July 15, 2013 / Brooklyn news / Greenpoint / Meadows of Shame

Residents: Teen vandals set fire, threaten people and dogs in McGolrick Park

The Brooklyn Paper
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A gang of marauding teenagers is terrorizing McGolrick Park in Greenpoint, breaking park benches, setting fire to the maintenance building — and threatening local puppies with death, neighbors say.

Residents claim gangs of teens have caused trouble in the park, located between Russell and Monitor streets and Driggs and Nassau avenues, for years, but that the youths launched a particularly vicious campaign this week, brazenly vandalizing the park in broad daylight and setting fire to the maintenance building on Tuesday night — and holding a knife to the neck of one park-goers’ pooch.

“I saw this one kid throwing paint on the ground and spreading it around with a stick in the middle of the day,” said Ben Moss, who lives across the street from the park. “The Parks Department was still there, but they were powerless to stop this kid.”

Moss added that the he no longer wants to go into the park because he fears the teens.

“One time, I was walking through the park and they threw a ball at me,” he said. “I’m scared to confront them. They are such a big group of strong kids who seem aggressive.”

The Fire Department quickly squelched the fire that was set at 9:36 pm on Tuesday night, but it knocked out power to the entire park, and it still has not been restored.

“We are having a concert there tonight, so now I have to go get a generator,” said Holly Fairall, co-chair of Friends of McGolrick Park, on Friday. “We are wasting so much time and energy and money fixing these messes rather than dealing with the problem so it does not keep happening.”

As if the arson wasn’t enough, the teens continued to terrorize the park after the fire. They came back on Wednesday and Thursday nights to tag more walls and pour more paint on the ground, and according to Fairall, a group of teens held a knife up to the throat of a dog who was walking through the park with its owner on Thursday night.

“The dog’s owner was livid,” said Fairall. “She spent all day in the police station.”

Det.Brian Sessa said the department is investigating the fire and the graffiti and plans to step up patrols in the park.

Fairall met with members of the NYPD as well as Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Williamsbu­rg) and Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsbu­rg) on Friday afternoon, and brainstormed for ideas on how to stop the onslaught — including possibly closing the park at dusk instead of at 1 am.

“There is no reason people should be hanging out in the park at midnight just to cause trouble,” said Fairall.

She said she will organize a public meeting on the issue within the next few weeks.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at

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Reader Feedback

idiots rule from Brooklyn says:
Hmmm good thing there is no stand your ground law like there is in florida otherwise these "kids" would already be shot deaf and burried.
July 15, 2013, 10:19 am
diehipster from Bludgeoning Brices says:
I'm not for damaging the parks of this great borough - or should I say once great borough for the most part; but I wish these vandals would direct all their anger ONLY towards the infinite leisure time, transient, talentless, attention-starved, spatula-shaped, kazoo-voiced, phony-Brooklynite hipsters and pound their heads in until they realize they're simply out-of-place and are not wanted here by normal people.
July 15, 2013, 11:29 am
Paul from Gowanus says:
We don't want you, your endless bigotry, and endlessly unimportant emails here either, diehipster, or whatever your name is.

So shut up and move.
July 15, 2013, 12:02 pm
Alfred from Bay Ridge says:
Real brooklynites ARE the hipsters and stroller pushers. They're the (welcomed and welcoming) majority here. Staten Island is for those once-upon-a-timers longing for the dull old blue collar days of heading into Manhattan to snake drains and schlep garbage.

It's sad these kids don't have better role models. Kids in Park Slope would never do this.
July 15, 2013, 1:02 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Here's a wild idea but it may just work. Police presence!!

