Monday, June 29, 2015

Big Rent Vote Tonight; Real Estate Doubts Creep In; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board is scheduled to vote on Monday evening on whether to increase rents for more than one million rent-stabilized apartments. [NY Times]

- Did you miss the Make It in Brooklyn Innovation Summit? See video here. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Four people were stabbed when a crazed man pulled a knife in a Bay Ridge bar early Sunday. [Daily News]

- The mother of seven children who died in a March fire in their Brooklyn home was released from the hospital. [Forward]

- NYC bill would require some bathrooms to be gender-neutral. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Looks like there might be some funny business on those rescored Regents exams at Automotive High School in Greenpoint. [NY Post]

- [Blast from the past: 2006] Some doubts creeping in on Brooklyn real estate, says broker -- who says people are asking, “Am I really going to pay $600,000 to live next to an abandoned building?” [TRD]

- This week, Guernsey’s will auction the spectacular World War I poster collection of Colonel Edward H. McCrahon, a Brooklyn-born soldier passionate about the Allied cause. [Guernsey's]

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Rainbows Galore at NYC Gay Pride Parade

Photos by MK Mets
More than a million marchers and supporters waving rainbow flags and wearing rainbow colors flooded the streets of New York City Sunday for this years Gay Pride Parade.

 The mood was joyful as marchers celebrated the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. The parade started at noon and was still running more than three hours later.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

NYC Fireworks Tonight Celebrate Gay Pride

Fireworks going up on the west side of Manhattan tonight (Sunday, June 28) visible from NYC and New Jersey (and not so well in Brooklyn) at 9:45 PM are part of the NYC gay Pride celebration, sponsored by Heritage of Pride.

They're being shot off in the Hudson River Safety Zone south of Pier 40.

Heritage of Pride calls the fireworks "the world’s longest-running LGBT fireworks display over the Hudson River."

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Friday, June 26, 2015

New York State Might Consider a New Environmental Study for Pier 6

Asymptote Architecture
Directors of the Empire State Development Corp. (ESD) "left the door open" to a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Pier 6 development planned in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

Community groups and officials have been pushing for an SEIS in light of the "exploding development, overcrowded schools and changed conditions in Brooklyn" since the original EIS was issued 10 years ago.

More at the Eagle:

ESD leaves door open to new environmental review of Pier 6 development [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Brooklyn's 'Madison Ave.' and More Brooklyn Briefs

- There goes the neighborhood: The Daily News proclaims: "Court Street is quickly becoming Brooklyn’s own Madison Ave."

- Brooklyn leads the city in disgusting grocery stores. [Brokelyn]

- City’s new budget allots $57M for ‘pork’ spending. And guess which Councilmen chipped in to fund a controversial nonprofit founded by disgraced ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez? [NY Post]

- Police-chokehold victim Eric Garner’s nephew was shot Thursday afternoon during a robbery attempt in Coney Island. [NY Post]

- Bruce Ratner and David Walentas were the old-timers in the inaugural “Make it in Brooklyn Innovation Summit" yesterday. [CapitalNY]

- Nets acquire 4 new players on draft night. [Brooklyn Nets]

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fireworks You'll See From Brooklyn/ NYC/ NJ Thursday Night Sponsored by Artificial Intelligence Company

Those fireworks you might see and hear tonight (Thursday evening, June 25, 9:20 p.m.) from the west side of Brooklyn, plus New York City and NJ, are being launched off Liberty Island.

According to NYC, the fireworks are sponsored by IPSof, creators of Amelia, called  "the first cognitive agent who understands like a human."

According to IPSof, "Amelia, our cognitive knowledge worker, interfaces on human terms. She is a virtual agent who understands what people ask – even what they feel – when they call for service."

The company "leverages artificial intelligence to change the world."

