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  1. neighborhood watch
    Rats Attack Chelsea Health ClinicBattery Park City: The Solaire, which touts itself as “America’s first environmentally advanced residential tower,” is cracking down on bikes parked in hallways. [Streetsblog] Brooklyn Heights: The Love Lane Garage will close at month’s end, to make room for — OMG, this is so surprising! — new condos. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Central Park: Free classical music does nothing but bring out the rudeness in people. Fortunately, no fistfights. This isn’t Boston, after all. [City Specific] Chelsea: Ew, rats! No, not the condo developers — real rats! And all over the park in front of the Ninth Avenue city health clinic, no less. [Blog Chelsea] Dumbo: Is the spruced-up Pearl Street Triangle painted the same lime green as the city’s bike lanes because the Department of Transportation had extra paint left over, or because it really likes this color? [Brownstoner] Gowanus: A whole lotta enviro-cleanup is going to have to happen before the city can turn the parcel known as Public Place into the affordable-housing complex it envisions. [Gowanus Lounge] Upper West Side: Fights reportedly broke out at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods this morning as people queued up to by ecofriendly, $15 designer canvas “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” shopping sacks. [Gothamist]
  2. neighborhood watch
    The People’s Republic of Bushwick RisesBoerum Hill: A rundown YWCA will become home to 84 new units of affordable studios (under $600) for women rather than the site of a luxury condo. File under So Refreshing You Want to Cry. [NYDN via Queens Crap] Bushwick: The artists living at 345 Eldert Street plan to secede from Brooklyn tomorrow. [Brooklyn Paper] Chelsea: That dance piece they were filming on the High Line last week? It’s Jerome Robbins’s 1958 work Opus Jazz, to be completed by next summer. [BlogChelsea] Clinton Hill: It’s a race against the clock at 163 Washington Street as a developer tries to grandfather in a high-rise’s foundation before new zoning forbids it. [Brownstoner] Gowanus: Since when is this desolate hood considered “the heart of downtown” Brooklyn? Since a just-opened Comfort Inn here started marketing it that way. [Gowanus Lounge] Harlem: Just how loud is the weekly drum circle in Marcus Garvey Park? [Harlem Fur] Williamsburg: East River State Park opens full-time today, just in time to offer the city’s best view of tomorrow night’s fireworks (if they’re not rained out, that is). [I’m Not Sayin’, I’m Just Sayin’]
  3. neighborhood watch
    Forget the Toxins. Just Build the Damn Whole Foods.Brooklyn Heights: Get a look inside the fancy One Brooklyn Bridge Park at a rare open house tonight. [Brooklyn Eagle via mcbrooklyn] Bushwick: It’s a zoning puzzle on Harrison and Wallabout: a residential building on a “light manufacturing” lot. [QueensCrap] Central Park: The city’s transportation commish is considering a car-free Central Park trial this summer. [Streetsblog] Clinton Hill: Looking for the right community garden? Here’s where you can picnic or pull weeds. [Clinton Hill Blog] Gowanus: An informal poll suggests that some are concerned about the environmental impact of the new Whole Foods, while others just want the damn market already. [Brownstoner] Greenpoint: Discarded self-help guides suggest “quarter-life crises” are rampant around here. Egads. [Newyorkshitty] Hell’s Kitchen: A new condo is looking for buyers, preferably ones made of precious metals. [CopyRanter] Long Island City: How long till owner Tishman-Speyer demos this (admittedly none-too-charming) parking garage and puts up an office park? [LICNYC] South Beach: It’s dirty-needle season at the beach! [7online via Gothamist] Williamsburg: Will drawing attention to this cool new street art attract the wrath of the graffiti-defacing Splasher? [Williamsburg]
  4. intel
    Marty’s Purge: It’s About Gowanus, Not Yards, Says a Survivor Five longtime members of Brooklyn’s Community Board 6 were replaced by Borough President Marty Markowitz, as today’s Times reported, and there was a pattern: All were active opponents of Atlantic Yards. It was a purge, it seemed, and even stranger one conducted by a man usually viewed by the press — us included — as a kind of lovable, pizza-eating panda in a captain’s hat. The five members’ terms were up, and Markowitz certainly has the power to replace them, but it’s typically not done, and the move seems surprisingly Machiavellian for a man best known for his boosterish enthusiasm for cheesecake. So we called CB6 member Jeff Strabone, another Yards critic whose own term isn’t up until next year — and here the plot thickened. Per Strabone, Atlantic Yards was not the real cause of Marty’s house-cleaning. Nope, Markowitz is looking a step ahead.
