An Ugly Incident At Greenpoint’s New Park

June 15, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

family

Some of you no doubt recall how long it took this park (which is located at the end of Manhattan Avenue) to happen: just shy of two years. After an inexcusable series of delays it is open now, much to the pleasure of Greenpointers new, old, or simply passing through.

FDNY

Like these EMT workers taking a much needed break on a Sunday afternoon.

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drunkdude

Unfortunately where are others who not only are treating this sorely needed bit of open space as their own beer garden, but when confronted they became belligerent.

handinpants

Laura writes:

Mike & I have been going to the new park at Manhattan Ave, practically every day. It’s beautiful. Sunday evening, we were there with some family members. There was a group of young Slavic guys & gals drinking beer and tossing the beer bottles onto the lawn and in the high grass. My son sensed that I was upset and went over to pick up any visible bottles. He said to the group, “There’s a garbage over there, you know.” One of the guys responded with a few sarcastic comments and the group continued to drink and litter there. I was looking at the group, hoping they would feel uncomfortable and leave, but that didn’t happen. I proceeded to call the police. Then the same sarcastic guy hollered over “Are you calling the F%#@@ Police on us, you bitch?”. I replied, “Yes”.

With that, the same guy started to approach us with threatening motions. He was clearly trying to start a physical confrontation with my family. ( My granddaughter was there. ) My son, of course stood up ready to defend us.  I didn’t want a fight to break out so I stood between the guy & my son & continued to call 911.  The guy started to make threatening motions toward my son. He threatened to hit my son & Mike ( cane & all! ). I pulled out my camera. And he moved away. Mike took the phone to complete the call. The others began to scatter. I started to take photos of their vehicle & license plates. One of the guys tried to block the photo. With that, they scurried out of the park ( still holding the beer bottles)…

beerinhand

while I continued to take pictures. One of the guys and one of the girls, came walking back.

drunkbroad

The girl was cursing and coming toward me until she realized that I had two daughter in laws with me. They left. There’s a witness… She gave me her name & phone number…

As previously stated Laura called the police— and guess what? After taking an hour to show up they didn’t seem to care!

The police got there over an hour later. The PO ( Ferguson ) said that we couldn’t make out a report. He did however give me the precinct phone number (after some push from me) so I could call in the license plate number when I enlarged the photo. I enlarged it and did leave that message… I don’t believe that I couldn’t fill out a police report just because the offenders left. I feel that I was denied a police report. Technically, there’s nothing on record at the 94th about this incident. And that’s how the precinct likes it. I called 911, so it’s in their system… I’m really tired of not getting help from the 94th Precinct. These youths know my family’s faces. And they are evidently a nasty group. The last thing we need is a nasty group of drinkers at that park. The lack of police interest makes me feel like we’re in the position to defend ourselves…

Welcome to life in the 94th Precinct.

Miss Heather

More Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

May 21, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

commcouncil

My colleague Graham T. Beck of Streetsblog has published his account of this week’s Community Council Meeting. I strongly recommend that anyone interested in the details surrounding the car chase which resulted in Violetta Kryrzak’s death give it a read. Those of you who have not done so already can read my take (and watch video footage of the proceedings) by clicking here.

Miss Heather

Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

May 19, 2009 ·
Filed under: Advanced Life Forms, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

commcouncil

Last night’s meeting of the 94th Precinct Community Council was, curiously enough, not very well attended. This certainly came as a surprise to yours truly as I thought a woman being struck and killed by a stolen car would elicit more interest in our community. Go figure.

Regardless of turnout there were plenty items of interest brought up at this forum as you will see in the following video footage. For the sake of brevity (hey, I like a break from ye olde keyboard as much— probably more— than anyone reading this) I have embedded my You Tube footage below along with a synopsis for each segment. Before we get to them here are some facts/observations from this meeting which merit mention:

1. Per D.I. Fulton although crime is (still) “down” overall compared to last year grand larceny auto, burglaries (13) and robberies (7) are up. The car of choice for auto thieves here seems to be the good ol’ reliable Honda Civic. On the burglary front, the police recently made two separate arrests of four suspected thieves.

