Residents want more for city, Park Tower Group, and Chetrit Group

Greenpointers: City lied about parks, ‘affordable housing’

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city has broken its promise to bring affordable housing to Greenpoint and Williamsburg and is letting developers run roughshod over the neighborhoods, pushing out the working class in the process, claimed more than 150 protesters rallying outside East River State Park Wednesday night.

The group, which gathered along now upscale Kent Avenue, said thousands of poorer residents have been priced out of the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods during the past decade in the wake of a rezoning of the waterfront that allowed condominium towers to rise up, but also promised more parks and guaranteed so-called “affordable housing” — two things residents now say the city lied about.

“It’s a shame that we’re out here trying to get the city to give us what they promised,” said protestor Debra Medina. “There are more and more buildings and there’s no communication with the people.”

Only 19 of the 1,345 “affordable” apartments the city promised in 2005 when it rezoned the North Brooklyn waterfront to residential from manufacturing have been built, according to Jan Petersen, a member of Community Board 1, and that has forced lower-income residents to move away.

“This community has lost 10,000 Latino residents in the past 10 years,” claimed Antonio Reynoso, who is running against Vito Lopez for the 34th district council seat. “That is unacceptab­le.”

Calls to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to confirm those numbers were not answered by press time.

Some Greenpoint residents have been roiling in recent weeks since two developers unveiled plans for more luxury condo towers on the north end of the waterfront.

The developer Park Tower Group wants to build “Greenpoint Landing,” a 10-tower development with up to 5,500 units on Newtown Creek. Meanwhile, the Chetrit Group is planning a 30-story tower at 77 Commercial St. between Manhattan and Franklin avenues, that would rise next to the site of a proposed city park that has been stalled for years, and some worry may never be built.

Residents added that developers should consider footing the bill for the park if they wanted to get back into the community’s good graces.

“If Park Towers were really good people, they’d say ‘We’ll give you affordable housing and the open space,’ ” said Community Board 1 chairman Chris Olechowski. “They’d do something for the community for a change and make themselves a good name.”

Residents see the explosive development along the Greenpoint waterfront — combined with Two Trees Management’s plan for 2,284 apartments proposed for and around the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg as further proof that the city cares more about turning the neighborhoods into high-end urban wonderlands than taking care of the people who have lived there for years .

Some of those residents say that all the new development is forcing old-school landlords to reevaluate how much they can get for their old-school apartments.

“[My landlord] has tried for a long time to get me out,” said Maria Ramos, 71, who has lived in a rent-stabilized apartment on Green Street for 30 years. “She wants someone with more money.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Do people really believe that adding 1,300 units would make Williamburg and Greenpoint more affordable? That's a drop in the bucket. I hope these people were protesting against the zoning laws that make building more housing illegal. But I'm pretty sure they weren't.
May 24, 2013, 7:29 am
mc from 11211 says:
We weren't , Mike. We weren't.
May 24, 2013, 7:56 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
So what were you agitating for? "Housing for me, but not for thee?" "Let's keep a cap on what we can build, but let's make sure a lot of of what we do build goes to me and my friends?"
May 24, 2013, 9:07 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Bring on the towers, we're going to need them. The new economy in NYC is going to need lots of condos for lots of well-paid professionals. Let's hope we get some incentive in Brooklyn to develop lower-income housing. But don't hold your breath. Those who advocate for such housing may have to do the actual work of development themselves. They may have to form housing corporations, locate land, and write endless proposals and business plans. THAT is activism. And then, yes, you can do it with and for your friends. This is how bohemians and artists have secured buildings and lofts for themselves in Greenpoint and Williamsburg over the past 30 years, one building at a time, 15 people at a time, and a lot of work. It can be done.
May 24, 2013, 10:48 am
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
I'm sorry but cry me a freaking river. Neighborhoods change, gentrification happens, prices go up. It's not discriminatory, it capitalism and its progress. Don't try and turn this into a race issue either, that's total BS. There are plenty of white people that get displaced by rising rents / home prices too. Figure out a new place to live and move on. Just because you've lived here "forever" doesn't entitle you to anything.
May 24, 2013, 11:33 am
Northside Ned from GPT says:
Crypto commies.
May 24, 2013, 12:22 pm
Barb from Brooklyn says:
I hope they succeed in making the city keep its word about affordable housing.
May 24, 2013, 12:46 pm
mc from 11211 says:
Why does it bother you so much that some working class people want to remain here? How does that harm your little pipe dream of a painting from your coterie of artist friends in every yuppie's home? The scope of your vision is so limited and fear-based.
May 24, 2013, 12:47 pm
Northside Ned from GPT says:
Hey mc, why does it bother you that everyone should play by the same rules? It's un-American. So if I quit busting my ass, and get a much less demanding and therefore lower paying position, I could then by a condo in the neighborhood for 1/2 the free market price? Sounds like socialism.
May 24, 2013, 12:51 pm
Corey from Williamsburg says:
Last time I checked, nobody was getting displaced from living on the waterfront in Williamsburg....because nobody was living on the waterfront in was mostly warehouses (some functioning, some abandoned), burnt out cars and heroin addicts. To say otherwise would be revisionist history....
May 24, 2013, 12:57 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Are we supposed to divert money from hospitals, schools, and infrastructure, to subsidize housing for a certain category of people? On what grounds, and who defines that category. Who decides who gets a break, and why.
May 24, 2013, 1:46 pm
Northside Ned from GPT says:
It' based on HDFC income restrictions. Basically if you or you're family's income is below a certain limit, you're eligible to purchase the housing. However, the units can be purchased as a 'gift' for someone who meets the income requirements. Like Socialism, it's a ridiculous system ripe with corruption.
May 24, 2013, 2:05 pm
mc from 11211 says:
You or your family, Ned; and word you are looking for is rife, not ripe. Careful, or you'll sound like a trade-school goon.
May 24, 2013, 2:11 pm
Northside Ned from GPT says:
Yes, a goon who somehow managed to buy my house in Greenpoint on the free market. Not a commie, 1/2 a man, grammar cop like yourself.
May 24, 2013, 2:20 pm
mc from 11211 says:
So as long as you got yours, huh? I see.
May 24, 2013, 2:55 pm
Northside Ned from GPT says:
I know this is confusing for people like you, but I WORKED for it!!
May 24, 2013, 2:57 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Yes, Ned, I'm well aware that it's based on income. It was a slanted question on purpose ... "who decides" and "who gets a break." Because I agree with you that it is a ridiculous system both ripe and rife with potential for abuse and cronyism. Yes, there will be a "lottery" and it will be "fair," and a few people will "win," and they'll kiss their local politician's derriers for it. And the rest of us will pick up the tab, none the wiser if corruption is involved. This is the pith of it. The incredible sense of entitlement, of being owed something, and of animosity toward those who do have something or do make something, that has taken such a toll on this community for so many years.
May 24, 2013, 3:04 pm
Northside Ned from GPT says:
Well said Ethan.