  5. neighborhood watch
    Park Slope: The MovieBrooklyn Heights: The city recently took Red Hook Lane, one of the borough’s oldest pathways, off its official map in order to make way for development. [110 Livingston via McBrooklyn] Fort Greene: Residents will rally this Wednesday against development of an eighteen-story condo that would tower over its three- and four-story neighbors. [Brownstoner] Gowanus: Seems like work is moving forward on Whole Foods on the Canal … but why are the workers dressed in what look like Hazmat outfits? [Curbed] Jamaica: The city has yet to take action against a developer whose crane smashed the windows of an adjacent apartment, according to its tenants. [Queens Crap] Park Slope: Behold the inevitable … the hood will be the set for a forthcoming flick (with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) about, big surprise, yuppie parenting. [Gowanus Lounge] Washington Heights: An uptown resident’s association is saying “no” to those who can’t say “no.” They want to block a proposed drug-treatment facility for 200 clients on 159th Street. [Uptown Flavor]
  6. neighborhood watch
    Highs and Lows in Crown HeightsCrown Heights: The area may be landmarked and all, but the state assemblyman was charged with DWI in Albany last night. [NY1] Flushing: After a bus knocked over a monument in Flushing Meadows Park, the Parks Department opted to right it without repairing the giant missing chunk. [Queens Crap] Gowanus: Happy first birthday to Gowanus Lounge. Here’s to a year of development and sludge coverage. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: What the hell was that piece of cauliflower attached to a medieval torture machine spotted yesterday on Cayler Street? [Newyorkshitty] Upper East Side: It’s not the Stanhope Hotel anymore. Rebranding renders the luxury condo “995 Fifth.” [Curbed] Vinegar Hill: Not even John Starks could convince people to buy a condo at 99 Gold Street — the building is turning rental. [DumboNYC]
  7. neighborhood watch
    Gowanus Breaks Out the Black ArmbandsBrooklyn Heights: Tired of college students? The Pace University dorm on Clark Street is closing. [Pace Press via Brooklyn Heights Blog] Coney Island: A Noho fragrance company will introduce Coney Island, the perfume, in June. [NYDN] East Village: The 3-D advertisement on a building on Lafayette near Bond may soon blight other buildings. [copyranter] Gowanus: A community mourns the untimely death of Sludgie the Whale. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: Symptoms of the Greenpoint Effect: You will become more eccentric, deface subway posters with Sharpies, and somehow get despoiled. [Newyorkshitty] Williamsburg: The area is being branded by the city as an industrial business zone. Dig the orange signs, but will it make companies move there? [Brownstoner]
  8. the morning line
    No Good News • It pales in comparison to Virginia, but it shouldn’t: A disturbed Queens man killed his mother and two others before killing himself. The mother is said to have called the police seven times seeking protection, the last time minutes before her death. [NYDN] • The Virginia Tech gunman addressed his manifesto to “30 Rockefeller Avenue, NY, NY 10102” — and it still made it to NBC: the one package that would probably be better off lost. [NYT] • Oh, great, look who’s coming to Manhattan: JCPenney. The company will open a 150,000-square-foot store in the midtown. A Lower East Side branch is surely to follow by, oh, 2012. [CNN Money] • The Times produces a think piece on the New Jersey Governors Who Speed, interviewing a Christie Whitman staffer and Thomas Kean. The consensus is that speeding is “just part of the culture.” [NYT] • And the final bummer on a wretched morning: The Gowanus whale is dead. Surprisingly, not from poisoning; the poor thing struck a “rocky ridge.” We suspect suicide. [NYP]
  9. the morning line
    Save the Whale, and the Musicians • After Jon Corzine recovers — speedily, we hope — we see a lot of PSAs in his future. Not only was the New Jersey governor not wearing a belt at the time of his crash last Thursday, but the car was doing 91 mph. [NYDN] • Cynthia Greenberg, an activist who claims to have been kicked in the head by an NYPD officer at an antiwar rally, will get $150,000. The city is making the case go away after Greenberg threatened to produce videotape. [NYT] • The German Army has fired the instructor who told his soldiers to imagine scary black dudes in the Bronx before squeezing the trigger. Chalk the victory up to the unlikely alliance of YouTube and Bronx beep Adolfo Carrion. [amNY] • As live-music venue closings reach a critical mass, musicians descended on City Hall yesterday to protest. Turns out guitarist Marc Ribot speaks fluent municipal-ese (“that industry brings hundreds of thousands of tourists,” etc.). [Metro NY] • And a baby minke whale has made its way into the Gowanus Canal. As of this moment, it’s still navigating the filthy waters, and rescue plans are being drawn up; on a related note, is “Fin City” really the best the Post could do? [NYP]
