st. nicks alliance

Notes from Wednesday’s Community Development Meeting

Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran
Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran

On Wednesday, Greenpoint residents came together at the Polish and Slavic Center (176 Java Street) for a community development meeting organized by Councilman Stephen Levin. The meeting promised information about how new construction along the waterfront, will impact Greenpoint.

Representatives from Greenpoint Landing, The Greenpoint (21 India Street) and Heritage Equity Partners (25 Kent) presented the most recent developments regarding their on-gong construction projects, and took questions from community members. Then community organizations took the floor to discuss their recent work. Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Curb Your Litter, and Evergreen all turned out to detail their ongoing efforts on behalf of Greenpoint. Here are notes from the 2 hour meeting:

Continue reading

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

Friends of Cooper Park Meeting Next Monday (11/13)!

Cooper Park

If people get involved, Cooper Park will get better! Please join Friends of Cooper Park for their first meeting!

When: Monday, November 13, 6pm-7:30pm
Where: St. Nicks Alliance2 Kingsland Avenue
Who: Current and future volunteers, park stewards and activists
Food and Drinks: Yes! A complimentary light buffet dinner and drinks will be served
Childcare will be provided
 
More info: “Cooper Park can be so much more—health club, art studio, outdoor classroom, a place where we meet when we get together with friends and neighbors, and a space where we connect with nature. Our neighborhood’s friends groups, including Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park (FBIP) and McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance (MPNA), have demonstrated the value of parks groups, helping raise millions of dollars in capital improvements and getting neighbors involved in improving their parks! The sky’s the limit for Cooper Park….if we all get involved!”

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

Parents & Kids: The Ultimate School Open House, Schoolfest 2017, is This Saturday (10/21)!

Schoolfest 2017!
Saturday, October 21 | 12-4 PM
@ John Ericsson Middle School 126|  424 Leonard Street (Bayard entrance)
Cost: FREE

During Schoolfest, North Brooklyn families are invited to meet all types of schools—from day care through college; from public, to private, charter, magnet, community, dual language, and gifted—at one place on one day.  This Saturday October 21st, from 12-4pm, visitors will be able to network and get info on neighborhood schools and admission processes. Schoolfest helps parents navigate through the confusion so that they can make the best choice for their child’s educational needs.  Well known Joyce Szuflita of New York School Help will present workshops on the bewildering array of public NYC schools and equally perplexing admission processes for PK/K, middle schools and high schools.

Get your FREE ticket here
If you’re interested in exhibiting at Schoolfest, click here.

Category: Events | Tags: , , , , , | 0 Comments

Family-Friendly Fundraiser for BK Story Voyager This Weekend (9/30)!

St Nick's Alliance 2017 Touch A Truck

What:North Brooklyn Touch-a-Truck
When: Saturday Sept 30th, 11am-2pm
Where: Behind McCarren Park Pool, Leonard St. Between Bayard & Manhattan
Tickets/info: $10 for the first child and $5 for additional children; More info
The 5th annual North Brooklyn Touch-a-Truck fundraiser raises funds to help purchase cool children’s books for the BK Story Voyager, which is literally literacy on wheels—a fun book distribution system that supports parents and schools by infusing and promoting a passion for reading in the lives of children, in particular under-served communities. The event will have trucks for the young ones to explore, face painting, a bouncy house, and arts and crafts!
Category: Community, Events, Kids | Tags: , , , , , | 0 Comments

Slumlord Sabotage on Nassau

Many of us are all too familiar with the slummy landlord. He lurks in the dark shadows of our fair city, waiting to drain our bank accounts in exchange for cheap utilities and a security deposit that, let’s face it, is probably half-way to Mexico.

And now, he strikes again. On December 15th, an unidentified mystery person broke into 300 Nassau Avenue and smashed the building’s water main, boiler, electric meters and thermostat with an ax.

According to the tenants of the six-unit building, landlords, Aaron and Joseph Israel, were the ax wielders. Yes, dear readers, this was a potential case of SABOTAGEContinue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It Ain’t Girls: The Greenpoint Hotel

Greenpoint Hotel Resident Harold Francis

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.

Greenpoint Hotel Resident Bill (above) hangs his belongings to keep them out of reach of the rats.

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?

Category: Community, Culture, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

FREE English Classes in Williamsburg & Greenpoint Start 3/16 & 3/18

Recently a writer doing research on a book about Greenpoint interviewed me about life in Greenpoint and the Polish community came up. I explained how unique NYC is in that Polish immigrants could live here and never learn English. They could read the paper, get groceries, go to the doctor, work, get legal services – all in Polish.

It reminds me of my Aunt Grace who immigrated from Italy and lived in Ridgewood for 50 years, getting by with hardly any English. At age 70 she decided to get her American citizenship, and during the interview when they asked her who the first president of the United States was, she said, “Ronald Regan – very nice man.” Aunt Grace somehow passed, and I hope they’ve become stricter on the exam.

While I’m doing a poor job selling it, learning English is a good thing and will help create more opportunities for education, work and socializing. And of course – the ability to read this fine blog!

St. Nicks Alliance is offering FREE English classes for speakers of foreign languages, at both the Williamsburg (850 Grand St.) and Greenpoint (424 Leonard) Beacon Centers. They begin Saturdays – March 16th from 10am-1pm & Mondays – March 18th 6:30-8:30pm, respectively. Each class has 12 sessions. Classes are for beginning and intermediate English learners, and are open to those 18 or older.

Register in person on weekdays from 1-6pm at the Williamsburg Beacon, and from 1-7pm at the Greenpoint Beacon.

For more info, call the Williamsburg Beacon at 718-302-6827 x10, or the Greenpoint Beacon at 718-388-5585.

Go get learned, Greenpoint!

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments