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.

FBECcityfoxhalloween2015GreenpointNYS

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.

The Brooklyn “Renaissance”

The Brooklyn Renaissance

Ever wondered what Brooklyn real estate pundits and their minions talk about during a $125.00 a head breakfast? Well, gentle readers, the wait is over. Thanks to an anonymous tipster I have a twenty page transcript of yesterday’s “Brooklyn Renaissance” breakfast at Industry City. It is quite something. “Innovation Alley”, anyone?

UPDATE, October 1st, 12:43 PM: For those of you who may be interested in listening to an audio transcript of these proceedings, here you go!

Quicklink: Special Moments In Internet Plagiarism Edition

DNAINFOsc

Hmm. Something about this article seems eerily familiar. Oh wait, I remember! I emailed the good news about Jonathan and his $99.00 a night RV (all the way down to the baby wipes) on July 19th to Queens Crap. 10:34 PM, to be precise.

NYS to QC email July 19 2015 1034 pm 600

Queens Crap, in turn, published it. YESTERDAY. To whom shall I send an invoice for my research Ms. Dai and/or DNA.info?

UPDATE, 10:17 PM: it would appear that Curbed has given proper attribution (if not a link-back) to the proper sources. Ms. Dai has been asked for comment. Repeatedly. *chirp* *chirp*

UPDATE, July 22nd 1:32 PM: It would appear that Gothamist and the New York Daily News have jumped on the band wagon. So to speak. I have been assured by Ms. Carlson the Gothamist article will be amended so as to reflect the true sources. This leaves the latter. As for Ms. Dai, she claims that the editorial staff at DNA.info made her drop the sources. Pretty funny since, after being called on it, they have seen fit to mention them now. This is shit you, as “consumers” of “news”, should think about…

New York Shitty Photos Du Jour: The Word On The Street

McGuinness Boulevard June 4 2015 nys

As spotted today, June 4th, on McGuinness Boulevard. While I am on the subject of dissent I would like to share with you, gentle readers, my latest snow globe project! While not yet complete I think you will agree it is quite wonderful.

DNAinfo Screencap1It was recently brought to my attention that our Mayor had a press event at Rockaway’s brand-spanking new boardwalk. This is in and of itself not interesting. Rather, what is that he/his created a “Free Speech Zone”. This was well removed from said “event” and therein any/all protesters were “free” to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Well, I have a problem with this kind of thing and, more importantly, the NYCLU and New York Press Club did as well. (You can read DNA.info’s article by clicking the image to the left or by clicking here.) I am not an attorney. I do not portray one on television. However, I do not think I am incorrect when I write that by creating a “Free Speech Zone” there is an implied message that everywhere else is not a “Free Speech Zone”. The First Amendment is pretty straight-forward. So much so even a “snow globe artist” can grasp it. So…

last weekend I embarked upon a “Free Speech Zone” snow globe. Today I sealed it. Tomorrow, hopefully I will fill (READ: finish) it.

Sealed Side one NYS

Side one is pretty straight forward: referencing a photo taken of Mayor DeBlasio’s press event, I replicated it.

Sealed side two nys

Side two is the “Free Speech Zone”. For logistical reasons I had to employ a metaphorical brick wall.

DNAinfo crime and mayhem nys

Some of you may recall that Ron Kuby (Yes, THAT Ron Kuby) purchased a “Stop & Frisk” snow globe from yours truly some time ago. Well, a mutual friend brought my latest project to his attention. And Mr. Kuby brought the above article (wherein he is quoted) to my attention. Note the category under which DNA.info has categorized this tome. “Crime & Mayhem”. I have to say the gentlemen featured (and I encourage each and every one of you to read their profiles) do not strike me as being purveyors of “mayhem”— but what do I know?

In closing I will leave you with this (closing) passage from the above-mentioned article.

Lawyer and radio host Ron Kuby said it’s hypocritical of the mayor to crack down on protests considering his crticisms (sic and emphasis mine — Ed. Note) of former Mayor Bloomberg.

“To come into office riding this wave of disapproval at Bloomberg over policing and contempt for dissidence, to be on the crest of that wave that says ‘no more,’ and [then] to banish a couple of people … it’s unconstitutional, it’s bad policy, it’s stupid,” Kuby said. “And it makes the mayor look very very thin skinned.”

