best-liked  Irish bars and pubs in Brooklyn:

At Rocky Sullivan's in Red Hook (34 Van Dyke St. at Dwight) is the real deal. On St. Pat's Day, the Lost Tribe of Donegal will be playing to to keep you in the spirit all night long! 

The Wicked Monk (Bay Ridge: New location -- between 95th and 96th street on 3rd avenue in Bay Ridge Brooklyn) decorated with part of a Gothic Irish Monastery from Cork, Ireland, features Chris Decker 5 - 9 pm

Gordon Bennett pub, underneath the Manhattan Bridge on South 6th Street in Williamsburg, boasts Irish barkeeps and a wood-paneled aesthetic.

Irish Haven in Sunset Park: a cash-only "down to earth" Irish dive bar.

Farrell’s at 215 Prospect Park West, in Park Slope -- another great Irish dive, known as a "man's bar.".

Kitty Kiernans in Bay Ridge is known for its Irish pub feel -- and always stays open until 4:00 am!

The Bell House (149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues) is not really Irish and is not exactly a pub. But for non-Irish folk, it offers "an alternative to drunken douchebaggery"… drunken debauchery, with the fifth-annual Wasabassco’s St Patrick’s Day for Sinners. A night of drinking and an All-Redheads burlesque.

Sad news: We're told that standby Céol, listed below, has closed.

Céol at 191 Smith Street in Cobble Hill is a lovely Irish pub with frequent live music and good food. (Céol is Irish for music.)

Above: Flag of the four provinces of Ireland, from Wikipedia

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton to MetroTech; 99 'Essential' Restaurants; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Hillary Clinton is nearing a HQ deal at MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn. [CNN]

- 99 "essential" restaurants in Brooklyn. [Village Voice]

- Community activist Tony Herbert vows "no more teen beatdowns," at McDonalds on Flatbush. [NY Daily News]

- Brooklynite Garvin Brown, 34, drowned while trying to save a dog from a pond in Canada. [WHEC]

- Final plans for "Brooklyn Strand" to be shared Monday, at Brooklyn Law School. [BHB]

- Rapper Safaree Samuels gets kudos for walking away from a confrontation with Brooklyn gang boys in Flatbush. [Vibe]

- Emergency dispatchers 700 miles away from NYC helped save an unconscious Brooklyn woman. [JConline]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Verbal Ase DJs a Dance Party Inside Union Square Subway Station

Photos by MK Metz
Rushing to get back to Brooklyn from Union Square late last night, we ran into a spontaneous dance party inside the station.

The party -- complete with stoplight-style party strobes -- was DJed by subway beatboxer Verbal Ase (AKA Adym Evans).

Verbal Ase [From Outer Space] is known for musicalizing his voice, imitating the sounds of instruments,  helicopters and rhythms.

Whatever it was, the music was fabulous and everyone enjoyed the party.


Here's a bonus photo for Jessica Jamin!

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Anti-Cuomo Demonstrations at Schools Across NYC Thursday

Big doings at roughly 100 NYC public schools tomorrow, many in Brooklyn:

Parents, student and teachers from throughout the city will "hold hands, form a human chain and surround their schools to show how they are determined to protect their schools from Governor Cuomo’s attempt to defund, dismantle and privatize our public schools," according to NYC Public School Parents.

The protests are taking place before and after school  hours.

According to Chalkbeat:  "Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would link a potential boost in state education funding to a series of controversial policy changes, including tying teacher evaluations more closely to student test results, raising the charter-school cap, and placing consistently low-performing schools in the hands of outside groups."

Participating Brooklyn schools include:

PS 3
PS 9
PS 20
Arts & Letters (with PS .20)
PS 307
Brooklyn Arbor
PS 84
PS 110
PS 257
PS 297
Brooklyn New School (with BSC below )
Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies (w/ BNS)
PS 32
MS 442
MS 447
MS 51
PS 230
PS 154
PS 295
MS 443 and MS 88 (w/ PS 295) 
PS 10
PS 124
PS 130
PS 169
PS 172
PS 230
PS 24
PS 58
PS 118
PS 261
PS 321
PS 372
PS 29
PS 39
PS 280
PS 107
Park Slope Collegiate
PS 15
Internat'l HS Pros. Hts
PS 214
PS 145
PS/IS 384

Some schools are also holding marches and speak outs. For example:

* At 3:10 PM, parents, teachers and students at PS 58 in Brooklyn will march up Smith St. and meet up with the school community at PS 261.

