Friday, April 30, 2010

Tom & Jerry at Big Movies for Little Kids


Celebrating Our Fifth Anniversary!

Monday, May 3rd at 4pm


Trends come and go, but the chase is eternal! The most famous cat and mouse team are back for more hilarious antics on the big screen at Big Movies. (USA; 1965; not rated; color animation; approximately 70 minutes)


Time: 4pm (every other Monday, following the public school calendar)

Ages: 2 and up (all ages welcome)

Location: Cobble Hill Cinemas, 265 Court Street @ Butler

Cost: $6.50 per person (as per theater policy, all walkers need a ticket)

For more information:

To secure seats, tickets may be purchased on-line at:

Drawing Blood opening at WORK - tomorrow 5/1


May 1 – May 28, 2010
Opening Reception Saturday, May 1, 6-9pm


WORK gallery is on Union Street at the corner of Van Brunt.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guarding and Grooming Your Street Tree - Coffey Park this weekend

Learn street tree basics at the park house in Coffey Park this Saturday from 10-12. Click flyer for closer look at details

Mother's Day Gift from the neighborhood

How great is this?
A delicious cake, a Spring floral arrangement, and a delicate card, all of which you can order right in the neighborhood. No excuses daddies! It's time to honor the mommies!

Audra Rox to have a benefit at the Urban Meadow

To find out more about Alexandra's Playground click here.

Coffee tasting at the Coffee Den - 5/2

This Sunday the Coffee Den is hosting a tasting extravaganza from 10 to 1.
Put your taste buds to the test and separate top organic brands from sock juice.

Enjoy and send in your reviews!

New cake place on Sackett

Kakes by appointment only...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Salsa Sensation, La Excelencia, Remembers New York Roots

International stars donate concert to support community-based arts in Brooklyn

“When I first heard La Excelencia’s 2006 debut album, Salsa Con Conciencia, I remember feeling as if I had been struck on the head with a pair of clave and thinking: ‘Yes! This is what salsa is all about.’” So says Tijana Illich, Latin music journalist, about her first run in with the 12-piece powerhouse being called “the most sought after group in New York” (Chris Soto, The Mambo Scene Magazine).

The band, started in 2005 by Julian Silva and Jose Vazquez-Cofresi, comes to Southpaw (125 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn) May 4th for a benefit party & concert (6:30pm). Their work their will support arts education programs for over 700 students run by Dance Theatre Etcetera, a community-based organization with a 17-year history of programming in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

These young musicians bring an urban edge to their socially conscious lyrics, and a no-frills, old-school sound that has some calling them the face of the salsa dura (“hard salsa”) movement. When their first album dropped the New York Times took note, saying "The real deal doesn’t show up that often, and here it is. Celebrate it".

So what made the group donate a free set when they’re in demand throughout the world? Like the music, it’s about giving something back. Not only will the band help a new generation of New Yorkers get access to the arts with their benefit concert, the men behind the band have reached out, through Dance Theatre Etcetera, to schedule a special workshop/performance with students at Red Hook’s South Brooklyn Community High School.

# # #

Dance Theatre Etcetera’s benefit party & concert with La Excelencia

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 (6:30pm) @ Southpaw (125 Fifth Avenue)

More information about La Excelencia

Visit Dance Theatre Etcetera to find out more about the organization

For more info about the benefit concert,


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kindiefest family music conference at Littlefield this weekend

This weekend at Littlefield, kid friendly musicians, bands, and others from the family music business will be coming from around the country to participate in the annual Kindiefest music conference. While a number of events within the conference are for insiders only, such as seminars on marketing or distribution, there will be a music festival on Sunday that can be enjoyed by any family with young children:

Sunday, May 2

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm • Festival

Ralph Covert
Bill Harley
Recess Monkey
Royal Order of Chords and Keys
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased in advance here

For more details about these artists or the festival in general, check out the conference site here

Littlefield is located at 622 Degraw St. Check out their site here

Monday, April 26, 2010

BBQ and book drive for Books Through Bars - Freebird - 5/8 from 2-6pm

The non-profit organization Books Through Bars recently found a temporary new home on Columbia St. in the basement of Freebird Books and Goods. Welcome them to the community on Saturday May 8th from 2-6pm by attending a "BBQ and Book Drive" being held for them at Freebird! (see details below)

If you can't make it to that event, staff from Books Through Bars also accepts book donations at other times. More info can be found on their site here.

