Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

Photo by Mary Kim

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  • Mike Suko

    Police and mask-wearing? What’s up with that??

    Mayor Bill appears on WNYC every Friday and fields questions from a sharp on-air host and a handful of listeners. He went to great pains last Friday to separate the many endorsements Trump has gotten from “people in law enforcement” from what he claims is neutrality by his appointed Police Commissioner.

    Hmph, in a word – by way of a response to that.

    But my concern is the VERY BAD image & reality of NYC Police seldom, if ever, wearing masks. They come into close contact with each other and at least tens of thousands of New Yorkers daily. With the City laser focused on avoiding or minimizing a winter resurgence of Covid, how does that make sense?

    If – and to me the operative word is WHEN – there is a lack of discipline with a police department, democracy! is imperiled.

    If a policeman came to the meeting I think may still begin each shift in sneakers … or without a gun or a badge, SURELY, s/he would be reprimanded and NOT be “out there” outfitted that way.

    So, why can’t the Mayor send down a clear directive that masks are NOT OPTIONAL?!

    And yes, I have an inkling as to why that is, but it gets increasingly unacceptable.

    Demonstrators – everyone BUT the police seems to agree that peaceful protest is emblematic of democracy – should not have to worry more about getting infected than getting maced or clubbed.

    And when the NYPD is charged with ENFORCING the 2 or 3 things we know are most likely to minimize outbreaks … and they issue tickets to people not wearing masks when they themselves are not wearing masks, how “sick” is that?!

    Does anyone believe that those fines will ever be paid? If 3% testing positive shuts down schools … and probably brings us close to a tipping point, all this needs to be something other than part of the Mayor-Governor ongoing food fight.

    The Governor has it right, even if it’s both a cheap shot and WAY beyond the abilities of our current inept Mayor – without enforcement, we’re fighting both the disease and a large number of fellow citizens – people who use mass transit, shop and – for whatever reason – seem not to be willing to do things that keep their loved ones & the rest of their fellow New Yorkers safe.

    Just as millions were convinced by the President’s EXAMPLE that masks weren’t necessary, millions more have to be influenced by “law enforcement’s” very poor “modeling.” I know it’s hot in the US South (and NYC in the summer), but now and here – with Police very much part of making voting “safe” – it’s sheer anarchy!

  • MaggieO

    where is that photo from? my kid loves seeing the halloween decorations that folks are putting up!

  • CassieVonMontague

    Clark and Willow. Last year the house had Spiderman crawling up the walls.

  • CassieVonMontague


  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Brooklyn Heights enthusiastically participates in Halloween decorations like no other community. The attached film used as its subject matter the Halloween decorations displayed throughout the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood by residents a few years ago.

  • Andrew Porter

    Another Wednesday, another photo of the Heights from last century. Here’s Joralemon and Henry Streets on August 21st, 1903:

  • Andrew Porter

    And here’s the intersection, two years later, on September 14th, 1905:

  • Andrew Porter
  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Can someone please ban leaf blowers from NYC? — and, while you’re at it, get off my lawn!

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Can someone please ban leaf blowers from NYC? — and, while you’re at it, get off my lawn!

  • Love Laner

    Look at the baby trees! I wonder if any of the ones there today are the same.

  • Andrew Porter

    Now for something completely different: Earlier this week I came out of my dentist’s office on Remsen and found a woman on her knees on Henry, harvesting fallen Gingko fruits. She uses them in various recipes, and harvests them from the foot of Remsen, from the trees on Hicks between Montague and Pierrepont, and other places in BH.

  • Jorale-man

    I’m trying to place this view. I assume that steeple the belongs to Our Lady of Lebanon Church, and was knocked down at some point. And the house on the right is where the post-war apartment building now stands.

  • Andrew Porter

    I tried to find more about the steeple on-line, but couldn’t. It’s my understanding that it was blown down, likely during the 1938 hurricane that devastated Long Island and went into Connecticut.

  • Jorale-man

    Interesting. There’s a picture of the church here with the steeple. It looks like it had two spires originally, with a shorter one to the left of the front entrance.

  • Jeremy

    I’m attaching a pic dated 1935 showing the church’s spire already removed.

    The AIA Guide says the spire was deteriorated and the replacement cost was too high, so it was simply taken down. It was pretty typical for the spires of 19th century churches to meet this fate in the 20th century. There’s another photo dated 1925 showing the spire intact. We know that Church of the Pilgrims merged with Plymouth Church in 1934 because the congregation was shrinking, so spire removal between 1925-1935 due to dwindling Pilgrims finances in that decade makes sense.

    Bob Furman posted here (before his book came out) that the spire came down after the 1938 hurricane (aka “The Long Island Express”) but that’s a mistake. I’m guessing he relied on google, which brings up a hit for the “Brooklyn Congregational Church” in Connecticut which had its spire knocked down in the storm.

    Our Lady of Lebanon moved in during 1944.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Jeremy, you are an encyclopedic marvel. You are truly one of my favorite people on the planet. No doubt if I was back in grammar school, I would make a point of sitting next to you, hoping that osmosis would do its thing and assimilate our brains.

  • Karl Junkersfeld
  • Andrew Porter

    The Halstead Real Estate office on Montague in the former Pic-a-Deli/Housing Works/Fish’s Eddie/etc. store closed up within the last day or so.

  • Andrew Porter
  • Andrew Porter

    An article on the building also ran in YIMBY (not behind a Paywall):

  • Reggie

    Studios from $8,500 a month!

  • CassieVonMontague

    I used to sit, talk and drink “branch water” with Pete on the stoop of her home on Willow St where she grew up. She always called it the Towers Hotel, and when I asked if it was called “Leverich Towers” she said she’d never heard the name.

    She had her debut at the hotel, and she said she descended a grand staircase in the ballroom with “a beau on each arm, as back then you had to have two beaus as a debutante.”

    The JWs later held a banquet at the building when they owned it, which she attended. She said she wept when she saw that the grand staircase had been removed during JW renovations.

    I hope some of the grandeur has been restored for her sake. If anyone can find a picture of the ballroom or staircase, I would love to see it.

  • Bornhere

    As a kid, my friends and I would play “Russia” (a game with a “Spauldeen”) against the Willow Street-wall of the Towers and would also waltz in and gather on the balcony, when there were dinners/balls in the ballroom. Also, before my parents moved to the apartment building across the street (and where I lived for the first 30 years of my life), they had a suite at the Towers, from which my mom saw the B-25 hit the Empire State Building. (And we never invoked “Leverich.”)

  • Jeremy

    Pete had a pretty good memory. (Miss her on the stoop!)

    This building was announced as the “Leverich Towers Hotel” in 1925, and used that name after opening in 1927. The Leverichs were an old Dutch Brooklyn family who moved into real estate development in the roaring 1920s. But they lavishly overspent on this property and others, and lost the hotel to bankruptcy even before the Depression hit. A new owner took off the tainted Leverich name from the property in the early 1930s. From then on it was just called the “Towers Hotel” (notwithstanding some lingering Leverich references in a few 1930s newspaper articles), until the Jehovah’s Witnesses bought it in the 1970s. So, the name “Leverich Towers Hotel” often appears in guidebooks because that was the opening name, but Pete was correct that no one in living memory actually called it that.

  • Ellin

    I remember talking to “Pete” on a number of very pleasant occasions while on my morning walkabout.