Last Friday night we were so excited to light our Greenpointers Neon Sign. Ain’t she a beaut? Thanks to everyone who donated and made this beautifully crafted piece of art a reality. And thanks to Robbie Ingui of Artistic Neon for doing such a badass job. The sign will be on display at our Holiday Market on 12/8/13! Come by a check it out.
In a tragic turn of events for the street art community worldwide and the general soul of NYC, 5Pointz’s exterior walls and the works of over 1500 international artists was completely white washed under the cover of darkness last night with protection from the police – all for the development of high rise luxury towers in Long Island City, despite rallying against demolition and an effort to get landmark status for the building.
In a comment to Hyperallergic, 5Pointz curator Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen called the landlord Jerry Walkoff, “the biggest art murder of our time.” Enough said.
There will be a candlelit vigil at 5Pointz tonight according to the Save 5 Pointz Facebook page.
There have been talks about the MTA partnering with Citibike to foot the bill for bike docking stations in Greenpoint and LIC given the G train service outage beginning next weekend.
I got on the phone with Citibike and the MTA to find out whether this is happening.
The short answer from the MTA is that “it is being discussed” but “there is no timeline.” Part of the discussion includes the MTA paying for the bikes.
Ronald Leiva, representing Citibike said that it’s “a possibility,” but that I should consider it a “rumor” with “no hard evidence” but that he is “not denying that it is not happening.” He went on to say that there is also “no timeline”, but he did mention that if the MTA were to pay for the program they would get their logo on the bikes. Score! Maybe they could put the G train logo on it.
When questioned as to why Greenpoint was not initially included, he said that the DOT chose the locations which are in more densely populated areas around bridges. Apparently the Queensboro Bridge and our beloved Pulaski don’t count.
According to the Daily News, Greenpoint was in the initial plans which, ”were scaled back, and those neighborhoods were excluded after equipment stored in a Brooklyn warehouse was damaged by Superstorm Sandy flooding.”
Leiva of Citibike went on to say that as they receive more “sponsorship” aka advertising dollars they will expand outward and that they will likely expand into Greenpoint, but this may not be for “a few years” – unless the “rumors” about partnering with the MTA become a reality in the short term.
Do you want Citibike in Greenpoint? Were you disappointed when Greenpoint didn’t receive a docking station? Will you use Citibike in place of G train service to LIC?
Tuesday morning en route to the Nassau Ave. G train, I was surprised to encounter a large tree branch laying across Norman Ave. while resting partially on top of a guilty-looking Pepsi truck. It appeared, upon closer examination, that the tree had just been clipped by the truck, which caused some of the wood to split, taking down a large chunk of the tree with it. Traffic was closed on the street as a result of this significant obstruction.
However, as of that evening, the entire tree had been cut down and almost entirely removed. It’s a shame considering that it was a good tree that just got hit with some bad luck (or, in this case, a Pepsi truck). An innocent casualty in the transport of carbonated beverages, the city had no choice but to take it out it entirely.
Don’t you agree that Pepsi corporation should pay to replace it? Let’s keep our Greenpoint green!
How many of you Greenpointers have your own compost bin? Or bring your food scraps to the Greenmarket on Saturday in McCarren Park? Doesn’t it feel so good? Do you get giddy when you see all the food waste that doesn’t get thrown into plastic bags and sent to a landfill? Now the rest of this city is finally getting on board and this will directly benefit Greenpoint and North Brooklyn.
Everyone goes nuts about the Cherry Blossoms, but the true stunners are the Magnolia Trees, which make the most glorious giant pink and white flowers that only last a week. My last apartment in Greenpoint had a huge Magnolia in the yard and when it bloomed last spring we had a punch party to celebrate. These photos are dedicated to my Mom and Dad who took me to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens an infinite amount of times as a kid.
Our hearts truly go out to the people of Boston. After yesterday’s tragedy there, which was shortly followed by a man killed by the G Train in Greenpoint, many of us may be starting off the day confused, saddened, and scared.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg wants you to know that he feels okay taking the subway after the “bombing” or “explosions” or “whatever” attack that happened yesterday during the Boston Marathon because NY is on high alert. Thanks Mike, but in a post-911 New York, many of us are probably shook up. But like brave New Yorkers, we carry on. Which can often make us feel even worse, guilty for acting like nothing happened.
