Thursday, November 18, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
File photo Photo provided by City Pages
At Thursday night's comedy show at The Polonaise, What's So Funny about Greenpoint?, New York-based comedian Todd Barry provided an answer: Juliet Linderman.
A Short Story missed this one last night so we're going to have to rely on other sources, which corroborated that Barry veered off his planned set to make fun of Linderman, who was taking notes and photographs while seated in the front row whenever a comedian mentioned the word "Greenpoint."
For the next 30 minutes, Barry questioned whether the Greenpoint Gazette was "real" and proceeded to place a large order of the paper to his Manhattan apartment.
"He was definitely talking about her for a really long time, but I had a lot to drink so I don't really remember," said one source.
Councilman Steve Levin was there also, but declined to comment.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Former board member Teresa Toro congratulates Land Use Chairwoman Heather Roslund on her historic achievement.
By the end, it was a meeting where very little occurred beyond three small land use items that were denied and a cohort of liquor licenses that were mostly approved.
And yet, sometimes under ordinary circumstances does something extraordinary occur-- a 69-minute committee report by Heather Roslund that absolutely shattered previous records for the longest committee report in community board history.
I've checked with a few experts and while many remember board meetings that lasted longer no one can remember a committee meetings that went on for more than an hour.
"I've never seen anything like that," one stunned community liaison told me after the meeting.
Heather's report inspired not one but two Facebook threads written by board members during the meeting. Let's republish them:
@The Monthly Meeting of Community Board #1 in Brooklyn; gettin' Civic, Facebook! 20 hours ago via Mobile Web
Ward Dennis Look civic!
20 hours ago
Wilfredo Florentino We'd love to see you @Yoselis! You are missed!
20 hours ago
Ward Dennis Keeping the agenda moving...
20 hours ago
Wilfredo Florentino Ward & I are getting Civic; Woohoo!
19 hours ago
Tom Burrows How long is this going to last?
19 hours ago
Wilfredo Florentino Tom, we will be here till at least 10pm, no 'Dancing With The Stars' tonight!
18 hours ago
Teresa Toro Suckers...
17 hours ago
Wilfredo Florentino :-P Teresa, you are missed as well!
17 hours ago
Ward Dennis Yeah, Debbie Masters was there - we coulda had a reunion if you and Yoselis had made it.
17 hours ago
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
6:20 PM: They're cranking up the heat inside the Swinging Sixties Senior for tonight's riveting November meeting. So far, it doesn't look like there's going to be much of a crowd tonight. We've got a few liquor licenses, a visit from an FBI agent on infrastructure safety and an unmarked HPD presentation or two.
Holy shit! It's mid-level professional HPD legend Jack Hammer! First ballot member of the Brooklyn Great Names Hall of Fame and nine-time Facial Hair All Star! He's sporting a full, well-trimmed mustache and Miezsko is jealous. This meeting just moved up a notch.
We have double action in the bullpen in Press Row with NAG favorite Allison Davis and OSA favorite Julia Morrow joining the table.
Where are the NAG photos from Saturday?, asks Allison.
I've been incredibly busy, I say.
Doing what? asks Allison.
6:29 PM Gerry Esposito takes the roll call and Chairman Chris notes that Board Member Paul Pullo III just had a baby, Paul Pullo IV. Well his wife had a baby.
Keep the lineage going!
Greenpoint Gazette publisher Jeff Mann adds, he is already driving a MetroFuel truck.
6:39 PM: Three announcement from public official flacks not named Rami Metal. It appears Marty Markowitz will host a Williamsburg Town Hall where you can meet him, and Dan (D-Squad) Squadron's office wants to let you know that flu shots are available at Long Island College Hospital. It's the D-Squad's birthday tonight. Consequently he's nowhere the hell near here.
Looks like we're not the only ones commenting that the meeting was slow. Ward just tweeted from his blog that Relish just got its liquor license approved.
6:41 PM: Chairman Chris announces that the FBI agent who was supposed to come to tonight's meeting did not show up and the presentation was canceled. Perhaps something else came up.
6:41 PM: Two HPD rank and files announce the relocation of its 27 Hooper Street branch to 210 Joralemon Street with other divisions. This must be why Jack is here tonight. Let's go to the staffer:
"The building cost a lot of money to maintain. Especially in the current budget situation, we had to cut back. 27 Hooper is not an easy location to get to and 210 Joralemon is better than many locations. We thought it was win-win-win all around and we were under pressure to save some money."
