Proposed Cams May Punish McGuinness Blvd. Speeders

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If you live in Greenpoint and commute to Manhattan or hang out in Williamsburg, you’re probably familiar with the dangers of crossing McGuinness Boulevard. Drivers race down it like it’s the Autobahn, while long traffic lights make pedestrians eager to cross whenever they get a chance.

Luckily for pedestrians, state assemblyman Joe Lentol is pushing for cameras that will catch speeding drivers. A recent survey reports that  two-thirds of drivers on McGuinness speed and between 2005 and 2009, vehicles hit thirteen cyclists and forty-four pedestrians. Lentol introduced a bill last week, The Brooklyn Paper reports.

Huge Fire On Conselyea Left A Woman Dead Last Night

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Did you hear all those sirens around 9:30 p.m. last night? They were probably attending to a huge fire at 147 Conselyea St. near Graham Avenue. Twitter photos show emergency vehicles parked on Metropolitan Avenue and a large crowd watching.

A 59-year-old woman died in the fire, according to DNAinfo. It took 100 firefighters more than three hours to put out the blaze.

Tipsters told us last night that the fire was near the intersection of Graham and Metropolitan and Tony’s Pizzeria. It turns out that one of the residents of the building works at the pizzeria.

The New York Post says that the 59-year-old may have started the fire with a cigarette.

NY1 has video.

Nassau Avenue Has A Major Rat Problem

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Stores and homes near Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint have a rat problem and locals are blaming the major construction project that started last month, NY Daily News reports. One shopkeeper said he caught four rats, while a homeowner said he found eighteen. One landlord on Nassau Ave. described rats being “as big as cats.”

The Department of Design and Construction responded to complaints by saying they will increase their exterminations from once a month to every two weeks.

Zombies Crawled Through The ‘Burg On Sunday (But Florida Had A Real Zombie)

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While you were laying on a roof somewhere and eating a hot dog on Sunday, zombies briefly occupied the neighborhood as part of the annual NYC Zombie Crawl. Participants donned head to toe zombie makeup and tattered clothing and traveled from Trash Bar to Grand Victory, McCarren Park, Spike Hill, and Public Assembly. The first stop had had makeup artists for the not-so-DIY-ers, while the other stops had live music, contests, drink specials, and giveaways.

As horrifying as some of the Brooklyn zombies may have looked, nothing comes close to the real life “zombie” incident that same day. As you’ve probably read by now, Florida police shot and killed a naked man who was eating the face of another man on the side of a causeway. Not only was he consuming human flesh, but it took multiple bullets to take him out. Authorities believe he was in a drug-induced paralysis, but if that doesn’t sound like the beginning of a George Romero film, we don’t know what does.

For those of you interested, zombies originate from the voodoo tradition in which priests used rituals and powders to turn enemies into the “walking dead.” The term “zombie” first appeared in print in 1792 as a Creole word meaning spirit, but unlike other Hollywood monsters like the werewolf or vampire, the zombie as we know it today has no literary tradition. The creatures first appeared in film in 1932’s White Zombie.

McCarren Park Pool Will Be U-Shaped, And Other New Details

NYT

The McCarren Park Pool is on track to open at the end of June and today’s New York Times has new details.

According to the Times, the $50 million renovation includes changing the pool’s rectangular rectangle into a U shape with a concrete beach in the middle. The beach will have spray showers and the color of the pool will be cerulean blue.

The pool was last open for swimmers in 1984.

Googa Mooga Organizers Admit “Glitches” And Will Refund $250 Tix

Googa Mooga

Well this is embarrassing: the event organizers behind last weekend’s controversial The Great Googa Mooga food and music festival in Prospect Park announced today that they will be offering a full refund to those who purchased “Extra Mooga” tickets for $250. They’re even refunding the $17 service fee.

Perhaps even more surprising is that Superfly came right out and acknowledged the event’s largely negative feedback on the event’s website. “To those who had a frustrating experience on Saturday – we are sorry,” the organizers write. “We truly regret the first year glitches and really appreciate your patience as we worked to smooth them out.” Interesting that they only mention issues happening on Saturday.

There doesn’t appear to be any info on the event site about the refunds, but Superfly released the following statement to the press: “We promised you a terrific Extra Mooga experience this past weekend and we didn’t deliver, particularly in providing an adequate amount of food and beverage on Saturday…To officially extend our apology, we’re offering you a 100% refund of your Extra Mooga ticket price, including handling fees.”

You can submit a request to refunds@googamooga.com.

I Survived Googa Mooga (But Apparently No One Else Did)


florence wang's flickr

This morning we asked readers if they survived this past weekend’s The Great Googa Mooga festivities in Prospect Park. And from what I’ve read online and heard from coworkers, few did. People complained about issues like insanely long lines for beer and food, food running out, and logistical problems (no added cell reception or public transportation). Even those who bought the $250 tickets left dissatisfied.

I made it to the event at noon on Saturday and I remember thinking how much space there was to move around compared to other festivals I had been to, like Bonnaroo. I had lunch at 1pm after watching Fort Lean perform and waited in line for only five minutes before getting food (Num Pang Sandwich Shop). I even stood in line with a friend at a second place and waited only three minutes there (DuMont Burger).

Things changed however when we were done eating and went to get beer. The midday crowds were starting to flood in and the issues with logistics were quickly becoming apparent. There were too many separate lines (one for ID checks, another one for beverages, others for food) which faded into one another, made getting from one place to another nearly impossible, and each lasted at least twenty minutes. Event workers at an ID check tried to move things along by checking IDs for some people at the middle of the line, but that made things more confusing. It was 3 p.m. by the time we finished our first beers (not slow drinkers, just slow lines) and by that time the lines had grown so long that we would have had our second ones at 4:30.

I felt like I got what I paid for with those free tickets. But food blogger Joanne Wilson describes her negative experience at the Extra Mooga section: “I can’t believe that I paid $250 a head for this. A complete rip-off. I am not the only person out there yesterday who wanted their money back. The experience, considering the food amount, was worth about $50 at best…We left the show starving.”

Countless Twitter users echo these sentiments (although most didn’t get to enjoy the brief calm like I did). “Going to #googamooga was the human version of what my cat must go through when she runs frantically into a room & forgets why. Ate nothing.” “1000s starving, stranded in the heat, standing on endless lines for food.” “Our Katrina.”

Leave your horror stories in the comments.

The Bedford “Bomb” Was An Art Project After All

Miyakawa's site

People speculated – somewhat facetiously – that Friday’s bomb scare on Bedford Avenue must have been an art project because, after all, it is Williamsburg. Turns out they were right. 50-year-old artist and Brooklyn resident Takeshi Miyakawa was behind the installation and has since been arrested.

Police apprehended Miyakawa on Saturday when he was putting up another installation at the intersection of Bedford, Lorimer, and Nassau and charged him with planting false bombs. He was arraigned on Sunday and will be put through a 30 day mental health evaluation.

The objects – “I Love New York” bags that contain LED lights and battery packs – were for NY Design Week and supposedly would have come down today. An artist who works with Miyakawa described him as “polite, calm, and presentable.” The New York Times states that the artist intended the installation to be “a display of his love for the city.”

According to his website, Miyakawa was born in Japan and has been living in New York City since 1989. He mostly designs furniture, some of which is priced at $20,000.