Monthly Archives: August 2009

Good News for People Who Like Lobster News

Looks like the folks at the Red Hook Lobster Pound have hooked up with Rocky Sullivan’s to offer lobster to the people.  Friday nights through the end of the year, per the tip from Eater.

Trolley Plan Picking up Steam

OK, poor choice of words for an electric rail car system.  But after first hearing the idea bandied about a couple of weeks ago and seeing the debate begin online, it seems the prospects of trolleys returning to Red Hook have recently taken their biggest (if still small) step to becoming reality.

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez has requested $10 million in the Fiscal Year 2010 surface transportation bill, for “design and construction of a light rail system along the Brooklyn waterfront from Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y.”

Not sure how likely this means the trolleys are, but we do know that if Congresswoman Velázquez gets behind an idea it tends to have a way of not going away.  Vindication for Bob Diamond?  Fiscal disaster?  Leave a comment.

Painting With Eduardo

Visual artist Eduardo Rabel will begin teaching at two of DTE’s in-school programs in the fall, lending his talents to the South Brooklyn Community High School in Red Hook and a school founded on its model, the East Brooklyn Community High School in Canarsie.

While his summer winds down, though, Eduardo isn’t just planning for the fall.  He recently sent us an update on a project he has in progress in Teaneck, NJ.  Check out the Flickr stream to see the process unfold before your eyes.

Photo:  Devery Volpe

Photo: Devery Volpe

ER reports that the project is moving along nicely, but that they still need volunteers- YOU- to help finish up by the end of the month.  They’ll be out there every day the sun shines except tomorrow (the 25th).

If you’re interested in helping out on a cool project and getting paint on some old pants, leave a comment and we’ll hook you up with Eduardo.

The Debate Begins

Brownstoner wrote a blurb about the proposed revival of trolleys in Brooklyn.  Not much new there.  What was interesting was checking out the comments section, in which a pretty heated debate got going as to whether trolleys were even a desirable new entry to the borough.

The trolley defenders claim

here’s a few of the many positive attributes of a streetcar (in contrast to a bus)

* The capacity per operator is much higher
* Faster loading/unloading is possible
* Tracks create a sense of permanence that is very important for economic development (long-term decisions about store locations etc.)
* The tracks mark where the vehicle goes… much easier to navigate for people who are going somewhere unfamiliar… i.e., no unexpected routes.
* While streetcars have to deal with traffic as well, cars respect the right-of-way of a train on tracks much more than a bus.

There are many many more. AND before the bus-lovers get all up in arms… I’m not saying buses aren’t an important component of a successful transportation system. They most definitely are!

Posted by: tybur6 at August 18, 2009 11:55 AM

But the anti-trolleyites contend:

I grew up in a city with trolleys, and was a daily trolley commuter all through middle school and high school. I speak from first-hand experience about the disadvantages of a fixed-track vehicle on a shared roadway. The point is that it doesn’t take a quagmire to bring a trolley line to a halt. A single disabled vehicle anywhere on the line is all it takes.

And that…

In this time when there is great concern about global warming and our overall energy policy, I think it is downright irresponsible to propose trolleys over buses. The process of distributing electricity is HIGHLY inefficient. Only about one-third of the power that is generated in the central plant is used by the end-applicance, be it a trolley or a washing machine. The rest is lost to heat generated by the resistance of the power-transmission cable.

By contrast, an internal combustion engine is highly efficient. To those who complain about the emissions on the street, I would recommend that they go to a city that has modern buses. I recently travelled to Hamburg, Germany, where most of the trolleys have been replaced by gas-fired buses. They are quiet, and clean.

I agree that the hankering for trolleys is driven mostly by nostalgia, not by rational principles of transportation, engineering or economics.

So what do you think?  Trolleys in Red Hook (or downtown BK or DUMBO or…)- Yay or nay?

DJs at the Park Tonight

Got the headsup from the “Digital Soul Experience” blog.

Just three hours from now (it’s about 4pm now- show starts at 7) you can head over to Red Hook Park (that’s the one on Bay, b/w Clinton & Henry- think ballfields) to catch a DJ battle under the not-too-bad sun, lasting till about 8:30.

It’s DJ Premier vs. DJ Scratch…or Pete Rock.  There appears to be some disagreement on the park website, so if nothing else  just show up to see who’s performing.  In either case it’s sure to be good- these DJs have some serious experience under their belts/turntables, having performed with some of the biggest names in hip hop over the last couple of decades.  Come out and enjoy- EAST COAST.

Flea Tacos?

Not nearly as off-putting as they sound- in fact, no actual fleas are harmed in the making of what the New York Times unfortunately labels “Flea Tacos”– because they’re available at the Brooklyn Flea flea market.
People from Red Hook, though, will recognize Fernando and Jolanda Martinez’s wares as ball-field vendor tacos (and huaraches, and…).  And though they’ll be happy to see the Vendy Awards showing Red Hook some love, any true devotee of the ballfields will probably wonder if the entire award show couldn’t be populated from the a 500 yard stretch by the soccer fields any given Saturday in Red Hook.

DTE on the Red Hook “Green Map”

Super-cool “green map” of Red Hook popped up on our Google Alerts today, with hot spots like DTE, the Greenway Initiative, and even construction sites.  The only thing that’s not clear is who made it!

So, step up!  Did you put hours of time into making this map?  Looking for any more information?  Leave a comment and solve the mystery!