TOMORROW: TGE Power Plant Hearing

March 19, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Power Plant

As noted by my colleague over at the Gowanus Lounge, tomorrow the State Siting Committee will tender the much-anticipated decision regarding TGE’s proposed power plant. Those of you who cannot make the trek to Albany tomorrow but would like to make it known to our friends upstate that you do not want a power plant on Bushwick inlet can make your voice heard. Per an email I received from the Open Space Alliance:

New York State still has not denied the application to build a 1,100 megawatt power plant on our Williamsburg/Greenpoint Brooklyn waterfront!

The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA) is grateful to GWWTF, GWAPP, NAG, other local groups and our local electeds for leading the fight against TGE’s power plant for more than six years. OSA supports the plan to build a public park on this waterfront site, not a power plant.

Let us know if you want to join us for the hearing on Thursday, March 20th at 1:30 in Albany. And if you can’t join us in Albany:

Click here to send a message to Stop the Power Plant now!

Anyone who is interested in making the journey to Albany tomorrow should contact OSA at:

info (at) openspacealliacenb (dot) org

Miss Heather

TOMORROW: McCarren Park Meeting

March 2, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Those of you who are interested in what’s happening with McCarren Park listen up. There is going to be a meeting tomorrow you should not miss. Dewey Thompson (of GWAPP) writes:

Hey McCarren Park user! You use the park. You want it to be better. You’re not alone… The best way to get the parks we deserve is through persistent community attention to each park. GWAPP (Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning) wants to help kickstart a big (and sustained) Push for Parks all across our North Brooklyn neighborhoods by helping to create (where one doesn’t exist) support (where one does exist) and unite (where, as with McCarren Park, several active groups co-exist) park-specific Friends Groups.The purpose of these groups will be to gather information about the way the community uses the park, the issues and needs of each park and, most importantly, establish a community representative (or two or six or twenty) of that park, acting as a watchdog and persistently (key word) pushing for improvements – whether from the city, the Open Space Alliance (www.openspacealliancenb.org), neighbors, local businesses, grants…

I am volunteering to help set up an initial meeting of what, for now, might be called the United Friends of McCarren Park. We have an opportunity, with this particular Mayor and the promises made regarding the McCarren Park Pool, Ice Skating Rink and Skate Park, to push for real improvements in McCarren Park. We need to make sure we have a unified and coherent voice in the way the park is maintained and plans made for future developments. With the Pool reconstruction underway (design-wise at least) it seems the various user-groups of this potentially wonderful park have a shared purpose. Let’s use it to make the park better.

Here’s a proposed (and very preliminary) agenda:

  • Request a comprehensive survey & study of Park usage & potential
  • McCarren Park Pool – reconstruction status update
  • Pool-adjacent “Comfort Stations” – can these be built first?
  • Fieldhouse “Comfort Stations” – the most disgusting bathrooms in Brooklyn? (No, they aren’t — Miss H)
  • Wading/Spray Pool – what can be done to have this running by summer?
  • Benches & Paths
  • Natural turf conditions
  • Gardens & Trees
  • Dog Run(s)
  • Plan to artificially turf paved field next to tennis courts
  • Plan to study de-mapping Driggs and/or Union Ave. through the park (which will entail disrupting the route of the B61 Bus— Miss H)
  • Concerts, Films & other programming
  • Other issues & needs?

What: United Friends of McCarren Park
Where: Automotive High School Library
50 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, 11222 New York
When: Monday March 3 2008, 7:00 p.m.

Be there or be squat —over some horribly maintained crapper drenched in piss and bereft of toilet paper*.

Miss Heather

*I am referencing McGolrick Park ‘s “comfort stations” which no one seems to care about.

Fight The Power

February 27, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Plant, that is.

Power Plant

As was mentioned at last month’s Town Hall Meeting, the power plant proposed to grace Bushwick Inlet is not exactly alive— but more disturbingly it isn’t dead. Next month the Siting Board meets in Albany to determine the future of this project. Which brings me an email I recently received from GWAPP:

…A vote of NO to TGE will clear the way for our 28 acre waterfront park. GWAPP urgently needs volunteers in the weeks leading up to the meeting. There are jobs big and small for anyone with some time and energy to contribute (flyers to pass out, phone calls to make, e-mails to send – easy stuff!)

PLEASE HELP!

If having a nice big power plant on the waterfront is not your cup of tea, mark your calendars: tomorrow, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. GWAPP will be conducting a brief meeting for interested volunteers. To get the full run down as to where this meeting will be conducted please shoot them an email at:

info@gwapp.org

and help put an end to this insanity once and for all.

Miss Heather

India Street Revisited

February 22, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Today I received a very interesting email from an India Street resident who calls himself The Ghost of Willie the Barber regarding my post about the proposed India Street Park. He writes:

The actual India Street community (that is, people who live here) already had a plan for this park that would have restored the pier and made a real park. This was part of an intensive series of open-forum meetings (part of something called a “197-A” plan) that the city pretty much ignored when they put together the Big Rezoning a couple of years ago.

The City ‘s rezoning plan (which IMHO involved a lot of selling-out on the part of some community activists in league with Council member David Yassky –who, like all NYC politicos, gets most of his campaign money from real estate interests-) basically puts the whole project in the hands of the private owners of the waterfront properties.

This results in the kind of compromised idiotic crap you quite accurately reported on last week. Even if the officials like the Parks Dept. guy at that meeting- WANT to do something serious, they have no real budget – seeing as how any REAL park would need many times the amount of money available- because the street ends in concrete-hanging-over-river and would have to be demolished and re-built. Only developers have that kind of money and the rezoning actually gives developers the last word on when and how such supposedly “public” work can take place.

It is a cruel joke.

