Open Thread Wednesday 1/21/15

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Teresa

    Did anyone else hear the…construction?…noise coming from the sidewalks around 111 Hicks last night for an extended period of time around 11 pm? Electric saws were going for at least half an hour.

  • Bongo

    Yes. Very annoying. Very loud. Anything after 6:00pm requires special authorization, which I doubt they had. You can report it here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/faq/456/how-do-i-report-noise-from-after-hours-construction

  • Teresa

    I called 311 and was told that the matter would be resolved in up to 10 days. Then I called the 84th to report a noise complaint.

  • Bongo

    I suspect the contractor, or sub-contractor, recently got read the riot act, and is pulling out all the stops to meet a passed deadline. I’ve no doubt the matter will be resolved in 10 days. Does anyone know when their new entrance is supposed to open? I’m guessing Feb 1, hence the flurry of activity.

  • Bongo

    And today we have an 8:30am leaf-blower alarm call. When did urban leaf-blowers become a thing? Isn’t that a sub-urban or country device? I question the efficiency over a standard brush (or rake), especially in the small areas dictated by apartment buildings.

  • GHB

    It’s “a thing” when the building staff or owner is too lazy to pick up a rake and a garbage bag. Blow the leaves into the street and let someone else worry about cleaning up.

  • Roberto Gautier

    Dear Neighbors, Check out the 17 January 2015 issue of the New Yorker: “Mapping New York’s Noisiest Neighborhoods” by Ben Wellington. It gives an idea of the scope of the overall noise problem. Incidentally, measuring noise needs to be done, but it is often a no-brainer because nightly noise is so obvious. Do we need scientific studies to tell us that we need to sleep? There are already scores of those studies. Anyway, let the monitoring begin, but then do something about the noise! That is a matter of political will. A bill to rein in the issuance of variances to permit after-hours construction has been sitting in the City Council for months because politicians do not want to upset the construction industry and developers with any type of restriction. Ask Steve Levin about his colleague’s bill.
    About leaf blowers. They are another bane that points to mindless technology that operates in the spirit of blowing leaves out of sight, under a metaphorical rug. Other communities have ordinances that limit their use. Do we have one?
    Jackhammering in the middle of the night. Do we need a study to tell us that that’s insane? Or, do we need to study whether a backup alarm on a garbage truck or construction vehicle bothers people in the middle of the night?

  • MonroeOrange

    both of you have clearly never heard a rake on the concrete sidewalk…its pretty much a tie in terms of wakingly annoying noise.

  • DoBro84

    Registration for the Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday, May 16 is now open.

    Note the field is already near capacity.

    Pier 2 will once again be the site of the pre-party and race materials pick up on May 13,14 and 15

    http://www.nyrr.org/

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    Its interesting…a lot off these noise abuses do NOT
    occur in places like Navy or “certain parts” of York
    Street or well, you pick the non gentrified neighbor
    Hood. Guess what would happen in THOSE areas
    To some arrogant construction or maintence crew,
    Or some ‘we’re creatives’ film crew starting at 5:30
    AM as they did several times at the Appellate Court..
    Sure they do this kind or thing where they know
    its safe to do it….

    This is going to go on until someone realizes that
    Someone has to stop complaining and install some
    Real penalties, like police issuing a blizzard of
    Tickets’ as I watched them do on west 78th st
    In Manhattan or someone calls enough VALID
    complaints to buildings or fire prevention or
    Just makes a really “revealing” video on
    You tube and then “notifies” pols and press..

    But if you just complain to eachother , nothing
    Changes guys…

  • GHB

    A broom works too.

  • Andrew Porter

    There’s a sidewalk shed on the Pineapple Street side of the building, a construction staircase going up the side to the first setback about 80 feet off the street, and ropes hanging down from the very top of the building. Some work being done which I was told will be finished by May or so.

  • Andrew Porter

    There’s a 2-sided sign for a psychic attached by a chain to the lamp post outside of Trader Joe’s at the SW corner of Court and Atlantic. It’s been there for several weeks. 311 told me unless I have the name of a company, they can’t do anything. There’s no name, just a phone number. Anyone on the BHB have a pair of bolt cutters?

