Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
One of the more compelling questions raised at last week’s meeting of the 94th Precinct Community Council was why Franklin Street currently has seven drinking establishments with an eighth one forthcoming. In other words, the citizens present wanted to know why are so many drinking establishments have been sanctioned to inhabit such a small area. When queried, D.I. Fulton did not have answer— not should he; he is a police officer, not an expert on liquor licensing. The following email from Phil DePaolo, however, might shed some light on this phenomenon:
I just canâ€™t help felling extreme sadness after watching these videos from the above link about the problem with quality of life issues in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.
During the rezoning I spoke to many residents of Hell’s Kitchen and the Lower East Side who were having many of the problems we face today. I was warned that this would happen to us. But to the City, our local council members and some community groups infrastructure and “quality of life issues” I felt were very important were considered non issues and my concerns fell on deaf ears.
Now we see how bars have transformed our community. Small businesses that served local residents have been forced out of their storefronts unable to meet high commercial rents that landlords know bars can afford. And since new bars often attract their clientele from outside the neighborhood, there is no local market cap on their number or viability. New bars attract non-local patrons, those patrons attract more outsiders and more new bars pop up to meet theÂ boundless demand as the entire neighborhood becomes a scene, a lively scene, but also noisy, congested and sometimes dangerous to our community.
Neighborhoods thrive on responsible development and bars are a useful part of that development. But the bar scene has gotten out of hand. It is forcing on us an unbalanced, non-local and precarious economic base that compromises the quality of life for residents and depreciates the business value of current bars. Our neighborhood Â residents and businesses and bar owners alike Âneeds a cap on the number of bars per block. I proposed this during the rezoning.
The State Liquor Authority has loosened its interpretation of how many bars are allowed by right within a 500 foot radius.Â It used to be that opening a bar within 500 feet of any 3 full liquor licenses required a special hearing at the SLA, consultation with the local community board and evidence of public benefit. The new interpretation will allow many more bars to slip in without that special hearing, consultation or evidence.
The new interpretation of the SLAâ€™s 500 foot rule is that there must be 3 or more licenses of the same class. However, community boards do not have information regarding the classes of existing licenses to be able to make informed decisions.
The State Liquor Authority awards liquor licenses to bars in New York City without regard for local economic diversity or residential quality of life. These local concerns should lie within the purview of local governance, not an unaccountable state authority. To return local concerns to local governance, The New York Community Council will ask every City Council candidate to take a clear stand Âin writing, Âon developing new City Council zoning laws to restrict the proliferation of bars in our community, promote economic diversity and preserve the quality of residential life.
The bar problem may not seem as deep an issue as affordable housing or quality education, but it is an issue that affects residents personally and immediately, the kind of issue that brings residents to the voting booth.
Our neighborhood, long prized for its diversity of peoples, cultures and arts, has many challenges: rampant poverty, homelessness, violence and drugs, rampant gentrification, displacement of long term residents and businesses and now a bar scene that is out of control. Isnâ€™t it time we took in hand the future of our neighborhood? We must ask City Council candidates, where do you stand on zoning limits for new bars?
So there have you. We, as citizens, have been effectively by-passed from having any voice regarding our own community’s future. As a result large venues/tourist attractions like Studio B (which, per Gothamist will be coming back with a vengeance. Soon.) and The Production Lounge (backed by lobbyists and/or unheard of amounts of money) are reshaping our community in a manner which best suits their interests, namely: making it a playground for others. When these “tourists” leave we are the ones who have to live with the consequences of their actions be it garbage, noise, traffic, a smashed window, posting an apology for said broken window, or having bullets fired outside (or inside) your home.
Contrary to what good ol’ Joe alleges (because has no other proverbial leg to stand on) this is not a race issue: it is a quality of life issue. An issue that has arisen time and time again in this, my community when nightclubs have operated with total disregard to the well-being of their neighbors. A neighborhood which I care very much about: Greenpoint.
Those of you who are amenable to having 11222 become another 11211 (or are simply apathetic) should ignore the rest of this post. Those of you who are interested taking our neighborhood back (or at least having your voice heard) can raise holy (but polite and non-threatening, please) hell with your elected officials. Here’s a few to kick things off:
State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
619 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 383 – 7474
lentolj (at) assembly (dot) state (dot) ny (dot) ny (dot) us
Councilman David Yassky
114 Court Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 875 – 5200
yassky (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) ny (dot) us
Community Board 1
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn , New York, 11211
(718) 389 – 0009
Fax: (718) 389 – 0098
Email: bk01 (at) cb (dot) nyc (dot) gov
And last— but hardly least— you can complain to the New York State Liquor Authority. The people who have in large part created this problem in the first place.
