The Word On The Street: Right Wing NY

Right Wing NY nys

This discovery, as made today on 31st Street in Queens, is dedicated to Robert Scarano. You see, gentle readers, he (in part thanks to Curbed*) saw fit to comment on my site recently.

Comments nys

It would appear my post about 214 Franklin Street being converted into a hotel perturbed his granite-topped, sub-zero eminence. I suppose since Mr. Scarano cannot file his own plans anymore he has to occupy his time somehow. And he has elected to while away the time by commenting on my site!

I have been called a great many things in my life, but “right wing” is a new one. This one’s for you, “Scarano”! You are to architecture and north Brooklyn what blankets were to the Siege of Fort Pitt.

*To whose editor I wrote a “thank you” email stating my gratitude. Clearly my message got to the “right” people.

Urban Fur: Special East Village Edition

October 25, 2014 ·
Filed under: 10003, East Village, East Village Manhattan, New York City, Urban Fur 

Dogodile nys

Today yours truly saw a great many festively fettled furkids in the East Village. The above fellow garnered a great deal of attention and commentary. This is of course because he is cute as hell.

I like cute. Cute is good. But I have a rather idiosyncratic sense of what constitutes awesome— and this is what I saw on Stuyvesant Place.

Xerses nys

Chillaxin nys

His name is Xerxes.

One Eye Open nys

I was a mite bit confused by the name: Xerxes. For those of you who are not in the know (and you can thank a very enthusiastic college professor for this), Xerxes was a ruler of Persia.

Persia is allotted its very own breed. They are called (imaginatively enough) Persians and are quite hairy. As you can see Xerxes is not so encumbered. Such are the occasional absurdities which remind me why I (still) live in this town. Not only is Xerxes a rescue cat, but per his person he loves to strut his stuff alongside dogs. And today he did just that at a local Halloween parade. Wait, that sounds familiar.

The New York Shitty Checklist to the Upcoming Ghostbusters Apocalypse:

  1. Human Sacrifice: Not yet— but I would not rule out these folks suggesting that homeless people be rendered re-purposed into dog food.
  2. Mass Hysteria (via the Internets): “Ebowla-gate”.* Check.
  3. Dogs and cats living together: Check. It is actually much worse. There was a hairless pussy in a bee suit marching alongside dogs. In a parade.

Where is Bill Murray when you need him?

*What seems to have been and is lost on a great many people here is Doctor Spencer actually bothered to go to Guinea and help Ebola patients. Before we tender judgement (about how/where Mr. Spencer went) maybe we should ask ourselves the following question:

Would I have done this?

I am guessing the answer is “No”.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Coming To 214 Franklin Street…

October 19, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Fuck This Shit, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


Those of you who cannot get enough folks traversing our sidewalks and subways sporting luggage— or watering holes on Franklin Street, listen up. I have some news which will undoubtedly please you! A person we’ll call “C” writes (in an email entitled “New Hotel On Freeman @ Green Street”) simply:

Naturally my curiosity was piqued (Freeman Street does not cross Green Street, no doubt a typo on “C’s” part) so click on the above link I did. Follows is what I found awaiting my delectation.

permit 1

permit 2

permit 3

permit 4

As you can see, gentle readers, this plan was approved just over ten months ago. I would be remiss if I did not point out that it is the handiwork of north Brooklyn’s good friend, none other than Robert Scarano. Well, he did not file the permit. We all know this fellow, a poster child for the ethically-challenged, is not allowed to do so. If my memory serves me correctly it had to do with a little latitude/liberties he took on Freeman Street? Why yes, that was it!

214 franklin 10192014

First it was the Box House Hotel. Then it was the Henry Norman. Both of these displaced local, small businesses. Now we have this one which not only does that but is taking out residential space to boot. In a community whose rental market is already “tight” enough as is. Straight up folks: enough is enough. We need more housing— and truly affordable housing at that— for New Yorkers. Not another hotel.

Quicklink/A New York Shitty Op Ed: 173 Green Street

Or: Breakin’ The Law!

stonerscYesterday morning I had this article (which is screencapped at left) brought to my attention by my comrade over at Queens Crap. I pointed and clicked my way over to Brownstoner. This is what they elected to say about 173 Green Street:

An unusually shaped building designed by architect Natalia Donskoy is going up at 173 Green Street in Greenpoint. The front of the building is not straight across but angles in four directions.

