Karl Sez: “Berm Baby Berm”

(Video after the jump.) As anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows, our Mr. J. is a huge fan of Brooklyn Bridge Park, as is your correspondent. (Actually, one of the things that lured your correspondent to the Heights in the first place was the prospect of walking along the Promenade and watching ships loading and unloading breakbulk cargo at active piers; shipping economics nixed that hope.) One recently added aspect of the Park that has incited some controversy–hey, what doesn’t incite controversy hereabouts?–is the sound-attenuating berm that parallels Furman Street for part of the Park’s length. Turns out Karl is a fan of the berm, as am I, and he’s gone, cam in hand, to try to prove why. Check out his video.

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  • TheRic

    Great video.

  • gatornyc

    Agree completely. Thanks for providing even more context to the why the berm is functional and adds to the aesthetic of the park.

  • HicksOnHicks

    Karl, thanks for demonstrating how the berm evokes our neighborhood’s past as well as the ending ‘music video’ which brought a wide grin to my face.

  • Me

    The berm sucks. What hasn’t Karl liked? Seriously… has he ever not liked anything associated with this neighborhood?

  • Bill3042

    Thanks Karl, enjoyed the video and look forward to seeing it this spring’

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    I was trying to contradict your statement about me liking everything in Brooklyn Heights and I couldn’t come up with anything that I dislike.

    Am I not discerning?

    Wait, just thought of something. I am disappointed that I have to go all the way to Hibino, on Henry and Pacific, to get excellent Japanese food. Clark and Montague Street Japanese restaurants just don’t make the cut. So there, I don’t like everything.

    Truth be told, though, I don’t mind walking to Pacific from Middagh, since I am walking through the greatest neighborhood on the planet.


  • jim

    Great video was great to see and HEAR the effect of the berm!

    The Math though is a bit shoddy, IMO, one can not say the berm is only one half of one percent of the parkland as the total 85 acres of land in the park is not all parkland. A large percentage is being used for the apartments and hotels that are 1) not park uses, nor 2) accessible to everyone as land in a public park is meant to be!

  • gatornyc

    Will the real estate debate regarding the Park never end?! Please explain how a “large percentage” of the Park is being used for apartments and hotels? OBBP was an existing building within the footprint of the park, it was never going to be torn down, and had little functional park use as opposed to being an excellent condo conversion (which funds the maintenance of the Park). The Pier 1 hotel/condo has the largest footprint of the new buildings but even adding up all of the “real estate” parcels hardly amounts to a large percentage of the total acreage of the park.

  • jim

    I’ll bite and engage on this….

    First and foremost, I truly hope the debate will never end, less we will live in an increasingly less equitable society, especially if more Brooklyn Bridge Park’s are allowed to go through in the future.

    I did look up the percentage of land being used for non-park uses and foudn it to be 9 percent, http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/our-parks-are-not-for-sale-from-the-gold-coast-of-new-york-to-the-venice-biennale

    Admittedly not a “large” amount in absolute terms but given how scarce land is in NYC – 9 percent of 85 acres (over 7.5 acres!) is a lot of land. Consider that prior to BBP CB 2 had only 5.7% of its land as parkland (106 acres out of some 1,864 acres).


  • David on Middagh

    – Nice demo of the noise blocking.

    – I wonder if part of the berm will become a sledding hill.

    – I will never hear the words to “Disco Inferno” the same way, Karl.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    The dimensions are off as well the claim that the berm is only 25′ wide is wrong, looks to be at least 40′ at the base.

  • ernest

    Doesn’t the “parkland” include all the water space between the old piers? I think it does. Why don’t you float some condos, and save the land? Oh, I forgot. You can’t make money that way.

  • Jorale-man

    Nice video. The jury is out somewhat on the berm for me. I understand when they eventually extend it northward it will not be a straight continuation of the grassy hill but rather, part of it will be a wooden barrier. They can’t build 30 feet of soil over the 2/3 subway tunnel, so that’s the solution. Then they’ll pick up with the grassy berm again before hitting the hotel complex. It could be a big jumble when all is said and done. Hopefully not.

    Also, I still think they could not leave so much space behind the berm (on the east side) but instead build it up against Furman and the BQE more. To me, it looks like it’s right down the center. That all being said, it’s still a necessary solution given the BQE’s noisy presence nearby.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    You got a better eye than I for dimensions. It turns out we are both wrong on the width. Maureen Lynch from BBP sent me the correct width total of 80 feet after looking at the video and a correction will be made shortly. I love Brooklyn Heights not just for the wonderful structures we have in place but also for the many smart individuals that live here. Appreciate the help.

  • ernest

    How many condos per berm? Yeah, someone has to pay for them.

  • gatornyc

    I believe the a portion of the space on the east side of the berm is meant to accommodate parking. Something in the neighborhood of 60-80 spaces.

  • gatornyc

    I love the Park and like the Berm and that makes me a shill for condos in the park?! Got it. Take your agenda somewhere else ernest.

  • ernest

    Aren’t the condos supposed to pay for the park? Isn’t that what you have been saying? Less costs…. fewer condos. Right? Tell the truth.

  • ernest

    Give us some aid, Gator. You seem to be plugged into the BBP Board. How many condos do you plan to build to pay for the berms? One of the hi-rise towers to the south of 1BBP? Or 2 hi-rise towers south of 1 BBP? Be truthful, now.

  • ernest

    Man up, Gator-aid. How many condo’s are needed to pay for the useless berms. Don’t be Regina Myer’s skirt… answer the questions wiseguy. You know the answers.!

  • havrey wallbanger

    Cum-mon Gator. How many condo’s will the berms cost? You are Regina’s tutu, you know the answer.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Does anyone even drink Harvey Wallbangers anymore, do bars still stock Galliano?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    So then the berm takes up about 1.5 acres 0r about 1.75% of the land. Assuming of course there is actually 85 acres of park to begin with?

  • gatornyc

    I am not plugged into the BBP Board in any way. I have been fortunate enough to have attended some informational meetings and have always done my own research to make sure that I have my information correct. Most of the information that I post is available to the general public if you have the inclination to find it. So your sarcasm, rudeness and insinuations have no place here. You have a different opinion and you are welcome to it. Let’s have a discussion based on the facts and let’s leave it at that.

    Speaking of facts, the condos were never supposed “to pay for the park.” The City and State were always going to provide the funds to build the park. The proceeds from the real estate, including condos, the hotel, the Empire Stores conversion, concessions, etc,, were always intended to cover the annual costs of the park, i.e., maintenance, security, etc., which is budgeted at approx. $16 million/year. So no money from the condos in the park went to build the berms. That’s the truth. Whether you choose to accept it is another matter entirely.

  • gatornyc

    Answer is none. The revenue stream from the condos goes to cover the annual costs of the park not its construction. The build cost always came from the City and State.

  • Regina

    I smell a BAC (Bourne Again Christian)?