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28 December 2019

Wins and Losses in 2019’s [Brooklyn] Preservation Battles [✜]

It can't be a good year when one of your "wins" involved half of the building getting demolished.

And while it's always nice to see row houses that are not in Greenwich Village get recognition and protection (nice work, Kelly!), Walt Whitman, abolitionist history and a host of other good priorities (Bushwick, Southside) still languish.

12 November 2019

AOC Was Even More Wrong about Williamsburg Than We’d Thought [✜]

The Post, which seems pretty obsessed with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, gets their facts confused in an effort to prove her "wrong":

...contra AOC, the rezoned area [of Greenpoint and Williamsburg] now has more Hispanic residents, city data show — reversing a trend of decline since 1990. Oh, and Williamsburg hasn’t seen a drop in the number of lower-income households.

The Post is referring to a presentation that the Department of City Planning made at a community meeting last week (of which, hopefully a more detailed analysis to follow - it is a very interesting data dump). In that presentation, DCP showed charts comparing the Hispanic population in 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2017. The Post reads this data as somehow excuplatory, but it really does not show what they think it does.

In their rush to a gotcha on @AOC, the Post ignores a few key facts that DCP also presented. Namely, that the share of Hispanic residents in the waterfront rezoning area dropped from 27% in ca. 2006-2010 to 23% in ca. 2013-2017. Yes, the population was up (by a small number in the waterfront rezoning area only - an area that historically has a smaller share of Hispanic residents). Overall, in the two rezoning areas (which excludes parts of the Southside and East Williamsburg with higher proportions of Hispanic residents), the Hispanic population did increase 15% between 2006 and 2017, but compared to 2000, the Hispanic population is still down in this area over 25% (and down almost 40% compared to 1990).

And the income factoid? Yes, the number of lower-income households (those earning less than $50,000 has stayed more or less flat (it has actually dropped very slightly). But the number of households earning more than $50,000 has tripled since 1990 and more than doubled since before the 2005 rezoning.

That sure looks a lot like gentrification.

But @AOC was wrong about one thing - there are not very many "hippies" in Williamsburg.

6 November 2019

5 Hot Brooklyn Neighborhoods You’ll Want to Call Home [✜] friend Shallon sneered, “I didn’t move 3,000 miles across the country to tell people I live in Brooklyn.”

Looking down your nose at Brooklyn went out of style 15 years ago, Shallon. So did the Manhattanite's guide to "hot" Brooklyn neighborhoods school of journalism.

More important question - who is the branding genius at the Greenpoint Hotel who didn't research the history of ... the Greenpoint Hotel? (As best I can tell, the new Greenpoint Hotel will be on West Street, in some part of the Greenpoint Terminal Market property. GTM was formerly the home of the American Manufacturing Co., which made rope and other nautical supplies.)

31 October 2019

Domino Sugar Development’s First Commercial Space Hits the Market [✜]

This is a remarkably nice building. And in terms of urban design, there is just no comparison to everything that the 2005 rezoning wrought on the waterfront - taller, and thinner, is definitely better. Walking around this building is just a completely different experience than the super-block developments everywhere else.

Williamsburg Hotel is Headed for Receivership [✜]

In unsurprising news, the Williamsburg Hotel is not penciling out as developer Toby Moskovits thought it would. It really is not clear if this building is even finished. Is Shitshow an architectural style?

These 5 Brooklyn Buildings Are Now Landmarks, City Says [✜]

Ahead of the rezoning of the area, the Landmarks Commission designated five industrial buildings in Gowanus as landmarks. Another small step forward on recognizing the city's industrial heritage.

Peter Luger Sputters

Pete Wells, restaurant critic for the Times does the unthinkable and gives Peter Luger’s zero stars. I said a few weeks ago that Luger was probably the second best steakhouse in Williamsburg – maybe it isn’t even in second place? Still, quite a takedown. Last time it was reviewed in the Times (by Frank Bruni) Luger got two stars, and prior to that I remember Ruth Reichl giving it at least two stars as well.


24 September 2019

7 Best Steakhouses in New York City [✜]

Almost one-third of the best steakhouses are in Williamsburg. Of course Luger's makes the list. So does St. Anselm, at #7 (though if we are actually ranking based on the meat, St. A deserves to be higher than Luger).

L Train Won't Run At Night For Two Weeks In Brooklyn: MTA [✜]

Transit officials plan to shut down overnight L train service for a large swath of Brooklyn stations for the two weeks, and during every weekend in January, according to the recent L train repairs newsletter.

12 June 2019

Angry residents bash Brooklyn community board for buying $26K SUV [✜]

"We went through established protocol,” [CB1 Board Chair Dealice] Fuller said.

This pretty clearly was not the case, and the Community Board has basically put out all the breadcrumbs to prove that. I expect that this is not over.