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Bar backlash! Williamsburg tavern owners form trade group to fight CB1

The Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about a bar fight.

Williamsburg’s tavern and restaurant owners are in open rebellion against a new booze-license policy approved earlier this month by the local community board that will make it more difficult to open a bar with an outdoor space.

The new Community Board 1 rules require license-seeking bars with a rooftop or backyard space to have “seated food service” from a full menu — an onerous new hurdle that bar owners say hinders their efforts to quench the public thirst.

“This policy will have consequences on the greatest economic engine in the neighborhood, and on subsidiary businesses that depend on restaurant traffic,” said Teddy’s Bar and Grill owner Felice Kirby, who is organizing her fellow tavern owners into the Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants.

Community Board 1 Public Safety Chairman Mieszko Kalita said the board changed its liquor policy to prevent people from making too much noise in bar back yards, which he called “the number one problem we have in the community.”

“We’re trying to prevent a group of people sitting and standing in a backyard, having drinks, and listening to loud music,” he said.

The policy arose after CB 1 Chairman Chris Olechowski proposed a full moratorium on new liquor licenses in Williamsburg and Greenpoint in April, citing a 50-percent increase in new applications this year as the reason behind his anti-booze crusade.

That full ban was tabled in favor of the new rules, which also cover existing bars that want to expand. In such instances, the board has promised to examine the application on a case-by-case basis — and that has some owners nervous.

Soft Spot owner Matt Webber wants to double the size of his Bedford Avenue watering hole, which currently serves only bar snacks, without abiding by the new rules because he can’t afford to add a kitchen. Besides, he said, he already quells noise by closing his backyard at 10 pm.

And he believes the new policy overwhelmingly favors wealthy restaurateurs who can afford to open in Williamsburg — creating more backyard noise anyway.

“The stipulations don’t want bars where the primary sale is liquor, but the reality is liquor sells everything,” said Webber. “Only restaurateurs with giant funding will be able to do full table service and survive.”

In the end, the new policy may not completely deter noisy drunks anyway, thanks to a a loophole that may allow a backyard bar to operate without a full kitchen as long as food is prepared on site and served to patrons outdoors.

And the policy does not mention any restrictions on bars with mobile food trucks in rear yards, including Trophy Bar and Union Pool, which have racked up noise complaints in the past.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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Reader Feedback

Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Williamsburg's public dialogue has always had her cheerleaders and apologists who claimed that the decline of manufacturing and industry in the area would be replaced by a "new economy" based on the shifting demographics not just in Brooklyn but the entire country: namely, a "design economy," "tech economy" or "creative industries." In the L Magazine article by Henry Stewart, "Williamsburg's Last Domino: A Gentrification Time Bomb?" I was quoted in response to the notion that gentrification would absurdly provide "new industry" for long-time residents adversely impacted by the loss of semi-skilled middle-wage work:

"In the aughts, Williamsburg saw a dramatic rezoning and a rush of large-scale development, but ended up with little to show for it besides a shuttered firehouse. When thinking about Williamsburg, Farr says, we need to stop thinking about the stores, about the strips of pan-Asian restaurants that prove the area's hipness. We need to stop thinking about what's being consumed, and start thinking about what's being created.

"The thing about Domino Sugar," he says, "is not what it builds but what it will replace. Or displace." When people talk about the gentrification of Williamsburg, they don't talk about what it has created, but only about the "bad things" it has replaced. For the gentrifiers, the former landscape needs to be destroyed, or at least gussied up beyond recognition—the past needs to be razed so a new culture can be overlaid, a culture that then celebrates its own superiority. To claim that gentrification has improved the community, Farr tells me, is "preposterous." How did the boutiques on Bedford Avenue make life better for the Latino community? Gentrification is not about what's been achieved but about the illusion that achievement has occurred. The idea. The feeling."

Here in this article by Aaron Short, who frequently reports on the whims and whimsicality of Northside agents while neglecting and outright refusing to report on substantial initiatives in the Southside, confirms the position quoted in the L Magazine. "This policy will have consequences on the greatest economic engine in the neighborhood, and on subsidiary businesses that depend on restaurant traffic,” said Teddy’s Bar and Grill owner Felice Kirby, who is organizing her fellow tavern owners into the Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants."

The shift away from manufacturing in the neighborhood to an economy based on self-indulgence [which is clearly taken from the overall attitude of the gentrification of Williamsburg--whose history is entirely based on hype over substance and entirely lacks any significant achievement that would validate the false consciousness of "art" and "creativity" in Williamsburg as a social force] is a direct cause of displacement and will continue to have a pernicious effect on the neighborhood.

For you see, we must ask ourselves--if the so-called "design economy" is actually lacking in Williamsburg and yet there is a massive population influx, will everyone moving into the neighborhood work in a restaurant or a bar? Of course not! The most immediate and deadly consequence of such a shift will be a spike in crime in the area as never seen before--even in the hallowed mists of that evil and scary "Williamsburg before" that everyone loves to refer to in justifying and rationalizing the gentrification.

The current state of crime in the City is called "flat" by the NYPD, which is likely an Orwellian bromide. What is actually happening is that crime is on a significant upswing and the NYPD is at great pains to suppress the facts. But this was also previously predicted by my person in earlier writings [that I will be happy to provide anyone who writes to me at dennis.farr@gmail.com].

