Open Thread Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good Wednesday and Happy Open Thread Day. What’s got your fingers ready to roar across the keys? Comment away. (BHB Photo Club/Flickr: Quartley)

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  • lori

    Happy Wednesday! Looking forward to THE BHA’S THIRD ANNUAL BROOKLYN HEIGHTS DOG SHOW TAKING PLACE THIS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23RD AT 1 PM ON MONTAGUE STREET

  • Bloomy

    I know you are excited Lori, but no reason to yell. :)

  • bhres

    while i’m glad the OTB has left livingston street, i’m not super-thrilled with the new jail bond offices popping up all over the place. i know the jail-with-retail is open again, but having yet another bail bonds office bothers me. i’m not comfortable walking past WANTED posters. (and yes, i know that supposedly living near a jail is very safe.)

  • bornhere

    Am I the only one having “lag” problems with the BHB site? The “Nabe Chatter” no longer seems to reflect latest comments, and the individual topics no longer reflect the number of posts, often showing “0” when there are many. It’s as though some updating element has gone awry, This happens on both my home Mac and my work PC, so I don’t think it’s a platform issue.

  • Mr. Cad

    Can anyone recommend a caterer in the neighborhood? We are having a small but classy (hopefully) gathering in a few weeks and will need some help.

  • DrewB

    @ bornhere, I noticed that two. AS I post this the froont page says 0 comments, when there are actually 5 comments that have been up starting an 1:15 ago.

  • HenryLoL

    @Mr.Cad — L&H does a good job of catering – lots of options. Also — Dellarocco’s is FINALLY delivering. Very good — and very expensive… $42 including tip for specialty pizza and calzone. Worth it? Yes. Worth it every week? No.

  • bhres

    @cad – naturally delicious. ah-maz-ing.

  • Homer Fink

    @bornhere – we’ve been getting a lot of traffic lately so our cache time is longer than usual – comments are there, you just need to refresh page.

    When Qfwfq returns from his vacation on his home planet, he’ll reassess.

  • CB

    Can someone please recommend a reliable, affordable cleaning person?

  • Boerum Bill

    @ Cad, Fancy Girl Table is stupendously delicious and very eco-friendly with locally sourced food and practices that leave a smaller footprint on the planet! They catered a party at Design Within Reach not long ago.

    fgtable.com

    Go get ’em!

  • Frank

    Have been to DellaRoccos twice now. got the calzone both times. pretty tasty but $15 for something that doesnt even fill me up? It’s about 50% overpriced. I doubt I’ll go back.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Has anyone been to the new Indian restaurant Asya on Henry Street? If so, what did you think?

  • R Sue

    Asya seems very much like Baluchis was… same menu of tasty, slightly-overpriced fare. I actually didn’t notice any difference except the name.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    R Sue,
    Thanks!

  • Arc

    Did anyone else receive a parking ticket today on Sydney Place between 6:50 and 7:00 am this morning? I saw where the entire street of parked cars had tickets on them.

    What is the logic behind this? The intent of Alternate Side Parking (ASP) is to allow for the cleansing of the street which is great. A byproduct of this event is the enforcement responsibility on behalf of the city. The municipal code doesn’t allow for a vehicle to be parked on the other side of the street outside of specified hours (7am to 6:00 pm). This span of time is merely 11 hours. Some of the 52% of us that work don’t have the luxury of working a full day to include a commute inside of 11 hours. Because of this, most people have no option but to move their car prior to 7:00 am. At 7:00 am, many people have already left their house for work.

    Associated with that point is the fact that most people might have the time to sit in their car between 5:30 and 6:00 pm to ensure they have a parking spot. NYPD parking enforcement is now enforcing a standard that will ultimately result in people sitting in their car from 6:15 or 6:30 am until 7:00 am along with the evening process to ensure they have a parking spot and that they are not ticketed.

    My challenge to you is this:
    How do we mobilize an effort to cause a positive change in this system that results in the streets being cleaned and the residents not having to be burdened with an hour of time sitting in the car for no reason other than to avoid yet another NYPD ticket?

