LAST GASP: Community Pride is Contagious

November 18, 2009 by
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


First came the infamous bench/newspaper stand/tree protector at 1071 Manhattan Avenue. This has been since retrofitted with a more comfy back rest.


Then 1074 Manhattan Avenue stepped up to the plate with “El Blablazo”. This tree pit now sports a wind chime!

And today my buddy Laura (who took the following photograph) advised me that 1086 Manhattan Avenue has joined the fray!


She writes:

Apparently, tree guards are the in thing! Cool!

I for one am touched how the folks of north Greenpoint have (literally) taken matters into their own hands. It just goes to show that one need not rely upon “community groups” or the Parks Department to make a difference. Community pride is the new black: it never goes out of style.

Ingenuity, moxie and elbow grease; that’s the north Greenpoint way. It’s your neighborhood folks: make it yours before someone else decides to make it for you.



Miss Heather


7 Comments on LAST GASP: Community Pride is Contagious

  1. kristina56 on Fri, 20th Nov 2009 6:44 pm
  2. Miss Heather,
    I never read your shitty blog but somebody sent this absurdity to me. How dare you disrespect people’s work and act like a high school, low-level mean girl. No wonder so may in the whole community despise you. You are rude, mean spirited and arrogant. Why don’t you actually do something for your community or shut up and stop critisizing people’s work. It’s people like you who make this world a messed up place and then have the audacity to be hypocrates. FYI as I understand it, this was done by a community group and is just a temporary winter fencing to protect planted bulbs and mulch. So please get your facts straight and do your research before you blog. Don’t bother to respond as I will not be looking. And if you do I hope it will just blow back in your face as I’m sure it eventually will.

  3. lacey on Sat, 21st Nov 2009 12:32 pm
  4. I would like to second the fact that I think the “FAIL” comment is mean-spirited. It is correct that these were done by local organizations (the open space group of NAG, with help from other groups like OSA, I believe), as temporary to protect the plantings that they added in order to beautify the block. The people who work on NAG’s organizing agenda (which, in full disclosure, includes myself) are working to improve many facets of this neighborhood, and are doing so on a completely volunteer basis with basically no budget. We would love to build fancy benches and prettier tree beds, but the fact is we simply don’t have the resources and we work with what we have, which is a group of enthusiastic people who care about our neighborhood and want to do their part to make it a better place to live. I don’t think that could ever result in a “FAIL.” Also, your calling our work out as such undermines it, discourages people from giving their time/energy/resources, and just perpetuates the fact that our local community groups have to work that much harder to get anything accomplished.

  5. no no on Sat, 21st Nov 2009 4:18 pm
  6. There is a milk carton in Stepford with two missing members. Please, someone come and get them. They are delusional, self-involved, cry babies. One of them needs a spell check.( even though the irony of misspelling “hypocrates” was not lost on me.) Your comments, and not Miss Heather’s posts, are what undermines your “works”. I seriously doubt than anyone who is thinking about volunteering to help NAG or OSA has changed their mind because of NewYorkShitty. Really, truly , stop looking at it. You are making yourself sick. It’s not a contest. Do your thing , nobody is stopping you ; but PLEASE get a thicker skin and stop criticizing people for being critical. Please stop with the “why don’t you actually do something for the community”. Thanks Lacey for pointing out that NAG is responsible for the bulbs, mulching and chicken wire. It should be lovely next spring. I didn’t think a thing about the photos , until you took it upon yourself to take credit for it.
    I thought it was a funny, off-the-cuff title for a photo to compare and contrast the ongoing greening of the neighborhood , and how cute it is that people are stepping up to create them. YOU made it an issue, by being overly sensitive and perfectionistic. Now, have made yourself look foolish. No one else.

  7. SpillConspirator on Sat, 21st Nov 2009 9:46 pm
  8. For me, it’s rather ironic that Miss Heather posted this photo and that these comments were posted. I was a part of planning this tree bed project. I’m not a member of NAG. I’m a member of another organization that participated in the project. I didn’t participate on the actual day of the project because of the same type of comments appearing here. I’m not talking about Miss Heather’s one word comment. I’m talking about NAG taking credit for collaborative efforts. Miss Heather’s one word comment didn’t seem mean spirited at all. It’s seems like an honest opinion which I think the group would want to consider before moving onto another block with the same materials. I know I as someone who participated ( even if not to the very end ) would want to know if something needs to improve. Because of the valuable comment and photo, I’ll definitely consider materials carefully when moving onto other tree bed projects. I agree with much of what “no’ no” had to say.

