Shitfest 2006

August 8, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Crap Map, Dog Shit 
After perusing August 7th’s Crap Map, I decided an inspection of the northwestern-most section of Greenpoint was in order. This area has long been under-represented on this blog and (in the interests of a fair and balanced Crap Map) I wanted to correct any irregularities.

The area I covered today is highlighted below. I omitted Eagle Street (between Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street) because it has cleaned up. A lot.

Northwest Greenpoint

What started as a mission to gather data for a supplemental entry for one Crap Map ended up generating (more than) enough material for another one. I discovered FORTY ONE distinct and identifiable piles of dog shit. This is a conservative figure. I nixed the turds that were too degraded to photograph or were more likely to be of feline origin.

Here is a pie chart that gives a statistical breakdown as to where I found all this dog shit.

August 8, 2006 Crap Stats

Without further ado, I present today’s Crap Map.

Aggregate Crap Map

August 7, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Crap Map, Dog Shit 

I am proud to present a crap map featuring all the dog shit I have documented in Greenpoint from 7/12/06 through 8/7/06.

Enjoy!

Yorkville Vs. Greenpoint = No Contest

August 5, 2006 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit, Dog Shit Signage, Dung of the Day, Greenpoint Magic 

My mother came to visit about three months ago. After one of our shopping jaunts in Manhattan, I took her to where my husband works: Rockefeller University.

Before I continue, I want to point out that there is a certain irony to be found by my (our) living in Greenpoint and my husband (the primary solitary breadwinner) working at Rockefeller University. John D. Rockefeller I is, after all, the reason there is a rather large oil spill under my community. Thankfully, we live in the more industrialized (READ: less desirable) part of the neighborhood. This area happens to be bereft of underground oil, the ‘nicer’ areas are the ones affected. (All our ‘pollution’ is above ground, if you know what I mean.) Nonetheless, my husband and I live off the largesse of Mr. Rockefeller. Life is funny that way.

I had mentioned to my mother that Yorkville is a pretty reasonable place to live (rent-wise) and she got very jazzed when she saw how nice the area is. This was when she asked (the inevitable question): would you and your husband consider living here for “the long-term“?

Me: No. We’re not ruling out future possibilities, but we are very happy in Greenpoint. Thanks.

Ben Franklin uttered something once about New Jersey being a valley of humility between two giants. The same can be said for Greenpoint, a working-class enclave nestled amongst three giants: Manhattan; Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens. Living in Greenpoint (and riding the G train) will make you humble. (And very angry— Ed. Note)

My mouth and attitude (both inherited from my dear old dad— a man so utterly uncool that he is on the cutting edge of ‘hip’) housed in my feeble female body were two major contributing factors to my seeking refuge in New York City. After 30-odd years of service in this mortal coil, knocking through Texas, New Mexico, California, and yes, New York City (Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn— in that order) I finally feel at home. I can flaunt my mastery of the “f” word (and all its numerous conjugations and subtle nuances) with total abandon in Greenpoint. Frequently, Loudly, and with a measure of appreciation/admiration/ affirmation from my peers. In an uncertain world, this very comforting indeed.

That said, why would/should I unfurl the solitary pearl that is my truly creative and innovative vulgar style of language before unappreciative swine? Swine, I add, who may very well call the police because they may (mis)take my joie de vivre (in its copious, robust and abject glory) a wee bit too seriously. No way Jose. They can have their side of the East River, I can have mine and we each can do as we see fit.

My latest trip to Yorkville July 31, 2006 netted my first example of Upper East Side dog shit signage. This can be found on the west side of York Avenue at 64th Street.

The Amy Vanderbilt of Dog Shit Signs

I am not one to let my two art degrees, indoctrination in semiotics (a hip art fad in the late 90’s), and draconian student loan payments go to waste. My critique is as follows:

Someone put time, money, but alas, too little thought into this. He/she went to the trouble of having the sign made professionally and the execution is nice. Too nice. The same can be said about the wording; this is the Amy Vanderbilt solution to a dog doo predicament if I have ever seen one.

The person who saw fit to have such a sign manufactured clearly thought (mistakenly) that slick presentation and polite chiding would move intransigent dog owners to “do the right thing”. If the sheer amount of dog shit I saw walking on York Avenue from 68th Street to 60th Street is any indication I’d say it ain’t working.

Rating: 4 (out of 10)

Now I present this gem found on Greenpoint Avenue between Franklin and West Street.

Sharpie Marker + Flat Surface = Effective Signage

This sign does not pertain to dog shit per se, but this does not diminish its relevance. What we have here is a solid, no-frills, no-nonsense sign. The metaphorical Honda Civic (or Yugo) of signage: direct, utilitarian and inexpensively executed (save perhaps the odd police citation for vandalism). This appeals to my plebian sensibilities. I like it.

