Quicklink: Registration Cards?

July 26, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Officials from the City Council, the State Assembly, the NYPD, the Brooklyn DA’s office, and the lifeguards’ union joined community leaders at the McCarren Park Pool last night for an under the radar meeting concerning the violent incidents that have marred the $50 million facility’s grand reopening. A well-placed source tells A Walk in the Park that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Assemblyman Joe Lento(l), and Councilmember Steve Levin convened the meeting, during which a proposal was floated to require registration cards for all those who would use the pool… (You can view this article in its entirety by clicking here.)

I wouldn’t exactly call this meeting “under the radar”. I got a tip about it the evening of the 24th. After doing some asking around (and not getting any answers) I decided to email the 94th Precinct yesterday morning.

I never received an answer. Hey, I understand the police have a lot on their plate— but wouldn’t a little transparency on the behalf of our elected officials and public servants be nice? This is a public matter and such a forum should have been, well, public.

UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: Apparently our Community Board 1 Public Safety Chair was present— among others. Mr. Burrows (chair of said committee) writes:

There was a meeting that started with Steve Levin and Joe Lentol chairing and then Chris Quinn arrived. The sign in sheets were from the Speakers office. The Community Board was represented by the Chair (Chris Olechowski who, it should be noted, is running against Lincoln Restler for 50th Assembly District Democratic Leader), the District Manager (Gerry Esposito) and the Chairs of the Parks (Phil Caponegro) and Public Safety Committees.

Apparently the 50th Assembly District Democratic Female leader, Linda Minucci, was present as well. Notably absent were representatives of OSA (Open Space Alliance), the pool administrator and our Parks Administrator, Stephanie Thayer. The latter was apparently fired from OSA last week. OSA, as well as the Parks Department, are in no hurry to announce this. Perhaps this is because the previous’s contract with the latter expires this fall? Hmm…

Now At Jerzy Popieluszko Square: No Vulgarians Allowed

During my peregrinations today I happened upon this rather noticeable* and clearly not Parks Department issue bit of signage at Jerzy Popieluszko Square. Having some working knowledge of Polish (Okay: I know “nie” means “no”. As for “walgaryzuj”, well, I have a very strong suspicion as to what that means!) I inferred this sign is prohibiting something. But what? To this end I inquired of a Polish friend of mine what gives. Without further ado, here it is:

Respect this place
Be civil
Do not litter
Do not drink (NOTE: no specific beverage is indicated)
Do not be vulgar

My interpreter went on to add that the Polish pressed into service is rather unusual. E.g.; this copy was probably drafted in English and translated into Polish (as opposed to using conventional, conversational Polish as spoken in Poland). In any case, mind your manners fellow Garden Spotters… (WARNING/CAVEAT: the following clip contains “language” so do not listen to it at work unless you want a visit from the H.R. Department.)

or else!

In the interest of fair and balanced reporting (and for my friends in Great Britain) you can (READ: should) watch Archie’s retort by clicking here.

*READ: hideous

What’s That Smell?

(Or: Golden Shower At McCarren Park)

Upon having this aromatic golden stream of goodness brought to our Parks Advocate and (New York City Parks Supervisor)— for two weeks, no less— here’s what she had to say.

New York Shitty analysis:

  1. Is it appropriate for a civil servant to solicit (via auto-signature) for not-for-profit organization (this being Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn) in an email sent on our (the taxpayers’s) proverbial dollar?
  2. Indeed, the honey-dipper for this privy is not providing an acceptable level of service— at least when one port-o-let is being pressed into service for a ~1/2 acre of “green space”. I know because people are complaining to me in the hope I can actually do something about it.
  3. What does a comfort station at Abate Playground have to do with points #1 and #2?
  4. Just fix it already. Ever heard of Hepatitis?

New York Shitty Day Starter: Daniel Squadron Wants Our Support!

Per an anonymous tipster:

If the name Norm Brodsky seems familiar, gentle readers, here’s why:

  1. He was a founding member of Open Space Alliance.
  2. He owns the CitiStorage storage facility which is a colossal cash out blocking our brave march towards open space in Greenpoint. To the amount of $200,000,000 if Rami Metal is to be believed (skip to 8:03 and hear his words for yourself)

And three pillars of our community; Adam Perlmutter, Steve Hindy (Brooklyn Brewery) and Evan Thies (Open Space Alliance members and former Community Board 1 members all) are hosting a rally for Mr. Squadron at his home (READ: CitiStorage)!

A Reception for Daniel Squadron
May 17, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
The Home of Norm and Elaine Brodsky (on the Williamsburg Waterfront)
5 North 11 Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

New York Shitty Day Ender: Relax

After hearing the good news about India Street Pier being outfitted with long-promised (and much needed) seating, today I simply had to see the goodness for myself. I’m glad I did too!

