Gentrification Of A Beach And Federal Parkland, The Final Chapter: Requiem For A Summer Place

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Here are parts 1, 2 ,3 and 4

Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York

Well another summer has departed and the belated autumn solstice has arrived today after the climate change influenced unusual warmth of last October, so this would be the right time to document and review this years spring and summer season spent at Riis Park. And it’s not good at all and it has not ended well, as the dramatic changes that came forth with certain and way overdue (and selective) renovations took place

As the days of May got later, there actually was a itty bitty slither of hope for the people’s beach. The Riis Park Bathhouse renovation attracted more concessions and restaurant fare, as well as new food stands on the end of the boardwalk by the abandoned hospital and both were supplied with live laptop DJ’s. More food trucks were added to where the heart of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar Riis Park Beach Bazaar takes place, probably for people who do not care for the upscale foodie concept fare being sold in the restaurant inside and the stand by the pitch-and-putt course. There was also the return of the ludicrous high end slum camping concept Camp Rockaway in the dirty chigger infested backyard of the bathhouse. Volleyball courts were also added right in the next yard too for adventurous players and camp guests to play on the hard concrete. It was quite a sight to behold this year on every weekend, as people gathered to enjoy the summer breeze, sharing the company of diverse races and cultures, and extravagantly overpriced fast food, beer and cocktails. Vibrancy in action I believe it’s called.

It probably would be better conveyed and illustrated with pictures:

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It’s not exactly Coney Island, but it’s adequate enough. Especially in comparison to a decade ago when there was absolutely nothing here until a bunch of Brooklyn entrepreneurs and hipsters “discovered” it. The beach even has a cellphone tower now placed at the “abandoned” Neponsit hospital for all the foodie denizens instagram addictions. There is also app pay service for ordering, so I guess e-motorcycle delivery guys zipping on the boardwalk cutting people off is not a far away prospect.

So now it’s an actual destination spot, which is still pretty hard to believe since the Federal Parks Service didn’t give a fuck about this place for near a half century and let it rot for years. It’s even more surprising that the Bazaar folks and the hipster demo even found this summer place interesting considering it was the default garbage dump for all the neighborhoods destroyed property after Hurricane Sandy hit.

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Even the Riis Park clock, which although still ticked and barely survived Sandy’s pounding, suddenly got a major overhaul at the beginning of the summer and now it’s faces glow in the night.

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But progress is progress and even though I personally have never purchased anything at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar and avoided their rip off overpriced artisan fast food and cocktails and marked up rancid craft and commercial brand beers and only went by there to use the toilets, I admit seeing business activity like this was good to see. Even if it was just prototypical upscale lifestyle bullshit.

But something was missing from all the free market vibrancy going on the boardwalk. Somehow all the restorations and renovations and all the upscale prices that went into providing a venue for the bazaar did not transfer to a very essential part of beach and parkland that was already a big attraction. In fact it was the only vibrant destination spot before the natural disaster of a category one hurricane and the unwelcome appearance of gentrifiers hit the people’s beach (yes, I’m aware of the irony that gentrifiers are people too) and that is the picnic and grilling area.

This would probably be better illustrated and conveyed with sadness with pictures:

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Before that bitch Sandy came, it was arguably the best and most spacious grilling area in the city. Despite how small it looks, it had ample space and plenty of tables and grills for anyone that showed up anytime. It also had a lot of wind swept trees from the powerful Atlantic Ocean winds that gave the picnic area a cool presence and a visual wonder of nature.

But where are the goddamn tables? This is a federally tax payer subsidized picnic area.

Usually they get moved around by people for their cookout parties but there used to be a lot more out here. A lot more. It’s darkly amusing though pretty annoying that the Riis boardwalk has tables while the picnic area barely as any especially this year as the people brought more of their own chairs and tables than ever before. So National Parks apparently feel that the people actually making an effort to come to the people’s beach is not as worthy of table provision as the people that show up for the fucking beach bazaar. It should be noted that the people who grill out here are way more diverse than the bazaar people, ranging from African-Americans, Spanish people from Puerto Rico and South America, the Ukraine and Russia and even a few Italian-Americans.

A lot of the grill areas visitors also brought their own grills, as what looks like about 30 of them got destroyed and were never replaced (even from last summer too). All that are left are ashen stumps.

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To compound this offensive slight of an essential park area for citizens, the National Parks Service also decided not to provide the picnic area with ash cans to dump the hot coals in, leading people to dump mounds of smoldering coals and dust to pile up on the few grills left standing. Also noticeable is the lack of garbage cans too.

