Reader Comment Of The Week: A Reporter From The New York Post Speaks!

September 3, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Asshole, Plagiarism, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

GYMRAT

I suspected I’d get a response from someone from the New York Post after I wrote this screed. I did. It was much more reasoned, lucid and intelligible than this one. I was pleasantly surprised, but found it disquieting nonetheless.

CommentNYS

Although you can read this comment in its entirety by clicking on the above image or by clicking here (see comments). I will post it here:

Post policy prevented me from crediting you in print. Allow me to do so now. You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

I won’t discuss at length the policy of not crediting blogs (or anyone else). I’ll just briefly explain that as long as we can independently verify every bit of info, we don’t credit.

You will find that the Daily News observes the same policy, but the Times does not. (They often write an explanatory phrase like, ‘The investigation into Mr. Spitzer was first reported in the New York Post.’ That’s not a real one. I just made it up. Although I would note that another Times policy would prevent them from actually printing the name of your blog, presenting them with an unresolvable conflict between two inflexible rules.)

Looking forward to “amplifying” more of your good work in the future.

Alex

Gee, thanks… I think. It is not the purpose to malign Mr. Ginsberg in this post (though it invariably will). Rather, I found his comment telling about the state of print journalism in general:

1. Not citing blogs is “company policy”. As Ginsberg wrote: You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

2. Ginsberg writes¬† …Although I would note that another Times policy would prevent them from actually printing the name of your blog…

I have erected a mirror site with a much less objectionable url (www.thatgreenpointblog) for just this reason. Yet the plagiarism persists. It has become all too clear that “offensive” blog urls are a red herring.

3. Looking forward to amplifying more of your good work in the future.

So this somehow makes it “right”? Inasmuch as I riff on recent journalism school graduates (which are what staffs many of the papers here— as “independent contractors”— nowadays) I do not think they are by and large dishonest. They need to eat and have a roof over their head just like the rest of us— so they abide by “company policy”.

I do not blame them for doing what they have to do to earn a living; I blame the institutions which employ them. As contractors, these reporters are paid chump change for stories and thus have to churn out a lot of material (usually for numerous publications) in order to make ends meet. Given the workload they shoulder I am hardly surprised they troll blogs for leads. What bothers me is the fact their employers are profiting from their, my and many others hard work.

There was a time when New York City had “beat” reporters. They have since been replaced by contractors— to cut costs— and neighborhood coverage has suffered as a result. “Bloggers” as you call them— I prefer to call them citizen journalists— have made up for this, among them:

Amusing The Zillion
Atlantic Yards Report
Bed-Stuy Banana
Bed-Stuy Blog

Best View In Brooklyn

I care not to recite the whole list in its entirety— much less alphabetically. They can be found on my blog roll— although I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention Sheepshead Bites or my friends in the East Village:

Vanishing New York
EV Grieve
Neither More Nor Less

And last, but not least: Queens Crap.

If my memory serves me correctly the latter four have been “amplified” by the New York Post and the New York Times recently. Much to their respective chagrins. Call us ungrateful, but we’re not content with being “amplified”; we want recognition for our work.

The sad thing is in the absence of neighborhood reporters bloggers and newspapers could forge a mutually beneficial relationship, e.g.; exchanging leads, tips, information and so forth for the betterment and edification of our mutual readerships. I do not see this happening— especially since a reporter from the New York Post has pretty much admitted to cribbing my content and “making a few phone calls” to write a story.

A story he was, no doubt, paid for writing. I wasn’t. Very few “bloggers” are.

Miss Heather

P.S.: You can read an email string between Mr. Ginsberg and someone who took issue with his plagiarism by clicking here.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Two Week Old News On A Blog = New York Post “News”

September 1, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Asshole, Criminal Activity, Plagiarism, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

117s3st

On August 19, 2009 I wrote a little post about Cutting Edge Fitness on my “blog”. It was at the behest of a concerned citizen and started like this:

Hi Miss Heather,

I enjoy reading your blog from time-to-time and especially appreciate the news on the developments around the neighborhood.

I’d like to share with you some information about a building on the Southside, in hopes that it can get out to others who deserve to know. So, here goes:

The building has a retail space in the bottom which is currently owned by the developer and being rented to a John Suarez, who is running it as a gym, called Cutting Edge.

