From The New York Shitty Inbox: Today At 239 Banker Street

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

Yesterday we learned 239 Banker Street (AKA: 39 Meserole Avenue) has been given yet another moniker: The Rustic House. I for one found this more than a little amusing. The folks at Curbed did as well. In fact, they did such a wonderful job of articulating the utter absurdity of what is coming to pass at this edifice I feel compelled to give it a shout-out here. Mr. Hogarty writes:

The latest ads for the now-“posh” Sweater Factory building on Meserole Avenue in Greenpoint are refreshingly honest—describing the address as a “Factory Building”, which it is because it’s still illegal for people to live there. All the unfortunate illegal residents who thought they were living in a legit building were evicted for their own safety in 2009. Now the advertisements take a fun direction with re-branding the beleaguered propertyby identifying it as The Rustic House, which is a fixer-upper of a name if we’ve ever heard one…

Bearing the previous in mind I present for your viewing pleasure a trio of photographs* I received from an anonymous tipster today at approximately 2:30 p.m.

It doesn’t get much more “rustic” than this, gentle readers. As you can plainly see, we have six industrial garbage cans, some kind of thingamajig on casters and a trash container. The more eagle-eyed among you might also have noticed a rather large garbage truck parked on the sidewalk at left.

I am going to use my powers of deduction and presume this vehicle has been charged with unburdening the above-depicted assortment of trash receptacles of their contents. Next the question becomes (in my mind, anyway) exactly what kind of  “activity” has come to pass which would require this— perhaps construction work of some variety?

The last time the Department of Buildings checked, none was to be found.

I find this rather fascinating given Department of Buildings apparently can and does notice fifteen air conditioning units in imminent danger of falling on some unwitting passerby’s head.

Am I missing something here?

*You can view ’em all by clicking here.

Coming To McGuinness Boulevard: R7 Zoning?

August 14, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


This item was brought to my attention by an anonymous tipster. While methinks we can all agree that 910 Manhattan Avenue (the former location of Club Exit) would be a splendid place to have a health club, this is not what concerns your truly. Rather, it is the first item. Which brings me to the second page of this notice.

To give you all an idea of exactly how large the parcel in question is I have taken the liberty of grabbing a map via Google.

Now let’s review what the city has to say about R-7 zoning (which is what is being proposed):

7 districts are medium-density apartment house districts mapped in much of the Bronx as well as the Upper West Side in Manhattan and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. The height factor regulations for R7 districts encourage lower apartment buildings on smaller zoning lots and, on larger lots, taller buildings with less lot coverage. As an alternative, developers may choose the optional Quality Housing regulations to build lower buildings with greater lot coverage.

Regulations for residential development in R7-1 and R7-2 districts are essentially the same except that R7-2 districts, which are mapped primarily in upper Manhattan, have lower parking requirements.

Our Land Use Chair (a very nice lady who happens to also be named Heather) has given me a general rundown of what’s up. She writes:

Hi Heather – The proposal is to rezone half the block that is currently M1-1 to R7A/C2-4. FAR = 4.6. The west side of McGuiness Blvd to the north is R6A and to the south is R7A. The applicant only owns the site in the middle of the block

(Le Cue/Blockbuster building). Proposed is an 8 story mixed-use building, approx. 155,000 sf of floor area in total, 141 dwelling units above 23,000 sf of ground floor commercial space. 40 dwelling units will qualify as low income units pursuant to the Inclusionary Housing Program. Of course, that means the developer gets additional floor area for every square foot of affordable housing he builds. Also, 68 residential parking spaces, 23 commercial parking spaces and 9,000 sf of tenant recreation space.

to give you a sense of the size, it is the same zoning as the building under construction on Bedford/N. 12th, along McCarren park, only the McGuiness site is half the block in depth, not the full block.

So there you go. Whether or not the previous is your cup of tea, gentle readers, you can view the presentation for this and most importantly of all ask questions soon!

Community Board 1 Land Use/Ulurp/Landmarks Joint Committee Meeting
September 5th, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.
203 Diamond Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222 

UPDATE, 1:37 p.m.: I have been sent the questionnaire for this R7 request. Without further ado, here it is.

LAST GASP: & Now A Word From Christopher Olechowski

As it would happen, I had the pleasure of having a conversation with two individuals canvassing for this fellow earlier this evening. Initially I was content with simply recounting the hilarity on Facebook* and letting the subject go. However, when the above missive found its way to my inbox, well, I felt it was worth sharing. What I found particularly interesting (aside from the items I have seen fit to highlight and/or annotate) is Mr. Olechowski’s emphasis on safety. It reminded me of what I saw while walking by the McCarren Park Pool this afternoon. You see, he in his capacity as Chair of Community Board 1 this fellow was present at that (not so) “secret” meeting about the pool recently.

