Bedbugs Threaten Boerum Hill Bastille Day’Real World’ rumors hit Carroll Gardens, strange “vocational” lions hit Staten Island, the “Beaver Butler” hits the financial district, and more, in today’s boroughs report.
Coney Island 2008: The ‘Summer of Hope’Wrap up your week wetly, with a dead raccoon on the Upper East Side, a tiny woman on Coney, David Byrne way downtown, and some big breasts in the meatpacking district. All in today’s boroughs report!
Ghost Towns and Old BonesFlushing: Time to buy a new bathing suit! Or, um, ice skates? The plush, $66.3 million Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Natatorium and Ice Rink is opening today. [Curbed]
Lower East Side: Loud messy construction from Jason Pomeranc’s hotel at 200 Allen Street and Morris Platt’s 26-story condo on Orchard Street has turned the surrounding blocks into “a ghost town.” [NYO]
Lower Manhattan: Signs that speak of the World Trade Center in the present tense will be removed. [NYT]
The Plaza Will Soon Let You Throw Money at It AgainGowanus: The Gowanus Village is on the market for $27 million, and Curbed has a photo gallery, including shots of the “beautiful canal waterfront.” [Brownstoner]
Lower Manhattan: Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The visitor center down there will have a public program at 7 p.m. in remembrance. [WTC Visitor’s Center]
Midtown: The Plaza’s final opening date is scheduled for March 1. It starts at only $1,000 a night. But that comes with wireless! [NYT]
The ‘Crazy Super’ Has a Dog Named Pretty GirlBay Ridge: Richard Martin, the “crazy super” who posts homicidally threatening signs about trash disposal, says of his tenants “They’re Arab; they don’t give a f*ck”; has a cute Pekinese named Pretty Girl; and worships Jeanine Pirro. Feast on his cranky, strangely lovable weirdness. [NYP]
Chelsea: Facing lawsuits from folks who say it’s too loud and polluting to be there, the 30th St. pier heliport floats a plan to move itself onto two barges offshore. And Curbed is right… this homespun sketch of the plan indeed features the quaintest, gentlest West Side Highway we’ve ever seen. [Villager via Curbed]
Ditmas Park: Folks in these gentrifying, pretty parts know that the hatred currently directed at Park Slope will soon be visited upon them. And they’re probably right. [Ditmas Park Blog]
The City Takes On the Squirrel HouseCobble Hill: Whether that house on Kane Street where the old lady lives is infested with rats or squirrels is now a moot point — the city’s ordered her to vacate, and trusty NY1 is on the story! [Lost NYC]
Greenwich Village: The Department of Buildings is bitter because the developer of the units that went up over landmark Circle in the Square theater lied and said they’d be used for dorms. They’re not, meaning no zoning breaks. Meaning pare down those hideous balconies! [Villager]
Lower Manhattan: Also bitter are Seaport locals, who laughed in the face of moguls last night who offered them community use of the Fulton Market floor where the “Bodies” exhibit is in exchange for development. Looks like they want waaaay more public space than that. [Downtown Express]
Moynihan Station: Now Only $1 Billion Short!Carroll Gardens: Increasingly unpopular architect Robert Scarano is off yet another job, this time at controversial 360 Smith, which now features a more contextual, though still towering, façade. [Brownstoner]
Clinton: Adding to a string of crimps in big plans for the West Side, the redo of neoclassical Farley Post Office into a train station/moved Madison Square Garden is $1 billion short. Egad. [NYS]
Greenwich Village: Should NYU’s I.M. Pei–designed Silver Towers be landmarked…or are they just, well, ugly? [Gothamist]
Confetti and Courage: Video From Today’s Giants ParadeIf you missed some of the footage of the Giants’ victory parade today on television, New York’s Tim Murphy went on location to the Canyon of Heroes (a.k.a. lower Broadway in Manhattan) to gather some of the overwhelming fan joy into one short video. Click above to watch as children admit to playing hooky and streaking in celebration, Tim admits to not knowing who Osi Umenyiora is, and some extremely excited people admitted that, yes, Eli Manning is officially a New Yorker.
