Greenburg Photo du Jour: Foxglove

From Nick’s Garden.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Nick’s Garden


Taken by Miss Mousey Brown.

Miss Heather

Today: Social Hour & Garden Clean-up Day


This item comes courtesy of Miss Mousey Brown:

Social hour and garden clean up day in the garden. Pick up some dried leaves and twigs and say hello to the “babies” sprouting up and to each other!

I’ve been told four new raised beds are in the works as well. Check it out!

Social Hour & Clean-up Day
March 19, 2011 starting at 2:00 p.m.
Nick’s Garden
Lorimer Street at Bayard Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather
Photo Credits: Miss Mousey Brown.


From The New York Shitty Inbox: Williamsburg Loses One of its Own

Walid &Gina

This afternoon I received some disheartening news which I feel compelled to pass along. Gina Risica, one of the brains behind Red Gate Garden is not longer with us. The details are scant but apparently she has not been feeling well recently and for this reason had been seeking medical attention. She was found by her significant other New Year’s Eve. No cause of death is known at this time.

I did not know Gina well, but I am very grateful for the love she lavished on Red Gate Garden. I am not the only one either. Miss Mousey Brown opines:

…She has been the mother to Red gate for 10 years. It was her baby and it brought her great comfort and beauty in life that was certainly not all sunshine and roses.

She and I got along so well because of our shared leeriness of humanity, and we shared a bond over the little plants.

Beautifully put. May you rest in piece, Gina. You will be missed.

UPDATE, January 3, 2010: You can see some of Gina/Jeanne’s art work (painting was another passion of hers) by clicking here.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: Miss Mousey Brown

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

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part II: Saturday At The Park

diarrhea in the park "Lady" 2

Miss Mousey Brown (who took the above photograph this morning) writes:

Saturday 11:00 am. I took a 5 minute break from gardening to go use the port-a-potty between the handball courts. As I was walking back over I see this woman checking to see if she could get in the garden. I had locked it, for which I am thankful. I thought she might be the person that throws rotten rye bread in the garden (which the birds NEVER eat , btw) She was actually looking for a spot to dump an explosive diarrhea. She found one. When she saw me with my camera she hightailed it down Lorimer, with some sort of wardrobe malfunction going on.

diarrhea in the park 2


Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Keeping Cool

sprinkler girls

This scene hails from Red Gate (AKA: Nick’s) Garden* and comes courtesy of Miss Mousey Brown.

Miss Heather

*On a related note it would appear this community garden has been scrubbed from the latest OasisNYC map.





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 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

From The New York Shitty Pool: Red Gate Garden

Taken by Miss Mousey Brown.

Miss Heather

Greenburg Photo Du Jour: Red Gate Garden

A pair of mockingbirds have decided to call Red Gate Garden (which is still waiting to have its Green Thumb paperwork renewed) their home. What’s more, I’m pleased to report they’ve started a family!

Miss Heather

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