All in all, I counted ten police vehicles total. Yours truly almost shit her pants beholding the law enforcement at hand— and mind you, I was not even IN the pool! Numbers “1” and “2” were from the 94th Precinct. “2” and “5” were from the North Brooklyn Task Force (READ: The fellows who are called when serious shit hits the fan.). But what I found most interesting was in front of the pool’s entrance.

For those of you who are not in the know:

  1. “Impact” vehicles (and the officers who man them) are assigned to chronic high crime areas.
  2. The 75th Precinct (whose assistance pool-goers apparently require) is located in a high crime area: East New York, to be precise.

As some of you might recall, I spied a NYPD vehicle from the 83rd Precinct, which also has its fair share of problems, last week. And once again I’m asking myself:

Why are we allocating police manpower to this facility when it is clearly needed elsewhere?

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s compare CompStat numbers.

It is not my intent to criticize our Finest. They are simply following orders and I for one think D.I. Hurson has proven the be the best Commanding Officer we have seen in years (really). But is this the best possible use of their manpower? I for one do not think so.

I wish Mr. Olechowski would dedicate more time to addressing, say, the dearth of affordable housing here for ALL citizens rather than fear-mongering. In closing, I’d be remiss if I did not point out that while a purported proponent of “public safety”, I have not seen Mr. Olechowski at any Public Safety Committee meetings of Community Board 1 (over which he ostensibly presides as Chair) since the town hall meeting regarding the proposed homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness. This came to pass in 2011.

* A few highlights:

Friend of Christopher Olechowski: Good evening, are you a registered Democrat?
Me: Yes.
FOCO: We’re spreading the word about Chris Olechowski.
Me: I know who he is. I’m voting against him.
FOCO: Are voting against him or for the other candidate.
Me: A little column a, a little column b.
FOCO: Why are you not voting for him?

(I give rather extensive feedback which ends with “This is highly questionable from an ethical point of view if you ask me”).

FOCO (while parsing through paperwork, presumably that of registered Democrats): Do you happen to know what apartment (Mr. Heather) lives in?
Me: As a matter of fact, I do. He’s my husband— and he is not voting for Mr. Olechowski either. In fact, I am telling everyone I know not to vote for him.
FOCO: Have a nice evening.

And of course there are these videos to consider:

Which comes via this web site (which does not, anywhere, disclose Mr. Olechowski’s party affiliation).

New York Shitty analysis: If Mr. Olechowski (or his hired guns) cannot even spell the sinecure in question correctly, he should not be elected to it.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Neighbor Of 373 Graham Avenue Speaks

June 20, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, East Williamsburg, East Williamsburg Brooklyn 

A person we’ll call “K” writes:

Hi Heather,

I wrote you a couple of months ago about scumbag Joe at 373 Graham Ave. I was wondering if you know how I would get in touch with the person who runs the 373 Scam Ave Tumblr. My wife and I live basically across the street from that asshole and would like to start giving regular updates to whoever runs that blog (happy to send them to you if you’d rather, but since you cover a lot more than just that guy’s house I thought it more appropriate for that blog).

For instance, there’s been a woman showing up with a dog occasionally to scream at him in the street early in the morning, I walked by the other day and heard him say “if I hit you, you’ll know it” to someone inside the house (maybe the same woman?), and on Sunday night he was playing loud-ass classic rock radio all through the night (I was regrettably too tired to get up and call in a noise complaint and just silently cursed him from my bed).

Bottom line is that man is making this whole neighborhood miserable, and my wife and I would like to contribute anything we can to the cause of exposing his despicable behavior.

Feel free to forward my email on to the author of that blog, or let me know if you’d like us to just keep sending you updates.

To answer your questions, K (not in any particular order):

  • Reader contributions are always welcome, so if you have anything to share by all means kick ’em over!
  • I do not know the person who operates 373 Scam Ave, however his/her email address is as follows:
  • As for what you and yours have been experiencing: you are not alone!

I know a great many people who are tired of the rowdy and occasionally downright scary activities at this establishment. However, none seem to have taken this up with the proper authorities. This needs to change. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. The next time the merrymaking at 373 Graham Avenue keeps you up all night call 311 and complain!
  2. Record the complaint number and…
  3. Send a general outline of your complaint and complaint number to our local Community Board:
  4. Here’s why: although the Community Board is provided data about 311 complaints no specifics are given. Thus they will have no idea if 1 or 50 complaints have been lodged about noise/disorderly activity at 373 Graham Avenue unless you keep them in the loop!
  5. Go to “the meetings”: the 94th Precinct Community Council* and Public Safety Committee (of Community Board 1, which handles criminal matters and inexplicably sidewalk cafe permits— hey, I didn’t make the rules!) respectively.
  6. Unfortunately, neither the 94th Precinct nor Community Board 1 conduct meetings in July or August. HOWEVER…
  7. The Public Safety Committee’s last meeting before summer break is next week!

