Greencycle back-to-school swap this weekend

Town Square is hosting a back-to-school swap on Saturday, September 12 between noon and 3 p.m.

The event will take place during Greenpoint Open Streets on North 15th Street between Nassau Avenue and Banker Street.

Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes and books are all welcome. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

Here are the rules:

• Only cleaned, gently used and usable items
• No need to bring anything to take anything
• May limit folks to 1 bag or the number of bags brought to donate to the swap
• Do not allow taking donated items to resell. All remaining items are donated to local homeless shelters
• Sign up to volunteer for an hour or more with this link.

Partners for this event include St. Mary’s, NBK Mutual Aid and the 94th Precinct.

A $10 suggested donation per family will help cover costs.

Bushwick prioritized in city’s new “outdoor learning” initiative

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced a new Outdoor Learning initiative for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The program will allow schools to hold classes outdoors in schoolyards, adjacent streets and nearby park space. The program is open to all public, charter and private schools.

Schools in areas hardest hit by COVID-19 with no outdoor space will receive priority.

Beginning on Monday, school principals can submit a request for learning space in school adjacent streets and nearby parks. Schools that want to use their own on-site yards can fill out a survey to notify the Department of Education.

Proposals submitted by Friday, August 28th will receive responses by September 4. Additional requests can be submitted on a rolling basis.

Bushwick is one of the Brooklyn neighborhoods that will be prioritized. Others include Brownsville, East New York, Sunset Park, Canarsie, Bed-Stuy and East Flatbush.

Maloney meets with small businesses in North Brooklyn

North Brooklyn small business owners convened with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney last Thursday to discuss the difficulties they faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized by the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the meeting included businesses like the Row House, Bar Method, Bagel Point and Slick Willie Table & Bar.

Maloney spoke about her efforts to pass relief and other aid for small businesses and employees through stimulus packages.

“Small businesses and its employees are ingrained in the cultural and economic fabric of Williamsburg and Greenpoint,” she said. “I look forward to working with them further and bringing their concerns back to D.C. as we negotiate another round of COVID-19 relief.”

Read more about Maloney’s push in this week’s Greenpoint Star newspaper.

The Strand has begun leasing for 132 apartments

Credit: Aufgang Architects. The Meshberg Group

Camber Property Group and Valyrian Capital have begun leasing for The Strand, a new mixed-use development near the Ridgewood/East Williamsburg border with 132 units.

Leasing for the rental property, located at 178 Woodward Avenue, is being handled by Corcoran New Development.

The Strand features a variety of residences, including 33 studios, 71 one-bedrooms, 25 two-bedrooms/ two-baths, and three three-bedroom/two-bath apartments.

The pricing starts at $2,050 a month for a studio and up to $3,985 for a three-bedroom.

The amenities are plentiful at The Strand, including two landscaped rooftop decks, a co-working lounge, fitness center, a media and gaming lounge, an inner courtyard, on-site parking for cars and bikes, and Stainless Steel appliances.

In terms of location, The Strand is located three blocks from the Jefferson Avenue L train stop, as well as the B38, B57 and Q53 buses.

Citi Bikes are also available throughout the neighborhood.

Corcoran is providing perspective residents with face masks, hand sanitizing stations and an in-person or virtual experience from first viewing through lease signing.

SummerStarz 2020 is cancelled

There will be no free movies at north Brooklyn parks this summer.

Town Square BK announced that their family movie series, SummerStarz, has been cancelled due to NYC Parks’ COVID-19 regulations.

SummerStarz has been a popular program that allows families to enjoy free films in the summertime while enjoying north Brooklyn’s open spaces.

Hopefully it will be back by next summer!

Play Streets come to Humboldt Street

Bushwick now has a Play Street this summer.

Last week, the city launched a new initiative, called Play Streets, that provide families and kids with safe, structured activities during weekdays on certain streets.

In Bushwick, the Play Street will be Humboldt Street from Moore Street to Varet Street. It will be in effect on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m.

