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NYC Subway Wired Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Jan 09, 17 NYC Subway Wired Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Posted by in All, Internet, Technology

Twenty-seventeen will be the year New Yorkers will remember as the year the NYC subway system got wired. As of January 9, practically all underground stations will have cell phone and Wi-Fi service. The mammoth project was rushed along by Governor Andrew Cuomo in early 2016, inspiring Transit Wireless and the MTA to really get things rolling. “By bringing Wi-Fi and cell service underground ahead of schedule, we are re-imagining our subway stations to meet the needs of the next generation,” Cuomo said in a press release. “This will better connect New Yorkers who are on-the-go and build on our vision to re imagine the country’s busiest transportation network for the future.” In order to shave two years off the projected time-line for the project, Transit Wireless spent “well over” $300 million to install the system and bring in cell coverage from all four carriers; AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Transit Wireless connected the first six underground stations in 2011 in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Now almost every single of the city’s 279 stations are connected, with the Clark Street station on the 2,3 line the last to connect. There are four stations under renovation which are not yet hooked up, but will come on-line immediately upon the completion of the renovations. Connecting underground was far from child’s play. During the installation, Transit Wireless installed: 120 miles of fiber optic cables to transport signals between stations and base station hotel data centers; 4,000 antenna connection points; and 5,000 Wi-Fi access...

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New York’s Passive Houses

Jan 02, 17 New York’s Passive Houses

Posted by in Business, Real Estate

The passive house standard was established less than a decade ago in Germany by the Passivhaus Institut.  Given the advantages to the environment and energy bills it provides, it soon spread to other parts of the world including the New York area.  As such, it gave various professionals in the industry (including Rocco Basile of Avo Construction, and Stephen Lynch of Caliper Studio among others) a greener way to build, while maintaining top quality standards. Having such a positive impact on so many aspects involved in building construction, the “sweeping green-building initiative” is also being greatly lauded by Mayor Bill de Blasio.  He is seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050 and using this type of construction is a huge step in the right direction. Avo Construction –launched in 2011 by Rocco Basile – built Brooklyn’s 210 Pacific Street using this method.  In Cobble Hill, this unit was designed and developed by NAVA Companies (offering both half-floor and full-floor units containing three and four bedrooms).  It features induction cooktops, solar thermal hot water systems, and various other green elements. The way the passive house works is through the use of a system exchanging interior and exterior air (such as an energy recovery ventilator) along with an airtight building envelope.  With the units in New York, there is the need for both heating and cooling systems but these are much smaller than standard ones, generating far less greenhouse gas emissions and keeping energy bills down. According to the Passivhaus Institut, units using this method require around a quarter of the energy using in a home that is powered with regular energy.  Other benefits with the model are much quieter interiors due to very thick, insulated walls as well as cleaner and fresher air because of the filters used in energy recovery ventilators.  Furthermore, these filters can actually help eradicate asthmatic systems and other related-allergies. Basile and Avo Construction have always sought to employ the most qualified experts to build...

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Great Skiing Does Not Always Mean Flying

Jan 01, 17 Great Skiing Does Not Always Mean Flying

Posted by in All, Entertainment

People in Brooklyn, don’t despair! In only four hours of less of driving you can be swooshing down some wonderful ski runs, without having to break the bank on airfare, or spending any more of your limited, precious time on the extreme hassle of flying. Check out these five great destinations and get your powder-white fix this winter, with minimum bother. •    Only one hour and 45 minutes away, Mount Peter Ski Area is one of the few family-owned ski resorts left in New York State, and the oldest extant ski area, too. At 400 feet-high, the peak is covered with five ski lifts and 14 runs equally divided between advanced, intermediate and beginner. The resort, just north of the New Jersey-New York border, offers free beginner ski and snowboarding school. •    Thunder Ridge Ski Area is even closer to Brooklyn than Mount Peter- only one hour and 30 minutes away, in Patterson. The 22 trails, accessible by 6 lifts, are geared to intermediate and beginner skiers. The resort has the capability of covering 95 percent of the mountain with artificial snow, so even if the snowfall was minimal, there is still great skiing to be had. •    Catamount Ski Area is found on the border between New York and Massachusetts in the Taconic Mountains. With seven lifts and 36 trails in 119 acres, it is one of the largest ski areas in New York or New England. It is only two hours and 45 minutes-drive from Brooklyn. •    If night-skiing is your thing, you will love Windham Mountain Resort. With a 1,600-foot-high incline and 52 ski trails with 12 lifts, this resort is well worth the trip. To top it off, there is an on-site spa, five terrain parks for freestylers, and artificial snow. Located in Windham, New York, it takes only 3 hours to get there from Brooklyn. •    Looking for a ski area a little further away? Give the Royal Mountain Ski Area a try. It is a three-hour and 45-minute...