Get their fat asses out of the police cars and visible in the parks and community.
July 15, 2013, 1:31 pm
diehipster from Bludgeoning Brices says:
I can't leave here. I live with my mother and finger her when she falls asleep. Unless I can move into your basement Paul from Gowanus.
July 15, 2013, 1:37 pm
The Chooch from that pseudonymity most supine says:
The Chooch is dumbfounded. Shocked and awed. We have incitement to violence, and we have kids in the park ready to do it, and a paper that's printing it. The Chooch doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. Do the editors know if the vandals in the park read diehipster? Does the felon and veteran "white artist" hater Dennis sinneD still "fully support" diehipster now that diehipster is directly encouraging these vandals - these vandals in particular - to "pound the heads" of hipsters? Are diehipster and Dennis sinneD even aware that they implicate themselves in any hate crime against hipsters from here on out, something that's bound to happen sooner or later? Do they even care? Are they so pissed off by now that they'd just as soon see a spate of wilding against young artists in Brooklyn? Stay tuned I guess.
July 15, 2013, 1:43 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Pardon me, but what is winning end of waiting until your mother passes out and then pointing at her? Do you yell during this? I'm sorry to interupt.
July 15, 2013, 2:16 pm
The Chooch from the creek to the river says:
oh mi Rey. This is the pathogen for which Dennis sinneD has declared his "full support." To be sure, the declaration was made in anger, to spite the Chooch, and I don't think he means it. But now would be the perfect time for us to find out.
July 15, 2013, 2:30 pm
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
Chooch - I saw smug, bearded, 38 year old Bentley longboarding to his Southeast Bushwick mason jar crafting class with a ukelele strapped to his back while wearing a t-shirt that said "ask me about my Penny Farthing". So I tied him into an artisanal pretzel, borrowed the Cyclones t-shirt launcher, and returned him to Ohio. EOS
July 15, 2013, 2:54 pm
The Street Formerly Known as Prince from Clinton Hill says:
What Greenpoint needs are some gold 'ol vigilantes.
July 15, 2013, 3:15 pm
Colonel Sanders from Bushwick Plamtation says:
No damn vigilantes on ma plamtation! Dis heah a land o' dey Law! You be jes' as bad as dey outlaws!
July 15, 2013, 4:03 pm
T-Bone from DoBro says:
Jerome (DieHipster) is one sick puppy
July 15, 2013, 4:32 pm
the Chooch from your hipsterized world says:
Well, T-Bone, sometimes all it takes is one sick puppy. The problem in Brooklyn now is we've got a kind of loosey-goosey spectrum of "anti-gentrification" voices that are basically wrong, ill-considered, reactive, not coherent and not cohesive. It's a perfect breeding ground of generalized discontent that sick puppy demagogues can seize ahold of. How does El Puente, for example, reconcile itself with a "Jerome" or a "Dennis." How does the old mommy-squad of bohemian community activists reconcile its Latinophilia with its own self-loathing. The Chooch has filled the neighborhood with people just like them, and they hate him for it! What we have is an anti-gentrificationism that unravels in angry and conflicted rhetoric and eventually coagulates into a form of scapegoating. All it takes is one sick puppy to push it all over the edge. Javoll!
July 15, 2013, 5:28 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
We have this new radio/podcast talk show, Bittersweet Brooklyn, that records on Saturdays and posts on Wednesdays. Bittersweet neighbors discuss, disabuse and demystify the complex and often confusing issues clouded by media venues like Brooklyn Paper. We're hoping soon to broadcast live. Our next episode, "What Do We Know?" posting this Wednesday, will cover the very issue this article purports to "report." To reach us on Facebook:

Our first episode was on the McCarren Park Pool:

Our second was on the Domino Sugar site and guest-starred Esteban Duran of el Puente and Brian Paul of the Domino Effect documentary film.

Our third episode was on the so-called "War on Brunch" and starred Judy McGuire and Christine Murray.

