From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: FIOS For Everyone!

July 25, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A very nice lady named Marcy writes:

Dear Miss Heather,

I’m hoping you can post a little notice about this petition (and the link) on your most useful and lovely nyshitty website as there are some of us (many) living on the less tony streets of Greenpoint who cannot for the life of us get decent fast internet from Verizon because we are (sadly) considered to be marginal in the eyes of Big Brother Verizon.

I actually made the petition because the Verizon techs themselves (who are always here as our DSL is always down) suggested it as the only way to get noticed (outside of contacting TV stations)…They told us they (Verizon) won’t bother with us (unless we raise a stink) or until the new towers go up.  All the details are in the petition itself.

Here it is—with thanks in advance if we can get some more folks to sign if they see it on your site!

As some of you reading this might be aware, yours truly (somewhat) recently moved to bigger, better digs. On Manhattan Avenue, no less. There is one building on my block— ONE— which has FIOS. Why this is so I have no idea. And I down with this? You bet your ass I am!

New York Shitty Street Art Du Jour: Roebling Street

July 25, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11211, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

roebling

Taken July 25, 2013.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Word From Stephen Pierson

piersonNYS

I know what a lot of you are thinking, fellow Garden Spotters:

Who the hell is this guy?

Well, registered Democrats of the 33rd City Council District listen-up. He’s running against “our” incumbent: Steve Levin. And here’s what he has to say to us. Actually, Mr. Pierson wants to hear from us— which is even better. I do not recall Mr. Levin doing this. But I am getting ahead of myself…

Dear North Brooklynites,

pierson2My name is Stephen Pierson and I am running (as a Democrat) for City Council in our district (the 33rd) against the incumbent, Steve Levin. The election is September 10. I am a 15-year Brooklyn resident, a CB2 member, a (very lucky) husband, the father of a two-year-old daughter (with another on the way), and the Director of a nonprofit that runs an after-school tutoring program for at-risk youth and produces several arts/literary publications.

For too long I’ve watched with dismay as our local politicians cut backroom deals that benefit themselves at the expense of our community. Steve Levin is the very embodiment of this unethical culture and represents the continuation of Vito Lopez’s dynasty. His symbiotic relationship with Vito—which dates back to his time as Vito’s Chief of Staff—has had been detrimental to our community. Among other things, Levin has taken money away from North Brooklyn, sending over six million of our tax dollars out of the 33rd District to Vito’s corrupt nonprofit.

North Brooklyn deserves better. Getting functional toilet seats installed in McCarren Park shouldn’t have to be the job of crusading bloggers.

Over the course of this campaign, I’ve spoken to hundreds of Greenpoint residents, attended dozens of meetings, and spent many mornings at G train subway stops and at the India Street Ferry terminal. Drawing on these (and my 15 years in Brooklyn), here are but a few proposals towards a better North Brooklyn:

(1) (OVER)DEVELOPMENT:

  • Ensure that developers build sufficient infrastructure for the rest of the community that they impact. The Bayard St. condo developments should serve as a warning: I’ve spoken to numerous Bayard St-area residents—people who have lived there for decades without problem—who suddenly, since the condo constructions, find their basements flooding with every big rain storm, costing them thousands of dollars in damages. Current residents shouldn’t have to pay for developers’ (and politicians’) shortsightedness regarding infrastructure. I will also work with the City Council to explore transportation impact fees to be paid by developers.
  • Ensure that the right numbers and types of affordable units are built at Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial St. The memorandums-of-understanding (MOUs) that promise roughly 25% affordable units at both need to be legally binding (for once), and need to have significant financial penalties built in that compel these developers to follow through on their promises. Furthermore, building 50% of its affordable units at 80-to-120% AMI, as Greenpoint Landing proposes, is neither acceptable nor truly “affordable.” We need to fight for more 40-to-80% AMI units.
  • Additionally, these MOUs should provide that a substantial percentage of these affordable units will be guaranteed for local residents.
  • And note that this assumes that Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial St. will proceed as planned. I do believe that there is still room–and much reason–to fight for downzoning on the waterfront to prevent this rampant over-development.

