From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Bazaar on West Street?

March 4, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This item was forwarded to me by a buddy on the Community Board 1 email list. Although Mr. Broudo has been advised by Chairman Olechokowski that Community Board 1 has no oversight over such matters (and he would have to seek permits for this series of events through the appropriate city agencies) it is my understanding he is interested in community feedback. Whether or not he will sign up to speak at the end of next week’s meeting remains to be determined. Personally I hope he does. A series of events of this size, if not carefully planned, could prove to be a colossal nuisance to the surrounding community. Then again, maybe it wouldn’t be? I guess we’ll have to wait until next week’s meeting!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: No Dogs Allowed At Barge Park?

February 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

My friend T (who hails from Eagle Street and sent me the above photo) writes:

Well, another dog friendly park bites the dust.  I discovered this on Sunday morning as I sauntered over to Newton Barge Park for my routine morning walk with my dog around the lovely concrete.  As I approached the park I noticed a bunch of Park employees doing their usual Sunday morning clean up.  What I did not notice was the new sign, a photo of which is attached.  I was bee-lining for the entrance when from about 30 yards away a Parks dude starts gesticulating and pointing.  I thought it might be epilepsy..no words were issuing from his mouth…but then his colleague also started gesticulating and pointing.

Concerned, I shot them a “What??”  They responded with more gesticulating and pointing.  I re-iterated my query. One of them managed to utter “Read the sign” to which I replied “I can read…how about you talk to me like a human being and explain what’s going on”.  To which I got more pointing and gesticulating.  When I finally convinced one of these dudes that I wasn’t going to just sulk away with my and my dog’s tails between our legs, he came over and said “I don’t want to get political with you, but we got so many 311 calls after the snow about dog crap in the park that we had to do this”.

My God… THEY HAD TO!  If only there were some law….something on the books that might be used to discourage these fecal polluters…some tool or mechanism for those burdened to Protect And Serve us to use to quell this tide of irresponsible dog owners.  I mean, maybe the giant sign that says CURB YOUR DOG 1,000 DOLLAR FINE which has been there for years is just someone’s idea of a silly joke.  Must be since I’ve never seen anyone get a ticket.

What I want to understand, given that there is not a SINGLE other enclosed, dog-friendly park in Northern Greenpoint, is how the Parks Department goes from “We’ve got complaints” to “Shut down that park for dogs” without first trying to actually enforce their laws.  I mean, no one enforces all the non-dog related laws in that park – the littering, the loitering, the drinking, the glass, etc etc, yet they haven’t closed the park to humans.

Here were the options I was given by the Parks dude:

1)  Go to McCarren Park.  Uh huh.  I could also drive Westchester…probably be just as practical
2)  There’s gonna be a new park on Commerical Ave.  Uh huh..you meant the one that the MTA is making no signs of evacuating?
3)  The new park on Greenpoint Ave will be open in December.  Thanks, man! My dog only shits bi-annually so that will come right in handy
4)  Go screw yourself.  Yup, that’s the one that works for me!

Fortunately, I talked to Mr. Moustache* (Community Board 1’s Public Safety Chair, Mieszko Kalita — Ed. Note) at Beata this morning.  He said that if I organized an official group of dog owners and than came to a CB1 meeting and presented a request for a dog run, that the city would actually give me fencing, wood chips, garbage pails, a lock, etc, as well as a parcel of land, and then I could run my own dog park.  So, help me spread the word, Heather!  I need about 20 dog owners who are willing to start some kind of loose group to run a dog park.

Here’s the deal: one of the items on the ballot regarding the funds allocated by the Department of Environmental Conservation to foster parks development/improvement in communities impacted by the Shit Tits was a dog run at Barge Park. I, despite not being a dog owner, voted for it because as my friend has clearly pointed out one is clearly needed! Certainly there are twenty north Greenpoint dog lovers reading this who would like to see a dog run in our fair corner of the neighborhood? Anyone?

Update, 8:16 p.m.: T has started laying a foundation to get this endeavor rolling. Here are the deets!

Ok, we’re in business!  I’ve named the group D.O.G.G.O.NE – Dog Owners Group Greenpoint on Newtown

here’s the link to the yahoo group:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/doggone_brooklyn

email address is doggone_brooklyn@yahoogroups.com

Miss Heather

*I can assure this is not at all derisive. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it is high praise. Yours truly happens to know for a fact that the idea of dedicating a Facebook fan page to this chap’s mustache has been bandied about. I’m not kidding.

