Live From The Informational Meeting Regarding the Respite Center at 122 Java Street


Spotted on Kent Street February 21, 2013.


Forwarded to me by a concerned citizen from Java Street, February 20, 2013. He/she writes:

hey there, father john (and miss heather). you may have seen the attached flyer by now, but i wanted to pass it along to make sure you’re aware of it. i saw it in our vestibule… this morning and have been seething ever since. after the contretemps on milton street, those of us who pay attention to such affairs are aware of the character of the opposition and you’re probably more than prepared for tomorrow evening. we’ve all heard the nimby exaggerations about public pee-pee and poo-poo, but the suggestion that ascension will be “making money on the backs of java street residents” was particularly galling…


Let’s review numbers and facts.


from people and public officials who not only gave their names, but also contact information! To this end I will share footage I shot from last night’s meeting. Here we go!

Anyone who:

  1. wishes to be apprised of the sex offenders in Greenpoint can do so here.
  2. wishes to volunteer at the Respite Center (and get to know the men who use it) can do so by contacting Pat McDonnell at Outreach via telephone at (347) 925 – 5532 or email at: ptmcdonn7 (at) aol (dot) com.
  3. wishes to get the scoop/details on the homeless “situation” hereabouts are invited to the Greenpoint Homeless Task Force Meeting. This will come to pass March 7th.

I am particularly interested in the lattermost. I want to know what resources are allocated for Greenpoint/North Brooklyn’s homeless women. I asked Mr. Sheehan if this would be covered at this meeting (provided one asked). He said it would. So there have you!

More to come…

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Message From Reverend Merz

February 19, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As many people reading this are undoubtedly aware the respite bed program was (somewhat) recently relocated to the Church of the Ascension. What lead to this happening, while highly unpleasant, indicated a lot of folks hereabouts do not know who is caring for our local homeless and how this being implemented. This is something Reverend Merz wishes to change. To this end he along with our elected officials, Common Ground and the Greenpoint Homeless Task Force will be conducting an informal meeting. He writes:

The Greenpoint Homeless Task Force, Common Ground and the Church of the Ascension invites you to an informational meeting about our work among the local homeless as we assist them in finding relief and recovery in their lives. Local elected and community leaders, will also be present. The meeting will take place Thursday February 21st at 7pm at 122 Java Street (Ascension Parish Hall). This time will offer an opportunity for you to learn more about the services we offer, to ask questions and make suggestions. In addition there will be opportunities to for you to plug in to various aspects of this important community work, we can use your good energy!  We look forward to your presence.

So there have you. Those of you who want to learn more about the respite shelter— and perhaps lend a hand to your neighbors in need— this is your chance. Be there!

Informa/Informational Meeting Regarding Greenpoint’s Homeless
February 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Church of the Ascension’s Parish Hall
122 Java Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

New York Shitty Day Starter: A Thanksgiving Request From Reverend Merz

November 16, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As many of you know John Merz of our very own Church of he Ascension has been working very hard to help families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Now he needs our help. He writes:

Hi folks,

As you know we do a Thanksgiving dinner every year for local people in need as well as cook another 2 or 3 hundred for homeless veterans in Queens. The recent hurricane relief efforts have been amazing and one of the most stunning outpourings of generosity and compassion I have experienced. However what has happened is there is a dearth of volunteers. Usually at this point the email I set up for it is buzzing away. There is literally nobody checking in. I wanted to know if you can publicize the page created on facebook. You go to Ascension Hunger Program, like it and share posts.

You can also share our website which has info and a link to volunteer:

Volunteer opps are Monday through Wednesday in the evening (6.30 to 8 or so) and Then 8 to 7 Thanksgiving Day… Thanks in advance for sharing this info in your networks. I wouldn’t reach out if I didn’t need the help.



Please take a little of your time this upcoming Thanksgiving and volunteer at this wonderful (and as I learned last year: fun) opportunity to meet some of your neighbors and help our community’s neediest. Oh yeah:  please spread the word!

And Now A Word From Our City Councilman

North ‘Pointers who want to lend a helping hand to our less fortunate neighbors please be advised of— and share— the following. City Councilman Levin writes:

Thanks to Rev. John Merz, our office is setting up a temporary satellite at Church of the Ascension at 122 Java St. Rami Metal will be there from 10-6 throughout the weekend and we are collecting donations to send to those in need of supplies in the Rockaways, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Staten Island, Red Hook, and Downtown Manhattan. So far the response at our district office at 410 Atlantic Ave has been extraordinary, and we’re coordinating multiple trips every day (special thanks to the volunteers who has lent their cars) but it’s been very difficult for Greenpointers to get down here.