(2) TRANSPORTATION

  • Better G-train service. Period. As a member of the Riders Alliance, I have long helped advocate for this. The MTA needs to fully and immediately implement all the recommended changes contained in their just-completed Full Line Review.
  • More frequent ferry service during peak hours. Service every 20 minutes during rush hours isn’t good enough. And it certainly won’t be good enough as the waterfront becomes significantly more populated over the next several years.
  • Strongly support Assemblyman Lentol’s proposed dedicated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge, and study the construction of a dedicated bike/pedestrian bridge that runs parallel to the Pulaski. The recently-completed DOT study that suggests replacing a lane of car traffic on the Pulaski with a dedicated bike lane is a large step in the right direction. However, I do worry that it doesn’t sufficiently account for near-future surges in traffic that will accompany North Brooklyn waterfront development. With Long Island City looking to become the next big tech/startup hub, we may need a dedicated bike commuting route that doesn’t impact the Pulaski. I would advocate for a feasibility study, jointly funded by Brooklyn and Queens developers (as the building of such a bridge would also serve their interests).
  • Bring Bike Share to Greenpoint ASAP. While this needs to be implemented responsibly, in conjunction with the street-facing needs of local businesses, I strongly believe that Greenpoint significantly benefits from Bike Share—both by providing Greenpoint residents with more transportation options, and by making it easier for non-Greenpoint residents to visit Greenpoint and positively impact local businesses.
  • Enforce existing truck routing laws to decrease truck traffic in North Brooklyn. Currently, the BQE is the only legal “through truck route” that passes through North Brooklyn. All other truck-legal streets (like McGuinness Blvd., Greenpoint Ave, and Kent Ave) only allow for trucks that make local deliveries. Far too many through-trucks cut through North Brooklyn to either avoid BQE traffic or circumvent the LIE/BQE junction. This is illegal, and it results in more traffic, accidents, and noise/air pollution in North Brooklyn. It needs to be stopped immediately by setting up enforcement stations and putting up signage.
  • More traffic enforcement at dangerous intersections like Lorimer St. and Bayard (where the four-way stop is often disobeyed), and especially all of McGuinness Blvd. (which is, statistically, one of the three most dangerous streets in Brooklyn). Consider installing traffic cameras at these locations.

(3) OPEN SPACES / QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Build a dog park in north Greenpoint! This is way overdue. The only dog run in Greenpoint is in McGolrick Park. It is not a viable option for anyone who lives north of Greenpoint Ave. Thus, dog owners are using Transmitter Park as an ad hoc dog run. This is not a viable solution for anyone. We need to build a new dog park now, even if it’s only a temporary run on undeveloped land off of Commercial Ave.
  • Direct revenue back into North Brooklyn’s parks. North Brooklyn residents are already shortchanged regarding open spaces. If Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg are a fait accompli, the least that can be done for residents is to have this revenue reinvested into improving other neighborhood spaces, instead of being absorbed into NY State’s general park fund. At the initial CB1 liquor license hearing for Smorgasburg, pressure was placed on certain members of the SLA Committee to pass it. What is revealing is the likelihood Mr. Levin, my opponent, was trying to extract meaningful concessions from the proprietors of Smorgasburg/Brooklyn Flea.
  • Enact significant changes to the process of filming on Greenpoint’s streets. Greenpoint residents are continuously inconvenienced by a massive amount of filming in their commuinity. At minimum, three proposals bear strong consideration: (1) Reduce the number of permits issued; (2) eliminate alternate side parking rules on surrounding streets during a shoot; (3) ensure that some of the revenue generated by these shoots is directly reinvested back into the community.
  • Construct a better Community Board 1 (CB1) that’s more representative of the current community, and more responsive to the community’s needs. I’ve heard far too many stories of residents being told by CB1 that their complaints don’t matter. A more responsive CB1 can be achieved by instituting term limits, making the appointment process more transparent, and directly involving community organizations in the appointment and interview process (and there should actually be an interview process!).

These ideas are, of course, only a small starting point. More than anything else, I want to hear from you! I envision a City Council office that works directly with residents, actively soliciting and discussing ideas, and making its decisions in a completely transparent manner. You can contact me at: stephen@piersonforcouncil.com or 347-471-0388.

So there have you.

Closing on a related note, here’s a press release as issued by Mr. Pierson’s Campaign Manager, Diana Gonzalez. It is calling for a series of debates through-out the amazingly diverse district that is the 33rd.

emailNYS

I for one think this is a sterling idea. Anyone have questions/concerns to voice to Mr. Pierson? Contact him! Otherwise, in terms of venues and/or moderators anyone have ideas? Let’s make a debate in Greenpoint (and Williamsburg) happen!

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Wall Street, Unoccupied

July 24, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

739manhattanavenue

It would appear that 739 Manhattan Avenue is not only for rent but it appears to be listed by Sotheby’s.

sothebys

WOW.

NOTE: I was unable to locate this listing on Warren Lewis/Sotheby’s web site. However, my jaw dropped when I stumbled upon this and this. Once again: WOW.

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: 6 1/2 Av

July 24, 2013 ·
Filed under: Manhattan, New York City 

6andonehalfSHnys

A big shout-out of thanks goes out to Steven R. Hazlett for granting me permission to share this find!

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Friends

July 23, 2013 ·
Filed under: New York City, West Village, West Village Manhattan 

203/365 Old Friends

Taken by mistergalaxy.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Untitled

July 21, 2013 ·
Filed under: New York City, Stuff That Makes Miss Heather Happy 

Just ran out for some paper towels

Taken by thoth1618.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: 24 Hours Later

teddy2(Or: How Heather Beats The Heat)

Yesterday I noted that a number of interesting “additions” have been made to one of yours truly’s favorite urban artifacts: the Greenpoint Avenue teddy bear. I also received a missive from a reader. I will include part of this correspondence here as it is pertinent to this post (as you will see).

