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!

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

LAST GASP: From The New York Shitty Inbox

(Or: A Case of Mistaken Identity)

A few thoughts:

  1. For someone who wants his/her park “back” stating he/she is a new resident to Williamsburg is rather audacious. If for no other reason because McCarren Park is technically in Greenpoint. That’s right: 11222.
  2. I am neither the head mistress of Red Gate Garden nor a hair dresser. However, my hair dresser— whom this person seems to have confused me with— is both!
  3. Not being a hair dresser is probably one of the worst career decisions I have ever made.
  4. But given the “tone” of this person’s missive it would appear that a mere hair dresser (and long time resident of Greenburg/Williamspoint) should not have a say about what is going on in her proverbial “backyard”. And that a garden that has been in existence for over 10 years should be removed because a new Williamsburg resident wants his/her “park” back.
  5. Nonetheless, I have brought “Iwantmyparkback’s” missive to the head mistress of Red Gate Garden’s (AKA: my hairdresser— the woman mistaken for being Miss Heather.) attention.

Here’s her response:

Greetings Miss Heather,

Although it was disheartening to read the email that you forwarded to me sent to NewYorkShitty about Red Gate Garden; thank you for letting me read it. I am flattered that someone might think that I am you. I think that you contribute a valuable point of view to so much of north Brooklyn, and beyond. Whether it be candid photography or frank opines on local stuff; you say it as you see it.

I, personally, don’t feel that I need to agree or disagree with your opinions. If I didn’t want to see it I wouldn’t look at it. I appreciate that you have brought something to my attention that might concern, interest, or enlighten me.

I would like to respond personally to the sender of the email, and I did email via that address. I don’t think that it will ever make it to them, since I don’t think it is a “real” address. “I want my park back” as an email address from a new resident along McCarren Park is confounding. Back from whom or what? From McCarren 10 years ago? 5? The email address and content implies that this individual wants their park back from what they perceive as a misuse of public space, and that the garden is an eyesore and trash dump. I can only defend that with photographs that show that it is not an eyesore or a trash dump.

That the garden is somehow exclusive or selective in its ability or willingness to engage a greater number of volunteers is erroneous. That Red Gate needs more volunteers is a fact. Red Gate (aka Nick’s Garden) has actively promoted and tried to solicit more volunteers. No one that has shown interest in helping has ever been discouraged or excluded. That there is only a small group that are active in the garden is a fact. That 2% of the people that come by or email and then follow through with getting involved, is also a fact. Instead of taking shame in that, we actually commend each other for hanging in there, and working hard to contribute to something as wonderful and beautiful as a community garden. An oasis in the middle of what has been our only big open public space to do so, for so many years.

Aesthetically the garden could use some improvements. The fence is ugly to many regardless of what is inside the gate. I could only hope that more people would want to get involved in helping to sustain and elevate the garden to its full potential, instead of ridiculing it. It belongs to all of us. Anyone that wants to partake in all the joy, back-breaking labor, planning, purveying, and tender care that is needed to sustain it is so very welcome to come and join us.

Lastly, I wanted to add that I am also one of those annoying tax paying citizens. I work hard. I pay my taxes. I have provided two service industry establishments to Williamsburg over the past 14 years that have paid revenue taxes on a multiple of millions in sales. I feel the pain that most of us do. I am involved in my neighborhood, and try to help better it wherever I can. I do not write a blog. I am not Miss Heather. If you have some constructive ways to improve things or wish to be a volunteer in the community garden, please contact us at Red Gate Garden via twitter. Since your email makes reference to my business at a hair salon, and some of my past contributions to NewYorkShitty’s photo posts are attributed to Miss Mousey Brown’s photo stream; I wanted to clear up any confusion.

Meredith Chesney

If there is a lesson to be learned here it is this: before you send a nasty missive to someone from a bogus email address (which I am tracing, by the way) at the very least do enough fact-checking to ensure your insults are (somewhat) salient/relevant. Nice try, troll. Or as Nelson put it best.

Miss Heather

Crosstown Local Photo du Jour: Rebuttal

October 20, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Crosstown Local, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Remember the post I wrote last week grousing about Bloomberg inundating the G train with advertisements designed to ingratiate himself to the Latino community? Well, he got a response. En Espanol. At the Greenpoint Avenue stop of the Crosstown Local.

maricon

Translation per SpanishDict.com:

I will not vote for that bastard* Bloomberg.

Miss Heather

*I was always under the impression the word “maricon” meant something else. While I do not condone the homophobic message that comes with using such a word, you know what they say:

It’s the thought that counts.

New York Shitty Day Starter: McCarren Park

August 12, 2009

carts

mccarren1

encampment

mccarren2

July 2, 2009:

…I’ll call you late tonight – I am running to a meeting re. the homeless problem in Parks/on our waterfront street ends.

Stephanie Thayer
Administrator for North Brooklyn Parks – NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation
Executive Director – Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA)

It would appear that meeting wasn’t very effective.

Mccarren3

McCarren Park is pathetic.

mccarren4

These pits have become the norm for park goers. You get used to negotiating around them. It becomes natural after having ones shoes soaked in god-only-knows-what onceor twice.

mccarren5

Gross.

mccarren6

Grosser.

mccarren7

DISGUSTING.

Your tax dollars at work.

Miss Heather

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