Picture Of The Day: Lost Friend

Hanging on a window gate on Bond Street.

76th Precinct's Operation "Spot It To Secure It" In Action

Just a few weeks ago, the NYPD 76th Police Precinct, which includes Carroll Gardens, Red Hook and Cobble Hill, introduced a new program meant to alert local car owners and residents about the needless risks they take when giving thieves easy access to their valuables.
Called "Spot It To Secure It", the operation is meant as a pre-emptive measure. It was introduced by 76th Precinct Captain Jeffrey Schiff, who hopes that the program will make people aware that leaving packages or electronic gadgets such as i-pods, i-pads and laptops on the seat of their vehicle just invites theft.
As part of the program, a team of officers from the 76th Precinct will patrol various sections of the neighborhood to look into parked vehicles. If valuables have been left behind, the officers take a photo and write down the license plate of the car. Back at the station, the plates are run through the system. If the car is registered to a local resident, the photo and a friendly form letter will be send to the owner
The officers will also check front doors on homes to make sure that people aren't leaving them open.

On my walk this morning, I ran into 76th Community Affairs Officer Paul Grudzinski and Officer Carl Bredy, who were checking cars that were parked on Carroll Street between Smith and Hoyt Street.

Not only will 'Spot It To Secure It' help lower unattended property theft in the neighborhood, it will encourage interaction and exchange of information between local residents and precinct officers.  And that's always a good thing.

Springtime In Carroll Gardens

I was full of resolve to take care of a few important things this morning, but then the sun made an appearance and the scent of spring blooms wafted through the windows.  Instead of sitting behind my desk, I grabbed my camera and went for a mid-morning walk. Besides, I needed to do grocery shopping anyway.
The fridge is now fully stocked and here are some of the photos I took along the way.
Spring in Carroll Gardens is simply glorious.

Before There Were Hipsters: 1970's Brooklyn Street Chic

Street Chic, originally photographed by Eric Jacobson

No, my friends,  hipsters did not bring fashion to Brooklyn.  Judging by the photos above, there was already plenty of style going around in our fair borough in the 1970's.
I came across these hilarious shots in the first issue of a magazine entitled New Brooklyn that was published quarterly by Barry V. Conforte and Bjorn Robinson Rye sometime in the 70's.
The photos are accompanied by this even funnier paragraph:
"Street Chic...is emeralds and painter's pants on Montague Street...draw-string silk trousers and a Hawaiian shirt along the Promenade...patched Levi's, a tanned chest and a practiced grin in the exotic lights and shade beneath the El..sequined cut-offs on the boardwalk... Street Chic is buing threads at thrift shops that look like a million bucks...strolling through Sheepshead Bay as though it were Mykonos...treating a Williamsburg stoop like a café in Port Said...Street Chic is insouciance, imagination... when little money (sometimes) and lots of style (always) come up with...wow!Street Chic is haute couture du peuple, mes amis...and Brooklyn's got it!"
The magazine is a real time capsule and contains wonderful ads like these:

It also contains  articles about Brooklyn celebrities.  The one below is about Rose Ann Scamardella, who worked as a news reporter for ABC's Eyewitness News and later went on to anchor the news with Ernie Anastos.  Many may remember  that Scamardella was the inspiration for Gilda Radner's character "Roseanne Roseannadanna" on Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s.
I have heard on quite a few occasions that Scarmadella lived in Carroll Gardens for a while.
To read a larger version of the article, click here.

There is no reference to "New Brooklyn" on the internet, so it is impossible to say if there were additional issues.  Does anyone remember it?

Gowanus Residents Organize Meeting To Voice Concern About Lightstone Development

illustrations courtesy of Lightstone
Gowanus residents, together with civic groups Friends of Bond (FOB) and Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG), have organized a meeting regarding the 12-story, 700-unit Lightstone Group project that is moving forward at 363-365 Bond Street, between Carroll Street and 2nd Street.
In 2009, the development site, adjacent to the polluted Gowanus Canal,  was spot-rezoned from manufacturing to residential.  In March 2013NYC's Department of City Planning (DCP) approved the plans and drawings for Lightstone's as-of right project.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss "concerns as to how this development could adversely affect" the neighborhood.  One of these concerns relates to the fact that the site sits in a FEMA Flood Zone A and was severely flooded during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 as well as during Hurricane Irene the previous year. To address FEMA's recently released post-Sandy Advisory Base Flood Elevations and changes to the Building Code, Lightstone plans to raise the site of the development by two feet at First Street.
How the change in grade will affect surrounding buildings has not yet been fully explained to local residents of this flood-prone area.
Many area residents have asked for further studies of the area and upgrades to infrastructure before any development along the Canal is allowed to move forward.  Councilman Brad Lander, whose district includes most of Gowanus, seems to agree. “In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I continue to believe it is a mistake to move forward with dense, high-rise, residential development without a comprehensive plan for infrastructure and land use regulations that Gowanus needs," Lander stated.

The community meeting has been scheduled for:
Wednesday, May 1
6:45 pm
Mary Star of the Sea, 
41, 1st Street (between Bond and Hoyt Streets)

And just as an aside: Does anyone know what these un-marked barrels,  which appeared on the Lightstone development site at 2nd Street recently, contain?  The fence around the property was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, so it is entirely unprotected.  Perhaps someone dumped them there?
It is my understanding that Lightstone Group has not yet purchased the land, so they may not yet have control over it.
It would be interesting to find out who is responsible for keeping the site safe.


Stay Tuned For More Neighborhood News And Events

Dear Readers,
It has taken me a few days to get over my jet lag and to slip back into my Brooklyn life.   No worries. I am currently working on some new posts, which will be published shortly.  So check back.
In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying this great weather.

Impressions Of Berlin

Some last impressions of Berlin before I head back to Brooklyn tomorrow morning.  It was a great trip, full of new impressions and times with wonderful friends and family.
Leaving is bittersweet, but it will be nice to get back to Carroll Gardens.

As soon as I get some rest, I'll be posting about the neighborhood again, so stay tuned.

A Visit To The Turkish Market In Kreuzberg, Berlin

What does a German girl living in Brooklyn do when she gets to Berlin? Go to the weekly Turkish market in Kreuzberg, of course.
The visit is not only worth it for the produce, spices and the flowers, but also for the delicious take-away foods one can sample, such as deep-fried spinach and cheese Gözleme, felafel sandwiches.  Pair the whole with a glass of freshly pressed pomegranate or orange juice and you are in for a real culinary treat.
And yes, the strawberries were as good as they look on the photo above. I know because I must have consumed half a kilo of those berries myself.