Our cartoonishly crankly billionaire ex-mayor finally doing something we can get behind

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When he wasn’t bending over to Wall Street fat cats or real estate moguls, Bloomberg was always an admirably outspoken crusader for gun control. For his first big project since leaving office, he’s decided to up the ante and take on the NRA and the Koch brothers directly with his own gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety. (We know, terrible name.) He’s tossing in $50 million of his own money and says “we’ve got to make [politicians] afraid of us.” If anyone can out-bully the NRA, its Bloomberg. He’s undoubtedly an expert on the matter — just ask Fran. [Read more…]

Transmitter Park Will Finally Open On Saturday


The long awaited WNYC Transmitter Park will open in Greenpoint on Saturday, park officials told The New York Post today. The waterfront space, named after its former use as a location for a WNYC radio transmissions tower, is on 1.6 acres between Greenpoint Ave and Kent Street, steps from the India Street stop on the East River Ferry. The project cost $12 million and took two years to complete.

According to the Post, the park is the first piece of 50 acres of parkland that Bloomberg promised north Brooklyn as part of the 2005 rezoning that so drastically changed the area.

Greenpointers says the park will have an open law, play area, bird garden, and café. A new pier is still under construction.

Forget Gowanus, Whole Foods Is Coming To Bedford Ave.

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I’ve posted a fair amount about Brooklyn’s controversial Whole Foods store coming to Gowanus in 2013. But now it turns out the chain is opening a location much closer to home. According to the New York Post, a Whole Foods is coming to 242 Bedford Ave (at N. 4th St.).

The site had been vacant for years and sold on Monday for $23 million. It will also house a New York Sports Club and luxury apartments.

So can we expect a reaction similar to the one in Gowanus? Probably not. The main arguments there are that the store disregards zoning laws and will change the character of the neighborhood. But that’s not true in Williamsburg, where Bloomberg’s 2005 rezoning paved the way for places like this, and where the character of the neighborhood is constantly changing (for better or worse). Some, like Portlandia‘s bike guy, will take this as yet another sign that the neighborhood is over. Others will just be glad they don’t have to take the G to Gowanus to get their organic food.

Whole Foods has yet to make an official announcement.

Update 4:30 p.m.: Whole Foods confirmed the project to The New York Times. Construction will begin in the next two to three months and the location will open in mid-2014, a year after the one in Gowanus.