Jane’s Carousel in the Brooklyn Bridge Park is officially open to the public today. Kids can finally take a $2 ride (it’s free for children under 3 accompanied by an adult) on the restored 1922 carousel.
St. Ann’s Warehouse announced its 2011-12 season lineup, its final season in Dumbo. A court ruling in July ended St. Ann’s chances of moving to a new home at the Tobacco Warehouse in the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The ruling nullified a set of decisions by the federal, state and city governments over the last several years that led to approval of a new home for the St. Ann’s Warehouse at the Tobacco Warehouse. St. Ann’s has to move from its current space after this season to make way for a new residential development, known as Dock Street Dumbo, which is taking its place.
NY Times reports that the 2011-2012 season will begin Oct. 12 with a multimedia musical, “Stop the Virgens,” created by Karen O of the rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, among others, and directed by the playwright Adam Rapp. It runs through Oct. 22.
St. Ann’s Artistic Director Susan Feldman sent an email this summer that vented her disappointment over the collateral damage that resulted after neighborhood and preservation organizations filed the suit to stop the transfer of the Tobacco Warehouse to private hands. At this point, St. Ann’s is still looking for temporary and permanent quarters for its 2012-13 season and beyond. Dumbo area residents can provide support for St. Ann’s by attending their shows or becoming a member. To see current season’s lineup or how to become a member, go to stannswarehouse.org/current_season.php.
Here’s an oldie but goodie from Octupus Pie. Octopus Pie is an ongoing comic series about two women living in Brooklyn, NY – their jobs, social circles, and some problems. In this episode, the dialogue is about the Empire Stores and how Dumbo was named.
“You know why this neighborhood’s called Dumbo, right?” “It’s an acronym, let’s see…District of Urbania’s Most Blatantly Overpriced, right?” “Har har.” “It was cheap in the 1970s. The artists who moved into these run-down factories named it.” “They thought an ugly name would deter contractors from moving in.” “Oh please, leave it to bohos to sanitize a scaary place and get mad when the yuppies arrive.” “They meant well. I can’t blame them, really.” “After all, Dumbo was always beautiful. It just took a bit of marketing for people to notice.”
Eric N. Vitaliano of Federal District Court issued a ruling that essentially nullifies a set of decisions by the federal, state and city governments over the last several years that led to approval of a new home for the St. Ann’s Warehouse. Back in April, the judge ruled that the National Park Service (“NPS”) violated federal law by removing two historic landmarks from federally protected parkland. The new ruling essentially ends St. Ann’s chances of finding a home in Dumbo. The New York Times notes: Citing environmental protection and conservation law, Judge Vitaliano ruled that it was “crystal clear” the park service acted outside its authority by removing both the Tobacco Warehouse and Empire Stores, another waterfront structure in Dumbo, from classification as federally designated parkland.
This is a sad decision for St. Ann’s Warehouse, Dumbo, and its supporters who enjoy one of the most innovative programming in theatre.
(Photo from Museum of the City of NY. The Tobacco Inspection Warehouse (right), the skeletal structure of the Department of Purchase Storehouse, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline beyond. by Berenice Abbott.)
Last week, the United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano ruled that the National Park Service (“NPS”) violated federal law by removing two historic landmarks from federally protected parkland. In January, we wondered why the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) requested the park boundary be amended in 2008 knowing that events were held at the Tobacco Warehouse (OPRHP wrote to NPS to request that the park’s boundary map be amended because “These former warehouse buildings [the Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse] are not suitable for nor used by the public for outdoor recreational opportunities in the park”). By amending the boundary, it allows for the property contained within the park to be altered. However, the ruling orders NPS to protect these Civil-War era structures – the Tobacco Warehouse and the Empire Stores – from the current development plans.