Filed under: 11211, Abjectecture, East Williamsburg, East Williamsburg Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
(Or: Frank Lloyd Wrong)
Arizona needs its own architecture… Arizona’s long, low, sweeping lines, uptilting planes. Surface patterned after such abstraction in line and color as find “realism” in the patterns of the rattlesnake, the Gila monster, the chameleon, and the saguaro, cholla or staghorn – or is it the other way around—are inspiration enough. — Frank Lloyd Wright.
Apparently north Brooklyn, despite the decided lack of rattlesnakes, gila monsters or long, low sweeping lines is also deserving of such treatment. At least this is what this sign intimates. Behold 865 Grand Street for yourselves!
Here’s a view looking eastward.
Here’s a front view.
Here’s a view looking west. On a flight of fancy I looked up this edifice on the Department of Buildings web site. I found this complaint particularly interesting.
If anyone from the Department of Buildings is reading this, I can assure you they were working today!
Or perhaps this chap was simply enjoying the view?
In any case, I found the steel girders required to hold this hunchback (Grand Street’s second such one) together rather disquieting. I know what you’re asking yourselves, gentle readers:
How can this possibly be legal?
Very simple: when the (ostensible) contextual zoning in Greenpoint was approved (in response to turds like 308 Eckford Street), certain thoroughfares— Grand Street being one of them— were, in fact, “upzoned”.
Watch this clip and learn for yourselves.
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Stuff That Makes Miss Heather Happy
The patchouli oil of Gen Y gentrification is scenting the air. A two-bedroom three-bath garden duplex on Russell Street recently sold for $772,000.
Is this because people who spent $700K on a duplex can’t afford to wash themselves with soap? You know, like people who use patchouli? And can we borrow some of it? (Not patchouli, money.)
Thank you, Christopher Robbins.
Parting shot from yours truly:
David J. Maundrell III, the president of aptsandlofts.com, the marketing agent for the 149 Huron Street Loft Condos (where perks include Brazilian teak finishes and a Zen garden), gazed approvingly at 200 Franklin Street, a two-story storefront that camouflages a set-back 12-story apartment tower jutting into the air like a solitary exclamation point. “This is what’s coming to Greenpoint,” he said. “This is the future.”
Well, the “future” not only merited its own poster (as seen above) but it won Curbed’s “Greenpoint Ugly-Off” by a rather handsome margin.
P.S.: You can view the Times tome by clicking here. Those of you who are feeling impish might want to point out that the “new” five story building on Freeman Street (158 Freeman Street, to be precise) of which Mr./Ms. Finn writes is not exactly new…
and its ethically-challenged creator, none other than Robert Scarano himself, can no longer file plans with the Department of Buildings due to the creative license he took there. But who cares about ethics when there’s money— $3,500 a month for a one bedroom apartment— to be made! Nonetheless, it might behoove Mr./Ms. Finn to read/reference her own employer’s site.
She might learn something— I certainly did!
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, WTF
It has been a long time— perhaps too long— since I have expounded upon the real estate goings-on in Greenpoint. This is because quite frankly it has not been very interesting. There has been the odd development here and there to be certain, but the folks at Belvedere Bridge realty have yet to deliver Belvedere 30, or, XXX. I assure you, gentle readers, I have been very eager to see this happen. So it goes.
This is not to suggest, however, that they have not been busy balconizing my fair burgh: they have. I can personally attest that their latest creation is quite something. In fact, I’d go so far as to write it exceeds my wildest expectations. This is really saying something. Do read on and behold the Greenpoint glory for yourselves!
At a casual glance this block (Green Street between Manhattan Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard) appears to be like any other to be had here.
This ruptured bag of shit? While repulsive it is nothing special. In fact I call it downright pedestrian.
The dulcet hum of DOT trucks heading back to the depot under the Pulaski Bridge? Broadway has its lullaby, this is north Greenpoint’s!
No sir, if you want to see something truly amazing head to 186 Green Street. There, my fellow Garden Spotters, you will find your castle!
The Mister: OHSO?
