Open Thread Wednesday

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  • Banet

    Wait, 1896-1903? It was torn down after only SEVEN years? That’s insane. Or did it burn down? Even 45 years for the Municipal building is a travesty.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    “I’d rather have an online sh*tshow than a funeral”
    -stuff teachers are saying

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    No street parking? Talk about giving the rich a helping hand and the rest a kick in the … whatever!

    And for all that you sound reasonable about certain classes of traffic, getting “here from there” gets pretty wicked when you decomission this block or that street.

    Yes, maybe, self-driving vehicles will be reality in 5-10 years. Maybe, drones will do millions of deliveries. I’m afraid it will take something THAT much of a gamechanger to make the anti-car partisans who’ve weighed in here something other than flat-earthers.

    Until something as dramatic as that, battles between restaurant owners and car owners strike me as heavy on entitlement and likely negligible in terms of environmental impact.

    Whether or not you own a car, you should understand physics well enough to know that if you all but engineer “choke points” so as to discourage driving, you cause idling that poisons you and me! And at least a few drivers will commit mayhem before or after their cars overheat or run out of gas. And some Queens or Staten Island Trump-like pol will be elected Mayor.

    Gotta figure some of the anti’s lost billions of brain cells in the recent heatwave. Nothing else can explain their death wish.

  • Love Laner

    I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot after seeing the celebration open streets while also having friends/family members who are elderly/disabled/commuting with strollers and I think the key is to incentivize use of public transportation by making public transportation a better, more appealing option–not by making private transportation so unfeasible/unattractive that people with different needs are forced to use transportation that is ill-suited or even dangerous for them or else leave the city.

    Europe is notoriously inaccessible, I would guess in large part because of the age of the infrastructure (although I wonder too about the strength of ADA type legislation there) so I think we would want to take some lessons from them but also adapt a more inclusive approach.

  • Claude Scales

    Yes, but the lines, or at least the one for Phillips’ Farm in my photo, moved fairly quickly, thanks to efficient staff at the stand.

  • Reggie

    Clearly, the guy from South Jersey needs to work on his branding.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    I believe that the parking garage between the 2 big buildings on Cadman Plaza West – west side of Street – 100 yards North of Clark St – DOES have such spots (taken?)

    Of course, location may influence your decision. If you’re at Willow and State, of course, it would be a hike, but MANY biking trips would take you to the spot I’m suggesting.

    As to safety – In 30+ years, I’ve had almost everything stripped off my junkers of bikes – 6 or so incidents in all. Yes, you can jiggle the odds in your favor, but I’m with those who all but say, “Don’t tempt fate.” Might be worth considering a fold-up, b.t.w.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Some one explain why this city uses wooden barriers for “shared streets” like some Podunk Mayberry. The barriers are so long that they require moving to access the street, and if only one person moves them they twist and break.

    Below is a photo of a shared street from a functioning municipality—Denver.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Someone explain why this city uses wooden barriers for “shared streets” like some Podunk Mayberry. The barriers are so long that they require moving to access the street, and if only one person moves them, they twist and break. Is the reason that we don’t have actual road signs or just that the police hate DeBlasio and DeBlasio loves cars?

    Below is a photo of a shared street from a functioning municipality—Denver.,760

  • Jeremy

    The Kings County Courthouse was built 1864-5, demolished 1961. Same architect as City (Borough) Hall — Gamaliel King.

    Here are a couple of interior pics from the Brooklyn Public Library digital collections. They might have more, I only poked around a bit. Couldn’t find any interior shots of the Hall of Records.

    It’s difficult to imagine the streetscene then because not only have most of the old buildings been demolished, even the street grid has changed. Until the courthouse came down in 1961, Boerum Place and Adams Street weren’t a continuous road. Today’s widened southbound lanes of Boerum Place are the former Hall of Records site, and the Brooklyn Law School building on the corner is where the courthouse used to be, mid-block.

    You can date Andrew’s photo pretty well because the City Hall cupola is missing. It burned down in 1895 and was replaced in 1898 just after consolidation into New York City occurred, when the building became Borough Hall. So the photo is sometime 1895-1898, not 1910. (Ironically, just one year before the fire, the city had decommissioned the fire bell that was in the old City Hall cupola – and eliminated the position of fire watchman, who sat in a tiny room above the clock – because telephones had made fire bells obsolete.) The new cupola had an iron frame instead of wood, and didn’t have the fire watchman room. It was designed with the old Statue of Justice on top but for some reason wasn’t actually built that way – the statue didn’t go back up onto Borough Hall until a mid 1980s restoration. There was a new bell but it was removed in the 1940s. I think the clock was also dead from the 1940s-1980s.

  • lien49

    That Kings County Courthouse was actually built ca.1865, and was demolished, I believe, in 1960.

  • Cranberry Beret

    I feel like that’s a rhetorical question!
    Supposedly the wooden sawhorses were being “phased out” in 2007. Guess that didn’t happen.

    The barrier aspect of Open Streets is a fiasco and emblematic of this mayor’s buffoon administration and capture to the whims of NYPD.

  • lien49

    The original cupola was destroyed by fire in 1895, and not replaced until ca.1898, so I’m assuming this photo dates from that period.

    I’m no longer surprised at how frequently incorrect dates have been attributed to archival images; in many cases there are visual clues that provide more accuracy.

  • Reggie

    I got the dates from the “Unified Court System.” Perhaps the building served a different function after 1903?

  • Jeremy

    I think the 1896-1903 refers to when the NYS Appellate Division was in the domed building. Apparently they moved into Borough Hall then, bounced around other downtown locations, and then finally ended up in the new Monroe Place building in the 30s.

    The NYS Supreme Court similarly bounced in and out of the domed building, and around downtown, finally settling into the new super-ugly monstrosity at 360 Adams St in the 1950s.

