Brooklyn Heights Blog » 11201 Dispatches from America's first suburb Sat, 15 Jun 2019 03:24:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wilde Times at Brooklyn Bridge Park Sat, 15 Jun 2019 03:24:40 +0000

Beginning this coming Tuesday evening, June 18 at 7:00 and continuing each evening at the same time through Sunday, June 23 on the Bridge View Lawn of Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the New York Classical Theatre will present free performances of Oscar Wilde’s (photo) The Importance of Being Earnest.

Considered one of the great comedies in the English language, Wilde’s 1895 classic is a satire of social manners and obligations in Victorian England. In New York Classical’s production, the entire cast will swap roles (and genders) every other performance to explore the power dynamics in the script.

There’s more information here.

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Scissura: BQE Panel Faces “Daunting Task” Sat, 15 Jun 2019 02:40:51 +0000

Carlo Scissura, chair of the panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio to study the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, told Mary Frost of the Eagle that the panel must undertake “a daunting task.” He said that, contrary to the expectations of many, the panel’s work is not to evaluate the many proposals for BQE reconstruction, but to

“review the state of the BQE, understand the traffic patterns of who’s using it, understand the realities of the issues surround[ing] construction and engineering and design around this roadway, and this corridor, and then with real facts and real understanding and real evidence, come together as a panel and offer ideas and suggestions on what should happen next.”

His only comment on the proposals that have been put forth is that he doesn’t believe any of them that require relocation of MTA fan plants are viable. “[I]t is in my mind doubtful,” he said, “that [the MTA] want to spend a hundred, two hundred million dollars when they have other needs that they have to address.”

Mr. Scissura also noted that the panel must consider “[h]ow will [the reconstruction] affect the surrounding communities, and the communities stretching into northern Brooklyn and Queens and southern Brooklyn and Staten Island?”

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Bargemusic This Weekend Thu, 13 Jun 2019 03:47:15 +0000

Bargemusic’s weekend begins Friday evening, June 14 when pianist Golda Vainberg-Tatz (photo) plays works of Berg, Debussy, and J.S. Bach. On Saturday evening, June 15 at 6:00, violinist Mark Peskanov and pianist Doris Stevenson will perform works of J.S. Bach, Astor Piazzolla, Pablo Ziegler, and Aram Khachaturian.

On Sunday afternoon, June 16 at 2:00, Mr. Peskanov, along with Chauncey Patterson on viola and Julian Schwarz on cello, will play works of Schubert and Beethoven. Later on Sunday afternoon at 4:00, the Alaria Trio will perform works of Pärt, Beethoven, and Shostakovich.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, details here. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

The following weekend, Friday, June 21 through Sunday, June 23, there will be no concerts at Bargemusic. Concerts will resume on Friday, June 28.

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Update on Poplar Street Community Garden: It’s 25 Years Old Now! Tue, 11 Jun 2019 02:48:21 +0000

Last week we posted about a party this coming Saturday, June 15 from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Poplar Street Community Garden, located at the northwest corner of Poplar and Hicks streets. What we didn’t know at the time was that this year marks the Garden’s 25th anniversary. The photo above shows it in 2010. Poplar BeforeThe photo above shows what it looked like in 1983, before the gardeners went to work. Note the “Wrong Way” sign in both photos.

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Bargemusic This Weekend Thu, 06 Jun 2019 03:26:42 +0000

Bargemusic’s weekend begins Friday evening, June 7 at 7:00 with a performance of the twentieth century French composer Olivier Messiaen’s (photo) Quartet for the End of Time, composed in 1942 while Messiaen was held in a German prisoner of war camp. It will be performed by Stefan Jackiw on violin, Yoonah Kim on clarinet, Zlatomir Fung on cello, and Conrad Tao on piano.

On Saturday evening, June 8 at 6:00 Violinist Mark Peskanov and pianist Ursula Oppens will play Beethoven’s Piano and Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, op. 24, and his Piano and Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor, Op. 30 No. 2. That same evening at 8:00, they will play Beethoven’s Piano and Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Major, op. 12, and his Piano and Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47. These are separate concerts and require separate admission.

