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Around Brooklyn: Gounardes begins quest for second term

February 21, 2020 Editorial Staff

Gounardes begins quest for second term

On Sunday, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst-Marine Park) launched his bid for a second term as a Republican challenger emerged to take him on, according to the Brooklyn Reporter website. That opponent is Vito Bruno, who ran unsuccessfully for borough president in 2017. Gounardes told the Brooklyn Reporter that he was proud of his legislation that increased the number of speed cameras in New York City school zones as well as other measures that were passed by the Democratic majority in Albany. Bruno owns AM/PM Entertainment Concepts, a company that books concerts and produces events for superstars like Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears.

Cameras mounted on Brooklyn express buses

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If you’re blocking the express bus lane on Utica Avenue, get ready to be stopped by police, Patch warned. New cameras mounted on B46 Select Bus Service buses will help cops find motorists who block, drive in or otherwise obstruct dedicated bus lanes, MTA officials said. The measure — which exempts drivers who enter the lane to access a parking spot or to turn — hopefully will speed up rides for the 35,000 straphangers who use the route daily, they added. Speed on Manhattan’s similar M14 bus route reportedly jumped 55 percent after the MTA installed the cameras to monitor the corridor.

Bed-Stuy leads Brooklyn nabes in real estate sales

The number of property transactions in Bedford-Stuyvesant outpaced those in other Brooklyn neighborhoods in 2019, a new study by Ariel Property Advisors found. Bed-Stuy, Bushwick and Crown Heights together accounted for 21 percent of all sales across the borough, said the study, as quoted in Patch. These 188 transactions accounted for $875 million in sales. Still, in dollar amounts, they were less than Park Slope, Downtown Brooklyn or Williamsburg. The report did not include city transactions, internal sales, notes and ground leases, Patch said.

Yankees chef to open Cuban-Asian restaurant

Ricardo Cardona, a former official chef of the New York Yankees, is teaming up with colleague Carlos Letona to open Aura Cocina, a Cuban-Asian fusion restaurant coming to 315 Meserole St. in East Williamsburg next month. Cardona told New York Eater that he was inspired by recent visits to Thailand and Japan, where he found many similarities between the food there and Latin-American cuisine. The décor was inspired by 1950s Havana mixed with the industrial vibe of the neighborhood. Dishes include spring roll with oxtail, jalapeño with fresh mango, churros with ginger and dulce de leche, and churrasco steak with chimichurri and hoisin sauce, Eater said.


BQX meeting set for Bushwick Inlet Park

The New York City Economic Development Corp. and the city’s Department of Transportation are hosting a series of public workshops in Brooklyn and Queens for the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX). The next workshop, at Bushwick Inlet Park, 85 Kent Ave., Williamsburg, will take place on March 3 at 6:30 p.m. The workshops will provide an opportunity to learn about and discuss the BQX planning work that’s been done to date.

Exterior work proceeds on new Williamsburg tower

Installation of the white terracotta exterior of the Dime, a 23-story mixed-use building at 209 Havemeyer St., is moving along quickly, according to New York YIMBY. The project also includes the refurbishment of the nearby Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh, a city landmark. The new structure is designed by Fogarty Finger Architecture and developed by Charney Companies and Tavros. It will include 177 rental units and retail space. 

This equipment didn’t fall off a truck

The NYPD is looking for two men wanted in connection with a string of 12 robberies in which nearly $50,000 worth of construction equipment was stolen from commercial trucks in Brooklyn and Queens, according to qns.com. Police said that from Jan. 11 until Feb. 11, the pair drove a U-Haul van up to parked vehicles containing construction tools and equipment, took the equipment and left. While most of the robberies were in Queens, two took place in Brooklyn. In the first incident, on Jan. 11, the thieves took around $5,200 worth of construction equipment from in front of 3516 Flatlands Ave. On Jan 14, the men stole approximately $2,200 worth of equipment from in front of 2807 Kings Highway and damaged the truck they were robbing. 

Brooklyn students compete in b-ball tournament at Aviator

Brooklyn students, including 200 from elementary schools, are competing in the three-versus-three basketball tournament at the Aviator Sports and Event Center. The tournament is being sponsored by nonprofit New York Edge, a provider of after-school activities. The four-day tournament also incorporates time to teach the participating students about healthy habits. The students got advice from professional athletes, including former Knicks power forward Larry Johnson.

Roman-style trattoria opens in Bed-Stuy

Michael Schall, chef Michele Baldacci and manager Rocco Spagnardi, who already have restaurants in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Clinton Hill, have opened a new Roman-style trattoria known as Bar Camillo. According to New York Eater, highlights include thin pinsa pizzas and several baked specialties including cacio e pepe. The restaurant is located at 333 Tompkins Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

New kids’ soccer club established in Bay Ridge

The Bay Ridge Soccer Club is one of its neighborhood’s newest sports programs, and its director of operations, Rodolfo Amoresano, wants to bring kids together with the sport, according to the Brooklyn Reporter website. The program has been open for just a few months and has already had an impact on its members, kids born from 2004-2016. “The basic idea is to use soccer as a way to develop better character and to make kids happier, healthier, stronger,” Amoresano said. The program is currently sponsoring clinics, after-school programs and a year-round soccer club program, the Brooklyn Reporter said.

City plans to appeal on Fort Greene Park

The city’s Law Department plans to appeal a state judge’s ruling that ordered the Parks Department to prove that its plan to renovate parts of Fort Greene Park doesn’t require a state environmental review, the Brooklyn Paper said. State Supreme Court Judge Julio Rodriguez III had ordered the agency to produce evidence that its $10.5 million park plan, which would include destroying 83 trees, wouldn’t have a significant impact on the park. Friends of Fort Greene Park, a local advocacy and support group, sued the Parks Department in April, claiming that it was trying to bypass the State Environmental Quality Review Act by classifying the project as routine maintenance. 

Transportation group seeks revamp of Flatbush Avenue

Transportation advocates are developing a plan to remove some auto lanes from Flatbush Avenue and replace them with bicycle and bus lanes, according to the Brooklyn Paper. “It’s like a highway,” said Dulcie Canton of Transportation Alternatives. “I avoid it when at all possible.” Dozens of pedestrians and bicyclists have been injured or killed along the stretch during the past five years. The most recent fatality was Luis Garcia, who was crossing the street near Fourth Avenue when a driver hit him, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

Baker closes one store, plans to open another

Fany Gerson’s Dough Doughnuts in Bedford-Stuyvesant is known for its huge doughnuts in colors like pink and gold and exotic flavors ranging from hibiscus to eggnog cream. On Sunday, the store closed, according to The New York Times’ Grub Street. Gerson’s next step is a new bakery, Fan-Fan Doughnuts at 82 Washington Ave. in Clinton Hill, which is set to open this spring. Gerson has a whole new menu of doughnuts planned, many of them incorporating spices and sauces from local Brooklyn makers. Her goal is to make Fan-Fan a welcome place for families and children, she told Grub Street.

Ten-story building to rise on site of Bed-Stuy lot

Permits have been filed for a 10-story building at 122 Sandford St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to New York YIMBY. The lot, which is currently occupied by a decrepit one-story building and an empty lot, is two blocks west of the G train’s Myrtle-Willoughby Avenue station. Yaniv Cohen, under the name Throop LLC, is listed as the owner, and the Stephen B. Jacobs Group is listed as the architect of record. The development would have 132 residences, most likely rentals, as well as 54 enclosed parking spaces.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer. 


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