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There is something going on here and it’s appalling. Because what we got here is obvious discrimination and blatant inequity of parks amenities. Because the people that use the grilling area are not going to go to bozo bazaar and waste their money there when they already spend it on their own food and booze that they hauled all the way from Brooklyn and Queens.

Although this was evidently done by vandals, the National Park Service helped destroy this grill area. Classic demolition by neglect. Although by the ways some of these grills look and how many are gone (even by the gazebos), it looked like it was done by malicious force. The tables that were once here have vanished gradually during the years as the amount of tables on the boardwalk gradually grown.

This is a pretty shitty way to distribute public space. In a way, this is similar to the whole “affordable housing” concept of building expensive apts along with lower rental ones for the baseless rationale that poor places can’t exist without rich spaces. The bazaar being the 80% market rate and the grill area being 20% affordable. And the results of where the exclusivity lies is brazenly apparent.

But really what happened? This is the people’s beach right? How could the NPS and even the Riis Park beach bazaar let such discriminatory maltreatment of green space occur. And with the prices they charge for their artisan fast foodie fare and pretentious cocktails which the average person spends about $100 during the day consuming and along with the existence of an idiotic luxury lifestyle campsite, how come none of that money as translated to the upkeep for the grill area? Or even to other area of the park like the baseball field and the nearby handball, tennis and newly painted shuffleboard courts?

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There is something foul afoot with the beach bazaar, which in fact doesn’t even resemble one since real bazaars are dense with concessions and tent stores and games while this is set up in isolated areas far from each other. Another reason for the dubious profitability to justify the existence of this is that the organizers and promoters had their own Brooklyn Night Bazaar kicked out of a catering hall because they couldn’t afford the rent. This is the second time they got kicked out of the borough that they are responsible for gentrifying. Is it possible that the effort by Gothamist to help their Brooklyn transient comrades by writing a wretchedly and laughably pathetic journatisement post on Camp Rockaway didn’t help at all? Apparently not, because the proprietors of CR had to distribute discount coupons (and it looks like they had to skimp a little on the ink at the printers shop too)

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But I digress. Actually no all this is relative. The Riis Park Beach Bazaar is a failure and it’s clearly still being enabled. There are obviously some investors behind them that have bigger plans for Riis Park. And it surely involves privatization. Because what the grill area looks like now is ripe for plunder. The grill area is practically barren now and it looks ripe to be usurped for obnoxious commercial promotion events and dickweed startup networking functions.

It doesn’t have to be this way but it’s inevitable, for park privatization is spreading everywhere supposedly because the funding isn’t there to maintain them. And the Riis Park grilling area appears to show that there still isn’t funding for it, although it’s blatantly obvious that it’s being ignored on purpose. Every year gets worse over there, NPS clearly is trying to discourage citizens from using it and presumably their are vested interests to make Riis a luxury destination given the other changes and distressing developments happening on the Rockaway peninsula

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Despite years of warnings and universal scorn from the citizenry of the five boroughs the scourge of gentrification of wanton hyper-development, real estate market speculation/fabrication and the mindless frivolous spending demographic they attract are not going to fade soon and it looks as if it’s going to spread faster instead of gradually now.

And it’s more than certain that is going to happen one of the best summer places in New York City in the borough of Queens (although I think a lot of these newbs think it’s in Brooklyn). For now, I will concede defeat and let the Riis Park picnic go. Which sucks because I love grilling out and I make kickass BBQ burgers. This glorious place was the easiest to get to on bike, despite only a few uphills on the two Cross Bay bridges, it takes less than an hour to get to Riis even while making a stop to get food and Yuenglings at Waldbaums.

But now it’s over. At least writing about it’s slow death is.

Goodnight Riis Park.

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Gentrification Of A Beach And Federal Parkland Part IV: The Riis Park Bathhouse Reopens With The Reckoning Of High End Fast Food Concession And Ludicrous Luxury Camping Bolstered By A Bike Share Outbreak Amidst Unacknowledged Beach Erosion

087.jpgThe Riis Park Bathouse. Renovated and ripe for privatization

Here are parts 1, 2 and 3

Riis Park, The People’s Beach, Rockaway, QUEENS, N.Y.

In a rare bit of good news regarding parkland infrastructure, the historical landmark art-deco bathhouse pavilion in Riis Park as been re-opened after going through over 5 years of renovation following the devastation from the impact of hurricanes Sandy and Irene.

Unfortunately, the grand re-opening is marred by the privatization of the entire structure by the Riis Beach Bazaar collective of overpriced food concessions, a bevy of bars and the return and occupation of space for the still mind-boggling stupid and unjustifiably expensive luxury tent dwelling concept Camp Rockaway in a merger into a mindless frivolous spending consumption attraction and destination.