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Brooklyn Boom Extends to Gowanus

Dec 26, 16 Brooklyn Boom Extends to Gowanus

Posted by in All, Featured

Once disdained as a go-to place in Brooklyn, Gowanus, found between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, has been making a (positive) name for itself. Once known for its stinky canal and plethora of car repair shops, the area has been remaking itself into a fun place to visit, and maybe even live. Here are a few new fixtures in the constantly changing landscape of Gowanus, Brooklyn: Twig Terrariums: This must be a real rarity, if not unique. It is certainly brilliant. This shop offers easy-to-care-for terrariums; either custom-made or DIY with a kit. This partnership between two friends, Katy Maslow and Michelle Inciarrano, gets their greenery from local nurseries, and their fabulous glass bowls from boutique glass blowers across the country. Some of the glass globes are hand-blown. For those of us that enjoy being surrounded with greenery, but just don’t have the time to care for plants, a terrarium is a wonderful compromise between the joy of growing something and the care it requires. 287 Third Avenue, 718-488-8944, The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club: Mimicking the great shuffleboard clubs of Miami Beachand the great cruise lines, this club will even let people under 55 years old play this fascinating game, made all the more interesting by the incredible drinks available from the bar. Playing shuffleboard brings out the “cruise-desire” in all of us, which is can be readily satisfied with the tropics-inspired cocktails the in-house mixologists concoct. All that drinking and shuffling can make a body hungry, but do not fear just because the establishment does not actually serve any food. Every day a new food-truck pulls up to the premises, making a visit to the Royal Palms even more of an incredible adventure. You can find Indian food one day, lobster rolls the next, and on and on. 514 Union Street, 347-223-4410, Pig Beach: What does a Brooklynite do in the middle of the winter when he is craving some good old barbecue? He heads on over to Pig Beach and...

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Great Brooklyn Eating Along the J-Train Line

Dec 18, 16 Great Brooklyn Eating Along the J-Train Line

Posted by in All, Entertainment

Looking for something new and wonderful to try in the world of gastronomic adventures? Get off at the Crescent Street stop where the J-train passes through Cypress Hills in Brooklyn and explore a great new world of tastes. Aztec Soul: Named after the great civilization which occupied the area now known as Mexico, the food available is traditional Mexican snack food, like tacos and hand-made quesadillas. Son of the owner, Hector Vasquez, says try the burrito. Hector says his dad, Facundo, makes a burrito you will not forget. Chef Quang: Just a short walk away this restaurant offers the tastes of Guyanese-style Chinese food. Customers have come from as far away as Philadelphia, says manager Bibi Bakridi, who runs the eatery with her husband Quang Choo-Kang. What is drawing in the customers? Either the Lo Mein or the Fried Rice, which Chef Quang dresses in sugar, soy sauce, and a bit of hot chili pepper, topped with shredded cabbage and carrots. Antojitos Ecuatorianos: If you arrive in the morning you will find yourself in what feels like an authentic South American café. But the restaurant also offers some great main courses, such as Ecuadorian empanada with beef, chicken or cheese; pork, chicken or steak with lots of rice and beans; and of course Ecuadorian-style tamales like humitas, which are made with fresh, sweet corn kernels. When you are in Brooklyn there is no need to travel to satisfy your wander-lust. It is all found right nearby, along the J-train line on Fulton Street or Atlantic Avenue in Cypress...

