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?

Tomorrow: VOTE

December 1, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

A number of people have brought this to my attention* and even though I think this “process” is a dog and pony show, here it is anyway. Given the manifold issues extant at our parks and playgrounds currently, I cannot believe the Open Space Alliance is endorsing (of all things) a boat house on Newtown Creek. My buddy over at Queens Crap— after I brought the above wretchedly comical item to his attention— made a very prescient point:

…it’s highly inappropriate for a group purporting to be looking out for “north Brooklyn” to endorse any single project on the list.  They should support all of them.

This (once again) illustrates exactly how out of touch this organization is with the very “public” it purports to serve. Do yours truly a favor: take the time to vote tomorrow and make it known we should be spending this money on maintaining and/or upgrading our current facilities. Or better yet: projects that will benefit everyone in the community, not a select few.

DEC Vote on Funding Allocations
December 2, 2010 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
P.S. 43
131 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

*To cite an example:

You probably have this. I hope you will write about it so people will vote. The peanut gallery certainly needs to be heard from , because there is no way that evil doers will not be stuffing the ballot boxes in any way they can. How the fuck did bathrooms NOT get worked into the 5o million McCarren pool renovation already? And why attach that proposal on with a super slide that is handicap accessible? I don’t get it. Also, how is the estimate so high on the field house bathroom reno and WHY add tennis court lighting onto this proposal along with the field house, and path lights? If it was just the field house , I might say yes. OR  just field house and pathlights. But not all 3. Very greedy. None of the McCarren ideas got my vote for that reason. They overshot.

Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Yours truly didn’t feel like going— but she went anyway. I’m glad I did! For starters (and by Greenpoint standards, anyway) the meeting was pretty mellow. This is a good thing since I was not really in the mood for some of the angrier and uglier rhetoric that can (and does) come to pass at these meetings. This is not to suggest there wasn’t anger: there most assuredly was. The difference was the people (ladies all) who aired their ire were (as a friend noted) so darned nice about it! Bicyclists, illegal sidewalk vendors, impertinent youths and liquor licenses all get the treatment at the hands (or would that be mouths) of these ladies. One such lass made an observation so piquant that she has henceforth earned my undying admiration. But I am getting ahead of myself. Without further ado here is footage from last night’s meeting— along with synopses and a bit of analysis from yours truly. Enjoy!

Part I: D. I. Fulton gives opening statements/props and a general rundown of crime trends.

The Rundown:

  • Grand larceny auto and burglaries are up, everything else is down.
  • Vehicle accidents are down 4.1%
  • D. I. Fulton explains that since the crime stats for the 94th are so low that one or two burglaries can skew the crime statistics upward.
  • A spate of robberies via a man riding a bicycle centering (roughly) around “Woodpoint Road and Conselyea Street”. This individual has since been apprehended and identified in a line-up by two victims. NOTE: this chap’s activities came to pass between (once again: roughly) 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. in the morning and his victims were women in their 20’s.
  • D. I. Fulton talks about burglaries.

Part II: D. I. Fulton speaks about car break-ins and the public speaks!

  • Arrests are up 24.7%
  • A case of Greenpoint roof theft
  • D. I. Fulton advises runners patronizing McCarren Park to mind their personal property.
  • One citizen applauds the 94th for apprehending a man who exposed himself to her and her daughter— and physically threatened them at North 7 Street and Bedford Avenue.
  • Same said citizen complains about illegal street vendors.

Part III: The Public Speaks, continued

  • Illegal vendors, continued
  • A general discourse on unruly behavior in general on Bedford Avenue and Williamsburg in general.
  • A Greenpoint resident queries D. I. Fulton about vehicle theft: there were 13 over the summer and 109 total.