Details from Freebird's site are as follows:

Saturday, May 8, 2-6 pm

BBQ and Book drive for Books Through Bars

“Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog.”
--Mark Twain

Over the past month we have readied our basement for the grassroots organization, Books Through Bars, a non-profit which donates books to prisoners across the country. Now that they have made the move from Boerum Hill, they are in need of filling up their more spacious new digs downstairs. There are lots of shelves that need to be restocked. Please help us out.

So in the spirit of spring cleaning (you know those walls are closing in on you) and Mark Twain, whose passing 100 years ago we also note, we will make our backyard a book drop and party space for the occasion. BBQ and beer will be on hand, not to mention Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer T-shirts special for the occasion (from our friends at Novel-T). All Freebird’s proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts will go to Books Through Bars.

Books donated to BTB are tax deductible. Books Through Bars is especially looking for books in the following categories -- and preferably in paperback, to cut down on postage costs:
  • African-American history, especially 20th century
  • Native American history
  • Latin American history
  • Radical politics
  • Social sciences and psychology
  • Dictionaries, thesauruses, and Spanish-English dictionaries
  • Learning world languages
  • How-to (drawing, chess, sign language...)
  • Mayan and Aztec history
  • Memoirs and fiction by people of color
  • Mythology
  • Poetry anthologies
That said, we don’t want to turn away any generous offers and what BTB can’t use will either make its way into Freebird’s general population or off to another charitable organization.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Plant Sale at the Urban Meadow - 5/1 and 5/2

Plant Sale

at the

Urban Meadow

Saturday May 1, 11 am-2 pm

Sunday May 2, 10am-2pm

Annuals, perennials, basil, tomatoes (including heirloom)

at low prices

Perfect for Mothers Day gifts,

window boxes, flowerbeds,

tree pits and gardens

The Urban Meadow is on the corner of President

and Van Brunt Streets.

All proceeds from the sale will go towards Meadow

maintenance and events.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Columbia St. Waterfront Jane's Walk - 5/1

On 5/1/10, there will be a walking tour of the Columbia St. Waterfront as part of the nationwide Jane's Walk series in honor of Jane Jacobs. The walk will discuss neighborhood history as well as current issues being faced. Participation is free of charge.

Date: May 1, 2010
Time: 4-5:30 p.m.
Who: Wylie Goodman
Where: Meet at the corner of Columbia and Summit Street in front of the Summit Street Garden
What: How Our Neighborhood Has Changed: An Eclectic History of the Columbia Waterfront with Stories from Its Past and Present

"Jane's Walk is a series of free neighborhood walking tours that help people get in touch with their environment and with each other. By bridging social and geographic gaps and creating spaces for cities to discover themselves....all over again"

CSA slots still available - act soon!

There are still some slots available for the CSA at the Urban Meadow on President St. and Van Brunt!

If you would like to join, email urbanmeadowcsa {at} to receive the membership form and other details.

The cost is $450 for 22 weeks from June 5 to October 30, which includes vegetables and fruit. This cost breaks down to $20.45 per week and there will be about 6-7 varieties of fruit and vegetables each week.

Pick up time is on Saturday mornings.

Add-on egg and cheese shares are also available.

Act fast as slots are filling in!

For more information on CSAs, take a look at Just Food's site here

For information on the farm, see here

The tire swing is back at Mother Cabrini playground!

The tire swing broke last Spring and was finally replaced today!

Children are already lining up for their turn. This is a good day at the playground!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tree killed in accident around 4/9/10

We are a little backlogged on posting, but since we have used the blog as somewhat of a record on traffic issues around Columbia St. we didn't want to let this one slip through the cracks.

Around April 9th, 2010, a vehicle seems to have gone off road and hit one of the young trees on Columbia St. near Warren. We don't have any details other than photos submitted by a reader and personally seeing the tree during the Tree Brigade event. Its very unfortunate to lose a tree in the neighborhood. We hope no one else was hurt.

This week at Dry Dock

Friday, April 23rd: 6 – 8:30 pm

Thierry Puzelat will be in the store for a special tasting! We will taste some of his and our favorites.

Saturday, April 24th: 5 – 8 pm:

Spanish wines with Pam from Aviva. Olé!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Freebird event at Jalopy on 4/25

Special event at Jalopy Theatre (315 Columbia Street)

Sunday, April 25, 6 pm
Admission free

Music performance and book discussion with
David Hajdu and Karen Oberlin

In conjunction with the release of his new collection of essays, Heroes and Villains, David Hajdu dishes about the music biz and performs with his wife, jazz-pop vocalist Karen Oberlin. James Marcus joins them on electric guitar and lap-steel guitar, along with Seth Fahey on stand-up bass and clarinet.

