146 Fenimore Street

Do you live here? Sorry. via Google Street View

Real estate speculation! Sometimes it takes the form of horrible arson. Oftentimes, it takes much more banal, but somehow more unappealing-sounding forms, like this article in Real Estate Weekly about Pittsburgh-based HLC Equity buying a building in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Why are they doing it, and what’s their plan? Funny you should ask!

Farber said he saw 146 Fenimore Street as the ideal first investment in Brooklyn because of its proximity to several subway lines and the neighborhood’s untapped, fast-growing potential…convincing Farber that Prospect Lefferts Gardens is on the cusp of a major influx of white-collar residents.

Most of the building’s units are rent-stabilized, and HLC plans to slowly renovate the entire building.
“We could probably sell it at a profit right now,” Farber said. “But we want to hold on to it.”

Well, sucks to be you, rent-stabilized resident’s who we’re sure won’t be harassed in any way by your out-of-town landlords betting on “more white-collar residents.” Just to be sure though, don’t forget that you’ve got rights when it comes to improvements, and your rent in general.

10/30/14 12:00pm

Bed-Stuy is getting a locally-sourced general store [DNA Info]
There was maybe a race problem with the catcalling video [Slate]
Literally one million people have been arrested for pot possession in NYC since 1980 [Gotham Gazette]
Cabbies aren’t peeing enough, apparently [ANIMAL]
Shake Shack has crinkle cut fries again, if that’s what you’re into [Gothamist]
People in NYC are less likely than the rest of the state to have employer-provided insurance [Crain's]
Two years on from Sandy, here’s what’s happening [Sheepshead Bites]
Andrew WK is trying to look at the positives of gentrification [Bedford + Bowery]

10/30/14 11:12am
Just like the good old days. via Anchor Light

Just like the good old days. via Anchor Light

It’s been a little while since the days of landlords burning down their building in New York for fun and insurance money. After all, it’s much more fun and profitable to just jack up the rent, regardless of whether it’s legal or not. So we’ve gotta hand it to the building owner in Bed-Stuy who allegedly decided that he wanted to burn down a building he owns that’s being squatted in and then sell the land for profit, rather than the old timey reason of collecting insurance money. That kind of vintage move, but with a modern twist, is exactly the kind of thing that fits into modern day New York City. Also it fits because it’s people acting like goddamn monsters over real estate. (more…)

the gate

Who could object to this? via Facebook

There’s nothing like a dog-friendly bar, at least for most of us out there. Drinking and beer and petting dogs, it’s just a great way to live. Some people apparently can’t handle that kind of awesomeness though, as Park Slope Stoop and DNA Info reported, some monster called 311 to complain about the fact that Park Slope’s The Gate lets people bring their dogs in. Obviously there are worse people in the world, but we’re gonna put you in the top 5 this week, anonymous 311 narc. (more…)

10/29/14 12:00pm

Metro-North is screwing up left and right [WNYC]
New Yorkers wanna know: Does Taylor Swift know who Dr. Zizmor is? [Daily News]
Non-union DOE employees need some damn raises [DNA Info]
How Katz’ Deli stays open [Slate]
Misdemeanor arrests are up, even as violent crime is down [New York Times]
Here’s the new Pok Pok Fat Thai on Columbia Street [Grub Street]
People thought that Farmingdale beheading was a prank [New York Magazine]

10/28/14 2:45pm

We haven’t talked about street harassment here for a little while, but hey let’s do that now, since here a brand new video of a woman who committed the crime of walking down the street in pants and got hours and hours of people hollering at her. If you have things that we humans call “empathy” or “a working brain,” we’d suggest not reading the comments, since they’re the same depressing mix of people saying she’s just being complimented and calling her conceited. If you want to piss them off, throw the Hollaback Project some cash, and if you’re a woman who’s always dealing with catcalling, here are some tips for combatting it from someone who grew up here dealing with it. (more…)

10/28/14 1:55pm
citi bike

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you. If you live in certain neighborhoods. Photo by Mary Dorn

Ever since they were introduced to our fine city, people have been asking two questions: When will someone die on one, and when will the service expand to be useful to more than a few people in Manhattan. We can’t answer the dying thing, but we can share the news that Citi Bike announced a huge expansion program today, with more bikes coming to Bed-Stuy, bikes finally coming to Greenpoint in 2015 and also a rate hike. Which is fair since at least it comes with 6,000 more bikes eventually. Hence, bike share’s new slogan, “Citi Bike: Possibly useful in Brooklyn soon!” (more…)

10/28/14 12:00pm

The Knicks and Nets are too cheap to give their dancers health insurance [New York Post]
Prospect Heights is getting a BYOB poetry series [DNA Info]
Virgin renters take heart, someone’s looking out for you [Brick Underground]
Here are some gross ways to get high [ANIMAL]
Even people who love the new Taylor Swift pretend “Welcome to New York” doesn’t exist [The Hairpin]
John Kerry was in Fort Greene [Fort Greene Focus]
Well, here it is, here’s Colin Meloy busking [BrooklynVegan]
Citi Bike is gonna have a new chief [Daily News]

10/28/14 11:09am
imani henry

Imani Henry’s not into the whole “up and coming” thing. Photo by Sabelo Narasimhan

The name “Brooklyn” has come to refer to a lot more than a borough. Brooklyn’s a lucrative brand, the backdrop of many a millennial crisis on Girls, and a place where it’s getting tough to survive if your income’s more like that of a Girls character than a cast member. It’s no secret Brooklyn’s the sleek poster child of gentrification, and there are a lot of people fighting to make sure that growing coolness doesn’t detract attention from the huge loss of affordable housing that’s accompanied it.

Community activist Imani Henry is one of those people. “There is nothing hip and cool happening in Brooklyn. It’s a war,” he told us. “If people can really think about it, there are people moving to the Poconos and Ithaca in their 70s. People with mental health conditions who have no place to go or live. Families are being pushed out of their apartments. There’s nothing sexy, hot, or cute about it.”

As a social worker who organizes with Equality for Flatbush, a grassroots group fighting gentrification and police repression, he spends a lot of time helping long-time Brooklyn residents remain Brooklyn residents. Henry has seen a very ugly side to the borough’s changing faces and facades, and talked with us about it, how to make a positive impact on the borough’s changes and gentrification’s “inevitability.” (more…)

10/28/14 10:47am
clinton hill apartment

Just picture a Sims version of yourself right there, as a placeholder under 2017

So, you saw the Williamsburg affordable housing and decided that you’re too good for living in Williamsburg. Or more likely, you’re just feeling hopeless that you’ll win the lottery to get in, which makes more sense. Well, if you can hold on here for a little more than two years, you can start the teeth-gnashing process for an affordable apartment in Clinton Hill, with the Observer reporting that 20 percent of the 40 units in the above Fulton Street building will be affordable. Technically that means 7.6 units would be affordable, but we don’t see the developers rounding up, do you? (more…)