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Around Brooklyn: Testing to reach public housing citywide

April 23, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Testing to reach public housing citywide

The Big Apple’s public housing tenants will finally get a much-needed boost battling the coronavirus pandemic as state officials promised to deliver face masks, hand sanitizer and provide more testing, according to the New York Post. “We have a responsibility to get the assistance we need to people in low-income communities,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Among the housing projects that will receive access to COVID-19 testing will include Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, Breevort Houses in Brooklyn, Red Fern Houses in Queens, Edenwald and Highbridge Houses in the Bronx and several others. An at-home health care provider, Ready Responders, will provide the testing.

Crowds swell at local food pantries

Actors, writers, musicians, grad students and artists are now being seen at food pantries, according to the New York Post. City Harvest, an organization that delivers food to more than 250 organizations, says it delivered 6.6 million pounds of food last week. “Before the virus, we’d see the same faces, but now you see new ones every week, especially people with young children,” a spokesperson said. As of last week, 791,000 people had applied for unemployment insurance. Kumbe, a woman from the Ivory Coast with two children, lost her job last week and started patronizing the soup kitchens. “Before,” she told the Post, “I had a job. Now, I don’t have anything.”

McGolrick Park sign vandalized with racist graffiti

A sign in McGolrick Park in Greenpoint was vandalized on Friday by a man who wrote out a racist conspiracy theory, according to Greenpointers, a local blog. The man was described as having wispy gray hair and wearing a beanie and blue mask.

Longtime owner of fruit store dies at 95

John Cortese, 95, owner of Golden Gate Fancy Fruits in Marine Park, recently died, according to Untapped New York. The store, which opened in 1939, looks like it did 80 years ago. When visitor would enter, Cortese would smile and them and say, “You’ve just stepped into 1939.” His grandson, also known as John, said, “We have lost a national, local and personal hero. His spirit, love and smile will live on in all of us. He also served in Belgium and France during World War II, helping to identify landmines.”

New building slated for Commercial St. in Greenpoint

Permits have been filed for a 22-story mixed-use building at 33 Commercial St. in Greenpoint. The lot, located between 7 Bell Slip and the future Box Street Park, is lose to the G train’s Greenpoint Avenue subway station. Guy Morton of Park Tower Group is listed as the owner behind the application, according to New York YIMBY. The building will have 374 residences, most likely rentals. Handel Architects is listed as the architect of record, New York YIMBY said.

Permits filed for hotel on Empire Boulevard in Crown Heights

Permits have been filed for a five-story hotel building at 169 Empire Blvd. in Crown Heights, according to New York YIMBY. The site, located between Bedford Avenue and Rogers Avenue, is two blocks west of the 2 and 5 trains’ Sterling Street subway station. The proposed 60-foot-tall development is slated to have 86 rooms. Nehalkumar Ghandi is listed as the owner behind the applications, and Michael Kang Architect is listed as the architect of record, according to New York YIMBY.

Famed Brooklyn steel pan musician dies

Martin Douglas, who set the tone for steel-pan Brooklyn, recently died at age 71. Douglas, in an interview several years ago, said he ran around “pan yards” as a child and would later practice into the night. Later, his family moved to Port of Spain and he began playing with a professional group, the Starlift Steel Orchestra. After an economic downturn in Trinidad and Tobago in 1986-87, he came to the United States. In addition to pop and calypso music, he also played gospel music with his troupe.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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