More info on Freebird's site here

Columbia St. Tree Brigade recap and next steps

On 4/10/10, around thirty volunteers showed up to help aerate and mulch all of the trees along Columbia St., from Atlantic Avenue to Degraw St., as part of a new initiative called "The Columbia St. Tree Brigade," a collaboration between the NYC Parks Department, the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, and the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association.

Kids and adults alike started the day by learning about proper mulching methods and proceeded to literally dig in after that by shoveling mulch into wheelbarrows and buckets from two huge piles and distributing it to trees along that stretch. Thanks to everyone who came out!

We urge you to join us for our next event on May 8th when we will work our way down Columbia St. from Degraw to Hamilton.

Its a great opportunity to meet people, get some exercise and fresh air, learn about trees, help beautify the community, and improve the local environment! Kids and adults are all welcome to participate.

Phoenix Beverages has arrived

Anyone walking past near Piers 7 or 11 recently may have noticed an increased level of activity. Those in the know will realize that this activity is related to new pier tenants Phoenix Beverages moving in and starting operations. For more information about this, see here.

Signs I've seen so far include dozens of beer trucks lined up in the parking lot of Pier 7 (near Atlantic), a truck with Phoenix written on it coming down Van Brunt near Hamitlon, and a small bus marked "Phoenix Employee Transport" headed north on Van Brunt.

I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome Phoenix and its employees to the area, but also to remind readers, elected officials, the EDC, and the higher-ups of Phoenix of community concerns and demands that have been stated in the past:

- All trucks should be retrofitted to run on Compressed Natural Gas as soon as possible(Have a timeline or benchmark deadlines ever been established for this within the original seven year projection?)
- Truck traffic should stay off local streets, driving behind pier gates or directly onto the BQE
- Phoenix should give local residents priority for new job openings

COWNA has five Clipper CIty tickets available for community members!

When we posted last week that PortSide was giving away tickets for rides on Clipper City, a large schooner currently residing in the Atlantic Basin, some readers were upset to find out that the tickets were grabbed up super fast!

The good news for five lucky individuals is that the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association has gotten a hold of five of those tickets and is pleased to offer them to five community members on a first-come first-serve basis.

If you're interested, stop by 78 Union St. after 1 pm tomorrow, 4/21, to pick them up.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Torso/Broadcast 6 screening at Broolyn Collective - Tonight!!!

196 Columbia Street
Brooklyn NY 11231
April 16 2010 8:00 p.m.

From the email announcement:
TORSO // Broadcast 6 has been in production since 2005, but on April 16th 2010, it will finally premiere. What started as a science fiction short has expanded into an extensive mythology. From Brooklyn to San Francisco - from Dover to Portland - from Philadelphia to Reno - TORSO has been all across America collecting footage. Our adventures took us through mountains, deserts and cities, all of which have been captured on 8mm film. From bedazzled masks to hand-crafted televisions, we're sure you haven't seen anything quite like this.

On Friday, April 16th at 8:00 PM, the Brooklyn Collective will premiere TORSO // Broadcast 6. Come join TORSO for a night of drinks and revelry as we celebrate the culmination of five years' work!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. RSVP requested.

View the trailer here:

TORSO // Broadcast 6: Trailer from Jesse Corinella on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Electronic recycling at PS 29 - Saturday 4/25

On April 25th, from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the Cobble Hill Association are hosting an electronic recycling day at the PS 29 Schoolyard, on Baltic Street between Clinton Street and Henry Street. If you want to responsibly recycle unwanted or broken electronics, all you have to do is bring your e-waste with you.

-Home appliances such as microwaves or refrigerators will not be accepted
- Accepted items include computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers, network devices, keyboards, mice, cables, hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, audio-visual equipment, cell phones, pagers, PDAs, handheld and desktop phones, and answering machines.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sail on the Clipper City

FreeSails on Clipper City!
USA's largest passenger sailing vessel

158' long Clipper City
Clipper City

PortSide NewYork, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and Manhattan By Sail Inc. are making available 550 free tickets for sails on the Clipper City Tall Ship, a 158' long topsail schooner.