Giants’ Victory Parade [NYM Video]
Husband and Wife Strippers Leave Us HangingBushwick: If you squint really hard, you can pretend this house is in a suburban glade and not next to the elevated subway in a tough hood. Or so this Realtor’s poster hopes. [Newyorkshitty]
Carroll Gardens: Locals rejoice at the news that his-buildings-don’t-fit-with-this-hood architect Robert Scarano is off the job at 333 Carroll Street, but what will become of that inappropriately huge penthouse thingy they’ve been building on the roof? [Pardon Me for Asking]
Corona: A husband-wife stripper team were busted for using MySpace to lure two teenage girls to their home, then to an orgy at a Manhattan strip club. Hey, why didn’t they ask us instead? God knows we’re of age. [NYDN via Queens Crap]
The East Village Has Gone Euro. No, Really.Coney Island: Here, 105 years ago today, Thomas Edison electrocuted a rogue elephant to prove the power of direct (versus alternating) current. He even filmed it. And where was PETA? [Gothamist]
East Village: Local biz owners are banding together against chain stores. Meanwhile, the trendy hood’s so overrun with Euros that stores have started accepting, uh, euros. [Vanishing New York]
Long Island City: Bollywood comes to LIC, hip-hop style, in this cute video. Shakalaka, baby! [LICNYC]
Dumbo Makes Its MarkCarroll Gardens: Some people feel that the paltry number of holiday lights strung up on Court Street is really shameful. And they ain’t too proud to blog about it. [Lost City]
Dumbo: It just became the city’s 90th landmark district! Those hulking industrial piles turned boutique lofts will be preserved into perpetuity! Huzzah! [NYS]
East Harlem: Don Imus is kicking in a quarter-mil for an ecofriendly health center up here, saying it’s shameful that such a small hood has such high asthma rates. [Newsday via Uptown Flavor]
Fishing in the Gowanus Canal: Yeah, They Do It. What?Astoria: Boy, Pete Hamill’s writer bro Dennis sure loves the park here. Perhaps just a few hundred words more than necessary? [NYDN via Queens Crap]
Bushwick: Horny gay gentrifiers, listen up. That hot local papi you just took home may agree to tie you up … but only to steal your Gucci watch. [NYP via BushwickBK]
Gowanus: They’re fishing bluefish out of the toxic Gowanus Canal … and eating them! Ew, that’s just naasty! [Gowanus Lounge]
Trader Joe’s Saves Forest Hills From Checkout RageCarroll Gardens: Opponents of overdevelopment here now have their own funky mural, which directs people to this online petition. [Queens Crap]
Dumbo: These Czech marionettes performing Hamlet at Jane’s Carousel through November are seriously creepy. [DumboNYC]
Forest Hills: Customers at the cheery new Trader Joe’s here are grateful not to have to deal with “a rude gum-smacking Key Food cashier eating a bag of barbecue potato chips as she’s taking cell phone calls.” [Forest Hills 72]
The Gays Have Found Forest Hills — or Maybe NotBoerum Hill: Prudential Douglas Elliman is pissed at bloggers who write about how their Brooklyn properties won’t sell. Good, because we’re pissed at all brokers for taking our money and only showing us “studios with a nook.” [Brownstoner]
Chelsea: All that construction at the General Theological Seminary on Tenth Avenue is for a “Geothermic Well Field.” Great Scott! [Blog Chelsea]
Forest Hills: Gays in the Hills! “Or maybe more straight guys are wearing Abcrombie [sic] andFitch t-shirts and walking tiny dogs with their male friends.” [Forest Hills 72]
Lower Manhattan: Curbed has hot pics (literally) of the destruction of a T.G.I. Friday’s downtown, to make way for the Fulton Street Transit Center. TGIF indeed! [Curbed]
Union Square: If you need $100 a month, why not let this Internet wunderkind hang out in your apartment sometimes? [Zach Klein]
West Village: Gothamist gathers all the info on one of our New York real-estate obsessions, the Northern Dispensary Building. [Gothamist]
Freedom Tower Peeks Over Ground-Zero Sidewalks?
Oh, the excitement back in January, when Freedom Tower construction finally — five-plus years after the attacks — reached the towering height of eight feet below sidewalk level. The milestone was marked by a festive “Metro” section article in the Times, explaining just where you had to stand, and just how you had to crane your neck, to get a view of this feat of construction. So it’s with even greater exultation that we discovered this picture on Curbed today, which seems to indicate that construction has — are you sitting down? — actually progressed to above ground! Of course, the Curbed boys speculate what we’re seeing is merely a few Portajohns. Perhaps. But, even so, hey, we’ll take what we can get.
