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Park Slopers say outdoor sex on quiet street must stop

The Brooklyn Paper

Horny Park Slopers and drug users have turned a secluded nook behind a popular grocery store into a makeshift bedroom for public sex — and neighbors want them to get lost before a grade school opens nearby.

Brooklynites who live near the Key Food on Fifth Avenue and Baltic Street have discovered dozens of condom wrappers, a dilapidated mattress, and even couples mid-romp on Gregory Place, a narrow, seldom-used street behind the shop.

“It’s an isolated spot for sex and other unsavory activities,” said neighbor Emilia Sherifova, who runs a blog documenting the problem.

The sex nook is also a popular area for drug use and a dumping grounds for trash, residents said.

“I’ve seen condoms everywhere — and people shooting up,” said neighbor Denise Morales. “It’s a real problem.”

The tiny block-long street, which abuts a brick wall and the sides of houses, has long attracted crime because it’s secluded, neighbors say.

Pocket-sized hipster pub L Magazine even named it the “Best Block to Smoke a Joint,” saying it’s the kind of street where “you might see joint-toking teens pass a yuppie with a one-hitter walking his dog.”

But residents are calling on the city and store management to bring the street’s druggy days to an end before PS 133 moves into a new building less than a block away on Fourth Avenue and Butler Street in September.

A Key Food manager said the store is doing its part to deter criminal activity by tidying up and keeping lights on behind the building.

“I sweep back there twice a day and I’ve never seen anything,” said a manager at the shop, who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak to press.

But Sherifova and Park Slope civic leaders say more is needed, including security cameras and “keep-out” signage — along with more police presence.

“It’s a remote location, which makes it vulnerable,” said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman. “The [police] need to be involved in these discussions.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Bob from Brooklyn says:
This is not, of course, Key Food's problem, but… does Key Food own the parking lot? If it's merely a city easement, maybe the city should simply reopen the street to through-traffic (Mr Mayor, take down that wall!). That would solve the problem immediately. We don't live in suburbia; superblocks and cul-de-sacs (except when they're built by Bruce Ratner!) have no place here.
May 31, 2012, 8:57 am
adrastos from slope says:
It isn't Key Foods problem. The City should remove the wall that is on Gregory and make the area more open. maybe put lamp posts or something.

I have been to key food a ka billion times, never knew this.
May 31, 2012, 9 am
ty from pps says:
It's hardly "remote" -- are you kidding me? Are the steering wheels in the police cars limited to the # of turns they are allowed to make?
May 31, 2012, 9:28 am
Lou from Carroll Gardens says:
Reads like another made up article.
May 31, 2012, 11:30 am
Tim from Cobble Hill says:
Certainly, opening up the parking lot wall to pedestrian through-traffic would make this cul-de-sac way less dead and private than it currently is.

The market could help by installing windows and a door on Gregory St but this might be a zoning issue.
May 31, 2012, 1:27 pm
gimme from around says:
well, y'know, give out some free 'bath salt' samples around - let the park slope cannibalizing begin! scare 'em away
May 31, 2012, 2:31 pm
gimme from around says:
well, y'know, give out some free 'bath salt' samples around - let the park slope cannibalizing begin! scare 'em away
May 31, 2012, 2:31 pm
Drew from Carroll Gardens says:
Damn it why am I just hearing about this spot. Always last to know.
May 31, 2012, 3:47 pm
D from Crown Heights says:
Seriously, just look at it on Google Maps - it's obviously a great place for shady business because the street grid there is designed to encourage shady business. If you want to change that, connect Butler Street to Sterling Place like most normal streets, and then line that street with homes and shops like everywhere else. Problem solved, plus you'll make a few million developing real estate.
May 31, 2012, 4:42 pm
Stinky from park slope says:
I live on Butler and this street bugs me. A camera would be great, and even a doorway through key foods wall would be nice. It is a favorite place to dump piles of junk. A lot of car service drivers park there to catch a nap. Key Food's bottle redemption center attracts some homeless folks who camp out back there. Either they or the car service dudes use the street and sidewalk as a restroom, so there are piles of a different variety left in the back doors to key food and in between cars. Urban scouting pro-tip: car bumpers apparently make a good toilet seat in a pinch. Whoever it is gets a surprising amount of fiber. There has been a recent spate of 3 or 4 break-ins into car windows. I've had packages and my trashcan stolen, so it would be nice to have some video surveillance to discourage the skecthy dudes who hang out there.

