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

Mark Your Calendars: Open Space Alliance Community Committee Meeting April 16th!

Per a tipster:

Did you know that the OSA Community Committee meeting is open to everyone? come on out! For this meeting, OSA CC HAS A very special guest – Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey – OSA CC is honored that he would like to visit and hear from the community he serves, so please come with questions, concerns or ideas for him and the Parks Department. WHERE? Lindsay houses, 30 Montrose Avenue (between Union and Lorimer), Brooklyn, NY 11206, 718.782.9000

Our Borough Parks Supervisor (that being Kevin Jeffries) answering questions at the behest of a not-for-profit Parks Conservancy group (this being Open Space Alliance)? Sadly this is not as far-fetched as it seems. Last month the Manager of Community Board 1 himself, Gerry Esposito, after  being questioned about why Open Space Alliance (a not-for-profit organization) has a moment of his time (as opposed to our local police departments, the 90th and 94th Precincts respectively) explains it all. Start watching the following at 1:10 and hear Mr. Esposito’s words for yourself.

…Basically they are the Parks Department for our area these days… in times past we have worked it through the OSA systembecause of the issues arising from the concert series I felt it was so important to open that door with OSA… So that, you know… so there would be full disclosure and transparency in what they’re doing… I can guarantee you since I sat down with OSA, I sat down with Steve Hindy (owner of Brooklyn Brewery and not a government employee) and Stephanie (Thayer Executive Director of OSA, our Parks “Advocate” and New York City Parks Supervisor) and, and I told them if you agreed to do this, you’d have to be here. You have to be at every meeting and they agreed…

And therein lies the problem. We have to go through a Parks “advocacy group” to get the ear of our Borough Parks Department. Because “public” and “private” have become more or less the same.

Open Space Alliance Community Committee Meeting
Monday, April 16, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.
30 Montrose Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11206

UPDATE: I have since been advised of the following via a Co-chair of OSA’s Community Committee:

OSA’s Community Committee is made up of 30+ parks groups (“friends of”and the like…), and this is the membership’s quarterly meeting. The public can come and observe, but only members can participate. The agenda’s always tight, and items are submitted by members two weeks before our meetings.


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…?

New York Shitty Day Ender: Three Playgrounds

Jaime Campiz Playground, January 22, 2012

The American Playground, January 22, 2012

Barge Park Playground, January 22, 2012


New York Shitty Day Ender: Java Street Park

December 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This morning it was brought to my attention that someone has seen fit to “add value” to my tar bucket installation. Intrigued, I decided to swing by and see it for myself. Follows are a few highlights from my visit. Enjoy!

People were present.

As were a great many a duck– and of course the reason for my trip.

A sparkling new addition to Tar Bucket #2!

A reviewer on opines of this product:

A little nail polish on the nose, with just the slightest hint of citrus. It’s a bit tight. A little more expressive on the palate, but still pretty tight. It has the nail polish and citrus, plus a little yeast at the end.

Just like Greenpoint! Nonetheless I sensed something was missing. So I whipped out my sidewalk chalk.

See you next year!

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: And Then There Were Two!

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

Today since it was a downright balmy 33 degrees I decided to swing by our new waterfront park and see how things were shaking— above all the tar bucket/art installation which was brought to my attention yesterday. Follows are a few highlights from my trip with commentary. Enjoy!

While the rubbish has been bagged as of at least December 24th (which is when I walked by) it has yet to be picked up.

There’s even more rubbish at the end of the street.

Among the assorted detritus greeting our open space lovers is a barbecue grill.

As for the tar bucket, it is much more impressive when viewed against the Manhattan skyline. But the greatest treasure was to be found was a mere 10 -12 feet away…

another— truly magnificent— tar bucket!

I was particularly taken by the value-added book of matches. This got me to thinking about what my informant said:

Art or vandalism – you decide!  I’m leaning to the art side of the fence.

Remembering what my professors taught me about appropriation in art school, I decided to tip the balance in favor of (conceptual) art.

Behold Tar Bucket #1…

and the even more majestic Tar Bucket #2. Both of these pieces I dedicate to our “parks/open space advocates”. Without their hard work on our behalf, we would not be able to enjoy such niceties in the first place!

P.S.: Oh yeah, there are still no benches on India Street Pier.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Now At Java Street Park!

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

An anonymous tipster opines of the above-depicted item:

Art or vandalism – you decide!  I’m leaning to the art side of the fence.

I’ll leave it to you, gentle readers, (and our Parks Department) to make the call. In the meantime I prefer to see the tar bucket as being half-full— in a manner of speaking.

The long-awaited opening of this piece of public space appears to have motivated the powers-that-be to collect all the rubbish gracing the northern side of this street!

New York Shitty Photos du Jour: HUMBUG!

Isn’t it refreshing to see our Parks Department is taking on the serious issues manifest in our precious few public spaces? Here’s what the tree’s creator, Julian Cole, has to say about this sad turn of events:

Hey Heather,

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for covering the Brooklyn Christmas Tree, I did it as a little side project and your posts really helped it get to a much wider audience. I was sad to learn they took it down but it was good fun process. I am planning to do more small projects about Williamsburg next year so I will make sure to keep you in the loop when I do.
Happy Christmas

So there have you. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say the amount of time and manpower it took to remove this piece of holiday cheer the Parks Department could have, should have (for example) purchased and installed one toilet seat at a women’s comfort station under their care. But there I go employing logic again. Logic as we citizens know it does not apply to our civil servants. Hence why after waiting over a month for our Parks Department to replace a toilet seat at Jaime Campiz Playground, I found it more logical (and expedient) to do it myself.

What makes McCarren Park— and this community in general— worth visiting (in my humble opinion) are the random acts of kindness (and yes, mischief) its citizens choose to bestow upon it. Mr. Cole’s Christmas tree is one such example. I for one (and mind you, I write this as an agnostic) think his was a lovely project. It amused and, more importantly, engaged our community. Yet it was removed— by those who purport to serve us.

On that note it should be Known, gentle readers, that our Parks Department wants your feedback as to what brings you to McCarren Park!

“Others” can make your voice “heard” herehere, and here.

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: On The Waterfront

These shots were taken today at the newly-opened pop-up park on Java Street. Now if we could get some benches on the pier we’ll be all aces! NOTE/CAVEAT: if you decide to check this out be advised you can only gain entrance via Java Street.

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


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