Speaking as someone who is familiar with this person’s body of work, this is a pretty standard example:

  • Medium: Sharpie marker on (any) flat surface
  • Message: “Pick up your (insert word/s here)”*
  • Enlarged and inappropriately capitalized “k”s

Per the book Handwriting Analysis by Karen Amend and Mary S. Ruiz, this graphological eccentricity is characteristic of a person who is prone to “impulsive outbursts” and is “rebellious to authority figures and traditional values”.

The previous example is remarkable in one respect: lack of profanity. While I applaud the author’s use of restraint, the virtuostic mastery of foul language and threat(s) of physical violence are what make his/her oeuvre truly noteworthy. Regardless, there is a decided absence of litter (and dog shit) in front of this sign, so it must be working.

Rating: 7 (out of 10)

After writing all the previous pretentious and sophistic bullshit, I am worn out! I’m going to take a very hot shower to clean off the smarm. Before I do so, I will leave you with two “Dung(s) of the Day”: one is from Yorkville, the other is from Greenpoint. I am not going to bother indicating where each came from, as it is (painfully) obvious.

Dung of the Day #1

Dung of the Day #1

Dung of the Day #2

Dung of the Day #2

*Frequently closing with “Thanks” or “Thanks Asshole”

Hardcorn

August 2, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

I start this post with a little thing I wrote a couple years ago…

MANHATTAN AVENUE, BROOKLYN’S GANGES?

I miss my old next door neighbors. Really I do. You see, my apartment (the back of it anyway) abuts an open cul de sac made by the building next door; I use this area as my “backyard”. Albeit one story up and bereft of grass. What is one (wo)man’s backyard is another man’s sewer. This weird nexus provides personal, entertaining— but treacherous insight into the lives of my neighbors. I learned. The hard way.

I have narrowly avoided being pelted with rancid curry, hot dog weenies, and bread that took a frighteningly long time to decompose (the pigeons would not even eat it). But by far, the best spoils came belching forth onto my refuge after a very vocal fight next door: a whole chicken and a fair amount of porn was enticingly jettisoned outside my bedroom window. Being as it was around Thanksgiving, I felt compelled to ‘rescue’ the chicken, stuff it with porn, and serve it up as a feast. If Thanksgiving is indeed about sharing and good will, why not share this new-found bounty with my best friends?

Instead, I rescued one intact porno tape. A BAD porno at that. But as some would say: it is best to have known bad porn, than to have known no porn at all.

Yesterday evening, I read a National Geographic in my lounge chair I and watched a Teeny Tiny Titty Chicks Vol. 3 dvd languidly roll by an unused packet of duck sauce: a pathetic, yet appropriate, sad vestige of days gone by.

July 24, 2006

I could not tear my husband from the television Sunday for love or money. Until I went behind our apartment and discovered a new bounty of porn goodness. He spent the better part of the afternoon/evening parsing through the Raw Meat dvd I found. After viewing five hours of raw footage my husband complained that it “had no plot”. Sure…

Miss H vs. Sam

The point of origin of this (and previous) porn, rotten food, personal effects, etc., found behind our apartment has been a source of heated debate between my husband and I for a long time. If you have ever seen the movie My Cousin Vinnie, you’ll understand the level of debate (READ: arguing) that goes on in my household: any given task (even one requiring 5 minutes of labor or thought— at best) is only completed after at least one hour’s worth of ‘discussion’ (arguing).

Socially-minded folk often mistake our debates for outright acrimony— and nothing could be further from the truth; much like the Methuselah-esque radiatiors to be found in most New York City apartments, our relationship is grounded firmly on a constant release of steam.

My husband takes great pride from being born and raised in Missouri (mizz-or-rah, as he likes to call it). Missouri, the show me state. I was born in Texas and come from one of the best lines of nobility to be had there: Sam Houston. I’m not too sure what Texas’s catchphrase is nowadays (aside from being the Lone Star State), but if I had to assign one it would be Texas: the I’ll show you state.

Sam Houston showed them.
Charles Whitman showed them.
Lee Harvey Oswald (and Jack Rudy) showed them.
David Koresh (there’s a fun one) showed them.
H.I.M., George W. Bush (fake Texan), is still trying to show them.

My (Tejana) rage (thankfully) is of a more gentle nature. But I still like to serve up some “I showed you” on occasion— especially to my husband.