The Alt-1 permit calls for four stories and seven units. Donskoy, a former employee of Robert Scarano, is becoming known for sometimes mold-breaking designs in North Brooklyn. What do you think of the design?

This, their post, left me absolutely flummoxed for a number of reasons. Follows are two:

1. Although it is clearly discernable in the second photo they elected to publish, no mention whatsoever is made of the Stop Work Orders. Yes, this property has not one— but two.

2. As it would happen I reside in the general area. I have seen the shitshow that is 173 Green unfold. A number of my neighbors/buddies have as well. Aesthetic considerations aside, we all agree on one thing:

These Stop Work Orders issued were well-deserved.

Speaking for myself, the first sign that 173 Green may be a less-than-professional operation was when they commenced demolishing modifying the original structure which graced this lot.

side view

You can get an indication of what it was in the above photograph: it is a vestige of a one story extension of 1020 Manhattan Avenue.


This extension sported two storefronts and a (questionably legal) studio apartment. I know this because I know the fellow who called it his home. Then the building sold and out he went.

ACRIS 1 nys

ACRIS 2 nys

ACRIS 3 nys

ACRIS 4 nys

Note the address: 543 Bedford Avenue #264. Interesting things turn up when one “Googles” it. This and this to name a couple.


Anyway, with him went this rather charming Polish travel agency. It was operated by two brothers: twins who not infrequently wore matching outfits. For wont of a better way of putting it, it was vaguely reminiscent of something one would see in a David Lynch movie. But of course this was real life and that is what made Seweryn even more awesome— but I digress. Let’s get back to what I saw which gave me the impression that something may be amiss at 173 Green.

One morning I walked by and beheld three – four men wielding sledgehammers. These they used to break down cinder block walls. The rubble which resulted was taken, on foot/in hand, and dumped into a truck which was idling across the street.  Speaking as someone who has resided in north Brooklyn for fourteen years (and blogged about it for over eight) I have seen more than my fair share of questionably professional “construction”. Bearing this in mind, I feel compelled to note this may well have been the worst. In any case it is certainly in the top three— and given what I have seen I can attest they come out on top of some mighty stiff competition. This is no small accomplishment.

173green7302014 anno1

But why take my word for it? Let’s consult the professionals: the Department of Buildings!

stop work orders

Surely they must have something to say about 173 Green Street since they have seen fit to post not one— but two Stop Work Orders? It has been my observation this is reserved for the most select of scofflaws.



  • eleven complaints
  • three DOB violations
  • fourteen ECB violations
  • civil penalties due and
  • violating of a Stop Work Order

That’s pretty impressive. Let’s keep digging, shall we?


A $5,000 fine. Hilarious. Let’s plow on!




Holy shitburgers!


So help me, I think I am beginning to see a pattern here.


Wow, this was less than two weeks ago! In any case, it would appear that the powers that be behind 173 Green Street harbor apathy— if not total and utter contempt— for the law.

I for one find this rather ironic given who the architect is for this project. Once again (from Brownstoner):

…Donskoy, a former employee of Robert Scarano…

That name, Robert Scarano, sounds familiar. Oh wait now I remember!


It was his “Scarano Special” which straddles Tommy’s Tavern (addresses 1037 Manhattan Avenue and 158 Freeman respectively)  which resulted in Mr. Scarano being banned from filing plans in our fair city! You see, he decided to fudge with the facts a bit. He stated 1037 Manhattan Avenue and 158 Freeman Street  were one contiguous lot. He did so in order to build taller than what is legally permissible. Whoops. And now the punchline…


This masterpiece of the ethically-challenged is a mere block away from 173 Green Street! This begs the question (in my mind, anyway) if his protege is following in his (rather dubious) footsteps. By all appearances, this would appear to be the case. But it is time to wrap this up— and answer the question:

What do you think of the design?

