THIS WEEK: Bike Love

July 27, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Those of you who want a little beefcake with your squeaky clean bike are in luck! Per this flier (which I found on Driggs Avenue) this Saturday, August 1, the Metropolitan Bar will be hosting a hose-down with a distinctly 11211 twist.

gethosed

There’s no mention of price so I am guessing this service is gratis. As to whether or not the lad or lass lavishing love on your ride will seat-throat your Schwinn?

seatthroating

Well, I suppose you just have to go and find out. Only in Williamsburg, folks…

Bicycle Love Hose-Down
August 1, 2009 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Bar
559 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Build More

luxurycondoms

From Frost Street.

Miss Heather

OSA Chief Faces Criticism: Rebuttal

Last week was a hectic one for yours truly. Pet-sitting, work, Photoshop phreakiness, life: the list goes on and on. But at long last I have the time and energy to share my thoughts about the following which hails from Brooklyn11211.

brooklyn11211

If you point and click your way to this post (which can be done by clicking on the above image) you will learn that Brooklyn11211 is addressing the recent reporting by Aaron Short of the Williamsburg Courier. What was of particular interest to yours truly is the embedded link for “Its (sic) not a sell out”; this directs the reader to the (admittedly rather vitriolic) post I wrote last Thursday.

BDE31609My colleague down south is right: the fact the Executive Director Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn (henceforth referred to as OSAnb) gets just over half her salary from the city is not a “sell out”. It’s a buy out. There is a difference. Prior to being put on the city’s payroll Ms. Thayer was one of the most vociferous parks advocates Williamspoint had. As I understand it, she was a real pain the city’s butt. So they made a move that was downright Machiavellian in its brilliance: they hired her. It’s much more difficult to bite the hand if it is (in part) feeding you.*

Do I think Ms. Thayer sees it this way? No. I believe she believes (just as Brooklyn11211 does) that by being a Parks Department employee and the Executive Director of OSAnb she can and will be an “inside player/spokesperson” on the behalf of our community. I, on the other hand, do not.

Before I proceed I want to make it clear my opinion is not informed by a degree in architecture or landscape design; experience in public administration (although I have considerable experience with facilities management) or by being a Williamspoint “power player”. It is grounded purely by observing human nature.

I do not blame Stephanie for not “thumbing her nose at the Mayor”, e.g.; limiting attendance to the Bushwick Inlet Park “groundbreaking”. Just like the rest of us she has bills to pay. To be overtly critical of her employer will jeopardize the roof over her head. Who in his (or her) right mind, in these times, would do such a thing? (All I can’t understand is why Steve Hindy was given a shovel— but we’ll get to that in a bit.)

But this doesn’t make the conflict of interest any less troubling. The fact of the matter is one person cannot serve two masters. In this respect I find the 51%/49% breakdown of her salary very instructive; as a Parks employee she is, in fact, working for us. The taxpayers.

It’s the other 49% I worry about. Aaron Short writes in this article:

After a long day of contemplating North Brooklyn’s open space problems and navigating the intricacies of city bureaucracy, a community leader could be forgiven for wanting an ice cold beer. And as neighborhood power players expressed their doubts about the purity of the organization’s motives, now might be a good time to grab one.

Fortunately, Open Space Alliance (OSA) Chairman Steve Hindy, also the owner of the Brooklyn Brewery, doesn’t have to go very far. He originally founded the Open Space Alliance (OSA) with Adam Perlmutter and Joe Vance in 2002 as a way to buy the Bushwick Inlet (North 12th and Kent streets) for public use. (Not the case: OSA incorporated in January of 2003. Here’s a jpeg of their paperwork. It lists the founders as follows: Joe Vance, Steve Hindy and Norm Brodsky. For the curious— or incredibly bored— here’s a jpeg of their Registration Statement on file with the State Attorney General’s office. It too dates to January 2003— and lists Joe Vance and Steve Hindy but now Adam Perlmutter is listed as OSA’s Secretary. Fascinating. — Ed. Note.)

Those plans stalled that year when Motiva, the company that owned the site, was reluctant to sell. So, Hindy and the board turned their attention to raising money to maintain McCarren and McGolrick parks and create new open space in North Brooklyn on street ends along the Williamsburg waterfront…

Let’s deconstruct this. You have a lawyer (Perlmutter) who is on record in this article from NY1, dated April 4, 2005:

…But protestors say the incentives come with no guarantees.

