As promised, here is the third installment of live footage I shot from last weekend’s Robot Monkey World Chimpionship. This, the final segment, features the rules of the game, some good-natured shenanigans and four of Greenpoint’s finest businesses waging war against Williamsburg and in one case, each other:
- Brooklyn Standard Vs. Kellogg Diner
- Papasito’s Vs. Number 9 Lighting
- Dandelion Wine vs. t.b.d.
Once again Lily is in good form. They should make her a robot monkey coach. Seriously. Enjoy!
I suspect I speak for many who were present at this event when I say more such tournaments should be held. Bushwick against Williamsburg or Greenpoint immediately come to mind. Are you listening out there, Dan?
QUESTION: What do you call a municipal government (and the people who elected it) when a year’s worth of rent on a two bedroom apartment in north Brooklyn meets— if not exceeds— the median income for family of four?
ANSWER: A disgrace.
Although quite a fuss has been raised over the glut of “luxury” apartments in my community (and the high vacancy rates which have come as a result), no one seems to have noticed the visible increase in homelessness that has come with it. Among the “benefits” Greenpoint was promised as a result of the new zoning were park space and affordable housing. As of April 22, 2009 we have received neither. Instead we have been saddled with a colossal number of empty lots, vacant properties and half-finished “nondos” while more people and more people are finding themselves on the streets.
Am I the only person who is angered by this?
On April 12, 2009 I wrote (in this post about the park languishing at the end of Manhattan Avenue):
Anyone care to guess when this park will at long last be open to the public? If anyone reading this post knows the answer please speak up via comments or email me at:
missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com
Today someone has stepped up to the plate. Graham writes:
In addition to being a Greenpoint resident, a regular reader and a big fan, I used to freelance for the soon-to-be-shuttered NY Times City Section. (! — Ed. Note) Last fall, I wrote a story about the Manhattan Avenue Waterfront Park in Greenpoint that they decided to hold until spring. Well, since it will never see the Grey Lady’s ink, I thought I’d offer it to you and your readers. Enjoy.
The Promise of a Park
By Graham T. Beck
At the Northern end of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, past the bustling Polish butcher shops and the hip cafes with sandwich-board signs out front, the neighborhoodâ€™s main drag dead-ends in a vest-pocket park that sits on the shore of the Newtown Creek.
There are four north-facing benches positioned for dramatic views of the Queensboro Bridge and Long Island Cityâ€™s skyline. River breezes tousle the decorative grasses and blow loose bits of mulch across the newly installed granite pavers. Empty trash bags whip about in their shiny black cans.
There is, however, no one in the park. It hasnâ€™t been open to the public since it was, in the words of a Department of Design and Construction spokesperson, â€œsubstantially completedâ€ in the summer of 2007.
The installation of a railing is to blame, one that would separate the park from the creek. So for more than a year, Greenpoint residents have been barred from their new park by black plastic fencing, jersey barriers and â€˜No Trespassingâ€™ signs.
The neighbors are getting restless.
â€œBefore they started building, there was a community-made park there,â€ said Christine Holowacz, Co-Chair of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning and a neighborhood resident for over 30 years. â€œIt wasnâ€™t much, just a dock, but people went there to fish, to boat, to lunch. It was the area to go, the only place where you could really see the water.â€
The park is one small piece of the larger Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Access Plan, a hard-won component of the areaâ€™s 2005 rezoning. As such, its long-delayed, opening has resonated strongly with some community members.
â€œThe city came and they made promises to us in 2005. They promised us a park there,â€ Ms. Holowacz said. â€œNow we have nothing – not our old park, not the new one – all because of some railing.â€
According to Matthew Monahan, of the Department of Design and Construction, the original specifications for the railing were not in full compliance with safety and transportation regulations, so the agency had to go back to the drawing board, then have an appropriate railing fabricated.
â€œWe started on that this past summer,â€ he said. â€œIt has been frustrating. More so for the community, Iâ€™m sure, particularly because you can stand behind the barriers and see the new park, but safety comes first.â€
According to Mr. Monahan, the railing should arrive soon, and if the weather is above freezing long enough for workers to grout, it will be installed shortly.
Ms. Holowacz is skeptical. â€œIn Greenpoint weâ€™re surrounded by water, but weâ€™ve never had real access to it, so weâ€™re used to being close but farâ€ she said. â€œIâ€™ll celebrate when Iâ€™m sitting and enjoying my new park.â€
So there have you. The first fence was not built up-to-spec. This has since been addressed. If/when will this park open to the public? Well, no one seems to know. I for one agree with Ms. Holwacz: I’ll believe this park’s for real when my ass is firmly planted on one of those futuristic park benches!
