Open Thread: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It’s a drizzly Wednesday, which means there’s nothing better than staying warm and comfy with the Brooklyn Heights Blog Open Thread. What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • She’s Crafty

    Before the grammar police jump – “for whom” they were made (the sidewalks).

  • David on Middagh

    Oh, I don’t know: I’d say pedestrians can be which’s ;)

  • Willowtowncop

    Boo- I think you had the right idea with the letter. I could never understand why calling the police to solve a problem that you never even attempted to solve was most people’s first choice. You should ask them to stop first, and then if they don’t, call 311.

  • Linda Tapia

    The suggestion that I made to Boo was the correct one.
    If someone is so clueless that they play the drums at 10PM do you really think a nice little letter will do the trick.

  • Linda Tapia

    A few short weeks ago my husband left his office to get a cup of coffee. He was knocked down by a bicyclist who was riding on the sidewalk. Less than two weeks later my husband had to go to the emergency room at the local hospital as he feared that his kneecap might have been damaged. The x-ray’s did not show any damage, thank goodness. Hubby will be 65 years old this year.
    It has always been my fear that I would get hit by a bike on our busy crowded local streets. The fact that my husband got hurt in an industrial type park where bike riding is prohibited really scared the heck out of me. I don’t feel safe and now neither does he.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Your suggestion about Boo sending a letter might be the way to go before taking further action.
    I myself have played by the rules my entire life and get very frustrated with those who don’t.
    We all have different life experiences.
    Boo, let us know how it goes.

  • EHinBH

    Everyone needs to learn how to live in deference to one another… We seemed to have lost that in our socitey — everyone is me me me. I have to RIGHT to play drums all night, I have the RIGHT to ride by bike where I want, I have the RIGHT to raise my kids the way I want, I have the RIGHT to do a, b, or c… The way I was raised was to take the other into consideration first — to think how your actions (even everyday ones) would affect anothter…

    Oh well…

  • Bette

    I missed the “official” Wednesday Open thread… today’s Thursday – but I’m hoping someone will read this and comment:

    In the last month there is the most amazing (and loud) bird chirping/calling going on in the alleyway trees on Hunt’s Lane (I think?). It’s amazing unto itself for the variety of calls that seem to be coming from one bird.

    But even more amazing, is that it starts at about midnight and continues for an hour or more!! I always thought birds chirped (generally speaking) at dawn and dusk.

    Does anyone else hear this strange occurrance? It is so LOUD and so weird!

  • Brooklynite

    It might be a Northern Mockingbird

  • She’s Crafty

    EHinBH, totally agree. In terms of the rules of the road, if everyone just obeyed all the laws relevant to the form of transportation they are using (car, bike, legs, whatever) we’d all be a lot safer, and there would be a lot less fighting.

  • Neil

    Reply to Bette (May 10, 2012 at 8:59 am)

    Re: “But even more amazing, is that it starts at about midnight and continues for an hour or more!!”

    Now, even the birds think they have the right to raise a ruckus in the late hours of the night! What are we teaching them?

    Since even Northern Mockingbirds can’t read, I wonder if a call to 311 would generate any response.

  • Tclinton11201

    anybody heard the erratic random car-like (and light) alarm around Clinton and Atlantic?

    Not as loud as a regular car alarm more like the annoying beeping noise heard when a car is being locked… all night long, and still going strong this morning.

    hope the battery dies asap or if the owner reads this please turn it off, drown your car or do something useful for your community!

  • David on Middagh

    Tclinton, have you tried tracking down the source of the noise? If it’s a malfunctioning car, sometimes rocking it once or twice will fix the problem. (The worst you can do is set off a louder alarm, right? Which would then just run its course.)

  • Flashlight Worthy

    It’s a mockingbird. I’ve heard one by the courthouse on Sidney in the past. Very loud, late at night, and with a great variety of “voices”. Have some fun with it. Whistle a tune out the window and I bet it calls back with the same tune.

  • Pierrepont

    Bette, Flashlight Worthy, and Neil,

    Here is what Wikipedia says about the Northern Mockingbird:

    “Northern Mockingbirds, in addition to being good mimics, are also some of the loudest and most constantly vocal of birds. They often sing through the night or when the moon is full. This is especially true of those bachelor males that are trying to attract a female. They sing year-round except sometimes for the late-summer molting season. Individual males have repertoires of 50 to 200 songs; females sing as well, but more quietly and less often than males. Mockingbirds usually sing the loudest in the twilight of the early morning when the sun is on the horizon.”

