BWRC: Summer and Fall

Welcome back to another academic year.

Save the dates for these Breakfast Talks both 8:30am to 10:00am at CityTech in Room N119:

  • October 24th – Tarry Hum, author of Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn’s Sunset Park
  • November 14th – William Helmreich, author of The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City

During the summer BWRC ran a children’s activity and outreach table at the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s City of Water Day. We engaged about 100 children in an art activity cutting out and decorating cardboard sea creatures found off the Brooklyn waterfront.

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Photos by Citytech Prof. Robin Michals, a volunteer photographer for City of Water Day.

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+ POOL Photos (and news coverage)

Thanks to everyone who came to the +POOL Breakfast Talk on May 9, 2014. Dong-Ping Wong and Carl Persak gave us an enlightening talk followed by an engaging discussion about their innovative, daring, environmentally friendly project.

News 12 Brooklyn was there as well and broadcasted a story about the project, including a brief interview with BWRC director Richard Hanley.

Here are some photos:

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+ POOL Breakfast Talk is May 9th

The BWRC is proud to announce our + POOL Breakfast Talk. The event will take place on Friday, May 9, 2014, from 8:30am – 10:00am, at CityTech (CUNY): 300 Jay Street, Room A632


 + POOL: A proposal for the World’s First Water-Filtering, Floating Pool, along Brooklyn Bridge Park with Carl Persak, naval architect for the project and Dong-Ping Wong, a founding member of + POOL

The goal of + POOL is to build a floating pool in the East River along the Brooklyn Waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park that will filter East River water to be clean enough to swim in. Like a giant strainer dropped into the river, + POOL would make it possible for everybody to swim in clean river water right here in NYC. + POOL is designed to filter the very river that it floats in through the walls of the pool. The layered filtration system will incrementally remove bacteria and contaminants to ensure nothing but clean, swimmable water that meets both city and state standards. No chemicals, no additives, just natural river water.

Presently the + POOL is monitoring water quality to prototype a filtration system. The +Pool could be open in the East River along Brooklyn’s Waterfront as soon as 2016.

Carl Persak is a principal for Persak & Wurmfeld and has more than fifteen years of engineering, naval architecture and design experience. He holds a Professional Engineer’s license in New York and is a graduate of Webb Institute where he also teaches.

Dong-Ping Wong is a partner at Family, a design firm based in New York City with a focus on productive civic and cultural architecture. He earned his Masters of Architecture from Columbia University and his Bachelor’s from UC Berkeley.


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Sunny’s Renaissance

Richard Hanley (BWRC), James Reid (CityTech), "Sunny" Balzano and his wife Tone (Sunny's Bar) gather after the screening of "Sunny's Rennaissance"

Richard Hanley (BWRC), James Reid (CityTech), “Sunny” Balzano and his wife Tone (Sunny’s Bar) gather after the screening of “Sunny’s Renaissance”

On March 13, 2013 we filled a room to capacity for a showing “Sunny’s Renaissance: Raw Hospitality on the Waterfront” for our preBar series. James Reid (Hospitality Managment) presented his documentary about the history and rebirth of Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook following Superstorm Sandy.

The warmth of Sunny and his eclectic bar shown through quite palpably in the documentary, which made it all the better when Sunny and his family made an unscheduled appearance at the end to say hello and answer questions.

Thanks to James, Sunny, Tone and many others for such an enjoyable evening with the BWRC!

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Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global – Again? Conference a Success

The BWRC and UTRC’s Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global–Again? was a great success. Thank you to everyone who came.

Here are photos of the event by Eva Zelarayan, courtesy of CityTech’s Facility Commons, and the BWRC’s Jeremiah Cox:

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Speakers and Panelists for BWRC’s Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global—Again?

The speakers and panelists from the 2014 Conference: Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global–Again?


Panelists: Is the Brooklyn Waterfront Once Again Global? If so, How and Why? 

Looking forward to seeing everyone on March 21st at Brooklyn Borough Hall!
Eventbrite - Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global - Again?

