Welcome to The Sixth Sense - the monthly newsletter of Brooklyn Community Board 6, serving the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Columbia Street Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook.
What are you passionate about? Here at the Community Board we're most passionate about, well, our communities. We tend to them, we protect them, we nurture them, we have visions for them. In the realm of planning, however, it can be a challenge for citizens to effectively navigate the City's planning process and make a meaningful impact. In part because planning is such a highly specialized field that it can feel like an advanced degree is required just to have an intelligent conversation with a planner. But, also, in part because the City's planning processes have not been significantly re-examined with an eye toward empowering citizens to be more equal partners.
A few common themes keep resurfacing, all of which may suggest the need for more conversation in the area. Arguably, everybody has an agenda when it comes to planning. So naturally the people who benefit the greatest from the existing system, who tend also to be the ones with the most "power" would also be the most reluctant to change. Nonetheless, without an engaged and educated citizenry one thing is for certain. Nothing will change.
To that end, it may be worth giving some thought to the following:
De-emphasize the product and reemphasize the process.
Unless the plan has built-in flexibility to respond to changing economic, social and political climates - which most do not - once the ink dries on plans they stagnate. When people with varied perspectives, interests and agendas begin working together plans become dynamic and representative. Negotiation becomes the primary planning tool with consensus becoming the goal. When groups stop working together missed communication leads to miscommunication, which leads to mistrust and missed opportunities for everyone. The power of planning lies not in the product, but in the process.
Planning is not a short, linear process so why is the planning review process?
Most of the real action takes place upstream, well before the review process, where there's still time to influence the thinking that goes into the planning. By the time a plan is presented for review, it's often too late to influence plans other than marginally. And after a plan has been reviewed by a community at the local level, there's no formal role for the community to play when changes are negotiated downstream by decision-makers. That train has left the station. Communities need to be a part of the conversation when plans are still conceptual; they should also have a permanent seat at the table to help sort out the final details. Disengagement leads to dis-ease.
Planning cannot be a democratic process; if there are winners and losers, everyone loses.
The traditional didactic in planning world compares top-down versus bottom-up planning models. Many disenfranchised bottom-up advocates would like nothing more than to subjugate, a hypocritical outcome if ever there were one. There is another way. Planning should be more co-active. Communities should have a chance to minimize undue impacts while optimizing benefits. Developers should be encouraged to invest in communities and have an opportunity to earn profit. Agencies must be able to factor in area-wide and regional impacts. Government must also ensure that the planning process remain a fair, engaged, level playing field.
Everyone's values matter.
Values are communicated in every planning conversation. Neutralizing judgment would significantly advance planning discussions. Like
the Scorpion and the Frog
- planners, developers, community and government stakeholders will inevitably be true to their nature, even if it may mean that everyone will suffer from their action. The key to moving beyond these irrational outcomes starts with an acceptance that stakeholders' true natures will not be in harmonious alignment and that pious conversion is unrealistic and divisive. With ongoing communication and respect, values can be modulated and mutual goals achieved.
They say if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. I, for one, am very excited to keep this conversation going. So who else is going to kick this can down the road? C'mon, don't be shy.
Stay active and engaged. It's our community!
Enjoy our newsletter, and please let us know what you would like to see in future editions.
P.S. If you like what you see here, please use the "Forward email" link at the bottom of the page to pass this email along to a friend or two. There are over 104,000 residents and thousands of businesses in our district. We'd love it if they would all sign up!
Solarize Brooklyn CB6: Sun for All Kick-off Information Session
Our Solarize Brooklyn CB6: Sun for All Kick-off Info Session was a hit. If you couldn't make it out but are solar-curious visit our partners' websites:
has launched their The
NYC Shared Solar Portal
that connects interested customers with viable host sites built by trusted installers.
Solar One's Here Comes Solar (HCS)
Set up a meeting to get more of your neighbors or friends to go solar with you. Learn more and spread the word!
Going solar is a complex process and new technology, and Here Comes Solar's aim to bring greater knowledge and transparency to the system. The most effective solar groups are ones where everyone knows each other and are self-organized! We are happy to come out to your block association gathering, PTA meeting, or even hang out in your living room and tell your community about this initiative. The greater the number of people in the group, the greater your purchasing power is. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
If you do not know your neighbors or are not comfortable sharing this with others, you can still go solar! Here Comes Solar will make the connections for you. We will connect people geographically and by project type to make as large of a group as possible. The first step is for us assess your home to see what your solar cost savings could be.
Solar Sunday: Park Slope Open Houses
On Sunday May 8th deepen your understanding of solar energy and meet some of your neighbors who are already utilizing the power of the sun!
Participants will tour the rooftop and the basement of select homes to learn more about the installation and equipment associated with solar and have the opportunity to talk to the homeowners about their solar experience.
