Greetings from the front lines of the Lightstone Group’s Gowanus development where we’ve got a front row view of the every day happenings at the construction site. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re still alive. Continue reading
The Ice Bucket Challenge to strike out ALS has reached the point at which no regular bucket of ice water will do: it’s got to be extra special. The best I’ve seen so far is the guy who took a hit from a bong with ice inside the chamber, poured the water and ice within atop his head, then exhaled: classy!
But Brooklyn chef Justin Warner of Bed-Stuy’s Do or Dine may have him beat: a bucket of Gowanus Canal water with dry ice and rotten fish heads in it… as if that putrid water alone wouldn’t be enough. GROSS!
CHIPS, is a local charity that feeds the hungry and provides shelter for both women and children. Coming up in September, CHIPS will have a 5K Walk & Run in Prospect Park to raise funds for their wonderful organization. For only $25 bucks you can register and know that all the proceeds will go to help the local soup kitchen and shelter.
For information on the run go here: nycruns.com/races/?race=chips-5k-run
For more information on CHIPS go here: chipsonline.org
Carroll Street is one of the prettiest mostly residential blocks in Gowanus. Its beautiful old Brooklyn buildings shadowed by large trees is actually quite nice as you walk off hectic 3rd Ave and head towards the old Carroll Street bridge. So, it came as a surprise to Jonny, a local Gowanus homeowner, to find the sign below posted on a tree along Carroll Street.
The sign, which has no City Department logos or anything official whatsoever on it, declares that there is no parking because…
TREE REMOVAL Monday August 18, 2014 & Tuesday August 19, 2016 6AM – 4PM…
A single tree being removed from the block sounds awful to imagine for lovely Carroll Street, but it wasn’t the only tree marked with an unofficial looking sign. Multiply signs were placed on all the trees on the north side of Carroll Street between 3rd Ave and Nevins St. So, like 7 trees, some old (30-40 years?), some brand spanking new, were to be removed. To make matters worse none of the home owners on the block were told that their picturesque street would lose half of its trees. The removal of these trees would surely take away half of the shade on the block and a natural sound barrier against the Lightstone Condo Construction going on just down the street.
Jonny thought this was completely insane, as any normal person would. So, he started reaching out to everyone for help. Even Jonny’s young son, a real boy of action, wanted to help and posted the sign below on Carroll Street in protest of the trees removal!
The sign reads:
Booooo! we need our trees back! you! cannot! do! this!
Let’s Stop! this! from happening!
As you can tell the kid’s passion is a clear call to action.
Jonny got ahold of the City’s Forestry Department (Parks), who claimed that the tree removal was illegal. He reached out to the NYPD, who knew exactly zip about the situation. (Car towing seems like something the NYPD Traffic Team should know about.) Jonny hit up Gowanus Alliance and they, along with a few others, reached out to City Council Member Brad Lander’s office. Council Member Lander’s office finally got results. They asked the Parks Department and National Grid to hold off on removing the trees on Carroll street this Monday and Tuesday. As of late afternoon Friday the tree removal signs had all been taken down. However, the halt requested by City Council Member Brad Lander’ office is just a pause, it is not a ‘don’t take the trees’. More actions seem to be needed to actually prevent the trees on Carroll Street from being removed. (#savecarrollstreettrees - created by Gowanus Alliance)
The removal of so many trees is related to the the new Gas Lines running through the neighborhood, which are a part of the storm water/sewage management project for the whole Gowanus/Park Slope area. But, since construction began back in June residents and businesses have received very little communications. For instance, although information was provided that Gas would be turned off during the project, some residents got only a day notice that their gas would be shut off and that they had to be home when it was turned back on. For residents parking has not been very fun in any way. Unofficial looking signs have been popping up stating “no parking” for the very next day. If you want to sleep at any point on the historically quiet residential streets of President or Carroll near 3rd Ave, you can forget it. Construction Vehicles start beeping before 7am every weekday and almost every Saturday. The seemly hastily installed metal plates along 3rd Ave will clang frequently through the night with trucks and cars running over their spring board like surface.
For businesses on 3rd Ave things have been way worse. Supposedly some owners got only a days notice before the sidewalks in front of their business were turned into deep trenches with ominous – customer scaring – construction barriers put up to mark the temporary walkways.
This pretty much sucks! But it doesn’t stop there for these businesses. Rumor has it that by digging the tenches, damage was done to some of these businesses’ basement walls. Although the basement walls seem to have been quickly repaired (and reinforced?), it sounds super not fun to have not only your storefront look like crap, but worry that more damage could be done by this project.
