Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: Havemeyer Street

September 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

trio

You can learn more about the artists behind this mural (Suzan Choy, Maya Edelman and Isam Prado respectively) by clicking here and here.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Everything You Wanted To Know About Those Lines On The Pulaski Bridge

(and I do mean EVERYTHING)

clusterfuck

Rick writes:

I’m a new-ish fan of the blog, 10-year Greenpointer (what I call “outer” Greenpoint — Morgan near Driggs — as opposed to “upper” Greenpoint, meaning along the Manhattan/Franklin corridor), and bike commuter. I’m also a journalist who just finished a year reporting on urban spaces and infrastructure for PBS and public radio.

So after seeing the markings on the Pulaski Bridge path — and reading your posts — I decided to call someone who’d know what was up: Wiley Norvell, Communications Director for bike advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

I asked him about three things: (1) the “lane” markings on the ramps; (2) the seemingly-superfluous white lines along the main stretch of the path; and (3) the “Stop and Dismount — Walk Bike” signs.

Wiley checked with NYCDOT and got back to me with the following answers:

1. The lane markings at the entrances “are designed to provide guidance,” he said. Every bridge in the city handles cyclists and pedestrians differently: they’re segregated on the Brooklyn and Manhattan spans; pedestrians move counter to cycle traffic on the Williamsburg; and (iirc) they move in the same direction on the 59th. So, Wiley said, “the DOT’s trying to clarify the rules for the Pulaski.”

2. The white lines are an effort to get cyclists to chill out, for lack of a better way of putting it. “That’s typically done for cars,” Wiley said. “They visually narrow the space. That’s intended to get people to slow down and focus. It make it look like the space is only five feet wide, so it’s a visual traffic-calming cue.”

Of course, Wiley says, none of this deals with the underlying problem on the bridge: That the path is simply too narrow for the amount of pedestrian and cycle traffic it’s already handling. And things are likely to get worse: Between the impending completion of the Kent Avenue greenway (which I rode today and is coming along beautifully) and the coming greenway along the LIC riverfront, there’s likely to be a lot more traffic on the Pulaski path. “It’s like the Brooklyn Bridge path,” he said. “We’re running up against the laws of physics.”

The bridge’s roadbed has the opposite problem: It has too much capacity, Wiley said. The evidence: cars routinely exceed the speed limit over the Newtown Creek by 15-20 MPH. “And that behavior continues on McGuinness Boulevard and into Long Island City,” Wiley said.

So there’s a built-in solution that would solve both problems at once: Take a lane away from the roadbed and turn it into a dedicated cycle path. Wiley says Transportation Alternatives supports that idea, but it’s likely a long way off: The Pulaski Bridge was last rebuilt just 15 years ago, so any reconfiguration is likely years in the future.

3. The signs are mandated by a regulation, likely a federal one, Wiley said. That regulation governs how traffic is supposed to behave on drawbridges. The problem, he said, is that the signs are in the wrong place: Cyclists are supposed to dismount and walk their bikes over the expansion joint between the leaves of the bascule (i.e. at mid-span). The signs, however, are hundreds of feet away from the joint. Even so, Wiley said, DOT doesn’t enforce the rule. “They’re planning for the real world, in which cyclists are riding across the bridge.”

Hope this helps… Keep up the good work!

No Rick, thank YOU for taking the time to give us the 411! If anyone has a question for Rick you can leave them in the comments or contact him via email at: rick (at) technopop (dot) org.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Rick was also kind enough to forward me a DOT presentation regarding the Pulaski Bridge. You can view it in jpeg format by clicking here.

Southside Photo Du Jour: Wythe Avenue

September 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Bloomblight, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

buddhas

Taken September 28, 2009.

Miss Heather

It’s Tuesday: Bring Out The Gimp!

September 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11101, 11206, 11211, 11222, 11237, Asshole 

GIMP

I heard rumors that Thies was shilling for Yassky. Yesterday morning they were confirmed via my inbox. My annotations are in red.

Dear friend, You’re not my friend, Evan.

Believe it or not, the Democratic campaign season is not over. There’s one more thing to do. In the run-off election for New York City comptroller tomorrow, we must elect David Yassky. No we shouldn’t.

