Today In Illegal Hotels: 5 West 31st Street

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sojourning with some good friends of mine. One fellow— we’ll call him “Q”— took me on a tour of Inwood. Simply put, it was awesome.

5 West 31 Street nys

In return I showed “Q”, being a good host, a not terribly unfamiliar sight in our fair city…

5 West 31 Street door nys

I speak of none other than a Vacate Order!

5 West 31 Street Red Cross nys

It is accompanied by a Red Cross notice. This is getting interesting!

Restraining Order nys

A “restraining order”? This a whole new game. One which I felt compelled to investigate when I got home.

DOB BIS 5 West 31 street

Behold the copious number of actions (94) and violations (103). Impressive!

illegal conversion 5 31 nys

Converting a three bedroom apartment into a five bedroom apartment with two bedrooms twhich sport no windows. Nope, our Bravest ain’t gonna like that one bit!

complant1

 

No sprinklers either? Oh boy.

illegal conversion nys

 

So they converted three floors of residential space— seven, nine and ten respectively– into hostel space and were in the process of converting floors six and four— without permits naturally. That nonsense is for rank amateurs and these urbanoasisnyc.com folks are superstars!

review

However their clients seemed to have liked them enough. You can see reviews, photos, etc. of this super-sized and quite illegal former hostel on Trip Advisor. Obviously they have not heard the news yet…

Today’s Moment Of Greenpoint Real Estate Insanity: Special 239 Banker Street Edition

May 22, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

239banker5222013You can probably imagine, gentle readers, the recent decision regarding a fellow renting out his apartment (condominium, actually) via Airbnb was of great interest to yours truly. Not that I had to search for it, mind you. Yesterday I awakened in yet another morning episode of allergy hell to find reporting on the subject on my Facebook page and inbox. It’s nice to know people care.

And on that note I am going to pass the love forward to my friends at 239 Banker Street. Today I had a thought while walking by this edifice/poster child for Loft Law abuse. It was as follows:

Gee, wouldn’t it be funny if this building— which was converted from industrial/commercial use to housing illegally— under the pretext of being permissible as a hotel— had a listing on AirBnb (now that it has been established that AirBnb is illegal in our fair city)?

Well, grab hold of your Shit Tits fellow Garden Spotters— it does! What’s more, it is was very easy to discern. Before I proceed, I’d like share to take a moment to share Airbnb’s “response” to the recent court decision (once again, from Gawker):

This decision runs contrary to the stated intention and the plain text of New York law, so obviously we are disappointed. But more importantly, this decision makes it even more critical that New York law be clarified to make sure regular New Yorkers can occasionally rent out their own homes. There is universal agreement that occasional hosts like Nigel Warren were not the target of the 2010 law, but that agreement provides little comfort to the handful of people, like Nigel, who find themselves targeted by overzealous enforcement officials. It is time to fix this law and protect hosts who occasionally rent out their own homes. 87 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York list just a home they live in — they are average New Yorkers trying to make ends meet, not illegal hotels that should be subject to the 2010 law.

Well, given what I have learned recently, we have an exceptional lot of New Yorkers in Greenpoint. Sure, they’re trying to make ends “meet”— but are they home owners? No they are not. Meet “Joseph”. One of the 13%.

airbnbSC5222013NYS

room1

This “average” New Yorker is not only a fashion/celebrity photographer, but he has a rather snazzy profile photo and by all appearances resides at 239 Banker Street.

AirbnblistingversusgooglemapsHILITEDNYS

The “giveaway”? Well for starters the buildings gracing “Joseph’s” (AirBnb certified) “rooftop view”: Pop’s Clothing and House of Vans respectively. Here’s an alternate view from 7 Franklin Street (“Pop’s”) courtesy of Google Maps:

7franklinstreetGooglemaplookingeasthilitedNYS

I have highlighted 239 Banker Street. But wait, there’s more! “Joseph” has done all the homework for me— albeit unintentionally— via a second listing on AirBnb!

BUSTED

Busted!