  10. neighborhood watch
    Jay McInerney’s Bright New PenthouseBay Ridge: Residents are bracing for a two-year traffic nightmare as renovation work begins on 86th Street and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. [Brooklyn Paper] Gowanus: During yesterday’s storm, raw sewage flowed into the canal, which then overflowed, all but literally sending crap into the streets. Quaint! [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: Living next door to Magic Johnson’s new Green Street condo building is like living next to something that pokes two-foot-by-two-foot holes in your apartment. [Newyorkshitty] Greenwich Village: Bright lights, big price tag. Jay McInerney and his heiress wife, Anne Hearst, just picked up an East 9th Street penthouse for $3.2 mil. [Curbed] Harlem: Sunday’s torrential rain created four waterfalls in the 116th Street C-train station, making it more disgusting than usual. [Harlem Fur] Park Slope: The hood’s perfectionist moms suffer the painful realization that they no longer dress well. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] Upper East Side: Not everybody’s happy about the Star Wars–esque entrances planned for the Second Avenue subway. [2nd Avenue Sagas]
  11. neighborhood watch
    Good-bye, Irving Plaza. Hello, Fillmore New YorkGowanus: Ecofriendly Whole Foods continues to ignore pleas from area residents that its store coming to Third and 3rd be, uh, ecofriendly. [Gowanus Lounge] Gramercy: The (sadly franchisey-looking) new Fillmore sign has gone up on the marquee of the old Irving Plaza. [Idolator] Greenpoint: Locals party with pot, booze, coke, and Time magazine. Good times. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A 123rd Street minister has sparked a boycott of new businesses that he says are pushing out the hood’s “indigenous people.” [VV] Kensington: Can’t save enough to make a 20 percent down payment? A sponsor can help. [Kensington (Brooklyn)] Upper East Side: Good fences make good doggies? After lots of nasty barking between the owners of big mutts versus small ones, a new waterfront dog run at East 63rd Street will have a temporary fence to keep the Dobermans from the dachshunds. [NYS] Williamsburg: Look for a new psychedelic mural by Dave “SKWERM” Ellis over at 58 North 6th. [Brooklyn Record]
  12. neighborhood watch
    Jim McGreevey Exercises Gay American Right to Protest Chelsea: More glassy façades are replacing the old tenements of Eighth Avenue north of 14th Street, creating more reflective surfaces for area pretty boys to admire themselves in. [Blog Chelsea] Clinton Hill: Trap-neuter-return. Those three magic words can help humanely manage the area’s feral cat population. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: Is that boarded-up old building on Warren St. really a former Christmas-ornament factory? And whatever is to become of it? [Lost City] Gowanus: Faster than you can smuggle out towels in your suitcase, it looks like another hotel is coming to the area. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: The most awesome house ever is on Beadel Street and has a leopard-print door. [New York Shitty] Times Square: As he promised yesterday, ex-Jersey guv Jim McGreevey turned out at the military recruitment center today (above) with about 60 other gays to protest a top general’s calling la vida homo “immoral.” [Towleroad]
  13. neighborhood watch
    Forest City Ratner Wants to Hear Your ComplaintsClinton Hill: Whoever thought that a bar-hopping query would be so charged with race and class drama? [Brooklynian] Clinton: Thanks to Renzo Piano’s eco-swank Times tower, the legendarily scuzzy Port Authority district is now safe for top-line businesses. [Gothamist] Gowanus: Park Slopesters want the Whole Foods megastore coming to 3rd Street and Third Avenue to swap its planned rooftop parking deck for solar panels. [Gowanus Lounge] Harlem: A new luxury condo from architects Feder & Stia will soon cantilever boldly over the 116th Street mosque where Malcolm X once held court. [City Realty via Curbed] Nolita: Sure, the billboard on Houston and Lafayette is for a clothing line, but what if “Come as you are” was the new neighborhood tagline? [Copyranter] Prospect Heights: Come vent! Forest City Ratner, developer of Atlantic Yards, has opened a “community liaison” office. [Brooklyn Speaks via No Land Grab]
  14. neighborhood watch
