Williamsburg

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How Will Williamsburg Survive 18 Months Without the L?

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

Since the news that the L Train will be shut down for 18 months became official, people have been scrambling, much like a crowd stuck behind a stroller on the Bedford stop’s narrow stairs, to figure out what to do about it.

Earlier this afternoon, a group of 32 elected officials, led by State Senator Daniel Squadron, called on the city, state and MTA officials to create an “interagency working group” to come up with mitigation solutions and prevent those along the L Train from getting completely stranded during the shut down. It’s important to remember, they argue, that, to a certain subset of Manhattan-bound commuters, this is a monumentally important issue: “As you know, the L train is a transit lifeline for many of the communities we represent,” Squadron said in a statement. “It is clear that mitigating the impacts of the closure requires bold action within and outside the MTA and significant interagency coordination.”

There is a reason, in other words, that it’s been dubbed “the L-pocalypse.”

But, to some of those working in real estate in the neighborhoods affected—Williamsburg and Bushwick, especially—the shutdown isn’t exactly the end-of-the-world event it’s been made out to be.

Herbert Kliegerman, a real estate consultant with North Brooklyn Realty and a former broker who worked in Williamsburg and Greenpoint for 15 years, said commuters will simply adapt to the changes, as they always do.

“I know that one of my clients who owns property along Bedford Ave has a tenant who was thinking of not renewing his lease, so it definitely will have an impact in the short term, obviously,” Kliegerman said. “But, in the past when there’s been shutdowns the MTA has been very good at providing options.”

Those options include a possible East River ferry and shuttle buses, which Kliegerman said “might even be better” than the perpetually overcrowded L Train. While students and recent transplants might steer clear of Williamsburg for a while, he believes that long-term renters, condo owners and even retail tenants will simply learn to rely on the ferry. Those students and transplants, for their part, will likely look to the other cross-town train—the 7—and move to Long Island City or Sunnyside in Queens, Kliegerman predicts.

Others involved in real estate, like Rapid Realty broker Mayra Segarra, don’t see things as being quite so rosy.

“I think it’s gonna be a drastic change,” Segarra said. “People here are very impatient, and many people don’t like using the shuttle. They would rather move to a different train line.”

Those different train lines might be the J in Bed-Stuy; A, C, E in Crown Heights; or the G in Clinton Hill, Segarra said. Because they have such an early notice, renters, Segarra predicts, will leave in droves, forcing landlords to lower the currently overinflated rents considerably. Segarra added that rental prices in Williamsburg will soon start dropping dramatically and continue to do so during the shutdown, before finally rebounding once things are back up and running.

L service from the Bedford Avenue stop in Brooklyn to the 8th Avenue stop in Manhattan will be completely suspended for at least 18 months, starting in January of 2019. At public hearings, local residents and business owners have worried that, given the MTA’s proverbial track record, it will take the agency much longer to repair Sandy-related damage than anticipated.

Rents near many of the L Train in Brooklyn, including Bedford and Lorimer, have already started to fall, according to Street Easy data. Now that the shut down is officially happening, it remains to be seen whether this trend will continue.

While some business owners fear the worst, others are hoping that their draw from other parts of Brooklyn is good enough that they’ll be able to gut it out through the closure. Zach Schmahl, who owns the Bedford Ave cookie shop Schmackary’s, told DNA Info, “A lot of people are simply passing by, going from one location to another. The L train, it’s taking you right to the city. [The shutdown] could actually keep people in the neighborhood more.”

Some residents, too, seem to be in no rush to get out of the area—so long as mitigation is dealt with properly. The L Train Coalition, a group that was organized in response to the threat of a shutdown, said the city’s goal should be to make sure that communities that live along the L aren’t being left out in the cold, which means providing more options than just a dinky shuttle.

In order to mitigate the negative impact on the communities reliant on the L train, MTA and City agencies should consider a variety of transportation alternatives,” a statement from the organization read. 

Those alternatives, the group said, include “traffic and street alterations, such as dedicated bus lanes over the Williamsburg Bridge and a re-design of the 14th Street thoroughfare, additional ferry service, expanded Citi Bike service, promoting ride-sharing services, reopening closed subway entrances and making other improvements to transportation infrastructure in the impacted area.” 

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This Weekend, Score A Free Snow Cone And Maybe Free Full Moon Fest Tickets

(image courtesy of Fancy PR)

(image courtesy of Fancy PR)

If you haven’t noticed, it’s been hot. Sweet and icy treats can be a good way to combat this, but let’s face it. Ice cream, milkshakes, and smoothies can get expensive. Air conditioning is pricey too, and you can only hang out in chilly coffee shops for so long until you start to get grumpy stares.

Starting this Friday until August 6, the folks at music fest Full Moon Festival will be going around to various locations in the city, doling out free (yes, that’s right) snow cones. Revel in the sweet nostalgia of this simple frozen treat and and try to avoid brain freeze from crunching on ice too quickly as you seek refuge from sweat in what is really just syrup poured onto literal ice. Hey, it’s tasty. As a way of spicing up the typical snow cone fare, they’re offering a special “Blue Moon” flavor (no, not the beer) which combines pineapple and blueberry in a refreshing blend.

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The Absurd Comedy Collective Says Here’s a Funny Idea: Inclusivity

(photo courtesy of Rachel Kaly)

(photo courtesy of Rachel Kaly)

It’s true that comedy, especially lately, has deviated somewhat from the norm of white men standing onstage telling jokes about themselves and usually at the expense of others. But there aren’t always places one can go to be away from all this, to safely cultivate one’s humor without fear of condescension or competition. A new pop-up comedy group called the Absurd Comedy Collective seeks to change that, offering free workshops, open mics, and shows that “create space for women-identifying people of color, and all genderqueer, nonbinary, and trans people.”

