From The New York Shitty Inbox: More Ado About The Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch

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Or: Ten Days & Counting!

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(Taken June 16, 2014.)

A tipster writes (on June 6th, 2014)

Hi Heather!

Thank you for your post about the Manhattan Ave Boat Launch. I actually attempted to make an online 311 complaint about it a day or two before your post. However, the 311 website did not accept the complaint since the launch is not listed. Today I attempted to make the same complaint via phone and was again unsuccessful. I ended up making an “agency complaint”. I’m sure many people give up long before this point.  I spent about 15 minutes attempting to make the online complaint and 40 minutes making the agency complaint via phone.  My agency complaint number is C1-1-977259887

It lists the following:

  • Parks Dept does not list the site as a park to enable 311 complaints
  • Broken waterfront railing
  • Broken railing surrounding grassy area
  • Wood chips have not been replaced
  • Grass dry and unkempt
  • Boats moored to kayak launch access gate
  • Dead trees
  • Trees with broken branches
  • Excessive weeds

I found the the first bullet point rather fascinating. The following, gentle readers, should clarify why.

QuestionNYS

 

AnswerNYS

Let’s review:

  1. Permits can be/have been issued for the use of this park.
  2. This would suggest that this piece of public space is in the “Parks” system.
  3. However, when a complaint is to be lodged it cannot be located. Fascinating.

wheres levin NYSI suppose the argument could be made that our local parks conservancy/partnership “arrangement” is more interested in the monetization of our public spaces (via the issuance of permits and hosting events such as the Northside Festival) than enforcement/”upkeep”. I would like to kindly counter that much-needed revenue is being lost by allowing these watercraft to moor for free. I wonder what our City Councilman’s position is on this? Anyone?

In any case I was recently advised to poke around online boating forums regarding free mooring at Newtown Creek. Today I did. It was rather illuminating.

Those of you who, say, struggle to pay rent, property taxes or bemoan the woeful condition of our public spaces— few as they are here— should take a moment, read and re-read the previous. Angry yet?

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You should be.

Trouble No More

“Playing by the rules” is for chumps.

P.S.: It would appear the North Brooklyn Boat Club is now the North Brooklyn Community Boathouse.

NYS DOS Division of CorporationsNYS

Still no listing on the New York State Charities Database. Hmm.

NYS state charities database

Nonetheless it is located on the premises of the “Broadway Stages Boat Yard“, is still “fiscally sponsored” by Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn— and they’re having a party!

flyerNYS

 

Um, isn’t OSA’s job to help finance public parks?

danielbrugmannNYS

Flyer credits: the North Brooklyn Boat Club’s Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Dustin Brugmann.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Shitty Video & Photos Du Jour: On The Waterfront

Today since the weather is amenable, I decided to see what’s happening in far north ‘Point. After revisiting my favorite urban artifact (as seen above, she can be found on Commercial Street not terribly far from the kitty condoplex) I swung over to the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch.

First, I encountered this. I do not know when this happened. But it did.

I was stunned at how many boats were moored, illegally I’ll add, on the Queens side of the creek. I have it on excellent intelligence that yes, some of these boats are being pressed into service as residences. Residences on Newtown Creek. Please take a moment to mull this one over, gentle readers.

I do know when this happened: June 9th, 2013. As you can see it has yet to be repaired. No one seems to know if, much less when, this will come to pass. That seems to be the “Greenpoint Way” nowadays.

I was rather distressed to see this: a tree in a clear state of distress. Onward I walked.

No exploration of the utter absurdity that is the Greenpoint waterfront is complete without a visit to the North Brooklyn Boat Club.

Lest any of you are wondering what this is, it is the “Ed Shed”. The “NBBC” (via Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn— remember the latter handles money for the previous) secured a $25,000 grant for this educational facility. Yes, you just read me correctly. This structure will feature a “Sewer In A Suitcase”, material/date about water quality and various art projects for the edification of school groups.

I found this rather large vessel moored to the west curious— but not as curious as…

this one which is affixed to the premises of the Department of Transportation directly under the Pulaski Bridge. Is this legal? No, it probably is not. While we’re on the subject of questionable legality, 51 Ash Street (the premises of the North Brooklyn Boat Club and the new location of the Greenpoint Boathouse) appears to have an al fresco kitchen…

… replete with a barbecue pit…

and “kitchen sink”.

Note that this fixture does appear to be fully functional— and begs a number of questions:

  1. Where is the water coming from? (Educated guess: 49 Ash Street).
  2. Were the proper permits filed to do this? (Educated guess: No.)
  3. How is it that an “educational facility” located on private property (which is under lock and key) can receive a $25,000 grant (and assistance from our local parks conservancy group) and public park whose fence was seriously damaged ten months ago is seemingly not worthy of attention— much less the funding— required to conduct repairs and routine maintenance?

Anyone?

The Great Outdoors…

Yesterday yours truly received a most amusing piece of mail. Yes: MAIL —of the “snail” variety. Without further ado, here it is:

This comes from my comrade over at Queens Crap. I have to say it gave me a good laugh. For those of you who are not in the know, the following should explain why.

A fellow by the name of Jens Rasmussen was recently featured in both the New York Times and CBS Local. He conducts wilderness survival courses on the premises of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. This is where our “new and improved” Greenpoint Boathouse (whose plans have yet to be made public) is to be located. Follows are a couple screengrabs of solicitations this chap has seen fit to post online.