WTC Chaos Update: Something Rises Above Grade! [Curbed]
Earlier: The Freedom Tower Exists for Anyone Who Truly Believes In It
Ground Zero Claims Two More
• Two firefighters died Saturday in a blaze in the abandoned Deutsche Bank building adjacent to ground zero. The pair “walked into a horror show,” as Spitzer put it, when they met a maze of protective polyurethane sheets that may have made the fire harder to fight. [amNY]
Manhattan Mini-Storage Ads Go Over Line, West Side HighwayBushwick: It’s hard out there in the ‘shwick … for a gay, twentysomething yuppie when he’s waiting for the hood to gentrify so he can cash in on your property and leave. [BushwickBK]
Chelsea: Manhattan Mini-Storage’s ads can sometimes be annoying, but how excellent is it that this flagrantly pro-choice one, hangin’ large over the West Side Highway, has NYC’s six conservatives enraged? [Gothamist]
Flushing: Brace yourself for a big, shiny new development here with a Home Depot, Target, and million-dollar condos for folks who, according to the developer, are “upscale, middle-income and multiethnic” … all at once! [OuterB]
Gowanus: State enviro-honchos and Keyspan have reached an agreement on cleaning up the subterranean toxic goop at two sites in this area, plus at several others in the borough. [Gowanus Lounge]
Kensington: Faced with choosing between two blights on society to fill a long-empty building — methadone users or law students — it seems locals will gladly suffer the latter. [Kensington Blog]
Lower Manhattan: Is it an art installation … or the indoor bike-parking facility set up at 280 Broadway for city workers? Click and decide. [Streetsblog]
Williamsburg: All the hipsters had a good, self-referential laugh last night during the McCarren Pool’s screening of Bonnie and Clyde when the screen duo’s sidekick C.W. Moss is scolded by his dad not for being a criminal but for getting a tat. Ha ha ha, movie stars, they’re just like Us! [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]
Water, Water, Everywhere
Today’s Times reports on a new study showing that “the very character of the Northeast is at stake” if greenhouse gases aren’t controlled, as we mentioned earlier. One issue: What are now considered once-a- century floods could within 90 years be hitting New York City every decade. Gothamist points us to a map from that study, showing what we can expect that decennial flood to look like. This map only shows the financial district, and we’re thrilled about that. At least now we don’t have to look at our West Village neighborhood engulfed.
Map of the Day: If NYC Flooded Every 10 Years [Gothamist]
Smile, You’re on 3,000 Cameras!
First Google Street View and now this: Should you venture below Canal Street starting later this year, prepare to give up all expectations of privacy. Wherever you look, chances are you’ll be recorded. The city (once again aping London) is about to begin installing a massive system of cameras, license-plate readers, and “movable roadblocks” on the city’s southern tip. While the Brits have an appropriately imperial name for it — Ring of Steel — we’ll have to make do with the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative. If all goes well, the total number of new downtown cameras will eventually exceed 3,000. (That’s, to put it conservatively, several per street corner.) And wait until they figure out that those anti-terrorist plate readers can be put to great use minting tickets for running a red light. Or, at least, catching you eating trans fats.
New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown [NYT]
She Was Not a Figment of Your Imagination
We’re not entirely sure what the Figment Festival, held yesterday on Governors Island, was (seems like a very mini, East Coast version of Burning Man), and we disagree with the Gothamists, who place this photo on the quasi-abandoned island (what with the high-rise and the tunnel and the traffic, we’re going with lower Manhattan). But, still, cool picture, and interesting-sounding event, and, well, we really do need to get ourselves out there one of these days. It’s open to the public each weekend through Labor Day.
Welcome to the Week [Gothamist]
Related: Arts Festival Awakens Sleepy Governors Island [Metro NY]
Visit the Island [GovIsland.com]
Downtown Gets Rich and Popular, Upending Neighborhood Stereotypes
This week, humanity was shocked by the news that downtown Manhattanites have a higher median household income than any other population center in the country. (Meanwhile, journalism professors were shocked by the fact that Daily Intel took this information directly from a press release sent out by a real-estate developer that operates primarily in downtown Manhattan.) “Downtown” is defined as the financial district and Battery Park City, as well as the “Civic Center region,” which we’d never heard of but apparently refers to the area around City Hall. This means it’s time for New Yorkers to revise our cherished wealth-related neighborhood stereotypes. After the jump, some suggestions.
