Category Archives: grrr…

A/C Trains to Stay Running (Instead of Becoming Fish Colonies)

Ugh. I often feel like the A/C line will be the very last to see new train cars.  And now that suspicion is validated.  AM NY recently reported that the MTA’s decided to keep them in service even longer than scheduled, instead of tossing them into the ocean.  I’m sure the G is not even in the plan for new trains.

How nice are those super new trains that show all of the upcoming stops (and thus can be programmed for any line, instead of having to see the “this route not in service” light on the 4,5 when you’re in a 1,2,3 car)?  The only thing I don’t like about them is the fact that they all have their letter / number in red on the front car.  Part of the fun is seeing the colored circle rounding the corner into the station.

Police "Sting" on the B38

This in recently from a disgruntled reader:

This morning I was waiting for the B38 at the corner of Classon and DeKalb. As usual when it came, it was packed – or at least the front half was. Every time I get on the bus, we are all squeezing into the front because nobody moves back. On the rare occasion, the bus driver asks that people move back, but nobody ever does. I missed the first bus this morning as there was no room to get on and waited 15 minutes for the next one to come. Again, the front was packed, so I joined about 15 people who got on at the back of the bus. I am not trying to avoid paying the fare – I buy my monthly ticket every month for over 6 years now – I am simply trying to get to work on time. About 6 undercover cops got on the bus and asked everyone who walked on through the back door to get off. They held us there for about 20 minutes while they checked our identification and wrote us all tickets for $100 for trying to evade the fare. One man was taken away in handcuffs – I heard him say he was a felon and I believe he had an outstanding warrant or something.

I have mixed feelings about this. I mean, why are the cops spending time on this?  Then again, fare evasion costs the MTA millions of dollars every year.  Then again, I’m sure some if not most of these riders were MetroCard holders who just needed to get to work.

In the six years I’ve lived here, the B38 has been consistently effed up when it comes to rush hour.  I’m not sure why they can’t get the timing right.  If it was me who had been stopped by the cops, I’d be pissed.  Maybe Tish James can help make this route function better.

Pratt Post Office: How's It Going?

I never thought I’d be glad to say that my post office is Adelphi Station, but it’s true!

So far, I’ve heard of some snafus up at Pratt.  A northside neighbor recently received a package slip notifying him that he had a package for pickup at Bushwick Station, and after spending a whole morning trekking out there and waiting in line, they told him his package was actually being held at the mobile van on Myrtle outside Pratt Station!

UG.  My suggestion – no matter what the slip says, just check the trailer first.

Official Post Office Announcement from CB2

This came yesterday from Community Board 2:


BROOKLYN NY  11205-9997

Effective Monday, February 22, 2010, the carriers for Pratt Station Post Office have relocated to the Metro Station Post Office at 47 Debevoise St; 11206 until further notice.  Pratt Station Post Office needs to undergo emergency building repairs.  There is a building structural problem and it needs immediate attention.  Depending on the actual depth and severity of the problem, Pratt Station could be closed from 6 to 8 weeks, if not longer.

The retail windows may be kept open for a week or longer until Saturday, February 27, 2010.  However, there will be Mobile Units in front of Pratt Station to accomodate the community.

We will keep you posted as changes occur.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience during this transition.

Brooklyn Post Office

Why is there no mention of actual stuff like where packages will be?

Update: I have just emailed Councilwoman James’ office to ask about packages and getting news out to the community as to what will be changed during this time.

Y: Going Downhill?

Is it just me, or has the Bed-Stuy Y gone downhill?  Don’t get me wrong- it’s still a great value.  But when I joined, it was cleaner, less machines were broken, and you could actually ask the front desk staff a question.  Now the place is bursting at its seams (and it’s not just the New Year Resolutioners- it’s been packed for months now).  I can never even get a class schedule since the wait at the front desk takes ages, they’re out of paper towels, stuff is duct-taped together, and the locker room is smelling like a musty, moldy pool.  Maybe they were overwhelmed with new members in the last year?

