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Martin Luther King Jr Day Celebrated in Brooklyn

Jan 16, 18 Martin Luther King Jr Day Celebrated in Brooklyn

Posted by in All, Society

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic assassination of one of the greatest leaders of modern times,  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If he would have lived until today, he would have turned 89 years old. It is hard to imagine in what ways the world would be different if he had indeed lived his life out until its full measure, but we know he did change the world even in the short years on earth that he was allotted. In honor of his memory the Brooklyn Academy of Music has been celebrating his birthday; and this year marks the 32nd such celebration. The largest public celebration in New York for Reverend King, the event included the inspiring voices of the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir in addition to speeches by world famous activists, intellectuals and civic leaders. The keynote speaker was Jelani Cobb. The event was...

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A Lot Comes from The Lot (Radio)

Jan 10, 18 A Lot Comes from The Lot (Radio)

Posted by in All, Entertainment

We all know Williamsburg has a lot to offer, but did you know it also offers “The Lot?” The Lot is an online radio station broadcast from an abandoned shipping container in an empty, triangular shaped lot at the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint , Brooklyn. If you think a radio station sending out its message from a shipping container is probably willing to break boundaries in other areas of life as well, then you’d be correct. Founded by Belgian expat Francois Vaxelaire, the station broadcasts some of New York City’s most avant garde music by the best DJs in the world. The station opened in “Beta” mode in February 2016, almost two years ago. The lot sees itself as New York’s answer to “European streaming radio” such as Rinse FM, NTS or Red Light Radio. “Something that is not business-oriented, a little island of creativity and passion,” said Vaxelaire. In addition to the eclectic broadcasts, Vaxelaire’s vision is for the station to also sell coffee and snacks from the window of the studio/container. From the sale of the coffee Vaxelaire hopes he will be able to keep the station running without any need to fund raise, advertise, or look for donors. To him, 100% independent equals 100% passion. Vaxelaire’s goal when he started the station was to “give a platform for all of the incredible talent that I’ve witnessed in the past five years in New York City.” This he has certainly...

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Governor Cuomo Calls for Major Upgrade to Stewart Airport

Dec 31, 17 Governor Cuomo Calls for Major Upgrade to Stewart Airport

Posted by in All, New York

North of New York City we may be seeing the birth of a new international airport with the potential to service visitors not just to the Hudson Valley, but as a gateway to the rest of North America. Last June Stewart Airport took a baby step in this direction when it inaugurated international service with a Norwegian Air route from Stewart to Europe. More international flights are expected, so Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on the Ports Authority to spend $27 million on a new permanent inspection station to more easily process the expected growth in the number of international passengers. At the moment, when an international flight arrives, the airport must close off part of the luggage area to process the international travelers, causing a major inconvenience to domestic travelers. Cuomo has big plans for Stewart, starting with rebranding the airport as New York International Airport at Stewart Field. He would like to see expanded bus service to the New York metropolitan area by the privately-run Stewart Airport Express, as well as private investment of about $7 million to install charging stations for electric vehicles. The governor released a report on transforming the airport into an “international transportation hub” proving a “world-class passenger experience.” “By transforming Stewart Airport into a state-of-the-art transportation destination, we are providing an inviting gateway to the region and supercharging an economic engine for the entire mid-Hudson Valley,” he said. He is looking forward to the opening of the Resorts World Catskills casino in the Town of Thompson, which is scheduled for this coming February. In 2020 Merlin Entertainments is planning on opening a Legoland theme park in Goshen, and “other regional businesses” can benefit from an international airport. Cuomo will mention his proposal for the renovated airport in his State of the State address which he will deliver this week at the Albany Convention...

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Art Deco and Neoclassical Coming Together in Williamsburg

Dec 25, 17 Art Deco and Neoclassical Coming Together in Williamsburg

Posted by in All, Real Estate

The area is being cleared and the foundations being dug in preparation for the construction of Brooklyn’s newest combo project: The Dime Savings Bank /Residential tower. Proceeding apace, Williamsburg’s historic Dime Savings Bank will see a specially designed 248-foot tower rise adjacent, incorporating the Dime’s neoclassical design into the art-deco inspired design of the tower. The tower will, upon completion, be 22-stories comprising 350,000 square-feet which will be distributed among 178 rental apartments and 100,000 square-feet of office space and 55,000 square-feet of ground floor retail rentals. There will also be accommodations for 340 cars. Fogarty Finger Architects designed the tower, which will integrate the beloved look of the Dime building into the more modern, art-deco look of the tower. Two companies are behind the project’s development: Charney Construction and Development and Tavros Capital Partners. Tavros bought the property in March 2016 for $80 million, and just received a loan for the tower’s construction this month for $150 million. The plan includes restoration of the bank building. Additions from the ‘60s, such as drop ceilings and some finishes will be removed. Columns will be renewed, and special attention will be paid to the skylight already there, working to maximize the light pouring in. The area of the bank will function either as a showroom, office lobby or retail space. The architects took their inspiration from Art Moderne architecture in addition to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, especially his Johnson Wax Building and the Starrett-Leigh building in Chelsea. The structure will be dressed in white terra cotta, and wink and nod to the Dime’s original look. The project is expected to be completed sometime in second quarter of...

