New York Shitty Street Art Du Jour: Not In Kansas Anymore

September 18, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11211, Gentrification, Hooliganism, Street Art, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Dorothy nys

As discovered across the street from the Atlantic Attic vintage shop.

(Taken September 18, 2014.)

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: Barclays Center


Taken September 7, 2014.

LAST GASP: From The New York Shitty Inbox

(Or: A Case of Mistaken Identity)

A few thoughts:

  1. For someone who wants his/her park “back” stating he/she is a new resident to Williamsburg is rather audacious. If for no other reason because McCarren Park is technically in Greenpoint. That’s right: 11222.
  2. I am neither the head mistress of Red Gate Garden nor a hair dresser. However, my hair dresser— whom this person seems to have confused me with— is both!
  3. Not being a hair dresser is probably one of the worst career decisions I have ever made.
  4. But given the “tone” of this person’s missive it would appear that a mere hair dresser (and long time resident of Greenburg/Williamspoint) should not have a say about what is going on in her proverbial “backyard”. And that a garden that has been in existence for over 10 years should be removed because a new Williamsburg resident wants his/her “park” back.
  5. Nonetheless, I have brought “Iwantmyparkback’s” missive to the head mistress of Red Gate Garden’s (AKA: my hairdresser— the woman mistaken for being Miss Heather.) attention.

Here’s her response:

Greetings Miss Heather,

Although it was disheartening to read the email that you forwarded to me sent to NewYorkShitty about Red Gate Garden; thank you for letting me read it. I am flattered that someone might think that I am you. I think that you contribute a valuable point of view to so much of north Brooklyn, and beyond. Whether it be candid photography or frank opines on local stuff; you say it as you see it.

I, personally, don’t feel that I need to agree or disagree with your opinions. If I didn’t want to see it I wouldn’t look at it. I appreciate that you have brought something to my attention that might concern, interest, or enlighten me.

I would like to respond personally to the sender of the email, and I did email via that address. I don’t think that it will ever make it to them, since I don’t think it is a “real” address. “I want my park back” as an email address from a new resident along McCarren Park is confounding. Back from whom or what? From McCarren 10 years ago? 5? The email address and content implies that this individual wants their park back from what they perceive as a misuse of public space, and that the garden is an eyesore and trash dump. I can only defend that with photographs that show that it is not an eyesore or a trash dump.

That the garden is somehow exclusive or selective in its ability or willingness to engage a greater number of volunteers is erroneous. That Red Gate needs more volunteers is a fact. Red Gate (aka Nick’s Garden) has actively promoted and tried to solicit more volunteers. No one that has shown interest in helping has ever been discouraged or excluded. That there is only a small group that are active in the garden is a fact. That 2% of the people that come by or email and then follow through with getting involved, is also a fact. Instead of taking shame in that, we actually commend each other for hanging in there, and working hard to contribute to something as wonderful and beautiful as a community garden. An oasis in the middle of what has been our only big open public space to do so, for so many years.

Aesthetically the garden could use some improvements. The fence is ugly to many regardless of what is inside the gate. I could only hope that more people would want to get involved in helping to sustain and elevate the garden to its full potential, instead of ridiculing it. It belongs to all of us. Anyone that wants to partake in all the joy, back-breaking labor, planning, purveying, and tender care that is needed to sustain it is so very welcome to come and join us.

Lastly, I wanted to add that I am also one of those annoying tax paying citizens. I work hard. I pay my taxes. I have provided two service industry establishments to Williamsburg over the past 14 years that have paid revenue taxes on a multiple of millions in sales. I feel the pain that most of us do. I am involved in my neighborhood, and try to help better it wherever I can. I do not write a blog. I am not Miss Heather. If you have some constructive ways to improve things or wish to be a volunteer in the community garden, please contact us at Red Gate Garden via twitter. Since your email makes reference to my business at a hair salon, and some of my past contributions to NewYorkShitty’s photo posts are attributed to Miss Mousey Brown’s photo stream; I wanted to clear up any confusion.

Meredith Chesney

If there is a lesson to be learned here it is this: before you send a nasty missive to someone from a bogus email address (which I am tracing, by the way) at the very least do enough fact-checking to ensure your insults are (somewhat) salient/relevant. Nice try, troll. Or as Nelson put it best.

Miss Heather

BREAKING: A McCarren Park Land Grab?

I have received no less than two emails about this in ten minutes. M writes:

Stephanie Thayer’s “crew”  is taking down the fence around what she refers to as the renegade garden on the corner of Bayard and Lorimer this second. It has been there for over 10 years. It is beautiful. This is not right. Is there ANYTHING that you can think of for us to do?

Here’s another item Katherine Naplatarski was thoughtful enough to forward to me:

hey all,

just at the park. if anyone’s around today, sat., go talk to folks at red something-or-other garden in mcC at corner of bayard and lorimer- gina, walid. they should be there most of the day. steph ordered their fence taken down today by parks and for the boy scouts to plant in garden.

they have been there for 12 years and are really upset and angry.

that’s the short of it. they would appreciate help and the word spread.

I’m not against the Boy Scouts having a garden. But this is ridiculous— and begs a lot of questions:

  1. How did this get approved?
  2. Why weren’t the people behind this park notified?
  3. Why did the Parks Department elect to remove this fence on a Saturday?
  4. Why did the Parks Department elect to remove this fence when they knew a great many people— community activists foremost among them— would be attending the Visitor’s Center Opening at the Newtown Creek Waste Treatment Facility?

All in all, I think this stinks. BIG TIME. If you agree please call the peeps behind this garden: Gina at (646) 266-9526 or Walid at (212) 464-8096 and voice your support.