* At 7:45 PM, Brooklyn New School and Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies will gather, hold signs, have noisemakers and write letters to their electeds.

Full times and locations here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brooklyn Heights Library Sale Dissected at CAC Meeting; People Still Upset

Photo by MK Metz
Pretty much everything you wanted to know about the sale and development of the Brooklyn Heights branch library to the Hudson Cos was discussed in incredible detail Monday night, though there were noticeable gaps.

These included the lack of an updated rendering, now that the building is "taller and skinnier."

Some new information came out, via the Brooklyn Eagle:

- Saint Ann's School may be taking a below-level floor, and is in negotiation to transfer air rights

- The affordable housing component of the project will be built in Clinton Hill

- Public design workshops will be held soon

- Accessible interim library space will be provided at Our Lady of Lebanon Church

- No one knows how much space the Business Library will take up when it moves to Grand Army Plaza

- A lot of residents are still really, really upset about the plan

- P.S. 8 is 142% overcapacity, and distant schools are also packed

- SHOCKING: “SCA did not want a school at this site because the feeling was that school buses would clog the whole area all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge."

Library officials met with blunt questions, cautious support at Brooklyn Heights meeting: Brooklyn Eagle

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pier 6 Lawsuit on Hold; '91 Photo Refutes Cop Claim; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 lawsuit on hold pending talks, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

- This summer, the long-time directors of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Brooklyn Museum will both step down. Brooklyn Magazine does exit interviews.

- Daily News photo from '91 shows ex-NYPD detective with man he says he didn't remember...

- With CB2’s withdrawal, there are questions about the role of the Brooklyn Bridge Park advisory council, says the Brooklyn Eagle.

- 6 firefighters injured fighting that huge 4-alarm blaze in Mill Basin on Monday, reports the Daily News.

- Police caught that woman who escaped police custody at Brookdale Hospital, CBS says.

- Known as “zennes,” male belly dancers make a comeback in Istanbul, reports the WSJ. Their costumes are almost identical to those worn by their female counterparts.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Two Guys Taking Photos Outside Brooklyn Synagogue Turned Out to Be ... Two Guys Taking Photos Outside Brooklyn Synagogue

On Saturday, Brooklyn officials put out the word that two Middle Eastern men were observed taking photos outside a synagogue at 1801 Ocean Parkway near Avenue R.

Thise above video footage was posted on YouTube by Edmond Safra Synagogue. The men were pronounced "suspicious."

Council David Greenfield urged people to call 911 if they saw the men. Reports came in of the men filming outside other synagogues. Police stepped up patrols.

On Monday, police sources told CBS2 the men were from Connecticut, and they were in Brooklyn just to meet friends for dinner. The men told police they had time to kill, and were just walking around taking pictures.

The men have no ties to terror groups, police told CBS.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Brooklyn Heights Library Meeting on Monday, March 9, to Discuss Contoversial Sale

A rendering of the project by the developer Hudson Co. Photo courtesy of BPL
A meeting of the Brooklyn Heights Library's Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) takes place on Monday, March 9 at 6:30 PM in the library auditorium.

The topic will be the sale of the library branch on Cadman Plaza West to a developer, and details about the planned tower. BPL President Linda Johnson will be speaking.

The library sold the branch to developer the Hudson Companies for $52 million. Marvel Architects is the designer.

The BPL says the sale will finance necessary renovations, improve service, and create new housing.

Opponents say: The replacement library will be smaller than what is currently there (thought the library says it will be nicer and it amounts to the same usable space); the Business Library section will move out of the neighborhood; public property will be transferred (yet again) into the hands of a private developer; and the additional residents (from this and a number of other large projects) will cause stress to neighborhood infrastructure like schools.

The Brooklyn Heights Association says about the proposal:

"At the BHA, our board has responded with both concern and cautious optimism to their selection. We believe that the project, as described in the original Request for Proposals, has the potential to make a significant contribution. We want to see a distinctive and welcoming public building that provides a graceful transition from the civic buildings on Cadman Plaza to the residences of Brooklyn Heights and a library that is a visual gateway to the neighborhood."

