(new street trees planted up and down St. Marks Place, many of which are blooming cherry trees, which will look like this come springtime and this in the summer)
Links week (aka finals week) continues on ILFA, with a nod to the new trees on St. Marks (as mentioned in the previous batch of links, below). St. Marks between Franklin and Classon has been an interesting block to watch in the ongoing development/gentrification of Crown Heights (something IFLA covered last January - it's interesting to look back and see how much has happened in the intervening year). A relatively unlovely block by neighborhood standards, it's nonetheless attracted substantial and wide-ranging investment from public and private sources alike. The newer wing of the former Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn (which admittedly lacks some of the charm and majesty of the facades facing Prospect and Classon) was completely renovated as rentals, attracting a laundromat, a diner, and Compare Foods to the complex (two years ago, that building had almost no windows, and the current Compare Foods location was home to a pair of vociferous guard dogs). Across the street, the city's St. Marks Gardens project is almost complete, and a halfway house is moving in to the former daycare center (as reported at the CHCA meeting). The ISHI condo project, renamed Mark West, seems to be attracting some renewed interest, and crowds still gather at the Imperial Bikers Motorcycle Club on Saturday night and the Apostolic Church on Sunday morning. There's no verdict to declare yet, of course, as the area is most certainly "in transition," but the range of investments suggests the possibility, at least, of a continued coexistence.
- For a broader, longer look at change in Brooklyn, check out Kay Hymowitz's piece in City Journal.
- The NYPD are in trouble after officers took to Facebook to bash West Indian Day parade-goers back in September. The chatter came to light after it was used (no word on if it made an impact) in the acquittal of a Brooklyn man charged with gun possession at the 2010 parade.
- Over on Rodgers Avenue, police were in better form, pulling a worker to safety after the scaffolding he was standing on collapsed, leaving him dangling from a rope (scary stuff, glad he's safe!).
- Prospect Heights Patch has an interesting article about the gerrymandering of Congressional Districts, and how it could affect representation in Crown Heights.