    Also, Has anyone else discussed this with others neighboring areas? We live in a fantastic community of law-abiding citizens. Because of that, we resolve our tickets. In other neighborhoods where the average salary might not be as high as BH, I would speculate that tickets are less frequently issued due to the lesser chance of payment resulting from the ticket.

    I would suggest the Brooklyn Heights Association support their members by conducting a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request on Brooklyn suburbs. Each ticket identifies the street address where the summons was issued. Let’s compare each neighborhood in the borough and understand what the facts are around this municipal nuisance .

    What do you

  • Wiley E.

    Arc, it is how the city makes money. Yes, they ticket any car or truck without a person sitting in it up to the indicated time. You are lucky they didn’t ticket you at 7:05 AM, and write 6:55 AM on the ticket.

  • Bloomy

    @ Arc – If it is such a travesty that you got a ticket for illegally parking you always have the option of paying to park in a garage and never having to worry ASP again.

    The the brighter side, good god we live a charmed life. When we talk about getting FOIA concerning parking tickets, just take a second to think how good life is when this is what we worry about. :)

  • heightsscientist

    Having just read the “Best Vet in Heights” thread, I would like to cast my vote for Dr. Norton.

    She is caring: once helped me with an emergency at 11 PM Saturday.

    Convenient: comes to the house.

    Cost-effective: having compared costs with my neighbors.

    Phone: 347-443-0203
    cjnortondvm@mac.com

  • WillowtownCop

    It’s simple. TEAs have ticket quotas. The City can call them whatever they like, but if they write 20 a day no one will change their hours or commute. If there are 15 cars in a row than can be hit all at once, they’ve done 4 hours work in 15 minutes and now have the other 3:45 to have a cup of coffee, or 3. The City doesn’t care because they need the money, and are basically taxing those who chose to drive, and doesn’t want to admit that there are quotas, or performance objectives, or whatever they’re calling them this week.

    There are certainly benefits to quotas that most people don’t see. It’s very hard to fire a TEA for not doing their job. If there weren’t quotas, the city would be paying a good portion of them to do absolutely nothing all day. It does generate much needed revenue. It can also, in a perverse way, prevent gung-ho rookies with something to prove from writing 50 a day, because making your co-workers look bad does not go over well at all, and there are consequences.

    The key to your post though, is that every car that recieved a ticket, regardless of what you think the legislative intent of the alternate side law is, was actually parked illegally and unoccupied when it recieved a summons. You don’t have to park on the opposite side of the same block. If the timing doesn’t fit your schedule, you can park your car somewhere else, in a spot that’s legal when you parked it there.

  • Arc

    Bloomy,

    It is your mentality that creates problems like this one.

    This is a problem. Do you not agree? It’s a problem because people are receiving tickets unnecessarily. People are receiving tickets because they are forced to move their car in such limited windows of time, that they have no option to move their car outside of time boundary because they work or have other responsibilities as contributors to the tax base.

    Secondly, There is one private garage in the neighborhood. I shouldn’t be forced to buy a private space because municipal policy is so excessively constraining that I can’t work a job and handle something ridiculous like moving my car across the street weekly. It’s also no secret that our neighborhood is targeted because we pay our tickets.

    Finally, it’s not about the fees or penalties, it’s about the principal. You are allowing the city to siphon hard earned income off of our residents, using a parking ticket as the vehicle.

    FOIA might not be the answer, but we shouldn’t allow the city to make rules that aren’t feasible for our needs. Let’s not forget that the city is here for us. City government is here to service the needs of residents, not the inverse. The city government is not here to tell me how to live. They are here to support the needs of citizens. Siphoning additional income off individuals in a higher income bracket using parking tickets is not right.

  • She’s Crafty

    Arc, unfortunately, the sign said you can’t park on that side of the street until 7am, and you were parked there at 6:50am, so you got a ticket. You can argue until you are blue in the face but you were out of compliance with the sign. Life in NYC can be unfair sometimes. The city doesn’t care whether their rules are ‘feasible’ for you. If we had to accomodate everyone’s different schedule, nothing would get done here.