To recap:

  1. The owners of 239 Banker Street were granted permits to convert this manufacturing/commercial building into a hotel. This is perfectly legal given it is located in an Industrial Business Zone.
  2. Instead, the owners converted it into residences and leased it as such. For $2,100- $2,200 a month.
  3. 239 Banker Street was vacated by the Department of Buildings for conditions hazardous to said residents.
  4. Under new “ownership” 239 Banker is rented out once again as residential lofts. This time for substantially more money.
  5. I raise hell.
  6. I receive an email from my City Councilman regarding the matter. I blog it.
  7. A Loft Law application, however inapplicable it may be presently, is filed.
  8. And now we have a legally-sanctioned hotel converted illegally into residences which, in turn, one resident is illegally employing his apartment as a hotel via AirBnb. Ostensibly to “make ends meet”.

Wouldn’t it have simply been better/easier if this property was a hotel in the first place?

Priceless

(Priceless)

Quicklink: How To Beat The High Cost Of Living In North Brooklyn?

I— as I imagine you, gentle readers— have often asked this very question. Thankfully we have Brooklyn Based to tell us how to make our apartments work while we play: rent it out to total strangers as a vacation rental! Preferably via Airbnb (which gets not one, not two, but three plugs in Brooklyn Based’s tome).

Yours trulys favorite passages are as follows:

“Once it’s up and running, it’s easy money,” says Julian, who first joined the Airbnb community in February 2010 (and asked that his last name not be used). The income from managing several listings around Brooklyn, all of which are already booked for the summer, covers the rent on a two-bedroom Williamsburg apartment, and has helped fund his dream: restaurant-ownership. This summer he’s opening Dear Bushwick on Wilson Avenue. (So much for anonymity; the State Liquor Authority’s web site took care of that.— Ed. Note)

It’s important to know that in May 2011, a New York state law went into effect to ban short-term residential rentals for less than 30 days, to help crack down on “illegal hotels.” While the law was designed to target apartment owners who were using residential buildings as hotels, it has created somewhat of grey area when it comes to Airbnb… 

“You have to be smart,” says Julian. He now rents and maintains four separate apartments throughout Brooklyn, three of which he uses exclusively to host Airbnb travelers. “I tell guests to keep their heads down and not make too much noise. You want to avoid 311 complaints—if you get a handful you might have a problem. But at this point the city can’t do much about it—they would have to set up a whole new department for dealing with this kind of stuff.” (So basically “Julian” concedes that what he is doing is illegal, but persists because there is a lack of enforcement. Interesting. — Ed. Note.)

It’s true that law enforcement currently only responds to complaints; assuming landlords or neighbors aren’t annoyed or bothered by what you do with your apartment. In this City Room post, Senator Liz Krueger, one of the sponsors of the bill* that makes short-term sublets illegal, says that “The city is not going to knock on doors.”

So, get permission or tread lightly. Julian relayed the story of a friend who wasn’t allowed to renew her lease after her management company found out she was subleasing her apartment through Airbnb without their approval. “You probably don’t want to rent your apartment in an area where people have been living for years,” he says. “It’s better when people are coming and going—so neighborhoods like Bushwick or the NYU area make it easier to keep a low profile.”

And last— but hardly least— my personal favorite:

“Go the extra step,” Julian says. “Leave a six-pack of beer in the fridge for guests. It doesn’t cost much, but it makes people happy.”

I can personally attest to the joy-giving properties of beer— but are the consumers Julian’s suds of legal age? He doesn’t indicate. I hope State Liquor Authority is paying attention to this.

In closing: Isn’t it refreshing to know “Julian” is able to afford to afford a two bedroom apartment in Williamsburg and open a bar in Bushwick because he is pressing residential space which could— at least theoretically— house families (or other “eyes on the street”) into service as a transient hotel? Or that Brooklyn Based saw fit to be an enabler for a phenomenon which, while in a “gray area” from a legal standpoint, indisputably undermines the quality of life and safety of those who have the misfortune of calling these “entrepreneurs” neighbors? And all in the name of “easy money”? The word “disgusting” does not even begin to cover how I feel about this.

Those of you who care to do so can read Brooklyn Based’s tome in its entirety by clicking here. Otherwise any of you who have had experiences with a neighbor (or tenant) leasing his/her apartment as a vacation rental please share your thoughts via comments or email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.

Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire. Thanks!

*Here’s another sponsor of said bill: Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, 75th Assembly District. How do I know this? Very simple: someone from his office contacted me— two years ago.

