New York Shitty Day Ender: What’s In A Name?

In this case (as I learned) quite a lot.

Untitled

Conversely, the much-publicized concerts at “Williamsburg Park” (AKA: the concrete lot adjacent to CitiStorage) are set to commence tomorrow. As you can see the stage is facing “inland”. Start drafting your 311 noise complaints now, north Brooklynites!

My advice:

Photo Credits: the photo of “Williamsburg Park’s” stage comes courtesy of Miss Mousey Brown.

 

New York Shitty Video Du Jour, Part II: Java Street, Revisited Once Again

July 16, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As I mentioned in this post, today I had the pleasure of bumping into Kate Zidar, the headmistress of the Newtown Creek Alliance. After we concluded our impromptu film shoot, I informed her of the next piece of open space on my itinerary: the Java Street “Pop-Up” Park. She did not seem to be aware of what this wonder of public/private partnership was. So I gave her a general run-down:

  • That despite brandishing “Pop-Up” in its moniker, this park was anything but spontaneous. In fact, it took almost six months to open.
  • When it did open (December 2011) most of the plants contained therein were dead due to neglect.
  • This endeavor was apparently funded (at least in part) by $15,000 courtesy of our Borough President.
  • And, most recently, it has been the location of quite a bit of feral furniture activity (which I have learned came at the behest of a number of loft residents being evicted).

As you can imagine Ms. Zidar found this quite interesting— but I digress. Without further ado, here’s what Java Street looks like today. Enjoy!

As you can see, gentle readers, very little has changed. But this story might, just might, have a happy ending— and soon!

After yours truly shot the above-depicted footage a Department of Sanitation vehicle was spied with my little eye (READ: digital camera) surveying this archipelago of detritus.

To be continued…?

New York Shitty Video Du Jour, Part I: The Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch, Revisited

July 16, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

Upon having it brought to my attention— yet again— that trash collection (among many other things) continues to be a problem at the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch, today I decided to swing by and see it for myself. While certainly better than it has been in days past, there is clearly still ample room for improvement. Not only was this apparent by the overflowing garbage cans, but it was pointed out to me by none other than Kate Zidar: the immensely dedicated and all-around nice lady who heads the Newtown Creek Alliance.

You see, as it would happen she was there with a film crew from Vice Magazine. They were awaiting the arrival of a boat to take them up the ‘creek. Anyhoo, not knowing anything about plants/plant life (other than having an uncanny ability to kill them*) I asked her if she would take a moment to explain what else is amiss at this piece of public space. She was kind enough to oblige me. Without further ado, here we go!

I suspect I speak on the behalf of many folks when I write that I was absolutely ecstatic when this park— however small it may be— finally opened. Thus, it makes me not only sad but quite angry to see it in such a state. Or to put it differently: if the powers-that-be cannot take care of a park as modest as this one, why should the problems at the McCarren Park (and specifically its pool) come as a surprise? I for one am not surprised. Disappointed and fed up? Absolutely. But surprised? No. We deserve better than this, north ‘Pointers. Really.

*Yours truly is more effective than pesticide. I have been known to even dispatch cactus to its maker on occasion (hence why I stick to jade plants). Thus I am very, seriously, grateful for Ms. Zidar bringing me (and us) up to speed. Thanks!

New York Shitty Day Ender: Still Waiting

July 10, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

“Issues” at the McCarren Park Pool notwithstanding, exactly when is WNYC Transmitter Park going to open?

Anyone?

It’s not exactly like we have been impatient. Okay, maybe a mite bit.

Nonetheless, if our Parks Supervisor/Advocate has time to fire off an email about the upcoming Open Space Alliance Concerts.

Well, then methinks we deserve an answer.

New York Shitty Feral Furniture Watch: Better Homes & Garbage

Any and all Greenpointers who happen to be celebrating in the Garden Spot on today, America’s birthday, and are need of some household items on the cheap, head to the Java Street “Pop-Up Park”. There you will find a vast array of home furnishings (and the above bit of hilarity, which I have named “The CHUD Access Portal) free for the taking!

This is all for the taking— and bedbug free!

P.S.: Here’s a question for you, gentle readers. Do you think the ladder granting access to the East River is for us to climb down or for “them” (CHUDs) to climb up?

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: McGolrick Park, Worse Than Ever?

