Open Thread Wednesday 7/20/11

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

Flickr photo by nystrele

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  • PierrepontSkin

    Regarding the cable outage, I fell asleep with my tv on last night and woke up this morning to the tv, still on, but the cable box was off. Not sure what time it went off, but I woke up at 7:15 am, turned it back on, and it was working just fine.

  • AnnOfOrange

    Brooklyn Heights sign – Also on Montague Street (northwest corner) across from Promenade entrance; odd location next to apartment building.

  • Wrennie

    The appearance of those signs just makes it all the more clear how many more tourists there are flocking to the area. I’m not thrilled about it. They stick out like sore thumbs.

  • PJL

    Mike: 311

  • harumph

    Anybody have a Fortune House update?

  • Kristen

    @Al, I checked with all of my neighbors and no one minded I had my bike in the hallway. Either way I don’t think I had to justify this. I was simply asking for suggestions from fellow neighbors who may have had this happen to them.

    The front door was actually broken into. Such a bummer.

    Thanks for the help all other responders.

  • carlotta

    Another sign outside High St. A/C station but when you come onto the street you have to turn around to see it.

    @Wrennie – I suppose you never had a sore thumb…

  • AnnOfOrange

    @Wrennie – Tourists are people, too! Maybe you have never been in need of assistance in a strange city or country. When I see someone staring at a map, they appreciate an offer to help with directions. One day I met a family from Los Angeles coming across the Brooklyn Bridge; they wanted to get to the Promenade and since it was in the direction I was walking, they came along with me. Of course, I crossed paths with and greeted several neighbors on the way. Incredulous, they asked if I knew everyone in Brooklyn. It was fun to share that typical Brooklyn Heights experience and they probably had a better impression of NYC than they did before that outing.

  • resident

    @Wrennnie, it’s not just tourists that get turned around. I’ve given directions to plenty of new yorkers who aren’t familiar with the neighborhood.

    Re: Clark street “next train” signs. Just saw this on Gothamist: Is heat the cause of the signage shutdown?

  • Wrennie

    I never said I was deliberately mean to tourists, or that I minded helping them when I’m asked. I give out directions to people quite frequently. Their presence, though, infringes on the nice neighborhood feel we’re supposed to have. It’s not a circus. It’s my home.

    @AnnOfOrange: I walk through Times Square after work on a lot of days, to get to the subway, and I always have the same thought: I think I will just never understand the particular breed of people that tourists are. I’ve traveled plenty in my day, and I have never once in my life acted the way those people do. Where are these people coming from that they’re fascinated by energy-sucking neon lights? It is extremely possible to visit a city and just blend in, at least somewhat, with the other people around. What is the appeal of walking around like a clueless idiot, basically asking to get mugged or, at the very least, ripped off by vendors? You can see a city and also be intelligent at the same time.

    If I sound like a snob, that’s fine. There has been plenty worse on this blog. My only point is that the summer is always full of tourists in New York, but Brooklyn Heights wasn’t enough of a tourist destination in the past to warrant a sign. And my other point is just that I don’t think visiting a city and appearing to be completely clueless need to go hand in hand. Now if any tourists are reading this and would like directions, please go right ahead and ask me.

  • GHB

    I don’t know… those signs have been out of order for the past month.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Kristen, For the record, It is illegal to store your bike or anything in the public hallways of apartment buildings. Fire department regulations.

  • AEB

    Wrennie, to clarify: Times Square hasn’t featured neon signs for decades. The displays are now lit with LEDs, which use very little energy.

    Personally, I feel it’s rude not to help people who ask for directions. In fact, when they do, and I can direct them, I feel virtuous.

    But that’s me.

  • AL


    Apparently Kristen doesn’t care.

  • Remsen

    “nice neighborhood feel we are supposed to have” hahahahaahahah…I did not see that in my buyers agreement

  • Mickey

    @resident: I would buy the MTA’s explanation if it weren’t for two things. One, they lie all the time; and two, it wasn’t even hot yet when the clock at Clark Street stopped working.

