Watch the I ♡ Bushwick Music Video here!

Thank you Spencer Brown + Stephanie Pereira of Eyebeam!


This SUNDAY 12-3 PM – 11.22.09 at Chez Bushwick!

Let’s be early!
Let’s get ready for 2010 starting Sunday!
Let’s use our data to activate collaborative projects!
Let’s look at common challenges across demographics!

Come for a CAPITAL B open town meeting focusing on neighborhood
and how we can build collaborative strategies to take them on in 2010.

Join us at Chez Bushwick’s studio for brunch and a strategy session.

Results from our community needs survey and fabric mapping will be shared
as the basis for small group discussions and joint action plans.

Please RSVP so I know how many croissants to buy!
Looking forward to seeing you all very soon!
at Chez Bushwick
304 Boerum Street, Buzzer 11

A sunny studio and brunch treats await you!

Thank you!

As part of AIB’s one-day festival, BETA Spaces, the Youth Culture Lab carted a wishing-tree cart from Roberta’s Pizzeria on Moore Street – the new-comer, thin-crust variety popular among the artist crowd – to Fortunata’s Pizzeria on Knickerbocker – the old school sicilian and pizza-by-the-slice sanctuary perfect for after-school snacks and quick lunch-time treat.

Amanda Cordero and I paraded the P-2-P stroll, stopping along the way to talk to BETA space art-gawkers, mechanics working on a Sunday, kids and parents populating Maria Hernandez Park’s playgrounds, and of course, hungry pizza eaters!

Our cart consisted of miniature trees, paper leaves cut in the shape of Bushwick, NYC condoms and fortune cookies donated by the  Wonton Food Company (the largest manufacturer of noodles, cookies and dumpling wrappers, and also our neighbor!).   We invited people to write a wish for the community on one of the Bushwick leaves to hang on our wishing tree.  In exchange, they received a cookie or a condom or both!

Special thanks to Eyebeam student residents for their wishing tree pop-up designs! And thanks to Deanne Ziadie-Nemitz for help with wish compilation!

Check out the Flickr Set + Google Map + read the wishes below (some were collected on the P2P walk and others at the I ♡Bushwick event by the Eyebeam genius resident event designers:

Neighborhood Safety

For more toys for the playground  and more  security
More Security
No over-dosing -13 year old
No bad people anywhere -11 years old
Have a safe, less drug filled, healthier environment for the children.
For less violence
Less guns! more pizza!
No more violence

Community + Environmental Health

Bushwick had more trees
Less cement! More bicycles
There were more trees and diversity (people wise and flora/fauna wise)
Big Trees
Bushwick was a cleaner environment
No littering – 12 years old
Another cleaner park
For more wilderness and less cement factories!!!
Cement factories out of our parks and streets
Universal health care
For more trees
Bushwick had a healthier better food.

The Arts

For  a continual artistic community
Diana Reyna to give more money for arts funding in Bushwick
For affordable options to buy artist spaces in Bushwick.
Everyone would stay happy and show off some art

Social Services + Community Needs

Go give homes to the homeless
Homes for the homeless
Kids in Bushwick had lots of choices  of things to do after school.
I want more opportunities for teens
More English Classes
To go to college

Equality + Peace

Racial Harmony
More unity more community!
For equality for all
For peace
Everyone should have peace
All the love and support and goodness concentrated lives today and extends

Food + Recreation

Fresh affordable veggies
For a coffee shop 2  blocs from my house with very good coffee
For a tasty dish
There were other venues
Dog run in Maria Hernandez
I would like a gay bar
More people go out to see the stars at night

Jobs + Local Economy

Bushwick, I wish for you to return to your industrial past an thrive! And provide jobs jobs, jobs for everyone.
That low income Bushwick residents did not have to fear being pushed/priced out of their homes
More community  activities and jobs without exploitation
That all future pizza places use ovens brought to Bushwick from Italy

Space + Real Estate

I owned a building here
That people would know the neighborhood boundaries better!
That I became more familiar with its streets
I hope the evil yuppies don’t invade Bushwick

Misc. Wishes

Love and a traveling mirror tent
Brighter starz
Bushwick can become cool!
To be skinny
For non-stop sun
For lots of sunshine this winter!!! And not that much snow.
That I was as fierce as Luther Cherry!
Michael Hart moves back to wick and owned a giant loft
I had a puppy
For peace love and more beacon’s closet!
We could all take long baths!

