From The New York Shitty Inbox: Monitor Street Reconstruction Postponed!

February 11, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I have just received word from Lincoln Restler, our 50th District State Democratic Committee person, that the much-maligned “reconstruction” of Monitor Street has been (and I quote) “indefinitely postponed” by our fair city.

That is all I know at this time. Monitor Street residents, rejoice!

UPDATE, 11:59 a.m.: I have been told by a community liaison at Joe Lentol’s office, Amy Clearly, that the Monitor Street reconstruction project has been postponed for two years and is contingent upon the acquisition of the two demapped blocks between Greenpoint Avenue and Norman Avenue. A press release is forthcoming. Nonetheless, this is very good news indeed!

UPDATE, 3:20 p.m.: As promised, here’s the press release from Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office!

Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Councilman Levin, Senator Dilan Announce Removal of Monitor Street from Nassau Avenue Reconstruction Project

Monitor Street will be removed until title can be acquired to Monitor Street between Norman and Greenpoint—likely at least two years—and then a comprehensive plan that takes into account the community needs and input will be developed that minimizes any impact on residents

Assemblyman Joe Lentol was just as shocked as the homeowners on Monitor Street between Nassau and Norman when a series of letters arrived at their doors informing them that parts of their homes, usually fences and stoops, didn’t belong to them and might have to be removed.  According to these letters, called “encroachment letters,” parts of these stoops and fences lay on city land and would potentially interfere with the upcoming reconstruction plan.

“It was really upsetting for several reasons, first, some of these fences and homes have been in place for a hundred years and in that time no one had ever been told that their home was encroaching on city land,” said Assemblyman Lentol.  “Second, this is the only block not on Nassau Avenue that is being done, people really felt that they were being singled out.  And lastly, this block just had a lot of improvement and infrastructure work done and doesn’t necessarily need to be torn up again at the cost of people homes, peace of mind, their finances and hundred year old houses,”  Assemblyman Lentol concluded.

Originally the project was supposed to include three blocks, Monitor between Nassau and Greenpoint but because the city doesn’t have title between Norman and Greenpoint it dropped down to one block. “I was gratified to learn today that they will be postponing the project until they can acquire the title to all three blocks which should take at least two years. I also have in writing that when they do undertake work on those three blocks of Monitor street, the work will be done with a plan designed to have as minimal impact on the residents as possible,” said Joe Lentol.  “This gives us plenty of time to come up with a plan that has full community input for the planning and accommodates the needs of the community and their houses.”

“I am thrilled that DDC has postponed their proposal to force residents of Monitor Street to dig up their stoops for street repair work. The residents of Monitor Street deserve all the credit for effectively organizing and convincing the city that the proposed construction changes were not necessary.  I also want to thank my colleagues, Assembly Member Joe Lentol and Senator Martin Dilan, along with CB1, for their leadership role on behalf of the residents of Monitor Street,” said Councilman Levin

Assemblyman Lentol was able to organize a meeting with the Department of Design and Construction and residents of Monitor Street and Nassau Avenue, Councilman Steve Levin, Senator Martin Dilan and District Leader Linda Minucci and CB1.  This sentiment was made very clear.  Assemblyman Lentol followed up with conversations with the Commissioners of DDC and the Department of Transportation expressing the views of the community.

“That block of Monitor Street is beautiful, and that is what I heard over and over again from the residents of that block.  They don’t want their block touched,” said Assemblyman Lentol.  “I am really pleased that we have gotten such a positive outcome and are now able to take our time to work towards a really great plan.”  In conversations with the commissioners of DDC and DOT Assemblyman Lentol was told that the process of acquiring the two additional blocks was likely to take two years, which is when a new Monitor Street Project would begin, but the focus would be on the two industrial blocks with deference  being given to the residential block and impact on homeowners being minimized.