July 26, 2006

I gathered prima facie evidence as to where the (previous) items are coming from. After shouting at my cats for fifteen minutes, two very hyperactive, very young, very unattended, children (in the apartment behind us, one floor up) volleyed a 2 pound barbell weight and several pieces of Tupperware out the window. I have watched enough episodes of Forensic Files to note that this material was landing along the same trajectory as my previous finds. I recount this finding to my husband.

August 1, 2006

I awoke to the sound of my neighbors throwing more stuff out the window. Groggily, I peered out the window to discover an entire piece of corn on the cob. Perhaps it was lack of sleep or cabin fever, but I thought this was one of the most hilarious things I had ever seen. I thought to myself: I’ll go back to bed and venture out later to take a photo of this choice find. Big mistake. When I did go out— TWENTY MINUTES LATER— the squirrels had totally eviscerated it, cob and all. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that I found this very disquieting.

I did. And still do.

There have been movies made about rats, birds, even C.H.U.D.s, why not squirrels? New York City squirrels. I can easily imagine these voracious creatures making off with small children, skidrow bums or little old ladies.

All I’m saying is that I am gonna to carry a baseball bat when I go out there from now on.

Closing on that note, I have created an interactive feature where you too can experience the first-hand joy of discovering the rich bounty of goodness behind my apartment. This will be an ongoing project of mine, so check back occasionally. Enjoy!

Brevity —and Barbarians— are the soul of wit.

August 2, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Apres moi, le deluge

In less than two weeks I will be a guest author on Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn. This is a very exciting development, as I will be able to send some very special Greenpoint love Park Slope’s direction via the power of the Internet. It’s not like I can do so personally nowadays, with the heat and the ebb and flow of G train service.

Do I plan to use this opportunity to lambaste Park Slopers, you ask?

No, I don’t. If anything, I’ll probably end up ripping on everyone, myself included. Who knows. As Professor Ping said in the movie Barbarella, “genius is mysterious”.

That said, I want to relay something that is probably a literary first. My cover letter (regarding being a guest blogger on OTBKB) was as follows:

Greetings,

I came across your solicitation for a guest blogger(s) via Jossip.com. I do not live in Park Slope; the disruption of G train service of late (and my lack of personal upkeep/finances/self-esteem) prohibit me from going there. Nothing personal.

That said, I do live in Brooklyn: Greenpoint, 11222 to be precise. Your blog purports to serve “Park Slope, New York, and Beyond”. Surely my Charles Bukowski-esque musings fit will within your criteria: most likely under “New York and Beyond”. Greenpoint is a very strange place indeed— and that’s why I love it. I’ve lived here for six years; have a rent-stabilized apartment (near the waterfront) and will only vacate the aforementioned apartment when I am carried out (or get a fat pay-off) — if you know what I mean.

I have neither children (they give me the creeps, carry germs and shit their pants— though strangely, I have a husband and 5 cats who do all the previous, and more— go figure) nor do I have anyone remotely “famous” in or around my ‘hood (alive, anyway). I am, nonetheless, civically-minded. Check out my blog: www.newyorkshitty.com.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Miss Heather

This has got to be the first and only time I know of that anyone (much less a WOMAN) who openly purported an affection for a literary kinship to Charles Bukowski and actually landed a(n unpaid) writing gig. Then again, admiration for Mr. Bukowski is a pre-requisite for successful living in Greenpoint: he is to Greenpoint what peanut butter is to jelly: indispensible.

Up

July 27, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day, Mission Statement 

It Works

My new template is up and working, hooray! Now I have to sort through my backlog of drafts, edit and post them. In the meantime, I have made some additions here and have uploaded some photos to my Shop Cats page.

Stay tuned, as I have a very special interactive feature in the works about the objects my neighbor’s hyperactive children see fit to throw out the kitchen window. SPOILER/TEASER ALERT— the three essential “P’s” will be showcased therein: pennies, prophylactics and porn.

In the meantime, I leave you with today’s “Dung of the Day” from Franklin Street. I am usually a “size queen” when it comes to dog shit anything, but I find this turd noteworthy due to its uncanny resemblance to the paintbrush tool in PhotoShop. Enjoy!

Paintbrush Turd 222 Franklin St.

Down

July 26, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day, Greenpoint Magic 

Going my way?

Yup, that pretty much sums up newyorkshitty.com the last few days. In any case, I have a lot of (written) material to edit, pix to post and a new “look” for this blog to tool around with. In the meantime, this is a little project I am working on…

and this is a nice sunbaked pile of dog shit I found on Norman Avenue today.

Enjoy!

