Archive for the tag 'preservation'

Weiner is requesting money to implement long term solutions to Plumb Beach erosion

The Bloomberg administration is pushing a plan to help restore the existing wetlands throughout the city, and the city has released a draft of its strategy to restore the natural environments along New York City’s waterfront.

The initiative originates from a directive signed by Bloomberg in 2009, ordering relevant city agencies to create a strategy to to conserve, protect, enhance, stabilize, restore, and expand wetlands around the city – including those in Jamaica Bay. The intention was to provide City Hall leadership in conserving area of water too small to be protected by current state laws, according to WNYC News Blog.

“In the next three years the city will work with our state and federal partners to invest over $54 million at 17 sites to restore and enhance over 58 acres of adjacent wetlands and habitat,” said Aaron Koch, the senior policy advisor for the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability.

Over the years, many important ecosystems have dissipated, but despite that, New York is still home to many critical natural areas in Jamaica Bay, Staten Island, and along Long Island Sound.With the help of the city, more than 175 wetlands have been created or restored in the last 10 years.

One of the main focuses of PlaNYC, the Mayor’s environment-friendly initiative, are waterways. During a City Council Environmental Protection Committee hearing, Koch said that the city hopes to implement several plans to improve public management of wetlands units.

These include the transfer of more city-owned units to the jurisdiction of the Parks Department for additional preservation. The department has acquired almost 300 acres of wetlands in the past decade.

The NYC Wetlands Strategy Draft has been released to the public on January 18, 2012. The City will accept public comments on this draft strategy through February 18, 2012 at planyc@cityhall.nyc.gov.

Cool picture, right? I thought so, too.

The United Methodist Church of Sheepshead Bay (3087 Ocean Avenue), as previously reported, has swapped contractors and gone forward with a temporarily plan to stabilize the steeples. They began putting in the supports on April 29, and now a series of steel wires sprout out of the steeple, distributing its weight around and holding it in place. Cement has been poured in the yard anchoring the entire system, and a support also leans against the side of the steeple’s base.

We’ve heard from some that they don’t think it’s a particularly elegant solution, but I think it looks kind of cool. And, in the end, it means the church is looking to keep the steeples. Let’s just hope they can raise the money they need to restore them properly and safeguard the structure.

MIB3

Photo by Diana Taft Shumate via Amusing the Zillion

By Howard Simon

PEOPLE OF EARTH! Aliens are here, at Coney Island, and there are people shooting them!

Photo by Howard Simon

No, we’re not talking about early arrivals for The Mermaid Parade, but the ones coming from Hollywood. Not to worry, though, because those Men In Black will be here to protect it, with the man who makes their wardrobe “look good” leading the way.

Filming for Men in Black 3, starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, began filming yesterday in the People’s Playground. As we told you before, they’ve headquartered in the historic Grashorn Building, saving it from potential demolition.

Now Amusing the Zillion is reporting that they’ve gussied up the boardwalk from West 12th Street to Stillwell Avenue for their time-travel twist, giving it a late-1960s look. Amusing the Zillion has more photos and details on that.

We went on location Wednesday to check out the area where the threequel will be shooting from May 2 to 5 and it was mostly calm before the Hollywood storm, except for an equipment truck on Surf Ave across from the Grashorn Building, and some production assistants on the watch. Most of the pink No Parking signs announcing the Men In Black 3 shoot are posted on West 10th Street and running the length of The Cyclone.

Grashorn Building in 1969.

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project (and via Amusing the Zillion)

What more appropriate place in the world is there for the third installment of Men in Black III (MiB III) to be filmed than beautiful and bizarre Coney Island? And who better to save an endangered Coney Island building than Will Smith? (Ed. - Uh… anyone?)

The movie, centered around a top-secret agency that “polices, monitors and directs alien activity on Earth,” will see the return of original cast members Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, as well as Josh Brolin (who will play a younger Agent K, Tommy Lee Jones’ character, in a time travel twist). They’ll be be filming in Coney Island from May 2 to 6, according to a report by Amusing The Zillion, and Coney’s oldest building — the dilapidated Grashorn, on the corner of Surf Avenue and Jones Walk — has also been given a stay of execution from the clutches of Thor Equities.

Amusing The Zillion’s Tricia Vita further notes that construction workers are currently repairing the interior of the Grashorn for use as the crew’s location headquarters, so they’ll be pulling the structure out of the dredges. The Grashorn was erected in the 1880s, but has recently fallen into extreme disrepair and inhabitation by squatters, and was slated for demolition.

Bonus points? A retro ’60s transformation for the film’s time travel scenes will be incorporated into some of the buildings along Surf Avenue, Jones Walk and the Bowery, as well as on the Boardwalk and in Wonder Wheel Park. The film is slated for release on May 25, 2012.

MiB III, time travel, the ’60s and Coney Island? It’s time to whip my hair back and forth in joy.

State Senator Carl Kruger is attempting to prod the mayor to step in and protect Coney Island’s boardwalk businesses, which are being kicked out by the new amusement operator, Zamperla USA.

