Brooklyn Today December 18: City’s BQE Plan Could Bring Dangerous Levels of Toxic Pollution to Brooklyn Heights

The Lede

Happy Tuesday! A Brownsville rapist is thrown in jail, more and more Montessori schools are popping up across the borough, and the city’s BQE plan could bring dangerous levels of toxic pollution to Brooklyn Heights. Plus, a Brooklyn author’s novel is the most in-demand book at libraries, renting will begin soon at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s “The Landing,” and we recommend the best places to get steak frites in the city. Finally, a Bushwick izakaya will open soon, and we tell you which neighborhoods are the darkest and brightest in the winter.

The Imprint

Jennifer Lopez graces the January cover of InStyle Australia.

The Rundown

CITY’S BQE PLAN COULD BRING DANGEROUS LEVELS OF TOXIC POLLUTION TO BROOKLYN HEIGHTS

The biggest danger from temporarily replacing the Promenade with the BQE will be invisible and insidious, says Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Garrett says that toxic particulate matter released by the 153,000 trucks and cars that travel the BQE daily could affect the health of residents for years. Garrett cited some of the health data associated with tiny, airborne particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter, known as PM 2.5. The particles are the most harmful urban air pollutant, small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, worsening lung and heart disease. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

MONTESSORI SCHOOLS: WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY BROOKLYN PARENTS SHOULD CONSIDER THEM

Greenpoint Montessori is set to open its doors to the public on Jan. 2. It will be roughly the 20th such school in Brooklyn. “I have been living in Greenpoint long enough to know that the neighborhood doesn’t have that many high-quality options,” Kat Walker, the school’s director, said. In a Montessori school, students of varying ages engage in different activities simultaneously and are encouraged to pursue projects that interest them. Children are also encouraged to go at their own pace, work collaboratively and individually, and spend time working on projects they enjoy. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

BROWNSVILLE PARK CREEP THROWN INTO RIKERS ISLAND

A Brooklyn judge set a $300,000 bail on Sunday for a 40-year-old man who allegedly raped a 20-year-old woman at Betsy Head Park. Jason Lopez was charged with first-degree rape, third-degree sexually motivated robbery and sex abuse for attacking a young woman on Dec. 1 as she was on her way home. Lopez approached the 20-year-old woman around 2:20 a.m. and tried to strike up a conversation. The 40-year-old allegedly grabbed the young woman by the arm and dragged her into the park located near Herzl Street and Dumont Avenue, where he raped her. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

MOM IN TODDLER TUSSLE VIDEO SAYS SHE WENT INTO DEFENSE MODE

A mother who had her toddler yanked from her arms by New York police in a widely seen video said in an interview that she went into “defense mode.” “In my head, I told myself they’re not going to let me leave,” Jazmine Headley told The New York Times. “I was so afraid. I was combative with my thoughts.” The video captured the chaotic scene that unfolded Dec. 7 as officers tried to remove Headley from a crowded Brooklyn social services office, where she had sat on the floor for two hours because of a lack of chairs. (AP via Brooklyn Eagle)

BROOKLYN AUTHOR’S NOVEL IS THE MOST IN-DEMAND BOOK AT NYC LIBRARIES

Brooklyn novelist Jennifer Egan’s “Manhattan Beach,” a historical tale set in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn College and the book’s namesake waterfront neighborhood itself, has topped the list of checked-out adult titles at New York City’s libraries this year. The book was already chosen by city residents for the 2018 “One Book, One New York” program. In addition, Scribner, the novel’s publisher, gave 1,500 free copies to the city’s three library systems – New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library. (WSJ via Brooklyn Eagle)

RENTING TO BEGIN SOON AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK’S ‘THE LANDING’

Builders are now putting the finishing touches on 15 Bridge Park Drive, also known as The Landing, the shorter of two residential buildings at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park., and the rental process is expected to begin soon. While 100 of the 140 units at The Landing are affordable units that will be filled by a lottery, the remaining 40 are market-rate units that start at $3,100 a month for a studio. The renting process for these higher-priced apartments is expected to start next month. (Brooklyn Paper via Brooklyn Eagle)

NEW RESTAURANT COMBINES JAPANESE AND SOUTHERN U.S. CUISINE

The Brooklyn culinary world is awaiting the opening of Teo, a new izakaya in Bushwick, this weekend. The menu is divided into three sections: specialty dishes, yakitori (a type of Japanese grilled chicken) and ramen. At Teo, chef Joaquin Baca seasons Japanese dishes with Southern-style ingredients. For example, the menu includes “okonomiyaki [a type of stuffed savory pancake] with shaved Benton’s ham, Duke’s mayo, smoked tobiko and Otafuku sauce.” (Grub Street via Brooklyn Eagle)

BROOKLYN’S DARKEST, BRIGHTEST WINTER NEIGHBORHOODS RATED

Neighborhoods in or near Downtown and Central Brooklyn make up the majority of those that receive the least sunlight this winter, while most of the sunniest neighborhoods in Brooklyn are near the water and away from the shadows of tall buildings, according to Localize.city. The top five most light-deprived neighborhoods were Brooklyn HeightsProspect Park SouthDUMBODowntown Brooklyn and Brighton Beach. The top five sunniest neighborhoods were Old Mill BasinBergen BeachRed Hook, theBrooklyn Navy Yard and Canarsie(Localize.city via Brooklyn Eagle)

Staff Picks

LONG READ

Three things define Dallas: the Cowboys, the assassination of JFK, and the namesake tv show. “Dallas” was so influential that more Americans watched the “Who Done It?” episode than voted in the Carter-Reagan election. (via Texas Monthly)

ANOTHER LONG READ

“Iraq’s Post-ISIS Campaign of Revenge” (via The New Yorker)

SELF-HELP

From going for a walk to reading, here are 12 things that successful people do on their lunch break(via Business Insider)

EAT

Here are the 15 best places to get steak frites in New York City, including two restaurants in Brooklyn. (via Eater)

NATIONAL BULLETIN

Tumblr bans adult contentColin Kroll, the co-founder of HQ Trivia and Vine, is found dead…And there could be consequences in the development of children who use Alexa. (via GQ, NYT and Thrive Global)  

FOREIGN FLASH

American and Taliban officials meet in Abu Dhabi…A 4,400-year-old Egyptian tomb is discovered…And the risk of heart attacks increases on Christmas Eve, according to a British study(via VOA News, CNN and The Telegraph) 

ROYAL WATCH

“Royal Family Highlights Of 2018 Show That It Was An Amazing Year For Them” (via Romper)

EAGLE SPORTS

Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson watched the Nets let a 21-point lead slip to two and was reminded of the offensive flaws that sent the team spiraling on an eight-game skid a few weeks ago. Needing a spark on the offensive end, Atkinson made sure D’Angelo Russell led the way. Russell scored 32 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 18 and the Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks 144-127 on Sunday for their fifth straight win(AP via Brooklyn Eagle)

MILESTONES

Happy birthday to Christina Aguilera, Josh Dallas, Rachel Griffiths, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, Leonard Maltin, Michael Moorcock, Charles Oakley, Brad Pitt, Keith Richards and Steven Spielberg!