Not only they pressed into service by ferry patrons before my very eyes, but I struck up a conversation with the chap in the foreground (who was affixing East River Ferry signage/stickers to said benches). I broke the ice by telling him I, and many others, were very happy to see benches installed for ferry-goers/sight-seers. He was pleased to hear this.

He explained to me they wished to purchase something sturdy so as to brave the rather gusty winds— and something which would prove difficult to “commander” (READ: steal). I’d say at 500 pounds a pop (courtesy of the copious amount of concrete used in their fabrication) they made a very wise selection!

In closing he noted to me (with a chuckle) that the original benches were allocated to a park nearby. My reply was as follows:

Yes that “park” sports a lot of concrete— but I once saw an amazing gaggle of ducks swim by while hanging out there. It was really neat.

Then I added:

It would nice if park goers could have egress on India Street, though. You know, so if they want to wait for the ferry there they do not have to walk around the block.

He assured me they are working on this.

To be continued…?

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Open!

December 9, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

On December 8, 2011 I wrote (in this post):

But alas, our Parks “Advocate” (and Parks Supervisor) are not reasonable people. This is why we have a “pop-up park” on my fair burgh’s waterfront which— while purported to have been “ready” in June (per the Deputy Director of OSA) and available to Nuit Blanche/East River Ferry patrons in October— is still closed to the general public.

Well gentle readers, I have some very good news to share! The newly-appointed gatekeeper of Java Street Park writes today, December 9, 2011:

I am the gatekeeper of that park at the end of java between india st pier entrance and java.  you can announce that it will be open most days, depending on my sleep/work schedule, from about 7:30am to about 6pm

Bundle up and get down there Garden Spotters! NOTE/CAVEAT: As I learned this afternoon, you can only gain entrance via Java Street.

Java Street “Pop-up” Park
waterfront, between Java Street and India Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

 

New York Shitty Day Ender: A Halloween Dog Parade & Adoption Event Reminder

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

Contrary to what what our fair city’s Park’s web site states (as seen above), this event was in no way organized by Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn. The organizers of this event, that being the awesome folks at District Dog, have assured me of this. In writing.

District Dog’s Halloween Parade & Adoption Day
October 30, 2011 starting at 2:00 p.m.
McGolrick Park
Brooklyn, New York 11222

 

Spotted On Kent Avenue: Something Neat

August 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

I wasn’t able to get much in the way of information from this young woman given the din of truck traffic passing behind us. However, she said when completed this missive will read “Plan Ahead” and it should be completed by Wednesday!

UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: Here’s the 411 on this per nbART’s Facebook page:

On Wednesday, August 31st, the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition (nbART) the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Open Space Alliance present Plan Ahead, a knitted installation by internationally recognized Knit Graffiti artist Magda Sayeg. Over the next year, Plan Ahead will blanket 300 iron rods located on Kent Avenue between South 5th and 6th Streets underneath the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, NY. The materials produced for this project exceeded 600 sq ft and took over 200 hours to knit.

On August 31st at 6:00p.m., nbART, DOT and OSA will unveil Sayeg’s artwork for media and public viewing; a reception will follow at IndieScreen – 289 Kent Avenue at South 2nd Street – and include an open bar from 7-8 and Brooklyn’s own Brooklyn Oenology and Coney Island Catering offering wine and food throughout the evening. $10 suggested donation at the door.

Live From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Don’t let the above image of our Community Council hard at work fool you: it was a particularly informative and eventful evening at Greenpoint’s very own Church of the Ascension.

First, the minutes from last month’s meeting were read. Then we got down to business.

Part I: The Correspondence Secretary maked announcements, a new date and location for forthcoming Community Council meetings (as of September) is announced and Pat McDonald of Outreach Speaks

1. The Correspondence Secretary Speaks:

  • As of May 23, 2011 smoking will not be allowed in Parks Department facilities. A $50.00 fine will be levied for offenders.
  • People whose properties are afflicted by graffiti can call 311 to have it removed.
  • An admonishment against crimes of opportunity is made.
  • The program of the month is a summer camp for youths between 10 and 16 years of age. The purpose is to foster better relations between youths and our Finest.

2. The head Mistress of the Community Council makes a couple of announcements:

  • As of September the Community Council meetings will be conducted the third Tuesday of every month in the rear room of the Church of the Ascension accessible via Java Street.
  • The rally to protest the 200 bed homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard will come to pass May 22nd at 2:30 p.m.