2. Per D.I. Fulton traffic accidents are— believe it or not— down (47).

3. Now that the weather is getting warmer we were admonished to exercise caution when wearing jewelry in public, watch our personal belongings (especially hand bags, credit cards and i-Pods) and be hyper vigilant about destroying any and all financial records before placing them in the trash for pick-up.

4. On the subject of Violetta Kryrzak’s death:

  • Although he expressed his condolences to her family numerous times during the course of the discussion the overall perception of  people present was that D.I. Fulton’s recitation of the events leading up to Violetta Kryrzak’s death did not “jibe” with other accounts from those who had witnessed the event. For example:
  • D.I. Fulton claimed there was “no pursuit”. Rather, two officers on patrol noticed the minivan driving erratically at Frost Street and Graham Avenue. It was ascertained the vehicle was stolen and the man took off. The police followed him.
  • For those of you who are wondering, the distance between where this man was allegedly spotted and where Mrs. Kryrzak was hit is 1.2 miles.
  • When queried about whether or not there was any “back and forth” between the squad car and police headquarters P.I. Fulton said there was. Apparently a number of higher-ups were aware of the situation.
  • D.I. Fulton made it clear the police did not follow the stolen vehicle all the way up to Dupont Street. One person present contested this although the accounts I have heard bear Fulton out: the police stopped following the car once Mrs. Kryrzak was hit.

5. On the subject of the Abundant Life Assembly incident D.I. Fulton professed no knowledge.

6. I found two Williamsburger’s firsthand accounts of drug overdoses (in one case finding a man with a needle stuck in his arm in the bathroom of the pizzeria across the street from Oasis) and squatting in the Northside particularly troubling.

7. On a lighter note: You wanna know what really pisses one Greenpoint citizen off? No, it ain’t Mister Softeeit’s honking school buses! I strongly advise each and every person reading this to watch this touching and piquant testament to democracy in action. Sure, our system may be obtuse. Some would go so far as to even say it’s downright dysfunctional. But that doesn’t mean it cannot be fun on occasion!

Without further ado here are the videos!

PART I: In this segment D.I. Fulton gives a general run down of the crime stats for the last 28 days and a discussion ensues about honking school buses (Be sure to watch this one to the end kids, you will not be disappointed!)

Well. Who can argue with that?

Yeah, I posted this before. I really like the movie Blazing Saddles. Is this a crime? What’s more what we beheld at last night’s meeting was genuine Greenpoint gibberish.

PART II: After D.I. Fulton (and everyone present) took a moment to absorb the previous rant about honking buses a discussion about the circumstances leading up to Violetta Kryrzak’s death commenced. First we get Fulton’s take.

PART III: A continuation of the discussion about the circumstances leading up to Violetta Kryrzak’s death and truck traffic.

PART IV: Junkies and Squatters at North 7th and Bedford.

PART V: Bikes attached to street signs, car services honking their horns at 3:00 a.m.

All things said and done I suspect I speak for many present when I say I came away from this meeting with more questions than answers. You can (and should) read Graham T. Beck’s take on this meeting over at Streetsblog.

Miss Heather

Attention All Urban Photographers & Street Art Enthusiasts

April 24, 2009 ·
Filed under: Culture War, Street Art, Williamsburg 

meatnys

If you happen to be on River Street do not take a picture of this.

face-on-rivernys

And sure as hell don’t shutterbug this.

Why, you ask? Because if you do it might result in you (and your husband) being questioned by New York’s Finest as to what you are doing. This is what happened to the Mister and I this evening.

viewtonorthsidepiers

Hello there, we see you’re taking photographs— why?

Miss Heather: I think the shadows and diagonals are visually pleasing.

river-street-at-7-pmnys

We saw you take photographs of graffiti back there.