Now back in 2016, a nice park ranger gave a tour of the refurbished ground floor and the nice park superintendent remarked that to ensure the upkeep of the pavilion, it would have to come from private funding. Even though a few weeks before this report, the city received 47 million dollars in FEMA funds dedicated to rebuild and repair all structures that were destroyed along the peninsula in the last storm.

That the bathhouse is currently being occupied by an organization that was once sponsored by a local news blog and an idiotic concept that relied on crowdfunding just as recent as last year is quite unexpected and certainly needs more digging into if they can afford to lease the federal landmark building. Not much is known about who is funding this collective, presumably those pesky, sneaky private equity and venture capital firms along with various lobby or real estate firms and probably property owning mysterion LLC’s, but somehow they have clearly conquered the entirety of the “people’s beach” and turned it into an ersatz Brooklyn/Disneyland.

 

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As for Camp Rockaway, it is quite the anomaly and absurdity. Last year at the end of summer and continuing into November, they drove their stakes and placed their settlement on an unused football field, complete with a still present field goal post. But now that they joined forces with the Bazaar, this summer its glamour tents are placed in the backyard lot of the bathhouse. For the stunning price of $195 on the weekdays and $245 on the weekend, families and couples can enjoy the wonders of nature by traipsing on the “campground’s” filthy tire-tracked sand with speckles of depleted grass.

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To capture the experience of  “roughing it” and integrating it with what is described as “wellness”, the tents are furnished with mattresses,lamps, linens and dressers along with a phone charging station. Just like in actual real life nature.

Not mentioned is the illuminating of room freshner candles to soothe your senses as you drift into blissful slumber until hordes of people from Queens and Brooklyn and beyond head for the beach to enjoy it for free.

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If the people of the “people’s beach” knew what they are missing! If the people had more disposable income than stagnant income, they can further mindlessly spend on the various amenities that Camp Rockaway decided not to include on their two c-note a night dirt nap dwellings. Like paying nightly tolls at the Riis Park parking lot, one of the biggest in the nation! For the times you get parched and need protection from nasty entomological creatures buzzing around, there are empty water bottles for you and mosquito repellent to purchase if you’re stupid enough not to bring your own, and if you are already spending 200 bucks to sleep overnight in a tent in a public beach, chances you already are.

You can bring your own food but it has to be prepared and you need to eat it all up because the only genuine thing about this campsite is that it has no refrigeration to store your rations. It’s okay because they advise their guests to take their food back to their hot cars if they have anything leftover. Which is what any seasoned camper would do if one doesn’t possess an igloo cooler.

Just like in actual campsite’s and thanks to the new restoration, the showers are available for use once you start to stink after festering in your tent and sojourning on the beach and nearby towns foraging for food and booze that you’re not allowed to keep in your temporary abodes.

If there are any worries about intruders, who may be tempted to breach the “campground” either through climbing over the gate or cutting the rusty chains and locks on the gates with the knowledge of easy marks willing to spend exorbitant sums would likely have expensive possessions like thousand dollar cellphones containing a wealth of personal data, various credit cards, and other disposable cash, the geniuses behind this malignant concept assures that the national parks dept has rangers patrolling the beach all day and night long for the guests protection at the taxpayers expense.

Unfortunately no alcohol is allowed and it’s lights out at 10 p.m. at Camp Rock. There sure are a lot of rules that you have to abide by. Which makes this campground resemble more like a scientology recruit settlement than the neighborly community vibe they are trying to commodify. And it also kills the tranquil vibe and escape from civilization that real camping provides, since according to their activities page, the only thing to pass the time is to spend and spend and spend at, natch, the nearby Riis Beach Bazaar.

Speaking of the R.B.B., their little concept of bringing the blandest of Brooklyn’s designer food and social media culture has been the recipient of good fortune at the misfortune of other locales and transit service. Land erosion at one of the most popular spots in Rockaway led to the City Parks Department to close the beaches down from B90 to B102 streets, which included the closure of the boardwalk (it has since been reopened for access), which has led to a noticeable upsurge in attendance at Riis.

More pseudo-yachts ferries have been added, even though the city cut the free Hornblower bus service. There’s more frequent bus service, the Q53 from Woodside, the Q35 from Brooklyn, and even the rarely seen Q22 in Rockaway (which used to originate from Ozone Park), now heads towards Riis Park that historically has never seen this much bus transit activity probably in decades and arguably in the city bus services’ entire existence as every other bus line continues to be behind schedule.

The A train to Rockaway also has been rerouted to going west to the 116th street and suspended the Mott Ave. destination for the entire summer, leaving Far Rockaway residents to go through the inconvenience of getting off at the Holland St. Station and crossing over to the other side to go eastbound. But making it super duper convenient for the target demos, hipsters from Brooklyn and tourists, to take one straight ride to the desired area of the peninsula.

