New York Shitty Slideshow Du Jour: Newtown Creek Boat Ride

Motorboat Repair NYS

Last weekend, thanks to City of Water Day, I decide to take a (FREE!) boat tour of the creek hosted by the inimitable Mitch Waxman.  As has been the case in times past (this makes my third sojourn up to the creek), it did not disappoint. Not only did I bear witness to a fellow catching a little shut-eye at our very own Nature Walk, but I learned an interesting fact shortly after the above photo (which hails from the Long Island City side of Newtown Creek) was taken. Our fair creek is not just host to Typhus, but also Cholera and Gonorrhea. If this isn’t a trifecta of fun, I honestly do not know what is. I feel compelled to note that this fact was rolled out after a fellow tour goer was observed balancing his child on the rail of the boat so as to take photos with his smart phone. You can’t make this shit up.

In any case, follows are some highlights of my trip to, from and up the creek.* I have even included a photo of a CSO (Concentrated Sewage Overflow) for your late afternoon/early evening entertainment. Enjoy!

*A task which involved going to Governor’s Island. This was rendered more complicated by the fact Greenpoint still remains without ferry service.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day From New York Shitty!

QCscreengrabWTFnys

I know what you’re thinking:

What the FUCK is this and how does it pertain to St. Paddy’s Day?

Well, it has been yours truly’s observation that March 17th, not unlike Cinco De Mayo, is regrettably pressed into service so certain folks can go forth and act like drunken imbeciles. All they need is a location and an excuse (not unlike Santacon)— which brings me to where I found the above image: Queens Crap. Read on North Brooklynites, you’ll find this interesting.

QCflamesFlamesQueens Crap reports that fire was in effect at yesterday’s “Flea Market” event at the Knockdown Center. Speaking as a north Brooklynite, I have seen my fair share of that shit. It is usually accompanied by drum circles.

The “blue bus”? Same thing. Reference my previous observation about drum circles.

Where it gets interesting for yours truly is here:

…It has also been brought to my attention that David Sklar is operating a niteclub/arts center at 15 Rewe Street in Brooklyn which is in a really sketchy area. It also was formerly home to a door factory owned by the Sklars, just like the Knockdown Center was…

I have a much different definition of what constitutes a “sketchy area” than my comrade in Queens. However, I can assure you 15 Rewe Street is owned by David Sklar. And hosting parties, however legally questionable they were, did come to pass at 15 Rewe Street. Let’s start by establishing who actually owns 15 Rewe Street:

15 Rewe Street LLC.* Okay, let’s check this out on the New York State Attorney General’s Corporation’s Database.

Hmm.

Perhaps we should check out the Department of Buildings BIS system?

Yes, this is quite interesting. Let’s go in for a better look!

Oh my, it would appear 15 Rewe Street (which is located in an Industrial Business Zone)— at the instigation of David Sklar— was planning a party.

A really BIG party.

For those of you who cannot read it (I for one could not), follows are the amenities this event/space had to offer:

Venue Details
70,000 square feet of indoor space
40,000 square feet out door
Located on a private street
MEGA production with L’Acoustics Sound, Lighting, Lasers, Special Effects, Video, and extra Video Wall, Large Concert style stage tons of extras
Live performance art
Multi Level VIP Risers
Chill out seating area for all with Sofa’s & Carpeting
Plenty of Bathrooms
Large Coat Check
Gourmet Food Trucks
Food on site
Multiple Bars
Conveniently located steps away from L train (Grand Street)
ATM’s on Site
All Major Credit Cards accepted
Liquor will be served
Bottle Service Available.
Smoking section outside on the water\
Dada Life Merchandise for purchase at the event

FOR VIPS
Private Bathroom trailers
Private VIP Smoking area
Separate Entrance for VIPs
Private VIP Bar
Separate VIP Sections with best views of the stage

What’s more, even Timeout New York was “on” to this whole “compound” thing.

Hmm. I wonder how this got past Community Board 1 Brooklyn or the State Liquor Authority? In any case and to wrap this up, the image gracing the beginning of this post is (by all appearances) from “Dada Life’s” New Year’s Party at 15 Rewe Street.

Which we have established is owned by David Sklar. Who had this to say about why the Knockdown Center should be granted a liquor license at Community Board 5:

Really?

*This is an alternate address for the Knockdown Center.

Yup.

 

Live From Community Board 5 Queens!