In the end that's what all this boils down to. Some Politician's nephew will get a cheap condo, and the rest of us will pay for it.
May 24, 2013, 3:09 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
All the same, to make a positive contribution to the matter, I suggest that the time and energy of this cause be directed toward creating housing corporations, one house at a time, one group of tenants at a time, converting distressed properties, effecting tenant buy-outs. Basically grouping together and doing the actual WORK required to reap REWARDS. Whatever the nitty-gritty of this thing is, to just come out and say you were "promised" something, just looks lame. The city proposed this rezoning to the CB, the CB went for it, and a huge amount of money came into the community. Now you say you were "promised" something? Please, if only Flynt, Michigan had your problems!
May 24, 2013, 3:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
This is what you all get for keeping Bloomberg in office. Everyone should know by now that he will always put his rich buddies before everyone else. Don't think that Quinn will be any different, because she has been known for being Bloomberg's right hand. Still, I don't see what is wrong with having affordable housing, and some of what I am hearing does sound rather discriminatory, and I hardly find it to be some communist takeover. Just hearing these broken promises only gives more of a reason to vote for Weiner, because he is a crusader for the hard working when the rest aren't.
May 24, 2013, 5:20 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
"Discriminatory" am I, Tal? Open your eyes for a minute. We are being asked to divert funds from human services for people who really DO need help, so that some people can have apartments in a plumb neighborhood courtesy of the taxpayer. What on earth is wrong with moving to a neighborhood that you can afford to live in? This is what the artists who moved from Manhattan to Williamsburg did. Do they get called "working class?" Do they get credit for the actual work they did to bring North Brooklyn back from urban blight? No, they are subject to a discriminatory urban myth that says they're all slackers and trust-fund hippies. It is no different than the urban myth that says all Puerto Ricans are on welfare. Both are myths, both are discriminatory, both are patently untrue. But the problem with the rhetoric of "affordable housing" is that it reinforces the second myth.
May 25, 2013, 9:46 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ethan, one day it could be you demanding for affordable housing when you can no longer to afford to live where you are now. You wouldn't like it if anyone was saying such things if this what about you, so now you should know how they feel. Must all the great neighborhoods in the city have to be for the rich only. Also, I don't see how affordable housing or even just housing projects are considered blight. I feel that many are blaming the few on the whole is a bad idea, and I know many wouldn't like if I said that rich were all snobs just because of a few. The point is that they were promised affordable housing, and they were lied to, which makes more of a reason not to trust Bloomberg let alone Quinn, who plans on running for mayor.
May 25, 2013, 4:36 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Excuse me, Tal. Society has a moral obligation to house and feed and clothe the needy and the disabled. And in comfort! But as long as I am able bodied, I would move to a trailer park in Buffalo and work at the 7-11 before I would presume that society owes me roof over my head. It's just the way I am, the way I was raised. I'm sorry if my values offend you. But I think those values have something to do with why I now own my home in Brooklyn. And I have been priced out of a rental in Brooklyn, decades ago. It hardly struck me as an injustice. On the contrary, I felt a little pride at having had a hand in helping my immigrant landlady to the American Dream.
May 25, 2013, 7 pm
Barry from Flatbush says:
Let's not confuse financial management with "work". A bunch of mediocre drunks from rich families get econ. degrees from expensive little coke/rape protection zone whites only liberal arts colleges and daddy hooks them up with unskilled wall street jobs at high 6 figures so they can afford to buy Brooklyn out from under Brooklynites. They don't earn a thing they get handed.
May 26, 2013, 2:05 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Not everyone who is demanding for affordable housing happens to be a minority or some illegal alien. Some of them are those who have been living in the area for generations and can no longer afford to live there any longer thanks to gentrification. Lately, the city has become more of a playground for the rich ever since Bloomberg came in. As usual, the rich always get to afford close to where they work and everything they need to close to them, while the hard working have to make major commutes to just about anything, which is why it's seen as a class warfare no matter how many try to deny it.
May 26, 2013, 3:11 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Barry, that's class resentment and stereotyping. You could run the same script about "crack-head welfare bums" you call real Brooklynites. It's a non-starter, it's prejudiced, it has no basis in fact. And by the way, there's no such thing as an un-skilled wall street job at six figures. I guarantee you that. I know, because I was one of the so-called "slacker do-nothing artists" of Williamsburg who worked on wall street as a clerk (even went to trade school and got certified as a paralegal to top off my useless BFA, ha!). Most of my artist friends are skilled cabinet-makers, designers, art directors, and I know at least three prolific artists who are also lawyers. A lot of education and skill and money has come into North Brooklyn with the artists, yuppies, and hipsters. We're very lucky to have that. And again, why should taxpayers' money be diverted from necessary services to subsidize apartments for people who can move around and work? This idea is being projected as some kind of a just cause, and yet it is cynical. It's total pork! Give me a break, these people can relocate, find jobs, commute to jobs, go back to school, like everyone else in America. What, are they disabled? And now you'll call me a right-winger? I am not, I'm a lefty and I believe in government. Tax the bejeezus out of me, I don't care. But use the money where it's really needed. Let's start getting some priorities straight, people.
May 26, 2013, 3:25 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Tal, the waterfront and the whole northwest corner of Brooklyn will be a wealthy area for the rich. It will become like the Marin County of New York. And yes, this IS the Bloomberg agenda. And it is a good thing, because it replaces a rust belt with a highly-capitalized, high-tech zone. It is a huge lift to the economy of the city and the region, and exactly what is needed to keep NYC competitive in world markets. The rest of Brooklyn and parts of the other boroughs, will start to develop with lower-income housing that might even occur on the free market. Working class people in Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay, and Canarsie, will commute to jobs in Bushwick and Greenpoint. It will not be much different from 30 years ago, with working people in Greenpoint commuting to Manhattan. And sure, the wealthy can afford to be closer to work. Or they might even work from home. But they also work 120 hours a week. You can't compare apples and oranges like that, the conditions around white collar jobs and those around blue collar or service jobs. And finally, class warfare is a really bad idea, because it will undermine sorely needed progress in technology, medicine, and the environment. And the institutions exist in society today for people who want to move up the food chain. There's plenty of money out there for people who want to do good things and put in the work. Engagement is the key to social change, not revolution. You're just going to get some tin-pot dictator and a whole lot of queers being sent upstate to summer camp. Sorry dude.
