• 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.

  • Root Hill Burger Opens Today

    Late Monday evening Root Hill Burger announced via their Facebook page that they will finally be opening their doors today. Root Hill Burger’s build has been watched by both Park Slope and Gowanus residents as another welcone addition to 4th Avenue between President St. and Carroll Street. For neighbors it’ll be another happy staple for those that love Root Hill’s Cafe and those that love meat. Despite just opening Grub Street declared in it’s fall preview in August that Root Hill Burger would had 9 burgers on the menu. And those that attended the recent Film Biz Recycling Fundraising event Lights, Camera, Auction actually got to taste some of Root Hill Burger’s sliders. We didn’t get a chance ourselves to get a taste at this event, but that’s cause they went, so darn fast. Most likely cause people loved them!

    Photos of the interior of Root Hill Burger appeared on their facebook page shortly after the announcement they would be opening.

    (Click the photo to see more images)



  • Inside Runner & Stone

    Late one evening after a Twig Terrariums Halloween party we had the privilege of taking a tour of the new soon to open Gowanus neighborhood bakery, restaurant, and bar, Runner & Stone. Runner & Stone has been building for months, while also still offering tasty treats at the Brooklyn Flea. Their place, still under construction, is on 3rd Avenue between President St. and Carroll St. and is surprisingly huge. When you walk in there is a bar on the right side that holds one sexy looking espresso machine…

    And just across from the bar you’ll find space for seating… which you can kind of see in this crappy picture we took when we walked in… Read more ›

  • Brad Lander Says Lightstone’s Development Should Be A Wash

    Carroll Garden’s Patch broke the news…

    City Councilmember Brad Lander, sent an open letter yesterday to David Lichtenstein, Chairman and CEO of The Lightstone Group, pleading with the company to withdraw its application for development of 363-365 Bond Street. 363-365 Bond Street sits right off the Gowanus Canal at a property near the Carroll Street Bridge (formerly the Toll Brothers site). Councilmember Lander refers to the large amount of flooding from hurricane Sandy as the reason why The Lightstone Group should not build their current version of a 1,000 residential condo on the banks of the Gowanus Canal.

    You know this hurricane flooding…

    As one can see in the video the water from Sandy’s storm surge easily filled the property (behind the metal fence on the left side of the Carroll St. Bridge) where The Lightstone Group’s new condo is set to be build. This particular video shows the beginning of hurricane Sandy’s wrath. Later towards the end of the storm, this area had way more water in it. The flooding from the Canal actually went up Carroll Street in both direction and could have reached four to five feet on the 363-365 Bond Street property.

    Councilmen Lander is adamant about The Lightstone Group changing or canceling their plans for the location. He says that he would be glad to work with Lightstone in the future for development in the area, but gives them a very stern warning if they continue with their current plans. In the letter he tells The Lightstone Group:

    If you choose not to reconsider in light of what we have learned from Hurricane Sandy, but instead push forward with your existing proposal unchanged, I will urge the City Planning Commission to reject your application.

    Brad Lander doesn’t seem to be playing around and looking at the video and images during and after the storm no one should be.

    Gowanus dodge a bullet with this storm. The neighborhood is actually prone to flooding when it rains and hurricane Sandy was mostly wind and flooding from the storm surge. If there had been rain mixed with Sandy this situation would have been even more devastating for Gowanus and South Brooklyn. Imagine all the water running down the streets from Park Slope and Carroll Garden’s during a huge rainfall mixed with the power of a hurricane… it would have been disastrous!

    To read all of Councilmember Brad Lander’s letter go here.


  • Lightstone Group Says Hurricane Sandy Flooding Will Not Alter Development Plans

    In a recent article for The New York Times highlighting the damage sustained to buildings in Gowanus by the Canal’s floodwaters during Hurricane Sandy, a representative for the Lightstone Group — the developers behind the massive, 700-unit development that will break ground at 363-365 Bond Street in late 2013 — was quoted as saying that the canal and its toxic overflow will not impact the development’s plans at all:

    Ethan Geto, a spokesman for Lightstone, said that the plans for the project already take into account significant flooding and will not need to be altered. The buildings will be raised above the sidewalks, nine feet above high-tide level. The plans also call for state-of-the-art bulkheads and a new storm drain system to keep sewage from spilling into the canal.

    Oh well… it was wishful thinking to assume the development’s plans would be halted or altered in any way. But someone might want to tell Mr. Geto that Sandy’s floodwaters rose 14 feet above sea level.


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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