Quicklink: Good Times At 95 Clay Street

gothamistsc

When I saw this item on Gothamist my jaw hit my desk. I can assure you, gentle readers, this was not due to shock. Hardly. Rather your truly’s first apartment in Greenpoint was at 95 Clay Street. That was over a decade ago— and I can assure you it was a total and utter nightmare.* If this latest episode is to believed, things have not changed much. Those of you who are so inclined can read a little more about 95 Clay “back in the day” by clicking here, here and here. As for 156 India, I offer this and this for your perusal. In closing I would like to remind everyone that while Ms. Nealis’s alleged conduct is thoroughly reprehensible, she would not have felt free to behave in such a manner if our enforcement agencies (and elected officials) had nipped this in the proverbial bud. Years ago.

*Including, but not limited to:

  • Frequent hot water outages. Apparently there was not only a residential (think: for a house) hot water heater pressed into service to service an eight unit building. The thermostat was broken so when it would get “hot” the “Super” would simply turn it off.
  • An electrical outage on the apartments on the top floor lasting days. This was probably caused by…
  • Rainwater leaking through the roof.
  • Broken mailboxes. Mail theft was pervasive.
  • An illegal apartment in the basement.
  • Trips to housing court.
  • Harassment— including having my locks filled with glue, verbal harassment and having my mailbox ripped open.

This is the short list. Any and all who have the misfortune of living in this building may want to check and see if a rent-freeze/rent reduction is still in place regarding the mailboxes.

The Word On The Street: (Words Fail Me)

1 Bushwick Place

This cry for help can be found on the doorway gracing 1 Bushwick Place. A couple of thoughts which crossed my mind when I saw this:

  • This is going to give me nightmares for days. Possibly weeks.
  • I wonder what Anthony Bourdain would say about this?

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: A GWAPP Meeting, At Long last, Will Come to Pass…

February 18, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

From multiple sources I have learned there will be a meeting of GWAPP at the “Polish National Home” March 5th, at 7:00 p.m. ONCE AGAIN: per MULTIPLE sources. (I like to keep certain “interested parties” busy) Here’s the copy sharing the good news:

We request your presence at a meeting at 7pm, Wednesday March 5 at Warsaw (Driggs/Eckford). It’s very important that you (or a representative from your organization) attends.

As you may know, GWAPP was founded in 2000 as “Greenpoint Williamsburg Against Power Plants,” an association of local community organizations allied against an imminent threat to the quality of life in our neighborhood. Meeting, sometimes weekly, to plan strategy, organize rallies and prepare testimony for countless governmental hearings, GWAPP played a significant role in the defeat of two major power plant proposals for the Greenpoint/Williamsburg waterfront. In the wake of these hard-fought defenses of the community, GWAPP turned its attention to other issues affecting our neighborhood and changed its name to reflect the new focus: Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning. There was no longer the need for weekly meetings but, in addition to forums on specific situations, GWAPP organized a series of well-attended annual Town Halls to discuss parks and open space issues – a tradition that the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn now carries on – and met with elected officials and gave testimony at city hearings in connection with quality of life issues in the neighborhood. Over time, the Board has met less regularly (typically at least 4 times per year) and there has been less communication with the Member Organizations.

GWAPP continues to be a vital community organization with a robust website that has become an important forum for information and discussion about parks, open space and environmental issues affecting North Brooklyn (recently enhanced with commissioned narratives about community activist history and regular reporting) and Board Members frequently give testimony (often in collaboration with other community groups like NAG) on those issues in civic forums and agency hearings. But, it is no longer operating in accordance with the original by-laws. The Board is proposing amendments to those by-laws to reflect an organization that is no longer an association of local orgs meeting regularly but, rather, a Board overseeing various programs and initiatives with volunteer help…

Straight up folks: if you value real community organizations and NOT “astroturf” attend this meeting. Let these folks know that community organizations are to be constituted by the community— not a select few.

Quicklink: One For The HOLY SHIT Files…

February 13, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

NYDNholyshit

You can read all about it here.

Quicklinks/From The New York Shitty Inbox: Smoke & Mirrors

February 5, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

QCSCsomethingstinksMany of you who read this site are undoubtedly aware that my post (dated January 29th, 2014) announcing the new location of the Greenpoint Boathouse (51 Ash Street versus the proposed and approved location at the Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center) has precipitated quite a reaction online. Follows are a few of the latest— in chronological order:

Queens Crap’sSomething reeks at Newtown Creek (and it isn’t the water)!” was posted January 30th, 2014.

