The New Face Of Need In Greenpoint

October 2, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Yesterday I spent much of my day with Ann Kansfield of the Greenpoint Reformed Church. I called her (after my latest trip to the dentist) because I wanted to make sure she heard the latest “buzz” about the Food Pantry/Soup Kitchen. She said she needed to go to Bed-Stuy to apply for emergency funding for the Soup Kitchen. I told her I planned to walk around Bed-Stuy anyway. So off to Bed-Stuy we went and while doing so we talked. She told me that they’re seeing more “non-homeless” people needing assistance. I believed her.

But seeing truly is believing so I swung by the soup kitchen. Do these people look “homeless” to you?

These women look like typical Greenpointers to me: people I would otherwise see in the local grocery store or bodega, not the “drunks”, “bums” and “derelicts” (READ: undesirables) one would usually associate with a soup kitchen. Although to be “fair and balanced” journalistically speaking— not that I am now now nor care to ever be a journo— the latter were present as well. In large numbers.

At what point are we as a people going to overcome the Victorian concept of “worthy” versus “unworthy” poor”?  Or that poverty is a sickness?* Soon enough I suspect. If what I saw at the soup kitchen last night (and our “economy”) is any indication, we are in for a serious reckoning.

In the meantime someone Milton is doing his best to shut this soup kitchen down. Sometimes he walks across the street and yells at the soup kitchen patrons**, usually he calls the police instead. Because (*gasp*) someone has pissed on his block.

Hence the lecture soup kitchen patrons received tonight.

I know, I am just as outraged as you. Public urination (sex and masturbation) were unheard of in Greenpoint before the soup kitchen came. Homeless people didn’t blight our neighborhood until this soup kitchen was started. It’s TOTALLY the soup kitchen’s fault, folks.

This disgruntled chap may very well get the soup kitchen shut down because it is a “public nuisance”. While Club Exit has had three incidences of gun play this year and is still in business and Studio B is re-opening on the presumption they’ll have all their paper work in order. They don’t.

Anonymous tipster:

Looks like they’ve been doing what they need to get sign offs to get a TCO and the subsequent PA permit (the cabaret license is contingent on those two items).  They’ll have zoning use group 12 on the CO (which is the cabaret designation, but it won’t be legal to use it as such until they get the cabaret.  Read: they’ll be legal but can’t dance).

They got final electrical and plumbing sign offs this month.  That’s 50% of the TCO requirements.  The remaining 50% breaks down like this: 25% elevator sign off (slam dunk cause there are no elevators–I assume); the last 25% is passing the construction inspection. This link is under the “items required” tab under the Alt 1 (CO amendment application) BIS page. They’re banking that they can finish that, get the TCO and PA permit before the 12th or whatever the date is.  Can they do it?  Meh, that’s a real push.

There is something amiss I noticed.  There is no CO application on file under the Alt 1.  That’s weird because it should be there and they shouldn’t have been able to get the electrical and plumbing sign offs without it on file.

And probably won’t —but will probably “re-open” anyway. Hell, they’re open already.

I am not so simple-minded as to think this is a total sum game, e.g.; attention directed to Studio B should be redirected to Club Exit or vice versa. Rather, I’d like to shed light on priorities:

  • A soup kitchen dedicated to feeding the needy (housed, unhoused and the elderly— Polish mostly) merits police scrutiny because it is a “public nuisance” while
  • Club Exit remains open after incidences involving “gun play”
  • Studio B has shown nothing but contempt for the law. They were shut down in August— but after one month they’re back at it. And publicizing themselves like a $2.00 whore.

Which of the three previous is the highest “risk” to public safety? To pick over the differences between Studio B and Club Exit is like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin: fruitless. They both should be shut down. Period.

Not a soup kitchen serving our neighborhood’s (increasingly needy) population. One whose Co-pastors have made every effort to work with the police.

Miss Heather

*In one way it is: teenage mothers tend to beget more teenage mothers. Teenage mothers tend to live in poverty. Tell that to Sarah Palin— or better yet, John “Life Happens” McCain.

**Purportedly while intoxicated.

This Just In…

October 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Apparently the Thai Cafe at 925 Manhattan Avenue (which is owned by the same folks who operate Planet Thailand in Williamsburg) has been closed by the Department of Health. As some of you are probably aware this is the second time this establishment has been shut down in the last 12 months.

That is all…

for now.

Miss Heather

TOMORROW: NAG & Much Ado About Cats

October 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Crazy Cat Lady, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Although this has received plenty of blog love already, I feel compelled to pass it along anyway. I would strongly advise that anyone interested in making his (or her) voice heard about any of the above issues (and more) attend this Town Hall Meeting. The folks at NAG are good people (one is even a regular volunteer at the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s Food Pantry!), what’s more they operate a terrific blog. Check it out.

NAG Town Hall Meeting
Holy Ghost Hall
159 North 5 Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Any and all cat lovers who happen to find themselves in Manhattan and in need of a good laugh (with the prospect of tomorrow’s debate, who doesn’t?) might want to check out Kitty Kind’s “Just Fur Laughs” fundraiser at the Broadway Comedy Club. Advance tickets can by purchased in advance by email Kitty Kind at:

kittykind_events (at) yahoo (dot) com

Just Fur Laughs
Broadway Comedy Club
318 West 53rd Street
New York, New York 10019

In (somewhat related) news, Empty Cages Collective will be throwing another adoption event Saturday, October 4th from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. This time the venue will be Muddy Paws Pet Supplies on Graham Avenue. Among the items promised at this event are a raffle and “kitten dancing”. Although the flier suggests the Nassau Avenue stop of the G as being a convenient subway stop, I’d like to recommend the B43 bus instead. It runs slow (VERY SLOW) but drops you off right there, saving you a walk under the BQE.