  • John Wentling

    I was just doing some grocery shopping when, lo and behold, a box of Spaldeens caught my eye – seemed to have the same construction and bounce, and for $1,.99, struck me as a relative bargain.

    Alas, they’re now made in Thailand, feel sort of guilty buying what was once a Brooklyn product and staple of every Brooklyn boy’s toy chest.

  • T.K. Small

    In general, I do mind the tourists. I am happy to have them come here and spend money in NYC, but two weeks ago I had an absolutely terrible experience with too many tourists. It was a beautiful day, so I decided to roll over the Brooklyn Bridge. The tourists are completely oblivious and made what should have been an enjoyable experience, quite frustrating.

    When a group of six large German visitors stop to take a picture and then have a conference in the middle of the pedestrian pathway to show each other the picture, that strikes me as inconsiderate. Also, it doesn’t help that there are vendors everywhere hawking their wares, which creates more traffic. I really don’t think I would behave like that if I was visiting another country.

    @John: Which store had the Spaldeens?

  • Daffy Duck

    If you are walking to or from Chinatown, try the Manhattan Bridge. The tourists haven’t discovered it yet. If you are biking, it is the only safe way to go.

    The Brooklyn Bridge, forgetaboutit on a bike.

  • Teddy

    I’m surprised when I see bikes on the Brooklyn Bridge. You would think that cyclists who live here would know better by now that the bridge belongs to tourists during the summer. As Daffy said, the Manhattan Bridge is a better option, at least until October.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Teddy, it depends on where one is going or coming from. The major problem with the Manhattan Bridge is the bike access sucks, It is not a great option if you are heading to the west side or downtown. The Brooklyn side requires having to negotiate some very unfriendly intersections, as well.

  • Teddy

    Well, better option is usually a relative term in this city.

  • WillowtownCop

    It’s not in the best shape but there is a free bike in the front of the yellow brick building on Columbia Place- opposite side of the street from the stores.

  • Fritz

    Regarding the bike in the hallway, it’s the landlord that gets the violation, not the tenant who stored the bike. Other tenants can’t give permission.

  • GHB

    @T.K. Small. So, you’re surprised that German tourists are inconsiderate? Ha! They always have been, wherever you go.

    @Wrennie. “Their presence, though, infringes on the nice neighborhood feel we’re supposed to have. It’s not a circus. It’s my home.” You really need to lighten up. You don’t like tourists infringing on your nice neighborhood? Move!

  • harumph

    Okay, no power on Hicks – sigh

  • T.K. Small

    GHB: Unfortunately I have not traveled as much as I would have liked. I was only offering their country of origin as further description. Are Germans really that much more obnoxious?

    As for using the Manhattan Bridge, while technically accessible, I have heard that there are these bulky expansion plates which are difficult to navigate with a wheelchair. During the transit strike, my girlfriend was commuting to her job in Brooklyn. She is a little bit reckless with her chair and got thrown out of her chair when she hit one of the plates.

    I guess I am simply stuck with the tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe I can practice looking mean and intimidating and get some Mad Max type of attachments for my wheelchair.

  • GHB

    @T.K. Small: The Germans are notorious in this regard. People talk about “ugly Americans”, but I find the German tourists to be rude and pushy wherever I go. I remember traveling in Italy, and every time others tried to cut in a line or started pushing, it was always Germans. The Japanese can also be pushy (gotta get that picture), but not rude.

  • german

    So germans are obnoxious? Since I am german, I am just gonna say that americans are just as bad. Meeting Americans when I travel abroad is frequently no fun either. Look at Times Square. Besides international travellers there are plenty of Americans running around there that have nothing better to do than stare at the lights and shop at Hershey’s? Or standing around clueless at the exit of the Brooklyn Bridge starring at the map and blocking the whole sidewalk between the map and the stupid bike chained down to the traffic side?

    The people with scooters racing down the walkway are an annoyance to me as well. They drive as if they own it without regards for anyone else.

    U need some Zucht und Ordnung here.

  • nystrele

    barry — i heard on the news that the heat is affecting the timer clocks in the subway stations. so by february, everything should be back to normal!