Thursday, May 31, 2012

Farewell to our famed children's author, Leo Dillon

(c) Pat Cummings, NY Times
With great sadness, we mourn the loss of Leo Dillon - a longtime Kane Street resident, a famed children's author, and the man who created our very own Cobble Hill logo with his artistic partner and wife Diane. The NY Times obituary notes he was "one of the world’s pre-eminent illustrators for young people, producing artwork — praised for its vibrancy, ecumenicalism and sheer sumptuous beauty." Not only was Mr. Dillon an artistic pioneer known world wide for scores of fantastic children's books, he was also a major figure in our small neighborhood. We will miss his presence greatly, yet proudly remember him every time we look at our wonderful Cobble Hill logo.

To read his full obituary, please follow the link below.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Slate Line-Up and Social Media Exposure

For months, the Cobble Hill Association has already been frequently posting news and updates to an existing Facebook Page for the neighborhood, but now jumped even farther into the realm of social media and begun a CHA Twitter account under the handle @CobbleHillAssoc. If you're on Twitter, be sure to follow us for loads more updates and info.

Also new for the Cobble Hill Association is our proposed slate for executive board officers to serve the 2012-2014 term.
President - Roy Sloane
1st VP - Dave 'Paco' Abraham  
2nd VP - Father Ron Lau
Treasurer - Rudy Kamuf            
Corresponding Secretary - Jeff Strabone
Membership Secretary - Jerry Armer
Recording Secretary - Nancie Katz

Additionally, we'll be having these talented leaders fill the following roles for the association as well.
CHA liaison to the new Atlantic Avenue BID - Karen Johnson
CHA liaison to the 76th police precinct - Jerry Armer
CHA liaison to PS 29 - Joanne Nichola

Next Tuesday, May 29th, during our Spring General meeting the full membership will get to vote on this proposed slate, and then the evening will continue with awards being given to local historian Francis Morrone and dedicated preservationist Christabel Goug, followed by a discussion on the topic 'Can Cobble Hill avoid Manhattanization?'  All are invited to join!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cobble Hill Association 2012 Spring General Meeting

One week from today, on Tuesday May 29th, all are invited to the Cobble Hill Association 2012 Spring General Meeting. The new slate of officers for the CHA's executive board will be installed and two distinguished NYC historians will be honored, Francis Morrone and keynote speaker Christabel Gough who will discuss an intriguing topic - Can Cobble Hill Avoid Manhattanization?
Honoring Christabel Gough, distinguished preservationist,
and historian Francis Morrone
Can Cobble Hill
Avoid Manhattanization?
Keynote Speaker: Christabel Gough

Reception: 6:00 PM
Meeting: 7:30 PM
Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Place: Christ Church (corner of Clinton and Kane Streets)

For more information about the meeting check out Heather Holland's article here at DNAinfo.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Want to Perform in Cobble Hill Park This Summer?

If you are a musician or are a member of a musical group interested in performing in Cobble Hill Park, the Cobble Hill Association is looking for established local musicians for its concert series this summer at Cobble Hill Park.  The concerts are on Thursdays evenings in July and are dedicated to the youngest and oldest members of our community. If you are interested, please contact B Johnson at BFJ1959[at]

And stay tuned to the blog for an announcement of our summer concert series full line up.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Baltic Street Anomaly?

Sliver between buildings (c)
Keen observations of NYC's oddities and intrigue is the norm over at the excellent blog Lost City and recently it focused its attention on small, but significant detail in our own Cobble Hill layout. While most row houses in our city's dense urban fabric touch the structures adjacent to them, our own Baltic Street has an unusual quirk.
Across from P.S. 29, on Henry Street, in Cobble Hill, there's a row of residences. Taking up the south side of the block is a group of austere buildings composed of yellowing off-white stone. Composing the north end are a couple of old, wide, red-brick structures, some with ornate detailing, followed by two brownstones. And in the middle is a gap, about two and a half feet wide.
Diving into the history of this detail, Lost City's entry reveals building plenty of backstory including that toy icon F.A.O. Schwartz himself owned in that area. Check out the post at this link and look our for plenty more Cobble Hill history coming your way with the soon to be released Cobble Hill History Project.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Welcome Capt. Schiff

The Cobble Hill Association welcomes our local police precinct's new Captain Jeffrey Schiff. Born on Henry Street and having already served as second in command at the 76th precinct just a few years ago, Captain Schiff is bound for success and presided over his first community council meeting last week.
I'm looking to continue some of the great traditions that already exist and improve on other areas that need work....I don't have that many officers," said Captain Schiff. "I have to make do with what I have. So what can I do? I can make use of my community, who have eyes everywhere—including the mailman who walks up and down the street every day. So I'm looking to expand the communication and that existing intelligence. That way, we can take the guesswork out of police work."
To read more about Capt Schiff check out this recent article in the Patch, or make use of his open-door policy and attend the next community council meeting, which meets the first Tuesday of each month at the 76th Precinct, 191 Union Street, at 7:30 P.M.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Slowing Hicks street Speedway

Is this sign needed next on Hicks Street? 
Unless otherwise noted, the speed limit on all NYC streets is 30mph. However, many drivers routinely break that speed and evade ticketing by our police department so in recent years the Department of Transportation has changed the approach to ensuring safer streets. From striping new lanes, narrowing certain streets, and installing many bike lanes, new techniques have been added to the city's toolkit, the Street Design Manual.
One Cobble Hill street sorely in need of such traffic calming is Hicks Street, the road adjacent to the BQE trench that was the recent site of tragic fatality. Last week the Department of Transportation installed a digital speed sign to put drivers on alert. DNAinfo has more on the issue...
"The speed sign is a simple, but smart way to put drivers on alert," said Dave 'Paco' Abraham, vice president of the Cobble Hill Association. "But it’s just one small step forward."
For years the Cobble Hill Association has joined with other civic groups asking our elected officials to Fix the Ditch with both traffic calming and landscaping on Hicks Street as well as bike/ped pedestrian bridges that would link the streets cut in half by Robert Moses' trench so many decades ago. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez secured federal transportation funds to develop The BQE Enhancement Study and hundreds of residents came to workshops to help create a series of potential improvements that are a piece-meal, but practical approach. Its imperative upon residents and local civic groups to continue demanding improvements, and with the Enhancement Study now laying out a clear path to that goal, its imperative upon all of our local elected officials to secure the funds to make a safer Hicks street a reality.