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Next Steps at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

BWRC hosted its first Breakfast Talk of 2019 on March 15th. Last fall, the Brooklyn Navy Yard publicly released an ambitious Masterplan for the future development and growth of its 200 acre-plus campus. Adam Lubinsky, AICP and Managing Principal of WXY Studios, introduced the community to the civic and physical infrastructure that are included in the Masterplan. Once the largest employer in the five boroughs, the Navy Yard was decommissioned in the 1966 by the federal government as an active defense industry site. Although the city maintained the property and leased some low-cost production space to tenants in the following …

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Gowanus in Flux: Planning for Neighborhood Resiliency

           On Friday, November 16th, BWRC hosted a lively discussion on the the future of the Gowanus waterfront. Michelle de la Uz, Fifth Avenue Committee Executive Director, was the first speaker and she outlined the major demographic shifts underway in Gowanus. Most importantly she noted, between 2000 and 2015 much of the neighborhood underwent a major exodus of Latino/a residents in certain Gowanus census tracts; certain census tracts saw a flip from a Latino/a supermajority in 2000 to a majority white tract by 2015. As economic pressures have led to this decrease in the  Latino/a population, …

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November Breakfast Talk: Green Gentrification with Kenneth Gould and Tammy Lewis

    On Friday, November 17th, BWRC hosted a Breakfast Talk featuring Kenneth A. Gould and Tammy L. Lewis who spoke about their book, Green Gentrification: Urban Sustainability and the Struggle for Environmental Justice. BWRC welcomed Gould and Lewis to a full house as they discussed their idea of “Green Gentrification.” Gould and Lewis are professors of sociology at Brooklyn College and professors of sociology and earth and environmental sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center. Together, they took us through a geographical view of the Brooklyn waterfront and explained how Green Gentrification is affecting waterfront communities such as Red Hook …

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February Breakfast Talk: “Shooting” the Brooklyn Waterfront – Two Photographers Talk About Their Work

BWRC presented our first Breakfast Talk of 2017 with photographers Robin Michals and Nathan Kensinger. Robin is an associate professor in the Communications Design department at CityTech while Nathan is a filmmaker and curator who writes for CurbedNY. Both started shooting the New York waterfront in 2007, when residential development was rapidly replacing remnants of the industrial past. Robin’s initial interest in the city’s shoreline was sparked by concerns over sea-level rise. Her first collection of photographs, called Castles Made of Sand documented places that would one day be underwater. Nathan, a native of San Francisco, moved to Brooklyn in …

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Historian David Herlihy Speaks on Bikes and Coney Island

The historian, David Herlihy, came to the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center on October 8. 2015 to present his recent research on the biking craze that hit Coney Island in the 1880s and lasted into the 1930s.  His presentation touched upon the first organized bike ride to Coney Island and the building of America’s first bicycle path which was built along Ocean Parkway and led to Coney Island.  He also recounted the exploits of racers in Coney Island’s velodromes and the Boardwalk act of “Bikers in a Basket.” For his presentation, Mr. Herlihy was presented with a framed photograph of the …

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Eymund Diegel Discusses CSI on the Gowanus Canal

On February 27, 2015 urban planner and citizen scientist Eymund Diegel of the Public Lab gave an insightful breakfast talk on the various CSI techniques and tools he’s used to map and record the environmental history of his neighborhood including the Gowanus Canal. Diegel showed the various rudimentary tools he uses in his research from inexpensive cameras mounted on kites and balloons to using microphones to listen to the sounds of New York City sewer’s and sense where former steams once ran. The data he’s collected has been used to map a range of features from underground and still bubbling …

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Walking New York City’s Waterfront Neighborhoods

Prof. William Helmreich gave the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center a colorful breakfast talk on his experience walking all 6,000 miles of New York City streets that he recorded in his book, The New York Nobody Knows. After he described his travels throughout the city, Prof. Helmreich told stories about his walks along the Brooklyn waterfront. His next book will have him revisiting the streets of Brooklyn for a book tentatively titled The Brooklyn Nobody Knows.

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Tarry Hum Discusses Global Immigration and Development in Sunset Park

On October 24, 2014, Professor Tarry Hum gave a BWRC Breakfast Talk discussing Power Plants, Sex Shops, Industrial Zones, and Open Space: The Politics of a Sustainable Working Waterfront. This talk discussed how globalization has affected the jobs, buildings and people in the neighborhood. This has included the infusion of capital from China to the increasing number of residents from China and Mexico. Also, she detailed how the re-development of Times Square by global corporations resulted in the relocation of the ‘seedier’ Times Square enterprises to industrial sections of Sunset Park. Professor Hum explained how Sunset Park remains one of …

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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 …

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CityTech’s Anne Leonard and Peter Spellane present research on Mapping the Chemical History of the Newtown Creek

On October 17 CityTech’s Anne Leonard (Library) and Peter Spellane (Chemistry)  presented their research on Using Old Maps and New Methods to Discover the Early Chemicals and Petroleum Industries of Newtown Creek in New York City. It was the inaugural event in BWRC’s new preBar series, a way for CityTech faculty and staff to share their research in progress about the Brooklyn waterfront. The presentation of their research  (portions of which have been published in the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries: Advances in Geospatial Information, Collections & Archives) was supplemented by historical maps from the New York Public Library Below are some photos …

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