Brooklyn Paper Hates Brooklyn Heights Landmark Lighting Plan

Earlier this month, it was announced that a project to replace Brooklyn Heights street lamps with historically accurate “Bishop’s Crooks” fixtures would begin soon.   The paper has written about the $650k in Federal and NYC dollars being used to fund Phase 1 of the proposed $2.7 million plan calling it “pork”.  This week the paper continues its assault on our landmark district with a cartoon poking fun at the streetlight plan.

While it’s true that we’re in a recession, these fixtures will last far longer than this economic downturn.  What do you think?

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  • Qfwfq

    I suppose the Brooklyn Paper would rather see all the people employed to make this beautification project happen laid off? They were for a federal bailout of the Atlantic Yards arena, why not use government money for such an innocuous project as street lamp replacement as well?

    I guess the Murdoch/FoxNews-owned Brooklyn Paper are just angry they had to move from their sweet DUMBO digs to the drab MetroTech area, and will hate on any project that doesn’t involve friends of theirs.

  • William Spier

    Why does Brooklyn Heights need to take Federal money to put in vanity street lights? I love Judy Stanton and admire all she has done for the neighborhood, but, the stimulus money maybe should go to projects in Camden, E. New York, or wherever undemployment has shuttled between gernerations. Qfwfq seems to have an insight into who will gain or regain employment from new street lights in BH. If so, let the empiral data come forth. The Brooklyn Paper probably so low on Murdoch’s radar that it might actually have a logical thougth on this one–oxymoron as those 2 words are in Murdoch World.

    I think I have a good idea: how about all those BH folks who own very expensive brownstones fixin’ up their own sidewalks instead of waiting and ultimately sponging off the city for the repairs. The sidewalks in front of brownstones and other small occupancy buildings in the neighborhood compare to favorably to those in Calcutta, or at least in less richly possessed and storied neighborhoods.

    I agree that the Atlantic Yards deals point to real corruption in State government; contemplation of a federal bailout is outrageous. Until someone can prove to me that new vanity lights in BH are in apposite support of the larger economic picture, I say let it pass.

  • Publius

    There’s an old saying that opinions are like a**holes–Everybody has one.

    And this opinion is from the “editorial board” of the so-called Brooklyn Paper–which is actually just the appropriately named Gersh Kuntzman. Same guy who shilled shamelessly for his former landlord, Two Trees, during the Dock Street corrupt ULURP proce$$.

    In essence, the so-called Brooklyn Paper (a Murdoch property) is really just Kuntzman’s blog. And it should be treated with as much weight as any other local blog in Brooklyn. Though its corporate backing from Sir Rupert might make more than a few people suspect.

    I find Homer’s endeavor much better with regard to quality news and uncorrupted editorial bent.

    Got to love freedom of the press and the Internet age.

    It’s time for Brooklynites to do some hating on the so-called Brooklyn Paper.

    Prediction: The “Brooklyn Paper” editor will be begging Homer for a job soon enough.

  • William Spier

    ..but Homer is just reporting that the paper came out against the street lights as best use of stimulus money. Two Tree’s reckless ambitions and Murdoch’s pernicious politics aside, the Brooklyn Paper brings up an issue worthy of thought. Is the money well spent? Is the political clout used to get it just bringing home some pork? I think the political clout used to secure this significant amount should explain in an emprical way how vanity street lights work to make local employment healthier–even in the sort run, or help aim the nation to a more dynamic era of production.

    Brooklyn Heights does not need faux 19th century gas lamps. They would look nice though.

  • my2cents

    When are the historically accurate cel phone shops coming in?

  • nicky215

    What lasting economic development will historically correct street lights in Brooklyn Heights have? I purpose bus tours on Garden Place. Lets see if Ms. Stanton agrees. I am surprised that Nydia supports this but I guess the Heights Dollars which have been genouous to her rule. Double Dipping for bankers.brokers and the lawyers who live off them is not change we can believe in. On the other hand Mr. Yassky who says he will watch every one of our pennies as he runs for controller was the first funder of the Streetlights for the Rich to raise their property values program. This is no suprise as he has been campaigning for anything for years and fundraising for his next campagn among the Casino Crowd since day one.

  • ABC

    I just wonder if the lights will face the street (like on some streets) or the sidewalk (like on Montague).

  • Curmudgeon

    Note to William Spier – Where does anyone get the idea the the people who own the brownstones and buildings in the Heights do not pay to repair their own sidewalks. Nonsense. In our small co-op on Orange Street we paid plenty to repair our sidewalk. You are simply stating a falsehood and any property owner knows that they have to pay for repair. I believe when the city does it for you – they send you the bill!

    On the lighting issue, as we here in the Heights also pay plenty of taxes why can’t we get some nice lighting. We certainly have handed out enough of our money to the City, State and Federal governments. The Brooklyn Paper is a Rupert Murdoch organ and they will do anything to bring down the President. This is their own way of creating a tempest in a teapot!