Now, crime doesn't have to increase for anyone to condemn the notion and reality that the alcohol industry is an economic engine in any area--how pernicious and evil, indeed! But we shall see if once again we must play at being Kassandra while Troy falls.
Dec. 23, 2011, 11:04 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
The link to the L Magazine article by Henry Stewart is:

http://www.thelmagazine.com/newyork/williamsburgs-last-domino-a-gentrification-time-bomb/Content?oid=1715714
Dec. 23, 2011, 11:07 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And, if anyone wants to observe or track crime:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_prevention/crime_statistics.shtml

And the links specific to the 90th and 94th Precincts, respectively:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cs090pct.pdf
http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cs094pct.pdf

Or, you can draw conclusions from Brooklyn Paper's "crime blotting," which we have come to understand as, ahem, somewhat biased and lacking.
Dec. 23, 2011, 11:27 am
G from Greenpoint says:
It's about friggin' time!
Every last corner of the neighborhood, from the loudest avenues to the quietest side streets seems to have a bar on it now.

CB1 should have fought harder and imposed a complete moratorium.
Dec. 24, 2011, 3:35 am
jimutz from cobble hill says:
G, I think you are looking at this the wrong way. CB1 should relax all restrictions on bar and restaurant development.

Construction jobs will be aplenty, and when every storefront in Wberg and Greenpoint has been converted to a gin mill the eventual shake out will occur.

90% will go out of business and then all the demolition jobs will come to the area. Boom and bust, boom and bust.

It could be a good thing!!
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:30 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh, look here--Kassandra calls:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/mayor-says-crime-is-down-in-2011-with-an-asterisk/

But much more telling, and corroborating my observation above ["The current state of crime in the City is called "flat" by the NYPD, which is likely an Orwellian bromide. What is actually happening is that crime is on a significant upswing and the NYPD is at great pains to suppress the facts."] is the title of the City Room blog post as it appears on the NY Times home page: "New York Crime is Down, or Maybe Up."
Dec. 28, 2011, 11:48 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
All power to the tavern owners! It is absurd that community boards have control over liquor licenses. It allows a gathering of political appointees, not even elected officials, effectively to obstruct trade. It is a piece of Nimbyism embedded in the City charter, and it should be removed.

Meanwhile, the creative economy is booming all over north Brooklyn. The fact that it does not "benefit Latinos" means nothing. It doesn't have to. The Latino community is no longer the measure of what is or is not good for the community. That assumption is no longer the measure of local politics. The Latino community has declined by half in 20 years. Their Council Member, Diana Reyna, went head to head with Assemblyman Vito Lopez on the Loft Law. She lost. And the result is a very notable expansion of residential lofts in East Williamsburg.

Reyna contends that the expansion of artists and artist businesses in East Williamsburg squeezes out the industrial base. But we know that that base has been running on one piston at best for 20 years.

It means nothing to proclaim the need for industry and "living wage jobs" in the neighborhood. As one aid to Council Member Stephen Lopez told me, "That boat pulled out a long time ago." New business does not follow the wishful thinking politicians. It follows the initiatives of people who create new business. If that also points to new constituencies, the decline of old constituencies, and politicians being voted out, so be it. It's not a bad thing.
Dec. 30, 2011, 7:13 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
Ha! "Stephen Lopez". That's a good slip, I must say. I mean to say Stephen Levin, who is a protege of Lopez.
Dec. 30, 2011, 7:19 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Ha! Ethan likes to say things as if by saying them he makes them so--and he needs no corroboration with facts as long as he mires himself in his arrogance, racism and unwarranted egotism.

I challenge him--what creative economy? Did not his friend and peer Felice Kirby herself say, "[C.B.#1's] policy will have consequences on the greatest economic engine in the neighborhood, and on subsidiary businesses that depend on restaurant traffic,” said Teddy’s Bar and Grill owner Felice Kirby, who is organizing her fellow tavern owners into the Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants."

So, is Ethan disputing Felice? Ethan, who does not live in North Brooklyn, but likes stringing words together to the delight of his own eyes and ears, not to mention his shrinking syncophant demographic? Disputing Felice Kirby, a business owner who was in Williamsburg before Ethan, and continues to run a business there, after Ethan long left the neighborhood?

Ethan is long on rhetoric but short on facts. There is no "design/creative economy"--unless he refers to the string of pan-asian restaurants on Williamsburg's avenues, her few chocolatiers, and her many bogus and failed galleries? I challenge him to produce any proof--job statistics, bookkeeping records, anything, to prove such an economy exists.

But here is something Ethan won't like reading, because it again corroborates the arguments of someone he trolls after and is jealous of:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/nyregion/nypd-leaves-offenses-unrecorded-to-keep-crime-rates-down.html?_r=1&hp

Ah, cue the K...
Dec. 31, 2011, 9:59 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And quoting Stephen Levin as though he is an authority on anything? ha! LEvin is only an authority at paying lip-service to "slow-growth" while simultaneously jumping into bed with developers and has consistently displayed his cluelessness when it comes to how Williamsburg should be developed. You think Levin can do anything, right? Please, he is cheered for himself cheerleading monoculturalism and monodesign in the gentrification of Williamsburg. If Levin was anything or anyone at all, he would have exploited the incredible attention enjoyed by Williamsburg in the past 10 years--instead, he has played lapdog to luxury condo developers, and see what we have gotten. Williamsburg could still be something, but not while its in the reins of people like Levin. So please, find a REAL authority and then skew their words--until then, I will, unlike you, continue to provide evidence of how things are happening, and not confusing it with name-dropping [which is a motif of the "creative economy," ya know? haha]
Dec. 31, 2011, 10:04 am
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
I have been living in Brooklyn for 29 years, I lived on the Northside of Williamsburg for eight years, I ran a weekly newspaper in Williamsburg for four years, ran a gallery there for four years, and today I run a business in East Williamsburg.

