Open Thread Wednesday 7/22/09

BHB Photo Club pic by jpater via Flickr

What’s on your mind – Brooklyn Heights!? Comment away!

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  • Hello Brooklyn

    Jimbo pointed this out in an earlier thread – what’s up with the loss of the two parking spots on Henry @ Cranberry between the two curb cuts? Its now marked no standing from curb cut to curb cut. Like we need less on street parking in the neighborhood.

  • Shakedown Street

    Yo, Jimbo/Hello. I was also screwed by this ridiculous development. I parked in a legal spot at 6:15 on Monday, only to discover my car towed that evening. If anyone witnessed the sign installation, please email me on wallard (at) yahoo DOT com. $115 ticket + $185 tow. Unbelievable.

  • Tom S

    I was wondering about the building on the NE corner of Remsen and Clinton. In the spring, a piece of facade fell off of the building. A sidewalk shed was hastily put up, but since then absolutely no repairs have been performed. The facade is still missing, the building’s interior been exposed to the weather for six months, meaning that additional damage has been done, and more concrete panels will be falling off soon.

  • peppermint

    i am so annoyed that our neighborhood is clean, safe and picturesque. it is totally not cool!

  • Jazz

    Welcome back peppermint you are so refreshing!

  • Shakedown Street

    Keyboard got away from me above. email is wallardus (at) yahoo DOT com

  • alex

    I have family coming in for the weekend and want to take them to Noodle Pudding for dinner Saturday night. How long would you guess the wait to be for a party of 5? Any tips on the best time to go?

  • AEB

    Alex, perhaps this is just the thing you don’t want to bother with, but I’d give them a call and ask.

    My experience there is that the earlier one goes, the better chance of getting seated without a long wait–and particularly on a Sat….

  • Homer Fink

    Feel free to pile onto the conversation at CHB about Brooklyn’s Best French Fries:

  • PS8er

    For a table of 5 at NP, I wouldn’t go after 6:30 or you will wait for a while.

  • PS 8 parent

    Any suggestions for where to take a 3-year-old Macbook for a tuneup? It’s out of warranty, running so slowly. Thanks!

  • Homer Fink

    Mikey’s HookUp in DUMBO has been good to me… so far. Tell ’em we sent you.

  • benita berman

    I think you can still take your macbook to the apple store for a tune-up even if your applecare has expired. I think you can pay for a tune-up or you can purchase Pro Care fpr $100.00 which entitles you to a yearly tune-up for up to three computers.

  • Deus

    Tekserve is all about the mac. have heard good things about Mikey’s HookUp as well.

  • ME

    INFERNAL CHIRPING SOUND polluting neighborhood

    What on earth is that chirp ringing out every 10 seconds around Clark and Henry? It is reminiscent of a low-battery signal from a smoke or CO detector but is SO MUCH LOUDER. It has been going on for DAYS. Every 10 seconds – BEEP – BEEP – BEEP, polluting two square blocks with a pulsing, piercing BEEP! BEEP!

    It is loudest when listening from above the ground floor. Clearly it’s coming from an upper floor of a building. The St. George is the closest likely source I can identify. Therefore many people are closer to the source than I. So why havent’ those closest to it, those most affected by it, done something about it? For gods’ sake

  • Clarksy

    I, too, am being driven slowly mad by the infernal chirping sound near Clark and Henry. Can’t figure out what is causing it or where it’s coming from, exactly. All I can think to do is call 311 to complain. Or pray that the battery/power source finally dies out.

  • north heights res

    Haven’t heard it, but it sounds like a smoke detector with a dead battery.

  • bornhere

    Joralemon and Henry has its own “chirping” annoyance (of course, the trucks convoying down Henry periodically drown out the sound). It doesn’t bother me enough to call 311 (I’m not sure who would be asked to respond to correct it), but I agree with ME that it must really drive closer neighbors out of their minds.