Photo Credit: Algul Siento
Filed under: Area 51, Bum Shit, Bushwick, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day, Other Shit, Vomit, Williamsburg
Meat on the inside…
and WTF on the out.
When Mr. Heather got home from work I asked him what he thought the above-depicted thing was. He said (in his unprofessional opinion) it was vomit from a dog who had eaten sausage with a lot of red dye in it (because he has seen this happen before). All I know is whoever (or WHATEVER) discharged this (one of the most revolting things I have ever seen in New York City— and this is really saying something) should probably visit a doctor…
or an exorcist.
P.S.: I puked a little inside while writing this post.
From the Queens bound platform at Myrtle – Willoughby.
Filed under: Williamsburg
I have no idea who is responsible for 651 Metropolitan’s new paint job and to be perfectly frank I really do not care. All I’m saying is if more development blight in north Brooklyn received this kind of treatment my neighborhood would be a much more colorful— and perhaps even prettier— place.
P.S.: A very big New York Shitty thanks goes out to my colleague Queens Crap for bringing this gem to my attention!
From Driggs Avenue.
I recently received an email from my buddy down at Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights. It would appear that IDT Energy is no longer the only ESCOS game in town. On February 20, 2009 he wrote:
7:45pm, 3 folks were canvasing the block saying ‘ Hi, we’re from the power company.”
This ESCOS was less “deceptive” due to the fact that they had hats and jackets with the logo on it, but they did not identify them as an ESCOS. Add U.S. Energy Savings Corp to the list.
I told them to get off the block or we’ll call the cops…initially they were “nicer” than IDT Energy and said “good night.” When I pressed them further, they got nasty.
Response was “go ahead, we have dealt with that before.” (and a few profanities).
After I yelled at them at every house they hit after ours, and more of “what we’re doing is regulated by the New York State” (only partially true) and “we deal with the cops all the time,” they left the last third of the block. On to the rest of the neighborhood, I guess.
Argh! Another ESCOS doing deceptive tactics! Here’s the ESCOS…
On a related note, yesterday afternoon as I was running errands around the Garden Spot I made an interesting discovery. As a result I have some good news and some bad news to relay.
Let’s start with the bad news first: not content to let IDT Energy have all the fun in our fair burgh, someone has posted fliers for another ESCOS entity called Ambit Energy along Driggs Avenue. Now comes the good news…
they’re hiring! Those of you who have been laid off (and have the moral flexibility required for this kind of work) should give “Mr. Licko” (I’m not kidding— this really is his name) a ring STAT.
Tell him Miss Heather sent you!
Ordinarily one would equate a gym with health. That is, of course, unless you happen to patronize the Greenpoint Y— in which case a rather nasty surprise might be awaiting you in the cardio room. D writes on February 22, 2009:
For the past 2 days, there has been a dead/drowned bedbug on water fountain in the cardio room.Â I did not go to the Y today but I bet it’s probably still there.Â If it is still there tomorrow I am going to say something to the people at the desk because that is just horrendous…
I have heard rumors for well over a month that this building (specifically the living quarters) is infested with bedbugs. Has anyone else out there encountered these creepy critters at this establishment? If so, please leave your experience in the comments. I’d love to hear your story.
UPDATE, February 23, 2009:
The bedbug was still there this morning!Â Granted, they are small and apparently no one even noticed it, I just have a knack for spotting this stuff.Â It’s either a blessing or a curse.Â 🙁
So I went to tell the girl at the counter and she was like “what???” She gave me an envelope and I took a piece of paper towel and pushed it in and gave it to her.Â A woman who looked like she had a maintenance outfit on came over and asked what was going on.Â I told her and she told me they’ve had exterminators in and that they tell people not to put stuff on the floor.Â I don’t, thankfully, and from what I understand they probably won’t ever be on any machines, more likely in the cracks between the wall and floor.Â I told them they would probably want to get exterminators back in.
From 44th Drive.
Although I did not have the time to check out this establishment yesterday (I was in a rush to get to the new and improved Cup Of Joe’s* to order a blueberry pie for the Mister) I wanted my fellow Greenpointers to know the space formerly occupied by Brooklynski has— at long last— a new tenant: Lucky Shot Espresso. I suspect I speak for many when I say this establishment (Cup of Joe’s and Boneshakers) are much needed additions to this seriously under-serviced section of Greenpoint.
If anyone reading this post has given Lucky Shot a shot and would like to share his/her experience please do so in the comments. I would love to hear what you have to say! Thanks.
145 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222
*Click here to see pictures and a menu!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
From Green Street.