Conversation cheat sheet: May 2018 edition


It’s almost June, the Mister Softee trucks have already hit the streets, and block party season is just around the corner. To catch you up on local news you may have missed in the lead-up to summer, we’ve rounded up this month’s most intriguing developments.

The rent in Brooklyn is set to drop in light of the L Train shutdown. 

There may be a silver lining to the L Train shutdown, after all. Curbed NY reported that Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick saw a rent decrease this year as the 15-month shutdown looms closer. We also detailed the drop expected in Ridgewood. 

Some buildings are even giving out perks for residents who tough it out. Curbed NY said that incentives include no broker’s fees and a few extra months of free rent. 

Restaurants are also feeling the heat. After serving the Williamsburg area for almost a decade, The Brooklyn Star announced that it would close on June 3. Known for serving southern comfort food with a twist–think spicy fried duck wings and flaky buttermilk biscuits–the owners said they didn’t want to gamble with the L train shutdown. 

You can now rent instruments at the Brooklyn Public Library.

Adult library patrons now can check out instruments at the library. Through the BPL’s  Musical Instrument Lending Library program, cardholders have the option of renting an acoustic guitar, an electronic keyboard and a violin, among other instruments, at the Central Library. But act fast, the keyboard already has a year-long waitlist.

More food halls are coming to New York.

One expansive food halls just opened in Williamsburg, another in the Lower East Side will open soon. 

Williamsburg’s North 3rd Street Market features vendors such as old-school favorite Di Fara Pizza, paleta purveyors La Newyorkina, Champion Coffee and a flower shop. The market opened earlier this week and is operating with limited hours and vendors until June 4, when it will be open from 7am-10pm daily. 

And in the Lower East Side, a food hall the size of three city blocks is coming to Broome Street. The Market Line will have more than 100 vendors and is set to open in the fall. The hall is part of Essex Crossing, the massive development that will have over 1,000 new residences, 50 percent of which plan to be affordable housing.

 Brooklyn gets the dog flu.

Hide your French bulldogs, your pugs, or whatever hodgepodge-breed you have because a strain of the canine flu has officially hit Brooklyn.  It was reported that three dozen dogs in Brooklyn have tested positive for the H3N2 strain. Local vets are encouraging all dog owners to get their pets vaccinated, following-up with a booster shot two weeks later to minimize symptoms.

The Museum of Ice Cream returns.

The minds behind the Museum of Ice Cream are back in the city this summer to fill your stomach with sweets and amp up your Instagram game. Its latest pop-up, the Pint Shop, will offer copious amounts of ice cream and plenty of opportunities for you to get your selfie on. The brand new immersive ice cream wonderland is set to open on June 6 in downtown Manhattan.

MTA rejected ads for a female-friendly sex toy company while erectile dysfunction ads go up.

The MTA recently rejected a campaign for a female-friendly sex toy company, despite approving ads for Roman, an online erectile dysfunction prescriber. 

Unbound Babes, a sex-positive accessories line, was rejected by Outfront, the company that handles the MTA’s advertising. Gothamist reported that Outfront turned down the proposal because the ads didn’t follow the MTA guidelines. You can check out the rejected ads here.

City Council proposed a ban on plastic straws.   

Last week, Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr. introduced a bill to City Council that would ban plastic straws in restaurants and bars.

The bill is one of several attempts to curb the environmental impact of human waste. (If you haven’t yet read National Geographic’s cover story this month on the plastic our oceans are drowning in, it’s a real pick-me-up.) In the meantime, Councilman Espinal encourages restaurants to opt for straws made out of biodegradable materials such as bamboo, corn and reusable aluminum.

A new restaurant with a special program for refugees opened in Carroll Gardens. 

Emma’s Torch, a nonprofit organization that helps refugees get careers in the restaurant industry, has opened up its own restaurant in Carroll Gardens. The two-month program includes culinary training and ESL classes for refugees.

Previously it was serving the best brunch ever out of Home/Made in Red Hook; now it has expanded its “New-American cuisine — prepared by our new American students” to dinner.

The latest MTA plan seeks to cut the subway’s 24-hour service. 

Last Wednesday, the New York City Transit president, Andy Byford, released the MTA’s latest solution: the Fast Forward Plan. Byford said the biggest part of the plan is fixing the subway’s signaling system, which is over 50 years old.  

The Fast Forward Plan aims to upgrade the signaling for the Lexington Avenue Line, which carries the 4, 5 and 6 trains and the Eighth Avenue Line, where the A, C and E trains run. The G train will also be worked on. But upgrades for these trains mean selected lines would nix its 24-hour service. 

Manhattanhenge is back!

Get your smartphone’s ready for Manhattanhenge, the summertime tradition where New Yorkers and tourists stand in the middle of the street to capture the sun aligning perfectly with Manhattan’s grid-like system.  

Although you may have missed the first sunset showdown yesterday, you catch it again tonight at 8:21 p.m.

Manhattanhenge photo by Joe Ferraro.

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