And to make things more convenient A train commuters, once they get off there will be plenty of bike share bikes out there ready to use and dispose of as they get to their destinations. Especially once the electronic motor share bikes are dropped on the streets.

This post may be a bitter hate read, but even the most naive person would find that there is a massive effort by the city and their parks dept and even the national parks dept. to make sure this luxury bazaar and camping merger is successful, all attributed to a combination of the extreme effects of climate change and the aforementioned improvements to transit service. When the city parks dept. shut down beaches 91 to 102st at the last minute before Memorial Day it caused widespread panic to the enraged community and the businesses there, notably the new bar/restaurants that only opened on the boardwalk just a few years ago. And it wasn’t like the city wasn’t warned of the gradual debilitation of the shoreline, because they have known for years prior to when Sandy hit and did nothing about it since in congruence with continuing disputes with FEMA officials in a display of shithead solidarity buck passing and willful indifference as 10,000 tons of cubic sand wasted away in less than two years.

 

Regarding this closure, which is going to take a speculated two years to replenish it, it’s starting to look like the area in front of the Riis Bathhouse might have some apparent erosion issues of it’s own. Judging by the disturbing ponding by the boardwalk.

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Will this also get the proper attention and will it merit the the same severity from the city as the measures they took to shut down the former popular beaches by Rockaway Park???

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“Why see the world, when you got the beach”

Frank Ocean, “Sweet Life”

The Riis Park Bathhouse’s return is a no doubt a great thing, but it’s too bad it’s not being utilized for it’s intended use as a facility for the citizens and is being privatized this way to cultivate and manufacture a homogenized hip hangout and some sort of luxury destination with that stupid camp. As for the latter, this is actually a thing that’s been going on in other federal parks, most recently and more insanely at Governor’s Island. 

Even the bike share program, after only a few days, is already starting to become a blight on the beach.

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But it’s doubtful that any action be taken or the slightest concern will be taken here. There is obviously a lot being invested that it’s taken precedence over the worrying concerns of smaller businesses that enthusiastically opened up and the residents enjoying the sun, sand and surf in Rockaway. In addition to the further neglect and inequity of services that are plaguing throughout the boroughs that favor pleasure seekers over the working classes in general. And monetizing the one free amenity and destination for people who can’t afford to go to the Hamptons or jetset to island and beach resorts around the world.

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The effects of climate change and global warming are existential threats that must be combated, but it’s not as big as the current threat by the city to irresponsibly sell out public space and services for lame entrepreneurs trying to turn every locale into Brooklyn food and beer festival.

When will this bullshit stop? Probably another bitch hurricane. But it didn’t stop this collective of climate deniers before and it certainly won’t this time despite any documented evidence. For these elected and appointed officials, absolutely nothing will get in the way of monopolizing parkland for frivolous spending idiocy, and most of all the profits for their sponsors and investors.

It’s all fucking insane.

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New Bad Days 32: The Douchehag Of Crown Heights And Her Amusing Bullet Hole Bad Days Monument And The Ensuing Morbidly Ironic Shooting Incident Of A Nearby Brand New Trendy Local Establishment.

https://i2.wp.com/thegrio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/summerhill-bk.jpg?fit=625%2C366The restaurant and the overpriced glass of swill with the notorious artifact
The scene of the crime blocks away from Summerhill just days after the community hearing.

Brooklyn

A Canadian woman who formerly worked as a tax reform lawyer that runs an upscale bar and sandwich shop has become the subject of derision and consternation of the residents of Crown Heights because of a wall with bullet holes still remaining that the owner, Becca Brennan, steadfastly and stubbornly refuses to fix. The outrage being that Becca is using this reminder of an earlier crime blighted era to promote her business and using it as an aesthetic of authenticity to attract frivolous spending high end clientele and curious and stupid tourists.

Protests emerged since her social media post of a cocktail drink worth $12 and her idiotic concept of a 40 oz. bottle of rose’ wine in a paper bag from her store in revolting homage to the sight of men swigging from bottles of Old English Malt Liquor and Colt .45 in the blighted criminal heyday of the streets of the five boroughs. (I recall even Budweiser got into the act and sold bottles in that size, in fact they still do.) The last corner assembly was actually confronted by Becca herself, sitting in her Al Fresco table setting mouthing off and cracking wise to the citizenry shielded by a dozen cops.

Becca begrudgingly agreed to meet with the community and showed up dressing like a skank in cut off shorts showing her pockets in homage to white trailer trash and mouthed off to the community yet again and accusing them of having no sense of humor and also lying that those marks were left over from a deli fridge that was affixed to the infamous wall.