P.S.: While I am vaguely on the subject of tourists and tourism, my comrade in the East Village, Jeremiah Moss, has authored an excellent piece. Here’s a passage I found particularly interesting:

As Fran Lebowitz said in an interview, “Present-day New York has been made to attract people who didn’t like New York. That’s how we get a zillion tourists here, especially American tourists, who never liked New York. Now they like New York. What does that mean? Does that mean they’ve suddenly become much more sophisticated? No. It means that New York has become more like the places they come from.”

Please take a moment to give it a read.

News You Can Use: The El Retorno Report

As many of you are aware yours truly frequently attends meetings conducted by our local Community Board. The reasons for this are manifold, but I will list the two most important ones below:

  1. Said meetings are an excellent way to learn about what is going on in north Brooklyn.
  2. The public speaking segment at the end is often illuminating and downright entertaining.

This month’s meeting was no exception. After a rather lengthy evening a citizen named “John” spoke about an eating and drinking establishment in (what I would presume to be) his neighborhood: El Retorno. His speech started as follows:

If you are looking for a liquor license to turn down, this is the one.

and then he proceeded to tender some rather unsavory details about this business to back up his assertion. This included— but was by no means limited to—- the following:

  • While described as an “eating and drinking establishment” El Retorno was in reality a place for men to get drunk.
  • The waitresses at said establishment solicit the clientele to buy drinks for them.
  • The aforementioned ladies also “taxi dance” (Read: they will dance with men for money).

“John” concluded his speech (one of the finest yours truly has ever beheld at a Community Board meeting, I will add) with a bang by pointing out this establishment has been cited by the Department of Health for harboring roaches, rats and flying insects.  These he described as being “the perfect trifecta”. Suffice it to say yours truly and a few buddies were very impressed. So much so we broke into raucous applause which netted us confused and mildly annoyed looks by a number of people present.

In the following weeks we could not stop thinking about this alleged den of iniquity. Was this chap “John” merely exaggerating or was El Retorno as vile and repulsive as described? This was the question we kept asking each other. Finally, we decided to find out for ourselves and to this end invited ~23 of our best friends to embark upon a fact-finding mission. Six stepped up to the plate. We established guidelines/rules for this endeavor. These were as follows:

  1. We would visit this establishment under the pretext of one of us having a birthday.
  2. Our panel would be constituted of women only. The Mister was rather disheartened to learn this but I had his best interests at heart; you do not send in a Boy Scout for a task better suited for the Marines.
  3. This mission would come to pass March 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

And come to pass it did. Follows is a report of our findings. WARNING/CAVEAT: the following content is not for the squeamish.

Yours truly was the first to arrive. Noting this establishment seemed to be patronized exclusively by men, I called one of my fellow conspirators, Christine:

Where are you? I am NOT going into this place by myself.

She replied that she and a friend, Alison, were catching a car service and should be on site soon. I took a walk around the block and sure enough when I got back they were waiting for me. We entered and took a table.

The first thing we noticed was a solitary crutch propped against a wall next to the front door. We later concluded this was kept on hand in the event of an emergency. A very nice waitress came over and gave us menus. Remembering the “trifecta” as mentioned by our (unwitting) tipster regarding the food, we decided to stick to beverages.

We made a toast to our endeavor.

Preliminary observations/thoughts:

  1. The lady waitstaff of this establishment were drinking along with the clients.
  2. There was an older gentleman sitting in the back wearing sunglasses. Mind you, this was well after dark. We deduced this chap was the owner and/or “management” of this establishment.
  3. We noted this eating and drinking establishment has nary a single Yelp review or page on Facebook. We vowed to change this egregious oversight.
  4. We really liked the “cravats” made from paper napkins on the beer we were being served.

8:39 P.M.: Upon noticing buckets of beer are offered for $20.00 a pop we ordered one.

We noted that said bucket had a rather nifty bottle opener attached to the handle.

We were quite impressed by this bit of ingenuity. However, this gizmo proved to be problematic/less than user-friendly— as you will soon see.

8:42 P.M.

  • A woman arrived with two small children. They hung around and talked to the man wearing sunglasses. After about fifteen minutes, they left.
  • Upon noticing we were having some difficulty using the bottle opener attached to our bucket (READ: We were spraying beer on ourselves trying to use it), our waitress (who was really friendly) offered us a more conventional one. We declined. We were dead set on learning how to use this device properly. We would not be defeated!
  • Yours truly perused the jukebox. Freebird was not offered.

