Friday, February 17, 2017

A Conversation With Gloria Steinem At Hannah Senesh Community Day School

Hannah Senesh Community Day School at 342 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens is launching its new
Steinhardt Speaker Series on Monday, March 27th at 7pm.Gloria Steinem, the writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer, will be its inaugural speaker. the conversation will be moderated by Virginia Heffernan, Brooklyn journalist and Senesh parent.

Tickets will go on sale today at noon on the school's website:
The ticket price is $36.

From Hannah Senesh:
"With the support of Mr. Steinhardt, the eminent philanthropist, Senesh is launching the series to highlight the strong connection between timeless Jewish values and modern achievement that continue to improve the world. Gloria Steinem’s lifetime of campaigning for gender equality and human rights epitomizes that connection and echoes the School’s mission to foster a modern, meaningful and joyful approach to Jewish thinking and learning

“Gloria Steinem’s work as a feminist, activist and writer closely aligns with our School’s core values of Responsibility and Perseverance,” says Nicole Nash, Hannah Senesh Head of School. “It is especially meaningful to connect Ms. Steinem’s accomplishments to her underlying Jewish values and the work we do at Senesh.”

The evening will be moderated by journalist Virginia Heffernan, parent of two Senesh students and author of the highly acclaimed Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art, about the cultural potential and societal impact of the Internet."

This is bound to be a very interesting evening, so don't wait to get your ticket.

Well, that was fast! Tickets have sold out for this event, but Hannah Senesh will be offering a Facebook livestream on the event page:
So mark your calendars.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Picture(s) Of The Day: A Hawk's Snowy Lunch

(photo credit: Linda Mariano)

Today's picture of the day was taken by my very good friend Linda.  She happened to look out of her rear window today and was surprised to see a hawk consuming what looked like a pigeon in her snowy back yard.  That surely does not happen every day.

I first thought this was a peregrine falcon, but was quickly corrected by some readers who identified it as a hawk.

Thanks Linda for sharing.

Important Public Meeting On PS 32 Annex Construction In Carroll Garden

Now that the Department of City Planning has officially launched its Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study process, it behoves the community to push for better infrastructure and services to support the additional high rise residential developments that surely loom in our future.

Take schools for example.  Our local Public Schools are already over capacity before an overall rezoning of Gowanus which is sure to bring more families to the community.
Just imagine the Gowanus Canal area lined with more towers 'à la Lightstone' and you get a general idea of the looming problem. (Incidentally, the 363 Bond Street and 365 Bond Street buildings are zoned for PS 32.)

There has been talk regarding building a more permanent annex at PS32, which is located on Hoyt Street between President Street and Union Street.  The New York School Construction Authority is now ready to present the design and plans for the new addition and will see with the community on.
Wednesday, March 1 at 6:30 pm.

If your property is zoned for PS 32, if you currently have children who attend the school, and/or if you happen to live right next to the school, you may want to attend this public meeting.

Washington Lobbyist And Trump Advisor Paul Manafort Owns Brownstone In Carroll Gardens

Pardon me for asking, but could it be that Paul J. Manafort, Junior, the veteran Republican strategist and former national chairman to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, owns a brownstone in Carroll Gardens?
I happened to walk on Union Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street yesterday afternoon, when I noticed construction debris and several notices taped to the front door of the building at 377 Union Street.
Coincidentally,  I caught up with a local resident who was walking in the same direction.  After exchanging a few pleasantries, the resident asked:
"Did you know that Paul Manafort owns a house on this block?"
Surprised, I confirmed that we were talking about the same Paul Manafort, one of President Trump's high level advisors, whose name has been mentioned in the news for the past few months and especially in the past several days.
"That's the one!  He owns number 377 Union Street," the resident told me

Of course I was intrigued.  Following the information that I was given, I started looking at public records for the brownstone.
Here are the details:
In late 2012, 377 Union Street was sold to MC Brooklyn Holdings, LLC for $2,995,000.
By 2013, the NYC Department Of Buildings approved an application to turn the four story, two family building into a one family home at an estimated cost of $527,900.00.

The DoB application lists the owner of 377 President Street as Paul Manafort. The telephone number on record is registered to Paul J Manafort Jr., 601 N Fairfax St Apt 405, Alexandria, Virginia.

Work on the house did begin shortly afterwards, but halted about a year and a half ago.  Since then, cinderblocks and rusting steel beams have been stored in the front yard.
A full Stop Work order was issued on February 1, 2017 by the DoB Brooklyn Commissioner due to "applicant withdrawal."

Interestingly enough, according to the New York City Department Of Finance,  the deed to the property was transferred from the holding company directly to Mr. Manafort on January 4, 2017.
Almost immediately afterwards, it would appear that three mortgages were taken under his name and that of his wife, Kathleen B. Manafort, and under MC Brooklyn Holdings.

According to ACRIS, by The Federal Savings Bank provided funds of $5,300,000 on the property on January 17, 2017.  (The amount needs to be repaid by January 2018).  An additional mortgage of  $1,200,000 by The Federal Savings Bank was issued on the same day.   Genesis Capital Master Fund II, LLC appears to have loaned another $303,750

The Federal Savings Bank prides itself on 'honoring those who have served' and according to its web site, is "owned and operated by veterans with a mission to help serve veterans. Most members of our executive leadership team and many of our employees have also served our country and know from experience that the transition from soldier to civilian means having a place to be able to call 'home'."

Even with home prices going up tremendously in Carroll Gardens in the past few years, one could say that the mortgage amount of $6,803,750 exceeds the current value of this house, especially in its current condition.

