Sunday, December 29, 2013

PRESS CONFERENCE 12/30/13 11AM: Boardwalk Community Garden, Coney Island: Bulldozed. Community Outrage!

PRESS CONFERENCE 12/30/13 11AM: Boardwalk Community Garden, Coney Island: Bulldozed. Community Outrage!

PRESS CONFERENCE 12/30/13 11AM: Boardwalk Community Garden, Coney Island: Bulldozed. Community Outrage!

by AZIZ DEHKAN on DECEMBER 29, 2013
December 29, 2013
For Immediate Release Contact: Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director, New York City Community Gardens Coalition (NYCCGC) — 973-222-5413   eighty20group@gmail.com
Boardwalk Community Garden, Coney Island: Bulldozed. Community Outrage!
Speakers include leaders of Boardwalk Garden, Coney Island Community leaders and  the NYC Community Garden Coalition
When and Where: Monday, December 30, 11 a.m., 2071 22nd Street, between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY. Subway: F/N/D/Q, last stop
Brooklyn, NY – On Monday, December 30 at 11 a.m., a Press Conference will feature individuals whose long-standing community garden was bulldozed on 12/28/13 by iStar Development. At issue is whether the developer and the NYC government agencies that manage NYC parks have followed proper legal procedures for permitting this pre-dawn bulldozing to take place.
The NYCCGC has introduced documents clearly showing that the Boardwalk Community Garden is Mapped Parkland – which means that the community garden is entitled to very stringent environmental law protections against real estate development.

City bulldozes community garden in dead of night

City bulldozes community garden in dead of nightCity bulldozes community garden in dead of night | New York Post


What the cluck?
A developer bulldozed a beloved community garden in Coney Island on Saturday to make way for an amphitheater — uprooting 20 chickens on a decades-old plot that survived Hurricane Sandy.
Construction workers entered the Boardwalk Garden under the cover of darkness and chucked tools and wheelbarrows, along with farm fowl and a colony of feral cats, activists say.
The chickens were placed in pet carriers on the sidewalk and the felines were left fending for themselves.
“They destroyed life!” fumed tearful volunteer Elena Voitsenko, 60, a Russian immigrant who told The Post she’ll take in the birds until they find a new home.
“‎I came to America to escape from the communist regime,” she added. “This is more than the communist regime! They came at 4 in the morning.”
Workers razed the sprawling, 70,000-square-foot garden on West 22nd Street about a week after the City Council approved plans to convert the empty Childs Restaurant and its adjacent land into a 5,000-seat venue.
Modal Trigger
THAT’S FOWL! After the overnight demolition, chickens who had lived at the garden were crated and set out on the sidewalk.
Modal Trigger
What the garden once looked like.
The $53 million project was trumpeted by outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz, who tried previously to build a controversial amphitheater in Asser Levy Park in 2009.
Under the new plan, the city will buy the Childs building from iStar Financial and turn it into a restaurant and concert venue. The adjacent garden is slated to become a seating area.
The community board voted against the project in September, and locals have railed against turning the historic property into a noisy venue.
“The community does not want this amphitheater built on this land . . . but the city went ahead with this anyway,” said Yury Openzik, ‎34. “I’m heartbroken, not only for myself, but for the elderly people that were gardening here every day.”
Throughout Saturday, volunteers recovered their belongings after workers knocked down plots for tomatoes, cabbage, zucchinis and other vegetables.
Residents say they’ve run the garden since the 1980s.
The city Economic Development Corp., which is spearheading the project, referred questions to the borough president. Markowitz’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
But Mark Cottingham, a consultant for the project, said the urban farm was decommissioned in 2004 and was operating illegally.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Community garden razed in Coney Island before dawn

Media preview
FOR SHAME !


Community garden razed in Coney Island after dispute with city (video)

CONEY ISLAND - An attempt by community members to preserve their garden on the Coney Island boardwalk came to an end early this morning as the site was abruptly bulldozed by the city.
Garden supporters say they've been rallying to save the garden, but the city wanted to tear it down to make room for a new amphitheatre. Residents have opposed building one for years, saying they don't want another building on the boardwalk.
The New York City Parks Department says the community didn't have the legal right to use the land as a community garden.
The land owner released a statement saying it helped develop an existing community garden just blocks away for members to use.
Supporters say they are shocked at how the garden was destroyed without ample warning.
Related story:
Coney Island garden bulldozed overnight by Will Bredderman, The Brooklyn Paper

Kings Plaza Mall Bans Unaccompanied Minors After Rowdy Teens Cause Chaos

122713kingsplaza.jpgBrooklyn Mall Bans Unaccompanied Minors After Rowdy Teens Cause Chaos: Gothamist

Breeanah Thomas, 15, told CBS about confrontations with security. "They thought they were going to run us out, but they didn’t run me out."