The Clipper City Tall Ship will depart from Pier 11, Atlantic Basin, next to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The ship can take up to 145 passengers at a time. Rides are about one and a half hours long and will depart on the following days and times:

Fri 4/30 10:00 a.m.
Sat 5/1 10:00 a.m.
Fri 5/7 10:00 a.m.
Sat 5/8 10:00 a.m.

As of Fri 4/16/10, 240 free tickets will be distributed via the web here

If someone does not use the web, physical tickets are availableas of Fri 4/16/10 at the office of Brooklyn Community Board 6 (250 Baltic Street, between Court Street and Clinton Street) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Tickets are limited to two per person.

Tickets at Community Board 6 that have not been picked up 3 days before the sail, will become available on line.

Note: cars enter at Bowne + Imlay Street. Pedestrians can enter there or gate at Pioneer + Conover Streets.

This is inaugural event for the season. Other summer programs will be announced in early May.

More info on this program at our Maritime Hub Events page or call 718-852-0821.

Science Fair at PS 29

(Tickets also available at the door.)

Floating Earth Ball in New York harbor to celebrate our planet

"Grandcentral will have a projection of a giant EARTH image"
" The Mayor will drop the ball on Times Square.
"Other will have New Yorkers pose 3 fingers for E".

...and BROOKLYN, will have the

100 Students from PACE UNIVERSITY Committed. How about YOU?

Come help launch the GIANT EARTH BALL into orbit, up to 110ft- signifying 100%
commitment to mitigation of impacts on CLIMATE CHANGE, OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, and FOSTERING a NEW GREEN GENERATION in Brooklyn

SUNDAY APRIL 25th, 1pm. EARTH DAY 40th IKEA/Erie Basin Park, in Red Hook, Brooklyn

This week at Dry Dock

Friday, April 16th: 5 – 8 pm

Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin & Barbados Rum Mathilde Liqueurs. Ferrand is one of the oldest Cognac houses and Citadelle Gin is made using the same pots that Cognac is distilled in.

Saturday, April 17th: 4 – 7 pm: TBA

Paumanok has been making wine on Long Island since 1983. Join us as we taste their Cabernet Franc, Festival Red, Chardonnay and Rose.

Sunday, April 18th: 3 – 6 pm

It's a Makers Mark Experience! We'll be tasting the Bourbon at different points in its lifecycle. From a new make (right from the tap) and a 1 year old to what’s on the shelf and then an over-matured 10 year old.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Squirrel making contest at Brooklyn General

The crafty peeps at Brooklyn General have created a habitat in their storefront window - a warm, wooly tree. Now this tree needs some new friends! So go forth and make a squirrel!


What Counts as a Squirrel? Any rodent-type animal with a fluffy tail who likes nuts. Squirrels must be 3-D.

They may be knit, sewn, crocheted, felted or fabricated out of any naturals you desire. Please no taxidermy or you will be bitten!

Call for Entries: First 10 entries get a free Brooklyn General t-shirt. Entries can be hand delivered or mailed to Brooklyn General Store, 128 Unions St,, Brooklyn, NY, 11231. They may come from any part of the world. Squirrels will be judged on originality, craftmanship, and all around cuteness.

Dates and Deadlines: Call for entries begins on April 15th. Contest ends May 15th and squirrels must be received by that date. Squirrels will be kept on display in the shop until June 30th. Winning squirrels will be posted on our blog the week following the contest with links to winner’s blogs if desired.

Rules & Restrictions: All squirrels must be hand made by the participant. Youth entries must be made with minimal parent involvement. They can be made from patterns or self-designed. You can submit up to three squirrels. They can be as small as you like, but no bigger than 15 inches. If you want your squirrel to be returned you must include a self-addressed, appropriately sized, padded envelope with the correct postage already on the envelope. Postage for the return of squirrels will be the sole responsibility of the participant. There is no insurance on return shipping and safe delivery of wayward squirrels is not guaranteed.

Prizes!: A public judging and Squirrel Party will be held on May 15th at Brooklyn General Store. (Party details will be announced soon here on this blog.)

1st Prize: $200 Brooklyn General Store gift certificate (valid for one year).

2nd Prize: $100 Brooklyn General Store gift certificate (valid for one year).

3rd Prize: $50 Brooklyn General Store gift certificate (valid for one year).

Youth Prizes (0-15 yrs): Three squirrels will each be awarded one $50 Brooklyn General Store gift certificate (valid for one year).