GWAPP (Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning) saw fit to post a tome on January 31st, 2014.

The North Brooklyn Boat Club followed suit in an eerily similar fashion February 1st 2014.

And lastly A Walk in the Park tendered their two cents February 3rd, 2014. This can be read here.

The previous is probably (hopefully) “old news” to many of you, gentle readers— but it makes for an excellent introduction/segue to the content of this post. Read on: you will undoubtedly find it fascinating.

In the elapsing time since I shared the “good news” about this endeavor I have been asking myself a lot of questions. Foremost among them: exactly who comprises “GWAPP” nowadays? Perhaps we should first look at their member organizations? I was advised to do this by a tipster.

He/she wrote:

…In short, there may be 10-12 actual small organizations on that list.

This may very well be the case. But let’s review a few I have highlighted in yellow. FIRST UP: Greenpoint Property Owners Inc. This is their listing per the New York Department of State’s Corporations Database.

No registered agent is listed. No worries. That’s when the Department of Buildings comes in handy! Here’s what I found looking up 173 Meserole Avenue:

Christine Holowacz.* Now let’s proceed to the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Here’s their registration per the New York Department of State’s Corporations Database:

Once again, no registered agent is listed. But the address listed was helpful. Thanks ACRIS!

Now we have Dewey Thompson.

And to make three: the North Brooklyn Development Corporation. Here’s their listing per the New York Department of States Corporation’s Database:

As you can see there’s no registered address or agent for this corporation. So the Department of Buildings and ACRIS are not helpful. No worries: I know who the Executive Director is— because he loves to talk to reporters!

Alas, all I can offer (as a lowly blogger) is a handful of comments which (because I demand registration) appear to be authored by the “owner” of the email address for GWAPP: GWAPP (at) aol (dot) org:

The “author” is “RICHM”. Hmm.

Now let’s proceed to the present Board Members of GWAPP. Hang on folks— I am getting to something!

  • We have established that former/non-extant “member organizations” of GWAPP are still listed on their site.
  • Yet new “members” have been added. One example is Jen Aull of the Greenpoint Reformed Church. She is presently on GWAPP’s Board. So it is logical to presume some updating of this site is being conducted.

This brings me to the second tipster email I received. This person (whose anonymity I had to assure so as to get the “low down”) advised me to look at the by laws for GWAPP. They do not offer them on their web site— or much of anything in the way of information after 2005. But being the daughter of an accountant, whose father was also an accountant (it runs in the family), and a little help from a friend, I did find them! One need only look at this tax return, enter the “EIN” (11-3627884) here and hit enter!

Among the allegations this tipster made are:

  1. This person was not aware of what was happening regarding the “Boathouse “Project” until it was brought to his/her attention by a third party. Via my site.
  2. This same person was not advised of GWAPP’s “position”/”involvement” regarding The Greenpoint boathouse. Rather funny given this person is a GWAPP board member.
  3. “GWAPP” has not been compliant with its own by laws. For years. For example, they’re supposed to have quarterly meetings (open to the public) and board members are supposed to be voted upon each and every year. Do any of you, gentle readers, recall this happening? I do not. It is one thing to keep the “hoi polloi” in the dark about one’s activities— but GWAPP’s own board members as well? That’s rather shitty.

NOW let’s look at who is on the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund Community Advisory Committee. The members who have the ability vote for a project to receive Exxon Mobil “settlement” money. Did I mention this “process” is being managed by the North Brooklyn Development Corporation? Well, I just did.

Note Gina Argento is on this panel. She was added last summer:

Other Business. CAP Recruitment. Filip Stabrowski, NBDC, announced the addition of four new CAP members: Gina Argento of Broadway Stages, Heidi Shea Springer of Greenpoint Gardens, Joanna Micek an Independent Consultant, and Ronald VanCooten of LaGuardia College. This brings the total number of voting CAP members to 15.

Don’t take my word for it: read it for yourself,

Now let’s consider a few things. First this. It comes from GWAPP’s very own web site:

So they fight against the processing of waste/garbage— IN GREENPOINT. Then why, may I ask, are they/the North Brooklyn Boat Club (hard to tell the difference) “partnering” with folks who were on the business end of a rather damning decision by the Business Integrity Commission on May 13, 2013? Among BIC’s fascinating findings were:

  1. Luna Stages (which was discerned to be owned by Tony, Gina and Angela Argento— mind you, they did not offer this information freely and openly) was operating as an illegal “trade waste” facility.
  2. Same-said folks owe six figures in Federal tax liens. (It was originally seven.)