TAKE ACTION! to protect NYC’s water sources today.

Picture 7


The Bushwick Community Board is voting on taking a resolution that hydrofrakking be banned; that meeting will take place on November 18 at 6pm-9pm at Hope Gardens Senior Center at 195 Linden St. Brooklyn, NY 11221

And City-Wide:

November 10 Rally & Public Hearing in NYC
Send a message to Governor Paterson and NYS DEC Commissioner Peter Grannis that the people of New York want their drinking water to remain safe from the highly toxic chemicals used by the gas extraction industry.  It is time for the State to come to the same realization as Audrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy that New York City’s (as well as the state’s) water would be damaged by gas drilling.  We deserve DEC regulations and NYS legislation that will guarantee the protection of all New Yorkers from the ravages of gas drilling. Sign the petition here.

Why Speak Out?

The State of New York is ready to give the green light to the gas extraction industry via its proposed new regulations, the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS).
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers Street, New York City
5 pm – Kill the Drill Rally
6:30 pm – DEC Public Hearing (sign up to speak 5:30 pm)
The Kill the Drill Rally is being organized by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and has been endorsed by NYH2O and a long list of environmental groups and elected officials. For more information, click here.
The hearing is one of four across the state sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to obtain public input regarding the draft SGEIS, see details here.
This is your opportunity to tell the Governor and DEC that our water is far more valuable than gas.  There is a five-minute time limit for speakers, but written comments can be submitted as well. Find instructions to send them below.

Send Written Comments to the NYS DEC:

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, the State has set a December 31, 2009 deadline for submitting comments on the draft SGEIS.  Send written comments to:
Attn: dSGEIS Comments
Bureau of Oil & Gas Regulation
NYSDEC Division of Mineral Resources
625 Broadway, Third Floor, Albany, NY 12233-6500.
The DEC website will allow you to provide comments within an online form, tag them to a specific area within the SGEIS, and provide attachments here.
For information on emailing comments visit the DEC website.
To join NYH2O and become part of the movement to save New York’s water resources, go to
BETA Spaces (Bushwick Exhibition Triangle of Alternative Spaces)
Sunday, November 8, 2009, 12-7pm
Beta Spaces
CAPITAL B will be roving around Maria Hernandez Park from 3-5PM with our wishing tree cart – Make a wish for Bushwick, take a fortune cookie + learn about the history of Bushwick’s forests!
Wishing Tree Cart

Arts in Bushwick is pleased to present BETA Spaces, a one-day festival of independently curated, collaborative group exhibitions.
Now in its third year, BETA Spaces promotes and facilitates open dialogue among curators, artists and visitors. The free, one-day festival features hundreds of artists in over thirty curated shows. The festival takes place in approximately ten square blocks of industrial, post-industrial, commercial and residential buildings, permitting a wide range of alternative exhibition spaces including lofts, studios, galleries, street corners, restaurants, retail stores and radio stations.  This dense yet varied geographic plan furnishes visitors with an easily accessible and highly informative trajectory through a neighborhood bustling with creative enthusiasm and collaborative pursuits.
BETA Spaces is a non-traditional art festival: its framework of presenting curated thematic group exhibitions is designed to encourage conceptual integrity and interdisciplinary elasticity. Artists and curators are challenged to recontextualize their efforts and envision art works outside the white box environment of the commercial art world, or the in-process setting of an open studio. Due to the shared parameters and collaborative underpinnings of participation, the festival itself functions as a “group show” of an energetic and vibrant neighborhood. From glimpses of Bushwick’s varied histories to rooftop views, local politics to mixed-media performances, BETA Spaces offers visitors an array of options for engagement, immersion and entertainment.
Special events include a panel on public art production at Lumenhouse (47 Beaver Street) at 1pm, and the BETA Spaces After Party at Page Not Found (76 Jefferson Street), which will give visitors and artists a space to unwind and discuss the events of the day (7pm – midnight). Arts in Bushwick is also excited to partner with 3rd Ward’s Moviehouse (95 Morgan Avenue), which will screen films from 7 – 9pm.



rally + research!


