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.”

A very deck Veep

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“Deck” got used on one of my favorite shows last night. My goofy contribution to pop culture has now been in The Sopranos and Veep. Very deck.

Vulture deemed it the “compliment of the episode:”

Dan to Catherine: “You’re hip! You’re deck! Deck’s a thing, right?”

A Few of My Favorite Things (In Brooklyn)

Time Out listed some of my favorite spots in Brooklyn in their latest issue:

“When I first moved to Brooklyn in 1996, I was two blocks away from the pier at India Street, which at the time was an abandoned lot with the best view you could possibly imagine of the New York skyline. I used to go there to write, because—besides the occasional homeless person or junkie—I’d have the view all to myself. At night, the pier at India Street has a similar view, and is generally just as empty. It makes me nostalgic for an era when North Brooklyn wasn’t a conveyer belt for the Sunday Styles section stories.” India St at Greenpoint Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

You can read them all at Time Out.

An Ode to Vinyl Siding in Williamsburg

The New York Times included a short quote by yours truly in this article on vinyl siding. And yes, I really do live in a pink building.

To Mr. Canfield, replacing vinyl siding that is in good shape, as some homebuyers do as soon as they have the deed, is like carelessly restoring antiques that came over on the Mayflower. He views vinyl siding facades as the key to preserving Williamsburg’s working-class traditions, which arguably has become its own facade.

“It’s not the most beautiful thing, but it’s real,” he said. “It’s authentic. It’s tied to the history of the neighborhood.”

In a neighborhood like Williamsburg where vinyl siding is as dominant as brownstone is in Park Slope and concrete is in Midtown, many residents are ready to fight with Mr. Canfield with equal passion. Real estate bloggers devote hours mercilessly photographing homes and posting online what they think are the most lowbrow examples. To the preservation-minded, vinyl siding and its close cousin, aluminum siding, are a hideous blot on the landscape.

“I can’t imagine anyone liking vinyl siding,” said Robert Lanham, who rents a floor in a Pepto-Bismol-colored vinyl-sided house in Williamsburg and praises neighbors who go back to wood. “If you have the means and time to get rid of it, I’m all for it,” said Mr. Lanham, author of “The Hipster Handbook.”