Brooklyn Heights Blog » DUMBO Dispatches from America's first suburb Sun, 16 Jun 2019 04:04:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Simon Says: Talk to Neighbors; Examine Data; Review EIS for BQE Renovation Sat, 19 Jan 2019 03:54:14 +0000

As expected, Thursday’s “Java with Jo Anne” event, with State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon at One Girl Cookies in DUMBO, drew a number of Brooklyn Heights residents eager to question Ms. Simon’s stance concerning the City Department of Transportation’s plan to construct a temporary six lane highway in the present location of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Simon was booed and heckled at the rally on the Promenade last Saturday for not declaring herself opposed to the DOT plan. As Mary Frost reports in the Eagle, when asked why she hadn’t opposed it as other elected officials had, Simon replied that unlike those who had spoken against the DOT plan at the promenade rally — she didn’t name them, but they are City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — she isn’t running for Mayor. (Another elected official who spoke against the DOT plan on Saturday, Assembly Member Latrice Walker, is running for City Public Advocate.)

Simon noted that there are only two plans now under consideration: the “innovative” plan to build a temporary highway at the level of the Promenade, and a “traditional” lane-by-lane approach that would involve partially closing the BQE, would take longer, and is projected to cause seven mile long traffic jams and cause diversion of much traffic to local streets. The “traditional” approach would affect constituents of hers in Cobble Hill, where she lives. The “innovative” approach would be a benefit to residents of DUMBO and Vinegar Hill, because it would allow traffic to flow freely to the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges from the BQE, rather than being routed through their neighborhoods. The Eagle story quotes Simon: “We’re in a state of equipoise here. Both plans suck. And they suck a little differently for different people.”

Asked about the alternative plan proposed by the Brooklyn Heights Association that would route the temporary highway below the Promenade, and above the sound attenuating berms and parking lot of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Eagle story quotes Simon as saying “the DOT Commissioner [Polly Trottenberg] was very intrigued by it” but that the Department must determine if it is feasible. Simon also noted that it could adversely affect residents of 360 Furman Street, the Pierhouse, and Pier Six (presumably meaning the soon to be completed high rises on the Pier Six uplands).

Simon also noted that it was impossible to evaluate the impacts of the proposals until an environmental assessment has been completed. According to the Eagle:

Her office will be helping to advise people working on statements for input into the environmental review process — a process she is familiar with based on many years of involvement with the Gowanus Expressway and Atlantic Yards processes.

She said that the environmental report, when released, would be very long, and deal with a number of topics. She suggested that neighborhood groups should appoint people with expertise in various areas to analyze and criticize portions of the report. She also encouraged people from different neighborhoods that might be differently affected to get together and discuss how they could find common ground.

Several attendees asked about actions that could reduce the traffic using the BQE, and thereby mitigate the possibility of traffic jams and diversions of traffic. Simon said that eliminating the outbound toll on the Verrazano Bridge would require federal legislation. Congestion pricing, which would require action by the state, is a tough sell, because legislators representing districts in the farther reaches of Brooklyn and Queens, and Nassau County have all been told by their constituents that they oppose anything that would constrain their right to commute to Manhattan by car. Simon added that surveys have shown that people living in these areas rarely if ever use their private cars to go to Manhattan. Nevertheless, they object to anything that would limit their freedom to do so. Simon said she’s convinced that “there’s a direct connection between the steering column and the male groin.” In any event, she didn’t think that congestion pricing would have a significant effect on BQE traffic.

Simon expressed disappointment over the failures of the city and the state to take earlier action on the deterioration of the cantilevered portion of the BQE. She said several successive City DOT commissioners had “kicked the can down the road.” She also reiterated her criticism of the state, expressed at the rally last Saturday, for turning its back on the issue, but added, as the Eagle story reports:

I’m talking to everybody; I’m working with the DOT to explore every alternative; I’m working with the federal elected officials; I’m working with the state elected officials; I’m hounding the state Department of Transportation. I’ve a meeting with the commissioner next week … He’s coming to see me. Which is highly unusual for the transportation commissioner to come visit a legislator. The statement is pretty clear. We’re going to do everything we can.

There was some discussion of matters unrelated to the BQE. Simon said that Democratic control of the Senate, along with the assembly and the Executive, meant that progress had been made on several fronts: voting rights, campaign finance reform, LGBTQ rights, and gun safety. She was asked if taxes accruing from marijuana legalization, if passed, might be used to improve public transit. She said there were several proposals for the use of those funds, including repairing the lives of those who had been imprisoned because of marijuana convictions.

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Photoville Opens in Brooklyn Bridge Park Wed, 12 Sep 2018 21:11:46 +0000

Straight from the Photoville website:

“For its seventh edition, Photoville will present work by more than 600 artists in 90 photography exhibitionsoutdoor installations, providing an accessible venue for the public to experience both challenging and entertaining visual stories from a diverse group of artists, curators and organizations.

In addition to exhibitions in and around the freight containers, Photoville offers panel discussions, artist lectures, professional development seminars, hands-on workshops, extraordinary nighttime programming, and our Education Day that brings together hundreds of public school students for a unique photo-based field trip.

Photoville remains open to the public— dogs included—free of charge, making it unlike any other photo festival in the world.”

Located in Brooklyn Bridge Plaza section of the park, the exhibition will run from September 13 through the 23rd.

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Neighborhood Safety Meeting – Tues. June 12, 6 pm, at Borough Hall Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:47:22 +0000

A message from 84th Precinct Sector A’s Neighborhood Coordination Officer Donovan Hunt:

Hello All,

This Tuesday, June 12, we are having our next Neighborhood Safety Meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., 2nd Floor, at 6:00pm. Come by and join the discussion going on in and around the community, ask questions, or just listen to what others are talking about. Refreshments will be served. Please forward to your neighbors and colleagues. Hope to see you all there.

NPO Meeting







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Brooklyn Historical Society Opens “Waterfront” Exhibition, Presents Three Programs This Week Sun, 21 Jan 2018 05:41:17 +0000

The Brooklyn Historical Society has opened a new exhibition, “Waterfront”, at its second location in the Empire Stores, Brooklyn Bridge Park (55 Water Street in DUMBO). The exhibition contains many fascinating photos, prints, preserved objects, videos and other materials concerning the Brooklyn waterfront over the years. Your correspondent took this photo of some youngsters enjoying the “Magnet Wall” on which “kids and adults can create their own whimsical waterfront on a ten-foot magnetized landscape.”