While on a photo shoot yesterday, Jon texted me as the tragedy was unfolding and I quickly brought up the news on my iphone. The art director took one look at the horrific video and continued putting jewelry in front of my camera. It was disturbing to keep working, while at that moment amputees were being rushed to the hospital, but in all reality, what could I do in NY, but watch or keep working? Watching powerlessly can be worse.
After nervously returning home on the train, we listened to the news because watching would mean seeing the explosions on repeat, which is what many of us did after 911, which is even more traumatizing for our already shattered nerves. It’s not like after Sandy, when we could all come together and do something. In times like this, we can only watch and wonder and chose how to continue on.
And today we go back to our regular lives and think about how the people who were standing on the finish line yesterday had no clue how in one moment their lives would change forever. There is no comfort in this, that living in a city like New York, packed with people, vulnerable to such catastrophes, that at any moment any one of us could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is the chance we take to live in such an amazing place. It was the chance the people in Boston took to be part of such a spectacular event. We are never 100% safe but we can’t give up on those things.
Today the best thing we can do is keep Boston in our hearts and cherish the people and the city around us that we love.
Go home early, hug your dog, make dinner with your sweetheart, get a drink with an old friend, call your Grandma. Enjoy life.
With the proposed ten luxury high rises coming to Greenpoint, adding over 5000 new homes to the area, nearby residents of The Greenpoint Hotel currently live in deplorable conditions. With rents on the rise, are low income residents being victimized by landlords looking to cash in on valuable real estate?
It ain’t the Greenpoint depicted in Girls – that’s for sure.
In 2006, the NY Times described the The Greenpoint Hotel on Manhattan Ave, reporting that the “hallways stink of marijuana and urine; the bathrooms – one per floor – are caked in dirt, and hot water is rare. The front desk is barricaded shut with sheets of plywood. Theft and violence are a constant threat.” Since then, not much has changed.
Last week a public walk thru took place after 30 residents of this Single Room Occupancy (SRO) had their first court appearance to file a law suit to address violations, which were described in a Greenline article in December to include, mold, rats, sporadic heat and hot water and electrical issues. Since then, none of the issues have been addressed by the landlord.
Advocating for the residents, Greg Hanlon of St. Nicks Alliance provided us with photos from the walk thru and the following statement:
The situation at 1109 Manhattan is an egregious and unconscionable example of what has become a common trend in North Brooklyn: Unscrupulous landlords’ forcing out longtime tenants by any means possible, so that they can make more money from their buildings. In some cases, it’s harassment and intimidation; in some, neglect. In this case, it’s both.
These tenants pay around $250 to $350 a month. We’re talking about prime real estate in Greenpoint, a stone’s throw away from the proposed Greenpoint Landing Development, which will have ripple effects on property values throughout the neighborhood. Tenants have told us that the landlord, Jay Deutchman, is trying to sell the building. It’s not too hard to see what’s going on here, and what Mr. Deutchman’s motivations are.
Along with St. Nick’s Alliance, Council Member Stephen Levin was at the walk thru and had this to say:
For years, the Greenpoint Hotel has been a haven for miserable living conditions. Rats, broken toilets, and collapsing ceilings have become a part of everyday life at the Hotel so that the landlord can vacate the building and sell it.
We cannot allow this to happen in our city. No New Yorker should be taken advantage of like this. No New Yorker should be subjected to live in this type of environment. That’s why I have called HPD repeatedly to complain about the state of the building and commend the legal action taken on behalf of the residents to make sure these conditions do not persist.
It’s fortunate that the residents of The Greenpoint Hotel have spoken up and sought help. We hope we can count on our public leaders to help improve conditions there and be an advocate for other Greenpointers in similar situations.
With housing prices on the rise in Greenpoint, will more low-income residents be mistreated like by landlords who want to raise rent? Have you or your neighbors been the victim of such neglect?