In an email addressed to Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office, the 94th Precinct’s Community Affairs Office, Brooklyn Parks Commissioner (Kevin Jeffrey), Community Board 1’s Parks Supervisor/Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn’s Executive Director (Stephanie Thayer); City Councilman Steve Levin’s office and 50th Assembly District Democratic Leader (Lincoln Restler), among others a lady named Holly writes today, July 2nd, 2012:

I am writing this as a follow-up to the December 9, 2011 meeting concerning conditions at McGolrick Park.  While it was said that a subsequent meeting would be held in April 2012 to readdress the issues presented, that of course never happened.  And now seven months later, McGolrick Park is in worse shape than ever.

I will try to keep this letter as brief as possible, because I am very tired. . . tired of constantly volunteering and fundraising for a park that is continually destroyed, tired of continually pointing out problems that need to be addressed only to have those concerns fall on deaf ears, tired of being forsaken by the Parks Department and local politicians (with the exception of Lincoln Restler) who obviously do not care about the well-being of the park itself and the community that surrounds it.

I am attaching pictures I took today of the degenerating conditions of the park, and they should speak for themselves, but I would like to make the following important points:

1) The middle entrance on Monitor Street between Nassau Ave. and Driggs Ave. has become a residence for local drunkards.  The area reeks of urine and alcohol and there are copious amounts of garbage and liquor bottles strewn about the area.  They have literally lived in that unmaintained, isolated “meadow” for the past two weeks.  It is disgusting and absolutely unacceptable. (Photos attached. I have taken the liberty of assembling them into a slide show which graces the beginning of this post. — Ed. Note.)

2) The benches at the center of the park have been destroyed for probably the tenth time since the December meeting.  Graffiti is rampant. The Belgium stone surrounding the Monitor statue has been vandalized. The bulletin board has been broken – again.  Garbage is openly thrown around the center of the park by the group of destructive and abusive teenagers that continue to haunt the center of the park.  (Photos attached.)

3) There are trip hazards throughout the park.  My group, The McGolrick Park Schools Alliance, donated and laid 1 ton of new top soil in the spring, filling in several of the larger trip hazards, but many remain.  The other day my 2 ½ year old son was running through one of the lawns and suddenly fell directly on his nose.  It was a large hole obscured by grass that made him fall.

4) Many people of this community blame the seasonal workers for the poor maintenance of the park.  It is true that you can often see these workers sitting in the shack or on the benches.  But let me be clear that the park workers are NOT to blame.  If they are not working to their full potential then it is only because they are not receiving sufficient supervision and guidance.  Moreover, after volunteering with some of these workers I was appalled to discover that they don’t have one functioning pincer and no work gloves – they have to buy their own safety supplies, and that is a travesty.  So I gave them a bag of work gloves which is apparently more than their employer is willing to do.  Also, I want you to be aware that these workers are verbally abused by aggressive teens and drunks on an almost daily basis.  These workers, who literally have to clean the shit of the park, are treated as such, and they are given no support or power to improve their working conditions/our park.  There should be a protocol put in place whereby workers are given the ability to call for police support at even the inkling of being threatened, or as soon as they see vagrants or vandals.

5) As has been true for years, the bathrooms of McGolrick Park are absolutely disgusting.  Parents resort to allowing their children to relieve themselves on the perimeters of the playground rather than risk exposing their kids to the horrible bathroom conditions.  This of course presents another set of health and safety issues.  Moreover, urine and feces from resident drunks can still be found/smelled throughout the park.

6) The center pavilion is in absolute disrepair.  Bird nests have destroyed the woodwork and so much graffiti has been haphazardly painted over that it looks atrocious.

7) I feel it should be known that following the December 9 meeting, and announcing that I would be starting a community group for McGolrick Park, I received a call from park officials “encouraging” me to work with The Friends of McGolrick instead of starting my own group (which would target children and families of our local schools).  In addition, I was told that any police reports concerning the park should be left to Morgan Pehme (Mr. Pehme is the head of the Friends of McGolrick Park Group— Ed. Note) to make.  So essentially, I was being asked to give up my fundamental rights as a citizen to accommodate the needs of others.  Thankfully, I stuck to my guns and refused to work with “The Friends” as I clearly knew from the start that the group was impotent.  To my knowledge they have not held one clean-up or community event within the park, and what is more infuriating is that they were handed $2500 from Exxon Mobil that has not been used or accounted for.  This is money that should have been used for the benefit of our park and community and no one knows where it has gone.

This will be the last time I will reach out to those civil servants who are responsible for maintaining the health, safety, and beauty of our local park.  I no longer wish to see my hard work and energy go down the drain because the people in charge just don’t care.  However, if you are a community member reading this letter and are as outraged as I am, please forward this to others, and contact those officials that this email is addressed to.  Tell them that you agree with these words – maybe then, someone will be held accountable and our park and neighborhood can change (back) for the better.

