Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: From This Evening’s ULURP Meeting


Ah, kids nowadays…


George Klein, the man behind the monoliths, was present.


One fashionably dressed lady brought a sign.


I call this photo “shock and awe”.


This is the break-down of affordable housing units which will come into play if the parcel in question is sold to the Park Tower Group.

A few thoughts/observations:

1. If I had to liken this convocation to anything, it was a white sale of shouting and profanity. Greenpointers are angry about a manifold number of issues here— and this was certainly made clear this evening.

2. It was one which neither Chris Olechowski (Chair of Community Board 1) or Del Teague (who is the new ULURP/Land Use chair of Community Board 1) could seemingly control.

3. One may not have liked the public’s “delivery”— but many salient points were made between the f-bombs. Here’s a few I found compelling:

  • The AMI being used does not accurately reflect the reality of the incomes in Greenpoint presently (which is substantially lower).
  • As you can see from the latter-most photo, half of the segment discussed during this evening’s meeting’s affordable housing units will be studios and one bedrooms. The other will half will be two bedrooms. As was pointed out by Lisa Bamonte and Rob Solano, this is not a “family friendly” break-down. Or as I put it (quietly, to Ms. Bamonte): “What happens when someone who lives in one of these studios or one bedrooms gets married and starts a family? Offering 50% studios and one bedrooms is the formula for a transient population. After they marry and have children they’ll probably have to move. We should be ensuring that people who move here, get married and have children can stay here.” At the way the rents are here presently, I can assure you this is not happening. However, it should be noted that the Park Tower Group would undoubtedly benefit, monetarily, from this arrangement. More turn-over = more money. And I can assure you, gentle readers, that is what this is all about.
  • One teaser the attorney speaking and fielding questions on Greenpoint Landing’s behalf (while Mr. Klein watched on) threw out was a dog run on Clay Street. Well, that would certainly explain why we have had no action whatsoever on this matter— for years. But let’s get back to the affordable housing…
  • Basically it would be the same kind of arrangement the Edge has. E.g.; a “segregated” complex of smaller (and uglier) buildings placed inland. One would grace the site our sludge tanks inhabits presently. Unless I am wrong, this is brownfield.
  • A question was raised— but not answered— about how/why this project is relying upon an Environmental Impact Statement that dates from 2005. I think we can all agree that a LOT has changed here in the last eight years.
  • A number of questions were raised about the stress on “infrastructure” this development (in its entirety) will present. Think: sanitation pick-up, sewage, and of course transportation. In regards to the latter-most, Mr. Klein’s attorney note the new bus line which will service the waterfront hereabouts— and that they are considering having a shuttle bus so the residents therein can be dropped off at the Vernon-Jackson stop of the 7 train in Long Island City. The latter was met with cynical laughter from the audience.
  • And of course the school which they propose to build was also brought to the table.* The response to this was (more or less) the same as the one to the shuttle bus to Vernon-Jackson.
  • One question unasked— one which I have been wondering about a lot: “Exactly HOW is all this construction material— and it is gonna be a LOT— going to be delivered to this site? I am guessing by trucks. LOTS of trucks. This is something residents of West Street, Franklin Street and even McGuinness Boulevard or Manhattan Avenue might want to think about.

Inasmuch as the Park Tower Group might like to put window dressing on this parcel of their “project”, the reality is they’re not doing us a favor.  Quite to the contrary: they are throwing us crumbs. Like I said:

It’s all about the money…

I will link to news items about this meeting as I find them. Regrettably, I did not shoot video. If I had Iwould have caught this gem (directed at Chris Olechowski and pertaining to the dearth of Greenpoint residents on Community Board 1— HIGHLY summarized/paraphrased):

What if someone wrote a blog called “I Hate New York Shitty”? Then I bet they’d get appointed!**

If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Olechowski (who it should be noted, lives in Greenpoint— not terribly far from this development) did not have a snappy retort to this. Then again, he rarely has one in any situation so I am not reading too much into it. However, I will note that at least one north ‘Point citizen did apply to get on Community Board 1— so it is not for wont of interest. Despite ceasing to apply he still got (gets?) rejection letters from Marty Markowitz stating there were no seats open. You can see one such letter here.

*At which point I left. However, I do feel compelled to point out that those who signed up to speak were allotted two minutes. This contradicts Community Board 1’s By-Laws. Not that anyone seems terribly keen on enforcing them.


(Chairman Chris before this meeting commenced.)

**One can only hope this finds its way into the meeting minutes diligently reported by Marie! These will, must be posted on Community Board 1’s web site. Sunshine Laws. Learn ’em, live ’em, love ’em!

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part III: Junot Diaz and Principal Santana

April 1, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Junot Diaz and Principal Santana: Greenpoint Brooklyn

Ordinarily I refrain from posting more than one photo from a member of my photo pool in a single day. However, given that this hails from our very own Automotive High School I am making an exception. Chris Arnade (who took the above photograph) writes:

The writer Junot Diaz read from his book and did a great Q&A at a fund raiser for the Frances Perkins Academy, run by his old friend (and now Principal) Dr. Santana.

I was lucky enough to get this picture; two amazing people devoted to helping kids navigate a tough period.

This is a wonderful portrait of two very good friends. Great job, Chris!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Go Pistons!

