We Have A Winner!

vito021ANNO

Ever since I have posted the good news about Mr. Gropez’s lack of Photoshop skills (part of which can be seen above), I have been wondering:

Who was the fellow who lost his head?

I suspect my comrade over at the New York Daily News, Celeste Katz, has as well. She writes:

A moustached man with glasses stands between the two in the middle of the original photo…

Well thanks to an anonymous tipster I have ascertained the identity of this fellow… (drum roll please)

velasquezANNO

Will the Honorable Richard Velasquez, stand up please! Now of course the question (in my mind, anyway) is why Gropez and friends saw fit to remove him. Anyone?

P.S.: You can (and should) see the original New York Daily News article from which I grabbed the above insert by clicking here. Otherwise, you can read the follow-up article wherein Gropez says the Photoshopping is no big deal and he and Hillary are buds by clicking here.

Reader Contribution Du Jour: A Proven Record Of Achievement

heyladiesVitowantsyourvoteNYS

Gropez truly is the gift that keeps on giving. In this case a “birthday card” sent to a woman in the 34th City Council District— a month late. As you can see she has taken this missive in good humor (and context). Vito writes:

I wish that for every extra candle on your cake, you receive an extra reason to smile. Happy Birthday to you!

That “come hither” look and comb-over. Wow, just wow.

Quicklink: Gropez For City Council?

saynotovitoNYS

For those of you who having been living under a rock or secreted away in a cave the last 24 hours, yesterday it was announced that Vito “Gropez” Lopez has assembled a campaign team for a run for the 34th District City Council seat. You can read Crain’s tome about this rather unsavory (but hardly surprising) development by clicking here. In any case, yours truly would like to:

  1. mention those of you who wish to do so can tender a donation to or volunteer for Antonio Reynoso’s campaign by clicking here.
  2. point out to those who may be in the dark as to which district he/she resides in can get up to speed by clicking here.
  3. propose that similar such flyers be made precluding (and this is just off the top of my head) liars, perjurers and thieves from this august body. If we are going to start establishing/enforcing standards let’s cull the herd in earnest.

Photo/Image Credits: The “Say No To Vito” poster comes courtesy of Lincoln Restler.

239 Banker Street: $15,000 in Stop Work Order Fines & Counting!

October 3, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I know what some of you are asking:

Why do you have such a big problem with 239 Banker Street?

Well, among other things:

1. Using the pretext of “Loft Law” protection (which was ostensibly put in place to preserve “our” artistic community) for “lofts” sporting stainless steel appliances and $2,700+ rent is laughable— and hypocritical.

2. Claiming that this measure protects “families” from being displaced, and the “Community Organizer” seemingly responsible for this loft law application seems to be under this impression, is wretchedly comical. From what I have been told, families are actually being steered away from this property (which is in and of itself illegal). What’s more, windows upon windows of identical “loft beds” do not exactly inspire confidence that this is a family friendly place.

3bunkbeds

Rather, it screams “college dormitory”.

3. Let us consider this complaint, shall we?

Had these fellows simply perused Craigslist they would know there’s plenty going on. No inspection required!

Methinks the better questions are:

  • Why was the above-listed advertisement for the former “Sweater Factory Lofts” listed as 245 Banker Street  as opposed to 239 Banker Street?
  • Why so many others have had a problem with 239 Banker Street?

(Those of you have patience and wherewithal can view the rest of this litany of complaints by clicking here.)

  • And why our City Councilman, who did not even reside in Greenpoint (or the 33rd City Council District for that matter) when this shit show started, saw fit to email me about it?

In closing, and for everyone’s edification, I have complied a photo set highlighting the immaculate construction of 239 Banker Street. Without further ado, here it is. Enjoy!

New York Shitty Day Starter: 239 Banker Street Craigslist Advertisement Du Jour

September 21, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Now they’re employing YouTube footage.

New York Shitty analysis:

  • It would probably be advisable to remove the personal items from the previous tenants (who were vacated by the Department of Buildings) before filming.
  • Then again, who cares?

But the insanity does not end there. Let’s proceed, shall we?

So now:

  • 239 Banker Street
  • The Sweater Factory Lofts
  • The Factory Lofts
  • The 39 Meserole Avenue Lofts
  • The “Rustic House” Artists Lofts

are now known as 245 Banker Street. Fascinating. By any other address it still has Stop Work Order.