Hudson/Marvel must provide interim library space during construction of the new library. The interim space will be in Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, 113 Remsen Street. 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

March Over Brooklyn Bridge Commemorates Selma, 50 Years Later

Photos by MK Metz, McBrooklyn
More than 500 marchers crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma, Alabama, which came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

Leading the march were Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, left, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, Dr. Karen Daughtry, and Sen. Jesse Hamilton. (photo above)

“We’re fighting now for not just civil rights but human rights,” BP Adams said.

Young members of the NAACP carried the banned over the bridge.

The marchers ended up at Brooklyn Borough Hall, where they watched President Barack Obama's address to the nation from Selma.

More photos here.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Work on Main Street Park in DUMBO Kicks Off Despite Snow

Work has kicked off on the expanded Main Street Park at the north end of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The section seen in the top photo is roughly the area shown in the rendering above. To the right is the DEP building, which is being renovated to include an interpretive nature center, restrooms and a park maintenance facility, including a garbage compactor. North of that will be a bouldering wall.

Other projects being planned for Brooklyn Bridge Park this year can be seen here.

Top photo by MK Metz
Rendering courtesy of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and Architecture Research Office

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Get Ready for Snow, Black Ice in NYC on Thursday

Photo: MK Metz
Here we go again! The city is expected to get  4 to 7 inches of snow on Thursday.

Because of refreezing, expect black ice, forecasters say.  Temperatures Thursday are expected to be in the 20s. 



According to NBC, New York City has issued more than 10,000 tickets to property owners for failing to clear snow and ice from sidewalks this winter.

NOAA says:

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Free Pizza on Subway: NYers Suspect It's a Trap

Improv Everywhere boarded a packed E train to hand out free pizza slices, PIX 11 reports.

"A group of men wearing uniforms from New York Pizza Suprema in Manhattan handed out slices of pizza to commuters," PIX 11 says.

Roxanne Robles, who supplied the video to PIX 11, said that “none of the New Yorkers” accepted the slices, but “all of the tourists did.”

Poor fools.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NYC Schools to Close on Muslim Holidays; Farina Gives a Shout Out to Debbie Almontaser

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina (2nd from left). Photo by Demetrius Freeman, Mayoral Photo Office

NYC's Muslim kids so longer have to feel left out during major holidays:

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced on Wednesday that city schools will close for Eid al-Adha next September. (Summer school will also close for Eid-al-Fitr in 2016.)

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Fariña told reporters that the city has had “unbelievable support from the Muslim community and I want to particularly single out Debbie Almontaser and her family.”

It's nice to see Ms. Almontaser finally get some respect from New York City, after the shameful way she was treated in 2007 by then-Mayor Bloomberg, who caved into extremist right-wing demands and removed her from the school she founded.

Eid al-Adha meaning "Festival of the sacrifice." According to Wikipedia, Eid al-Adha honors the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his promised son, Ishmael (Ismail)a, as an act of submission to God's command, before God then intervened.


Previous mentions of Almontaser

- Almontaser Gets Her Story
- Brooklyn's Arabic School to Hit the Road Again?
- Judge Rules Against Ex-Principal of Brooklyn Arabic School 
- Arabic School, Taxi Strike, and Other Brooklyn News in Brief
- Brooklyn in Brief -- Weekend Edition
- Rally in Support of Brooklyn's Arabic School Principal
- Brilliant or Crazy? Jewish Principal Appointed for Brooklyn's Arabic School
- Brooklyn's Arabic School Principal Resigns in 'I-Word' Flap
- Arabic-Themed School Finds a Home
- Brooklyn in Brief, Monday P.M.
- DOE to 'Cram' Arab-Themed School into Slope Elementary School

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Four Weird Things About Abid Naseer, the Alleged Brooklyn Terrorist

Naseer allegedly planned to attack the NYC subway system. Photo: MK Metz
A jury in Brooklyn is deliberating the case of 28-year-old Abid Naseer, accused of plotting to help Al Qaeda bomb a shopping mall and planning to attack the New York City subway syste.

Naseer, a graduate of Flushing High School in Queens, was arrested in the United Kingdom .

He plans to argue that he was only trying to find a wife on the Internet, not collaborators.

It soon becomes obvious, however, that something is "off" about Naseer.

1: Naseer (who is representing himself) constantly refers to himself in the third person .

2: He was tracked throughout his communication with at least nine different email accounts: "All owned by men posing as women," New York magazine reports.

3: He used a code in which women’s names substituted for bomb materials.