103 Norman Avenue

I’m in a fightin’ fuckin’ mood

I didn’t wake up in a bad mood this morning, but I sure as hell am in one nasty as fuck mood now. The first day of decent-ish weather to be had in about a week— ruined. Courtesy of the MTA jackhammering up the street…

MTA

this dude doing god-only-knows what

shitsucker

while these asshats watched.

sitting ON IT

Foolishly, I opened up the windows of my apartment to get some fresh air (HA!)— and shortly thereafter was assaulted by a noise that sounded like 1,000 chalkboards being scratched by Freddy Krueger amplified through Satan’s very own asshole (with Pete Townsend controlling the volume).

The melee that followed was not unlike something from Mutual of Omaha’s Animal Kingdom: a herd three very freaked-out cats bolted out of the living room en masse to get away from the noise. One of them saw fit to molest one of our female cats in order to make his displeasure (via displacement) known. I close the window and then spend five minutes placating everyone. Except myself.

After experimenting with different music* (to conceal the noise), I finally gave up and went for a walk. This walk netted me (ample) content for my very first Greenpoint crap map and a second-hand encounter with the very kind of person I do not need to be exposed to when I am in a mood: a clueless hipster chick wasting a cashier’s time (and as a consequence, my own, as I had to wait behind her in line).

Clueless Hipster Chick (to clerk): Can I park my bike in here?
Clerk: Uh. Sure.
CHC: Do you have, like small clothes for a dollar? (Behind her is a rack of children’s clothing in plain view.)
Clerk: (?)
CHC: Like doll clothes, you know, cheap?
Clerk: Maybe, try that bin over there.

This was the bin I happened to be going through. As a result, now I had a smelly-ass chick hovering behind me, looking over my shoulder. I went to the back of the store. Eventually I got bored and brought my selections to the register only to discover… she’s still there!

CHC: How much for this?
Clerk: (Utters a price)
CHC: What about this?
Clerk: (Utters another price)
CHC: Can I like, get a discount, if I buy a lot of stuff?
Clerk: (Utters an answer)
CHC: What about this wig?

(Aside: buying, much less wearing, an old wig is gross. Then again, it was probably cleaner than her hair. It was oily and matted. Nasty.)

Clerk: $10.00 for everything.
CHC: Do you take credit cards?
Me (thinking to myself): So help me god I am going to throttle this woman!

After several minutes of negotiation and inanity, the bitch pulls out a wad of bills and pays in cash. I get my turn.

Me: one picture frame (priced at $4.00) and one set of buttons (priced at $1.00)
Clerk: $2.00
CHC: (Throws one nasty look my direction.)

I have worked in public service.
I have worked in sales.
I have also worked in hospitality.

My resume is a patch-work quilt with one common theme: interfacing with the public. There is nothing that a public servant/salesperson/PR hack hates more than some idiot wasting his/her time by drifting into a stream-of-consciousness line (?) of questioning. ESPECIALLY if the transparent (if illucid) motivation underlying it is chiseling away at the price of something.

CHC (and her brethren) are blissfully unaware of the fact that “X” number of people (many being idiots, just like herself) are in line behind her. In my experience, this is the type of person also operates under the (erroneous) assumption that the clerk enjoys conversing with him/her— or finds him/her interesting. We don’t. We are paid to expedite business and be nice— and when the day is over, we stick pins in our ‘troublesome customer’ dolls with extreme prejudice.

Hopefully this squeaky wheel learned that she will not get the grease by being an annoying twit: she’ll get the shaft instead. The quiet, patient, non-haggling customer (with daggers in her eyes) is the one who gets the discounts. While neither asking for nor expecting them, I might add.

Eventually I came home. Upon arrival, I beheld the latest incarnation of our apartment buzzer ‘system’…

Fucking retarded

I’m speechless. Fucking speechless. When I see shit like this (and in my building/’hood I see it with disquieting regularity) I ask myself: at what point does the exertion required (X) to cover up/avoid doing a task (Y) prove to be more effort than actually hiring a professional to fix the problem (Z)?

When (in New York City apartment physics) does X-Y (prove to be) >/= Z? If Stephen Hawking is still asking/fielding questions on Yahoo, I’m gonna ask him.

Otherwise, if this cutesy arrangement proves to facilitate theft (of anything I happen to have delivered to my apartment), I will invoke a force neither Mr. Hawking nor god himself would dare reckon with: the United States Postal Service.

*ELO, Public Enemy, Pearl Jam**, Guns-n-Roses (which worked)

**To their credit, “Go” (from the album Vs.) came very, very close.

Joel Krupnik

July 18, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Dog Shit, Mission Statement 

If this inferno-esque weather is good for anything, it is this: I can toss up some new stuff on my blog that is long, long, overdue. No blog about dog shit is complete without voicing a few thoughts about Mr. Krupnik.

