Image via Flickr
With the weather finally warming up, there’s no better time to plan your spring and summer weekend excursions. In partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, Turnstile Tours is offering a range of walking tours this season, exploring the history, architecture, and nature of the iconic park (h/t Brownstoner). New and seasoned visitors of the park alike will be able to discover hidden treasures, little-known tales, and learn about the Alliance’s new facilities and ongoing conservation efforts.
Rendering by Kameny Design and Taylor Davenport, courtesy of Mark Baker
A longtime Brooklyn resident is offering his own innovative solution to fix the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Mark Baker’s proposal involves transforming the BQE’s triple cantilever into the “Tri-Line,” a three-tiered park that extends from Brooklyn Bridge Park. Modeled after Manhattan’s High Line, the Tri-Line parks would measure 1,880 feet long and include gardens, seating, walking paths, and bike lanes. As the Brooklyn Eagle reported, cars and trucks would be rerouted along a new highway on Furman Street, preserving the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and adding eight acres of park space in the process.
See the proposal
Brooklyn Navy Yard via Optimus
Self-driving vehicles are officially coming to New York City this year. The Boston-based startup Optimus Ride announced on Wednesday plans to deploy a fleet of autonomous shuttle vans to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre site in the midst of transforming from a World War II-era warship site to a modern tech-hub. When it launches in the second quarter of this year, the self-driving program will be the first of its kind in New York, according to the company.
Learn about it here
“Elephant Bazar Coney Island,” NYPL Wallach Division Picture Collection via NYPL Digital Collections
When Coney Island burst on the scene in the 1880s as “the People’s Playground,” becoming the last word in bawdy beachfront pleasure, every attraction was larger than life. But no attraction was as large as the “Elephantine Colossus,” a 12-story, 31-room, elephant-shaped hotel, stationed at Surf Avenue and West 12th Street. The elephant was a tin-clad wooden structure rising 150 feet high, and it was unlike any other elephant in the world: The animal’s forelegs featured a tobacco shop, its left lung was home to a museum, and visitors to the “cheek room” could look out of the elephant eyes to the ocean beyond.
Rendering of 570 Fulton Street via Slate Property Group
The New York City Council this week voted to approve a proposed 40-story building in Downtown Brooklyn, adding to the slew of new high-rises coming to the historically low-slung neighborhood. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the council voted to approve zoning measures that permit Slate Property Group to build at 570 Fulton Street. With council approval, the 200,000-square-foot mixed-use building will move on to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk next, despite concerns from the local community board.
Image via Wikimedia
The MTA is moving into the next phase of construction on the elevator installation project at the Greenpoint Avenue G station, but there’s good news for roughly 9,400 regular weekday customers: the MTA is expecting “significantly reduced impact” to service. Work will also focus on updating station infrastructure including stairs, handrails, turnstiles, powered gates, and braille signage—bringing the station to full ADA compliance.
Adding another perspective to the many voices who are seeking a solution to the “most challenging project not only in New York City but arguably in the United States,” City Comptroller Scott Stringer has outlined his own proposal to save the crumbling BQE, advocating for a middle-ground solution to the heated debate. Stringer’s idea (notably without a timeline or proposed budget) is to turn the BQE into a truck-only highway and build a linear park above. “We remain hopeful that the agency can view the BQE’s deterioration not just as an engineering challenge, but as an opportunity to create something new and bold that both accommodates essential traffic and enhances surrounding neighborhoods,” he wrote in a March 7 letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
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On a tree-lined block in the heart of Clinton Hill, this floor-through 1.5 bedroom at 315 Greene Avenue offers a flexible layout and even a little bit of outdoor space for the asking price of $875,000. The cozy unit comes with custom storage options and modern amenities, including a washer and dryer. A colorful collection of art and happy houseplants show how this condo is the perfect blank canvas to make your own.
An affordable housing lottery launched this week for six apartments in a 10-story Williamsburg building. Located at 467 Keap Street, the rental is a short one-block walk to the G and L trains at Metropolitan Avenue. In addition to being close to the subway, the building, known as the Ainslie Tower, also sits near Brooklyn haunts like Union Pool, Rocka Rolla, and Pete’s Candy Store. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 60 percent of the area median income can apply for three $1,058/month one-bedrooms and three $1,280/month two-bedrooms.
Find out if you qualify
Image courtesy of NYC Department of City Planning
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is voicing concern over a proposal that would allow real-estate developers to amend the area’s zoning—which currently caps building heights at 75 feet—in order to build two 39-story towers close enough to the botanic grounds to obstruct sunlight in key parts of the garden, including the bonsai collection and desert pavilion. The proposal is subject to city approval and a public hearing will be heard today, with officials from the BBG in attendance, as the Wall Street Journal reported.