From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Urinal Land

August 25, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

This hails from East River State Park and comes courtesy of Alex Gaidouk.

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.

Spotted At Barge Park: A Royal Flush

July 23, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

No, make that two royal flushes!

It looks like we have finally gotten our temporary crappers, Greenpointers!

What’s more they’re actually clean! Will the wonders ever cease?

Miss Heather

P.S.: I have also word from Miss Mousey Brown two port-o-lets have been placed by the handball courts at McCarren Park. Click here and see ’em for yourself! On a related note, Monday, July 26, at 4:00 p.m. Parks Moms will be having a walk-through at McCarren Park. What’s the purpose, you ask? Here’s the 411 per the email I received:

THE IDEA IS TO WALK THE WHOLE PARK, POINT OUT, AND LIST THINGS THAT NEED FIXING/IMPROVEMENT (both short and long term) AND  DETERMINE WHAT IS NEEDED FROM OSA/PARKS/THE COMMUNITY/PARKS GROUPS TO GET THESE THINGS DONE. This meeting has a practical, get-things-done and work-together intent. Right now we will try to especially focus on “the “low hanging fruit” as Kate Z. so succinctly put it- things that can realistically get done now to improve McCarren!

WE WANT TO MAKE A “QUICK” WALK-THROUGH AND THEN FOLLOW UP WITH (OPTIONAL) COFFEE/HAPPY HOUR AT LOKAL FOR ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION/NETWORKING OR JUST PLAIN RELAXING.

Park Mom’s McCarren Walk-Through
July 26, 2010 starting at 4:00 p.m.
McCarren Park, meet at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Transmitter Park

July 23, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

While hardly the most comely of open spaces (although has attained some popularity with a certain segment of the population, as seen above) I have it on very good intelligence WNYC Transmitter “Playground” could be shuttered as early as next Tuesday, August 27. Why, you ask? Because they will need time to make preparations for the ground-breaking ceremony that will come to pass August 3, 2010 at 11:30 a.m. Who knew wood chips needed so much fussing over?

WNYC Transmitter Park Groundbreaking Ceremony
August 3, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.
Greenpoint Avenue and (roughly) West Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

In closing it has been brought to my attention that a fig tree graces this site. For those of you who are not in the know (I didn’t) apparently fruit-bearing trees are not allowed on city park land. If you are interested in giving this tree a forever home please shoot me an email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. I will forward it to the appropriate parties. Thanks!

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: Presenting Newtown Barge Park Dot Com

June 29, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This item was brought to my attention by Laura Hofmann, one of the founders of Barge Park Pals, the community watch dog/advocacy group for this park. She writes:

Is it common for concert organizers to set up a website for a “one time gig”?

I honestly did not know what to say. So I looked up the owner of this site instead.

So much for keeping it local.

Miss Heather

P.S.: I would be remiss if I didn’t point out this corker from Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn’s own web site:

Thanks to the efforts of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (NCMC) and Barge Park Pals, a parkhouse with comfort station will be built in Greenpoint Playground. The small triangular playground is bounded by Franklin Street, Commercial Street and Dupont Street and is adjacent to the Newtown Barge Playground which is the only active park space in North Greenpoint (and yet Ms. Thayer et. al. saw fit to commandeer part of it for a concert. — Ed. Note.). The playground is heavily used and the comfort station is a long needed amenity.

So let me get this straight: it “is heavily used” and yet, Ms. Thayer, our Parks Administrator and Executive Director of OSA, told a reporter from the Williamsburg Greenpoint News + Arts this same park was (and I quote)  “underutilized”?

So which one is it, Ms. Thayer? Or by “underutilized” do you mean by those willing to pay $12.00 to enjoy a park their tax dollars are already (ostensibly) paying for?

Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: Two Ply

It’s refreshing to see that our Parks Administrator/”Parks Advocate” is taking neighborhood complaints about the lack of bathrooms at Barge Park (and elsewhere) seriously. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by this. After all, this is the same person who saw fit not to notify the “Friends Of” group for Barge Park that this concert was going to be conducted at the park they represent. When queried about this her answer was (and I quote) they “had a lot on their plate”. Obviously.

Miss Heather

Greenburg Photo Du Jour: McCarren Park

If I had to pick one photograph to exemplify the state of our parks in north Brooklyn this would be it. A young girl sitting on a concrete ledge (which was created when our Parks Department, in its infinite wisdom, decided McGolrick needed this piece of fencing more) amidst bags of garbage and a bottle full of urine. All the while at Barge Park in Greenpoint the band played on. AND ON. It could be heard from several blocks away in any given direction.