I am an archivist and historian of bohemian and artist history in what I call "metropolitan Williamsburg." My archives can be seen and downloaded for free by anyone with a facebook account on my page there. The issues that come up in local newspapers are naturally of interest to me, that's why I comment on them.

As for Felice Kirby, founder of Teddy's. I agree with her completely. There's no conflict here with her position. CB1's policy on taverns will have bad consequences for the creative economy. Because this is a lifestyle economy. It's about selling art, design, fashion, yoga, books, food, drinks, mountain bikes, guitars, cool furniture, lighting.

This whole segment is interconnected, and all of it is oiled by food and drink throughout the day and into the night. So Felice is right when she says an obstruction of tavern trade by CB1 is tantamount to throwing a wrench into the economy that is carrying the neighborhood. In fact I would say it amounts to a nearly senile blind-sidedness on the part of this ancient and cantankerous body.

CB1, which has never been known for new blood or new ideas, is setting itself up for an embarrassing comedown on account of this issue, a comedown at the hands of politicians, the public, and possibly the courts. And CB1's motive has no gravitas, not much appeal outside of the 311 crowd . It is pure couch-potato nimbyism.

A similar disconnectedness is evident in politicians such as Diana Reyna, who whistle dixie to the motif of the blue-collar factory job in Brooklyn, but are alienated from the constituency that has actually been creating jobs on the ground in Brooklyn for 20 years.

This is not to say that manufacturing jobs cannot return to Brooklyn, albeit probably in a revised and maybe more tech-driven form. But Reyna's fixation on industrial zoning, her ethno-centric antipathy toward the bohemian constituency and our economy, and her regressive and resentful stance on that economy, will I think amount to a comedown for this council member as well.
Dec. 31, 2011, 3:12 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh Ethan, you never tire of playing the Prophet of Baal [1 Kings 18]. You saying "this whole segment is interconnected" is your way of hoodwinking these fine people reading the Brooklyn Paper into believing that anything you have ever said or observed at all about the gentrification of Williamsburg has ever been correct. "This whole segment is interconnected" is your masterful play on words allowing you to say nothing and anything at all once again, to say one thing here while another thing somewhere else, so that you can never be wrong--that while Williamsburg has developed in the exact opposite logic and reason you have consistently employed [and only because you stand on the shoulders of those you despise] you will never have to worry at night or lose sleep because "it is all interconnected."

If only these people at BP knew you like I know you, repeatedly wrong over the past 20 years about Williamsburg--exemplified first by this lie: that you have been in Williamsburg for the past 29 years, when everyone knows you are the textbook example of the Williamsburg absenteeism, a gentrifying transient, living off in Park Slope while "owning" spaces in Williamsburg that give you, in your own mind, that type of absentee license you have been wielding so well to again show us how everything you say is interconnected about Williamsburg. I'm sorry I have to even state this about you, but because you have made your residency [ha!] some kind of authenticating element in your logic, I have to get on with this drudgery about you.

Now there is no contradiction between an "alcohol economy" and a "creative economy"? That a creative economy is in fact a tavern economy? What nonsense. We know specifically by "creative economy" the way you yourself have described it in the past: graphic/web and film design firms, architectural and urban landscaping firms, fashion and modern art managers, mass multi/media, ALL OF WHICH ARE EITHER ABSENT OR CONSTITUTE A NEGLIGIBLE PERCENTAGE OF WILLIAMSBURG AND NEW YORK'S ECONOMY. You yourself have argued that not only would this "creative economy" [which we have come to understand as meaning anything that comes out of your mouth] be present in Williamsburg, that it would be primary. That it would transform the landscape and employ people in the neighborhood alongside those continuously moving in--ha! This observation had no basis in reality, and so now you're trying to play it off, with ZERO substantiation [I'll use one of your old arguments: "SHOW ME THE DATA"] that it's utter absence in Williamsburg is in fact proof of its "interconnectedness", that it actually manifests in the professional barstoolism of the "tavern economy." Just like the way you argued crime would be mitigated by gentrification, whereas it has not--but wait, if it sounds bad then you didn't say it even if you did, and if it sounds good then "it's all interconnected" and must validate your faulty analysis.

The fact is that whatever happens in Williansburg, whether it directly contradicts your earlier observations, whether they highlight what you overlook, whether they come from the Bible or from out of an extraterrestial ship, they will in fact confirm you because "it is all interconnected"--if crime goes up, if crime goes down, if you lived in the neighborhood 2, 9 or 29 years (a number that changes with each telling), if there are cleaning jobs done in HTML Plus then it's "all interconnected", if there are ZERO design firms or a negligible design economy while everyone is getting drunk in the bars it is in fact "all interconnected," if there is no manufacturing, no cultural institutions, no venues for creative expression at all but lanes and lanes of luxury condominium complexes it is all in fact "creative economy."

