Greenburg Photo Du Jour: McCarren Park

If there is one photo that best summarizes the homeless problem in this park— and north Brooklyn in general— this is it. This fellow was the source of considerable curiosity and bemused interest by parks and pool patrons as I walked by this afternoon. Concerned he might be susceptible to— if not presently experiencing— heat exhaustion/stroke, I spoke to the Parks staff at the (nearby) field house. In closing, I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude for securing the medical attention this man so clearly needed. Thanks guys (and gals)!

New York Shitty Photo du Jour: Manhattan Avenue

February 6, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken February 6, 2012.

Now At McCarren Park: The Punk Rock Drunk Bench

Per this group’s apparent leader, a nice (if inebriated) chap named Russell (with whom I had a most fascinating conversation after his crew decided to get some shut-eye after breaking into a rollicking cover of Parliament’s Give Up The Funk*), that is what this particular piece of public furniture is called. Why, you ask? I suspect the reason is apparent, however, it should be noted that Russell added that no drugs are allowed. So there have you.

P.S.: Russell also inquired of yours truly (after asking if I would let him take a shower at my apartment in exchange for house-cleaning services):

You look familiar. Did you squat a few years ago?

I do not make this stuff up, folks.

*Which is, curiously enough, not punk rock music.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part III: What’s That Smell?

This vision (which hails from the Vincent Abate Playground) comes courtesy of a chap we’ll call G. He writes (in an email entitled “Polish Drinking Garden”):

Somehow, the PDG has migrated to the McCarren park playground right behind the kids swings. Delightful.
There are three in this photo.

To quote the kids: Why do the swings smell like throw-up?

And that’s my daughter in the photo so you have my permission to run it.

Nice. Really nice.

UPDATE, 6:38 p.m.: Here’s another view courtesy of another angry playground patron!

And of course, there’s this.

The woman who took the above photograph opines:

This lovely pile of feces has been sitting on the playground next to the equipment for at least 2 days. No one has cleaned it up, I wonder how many of our kids have been exposed to Hepatitis just today. And year after year we can not figure out how to lock the playground at night. So Sad!

UPDATE, 7:55 p.m.: (Yet another) park-goer has taken notice of the situation and has news to relay!

One of them rolled over, confirming that he is alive.

I suppose if there is bird-watching and train-spotting, why not have a CPI (Chronic Public Inebriate) safari as well? Like most emerging hot trends it is clearly the rage at McCarren Park!

Miss Heather

Greenburg Photos du Jour: McCarren Park

Today, having some free time on my hands, I decided to take a stroll through McCarren Park. What I saw (and smelled) was truly a feast for the senses. So much so I decided to take a breather at Jerzy Popieluszko Square. It was there that I had a most interesting conversation with a pair of gentleman regarding the deplorable state of our open space nowadays.

We all agreed that Jerzy Popieluszko Square was without argument the one of the nicest parts of McCarren Park to be found— but given what appears to be a lack of attention by our police and Parks Department it was rapidly becoming the worst. It was at this point one of these gentleman shared with me some very interesting information. Follows are the juicer bits for everyone’s edification:

  • The head honcho of Brooklyn’s Parks himself, Kevin Jeffrey, was purportedly going to inspect this very place today because…
  • a lot of people have been complaining about it.
  • One such person did so at the last 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting.

I told him I had in fact attended this very meeting and filmed it. He continued:

  • Due to a lack of volunteers, this park is being left open 24 hours now.
  • As a result it has become a homeless encampment.
  • The Parks Department is purportedly looking for volunteers to open and close this park and the person to speak to is Jose Urena.

To wit I gave this chap a couple of business cards* and asked him that if/when he sees Mr. Urena I would like to speak to him about this. From there my new friend recounted a few choice incidents he has witnessed recently.

  • The woman whose image graces the beginning of this post kicked a man in the head yesterday and that fighting has become a more or less daily occurrence.
  • The hideaway of choice for our local homeless/unhoused’s libations are garbage cans, e.g.; they stash them under the trash. One such chap, upon urinating into one such receptacle, proceeded to gingerly retrieve a urine-soaked bottle of vodka from it and take a swig. We both agreed this chap had these two tasks out of order.
  • Now they pouring vodka into water bottles so as to deceive the police.
  • He has spotted bedbugs on some of the benches. Given that Greenpoint and Williamsburg have a bedbug problem— and our homeless/unhoused (which will moving forward be referenced to O.H.U.; as in Our Homeless and Unhoused) glean clothing and furniture which has been discarded hereabouts I find this totally believable.
  • The O.H.U. have started to use the hose at Automotive High School to do their laundry. Once “washed”, these articles of clothing are either hung on the fence or on park benches— or both— to dry.
  • The area in J. Po Square (as I call it) adjacent to Automotive High School is the O.H.U.’s  lavatory (my nose can attest to this), although the men are not shy about simply urinating anywhere they please. The presence of women or children makes no difference.
  • He is starting to find used condoms in the morning.

It was at this point this gentleman, who should be noted sported a pack of cigars at his side, asked how I felt about the smoking ban in our city’s parks. Apparently (and despite scenes like this) a woman sitting 20 feet away took umbrage of him “lighting up”. She said it was bothering her. I replied that given what I have observed today I think there are more urgent issues than smoking to be found at our city’s open spaces. Then I felt something on my leg: something was biting me. I told my friend this and he showed me the source of what was afflicting me.

Here’s the deal, folks: I would like to see a handful of people to step forward and give Jerzy Popieluszko Square the loving care it truly deserves. If you are interested in starting a volunteer/”friends of” group for this clearly neglected/mistreated piece of public space please shoot me an email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. This is a fucking disgrace.

Miss Heather

P.S.: This one’s for you, Jon Stewart.



*Upon seeing my surname, he asked if I was Russian. After telling him that was a “hanging offense” hereabouts I assured him I wasn’t.

New York Shitty Photo du Jour: American Playground

May 30, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken May 30, 2011.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Trouble At The Dzien Dobry Drinking Forest?

The tipster who forwarded me the above photographs gives a first-hand account of what went down:

Midweek mayhem cut into McCarren Park’s Dzien Dobry Drinking Forest’s happy hour. NYPD and NYFD EMTs responded to an incident involving the co- treasurers of the Dzien Dobry Drinking League (DDDL), which resulted in a bloody nose and an escort out of the park of several of the group’s core members. The meeting resumed immediately after emergency response left the scene. This brief interruption in the group’s daily 20 hour al fresco brainstorming sessions will not be recorded in the minutes of their monthly report.

Miss Heather

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