Friday, December 27, 2013

Coney Island Amphitheater Threatens Boardwalk Community Garden

Brooklyn Ampitheater Threatens Community Garden's Future - NY1

Some Brooklyn residents are protesting the planned redevelopment of what they call a cornerstone of their community.

The Boardwalk Community Garden in Coney Island may not look like much this time of year, but residents grow everything there from cucumbers to tomatoes and zucchini.
They say the 5,000 seat ampitheater planned for the site would tear at the heart of their neighborhood.

"We fight for this place because it's a community garden and it's very...make us happy, older people to work, to produce. We have here Russian, Spanish, African American people and we, over here, it brings us together," said Elena Voitsenko, a community resident.

"We're going to fight to keep this garden because we love not only what we do, as far as growing, but we also love the people that we are very fortunate to meet here," said Yury Openzik, a community resident.
Community members say the city is rushing the project and should ask for residents' input before moving forward.
The city approved the project earlier this month

Related story:
Boardwalk community garden fights on.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Give loved ones a virtual piece of the New York Aquarium for the holidays

OPINION: Give loved ones a virtual piece of the New York Aquarium for the holidays | Brooklyn Daily Eagle


"Now, New Yorkers can go on-line to support our fundraising efforts as we build the NEW New York Aquarium by purchasing virtual tiles of this shimmering wall. Purchasing $100 (tax-deductible) tiles offers a real act of support and a special way to spread holiday cheer.

The virtual tiles, which can be customized by colors and animal themes, are a lasting way to acknowledge friends, family or colleagues who care about conservation. Messages for the aquarium can be included on the tiles that will be displayed on the aquarium’s website: www.nyaquarium.com.


The New York Aquarium is more resilient now than it was a year ago. WCS is working with city, state and federal government officials every day on its full restoration. Our comeback will help the Coney Island community become more vibrant than ever. We invite you to be part of the transformation."


Jon Forrest Dohlin is WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium.  Virtual tiles of a shimmer wall, which will surround the new Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit,  are being sold at www.nyaquarium.com.

Recchia campaign full of Sitt

Recchia campaign full of Sitt (Friends of Ocean Parkway): Recchia campaign full of Sitt by Will Bredderman published in Brooklyn Daily Thor is making it rain for councilman and congressional cand...

Coney Island Polar Bear Club Annual New Year's Day Swim

Welcome to Coney Island Polar Bear Club



The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest winter bathing organization in the United States. We swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island every Sunday from November through April.



JOIN THE CONEY ISLAND POLAR BEAR CLUB AND CAMP SUNSHINE AT OUR ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S DAY SWIM

$20 SUGGESTED DONATION to Camp Sunshine for each participant

NEW YEAR’S DAY: Assemble on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island.

SWIM TIME 1:00 PM SHARP, arrive early.

DIRECTIONS, click here.

BRING WARM CLOTHES, SURF BOOTS OR OLD SNEAKERS,TOWELS AND DEFINITELY BRING YOUR CAMERA. The NYC Parks Department provides changing facilities on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue.

Monday, December 23, 2013

ARCHIVE; Only the ghosts remain of the Boardwalk Community Garden in Coney Island

Dense screening surrounds the site but this photo shows how efficient wasthe removal of all vestiges of the garden.
Photo by Stephenson
The boardwalk sky threatened rain early Sunday morning but the knock on the door of the Boardwalk Community Garden came in the quiet darkness of an early Saturday morning.  The end of this community garden that should have been a part of the neighborhood's comeback after the wrath of Sandy was swift and merciless.  The destruction was complete.

Hurricane Sandy wasn't as destructive.  Nothing remained.
This is what is left of a vibrant community resource that stood in the way of Marty Markowitz's pompous personal vision of the future of his Coney Island that could not coexist with a few modest dreams of residents who cared about their community.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How America worshipped — and tortured — the elephant

This photo was taken Sept. 13, 1916,
shortly after Mary was hanged in Erwin, Tenn.
How America worshipped — and tortured — the elephant | New York Post

(Excerpt)
"Topsy was marquee attraction to Coney Island’s Luna Park at the turn of the century. But her star power turned into notoriety in 1903, when, after being jabbed with a pitchfork, Topsy lashed out at her trainers.
Topsy was sentenced to death by electrocution. As 1,500 people watched, Topsy’s body was hit with a current of over 6,600 volts. She died almost instantly. Thomas Edison filmed the event, titling it “Electrocuting an Elephant” (Google it, but be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart)"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Changes on the Coney Island Boardwalk

Cement ramp to boardwalk replaces wooden pathway.  Is this the first of many others to come?

Work on the historic Childs Restaurant moves forward as the City Council approved the new amphitheater.

The Atlantic Express private bus company parked hundreds of buses here but now they are in bankruptcy.

