THIS WEEK: Community Board 1 Combined Public Hearing & Board Meeting

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Yes, gentle readers, it is yours truly’s favorite time of the month. This of course being Community Board 1’s monthly Combined Public Hearing & Board meeting! As you can see there is quite an array of liquor license applications and renewals. I have highlighted the one I found most interesting. Let’s take a closer look at this one, shall we?

Brooklynbargebar

It would appear an eating and drinking establishment, “Brooklyn Barge Bar, is has designs for gracing our community’s waterfront. Well, in a manner of speaking. Something about the address struck me as being odd. So today I headed over to West Street to see what gives.

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thievin

notice

Sure enough, a notice is posted.

rear of premises on barge in water

This seems clear enough— except for one minor detail.

Google map 91 West

91 West Street (AKA: 36 – 44 Greenpoint Avenue) is a fair distance from the water in question. This begs a number of questions. We’ll keep it simple:

Why?

As the previous map clearly illustrates the building in question is roughly a block away from the waterfront.

visualaide1

However, the westernmost remnant of Milton Street, albeit in demapped form (in other words it is private— not public— property), still exists.

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It is not only accessible to the public (as illustrated above by visitors to our community enjoying a photo op), but it provides direct access to the waterfront. This would strike me as being a better means of ingress and egress from the proposed establishment— so why 91 West Street?

A few things to consider:

  1. In order to apply for a Liquor License though Community Board 1 (whose rather lengthy application can be seen here) one must provide a valid Certificate of Occupancy. 91 West Street does not have one.
  2. More importantly, the license must be filed specifically for the space wherein liquor will be served. This is ostensibly not 91 West Street. It is merely providing access to the Barge Bar.
  3. Having seen my fair share of liquor license chicanery over the years I have to wonder what would happen if the Barge Bar is issued a liquor license— will the next step be applying for a modification to said license incorporating 91 West Street? Provided of course they get the C of O business sorted out? Let’s just say I would not rule this out.
  4. Exactly how many people does this establishment intend to accommodate? I do not know. However, it if exceeds 74 people then a place of Assembly Permit (whose fire code requirements are rather stringent) come into play.

Hmm.

So many questions. I can only hope members of our Community Board and perhaps the public sees fit to ask them. Closing on a (somewhat) related note (our waterfront), some of you may have noticed I highlighted Noble Street in the screencap I took from Google Maps.

Noble Streett

Noble Street is indicated as terminating on the waterfront. This is, of course, because it does— and has for quite some time.

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greenpoint.1949FNY nys

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However, as you can clearly see, there is a gate gracing this (apparently) public street. This is hardly news. In fact our former City Councilman, David Yassky, took up the matter.

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The fence on Java Kent has long since been removed— but the one on Noble still stands.

Brooklyn 1886 Plate 11 - Antique Maps, Reproduction Prints and Gifts from WardMaps nys

Perhaps it is time to resume this matter with our elected officials (NOTE: Rami Metal is presently Councilman Levin’s Chief of Staff) and Open Space advocates? I mean, if we can theoretically have a for profit enterprise on/in our waterfront, why can’t the public be granted access to public property (a street)? This only strikes me as being fair…

Image Credits: The nifty 1886 Brooklyn Map hails from WardMaps.com. The 1949 Hagstrom Map comes via Kevin Walsh’s very own Forgotten NY!

Live From The Community Board 1 Meeting: TLC Commissioner Yassky Speaks

I have to be perfectly honest: I’ve been on the fence about Yassky’s proposal to allow livery cabs to pick up passengers (as taxi cabs are currently allowed to do). Some of this arises from the fact that yours truly lives near one such service and the drivers of said vehicles often double park, do u-turns in the middle of the street and so forth. In other words: they are not very good neighbors. However, (and believe you me I am no fan of Mr. Yassky) I have to say he makes a very salient argument for his case. My only concern is how fares will be implemented (meters versus flat fare). In any case, you should give these videos a watch. Granted, the proceedings drag on longer than they should have been allowed, but it is interesting stuff nonetheless. Enjoy!