New York Post reports:

State Sen. Carl Kruger – a longtime critic of the Bloomberg administration’s plans to revive Coney Island – was back on the fabled boardwalk today, this time saying he hopes to work with the mayor to help keep eight longtime boardwalk businesses from having to shut down.

… Kruger (D-Brooklyn), who met the business owners and members of the press, said he wanted to try and broker a deal with Zamperla and the city to save the businesses.

“I think what we are talking about is David taking on Goliath,” said Kruger (D-Brooklyn), on why he wanted to help the underdog merchants.

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by Ryan Maye Handy

A crowd of Coney Island locals gathered on the boardwalk this Saturday to say goodbye to an old friend.

After 76 years, Ruby’s Bar and Grill, the boardwalk bar known for its vintage photograph-covered walls and classic jukebox, was closing for good.

Every October, Ruby’s Bar and Grill shuts down after the summer season. But this year, when Italian amusement park behemoth Zamperla did not renew the lease, Ruby’s owners opened their beloved bar for one last round.

“Today is not a day of mourning. Today is a day of celebration. Let’s celebrate Ruby’s the way Ruby wanted,” said co-owner Michael Sarrel to a crowd of Ruby’s regulars.

Keep reading and view a photo gallery of the Ruby’s rally.

Ruby's Bar & Grill, Coney Island. May 28, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Ruby's Bar & Grill in Coney Island. May 28, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

You’ve probably already heard about the odious decision to show the door to all but two of Coney Island’s boardwalk businesses. Zamperla, the Italian company that leases city properly and runs Luna Park, is single-handedly re-branding Coney Island with more upscale fare.

But the businesses are not going down without a fight. Several got together recently to discuss legal action and at least one, Cha Cha’s, feels crossed after being told his lease would be renewed.

Now they want the public’s vocal support. Fans of Ruby’s bar is asking everyone to sign their petition to renew the boardwalk staple’s lease. And the bar is having a rally and party tomorrow to show the powers that be that they will not go quietly into the freaky night.

From a Ruby’s rep, on the Coney Island Message Board:

NOW ITS TIME TO YELL – GET READY CI PEEPS _ SAT. NOV 6th anytime after 12:30 pm – ? ITS TIME TO RALLY AND LET ZAMPERLA/ RECCHIA/ MARKOWITZ/ CIDC & BlOOMBERG NOW HOW WE FEEL

It may very well be Ruby’s last day of operation, so it’s worth showing up just so you can tell the kiddies you were there for the death rattle, when they tell you they read in school about some amusement park in Coney Island – that place they only know for condos and shopping.

So sign the petition and show up to Ruby’s Bar & Grill on the boardwalk near Stillwell Avenue between 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to show your support and play a role in a tragically historic Southern Brooklyn event!

A c.1896 lantern slide, courtesy of Joseph Ditta. It's the earliest known photo of the plot.

There’s a certain lexical contortion that must be performed when writing a headline to celebrate the anniversary of a historic cemetery. I began the headline with “Happy Birthday,” then figured “happy” was not appropriate. So I went with “morbid.” But then “birthday” sounded way off, so I changed it to “deathday,” but nothing seemed right about that. So I went with “anniversary.”

Although language may bar my ability to create a proper phrase to capture the day, it doesn’t stop facts from being facts. Yesterday marked the 360th anniversary of the first recorded burial in the town of Gravesend – and possibly within the current confines of the Gravesend Cemetery, according to Gravesend historian Joseph Ditta.

(Read our August 2009 Q&A with Ditta about Gravesend’s history and preservation.)

The burial of the unnamed infant son of William Wilkins took place on August 18, 1650. This first interment occurred seven years after Gravesend was settled by former English subjects under Lady Deborah Moody on land granted to them by the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam. It took eight more years for the graveyard to take on more officious boundaries, when a resident offered 20 guilders – Dutch gold coins – to fence in the southwest corner of the village, which constituted the cemetery.

But if you go today, don’t expect to see the Wilkins baby’s tombstone. The earliest surviving stone marker is marked 1724, and the oldest legible stone dates to 1768. Still, that’s mighty old.

And speaking of going today, your opportunity is coming. Locals are lucky to have the knowledgeable (and eminently friendly) Joe Ditta presenting a pre-Halloween tour of the area on Sunday, October 24 at 11:00 a.m.

The tour will cover more than 250 years of the cemetery’s history, and is filled with all the intrigue reflective of the city’s twisted growth. Hear about murder-suicides, possible poisonings, and the warped burials of Coney Island sideshow freaks.

The tour is being given in conjunction with the Salt Marsh Alliance (based in Marine Park) and its resident History Club. (For information, see http://www.saltmarshalliance.org/ or call 718-421-2021.) Also, check out the Facebook fan page for Ditta’s book, Gravesend, Brooklyn, and the tour’s event invitation.

The original version of this article said the settlers were Quakers. This is incorrect. Lady Moody was an Anabaptist.