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LICH Act Passes Assembly; Sen. Sampson in Court; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson ‘thought he was above the law’: prosecutor. [Daily News]

- A Brooklyn family is grateful for their neighbors, Good Samaritans seen on cell phone video risking their lives to rescue them from a massive fire. [7Online]

- NY Assembly passes ‘LICH Act,' designed to prevent another hospital closing debacle like LICH in Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Al Sharpton to protest Brooklyn street named for Confederate army leader. [Business Insider]

- Ratner unveils design of 8-acre park at Brooklyn’s Pacific Park mega-development. [Daily News]

- Brooklyn pols blast plans to close VA Medical Center unit in Bay Ridge. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- New Brooklyn Nets practice facility to open in February. [PIX11]

- The Brooklyn Peace and Justice Fair, initiated by Brooklyn For Peace and organized by Brooklyn based progressive and community organizations, will take place from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday. [Brooklyn Reader]

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Meeting About Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 Development Thursday Morning at ESDC

Courtesy Asymptote Architecture
The next ESDC Board meeting concerning Pier 6 development at Brooklyn Bridge Park takes place Thursday, June 25 at 9 a.m.

If you didn't RSVP, it's too late to attend in person, the meeting will be livestreamed here.

The meeting is part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation's (BBPDC) plan to change the park’s General Park Plan (GPP) to allow affordable housing to be built in the park. Two towers are planned for the southern end of the park near Pier 6.

More information about the Pier 6 meeting and a wrap up of Monday's kickoff meeting at the Brooklyn Eagle.

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Fairway to Open 2nd Brooklyn Store; Time Inc. Shipping in Jobs and Dogs; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Fairway to open a second Brooklyn store. [TRD]

- Opponents of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 highrises: ‘Build only to support park!’ [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp plans to ship 300+ jobs to Brooklyn before year’s end -- and will also welcome employees’ dogs into the work area. [NY Post]

- A 47-year-old man was found dead in a car in Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon — with two parking tickets affixed to his car. [Daily News]

- Literary walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park tonight. [BHB]

- Outdoor concert series launching next month in Downtown Brooklyn. [DNAinfo]

- Center for an Urban Future: Creative biz in Brooklyn grew by 125 percent vs 8 percent for Manhattan. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- The state Senate has passed a bill that would prevent NYC bus drivers from being arrested at the scene of an accident. [NY1]

- Here's how to check if your bottled water is part of a voluntary recall of 14 brands due to a possible E. coli contamination. [7online]

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why You Haven't Seen Hillary Clinton Around the Ol' Brooklyn Neighborhood

Hillary as Sec. of State
Remember the one time Hillary Clinton walked down Montague Street and everyone shot selfies? And then you never saw her again?

Hillary, it turns out, has been spending most of her time in NYC at her Manhattan office near Times Square -- not at her much ballyhooed Brooklyn Heights office.

Politico notes that in keeping with the “everyday Americans” theme of her campaign, cardboard boxes double as printer stands and there is a hand-me-down refrigerator in the office. 

Too downscale?

Vanity Fair calls Clinton’s Brooklyn H.Q. "a scrappy place" and muses, "The former First Lady, senator, and secretary of state has a hard time playing a convincing everywoman."

Hillary Clinton: Too cool for Brooklyn? [Politico]

Why Isn’t Hillary Clinton Using Her Brooklyn Headquarters? [Vanity Fair]

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Sen. Sampson's Trial Begins Monday; Brooklyn Bridge Park Affordable Housing; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The trial of New York state Sen. John Sampson is set to begin Monday with jury selection in Brooklyn federal court. [WSJ]

- Empire State Dev. meeting Monday to consider affordable housing at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Brooklyn man slashes car with machete while driving in Holland Tunnel. [amNY]

- NYC Dept. of Homeless Services is trying to force Brooklyn’s Porter Shelter, run by the Doe Fund, to take in three dozen sex offenders -- in what the Post calls a "perv dump." [NY Post]

- Junior's -- Brooklyn's third generation of famed cheesecake bakers -- has moved its main baking operations to Burlington City, NJ. []

- She was born before there was a Brooklyn College, and has seen 20 different presidents sworn into office. The world's oldest confirmed person lives in Brooklyn. [Inquisitr]

- Philip Barry, AKA "Brooklyn's Bernie Madoff," was convicted for securities fraud, but his 800 victims received zilch. Now 30 of them have now filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court against allegedly complicit banks. [RecordOnline]

- Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the death of a Brooklyn woman who was found unconscious in her apartment Saturday. [NBC]

- Two NYPD detectives killed in their patrol car in December were honored Saturday in two ceremonies in Brooklyn. [NY1]

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fireworks Over Brooklyn, NYC, Liberty Island Sunday, June 21

Photo: MK Metz
Those fireworks you might catch from Brooklyn, Manhattan or New Jersey on Sunday, June 21 sometime between 10:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. are being shot off from the Liberty Island Safety Zone, near the Statue of Liberty.