Thanks HPD dude. Next time my apartment's boiler explodes, I'll know where to go.
Actually, Jack wants to say something about the sale of the building.
"There's nothing currently on the table."
6:56 PM: We have a sidewalk cafe application at Nassau and Guernsey. Did you know you can get cheap flights from Nassau to Guernsey for 757 pounds? Also, NAG Co-Chair Emily Gallagher joins Press Row, fresh from raising $36,000(?) at the NAG gala on Saturday night. Jesus, that's two years at SUNY Albany!
6:58 PM: Jack is back! Chairman Chris reads the next item regarding Yuco Management Inc's proposal to build 59-low income units in four small buildings in the district and it's the Brooklyn planning office of HPD for a presentation. HPD will be extending a 50 percent preference to CB1 residents who have moved out of the district since 2004.
We go to principal Raymond Yu and his Yuco team for his project:
This is the full presentation of an initial presentation mentioned more than a year and a half ago. They're already managing a project on Hope Street and Havemeyer Street.
The breakdown is: 37 Ten Eyck has 7 units, 33 Ten Eyck 18 units, Maujer St 14 units and Bedford Avenue, the largest has 20 apartments.
Heather Roslund has a question about the ULURP process for the buildings and Jack Hammer stands up. He's ready to go... no! He sits back down again. False alarm, everyone.
Ward Dennis asks why the initial number was reduced from 64 to 59 and.. surprise... it's due to its budget.
The project is supposed to go before Land Use on the 22nd but that meeting is tentative.
Jack Hammer has left the building everyone. Jack Hammer has left the building. Greenpoint Gazette's Jeff Mann is sad. Don't worry Jeff, we still have David Rivel.
7:11 PM: The City Parks Foundation's David Rivel is on the dais presenting what his group may do with Greenpoint's $7 million windfall awarded in a settlement the city made with the state for violating pollution laws.
There's been a lot reported about this so far and you can read about it here. What we want to know is where do we vote for these 26 whittled down projects.
"Ultimately the final decision for which projects happen is with the state. City Parks Foundation will not be making a decision," says David.
7:18 PM: It's the team of Jackie Brookner and Deborah Masters about their Green Eggs and Wetlands project, one of 26 projects being considered by the state for the pollution funding.
Deborah: Our Park is going to be devoted toward cleaning stormwater. When there's a big event of rain, there's an overflow of sewage into the city's waterways. We're going to use stormwater to do another thing- to power the growth of plants in our park and our plants will clean the storm water."
But what happens when the eggs hatch and give birth to... Swamp Thing?
There goes the neighborhood. Thanks Deborah Masters.
7:31 PM: Public agenda closes and Chairman Chris acknowledges the newly elected District Leader, Lincoln Restler. A smattering of applause. Wait a second, where did he get that baby?
7:34 PM: Chairman Chris gives his report thanking board members for their excellent attendance. But Chairman Chris is also very upset at board members who talk to the press about items that don't have anything to do with board issues.
District Manager Gerry Esposito notes the submission of next year's proposed meeting calendar. Also, no outside food. Thank you for your consideration. The calendar is approved.
7:41 PM: Committee reports! Heather Roslund starts us off with a list of recommendations for Vision 2020.
Unsurprisingly, the first recommendation is creating more open space on and public access for the waterfront, particularly the public walkway component.
I should note that Simon Weiser just greeted a Joel Shucher noted Orthodox real estate lobbyist with a sick handshake. Manny Ramirez would be proud.
Heather calls the Greenway on Kent Avenue a "quasi fiasco" and that it is being overused. And she's going to read every single recommendation, plus bullet points and sub bullet points.
Jeff Mann: "Who wrote Heather's report today? Karen Nieves?"
And it goes on like this... for 32 minutes.
I text Rami Metal noting that it feels like we've been held hostage and Rami said he will be contacting a negotiator.
8:13 PM: Ward Dennis harps about keeping the Greenway "on the waterfront everywhere."
Emily Gallagher helpfully whispers, "Stella!"
Wrong movie Emily.
"I coulda been a contender!" says Emily.
There you go.
8:15 PM: Heather continues her report... really. She's clocking in at 34 minutes so far and this might be a new Community Board 1 record for the longest committee report in the history of community boards. Can we get an official from the mayor's office on the phone?