This event is organized by Here Comes Solar.
*Space is limited to 10 people/session. RSVPs required
**Involves climbing ladders & stairs, and standing on a roof.
Sunday, May 8th, 2016
Park Place between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue
President Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
Windsor Place between 7th Avenue & 8th Avenue
Things to do in the District
Brooklyn Glass Open House, May 7 & 8
May various dates
ArtLab Gowanus is a popup structure on the Whole Foods Esplanade that will host monthly site-specific FREE art workshops. The "lab" is a steel-framed pop-up structure that provides flexible workspace for groups and individuals. Sedums will inhabit the green roof; the floor will additionally feature a watershed mural. The structure thus becomes an educational opportunity itself while it hosts other workshops.Check out the
Gowanus Canal Conservancyâ€™s website
for descriptions, dates and times.
May - September
presents Soñamos Sentirnos Libres : Under Construction, a public exhibition and event series which features the work of Mobile Print Power (www.mobileprintpower.com), a multigenerational collective based out of Immigrant Movement International Corona, in Queens. The collective uses silkscreen printmaking and public projects to engage communities and explore social and cultural situations. May 1- September 5. Location:131 8th St., #4
Wednesday May 4th, 6:30pm
Know Your Rights as a Tenant Workshop. Is your landlord harassing you or letting your building fall into disrepair? Come learn about your rights as a tenant and how you can organize with your neighbors to stay in your home. Dinner and Spanish translation provided at all events. Childcare available upon request. Any questions please call 718-243-9301. Location: Miccio Center 110 W. 9th Street
Thursday May 5, 7-9pm
Court Tree Collective and The Art of Pho
proudly present Everyday Homestyle Vietnamese Cooking with chef Isabelle Nguyen. Isabelle has done numerous Pop Ups in and around Brooklyn, including a few at Court Tree. This is the first time we have collaborated together and we are super excited to do so. Isabelle's style of cooking and clean cuisine is truly an art form. cost: $70
Friday May 6, 2-3pm
New York Methodist Hospital
hosts several free support groups for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The Parkinson's Wellness and Exercise Yoga Class will take place on in the Hospital's Wesley House, Room 6A-6B, located at 501 Sixth Street. For more information and to register for any Parkinson's disease groups or classes (required), please call 646.704.1792.
Saturday May 7, 1-6pm
Three exhibition openings by
Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition BWAC
. 481 Van Brunt (Door 7) in Red Hook. BWAC opens the iron gates of their historic pier gallery in Red Hook for the 24th Annual Spring Pier show with three distinctly different exhibits: Roode Hoek, a celebration of Red Hook's Dutch past leading up its multicultural present; Wide Open 7, a national juried show selected by Metropolitan Museum assistant curator, Beth Saunders; Recycle, juried by Harriet Taub of NYC's Materials for the Arts. The show is open weekends 1-6PM and runs through June 12.
Saturday May 7, 7pm
Cora Danceâ€™s annual Red Hook Prom
. The Red Hook Prom is prom just like you remember, only BETTER. You choose, dress in '80s or '90s style and meet us on the dance floor for an epic battle of the decades. DJ Robert Lux will be there spinning your favorite '80s and '90s throwbacks. The evening features a beauty station manned by Lasha Keller from Elements Hair Studio, performances by Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance students and professional dancers, a silent auction, a photo booth by MVS Studio, and delicious libations and snacks provided by local Red Hook favorites!Location: At South Brooklyn Community High School, 173 Conover Street. Admission is by donation (suggested $100 - minimum $5)
Saturday May 7 & Sunday May 8, 11am - 4pm
Brooklyn Glass Spring Open House
. A weekend of family fun. Watch free live demonstrations in glassblowing, neon and flame-working. On May 7, "Make Your Own" mini workshop. Get a chance to play with some glass yourselves. Fees will apply.You will make your own colorful glass flower, paperweight or heart. Each half hour glass making slot will allow a participant to work one-on-one with our trained glass instructors to make a beautiful glass keepsake.
Sunday May 8, 1:30pm and 5pm
Mother's Day CHiPS Pop-Up Restaurant
to benefit the young moms and babies of the Frances Residence. CHiPS will be serving restaurant-style in the soup kitchen, featuring authentic "grandma-style" Sicilian cuisine from Chef Teresa of Staten Island's famous Enoteca Maria. All profits will go toward the Frances Residence. Limited seating.
Purchase your tickets now!
Saturday May 14, 10-4pm
New York Bike Jumble
is New York City's only bicycle flea market. Vendors come from all over the east coast to sell new and used bikes, new and used bicycle accessories, and anything else bicycle-related. Used bikes run the gamut from $50 'beater' bikes to pricey historic collectible bikes. Attendees also have the rare opportunity to test ride bikes before buying! There are always overstocks, closeouts and once-in-a-lifetime deals on bicycles at the Jumble. It's internet prices without internet shadiness! Old Stone House
Saturday, May 14 Race at 10am
Brooklyn PTA 5K Fun Run/Walk.
