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!

Truck Pollution on the Dock

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle with a piece published last night about City Council-hopeful Brad Lander’s recent press conference “call[ing] for action to curb truck emissions and pollution expected from a rise in beverage shipments at Piers 7, 10 and 11.”

“It is critical that all parties, the EDC, Port Authority, ASI, Phoenix and port users, take significant short-term and long-term steps to reduce emissions, make sure that pedestrians, cyclists and residents are safe, and make the port into a model of sustainability,” said Lander.

Lander acknowledges the economic benefit of the entrance of Phoenix Beverages, but joins community environmental advocates in calling for a more rigorous “port action plan” to deal with changes brought on by the expected influx of new traffic and industry.  One of the suggestions is a “first source” program intended to provide job opportunities to local residents.  Check out the article for the rest of the proposed plan.

Alan Bolle @ Jalopy

We met Alan when he came to DTE’s “meet the neighbors” event a few months back, never suspecting his secret identity as the “Springman” of Chicago.

Well I just ran into Alan down at Fairway and he dutifully hoisted a promotional postcard on me for his upcoming show.  I’m glad he did.  After reading the article linked to above and seeing the beautiful coverart for the postcard, it looks like his show at Jalopy is a can’t-miss.  “Drawing From Live Events” is the show, named after his intriguing practice:  Alan works with live musicians in concert, creating pieces that come organically out of the live event and spontaneous interaction between musician and audience.

From GA Photos

The show has an opening reception on September 26th (don’t worry, we’ll make a reminder post the week of) and runs through 10/4.  In the meantime, though, you can see Alan’s work at his (360) Columbia Street studio, where in addition to his fine art he handles furniture restoration and “custom functional pieces”…whatever those are.

openhousenewyork volunteer reg. begins today

Register to volunteer for the upcoming OHNY Weekend, October 10 & 11, 2009. Join our growing number of volunteers to help make the 7th Annual OHNY Weekend our biggest success.

Volunteer for a four hour shift and receive a signature OHNY button that allows front-of-the-line access at non-reservation sites and programs. Opportunities are also available to volunteer throughout the year, please contact us at or 212.991.OHNY

Don’t know what OHNY is?  Check out their website to learn about the organization that brings New Yorkers behind-the-scenes into some of the city’s most exciting architectural and design gems, including the Green-Wood Cemetery for DTE’s Angels and Accordions (which is only 2 months away!).