On Sunday afternoon, June 9 at 4:00, pianist Marika Bournaki will play the seventh in her series of concerts presenting the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven. This one will also include his Andante Favori, WoO 57.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, details here. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

Olivier Messiaen photo: Wikimedia Commons.

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“Unplugged” Music Series Starts Friday Evening at Brooklyn Bridge Park; Stargazing Afterwards Wed, 05 Jun 2019 16:31:06 +0000

Brooklyn Bridge Park presents “Unplugged,” a series of free acoustic concerts featuring folk, country, gospel, and soul musicians. The series begins this Friday, June 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. with local favorites Ali Dineen and Feral Foster (photo, by C. Scales), whom your correspondent heard at this year’s Brooklyn Folk Festival. They will be joined by thirteen year old banjo and singing wonder Little Nora Brown.

There will be succeeding concerts each Friday evening from 6 to 8, through August 2. A complete schedule is here. Concerts will take place at the Greenway on Pier 3 (see map at immediately previous link).

Also on this Friday evening, and each succeeding Friday evening through August 9, from 8:30 to 10:30 (weather permitting), members of the .Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will be on the Pier 1 Promenade with their high-powered telescopes for a free Journey to the Stars. The AAA members will share views through their telescopes of the moon and such planets and stars as may be visible in our sky on each night.

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It’s Pride Month: Here’s What’s Happening Wed, 05 Jun 2019 03:51:10 +0000

June is Pride Month. The Brooklyn Historical Society has an ongoing exhibition at their 128 Pierrepont Street (corner of Clinton) headquarters, On the Queer Waterfront: The Factories, Freaks, Sailors & Sex Workers of Brooklyn which will be on display through Sunday, August 4. Other events in the Borough are listed on the Brooklyn Pride website. Update: There’s more here.

Photo: Benson Kua via Wikimedia Commons

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Poplar Street Community Garden Hosts Gardening Party Saturday, June 15 Mon, 03 Jun 2019 03:08:50 +0000

The Poplar Street Community Garden (photo by C. Scales), located at the northwest corner of Poplar and Hicks streets, will hold a “gardening party”, to which all–adults and children–are invited, on Saturday, June 15 from noon to 3:00 p.m. There will be a beekeeping show-and-tell, refreshments, live music, some light get-your-hands-dirty gardening fun, not to mention the beauty of the Garden. It’s all free.

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Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Open This Summer Mon, 03 Jun 2019 02:26:40 +0000

The Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Hicks and Henry), will remain open this summer, unlike previous summers when it closed June through early September, occasioned by the fact that it is staffed by volunteers (disclosure: your correspondent’s wife is one of those volunteers), most of whom take summer vacations. This summer enough volunteers are available to keep it open. During June, the Exchange will be open its usual hours of Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During July and August it will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5:00 p.m. It will be closed July 4th through 6th.

The Exchange is a not-for-profit craft and gift shop that supports “craftspeople from Brooklyn and beyond.”
IMG_8997The exchange’s offerings include children’s clothes, toys, and books as well as items for adults, including t-shirts, housewares, condiments, and books.

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BHA Has Two New BQE Plans Sun, 02 Jun 2019 18:09:16 +0000

It’s not quite to the point that there are more alternative plans for the rehabilitation of the cantilevered portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway below Brooklyn Heights than there are aspirants to the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. As the Eagle’s Mary Frost reports, the Brooklyn Heights Association has presented two new plans, both by the firm of Marc Wouters Studios, which also did the first design presented by the BHA early this year.

The new designs differ from the BHA’s earlier one in that they would, in one proposal, use the temporary bypass roadway as the base for expansion of Brooklyn Bridge Park, or in the other, create a new level of parkland in place of the present northbound BQE lanes. According to the Eagle

BHA says that both of these new concepts offer several distinct advantages from other recent proposals, since neither would require the costly relocation of other major infrastructure (including MTA facilities, the park’s headquarters or a major sewer trunk line under Furman Street) and neither would affect the condominium building at 360 Furman St.