May 26, 2013, 4:10 pm
E from Greenpoint says:
As I read these comments I feel sad. It seems like a lot of petty arguments, judgments, and misunderstandings. The bigger picture seems to be lacking in most of the perspectives voiced. Working with complex economic conditions so that we can co-create a world where people can all enjoy some degree of equality through decent living conditions, fulfilling careers and communities that work together and share values requires compromise, compassion and hard work on the part of all: rich, poor,white, black.... There is nothing un-American or racist about describing how these difficulties affect each group and it is short-sighted to think your group is the only one whose needs matter. Telling everyone else to just model their lifes on whatever script you follow shows real ignorance. People's lives and perspectives are very different! There just isn't one answer to all this but I know that a solution doesn't start with rudeness and insensitivity to others.
May 26, 2013, 6:46 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ethan, nobody is against progress here, just against pricing out the hard working. Keep in mind that many of those who are demanding for affordable housing or at least keeping rent control were those living there when the area was considered blight or at least what the wealthy want you to believe. Also, not all of them were slackers, there were a lot that would work the jobs that nobody such as yourself would do just to earn a living that you would get on a silver platter. I don't see what is wrong with having some housing in that area be affordable to lower classes. It's an irony that lower classes have to accept luxury housing near them, but not vice versa. I can never understand how you want to kick out those who were known for building on the land with their own blood and sweat only to say that you are no longer welcomed here when they were the ones who made it livable in the first place. Overall, judging by your latest comment, you probably voted for Bloomberg all three times and will probably vote for Quinn, because she is very much like him. At least Weiner cares about the lower classes and will fight for them unlike so many others who are only doing it for votes only.
May 26, 2013, 6:56 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
E, that is all very well, but the great preponderance of rudeness and insensitivity in the discourse of Greenpoint and Williamsburg has been directed against "hipsters" and "yuppies." We have created a public dialogue that condones the constant knocking of these new populations. This has never been a balanced conversation in which the ground rules favor the noble meeting of minds you propose. Implicit in the dialogue is the idea of the artist, hipster, and yuppie as alien and illegitimate. Implicit in the dialogue is the idea of the ethnic local who deserves discount housing because "their land" has been "bought out from under them" and so on. Nice thoughts. But not applicable, I'm afraid, to the distortions of this particular dialogue.
May 26, 2013, 7:29 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Tal. I am one of the people who was living here when the neighborhood was blighted. For well over a decade I was here when the neighborhood was blighted. I moved to Williamsburg in 1983. And what job are you telling me the locals did that I would not do? House painter? Sheet rocker? Loading dock worker? Quick order grill chef? I did them all. I also gutted my storefront and turned it into a home and studio. With my own hands. For someone who champions the "working class," you reveal a pretty condescending and ignorant attitude about what a Brooklyn artist is.
May 26, 2013, 7:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ethan, I tend to find the term blighted to be nothing more than an overstatement not to mention used very loosely. What exactly defines blight? More importantly, why is this is always being referred to at neighborhoods where the working and middle classes are dominating, but never the rich? Keep in mind that such a term was used to drive out all the hard working people who lived and worked just south of the Vanderbuilt Yards for Ratner's Atlantic Yards complex, though only the arena is now there, but he still used it to get his way. The same goes for where Columbia University got their expansion in Manhattanville or even to remove a bunch of businesses for Parkside Reality over at Willets Points, and none of those places felt like blight, but politicians bought into them easily just because of the endorsements. BTW, whatever your claim that I am making condescending remarks on artists, I can say the same about you with the working class. On a side note, at least NYC kept a lot of their housing projects unlike so many other cities that demolished most of theirs' and that was mainly due to the fact that there is still a high demand for affordable housing, which is why so many remain here.
May 26, 2013, 8:01 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
I don't know Tal. I'm not sure how well you know Brooklyn. If you talk about "hard working people" who "built with their own blood and sweat," you would definitely have to include artists in that category in northern Brooklyn. On the other hand you have a lot of so-called "working class" locals in the area who lived in the projects and tenements and never built anything. I've seen it, grown men who could barely handle a screwdriver because they grew up in the projects, where you call the city to screw in a lightbulb. Your picture of a hard-working proletariat put upon by "silver spoon" college kids like me ... is a cliche. It sounds like something out of a textbook. It does not square with events on the ground in this neighborhood over the past three decades, where the story of the pre-gentrification building of the neighborhood is a story of artists, small-time developers, and Polish immigrant laborers. Not a whole lot more than that if you're talking about blood and sweat and building in the days before gentrification.
May 26, 2013, 10:33 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
There should be no low income housing / projects on the Williamsburg / Greenpoint at all. None whatsoever. Drive over the Wburg bridge at night and count the number of big screen HD televisions you can see in the windows of the projects in the LES. It's an absolute joke. There is more than enough UNDESERVED low income housing in prime residential areas of NYC already. If it were up to me every one of them would be converted into luxury highrises for people who can pay / DESERVE to live on prime waterfront property. People who don't pay top dollar do not DESERVE to live in prime residential areas. Figure out someplace else to live. I have no sympathy for you.

