Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Wanted

WANTED

In the 14+ years I have never EVER seen a NYPD-sanctioned (?) notice regarding bicycle theft. Now I have. The neighborhood is a’ changin’…

New York Shitty Video Du Jour: Live From Manhattan Avenue

June 24, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

Incident1

Rubber Gloves

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wheres levin NYSNote the fellow walking and texting the whole time. Oblivious.

Where’s Levin?

You ask? For what it was/is worth he was spotted at McCarren Park the same day this was filmed. Someone even took a photo. Our City Councilman asked if it was going to be part of New York Shitty’s “Where’s Levin” call for Greenpoint spottings (and, technically, McCarren Park is located in Greenpoint). She said no. Regardless, it’s nice to know you have a following.

The source material for my snow globes never stops! Imagine if every person in this community who was mentally disturbed and/or engaging in disorderly conduct— while white and affluent— got such “attention”…

Spotted On Manhattan Avenue: Missing

These flyers have been popping up all over the Garden Spot. Keep your eyes peeled fellow Greenpointers— and spread the word!

UPDATE, 9:50 p.m.: Thanks to Citizen Christine I can pass along more information about this fellow as posted by Womens Wear Daily (Mr. Ott is a fashion designer).

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Water Tower

March 15, 2014

March 20, 2014

As you can see, gentle readers, something has come to pass in the last few days. Follows are a few thoughts:

  1. This is one of my favorite landmarks in Greenpoint. In fact one of my all time favorite photos I have ever taken is of this water tower.
  2. This pisses me off. Big time.
  3. I suspect a number of the folks reading this list agree with the previous two points.
  4. Some may find prodigal penises (penii?) hanging from telephone lines offensive. I respect their opinion. However, let’s face facts: a. it does not entail destruction of property b. it is not taking a crap on someone else’s culture.
  5. I do hope an effort will be made to restore this flag to its previous state.
  6. I want each and every one of my fellow north Brooklynites to remember this the next time certain pillars of our community extoll upon the benefits of the tourism economy. Straight up: vandalism of this variety is not perpetrated by folks who live hereabouts. Rather, it is the handwork of those who reside outside the community and as such do not treat it with the same level of care and respect as residents do. Or at least this is the only plausible reason/excuse I can find for this.
  7. Any/all “news outlets” which see fit to run with this news item: remember to cite www.thatgreenpointblog.com!

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Copped Car

January 16, 2014 ·
Filed under: New York City, Street Art 

Taken by Jamie NYC.

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: Stop & Frisk

December 15, 2013 ·
Filed under: Criminal Activity, New York City, Stuff The Makes Heather Sad 

stop and frisk

The latest in my snow globe series commemorating the (blissfully) soon-to-be over Bloomberg Era. NEXT UP: Santacon!

On a (somewhat) related note, I would like to take a moment to thank the Metropolitan Transit Authority for— wittingly or unwittingly— scheduling a suspension of the Crosstown Local the weekend of this lovely act of “philanthropy”. I strongly suspect this did preclude these miscreants from “spilling over” here.

MTAannouncementNYS

Thanks guys (and gals)!

H/T to EVGrieve for bringing the above gem to my attention.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Java Street Pop-Up Park

November 3, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

Geese

geese and barbed wire

Ever had one of those moments when a something— let’s say gut instinct— tells you:

Something has changed here.

Well, I had one such moment today while visiting the Java Street Pop-Up Park.

Java Street Pop-Up Park November 3 2013

No gentle readers, I am not making reference to the fence which has found its way into the East River. That came to my attention on October 8th. No, this is something else.

Something Is Missing

There used to be something here as I recall. A park bench, perhaps?

Park Bench

Why yes, that’s what was there!!! I wonder where it went?

Park Bench Taking A Dip

Oh, I see it has joined its friend the fence for a dip in the East River.

Man Overboard

Impressive. But of course, I doubt this would have been possible had the fence been repaired in a timely fashion. But it wasn’t—- so now we have this vision to greet visitors disembarking from the East River Ferry. I am certain it will work wonders for our burgeoning tourism industry.

gooseandfencecrop

I imagine it is only a matter of time before a goose gets hurt on the barbed wire on said fence. For all I know this may have happened already. It’s not like they have the ability to call 911…

New York Shitty Video Du Jour: NYPD Meets Benny Hill

October 18, 2013 ·
Filed under: Culture War, New York City 

Special thanks goes out to Walking and Typing for bringing this (guilty pleasure) to my attention!

Real Men Love Cats: Meet Mario

kentaveJust over a month ago I posted an item noting the destruction, rendered with extreme prejudice, of the feral cat condo complex on Metropolitan Avenue (as seen at left). Those of you who are not in the know can see the aftermath for yourselves by clicking here.realmenlovecats

I have frequently wondered exactly what happened. Well, as it would happen I recently met the fellow who oversees this colony. He calls himself Super Mario and he had quite a tail tale to tell. You see, Mario tends a number of feral colonies hereabouts. He has done so for a long time and feeds no less than 76 cats (!) daily. Despite his slightly intimidating physical presence one can clearly see Mario loves the critters under his care. And anyone who loves cats, well, is a friend of mine.

Hence why I am writing this post.

Mario has names for all the kitties under his care. Without argument the “queen” of the colony is a lass named Spotty.

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Her “boyfriend”, as Mario explained to me, is this formidable fellow whose name I do not recall.

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Mario told me he is, at seven years of age, among the older inhabitants of this pride. As such he generally stays close to “home” and spends his golden years lounging in the sun and napping.