Miss Heather

Reader Participation Time: What Should Yassky Do?

September 30, 2009 ·
Filed under: Asshole 

Yasskyjpg.0I imagine I was one of maybe a dozen people who were enthusiastically watching the run-off count last night. I was hitting the “refresh” button like a circus monkey on crack. When it became all too clear that Liu was going to win (or as I prefer to look at it: Yassky was going to lose) I wanted to blog it. The Mister told me to abstain:

Wait until the count becomes official.

Well, it has— and I have since felt a twinge of guilt. To assuage this guilt I would like to assist Mr. Yassky with his future career prospects by having a little contest. This is where you come in: what do you think David’s next move should be now that he is slated to become a private citizen? I’ll get the ball rolling with my suggestion: lobbyist for Toll Brothers.

You can submit your two cents via comments or email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.

Happy post-runoff day, New York City!

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: The Gowanus Lounge (This one’s for you, Bob!)

It’s Tuesday: Bring Out The Gimp!

September 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11101, 11206, 11211, 11222, 11237, Asshole 

GIMP

I heard rumors that Thies was shilling for Yassky. Yesterday morning they were confirmed via my inbox. My annotations are in red.

Dear friend, You’re not my friend, Evan.

Believe it or not, the Democratic campaign season is not over. There’s one more thing to do. In the run-off election for New York City comptroller tomorrow, we must elect David Yassky. No we shouldn’t.

Our race did not turn out how we would have liked, (It did work out as you and yours planned. You ran as a straw dog, split the “reform vote” and slid Vito Lopez’s candidate, Levin, into office. Your overlord, Yassky has been kissing Vito’s ass for some time.) but every day there is something we can do to improve our government. Tomorrow in New York, there’s a big opportunity. To screw citizens six ways to Sunday– and you want a piece of the action.

Every major newspaper in this city – the Times, News, and the Post – has now endorsed David. And for good reason.

You need a job.

As David’s former City Council chief of staff, I can attest to his love for and commitment to local government. As comptroller, he would be in a position to do a lot of good for New York and beyond.

You REALLY need a job— especially since you resigned from Community Board 1.

Why didn’t Yassky return the love, Evan, e.g.; endorse you as a candidate for the 33rd City Council District? No worries. I’d like to share with my readers a little “love” David Yassky has lavished upon New York City.

184 Kent Avenue

AustinNicholsGOTH

Brownstoner &  Gotham Gazette wrote:

In a quote that will hopefully follow him around until the day he’s voted out of office, Simcha Felder had this to say about the building: “This is a piece of trash. We should knock it down and put something nice up.” Gee, Simcha, wonder if Moishe Kestenbaum’s written you any checks recently. Affordable housing deal in hand, David Yassky was happy to do his part to ensure that a hideous rooftop addition would grace the Brooklyn waterfront skyline. “This is simply not worthy of landmarking,” said Yassky. What’s the point of having relatively knowledgeable and cultured people on the Landmarks commission if their recommendations can be shot down by a bunch of politically-motivated bureaucratic philistines?

Ask David Yassky— or better yet, Kenneth “Kenny” Fisher, Mr. Yassky’s predecessor, who was employed to lobby against land marking this property (with success). Here’s what Kestenbaum wanted to build, with a little help from our good friend Karl Fischer (David Yassky and Simcha Felder):

FISCHER!

This is Venice on crack.

Kenny also defended Studio B’s right to operate despite their utter disregard for my community’s quality of life and concern for their patron’s safety. FAIL.

