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Williamsburg, It Is Like Rock ’n’ Roll for Kids

Well this is sure to fan the Williamsburg-is-dead flames into a full-fledged bonfire of the inanities.

Yes, the NY Times (the paper of record, whose discovery of Brooklyn clearly is not letting up) has anointed Williamsburg safe for children.

Through his living-room window, Mr. Signer can see the Domino Sugar factory and the Williamsburg Bridge, partly obscured by the steel beams of new construction — just the industrial feel he wanted.

The “steel beams of new construction”? Yes, that would be the rusted hulk of a stalled project on North 1st Street that has seen no activity for a year and a half, ever since construction workers nearly brought down a 175-year-old building next door. (They weren’t actually humming along prior to that, either.) Enjoy that view, though. Someday, that building will be completed (odds are it won’t be anything to look at) and the Domino factory and Williamsburg Bridge will obscured by the towers of the New Domino.

For an article all about raising kids in Williamsburg, it’s pretty light on the school situation. In an article all about 80 Met, Warehouse 11, The Edge and Northside Piers, there is praise for PS 132 (well east of BQE) and PS 34 (in Greenpoint), probably the two best elementary schools in North Brooklyn. But no mention of PS 84 or PS 17, the schools that most of the people interviewed would be zoned for.

It’s also interesting to hear all the developers talk up their family-sized apartments – when most of these buildings broke ground, they were focused entirely on studios and one-bedrooms.

Full disclosure: I have two kids, and I actually do think that Williamsburg is a good place to raise them. Even though the schools aren’t that great, and the ones that are pretty good are way over crowded. And even though there aren’t enough proper playgrounds or parks (yeah, Play and Miss J’s and Klub for Kidz are great in the middle of January, but come springtime, they don’t make up for one of the lowest per-capita open space ratios in the City). Hopefully these new families in the neighborhood will get involved with some of the local groups that are trying to make the neighborhood better.

One Comment

  1. This article would seem to continue the city’s trend of being shocked, SHOCKED to realize that if you build family-size apartments, families will move in – and then–surprise!–want to educate their kids, maybe without dropping 30K a year on kindergarten. Cathie Black’s comment that birth control might solve the overcrowding problem notwithstanding, if articles about spiffy new developments would take a hard look at the school situation, perhaps sheer P.R. alone could shift some of the more entrenched city policies on school building & design.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 22:41 | Permalink

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