Public Safety Committee Meeting, Community Board 1
June 27, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m. (NOTE: you must sign up to speak)
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

In closing, I would like to note that representatives of both the 94th and 90th Precincts attend Public Safety Committee meetings so they are an excellent way to take up any matters/concerns with the police directly. Be there!

*Here’s the calendar for the 94th Precinct Community Council meetings for the remainder of the year for those who may be curious.


Now At Jerzy Popieluszko Square: No Vulgarians Allowed

During my peregrinations today I happened upon this rather noticeable* and clearly not Parks Department issue bit of signage at Jerzy Popieluszko Square. Having some working knowledge of Polish (Okay: I know “nie” means “no”. As for “walgaryzuj”, well, I have a very strong suspicion as to what that means!) I inferred this sign is prohibiting something. But what? To this end I inquired of a Polish friend of mine what gives. Without further ado, here it is:

Respect this place
Be civil
Do not litter
Do not drink (NOTE: no specific beverage is indicated)
Do not be vulgar

My interpreter went on to add that the Polish pressed into service is rather unusual. E.g.; this copy was probably drafted in English and translated into Polish (as opposed to using conventional, conversational Polish as spoken in Poland). In any case, mind your manners fellow Garden Spotters… (WARNING/CAVEAT: the following clip contains “language” so do not listen to it at work unless you want a visit from the H.R. Department.)

or else!

In the interest of fair and balanced reporting (and for my friends in Great Britain) you can (READ: should) watch Archie’s retort by clicking here.

*READ: hideous

New York Shitty Day Ender: A Couple Community Meetings of Interest

The ever-dedicated lady of our Community board’s Transportation Committee, Karen Nieves, has brought a couple of items to my attention. Items in which I suspect a number of my friends and neighbors will be interested. Without further ado, here they are— bike share enthusiasts and those who still have issues with the Nassau Avenue Reconstruction Project should pay special attention!

Transportation Committee Meeting

Transportation Committee Meeting
May 15, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m. (NOTE: you have to sign in in order to speak)
Community Board 1 Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Nassau Avenue Construction Meeting 2.0

Nassau Avenue Construction Meeting
May 24, 2012 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Lutheran Church of the Messiah
129 Russell Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Spread the word!

REMINDER: Community Board 1 Joint Committee Meeting

On May 3, 2012 I wrote:

While I am vaguely on the subject, I saw a great deal activity (READ: a small army of Parks employees cleaning, “weed whacking”, etc.) this morning at Cooper Park.

Follows is a tip I received from an anonymous tipster the very next day! He/she writes:

i overheard… that a compromise has been reached.  8 bbq pits – NOT 10 – will be installed this Sunday.

While passing by Cooper Park this afternoon I noticed something different. Namely that there are eight newly installed barbecue pits…

and they appear to be a big hit! I suppose this still leaves the Union Avenue Demapping subject to debate…

Community Board 1 Joint Committee Meeting
May 7, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Community Board 1 Main Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

TOMORROW: Community Board 1 Combined Public Hearing & Board Meeting

Given the recent so-called “war on brunch” I feel compelled to note that a number of sidewalk cafe applications will be under consideration during this convocation. NOTE: You must sign in by 6:15 in order to speak!

Community Board 1 Combined Public Hearing & Board Meeting
May 8, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Swinging 60’s Seniors Center
211 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Community Board 1 Joint Committee Meeting

As proudly announced during last month’s OSA “minute”*, the matter of Cooper Park’s barbecue pits is one of two enticing items on next week’s agenda!

Community Board 1 Joint Committee Meeting
May 7, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Community Board 1 Main Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

P.S.: While I am vaguely on the subject, I saw a great deal activity (READ: a small army of Parks employees cleaning, “weed whacking”, etc.) this morning at Cooper Park.

Anyone have the 411 on what’s up?

*Which was actually 3 minutes and 36 seconds— but who’s keeping track?

Mark Your Calendars: Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee Meeting

It is interesting to note that after this agenda was circulated, Ryan Kuonen (who, it should be noted, in addition to being a member of NAG is also a member of Community Board 1) offered a clarification regarding agenda item #2:

…Item #2 will (technically) be a briefing on Weekend Walks events in CB#1, including both Williamsburg Walks and Grand Street Weekend Walks by Ryan Kuonen- NAG [Neighbors Allied for Good Growth] & Artineh Havan – Grand Street Business Improvement District


Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 1, starting at 6:30 p.m. (NOTE: you must sign in by 6:15 p.m.) in order to speak
Community Board 1 Main Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211


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