After struggling against an overpowering ennui that has the strength of a thousand Russian autocrats, I have come up for air just in time for tonight's Community Board 1 meeting at the Swinging Sixties Senior Center.
What can I say, it's been an eventful and adventurous summer.
*I fought off a diminished Category 1 hurricane so much that it became a tropical storm.
*I tweeted crotch pictures of the finger building— which is now available for occupancy.
*I single handedly married 76 gay couples on the steps on Borough Hall as an ordained minister with the Church of Universal Life.
*I sailed Newtown Creek with Dewey Thompson and kayaked on the East River with Councilman Steve Levin.
But enough about me let's get to tonight's agenda. New York Shitty's Miss Heather promises lots of angry new sh-t from residents tonight, specifically about a rampant rat problem in Greenpoint. I can't wait.
6:30 PM: Chairman Chris Olechowski calls the meeting to order (On time!) and District Manager Gerry Esposito takes roll.
Borough President's counsel the ruggedly handsome Jason Otano stops by press row to mention that he is now officially single. Ladies?
First up is a sidewalk cafe application for the Alligator Lounge on Metropolitan Avenue just down the street from the center. But Board member Tom Burrows has a complaint about noise at the bar. He's not the only one as Katie Naplatarski and Julie Lawrence chime in.
Lots of attractive young people here tonight for a number of disparate reasons, but Chairman Chris says that audience members who are here for liquor license moratorium issues will be disappointed because that meeting is happening in two weeks. There is no visible reaction from the audience at this remark.
Board member Del Teague gives a brief budget report presentation, explaining that members should carefully consider their funding priorities to be given to the city. She keeps talking.
"You could come to the budget meeting," said Del. "It's not the most exciting meeting. It's long and we go through the whole thing. We go through every single item. We may be there until 2 in the morning, but we'll do it."
The Dominotrix herself Susan Pollock and Barbara "Yogi" Baer enter the room and stop by the press table to complain that I haven't been blogging that much lately. Ladies, take a number.
6:54 Chairman Chris makes a motion to withdraw the Polish Slavic Center Cafeteria's liquor license application because of a "fraudulent petition" and found that by consulting a forensic expert. What a joke. Now he's asking the board to ratify the withdrawal.
Meanwhile, keeps talking but Public Safety deputy chairman Tom Burrows is whispering that he's livid the state approved a law allowing movie theaters to serve alcohol during a screening.
7:02 PM Greenline legendary editor Greg Hanlon arrived just in time to help Open Space Alliance's Julia Morrow with her fantasy football team. His advice for her defense? The Detroit Lions.
7:07 PM: Board members vote for the Polish Slavic cafeteria withdrawal so no zwyiec with your pierogis.
Transportation chairwoman Karen Nieves gives a summary of three issues including demapping on Union Street, a Department of Transportation Safe Streets for Seniors.
And Karen notes that the city is denying walk signals on Kent Avenue by N. Eighth near the East River park entrance and N. Fifth Street. Karen is defiant and says she had to direct traffic herself while her family went to the kite festival.
"They cannot tell us there is not an increase in pedestrian traffic in those areas."
Otano gets called on and announces that the Brooklyn Book Festival will occur at Borough Hall all day Sunday, and you can pick up a copy of Chairman Chris' new memoir, "Kill Me If You Can," which is a New York Times Bestseller.
7:24 Public session! I'll summarize.
*Tom Peyton announces the return of the Bring to Light Festival in Greenpoint. Sounds like there are a lot of kinks to iron out before it opens, such as final confirmation on permits.
*Mark Wysocki who opposed the PSC liquor license takes a victory lap.
*Jeanette Mocho has a rat problem. She's caught 16 rats over the past two years and she's started a petition with 400 people distributed in both Spanish and Polish.
"Now sanitation is giving out holes in the cans but doing nothing about the rat problem."
*District Leader Linda Minucci echoes the call to exterminate rats on Calyer Street.
"If they find evidence of holes, they ticket the homeowner."
*Julia Morrow gives a presentation regarding the Open Space Alliance events. Chairman Chris calls her Julie.
7:46 Chairman Chris brings up new business and Public Safety Chairman Mieszko Kalita has more questions about the bring to light festival. Looks like Mieszko has some problems with it.
Ward Dennis reminds people to come get a taste — of Williamsburg— at the Taste of Williamsburg Sunday afternoon.
Tom Burrows makes his frustration about Nitehawk Cinemas' sneaky liquor license extension public and calls out Assemblyman Joe Lentol for sponsoring the bill. Tom, let's settle this over a drink while watching your favorite movie.
7:58 PM: Rami Metal from Steve Levin's office notes a rally against homeless shelters coming to Greenpoint and other neighborhoods at city hall on Sept. 21 at 11 am.
Antonio Reynoso from Diana Reyna's office makes an appearance and Jose Leon thanks Antonio for getting an iHop to open in the district, which means we can look forward to a whole lot of this:
Hey, let's end this with two fun facts of the night: Did you know that board member Wilfredo Florentino is an ex-military officer specializing in nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (NBC for short)? He knows how to use an ICAN, an improvised chemical agent monitor. And Mieszko spent his summer hanging out with some very powerful people.
If you look closely enough, you can see Mieszko piloting the vessel as former Prime Minister Putin aims at a whale with his crossbow.