The walkway that connected the beach to the subway line has been completely removed.  A new entrance to Brighton beach will be constructed.

Council Approves Plan To Make Concert Venue At Coney Island's Childs Restaurant » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

Source: NYC Preservation CommissionSheepshead Bites » Blog Archive City Council Approves Plan To Make Concert Venue At Coney Island's Childs Restaurant » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

(Excerpt)
The New York City Council gave a parting gift to outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz, greenlighting his proposal to create a new open-air auditorium, green space and restaurant at the former site of Childs Restaurant on West 21st Street and the boardwalk in Coney Island.

The Council voted in favor of a resolution supporting a 10-year special permit allowing the 5,099-seat amphitheater at its final meeting of the year yesterday, where the majority of the legislative body’s representatives will give up their seats to term-limits on December 31.

Related resolutions that also passed yesterday in order to make way for the project include creating a special zoning district, as well as the acquisition of land between West 21st Street and West 22nd Street, and the elimination of the street between West 22nd Street and West 23rd Street.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Childs Building Coney Island | Seaside Park Community Arts Center

Childs RestaurantChilds Building Coney Island | Seaside Park Community Arts Center
A proposal to convert Coney Island’s Childs Restaurant to an amphitheater and public park is well on its way to full City Council approval before the body’s last meeting of the year.
The council’s Land Use Committee gave the project, dubbed the Seaside Park and Community Arts Center, the thumbs up Wednesday, Crain’s reported. In order for the plan to come to fruition, zoning laws must be changed and permits granted for an outdoor amphitheater that would hold more than 5,000 people.
Advanced by the city’s Economic Development Corporation and iStar Financial subsidiary Coney Island Holdings, the project has key support from Domenic Recchia, a City Council member from Brooklyn. The plan is expected to sail through the full City Council vote thanks to his support.
Backers of the development say that it would provide economic stimulus for the area, but detractors cite concerns about increased traffic and noise, and question the redirection of taxpayer funds in an area still plagued by heat and power outages a year after Hurricane Sandy. [Crain's] — Julie Strickland

Rebirth of legendary Childs Restaurant likely

Rebirth of legendary Childs Restaurant likely | Crain's New York Business
The City Council’s Committee on Land Use approved plans for an amphitheater, a public park and the restoration of a storied Coney Island restaurant along the boardwalk Wednesday morning. That step paves the way for the full council to green light the project on Thursday, during its last scheduled meeting of the year.
The proposal for the Seaside Park and Community Arts Center project is being advanced by both the city’s Economic Development Corp. and an iStar Financial subsidiary called Coney Island Holdings LLC. Under the plan, zoning laws would be altered and permits granted to allow for the construction of an outdoor amphitheater along the boardwalk near West 21st Street, that could accommodate 5,099 people. In addition, a public park would be built and the landmarked Childs Restaurant would be restored and reopened as an eatery and catering facility.
The proposal has the support of the local City Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., D-Brooklyn, which means the proposal is likely to sail through the full council tomorrow, since the legislative body typically votes in concert with the local lawmaker.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole RIP

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pricey Rockaway, Brighton Beach Bathrooms Get 24-Hour Security

Pricey Bathrooms Guarded Day and Night By SecurityPricey Rockaway Bathrooms Get 24-Hour Security - Rockaway Beach - DNAinfo.com New York

(Excerpt)
Four multimillion-dollar bathrooms awaiting installation along Rockaway Beach and Brighton Beach have had round-the-clock security guarding them since they were delivered in the summer, angering local residents who say the bathrooms are a waste and the city's priorities are wrong.
The high-priced structures, which were among 35 bathrooms and lifeguard stations provided after Hurricane Sandy by the Department of Design and Construction, have been under watch since they were delivered by barge in July. The city has only given a vague timeline for when these four bathrooms would be put in place.

Hurricane Sandy : Documentary on the Disaster of Super Storm Sandy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Brooklyn Beach Community Changes, and Angrily Divides

Brooklyn Beach Community Changes, and Angrily Divides - NYTimes.com
(Excerpt)
Manhattan Beach is just three blocks wide and a mile long, but lack of land mass has not prevented the neighborhood, which sits on the same spit of land as Coney Island in southern Brooklyn, from giving rise to two civic groups and a very public internecine quarrel that has divided them since 2008. That was the year a group of dissidents seceded from the Manhattan Beach Community Group, established in 1941, to form the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The USAF Band Holiday Flash Mob at the National Air and Space Museum 2013



HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

NYPD NYC Crime Map

12813crimemap.jpgNYPD NYC Crime Map

(Excerpt)
The map may be searched by specific address or cross streets, a specific precinct or a specific zip code. Individual graduated points can be examined by a mouse click which will provide access to the statistics represented by the graduated point.