  9. missheather on Mon, 23rd Nov 2009 5:33 am
  10. As I understand it NAG (which has done a number of wonderful things for north Brooklyn— my favorite being the story-telling project) contributed nothing whatsoever in the way financing for this endeavor. Yet they were credited for it. OSA gave a pittance (so as to get props): $50.00. I know for a fact a citizen who does not live in Greenpoint donated $20.00 to this project. The end result is laughable.

    You wrote:

    …Also, your calling our work out as such undermines it, discourages people from giving their time/energy/resources, and just perpetuates the fact that our local community groups have to work that much harder to get anything accomplished.

    I find this interesting, flattering and curiously Stalinesque. You are essentially blaming (crediting) my blog for making light of the slip-shod work your org did— or takes credit for doing. Per your “logic” I am the reason you will have to work harder. Nothing could be further from the truth; this project was poorly planned and managed from the get-go (I have the emails to back this up.). The end product was commensurate to its planning. Anyone looking at that mess of chicken wire and dowels can deduce this. They don’t need my blog to figure this out. While I hope those tulips bloom (I really do) I doubt that “winter fencing” NAG takes claim to erecting will protect them.

    Don’t hate the messenger, Lacey.

    Move forward, work harder and do not waste well-meaning (other) peoples’ money again. If you can’t afford to do/plan it right don’t do it at all. Those “fancy benches and prettier tree beds” you refer to were built by citizens with much more moxie, ingenuity and less money than the org(s) you represent.

    These rugged individualists took what they on hand (scrap) and built those “fancy benches and prettier tree beds” featured in this post. They were genuinely touched when their work got attention (from my blog and via Gothamist). They didn’t expect or really want the attention (the individuals involved didn’t want to be credited— unlike NAG or OSA). I spoke to the people who made those “fancy tree beds” (as you call them) and quickly deduced they did so out of a sense of personal/civic pride. They simply wanted to make their corner of Brooklyn a nicer place.

    Your making light of their work is an insult. These people may not be “involved” with NAG or OSA but they’re making a difference. You and yours (Kristina— who does not put a good “face” on your org) should commend them. Is it NAG/OSA’s way or the highway? Or is the fact people with less resources (all of whom happen to be Hispanic) have out-shined NAG/OSA upset you? Do tell.

  11. dog owner on Mon, 23rd Nov 2009 10:41 am
  12. as the $20 donor, i hope there are lots of flowers in the tree beds this spring. i am also grateful for emily’s efforts.

    believe or not kids it takes all kind of people to make a good community. special thanks miss heather for highlighting the unsung community members who are building these amazing tree beds. i think it is something to aspire to.

  13. mikki on Tue, 24th Nov 2009 6:47 pm
  14. While NAG may have “contributed nothing whatsoever financially,” the bulk of the work in organizing this was done by Emily Gallagher, a young woman who works hard to help this community. Constructive criticism would probably be welcome–and I certainly believe everyone who helped should get credit. But after working hard on something, to then see a photo of it with the word “FAIL” over it—well I don’t think you’d have to be a “crybaby” to feel kind of bad. I have taken a huge step back from all the work I used to do for this community, and resigned from every board and committee I was formerly involved with, partly because of stuff like this. I’ve been called a old-timer racist for working to landmark Domino, an thoughtless gentrifier for advocating for trees, a partying hipster (haha!) for trying to get the pool reopened–the list goes and on. In reality I’m a 45-year-old lady with two cats who doesn’t make much money and who would like to see those of us who live here be happy and healthy and to try to stem the overwhelming development that is stressing all of us out.

    I don’t see anyone saying they feel like they have been outshone by someone who is Hispanic. That is just incredibly offensive and hyperbolic. And Lacey hardly made light of the other tree beds or insulted the other, fancier ones.

    I say let a thousand tree beds, guards, mulches, and benches bloom.

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