BROOKLYN WEEKLY, AUGUST 2, 2020
Let there be park!
A group of Red Hook do-gooders have
transformed four parking spaces at Pier
11 on the Atlantic Basin into a small makeshift
park. The maritime advocacy group
PortSide New York debuted the “Pandemic
Pop-up Park” on July 17 to give locals
more room to hang out and let their
kids play amid the COVID-19 outbreak,
according to the head organizer.
“People are coming outside and just
looking for space. You see people lying
down, sitting, or picnicking on asphalt,
they’re perching on Jersey Barriers,”
said PortSide’s executive director Carolina
Salguero. “We had all this extra furniture
and toys, so we put it outside.”
The little oasis lies at the wharf adjacent
to the Depression-era oil tanker the
Mary A. Whalen, out of which Salguero
runs the organization advocating for the
The old vessel — berthed near the city’s
Red Hook ferry stop — often hosted programming
aboard, but is currently shut
down to visitors due to the pandemic.
Ahead of the park’s launch, Salguero
asked the operator of the Brooklyn Cruise
Terminal, Ports America, to use their
four parking spaces for the small space.
Open areas like the pop-up park are especially
needed in Red Hook, where the
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BY KEVIN DUGGAN
Ball Fields at Bay Street have been closed
to clean up historic lead contamination,
and around the sprawling New York City
Housing Authority complexes, where Superstorm
Sandy repairs forced city offi
cials to chop down trees and close playgrounds.
Some of the waterfront nabe’s businesses
and residents kicked in with goods and donations,
including nearby Swedish furniture
giant Ikea, which donated umbrellas
to shade park goers, a Long Island woman
who sent frisbees, and another charitable
person that gifted PortSide balls and chalk
for kids to play with.
They have set up picnic tables, sprinklers,
along with ship artifacts against
the backdrop of a cool sea breeze and
views of the New York Harbor, according
to Salguero, who has also spruced up the
asphalt lot with plants donated by a local
who moved out and had a rooftop gardens’
worth of greenery to give away.
The space hosted its fi rst concerts
during opening weekend, starting with
bluegrass troupe Kings Country, which
will come back for an encore this coming
Sunday, July 22.
“In the way that people are fi nding
spaces and seeking out spaces, musicians
are fi nding this,” Salguero said.
“They don’t have paid gigs or even places
to play because concert halls and pubs
Months before the pop-up park opened,
Salguero started posting nightly livestreams
on Facebook of the port’s sunset
to give pent-up Brooklynites a scenic
view of the waterfront.
The waterway advocate, who herself
had a mild case of the coronavirus in late
March, said that sharing the evening ritual
online has helped her get through the
global health crisis.
“Being with other people and trying
to channel the greatness of the skies, it
was sustaining for me too, it worked both
ways,” she said.
The park’s opening coincided with
the recently-debuted weekend ferry service
from Red Hook to Governors Island,
and the space has become a choice spot
to hang out while waiting for the waterborne
crossing Salguero said.
She hopes the park will also attract
more of the neighborhood’s public housing
residents to the waterfront and the
ferry, which they can ride for free.
“We’re trying to get the word out to
the communities that have not come to
the waterfront, especially NYCHA developments,”
The cruise terminal is shuttered until
mid-September, she said, but she hopes
the area will continue to fl ourish in the
“It’s a space built with community love,
love that PortSide has for the people and
the people have for each other,” she said.
Red Hook group opens ‘Pandemic
Pop-up Park’ at Atlantic Basin
Carolina Salguero and Peter Rothenberg of PortSide New York at the new “Pandemic Pop-up Park”
with the Mary A. Whalen in the background. Photo by Kevin Duggan
Collision fl ips 16-wheeler in W’burg
A tow worker inspects the damage. Photo by Todd Maisel
BY TODD MAISEL
Two trucks collided
at a busy Brooklyn intersection
causing one of the
large haulers to f lip onto
its side, police said.
The crash occurred
at about 12:10 pm on
July 24 when a cement
mixer traveling north
on Vandervoort Avenue
slammed into a large
box truck making a turn
onto Maspeth Avenue in
Williamsburg. The box
truck, belonging to Reyes
Produce of the Bronx,
lost control and fell onto
its driver side, blocking
the eastbound lanes of
traffic. It had only empty
skids on board.
The cement truck belonged
The drivers of both vehicles
suffered minor injuries
and were taken to
A heavy-duty tow
truck was required to
lift the box truck and remove
it from the roadway
so that traffic could flow
freely. Firefighters also
doused the scene as oil
and transmission fluid
f looded onto the roadway
from both vehicles.
No charges were filed
against either driver, police
say, pending further