Brooklyn Today January 7: L-Train Reprieve Could Mean End of Lower Rents in Williamsburg

The Lede

Happy Monday! A taxidermy studio thrives in Greenpoint, a dog shuts down the subway on the Williamsburg Bridge, and a Gerritsen Beach woman dies in a fiery crash. Plus, we look back at Brooklyn’s 2018 landmarks, a former Mexican drug trafficker testifies against El Chapo, and backers of the BQX praise Amazon’s potential arrival in Queens. Finally, a medical marijuana dispensary opens in Downtown Brooklyn, the L-train reprieve could mean the end of lower rents in Williamsburg, and we recommend the hottest restaurants in the borough this month.

Imprint

Model Emily Ratajkowski graces the latest cover of ICON.

The Rundown

ONLY IN BROOKLYN: A TAXIDERMY STUDIO THRIVES IN GREENPOINT

Many words come to mind when one thinks of Greenpoint: pierogies, condominiums and film studios to name a few. But there’s one more word to add to that list: taxidermy. On the second floor of an industrial sheet metal building lies Brooklyn Taxidermy, a studio filled with dozens of taxidermied animals. The workshop is owned and operated by Amber Maykut, a former special exhibitions intern at the American Museum of Natural History. The studio is filled with a wide-range of animals for sale, including framed fruit bats, foxes and the head of an American bison. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

RAPE ACCUSER’S ADMISSION MAY LEAD TO DISMISSAL OF CHARGES AGAINST EX COPS

A Brooklyn woman who reported that two former cops sexually assaulted her while she was under arrest may face perjury charges if she testifies during trial, said lawyers for the alleged rapists. On New Year’s Eve, attorneys for ex-NYPD Detectives Eddie Martins and Richard Hall filed their final request to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun to dismiss the indictment against their clients and present “truthful and accurate evidence” to another grand jury. Hall, 34, and Martins, 38, are each facing up to 25 years in prison. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

GERRITSEN BEACH WOMAN DIES IN FIERY HIT-RUN WRECK IN TRIBECA

A 57-year-old Gerritsen Beach woman had no chance of escape when her vehicle was struck by a hit-and-run driver, causing it to flip over and burst into flames in Tribeca on Dec. 29. The woman, identified as Amy Phillipson, was pronounced dead at the scene. “We were supposed to be together … on New Year’s Eve — we were going for Italian food at Batista on Avenue N and then to a friend’s house,” said Arlene Brodman, a longtime friend of Phillipson. “We are still in shock.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)

HERE’S A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF BROOKLYN’S 2018 LANDMARKS

Last year, the Landmarks Preservation Commission named four individual landmarks, one scenic landmarks and one historic district extension in Brooklyn. The first individual landmark was the Maurice Lewis House in Sunset Park. The second was the Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh in Williamsburg. The third and fourth were two adjacent buildings of the Hans S. Christian Memorial Kindergarten in Carroll Gardens. The scenic landmark was the Coney Island Boardwalk. The historic district extension added about 288 19th century buildings to the original Boerum Hill Historic District. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

EL CHAPO JURY HEARS TESTIMONY FROM CARTEL COHORT

A former Mexican drug trafficker who once claimed he was a double agent for the DEA took center stage on Thursday against infamous kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” GuzmanVicente Zambada became the latest in a parade of cooperators to testify as government witnesses in the conspiracy case against Guzman. He described the rampant violence and greed that accompanied Guzman’s rise to power atop the Sinaloa cartel. Lawyers for Guzman have sought to portray the cooperators as shady opportunists willing to embellish their client’s involvement in the drug trade to earn breaks in their own cases. (AP via Brooklyn Eagle)

BACKERS OF THE BQX SAY AMAZON HELPS PROVE THEIR CASE

Amazon’s plan has delivered a see-what-we-mean moment for BQX supporters, who contend that commercial and residential development along the waterfront will make the rail system an essential transit link. To buttress the point, Friends of the BQX, a nonprofit organized to support the streetcar proposal, released a new analysis of future commercial-property development along the route. Office space within a mile of the BQX corridor is expected to grow by more than 50 percent, or 20 million sq. ft., over the next decade, the report said. (The Bridge via Brooklyn Eagle)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY OPENS IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN

Brooklyn’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened at 202 Flatbush Ave. across from Barclays Center on Dec. 30. Qualifying patients registered with the state’s Department of Health will find marijuana-derived oils, salves and more. However, those who patronize the store, known as Citiva, will not be able to buy the weed itself under New York’s medical marijuana program. This rule contrasts with other states that allow the sale of marijuana outright. (Brooklyn Daily via Brooklyn Eagle)

L-TRAIN REPRIEVE COULD MEAN END OF LOWER RENTS IN WILLIAMSBURG

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s surprise decision to keep the L train running from Brooklyn to Manhattan on weekdays during tunnel repairs has been cheered by North Brooklyn landlords and may signify the end of rental discounts in the neighborhood. In Williamsburg, rents fell 1.5 percent in anticipation of what was planned as a 15-month shutdown. “This is a major wow for us,” Carey Larsen, a Citi Habitats broker said. “I can’t think of anybody happier to hear this than property owners and real-estate brokers.”(WSJ via Brooklyn Eagle)

MISSING DOG ON WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE SUBWAY TRACKS IS RETURNED TO HIS OWNER

A dog that was missing since Dec. 30 wreaked havoc by running around on the J-M-Z tracks on the Williamsburg Bridge last week, but is now back with its owner. Subway riders were angry because their trains were stuck on both sides of the bridge for more than an hour while MTA crews investigated. Some riders, unable to wait, reportedly relieved themselves in between the cars. One tweeter wrote, “People are now trying to pay each other for cigarettes. It takes an hour and a half and one dog for a New York subway to convert to prison rules.” (Gothamist via Brooklyn Eagle)

Staff Picks

LONG READ

Hitler once sued an American writer, and a U.S. federal court sided with the Nazi dictator. Yes, you read that correctly. (via Medium)

ANOTHER LONG READ

“Lost in the Valley of Death: Justin Alexander went searching for higher meaning. No one expected the quest to end in a search for his body.” (via Outside)

EAT

From Cobble Hill to Park SlopeBed-Stuy to Williamsburg, here are Brooklyn’s hottest restaurants this month. (via Eater)

CARTOON

The “Bird Box” challenge is also a convenient way to avoid the news(via The New Yorker)

NATIONAL BULLETIN

A Miami police officer kicks a suspect handcuffed on the floor…Nirvana sues Marc Jacobs…And seven people, including five children, die in a Florida car crash(via CBS News, Pitchfork and USA Today)

FOREIGN FLASH

A cargo ship loses 270 containers in the North Sea…Half of all cars sold in Norway in 2018 were electric…And a Chinese rover explores the far side of the moon. (via DW, Quartz and NYT) 

ROYAL WATCH

Queen Elizabeth ‘reached her limit’ with Meghan and Kate’s feud” (via news.com.au)

EAGLE SPORTS

Could the Nets sign Kristaps PorzingisNot likely.(via Nothin’ But Nets)

MILESTONES

Happy birthday to Nicolas Cage, David Caruso, Katie Couric, Brett Dalton, Eric Gagne, Erin Gray, Lewis Hamilton, Kenny Loggins, Rand Paul, Jeremy Renner, Alfonso Soriano, John R. Thune and Jann Wenner!