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Montauk Colony – Living the Dream

Dec 14, 16 Montauk Colony – Living the Dream

Posted by in Business, Real Estate

If you want to own a piece of property in Montauk or you’re hoping to find a rental, you have many options. There are many real estate agents who can help you to find the right property for your needs. After all, if you’re investing your time and money in a property, you want it to be the right property for you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Speak to friends who already own property in the Montauk Colony area. Which realtor did they use? Were they happy with the experience that they had? Why have they chosen to live in the area where they live? The Montauk Colony collection is a unique location at the very tip of Long Island. As you think about a property it’s important to consider the climate and location. Do you want a property that is closer to town so you can walk and feel like you are part of the area? Or would you prefer one that is on a cliff and that offers a far-away feel of isolation? As you look at properties, make sure to ask questions about the insulation, heating costs, leaks and other winter related questions. Consider your purpose as you look at properties. Are you looking for a place that will be a summer home and an occasional location for family get-togethers? Or are you hoping to settle in the Montauk Colony area? Do you want a property that includes grounds and are you willing to do the upkeep on those grounds? Or would you prefer something smaller that will provide you with a place to get away, but with less headaches to do so? There are many real estate agencies that are ready to help you with your search. A few of the names in the area include classically large companies like Century 21 LLC. There are a number of real estate agencies, as well, that are unique to the area and specialize in this lovely location. These...

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BookCourt Closing After 35 Years in Brooklyn

Dec 12, 16 BookCourt Closing After 35 Years in Brooklyn

Posted by in All, Business

To the dismay of many a Cobble Hill denizen, BookCourt, a key literary presence in the gentrifying neighborhood, is closing on December 31st, 2016. The store has been through a lot over the years since it opened on Court Street in 1981 by then-married couple Henry M. Zook and Mary B. Gannett. Despite setbacks like the opening of a Barnes & Noble down the street in 1999; the rise of Amazon as an on-line purveyor of books; the slowdown in booksales in general; the store continued to flourish, becoming one of the country’s premier booksellers. The store even survived the owner’s own marriage. So what went wrong? Really nothing but the march of time, say Zook and Gannett. Now that they are in their 60s, the feel the time has come for them to retire. “We know the store will be missed, and we are very proud of what we accomplished,” they said in a statement. They explained the lasting power of the store because they had “invested in the neighborhood and the real estate which housed the bookstore.” The store was a magnet for the literary minded. It hosted many famous authors for readings, lectures and talks of all kinds. Some of the more well-known among the visitors were Junot Díaz, Megan Abbott and Don DeLillo. But the less well-known were welcome, too. The store became a base for the growing writing community in Brooklyn, and was a starting point for many newcomers to the profession. Emma Straub, the novelist, did her first reading at BookCourt in 2009. It was around the same time she began working as a bookseller. She even sold from the store copies of a small-run novella she wrote at the time. “Lots of people I sold them to were editors that then bid on my novel later,” Ms. Straub, 36, said. Straub and her husband considered taking over BookCourt from Zook and Gannett, “but that didn’t work out,” she said. They are instead going to open their own...

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Former Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone Dead at 91

Dec 01, 16 Former Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone Dead at 91

Posted by in All, News

Sebastian Leone, known for his struggle to improve Brooklyn’s reputation during the 1970s, long before the borough’s recent renaissance, passed away on November 14 at the age of 91. His wife Helene Leone said that he had succumbed to the effects of pneumonia. Leone was the borough president for six years from 1970 until 1976. During those years Brooklyn was not the up and coming hot spot among the young professional crowd and celebrities. It was more like, as journalist McCandlish Phillips wrote in the New York Times: “a neglected stepchild of Manhattan.” Most accounts credit Leone with begin the first Brooklyn official to put up the famous “Welcome to Brooklyn” sign. In 2010 Leone told The Brooklyn Paper that: “In those days, you always had to be Brooklyn-positive. I used to say, ‘One out of every 80 people that live in America live in Brooklyn!’ If you consider people that were born here, worked here and have relatives here, then one out of 10 people have some affinity for Brooklyn!” Leone left his job as Borough president in 1976. A few months later, at the beginning of 1977, he became a State Supreme Court justice. He retired in 2001, and lived the remainder of his life in Bay Ridge. His wife, their son Matthew and two grandchildren survive...

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