    As far as I see it your options are:
    -move your car at 6:50 and then sit in it until 7am
    -park your car in a garage that night (there are lots of garages and lots in downtown brooklyn)
    -drive your car to work on the day your street does ASP
    -give up your car

    But, we can all petition for resident parking permits, so things change in our favor and people who work in the area can’t come and take our spaces. That’s what I would advocate for.

  • Arc

    WillowTownCop,

    First of all, thanks for the input on how TEAs work. I disagree with quotas myself. Educate your workforce and enable them to make good decisions based upon the violations they witness. Fire lazy employees and fire employees that make bad decisions. I know it’s a crazy concept in public service, but it’s appropriate.

    You’ve identified a major issue with this city. They can’t fire people easily due to union strongholds. With respect to municipal strategy, very little differences exist between NYC and Detroit. Detroit is bankrupt because their industry failed and the unions restricted municipalities to the point of suffocation. NYC has been fortunate enough to survive because their industry survived but their unions are suffocating them. You can’t bet on this being the case for the future, therefore, the agility of municipal government is essential aka get the unions under control and fire lazy employees. They could also integrate technology into their municipal needs instead of hiring more expensive employees.

    I realize I violated the law. You missed the point. The law should be crafted to achieve mutual benefit for municipal and resident interests. It is not a vehicle for the city to create a revenue stream.

  • Arc

    She’s crafty,

    11 hours is not a realistic span of time for ASP. This needs to be changed. That’s the solution.

  • lori

    Mr. Cad – EVENTFULL on Atlantic Avenue. They have done quite a few events in the Heights.

  • lois

    Received great service from ARECIBO today. I am in a leg cast and not ambulating very well – drivers were very patient – great car both ways. On the return trip, the driver got out of the car, opened the trunk for the wheelchair (which wasn’t going with us), so he put my crutches in there instead and helped me out when we arrived home.

  • carl

    Yes, I received great service from Arecibo yesterday on a trip to and from my dentist in Clinton Hill.

  • north heights res

    Arc: Most of us deal with the same issue. Here’s what I do: at some point on the weekend, I park my car to a Wednesday spot. Tuesday night after work, I move my car to a Tuesday spot, on a street that had been cleaned earlier in the day, or one that becomes legal at 6 pm.

    Very little sitting and waiting in the car, though you do drive around the neighborhood a bit looking for a vacant spot.

    Is it my favorite thing to do? Heck no. But it’s the price I pay for wanting a vehicle and the absolute gift of free parking.

    You really can’t blame the city for issuing a citation for something that is indisputably illegal.

  • Bloomy

    @arc My mentality is read the sign and follow the directions or else expect a ticket. I have spent many a morning in my car reading a book waiting for the sweepers that half the time never show up. Almost every weekend I see people get out of their car 5 minutes before ASP ends (the 30 minutes version) because they can’t be bothered to wait, and I just laugh when a TEA comes and tickets them. It happens like clockwork.

    I sold both my vehicles before moving to NYC because I knew they would not be worth the hassle. Unfortunately my current work requires a car (rental) so I can travel out of state during the week, but I keep it during the weekend. If it wasn’t for that I could get by with my legs, bikes, subway, and buses. NYC is designed for mass transit, not personal vehicles.

    Sorry the city’s parking rules are not designed for you specific circumstance because 11 hours seem pretty reasonable to me. Maybe you should get a better job, or sell the car. Why do you need the car if you don’t use it during the week? Zipcar and Hertz on Demand are great alternatives for the weekend.

    Anyway, rant over, let’s be productive. What do you propose as an alternative?

  • Marmac

    @Mr Cad – I second the recommendation for Lassen & Hennigs. We’ve had a turkey and fixins catered from L&H and everything was delicious and delivered exactly at the time requested. The cakes and desserts are the best. Customer service is super friendly and accommodating. L&H is one of the best things about living in the Heights.