Like most people, I harbor mixed feelings about him. On one hand, I found his Christmas display hilarious. I also like his ‘stand-up’ attitude about people who do not pick up after their dogs. His assessment of why people choose not to pick up their dog shit is dead on: entitlement. I would also be a liar if I did not mention that he was a major influence regarding my decision to blog about the dog shit problem in Greenpoint— and the city at large.

On the other hand, I do not approve of his methodology, e.g., rubbing dog poo on the owner’s back. If I were in his shoes, I’d probably would have done one of the following:

  1. Bag it, shout at the girl (“You forgot something!”) and hand the bag of doo to her.
  2. Blog it.

One of the (many) things I love about living in New York City— especially Brooklyn— is its citizens’ willingness to call other people on their bull dog shit. If you cannot or will not police your actions, someone else will do it for you. Quickly, concisely and with a piquant type of wit I have not beheld anywhere else.

If I cared to overcome my aversion to crossing the East River, and Mr. Krupnik found my eccentricities tolerable, I bet we’d make good neighbors. I find him a lot more palatable in comparison to some of the folk* in my building, but I am not willing to subject my person to his (potential) wrath. I can easily see my predilection for using power tools (while cranking Britney or Joan Jett** to cover up the noise) as a provocation— and I care not to venture as to where he would shove my cds or tools in/on my body in retaliation. Scary indeed.

Otherwise, I have a number of irons in the fire. As you may have noticed already, I have set up a number of new pages that are bereft of content. Among them are the following:

  1. Shitty Confidential: I created this to house all things that do not pertain to dog shit proper.
  2. Shop Cats: this will be a photoblog featuring (duh) shop cats— and yes, shop dogs— if/when I find them. My reason(s) for creating such a page are as follows:
    1. There has been a spate of animal cruelty here in Greenpoint. Specifically, someone has made it a practice to shoot cats— with a gun— of recent. My well-intentioned, but probably misguided, motivation underlying the creation a page of featuring shop cats is to illustrate that every pet has a name and someone who loves him/her.
    2. They’re cute. (Yeah, I’m soft that way.)

*Like the woman in Apt. #6. She’s a total shitbag and I should know: the way our buzzers are rigged, every sack of pus who comes here (seeking Girl 6’s company/services) hits our buzzer. At all hours. Just in case you are wondering, I have labelled our buzzer— and these folk cannot or will not READ IT. They tap it like the well-trained lab rats (seeking a pellet) that they are.

**If you live in Brooklyn and have not experienced the glory that is Ms. Jett’s song Coney Island Whitefish, spend the 99 cents on i-tunes and get it. I can’t believe my mother let me play this shit on her car’s tape player when she drove me to elementary school.

100?!? (and I ain’t talking degrees)

July 18, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

As a result of my last post (or perhaps despite it), my father saw fit to send me a list Forbes Magazine recently published that outlines the top places to live in the United States. He was kind enough to point out to me that Rio Rancho (birthplace of the cat shit taco) was #56 and New York City was #100. I am certain Forbes’s professionals have lots of numbers to back this assertion up, but they are neglecting one point: at least in NYC the (copious) effluvia to be found are on the sidewalks, not in my food. Sure, this is like arguing the finer points of having gonorrhea instead of syphilis, but this point does, indeed, have merit.

Closing on a note of civic pride, I came across this via Gothamist. Unlike the offal usually to be found on the Internet, this is fantastic. It is totally worth taking the time to read.

My only criticism is that Greenpoint is not represented by anyone who truly exemplifies the caliber of person who lives here (by choice). And I think know I am just the person to correct this imbalance. My credentials are as follows:

  1. I am a surly, small woman with a very, very foul mouth. Some men have elected to tell me that I have a mouth like a sailor. While I suspect that this was intended as an insult, I took it as a compliment. One’s abilty to tell someone to f-off (in explicit detail) or memorize the phone number for the 94th Precinct (718 383 3879) will make you or break you here.
  2. I consume wine like a Frenchman.
  3. I operate a blog about dog shit— and dog shit is to Greenpoint what apple pie, Uncle Sam or Imperialism is to the U.S. of fuggin’ A.: indispensible.
  4. I moved here before the hipster influx. I am too old to be a hipster, but am making excellent progress on my tenure track to becoming an honest-to-god freak.
  5. I have a Polish surname— and although I was born and raised elsewhere, my mother’s poking around our genealogy revealed that my Polish/Lithuanian immigrant forebears made their start in Brooklyn. It is very likely that I live steps away from where they lived over 100 years ago. An interesting turn of events. Or yet another part of the cycle.
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