Well, there are many problems here:

1) The space isn’t zoned to be a gym
2) He is occupying space in the basement and using it for classes and workout space when it is only supposed to be used as storage
3) There’s no proper emergency exit from the basement
4)He’s illegally (i.e., with no work permit) installing showers/bathrooms in the basement

The biggest problem of all is that John Suarez has been forbidden by the Attorney General to ever operate a gym. A few years back he had advertised the opening of a new gym in the neighborhood, called Core Health and Fitness. He never opened the gym, even after taking people’s money. He was ordered to pay back $172,000 in restitution, but I know for a fact (a neighbor was a victim of the scam) that people did not get their money back.

You can read my post in its entirety by clicking here. After I hit the “publish” button, August 19, I turned to the Mister and said:

I lay odds 80% in favor of this being ripped off by the “print media”. I’d give it 90% except this actually helps people.

On August 20, 2009 my tome was linked to by:

On August 23 I took up the matter with Queens Crap and Forgotten NY. We agreed this item would be cribbed— but by whom? My knee jerk reaction was the New York Post. And as of August 31, 2009 my prognostication came to pass.

The Post one-upped my lowly blogger person by sending out a professional “photographer” to document said premises (which I had done already); he was assaulted by Mr. Suarez. I learned about this via Gothamist:

gothamist

And here’s a here’s a slice of the Post’s take:

GYMRAT

Compare my fact-finding with Ms. Sutherland’s and Mr. Ginsberg’s “scoop”: they dovetail. I was more specific (because my source and I did our research). But am I cited? Of course not. Amber and Alex claimed this discovery as their own.

Yesterday’s (or two week old) news— gleaned from blogs— with ample sensationalism thrown in is the Post’s modus operandi. If the chronic practice of “print journalists” plagiarizing “bloggers” and touting their (my) fact-finding as their own bothers you, dear readers, you can contact Alex Ginsberg at:

alex (dot) ginsberg (at) nypost (dot) com

Miss Heather

Southside Photo Du Jour: Prince Charming

August 25, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

frog

From South 3 Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Much Ado About Edge

August 19, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

edge

No, not that Edge, this one!

cuttingedge

117s3st

Anonymous writes:

Hi Miss Heather,

I enjoy reading your blog from time-to-time and especially appreciate the news on the developments around the neighborhood.

I’d like to share with you some information about a building on the Southside, in hopes that it can get out to others who deserve to know… So, here goes:

The building has a retail space in the bottom which is currently owned by the developer and being rented to a John Suarez, who is running it as a gym, called Cutting Edge.

Well, there are many problems here:

1) The space isn’t zoned to be a gym
2) He is occupying space in the basement and using it for classes and workout space when it is only supposed to be used as storage
3) There’s no proper emergency exit from the basement
4) He’s illegally (i.e., with no work permit) installing showers/bathrooms in the basement

The biggest problem of all is that John Suarez has been forbidden by the Attorney General to ever operate a gym. A few years back he had advertised the opening of a new gym in the neighborhood, called Core Health and Fitness. He never opened the gym, even after taking people’s money. He was ordered to pay back $172,000 in restitution, but I know for a fact (a neighbor was a victim of the scam) that people did not get their money back

As you can see my anonymous friend has a lot to say. Let’s take a break for a moment and evaluate points 1-4.

1. The space isn’t zoned to be a gym

nocofoNYS

This is, in a manner of speaking, correct. You see, 117 South 3 Street has no Certificate of Occupancy on file. None. Zero. Zippo. Therefore, the fact this building is occupied at all— be it by tenants or businesses— is an issue. Then again (and this is where it get really interesting), this depends on which 117 South 3 Street you look up. You see, for some inexplicable reason this building has two Building Information Numbers (BINS): the latter has a Certificate of Occupancy on file. Not that it allows the basement to be used as a commercial space: it doesn’t.

Point numbers 2 & 3:

He is occupying space in the basement and using it for classes and workout space when it is only supposed to be used as storage… There’s no proper emergency exit from the basement…

Okay, I haven’t actually been in this building so I cannot verify this. Which brings me to to point number 4:

He’s illegally (i.e., with no work permit) installing showers/bathrooms in the basement.