December 12, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11378, Maspeth, Maspeth Queens, Queens, Wow 

It would appear Community Board 5, Queens has recommended, unanimously no less, against the Knockdown Center getting a liquor license to serve 600 people. What’s even more fascinating is:

Hmm…

From The New York Shitty Inbox: And Now A Word From Councilman Van Bramer

October 10, 2013 ·
Filed under: Gentrification, Maspeth, Maspeth Queens, Queens 

Knockdown-CenterBRAMER

So there have you.

New York Shitty Videos Du Jour: Live From CB5

October 10, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11385, Gentrification, Maspeth, Maspeth Queens 

(Or: Somebody gets it!)

Straight up: do I relish someone stating that she does not want her community to become another Greenpoint? Not, not really. Although the truth can and does hurt, this lady is correct on all counts. It was pretty obvious to me the evening prior these fellows do not care. No matter how they care to spin it, the fact of the matter is they plan to import a client base and that client base will largely not care about what impact their behavior will have on the community. I have seen just this thing here many, many times before.

In closing I want to applaud:

  1. Mr. Giordano for his tactful manner of outlining the various, um, “behaviors” which have been documented at this establishment.
  2. Community Board 5 Queens for unanimously voting this endeavor down.

Well Done!

Video Credits: Nutrichris.

Live From Community Board 5!

October 9, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11385, Maspeth, Maspeth Queens, Queens 

wazzupCB5

IMG_1967

IMG_1969

(Or: Heather Goes To Glendale)

I’ll be brutally honest: I have been burned out of Community Board 1 (Brooklyn) of late. So much so that I felt a staycation was in order. Having a budget of $29.00 limits one’s options.

agendaCB5

No worries. Thanks to Queens Crap, I found a way to while away the evening. CASE IN POINT: item number one. To reiterate:

A discussion of concerns about the Knockdown Center at 52-19 Flushing Avenue, potentially having events with 600+ people and selling alcoholic beverages at this former factory site.

To preface— and speaking as a Community Board 1 resident, we have had many meetings regarding the “concerns” of residents who have beheld the aftermath of events entailing large amounts of people and alcohol. It isn’t pretty.

What you have just watched, gentle readers (hopefully of Community Board 5 Queens), was the aftermath of an Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn concert at East River State Park. The band in question was Widespread Panic. And their patrons, with the help of a vendor dispensing nitrous oxide via balloons, made it just that: wide spread panic. The FDNY was called in to the confiscate the gas.

It is the ostensible mission of the Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn to advocate and fund-raise so as to make improvements to our parks. Nonetheless, this melee did get its hearing— and they simply relocated their concerts further north. Same shit, different location. Keep this in mind when you watch the following footage. I wish I could be apologetic about the snarky comments— but I am not. I hail from a Community Board where even ping pong table tennis parlors want to serve spirits. And of course there’s the recent shit show regarding Urban Outfitters. Enjoy!

Part I: Introduction

  • The SLA (State Liquor Authorty) allows four events a year.
  • “We have not been denied but we have have exceeded what their guidance is” Mr. Myers says. (In other words: we have to do this)
  •  He goes on to continues (regarding temporary SLA permits) “It is four but I do not think it is hard four”.  (It is — Ed. Note.)
  • Concerns about this facility being a nightclub are raised by the chair.
  • “We will not be a club”, Tyler Myers says. Then he sees fit to enlighten his audience as to what an “arts center” is. As defined by Wikipedia:

“art centre or arts center is distinct from an art gallery or art museum. An arts centre is a functional community centre with a specific remit to encourage arts practice and to provide facilities such as theatre space, gallery space, venues for musical performance, workshop areas, educational facilities, technical equipment, etc.[1]
In the United States, “art centers” are generally either establishments geared toward exposing, generating, and making accessible art making to arts-interested individuals, or buildings that rent primarily to artists, galleries, or companies involved in art making.

  • I want to thank Mr. Myers for informing me, an artist, third generation, as to what an artists’ center is. I clearly have missed out on many a dance party.
  • Per Mr. Myers a liquor license is normal for an “arts center” then he cites MOMA, The “Met”, Lincoln Center, etc., as examples. Um, the last I checked all of these are in Manhattan.
  • Now we’re back to sustaining and maintaining this beautiful building. E.g.; if you do not let us have this, we’ll throw our toys out of the pram and tear it down.
  • Parking lots are discussed. Rather good to know since this is not located anywhere near mass transit.

