Spotted At 400 McGuinness Boulevard: Men At Work

June 22, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This morning yours truly woke up in a state. As some of you have probably noticed, my site has been down quite a bit. This makes yours truly rather unhappy. Instead of simply staring at a blank screen hoping, PRAYING, that Dreamhost* would get its shit together I decided to go for a walk— and in so doing became a participant in a rather remarkable series of events.

On a lark I decided to swing by the site of our proposed 200 bed intake center for homeless men (at the behest, this time around, of the Bowery Residents’ Commission): 400 McGuinness Boulevard. I quickly ascertained there was work being conducted. I commenced to document it.

My interest in this activity (Let’s face facts: this part of Greenpoint does not sport many pink-haired women with heart-shaped sunglasses walking around) was quickly noticed by a few chaps working at the Department of Transportation depot across the street. They informed me that work is being conducted at this site around the clock, that they are “trying to be sneaky about it” and that they have called 311 to no avail. I informed them that I had every intention of documenting this activity and calling 311 when I got home. This is when something truly fortuitous happened.

An employee of the Department of Buildings drove by! We started shouting and waving our hands.

He backs up and I apprise him of the situation, e.g.; these men are conducting work and there are no permits posted whatsoever.

As he is calling this in to headquarters I noticed they seem to be working on the entire complex. I document this.

That’s when my new friends at the Department of Transportation decided to swing by and tender their two cents.

They smile for my camera…

and after admonishing the Department of Buildings gentleman that (and I quote) “you better be treating this lady nicely” give him the whole rundown of what they have witnessed.

Upon the conclusion of this tete a tete they drive off and I hear someone call my name.

It is Anthony of McGuinness Power Brake Service. He tells me that powers-that-be at 400 McGuinness have one valid permit on file with Department of Buildings; it is for plumbing work and removing non-load bearing walls. He quickly adds, however, that they appear to be doing a lot more than this and states he has photographic evidence. I will go into the latter in more detail momentarily.

When I arrived home I perused the Department of Buildings web site.

Sure enough, Anthony was correct! I quickly noticed there was a plan filed which was disapproved. Curious piqued, I gave it a look-see.

As you can imagine I found this interesting given what I was told by the gentlemen from the Department of Transportation and Anthony; they asserted work as outlined in this rejected Plan Exam was, in fact, being conducted. But neither I nor you, gentle readers, need take them at their word. Anthony’s photographs pretty much say it all. Pay special attention to the refrigerator(s) being unloaded.

It sure looks like they are setting up “house” to me! Those of you who are curious can learn more about the man behind this endeavor, Shimmie Horn, by clicking here.

Miss Heather

*Those of you who have friends— or better yet: enemies— who operate sites which you believe are not fit for publication, do recommend Dreamhost. He or she can write to his or her contentment and their content will not be inflicted on the general public by virtue of the fact their web site will not be up! Genius!!!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Rally To Protest The Homeless Intake Center at 400 McGuinness

May 9, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

The date has been (re)set, Greenpointers! Those of you who wish to download a print quality version of this flier can do so by clicking here. Otherwise I have been assured by Rami Metal, the Community Liaison for Councilman Steve Levin’s office that a Spanish/English flier is in the works. When I receive this item I will post it here.

Rally To Stop The Proposed Homeless Shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
May 22, 2011 starting at 2:30 p.m.
400 McGuinness Boulevard (at Clay Street)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Homeless Shelter Town Hall

December 10, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This (with one correction/clarification by yours truly) comes courtesy of Rami Metal, the Community Liaison for our City Councilman, Steve Levin. Rami writes:

Hi Heather.  I just sent out an email to folks about a Town Hall that we’re having on Monday night about the proposed Homeless Shelter.  Below is the text of that email.  I’ve also attached two fliers, one in English and one in polish as well as the letter that Councilman Levin wrote to Commissioner Diamond some weeks back.  Sorry that I didn’t get it to you sooner.  Please feel free to post this on the blog.


Dear Friends,

Please join Council Member Stephen Levin and Senator Martin Malave Dilan for a Town Hall Meeting this coming Monday to discuss the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) proposal to put a 200 bed men’s homeless shelter in Greenpoint.  The shelter would be located at 400 McGuinness Boulevard (SE corner of Clay and McGuinness) and would be run by Help USA. Council Member Levin has written to DHS (see attached letter) stating his objections to this proposal but DHS has indicated that it will continue to move forward with its plan.

Here’s the deal (as I see it):

  • Help USA has been hardly been forthcoming , much less cared to dialogue, with the very community who may be concerned— and rightfully so— about how their “intake center” for homeless single men will impact their community. This is not unusual; in fact, it seems to be their M.O.
  • That’s right, an intake center. In other words: not a homeless shelter per se, but a processing center. A rotating door.
  • Instead we had a representative of DHS tell us it might help our homeless problem. He himself said admission was voluntary and under our fair city’s current (and very Victorian strictures, I will add) this means one cannot drink if one wants shelter. I seriously doubt this will address our “homeless” problem. They will continue to select drinking over housing and more will die. On our streets.
  • For the above reasons I would like to see a total overhaul of how our “unhoused” are treated starting right here in Greenpoint.  By Bloomturd’s criteria many of the derelicts you see on the Garden Spot’s streets are not homeless— by virtue of the fact they have family here. Families which can no longer manage and are in no way qualified to deal with their loved ones’s problems. It’s an elegant way to fudge the numbers— but Bloomberg has proven himself to be very good at that kind of thing.
  • I would like to humbly suggest our fair city explore setting up a wet shelter . This has been done with success.

It comes down to this: If given the choice between drinking and a place to sleep at night chronic alcoholics tend to choose the first. Do you want our city/HELP USA to continue to preach morality (don’t drink and you’ll have a warm place to sleep tonight) and use it to justify placing a 200 bed intake center for single men as “addressing our problem”? Or do you want to get to the heart of our, Greenpoint’s, “homeless problem” and admit that the system we have in place is not working— and demand our city— DHS included— be held accountable? Here’s your opportunity to do just this.

December 13, 2010 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Polish Slavic Center
176 India Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Being against this shelter does not make you “anti-homeless”. Rather, it is I am against this homeless intake center and HELP USA’s refusal to be accountable to very community it will purportedly “help”.

If the petitions I created in Spanish and have collected are any indication, the rather large Hispanic community situated near this shelter— many of whom are recent immigrants— are against this shelter.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Did I mention Andrew Cuomo, our governor-elect, was a founding member of HELP USA? He is! As is his sister, Maria Cuomo Cole.

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