3. Pat McDonald speaks from Greenpoint’s very own Outreach Program (which is located at 960 Manhattan Avenue) speaks.

  • This facility works with substance abusers of all ages (including teenagers) and has English, Polish and Spanish speaking counselors.
  • A domestic violence program (which is sorely needed) is in the works.
  • Outreach also offers 12 Step Programs.

Part 2: Lincoln Restler Speaks

  • Mr. Restler gives props to the 94th for addressing issues arising in north Greenpoint especially pertaining to drug traffic.
  • Mr. Restler mentions the (now) kiboshed moratorium on liquor licenses but notes that a more aggressive response is needed to problematic establishments.
  • An audience member inquires Mr. Restler as to the status of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. (It isn’t happening.)

Part 3: D.I. Hurson Gives the Low-down

  • D.I. Hurson give props to the Narcotics Division and citizens for helping to crack down on drug activity.
  • He mentions a seizure of crack cocaine on Metropolitan Avenue.
  • D. I. Hurson addresses what the 94th can do in regards to problematic bars.
    • To this end they will be having a sit-down with the Department of Consumer Affairs so as to better understand the laws which govern our local watering holes.
    • D. I. Hurson gives a reminder about the MARCH Program. (Look it up, folks!)
    • Bedford Avenue is specifically mentioned. D.I. Hurson states he was at North 7 Street and Bedford Avenue May 15th 2:00 a.m. He liked it to “Times Square”. He noted that the bulk of citations issued in this area are for open containers and public urination.
  • We’re up with Park Slope with being down with crime!
  • But he notes a woman was rather violently robbed after exiting Kellogg Diner.
  • Car break-ins: eight arrests in four weeks.
  • A gent who opted for drug rehabilitation (versus 1 1/2 years jail time) opted to escape and was apprehended.
  • Then of course the subject of the OSA’s East River State Parks concerts* arose:
    • This year police officers will be on hand to ensure prompt egress from said concerts.
    • The port-o-lets will (hopefully) be relocated closer to the entrance of East River State Park so merrymakers will not relieve themselves on neighboring properties’ stoops, foliage, etc.

Part 4: The Q & A session begins!

  • A lady from Noble and Lorimer Street mentions a number of unlicensed cars being present on her block. “This car is not stolen, do not tow it… mind your own business”. (priceless)
  • A woman in the audience brings up the matter of Skinheads and gangs inciting violence (because her son was beaten prior to this meeting). Not cool.
  • A Kent Street resident mentions the (recurring) homeless problem.
  • D. I. Hurson reiterates that people should call the police.
  • Ms. McDonald adds her two cents.
  • Rami Metal (of Steve Levin’ office) speaks.
    • He states that Mr. Levin has been meeting with various city agencies about this issue.
    • Not all seemingly homeless people are, in fact, homeless.
    • Mr. Metal notes that the issue Mr. Levin has with the proposed homeless intake center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard is it will not help these individuals. They are largely Polish-speaking, have roots in Greenpoint and care not to leave here.
    • All discussions with the DHS (Department of Homeless Services) has proven to be fruitless.
    • Ms. McDonald notes that one such individual did receive shelter at a 360 house because was willing to stop drinking.
    • Mr. Metal notes a number of the people in question are undocumented and as such do not qualify for assistance. To this end Levin’s office has reached out to the Polish Consulate.
    • The stalwart 94th Community Council attendee (of whom I am a big fan), Phyllis, kicks things up a notch by proposing work camps be used to employ our local homeless/inebriates and giving props to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    • Both Mr. Metal and D.I. Hurson concur that F.D.R. was an excellent president.

Part 5: Steve Levin Speaks

  • Another attendee wants to know if there is a way our inebriates can be mandated to stop drinking (in order to get housing and work).
  • Councilman Levin points out that these men are not breaking the law and as such a program is not feasible.
  • Mr. Levin counters that community-based resources need to be employed for Greenpoint’s homeless/inebriates. Most of whom are Polish-speaking. He also notes the only homeless shelter which provides a Polish-speaking employee is located in East New York.
  • Mr. Levin talks about “Common Ground”. A homeless outreach program which has identified 40-45 “chronic public inebriates” in the Garden Spot.
  • Once again: while seeming to be homeless, a number of the aforementioned folks are not. They have family here; it is their drinking that leads them to the streets.
  • Mr. Levin notes that two homeless men died in Greenpoint last winter and presses that the Department of Homeless Services look at community-based options for helping the homeless.
  • Mr. Levin notes that the proposed assessment center for 400 McGuinness Boulevard will not help Greenpoint’s homeless/unhoused.
  • The Greenpoint Hotel, a SRO, and the neighboring 3/4 quarter house is discussed (This is interesting, folks. Do give it a listen!).
  • An attendee states that there are too many homeless shelters and the solution is work (and thus the discussion of work camps is resumed).
  • This chap asserts they should be given a plane ticket and sent back to where they came from. Mr. Levin replied this is not plausible. However, he did add when family members can be found in Poland, he is reaching out to them.
  • Phyllis reiterates the need for work camps.
  • This discussion drags on and Pat McDonald tries to steer the discussion into more productive territory.

