Open Thread Wednesday 8/11/10

BHB Photo Club pic by Quartley

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • amk

    I’m new the the neighborhood and this is my first post on this blog! Random question – – I’m having some visitors come over Thanksgiving weekend. They are debating driving vs. taking the train. The big “con” for driving is that they are unsure if they will be able to find parking in the area for 4 days. They are staying in an apartment on Pierpont, nearish to the promenade. I’ve been trying to scout out the parking situation over the past couple of weeks and I do notice that people tend to move their cars super early and then sit in them for a while until the clock turns – – is parking in this area impossible?

  • Sam Shyne

    I don’t have any advice on parking, AMK. I’m writing to vent my frustration with the shower of freegans that congregate at Trader Joe’s every night around 11:00 p.m., after the evening garbage dump. I’m frustrated partly because I have conflicted feelings – on the one hand, I totally get that essentially good food is being thrown away because it’s expiration date has passed or it’s shelf appearance is less than perfect (saying nothing about its suitability to eat). On the other hand, most of the freegans are young and youngish folks who just strike me as opportunistic, rather than truly down on their luck, and something just rubs me the wrong way about it all. Maybe it’s the trolling in garbage part. I don’t know. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? (And, for the curious, I coined the plural noun “shower” for a group of freegans. I am not aware there is a common word in the lexicon yet).

  • David G

    Parking in the area is not impossible. You just need to be patient and willing to walk a distance. All parking in the heights is either Tuesday or Wednesday alternate side so when/if your friends drive down they should find a wednesday spot initially and then move it on Tuesday night. If I can’t find a spot in the heights, I usually venture out to cobble hill/columbia waterfront district which has more parking.

    On another note, I got FIOS and it is awesome. It has 15mb download speeds, multi-room dvr and is cheaper then time warner.

  • GHB

    Anybody notice the sprinklers on the Promenade that are allowed to run around the clock for days at a time? Or the ones that leak when they’re off? The recently repaired sinkhole looks like it’s about to collapse again. 311 contacted the Parks Dept who said that they have up to 12 days to investigate such complaints. Is there a politician who can look into this?

  • Ari

    AMK – I’ve lived here for over 5 years now and I’ve had a car the entire time. Parking is not bad at all. I rarely have to spend more than 5 minutes looking for a good parking spot. (I live in south heights – Willowtown).

    Keep in mind for any major holiday, there is a lot of movement in the area, and given that it will be Thanksgiving, parking will be beyond easy to find, and if your people prefer to drive, parking in the neighborhood should not be the deterrent.

  • ML

    AMK, What a lot of others have said. You sometimes have to circle the neighborhood a bit, but I always find spots. The bigger issue is having to move the car around if you own one (Tuesdays / Wednesdays) and most people come up with a system. For example, I am able to have it in a Wednesday spot and then zip back home and catch one of the spots that open up during the day on Tuesdays, when less people can get to them because they are working. So I effectively have to move my car just once a week most weeks. On Thanksgiving, there will be open spots, because a lot of people will be leaving. I’d tell them to drive and not sweat it. If you absolutely have no luck in your immediate neighborhood, try heading down into DUMBO, although I find there are more broken windows / thefts down there (I always see broken windows on that little twist around area on York Street that feeds into Front Street, near the outdoor parking garage). But if you are patient and get closer to the water (Columbia Heights, especially when you head down the hill — the Jehovah’s come and go a lot, as well the part of Willow St. that curves around the BQE past Middagh) there is always parking to be found somewhere. It may just take a few minutes.

  • tb

    Free food is free food. Remember when you were young and had no cash? Personally, TJ’s should just put the stuff out on a table and help everyone out but I have no problem with people taking advantage of a *good* situation.

  • Big Dave

    Whether parking is good or bad will depend on how far you want to walk — the block(S) near One Pierpont often seem impenetrable. I have driven around for upwards of an hour in times past.

    It doesn’t take a civil engineer to understand that sink holes are the product of an unstable subgrade. The question is, where is all that subsoil going?

    Man, am I behind it, I didn’t even know what a freegan was…I assume the derivation is not from “friggin”…

    Any comments on the final pebble layer in the paths at the new park? I can’t imagine they are wheel chair friendly anymore. Frankly, I was quite happy with asphalt, and I find that jogging is a bit harder.

  • T.K. Small

    Is there a new pebble layer down in the park? I’ve been raising this issue, to no avail, for quite some time. Although I use a power wheelchair and managing loose gravel is not a problem, for others, this paving material renders the park completely unusable. I will go down and check it out later today.

  • Monty

    Re: freegans, they always used to swarm on Perelandra in the evening and I think the store was intentionally helping them, but stopped after receiving complaints. The management at TJs may not know or care about what happens after they clock out, but you can try complaining and they might do something about it.