It’s not enough to just tinker with this plan, said City Councilman David Yassky. We’ve got to just start over and get a much better plan; one that’s for the neighborhood, not the developers.

So far, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the local Community Board have voted down the plan, while the City Planning Commission voted last month to approve it. Now it’s moved on to the City Council, and all sides want to be heard.

Without rezoning we will have power plants, transfer stations and industrial uses that will forever close the door for our community to recapture its waterfront, said community activist (and hired representative of Greenpoint Landing LLCwhich would very much like to develop the Greenpoint waterfront*— be sure to watch NY1’s video to hear him say just this— it’s a HOOT!) Adam Perlmutter.

In the clarity that is four years hindsight I suspect most of us agree that David Yassky, Perlmutter, and Markowitz have done little for “the neighborhood”— but plenty for developers. As for Joe Vance, entrusting an architect to be a community advocate in neighborhood facing a radical residential re-zone is sort of like asking the fox to guard the hen house. From the New York City Campaign Finance Board Database:

joevance

And last, but hardly least, Steve Hindy:

HINDY

As you can see Mister Hindy, a resident of south Brooklyn, President of Brooklyn Brewery and “co-founder of OSAnb”, has seen fit to donate $100 to Evan Thies’s campaign. Which brings me to the following (as gleaned from the aforementioned article from the Williamsburg Courier)…

“So far OSA is not on a track yet, said one CB 1 member who wished to remain anonymous. “They’re negotiating contract deals for concerts and that’s not what an open space organization should be doing. This was always my fear as they were setting up the organization.”

Julie Lawrence, a longtime Williamsburg resident and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth organizing committee member, believes that the relationship between OSA and the Parks Department has benefited the city (and businesses, including the Brooklyn Brewery, which are have received or currently have concession rights at the aforementioned events — Ed. Note) more than the community.

“It’s not about raising money for the parks. It’s about raising income for the city,” said Lawrence.

The nonprofit has not released an annual report or formed bylaws, (Not true: Ed. Note. You can read them by clicking here.) despite bringing in donations and revenues of several hundred thousand dollars per year and retaining two full time staff.** According to figures released from OSA board members, the largest contributor to OSA last year was Assemblymember Joseph Lentol (D, Williamsburg), who allocated $50,000 in state funds***

Councilmember David Yassky (Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights), also chipped in $10,000*** and Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office contributed $400,000 through OSA for renovations to Rodney Park.***

In terms of expenditures, the largest expense has been the stage built for the Pool Parties series that OSA co-sponsors with JellyNYC, a music promotion company. Last year, it cost $600,000 to put on shows at McCarren Park Pool, though the state and OSA will split expenses for the summer’s Pool Party series on the East River.****

OSA also pays for the salary of two full-time employees: Executive Director Stephanie Thayer, who makes $80,000 per year, and Julia Morrow, an assistant director as well as contributes to maintenance costs such as the resodding of park ball fields and refilling garbage bags and soap in comfort stations.

“We won’t spend money until receiving input from the community committee”, said Thayer, (BULLSHIT-***– Ed. Note.) who added that they are currently working on their first annual report. “We recorded a long list of complaints at last fall’s OSA general meeting.”

The primary role of the OSA Board is to raise money. Board members are expected to contribute about $3,000 each, making for a total of $35,000 per year, and help host fundraisers, such as a recent soiree held at a Williamsburg apartment tower that netted $1,300 $13,000.

“We’re working to build the board,” said Hindy, who would like to add eight more board members to the current 12. “I think the effectiveness of OSA will depend on the extent that the community supports it.”

What do you mean by “community”, Mister Hindy? The people who actually live here (the last I checked the median income for a family of four in Greenpoint was ~$36,000 a year) or business owners who can outlay $3,000 a year in dues? Methinks the type of “community support” you seek is a plutocracy.

