LAST GASP: Live From The Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee; Toshi Presents!

September 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Culture War, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Toshi himself was present.

Floor plans were reviewed and residential apartments were noted.

Curbed was on this first when they wrote (on September 21st):

The Hotel Toshi outpost at 808 Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg has been a source of frustration for longer-term building tenants, some of whom broke their leases early because they were fed up with Toshi’s habits of allegedly leaving the building’s side door open, moving tenants’ mail, and renting out rooms for all-night parties. Some long-term renters remained—in fact, the Toshi outpost is apparently legal because the majority of the units are not Toshi-occupied—but they’re not all on board with Toshi’s latest plan: opening a cafe in the building. A tipster sends along the deets.

You can (and should) read the rest by clicking here. Here’s what I can tell you from last night’s proceedings:

1. Cafe Toshi will be offering “heat and eat” meals and touted support from residential tenants of said building.
2. Concerns about egress and overall compliance with Department of Buildings regulations were raised by the Committee.
3. Thus, the application was turned down until documentation about the legality of the “kitchen plus office” is confirmed by the Department of Buildings.
4. Inasmuch as I can recall, Mr. Toshi is the first and only attendee to bring his dog to a Community Board 1 meeting. He (she?) was in a rather nice carrier and kept quiet throughout the proceedings.

For more reading about the Toshi Empire (and its rather rapacious appetite for commandeering residential apartments for “hotel” use, among other things) click here, here, here, here, here and ESPECIALLY HERE.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Tidbits From Community Board 1

I was told the agenda was light and for the most part light it was. There were even sounds of merrymaking behind yours truly.* At one point I heard the distinct “clinking” sound of a wine bottle being dropped. This of course garnered a great deal of attention from the (mostly) bored attendees. I personally assured our Public Safety Chair (whose jurisdiction oversees such stuff) that I was not responsible. Whether or not he actually believes me is anyone’s guess. The previous having been written, there were a few items of note from last night’s meeting. Some serious, some not so much. I will start with the latter first.

  • Those of you who have always wondered which members of our board have perfect attendance records will be pleased as punch to know that Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office conferred just such awards last night! Follows is the riveting video footage I shot. Enjoy!

  • Next up, a fellow Garden Spotter (who I presume was responsible for the rather jaunty fliers gracing the tables when I arrived— if anyone reading this managed to grab one please forward me a scan stat. I lost mine!) brings up the matter of expanding our current historic district to includes places North ‘Point.

Those of you who are intrigued by this chap’s proposal (I for one am) should make it a point to attend the next Land Use Committee later this month. I have it on very good intelligence that this gentlemen will be present.

Community Board 1 Land Use Committee Meeting
June 29, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

  • Rounding out my video footage is a brief introduction from the Location Manager of the MTV series slated to grace the Garden Spot: I Just Want My Pants Back. (NOTE: You have to crank up the volume on this one.)

For those of you who are not in the know, the gentleman grilling this chap is our Public Safety Chair: Mieszko Kalita. The article to which he is referring comes from the Wall Street Journal and was a source of considerable anger in the Polish community hereabouts. The following passage should give you, gentle readers, a very good idea why:

The show’s other executive producer, David Bartis, who is based in Los Angeles, recalled the enjoyable unpredictability of filming on location in New York. He described an incident in which they called the police on an intoxicated bartender at Greenpoint bar Tommy’s Tavern, where they filmed the pilot. The bartender refused to leave the premises, Messrs. Bartis and Liman said, making it impossible for them to continue filming…

I suspect I speak on the behalf of a number of non-Polish, “newer” residents when I write that if the above anecdote is in fact true (and I have been assured by Mr. Kalita is isn’t), this gentleman is a hero. As our Public Safety Chair notes, there is a backlash against filming in this community (because there is so damned much of it). Those of you who are interested in taking up this chap’s offer for a dialogue (or simply want to watch the fireworks) will have an opportunity to do so June 23rd (once again) at the main office of Community Board 1.

Public Safety Committee Meeting
June 23, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Now I will round out this post with a few items which I did not film, but believe are important.

  • On June 28th starting at 6:30 p.m. there will be a joint Executive Committee/Public Safety Committee meeting to discuss a course of action regarding the liquor license conundrum our community is currently facing. This too will come to pass at Community Board 1’s main office, so mark your calendar!
  • By far the most disturbing part of the evening came to pass when a young woman spoke about she and two companions being the victim of anti-gay slurs on Greenpoint Avenue recently. Although I have reached out to this lady and her friends in the hopes of meeting with them and getting more details (for a later post) I will recounts what facts I did gather here and now. They were walking eastward on Greenpoint Avenue when a car pulled up and the men inside started shouting epithets. One of them threw a beer bottle at these women and one of them, being understandably angry, threw it back. This act, in turn, escalated the situation: the men in question followed them to the Gypsy bar (which is located at 159 Greenpoint Avenue) where a verbal confrontation ensued. One of the men asked of these ladies (and I quote) “Are you men or women? Because I do not hit women.” Exactly how this situation was resolved (or what, if any, action was taken by the management of this establishment) remains to be seen. However, it did end non-violently and it is my understanding that these ladies are going to work with the Anti-Violence Project to file a police report. When I learn anything new, dear readers, I will post it here. Otherwise, if any of my gay, lesbian or transgendered friends have the misfortune of being subjected to this unacceptable behavior, do not retaliate. Call 911 and let the police take up the matter. That’s they’re here for!

Miss Heather

*Who was engaged with a fellow member of the UCB1PSCLA playing Mad Libs using the evening’s proceedings as fodder. I have not transcribed them yet, but they look promising!

New York Shitty Day Ender: Public Safety


Miss Mousey Brown was kind enough to tender this photo of our Public Safety Chair, Mieszko Kalita, to my photo pool. I suspect her reasoning for doing so was to highlight his rather jaunty tie. That, it is. The Mister even noted his pocket square (whatever that is) was in keeping with said tie. He called this sartorial. Nonetheless, this image provides me a reason to link to what he had to say about the so-called “moratorium” on liquor licenses and the rancor which preceded it on WPIX recently. I for one think his analysis is spot-on. You can (and should) check this out by clicking here.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Mr. Kalita’s opinion has been endorsed by the UNofficial Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee Ladies Auxiliary by a vote of four in favor with one absence/abstention.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Last Stop On Franklin

February 8, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Greenpoint Coffee House: 2003 – 2010

Miss Heather

P.S.: On a related note, does anyone have the 411 about the petition (as seen in the foreground of the above photograph) that  a “tavern” serving light fare should be allowed at 200 Franklin Street (AKA: Karl’s latest piece of krap)? My curiousity is seriously piqued.

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