    At one point one of the courts wanted to knock down most of Sidney Place to build a new courthouse but that got nixed by neighborhood opposition.

    As far as I can tell, the domed courthouse was empty for good by the 1950s which is why it was eventually demolished.

    It’s hard to keep track because both the city/county itself, and the state courts, have had so many administrative changes over the last 150 years.

  • Jorale-man

    Complete fiasco. Every day I walk by the pile of twisted metal barriers at the top of Joralemon Street, as cars and trucks barrel down the street, forcing pedestrians onto the dangerously cramped sidewalks. And yet if you look at Google Maps, it still shows that as an “open street.” Open to cars…

  • Jorale-man

    Complete fiasco. Every day I walk by the pile of twisted metal barriers at the top of Joralemon Street, as cars and trucks barrel down the street, forcing pedestrians onto the dangerously cramped sidewalks. And yet if you look at Google Maps, it still shows that as an “open street.” Open to cars…

  • Andrew Porter

    Sorry, I don’t know.

  • Andrew Porter

    I know that when Brooklyn was merged into NYC in 1898, a lot of records put construction dates on all Brooklyn structures at 1898, regardless of the actual dates.

    If you read the “Recent Commercial Real Estate Transactions” articles every week in the NY Times, you’ll see an amazing number of obviously much older structures with much more recent construction dates.

  • Andrew Porter
  • KBells40

    A question re: bikes traveling from the bridges in the two-way bike lane on Tillary once it dead-ends at Cadman Plaza West – from my daily observation, cyclists traveling *from* the bridges now hit that intersection and 1) cross into the little plaza in front of 10 Clinton to proceed south on Clinton (against traffic, turning the Clinton St. bike lane into a two-way lane, which I don’t believe is legal or intended), 2) cross into the little plaza and then ride *on the sidewalk* in the direction of Clark St and points beyond, or 3) less frequently, hang a sharp right and ride on Henry alongside the cars. Does anyone know what the actual flow of bikes is supposed to be there? I am baffled by the design of that plaza/bike lane connector…

  • HandsoffBuddy

    Loving Sushi Gallery these days. They’ve always had great food but lately it’s been outstanding. And I just love the couple that owns it. It would be heartbreaking to see them close.

  • Claude Scales

    The ultimate “White Savior” statue. This isn’t to denigrate the vital work Beecher did for the abolitionist movement. It’s just that Black people are justifiably offended by monuments like this, which shows Black children begging him for redemption, because they imply that Black people had no agency of their own, and had to rely on the beneficence of powerful white men.

  • Alix

    I live on Monroe Place and my apartment faces the city skyline. In the last few weeks, a building in lower Manhattan has installed several very bright lights on its rooftop that flash every few seconds in a strobe-like effect. They are so bright that they flash in my windows and on the wall next to my bed at night.

    The building is not very tall compared to the others around it, so I’m wondering if this is a new helipad or something that requires flashing lights for safety reasons. They appear to flash 24 hours a day, but are much harder to spot during the day. Has anyone else noticed these recently or have any idea where they’re coming from?

  • Cranberry Beret

    They’re actually coming from a waterfront building in Jersey City. I’ve noticed them a couple times from Red Hook, incl. yesterday night. I agree they’re ridiculously bright, like the strobe lights next to an airport.

    Just looked on a map and seems to be the Goldman Sachs building, which is in the very southeastern corner of that tower district. 30 Hudson Street. The squat square shape on the map matches my recollection of the building where the lights were coming from, and the angle seems to work to shine just across the Battery in Lower Manhattan and reach the Heights like your street.

    Satellite view doesn’t show a helipad, I wonder if it’s new (or someone else installed one nearby?)

  • Cranberry Beret

    No answers but I agree that whole bike path set-up is bizarre. They’ve installed the tiniest of tiny inlaid directional arrows telling cyclists where to go. I was riding northbound on Clinton recently, and while I knew where to go because I live here, my out-of-neighborhood companion got to the plaza and immediately lost the way.

    And as a pedestrian, the portion along Tillary between Cadman Pl West and East (by the courthouse) seem like a recipe for collision, esp. at the crosswalks. There’s virtually no visual clue that you’re about to walk straight across a bike path! Again, just this tiny inlaid marker showing it’s a bike path. It just seems intuitive that the average twalking pedestrian looking at their phone is not going to pay attention for moving vehicles (cycle or motor) until they get to the curb. They really need to put up a fence around that lane. Didn’t anyone from DOT actually observe how bikes and pedestrians interact?!

  • Alix

    Thanks so much for your response–that’s super helpful! It’s been driving me mad not knowing where those lights were coming from, but based on your direction I think it’s actually the Paulus Hook Pier Heliport right near 30 Hudson St. in Jersey City. Not sure why they’ve suddenly appeared so bright and flashy, but at least now I know the source.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Aha. I didn’t zoom in enough on the map to notice there’s a heliport right there. I think the lights are definitely on the skyscraper, though, not below, but it makes sense they’d have strong lights if there’s air traffic next door. I wonder if they only turn them on if it’s hazy/foggy? It’s been quite hazy the past few weeks even when not outright cloudy.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Interesting article linked below: people are fleeing Manhattan for the suburbs (yes, we’ve all seen the recent stories ad nauseam) — but this part is new: they’re heading to Brooklyn even more.

    # of Westchester 1-family home sales up 112% July 2019-July 2020, with # of similar Brooklyn sales up 130%.

  • Root

    At around 2-3AM today 8/14, somebody walked around the Heights setting trash bags on fire. By the melted debris train, Citizen Ap report, and charred sidewalks it looks like they went up Hicks from State to Remsen and also down Joralemon to Furman.