Friday, June 27, 2008

This just in...

Two graffiti can't be wrong.

Do we really want a penis toucher responsible for our neighborhood's future?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ratner's Relocation Plan Revealed!

One of the multitudinous reasons that Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards Project has lost it's momentum is that the tenants currently living in the proposed construction site have not been offered any clear options for what's to be done with them. There was vague talk of a relocation plan, but that plan never had any kind of details associated with it.

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.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pissing on the Footprint Pt. II

Aw geez. It's officially an epidemic. Brooklyn we have a urine problem. AY workers insist on peeing in cups , then pouring the pee on the street. Hey Bruce! Get these guys an outhouse! It already smells enough like butt due to the sewer pipes that have been exposed for the last month. Now add fresh pee to that olfactory cocktail.

Maybe we should take a page from the Henry St. playbook and give these guys something in return.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Glimpse Into Our Future?

My fears regarding my own apt. were realized this weekend for a number of families in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Construction alongside their building caused long cracks to it's foundation. The tenants were told to grab only a few light items and then vacate. 'Light' because anything heavy might cause the building to shift.

See the vid here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Letitia James Gets Remixed

Council Member Letitia James has been championing the cause of Prospect Heights residents that would be affected by AY from the outset. I appreciate the fighting she has done on our behalf and was moved by her fiery speech at the Time Out! rally a few weeks back.
I hope she doesn't mind that I've taken some creative liberties with it in the remix posted below.

edit: Thanks to everyone who linked to this post! The MP3 got over 2000 downloads and ate up my bandwidth. Which is great. The momentum is shifting folks. I've uploaded the MP3 again here: Photo by threecee

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dean St. Block Party

Every day is a block party on my block. Ride the swaying building! Play who can withstand the diesel fumes! Mud fight! And other block party classics are the norm over here.

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 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

A Footprint Gazette Exclusive!

We have managed to secure this shocking photograph from the future! Taken in the year 2009, this photo shows what the current area known as The Footprint in Prospect Heights Brooklyn will look like just 1 year from now! Apparently the final tenants who refused to bow to Bruce Ratner's massively deep pockets were simply dug around in an effort to continue with construction while community lawsuits were pending. The developer, mad with power, refused to be shown up by the long time residents and went ahead with his demolition.

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

Make Decent Sandwiches Not Controversial Slogans

Originally uploaded by eater_ny
I take no joy in posting about the failure of a mom and pop sandwich shop. In fact there are few things I root for more whole heartedly than mom and pop sandwich shops. But this one always had a little bit of baggage associated with it in that it aligned itself with the controversial arena. At some point they took down their "Shoot Hoops Not Guns" sign from the store front but it was clear from talking with the owners when they first opened that they were looking to cash in on the impending onslaught of hungry sports fans that would soon be streaming into the nabe. Well soon wasn't soon enough and their OP-UT* cheese steaks just couldn't pay the bills in the interim.

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

Mr. Markowitz Tear Down This Wall

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:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Footprint Heat Wave Haiku

It's Too Hot Inside

A Ha! Open The Windows!
Now It's Too Loud, Crap.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Manholes - And What They Can Teach Us

Did anyone else hear those manholes exploding up and down Dean St. yesterday? Did you hear what they were trying to tell us? Three manholes did their inaugural summer dances early yesterday evening prompting the fire department to take what must have been one of their shortest drives down to the end of their block. It also prompted the regulars at Freddy's to take the short trip outside to see what all the commotion was about.

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.
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Friday, June 6, 2008

Video of FCR Mistreating the Elderly

This video of footprint demolition as seen from the apartment of an elderly woman who lives there has been floating about. Pretty outrageous. It speaks for itself:

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 and ask him to stop the construction until the needs of the residents there are met.

How Not To Celebrate Brooklyn

Originally uploaded by threecee
Happy Belated Brooklyn Day Everybody,
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

Pissing on the Footprint

Before today I may have made the case that Ratner was metaphorically pissing on this community. Well, now it's not a metaphor. I saw this guy take out his shvantz, piss in a giant styrofoam cup, then pour the piss out on the street.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Why build a stadium when you can have a swamp?

Ah summer. Laying out in the park. BBQs with your friends. Free concerts every weekend. There's much to love about NYC in the summertime, but don't forget to empty those containers in your back yard. That's a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes!

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.

A Voice From The Occupation

Why blog about it? What good can anonymous words have against wealth and power? My neighbors, I'm not quite sure. But I need to know that the good people of this neighborhood are fully aware of the war being waged against us.

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.