New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: The Word On The Street

The Bowery NYS

Taken September 25, 2015.

For Sale In Greenwich Village

April 12, 2015 ·
Filed under: 10009, 10011, Greenwich Village, Greenwich Village Manhattan, Wow, WTF 

(among other things)

Yesterday the husband and I ventured to Manhattan. Among the places we visited was Union Square. We wanted to take in the oddness (actual and contrived) to be found there and see what the Farmer’s Market had to offer. Sure enough, the Pigeon Lady was doing her thing.

The Pigeon Lady nys

I like the Pigeon Lady.

Pigeons nys

Sure she has her “schtick”, but I enjoy her work. It has a certain whimsy to it. Above all, I love how passersby (not just children either) interact/engage with her “brood”. Watching this makes me happy.

The fellow who writes the First Amendment in sidewalk chalk had clearly paid the premises a visit. This too is good.

Fourth Amendment nys

What’s more, he kicked it up a notch by throwing the in the Fourth Amendment for good measure. Excellent! However, unbeknownst to me at the time, while I was taking this photo a fellow approached my husband. He asked him if he wanted to see a card trick. My husband replied as follows:

Fuck off.

It is at such moments I am reminded why I married this man. I will make it a point to remember this the next time he does something trivial that pisses me off. But I digress. After apprising me of this interaction the Mister started getting grumpy and commenced his mantra of “God, I hate these people.” I advised him to lighten up. Union Square has long been a place for misfits and malcontents. You gotta take the bad ones along with the good ones. That’s just the way it is. And then they came.

I am perusing produce. I hear shouting. Actually it was more like chanting. I was thinking to myself:

Alright, we going to have some demonstrating/rabble-rousing!

If there’s one thing yours truly loves, it is malcontents and agitators. Such people provide a check and balance to complacency. This is a good thing. Alas, it was not to be. Once I saw their placards (which read, among other things “Turn that frown upside down” and “SMILE” I knew exactly what to do. And I did it.


Here’s the deal:

All because I am not smiling and/or emitting sunshine out of every orifice does not mean I am not happy. I was already having a good time and did not need a smiling gaggle of clowns assuming I was not and demanding I do. However, it should be noted that when the above finger was dispatched I did have a smile on my face. I was following their directive. I merely tossed in a little “value-added”. Best of all, my act of mischief/churlish revolt brought smiles to other people’s faces. Laughter even. Thus when you think about it they did get what they wanted. It simply did not manifest in the manner they had planned (ADVICE: revise any/all sign copy so they request smiles sans obscene hand gestures. This is New York City after all.). Conclusion: this was a win/win for all parties involved.

Upon having our fill of Union Square we headed to the West Village. Along the way the Mister wondered aloud exactly how much one of these houses would cost. He guessed $6,000,000 – $7,000,000. I told him I thought that figure to be low. Very low.

18 West 11 St nys

It was on West 11th Street he pointed out this rather unusual looking townhouse.

No Trespassing nys

It was not only for sale…

Sign nys

but sported this rather ominous “No Trespassing” sign to boot. It was at this moment is when my husband and I had our “eureka” moment. You see, gentle readers, the new(ish) facade of this building was not merely a flight of fancy on the owner’s part. It was a necessary replacement. The replacement was necessary because the original facade was blown clean off.

FDNY responds to Weatherman townhouse explosion.jpg
FDNY responds to Weatherman townhouse explosion” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

A Little History 101: 18 West 11th Street was once occupied by a radical leftist group called the Weather Underground. While endeavoring to build bombs in the basement of said building on March 6, 1970 one detonated. Three people died as a result.  There’s a piece of New York City history for you.

Now let’s get back to my husband’s question:

How much does a townhouse— albeit in this case one with a dubious place in history which, as a result, clearly attracts “visitors” (hence the need for a “No Trespassing” sign) and may come with a ghost or two as roommates— in an “a-grade location” cost?

Without further ado, here you go:



Just shy of $13,000,000 dollars. Not surprisingly the listing makes no mention of what happened here 45 years ago. I cannot really blame the agents for seeing fit to keep quiet about it. But happened here “it” most decidedly did.

So there have you.

The Word On The Street, Part II: Special MTA Edition

Polemic nys

First Avenue nys

This sullen utterance of revolt was spied and captured at the First Avenue station of the L train after a pleasant, if brief, jaunt into “the city” today. It should be noted neither of the Metrocard machines in the background were 100% functional. The one on the left was not accepting bills. After discovering the card slot seemed to have something lodged in it, I patronized the one on the right. That one was unable to give receipts. As Kurt Vonnegut would say:

So it goes.

Much has been written about the recent subway fare hike. Some of which— such as this, for example— is quite good. I thought about the previously-linked tome while paying $2.75 for ingress to the Crosstown Local. Upon entering the G train I thought about it a little more. You see, something was amiss. However, instead of merely saying something I elected to do something. We’ll get to this shortly.