Heather picks up the pace with the Wythe Avenue rezoning application, which received a 3-2 disapproval last week with recommendations and explains in exacting detail the application.
I've checked with a few senior members and professionals and it appears that this is in fact the longest committee report in community board history. We're witnessing history tonight folks. It's not every day you can say that. Congratulations Heather!
8:31 PM Chairman Chris cuts the report off after a whopping 50 minutes but first chides board members for not showing up to vote at committe meetings.
"There are 15 members on this committee. People were knocking down my door to get on this committee and only six people showed up to vote? Where is everybody? We were looking for people to participate in these committees. You have important votes coming up. These votes were important!" says Chairman Chris.
"I was removed from the committee!" shouts Esteban Duran, fleetingly.
But Heather takes the reins again and answers a few questions and more people begin to leave. We've lost half our crowd. Does the Q and A still count as part of her record? Judges? It does! The clock is still ticking!
8:41 PM: Chairman Chris moves for a vote of the rezoning, the Wythe Avenue one, and the motion to approve the Land Use Committee's recommendation passes 15 in favor, 4 against and 4 abstentions. OSA Joe Vance is pissed. I'm not sure board members knew exactly what they were voting for.
There's one final item for a vote, and that's the Roebling Street project which is trying to add about 90 parking spaces to their building, which requires a zoning change.
8:50 PM: After 1 hour and 9 minutes
Heather: Thank God, I'm done talking." Applause
Mieszko Kalita takes the mic promising a change in speed. Liquor license renewals. Approved. Done. Liquor licenses new. Motion to approve? In favor? Approved. Carried.
Not approved, 256 Grand Street renewal for the Trash Bar, because of noise complaints. The motion carries. Trash Bar has some problems.
Mieszko pops through the last two items in ice like a blizzard/ When we drink we do it right gettin slizzard/ Sippin sizzurp in my ride, like Three Six/ Now I’m feelin so fly like a...
8:55 PM Rami Metal introduces a letter from Councilman Stephen Levin noting his concern over the proposed homeless shelter on McGuinness Boulevard and he begins passing around the letter to the remaining board members and stragglers.
8:57 PM Feeling the pressure from board members, Transportation Chairwoman Karen Nieves takes the mic and delivers a blisteringly fast report about the Greenway planning session, the canceled B39 Bus, a request for bike racks, and a joint committee request with public safety about bike rules, particularly educating cyclists that they shouldn't ride through red lights, the wrong way and on the wrong side of the road. Five minutes Karen. Not bad at all. That's Community Board-MVP material.
9:02 PM: Ryan Kuonen mentions how basically no one showed up to her environmental meeting.
9:04 PM: Esteban Duran gives his education committee meeting, addressing decreasing enrollments and vacancies, summer youth employment programs, and Town Square Inc's Schoolfest last month. Also, Joel Klein stepped down today. So there's that.
Several Hasidic members have left already. Why? Because Rabbi David Niederman's granddaughter is getting married tonight. So that's where Rob Solano is.
9:13 PM: Finally. Public Session.
*Joseph Garber protests the two minute rule and rambles on for a full three minutes.
*Jackie Medina, volunteer director for Parks and OSA, formerly in
*Rami visits Press Row and notes that Deputy Inspector Dennis Fulton has left the 94th Precinct like Jack Hammer left this meeting three hours ago.
*A rep from the Brooklyn Smoke Free partnership noting that Camel Company is marketing its own cigarette just for Williamsburg youth. Wow. That's the most interesting thing I heard all night.
*Cassandra Smith from GMDC presents the boathouse plan with GWAP. Read about it here.
It's finally over. Jack Hammer is tonight's Community Board 1 MVP. Karen Nieves was Runner-up. Heather Roslund placed 3,945th.
Wake up, it's time for another community board 1 meeting. What's on the agenda tonight? Rezoning a strip of Wythe Avenue. What should be on the agenda tonight?
How about the War on Loosies?
Or Public Safety concerns regarding police accidentally getting locked up in hipsters' front yards?
Or another luxury hotel moving to the northside?
Or the neighborhood's apparent love affair with vinyl siding?
Or said vinyl siding building's potentially dangerous existence to pedestrians?
Tonight won't be a total snoozefest. Did we mention that the FBI is coming to talk about protecting the nation's infrastructure? Perhaps they'll send this guy.
