Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: 708 Manhattan Avenue

December 1, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Culture War, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

708manhattanave

Another one bites the dust. Keep it up, Greenpointers!

Miss Heather

P.S.: I have brought this to the attention of the NYPD.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Hate

November 15, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Last night after having long overdue catch-up time with a friend of mine over dinner I found this turd affixed to a pay phone in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts at 862 Manhattan Avenue.

antiSemitismsucks

Don’t bother trying to find it. Immediately after taking the above photograph I tore it off and threw it in the garbage (where it rightfully belongs).

For those of you who are wondering “.cc” is the country code for the Cocos (Kealing) Islands, an Australian territory. Mind you, the peeps responsible for producing this sticker (and the website listed therein) are not Aussies: they hail from the good ‘ol U.S. of A. Arkansas as best as I can deduce.* I know this because I looked at their web site (which I will NOT link to out of principle— look it up yourself). A noose graces “Tightrope’s” header and they offer such niceties as mouse pads emblazoned with Barack Obama depicted as a monkey, swastikas and other neo-Nazi crap; exclamations of “Celtic Pride” (which is sort of weird considering the so-called “master race” was supposedly Nordic in origin. The Normans and Celts were enemies. Ask any Irishman or Basque.) and my personal favorite: “The Original Boys in the ‘Hood” (which a sports a number of Klansmen wearing hoods. A double entendre. How clever!).

Speaking as someone who spent a fair amount of her childhood in what the Yankees here call “the south” (Texas**) it has been my observation that the most vocal proponents of white supremacy (such as the people who produced and saw fit to affix this sticker to a Greenpoint pay phone) are the biggest arguments against it. I moved to New York City to get away from this shit. If any of you, dear readers, find a sticker like this do me (and everyone a favor): rip it down.

In closing I’d like to leave you with this. One of my favorite segments from one of my favorite movies.

Miss Heather

*P.O. Box 1116—-Calico Rock, AR.—-72519—USA

**It isn’t. Texas is— for better and worse and all the hype— its own country. The Lone Star State defies categorization. It is what it is.

New York Shitty Day Ender: All Apologies

MAX

whoops

From 239 Banker Street.*

Miss Heather

P.S.: Those of you who are wondering about 718-STANDUP’s provenance you can see it here. I suppose Max was a supporter of Isaac Abraham for the 33rd City Council District.

*Formerly known as the Sweater Factory Lofts.

Crosstown Local Photo Du Jour: Fulton Street

burns

This post goes out to the campaign worker who hit my buzzer at 7:00 p.m. this evening and asked me (by my legal name— which indicates she culled it from the voter registration rolls):

Hi, (my legal name) I’m a campaign worker for Michael Bloomberg. Do you plan on voting for him this November?

Me:

No, Thank you.

My buddy at Queens Crap thought I was showing traces of my Texas upbringing: humble hospitality. Hardly. I have made up my mind who I want for mayor…

burnsNYS

and it is Montgomery Burns!

I suspect I speak for many of my fellow Greenpointers when I write that I have given up on decent (not exceptional, above average or even average) representation (for our taxation). Many candidates (and the self-appointed pillars of our community who backed them— you know who you are) cloaked themselves in the sanctimonious cloth of reform in the months leading up to the Democratic primary and run-off. And these same people, the reformers, engaged in some of the sleaziest campaign practices, tricks, duplicity, chicanery and outright intimidation I have ever beheld. Probably because they were seeking sinecures— but that’s my humble opinion.

If I stated, for example— and this is totally hypothetical— that the McCarren Park Soccer League’s email list was used to solicit votes David Yassky or Bill DeBlasio I’d be totally out of line. If I stated (once again, for example— hypothetical) that youths 18 years and older in said soccer league were hired to canvass for Evan Thies before the Democratic primary I have no doubt it would net me a nastygram from a lawyer.

But I am not suggesting either of the previous came to pass. I’m just hypothesizing. I have a very active imagination. The pillars of my community have reminded me of this. Often.

James “Jimmy” John Walker, one of our fair city’s more corrupt (if charming, dapper and loquacious) Mayors summed my cynicism when he said:

A reformer is a guy who rides through the sewer in a glass bottom boat.

What does “reform” mean when we are forced to choose among candidates whose records REEK? Candidates who have clearly dipped their tootsies into the sewer of New York City real politik and will promise anything to anyone in order to get elected?