Our race did not turn out how we would have liked, (It did work out as you and yours planned. You ran as a straw dog, split the “reform vote” and slid Vito Lopez’s candidate, Levin, into office. Your overlord, Yassky has been kissing Vito’s ass for some time.) but every day there is something we can do to improve our government. Tomorrow in New York, there’s a big opportunity. To screw citizens six ways to Sunday– and you want a piece of the action.

Every major newspaper in this city – the Times, News, and the Post – has now endorsed David. And for good reason.

You need a job.

As David’s former City Council chief of staff, I can attest to his love for and commitment to local government. As comptroller, he would be in a position to do a lot of good for New York and beyond.

You REALLY need a job— especially since you resigned from Community Board 1.

Why didn’t Yassky return the love, Evan, e.g.; endorse you as a candidate for the 33rd City Council District? No worries. I’d like to share with my readers a little “love” David Yassky has lavished upon New York City.

184 Kent Avenue

AustinNicholsGOTH

Brownstoner &  Gotham Gazette wrote:

In a quote that will hopefully follow him around until the day he’s voted out of office, Simcha Felder had this to say about the building: “This is a piece of trash. We should knock it down and put something nice up.” Gee, Simcha, wonder if Moishe Kestenbaum’s written you any checks recently. Affordable housing deal in hand, David Yassky was happy to do his part to ensure that a hideous rooftop addition would grace the Brooklyn waterfront skyline. “This is simply not worthy of landmarking,” said Yassky. What’s the point of having relatively knowledgeable and cultured people on the Landmarks commission if their recommendations can be shot down by a bunch of politically-motivated bureaucratic philistines?

Ask David Yassky— or better yet, Kenneth “Kenny” Fisher, Mr. Yassky’s predecessor, who was employed to lobby against land marking this property (with success). Here’s what Kestenbaum wanted to build, with a little help from our good friend Karl Fischer (David Yassky and Simcha Felder):

FISCHER!

This is Venice on crack.

Kenny also defended Studio B’s right to operate despite their utter disregard for my community’s quality of life and concern for their patron’s safety. FAIL.

Term Limits

After flip-flopping Yassky enabled Bloomberg to run for a third term. He not only did he override the will of the people our City Councilman, David Yassky, wrote an apology that reeks of condescension. From the Gowanus Lounge:

Given the verbal disembowelment that we directed at Council Member David Yassky last week for what we saw as a revolting betrayal of the public trust by calling for a public referendum on extending terms limits, but ultimately voting with the Mayor, we found it fascinating that the Council Member has been sending out email defending his standing. (It doesn’t change our opinion that his conduct was scandalous at best and spineless, yet predictable at best, because the brilliant, yet tragically ambitious Mr. Yassky would sign a contract in blood with the guy with horns and a tail if it would get him elected to citywide office or–gasp–Congress), but here’s what he has to say for himself in an email that’s being widely circulated. (We are strongly avoiding the desire to annotate Mr. Yassky’s defense of his wretched conduct, but foll it with some analysis after the jump we hope you’ll read):

I am sure you know by now that the City Council voted last week to approve Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to lengthen the term limit for City officeholders from eight years to 12 years. I want you to know that after a great deal of thought, I chose to support the Mayor’s proposal. This was the most difficult decision I have faced in the City Council – more than congestion pricing, the garbage plan, or the post-9/11 tax increase – and I want to explain why I believe it was the right choice.Like many people, my initial reaction to the Mayor’s proposal was outrage. While I have always held that the eight-year term limit was bad policy, it was a policy put in place by referendum and the fairest way to change it was by a subsequent referendum. I was saddened by the Mayor’s eagerness to bypass the voters, and I strongly disagreed with his assertion that a referendum was not feasible. Most important, I knew that a Council vote to change term limits would confirm many people’s most cynical suspicions about politics and politicians.

Following the Mayor’s announcement, I advocated both publicly and privately, to the Mayor, the Speaker and my colleagues in the Council, that we should put the term limits question before the voters. I argued to the Mayor directly that he was making a mistake, and that he and the Council could not afford to undermine our moral legitimacy at precisely the time when we will be asking New Yorkers to sacrifice for the greater good.