Also, people like you Barry can take your presumptuous ass elsewhere. Some people work for what they have despite what you may think. I dare you to try and wrap your head around the amount of hours of hard work / dilligence it takes to make millions of dollars a year on a regular basis for a collection of clients. This is not a race issue so stop trying to turn it into one. Thats total BS. Don't be looking to me for a handout because you won't get it. Its just too bad that degree from ASA College isn't paying off for you I guess.
May 26, 2013, 11:47 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Ha! And I thought I was being harsh! But I have to agree with Interloper on just about every point. You are basically ripping off the taxpayer by putting low-income housing in premier locations. It should not be done.
May 27, 2013, 12:18 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
You reap what you sow. We know who built this town, and who did not. We know in northern Brooklyn who fought for the land and who squandered it. We do not forget.
May 27, 2013, 11:53 am
Manposeur from Brokeland says:
It's these dam greedy developers. They will create these limited high ceiling monstrosities as oppose to housing structures or units that don't abandon the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood.
May 28, 2013, 6:06 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Wow. Everyone who supports development without affordable housing should look into this issue more closely, as tax payers end up paying for much of the development! Therefore, prudence and reason would demand something in return. That return is suppose to be affordable housing, which most are for working families or the disabled. To give developers the ability to build through public funding, such as tax abatements, below market land costs, zoning changes, infrastructure improvements, etc., when they do not even have the actual funds to complete a project, would be unreasonable and outrageous. Of course, many of these projects do not deliver on promises to the community, such as Atlantic Yards, and politicians do nothing to redress these broken promises. Middle class, wake up!
May 28, 2013, 12:27 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Charles, Tax revenue on market-rate housing is going to be far greater than that on subsidized housing, assuming the latter is even taxed very much. Housing for the disabled (Section 8) is a totally different thing than subsided housing for the able bodied. Or at least it should be! If developers can't afford to build market-rate housing, even with tax abatements, as you hold, and which I doubt, how on earth are they going to be able to build low-income housing? Tell me then where the money for subsidized housing comes from? Here's the point: Supposedly the neighborhood is full of all these do-nothing yuppies and trust-fund slackers. Now you have 150 people coming down here and demanding discount housing. And they're not slackers? Cry me a river, please. You will get no support from me with this approach.
May 28, 2013, 10:36 pm
Mileck from Greenpoint says:
“[My landlord] has tried for a long time to get me out,” said Maria Ramos, 71, who has lived in a rent-stabilized apartment on Green Street for 30 years. “She wants someone with more money.