Here was part of what the community wanted to do:

THE FRIENDS OF INDIA STREET PIER is a group dedicated to the pier its members “adopted” for the benefit of the Greenpoint community. Although heavily deteriorated, the India Street pier was a popular summer refuge for many residents of North Brooklyn, who spent weekends there sunbathing, fishing, or simply enjoying the Manhattan skyline. But a near catastrophe in which seven Greenpoint residents atop the pier fell into the East River along with the pier when it collapsed in May, 1997 brought additional attention and a sense of urgency to the efforts of the Friends to speed repair of the popular pier.

According to “Willie the Barber,” President of the Friends of India Street Pier, the group envisions a “New India Street Pier” with new pilings to strengthen it and make safer, a 4′ fence on the rear half, tables, benches, and shrubbery that would provide a park-like atmosphere, a food stand that would pay rent to the city, and possibly a water fountain.

The pier would become a nice place for fishing, sunbathing and picnicking. The location offers a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline and the ships on the East River. Recommendations for the New India street pier are an integral part of the Greenpoint 197-a Plan (see section on Waterfront Access).

T.G.O.W.B., India Street

North Brooklyn Greens

So there have you folks. The interests of our community were sold to the developers a long, long time ago. Not that this should come as a big surprise. It doesn’t to me, anyway. Nonetheless, it never ceases to anger yours truly.

Mark my words: if/when the developers decide to step up to the plate and provide park space it will not be out of the kindness of their hearts. It will be in exchange for discretionary zoning. The current limit is 24 stories. Under discretionary zoning they can build up to 40. In the meantime we can anticipate more concrete walls.

Nice, eh?

Miss Heather

Transmitter Park

January 18, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

One of the highlights from last night’s town hall meeting was Rich Mazur’s rather enthusiastic presentation of the park slated for the western tip of Greenpoint Avenue. Follows is the tentative design.

Transmitter Park

Here are a few fun facts about this space:

  1. The site of this park is where WNYC once had their transmitter (hence the moniker “Transmitter Park”).
  2. It has a budget of ten million dollars.
  3. It will be 1.8 acres in size.
  4. The final design will be presented June of this year.
  5. Its completion date is set for winter 2009-2010, making it very likely that this will be the next park to be built in north Greenpoint!

Anyone who wishes to learn more about Transmitter Park (or aid in its creation by becoming a volunteer) can contact Rich Mazur via GWAPP at:

info (at) gwapp (dot) org

Of all the plans presented last night this one was by and far my favorite. Not only is the location fantastic, but I suspect I speak for many when I say quality park space in north Greenpoint is long, LONG overdue.

Miss Heather

Image Credit: Greenpointer (a web site which unfortunately appears to have been abandoned)

THIS WEEK: Protest For Parks

January 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Protest for Parks Flier

This Thursday, January 17, at 7:00 p.m. GWAPP will be hosting a “Town Hall Meeting” at the Warsaw. The agenda for this meeting includes:

  • What is GWAPP?
  • TGE power plant fight
  • Sludge tank status
  • India Street End Park Project
  • Transmitter Park (end of Greenpoint Ave)
  • Bushwick Inlet park plans
  • McCarren Park Pool renovation
  • State Park at N7th
  • Tree Planting

Those of you who are concerned about what is going on in Greenpoint (and the city to keep their word regarding park space, among other things) really should attend this meeting. You’ll learn a lot!

The Warsaw
261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222
(718) 387-0505

For more information about GWAPP click here and you’ll be directed to their web site.

Miss Heather

Smells like Greenpoint Spirit!

June 14, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Smells like Greenpoint

Yesterday I received an email whose subject line read:

Holy fuck it smells like hot ass in here, ugh!

The author (whose name is Andrew) goes on to write:

That subject is a quote from my lovely girlfriend this morning. The hot ass she spoke of was not the sexy kind, but the “5 tons of processed shit wafting through our bedroom window” kind. I’ve lived in Greenpoint for 8 years and experienced my fair share of Greenpoint Smell Days, but this is by far the stank-nastiest year I’ve ever experienced. Is it just me or has it gotten much worse than usual lately?

If it keeps up like this all summer I will seriously consider moving into the McGolrick Park bathroom, which probably smells better than my apartment.

Enough ranting, I know you have a lot of GP readers so I was wondering if you would be kind enough to remind them of this little snippet from the Greenpoint Waterfront Association site:

WHAT STINKS AROUND HERE?

Call 311 if you smell that ol’ Greenpoint smell of the sewage treatment plant…call 311 if your local park has broken glass or worse(!) in it… Be sure to get a COMPLAINT # and email it to info@gwapp.org. We’ll keep track of it and pester the local authorities. But we need you to CALL.

I want to thank Andrew for reminding me to bring our neighborhood’s increased ripeness to light. Not only did a number of people attending Forgotten-NY‘s recent tour of Greenpoint notice a strange odor, but earlier this week I was on McGuinness Boulevard and found myself gasping for air. I’m not going to bullshit you: McGuinness Boulevard does not exactly smell like a rose. But this malodorous perfume was different than the usual cocktail of auto exhaust with just a hint of stale piss. If I had to liken this special smell something, it would that of rotting fish drenched in stale piss.

Speaking as someone who has lived here almost as long as Andrew, I agree with him. This year thus far is proving to be one of the worst odor-wise that I have ever experienced. One can only imagine what July or August is going to be like. Yikes.

Seriously folks, if you smell something, say something. It’s time that our state and municipal government learn that we are tired of getting the shit-end of the stick. If this problem was on the Upper East Side (whose garbage Greenpoint has the honor of handling) or in brownstone Brooklyn, I assure you it would be addressed post haste. Why should it be any different here?

Miss Heather

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