Some good viewing spots in Brooklyn include the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Red Hook and the Brooklyn Bridge.

According to NYC, the sponsor of the event is Quench. (Is this Quench Gum?)

(While some listings have the show starting at 10:40 p.m., NYC lists them as kicking off at 11:30 p.m.)

We don't know exactly why Quench is firing them off, but it is the first day of summer -- so celebrate!

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Happy Yoga Day / Summer Solstice / Make Music Day

International Yoga Day
How is your Summer Solstice/ Yoga Day/ Make Music Day going?

The United Nations General Assembly declared that June 21st is the International Day of Yoga, while Mother Nature declared June 21 to be the longest day of the year (Summer Solstice).

The UN held a global yoga celebration today-- in New York City a Solstice yoga event was held in Times Square, with dignitaries from the UN and the Government of India in attendance.

Meanwhile, Make Music New York held pop-up concerts, jam sessions and musical events across the city -- many in Brooklyn, including GroupMuse in Prosspect Park.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Floating Barge Bar Opening Soon in Greenpoint; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Lunchtime at the Arch in DUMBO. Photo: MK Metz
 - Bobby Love, a 64-year-old Brooklyn dad, had a heartfelt sendoff Thursday morning before heading back to prison after escaping nearly 40 years ago. [Daily News]

- BAMcinemaFest, called the city’s best showcase for independent films, started Wednesday night. [BAM]

- Greenpoint's floating barge bar (and community play space and aquatic center) will be serving booze soon. [Eater]

- Dear Lord: A '90s Fest is coming to Williamsburg in September. [Newsweek]

- Transit cop stabbed; shoots and kills suspect in Brooklyn. [amNY]

- The Brooklyn Veterans Affairs Medical Center plans on closing its 12 West Wing for 15 months, resulting in the loss of 25 acute medical and surgical beds. [Queens Chronicle]

- "The Fence," a very, very long installation showcasing the work of 40 photographers, has reopened for its fourth year in Brooklyn Bridge Park. [Paper Mag]

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This Brooklyn Guy Is Running for President

Yeah, this guy. Photo courtesy Michael Szczepanski
Meet Dr. Michael Szczepanski, AKA Doc Mike, a Bay Ridge podiatrist who has declared his candidacy for the GOP nomination for President of the United States.

He learned all he needed to know about filing for the job by reading a Washington Post article titled, “How to run for president in 4 easy steps.”

“Other people are running. Why not me?” he told the Brooklyn Eagle, which has the whole story.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Packed Brooklyn Heights Library ULURP Hearing Fizzles Out After Four and a Half Hours and No Vote

Photo by MK Metz
 No one said it was going to be easy.

After a four-and-a-half hour hearing and "passionate" testimony from scores of residents and organizations, Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee failed to reach an affirmative vote on Brooklyn Public Library's plan to raze the beloved Brooklyn Heights branch and build a 36-story luxury condo.

They say it looks like the Flatiron. We say it looks like a monolith. Courtesy of Marvel Architects
 It's likely the committee will get back together soon to mull over and approve the plan. But many sticking points were brought up in Wednesday night's seemingly endless testimony.

Housing advocates weren't thrilled that the affordable housing components will be built in less expensive neighborhoods.

Other concerns included overcrowded P.S. 8, the shrinkage of the library, BPL's lack of transparency, and the whole real estate give-away aspect of the plan. There's also a disturbing lack of faith in BPL and the city, and the sneaking suspicion that once the fabulous Business Library is sent to the wilds of Grand Army Plaza, it will melt into nooks and crannies and then disappear.

Still, some groups back the plan, including the Brooklyn Heights Association and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, which “believes the plans are well thought out and will benefit the community.”