  • ME

    Another time I called 311 to report a noise whose source I could not trace. Because of the unidentified cause, I had to fight with 311 (more accurately, go ballistic on them) to get them to file a report with DEP; I had to spell out the obvious solution to the problem of the unknown cause: have DEP call ME instead of inspect a location; then I could direct inspectors to the symptom, if not the reason. After years of unfortunate encounters with belligerent, incompentent 311 operators, I’ve concluded that 311’s charge is to prevent citizens from obtaining city services. But I digress.

    I just had the precinct at Gold St. send a couple of officers in a car and I met them at the corner of Clark & Henry. I thought the officer would be willing to get out of the car and try to trace the source. Not that he could have better than anyone else, but I thought a public problem would merit attention from a public officer. Well, he wasn’t willing to help with that. He pointed out that if the source inside an apartment or home the police would be helpless to do anything anyway. So, the cops can’t help.

    I guess tomorrow it’s call and fight with someone at 311 for a DEP inspector. If that doesn’t work, it’s Yassky’s constituent services.

    Notice the pattern, though? This is a public nuisance, affecting hundreds of people. The agencies whose purpose is to serve the public, solve citizens’ problems, especially collective problems, can’t lift a finger to dispatch that mission.

    bornhere: I’m skeptical that your “chirping” problem rivals this in magnitude. This is an every-ten-second shriek that is impossible to ignore.

  • ME

    Two more things: 1. sorry about the unedited soup in my first paragraph above; 2. I don’t mean to malign the precinct or any of its members; I have always found them very community-minded, efficient, and helpful

  • seriously

    I farted the other day on the street. It smelled really, really bad. I called 311 in order to file a complaint against the restaurant I had eaten at for feeding me beans and garlic, but they acutally had the balls to refuse to help me. Where do I go from here? Police? Departmet of Health? Mayors office? Any suggestions?

  • ME

    seriously – Yes, I understand your point, because your example, where you ate something and experienced an unfortunate bodily reaction, is EXACTLY LIKE the problem we’re describing, where a noise is ringing out loudly over an entire neighborhood and disrupting the lives of hundreds of people. I mean, you really nailed it, man.

    Um, not quite. Next time if you want to make a point, try bolstering it with a better analogue than that.

    Here’s a suggestion: look up the words “public” and “private” in a dictionary, and think about how that modifier applies to the word “problem”. Maybe you’ll come up with a better parable.

  • seriously

    Well, if I annoy enough people with my bodily reactions its gonna turn from a private to a public matter. I am also concerned if I good bad beans at that restaurant it could affect other people as well.

    I walk past Henry and Clark several times a day and I do not hear it. Either I am deaf or it is those low flying international planes again that are flying over the hood again. Let me call 311 about it.

  • Monty

    @seriously, I used to work for 311 maintaining the system used to maintain the list of available services for each agency. Most call center reps (CCRs) don’t know anything beyond what is on their computer screens. Most are very young. They are not authorized to give advice beyond what is on their screen. Transfers to agency-specific call centers can only be done when you state a problem that specifically warrants a transfer according to the computer. If you wanted DEP to solve the problem, you can just call DEP which has experts available.

