Park Slope

Our Schools Are Too Hot To Learn!

On too many days, in over 10,000 classrooms (about 25%), it is simply #TooHotToLearn. In those rooms, rising temperatures have made it unbearable on an increasing number of hot days in May, June, September, and October. Students and teachers report sweltering classrooms. Some have reached 100 degrees. In that heat, students experience headaches, dehydration, and are unable to focus. Students with asthma can’t even safely attend. 

How can we expect teachers to teach, or students to learn? Read more »

Agreement Reached for Neighborhood Supermarket & Affordable Housing at 5th Avenue Key Food Site

Avery Hall Investments and Community Organizations Sign "Cooperation Agreement" for 120 5th Avenue. Elected Officials send letter to HPD and DCP expressing support for agreement and modifications to the Baltic Street Urban Renewal Plan.

Park Slope, Brooklyn - Avery Hall Investments (AHI) and 10 community organizations have come to an agreement on a proposal to modify the Baltic Street Urban Renewal Plan, which will allow the redevelopment of 120 5 Read more »

Blizzard Advisory: What You Need to Know

It looks like Winter isn’t ready to let go of us yet. A major winter storm is heading our way -- a final parting shot from the season as we head into Spring. Late tonight until tomorrow evening will see about 16-20 inches of snow with worst case scenarios seeing up to 24 inches. Plus, strong gusts of wind.
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88 Prospect Park West Fire

I have been doing a lot of communicating about troubling developments at the national level, but today I am writing to share about an incident closer to home. This past weekend, a fire broke out in the basement of 88 Prospect Park West, destroying four apartments and temporarily leaving the building without hot water, electricity and plumbing. For now, none of the residents can return to their homes. Read more »

Still and always, grateful

Some years, gratitude is closer to the surface. Some years, it takes a little more digging.

Four years ago, as Thanksgiving came, we were recovering from a natural disaster.

Hurricane Sandy had taken the lives of loved ones, and battered our city. There were 500 nursing home evacuees living on the drill floor of the Park Slope Armory. But we found – no, together, we made – a “paradise built in hell” (the title of a brilliant book by Rebecca Solnit, about the extraordinary communities that arise in disaster). With food, music, art, volunteers, bathroom-cleaning, doctors, donations, smart organizing, love, and a deep sense of purpose, we turned that Armory into a place (as described by evacuee Miriam Eisenstein-Drachler) of “courtesy, gentleness, and goodness beyond description.” Even if it could not hold back the hurricane, she said, “it makes one feel more secure and very, very grateful.”

Today, as Thanksgiving comes, we are trying to recover from a political disaster. While the lives lost and damage done by Hurricane Sandy cannot be directly compared, the experience of loss for many of us is still real. Not just that we lost an election, though that will have profound consequences. What feels especially painful to me today is the risk that we’ll lose a vision that we’ve been so proud to hold up for our kids – of a country called to its best self, rooted in compassion, embracing difference, with a real belief (even when we don’t make it real) that everyone deserves a more equal chance across all our lines.

That very dream, and the effort to make it real, provoked a sharp back-lash (a “white-lash”, as Van Jones rightly called it). At this moment, it seems easier to mobilize the darker, more closed, more resentful, sides of humanity – rather than the hopeful, open, embracing ones. I’m afraid, honestly, about what that means for being human.  

Still and always, gratitude is a critical part of the way forward. Not as a way of “feeling better” (although gratitude turns out to be good for your health). And not only because bitterness can consume us (although John Lewis reminds us that hearts full of love will do a lot better to sustain us for a long-term struggle). But also because gratitude for what we do together, for what we can’t do alone, for the ways we need each other, is at the heart of creating an inclusive community. “Organized compassion” is not only how we fight but what we are fighting for.

So, in that spirit, here’s some of what I am so deeply grateful for, still and always: Read more »

Saving our supermarket: great news about the 5th Avenue Key Food site

Last year, our community received a real jolt, when we learned that a developer planned to demolish the 5th Avenue Key Food, North Park Slope’s main supermarket, and replace it with mixed-income housing and new retail.

Residents quickly organized, and more than 400 people turned out to make our voice heard loud and clear: we are not anti-development, but we can’t lose the only large, affordable, community supermarket in our neighborhood. After that meeting, I worked with the Fifth Avenue Committee to convene a strong stakeholder coalition of neighborhood organizations, community leaders, and elected officials – and the developer (Avery Hall Investments, or AHI) agreed to negotiate with us.

On Tuesday night, we announced the results of months of negotiations, and I think you’ll agree that it is a big win for our community: Read more »

Senior discounts (and more) for Park Slopers

This week was the official kick-off for Age Friendly Park Slope a new partnership to make Park Slope a more welcoming community to age-in-place. We launched this project by recognizing 60 small businesses throughout our neighborhood that offer age-friendly shopping experiences. That includes features like accessible entrances, available bathrooms, and in many cases new discounts for seniors. You can read more about this new initiative, and hear from some of the businesses participating in News 12DNA InfoBKLYNER, and Patch.

To see the list of small business that have been recognized, and the discounts being offered download the full brochure here (or scroll down), and keep an eye out for “Age Friendly Park Slope” window stickers at local businesses throughout our neighborhood. Read more »

Some great news about the Pavilion Theater

The Pavilion Theater at the corner of Prospect Park – previously known as the Sanders, and before that the Marathon Theater – has been a site of first dates, family movies, and waiting in lines for blockbusters for over a century (even as it has deteriorated pretty badly in recent years).

So many of us were distressed last year when we learned that our neighborhood theater might be replaced with – what else? – luxury condos. It symbolized the loss of places that make our community, well, a real community. 

So today, I’m happy to pass on some good news: our community’s movie theater will be preserved – and made far better. Nitehawk Cinema (one of the best theater operators in NYC) will convert the entire Pavilion building into a completely renovated 7-screen, 650-seat movie theater (and accompanying restaurant and bar). Read more »

Construction Begins on Park Slope Library Reading Circle and Storytelling Garden

Council Member Brad Lander, Friends of Park Slope Library, Community Members Celebrate External Improvements, New Public Amenities Funded Through PBNYC

Brooklyn, NY—Construction is underway on the new Park Slope Library Reading Circle and Storytelling Garden, Brooklyn Public Library announced today.

The project includes a storytelling amphitheater, community gardening space, paths and planters, a water fountain and more at the historic Carnegie branch. Pending approval by the city’s Public Design Commission and Landmarks Preservation Commission, the garden will also be home to a statue of beloved children’s book character Knuffle Bunny, the creation of author Mo Willems. The statue will be funded by the Friends of Park Slope Library. Read more »