While sitting on a surprisingly comfy modern sofa inside a patient suite at Williamsburg Therapy Group, I enjoyed a tranquil view of a quiet stretch of Grand St obscured by tropical plants in neatly arranged terra cotta pots. I noticed stacks of books on the window sill with titles that referred to the psychology of African American families, Racial Oppression and the US Prison System – not the population of patients I imagined served by this practice. Continue reading →
Bill, I say this as someone who has supported your campaign since before you were thought of as a viable candidate: I have never been closer to voting for your opponent than I am after watching your performance tonight.
It all started when we realized that our sign sucks…
We decided to get a badass NEON sign, which we can take to all of our events and markets, a sign that reflects who we are and what we believe in – local MADE IN NYC craftsmanship – and of course document the process from start to finish with the direction of the talented Miguel A. Rodriguez (my best friend in the entire world!)
Our Neon Sign Documentary will star Robbie Ingui of Artistic Neon, a 2nd generation Neon Sign Maker. This guy is super talented, hilarious and has thee best NY accent ever! Not only will we film him making our sign and teaching us about the process, but we will also interview his father (in upstate NY) and Thomas Rinaldi, who wrote the amazing book New York Neon to learn about the history of Neon Sign Making and how it has created a unique visual landscape here for the past 100 years.
Find lots of great photos of Sicily, Charlie the Catahoula Leopard Dog, food, old jobs, lots of Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, he has an affinity for the Flat Iron building and flowers, horrible photos of me and every so often he does some scanning and shows amazing photos of 60s, 70s, 80s New York and Brooklyn.
I have been hounding him to scan his negatives. Stay tuned…
Have you ever had one of those mornings you wake up and actually cringe at the thought of your previous evening? I like to keep these mornings few and far between. When they do show up, though, it’s nice to think about all the other worst-case scenarios that offer the friendly reminder, “well at least I’m not that guy.”
Recently, I heard a story about a fellow Greenpointer that has become a comfort on any mortifying morning I might awake to. As a writer, I consider it my civic duty to impart this story upon you.
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?
Only two things could make me wake up and trek to the Upper East Side: Art and Central Park. This Sunday, I was well rewarded with both.
George Terry, a local Greenpoint artist, has masterfully orchestrated an art exhibit, salon style in a pre-war Manhattan dwelling, aptly named Classic Six, which was steps away from Central Park. “New York I Love You Sometimes” features a unique pool of converging circles of friends in the art sphere. This interesting co-mingling of seemingly disparate worlds: Brooklyn Artists/ Upper East Side Exhibit, was made possible by the generosity of Alison Chace, the owner of the space.
Background on Walls L-R: Lumin Wakoa Paintings, Max Reinhardt and Janelle Iglesias (Constellation) and Carolyn Salas (Untitled). Foreground L-R: Andy Ness (all dressed up and nowhere to go) and Brett Day Windham (Floating Harlequin)
As I walked into 1 East 62nd St., I was formally greeted by the doorman, escorted up and was ushered into this amazing apartment. Large picture windows and pristine white walls were the perfect canvas for housing the beautiful art pieces. George Terry gave me an in-depth tour of the exhibit and sat down with me for an interview. Continue reading →
I was 17 in the snow. It was the winter of 2004, new to college, and new to love. Who knew that I would get stuck in a Greenpoint apartment that winter rekindling a high school love? Beginning with a lost cellphone at the Royal Oak, to his bedroom in his loft apartment on Sutton, to Nassau Avenue, a little 1950′s diner we would call B’s on the corner of N Henry, and the swings in McGolrick park.
So to the Greenpointers who have fallin’ in love if once, if ever, if by chance, let’s scribe our loves into a poem.
And remember: we don’t just fall in love with people. Many of us fell in love, are still in love or fell out of love with Greenpoint.
Due February 10th @ 5pm, send us one of your poems, and let’s make this Valentine’s Day a brim to the hat to the nod toward love.
The winner, whose poem will be published on Greenpointers.com on the February 14th, will be a featured reader at Poetry Teachers NYC’s Monthly reading at Milk and Roses in February.
One last thing. Sometimes the best thing about falling in love is the story. Single or together this year, remember the place that landmarked your love.