Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week in Grieview

A busy week ... thanks to everyone for all the lively comments...

We had news of a new burger place coming to Second Street (Monday)

Kenny Scharf's mural was bombed (Tuesday) and cleaned (Wednesday)

We reported that Acme Bar & Grill abruptly closed (Tuesday) before hearing that the owner suddenly changed his mind (Tuesday)

We looked at a penthouse duplex connected by a stainless-steel slide (Thursday)

A lot of cops showed up to apprehend someone who tagged Angels & Kings (Thursday)

We found out about changes coming to Cienfuegos (Friday)

A ressident told us about life at the renovated 325 E. 10th St. (Wednesday)

Tagging Joe Strummer (Thursday)

We found out about the "hipster trap" (Monday)

The CB3/SLA rejected application for a new Avenue A music venue (Monday)

A resident took offense to the "Hot Chicks Room" sign at the UCB (Monday) ... and the UCB agreed to remove the sign (Wednesday)

On that topic... here's the WPIX news item on the matter...



Anonymous said...

another week in Stetzerville.

When's the U.N. coalition going to step in with no-petition zones and targeted air strikes on E 3rd and A?

Our reason, good taste, good sense, and basic property rights are being slaughtered over here. Susan Stetzer's got to go!

Cookiepuss said...

"bring the neighborhood up" ? How much more can we rise. Avenue A is the biggest shit-show ever to hit the EV. The sidewalks and streets are flooded with drunken idiots day and night. Not only do people walk in the street, the car traffic is insane and really dangerous with busses, taxis, sports-cars and limos. Years ago people who lived here, came here to get away from the mainstream. It was the underground. The people who are here now are not the counter-culture. The problem though, is that they think they are. Way cool. The EV is the entertainment capitol of the world and there are a lot of people both old and new who are capitalizing off of it. Once Spring comes it will be like Saint Patrick's Day at Time's Square day and night around here. This comedy club is going to dump a herd of people in this area. It has two bars and a door on A and another on the side street.

Today there was another accident on Avenue A. A Cadillac Escalade backed up and hit an older woman. She fell backwards landing on her back. She said she broke her arm. I hope that she only broke her arm.

Anonymous said...

Why would that dumb lady from NJ or whatever be interviewed? "There's no church around" NUMBNUTS there's one literally halfway down that block - not to mention as others have noted multiple times that the biggest issue with the sign was not people being "offended" in that way.

Her second statement, where she uses the word "literally" for some reason, doesn't make sense either. Oh well. That's news these days.

Anonymous said...

I love how the neighborhood activist shitforbrainses don't realize how full-tilt dumbass they look in this sign "controversy."

why would they? everybody else is the problem, right?

Thanks Susan Stetzer for bruising our world renowned reputation for open-mindedness and culture with another silly crusade.

Anonymous said...

I was walking up avenue a yesterday, late afternoon early evening- there was a commotion in front of the sustainable store. A woman was laying flat on her backin the street and there was a car next to her. They were just calling for an ambulance then. When i saw that there was no blood I left the scene. Hope everything is ok.
Avenue A is so narrow and there are so many people. I find I often walk in the street to get around crowds. I always walk in the street between 10th and 11th on weekends because of the Diablo and Westville brunch crowd. Also i would like to add delivery trucks, bicycles skatebosrds and what ever else to the street traffic. People lugging luggage too.

glamma said...

these horrible yuppies are constantly banging into senior citizens in our neighborhood and never even say i'm sorry or excuse me. i see it all day every day. its just absolutely atrocious. "ME FIRST ME FIRST ME FIRST..." monstrous brats

Anonymous said...

Who will defend Susan Stetzer on these pages?

She works tirelessly for her own agenda while being a paid employee of the city and the community. Susan never shies away from utilizing the tools of her office to rid the neighborhood of things she and her friends dislike (or are confused by).

We owe her!

Jill said...

Note: I am responding to the anonymous comments as if they were all one person; I can't distinguish between them.

I will stand up about Stetzer because I think the complaints about her here are not based on actual knowledge of her job. She works 7 days a week, 12 hours a day on community issues. Not an exaggeration. If you disagree with “her,” it is YOUR community board, and you have every right to come to meetings, write letters, speak up about your passion. That will change things.

She stood up about the sign because people complained about it. Her job is to resolve complaints from the community. Unfortunately, she hears mostly complaints, not compliments, so it does make the whole thing unbalanced. As the face of YOUR community board, how is she supposed to represent the views of the people if you don't make your views heard except on a blog?

What you aren't considering is that she does NOT have a vote for on the Community Board so I find her influence limited. She does get more floor time to talk when it is her issue, and I agree that it isn't fair, but the votes on her issues have been consistent with other votes not on her issues.

She may be the face of the CB, but if you don't like their decisions, there are a dozen people on each committee who vote what they want, not what she wants. If you don't like the votes, you should be targeting the committees. Contact your city council member or Stringer who appoints them. Rally supporters around your issue and make your voice heard.

While Susan represents her neighbors in the direct area she lives, it comes up pretty infrequently, and she has the right to organize her neighbors like anybody else, and speak as a resident. If you think that's inappropriate then you should lobby to have someone in her position who doesn't live in the neighborhood. Build a real case, based on real facts where you see something wrong and illegal, and you will get support. I will support you.

However, if she doesn't know what it is you want, it is unfair to use her as a scapegoat. She didn't make the petition or the 311 calls, that was a resident, who, like you, has the right to petition for whatever stupid thing they want. She didn’t turn it into an issue, this blog did (I’m blaming the media!) How about starting a petition to get the old sign back! That would be great blog fodder.