There will be three evening programs at BHS’s headquarters, 128 Pierrepont at Clinton Street, this coming week. On Monday evening, January 22, Daniel L. Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor during the Bloomberg Administration, will read from and discuss his book, Greater Than Ever: New York’s Big Comeback. Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members; buy tickets and more information here.

On Tuesday evening, January 23, BHS, in conjunction with Underwater New York, will present “Current / Bodies: Art and Action on the Waterfront,” in which “six New York artists and writers whose works address the history and future of our waterways…consider New York’s waterfront as a site of continuity and a threshold for political, social, and environmental change.” Admission is $5, or free for BHS members; buy or reserve tickets and more information here.

On Thursday evening, January 25, New York Times writer John Leland will discuss his book Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old with fellow journalist Julie Scelfo. Admission is $5, or free for BHS members; buy or reserve tickets and more information here.

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Coming at Brooklyn Historical Society Mon, 22 May 2017 02:16:05 +0000

It’s a busy week at the Brooklyn Historical Society, with three evening events. All begin at 6:30, and admission for each is $10, or $5 for BHS members. Links to buy tickets are below.

For all the talk of a “paperless society” — this blog’s beloved founder had as a slogan “On the web because paper is expensive” — we still use lots of the stuff. Mark Kurlansky, who has written histories of Cod, Salt, and Oysters, will be at BHS on Tuesday evening, May 23, along with Atlas Obscura editor Ella Morton, to discuss his Paper: Paging Through History. More information and buy tickets here

On Wednesday evening, May 24, Daniel Sharfstein, professor of law and history at Vanderbilt University, will be joined by New York Times editorial writer and author Brent Staples, to discuss Sharfstein’s book Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War. The book deals with an historic irony: how Howard, an abolitionist and Union Army Civil War hero, persecuted “a brutal military campaign against the Nez Perce tribe and their leader, Chief Joseph, an outspoken opponent of forced relocation.” More information and buy tickets here.

Are we on the cusp of tyranny? On Thursday evening, May 25, Masha Gessen, author of The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Retook Russia and Timothy Snyder, Yale history professor and author of On Tyranny: Twenty Leesons from the Twentieth Century, discuss “A Republic, if You Can Keep It,” concerning “the global rise of nationalism and America’s political future.” More information and buy tickets here

When you get a chance, go down to Empire Stores in DUMBO and visit BHS’s new exhibition site. On display there now are many striking photographs of the Brooklyn waterfront. One that particularly caught my eye was of the Harbor View Lawn on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, before a summer “Movies With a View” screening, taken from an open helicopter door directly above and showing the lawn almost covered with blankets arranged in a neat array and people sitting on them or walking around.

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D13 CEC Hosts Electeds and Journalists for Forum on School Desgregation Mon, 15 May 2017 05:37:20 +0000

Studies show that for all its diversity, NYC has one of the most segregated public school systems in the country.  Almost two academic years after the re-zoning of P.S. 8 and P.S. 307, the District 13 Community Education Council will hold an important forum on Tuesday evening (May 16th) as part of its scheduled calendar meeting.

Desegregation: Where We Are Now & Envisioning a Path to the Future will feature panelists Councilmembers Laurie Cumbo and Steve Levin,  New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones and WNYC reporter Yasmeen Khan. The event takes place 6:30 – 8:30 pm at P.S. 307, Daniel Hale Williams, 209 York Street in Brooklyh.


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Brooklyn Bridge Park Presents Artist Priscila De Carvahlo at 99 Plymouth Street Saturday Afternoon Fri, 17 Mar 2017 03:35:10 +0000

This Saturday afternoon, March 18, from 1:00 to 2:00, the Brazilian born artist Priscila De Carvalho (photo; from Maria Brito) will give an artist talk in conjunction with her exhibition Before Now, at 99 Plymouth Street, in DUMBO. Admission is free, but spots are limited and available on a first-come, first served basis.

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Halloween Happenings: Brooklyn Heights and Boo-Yond! Mon, 31 Oct 2016 03:30:46 +0000

Boo, Eek!   Halloween is finally upon us!! Here’s a round up of the best of what our end of Brooklyn has to offer. Add additional events or photos of your Halloween celebrations in the comments.

Trick or Treat!

Hands down, parents in Brooklyn Heights know the two best places to be on Halloween are Garden Place and Grace Court Alley. (So do all the parent blogs, thanks for the shout out Mommy Poppins).  There, the kiddos can roam safely from one beautifully (or creepily) adorned stoop to the next. Peak trick or treating time is just before sundown but “the littles” are often out early, just after school dismissal.

Graves End Inn-Haunted Hotel

Now in its 19th year, the students of City Tech’s theater group, Theaterworks and the Entertainment Technology Department, are aiming to scare the pants off of you with their haunted house. Older kids and adults will be impressed by the theme-park level of design and production value. Enter if you dare!

Voorhees Theatre, 186 Jay Street (north of Tillary)
$5 for students (with ID) and group admission
$10 for general sales
Free to New York City College of Technology students with ID the day of the event


The Dumbo BID is offering a variety of activities starting with storefront trick or treating (4:00 – 7:00 pm) throughout the neighborhood (look for the pumpkin decal in shop windows). The annual costume parade, “March to the Arch” (4:30 pm) led by the Funkrust Brass Band with puppets from Great Small Works will wend its way from Brooklyn Roasting Company at 25 Jay Street to the Manhattan Bridge Arch. Immediately followed by the Archway Kids Party (5:00 – 7:00 pm) and a Pet Costume Soiree (7:00 – 10:00 pm) both in the Manhattan Bridge Archway.

4:00 pm – 10:00 pm


The Brooklyn Academy of Music invites families to start their night of trick-or-treating at their free outdoor Halloween block party.  The event promises a bouncy house, costume contest and more.

Brooklyn Academy of Music
Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Halloween 313 Presents AbraCadaver!

This year’s one-night-only, one-of-a-kind, all-ages theater spectacle (put together by an all volunteer cast of kooky and creepy Clinton Hill characters) is an invitation to take “an old-fashioned stroll down the Coney Island Boardwalk [to] explore the DARK side of magic—that place where the forces of GOOD and EVIL fight for your soul…but only one will win!”  Shows repeat every 30 minutes. The block will be closed off to cars. Spectators come from all corners of NYC, go early for the best viewing spots.

