From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part III: Delivery Bikes Only?

December 14, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, Culture War, Planet Entitlement, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

A fellow we’ll call “T” (who took the above photograph) writes:

Just saw this shiny new sign on the westernmost edge of McCarren. Is this even legally enforceable? I don’t think that if you install a structure like this on public property (ie: the sidewalk) you get to enforce who uses it. Anyhow, it’s a pretty gross gesture to others in the neighborhood: “Our wealthy tenants have so many meals delivered that we need an entire rack to accommodate the bikes. I’m sure the rest of you serfs don’t understand what that’s like, but we appreciate your compliance. Please go chain up against the nearest street sign.”

Is this legally enforceable? That’s an excellent question. One I have taken up with a few folks in the know.

To be continued…

UPDATE, 6:43 p.m.: Follows are a few responses I have received!

Needs a DOT revocable consent for street furniture.

There was another one of these “private bike racks” in the east village last year.

Gothamist got to the bottom of it. http://gothamist.com/2011/10/14/can_you_have_a_private_bike_rack_on.php

Quoth the DOT representative: “even if a permit is issued for installation, that does not mean the bike rack is for the exclusive use of the owner if it is installed on a public sidewalk.”

Public sidewalk = public bike rack.

So the next question becomes:

Will this ordinance be enforced?

Given the predilection for selective enforcement hereabouts, I for one am not terribly optimistic.

The Word On The Street, Part II: Point/Counterpoint

From North 3 Street.

The Word On The Street, Part I: Special Q & A Edition

Thought of the day: something I have become very aware of when I am out and about taking photos is the fact that my presence does have some impact on any/all human subjects I capture. Or to put it differently: all portraiture, be it deliberate or accidental, is colored by the interaction between photographer and subject.

So let’s take what happened when I was trying to take a photograph of a rather substantial construction fence I spied this afternoon. A 20-something fellow decided to wave his arms, shout:

Be sure you get me!!!

and generally be obnoxious. Would he have done this if I was, say, a 6’2″ 200 pound man? Probably not. He’d be afraid of having his ass kicked. Am I upset about this? No, not really. What this fellow didn’t know was what I was attempting to document. Had he known this I suspect he would have deported himself differently. I for one am glad he didn’t!

New York Shitty Day Ender: Sweet Dreams

October 21, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, Culture War, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn, WTF 

From North 6 Street.

Bushwick Photo Du Jour: Willoughby Avenue

October 19, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11221, Bushwick, Bushwick Brooklyn, Culture War 

Taken October 17, 2012.

New York Shitty Day Ender: An East Williamsburg PSA

October 17, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11206, Culture War, East Williamsburg, East Williamsburg Brooklyn 

This post is dedicated to good friends. 24 years and 6 months is (was) a good run. Onward and upward!

New York Shitty Day Ender: Bedford Avenue

Enormous Face

Taken by Jonathan Percy.

Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: Bedford Avenue

September 19, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, Culture War, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn, WTF 

Yes gentle readers, summer may have come and gone but in the 11211 fishing for narcissists never goes out of season…

Quicklink/Op Ed: Turdpedo Shuts Down McCarren Park Pool?

Yes folks, it would appear this is indeed the case. Or was an errant piece of feral furniture in need of a dip to beat the summer heat to blame? In this respect CBS’s account is rather ambiguous.

In all seriousness: why is this news? Sure, I’m always open to Caddyshack/Baby Ruth jokes (as the video opening this tome attests). But really?

We all know how the adage goes: shit happens.

And occasionally it happens in our public spaces. This is nothing new. I have seen all manner and variety of effluvia in our subways, streets, stoops, etc., over the years. However, any and all incidences involving our newly re-opened pool seem to merit media scrutiny. Why is this so? I can assure you, gentle readers, there are much more pressing matters here. I do my best to cover some of them on this site.

Nonetheless since this site is— albeit in petite form, media— I feel compelled to direct some scrutiny of my own to the matter of our pool. Without further ado, here it is.

Last Thursday when I walked by there were to my recollection no less than two squad cars, a “meter maid” vehicle; a van commandeered from the 83rd Precinct (which I can assure you has problems of its own*), and a North Brooklyn Task Force vehicle. Given there were no crowds to control, simply a family of four peaceably entering this facility and an entrepreneur who had set up a table selling locks for $5.00 and (amusingly enough) diapers I have to wonder if this presence was a mite bit excessive.

