Live From Community Board 1: OSA Presents

It was a relatively tame evening last night despite a full house. I made the acquaintance of a New York Times reporter present. He asked me:

Is the turn-out usually like this?

To wit I replied:

No.

He then asked:

How many people are usually here?

Me:

Maybe half or one third.

When asked why the turn-out was so large. I told him:

They’re angry.

It has been my observation that citizens do not go to Community Board 1 meetings to give thanks and spread sunshine. Rather, they come to make their presence known because they’re pissed off. This is the north Brooklyn way. In any case, tonight’s spokesperson on the behalf of OSA (Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn) was Adam Perlmutter. This chap is the Secretary for said org and one of the founders of OSA Presents LLC (their concert arm). He spent the evening spreading sunshine— including to yours truly! Without further ado, here he is.

And by all appearances this seems to have mollified the concerned citizens present. Somewhat. Mr. Ricco makes it quite clear he will be keeping an eye on them (do give this a view).

And in a hardly dramatic conclusion the Board takes their recommendations to a vote.

So there have you.

New York Shitty Analysis/Op-Ed/Food For Thought:

  • I found it rather interesting that the one show excised (so as to provide more “family-oriented” entertainment and reduce possibly problematic concert events) was the “Latino” concert. While I am certain concerns about revenue were at play, the fact of the matter is north Brooklyn has a rather large Hispanic population. I am certain they would very much enjoy a concert event with their families. By removing this event from the roster OSA has made a value judgment, gentle readers. I’ll leave it to you deduce what it is.
  • I also found it interesting that Mr. Perlmutter (albeit obliquely— and not by name) called out Jelly NYC as a “concert promoter we did not want to work with” and then proceeded to excoriate them for not operating events in a professional matter. This does not dove-tail with how he felt about this same business in 2009. This makes one wonder why he has had an about-face?
  • I for one am very excited at the prospect of viewing a line item account of OSA’s  expenses and expenditures if for no other reason I want to see exactly how much money (if any) has been allocated for improvements and maintenance of Greenpoint’s parks because I have seen any difference whatsoever.
  • Lastly, so the concerns about quality of life issues arising from the concerts at East River State Park have been allayed— or at least tabled. What about the same issues posed by OSA’s events at other open spaces? In other words: What about the rest of us?

Nonetheless this is a a small— but significant— step forward. Those of you who want a full rundown of last night’s (mind-boggling long) proceedings can get a very nice summary over at A Short Story. Check it out!

Miss Heather

Live From The Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting

As I have intimated last night’s proceedings were rather contentious. Don’t take my word for it: seeing (and hearing) is believing. Enjoy!

Video 1: Dewey Thompson, Community Board 1 member, member of the Parks and Waterfront Committee kicks off the proceedings by explaining what OSA (of which, it should be noted, he is a board member and whose Executive Director also happens to be Community Board 1’s Parks Supervisor) does for north Brooklyn’s Park.

  • OSA is a conservancy not unlike Central Park or Prospect Park.
  • Mr. Thompson notes that concert/concession sales (as a result of this conservancy) will go exclusively to parks under OSA’s supervision. In other words: not into the general fund for all the city’s parks.
  • Mr. Thompson points out how OSA saved East River State Park from closing this winter.
  • Mr. Thompson notes that OSA got $330,300 in net profits (benefiting our parks) from the shows conducted last year at East River State Park. $200,000 of which went to East River State Park. That leaves $130,000 for all the parks in Community Board 1. Or as Mr. Thompson states “In Greenpoint and Williamsburg.” Make a note of this.
  • Per Mr. Thompson these concerts are delivering (and I quote) “Major value back to the community”.
  • Chairman Caponegro kicks off the Q & A session.
  • Facts: OSA employs 35-40 security people plus New York’s Finest versus 1,000 attendees.
  • Adam Perlmutter states in the interest of inclusiveness (my term) that there will be family-oriented entertainment and a “Latino show”. Among other things.

Video 2: Community Board Member (and Parks Subcommittee) Katie Naplatarski asks for some clarifications regarding weekend shows.