Over the last several years, during the housing boom, NYC saw the rapid development of luxury condominiums; many in neighborhoods where low-income people live.  Oftentimes, this type of development has led to gentrification and displacement of low-income people that have lived in these communities for years.  Due to the current economic crisis, many of these luxury condominiums are now vacant, while others are stalled in construction. Despite all of this new construction, the number of units that are affordable for low- to middle-income families has decreased precipitously. From 2002 to 2005, the city lost more than 205,000 units affordable to the typical household.   Accordingly, NYC is left with many vacant units of housing but these units are not available or affordable to those most in need of housing.

The Condo Count
Right to the City-NYC (RTTC-NYC) organizations have been walking the streets of 298 census tracts located in 9 different Community Districts to document the true extent of the problem posed by empty condos and stalled construction in low-income communities. RTTC-NYC organizations are actively working with the communities in which we are canvassing. All the Community Districts are located in the following areas: Downtown Brooklyn, Bushwick, the Lower East Side, the West Village, Harlem and the South Bronx.

To help RTTC-NYC members locate new construction sites that potentially met our criteria, RTTC-NYC worked closely with the Furman Center to map out the location of every building that has received a building permit between the years of 2004-2008 within our target neighborhoods. In addition to the sites that had received a building permit, RTTC-NYC members documented any building that was:
•    Residential and;
•    Newly constructed; or
•    Newly renovated; or
•    Fully built but did not appear to be lived in; or
•    Not fully constructed and construction seems to have stopped.

RTTC-NYC, with support from the Furman Center, is also collecting the following information about the buildings found through our canvass:
•    Owner of building
•    Developer of building
•    Building type
•    Tax class
•    Total number of units/total number of vacant units
•    Total number of bedrooms
•    Price of units on the market
•    Number of days listed on the market

Field Findings: By walking the streets in our target neighborhoods, RTTC-NYC has been able to identify vacant condos and stalled construction sites that have not been accounted for by the city, the media, or by other means.
A More Complete Picture: In additional to our field findings and secondary research, RTTC-NYC has conducted a comprehensive review of existing data on vacant and stalled condominiums in NYC.  We have found that the information available to be very incomplete.  For example, our research has uncovered dozens of potentially stalled or abandoned construction projects that are not included on the official list made available by NYC’s Department of Buildings. Likewise, no thorough review has been done to determine where vacant condos are located in the city and how many there are.
Impact on Low-Income Communities: Our research is specifically targeting low-income neighborhoods to determine how these vacant condos and stalled construction sites are affecting these communities.  After completing this research, we hope to work with the city to convert many of these empty condos into truly affordable housing for the low-income communities in which they’re located.

Bushwick Brooklyn is a traditionally low-income community made up primarily by people of color. However, over the past several years, the neighborhood has seen a large increase in luxury development that is contributing to the gentrification of the area. This process may ultimately displace many of the people who have lived in this neighborhood for generations.

Bushwick: A Snapshot
•    Median Household Income is $31,531
•    32% of residents make under $18,302
•    8% of residents are unemployed
•    Median Monthly Rent for a Bushwick Resident is $795
•    Notice of Foreclosure Rate is 57.8%, which has nearly tripled since 2000.
•    Total number of foreclosures in Bushwick in 2008 was 379
•    Highest rate of serious housing code violations in the city
•    Poverty Rate of 32%

RTTC NYC members canvassed 36 census tracts in Community District 204 in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Through this canvass, we identified 108 residential buildings that appeared to contain a significant amount of empty units (60 buildings), or appeared to be stalled in construction (48 buildings).