Renderings of both of the new proposals can be seen in the Eagle story linked at the top of this post. Meanwhile, the work of the committee appointed by Mayor de Blasio to study alternatives for BQE rehabilitation or replacement continues, and the committee seeks comments from the public.

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Restaurant Roundup Fri, 31 May 2019 05:35:51 +0000

Here’s some restaurant news that will whet your appetite!

Henry’s End is settling into their new space at 72 Henry Street. The red neon sign has been lovingly transplanted to the former Sociale location where diners have definitely been taking advantage of their new outdoor seating, weather permitting. According to the Community Board 2, Happy Fin Poke at 60 Henry Street (formerly Great Wall), has applied for a liquor license for wine and beer. Sake with your tuna anyone?

How’s this for some deep dish? Also per CB2, new establishment, 46 Below has applied for a New: Full on Premises liquor license at 46 Old Fulton Street. Spumoni Gardens has applied for a wine and beer liquor license at the same address. Could the legendary Gravesend pizzeria be putting down roots in North Brooklyn? If so, their square cut Sicillian pies and delicious spumoni desserts will give the other nearby brick oven restaurants a run for their money!

And finally, the Time Out Market New York will open this Friday at 8:00 am at Empire Stores, 55 Water Street across from Jane’s Carousel.

The new food and cultural space is bringing together the best of this huge, ever-changing city under one roof. What exactly does that mean? Well, across two floors (including a stunning rooftop terrace), you’ll be able to try mouth-watering bites from 21 of our favorite local chefs, sip craft cocktails from some of the city’s best bartenders and catch live performances from hot up-and-coming talent.

The market will open daily at 8am with a portion of vendors serving breakfast items such as coffee, juice smoothies and baked goods. Remaining vendors will open at 11am. From Sunday to Thursday the market will be open until 11pm and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Our suggestion, visit on an empty stomach!

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Bargemusic This Weekend Thu, 30 May 2019 02:29:42 +0000

Bargemusic’s weekend begins Friday evening, May 31 at 7:00 with a performance of works by Boulanger, Helgeson, Rakowski, Andres, and Schumann, by the pianist Donald Berman (photo).

On Saturday evening, June 1 at 6:00, and again on Sunday afternoon, June 2 at 4:00, violinist Mark Peskanov, cellist Wendy Sutter, and pianist Nina Kogan will perform two works; one by Mozart and one by Beethoven.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, details here. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

Donald Berman photo by Etienne Frossard.

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Bargemusic This Weekend Thu, 23 May 2019 02:48:33 +0000

Bargemusic’s weekend begins Friday evening, May 24 at 7:00 with a performance of works by J.S. Bach, Scott Ordway, and Gaspar Cassado, by the cellist Julian Schwarz (photo).

On Saturday evening, May 25 at 6:00, and again on Sunday afternoon, May 26 at 4:00, members of the Semplice Players, along with guest violinist Mark Peskanov, will perform two string quartets; one by Mozart and one by Beethoven.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, details here. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

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BHA Issues “Call to Action” on Clark Street Station Closure Wed, 22 May 2019 03:02:49 +0000

The Eagle reports that the Brooklyn Heights Association has issued a “call to action” concerning the possible one year closure of the Clark Street subway station while its ramshackle, breakdown-prone elevators are repaired. The MTA has so far failed to give an answer as to whether it intends a complete shutdown. A complete shutdown would greatly inconvenience many subway riders, and could spell death to several businesses, some of long standing, in the arcade connected to the subway entrance.

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First Word From BQE Panel; Website Available Fri, 17 May 2019 12:51:49 +0000

The Eagle’s Mary Frost reports that the panel studying options for the Brooklyn Queens Expressway has issued its first report. It has begun studying the various proposals as well as existing structural conditions and traffic flows, and is meeting with potentially affected or interested agencies as well as community groups. The Panel’s chairman, Carlo Scissura, said “[h]e anticipates that the panel will issue a report in the fall that will address what can be built and establish guidelines for the construction.” The panel has a page on the city Department of Transportation Website that invites public comments; those concerned may also call Mr. Scissura’s office at 212-213-2434.