Which brings me back to Brooklyn11211‘s post. He wrote in closing:

Happily, we have other groups that can fill the advocate role – and keep the City (and OSA) honest (NAG).

parksandrecTHUMBFirst off, why should we, as citizens, have to belong to/rely upon a community group to keep our civil servants honest? When I write this I mean no disrespect whatsoever for NAG— they are doing some great stuff. Rather, what I find most curious (and disquieting) is the omission of any mention of Community Board 1 in Brooklyn11211‘s post. Given that one of the writers for this blog is on CB1.

CB1’s members are ostensibly the representatives of this community. As you will notice in the screencap to the left they have a “Parks & Recreation Committee” and Evan Thies (who is running for City Councilman in the 33rd District) is member. I wonder what they have to say about all of this?

I for one would love to know. If anyone from Community Board 1 is reading this and would like to give his (or her) take on the previous please email me at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Whatever you tell me will remain anonymous.

Miss Heather

*Per the Village Voice article entitled “Super-sized Williamsburg on the Way” dated April 26, 2005:

“There is no way that you can say that 40-story towers have anything to do with the existing character of the neighborhood,” complained Stephanie Thayer, a member of the North Brooklyn Alliance, which has been battling to scale back the development.

And yet, four years later, she poses next to the developer poised to build a 40 story tower in Greenpoint and the City Councilman who enabled it. Because they gave chump change to make a mural.

**Why isn’t this org. being audited?

***These figures have since been revised. Upward. Check out the Williamsburg Courier for the 411.

****Which brings me to a tale of two dog runs. A donation was made with the expectation it would be shared. It didn’t work out that way. Although once promised— and much discussed—- the money was used for one. If McGolrick can get $13,000 for a new fence why has been McCarren been relegated to getting sloppy seconds from Sternberg? And $500 to be given to volunteers as “thanks” for assembling said fence— which has not, in fact, been assembled. One such volunteer is the Executive Director of OSA’s brother. His qualification(s): taking a welding class.


Found On Union Avenue: Chance To Live In $7,000 A Month Apartment!

July 26, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Bloomblight, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

700bucks

I’m not too sure how well this is going to go over in the heart of Bloomblightville, Brooklyn, 11211 but here it is. Wanna to live in a two bedroom, fully furnished “luxury apartment” in the West Village? Here’s your chance!

nopurchasenec

Per the rules no purchase is required. Interested parties can learn more by clicking here. Apparently you have to submit a 30 second video explaining why you should get it. I would strongly recommend anyone who was rendered homeless by the building collapse last month at 493 Myrtle Avenue enter and tell his (or her) story.

bigblack

As for who is responsible for this piece of Darthitecture— given the mezzanine abuse I’m guessing Robert Scarano or Karl Fischer. Perhaps the folks over at Curbed can enlighten us?

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Street Art Du Jour: White Rabbit

July 26, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

whiterabbit

From Wythe Avenue.

Miss Heather

P.S.: I LOVE THIS!

shoes

WR2

More Fun From The New York Shitty Inbox

February 14, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

hydrant-on-union

You know what that they say about trouble: it comes in threes. It would appear this holiday weekend (and it ain’t over yet) is proving to be a busy one for our very own 94th precinct.

M writes:

Hey Miss H – I witnessed an armed robbery early Friday morning around 1 AM at the corner of N. 11th & Union across from the Royal Oak bar in Williamsburg. A twenty-something couple that lives in the area got held up at gunpoint for their belongings. The assailants were both wearing hoodies: one grey and one black.  The whole thing happened very quickly of course – when I first turned around to see the commotion, it almost looked as though the group knew each other.  The robbers didn’t take their cell phones so the couple both called 911. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could offer other than “one in grey and one in black” from my vantage point across the street. One of the robbers held a gun to the male’s head as they grabbed their bags and told them to “give it up.  I found out afterward that the woman’s bag contained a laptop full of research for her work.  There were several squad cars on the scene within minutes of the robbery and they started scouring the area.

I gave the guy my card in case I could help remember anything more specific, but alas, I didn’t get a view of the two robber’s faces before they took off and rounded the corner onto Roebling.  The couple hopped into one of the squad cars to take a look around, but as I got a call from the police about 2 hours later asking if I had seen the robbers’ faces, I doubt they turned up anything in their search of the area. Pretty scary considering how it wasn’t that late and the area there isn’t exactly bereft of foot traffic. It would seem that criminals are getting bolder in the neighborhood, so people should be extra cautious when you’re walking around late at night in less trafficked areas. It could have just as easily been me on that side of the street with my laptop (which I happened to have on me at the time) so this has me thinking twice about the safety of our area.