The partnering organization administering it will be the Police Athletic League. That means they will set up barricades, post signage and restore the Open Street conditions after progrmaming.

Kids can participate in activities like arts and crafts, board games, sports drills, reading corners, dance classes, cardio, yoga and more.

All programming will adhere to social distancing rules.

Greenpoint/Williamsburg had most air quality 311 complaints: study

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A new study by the company Amast has found that Greenpoint/Williamsburg had the most air quality complaints this year.

Amast looked New York City’s 311 database to see where air quality complaints were coming from, and compare them to last year’s complaints.

The Greenpoint/Williamsburg area, through June 15th, 2020, had 175 complaints. Coming in second was the Upper West Side with 151, while the Greenwich/Soho area was third with 132 complaints.

Last year, Greenpoint/Williamsburg had 235 of these 311 complaints.

The overwhelming complaint was related to odors/fumes.

If you’re interested, Morrisania/Crotana in the Bronx had the fewest air quality complaints this year, followed by Elmhurst/Corona in Queens.

Check out the fully report here.

BP Race Watch: Reynoso qualifies for city’s matching funds program

File photo

We know 2020’s (dreadfully) not over yet, but with city elections coming up in 2021, it’s never too early to start keeping an eye on local races.

Although the positions of mayor, public advocate, comptroller and City Council are up for grabs, one we’re also keeping a close eye on is borough president.

Several candidates have emerged, including some familiar to the political scene.

Williamsburg/Bushwick Councilman Antonio Reynoso, Bed-Stuy Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr. and preacher/activist Bishop Lamor Whitehead-Miller have already filed with the Campaign Finance Board. Another candidate, former Councilman Rafael Espinal, has dropped out of the race.

Another candidate who may enter the contest is First Lady Chirlane McCray, who has raised her political profile of late by being co-chairing in the city’s Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity. She has also headed up the controversial ThriveNYC initiative.

Last week, candidates faced a fundraising deadline, the first of many, and some have announced their successful filings so far.

Reynoso announced that he has met the qualifying threshold for the city’s matching funds program. In the latest filings, he brought in an additional $19,140, bringing his total up to $104,741.

His campaign has 736 individual contributors so far, the highest in the race. He also leads the race in cash on hand with over $81,000 left to use.

Cornegy, meanwhile, has raised over $192,000 total, but has spent $160,000 of it already, leaving him with a little over $32,000 left.

His campaign has had 613 contributors so far, with an average contribution size of $314. Reynoso’s average contribution size is $142.

Whitehead-Miller, according to the Campaign Finance Board, has done little fundraising so far.

We’ll keep you updated on the race as we get closer to 2021.

Mass, procession celebrate Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Brooklyn

A mass in English and Italian, followed by a procession, took place this afternoon to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg.

The coronavirus pandemic cancelled the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Giglio festival for the first time in 75 years.

Still, earlier this week, Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, presided over a virtual version of the celebration, which was watched live by 63,000 people on Facebook Live.

“The feast has taken place in Brooklyn for more than 100 years, and is very much a part of our faith community and summer in New York,” he said.

Maloney calls for express bus from Williamsburg to Manhattan

File photo

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is asking the MTA to consider launching a new express bus line from Williamsburg to Manhattan.

The lawmaker penned a letter to the MTA asking for the new route, following up on two previous requests from earlier in the year.

Brooklyn Community Board 1 also unanimously voted in favor of a resolution calling for a new bus line .

“Due to the ongoing need to practice social distancing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, I think this route would merit consideration as part of the new bus lines being implemented by the city as part of the coronavirus response and city reopening,” Maloney writes. “Many residents have expressed a strong preference for buses over subways until the threat of the global pandemic recedes.”

Anyone who takes the L train knows how crowded it can get, especially before the pandemic struck. Maloney referenced in her letter that the Bedford Avenue L train station is often overcrowded on the platform.

One suggestion the federal legislator put forth is extending the route of the B32 to Manhattan using either the Ed Koch Queenboro Bridge or Queens Midtown Tunnel.