Everyone, including and maybe for this thread ESPECIALLY DieHipster, is invited to join the discussion behind the microphone. That is, everyone except Ethan Pettit.
July 15, 2013, 6:09 pm
Holly Fairall from Greenpoint says:
I'm pretty disappointed in this article as it only highlights the negative consequences of this behavior without delving into the deeper issues. In a nutshell, McGolrick Park is the only green space in this section of Greenpoint, that's why it's so important to every person that lives here. Can you imagine what this area would be like without it? Therefore, it is our responsibility as a community to protect it for the enjoyment and health of everyone. After several years of experiencing many social issues that play out within the park, I feel we have finally gained the full support of our politicians, the police, and most importantly the community in trying to find effective ways to deter destructive behavior while also providing programs that will address the underlying causes. This won't be solved in a day, or week, but by finally working together, I think we can address everyone's needs in a positive way.
July 16, 2013, 7:30 am
SadSter from NoHio says:
Seems the hipsters and gentrificationers are losing the battle. No matter how many move here from Minnesotana, they can't seem to reproduce the white picket fence town with neatly mowed lawns and cars in the driveways left unlocked, keys in the ignition, safe and sound by morning. Despite their influx to Brooklyn, it's still gritty and unsafe in the parks. These locals are just fighting the good fight. Sure, we should lock them up so they can spend more time with their parents, but it's kind of win-win. They scare off the hipsters for a bit, the police nab them and lock em away, and the rest of us (true Brooklynians, born and raised) will reap the benefits of a return to the really good ol days.
July 16, 2013, 10 am
manposeur from brokeland says:
I think the hipsters & art people should take mix martial arts classes at Renzo Gracie Fight Academy or Williamsburg MMA so they can stand up to the project rats & old school Brooklyn people.
July 16, 2013, 10:07 am
The Chooch from your ghetto says:
Holly Fairall is right, got to address the overlying and underlying issues. And the underlying issue is of course seething resentment. A fury at the specter of this class takeover of Brooklyn. And it ain't no gentri-"vacation." This thing has been in the works for 30 years. The pro-hipster and pro-gentry contingent is every bit as old school and stck-in-the mud as are the voices against gentrification. There are authentic Brooklynites who have fought long and hard for gentrification. The community board would never have approved the 2005 re-zoning if this were not the case. The community board would never have reconciled its 197-A plan with the Ayn Randian vision of Mike Bloomberg had there not been an inchoate desire for that vision among the local political and business establishment. The Chooch remembers a skyscraper that was proposed for the Greenpoint waterfront back in about 1990, when things like that were total pipe dreams. Along comes a young mook tough to the meeting with a fonzy hairdo, and he's hailing this idea to the skies. Gentrification is not some out-the-blue invasion from Omaha. It is a cogent, long-term vision with lots of local support. Those academics who characterize gentrification as a kind if disembodied globalization while they fetishize an Hispanic essentialism ... need to read Walter Benjamin again, and especially the Arcades Project. We have seen NOTHING yet of the arcades of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. We have seen nothing yet of the bourgeois revolution in Brooklyn. Put aside your mortal terror of offending the working class! For those among them who were resourceful and creative became bourgeois before you moved to Brooklyn. And they built the Brooklyn you live in. Gentrification is fundamentally a discourse of Bohemia and the Blue Collar Elite, who correspond to Hipsters and Yuppies, respectively. And anyway, who's going to pay for all these things the complainers keep demanding.
July 16, 2013, 12:31 pm
The Chooch from your ghetto says:
Is gentrification not the will of the community? Is the Latino community not transient? Question your assumptions. Think different.
July 16, 2013, 1 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
If the community bans together, they can resolve this issue and take the park back. Destruction and intimidation by a few have no quarter when good people stand up and fight for their neighborhood and the decent people within. Resentment notwithstanding, uncivilized behavior has no excuse. We dealt with this type of issue in the early 90s with aggressive police and community action. Sadly, these youth don't realize that they can burn and tag all they want, but they have very little real power. The community will prevail at the expense of their fleeting presence.

Oh, and for all those who cry about gentrification and yupification, your crying in vain. These people will be here long after your gone.

And hey! Not all old school Brooklyn people are bad. Just a little more than a few. A lot of us helped build a better path for those that came later.
July 16, 2013, 3:29 pm
the Chooch from the Brooklyn Renaissance says:
Charles, my point exactly. Gentrification is typically characterized as an alien force, an "outside" force that is a violation of an "authentic" local presence. As if no authentic local Brooklynite such as yourself ever had the idea of "building a better path" for those of us who came later.