 

New York Shitty Day Starter: Another DOB Complaint Lodged Against 239 Banker Street

September 19, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Lest the Department of Buildings needs any help verifying this complaint I offer this video, shot August 6, 2012:

These photos taken one month later (September 6th) by an anonymous tipster:

And this image which was taken September 10, 2012 by yours truly:

New York Shitty analysis:

  1. The only thing this complainer failed to note is that the owners of 239 Banker Street are violating a Stop Work Order. This is understandable given they have removed the Stop Work Order from their building (which is in and of itself a violation of the law).
  2. And despite (0r more likely to due to) a Loft Law application, the landlord is going about business as usual…

But I suppose this makes for even more tenants to organize. It is my understanding the Loft Law (and its revision) were intended to preserve the artistic integrity/fabric of our community. Speaking as an artist, I fail to see how stainless steel appliances and $2,700+ a month rent are crucial factors in “displacement prevention”.

Quicklink: An Interesting Item From The Real Deal

September 14, 2012 ·
Filed under: Chelsea, Chelsea Manhattan, New York City 

An excerpt/teaser from this tome:

…According to the complaint, in November 2007, the landlord gave Nazor, who had lived in the building since 1983, and Mickle, whose arrival date is not specified, notice that he wanted them out. They refused, and so he filed a suit in January 2008 to evict them, and in December 2009, a judge said they had to go. They continued to battle in court, and then after the new carve out was passed in July 2010, they filed new papers supporting their right to stay.

The law seeks “to convert a structure with only two residential units solely to benefit the individual tenant-defendants, tenants of the only one building in the only one unit in the entire city of New York which would possibly qualify,” the complaint says.

Terrence Oved, a partner with law firm Oved & Oved, who was not involved in the litigation, said it was not unusual for a law to change an element like the number of families needed to define an IMD, but he added, “the particularly narrow scope of the carve out area — as such term is defined in the complaint — does raise a red flag.”…

Indeed it does.

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Men At Work

September 10, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This vision hails from none other than 239 Banker Street and was taken today, September 10, 2012.

Oh yeah, for those of you who are wondering this building still has a Stop Work Order on it.

 

239 Banker Street Craigslist Advertisement Du Jour

September 4th, 2012

You know what they say:

Here today, gone tomorrow.

This is doubly the case when it comes to the smash-jaw world of north Brooklyn Real Estate. For example: the latest advertisement posted by this fellow on September 7th:

As you can see:

  1. Greenpoint has been dispensed with altogether
  2. as has the wretchedly comical moniker “The Rustic House”.

Perhaps the latter is due to the fact this factory (which is firmly located in the 11222 zip code) was divested of bricks and other construction/demolition-related material September 6th? That would certainly make it less “rustic”. Regardless, this individual’s new angle is one of safety, luxury and of course: Williamsburg. I find this fascinating for a number of reasons. Follows are two:

1. A recent account from someone who inquired about one of these “apartments”:

I have viewed one of these units, cuz, you know, looking for 3 bedrooms I was cruising Craigslist and I was *very* bewildered when they came up. Oh. My. God. Even the realtor (first week on the job, just moved to NYC and is couch surfing) said “Yeah. I’m sorry. I don’t know why they said that. It’s not a 3 bedroom at all. And I wouldn’t bring a kid here, no way”

This sort of negates the safety argument— among other things.

2. I have previously noted a “Community Organizer” from NAG (Neighbors Allied For Good Growth) had some involvement in someone filing a Loft Law application for this property. It’s been my personal experience the most damning thing one can do to a hypocrite is to use his (or her) own words. So here it goes:

…NAG has been a big proponent of industrial retention and affordable housing. It is our goal to protect the little guy, both small manufacturing and loft tenants. We have advocated continuously for mixed use districting in our neighborhood, supporting standards that allow manufacturing and creative residences to share space safely and effectively.  Our neighborhood has the immense pressure of luxury housing constantly looming and we feel that the Loft Law expansion can help alleviate displacement of residents from the Greenpoint & Williamsburg community

Let’s take a very rational look at 239 Banker Street.

