Filed under: Williamsburg
From the Smith-9th bound platform of the Crosstown Local.
From Waterbury Street.
Earlier this week I wrote about meeting the man who lives in the Pla-Mor trailer on India Street. Well, it would appear he is not the only mobile home dweller in the Garden Spot. margotanyweather writes:
There’s actually a man who lives in an RV on Van Dam Street, too!
Wishing to see this for myself, I headed down to Van Dam.
Margot was right.
I didn’t see anyone about, but signs of habitation were present: a generator, welcome mat and lawn furniture.
A house is simply not a home without a decapitated head gracing the premises. In north Brooklyn it isn’t, anyway.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Earlier this month I wrote about the rumored sale of St. Cecilia’s holdings to developers. Well, after receiving a very angry phone call from my upstairs neighbor (whose son is an honor student this institution) this morning I have more to report. Per my neighbor, parents were given one month’s advance notice that the school would be closing. That’s right folks. ONE MONTH. AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.
Initially parents were assured their children would be accepted to neighboring institutions. This appears not to be the case. Now my neighbor and the parents of other children attending St. Cecilia’s are scrambling to get their children placed into other schools —only to find they are not accepting new students.
In other news I have been told the school— and by that I mean the building proper will be converted into condominiums. Because, you know, that part of Greenpoint doesn’t have enough ‘luxury’ housing already. Why waste money educating our youth when there’s a buck to be made! Priorities, people!
(Or, the Gruesome Twosome)
I have been hard pressed to find something that can begin to approach the Fedders fineness of last week’s offering. After all, how can one possibly top medical waste boxes chained to burglar bars? To this end I have decided to feature two buildings from Bed Stuy. I have taken to calling them “The Gruesome Twosome”. The reason I have given them this moniker will become all too clear soon enough.
This beauty hails from the intersection of Stuyvesant Avenue and Lexington. Note that the city has bothered to place a reproduction vintage lamp post on this corner. This attempt at beautification is totally undermined by the steaming pile of doo-doo behind it. Follows are a few of my favorite accouterments:
- The phlegm-colored awning gracing the right-hand property.
- A rather tall fence demarcating the property. If you look carefully you will notice this fence is grey to the right and white to the left. I guess they couldn’t make up their mind.
- Exposed gutters: a must for any Fedders worth a lick of salt.
Let’s look around back, shall we?
Ah yes, what would a Fedders Special be without balconies overlooking what appears to be a garage! Note that the lower balcony has been partially painted black. Did they run out of paint? Is this some form of artistic expression? I suppose only they know for certain.
Welcome to the People’s Democratic Republic of Bedford Stuyvesant! Best to mind you P’s and Q’s. Big Brother is watching.
I like to call this photograph Ye Olde Soviet Rust. I can almost hear Khrushchev using a piece of footwear improperly from here…
As with any worker’s paradise, the need for housing for the proletariat is paramount. Thankfully the above beauty has a companion a short distance away on Greene Avenue.
If you worked all week fighting Capitalist swine, you’d be home by now!
Parking for members of the Politburo only.
Great Jumping Yankee Satan’s underpants! Ain’t no way NATO is getting through these doors!
In the event of Free-Market Capitalist military aggression, please head to the bomb shelter conveniently located down stairs.
Numbers?!? Those are decadent! That $1.99 a number could be spent on building munitions. A piece of chalk or pencil will suffice, Comrade.
All you Capitalist pig dogs out there, listen up:
We will bury you
…under ass ugly architecture, that is!*
*Big props go to Jayspec for coming up with this one!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
From Moultrie Street.
Ever had one of those things you keep telling yourself you’ll get around to but never do? This post is one of those. After much delay I am going to clue you guys in about the happenings at 156 and 158 India Street. On May 19, 2008 a tipster wrote:
The house one lot down from my boyfriend and I received an order to vacate at about 3 pm on Saturday. Fire trucks blocked the street and stayed put.
We went down to get some food and I asked one of the ten or so firemen who were standing around one of the trucks what was going on. He said the building at 156 India was about to collapse and they had to immediately evacuate. I asked if this was due to undermining of the foundation because of construction at the neighboring lot (158 India Street — Ed. Note) and he said no.
It was just due to years and years and years of neglectâ€¦. We saw people taking everything they could carry and getting outâ€¦ and ever since there’s been a police car parked out front of the house with a spot light pointed at the open door to the building.
Funny thing is, about two weeks ago my boyfriend saw a guy coming home to 156 India with a chick, presumably his date…
Male Resident of 156 India: Here we are! My new place…
Chick: You live here…? (Incredulous look)
M.R.156 India: I know, I know, it looks shitty from the outside, but wait ’til you see my space!
Lucky for her she saw it before it collapses into a heap.
This house was evacuated May 17, 2008 after the F.D.N.Y. had the Department of Buildings checked the structural stability on a non-load bearing wall following a complaint of the “BUILDING SHAKING/VIBRATING/STRUCT STABILITY AFFECTED“. The Department of Buildings’s findings are as follows:
(HAZARDOUS) FAILURE TO MAINTAIN EXTERIOR BUILDING WALL. DEFECT IS:REAR WALL IS ROTTED,DEFECTIVE AND PULLING AWAY FROM WOOD FRAME. FIRE ESCAPE IS IN DANGER DUE TO AFFECTED REAR WALL AND COULD DISLODGE IF USED.