    We’re just past a full moon, and spring is in the air. Might be time to stock up on ear plugs!

  • eg

    I am worried about the new bike exchange being organized throughout Manhattan and some parts of Brooklyn (Heights included). People can pick up bikes at various points throughout the city and drop them off at these points. For me, this puts more bikes in the streets and more possibilities of bikers not obeying the traffic laws. Without biker education and licensing (like car drivers) there will be more chances of being run over by a bike. I, myself, have more than once, been terrified by a speeding biker turning the corner of the street just inches from me. Then they are off so fast. They make no noise.

  • David on Middagh

    She’s Crafty wrote:

    “In terms of the rules of the road, if everyone just obeyed all the laws relevant to the form of transportation they are using (car, bike, legs, whatever) we’d all be a lot safer, and there would be a lot less fighting.”

    Oh, I don’t know. When it comes to the road, Laws need to be congruent to Layout. For example, does it make sense for police to enforce a City 30-mph limit on Avenues built by the DOT to accommodate 45-mph traffic? (It would be nicer for pedestrians & bicyclists, but probably a losing battle for the Law, given the Layout.) Does it make sense to ticket overage bicyclists riding a sidewalk, which is bidirectional and car-free, when the street is one-way in the wrong direction and has no bike lane for those who can’t keep up with car traffic? Should the bicyclists have to take their chances with the cars, or should the pedestrians have to put up with the bicyclists? (Or, for another point of view, should the pedestrians be given a little cobblestone path next to the sidewalk? After all, bumpy terrain is good for the human constitution–has been for hundreds and thousands of years–while bike wheels really benefit from paving.) Etc.

  • resident

    David, I agree with many of your points. But bikes belong on the road, and they should travel with traffic. If they need to go in the opposite direction, they should ride around the block or walk their bike on the sidewalk. It’s pretty simple, really.

  • M on Willow

    Please walk dogs on leash on the Promenade …

  • David on Middagh

    Resident, I don’t think it’s so simple. When bicyclists take the sidewalk (walking or illicitly riding) because otherwise-capacious roads are clogged by parked cars, perhaps we should re-evaluate what we’re using our valuable street space for. (Riding around the block won’t happen if the bicyclist is on the sidewalk from fear of cars and trucks.)

  • Scrambler

    Bicycles should follow the rules of the road not the sidewalk. That’s what I was taught as a kid growing up. Sidewalks are no place for bikes, any real cyclist knows that.

  • Eddyenergizer

    As a cyclist I never would want to ride on the sidewalk, pedestrians are much worse obstacles than cars. Riding over the Brooklyn Bridge is more nerve-racking than riding down the middle of Broadway. Pedestrians make sudden moves and step out in front of your path, unpredictably. This is because most people don’t pay attention to where or how they are walking. Cars are usually much more predictable, drivers are more aware of what they are doing than pedestrians.

    If you are too scared ride in the street you have no business being on a bike in NYC.

  • David on Middagh

    Having used both many times, I concur with Eddy that navigating a tourist-clotted Brooklyn Bridge can be much harder than zipping down Broadway.* Of course, Broadway is broad, while the Bridge is narrow.

    *Tourists: Please look both ways before stepping over the painted line into the bike lane!

  • GHB

    Like tourists read this blog!

  • David on Middagh

    They do!

  • EHinBH

    Interesting: looks like we are getting a bunch of those NYC BikeShare stations here in the heights… Check out the map here:

  • Wrennie

    Happy Friday!
    Can anyone recommend someone for a small furniture painting job? It’s basically a console table made of wood, which was primed a long time ago but never painted. I need someone to sand it, prime it, and paint it (spray). Thanks!

  • Bette

    thanks for multiple answers to my question regarding bird song at midnight. I decided not to report it to 311 ;) and very glad to know it’s a mockingbird. Now I love it!

  • Lauren

    Can anyone suggest a good place (other than Kinko’s) to have copies made? Thanks!

  • David on Middagh

    Remsen Graphics?