5th annual Brooklyn Camp Expo

A Child Grows in Brooklyn is hosting its 5th annual Brooklyn Camp Expo on Sunday, March 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Williamsburg Northside Lower School, located at 299 North 7th Street.

The expo is for camps all over Brooklyn, as well as out-of-town sleepaway camps. It is not specific to Williamsburg.

This free event will provide parents resources while looking for summer camps, holiday camps or after-school programs for their children.

All parents also receive camp rebates.

Registration is not required, but is welcomed here.

Woodhull Hospital opens ExpressCare Clinic

On Monday, NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull celebrated the opening of their new ExpressCare Clinic, the first of its kind in Brooklyn.

As its name suggests, the clinic provides faster access to medical care for patients with non-life-threatening conditions.

It will be open seven days a week, operating from 6 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Walk-in services will be provided for conditions like colds, flu, sprains, skin rashes, minor cuts and lacerations and certain types of infections.

Health officials say shifting patients to ExpressCare will shorten their wait times. The clinic also differs from urgent care centers by offering a closer connection to primary care providers.

The Woodhull location has already treated patients since December 2019.

Greenpoint was 10th most expensive neighborhood in 2019

Screen shot via Google Maps

Ten years ago, Manhattan was home to the 10 priciest zip codes in the city.

Fast forward nearly a decade, and it’s no surprise that Brooklyn has cracked that list.

According to a new Property Club study, 11231, which covers Red Hook and Carroll Gardens, was the eighth priciest area in New York City. It had a mean sale price of $1.5 million last year.

The zip code of 11222, which is Greenpoint, placed 10th with a median sale price of $1.3 million in 2019.

The top seven zip codes are all in Manhattan, including Tribeca, SoHo, Hell’s Kitchen, Lincoln Square, Kips Bay and the Garment District.

According to the same report, Brooklyn was home to six of the 10 fastest-growing zip codes of the decade.

Second on that list is Greenpoint, which saw a 169% increase in home prices, from $519,307 in 2010 to over $1.3 million in 2019.

Topping that list is 11216, which covers Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy, which saw a $195% jump from $363,263 in 2019 to over $1 million.

Other Brooklyn neighborhoods on this list include Bushwick and Sunset Park.

9th annual Spring Egg Hunt in north Brooklyn

It’s never too early to plan ahead for Easter.

On Sunday, April 5th, Town Square is hosting the 9th annual Spring Egg Hunt.

The event will take place at Four Five Six, located at 199 Richardson Street in Williamsburg, which Town Square describes as a “fun lounge with comfy couches and gorgeous backyard.”

There will be hundreds of eggs, and the hunts will run in groups of 15 to 20 kids.

Kids will get to meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy craft activities, face-painting and live music.

Buy your egg hunt tickets quickly because last year, tickets sold out!

It’s $20 in advance, with special mommy/daddy tickets for $5.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.townsquarebk.org.

Greencycle KIDS Swap set for February 29

PS 34, located at 131 Norman Avenue, will play host to Town Square’s Greencycle KIDS Swap on Saturday, February 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to bring their clean and gently used kids toys, clothes, shoes, books, art supplies and more. But please, no oversized items!

There is a $5 suggested donation.

This special kids version of Greencycle Swap is a partnership with PS 34’s PTA Green Team and Parachute Brooklyn.

If you’re interested in volunteering, contact greenteam@ps34pta.org.

Grand Street Winter Restaurant Week from now to March 1

Grand Street BID’s 7th Winter Restaurant Week is finally here!

From now until March 1, patrons can enjoy three-course dinners for no more than $35 from participating restaurants.

That means there’s no excuse for you to try something new in the the neighborhood, or perhaps visit one of your local favorites.

Here are the 15 participating restaurants:

As you can see, only one restaurant is charging the cap of $35. Seven eateries are charging $20 or less for three courses. What a deal!

As usual, the Grand Street BID is rewarding patrons who share their prix fixe experience with #DineOnGrand on social media.

Every photo shared is an entry into a contest to win $50 to a Grand Street BID restaurant of your choosing.

So come out to Grand Street, eat to your heart’s content and be sure to share your experience on social!

3-K is coming to School District 14

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

3-K is coming to north Brooklyn schools in the 2020-2021 school year.

At his 2020 State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio announced the expansion of his 3-K for All program to two additional school districts, bringing the total number to sixteen.

