New York Shitty Day Starter: An Open Letter To Governor Paterson
Filed under: 11211, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
When I finally had the time and wherewithal to contact you were unavailable. So here it is.
Dear Mr. Paterson,
Several months ago I was contacted by a person from Richard Gottfried’s office about illegal hotels. She wanted to know about any and all illegal hotel activity I knew about in Williamsburg. Despite being the proprietress of the Village Voice’s “Best Neighborhood Blog of 2009” I was not as helpful as I would have liked to have been; I live in Greenpoint.
However, Greenpoint has its fair share of this kind of thing and I brought them to her attention. Foremost and above all is 184 Eagle Street (formerly known as the Luxe Guesthouse). How do I know about this, you ask? Very simple: I have had residents of said building email me. Repeatedly. Follows are a couple of their complaints:
“Greetings… I noticed that you covered the “shadiness” that is the development at 184 Eagle St. I am sad to say, I am a resident at 184 Eagle St, and unbelievably I am under a lease. I can tell you first hand that this place is basically a Hostel, and while most original tenants have found a way out of here, I am still trying (with my security/last month intact). Nevertheless, shady things keep happening at the building (the other day a group of girls at the door asked me if the “club” was open today, whatever that means).” From May 14, 2009.
“I am very sad to say that I also live at the now ramshackle shanty condo located at 184 Eagle Street… Similarly to the last resident who dropped you a note, I’ve come across some unsavory characters wandering around in, and trying to follow me into the building. After I shut the door before the last bunch could get in, the guy started yelling at me through the glass and randomly dialing numbers on the call box. I don’t feel safe here at all anymore. Indeed, it simply isn’t.”
This hails from a building where people who are paying $2,000+ a month in rent. In other words: “people who matter”. Speaking as someone who lives a few blocks away I can assure you the “safety” issue extends much further than 184 Eagle Street proper. If the “transactions” I’ve seen are any indication I’d say the drug business is thriving. I have little doubt this underground tourist trade is in large part responsible for this; backpackers looking for a bunk and a good time— with no regard for their neighbors. They drink, get high, break and leave. My community has to deal with the consequences.
If you want to see more abject examples I’d suggest looking at Hotel Toshi’s web site. I recognized (albeit by not specific addresses) quite a few buildings he is employing as hotel space. The one that really got to me was Mr. Toshi’s “Southside Swiss Chalet”. This is, most assuredly, located in a rent-stabilized building.
I’ve featured all the previous and more on my website, Mr. Paterson. Please approve this legislation.
As I said before: apartments should be for New Yorkers, not tourists.