Monday, December 31, 2007

Make a wish

Share your personal goals, dreams and wishes and they'll be added to the confetti that will flutter down onto the streets of Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Submit your New Year's wishes here.

Cleanup crew

If there's a fresh coat of paint at your subway station, the bigwigs are on their way.

Transit workers painted support columns on the platforms and in the passageways of three major Manhattan hubs in recent weeks - all on the eves of press conferences, the Daily News has learned.

Stations spruced up for press events

Two of the events featured Gov. Spitzer and Mayor Bloomberg while the third was held by MTA CEO Elliot Sander.

Maintenance workers who paint the stations earn between $26 and $28.64 an hour.

More than a dozen workers converged on the Rockaway Parkway station on the eastern end of the L line in Canarsie, Brooklyn, Thursday as word spread that Sander would be dropping by Friday, workers said.

They scrubbed the joint, did spot painting and even hung new signs, the workers said.

Sorry this story got lost in the holiday shuffle. I wish a bigwig would visit these stations!

Green Church owner's bad reputation

A letter to Mayor Bloomberg to meet due to the corruption and lack of coordination from city agencies, including Department of Buildings, Housing Preservation and Human Resources received a couple of calls from Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. Like Speaker Quinn, these were not followed up. Nor did staff to Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, regarding the Pastor's request for a meeting to discuss, in particular, the fact [that] five fires had occurred previously. Still, now, the illegal construction has left all the tenants with blackouts due to faulty wiring, an inadequate electrical supply, insufficient ventilation in the three public bathrooms, a broken intercom, broken unfinished stairs and unpainted, filthy hallways, along with vermin and roaches.

One World Life Systems

Pastor Crea's letter last May and meeting with his assistant Carmine Perez found no response and nothing done from Assemblyman Keith Wright, who said out loud to a recent Harlem rally "I can do nothing," regarding owners of private buildings...Councilman Bill Perkins and staff contributed to the disabled Pastor losing all his belongings from storage. They failed to follow up their own inadequate, inattentive and insensitive efforts, while seeking 2 million dollar tax write-offs for a slumlord.

One of the slumlords mentioned now owns Bay Ridge's Green Church:

Questions Surface About ‘Green Church’ Developer

Photo from Forgotten NY

Cops told to look the other way

There were 5 or 6 people playing paint ball in the north end of Basin 3. I could hear machine gun-like noise and splats from pretty far away. As expected, they were trashing the place. I called 311 to report the incident, which the operator referred to as "Criminal Mischief". I call it trespassing and vandalism of city property. Within about 20 minutes an unmarked police van with 4 officers arrived. They were quickly followed by a patrol car with 2 officers. I pointed them to the area of the basin near the pumphouse next to the Jackie Robinson. I was a distance away and watched as they disappeared around the corner. A few minutes later they all emerged, but without any of the guys with the paintguns. As I walked towards them I heard the sound of the paintball guns starting up again.

Trespassing & Vandalism Supported by 104th Precinct

The officer who appeared to be in charge was a big guy with a shaved head, Officer Solomon, from the 104th Precinct. He told me, "We know these guys, they're good kids and we were told to leave them alone. Better they do it down there than on the street where someone could get hurt." I replied that I had been to meetings and had phone conversations with the Queens Commissioner of Parks, Dorothy Lewandowski, as well as Highland Park Administrator, Debbie Kuha. Both said that the paintball players vandalized the fences and trashed the forested basins, but that they've had trouble catching and stopping them. Officer Solomon replied, "I don't know what to tell you, we've been told to leave them alone."

Need an axe?

Advisers have said Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire many times over, might invest as much as $1 billion of his own fortune (he spent about $160 million on his two mayoral races) on a presidential campaign.

Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President

The key players — virtually the only players — in Mr. Bloomberg’s embryonic campaign are three of his deputy mayors, Kevin Sheekey, Edward Skyler and Patricia E. Harris. Another aide, Patrick Brennan, who was the political director of Mr. Bloomberg’s 2005 re-election campaign, resigned as commissioner of the city’s Community Assistance Unit earlier this year to spend more time exploring the mayor’s possible national campaign.

That's funny, I thought Brennan resigned to join the Parkside Group. Will they be running Bloomberg's campaign?

Oh, and Bloomie, as NY Mag recently put it, "Shit, or get off the pot."