There are two used condoms that appeared last weekend on the east side of that street, though this is the first time I have noticed people using the street for that. My guess is that this may be related to the prostitute zone on Butler and Nevins in Gowanus. I always feel bad when I see tourist families walking down 4th ave to that Holiday Inn in Gowanus.
May 31, 2012, 4:44 pm
Michael from Park Slope says:
I've had my car window smashed on that block for a couple of pennies I had left in my ashtray. I see the telltale signs of auto glass all the time there. I would LOVE key food to rip down that wall or at least provide a couple of pass thrus. I live on butler and 4th and have to go a couple blocks out of the way to get to key food.
May 31, 2012, 7:54 pm
Michael from Park Slope says:
I've had my car window smashed on that block for a couple of pennies I had left in my ashtray. I see the telltale signs of auto glass all the time there. I would LOVE key food to rip down that wall or at least provide a couple of pass thrus. I live on butler and 4th and have to go a couple blocks out of the way to get to key food.
May 31, 2012, 7:54 pm
grandma from gowanus says:
Haha, sex is an unsavory activity? I suppose if it's done right. Seriously, anyone who is having sex outside probably needs the al fresco sex nook. Park Slopers, get some real problems.
June 1, 2012, 12:38 am
Hash from Lower East Side says:
@ Blaquita--That's a damn fine poem! Just a few syllables too many to be considered a Haiku, so I'll call it a HIGHku!

If that block has all of these known issues then neighborhood folks should probably be avoiding it like the plague (that may soon be emanating from it).
Obviously those not familiar with the area wouldn't, but they'll learn fast--and warning signs could only help!
Here's one they can use: DANGER!!
PUBLIC SEX ACTIVITIES, AND OTHER BODILY FLUIDS ABOUND!!
ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK AS THERE ARE OPEN HOLES AHEAD!!
June 1, 2012, 9:55 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
It seems like an opportunity for someone to open a Love Hotel (Japanese hotel where you rent rooms by the hour and sing karaoke). The basketball stadium will open soon and bring tens of thousands more people to the area, so the timing's perfect. It would be a money mill.
June 1, 2012, 10:15 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
It seems like an opportunity for someone to open a Love Hotel (Japanese hotel where you rent rooms by the hour and sing karaoke). The basketball stadium will open soon and bring tens of thousands more people to the area, so the timing's perfect. It would be a money mill.
June 1, 2012, 10:15 am
pork slopper from pork slop says:
this has been going on for a long time. i lived on butler about 10 years ago and that street (back then, it was called 'Quiesenbury') was super shady.

What I mostly saw back then was men with prostitutes (presumably picked up from 3rd or 4th aves?) who would park there to be serviced in their car. The used condoms would, of course, always end up on the street.

It was always an adventure walking home and wondering what I would discover discarded on that block.

Although, none of that was a shady as the creepy ghost baby carriages.
June 1, 2012, 10:36 am
pork slopper from pork slop says:
this has been going on for a long time. i lived on butler about 10 years ago and that street (back then, it was called 'Quiesenbury') was super shady.

What I mostly saw back then was men with prostitutes (presumably picked up from 3rd or 4th aves?) who would park there to be serviced in their car. The used condoms would, of course, always end up on the street.

It was always an adventure walking home and wondering what I would discover discarded on that block.

Although, none of that was a shady as the creepy ghost baby carriages.
June 1, 2012, 10:36 am
Janet from Park Slope says:
Overheard in that parking lot:
They had me in psychiatric hospitals for ten years but didn't give me the one thing I needed. Crack!
June 1, 2012, 10:49 am
no-permits from nah says:
the only thing shady about this block is the way it looks. nothing actually happens there.
June 1, 2012, 11:49 am
no-permits from nah says:
the only thing shady about this block is the way it looks. nothing actually happens there.
June 1, 2012, 11:49 am
C. Brooks from Meadow Winds says:
These people give sex a dirty name.
June 3, 2012, 2:15 pm
Tricky Barnes from Key Food Heights says:
I think the junkies & people having sex ought to open up a side walk cafe so that the yuppies complaining about them, will instead eat their Sunday brunch there
June 3, 2012, 2:40 pm
M from Park Slope says:
I have been living on this block for a good number of years and this has been an consistant problem. Not only are people fornicating on Gregory Place but they have made this spot a Dump site for garbage. In the early morning hours people have dumped old furniture and tons of garbage on this block. Which brings me to another problem......."Rats". Because of all the construction in the Slope, the rats have made a permanent home on Baltic and Butler Street. The city needs to put poison in the SEWERS and a CAMERA on the KEYFOOD WALL !!!!!!!!!
June 3, 2012, 11:56 pm
Ed from Park Slope says:
These comments are awesome
June 6, 2012, 6:09 am

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