Gentrification was very much a local initiative. It took twenty years for city policy actually to catch up with that initiative by re-zoning the waterfront and fixing Atlantic Yards. It took years to convince the city NOT to build an incinerator and more waste transfer stations on the waterfront.

The anti-gentrification movement is reactionary. It creates an us-and-them narrative. It romanticizes urban blight. It indulges a "noble savage" mythology of the Latino community that is base and condescending. It rejects the cosmopolitanism that comes with yuppies and hipsters.
July 16, 2013, 4:18 pm
Dell from 11249 says:
The Blue Collar Elite. Ha. That's rich, Chooch. Have you nothing else to worry about other that your Bohemian Imaginary and real Brooklyn? Go paint! It will take your mind off of all of this for a few hours. Seriously, I think this is compromising some neurons. Have some coconut water.
July 16, 2013, 4:32 pm
the Chooch from the Brooklyn Renaissance says:
... or consider the rubric of the "transient" hipster. Are Latinos not transient? A transient is one who comes and goes. The Latino community has come and it is now going. Therefore it is transient. The hipsters are still arriving. If they go, the Chooch will concede that they too are transient. But not until they go. The Chooch does not hate, the Chooch is not biased. He just cleans up the language.
July 16, 2013, 4:43 pm
The Chooch from that pseudonymity most impervious says:
What on earth is the Bohemian Imaginary?
July 16, 2013, 7:39 pm
the Chooch from that pseudonymity most transparent says:
Correction to the Chooch's statement 7 comments up. The community board does not and cannot "approve" anything. It's role is purely advisory, and in some cases administrative. So it was that CB1 helped to administer a 197-A plan for the waterfront, and then later signaled its contentment with the Bloomberg re-zoning. Many people hold that the re-zoning of 2005 did not comport with the 197-A plan that had been in the works for five years or so. That may be so. But all it means is that the community changed its mind and became sold on the re-zoning. The CB is a pretty good barometer of what the majority of the community desires, especially since its advisements are vetted through the City Council and the BP's office. The Chooch believes that a big ramp-up of residential use of Williamsburg was in fact the no-brainer that most people wanted. The other option would have been to have severe restrictions on new building, and draconian laws restricting landlords in every which way. The result of that would have been a gentrification by trust-fund hippies in 10-million dollar artisanal garages in the midst of a welfare bantustan.
July 16, 2013, 9:42 pm
the Chooch from deyn Steytl says:
Very important to talk talk talk about this stuff. The developers and the pro-gentry interests do not argue their case enough. They tend quietly to go about their business. This is a mistake because it creates a conspiratorial impression that breeds discontentment and mischief such as what we have in the park.
July 16, 2013, 10:15 pm
Madison from NoBro says:
Amen, Chooch! I am so sick of people giving me and my type crap for moving here and making it a better place! All these low class people should be appreciative that we have brought our tastes, values, degrees, money, and pedigree here into their humble little vinyl sided village. If they don't like it or it makes them get priced out, too bad! They had their chance to make it more livable with nice shops, sidewalk cafes, and luxury housing long ago. They squandered that opportunity and so now it's ours. Too much is never enough!
July 17, 2013, 2:23 pm
manposeur from brokeland says:
yeah I also wish hassids were transients so my bike riding can go unmolested.
And Chooch, I'm not against new development or building giant public housing but putting giant glass tower condos will also drive out the white ethnics let alone middle class hipsters.
July 17, 2013, 3:53 pm
Frito from Greenpoint's Gold Coast says:
Chooch don't need no white ethnics! White ethnics are what ruined this neighborhood. All that authentic Brooklyn culture. Who needs it!?! If the Short Hills Mall type doesn't like it we don't need it. Class baby, that's what we need. Anything less can kiss it.
July 17, 2013, 4:24 pm
the Chooch from the Brooklyn Renaissance says:
We embrace yuppies, hipsters, and Chinese immigrants. This is the point. And we salute those native Brooklynites who saw the future and acted on it before we arrived. And the Yankee bat boy who thinks he's got a special right to Brooklyn, will have to show us something more than his placenta. What did he do here in three generations that we have not done a hundred fold in two decades.