Although I had to work today I simply had to swing by and see the Pistons play at their (ostensible) “home field”: McCarren Park. From what little I saw (30 minutes) it was an action-packed game. But before I proceed to the following (mini) slide show I feel compelled to make a couple of disclosures:

  1. I am not really into football. It is not my thing. But that wasn’t the point of the exercise. Rather, I enjoyed seeing these kids having fun and (along with some of my fellow Garden Spotters— and I suspect a few Williamsburgers) wanted to give them a little Greenpoint spirit! On a related note methinks the 7-8 of New York’s Finest stationed around the field had some fun as well.
  2. I am not a very good “sports” photographer by virtue of the previous point. Once again: I am not a “sports” person. At least regarding not the ones which do not involve drinking beer (READ: bowling and pool).

Without further ado, here it is. Enjoy!

As always you can view this slide show in larger format by clicking here. Otherwise you can see a full roster and schedule (!) for the Pistons 2010 season by clicking here.

Go Pistons!

Miss Heather

Vollies Needed At AutoGarden

Ever had something you have been meaning to get around to be keep forgetting to do? This post will (hopefully) address one of the the items that has long been on my “to do” list but has,  gotten lost in the shuffle— repeatedly. If you like what you have just seen please volunteer at this wonderful addition to the neighborhood. Let’s work together to help this much needed bit of greenery going in the Garden Spot of the Universe!

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: Automotive High School Isn’t McCarren Park’s “Home Team”

When I read this article by the inimitable Aaron Short I became furious. Not only do I find the fact these youths have to travel one mile (and purchase their own Metrocards) for the pleasure of playing football when there’s a field across the street utterly ludicrous, but I cannot shake the nagging suspicion that race— or at least class— has something to do with this. These suspicions are not in the least bit assuaged when I read a quote like this, which comes from a Department of Education Spokesperson:

It creates too many obstacles and we don’t want to have any kind of furious accidents there.

Perhaps Ms. Feinberg would be kind enough to explain to me exactly what constitutes a “furious accident”? God only knows I have seen my fair share (and then some) of unsavory activity at McCarren Park. I fail to see how a high school football game could possibly make the situation any worse. If anything watching these games would, in all probability, be a source of enjoyment for many in our community. But of course, youth football games do not make money. Which brings me to the Parks Department’s rationalization for this farce:

…A Parks Department spokesman added that the athletic league’s rules state that the games must be played in places that are not open to the public. Four years ago, the Parks Department actually issued permits for two Pistons games in McCarren Park, but the city reversed course, citing security concerns…

Yet, these very same people have no problem whatsoever taking much-needed playground space (READ: Barge Park) to throw carpet-bagging fund raisers. Events, which I can assure you, are of negligible interest to the people who use said park(s). Here’s the deal:

In the 10+ years I have lived here I have seen nothing but good things happening at the Automotive High School. It has come a long way. The Automotive High School’s students have treated me with nothing but respect. When they have bumped into me on Bedford Avenue (as excited gaggles of teenagers often do after school— we are talking about kids, after all) they have always said “excuse me”. This cannot be said of many folk who populate Bedford Avenue nowadays. Why is it so difficult for this city to— instead of blame-tossing— afford these youths a little respect and consideration? They deserve it. In closing here are a few vintage shots of football at McCarren Park.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: The image at the beginning of this post was taken by Aaron Short.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Rock & Grow High School

June 24, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

(Or, Looking Good In The Neighborhood!)

I’ve noticed a number of changes at Greenpoint’s very own Automotive High School over the years. First there were musicals (Guys & Dolls). Last year they started a garden. That was pretty cool— but it is nothing in comparison to what they have created this year!

Raised beds with every imaginable herb, fruit and vegetable imaginable. Pumpkins, tomatoes, sage; you name it!

What I particularly adored was the furniture these youths created to accompany this much-needed (re)greening of Greenpoint. The above bench reads: AUTOHS.

And a rocker fit for a queen.

Or perhaps a king? In any case I cannot do justice to what this creation. See it for yourself!

Automotive High School Garden
50 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Top Friended


From the Automotive High School.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: In Bloom At The Automotive High School


From Bedford Avenue.

Miss Heather

TONIGHT: Concert For A Cause

April 30, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 


Tonight our very own Automotive High School will be hosting a fundraiser to raise money for their upcoming production of Guys And Dolls. Not only will the $10.00 price of admission buy you an evening of musical entertainment, but you will also have a chance to win prizes from such local businesses as The Bee Hive, Teddy’s, and much, much more. Check it out!

April 28, 2009 (that’s today!), doors open at 7:00 p.m. the show starts at 8:00 p.m.
Automotive High School Auditorium
50 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather


February 26, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Mikki (of NAG— Neighbors Allied For Good Growth) writes:

North Brooklyn’s Automotive High has come a long way these past few years. The graduation rate is up, attendance is up, and last year it earned a performance bonus from the city. Much of this has come through the hard work of the faculty and staff there, who are determined to give these kids both job skills and an education. There is still much to be done, but here’s what I’ve been really impressed with–the drama department! In just two years they have put on amazing productions of “Grease” and “West Side Story” that brought down the house–and after each performance, the cast’s heartfelt thanks to their teacher, Candace Parr, are simple but wrenching.

This year, the department is struggling to put on its musical–“Guys and Dolls.” I’m planning to help them with a fundraiser in a month or two but here’s what I’d like to hit the community up for now: zoot suits! If anyone has one, or has access to a costume department or vintage store with some, please contact me at actlocal15 (at) gmail (dot) com. Or if there are any costumers out there who would like to help, that’s cool too. (We also need a sound engineer!)

Zoot suits, anyone?

Miss Heather

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