Live From 20 Clay Street…

Anthony Lopez via the Real Deal nys

Also known as the (former) NuHart Plastics Factory, a Superfund site whose owner wishes to convert into yet another glass-riven slab of Brutalist luxury housing. Why let that blue chip property lay fallow when you can rent it out for a rave? I can assure you, gentle readers, that is what is precisely what is happening there presently.


Per the lady who shot the above video footage:

…It’s unbelievable. The music didn’t start yet. Just haunted sounds. A resident’s decimeter hit 9… There’s a fire engine parked in the middle of Dupont St. Cars backing up onto Manhattan Ave, cop cars around on Franklin & Clay, not that it’s stopping the crowd from smoking weed on the line…

Mind you, this event has only begun. And of course I had more than my two cents to say about this shitshow via the rather massive email string which is accumulating in my inbox. On that note, I leave you with this…

Lisa Bloodgood reply nys 2

Good times.

UPDATE, 12:34 am, November 1: This “party” is apparently getting shut down. I have been told our City Councilman, Steve Levin, is present, along with a Fire Marshal.

And now a message from our City Councilman…

Our City Councilman Speaks nys

Update, 1:05 am November 1st, 2015: Here’s touching video footage of the first wave of inebriated and swindled party-goes slogging it to the G train.

Happy Halloween.

Photo Credit: Anthony Lopez via The Real Deal.

Video Credit: Laura Hoffman.

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: East 10th Street

October 26, 2014 ·
Filed under: 10003, Affluenza, East Village, East Village Manhattan, Gentrification 

Self Portrait nys

You are what you drive.

(Taken October 25, 2014.)

An Honor Roll Of Restaurants Past…

Thank You nys

Last night I had one helluva time falling asleep. Instead of counting sheep I decided to recount restaurants I liked in this city that are no more. Let’s just say it has been on the brain of late.* Here’s a partial list:

  1. Bleu Drawes: Jamaican food in Greenpoint? Yes, once there was! This was on Commercial Street, now the space is occupied by Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
  2. Oznot’s Dish: Berry Street, replaced by Silent h
  3. Silent h: (see above) , replaced by a French bistro. This was the place which really got me into Vietnamese food.
  4. Barossa: Graham Avenue, replaced by Gwinnett Street whose menu is mildly upscale “artsy” food. (I do not recall the latest name for this establishment, but I imagine part of the reason for the name change was one of the owners being charged with handling narcotics. you can’t make this shit up, folks.).
  5. Kenny’s Trattoria: Havemeyer Street, razed for residential development.
  6. Taco Bite: South 4 Street at Rodney, replaced by a short-lived vegetarian/health food restaurant.
  7. Grand Sichuan: Canal Street, razed so as to build a hotel.
  8. Conos al Pescatore: Graham Avenue. Replaced by Sage an upscale Asian fusion establishment (which I will admit serves pretty good food— but still).
  9. La Vuelta: 45th Road, replaced by a barbecue joint.
  10. Village Mingala: Burmese restaurant whose East 5 Street location is now a Michelin recommended bistro. ASIDE: this leaves one Burmese restaurant in New York City.
  11. El Paso: Houston Street, new tenant TBD
  12. Casa Mon Amour: Franklin Street. They served Dominican food. Now the space is occupied by Vamos al Tequila (which is a fairly good replacement). The folks at Vamos al Tequila have my business for life for simply having the temerity to post the sign gracing the beginning of this post. I can only imagine what necessitated its creation.
  13. Driggs Pizzeria: Driggs Avenue (duh), replaced by Two Boots. This one infuriates me as much as Village Mingala’s closure (READ: A LOT).
  14. Monsignor’s: Bedford Avenue, now Lokal
  15. Rocco’s Ristaurante: Thompson Street, taken over by these guys.
  16. L.A. Ristorante: Manhattan Avenue, now a magazine/cigar store. To their credit, they did retain some semblance of a restaurant— but it really isn’t the same.
  17. Bean: North 8 Street. A nice little Mexican restaurant; now it is Pop’s.

Is it just me or is there an overall trend here? Anyone care to add?

*Thankfully it would appear John’s of East 12 Street has dodged becoming statistic. At least for now, anyway…

A New York Shitty Op Ed: Conde Nasty

  1. CNscreencap

(Or: How to Spend One’s Time and Money In Greenpoint Like a “Local”)

This tome (as screencapped at left) has been brought to my attention by a number of my fellow Greenpointers. Some would be considered “natives”, others “transplants”— and a few might even qualify as “hipsters” (which seems to be a catch-all for “transplants” of a certain age). Ordinarily these groups are at each other’s throats— at least online. The Internet, after all, is the proverbial bathroom wall for malcontents.

Speaking as a “transplant” (14 years in the 11222 and counting) who, in some circles, would qualify as a hipster but has the honor of counting a fair number of “natives” as friends I have to applaud Conde Nast for enabling something I have long, long wanted to see: unity. No one— and I mean NO ONE— in my circle likes this article. Sure this is not the same thing as, say, all of us pooling our collective expertise, resources and interests as folks are doing in Crown Heights. But community unity, albeit via abject hatred, is better than no unity at all. What’s more, if one wants to see a community adept in the art of anger there really is no place better than Greenpoint. Just like Michelangelo or Leonardo DaVinci, we are the true masters of malcontent.

Before I proceed I would like to make a few things perfectly clear:

1. It is not my intent to malign any one person or business featured in Conde Nast’s feature. I know a few of these folks and have patronized their businesses on occasion. They’re good people.
2. It is not my intent to vilify the “natives” either. Most of them are good people as well. There is no one “demographic” here that monopolizes the dubious honor of being assholes. Trust me.
3. Rather, I would like to present an alternative approach to how to visit our fair burgh “like a local” because…
4. what seems to have been lost on the author of this tome is (by and large) “locals” here do not have the money to spend at the establishments they elected to feature. This is because due to the fact that, just like Williamsburg the cost of living here (Read: RENT) is ridiculously, stupendously, mind-bogglingly high.