Now this one I can prove! You see, the Department of Buildings paid 117 South 3 Street’s basement a visit last month.

resolved

In fact, it even netted him a Stop Work Order.

SWO

Not that this appears to have done much, mind you:

complaint

How this tale end? Will Mr. Suarez get caught— and if so, by who:

  • the Department of Buildings?
  • the office of the Attorney General?
  • The Edge’s trademark infringement attorneys?

Or:

I suppose only time will tell. In the meantime, caveat emptor.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Those of you harboring any doubts as to whether or not John Suarez is behind this business (and is at large at 117 South 3 Street), Google the phone number on the below flier.

flier

Here’s what you’ll find.

screencap



New York Shitty Day Ender: Urban Artifacts

July 20, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Street Furniture, Urban Artifact, Williamsburg 

streetsushi

Marcy Avenue, 11211

xanax1

xanax2

North 5 Street, 11211

scooter

North 6 Street, 11211

nobedbugs

Leonard Street, 11222

Miss Heather

Southside Photo Du Jour: Groovin’ On A Sunday Afternoon

July 20, 2009 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

enbrooklyn

From South 3 Street.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Photos Du Jour: Southside Cinderella

July 18, 2009 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

This afternoon the Mister and I went out for a walk, cameras in tow. Wishing to see sights that are genuinely interesting— not a spectacle that has been engineered as cheap campaign advertisement for a certain City Councilman running for Comptroller and the developer on whose site this dog and pony show came to pass. And, it should be noted, has seen fit generously donate to said councilman’s campaign.* We headed to the Southside without delay.

The Mister and I disagree about a number of things. You name it; we argue about it. Our household is like My Cousin Vinny albeit with a southern drawl: his. He’s a carnivore, I’m a vegetarian. I like sunshine, he prefers rain. He likes winter, I love summer.** The list goes on and on.

But we both agree one thing: we love Art Deco apartment buildings. The Southside has many of them. At some point I will feature my favorites right here on New York Shitty. But this post is an impressive Sweet Sixteen party we stumbled upon at South 2nd Street. Although it did feature ponies we had to confess: we were very impressed!

shedshade

cinderella

carriage

carriage2

band

And of course the guest of honor…

sweet16

A lovely lass in red!

This “Sweet Sixteen” celebration warmed my heart. Enough so that I’m go to end this post with a little Ringo.***

Happy Sweet Sixteen!

Miss Heather

*You can expect a post on New York Shitty about this. Soon.

**Which is sort of interesting given he was born in the summer and I in winter. I guess the grass is greener…

***The least objectionable and still very alive Beatle. Married to a former Bond girl and Playboy centerfold, no less: Barbara Bach.

North Brooklyn Street Art Du Jour: Potpourri

July 14, 2009 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Street Art, Williamsburg 

KentAve

benjamins

Kent Avenue

rat

detritus

Berry Street

south3street

South 3 Street

nosferatu

boerumstreet

Boerum Street

harlequin

freewesley

Harrison Place

ftrainer

bird

baddog

landshark

Grattan Street

Miss Heather

Thoughts From The Southside

June 16, 2009 ·
Filed under: Street Art, Williamsburg 

quienes

Havemeyer Street

WHO

South 3rd Street

suckballs

Wythe Avenue

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: A Walk On The Southside

June 3, 2009 ·
Filed under: Street Art, Williamsburg 

golden-bird-housenys

Tuesday afternoon (before the sun decided to take another extended vacation) I finally got around to taking an extended walk on the Southside. There is much to be enjoyed in the way of architecture, gardens and street life or even art for that matter on South First through South 4th Streets. This area has something the Northside simply does not possess: a soul. Follows are some shots from my latest excursion to this fascinating neighborhood. Enjoy!

In closing those of you who happen to be in the area should swing by the public garden on South 2nd Street between Kent and Wythe Avenue. The people behind this sorely-needed bit of greenery did a smash-up job of this space last year and if what we saw in the previous slideshow is any indication I think they are going to top themselves this year. I am especially fond of the bird houses. Good stuff!

Miss Heather

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    Beit El-Maqdis Islamic CenterPlace Invaders VanSunset ParkThe Bus ExperienceHealth HeavenBeach BrothersShoe StopSunset Park
  • Ads