Part II: David Sklar Speaks

  • “Tearing it down was the only thing we could come down to…”
  • (when questioned about the property being used as an industrial space) Mr. Sklar states that is was mostly used as a place to warehouse material made elsewhere and this would involve them having “containers on the property and he felt it could be “better utilized”.
  • He gives a history of his business, albeit he gets the whole Manhattan Avenue/Queens Midtown Tunnel thing wrong.
  • Mr. Sklar is asked to identify the property he owns on a map. After some assistance he does. For what it is worth, Mr. Sklar, I’d be equally challenged. But then again, I am simply a “visitor” and not part of the “Maspeth community”.

Part III: Q & A

  • The cost of overhauling this space is kicked up from $10,000 to six figures.
  • How is the Knockdown Center having events? Via Robertas which is apparently “just down the road”.

View Larger Map

Part V: Q & A, Continued

  • How the Knockdown Center procures/provides beer and wine is discussed further.
  • Has a Cab License been applied for? (Answer: no)
  • Questions about this facility’s proximity to a residential area are raised.
  • A question about their target market is raised. My observation/personal experience: if you find yourself asking if an event is a carry-over of the McCarren Pool concerts, it probably is.

Part VI: Q & A Continued (Or: The Blonde Lady Nails It!)

Regrettably I did not film her speech. Human error on my “smart phone”. But I can summarize it!

  • When industrial spaces are used for other purposes…

robertas

  • The rents go up and other industrial businesses are forced out.
  • Hence there is more demand for industrial space than supply.
  • But of course, more money can be made by David Sklar and his buddies by having an “art center” and MINIGOLF FOR THE MASSES!

New York Shitty Analysis:

Same song, different verse. I know the tune all too well.

Perhaps the Argentos, investors in this endeavor— and my community— would be so kind to explain about how the following will (further) uplift the Maspeth community?

Security

Can’t honestly say I have ever seen this at MOMA…

This goes out

or this at Lincoln Center, for that matter. Perhaps I am going at the wrong time?

We fuck anywhere

It’s rather convenient that the Knockdown Center has incorporated— albeit under a different address for same-said property. Five days earlier.

Entity InformationKnockdown Center_Page_1

 

WAKE UP Community 5 Queens. If do you do not establish policy now, you’ll reap what my community leaders have sewn. Why else do you think these bozos want to have this in your community? Mine got fed up with this shit a long time ago.

FWrave

 

P.S.: Um, didn’t they say something about no raves? Hmm…

Quicklink: Oh Boy!

September 30, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11378, Gentrification, Maspeth, Maspeth Queens, Wow, WTF 

screenshot

Holy MARCH operations, Batman! It would appear Maspeth has a problem on its hands— and that problem is the Knockdown Center which, as Queens Crap notes:

  •  A cabaret license for this type of venue is required. None is on file.
  • The current certificate of occupancy is for a factory, therefore having any event open to the public is illegal.
  • Does anyone really believe that in a building with the capacity to hold 5,000, only 600 people will be served alcohol? And at what type of events? There have been drug busts at “raves” in other area factories that have been converted into clubs.  It seems that “up to 600″ has been chosen to avoid having to obtain a cabaret liquor permit from the State Liquor Authority (which is different from the city’s required cabaret license).
  • How would 5,000 people even get to Maspeth? Public transportation is lacking. Where will the parking be when the yard is in use (which is often)? And should people be driving around after they have been drinking at a club all night?
  • This venue would no doubt become a trouble spot for the NYPD. The 104th precinct is already stretched way too thin.
  • There are row houses on the same block as the venue and a residential community sits right across the street. When the club-goers start leaving during the wee hours of the morning, they will cause problems for the residents of the area. Complaints have already been received about noise and crowds at this location.

couplenysDid I mention they are also presently selling liquor already? They are— via Roberta’s no less. Please read this entire tome for yourselves, gentle readers.asswithtoiletpaper It is quite something.

In closing I feel compelled to point out what the Knockdown Center proposes is more than a little similar to Studio B— and we all know how well the ensuing shenanigans (as seen at left and right) went over with the neighbors

Good times!

UPDATE, 7:48 p.m.: It would appear the matter of the Knockdown Center has been noticed by the New York Daily News. You can read their coverage by clicking here. Choice excerpt/teaser:

…City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), whose district includes other portions of Maspeth, has been the business’s lone champion, saying it will bring much-needed jobs to the community.

