Open Thread Wednesday

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  • disqus_Ked6618j7Z

    Is there anything to be done about abusive panhandlers? There is an obese young man who solicits money in the neighborhood on a daily basis – often on the bench across Atlantic from Trader Joe’s, but also sometimes on Montague and other times in Cobble Hill.

    Every time I pass him without my husband, he says really disgusting sexual things (not the “hey baby” type of street harassment, but truly gross, personalized comments). I am always with my son, who is fortunately still too young to understand, but won’t be for much longer.

    This has happened to me so often that there must be a ton of women in the neighborhood with the same experience. I am pretty sick of hearing this garbage from him, and would to do something – report him? ask a cop to speak with him? – but have no idea what, if anything, might actually make a difference.

    Any ideas?

  • AEB

    The Here-Again Gone-Again Garbage Can

    Chapter 2

    It was a dark and stormy night, becoming day, on or about July 10th. The SW corner of Hicks, which had lost its very precious garbage can shortly after July 4th, awoke to find that the can in question was back! But–oh, no!–it had migrated directly across the street!

    Never mind. It was happy to find that somehow it had returned. It slept peacefully that night, but when it awoke the next morning, the can was gone again! What is happening with this can, it wondered (out loud)?! Does anybody know?

    Chapter 3 is forthcoming. Maybe.


    I’m really sorry you have to deal with this. Call 911 discreetly from around the corner and wait for them so he doesn’t leave. Sexually harassing women on the street should not be acceptable. Even if they do nothing, they’ll take personal note and it’ll be on record of some sort. If people continue drawing attention to the issue, they’ll eventually have to do something.

  • Irritated mom of 2

    I know exactly who you are talking about! I was walking with my child sleeping in the stroller and he said sexually inappropriate things to me. I called him out on it at the time and was so irritated that i called the cops! Dont know if they ever showed up but at least they know about him!

  • bpelle

    Send someone with a club to beat some respect into him.

  • bpelle

    … of course that only goes for if he’s white.

  • Mark

    Does anybody know what happened to the historic marker for the Fort Stirling parklet? It has vanished…

    Also, does anybody know why we now have the cheapy green globe subway indicator & not the old lantern type that had been at Court St. station next to the church?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    These little birds take dust baths in the playground at the feet of the trees.

  • Elaine Rendon

    Same thing happened while I walked by. Not sure if it was towards me or the women walking next to me but he said really inappropriate things in crappy Spanish. A man actually called him out on it a few weeks ago and the young man started cursing at him.

  • gc

    About a month ago I noticed a sign in BBP which reported that they were working to improve the Montague entrance to the Park. I was puzzled and concerned by that comment and brought it up as a question on the blog. As I recall it was explained away as just being the description of the Furman St area below where Montague St ends. Now I see that BBP CAC is looking into another access point to the park through the center of the Heights. Maybe the BHA and other members of our community should take careful notice and get out ahead of this plan.

  • Arch Stanton

    Montague Street doesn’t end at the Promenade, there is a small “U” section at Furman.

  • gc

    The point I’m trying to make is this:

    “The BBP CAC , at their monthly meeting just last Tuesday, formally requested for BBP to explore opening an additional access point from the central Brooklyn Heights area.”

    I hope the BHA and other community minded people have taken note and will get out in front of this terrible idea before it’s too late!!!

  • DIBS

    A friend of mine mentioned the exact same thing to me a week or two ago.

  • Arch Stanton

    I don’t think it’s a “terrible idea”, Montague street is much better equipped to handle the flow of park traffic than Joralemon oe the north Heights. Face the fact, the park is her to stay, people have to get in and out of it somehow.

  • gc

    Maybe you’ll change your tune when they turn Montague or Remsen or Pierrepont into the same fiasco that Joralemon has become.

  • Concerned

    If they decide to put a BBP entrance at Montague, I’m moving to Carroll Gardens. It would have been Cobble Hill, but I expect the towers are going to screw Cobble Hill, as well.

  • Arch Stanton

    I live on Montague, always have.
    Fact is, the park isn’t going away and routing park traffic around the Heights is a pipe dream, it’s never gonna happen. Better to route the bulk of the park goers down the street that can handle it best. The park has changed the neighborhood forevermore, get over it and move on.

  • gc

    The streets that can best handle the traffic are Atlantic Ave and Old Fulton St. You may want to lay down and let them roll over you, but I don’t.

  • Arch Stanton

    I am not letting anyone “roll over” me. I simply see, the reality of the physical universe doesn’t support your hypothesis.

