Thursday, September 30, 2010

NYC DOT Greenway Workshops, Round 2: Route Selection

Cobble Hill is just steps away from the water's edge, and our Columbia Street neighbors at the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative have been leading the charge on creating a full 14 mile greenway in our borough.
And this Thursday, September 30th kicks off the second round of community planning workshops for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, led by NYC Department of Transportation (DOT). At each workshop, DOT will present route options and gather feedback as to the community’s preferred alternative. Route options will reflect information gathered at DOT’s first round of community planning workshops, which were held in March/April 2010.

These planning workshops will continue to inform DOT’s master plan for constructing the greenway, so please mark your calendars and tell your neighbors. Four workshops will be held, one in each broad geographic area along the planned 14-mile route. Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Regional Plan Association are co-sponsoring the workshops.
Please RSVP to Make sure to specify which workshop(s) you plan to attend:

Downtown Brooklyn (CB2)
Thursday, September 30th, 6:30-8:30pm
Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street

Sunset Park (CB7)*
Thursday, October 7th,  6:30-8:30pm
St. Michael’s Church, 352 42nd Street
*UPROSE is also a co-sponsor of the Sunset Park workshop.

Red Hook (CB6)
Thursday, October 14th, 6:30-8:30pm
Red Hook Recreation Center, 155 Bay Street

Greenpoint/Williamsburg (CB1)
Thursday, October 21st, 6:30-8:30pm
Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th Street

Monday, September 27, 2010

Electronics Recycling - TWO locations on Saturday

With the PS29 School yard under construction the Cobble Hill Association cannot run an electronics recycling as it has so successfully in the past (here and here). So, this year we are encouraging residents to bring any unwanted e-waste to either of TWO spots just outside the neighborhood, both collecting at the same times.

October 02, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Furman Street between Old Fulton and Doughty St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

October 02, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
The New New York Green Street Festival, Bond Street between 3rd and 4th Street Brooklyn, NY 11231

Full details on what can and cannot be dropped off are available on the Lower East Side Ecology Center's website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plaza Design at the Barclays Center

UPDATE: Streetsblog now has images and excellent commentary on the Plaza design here.

Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, with Council Members Letitia James, Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, Empire State Development Corporation, Brooklyn Community Boards 2, 6 and 8 present a

PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING for the Plaza Design at the Barclays Center
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 6:00pm-8:00pm 
Brooklyn Borough Hall 209 Joralemon Street (at Court Street)

Representatives will be present from Forest City Ratner Companies to brief interested residents on plans fo the public plaza in front of the arena. There will be a Q & A session.

Downloadable event flyer available at:

Atlantic Antic this weekend

New York City has plenty of generic street fairs selling tube socks and boring snacks. Thankfully the Atlantic Antic isn't like that at all. It's a wonderful stretch of 600 local shops and vendors offering eclectic food, fun, and music for jam packed crowds on Atlantic Avenue from Hicks all the way to 4th avenue.

Check it out and enjoy the neighborhood on September 26th.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Alternatives to Housing Meeting

This Wednesday, the Cobble Hill Association urges its residents to attend a public meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Committee on Alternatives to Housing.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at approximately 11:00 a.m.
City Hall, Blue RoomNew York, New York 10007

As the CHA has argued before, we are staunch advocates of non-privatizing ways to fund park maintenance. When 1250 units of luxury condos in 6 buildings were proposed, all recreation came out of the plan, replaced by costly landscaping to help sell condos. And while the landscaping is still a costly burden of the park's current design, we have secured the commitment to look at alternate means to fund this park without more housing inside its borders. Senator Squadron and Assemblywoman Millman will also have veto power over future housing, if it again rears its head in 2011 or in 2013 (milestone dates for funding decisions).

This meeting is yet another opportunity for the public to come out and speak out on their desire for a park, a true park... one that does not include private housing within it. The CHA prefers year round recreational facilities such as a pool, ice rink and indoor field house which could offset costs the City  cannot burden.

State Senator Squadron has been extremely helpful bringing our desires to the Governor and to the Mayor and brought in another strong supporter in Assemblywoman Millman. Councilmen Lander and Levin have also played a positive role and now we hope you, the Cobble Hill residents and neighbors of the Brooklyn Bridge park, now is another opportunity for you to speak out against housing in a public park.