There is a hard truth little spoken to what Madison says - "They had their chance." And ... "They squandered that opportunity and so now it's ours."

Of course, many native Brooklynites did not squander that opportunity. Many invested in the land and in the future. The Brooklyn Renaissance is not the unique vision of newcomers.

But there are those today who lunge and grasp at the air furiously seeking that unseen hand which has displaced them. For surely it must have been a conspiracy that caused them to shoot guns and do crack and leave trash all over the streets at a time when a million dollar property could be had for twenty grand.

Such monumental stupidity, such blind squander can only be explained as trickery! That something could have been at your feet for the taking and is now so far out of reach ... surely one's own community could not have been so lacking in forsight. It must have been a plot! Indeed. In a pig's eye.
July 17, 2013, 8:48 pm
the Chooch from the Williamsburg metropolitan area says:
Many are the flaws and foibles detected in the hipster, in the yuppie, in their characteristics and idiosyncrasies as people. But never is this scrutiny brought to bear upon a people who were on crack and welfare at the same time. Their shortcomings are attributed to "disinvestment", to "lack of services," to the welfare check that got lost in the mail, to anything but their own jobless, slacker lifestyle. Those are the real transients, who forgot to buy property in the 50 years they were here, and are now getting pushed out, and blaming anyone and anything but themselves.
July 17, 2013, 11:33 pm
Madison from NoBro says:
Thanks for agreeing with my complete sarcasm, Chooch. I expected nothing less. Once again you are reinforcing this fantasy of yours that every renter in the neighborhood that wasn't "smart enough" to invest in real estate was a crackhead welfare recipient.
July 18, 2013, 11:40 am
the Chooch from re-Brooklynized Brooklyn says:
It's not a whit worse than saying every "hipster" is a trust fund slacker. In that case, every "Puerto Rican" is a welfare basket case. It goes both ways and it goes nowhere. That's the point. One insult is not worse than the other. Anyone can play, and there are no special handicapping rules. No affirmative action for welfare basket cases. The Chooch does not hate and the Chooch is not biased. The Chooch makes a point. On the other hand, "White artists go home!" is hateful and biased, and "blowtorching hipsters" is hateful and biased. If you're such a tough guy from Brooklyn, you should be able to take a hit. Don't go tattling to some mommy-squad hipster chick from Vassar comin' in here and calling time out when you get smacked upside your stoopit head with greeezy Crisco in your hair and smegma all over your posts.
July 18, 2013, 1:37 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Episode 4 of Bittersweet Brooklyn, "What Do We Know?" is posted to YouTube:

Holly Fairall of Greenpoint and Kate Yourke of Williamsburg get bitter and sweet with the crew on Greenpoint's recent and enduring McGolrick Park woes.

Welcome to Episode 4 0:00:00
Let's Talk About McGorlick Park 0:49:00
You Know What You Need to Do? 3:26:00
Greenpoint Youth Court 6:05:00
They're Minors 7:36:00
How Holly Got Here 8:42:00
Compliance Mentality in Greenpoint 9:59:00
They've Found Bond With Each Other 12:31:00
The Kids Wait on Astonishment 14:02:00
JHS 126 Drama All In Itself 19:12:00
Community School Gardens 24:54:00
Creating Outlaws 26:11:00
Cribs Blocking the Sidewalk 28:29:00
All Enforcement & Punitive 31:24:00
The Unfortunate Switch That Exists 36:40:00
So They Blew Up Some Cans of Paint? 40:03:00
Dark Things in the Park 42:12:00
What Sets Our Kids Apart? 44:14:00
July 18, 2013, 6:07 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
It's so strange that we worry about a pack of teenage rejects in today's world. I would love to see one of these young punks on their own in the street trying to act tough and pull this kind of nonsense. At their core, every one of them is a scared little punk that would sh!t their pants if a grown man stood up to them one on one.

