Citi Bike features my neighborhood picks for Williamsburg

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In case you missed the news, Citi Bike is coming to North Brooklyn and Long Island City this month.

Citi Bike expansion will begin in August with a first wave of new stations including the first Queens stations, in Long Island City, along with expansion further into Brooklyn with new stations in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bedford-Stuyvesant. The announcement is the first phase of a dramatic expansion plan that will double the size of the popular bike share network from 6,000 to 12,000 bikes over the course of two years as it grows across New York City…

The first wave of station installations will include 91 new stations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City, followed by an additional 48 stations on the Upper East and Upper West Sides, from 59th Street to 86th Street, starting in the fall. DOT and Motivate arrived at the station locations through more than a hundred meetings with the public and community stakeholders through the course of several years.

To honor the occasion, I served up some neighborhood highlights like Skinny Dennis, East River Park, Shea Stadium, and The City Reliquary, for newcomers to check out. Read them all at expansion.citibikenyc.com.

FreeWilliamsburg is ‘the granddaddy of Brooklyn blogs’

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Brick Underground did an overview of New York’s essential neighborhood sites. They called FreeWilliamsburg the granddaddy of Brooklyn blogs, but I prefer “the original” Brooklyn blog:

At this point, Free Williamsburg—essentially the granddaddy of Brooklyn blogs, having launched back in ’99—is arguably the most dependable part of its rapidly-transforming namesake neighborhood. They continue to occupy the sweet spot between utter disillusionment and unquestioning boosterism in what seems like the world’s most talked-about ‘hood, and bring us important breaking news about things like the existence of a song called “Bushwick Girls.”

Inhofe’s Greatest Climate Change Denial Hits

James Inhofe

James Inhofe making decisions about climate change legislation could be the most depressing thing about the GOP taking control of the Senate. I wrote a little piece for The Huffington Post on the matter:

As you’ve likely heard, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe — author of “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future” — is the Republicans’ first choice to head the Senate committee that oversees the country’s environmental policy. If Inhofe becomes head of Environment and Public Works Committee, I’m not sure which will be the larger irony: the fact that he considers climate change a myth or that his middle name is “Mountain.” We’d likely be better off with the creators of Prius Repellent running this important climate committee.

Inhofe, after all, voted against federal disaster relief for Sandy and has compared the EPA to the Gestapo. And given the latest climate report by the United Nations, the timing could not be worse. In fact, Inhofe thinks the UN invented the idea of climate change to “shut down the machine called America.

While other Republicans are mocked for dodging the the truth about climate change — I’m not a scientist — Inhofe thinks the topic is a moot point. “Nobody has uttered the term ‘global warming’ since 2009,” he says. This assertion, while intensely dumb, is actually less embarrassing than others he’s made in the past. Here’s a collection of his wisdom on the topic:

Don’t worry about climate change, Jesus is in charge.

• God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.

Read the rest on The Huffington Post. Or just skip it and go coal rollin:

Gentrification Tales

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I wrote a short little thing on gentrification and, uh, The Village Idiot for Curbed:

When I moved to Williamsburg in 1996, there was little to do on Bedford Avenue other than eat really good massaman curry at a hole-in-the-wall called Plan-Eat Thai, or dodge the cracked-out prostitutes who haunted the streets south of Metropolitan Avenue. (They’d chase you if you walked too slowly.) My shared, two-bedroom apartment, steps from the subway, was $900 a month, but still felt overpriced on a minimum wage salary from The Strand. Bored, I often found myself venturing into the city at night and quickly became a local at the aptly named Meatpacking District dive, The Village Idiot. The place was filthy. The bottles behind the bar were buried in bras. The music was of the rowdy, George Jones variety. If you got bored watching the Tonya Harding sex tape that looped on the monitors, you could buy a goldfish for a buck to feed to the snapping turtles in the aquarium up front. But best of all, it was cheap. In fact, on slow nights the bartenders would feed me drinks, free of charge, so they wouldn’t have to drink alone. [Read more...]