For this reason I am backing Burns. Burns is honest about his corruption. He promises nothing. He does not claim to be a reformer and as such I can anticipate being screwed six ways to Sunday under his regime. In this regard Bloomberg is much more circumspect. The true hallmark of a masochist is the anticipation of punishment. I am not a masochist. It’s a matter of control.

I prefer to take my medicine upfront— and make Mike my bitch.

Miss “Sorry Staten Island, you’re on your own*” Heather

P.S.: For more information about how Montgomery Burns Bloomberg will lead this city into 21st 19th Century click here. Caveat: be ready to laugh your ass off. Who knew plutocracy and political disenfranchisement could be so fun(ny)?

*This is satire.

Reader Participation Time: What Should Yassky Do?

September 30, 2009 ·
Filed under: Asshole 

Yasskyjpg.0I imagine I was one of maybe a dozen people who were enthusiastically watching the run-off count last night. I was hitting the “refresh” button like a circus monkey on crack. When it became all too clear that Liu was going to win (or as I prefer to look at it: Yassky was going to lose) I wanted to blog it. The Mister told me to abstain:

Wait until the count becomes official.

Well, it has— and I have since felt a twinge of guilt. To assuage this guilt I would like to assist Mr. Yassky with his future career prospects by having a little contest. This is where you come in: what do you think David’s next move should be now that he is slated to become a private citizen? I’ll get the ball rolling with my suggestion: lobbyist for Toll Brothers.

You can submit your two cents via comments or email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.

Happy post-runoff day, New York City!

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: The Gowanus Lounge (This one’s for you, Bob!)

It’s Tuesday: Bring Out The Gimp!

September 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11101, 11206, 11211, 11222, 11237, Asshole 

GIMP

I heard rumors that Thies was shilling for Yassky. Yesterday morning they were confirmed via my inbox. My annotations are in red.

Dear friend, You’re not my friend, Evan.

Believe it or not, the Democratic campaign season is not over. There’s one more thing to do. In the run-off election for New York City comptroller tomorrow, we must elect David Yassky. No we shouldn’t.

Our race did not turn out how we would have liked, (It did work out as you and yours planned. You ran as a straw dog, split the “reform vote” and slid Vito Lopez’s candidate, Levin, into office. Your overlord, Yassky has been kissing Vito’s ass for some time.) but every day there is something we can do to improve our government. Tomorrow in New York, there’s a big opportunity. To screw citizens six ways to Sunday– and you want a piece of the action.

Every major newspaper in this city – the Times, News, and the Post – has now endorsed David. And for good reason.

You need a job.

As David’s former City Council chief of staff, I can attest to his love for and commitment to local government. As comptroller, he would be in a position to do a lot of good for New York and beyond.

You REALLY need a job— especially since you resigned from Community Board 1.

Why didn’t Yassky return the love, Evan, e.g.; endorse you as a candidate for the 33rd City Council District? No worries. I’d like to share with my readers a little “love” David Yassky has lavished upon New York City.

184 Kent Avenue

AustinNicholsGOTH

Brownstoner &  Gotham Gazette wrote:

In a quote that will hopefully follow him around until the day he’s voted out of office, Simcha Felder had this to say about the building: “This is a piece of trash. We should knock it down and put something nice up.” Gee, Simcha, wonder if Moishe Kestenbaum’s written you any checks recently. Affordable housing deal in hand, David Yassky was happy to do his part to ensure that a hideous rooftop addition would grace the Brooklyn waterfront skyline. “This is simply not worthy of landmarking,” said Yassky. What’s the point of having relatively knowledgeable and cultured people on the Landmarks commission if their recommendations can be shot down by a bunch of politically-motivated bureaucratic philistines?

Ask David Yassky— or better yet, Kenneth “Kenny” Fisher, Mr. Yassky’s predecessor, who was employed to lobby against land marking this property (with success). Here’s what Kestenbaum wanted to build, with a little help from our good friend Karl Fischer (David Yassky and Simcha Felder):

FISCHER!

This is Venice on crack.

Kenny also defended Studio B’s right to operate despite their utter disregard for my community’s quality of life and concern for their patron’s safety. FAIL.