LAST GASP: All The News Fit To Steal!

I am seriously considering adding this as a byline to my humble blog after having the following turd brought to my attention by buddy across the creek: Queens Crap.

The Crapper writes (in regards to the above colossal piece of crap):

You mean January 25th comes before February 3rd? Damn.

Not according to CBS 2. Follows is a time line of my coverage of this story. Read it and weep.

January 24, 2011: I am tipped off by a reader and compose a blog post to go up at 5:34 EST January 25th. I follow up with Community Board 1’s Transportation Chair, Karen Nieves, to get her take later in the day. She is kind enough to clue me in on the situation and I update my post accordingly. This post was linked to by Brownstoner on January 25th at 8:30 a.m.
January 28, 2011: I am informed of the Community Meeting about said project by Ms. Nieves at 12:38 p.m. I gladly post it at 1:39 p.m.
February 2, 2011: I attend said event, film it and blog it. If you skip to 1:23 in this video (which was uploaded February 2nd) you can see the cameraman from CBS setting up the microphone for the representative of the Department of Design and Construction. The audience asked if it was a public mike. It was made clear this was for CBS. My post was linked to by Brownstoner on February 3, 2001 at 8:30 a.m. and by A Short Story at 10:54 a.m.
February 11, 2011 at 11:37 a.m.: I announce the plan has been tabled and update my post as I learn more details. I made my final update at 3:23 p.m.

And then CBS 2 “breaks” the news (once again) at 7:08 p.m. I have taken the liberty of bringing CBS 2’s “blog amnesia” to their attention via comments.

This has yet to be approved. I doubt it will.

If the wholesale and flagrant editorial vandalism (as coined by Bucky Turco at Animal New York)  of “neighborhood blogs” by mainstream media outlets offends you, gentle readers, I would very much appreciate it if you would follow suit. Seriously folks, this is downright laughable.

Lastly, had CBS 2 actually cared about the facts instead of generating hype (READ: page views) they would have, should have, mentioned the houses on Monitor Street (and the stoops which accompany them) would have been assessed on a case-by-case basis. That’s the general impression I had after attending and filming the meeting on February 2, 2011. In fact, I find most of CBS 2’s “reporting” in this feature questionable. Then again, the truth doesn’t generate page views. Distorting the truth and sensationalism does.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Thanks for reading, CBS 2! I am really enjoying the comments you have seen fit to approve (as opposed to mine). For example, Annie’s charming missive as highlighted below.

It would appear “hate speech” passes muster, but calling your organization out on a crime of the pen, if you will— that being blog poaching— merits censorship. I want to personally thank you, CBS 2,  for providing the final nail in the coffin which contains my contempt for and distrust of televised “news”.

New York Shitty Video du Jour: A Message From The Chair of Community Board 1

Last night yours truly accompanied a friend of hers to last night’s Community Board meeting. Although there were a number of items of interest (among them the pedestrian mall slated to grace Humboldt Street next to the Moore Street Market) yours truly felt that Chairman Olechowski’s rather tactful response to what I have dubbed Dildogate was the most entertaining. This is probably because I already knew the difference between the Community Board 1 web site and the unofficial Community Board 1 Yahoo Group. And now you will too! Enjoy!

Miss Heather

TONIGHT: Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting

Even though the owner of 400 McGuinness and HELP USA have withdrawn their proposal for a 400 bed assessment center for single men, I have been advised this meeting will go forward as planned. Among other things, it is a concern that the gentleman who owns for 400 McGuinness may very well try to shop around his building to other organizations interested in outfitting a homeless shelter. I have also been told a representative from the Department of Homeless Services will be on hand to answer  questions.  NOTE/CAVEAT: this forum directly conflicts with this month’s public hearing and board meeting of Community Board 1.

Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting
February 8, 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Polish National Home

261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: Withdrawn!

February 4, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Special thanks goes out to Sherry Wasserman who writes:

Per Joe Lentol’s Twitter update and Facebook page, which links to a document of withdrawal:

http://twitter.com/assemblymanjoe/status/33642499717210113

Holy Shit Tits, Batman! We did it!

for bringing this to my attention! We did it!!! Let this be yet another example that community action can and does work! In closing, I would like to give props to our Community Board, City Councilman, Steve Levin; State Senator Martin Malave Dilan; Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and my fellow Greenpointers for their hard work and due diligence fighting against this project.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Angry At Alma

January 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Criminal Activity, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Today was designated by yours truly to be a quiet day at Chez Shitty doing housework. As is usually the case, this has been rendered totally asunder by a proliferation of very angry emails from my fellow citizens. Take this missive from D, for example. He writes:

Heather,

As a regular reader of your blog, I’ve have noticed that you’re in touch with the north Brooklyn neighborhood happenings.