As the vote neared, it became increasingly clear to me that the Mayor would not relent, and I focused intently on the choice before me. I had dozens – probably hundreds – of conversations with friends and constituents, and heard very strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Many people were appalled that the Council would even consider overturning a referendum, and many – I was surprised by how many – said simply: “I want to keep Mayor Bloomberg.”

These conversations had a deep impact on my thinking. While I have worked well with the Mayor and I hold his Administration in high regard, I certainly don’t believe he is the only person capable of leading the City over the coming years. But I do know that we are in a period of extraordinary challenge, and that voters may well value stability and experience in the City government. I became convinced that the right choice at this point in time was to leave open for voters the option of choosing to continue the Bloomberg Administration next November.

Even so, I pressed the referendum argument to the very end. Over the Mayor’s objections, I introduced an amendment to the term limits bill that would have put the issue before the voters in a special election early next year. Many of my colleagues supported the amendment, and it was vigorously debated on the floor – but it lost narrowly. That left the stark choice: As much as I was loath to override the expressed will of the voters, I was unwilling to leave in place a term limits policy which I believe is bad in general and especially at this time.

Finally, I know that some on the other side of this debate have accused Council Members of acting out of self-interest in voting to change term limits. For my part, I can say unequivocally that I saw no personal benefit in the Mayor’s proposal. As you know, I have been planning to run for City Comptroller next year, and have felt confident about my prospects for success. That campaign may now be foreclosed, as the current Comptroller is eligible to run for reelection.

I knew that many supporters would disagree with this vote. In making my final decision, one particular conversation stuck with me. In the supermarket, a few days before the vote, an older man approached me, told me he had voted for me, and told me he didn’t like the term limits extension. But then he said: “Whatever you do, I trust you to do the right thing.” I do believe that my constituents want me to look diligently at the issues before me and follow my best judgment about what is right for our City and for our community.

As difficult as this vote was, I know that still more wrenching choices lie ahead: closing hospitals versus fewer teachers, raising taxes versus cutting cops. On all of these issues, as with the term limits vote, I will take my responsibilities as a City Council Member with the utmost seriousness, and will work as hard as I possibly can to serve in the best interests of the people I represent.

And there you have it.

GL Analysis
Our original description of Mr. Yassky’s conduct as gutless, spineless and reprehensible stands. In an odd way, his pained justification of his Have-Your-Cake-And-Eat-It-Too Vote, only confirms the vile nature of the decision he made. He wants to us to believe that he fought the Putin Putsch until the very end but then decided to support Mayor Vladimir when Vassily the Electrician approached him at Key Foods near the spinach and told him to do the right thing. The “right thing” in Mr. Yassky’s case was to reject the very democratic approach he claims to have fought so hard to protect because it became clear so many people feel so strongly we need Mayor Bloomberg to save our city. In other words, it hurt him a lot more to do it, then it hurt us, because Vassily was telling him to use the whip on us.

Sorry, Mr. Yassky, no one is questioning your intellect. The tragic thing is you may be one of the brightest people in New York City politics. What we’re questioning are your ethics and your unbridled ambition and your willingness to sacrifice your most deeply held positions for your own sad self-interest. But, please sir, if the stuff sitting on plate has come out of the business end of a chicken and is what is otherwise known in vulgar terms as chicken shit, do not try to convince that us that you tired to reason with the chicken not to evacuate its bowels, but having failed to do so, you were left no choice but to turn it into a yummy dish of chicken salad. You can add mayo, onions, eggs, some Sazón to give it a bit of that sabor we all love, put it on sourdough, but Mr. Yassky, we hate to be bearers of bad news: it’s still a chicken shit sandwich and not chicken salad.

We still wish you a future that does not involve a career in public life, living on the taxpayer’s tab, making ethically bad decisions and trying to justify them to people you think are gullible enough to buy into your sad explanations. Yes, it’s politics and we expect nothing different in the end. We’ve been around the profession longer than we care to say and we’ve seen it up close. Maybe we’re holding you to a higher standard because it’s all the more painful to watch someone as smart as you sell his soul for reasons that have nothing to do with what you know are right and wrong. Perhaps, traffic enforcement would be a good next career*? (*Again, we apologize to city employees. Even the traffic enforcement people. We realize it’s a crappy job.)

Cutting Cops

Yassky has done this. Some nights there are only two patrol cars canvassing the 94th Precinct. Thanks, Dave!