Term Limits

After flip-flopping Yassky enabled Bloomberg to run for a third term. He not only did he override the will of the people our City Councilman, David Yassky, wrote an apology that reeks of condescension. From the Gowanus Lounge:

Given the verbal disembowelment that we directed at Council Member David Yassky last week for what we saw as a revolting betrayal of the public trust by calling for a public referendum on extending terms limits, but ultimately voting with the Mayor, we found it fascinating that the Council Member has been sending out email defending his standing. (It doesn’t change our opinion that his conduct was scandalous at best and spineless, yet predictable at best, because the brilliant, yet tragically ambitious Mr. Yassky would sign a contract in blood with the guy with horns and a tail if it would get him elected to citywide office or–gasp–Congress), but here’s what he has to say for himself in an email that’s being widely circulated. (We are strongly avoiding the desire to annotate Mr. Yassky’s defense of his wretched conduct, but foll it with some analysis after the jump we hope you’ll read):

I am sure you know by now that the City Council voted last week to approve Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to lengthen the term limit for City officeholders from eight years to 12 years. I want you to know that after a great deal of thought, I chose to support the Mayor’s proposal. This was the most difficult decision I have faced in the City Council – more than congestion pricing, the garbage plan, or the post-9/11 tax increase – and I want to explain why I believe it was the right choice.Like many people, my initial reaction to the Mayor’s proposal was outrage. While I have always held that the eight-year term limit was bad policy, it was a policy put in place by referendum and the fairest way to change it was by a subsequent referendum. I was saddened by the Mayor’s eagerness to bypass the voters, and I strongly disagreed with his assertion that a referendum was not feasible. Most important, I knew that a Council vote to change term limits would confirm many people’s most cynical suspicions about politics and politicians.

Following the Mayor’s announcement, I advocated both publicly and privately, to the Mayor, the Speaker and my colleagues in the Council, that we should put the term limits question before the voters. I argued to the Mayor directly that he was making a mistake, and that he and the Council could not afford to undermine our moral legitimacy at precisely the time when we will be asking New Yorkers to sacrifice for the greater good.

As the vote neared, it became increasingly clear to me that the Mayor would not relent, and I focused intently on the choice before me. I had dozens – probably hundreds – of conversations with friends and constituents, and heard very strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Many people were appalled that the Council would even consider overturning a referendum, and many – I was surprised by how many – said simply: “I want to keep Mayor Bloomberg.”

These conversations had a deep impact on my thinking. While I have worked well with the Mayor and I hold his Administration in high regard, I certainly don’t believe he is the only person capable of leading the City over the coming years. But I do know that we are in a period of extraordinary challenge, and that voters may well value stability and experience in the City government. I became convinced that the right choice at this point in time was to leave open for voters the option of choosing to continue the Bloomberg Administration next November.

Even so, I pressed the referendum argument to the very end. Over the Mayor’s objections, I introduced an amendment to the term limits bill that would have put the issue before the voters in a special election early next year. Many of my colleagues supported the amendment, and it was vigorously debated on the floor – but it lost narrowly. That left the stark choice: As much as I was loath to override the expressed will of the voters, I was unwilling to leave in place a term limits policy which I believe is bad in general and especially at this time.

Finally, I know that some on the other side of this debate have accused Council Members of acting out of self-interest in voting to change term limits. For my part, I can say unequivocally that I saw no personal benefit in the Mayor’s proposal. As you know, I have been planning to run for City Comptroller next year, and have felt confident about my prospects for success. That campaign may now be foreclosed, as the current Comptroller is eligible to run for reelection.

I knew that many supporters would disagree with this vote. In making my final decision, one particular conversation stuck with me. In the supermarket, a few days before the vote, an older man approached me, told me he had voted for me, and told me he didn’t like the term limits extension. But then he said: “Whatever you do, I trust you to do the right thing.” I do believe that my constituents want me to look diligently at the issues before me and follow my best judgment about what is right for our City and for our community.

As difficult as this vote was, I know that still more wrenching choices lie ahead: closing hospitals versus fewer teachers, raising taxes versus cutting cops. On all of these issues, as with the term limits vote, I will take my responsibilities as a City Council Member with the utmost seriousness, and will work as hard as I possibly can to serve in the best interests of the people I represent.

And there you have it.

GL Analysis
Our original description of Mr. Yassky’s conduct as gutless, spineless and reprehensible stands. In an odd way, his pained justification of his Have-Your-Cake-And-Eat-It-Too Vote, only confirms the vile nature of the decision he made. He wants to us to believe that he fought the Putin Putsch until the very end but then decided to support Mayor Vladimir when Vassily the Electrician approached him at Key Foods near the spinach and told him to do the right thing. The “right thing” in Mr. Yassky’s case was to reject the very democratic approach he claims to have fought so hard to protect because it became clear so many people feel so strongly we need Mayor Bloomberg to save our city. In other words, it hurt him a lot more to do it, then it hurt us, because Vassily was telling him to use the whip on us.