V train still underutilized

The V line began running on Dec. 17, 2001, from Forest Hills, Queens to Second Avenue, Manhattan to relieve the crowded E and F lines. But plenty of riders are content to keep cramming into the E and F trains, and the V remains the emptiest train -- at 49 percent capacity -- during peak hours in the transit system. The E, meanwhile, is still bursting with riders during those hours.

V train finds its identity after six years

Loyal V riders love the train for a roomy weekday commute. Many Queens residents spread out to read, nap or balance their checkbooks -- even with several extra stops.

100-year old predictions came true

Predictions about the future were a staple of New York journalism in the early 20th century. Newspapers, including this one, frequently solicited prominent citizens for their thoughts on the future of the world, of America and, most urgent, of New York.

The World of Tomorrow

“When the expectations of wireless experts are realized, everyone will have his own pocket telephone and may be called wherever he happens to be,” one magazine predicted in 1908. Equally farsighted was a prediction made by Dr. Simon Flexner, the first director of the Rockefeller Institute. The same New Year’s Day that The World was conjuring gyroscopic trains, Dr. Flexner declared that human organ transplants would someday be common.

Some of the 2108 predictions printed in this article are already happening.

Huang house plans questionable

It's interesting that Tommy Huang is still allowed to have his architect submit self-certified plans to the Buildings Department, especially considering that this particular building at 57-39 Mazeau Street was shut down by DOB for violation of the zoning code as well as for building contrary to approved plans. But, this time they have the zoning correct. R4-1 allows for no more than 2 units.
However, what's up with this? There appear to be 2 1/2 units when you add up the units column, and 12 habit rooms? Also, there is only a garage listed at ground level, so why are there also habit rooms listed for that floor? How does 1/2 a dwelling on the 2nd floor have as many habit rooms as the full unit on the 3rd floor? Is the Huang clan trying to pull another fast one and has DOB fallen for it? Or is someone at city hall in their back pocket?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The New York Bloomberg Post

Why did the NY Post print these 2 articles which read like city hall press releases without any kind of analysis?



Let's leave this statement alone, too:

He said a park would be even more costly to build because of remediation issues and pointed out that homes were constructed in the area in anticipation of the golf course.

"While we probably don't have any legal obligation to build one, there's some kind of moral obligation, I suppose," the mayor added.

The hit to taxpayers is estimated at $20 million to $50 million.


No, you have a moral obligation to not waste taxpayer money on a failed golf course project. Especially in the Bronx, the poorest of the boroughs. And last I checked, a golf course is a park. That's why it's being managed by the Parks Department.

Why does this mayor get his ass kissed by the press all the time instead of getting grilled and criticized as previous mayors did?

Don't let the bedbugs bite!

Bedbug epidemic attacks New York

Stone mansion in the Bronx

When he finally gave in to a nephew’s entreaties to move on, and responded to one of the notes he often got from circling real estate agents, it was important to him to sell to a family and not a developer. He was gratified to have found the Deanses, who clearly had “no intention of doing anything but moving into the place,” he said.

Lots of Home Work

In 80 years their son may be selling it to a young couple or, “even better, I hope that my son is passing it to his son.”

Enemies in our midst

Elected officials at the city and federal level called on federal immigration officials last week to halt their audit of Long Island City's Fresh Direct following a mass walkout of nearly 100 warehouse workers earlier this month.

Officials call for stop to Fresh Direct audit

City Comptroller William Thompson and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Ridgewood) joined a crowd of Fresh Direct employees at City Hall Friday to ask U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop the investigation, which caused a number of workers for the online grocery distributor to quit or be suspended because they could not fill out paperwork for the audit.

Helloooooo?!? We now have a mayoral candidate and a U.S. Congressperson openly supporting people who break federal law. What is this country coming to?

Photo from Queens Chronicle

Gioia in favor of yuppie travel subsidies

Pol urges Mike to shore up river taxi BY ELIZABETH HAYS, Daily News

Outraged Brooklyn and Queens commuters Friday called on Mayor Bloomberg to save year-round ferry service on the East River.

The move came after New York Water Taxi, which operates the route, announced it will cut all service from Jan. 1 to May 1 to save money.

"We should be expanding water access, not cutting back," said City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens) at a news conference in Williamsburg.

Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn) urged the city to subsidize the route - which connects DUMBO, Williamsburg and Long Island City to Manhattan - as it does subways and buses.

"Mass transit just doesn't work on its own. It requires government subsidies," he said.

New York Water Taxi has blamed the cuts on skyrocketing fuel costs and the drop in the number of tourists during the winter.