Becca’s repulsive behavior and eatery is another example of co-opting or appropriating (stealing) from past cultures. Another example is another like minded slag, Laura Jones also in her 30’s and from Canada, who turned a 2 family house she rented in Averne on Rockaway Beach into an illegal hostel that she operated from her Airbnb account, that she initially named the Hostile Hotel with rooms named after Ike Turner and Chris Brown and names like “wife beater bungalow”, “whore house” and “gang violence”. After reports of this circulated, she dropped the awful names but still continued to operate and profit from the area for 3 years until she got forcibly stopped by the Department Of Buildings for fire safety and crowding violations and dropped by Airbnb for her illegitimate business. Ms. Jones has since high-tailed it from the Rockaways, leaving some her tenants on the street and unable to retrieve their belongings.

(Although unrelated to these half-wits from the Great White North, there is bar in Ridgewood, Queens actually called the Bad Old Days run by 2 other dumb girls in their 30’s).

The uncanny resemblance between these 2 douchehags is that they are using the bad old days of their neighborhoods’ history, which still has consistent crime though marginally less than in the past, of misery, city neglect, poverty and blight to promote themselves and their businesses, the distinction being that Laura dropped the names right away after being exposed but still got enough attention to get bookings. Becca though is trying to be the Angela Davis of tone-deaf clueless, entitled hipster chicks by refusing to consider her neighbors reactions to her insulting display. And she left the community hearing defiantly declaring that the bullet holes will remain. Maybe she feels emboldened because of the proven city enabled gentrification creep of the area and thinks that all those protesting will be gone soon.

The thing is, if Becca is not careful, she might get new authentic additions to her aesthetic feature. Because a few days later 3 men were hit and wounded from a hail of gunfire inside a chicken wing joint around 7:30 p.m. just blocks from Summerhill. It turned out that a customer saw the shooter and tried to block the door on him to no avail and the gunman chased him into the kitchen and started firing aimlessly, wounding two employees there. To compound the awfulness of this incident, a woman running for city council has campaign office steps away from there. So far there is no statement from restaurant management that they will use the bullet holes from the gunfire inside to advertise their establishment on Instagram.

So Becca better stop being a repulsive douchehag and respect the feelings and frustrations of all those who were there before her and her patrons and the next wave of citizens that will arrive, which will also include a glut of homeless people with the opening of 2 new shelters to go with the bunch already there. It’s called co-existence, Becca, which you should heed considering the good fortune you have in opening up a business as an independent woman and a customer base that’s dumb enough to spend 10 bucks on a sandwich, 12 bucks on a drink and thousands to live in a closet. Besides, Becca, you already got the attention and money you wanted by relying on notoriety, so plaster those stupid ugly holes. Hell, if you want to really pay tribute to the town’s past, cover it with a poster of the greatest rapper to ever come from Brooklyn.

Until then, don’t whine about people protesting and hide behind the cops while talking trash (and what the fuck is wrong with that precinct, sending that many cops there?). You’re not funny and have no sense of what satire or parody is. Oh, and be very aware of your surroundings and considerate of your new neighbors.

Also in Crown Heights Becca, 3 men surrounded a 30-year-old woman behind a building and they all sexually molested her. See, even without bullets, crime is not funny.

In East Flatbush, human remains were found in a sewer under a hospital by construction workers.

Also in East Flatbush, a 16-year-old girl riding her bike got run over by a SUV in another hit-and-run.

On the 5 train arriving at the Beverly Road station in East Flatbush, a man jammed a knife into the leg of another passenger and ran off when it stopped at the station.

In Clinton Hill, a crazed passenger yelling at other passengers spat on and assaulted a bus driver after she tried to get him out.

In Canarsie, a gang of thieves held up a laundromat and later a bookstore, punching the clerk as he was closing the shop and robbing it of $11,500 of cash and lottery tickets.

In Bushwick, a man who got into a fight at an apartment an art gallery, died later resulting from a cracked skull.

In Cypress Hills, a man attacked and repeatedly slashed two men with a knife on the street at 6:10 p.m.

In DUMB(O), a man committed suicide and died jumping off the Manhattan Bridge and landing under it.

In the Brooklyn Courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn, a court cop sexually harassed a woman who was waiting for her boyfriend to post bail.

In Brownsville, 4 male teens sprayed  toxic liquid at employees and shoplifted boxes of toothpaste and air fresheners from a dollar store.

In Sheepshead Bay, a 6 year-old-boy ran into the street and got hit by a car.

In Bed-Stuy, a private garbage hauling company truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and collided into and destroyed 13 parked cars.

Also in Bed-Stuy, a man punched a gay man in the face and broke his jaw when he was trying to break up a fight.

In Fort Hamilton, a woman died from a fire in her apartment.

Manhattan

Under the bridges on the Lower East Side, a man stabbed two people he was getting drunk with after an argument.

On the Upper East Side, a gang is wanted rushing into 3 athletic stores and robbing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Also in the Upper East Side, a woman speeding up Park Avenue in her sedan collided into an SUV ahead of her and wound up with critical injuries.

Again on the Upper East Side, a luxury building elevator fire injured 3 workers.

On the Upper West Side, a door on a church and synogogue was defaced with a swastika.

Also on the Upper West Side, a woman got killed falling from her window at an apartment building on West End Ave.

In East Harlem, a 13 year old boy got killed when he ran into the street and got hit by a SUV after running from a man chasing him who accused him of throwing a bottle at his vehicle.

In the park at Union Square at 3:30 a.m., a man got stabbed over an argument with others over a chess game.

Also in Union Square, on the stairs inside the train station, two women started fighting when they bumped into each other, leading to one of them pulling out a bottle and bashing it over her opponent’s head.

At the 2nd Avenue station platform in the East Village, a woman was pushed onto the tracks by a man who specifically told her he was going to push her.

Also in the East Village, a woman undressing herself with the window opened was being watched across the way by a man taking photos of her.

In Chelsea, a 21-year-old woman assaulted 2 workers at a pizzeria after they tried to kick her out for being a nuisance.

At Penn Station, 7 people smoking the disgusting and dangerous fake marijuana K-2 got sickened and sent to the hospital.

At the 51st station in Midtown, a man grabbed a woman’s ass as he walked out, and an elderly man who invited two slutty women to his room at the Loews Hotel was robbed by them of his $13,000 watch and $3,000 in cash.

Also in Midtown at 1:20 p.m., a tourist was held up for $50 when a man went up to him and threatened to cut his throat.

In Harlem, a BBQ party on the sidewalk ended abruptly when a police officer pour a gallon of water on the grill to douse the fire.

At the Canal St. station in Chinatown, a man attempted suicide jumping in front of an approaching 6 train

By the Statue Of Liberty around 10 p.m., a man committed suicide after jumping off the Staten Island Ferry.

At a luxury apartment building in Times Square, a man was attacked and mauled by a pit bull over a drug dispute (not with the dog, with some other guy) and the assumption that the victim was a robot.

At the Broadway-Lafayette station in Soho, a woman climbed the girders above the tracks in a attempt at suicide and was stopped by a concerned samaritan who talked her out of it.

In Inwood, a dead man’s body was floating by a waterfront restaurant on the Hudson River.

At the Port Authority bus terminal by Times Square, a homeless woman panhandling for change pulled out a 13 inch kitchen knife at a man who wouldn’t give her money and was threatening commuters throughout the station

Bronx

In Mount Eden, a barber defending himself was shot at by 2 men who robbed the shop of cash and his jewelry.

In Eastchester, a woman lost control of her SUV and died when it smashed into parked cars.

In Morissania, a man got killed in a drive-by shooting at 2:00 a.m.

Also in Morrisania, a man, stalked then choked and molested a 74-year-old woman in an elevator

At a cemetery in Woodlawn, 6 caskets were removed from a mausoleum and placed in a row on the ground.

In University Heights, a man walking home was nearly killed when got hit by an errant bullet from four shots fired.

At the Monroe Houses in Soundview, a NYCHA inspector was threatened by a woman who demanded quicker service improvements. There will probably be more of these in the next few months.

In Norwood, a man shot himself in his car after a scuffle with a drug dealer initially  claimed a robber did it

On the 4 train line at the 149th street station in Mott Haven, a woman attempted suicide by jumping in front of an arriving train.

Queens

In Sunnyside, tenants are mortified when a man in a Donald Trump mask affixed stickers of the President Figurehead fascist sympathizer on the elevator.

In Jamaica, a man in drag tried to pull a hit on a group of men on the street and wound up getting shot himself and died from his wounds later at Jamaica Hospital.

Also in Jamaica, a man was shot at on the street in a drive-by from a black vehicle at 9:30 p.m.

In Pomonauk, a man confronted a girl with a knife demanding her cellphone then slashed her leg when she refused to give it up.

Queens Slashing Suspect

In Flushing, a masseur attacked his coworker over a stolen customer with a metal mug and punched him repeatedly.

In Richmond Hill, a homeless man was killed when he was dragged by a vehicle and then was assaulted by the driver and passenger that leveled his damaged body with kicks and punches.

In Woodside, a man accosted a woman on the street and claimed to have a gun and attempted to rape her.

In Astoria, a man robbed a citibank branch as it just opened it’s doors.

