Open Thread Wednesday

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    Does anyone know a good licensed plumber that does work in the area? We need to hire someone who is licensed and insured to do a very simple job in our apartment.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Ordinarily, I don’t pick fights – really…. And especially at a time when there is a huge cost to infighting – Do the math on a 3-way contest (of any kind) – all of a sudden, “someone like Trump” may win with 34% rather than 51%.

    But I digress.

    There’s a frequent poster on the BHB who trumpets a 2016 DOT study as indicating that an under-the-boro [not the water] tunnel would be (in his opinion) “the better way,” maybe even the best among alternatives now more or less on the table.

    Here’s the relevant section in the exec. summary of that report:

    “Construction of [this tunnel would] result in significant disruptions to an already congested area. Furthermore there are many other complex engineering factors that this study does not cover that require extensive engineering efforts to ultimately determine tunnel feasibility.”

    This does’t just fail the NIMBY test – i.e., let’s do “open heart surgery” on 3-6 OTHER NABES … so ours will feel less pain. On its face, it’s Boston Big Dig x 100 – e.g., “Oops. There wasn’t supposed to be a water pipe there.” Yes, it would be a bonanza for construction companies and provide thousands of jobs, but that doesn’t begin to get one end of the see-saw off the ground.

    Oh yes, here’s another snippet – “This tunnel primarily runs under private property as its alignment is not parallel
    to any city streets.” If anyone takes the trouble to look at the map they provide, the takeaway is this. Imagine a tunnel going from Pier One to Barclay’s. That’s not the route in question, of course, but think what the quality of life would be in the Heights for 5-10 years. A couple of people responded to Mr. Stanton, “Gee, the tunnel you say the city has already declared doable sounds great. Why don’t they just go ahead with it?!”

    Mr. Stanton replied with something like, “You’re damn right. It’s the right way to do this project so that we don’t have a BQE 3 project in 50 years.” A more accurate and honest answer would be because this project would galvanize 10 City Councilmen and thousands of Brooklynites in vocal and well-reasoned opposition. On that score, think Amazon/LIC with moneyed opponents, ones not stuck in LIC public housing or living in Bklyn & Manhattan (who wish Amazon were unionized.) If only the Dutch had had a crystal ball! This would have been a great project when most of Brooklyn was farmland! Now – “not so much.” Let’s skip the irony. This is Great Wall of China-ambitious and some combo of “loony tunes” and unaffordable.

  • Andrew Porter

    Courtesy the Municipal Archives, here’s what’s now the Key Food on Montague, in 1940:

  • Andrew Porter
  • Local_Montague_Man
  • Peter Darrow

    Now Tazza on Clark says “Closed”.

  • Sen. Bob Forehead

    Weiss on Atlantic between hicks & henry

  • Arch Stanton

    A truly myopic diatribe.
    Many countries around the world are building auto tunnels in urban areas to help sequester traffic. No reason it cannot happen here, if we can only quell the dogmatic luddites…

    Your opening salvo is quite laughable, there will be no public pole, no vote, the DOT will pick the plan that works best for them and the greater good. That will most certainly not be the BHA’s offering.
    You go on about the route “under private property as its alignment is not parallel to any city streets” without considering or understanding the topography of Brooklyn.

    It is high time NYC and the rest of this county gets innovative about modernizing our infrastructure, Sure it will be difficult and costly but in the end it will be worth it. Doing away with the highway one the cantilever entirely, how nice would that be?

  • Sean Haley

    Does anyone know what’s going on with the former real estate office at the corner of Hicks and Middagh? The smell of cookies every night is overwhelming and I want to knock on their papered door! I am guessing they will open a bakery of some sort or maybe they are just running a bakery out of the space with no retail? The cookie monster in my wants to know!!

  • AEB

    Sean, as discussed previously in these pages, a
    bakery is indeed coming to the corner space you mention, see the link below.

    Getting it off the ground has been a trial, apparently–or so a lengthy note left recently in the vestibule of the store’s building explained. Two months hence was the opening date mentioned. I’d say late spring. Maybe.