Expanding ferry service was one of 127 proposals listed in PlaNYC, the mayor's ambitious environmental proposal released in the spring.

A Bloomberg spokesman said the mayor is "committed to providing East River ferry service" and is "exploring the best routes and financing options to make service viable."

Let them take the subway with the rest of us. Expensive "taxi" rides should not be paid for with tax dollars.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Padavan: SJU no good

Once the plan was discovered by local residents, then and only then and with great reluctance did St. John's discuss the Henley Road dorm by revealing the fact that they entered into a 10-year lease with the builders of the facility. When asked about the lack of disclosure to the community, St. John's President Father Donald Harrington, by his own admission, wrote in a letter to my office that, "any earlier dialogue would have been premature, speculative and fiscally irresponsible".

St. John's Off-Campus Dorm Is A Threat To Our Community

Faced with this complete lack of transparency and disclosure and in violation of their own self-proclaimed declaration of being a good neighbor, I have called upon Father Harrington and the St. John's Board of Trustees on numerous occasions to immediately stop building this dorm in the middle of our neighborhood. Countless community members and I have protested three times in front of St. John's to make our opposition to the Henley Road dorm loud and clear.

Beyond questioning the secrecy and motives surrounding St. John's decisions to build this off-campus dorm, I have also questioned St. John's ability to maintain order at this facility. According to St. John's own public records on reported incidences on campus, over the past three years there have been 735 liquor law violations, 106 drug law violations, 84 burglaries, four forcible sex offenses and one arson.

One Hull of a mess

Uh oh...another Hull of a problem here in Maspeth. The owners of the million dollar house have struck again!
They received a courtesy call from the DOB on Christmas Eve and were shut down once again for work without a permit. This has happened several times before.
They hastily left the scene with their junk left in the driveway.
The plumbing was installed recently under a valid DOT street opening permit. Why does the city issue a street opening permit for a building that has a stop work order on it? DUH, the agencies don't communicate. And guess who suffers because of it.

Now there are sawhorses and soft ground where a solid sidewalk should be. One can only imagine what construction debauchery will take place here in 2008. There were only 27 complaints thus far!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

DOB's "My Community"

Wanna know what's going on in your nabe, buildings-wise? Here you go:

My Community

Queens makes 'best crapper' list

Louis Armstrong's marble, gold and mirrored john is considered to be one of America's Best Bathrooms.

Queens Plaza: What's taking so long?

Elected officials representing western Queens at the federal, state and city level sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week in which they said they were frustrated with the slow progress of two projects that would renovate Queens Plaza in Long Island City.

Mayor blasted for lagging renovations

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) and several other borough elected officials sent a letter to the mayor in which they said they were concerned with the lack of information about construction start dates for the projects, a delayed groundbreaking for the upgrades, project coordination and that the Long Island City Business District Corporation would bear the cost of maintaining the renovated portions of the plaza.

The letter to the mayor was also signed by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, state Sen. George Onorato (D-Astoria), state Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood) and City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside).

Hull of a weekend

Check out the ghetto-looking setup under the front tires that prevent the car from scraping its bottom.

And the moral of this story is: if your parking ramp is not long enough to accommodate your vehicle, then don't park on it! This scene is at 68th Street and Hull Avenue in my 'hood.

More Hull Avenue fun coming tomorrow. (The next one is a real doozy!)

P.S. Thank you to Gothamist for linking to this post.

Friday, December 28, 2007

EG in NH

“The lake region is actually gorgeous. If you’ve ever been to Lake Laconia? It really is quite beautiful.”

Gioia Time in New Hampshire

As compared to Woodside, I suppose. Actually, just about anywhere is.

St. Paul's Woodside suffers fire damage

A late-night fire ripped through a historic church in Queens.

Fire Rips Through Historic Queens Church

Firefighters were called to St. Paul's Episcopal Church on 61st Street and 39th Avenue in Woodside just before midnight. It took firefighters about an hour to bring the flames under control.

Fire destroys Queens landmark church

Fire rips through century-old church

An historic Gothic wooden Episcopal church built in the 1800s with ties to Queens history damaged by fire? There goes your landmarking chance.

Lieber is Bloomberg's choice


December 28, 2007 -- Mayor Bloomberg yesterday named an investment banker with less than a year of government service to replace Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, Hizzoner's most-trusted economic-development aide.

Bloomberg said Robert Lieber, 53, president of the city's Economic Development Corp. since January, wouldn't need to get up to speed in his new job since he's been actively involved in the major development projects undertaken by the administration.

