Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Today at 981 Manhattan Avenue

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x marks the spot nys

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FACT: Our Bravest get quite angry when someone conceals a “hazard” marker they have seen fit to place on a building. In this case of course the building in question is 981 Manhattan Avenue. Well done, guys!

Quicklink: 981 Manhattan Is For Sale!

September 16, 2015 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

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This tome was brought to my attention by my buddy over at Queens Crap. As you can imagine, gentle readers, I found it quite fascinating— but not exactly for the reasons one would (normally, presumably) think. You see, I spent a nice part of my morning dealing with 311 operators and actually making a trip to the local ladder company. I noticed something and quite frankly I found it disturbing. Read on, folks, as I suspect you will too.

Before I continue I want to direct attention to a photo I took of 981 Manhattan (and its neighbor, 977 Manhattan) on July 3rd.

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I was out of town from June 24th through June 30th. However, a concerned citizen brought it to my attention that while I was gone our Bravest paid 977 and 981 Manhattan a visit, inspected both properties thoroughly and, before departing, marked both buildings (as you see above).

What do these marks mean, you ask? Well, it is my understanding they indicate hazards within said building(s), say, a missing floor, stairs, etc., the FDNY should be aware of in the event they are called to fight a fire therein. Sounds kind of important, yes?

Now let’s jump to the photo I took when the for sale was being affixed to 981 Manhattan. This came to pass on the evening of September 14, 2015.

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A rather interesting choice of placement, yes? Especially when one considers what I noticed this morning, September 16th.

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The remainder of the FDNY’s “sign” has been painted over altogether has vanished! (See comments). This of course begs a number of questions. Thefirst and foremost one on my mind is:

Was this sanctioned by the FDNY?

To this end I called 311. It took about ten minutes and a couple of operators but I finally got the previous concerns across. I was advised to go in person to my local ladder company— and I did. Alas, they were out on some training/work-related exercise today. I was told by the fellow present (who did not appear to be very happy about my “discovery”) that I am to call the ladder officer tomorrow (September 17th) and bring this to his (?) attention.

On a lark, I decided to do a walk-by of the Salvation Army and see if one hazard (I am guessing) the FDNY spied during their inspection had been remediated: the lack of stairs between the first and second floors. My thinking was that, perhaps, if it was the removal of the FDNY’s sign would be “legit”. Here’s what I found:

981 Manhattan Avenue entrance to residential part of building 9162015 cropped nys

Nothing has changed. The only means of ingress and egress to and from the second floor is a ladder. Now let’s take a look at a particularly compelling passage from the above-linked Crain’s item:

…The nonprofit recently put the site at 981 Manhattan Ave., between India and Huron streets, up for sale. It has owned the three-story building since 1973. Earlier this year, the ground-floor retail shop suffered a fire and flood, according to a Salvation Army spokesman. The benefits of closing and selling the 3,000-square-foot building, which is in a trendy neighborhood growing in popularity with residents, outweighed the financial cost to fix it up, he said.

“It’s a big deal to do renovations,” he said, noting that the shop will close by the end of September. The two floors above the shop are residential. “We were constantly evaluating, as any business would do, our expenses versus the income…”

Complaint 3522940 Salvatuin Army nys

Here’s the deal, folks: I am rather surprised the Crain’s reporter did not catch one interesting detail. One which has been reported elsewhere. A simple web search and “point and click” would have revealed it. One need not have seen it in person (although I have).

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977 Manhattan Avenue wraps around 981 Manhattan on two sides (as I have indicated above). In fact, the 977 Manhattan Avenue parcel runs behind all its neighbors to the north all the way to Huron Street. That’s a pretty big parcel— which is probably why its owner wants to build 14 condos on it.

Bearing the previous in mind, exactly who (developer, investor, etc.) would want to trifle with, much less “renovate”, a mere three story residential building in such a location? Much less one which is, as even the Salvation Army representative conceded, in abysmal condition? It is pretty obvious to me who is going to want this property and will probably pay top dollar for it. Anyone care to guess?

In closing, I cannot think of one rational reason why someone saw fit to cover up this FDNY sign. All a potential buyer need do in order to ascertain that 981 Manhattan Avenue has “problems” is simply look for stairs servicing the first floor to the “residential” apartments above. They’re ain’t any.

So why bother doing this?

All this does is conceal a hazard our Bravest should be aware of in the event they have to fight a fire there. This is not a likely scenario, but the possibility is there. Anyone who was around here on May 2, 2006 knows fires can and do happen. Sort of fucked up, isn’t it?