He added that public spaces in the city are, by nature, open for free speech.

“We are all free speech zones in NYC,” Kuby said. “I am a free speech zone and so are you.”

BINGO.

Those who are interested in seeing the photo set I have created documenting the creation of the “Free Speech Zone” snow globe can do so by clicking here.

Quicklink: Drawbridge Goes On…

Gothamistsc

Gothamist really nailed this headline (click on the above image for the full “story”). The Brooklyn Barge Bar is about a lot of other things than booze. Thus why I am sharing for everyone’s edification the statement issued by Community Board 1 Brooklyn’s SLA/DCA Committee recommending this liquor license be denied. Enjoy some facts for a change, gentle readers!

CB!BBBnys

Community Board 1 Brooklyn voted against this liquor license being granted.

Sewage Discharge Point, Broklyn Barge Bar

Who does not want to feast upon a $22.00 skirt steak next to a sewage discharge point?

Brooklyn Barge Bar site, 5/13/2015

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Brooklyn Barge Bar Site, 5/13/2015

P.S.: If Bedford + Bowery is listening: exactly when are you going to approve my comment? Simply curious.

Still waiting

Canal Street Photos Du Jour: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

February 4, 2015 ·
Filed under: 10013, Chinatown, Chinatown Manhattan, Culture War, Fuck This Shit, Wow 

Canal Street 1 600

Need Money For Chanel nys

Because, as we all know, making light of the homeless situation on New York City (without actually being forced to witness it firsthand) is what tourists want to experience…

Tomorrow: Happy Birthday, Irene!

If you do not know who this amazing woman is, you should. Her name is Irene Klementowicz and this is what she had to say about an “environmental study” presentation a couple years ago.

Tomorrow, January 8th, will be her 86th birthday. If any of you, gentle readers, see her on Manhattan Avenue (always stylishly attired) wish her a happy and healthy one. It is women such as her who keep this community (or at least some of its bullshit) in check. And for this reason I adore her. This one’s for you, Irene.

P.S.: Also of note, “OSA” will be rolling out their vision plan for the Greenpoint Waterfront.

Thursday_ First Look at New Greenpoint Park_Page_1nys

 

Thursday_ First Look at New Greenpoint Park_Page_2nys

Those of you who plan on attending this dog and pony show: please keep Irene in the backs of your minds. After all, what does it say about a “parks advocacy group” when its head is the very same attorney who, under George “Greenpoint Landing” Klein’s hire, stumped for the 2005 Rezone (parks for super-sizing scheme) in the first place?

NYDNscANNO

The fellow in question prefers to see it as “community advocacy”— and I suppose, given his purview— it is.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Coming To 214 Franklin Street…

October 19, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Fuck This Shit, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

gptavetourists

Those of you who cannot get enough folks traversing our sidewalks and subways sporting luggage— or watering holes on Franklin Street, listen up. I have some news which will undoubtedly please you! A person we’ll call “C” writes (in an email entitled “New Hotel On Freeman @ Green Street”) simply:

http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=2&passjobnumber=320576925&passdocnumber=03

Naturally my curiosity was piqued (Freeman Street does not cross Green Street, no doubt a typo on “C’s” part) so click on the above link I did. Follows is what I found awaiting my delectation.

permit 1

permit 2

permit 3

permit 4

As you can see, gentle readers, this plan was approved just over ten months ago. I would be remiss if I did not point out that it is the handiwork of north Brooklyn’s good friend, none other than Robert Scarano. Well, he did not file the permit. We all know this fellow, a poster child for the ethically-challenged, is not allowed to do so. If my memory serves me correctly it had to do with a little latitude/liberties he took on Freeman Street? Why yes, that was it!

214 franklin 10192014

First it was the Box House Hotel. Then it was the Henry Norman. Both of these displaced local, small businesses. Now we have this one which not only does that but is taking out residential space to boot. In a community whose rental market is already “tight” enough as is. Straight up folks: enough is enough. We need more housing— and truly affordable housing at that— for New Yorkers. Not another hotel.