5. In other words: I am going to get nasty on the Conde for selling this community short. And this they have. BIG TIME. To this end I took a couple of walks today (albeit in north ‘Point— McCarren and McGolrick Heights, you’re on your own) to see what the “locals” are doing.

First stop: the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch.

Any “local” will tell you that after 1″ of rain (much less last night’s deluge) the “CSOs” discharge sewage into the Creek.

I suppose this would be considered as unseemly to travellers, but to locals it is rather fascinating to see life’s detritus.

Especially when the odd prophylactic(s?) manifest.

Is this “news” to us? No. Do we find it disgusting? Yes. But what really puzzles/disconcerts us (as I ascertained by talking to a few folks enjoying this public space) is this:


A manifold number of boats moored most assuredly without the permission of the owners of said property. Some of these boats are “domiciles”.

And especially this.

I was told by a fellow “local” enjoying a smoke in this “park” this fellow moved his boat so as to clear the path for the recently dredging of the creek (because, as all locals know, it is a Superfund site). This watercraft was formerly “parked” on the premises of 49 Ash Street.

Greenpointers are not the least bit shy when it comes to vandalism.

What’s more, some are downright pithy in their delivery. My inner history nerd squeals with delight!

It can also take on an edgier tone (as spotted on West Street at India Street, also by Paul Richard). This is what happens when “local” population becomes acutely aware that:

  • The “new and improved” Greenpoint is not for us.
  • The greater vandalism— blight if you will— is not the handiwork of “street artists”. Rather, it is the aftermath of rampant speculation and greed at the behest of developers.
  • The 2005 rezone coupled with the 2008 real estate bubble popping did a real job on this once “vibrant” working class community.

  • They raze, someone else writes about (and profits from) it and we live with it.

One more good rain storm and methinks this fence is gonna fall. We’ll see.

Since the East River Ferry is no longer serving Greenpoint, I opted to swing by and see how my fellow “locals” were enjoying the India Street Pier…

This lass had no time for my camera— and apparently my camera had no memory to record the fellow hanging out and scratching lotto tickets.

Java Street “Pop Up Park”! We “locals” enjoy our “open spaces”.

And when we don’t we simply toss a park bench into the East River. Or something.

Spotted at West and Kent Street: a pigeon with a broken neck.

And here’s the cause: big shiny glass windows— but I am getting way too grim here. Let’s swing over to Franklin Street— and my destination of choice.

“Jail Bear” has graced the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and Franklin Street for 1 1/2 years. He (?) has become a mascot of sorts.

The “locals” who patronize WNYC Transmitter Park with their children often stop so the young ‘uns can tell “JB” about their day. Or simply say “Hi.”

How do a great many “locals” here eat? Very simple:

Courtesy of our local food pantry and soup kitchen. Perhaps Conde Nast— or its readership— would be kind enough to tender a donation?

How do the “locals” shop? This is best ascertained on Manhattan Avenue (which is also in Greenpoint).

On the way I bumped into Josef in front of Christina’s. Which brings me to a complaint about Conde Nast’s tome:

What about Polish food?

Well, Christina’s is good. Here are a few more recommendations:

Shopping here ain’t as easy as it used to be.

But if what I saw outside our “new” local houseware/general merchandise store today at 3:51 pm is any indication, the “locals” are really excited about DII.

This is because *gasp* despite the glamorous image my fair community has courtesy of “Girls” (never watched it) and real estate/tourism hype the reality is this “cool” neighborhood has an underbelly: it is called the “working class”, addiction, homelessness and poverty.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Conde Nast.

P.S.: I “get” that “Conde Nast” is targeting a certain “demographic”. But speaking as someone— a “transplant”— who just finished a wonderful week as “tour guide” for her parents, there’s a lot more to this community— and New York City— than Franklin Street. Why not encourage folks to go “outside” their “comfort zone” and explore what makes this community truly wonderful?

The “nuggets” of weirdness, if you will.

We’re quite polite.

Yeah, I took the robot.

Want to “eat” like a local? Hit the Acapulco Deli & Restaurant or Casanova.

There’s one thing that does not have a price. It is human interaction.

After I saw my parents off and wound down today’s shutter-bugging I swung by this establishment. Therein I purchased margarita mix. The wonderful lady behind the counter (Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock N Roll” was playing for the patrons’ edification) wished me a wonderful margarita evening. I corrected her: this will be a margarita afternoon! She laughed.

That’s how we “locals” roll in Greenpoint.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Urban Artifact

90 degrees?  time to snowboard!

It would appear the recent spate of 90+ degree weather has motivated one East Village resident to finallylet that snow board go. Happy June 2013 New York City!

(Taken by kiminnyc.)

Williamsburg Photos Du Jour: Bedford Avenue

May 30, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11211, Affluenza, Gentrification, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 



(Insert really bad child labor joke here— taken May 30, 2013.)

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Ruby Slippers



From Manhattan Avenue.

Urban Artifact, Part II: Lorimer Street


Taken May 26, 2013.

New York Shitty Photos Du Jour: Same Corner, Different World




Taken May 26, 2013.

New York Shitty Photos Du Jour: Cinco De Mayo Edition

Greenpoint, 11222


Sunset Park, 11232






Greenpoint, 11222 (10:40 p.m.)


For those of you who are wondering what this day of celebration is about (HINT: It ain’t “Mexican Independence Day”) the lovely proprietress of Huitzilli suggests this tome. And I offer this. Please put down the margarita and give ’em a read. Enjoy!