But then again, our Finest follow orders. Their mandate is to protect and serve. My question is exactly who they are protecting and serving?

No one seems to be the least bit outraged that a “secret” meeting was organized to discuss the matter of our pool. One in which our City Councilman, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, the head of the 94th Precinct, and Christine Quinn were involved (among others). You should be. Among the manifold number of things I learned were:

  • Mayoral candidate Ms. Quinn seems to have organized this meeting. The sign-in sheets had her name on them. She does not reside in this community. This raises an eyebrow.
  • D.I. Hurson noted that all of the individuals apprehended had extensive criminal histories. He told me personally that one of the men involved in the “tear gas” incident (in which he himself was shoved) had been arrested— but not prosecuted— for a shooting at the Cooper Park Houses. The reason he was not prosecuted was because the victim (or witness) would not cooperate (probably because he/she was scared out of his/her wits). Given the number of 94th Precinct Community Council Meetings I have attended I am hardly surprised by this. Representatives of the Cooper Park Houses attend and speak at them regularly. They do so because they are tired of the violence and want it to stop.
  • Parks Enforcement Officers (who should be the “first line” of defense, if you will) were not allowed to attend this meeting (but the Lifeguards’ Union apparently was). I find this quite troubling.
  • The matter of registration cards was posited by our City Councilman. Apparently this practice is employed at the pool on Metropolitan Avenue. While it might— might— deter “evil-doers” from patronizing the pool, it would probably also discourage otherwise law-abiding citizens as well. For example: those who are not fluent in English or are uncomfortable filling out such paperwork (because they are recent immigrants, be they legal or otherwise).

Let’s assume for a moment registration cards do deter “bad guys (and girls)” from using the pool. This will simply send them somewhere else. Preferably from hence they came. If some the really ugly commentary** I have seen on Facebook and elsewhere is any indication this what a great many of my neighbors want. Not me.

The conclusions I have drawn, albeit with what little information I do have, are as follows:

  1. The real issue with the pool is the fact that crime (and the criminals which engage in them) which have become commonplace elsewhere in our community have made themselves manifest in an affluent, “hip” area.
  2. The pool is simply a new location for an already extant problem. (Although Parks/OSA made a number of mistakes and for these they should be held accountable.) Had, for example, the fellow who was involved in the tear gas incident been actually tried for the shooting two years previously would that “fight” have transpired? I think this is worth considering. (As is this woman’s take on what happened, which differs greatly from all other accounts of what happened— but I digress.)
  3. Thus, it would only be logical (if not politically expedient) that attention be paid to law enforcement in general as opposed to a small army being posted at the pool. It clearly was not needed when I walked by.

Like I said: I have little information from which to work. Most of the people reading this tome are in the same proverbial boat. Hence why the matter of the pool should be explored in a public/town hall forum. One in which our elected officials, police department and community board members are present to ask and answer questions. And most importantly of all: listen to us, the public.

Some semblance of transparency and dialogue is going to do a hell of lot more for this community than yet another tome about turds. CBS and their ilk have no vested interest in what happens here. Their sole concern is clicks (READ: revenue). Shit sells. (I should know.)

*These stats are from 2010. Note the asterisk point about the 81st Precinct.

Here’s a comparison of the 83rd Precinct’s CompStat numbers to the 94th’s.

And for the simple sake of comparison here are the 90th’s (which, it should be noted was recently rated as #5 in the entire city regarding the use of “Stop and Frisk”).

**Which can be, at best, politely described as thinly veiled racism.

Quicklink: No Shirt, No Shoes, Horrible Service

Choice quote:

I’m not sure I would ever recommend anyone go to the McCarren Park Pool unless you just got out of prison.

That might be a bit of an overstatement. However, the anecdote about the lock and link to the unofficial McCarren Park Pool’s web site (which features some pretty amusing stock photography, including a fellow holding a bottle of beer)— among many other things— make this tome worth a moment of one’s time. Enjoy, gentle readers— or not!

Now if you don’t mind, I am off to acquire a slew of locks and white t-shirts to sell to pool goers at 300% mark-up. One woman’s misfortune is another’s business opportunity!

Props go to Miss Mousey Brown for bringing this to my attention!

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