Open Thread Wednesday

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  • CassieVonMontague

    “In Brooklyn, in the neighborhood of Henry Street, the pleasant red and pink brick houses still worthily represent the generation of Henry Ward Beecher; but an eternal Sunday is on them now; they seem sunk in a final silence. In the streets one may catch a glimpse of a solitary well-dressed old gentleman moving slowly a long way off; but in general the respectable have disappeared and only the vulgar survive. The empty quiet is broken by shouts of shrill Italian children and by the incessant mechanical pianos in dingy apartment houses, accompanied by human voices that seem almost as mechanical as they. A night, along the unlighted streets, one gives a wide berth to drunkards that sprawl out across the pavement from the shadow of darkened doors; and I have known a dead horse to be left in the road—two blocks from the principal post office and not much more from Borough Hall—with no effort made to remove it, for nearly three weeks. In the summer, warm sickening fumes from a factory that makes cheap chocolate gives a stagnancy of swamps to the heavy air. In the evening, an old woman steals through the streets, softly calling to cats, which she poisons and which die slowly of gripes in the areas of decorous houses from which the families have moved away.”

    -Edmund Wilson, The American Earthquake: A Documentary of the Twenties and Thirties

  • AEB

    So (as Elizabeth Warren might begin a sentence) I have a problem. Every so often and usually at night I hear an unidentifiable sound in my small bedroom. For those as ancient as myself, who might remember, it’s reminiscent of the noise Froggy the Gremlin made when Andy Divine said, “Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy.”

    A twang just under the ceiling. It occurs roughly every minute for about an hour. It moves circularly, just under the ceiling. When it completes it’s circuit, it stops.

    I’ve recorded it and played the noise for the super. He has no idea what it is or where it comes from. The tenant directly above me doesn’t hear it.

    I believe my bedroom is haunted. Really. Likeliest ghost is of my deceased ex-partner, Richard. (I welcome that idea, for obvious reasons).

    But–any ideas what this might be other than Richard paying a visit? This is a genuine query.

  • Daddyo

    Sounds like the ghost of the Bouncy Bridge has taken up residence in your ceiling.

  • AEB

    Hmmm. Definitely a thought. I should add that I’ve become aware of a phenomenon called residual haunting.

    The example usually given to describe it is of a house very near a train stop in which one can hear–often at precisely duplicated times–the sound of a train whistle even though trains have long ago ceased to run near the house.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Everyone be nice to our new neighbors, Michelle Williams and Tommy Kail.

  • CassieVonMontague

    I am against the BQX tram. If you want at-grade transit that flows with traffic, invest in buses.

  • CassieVonMontague

    If you think it’s electrical, try shutting off the breakers to your bedroom when it happens to see if it stops.

    Might be heating related if it happens usually at night when it’s colder. Forced air, radiant floor heat or steam heat?

  • Squiggy

    One of my favorite houses in the neighborhood.

  • Steve

    It might be coming from outside. The neighborhood has become very noisy. I always hear some buzz for hours on coming from outside at night. It is in fact very annoying. This noise could very well be originated from this 111 Hicks (St. George). That ugly building has always been a culprit in something, I think they installed some kind of noisy machine or doing something on their roof again.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Did Bjarke Ingles ever get approval to build his watertower house on top the St George?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Good take.

    Aren’t NYC buses running clean now, too? Are they biodiesel? Electric?

  • Steve

    Oh yes, that water-tower – i hope it has not been approved, and certainly hope they are not building this thing on top of that monstrosity. If the water-tower is built, then one day, I am certain of it, it will be blown off their roof and end up on a sidewalk or someone’s roof or head.

  • AEB

    Thanks to you both but I’ve investigated the possibility of a heat-related problem and, again, the sound originates from within my bedroom, just below the ceiling. A mystery!

  • Cranberry Beret

    The best part of this news is that the house will no longer be rented out on a near-continuous basis to film and commercial shoots. The prior owner wasn’t very considerate to the neighbors (OTOH nearly single-handed responsible for getting north heights film shoots banned for the next 6 months, so there’s that)

  • Cranberry Beret

    He got his faux water-tower approved by the so-called “landmarks preservation” folks because the commissioners decided they’d rather genuflect to the starchitect instead of, you know, preserve a landmark. Couldn’t they be bothered to read the history piece in the NYT that said the *original* starchitect of that building Emery Roth was quite clever by hiding the water towers inside? I guess Ingels thinks he’s clever-er. Who knows if that middle-finger will ever be built, hopefully BI will lose interest and move on to some other project.