Term Limits

After flip-flopping Yassky enabled Bloomberg to run for a third term. He not only did he override the will of the people our City Councilman, David Yassky, wrote an apology that reeks of condescension. From the Gowanus Lounge:

Given the verbal disembowelment that we directed at Council Member David Yassky last week for what we saw as a revolting betrayal of the public trust by calling for a public referendum on extending terms limits, but ultimately voting with the Mayor, we found it fascinating that the Council Member has been sending out email defending his standing. (It doesn’t change our opinion that his conduct was scandalous at best and spineless, yet predictable at best, because the brilliant, yet tragically ambitious Mr. Yassky would sign a contract in blood with the guy with horns and a tail if it would get him elected to citywide office or–gasp–Congress), but here’s what he has to say for himself in an email that’s being widely circulated. (We are strongly avoiding the desire to annotate Mr. Yassky’s defense of his wretched conduct, but foll it with some analysis after the jump we hope you’ll read):

I am sure you know by now that the City Council voted last week to approve Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to lengthen the term limit for City officeholders from eight years to 12 years. I want you to know that after a great deal of thought, I chose to support the Mayor’s proposal. This was the most difficult decision I have faced in the City Council – more than congestion pricing, the garbage plan, or the post-9/11 tax increase – and I want to explain why I believe it was the right choice.Like many people, my initial reaction to the Mayor’s proposal was outrage. While I have always held that the eight-year term limit was bad policy, it was a policy put in place by referendum and the fairest way to change it was by a subsequent referendum. I was saddened by the Mayor’s eagerness to bypass the voters, and I strongly disagreed with his assertion that a referendum was not feasible. Most important, I knew that a Council vote to change term limits would confirm many people’s most cynical suspicions about politics and politicians.

Following the Mayor’s announcement, I advocated both publicly and privately, to the Mayor, the Speaker and my colleagues in the Council, that we should put the term limits question before the voters. I argued to the Mayor directly that he was making a mistake, and that he and the Council could not afford to undermine our moral legitimacy at precisely the time when we will be asking New Yorkers to sacrifice for the greater good.

As the vote neared, it became increasingly clear to me that the Mayor would not relent, and I focused intently on the choice before me. I had dozens – probably hundreds – of conversations with friends and constituents, and heard very strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Many people were appalled that the Council would even consider overturning a referendum, and many – I was surprised by how many – said simply: “I want to keep Mayor Bloomberg.”

These conversations had a deep impact on my thinking. While I have worked well with the Mayor and I hold his Administration in high regard, I certainly don’t believe he is the only person capable of leading the City over the coming years. But I do know that we are in a period of extraordinary challenge, and that voters may well value stability and experience in the City government. I became convinced that the right choice at this point in time was to leave open for voters the option of choosing to continue the Bloomberg Administration next November.

Even so, I pressed the referendum argument to the very end. Over the Mayor’s objections, I introduced an amendment to the term limits bill that would have put the issue before the voters in a special election early next year. Many of my colleagues supported the amendment, and it was vigorously debated on the floor – but it lost narrowly. That left the stark choice: As much as I was loath to override the expressed will of the voters, I was unwilling to leave in place a term limits policy which I believe is bad in general and especially at this time.

Finally, I know that some on the other side of this debate have accused Council Members of acting out of self-interest in voting to change term limits. For my part, I can say unequivocally that I saw no personal benefit in the Mayor’s proposal. As you know, I have been planning to run for City Comptroller next year, and have felt confident about my prospects for success. That campaign may now be foreclosed, as the current Comptroller is eligible to run for reelection.

I knew that many supporters would disagree with this vote. In making my final decision, one particular conversation stuck with me. In the supermarket, a few days before the vote, an older man approached me, told me he had voted for me, and told me he didn’t like the term limits extension. But then he said: “Whatever you do, I trust you to do the right thing.” I do believe that my constituents want me to look diligently at the issues before me and follow my best judgment about what is right for our City and for our community.