I could care less about your observations about CB1--they're too easy a target for you since all the drunkards in Williamsburg are afraid that CB1 is coming to steal their malt liquor. ha! But let's talk about Reyna for a second--why exactly should she support the bohemian economy? Does it not enjoy the overwhelming support of everyone? Indeed, I gather that if you even ask Reyna for her opinion on it [you won't, because you're a bigot who couldn't hope to have an audience unless you made a straw man out of her] she herself would support it--again, who doesn't want to ACTUALLY support a creative economy? You're acting like your constituency is somehow handcuffed, which is in direct contradiction to the past 30 years of government subsidy in arts grants, homesteading loopholes, 7A Building administration abuses and private aid from landlords themselves who formerly sought bohemian organizations to facilitate their rezoning applications. And yet, the failure of a creative economy to materialize is somehow Diana Reyna's fault? What is it the kids say? ——, please.

Let me tell you something, Ethan, given your record on predicting outcomes in Williamsburg--your prognostication that Reyna will be brought down is quite possibly the strongest affirmation of her pending reelection.
Dec. 31, 2011, 5:29 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
EXcuse me, the sentence that a "creative economy" is negligible in NEw York is a typo--the "creative economy" is indeed a significant part of NY's economy, but it is not Williamsburg's. It has long been Ethan's assertion that such a creative economy exists and that, in fact, it has made more significant revenue than all the manufacturing of Williamsburg in comparable periods--a fantasy that he has yet to prove, like many of his arguments.
Dec. 31, 2011, 5:31 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And what hilarious misdirection it is to claim Reyna, or anyone at all, is "ethno-resentful", when your past three posts [2 here, and the last on the FB page for the documentary "El Puente: Bridge to a Gentrified America"] have bled fury at the Latino community of Williamsburg. Or the fact that you parade your lust for a "Bohemian National Home" amongst your many sycophants and are constantly trying to position "artists" as a quasi-ethnicity [or "bohemians" or "hipsters," but what you really mean is "white college graduate elites"]. Brother, please, fix your projector--your wrinkles are showing.
Dec. 31, 2011, 5:42 pm
KJV from Williamsburg says:
Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” So they took the bull given them and prepared it.

Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”

“Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”
Dec. 31, 2011, 5:59 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
Ah yes, sound and fury and superstitious fear. The point to be borne from this story is that the new population in north Brooklyn is stressing two pillars of the old neighborhood belief system.

One of these pillars is the rustbelt theosophy of old school manufacturing. The other is the presumed authority of the community board.

On rustbelt theosophy. The point is not that Diana Reyna obstructs the creative economy, she does not. The Loft Law prevailed, and that is only one issue. More to the point is that Reyna and her office are missing chances to affirm the creative economy and benefit their constituents by it.

As for the community board, I predict they will be Vetoed on this.
Jan. 1, 2012, 6:12 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Ah, see, once again we are changing positions and pretending we never changed at all. Now Diana Reyna is not "ethno-resentful" [a term that clearly implies Diana Reyna is a proactive racist against white agents of gentrification]--now she merely "misses chances to affirm.” Wow. What a difference in life and love and intellect a couple of posts can make. Diana Reyna has become your easy scapegoat given that none of your terrible logic and argumentation has been able to win over anyone but the most ardent of your cheerleaders from the past, now you're hoping you can tap into that Stephen Levin base given the easy servility and sycophancy of his constituency—it takes much less effort to lie to them given their laziness, much easier to exploit their racism and imbue them with your own ethno-resentment, since over here people know Reyna's record better than you do and won't be as easily fooled. People like you are truly the most demented—you act as though earlier statements by you can't be reviewed with a simple click, or in this case, simply scrolling upwards. You should try it, but you've never really cared about being honest anyway—it's all in the performance, right brother? Put on enough makeup and people will think you are indeed a media device.

Now we are pretending that I presume the authority of the community board--I do not, and do not care if they affirm or veto the "tavern economy=creative economy=any economy at all please!", but I understand you put up this nonsense about the community board to do what you do best, that is, being short on magic and long on smoke and mirrors. Let the entire community board fall. Let the tavern owners fall. And let you fall—oh wait, you already have. My point is not to defend or affirm the community board and nothing I wrote indicates that. My point is that people like you have been, like your Republican counterparts on the national stage right now, promising jobs and industry and crime panacea and 72 virgins for 30 years now and as it fails to materialize you pretend it's all impatience and misunderstanding on everyone else's part and not failure by you and your demographic. Maybe it is not someone else who is missing the point--maybe it is you?

Let's stroll down demented memory lane again, only a few steps backward don't worry [I won't clue these fine readers at BP in to your multitude of errors in prognostication just in the past 3 years—that would require significant output]. Let's go back to some of your earlier points right here on this thread that in fact affirm arguments you have denied in the past: you said "The Latino community has declined by half in 20 years" and you also said "that [industrial] base has been running on one piston at best for 20 years" and you also faulted Diana Reyna for connecting that decline in the Latino population with the decline of manufacturing ["Reyna contends that the expansion of artists and artist businesses in East Williamsburg squeezes out the industrial base."] but somehow you failed to notice but likely you did not fail to notice but did that whole slippery thing you do where they are all happening in the same time period [the "20 years"], the same time period when job-destroyers [namely, the Latinos] are being replaced by job-creators [namely, you and your band of merry trolls], and yet, the declining industry is everyone else's fault [especially Diana Reyna, who has become your easy scapegoat given that none of your terrible logic and argumentation has been able to win over anyone but the most ardent of your cheerleaders from the past].