The unofficial word from Council Member Lander’s office at the moment is that they are going…
to gather more information about this project and create an opportunity for the neighbors to speak with its planners
Let’s hope that this happens. Because this is just the beginning. The Gas Lines and Electric work looks like it will wrap up first… next will come sewage piping and catch basins! The project is being tied to the flooding that happened during Hurricane Sandy. But as Gowanus residents know, it’s been 100 years of sewage coming up through basements, flash floods in the streets, and more recently, the EPA telling the City to key their crap (sewage) out of the Gowanus Canal that this project is really all about. (um… also maybe that Condos are moving in and that the rich get the perks of repaired infrastructure while the none rich are priced out of their community built neighborhoods. Yeah we said it. We all think it; might as well just say it!)
If you are having problems with this project, call 311. It may not help in the short term, but it should show a pattern of what’s really happening in Gowanus.
SPECTRUM is a light art exhibition by Colin Bowring, an emerging artist-scientist out of San Francisco. Known as the Wizard of Bartlett Street to his West Coast following, Bowring is making a name for himself with improvised optical experiments and light projections. SPECTRUM is his first foray into the Brooklyn art scene and he has come to Gowanus Ballroom to lay siege to the city and create guerrilla-style. Starting from scratch and working with whatever he finds, Bowring repurposes, barters, and liberates metal, mirrors, and glass to evolve his inventions of light.
The resourceful, makeshift nature of Bowring’s work embodies his belief that the physical is where it’s at. His work makes clear that light-based art is manifested most powerfully in the analog world—our physical environs—and not through computer generation or digital chicanery. The phenomena he is able to harness make visible a heady and potent art form. With each exploratory trial that the artist undertakes, physical and conceptual are merged as he makes real his fanciful imaginings.
SPECTRUM is a nod to the light investigations and optical wonderments of the past and a playful hope for what the future might hold. Behold one artist’s highly enhanced vision of the physical world and all that he believes we are truly meant to see.
SPECTRUM also features Serett Sessions 1-5, a sound montage created by William Tucci in collaboration with the metal fabricators of Serett Metalworks. The composition is derived from an ongoing series of field recordings that reconstitute the cacophonic aural activities of Serett at work. A reimagined soundscape, Serett Sessions takes tactile sounds of industrial productivity and recontextualizes these resonant properties of manufacturing into a futuristic sound environment reminiscent of early electronic sound synthesis pioneered by Leon Theremin and Robert Moog.
SPECTRUM Opening reception Friday 8.15.14, 7pm-1am
SPECTRUM runs 08.15.14 thru 08.23.14
55 9th Street, BK
all information provided by Gowanus Ballroom press release
Ever since Whole Foods opened up it seems like development in Gowanus has switched into warp nine: it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the new projects launching on a monthly, weekly, daily basis.
TheRealDeal.com recently published an article detailing nine real estate projects currently underway in Gowanus. While most of the projects are old hat that we’ve covered here at GYFO quite a bit already — Lightstone, the luxury condos at 345 Carroll Street, the former Verizon lot on Nevins Street, the new hotel on Third Avenue owned by the same folks as Le Bleu, the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Courts and the new ice cream shop Ample Hills Creamery – three projects listed in the article came as news to us.
In this day and age nothing goes un-Instagrammed, and hundreds of people did exactly that from the F/G subway overpass as the sign was being dismantled. Now someone has culled together a bunch of those shots to create a really neat timelapse of the sign’s demise. Check it out:
Looks like Bond Street is going to get some type of new religious eatery. St. Lydia’s Dinner Church is building out a space on Bond between Union St and Sackett.
On St. Lydia’s Dinner Church website it states that their…
congregation is looking for an experience of the Holy that is strong enough to lean on, deep enough to question, and challenging enough to change us.
They have a video that explains what their religious gathering is like…
We have totally posted an image of this huge mural before. It is a fictional illustration of the Gowanus Canal. (Unless giant mole rat looking thing has moved in and we somehow missed it.)
What we didn’t notice was a little risky local commentary within the illustration. At around the middle of the mural you can find this…
At first glances you might think it’s trash or even pooh, of which both are seen in the Canal. But, that’s not what that is. It looks like the shape of a body wrapped in a sheet and chains. That’s right the artist decided to put in a dead body floating in the Gowanus Canal in a massive mural right next to the Canal itself. Pretty darn bold!
OMG! Chicago’s Lawrence Fishery, a local seafood restaurant right on the South Brand Chicago River, had to redo their parking lot and in line with City requirements had to put in Permeable Pavement. This Permeable Pavement takes all the water that falls onto it and lets it soak through a pervious top layer into to a stone layer. Once at the stone layer the water is held temporarily, so that it can slowly move into the ground of the sewage system. This is like is exactly what Gowanus needs to help assist the combine sewage system, which is currently under repair.
For more info on permeable pavements and other flood prevention technologies go to: rainready.org