Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Before & After

From Eagle Street.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: More Crane Hell

May 26, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person we’ll call “B” writes:

Dear Miss Heather,
We read with interest the entire “incident on west st” story because we think what we experienced (which pales in comparison) is related.  On Eagle betw. West and Franklin they are building a pricey soundstage–or rebuilding it perhaps. The afternoon and night of the 24th cranes were being brought in to build the roof–steel trusses and cranes. These must be the same cranes that were coming down West street in the other incident(s) described. Anyway…there is a residential parking lot right across from the soundstage–it was blocked all day as was the entire block.  We were supposed to drive our special needs child to a medical appointment but the lot was blocked completely by steel whatnots, equipment, cranes etc.  Nobody had warned us that, say, for 12 or more hours everyone with a car could not get in or out–no posters, no courtesy flyers, nix.  We didn’t believe they had a permit to just take over the whole street and block the lot so my husband called 311; they did nothing and confessed they knew nothing but said we could call the precinct–gee thanks. My husband called the precinct (we were already late for the appointment at this point). They said “yeah we know about it–they’ll probably be done sometime this evening–nothing we can do about it.” No apologies nor did they state the construction crew had a permit (they seemed to avoid that question)–just admitted that they knew about it. I asked the Mr. to give a try going out and asking them to pwetty please move the cranes and or trusses so we could get our disabled kid to the doctors. Let’s just say the construction guys were far less than pleasant—nasty would be the word. Clearly they knew they could do what the f they pleased and nobody (certainly not the police) would do a dang thing about it.  Is this because the entire nyc film industry employs many cops – is it a union thing? a teamster thing?  I dunno but clearly the glory of reality tv (which graces said sound stage) usurps the rights of normal schubs like us and blocking active driveways is fine and dandy if you’re with the crew.  Don’t ask how late we were to the medical appointment. The following day the Mister needed to get out of the lot again.  The cranes were gone, but not the trucks and dross blocking the lot–again, a residential lot we pay for–not their lot.  When asked nicely if they could move, the construction dudes told him “We’ll think about it after we f’ing finish our beers.” And they did. For ten minutes while the Mr waited and watched them (having no choice if he wanted to keep his teeth). It is not without irony that we are glad to know they have the full support of Greenpoint’s finest.  Any ideas how the community at large can do something about these privileged meatheads as clearly the normal complaint routes are all blocked?

As I stated yesterday I have been on contact with our Community Board’s Transportation Chair, Karen Nieves, about  this. Here’s where things stand as of today:

1. She wants to set up a meeting between herself, the offending company(ies) and the Department of Transportation.
2. She is going to raise this issue at the next community board meeting. I would strongly recommend that and all who have had issues of this nature show up and sign up to speak:

Community Board 1 Public Hearing & Board Meeting
June 14, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m. (you need to sign up to speak before 6:15 p.m.)
Swinging 60’s Senior’s Center
211 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

You should also consider going to the next Transportation Committee Meeting

Community Board 1 Transportation Committee Meeting
June 21, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Community Board 1 Main Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

3. Here’s the deal: Ms Nieves is just as— if not more so— troubled by what happened in front of Red Star Bar as the rest of us. However, she cannot help us out if she does not know there’s a problem! When incidences such as what we have learned about this week come to pass please call 311, file a complaint and forward the complaint number along with a description of what happened to Ms. Nieves via her Community Board 1 email address, knieves.tnt@gmail.com, and the address Community Board 1 proper: bk01@cb.nyc.gov

4. Since there is some measure of criminal activity seemingly involved (and our newish Deputy Inspector, Terence Hurson, is a very strong advocate for traffic enforcement) I would strongly encourage people to attend the next 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting and speak up! He’ll listen.

94th Precinct Community Council
June 16 20, 2011 starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Church of The Ascension
127 Kent Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

5. And of course you should contact your elected officials! Here’s a couple for starters:

City Councilman Steve Levin’s Office
410 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: (718) 875-5200
Fax: (718) 643-6620
Email: slevin@council.nyc.gov

State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
619 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 383-7474
Email: rarr@assembly.state.ny.us (NOTE: this is the email address for his Community Liaison in Albany)

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part II: Rooftop Farm

May 23, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

142/365 - Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, Greenpoint.

Taken by Gina Herold.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: St. Francis

April 30, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

From Eagle Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Reading is Fundamental

April 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

From Eagle Street.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Street Art du Jour: Leave Your Mark

April 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Street Art 

From Eagle Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Stripes

April 16, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken April 15, 2011.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: The Blue Bloods Film Shoot Experience

March 26, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

If my inbox— and personal experiences— regarding last night’s into this morning’s film shoot are any indication, the recent occupation of our neighborhood by the Blue Blood’s crew did not go over well. First off, we’ll start with this missive from a Dupont Street resident (as addressed to the Manager of Community Board 1, Gerald “Gerry” Esposito):

…It’s now Saturday about 12:15 a.m. From my fifth floor window, I’m listening to a film crew yell back and forth across the street. I see flood lights peeping through my curtains and I hear the cars speeding around the corner for a chase scene.  I can’t imagine what the folks on the ground floor are experiencing. My daughter-in-law and grandson attempted to go home from Dupont St. at about 12 a.m. They had a long trip and needed to catch their bus. They were prevented from catching their bus by the film crew. At this hour, the bus stops about every 30 minutes or more.  My daughter-in-law gave up and they slept over. My grandson is only a little boy. It’s lucky for the crew that I wasn’t downstairs when they were confronted, because I wouldn’t have taken a confrontation with my grandson present lightly. The entire avenue has been affected by this movie already. I lost count of how many streets are closed off. Allowing film crews to intrude on this neighborhood at late hours is over the top.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve had enough.  There are way too many movies being filmed in the neighborhood. They are taking over massive amounts of space and extending hours until the early morning. What can be done about setting some limits on these film crews?  My first thought would be to organize folks to literally prevent the next crew from working. Any advise or direction you can offer would be greatly appreciated. The people here are truly being taken advantage of.

Meanwhile, over on Oak Street I received this (somewhat) uplifting missive:

Speaking of good PR, I had my car towed today because of a film shoot. There were no signs on the pole near the corner of Oak & Franklin. I called the site producer listed on the sign (NYPD hung up on me) and he bent over backwards to find my car for me. There aren’t tickets or fees when it’s a shoot, they towed me down past Vans & Pop’s. I appreciated that he made the effort & was super nice. I was just about to rant about the rampant filming down here lately.

And there is my personal testimony. Or as I prefer to call it: I wanted beer and got a car chase instead.

To preface:

  1. I understand folks want to film here.
  2. But after last night I have to wonder what, if any, consideration is being made by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting regarding mass transit and foot traffic when copious parts of my community are being used by film crews at one time. And a very BAD time at that, but I’ll go into that later.
  3. Here’s a list of where Blue Bloods was approved to film. (I have mapped locations which exist in reality):
    a. 50 Moultrie Street at Meserole Avenue
    b. Driving scenes from Clay Street to Meserole Avenue between Franklin Street and McGuiness (sic) Blvd (Manhattan Avenue or they just being given free run of Greenpoint? — Ed. Note)
    c. Manhattan Avenue between Green and Dupont Streets (Now this is beginning to make sense! —Ed. Note)
    d. Driving scenes on Huron Street between West Street and dead end.
  4. And here is the time frame our fair city allotted them to do this fun stuff: 1:00 pm – 5:00 am.
  5. Here’s the deal: north Greenpointers tend to rely on the B43 and B62 bus versus the G train. When this service is removed my fellow citizens have to walk. They cannot walk when there are minders (however polite most of them were) on every corner admonishing you there is a car chase being filmed. Repeatedly.
  6. For simple folk like myself, there are only two 24 hour delis above India Street. So when someone, say, needs eggs, produce, tampons, the occasional condom; and of course beer guess what: we’re fucked! We get to stand around and freeze our asses off while they do whatever they want to do— with police protection. Paid for with our tax dollars, no less.

Without further ado here’s some footage I shot along with commentary. Enjoy!

Green Street at Manhattan Avenue, 9:15 p.m.

Upon Purchasing Beer, I Have To Wait To Cross Manhattan Avenue.

I wait some more.

New York Shitty Analysis/observations:

1. Cordoning off Green Street at Manhattan Avenue is idiotic. Had anyone from our fair Mayor’s Office of Film and whatnot cared to undertake a study of this intersection he (or she) would have known this is a very bad idea: it is the street of choice for Taxis, livery cabs and who not/what not to access McGuinness Boulevard, the Pulaski Bridge and, after the lattermost; the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Anyone with a basic grasp of the grid of one way streets here would comprehend this. It is not rocket science. It should also be noted the aforementioned vehicular traffic is especially heavy on (surprise!) Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights!

2. The “minders”/Police shouting at residents like drill sergeants is a nice touch.

Shortly thereafter I was allowed to cross the street. Instead of merely going home I decided to stick around. I did not open my precious beer for fear I would be ticketed by the police. That’s when I learned…

I am not the only person inconvenienced for merely living here and purchasing beer!

