Scenes Of Queens: Donald Manes’s Vault

This scene takes place in Kew Gardens at Queens Borough Hall, office of the Queens Borough President, currently held by one Donovan Richards.

This was taken during the Winter Solstice and Christmas holiday, where there was an incident at the Umbrella Hotel across the street, but it’s being documented now because of the significance of today’s date. Marking the anniversary of the day the longest reigning Queens Borough President Donald Manes attempted suicide by the Grand Central Parkway.

Walking by the disheveled tree the Hall set up, there was a monument that caught my eye

It was hard to tell and photograph because it was taken near dusk, so after I was observing the weird shit going on at the Umbrella Hotel, I returned to this spot at dark to get a better and illuminated snapshot.

Looks like the long ago World’s Borough Prez left a time capsule here just a few years before his personal troubles and city scandals got exposed. And it’s got another 61 years until whatever contents will finally be found when the “world’s borough” turns 300 (!!!). It’s a wonder what could possibly be stored in here, but from the looks of the cracks around it maybe Donnie pried it open on intermittent weekends to store his cash bribes in here in the dead of night?…

Nah, back in the 80’s we had journalists like Jimmy Breslin, Wayne Barrett and Jack Newfield that never slept on these shady politicos and their corrupt machinations. The latter two legendary reporters wound up collaborating on a book of Manes and his elite appointed and elected cronies dastardly foibles called City For Sale, so there’s no way Manes would get his hands that dirty. Besides, he decided to snuff it for good two months later at his house by stabbing himself in the chest when his psychiatrist visited him on a house call, so he could avoid going to trial for his crime schemes.

But as the last mayor Big Bad Bill de Blasio has shown, the city is still for sale and even easier to loot and occupy with patronage hires. In fact, The Blaz even has his own time capsule in Park Slope at his 3 story townhouse that is currently under renovation. Since 2019. And it’s a sure bet he and his wife put a lot of filthy bribe and city taxpayer money buried somewhere in this makeshift vault.

The city is not going to wait as long as Manes’s time capsule to see what in the de Blasio’s money pit house, since it’s scheduled to be done and open about 5-6-7 months from now. Which is hysterical since this means that Bill and Chirlie (and probably Dante and Chiara) have no place to live since leaving Gracie Mansion over a week ago. New York City’s former first couple is currently squatting at a Marriot Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn, which makes it deliciously ironic given de Blasio’s own gerrymandering homeless policy of sending the destitute to hotels all over the five boroughs for 8 years and now the motherfucker and his tax boondoggle wife are homeless themselves.

Unfortunately for the memory of Donald Manes and the three aforementioned muckrakers that took him down, The Blaz managed to slither out of City Hall unscathed despite his two terms of brazen dirty deeds. Maybe it’s because Manes wasn’t as smart cunning as his sinister progenitor, but it’s also because local news media is entirely compromised, more concerned about access than accountability. But fate has a nasty habit of fucking shit up for even lucky bastards like de Blasio, although so much as been written about his graft, maybe it’ll take a couple of stories salacious enough to take him down and bring an abrupt end to his aspirations to serve in public office. Here’s hoping that Blaz’s Park Slope capsule will remain chained and locked for just as long as Donald Manes’s borough hall locker.

To quote Preet Bharara, the guy who got fired by Donald Trump as he was about to indict The Blaz:

Stay tuned…

 

 

Scenes Of Queens: Emergency At The Umbrella Hotel

This scene happened in Kew Gardens. 

This is the Umbrella Hotel, where the first homicide of departing mayor and lying lowlife Bill de Blasio last year in office took place, after a fight broke out from a hotel room where another raucous party was being held and spilled outside  in front of the building’s entrance and three men got shot during a rumble between two groups of men, one of them fatally.

The 19-year-old killer was actually already in custody for another homicide in Queens when he shot a man to death at a karaoke bar in Flushing over a fight about a gold chain the victim was wearing.

The Umbrella Hotel is actually a mixed use building featuring once touted luxury residences on the higher floors. But the hotel itself had persistent trouble filling vacancies, so the management decided to let a homeless service provider fill the rooms with homeless people, which the city would pay around $2,000 to $3,000 a month to shelter them.

When the pandemic hit, the Umbrella became a convenient site for the city to use to fill their empty rooms with even more homeless people so they can socially distance and shelter in place from the public. But for some reason and against the CDC’s  pandemic guidelines, the hotel management still allowed parties and events to fill up the rest the rooms so they can cover losses accrued from slow business induced by COVID-19, but that all ceased because of the cold blooded murder and the Umbrella got closed for good.

 

Which is why this was such an odd sight nearly one year later. Which I eye-witnessed after viewing a Christmas tree lighting at Queens Borough Hall directly across the street from this dour block. Looks like more sordid shit is going down at the Brella.