As is usually the case when consuming beer, yours truly found herself in need of a privy and in so doing made the first of a series interesting discoveries.

  1. The signs gracing the lavatories are in English, Spanish and Polish.
  2. Our Greenpoint gal, Sherry, notes the Polish being employed is grammatically incorrect: kobieta means “woman”. The correct plural tense is “kobiety”.

1. There is some interesting graffiti to be found in the ladies’ lavatory.

2. Someone has a bone to pick with a chap named Gerry. Among other things.

Yours truly attempts to use the bottle opener attached to our beer bucket. Hilarity ensues.

My notes were fortuitously unharmed.

(SIDE NOTE: Yours truly initially had trepidations about going home reeking of beer— but then remembered that as a Greenpoint resident this “perfume” would be in no way be construed as unusual. Our kindly waitress provided napkins and I proceeded to clean up my mess.)

9:00 P.M.: We noted that men were starting to show up in significant numbers.

9:25 P.M.: We have another beer opening mishap— but endeavor to persevere!

9:36 P.M.: Another bucket of beer is ordered and another member of our fact-finding mission, Juliet, arrives.

10:00 P.M.: We notice that the men sitting at a table behind us are smiling at us. We return the favor.

10:04 P.M.: The lights are dimmed and our intrepid Christine attempts to locate a wireless network.

Amusingly enough we learned that “Vagina” was locked. This discovery elicited peals of laughter from our panel.

10:05 P.M.: We noted the music is becoming, really, seriously, INCREDIBLY loud.

10:10 P.M.: A fellow patron comes over. The dialogue which follows gets somewhat convoluted, so I will give a general outline.

  1. He offers to buy us a bucket of Coronas. I offer to buy him a Coors if he’ll buy me one. He says he does not like Coors. I tell him I do not like Corona. However, if it is free I will drink it. This confuses him so I clarify that I am from Greenpoint and this is how we roll. This confuses him even more.
  2. He asks if we are married. Christine replies that some of us are. He is nonplussed and continues to press the matter.
  3. We give him a beer.
  4. He gets a call from his wife. This bothers him. He then confides in us that he has a girlfriend as well. He continues to ask if we’re married. We ask him why, if he has a wife and a girlfriend, this is so important to him. We do not get an answer.
  5. He concludes that we are married and changes his line of questioning to (and I quote): If you are married why are you here? We ask him why, if he is married, is he here? Once again, we do not get an answer.
  6. He asks how we know about this place. We tell him a guy named John told us about it.

10:15 P.M.: His cousin comes over. He explains that our new friend is from New Jersey. Our new friend asks our party:

Who is the leader?

Everyone pointed to yours truly. He tells me he’d like to me to go outside with him so he can show me something. This did not strike me as an offer I cared to take up and I told him so. He persisted so I went to “Plan B”.

We do not have a “leader” per se. We are anarcho-syndicalists. We take turns as an acting executive officer on our outings. This evening I am the “leader” but next time this sinecure be assumed by another person in our party.

He said he had never heard a story like that. I assured him this is exactly why I told it. (ASIDE: It has been yours truly’s observation that nothing will stop a man from pitching a tent like a woman talking about politics.) We then noticed that a sound system was being fired up in the backroom. We asked our new friend if they were preparing to do karaoke. He answered to the affirmative and proceeded to solicit recommendations from us: Lady Gaga or Britney Spears— or as he put the latter: “Whoops, I did it again”.

We agreed unanimously upon Britney. He was visibly disappointed and said he likes Lady Gaga better. We assured him our panel’s suggestions were merely advisory and therefore non-binding. In other words: if he wants to sing Lady Gaga, he is perfectly entitled to do so.

10:20 P.M.: He begins to ask one member of our panel to dance with him. Repeatedly. She was clearly uncomfortable and we took this is as an indication it was time to go. We endeavored to clear our tab. I go to the bathroom. I opened the woman’s lavatory to discover a man urinating. I elected to patronize the men’s bathroom instead.

ASIDE: Earlier in the evening a member of our party voiced concerns about the cleanliness of the toilet seat in the women’s bathroom. I am pleased to note there was no such issue manifest in the men’s lavatory! I came to this conclusion because all the urine I saw was located on the floor.

