Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Well the details have finally surfaced and I was lucky to get a shot of where the tenants are to be relocated. If you take a look at this photo you'll see that FCR has managed to secure some prime real estate very close to where the tenants live now. He's promised that they will be able to maintain their affordable housing (because that's what he's all about), so their rent-stabilized leases will be honored at the new location. The only catch is that they all have to live together in this pen. On a positive note, there is a rumour that it will be carpeted at no extra cost to the tenants.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Maybe we should take a page from the Henry St. playbook and give these guys something in return.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
See the vid here.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I hope she doesn't mind that I've taken some creative liberties with it in the remix posted below.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
If you wish to partake in even more exceptional block party fare, then the other kind of Dean St. Block Party might be for you. Dig it this Saturday between 6th and Carlton. There will be a clown...no...not that clown.
I now join Gowanus Lounge in their appreciation of this photo by Tracy Collins. GL's post is titled: "Always Best to Have a Block Party While the Block’s Still There" which is a joke that I get. But I don't want anyone to be misled into thinking that our block is going anywhere. It might be having a tough year, but we shall not be moved. See Monday's post.
Monday, June 16, 2008
One tenant was heard saying "It's not great. Getting to work is kind of a pain, but it beats the hell out of having a basketball arena in the neighborhood. That would be just awful."
Another tenant snapped this photo of Bruce Ratner, who was reportedly riding around the neighborhood singing "Bruce wanna dig! Bruce wanna dig!"
Sunday, June 15, 2008
What bummed me out more than the fact that I would no longer have access to a mediocre $8 cheese steak that takes 20 minutes to make, is the fact that this is what this neighborhood is starting to look like. Closed shops. Empty homes. Most of the apts. on my street are empty. The gas station is gone. That dance wear place sits empty. The commercial space up on Pacific and Carlton sits empty. The U-Haul lot is empty. The JRG Fashion Cafe lot is empty. New businesses don't want to open up here, even in the places that aren't in the footprint because there is so much uncertainty in the air. And even if this arena does get built there will be years of noise and dust to contend with.
I don't know what the rents are in these vacant stores but I'm guessing it got jacked up at the mere prospect of the arena, so now unless a Bank of America swoops in to claim it, it's just more blight.
So what then when this arena does finally fall through? Who will come get my neighbors to move back in? Who will help reinstall the community of artists that lived on Dean St. who had the funky array of door buzzers on the front fence. Remember those? That was cool. Who will get my mechanic back? The one it took me years to build a relationship with. Will the Carlton bridge be rebuilt? What about all these lots that dot our neighborhood? I tell ya, if anyone had asked the community for suggestions before this plan was approved, these things would have been brought up. Or maybe they were. Anyone know what the plan is?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I put up a contact email recently thinking that maybe someone would have something juicy to send my way and boy payoff was quick. But before I get to the payoff allow me to give a brief history of walls.
Great Wall of China- Built 6th century BC to help fortify northern Chinese borders.
The Green Monster - Built in 1912 to prevent home runs.
Berlin Wall - Built in 1961 to keep East Germans from fleeing to West West Germany
The Tortilla Wall - Built in the early 1990s to keep Mexicans from crossing over into The U.S.
Israel West Bank Wall - Built in 2003 to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian terrorists
Dean Street Wall- built in 2008 to dehumanize and hide the residents of the controversial Atlantic Yards Project site from the outside world. And also maybe keep them from wondering drunkenly out of Freddy's and into a ravine.
Ok, so avoiding hyperbole is not my strong suit. Point is, the world's latest controversial wall led one local to create the following audio clip by substituting relevant names into Reagan's famous "Tear Down This Wall" Speech". He asked I don't post his name, but I shall post the audio. Enjoy..
edit: here is a new link to this mp3: http://www.sendspace.com/file/elcush
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
I'll tell you what the commotion was all about. The city, the streets of the city, were trying to tell us something. They are ill and they angry. They are upset that on the other end of the block the sewer pipes have been exposed to help expedite the flushing of your tax dollars. Millions of your bucks are heading down that there exposed drain to prep for an arena that stands as an emblem of civic dysfunction. Meanwhile the city's infrastructure requires those dollars to keep things like manhole explosions from halting day to day life.
I don't know if the manholes popping were directly related to the construction blighting up the block, but I do know that the juxtaposition of the two painted a pretty precise painting of why this project stinks.
Friday, June 6, 2008
From YouTube: Video shot from the window of a sweet old lady living in the proposed site of the Atlantic Yards Project. FCR has been trying to get her and over a dozen other residents of the area to leave.
This type of "work" begins as early as 7 am and lastst until the evening. Email Marty Markowitz at email@example.com and ask him to stop the construction until the needs of the residents there are met.
I didn't get a chance to make it to FCR's "Fun Day" yesterday because I was too busy partaking in FCR's "Misery Day" being held at the same time here in the footprint. They need to schedule better. Norm Oder was there and had this to say:
"Despite decent weather, free t-shirts, a full-page ad in the Daily News, an E-newsletter, requests from union bosses to attend, and promises of free food, free transportation, and “international recording artist Maxi Priest,” the disparate and soon-diminished crowd was often subdued, even bored, and a passel of Forest City Ratner operatives monitoring the event looked somber, despite the billing as a “fun day.”
Oh well. Guess you can pay a Long Islander to dig a hole but you can't pay him to enjoy himself. At least they were giving away the most famous of Brooklyn sandwiches, the "Subway Sub". Nice one!
To recap how FCR celebrates Brooklyn:
Convince non Brooklynites to show up to a rally supporting the displacement of Brooklynites. Give them sandwiches with no relationship to a borough filled with great sandwiches and invite a non-Brooklynite musician who then doesn't show up. Shame I missed it.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Good thing I reminded you. Now someone should remind these guys. Nope, these aren't more terrible pictures from tornado ravaged sections of the midwest. This is just another day in the footprint, where mixing dirt and water on the street is a full time job helping to put food on the table of fellas from Long Island.
For the last few years there has been an escalating occupation of the area unendearingly referred to as "The Footprint" by Forest City Ratner with the blessing of Marty Markowitz and his friends. Much has been written about the false promises and back room deals that have become synonymous with Atlantic Yards, so this blog aims to tell you what life is like on the ground, amidst the dirt and the rubble. These are the whispers within the thunder of backhoes. This is a reminder that people still live here.
They paid our neighbors to shut up and leave. They closed our bridge, uprooted our mechanics, and our laundromats, and now they want our bar. They put port-a-potties in front of our windows, track mud on our stoops and wake our babies. They can't look us in the eye.
For what? So Brooklyn can have a pro basketball team? The Brooklynettes? They're a joke and they have nothing yet but a proposed site. At least they're giving the kids around here basketball shoes. Cause that's what they need. Racist insults from Ohioan billionaires. Real classy Bruce. Good for you Marty. You sure got your finger on the pulse of Brooklyn.