Sorry, Mr. Yassky, no one is questioning your intellect. The tragic thing is you may be one of the brightest people in New York City politics. What we’re questioning are your ethics and your unbridled ambition and your willingness to sacrifice your most deeply held positions for your own sad self-interest. But, please sir, if the stuff sitting on plate has come out of the business end of a chicken and is what is otherwise known in vulgar terms as chicken shit, do not try to convince that us that you tired to reason with the chicken not to evacuate its bowels, but having failed to do so, you were left no choice but to turn it into a yummy dish of chicken salad. You can add mayo, onions, eggs, some Sazón to give it a bit of that sabor we all love, put it on sourdough, but Mr. Yassky, we hate to be bearers of bad news: it’s still a chicken shit sandwich and not chicken salad.

We still wish you a future that does not involve a career in public life, living on the taxpayer’s tab, making ethically bad decisions and trying to justify them to people you think are gullible enough to buy into your sad explanations. Yes, it’s politics and we expect nothing different in the end. We’ve been around the profession longer than we care to say and we’ve seen it up close. Maybe we’re holding you to a higher standard because it’s all the more painful to watch someone as smart as you sell his soul for reasons that have nothing to do with what you know are right and wrong. Perhaps, traffic enforcement would be a good next career*? (*Again, we apologize to city employees. Even the traffic enforcement people. We realize it’s a crappy job.)

Cutting Cops

Yassky has done this. Some nights there are only two patrol cars canvassing the 94th Precinct. Thanks, Dave!

Environmental Issues

Mr. Yassky is a chair of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. He rarely— if ever— attends said meetings. Yet he has aired his dissent regarding Gowanus Canal being Super funded. Probably because he’s getting cozy with Bill DeBlasio (Toll Brothers and everyone else who wants to build condos there). Anything for a vote.

I would not nominate David Yassky to be dog catcher— much less Comptroller. Councilman Yassky has done enough damage to my community— and now his little (g)imp— who is equally culpable for north Brooklyn’s many quality of life issues— is shilling for him.

I won’t tell you to vote for, dear readers, but I’ll tell who to vote against: David Yassky and Bill DeBlasio.

Miss Heather

For more reasons not to vote for Yassky click here, here and here.

Viridian Death Watch: Another One Bites The Dust

September 8, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

sidewalk

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Jay Lombard of Dog Habitat brought the above little fella (and two of his equally deceased feathered friends) to our attention? He had ascertained that the glass windows of Greenpoint’s favorite nondo, the Viridian, was to blame for their demise; the reflection cast from them was fooling these cedar waxwings— which should be noted are currently migrating south— to fly into them. Well, it is with heavy heart that I inform you 110 Green Street has claimed another victim.

RIP

And this time— instead of picking his (or her) fragile little body up— Magic’s funky bunch simply swept him along with all the other “trash” (gracing the western end of their property) onto their neighbor’s lot.

108green

You’re a real class act, Viridian.

Miss Heather

Behold The Power Of The Interwebs!

September 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Asshole, New York City, Plagiarism, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Not surprisingly my latest post about the New York Post has garnered a great deal of attention. Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York has given it a shout out. As has EV Grieve and Bowery Boogie. Before I continue I would like to take a moment to tender my sincerest gratitude to my friends in the East Village; their tribulations at the behest of the local print media have shown time and time again that this is not purely a “Brooklyn blogger” problem. The practice of claiming material from a blogger as one’s own is much more pervasive; if Maureen Dowd has been caught doing just this it begs the question as to how many of her brethren are also guilty— but simply have not been caught. Or called on it.

I mention the previous because over the last 24 hours I have noticed a number of incoming links that come from web sites whose subject matter is not “neighborhood bloggers” or “blogging”. Rather, their focus is on the institution of journalism itself. Among the previous— much to my amazement— is a journalism “think tank” at Harvard University.

Neimanscreencap

What’s more, they have contacted one of the reporters who lifted my story and the New York Post’s public relations firm: Rubenstein Associates. Not surprisingly they have yet to hear back from either of the previous. You can read the rest of the above tome by clicking here.

Miss Heather

UPDATE: Snapper Patter, Techdirt, Gawker, Media Metamorphosis, Superpunch, FAIR.org, Citoyen Michel (click here to read in English) and Gothamist have thrown in their respective two cents! Thanks!!!

UPDATE, 9/10/09: Boniknik, The Desert Lamp, Manga Verdes, Mary Turck, Blogografia have joined the fray.

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

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