  • Ms. Thayer says there will be no Saturday or Sunday shows in July or August. Fridays are open.
  • A citizen speaks/complains. If she wanted to attend an East River State Park concert she can hear it from her building.
  • Ms. Thayer states it is not intent to upset the neighbors and mentions that she will be working with Officer Adamo (of the 94th Precinct) to have better policing after these concerts.
  • Another citizen notes the impact these concerts have with her neighbors and states that fifteen concerts in one summer are too many. She also notes what happened at her building when a storm hit and a mass exodus of people attempted to flood her building.
  • Yet another citizen speaks. She is VERY unhappy and likens the noise to an “x-ray” which permeates everything around her. (This is really worth watching.)
  • Caponegro speaks. Among other things he notes that OSA (or would that be 311? Or lack of complaints given to Community Board 1? This was a little unclear.) makes it seem like “no one complains”. The audience begs to differ.

Video 3: A lady named Sara asks “Why are we privatizing a park?”

  • Sara gives quick primer as to the provenance of East River State Park and reminds the representatives of OSA that East River State Park (at 7 acres) is not Central Park. Or Prospect Park. In other words: it does not have the space needed to host an event without displacing fellow park-goers.
  • Sara inquires as to how how much money OSA gives to East River State Park.
  • Sara points out the obvious: most people in north Brooklyn do not have a private backyard to enjoy. When they want to experience the outdoors it is done at our public’s parks. By closing off/monetizing East River State Park the Open Space Alliance is, in fact, denying a great many people access to open space.
  • A long-term Williamsburg resident makes it known that it was people such as himself who made north Brooklyn a desirable place to live. (This is VERY compelling stuff so do give it a listen. I cannot even begin to give it justice.)

Video 4: Del Teague, Community Board Member 1 Speaks

  • The most compelling part of this video (if you ask me) is when Ms. Teague points out that the owner of the Edge— who is apparently a supporter of OSA’s concerts— refused to allow distribution of fliers announcing this meeting.
  • Ms. Teague concurs that East River State Park is not appropriate venue for events of this scope.
  • Concerns about how neighboring properties— including affordable housing— will be impacted are raised.
  • These concerts/influx of concert goers are likened to an “invasion”.
  • Praise is given to Summer Starz and questions are raised as to when it will be scheduled this year. Apparently the organizers have been told Thursday evenings are not available.
  • Ms. Thayer replies that OSA is not done scheduling concerts (hence why East River State Park is not making Thursday evening available) and recommends that the weekends— or McGolrick Park— be used for this film series.
  • It is observed that the concerts are getting priority.
  • The specter of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar arises.
  • A recommendation is made that these concerts be conducted in the South Bronx. (What did they ever do to us? — Ed. Note)

Video 5: The Owner of Artists & Fleas Speaks

  • The owner of Artist and Fleas notes the absence of local business owners present and extols upon the benefits these concerts bring to local business.
  • A citizen presents an invoice showing the damage done to her car by a drunk driver who attended one of these concerts.
  • A woman opines that Brooklyn Brewery’s owner, Steve Hindy, benefits from these concerts— not the residents of said community.
  • It is intimated that Mr. Hindy has undue influence over our community.
  • Civil disobedience and a protest are suggested

Video 6: Steve Hindy Speaks

  • Mr. Hindy mentions his involvement with the Prospect Park Alliance and asserts neither he nor Brooklyn Brewery benefited from this relationship.
  • Mr. Hindy states a needs for fundraising for New York City’s parks.
  • Open Space Alliance is based upon the model of the Prospect Park Alliance.
  • Mr. Hindy gives a history of beer concessions at concerts. Both Brooklyn Brewery and Anheuser-Busch gave $50,000 upfront and all profits from beer sales were donated to Open Space Alliance.
  • Mr. Hindy gives a break-down of concert revenue: these netted $400,000 last year. $200,000 went to East River State park for upkeep and maintenance. $200,000 went to Open Space Alliance for operating costs including Ms. Thayer’s salary (which as of several years ago was ~$80,000 lest any of you are wondering. — Ed. Note.).
  • Mr. Hindy notes that if it was not for OSA’s efforts East River State Park would have been closed last winter.
  • Mr. Hindy tells the attendees present that if they “do not want us” he understands. An audience member replies “We want less of you.”
  • Ms. Thayer gives some additional details as to how revenue was tendered and spent at East River State Park. The parks of Greenpoint and Williamsburg get the remaining $130,000.
  • The amount of space these concerts take up— including pot-o-potties— and mentioned and a request for an annual report from OSA is made.
  • A Kent Avenue resident inquires what measures are being taken to mitigate the impact these concerts make on the surrounding community. Noise and garbage are specifically mentioned.