To preface, I and many others find the recent subway “etiquette” posters amusing. One fellow has gone so far as to create parodies of them. Today when I entered the G I realized we are not only subsidizing all the stuff as outlined in that polemic. We are also paying for a “public awareness” campaign that is quite frankly worthless. I had this realization when I eyed a young woman, earbuds in/iTuned out, occupying an adjacent seat with her handbag and using yet another seat as a personal ottoman/footrest.

Here’s the deal, folks: if the subway car is not crowded (and in this case it was not), I am not going to be an asshole about “bag-spreading” on seats. But the “shoes on seats” shit? No. Not just no, but HELL NO.

As if the last winter’s melange of accumulated snow/slush and the archaeological record of accumulated filth it created was not ample enough evidence of exactly what we tread upon every day while pounding the pavement, this should suffice. The subway is already a dirty enough place. Someone has a slice and/or a “cold” and swipes— such “exposure” is pretty much unavoidable. Or at least the “exposure” is understandable. There is no need to make matters worse by putting your feet on the seat.

To illustrate my point I bee-lined over to the “ottoman” in question. I did not verbally engage the person in question. I did not take a photo of her. What good would that do? Instead, I simply rolled out what I call “the butt of justice”. I made a slow motion of sitting down in said seat. Despite not acknowledging my presence in any way, shape or form, she did move them.* Does the story end here? No. It only gets better.

At the next stop (Nassau Avenue) a significantly larger number of people enter. My fellow subway patron saw fit to remove her bag so someone could sit. Good move. A couple of older (50-something and I presume Mexican American gentlemen) followed. One had a guitar, the other an accordion. They commenced to play this song:

I know “showtime” is also something the MTA is asking citizens from which to refrain. It too is ignored. Then again, I rather like mariachi music. I assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that if my fellow subway rider can see fit to occupy no less than three seats (spreading god only knows what on one of them) why shouldn’t these fellows be allowed to infringe upon “subway courtesy” as well? If we are going to establish rules/a code of conduct, it should be applicable to everyone— not just subway “entertainers”— and enforced.

Thus, I dug around my bag and found a dollar. I held it up high. What followed was precisely what I was hoping for; they came over and played music for my personal enjoyment. Much to my space pirate’s/germ spreader’s displeasure. It is pretty much impossible to “tune out” a fellow playing an accordion maybe one foot in front of you. If there is a lesson to be had here— and I suspect there are several:

“Courtesy” cuts both ways.

This was the best use of $3.75 I can recall in recent memory. Thank you, M.T.A.!

*Unlike the first fellow upon whom I tried this tactic. He actually had the temerity to complain I was sitting on his feet. I explained to him that if he did not want someone sitting on his feet, he should not place his feet on a seat. Once we got that whole “this was not an accident” presumption/assumption on his part cleared up— and that I was not going to move— he removed them.

The Word On The Street, Part I: Bowery

bowery nys

Taken March 26, 2015.

The Word On The Street: East Village


Taken March 14, 2015.

New York Shitty Pay Phone Du Jour: First Avenue

February 4, 2015 ·
Filed under: 10003, 10009, East Village, East Village Manhattan, The Word On The Street 

1st Avenue

Taken February 4, 2015.

The Word On The Street, Part II: Bleecker Street

February 4, 2015 ·
Filed under: 10003, 10009, East Village, East Village Manhattan, The Word On The Street 

Bleecker Street nys

Taken February 4, 2015.

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: 14th Street

September 26, 2014 ·
Filed under: 10003, 10009, East Village, East Village Manhattan, The Word On The Street 

Like Share Comment NYS

This one goes out to Jeremiah Moss.

Google web nanny


New York Shitty Feral CitiBike Watch: Stuyvesant Town

September 24, 2014 ·
Filed under: 10003, 10009, Criminal Activity, East Village, East Village Manhattan 

1st avenue

feral citibike

As spotted today at 1st Avenue and 14th Street. Those of you who may wish to avail yourselves of a free ride should be advised that it has been brought to my attention that the NYPD is helping Citibike corral and collect these prodigal pieces of transportation. E.g.; if you happen to get caught violating traffic laws (and as such will be given a ticket) while riding an unsanctioned Citibike, our Finest will verify the latter with Citibike and you will land in jail. Given the bicycle theft problem on this, my side of the creek, I find this grimly entertaining. Ride carefully folks…

Urban Artifact: Special East Village Edition

August 30, 2014 ·
Filed under: 10003, 10009, East Village, East Village Manhattan 

Looks like Santacon finally wound down for someone— or perhaps it has just begun? Only 116 days until Christmas, folks. Best to get your drink on early…

(Taken by kiminnyc.)