More info at

Earth day with Big Movies for Little Kids


at Cobble Hill Cinemas

Monday, April 19th at 4pm


To usher in Earth Day (April 22nd) Big Movies presents two celebrated, animated films about our fragile environment: Dr. Seuss’s THE LORAX and the Academy Award-winning film by Frederic Back, THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES.

“Gluppity Glup, Shloppity Shlop!” THE LORAX chronicles the plight of the Truffula Trees, and the Bar-ba-loots, Swomee Swans and other fantastical beings that lived among them. A greedy industrialist, the Once-ler, recounts how he destroyed the forest for his Thneed-making business, and the strange little creature, The Lorax , “I speak for the trees,” who tried to stop him. (USA; 1972; not rated; color animation; 25 minutes)

Based on the beautiful short story by Jean Giono, The Man Who Planted Trees tells the story of a lone shepherd's effort to re-forest a decimated valley in the foothills of the Alps over the course of four decades. Narrated by Christopher Plummer (Canada; 1987; not rated; color animation; English narration; 30 minutes)


Time: 4pm (every other Monday, following the public school calendar)

Ages: 2 and up (all ages welcome)

Location: Cobble Hill Cinemas, 265 Court Street @ Butler

Subway: F train to Bergen Street

Cost: $6.50 per person (as per theater policy, all walkers need a ticket)

For more information:

To secure seats tickets may be purchased on-line at:

See you at the movies!

Reminder: Greenway Workshop for CB6 / Red Hook tomorrow

Everyone is invited to participate in the planning of the Greenway!

Red Hook (CB6)
Tuesday, April 13th
Red Hook Recreation Center
155 Bay Street


Friday, April 9, 2010

SCRATCHBread to move to Columbia st.

The Village Voice reported earlier this week that SCRATCHBread, a popular Brooklyn based baker that sells bread at Brooklyn Flea among other places, has found a new home on Columbia St.

According the article:
Back in February, word got around that SCRATCHbread's Matthew Tilden was looking for a new space in which to bake his excellent bread. ....
Late last week, he found a new baking facility on a stretch of Columbia Street along the Red Hook-Carroll Gardens border. While Tilden cautions that it's going to take awhile before he gets bread production up and running again (he still needs a wood-burning oven), he's happy to have found a new home. Stay tuned for further details.
What's not clear in this Voice post is whether or not it is just a kitchen space or if it will also have a storefront. I've heard great things about SCRATCHBread and the choices on the website look amazing! While its always good to have new business moving in, being able to get that bread locally would be especially exciting!

Full Village Voice article here
SCRATCHBRead website here
Edible Brooklyn article here

Image above from Edible Brooklyn

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reds Tapas space to become Pimentel Dry Cleaners

Realty Collective's blog has the scoop on what is to become of the Red's Tapas Bar space, and it turns out it will become a new dry cleaning business. While we loved Red's and would love to see another restaurant there, we're very happy to see any new business in general and eliminate vacant comercial spaces!

Welcome to the neighborhood Pimentel!

Read more about it at the Realty Collective blog here.

Image above from Realty Collective

2nd Annual 25th Senate District Community Convention

Sen. Daniel Squadron is hosting a 2nd annual community convention so that residents throughout his district can get together to discuss a wide range of topics that are relevant within each respective community (including ours!) and on the citywide and statewide levels. Since there are so many great topics, I have decided to just post all of the details below. Check out Sen Squadron's website for more details.


Sunday, April 11
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street (just west of Greenwich)

RSVP to Rosemarie Diaz at 212-298-5565 or


From Sen. Squadron:

Please join me on Sunday, April 11th, at the second annual 25th Senate District Community Convention.

At the convention, I will ask you about your thoughts and ideas on legislative and community priorities.

Last year, more than 400 community members attended and offered valuable feedback on topics as far-ranging as school overcrowding, park planning and nightlife concerns. We divided into small discussion groups so each attendee could participate actively, and the great ideas I heard influenced my work at home and in Albany.

I hope you will join me this year to offer your input on those topics, as well as tenants' rights, health care, ethics reform and more than 20 others.

Will you join me at the community convention on Sunday, April 11th? Please RSVP to Rosemarie Diaz in my office at 212-298-5565 or I hope to see you there!




Brooklyn Bridge Park and Open Space

Just last month, along with Assembly Member Joan Millman, I reached an agreement for New York City to open and move forward with Brooklyn Bridge Park, with more amenities and a serious consideration of alternatives to housing. And, I’ve worked with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to keep Governors Island open every summer. What are your ideas for how we can build and preserve New York’s great parks?