I’m writing on behalf of the residents who live directly above the Alma lounge (229 Roebling / South 3rd st). To keep this email succinct I’ll say that we have had problems since their opening in April, 2010. Our primary concern is the chronic noise/bass levels that shake our apartments (Wed-Sun, 11:00pm-5:00am).  However, despite ongoing police intervention we have ample evidence of loitering, fights, violence…

and Alma’s promotion of illegal-unlicensed exotic dancers, valet parking, hookah smoking. But to be clear, we’re only concerned with the noise/bass.

What’s Happening? For more than 10 months we’ve tried to diplomatically navigate multiple mediation channels:

1) Asking Alma’s owner to simply turn it down. Alma’s management has been unsurprisingly uncooperative.

2) Asking our landlord (S&C Management) to comply with the habitability clause of our lease and intervene. S&C has been unsurprisingly silent.

3) Calling 311 on a nightly basis – All 5 tenants suffering from alma have submitted weekly complaints and surprisingly the 90th precinct’s registered responses conflict with our experiences of watching the officer cars stop in front of the club, speak to the bouncer, drive away (e.g “The Police Department responded to the complaint and took action to fix the condition.”). This has been completely ineffective.

4) Attending the 90th precinct’s monthly community affairs and pleading directly with Deputy Inspector Michael Kemper and Detective Bruno Vidal. Additionally, we have been in phone contact with both Kemper and Vidal asking for their intervention. Both Kemper and Vidal have been very professional and really do seem like they’re doing all that’s in their power.

5) Attending the Community Board (CB1) public hearing and speaking directly with the public safety chair, Kalita. Additionally, we have been emailing with Maria Viera and although her correspondence has been brief, appears to be facilitating a dialog with the 90th precinct and the DEP. I’ll be attending this month’s public safety (02/03) and public hearing (02/08)

6) Submitting multiple complaints to the NYSLA. We have not received any response.

7) Patiently worked with DEP to schedule a first sound reading and finally in December a summons was issued (NOV# 00266115X) was issued with a 01/25/11 hearing date (See Attached). The irony is that even the DEP inspectors noticed Alma trying to turn the music down as they arrived. On 01/26/11 we were informed that Alma’s hearing was adjourned and rescheduled 03/22/11. DEP is recommending not to schedule a second sound reading until after the  postponed hearing (two more months?) WTF?

What’s Next? If the March hearing happens as scheduled, it will basically be a full year of suffering and bureaucrazy just to protect our rights to live in our homes (vs. a sub-woofer). After every phone call/meeting/email, it becomes increasingly unclear to us laymen-advocates who is accountable.  While our apartment’s shake us into lucid insomnia, we ask ourselves questions like: Why did the landlord allow a dance club to open below residential apartments? Does the Alma dance club even have a Cabaret license? What’s the point of 311? Why does it take so long to address a clearly chronic violation? Are we being irrational?

As a long time resident of north Brooklyn, we’ve seen several clubs shut down (triple crown, studio b, sound fix) and Alma’s noise/bass is just as problematic (if not worse). I’m reaching out to you because we don’t know what else to do. If you have any thoughts or encouragement I’d love to buy you coffee / lunch for your troubles.

Thanks for the offer of coffee and/or lunch, D, it is truly appreciated— but not necessary! By all appearances you have gone through all the proper channels and have demonstrated an admirable amount of due diligence. I have forwarded your missive to a few folks and I am quite interested to see what they have to say on the matter. In the meantime, if anyone has advice— or would care to commiserate with/corraborate the above testament by D please share via comments or via email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire. Thanks.

