kim masson

A Labor of Love: Kim Masson Debuts Her Novel at WORD Tonight (08/03)

K&T Pose 02
Author Kim Masson and her husband, artist Teo Gonzalez \ Photos: Rosie de Belgeonne

“Online dating can work,” insists Kelly Brixi, heroine of Kim Masson’s debut novel, Craig’s List Chronicles: byte-size tales. “I know a girl who met her husband that way. When they got married, they gave out little chocolate computers as gifts.” The year is 2000, and Kelly is heading off to a blind date at the Met. She runs through the safety precautions with her best friend and hopes for the best, at least when it comes to looks, because she’s never seen her date before.

“Back then, Craigslist did not have pictures,” explains Masson (because I was born in the late ’80s and have no memory of those times), “blind dates were true blind dates.”

We’re sitting outside at Baoburg, where a few diners are bent determinedly over their phones, and I turn my microphone app on, slide it across the table, and begin asking Masson the hard questions about writing your first novel, indie publishing, and meeting the love of your life online. Continue reading

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Can Small Businesses Survive in North Brooklyn? Not Without Our Help

Lost our Lease

In the past year covering Greenpoint happenings, I have written about more local businesses closing than I care to remember. A simple peek on Manhattan Avenue shows a smattering of empty store fronts–some shuttered for more than a year—waiting to be taken over by some business with deep enough pockets able to afford a new tier of astronomical rents. Out you go mom and pop. Adios working artists. Sayonara small fry.

Each MONTH an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 NYC small businesses lose their leases due to profiteering rent increases.  And as we’ve bared witness, the only ones who can truly afford to occupy these newly priced spaces usually come strapped with shareholders, millions of dollars in equity, and a black bottom line.

In fact, the crisis is so dire, under the Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure 83,211 commercial tenants received eviction notices, an estimated 240,000 small businesses closed, and NYC saw more than 2 million jobs lost.

Real estate speculation is nothing new, but when it finally swoops in like that long lost relative no one ever wanted to deal with, the affect can be devastating as it takes over our lives.

So you might ask: Is there any real way to stop this? The answer is yes, but you have to keep reading to find out how.

Continue reading

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Flowers or Towers at CitiStorage lot? Activists plan City Hall Rally.

Rendering of the promised 28 acre Bushwick Inlet Park.

A couple of weeks ago we reported a war was brewing at the former CitiStorage site, and while the flames have died down, the heat is on to reclaim our parkland. So Greenpointers got your skewers sharpened yet? If not, you better arm yourselves because it’s roasting time and you’re not going to want miss this.

Our good Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park have declared March 12th as the day we demand the city makes good on its promises to deliver our park according the 2005 Waterfront Rezoning. Some of you maybe thinking–why should we care if the City reneges? The answer doesn’t get more simple than this: If we don’t go to City Hall with our pitchforks and starting screaming like hell, we will be looking at another luxury tower in a only a few short years. Don’t want your promised park hijacked by another bloated developer with dollar signs in his eyes? Yeah, me either.

You see this battle isn’t just about a park or another tower, this is about a promise the City has NO intention of keeping. If there was ever a time to get really pissed, this is it. Continue reading

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This is your last chance to stop Greenpoint Landing! Last Meeting! Get Active. Do it now! (12/5)

Ok, here we are.  This is your last shot. I’m not playin’.  Either are the developers who  will soon turn Greenpoint into a Disneyfied vision of Brooklyn.  The last of the public meetings will take place Thursday, December 5th, 2013 and this is your last chance to do something.

UPDATE Location: 250 Broadway Committee Room 16th Floor CITY HALL
Time for Commercial Street meeting: 9:30 am
Time for Greenpoint Landing meeting: 1:00 pm

If you can’t make it – here is a sample letter – to send to council members.

Anyone familiar with the politics of New York knows most of these politicians are flags flapping in the wind.  Where the wind blows is the direction they point in. If you all become the wind and let them know how you feel, you may be able to get the city council to vote against this project.

Become a collective hurricane! Go to the meetings. Voice your opinions, and let it be known that you are not feeling this.

Our friend Kim Masson of savegreenpoint.org fills us in on the latest developments. Continue reading

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