On the Clearview Expressway in Auburndale, a man ran out on the highway and got killed by a tractor-trailer.

On Rikers Island, 30 prisoners from various gangs had their sentences extended after continuing to brutalize and terrorize other inmates.

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Conway Twitty, Big Daddy Kane

 

 

 

The Gentrification Of A Beach And Federal Park Part II And III: It’s Failure And The Ludicrous New Effort

493The screen and seating areas. Pathetic.

Riis Park, Gateway National Park, Rockaway Beach, Queens, N.Y., U.S.A.

Here is part one

Rockaway Beach, the biggest beach in the greater N.Y. area and arguably the east coast, immortalized in song, and thanks to moneyed interests whom are persistent, oblivious and crass, ripe for picking.

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There they go and went again. This is second year in a row that the Central Park Conservancy, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rockaway Artists Alliance attempt to remake/remodel a beach for the bogus rationale of having a movie night in a park, a gimmick that has seen widespread popularity in the past few years in parks in this city and other major cities across the country. The reason for this alleged philanthropy is to bring vibrancy, diversity and revitalization to the beach, which was rocked by Hurricane Sandy 6 years ago wherein this particular spot was used as a landfill for all the debris and damage from the devastating fires of Breezy Point and the destruction of half of the original boardwalk eastward.

Riis Park, known as the “people’s beach”, designed by the notorious city planner, architect and segregator Robert Moses, is mostly visited by Blacks, Hispanics (ranging from various nations), even Russians and gay people (the gay community has a long history with this beach). It is still, as it always was, visited by millions of people of all races and nationalities. The need for diversity and vibrancy is in fact, moot and redundant.

Here was the turnout of their “film festival”, which consisted of one movie,”School Of Rock”.

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Less than hundred people sat down on the dirty sand for 2 hours to watch a movie on what looks like a giant raft or the bottom severed off a bouncy castle, which are tied down with cables and looks a bit perilous. The audio was horrible because of the consistent gale force winds which should be expected since it’s by a town known as the aforementioned Breezy Point.

Meanwhile by the bazaar, the restaurant was shut down and all the attractions bailed out leaving the boardwalk bare except for a makeshift stand taking donations for the former mayor’s philanthropic organization who along with the brass at Gateway thought this was a smashing idea again. This time with lower turnout than last year.

This festival is happening in congruence with the daily beach bazaar going on by the parks toilets, which is being run by some perpetually failing event planners and promoters from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, after their original space shut down, were awarded a 3 year contract from the National Parks Service promoted by a semi-major local newsblog who are friends of theirs, to bring what one of the organizers claimed, to bring “Brooklyn” to Queens (not that condescending or insulting, but they are invading hipsters, and as the record shows, useful idiots for gentrification).

Although one concession stand did remain open and was just as vibrant, although in competition with the RAA, Bloomberg’s and the Central Park Conservancy’s second vain and sad attempt to revitalize the beach. And it was the beach bazaar’s star chef Whitley Aycock. While the movie was running, Mr. Aycock was blasting music from his stand and drowning out the audio from the movie as if the wind wasn’t enough. And continued to do so in spite of complaints from visitors and park management.

The following week at the bazaar, Whitty was blasting some music that was quite vulgar that offended passerby. When one person requested that he maybe should play something else, Whitty proceeded to pump up the volume out of spite, leading him to get ejected by the folks of Gateway and begrudgingly his Riis Park Bazaar admirers, for the rationale that it was a “family beach”.

Well, they should have thought of that before the folks they awarded that contract to who then decided to hire this guy to run his concession stand of overpriced and little pizza pies to begin with. Mr Aycock has been wreaking havoc for a few years running a joint with a hedge funder in Rockaway Park and at the now shuttered Playland Inn.  After trying to run a conventional pizzeria, he started yelling at customers, mostly the area black kids from the neighborhood and changed his format to whole pies at upscale prices, and continued to be a cantankerous sore to his new clientele which had a pervasive influence on his equally surly and pompous staff. As time went on, and a few more hipster themed barstaurants opened up, Aycock became quite the habitual criminal. He grew pot inside his restaurant, which drew attention of the police station 2 blocks away, and tried to convince/fool two patrolmen that it was just herbs for his overpriced dining fare and wound up getting arrested. Reportedly, the staff and some customers came to his defense by actually getting physical and obscenely yelling at the cops as they were frogmarching his ass out the door. Imagine if that happened at a restaurant with Black or Spanish people.

Things continued to get worse, since being a flaming diarrhetic asshole does not make for good business acumen and his investors attempts at gentrification with their arty hotel did not get any patrons except for homeless people for a little while, his pizza place shut down, leaving him temporary no place to create his revolutionary pies. The day he closed, he left a message for the fine folks in the community who just couldn’t appreciate his talent nor his putrid existence.