Education and Schools

This year I introduced a bill that will help fight overcrowding in the schools, successfully pushed to improve admissions in District 1, and supported local schools from Carroll gardens to Lower Manhattan to the Lower East Side. What other ideas would help us build a world-class public education system for our kids?

Buses, Subways and MTA Issues

Last year, I had the MTA release a first-of-its-kind report on the F train, a step toward transparency. Today, we are unacceptably facing a “Doomsday” budget again. We need a more reliable, long-term approach to funding mass transit. Please bring your ideas to this very timely discussion.

Mitchell-Lama, Section 8 and Tenants’ Rights:

I fought successfully to restore funds for tenant counseling—a wise investment that helps keep people in their homes. I sponsor legislation that would close legal loopholes that some unscrupulous landlords use to evict tenants. And in developments like 10 Stanton Street and Independence Plaza North, I have worked with tenants to protect affordability. How else can we help protect tenants in this economy?

Environmental Sustainability

Last year, we passed the Bigger Better Bottle Bill and a green jobs program. And I wrote bills to cut down on idling and help consumers buy more fuel-efficient cars. What are some other creative ideas for how we can fight climate change and protect the environment?

Ethics Reform

Albany needs reform. We passed a new law, S6439 (Squadron/A9559 (Silver) that makes it illegal for public officers to use state resources for their own for-profit business. And we crafted an ethics package that was supported by Citizens Union, the League of Women Voters and the New York Public Interest Research Group, and passed the Senate and Assembly. What are your priorities for much-needed Albany reform?

Pedestrian Safety, Street Changes, Bicycle Lanes and Traffic Control

I worked with advocates to write a leading pedestrian safety bill and am working to pass it this year. I am also fighting for funding for street changes that will make crossing safer for seniors and kids. What else can we be doing to better protect pedestrians?

Health and Health Care

Last summer, along with my colleagues I fought successfully to preserve school-based health clinics at four schools where they were threatened with closure. I would love to hear your thoughts on other smart, cost-effective ways to keep New Yorkers healthier.

Public Housing

This spring, I sponsored the bill in the State Senate to allow NYCHA to access more than $400 million in up-front investment and $75 million every year from the federal government. That money that will help fix broken elevators, prevent heat outages and improve basic maintenance. What does public housing need next?

Marriage Equality and LGBT Civil Rights

I voted, and argued, and fought for passage of marriage equality and was disappointed the Senate didn’t pass it last year. Please share your ideas for how to pass marriage equality and other LGBT civil rights legislation like the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) into law.

Jobs, Workers’ Rights and Economic Development

As chair of the Senate Committee on Social Services this year, I was proud that we invested in new jobs and training programs to put New Yorkers to work right now. In this difficult economy, what are your priorities for jobs and workforce issues?

Quality of Life: Construction, Bars and Nightclubs

I wrote laws this year that closed loopholes in nightlife laws so community boards’ opinions must be taken into account and the rules are clear and consistent for everyone. Please share your suggestions on other ways I can help communities manage quality of life and noise problems.

Rent regulations

I sponsor a bill that will close the “owner occupancy loophole” and keep tenants in their homes, and I am fighting for other vital tenant protection legislation like an end to vacancy decontrol. What are your priorities for rent regulation laws? What else can I do that will help keep New York affordable and keep tenants in safe, decent and affordable homes?

Disability Access

I fought against MTA cuts that would have slashed Access-a-Ride funding and for funds to repair broken elevators in NYCHA, to make the buildings more accessible. What are your ideas for how we can make our state more accessible for New Yorkers with disabilities?

Zoning and Neighborhood Preservation

I believe communities should be more involved in the land use and zoning process—that’s why I found state funding for the Chinatown Working Group and I supported neighborhood preservation efforts in Brooklyn and Manhattan. This year, I hope you will come tell me your priorities for community planning.

Criminal Justice and Civil Rights

Our justice system clearly needs reform. I helped reform the Rockefeller drug laws and move from juvenile detention to crime prevention, but there is much more to be done. What are your ideas for making our communities safer and fairer?

Election Access and Participation

I wrote bills that would close campaign finance loopholes, reduce contribution limits and guarantee that voters know where every campaign dollar is coming from. What are your ideas for how to pass these bills and others?