3-K already exists in the following school districts:

  • District 4 (East Harlem)
  • District 5 (Harlem)
  • District 6 (Washington Heights and Inwood)
  • District 7 (South Bronx)
  • District 8 (Country Club, Pelham Bay, Throgs Neck, Castle Hill, Soundview, Hunts Point)
  • District 9 (Grand Concourse, Highbridge, Morrisania)
  • District 16 (Bedford-Stuyvesant)
  • District 19 (East New York)
  • District 23 (Brownsville)
  • District 27 (Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Rockaways)
  • District 31 (Staten Island)
  • District 32 (Bushwick)

In the fall of 2021, 3-K will come to these four districts:

  • District 1 (Chinatown, East Village, Lower East Side)
  • District 12 (Central Bronx)
  • District 14 (Greenpoint, Williamsburg)
  • District 29 (Cambria Heights, Hollis, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans)

Through this expansion, the 3-K for All program will serve 26,000 children across the city. That includes all 3-year-olds served in Head Start and Child Care programs, which transferred from ACS to DOE management to create one single early childhood system for families.

The application for 3-K opened on Wednesday, February 5, and will remain open until Friday, April 24.

Families can find programs and apply online at MySchools.nyc.

St. Stan’s celebrates Catholic Schools Week

Last week, St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy in Greenpoint welcomed Diocese of Brooklyn’s Auxiliary Bishop Witold Mroziewski for a special visit.

The event was part of the celebration of Catholic Schools Week.

Bishop Mroziewski began his visit with mass for the students and faculty, followed by a school assembly.

St. Stan’s students sang a variety of songs, played Chopin on the piano and danced traditional Polish Polonaise.

Mroziewski then toured the school and spoke to students in each class.

Catholic Schools Week began in 1974 as a national celebration highlighting the successes of Catholic education in the United States.

This year’s Catholic Schools Week theme was “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

More protected bike lanes coming to North Brooklyn

Here’s some good news for cyclists in north Brooklyn: more protected bike lanes are on the way.

The city announced that it will build 10 more miles of protected bike lanes in 2020, and 30 more miles overall throughout New York city.

As you can see on the map, those projects include Franklin Street & West Street in Greenpoint, and Meeker Avenue in Greenpoint/Williamsburg.

Last year was a really bad year for pedestrian and cyclist safety, as 29 bike riders died on New York City streets.

In response, Mayor de Blasio announced his Green Wave plan to create a connected network of protected bike lanes, as well as adding a lot more miles.

The protected lanes on Meeker Avenue will be especially important, given how many cars use the thoroughfare to connect to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE).

Espinal resigns from City Council to run Freelancers Union

File photo

Just days after Rafael Espinal said “more details to follow” regarding his future, he dropped the news that he is resigning from the City Council.

Espinal, whose last term was set to end in 2021, will instead lead the 500,000-member Freelancers Union, which is based in Brooklyn. He begins his new job on March 2.

District 37, which spans Cypress Hills, Bushwick, East New York and parts of Ocean Hill and Brownsville, will now have a special election within 80 days. The winner of that race will serve in the City Council for the remainder of the term.

In the meantime, the City Council speaker’s office will help handle constituent duties as the race to replace Espinal begins.

Espinal dropped out of the Brooklyn borough president’s race abruptly this month, and now we know why.

The ex-lawmaker got a lot done in his six years in office, including passing legislation to repeal the city’s Cabaret Law, establish the city’s new Office of Nightlife, and support green roofs and urban farming.

He was a co-sponsor of the “Freelance Isn’t Free Act,” which extends protections against harassment and discrimination to independent workers. That bill was passed in 2019.

Espinal made news last week by saying term-limited council members are “lame ducks.” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson agreed, but noted that being a lame duck doesn’t mean being unproductive.

More than three dozen seats in the City Council will be up for grabs in 2021, making it an interesting election year. The mayor and comptroller positions will also see turnover.

Speaking of the mayor, de Blasio praised Espinal on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” on Monday night by calling him a “great legislator,” citing his work on the Cabaret Law and Nightlife Office. He said working for the Freelancers Union will mean having a national impact.

“I don’t think that’s a bad outcome,” the mayor said. “I think that means he’s applying his skills in a really good way, but in another venue.”

Could Espinal return to public service? It’s possible. He didn’t leave the door closed for future opportunities, according to reports.