Update, 3:09 p.m.: Here’s what my building code/use wizard friend has to say:

They missed the most egregious violation: it’s not a restaurant and there’s certainly no PA there (not sure how big it is).  There’s a self certified ALT 2 they just filed to convert it to “eating and drinking” but this is so very wrong.  It has to be filed as an ALT 1.  I would start lobbing complaints regarding their ANSUL  system (not filed nor approved), illegal commercial kitchen, and possible PA to the FD.  Complaints to the DOB for occupancy contrary to the certificate of occupancy AND I would write a letter to the Brooklyn borough commissioner of the DOB requesting an audit of the application I linked to.  They’d have to have a pretty serious life safety violation to get a vacate, so I doubt that happens, but that’s a good start to some serious nut twisting.  If it should be a PA, I’d go directly to the FD PA unit instead of 311…

Oh, and I wouldn’t wait to make more noise complaints.  If I’m repping the restaurant, I’m going to adjourn that shit again for another 2-3 months.  You’re allowed up to 3 adjournments before it will default… Lastly, if memory serves me, this is the same architect that filed the Studio B CO amendment.

Miss Heather

The Unofficial Community Board 1 Yahoo Group, Revisited

Some of you might recall that I recently posted an item about one intrepid north Brooklynite posting invitations/solicitations for a “Fuckerware Party” she is organizing (such as the item above) on the unofficial Community Board 1 Yahoo group. Well, someone has finally voiced her objections to this practice:

Hi (excised),

I can not speak for everyone but I don’t think these solicitation emails are appropriate for this list serve.

Thanks

Follows are the fireworks which ensued:

How will this end, you ask? Only time will tell. While not on par with someone soliciting couples and single moms for “soft swinging” on the Park Slope Parents Group I’ll take what I can get. Get your popcorn ready folks, my little voice says this is going to get interesting!

UPDATE, 4:48 p.m.; After some trepidation I tendered my two cents:

Far be it for me to be squeamish about such stuff— or the voice of reason, for that matter. Nonetheless I suspect the real issue at hand is using this forum as a means of free advertising. Objections to this practice have been raised in the past. Therefore it would strike me as only being logical— and democratic— if the members of this community forum (which, it should be noted, includes our elected officials, the various police department(s) which serve our community and members of Community Board 1 proper) create a policy for this kind of thing.

Just a thought.

And here is the rebuttal I received:

And last, but hardly least:

Won’t someone please think of the sex toys?

Miss Heather

From The New New York Shitty Inbox: Community Forum

January 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Remember the post I wrote regarding the widening of the sidewalks on Monitor Street? Well, thanks to our Transportation Chair Karen Nieves and Joe Lentol’s office a community forum has been scheduled for February 2nd! Here’s the 411″ :

ATTENTION: Community Forum on the reconstruction of Nassau Ave

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Councilmember Steve Levin, and Senator Martin Dilan will be hosting a community forum on the reconstruction of Nassau Avenue, Wednesday February 2, 2011 6:30PM at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell Street) in the Community Room.

Representatives from the NYC Dept of Design and Construction and NYS Dept of Transportation as well as the MTA and 94th Police Precinct have been invited to respond to your concerns.

For further information, please contact Assemblyman Lentol’s office at 718-383-7474

Community Forum Regarding the Reconstruction of Nassau Avenue
February 2, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Lutheran Church of the Messiah
129 Russell Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Mark your calendars Monitor Street residents!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: From The Unofficial Community Board 1 Yahoo Group

I have on occasion  made mention of the unofficial Community Board 1 Yahoo Group. This is because it is a wonderful way to learn about what is going on in our neighborhood be it upcoming Community Board (and subcommittee) meetings; local events, fund raisers and the like. Conversely, it is an excellent forum to posit questions and/or complaints about matters as mundane as, say, illegal truck traffic or an obstructed sidewalk. By posting your inquiry in this forum it will be brought to the attention of the group’s ~300 members. Among the previous are our elected officials, members of the Community Board proper, Police department(s the 90th and 94th Precinct to name a few), etc.  And believe you me when I write this: these people are paying attention! The previous having been written I would like you, kind readers, to envision yours truly shooting a mouthful of claret out of her delightfully robust nose (and all over her lap) when she stumbled upon the following item this evening:

Clearly this is no longer your mother’s— or your grandmother’s— unofficial Community Board 1 Yahoo group! Those of you who wish to participate in the above “party” can and should join the Community Board 1 Yahoo group post haste because, as the above missive clearly states, this is a limited time offer! Who knows, you might learn a thing or two about what is going on in north Brooklyn and want to get involved in the process. And I for one think civic-mindedness is very sexy indeed!

UPDATE, 11:45 p.m.: Wait ladies, you have another chance!

I will not divulge the exact place this party is going down (because I think people should have the right to enjoy such stuff) but I will mention it is (per Google) .1 mile (and a 911 call) away from the 90th Precinct.

Miss Heather

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