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Open Thread Wednesday 7/17/2019
Here’s an image of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO from the film Independence Day. I’m sure we all remember that day, when things changed forever! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fec7cff5481b4e1c14cbbabcfbbeea3062575c7f4e5a0e4cf9038214b6745ce5.gif
Found this article while browsing the internet: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/garden/author-elizabeth-gaffney-a-different-aging-in-place.html
In it, the author mentions a 1939 tax photo of her home where the townhouse next door has a Nazi flag displayed. I looked through the tax photos for Hicks St between Clark and Pierrepont, but I couldn’t find it. Have you come across this photo in your Archives searches?
PSA: When jogging or walking in Brooklyn Bridge Park, please stay to the right of the pedestrian path. There are many sharp, “blind” corners, especially on the piers. It will reduce the likelihood of crashes if everyone stays on the right, except when passing another person. Thank you.
Nope. The article has a brownstone with a stoop and double front doors, which might help.
To be honest, I’m only interested in places I want to know more about, or houses I find of interest. But start here (it opens with Clark Street):
A cyclist struck a pedestrian on Pier 2 on June 25.
The paths are poorly designed. There is minimal signage designating the bike lane, and the signs they do have are posts with three-inch-high diagrams on them so are hard to see. The bike lane is wider than the pedestrian path on Pier 1. No one knows were they are supposed to walk. Stop at a random point in the park and ask yourself, “if I were awoke in this place with know prior knowledge, would I know which side of the path to walk on?” The answer is almost always “no”. How is every person supposed to deduce that the western path is the pedestrian side?
Please forward your complaints to BBP. People will always be lazy and absentminded. We need to nudge them with good design.
In general, “Please Stay to the Right” should be printed on sidewalks throughout the city. It’s like driving, people!
Yes, I’ve experienced this both as a jogger and cyclist. After the 6-8 am jogger rush, I’d say maybe only 20% of people acknowledge the separate paths. As you say, the tiny signage is useless.
There ought to be painted lanes or direction arrows on the piers too. Some absent-minded joggers like to cut the corners tight and then nearly crash into you if you’re coming the opposite way. Or they’ll jog right up beside you even though there’s a whole wide sidewalk to make use of. Definitely time for BBP to step in and impose some order.
Any car2go users here also notice the abject lack of cars in recent months in BH? This time last year I never had issue finding a car within blocks of my apartment. Now I have to go to Red Hook or Fort Green to find one.
The park has a complete reworking of the bike lane in the works.
The author is confusing pictures and time periods. The pic I’ve attached here is the one she’s thinking of, but it’s not the 1940 tax photo – it’s from 1922.
The earlier decade completely changes the meaning of the swastika she mentions. Through the early ‘20s, before the rise of the Nazis, the swastika was still a widely used good-luck symbol. (Often reverse direction from the Nazi orientation.) There was a prominent real estate firm in the Heights that used a swastika on their signage 100 years ago (like we might use a horseshoe today). So in that pic she mentions, not only is it not a Nazi flag, it’s probably not a flag at all — most likely a for-rent or for-sale sign.
Full picture here at the New York Public Library:
Here’s an example of the real estate signage (this pic from 1927, via Brooklyn Public Library):
Oh. those swastikas. The tiles in the lobby of 52 Clark Street had those American Indian Swastika designs; obliterated when they “modernized” the lobby a few years ago.
A lot of negative reviews of it here:
Thank you for sating my curiosity.
How to stay cool during this coming weekend’s Hotocalypse: fill a large plastic 1- or 2-liter bottle with water and freeze it solid.
Carry with you in a tote bag, wrapped loosely in plastic supermarket bags to provide insulation, holding it with your hand.
The ice will chill your blood (but not dangerously) and act as a heat sink. And, as the ice melts, you can drink the ice water.
I’ve done this for years now, and it works!
So this is what’s been on the roof of the St George: https://www.brownstoner.com/architecture/bjarke-ingels-st-george-tower-brooklyn-heights-111-hicks-street-landmarks-preservation-commission/
Thanks for this!
I have a love-hate relationship with the tower, across the street. The only time of the year I receive sunlight after 12:45pm is around June 21st, when the sun clears the tower. The tower also creates a wind-tunnel on my street, which is great in mid-summer, but horrible in mid-winter. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bbbd9a0dca95667336a2206eefd6244239c71efc6f0548eb4595a9d436400894.jpg
Folks – “Stay to the right” really is inadequate when traffic (ped. or other) goes in 2 directions! I suspect that IS part of the problem, with the rest accounted for by non-English readers, folks from “Commonwealth countries” … and most of all, the cluelessness that seems to go hand-in-hand with excessive cellphone use.
BUT WAIT – it gets worse … or likely will. As motorized scooters invade – and our pathetic City Govt probably would welcome them if these dot-com-billionaire-wannabes donated a few thou to BdB’s “farewell tour” – expect even more mayhem in places like BDB! Heck, if I rented one, what better place to “learn to drive?!”
But mostly, BBP is a victim of its own success – just as the Brooklyn Bridge wooden walkway has gone from amenity to almost the opposite, so have many other things. Sad but utterly true – either share the Park with (?) a million visitors to NYC in the summer, with the travails that brings … or count yourselves lucky that there are 3-6 months where you can enjoy it … and tourists mostly won’t.
Love the idea of a fake water tower. Ingels should collaborate with [beloved local artist] Tom Fruin.
I am not a car2go user because it didn’t seem cost effective to me. Does the company rebalance the availability of cars, like Citi Bike does, or is your problem simply of reflection that BH isn’t a place where cars get left?
Now if he can only get the co-op board to approve!
They do not rebalance cars unless there is a clear trend that some zones are getting fewer drop offs, which I think is what is happening in BH. This was not the case a year ago.
Am a frequent user and overall have had positive experiences with this program. I find the cars are now being cleaned more frequently (when I can get one!)
Adding to this thread: the fake “no parking temporary construction zone” signs continue to be posted on east side of Columbia Heights between Middagh and Vine st. This is not zoned as a no parking zone, but these signs lead to local residents losing the parking on the hill by Hillside. The signs have been up for over 18 months. In the past I’ve asked NYPD parking officers and they have confirmed they are not legitimate and that the area is zoned for parking all times other than Tuesday apt side 830-10am. This weekend I received a cotice of an unpaid ticket from a month ago that I had never received. I disputed it this morning, but the judge decided that if there was a sign (even if fake) I was responsible. I have filed complaints with 311 and the DOT. I have shown fake signs to NYPD traffic Brooklyn north division officers. Does anyone have any suggestions how to reclaim these spots for our community to park? Has anyone ese been ticketed? This is the east side of street opposite 30-58 Columbia Heights (old Watchtower building).
Excellent research Jeremy. I never knew that this symbol was used as a good luck symbol. Hopefully the author is reading this blog to correct her historical recollection.
And it looks like my complaints worked. Signs taken down as of last night.
Open Thread, let’s discuss the coming PM-ship of one Boris Johnson(!) Strikes me as a BIG YIKES! https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/23/world/europe/boris-johnson-to-take-leadership-of-a-britain-in-deep-crisis.html
The UK gets their version of Trump. I can’t see this ending well. Pound could eventually fall to parity with the dollar, which would be good news for tourists, bad news for everyone else. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31296e95511717dfa182c3c85e28d70d52a9b8a4aa51e5f69a4e9c2555bf699e.jpg