    Chickens Further Brooklyn Gentrification Battery Park: This funky glass carousel thingy could serve as a spot that links park visitors to the Coney Island aquarium via a ferry. [Kinetic Carnival] Clinton Hill: Why go to a food co-op or the farmers’ market when you can raise chickens right behind your own brownstone? [Brownstoner] East Village: A first peek inside (and through the windows of) the Bowery Hotel, where rooms start (for now) at $245. [Hotel Chatter via Curbed] Gowanus: Oh, boy! It’s the four-part lecture on the history of the canal we’ve all been waiting for. [Brooklyn Record] Morningside Heights: Columbia students use clever street art to strike back at their school’s real-estate takeover of the area. [Gothamist] Prospect Heights: Have you met Sydney, Hudson, Jenny BiBabe, and Dakota on MySpace? They’re the new condos that want to be friends with you. [Gowanus Lounge]
  15. neighborhood watch
    East Village Not Cool Enough to Justify Tiny Closet Chelsea: Tourists find Hotel Chelsea to be old and shabby. Well, yeah. [Notes from the Trenches via Living With Legends] Cobble Hill: Who says you can’t go (to his) home again? Walk to Cobble Hill Park and peer into the dank basement flat that once housed young scribe Thomas Wolfe. [Lost City] Dumbo: Angry phone calls succeed in putting the temporary kibosh on improper asbestos removal at 205 Water Street. [DumboNYC] East Village: Chic “lofted living” (right) can be yours for just $1,700 a month! Walk-in closet (for dwarves) included. [Craigslist via Curbed] Gowanus: City enviro-honchos have released a cleanup plan for the parcel of toxic soup known as Public Place — and locals will sound off on the parcel’s future at a meeting on February 22. [Gowanus Lounge] Jackson Heights: Next Tuesday, get a free stack o’ flapjacks at the Northern Boulevard IHOP when you make a donation to a children’s charity. [Joey in Astoria]
  16. neighborhood watch
    Tour Kanye West’s New Apartment Brooklyn Heights: It’s either a yoga center with an aggressive marketing plan or a cult. You decide. [Brooklyn Record] Gowanus: Demolition starts on land owned by the Toll Brothers. What happened to that mixed-use development? [Food of the Future via Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: Why should bodega phone cards be dull when they could be completely offensive? [Holla Back NYC via Newyorkshitty] Midtown: Kanye West’s new apartment (above), designed by Claudio Silvestrin, is beautiful. But where’s the master bath? [dezeen via Curbed] Nolita: Sheetrock shipment arrives at 11 Spring Street. Just in time to cover up all that nasty interior artwork so the place can go condo. [Curbed] Sunset Park: Expect a major ruckus as this pretty nabe of three-story homes wakes up to a new ten-story, view-wrecking, context-snubbing leviathan. [Brownstoner]
  17. neighborhood watch
    What Lies Beneath: In Gowanus, You Don’t Want to KnowDumbo: Those three empty townhouses on Old Fulton Street between Water and Front Streets are finally on the block — for $7.5 million. [DumboNYC] Gowanus: Sulfur and cyanide and SVOC s— oh, my! New plan catalogs the nasty goop that lies beneath the nabe. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: Borscht meets bling at the Polish hip-hop festival Friday. [Newyorkshitty] Midtown: The Bryant Park skating rink is closing — and just as it gets cold! — but there are still other places you can take your skates. [NewYorkology] Park Slope: Writer Adarro Minton hits the identity-politics jackpot with story collection Gay, Black, Crippled, Fat. He reads from it tonight at the Old Stone House. [Brooklyn Record] West Village: 2086: A Beer Odyssey. The Bedford Street building housing Chumley’s is up for sale, but the venerable pub’s lease lasts nearly another 80 years. [Curbed] Williamsburg: It’s a shonda: Built-in-a-fortnight shul just stands there buck naked. [Brownstoner]
  18. neighborhood watch
    Ugly Buildings Are Attacking the City!Brooklyn Heights: The mysterious sign maker who guided visitors to the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway has outed herself. Thanks, Roslyn Beck. [Brooklyn Papers] East Village: When Jane Jacobs and New Urbanism collide, you get New Yorbanism and buildings like “Sculpture for Living” at Astor Place. [Horizoner via Polis] Gowanus: Once the Whole Foods opens, expect 1,000 people a day to show up at Third Avenue and 3rd Street. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenwood Heights: If you’re a developer missing some permits, the Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights are gonna getcha. [Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights via Brownstoner] Harlem: Food from the meat truck on 132nd and Lenox may be a little too authentic for city dwellers, unless you want your apartment to smell like a barn. [Harlem Fur] Park Slope: The campaign begins to get writers–crime victims Doug and Barbara Rushkoff to stay in Brooklyn. [Steven Berlin Johnson via Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]