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    The problem for BI is if he has signed the contract with the coop (St. George) they got BI by his b..s and he can’t get out of it without leaving behind a chunk of cash. I understand it has not been approved by the DOB yet, so if the project does not get approved by the DOB only then he is off the hook and all of us for that matter…as you said that middle finger ain’t gonna look good at all and it might indeed fall off the roof one day, considering the very poor engineering/construction record of that eyesore.

  • Cranberry Beret

    I looked into this at the time and BI didn’t appear to yet be the owner…smart enough not to buy until fully approved. I’m sure he just agreed to pay co-op’s expenses if it didn’t go through. They’ve been trying to market that space forever so they had nothing to lose

  • Jean

    Lot Less is coming back! In old Duane trade at court and joralemon….

  • Steve

    Interesting, I did not know this tidbit, I guess if he was smart enough not to trap himself into anything, he will also be smart to walk out of this mess of a coop unscathed.

    The coop has always had financial issues so they decided to do something about that space on the 30th floor to shore up their finances. And come next hurricane, I can see that drum flying off the roof like a giant Frisbee…I certainly hope nothing comes out of their plan to erect the drum and the middle finger.

  • Jorale-man

    They’re planning to expand the MTA’s electric fleet, according to this report:

    I’m not against the streetcar per se, provided it isn’t an either/or choice.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    I absolutely LOVE a good dollar store. Unfortunately, LL decided that that “format” was way too limiting – and yes, $1 isn’t what is was in 1990, say.

    But the LL stores in Manhattan are really “predatory” – you get totally off-brand small appliances for way higher prices than better made ones (no, not made in the USA, but with something resembling customer service behind them) you COULD get either online or at a “legitimate” discount retailer – Target being the one that comes to my mind first.

    Of course, they “trade” on the perception that they are “fell off a truck” re-sellers – i.e., “at these prices, how can you NOT buy a heater to take the chill off your apartment?!”

    Well, I leave it to others to check THEIR experiences (when LL/Court opens) against my harsh predictions.

    Here’s an idea, however – how ’bout an “updated” 5 & 10? – yes, it would be dollars this go-round, but people still need more housewares than Key Food can sensibly stock. I get how “Dollar General” and the other 2-3 national chains can’t make their formula work in 11201, but this is a “franchising” concept that really could fly – i.m.h.o.

  • Rich


  • CassieVonMontague

    Which three-bedroom rental would you choose?

    The Heights Postwar for $10,000 a month? (later reduced to $7K)
    The Heights New Development for $9,000 a month?
    Or Vinegar Hill for $7,000 a month?

    (Your parents are paying a third of the rent)

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    THE BQE PANEL HAS REPORTED! News stories are on NYT and WSJ as of 6 PM Thurs. Short version – panel recommends reducing traffic to 2 lanes in each direction … and enforcing prohibition against heavy trucks. And yes, they say that the whole 20 miles needs a re-think.

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    Well this certainly does not bode well for the BH folks especially those living on Hicks & Henry streets If this plan is implemented. As they say – be careful what you wish for….

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    Agree! They always made parking a nightmare and left a ton of mess behind after they were gone.

    As far as Michelle & Tommy concerned, I hope they don’t mind a little vibration…. I understand there is quite a bit of it in the northern BH

  • Cranberry Beret

    $100K+ out the window in rent every year but hey they get a dryer vent.

    While I hate to be the bearer of bad news…if he was worried about the maintenance issues in the old house, wait until he discovers all of the post-construction issues in a new-build apartment.

  • KXrVrii1

    Why are you “certain” that what appears to be a fake water tower, and part of a personal residence for a well respected architect, will be “blown off their roof.”?

  • AEB

    I considered that–but twanging?

  • CassieVonMontague

    There’s a whole section of the report about directing traffic away from neighborhood streets.