Me: No. O-S-H-O. It says it’s a castle. If so, where the hell is Rapunzel? Or Lord and Lady Douchebag for that matter?
And what the hell is OSHO?
I could not stop asking myself this question. So this morning, gentle readers, I dipped into the fount of all knowledge: Wikipedia. Follows is what I found:
And follows are my favorite passages from the above tome:
In 1981, Osho relocated to the United States and his followers established an international community, later known as Rajneeshpuram, in the state of Oregon. Within a year, the leadership of the commune became embroiled in a conflict with local residents, primarily over land use, which was marked by hostility on both sides. The large collection of Rolls-Royce automobiles purchased for his use by his followers also attracted notoriety. The Oregon commune collapsed in 1985 when Osho revealed that the commune leadership had committed a number of serious crimes, including a bioterror attack (food contamination) on the citizens of The Dalles. He was arrested shortly afterwards and charged with immigration violations. Osho was deported from the United States in accordance with a plea bargain. Twenty-one countries denied him entry, causing Osho to travel the world before returning to Poona, where he died in 1990. His ashram is today known as the Osho International Meditation Resort…
The salmonella attack was noted as the first confirmed instance of chemical or biological terrorism to have occurred in the United States. Osho stated that because he was in silence and isolation, meeting only with Sheela, he was unaware of the crimes committed by the Rajneeshpuram leadership until Sheela and her “gang” left and sannyasins came forward to inform him. A number of commentators have stated that in their view Sheela was being used as a convenient scapegoat. Others have pointed to the fact that although Sheela had bugged Osho’s living quarters and made her tapes available to the U.S. authorities as part of her own plea bargain, no evidence has ever come to light that Osho had any part in her crimes. Nevertheless Gordon (1987) reports that Charles Turner, David Frohnmayer and other law enforcement officials, who had surveyed affidavits never released publicly and who listened to hundreds of hours of tape recordings, insinuated to him that Osho was guilty of more crimes than those for which he was eventually prosecuted. Frohnmayer asserted that Osho’s philosophy was not “disapproving of poisoning” and that he felt he and Sheela had been “genuinely evil”.
According to court testimony by Ma Ava (Ava Avalos), a prominent disciple, Sheela played associates a tape recording of a meeting she had had with Osho about the “need to kill people” in order to strengthen wavering sannyasins resolve in participating in her murderous plots: “She came back to the meeting and [...] began to play the tape. It was a little hard to hear what he was saying. [...] And the gist of Bhagwan’s response, yes, it was going to be necessary to kill people to stay in Oregon. And that actually killing people wasn’t such a bad thing. And actually Hitler was a great man, although he could not say that publicly because nobody would understand that. Hitler had great vision.” Sheela initiated attempts to murder Osho’s caretaker and girlfriend, Ma Yoga Vivek, and his personal physician, Swami Devaraj (Dr. George Meredith), because she felt they were a threat to Osho; she had secretly recorded a conversation between Devaraj and Osho “in which the doctor agreed to obtain drugs the guru wanted to ensure a peaceful death if he decided to take his own life.”
During his residence in Rajneeshpuram, Osho dictated three books under the influence of nitrous oxide (Emphasis mine — Ed. Note) administered to him by his private dentist: Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Notes of a Madman and Books I Have Loved. Sheela later stated that Osho took sixty milligrams of Valium each day and was addicted to nitrous oxide. Osho denied these charges when questioned about them by journalists.
Wow. Just wow. I wonder if Osho is a Widespread Panic fan? It just goes to show that all roads— at least those located in north Brooklyn— lead to laughing gas. Where do I park my Rolls?
From North 9 Street.
Filed under: 11211, Abjectecture, Bloomblight, King's Crap, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
Since the real estate market more or less tanked in north Brooklyn yours truly figured she would not be seeing anything new in the way of aesthetically bankrupt construction any time soon. Needless to say when I saw the above specimen (333 Leonard Street) today I figured it wasn’t anything special. Just another piece of Bloomblight. It was when I looked around the corner I discovered the error of my ways: this edifice is truly something to behold. Without further ado here are some highlights. Enjoy!