Video 7: A Northside resident speaks of public intoxication and urination.

  • A visual demonstration of the aforementioned behavior is given.
  • Another call is made as to what measure will be taken to mitigate the impact on the surrounding community. Chairman Caponegro notes that this question has been asked “all night”.
  • Adam Perlmutter of Open Space Alliance and OSA Presents states that he is glad this meeting is being conducted. (Somehow the rest of this footage has gone MIA. I will endeavor to find it. — Ed. Note)

Video 8: A Northside resident queries Ms. Thayer about his block being cordoned off.

  • He cites having problems parking on his block (Wythe Avenue at North 8 Street).
  • 94th Precinct Community Liaison answers this chap’s query. He states the block should not be barricaded unless a concert of letting out.
  • Ms. Thayer states that Wythe Avenue is open. This chap begs to differ.
  • The NAS concert was brought up. A woman states she saw a melee involving 30 people at North 9 Street afterward. She alleges the police ran away.
  • The need for more police presence is mentioned.
  • The question is raised as to how much money OSA spends on police patrols.
  • Mr. Adamo states that he does not have this information.
  • The question is raised as to who pays for this added police presence.

And then my memory— and wherewithal— ran out. Here’s what followed (not necessarily in chronological order):

  • A representative from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office spoke. Among other things she said he was a fan of musical events. She was shouted down.
  • Questions were raised— and not answered— regarding exactly how much money OSA/the Parks Department spend on police presence for these events (Once again: as opposed to the money raised and distributed so as to benefit our public parks. The more observant among you might have noticed even members of OSA cannot seem to be in agreement upon exactly what this figure is.).
  • Julie Lawrence, a member of Community Board 1 (and member of the Public Safety Committee) spoke. She implored for more transparency on the part of OSA.
  • Lincoln Restler spoke.
  • Chairman Caponegro made it clear that Community Board 1’s opinion is only advisory.
  • I left.

But onward it went. Here’s what one hanger-on had to say:

the committee meet with stephanie (Thayer — Ed. Note) & adam (Perlmutter — Ed. Note) sitting in …  katie (Naplatarski — Ed. Note)  looked like a force with being sure the community’s voice was heard … the resolution which aaron (Short — Ed. Note) will write up can’t really apply to this year … interestingly the committee chair did ask dewey (Thompson — Ed. Note) about him wearing many hats … don’t remember how he phrased … well put … i asked how someone could be on the task force and all you got to do is ask … from what i gather the main task is to hold osa accountable … it was a GREAT meeting … can’t wait for public safety …

New York Shitty Analysis/Commentary/Observations:

Since Community Board 1 does not have the power to place a ban on waterfront concerts at East River State Park I am not going to belabor the manner. What’s more, what transpired at last night’s meeting was not really about concerts at all. Rather, it is the growing pains of a community in transition. The battle ground (so to speak) in this case were our public parks (and to whom they belong). The answer is simple: all of us.

Inasmuch as the folks of OSA would fancy themselves as being inclusive the fact of the matter is they are not. Their events are of very limited appeal to the older, long-term — and yes— diverse residents of North Brooklyn. If they (Open Space Alliance) were forthright about who their target demographic is (20 – 30 something, younger, newer residents) at least they would have been honest and everyone— like it or not— would be on the “same page”. But this is not the case. In this respect I find touting one “Latino show” as an overture to be disingenuous at best.

Above all, I came away from last night’s meeting reminded of the serious (and depressing) disconnect there is between OSA and the older residents of the community. The latter made their grievances (like the delivery or not) and questions quite clear. In return OSA did not provide answers. Rather, they kept re-stating the same facts (and in the case of actual money raised/distributed were somewhat contradictory) and stuck to the same sales pitch. This was— and is— in no way conducive to a productive dialogue with the community OSA purports to serve. Sadly, this does seem to be their modus operandi. I am of the distinct opinion it is just this pattern of behavior which made this meeting of the minds necessary in the first place.

Here’s the deal: north Brooklyn’s public spaces belong to just that: the public. No one organization— especially those ostensibly raising money for park space and advocating on the public’s behalf* — is more important than any another other group of citizens. But it would seem that OSA is getting preferential treatment.

The chap in that third video (John Ricco, owner of Grandma Rose’s) is right: it is people such as him who have made Greenpoint and Williamsburg a place where people like them— and myself— want to live. These concerts would not be happening if this neighborhood had not been shaped by people like him. For this reason he and people like him have my utmost respect and admiration. In fact, I consider myself honored to be their neighbor. It would be nice if Open Space Alliance would follow suit. If I had to recommend a first step I would say some empathy, transparency, solid answers and yes, respect— not sales pitches— on their part would be a good start.

Miss Heather

*and in my opinion concerts are an incredibly poor way to raise money: $130,000 or even $200,000 spread over the entirety of north Brooklyn’s parks is a pittance.

New York Shitty Day Ender: From The Parks & Waterfront Subcommittee Meeting

As the above missives would indicate it was— and I am told still is— a very lively evening at the Swinging 60’s Seniors Center tonight. I did not stay for the whole affair (Sorry folks, but two hours of shouting and Ms. Thayer seemingly being unable to comprehend what nuance of the “discussion” was* is enough for yours truly. At least on six hours of sleep.) However, I did shoot footage of the first “half” and you can look forward to seeing it here, so check back!

In the meantime, here are a few teasers from before the meeting.

They were just getting warmed up, folks!

Miss Heather

*READ: Quality of life issues arising as a result of these concerts and questions about what the costs of said concerts are versus their benefits. Ms, Thayer seemed to have some problems comprehending this and extolled upon the manifold ways OSA contributes to the betterment of parks in north Brooklyn. Community Board 1 Parks Chair Camponegro put it best when he said:

She’s doing her OSA spiel again.

REMINDER: Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting Tonight!

Although I have posted this item already I feel compelled to remind everyone that this evening the Parks & Waterfront Committee will be convening at Williamsburg’s very own Swinging 60’s Center! The primary topic of this forum will be two presentations regarding the concerts scheduled to grace north Brooklyn’s parks this upcoming summer. On that note— and despite the fact I have listed several questions worth asking already— I feel behooved to posit yet one more:

Is it appropriate for a Community Board member— and a member of the Parks Committee at that (this being Dewey Thompson)— to give a presentation on the behalf of a not-for-profit organization (that being Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn) which is shilling concerts?

This strikes yours truly as a pretty serious conflict of interest. Just a thought.

Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting
May 3, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Swinging 60’s Senior’s Center
211 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Miss Heather

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Presentation Regarding Concerts at East River State Park & The Northside Festival

Given the complaints tendered at the last Community Board meeting regarding the concerts at East River State Park (and banter about banning them) I feel compelled to pass along this item. On May 3rd starting at 6:30 p.m., our Parks Advocate/Parks employee, Stephanie Thayer, along with a few other folks from Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn and the New York City Parks Department will be giving a presentation regarding the concerts slated to grace north Brooklyn this upcoming summer. Those of you who have had issues with these events in the past or simply want to learn more about them should make it a point to attend— and ask questions!*

Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting
May 3, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Swinging 60’s Senior’s Center
211 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Miss Heather

*Here are a few for those who might feel inclined to ask:

  1. What measures will be put in place so as to mitigate the impact on the surrounding community, e.g.; noise abatement, trash pick-up, crowd control, etc.?
  2. What measures will be taken to ensure that issues which may arise at other park spaces will be addressed in a timely fashion? Or to put it differently: with the summer being peak season (and as such is more likely to have maintenance issues), how will a balance be achieved between operating these concerts and managing our parks?
  3. Exactly how much money is raised by these concerts for our parks versus money/manpower outlay-ed? Ask for specific figures.
  4. How have the aforementioned funds raised been allocated to date?

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.

New York Shitty Video du Jour: Notice of Eviction

February 15, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As I have mentioned previously, earlier today I attended Lincoln Restler’s Notice of Eviction press release at 65 Commercial Street. Without further ado here is the footage. Enjoy!

Miss Heather

American Playground Watch: Before & After

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

On December 30, 2010 our Parks person wrote:

…We are doing all possible with the resources at hand.   Right now, Mother Nature giving a few sunny, non-freezing days would be the most helpful thing possible.