 

A few days later, Aycock showed up at his former digs with a forklift and was busted breaking and entering into his old restaurant trying to steal the oven by destroying the wall in the back of the building. Then he had the nerve to sue the proprietor by claiming ownership of the oven.

After this recidivist juvenile delinquent behavior, which would have landed anyone else in Rikers, he was approached by  Gateway and the Riis Park Beach bozos and was contracted to cook for the bazaar and open his new place, despite the fact that it was October and the event was supposed to end at the official end of summer. But Gateway decided to let it continue through the cold seasons and early spring with this menace working in their kitchen working aside a ridiculous craft beer and cocktail bar beside them. These creative types were basically given a place to hang out for almost a year despite making no business or money for the park and beach. A veritable tax payer funded social club.

The Riis Park Bazaar is a big colossal joke and a failure. It does get patrons, the dopes who wait on line for food that are quite ubiquitous in the now tony parts of Brooklyn but not enough to truly influence a massive dramatic change in scenery and demographics. And the performances they have there is barely audible because of, well the friggin’ wind makes the acoustics there lousy.

Mostly and historically, the majority of people that go to Riis bring their own food, beverages and entertainment. Mostly, nobody gives a damn about this bazaar, and are clearly not intimidated by it. And the set up of this is clearly seen as an obvious farce and the ruse that it is.

So much for bringing “Brooklyn” to Queens. Mostly, so much for a pathetic lame attempt bringing the gilded age, disposable income, frivolous spending, obnoxious, entitled hipster lifestyle to spread across the beach in the hopes of turning it into the Hamptons with a more convenient commute.

But apparently, the national parks service to privatize parkland and beaches is not over. Now there is a new and preposterously dumber and scarily more powerful invader. Starting today, Gateway now will like to present the new vibrant movement for superfluous revitalization-“Glamping”.

Yes, Fort Tilden, which for the past 3 years has been inundated with the hipster demographic they prefer whose access to the beach as been aided by extended and shockingly consistent bus service from the gentrified nabes of Brooklyn and burgeoning gentrifying nabes in northwest Queens with the Q35 and now with the new ferries in an area not even disclosed by Gateway or even on the organizers bland website for the money pissing bargain of $200 or $250 dollars a night, you can rent a tent on the sand with encroaching and unpredictable tides and sleep in a queen size bed with rugs and furniture. Amenities include continental breakfast, campfires, use of bicycles, actual butler service and s’mores.

This is not only insane, no, this is only insane. And lookie here, some of these sponsors have actually done event work in the Hamptons.

I have a line for the existence and the mental malaise and utter willful insensitivity that inspires this creativity and that is “this is why Trump is president”. It takes some new significance considering that he dedicated his presidential salary to the national parks dept. which are dwarfed by the looming cuts in next year’s fiscal budget. Although to be fair, this glamping thing has apparently been going on for a while, even under Figurehead Obama. So chalk up another lame contribution and rotten asset from the former first black president.

While this is going on, how are they going to secure the grounds? Will extra security in the form of state police and park rangers be deployed there as personal security or will these event planning assholes have their own security contractors? Especially since the “guests” will be there all night. What about lifeguards, which are already understaffed throughout the Rockaways?

And of course, there is the major concern about the forces of nature. As mentioned before, this is the windiest part of the beach and the waters here are hazardous even during the day.

Being that it will be there for a month, who knows what will happen and what kind of environment it will be for other visitors to Fort Tilden or even east at Riis. But this concept is so ludicrous and so similar to criminal abomination of the Frye Festival that it’s destined to fail as well. But the fact that money and effort is being spent like this to change the outlook of a public beach is just horrendous, immature and spiteful.

I guess the natural gas pipeline that was dropped into the ocean a few years ago is not paying any dividends, for it was actually the only new infrastructure that was installed in the last few years. And the classic bathhouses and former diner and lodge on the Riis boardwalk has not got any buyers yet and is now basically a piss room for people waiting for the bus to arrive.

This is just another sign of the times. It’s the bastardization of doing something normal and routine like enjoying a day at the beach and trying to make a gross profit from it and trying to disenfranchise people of that vibe. There is really no need for these entrepreneurs or “creators” and “makers” as they lamely think of themselves. For they are not contributing anything to these locations and are forcing these lifestyles on people. Especially the motherfucking sponsors of terraglamping, one of many heinous portmanteaus foisted on this revolting zeitgeist from the sharing economy. These people continue to get rejected, mocked and reviled by the citizenry and they still persist.

The message can’t be more transparent, they need to get the fuck out for the good of society and humankind.