This shows just how dubious your thinking is any given second--whereas correlation is not causation, it's incredible that from within your statement you neglect once again to see the correlation in those 20 years--declining industry and “artist” expansion, which is gentrification. I put “artists” in quotes because I have to accept your abuse of the term to keep this argument going, but I reject that identification of your demographic [it is an unwarranted valorization]. And when you say "declining industry" you mean specifically "industry" that employs locals because you're a bigot, but I mean generally any industry at all that provides meaningful employment for ANYONE living in the area, new and old.

And all the while you are using cheap Fox News rhetoric claiming you are "jobs creators" [ha! you should run for Republican office--they are hurting for candidates and your dubious logic goes well with that pool], why is it then that not only are there no new jobs, but that "industry" is declining except for "barstool warming" and "racers to Alcoholics Anonymous"?

I challenge you: what new jobs in the area have you added, job-creator? What new jobs any of your friends? Will you say, for example, the Greenpoint Manufacturing Design Center, which thankfully employs a couple of dozen people but is sort of like Western Carpet in the Northside, preceding the GMDC, with as many employees, but now sold to make luxury condos? And Western Carpet being one of the tiny employers of that former manufacturing complex? No, there is no employer among the new “job-creators” [ha! cue the Orwell] that even remotely compares to the smallest of the manufacturers in the declining manufacturing-industrial park. But hey, the mere recognition of these facts must be like “sound and fury” to “job-creator” ears.

Why don't you go off and actually do what you say you do, and create some jobs, so that your position can actually mean something one day?

Please.
Jan. 1, 2012, 10:29 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh, and by the way, that's "Ethan Pettit from PArk Slope" not "Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg"--having a space in Bushwick does not a resident make, or even an "artist." What are you pulling with that? That somehow claiming to be from East Williamsburg will imbue your arguments with an authenticity and power and rightness they don't have?
Jan. 1, 2012, 10:54 am
Virginia from Pasadena says:
Ethan:

"All power to the tavern owners!"

"It is absurd that community boards have control over liquor licenses."

???

Of course community boards should have control over how many liquor licenses they issue. Its not Las Vegas, its a residential neighborhood.
Jan. 1, 2012, 9:55 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Hey Virginia! How are ya? Yea, It seems like Williamsburg is proceeding on that lasvegasization, for Real.
Jan. 2, 2012, 7:23 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
The community board has no control over anything, nor should it. It is not a representative body. It is a club, it functions as a lobby. The BP and the local council members can override the board anytime. That's what will happen here, and a compromise will be hashed out that makes no one entirely happy.
Jan. 3, 2012, 2:44 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
Better Las Vegas than urban blight. If I deem it so, it shall be so. The fact that others before me accomplished nothing here, is no concern of mine.
Jan. 5, 2012, 2:29 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Me thinks the "job-creators" should begin with themselves:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/04/architecture-and-art-degr_n_1184096.html

In case you miss it, the title to that article is:

Architecture And Art Degrees Lead To Highest Levels Of Unemployment, According To New Study

ha!
Jan. 5, 2012, 2:36 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
That is, to go along with everyone else you have "deemed so." haha
Jan. 5, 2012, 2:59 am
Virginia from Pasadena says:
Hello Dennis and other friends from Brooklyn. I watched the bar invasion happen in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, and never thought it was a good thing. The galleries disappeared and it was bar after bar.

Ethan, knock-knock, is anybody home?

"Better Las Vegas than urban blight. " - What urban blight??? And anyway, are you seriously proposing that bars are the answer to urban blight?

"If I deem it so, it shall be so."

ROTFLMAO!
Jan. 5, 2012, 11:29 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh, look at this, no mention of a "creative economy," except that the implication is that the agents of gentrification in Williamsburg are actually an obstacle to what the NY Times is calling a "surprising bright spot in the US economy" AND "an area of strength."
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/business/us-manufacturing-is-a-bright-spot-for-the-economy.html?hp

Thank you, gentrification. Thank you.
Jan. 5, 2012, 3:29 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Diana Reyna was thus correct in opposing the Loft Law, since it indeed displaces the one business sector in Brooklyn where residents can currently gain meaningful employment. And thus, even more importantly, the US Labor Department refutes you, Ethan: you and your peers are not "job-creators"; you are, in fact, job-destroyers.
Jan. 5, 2012, 3:46 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
This reference is delightfully out to lunch. This is a study of "recent college graduates," not a study of the arts industry as a whole. It basically says if you want a living-wage job straight out of college right now, you're better off with a degree in nursing than you are with a degree in basket weaving and a year in Tibet.

That's not the same as a study of the creative economy as a whole, across 20 years and two recessions, where everything points to growth. The Huff piece is about job prospects for the age group hardest hit by unemployment right now. And even then its figures are not extraordinary. 13.9 percent jobless among young architects just starting out, the highest rate among the art careers measured. I would have thought that were about right for the whole of the profession in any down or flat economy. Evidently it's not quite so bad as that for the sector as a whole.

And indeed, median income among artists and architects in the US is higher than the national average. (That's all age groups, not just students.) And the outlook for employment in the arts is 12 percent growth thorough 2018, "about as fast as the average for all occupations."