The Latest From The Snow Globe Factory: Let Them Eat Tear Gas

August 26, 2014 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Fuck This Shit, New York City 

Let’s face facts: although the summer in our fair city has been a lovely one weather-wise, I would not exactly call it a good one. The death of Eric Garner ushered in a series of “incidents” involving our “finest” which— and this is being kind— are appalling. Incidents which beg the question as to exactly who our public servants are indeed protecting and serving. It certainly was not Mr. Garner.

It is not my intent to simply blame the police, mind you. They follow orders. No sir: the blame, ultimately should be laid firmly on the doorstep of those who issue those orders. I do not think I need to name them here.

I have been wrestling with how to depict the goings on here via snow globes for months. Then Ferguson happened.

dailykos

This is when I was reminded that this is not a mere New York City issue. It is a national issue. One which is fueled by institutionalized racism, classism, the militarization of our police force* and suppression of or (even worse) complicity of the press to name a few. Simply put: what happened there can and probably does happen here. We simply do not know about it— or prefer to forget about it. Ferguson, I suspect, has changed this.

Thus I opted instead to do a snow globe about Ferguson. Its “official” title is “Salus populi suprema lex esto”. This is the motto for the state of Missouri. It means:

The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law

I suspect a number of people will agree with me when I write that powers that be in Missouri need to be reminded of this rather apt piece of trivia. And sadly trivia is all it is. They do not seem to be comprehending much less following it.

Without further ado here it is. It pretty much speaks for itself.

1

3

4

Don’t shoot.

Police man grappling with photographer

Policeman grappling with a photographer.

man down

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

George Orwell, 1984

Quicklink/A New York Shitty Op Ed: 173 Green Street

Or: Breakin’ The Law!

stonerscYesterday morning I had this article (which is screencapped at left) brought to my attention by my comrade over at Queens Crap. I pointed and clicked my way over to Brownstoner. This is what they elected to say about 173 Green Street:

An unusually shaped building designed by architect Natalia Donskoy is going up at 173 Green Street in Greenpoint. The front of the building is not straight across but angles in four directions.

The Alt-1 permit calls for four stories and seven units. Donskoy, a former employee of Robert Scarano, is becoming known for sometimes mold-breaking designs in North Brooklyn. What do you think of the design?

This, their post, left me absolutely flummoxed for a number of reasons. Follows are two:

1. Although it is clearly discernable in the second photo they elected to publish, no mention whatsoever is made of the Stop Work Orders. Yes, this property has not one— but two.

2. As it would happen I reside in the general area. I have seen the shitshow that is 173 Green unfold. A number of my neighbors/buddies have as well. Aesthetic considerations aside, we all agree on one thing:

These Stop Work Orders issued were well-deserved.

Speaking for myself, the first sign that 173 Green may be a less-than-professional operation was when they commenced demolishing modifying the original structure which graced this lot.

side view

You can get an indication of what it was in the above photograph: it is a vestige of a one story extension of 1020 Manhattan Avenue.

googlestreetview

This extension sported two storefronts and a (questionably legal) studio apartment. I know this because I know the fellow who called it his home. Then the building sold and out he went.

ACRIS 1 nys

ACRIS 2 nys

ACRIS 3 nys

ACRIS 4 nys

Note the address: 543 Bedford Avenue #264. Interesting things turn up when one “Googles” it. This and this to name a couple.

seweryntravelANNO

Anyway, with him went this rather charming Polish travel agency. It was operated by two brothers: twins who not infrequently wore matching outfits. For wont of a better way of putting it, it was vaguely reminiscent of something one would see in a David Lynch movie. But of course this was real life and that is what made Seweryn even more awesome— but I digress. Let’s get back to what I saw which gave me the impression that something may be amiss at 173 Green.

One morning I walked by and beheld three – four men wielding sledgehammers. These they used to break down cinder block walls. The rubble which resulted was taken, on foot/in hand, and dumped into a truck which was idling across the street.  Speaking as someone who has resided in north Brooklyn for fourteen years (and blogged about it for over eight) I have seen more than my fair share of questionably professional “construction”. Bearing this in mind, I feel compelled to note this may well have been the worst. In any case it is certainly in the top three— and given what I have seen I can attest they come out on top of some mighty stiff competition. This is no small accomplishment.

173green7302014 anno1

But why take my word for it? Let’s consult the professionals: the Department of Buildings!

stop work orders

Surely they must have something to say about 173 Green Street since they have seen fit to post not one— but two Stop Work Orders? It has been my observation this is reserved for the most select of scofflaws.