Curiosity beckons to ask why was a NYPD patrol van standing guard, idling on the common area of egress for the remaining residents of this “luxury” building? Was there a fugitive they trapped in there? Couldn’t be because the freight entrance was opened. Closer inspection found that this  exhibition of authority probably didn’t warrant this much excess.

Or did it?…

  Apparently, there’s going on at the Umbrella that’s really alarming the folks at the Department of Buildings. It might be gut renovation or conversions to make it 100% residential. Or 100% affordable. Or going by the extreme security measures the NYPD decided to use here, maybe the Umbrella owners are prepping this for prisoners from Rikers, making this a place for them to be contained with high security quarters while their trials are being processed a block away at Criminal Courthouse two blocks east once City Council fast tracks the premature complete shutdown of the prison island with a tower jail that will be erected in another 6 years.

If that isn’t much of a downer to read about on the day of the birth of Jesus, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards toy drive was even more dystopian, thanks to the irrational panic induced by him and Mayor de Blasio and Governor Kathy Hochul about the mild Omicron strain, he forced the children and their parents to receive their gifts in darkness instead of inside Borough Hall, as they appeared to check every boy and girls vax status with their celly flashlights.

The vaccine mandate has made it easier to separate the nice from the naughty

Our leaders and officials may be blockheads, but at least they picked a nice tree.

Merry Christmas from Impunity City.

Your city.          

Scenes Of Queens: Positively 118th Street

 

This scene is in South Richmond Hill, 118th Street and 103rd Avenue. Back again.

The sinking hole is “repaired”. Just like the other ones on the ave.

Seriously.

Didn’t even know there was a sewer cap there before

Asphalt is not even hardened, and it’s sinking again. It’s like they opened up the street immediately after it was patched up.

 

Another great shit job D.O.T Commissioner Gutman, fucking asshole, a bulbous waste of flesh Blaz crony hire who has 0 experience about city road infrastructure and traffic issues, who is using his shyster skill sets in “intellectual property practice” to “re-imagine” city streets.

Portrait of NYC DOT Commissioner Henry Gutman taken outside, in front of the Brooklyn Bridge.

D.O.T. Commissioner Asshole

Keep pandering to the fucking Bike Taliban and rendering policies and designs from those agents of the city shitbricks at Transportation Alternatives asshole. If this street collapses, the blood’s on your hands motherfuckers. And that goes for you too Donnie Richards, enjoy gorging on food at “hip” restaurants with the dotard mayor.  Dick.

 

Scenes Of Queens: Across 118th Street

This scene takes place in South Richmond Hill on 118th Street and 103 Ave.

In the middle of the road yeah.

This is not infrastructure maintenance, this is a meme

I remember when this slowly collapsing sinkhole was just a baby back in Mid-August…

 

 

There are more pitiful asphalt patches here than a pair of hippie bell bottom pants. All these cracks indicate that it’s going to reach a full cave in the not so distant future. It’s a mystery who put that plundered shopping cart there, but it was a yoeman thing to show how deep the crevice is.

 

All signs indicated that current mayor de Blasio’s Department of Transportation, which is run by one of his Brooklyn aristocrat city planning buddies Hank Gutman, did a major less than half ass job laying the blacktop on this. Because this is what it looked like a week before some creative type did a near approximation of Homer Simpson’s rage motivated contemporary art piece.

Truly a WTF FUBAR in process.

Apparently the DOT got some 311 calls and filings and sent some workers to remove the shopping cart the following day and marked the territory in orange spray paint and placed less damaged but not really new hazard cones to warn approaching drivers coming from both sides and from the north.

Another day went by and those poor cones couldn’t survive the rigors of traffic, so de Blasio’s D.O.T., or more likely some local denizens took matters into their own hands again to salvage the dreaded sinkhole and filled it with cobble stones and a strip of aluminum siding.

 

 

 

 

 

Noice!

Although this is another embarrassingly abominable display of city neglect and incompetence and another example of the city infrastructure dilapidation, this will eventually be remedied with a better and hopefully more thorough renovation, because this evolving crater is not to first to infect 103rd Ave. For their were similar former and potential cave-ins discovered on numerous blocks west from this current blight.

Both examples were found on only 2 blocks away on 116th, with one recently blanketed over in the intersection and the other that is certain to collapse in probably a week or a day.

Another dilapidated touch up found on 115th.

Surrounding cracks for this shit job between 114th and 113th shows this asphalt comb over will fail soon

More dilapidation on 112th St.. The jagged double yellow stripe indicates that they didn’t even wait for the asphalt to dry when it was painted over.

Same case with this baby on 107th Street as well.