4:  During the trial, MI5 officers gave evidence "while wearing wigs and makeup to hide their identities."

Whole thing sounds a little ... odd.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Four Indicted for Kidnapping 13-Year-Olds; Brooklyn Is Totally Unaffordable; and More Briefs

- Four people have been named in a 32-count indictment in connection with the 2014 kidnapping of two 13-year-old girls in Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Groups from oppressive countries and authoritarian regimes are among the candidates looking to acquire the Brooklyn Nets from a Russian oligarch.  [Sports Illustrated]

- Emotions ran high at a town hall meeting on illegal home conversions, a growing crisis in Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights, and Bay Ridge. [Bensonhurst Bean]

- This map shows you how unaffordable it is to live in NYC. Brooklyn is the worst, of course. [Curbed]

- Pacific Park/Atlantic Yards’ first condo building, 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, will launch sales this summer. Prices will start roughly in the range of $550,000 and go all the way up to around $5,500,000. [Brownstoner]

- Boerum Hill resident Ethan Hawke’s movie “Maggie’s Plan” will be shooting on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights tomorrow and Wednesday, screwing up parking as usual. [BHB]

 - Friggin' inspirational Brooklyn guy. [WYDNKBYANM]

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Monday, March 2, 2015

PERSONS OF INTEREST: The Brooklyn - Berlin Connection

Graffiti, street art, and the D.I.Y. scenes of Berlin and Brooklyn are coming together with the show PERSONS OF INTEREST.

 PERSONS OF INTEREST is a portraiture show appearing March 14 - June 15 in the street level windows of the future Urban Nation HQ in Berlin.

The organizors (Urban Nation and Brooklyn Street Art) say the "select group of important Brooklyn street artists ... represent a cross section of styles and techniques seen on walls, in doorways, and everywhere else on the streets of Brooklyn (and NYC) during the last decade and a half."

Full release here.

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Brooklyn Has More Playground Lawsuits than Any Other Borough

Claimstat map by NYC. Red dot = 5+ claims.
 New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a "ClaimStat Alert" on Sunday focusing on the rise in playground-related personal injury claims against the city.

Comptroller Stringer’s analysis found that from FY05-FY14, there were 577 playground-related personal injury claims filed against NYC.

Brooklyn had by far the most claims (seen on the map aabove) filed during this time period -- 209 -- dwarfing Manhattan (123), the Bronx (111), Queens (111), and Staten Island (23).

Stroud and Slope Park Playground in Brooklyn had 6 claims; Sunset Park had 5.

Claims have risen 53 percent over the last ten years, from a 45 claims in FY05 to 69 claims in FY14. The city has paid out a total of $20,644,448 over the ten year period studied.

Stringer wrotee a letter asking the Department of Parks to bring playground surfaces and equipment into a state of good repair.

Common claims include:

- Improper surfacing (including missing or defecting matting), cracked or broken surfaces, holes in the ground, and rubber mats that burn too hot in summer months.

- Insufficient maintenance and defective equipment, such as swings and slides;

- Improper playground design; and

- Protruding nails and/or debris

Full ClaimStat Alert 

Interactive map

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Crown Heights Assembly Race; Brooklyn UFT Charter School Closing; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- 'Gadfly' gets the nomination for Brooklyn Crown Heights Assembly race. [Observer]

- Citi Bike releases map of Williamsburg and Greenpoint expansion -- Nothing in Park Slope for a couple years. [Streetsblog]

- U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch with former Mayor David Dinkins, in Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Controversial UFT Charter School in Brooklyn to close elementary and middle grades. [NY1]

- Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn to speak at Brooklyn Historical Society Thursday: This Thursday evening, March 5…[ BHB]

- A trustee of Brooklyn Hospital Center has taken over as temporary CEO; Dr. Becker is off to profitable work.  [Brooklyn Eagle]

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NYC OEM: Travel Advisory for Monday's Rush Hour

Photo: MK Metz
The New York City Office of Emergency Management issued a travel advisory for a "wintry mix of snow and freezing rain" through Monday morning, March 2.

The National Weather Service has also issued a Winter Weather Advisory through 7:00 a.m. Monday.

Mayor de Blasio urged everyone to be careful during the commute.  The Department of Sanitation has sent out 500 salt spreaders.

The ice and snow is expected to taper off before Monday's morning commute, but untreated roads and walkways are expected to still be slippery.

For more information see this press release from NYC.

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