New York Shitty Slideshow Du Jour: North ‘Point Selections

October 30, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Bloomblight, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Late this morning, noticing that the weather had abated somewhat (and having a raging case of cabin fever), I decided a constitutional was in order. Ikept my peregrinations limited as:

  1. It was still quite blustery outside.
  2. I was (and am) working on (maybe) five hours of sleep.

Nonetheless, go out I did. Overall, I have to say the damage appears to be minimal. I was particularly pleased to see that both the Newtown Creek Kayak Launch and WNYC Transmitter Park appear to be relatively unscathed. Conversely, the same cannot be said about the manifold number of derelict/abandoned construction sites hereabouts. See the Bloomblight for yourselves, gentle readers.

Here’s the deal, folks:

I will readily admit our city’s response to Sandy was certainly laudable. However, to say there was (is) no infrastructural decay is to be disingenuous: there most assuredly is. All the previously-depicted sites have been problematic for years. With each and every passing storm— however minor or severe— these fences have collapsed, creating hazards for their neighbors and passerby.

Why is this allowed to continue?

You ask. Very simple: for wont of effective enforcement. In this respect the powers-that-be in our city’s government and enforcement agencies (the Department of Buildings in particular) should be ashamed of themselves. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how long it will take for all of this to be cleaned up.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Moving Day

October 23, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Just another day at 239 Banker Street (taken today, October 23, 2012)*

*For those of you who are wondering, “Mike” is still advertising this very-much-illegal bit of residential space on Craigslist.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Dispatch From 239 Banker Street

October 23, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person we’ll call “J” writes:


It’s been great reading about 239 Banker Street after I had moved in from your blog. Already planning my move out.
Work restarted this morning: lots of workers all over the building working on apartments. Of particular interest were the bags of cement in the lobby ready to be turned into concrete, and a work permit that expired in July explicitly prohibiting concrete work. So they took down a STOP WORK order to put in an expired work permit that doesn’t even permit them to do what they’re doing in the building.

What a goddamn mess.

New York Shitty analysis: I suppose posting a permit (even an invalid one) is a(n albeit deceptive) step in the right direction. Hilarious.

Highlights From Community Board 1: Let’s Talk Trash

One of the more provocative parts of last week’s convocation— and there were quite a few, I assure you— were two ladies speaking on the subject of illegal garbage can holders.

More specifically: these garbage can holders. Behold the Community Board 1 action regarding them for yourselves, gentle readers (start at 7:28).

New York Shitty analysis:

1. Exactly what constitutes a “beautiful” garbage can holder? If there is in fact such a thing, it in the eye of the beholder.
2. While certainly nice, they are placed on public property (READ: the sidewalk). This is a big no-no.

As these ladies noted, their neighbor is obeying the law:

3. This is not to suggest I am not sympathetic to these ladies’s plight. I am. They brought up a very salient point: the developer of their respective properties did not consider trash collection when designing their respective condominiums. This is clearly a problem. One which should have been prevented at the “planning stage”. Which brings me to…

Yesterday I decided to see how 239 Banker Street’s illegal garbage fixture cum bicycle rack was faring.

Not only is it still there, but among the assorted detritus I found something of interest.

Not one but two boxes which formerly contained stoves. (For those of you who are not in the know, “estufa” means stove in Spanish. Somewhere my high school Spanish teacher is smiling!)  As you can see the powers that be behind this illegal conversion are scarcely concerned about getting caught. What’s more, I learned at last week’s proceedings why.

So there have you: fines are simply part and parcel of “doing business”. Given the “lofts” at 239 Banker Street are going for anywhere between $2,700 – $3,400 for 700 square foot (if that) of “living space” nowadays, well, it has become all too clear how effective these “penalties” have been as a deterrent against this landlord continuing to illegal legally lease out this property as residential space.


In closing I will leave you, gentle readers, with the latest bit of “immaculate construction” I spied at 239 Banker Street.

As the screencap of a video I shot on June 3rd of this year indicates, what is now an “apartment” used to be a doorway.* But don’t take my word for it: view the video for yourself.

*For those of you who are wondering, this is perfectly in keeping with the plans for this “hotel”…

Plans: This is what a "hotel" looks like at 239 Banker Street

in 2009.

Williamsburg Photos Du Jour: Halloween Greetings From 373 Graham Avenue

Or: He’s Baaacck!

Contrary to reports that the police vacated north Brooklyn’s perennial haunted house last Friday, Joe (as he is known) is back. As for how Joe feels about his latest visit from the local constabulary, well, methinks the following missive (as well as the fact he appears to have erected a barricade as seen above) might be an indication.

It is interesting to note that after I took the above photographs a young man exited the apartment on the second floor. He told a neighbor he can no longer abide having Joe as a neighbor (and one would presume: landlord). I found this interesting for a number of reasons. Foremost among them: there is no Certificate of Occupancy for this building.


To be continued (no doubt)…



New York Shitty Day Starter: Whoops

September 23, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, Bloomblight, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

I was unable to ascertain the address of this lot. But given it is located at the corner of North 12 Street and Driggs Avenue it was easy enough to ascertain given the landmark in the background.

It is 210 North 12 Street.

The ostensible owner has defaulted on one fine.

But that did not stop the Department of Buildings from partially lifting said Stop Work Order for reasons only Kafka— or Orwell— would truly appreciate. E.g.;

  1. There are not permits to drive piles.
  2. Thus, these really big pieces of wood simply planted themselves there.
  3. Repeat: there are not permits to drive piles.
  4. Especially after they have been driven.
  5. These piles do not exist because the proper permit was not made to place them.

Did I mention this was a HAZMAT site? It is. Regardless, the walk to church will be more provocative than usual today for those who tread North 12 Street.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Great Moments In North Brooklyn Abjectecture

(Or: Frank Lloyd Wrong)

Arizona needs its own architecture… Arizona’s long, low, sweeping lines, uptilting planes. Surface patterned after such abstraction in line and color as find “realism” in the patterns of the rattlesnake, the Gila monster, the chameleon, and the saguarocholla or staghorn – or is it the other way around—are inspiration enough. — Frank Lloyd Wright.

Apparently north Brooklyn, despite the decided lack of rattlesnakes, gila monsters or long, low sweeping lines is also deserving of such treatment. At least this is what this sign intimates. Behold 865 Grand Street for yourselves!

Here’s a view looking eastward.

Here’s a front view.

Here’s a view looking west. On a flight of fancy I looked up this edifice on the Department of Buildings web site. I found this complaint particularly interesting.

If anyone from the Department of Buildings is reading this, I can assure you they were working today!

Or perhaps this chap was simply enjoying the view?

In any case, I found the steel girders required to hold this hunchback (Grand Street’s second such one) together rather disquieting. I know what you’re asking yourselves, gentle readers:

How can this possibly be legal?

Very simple: when the (ostensible) contextual zoning in Greenpoint was approved (in response to turds like 308 Eckford Street), certain thoroughfares— Grand Street being one of them— were, in fact, “upzoned”.

Watch this clip and learn for yourselves.

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Men At Work

September 10, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This vision hails from none other than 239 Banker Street and was taken today, September 10, 2012.

Oh yeah, for those of you who are wondering this building still has a Stop Work Order on it.


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.

New York Shitty Day Starter: And On It Goes

Looks like some more Loft Law “awareness”/“changing the script” needs to happen at 239 Banker Street.

Because the rest of us simply aren’t “getting it”.

P.S.: You didn’t really think I was going to quit showcasing the wretchedly comical farce that is this edifice? In any case “Joe” seems to specialize in room shares. For example:

  1. This
  2. And this.

But by far the following advertisement is my personal favorite.

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say the towel holders are what made this apartment jump $300 in the above listing.

As you can see, they are quite nice. Nonetheless, Bushwick is just that: Bushwick.

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