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After I took the above photo a chap sporting a black and white tuxedo coat slipped by. He had neither the time nor the desire for my photo-taking. He was hungry! Mario explained to me his “girlfriend” seems to have gone missing. However, he was sporting some scratches on his paw (which Mario is tending), so this might be due to feline fisticuffs over her affections. Such is the world of cats.

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When I asked Mario what happened to the colony last month, he explained to me that there is a fellow thereabouts who dislikes cats. So much so, he saw fit to not only render their home into rubbish.

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…but took the added measure of throwing some of it over the fence of an adjacent lot for good measure. What’s more, once the colony was moved onto the premises in question he saw fit to enter and destroy that as well. So now the gate is padlocked. I know what you’re thinking, gentle readers:

Did Mario contact the police?

Answer: yes. As Mario explained to me they explained to him that they could not do anything because (and I quote) “the man is crazy”. That may very well be. However, trespassing and destruction of property do strike me as being criminal acts and therefore a police matter.

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In closing, those of you who happen to reside near this facility please help keep an eye on it. If you see something suspicious, say something! Ultimately it is up to us humans to advocate for the welfare of Spotty and her furry friends. They do not have the ability to blog much less call 311.

P.S.: It should be noted that Mario created a memorial for the feral furkids who died during the demolition of Monster Island. This too was destroyed. Mario has informed me he will be replacing it. I have asked him to contact me when he does.

And Now A Word From Our Assemblyman…

levinmailer2

 

Every evening the Mister checks the mail. And every evening he faithfully presents the latest campaign “material”— with commentary— for my delectation. I will refrain from publishing what he had to say about this one. No worries, I have plenty to say…

  • On the subject of “safer” streets: the last I checked a LOT of people— including not one, but TWO Transportation Chairs of Community Board 1— were quite vocal and pro-active about the manifold number of pedestrian/bicyclist safety and traffic woes hereabouts. Methinks both preceded Mr. Levin’s tenure as our City Councilman. While it is laudible that he helped push the matter, the fact of the matter is what has been accomplished thus far (there’s still a long way to go) is not, by any means, exclusively his handiwork. Plain and simple. Step back, Steve.
  • While I am on the subject of safer streets, Levin fails to note that it was under his watch that crime has increased in the 94th Precinct. Specifically, Greenpoint— his “home”. I attended the Community Council meetings. The idea of bringing back “block watchers” and “neighborhood watch groups” was presented by concerned citizens. Nonetheless, our City Councilman saw fit to do nothing until the problem got too much publicity to ignore. And even then meeting he conducted with Mr. Lentol conflicted with a Land Use Committee meeting regarding Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street. Hmm.
  • “Fairer Budget”: the concept of participatory budgeting is a good one. The way it is implemented, however, is not. Since (for all intents and purposes) all the outreach is done online, less affluent/tech-savvy citizens and communities are precluded from the process.
  • Greener Brooklyn: the repaved pathways and benches at McCarren are nice— but what about essentials like trash cans, port-o-lets and, yes, toilet seats? These may not be the stuff of excitement (or campaign mailers), but they are necessary. As for WNYC Transmitter Park: this has been on the table (so to speak) for decades. I know this because awesome ladies like Irene Klementowicz fought long and hard for it to happen. This is not Mr. Levin’s achievement by a long shot. Above all, calling a walkway, benches and one new park a “win” for his north Brooklyn constituency is laughable. Really.
  • Stronger education: while I find his rhetoric (especially as it pertains to charter schools) compelling, I have to wonder whose work he is taking credit for on this one?

In closing I have to say I am disappointed in Mr. Lentol for endorsing Steve Levin. Then again, I was also disappointed when I read this from the New York Times a couple months ago…

Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, Democrat of Brooklyn, sponsored a bill to retroactively extend tax breaks to developers who had converted old factories into luxury lofts. That bill passed the State Senate. Alas, it foundered in the Assembly. And that, he noted, broke the hearts of a few developers.

“Was this proposed tax break for these properties a good thing or not? I can’t say,” Mr. Lentol said. “I don’t have enough knowledge to say it’s a good thing or bad thing.”

And if legislators don’t ask, why should anyone else?

That is an excellent question.

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Why should we ask about luxury loft conversions of old factories? I have. Over and over. Mr. Levin attempted to assuage yours truly regarding 239 Banker Street some time ago:

Heather,

I have noticed your posts and am glad you continue to bring light to the issue of lofts in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The Loft Law was designed to protect residential tenants who, knowingly or unknowingly, moved into manufacturing or commercial spaces and it may grant rights for tenants to save and stabilize their housing and avoid the excessive costs associated with being vacated.  With regard to 239 Banker Street, I cannot say whether they will be covered by the Loft Law.  (As the law stands presently, no. — Ed. Note) However, when the building was vacated in 2009, many tenants suddenly lost their living spaces as well as thousands of dollars in rent and security deposits.  I do not want to see a repeat of that event.  I will work to ensure that all building code issues at 239 Banker are addressed, but I hope to avoid seeing another vacate order if possible.  All I can do is try to spread the word about the Loft Law…

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…so that tenants in such spaces can apply for coverage that they may be legally entitled to.  Of course, the Loft Board will make final determinations about each application individually.

When queried about the rather notorious property that is the former “Sweater Factory Lofts” last November by the New York Times, Mr. Levin had nothing to say. In the meantime the owner(s) of this illegal loft conversion are getting $2,700 – $3,400 month in rent— and, no, the living conditions are not so hot the last I heard


The former “tenant” of this “room” (which I can assure you is QUITE illegal) paid $925.00 a month. Loft law application FAIL.

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