  • Arch Stanton

    Yes, you’d be much better off over there.

  • gc

    Left to you we’d still be British subjects and the BQE would be running up Hicks Street!

  • AndyHeights

    I think that’s a very intelligent and rational point of view. I live on Henry Street a few houses off of Joralemon and I think the answer there is more security and police presence. Last night around 7 PM, I saw two friendly young policemen right on my corner greeting the folks passing by, and it was comforting and reassuring.

    I agree that a Montague Street entrance would be a good thing and that the park is here to stay and we need to adjust to this new reality and find the best way to make it safe and accessible to our neighbors from here and who visit from outside of the neighborhod as well.

  • B.

    First we lost the venerable Brooklyn Museum, which trundled its priceless artwork into storage or gave it away to other museums, under the dubious mandate of appealing to “the community.” You’ll find the costume collection safe at the Met. And in the place of artwork, we have cavernous spaces filled with second-rate daubs or nothing at all. A couple of years ago, one of the Rockefeller rooms contained glass dildoes in a vase; a dining room from a Southern plantation was festooned with plastic guano, a contemporary artist’s take on priceless furnishings. So much for craftsmanship.

    Then we lost Prospect Park, in summer filled with kerosene fumes from hundreds of barbecues and the booming of as many radios. It might be “the people’s park,” but the people need to take care of its natural beauty, or they’ll find that they’ve returned it to its 1980s state of decay. At one time, the police tried to enforce the “no fires” signs. I guess they gave up. But think of this: For years the park had to have signs tacked to tree trunks saying “Please do not dump hot coals here.” Really? You have to tell people that? I haven’t seen them lately, but then I rarely walk in the park in mid-summer.

    Why can’t people take home their garbage in the same containers they brought into Prospect Park for their picnics?

    Now it appears we are losing Brooklyn Heights, for many of us a quiet place to amble and take in a sunset and then return to our own neighborhoods. Joralemon Street was a favorite stroll. But one evening after seeing about 15-20 bicycles racing up from the new park, their riders screaming through and darting in front of cars (that had the right of way) and jamming traffic for blocks, I fear that the old peace will be difficult to maintain.

    Loutishness is the new normal. Conversing quietly while walking is a lost art. Perhaps tossing rocks through 100-year-old glass doors is a way of saying, “I am here.”

    Museums, parks, and streets lined with irreplaceable architecture are places we go to be lifted outside of ourselves, and to aspire to better things, not where we go to reinforce our smallness. At least, that was true of my grandparents, and their generation, who arrived here penniless before World War I and reared their children to work hard in school and lead responsible, if entirely ordinary, lives.

  • AEB

    Oh, god! Not another coded rant, no matter how “thoughtfully” rendered.

    The thing is, the world is never worse than it was–there’s no whole cloth devolution.

    When things are or seem bad–fix them. That is the nub of it.

  • B.

    It sounds like code, perhaps, but truly it is not. To me, color means very little; behavior is what counts.

    If I trusted white America, I’d have moved out of Brooklyn, where I was born and have lived for over 60 years, long ago. But I have a feeling that, for what I could afford, living among white trash, with their guns and whathaveyou, might be even worse than living with what I see in Brooklyn.

    It’s hard to fix some things. Fixing eighteen-year olds whose begetters have never taught them anything much is next to impossible.

    No matter what color they are.

    Besides, history does regress, maybe not entirely, but things do on occasion get worse. From the land of Beethoven and Brahms came National Socialism and poison gas; after George Washington, Jefferson Davis; from America comes Donald Trump; after Thurgood Marshall, Justice Thomas. A widening gyre?

  • AEB

    History’s dialectical–you know, the thing we learned in school: thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

    And I agree some things can’t be fixed, but we must always try, if only to gnaw away a bit at a problem, or attack it from a different side.

    And disliking some aspect of white culture doesn’t absolve one of racism. But I’ll take you at your word.

  • Sharon T

    Whenever some people run short of facts the “R” word instantly comes out.

    Listen to all of you, endless limp debates. If we had one real man of action we’d have a quick end of this nonesense.

  • AEB


    And who would that one man be, perchance?

  • Arch Stanton

    And all we get from you is a bunch of nimby complaining and no realistic solutions.

  • Sharon T

    Am I addressing Buster or tiege?

    Whatever, the word is of course racism. And I am only making a observation that in all of this endless parlor debates I am not seeing one person who is even proposing some kind of effective action to stop the disastrous slide we are on. When am I going to see a real guy out here who will step up to stop what is going on?