313 Clinton Avenue (bet. DeKalb & Lafayette Aves)
5:30 pm  – 9:00 pm

Cobble Hill Halloween Parade

Dress to impress and strut your stuff.

Cobble Hill Park
4:00 pm

Photo Credit: Smoking Nun

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Brooklyn Children’s Museum to Open Annex at BBP This Saturday Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:47:11 +0000

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum will open an annex, called SPARK, this Saturday, Oct. 15th, at One John St. in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The main branch is located in Crown Heights and has been a popular destination for families with young children throughout Brooklyn and beyond. The museum’s website describes the annex as an art and play space designed for children ages six months to six years. SPARK will feature an outpost of the museum’s popular Brooklyn Block Lab exhibit, and daily art and design workshops, music classes, birthday parties, and more.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the space was donated to BBP by Alloy Development and Monadnock Development, the partners behind the luxury building where the museum annex is housed, through a 5-year-lease that is eligible for five 5-year extensions. Alloy and Monadnock also provided the start-up money and paid about $350,000 to convert the site for SPARK’s use and furnish the space, which Alloy designed.

SPARK will be free on Thursday afternoons, and during warmer months, the museum will offer free activities on the outdoor plaza. There will be Friday morning play date sessions for new parents and caregivers with children ages 0 to 24 months. Among other offerings are semester-long early childhood classes open for registration. The museum’s educators will also partner with P.S. 307 in Vinegar Hill to develop teaching programs.

For more details about admission and hours, click here.


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DUMBO Gets A Lassen and Hennigs Fri, 07 Oct 2016 14:01:26 +0000

To those commenters recently remarking on the empty storefronts and impatiently waiting for new food options to open:

Here you go.

Brooklyn Paper reports that the Montague Street deli is expanding to DUMBO, with plans to open on Water Street between Jay and Pearl. The new spot will have tables for eating in and a liquor license.



Details at the source

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Neighborhood Oktoberfest-Ivities Sat, 01 Oct 2016 00:54:24 +0000

The leaves are turning, a brisk chill is in the air.  Fall is finally here and that means Oktoberfest!

Saturday, October 1st
This Saturday, October 1st The Zion German Lutheran Church is holding its annual Oktoberfest dinner at 125 Henry Street. Doors open at 3.30 pm, dinner from 4 to 8 pm.

Thursday, October 6th – Saturday, October 8th
The Dumbo Improvement District is kicking off their first ever Oktoberfest and “transforming the Archway into a traditional German beer hall.”  The event runs Thursday October 6th 6:00-10:00 pm, Friday October 7th 6:00-10:00 pm and again on Saturday October 8th from 3:00-10:00 pm (with crafts from Creatively Wild from 3:00 – 5:00 pm.

It promises traditional foods including brats and pretzels, “virtual apple picking,” craft beers and activities for adults and kids alike.  Entertainment by Melina and the Oompahs and DJ Holzmeister a.k.a The Kaiser.  For full details check out the Dumbo BID website.

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New Dock Street School Opens Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:31:10 +0000

Your correspondent got notice Monday that at 1:00 p.m. yesterday there would be a ribbon cutting by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña for the new Dock Street School, a public middle school (grades 6 through 8), drawing “a diverse student body from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, Vinegar Hill and North Park Slope”, and including a Pre-K facility with space for 75 students. The school’s entrance is on Dock Street between Water and Front streets in DUMBO. Figuring it would work in nicely with my daily constitutional, I set out at 12:30, heading down the Promenade, then Squibb Hill, then Water Street to Dock.

I didn’t know what to expect, but imagined a short ceremony at the school’s entrance, so I showed up in my walking attire, t-shirt and cargo shorts (I need those extra pockets for my phone and camera). I arrived a few minutes before one, and no one was gathered outside, so I went in. There was a guard at a desk who cheerfully directed me upstairs. At the landing at the top of the staircase I was facing the school’s office, the rear wall of which displayed the sign in the photo above. I was greeted by a school administrator and told her I knew “STEM” meant “Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics” but didn’t know what “STEAM” meant. She said the “A” was for “Arts.” This is DUMBO; figures. Perhaps we have a mini Cooper Union here, though with no threat they’ll start charging tuition.

IMG_6332We were led from the landing outside the school office to the gymnasium, where we milled around waiting for various dignitaries to arrive. I regretted my tee and shorts, as everyone seemed well dressed, and the air conditioning was doing yeoman duty. Three students about to enter sixth grade at Dock Street were seated at the speakers’ table; they were interviewed by Mary Frost of the Eagle (photo above). Update: Here’s Mary’s story.


Among the speakers was City Council Member Steve Levin (photo above), who praised the various people and entities involved in making Dock Street School a reality, including the School Board and Chancellor Fariña, District 13 and Superintendent Barbara Freeman, the School Construction Authority and President and CEO Lorraine Grillo, and building developer and owner Two Trees Management and CEO Jed Walentas. To the left in the photo above is Dock Street’s Principal, Dr. Melissa Vaughan.

Mr. Walentas also spoke. As you may recall, there was considerable controversy over Two Trees’ proposal to build a high rise residential structure at the Dock Street site. He candidly acknowledged the crucial piece of advice he’d received from former City Council Member Ken Fisher: “Put a school in it.” Mr. Walentas said Dock Street School is “a model that shows how the City can leverage real estate values to create public benefits like building new schools, creating space for cultural institutions or updating infrastructure.” He said he hoped other developers would consider making space for schools in their buildings.


Dr. Vaughan called the three students to the podium. She said she hoped their experience at Dock Street would enable them to become “creators.” Each of them then said what they were anticipating as Dock Street students. One of the girls said she loves math, and looks forward to “making good grades.”

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“The Great Escape”, Commemorating Washington’s Evacuation of Brooklyn, at Brooklyn Bridge Park Saturday Fri, 26 Aug 2016 02:38:07 +0000

This Saturday, August 27 marks the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, also sometimes called the Battle of Long Island because where the fighting took place, in what is now Prospect Park, Park Slope, and Green-Wood Cemetery, wasn’t yet part of Brooklyn. It was the first battle in which regular Patriot troops under the command of General George Washington, as opposed to local militias, faced British troops.