Environmental Issues

Mr. Yassky is a chair of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. He rarely— if ever— attends said meetings. Yet he has aired his dissent regarding Gowanus Canal being Super funded. Probably because he’s getting cozy with Bill DeBlasio (Toll Brothers and everyone else who wants to build condos there). Anything for a vote.

I would not nominate David Yassky to be dog catcher— much less Comptroller. Councilman Yassky has done enough damage to my community— and now his little (g)imp— who is equally culpable for north Brooklyn’s many quality of life issues— is shilling for him.

I won’t tell you to vote for, dear readers, but I’ll tell who to vote against: David Yassky and Bill DeBlasio.

Miss Heather

For more reasons not to vote for Yassky click here, here and here.

New York Shitty Day Starter: TIE

September 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

TIE

From Dunham Place.

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: R.I.P. DJ AM (Ah Yeah!!!)

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

RIP

From South 5 Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: A Very Special Employment Opportunity

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: Advanced Life Forms, Area 51, Brooklyn, Manhattan, New York City, Park Slope 

The Professor writes:

Hey Heather

I just ran across such a ridiculous Craigslist ad that I thought you might wanna see it. I don’t know that it’s anything you can use for your blog, or whatever, but it’s just such an extensively dumb solicitation that I thought you’d at least get a laugh.

Although, it could be a perfect setup for a big prank…*

Doc writes (in the aforementioned Craigslist advertisement):

Hi. Even for Craig’s List, this is going to be a strange ad. But read on – it’s strange but legit.

I’m a single, straight guy, in my early 40’s, recently moved to NYC, with almost no social circle here (and, even worse, I work on my own). No history of mental illnesss, jail time or listening to country music. Moving to NY has been fantastic, but the one thing is, I have been finding it hard to meet women. So I’m doing the normal, typical, rational thing that any guy in my position would do — I’m looking to hire a female “wingman,” that is, a “wingwoman,” to break the ice for me in social situations.

Strange but true.

This is a real job I’m offering; it’s not a personal ad in disguise, and I’m not a Nigerian scammer or a reality show producer, either. Perhaps more surprisingly, I’m also not a freak, weirdo or serial killer – I am just not good at walking up to a woman I don’t know and getting beyond “Hi” and I want to do something about it. (Basically, I want to avoid this guy’s fate.)

This would be a part-time, occasional gig. Get-togethers would be in Manhattan or Brooklyn; sometimes weekend afternoons, sometimes evenings. (Generally speaking, NOT in bars or nightclubs. I am more of a Brooklyn Flea / The Moth / Big Terrific / Midsummer Night Swing type of guy. This is also my kind of thing.) Probably 2-5 hours per stint. We would only meet in public places and I would pay you ($20/hour) cash.

And you don’t have to be single or even “unattached” to apply – there’s no “hanky panky” involved. (I really don’t care if you have a boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other, as long as that person knows about and is cool with the situation.)

If you want to know more details about the arrangement, check out these articles:

Are You With Him? Why Yes, Want to Date Him?

Wingwomen (8 pages long)…

WOW. I wonder if someone would pay me $20.00 an hour to be a cock blocker or chick repellent. I excel at both. I am a natural. “Doc” has also created a Facebook page which you can peruse by clicking here.

Miss Heather

P.S.: You can read “Doc’s” Craigslist ad in its entirety by clicking here or by clicking on the images below. Either way you’ll notice our man “Doc” is very detail-oriented!

CL1nys

CL2nys

CL3nys

P.S. #2: While I am on the subject of meetings and meat-markets, my good friends at Fucked In Park Slope will be hosting a “Meatup” this Wednesday, September 30th at The Bell House. For more information click here. B.Y.O.W. fellas.

*Or more annoying “viral” advertising.

Found On Wythe Avenue: Stress-inducing Kitten

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Crazy Cat Lady, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

FOUND

Found on the corner of South 1st and Wythe she’s doing but boy does she meow a lot and she’s stressing out my old cat

If this furkid is yours (or you want to make her yours) please call the phone number indicated on this flier. Thanks!

Miss Heather

Southside Photos Du Jour: Closed

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

closed1

closed2

From 229 Roebling Street.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Street Art Du Jour: Pink Flamingo

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

flamingo

From Havemeyer Street.

Miss Heather