  19. neighborhood watch
    Are the Writers Leaving Brooklyn?The Bronx: It’s about time for a Web video series about bodegas. [The Daily Reel via Gothamist] Carroll Gardens: Renaissance Pharmacy closed over the weekend, leaving you with few options that don’t rhyme with CVS. [Brooklyn Record] Fort Greene: Take your Christmas tree to Fort Greene Park this week and go home with a bag of mulch. (BYO bag.) [Clinton Hill Blog] Gowanus: Wannabe scared off by a few toxic fumes. Bah! [Gowanus Lounge] Park Slope: The Rushkoffs are leaving? Will the Jonathans flee the neighborhood next? [A Girl Grows in Brooklyn via Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] Prospect Heights: What’s the best way to get home from JFK? It might just be the Air Train. [Brooklynian via Daily Heights]
  20. neighborhood watch
    Toxic Plume Gets Uppity, Moves to Park SlopeBrooklyn Heights: Within a year, there will be clear signage for the Brooklyn Bridge footpath. [Brooklyn Papers] Clinton Hill: Does actor Daniel London actually live here, or are we just spreading rumors? [Clinton Hill Blog] Fort Greene: Neighborhood caroling tonight! [Brooklyn Record] Gowanus: The toxic plume that started here is now gentrifying Park Slope. [Brooklyn Papers] Prospect Heights: Bruce Ratner is watching you with 29 CCTV cameras. [Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn]
  21. neighborhood watch
    Chelsea Hotel Opens Doors to the Dull Bay Ridge: At least someone is happy about Atlantic Yards. [Bay Ridge Blog] Chelsea: The doors of the Chelsea Hotel (right) are slowly changing into a boring black. [Hotel Chelsea Blog] Clinton Hill: Chicken and waffles comes to the neighborhood, but the fries aren’t so good. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Reject the Swedes and shop at BoConcept, the Danish furniture store opening at 79 Front Street on Friday. [Dumbo NYC] Gowanus: The Empty Vessel Project sells the boat for a buck; new owners want “alternative weddings.” [Gowanus Lounge] Midtown West: In case you’re new, beat out the Amtrak amateurs at Penn Station by looking for your track listing on the monitors downstairs. [Inside Traveler via NewYorkology] Williamsburg: Rumor has it that Galapagos might close soon, too. [Brooklyn Vegan]
  22. neighborhood watch
    It’s Not Just a Bus Shelter, It’s Street Furniture! • Brooklyn: What was your worst meal in the borough this year? Complain away! [Brooklyn Record] • Chelsea: Trying to catch the east-bound crosstown bus at 23rd and Fifth? Well, you can’t anymore. [Chelsea.ClickYourBlock via BlogChelsea] • Clinton Hill: How did that hideous building get on Lefferts Place? [Brownstoner] • Dumbo: Coming soon to Jay Street: a much-needed, independent pharmacy. [Dumbo NYC] • Gowanus: Looking for as few windows as possible and a dreary concrete façade? There’s a new building on Bond Street just for you. [NYC.gov via Curbed]
  23. neighborhood watch
    There’s Graffiti Life After 11 Spring Street Brooklyn Heights: We promised an update: Boccelism beat the Old Dirty Barristers to be champeens of the Floyd NY Bocce League fall season. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Clinton Hill: It seems the Pratt Area Community Council believes residents want an Applebee’s on the corner of Clinton and Fulton. Eatin’ bad in the neighborhood! [Brownstoner] Gowanus: Looking for the World War II rescue boat known as the Empty Vessel Project? Now it’s moored between the Carroll Street and Union Street bridges. [Gowanus Lounge] Lower East Side: If you missed the show at 11 Spring Street, there’s still a Jace mural (above) at Houston and Bowery. [Razor Apple] Midtown: It’s Santacon! And if a pack of Santas storming Times Square, Central Park, and the subway don’t put you in a festive mood, nothing will. [NYCStories] West Village: Shopsin’s shutters, but look for a smaller, less stressful booth in the Essex Street Market in a few months. [Gridskipper] Williamsburg: Things got a little stabby at Kellogg’s Diner over the weekend. [Gothamist]
  24. neighborhood watch
    Gowanus Whole Foods Renders Manhattan Irrelevant• Ellis Island: Creepy photos of busted old hospital make you happy to enter the country through JFK. [NewYorkology] • Gowanus: Whole Foods broke ground yesterday. As of spring 2008, you’ll never have to go to Manhattan again. [Gowanus Lounge] • Long Island City: With a $22 million redevelopment infusion, Queens Plaza will be a much more attractive place for strip clubs and recently released Rikers inmates. [Queens Tribune] • Prospect Heights: In the sixties, rent was less than $150 a month and the smokes were 28 cents a pack. [Brooklynian via Daily Heights] • Tribeca: 92nd Street Y heads downtown, perhaps backed by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. [Downtown Express]