Imagine, if you will, trying to throw a birthday party for a group of young children in the playground across the street from this?

I can personally attest that a group of young mothers attempted to do just this. Now imagine trying to do so while a gentleman on stage across the street is screaming the word “Fuck” at the top of his lungs. This did— indeed— happen. How our Parks Administrator— who also happens to be the Executive Director of OSA, Stephanie Thayer, lacked the foresight to know that throwing a concert across from a playground might be problematic is beyond me. Clearly she has other things on her mind. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say making money for OSA.

I know for a fact that a number of board members of OSA (which was in large part responsible for this shit show) have young children. It is not unreasonable to assume that some of them, had the shoe been placed on the other foot, would not have been very happy if this had happened during their child’s birthday party. In fact, I’d go so far as to say if their young ones were subjected to this “language” some of these individuals would raise holy hell. But therein lies the rub: the board members of OSA, having $3,000 a piece to spare each (so as to become board members in the first place) do not have to rely on public park space to have birthday parties for their children. They are able to afford other options.

I suppose some children matter more than others.

Miss Heather

P.S.: I suppose I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that Barge Park has been waiting for a field house (so as to furnish this park with bathrooms) for several years. The money was supposedly heir marked but nothing ever came of it. Yesterday I counted no less than five port-o-lets provided by OSA/the Parks Department for concert.

It’s very telling our supposed “Parks Advocate” saw fit to provide such an amenity to transient park users but somehow cannot find the wherewithal to provide lavatories for the people who use this park the other 364 days a year? Oh wait, I get it: concerts— not toilets— make money.

BREAKING: A McCarren Park Land Grab?

I have received no less than two emails about this in ten minutes. M writes:

Stephanie Thayer’s “crew”  is taking down the fence around what she refers to as the renegade garden on the corner of Bayard and Lorimer this second. It has been there for over 10 years. It is beautiful. This is not right. Is there ANYTHING that you can think of for us to do?

Here’s another item Katherine Naplatarski was thoughtful enough to forward to me:

hey all,

just at the park. if anyone’s around today, sat., go talk to folks at red something-or-other garden in mcC at corner of bayard and lorimer- gina, walid. they should be there most of the day. steph ordered their fence taken down today by parks and for the boy scouts to plant in garden.

they have been there for 12 years and are really upset and angry.

that’s the short of it. they would appreciate help and the word spread.

I’m not against the Boy Scouts having a garden. But this is ridiculous— and begs a lot of questions:

  1. How did this get approved?
  2. Why weren’t the people behind this park notified?
  3. Why did the Parks Department elect to remove this fence on a Saturday?
  4. Why did the Parks Department elect to remove this fence when they knew a great many people— community activists foremost among them— would be attending the Visitor’s Center Opening at the Newtown Creek Waste Treatment Facility?

All in all, I think this stinks. BIG TIME. If you agree please call the peeps behind this garden: Gina at (646) 266-9526 or Walid at (212) 464-8096 and voice your support.

Thanks!

Miss Heather

UPDATE, April 25, 2010: I have been told the boy scouts were planting in this area for one day (as opposed to permanently). While I certainly do not object to this it still does not answer the question as to how this came pass without anyone seemingly knowing about it. I did and do find this very troubling.

UPDATE, April 26, 2010; 11:30 p.m.: Here is an email from Miss Mousey Brown (who shot the above photographs) which was sent to David Rivel, the Director of the City Parks Organization, various Parks Department Officials, and many, many more:

My point of view on The Red Gate Garden is fairly clear. If you refer to my flickr set of photos and description of what happened this past weekend one can see that I do have a bias towards the situation; and my reaction was of a regular neighbor, friend, and infrequent contributer to the garden. I have given them plants. They have given me plants. I allow them to come and wash up, or use the bathroom facilities at my business on the corner. I pick a few weeds, and ask plenty of questions about plants.

My business, Mousey Brown Salon ( est. in 1997 on Bedford Avenue), moved to the corner of Bayard and Lorimer st.
6 years ago, come June. I see everything that happens on that corner from about 9 am until as late as 11p, seven days a week. I know that the NYDS street sweeping truck, actually cleaned Lorimer’s gutter for the first time in a year last week.
I have seen the NYPD herd middle school children that want to hang out, and be teenagers being teenagers (some, but not all, of them extremely troublesome/dangerous); swiftly off the block, or onto city buses. It’s not the school’s job to worry about a kid from the school setting the tail light of one of my clients new car on fire. The fist fights are not anyone’s job to breakup. I am known to offer first aid or call 911, but that is about it. The Skateboard Park folks, that I am so happy to see having fun and getting exercise, have twice referred to me as the Band Aid Lady. Clearly, I have a bias to this corner of McCarren Park. It is from one that cares about it. I care about it’s safety. I care about it’s beauty, cleanliness, and usage.