Donations that are particularly needed right now are:
-non-perishable food, baby food
-clothing, baby clothing
-work gloves
-large garbage bags, cleaning supplies, basic tools

Rami can also help with Con Ed and small business issues and Congresswoman Maloney’s office has offered to help with FEMA, small business, and other issues as well…

Thank you Greenpoint/Williamsburg!

No, thank you Mr. Levin and Reverend “Pastor-in-Charge” Merz!

TOMORROW: 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

There still seems to be some confusion as to when these meetings are scheduled so here is the calendar once again!

94th Precinct Community Council Meeting
May 2, 2012 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Church of the Ascension
122 Java Street entrance
Brooklyn, New York 11222

TOMORROW: Community Board 1 Meeting & 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

The author of this missive (which can be found on Manhattan Avenue) might have his/her terminology wrong, but this was an excellent reminder nonetheless that tomorrow, January 10th, both our local Community Board and 94th Precinct Community Council will be convening to discuss matters north Brooklyn. I have been assured by Deputy Inspector Hurson moving forward he is going to coordinate with our Community Board so as to prevent scheduling conflicts like this in the future. In the meantime, here are the deets!

94th Precinct Community Council
January 10, 2012 starting at 7:00 p.m.
122 Java Street (the rear entrance of the Church of the Ascension)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Community Board 1 Public Hearing & Board Meeting
January 10, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m. (NOTE: you must sign in by 6:15 in order to speak)
Swinging 60’s Senior Citizens Center
211 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

(You can view the agenda by pointing and clicking your way to Community Board 1’s web site.)

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: Live From The Church Of The Ascension

November 24, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

If what yours truly saw (and smelled) earlier today was any indication, I’d say this year’s Thanksgiving “dinner” is proving to be a smashing success. John Ricco, the owner of Grandma Rose’s pizzeria and a host of volunteers volunteers worked 48 hours straight to ensure that 1,000 delicious meals were prepared to feed our community’s neediest. After the feasting commenced, Pastor Merz and John shared a few thoughts— and a prayer.

Thanksgiving comes to pass only once a year. The Church of the Ascension’s soup kitchen and food pantry need your help year ’round. Those who are interested in volunteering (or simply making a donation) can learn more about how you can lend a hand by sending an email to the above-listed email address. Thanks!

New York Shitty Day Starter: Help Wanted For Thanksgiving

November 18, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Love Thy Neighbor 

Hi Greenpoint Blogs, (Greenpointers and myself — Ed. Note)

Could you spread the word for us?

Ascension Church is hosting a free Thanksgiving meal from 12-6 pm.  We expect 150-250 people to come eat, and we need help prepping, serving and cleaning!  We’d love to get more Greenpointers involved in service at the Ascension Food Pantry, which runs a weekly soup service.

The Thanksgiving meal takes place Thursday, 12-6 pm at Ascension Hall, 122 Java Street.  Volunteers are also encouraged to eat!

Tuesday and Wednesday will be prep and cook days at Grandma Rose’s Pizza, 457 Graham Avenue between Meeker Ave & Richardson St ( The hot food will be transported by hearse to Ascension on Thanksgiving morning.  Yup.

WE NEED HANDS — not only on the day, but also prepping the food. It’s a great way for people to serve, even if they are leaving town.

Monday 11/21 7-10p [chop/prep]
Tuesday 11/22 10-6 [chop w Carmelo] or 6-9p [butter-massage los turkeys]
Wednesday 11/23 10-10p [misc prep and cook] or 6-10p [set up at Ascension]
Thursday 11/24 10-8p [carve, serve, and clean at Ascension — 3 hour increments]

Any and all vollies should contact Kathleen at greenpointfoodpantry (at) gmail (dot) com. Speaking as a vegetarian, methinks I’ll forgo the free vittles and “butter-massage” and volunteer for clean-up. Anyone care to join me?

New York Shitty Day Ender: Live From the 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Here you go, folks: footage from this evening’s 94th Precinct Community Council meeting! If I had to identify one thing that made this meeting different than its predecessors it would be the rather substantial amount of time spent outlining and discussing the manifold number of quality of life issues posed by bars and nightclubs. Enjoy!

Part I: Two guest speakers and D.I. Hurson commences with the run-down of this month’s criminal activity/trends

1. Two guest speakers: Abby Tuller of the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Domestic Violence and officers from the 94th Precinct’s Domestic Violence Unit.

  • Ms. Tuller outlines two candlelight vigils to be conducted this month (NOTE: October is domestic violence awareness month.) You can learn more about these events by clicking here.
  • Two officers from the 94th Precinct’s own Domestic Violence Unit outlines options/services to victims of domestic violence. these include (but are not limited to): an alternative to shelter program (simply put, they will install an alarm system— this requires an order of protection and a land-line telephone); Safe Horizons (a shelter), and free cell phones (which can only call 911) an order of protection is required for this as well.