Post Script, 8:10 PM: When the Mister arrived home he asked about my day. I explained it to him. He pointed out the obvious:

So you can’t file a 311 complaint for someone concealing a FDNY marker?

No, apparently you cannot. Sure, I could have lodged a “complaint” with the Department of Buildings about hazards within 981 Manhattan Avenue— but there are no tenants. The only threat this poses is to the FDNY if a fire occurs— and apparently 311 cannot, will not handle THAT.

Update, 9/18/2015: I have personally brought this to the attention to the fellas at Engine 238/Ladder 106. They were not pleased either.

To be continued…

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Live From Transmitter Park

August 28, 2015 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

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Parks and FNDY nys

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BK Barge Bar cropped

FNDY NYPD Barge Bar

Those of you who were wondering what the ruckus (replete with police helicopter) was this morning, a fellow was seen floating and was retrieved from the East River. I was told one of two things happened:

  1. He was swimming.
  2. He was found floating, a woman called 911 and he was rescued

Regardless, the good news is:

  • He is alive.
  • We have not had rain recently, so his risk of exposure to typhus, cholera and other nastiness from the nearby CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) is probably reduced.

Lest you were not aware, gentle readers, there is a CSO on the premises of the Brooklyn Barge Bar.

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See that green sign at the right? These are used to indicate the location of a CSO. (Those who are curious, can see a larger image of it here.) Now let’s take a closer look at one of the previously featured photos on this post…

BK Barge Bar cropped again

As you can see this sign has been removed. For those of you who may be wondering, this has been brought to the attention of the proper agency/agencies. They did not remove this sign (or the CSO it marks for that matter). So now the question is who did?

Happy Friday!

Reader Contribution Du Jour: Shots From Today’s Fire At Citistorage

January 31, 2015 ·
Filed under: 11249, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn, Wow, WTF 

An immensely talented and all-around nice guy, Stefano Giovannini, braved the cold and took some wonderful photos of our city’s Bravest fighting what is apparently now a seven alarm fire. Do take a moment to peruse his Flickr set here. They are not only lovely (if one can call such subject matter that) but are an excellent testement to the hard work and dedication of our firefighters.

Urban Artifact, Part I: 37 Street

August 22, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11232, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn, Urban Artifact 

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Taken August 20, 2014.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: And Now A Word From The MTA

In an alert sent at 12:39 p.m.:

b/d, there is no G train service b/t Bedford-Nostrand Avs & Court Sq, due to FDNY activity at Greenpoint Av. Allow additional travel time.

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I went to the scene to see what was going on (one NEVER has to twist my arm for a chance to talk to New York’s Bravest*). Apparently there is a fire in the tunnel. They have all the entrances to the G at Greenpoint buttoned down pretty good. Those of you who presently require the services of the Crosstown Local G between Bedford Nostrand and Court Square would be best advised to find another means of transit for the time being.

1:53 pm: Folks are being allowed to enter the subway at India Street so I am guessing everything is A-ok.

*I noted that I appreciated their hard work and noted it has gotta suck to wear all that gear on a day like this one. One fellow agreed it was  “a little hot”. To wit I replied:

This is swampass weather.

They were amused.

New York Shitty Photos Du Jour: Franklin Street

This one’s for you, Kevin Walsh!

(Taken March 30, 2014.)

Today In Real Estate Insanity: How To Live In Greenpoint For Under $1,000/Month

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umnothanksYours truly has developed quite a fixation on AirBnb lately. This is not simply due to the lawsuit unfolding either. Rather, the Mister and I had the pleasure of having a trio of miscreants walk into our apartment at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The leader of this group announced that they were here from AirBnb and tried to hand his luggage to the Mister (who was still in his pajamas). The landlord (who had no knowledge this was going on) was called. I searched AirBnb for the listing, found it, took screengrabs and sent them to landlord. Let’s just say this did not go over well.

In any case, parsing through ~450 listings for Greenpoint (and being awakened by one’s husband rolling out more f-bombs in 2 minutes than I have ever heard him utter— much less yell— in 10+ years will motivate one to do this kind of thing) made me aware that this is a pervasive practice. I am surprised? No, not really. Still, it is wretchedly comical on occasion— especially when compared to the solicitation which graces the beginning of this post. CASE IN POINT:

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But wait folks— there’s more…

COZY!

Much more— like what the fuck is up with the slide?