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Promenade Garden Conservancy Bake Sale Saturday Thu, 16 May 2019 03:23:07 +0000

The members of the Promenade Garden Conservancy, who are responsible for the upkeep of the gardens and for the floral displays we enjoy, are holding a bake sale this Saturday, May 18 (rain day May 19), from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Montague Street entrance to the Promenade. All proceeds go to the upkeep of the Promenade gardens. More information here.

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Grace Chorale and Friends Concert This Sunday Thu, 16 May 2019 03:06:22 +0000

The Grace Chorale of Brooklyn and friends will present a concert this Sunday afternoon, May 19 at 3:00, at the First Presbyterian Church, 124 Henry Street (between Clark and Pierrepont). There’s more information and you can buy tickets here.

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Bargemusic This Weekend Thu, 16 May 2019 02:34:11 +0000

Bargemusic’s weekend begins Friday evening, May 17 at 7:00 with a recital of vocal works by Dowland, Beethoven, Schubert, Leisner, Borisov, and Waldteufel, sung by the tenor James Onstad (photo) accompanied on guitar by David Leisner.

On Saturday evening, May 18 at 6:00, and again at 8:00, members of the Semplice Players will perform two piano trios; one by Dvorak and one by Brahms.

On Sunday afternoon, May 19 at 4:00 the husband and wife piano duo Misha and Cipa Dichter will play two other works by Brahms and Dvorak.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, details here. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

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Four Brooklyn Heights Churches Welcome Tours Next Weekend Sat, 11 May 2019 02:48:27 +0000

Next weekend, Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, in conjunction with various religious institutions, will present its annual Sacred Sites Open House. Among the participating houses of worship are four Brooklyn Heights churches: Grace Church (photo, C. Scales for BHB), open Sunday the 19th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, 113 Remsen Street (main entrance on Henry), open Saturday the 18th from 9:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday the 19th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Plymouth Church, 75 Hicks Street, open Saturday the 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; and St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague Street (main entrance on Clinton), open Sunday the 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

All of the Brooklyn Heights participants in this year’s Sacred Sites Open House are Christian, but Beth Shalom v’Emeth Reform Temple, 83 Marlborough Road, Prospect Park South will be open Sunday the 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the Moslem Mosque Inc., 106 Powers Street, Williamsburg, will be open Saturday the 18th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Mosque tour requires advance registration.

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Bargemusic This Weekend Thu, 09 May 2019 03:36:55 +0000

Bargemusic’s weekend begins on Friday evening, May 10 at 7:00, when pianist Andreas Foivos Apostolou plays works by Purcell, Rameau, J.S. Bach, and Leo Ornstein, as well as four compositions of his own.

On Saturday evening, May 11 at 6:00 pianist Olga Vinokur (photo) will present “Adventures in Transcription,” a series of works originally written for orchestra or chamber ensemble but transcribed, usually by another composer, for solo piano. It will conclude with Gershwin’s transcription of his own Rhapsody in Blue.

The weekend’s concerts will conclude on Sunday afternoon, May 12 at 4:00 when Quartet 131 performs works by Schubert and Beethoven.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, details here. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

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Repast Baroque Ensemble Presents “The Curious Inventions of Biagio Marini” Thursday Evening Mon, 06 May 2019 02:54:56 +0000

This Thursday evening, May 9 at 8:00 p.m., at the McKinney Chapel of the First Unitarian Church. 116 Pierrepont Street, the Repast Baroque Ensemble will present “The Curious Inventions of Biagio Marini,” featuring works by that seventeenth century Italian composer, along with works by Dario Castello.

Marini’s music was considered to be avant garde in his time. Repast presents this audacious and innovative 17th Century repertoire with an ensemble that includes the dulcian (the early bassoon), theorbo (a large lute), 2 violins, a portative organ, and cello.

There’s more information here and you may purchase tickets here. The McKinney Chapel is wheelchair accessible.

