These days, the housing crisis seems a distant memory in many areas of Brooklyn, as buyers arrive at overcrowded open houses in Park Slope and Cobble Hill, ready to sign a contract on the spot and sellers from Red Hook to Greenpoint vie to set new neighborhood records. But the crash and its aftereffects have not vanished from the borough, as the plight of tenants in a trio in Sunset Park buildings illustrates.
While billionaires grapple over ever-loftier trophies, tearing out onyx to install carrara or vice versa, the tenants of 545, 553 and 557 46th Street in Sunset Park are still mired in the foreclosure crisis, living in decaying buildings with 684 housing violations spread over 51 apartments, according to the department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Presented without comment: Two gentlemen of great stature spotted in the wilds of Brooklyn Borough Hall yesterday, for the announcement of a new rooftop farm in Sunset Park, to be the borough’s biggest. Can you guess who?
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
With at least a few people clamoring for a Chris Ward mayoralty, the Port Authority executive director visited the Time Warner Center today and talked about something besides the World Trade Center–not only the focus of much of his work the past three years, but also his public speaking.
Instead, he proffered an ambitious, even absurd, proposal for the Brooklyn waterfront and Governor’s Island. The former he likened to Vietnam: “nobody ever seems to retreat with a clear victory,” he said during an address at Municipal Art Society’s Summit for New York City. Of the latter, he said “it is the last open question, in terms of land-use, in the city.”
on the waterfront
The Brooklyn Army Terminal is one of the biggest buildings in the city, spanning some 2.2 million square feet—almost as much space as 1 World Trade Center or the Empire State Building. And yet almost no one knows about this hulking monolith because it is tucked in by the bay in Sunset Park, part of the area’s once-thriving industrial waterfront. The Bloomberg administration has done much to try and revive the warehouses here—just this morning The Journal reported on three new businesses bringing in 60 jobs. But for those looking to explore this forgotten gem without having to don coveralls and gloves, grab instead your tuxe and head to this weekend’s Beaux Arts Ball.
Sure, the pool at the Gansevoort Hotel and the Standard’s Boom Boom Room are great, but if the Meatpacking District feels like it’s lost its edge, how about Sunset Park?
A new 20,000-square-foot nightclub is planned for the industrial zone of Sunset Park, according to Crain’s. Called Panther, it will rock a jungle Read More
About those rent-controlled apartments. Beyond the sad story of peeling paint and killer court fees, what really caught the Observer‘s roving pink eye was a chart from the Census Bureau listing the number of rent-controlled apartments since 1987:
2002: 59,324 [Numbers jumped due to Read More
The folks at the New York City Human Rights Initiative sent over an advisory about a bus tour today to criticize a set of Bloomberg administration development initiatives brewing right now. "All of the stops will focus on projects which in some way divide communities, displace longtime residents, and deny their right to Read More
Before the Italian-American exodus from Bensonhurst, only Italian food vendors participated in the annual 10-day Feast of Santa Rosalia–Brooklyn’s version of Little Italy’s San Gennaro Festival–in honor of the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily. But lately "The Feast," as it is dubbed by locals, has become less a nod to what was once Bensonhurst’s most Read More