If you cannot attend, we encourage you to call or email comments to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation:
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation
tel: (718) 222-9939

UPDATE: the Brooklyn Daily Eagle filed a report on the committee's decision to offer a Request For Proposals (RFP) for profit generating ideas that could potentially be pursued instead of housing.  To read it in full... click here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Invisible Dog, Visible Neighbor

Evan Sung for The New York Times
Though Cobble Hill's borders technically run down the middle of Court Street, many agree that we share the area between Court and Smith with our Boerum Hill brethern. And that's good news because over the past two years the Invisble Dog gallery has been an incredible neighbor, bringing art and vitality to the once dormant strip of Bergen Street. I worked with manager Lucien Zayan to get support for the dramatic sidewalk improvements at the Bergen/Smith intersection (now home to the wonderful corn installation) and this past weekend fellow CHA officer Derek Denckla worked with the gallery for the launch of a week long line up of Farm City events. While the kick-off was this past Sunday, there are more items this weekend and next - and a wonderful write up in the NY Times painting a bigger picture of who and what the Invisible Dog gallery actually is. Read up!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Farm City Festival

Just because we live in the city, doesn't mean we can't grow some of out own food. This weekend, Bergen Street will be completely transformed for a wonderful urban agriculture festival, co-curated by Cobble Hill community leader Derek Denckla, editor of and founder of FarmCity.US.
Farm City: Where Are You Growing?
A Celebration of Urban Agriculture

Over three weekends, Farm City celebrates Urban Agriculture and explores the possibilities of a new agrarian future within the current urban reality. Components include: Farm City Fair, Farm City Film, Farm City Tour, and Farm City Forum, spotlighting the work of artists, farmers, activists, planners, architects, chefs, and foodies, all devoting themselves to feeding the city both culturally and agriculturally.

For all the festival info, check out it's full schedule:

*Farm City Films Sept 12 & 14     *Farm City Tour  Sept 18 & 19    *Farm City Forum Sept 25

Friday, September 10, 2010

Street Cars from the Past in Brooklyn's Future?

Brooklyn Historic Railway Association.
Just days after local papers and blogs spoke of Bob Diamond possibly leaving the borough and ending the not-to-be-missed Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours, the Department of Transportation finally announced they're beginning a "Study To Determine Feasibility Of Streetcars In Brooklyn." This is wonderful news for transit-starved Red Hook as well as all of its neighboring communities. Special thanks to Representative Nydia Velázquez and Brooklyn Street Car guru, Bob Diamond, for persistent years advocating for the innovative and sustainable form of transportation.

"Once again, we're looking back to the future with our transportation network," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Once ubiquitous in New York City's streetscape, streetcars remain part of the transportation mix in cities from Toronto to Melbourne, and we need to consider all options to improve transit access in underserved neighborhoods like Red Hook."

The full DOT press release can be read here...

and check out a related posts about it at the WSJ here, Streetsblog here, 2nd Ave Sagas here, and the NYT here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours back on Track

Cobble Hill may be full of life above ground, but it's also got a rich history below. Bob Diamond of the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association has been offering tours of the Atlantic Avenue tunnel he discovered in 1980 and resurrecting the notions of a Brooklyn Street Car system. Just a week ago he said "Feds have $280 million earmarked for streetcars, City blows grant" and decided to throw in the towel after many years of personal labor that secured dollars but did not yet bring an active street car system to the surface.

Thankfully, local pleas have persuaded him to stick with the project and he's now combined everything on the new streetcar plan onto one convenient webpage, with detailed subsections hyperlinked here:

The Cobble Hill Association is glad to have Bob Diamond's dedication both preserving the borough's history as well as planning for it's future. For more info, check out links from our friends at McBrooklyn, the tunnel's Wiki page, and of course, the detailed info on the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association website.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Hour Wednesday & MORE!

The dogs days of summer are giving us one last heat wave, so cool off with a drink at the next Cobble Hill Association Happy Hour, Wednesday September 1st at Watty & Meg.  $3 beers, $5 glasses of wine from 6-9pm. Come with the friends you already know & strike up a conversation with the neighbors you meet for the first time!

Need some neighborhood news to fuel those conversations?
- CHA President Roy Sloane may have come up with an ideal solution to the BQE reconstruction that will eventually reduce excess traffic on our local streets! Read more.

- Notice the construction at the PS 29 School Yard? Big improvements are on the way, and pictures can be seen here.

- Got old computers and tv's to recycle, but missed the last CHA e-waste event? Not to fear... in just a few weeks there's be two more Electronics Recycling Events just a few blocks away, courtesy of our friends at the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Get all the details right here.

- Miss the old Cafe on Clinton by Cobble Hill Park? Well this Friday it's set to re-open as a brand new place called Breukelen. Read more.

- Had a dangerous ride on the new bike path between Pier 1 and Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park? You're not the only one worried to use that path! Read about it here.