A Rooftop Garden At Studio B?

April 11, 2008 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

This is the spectacle that awaited Mr. Heather and I as we strolled down Banker Street last Saturday afternoon. If my memory serves me correctly the time was 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. One tends to muddy such matters when she sees a bunch of skinheads in a fistfight. And that is exactly what I saw. A fistfight. In the middle of the street. At 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon.

Wishing to get the 411 about this incident I asked my fabulous colleague, neighbor and former proprietress of 11222 about this incident. She has the dubious honor of having this establishment as a neighbor.

Miss H: Last weekend Mr. H and I walked by there (Studio B) when Grand Theft Auto had their party last weekend. We had the pleasure of watching a bunch of skinheads get into a fight.

11222: I got to watch all of that from my window. The police were called. The trash generated on the street when it was done was unprecedented.

Lest any of you are wondering, the previous is not an isolated incident. Here’s a post from 11222 dating from September 9, 2007.

Here’s another one from July 9, 2007.

I myself have seen the aftermath of Studio B’s revelry. It’s disgusting. Even by Greenpoint standards. Needless to say I was less than pleased when she alerted me to this post on Brooklyn Vegan.

Curious to know what was up with this “rooftop garden” I checked out the good ol’ Department of Buildings online database. Here’s what I found.

Plans were filed March 31 of this year. They were disapproved.

Plans to change second floor occupancy and join its new “eating and drinking establishment” with the first floor establishment. Are you following me so far? Good. The timing of this application is very curious given…

they were cited three weeks earlier for having over 650 people in a space sanctioned to hold 461. That’s almost 50% over capacity folks.

Perhaps someone can explain to me how this…

is going to sport a rooftop terrace in less than one month? There is no D.O.B. permit sanctioning it. I have no doubt there are other permits required to do such a thing. What’s more, an establishment that treats both its patrons and the community at large with as much disregard as Studio B should not be allowed to have it. Upping the occupancy is only going to exponentially increase the noise, litter and discord this place already produces.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a testimonial from 11222:

Studio B is the only nightlife establishment in the area that does not have any kind of “please respect our neighbors” signage or any attempt to enforce it. Yes, it’s on an industrial block, but it’s surrounded on two other sides by residential, plus you have to walk through residential to get to transportation. The club makes no effort to be good neighbors in terms of cleaning up trash. People stand out front drinking (judging by the empty liquor bottles in the tree pits), smoking, handing out club fliers… all of which end up on the street up and down the block from Calyer to Meserole – because on one side is commercial and the other side is not in use.

The worst is the fact that the club goers think it’s okay to stand on the corner and talk loudly, yell at each other across the street – there’s zero recognition that people live in this area. There’s stories on 11222 about how people have stood outside our building playing guitar, and when asked to move, cross the street. Or, when asked to be quiet, the response is “you don’t have to work tomorrow.” I realize the people who own and book the club aren’t individually responsible for the behavior of the audience, but they don’t even try to request decorum.

The thought of a roof garden is intolerable, except for the fact that it will now impact the very small, quiet, residential street behind the club, and maybe they will start calling 311 with regularity with noise complaints… I still need to call 311 to find out if you need a special permit to have a roof garden, because I am pretty sure you do.

So there have you. Perhaps I am being an old coot (a chap on Graham Avenue was kind enough to call me that, more or less, recently and I saw fit not to argue with him— primarily because he was an asshole), but my decision to move to Greenpoint was largely based on the fact it is a nice (if a bit rough around the edges) neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong— I LOVE those rough edges. A little drunken hooliganism now and then never hurt anybody, but this is a quality of life issue. OUR quality of life.

Miss Heather

Credits/Props: 11222 and “Fire Marshal Bill” a commenter on Brooklyn Vegan. They did most of the work, not me.


11 Comments on A Rooftop Garden At Studio B?

  1. bestviewinbrooklyn on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 9:13 am
  2. You are fantastic. I saw the link on Gowanus Lounge, and it was worth the trip. Hopefully 311 will be clogged with complaints and this place will learn to respect its neighbors. Good luck.

  3. KJ on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 10:13 am
  4. Fuddy dutty.

  5. calyercooze on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 10:52 am
  6. Miss Heather,

    I am backed up directly against Studio B on Calyer. My garden shares a wall with them, and is going to be fucking ruined if clubgoers can piss down into my yard/toss garbage in there/scream at the top of their lungs/generally create even more havoc in a once quiet part of Greenpoint. I hate this place with all my heart, exactly because of what Metsgrrl says. Any advice about how to fight against this, before it even opens?

    This truly truly bums me out.

  7. missheather on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 11:56 am
  8. This has been brought to the attention of someone I know who is on CB1.

  9. calyercooze on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 12:00 pm
  10. What’s CB1? I already called 311, and so did a couple neighbors. A wooden deck is already built, and they’ve got a grill and lawn chairs out there already.

  11. missheather on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 12:03 pm
  12. Community Board 1

  13. neighborhood threat on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 2:32 pm
  14. Keep calling 311. And now you can call and say there is an illegal roof garden for which there is no permit, which is definitely going to have more impact than just a noise complaint. Take some photos and send them to Heather, I’m sure she’d be happy to post them.

    But keep up the noise complaints and encourage your neighbors to do so. It may seem futile but if no one complains, no one will know there is a problem.

  15. missheather on Fri, 11th Apr 2008 3:55 pm
  16. Yes, definitely send me photos if you got ’em folks.

    Here’s another fan of Studio B:


  17. judes on Sat, 12th Apr 2008 11:25 am
  18. Royal Oak on Union also refuses to put up any kind of shut-the-fuck-up signage. When I tried to talk to the owner about it, he told me that instead of getting annoyed at the hordes of screaming jackasses in front of his place all night long, I should work with him to help repeal the smoking ban. WTF?

    A tip for neighbors—if, when you call the cops to report fighting, etc—report that there is also nudity. I don’t know why this is, but bottle-throwing, screaming and punching are pretty much ignored, but when the police hear that there are people flashing their tits, they show up pronto. Don’t ask me how I discovered this.

  19. d on Sat, 12th Apr 2008 3:32 pm
  20. Ah, I think the “Superbowl of Hardcore” show headlined by Agnostic Front was there last Saturday. I walked by that a few times because I live nearby and people were pretty quiet and mellow. Maybe I just have good timing?

  21. neighborhood threat on Sat, 12th Apr 2008 11:21 pm
  22. Aside from the fight, the biggest issue with the hardcore show was the ridiculous amount of trash people left up and down the street. Perhaps due to the length of the show, a lot of people were out, getting food, sitting on the sidewalk eating and drinking (not alcohol) and as a result, the block was a DMZ after the show was over. Frankly I’d rather have a hardcore club down the block than Studio B any day. I managed a hardcore band (a friend’s brother was in it) when I was in college (which, admittedly, was over 20 years ago) and we toured from Boston down to DC and those places always had their shit together.

    Here’s what’s bad about copious amounts of trash: it then blows EVERYWHERE ELSE. So other building owners get nailed with summonses for not cleaning up their property and it makes my neighborhood look like ass.

    The fight is not the issue here. It’s Studio B refusing to do something like create a no re-entry policy.

    I also have heard Royal Oak is TERRIBLE. Repeal the smoking ban – yeah, that’s going to happen real soon.

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