As I am using said privy I noticed evidence of someone trying to kick the door open from the inside. I am certain the story behind this is a good one. A story, I imagine, I am much happier not knowing.

10:29 P.M.: We gathered up our materials and commence to leave. Our waitress for the evening thanked us for coming and told us she hopes we will come back. We thanked her for a memorable evening and Christine tips one of the hostesses $5.00 and apologized for us “stepping on her game”. She was genuinely grateful and welcomed us to come back anytime.

Sherry was selected from our party by our new friend as his “best girl”. Lucky her. We leave and on the way to the subway we exchanged notes/drew conclusions:

  • A motion was brought forward by Christine that this was the best $20.00 she has ever spent. This was enthusiastically ratified by our panel.
  • I brought forward a motion to congratulate Sherry as being deemed the “Best Girl”. This too was enthusiastically ratified.
  • Most importantly, we decided that “John’s” testimony regarding this establishment was, by all appearances, startlingly accurate.

At the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and Graham Avenue our panel disbanded. Juliet and I headed to the G train at Metropolitan Avenue. As we were walking something really strange happened: a building started talking to us.

It was at this point yours truly realized that three beers on an empty stomach— or the “trifecta”— was working its magic. I had been RETORNO-ED. We made double-time to the nearest subway station and in an act of nothing short of divine providence, the G train arrived as Juliet and I hit the platform.

Upon exiting the G train in Greenpoint I spied a text message in my inbox. It was from the Mister.

Okay?

I thought to myself. No, I am not okay. Yours truly had one of the most fun evenings she has had in YEARS!

Thank you, El Retorno!

Miss Heather

Post Script, March 27, 2011: Our sleuth Sherry made a fascinating discovery about our new favorite eating and drinking establishment. It DOES have a page on Yelp after all…

albeit as a hotel. Fascinating. On a lark I pulled up 191 Graham Avenue’s latest Certificate of Occupancy. Follows is what I found:

I perused the ECB violations for this address and quickly learned the aforementioned “ordinary” cellar is anything but.

New York Shitty Day Starter: An Open Letter To Governor Paterson

When I finally had the time and wherewithal to contact you were unavailable. So here it is.

Dear Mr. Paterson,

Several months ago I was contacted by a person from Richard Gottfried’s office about illegal hotels. She wanted to know about any and all illegal hotel activity I knew about in Williamsburg. Despite being the proprietress of the Village Voice’s “Best Neighborhood Blog of 2009” I was not as helpful as I would have liked to have been; I live in Greenpoint.

However, Greenpoint has its fair share of this kind of thing and I brought them to her attention. Foremost and above all is 184 Eagle Street (formerly known as the Luxe Guesthouse). How do I know about this, you ask? Very simple: I have had residents of said building email me.  Repeatedly. Follows are a couple of their complaints:

“Greetings… I noticed that you covered the “shadiness” that is the development at 184 Eagle St. I am sad to say, I am a resident at 184 Eagle St, and unbelievably I am under a lease. I can tell you first hand that this place is basically a Hostel, and while most original tenants have found a way out of here, I am still trying (with my security/last month intact). Nevertheless, shady things keep happening at the building (the other day a group of girls at the door asked me if the “club” was open today, whatever that means).” From May 14, 2009.

“I am very sad to say that I also live at the now ramshackle shanty condo located at 184 Eagle Street… Similarly to the last resident who dropped you a note, I’ve come across some unsavory characters wandering around in, and trying to follow me into the building. After I shut the door before the last bunch could get in, the guy started yelling at me through the glass and randomly dialing numbers on the call box. I don’t feel safe here at all anymore. Indeed, it simply isn’t.”

This hails from a building where people who are paying $2,000+ a month in rent. In other words: “people who matter”. Speaking as someone who lives a few blocks away I can assure you the “safety” issue extends much further than 184 Eagle Street proper. If the “transactions” I’ve seen are any indication I’d say the drug business is thriving. I have little doubt this underground tourist trade is in large part responsible for this; backpackers looking for a bunk and a good time— with no regard for their neighbors. They drink, get high, break and leave. My community has to deal with the consequences.

