After the Chelsea bombing this past weekend, it’s no surprise the city is on high alert. When it was reported this morning that a suspicious package was found on the corner of East 12th and Avenue A, the NYPD’s bomb squad was sent to investigate and Avenue A was shut down between 12th and 13th Streets.
Crime + Community
Thousands of people riding the J train at rush hour this morning experienced a total and complete shitstorm after an off-duty police officer allegedly assaulted a conductor while the train was pulling out of Essex Street station. According to the MTA, the conductor pulled the emergency break and brought the train to a standstill, all but one of the cars were stuck outside the station at 9:15 am– prime getting-to-work time for many riders. The J line ceased service for a full hour, leaving platforms packed with unhappy commuters.
Delancey Street is finally getting a protected bike lane, the Department of Transportation announced today. With more and more bikers set to use the Williamsburg Bridge during the looming L-train shutdown, the DOT is promising to make the lead-up to the bridge slightly less harrowing, and may also implement Amsterdam-style bike parking nearby.
Whenever we ogle the renderings of future buildings slated for construction, our eye is drawn to the aspirational humans within. They’re always pretty good for a laugh, and an idea of what the developers are after, despite their lip service to affordable housing and community spaces.
Where are the teens of color hanging out, street vendors selling fruit or tamales, Chinese seniors doing tai chi? Maybe architecture firms should take a cue from Barbie and diversify their paper dolls? Here’s a roundup of some of the “types” we’ve glimpsed traipsing through the future versions of North Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. Welcome your new neighbors!
An FDNY ambulance struck and killed a man in the East Village yesterday afternoon. The collision, which is being investigated by the NYPD, occurred around 2:20 p.m., at the intersection of 14th Street and Second Avenue. Police say 81-year-old Gen Zhan, a Kips Bay resident, was crossing 14th Street when he was struck by an ambulance turning onto the street. The vehicle’s 22-year-old driver stayed on the scene as Zhan was transported to Bellevue Hospital, where he died of severe body trauma.
Governors Island is more than just another out-of-the-way-ish New York City nook. After years of abandonment, the island’s only recently embarked on a steady climb towards reclamation and it remains largely stuck in the past, having missed out on years of the progress seen by the rest of the city while interned as an exclusive home for military officers, then a coast guard haven, before it was abandoned altogether in 1996, left to hang in an off-limits sort of limbo, with nature serving as its only developer.
Fresh off the ferry, you might be only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan, but as you make your way inland, the Manhattan skyline starts to disappear, obscured by the super old Fort Jay, untrimmed trees, shrubs, and rolling grassy hills. The sirens fade into the background too, and time itself seems to slow down.
Three years ago, Daniel Lopez injured his knee. The 37-year-old native of Mexico never had health insurance, so he waited until the pain got so bad, it wouldn’t allow him to work anymore. Only recently did he get surgery.
His knee is still swollen. “It hurts,” he says. He can barely walk, much less work. But he wouldn’t miss a meeting of his United Handymen Workers Cooperative.
An imaginary line cuts across Broadway, separating Bed-Stuy from Bushwick and, just a few blocks north of the street’s intersection with Myrtle, Williamsburg begins. At any given hour here, the confusing jumble of crisscrossing streets are jammed with a chaotic crush of street traffic and pedestrians going about their day. The looming JMZ track overhead holds the busiest sections in near-permanent darkness, and at night, when the neon comes on and flickers across the fetid puddles of who knows what, Myrtle-Broadway starts to feel like a scene from Blade Runner. People have started to call this area “Zombieland” now that it has become a hot spot for K2, a synthetic cannabinoid that city leaders and cops can’t seem to get rid of, even though it carries a distinctly gnarly smell, and is sold and used out in the open, day and night.
If you haven’t already seen the bearded doomsayers wandering the streets with the “The End Is Nigh” written on sandwich boards in fine cursive, then despair, ye fool: the L Train is shutting down.
Starting in January of 2019, the consistently packed subway line will stop running between Brooklyn and Manhattan for at least 18 months. During that time, the MTA will be repairing damage from flooding during Superstorm Sandy in the Canarsie Tunnel, which trains use to get between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
When we arrived at the intersection of Myrtle and Broadway today, the often hectic meeting point of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy was even more chaotic than usual– midday traffic jams were in full effect as trains rattled overhead at the JMZ transfer point and a crowd had gathered to hear a press conference held by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The racket was so loud that it was nearly impossible to hear at times, but the commotion was nothing compared to what went down here yesterday, when 33 people were plucked up from the area and rushed to the hospital after a “mass overdose.”
On the northern side of Sara D. Roosevelt Park sits a large brick structure. Once a youth center, the Stanton Building was shut down during a time of high crime in the Lower East Side and is now used only for storage by the Parks Department. Since the late ’90s, there’s been talk of returning it to community use, but that has yet to happen. So, Wednesday afternoon, a group of local activists gathered outside of the building in what was the first of three events intended to stimulate collective planning about its future.
It was difficult to ignore the fluttering signs at last week’s Bushwick Community Plan meeting. Sure, they were black-and-white, only about as big as two sheets of computer paper and just as flimsy, but there were tons of them. As City Council members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal touted their community-driven alternative to developer-led change, almost everyone sitting in front of them seemed to be holding a flyer reading: “EVICT THE RICH.” The rallying cry may have been more Mao Tse-tung than #BushwickBerners, but the Brooklyn Solidarity Network (BSN) couldn’t have been more serious.