“So many of the civic successes heralded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,” Ginia Bellafonte wrote in The New York Times back in 2012, “might have happened in Lithuania for all the effect they have had (or could have) on the lives of people in Brownsville,” which Ms. Bellafonte then goes on to helpfully identify as a neighborhood in northeastern Brooklyn.
We’re not sure if gentrification counts as a “civic success,” and we aren’t aware of any pasty-faced, heritage flannel-wearing hipsters wandering around Pitkin Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag, yet. But if trends in nearby neighborhoods are any indication, it won’t be long before Brownsville—a byword for blight, home to the largest concentration of public housing towers in the city and to this day a place that some mail carriers fear to tread—is selling something artisanal besides stamp bags.
Those pesky hipsters are at it again, with their subversive non-weekday work schedules and socially destructive late night PBR-drinking, according to an article in the Daily News.
Bushwick’s Community Board 4 has taken a stand against Sunday sipping, according to the paper, by requesting that bar and restaurant owners stop selling alcohol by Read More
In the Rezone
The Williamsburg and Greenpoint rezonings in the 2000s allowed for tens of millions of square feet of new residential development—between 30 million and 32 million square feet, Vicki Been at NYU’s Furman Center told The Observer—but for developers looking to meet the torrent of demand flooding into northern Brooklyn, it hasn’t been anywhere near enough. Builders Read More
It is very dangerous to ride a bicycle around the city and Brooklyn. Cars are everywhere, and you really need to where a helmet, no matter how silly it looks, because people will purposely open car doors into the bike lane (how messed up is that)?
Finally, however, Bushwick has found a solution: a Velodrome, which is an indoor racing track that, according to Brokelyn writer David Colon, is pretty hardcore:
As Vishaan Chakrabarti, a principal at SHoP Architects, was unveiling the Southside Williamsburg master plan they designed for Two Trees, he evoked the image of Manhattan’s skyline. “Just like in the dead center of New York,” he told the assembled group of reporters, “we have this parabolic moment—there’s this moment of exuberance that happens” as Read More
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The joke about hipsters (well, one of many, many jokes about hipsters) is that they are pioneers, non-conformists. But out in Bushwick, they are following in the footsteps of more than a hundred of the city’s neighborhoods: they want a rezoning.
A stones throw (not the hip hop record label) from the the McKibben Lofts and Roberta’s, just across Flushing Avenue, a developer wants to transform the old Rheingold Brewery into a 10-building housing complex, a plan that has been kicking around since at least 2008. But according to The Wall Street Journal, this is Bushwick, so the rezoning has to be different, it has to be cool, with it, or at least that’s what Councilwoman Diana Reyna wants.
Williamsburg residents are pissed, enraged, and furious—and not just because the Foster the People Summerstage show is sold out. No, this is a problem with a park on this side of the river, namely one the city has refused to build.
THE HIPPING POINT
Roberta’s of Bushwick, Brooklyn, has traditionally been the only restaurant that could ever inspire Manhattanites to take a safari out to the young, hip, and tres chic post-apocalyptic, post-Williamsburg neighborhood.
It is a restaurant that does not take reservations for most parties, which on a busy night, will lead to a wait of anywhere from half an hour to 90 minutes (if you arrive in the middle of a dinner rush). Compared to the other restaurants in the neighborhood, it is slightly pricey.
It has a radio station, and their own garden (with its own blog), and they make their own honey, too. It is also fairly well-regarded, and was undoubtedly instrumental in putting the neighborhood on the map for many people who’d otherwise never venture past the Bedford Stop.
Today, erstwhile New York Times food critic Sam Sifton took a break from his gig as the paper’s national editor to report on the existence of Blanca.
Blanca is a restaurant that sits behind Roberta’s.
Blanca is a restaurant with twelve seats.
Blanca is a restaurant in Bushwick with a $180 per person entry fee.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Everybody knows the old saw about how artist migrations and subway access help drive gentrification in the city, but we never realized the two were quite so intertwined.
IHOP is usually where you go during those trips back home after you’ve gotten drunk with friends, hooked up with that girl you went to high school with, and then puked out your dinner at 3 a.m. in mom’s parking lot. Anyone up for pancakes??
So yes, it’s a little unnerving to see not one, but two IHOP opening up in the Brooklyn/Manhattan area: it’s like finding out you can now order Moon Over My Hammy at The Spotted Pig. Well, not quite that bad, but…