  • ME

    monty -sorry sir, but you’re just wrong on the facts. I can call and talk with DEP any time I want, about anything I want, but the ONLY way a citizen can file a complaint and get an inspector is through 311. DEP can rap, chatter, and shoot the breeze with you all you like, but those conversations won’t solve your problem. To solve the problem, personnel have to come to the site, but the bureau offices DO NOT DISPATCH INSPECTORS or other personnel WITHOUT a formal complaint which MUST go through 311. So, it’s a nice fictional world you’ve sketched there…but it doesn’t exist! I’m guessing you moved away from the city 10 years ago and only recently returned, and still think that, heh, you can complain DIRECTLY to a city agency. No, you cannot. That’s just a fact. I think it’s a little quaint, even, that you imagine that you can call the DEP and pursuant to that conversation, they will come to your neighborhood and address your issue. No, it does not work that way. Seriously, were you out of town when the Bloomberg Admin instituted 311 and CENTRALIZED complaints? The POINT was that all the complaints in the city were to be centralized and that the whole decentralized agency-by-agency response system was to be abandoned. Of course, the EFFECT of this is to place a barrier of bureaucracy and miserable incompetence between citizens and the agencies that are supposed to serve them. But for you to say you can just “call DEP and they will solve your problem” suggests to me you’ve been Rip Van Winkling it up for some time. (To be fair, maybe you haven’t needed anything from the city.) If you could place your request directly through DEP, where would the problem be? Would we be even having this conversation? No, we wouldn’t. Do you think the city maintains a two-tier system where hoi polloi call 311 and get miserable, deficient service, but those in the know can circumvent all that and go right the agency of concern and have their issues addressed? Absolutely not. There is no such two-tier system.

    And anyway, you’ve proved my point beautifully. 311 operators, WHILE THEY ARE THE means by which citizens MUST request city services, do not know what they are doing. As you noted, the computerized knowledge base determines their actions, but no knowledge database can encompass every possible situation and since their actions aren’t informed with a whit of understanding about what city’s agencies are supposed to be doing or what sort of services they are supposed to be providing, the operators end up BLOCKING citizens’ access to services to which they are entitled. Their “system” lists possible complaints and issues in a finite, compartmentalized way, but god forbid a citizen’s problem doesn’t fit exactly inside one of those boxes!!! As you noted as well, they don’t know anything and can’t act unless directed by their computer. To that I would add, they lack the inferential skills to handle those situations adequately.

    Now, to hear some people tell it, this is fine. 311 operators can’t respond adequately to citizens’ complaints, but this isn’t a PROBLEM. It’s just the way it is! And if you don’t like it, YOU’RE the problem. But the purpose of the city and its agencies is to provide those services to which the 311 operators are effectively hindering one’s access!

  • nabeguy

    ME, you’re in jeopardy of drowning out the very noise you’re complaining about. I happen to live on Middagh Street, a good 4 blocks north of Clark, and I hear a sound very similar to the one you’re describing coming from the general direction of the south. Like you, I’ve experienced the maddening frustration of pinpointing its source, but after a while, I just blocked it out along with all the other ambient sounds that pervade the neighborhood (BQE hum, helicopter buzz, etc). Forget 311, try earplugs.

  • bornhere

    ME — Sorry, but you CAN e-mail DEP. Go to their website and click on “contact us.”
    I’m not sure what you wanted the police to do: it’s been plaguing you for how long and you can’t quite locate it; I can’t imagine the police, who are a bit specialized when it comes to being “public officers,” spending hours saying, “Over here? No, no. It’s over there? No, more like up there? Wait … shh, shh, I think it’s ….” Really.

  • bornhere
  • ME

    nabeguy, you’re four blocks north. I and (I gather) Clarksy are right across the street or on the same side of the street on the same block. You can’t even imagine what it’s like, how horrible it is, at close proximity. Permanent 24/7 use of earplugs – no, I’m sorry, no one has the right to impose that externality on me. Nor is it right for people to minimize or dismiss a problem they themselves are not experiencing.

    Clarksy – do you own property on Clark? The **whoosh** you hear is its value plummeting. Talk about externalities!

  • ME2

    nabeguy, you’re four blocks north. I and (I gather) Clarksy are right across the street or on the same side of the street on the same block. You can’t even imagine what it’s like, how horrible it is, at close proximity. Permanent 24/7 use of earplugs – no, I’m sorry, no one has the right to impose that externality on me. Nor is it right for people to minimize or dismiss a problem they themselves are not experiencing.

    Clarksy – do you own property on Clark? The **whoosh** you hear is its value plummeting. Talk about externalities!