Friday, August 28, 2009

Picture of the day

It's hard to keep up with all the changes to businesses on the commercial strip near my house. I think I mentioned that there's been a recent influx of cell phone stores. And we've always had a lot of 99 cent stores. One went out of business. Another has expanded, taking over an empty adjacent storefront. Now that I think about it, a business taking over an adjacent storefront has become a trend. T-Mobile did it, the dry cleaner and now the 99 cent store. The other trend is empty storefronts. I believe there are three now between my house and the subway. That's a first. In the past new businesses would move in as fast as possible as the old ones move out. I suspect we'll be seeing more and more empties going forward, though eventually each block may turn into a giant 99 cent or cell phone store, save each block's crappy Chinese restaurant.

Of course the big news is the prostitute bar that opened up on the corner. It used to be just another Mexican restaurant, then it morphed into an illegal nightclub, now it has become a prostitute bar like those you find in Mexican border towns. Customer's pay ten dollars to dance with scantily clad whores who will sit at their table and order buckets of beer. There's another Mexican prostitute bar down the street that has upstairs apartments where they take their clients. A van is available to shuttle them back and forth. Actual streetwalkers have started to appear between the two prostitute bars. Late night fights break out several times a week. There was apparently a concerted efforts by the whorehouse patrons to literally shit on the neighbors, or at least their sidewalks. One day last week several neighbors woke up to find fetid piles in front of their homes.

The neighbors have actively tried to close them down from the start. The neighborhood association, local politicians and the local police precinct have all been trying, though it's been mostly ineffective. Despite their efforts, and blatant law breaking on the part of the nightclub, the state liquor board gave them a license to operate until 4 am, so now they are legal, at least to serve liquor. The powers that be managed to close them down the other night on the flimsy charge of hiring unlicensed bouncers. I went to the hearing in which the city was trying to keep them shut down. The judge that was handling the case was on vacation so a temporary judge was assigned. The prosecutor was unprepared and did not know the law regarding liquor licensing. The judge said it was crazy to take away someone's property rights because of unlicensed security and liquor license violations that had since been remedied. He said he never would have closed it down in the first place. But fortunately, the Mexican whorehouse lawyer was even less competent than the prosecutor. The prosecutor asked to keep the place closed until the other judge could return and make a ruling. The judge looked at the whorehouse lawyer, clearly willing to open the place back up, but the whorehouse lawyer said nothing. The judge looked to the sky and kept the place closed until September 11.

What a world, what a world. Brooklyn.