Full story:
Brooklyn Heights Library CB2 hearing ends in stalemate after hours of testimony [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Brooklyn's Offensive Overdevelopment; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Lincoln Restler, policy advisor to Mayor de Blasio, called Eliot Spitzer's plan to develop three towers with 856 apartments on the South Williamsburg waterfront "offensive." [Curbed]

- People with outstanding warrants for low-level crimes can get amnesty at 2-day Brooklyn event. [Daily News]

- Brooklyn Book Festival announces star-studded lineup for 10th anniversary. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- See how Brooklyn became overrun by towers in just 7 years. [Curbed]

- Brooklyn office developers wish their projects were even bigger. [TRD]

- Why cities should stop trying to be the next Brooklyn. [Grist]

That's it for Brian Williams as NBC news anchor. [AP]

- New 10 dollar bill to feature a woman. [The Hill]

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Brooklyn Heights Cinema Makeover OK'd; Library ULURP Hearing Tonight

 - Landmarks Preservation Commission okays makeover of Brooklyn Heights Cinema building. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- 4 shot, 1 slashed as violence erupts outside D Avenue Sports Bar on Flatbush Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. [Daily News]

- Brooklyn residential developers mourn 421a. [TRD]

- Hearing tonight: Brooklyn Heights Library’s redevelopment has moved forward into the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). (PHOTOS) [Brooklyn Eagle]

- NYC student arrested for plotting ISIS-inspired terrorist attack. [IBTimes]

- NYPD cop rescues adorable kitten in Brooklyn and poses for adorable photo. [1GreenPlanet]

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Brooklyn's Save The View Now "Deeply Disappointed" by Pierhouse Decision

Photo by MK Metz
On Friday, Judge Knipel ruled that developers and Brooklyn Bridge Park didn't violate any laws in allowing the Pierhouse hotel/residential complex to be built taller than previously agreed, obscuring the view of part of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade.

The massive Pierhouse, plopped in Brooklyn Bridge Park, looks too big for the available space -- something even the judge noted. But the thing is still legal, he ruled.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle: While an understanding with the community on height limits may have been reached, those limits were not incorporated into the Modified General Project Plan (MGPP), Knipel wrote.

Knipel also ruled that the plaintiffs waited too long to sue, because the action was subject to a four-month Statute of Limitations.

Plaintiff Save The View Now says: "We are deeply disappointed in the outcome, and strongly disagree with the Judge's findings, most notably that the agreements reached with the community in 2005/2006 are not legally enforceable. What is the purpose of negotiating and reaching agreements with the public if they are not meant to be binding?"

Full story at the Eagle.

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Brooklyn Guy's Gun Goes Off at the Waldorf, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Photos: Smallest Penis In Brooklyn contest celebrates micro dongs. [Gothamist]

- Groom’s Brooklyn cousins arrested after one accidentally discharged a gun in his pants pocket at Waldorf Astoria wedding. [Boston News Time]

- "Grass fed tuna salad": A Boerum Hill bodega has created “artisanal prices” for everyday products in response to a steep rent hike that will likely force it to relocate. [BuzzFeed]

- An early morning gunfight on Flatbush Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens Saturday killed Jeffrey Middleton as he sat inside his late-model white Ford Fusion. [Daily News]

- A Brooklyn street was named in honor of slain Detective Wenjian Liu. [CBS]

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What That Music Was in Cadman Plaza Park Saturday: Chinese Christian Herald Crusades

The sweet-sounding songs emanating from Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday was by musicians from the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades.

Photos: MK Metz
Church members walked from Columbus Park in Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge, to raise funds for the involved churches.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stringer, James: Don't Let Your Landlord Harass You Out of Your NYC Apartment After Rent Regulations Expire Monday

Unless the state legislature passes new legislation, the laws that protect rent regulated apartments expire on Monday. Many New Yorkers are panicking, because this iss 47 percent of New York City's housing stock.

Comptroller Scott Stringer advises:

* If you have a lease or have been offered a new lease by your landlord – do not panic. These documents are legally binding, and your rent will not increase immediately.

* If you are one of the few New Yorkers whose lease expires while there are no laws protecting regulated units . . . stay in your apartment and not give in to pressure or harassment from your landlord. The last time rent laws expired – for 48 hours in 2011 – the new regulations were enacted retroactively, protecting those whose leases had expired when there were no regulations. If the rent laws expire on June 15, it is within the power of New York State’s lawmakers to pass similarly retroactive measures.