After I got done taking the photographs which grace this post, I bumped into a friend of mine who happens to live on the same block as 173 Green Street. A neighbor, if you will. A neighbor who informed me that he/she has in fact lodged a number of complaints about 173 Green Street. Among the things this person has observed:

  • Construction in violation of a Stop Work Order— at 6:00 on Sunday morning.
  • Violation of Stop Work Orders has been the modus operandi at 173 Green Street. One time even the police showed up.
  • The adjacent Green Oaks Club property was inadvertently (?) divested of some of its aluminum siding. Those of you who know this community’s affection for the aforementioned product understand that this is probably a hanging offense.
  • The use of step ladders for workers to get from floor to floor. What would OSHA say about this?
  • And a litany of other offenses which generally make people upset and call 311.

Once this person was done giving me the 411, I told him/her that Brownstoner published an article about 173 Green Street yesterday— and the question they were posing was whether or not folks liked the design. Before I tender his/her answer, I will tender my own verdict:

Of course it will be ugly. That is the Greenpoint way!

And now— with no further ado— the most apropos answer: that of someone who calls 173 Green Street a neighbor. It went (more or less) as follows:

Are you fucking kidding me?

Well said.

UPDATE, August 1st 2014: Thanks to Queens Crap linking back to this tome  we have some very interesting advice/analysis from a commenter:

diggin your cross promotion here crappy.

lets start at the top:

#1, it’s four floors and a mezz, the half floor above the 2nd is clearly a mezz.

#2, concrete enforcement is on it. those guys don’t screw around and they’ve got a direct line to the borough commissioner and people with serious leverage. 

#3, CEU is under the umbrella of tim lynch, the mythical god of DOB who will not stand to see the city get embarrassed. he will go there and put a fence up himself if he has to, because he’s a little crazy, but he is not someone you want to see on a job site, ever.

#4, DOB can and will post a vacate on the building, which would subject any violators and the developer to major civil and CRIMINAL penalties. FDNY and NYPD are bound by these, and these things happen.

#4, if they violate the SWO, in addition to $5k per violation, the city will generally walk around and ticket every loose guardrail, every missing screw from the job, every person not in a harness, everything. all of it. write that check for $15k to the city of NY please.

#5, the developer will never get a CO unless all these fines are paid. they’ve got a roughly $20k tab right now.

so what do you do? keep calling 311. 

BIS listed a phone number for concrete enforcement in one of the complaints — 212-393-2730. it’s a cell phone, but you’ll get someone who knows the site and what’s going on. but be aware, many in CEU are very intimidating and they WILL ask how you got the number. it’s on BIS.


From The New York Shitty Inbox: 233 Norman To Become A Hotel?

September 12, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


I kicked off my day with not one but two missives about this. Not only does it appear to be true, but the landlord has seen fit to give tenants thirty days notice and threats of eviction have been issued as well. And of course I would be remiss if I did NOT point out that north Brooklyn’s good friend, Robert Scarano— or at least his firm— will be handling the project. Not a good sign.

In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how a hotel* with rooftop terrace will fare being downwind from our local waste water treatment plant.


But hey, what do I know? As P.T. Barnum was reputed to say:

There’s a sucker born every minute.

Just another day in Greenpoint, folks…

UPDATE, 5:06 p.m.: As you can plainly see, construction has commenced.





*Perhaps this fellow is going to perpetrate a “239 Banker”? I rule nothing out as being too absurd anymore…

Quicklink, Part I: Gothamist Takes On The Times

The patchouli oil of Gen Y gentrification is scenting the air. A two-bedroom three-bath garden duplex on Russell Street recently sold for $772,000.

Is this because people who spent $700K on a duplex can’t afford to wash themselves with soap? You know, like people who use patchouli? And can we borrow some of it? (Not patchouli, money.)

Thank you, Christopher Robbins.

Parting shot from yours truly:

David J. Maundrell III, the president of, the marketing agent for the 149 Huron Street Loft Condos (where perks include Brazilian teak finishes and a Zen garden), gazed approvingly at 200 Franklin Street, a two-story storefront that camouflages a set-back 12-story apartment tower jutting into the air like a solitary exclamation point. “This is what’s coming to Greenpoint,” he said. “This is the future.”

Well, the “future” not only merited its own poster (as seen above) but it won Curbed’s “Greenpoint Ugly-Off”  by a rather handsome margin.