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Mothers’ Day Instagram Contest Sun, 05 May 2019 03:48:17 +0000

Montague Street businesses are sponsoring a Mothers’ Day Instagram contest. The rules are: (1) take a photo of your mom and post it on Instagram; (2) tell why you love her; and (3) tag with #montaguelovesmoms and #ilovemontguestreet, as well as the name of any Montague Street merchant. Prizes will be awarded; more information here.

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Irish Cyclist Ends Transcontinental Ride in Brooklyn Bridge Park Sun, 05 May 2019 01:55:15 +0000

The Irish Times reports that 26 year old Shane Finn, of County Kerry, Ireland, today completed a 36 day bicycle journey that began at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and ended at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where he was greeted by his cousin, Mary Evans, who flew over from Ireland for the event. Mr. Finn undertook the transcontinental challenge, as he has several marathon runs, to raise funds for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland; spina bifida hydrocephalus is a condition with which Ms. Evans was born. See photos in the story linked above. There is a U.S. organization that also raises funds for the same purpose: see here.

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Borough President Adams Weighs In On BQE Plans Sat, 04 May 2019 02:20:07 +0000

We recently published a letter from a Brooklyn Heights resident to various elected officials, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, responding to what NYC Department of Transportation representative Tanvi Pandya told a neighborhood group concerning DOT’s intentions about the repair of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Borough President Adams has responded to our neighbor’s letter, as follows:

[T]hanks for reaching out and sharing the DOT comments. The plan will go through the ULURP process that includes the Borough President and Council. Both agencies are opposed to the DOT plan. We will be united to stand against it. Don’t be discouraged by the DOT words. Be encouraged by our united front against their proposal.



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Will Hell Freeze Over? Bossert Said to Have “Soft Opening” in August Fri, 03 May 2019 03:54:42 +0000

Brownstoner reports that the Bossert Hotel, at Montague and Hicks streets, may have a “soft opening” in August, followed by a “hard opening” in September. The owners have applied for a liquor license, in which they have disclosed these details:

The liquor license will cover a restaurant on the ground floor and a bar in the lobby (which will have live piano music), two ballrooms (used for weddings and other events) and a bar on the 14th floor that has both indoor and outdoor seating.

No music is planned for the outdoor area, which will close at 10 p.m. every night, Huey told the community board. The indoor area of the 14th floor will close at 11 p.m., while the restaurant and bar downstairs will close at midnight.

The newly appointed managers of the Bossert are the managers of the Tillary Hotel in downtown Brooklyn. According to the Post story, the Tillary has attracted a young crowd and some neighbors have complained. The story quotes the manager as saying: “At the Bossert, the goal would be higher rates, more corporate clients — we’re aiming toward a five-star hotel.”

PHoto: SongBird NYC for BHB.

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Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Return to Brooklyn Side Fri, 03 May 2019 02:37:11 +0000

The New York Post reports that this year’s Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

will return to the Brooklyn Bridge, where tens of thousands of pyrotechnic shells will be launched, as well as from four barges along Pier 17 in the Seaport District, company officials announced Thursday.

It adds that

July’s fete will feature more than three times the explosive power than previous displays and will incorporate the [Brooklyn B]ridge’s entire 1,595-foot span.

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Bargemusic This Weekend Thu, 02 May 2019 03:26:15 +0000

Bargemusic’s weekend begins Friday evening, May 3 at 7:00, with Mark Peskanov on violin, Rose Hashimoto (photo, by David Ordovsky) on viola, and Sean Hawthorne on cello, doing works by Schubert, Bach, and Beethoven. On Saturday evening, May 4 at 6:00, pianists Rita Sloan and Jonathan Feldman will present “Shall We (Mostly) Dance?” featuring works by Bernstein, Barber, Montsalvage, Moskowski, and Rachmaninoff. On Sunday afternoon, May 5 at 4:00, pianist Marika Bournaki will play the fifth in her series of concerts presenting the complete 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, details here. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

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Tall Ship Coming To Brooklyn Bridge Park This Weekend Wed, 01 May 2019 01:49:47 +0000

The brigantine Corwith Cramer (photo) will dock at Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park this Thursday, May 2 and will remain until Sunday, May 12. The ship will be open for tours this Friday, May 3 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, May 5 from 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m.; Friday, May 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, May 11 from noon to 2:30 p.m. There’s more information here.

