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From The New York Shitty Inbox: Coming At You From WNYC Transmitter Park

June 4, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

TP1nys

 

tp2nys

 

A Greenpoint resident and parks patron we’ll call “N” writes:

Ok. Here’s shocking news for you. Transmitter park has a proper resident.

Au contraire. I’d hazard to guess these are two French cinema enthusiasts staking out their seats for August’s film festival.

In all seriousness folks, am I the only person who finds a community which has a chronic addiction and therefore homeless problem— which is more often than not manifest in our public spaces being host to a French film festival a mite bit absurd? Please tell me I am not.

Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: Grand Street

grandstreet

Taken April 21, 2013.

New York Shitty Day Ender: India Street

February 14, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

indiastreet

Those of you who are bemoaning the lack of a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day just remember you are, in all probability, loved by someone. It might be a brother, a sister, a parent, but you are loved nonetheless. I am certain this fellow is (was?) loved by someone, but I doubt he will be fretting over eating a box of chocolates or where to have a prix fix dinner this evening. He’ll simply be happy to have something to eat and perhaps a safe place to sleep tonight. Why not pass on the supper, champagne and sweets and send some much-needed love your neighbor’s direction today?

TOMORROW: Community Forum Regarding The “Respite Center”

January 23, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

The one thing that irks me about this weather is not that the fact it is really fucking cold. It is. Rather, it is how it makes my digital camera go completely nuts. Nonetheless, I have managed piece together the announcement for tomorrow night’s “community meeting” (as spied on the gates of the Greenpoint Reformed Church):

January 7, 2013

Dear Neighbors,

I want to take this opportunity to apologize for the way in which information regarding the respite bed program at the Greenpoint Reformed Church was handled. It was not our intent to deceive or mislead you, or to not take your feelings or concerns into consideration. We want to be a good neighbor, and we recognize that what we do has an impact on those who live nearby.

Initial concern regarding the 10-bed program at the church was voiced to Assemblyman Lentol and Councilman Levin, and so they, along with the church, are sponsoring a community forum at 7pm on January 24, 2013 at the church – 136 Milton St. This will allow everyone an opportunity to communicate with one another regarding this situation.

Before Christmas, you may have received a letter that appeared to come from me. Whoever sent the letter excerpted some of what I had written on the church’s website, so it sounded like something I had sent, when in fact I had not. The letter included some factual information, but also some falsehoods.

To clarify, we are providing space for a 10-bed respite shelter program for Greenpoint’s local homeless population that is funded by the City and operated by Common Ground, a non-profit that specializes in working with homeless individuals. Before this program began, these men would sleep in American Playground, on Greenpoint Ave., or in McCarren Park. The program houses the same men each night, and they receive comprehensive case management through Common Ground.

The program operates from 9pm to 6am. To limit congregating along Milton Street, the men meet on the steps of St. Anthony’s at 9pm and are escorted down the block to the church. In the morning, they are escorted off the block. Two professional housing managers are with the men at all times and the men do not leave the church property during the night.

The city has allocated $100,000 for the whole program, the bulk of which goes to pay for two full-time employees being present with the men at all times. The city is only reimbursing the church for building-related costs to host the program. This amounts to 44% of utilities and some small expenses related to hiring someone to clean each day. This is no “windfall” for us.

We did not ask to house this program. For years, Father Czok allowed homeless men to sleep in the basement of St. Anthony’s at the top of Milton St. Upon Rev. Czok’s retirement, this option ceased to be available. The Church of the Ascension was going to host this program, but at the beginning of the fall they entered into a contract with a developer on their parish hall, which caused them to have to back out from hosting the program.

We recognize that our hunger program impacts the street. When it began, we could not have anticipated the number of people in need of food. Over the years, we have tried to learn from mistakes and to adapt in ways that lower the impact this has on your quality of life. Because of some of the concerns we have heard, we are making the following changes:

  • We will not receive large shipments of vegetables from City Harvest unless we are able to process and distribute them in less than 8 hours.
  • We are working with the Food Bank to ensure that our weekly delivery does not arrive before 9am. This may take several weeks to implement, but we are working on it.
  • To keep the line for the pantry as short as possible, we are going to try distributing food as quietly as possible earlier in the day. We do not know if this will work, but we will try it.
  • During the times when people come to the church for food, we will have someone walk the block to ensure that no one lingers or relieves him or herself.
  • We have asked all meetings that use the church not to congregate in front of the church and to enter and leave quietly.