Parts IV & V: The Public Speaks, continued

The aforementioned Greenpoint resident complains about Five Leaves’s use of the sidewalk (allegedly after permitted hours for a “sidewalk cafe”) and follows is a general discussion:

  • A burglary on Bedford Avenue
  • A lady from the Lions Club gives the 94th props

  • Bicyclists
  • Street closures and parties, e.g.; do they require permits?
  • Other things including— but not limited to— one of the most awesome observations (or dare I hope: promises) I have ever heard at a 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting. Go to 2:31 and hear it for yourself!
  • There are 97 liquor licenses pending (including a renewal for the Production Lounge*). D.I. Fulton explains this as “growing pains”.
  • Parties
  • Complaints about 311 dropping calls

Closing observations/thoughts:

  1. Once again and all things considered: this meeting was pretty tame.
  2. Nonetheless there was plenty of anger to go around. This mostly centered around aspects of the “new” Williamsburg being a tourist attraction and/or a watering hole of choice. Which brings me to…
  3. the subject of liquor licenses. If the ostensible function of our Community Board is to be the voice of the people and/or institute some semblance of “community standards” their determinations should be more binding. What’s the point of having due process if the SLA (State Liquor Authority) simply looks at their recommendation— let’s say, to deny a liquor and/or Cabaret license— and they issue the license (undoubtedly greased along by lobbyists/parties with deep pockets) anyway? Just a thought.
  4. The previous Op Ed(s) having been written (and to close on a note of levity), I am taking a serious shine to the notion of some exchange program between Greenburg/Williamspoint grannies and ‘noobs in the ‘hood.** I have no doubt the previous can show middle America a few things about partying (take this, for example.) Our friends (far) beyond the Hudson could use some good ol’ north Brooklyn flavor! It builds character.

Miss Heather

*Which inasmuch as much as yours truly can ascertain is STILL operating a monthly strip club. CASE IN POINT:

**I mean this with all due respect. I have grown to absolutely adore Greenpoint grandmas over the years. I simply wish others had the pleasure of enjoying their company. It isn’t so much about “Go back to Ohio”, so to speak, as it is “Get thee to Ohio”— and get us some respect!

Spotted On Franklin Street: Illegal Advertising On Public Property

It would appear that OSA, Open Space Alliance, is employing illegal “street art” advertisements on street signs for their concerts. In a landmarked district, no less. Given the litigious nature of this organization and the fact it is a “private/public partnership” I find this very interesting. The fact this was erected by Leviticus is pure gravy. When I want to feel dirty I read those passages.*

Miss Heather

*The best pornography I have ever read is found in the Bible. Period.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Al Fresco Living At Manhattan Avenue Park

August 14, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Earlier this week I broke the news that 400 McGuinness Boulevard may very well become a 200 bed homeless facility. If what I found in my inbox is any indication, this may not be such a bad thing. For a city that purportedly never sleeps, I seem to find people getting a little shut eye damned near everywhere nowadays. This is especially true of our precious (and, it should be noted: poorly managed) park space. What makes this case special is, well, see for yourself…

Laura (who took the above photographs today) writes:

This particular group has been camping out in Manhattan Ave St. End Park for about a week now. Their group is getting bigger & they now have a blow up mattress & other gear there…

WOW.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Defend Greenthumb Gardens!

August 5, 2010 ·
Filed under: 10002, 10003, 10009, 10012, 11101, 11104, 11201, 11205, 11206, 11211, 11215, 11216, 11217, 11221, 11222, 11231, 11237, 11372 

This item comes from a fellow flower lover in north Brooklyn. She writes:

The agreement between the City of NY and the NY State Attorney General that has been protecting community gardens for the past 8 years is set to expire in September.

The City of NY recently published Proposed Rules for community gardens under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development.

The AG’s agreement referred to itself as a “protocol for preservation and development of GreenThumb gardens” —  some community gardens were given up for development, some were “subject to development” and 198 community gardens were “offered to the Parks Department or land trusts for preservation as community gardens or open space.”

The word “preservation” appears nowhere in the proposed rules. In a nutshell, the rules essentially make new NYC community gardens not owned by land trusts or Parks subject to development after a review process.

This is a sea change for community gardeners. Though the city has said they do not intend to develop community garden sites, this is little consolation for gardeners who fear the protections that allowed their community gardens to thrive for the past 8 years are being stripped away.

Green Guerillas has been supporting the untiring efforts of the NYC Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) as they have negotiated with the city, mobilized community gardeners, and made a strong case for why community gardens can and should be preserved.

Green Guerillas also mailed out 550 copies of the rules to community garden groups across the city and co-sponsored with NYCCGC an information session to help community gardeners understand the issues so they can mobilize support in their neighborhoods.

We could make an emotional appeal for why you should voice your support for preserving community gardens, but we would not do a better job than the New York Times – read their editorial HERE.

What can you do?

…Attend the upcoming public hearing: The city will be holding a public hearing on August 10th at 11 AM at the Chelsea Recreation Center at 430 W. 25th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) – closest trains are the C, E at 23rd Street or A at 34th Street. (To testify, you must notify Associate Counsel, Ms. Laura LaVelle at the Arsenal via telephone at (212) 360-1335 or e-mail at laura.lavelle@parks.nyc.gov by August 9, 2010.)

View and comment on the rules on the City of NY website HERE.

If you prefer to put pen (or ink cartridge) to paper, submit comments to General Counsel, Mr. Alessandro G. Olivieri, Department of Parks and Recreation, The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10065.

Call 311 and tell them you would like to comment on the Proposed Park Rules as published in The City Record.

As arduous and boring as this legalese is you should read it. Especially this passage:

Given tour Parks Person (and “Open Space Advocate”) has seemingly seen fit to obstruct Nick’s Garden/Red Gate Garden’s Greenthumb paperwork it makes one wonder who she’s serving. Is it the people using said parks? I think not.

The dead tree that graces the beginning of this post is a testament to her folly. It was one of the many trees planted by the Boy Scouts of America last April at her behest and due to neglect (no watering) and poor placement (being pissed on by humans and canines) died. They since have been removed. I suppose our “Parks Person” finds “carpet-bagging” concerts and fund-raisers more compelling?  I can’t blame her. She has no public administration or horticultural knowledge at all. She formerly hails from Wall Street. It”s all about the money.

Which is, I can assure you, what this revision of the Greenthumb rules is about. Cashing in.

Miss Heather



Now At McGolrick Park: Baggies & Dead Squirrels

I have long been remiss in checking out how things are shaking across McGuinness Boulevard. Namely, McGolrick Park. Fortunately I got a much-needed reminder via an email from an anonymous tipster. He/she writes:

…Used needles are being found in the woody garden areas of McGolrick by Nassau.  That’s the scarey part, but I am awaiting confirmation because this was third hand info…

I decided to go down there and see if I could find any. First up, the good news: I didn’t.

And now the bad news: it became all too clear from the get-go someone has a pretty brisk business selling and/or consuming illegal intoxicants— especially around Nassau Avenue and Russell Street. Without further ado here is a slide show featuring the rainbow assortment of baggies I found on my sojourns. I have tossed in a few shots of dead squirrels I found as well. Why, you ask? Because one would think the Parks Department would be “on” that kind of thing. Enjoy!

Miss Heather

Update, 6:12 p.m.: I have received an email regarding “activity” at McGolrick park from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. He/she writes:

I live on McGolrick Park and have seen more drug activity lately- came home from work one day to a woman nodding out in her car parked in front of my apt.- car door was wide open and she was seriously messed up.  I called the cops and they were uninterested.  I asked them to come because I figured if she tried to drive in her condition it would be dangerous.  They asked if I had “seen her commit a crime” and I said no, but obviously they might want to check into the situation and they refused.

Quicklink: $86,528 A Year

That’s what we— the taxpayers— are paying to look at such niceties as what you see to the left: a man surrounded by rubbish urinating on a tree on a Saturday evening at McCarren Park. My favorite excerpt:

…In 2008, Stephanie Thayer became director of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn – and the Parks Department’s director of North Brooklyn Parks.

Records show Thayer got $86,528 from the city. She said her work for the nonprofit is voluntary.

“I’m still fighting the good fight,” she said. “I’m just doing it in a different way.”

Read it and weep.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: Miss Mousey Brown

Greenpoint Audio/Visual Presentation Du Jour: The American Playground

Given that we are embarking upon a holiday weekend (celebrating our nation’s birthday, no less) I feel it is only fitting to showcase Greenpoint’s very own American Playground. Rutila wrote regarding the above image (which I posted June 20th):

There was a homeless man sleeping in the jungle gym this morning when jumping rope in one of the handball courts. He was coughing, and I wasn’t sure if he was sick or clearing his throat to let me know I was interrupting his sleep. Should I have apologized?

