The Telegraph, May 22, 2019
by Jane Mulkerrins
Turnstile Tours has built a reputation for offering quirky tours, from historic sites such as Brooklyn’s Army Terminal to street markets, and donates at least 5 per cent of all ticket sales to neighbourhood projects. New for this year are two-hour walking tours of Prospect Park – Central Park’s more compact sister in Brooklyn – exploring the meadows and woodlands, art and architecture and waterways. There’s also a tour of the Gowanus waffle production space for the trendy Wafels & Dinges chain. As well as meeting the chefs and learning how the business works, visitors get to make (and eat) their own waffles.
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For Easter, we shared the story of the military’s war on the Easter Bunny and good-tasting candy, and the role played by Brooklyn’s Rockwood & Company in World War II. In the course of researching that story, we came across another from 1919: The Great Rockwood Chocolate Flood, which occurred 100 years ago today.>> Continue reading
Wallabout Bay is currently hosting a pair of ships that harken back to the days of the New York Naval Shipyard, as a pair of mothballed ships from the James River National Defense Reserve Fleet are visiting, Cape Ann and Cape Avinof.
Created after World War II, when the US had a massive surplus of merchant ships, the NDRF was a way to keep those ships in reserve if another national emergency should arise. Managed by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and once containing thousands of ships at eight anchorages around the country – including the Hudson River Reserve Fleet in nearby Tarrytown, NY – today the NDRF has only about 50 ships in Beaumont, TX, Suisun Bay, CA, and in the James River near Newport News, VA. While these ships are in various states of repair, requiring weeks or even months of work to be put back into action, MARAD also maintains the Ready Reserve Force, 45 vessels strategically positioned around the country with minimal crews that can be reactivated in just four to 20 days.>> Continue reading
This weekend marks the end of an era, as the Essex Street Market will be moving from the building it has occupied since 1940 into a new facility across Delancey St in the Essex Crossing development. The new Essex Market will have nearly all the same vendors as the old market, plus 15 additions, in a larger space that will be more convenient for shoppers and vendors.
The old market building had its own charms, and it represented an important period in New York City’s history, when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia fought to keep food affordable for New Yorkers and to provide indoor space for the city’s growing population of street vendors in the midst of the Great Depression. As we say goodbye to the old market, we are looking back at the history of the city’s public markets, and what happened to the rest of them. >> Continue reading
Visits by naval vessels to New York aren’t what they once were, but they do still happen, and we try to spot them whenever we can. On April 14, we stopped by Manhattan’s Pier 88 to check out a pair of foreign naval vessels that had docked for port calls.>> Continue reading
We are hosting a special experience for Jane’s Walks around the perimeter of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. For 165 years, the Yard was a leading naval shipyard, and today it is a city-owned industrial park and a center of manufacturing, technology, and craft, home to over 400 industrial and creative businesses, providing 9,000 jobs for New Yorkers. This walk will trace the Yard’s perimeter, starting at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, and ending at the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s Naval Cemetery Landscape for a celebration of the park’s opening day. Along the way, we will discuss current development and adaptive reuse projects that are boosting the Yard’s workforce to levels not seen since the shipyard’s closure in 1966, and examine what remains of the rich historic landscape of the Yard.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Jane’s Walk
icon-calendar SAT, May 4, 10am
Walking tour (approx. 1 mile)
BLDG 92, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
While many children will be gorging themselves on chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs this morning, these treats were absent from most baskets during World War II.
On December 5, 1942, the War Production Board, which supervised wartime industry, issued Conservation Order M-145, banning the manufacture of chocolate novelties, including “products manufactured in a special shape commemorating, symbolizing, or representing any holiday, event, person, animal or object.” The board proclaimed that, “American children will contribute to the war program by sacrificing chocolate Santa Clauses, St. Valentine’s hearts, Easter bunnies and eggs and other chocolate novelties.”>> Continue reading
Brooklyn Paper, April 19, 2019
by Kevin Duggan
These tours make history a walk in the park.
Four new walking tours will reveal Prospect Park’s rich history and uncover its hidden gems. Prospect Park Walking Tours, starting on April 28, will offer a different guided trip through the green space each Sunday, letting audiences focus on the marvels of Brooklyn’s Back Yard they find most interesting.
Each two-hour tour starts at Grand Army Plaza and takes visitors through the park’s 150-year history, from the halcyon days just after landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux opened the green in the 1860s, through the Park’s disrepair in the 1970s, and its rejuvenation in the last two decades, according to one of the guides.
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Brooklyn Designs is a showcase of design, architecture, and art, celebrating the creative energy of the borough. Hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, this year’s design expo will be taking place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Building 77, where designers and manufacturers of furniture, lighting, tableware, art, textiles, jewelry and more will be displaying their work.
During the expo, we will be offering guided tours that delve into design and architecture at the Yard, highlighting examples of new development and adaptive reuse, and some of the 400+ businesses in the Yard, including designers, manufacturers, and the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm. Join the Architecture & Infrastructure Tour to explore the the Yard’s complex built landscape and learn about new projects, or join the Past, Present & Future Tour to get a broad overview of 218 years of work at the Yard. If you want to see the work of Yard businesses up close, join an Inside Industry Tour, which will feature visits to places like New Lab, the Brooklyn Grange, and manufacturing spaces. Use the calendar below to see a full listing of tours.
Brooklyn Designs Tours
icon-calendar Daily tours May 10–12, 2019
On April 11, the New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing held a hearing on a package of bills affecting street vendors, most important among them a proposal that would raise the artificial cap put on the number of mobile food vendors that has been in place since 1983. For the third time in six years, we were at City Hall with the Street Vendor Project to make our voices heard.
Intro 1116 would take several steps to address the issue of black-market permit renting. While Mobile Food Vending Permits only cost $200 for two years, they can be renewed indefinitely, and there is a hard cap of 5,100 permits available. As a result, very few permits come back into circulation, and most permit holders don’t actually vend, but rent their permit to working vendors; the going rate is currently around $25,000.>> Continue reading