*If you experience harassment from your landlord – or have questions about how any of these changes affect you and your home – call Stringer's Community Action Center at (212) 669-3916.

Public Advocate Letitia James gives the same advice and says, "We will provide legal help for ANY tenant facing harassment." Her help line is: 212-669-7250

UPDATE: @JimmyVielkind tweeted:
"A bit of news: #nyassembly Speaker @CarlHeastie says his house will pass two-day extension of rent regulations tomorrow."

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Power Out in Bushwick / E. Williamsburg Friday: More Than 1,400 Con Ed Customers in the Dark

Click to expand. Courtesy Con Ed
 Con Edison reports that an entire section of Bushwick/ East Williamsburg in Brooklyn has lost power this morning.

Entire blocks of buildings in an area bounded by Flushing Avenue, Evergreen Avenue, Start Street and Irving Avenue have gone dark.

Con Ed will be working in the area all day, and expects to have most of them back on line by 5 p.m. today.

 No word yet on what caused the outage.

Streets involved include: George Street, Melrose Street, Jeffeerson Street, Troutman Street, Start Street, Suydam Street, Knickerbocker Avenue, Wilson Avenue, and Central Avenue.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cobble Hill Residents Organize to Fight Fortis' LICH Plan

Credit: Williams New York
Cobble Hill residents gathered at a meeting called by the Cobble Hill Association (CHA) Tuesday night to discuss the plans revealed by Fortis Property Group for the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, residents are organizing to fight the plan.

Committees are being formed to address legal and environmental issues, as well as publicity, including social media and fundraising. See more at the Eagle:

Cobble Hill residents vow to fight Fortis plans for LICH site [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Old School Remix at Fulton Mall, Part(y) 2 Tonight

Miss the party on Fulton Street last night?

Tonight is Night 2 of the Fulton Mall Remix, an "extravaganza of music, art, dance and fashion celebrating Fulton Mall’s rich cultural history and Downtown Brooklyn’s legacy as an urban music and fashion mecca, at Albee Square."

Wednesday’s line-up includes Kwikstep (a.k.a. DJ KS 360), Full Circle and Cut Master DC.

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More Affordable Apartments Going In at City Point in Brooklyn

Courtesy City Point
 The developers of City Point are increasing the number of affordable apartments at the mega-development in Downtown Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

Because of a deal the builders just finalized with the city, a whopping 80% of the units in City Point's Tower 1 rental-apartment building will be earmarked for low- and middle-income residents - up from 50% originally planned.

 Affordable housing is a top priority for Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Developers increase the affordable-apartment tally in City Point's Tower 1 [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It's Getting Hot: De Blasio, Bratton Launch 'Summer All Out' Crime Fighting Program

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office
With violent crime inching up, Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bratton announced the launch of "Summer All Out" program Wednesday.

De Blasio said officers would be focused on "high-crime areas across the city," and said it worked well last year, especially in Brooklyn's 77th Precinct. (Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Weeksville)

Last year, the 77th saw the greatest drop in overall crime, with a 24.8 percent decrease.

The NYPD will temporarily reassign 330 administrative officers to boost patrols in 10 high-crime precincts and four high-crime police service areas. The NYPD will also, with community partners, specifically target gangs and street crews.

"Summer All Out has a proven track record of success, and utilizes our best tactics - from state-of-the-art crime data analysis to dedicated on-the-ground officer patrols - to help keep all our city's residents safe and protected throughout the summer months," de Blasio said in a statement.

Bratton is still fighting off a flap that occurred when the Guardian reported that he said hiring black officers was hard because so many have spent time in jail.

“We’re asking, we’re not even asking we’re demanding, a retraction and a correction because the story was a total misrepresentation of the original story,” Bratton said.