Pretty bad, eh? Brace yourself because it gets worse.
The owner of this building was cited by the Department of Buildings for more or less the same problem OVER A YEAR AGO. As you can see, Mr. Nealis was fined $2,500. He has yet to pay up. In fact, if you browse the ECB violations for 156 India Street, you’ll notice non-payment of fines and non-compliance seem to be his modus operandi. Here’s one of my personal faves. It dates from May 5, 2007:
FAILURE TO MAINTAIN BLDG. NOTED: AT CELLAR OF FRONT BLDG=NO FIREPROOF ENCLOSURE FOR BOILER RM,MISSING FIREPROOFING AT CEILING AT VARIOUS LOCATION,ROTTED JOISTS NEXT TO BOILER RM,LARGE AMOUNT OF DEBRIS THRU-OUT
Gee, that sounds really fucking dangerous. You might be interested to know that once again a fine of $2,500 was levied. It remains unpaid. Stick we me— it only gets more interesting. Take this fun fact, for example.
Kevin Nealis is (or at least was) the owner of another property in Greenpoint with an interesting history: 95 Clay Street. If this address sounds familiar to you, it is because I have written about it. Repeatedly. An apartment building was recently built there with no permits whatsoever.
I don’t know about you, but this Nealis chap sounds like a fun guy. What’s more, he may very well be responsible for a Greenpoint first:
A construction site being evacuated because the existing building next to it posed an imminent threat to public safety.
OBSERVATION OF DEFECTIVE AND SUB-STANDARD WORK IN PROGRESS
I suppose only the Department of Buildings and the owner of 156 and Best on India LLC only know for certain. There is, however, one thing I can assert with total confidence: thanks to one landlord’s total disregard for the safety of his tenants and the Department of Buildings appalling lack of effective enforcement six individuals and/or families are now homeless. This is inexcusable.
On the brighter side, at least this family was spared being displaced. I wonder who their landlord is?
*I am NOT kidding. Click here and see for yourself!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Those of you who were out and about last weekend probably noticed that we have finally been given one of those slick-looking new bus shelters. It is located on Manhattan Avenue just north of Greenpoint Avenue.
Here it is. You can almost smell the cement curing. Greenpoint is sure getting tony nowadays. First it was Starbucks, now it is a nice shiny new bus shelter. I wonder what we’ll get next— more efficient subway service perhaps? NAH.
Here is a woman using said shelter correctly. I’m glad to see my fellow Greenpointers have adapted to this new addition to our urban landscape effortlessly.
What’s more, someone or something has already seen fit to christen it! The powers that be can throw as many new bus shelters, luxury condominiums and double skinny lattes they want at us. There are some things that will never change. An ordinary person would tender their thanks for civic improvements (such as this shelter) by writing their duly elected officials. Not us. We are not ordinary. We are Greenpointers and we have our own inimitable manner of expressing gratitude.
(Someone in the Garden Spot really, really does not like you.)
Yesterday afternoon I ran errands. Among my tasks was purchasing household cleaning products. Let’s just say one of our cats decided to use our bedroom as a vomitorium, I will spare you the details except to say it was quite disgusting.
As anyone in the know will tell you, any and all consumer products in Greenpoint are to be found in one place: Manhattan Avenue, so I headed there without delay. When I reached the Greenpoint Furniture store I noticed a man standing in front of the door. Well, noticed isn’t exactly the right word— HEARD is much more like it. Imagine this, if you will, being bellowed in the biggest Brooklyn honk imaginable:
You know what you are Joe? You’re a fuggin’ piece of shit! That’s what! A fuggin’ piece of shit!
Over and over. I turned to the man next to me, gave him my best “wtf” look and said:
It’s always healthy to let your anger out. What’s more, if I ever meet a guy named Joe I will know he is a fucking piece of shit.
I then went back about my business, as did my fellow bystander and the man who hates Joe.
Several hours later after I accomplished all the chores on my “to do” list I decided to head home via my favorite thoroughfare: McGuinness Boulevard. I have extolled upon the magical qualities of the street named after Greenpoint’s favorite alderman many times. I will do so yet once again here: McGuinness Boulevard is the undiluted essence of all things Greenpoint. It is the very soul of the Garden Spot. Some of the most interesting things I have ever seen have been found on this boulevard. Yesterday was no exception.
This mural is located on Newton Street. It originally read “diva”. As you can see, someone has seen fit to make a few annotations.
I really like this shot. Methinks this image should be on a greeting card. Seriously.
Not since high school have I seen hatred meted out in such a passionate and heated fashion. This person is seriously angry. If any of you are wondering what that brown stuff is, use your imagination. If that fails, here’s a clue: read the url for this web site.
You know, I cannot help but respect someone who would do this. I do not condone their behavior, mind you. I simply believe it is good policy to have a healthy respect for people who have no qualms whatsoever about picking up shit off the sidewalk and smearing it on a wall. Even I wouldn’t do that. If you’re out there reading this Joe, take my advice: stay away from McGuinness Boulevard.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
From Humboldt Street.