For the record, I don't care one way or other about the sign, but I love discourse with passion, even if I don't care about the topic. That you think it's not worth talking about suggests that people should not speak their minds and that you should be the arbiter of what gets reported. Your argument is that you hate the argument.

I think the debate would be far more interesting without personal insults but instead with convincing counter arguments. Most people are susceptible to good reasoning, not insults.

It is ironic that you are worried about our "world renowned reputation" about a sign, but not that the actual current reputation is as a place to get drunk as fast and as often as possible, which has inarguably replaced the culture and artistic excitement we used to be known for. There is little vestige of that left – an entirely different debate than space permits here.

Everybody has the right to their opinion, but to say that talking about the opinion is a waste of time, is a deflection. Instead of complaining on a blog, get off your computer and stand up for what you want this neighborhood to be, and make it happen. If you care about the future of this neighborhood then it is, IMHO, your responsibility to take action where it matters - at the community board or the precinct meetings or to your elected official.

Anonymous said...

Well Jill, in Susan's line of work it is a major flaw to be as bad as she is at remembering complaints come louder than praise, and far louder than the sound of contented citizens.

Susan presumes that anyone kvetching to her about things they dislike represents the community at large. Anyone on the outside knows that those people do not represent the majority, or even a substantial sampling of the neighborhood opinion.

But what makes Susan Stetzer unacceptable in her position as District Manager is what she does with those cry-wolf complaints she receives. Susan takes it upon herself to treat an undo amount of her friends' complaints as "issues" that are her responsibility to act on. She uses the tools of her office to oppose local businesses based solely on 2nd hand complaints, usually issues of taste, and she's not above getting the word out or encouraging a phone tree to get her activist friends working on this petition or another.

Worse, all of her decisions to support or oppose neighborhood "issues" (neither of which is in her job description) are fueled by naive misunderstandings of her complainers' motivations, and of the issues at hand. This was plainly evident in the last week, when she jumped onto the anti-"hot chicks room" bandwagon, forwarding emails for days, doing building code research to hinder the new business, and finally smacking down slightly crumpled color printouts of pics of the sign onto the community board liquor committee's table like a zealot.

Apparently, emailers and callers had convinced Susan that the UCB theater was going to be some sort of fratboy mecca, and this sign would attract them like flies to shit. Nevermind that no fratboy worth his "woohoo!" would be caught dead in anything called a "theater," or that the sign was a harmless in joke from one of the troupe's comedy pieces. Susan didn't let her ignorance stop her from using all of the tools at her disposal as a paid public employee to service her cause of the week.

I wish I could say this is just one incident, but unfortunately Susan has a new crusade every time you turn around. There's no place for bias in her position.

Susan Stetzer is wrong for District Manager, and wrong for the East Village. She should resign.

Jill said...

Anon-I think I know who you are and am wondering why you stopped using your name and started posting anonymously?

I'm not sure how you, or any of us, know what is the majority opinion on any particular subject. And if we went by majority opinion, we would be living by the standards of NYU students, who seem to have become the majority of residents in the East Village. And Al Gore would have been president :)

And seriously, why care so much about this stupid sign? Your contention whether people like the sign or not is based on what, the comments on this blog? That is just as disengenous as saying Susan's response is based on the complaints she receives... either could be right or wrong. Plus, talk about proportion - do you really believe she spent much time on the sign? I'd guess 5 minutes, yet you think it's enough for her to resign over? She spent weeks forwarding emails? To who? Because you disagree with her position on a sign? Something that impacts nobody's lives at all?

Yes she was opposed to a new license on the block where she lives, like many people are. The DOB research she did can be done by any citizen. I have done similar research on buildings near where I live for the same reason. She does it all the time in relation to licenses, for the applicants as well as for opponents. I'm not sure why her opposition to a license, like her neighbors who came to the meeting, should be held against her professional position. I do believe she has the right to act as a citizen while holding her job.

She rarely to never speaks against a license in any area other than where she lives, but if asked, she will assist with the kind of research she did about building codes or FOIL requests--for applicants as well as opponents.

I have seen similar issues come up about building codes fairly often in these meetings, so it isn't unusual or weird to have done that research. Usually opponents don't talk about it, though, the Committee often has the information already.

But I repeat, she has no vote and therefore does not make policy or approve or deny anything. Nothing. It seems to me that your real problem is with the CB3 members who you feel give her undeserved attention to certain issues.

You have a personal vendetta against her. Yet when you had the opportunity to fight for what you thought was a wrong policy, you claimed "it was a done deal" and didn't show up or bring people together to repel the action you opposed. I was ready to stand with you on that.

The behavior you are describing could be applied to many members of the Community Board... as far as what I've seen over there. It's very clubby. However, they would very much disagree with me, but from what I've seen, in reality the community board's influence is limited as another voice in the political shouting. They see victories the same as politicians, in small increments.

They can approve a block party, that one is for sure. Other than that, they make recommendations, and sometimes the agencies listen, and other times they don't. They can deny a license, and Rosie Mendez can show up at the SLA and just by her being there, it will get approved, despite the CB3 recomemndation to deny.

There is a lot wrong with the Community Board, but there is a lot wrong with the Department of Buildings, DHCR, DCA, 9th Precinct and other government agencies.

And lastly, I'm going to bet that the Hartman plan gets approved once they get Damadian out of the picture. It appeared to me that was the primary reason it wasn't approved, not Susan's opposition. The sign is a red herring having nothing to do with anything that matters.