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No worries, the “host” of these digs gives full disclosure:

Hello Traveler,

I’m an Artist living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I share my 3 bedroom Classic Artist’s Loft with travelers from Airbnb. I am respectful, kind and accommodating. I am seeking the same out of you! This is a fairly large apartment, it’s spacious feeling even when everyone is home. I have been very lucky and met amazing people through this service. Much of my furniture was custom made by the artist Jean-Marie Mauclet of JEMA Design and all my lighting is eco-friendly LED’s.

You are welcome to stay in my guest loft. This is a great short-term space for the budget traveler that does not require much privacy. If this space is booked, you are looking for a longer stay or need more privacy check out my “Private Room in Classic Loft” or “Brite Room in Classic Artist’s Loft.” Both are just as cool, better for long stays and have more privacy! The “Cozy Loft” is built above the door in the main living area. When at home, I tend to hang out in my bedroom on my computer or on the roof when the weather is nice. The weekends can be a bit livelier, but not by much! I will provide clean sheets for your double-bed and warm blankets if needed. I also have plenty of storage space if you should need it. Under the loft I have a wardrobe just for your use with plenty of drawers and a place to lock up your computer or other small valuables if you are concerned. The loft is relatively private, comfortable and clean. However, it is not great for couples seeking a romantic vacation or anyone who needs absolute silence to sleep. It has the unusual entrance and exit of an industrial slide. It is not particularly challenging to use, but can be a problem If you are a bit tipsy from going on a pub crawl in the neighborhood, uncoordinated or tired.

My Artist’s Loft is located on the top floor on a quiet street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This is a very safe and friendly part of Brooklyn to visit. I have a manually operated freight elevator that is off limits (* Ed. note) but can be used to transport heavy items if you require. I have fantastic roof access with beautiful views of the New York Skyline. Bring your lap top computer and connect to my WiFi. If you sit in the right space you can enjoy the WiFi in the open air on the roof.

The Franklin Ave (Street — Ed. Note) shops, restaurants and bars are just around the corner. The closest Subway station is the Greenpoint Ave G, also in walking distance is the Bedford Ave L and the Vernon Blvd 7. By subway, I am located 25 minutes from Union Square, 26 minutes from Times Square, 30 minutes from Central Park, 38 minutes from Tribeca and 25 minutes from the East Village. The B61 and B43 bus stop is only a block away and very helpful when weather is uncomfortable. JFK is one hour away by public transport and LGA is 25 minutes away by Cab. Get Ready for your “morning slide!”  I look forward to meeting you. – (excised)

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So what do members of AirBnb’s “community” have to say? See for yourself. Reading is believing!

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By all appearances —and until recently yours truly lived on the block in question for ten years— these cozy accommodations appear to hail from 125 Green Street. What’s more, Google backs me up!

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The funny thing is NAG (formerly Neighbors Allied Against Garbage, now Neighbors Allied For Good Growth) tried to organize this building. Under the pretext that such industrial spaces cum artists space preserved the “artistic integrity” of the community.

Confused About The Loft Law?

One year later, there is neither a Loft Law application— nor Certificate of Occupancy for this property for that matter. But it has a cozy loft available for $975.00 a month. 

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Slide on!

P.S.: The front door of this artists’ abode has Freddy Mercury on it.

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Awesome. Totally awesome.

BREAKING: Attempted Suicide On The G?

Those of you who have been wondering what all the activity is about at the Greenpoint and India Street entrances of the Crosstown Local— or are unaware that this is even coming to pass: I am very saddened to report that apparently someone jumped in front of an oncoming train. This is all I know presently. Those of you who are headed off for your evening commute and have to rely upon the G, the B43 or 62 buses should expect serious crowding and delays.

UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: Here’s Gothamist’s take on what happened.

UPDATE, 7:05 p.m.: Here’s “Fox New’s” take.

What’s Up On Manhattan Avenue?

October 29, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Carbecque, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I imagine a number of my fellow north ‘Pointers noticed a great many police cars and Fire Department personnel stationed at Green Street and Manhattan Avenue this evening (around 10:30 p.m.) and are wondering what’s up. No worries, I have the 411— and it appears to nothing to do with Sandy.

Rather, an automobile parked in front of Cafecito Bogota (1013 Manhattan Avenue) caught on fire. I am pleased to report our Bravest* got matters under control before they got out of hand. This is quite remarkable given the carbecque in question was illegally parked in front of a fire hydrant. Whoops. In any case, way to go guys!

*One of whom referred to the absent owner of said vehicle as, and I quote, “an asshole”.

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