Although I am a vegetarian I have the presence of mind to know a number of you who read this blog are not. Hence why I wanted to pass along the above item: a new fish and chips establishment with a decidedly Greenpoint twist…
I glanced at the menu (which you can see by clicking here) and I have to say this place carries a LOT more than your run-of-the-mill fish and chips. Offerings include but are not limited to:
- Roasted French bread with cheese and mushrooms
- “Hot-Dog” with vegetable
- Sauerkraut and mushroom croquettes
- Chicken wings
- Red borscht
- Greek salad
Rafcio Deli & Chip Shop
178 Nassau Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222
If anyone out there has tried this establishment please share your experience/thoughts via comments. I’d love to hear what you think!
Today’s selection of music comes from my walk around the Garden Spot March 19th. As you will see we folks in the 11222 carry both kinds of music: country (as played by the above gents— who are damned good!) and western. Enjoy!
You can see more photographs from my Sunday excursion by clicking here.
P.S.: On a somewhat related note I will be uploading more footage from the Robot Monkey World Chimpionship this evening so stayed tuned!
It’s been over a week since I’ve hit you up with some (f)urban goodness from the wilderness that is Greenpoint. Luckily last weekend’s lovely weather brought out all manner and variety of animal print enthusiasts. I stalked these wild game (in one case coming close to walking in front of a moving car), trapped them on my digital camera and released them into the sanctuary of my Flickr photo set (which follows). Happy hunting!
If any of you spy the odd leopard lady, tempting tigress or— best of all— a furban zebra (which I have observed are not unlike their four legged counter-parts: almost impossible to capture) in the greater Greenpoint area please forward them to me at:
missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com
This item comes courtesy of Bitchcakes who writes:
I simply had to pass this along. I noticed this this morning on Manhattan Ave, by the corner of Norman. I thought it was serious at first, but as I read along, I am convinced it is just the work of some prankster. Either way, I found it amusing. Enjoy!
I agree: this is probably a prank. The idea of creating an indoor beach in Greenpoint, however, strikes me as being an excellent business proposition— especially for our older friends whose Social Security checks are not going as far they used to. Get a few lawn chairs, a cooler (or two) of PBR, charge admission and the rent will be paid in no time! You know how the saying goes:
If you build it, they will come!
Of course I also see the potential for this turning into some kind of Spahn Ranch kind arrangement and, well, we all know what that got us. Now that I think about it I have seen quite a few men in the greater 11222 area lately whose fashion sensibilities are of the Charles Manson and/or Tex Watson variety. In any case those of you who are interested in following up on this most unique employment opportunity can contact this Greenpoint grannie (aspiring Mrs. Robinson?— the bamboo around the bed begs the question) at:
peterpanofcarpenters (at) gmail (dot (com)
Filed under: Williamsburg
From Meeker Avenue.
Yes, I know it is only Monday— but I seriously doubt I’ll get anything as choice as the following the next five days. It comes courtesy of stewartparis and pertains to yesterday’s post about a very special billboard in Marine Park. He writes:
Really don’t want to ruin the fun, but I do believe that is a prostate.Â I prefer corn as explanation.
To add to the educational experience, I am a Physician assistant and while in school, to learn what a normal prostate is supposed to feel like, we were told, the normal prostate is supposed be about the size of a walnut and to feel like the end of your nose, one that you would be suspicious of cancer is similar to the bridge of your nose (firm or even nodular) and an infected prostate (prostatitis) would feel like your cheek (boggy).
I love that whenever I discuss this with patients or friends, people inevitably sample their nose, to see what that feels like.Â Imagine a room full of PA students with looks of clarification while touching their nose, but imagining it was while their finger was up a strangers butt!!!! Or even better imagine a student during a real exam, not sure about the exam, touching their nose while the other hand is doing THE exam.
Hopefully there are NY Shitty friends across the boroughs touching their noses right now.
Hell Stew, on a dreary day like this I hope my readers are touching a lot more than their noses! Although I have been told massaging this gland creates a sensation that is not for everyone I’d wager a few men might like it. Grab a lab partner and head to the closest office bathroom guys. A brave scientific experiment awaits you!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Those of you who are looking to make a fashion statement on a tight budget should head down to the Big D Store. STAT.
There you will find this t-shirt with Brutus on it. It reads “Justice”. I for one find this piece of apparel a little confusing because if my memory serves me correctly this gent’s shtick was beating up people and date raping Olive Oyl.* But who am I to judge?
Men’s “Justice” T-Shirts
Big D Store
777 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222
*Who is arguably one of the most annoying cartoon characters ever created.