DOBBIS173green1

Hmm:

  • eleven complaints
  • three DOB violations
  • fourteen ECB violations
  • civil penalties due and
  • violating of a Stop Work Order

That’s pretty impressive. Let’s keep digging, shall we?

dobbis173green2

A $5,000 fine. Hilarious. Let’s plow on!

complaint1

complaint2

complaint3

Holy shitburgers!

complaint4

So help me, I think I am beginning to see a pattern here.

complaint5

Wow, this was less than two weeks ago! In any case, it would appear that the powers that be behind 173 Green Street harbor apathy— if not total and utter contempt— for the law.

I for one find this rather ironic given who the architect is for this project. Once again (from Brownstoner):

…Donskoy, a former employee of Robert Scarano…

That name, Robert Scarano, sounds familiar. Oh wait now I remember!

scaranospecial

It was his “Scarano Special” which straddles Tommy’s Tavern (addresses 1037 Manhattan Avenue and 158 Freeman respectively)  which resulted in Mr. Scarano being banned from filing plans in our fair city! You see, he decided to fudge with the facts a bit. He stated 1037 Manhattan Avenue and 158 Freeman Street  were one contiguous lot. He did so in order to build taller than what is legally permissible. Whoops. And now the punchline…

googlemap

This masterpiece of the ethically-challenged is a mere block away from 173 Green Street! This begs the question (in my mind, anyway) if his protege is following in his (rather dubious) footsteps. By all appearances, this would appear to be the case. But it is time to wrap this up— and answer the question:

What do you think of the design?

After I got done taking the photographs which grace this post, I bumped into a friend of mine who happens to live on the same block as 173 Green Street. A neighbor, if you will. A neighbor who informed me that he/she has in fact lodged a number of complaints about 173 Green Street. Among the things this person has observed:

  • Construction in violation of a Stop Work Order— at 6:00 on Sunday morning.
  • Violation of Stop Work Orders has been the modus operandi at 173 Green Street. One time even the police showed up.
  • The adjacent Green Oaks Club property was inadvertently (?) divested of some of its aluminum siding. Those of you who know this community’s affection for the aforementioned product understand that this is probably a hanging offense.
  • The use of step ladders for workers to get from floor to floor. What would OSHA say about this?
  • And a litany of other offenses which generally make people upset and call 311.

Once this person was done giving me the 411, I told him/her that Brownstoner published an article about 173 Green Street yesterday— and the question they were posing was whether or not folks liked the design. Before I tender his/her answer, I will tender my own verdict:

Of course it will be ugly. That is the Greenpoint way!

And now— with no further ado— the most apropos answer: that of someone who calls 173 Green Street a neighbor. It went (more or less) as follows:

Are you fucking kidding me?

Well said.

UPDATE, August 1st 2014: Thanks to Queens Crap linking back to this tome  we have some very interesting advice/analysis from a commenter:

diggin your cross promotion here crappy.

lets start at the top:

#1, it’s four floors and a mezz, the half floor above the 2nd is clearly a mezz.

#2, concrete enforcement is on it. those guys don’t screw around and they’ve got a direct line to the borough commissioner and people with serious leverage. 

#3, CEU is under the umbrella of tim lynch, the mythical god of DOB who will not stand to see the city get embarrassed. he will go there and put a fence up himself if he has to, because he’s a little crazy, but he is not someone you want to see on a job site, ever.

#4, DOB can and will post a vacate on the building, which would subject any violators and the developer to major civil and CRIMINAL penalties. FDNY and NYPD are bound by these, and these things happen.

#4, if they violate the SWO, in addition to $5k per violation, the city will generally walk around and ticket every loose guardrail, every missing screw from the job, every person not in a harness, everything. all of it. write that check for $15k to the city of NY please.

#5, the developer will never get a CO unless all these fines are paid. they’ve got a roughly $20k tab right now.

so what do you do? keep calling 311. 

BIS listed a phone number for concrete enforcement in one of the complaints — 212-393-2730. it’s a cell phone, but you’ll get someone who knows the site and what’s going on. but be aware, many in CEU are very intimidating and they WILL ask how you got the number. it’s on BIS.

-somethingstructural