Keep up with the happenings in Sunset Park

posted Jul 14, 2015, 6:11 AM by Konstantin Manevich   [ updated Jul 14, 2015, 6:27 AM ]

By: Rachel Carmean 
Brown Harris Stevens Brooklyn, LLC


July 2015, Vol. 1, Issue 11

I Remember New York, Sunset Park, Brooklyn: Two Neighborhood Walking Tours
   Join historian, preservation activist and tour guide, Joe Svehlak, on two neighborhood walks. Seventy-five years ago Joe grew up in the Bay Ridge area now known as Sunset Park. Over the years, many changes have occurred, however, the working class housing stock has remained. The block of 57th Street where Joe and his extended family lived contains a variety of building types: older single family frame homes, two family bow front brick row houses with front and back gardens, also two family brick houses with porches and garages in the back alley, plus a variety of small apartment buildings. Architecturally, Joe's street is a study in working class housing built over a century ago.
    Sunset Park's streets tend to be built with more uniform rows. Joe's diverse streetscape allowed for a variety of games and activities. Hear memories of Joe's old neighbors, the old stores, and the games played when few cars were on the street and it wasn't a worry if the door was left unlocked. Walk up the hill to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the largest church structure on Long Island. This tour, called "Sunset Park, The Early Years," is on Sunday, July 5th at 10am and is $20/ticket.
    The second walking tour, called "Sunset Park, Brooklyn's Community Activism," is on Saturday, August 1st at 10am, also $20/ticket. When Joe bought his first house in 1970, he returned to a much changed neighborhood. Sunset Park was now more ethnically diverse than ever, but lacked good city services. Schools were overcrowded, the park was neglected, and the Carnegie Library was charred by fire. Drugs and crime were major issues. Soon more fires and abandoned buildings would add to the problem.
     With his neighbors, Joe formed block associations and a neighborhood community organization to help advocate for a more livable environment and better living conditions. Hear his memories about grass-roots community activism and the campaign to save the built environment and to address Sunset Park's social issues. Walk up and down hillside row house streets, many of which, have been proposed for designation as New York City landmarks. Visit fine churches and civic buildings and some of New York City's oldest not-for-profit co-ops started by the Finnish community in the early 1900s. To purchase tickets for either tour, click here.  (Source: Municipal Arts Society of New York City.)

New Planted Medians Coming to 4th Avenue
     Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation (DOT) presented a proposal to rebuild the 4th Avenue medians. New crosswalks, pedestrian safety measures, trees, shrubs, space for public art and benches are all expected to be part of the plan. In addition, DOT proposes increasing the width of the sidewalk by four feet on 4th Avenue adjacent to Green-Wood Cemetery from 34th to 36th Streets.
    The proposal, part of NYC Great Streets Initiative, seeks to build upon the success of the 4th Avenue lane reduction and pedestrian median widening, implemented in 2012. In Community District 7, these changes have reduced accidents on 4th Avenue by 18% and pedestrian injuries by 30%. 
     The first phase of the project is expected in the spring of 2017 and include the medians from 8th to 18th Streets and from 33rd to 52nd Streets. The second phase, expected in the spring of 2018, would include 53rd to 59th Streets. DOT is seeking funds for a third phase to include 60th to 65th Streets and Atlantic Avenue to 8th Streets.

Industry City Offers Tour to Businesses
     Businesspeople from all over the city gathered in Sunset Park's growing Industry City to take an intimate tour of the six-million-square-foot complex. Hosted by the Brooklyn Real Estate Board (BREB), the event, held on June 3rd, included a discussion of the growth of the neighborhood and the benefits for potential businesses to invest in the space.  
   Although 70% of the space is already occupied, the President of BREB, Aldo Iemma, discussed the possibilities that the complex has to offer. "We've taken the show on the road, showing off to people what is happening around Sunset Park that make it a desirable area," he said. 
    Brooklynites weren't the only ones expressing interest in the space. Iemma stated people from Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan were all in attendance for the tour.
     "We are privileged to be here tonight at Industry City to have a tour of this beautiful complex," said Deborah Iemma of BREB. "Sunset Park, at one time, was just up and coming. Now, it has arrived, and it has soared into new heights."
      "Today, we're going to show the real estate community that we have an opportunity to bring thriving businesses and the jobs that come with those businesses," said Gina Novoa. "There are real jobs here, not just entry level ones."
    Interest in the space was evident in the event's big turnout. "We have almost a hundred people. That's wonderful for a real estate meeting," said Novoa.
    According to Iemma, 30% of the space at Industry City remains available. (Source: Jaime DeJesus, Home Reporter.)