Number Pickup begins at 8:45 AM. As many of you know the PTA 5K Fun Run is an important opportunity for families and schools from all over Brooklyn to connect and raise money for public education across the borough! We're still excited for a great event, and hope you can join us Saturday the 14th. Location:Bartel-Pritchard Square, Prospect Park
Saturday Saturday, May 14, 6-10pm
Spring Sing Weekend Karaoke Party with
Friends of Carroll Park.
Our Spring Sing Weekend caps off with Karaoke in the Park! Come join us and show us what you got. In front of the Robert Acito Park House.
Wednesday May 18, 6:30pm
Finding Affordable Housing Workshop. In the Midst of NYC's housing crisis, it is becoming increasingly harder to find an affordable home. Come learn about the causes of the crisis and how to navigate the affordable housing application and lottery system. Childcare available upon request. Any questions please call 718-243-9301. Location: Carroll Gardens Association 201 Columbia Street
Saturday May 21, 10am-5pm
CARROLL PARK FAIR.
It's springtime in Carroll Gardens, and that means it's almost time for our annual Carroll Park Fair. Come by to meet neighbors and elected officials while browsing for housewares, clothes, books, music, antiques, jewelry, furniture, tchotchkes, and everything else under the sun.
Tuesday May 24th, 6:30pm
NYCHA Tenants Rights Workshop. What are your rights and responsibilities as a NYCHA tenant? Come learn about the Red Hook Community Justice Center's Housing Resource Center and the housing court process. Dinner and Spanish translation provided at all events. Childcare available upon request. Any questions please call 718-243-9301. Location: Community Justice Center 88 Visitation Place
Tuesday May 31, 5:30 - 9pm
SBIDCâ€™s Sunset Swing XVI!
Celebrate the Southwest Brooklyn industrial business community. Enjoy open bar, light dinner, and live jazz music at the best networking event in Southwest Brooklyn! Pioneer Works: Center for Art and Innovation. Location: 159 Pioneer Street (between Van Brunt and Conover)Tickets $250-$750
Thursday June 2, 7-10 pm
Based on last year's rousing success,
is back in 2016 bigger and better! Join us to celebrate the arts and artists in the Gowanus neighborhood, AND TAKE HOME ONE PIECE OF ORIGINAL ARTWORK from a Gowanus artist. All while supporting the critical mission of Arts Gowanus to promote, support and advocate for local artists and a sustainable arts community in the Gowanus neighborhood. Enjoy drinks, delicious appetizers, and desserts. Meet artists and art lovers. And support the work of Arts Gowanus. Location:Gowanus Loft
Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc.
supports the work of Brooklyn Community Board 6 in improving the quality of life in the district. Friends seeks to provide planning, advocacy, research and administrative resources to supplement the limited capacities and budget of the Community Board, thus enabling it to properly carry out its City Charter mandated tasks of evaluating the needs of the district and advocating on behalf of its communities.
Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Federal EIN 04-3780020).
General Board Meeting
photo by Bryan Bruchman
6:30pm, May 11
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
All posted meetings are open to the public; however, participation may be limited.
Who's Who at #BKcb6
First Vice Chairperson
Second Vice Chairperson
● Jerry Armer,
● Ariel Krasnow,
● Jerry Armer,
Finance/Personnel & Law
● Richard Bashner,
● Paige Bellenbaum,
● Peter Fleming,
Land Use; Elections
● Glenn Kelly,
● Ariel Krasnow,
● Robert Levine,
● Rick Luftglass,
Budget; Economic Development
● Eric McClure,
● Thomas Miskel,
● Mike Racioppo,
Permits & Licenses
● Mark C. Shames,
● Matthew Silverman,
● Suzanne Turet,
● Robert Underwood,
Assistant District Manager
Special Projects Manager
● Craig Hammerman,
● Sarah N. Phillips,
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden wants to understand the impacts of the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest and how to make it better. If your block has ever participated in the contest, please consider completing
BBG's 10-minute survey
. Questions? Call (718) 623-7209 or email
CitiBike, which is due to expand the NYC Bike Share program here in the district is hiring. Jobs are currently available as drivers, customer service agents and group sales representatives. Seasonal work is also available. Click here for more information.
The Department of Parks & Recreation is looking to hire lifeguards for their 2016 swim season! Parks' beaches open each Memorial Day weekend and are open through Sunday, September 13. Pools are open from late June through Labor Day. Lifeguards work 48 hours each week and first-year lifeguards will earn a minimum of $13.57 an hour, for a weekly salary of over $650.00. Think you're whistle worthy?
Find out how to join
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