"I don't think there's any need to change direction," Lieber, a former Lehman Brothers banker recruited by Doctoroff, said at a City Hall press conference. "It's full speed ahead."

Bloomberg also announced a major promotion for Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, assigning him five agencies that had been in Doctoroff's portfolio - Transportation, Environmental Protection, Buildings, Taxi & Limousine, and Operations/Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.

The mayor said Skyler, 34, had repeatedly proven himself in tough assignments that ranged from overseeing emergency responses to the sifting of remains at Ground Zero.

Photo from City Hall News

Flushing cop guilty of accepting bribes


A corrupt Queens cop pleaded guilty yesterday to federal extortion charges - admitting that he accepted cash and other bribes for supplying a pimp with dirt on rival brothel owners.

But Dennis Kim, 31, formerly of the 109th Precinct, also told Brooklyn federal Judge Sandra Townes that "information provided to me by Geeho Chae allowed me to make many arrests . . . for drug offenses, possession of weapons, robbery, and prostitution-related crimes."

Sources said Kim's partner, Jerry Svoronos, was cooperating with the feds.

Kim is facing 12 to 18 months in prison.

See also:

Officer Admits He Helped Thwart a Brothel’s Rivals

And earlier:

Flushing smuggling & sex ring busted

Greeks: Save Astoria from hipsters

Formed a few weeks ago on the social networking site Facebook, the Save Astoria group urges members - about 150 as of late Thursday - to prevent the hipsters from turning churches and cafes into "wasteful art exhibits."

Save Astoria from hipsters say Greeks

Its five organizers, all former or current students at Fordham University, note Greeks' history of banding together and becoming "a formidable force" during tough times. They ask followers to support only Greek businesses.

Tree pit advertising

The latest use for tree pits is for posting fast food ads on stakes. These beauties are on Grand Avenue near 69th Street.

For a good time, call Jonathan

Providing temporary accommodations to tourists instead of to people who want to make the neighborhood their home. Great way to give back to your community. And interesting that this guy has not one, but two apartments to rent out as hotel rooms.

$79 / 2br - Need a place Fast? Need a place Now? 1 day? 5 days? how many do you need?

Which suite would you like to stay in?

LIC, what hath become of thee?

Passing gas

Hey remember the post Brown Harris Stevens redefines "top end"? Well, we received this very interesting photo which shows what's going on there now. The official address is 53-14 82 Street.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What's really happening in Queens

Astoria: $55 / 1br - Visiting NY and Need a place to stay

$40 / 1br - Stylish apt Living room for New Year!!


Ridgewood: $649 per wk! 2br apartment! Sleeps 4! 15 min train ride to Manhattan!!!!!!

Sunnyside: $60 DON'T WASTE $$$ ON A HOTEL!! Only $60 per night! PRIVATE, CLEAN Room

New Year in New York City

$65 Two Miles Of Times Square

$50 furnished large room available for short term

Elmhurst: $350 / 1br - furnished sunny 1.5 bedroom apt available Jan 1-13


$25 Temporary Shared & Private Rooms Available

Glendale: $45 / 1br - Bedroom, Full Kitchen, and Bath

Flushing: $50 / 1br - 1-bed basement apt. w/ seperate entrance in a house- Available Dec 29

$40 1 room from Dec 30th to Jan 25th


Love this one:

"For white or Asian single female only. I have a room nearby Manhattan in 10 minutes by subway. I would like to share it with one female friends temporary, I can provide a full size bed for you. $45/night. if you interesting, introduce youself, send your phone number and a picture by email to me."

$45 for single female traveller.

Farewell, happy place

It's not the medieval architectural flourishes of One Bank Street or the wide, checkered hallways that inspire such loyalty, although they are lovely. It's not even the rent—most tenants being kicked out are paying market rate and could probably find similarly priced apartments nearby. It's something much less tangible that has inspired Wilking and a handful of others to organize against their landlord: that some residents can rattle off each other's phone numbers from memory; that they count on one another to cat-sit and water plants; that younger residents check in on their elderly neighbors. It's a building with a romantic history that has been passed down through a community of people formed almost by accident, an urban family conveniently living under the same roof.

Motel Sucks: Exploiting a Depression-era loophole, more landlords are booting renters for short-term hotel guests

This type of thing is discouraged by Bloomberg's Department of City Planning. Tourists are more important (see post above).

