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Around Brooklyn: Summer in the City, kids’ performance program, goes virtual

July 9, 2020 Editorial Staff
This is St. Francis Xavier Church with its rectory at left. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Summer in the City, kids’ performance program, goes virtual

Summer in the City, a series of virtual performing arts and culture programs for New York City public school students, is now in session. It’s taking place through Aug. 28, and each of five daily time slots will offer up to 20 interactive virtual programs online. That equates to 500 program hours per week. Among the Bushwick arts organizations taking part are the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center in Bushwick, Time In Children’s Arts Initiative in Greenpoint, Dancewave in Gowanus, Brooklyn Ballet in Boerum Hill, Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park, and The Wyckoff House in Canarsie. Several city agencies are also partners.

Tavern in Heights accused of misappropriating donations

Jack the Horse, a tavern and restaurant in North Brooklyn Heights, was put up for sale in May. Some staffers have accused the restaurant’s owners of misappropriating COVID-19 donations that they say were meant for restaurant employees. Like many other restaurants, Jack the Horse set up a GoFundMe donation page to help support its 25-person staff. Now, three former employees say that they have been struggling for months with the restaurant’s owners to get part of the thousands of dollars that were raised online, according to New York Eater.

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

Some restaurants become ‘general stores’ permanently

When restaurants were asked to close in March, many had to find new and creative ways to survive. Some of them converted to general stores, or small grocery stores. For example, when Felipe Donnelly’s mushroom vendor had extra stock, Donnelly said he’d tried to move it through his restaurant, Colonia Verde in Fort Greene, as a shelf item. This relationship led to similar ones with other sellers. Donnelly is also selling liquor through the store. Fort Defiance, once a Red Hook bar and restaurant, has now become the Fort Defiance General Store, according to Bklyner.

Pols get funding for Brooklyn dock renovations

U.S. Senators from New York Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Rep. Jerrold Nadler, have procured $456,664 in federal funding for infrastructure renovations on the Brooklyn waterfront. In particular, the money will be used to purchase efficient low-emission equipment to support barge operations in Newtown Creek and at the Red Hook Container Terminal. “I’m proud to deliver this federal funding for Newtown Creek and the Red Hook Container Terminal to increase the shipping connectivity in the region,” said Schumer. “The Red Hook Container Terminal is an important economic engine for New York City, and vital to our region’s shipping capacity,” Nadler said.

Lander applauds reopening of child care centers

Councilmembers Brad Lander (D-Park Slope-Gowanus-Windsor Terrace-Kensington) and Deborah Rose (D-Staten Island) recently issued a joint statement applauding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to reopen the city’s child care centers. The move comes after more than a month of lobbying by councilmembers. “As we have said repeatedly, there is simply no way that New York City can successfully rebuild our economy in the months and years to come without accessible and affordable child care for working parents,” Rose and Lander said.

Colton hopeful for improved B1 bus service

Assemblymember William Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst-Bath Beach-Dyker Heights) said earlier this week that he hopes that the changeover to articulated buses on the B1 line will help solve some of the many problems experienced on the east-west line that goes through Southern Brooklyn. He praised the MTA for responding to many of the concerns raised by constituents about the line. “In the past, we have seen many complaints about overcrowding, long delays and bunching on the B1 route. The MTA has heard these complaints and is now trying to resolve these concerns through the use of longer, articulated buses,” he said.

Man killed execution style in Brooklyn park

A 27-year-old man was shot “execution style” in broad daylight at Lincoln Terrace Park in Brownsville on Tuesday, just steps away from tennis courts that reopened on Monday. The homicide came to light around noon, when police from the 73rd Precinct received a notification from inside the park. When they entered the park, they saw the victim dead on a walking path with a bullet to his head and another to his chest. The tennis courts were empty at the time. Police are searching for clues, according to amNewYork.

‘Black Out Day’ supports Black-owned businesses

Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement on Tuesday held “Black Out Day” in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Customers who took part shopped only at Black-owned businesses all day. One of the businesses that benefit from the event was Bklyn Blend, a smoothie shop. One customer, Yoki Brown, said, “I like going somewhere where there are people who look like me and talk like me and know my name.” Further south, on Tompkins Avenue, some stores displayed signs declaring that they’re Black-owned, according to amNewYork.

Tattoo parlors begin reopening

Tattoo parlors across Brooklyn began tattooing customers again as the city entered Phase Three of reopening on July 6, “It was one of the worst things, to have to close your shop and pay rent,” said Leonardo Torres, the owner of Torres Tattoos in Greenwood Heights. The city and state permitted tattoo parlors and nail salons, which had been closed since March, to reopen, provided that they adhere to city and state guidelines. While tattoo artists are used to wearing protective gear, now they must ask their customers to do so as well, according to amNewYork.

Beer garage offers outdoor seating in Park Slope

Marina Charny, the owner of Wild, a Park Slope Italian restaurant, originally planned to use a former garage next to her eatery as a party room. But then she had a different idea: a party hall. Now, the garden at 148 Fifth Ave. is open with outdoor seating for about a dozen drinkers. She and her partner in the venture, Oleg Kaziev, offer 13 local craft beers on top as well as wine, sangria and more. A raw bar and “finger foods” such as chicken wings, pizza and guacamole are also available, according to The New York Times.

Prospect-Lefferts Tudor house goes for $1.735M

A circa-1912 Tudor house that is part of the Chester Court development of matching single-family houses in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens is on sale for $1.735 million. The tiny street, Chester Court, was built by Brooklyn-born architect and builder Peter Collins, after being inspired by a trip to Chester, England. The exterior of the houses is half-brick, half-timber and stucco. It features a wood-burning fireplace, built-in shelves, several stained-glass windows , wainscoting and a coffered ceiling, according to Brownstoner.

NYC job loss called worst since 1970s

New York City, even though it is working toward reopening, is said to be in its worst financial shape since the 1970s, when it almost went bankrupt. Its unemployment rate is about 20 percent, a figure not seen since the Great Depression. In many cases, furloughs have become permanent job losses. Layoffs, which started in March, continued in June as some employers gave up hope of a quick recovery. Wall Street and the big banks seem somewhat isolated from the trend, according to the New York Times.

Bus ridership passes subways

Traditionally, the number of subway riders in the city has dwarfed bus riders. However, since the coronavirus, the positions have been reversed. Average daily ridership in April and May was 444,000 on the subway and 505,000 on the buses. Ever since the city has begun reopening, buses have maintained their lead — in June, there were 752,000 daily riders on the subway and 830,000 on the buses. Many people, fed up with crowding on the subways, feel more comfortable on the buses. Buses also reach into parts of the city where subways don’t go, according to the New York Times.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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