Category Archives: Cobble Hill

Hills & Gardens

To Sponge Up Gowanus Muck

A boat standing on its stern serves as a welcoming sign to the Sponge Park test site. Photo by Trudy Whitman.

By Trudy Whitman

Gowanus Canal pollution. It’s not only about the decades and decades of industrial toxins that poured directly into the waterway. As anyone who lives near the notorious channel can attest, human waste also fouls the canal after heavy precipitation. And what can’t be seen are the ground-level contaminants, such as heavy metals, that flow down the streets into the canal during downpours and heavy snow melt. When sewer mechanisms cannot handle the additional flow, this gunk goes straight into the canal as well.

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Filed under Cobble Hill, Community News, Real Estate

Brooklyn’s Brownstone Belt Strapped on by Pioneers

Three Decades of Restoration Spread From Heights to Fort Greene

By Carl Blumenthal

This row of brownstones on Lincoln Place in Park Slope shows the type of housing that attracted young professionals who moved to, and renovated, historic 19th century houses in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The movement began in Brooklyn Heights; spread to Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens; and later spread to Fort Greene and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

BROOKLYN — In a recent Brooklyn Broadside column, Dennis Holt looked forward to the benefits of such new or expanded developments as Brooklyn Bridge Park, Barclays Arena, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Coney Island amusement district.

Looking back on books about urban development in 2011, one especially comes to mind: The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York (Oxford University Press), by Suleiman Osman.

Osman, a young professor of American Studies at George Washington University, grew up in Park Slope. He delves into the nitty-gritty of the early brownstone movement, beginning with revitalization of Brooklyn Heights in the 1950s, then spreading to Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Park Slope through the housing boom of the 1980s, when “brownstoning” turned into “gentrification.”

Anyone expecting Osman to take sides on the question of whether gentrification caused displacement will be disappointed, since he says that the debate remains unresolved.

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Filed under Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, History

Cries of ‘Shame’ Accompany Vote For Cobble Hill Charter School

Heckling and cries of “Shame!” interrupted a raucous Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) meeting Wednesday night. The panel approved placing a Success Academy charter school inside a Cobble Hill school building holding three other schools. Some audience members affiliated with “Occupy the DOE” wore sock puppets on their hands and called the panel the “Puppets for Educational Policy.” Eagle photo by Mary Frost.

By Mary Frost

QUEENS — The Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) voted late Wednesday to approve “co-locating” a Success Academy charter school inside a Cobble Hill building already occupied by three public schools.

Before the meeting, several hundred sign-waving attendees held their own vote — of “no confidence” in the PEP. “Parents, students and educators have no vote on this panel,” many in the crowd read in unison. “This panel is here to rubber stamp the decision made by Bloomberg.”

After hours of impassioned two-minute comments from parents, teachers and school advocates, the PEP, dominated by mayoral appointees, voted to approve the Success Academy Cobble Hill charter school. They also voted to approve two other charter schools, one of them also a Success Academy school, in buildings occupied by public schools in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

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Filed under Cobble Hill, Kids & Education

Opponents Slam Location of Vote On Charter School

Cobble Hill Parents Must Travel to Queens

By Mary Frost

COBBLE HILL — The anger over placing a Success Academy charter school inside a building housing three schools in Cobble Hill reached a new high this week.

Following last Tuesday’s raucous charter school co-location hearing in Cobble Hill, where former Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz plans to open her new charter school, local parents expressed outrage when they learned that the Department of Education (DOE) has moved the Dec. 14 Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) vote to a location inaccessible to District 15 parents — Newtown High School in Queens.

Subway and bus times to Newtown High School from District 15 (which runs from Red Hook to Sunset Park) can add up to almost two hours from some areas. The temporary closure of the G train station at Smith and 9th streets exacerbates the situation for families living in Red Hook and Gowanus.

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Filed under Cobble Hill, Community News, Kids & Education

Czech Puppet Theater Presents New Adaptation of Christmas Carol

COBBLE HILL — For the delight of audiences aged 5 to 105, the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater offers A Christmas Carol, Oy! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa (Happy Ramadan) from Dec. 15 to Jan. 1 at Clockworks Puppet Theatre, 196 Columbia St. (between Sackett and Degraw streets, Brooklyn).

The show is an adaptation of Dickens’ classic with Old World accents and New World inclusiveness.

Adapted and directed by Vit Horejs, it features over 30 puppets by Milos Kasal and holiday songs in Czech, English, Hebrew and Swahili. The set and costume design are by company member Michelle Beshaw.

This toy-puppet theatre extravaganza is a new take on Charles Dickens’ classic with a few twists and digressions. Into the familiar story are woven a surprising and delightful blend of English, Jewish, African, American and Czech winter rituals, customs and holiday songs, all performed by over three dozen marionettes ranging in size from 4 to 24 inches as well as found objects and toys.

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Filed under Arts, Cobble Hill, Kids & Education, Up & Coming

Emotions Explode at Raucous Cobble Hill Charter School Hearing

Majority of Parents Oppose Proposal

Emotions ran high at a raucous charter school co-location hearing Tuesday night in Cobble Hill, where former Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz plans to open a new Success Academy charter school at a site housing three existing public schools. Eagle photo by Mary Frost .

By Mary Frost

COBBLE HILL — Catcalls, boos and cries of “Shame!” accompanied testimony at a raucous charter school co-location hearing Tuesday night in Cobble Hill, where former Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz plans to open a new Success Academy charter at a site that houses three existing public schools.

Education officials, teachers, parents and students testified for hours in the auditorium at 184 Baltic St. (at Court Street) before Department of Education (DOE) and SUNY officials. Brooklyn School for Global Studies, School for International Studies and P.S. 368 for special ed children are located at the site.

One angry man who said he was a teacher was escorted out by police officers as the crowd heckled SUNY’s charter school attorney, Tom Franta, who defended Success Academy’s plan to fit grades K-4 into the facility.

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Filed under Cobble Hill, Community News, Kids & Education