Hi, Miss Heather:

I notice that posting on NewYorkShitty has been a little minimal lately.  Is the heat keeping you down?  I’m just hoping you’re not having any health problems…

To answer, albeit in reverse order:

  1.  No health problems here. I have simply been needing to take a break and focus my attention on things non-bloggy. To name a couple:  Chez Shitty 2.0 (“home improvement”) and art (or as I prefer to call it: “making things”). These have been neglected for some time and I felt it was time to dedicate more attention to them. This I have done because…
  2. it is, in case you have not noticed, HOT AS HELL! Inasmuch as I thoroughly enjoy walking around points Green and beyond, the fact of the matter is triple digit heat indices are not to be trifled with. As trite as the adage may seem, heat stroke is no joke. Thus, I have been spending a considerable amount of time indoors (and in the comfort of air conditioning). I have not been idle. Quite to the contrary: I have been quite busy. Which brings me back to the teddy and the point of this post.

Yesterday he (?) was not looking so hot— perhaps the heat was to blame? Perhaps he got into a scrap? Teddy bears tell no tales. Despite the rather jaunty “suit” jacket and wreath generously donated by some anonymous hooligan, he had what appears to be a black eye. A “shiner”. His eye “proper” is white. I found this is rather disquieting. Knowing that a number of children like to talk to “teddy” coming and going from WNYC Transmitter Park (I myself have observed this) I felt this needed to be addressed— you know, for the kids— and address it I did!

eyepatchboxSMALLFirst I acquired an eye patch from a local pharmacy. You can see the box in which this item was housed at left. I saw fit to feature it here because I find it compelling. As a resident of Greenpoint for thirteen years I have seen a great many individuals (men mostly— but not entirely) brandishing eye patches. Methinks I need not delve into why this is so. Such things “happen” here. Some of these eye patches are improvised. For example: just this week I saw a fellow who had repurposed a jar lid for just this purpose— very inventive if you ask me. Others are precisely like the one this chap is sporting.

Nonetheless none of my neighbors who have had the misfortune of needing such an item— not a single one— look like the fellow on this box. Not only is he too handsome*, but he is smiling. It has been my observation— and once again this is informed by living in the “Garden Spot”— that when someone has undergone an experience whose aftermath requires an eye patch, he is not happy. Quite to the contrary. In the interest of fair and balanced reporting I will note one exception. Those who live in north ‘Point will known about whom I am writing. He can generally be found on the northern end Manhattan Avenue sporting a sombrero and singing. In addition to actually being a pretty good singer (really), he is without argument one of the happiest people I have ever seen. His mirth/merry-making is contagious— but he is the exception to the rule. And I digress.

I felt simply appointing “Teddy” with a black eye patch was not enough. If someone cared enough to make him a jacket and wreath, I should follow suit. Thus I rummaged through all my fabrics, knick-knacks, etc. until I created something properly cheerful. It took a while but I succeeded!

(drum roll please…)

frogeyepatch

 

For those of you who are wondering— and I am certain more than a few of you, gentle readers are— my “creative process” (what led to the above-depicted item) was as follows:

  1. I located a remnant of children’s fabric sporting frogs. Frogs make me happy. Frogs make pretty much anyone happy. So frogs it is.
  2. I added a floral border around the patch. I like flowers. Yet, it was lacking still so…
  3. I continued rummaging and found a cache of googly eyes. After some consideration I decided that if teddy had lost an eye— and he being a block mayor of sorts— I’d give him a few replacements (so he can continue being our eyes on the street). I decided the frogs needed eyes as well.

I brought my creation to the attention of my landlord. He has proven to be quite an excellent sounding board regarding things creative (and utterly ridiculous) in times past. This time was no exception. He posited that perhaps Teddy required a peg-leg, via a viz, a pirate. I replied that pirates, not unlike unicorns, are a mite bit over-referenced by the newer residents hereabouts (hell, one of the kickball teams flies a jolly roger for chrissakes). Pirates have become a cliche. Something more north Brooklyn/New York City-centric was in order. We talked further and then inspiration struck: crusties! The rest, well, speaks for itself…

BEFORE

AFTER

sign

patch

pencils

Mission Accomplished!

*So much so I have told the Mister and I making this fellow the wallpaper on my “smart phone”. When people ask me who he is (and they will) I will say he is my husband. Believe it or not, my husband understood.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part III: Grillin’

July 19, 2013 ·
Filed under: 10012, New York City, West Village, West Village Manhattan 

New York-style Barbecue

Taken by mistergalaxy.

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: Josef

josef

Taken July 19, 2013.

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    All I Want Is EverythingSelling Nouget Candy Torrone at the Feast of San Gennaro Festival
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