Miss Heather

UPDATE, April 25, 2010: I have been told the boy scouts were planting in this area for one day (as opposed to permanently). While I certainly do not object to this it still does not answer the question as to how this came pass without anyone seemingly knowing about it. I did and do find this very troubling.

UPDATE, April 26, 2010; 11:30 p.m.: Here is an email from Miss Mousey Brown (who shot the above photographs) which was sent to David Rivel, the Director of the City Parks Organization, various Parks Department Officials, and many, many more:

My point of view on The Red Gate Garden is fairly clear. If you refer to my flickr set of photos and description of what happened this past weekend one can see that I do have a bias towards the situation; and my reaction was of a regular neighbor, friend, and infrequent contributer to the garden. I have given them plants. They have given me plants. I allow them to come and wash up, or use the bathroom facilities at my business on the corner. I pick a few weeds, and ask plenty of questions about plants.

My business, Mousey Brown Salon ( est. in 1997 on Bedford Avenue), moved to the corner of Bayard and Lorimer st.
6 years ago, come June. I see everything that happens on that corner from about 9 am until as late as 11p, seven days a week. I know that the NYDS street sweeping truck, actually cleaned Lorimer’s gutter for the first time in a year last week.
I have seen the NYPD herd middle school children that want to hang out, and be teenagers being teenagers (some, but not all, of them extremely troublesome/dangerous); swiftly off the block, or onto city buses. It’s not the school’s job to worry about a kid from the school setting the tail light of one of my clients new car on fire. The fist fights are not anyone’s job to breakup. I am known to offer first aid or call 911, but that is about it. The Skateboard Park folks, that I am so happy to see having fun and getting exercise, have twice referred to me as the Band Aid Lady. Clearly, I have a bias to this corner of McCarren Park. It is from one that cares about it. I care about it’s safety. I care about it’s beauty, cleanliness, and usage.

If, I had a dime for every public urination, a dollar for every noxious charcoal barbecuing (not legal btw), a nickel for every time I let a stranger use our bathroom (including all the concerts when the gates didn’t open until 7, and concert goers started showing up at 3)… well, I could have enough cash to pitch in to help preserve Red Gate Garden from the parks department.
There seems to be some concern that the garden is exclusionary. The wind fence that is in place to protect all the small closely planted flowers, vines, bushes, and trees from careless foot traffic. Even the Green Dome garden in the center of McCarren Park, which is absolutely viable as an award winning community garden within a city park, is locked at times. Why? Because there are three types of people. People that are careful and respect all things. People that make careless mistakes and have had a lapse in their sense of respecting their surroundings. And the people that do not care about any consequence to anything. It is why we have doors, and gates, and locks.

That a few people have taken it upon themselves to sustain, cultivate, and protect a very small slice of a public park should be commended. If you have felt not welcome to engage in the garden, then I am sorry that you have felt excluded. That has been in no way the intent of it’s caretakers. In the 12 years that Gina and Walid have been the “gatekeepers” to the garden, not but a handful of us have shown interest in partaking in it. Sometimes a note complimenting the flowers, offering help is left on the fence. None has returned any call back to them to accept their offer to help. I am so angry of any suggestion that this is in any way a private garden. That is so far from the reality. Honestly, if you really know McCarren Park, how long do you think that the little plants coming up would survive, if there were no fence around it ?

If I were smart, I would leave it alone right there. I suppose I am not, because I want to know why the hell a person from the parks department thinks it’s okay to rip down the fence without notice. The same person that had a comm comm with their other employer, the tuesday before to discuss all the new ideas for McCarren Park. It is a dirty, illogical, and inconsiderate way to meet one’s needs. If, I had ever heard at a cb1 meeting, from an OSA (or any other civic group) comm comm , or even through the grapevine, that the garden was an “issue” then this wouldn’t be happening. It is.

My last incoming email on the topic from a reporter, suggested that according to his source with admin in McCarren Park,  is that this is all just a misunderstanding on behalf of Parks Dept and the garden.

I’ll say it is. How awkward. The upside is that is an opportunity for the community to express their feelings about it. Involved parties are fully aware that changes are on the horizon. I am thinking there will be lots more tenders to this small public oasis, and an appreciation of what it represents.

Oh yeah, it would appear this park was protected by a written agreement with the state and the city (NOTE: hit “control +” or “Apple +” to magnify). Whoops.


Photo Credits: Miss Mousey Brown. You can see her full demolition set by clicking here.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Nothing’s Sacred

March 14, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Subway, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Inasmuch as I hate to admit it there is a great deal of veracity to be found in the above cynic’s comment. Everything is for sale in our fair city. Whether one wants to sell or not is immaterial. It’s simply of matter of money, political influence and legal chicanery. We’re the easiest city money can buy.

There are many— religious types mostly— who consider New York City to be the whore of Babylon. They may very well be correct. Whores are capitalists in the purest sense. They do it for the money. New Yorkers do it for the money. Our god is the dollar and time is money.

What has come to pass at Atlantic Yards has reduced our fair city from being a whore to a slut. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free— or better yet at tax payer’s expense?

Miss Heather

P.S.: This post goes out to Marty Markowitz who said and I quote (from Curbed’s gritty firsthand account of this farce):

Sorry about the noise outside. Obviously disgruntled Knicks fans.


  • NYS Flickr Pool

    found - books!amazing books in a dumpster - mother goosemickey and horse ride not workO'shae Sibley MemorialO'shae Sibley MemorialO'shae Sibley MemorialAbandoneda banana on a mattress - art in the streets
  • Ads