Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where da cash at, featuring Ed Towns and Lil' Wayne

Congressman Ed Towns released his first campaign commercial— which is also coincidentally a fundraising appeal, sent on the heels of a Reid Pillifant Capital New York report that he has $11,240 on hand.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Community Board 1: OSA Moves Out

What the f—k Community Board 1? Where the f— are you? It's 6:30 pm and there's barely anyone here tonight. Chairman Chris has to wait a few minutes until there are enough people (19) to proceed with public session.

I have one other note before we begin. A relative of Greenpoint attorney Adam Perlmutter's won the Nobel Prize for physics on Monday. Adam won't tell me how he's related to the Cal Tech professor. Anyone have any ideas?

6:35 PM: District Manager Gerry Esposito takes the roll and Chairman Chris wishes everyone happy Rosh Hashanah. Also, Esteban Duran is now a father. Also, I am enjoying a momofuku candy bar pie that is outstanding. So that's three mazel tovs.

We're onto sidewalk applications. Fabianne's Cafe and Pastry on N. Fifth and Bedford wants to renew its sidewalk cafe license. Up next is Clem's' James Freeman who wants to renew and wish everyone a happy Rosh Hashanah. This is going to be a trend tonight.

6:41 PM: And now a street renaming. The last one was Charno's Way on Manhattan Avenue. Now Humboldt and Greenpoint could become "Cosimo's Way," named after Cosimo Damiano Tristani, founder of Rapid Recycling Waste. His friend, Andre Aviles, of Rapid Processing, takes the mic.
"This man was a pillar of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. This man loved his community and loved the people he employed and this neighborhood as well."

6:45 PM: And some breaking news for you.
The uproarious waterfront concerts will be moved from East River Park to 50 Kent, a former sanitation garage, surrounded by industrial factories. Thayer reads from her notes.
"It is an underutilized nyc parks deparmtent property that will become part of Bushiwck Inlet Park. We look forward to hearing your feedback about this potential location."
Unsurprisingly, there are many questions. I'll summarize
Open Space Alliance's move does not have anything to do with Town Square, which must continue to negotiate with the state to have children's movie nights at the park.
The project is ready to go but it requires "site reparation."
It has no grass, it is simply a concrete asphalt parking lot.
Thayer: "There's no reason to think it couldn't be ready. We've been through this several times, it has been neglected for decades, and could be acclimated for public use.
Yes, this is the third location change over the past two years
More Thayer: "We've done everything possible to be responsive to our neighbors. We reduced sound checks later, reduced capacity rerouted exit strategy. We are here to engage the community, make this the best possible experience for everybody.
A N. Eighth Street resident named Peter asks if garbage collection will continue.
"People going to and from the concerts are still going to ruin the neighborhoods. And we're still going to hear the noise whether it's two blocks away or five blocks away."
Thayer adds that the concert series wil be able to redistribute more money to city parks since it OSA longer has to pay to use the state-owned East River State Park and a public hearing will be held on Oct 20, 6:30 pm, right here at Swinging Sixties, 211 Ainslie Street.

7:01 PM: The board moves onto liquor licenses while Rich Calder and I follow-up with Stephanie outside. Steph answers more questions.

Back inside, Heather Roslund has grabbed the mic to summarize her land use committee. There's an RFP for 339 Berry Street for some housing, the new tenant of 259 Banker Street, artist Matthew Jackson, is inviting board members for a tour, and there are some new variances to push stalled construction sites to clean up so that people don't get hurt in the wake of a bicycle fatality on Bushwick and Powers.