  • epc

    TK: yes, they appear to be placing crushed rock on the walkways (not really pebbles, in the sense that the edges are sharp). On one hand it makes the paths cooler for walking dogs, but on the other hand I think one hard rainfall and much of it will end up in the East river. It seems to be compacted, but isn’t coated with anything so it’s loose.

    Have no idea how this will work for clearing paths of snow in the winter.

  • zburch

    I have no problem with the freegans and don’t see why anyone else would. Who cares whether they “need” to get food that way or not. Not all freegans do this out of necessity. Some see it as a way to lessen their impact on the environment. They’ve chosen to live that way and I don’t see why it would bother anyone. They aren’t hurting anyone, as long as they clean up after themselves. And they are eating food that would otherwise end up in the dump. What’s the problem?

  • Audrey Tumbarello

    About Raccoons…
    Second Street in Park Slope is experiencing a raccoon fest. Raccoons have invaded homes by clawing through screens and even opened a refrigerator in one third floor apartment. They have eaten the goldfish in a neighbor’s backyard pond and munched on my tomatoes. One neighbor, on her deck in the early evening, saw seven of the beasts strolling though her yard. And, two raccoons hissed and menaced a young man coming home one evening. These are only a few of the sightings reported on one block (between 6th and 7th Avenues).
    The city Animal Conrol’s response is that this is nature, live with it.(unless they are rabid).
    Our Block Association has contacted a trapper but this is not really a solution…we fear that we will only create a raccoon vacuum and others from other blocks and Prospect Park will simply move in.And trapping is expensive.
    Our research shows that these cute critters carry all sorts of diseases beside rabies…toxoplasmosis (bad for pregnant women), roundworms (which can cause blindness), fleasand ticks.
    Any solutions?

  • Hicks St guy

    coyotes or wolves?

  • Judge

    I witnessed domestic violence at Great Wall. I ordered takeout and waited in one of the booths. I was facing the street and my mother was across from me facing the kitchen. The first part I did not see but heard. One of the men start screaming. I don’t know what he was saying because it wasn’t English. I heard a loud bang against the wall and by the time I turned around he was choking the female employee to the ground. We started screaming for him to stop. He walked to the back of the kitchen. There was no one else in there at the time but she continued to take orders for the people that came in just a minute later.

    By the level of disregard for our presence, I can only imagine that things must be much worse for her in private.

  • Henry

    Can anyone recommend a good Nanny agency or service? Thanks.

  • CK

    Does anyone know what’s going on with the Clinton Market on Clinton Street? Are they redoing the outside or closing?

  • Caitlin Heikkila

    My vintage one speed cruiser got stolen from outside of my Brooklyn Heights apartment near Cranberry’s on the evening of August 9th. If you have any tips, suggestions, or sightings please let me know!

    Check out my blog post for more info and pics:

    Thank you!

  • lizzyb

    We are looking to redo the stairs of our brownstone (the outdoor stairs). Anyone have a recommendation for someone who can do the work?

  • bklyn20

    Regarding the Promenade sprinklers, they were actually broken and turned off for several weeks earlier this summer, Ths is from a friend’s son who was volunteering there — I asked about the parched hostas and he told me about the broken soaker hoses. Bizarre that the irrigation is now in overdrive.

    On another topic, my tween daughter recently got a lovely haircut at The Salon on Montague Street. The interior is really beautiful –you are essentially in an opulent yet minimally decorated parlor floor space while having your hair cut. The owners are Rafael and his partner who I think is named Edward (so sorry I fogot the name but it’s been about 2 weeks now.) Rafael was the manager of the Hale and Hearty on Remsen for years. In the intervening years hel has been training and working at top Manhattan salons (sorry to have to make that “Manhattan” distinction.) I was happy and surprised to see him ensconced in such a beautiful space — without hearing salad tongs clattering in the background.

    Mind you, I still love Boy Luv Girl, but we couldn’t get an appointment there that day and the pre-teen temper was in full flare. So now we have 2 places in our neighborhood to get a great cut. I’m very pleased that we may no longer have to go to that other island!

  • AEB

    It’s all too true: passions run do high at Great Wall.

    (OK, OK, I swear I’m an anti-violence pro-compassion guy. Swear it!)

  • my2cents

    Ari, thanks for the parking tip! Next time I spend 45 minutes looking for a spot in the North Heights, I’ll have to avail myself of the ample willowtown parking instead!

  • nabeguy

    I’m a bit surprised that nobody has commented on Judges claims of DV at Great Wall. On the other hand, Judge, you must be new to Great Wall if you don’t know that the relationship between the husband and wife owners is worthy of a Great Wall. You were just unfortunate enough to have been there when they occupied the same space. I guess the wife was as well. Did you report it to anyone else but here?