NO —— ...stop living on someones back and move on already
May 29, 2013, 10:13 pm
Mileck from Greenpoint says:
gotta love the term " working familes " used buy all the whiners ........yea like people that make 100K and 200k a year dont work or have a family ????
you should just call it what you really mean ...minority families that have not done anything about their combined family income of 50K for the last 30 years
May 29, 2013, 10:17 pm
Gigi from Roebling STreet , Williamsburg says:
Williamsburg is nieborhood by born right, I was born there in 65 Roebling st. was where I steer from. My parents moved away late 70's because of the crime and drugs, I do agree with bettering the place you live in, I have returned many times and to visit my Williamsburg gives me great joy to see how it has pick up and and change for the better. However I can not sympatize with having the yuppies from the city come in here and buy out property's and not cator to the community with affordable rent, we all work and as a working force have the right to find an affordable place to live in williamsburg. Out of curiosity I check availability on apts. for a tiny studio you will not find anything in Williamsburg below $ 1.300 now that is totally unfair for the working class .. I hope Mayor Bloomberg is taking note.. Back in the day I have to say you did not see no white folk standing on Grand ST. less in South 1st street now that change I do like streets have become some what safer. However the newcomers have to remember we were there prior to you so don't you forget itttttttt.
May 31, 2013, 3:01 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Gigi. Move to Staten Island and go to community college and learn how to use the English language. I'm sorry, it cannot be put any more nicely than that. Don't take offense. I was where you are once, and I come from a privileged background. But I was learning disabled and hardly read a book 'till I was in my early 20s. Today I read them in three languages. It can be done. But you have to do it yourself. Not "the man", not the yuppies, not whoever it is you think owes you a roof over your head. You have to identify what your own disadvantages are in life, and then work to overcome those disadvantages. Yourself.
June 3, 2013, 12:15 pm
Inez from 11211 says:
Ethan, you are such a narcissistic little troll. Why don't you go jerk off to that facebook photo of yourself as a child. You know the one. The one where you ask if you can be a pedophile for yourself. Yes, that one.
June 3, 2013, 4:32 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
HA! Yes, I'm a perv. It's true. But no one cares, and no one holds it against me. Because we the artists have forever changed the rules in Brooklyn. And they are as follows: Yes, I can cross-dress in your neighborhood. No, you can't do anything about it. All the same, since I'm a nice guy, I'll give you some free advice: Leave your church, go back to school, get off welfare, and join the working class.
June 3, 2013, 7:24 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Gigi - You do "have the right to find an affordable place to live" but not in areas where property value exceeds your income. To provide an example, if I want to buy a house one day in a upper class community is it a right for me to pay $500k when my neighbors pay a $1 million for a house with the same square footage, features, school district, property acreage, etc...? Obviously not. I'm honestly sorry that sometimes people get priced out but that's economics and progress.