It proved to be the largest battle of the Revolution, and went very badly for the Patriots. Several well fought rear-guard actions allowed most of Washington’s army to escape to Brooklyn Heights, where they camped. The British General Howe did not pursue and attack them, hoping that his brother, Admiral Howe, whose fleet as anchored off Staten Island, would sail into the East River and cut off Washington’s escape route. Weather proved to be on the Patriot side, as heavy rain kept Admiral Howe from moving his ships and General Howe from advancing his troops. Following a council of war, Washington decided to evacuate his troops to Manhattan. This was done on the night of August 29-30.

On this Saturday, August 27, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Brooklyn Bridge Park and The Old Stone House, site of an especially valiant rear guard stand by a Maryland regiment, are partners in sponsoring an event, “The Great Escape”, commemorating the successful evacuation of the Continental Army, which saved the Revolution from being crushed in its early days. Hosts for the event are Glover’s Marblehead Regiment, from Massachusetts, whose sailors manned the boats that carried the troops, and the Village Community Boathouse. The event is free; it may be cancelled in the event of extreme weather conditions. It will be held on the beach near the Main Street entrance to the park, in DUMBO.

For other events coming up at Brooklyn Bridge Park, see here.


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Glass Artist Tags Brooklyn Heights (and Beyond) With Colorful Pigeons Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:30:10 +0000

About two weeks ago, I made the most delightful discovery at the intersection of Henry and Orange Streets: A glass mosaic pigeon affixed to the base of a street lamp. It instantly made me smile and reminisce about how, as a teen, I would frequently spot similar treasures in downtown Manhattan; the jubilant dancing babies of Keith Haring, golden crowns of Jean-Michel Basquiat and prophetic wheat paste “Truisms” of Jenny Holzer. I would later go on to study these artists, now all of them icons, in college.

Dumbo Pigeon

Corner of Water and Main, Dumbo. Photo courtesy of gb_pigeon_nyc.

This plucky bird before me tapped into the rich history of NYC street art, one that now includes the work of Swoon and Shepard Fairey. And, here it was, at my literal doorstep and serendipitously across the street from the former and beloved Brooklyn Heights Cinema where I once enjoyed the Banksy documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” (Last year, the notorious British stencil artist visited NYC and tagged the Promenade.  Alas, it was promptly scrubbed by the Parks department.) “Giftshop” introduced me to the work of Space Invader (whose 8-bit tile mosaics I have had the pleasure to spot in Paris-and the approach to the Holland Tunnel of all places) and his eccentric cousin, shop keeper and amateur videographer turned street artist, Mr. Brainwash.

So WHO left this little gem at my feet? I leaned in for a closer look and spied an edition number (the Henry Street bird is 26 out of 200) and an Instagram handle, @gb_pigeon_nyc. I thought, “200? Now THAT’s dedication!” It spoke volumes to me about the tenacity of human creativity and the art-making process itself. A private Instagram message and one week later, I found myself sitting across from the artist at the Starbucks in Dumbo.


Pigeon #1. Photo courtesy of gb_pigeon_nyc.

The artist, whom I’ll refer to as GB, agreed to be interviewed under the condition of anonymity.  First, because the birds are a personal side project.  Second because, you know, gluing glass pigeons to street lamps is technically vandalism.  GB is a native New Yorker, has a “day job” as a teacher but also creates commissioned stained glass works.   When asked how the pigeon project came about he explained, “I was preparing for the Artist and Fleas market in Williamsburg.” In speaking to other vendors, GB was advised to “definitely make New York stuff.”  However, making art for tourists ultimately fell flat.  “Everything I was making had nothing to do with the artistic process…it was making me almost annoyed…I became caught up in selling it.”

The birds are hand-cut from remnants left over from commissioned pieces. Each one takes about 20 minutes to assemble.  So far 65 out of the 200 have been fabricated and 54 have been mounted throughout parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and even in Costa Rica. There’s no master plan for the pigeon placement. But, to me as a life-long New Yorker, almost every location chosen holds some significance.


Washington Square Park. Photo courtesy of gb_pigeon_nyc.

Henry Street was selected for its proximity to Sociale. Francesco, the owner is a close friend and he picked the mosaic he liked best.  GB is also a long-time regular of Gleason’s gym, so Dumbo is near and dear as well.  (Alas, the Dumbo birds have since been removed but can be seen on Instagram). A special red, white and blue pigeon commemorating Independence Day is being held in reserve for just the right spot (“perhaps near the Empire State Building or the World Trade Center”) so it photographs well, and will likely be installed over Labor Day.  But the best part for GB is that many friends are clamoring to go on pigeon posting missions.  They join GB for dinner, walk the neighborhoods and select a location together.

The goal is to mount all of the birds by September 21st, the official end of summer.  GB will see what happens after 200 are done. Perhaps they will change the design. Perhaps not. In the meantime GB reflects on the project, “It’s turned into the best summer I can remember in a long time.”

Call me a luddite, but who needs Pokemon Go when you can embark on a quest for pigeons? Follow on Instagram and create your own scavenger hunt.


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Coming at Brooklyn Bridge Park Fri, 05 Aug 2016 15:48:20 +0000

Tomorrow (Saturday, August 6) from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Pebble Beach near the Main Street (DUMBO) entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park, Aeilushi Mistry will lead a performance of the Hindu lamp ceremony Aarti, in which lamps are set afloat to “bring peace and harmony to our shoreline.” More information here.

On Sunday, August 7 at the Pier 6 Lawns there will be a free Pier Kids event, featuring Private Picassos art and craft activities from 11:00 a.m. to noon, and music by Shira & Friends from noon until 1:00 p.m. More information here.

On Monday evening, August 8 at 7:00, at the Pier 1 Granite Prospect, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, in partnership with Greenlight Bookstore, will present poetry readings by members of The Conversation. The event is free; more information here.

For information about other events and activities coming up at the Park, see here.

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Stop the Chop: Senator Squadron Urges End to All Tourist Helicopter Flights from Downtown Heliport Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:00:02 +0000

State Senator Daniel Squadron, along with Congressman Jerrold Nadler, submitted testimony at a July 11, 2016 hearing on whether to extend Downtown Manhattan Heliport’s (DMH) concessionaire agreement with Saker Aviation Service, which operates tourist helicopter flights from the heliport. At stake is whether the concessionaire agreement would be extended through April 2021, with additional short-term renewal options.

