Author Topic: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds  (Read 60053 times)

Offline itsit

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #135 on: December 03, 2015, 07:23:13 AM »
 If you want community support here, let us know when and where. How to voice the issues in a way that encourages
resolution and the result you would like.

Offline rhydewithdis

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #136 on: December 04, 2015, 03:56:18 PM »
I'm wondering if it wouldn't hurt to go to this session happening next week hosted by NYC's Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, and get some advice on how to cut through the red tape you are dealing with now.

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #137 on: December 07, 2015, 08:41:32 PM »
As some of you know, several months ago a Department of Buildings inspector gave us a Stop Work Order in which he alleged that we were running a renovation without a building permit and in an unsafe manner. Indeed, a few people here were quick, in a earlier thread, to embrace the quite serious allegations that were posted on our front window.

Basically, he entered like John Wayne and slammed us.

In fact, we were making non-structural, cosmetic changes that involved ripping up floor and ceiling tiles as well as removing, with hand tools, vents that had not been used for years. Our main motivation was to determine whether there was an original floor or ceiling worth preserving.

Last Friday morning, an Administrative Judge dismissed the Department of Building's allegations in their entitety.

On late Friday morning, the same enforcement officer showed up and said, flippantly, "so you won in court". When we suggested to him that what he did has resulted, for us, in a costly nightmare, he walked out.

This morning, the Departnent of Buildings lifted the Stop Work Order.

This BS has cost us a great deal of time and a great deal of money.

This guy slammed us without thinking about what was going on and without asking any questions.

This has cost us a lot of time and tens of thousands of dollars. One of the reasons that it has taken so long to resolve this is that the we spent hours earlier this fall at the Administrative Court, for a hearing, only to be told that the inspector had called into work sick. Apparently, we and our lawyer were not entitled to the courtesy of notice of this.

And yes, I am concerned that the Deoartment of Buuldings, and this inspector and his colleagues, will read this and have it in for us.

But somebody has to say something.

Stew
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 08:57:23 PM by Stew »

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #138 on: December 07, 2015, 09:55:45 PM »
Here are two problems trying to open a business that is of interest to Jackson Heighrs residents, and creates employment, in Jackson Heights:

The Department of Buildings sends out an inspector to close down completely legal activity in order to increase city revenue (in our case, a $6500 bogus fine, which the city will now be required to repay - yes, we had to pay the "fine" up front in order to appeal -, but not the tens of thousands of dollars that this has cost us).

Ms. Giovanni Reid, on behalf of our Community Board, tells us that it's our problem that her office has failed to keep our counsel of record apprised of meetings of my local community board, which I support with my tax dollars, and which I hope to continue to support when, and if, my community board figures out (having met with me twice already) that a contemporary American restaurant, based on French technique, is not a threat to Jackson Heights.






« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 10:13:07 PM by Stew »

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #139 on: December 08, 2015, 09:39:27 PM »
In light of the Administrative Court's decision to dismiss, in their entirety, the Department of Building's allegations against us, our general contractor will start work on Thursday to make Swim Two Birds a reality.

Don't know what to say about the behavior of my Community Board except that the behavior of the Board and its Director, is embarrassing, anti-business and anti-resident.

On Thursday, I'll be starting a new thread about our build-out.

I can tell you that the Artistic Design chairs, which we received a few days ago, are awesome. Beautifully designed and extremely comfortable.

I think that we will also be posting videos on TouTube about our progress and problems, including government problems.



« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 09:54:59 PM by Stew »

Offline itsit

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #140 on: December 09, 2015, 04:16:01 PM »
Wow Stew, this really is a saga. And one hopes that your willingness to stick it out here past the BS will reward you handsomely.
One hopes so. Some colleagues and I were talking the other day about karma and this is something that will hopefully return
to the originators some similarly hefty problems. Are you familiar with the Irish putting "a set" on someone? Setting them
straight and then some.

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #141 on: December 09, 2015, 05:02:06 PM »
The fact that you Stew are so open and transparent about what's been happening shows great courage on your part. 

Folks can only operate unethically in the shadows.  And you are shining a very bright light on questionable practices by folks in our, we as taxpayers, employ.

You should rest assured that the thousands upon thousands of viewers who are following this post, members of our Jackson Heights Community, have now been alerted to your situation.  And my guess is that those who misuse the power they have been granted by the community will now and in the future, be observed very closely.   

Offline Lilybell

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #142 on: December 10, 2015, 12:30:51 PM »
Stew, if you are still having issues with the DOB, the contact name I sent you in a PM a few weeks ago might be able to help with that. He has no power over the community boards, but he can help when someone is getting the runaround from another city agency.

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #143 on: December 10, 2015, 02:29:27 PM »
Maybe called the the DA or someone. Sounds like an abuse of power.

Offline petster

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #144 on: December 10, 2015, 03:25:47 PM »
Does anyone know if there is a way to disslove the current community board or create a new one?

Offline CaptainFlannel

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #145 on: December 10, 2015, 04:47:03 PM »
Something else to be upset about: these delays forced a restaurant to miss the most profitable season of the year in its industry. No possibility of buyouts, holiday parties, etc.

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #146 on: December 10, 2015, 09:08:20 PM »
Thanks everyone for your support. We did some setup yesterday and today, and our full construction crew will be at work at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Despite our experiences to date with the Department of Buildings and our Community Board, we are going to open this restaurant, and we are going to contribute to Jackson Heights.

Our  current focus is on creating a great space, great service and great food. But there are other issues that are important to us.

As some of you know from earlier posts, I am interested in the issues of minimum wage and wage equity within our restaurant.

I am also interested in contributing to Jackson Heights in relation to social issues, especially homelessness, needs for food, and opportunities for young people.

As a business, we will be doing our part to address each of these issues.

Stew

Our Website
Swim Two Birds on Facebook
On Instagram
On Twitter
My Personal Tweets
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 09:23:36 PM by Stew »

Offline sl

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #147 on: December 11, 2015, 11:13:42 AM »
Here are two problems trying to open a business that is of interest to Jackson Heighrs residents, and creates employment, in Jackson Heights:

The Department of Buildings sends out an inspector to close down completely legal activity in order to increase city revenue (in our case, a $6500 bogus fine, which the city will now be required to repay - yes, we had to pay the "fine" up front in order to appeal -, but not the tens of thousands of dollars that this has cost us).

Ms. Giovanni Reid, on behalf of our Community Board, tells us that it's our problem that her office has failed to keep our counsel of record apprised of meetings of my local community board, which I support with my tax dollars, and which I hope to continue to support when, and if, my community board figures out (having met with me twice already) that a contemporary American restaurant, based on French technique, is not a threat to Jackson Heights.

I don't see how a contemporary American resturant can be considered a threat to Jackson Heights.

Offline hfm

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #148 on: December 11, 2015, 06:29:15 PM »
Wait, someone actually said your restaurant poses a threat to the neighborhood or is this just being implied due to the hurdles you've faced?

Offline Ed

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #149 on: December 11, 2015, 10:32:25 PM »
Maybe not "threat", but the number of times that the phrase "maybe our restaurant is not for you" in other posts by Stew and redge perhaps gave pause to the members of the community board. Particularly in light of opposition to the BID plan for Roosevelt Avenue, most in opposition seem to feel that it is primarily a tool for developers to push established neighborhood businesses out so that they can be replaced by businesses that will attract a demographic that would support modern high rises thrown up in sixth months.
But who knows....

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #149 on: December 11, 2015, 10:32:25 PM »