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Old 08-11-2008, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
878 posts, read 2,650,228 times
Reputation: 315

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I was reading about Clinton Hill in Brooklyn and some of the tactics that were being used on the older residents. At first, it appeared as if some of the newer residents had circulated an email stating that their was some kind of drug ring operating outside of a certain buidling (first link). As more comments about this situation came in, it appears, as if this is a tactic that a particular landlord uses as he begins his quest for evicting tenants so that he can turn the buidling into co-ops or condos(second link). It appears to be the kind of thing (although not in the same way)that is happening at 40 Sherman Avenue, or at least, what has been described. As an fyi, please view the links that are attached to this post. Whether you agree or disagree, it is important to know what is happening to some of these neighborhoods in New York that have been targeted or are in the process of gentrification. Also, this is not about tenants paying low rent. One of the buildings that is being discussed was brought by the landlord for 2.5 million dollars and has 35 units. As a note, when I lived in Clinton Hill over 15 years ago, I was paying 850.00 for a rent stabilized apartment, so the basic rent in these building are probably over that amount since the avenue that the buidlings are on, is considered a prime avenue in Clinton Hill, as compared to the block that I lived on.

http://clintonhillchill.wordpress.com/2008/06.....clinton-avenue-residents/ (broken link)

http://clintonhillchill.wordpress.com/2008/08.....m-hill-observer-part-1-2/
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
878 posts, read 2,650,228 times
Reputation: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by drkman View Post
I was reading about Clinton Hill in Brooklyn and some of the tactics that were being used on the older residents. At first, it appeared as if some of the newer residents had circulated an email stating that their was some kind of drug ring operating outside of a certain buidling (first link). As more comments about this situation came in, it appears, as if this is a tactic that a particular landlord uses as he begins his quest for evicting tenants so that he can turn the buidling into co-ops or condos(second link). It appears to be the kind of thing (although not in the same way)that is happening at 40 Sherman Avenue, or at least, what has been described. As an fyi, please view the links that are attached to this post. Whether you agree or disagree, it is important to know what is happening to some of these neighborhoods in New York that have been targeted or are in the process of gentrification. Also, this is not about tenants paying low rent. One of the buildings that is being discussed was brought by the landlord for 2.5 million dollars and has 35 units. As a note, when I lived in Clinton Hill over 15 years ago, I was paying 850.00 for a rent stabilized apartment, so the basic rent in these building are probably over that amount since the avenue that the buidlings are on, is considered a prime avenue in Clinton Hill, as compared to the block that I lived on.

Dear Clinton Avenue Residents… « Clinton Hill Chill Blog

http://clintonhillchill.wordpress.com/2008/08.....m-hill-observer-part-1-2/
Sorry about the first link. I have replaced it in the quote section of this post.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:09 AM
 
125 posts, read 116,944 times
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Hmm....so I read the article and I have a few problems with these assumptions. The "innocent kids hanging out in front of the building" are not just hanging out, we already know that at least some are smoking pot openly in front of the building. If you lived in this building, next to this building, or otherwise had to walk by this building on a daily basis, how would you feel walking with your wife/husband/kids on a daily basis through a group of males and a cloud of marijuana? And if anyone thinks that these guys are "innocent" and "just smoking a little pot" then you have never lived in NYC and/or you are a pot smoker yourself. Nevertheless, the idea that anyone enjoys or welcomes a group of anyone smoking pot, and likely much worse, in front of their building is hogwash. Nobody likes that, and the fact that the writer complains about cops "forcing them out of the park" (I wonder why) and now they have no choice but to smoke pot and whatever else they are doing in front of the buulding (it's not their fault after all, it's the cops!) is laughable. So first it is the cops fault, and now it is the LLs fault. Everyone is to blame, but certainly not the "innocent guys smoking pot." Futhermore, that behavior not only breeds worse behavior and attracts the wrong element in general, but IT IS NOT WELCOME EITHER BY CURRENT RESIDENT S OR BY NEW RESIDENTS. The idea that somehow since you have been living there for 400 years and always did drugs and nobody complained so it is okay and "your right" is ridiculous. If it is the new owner behind this campaign to eliminate this behavior, I suspect the residents are glad to finally have this problem addressed, and yeah, it is a problem. Convincing yourself that everywhere you go there are pot smokers so what's the big deal, is the argument of a 5 year old. It is apparently not okay HERE, so find somewhere else to do this! Adding the typical "it is racist" and then the supporting story of "gentrification" and the "evil new owner out to get the innocent Tenants" is just more of the same smoke and mirrors. The bottomline is, they feel they have a right to smoke weed, or whatever other illicit drugs/activities, in the location of their choosing, and anyone that dare question them or find it wrong/inappropriate is quickly labeled a racist (of course) and an evil gentrifyer/outsider. I hope that these young men do meet with a minister and local officials, as they need the guidance, support, and mentoring of someone other than the "kids from the hood" or drug dealers. The title of this thread should be "Druggies Assert Their Rights to Get High."
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:29 AM
 
