Archive for Environment

Brooklyn Bike Shop Owner Launches Campaign for Children with Special Needs

Sandra Alfonzo runs her own bicycle shop in South Slope Brooklyn, and loves watching children enjoy their bikes throughout the city. One morning, during her morning run, she spotted a child without a bike. He watched other kids whizz by sadly, but knew he would never ride one himself because he was in a wheelchair. At that moment, Ms. Alfonzo took on a new project: providing customized bikes to children with special needs. With no experience in fundraising, she calculated that she’d be able to buy one adapted bike, priced at $4,000, each year if she could successfully get a small donation for every flat tire that she fixed at the shop, and match each one.

Upon hearing of her plan, a regular customer revealed his background in fundraising and gave her some pointers. Together they researched adaptable bikes and spoke with an organization called Freedom Concepts about the options that exist and the challenges they may face throughout their campaign. Today, Alfonzo’s project is called AdaptAbility and is already raising funds online. Alfonzo is hopeful that they will be able to purchase their first bike by next month.

Doing Something Different in Outdoor New York

Travel Guide SC shows us what kind of off-the-beaten path attractions are currently hot on the streets of New York City, in particular, the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. One example seen here is the Rhythmic Color mural, featured by NYC’s Department of Transportation Art Program.

The Wonder of New York

New York is thriving in wonderment.  From eateries to architecture, history to modernity, New York is just simply impressive.  Alongside a book by Justin Davidson (New York magazine architecture critic) entitled, “Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York” is a recent review in the New York Post by Steve Cuozzo who basically concluded that: “New York City has never been so appealing or life-affirming as it is today.”

With decelerating crime and a population of almost 9 million, there is a true sense of powerful energy, deals being done, and more leading to a huge demand for property and accommodation. One need only look at 42nd Street, the Brooklyn waterfront, the Financial District, the High Line, South Bronx, Sugar Hill, Upper West Side, West Chelsea and the World Trade Center.

Of course there are still the squalid neighborhoods like the Meatpacking District, Lexington Avenue, Brownsville-East, etc.  But overall, when talking of art, affluence, culture and excitement, New York will often be included in that sentence.  Just check out Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library, the Chrysler Building and Times Square if you want to enjoy “the city’s nimbleness, its ability to navigate the chaotic present” today.


New York Landmark Preservation

preservationThe Landmarks Preservation Commission is set to demolish a historic home in the East Village.  The light-blue-colored home – located on East Seventh Street – demolition protestors are arguing should be given building landmark status, or the row of houses between Avenues C and D should be preserved.

Protestors are arguing that this is part of a land preservation matter since it was built in the 19th century, but the Commission’s argument is that such structures do not “rise to the level” of a landmarks designation.  Still, in the past it has been home to various political figures as well as merchants who worked in the shipyards in the East River and thus has a story to tell.  Indeed, Green Village Society of Historic Preservation’s Andrew Berman argued that: “these houses really are the last piece of the old ‘Dry Dock District’ which was the heart of New York City’s working waterfront in the early 19th century, and in the late 19th century they were at the center of New York City’s political life.”

Moving over to the West Village, the plan for a mansion on Jane Street was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission once the designer overturned his idea for tall glass and concrete towers with which Greenwich Village preservationists took issue.  Andrew Berman said that the revised plan was a vast improvement over the original plan, which would have been a woefully out-of-place and precedent-setting intrusion in the Greenwich Village Historic District.”