2. D.I. Hurson gives a general run-down of the month’s “business”.

  • There was a shooting at the Cooper Park Houses. A man was shot twice in the leg.
  • Hurson touches upon (briefly) the DWI fatality which came to pass on Meserole Avenue and Leonard Street. As it would happen, a patrol car was in the area, heard the crash and got to the scene immediately. The driver of said vehicle has been charged with manslaughter.
  • While overall crime is down, cell phones thefts are on the rise.
  • D.I. Hurson speaks briefly about the suicide which came to pass at McGolrick Park September 23rd. The man was described as being on-again/off-again homeless and they are still awaiting the results of the toxicology report.
  • D.I. Hurson gives the rundown regarding a hit and run which came to pass at Calyer Street and McGuinness Boulevard last month.

Part II: D.I. Hurson wraps up with a couple of less serious topics and the Q & A session begins!

1. The Open Space Alliance Concerts are (once again) brought to the table.

2. The issue of homelessness is (once again) raised and “wet shelters” (Also know as “harm-reduction shelters”) are mentioned.

3. A rather lengthy discussion about bars ensues. This is best listened to to be appreciated. However, I will list a few key points here:

  • The usual trifecta of trouble rears its ugly head: noise, crowd control/overall rowdiness and public urination.
  • North 3rd Street and Berry Street is apparently a “hot spot” for these activities.

Part III: Q & A Session, continued; more dialogue about bars

  • Spritzenhaus continues to be a problem. Per one attendee/neighbor, she tried to speak to the owner of this establishment and he was— and I quote— “nasty”.
  • An attendee asks if these is a way to get access to a log of 311 complaints about bars behaving badly.
  • A question is posed about whether or not motorcycles are required to have mufflers. In addition, some motorcyclists are doing “wheelies” on Leonard Street. The legality of this practice is questioned.
  • In a new development the Warsaw merits a mention.
  • Drug traffic is discussed.

Part IV: Q & A session, continued; miscellaneous

1. A citizen asks if citizens photographing/filming unlawful behavior is helpful. D.I. Hurson answers to the affirmative. “Everyone is a walking t.v. station.”

2. The “find my phone” app is explained by D.I. Hurson.

3. A rather subdued (and downright sweet) Phyllis speaks. She lauds Officers Adamo and hopes that Hurson will be with us for awhile.

Part V: Lincoln Restler speaks

1. Mr. Restler thanks yours truly for filming these proceedings and lauds Hurson for his hard work.

2. He talks about the relocation of the Open Space Alliance concerts to 50 Kent Avenue.

3. He briefly touches upon “Stand Up, Speak Out” and creating safe havens where victims of harassment can go until the police arrive.

4. The recent traffic fatality here in Greenpoint and overall traffic issues are explored.

5. Mr. Restler advises attendees to make their complaints regarding disorderly or simply obnoxious bars known to our local community board.

On a related/closing note, here’s my “advice” as to how to go about the complaint process. Those of you who were present at lst night’s meeting— or have issues with such an establishment and/or its patrons— please give it a read.

A New York Shitty Op Ed: As you will notice I was asked (once again) by a woman to turn my camera off.  I was quite prepared for this eventuality by the head of the Community Council beforehand. It would appear that she has received a number of complaints about yours truly filming these proceedings. In fact, two people left the community council for just this reason.

Here’s the deal, folks: these are public proceedings. I am perfectly entitled to film them— just as attendees are more than welcome to pose questions privately afterward. In other words: there is a system in place which balances my right to film these meetings with others who seek to air their concerns privately. It would appear that this seems to have gone unnoticed or has been simply disregarded by some.

I film these proceedings not because I find them enjoyable (although they can be); rather, I do so because I know a lot of people who consider themselves to be stakeholders in this community and as such are interested in what is going in north Brooklyn. These individuals simply cannot attend due to work schedules, child care; and (as Lincoln Restler mentioned) simply being ill. By filming this footage I am enabling these people to stay informed about the goings on in north Brooklyn.

Thus the question becomes:

Whose rights prevail?

I am more than willing to be sensitive to the rights of others. One woman requested that I not film her face this evening— so I didn’t. I completely understand. It is neither my desire not purpose to cause a “chilling effect” on people speaking out by filming these proceedings.

However, I have very serious issues with any one individual or group who/which sees fit to disallow me from filming these meetings— which is my right— because they do not like it. It is my understanding that the 94th Precinct Community Council meetings are intended as a means for our police department to share information and dialogue with this community. By filming and sharing these proceedings I am continuing this dialogue. To disallow my— or anyone else’s— documenting these proceedings truncates this dialogue and creates a “chilling effect” as well. Just a thought.

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