Make It So
No Sleep Til Brooklyn
Dear readers, have you heard the good news? The devilishly handsome Patrick Stewart–Shakespearean scholar and he of Star Trek: The Next Generation glory–has nestled himself between the hip young parents and NYU students in a new apartment in Park Slope.
Naturally, the neighborhood worked itself into a tizzy awaiting the arrival (via transporter, we assume) of the Captain Picard. And now that he’s there, one Park Sloper has chosen to immortalize his new residency the only way Brooklynites know how: with a single-serving Tumblr, of course.
SoundCloud, the agreed-upon poster child for Berlin’s burgeoning startup scene, has been making aggressive moves here in the New World over the last year. So it came as no surprise when the company reached out to let us know that three users from “The city of Brooklyn/NYC” (so it’s come to this!) had fared well in the second annual Community Fellowship competition.
The local winners are a motley crew: Amy Costello of Brooklyn won support for her new investigative podcast, TinySpark, which focuses on “the business of doing good.” Nadia Wilson, also of Brooklyn, submitted a project called “From Hear to There,” about travels across the city. The third winner, Jonathan Mitchell (not a Brooklynite, but a Manhattan-dweller) wants to reinvent the radio play with his show The Truth.
We reached out to David Noël, SoundCloud’s head of community and the man behind the program, for a bit more detail about what went into the selection process.
The Brooklyn Tech Triangle already thinks it’s bigger and better than Manhattan, and now they’re getting a transportation upgrade to help them prove it.
The triangle–which includes Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard–is getting its very own dedicated bus route, according to a press release issued today by New York state senator Daniel Squadron.
Senator Squadron and MTA stakeholders will plan the new route, which is set to roll out in 2013. “Brooklyn’s tech industry is changing the face of New York — and now, we’ll have a bus route that will allow the booming Tech Triangle to continue to grow and innovate,” Senator Squadron stated in the release.
And here we thought most startup kids were fiercely loyal to the ice cream-wielding Uber team.
Back in February, Betabeat introduced you to The Yard, a freshly-opened coworking space in Williamsburg that we minted the “General Assembly of Brooklyn.” Turns out we’re psychic, because today The Yard announced that–just like its Manhattan competitor, GA–it will be offering continuing education courses in subjects like programming and biz dev, beginning this fall. All at “Brooklyn prices,” no less!
“We really want to cultivate a culture here that is cutting edge and innovative and collaborative,” Andy Smith, The Yard’s PR and curriculum coordinator, told Betabeat by phone. “It seems like now that we’re at a point where we are full, we can sort of branch out and extend our efforts to other aspects to cultivate that culture. Educational initiatives seemed like the next natural step.”
Internet vigilantes, you’ve done it again! After a video of person after person tripping at the 36th St. subway station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn went viral yesterday, Betabeat–and tons of other reporters, apparently–called the MTA to ask if they had any intention of fixing the offending step. The MTA told us, “We will send someone out to take a look and take corrective measures,” and apparently they’re making good on their word.
According to NBC News, “Crews went to the station Wednesday to block off the staircase in preparation for repairs.”
We did it, Internet! Give yourselves a pat on the back–if you can bear to take your hands off the keyboard, that is.
The only downside is that NBC News reports that the MTA is unsure how long the fix will take, which means it probably won’t be done for years. Sorry, Sunset Park.
Founders & Dragons
A Brooklyn filmmaker named Dean Peterson noticed something curious about his subway station at 36th St. in Sunset Park. One of the steps near the top of the staircase appeared to be just slightly taller than the other stairs, but the difference is so miniscule that it’s not noticeably visible. In fact, Mr. Peterson only noticed it when he realized that everyone trips on the step. And of course, being a cinephile, he decided to film it.
The Vimeo video, entitled “New York City Subway Stairs,” hit the front page of Reddit this afternoon, and as of this writing had accrued over 2,000 upvotes.
Airbnb and Me
Though he reportedly hasn’t played Dungeons and Dragons since high school, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian tweeted today that he will be interviewed for a documentary about the fan favorite role-playing game. Mr. Ohanian, who lives in Brooklyn Heights, will have his apartment temporarily turned into a set for Dungeons & Dragons: The Documentary. As he put it, “Wee!”
Movin On Up
If you’re looking to make some extra cash, Airbnb can be an easy alternative to finding another weird Craigslist roommate or moonlighting as a rich dude’s arm candy. But if you’re going to go the room rental route, you probably want to make sure that doing so doesn’t violate your lease–or else you might just find yourself kicked to the curb (or at least served with a restraining order).
Consider the case of Chris Dannen, a Brooklyn resident who claims to have made upwards of $20,000 in nine months from renting out his two spare bedrooms on Airbnb. According to a missive he penned for Fast Company:
One Metrotech’s name is now a little more apropos: 3-D printer-maker MakerBot is relocating from Boerum Hill to take over the building’s entire 21st floor, confirms the Wall Street Journal. “We’re going to put the tech in Metrotech, literally,” said Bre Pettis. (Get it?)
As the article points out, downtown Brooklyn is currently being heralded as one point of the borough’s “tech triangle” (the others being Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard). But that name involves just a tiiiny bit of wishful thinking at the moment. MakerBot, for example, is One Metrotech’s first tech tenant, and it’ll take a while for NYU’s 370 Jay Street tech campus to get up and running. And officials are pretty upfront about the fact that the area lacks a certain something at the moment:
With Dumbo’s star rising, it’s time for the inevitable inter-borough smack-talking to begin. And, as often happens when boosters for Manhattan and Brooklyn go toe-to-toe, things are starting to look a little heated.
Crain’s is just the latest to notice all the fuss across the river. Etsy has long been a neighborhood fixture; digital consulting firm Takeout just relocated; Loosecubes and Docracy are homegrown efforts. Why are startups flocking to a neighborhood with a mere 3 percent commercial vacancy rate? Surely there are roomier (and therefore cheaper) environs. Turns out, Manhattan lacks a certain spark. (Manhattan, are you just going to let them talk about you like that?)