What’s Happening In Brooklyn: Kids Returning To School, Lots Of Trees & Strangers Spilling Stories

What’s Happening In Brooklyn: Kids Returning To School, Lots Of Trees & Strangers Spilling Stories
Verrazzano Bridge. Liena Zagare/Bklyner

It’s the day before December! Where has the time gone? We hope you are staying safe and wearing your face masks. And we hope your Thanksgiving was relaxing. Here is some more information on the numbers, how many people have been getting tested, and what is to come.

New York City’s 3-K, pre-K, and elementary school students who opted into blended learning will return to school buildings on Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday. Buildings will reopen on Dec. 10 for all grades of District 75, which serves students with the most significant disabilities, Chalkbeat reported. Elected officials are asking him to provide clarity.

There’s a new art installation at City Point where strangers can spill their stories. And we wrote all about it! The Strangers Project is an ongoing participatory art project artist Brandon Doman began in 2009 in his hometown of Ann Arbor, shortly after finishing college. What started as a small experiment, wherein Doman collected stories from passersby outside a local coffee shop, became Doman’s full-time occupation. In addition to one-man pop-ups in places like Washington Square Park, where he simultaneously displays and collects stories from strangers, Doman travels nationwide to bring large- and small-scale versions of the project to different parts of the United States. Read more here.

A record-breaking 75 trees were planted to honor loved ones this season in Prospect Park, raising $150,000 for sustaining the Park in the process. On average, the Prospect Park Alliance plants 30 to 40 trees per season, a spokesperson for the Alliance told us. It is possible the 75 trees could have been planted in memory of someone who died from COVID-19. However, the Prospect Alliance could not confirm because of the privacy agreements surrounding the donors. Did you know that anyone can purchase a tree in Prospect Park to honor a loved one?

A new building is coming to Medgar Evers College Prep! It is a 681 seat, five-story building and will replace eight Transportable Classroom Units (TCUs) provided by CUNY that students used before. Those classrooms will be demolished before construction. This was done in partnership with the Department of Education (DOE), the School Construction Authority (SCA), and CUNY. The new building will be located adjacent to the school’s current site at 1186 Carroll Street, with expected occupancy for the start of the 2025 school year.

Shootings are still happening in our borough. Just last week, six teenagers were injured, and a 20-year-old died during a shooting at a Sweet 16 house party. Now, the NYPD is offering up to $10,000 for information regarding the murder. The NYPD is also offering $20,000 for information regarding the death of a one-year-old boy at a shootout in July that also injured three people.

Today is Shirley Chisholm’s birthday! She was the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek the presidential nomination. And she was a Brooklynite! Speaking of strong Black women, did you read this story in the NY Times about how a Brooklyn sisterhood of Black women became national power brokers? “This sisterhood was born a decade ago, made up of about a dozen women who had grown sick of being excluded from politics despite being told how important Black women were to Democratic candidates,” the Times reported. “They started out as campaign door-knockers and City Council aides, drawn to one another out of the sense that no one else would be able to support them in the hostile world of politics better than another Black woman who was also fighting for respect. A bond was forged in coffee shops and on stoops all over central Brooklyn.”

The annual New Years Day Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge has been canceled because of COVID-19.“While we are deeply disappointed that our great New Year’s tradition will not be taking place in 2021, we know this is the right decision to make for the health and safety of our members, thousands of attendees, and tens of thousands of spectators who show up for this event every January 1st,” said Dennis Thomas, President of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. “We will be back bigger and stronger in 2022. Until then, we urge all our former and future participants to help us continue to support non-profits in the Coney Island community.”

A 32-year-old woman clings to life, ejected from her car after being T-boned by a speeding driver — who blew through a red light in Brooklyn, the Daily News reported. The passenger of the Lyft was “riding north in the back seat of her hired Honda Accord on Bedford Ave. when the car was struck by a Dodge Charger flying west on Dekalb Ave. about 12:25 a.m., police said.”