Sunday, December 31, 2017

Taking the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day

New Yorkers don't get put off by the absolutely frigid temperatures. Or at least that's the message that New York is offering as the annual New Year's Day polar bear plunge comes up tomorrow. Two New Jersey towns have actually canceled their annual plunge due to the incredibly cold temperatures sweeping the East Coast at the moment.

But, the president of the Coney Island club said there is no way they will cancel. As Dennis Thomas said,  “We’ve never canceled a swim due to the weather and we’re not going to start this year. We’re going ahead with it and we expect a huge turnout.”

Thomas explained that the plunge has been taking place for 114 years, and it will take place this year as scheduled.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Snapshot of Kensington

For those new to Kensington, Brooklyn, or even for old-time residents, this video put together by a NYC-based YouTuber, takes us through the Williamsburg neighborhood.

Monday, December 4, 2017

New Brooklyn Business Offers Real-Time Train Updates in Local Stores

A Brooklyn startup has tied its success to local subway delays. The company, called The NYC Train Sign company, creates LED real-time train countdown signs for stores, bars, restaurants and even homes using commuter data. Based in Bushwick, the company was founded by Timothy Woo in 2016 when he realized that unreliable L train schedules and poor cellphone service often left people waiting at subway stations for much longer than necessary. 

The goal of the startup is to help people take control of their schedules by knowing exactly when their train is going to arrive. NYC Train Sign co-founder and head of marketing Dara Denney explained that the intent is not to "hate on the MTA," though the "system needs to be fixed to improve the average New Yorker's quality of life. NYC Train Sign was created to take back some control we lose while dealing with delays, stalled trains and trains that never come."

According to Woo, more than 15 stores currently have one of the signs on display. Online sales have also soared since last month.

Local businesses have stated that the signs have helped to support their business as well.
"Customers might squeeze in another round because they can see that they have the time," explained Pizza Party owner Kristen North. "It's a no-brainer. I just think of all the times I've left a bar just to end up sitting on the subway platform for the amount of time if could have taken me to have another drink."

Houdini Kitchen Laboratory partner and manager Massimiliano Bartoli added that the signs are particularly beneficial during the winter. "In cold weather, people wait until the last minute to go to the subway," he said. "It's a great idea. It's like the cherry on the cake when you see it."

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Apple Store Coming to Brooklyn

Apple has announced the grand opening of their new retail location in Downtown Brooklyn. The official grand opening will be next week on December 2 and the store will be located at 123 Flatbush Avenue, in the heart of Brooklyn.

Last year, Apple opened a store in Williamsburg, but this one is even more centrally located near the main shopping artery of the city.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Environmental Activists March Across Brooklyn Bridge On 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy

Thousands of activists marched across the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend in an effort to raise awareness of climate change and spur the government in to action on the 5-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane, which swept across NYC and left nearly $75 billion of damage in its wake, was only one of numerous large storms which hit the United States and Caribbean over the last few years.

The environment advocates claimed that these natural disasters are directly linked with climate change, and that society needs to make a change in order to prevent further disaster.

Executive Director of New York Environmental Justive Alliance Eddie Bautista said:
"Here we are on another warm day in October, and we know why! Five years ago tomorrow, the city was visited by a severe weather event, the likes of which we had never seen, and then this past summer we have seen hurricane after hurricane devastating the global South and communities of color throughout the lower parts of the United States."

Rosa Zuchuk, an activist, explained:
"We're here today to be part of this reminder to our city and state.... we're here as part of the defense of our city against this."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Brooklyn Buildings

Proposals for a 68-storey skyscraper in Brooklyn were recently released by architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. To be known as the Brooklyn Point tower, it will be the second tallest building in the region (the tallest one being the 1,000 foot SHoP Architect skyscraper). Open House New York was just completed. Marking its 15th anniversary, the public is now invited to take a peek into some of the city’s architectural gems over the years which have been “repurposed and transformed.” Around 200 buildings took part in this – and these are usually closed to the public. One example was the Jefferson Market Library Tower which – originally erected in 1877 as a Venetian Gothic building – has since been home to: a courthouse, fire tower and a women’s detention center. Meanwhile, another NY architecture firm has done something entirely different. A single-family home has been constructed completely out of abandoned shipping containers. Nicknamed the Carrol House, LOT-EX constructed this on Williamsburg Street, as the area was designated specifically for it. Featuring a ground floor kitchen, dining and living room, a media room with tiered seating, the first floor has two containers for children's rooms as well as a playroom. On the top floor there is an open plan master bedroom and dressing room. Container walls are used for privacy and each level has a dedicated outdoor space. So it seems like all around Brooklyn buildings are certainly making headlines!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Revamps Planned for Brooklyn Parks

New York City is launching a project to renovate public spaces, and several parks in Brooklyn are getting a makeover! The first three are to be Bartlett Playground and Pen Triangle in Williamsburg and Lewis Playground in Bed Stuy, with community meetings already being held to determine the next spots as well.