P.S.: You can view the Times tome by clicking here. Those of you who are feeling impish might want to point out that the “new” five story building on Freeman Street (158 Freeman Street, to be precise) of which Mr./Ms. Finn writes is not exactly new…

and its ethically-challenged creator, none other than Robert Scarano himself, can no longer file plans with the Department of Buildings due to the creative license he took there. But who cares about ethics when there’s money— $3,500 a month for a one bedroom apartment— to be made! Nonetheless, it might behoove Mr./Ms. Finn to read/reference her own employer’s site.

She might learn something— I certainly did!

Spotted At 205 Java Street: A Happy Ending

June 7, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Culture War, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Some of you might recall the above bit of real estate insanity. I wrote about it on January 25th of this year. At the end of this tome I opined:

…My prognostication is as follows: if they fuck with their diminutive neighbor’s satellite television it will be war. Provided of course it hasn’t escalated to that level already.

Well, today I did a walk by and have some very good news to relay!

The satellite dish has been spared! After I took the above photographs the lady of the house inquired as to my interest in her property. I told her I was happy to see that her satellite dish has not been engulfed. To wit she replied:

I’m too good for them.

I then noted that her new neighbor is rather hideous. She agreed— but prefers to see the glass half full; since 285 – 303 McGuinness Boulevard has become her neighbor she no longer has issues with the wind (I am presuming the “perfume” from our local waste water treatment plant) and she no longer hears the traffic from McGuinness Boulevard. Now throw in that our diminutive protagonist’s satellite television is intact and I’d say we have a triple win— Greenpoint style!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: When Worlds Collide

May 16, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Culture War, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

The proceedings were rather lively at this evening’s 94th Precinct Community Council meeting. Naturally I shot footage and have commenced uploading it. (TEASER: Phyllis was in particularly interesting form.) In the meantime I want to leave you with something I spied before the aforementioned event. A moving sale of such a special (and distinctly Greenpoint) caliber it deserves a post of its own. Here it is.

The above photograph does not do the strobe light (which was quite an attention getter) justice. Fortunately that’s why god invented video. Enjoy!

If anyone out there is looking for a condominium on Greenpoint Avenue methinks one will be hitting the market. Soon.

Cibo Matto - Know Your Chicken by WBRNewMedia

Miss Heather


Daily Bloomblight: 365 – 367 Union Avenue

February 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Bloomblight, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

It would appear that despite seemingly being stalled and having a partial Stop Work Order* this Scarano Special has a tenant.

Among other things.

Miss Heather

*the reason for which is so exquisite it simply must be shared here.

Interesting factoid: this troubled property has netted five Stop Work Orders to date.

Spotted On McGuinness Boulevard: Imperialism

January 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Given the spate of rather nasty weather lately yours truly has been spending a great deal of time indoors. Today when the temperature reached a downright balmy 38 degrees I decided to take a little stroll down McGuinness Boulevard. I had a very pleasurable excursion until I reached the intersection of Java Street. This is where I found myself standing in slack-jawed amazement at the following.

Why do the people responsible for this crap think mimicking the Death Star somehow denotes “class”?

I mumbled to myself. Then I proceeded to cross the street so as to take a closer look. That’s when I learned that the above edifice may very well have the same expansionist designs, “Manifest Destiny” if you will, as espoused by Darth Vader, et. al.

Why can I not shake the image of a python unhinging its jaws and slurping down a rather large and unhappy mammal— or perhaps a spider injecting some digestive substance into its victim and waiting for it to rot from within— when I behold the above grotesque? Needless to say I will be watching with rapt interest to see how the guys at 285-303 McGuinness Boulevard (which has racked up a rather impressive number of complaints and a Partial Stop Work Order) will work around this little problem. My prognostication is as follows: if they fuck with their diminutive neighbor’s satellite television it will be war. Provided of course it hasn’t escalated to that level already.

In any case (and to close), I suspect no one will be surprised to know this edifice (which I have christened “The Anacondo”) springs forth from the G-E-N-I-U-S, north Brooklyn’s good friend and Greenpoint’s gift that keeps on giving … (drumroll, please)

Bobby Scarano, stand up please!

Miss Heather

P.S.: Anyone care to place bets as to when Fox News/Murdoch’s Tuskin Raiders send a television crew out to document this atrocity? They point and click in single file (to my web site) to hide their numbers!

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