1. Exactly HOW is “organizing” residents, who were seemingly unaware of this property’s “history” (if said “organizer” is to be believed)— but are willing to pay $2,700- $3,300 a month in rent, going to realistically address the issue of “displacement” in Greenpoint is it actually exists? (Answer: It won’t.)

2. The above-listed advertisements purporting roof-top views, stainless steel appliances, etc., strike me as being amenities associated with “luxury” housing.

3. How does enabling the conversion of 239 Banker Street (and other properties like it) to become residential property by legislation (as opposed to going through our Community Board, of which the aforementioned “Community Organizer” is a member) help “the little guy”— be it an artist seeking an inexpensive place to work, a small business, mom and pop landlords or (especially) long term residents— the latter of whom made this community “safe” in the first place?  (Answer: it does not.)

4. The Certificate of Occupancy on file states it was (is?) a factory building. Sort of.

As you will note Job number 302260871 has been listed— but alas there is no Certificate of Occupancy available and/or on file. Here’s a synopsis:

NOTE:

  • This application was approved on July 21, 2008 but the permit was not issued until January 25th, 2011.
  • This application seeks to convert 239 Banker Street to J-1 Residential (Hotel).

Now let’s jump back to NAG’s Loft Law page (which states the revised requirements for Loft Law protection):

  • Three or more units in your building must have been put to residential use during any consecutive 12 month period from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009. (239 Banker does not qualify. NAG’s “Community Organizer” certainly made quite me aware of this fact.)
  • Some portion of your building must have previously been occupied for either manufacturing, warehousing, or commercial purposes. (239 Banker does qualify.)
  • Your building must currently lack a residential certificate of occupancy. (We’ll get to this shortly.)
  • Your unit must have at least one window opening to the street, a yard, or court. (I suspect this is why neighbors were complaining about bricks falling in their backyard and why bricks and other debris were hauled out of 239 Banker two days ago: these windows were being made.)
  • Your unit must be at least 550 square feet. (239 Banker’s “hotel rooms” are.)
  • Your unit cannot be located in a basement or cellar. (Inasmuch as I know none are at 239 Banker Street.)
  • Your unit cannot be in a building that, as of June 21, 2010, contained certain uses determined by the Loft Board to be incompatible with residential use. (Very, very vague. I’m guessing 239 Banker will pass.).

To wrap it all up: How can 239 Banker Street be taxed as a hotel (which it never has been) without a Certificate of Occupancy? That is a question for the New York City Department of Finance. As to why the present owners of 239 Banker Street have seemingly gotten away with little more than a slap on the wrist, perhaps that has something to do with the following?

Anyone care to guess who “He”  really is?

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Today At 239 Banker Street

September 6, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Yesterday we learned 239 Banker Street (AKA: 39 Meserole Avenue) has been given yet another moniker: The Rustic House. I for one found this more than a little amusing. The folks at Curbed did as well. In fact, they did such a wonderful job of articulating the utter absurdity of what is coming to pass at this edifice I feel compelled to give it a shout-out here. Mr. Hogarty writes:

The latest ads for the now-“posh” Sweater Factory building on Meserole Avenue in Greenpoint are refreshingly honest—describing the address as a “Factory Building”, which it is because it’s still illegal for people to live there. All the unfortunate illegal residents who thought they were living in a legit building were evicted for their own safety in 2009. Now the advertisements take a fun direction with re-branding the beleaguered propertyby identifying it as The Rustic House, which is a fixer-upper of a name if we’ve ever heard one…

Bearing the previous in mind I present for your viewing pleasure a trio of photographs* I received from an anonymous tipster today at approximately 2:30 p.m.

It doesn’t get much more “rustic” than this, gentle readers. As you can plainly see, we have six industrial garbage cans, some kind of thingamajig on casters and a trash container. The more eagle-eyed among you might also have noticed a rather large garbage truck parked on the sidewalk at left.

I am going to use my powers of deduction and presume this vehicle has been charged with unburdening the above-depicted assortment of trash receptacles of their contents. Next the question becomes (in my mind, anyway) exactly what kind of  “activity” has come to pass which would require this— perhaps construction work of some variety?

The last time the Department of Buildings checked, none was to be found.

I find this rather fascinating given Department of Buildings apparently can and does notice fifteen air conditioning units in imminent danger of falling on some unwitting passerby’s head.

Am I missing something here?

*You can view ’em all by clicking here.

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