On January 1, 2011 Miss Heather writes (on the Community Board 1 Yahoo Group):

Today I saw a tractor cleaning up the sidewalk in front of Jerzy Popieluszko Square and a group of sullen Parks employees with a truck equipped with a plow at McGolrick Park. One employee was complaining on her cell phone that it was cold. Perhaps when our Parks advocate(s) are done pontificating/congratulating themselves and/or making excuses they could see fit to send these people/equipment my direction?

It would appear that Mother Nature not only gave us a few days of mercifully temperate weather but also a snow plow. Thank you, Mother Nature!

Miss Heather

Spotted At Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square: Snow Removal

I know, it seems incredible but I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles/Talmuds/Korans/Telephone Phone Books— whatever you want— it’s true! Better yet, why not watch for yourself. Seeing is believing!

Perhaps when our Parks Person is done lavishing a little love on Bedford Avenue she could send this guy over to the American Playground? It’s a mess.

But this is not to suggest there isn’t humor to be found here: there most assuredly is! Many of you might recall a portion of this playground has been vacated by the Department of Buildings due to falling debris from an adjacent building. To this end (and in the interest of public safety) a barricade has been put in place. For those of you who are wondering: as of today it is still there.*

The owner of 49 Noble Street (the property in question) may be taking his sweet time to address his decaying building…

but at least he has seen fit to clean his sidewalk! This begs the question as to why our Parks Department has not done the same. No worries, dear readers, I will let our Parks Person herself tender an explanation.

So there have you.

Miss Heather

*Anyone care to place bets how long it will be in place?

McGolrick Park Photos Du Jour: What Is Wrong With This Picture?

September 20, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

(Or: Heart Of Glass)

Ever had one of those moments when you’re like “Ah, that’s kind of neat!” and then you look more closely and find yourself muttering:

Holy shit!

Well last Saturday I had one such moment at the Bathtub Race at McGolrick Park.

I like bathtubs— and balloons!

Watching two of New York’s Finest remove an intoxicated individual (who, it should be noted was not a member of the Lion’s Club) is another matter altogether.

Our Park’s Czar/Executive Director of OSANB (Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn) Stephanie Thayer, was (fairly recently) paraphrased by the New York Times as saying (in regards to a public art project located in said park):

…that vandalism occurred in the park daily, and that someone had once poured concrete down the toilets*. “For no good reason,” she added.

I beg to differ. I have not seen vandalism per se at this park. What I have seen is (on any given day) is anywhere between 10-12 seemingly homeless people— many of whom appear to have addiction “issues”— and a manifold number of empty “baggies”.  The previous consider this park to be their living room (because, in fact, it is). Obviously drug dealers like to ply their trade here as well. I have also heard rumblings that used hypodermic needles have been found here. I have yet to find any. But I have seen gentlemen “nodding off” so obviously something is going on. As for concrete being poured down toilets all I have to say is this:

I make it a point to avoid the “comfort stations” at this park** if at all possible— because they are anything but. Comforting. They were and remain to be utterly disgusting. Perhaps this act of intransigence was a critique of the condition of said “facilities” and Ms. Thayer’s “management” of them? Who knows? Greenpoint works in mysterious ways.

Ms. Thayer (in the above-mentioned article) also opines:

Because this is such a good monument to humanity and compassion, it is really necessary to keep it in play.

While no one can argue with the above statement (It’d be sort of like saying “Yes, I’m all for clubbing baby seals!” and it was undoubtedly willfully and deliberately word-smithed for this chilling effect) I would like to humbly suggest Ms. Thayer get a better grip on the parks under her “watch” and the humanity who use and, in this case, inhabit them. Public art is nice (and I’m all for it) but this park (and many others in Greenpoint) have much more urgent matters requiring Ms. Thayer’s compassion. Some attention to the bathrooms— a very human amenity— and an acknowledgment that this park is a haven for people who clearly have substance abuse problems— if not out rightly homeless— would be nice for starters.

Miss Heather

*If my memory serves me correctly this came to pass well before Ms. Thayer came on the scene. I could be wrong. Verification/fact-checking, anyone?

**I hold it and go to Cooper. The bathrooms are always in a reasonable state of repair and the Parks employees there are very nice. For those of you who have heartier bladders I also recommend Maria Hernandez Park (always neat) or, best yet: Sternberg. The latter is— by north Brooklyn standards, anyway— plush.

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