Sunday, September 22, 2013

This sukkah really sucks


"I made a complaint to 311 in the early hours of Thursday, 9/19/13, that an immense structure was blocking pedestrian access to the sidewalk at the corner of 71st Road and Main Street in the Queens neighborhood of Kew Gardens Hills. The offending edifice is adjacent to the restaurant called Simon's Pizza/Felafel. This structure is commonly know in the Hebrew community as a sukkah. Depicted above is the response I received from 311 that police action was not necessary and that the sidewalk was passable and that a community affairs officer was to be notified. 36 hours later, on Friday afternoon, 9/20/13, I shot the photos depicted below that show that nothing had changed. The 107th Precinct (Captain Frederick Grover, Commanding Officer) is responsible for this condition to fester. According to the Code of the NYC Department of Sanitation: "It is illegal for anyone to place or leave any box, barrel, bale of merchandise, or other moveable property (regardless of ownership), upon any public street or any public place." (Paragraph 16-122(b). Fine: $100-$150)" - George The Atheist

For more photos, go to George's blog.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Retired Queens North cop here. The 311 system is a complete scam and an absolute disaster. There is a computer in every station house that is ignored like the plague because nobody really knows how to use it, aside from the most simplest functions. A small handful of personnel were trained about eight years ago on the system, and all those trained are pretty much long since moved on. Those 311 jobs are assigned to a sector car by computer only, and the sector car concerned usually never knows about the job. It is finalized by someone at the station house with just enough knowledge of the system to close the job out. Folks, please don't blame the cops on the street for everything wrong with the NYPD right now. The entire department is a mess, and the brass are fiddling while the city and the department burns. It really is THAT bad, and I can only imagine how bad other city agencies have fared under this current disaster of an administration.

Anonymous said...

The owner probably owns one of those oversized hideous looking McMansions nearby.

Anonymous said...

He needs a permit from the Community Board. That's the law! Regardless if it's a religious circumstance or not!

Anonymous said...

Hey Atheist,
How about showing some tolerance to those of the faith?

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with "tolerance"? You aren't allowed to block sidewalks in this city for any reason, except construction and street fairs, and you need to pay for permits for that. So why should people of one religion expect to be able to impose on the rest of the population?

Kurt said...

Thanks to the Retired Queens North cop for the 411 on 311. I stopped using 311 years ago: fool me once, shame on you, etc. That said, I can't get excited about this being "illegal" when there is so much more dangerous illegal stuff going on, e.g., delivery guys riding mopeds down the sidewalk, running red lights, and riding the wrong way down one-way streets. That little strip of sidewalk would give someone in a wheelchair a problem; anyone else would be fine.

Joe Moretti said...

Of all the things I have seen over the years, this one takes the babka!

Anonymous said...

How about showing some tolerance to those of the faith?

No. Whomever built it is incapable of observing said faith faithfully; it clearly illistrates no understanding of Jewish law, let alone civil law.

Jewish law considers a sukkah built from stolen materials to be invalid. If you stake out public property to build your sukkah, it is considered stolen land unless you are specifically allowed to do so.

Also it should be under open sky, so the placement under the overhang is questionable.

Then there's the issue that it is in a place that requires one to violate the Sabbath in order to enter it: it's attached to a place of business.

This sukkah is both illegal & not kosher.

Jon Torodash said...

"So why should people of one religion expect to be able to impose on the rest of the population?"
---------------------------------------------------------

Probably because they've delivered for Gennaro 3 times in a row.

Anonymous said...

Looks like that thing needs a paint job...

...with a spray can and some choice words.

Then again if you do that, even if you do nothing but draw a happy face, you'll probably be charged with a 'hate crime'.

Deke DaSilva said...

How about showing some tolerance to those of the faith?

Diversity ALWAYS trumps public safety and sanity.

Snake Plissskin said...

First poster: you are about month late because your information could have been used during the primary to expose the fraud that Mr. Public Safety Vallone is.

Indeed, there is no real easily found information on line as to what his committee does.

Anonymous said...

Its called Tweeding my friends.

The pols don't care about the original tenants of the Democratic Party, but platitudes designed to win votes.

Anonymous said...

So why should people of one religion expect to be able to impose on the rest of the population?

well developers can do that so why not the religious?

Jack360 said...

Non emergency calls are handled like the plague. Cops in the precinct ignore them all the time especially the Astoria police precinct. If you have a noise complaint and what have you, good luck.

I think in this case, the complainant ought to call buildings department to get an inspector out there, and see if the facts justify him issuing the owner of the property a building code violation.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will be done about this and we all KNOW why...

Anonymous said...

The sukkah is NOT entirely under the overhanging roof of the building. The portion which is NOT under the overhang IS kosher for use. There is clearly a door (with the spring across it to keep it closed) on the street side, so one need NOT enter the business to enter the sukkah. There has long been an understanding between the observant community and the local police that the structure is only in existence for a single week and is then promptly removed. Only someone with anti-semitic leanings would push that it is "stolen", as one can use the remaining sidewalk to pass or walk on the other side.

Anonymous said...

The sidewalk is not passable and no one should be forced to cross to the other side of the street to accommodate anyone's religion.

Period. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Hey what if the Moslems wanted to put up a minaret right next to this sukkah? What if the Christians a plastic pool for baptisms right next to this sukkah? Just for a week? Why not? The orthodox have started the precedent - commandeering the PUBLIC thoroughfare for their personal religious use. For free no less.

Anonymous said...

Are they paying the city for a sidewalk permit? Like everyone else would have to?

Anonymous said...

We must endure the inconvenience of walking around Christmas decorations each year that are out for more than one week. When was the last time George the anti Semite I mean atheist complain about that?

Queens Crapper said...

Where do you have to walk around Christmas decorations in this City, other than Rockefeller Center, which is private property anyway?

SK said...

For he past three days, I was observing Sukkot and didn't have the opportunity to check out Queens Crap. Looking at the complaint logged by an arrogant atheist, I would ask him a couple of questions:

1. Have you complained to the owner or the owner's kosher supervisor?
2. Have you checked the property maps to be sure that the sidewalk is city-owned?

I've never understood atheists. Those who believe that the universe was created without a reason, that there is no soul, and that we are nothing more than talking pieces of matter that will disappear into dust.

Anyway, I'd like to explain to the atheist what Sukkot is all about. Because it's not about Gennaro or "tweeding." It's about staying true to our faith.

Anonymous said...

We have to walk around those menorahs that they place in NYC park property! How is that legal? Where is separation of church and state? Would I be allowed to put up a Christmas tree in the middle of Flushing Measows Park?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what Sukkot is about. What matters is that someone is privatizing public property.

You may think you're God's chosen people, but you are subject to the same earthly regulations as the goyim. At least that's how it's supposed to work in this country.

Anonymous said...

I like how a complaint about a blocked sidewalk is automatically anti Semitic instead of a complaint about a blocked sidewalk. Why not allow dumpsters on sidewalks to not take up street parking. After all. It's only for a week and I'm sure an "understanding" can be made with the authorities. And if people don't like it, they can walk on the other side of the street. If that sounds ridiculous, that's because it is. Just like this sukkah.

Anonymous said...

I called the owner of the business with the sukkah. I asked him if he had a permit. He told me that the police gave him 10 days to have the sukkah up and that it must be removed by that time. That is from the horse's mouth, the owner, and is not hearsay. He also confirmed that the roof overhang is misrepresented in the picture and actually the sukkah is not under the roof overhang. Also, one need not enter the business to enter the sukkah, there is an external door.

This is what's called going to the source for the truth and not spreading anti-semitic hearsay. And yes, I have been inconvenienced by discarded Xmas trees taking up parking spaces in the street, but I never called to complain because I knew it was a temporary seasonal thing.

Queens Crapper said...

Police don't give out sidewalk permits. The DOT does.

So I guess what youre saying is that the owner has no permit. George provided several photos of the offending structure on his blog, so nothing was misrepresented.

Christmas trees in the street are a violation of the sanitation code. If you saw such a thing and didn't report it then you're part of the problem.

Queens Crapper said...

