It's official: A beach is coming to Williamsburg
December 23, 2021 9:45 PM   Subscribe

Developed by Two Trees Management, the massive project, years in the making, was just approved by the New York City Council and construction is expected to kick off by 2024. According to plans, the 2.9-acre waterfront park will feature a circular esplanade that extends into the East River, plus an amphitheater, a boating cove, some nature trails, a play area for kids and, of course, the sandy shore.
posted by folklore724 (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Dystopian nightmare doesn’t even begin to describe that.

I moved to Williamsburg in 1995 because my friend had a room available for $285.00!!!! Far cheaper than anything I could find in San Francisco where I was living at the time. I lived in the same giant loft for 13 years. The neighborhood was billed as the next big thing even when I first moved there. Never mind the crackheads and junkies and the daytime prostitution going on in front of the school behind me and the crazy, shady drug shenanigans scattered amongst the working class families living south of Metropolitan Ave.

When the hype really hit in the early 2000’s my favorite roommate and I would sit on our roof and smoke pot and make fun of people as they went out for the night. As more and more tourists started showing up I never, ever got the draw for them. They had heard it was “the next big thing”, but the next big thing was happening at night at parties and in bars that they would never even know about. I started referring to Bedford and N. 7th as Haight Ashbury because it was the same kind of manufactured destination where people would show up looking for a scene that didn’t involve them and had mostly happened years before and out of sight.

Now it’s just a hedgefund hellhole. I get absolutely infuriated whenever I’m unlucky enough to end up there. I think of it now like Times Square, an unnecessary evil that is to be avoided at all costs.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 7:10 AM on December 24, 2021 [2 favorites]


Dystopian nightmare doesn’t even begin to describe that.

I moved to Williamsburg in 1995 because my friend had a room available for $285.00!!!! Far cheaper than anything I could find in San Francisco where I was living at the time. I lived in the same giant loft for 13 years. The neighborhood was billed as the next big thing even when I first moved there. Never mind the crackheads and junkies and the daytime prostitution going on in front of the school behind me and the crazy, shady drug shenanigans scattered amongst the working class families living south of Metropolitan Ave.

When the hype really hit in the early 2000’s my favorite roommate and I would sit on our roof and smoke pot and make fun of people as they went out for the night. As more and more tourists started showing up I never, ever got the draw for them. They had heard it was “the next big thing”, but the next big thing was happening at night at parties and in bars that they would never even know about. I started referring to Bedford and N. 7th as Haight Ashbury because it was the same kind of manufactured destination where people would show up looking for a scene that didn’t involve them and had mostly happened years before and out of sight.

Now it’s just a hedgefund hellhole. I get absolutely infuriated whenever I’m unlucky enough to end up there. I think of it now like Times Square, an unnecessary evil that is to be avoided at all costs.




cool, cool, very cool well i think williamsburg has some good bars and restaurants, i always have a nice time when i hang out with my friends who live there
posted by windbox at 7:58 AM on December 24, 2021 [7 favorites]


City government: we’re building a park!

Hipsters: what a dystopian nightmare. Give me overdoses in front of elementary schools.

This park sounds great. A YMCA! An amphitheater! Free swim lessons! A river beach! Tide pools! I will enjoy visiting when I’m in Brooklyn.
posted by lunasol at 9:38 AM on December 24, 2021 [8 favorites]


Less than three acres for all that? Man... I think it will be pretty tightly packed in there.
posted by rebent at 9:52 AM on December 24, 2021 [1 favorite]


I’m 54, I’m hardly a hipster. I guess you’d have to live in a big city to understand gentrification. Or live in NYC to understand how our city’s poorer neighborhoods are looked over until they become attractive to developers. Williamsburg was for decades, if not a century, a working class neighborhood. Mostly Italian and later Puerto Rican and Dominican. Most of whom, if they were renters, have been priced out of their own neighborhood. It was also the site of at least one (I’m too lazy to look up the details right now) superfund site. The crack and prostitution weren’t selling points, they were daily realities of a poorer neighborhood. My points were about how clueless the hype around Williamsburg was when there wasn’t much that an outsider could access.

Parks are great, but where were the parks and the city money 20 years ago. 30, 40, 50 years ago. I’m sure it’s great if you’re a millionaire. Or a tech bro. I’m sure some aspects of it will be great for the few families with deep roots there who can access it. The problem with this development is that it’s attached to buildings where one-bedrooms will start at $3,000.00 a month.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 1:10 PM on December 24, 2021 [3 favorites]


no dispute that this "beach" is another stupid gimmicky public-private project that is attached to hideous and evil overpriced luxury condos, I just think it's tremendously funny that there are still people in the year of our lord 2021 who are like "wow I can't *believe* how many SHEEPLE like to GO OUT in williamsburg!!!" when it's been what like, multiple decades of gentrification at this point. it's like being shocked that people want to live or go out in the east village or something when the *real scene* died years ago.
posted by windbox at 2:11 PM on December 24, 2021 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: I'm too old to be a hipster.
posted by Umami Dearest at 7:29 PM on December 24, 2021 [1 favorite]


where were the parks and the city money 20 years ago. 30, 40, 50 years ago.

I feel like your question sorta answers itself. The reason stuff like this is happening now, is that cities in general, and NYC very much in particular, become desirable places to live again for people who are in a position to choose, rather than just live there because they have to.

40 years ago, companies weren't moving their offices or setting up new ones in NYC, they were getting out, to the benefit of suburban office parks everywhere. The rich lived in southern Connecticut (where they avoided income taxes). And services in the city sucked.

But then the city changed, there was a generational shift—I guess a Boomers vs. Millenials thing—and suddenly everybody wanted to be back in the city. The companies and the big money followed. And now NYC has a budget pushing $100B, some of the highest per-capita spending in the country, and there's going to be a fully-synthetic beach on the East River for some reason. I don't think these factors are unrelated.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:43 AM on December 25, 2021


Cutting down many old Trees in NYC. To build a park.

Since the chain saws arrived two weeks ago, workers have moved quickly to get rid of more than 70 species of mature trees at the popular 46-acre park on the Lower East Side, including 419 oaks, 284 London planes, 89 honeylocusts and 81 cherry trees — along with eventually demolishing a running track, ballfields, lawns, picnic areas, an amphitheater and a composting center.
posted by ovvl at 4:22 PM on December 26, 2021


Metafilter: I'm too old to be a hipster.
Metafilter: OK Boomer
posted by pee tape at 8:36 PM on December 26, 2021


I guess you’d have to live in a big city to understand gentrification.

I'm in my 40s and have lived in cities for most of my life. I have grown pretty weary of hipsters who glorify urban grit at the expense of livability, but it seems like you were coming from a different place.
posted by lunasol at 12:43 PM on January 2


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