Sunset Park Celebrates Puerto Rican Pride
   Manhattan wasn't the only place to show off Puerto Rican pride. After more than 20 years, Sunset Park had its own Puerto Rican parade. Community organizer, Dennis Flores, "El Grito de Sunset Park," received a permit from the city for the event which was held on Sunday, June 14th, from 5-8:30pm, and followed the annual parade in Manhattan.
    This year's celebration marked the first parade of its kind in Sunset Park since the 1980s. "This parade is a resolution," said Mr. Flores. "We are creating a space and event for people to celebrate, while still being safe. People from Fifth Avenue have been waiting to celebrate." 
     The festivities began on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street and ended in Sunset Park. The day honored Puerto Rican culture through live music, arts, classic cars and motorcycles, and the Afro-Puerto Rican traditions of Bomba y Plena as well as the participation of artists, local businesses, and community organizations in Sunset Park. The event was well-organized, well-attended and a total success.
     Securing the permit, which was denied for years, was finally granted with the help of lawyer, Norman Siegel. (Source: Jaime DeJesus, Home Reporter)

Help Landmark Sunset Park Now!
    Two free drinks for the first 100 people to come and sign a postcard to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)! Join the Sunset Park Landmarks Committee (SPLC) on Friday, July 17, from 7-10pm in the back room at the Irish Haven on 58th Street and 4th Avenue. Sign a postcard urging the LPC to take action and Landmark Sunset Park ASAP!  
    In March, the SPLC led a tour with LPC Chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan, and other key LPC staff. The tour was great and they loved Sunset Park. But the LPC hasn't taken action to move the landmarking process forward. We need to keep telling them we want action now! Help us put the pressure on! Come and sign a postcard and let's send them hundreds of messages from Sunset Park residents demanding action. Everyone is welcome to this free event. For more information, click here.

Evening Picnic & Performance in Green-Wood Cemetery
Bring a blanket, snacks and drinks and prepare to be dazzled by 19th Century games, fire eaters, contortionists, and more. Ben Feldman and Bindlestiff Circus will transform Niblo's resting place into a Victorian extravanganza of performing arts. Niblo, a 19th Century coffeehouse proprietor and caterer, had a habit of  turning his Green-Wood mausoleum into a pleasure garden with friends and entertainment. Ben Feldman, a Niblo expert, will hold court as Niblo himself. All skillfully set in front of Niblo's grand mausoleum, near Crescent Water Pond, beautifully lit by candles and a starry night. Saturday, July 11, 7-10pm. Tickets, $37 to $32. For tickets, click here.

Irish Haven Hosts Another Paint Nite 
The Irish Haven is hosting another Paint Nite on July 15th, from 7-9pm. No experience required. Just follow along while the instructor guides you with step-by-step instructions for about 2 hours. Supplies included: 16"x20" canvas, acrylic paint, brushes, smock, music and a good time. Use the discount count Irish45 and g
et 45% off your $65 ticket. Advance purchase required. Please click here for tickets and more information.