Black Tie Beach 2013


See photos of this Improv event on the August 18 post.  Walked right into the middle of it.

YMCAs To Provide Jobs, Community Spirit To Coney Island, Rockaways

YMCAs To Provide Jobs, Community Spirit To Coney Island, Rockaways « CBS New York

Jobs available at the new Coney Island YMCA

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Coney Island YMCA set to open later this month

Coney Island's new YMCA houses a four-lap lap pool and another recreational pool.Long-awaited Coney Island YMCA set to open later this month  - NY Daily News

(Excerpt)
The long-awaited YMCA in Coney Island is set to open later this month, bringing with it a state-of-the-art facility for Brooklyn residents.

The new YMCA on W. 29th St. and Surf Ave. in Coney Island, scheduled to open Dec. 16The new 44,000-square-foot community facility — located at the corner of W. 29th St. and Surf Ave.— features a four-lane lap pool and a recreational pool, a full-court gymnasium and fitness and multi-purpose rooms.
The plethora of pools means the Coney Island Y will house the largest aquatic center of any YMCA in the city - at least until the new YMCA opens in the Rockaways in January of next year.

Related:
YMCAs to provide jobs to Sandy affected communities

City Planning Commission votes unanimously in favor of the controversial Childs Building amphitheater plan

City Planning Commission votes unanimously in favor of the controversial Childs Building amphitheater plan • Brooklyn Daily

(Excerpt)
A major public oversight board voted unanimously on Dec. 4 in favor of outgoing Borough President Markowitz’s controversial dream of turning the former Childs Restaurant in Coney Island into a venue to host his summer concerts series.
The City Planning Commission, a 13-member panel charged with approving major real estate projects, endorsed Borough President Markowitz’s pet project of converting the landmarked and derelict Childs building into a restaurant and arena complex — to the chagrin of residents who fear the Beep’s baby is bound to be unruly.

New JCC Exhibit Explores Jewish Identity Through Interactive Photos

New Interactive JCC Exhibit Explores Identity and HeritageNew JCC Exhibit Explores Jewish Identity Through Interactive Photos - Upper West Side - DNAinfo.com New York



Click above for full article.
(Excerpt) 
UPPER WEST SIDE — A new interactive exhibit at the JCC in Manhattan aims to reinvigorate conversations about identity. 
"Casual Conversations,"opens Dec. 4 and runs through Feb. 26 at the center's Laurie M. Tisch Gallery. The exhibit revolves around photos artists Alina and Jeff Bliumis took in Brighton Beach of the Russian Jewish community there — and gives viewers a chance to interact with the piece by having their photos taken, too.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

City Council to consider plan to convert historic Childs Restaurant in Coney Island into an amphitheater


 The historic Childs Restaurant sits vacant on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Courtesy GKV Architects, PC, Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC
City Council to consider plan to convert historic Childs Restaurant in Coney Island into an amphitheater - NY Daily News

The historic, now-vacant Childs Restaurant building on the Coney Island Boardwalk is being eyed for redevelopment as a 5,000-seat concert amphitheater
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s signature effort to convert the historic Childs Restaurant into a massive amphitheater is coming down to the wire — and it’s anyone’s guess whether the outgoing captain of Kings will complete his much-desired coup de grace.

The City Council is expected to hold a hearing on the complicated proposal to renovate the boardwalk building on Dec. 16. City lawmakers will likely vote on it three days later, when the council holds its last full meeting of the session.


“I’m hopeful that the city council will approve it,” said Markowitz.


Any delay beyond Jan. 1, however, could doom the project.


In September, the Coney Island community board voted against it, arguing that the approximately $35 million in public funds earmarked for the theater and a small park nearby would be better used to help repair infrastructure that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.


And the district’s incoming councilman agrees.

“Coney Island cannot become a year-round destination, with jobs and economic opportunity for its residents, without infrastructure and transportation improvements,” said Mark Treyger.

Monday, December 2, 2013

'Angel of 9/11': Steel visage tricks the eye — and touches the heart

Image: Impact Steel'Angel of 9/11': Steel visage tricks the eye — and touches the heart - NBC News.com

(Excerpt)
From the right angle, construction workers at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at New York's ground zero can make out a sad-looking face that's been dubbed the "Angel of 9/11," seemingly emerging from the twisted steel of a girder that was hit by the first hijacked plane. The facelike feature is the result of natural corrosion plus a trick of the eye — but that shouldn't make the angel any less inspiring.

The angel's dark eyes, nose and open mouth stem from a combination of factors, starting with the way the steel was twisted when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into it on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Friends of Ocean Parkway: Getting In | TCS New York City #Marathon

Friends of Ocean Parkway: Getting In | TCS New York City #Marathon: Getting In | TCS New York City Marathon Thanks for your interest in running with us in 2014! We're thrilled to announce that the appli...