If you want to see more abject examples I’d suggest looking at Hotel Toshi’s web site. I recognized (albeit by not specific addresses) quite a few buildings he is employing as hotel space. The one that really got to me was Mr. Toshi’s “Southside Swiss Chalet”. This is, most assuredly, located in a rent-stabilized building.

I’ve featured all the previous and more on my website, Mr. Paterson.  Please approve this legislation.

As I said before: apartments should be for New Yorkers, not tourists.

Miss Heather

Quicklink: A Timely New York Times Editorial

It was recently brought to my attention by a buddy of mine at Joe Lentol’s office that legislation has been brought forward by State Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried to end the nuisance that are illegal hotels in our city (such as the now defunct Luxe Guesthouse which operated at 184 Eagle Street right here in the Garden Spot and can be seen at left) once and for all. What’s more, the New York Times has seen fit to print a pretty good editorial supporting this legislation. Please give this item a read and, if you agree, take a moment to make our Governor aware that you do not support residential apartments— especially those in rent stabilized buildings— being pressed into service as transient housing. Housing in New York City should be for New Yorkers, not tourists.

Thanks!

Miss Heather

Breaking In Williamsburg: BUSTED!

March 26, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

I have just received word that 112 North 6 Street (AKA: Zip112) has been vacated by the Department of Buildings for being an illegal hostel. Apparently there were up to sixteen people living in each “apartment”, no sprinkler systems were in place and there was no means of “second egress”, e.g.: fire escapes. My buddy over at Brooklyn 11211 has some interesting things to say about this development. You can read ’em by clicking here.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, March 28, 7:59 p.m.: It would appear there was not one, but two hostels operating at this location. Zip112 has been allowed to continue operation. Aaron Short has the full run-down here.

UPDATE, 5:16 p.m.: Here’s an update/statement of Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office.

Northside Williamsburg Building Evacuated for Being Illegal (and dangerous) Hostel and a Fire Hazard

Assemblyman Joe Lentol has just learned that a building in his district, at 112 North 6th street is currently being evacuated by the FDNY and the buildings department for being an illegal hostel.  Also on site are the Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross.  According to information given to Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office the building is zoned commercial but had been divided into 12 apartments with up to 16 people living in each apartment for a potential capacity of 192 people.  Lentol’s office was also told that there were no fire escapes or sprinkler system and no secondary exit should an emergency arise.

“My heart goes out to the people affected by this and I am very relieved to hear that emergency services and the red cross are available to them.  My office is as well,” the assemblyman added.  “We are going to do everything we can to help the people affected and to ensure these things don’t happen in the future.  I intend to work with the city and my colleagues in state government to find ways to improve the system to try to prevent this to the best of our abilities.”

“This type of situation, where people are being kicked out on the street, should not be allowed to occur in the first place.  Its simply unacceptable.  I never want to see people on the street in my district.  I am very glad that the Department of Buildings is stepping in to ensure that everyone is safe going forward but I think we need to be asking ourselves how did it get to this point?”

“This is certainly not the first time people have been put out on the street because they find out that the landlord doesn’t have the proper zoning or safety requirements for what he is renting out.  The other day a constituent told me that his real estate agent told him he could also live in the building he was buying to operate a business. He found out she was wrong.  If he hadn’t checked for himself, he could have ended up on the street for violating the zoning and also lost a lot of money.”

“It points to a larger problem where too often the owners or the renters of buildings are trying to do things, or are being told by real estate agents that they can do things,  on a wink and a nod and the people living there get the short end of the stick. In some cases the risk is monetary, in some of these cases of serious fire hazards they are risking much more”

“For some time now, my office has been trying to look at ways that we can try to remove the guesswork from the system so that when you move into a building you know what you can and cannot do with it, you know whether the owner has a certificate of occupancy, you know the legal situation of where you are living, so that we can avoid this,” said Lentol. “This situation the perfect example of why we need to do that.  It put peoples lives in real danger. That cannot happen again.”

“I always believe in prevention first, but now that we are in this situation, I will be sure to work the Mayors office to help everyone involved. And then we focus on learning from our mistakes.”

UPDATE, 10:22 p.m.: It would appear the New York Post is on the story. I’m happy one of my commenters could be of assistance. Who needs to do research when they sit on their ass, surf the Interwebs and get it for free?

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