Holly

Here’s the deal, folks: Holly is not the only concerned citizen who is disgusted with the deteriorating state of this park. It was brought to my attention after last week’s Public Safety Committee meeting by a life-long Greenpoint resident and yet another parks patron has seen fit to do some documentation of her own. Her focus was on public defecation. Without further ado, here are her findings.

I honestly do not know what I can say that I have not said many times before— but I will do so (again) anyway. Until we as citizens, our civil servants and elected officials take up the matter of the homeless (and addiction) problem here honestly and realistically, I do not see anything changing. I was both saddened and disgusted when I happened upon a man who was clearly in need of medical help today in plain view of the McCarren Park Field House and the recently (re)opened pool. The latter of which, not surprisingly, has been receiving a great deal of police attention the last two days.

UPDATE, 6:51 p.m.: There appears to have been another incident at the McCarren Park Pool. Click here for Gothamist’s take.

UPDATE, 7:47 p.m.: Holly gets a response— and responds!

Greenburg Photo Du Jour: McCarren Park

If there is one photo that best summarizes the homeless problem in this park— and north Brooklyn in general— this is it. This fellow was the source of considerable curiosity and bemused interest by parks and pool patrons as I walked by this afternoon. Concerned he might be susceptible to— if not presently experiencing— heat exhaustion/stroke, I spoke to the Parks staff at the (nearby) field house. In closing, I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude for securing the medical attention this man so clearly needed. Thanks guys (and gals)!

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Dispatch From The McCarren Park Pool

A person we’ll call “E” writes (in an email entitled “McCarren Pool/Hot Tip!” at 6:33 p.m.):

the pool is lovely. up until the lifeguards tried to get someone to stop doing something. lifeguard jumped in the pool. another got pushed in. fracas! punches were thrown, not too many people involved. they kicked everyone out and closed the poop an hour early. 2 squad cars and 2 unmarked cars were on the scene. alas, no photos.

Interesting/relevant fact: We used to have a Parks Enforcement Police “PEP” Officer in our district. The powers-that-be got rid of him. Happy Friday.

UPDATE, 8:33 p.m.: Here’s the 411 per 94th Precinct’s Community Affairs office:

No riot… Just a fight involving 3 people and then a lifeguard tried to intervene (and) got hit by accident (no injuries).

Thus, the person witnesses saw taken away in an ambulance was a lifeguard— and the above missive from the 94th intimates his injuries were not severe. Does this mean this incident isn’t worrisome? It is. What transpired today raises (in my opinion) a very important question:

Exactly what IS the protocol at the McCarren Park Pool for handling emergencies— be it a fight, a medical emergency, accident, etc.?

Unlike McCarren Park (or any park here, for that matter) pool users probably do not have cell phones handy to call 911 if /when an emergency arises— so who does? Thoughts/information, anyone?

P.S.: While I am fairly certain “E” meant “pool” in the third sentence, it gave me an opportunity to share one of my favorite parts of Caddyshack (and there are many). Such is one of the perks of being one’s own editor.

P.S. #2: Why is it whenever something bad happens at McCarren Park it is located in Greenpoint?

I’d really like to know.

 

New York Shitty Shitter Du Jour: Cooper Park

Given the completely revolting image of a port-o-let hailing from McCarren Park (the purported crown jewel of Community Board 1’s parks) which was brought to my attention by a concerned citizen yesterday and the fact my ladybug toilet seat (part of my “No Toilet Left Behind Project”) has suffered from not-so-benign neglect, I have decided an audit of our public lavatories is in order. Today’s privy hails from Cooper Park’s comfort station which serves the wonderfully re-vamped (and heavily patronized) Carnegie Playground.

Bad News: clearly there is some room for improvement.
Good News: the second stall was a mite bit more “user friendly”.

Reader Contribution Du Jour: Saturday At The Park

Stefano Giovannini, who took the above photograph yesterday afternoon, writes:

someone should do something about this… these are the porta potties near the track at McCarren Park. i could not believe. i’d rather pee in the bushes

And, as he later noticed, one parks patron elected to do just that…

This is inexcusable folks. Really.

P.S.: While I am on the subject of north Brooklyn’s crappers it is with sincere displeasure that I note that the Jamie Campiz Playground “ladybug”(which some of you might recall is part of my “No Toilet Left Behind Project”)  isn’t faring very well…

Upon closer examination I noticed the hinge is not broken.

Rather the nut had come loose and instead of, say, simply placing it back it was thrown away.

To be continued…

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    Subway EntranceStaten Island FerryAd CityCity LifeTightrope WalkerLaundry Day MetrocardHomeless JesusWilliam Wegman Dog Mural
  • Ads