Reader Contribution Du Jour Part I: My Oh My At The Y!

January 7, 2009 ·
Filed under: Dung of the Day, Greenpoint Magic, Other Shit 

Very few topics are verboten for discussion at the junk shop. This was certainly the case at the junk shop last weekend when the subject of the stomach bug floating around here came up. Larry da Junkman got it. I did as well.

It was a less than pleasant experience. I could go into the particulars using color commentary but quite frankly I’d like to put the whole thing behind me (no pun intended). Besides George Diaz, a local celebrity of sorts and the brains behind Latino Laughter (as seen at the far left) gives a better description than I could ever hope muster.

What I found fascinating about George’s testimony about the havoc cumin wreaks on his digestive system (and rest assured the previous footage is but a fraction of it) is that none of the customers seemed to mind. They went about their quest for knick-knacks on the cheap undeterred. As I was filming the following gentleman recounting his worst gastronomical ailment one chap even asked me for the price of a small vase.

Yes, the ailment I have dubbed the “Greenpoint Gut Wrencher” is quite something. Perhaps the only thing worse than having it is encountering its aftermath in the men’s bathroom at the local Y.M.C.A. Which brings me to this.

Noel writes (in an email entitled “YMCA Accident”:

I came upon this delightful scene the other day it the Greenpoint YMCA gym basement.

I could extol upon the many fascinating (and downright repulsive) elements of this photograph —but I won’t. It pretty much speaks for itself. Rather, I would like to share an experience I had at the women’s bathroom at this very same establishment.

The year was 2001— or was is 2002? I had just completed my regimen of weight training and twenty minutes on the stair climber. Those of you who engage in this kind of routine on a regular basis can attest to the importance of proper hydration. To this end I had consumed well over a liter of water. I very much needed to go to the bathroom afterward.

The women’s dressing room at the Y.M.C.A. is for the most part no different than any other dressing room to be found at any other gym. Save perhaps it is disproportionately patronized by older Polish women who fancy water aerobics. The previous along with the fluorescent lighting, institutional green walls and stench of chlorine gave the place a curiously pre-Perestroika feel. As did the woeful lack of the following necessity: toilets. The Greenpoint Y.M.C.A.’s women’s locker room had two. One of which was usually desecrated beyond the point of any possible usefulness.

Call me a self-hating feminist. It has been my experience that women are the WORST offenders when it comes to dawdling in the bathroom. Sorry ladies. I don’t know what some of you do in there —and for the record I don’t want to know— I simply wish you’d do it a little faster. Some of us need to visit the bathroom for its intended purpose: to use the toilet.

Which is what I very badly needed to do on that fateful day. I stood and I waited. The sound of children splashing in the pool, showers running and sight of water puddles on the floor did not make this task very easy. The sight, sounds, and yes, smell of water were all around me. What’s more, I had a good liter more of the stuff in my bladder.

Someone was in the stall. This I knew. I heard the rustle of toilet paper. Things were looking encouraging. I heard the toilet flush. I became flush with excitement. Then nothing. I hear rustling. Then a little more rustling. I was getting fed up.

It takes a lot to move yours truly to snoop around the cracks of a toilet stall. Some people pay good money for this kind of thing. I am not one of them. But sometimes in the course of human events one needs to know what the fuck is going on no matter how distasteful the means might be. Yeah, I looked.

What I discovered was this: a 40-something woman whose physical description would be best described as “soccer mom” pulling a baggie of cocaine out of her purse. Then out came a plastic Bic pen cap*. Into the baggie it goes and up this woman’s nose it went. Whether or not this was a pre or post workout pick-me-up I do not know. In any case it strikes me as sort of being counter-intuitive to the concept of patronizing a health club—ACROSS THE STREET FROM A POLICE STATION. I could contain myself no more:

WOULD YOU PLEASE HURRY UP IN THERE SOME OF US NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!

I bellowed. Eventually she came out and I experienced sweet relief. To this day I still cannot get this image out of my mind. It is now and forever, for better or worse, ingrained in my memory.

Miss Heather

*Whatever happened to having the proper accoutrements for one’s drug of choice? This is tantamount to swilling Dom Perignon out of a Dixie cup. Don’t do the vice if you can’t pay the price (of keeping up one’s appearances).

TONIGHT: The River Barrel Rolls Out Their Dinner Menu

January 7, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I do not appreciate people “aggregating” my work into their “for profit” web sites. Hence why I have yanked this post. You can see the new version here.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Lost And Found

January 6, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Regrettably the opening for this has come and gone. However, I took a look-see this evening and I have to tell you: these photographs are pretty darned neat. By all means give this show a whirl. It is completely worth contemplating over a cocktail (or two)!

Greenpoint Lost And Found
(Large-scale photographic prints by Chris Randall)
January 3-31, 2008
t.b.d. Brooklyn
224 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Man Contemplating Discarded Lotto Ticket

January 6, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From Norman Avenue.