Just as I tell people who think it's their right to reserve street parking for themselves, I'll tell those who think the sidewalk is theirs: if your current property doesn't accommodate your real or perceived needs, then it's time for you to move to one that does.

Anonymous said...

You should see the ones that hang off the sides of buildings on stilts in Williamsburg. One day, one of these flimsy structures is going to collapse and hurt or kill someone. In this case, a strong wind could knock over the wooden wall onto a pedestrian.

Queens Crapper said...

George just sent me an update. The Sukkah has multiplied.

Sukkah Success

georgetheatheist said...

The son (prodigal?) returns. SK aka Sergey Kadinsky. Where have you been buckaroo?

Ouch!! Calling me an "arrogant atheist". Moi? Arrogant?

You say you never understood atheists. I say I never understood Jews. You escaped from the clutches of Ramses II through the abracadabra of YHWH but that big guy delivered you to Adolf. And you still kowtow to YHWH. If I was youse I'd kick Adonai right in da nutz.

Now clear that goddamn sidewalk!!!

Arrogantly yours, GtheA

Joe Moretti said...

Religion aside, which this is NOT about. A public sidewalk is being blocked, period. Unless some type of permit was given, which I highly doubt, this is illegal, plain and simple. Get off the religion kick and look at it for what is is, an illegal blocking of a sidewalk. It would be the same if the business owner put his car in that exact same place. Blocking a sidewalk is against the law.

Anonymous said...

In any faith you can find a narrative about a god mistreating his own people. But that doesn't negate that the god exists. The pizza shop owner went to the local precinct instead of the DOT. You made the 311 complaint, posted it here, so far the tent still stands. What's your next move?

Anonymous said...

Oi. This has NOTHING to do with religion. That sidewalk is blocked to people of all, or no, faiths. It puts vulnerable people at risk when they leave the sidewalk for the street - if they can do so. Perhaps the owner should consider moving it a mitzvah?

Joe Moretti said...

Anon said...

I called the owner of the business with the sukkah. I asked him if he had a permit. He told me that the police gave him 10 days to have the sukkah up and that it must be removed by that time. That is from the horse's mouth, the owner, and is not hearsay.
---------------------
Yes, it is hearsay, a anon post states he talked to the owner, how do we know that and I certainly do not believe that the police said that, this is not in their jurisdiction. And as far as the other ANON stating the owner went to the local precinct instead of DOT, no he did not, that is not what the above ANON said.

READ PEOPLE.

Again bottom line a private person is blocking a public sidewalk.

georgetheatheist said...

My next move is to alert the Hebrews:

SK (Sergey Kadinsky) called me "arrogant" above. Throughout history anti-Semites have labelled the Jews as being arrogant.

If this sukkah - in clear violation of the law - is not "arrogance" on the part of Shimon's Pizza/Falafel, I dont know what is. Arrogance in your face until Wednesday.

So many Jewish organizations and none of them tell the restaurant to ditch the illegal sukkah? None of them say to the owner:

HEY PAL, THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR THE JEWS. IT MAKES US ALL LOOK ARROGANT.

What's your next move?

-Sincerely, GtheA (A Voice Crying in the Wilderness & Protector of the Jews)

Anonymous said...

Only someone with anti-semitic leanings would push that it is "stolen", as one can use the remaining sidewalk to pass or walk on the other side.

I have several responses to your stupid statement:

1) The point about stolen land is clearly expressed by the Beth Immanuel Sabbath Fellowship in their article about Kosher Sukkah (http://www.bethimmanuel.org/articles/kosher-sukkah). Are you suggesting Beth Immanuel are a front for anti-semitism? If so, take it up with them.

2) "use the remaining sidewalk to pass or walk on the other side"!? You are serious about this aren't you? No wonder you're such a paranoid about anti-semitic leanings; you're so involved with your brazen self-absorption that you would rather blame those you inconvenience than take responsibility. I have no empathy for anyone who creates their own misery.