The noise and hazards from tourist helicopters have long provoked the ire of many residents in the City, and in this neighborhood in particular, and spawned the protest group Stop the Chop NYNJ. Tourist helicopter flights had been banned at other heliports across the City, which then shifted all tourist flights to DMH. In October 2011, a tourist helicopter crashed into the East River, prompting renewed calls for an end to all tourist flights, to no avail.

In a February 2016 agreement, the City reduced the maximum number of tourist helicopter flights, and ended Sunday flights and flights over land. Not good enough, according to Senator Squadron, who made no bones about his long-held position – that all non-essential tourist helicopter flights from DMH must be stopped. His testimony included the following statements:

As we said at the time of [the February] agreement, reductions are an important and positive step, but an outright ban on tourist flights from DMH is still warranted. Since the February agreement went into effect, we have continued to hear concerns from impacted community members.

Tourist flights are by definition non-essential, and have not been proven to have significant benefit for commerce or safety. However, we recognize the role of DMH for law enforcement, emergency response, and other purposes. Today, both the 30th and 34th Street heliports still operate as heliports without tourist helicopter operations. Without tourist flights, DMH could, and should continue to operate as well.

Ending tourist helicopter flights at DMH continues to have broad support. After the February deal was announced, a broad coalition of elected officials renewed their call for a ban. Even the City itself has previously supported ending tourist helicopter operations. In its Helicopter Master Plan of 1999, it was clear that the City opposed non-essential tourist helicopter operations at City-owned facilities.

In the same February agreement, the City required air quality monitoring, and research into additional noise and emission reductions from the helicopter flights. The first report on these studies is expected later this week.

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Rolling Stone Publisher May Move To DUMBO Thu, 07 Jul 2016 05:24:17 +0000

Bloomberg reports that ” a person with knowledge of the negotiations said” Wenner Media LLC, publisher of Rolling Stone, along with Men’s Journal and US Weekly, is considering moving its offices from 1290 Avenue of the Americas, in midtown Manhattan, to the Empire Stores (see rendering) near the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront in DUMBO. Bloomberg contacted representatives of Wenner, Wenner’s current landlord, and the developer of Empire Stores, but none would comment.

I’d rate the possibility of this happening a few notches above that of Beyoncé and Jay-Z coming to Pierhouse.

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At Brooklyn Bridge Park This Week Mon, 27 Jun 2016 04:00:34 +0000

In summer there are many events and activities at Brooklyn Bridge Park daily; see a list of ones next week here. Parents should note that on Tuesday morning, June 28, from 10:30 to 11:30 at the small granite prospect facing Pier 3, a Brooklyn Public Library librarian will read children’s stories as part of the “Summer Reading Storytime” series that will continue at the same time on successive Tuesdays through August 9. The event is free. More information here.

If running is a passion for you, on Tuesday evening be at Fornino, at the Pier 6 entrance, at 6:45 to register for New York Road Runners’ free Open Run. These runs will continue on successive Tuesday evenings until further notice. More information here.

On Wednesday evening, June 29 from 6:30 to 7:30, Julie Golia, of the Brooklyn Historical Society, will lead a tour, starting at the Main Street entrance to the park, that will explore the history of the DUMBO waterfront. This is part of the “Park Spotlight” series of tours. Admission is $10, or $5 for Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy members. More information and purchase tickets here.

Also on Wednesday the Pop-Up Pool will re-open. Enjoy it while it lasts; this is its final season.

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Coming Up at Brooklyn Bridge Park Thu, 23 Jun 2016 03:25:47 +0000

There’s a wealth of free events at Brooklyn Bridge Park starting tomorrow (Thursday) evening and extending through the weekend. On Thursday evening, June 23, starting at 8:00, park partner BAMcinemaFest presents a screening of Sara Jordenö’s film Kiki on the Harbor View Lawn, Pier 1. Admission is free; there will be “curated food” for sale. More information here

The Harbor View Lawn is once again the venue on Friday evening, June 24, starting at 7:00, as park partner The Metropolitan Opera begins its Summer Recital Series, this performance featuring the dynamic young soprano Angel Blue (photo) along with several young Met stars. More information here.

On Saturday, June 25, starting at 11:00 a.m. at Fornino, on Pier 6, BBP Gardener Jessica Slade will lead a Pollinators Tour through the flower fields on Pier 6, during which you’ll see the work of various pollinating insects and learn about their habits and roles. More information here.

On Saturday afternoon, on Pier 2, the NY Red Bulls Street Team will show off their skills, lead soccer activities for kids and adults, and conduct a 5v5 tournament, the winners of which will get “a VIP experience at Red Bull Arena”. Registration starts at 1:00 at the site, and the tournament goes from 2:00 to 7:00. More information here.

Also on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., at 99 Plymouth Street in DUMBO, the park and the Brooklyn Arts Council will present “a curatorial talk with Larissa Simpson” concerning artwork on exhibit there for the NYC Oyster Project. More information here.

Sunday morning, June 26, at 11:00 is a most lively time in the park, as all of the following events begin then. You can take the young ‘uns to the Pier 6 lawns for the “Pier Kids” event “Wildlife Theater presents Butterfly Boogie”. Young or old, if playing good chess is your ambition, also on Pier 6 you can attend Checkmate 101 with Zeebedee Collins. Up for some water sport? Go to Pier 2 for Kayak Polo. Be there by 11:00 sharp to reserve your space. Want to learn about the origins of the park and the history of the waterfront that preceded it? Be at the Pier 1 entrance at 11:00 for a docent guided tour.

All of these activities are subject to cancellation in the event of severe weather.

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Here They Are: The Best Eats in Brooklyn Heights 2016 Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:04:24 +0000

Your nominations have been tabulated, and after due consideration by the BHB Food Editorial Board, here are the Best Eats in Brooklyn Heights 2016:

Best Restaurant:  Jack the Horse Tavern

Close Runners-Up:  Henry’s End and Noodle Pudding (So good, it doesn’t need a website or a sign outside.)