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New York City Appoints Four New Judges

Dec 20, 17 New York City Appoints Four New Judges

Posted by in All, News

Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge in New York, announced on Tuesday the appointment of four new appointments of judges to administrative roles in the local court system. Justice Anthony Cannataro will serve as administrative judge for New York City Civil Court Justice Desmond A. Green will be the new administrative judge for Civil and Criminal terms in Staten Island Justice Tamilo Amaker will serve as the administrative judge for the New York City Criminal Court Justice Deborah A. Kaplan will serve as administrative judge, Civil Term in Manhattan “These four judges are exemplary public servants, representing a wealth of talent and expertise, and possessing the leadership, vision and collegiality for success in their critical new roles,” Marks said. “I am pleased that they have accepted these challenging assignments and look forward to working together with them to build on the progress of Chief Judge DiFiore’s Excellence Initiative, exploring and advancing case management and other strategies to make the New York courts more efficient, effective and...

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Kingsland Wildflowers Gives Back a Little New York Nature

Dec 11, 17 Kingsland Wildflowers Gives Back a Little New York Nature

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

One of Brooklyn’s most heavily industrialized sections, Greenpoint, has very little to offer residents by way of green areas. But there is a unique respite from concrete and brick, on the roof of Broadway Stages film studios on Kingsland Avenue. Known as Kingsland Wildflowers, the rooftop oasis is 22,000 square feet of native to Brooklyn plants, birds, bats and insects, arrayed in beautiful wild meadows. This surprising fertile area teeming with life owes its existence to an oil spill that occurred about 60 years ago, when three Exxon Mobil tankers began to leak oil into Newtown Creek. The leak into the 3.5-mile estuary went unnoticed until 1978 when a Coast Guard helicopter accidentally discovered the plume of a 400-gallon oil slick floating above the water as it flew over on a routine flight over the East River. The following year Exxon pumped 90,000 gallons of oil out of the creek. Much of the 17-30 million gallons of oil that spilled into the creek has not been removed. The bottom of the East River tributary is covered with a thick layer of waste, as thick as 25 feet in some places. There are several projects, not just Kingsland Wildflowers, that are trying to re-establish natural habitats in an attempt to make up for the lost habitats that perhaps can never be reclaimed. The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund paid for the Kingsland Wildflowers project, itself funded by the $25 million settlement with ExxonMobil over the oil spill. It is a joint project of landscaping group Alive Structures, New York City Audubon, the Newtown Creek Alliance, and of course, in an indirect way, ExxonMobile. Niki Jackson, the project coordinator, calls the project a “habitat expansion program.” There is also space for educational and community programing. Jackson notes that this rooftop meadow is a different model than that offered by rooftop farming. Jackson says that Kingsland is focused on ““what in the larger sense, makes sense and is actually worth doing, actually giving back to the environment.” All...

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Subway Photo Helps Bring Business to Brooklyn Knitter

Dec 04, 17 Subway Photo Helps Bring Business to Brooklyn Knitter

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

Louis Boria was just minding his own business, knitting on the subway, when Broadway actress Frenchie Davis snapped his picture. Simply impressed by this unusual site, Davis posted the picture of the unknown knitter on her Facebook page with the caption: ““This brotha on the train is my hero today,” and she added: “#SelfCareOnTheSubway.” The photo was liked over 1100 times, and in less than 24 hours one of Boria’s friends spotted the picture, and posted his name. The friend also explained that Boria is the owner of a knitting company, “Brooklyn Boy Knits.” Boria then added is own message under Frenchie’s: ““Hi Frenchie!!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this! This just made my year!” As a result, his orders are way up, necessitating the hiring of two additional knitters, and fixing up his web site. Boria said that this is the first time in the ten years since he began his business that he has pending orders. Although Boria says he knits quickly, he usually tells his customers to expect delivery in three to four weeks. Boria’s business began ten years ago after he had a vivid dream that he was knitting. He woke up fingering knitting needles and yarn that were nowhere to be seen. “It freaked me out because I had no idea how to knit, but I took it as a sign,” Boria said. Not one to let small things like not knowing how to knit stop him, he went out and bought supplies and watched YouTube Videos to learn the skill. He practiced knitting during his two-hour daily subway ride to work and home, and finally created his first sweater, after hundreds of hours. He also noticed that although it was easy to find mass-produced knit clothing, there was a distinct shortage of customized knitted options. In 2009 Brooklyn Boy Knits filled the vacuum. During the winter Boria gives out at least three hand-knit scarves each day to homeless people he encounters on his way to and...

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Train Clock Gives Commuters Heads Up at Home

Nov 26, 17 Train Clock Gives Commuters Heads Up at Home

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

If you’re the kind of person that wants to know exactly how much time you have until your train arrives at the station, this personal train clock is for you. Just in time to makes it way under your Christmas tree, the NYC Train Sign is the home version of the digital displays we see popping up now all over the New York City subway system. Propped up on your living room bookshelf, or mounted next to your door, now you can plan exactly when to leave the house to catch the very next train, without any undo waiting. There are several kinds to match individual tastes, including wood, plastic or metal models. The founder of the start-up that produces this novelty item is Timothy Woo, who says he built his first one for personal use in his Bushwick home. The prices begin at $300, worth every penny if it will make your life more convenient. “Some people want them for home décor, as art or novelty items. Some people buy it for sheer practical reasons,” Woo said. “They live very close to the subway and actually want to look up at the clock and know when to run out the door.” Woo says he keeps one in his window as a public service. The sign attracts small groups of people to his house to see when the next train is due. As far as what the MTA thinks of this personal train clock, Woo says he does not know. “They haven’t responded to us directly, but I’m sure they have a lot of other things to worry about,” he...

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