Heidi’s Recovery Fund

Please take a moment to read Heidi’s story (of which the above screencaps are an excerpt), donate if you can and please spread the word. She really needs our help. As is the case with many people nowadays unfortunately, she stands to lose weeks of wages and is not insured so this accident (which is in and of itself traumatic enough) stands to be financially catastrophic to Heidi. Thank you for your time.

P.S.: Since we are on the subject of the intersection of India Street and Manhattan Avenue, I would like to present the following which I wrote fairly recently on this site (in regards to an email from the Department of Transportation regarding the “Manhattan Avenue Parking Spot of Death”, specifically some “Vision Zero” nonsense tacked onto said email):

Let’s consider pedestrian safety on the block in question. If “traffic enforcement” took the time/effort to, say, hang out at the intersection of India Street and Manhattan Avenue and ticket each and every motorist and bicyclist who blew through through the traffic signals located there they would make a tidy sum. They would also actually be doing something which does facilitate safer streets for pedestrians. But it is much easier to go after the long-hanging fruit of people parking in an ambiguously marketed parking space.

I wrote this on April 17, 2017. This accident came to pass May 10, 2017. Are the Department of Transportation and NYPD Traffic paying attention?

A Manhattan Avenue Park Spot Of Death Update: “Fixed”

April 18, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This is what I was greeted with bright and early this morning. Per a witness, the Department of Transportation showed up at midnight so as to do this. They made a lot of noise too. In any case, here’s to not having to watch some unfortunate soul’s car getting towed, folks yelling at traffic enforcement agents upon discovering they have been ticketed, etc.

Urban Fur: Cat In A Hat

Taken April 17, 2017.

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Manhattan Avenue

A little value-added from my sojourn to the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch this morning. It should settle the question once and for all as to the whereabouts of Scooby Doo. He is under a car on Manhattan Avenue between Clay and Dupont Streets and appears to be hammered as fuck. Possibly via the contents of the now empty bottle of tequila in the adjacent tree pit.

Cheers!

Quicklink: And Now A Word From The New York Times

April 17, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Spring is here and with it— not unlike the swallows returning to Capistrano— the New York Times lavishes attention on my humble community. This being Greenpoint, of course. My colleague at Queens Crap found this interesting and saw fit to bring this tome to my attention as follows:

The Times discovers Polish people in Greenpoint.

To wit, I replied:

That pharmacy they have a photo of has a fierce selection of sex toys.

It’s true. This pharmacy does sport such items. To prove my point I strolled over there bright and early on this Smigus-Dyngus Day so as to get photo documentation. I feel it is my responsibility as a citizen journalist with “street level” knowledge of such things. Without further ado, here is what awaits you at the Murawski Pharmacy which, it should be noted, is the only establishment which sells such wares. “Just For Fun”, also a Polish-owned and operated, used to sell sex toys but it has closed. The owner, a lovely lady named Barbara, has retired and moved to Florida. The storefront has since become a CitiHabitats office. But I digress. Bring on the photos!

Here we are.

Welcome to the Wall of Sex. It is proving to be Wet Monday indeed. Hallelujah!

I rather like how stickers, including a price tag, have been employed so as to conceal the “naughty bits”. While I am on the subject of stickers…

Even the penis pumps hereabouts are purporting to be gluten free nowadays. If that ain’t a sign of gentrification I honestly do not know what is. And, yes, the New York Times made sure to conjure up the golem which is the “G word”. Among other things:

As in other parts of our city, conversations in Little Poland often turn to gentrification. Faced with higher rents, many residents are leaving the neighborhood for other Polish enclaves in Ridgewood or Maspeth, both in Queens.

I already knew this. A lot of people know this. But I suppose if one’s targeted “readership” are people who actually enjoy the Time’s “The Hunt” column— and not just for the gallows humor it provides— this would be “news”. The previous having been written, let’s get back to the topic. This being things Polish in Greenpoint. You see, Mr. Lee was not the only one walking around Greenpoint yesterday, I was too! And at McCarren Park I saw something quite compelling. So much so I took photos of it!

