Brooklyn Boro

Laurels & Darts

May 1, 2013 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Laurels: To Neil Calet & Promenade Gardeners

Neil Calet, retired advertising executive and now a community benefactor, may be considered the ‘Godfather’ of the Promenade Gardens. Our pages have recently carried reports of how he spear-headed the creation of a plan to revive the gardens—indeed, to save them—when NYC Parks Department cutbacks first became severe.  And the Promenade Gardeners’ good work seems to encourage, and certainly reflect, private efforts. Strolling to the Promenade, visitors pass the colorful plantings in front of 65 and 57 Montague Street –just two of dozens of spirited private gardens that give pleasure to the public.

Below is some research Neil kindly provided to back up our universal feeling, maybe suspicion: something along the lines of “By Golly, plants and flowers make me feel good.” Of course, science tells us that trees and plants eat carbon and give off oxygen….what more do we need to know?

Living green is almost as good as marriage.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Living in a greener area is good for your mental health.  That’s one of the conclusions drawn from a study of 5,000 U.K. households and 10,000 adults as they moved from gray cities to more verdant ones across England.  Dr. Mathew White and colleagues at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health found that people reported less mental distress and higher “life satisfaction” when living in greener areas.   In fact, the positive impact on well-being was roughly equal to 1/3 of the impact of being married. (Try to figure that one out.)  What’s more, 94% of the respondents who took part in outdoors “green exercise” said it benefited their mental health.  

The volunteers at the Promenade Garden Conservancy agree.  They spend their Tuesday mornings on the Promenade weeding, mulching, composting and pruning among like-minded neighbors and leave with more limber bodies and refreshed minds.  You should try it.  Join them on the lawn behind the Pierrepont St. playground at 9:30 a.m.  If you can’t be there, please consider supporting the Promenade gardeners with donations that will help buy new plants for a greener and happier community.

To join the Promenade Garden Conservancy volunteer gardeners on Tuesday mornings or make a donation to the effort, contact [email protected] or call the Brooklyn Heights Association at 718-858-9193


For further information, contact Koren Volk at 718-624-6943, or [email protected] 

– Neil Calet

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Darts:  To Some Unnamed (For Now) Violators

Traffic in Historic Districts often needs calming, but it must flow. The first violators in Brooklyn Heights are the sanitation truck drivers, both public and private, who refuse to pull over into an open space to load garbage. We understand that their job is critical, but we would appreciate more drivers having the courtesy to pull over when possible and let traffic pass when they are loading from the sidewalk.  (Readers who want to avoid confrontation with drivers of big trucks may send us the tag number or a phone-grab visual.) Particularly when there is a space, such as hydrant, in which to pull for loading, and a driver still sits in middle blocking traffic, let us know WHICH truck : email to our parent company, [email protected].

Second violator who should be exposed: the pass-through commuter who speeds recklessly along Hicks or Clinton to reach parts unknown.  Even when they encounter the traffic-calming curb cuts, like the one at corner of Joralemon, they speed AWAY in road rage when the traffic light changes. These reckless drivers – feckless citizens – need to know that someone has taken their license plate number. When you see it, send it: again, [email protected].

Maybe it’s time for some official warning signs on Traffic Calming at the blocks entering the historic district. Then this newspaper need not feel guilty about publishing names of violators. Meanwhile, we’ll make a little list.

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