Public Assistance and Social Services

I fought successfully in the budget for smart, forward-thinking investments in local settlement houses, home visiting programs and homelessness prevention. Have you come across smart programs that will help protect vulnerable New Yorkers and provide good jobs?

Emergency Preparedness

We can’t predict emergencies, but we can be prepared. That’s why I am so supportive of our Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT teams). What are our strengths and weaknesses in preparedness?

Senior Citizens’ Concerns

I found more than $100,000 for senior services in the neighborhood, including grants for home visiting, home security upgrades, and assistance with shopping and other errands. What are your ideas for how we can better serve seniors in our community?

Neighborhood Issues—Chinese-language discussion

Last year, I launched the first-ever 25th Senate District Chinese-language hotline, so Chinese-speaking residents can call my office every day. I hosted a Citizenship Day to provide free immigration assistance from legal experts. And I have fought for safer streets, safer housing and much-needed senior services for Chinatown. If you or your neighbors speak Chinese and want to join the conversation, we will have a discussion group for you!

Neighborhood Issues: a Spanish-language conversation

Last year, Spanish-speaking participants talked about declining bus service on the Lower East Side, trouble finding an affordable apartment, and more. I fought to preserve buses and protect public housing for years to come. The group also talked about the importance of early childhood intervention for families that are struggling—and I won state funding for that intervention with the Nurse Family Partnership. If you or your neighbors speak Spanish, I hope you will join this vital discussion at the convention.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vision 2020: NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan - first meeting tomorrow!

The first citywide public meeting for the process of updating NYC's official waterfront plan will be tomorrow, 4/8/10 at Murry Bergtraum High School (411 Pearl Street in Manhattan)

Go out and make your ideas about the Columbia St. waterfront and Red Hook heard!

More about the project:
The Department of City Planning is currently preparing a Comprehensive Plan for the over 500 miles of New York City’s waterfront, defined as New York Harbor and its tributaries, creeks and bays. Vision 2020 will build on the original Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, published in 1992, and the city’s experience over the past 18 years in order to set forth a new long range vision for a 21st Century NYC waterfront. Specifically, Vision 2020 will identify key opportunities for improving our waterfront and outline strategies to realize this new vision.

More about this project on the official website here or from Municipal Arts Society here

2nd Annual PS 58 PTA Flea Market - April 24th

Come by and check out a schoolyards worth of goodies at
The 2nd Annual PS 58 PTA Flea Market

Saturday April 24th, 10-4, no rain date

PS 58 Schoolyard, Carroll at Smith

Even bigger than last year- more vendors, more food and more fun!

Interested in renting a space? We have very affordable space rental!

This week at Dry Dock

Friday, April 9th: 5 – 8 pm

New Zealand wines from Tablelands, TeAwa and more.

Saturday, April 10th: 4 – 7 pm

David Bowler Wines is back with wines from Spain.

Sunday, April 11th: 3 – 6 pm

Bols Genever and Damrak Gin tasting.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fix the Ditch!!! Public meeting May 4th.

Finally, the highly anticipated monster project for fixing the BQE ditch is starting! So exciting!!!

Here is the message from the EDC:

We are excited to announce that the BQE Enhancement Study, led by Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, PLLC has officially begun.

Over the course of the next year, EDC, in close coordination with CDOT, will work with the consultant team to complete a visioning study for improvements to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) "trench" in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Columbia Street Districts. The project seeks to find creative solutions to mitigate the noise and pollution created by the BQE from Atlantic to Hamilton Avenues, and to help reconnect communities on both sides. Solutions may include beautification projects such as green planted buffers, overhanging walkways or pedestrian crossing bridges. The overall goal is to create a plan that is innovative and sustainable, but most importantly, practical to implement. The final report will serve as the marketing tool to obtain construction funding.

Funding for this phase of the project is provided by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, through the Federal Highway Administration, and NYCDOT.

We cordially invite you to participate in the first of 3 public meetings that will be held over next year.

Where: Tuesday, May 4th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

When: Long Island College Hospital (LICH), Avram Conference Center

339 Hick Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Conference Rooms C & D

RSVP: Please RSVP to

Engaging key community stakeholders will be an important part of this visioning process. The scope will include a scheduled series of community meetings/workshops. Your organization's participation will be instrumental in making this a successful plan for the community.

We look forward to collaborating with you!


Jessica Pavone, AICP

Assistant Vice President

The Columbia St. Tree Brigade kickoff event - this Saturday!!!

