When NYU shuttered its Coles Sports Center, we mourned the loss of its squash courts– one of the only downtown places where you could reenact the racquetball scene from Manhattan. Problem solved: The Parks Department today opened a public squash court in Hamilton Fish Park– said to be the first of its kind in the world.
Crime + Community
Members of the bike messenger community came together in Tompkins Square Park on Friday to mark the naming of a bench for bike messenger and photographer ‘Fast’ Eddie Williams. Friends featured in his 2004 photo book ‘Bike Messengers Life – New York City‘ joined Eddie’s son Nagi, daughter Koko and dozens of working messengers for the service. The beautiful weather allowed for a fitting sun set over the bench that sits opposite the big tree on the south side of the park, a longtime gathering spot for New York bike messengers.
The space that used to house Coup, on Cooper Square, still feels like a cocktail lounge, but the young people at the bar during a recent visit were hunched over laptops instead of pints. Scrawled on three massive rolls of brown paper were the talking points of Suraj Patel, the Congressional candidate who is now using the space as his campaign headquarters. Patel’s platform, outlined on his website, states that voting should be digital, gender is a spectrum, healthcare is a right, and marijuana should be legalized.
GrandLo Café, a “new social enterprise” from nonprofit Grand St. Settlement, will turn your daily coffee habit into a chance to support disadvantaged youth. The coffee shop and café, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 16 after a soft opening that same week, is now fully open for business.
Environmental and community groups gathered outside New York University’s Kimmel Center this morning, rallying against a natural gas pipeline proposed by the Williams energy company. Meanwhile, inside, Governor Cuomo announced a $1.4 billion commitment to renewable energy programs. It’s said to be the biggest by any state in US history, but some protesters continue to say that Cuomo isn’t doing enough to stop fracking off the coast of New York City and elsewhere. More →
Thousands of bikers are expected to flood Union Square, and 14th Street will become the country’s busiest bus corridor, when the L train shuts down next year, according to a new study. The MTA and DOT released a traffic analysis yesterday showing just how disruptive the 15-month closure of the Canarsie tunnel will be. Proposed solutions include a two-way bike lane on 13th Street and a busway on 14th Street, and some of them will be implemented as soon as this summer. More →
Earlier this week, the MTA and DOT revealed their plans for ferry service during the L-train shutdown, with proposed routes connecting North Williamsburg to Stuyvesant Cove. However, a recently launched project is floating another unusual solution to the impending L-pocalypse: a pontoon bridge. L-ternative Bridge, created by New Yorker Parker Shinn, touts the pontoon bridge as a cheap, quick-to-assemble option that would alleviate some of the difficulties posed by the shutdown of the Canarsie Tube.
The floating pool project known as +POOL has received a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Which is good news for anyone who has ever dreamed of riding an inflatable mechanical bull in the middle of the East River.
In an effort to create a dialogue about the impending L train shutdown, the MTA recently announced that it will partner with the city’s Department of Transportation for a series of informal town hall-style meetings this January and February. The meetings are scheduled to take place in Manhattan and Brooklyn communities where the shutdown will be felt the most; the first open house is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24 in East Williamsburg.
On any given night Molasses Books, the tiny bookshop/bar in Bushwick, draws a colorful crowd to readings and other happenings– really, on any given night of the week you are bound to find cool characters. But on Tuesday, an especially great group made it out to Chess Night, a newish event popping off once a month at the shop. At one point, my friend who had invited me to the casual, come-and-go-whenever get-together, looked up from his chess game and remarked, “I’ve heard, like, five people mention polyamory tonight.”