I called the owner of the business with the sukkah. I asked him if he had a permit. He told me that the police gave him 10 days to have the sukkah up and that it must be removed by that time. That is from the horse's mouth, the owner, and is not hearsay. He also confirmed that the roof overhang is misrepresented in the picture and actually the sukkah is not under the roof overhang. Also, one need not enter the business to enter the sukkah, there is an external door.

1) I suggest you learn about law before you go about acting like a lawyer. Your claim that you spoke to the proprietor of the business about the sukkah is itself hearsay—let alone that of what you claim he claimed.

2) As noted in some of the other comments, the NYPD does not issue sidewalk permits. Speaking to Captain Frederick Grover at the 107 does not constitute a permit. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if he did agree to it simply to avoid a likely accusations of anti-semitism. That seems to be a reliable fallback for the more egotistical members of the "community".

3) Your arguments of its kosher validity does not change its legal validity.

The sad truth here is it's most likely an illegal blockage of a public sidewalk, and it will be ignored by the various authorities because the expectation is that it will be removed in a week's time. This story repeats itself every year.

Anonymous said...

From the Beth Immanuel Sabbath Fellowship (referred to above):

"Stolen Materials. Jewish law considers a sukkah built from stolen materials to be invalid. If you stake out public property to build your sukkah, it may be considered stolen land unless you are specifically allowed to do so. Also, get permission first before taking branches from your neighbors or public parks."

Seems like Captain Frederick Grover of the 107 Precinct is partially at fault here? He verbally acquiesed to its construction and did not have any back-up paperwork?

Anonymous said...

The Beth Immanuel group is a bunch of MESSIANIC Non-Jews pretending to be Jews. Anything they say about Jewish law is to be taken with a grain of non-kosher salt.

Anonymous said...

So what's the low down on the sukkah? Valid or invalid? Kosher or not? Made from stolen material?

Anonymous said...

The Beth Immanuel group is a bunch of MESSIANIC Non-Jews pretending to be Jews. Anything they say about Jewish law is to be taken with a grain of non-kosher salt.

Then how about this gem from Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement of Hasidism (http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/4483/jewish/The-Measurements.htm):

If one is not well versed in the laws pertaining to the construction of a sukkah, it is fitting that he show his sukkah to a scholar while it is yet day so that he can make any necessary changes before the beginning of the Festival.

The mitzvah can be fulfilled by dwelling in a borrowed sukkah. Thus, one who did not build his own sukkah can fulfill his obligation by using his friend's sukkah. One should not, however, fulfill his obligation in a stolen sukkah. Thus, one may not build his sukkah in a public domain, for he is considered to have stolen the publicly owned land on which the sukkah stands.


You're welcome to continue to debate over who is and isn't Jewish, and which interpretation of Jewish law is more valid—that will not affect me as this is my final post on the matter.

However, such debates do not change the crappy facts that this particular sukkah is blocking a sidewalk, and that 311 responded stating police action was not necessary.

This story will repeat itself every year.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in this neighborhood for over 25 years. There has always been Sukkots on Main Street and the adj. streets. The DOT as well as the NYPD are aware of this holiday and there has never been a problem until now, when I am reading this crap.
Perhaps why this is called Queens Crap.
Really, some people need to get a life.

Queens Crapper said...

I have lived in this neighborhood for over 25 years. There has always been Sukkots on Main Street and the adj. streets. The DOT as well as the NYPD are aware of this holiday and there has never been a problem until now...

You just admitted that there has been a problem in excess of 25 years. Just because no one says or does anything doesn't make it right.

georgetheatheist said...

There are many sukkots indeed peppering the neighborhood. They are all over the place BUT they are on the homeowners' private property. (As well they should be to be in accordance with Jewish halakhic law). This one however is on the public thoroughfare. It's not kosher. Get rid of it. It's a shande for the community.

-Regards, Rabbi George the Atheist

Anonymous said...

Lets be reasonable folks and without all of the religious babble. The sukkot is blocking the sidewalk and that's obvious. Plan better for next year. Even if I didn't get a ticket I wouldn't park my car on the sidewalk and force my neighbors to cross the street. Really now!

Former Deputy Mayor John Zuccahtti said...

Com'on over to my zuccah in Zuccahtti Park. We're serving meatballs and lasagna.