As difficult as this vote was, I know that still more wrenching choices lie ahead: closing hospitals versus fewer teachers, raising taxes versus cutting cops. On all of these issues, as with the term limits vote, I will take my responsibilities as a City Council Member with the utmost seriousness, and will work as hard as I possibly can to serve in the best interests of the people I represent.

And there you have it.

GL Analysis
Our original description of Mr. Yassky’s conduct as gutless, spineless and reprehensible stands. In an odd way, his pained justification of his Have-Your-Cake-And-Eat-It-Too Vote, only confirms the vile nature of the decision he made. He wants to us to believe that he fought the Putin Putsch until the very end but then decided to support Mayor Vladimir when Vassily the Electrician approached him at Key Foods near the spinach and told him to do the right thing. The “right thing” in Mr. Yassky’s case was to reject the very democratic approach he claims to have fought so hard to protect because it became clear so many people feel so strongly we need Mayor Bloomberg to save our city. In other words, it hurt him a lot more to do it, then it hurt us, because Vassily was telling him to use the whip on us.

Sorry, Mr. Yassky, no one is questioning your intellect. The tragic thing is you may be one of the brightest people in New York City politics. What we’re questioning are your ethics and your unbridled ambition and your willingness to sacrifice your most deeply held positions for your own sad self-interest. But, please sir, if the stuff sitting on plate has come out of the business end of a chicken and is what is otherwise known in vulgar terms as chicken shit, do not try to convince that us that you tired to reason with the chicken not to evacuate its bowels, but having failed to do so, you were left no choice but to turn it into a yummy dish of chicken salad. You can add mayo, onions, eggs, some Sazón to give it a bit of that sabor we all love, put it on sourdough, but Mr. Yassky, we hate to be bearers of bad news: it’s still a chicken shit sandwich and not chicken salad.

We still wish you a future that does not involve a career in public life, living on the taxpayer’s tab, making ethically bad decisions and trying to justify them to people you think are gullible enough to buy into your sad explanations. Yes, it’s politics and we expect nothing different in the end. We’ve been around the profession longer than we care to say and we’ve seen it up close. Maybe we’re holding you to a higher standard because it’s all the more painful to watch someone as smart as you sell his soul for reasons that have nothing to do with what you know are right and wrong. Perhaps, traffic enforcement would be a good next career*? (*Again, we apologize to city employees. Even the traffic enforcement people. We realize it’s a crappy job.)

Cutting Cops

Yassky has done this. Some nights there are only two patrol cars canvassing the 94th Precinct. Thanks, Dave!

Environmental Issues

Mr. Yassky is a chair of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. He rarely— if ever— attends said meetings. Yet he has aired his dissent regarding Gowanus Canal being Super funded. Probably because he’s getting cozy with Bill DeBlasio (Toll Brothers and everyone else who wants to build condos there). Anything for a vote.

I would not nominate David Yassky to be dog catcher— much less Comptroller. Councilman Yassky has done enough damage to my community— and now his little (g)imp— who is equally culpable for north Brooklyn’s many quality of life issues— is shilling for him.

I won’t tell you to vote for, dear readers, but I’ll tell who to vote against: David Yassky and Bill DeBlasio.

Miss Heather

For more reasons not to vote for Yassky click here, here and here.

Happy Labor Day From New York Shitty!

The sun’s out, the weather is pleasantly mild. I cannot think of a better place to while away this Labor Day than a nice walk along the Greenpoint’s waterfront.

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(Java Street)

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(Kent Avenue)

Or not. A half-eaten sandwich and a dead rat covered with flies are but a fraction of the delights which await you if you decide to visit Greenpoint’s waterfront.

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Is it detritus you seek? Kent Avenue has it in spades!

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But if you’re looking for a little Greenpoint greenery you’ll be hard-pressed to find it anywhere else.

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Who needs parks when we have this?

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Although a discarded styrofoam cup sort of defeats the message. You know, after all this walking and tea quaffing I need to go to the bathroom. Methinks I will head over to Kent Street.