This is what greeted me upon arrival at Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square. It would appear a mishap of some kind has come to pass. I would hazard to guess this mishap involved a motor vehicle. Folks are always driving into things here. Pedestrians, fences, buildings, trees, more pedestrians, if you can think of it, chances are an automobile has hit it. Not even Newtown Creek is safe, as we learned on July 9th, 2013 via Gothamist.

Which brings me back to what I beheld at Jerzy Popieluszko Square yesterday. I found the manner, “style” if you will, eerily reminiscent of the “treatment” the Manhattan Kayak Launch has received “post injury”.

Save of course the “caution” tape.  I am guessing the powers-that-be (the Parks Department? Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn?) saw fit to appoint Jerzy Popieluszko Square with the tape (which costs $9.95 plus tax for a 1,000 roll of the stuff) because it is part of McCarren Park and as such is part of the “flagship park” of Community Board 1. Prestige is at stake, my friends.


Which brings me to the above photo. I wanted to make sure everyone is aware the photos of the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch in this post were taken today, April 17th, 2017. Yes, gentle readers, we are closing in on four years of this fence being in this state of disrepair. This begs the question as to how long the fence at Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square will remain in its present state. If the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch is any indication, I’d say the prognosis is not good.

The state of repair (or disrepair) of facilities in any given community speaks volumes about how the city and its various agencies views/”values” said community. Let’s apply this to Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square. Here you have a park dedicated to a fellow who is highly revered by the Polish community. As the New York Times has ascertained, Greenpoint has a rather substantial Polish community.

Let’s do the math. The premises have been damaged and a “make do” solution in the manner of two barricades and approximately 7-8 yards of caution tape. I am not sure what the barriers cost, but at 1 cent a foot the tape used cost 24 cents.  As for when this will be repaired, maybe someone in the “mainstream media” will ask the proper “authorities”? Perhaps even someone at the New York Times! You know, “watchdogs acting as guardian of the public interest” kind of stuff. I will leave you now with a few shots of the McCarren Park women’s comfort station. These too were taken yesterday, Easter Sunday.

(Insert “Wet Monday” joke here.)

UPDATE, 4:12 pm: Apparently the fence at Jerzy Popieluszko Square has been in this state for few months. Amazing how McCarren can get a tennis bubble, but basic shit like a fence languishes. Of course fences do generate $55.00 per hour in revenue.

The 983 Manhattan Avenue Parking Spot Of Death: And Now Another Word from the DOT

April 17, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

Since the CBS 2 segment aired there hasn’t been much to relay other than the traffic enforcement agents seem to have stopped— or have seriously cut back— “policing” this ticket trap. Then this morning I received an email. It is so fascinating I am going to share it right here and now. Enjoy!

New York Shitty analysis:

  1. How is “pedestrian safety” relevant to the legality (or otherwise) of this, or any, parking space?
  2. Let’s consider pedestrian safety on the block in question. If “traffic enforcement” took the time/effort to, say, hang out at the intersection of India Street and Manhattan Avenue and ticket each and every motorist and bicyclist who blew through through the traffic signals located there they would make a tidy sum. They would also actually be doing something which does facilitate safer streets for pedestrians. But it is much easier to go after the long-hanging fruit of people parking in an ambiguously marketed parking space.
  3. A response “by mid-July”, you say? NICE.

You can’t make this shit up, folks…

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: If It Fits, It Sits

April 12, 2017 ·
Filed under: 10013, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Manhattan, Wow 

I spied this while strolling down Centre Street yesterday. It was too good to pass up and I have made a six inch by six inch print of it which is for sale for $4.95 a print here. Also, I did a pass by the Manhattan Detention Complex which is located across the street. I had a friend with me at the time and I wanted her to see the “Customer Service” entrance as I find it grimly entertaining.

Fun Fact: Google has reviews for the “MDC”. These can be perused by clicking here. Here’s a teaser:

Food was decent for a jail. Although the rooms were dirty and smelled Funny, not much to do, no one was severely injured at during the stay. The staff was decently helpful and the guest were surprisingly friendly.

