Bloomberg Gets Wheezy Over Congestion PricingMayor Bloomberg came out swinging for congestion pricing today. Facing a March 31 deadline for the city and state legislatures to collect $354 million in federal start-up funds, Hizzoner appeared at breakfast with U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters at his side. To an Anthony Weiner question about congestion pricing’s threat to federal funding, Bloomberg snapped: “That’s one of the stupider things I’ve heard!”
Giant Residential Complex to Hit the Lower East SideUnless you live on the Lower East Side near the river, you may not have known there was a Pathmark down there on Cherry Street. It’s a large, low building among housing projects and residential towers. Now, Curbed.com reports that the supermarket is about to turn into a giant development. The lot is for sale for $250 million and the sellers are suggesting it could be used to build one or two large residential towers (which would have a fabulous view of Brooklyn and the East River, though not necessarily the best view on the street) of about 50 stories. That’s big news for the neighborhood, especially since it’s rumored Donald Trump is interested. With the city’s planned revamp of East River Park, could this become a hot new area? Could it provide a much-needed hipster shunt from the hemorrhaging Ludlow and Essex area? Could Manhattan actually have found a new neighborhood to create? We can’t wait for all the real-estate blogs to begin inevitable naming contests!
LES Pathmark Site: $250 Million, 50+ Stories of Fun [Curbed]
Beware of Moped GangsDumbo: One Brooklyn Bridge Park slightly taller, slightly less yellow. Also, slightly expensive. [DumboNYC]
East River: We wouldn’t normally swim in the East River. But we might do it with art? [Gothamist]
Jackson Heights: New ad campaign: equal opportunity appaller. [Curbed]
Park Slope: Moped gangs in the Slope! If only we were joking. [Daily Slope]
Red Hook: The planned giant IKEA will stomp out a Civil War–era shipyard. Also, taste. [NYDN]
Roosevelt Island: OpenHouseNewYork will allow people into the scary old Smallpox Hospital you can see from the FDR (remember the end of Spider-Man?). And onto the Highline! [NewYorkology]
And then more rain tonight. And then cloudy tomorrow. And then perhaps the worst part: Rainy and hot on Friday. Feh.
it just happened
Amateur Submarining in East River? NYPD, Coast Guard Say No
It is, as we’ve already made clear, a day to be by the water — or, even better, in it. But might we suggest you not attempt to go in the water by building a homemade submarine and launching you Cousteauian adventure in the East River near the Queen Mary 2, which is docked off Red Hook? “Several men are being questioned by police after being stopped apparently attempting to set sail off Brooklyn in a makeshift submarine-type vessel,” reports WABC-TV. WCBS-TV says three people were escorted from the area by police, the captain was issued a Coast Guard violation, and — here’s the best part — “the vessel bears a striking resemblance to the ‘Bushnell Turtle,’ the first American submarine, invented around 1775 in Connecticut by David Bushnell.” So remember, kids: No revolutionary-era subs near the big cruise ships. Okay?
Makeshift Submarine Found in East River [WABC]
Odd Replica Sub Intercepted Near Queen Mary II [WCBS]
Adventures With an Egg [Flickr via Gothamist]
New Williamsburg Park Welcomes People, Bans PoochesWilliamsburg’s new waterfront oasis — East River State Park, it’s officially called — opened for business Wednesday, liberating the grass-starved locals to get down to the riverfront. But their dogs remained oppressed. City-run parks welcome dogs, but this state park doesn’t. “Look, I understand that when you have dogs here, you’re looking to give them exercise and let them play,” said Rachel Gordon, city director for the state parks office. “But we don’t allow dogs in any of the state parks in the city.” One fear, she explained, is that the dogs would damage the new vegetation.