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It looks like they have locked up the Econoheads. Damn.

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Oh wait, here’s a toilet…

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and it is even appointed with a sink— very nice! On August 13, 2009 The Brooklyn Paper published an article entitled “Gates of Wrath”. Follow are a couple of quotes from this tome.

Greenpoint continues to have virtually no access to its waterfront and [proposed] parks are still years away from completion… These street ends, once fully open, accessible, and clean, will provide the community with three desperately needed waterfront havens. — David Yassky, City Councilman* for the 33rd District & Candidate For City Comptroller

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“It might just be a crumbling street end, but people are eager to get down there and be by the water. — Stephanie Thayer, Parks Employee and Executive Director For Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn.

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Only the best for Greenpoint.

Miss Heather

P.S.: To see some late summer rodent love— East Village style— click here. Trust me: it’s worth it.

*Who has been in office since 2001 and is just now “noticing” what anyone who has lived here for a year knows all too well. Way to go, Sherlock-fucking-Holmes.

New York Shitty Day Starter: By Their Friends Ye Shall Know Them

July 7, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

On Friday, July 3, 2009 I wrote (in this post):

Some of you probably know ground has been broken for the new soccer field which will grace Bushwick Inlet Park. What you probably do not know is (per a most curious anonymous source) I have been told there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony with none other than our fair Mayor as well as “other elected officials and Commissioner Benepe” this upcoming Monday, July 6, 2009! The festivities will kick off at either 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. (I am awaiting confirmation for all of this— if/when I get a firm time and date I will post them here.)

Well kids, I have a confirm on the time: between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony For the New Soccer Field At Bushwick Inlet Park
Monday, July 6, 2009
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. (closer to 11:00)
Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Why not swing by and see the select few who were invited to this most auspicious event?

shortetal

Well, here’s the “local media”. Aaron Short (A Short Story), Juliet Linderman (Greenpoint Gazette), and Jeff Mann (Greenpoint Gazette). I was uninvited.

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But not unconcerned.

My concern involves a short story.

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A VERY short story indeed!

A post that is comprised only of comments.

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This wasn’t the case last week. You can read the rest of the comments here.

Which brings me back to this short story. It was excised. Follows is facsimile of it since Mr. Short has seen to censor himself so as to curry favor. With the right people.

shortstorySMALL

You must be desperate if you’re pimping for votes in north Brooklyn, David. In the cockfight between you and John on Bedford. You lost. Plain and simple.

I vote old school “Texas Style”, e.g; I do not vote for a candidate, I vote against the one who offends me most. It’s like picking between syphilis and gonnorrhea. If Lucifer himself was to put his name on the ballot I’d vote for him. AGAINST YOU. For the simple reason that I little doubt the devil himself could wreak more havoc and destruction on north Brooklyn than you, David Yassky, already have.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: This story on A Short Story is back up! See the comments for Mr. Short’s explanation as to its disappearance.

P.S.: PLEASE REMOVE ME FROM YOUR MAILING LIST.

Priceless

July 2, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Some of you may or may know that this morning John Liu, who is running against David Yassky for City Comptroller, was on Bedford Avenue meeting and greeting morning commuters. Well, Mr. Yassky decided he too should canvass this thoroughfare (being as it IS in his City Council district) and invited a handful of his buddies to join him. The reception he received was chilly to say the least:

David: Hi, my name is David Yassky and I’m running for City Comptroller.
Woman: Did you vote for a 3rd term?
David: No, I’m not running for a 3rd term.
Woman: But you voted to extend term limits.
David: Yes, I did…
Woman: It’s a terrible idea…
David: Well, I disagree with you…
Woman: …and I hope it comes back to haunt you.
David: Shrugs meekly. Well…

I encourage each and every one of you to point and click your way over to A Short Story (from which the previous priceless exchange hails) for the full scoop. Good stuff!

Miss Heather

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