I have to say this is eerily reminiscent of an AirBnb review. Manhattan Detention BnB. So there you. Closing on a totally unrelated note, prior to taking the day’s walk I met with a reporter from CBS Channel 2. They produced a news item about the Manhattan Avenue Parking Spot of Death which not only aired last night but interviewed our City Councilman, Steve Levin, about the matter. You see, he himself has been tricked by this money mill. In any case, I want to applaud him for taking the time to speak up about this and state plainly the sentiment held by a number of folks hereabouts regarding this matter. That sentiment being this space, which has no reason to be made illegal parking in the first place, should simply be made legal. Well done!

P.S.: The Brooklyn House of Detention also has reviews on Google. One is accompanied with some mighty interesting photos. The image at left is one of them. I will let your read the accompanying copy on your own but I will state right here an now it is the sort of stuff folks like our Vice President would not find the least bit amusing. Instead, I will leave you with this review which is considerably more concise and less detailed:

It’s like vegas- you only really want to be there 2 nights

Indeedy!

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Workin’ For The Weekend

April 8, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

Looks like “traffic enforcement” is at it again. On a Saturday, no less. What dedication! In any case this is an excellent opportunity to share a couple of things:

  1. Given this new parking by app thing it could be argued that the city would, could stand to make money by simply legalizing the space and generating revenue from it. However, I suspect they are rolling with the short-term strategy of hitting folks with parking tickets costing $115.00 a pop. And, as we have learned, the truly lucky folks accrue the additional costs of getting towed.
  2. A follow-up complaint to the original complaint (getting more Kafka-esque by the minute!) has been filed: DOT-331717-Z3B9

Oh, did I mention I am looking into installing a webcam so everyone can watch this banquet of bullshit unfold in real time 24/7/365? Well, I just did! Happy Saturday!!!

Spotted On Manhattan Avenue: The DOT

April 6, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 


This morning I popped out nice and early to get bagels. I noticed the Department of Transportation was afoot. Naturally my curiosity got the best of me so I checked my favorite illegal parking space for new signage. What I found should hardly be surprising…

Wanting to know what this “zone” business was about (I do not drive a car and have no intentions of doing so anytime soon), I did a spot of online research. Here’s what Patch.com has to say about it. The article in question dates from December 19, 2016:

NYC transportation officials announced Monday that within the next few weeks, New Yorkers will be able to fill any Muni-Meter between 14th and 59th streets in Manhattan via the ParkNYC app, now available for download on all app stores.

And by summer 2017, “every metered parking space in every borough” will be payable by app, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) announced.

The coolest part: By the time every meter is hooked up to the system, you’ll no longer have to sprint back to your car when your meter’s up. Instead, you’ll get a notification from the ParkNYC app, which will prompt you to refill the meter with your phone.

The lamest part: In order to get started, you’ll have to load your account with a minimum payment of $25…

So these “zones” have been put in place so one can pay for parking via an “app”. How very 21st century! As is being required to make a minimum payment of $25.00. Clever!

In closing I will leave you, gentle readers, with a couple stills taken from a video I shot yesterday morning at 10:22 am.

Yep…

Manhattan Avenue Parking Spot of Death Update: And Now A Word From The DOT

April 5, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

(Department of Transportation worker parking in front of 983 Manhattan Avenue so as to procure some lunch, taken April 3rd, 2017.)

As I stated in a previous update, a 311 complaint has been filed regarding this problematic parking space. Specifically, that the lines on the street and signs are not in agreement as to the legality (or, in this case, illegality) of the space in question. Well, gentle readers, this has been brought to the attention of the DOT. Specifically, the person whose jurisdiction is the signage. Yes, you just read me correctly: the person in charge of signage was contacted, not the person in charge of the markings on the street. As you can imagine this fellow does not seem to “get” what the problem is. Somewhere Franz Kafka is smiling.

And now part two!

The problem here is straightforward enough. At least to someone who is not a bureaucrat. In the interest of fostering a better understanding of the issue at hand I offer these videos taken April 3rd, 2017. One clearly shows the discrepancy, the “mixed signals” if you will, between the placement of the sign and the markings on the street. Among other things. Enjoy!

Remember folks, your choices behind the wheel matter. Today’s choice was fried chicken. Yum!

UPDATE, 10:22 am: They’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

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