This Saturday, 4/10/10, come out to the first meeting of the Columbia St. Tree Brigade! We will be aerating, mulching, and watering street trees along Columbia St. between Atlantic and Hamilton (side streets to come at a later date). This process will help protect the trees as well as help them grow and thrive! This is a great opportunity to meet people, do something positive for the local environment, and beautify our area!

Meet in front of 145 Columbia St. (across from the Greenway).

The Parks Dept. is generously providing a large amount of mulch and tools to make this happen.

Feel free to bring kids, friends, family, and neighbors! This will be a great learning experience for all.

Email me at cbarker1{at} with any questions.

Monday, April 5, 2010

76th Precinct Community Council meeting 4/6

The 76th Precinct Community Council meets on the first Tuesday evening of every month except July and August. The next meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday April 6th at 7:30 p.m. at the 76th Precinct Station House, 191 Union Street between Hicks and Henry Streets. The meeting is open to all.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Work for the Census

Crowds flock to the Meadow's Egg Hunt!

And they're off!

Today's 2nd Annual Egg Hunt at the Urban Meadow was a success!
2 hunts, 1 bunny, 500 eggs, 144 balloons, 100 painted cheeks, dozens of goodies and t-shirts sold, wow!!

This was a community event, put together by volunteers (mostly neighborhood parents), paid for by local businesses and donations, in a community garden.

Thank you so much to everyone that helped make this happen!

Here are some pictures:

Next year will be even bigger and badder!!!

Come back for our Jazz concerts coming this June...

2nd Annual Spring Egg Hunt(s) at the Urban Meadow

We were so busy emailing, tweeting, and flyering for this event that we somehow forgot to post it here, on our own blog - OOPS.

Anyway, for those of you that don't know or are googling for the details last minute, here you go:

2nd Annual Egg Hunt(s) at the Urban Meadow!!!!
Saturday, 4/3/10 (today!)

2 hunts this year: 11am for children 0 to 4; 12pm for children 5 and up.

Eggs with treats and toys will be hidden throughout the meadow for children to find. There will also be baked goods, balloons, face painting, and other fun stuff.

Admission is free but donations are welcome!

The Urban Meadow is located at the corner of President St. and Van Brunt (right next to Mother Cabrini playground).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beautiful Earth Day block party - 5/23/10

EDIT: The date for this event has been changed to 5/23 to allow for more participants and activities.

There is an amazing Earth Day themed block party in the works for Degraw St. between Columbia St. and Van Brunt on 5/23/10 and you can take part in it! if you have a business, organization, or activity idea, please read the letter below and get in touch with Amanda from Beautiful Earth to participate.........

Hello neighbors!

My name is Amanda Cleary and I am the Manager of Sustainability at Beautiful Earth Group (BE). We are a startup sustainable energy company based on the Columbia Street Waterfront in Brooklyn. I am writing to invite you to participate in "Beautiful Earth Day 2010," a block party to celebrate Earth Day which will include music, games for kids, educational displays, local food and lots of other fun activities with street residents and neighbors.

On Sunday, May 23rd, Degraw Street between Columbia and Van Brunt streets
will be closed off to vehicles for the block party, which will take place from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. And because this is a collaborative event, we will have representatives from Solar One, Opportunity Green, the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association (COWNA), the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and various other community groups partnering up with us to make this a truly special event. Volunteers from WFMU will be hosting a solar-powered radio show featuring DJ's and live music. Organizations will contribute via their time, services and/or products. Beautiful Earth Group's Solar-powered Electric Vehicle Charging Station's gates will be open and guests will be invited to take a tour and view our zero emissions, 100%
electric MINI E. Power for the event will be collected by BE – and provided by – the SUN!

Please send an email to info { at } or call me at 718-488-8426 if you would like to participate. Although commercial sales are not allowed at the block party, we would greatly appreciate it if you were able to donate goods, set up a stand or display, run an activity or volunteer your services. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully working together!

Red Hook Initiative celebrates its new home on 4/15/10!

The staff of the Red Hook Initiative (RHI) have worked extremely hard over the past year to find a new location and raise money to design it according to their vision. The time has come for the building to open and for all that hard work to finally pay off. Head down on 4/15 to check out the new space and become more familiar with the great work that RHI does!

From the RHI event email:

Come celebrate with the staff and board of the Red Hook Initiative
as we proudly share our new home!
Take a tour and learn about RHI's green building design.
Meet our staff and participants.
Learn more about our work.
Honor those who helped to make this possible.
Please RSVP to 718-858-6782 or