Save the Date
7/4- 4th of July After Party, 10pm+. Celebrate 4th of July at the Irish Haven. 58th & 4th Avenue.   
7/5 - I Remember New York: Sunset Park, The Early Years, 10am. Join tour guide, Joe Svehlak, as he recalls growing up in Sunset Park in the 1940s and '50s on 57th Street, $20/person. To purchase tickets, click here
7/10 - OLPH Soccer Registration Deadline. To register your child, click here. $100 on or before July 10th. $125 after July 10th. 
7/11 - SPRiG Clean-Up, 9-11am. Pick up at Sunset Park. Get involved, meet neighbors. Children welcome. For more info, click here.
7/11 - Caramel 101 with Liddabit Sweets, 2-4pm. Class open to adults 18+, $115/person. Click herefor more info and tickets.
7/11 - A Night at Niblo's Garden, 7-10pm at Green-Wood Cemetery. Join Niblo expert, Ben Feldman, and Bindlestiff Circus, a vaudeville and performing arts powerhouse to transform Niblo's resting place into a theatrical extravaganza. $32, $37/person. Click here for more info or tickets. 

7/14 - 72nd Precinct Community Affairs Meeting, Marien Center, 4520 4th Ave, 7:30pm.
7/15 - Paint Nite at the Irish Haven, 7-9pm. 58th & 4th Ave. Get 45% of $65 ticket using discount code of Irish45. Reservations and prepayment required. To register, click here.

7/16 - SPRiG Planning Meeting, 7:30-8:45pm, at the Sunset Park Rec Center. For more information,click here. 
7/17 - Landmark Sunset Park Now & Send a Message to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, 7-10pm. Be the first of 100 to fill out a postcard and receive 2 free drinks. Everyone welcome. See above for more information and/or click here.
7/18 - Karaoke Night, 10pm. Irish Haven, 58th & 4th Ave.
7/19 - Inventors Club: Charles Lewis and Louis Comfort Tiffany, 12-3pm. The Tiffany family was artistic, innovative and had an immense influence on 19th Century jewelry design. Explore how the jewelry world is changing through 3-D printing technology. Kids welcome to this free event. For more info, clickhere.
7/21 - Summer at the Subway, 5-7pm, at the 59th Street subway. Senator Jesse Hamilton presents Summer at the Subway, complete with live entertainment, youth activities, community resources, mobile office and more.
7/23 - Twilight Tour and Catacomb Soiree, 7:30-10pm at Green-Wood Cemetery. $20-$25/person. For tickets and info, click here.
7/25 - Liddabit Sweets' Kitchen Tour, 2-3pm. Kids 12+ with an adult are welcome. $15/person. For tickets, click here.
7/28 - Safe Haven Songs, 8-11pm. Local, live, monthly residency for songwriters & poets in the back room at the Irish Haven.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) - 1st and 2nd Mondays of the Month. NHN accepts walk-in visits at their offices at 462 36th St. from 10am-4pm. NHN advocates for tenants, tenant rights and affordable housing. NHN can also help homeowners stay in there home. For more information, click here.
Green-Wood Cemetery's Historic Trolley Tour, Wednesdays and the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the Month, 1-3pm - $15 for non-members, $10 for members. For tickets, click here.
Sundays - Live traditional, popular & original Irish music at the Irish Haven, 8-11pm. No cover.
Sundays - Mr. Sunday's Dance Party is back, 5-10pm. Industry City. $15/person. Everyone welcome, even dogs! Click here for more info and tickets.
My name is Rachel Carmean and I live with my family on 58th Street.  I am an active member of the Sunset Park Landmarks Committee and I am fully dedicated to the preservation of Sunset Park's historic architecture and neighborhood.  If you have any questions about your property, need recommendations for repairs or renovations, or would like to buy, rent or sell, locally or out-of-town, I will be happy to help. And of course, your referrals are always appreciated.
Rachel Carmean
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Brown Harris Stevens Brooklyn, LLC


Recent Neighborhood Sales*
624   51st St     2-Fam     $1.233m  6/8
537   58th St     3-Fam     $980k      5/27
651   54th St     2-Fam     $990k      5/26
467   44th St     2-Fam     $1.06m    5/19
4521  6th Ave    2-Fam    $1.2m      5/19

363   50th St      2-Fam     $850k     5/14
538   49th St      2-Fam     $930k     5/8

* Source: New York City Public Records
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