Monday, November 8, 2010
A Short Story wants to hit the week running with five links to check out this week. Try to catch your breathe.
*There were some murmurs about Two Trees' development of a luxury hotel down the street from Graves Hospitality-- and tomorrow we could learn whether the Walentases (Walentasises? Walentasses? What's plural for the Dumbo developers? Somebody help me out here) secure $15 million in bond money from the city. Exciting times. Also receiving top billing, Tony Argento is applying for $13.5 million for his Broadway Stages project on Kingsland Avenue.
*Speaking of hotels, there's a new Orthodox-friendly hotel coming to South Williamsburg (actually two hotels) for all your kosher needs. Except cable television. C'mon Jewcy, can't you put together a Hasidic-friendly porn channel for these guys? It's a niche market!
*Let's do a two-fer for political stories- Reid Pillifant has a story on Chuck Schumer and the DSCC and Nick Rizzo has a new story about the Green Party.
*If it's early November, it must be time for another arts festival in Bushwick. Enter Beta Spaces.
*Finally, Bishop Loughlin prep star JayVaughn Pinkston is in some trouble with police in Pennsylvania, which may delay his awaited debut with the Villanova Wildcats. Should have gone to UConn, JayVaughn.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have a lot of photos to sort through, from Bill Clinton's appearance in downtown Brooklyn and Steve Cohn's breakfast at Juniors to Halloween costumes and some Election Day thoughts. So the best way to cover all of that is to have an awards show. Online. With no compensation.
But first, wondering what Steve Witt is up to? He's interviewing street performers at Grand Central Station and Union Square.
But first, wondering what Steve Witt is up to? He's interviewing street performers at Grand Central Station and Union Square.
Norris defeated Democratic challenger Kathryn Guinan to become the first Republican in the office in 26 years. The Norwich Bulliten has a completely unironic roundup of the race here.
Meanwhile, a much cruddier paper, the New London Day, has a story about people (ahem) stealing Norris' campaign signs, with no mention of this blog.
I am reaching out to Mr. Norris for an interview about his victory and plans to distribute his unique brand of justice in the future. As Connecticut Law Blog puts it, "Someone ran against Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris won."
Or as Google puts it: "Google won't search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don't find Chuck Norris, he finds you."
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
As voters fill out ballots like angsty, pimple-faced teenagers completing the SATs, A Short Story wants to take a moment to offer its first (and last ever) endorsement for a candidate on the ballot today.
His name is Chuck Norris and he's running for Probate Judge in Norwich, Connecticut.
Norris has been receiving an emphatic letter-writing campaign of supporters including Raymond Dussault, chairman of the Norwich Republican Town Committee who writes "Norris will bring discipline, experience and compassion to the court," and Albert Trombley, also of Norwich, who argues, "based on the combination of Chuck’s legal experience and compassion for others," Norwich residents should cast their vote for Norris.
And then there's Trish Sullivan of Voluntown, who writes, "Some lawyers spend their entire careers involved in just one area of the law. They’re never exposed to — or learn how to handle — cases other than the limited matters that they have chosen to study. Other lawyers, such as Chuck Norris, have spent their careers studying and learning all areas of the law in order to represent their clients at each and every stage of their lives."
All areas of the law people. And when reason fails, he will roundhouse kick the defendant through the windshield of his car.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Bear with me, I have a lot of photos to upload for the weekend's events-- but in the meantime, here are five election-related stories that will bleed into Tuesday:
*Could a sitting comptroller (above in a soon-to-be-bromantic scene with Beep Markowitz) actually lose? Do New Yorkers even know what a comptroller is or who is running? Neither does Charlie Rangel.
*The Times predicts the State Senate will flip back to the Republicans and points to the Aqueduct scandal as a contributing factor.
*And in gubernatorial news-- Reid Pillifant from the Observer wonders if a new saner Carl would have had a better shot of beating Andrew Cuomo if he acted this way from the beginning.
*You've probably picked up an L magazine already and flipped through its 50 best blocks in Brooklyn. They left out Best Block containing a political clubhouse that is supposed to be a center providing respite services for seniors (Wyckoff Avenue bet. Grove and Menahan Streets).
*With few competitive races in the state except counties above Westchester (and maybe that pesky Bay Ridge congressional race), New Yorkers went to Washington this weekend for the sanity rally. The WG News and Arts was there and took pictures.