Park Slope Kids Experiment With Spontaneous PlayBrooklyn Heights: The scaffolding at 185 Montague, up for years, is finally down, revealing a stunning Deco façade. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Highbridge: Cycling advocates want the graceful 1848 High Bridge, connecting the Bronx and Washington Heights, to be bike-friendly now that it’s up for refurbishment. [Streetsblog]
Lower Manhattan: The naked or undie-clad illustrated hotties once populating the Website for André Balazs’ forthcoming Beaver House condo have disappeared. Perhaps under the orders of a new sales team? [Curbed]
Park Slope: Parents loosen scheduling death grip and encourage kids to play pickup baseball. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]
Sunnyside: Signs pleading “no dumping your garbage here” are lavishly decorated. [Newyorkshitty]
Williamsburg: Nearly a year after it was hastily erected, this Kent Avenue synagogue still doesn’t have a proper façade … or a certificate of occupancy. [Brownstoner]
Libeskind to Build Another Tower in Lower ManhattanDaniel Libeskind has been busy lately, with a museum opening in Toronto, new residential projects around the world, and a Freedom Tower stubbornly moving nowhere in Lower Manhattan. And now he’s got another — more easily built, one presumes — building coming to New York. The architect told us yesterday he has a commission to design a residential tower somewhere in Lower Manhattan — though he won’t say much more than that until paperwork is filed Friday. Here’s what he’ll reveal: The commission is from a private client, and he hopes to make the building a landmark “by taking the notion of green out from the inside of the building.” It won’t be on Liberty Island, as we originally guessed, but Libeskind confirmed it’s on a built “historic site, one of the iconic sites of New York City.” And, he added, “I guarantee you’ll see the Statue of Liberty from there.” Hmm. You have any guesses? —Alec AppelbaumCORRECTION, July 13: A Skidmore, Owings & Merrill flack emails to remind us that the Freedom Tower currently being constructed isn’t even Libeskind’s design anymore; it’s by SOM’s David Childs. So maybe this new one will not only be more easily built, but will also stay Libeskind’s!
Starchitect Showdown! Will Rockwell or Gehry Build the Better Playground?It’s never too early to start Manhattan tykes on high-end real-estate mania. The Parks Department has just announced that Frank Gehry will be designing a no doubt titanium-clad playground for Battery Park — which puts the L.A.-based starchitect in head-to-head competition with New York’s own David Rockwell, the man behind countless restaurant and hotel interiors, some of Broadway’s wittiest set designs, and a planned “imagination playground” on Burling Slip, a bit uptown on the East River. How do the two compare? See for yourself.
Outside the Grid Is a Senseless, Scary WorldClinton Hill: Of the two area buildings called “The Chocolate Factory,” which one actually used to make chocolate? [Clinton Hill Blog]
Greenpoint: How to keep dogs off your grass? Say it’s intoxicated. [Newyorkshitty]
Greenwood Heights: Neighbors are petitioning the Department of Buildings over unsafe conditions at 18-20 Jackson Place. [Gowanus Lounge]
Long Island City: Throw out your trash in Court Square so you can try out the solar-powered garbage compressor. [LICNYC]
Lower Manhattan: A gridless world proves confusing to an Upper East Sider. [The Upper East Side Scene]
Soho: The Mulberry Street branch of the New York Public Library opens today. [Gothamist]
Bye, I• MSNBC and CBS are taking Don Imus off the air for two weeks, prompting the Post headline “Don Ho” (you have to think about that one for a minute). Seems calling Al Sharpton “you people” didn’t help things. [NYP]
•It has begun: Downtown’s Community Board 1 is absolutely outraged by JPMorgan Chase’s plans to build a skyscraper cantilevering over a nearby park. Joining the pile-on are the unions miffed by Chase’s demand for fat relocation incentives. [MetroNY]
• Ex–New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey is suing his estranged wife Dina Matos, ostensibly not to stop her from promoting a tell-all but to make her stop dragging their 5-year-old daughter to the readings. He also accuses Matos of, yup, homophobia. [NYP]
• East Hamptonites are divided in the wake of an over-the-top immigration raid. Armed agents in bulletproof vests pushed through the doors, SWAT style, in search for the homeowner’s estranged husband. [NYT]
• And will a Brooklyn Law student be booted after appearing in a Playboy TV video nude and playing with judge’s gavels? Probably not, but come bar-exam time, the Committee on Character and Fitness will have some research to do. [NYDN]
Chase Wants InThe logistics of the ground-zero revival effort are enough to make one’s head implode, but that’s not stopping JPMorgan Chase from getting into the game. The bank has expressed interest in the Deutsche Bank site, a piece of real estate that’s about to open up with the final dismantling of the grim, toxic colossus. Early plans call for a 50-story tower of comparable dimensions. Whatever Chase builds there is probably bound to be more eye-pleasing than the current black obelisk; the question here, like everywhere else around the ground zero, is whether anything is going to be built at all. For one thing, Chase wants a big, fat incentive package to move its employees south from midtown. For another, to fit in a trading floor, the building will need to “cantilever” (thanks, Times; we’d probably say “partly hang”) over a little park. And that means community boards may be getting involved. Unlike the dome over the transit hub and other semi-scuttled flights of fancy, this one is a deal-breaker: No cantilevering, no trading floor; no trading floor, no dice. Without taking sides, we’ll just say this: Chase execs better pray there are no memorials planned for that park.
Chase Is Said to Plan Tower Near 9/11 Site [NYT]
Will the Knitting Factory Unravel in Two Years?Astoria: So are anti-gay comments actually homophobic or just a Borat-like hoax? [Astorians]
Dumbo: The Beacon and J condo gets a resounding mediocre rating from architecturally demanding residents. [Brownstoner]
Greenpoint: A Huron Street property is no friend of Magic Johnson’s new Green Street development. Time to go to court. [Curbed]
Kips Bay: Strong anti-U.N. sentiment is fueling local pols’ opposition to a new office tower at Robert Moses Park on 42nd Street. [NYS]
Lower Manhattan: Governor’s Island expands its access to the public this summer … but do most NYCers even know where it is or what’s on it? [NewYorkology]
Tribeca: Now that its building has just been sold, will famed music venue the Knitting Factory meet a CBGB-like demise when its lease expires in two years? [The Real Deal]
Still Acting Up, Twenty Years Later
Twenty years ago this week, ACTUP, the AIDS-activist movement, held its first protest, shocking lower Manhattan’s buttoned-down lunchtime crowd when hundreds of gay protesters stormed the streets demanding lifesaving AIDS drugs; seventeen were arrested when they lay down “dead” in the street at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street, stopping traffic. (“Homosexuals arrested at AIDS drug protest,” read the Times photo caption.) Today, ACTUP was back, this time rallying for the group’s bigger-than-AIDS demand for universal health care, and about two dozen protesters were arrested when they stopped traffic on Broadway, alongside the famous statue of a bull.
At William Beaver House, Brand Early, Brand OftenAstoria: Did a Bauhaus-era South Beach hotel fly through the air, Oz-like, and land on 21st Street? How else to explain the new Astoria Windsor apartment building? [Curbed via Queens Crap]
Boerum Hill: Perhaps where an air conditioner used to cool is now a shrine to the Virgin Mary and, uh, Barbie. Is the Bethlehem Barbie Dreamstable somewhere nearby? [Lost City]
Governor’s Island: So NASCAR didn’t work on Staten Island. What about Indy racing here? [NYS]
Kensington: The jilted neighborhood is conspicuously absent from Brooklyn Record’s breakdown. What gives? (Blog fight!) [Kensington Blog]
Lower Manhattan: At the construction site for André Balazs’s super-hyped Beaver House condos (studio: $870,000), even the construction crane is part of the branding. [Curbed]
Soho: Madonna and her cleavage will be overlooking Houston & Crosby on behalf of H&M for a while. [Copyranter]
How Bad Is Your Post Office?
Brooklyn Heights: Did Tim Robbins move in? There was a spotting on Henry Street. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Harlem: If your kids don’t say “I Want!” to you enough, take them to the new toy store on 120th and Lex. [Harlem Fur]
Kensington: After a YouTube clip of a Harvey Fierstein–voiced crazy going, well, postal at the notoriously dysfunctional P.O., some other dissatisfied customers chimed in. [Gowanus Lounge]
Lower Manhattan: In a process akin to finally removing a tumor eating at New York City’s soul, demolition of the 9/11-contaminated Deutsche Bank building finally begins. [Downtown Express]
Prospect Heights: A dozen residents could lose their apartments to make way for one family’s need for a five-bedroom house. [The Brooklyn Paper]
Williamsburg: (Well, the Williamsburg Bridge, that is.) Fresh off this gushing Village Voice profile, street artist Deuce 7 drops a new stunner. [Razor Apple]