“It seems like a good way to revitalize the factory,” said Crowley, who added one of the investors — Gina Argento — also owns Broadway Stages, which employs more than 1,500 people at its Brooklyn site.

“Those are good union jobs,” Crowley said about Broadway Stages. “I have known the owners for a long time. They also do good philanthropic work.”

So why not make this another film facility instead? This would certainly be better than the thirty jobs the Knockdown Center claims it will create if given a liquor license. But there I go using “logic” again…

 

Quicklink: Your Tour Guide To Urban Decay

Author of the Newtown Pentacle (and all-around nice guy) Mitch Waxman is featured in the New York Times! Do take a moment to give this tome a read!

From The Community Board 1 Combined & Public Hearing: Newtown Creek CAG

This item was brought forth by our board’s Environmental Chair (and all-around nice lady), Ryan Kuonen. What is the Newtown Creek “CAG”, you ask? Very simple: as it name indicates it is a panel consisting of members of the greater Newtown Creek community whose purpose is to oversee the clean-up of this waterway and provide a forum to discuss any pertinent environmental concerns.

Perhaps this may not strike some of you as being terribly exciting, but I assure you it is very much needed. And Newtown Creek CAG needs you! Simply put, they want as diverse a panel as possible and to this end are seeking new members. You can learn more about “CAG” and how you can get involved by persuing their “about” page.

Otherwise (and to close on a related note): follows is footage of our Community Board Chair’s opening remarks from said convocation which, among other things, condemns the city’s consideration of a site in Greenpoint (Lombardy Street at Varick Avenue to be specific) for the placement of a “Green Energy Facility” (READ: an incinerator).

NOTE: What Mr. Olechowski fails to mention initially— but does mention in his “letter”— is a second proposed site is just across the creek south of the Kosciuszko Bridge. While not in Greenpoint per se, its impact will undoubtedly be felt here. Something to consider, folks!

UPDATE, 6:20 p.m.: A commenter has raised a very salient question. This being: Exactly how does one become a CAGer? In this respect this web site appears to be vague. However, I have been advised that any/all interested parties should show up at their next meeting. This has yet to be announced. Thus, joining Newtown Creek CAG’s mailing list is the way to go. This you can be done by going to their web page, entering your email address in the field highlighted below and hitting “follow”.

OUTRAGE(d) Help/Vollies Wanted

I suspect many of the people who follow this site are familiar with OUTRAGE (Organization United for Trash Reduction & Garbage Equity). For those who are not in the know the following, their mission statement, should give you a general idea of who they are and what they do:

OUTRAGE is a coalition of more than two dozen community and civic groups dedicated to the reduction of Waste Transfer Stations and Waste Truck Traffic in the communities of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. OUTRAGE members advocate for a more equitable and sustainable solid waste management plan in the City of New York.

This may not seem like a big deal— but I assure you it is. North Brooklyn has the dubious honor of shouldering a disproportionate amount of our fair city’s “dirty work”: be it truck traffic, waste “treatment”/transfer and of course trucks bearing waste. 40% of this New York City’s garbage finds its way to our proverbial doorstep. Thus it should come as no surprise that our community:

  1. sports asthma rates well above the norm.
  2. has seen a disturbing increase of pedestrian/motorist accidents as a result of this traffic and a woeful lack of enforcement.

OUTRAGE addresses just these things— and a lot more! But this post is not about the manifold number of environmental issues in our community. Instead, they need help of a highly specialized (and preferably free/cheap) nature. Which brings me to the image gracing this post: it is a screencap culled from OUTRAGE’s site on Blogspot. Simply put, they want to step-up their online presence in the hope they can more reach people. People like you and me. And to this end they need the help of a good Samaritan to design a web site for them.

Trash talk seldom is (or should be) pretty. Instead, this is an opportunity to help a wonderful coalition of organizations build a web site that is user-friendly, author-friendly and informative. Those of you who have the skills to make this happen can contact Courtney via email at: crenken (at) stnicksalliance (dot) org.

Otherwise you can (and should) follow OUTRAGE on Facebook by clicking here. Among other things you will learn that two of nine prospective sites for an incinerator (as under consideration by powers-that-be) are right in our backyard! Follows is one of them:

The land gracing the Queens side of the Kosciuszko Bridge. If implemented this will abut proposed park space and a kayak launch. Nice, eh?