Honorable Mentions:  Colonie and Chez Moi

Best Newcomer:  Pinto

Close Runner-Up:  Kogane Ramen


Best Italian:  Noodle Pudding

Close Runner-Up:  Sociale

Honorable Mentions:  Queen and River Deli



Best Mexican:  Gallito’s Kitchen

Close Runner-Up:  Gran Eléctrica

Best Diner:  Teresa’s

Close Runners-Up:  Clark’s Restaurant and Park Plaza Restaurant

Best Breakfast:  To Go – Cranberry’s  |  To Sit – Tazza

Best Lunch:  Tie between Hanco’s and Mile End Delicatessen

Best Burger:  Tie between Five Guys and two8two Bar & Burger

Best Pizza:  To Go – Fascati’s (Controversial pick! Readers either love it or hate it, but it got the most votes hands down.)  |  To Sit – Dellarocco’s

Close Runner-Up:  Table 87

Best Dessert:  Almondine

Best BBQ:  Hill Country (Not much competition in the area, true, but as reader “St. Georgette” notes, it’s the “best place to eat AND hear great live music, and with good drinks too.”)

Best Japanese:  Iron Chef

Close Runners-Up:  Ani Sushi and Hibino (As reader “Resident” notes, the only Japanese restaurant in the area “run by real Japanese people.”)

Best Thai:  After best newcomer Pinto – Tie between Lantern Thai Kitchen and Joya

Best Chinese:  NONE. As reader “Studio Brooklyn” says, “Go to Flushing Queens and bring a friend who speaks Mandarin.” Or take Karl Jungersfeld’s advice and eat “Chinese food in Chinatown either on 8th Ave in Bklyn or Downtown Manhattan.” Although, if you’re in no mood to trek to Sunset Park or another borough, “St. Georgette” recommends Yaso Tangbao in downtown Brooklyn, and the BHB Food Editorial Board wholeheartedly agrees.

Last But Not Least:  As reader “Jorale-man” wisely comments, “a general vote for the Middle Eastern restaurants that survive amid the gentrification on Atlantic.” Reader “AbeLincoln” also nominates “all the Middle Eastern places on both Hicks and Henry.” Indeed, we applaud them all, all equally good, including Tutt Café, Yemen Café, Sultan, Tripoli, Mocha Hookah, Fatoosh, Darna Falafel, and Heights Falafel. Plus, according to “Grace Court Jester” – “that Halal Cart on the corner of Joraleman and Court has great lamb.”

Thanks to all for participating. Let’s go out and eat!



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Make Music New York to Present Free Outdoor Performances in and around Brooklyn Heights Tuesday, June 21 Tue, 21 Jun 2016 03:23:43 +0000

On Tuesday, June 21 Make Music New York will present hundreds of free outdoor (the events will be cancelled in case of rain) musical performances all around New York City. In our neighborhood, the music will start in Cadman Plaza Park with a concert by Dominion (“experimental”) from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., followed by Brightfully (“pop”) from 1:15 to 2:15, then Janelle Costa (“electronic”) from 2:15 to 2:45, then The Afro Nick (“rock, indie rock, pop”) from 3:00 to 4:00. Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park will be the place for brass, hosting Kenny Wollensen’s MEAT (“jazz, experimental, brass”) from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m., then Triad Brass (“jazz, hip-hop, classical”) from 4:45 to 5:30, then the Funkrust Brass Band (“punk, funk, brass”) from 5:30 to 6:15, and The Marching Cobras (“brass”) from 6:15 to 7:00. From 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Hot Tea (“Latin, world, jazz”) will perform in front of the Heights Cafe, 84 Montague Street (corner of Hicks), and from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jaime Garamella (“singer/songwriter, indie-folk, rock”) will sing in front of 132 Lounge, 132 Montague (between Henry and Clinton).

There will be other performances in Cobble Hill, DUMBO, Red Hook, Downtown Brooklyn and other nearby locations. Check the map.

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Meeting on Proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector Monday Evening at St. Francis Sat, 18 Jun 2016 20:46:34 +0000

The Brooklyn Heights Association has notified us of a public meeting, to be held at St. Francis College, the Callahan Center, 182 Remsen Street, this Monday evening, June 20, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., to discuss the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector (“BQX”), a streetcar, or if you prefer, trolley,

or, for our British friends, tram, line that would connect Sunset Park in Brooklyn with Astoria in Queens, serving Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, the Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Long Island City along the way. The notice from the BHA says the line “would pass through Brooklyn Heights.” A map provided by the Mayor’s office in February appears to show it going east of the Heights, perhaps along Cadman Plaza, while a “sneak peek” at the route from Crain’s, also from February, shows it going below the BQE, probably along Furman Street. Perhaps there will be better information about the route at Monday’s meeting, or perhaps it remains to be decided. Sign up to attend here.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park Hosts DUMBO Family Festival Saturday Sun, 17 Apr 2016 14:05:11 +0000

This coming Saturday, April 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Brooklyn Bridge Park will present its DUMBO Family Festival at the John Street and Main Street areas of the Park. It’s a free event, at which you may

[s]cale the DUMBO Boulders [photo], explore the wonders of nature at our Environmental Education Center, get down with mom and dad at our dance party, decorate a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge with flowers, and enjoy classic games on the new lawns under the Manhattan Bridge.

There will be free face painting for the first 100 kids to arrive. More information and schedule of events here.

Photo: bouldering wall in Brooklyn Bridge Park; C. Scales for BHB.

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Two Developers Said to Agree to Buy Witness Headquarters Thu, 14 Apr 2016 01:39:14 +0000

The Real Deal reports that an investment group led by two prominent Manhattan property owners and developers, Jared Kushner and Aby Rosen, are said to have agreed to purchase the Watchtower headquarters complex at 25-30 Columbia Heights, along with a site on Jay Street in DUMBO that has substantial development rights, for $700 million. No word is given on the prospective purchasers’ plans for the headquarters complex. The same group previously purchased another large complex of buildings on Sands Street from the Witnesses, which they converted into “Dumbo Heights”, office space housing Etsy and other on-line and tech oriented companies.

In February we noted that several Manhattan based office developers had expressed interest in the headquarters buildings; the ones mentioned at the time did not include Kushner or Rosen. Aby Rosen is the owner of some of Manhattan’s most prestigious office buildings, including the Park Avenue neighbors Lever House and the Seagram Building. He is an avid collector of contemporary art, much of which adorns his buildings. Kushner owns office buildings, including 666 Fifth Avenue, as well as many residential properties. He is married to Ivanka Trump and, according to his Wiki, he has served his father-in-law’s campaign as an “emissary to the Jewish community.”