Photo courtesy of Sea Education Association | SEA Semester ® |

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Clark Street Subway Station May Close For One Year Tue, 30 Apr 2019 03:00:06 +0000

Mary Frost of the Eagle reports that rumors, based on conversations between merchants with businesses in the arcade adjoining the entrance to the Clark Street subway station and MTA employees, are that the station may be closed for a full year while repairs are made to all three of the station’s frequently malfunctioning elevators. The elevators are the only practicable means of connecting street level to the platforms, as they lie ten stories below the surface. The merchants are understandably alarmed, as they depend on foot traffic to the subway from the Clark and Henry Street entrances for most, if not all, of their business. The Eagle has contacted the MTA, and has been told that it “would be issuing a statement within a couple of weeks on the project.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons; Jim Henderson.

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BQE Updates: Expert Panel Meets With BHA, Community Leaders, and Electeds; DOT Clarifies Position Sat, 27 Apr 2019 16:22:47 +0000

Our friends at the Brooklyn Heights Association have told us that the expert panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio to study and make recommendations about the repair of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway below Brooklyn Heights “met last [Thursday, April 25] evening with representatives from 16 community organizations, local elected officials, and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and her staff.” The panel’s chair, Mr. Carlo Scissura, said this would be “just the beginning of the community engagement process and promised that a public hearing would take place within the next few weeks to enable the Panel to hear directly from the public.” He also said, “we’re here to listen. We’re here to learn.” In addition to listening to community members, he said the panel will consult with other potentially affected or interested parties, such as the MTA, the Port Authority, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. “To facilitate [the panel’s] work, subcommittees will evaluate the governmental approval structure for the project, engineering and constructability of options, and aspects of the project related to parks, environment and historic preservation.” Mr. Scissura “anticipates that the Panel will issue a report in the fall that will address what can be built and establish guidelines about what should be built.”

During the meeting, the BIG Group, BHA/Marc Wouters, and Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office presented their alternative plans for BQE reconstruction. The BHA distributed its Statement of Values that includes in its list of “What We Expect Will Be Achieved” a plan that preserves “the historic character of the Promenade and of Brooklyn Heights, including maintenance of pedestrian access to the Promenade as long as possible during any construction”; that “minimize[s] the impact of the highway on nearby residential buildings and the air, noise and visual pollution in all adjoining neighborhoods”; and that will include “the implementation of traffic demand management measures, including street direction reversals, that minimize the use by diverted traffic of local streets in all affected neighborhoods.” Included in its list of “What We Expect Will Be Avoided” are “the proposed Promenade Highway at our neighborhood’s doorstep”; “any temporary construction which — were funding to disappear — would become an unacceptable permanent structure”; and “[u]se of non-consensual eminent domain.” The BHA requests donations to its BQE Fund.

In response to our publication of a letter by a Brooklyn Heights resident to elected officials concerning DOT official Tanvi Pandya’s statements at a meeting with Poplar Street residents, DOT Assistant Commissioner and Press Secretary Scott Gastel sent us the following statement:

NYCDOT is not committed to any one plan at this time as evidenced by the recent convening, in consultation with local elected officials and civic associations, of an expert panel to evaluate options for replacing this aging infrastructure. We deeply value the experience and perspectives the panel members bring to the table and are very much looking forward to what they recommend. It is correct that the panel will issue advisory recommendations because the final decision for the BQE project concept can come only through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. NYC DOT will not begin the formal NEPA process until after the panel issues its recommendations. Once the formal environmental review process begins, the public will have additional opportunities to both formally and informally participate.

We also value the time and effort that has gone into other concepts that have been presented, and the panel will be looking into them further. The project will require approval from a number of legislative bodies and agencies, and we’ll continue working closely with them throughout the project, including during the panel process.

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