730 posts, read 2,751,777 times
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This article does describe a man who is less than ethical however I also have a few issues with the article.

Sitting on a stoop is a NYC tradition, true, however, if you are a female more often than not you do not enjoy walking past a bunch of guys sitting on a stoop smoking weed. Most of the time they will say something to you that you don't want to hear. If I lived in a building with dudes hanging out on the stoop all day/night I would probably move.

I am not for throwing out long term residents but I have one question. When the article advises those tenants to not take any offer of a buy out unless is is $150 - $350K???? Are you kidding me? The new LL is supposed to buy these people an apartment??? We had to save money for YEARS to have enough for a down payment, nobody just gave it to us.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:05 AM
 
125 posts, read 116,944 times
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I certainly agree that sitting on the stoops is very NYC...but "hanging out on the stoops smoking weed" is NOT. Furthermore, you have no right to be there, it may be a tradition but it is at the owner's discretion. The article is all a bunch of baloney and more of the same "I am the victim." They were the victim by the "evil" cops when they were smoking weed/whatever else and subsequently thrown out of the park. Now they are "forced" to hang out and smoke weed/whatever else in front of their steps, and now the "evil" and "racist" LL is out to get them too! The whole world is to blame and they are just innocently living their lives, and not bothering a soul. As for the buyout for the Tenant's.....anyone that is waiting for a $200,000 payout is going to be homeless very shortly. If the LL wants you out...you will be out and with NO PAYOUT. If you are offered one, the wise thing to do is take it...NOT to expect a retirement nest egg! But remember, the whole concept of the buyout and the evil LL is all smoke and mirrors to keep you from the real issue here: The guys hanging out in front of the building smoking weed/whatever else!!! It is not okay, and all the blame, stories of evil cops and LLs out to get you has nothing to do with the fact that it is not okay to do what you are doing! Find somewhere else to do this and/or grow up.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
878 posts, read 2,650,228 times
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I know I posted the links but I really am not getting the same thoughts. Yes, the blogger admitted that some of the guys smoke pot and that was an honest statement, too me. For what it is worth, I am not a pot smoker even though I do know, as most do, people that smoke pot. He did not say anything about their being a cloud of smoke coming from the group and he did not say anything about getting kicked out of the park or from the corners or whatever due to pot smoking. He said they were harrassed out of the park by police. He did not elaborate about the reasons why, so I think it is a stretch to assume that it was due to pot smoking and knowing a little about the dynamics that have ocurred in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill it could have been almost anything. He also did not say anything about harrassing women as they walked passed them or that this was a 24/7 thing. His contention is that this particular email that circulated accused them of running a drug ring and the building was a drug distribution spot. That, in itself, without evidence, is a dangerous accusation since it can have far reaching consequences. Evidence cannot be derived from a group of Black males, Puerto Rican males, Dominican males, any other ethnicity you want to put in front males, hanging out so I know they have to be up to something. His complaint too me, seems to be very valid, as he is an owner in the neighborhood, has lived their for years and is very active in the community. He has no problem with newer residents moving in or even with the changes that are occuring in the neighborhood. His complaint was that these were false accusations being distributed in this email and was signed by "Clinton Avenue Residents", as if this was something that the community was protesting. This email was also, according to him, circulated to the principal of his daughter's school as well as another school in the area. Based on the second link, this is just one of the tactics that the new landlord uses when he is ready to start his eviction process.