BHB reader Andrew Porter left this comment on the Real Deal story:

As a north Heights resident, I welcome this purchase. The buyers have already shown, through their redevelopment of the properties they’ve purchased and are turning into Dumbo Heights, that exciting days are ahead for these buildings.

The question is, of course, what will happen to 119 and 124 Columbia Heights and all the other JW properties still on the market or still to come, for example the mammoth Towers Hotel, which fronts on Clark, Willow and Pineapple Streets.

Photo: Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons.

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Love Thy Neighbor: Upcoming Vote to Fund Community Projects Thu, 24 Mar 2016 18:32:35 +0000

It’s Participatory Budgeting time again and City Council Member Steve Levin wants to know how you would spend up to 1.5 million dollars of the city’s money.  “These funds can go towards capital projects in our parks, our schools—or wherever else the residents of our district decide,” Council Member Levin explains via his Tumblr blog.

Levin resides over District 33 which encompasses Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Williamsburg, DUMBO, Greenpoint, Bed-Stuy and Vinegar Hill.  D33 has it’s own Participatory Budgeting Facebook page where you can “collaborate with other volunteers and voters and stay up to date on the latest news.”

All constituents of D33 aged 14 and over may cast their ballot for up to five projects.  Voting takes place the week of March 26th and centers will be set up across District 33.  Conveniently, Brooklyn Heights residents may vote right here in the hood at P.S.8, 37 Hicks Street on March 30th or 31st from 8am – 11am.

M.S. 8 received $200,000 for technology upgrades at the middle school in 2013.  Here are just some of the many proposed projects for 2016:

  • Finish the Upgrades w/PS261 Computer Carts
    314 Pacific St., Boerum Hill
    PS261 is a K-5 school with 800 students. The wiring was upgraded but to utilize the improvements the students need new computers; four new carts will give them what they need!
  • NYCHA Grounds Renovations Focused on Seating
    Wyckoff Gardens & Gowanus Houses, Gowanus
    Gowanus & Wyckoff residents will help determine grounds improvements, to be installed at two NYCHA developments, resulting in more pleasant areas for enjoying time outdoors and talking with friends.
  • Additional Turnstiles at York St Subway (F Train)
    York St Subway Station, DUMBO
    Install additional turnstiles for York St Station in 2017 which will reduce congestion and long lines for the 9,000 weekday riders now limited to only two turnstiles.

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Is the School Rezoning A Success? Early Signs Say Yes Wed, 16 Mar 2016 19:57:29 +0000

Families were sent their Kindergarten admissions offers letters on Tuesday.  As reported by Politico, the re-zoning of P.S. 8 an P.S 307 shows early signs of success.  Unlike last year, there is no wait list for P.S. 8 and 148 students were offered a seat at the school.  Historically there is about 20% attrition among those offered seats.  If that is the case this year, there are likely to be five Kindergarten sections.  P.S. 8 Principal Seth Phillips referred to the tension caused by last year’s waitlist but added the school would likely regain it’s music room and possibly the drama room as a result of the re-zoning.  “I think this is going to work out well for everyone in the long run.”

At P.S. 307 56 in-zone students were offered seats opposed to last year’s number of just 18.  (Part of the DOE’s reasoning for the re-zoning was to create a sustainable number of in-zone students for P.S. 307).  “There are now new opportunities all around. With more students you get more funding,” Principal Stephanie Carroll said. “We’ve got tons of partnerships, and any student coming into kindergarten here will have that added advantage.”

DNAifno reports that Kindergarten waitlists have shrunk 9% over last year. The article has the complete list of all the NYC schools with waitlists this year.  DOE officials reported that 49,000 students, or 71 percent, received an offer from their first choice school, down 1 percentage point from the year before.

To accept their Kindergarten offers families must contact the school directly to make an appointment to pre-register by April 8. Pre-registering their child(ren) does not prevent them from receiving an offer at a school where they are wait-listed.

The P.S. 8 website advises:

“If you received an offer letter for PS 8, you may visit the lower school main office to pre-register Monday through Friday from 9am-12pm by April 8th, 2016. Ask for Ms. Cloud or Ms. Carrier.

The DOE requires the child’s presence at registration. Bring documentation of the student’s age and proof of residence. Click here for a list of required documentation.”

Click HERE for additional registration information for P.S. 307.

EDIT: This post has been updated with registration information for both P.S.8 and P.S. 307.

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Good-bye, Witnesses; Hello, Luxury Condos Wed, 03 Feb 2016 21:32:09 +0000

“There is only one possible use, and that’s luxury condominiums.”

So proclaimed David Lombino, the director of special projects for Two Trees, in a New York Times story published last weekend and accompanied by stunning photographs of the landscape currently inhabited by the Jehovah’s Witness complex that straddles Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO.

His conclusion is hardly a surprise, given the location of the JW properties and the Brooklyn real estate, and the article doesn’t spend much time analyzing the effects of the thousands of residents that will likely occupy the buildings and land currently on the market.

“Everyone in the world will be taking a look at them,” said Tucker Reed, the president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a local development corporation. “The barrier to entry for a lot of those folks will be how high land values have gone. I’m sure they will fetch a very high sales price.” Mr. Reed estimated the value of the three properties being marketed as “somewhere between $850 million to $1 billion.”

Among the properties available is a three-acre parking lot on Jay Street the development of which will not require a public review process and that could on its own, according to the article, eventually house 1,000 residents.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses began divesting their local properties more than a decade ago, beginning with the building that became One Brooklyn Bridge.

And while the article doesn’t examine future effects of the development, it does cast an approving eye on the Witnesses’ presence in the bad old days of the neighborhood, when DUMBO was a scary place inhabited by packs of roaming feral dogs.

And it estimates that once the properties return to the city’s tax rolls, they could bring in up to nearly $7 million annually.

Read the full story



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Learn Secrets of the Creative Mind at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO Thursday Evening Wed, 20 Jan 2016 03:13:50 +0000

This Thursday evening, January 21, from 7:00 to 9:00, co-authors Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire will be at Powerhouse Arena, 37 Main street, at Water Street, in DUMBO, for a launch and discussion of their new book, Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. Kaufman is also author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, serves as scientific director of the Imagination Institute, and is an advisor to The Future Project.