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Brooklyn PTA President Steals $14K; Brooklyn's Lost Trolley Glory; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Bratton: Recruiting black cops is hard because so many have criminal histories. [Time]

- Brooklyn PTA president busted for stealing $14,000 from school account. [Daily News]

- Photos: BP Eric Adams congratulates the refined members of the 75-year-old Brooklyn Heights Garden Club, as they announce their window box contest winners. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- 1930s trolley map shows how cleanly and efficiently connected Brooklyn used to be, but is no more. [Gothamist]

- Brooklyn Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte came under intense criticism from a segment of the Jewish community after she voiced her fierce opposition for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed education tax credit. [Haitian Times]

- Brooklyn-born rapper Pumpkinhead, an underground hip-hop king, died Tuesday morning in NJ at 39. He attended Park Slope’s PS 282. [Daily News]

- A 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the shooting that killed a 29-year-old Russian Jewish man in the Midwood section of Brooklyn three months ago. [JP Updates]

- Photos: A Brooklynite's pilgrimage to the top of the World Trade Center. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Gotham Gazette sums up the main issues on the agenda in the NYS legislature's last 7 days. These include the 421-A tax break for developers, and Mayoral control of public schools. 

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What Killed the Whale at Coney Island; Bitcoin Robbery; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Girl, 13, writes statement to man who shot and paralyzed her: ‘I have ... endured more pain in my short life than most people.' [Daily News]

- Dead whale found washed up on Coney Island beach was killed by a ship strike. [PIX11]

- Legendary singer and Brooklyn native Ronnie Gilbert, who made musical history with the Weavers beginning in the late 1940s, has died. [CBSlocal]

- Take a look at NYC’s only non-gentrifying neighborhoods. (Hint: two in Brooklyn, one in Staten Island.) [TRD]

- Man robbed of $1,100 worth of bitcoin at gunpoint in Brooklyn. [IBTimes]

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About those Pianos Popping Up in Public Spaces in Brooklyn

This piano by Jessica Browne-White is in the Archway in DUMBO.
Sing for Hope pianos have been placed placed in public areas all over Brooklyn through June 21, reports the Brooklyn Eagle.

The Brooklyn locations where residents can find pianos include: Bay Ridge’s Shore Road Park, Sunset Park in Sunset Park, the DUMBO Archway, Grand Army Plaza, Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brownsville Rec Center in Brownsville and the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park.

Sing for Hope invites all music lovers to play a tune.

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Green-Wood Turns Into 'Dark Wonderland' at Night

This is Week 2 of Green-Wood Cemetery's "Dark Wonderland" performances, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland.

Nighttime performances take place every Thursday and Friday from 7:30 pm to 10 pm during the month of June.

Here's the description:

"On the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s novel, "Dark Wonderland" is a four-week showcase for New York’s most visionary performing artists to hold a modern-day looking glass to our city and the world beyond, through spectacular presentations in theater, dance, and music. The series is held at Green-Wood Cemetery, a sprawling and historic city of immense power, and curated and produced by MAPP International Productions, a nonprofit producer of major performing arts projects that spark social change."

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Bill Murray to Lead Poetry Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge Monday Night, and More Brooklyn Briefs

Mentors and their high school mentees dance at the annual iMentor picnic in Cadman Plaza Park. Photo by MK Metz

- Bill Murray is going to lead hundreds of poetry lovers and poets across the Brooklyn Bridge in an on-the-go poetry reading Monday at 6:30 p.m. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Brooklyn DA helps nab crook who stole woman's wallet. [WSJ]

- 1,000 new Citi Bikes getting redesign by Olympic racing bike designer. [Daily News]

- Fire at NY Methodist hospital in Park Slope on Saturday diverts ambulances. [NY Post]

- Five hospitals in Brooklyn will be hit of the nurses union approves a strike. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Fascinating look at the sex life of Hasidic Jews. [Salon]

- Williamsburg's Northside Festival brings hundreds of performing artists, film screenings, art installations. [MetroUS]

- Brownstone in Carroll Gardens repeatedly defaced by gay slurs. [TRD]

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Latest Trouble at Brooklyn's Poly Prep: Students Plied with Booze, Cigars and a Hooker on School-Financed Trip to Cuba

Two seniors from Poly Prep Country Day School in Dyker Heights "shared a hooker, booze and cigars on a school-financed Cuban getaway hosted by a top school official," according to the Daily News.

A lawsuit filed last week alleges the dirty doings in Cuba were covered up by the school “to protect a ‘high profile’ celebrity parent of a student who attended the Cuba trip.”

