park’s department

The Locals Have Spoken: We’re Not out of the Woods yet with the Clay St. Shelter

Louis Molina, Senior Advisor at the DHS, fields some questions. Photo: Julia Moak
Louis Molina, Senior Advisor at the DHS, fields some questions. Photo: Julia Moak

The swell of crime in North Greenpoint is still not the type of thing we’re discussing in yesterday’s terms, but things, on some level, appear to be happening. The fact that city officials scheduled a followup town hall meeting so soon after the last one is testament to the notion that they’re taking things seriously, even if residents are pretty firm on their stance that they haven’t gotten serious enough.

As many God Bless Deli II loyalists can attest to, the corner of Clay and Manhattan is frequently a hub of aggression, and some residents feel that it has to do with the homeless shelter at 66 Clay Street that moved into the neighborhood about a year ago. The tension that’s erupted in the months since can be traced to anything ranging from “quality of life concerns” to actual assaults on people who live nearby.

It’s unfortunate no matter how you slice it. Though the violence tends to stay between the clients (it’s a couples shelter, so domestic violence disputes come with the territory), there have also been reports of muggings, assaults, and sexual harassment afflicting the neighboring community. Greenpointers are also pretty unhappy about living with the constant shouting, aggression, and drug dealing that goes on, especially insofar as their children are concerned.

“There’s an aggression that comes out of 66 Clay,” said one local man at the meeting, which took place Dec. 7 at the Polish & Slavic Center at 176 Java Street. “We can feel it; we can sense it; it’s a totally different vibe. The BRC guys [at a neighboring shelter on McGuinness] say ‘hello, how are you.’ [The residents at Clay Street] come at you, block the sidewalk. It’s just a constant aggression and different kind of person.” Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Want Green Space? Occupy the Inlet this Sunday!

OCCUPY Bushwick Inlet

Got your kayaks and kites ready? If you don’t, better hurry up! This Sunday, the Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park are about to make history and they want you in on the action.

This Sunday, August 9th between 12:30 and 2pm, Occupy the Inlet intends to fill up Bushwick Inlet’s waters with as many boats and kayaks as possible. The goal is to put the screws on City Hall to fulfill its promised 28 acre waterfront park before it’s turned into more luxury residential developments.

“The park is being held hostage from us,” says  Steve Chesler, a local activist. “We’re getting angrier. Our base has been growing. We’re not going to relent until the administration starts talking about it and engaging our reps in the community.”

Since the suspicious 7 alarm fire in February that clogged streets with soot and charred medical records, the fate of CitiStorage’s 11 acre site has been the subject of intense debate. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

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

Category: Community, News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Newtown Barge Park is about to get a makeover and needs our help!

Is this what you want Barge Park to look like? Photo rendering: NYC City Planning

Parks. Everybody loves them. They are green, full of trees, and the perfect escape for people seeking refuge from NYC’s concrete jungle. But these days the word ‘park’ is unfortunately a matter of semantics. According some, tossing some green astroturf on the ground, installing a couple of plastic benches along a cement walkway, and sprinkling a couple of real plants here and there for good measure is considered a park.

We all know Greenpoint is hardly green, but thanks to the infusion of developer money and some motivated city officials, we are about to get two brand spanking new parks. How they look and smell, well…that’s where we come in. Continue reading

Category: Community, News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

McGolrick Park Farmers Market Mania!

Look at all the goodness I picked up at the first ever McGolrick Park Farmers Market yesterday! It’s going to be a good week in my kitchen.

If you missed it, it’s every Sunday from 11am-4pm until November on Russell St between Driggs and Nassau. And if you are closer to Cooper Park, there is one there, too!

“I am so excited about this,”  I overheard a Greenpointer say as she examined the gorgeous bounty. Everyone was buzzing about, finding fresh local treasures.

Joe Lentol & his wife

While the sidewalk on Russell St proved to be a little cramped, it was a great day to bump into neighbors, like artist/terrarium teacher Claire TypaldosLincoln Restler, and Joe Lentol and his wife, who live right on Russell St.

Lauren, of Farm to Baby, was hard at work picking up fresh local veggies for her baby food, which she will deliver right to your door.

Lauren Utvich

Continue reading

Category: Community, Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

McGolrick Park Farmer’s Market Update

NYC - Brooklyn - Greenpoint: McGolrick Park - McGolrick Park Shelter Pavilion
© Wally G - Greepointers Flickr Pool

After seeing this article on Brownstoner, I called Community Markets, a company that  according to the article, “gained approval from Community Board 1” to develop a Farmer’s Market at McGolrick Park.

GP: “Is it true that the Farmer’s Market will begin on Sunday June 3rd?”

Community Market: “Yes,” then, “hold on,” then “everything should be buttoned up by next week. We’ll call you back.”

I called Community Board 1 and spoke to Marie (great Brooklyn accent) who said they “support the conceptual plan” but cannot approve it. Community Markets’ next step is to gain approval from the Park’s Department, who owns the property.

After speaking to the Park’s Department, the Farmer’s Market in McGolrick Park is “still in discussion,” as well as a proposal for a farmer’s market in Cooper Park.

So I am going to just go ahead and get everyone’s hopes up and be optimistic that this will happen, but I will keep you updated.

Category: Community, Eat & Drink, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment