From The New York Shitty Inbox: Gone To The Dogs?

May 5, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


A person we’ll “H” writes:

Over the past 6 months or so it has come to my attention that people have been using the public space as an off-leash dog park.  While in the past people have occasionally left their dogs off leash there it has been respectful and generally confined to the back gated portion (where you would see the dogs from afar and avoid them or the owner would have time to leash the dog)… I have had two interactions here with a man who has two dogs that he refuses to leash.  On both occasions the dogs charged my dog and it took some time for him to be able to restrain them.  People don’t seem to understand that when a dog like mine has fear based aggression towards other dogs it can result in a dog that is normally sociable reacting in defense in an aggressive manner.  In this case the other dogs were not even well socialized either which is tenuous.  Today another person had two dogs off leash which I fortunately saw from afar and retreated away from the park.  When I saw them leaving I asked them to please leash their dogs or use the back enclosed portion of the park so I could also be there to which I was told it’s my problem if my dog is not friendly.  On all three occasions the people have had their dogs off leash just at the bottom of the long walkway to the park, on another occasion the dogs were walking freely down the long alley alone unleashed.  Not only is one dog off leash difficult for me to maneuver but now different individuals both with two dogs seem to have made this their dog park.  I have told both that the dogs should be leashed and if not then they should use the back gated area so that other people like myself can enjoy the park without needing to interact with their dogs.  After the second incident I was scared to go back there.  Now that the flowers are in bloom I don’t want to cower away from the park that I have loved over many years because of others lack of respect… If you or anyone has any advice about this situation please let me know.

Before I proceed I would like to take a moment to make a few things abundantly clear:

  1. I am a cat person.
  2. As such I am not terribly keen on anyone/anything— four-legged or otherwise— running amok. Anywhere. However, I am fully aware this is my “quirk” and as such avoid situations/places where such activity is likely. “Live and let live”, I say. Do not bother me, and I will not bother you!
  3. I am probably about as neutral a party as can be hoped for regarding this matter.
  4. This is why I harbor a certain level of disgust with the “battle” over park space between families and dog owners (E.g.: Transmitter Park).  I am certain the problem does exist, but not to the extent the “media” has presented it. What seems to be missed is the fact that this “problem” would not exist had certain entities/municipal authorities actually planned for the consequences of an increased population (as a result of higher density housing). With more people— especially those in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s— come more parks/open space use. Whether or not the “kids” in question are of the furry or non-furry variety is irrelevant. Issues will arise and in the case of north Brooklyn these issues could have, should have been anticipated and to some extent could have been prevented. (READ: building a dog run in north ‘Point).

Now that this has been established, here’s the deal:


The Newtown Creek Nature Walk is NOT a New York City Park per se. It has its own rules and regulations and these  state pretty clearly that with limited exceptions no dogs are allowed. Clearly this is not being followed. Personally, I do not mind folks taking their dogs to the Nature Walk provided they are on leash and considerate  The latter entails cleaning up after their pets and making them refrain from “watering” the plant life there. This was once known as “common courtesy”. But, I’m not the one making the rules and I digress.

What I do find troubling is the other item I have highlighted above: the prohibition of citizens eating the critters that can be caught in these “waters”. Yesterday when I swung by (so as to take photos for this post) I struck up a conversation with a Time Warner employee eating his lunch. He told me he has seen and admonished fellows who were patronizing this facility to catch the evening’s supper. Is this terrifying? Yes, yes it is.

So now we have established rules are in place and they are not being followed/enforced. This segues quite nicely to what a member of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (and lifelong Greenpoint resident and overall environmental badass), Laura Hofmann, had to say about “H’s” inquiry:

What’s really problematic is that there’s no security. We’ve been working toward that. Christine (Holowacz — Ed. Note) has been developing a “Friends of the Nature Walk” group so that fund raising can happen to pay for maintenance, security, and so on. There’s a gardener doing maintenance. He’s there during the week. I’ll let him know too. Aside from the dangers, we can’t afford the NW being damaged by dogs. Not often, but once in a while I’ll encounter a dog owner there with the dog unleashed. I always talk to them. And as you can imagine, I let them know who I am, and am adamant about the dog being leashed. But not everyone will do that.

We definitely need a dog run in N. Greenpoint. I emailed Doggone a long time ago. I never received a reply. Are they still active?

Precluding an emergency (in which case 911 should be called) any/all who have concerns, want to report a problem at the Nature Walk; or join the “Friends Of” group should contact Ms. Holowacz via email at: (at) verizon (dot) net. Otherwise and in closing: please, please keep an eye (and/or a leash) on your young ‘uns when enjoying this facility folks. I mean, do you really wanting them getting their hands/jaws on this?


I didn’t think so…

D.O.G.G.O.Ne. Makes The New York Post!

March 8, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As first reported here, the fine folks of D.O.G.G.O.Ne are mad as hell about north Greenpoint’s dearth of dog runs and are organizing to make their voices heard. Today their noble endeavor found its way to the pages of the New York Post! Follows is yours trulys favorite excerpt:

…But dog owners such as Mark Hudoba says he is vigilant about picking up his pet’s poop — and favors a higher fine for those who don’t clean up.

“There seems to be an above-average amount of poop on the sidewalks in North Greenpoint which I believe is at least partially because there is no dog park here,” said Hudoba.

No shit.

You can read this tome in its entirety by clicking here.

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 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 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:

email address is

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.

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