  • my2cents

    What Montague street really needs is shops and restaurants that bring people into the neighborhood in the evenings. What good are streetlights when there is not a soul on the street after dark??
    Montague is a frickin ghost town after dusk.

  • Teddy


    I don’t mind a few nice restaurants and maybe a couple of bars as long as Montague Street doesn’t get overrun to the point where people living there or nearby feel like moving. I’ve lived here long enough that to me a quiet Montague St. when I come out of the subway actually feels comforting after a hectic day in the city. Anyway, you have Smith St. nearby.

  • my2cents

    I totally agree with you Teddy. But right now it is a ghost town.

  • William Spier


    I might stand corrected here. The City takes on liability for 1,2, and 3 family owned buildings. and the expense you went through was either because you did the right thing or you were not exempt from liablity. However, just take a walk on Hicks and try not to trip on bad flagstonesevery 5 or so brownstones. I guess the City does not get around to forcing the issue. However, if you live in a building with more than the exempt (City responsibility) units, your insurance company would be all over you if you do not maintain sidewalks. The City does not have the ability to be all over every bad sidewalks; are these owners just waiting for City directive?

    So, I stand corrected on that issue. But, BH residents probably do not pay anymore property taxes than comparably valued property in other neighborhoods. For your city taxes, the City provides many great schools, first rate police and fire coverage, oft paved roads in BH and other benefits you would pay three times as much for in the ‘burbs. As for the State and Fed governments, maybe some pay their tax share, maybe some do not. I, and you, do not know, do we?

  • MartinLBrooklyn

    I remember in the 1960’s, when, after paving the way for historic districts all over New York City, the Heights went passively along with ripping out the then appropriate street lights. The homely and totally inappropriate aluminum cobra lights came in amidst real concern about the trees casting their bright lights mainly in the trees. So we walk in shadow. Whatever the replacements do light-wise, at least they will look right in this Historic District. And, BTW, we’re not the first to get these lamp posts restored to their proper place so it’s definitely our turn.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    The fact that the Heights has a heavy traffic of tourists who spend tons in the city may have something to do with it. it is amazing how many visitors are walking the North Heights on a daily basis after walking over the Bridge and making their way to the promenade and Grimaldi’s.

    Tourism may be the City’s largest generator of revenues now that banks and advertising are in the crapper. Possibly there is a financial incentive to replace the lights for the city.

  • nabeguy

    William, I believe that repair of the flagstone sidewalks you mention is complicated by their historic nature, so they become a LPC issue as well as a DOT one. As far as I know, they cannot be removed and require an approval process for repair.

  • Curmudgeon

    Perhaps when they get round to the new lighting in the North Heights they could put up some new signs on the lightpoles so the the tourists (who make the effort to come to the Heights) may actually find what they want and perhaps spend some money to support our local business. Funny how Marty Markowitz finds the money for “fugeddaboudit” and the like sign on the highways, but there is nothing to help tourists getting out of the A or 2 or 3 trains.

  • my2cents

    Curmudgeon, that is an excellent point. There is a real dearth of wayfinding for tourists, especially at the High Street stop. Also, we could really use another light pole on cranberry near Hicks by the church playground. My neighbor got mugged a few years back in that dark spot.

  • Andrew Porter

    William Spier, the lamps to be installed are *not* “faux gas lamps”. They are the original street lights which were in this area until the city, in it’s infinite attempt to make the Heights look like every other neighborhood, installed the horrible cobra-head lamps, which put most of their light on the pavement — because as you know, no car has headlights. The replacements are the original downward lights which illuminated the city for decades.

    As far as the sidewalks, my first memories of BH, back when I was a teenager living in Manhattan in the mid-1960s, was of the wonderful slate sidewalks with their cut-in channels to guide rainwater into the street. You will also find the exact same slate sidewalks and channels in another ugly neighborhood, Boston’s Back Bay.

  • Deus

    Brooklyn Heights is arguably the nicest and wealthiest neighborhood in Brooklyn, so I find it hard to justify this expenditure. As William Spier says, maybe give this money to better some of the poorer neighborhoods who’ve been neglected for decades.

  • The Where

    @deus Darwin laughed.

  • Deus

    Darwin would be appalled by the extension of his theory to society.

  • William Spier

    Andrew, I undertand that the lamps are of historical Heights design and might never have been gas lamps; I also believe that they would bring real benefit to the neighborhood. My orginal post was a response to the claim that the Brooklyn paper–a Murdoch property, hates us because we are who we are, and therefore its claim that the lights are port is invalid.

    Nabguy, your most likely are correct about the flagstones, but year after year, they remain in disrepair. Sometimes, it becomes not about who but why?