If, I had a dime for every public urination, a dollar for every noxious charcoal barbecuing (not legal btw), a nickel for every time I let a stranger use our bathroom (including all the concerts when the gates didn’t open until 7, and concert goers started showing up at 3)… well, I could have enough cash to pitch in to help preserve Red Gate Garden from the parks department.
There seems to be some concern that the garden is exclusionary. The wind fence that is in place to protect all the small closely planted flowers, vines, bushes, and trees from careless foot traffic. Even the Green Dome garden in the center of McCarren Park, which is absolutely viable as an award winning community garden within a city park, is locked at times. Why? Because there are three types of people. People that are careful and respect all things. People that make careless mistakes and have had a lapse in their sense of respecting their surroundings. And the people that do not care about any consequence to anything. It is why we have doors, and gates, and locks.

That a few people have taken it upon themselves to sustain, cultivate, and protect a very small slice of a public park should be commended. If you have felt not welcome to engage in the garden, then I am sorry that you have felt excluded. That has been in no way the intent of it’s caretakers. In the 12 years that Gina and Walid have been the “gatekeepers” to the garden, not but a handful of us have shown interest in partaking in it. Sometimes a note complimenting the flowers, offering help is left on the fence. None has returned any call back to them to accept their offer to help. I am so angry of any suggestion that this is in any way a private garden. That is so far from the reality. Honestly, if you really know McCarren Park, how long do you think that the little plants coming up would survive, if there were no fence around it ?

If I were smart, I would leave it alone right there. I suppose I am not, because I want to know why the hell a person from the parks department thinks it’s okay to rip down the fence without notice. The same person that had a comm comm with their other employer, the tuesday before to discuss all the new ideas for McCarren Park. It is a dirty, illogical, and inconsiderate way to meet one’s needs. If, I had ever heard at a cb1 meeting, from an OSA (or any other civic group) comm comm , or even through the grapevine, that the garden was an “issue” then this wouldn’t be happening. It is.

My last incoming email on the topic from a reporter, suggested that according to his source with admin in McCarren Park,  is that this is all just a misunderstanding on behalf of Parks Dept and the garden.

I’ll say it is. How awkward. The upside is that is an opportunity for the community to express their feelings about it. Involved parties are fully aware that changes are on the horizon. I am thinking there will be lots more tenders to this small public oasis, and an appreciation of what it represents.

Oh yeah, it would appear this park was protected by a written agreement with the state and the city (NOTE: hit “control +” or “Apple +” to magnify). Whoops.

H

Photo Credits: Miss Mousey Brown. You can see her full demolition set by clicking here.

Happy Labor Day From New York Shitty!

The sun’s out, the weather is pleasantly mild. I cannot think of a better place to while away this Labor Day than a nice walk along the Greenpoint’s waterfront.

pleasedie

(Java Street)

pandorasbox

deadrat

(Kent Avenue)

Or not. A half-eaten sandwich and a dead rat covered with flies are but a fraction of the delights which await you if you decide to visit Greenpoint’s waterfront.

detritus

Is it detritus you seek? Kent Avenue has it in spades!

sidewalk

But if you’re looking for a little Greenpoint greenery you’ll be hard-pressed to find it anywhere else.

north14

Who needs parks when we have this?

cup

Although a discarded styrofoam cup sort of defeats the message. You know, after all this walking and tea quaffing I need to go to the bathroom. Methinks I will head over to Kent Street.

econohead

It looks like they have locked up the Econoheads. Damn.

community

Oh wait, here’s a toilet…

bathroom

and it is even appointed with a sink— very nice! On August 13, 2009 The Brooklyn Paper published an article entitled “Gates of Wrath”. Follow are a couple of quotes from this tome.

Greenpoint continues to have virtually no access to its waterfront and [proposed] parks are still years away from completion… These street ends, once fully open, accessible, and clean, will provide the community with three desperately needed waterfront havens. — David Yassky, City Councilman* for the 33rd District & Candidate For City Comptroller

10kentst

“It might just be a crumbling street end, but people are eager to get down there and be by the water. — Stephanie Thayer, Parks Employee and Executive Director For Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn.

detail2

Only the best for Greenpoint.

Miss Heather

P.S.: To see some late summer rodent love— East Village style— click here. Trust me: it’s worth it.

*Who has been in office since 2001 and is just now “noticing” what anyone who has lived here for a year knows all too well. Way to go, Sherlock-fucking-Holmes.

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