  • Craig Abruzzo

    Helicopters?! Helicopters!? Why is this not more of an issue? The noise is incessant. As far as I can see, BHA has done nothing since 2009. Its a disgrace. Its like we live in a scene from M*A*S*H.

  • MonroeOrange

    i have a psychic premonition…. ‘I see a hardware store in your future, buying bolt cutters’…..

  • gc

    Totally agree! And it’s only going to get worse as the weather improves. We seem to have less and less control over these quality of life issues here in the Heights. We are overrun by the moneyed interests and their political toadies.

  • Roberto Gautier

    signor Abruzzo take a look at Cara Buckley’s in-depth piece in the New York Times of 12 July 2013 entitled “Behind City’s Painful Din.” It describes our noise situation, including helicopter noise. Despite the journalistic ink, as you know, the copters continue to disturb deeply. Who is in those helicopters?
    Our situation is actually ripe for lawyers because prolonged noise at all hours is a civil rights violation. Along with thousands throughout the city, our protection under the NYC Noise Code has effectively been waived. And we have been told to Deal With It and You’ll Get Used To It!
    Don’t hold your breath for the BHA. We need ways to act in addition to commenting on this blog.

  • Rick

    And it seems it is going to get even worse.

    A new helicopter company just started taking any passengers who can afford it from NYC helipads to local airports “and will offer a regular flight schedule by the spring.”

    http://www.ibtimes.com/new-company-gotham-air-offers-helicopter-rides-manhattan-new-york-area-airports-1790038

  • Rick

    So I was just checking out at Key Food on Montague Street, and was trying to carry my groceries to the exit. A woman in front of me had parked her baby stroller diagonally, blocking the entire exit area, so that no one could get by. She was talking obliviously on her smart phone, her groceries still sitting bagged on the checkout counter.
    I politely said “Excuse me”, and the woman turned and looked at me, obviously annoyed.
    “Give me a minute, she replied, and went back to her phone conversation.
    “Excuse me, I’m just trying to get around you”, I said.
    “Well, you’ll just have to wait”, she said, and added “You’re a very rude person”.
    Now I was annoyed, and told her she was an inconsiderate person.
    “You know, I have all day, I can just keep standing here”, she threatened, with an odd smile, her phone call now forgotten.
    “Excuse me, said an elderly woman behind us.
    “Go around”, snarled the woman blocking us with her stroller.
    The elderly woman managed to push her way through.
    At that point I’d had it, and I said “I’m going around, too”
    I lifted the front of the stroller with my foot, moving it to the side of the aisle, where it should have been to begin with, and walked by her, to the door.
    Behind me I heard her parting shot, “Good!”.

  • Boerum Bill

    Good for you, Rick! I’ve always tried to be conscious of where our stroller was situated. What a nasty, B****!

  • GHB

    You couldn’t throw in at least some nasty language? I know it wouldn’t solve anything, but it always make me feel better!

  • ldny

    Ah, noise… a subject near and dear to my heart. We live on Atlantic Ave near Henry St. 2nd floor apartment with giant, single-pain glass 30yr old windows, with rotting wooden frames. For 15 years we suffered through the noisy traffic, busses, ambulances (not so much a problem now that there’s no hospital 2 blocks away anymore), helicopters, car alarms, morning restaurant delivery trucks, bar patrons, etc. We’re landmarked and can’t just replace our own windows and our co-op is still a few years away from replacing them all. We looked into interior storm/sound-reduction windows from Citiquiet and Cityproof years ago after some others in the building had them installed, but they were so expensive. With the co-op dangling the “we’re getting new windows!” carrot in front of us every few years, we just couldn’t see spending that kind of money ourselves (our estimates were around $10k from each of the above-mentioned companies, and that was a while ago. Probably even more expensive now!).