Photo from Village Voice

Harassment of photographers

New York street photographers and indie filmmakers say their First Amendment rights are still at risk under newly revised regulations put forth by the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting (MOFTB). Following a summer- long outcry from artists and activists over the first draft of rules published on May 25—which largely prohibited shooting in the city without a permit and $1 million insurance policy—the city redrew its guidelines and released a friendlier version on October 30. But the battle is far from over.

I Turn My Camera On

But as much as the decision rests with the MOFTB, it's the NYPD that continually arises as the biggest obstruction to artists' civil liberties. Says Dunn, "The real issue is the cops, which is always, frankly, the biggest issue. That's where most photographers and filmmakers encounter real-life problems."

"Do you think cops will measure the sidewalk to mark how eight feet must be clear?" asked video artist Juliana Luecking at the hearing. "Will they wear [measuring tapes] on their gun belt? Like the first proposal, these regulations give law-enforcement officials the power to prohibit my right to use a camera in public—and shield itself from lawsuits."

The spy who screwed me

In a decision made public yesterday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman chided Sean Connery and his family for their "blunderbuss" court attacks on eye doctor Burton Sultan and his family, but fined Sultan $1,000 for repeatedly filing lawsuits on claims he's already lost.


She threw out the bulk of the Sultans' claims against the Connerys and several contractors who have worked on the East 71st Street building the families share.

The Sultans blame the Connerys and their workers for trashing the condo, causing leaks and other damage to the home they share with their two adult daughters.

In one of Sultan's now-dismissed suits, he called Connery a "rude, foul-mouthed, fat old man" who plays "loud music all the time while stomping about" the apartment.

Did you try calling 311 and filing building and noise complaints? We all know how wonderfully that works.

Photo from NY Post

New York lost 1.5 million people since 2000

How 'Bout That Growing New York Population

More people are leaving New York than any other state, new population estimates from the U.S. Census show, making it one of America's most stagnant populations.

Experts blame the exodus — nearly 1.5 million people have moved out of New York since April 2000 — on high property taxes and fewer jobs, among other factors.

Census Shows Many Leaving New York

"Basically what you have is a high-cost state that isn't producing a lot of jobs," a senior fellow at the Center for an Urban Future, Joel Kotkin, said.

A middle-class population, which Mr. Kotkin said includes skilled blue-collar workers and families making $120,000 a year, is leaving the state because of a combination of high taxes and fewer available jobs, he said.

The Census study said New York's population grew by about 1.7% between 2000 and 2007, and now stands at about 19.3 million people. The population has grown slightly, according to the data, because birth rates are higher than death rates and foreign immigrants continue to pour into New York City.

The Census Bureau now ranks New York the eighth-slowest-growing state, behind Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Although no new data are available for New York City, researchers say the city has fared better than the state because foreign immigrants are replenishing its population. This year, for the fourth year in a row, the city has successfully challenged the federal Census Bureau's annual population estimates, raising its official population count by more than 36,100, to more than 8.25 million people.

Experts warn, however, that the city and the state may be losing a generation of young professionals who are balking at the high cost of living in New York.

UES historic district heavily altered

It was around 1900 that 78th Street from Fifth Avenue to Madison began to make the transition from rows of brownstones to individualized town houses.

Where Historic Town Houses Still Hold Court 4 East 78th Street...a pierced ironwork hanging lamp...has somehow survived both the weather and the drastic removal of the stoop.

The north-side buildings are mostly cut up into apartments and have seen hard wear.

Both rows are fragmented by later alterations...

...No. 14 was altered to its present neo-Classical exterior in 1917...

The house at No. 16 had a conventional 1920s alteration...

No. 18 was modernized in 1955...

At Mr. Styles’s No. 22, the owners, Robert and Roxana Tetenbaum, have EdsonUSA rebuilding the lower section — the stoop and lower floors — in brown stucco to something like the 1871 appearance.

For some reason this type of repair is considered acceptable in preservation circles. But passers-by may judge for themselves whether applying a coating of stucco is really restoration, as it is often called, by comparing No. 22 with its mate at No. 26.

It seems that many of the buildings along East 78th Street between 5th and Madison Avenues have undergone heavy alteration over the years. Yet they were all designated by the Landmarks Commission. Hmmm...this seems rather arbitrary and capricious, since the excuse that LPC always gives for not designating landmarks in Queens is that our buildings have been altered too much.