US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos092.htm

And …

"In general, artists’ median earnings are higher than those of the rest of the labour force: $43,000 compared with $39,000 in 2009."

http://www.economist.com/node/21536606

Interestingly, the government site notes that architecture, advertising, and film production provide the bulk of respectable jobs to arts majors. But then it notes that "digital media will drive growth" in the arts. Surely the digital arts are already the Hanseatic League of the creative economy.
Jan. 5, 2012, 9:29 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
This story is even more irrelevant to the topic at hand.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/business/us-manufacturing-is-a-bright-spot-for-the-economy.html?_r=1&hp

It's about an uptick in manufacturing. This is a good thing, and it could happen in Sunset Park if Diana Reyna and Nydia Velasquez would for once actually mobilize themselves to the cause of the new manufacturing to which they give lip service.

Instead, all they've succeeded in doing is to estrange themselves from artists and entrepreneurs by opposing the Loft Law. And the Loft Law then becomes the catch-all for why Reyna and Velasquez can't actually move on new manufacturing. It's a very shallow stance and perfectly political, not even close to what we need at this point in Brooklyn.
Jan. 6, 2012, 12:02 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Listen Shifty from Park Slope, the link you provided says absolutely nothing about how the "creative economy" manifests in Williamsburg. ZERO. You've been telling people to "show you the data" for the past 3 years but you have yet to follow your own arguments about Williamsburg. The statistics at the very bottom of the page apply nationally and not locally, and give ZERO indication as what firms exist in Williamsburg and how they are doing financially--and that is the crux of our argumentation for the past 20 years. You rely on what is meant by 'artist' and 'art industry' as it is conceived in the popular and public imagination, and then hope that people who are sloppy won't notice that it is in fact not happening in Williamsburg. Whether or not artists salary better than the median average is "is even more irrelevant to the topic at hand. More smoke and mirrors--in fact, your link proves my previous argument: "We know specifically by "creative economy" the way you yourself have described it in the past: graphic/web and film design firms, architectural and urban landscaping firms, fashion and modern art managers, mass multi/media, ALL OF WHICH ARE EITHER ABSENT OR CONSTITUTE A NEGLIGIBLE PERCENTAGE OF WILLIAMSBURG AND NEW YORK'S ECONOMY." Does your link not indicate these sectors? And yet, Felice Kirby says, "[C.B.#1's] policy will have consequences on the greatest economic engine in the neighborhood, and on subsidiary businesses that depend on restaurant traffic."

Now, what do we mean by that "greatest economic engine"? Is it in your link, perchance? Hmmm, no mention there of the alcohol and restaurant industry, that you like to dress up as "tavern economy." So, who does this link actually contradict? It can't be me, since it uses the same exact variables I am arguing. Clearly, you are contradicting Felice Kirby. Oh wait, "it's all interconnected"--don't worry, brother, just throw in some more poetic excess and we shan't worry about your lack of substance.

With this current nonsensical line of argument, you try to make it seem that "artist salary" is the same as "artist industry" in Williamsburg. That because artists nationally do so-and-so that it means it is so in Williamsburg--and that is a distortion. It's entirely possible that "Earnings for self-employed artists vary widely. Some charge only a nominal fee while they gain experience and build a reputation for their work. Others, such as well-established freelance fine artists and illustrators, can earn more than salaried artists. Many, however, find it difficult to rely solely on income earned from selling paintings or other works of art. Like other self-employed workers, freelance artists must provide their own benefits." That's a whole more complex than the cherries you picked, "median income among artists and architects in the US is higher than the national average." [Now we can't even rely on you to be honest about the very links you're quoting--thank you for adding to the drudgery since now I have to read through your references to make sure you don't play deceitful payaso again.] Meanwhile, you ignore the many particular classifications for industry and employment in the very link you provided [see "Nature of Work"] so as to avoid the simple fact of their sheer absence in Williamsburg. In sum, you confuse "national salaries of artists" with "local artist industry in Williamsburg," or you try to confuse others is more like it.

But wait, let's go back to copy-paste and show how this link in fact confirms my arguments, and not yours.
Jan. 6, 2012, 8:47 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Neither do your arguments make any real comparison between the influx of so-called "artists" and the decline of industry in the area. What is truly incredible and makes me laugh out loud at how foolish you look is how your arguments about growth in the arts industry is possibly true--on a national level. The fact that on a local level the exact opposite tendency is happening [namely, that the so-called "artists" further the decrease in Williamsburg's job market] says two things:
1) the people claiming to be "artists" in Williamsburg can't possibly be artists, since "art industry" grows nationally but is absent locally and in fact correlates, if not causes, as you put it, that "that [industrial] base has been running on one piston at best for 20 years"
2) the artists in Williamsburg must therefore be some mutant strain of bumbling incompetents who in fact are incapable of doing what their national counterparts are doing.
Which is it?
Jan. 6, 2012, 8:58 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Because you're a bigot and your arguments about art and gentrification in Williamsburg have been wrong for the past 20 years, you want to launch into an attack on Diana Reyna and hope you can tap into racist attitudes, since your audience is radically declined. You yourself have said RIGHT HERE that manufacturing has declined in Williamsburg in the past 20 years. You have also said that in those same 20 years the Latino population has been halved. Meanwhile, Diana Reyna, who was voted into office to serve a constituency is "ethno-resentful" because she wishes to preserve the job market of that constituency? So Diana Reyna is "shallow" because she is actually wishing to preserve and strengthen a community, and you're somehow not "shallow" because you are a vocal agent and apologist of gentrification that aims to destroy industry, block jobs growth and displace communities?