Not Drizzle, Not Humidity, Not Dark of Night…
Flickr is, unsurprisingly, filled today with a few thousand shots of the Macy’s fireworks on the East River. Our favorites, we think, are by Flickr user JBParker, who snapped this smoke-and-color-filled shot — but, truth is, the show looks better in nearly all of them than we remember it looking to us last night. Of course, that might be because now we’re not getting drizzled on.
New York City Fireworks [Flickr]
Brooklyn: Now With More Endangerment!
In a waterfront ceremony in Dumbo today, Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront was named one of America’s eleven most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Places. The designation doesn’t actually do anything to protect the endangered places, other than give them some press. Indeed: Construction continues all along the waterfront, endangering history by building Ikeas and knocking down sugar factories and all that. After the ceremony, the dignitaries went for a boat ride.
Beware of Riprap in Greenpoint and Williamsburg
The city presented its latest plans for redeveloping the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront Wednesday night, and — believe it or not — local activist groups liked the proposals. The new plans include boat launches, picnic grounds, wetland preserves, which are all things — like a more natural-looking waterfront, a bit of which is shown in the rendering above — community groups have been asking for. “I believe they are making a true effort to tune the plan into a community vision,” said Laura Hoffman of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning. She gave props to how the plan integrates Greenpoint Terminal Market artifacts — like old ropes and bricks — into the park’s design. (We like this new rendering not least because landscapers call the sort of rocky water-edge depicted “riprap.”) How’d things get so lovey-dovey? Team Bloomberg persuaded three developers of waterfront high-rises to turn over open space to the city, and then the city designed with local priorities in mind. The impending towers still give some Williamsburgers the willies, and earlier renderings of the waterfront, warned Jasper Goldman of the Municipal Art Society, “looked like San Diego.” But gritty riprap? That’s so New York. —Alec Appelbaum
Stop!Boerum Hill: City replaces stop signs with traffic light at one intersection, and neighbors aren’t pleased. [Streets Blog]
Boerum Hill: Who you gonna call? Well, don’t bother with the police, if you live on a block stuck between two precincts. [NYDN]
East Village and Lower East Side: Work continues on East River Park, with 6th Street running track reopened and overall project set for final completion in 2008. [Grand Street News]
Fort Greene: There’s a new church coming, but don’t tell the local prostitutes. [Brownstoner]
Harlem: There’s some weird architecture — an old-school front porch, a very new-school modern thing — on East 128th Street townhouses. [Bagel in Harlem]
Lower East Side: Proposed neighborhood-friendly LES rezoning may not be as neighborhood-friendly as it’s cracked up to be. [LoHo 10002]
Lower East Side: Thanks to construction-detritus pulverized Styrofoam, you can play in the snow even when it’s 60-plus degrees out. [What About the Plastic Animals? via Curbed]
the morning line
Work Hard. Fly Right. Land Wrong.
• A Continental pilot misses the runway at Newark, and the Post, still giddy from yesterday’s circulation figures, lands a scoop. The jet skidded to a stop on a short, narrow taxiway instead of a proper landing strip. Everyone’s puzzled as to why and how. [NYP]
• Bloomberg spent Monday in Connecticut, spreading his independent, bipartisan, post-ideological magic — in other words, shilling for Joe Lieberman while trying to convince the voters he’s not laying groundwork for a presidential bid at all. [WNBC]
• Over 2,000 HIV-positive needy people will avoid a steep rent raise in their subsidized housing — but only at the last possible minute and after a heated battle in court. Housing Works, which you know as a kind of high-end Goodwill, sued the city on the tenants’ behalf. [amNY]
• OMG! There’s a barge in the East River! And there’s a swimming pool right on the barge! How darling! And just in time for, well, the time of year when you won’t get us into an outdoor pool with a shotgun. [NYT]
• Finally, a public service announcement: The Empire State Building will keep its observation decks open unusually late — until 2 a.m. — all through the holidays. So feel free to reenact your favorite moments from An Affair to Remember — or King Kong, if that’s your fancy — in bitter December cold at 1 a.m. [NewYorkology]