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Brooklyn Today August 9: The Watchtower Sign Was Illegal, Buildings Department Says

August 9, 2018 Brooklyn Eagle
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THE LEDE: Happy Thursday! The Watchtower sign was illegal throughout its entire existence, we explore some cul-de-sacs in Bay Ridge, and Greenpointhas a secret rooftop oasis. Plus, Brooklyn changes what it means to be a neighborhood restaurant, images of drones appear on North Brooklyn rooftops, and a new waterfront park opens in Greenpoint. Finally, we recommend the 13 best sports bars in New York City, the Cyclones lose again, and Movies With a View takes place tonight in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
IMPRINT: Actor Jeff Goldblum grins on the summer cover of Sharp.

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The Rundown

~WATCHTOWER SIGN WAS ILLEGAL, BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT SAYS:The famous Watchtower sign was illegal for its entire half-century existence. That’s the city Buildings Department’s stunning assertion — and its rationale for why it denied the owner of the former Jehovah’s Witnesses’ headquarters inBrooklyn Heights permission to replace the Watchtower sign atop 30 Columbia Heights. The property’s owner, Columbia Heights Associates, is appealing the decision. As a consequence of this legal battle, the void in Brooklyn’s shoreline scenery that was created by the Watchtower sign’s removal will remain for at least three more months. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~COME SEE CUL-DE-SACS BY THE BAY RIDGE SHORELINE: You can live by the shoreline AND have a Tudor house with cobblestones outside your front door on Shore Court, a Bay Ridge cul-de-sac off 89th Street. It’s oh-so-close to Shore Road, with its views of New York Harbor. And Shore Court is one of the only streets in the neighborhood that is paved with Belgian blocks, as cobblestones are officially called. The semi-detached houses on this dandy dead-end street are half-stucco, half-brick, with timber decorations and steep roofs. To give you an idea of what the houses are worth, 8902 Shore Courtsold for $1.11 million in October. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~KINGSLAND WILDFLOWERS, A ROOFTOP OASIS IN BROOKLYN’S INDUSTRIAL NORTH: Embedded in Greenpoint’s heavily industrial area lies Kingsland Wildflowers roof, a meadow with grass, flowers and sedum plants designed to support urban wildlife. Surrounded by a scrap metal yard, a plastic recycling company, a natural gas plant and the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the 22,000-square-foot rooftop harbors native plants, birds and insects. The green space consists of four green roofs on top of Broadway Stages’ film studios on Kingsland Avenue. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~BROOKLYN HAS CHANGED WHAT IT MEANS TO BE NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT: Brooklyn has changed the concept of the neighborhood restaurant, Bloomberg reported. The site says the transformation results from the rise of a new class of consumers in the areas near Downtown Brooklyn who have high incomes and want something different than what they’ve experienced before. “Thanks to diners’ increasingly sophisticated palates and acceptance of experimental cooking, neighborhood restaurants — broadly taken to be reliable joints with unadventurous menus — are raising their game to previously unconsidered heights,” Bloomberg said. (Bloomberg via Brooklyn Eagle)
~IMAGES OF DRONES ON NORTH B’KLYN ROOFTOPS ARE A MYSTERY TO RESIDENTS: Residents of Bushwick and East Williamsburg have seen a giant image depicting the shadow of a predator drone on the roofs of at least four buildings in the neighborhood, but no one seems to know who put them there. The phenomenon was first noticed in 2016 when Phil Buehler, a local artist, was looking at a Google Maps satellite view of the neighborhood and noticed the shadow of a drone on the roof of 315 Seigel St. At first he thought it might be a real drone, but then he went up to the roof of a nearby building and saw that it had been painted onto the roof but was now painted over.(Bushwick Daily via Brooklyn Eagle)
~NEW WATERFRONT PARK OPENS IN GREENPOINT: One of the waterfront parks in North Brooklyn that the city mandated developers build in return for the right to erect high-rise luxury rental towers along the East River opened to the public this week in GreenpointGreenpoint Landing is a 22-acre residential site and contains two small roads, Blue Slip and Bell Slip off of Commercial Street, which will provide access to the rental towers. “Some have noted that the park isn’t exactly as cozy as earlier renderings might’ve suggested: The benches are dark grey industrial affairs, and the park seems to have quite a few hard edges,” Bklyner said. (Bklyner via Brooklyn Eagle)


Staff Picks:   

LONG READ: Freelance journalist Aaron Cantú was arrested for protesting on Inauguration Day. Despite demonstrating peacefully, he was hit with eight felony charges. About 18 months later, the feds dropped them. Now, he’s opening up about the experience(via Santa Fe Reporter)
ANOTHER LONG READ: Read the feel-good story of a couple who got heart transplants on the same day and then fell in love(via Washingtonian)
DRINK: Here are the 13 best sports bars in New York City, including four in Brooklyn. (via Thrillist)
TRAVEL: “36 Hours in Buffalo” (via NYT)


NATIONAL BULLETIN: Police officers shoot an 11-year-old girl with a taserin Cincinnati…A Texas A&M student poses with an alligator for her graduation photos…And a Houston father kills his two children(via The Cincinnati Enquirer, BBC and USA Today)    
FOREIGN FLASH: More than 600,000 immigrants overstayed their visaslast year…Belarus detains 18 reporters…And an Indonesiasian witch doctor kept a girl in a cave for 15 years. (via USA Today, NYT and The Guardian) 

From not holding hands in public to forbidding starchy foods in Buckingham Palace, here’s a list of antiquated rules that the royal family has to follow. (via MTL Blog)



10:00AM – 2:00PM — Kayaking at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 2. Details.   
12:00PM – 2:00PM — BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech Commons. Details.
12:00PM – 5:00PM — Brooklyn: A New Home, a New Life at Brooklyn Historical Society. Details.
12:00PM – 6:00PM — Free Carousel Rides at Prospect Park. Details.
1:00PM – 6:00PM — Dream Sequence at FiveMyles. Details.
4:00PM — The Drunk Yoga Experience at Our Wicked Lady. Details.   
4:00PM – 7:00PM — Beer Freak Show/Randall Night at Coney Island Brewery.Details.
6:00PM — Movies With a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 5. Details.
6:30PM – 8:30PM — A Midsummer’s Night Steam at Citywell. Details.
7:00PM — Wine Your Waist: Caribbean Movement Workshop at Brooklyn Museum. Details.


EAGLE SPORTS: Perhaps a shift in scenery, news of their multitude of All-Star selections and even a uniform change can help the Brooklyn Cyclones shake off their worst series performance of the summer. When they returned to MCU Park on Coney Island Wednesday, the reeling Baby Bums were doubtlessly still haunted by not one, not two, but three consecutive heartbreaking walk-off losses during their humbling series at Hudson Valley. Two damaging defeats were simply a prelude to Wednesday night’s soul-crushing 5-4 loss at Dutchess Stadium, heretofore known as the Cyclones’ house of horrors. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

Happy birthday to Gillian Anderson, Eric Bana, Amanda Bearse, Jessica Capshaw, Bob Cousy, Sam Elliott, Derek Fisher, Melanie Griffith, Brett Hull, Anna Kendrick, Michael Kors, Rod Laver, Kevin McKidd, Ken Norton Sr., Deion Sanders, David Steinberg and Audrey Tautou!
Brooklyn Today’s editor is Scott Enman. Contact him at[email protected]

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