Here’s a link to the google map of the corner where the robbery took place .

sorry this isn’t a fun tip to pass on your way, but people should know what’s happening out there after hours.

I agree. While not “fun” it is important that my fellow citizens know about this kind of thing, hence why I am posting this item. Be careful out there G & L trainers. Seriously.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Lest anyone reading this wants to voice their concerns about crime in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area, the next Community Council meeting for the 94th Precinct will be on February 17, 2009 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Greenpoint Savings Bank (AKA: Capital One):

807 Manhattan Avenue (Entrance on Calyer Street)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Not Cool

September 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg 

Despite the stifling humidity I took a nice long walk this afternoon. Upon crossing the BQE at 3:00 p.m. I noticed a group of men conferring with some police officers at Father Giorgio Triangle.

Once I crossed the street I learned why.

It would appear that someone has stolen the bronze plaque from this monument. He (or she) sold it for scrap. This is the second instance of metal theft I have heard of in as many months (1000 Manhattan Avenue was broken into and stripped of all its copper pipe recently as well). This is ridiculous.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Down the street I discovered that someone stole the potted plant in front of the Brooklyn Kitchen.

What the hell is wrong with people? If it isn’t yours don’t take it. Why is this concept so difficult for some of our fellow citizens to comprehend?

Miss Heather

Red Shed Garden

I have walked by this community garden (which is located just across Kingsland Avenue from the Greenpoint Hospital) many times. This weekend, however, I was lucky enough to swing by while their volunteers were busy beautifying north Brooklyn. They were also kind enough to let me come in and take some pictures. My complete set can be found over at Flickr. Here are a few highlights.

I’m not too sure what this chap, the littlest volunteer at the Red Shed Garden, was doing. But whatever it was it required the use of a plastic baseball bat. Doing a spot of weeding, perhaps?

The work these people have done is really impressive. I for one loved the use of a wheelbarrow as a planter.

This is the beginners’ garden. Interesting Garden Spot Fact: the land currently occupied by Mary D’s Housing For Seniors on Eagle Street used to be a community garden. When Mary D’s was built it was promised there would be a community garden on the premises. There isn’t one. The garden you see on Eagle Street is for Mary D’s residents only.

Here’s a nice shot with the old Greenpoint Hospital in the background.

And of course what would a post about the Red Shed Garden be without featuring its namesake? Anyone who is interested in volunteering at this beautiful oasis nestled in the heart of uglyass condoville should contact the folks at Red Shed via their brand-spanking new web site.

Miss Heather

A Revue Of Williamsburg Pay Phones

April 4, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11206, 11211, Williamsburg 

It has been awhile since I indulged my fixation for maltreated public pay phones. Today I will usher in the weekend with a few new finds from Williamsburg.

South 4th Street

I am quickly learning that this is a pretty common example of pay phone abuse, e.g; the receiver is broken into two pieces. I like to call these “danglers”.

Union Avenue

The person responsible for this devious bit of pay phone chicanery has presented us with a poser. Those who are lucky enough to approach this pay phone from the north can quickly ascertain its lack of functionality. Everyone else is not so fortunate. Caveat emptor.

Metropolitan Avenue

I am fascinated by the number of pay phones whose receivers are simply ripped off. Are these collectible? Is there an underground community of public pay phone receiver fetishists in New York City? If so, I hope they use plenty of disinfectant.

Speaking of prophylaxis, be sure to pack a little protection before you give this person a ring. From your cell phone, of course.

Miss Heather

More Harassment Courtesy of the N.Y.P.D.

Last night I approved a series of comments regarding my recent interaction with New York’s Finest. Among them was this turd posted by “MASKEDMAN”:

Ahhh Miss Heather
But if your house was broken into by someone who had been casing your neighborhood, so upset you would be at the Police Department for not doing there job.
How you would say they were at a donut shop or such, instead of properly investigating a 911 call of a suspicious person.
You say “Was I dressed in a manner that would be construed as menacing? How would the police know that? Because if they thought that, they would be profiling ooohhhh and just think of the story you would have then!!!!
Give the Officers a break really.

