From The New York Shitty Inbox: Al Fresco Living At Manhattan Avenue Park

August 14, 2010 by
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Earlier this week I broke the news that 400 McGuinness Boulevard may very well become a 200 bed homeless facility. If what I found in my inbox is any indication, this may not be such a bad thing. For a city that purportedly never sleeps, I seem to find people getting a little shut eye damned near everywhere nowadays. This is especially true of our precious (and, it should be noted: poorly managed) park space. What makes this case special is, well, see for yourself…

Laura (who took the above photographs today) writes:

This particular group has been camping out in Manhattan Ave St. End Park for about a week now. Their group is getting bigger & they now have a blow up mattress & other gear there…


Miss Heather


5 Comments on From The New York Shitty Inbox: Al Fresco Living At Manhattan Avenue Park

  1. rheingold on Sat, 14th Aug 2010 9:30 pm
  2. What’s going on at Value Pits #1 through 6?

  3. missheather on Sat, 14th Aug 2010 9:35 pm
  4. Please explain. I am missing something here. (Humor me, I had a customer give me a hands-free full frontal lobotomy today.)

  5. rheingold on Sat, 14th Aug 2010 11:35 pm
  6. The cryptic “Value Pit # 7” spray painted in blue on the black patch under the air mattress piqued my curiosity. And I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  7. SGI on Sat, 14th Aug 2010 11:51 pm
  8. Back in the 1970’s, 400 McGuinness Blvd. was home to The Gourmet Pantry, a high end food distributor. I actually worked there during the fall and winter of 1977.

    Couldn’t they open the shelter in, let’s say, oh, I don’t know…….Brooklyn Heights? It would offer the inmates a much nicer city vista from the Promenade. Location is the key to any property’s success, don’cha think?

  9. missheather on Sun, 15th Aug 2010 12:38 am
  10. @ SGI: I have no problem with homeless shelters. Not even in my proverbial backyard. They are needed. BADLY. What I DO have problems with are:

    1. how the “burden” seems to be spread unevenly, e.g.; these shelters are being relegated to less affluent neighborhoods which who do not have the political clout to fight them. (Hence why a homeless shelter in Brooklyn Heights will, most assuredly, NEVER happen.)
    2. If the owner of the Greenpoint Hotel is to be believed, he is going to convert that property into a SRO. To this end he is working with the Veteran’s Administration. This would, could, mean we’ll have TWO facilities housing a transient population one (very) short block away from each other. With ~400 beds between them.
    3. This property, 400 McGuinness, is part of the IBZ. Industrial Business Zone. I fail to see how this space could NOT become some facsimile of the Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center or be utilized in a manner that would entail community use. A community center, perhaps?
    4. I find it grimly humorous that while luxury apartments have come down (somewhat) in rent, my little corner of Greenpoint is, nonetheless, increasingly unaffordable to the working and middle class. Rent time at Chez Shitty is one of dread and privation. Our community has received NOTHING in the way of affordable housing— much less affordable rental property (which it sorely needs). And now we have someone trying to create a homeless shelter in a property that could— COULD— make a nice live/work space for people who are low on cash but big on moxie.

    But then again, I am being an idealist. There is more money to be made on “luxury” apartments/condos and homeless shelters (THINK: government subsidies to ride out the bad economy) than providing reasonably-priced (READ: UNDER $1,800 a month rent) housing for families and working people. “Affordable housing” is nothing more than an abstract concept and as the 2005 “rezone” has proven a poorly designed/conceived one at that. It is nothing more than bargaining chip for developers and the “community activists” who are hired by them (see comments) to facilitate building larger luxury apartment buildings which will, inevitably, invariably drive out pretty much anyone who does not earn six figures a year.

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