According to the New York Post, social-media photos appear to show Jesse Bongiovi (Jon Bon Jovi's son) and his best friend from Poly Prep "puffing away on stogies and soaking up the rays from rooftop patios overlooking the Caribbean — a trip in which the teens were plied with booze, cigars and a hooker on the Brooklyn school’s dime."

Two trustees worth millions/billions have pulled their support from the preppy private school.

In December 2012, Poly Prep settled a lawsuit claiming football coach Phil Foglietta sexually abused hundreds of boys over a 25-year period, while school officials covering up the abuse.

Photo: "Polyclock." Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

8 Restaurants You Must Visit Before You Leave Brooklyn

The River Cafe. Photo by MK Metz
You've been to Farmacy and Smorgasburg. But before you pack up and leave Brooklyn for the wilds of Detroit or the chill of North Dakota ... have you eaten at some of Brooklyn's most legendary eateries? Can you imagine getting to Des Moines without ever visiting Di Fara Pizza or Peter Luger?

Here are a few suggestions for some of Brooklyn's most classic tables, in no particular order. (There are probably dozens more.) Pick out a few to visit before you go.

Di Fara Pizza  has been called sublime, pizza is at its best, and the best pizza in New York City. The New York Times called the restaurant "one of the most acclaimed and sought-after pizza shops in New York City." Get it while you can.

Randazzo’s Clam Bar is called one of the Sheepshead Bay’s most legendary culinary staples by Ned Berke of Sheepshead Bites. The clams come daily from Blue Point, Long Island. Littleneck ($8.50 half dozen / $15.00 dozen). Cherry stones ($9.50 half dozen / $16.00 dozen).

The romantic River Cafe, tucked under the Brooklyn Bridge, serves some of the finest food in the city, with first rate service and gorgeous views. Make the night complete by pairing your meal with a concert at Barge Music, just across the pier.

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is Brooklyn’s only three Michelin-starred restaurant. You eat at the kitchen counter in an 18- seat space and enjoy the cuisine of Chef Cesar Ramirez. They are currently booking reservations six weeks in advance, so plan ahead.

Peter Luger Steakhouse: Do you eat meat? Then you better visit New York City's top-rated streak restaurant (with its dry-aged porterhouse), the legendary Peter Luger. Peter Luger opened in Williamsburg in 1887. 

Even if you don't like cheesecake, you have to try Junior's famous rich, creamy version at least once. Junior's is known as New York City's best cheesecake. (Their other food isn't bad, either.)

Queen Italian restaurant on Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn is a must-try. It serves honest, traditional southern-Italian food, has impeccable service and has been first-rate for three generations. 

A Russian classic: Tatiana is Brighton Beach's hot spot for Russians. GQ says Tatiana is what would happen if a Muscovite club impresario ate 'shrooms with an oligarch-gangster and the choreographer from Cirque du Soleil. Tatiana's own website says it's "Sex in the City mixed in Sleepless on Brighton Beach." In other words, a must see.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cops Catch Man Climbing Up Cable of Brooklyn Bridge Late Wednesday Night. UPDATE: And a Man Wearing only Underwear

A report came in to the 84th Precinct at roughly 11:45 p.m. Wednesday night that a man was climbing up one of the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge.

He was described as a male Hispaanic, wearing light blue jeans, a white T-shirt and a black bandanna. He was reported as being located mid span between the two towers.

At 11:50 p.m., NYPD called for aviation.

11:54: No visual has yet been made by NYPD.

11:55 p.m. Cops report: "We got him, on the Brooklyn side."

11:58 p.m.: Cops report the Borough Lieutenant has him on the footpath on the Brooklyn side.

12:05 a.m.: Cops ALSO picked up a possible emotionally disturbed person (EDP) wearing only his socks and underwear. Cops said they were on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway, walking towards the Brooklyn side. They caalled for an ambulance.