As you see the latter clearly states these come to pass on the premises of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Something to consider: as a general rule, for profit endeavors are not permissible on the premises on non-profit organizations. I mention this because word on the street is Mr. Rasmussen has stated that the North Brooklyn Boat Club has filed paperwork so as to become a 501(3) c . I feel compelled to note a recent search of the New York State Attorney General’s charities database turned up nothing:

Hmm— but I digress. This afternoon, the weather being downright lovely, I felt the need to explore the wilderness of Long Island City. I decided to grab a few shots of the North Brooklyn Boat Club’s premises (51 Ash Street) en route. Seeing is truly believing.

Um, what is that smoke-stack looking thing? Anyone?

Nowadays Mr. Rasmussen is asking $150.00 a head for his wilderness survival course.

I trust another $50.00 will be forthcoming, Crappy? in any case, follows is my favorite excerpt:

…Head to Greenpoint and meet Jens for an intro and explanation to bushcraft tripping skills, including the most vital things to know and what you can do in a variety of disaster scenarios. Learn valuable tactics like making a signal whistle from an aluminum can…

My advice: save yourself $144.00, purchase a six pack of Budweiser and figure this out on your own. Preferably somewhere that is NOT a Superfund site.

P.S.: I have every intention of creating a “boat club” snow globe. However, in light of recent events methinks this has made it to the top of my list. Cheers!

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: I appear to be lacking a suitable character for Ms. Nealis. One will have to be ordered, I am guessing. Nonetheless, I played around with my tentatively titled “Stray Cat Strut” snow globe’s contents and one dedicated to the absurdity that is 51 Ash Street/the North Brooklyn Boat Club. The latter I have entitled “Rockin’ the Pulaski!”

The Mister eventually wandered in and inquired as to what I was doing. Usually this disrupts my “creative process” Not this time. He first inquired:

Are those hobos?

Me: No, those are people learning valuable wilderness survival skills!

He looked closer and noted:

Oh, there’s the Commodore! Where’s Spaulding? SPAULDING GET YOUR FOOT OFF THE BOAT!

Here is Spaulding— and as you can see he has his foot on the boat!

Thanks Pookie Mister Heather!

UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: Crappy notes:

More to the point of the shenanigans at the boat club, it’s a conflict of interest violation for a board member to be personally profiting from the tax exempt status of the organization. Therefore, if Jens is running his business on their property or using his connection with them to draw people to his classes, then that’s a big no no.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: And Now Presenting Our “New & Improved” Boathouse!

February 13, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Per an anonymous tipster this is it! Note the six story excrescence in the background. Click here and especially here and see this post-Modernist atrocity for yourselves. I for one found it interesting/odd that this was supposedly going to be located at Bushwick Inlet and the architect is different than the one listed as filing the plans 12/30/2013. Hmm…

UPDATE, 7:41 pm: A fellow named Will writes:

Your tipster has misled you. The boathouse renderings you posted are ten years old, part of a 2004 design competition focused on Bushwick Inlet.

So there have you. Perhaps those in a position to do so would, at long last, actually reveal the plans for this facility? You know, in the interest of transparency and serving the public?

Quicklink: And Now A Word From The Newtown Creek “Alliance”

February 11, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

NCAscreengrab

I suppose it will come as no surprise that the Newtown Creek Alliance has seen fit to issue a “statement” supporting the “new and improved” boathouse. Exactly how they could do so without actually seeing the plans (and I have been assured by a board member she has not seen them— this same person was not in favor of issue a statement regarding this facility) makes one wonder exactly who is greasing the wheels so to speak. In any case, it speaks volumes about a so-called environmental organization— or at least their more strident members— when they are willing to do “business” with someone who was busted for operating an illegal waste trade facility— LAST YEAR. And of course there’s those Federal tax liens to consider. Not too sure I want to give money to such a person— but what do I know?

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I will leave you with one question, gentle readers:

If this new and improved boathouse is so great, why was it not even made public until a blogger (me) broke the story?

This stinks to high heaven, folks…

Quicklinks: More Ado About The Boathouse

January 31, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

CurbedSCThose of you who have not done already should check out both Curbed’s and especially Queens Crap’s reportage on this intriguing project. The latter is especially illuminating. Follows are two questions I wish you, gentle readers, to bear in mind while reading these tomes.

1. Why the secrecy— why did it take me blogging this item to simply get an acknowledgment that boathouse is not being built as per approved plans and is being relocated?

2. Given the boathouse is not being built as planned/approved why are they still entitled to $3,000,000? It would seem only fair to me that, at the very least, the new “plan” be submitted to a vote/approval.

Anyone?

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Interesting

January 28, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek, Wow, WTF 

I have been wondering what is up with the Greenpoint Boathouse Project of late. As some of you might recall this project (whose description can been seen at the City Parks Foundation’s web site) was brought to a vote and chosen to receive public funds. “Newtown Creek money”, if you will. Well today a most interesting item was brought to my attention via a tipster. This:

A new building has been proposed for 51 Ash Street.

Not much of interest here. Be patient, gentle readers!

I see we are not only are we going to get a “community facility” in the way of a private club for a non for profit (think about that one for a minute) but we’re getting a transient hotel. Fascinating!

And none other than the folks behind Broadway Stages are responsible for this, um, novel endeavor! For those of you who are not in the know as to where 51 Ash Street is located, the following screengrabs from Google Maps should clear matters up a bit.

This is 51 Ash Street.

And this is the Pulaski Bridge. Please tell me I am not the only person who finds the use of public funds ($3,000,000 if Wikipedia is to be believed) for what appears to be a private endeavor a mite bit troubling.

P.S.: Oh yeah, as initially proposed this boat house was supposed to be at 1155 Manhattan Avenue.

Hmm…

UPDATE, January 29, 1:09 p.m.: Continental Auto Parts (the business which graces 49/51 Ash Street) was the location of an armed robbery just under a year ago. Just felt like throwing that odd piece of trivia out there.

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