7:16 PM: It's Mieszko time! Our public safety chairman reads off the list of 30 or so liquor licenses‚ and they get approved. And here they are:
ABV Unlimited LLC, 594 Union Avenue (new, liquor, bar)
Andrew Benedict, 429 Graham Avenue (new, liquor, bar)
Chimu Inc., 482 Union Avenue (renewal, beer/wine, rest)
Douglas Park, dba GNOSH, 277 Graham Avenue (transfer, liquor, bar)
Fernando Flores, 742 Driggs Avenue (new, liquor, rest)
Fornino Corp dba Fornino, 187 Bedford Avenue (renewal, beer/wine, rest)
Irena Kabala dba Capri Social Club Inc, 156 Calyer Street (renewal, liquor, bar)
Jeffrey Slagg Enterprises LLC dba Sol de Mar (renewal, beer/wine, rest)
Mikey’s Hookup II dba PIPS, 158 Roebling Street (new, beer/wine, bar)
Mivako Japanese Rest Corp, 143 Berry Street (renewal, beer/wine, rest)
Mountaintop Restaurant Group dba Dunham Place Restaurant, 29 Dunham Place (new, liquor, rest)
North 12th Restaurant Company LLC dba T.B.D., 74 Wythe Avenue (new, liquor, rest)
Paper Box Music & Art Inc, 17 Meadow Street (new, liquor, bar)
Peanut Industries Inc dba Velvet Lounge, 174 Broadway (renewal, liquor, bar)
Pig and Egg LLC dba Egg Restaurant, 135 North 5th Street, Store A (renewal, beer/wine, rest)
Plimsoll Mask LLC, 138 Havemeyer Street (new, liquor, bar)
Radegast Hall LLC dba Radegast Hall and Biergarten, 113-115 North 3rd St aka 186 Berry Street (renewal, liquor, rest)
Spike Hill LLC, 184 Bedford Avenue (renewal, liquor, bar)
Studio 299, LLC, 299 VanderVoort Avenue (new, liquor, bar)
The 709 Lorimer St Restaurant Corp dba Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street (renewal, liquor, bar)
The Inspire Company, LLC dba Chai Home Kitchen, 124 North 6th Street (renewal, liquor, rest)
Wow Bridge CafeLLC dba Wow Cafe, 168 Borinquen Plaza aka 335 South 2nd Street (renewal, liquor, bar)

7:28 PM: Transpo chair Karen Nieves runs through the transportation report, which includes the DOT's suggestion to take 50 parking spaces from Greenpoint Avenue to make way for the bike lane.
Karen is not in favor of this, arguing that drivers will see the same effect that they have at Kent Avenue.
"Taking away parking spaces is not the answer," says Karen, adding, "That's why I'm not approving this."
She has more:
"They're saying this is a done deal. They are going to install a bike lane on the bridge itself. They are going to narrow and make one lane on each side. Before they even think of installing a bike lane on the bridge we need to deal with the issues on Greenpoint Avenue."
We have a proposal for a letter of support asking to say no to 50 parking spaces, and the board supports it.

Karen moves onto the inundation of film crews shooting in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Karen says the traffic cones blocking parking spaces are a real problem, she wants productions to meet with the board ahead of time to inform them about where they're shooting, and productions should consider shuttling employees to the shooting site so that they don't park in the neighborhood.
A frustrated Mieszko adds: Tell them to go back to Hollywood where they belong. You don't belong here."

7:51 PM: And more breaking news: Sarah Palin is not running for president and Steve Jobs just died.

7:53 PM: That's it for committee reports. Public session! I'll summarize
*Christine Murray says the board should turn down The Charleston's sidewalk cafe.
*Susan Fenston says she hope everyone has seen her "Widespread Panic" video, and she doesn't like the "despicable," "heinous" messages she received from people who support the concerts.
"Moving them a couple of blocks may alleviate a couple of problems, but you can guarantee we will be here again to speak about the concerts. We live here. Our voices do matter."
*Jackie Mayer thanks the board on its hard work and said that Taste of Williamsburg was the most incredible event she's attended in New York City.
*John Rico says it is encouraging that Open Space Alliance is reasonable and they accommodated complaints, but adds his concern about public-private partnerships.
"I still am baffled why we have a Parks Department that can't run its own business. What's next, are we going to have private police? What's going to become of this whole thing? OSA is great and what they do is nice, but why?"
Also, the Monitor Museum, I hope that's something that we can work together on."
*Another resident is opposed to the Charleston Bar's application, and complains that they leave their door and windows open. "It's noisy, it's loud and it's a disaster for the community."

8:04 PM: And that's it. Board member Simon Weiser stops by press row to weigh in on those Hasidic signs on Bedford Avenue which order women to move to the side of the street when a man is walking. Simon doesn't think the signs should have been bolted to street trees because they damage them. And that's our Good Call of the week! L'Shanah Tovah — and move it along people.