Miss Heather: Yeah, someone spray-painted the word “meat” on the wall and I found it interesting.

Because it’s sort of “beefy”?

Miss Heather: Exactly. I happen to be a vegetarian.

Seeing where this conversation was headed (nowhere good— and soon) the Mister jumped in and after some more “dialoging”, they left us to go about our business. Inasmuch as interfacing with the NYPD can be amicable it was: tense, but polite. Still the experience left me wondering:

Why?

Perhaps these chaps have been instructed to watch photographers— especially those who happen to document “graffiti”? The only logic at work here I can think of is the presumption that when people (such as myself) document this stuff it is going to somehow encourage the people responsible for it to continue their nefarious work (and, in so doing, lower everyone’s “quality of life”). I suppose this is possible. BUT

deadbuildingwalking

it’s been my experience that derelict buildings (of which north Brooklyn has many— such as the one above example which is located around the corner) do more than their fair share of lowering my quality of life.

kentaveeyesore

Nice, eh?

elik

The above can be found on the front door of this Kent Street deadiface. Call me subversive, but I don’t really see how this could possibly be construed as making this building an eyesore. It has achieved that very readily on its own. Rather smashingly, I will add. One piece of street art graffiti isn’t going to make any difference; if anything the above bit of mischief adds some sorely needed “value” to this turd. It certainly makes me smile, anyway.

Speaking of which, a building doesn’t have to be old and decrepit to elicit social commentary, oh, I mean graffiti.

hipsters-move-out

northsidepiers

CASE IN POINT: Northside Piers.

Miss Heather

Notes From The Community Council Meeting

March 17, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

commcouncilmtg31609

Although not as well attended as February’s meeting last night’s 94th Precinct Community Council Q & A session once again proved to be full house. As was the case last month the Production Lounge (and the numerous quality of life issues it has posed for its neighbors) was the primary— but not necessarily exclusive— topic of the evening. Follows are a few other points/factoids I found of interest:

  1. Burglaries and grand larceny are up from last year.
  2. There is one burglar at large whose activity has increased in the last two weeks. His M.O. is to strike during business hours. He is particularly interested in lap top computers.
  3. Robbery and felony assaults are down.
  4. There are 68 bars in the 94th Precinct.

Something I observed at this meeting which I found interesting was the very visible presence of local business owners. Establishments such as the Shayz Lounge( whose owner, an incredibly cute man named Seamus— who some might remember had the front window of his bar punched in last month— brought up the subject of local bar owners putting their heads together regarding some of the problems eating and drinking establishments have recently posed for the community of late), the Black Rabbit, Dalaga and Papasitos, were among those presence. Conversely, it should be noted that no one from the Production Lounge was present at this meeting.

On that note and without further ado follow are some selections from the evening’s meeting. For the sake of brevity (there was much redundancy with both the questions posed by the attendees and answers tendered by Deputy Inspector Fulton) and my own sanity I have done a great deal of editing so please consider these movies as highlights or “Cliff Notes” of what came to pass. On with the show!

SEGMENT 1: This primarily deals with minutes from the previous meeting and Deputy Inspector Fulton giving us a rundown of current crime trends.

SEGMENT 2: In this segment D.I. Fulton gives us more information regarding the two recent homicides in Greenpoint as well as a drunk driving fatality. He begins to take questions. Not surprisingly it kicks off with neighbors of the Production Lounge airing their frustration.

SEGMENT 3: The owner of Shayz Lounge speaks & much ado about the Production Lounge.

SEGMENT 4: Mixed bag: more ado about the Production Lounge, car break-ins and a bartendress raises her concern about a uptick in muggings at the Bedford Avenue stop of the L.

In conclusion I suppose what I found most compelling was that a woman present finally mustered the nerve to say what was undoubtedly on the minds of a great many people in the room.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Message From Lentol’s Office

February 25, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

bulletthumbThose of you who have contacted Joseph Lentol’s office regarding the recent shooting at the Production Lounge should find the following of interest. It is an email a I received from his office apprising me of what actions he is taking to ensure this does not happen again. Happy reading.

Dear Miss Heather,

My name is Amy Cleary and I work for Assemblyman Joe Lentol.  I just wanted to give you and your readers an update that is being done with regard to the recent shooting at Production Lounge.  We have spoken with many of our constituents who live near this location and listened to their accounts of that eventing.  Any time you hear about people waking up to bullet holes six feet from where they sleep it is absolutely horrifying.  We have written to the state liquor authority to ensure that there is a full investigation of this matter. We have also met with the police.  The 94th precinct assures us that they are meeting with the owner and taking every step possible to prevent this from happening again, guns have no place near people’s homes.  We intend to follow this matter closely and support the police in any way that we can. Thank you for your attention to this issue.

Sincerely,

Amy Cleary

So there have you. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: when it comes to constituent services Joe Lentol is tops!

Miss Heather

P.S.: On a related note some of you might have noticed that Yelp has scrubbed a number of the reviews for the Production Lounge. Hmm. In any case if anyone out there has screencaps of the now-excised entries let me know via comments. I would very much like to have them. Thanks!

Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

February 18, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

difulton

signinqueue

It was packed at last night’s Community Council meeting. If I had to guesstimate I’d say there were at least 100 people present. Many of whom were residents and/or business owners from Franklin Street, along with a camera woman from Channel 12, a community liaison from Joseph Lentol’s office and a “representative” from the Production Lounge.

Although a cake congratulating Officer Fulton for his promotion to Deputy Inspector was in the offering, all eyes, ears, minds and most importantly mouths were intent on discussing last weekend’s incident at the Production Lounge And I’ll tell you: all the people present (save perhaps two) be they old timers, newbies, 30-somethings with children or simply concerned citizens were very, very angry. What I found most interesting was that although the gun play at the Production Lounge (and how the police handled it) was the subject of the entire meeting, it was in reality a proxy for a number of quality of life issues which have been festering in Greenpoint for some time. These included but were not limited to:

  • The proliferation of bars on Franklin Street.
  • The increase in noise and disorderly activity which has come as a result of the previous.
  • Dissatisfaction with the 94th Precinct’s response to complaints.
  • Club Exit.
  • Allegations that 311 is fudging the number of complaints being called in.

Disturbing allegations that the ownership of The Production Lounge did not care about the nuisance it was posing to its neighbors (and in fact encouraged it) also arose. As did some incidences which would be best described as harassment or outright intimidation. But enough preliminaries. Follows is my footage from the meeting. Draw your own conclusions.

Part I



Part II

Part III

I’ll be adding more footage from this meeting as YouTube (and my sheer will power) sees fit.* In the meantime those of you who have been affected negatively by The Production Lounge (or any other watering hole in Greenpoint or north Brooklyn in general) can and should contact the following:

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 (When this was suggested at the meeting a number of people shouted in unison “He’s useless!” But who knows?)
114 Court Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 875 – 5200
yassky (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) ny (dot) us

My good friend over at Neighborhood Threat has already pointed that out all noise complaints should be tendered to 311. Take down the complaint number(s) and hand them over to our local Community Board via email…

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 also file a complaint to the New York State Liquor Authority. Here’s a snippet of their online complaint form.

nyslldeets

Given what I heard from last night’s meeting I suspect complaint boxes two and six will be very useful. It might also strike some as interesting that The Production Lounge has neither a Place of Assembly permit nor Certificate of Occupancy. In other words, they have no right to have people (much less those brandishing firearms)  in 113 Franklin Street in the first place. Don’t believe me? Go to the Department of Buildings web site and see for yourself.**

Miss Heather

*You can watch the final two installments by clicking here.

**Oh yeah: it should come as no surprise to my fellow Greenpointers that the Production Lounges has no cabaret license either. Sound familiar, anyone?

P.S.: There’s much more piquant commentary about last night’s proceedings to be found on Yelp.

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