 

Crossing the border into Ozone Park at 102nd St.  is where the last of the asphalt wonder chasms got the shit as extra frosting treatment. But it’s obvious that vehicular wear and tear is having an effect.

The contractors sure were in a rush to steam roll this hole by the look of the detritus that got stuck in the tar.

Can’t recall the last time this avenue was milled and repaved but it doesn’t look that long ago. But there’s still something disturbing going on here to see these many chasms on consecutive blocks and not so far apart on one avenue in just two zip codes. Especially an avenue that is only about over a mile and a half. (It’s about 50 blocks running from 84th to 134th). It’s even more infuriating that as this avenue continues to turn to shit and is most likely to lead to injury or fatality if the ground just gives way as someone is driving over it, that the city is prioritizing building fucking “bike boulevards” and designating and blockading “open streets” for Queens cycling colonizers to play on.

Here’s a good example of one of these open streets on 34th Ave. in Jackson Heights (where a massive inferno engulfed an apartment building, disenfranchising over 400 people from their homes), what the current mayor and bike taliban agitprop news site Streetsblog calls the “gold standard” of returning streets “back to the people”.

Good luck finding the people.

 

With Speaker Cojo the Derelict Dancing Clown and the City Council Cronies and a pandering and weak NYC mayor hiring a fellow Brooklyn patsy like Hank Gutman to run the D.O.T., this confederacy of dunces and douches exerted more effort into open streets and now bike boulevards for self-serving enlightened bike and “open space” lobby groups, they abandoned the rest of the streets in deeper enclaves of Queens, streets that are necessary for commerce and personal livelihoods. Also got to mention all the new bike lanes they painted that doesn’t do a fucking thing to keep pedestrians bikers, drivers and even the environment safe. But the dirty underlying reason why 103rd Avenue is decaying is that it’s part of the city’s neoliberal plan to induce demand into people to give up their cars, their choice to commute. And what better way to do that to use hostile redesigns like keeping open streets closed to vehicles and using demolition by neglect to let the streets crack and collapse below them, and certainly local cyclists and pedestrians too. But I guess they will all just be collateral damage to satiate the self-righteousness of these fauxgressive politicians and social media urbanish gadflies.

Sure it sounds conspiratorial, but this is how NYC government has been operating for the last decade, notably under Bloomberg’s illegal third term and through 8 years of slow water torture governing by the Blaz.

On the way back to South Richmond Hill, there was a hole on the street I rode past over by 112th St. and sure enough it’s the same protrusion I caught on 118th back in August. It’s a sure bet that this will progress into something bigger, but at least it will lead to more inspiration in an effort to conceal it.

From the looks of this little weed, this cave-in is already alive.

Meanwhile, back on 118th St., Autumn equinox:

The siding is destroyed, the road hazard cones are gone, but more cobblestones have been dumped in the hole to convey the illusion of infrastructure road remediation.

Keep safe while driving Queens…

 

 

Scenes Of Queens: Fuck Yo Pizzeria Asshole

This scene is located in Rockaway Beach

Excuse me, what did you fucking say to me?

That’s what I thought you fucking said. Like I would throw any self-respect or dignity I have to wait and get a table at your fucking pretentious, fucking expensive, fucking overrated restaurant.

And besides, I don’t think I would ever patronage a junkyard looking faux dive like this with two zombie houses 20 feet away across the street, covered in filth, weeds and graffiti. Not even tasteful graffiti, but I’m sure it fits in with the pizzeria’s vicarious ghetto/hardcore/outlaw motif.

Maybe the dear proprietor was addressing this poor man here, who is enjoying a libation behind a zombie piano.

Behind the idiotic drive-in billboard there seems to be an elaborate stage set up, so this restaurant is also a concert venue as well.

And there’s also this thing, which is a recording studio/hostel and it looks more menacing than those abandoned houses. Looks like this faux dive pizzeria and this are connected in some way. Sounds like a good way to conjure a music scene out of thin air that would not have a chance in any semblance of a society or in hell.

Anyway, this pizzeria is owned by this chef who made himself at home on the peninsula by being a boorish cock, cursing out customers, stealing an oven when his place shut down at a hotel down the block, and got kicked out of the lame Riis Park Beach Bazaar for blasting obscene music. Yet he’s still managed to find success in Rockaway and now has this huge corner commercial space. Only in this new version of New York City can a person this obnoxious can make a name for himself here, where recidivist criminal behavior not only by common skells but mostly by the ruling class is permitted and rewarded. But that is what that is and it’s not gonna change. He’s probably a good chef but he sucks as shit at fomenting this faux outlaw punk rock vibe for his establishment.

Anyway, this place gives me the creeps, good riddance.

 

 

Scenes Of Queens: Vaccine Bussing Bust

This scene takes place in South Richmond Hill, Liberty Ave. and Lefferts Blvd.