Miss Heather

TOMORROW: Saying Goodbye To Casa Mon Amour

January 5, 2009 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

As some of you might have noticed Casa Mon Amour has been shuttered since January 2nd. After a number of bureaucratic hurdles and tough financial times (of which anyone operating a business in Greenpoint can attest) Beatrice has decided to call it quits. Those of you who had the pleasure of knowing Beatrice (as I have) and wish to thank her for the laughter, good times and (what is by all accounts) the best sangria ever to grace the Garden Spot should swing by tomorrow, January 6th, and tender your kindest regards.

Goodbye, Beatrice. You will be missed!

Casa Mon Amour
162 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: Semantics

January 5, 2009 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

From Berry Street.

Miss Heather

The Viridian Blooms!

January 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Those of you who have read this blog know I have no affection for this development. For reasons only known to him Magic Johnson decided to fund/put his face on this, The Viridian (a fancy word for green, as in Green Street, in Greenpoint and how much “green” are you willing to outlay? $400,000 for starters.), in the name of urban renewal.

Urban renewal suggests blight. When I first moved to this block 110-130 Green Street housed businesses: a bus depot and stone worker’s shop. I can’t honestly say I liked having buses coming and going all hours of the night past my apartment. I didn’t. On the other hand I knew this came with living in an “industrial” neighborhood and with such businesses come jobs and tax revenue. Then came the rezone and shortly thereafter the Viridian.

I never experienced blight until Magic and his funky bunch moved in. Green Street has never been pretty— but it got a helluva lot uglier after Magic razed one third of it. Graffiti, garbage— LOTS OF GARBAGE, junkies shooting up and nodding off (on his illegally parked construction equipment) is what I will always remember the Viridian for. A condominium complex purported to sport such luxe accommodations as a concierge, rooftop cabanas, virtual golf, etc. A testament to progress and and urban renewal.

As of January 3, 2009 here’s what I saw:

A contextually inappropriate, shoddily built and VERY UGLY pile of crap. Let’s have a virtual auction my fellow Greenpointers. How much would you pay to rent a 500 square foot apartment in this dump? I’ll start the bidding at $500. One dollar per square foot.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: Broke On Bedford

January 3, 2009 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

From the look of things I’d say this person’s fund raising effort was either successful enough to merit dispensing the signage or he simply gave up.

Miss Heather

P.S.: On a related note when I walked by this encampment (on Berry Street) last night I shit you not they were watching an evening news feature about the economy. And chuckling quite heartily.

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Moonlit Sneaks

January 3, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From Norman Avenue.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Blind Item: Anti-Semitism For Sale

January 2, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Before I proceed with today’s blind item I would like to share how I kicked off the New Year with you. I awoke in the afternoon to the sound of Mister Heather babbling on the telephone. I quickly deduced that I was the subject of the conversation after I heard the following:

…she was born the same year I was. She’s older than me. Yeah, we’re closer to 40 now than we are to 30. It doesn’t bother me any though.

He then proceeded to expound upon this upbeat topic by pointing out that we have a few years left before health insurance starts getting expensive. While on the toilet. Wearing the very suit nature provided him. I later learned the Mister was talking to his mother.

Why was my husband talking to my mother-in-law about my age while using the crapper buck naked, you ask? This is an excellent question. One I initially mulled over positing but soon thought the better of it. I had already started off the day on a rotten enough note and —knowing full it could (and probably would) get worse— I saw no need to push the matter.

The way I see it you really can’t do anything about getting older so why bother with it? Besides, I had dinner to prepare. I mention the previous anecdote because when I checked my email this morning I came across an item that made my New Year’s experience seem downright quaint, if a wee bit amusing by comparison. S writes:

yeah, I was at the (excised) St/Manhattan Ave bodega re-upping my 24 oz PBR requirements when I asked the owner if he was staying open later on account of new years eve. He replied that “he’s not a greedy Jew” I told him that it’s not fair to categorize folk and he of course asked if I was Jewish which then led him to change the subject and say “for the 6th time happy new year…

I can think of a number of reasons one could bust S‘s chops over his/her selection of beer: PBR is nasty and over-priced. A six pack of Shaeffer works just as well, is less expensive and doesn’t have all the hipster baggage. But my criticism of S’s taste in beer (to each their own— as long as I don;t have to drink the stuff I don’t care) is not to suggest he/she deserved to be subjected to abuse for asking what was a very legitimate and innocuous question: will you be open late on New Year’s Eve? A simple “yes” or “no” would have sufficed.

I may very well be getting older but for the life of me I still haven’t figured out why people take the time and energy to spout this kind of garbage. We should be using our precious time being nice to one another. Life would be a lot easier for everyone if people would quit fixating on WHAT a person is and pay attention to WHO they are. Seriously.

Miss Heather