Five-hundred years ago, Council Member Stephen Levin would have rode in on a horse, tooted his trumpet, and read from a really really long scroll. But instead, he held a hearing.
“The community wants to know why it has taken this long to move these open space projects forward,” he said in a press release decrying the city’s slow action on a slew of promised parks in his district.
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
Probably. The show is so much about New York (read:Brooklyn) it would be nearly impossible, or at least far more expensive, to shoot it in L.A. This was not always the case (see: NYPD Blue, Seinfeld) but since the city cleaned up, everything from Sex and the City to Law and Order has called the city home.
Still, more studio space certainly makes things easier.
STRAIGHT OUT OF (HIPSTER) CENTRAL CASTING
Shooting for the second season of HBO’s generation-defining half-hour-of-power dramedy, Girls—brought to you by an all-star team including the loins of David Mamet, Brian Williams, Laurie Simmons, and Caroll Dunham—is underway. Hooray for everyone!
Joe Chetrit is leading a partnership of investors in the acquisition of 77 Commercial Street, a development parcel in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that can accommodate about 270,000 square feet of residential development.
It’s not clear what Mr. Chetrit has negotiated to pay in the deal, but the property was being marketed by a Massey Knakal team led by the company’s chairman, Robert Knakal, that sources said was aiming to net a purchase price in the high $20 millions.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
That seems to be the case made in this hilarious—and unembeddable!!!—video report from the BBC. “For many years, Greenpoint was a mostly mixed neighborhood, Polish and Latino, illegal immigrants, mostly working two three jobs” deli owner Mieszko Kalita tells us. “In 2000, Poland was admitted to the European Union, most people stop coming. The neighborhood very drastically changed from immigrants to artistic.”
“Strange haircuts,” Mr. Kalita concludes. “They definitely not illegal immigrants.”
Red Carpet Real Estate
Ring, ring, ring goes the telephone/Tell my little lambs that I’m on my way home/Stop by the shop and get a bottle to go/Maybe something stronger if the right guy’s on the corner.
So sings Craig Finn on “Our Whole Lives” from two years ago. Perhaps the Hold Steady frontman was thinking of the liquor store at the corner of Manhattan and Nassau avenues in Greenpoint. (You know the one, where the local Polish Greenpointers go to cash their paychecks.)
Turns out that the bespectacled bandleader has settled in the neighborhood after a decade in Brooklyn, and in today’s Post, Craig Finn gives a tour of his one-bedroom apartment there at the same time his “quieter” solo album is out.
As if there were any question that the bikelash would continue for another year, it is only the second day of the year and the stories have already begun popping up. The Brooklyn Paper called the Prospect Park West bike lane fight one of its stories of the year, and now it looks like brownstone dwellers are not the only NIMBYs wary of new bike lanes.
on the waterfront
The sun had not quite broken over the rowhouses and warehouses of Greenpoint Monday morning when The Observer arrived at the new concrete pier jutting out into the East River at India Street. The dock seemed barely finished, its concrete planks not entirely even, the sides of the structure lined with chain-link fencing. Whole sections were torn up and surrounded with orange construction netting.
When the ferry pulled up, ghost decals clinging to the foredeck, the passengers filed on, handing over their $4 tickets, joining the nearly 3,000 New Yorkers who have ridden the ferry each weekday since its launch in mid-June, according to the city—more than double the number officials had expected.
After ordering our locally brewed fair-trade coffee and a pain au chocolat, we turned to see a gay couple smiling across a starboard table, sharing a quiche, a floating picnic. On the port side was a pretty biracial pair staring out the window at Long Island City, its gleaming towers pulling into view. The woman held a breastfeeding baby on her lap.
The subway this was not.
on the waterfront
Two weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. A new tower is coming to the Williamsburg waterfront, the first since the bubble burst three years ago. It is the biggest news in the neighborhood since then, both figuratively and literally: the third tower at North Side piers will house 500 luxury rental apartments in a 40 story tower, the largest project of its kind yet in North Brooklyn, arguably the entire borough, if the neighboring towers are included.
But really, that is nothing—at least next to the development Park Tower Group has planned.
Surprise, surprise—the new Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel report shows that North Brooklyn home sales have more than tripled during the past year, which is just further evidence of expansion in an area that’s growing in popularity with the young people.
Sales in North Brooklyn, which includes Williamsburg and Greenpoint, went from 127 units at this time last year to 402 units in the second quarter of 2011, a significant increase that could partly be attributed to trendy new condo development The Edge. The complex has 565 units and, according to its website, is more than 50 percent sold.