Open Thread Wednesday 7/13/11

Flickr photo by Dr. Derek Mead

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • malanga es malanga

    Jeffrey J. Smith, I was wrong. And I apologize.

    I was quick to dismiss you as merely an angry fellow with an overactive caps lock button and a cultural sensitivity straight out of the Inquisition. But I was wrong. Because you are possibly the most interesting poster on this forum the past few months. You have started debates, defended your opinions, riled up the locals, and generally prodded people into thinking about the past and present of the Heights. And I have rather enjoyed it.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy kvetching about dog poop, alternate side parking, helicopters, and St. George kids as much as the next guy, but these complaints grow stale by the time the Open Thread is a day old. Yawn.

    But you, Mr. Smith, have inspired some rather meaty arguments that keep me entertained throughout the week. And that makes this blog an interesting place.

  • Michelle Thaler

    I want to complain about the sprinklers not being on at the Harry Chapin playground despite the rising temps… and how 311 keeps brushing me off when I call to make a complaint., and I have called several times!
    Anyone has any suggestions?

  • jim

    @Michelle – I have found it helpful in the past to call the Park’s Dept Brooklyn Borough Commissioner’s office (Kevein Jeffrey is the new borough commissioner) the general number is 718-965-8920. More info can be found at:

  • EHinBH

    311 is the worst — I dont know why it is lauded as such a great asset. I would like to complain about the Access-A-Ride vans. They sit and idle outside of my window and they are loud — not unlike the Fresh Direct trucks. I tried calling 311 and they directed me to the MTA. They have a complaint line, but they will not call the driver and ask him to move — eventhough it is illegal to idle in a no parking zone for more than two minutes. What’s worse is that a perfeclty healty woman and a five year old came strolling along and got on. Why are taxes paying for these people to take their grandchildren to camp?? I think AAR should be reserved for folks with medicare/caid that need a ride in an emergency. It should not be used as a taxi. And they say nothing can be cut from the budget. I could save this City billions in about an hour.

  • Dave

    Hi All! Just checking to see if anyone knows of a nice 2 BR with a washer/dryer in the heights that is available or will be soon and is good for me and my pregnant wife and soon-to-be daughter (yay!). If so, please let me know at Thanks!

  • Tom

    Anyone know what the police activity on Columbia Heights on Monday night/Tuesday morning around 1 am was about?

  • Alana

    Not in Brooklyn Heights but sad news nonetheless. Sad that any human being can do something so brutal to an innocent child.

  • Mickey

    Malanga: Are you feeding the trolls again?

  • Arch Stanton

    EHinBH, If you knew anything about trying to access city agencies before 311 you’d eat your words. 311 while not perfect, does work well for or information and most legitimate complaints. It is a huge improvement over the quagmire numbers and hours of time one had to deal with in the past trying to reach the right person… if one ever did.
    As for your assumption “a perfectly healthy woman and a five year old”. How do you know they were perfectly healthy are you a doctor, did you examine them? There are many kinds of disabilities, not every one involves a wheelchair. You truly put the “ASS” in assume.

  • Monty

    As a former employee of the agency that created 311, I can say that it does, in fact, work brilliantly at it’s main objective which is to centralize access to city agencies. It also streamlines the most common types of requests like potholes and noise complaints and allows the city to aggregate metrics on the most common issues faced by city residents. Otherwise, it’s just a conduit to the same old agencies who will resolve complaints just as quickly or slowly as they used to.

  • malanga es malanga

    Mickey~ Absolutely. And trying to jumpstart the Open Thread at the same time.

  • GHB

    Anybody hear anything about our schedule/timer at the Clark Street station? It used to work. Now it’s just a clock.

  • eg

    EHinBH: Before you start sounding off about A-A-R, you should know the facts. Everyone has to go through an extensive interview to get AAR privileges. You are allowed one companion. It can be used for all activities in the 5 boroughs. The drivers have all sorts of constraints as to where they can park to pick up passengers. They are not allowed to block traffic and must wait for people if they arrive early. Everyone is eligible who cannot use public transportation for whatever reason, Also you are not paying for it; it is paid for by both federal and MTA monies, based on a federal law, passed in 1996, giving access to the disabled.

  • Topham Beauclerk


    The vile Hasids again.

  • David on Middagh

    @Topham: And the vile goyim prey upon the nice goyim, in turn. What’s your point?

  • Dave

    Does anyone know who i can contact about apartments in 55 and 75 Poplar. I want to live there but i don’t want to deal with a broker. Thanks!

  • GHB

    Topham, Topham, Topham… I haven’t heard any of your miserable anti-semitic rants in quite a while. Can’t say that I missed them. Go back under your rock where you belong!

  • AEB

    The “point,” David is that Topham doesn’t like Jews, particularly of the orthodox sort.

    But you know that.

  • Mickey

    eg: To your last comment … where do the federal government and MTA get their money, if not from taxpayers?

  • El

    @GHB I too would like to know what happened to it. I noticed the 14th St clock wasn’t working either yesterday, but the 72nd St one was as of Mon night.

    @EH The woman or child could have a disease that’s not readily apparent that prevents them from walking / exerting themselves (easy to do in the heat we’ve been having lately!) It is for this same reason that I rein in the impulse to be annoyed when people get on the elevator for the 2nd floor because you never know.

    I’d say the answer to the noise issue is that the buses should just turn off their engines if they’re waiting for a while, but then people will complain that they’re illegally parking, so there really is no win-win solution!

  • Anonymouse

    Yes, Topham, those Hasids again. Every other psychotic child murderer I have ever read about has been a Hasid. How DO they get away with it? Must be a worldwide conspiracy.

  • PierrepontSkin

    @Topham, a child was murdered and found in pieces. No matter was race, religion, etc, I would wish that on no one. Bite your tongue and stop acting like scum.

  • GHB

    @El It’s been off a couple of weeks now. Others on the 2/3 line seem to be fine…

  • Topham Beauclerk


    I don’t dislike Jews, I dislike orthodoxies, especially of the religious kind and the Hasids are very orthodox. They’re an unpleasant-looking, exclusive people who seem to glory in their exclusiveness and indifference to the opinions of others. Such indifference is the whole point of their existence: God demands it, and the orthodox fancy they know what God wants.

    I can assure you, they would not rise to your defense if someone were to revile whatever affiliation you have. They just wouldn’t care.

  • Topham Beauclerk


    One of the rocks you may find me under is any BHA meeting. I’m a rather prominent member.

  • AEB

    (What I love about our posts is that we can, for example, revile antisemitism in relation to a tragically dismembered child and bitch about subway sign failure. Makes you believe in America. Or at least the BHB.)

  • GHB

    “They’re an unpleasant-looking, exclusive people who seem to glory in their exclusiveness and indifference to the opinions of others”
    No, Topham doesn’t dislike Jews. I’ve been reading reader responses to this story in both the Post and Daily News today. I couldn’t believe all the hatred and venom being spewed at the Jewish community. And this is New York!

  • Topham Beauclerk


    Naughty boy; the sentence you quoted described the Hasids, not all Jews.

  • Monty

    @Topham, I actually agree with you 100% about hasids and similar sects. That doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to make light of a dead child. Hasids can still be nice people which is more than I can say for you.

  • eg

    @Mickey – The 1996 American Disabilities Act has put in motion the creation on A-A-R, so that people with disabilities would not be confined to their homes. Therefore it’s funded in part by the Feds and the MTA (who collects fares from passengers). The drivers are taught to pick up people at their homes ,or as close as possible, which is why the can’t go around the block.

    All of you – have a heart and be glad you can function on your own and don’t need help.