So now our “community leaders” are going to entrust state money, the result of an environmental law suit/settlement, to folks who were found guilty by a coalition of agencies

of— ONCE AGAIN—  operating an illegal “trade waste” station— in GREENPOINT.

Am I missing something here?

P.S.: Happy belated birthday, Alice Cooper!

*whose daughter, Monica, apparently owns a company called “Lights on Brooklyn”. At least that was how she represented herself to me:

Campaign finance records and “local intelligence” say otherwise.

How can an office assistant afford a $4,000 campaign donation? “Lights on Brooklyn” wanted exposure. They just got it. For free.

UPDATE, February 8, 2014: Barge Park Pals/Friends of Newtown Creek Barge Park has since been removed as a member of GWAPP’s “member organizations”. Apparently the person “managing” that “blog” learned this through a “blog”. She closed her “acknowledgment” with (and I quote):

Have a good day.

Passive aggressive much?

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: White Out

February 3, 2014 ·
Filed under: New York City, Wow, WTF 

Taken by thoth1618.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Interesting

January 28, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek, Wow, WTF 

I have been wondering what is up with the Greenpoint Boathouse Project of late. As some of you might recall this project (whose description can been seen at the City Parks Foundation’s web site) was brought to a vote and chosen to receive public funds. “Newtown Creek money”, if you will. Well today a most interesting item was brought to my attention via a tipster. This:

A new building has been proposed for 51 Ash Street.

Not much of interest here. Be patient, gentle readers!

I see we are not only are we going to get a “community facility” in the way of a private club for a non for profit (think about that one for a minute) but we’re getting a transient hotel. Fascinating!

And none other than the folks behind Broadway Stages are responsible for this, um, novel endeavor! For those of you who are not in the know as to where 51 Ash Street is located, the following screengrabs from Google Maps should clear matters up a bit.

This is 51 Ash Street.

And this is the Pulaski Bridge. Please tell me I am not the only person who finds the use of public funds ($3,000,000 if Wikipedia is to be believed) for what appears to be a private endeavor a mite bit troubling.

P.S.: Oh yeah, as initially proposed this boat house was supposed to be at 1155 Manhattan Avenue.

Hmm…

UPDATE, January 29, 1:09 p.m.: Continental Auto Parts (the business which graces 49/51 Ash Street) was the location of an armed robbery just under a year ago. Just felt like throwing that odd piece of trivia out there.

Williamsburg Photos Du Jour: Blue Chip Bloomblight

This vision (which hails from Hooper Street and Borinquen Place— its address per the Department of Buildings is 395 Hooper Street lest anyone is curious) is without argument one of the finest examples of Bloomblight yours truly has ever encountered. Not surprisingly it has a standing Stop Work Order. I would hazard to say that the owner of this property has, in fact, obeyed it. Perhaps a little too well. In any case, it bears all the characteristics I have come to expect from a derelict construction site (and I can assure you, gentle readers, yours truly has grown to be quite picky— this is because I have a vast selection from which to choose). To name a few:

  1. A collapsed construction fence
  2. Ample amounts of detritus
  3. Signs of habitation (I confess I am quite envious of the office chairs— but not so much so as to venture in and take one)
  4. Graffiti (Amusingly enough, the piece by $howta is arguably its only redeeming quality.) And my personal favorite…
  5. an inspired, if futile, use of “Caution” tape.

Truly magnificent, I must say. I suppose it will come as a surprise to no one that recently a complaint was filed regarding this property.

It’ll be interesting to see if/when any action will be taken. Hopefully this blog post will help serve to push things forward. Otherwise (and one a somewhat related note) I have at long last posted some updates regarding my snow globe project. These you can see here. Methinks this bad boy just made it to the list…

Urban Artifact: Street Meat

January 17, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11206, Urban Artifact, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn, WTF 

Anyone lose a turkey?

(From Lorimer Street.)

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Kidnapped

January 3, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11211, Criminal Activity, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn, Wow, WTF 

A lady we’ll call “E” writes:

Not sure if you heard about this… but Max Starck was apparently kidnapped in the street!    Not sure if this is for real, but both of these blogs are pretty legit in the Satmar circles…

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2014/01/satmar-slumlord-allegedly-kidnapped-678.html

Those who are interested (and let’s face facts: this is crazy— even by north Brooklyn standards) can read coverage from the New York Post and Gothamist by clicking here and here.
UPDATE, January 4th, 2014: this case is no longer one of kidnapping but now murder. You can read the Post’s rundown of this gruesome turn of events by clicking here.
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