Empty Condos: (60 Buildings Identified)
To identify buildings with empty units, canvassers looked for evidence of people living in the units, for sale signs, and spoke with neighbors and building personnel. Using these criteria, we identified 60 buildings in Bushwick that appeared to contain empty units. Through our secondary research, we uncovered the following additionally information about these and other units currently on the market in Bushwick:

Average price: $405,959
Average days on market:  216 days
Total number of units: 40 units
Total number of bedrooms: 75 bedrooms

Multifamily Houses:
Average Price:  $565,795
Average days on market: 158 days
Total number of units:  81 units
Total number of bedrooms: 599 bedrooms

Below are two examples of some of the buildings we found:

979 Willoughby Street
Total units: 15
Total units available: 14
Average days on market: 382
Average price (unit): $507,750
326 Melrose Street
Total Units:  10
Total units available: 9
Average days on market: 125
Average price (unit):  $325,000

Stalled Construction: (48 Buildings Identified)
Through our canvassing efforts, we looked for the following evidence of a stalled construction site: an expired DOB permit, boarded up windows, locked doors, lack of ongoing construction, and conversations with neighbors. Using these criteria, we identified 48 buildings that appeared to be in various stages of stalled construction. However, the DOB has only 4 developments on its list of “stalled construction sites” within Bushwick.

Condos in Google Earth

A map of condominiums recently built, under development, or stalled in Bushwick.

In collaboration with Make the Road NY’s Youth Power
– Bushwick Research About Gentrification Committee and Right to the City.

Stay posted for research results + a video + upcoming actions!

The City has announced new, exciting opportunities to strengthen the arts workforce, utilize City properties for creative endeavors and promote arts clusters. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in conjunction with the Department of Cultural Affairs, has released four RFPs for which your organization may be eligible. More detail is below, and the full RFPs can be found at The press release can be found at

Curate New York City – Deadline: November 9

The Curate New York City program is one of two initiatives aimed at showcasing the work of artists in New York City. The program will work with an arts organization to identify visual artists and provide them with gallery space in City properties. Exhibition space includes: St. George Minor League Baseball Stadium on Staten Island, Essex Street Market and NYCEDC in Manhattan, and Fulton Ferry Landing and Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) in Brooklyn.

New York City Performs – Deadline: November 9

NYC Performs focuses on introducing performing artists, including musical and dramatic artists, to wider audiences. In partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, artists will stage performances at City properties across the five boroughs including: St. George Esplanade on Staten Island, Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn, West Harlem Piers Park in Manhattan, 161 Street Passive Pier in the Bronx, and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. NYCEDC will work with a cultural organization to identify performing artists and stage performances.

Promoting Arts Clusters – Deadline: November 16

NYCEDC has created a program to promote New York City neighborhood arts clusters. The program will encourage local arts organizations to collaborate with local businesses and their Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to spur economic activity via marketing campaigns and tourist incentives. NYCEDC will provide two $25,000 awards to match the arts clusters program. Artist as Entrepreneur – Deadline: November 16 The City’s Artist as Entrepreneur program aims to equip New York’s artists with the business and management skills they need to successfully market their work. The program has two phases. In the first phase, artists attend an intensive 5-day “boot camp’ in which they develop business plans for their work and learn to use financial, marketing, and management tools to further their careers. The training course will be provided by a educational provider. In the second phase, graduates of the training program are eligible to apply in an Artist Studio Program that grants access to affordable studio space and a network of artists at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (“BAT”). The Artist Studio Program is operated by Chashama, Inc.

CAPITAL B wants to better understand:

– How the arts impact the quality of life and the economy of Bushwick
– How  access to affordable work and live space has changed in the past 5 years
– What areas of neighborhood life need the most improvement


Please take 5 minutes to take the survey here, in English or Spanish!
Share the link with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues too.
The deadline to fill it out is 10/15.

The results will shape CAPITAL B’s work in the year to come
and help us to effectively build lasting partnerships between the arts community, long-term
residents, and neighborhood organizations.

Thank you so much!