Oh, and one of the trees/bushes that flank the storage shed/bathroom was pulled — roots and all — from its planter and dragged to the middle of the basketball courts. I don’t see how this would be possible without a vehicle.

I have been keeping a careful watch over this park ever since.

It isn’t pretty.

But what I was most puzzled by was the womens bathroom’s “new arrangement”.

I have no idea why the Parks Department, in their infinite wisdom, would do something like this. And here’s why:

1. This bathroom is located at a playground. Children will invariably get dirty and need to wash their hands. Most of the children I have observed at this park are tended to by their mothers. Thus, they will need to use the womens bathroom. And if someone is using it they are shit out of luck.

2. This kind of open space (with added privacy) is an enabler for all manner and variety of criminal activity. Foremost in my mind is drugs, as heroin addicts seem to have taken a shine to this park.

And then of course, there is this.

A detergent bottle (Tide, methinks, this brings a whole new meaning to Tidy Bowl) being retrofitted for some hitherto unknown purpose.

Here’s a close-up of its contents. And on July 1st, dear readers, I finally got the wherewithal to flush said toilet and film it.

It appears to be collecting water from the faulty plumbing. Incoming or outgoing I do not know. What’s more, it’s not important. This is yet another (and exemplary) half-assed solution to the manifold problems our parks “comfort stations” face. On that note I have word via a tipster/leaked email that port-o-lets are one the way. Four to be precise:

  • One for Bushwick Inlet Park
  • One for Barge Park
  • Two for McCarren Park

In regards to the lattermost, here’s what one board member of Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn— not the Parks Department— had to say:

They’re portable so, if you or other parks users have strong feelings about their placement, they can probably be moved. Personally, I think it’s a good idea for the condo-dwellers on Bayard to fundraise for the park.

This statement is in regards to a Bayard Street resident calling 311 and complaining about public urination; getting a letter from Adrian Benepe advising him/her to talk to our Parks Administrator, Stephanie Thayer, only to be asked by Ms. Thayer if he/she would be interested in fundraising for more garbage cans and bathrooms in McCarren Park (via Open Space Alliance, which is Ms. Thayer’s other employer). Fundraising for amenities one would presume (hope) would have already been paid for via our tax dollars. But I suppose I am being old fashioned.

To recap: a 311 complaint seems to have been employed as a recruitment tool for a not-for-profit org which, theoretically, has nothing to do whatsoever with a public urination complaint. But I suppose that’s what happens when you have a public/private partnership which is out of touch with the very people it purportedly serves. Here’s my advice for anyone who has issues with our public parks:

  • Call 311. Repeatedly.
  • Document and send your complaints to our local Community Board.
  • Don’t bother with our local Parks people, copy the head honcho: Adrian (dot) Benepe (at) parks (dot) nyc (dot) gov
  • It criminal activity is involved, go the the 94th Precinct Community Council meetings and make D. I. Fulton aware of it.

Miss Heather

P.S.: If our Port-O-Potty point person at OSA is listening (because it’s become all too apparent this organization holds the purse strings, not our Parks Department), you might want to toss one WNYC Transmitter Park/”Playground’s” direction.

It’s very popular.

Albeit not by not children.

When I saw this gent walk away from a secluded part of this “playground” a few days later I decided to investigate.

Yup.

New York Shitty Day Starter: The OSA Trilogy Part 2

It’s dull as dishwater— unless you paid attention to the last segment. Wherein I stated “OSA Presents Inc.” was created by:

…certain members of the Board of Directors of OSA…

and noted the org in question was headquartered at 79 North 11 Street: the Brooklyn Brewery. OSA Presents Inc. was created without “Community Committee’s” knowledge. It was OSA’s ostensible attempt at claiming community feedback/input. If the buzz I have heard is correct a great many people were unaware about OSA Presents Inc. Including so-called “board members”. Which is why I find this filing for an extension so interesting.

New York Shitty Analysis: When an organization takes this long to file a tax return (I hail from a bloodline plagued by accountants) it makes me wonder. This is what happens when millionaires, people with monetary interests and the “powers that be” which are beholden to them (Mayor Bloomberg et. al.) dictate what is in the best interests of north Brooklyn. Their interests.

Miss Heather

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