Cat & Kitten Adoption Day
Muddy Paws Pet Supplies
477 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

And that’s all she wrote!

Miss Heather

Don’t Get Mad…

October 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

get glad… with spray paint!

Yesterday we learned that one thoughtfully used can of spray paint is a more effective means of deterring errant motorists from parking illegally than the fancy-pants signage provided by our fair city. Today I learned this humble staple of the graffiti artist’s is capable of more. Much more.

CASE IN POINT: Engert Avenue

Out of the corner of my I noticed a missive had been scrawled on this door. Intrigued, I went in for a closer look.


A bit crude grammatically speaking, but effective nonetheless. Albeit not as much as the illustration which graces the sidewalk in front of said doorway.

Brooklyn11211 writes (in regards to this post):

…Like any well executed graphic design, its effective in getting its message across.

That’s a big 10-4 my friend to the south!

Miss Heather

P.S.: In other news, it would appear that someone had an unpleasant dining experience at Antek Restaurant recently.

Fuck Michelin with their star rating system and “recommendations”. This review gets right to the point. I always liked oinions myself but to each his own.

East Williamsburg Photos du Jour: Harbinger

October 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Williamsburg 

From Bushwick Avenue.

Miss Heather

THIS WEEK: Art & Fashion

October 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

This upcoming weekend is going to be a busy one. On October 5th alone you have the Pulaski Day Parade and Atlantic Antic. Lest any of you are wondering, I will be attending the latter. This is not so much a matter of not being proud of my Polish-Lithuanian heritage. Rather, it has more to do with my affection for sock monkeys and Steve’s Key Lime pies. My mouths waters at the mere thought of the latter (yum). But I digress.

Here are a couple of other things going down this weekend which might be of interest.

A group show entitled Perfect Strangers will be opening at Alphabeta this Friday, October 3rd at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free until 9:00 p.m. at which point they will be kicking off an after party featuring live bands and DJs. The price of admission is a measly $7.00. For more information about this event check out the Brooklyn Art Collective’s web site.

Perfect Strangers
70 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Further south Sodafine and Treehouse have teamed up to bring us Williamsburg Fashion Weekend the very same evening at Monster Island (AKA: Secret Project Robot). Per their press release:

In this, our third season, we’ve assembled a group of eight Brooklyn-based designers who make one-of-a-kind or small-run collections, with an emphasis on fair-trade, eco-friendliness, and artisan techniques that celebrate the handmade and the visionary.

Designers Showing — Oct.3rd (7-10pm)
SDN, King Gurvy, and Tricia Mcbride.
Musical performances by Pantagruel and DJ K0unt Zer0.

Designers Showing — Oct.4th (7-10pm)
Untitled 11:11, Racecar, Sodafine, Dear Birthday, and Treehouse Brooklyn. Musical performance by DJ K0unt Zer0.

Williamsburg Fashion Weekend
Secret Project Robot
210 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Admission is absolutely free!

Miss Heather

The Face Of Greenpoint

October 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

This weekend I was delighted by a number of excellent photographs taken by one mugsniffer. So much so I felt they needed — no make that must— be shared (along with a couple pix from yours truly). Here they are. Enjoy!

The denizens of Greenpoint along Manhattan Ave in front of “The Big Dee” (formerly Dee & Dee).

My favorite local crazy guy engages in conversation with another citizen on Manhattan Avenue.

A photo shoot taking place on Manhattan Ave. recently with some wild-haired young people.

The gentleman at the far left is known hereabouts as “The Amish Guy”. Anyone who has seen him in person will attest that his beard has to be seen to truly be believed.

I know what you are thinking:

Wow, what a cute little old lady!

I suppose she is. Unless of course you have had the pleasure of listening to her SCREAM for a solid 60 seconds because she wanted the price for a nightshirt (as I have). These, dear readers, are a few of the faces which will greet you in Greenpoint on any given day. Central Park East the Garden Spot of the Universe is— most decidedly— not.*

Miss Heather

*Which is why I live here. I am one of them.

Photo Credits: The first three images come courtesy of mugsniffer.

Madonna In Bushwick?!?

October 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Williamsburg 

In a manner of speaking, yes! Madge can be found (kissing Britney Spears, no less) on Bogart Avenue.

Miss Heather

Work Has Begun At The Old 87th!

September 30, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

It would appear that Herbert Street’s old precinct house has begun its journey from hoosegow to affordable housing! What’s more, my buddy over at Musings on ‘point got a sneak peak of the interior of the station house and garage. Check it out!

Miss Heather


September 30, 2008 ·
Filed under: Crazy People, Greenpoint Magic 

Ever had one of those moments when you see something and all you can do is stand there staring at it like a slack-jawed idiot? I had one such moment today on Meserole Avenue.

I know the city is trying to cut costs and everything, but wouldn’t simply painting the curb yellow have been a quicker (and less hideous) option? In all seriousness. I wonder which costs more: the $115.00 ticket for parking in this space or the ticket for admonishing someone (via the use of spray paint) of the $115.00 fine for parking in this space? Don’t everyone speak up at once.

Miss Heather