By the way, your comment about how there were "no white folk standing on Grand St" is irrelevant and stupid. The fact that your parent's were here in the 70s entitles you and people like you that feel this way to absolutely nothing. Try not being racist for a change. You might like it.
June 3, 2013, 7:28 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Don't bother, Interloper. They don't get it, they're not educated. They come out with their unctuous pieties and reactionary scruples ... asking for a handout. And they don't even see it. They don't see their own hypocrisy.
June 3, 2013, 9:08 pm
Inez from 11211 says:
Oh but you're wrong. There are those of us that will not kiss it. We won't kiss it good. We won't even kiss it bye bye. Your egos will be the root of your own self immolation, and we will be laughing and laughing. Your shrinking testosterone levels, the saggy old skin flapping as you desperately cling to your myth. I shouldn't take as much pleasure in this as I do, but indeed I do. When all is said and done, you won't even be a footnote in the story. The world will have collectively blinked and missed it. But we won't have kissed it. Ever.
June 4, 2013, 7:21 am
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
For Christ's sake take it easy on the ketamine Inez...
June 4, 2013, 11:20 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Inez, the history is done and in the can, everyone knows it, and there's nothing you can do about. It is the history of art and gentrification in Brooklyn, and it's what I do. Artists are not the ONLY history of this phenomenon, but they are one indisputable component of it. You have no idea how many curmudgeons like you have visited my archives on fb and then gone out of their way to let me know that they have "forgotten" what they saw. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Museum is also now interested in forgetting my archives, and has started to acquire them. "Kiss it good" is a line that belongs to Vincent Bambini, who did fabulously perverse drawings of hot bohemian women in Williamsburg in the early 90s. He got a huge buyout for his loft overlooking the river and bought a spread in the Virgin Islands. A lot of these veteran artists are like goombahs now, living in factories protected under the Loft Law, or they bought compounds, sometimes two houses in Greenpoint or Williamsburg, with big gardens. Beautiful. So if you've been in the neighborhood for 4 generations and you're only now getting booted out of a tenement rental, yeah, I can see how it might be difficult to kiss that one, let alone kiss it good.
June 4, 2013, 12:55 pm
Inez from 11211 says:
Well duh now, Ethan. You forget that I have been around here as long as you or that hack Bambini. I can see his most famous, if one can call it that, "pieces" when I walk across the bridge from Manhattan. It was crap when it was new and it's crap now. Maybe it would be more appealing if I did actually take Ketamine though, Bambini. It would blur both the lack of technique and the lack of talent.
June 4, 2013, 3:23 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
The artists have a leg-up on gentrification that the Latinos do not have. After all, the artists partly created gentrification. And gentrification models itself after artist and hipster culture. A giant warehouse in Bushwick will soon become a retail mall and hotel ... with "art galleries." Wow, wonder where they got that idea. By contrast, the Latino community has been hobbled by decades of entitlement politics, as we just saw with this "affordable housing" demo. And it's a clunker, this panhandling for housing. It is misguided activism. Long-standing Latino community organizations like El Puente are having a come-to-Jesus moment on just this issue, with a big new grant and initiatives to bring the Latino community up to speed with the other forces of gentrification. But this requires initiative, improvisation, and bold acts of imagination, something the artist and hipster culture has always had in abundance. If you want it to happen for you, you have to make it happen. No one is obliged to give it to you.
June 4, 2013, 3:46 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
It is perhaps an aesthetic irony, that the murals of Vincent Bambini are better and more authentic than those that were scrambled together by El Puente nearly a decade later. The Bambini murals are iconic Williamsburg, bold and original. The El Puente murals were commissioned in the mid-90s to create the illusion of a local Hispanic street art that did not and could not have existed in the neighborhood before the 90s. The El Puente murals were done by local kids, under the tutelage of a white bohemian artist from Chicago who moved to the neighborhood in 1991.
June 4, 2013, 3:59 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Ten years after Bambini moved to Williamsburg.
June 4, 2013, 4 pm
jt from 11249 says:
I laugh so hard at his writing. Buff, buff, buff. Nothing worth saving here. Glad half of its gone already.
June 4, 2013, 5:11 pm
jt from 11249 says:
June 4, 2013, 8:24 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Bambini made the world you live in and the world you can no longer afford to live in. So kiss it. Kiss it good.
June 5, 2013, 9:32 am
^ got played from ha ha ha ha ha says:
June 5, 2013, 1:25 pm
Moses Kestenbaum ODA from Williamsburg says:
I remember the hookers inhabiting Kent Ave , what a change in only 15 years for the good,hey if you can't afford it you don't live here anymore, no one forcing anyone to stay put, queens is more affordable the Bronx and east NY or bushwick or how about moving out to Philadelphia or Harrisburg or even Albany or buffalo or Syracuse the country is big and folks live there it's not the woods it's a real place where people live and play for a much lower cost then NYC with less crime then here
June 7, 2013, 7:13 am
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
What a difference 2 months make - Why don't you admit that you're just a socialist? Poor people don't have rights to premium housing just because they're poor. That's like handing out a participation trophy to the guy who finishes last place in an Olympic event. People like you can keep relying on handouts. Some people choose to work for a living and for what they have.
June 7, 2013, 1:42 pm
New Square Sportswear from 11249 says:
Is it Ethan pretending to be Moses, or Bambini (aka Interloper)? Not that it matters, because clearly they both drank the same Koolaid.
June 7, 2013, 3:37 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Interloper, why don't you admit something about One Square Realty LLC before you make more impotent demands on anyone else, like you're somebody that intimidates? And don't talk nonsense, all bravado, telling me to make a video of a fight to prove myself like you do with DieHipster. I'd be happy to make a video of a fight. Name the time and place and I'll meet you there. Then we'll post it for Die Hipster to see whether you're all mouth or not.
June 7, 2013, 3:44 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Until then, "kiss it, ——. Kiss it real good."
June 7, 2013, 3:46 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And as for that in/sign/if/i/cant, I'll copy-paste comments I've previously made about his relationship to Williamsburg compared to that of El Puente: "none of the "art," none of the production, manufacture or associations 1983-1995 survived operation or posterity. Williamsburg's gentrification's chief apologist, celebrant of its "artist/s"-cum-"hipster/s" and remaining nameless here [but knows who he is], left Williamsburg after three years in 1986 and never returned to reside. No production or manufacture with his involvement has survived or is seriously reflected. And he exemplifies the "Art" that was "injected" into Williamsburg's desolation. However, the artists that came to comprise El Puente's Academy for Peace and Justice, the artists who preceded and exist outside the continuum of "art 'came' to Williamsburg in 1983," they came from "before" and yet they endure--some thirty years on."