B38: Still Crappy

My new job necessitates taking the R train at DeKalb, so I am back to taking the B38 (at least on days when I am wearing heels).  Today, I saw a huge crowd waiting for the bus and groaned.  And then four (yes, FOUR) B38s pulled up, all in a row.  Seriously?  They still haven’t worked this out?

And btw, why does the B38 now turn down Ashland?  Is it because of the new building construction? $!@&!!!

'Jackofest' Moves to Prospect Park

Until the end of last week, Spike Lee planned on throwing a birthday bash in memory of Michael Jackson in Fort Greene Park.  Then, Abby Weissman wrote a piece on the Local questioning the implications of the party and the impact it would have on the neighborhood.  Within hours, it was announced that the party would be moved to Prospect Park.  Weissman made several comments about expected turnout, cleanup and park capacity, citing the frenzy that took place in LA for the official memorial.  He also claimed the party was being “forced upon him.” Mostly, he seemed concerned that the public and local organizations were not consulted or even informed in advance of the party. (Mr. Weissman was also the author who initiatiated the anti-soccer Fort Greene Park post on the Local.)

Several neighbors I’ve spoken to are disappointed in the turn of events.  In fact, I haven’t spoken to one person who’s said, “Thank god that party’s moving out of our neighborhood!”  A Gothamist post about the situation was titled, “Locals Want Spike Lee to Beat It.”  But was it Locals, plural?  (See an opposing commentary on Brooklyn Born here.)

The fact is, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  Did you think the party would be safe, fine, and awesome?  Call the local precinct, Marty Markowitz’s office, 40 Acres and a Mule.  Contact the Local and ask if you can run your own Op-Ed. The park is for everyone and not just one person.

Would the party have been a blight on our neighborhood?  We’ll never know.  But I for one am mourning the loss.


Trash Timing: There are Rules!

A reader recently emailed me about a nuisance I have long noticed but never realized was a fine-able action: placing trash on the curb too early in the day:

I’ve just moved back to Clinton Hill, which has some of the most beautiful streets in the entire city. But they are less than lovely on the days before trash pickup. On pleasant summer afternoons and early evenings we have to walk past, and try not to look at, bags of trash put out on sidewalks much earlier than they need to be. The day before recycling pickup is the worst, since so much of the trash is in clear plastic bags, or in bundles, or just loose.

According to Sanitation regulations, it cannot be put out until 5 p.m. on the day before pickup, but that’s still 4 hours before dark, spoiling the view for people coming home or going for a late-afternoon stroll.

According to a 311 operator, Sanitation will issue summonses for trash placed on sidewalks before 5 pm, but they obviously don’t. I doubt if most people even know about the 5 pm rule (it used to be 8 pm during Daylight Saving time, and that should be reinstated). But the emphasis should be on consciousness raising and voluntary compliance in the interest of keeping the neighborhood beautiful.

I’m going to keep an eye out to see when the trash near me appears on the sidewalk.  What do you think?  Is 5pm too early?  I can see how having a later limit would be more difficult for large residential buildings (even though they create the biggest trash piles), but it would be nice to see (and smell) less leaky trash bags on a pleasant stroll.

More on the Explosion

Many of you have probably walked by the explosion scene by now, but in case you haven’t, here it is:

CO2 explosion on washington ave at lafayette

No wonder it was so loud!  The sidewalk was completely shattered from below!

Thanks to all the readers who responded, especially in the immediate aftermath.  Many of you have expressed your frustration at not being able to find any news about this, so I’m glad I was able to at least create a space to share information.

Reader David also noted that here may have been two additional explosions on Classon at Myrtle-Willoughby yesterday (via Gothamist Labs).

Is this a common occurence?  The blast was loud and frightening on Friday night.  The authorities seemed to know in advance that it would happen — firetrucks were lining Washington immediately afterwards.  But still.  Someone walking past could have been seriously injured.  It doesn’t seem fair that there was no communication with the neighborhood from ConEd, etc, aside from the residents whose homes had to be searched before and after the blast.