To wit I replied:

I have a better idea: they should cut us a break and (as I said in the comment previous to yours) go after real criminals.

It’s easy to criticize when you have not had an experience like mine and I hope you never do. Your cynicism saddens me. Nonetheless, I wish you happy and healthy holiday season.

“MASKEDMAN” got diarrhea of the mouth— or would that be of the keyboard? Either way it is fear-mongering bullshit:

I find it very funny
People riding their bicycles on the sidewalk, people drinking in public. all against the law.
How can you be upset about getting a summons for beaking ther law?
Don’t know if anyone has kids, but have you ever tried to walk on the sidewalk with a stroller while bicycles wiz by you it’s not fun.
Laws are there for a reason, if you want to play, you have to pay my friends.
Oh how everyone would complain if they were sleeping, and some people were outside drinking beers and making noise keeping them up. But I’m sure you weren’t making any noise, right?
Maybe the cops should just do NOTHING.see how you like it then.

Cut you a break for what Miss Heather? Just don’t investigate the complaint. You can’t be serious

Thinking this guy was just some angry jerk-off, I humored him:

If you are going to be abusive, Maskedman I am going to revoke your account. I have gone through enough hell this week. I am the victim in this situation. Not you and certainly not the NYPD. Simple as that.

Here is his piquant reply:

Well Miss Heather, I’m sorry you took me as abusive, I was simply asking a question and not trying to be abusive.
But, if you think that is abuse, NOW I can understand why simple questions by the Police to understand your actions causes you to call the Officer names like Barney Fife. You’re way too sensitive.
By the way, you should really THANK the Police for the job they have done there in the 94 Pct. THEY are the reason you can walk around that precinct looking at decorations, instaed of looking at hookers, pimps and drug dealers (as it was years ago). But instead you get mad at them for simply doing their job.
Victim? Victim of what?
You really have to think about this Miss Heather.

PS Please don’t assume you know me, or know my experiences, as I quote you “when you have not had an experience like mine”. I was pulled over by the Police all the time when I first started driving because I looked so young. They would pull me over, ask me for ID, question me, then send me on my way. I didn’t mind, ya know why? because I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I had NOTHING to worry about and they were just doing their job. Have a very Merry Christmas Miss Heather, and enjoy your New Year.

I did “think” about this. I also looked up “MASKEDMAN’S” I.P. address. Guess what? He and the N.Y.P.D. are one and the same:


“MASKEDMAN” writes:

Please don’t assume you know me, or know my experiences…

The sentiment is mutual: I do not want you to know me or my experiences. Ever read the Bill of Rights “MASKEDMAN”? I suspect you haven’t so here it is via Wikipedia:

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

First Amendment: Establishment clause, freedom of religion, speech, and press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment:
Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Third Amendment: Protection from quartering of troops. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Fourth Amendment:
Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment: Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain. No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sixth Amendment: Trial by jury and other rights of the accused. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Seventh Amendment: Civil trial by jury. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Eighth Amendment
: Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment: Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment: Powers of states and people. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Now that my history lesson is over, I’ll tell you something: I forwarded “MASKEDMAN’s” IP address to a lot of people. Here’s what one anonymous tipster had to say:

Good for you for putting word out.

I think he is probably harmless — the kind of guy who won’t hear anything critical about the police force. Interesting, though, that he is spending considerable amounts of time reading and posting to blogs from his office.

Have you seen this? The NYPD censoring this Wikipedia page with more or less the same IP info and location. (They also apparently notified the NYTimes–see Wiki comments.)

also naming Sara Berger & male colleague (albeit a different one) in NDSS room 701
maybe Sarah and the lads are just “techs.” But the room appears to be the “we watch the internet” room. Who knew?

I guess it’s probable that’s the location of NYPD’s IT and they’re not really in room 701.
It still raises the question of why maskedman isn’t doing some work.

Isn’t it nice to know your tax dollars are paying “MASKEDMAN” to surf the Internet and harass civilians who have the temerity to stand up for themselves? The timing of “MASKEDMAN’s” missives is also interesting: they came to pass after a lot of negative press via the ‘blogosphere’ and on THE SAME DAY Channel 12 contacted the 94 Precinct regarding my “incident”.

Miss Heather

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