Pettitphile has previously, and feebly, countered DieHipster's challenge to review ANY "Williamsburg art"--that "it" is all over the world, in museums, galleries, etc. etc. etc. FALSE. Not a piece or shred of any art that supposedly "germinated" gentrification has been seriously reflected, reviewed or appreciated. Pettitphile often says things as if saying those things will make it so--he has even admitted to this.
June 7, 2013, 3:53 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And the idea that Bambini's murals are better than El Puente's: that right there is evidence as to the role that Pettit plays herein. Not one to be taken seriously; neither artist nor critic but sycophant, trying to have his boy's back because Bambini's mural IS SO GOD AWFUL IT IS LAUGHABLE and because Pettit is so pathetically alone with his fascistic eugenic nonsense.
June 7, 2013, 4:03 pm
jt from 11249 says:
Jentrify is pretty picky choosey about which comments to delete today. Flag 'em all Bambini.
June 7, 2013, 4:04 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Just so we can get a notion about how much veracity Pettit has, or whether anything he says or writes, EVER, should be taken seriously, here is Pettit, interviewed by the L Magazine [""When We Were Ancient:" The Williamsburg Hipsters of Yore"]:

"The worst of the new Williamsburg are those condos on Kent Avenue that look like they were air-lifted in from Boca Raton."

And here he is, right on this thread for this very article, commenting on May 24th at 11:48pm:

"Bring on the towers, we're going to need them. The new economy in NYC is going to need lots of condos for lots of well-paid professionals."

Which is it? NEITHER. Nothing Pettit says or writes ever has any merit or can be considered veracious since Pettit lacks integrity. He says one thing and then the exact opposite to gain confidence in silly people like Ms. Furfaro here and the rest of BP staff. What has happened is that Pettit is losing sleep at night, hurt, offended, bitter and pathetic that NO ONE wants to massage his ego and he needs to come onto this article about condominiums and say the most inflammatory things he can imagine about condominiums, even if they contradict previous and other public statements, because he's quite pathetic and needs someone's shoulder.
June 7, 2013, 4:14 pm
jt from 11249 says:
The shoulder Ethan needs is connected to a psychiatrist, a priest, or the owner of a time machine who can take him back in time to when he was so deeply wounded.
June 7, 2013, 4:23 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Dennis sinneD - Despite the fact that you're most likely 5'6" and 130 lbs soaking wet and have a voracious little man complex, I'm not in any rush to beat anyone up. My previous commentary directed at dieHipster is due to a repeat pattern of threats of violence he / she has on this board to "hipsters" and "yuppies". dieHipster and his / her empty threats are a complete joke and I'm just proving that by challenging him / her to put their money where their mouth is.

While I have strong feelings about entitled people that are not deserving of handouts, I have no desire to inflict physical violence on anyone nor have I ever made violent threats against anyone on this message board. People like you and your dumb internet comments don't mean that much to me. I do love though that I am able to get that kind of a reaction out of you. You must be some sorta real tough guy or something...jeez.

Why don't you sit back, drink some herbal tea and try and figure out what's making you so angry? It's not me...I'm sure it's society. It's ok to cry...let it all out.
June 7, 2013, 5:50 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
No, Interloper. You won't squeal away that easy. Every single one of your posts, ESPECIALLY those directed at DieHipster, drips with violence. You want to see him videotape this, you want him to go here, you want him to start a fight, you want him to get his ass kicked, blah blah blah. The only reason all this bravado lacks a direct challenge is because you're too much of a coward to be honest about who you really are, Art That's Tough to Give Away.

You say these posts, conveniently as in "mine," don't mean much, but any everyday reader of Brooklyn Paper is witness to your apoplexy nearly every day, and frequently on multiple occasions daily. Again, evidence of your cowardice. You can't admit that what people post online about you and everything you stand for in gentrification is irksome to you. Irksome enough that you expend calorie and word count behind your terminal crafting these ridiculously silly and silly macho posts about manhood, authenticity, all the while you're hinting someone should hurt themselves to prove something to you, namely because you're a sadist and a bully.