Part 6: The Conclusion (READ: more talk of work camps)

  • Pat McDonald continues.
  • Phyllis restates, once again, the need for work camps and points out how it helped her brother (who later fought the Nazis in Italy) and that this came to pass in the Great Depression (which was before Mr. Levin was born).
  • Ms. McDonald tries to rebut.
  • Levin notes local efforts being made with St. Anthony’s Church and the Greenpoint Reformed Church.
  • Mr. Levin segues to the subject of the two hate crimes which came to pass earlier this year , notes that this seems to be part of a larger trend and implores folks that if they see something to contact the police.

And with that, gentle readers, this meeting came to a merciful end.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: The “Clean and Sober” chaps in pink shirts come courtesy of Markuson’s Blog.

*Whose finances can be perused here.

Live From Last Night’s Meeting Regarding The Brooklyn Night Bazaar

March 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Yours truly did not being along her FlipCam to last night’s meeting. In the clarity of hindsight this was a mistake: this meeting lasted approximately two hours. However, a great deal of the people who spoke made points that were rather redundant. The general sentiments of the attendees essentially boiled down to two statements:

  1. I do not want this in my back yard.
  2. The organizer of this event is a liar.

I care not to attest to the veracity of the latter statement. I am merely reporting what appeared to be the sentiments of the people present. In any case the co-chairs of the Greenpoint Business Alliance did a wonderful job keeping last night’s public forum civilized. There was no profanity of any kind to be heard. One citizen seemed to have had problems comprehending points #3 and #4; he was shouted down. Without further ado follows is some footage I shot from last night’s proceedings. Pay particular attention to the revised “plan” for this event. Enjoy!

It was at this point my camera ran out of memory! Nonetheless here’s New York Shitty analysis/a VERY brief synopsis of what followed:

  1. I find the prospect of 27 West Street being sublet during the week for events troublesome.
  2. I find the Open Space Alliance’s opposition to this event intriguing. As an entity which outlays a substantial amount of its resources on conducting concerts in our public parks, one would presume they would be behind this endeavor. This is not the case. This would lead one to wonder if the prospect of having “competition” in this arena (remember: they do more or less have a monopoly on such events hereabouts) is the real matter at hand. A fellow attendee, the fabulous Tommy of Alter did in a manner of speaking bring this to the table. The answer he received was at best evasive. He was told, among other things that concerts should be held in one place. That one place was, by implication, East River State Park. I want you to think about this and what happened to JellyNYC for a moment.*
  3. A handful of people present pressed the Greenpoint Business Alliance to take a position on this bazaar. It was emphasized by the co-chairs that this event places them in a rather difficult position: while some businesses may possibly benefit from the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, others may not.
  4. Building upon point #4, Eric of the Red Star Bar brought up a very prescient point: is the lack of local involvement in terms of organizing said Bazaar an issue? Methinks it most assuredly is. As he plainly stated local businesses are stake-holders in the community and as such have to be very cognizant about being good neighbors. Someone who is operating an event here for four months does not.
  5. The plans for this bazaar seem to be changing on a daily basis and this makes it difficult to draw any reasonable, informed conclusion.
  6. Arguably the highlight of the evening was when the inimitable Ann Kansfield of the Greenpoint Reformed Church spoke. She not only admonished her fellow Greenpointers to refrain from further in-fighting and other UN-neighborly behavior but reminded us to be thankful for the the G train; if it has service interruptions of the summer this will cut down on the attendance of this bazaar significantly!

Regardless of where you may stand on this issue, I think we can all agree that it is great that the folks of the Greenpoint Business Alliance were thoughtful enough to organize last night’s hearing for the general public. Thanks guys/gals!

Miss Heather

*Here’s an intriguing two cents regarding OSA’s opposition to this bazaar I received from an anonymous tipster:

osa opposition to this bazaar … could it have something to do with one of their board members is the co-owner of artists and fleas … was osa opposed to brooklyn flea heading over to the edge?   this really seems wrong on osa’s part as the fundraising arm for north brooklyn parks.   they supported the bring the night event.   it is an interesting choice for them and full conflict of interest.

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