The event is free. There are more details and you can RSVP here.

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CEC13 Issues Post Re-Zoning Statement, Kindergarten Admission Update Wed, 13 Jan 2016 06:11:15 +0000

As a follow up to the January 5th 6 to 3 “yes” vote to re-zone P.S. 8 and P.S. 307, the CEC13 has issued a statement thanking “parents, community members, local organizations and elected representatives” along with school administrations and staff for their dedication and engagement over the many months of meetings, dialogue and debate.

The CEC acknowledged, “that parents and community members have a range of viewpoints on the rezoning plan, with some supportive of and others disappointed by the outcome of the vote. CEC13 remains committed to its support of all the affected communities, with particular attention to the P.S. 307 community as it navigates its transition to a larger zone while continuing as a magnet school.”

The statement also recognized the flawed district planning process and announced Superintendent Barbara Freeman’s formation of a working group.  The group’s “focus is to support the diverse communities in the newly-formed P.S. 307 zone in working together, and to take concrete steps to assist P.S. 307 in its efforts to maintain and expand its school programs.”


The re-zoning shifts all of DUMBO and returns three buildings of Farragut Houses to the P.S. 307 zone.   The CEC shared the following information for families effected by the changes:

  • The Office of Student Enrollment should already have sent an email to all families whose address was impacted by the rezone, and who had submitted kindergarten applications before the change.
  • The system has been updated so families applying now are seeing their new zoned school show up on [the DOE’s] SchoolSearch and in the [Kindergarten] online application.
  • Families should contact with further questions.
  • The rezoning plan accounts for the “grandfathering in” of younger siblings of students currently enrolled at P.S. 8. Please see Point #7 in the final proposal for details”

It must be added that DOE has extended the Kindergarten Admissions deadline. Families now have until January 20th to submit their applications. A Lower School open house will be held at P.S. 8 on Wednesday, January 13th from 9:00 – 10:30 am.  An additional tour is scheduled for March 2nd, 9:00 – 10:30 am.  Per the school’s website, tours scheduled at P.S. 307 concluded on January 1th.  Based on this corespondent past experience, it is worthwhile to call the schools if you have missed- open houses.


The following message was sent to the CEC13 via email on January 6th:

CEC Members,

 It is not often that ordinary citizens have an opportunity to take a courageous stand and change the course of many children’s lives. I know that last night’s decision involved a lot of soul searching and careful deliberation on all of your parts. I congratulate you on looking toward the future and for understanding that together we can forge a better school system for all of our students. You have set a high bar for other CECs to meet, and I encourage you to think of next steps in creating a district-wide plan to fit the needs of your growing community.



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District 13 CEC Votes 6 to 3 in Favor of P.S.8/P.S. 307 Re-Zoning Wed, 06 Jan 2016 07:25:31 +0000

After months of meetings, public discourse and national news coverage, the District 13 CEC has voted in favor of the re-zoning in a 6 to 3 split.   The Fort Greene-Clinton Hill Patch live blogged the proceedings.

The CEC first held a Working Session where they attended to other district business including the Superintendent’s Report.  The “special” Calendar Meeting then began at 8:30 (after a brief period of painfully bureaucratic debate over how and when to begin public comment) and opened with statements from elected officials or their representatives.  Councilmember Steve Levin expressed his support for the plan in a NY Daily News article and with brief remarks.  State Senator Daniel Squadron supported the rezoning.  “The proposal on the table will not solve many of the problems we are most concerned about…But, it will offer more predictability this year for the entire community for current prospective parents at P.S. 8 and P.S. 307.  And for that reason, I really do hope that the re-zoning is passed tonight.”

Several members of the Farragut community spoke out in opposition to the re-zoning echoing the previously-voiced concerns that access to hard-won programs at P.S. 307 would be taken away should the proposal pass.  P.S. 307 PTA Co-President, Faraji Hannah-Jones expressed extreme disappointment in the DOE for not meeting the terms a neighborhood coalition’s action plan for P.S. 307, including an additional five years of funding for the Magnet grant stating, “We feel disrespected.”  Executive Director of the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance, Doreen Gallo spoke on behalf of several DUMBO parents in attendance and read a statement in opposition to the plan citing, in part the DOE’s failure to properly engage the DUMBO community for small group feedback meetings promised when the vote was delayed in October.

For the next hour, the nine members of the CEC took individual turns addressing the audience which grew more antsy with each passing minute.  CEC President, David Goldsmith who has supported the rezoning from the beginning encouraged, “We’re ready to do this.  The time is now.  We owe this to our children.  Let’s move forward.”  By far, one of the most poignant moments of the evening came from Ed Brown-who voted ‘yes’-when he reflected, “The other elephant in the room, it’s not just race.  It’s fear…Because fear has no color.  It operates on both sides.”  He continued by drawing a comparison of parents from the effected communities to deer in headlights.    “What has happened on both sides…adults…have frozen their minds.  They have their mind made up already.  They’ve decided what they want…In freezing, the kids are suffering.”

The vote finally came at 10:30 pm and took exactly sixty seconds.


  • The new zone lines shift the Dumbo and Vinegar Hill neighborhoods to the P.S. 307 zone and returns three buildings at Farragut Houses back to P.S. 307 zone.
  • Siblings are grandfathered in.  Meaning, if you live in Dumbo or Vinegar Hill and you currently have a child attending P.S. 8, their sibling will receive admissions priority at P.S. 8 over new students within the zone who do not have siblings.  In short, your children will be able to attend school together.
  • The new zoning is effective for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Kindergarten admissions remains open until January 15th.  Parents may rank up to twelve schools on their application.  Children have the highest priority at their zoned school.  The Kindergarten Directory lists the admissions priorities for each school.

Throughout the evening electeds and CEC members encouraged the respective communities to remain engaged with the DOE, CEC and their school leadership so that the larger issues raised by the debate could be addressed collectively.  Just prior to the vote, Rob Underwood laid out via his Tumblr blog what he feels are the most pressing challenges facing District 13.  What are your thoughts on how the two school communities can move forward from here? What issues are most important to you for your child’s education?  Comment away!

P.S. 8 Principal, Seth Phillips an P.S. 307 Principal Stephanie Carroll

P.S. 8 Principal, Seth Phillips an P.S. 307 Principal Stephanie Carroll



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