But don't you worry. I know who you are. And I know your face around the scene. And when you see me, make sure to put your hands up. Because there won't be implication. And I'm not 135 pounds, but it goes to show how much you really know about fighting, with all that bullspit at Die Hipster et al you fling--some of the best fighters in the world weigh at 135 pounds. I'm 195 but with much respect for the lighter weight divisions and their champions. Like Roberto Duran, for example. If you knew anything about fighting, and took a sit back and followed your own advice, you would know this. But again, you're a punk. You don't know squat about "what's real" and "fighting" and all that other nonsense you're always spewing that you pretend you don't care about.
June 7, 2013, 6:49 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
For the record, I lived in the storefront at 209 Bedford Avenue from 1983 to 1991, eight years. The change in that time was in a way more striking than anything since, including the re-zoning and the towers. For while the towers surely changed the physical landscape in the extreme, the passage from the 80's to the 90's saw the writing on the wall. By 1989 it was clear the place was becoming bohemian territory, and the yuppies were already starting to follow. The rest is mostly fixer-upper renovation and Ayn Randian architectural hubris. To be sure, many of these new buildings are perfectly abysmal. On the other hand there many examples of fine new architecture and renovation throughout northern Brooklyn. People bemoan the loss of some classic old factory buildings in Williamsburg. But if you are a student of civil engineering at Citytech as I am (again, go back to school ya welfare bum!) you begin to understand that these old buildings suffer from irreversible gum rot at the foundations. Any boho who has ever ventured into the basement of his loft building can see this. In the overarching scheme of things, the rebuilding of northern Brooklyn bodes nothing but good, both for housing stock and for energy efficiency.
June 8, 2013, 2:29 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
I hold absolutely that Bambini's murals are better and more authentically Williamsburg than those of El Puente. I mean they're all fine, they're murals, and none of them are the Sistine Chapel by a long shot. But there is a pithy case study here that trumps knee-jerk thinking on a matter of local art and culture. Here we have this so-called "real Hispanic street art" from El Puente which was cobbled together by a white guy in the mid-90s running an art program at El Puente. The murals are garish and predictable and they have none of that awesome tension and vibrance that you find in genuine Hispanic street art. Because the El Puente murals are not genuine. They're made up, and largely as a political response to the bohemian artist culture. On the other hand we have the Bambini murals and outdoor sculptures. These are at least a decade older than the El Puente murals, much more interesting and dynamic, and indeed a more authentic Williamsburg street art. The lesson is ... just because it's "Latin" does not necessarily mean it is "authentic" and not contrived. And conversely, just because something is "Bohemian" does not necessarily mean it is not part of the organic cultural fabric of the neighborhood. The comparison between the murals of Bambini and those of El Puente illustrates this point precisely.
June 8, 2013, 4:46 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
In 2009 Roxy Paine, a pioneer Williamsburg environmental artist, had a major installation on the roof of the MET.

Recognition and critical acclaim do not get any better than that. And this is only one example of Williamsburg artists on the world stage in recent years. Chris Martin at the Corcoran, Fred Tomasselli at the Brooklyn Museum, Andrew Ohanesian at the Boiler. All major critical events watched 'round the world. And that's the tip of the iceberg. Amy Sillman, Bill Jensen, Lori Ellison, Richard Humann, the area is full of artists who are taken very seriously on the international circuit, have been in the Whitney, the Biennial, Documenta. The idea that Williamsburg is not on the art world map is patently absurd, it's all over the map. Indeed the art world today is largely an outcome of Williamsburg. But I do not doubt that it must be a tough nut to swallow for the modern day Jew-baiters who have been carping for decades on the sidelines of this history.
June 8, 2013, 6:53 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
These are the artists who saved Brooklyn, who supported maintenance and taxes on vacant factory buildings for decades before big money would get anywhere near these neighborhoods. If they are slackers, I ask, then who are these welfare bums coming down here panhandling for discount housing? If the hipsters who start hundreds of businesses in this area are slackers living off trust funds, then who are these panhandlers who insult the name of the "working class?" It's just a question. A mutual exchange of constructive criticism in a free and candid discourse. If I am a slacker, are you not a welfare bum? Pan handle for anything you like then, but at least don't insult the name of the working class while you do it.
June 9, 2013, 1 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Dennis sinneD - You mad bro? You need a good cry? Gentrification got your panties in a bunch? I hear that Brownsville is getting lovely. You and your hostile attitude and apparent lack of education will fit in great there.
June 9, 2013, 1:40 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Interloper, but it is not the trolls and the "die hipsters" that are important here. We have a mainstream dialogue that characterizes hipsters and yuppies as do-nothings, and do-nothings as a beleaguered "working class" that deserves to have us pay their rent. This is the distortion that frames the discussion, and it is the false narrative that needs to be interrogated. The trolls thrive on slander, but they dry up and blow away as soon as you get down to brass tacs on an issue. In any case, the political culture of entitlement and of ethnic pandering is well embedded in the system, and we can expect, as ever, to be burdened with a certain number of these subsidized slacker dorms. They're a drop in the bucket and a drain on the purse. But there you go, that's New York. What's important is to state that we're not fooled for a minute.
June 9, 2013, 8:58 pm
Pat from 11211 says:
You gotta be in it to win it.
June 10, 2013, 12:21 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
To have been in the forefront of the transformation of Brooklyn was to be lifted by an immense tsunami of urban history. An event that played havoc with your sense of place and of morals. Remorse over the displacement of people vies with pride in the change that you have catalyzed. And if you were lucky or smart enough to put a stake in the land for yourself, then in time pride overcomes remorse. You come at last to settle with a deep sense of belonging. You wake up one day to find a Brooklyn of your own making, of your own time, of your own sensibilities. It is a fantastic feeling.
June 11, 2013, 1:26 am

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