So, this was probably inevitable: the Rockaways are getting in on the whole "boutique hotel" boom in the form of the "Playland Motel," which Gothamist reports is expected to open over the 4th of July weekend.
Citibike—the bike share program that everyone loves to hate, loves to love, loves to vandalize, etc.—has come under some criticism (from our own Henry Stewart!) for not catering to many areas of New York, including several parts of Brooklyn that are already underserved by public transportation. In fairness, the bike share program has only just launched, and a slow roll-out was always part of the plan, and yet the glaring omission of Citibike stations in places like Greenpoint only became more noticeable with the recent announcement by the MTA that the G train (the main mode of public transportation for most Greenpointers) will be largely out of commission due to extensive repairs that need to be done because of that bitch, Superstorm Sandy. So how will Greenpointers get around, if not by the G? What will they do?
Last week, someone on Reddit posed an always interesting question to New Yorkers: What do you do and how much is your salary? And because there's nothing New Yorkers like to do more than talk about money—whether it's our salaries or how much we pay for rent or where to find the cheapest tacos—hundreds of people answered the initial query, revealing a staggering range of incomes and professions. The respondents were everyone from a "stay-at-home dad, occasional writer" who makes "less than $10,000" per year to an "e-book maker at one of the Big Six" who pulls in "$34k" to a "banking accountant—180K plus fully paid for benefits and 401k match plus defined contribution pension. plus 32 days vacation and 8 holidays. (twist: we were cited by the EU and forced out of business and may all get fired on July 14)." Which, that's quite a twist!
So, we've been pretty on record as thinking the new Applebee's that "grows" in Coney Island is a bad, possibly even destructive idea, and so far, it's turned out to be sort of true. But not for the reasons anyone guessed—aside from the slow, subtle encroachment of chain restaurants on a historic neighborhood that never asked for them, the problem thus far has been shark attacks!
Sad news from a helpful, well-loved institution: the Brooklyn Bike Patrol, which offered free bike escorts to women walking home at night, is shutting down after founder Jay Ruiz suffered a heart attack last week.
A month after this year's rainy, notoriously bad-for-the-grass Great GoogaMooga, Prospect Park's Nethermead meadow is just now beginning the process of re-seeding the huge patches of dirt left the festival left behind. As with every single other thing going on so far this summer, the problem has been rain, which reportedly delayed the process.
When the bike-share program started, I got an email from friends who were like, "what the fuck is this thing? And how is it of any use to me?" Truth is, so far most New Yorkers are done no help by the new program: unless you're commuting within Manhattan, or from there to Downtown Brooklyn or something, how would you use it? You could almost accuse bike share of being geared toward tourists. But I could think of lots of times I wish there were a bike-share station around—ways that it would make sense in my life as a person who lives in and travels around Brooklyn quite a bit. Here are some ideas.
We all try so hard to live a healthy, natural lifestyle without all of those nasty additives and chemicals, but sometimes it can be insanely hard. With busy schedules, demanding jobs, or just lack of convenience, you skip the tempeh go right back to eating chips and frozen dinners. And even if you finally find the organic products that you want, and you have to haul them back home, which is zero fun.
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That $200 could buy you all sorts of products. Name a product that you want the all-natural version of, they've got it! The products range from vegan and gluten-free snacks to vitamins and supplements to cleaning products, beauty products, showering gels and skin creams, and even baby products. These aren't just random organic brands you've never heard from. These are brands you know and trust like Annie's Homegrown, Seventh Generation, Kind Bars, Mrs. Meyer's, Tom's of Maine and more. They also have Brooklyn-based companies like Peeled Snacks, The Jam Stand, and Common Good. Hate ordering things online because of shipping fees? There's even free 1 to 2-day delivery on orders of $35 or more; and if you are ordering from Brooklyn, sometimes goods can even arrive overnight! That's so quick!
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The whole "guess how little the average citizen knows about politics!" game is always a classic, if also pretty reliably disheartening. And a new series of small polls taken by the Observer is just that, indicating that if recognition were the only factor, Anthony Weiner would be winning the mayoral race by a long shot.
If you're anything like me, once summer hits—or really, any new season or otherwise vaguely seminal event—your first reaction is to start stockpiling. It's just good sense, if you care about your own survival. Or even if you just care about looking good at the beach or not leaving every barbecue you attend with legs dotted in terrible swollen bug bites.
Some unexpected, great news for Coney Island: the Thunderbolt, which was immortalized as Woody Allen's childhood home in Annie Hall but unceremoniously torn down in 2000 after nearly two decades out of operation, will be making a major return to the waterfront next summer in the form of a massive, $10 million reboot.
Bikes—or specifically, bike lanes and the scantily dressed women who sometimes use them—have become a pretty well known point of contention between Hasids and the rest of North Brooklyn's residents over the past few years. But, per a new report from DNAinfo, the disparate demographics that comprise neighborhoods like South Williamsburg and Greenpoint have actually started banding together, in hopes of bringing more Citi Bike kiosks to the area.
"One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things." So said Brooklyn-native Henry Miller, and while we certainly know what he was getting at, we also have to insist that changing your location can alter your mind as surely as your state of mind can alter your destination. With that said, we've picked five places where you can go this summer and look at things in a whole new way. After all, everyone needs to escape once in a while, and each of these destinations—Montauk, Newport, the Berkshires, the Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes—offer distinct pleasures and forms of retreat. Soon, your familiar world will be nothing more than a receding landscape, your new adventures will start to take shape on the horizon, and the truth of the matter will become clear: all you needed was an escape. And it's not so much that you needed an escape from something, just an escape to something: something new, something better, so that you can eventually come back home and start all over again.
So, just some quick, shitty news about the G that may or may not cripple your plans for this summer (and the next): starting in July, the "Greenpoint Tube" portion of the train will be closed for repairs over the course of 12 separate weekends, and then next summer? Well, it'll be closed completely, for 5 weeks straight.
It seems like not too long ago (because really, it wasn't) that we talked about the very best courtship rituals Brooklyn has to offer in the spring. Well, global warming is real, seasons are short, New York Times columnists are already complaining about the heat. Summer is essentially here!
In addition to the MTA picking up the tab for accelerating the bike share program…
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