Btw Dennis I listened to some of episode 3 and the women on your podcast had some of the dumbest viewpoints ever. You should invite more informed people that actually know about the issues if you want to put something more productive. You should also invite some other people that bring viewpoints different than your own. You're basically just sucking each other.
July 22, 2013, 9:36 pm
The Chooch from The Gentrifaction says:
AH! I couldn't even listen to the thing! And yes, it's the women, the yoga-moms. The logic is to hold gentrification for ransom against troubled youth. So, because you gentrified the neighborhood, you have alienated the local youth, now they're making trouble, so you see there you go and that's what you get, etc. etc. etc.

Look, these are the hippy elitists of Williamsburg. Their version if history would have been a white settlement inside a Puerto Rican reservation. No towers, no re-zoning, no yuppies. And of course green industry moving into the factories. In theory that is. LOVELY. A little utopian dude ranch surrounded by an Hispanic bantustan. You'd have to be totally loaded to buy anything, or you'd have to be grandfathered in in some way.

The Chooch got that t-shirt a long time ago. Not the future we want for Brooklyn. We are very lucky to be gentrified as we are. Ask anyone from Detroit, anyone who is still in Detroit that is, if what we have in Brooklyn qualifies in their view as a "problem."

Willy nilly, regardless of whether a neighborhood is gentrified or blighted, the same solution should apply to youth who break the law -- 30 days on Riker's.
July 23, 2013, 3:54 pm
NY4Life from Your momma house says:
if you were not born in NY then go to hell.
July 23, 2013, 3:55 pm
The Chooch from The Gentrifaction says:
"Counseling" sends absolutely the wrong message. It signals to the kids that there may be some level of justification for their transgressions. No matter how you couch it, it implies justification in the guilty, and guilt in the innocent. Which is fine in a French novel. But it's worth bubkes in Greenpoint.

The answer to crime is punishment. Hegel or maybe Kant I think it is. It is not simply that the criminal deserves punishment, he actually has a right to it.

The agents of the welfare state should not be permitted to deprive the guilty - through "counseling" - of their right to punishment.
July 23, 2013, 4:28 pm
hav from gp says:
I've lived in NYC my entire life and these kids will harass you regardless of you being a hipster, or having lived in the neighborhood or not. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.
July 31, 2013, 3:06 pm
Original Greenpointer from Greenpoint says:
I'm upset that everyone is saying these teens are Gangs and they been vanderlizing for years... I've lived here my Entire life we never had this problem!!! I really don't care much for anyone to comment back cause seriously I don't care what you have to say!! I don't believe them teens started an electrical fire and shut the parks lights down.. I don't believe there going around putting knifes up to dogs and millions of people in the park and "No One" has seen them do anything. But the people they harassed. I know everyone of them kids in the park and mind you there not all TEENS.. I'm all for getting EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY together to get activities for the young youth I'm not all for growing vegetables and art.. That my be what you Hipsters or Yuppies want for your kids but you Guys are not the only one in the Community.. We must hear everyone's Voices.. Not everyone has Internet to no what's going on in the neighborhood or to know when there are community meetings. I seen alot of post from people tryna stop the kids from riding there bikes in the park??? Really that's what a park is for.. I say there should be a Community meeting for all the dog —— left in the streets and side walk.why? idk there's a dog park for all that..
Aug. 8, 2013, 3:08 pm
Original Greenpointer from Greenpoint says:
I find alot of you Guys are so childish calling each other names.. But I must say hipsters and yuppies has nothing to do with RACE!! But calling out Puerto Ricans and Other Races and calling them crack heads and welfare recipients.. I must say I know alot of hipsters and yuppies and Drifters that do Drugs heroin ..and that rob people in Greenpoint. So that's so uncalled for any Racist remarks..
Aug. 8, 2013, 3:22 pm

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