I look forward to meeting with you on Jan. 24. If you see me on the block, feel free to talk with me. You can call me at 718-383-5941 or email ann@greenpointchurch.org. Like many of you, we are currently experiencing issues with our phone and email service thanks to Verizon. But I will do my best to respond to you as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Ann Kansfield
Co-Pastor

Speaking as someone who has lived in this community for 13 years:

  • and has seen these men, our “local” (READ: Polish) homeless perhaps not literally, but figuratively— as long as I can remember
  • has read way too many stories about our “local” homeless dying of hypothermia or being beaten almost to death for simply being “homeless”

Let’s just say I have some very strong feelings about this endeavor. Let the voice of reason— not politics— prevail Greenpointers! Show up and speak up.

Community Forum Regarding the Respite Center
January 24, 2013 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Greenpoint Reformed Church
136 Milton Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

New York Shitty Day Ender: Meet Mr. Frankenstein

CWF

As I was attempting to capture the Halloween imagery in the window at this building (which can be seen at top right in the above photo), a man collecting cans shouted:

Why not take a picture of me instead?

Me: Sure.

 

CWF2

And then Charles asked me how I would like him to pose. I told him was not necessary. Rather, I would simply like to know his story.

CWF3

First off, he showed me the custom jacket he made. Then he showed me his “identification card” (which cited a Common Ground shelter off of Times Square) and added:

I lived here ten years ago. My best friend died here. He said he would haunt me for the rest of my life. I feel the need to come back here.

CWF4

Charles went on to explain to me his fascination for the movie “Frankenstein”. More specifically that a man created a “monster” and gave it his name. When I pointed out that I (a chick with blue hair wearing a hat sporting cat ears) prefer “Bride of Frankenstein” myself he noted:

The woman with the crazy hair.

Yeah, I thought it was pretty awesome.

Charles: You have a doctor who created them and, having no name of their own, gave them his name. They’re a family.

Me: They were.

Charles went on to recount how much he likes the Wizard of Oz (especially the scarecrow) and Mister Rogers (paraphrased):

He was an old man who played with toys and invited people to be his neighbors. I want to do that… I am artist (once again showing off his customized jacket) there are plenty on people (on Times Square) doing drawings why can’t I?

Excellent question.

This post is dedicated to Charles Winston Frankenstein (which is what the above fellow made quite clear was his name).

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part II: Second Avenue

December 24, 2012 ·
Filed under: 10003, East Village, East Village Manhattan 

Christmas tree, Second Avenue

Taken by Scoboco.

Live From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

As many of those reading this are undoubtedly aware, a homeless man was beaten very severely at McCarren Park this weekend. Gothamist has a synopsis of this horrific incident which you can read by clicking here. In the following footage Deputy Inspector Hurson gives us an update as to what happened. The good news: they have made an arrest. The bad news: they are not certain if the fellow who was assaulted, Pawel, will survive.

It goes without saying that the subject of homelessness dominated last night’s meeting. In fact our City Councilman, Steve Levin had plenty to say on the subject. What I found particularly interesting (and encouraging) was his run-down of the new respite shelter in the works to give our homeless a safe place to sleep this upcoming winter. In addition he outlines the resources available to our local homeless and the rather (and this is putting it nicely) problematic Greenpoint Hotel/the quarter house. Do take a moment to give this— and the frank discussion which followed— a listen.

Part I

Part II

Part III

New York Shitty Day Ender: McCarren Park

Taken June 3, 2012.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part III: Homelessness Under The BQE?

May 30, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person we’ll call “N” writes:

Hi there —

Wanted to pass along some info about the homeless encampment that is starting to stink up the 5 block radius around it – I reported it to 311 and it turns out our police precinct seems to think it’s not under their jurisdiction to disband it. I’ve called the Department of Homeless Services and it seems that are also aware of the problem but have not done anything about it yet. Meanwhile the homeless guys have a BBQ, mattresses, and just tons and tons of shit piling up around there. They’ve been collecting stuff there for months now. It’s getting really disgusting. You should take a walk by there and check it out. Spread awareness and maybe if enough people complain the police or the homeless dept will get them some help. It’s really sad.

Thanks!

This afternoon I went to see this myself. The following photos and video footage pretty much say it all.

(speechless)

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    Homeless JesusWilliam Wegman Dog MuralLove ConeBrownsvilleCanarsie PierMeat MarketAmerican & Puerto Rican FlagsFootprints
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