As for my own linkage on this thread: your saying that a study of "recent college graduates" is not a study into the "arts industry" as a whole is another way that people here at BP can be misled by you if they are not privy to your entire body of lies. The gentrification of Williamsburg is fed through and through by "recent college graduates." Almost every single one of your peers lived in Williamsburg on average maybe 2, 3 years--you yourself have claimed you lived here for 8 years [where it's most likely you lived only 2 of them before you moved into Park Slope and confused your connection by train as somehow maintaining your residency in Williamsburg]. The ephemerality of those residencies taken as a whole indicate recent college graduation, and indeed, what is shared by almost every single one of your peers is their elite education. So you missed the finer point: Williamsburg was not gentrified by "artists," it was gentrified by a mass of white middle to upper middle class recent college graduates comprising the generation after white flight. The fact that recent college graduates are having tough times in this economy is galling to gentrification and its apologists; the fact is doubled, tripled even, when the particular college graduates are "art or architecture majors" since these are the sectors most prominently displayed in the falsehoods spread about gentrification.
Jan. 6, 2012, 9:10 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
You yourself have jumped on the L Magazine and in other venues like Facebook to argue that the gentrification of Williamsburg is "perpetually replenished" [your words]. How do you think it is "perpetually replenished"? By waves and waves ofcollege graduation, not by a fanciful and absent "arts industry"--so you're not a very good analyst. If college graduates, especially in the arts, are doing bad, then gentrification is doing bad.
Jan. 6, 2012, 9:12 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
What makes me laugh is how El Puente and Los Sures, as well as the other community organizations in the area over the past 20 years that have come and gone, have employed and continued to employ more agents of gentrification than any gentrified business employs "locals" [or even "artists", for that matter]--and yet, Diana Reyna is "ethno-resentful" and all of us are "shallow." How the Hispanic community has developed a powerful and enduring institution of art in the community [El Puente], how it maintains the only higher education facilities in the area [Boricua College and the "13th grade" offered in El Puente's Green Light District program], how it solely advocated to bring a civic engineering and environmental science university into Williamsburg that was in fact undermined by the shenanigans of your peers--and somehow it is the Hispanic community that is opposed to entrepeneurship, to business, to job-creation, to art, to intellect and culture?

Maybe it is you who is shallow. Maybe it isn't everyone else.

Please.
Jan. 6, 2012, 9:28 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
My suggestion to BP readers herein is to contact Diana Reyna herself about what her actual positions on these social issues are, than rely on Ethan's racist agenda:
Diana Reyna
http://council.nyc.gov/d34/htm...
718-963-3141
250 BroadwaySuite 1740New York, NY 10007
Jan. 6, 2012, 1:37 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
In other words it takes you eight turgid paragraphs to say that while you agree that the creative economy is growing nationwide, as I have shown in my sources, you don't believe this applies to Williamsburg. And then you show no data to show why not.

Willy nilly. I would be delighted if Diana Reyna would hold a town hall on new economies — creative, manufacturing, and otherwise. Such a thing is long overdue in Williamsburg. I'll be the first there. I'll organize my whole building to be there.

Also, calling Reyna's crtiics "racists" I'm afraid has the opposite effect you desire. It reinforces the stereotype of Reyna as an "ethnic" politician, at a time and place when you can be sure she is trying to tweak her branding in this regard.
Jan. 6, 2012, 4:06 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Yes, you have shown it in your latest round of sources--you neglect to mention that your latest round of sources confirmed my argumentation, not yours. You mischaracterized the sources to fit your argument--that Williamsburg has a growing "creative economy," and mine was that it does not exist. Challenging me to prove something doesn't exist is argumentum ad ignorantiam--false, and is meant to obfuscate that the onus is on proving something exists [which you're not doing]. This isn't the same as, for example, proving that crime is on the rise--that actually exists.

And I call you a racist because you focus your arguments specifically on the Latino population in the absence of any further argumentation--in your desperation you want to be a scoundrel because no one but me takes your arguments seriously and I only do so to refine my own.

And my argument is not meant to portray Reyna as "ethno-centric" [which is what you really mean, but again, you like Orwell in the turgid]--what it is meant to portray is why attack Reyna? What is it that she is doing that is hostile to the creative economy? Firstly, all economy is creative--your playing on words again. Reyna's support of manufacturing is in fact support for a creative economy. What you really mean is what you condemn others for: getting government to subsidize your largely hedonistic activity. And why should she hold a forum for that? She is not calling for subsidy and incentive from government--you are [even though you'll pretend it emasculates every one else but not you]. It is your onus, if you want her to participate, you go organize such a forum. Stop demanding from others what you're supposed to do yourself. There goes her number right there for you to call--invite her. But you won't--you expect the victims of displacement to aid in their displacement and to thank you for it.

Oh, and by the way, I responded to that nonsense about you "having a business" on the Gothamist website. Please. You have no "business" there--you have a space where you can try to hook up with other artists, preferably young, so you can poison their minds with your gentrification propaganda.
Jan. 6, 2012, 4:26 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
I agree that manufacturing can be part of the creative economy, the problem is that Diana Reyna is not supporting it. She's really not. The only thing on Reyna's record regarding anything to do with new economies in Williamsburg is her opposition to the Loft Law. Her position is purely defensive and conservationist on this matter, not proactive.
Jan. 6, 2012, 4:52 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Well then, call a forum and invite her and correct her if you can [mind you, I don't believe you're accurately representing her record].
Jan. 6, 2012, 4:59 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
And yes, Reyna is ethnocentric. She's a branded "Latina" politician. Nydia Velasquez too, her district is an ethnic district, by law. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm a big fan of Madison's "tyranny of the majority."

