Well Made, Well Done: Inside Industry with Bien Hecho

Filed to: ArchitectureBrooklyn Navy YardEventsInside Industry

From water tower to water tower cooler. Photo credit: Bien Hecho.

We recently had the opportunity to visit a unique business in the Brooklyn Navy Yard that will be a featured tenant on our Inside Industry Tour series, Bien Hecho, a woodworking outfit that specializes in making furniture, millwork, cabinetry, and other custom carpentry from reclaimed and sustainably-sourced wood. Founder John Randall sat down with us to talk about their business making beautiful work, and the Bien Hecho Academy.

Bien Hecho was founded by John nine years ago. Inspired by his travels to Spanish-speaking countries, and his efforts to master the language as an adult, John strives to live up to both meanings of his company’s name – create well-made (hecho bien) projects, and do a job well done (bien hecho). Located inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 3, their workshop is filled with wood and machinery that you won’t find in most of the other shops clustered in this part of the building. With a small team of just two full-time staff and a few part-timers, the company has nevertheless taken on some big and beautiful projects. (more…)


Isabelle Garbani’s “Post-War Blues” Brightens Brooklyn Army Terminal

Filed to: Brooklyn Army TerminalEvents

Close-up view of flowers in "Post-War Blues." Photo courtesy Isabelle Garbani.

If you walk the length of the atrium of the Brooklyn Army Terminal’s Building B during this weekend’s Open House New York, you will encounter a remarkable piece of art – Isabelle Garbani’s “Post-War Blues.”

Made up of more than 5,000 hand-crocheted and knitted flowers, the installation cascades from the train car parked on the atrium’s tracks, which once carried freight trains filled with war materiel into the Terminal’s warehouses and onto waiting ships along the Brooklyn waterfront. (more…)


Brooklyn Navy Yard Summer Photography Tour Finalists

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy YardEventsPhotographyWaterfront

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This summer, a small but dedicated crew of photographers braved the July showers to photograph the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and they shared their work with us. From those photos, BLDG 92 Visiting Artist Robin Michals selected her three favorites, which will be displayed in BLDG 92 in 2016.

Robin’s work has been focused around the changing face of the Brooklyn waterfront, so not surprisingly, her selections reflect that sensibility, showcasing the Yard’s industrial dimensions and working character. We will continue that trend with our fall installment, when we will be joined by John Bartlelstone, longtime chronicler of the Yard’s heavy industry, and focus our lenses on the working waterfront areas. (more…)


Turnstile’s Hockey Guide to NYC: Watching

Filed to: Events

Still technically in Long Island (Credit: Andrew Gustafson)

Yesterday marked the beginning of the new NHL season, so we have put together a season preview that not only gives you a short run-down on the local top-tier teams (Rangers, Islanders, Devils), but also the many opportunities to watch minor league and college hockey within a short distance of the city, tips on how to get there and have a great time, and a bit of background information on the different teams and leagues.

So the next time Canadian major junior hockey eligibility rules come up at a cocktail party, or a work colleague asks you for your opinion on ECHL realignment, this cheat sheet has you covered. Later this month, we will also be sharing information on ice skating and pick-up hockey at rinks around the city, and where you can learn a bit of Brooklyn’s hockey history at a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Click the links below to navigate to specific leagues and teams, or find a hockey arena on our map. Now drop that puck! (more…)


Noah Chesnin of NY Aquarium Joins Brooklyn Waterfront Tour August 22

Filed to: EventsWaterfront

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We are now three weeks in to our Brooklyn Waterfront Past & Present Tour series, and our guest speakers so far have been spectacular. Nate Kensinger was able to recall how almost every inch of the Brooklyn, Greenpoint, and Newtown Creek waterfronts have changed over the 10 years that he has been photographing, filming, and researching New York City’s industrial edges. Emily Manley helped us understand why the Gowanus Canal is so troubled, and how the state, federal, and local regulatory agencies work together to clean up the site, and hopefully there are now a few more readers of the New York Environment Report.

For week three, we are again heading north up the East River and the Newtown Creek with Noah Chesnin, Policy Program Manager for the New York Seascape Program at Coney Island’s New York Aquarium, who will share with us his work in conservation, education, and policy connected to the marine wildlife and habitats of the greater New York region. (more…)


New York Environment Report’s Emily Manley Joins Brooklyn Waterfront Tour August 15

Filed to: EventsWaterfront

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For each of our Brooklyn Waterfront, Past & Present Tours, our guides will be joined by different guest speakers who have worked in some capacity along the New York City waterfront, sharing their perspectives on topics ranging from industry and manufacturing to resiliency planning to marine ecology. For our tour on Saturday, August 15, our guest will be Emily Manley, managing editor of the New York Environment Report. If you can’t make that tour, her NYER colleague Sarah Crean will be joining the tours on September 19 and October 10 (see a complete list of guest speakers). (more…)


Highlights of the Harbor: Shipyards

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy YardEventsWaterfront

Caddell Dry Dock. Credit: Andrew Gustafson

For more than 150 years, shipbuilding was a pre-eminent industry in New York City. Shipyards building clipper ships, steamboats, and naval frigates once engulfed the shoreline of Lower Manhattan in the early 19th century, bearing names like Brown, Bergh, Westervelt, and Webb, eventually spilling onto the Brooklyn side to form a massive shipbuilding complex on the East River. As the industry – and the city – grew, major shipyards could be found in all five boroughs and across the Hudson in New Jersey.
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Robin Michals Documents Change Along Brooklyn’s Waterfront

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy YardEventsPhotographyWaterfront

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Each season, we offer a special opportunity for photographers to explore the Brooklyn Navy Yard with us. Our next Seasonal Photography Tour is taking place this Saturday, July 18 at 11am, departing from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, and visiting sites including the Naval Hospital Campus, one of the Yard’s working dry docks, and other working waterfront sites.

Our judge for this season’s photo contest is one of BLDG 92′s 2015 Visiting ArtistsRobin Michals is an associate professor of photography at New York City College of Technology, and she has spent the last several years documenting the rapid pace of change along the Brooklyn waterfront, including participating in Brooklyn Historical Society’s Documenting Sandy exhibit last year. We sat down with Robin to learn more about her experiences on the waterfront: (more…)


From the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Mars: Honeybee Robotics

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy YardEventsInside Industry

Phoenix Lander's Icy Soil Acquisition Device. Photo courtesy Honeybee Robotics.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has a long tradition of exploration. For 165 years, the Yard built, outfitted, and repaired ships that traveled millions of miles around the world, including building the first US Navy ship to circumnavigate the globe (USS Vincennes, 1826-30), dispatching the groundbreaking US Exploring Expedition (1838-42), and receiving the Navy’s first nuclear submarine USS Nautilus after it passed underneath the ice of the North Pole (1958). But none of these ships went as far or as deep into uncharted territory as systems developed by Brooklyn Navy Yard tenant Honeybee Robotics. (more…)