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Bushwick Woman Raped in Her Home; Brooklyn Bowl Gets a New Owner

A 29-year-old woman was tied up, raped and robbed by an intruder early Monday morning in her Bushwick apartment. [ABC 7]

Last night in Bushwick’s Maria Hernandez Park, police tasered a suicidal man armed with multiple knives, including swords and a machete, before taking him into custody for a psychiatric evaluation. [DNA Info]

On the Lower East Side, forthcoming 60-story-plus apartment buildings are bound for Cherry and South Streets. [Bowery Boogie]

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Inside the Williamsburg Whole Foods, Opening Tomorrow

Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

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Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

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Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

Luisa Rollenhagen

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Step aside, asparagus water: in Williamsburg, the mecca of organic, sort-of-unnecessary, and often prohibitively expensive foodstuffs is planning to do things a little differently. The supermarket giant, which will open its newest Brooklyn location on Tuesday, July 26, will include a food hall packed with local flavor: OddFellows Ice Cream (which will have a stand outside), an outpost of No. 7 Restaurant, Luke’s Lobster’s grilled tail cart, Roberta’s pastries, and East Coast Poke will all be represented at the store, as well as a “traditional Jewish delicatessen” dubbed N4, which is Whole Food’s way of “paying homage to Williamsburg’s storied roots.”

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Surprise: The L Train Shutdown Has Spurred a Few Thoughts on Twitter

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

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.

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MTA Opts For 18-Month L Shutdown; Body Found in McCarren Park

After much debate about how best to repair Sandy damage, the MTA has decided to completely shut down L service in Manhattan and between Manhattan and Brooklyn for a year and a half, starting in January of 2019. [NY Times]

Early yesterday morning, an unconscious female was pronounced dead in McCarren Park. [Pix 11]

A man sustained head trauma and a woman emerged with back and neck injuries after they crashed the stolen motorcycle they were riding in Williamsburg yesterday morning. [NY Daily News]

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Adrian Grenier’s East Village Bar; Brooklyn Zine Fests

Nevada Smith’s soon-to-be replacement, bar/coffee house/record shop The VNYL, reportedly boasts Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier as a business partner. [NY Daily News]

This Monday night at Hope Gardens Community Center, local leaders will take suggestions for how the cash-flush Wyckoff Heights Medical Center can better serve its patients. [Bushwick Daily]

The city is seeking proposals for a new food stand to occupy the recently asbestos-abated Allen Street Mall bathhouse. [Bowery Boogie]

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Speakeasy Dollhouse, an Immersive Murder Mystery, Comes to an Old Williamsburg Bank

(Photo: Courtesy of Speakeasy Dollhouse)

(Photo: Courtesy of Speakeasy Dollhouse)

Cynthia von Buhler has had death on her mind for a while. More specifically, for as long as she can remember she’s been obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding her own grandfather’s death. Frank Spano, von Buhler’s grandfather, was actually a bona fide 1930s bootlegger, and was shot and killed on the exact same day that von Buhler’s mother was born.

“The funeral happened in one room, and the birth of my mother in another,” she said.

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Two Shootings in Williamsburg and the LES in the Past Week

Suspect of the shooting in the LES (Photo: DCPI)

Suspect of the shooting in the LES (Photo: DCPI)

A pair of shootings occurred in recent days, one on the Lower East Side and the other across the bridge in South Williamsburg.

The first occurred during the late afternoon of July 16, when gunfire erupted near the corner of Pitt and Delancey Streets. A 20-year-old man was shot once in the right leg, according to the police. The victim was treated at Bellevue Hospital and released. Police say the suspect, thought to be about 20 years old, 5’6″, and 145 pounds, was last seen wearing a navy baseball cap, white tan top and dark shorts. He’s shown above.

He was accompanied by an unidentified woman of about the same age, last seen holding a bicycle and wearing the outfit below.

(Photo: DCPI)

(Photo: DCPI)

On Tuesday, July 19, around 9:25pm, another shooting took place at 84 S 10th Street in South Williamsburg. A 28-year-old man was shot in the arm and taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition. As of yet, there is no information available about the suspect.

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Off-Duty Cop Charged With Manslaughter; Driver Who Hit EV Florist Convicted

Yesterday morning, the decomposing body of a 27-year-old male was discovered in an apartment near Essex and Rivington Streets with the owner of a hair salon downstairs reported a red stain on the ceiling. [NY Daily News]

Nicholas Batka, 28, was fired from the NYPD yesterday following his Saturday morning SUV crash in Williamsburg, which resulted in one fatality and three injuries. He has been charged with manslaughter, assault, and driving while intoxicated. [NY Daily News] The 21-year-old victim was identified as MIT student Andrew Esquivel. [Patch]

Three years after striking the late Mohammed Akkas Ali and two other pedestrians in the East Village while reportedly high on PCP and methamphetamine, Shaun Martin was convicted of murder this week. His sentencing has been set for September. [Streets Blog NYC]

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Fast Approaching Films: Stay #Woke at Critical Paranoia + Beware Psychopathic BBs

The Childhood of a Leader
Wednesday July 20 through Thursday July 28 at IFC Center: $14
Actor Brady Corbet’s directorial debut follows the coming-of-age of a seriously naughty child who is maybe the scariest looking blonde-maned creep you’ve ever seen standing 3-feet tall in a Victorian drop-waist looking slightly underfed. Maybe early cutoff from the teet is to blame– always look to the mother, right? Well, maybe– but this isn’t Corbet’s first sociopathic-character-study rodeo (see: 2013’s Simon Killer where Corbet played the part and helped co-write with director Antonio Campos), so let’s trust that he goes a little bit farther than some yawn-worthy evolutionary quibble.

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