“Also it will mean that we will actually be getting work done on the two blocks of Monitor Street that need it and the one block that is already beautiful we can plan carefully and with deference to the houses that exist.  I am proud to have been able to help these residents and to have worked with my colleagues Councilman Levin and Senator Dilan as well as Community Board 1 and District Leader Linda Minucci towards making this happen. Even more so, I am proud of all the residents of Monitor Street who came out to fight this haphazard proposal and stand up for their homes and their community,” said Lentol.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Live From The Community Meeting Regarding Construction On Monitor Street & Nassau Avenue

It was a full house at tonight’s community meeting— and man, oh Manischewitz what a meeting it was! Naturally I captured the fireworks on video. I’ve cracked open a bottle of wine (it’s much more fun— if less expedient— than aspirin) and have commenced uploading footage. I will be adding it to this post as it successfully uploads— so check back! Teaser: Joe Lentol beating on the table to get the rather angry audience to quiet down and quit shouting. Enjoy!

Introduction by State Representative Joseph Lentol

Part II: Senator Dilan Introduces himself and a Representative of the DDC, Nitan Patel, speaks

  • Mr. Patel explains “Encroachment Notices”* and states that moving forward our elected officials will be notified of said notices.
  • He explains the role of the CCL: Community Construction Liaison.
  • Per Mr. Patel this is a “Federal Highway Project”.
  • Members of the audience are not impressed.

PART III: Mr. Patel rebuts angry Monitor Street residents and explains the surveying process.

  • Mr. Patel explains the ADA requirement and “room for flexibility”.
  • An audience member takes him to task.
  • Per Mr. Patel “We’re working around the stoops and some of the cellar doors— they’re coming out too.”
  • More dialogue about stoops and fences; and Mr. Patel states he has “walked the job”.
  • Why Monitor Street? Why not Kingsland Avenue? (This becomes the rallying cry as the meeting goes on— Ed. Note.)
  • Steve Levin warms up the audience with an informal survey.

Part IV: The Reckoning (Read: Do not F*ck with Monitor Street)

  • Senator Dilan and Mr. Patel go toe to toe regarding the role of contractors in this project.
  • Steve Levin explains why he was late; how this process will impact this community and points out the obvious: why is this “encroachment” a matter now.
  • A Monitor Street resident/expert points out that sewers were replaced 27 years ago. Among other things. (Ed. Note: I love this guy.)
  • The matter of Monitor Street between Greenpoint and Norman Avenue is brought up: it comes to light that this parcel is private.
  • MSR (Monitor Street Resident) keeps hammering away and Mr. Patel gives a visual as to what the fifteen foot curb means.

PART V: Assemblyman Joe beats the table & Steve Levin implores people to raise their hands and speak one at a time.

  • Assemblyman Joseph Lentol points out that Monitor Street between Greenpoint Avenue and Norman Avenue has been de-mapped (READ: not owned by the city) and suggests said stimulus money be used by the city to buy it back and make necessary repairs. This was greeted with much applause.
  • 50th District Female Democratic Leader, Linda Minucci, inquires of Mr. Patel as to whether the aforementioned stretch of Monitor Street was in the initial proposal. He says it was— but since it is not owned by the city they cannot work on it.
  • Mr. Patel shifts the blame to the Department of Transportation.
  • A Greenpoint resident inquires as to how the 11′ 9″ requirements for sidewalks on Nassau Avenue will apply to her mother’s house because it will cut off her stoop. Jeers and dark laughter from the peanut gallery follow. Mr. Patel assures everyone this will be handled on a “case by case” basis.
  • Another DDC representative steps forward and explains the “Encroachment letters”.

PART VI

  • The second DDC Representative continues explaining the “Encroachment letters” and acknowledges that it was not drafted property and distributed to our elected officials.
  • Karen Nieves, the Community Board 1 Transportation Chair, asks why this was not brought to their (her) attention, bemoans the lack of “transparency” and asks for a time-line for this project.
  • A discussion about sewers follows.

