Now At Jerzy Popieluszko Square: No Vulgarians Allowed

During my peregrinations today I happened upon this rather noticeable* and clearly not Parks Department issue bit of signage at Jerzy Popieluszko Square. Having some working knowledge of Polish (Okay: I know “nie” means “no”. As for “walgaryzuj”, well, I have a very strong suspicion as to what that means!) I inferred this sign is prohibiting something. But what? To this end I inquired of a Polish friend of mine what gives. Without further ado, here it is:

Respect this place
Be civil
Do not litter
Do not drink (NOTE: no specific beverage is indicated)
Do not be vulgar

My interpreter went on to add that the Polish pressed into service is rather unusual. E.g.; this copy was probably drafted in English and translated into Polish (as opposed to using conventional, conversational Polish as spoken in Poland). In any case, mind your manners fellow Garden Spotters… (WARNING/CAVEAT: the following clip contains “language” so do not listen to it at work unless you want a visit from the H.R. Department.)

or else!

In the interest of fair and balanced reporting (and for my friends in Great Britain) you can (READ: should) watch Archie’s retort by clicking here.

*READ: hideous

New York Shitty Day Starter: Keep Off The Grass, Part II

May 16, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, Class War, Culture War, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

(Or: A Turf War?)

A person we’ll call “L” writes (in regards to this post written on Sunday, May 13, 2012):

Hello! I was searching for information on why people are being kept off the grass at Smorgasburg. I saw your post…

You must have been there later than I was that day. When I was there last Saturday (May 12th), there was actually a security guard running people off — even if just their feet were touching the grass. We suspected it was security from The Edge, but couldn’t find any proof of that. I think I was there from 11 until about 12:30 or so.

I asked @smorgasburg, via Twitter, and got no reply.

I’m very curious to see if you find out more. The lack of shade is already a big problem at Smorgasburg, and not being able to sit in the grass seems a shame.

To preface, L: Smorgasburg’s liquor license hearings (Yes, there was more than one— and I attended both!) proved to be contentious. Very simply put:

  1. Smorgasburg gave a pretty lackluster presentation the first time. Among other things: they presented a petition in favor of said liquor license which had 2 (or 3) signatures total, stated their endeavor had the support of our Borough President, Marty Markowitz, without presenting any documentation; presented a letter of support from the condominium board of The Edge*— but curiously letters had been received from Edge residents wishing that no liquor license be granted.
  2. Now take into account how the Open Space Alliance concert series upset people who reside in this area. The issues at hand were a lack of crowd-control and public intoxication. Smorgasburg did not present a “plan” as to how to deal with those who were going to imbibe at their event. Well, you can guess what happened next: their license was voted down by the Public Safety Committee of Community Board 1. Three to two.
  3. However, Smorgasburg they withdrew their application, reapplied and gave no less than two pages of material outlining how they would manage this event (inclusing crowd control and security). This was well received and  got a unanimous thumb’s up form the Community Board.

To (finally) answer your question, L:

The Ponzi scheme our city (via rezoning) has with developers regarding parks development on our waterfront is entities such as The Edge will develop waterfront park space, turn it over to the city, and in return they get benefits. Among them: building taller buildings.

But the salient question here is what happens when there is (undeveloped) space used by a business (this being Smorgasburg) which is owned by a developer (presumably The Edge) and what happens if the area abutting it, the piece of turf in question, is also owned by a developer. If that’s the case (and I suspect it is here), he/she can do whatever he/she wants—and this includes rent-a-cops telling you to get off their grass.

*Which has been alleged does not exist.

Quicklink: “Brunch War” Bogus?

If this piece by Brownstoner is to be believed this would appear to be the case. Tom Burrows, the so-called malefactor in this “war” notes:

…there is no war on brunch in Williamsburg and Greenpoint—this is way of selling papers

Indeed it is. It also is worth mentioning the manager of Five Leaves (whose establishment can be seen in the above two photographs) saw fit not to comment for this tome. No worries, she had plenty to say to the Greenpoint Gazette about a proposed pedestrian plaza which would abut her establishment:

Five Leaves’ Kathy Mecham pointed to the number of public inebriates in McCarren Park particularly on the Lorimer side. “To take what has become a blossoming small business area and create additional unregulated seating would only escalate the problem…

I can draw no other conclusion than it is perfectly acceptable for Five Leave’s patrons to congregate on and obstruct our sidewalks (public space) but if public space were actually allotted to and used by the public (which of course includes our “public inebriates”*), well, that’s another matter altogether. I think I get it now: some members of the public are more entitled to use (and capitalize off of) public space than others— at least when a profit-motive is at play. “Bums” are bad for business.

Photo Credits: The latter two images are of Nights & Weekends which is located across the street from Five Leaves (at 1 Bedford Avenue). As you can see they are operating a sidewalk cafe. Do they have a permit to do this? No. Have they been made aware that this is illegal? Absolutely. Oh yeah, did I mention this establishment is owned by the same people who own Five Leaves? It is. Fascinating, yes? In any case (and in closing), here’s some footage of this establishment from one such night on a weekend.

I’d hazard to guess they won’t be winning the “Good Neighbor” award anytime soon…

*Most of whom, it should be noted, are Polish and have substance abuse and/or mental health issues. The homeless problem at McCarren Park was extant long before Five Leaves hit the scene. I wonder why they are (supposedly) an issue now?

The Word On The Street: STOP

Taken April 13, 2012.

The Word On The Street, Part II: An East Village PSA

Somewhere George Bailey is smiling…

The Word On The Street, Part II: A Wythe Avenue PSA

March 4, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, Class War, Culture War, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Taken March 4, 2012.

New York Shitty Street Art du Jour: Third Avenue Truism

February 3, 2012 ·
Filed under: 10009, Class War, East Village, East Village Manhattan, Street Art 

Taken February 3, 2012.

The Word On The Street, Part II: A West Street PSA

Taken February 1, 2012.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Cheers!

Cheers to the Rich

Taken by Scoboco.

Spotted On North 12 Street: 1%

Taken January 31, 2012.

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