    Two years ago I was revisiting the subject of weather-proofing and sound-proofing our windows and I discovered Indow Windows. After a few calls and emails with them, and a few calls and emails with one of their local resellers/installers, we were placing the order and scheduling the installation. We spent under $3k and the end result was priceless. We kept the aesthetic of our old windows, but eliminated the drafts and the noise.

    I don’t want to be too redundant, so here’s a link to the Yelp review I posted about them last year: http://www.yelp.com/biz/indow-windows-portland?hrid=kv1n-reEaa4oqCOmRMwroA
    and here’s a link to a case study Indow put on their own blog about us: http://www.indowwindows.com/blog/case-studies/slaying-noise-and-drafts-in-new-york-city/

    I’ve posted about them a few times on Brownstoner as well.

    Construction will begin soon at 112 Atlantic, where the Shell station now stands…2 small buildings away from us. That lot is going to have luxury condos built on it. My neighbors are already freaking out about the potential impact on our building (structurally, as well as the noise aspect – although we’re all happy to say goodbye to that rip-off eyesore of a gas station). While we all need to keep fighting the good fight in terms of making sure the noise regulations are enforced, we can’t deny that it’s a noisy city and an increasingly noisy neighborhood, even when all the rules are being followed.

    If you’re looking for a reasonably priced way to curtail the noise, whatever your window situation, I highly recommend Indow Windows. I’m not affiliated with them in any way other than as a very satisfied customer. But I’m really so thrilled with them that I can’t help but urge others to check them out. One of my neighbors down the hall, who has the same exact windows we do, had them installed a few months after we did, based on my recommendation. They’ve been very happy with theirs as well (thankfully… it can get awkward if a neighbor has a bad experience with one of your recommendations!).

    If you have any questions about Indow or about Ciel Power, our installer, let me know!

  • Andrew Porter

    From Shorpy, here’s a 1910 view of Brooklyn just south of the Manhattan Bridge, with Manhattan in the background. You can see the roof of the Empire Stores in the foreground:

    http://www.shorpy.com/node/19070?size=_original#caption

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    Did anyone smell the STRONG burning
    Odor this morning about 4 AM?? It was
    so strong that it set off one of my neighbors
    smoke detector. Another neighbor called
    a back phone he has for one of the fire
    houses..they said it was the smoke odor
    From the NJ conflagration….

  • ShinyNewHandle

    Yes. The burning odor was very strong here in the North Heights—I thought one of the new construction projects nearby had caught fire.

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    Very, Very correct. Since the demonstrations
    In December there has been a flood of over
    The Heights traffic…Including everything
    From standard police Helios to less visible
    Marked copters which have hovered over
    Civic center in two’s for FOUR HOURS(!) to
    Single engine fixed wing aircraft doing
    prolonged circular…what? Patrol/surveys
    For?… The TONNAGE of aircraft is of
    Course a big disruption but this is
    NOTHING to the real DANGER this traffic
    Constitutes. Just spend some work time
    in the Mid West or in the L.A. area and
    You’d know how easily especially circular
    Wing aircraft have “critical systems”
    es, …
    Failures.

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    That’s the real question-why is it that the BHA
    is 1) so silent of the issue of aircraft traffic
    And 2) why do they do everything to tamp
    Down any and all concern on the subject?
    This does not apply to Judy Stanton who
    attended many public hearings through the
    Years on the subject. But the BHA as a whole
    is always carefully silent/ineffective…

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    Buy the way, there IS a BIG question just WHO is
    in the copters and other craft. Two neighbors are
    former Scanner types and they note that in a LOT
    of the prolonger hovering incidents, the craft are
    NOT using standard NYC downlink frequencies…
    Not the standard or the new band…there WAS
    radio activity but it was on frequencies associated
    With federal agencies and it was incripted so…
    who or what is over the Heights???

  • Hicksanthrope

    Yeah but you didn’t get a picture for Homer to post!

  • Craig Abruzzo

    And the BHA is doing nothing about it. I have emailed them numerous times, and have not even gotten a response. I have joined http://www.stopthechopnynj.org/. He seems like a stand up guy and has made some headway, but we have gotten NO movement on this side of the river.