As far as the landlord of this buidling, he purchased it last year for 2.5 million dollars. From casual research on him, he is well known for having been disbarred from the law profession due to some kind of shady real estate transaction (I don't know what it was about but this is what is mentioned when you google his name). He has also been partnered with other landlords that are known to be slumlords in the city, that buy distressed properties for cheap and then allegedly intimidate the current tenants until they leave. If, and this is just speculation, he can sell those 35 units for 500,000 each (which is not ridiculous in that area) then he would effectively make $17,500,000 of off the property. Even if he made half that amount, it is still $8,750,000. That is over 3x the amount that he brought the building for. His maintenance payments, I presume, would cover the cost of maintaining the building, as well as help pay off the underlying mortgage (I may be incorrect but I think that is the reason for maintenance payments). This is not normal profit when you purchase a rent stabilized building. He has every right to use whatever legal means is possible to raise the rents, to deregulate his building or whatever, but it should be legal. Not falsifying records, make false accusations, fail to repair, intimidate, damage people's credit etc. Those are all illegal and if he will do it to the "poorer" class, he would not have any reason not to do it to the "middle" class or the "upper" class because it is all about maximizing profits. The only reason that he may not do it to the people in the the upper middle or upper class is because they tend to be more verse in utilizng lawyers and tend to have the ability to pay for their legal representation, which makes a big difference.

Note: I also think the suggestion of holding out for 350,000 per apartment is far fetched.

I don't know what is occuring, since I do not live in one of his buildings but, evidently, the writer of the second link, has some experience with him and knows the kind of tactics that are used. Whether he is right or wrong about this instance, is not the point. The point is the kind of back hand tactics that some landlords use in the name of gentrification and it is my belief, that whether you are for it or against it, you should be aware of what is happening in your backyard. Everything may be pretty on the outside but if gentrification comes due to back handed deals and intimidation, then it is possible that the newer residents will face the same thing when someone with more green in their pockets comes along and a landlord sees another pot of gold on the horizon. And this can happen whether or not back handed deals have occured. I was a part of one of the first waves of "gentrification" in Fort Greene, and since I did not own, only rented, I was effectively removed from the area due to the rents constantly increasing.

I also understand that this is a capitalistic society and money speaks volumes but having a decent place to live is not a luxury. It is not about having to purchase Prada boots or whatever but your basic need for shelter for yourself and/or your family. We can always say that "well if you can't afford this place that you have lived in for years then you shoud pack up and go and move somewhere cheaper", but in all honesty, where in New York City is cheaper? I know that apartments in Brownsville and East New York can be almost as expensive as apartments in Clinton Hill so if these tenants were forced out where would they go? Have we become so separated by class that we look down and want to regulate all poorer residents to some kind of enclosed community for poor people? With New York being a city of renters, how much profit should a landlord clear from his building after expenses? Is the sky the limit or should more and more apartments be rented to people who share instead of families? Should we tell our loved ones who may be first time renters and just starting off in life, to get an apartment in the projects or move to a drug and crime invested, run down building because that is the only place that cheap rent is available? And oh, by the way, if you stay there and help to turn the neighborhood around, be prepard to leave because the rent will increase and your contribution to making it a safe neighborhood means zilch?

I mean, this is New York City and I think that we all become richer by having a variety of cultures and incomes around us. But that is my thought and most likely something for another thread.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:50 PM
 
1,867 posts, read 3,864,096 times
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Again, as in the other graffitti post where the thread title is actually totally false, there are always two sides to a story. It is unfair to state as a fact, without any evidence, that they were kicked out of the park for smoking weed or constantly smoke weed on the stoop, and therefore they are part of a drug ring or deserve what they get, without any evidence to that effect. At least use real facts when making your arguments.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:59 PM
 
Location: southern california
61,293 posts, read 81,599,085 times
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landlord conspiracy theories ----accusing people in a ghetto area of selling drugs.
such wild accusations must stop. that guy he saw on the curb handing baggies to cars as they drove up was probably selling girl scout cookies repackaged.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:05 PM
 