That does not change the fact that Reyna and Velasquez come out of an ethnic political discourse, indeed of the last century, and that they are now challenged by new political exigencies that concern economic development as a whole in the districts. I think they're having a hard time changing gears.
Jan. 6, 2012, 5:04 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
Not "accurately representing" Reyna's record on economic development? How much is there to represent. She voted negative on the Loft Law, we know that. Has she jumped into the initiative to put manufacturing at the industrial park on the waterfront near Sunset Park? I highly doubt it. Other that paying the obligatory lip service to "manufacturing" and "development", this is really not Reyna's forte, I think we know that. She's seated in the ethnic political framework an older Williamsburg.
Jan. 6, 2012, 5:10 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
What nonsense, Ethan! Are you kidding? You name me one politician in the area, ONE, that has been as instrumental as Nydia Velazquez in securing arts and education funding for the area. Many of your peers have gotten by with arts funding secured by Velazquez. You are truly being disgraceful. It's one thing to say these things about Reyna, but to Velazquez? You're horrible, you know. You know how many times she has been a friend to your community and this is how you repay her? Shame!
Jan. 6, 2012, 5:12 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And furthermore, with this nonsense implication that the Hispanic community does not think forwardly--name me one bohemian organization that employs as many artists as El Puente. Name me one bohemian organization that runs a higher education setting in Williamsburg [Puerto Ricans have three]. Name me the first arts council in Williamsburg [I'll give you a hint, oh wait, I won't]. Name me the bohemians that proposed a University for civic engineering and environmental science in Williamsburg.
Jan. 6, 2012, 5:17 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
Actually I and my peers very rarely "got by" on any public funding at all. It wasn't welfare.

Throughout the whole of the bohemian diaspora in the 90s, Minor Injury was the only place that received public funding, and that only covered rent, no paid staff at all.

Epoché, Bog, Quiet Place, Jimenez & Algus, Test-Site, Lizard's Tail, Keep Refrigerated, Room Temperature, El Sensorium, Trans-Lounge. All of these were either self-sufficient or privately backed. And that's a partial list.

On public funding there's no way these places could have done half what they did, or have the character they had.
Jan. 6, 2012, 6:02 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Fair enough. Public funding is never enough for the arts and for education. Never. However, that doesn't give you the right to distort Velazquez's record. She has never been an obstacle to the arts in Williamsburg and has indeed been a powerful advocate on her behalf. Sometimes to the point that it made me sick.
Jan. 6, 2012, 6:12 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
None of the "powerful advocates" for arts funding in that era were very effective against Alfonse d'Amato's attack on the NEA. Arts funding was slashed on account of his campaign to non-profit spaces all over the country. All the same, this had virtually no effect on the growth of art in Williamsburg.
Jan. 6, 2012, 8:58 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh really? No effect on the growth of art in Wiliamsburg--every single one of the events and parties you mentioned has failed to endure in Williamsburg. They were all ephemeral--every single one of them. Not one artist, gallery or bohemian organization that you've mentioned has survived the gentrification of Williamsburg. Not one. Growth of art? What nonsense! And meanwhile you'll try to claim, as you have with others, "there's no proof any artist has been displaced from Williamsburg"--meanwhile you've got Ebon Fisher before cameras and up on Facebook talking about how he himself has been gentrified out of Williamsburg.

Not only have any of those entities endured--none of their art has endured. None of it. Oh sure, you got your —— Metropolis Facebook group with your —— 150 or so members--really impressive numbers signifying some growth there, pal. None of the art or photos or memories or events on display there have captured any imagination but your crowd of has-beens who are all reminiscing about all the p-ssy they used to get back in college and right after graduation. And while you like to fantasize you're a mover of worlds, no one knows or cares about anything you or your peers did except from within your circle of sycophants--they only care that you were some retroactive proxy for them, that you held a place, "Williamsburg" and now they're f-ck you very much for the times, be seeing ya now! Oh, you got some art you want us to ejaculate over--I can't right now, I have to go to the corner bars.

There are many reasons this is so--likely d'Amato's politics contributed, but that's just another variable to add to the many failures of Williamsburg's gentrification.
Jan. 7, 2012, 4:52 am
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
You seem obsessed with the warehouse scene, much more than I am. I saw your clip in Sara's trailer. You are riveted to the warehouse phenomenon, it's all you talk about. It's pathetic. It's as if we made the world you lived in. You might want to tweak that with Sara. You do look rather swept away by it all.
Jan. 7, 2012, 5:34 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Have you noticed how I know nothing about the work you do, but you are always following me on the Internet, and you are watching videos of me, but I am "swept away by it all."

What obsession with the warehouse scene? I am as obsessed with the warehouse scene as Nietzche is with Christianity--the warehouse scene is the subject of but one aphorism or two among the pages and pages of material I have on gentrification. I am amused by the mediocrity and the incompetence and how it continues to hold a nostalgic fascination over people like you and agents of gentrification who seek it, but when they find it, seem to want to put some ketchup and mustard on it, feel me?

You got nothing. This is the last time I will respond to you herein--I understand now that I am fueling your morbid desire.
Jan. 7, 2012, 7 pm

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