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A-Train Slashing Perp Caught; Nurses Strike; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn man charged in unprovoked A-train slashing of Swedish tourist during Monday's rush hour. [PIX11]

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday that, due to the recent rash of homicides, NYPD would be moving resources towards "problem areas" for the summer. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- More than 100,000 rent-regulated apartments may surge to higher rates due to state law loophole. [Daily News]

- Nurses could go on strike soon at many Brooklyn's hospitals:  New York Methodist Hospital, Interfaith Medical Center, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. [AP]

- Banking mogul T. Denny Sanford visited Brooklyn’s P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights on Tuesday. "What we really need is more collaboration between males and females," he said. [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NYC Homicides Up; New Atlantic Yards School; TSA Fails Big Time and More Briefs

 - Oh oh: “We’re struggling with homicides and shootings,” said NYPD's Chief of Department on Monday. “As we expect when warm weather comes, we see an increase in certain crimes.” [Daily News]

- Video: An out-of-control vehicle barreled onto a sidewalk in Brooklyn Monday afternoon, knocking down a small boy and hurting an adult. [NBC]

- Wednesday: Hearing about the new school planned for the Atlantic Yards area. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Nightmare landlord: A Brooklyn landlord was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on Monday for killing one of his tenants and attacking another. [Daily News]

- Tonight: Save the View town hall in Brooklyn Heights to discuss the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pierhouse lawsuit. [McBrooklyn]

- A tunnel boring machine has completed the excavation of a new, $250 million water tunnel connecting Brooklyn to Staten Island. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- The long-simmering animosity between Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio flared after the mayor hired a former Cuomo aide as his press secretary, a move the governor viewed as a betrayal. [Daily News]

- Major fail: TSA lets fake bombs, weapons through at America's busiest airports 95% of the time.  [ABCnews]

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Brooklyn Heights: 'Save the View Now' Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday

Pier House from Squibb Park. MK Metz

The group fighting the "over-sizing" of the Pierhouse development in Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 1 (the one that is partially obstructing the views of the Brooklyn Bridge) will be holding a town hall on Tuesday, June 2, at 6:30 PM. The town hall will be held at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, second floor,131 Remsen Street, Brooklyn.

Save the View Now (STVN) won a partial Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) agaainst the Pierhouse development. On May 18, state Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Knipel extended the TRO, pending his decision on STVN's lawsuit.

STVN says both sections of the Pierhouse hotel/residential project are taller than originally negotiated with preservationists.

More than 6,000 supporters have signed the petition started by Steven Guterman. The petition asks the Mayor, the Governor, the park's board and others to: "Return the construction of the Pierhouse to be consistent with the originally approved plan."

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Brooklyn Tattoo Artist Hunted; Music Video Brings Guns to Fulton Street., and More Brooklyn Briefs

- NYPD hunting Brooklyn tattoo artist accused of 'brutally beating girlfriend whose arms and legs he tied together before whipping her stomach with a chain.' [Daily Mail]

- Fire rips through apartment of Williamsburg man living with nine pets, as cat and three dogs perish. [Daily News]

- The Public Design Commission is set to vote today on a company’s plans to construct a commercial vineyard, wine-production facility and event space on the roof of Building 275 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. [WSJ]

- Five people have been arrested for allegedly bringing guns to Fulton Street in Brooklyn, scene of a video being made in tribute to a fallen rapper Chinx. [NY1]

- De Blasio restores funding for summer programs after push by parents, advocates. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- The Celebrate Brooklyn Performing Arts Festival for 2015 opens with a concert by Chaka Khan on June 3. [CaribbeanLifeNews]

- Verizon has installed new fiber optic cable, and the street fire and police call boxes around Brooklyn Heights are once again functional. [BHB]

- The band Mastodon was on Game of Thrones last night! [Brooklyn Vegan]

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Stargazing Brings Crowds to Brooklyn Bridge Park

Gazing at Jupiter. Photos: MK Metz
Hundreds turned out at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday for scientific sailing trips and a night of stargazing, presentations by astronomers, scientists and astronauts, and even a dancing robot.

 Numerous telescopes were brought in by astronomers and hobbyists, and folks lined up to see Saturn (and 4 of its moons), Jupiter and its rings, the moon and other celestial objects.

The event was part of the World Science Festival, a citywide science street fair that wrapped up on Sunday.

Pointed at Saturn.

Blanca Li's dancing robot charmed.

Li's robots will be performing at BAM from June 9 - 14. Photos by MK Metz
More photos of the event here.

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