Part VII

  • A question about site inspections is raised. Mr. Patel beings up ADA requirements.
  • City Councilman Steve Levin asks Mr. Patel about curb cuts and the fifteen feet requirement. (Ed. Note: the body language in this segment is priceless.)
  • Monitor Street’s expert speaks once again. And Steve Levin once again implores the crowd to speak one at a time.
  • Mr. Patel reiterates that the DDC takes orders from the Department of Transportation.
  • A question is raised about Community Board 1’s role in this project.
  • A complaint is raised about the appropriateness of this project given budget cuts.
  • Taylor of the Brooklyn Kitchen/Meat Hook (and creator of the moniker “Shit Tits”) speaks.

Part VIII

  • Annoying ring tone.
  • A question about getting a stop light is raised. Hilarity ensues.
  • At this point the audience is rather subdued.
  • A fellow Greenpointer asks who will benefit from this project. Mr. Patel assures her she will be happy after the project is done.

Part IX

  • An amusing anecdote about Jewel Street’s street sign is shared.
  • The “Lady in white” finally speaks.
  • State Senator Dilan speaks, Linda Minucci texts.
  • A tentative time-table for this project has been established: April 2011.

Conclusion

  • Senator Dilan and his fellow electeds concur that another meeting with a representative from the Department of Transportation is in order.

Until next time, Greenpointers!

Miss Heather

P.S.: The woman in the pink sweater is Linda Minucci. I recognized her as  the woman “on the flier”. And later as the 50th District Female Democratic Leader. I have lived in Greenpoint for 11 years, attended various and sundry community meetings and have never— ever— seen hide nor hair of this woman until last night. Maybe I’m dotty or when there’s a genuine Greenpoint Auto de fé in effect everyone joins in the fun.

*You can view the printed material available at this meeting— including the contentious “Encroachment Notice”— by clicking here.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: St. Cecilia’s Convent

January 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Vomit 

Looks like someone had one hell of a party.

Beer was consumed.

Brooklyn Beer.

Are those carrots?

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Sunset Diner

January 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken January 30, 2011.

Miss Heather

From The New New York Shitty Inbox: Community Forum

January 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Remember the post I wrote regarding the widening of the sidewalks on Monitor Street? Well, thanks to our Transportation Chair Karen Nieves and Joe Lentol’s office a community forum has been scheduled for February 2nd! Here’s the 411″ :

ATTENTION: Community Forum on the reconstruction of Nassau Ave

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Councilmember Steve Levin, and Senator Martin Dilan will be hosting a community forum on the reconstruction of Nassau Avenue, Wednesday February 2, 2011 6:30PM at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell Street) in the Community Room.

Representatives from the NYC Dept of Design and Construction and NYS Dept of Transportation as well as the MTA and 94th Police Precinct have been invited to respond to your concerns.

For further information, please contact Assemblyman Lentol’s office at 718-383-7474

Community Forum Regarding the Reconstruction of Nassau Avenue
February 2, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Lutheran Church of the Messiah
129 Russell Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Mark your calendars Monitor Street residents!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Monitor Street (de)Construction

January 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Jay (who sent me the above item) writes:

These flyers were distributed to all residents on Monitor St between Nassau and Norman. I’m just a renter so only got to hear about the plan from my landlord. There was an all-block meeting a couple of days ago and it sounds like the people who own property on this block are going to fight this all the way to city hall. I can’t imagine why the city would want to go through with this… if 5 feet of sidewalk are added on each side then the sidewalks will be wider than the street!

Here’s the deal: I do not profess to have any knowledge whatsoever about this kind of thing. However, this does strike me as being a wee bit ridiculous. Follows are two more avenues the folks on Monitor Street should consider:

  • Contact  City Councilman Steve Levin’s (who, it should be noted does not live too far away from the block in question) office. This can be done via email at Slevin (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) gov
  • Keep a watchful on the Community Board 1 calendar— both the public meetings and the Transportation Committee meetings (which are also open to the public!).
  • In closing, I would like it to be known that I have dialogued— albeit via email— with Ms. Nieves on a number of occasions. She is not only very dedicated to addressing the manifold number of transportation issues hereabouts but she’s a really nice lady to boot! Do not hesitate to contact her.

    UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.: Jay has been kind enough to provide some visual aids so as to help us understand what is being proposed.

    UPDATE, 11:39 a.m.: Here’s what our Transportation whiz, Karen Nieves, has to say!

    Dear (excised),

    Thank you for your email concerning the Nassau Ave/Monitor Street reconstruction project.  At my last CB#1 Transportation Community Meeting many of your neighbors attended and has shared your concerns.  We are working with Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office to get a meeting with NYC Department of Design and Construction(DDC) to go over everyone’s concerns for sometime in February.

    Please understand this Capital Improvement Project has been in planning stages for many years and the Community Board is not in charge of the project.  We are only advisory and try and mitigate the concerns of the community during the process.

    Although the Community Board does support Infrastructure Improvements in our community we do not support lack of outreach in which clearly DDC has not provided in your case.

    Please be assured we will do everything we can to have all your voices heard and try to get a meeting together with the appropriate agencies as soon as possible.

    In the meantime if you have any questions please contact Mr. Shane O’jar (718) 391-2358 at the NYC Department of Design & Construction regarding this project .

    Miss Heather

    Quicklink: More About The Shooting at 211 Monitor Street

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

    For those of you who are following this story, now it would appear this was a botched mugging attempt. You can view the latest report by the New York Post by clicking here. Do check it out.

    Miss Heather

    LAST GASP: Shots Fired On Monitor Street?

    January 14, 2011 ·
    Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

    Jay writes at 10:45 p.m.:

    Just heard two shots fired across the street from my apartment on monitor. Neighbors spilled on to street a few seconds after. Took less than two minutes for NYPD to appear and set up yellow tape. Something bad happened but don’t know what.

    Katie writes at 11:27 p.m.:

    Hi Miss Heather,

    Don’t know if you have seen the police choppers circling the neighborhood tonight, but if you see this you might want to spread the word to be extra safe in Greenpoint tonight/this weekend — someone was just killed on the street on Monitor between Norman and Nassau. It happened across from my brother’s apartment, and he says the street is currently swarmed with emergency vehicles and concerned neighbors.  Evidently they aren’t sure of the victim/shooter/situation yet, but that the shooter ran away and (as far as he knows) has not been found. I’m not sure when exactly it happened — definitely in the last two hours.

    Thanks — your blog and reporting are such an invaluable resource to our neighborhood! I’m sad to be writing in about something so awful.

    Whoa. If anyone reading this has any more information please share via comments or email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.

    Thanks!

    UPDATE, January 15, 2011: Here’s a little more information per Jay.

    Adult male victim taken in ambulance. Suspect fled on foot. Street still blocked off by yellow tape and detectives in trench coats and flashlights searching the area. There was a helicopter with search light over Nassau St and mcgolrick park area.

    UPDATE, January 16, 2011: According to the New York Post the victim of this shooting was a 35 year old male. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital and is listed as being in “critical condition”.

    UPDATE, January 19, 2011: I have received word this gentleman has died. My deepest heart-felt condolences go out to his family. He was only 30 years old.

    Miss Heather

    New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: Perched

    January 3, 2011 ·
    Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

    From Monitor Street.

    Miss Heather

    Greenpoint Photo Du Jour, Part II: Santa’s Little Helper

    January 1, 2011 ·
    Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

    Okay, I know Christmas 2010 is long gone but I’ve gotta know:

    Why the hell didn’t this little fella visit my house?!?

    Miss Heather

    • NYS Flickr Pool

      Midwood Street and Utica AvenueBrighton Beach Street SceneConey IslandAvenue NAvenue MPresident Street, Crown HeightsRed HookGowanus
    • Ads