New York Shitty Analysis/observations:

1. These folks were using the bike lanes— as they should.
2. Any man who can carry what appears to be a 18-24 pack of Budweiser while steering a bike successfully is pretty amazing.
3. When yelled at by the local constabulary, they walked with their bikes on the sidewalk. (I like to give credit to considerate bike people when the opportunity arises.)

And they do it again.

Conclusions/questions:

  1. Who does Greenpoint belong to? The people who live here or anyone with enough clout/money who elects to film here?
  2. Given the preponderance of filming facilities here I see this kind of thing getting worse, not better.
  3. If what came to pass last night bothers you, fellow north ‘Pointers, please share your feelings with Ms. Karen Oliver, the Commissioner of Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting.

Our fair city has for all intents and purposes failed to deliver on any and all promises made regarding affordable housing and park space here. Yet, we get saddled with film shoots like what happened last night. Am I the only person who sees something wrong with this relationship?

UPDATE, July 31, 2011: It has come to my attention that this tome has come to the attention a Tumblr page dedicated to this television show. They called it a “NYC negative filming rant” but noted that “the videos are worth watching” because “they are from the scene where Jamie’s brakes get cut”. Obviously these folks do not “get it”— or simply do not care. I’m guessing a little bit of both.

Although this will undoubtedly be an exercise in futility I will say it again: filming a car chase at 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night along a busy thoroughfare (and in so doing obstructing vehicular traffic— including bus service) poses (posed) a serious quality of life issue for the people who reside in and around where this film shoot came to pass. Not only was there traffic congestion and noise from the film shoot itself to consider but also citizens essentially being held captive in their own community. E.g.; being forced to wait at the behest of “minders”— in weather that I will add was quite cold— while this car chase was filmed. Stuff such as this does not ingratiate one’s organization to the community. In fact, a great number of my neighbors have grown quite tired of the issues film shoots have posed in our community. If Bloodbloods actually gave something back in exchange for the inconveniences posed by this shoot perhaps we would feel differently. But this is not the case. The fact they find some sense of pride in the video footage a I have posted (and in so doing write about a character from said show like he is an actual person) bears testament to their sense of entitlement, narcissism and complete and total disconnect with the community(ies?) in which they film.

In this respect I have to applaud Jeff Brown of MTV’s “I Just Want My Pants Back”: he took the time to not only scout locations in Greenpoint thoroughly but also met with members of the community in the interest mitigating the impact his film shoots would have on the community. Thus far this partnership (yes, he has elected to work with my community instead of treating them with indifference or utter contempt) has in fact been successful! I am hopeful that perhaps Bluebloods will follow suit— but I am not holding my breath.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Smolenski Funeral Home

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

From Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Snow Farm At Barge Park?

January 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I have received no less than three emails about this in the last 24 hours. Todd writes (in an email entitled “Snow Dumping”) on January 30, 2011:

Haven’t checked your blog yet, but you should take a meander down to corner of commercial street and Franklin ave.  NYC Sanitation has been dumping snow all night, blocking access to park and parking on entire street.  Where the hell is this snow from cuz they sure as hell haven’t cleaned up greenpoint.  Also, what happens to all the garbage left over after they melt it all?  Regardless, the pile is pretty impressive

Shortly thereafter, Laura writes:

Yesterday, Mike and I took a walk down to the Manhattan Ave St End Park and then to Barge Park. We were able to get to the Manhattan Ave St End Park however there is so much snow blocking sidewalks and streets at Barge Park, it was impossible for us to get to it safely. On our way, we saw… a bunch of snow plows sitting doing nothing. They are hanging out along Commercial St and Barge Park.  Check it out.

And today Graham writes:

hey, heather. long time, no email. i hope this finds you well. i was wondering whether you know anything about the HUGE SNOW FARM that has taken over and completely blocked the streets in front of Newtown Barge Park? it’s really a sight. and also a total FU. why would the city block access to one of the only parks in the hood? they sure as shit didn’t block access to the film set next door.

sorry for the rage. hopefully you know something or can at least spread the word.

Naturally I had to see this for myself so this morning I headed to Barge Park. What I found was downright impressive. And kind of gross.

This defies all known logic. Why would the Department of Sanitation see fit to block access to a public park while leaving Dupont Street west of Franklin, which is essentially little more than a glorified parking lot/trash dump, unobstructed? Thoughts, anyone?

Miss Heather

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