Barron for Barron
Councilman Charles Barron can be described in many ways, but demure and dispassionate typically aren’t on the list.
The bombastic councilman, for instance, launched his unsuccessful bid for Congress last year by declaring, “I don’t care what they say, I’m still not saluting the flag!” In the halls of Washington, Mr. Barron vowed he’d continue to “stand up for Robert Mugabe, who’s an African hero–taking land back from white people who stole the land from us in the first place!”
Now, after 12 years as a constant presence at press conferences and rallies, the term-limited eastern Brooklyn councilman will be forced out of office. But he hopes his wife, Inez Barron, an assemblywoman with identical ideological stripes, can cement the Barron legacy.
“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.
Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
Usually, living down by the tracks is bad thing, but after looking at the renderings of an affordable apartment complex in East New York, all we could think was, “how can we sign up?”
Dunn Development Corp. will develop four buildings in East New York, the department of Housing Preservation and Development recently announced, an announcement that came with some lovely colored renderings of the project. The developments, collectively known as Livonia Commons, will include 270 new units of low-income housing as well as 11,000 square-feet of ground floor retail space.
We bet all Walmart wants to do right now is sink down into one of its faux leather recliners and watch some stupid rom-com on a $199.98 flat screen. It’s been kind of a rough weekend for America’s favorite mega-retailer.
First, there was the New York Times story about executives hushing up a vast Mexican bribery conspiracy to win market dominance. And now, in celebration of Earth Day, a local opposition group is going after the company’s environmental record.
The Walmart saga continues as it tries to open in New York yet again. Despite Walmart’s frugal lunch policy, the company has poured millions of dollars on New York City programs and charities over recent years to garner support. They mass-mailed residents last spring claiming that “Walmart wants to come to New York City and New York City wants Walmart.” Rightfully so, a clear majority of New Yorkers want Walmart.
But is time running out?
It is a 50 minute ride on the 3-Train from Times Square to the end of the line in New Lots, Brooklyn.
The blaring lights, the towering canyons, the masses of tourists, all disappear as the subway leaves Manhattan far behind, rising above ground after Utica Avenue in Crown Heights. The steel and glass skyscrapers have been replaced by rowhouses of siding and stone and the occasional redbrick cluster of public housing.
Yet stepping off the stairs at the elevated station in East New York, Times Square and New Lots are not that different. The crowds are still there, darting across the busy streets to board buses and cabs that carry them beyond the reach of the subway tracks. Shops—Piggy’s, York Chan Chinese, Kicks & More, numerous bodegas—line the triangle formed by Livonia and New Lots avenues. It is a hive of activity in the heart of the neighborhood.
And starting a few weeks ago, just as in Times Square, travelers and locals have been greeted by a generous pedestrian plaza hugging the middle of that triangle.
“We wanted to create a space that was safe, we wanted to create a space that was inviting, we wanted to create a space for the neighborhood,” Eddie Di Benedetto, head of the local merchants association and a champion of the project, said on Friday, during a tour of the space.
Noon. Councilman Charles Barron will march with a family alleging police brutality at 684 Thomas Boyland Avenue, between Blake and Sutter avenues, to the 81st Precinct on East New York and Thomas Boyland avenues, in Brooklyn.
1 p.m. Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum will deliver Easter baskets to homeless families at Teresa’s House shelter, 1975 Read More
A tipster says Mayor Bloomberg will celebrate the funding of 55,000 units of affordable housing, bringing him more than one-third of the way to his 165,000-unit goal, with six years to go.
Where will he proverbially uncork the Champagne? Where else? East New York, probably not too far from Starrett City, where Read More
Bravo, real estate, said the Mayor on Wednesday during his State of the City address:
And all across New York from the Freedom Tower rising in Lower Manhattan to the new Yankees and Mets stadiums in the Bronx and Queens, to the new rail link at Howland Hook on Staten Island to right here in Read More
Few New York neighborhoods have suffered so distinctly–and so quietly–as Chinatown. Has lower Manhattan’s most densely populated locale dealt with the “social, environmental and psychological problems” that arose after 9/11? CUNY has chronicled first-person accounts of local pollution, the “crippled” restaurant business, and a widespread Read More
Another green world? [Metrop.]