  • Sean Haley

    Thank you. This is great news! I can’t wait for them to open!

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Comments about Nomcebo aside, Arch, you’re starting to sound a little like me.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    What did he say that you agree with? He certainly didn’t mention “low emissions.” I say that because you and I agree that this is a tough problem … and sticking one’s finger in a hole in a dyke is not a great answer.
    OTOH, even progressive people in progressive communities seldom fight as hard FOR something (in this case, addressing an obvious need that could only get more pressing over time) as they do AGAINST (a bad) something.
    Now that the can has been kicked down the road by the DOT and even a generally competent Mayor (the one who preceded BDB) for 20 years, it’s “their highway or … something better!” [Oh yes, it’s got to be BOTH better and genuinely VIABLE – esp. since (like Brexit) 3 alternatives to something terrible means that that terrible something will carry the day!] Agree?

  • TeddyNYC

    After closing their Henry St. location, they were probably just biding their time until their lease was up on Clark St. and their landlord significantly raised their rent there.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I’ve been vocal about “innovative”, “modernizing our infrastructure”, “difficult and costly but in the end…worth it.” All things Arch mentioned.

    To be specific, I’m a proponent of considering the next 50-100 years of infrastructural and transportational innovations as they become ubiquitous. Additionally, I think we should be including the implementation of emissions zones in the city, as a rider on any plan.

  • StudioBrooklyn
  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Thanks. And briefly – when new pipelines bring new forms of hydrocarbons East, I’m sure you join me in saying, “Not THAT kind of infrastructure.” I think either of the proposed tunnels deserve the same rejection for roughly the same reasons!

    Yes, “low emission zones” make sense, but an incantation about “innovations” and “infrastructure” doesn’t get us closer to solving what soon will be a crisis affecting BH, one way or the other.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Make no mistake, any crisis that affects BH affects the rest of the borough. I am completely not interested in any arguments framed in terms of endemically Brooklyn Heights concerns, not only because such arguments are based in fiction and NIMBYism but also because they invite scorn that we (in the vast majority of the neighborhood) don’t deserve.

    We need to read between the lines on “emissions zones” and consider what it would mean: transfer warehouses at shipping entry points outside of the city’s densely populated residential zones, where products are offloaded from enormous tractor trailers onto smaller, cleaner vehicles that pollute less and do not obstruct traffic on residential streets; cleaner buses that use alternative fuel and power; incentives for carpoolers and people to use public transport; if it was rolled out correctly it would also provide for an even more robust network of public transportation around and into/out of the city.

    What does this mean for the BQE rehab? For one, it puts doing away with the highway on the table. For another, it means any tunnel alternative would not need to be built to hold large trucks. Third, it means funds could be rerouted from highway construction into public transportation infrastructure. Just to name three implications. The list can go on.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    ALL TRUE – and very well-written and advocated…. And some of it probably WILL commence during our life times (?)

    But … THE TIMING! Of course the “end of life” of the BQE in terms of structural integrity is anything but known or even knowable, but I’m almost certain that we couldn’t do without a BQE before 2100, so you can’t dodge choosing among options A & B from DOT, C from BHA or an as yet unspecified “D” which will NOT be a tunnel or “just let it collapse.”

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I dunno, I think some of this stuff could be rolled out tomorrow, and some of it could be a gradual roll-out over forty or fifty years, but eventually the chickens are all going to come home to roost and I’m confident that the way NYers are, we’re going to be permanently stuck 50-100 years behind the rest of the world’s important cities. I just don’t want that to happen without anyone at least speaking up.

  • DIBS
  • South Brooklyn Boys

    I”m curious what has anyone over the years hasn’t built higher that the 1 floor at the Key Food location?

  • Andrew Porter

    Two things: There’s a building there, but it’s invisible—can only be seen at Midnight on Halloween.

    Or maybe vast disruption to Key Food operations means owners of the building don’t want to do this.