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Save the Date: BWRC’s Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global—Again? Conference is March 21

BWRC save the date 2014

The BWRC and UTRC are pleased to announce the date and topic of our Spring Conference:

Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global – Again?

Friday, March 21, 2014
8:30am to 12:30pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall’s Old Court Room
209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn waterfront has played an important role on the global stage. In the early 19th century it was a processing destination with complicity in the global slave trade for raw commodities such as sugar, coffee, and tobacco. In the early 20th century it became an industrial center for manufacturing, warehousing and export distribution. Then, in the 1960s it suffered a huge decline in jobs, economic vitality and global reach. Today there has been rejuvenation but the commerce that has returned to the Waterfront is different yet again.
·Are these new jobs once again placing Brooklyn on the global stage? How?
·In what ways is the Brooklyn waterfront having a global reach?
·How is that global reach similar and different from what it once was?

Eventbrite - Has the Brooklyn Waterfront Gone Global - Again?
Come to the conference to find out!

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Mark Noonan presents reasearch on Brooklyn Accents and the Paradox of Ambition in the Works of Arthur Miller and Norman Mailer

On November 26, CityTech English Professor Mark Noonan gave a talk titled Brooklyn Accents and the Paradox of Ambition in the Works of Arthur Miller and Norman Mailer as part of the BWRC’s preBar Series.

Prof. Noonan discussed his paper published in the Fall 2013 issue of The Mailer Review. Some of the Brooklyn Residences referenced in the presentation can be found here.

Photos from the Event:

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“This Guy’s Never Going Anywhere”
– Norman Mailer famously quipped about Arthur Miller when they were neighbors at 102 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights in the late 1940s.

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Construction VP Recounts City’s First-of-its-Kind Post-Sandy Repair Program

Shortly after Superstorm Sandy hit, New York City piloted a program to offer free government assistance to thousands of homeowners who lost their heat, power, and hot water. Between November 2012 and March 2013 more than 11,o00 homes were restored throughout the city. In Brooklyn the repair work was done by Skanska’s Heavy Civil Construction Group.

Larry Gillman, an Operational Vice President for Skanska offered an intimate look at this program recounting how his team raced the approaching winter, then worked throughout the winter to restored electricity, heat and hot water to more than 3,000 Brooklyn waterfront homes. Gillman shared the obstacles, problems, and triumphs of this under-told story at a November 8 Breakfast Talk at the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center.

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Larry Gillman to be November 8 Breakfast Speaker

A little more than a year after Superstorm Sandy, on Friday, November 8, 2013, from 8:30am – 10:00am, at CityTech (CUNY): 300 Jay Street, Room N119, BWRC will present:

“NYC Rapid Repair/Skanska – Helping our Neighbors in Brooklyn!”
with Larry Gillman, Vice President – Operations, Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc.

Larry Gillman

Following Superstorm Sandy, Larry Gillman was given the responsibility of leading Skanska’s team of approximately 500 supervisory and craft personnel in helping Brooklyn residents recover from the storm’s flooding as part of the NYC Rapid Repair Program. The free, rapid repair program helped residential property owners affected by Superstorm Sandy make emergency repairs. These limited emergency repairs allowed residents to stay in their homes while they made more permanent repairs and finishes. Emergency repairs included permanent or temporary restoration of heat, power and hot water, and other limited repairs that protected homes from further significant damage.

Larry Gillman is an Operational Vice President for Skanska’s Heavy Civil Construction Group based in New York City. In his more than 25 years in the construction industry, Mr. Gillman has worked on heavy civil/infrastructure projects ranging from suspension bridge rehabilitation to sewerage treatment plants, subway stations to power plants. Larry is the son of an oil burner serviceman from Brooklyn and spent time with his father servicing heating systems in the same Brooklyn neighborhoods that he was called on to help repair as part of the Rapid Repair program.

Free and Open to the Public.
Support provided by Title V: A Living Laboratory


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