• Residential Property Values in Gowanus are Up 52% Since 2004

    In case there was any doubt that property values in Gowanus are rising, Property Shark has just released a map showing just how hot our neighborhood really is.

    The map, which shows the price changes by Brooklyn neighborhood between 2004 and 2012, claims that residential property values in Gowanus have risen a startling 52% in just eight years. The only Brooklyn neighborhoods with a higher percentage change are Prospect Lefferts Gardens (54%) and Williamsburg (174%, although it’s worth noting that the area the map categorizes as Williamsburg is generous).

    Only residential properties were included in the analysis, meaning that the Gowanus surface has barely been scratched; expect the number to keep rising in the coming years as commercial and industrial properties are converted into condos and co-ops and put on the market, which will in turn increase the value of surrounding existing residential development. Still, it’s hard not to feel like we’ve missed the boat… if only we’d bought eight years ago!

    [via Gothamist]

  • Kittery Seafood Restaurant is now Open!


    Kittery, the seafood shack restaurant on the corner of Smith and Union Streets that’s been under construction since the summer, finally opened its doors this past Friday (December 7th).

    The restaurant promises “Coastal Cooking From Maine to the Gulf,” and it’s the second New England-inspired seafood establishment to open its doors in the area in as many years; Littleneck opened on Third Avenue and Carroll Streets in late 2011.

    The same space was briefly the home of Diego, an ill-fated, decent but unspectacular Mexican restaurant that didn’t last very long. Before that, The Union Smith Cafe occupied the corner lot for a number of years.

    View Kittery’s opening weekend menu here; according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, “a second page of more extensive dishes” made its debut this Monday. Follow Kittery on Facebook here.

    via Kittery’s Facebook page

  • New Millenium Motors: The Best Car Mechanic in Gowanus

    New Millenium Motors Brooklyn

    With all the nondescript auto repair shops that line Third and Fourth Avenues in Gowanus, I couldn’t blame anyone for getting flustered and just picking one at random and ending up with a so-so experience. If you live in Gowanus, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens or anywhere nearby — and you’re the one out of every two Brooklyn households that owns a car — you’ve probably found yourself in just that situation. But if you’re searching for a car mechanic that’s a cut above the rest, your search ends here: New Millenium Motors. Once upon a time I, too, just walked into the shop at random, not knowing any better… and fortunately I got lucky.

    Read more ›

  • Our Adventure Into The Abandoned Bergen Street Subway Station

    If you’ve ever waited for the F or G trains at the Bergen Street subway station, you may have noticed several sets of large, steel doors on the station walls. Utility closets? Not a bad assumption. But what few people know is that those doors lead to one of Brooklyn’s hidden gems, an abandoned lower level of the Bergen Street subway station that sits directly below the active station thousands use every day. Similarly, if you’ve ever waited for a train one stop deeper into Brooklyn, at Carroll Street, you might’ve wondered where those two submerged, middle tracks lead… the answer is to the abandoned lower level of Bergen Street.

    In the wee hours of the morning on a blustery night last March, a friend and I descended into the abandoned level of the Bergen Street subway station and we filmed the whole thing. But first, a little history.

    From its inception in 1933, the Smith Street and Culver Sections of the IND subway line (now the F and G) were intended to run both express and local trains. With four sets of tracks continuing on the line all the way through Brooklyn to Church Ave (and three sets thereafter), one can imagine how the MTA might set up such an express/local scenario, although they only actually ran it that way for a very brief period between 1968 and 1976. The F ran as an express, gliding through the middle tracks and skipping the Carroll, Smith-9th, and 4th Ave stops, stationing at 7th Ave, then continuing on to skip 15th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, stopping at Church, and continuing on making all stops down to Coney Island / Stillwell Avenue. Meanwhile, the G served all local stops between Church and Hoyt-Schermerhorn before continuing on its northward journey through Brooklyn to Queens.

    Why won’t the MTA bring this kind of service back? Park Slope and Windsor Terrace residents would undoubtedly appreciate shaving 10-15 minutes off their daily commute.

    The upper level of Bergen Street was completely renovated in 1991-1992, and, for reasons unknown, all the tile and other decorative construction were stripped from the lower level at the same time rendering the platforms unsuitable for passenger service. The tracks are still in working order, though; work trains occasionally use the passage (which goes directly to the outer [F] tracks at Jay Street, but also has a switch leading to Hoyt Schermerhorn), and if you’re lucky, you might find yourself passing through it when F trains are overcrowded / behind schedule and are informed by the dispatcher to skip straight from 7th Ave to Jay Street.

    Much of this information has been culled from Joseph Brennan’s excellent article on the matter. I encourage you to read more here.

    So, back to our adventure. I can’t reveal how we were able to get down into the station, but you can probably figure it out. Do NOT try this at home. Apologies for the dark footage. Soundtrack provided by Deafheaven. Click “Full Screen” and enjoy. Photos below by yours truly.

    NYC Urban Exploration from Frank Godla on Vimeo.

  • Twenty Years in Gowanus: The Bridgerunners Motorcycle Club

    Photo by Joel Zimmer.

    Those intimately familiar with the buildings in and around Gowanus have surely passed the above nondescript two-story affair on the southwest corner of Butler and Nevins Streets, abutting the Canal’s northern terminus. Even if you happened to take the time to stop and check it out, you could’ve easily missed the discrete signage announcing the building’s current purpose: the home of Brooklyn’s Bridgerunners Motorcycle Club.

    The building housing the club was built as the Gowanus Station of the City of New York’s Water Supply Distribution system; its one-time role in the city’s water distribution is unclear (The Gowanus Station is not mentioned in NYC’s official history of the system, although it’s possible this particular one wasn’t used for drinking water).

    The building may or may not be “19th century industrial architecture” according to the doofus in the below Curbed video who comes to the poorly-researched conclusion that the Bridgerunners are “some kind of running club”:

    The Bridgerunners Motorcycle Club took residence in the building in 1993, a year after their formation on Walcott Street in Red Hook. According to the BRMC website, ”It’s [sic] members are dedicated to brotherhood, respect and the art of motorcycle riding.” Here’s a picture of the BMRC taken in Red Hook from back in 1992 [via the BMRC Facebook page]:

    BRMC 1992

    And some modern day shots, also from Facebook, taken at the BRMC’s 20th anniversary block party this past summer:

    And a few more from the official BRMC website:

    One of the things we love about Gowanus is the variety of people attracted to its swampy environs. It’ll be a shame when the tide of gentrification takes hold en masse and forces out gritty New Yorkers like the members of Bridgerunners, who staked their claim here 20 years ago.

  • FEMA Posting Disaster Assistance Flyers on Cars around Gowanus

    FEMA Disaster Assistance flyer

    Earlier this week, FEMA posted flyers on car windshields throughout Gowanus with detailed instructions about how to apply for Hurricane Sandy disaster assistance for those who sustained losses or property damage. A scan of that flyer is posted above.

    The flyer instructs those in need to apply at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. When you apply for disaster assistance, please have the following available:

    Read more ›


Gowanus, Brooklyn

The crack between two hipster neighborhoods, home to the now superfunded Canal, the flash point for the new 'Buy Local' and textile revolutions, & filled with brilliant bohemians. . . this is Gowanus & it’ll awesome your face off.

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