Who would have thought that this once solid Italian working class neighborhood would one day attract Hollywood celebrities as well as Washington lobbyists.

I don't know what to make of all of this. Maybe one of my readers can interpret these transactions?

 (From New York City DoB web site for 377 Union Street, Brooklyn)

 (from N.Y.C. DOB site for 377 Union Street, Brooklyn)

 (Information on 277 Union Street on Acris Site under Block 429 Lot 65)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Picture Of The Day: Bodega Cat With Flowers

On Court Street in Carroll Gardens
This Brooklyn bodega cat obviously appreciates blooms.

"Don't Help A CEO Buy A New Yacht": Beastly Bites On Court Street Reminds Community To Shop Locally

You may be tempted to purchase your pet's food and accessories at Pet Smart on Atlantic Avenue or place an order on Amazon, but that would hurt the family-owned pet shops in our neighborhood.

The owner of Beastly Bites at 155 Court Street near Pacific Street in Cobble Hill would like to remind you that shopping locally helps keep shop owners right here in the community. A sign in the store's window makes the argument that buying from this business, which has been in the community for over 40 years, will help a family father support his children instead of "helping a CEO buy a second summer home or a new yacht."

That is true. This would not be a real neighborhood without our locally owned shops. Let us make an effort to keep them in business.
What is your favorite local shop?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Picture Of The Day: Crossing The Gowanus

Crossing everyone's favorite canal early morning after a snowstorm.
Have a lovely week-end, dear readers.

A Wonderful Story About A Boy, A Lamb, Kindness, And Our Amazing Community

(photo credit: Casey M.)

A few days ago,  my friend Carolina made me aware of a posting on the BoCoCa Parent Yahoo Group.  It was written by Ben, a neighborhood father, and was so cute that I asked him if I could share it here on PMFA.  His response? "Sure thing!" So here it is:

Hello fellow parents,

With all the dispiriting news these days, I thought it would be nice to share a quick, uplifting story that speaks to the general awesomeness of our community and the incredible kindness of the folks in this neighborhood.

Last week, we realized that a favorite stuffed lamb hadn't made the trip home from the playground. After retracing our steps and searching the neighborhood, our son Elliot decided to draw up a "missing" poster with all of Lamby's details (not a real lamb; does not have a name tag) and put it up near our house. On Friday, we came home to a package from Amazon addressed to Elliot. Inside was an even cuter stuffed lamb and a note that read: "Hi Elliot, We saw your poster in the neighborhood. Sorry you can't find Lamby. Hopefully this guy can help :) From, your neighbors." Elliot was thrilled (and my wife and I were practically bawling).

So, anonymous neighbor, thank you! Thank you for the lamb, who we promise will be very well loved. More importantly, thank you for reminding us how lucky we are to be a part of this amazing community and for showing such incredible kindness at a time when it feels especially important to be kind to one another. We are going to find many creative ways to pay this forward!

Ben (Elliot's Dad)

Isn't this just awesome?  That is one special lamb and one very kind neighbor.
Thank you so much for sharing, Ben, and for reminding us that we are, indeed, very lucky!
Let us all be a better neighbor today.

Community Board 6 Members Unanimously Denounce President Trump's Immigration Ban Executive Order

At its February 8, 2017 general meeting, Brooklyn Community Board 6 voted unanimously  to adopt the resolution below opposing President Trump's January 27, 2017 Immigration Ban Executive Order.
Community Board 6 represents the Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook neighborhoods.

The resolution reads:
-Whereas The 45th President of the United States has expressly stated in an Executive Order that the United States Government should withhold entry into our nation of immigrants based on their nation of origin;

-Whereas the United States is a nation born with the promise of a New World with new opportunities to exercise freedoms that were denied elsewhere including speech and religion;

-Whereas New York City is often the first stop for countless immigrants who come to its shores to make new lives for themselves and their families;

-Whereas Brooklyn has been a crossroads for immigrants throughout its rich history, creating the distinct neighborhoods and cultural outlets that are still celebrated today;

-Whereas Brooklyn Community Board 6 is made up of neighborhoods that celebrate, reflect and respect all of its residents, no matter where they originally called home;

-Whereas, according to the Charter of the City of New York, among other responsibilities, it is the mandate of the Community Board to consider the needs of its district and advise any public officers with respect to any matter relating to the welfare of the district and its residents;

-Whereas Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook, the neighborhoods that comprise Brooklyn Community Board 6, all share a view of the Statue of Liberty – upon whose pedestal is written:

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips.
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” marking this city as a representation of a nation that would serve as a safe harbor for all, regardless of where they came from;

Therefore be it resolved that Brooklyn Community Board 6 denounces President Donald Trump’s PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES Executive Order issued on Friday January 27, 2017 and urges a full repeal of the President’s Executive Order;

Be it further resolved, the Board calls upon President Donald Trump to pursue compassionate and fair immigration policies which refrain from xenophobic rhetoric and place a higher value on the American ideals of freedom and liberty.

Thank you to the members of the community board for remembering that we are all immigrants to these shores, that we have all contributed in making this the nation it is today and that our own city and neighborhoods are a testament to those who came here before us to live in liberty, peace and prosperity.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Winter Storm Nico: A Snowy Day In Carroll Gardens

Is there anything better than a snow day here in the neighborhood? With schools closed and many people  (hopefully) home from work, people were either relaxing at home or headed to Carroll Park to build snowmen.
For me, the snow meant an opportunity to take photos of our lovely Carroll Gardens. Would could be better.
What are you up to today?