The sight was quite incredible and truly unexpected.

Two massive vaccine buses giving out two vaccines, one for the two-dose Pfizer and the other for the one-shot Johnsons

Only one problem…

Nobody was doing it.

After spending about an hour scoping this out, zero people lined up to get vaccinated.

 Little Guyana is one of the areas currently with the highest COVID infection rates in Southside Queens and likely also one of the top ranked areas in vaccine hesitancy among it’s residents.

The Blaz, a disaster of a mayor and selfish human being, has been talking about equity regarding these vaccines for months and even by sending two mobile vac sites he is still failing his constituents, mainly because the city has not made an effort to inform people of the side effects and there is zero data about re-infections after vaccinations.

What’s interesting about this over-deployment of vac buses is why send two to this one spot instead of sending one of these mobile sites to other neighborhoods with higher COVID infections and hesitancy and lack of available vac sites, notably in other lower income Southside Queens enclaves like Far Rockaway? I guess because of the demographics there is higher chance for the India-based Delta Variant of COVID-19 to spread or maybe it was because the Blaz was on this block a few weeks ago for a street renaming event.

It’s easy to see why the Blaz and his NYC Dept of Health desperately overcompensated to get residents around Little Guyana inoculated and why vaccine equity is all performance, because they have been more concerned with getting tourist destination areas clear of COVID spread first, notably in Times Square by opening up a vac site on Broadway complete with a musical performance to entertain the Blaz and his elite producers, hospitality CEO buddies and Lin Miranda Manuel. And has is typical of the Blaz’s touch of failure, this site is now out of commission because the contractor fucked up and let vaccines spoil. The Blaz also sent, make that used the mobile vac buses mostly as promotional events when he showed up at an event featuring his fauxgressive ally Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Jackson Heights and other stops in the West and East Village in Manhattan so his son Dante got to promote his side hustle DJ act.

 Not much is known how many people got the jabs ever since these buses have been on the streets in the last few months. Looking at this, it gives the impression that it might be on the block for about a week but it was only set up for one day. Although the sight of these buses should give a sense of confidence, it’s ultimately wasteful to send them on the same day the primary election races for Mayor, City Council and Borough President is going on and extremely insulting how late the city took getting at least one bus to this area after months of being one of the city’s highest infected enclaves.

This scene in Queens looks more another exhibition of equity than it is for public health equity and it’s also another exhibition of the mayor’s persistent profligate spending of city tax dollars. Which ultimately results in more passive disenfranchisement of city services.

 

 

Scenes Of Queens: Rebel With A Pause

This scene is on Cross Bay Blvd. at a commercial building in Ozone Park

The Greaser/James Dean statue

Queens Chronicle

Residents of Ozone Park and Howard Beach tend to be familiar with one of the area’s most conspicuous oddities, the greaser on the clock.

Hoisted up on an office building along Cross Bay Boulevard, a statue of a ’50s greaser clad in blue jeans — hands thrust into the pockets of a black leather jacket — leans back on the brick facade of a law office at 109th Avenue.

What they might not know is that the figure was put there by George Schneider, the longstanding member of the business community in charge of Schneider Real Estate.

Schneider died on May 2 at 87 years old. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, his daughters Linda Schneider Bancalari and Debbie Ann Schneider, stepson Raymond Simpson and seven grandchildren.

The real estate entrepreneur was born and raised in Richmond Hill and lived in Howard Beach and Ozone Park for most of his adult life, before moving to Long Island in his old age. He began his Ozone Park-based business in 1955.

Schneider Real Estate turned into a recognizable name in South Queens, and even extended into a mini-business empire in the neighborhood. Its original quarters were located around 107th and Cross Bay Boulevard, where Schneider had set up a number of different businesses in his namesake: Schneider Travel and Schneider Insurance, in addition to a building that morphed over time from ice cream stand to consignment store among other businesses.

His daughter Debbie Ann Schneider still lives in a Schneider Real Estate home that she inherited from her dad.

“The people that are on my block, they’re like, ‘Your dad sold this one to that person and that one to this other person.’ But everybody comes back to the man on the building,” she said, referring to the greaser statue.

Next to Schneider Insurance, Debbie Ann said that her father used to put out dune buggies and hot rod cars to attract attention.

For the real estate company he wanted to get a statue of a burglar. “Like a robber — stealing — like we’ll steal a house for you, it’ll be so cheap,” Debbie Ann said. But when he couldn’t find a statue of a cat burglar, he went with another symbol of a lawless antihero: a member of the greaser gang subculture that gained prominence in the ’50s.

Many call it the James Dean statue, after the “Rebel Without a Cause” star.

“His main objective was so that people would stop and look at it, you know? And it worked,” Debbie Ann said.