I’ll be perfectly frank: I was absolutely dumbstruck that this was a gut renovation so upon arriving back home I did a little poking around the Department of Building’s web site.
Sure enough, it is. The wonders never cease!
From Kent Avenue
Filed under: 11101, Abjectecture, Feral Furniture, Long Island, Long Island City, Newtown Creek, Queens, Street Art, Street Furniture
Yesterday was a rather trying one for yours truly. First it was my site crashing at midnight. This made me rather unhappy. Awakening to find it was still down made me unhappier. Realizing however this was due to factors way beyond my control I decided to revisit one of my favorite places…
Polish Paradise located in scenic D.U.P.A.L.I.C. (Down Under the Pulaski At Long Island City). As always, it did not disappoint.
For starters, this is without argument the largest pot hole yours truly has ever laid eyes upon.
And of course there is the extensive array of empty liquor containers to be found at this location. I was particularly impressed with this 1.75 liter bottle of Hennessy. That stuff ain’t cheap! Arguably the most provocative part of my trek came to pass in a rather desolate part of Long Island City. It was there I was somewhat startled to hear someone shout:
Hey lady, why aren’t you in Greenpoint?
This came courtesy of the inimitable proprietress of Word Books: Christine Onorati. In any case (and without further ado) here are some highlights from my journey. NOTE/SPOILER: There’s some pretty neat street art at the end. Enjoy!
You can view the above slide show in larger format by clicking here.
Filed under: 11211, Abjectecture, Bloomblight, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
If all the suits Rodney Dangerfield wore during his career could be amalgamated into a building this specimen, which hails from 14 Conselyea Street, would be the end product. It should also be noted that this rather diminutive structure (by Williamsburg standards, anyway) appears to have racked up an impressive five Stop Work Orders over the last three years. And if you are wondering about the fence: no, it is not supposed to look like that.
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic
Given the spate of rather nasty weather lately yours truly has been spending a great deal of time indoors. Today when the temperature reached a downright balmy 38 degrees I decided to take a little stroll down McGuinness Boulevard. I had a very pleasurable excursion until I reached the intersection of Java Street. This is where I found myself standing in slack-jawed amazement at the following.
Why do the people responsible for this crap think mimicking the Death Star somehow denotes “class”?
I mumbled to myself. Then I proceeded to cross the street so as to take a closer look. That’s when I learned that the above edifice may very well have the same expansionist designs, “Manifest Destiny” if you will, as espoused by Darth Vader, et. al.
Why can I not shake the image of a python unhinging its jaws and slurping down a rather large and unhappy mammal— or perhaps a spider injecting some digestive substance into its victim and waiting for it to rot from within— when I behold the above grotesque? Needless to say I will be watching with rapt interest to see how the guys at 285-303 McGuinness Boulevard (which has racked up a rather impressive number of complaints and a Partial Stop Work Order) will work around this little problem. My prognostication is as follows: if they fuck with their diminutive neighbor’s satellite television it will be war. Provided of course it hasn’t escalated to that level already.
In any case (and to close), I suspect no one will be surprised to know this edifice (which I have christened “The Anacondo”) springs forth from the G-E-N-I-U-S, north Brooklyn’s good friend and Greenpoint’s gift that keeps on giving … (drumroll, please)
Bobby Scarano, stand up please!
P.S.: Anyone care to place bets as to when Fox News/Murdoch’s Tuskin Raiders send a television crew out to document this atrocity? They point and click in single file (to my web site) to hide their numbers!
Filed under: 11211, Abjectecture, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
(Or: A Little Something For The Ladies & My Gay Friends)
The above item elicited many a sophomoric giggle from yours truly this afternoon. I suppose it goes without saying I brought it to the Mister’s attention as soon as I arrived home.
Me: Check this out!
The Mister (sitting on the couch, squinting): What is that?
Me: Come over here and look.
And “look” he did.
T.M.: Oh. It’s a man dropping his pants.
Me: Yup. You can bounce a quarter off of that ass! I for one really like how it is juxtaposed with the balconized and downright totalitarian-looking piece of ass to the left.
The Mister concurred.