125 posts, read 116,944 times
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Darkman thanks for your response...here are my comments. If he and friends are smoking pot in front of the building, the smell is strong and overpowering...so there isn't technically a cloud, but if you are walking by, have your windows open, or passing through the hallway, the smell is overpowering...thats a fact. Why does he feel it is his right to do this in front of the building? Because he can no longer do this in the park? Because he is a long time resident? And if you think this was only happening in front of the building and not in the park you are not being realistic here. There is no doubt that this building, since it is full of longtime residents, is full of kids and families, who are now all subjected to pot smoke because he feels he has a right to do this whereever he chooses, in front of the building currently. Again I ask, how would you feel bringing your kids through the building only to be met with pot smoke in the hallway and steps? How would you feel if you open your window to enjoy the day and get pot smoke filling your apt? Your kids room? But hey, he is a long time resident and an owner...so he has a right, and if you complain/find it inappropriate you are quickly labeled an uncle tom/backstabber/gentrifyer or worse....that's is what is happening here. As for the drug ring accusation, how do we know this is false? If we go just by this article, we already know they are smoking weed, which means they are actively associating with drug dealers in the area...so an argument can be made just on this alone that there may be in fact a drug ring. And if he is lieing and there is a drug ring in the building and he is associated with it, as are his friends, the evil LL story is a great cover, and quickly shifts the attention from him as a perpetrator to a him as a victim...happens all the time...its all smoke and mirrors. Regarding the alleged conversion scheme, this is again all assumption and heresay, and in fact likely made up by the writer to support him as the victim of all this. It is truly fascinating to believe that a group of males smoking pot in front of a building are victims because people/someone believes they are involved in a drug ring. The chances are they are in fact involved..they are smoking pot blatantly and without any worries!!!! We do not know whether this is a tactic by the LL, although it makes a great story. It can be just as easily a Tenant who is fed up with the pot smell filling their apt, and the screaming/laughing/stupidity/noise late at night and making the residents miserable. Or it could just as easily be a neighbor with the same concerns, or passersby who see a problem, and yes it is a problem, and are trying to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem, and yes they often become bigger problems. As for the "if you cannot afford the rent then move out" attitude, I am really not about that. I really do not want to see anyone leave, but if the maintenance and repairs warrant such rent hikes, as does demand, there is really not much we can do..as this is the country we live in, in general. I also understand that if you have to move, why do you feel you are owed a place in NYC? Because you have always lived here? The USA is bigger than just NYC, and 95% of the country is cheap and can provide the affordable lifestyle people require, yet they feel they "deserve" or are "entitled" to live in this city, or anywhere for that matter, but cannot pay for it on their own. There is something inherently wrong with this attitude of entitlement. As a society we should meet the basic shelter, food and human needs of all people, but since when did that become "I deserve to live in Brooklyn" or wherever it is they want to stay. Providing basic human shelter does not mean you will live where you want, with the lifestyle of your choosing, at the price you deem fair or reasonable. If you gotta leave the city..guess what....you gotta leave the city. And all the name calling, race-baiting, LL accusing, ignorant statements, and victimization mentality will not help you. Your question of "should we tell our love ones to get an apt in the projects or move to a drug/crime infested neighborhood/run down building because that is the only place that cheap rent is available" is interesting. As I live in of the neighborhoods that fit this description, as do many of my loved ones (including the projects and run down buildings). And guess what..I live where I can afford and don't complain about it..and neither do they. If I want to live in NYC, this is where I can afford..that is the sacrifice I make...if not..there is a whole rest of the country I can live in..but I choose to be here..and pay the price for it...so why can't everyone else? I ask again, why should we provide/cater to some people in our society where they want to live, the lifestyle they want, at the price they deem fair or reasonable, while everyone else is stuck living a lifestyle that they can afford..whatever that may be?
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:06 PM
 
1,867 posts, read 3,864,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
landlord conspiracy theories ----accusing people in a ghetto area of selling drugs.
such wild accusations must stop. that guy he saw on the curb handing baggies to cars as they drove up was probably selling girl scout cookies repackaged.
Well ones true colors really show themself. Yup, if its in a ghetto and especially if they are people of color, they must be drug dealing.

Do you have any facts to support your theory? Doubtful seeing as you're all the way out in CA.
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