Ramped up

You never know what you're going to come across when you walk around in Queens. This get up, located at 56-64 60 Street is waiting patiently for someone to make a sudden steering wheel shift. It's hard to believe that something like this is not considered a public safety hazard. Actually, it is. Let's take a look at the garage. seems to be sealed off, and that is because the owner applied to turn it into a "rec room". Meanwhile, he's accused of making 3 illegal curb cuts around the property; some of these complaints date back to 1996. The room conversion permit was revoked, but how much do you want to bet that it's already been completed? Does it look like DOB made an impact at this location?

Meanwhile, across the street....
A permanent concrete ramp instead of a removable metal one. Genius! Also appears to be the same owner with the work done around the same time. DOB certainly has him quaking in his boots.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An end to curb cut self-certification?

Brownstoner reports that three bills introduced by Brooklyn councilmembers are aiming to end curb cuts via self-certification:

Curbing Illegal Curb Cuts by Targeting Self-Certification

Photo from Brownstoner

It's that time of year again...

The reign of Queen Katz is about to come to an end. Will she retain her crown or will one of her colleagues steal it from her?

Is PlaNYC's growth prediction full of crap?

The city’s growth scenario will appeal to the economic sectors that thrive on growth – real estate, finance, construction, and some services. By starting with this scenario and not exploring other possible scenarios, NYC2030 is silently making a major policy decision that favors what some have called “the growth machine.”

Plan NYC 2030

What if the population remains stable? This question would force planners to focus on the improvement of life in the city as we know it, and away from the task of accommodating new construction. Is it unthinkable that the population could even decline a bit? While the thought of a shrinking population base conjures up images of widespread neighborhood abandonment during the 1970s, that doesn’t have to happen in the 21st Century. Many European cities, for example, have lost population or remained stable without suffering abandonment. It all depends on public policy.

This man dares to associate the Mayor's 2030 plan with the accommodation of developers. On the city payroll, eh? Better watch yourself, mister.

Bring those books back on time!

Eleven years ago, the Queens Library system, the largest in the nation by circulation, hired a professional enforcer to collect the 25-cents-a-day late fines as well as missing library materials from books to DVDs to rare musical scores.

Late at the Library, and in Trouble at the Credit Bureau

The gambit has paid off handsomely. The haul so far: $11.4 million, about half of that in fines. That’s a lot of quarters.

Borrowers who fail to return Queens Library books can be reported to a collection agency and to a credit bureau, with a damaged credit rating as a result — a tactic that so shocked one Far Rockaway rabbi that he filed a lawsuit. The collection policy also has pulled libraries — places where generations of children have learned moral lessons about returning what they borrow — into the debate on just how much punishment is appropriate for failing to return a library book.

Photo from NY Times

Why the LPC is a laughingstock

The Purchase Building, built with federal Work Projects Administration funds in 1936, had been used as a temporary headquarters for the Office of Emergency Management following 9/11, when its Manhattan office was destroyed.

New waterfront park coming soon

Supporters of the $150 million park plan believe the landmarked building would bisect the park, interrupting its continuity and blocking views of the river.

But despite protests from preservationists bent on saving the Art Deco building, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted in favor of demolishing it in 2006.

"It's further evidence that the [Empire State Development Corp.] cares so little about what the community thinks," said Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund. "All parties, for and against the project, have wanted to preserve it because it's a landmark."

LPC designates buildings and then green lights their demolition. So what exactly is the agency's purpose, anyway, other than to protect the property values of the rich?

Photo from Brownstoner

Hollaback girl

Isvett Verde, a 28-year-old NYU student, boarded a “very crowded” Manhattan-bound E train last week at 23 Street/Ely Avenue when she felt “a rather strange sensation” in her “nether regions.”

“Someone was grabbing a hold of my crotch and holding on for dear life,” she said.

She snapped a picture of the man — the same man she believes fondled her on the E train two years ago — and showed the picture to a cop when she got out at West 4th Street. The officer expressed little interest, so she later called 311 (as advised by her boss who saw her crying about the incident) and two other officers were dispatched to her office. They suggested she get mace and a gun — “perhaps sarcastically” — but took no statement on the incident, Verde said.

Woman hollas at E perv

Statistics seem to indicate that crime is down. Probably because the police are refusing to take reports.

Photo from Bridge and Tunnel Club

Get a load of this

About 32-15 60th Street from the Queens Tribune

Cold, gray crap

"New krapp on 162nd Street in Flushing between 43rd and 45th Avenues." Submitted by K.W.