Greenpoint Photo du Jour: When Pigs Fly

August 23, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From Meserole Avenue.

Miss Heather

Fedders Friday: Back To Basics In Bed Stuy

August 22, 2008 ·
Filed under: Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, Fedders Friday, Greenpoint Magic 

As I indicated yesterday, I took a rather long walk. I rambled through Greenpoint. I knocked around East Williamsburg and even a little Bushwick. Then I arrived at the home of much Fedders goodness: Bedford Stuyvesant. Here are some of my findings.

This beauty hails from Broadway. Note the prominently placed electric meters and extensive use of stick-on numbers. Clearly the person responsible for this building spared no expense: those numbers cost $1.99 a pop!

This charming specimen comes from Monroe Street. As I was taking the above photograph a child was wailing from the second window from the top left.

Maybe these satellite dishes offended his aesthetic sensibilities…

or Dong Dong (conveniently located at the end of the block) was taking to long to deliver his Chow Mein? Only he knows for certain.

This selection hails from Tompkins Avenue. For those of you not in the know, this thoroughfare is named after Daniel D. Tompkins, former New York State Governor and the 6th Vice President of the United States. Per Wikipedia:

While as governor of New York, Tompkins personally borrowed money and used his own property as collateral when the New York state legislature would not approve the necessary funds for the War of 1812. After the war, neither the state nor the federal government reimbursed him so he could repay his loans. Years of litigation did not end until 1824, and it took a toll on his health. Tompkins fell into alcoholism, and as vice president he at times presided over the Senate while drunk. He died in Tompkinsville three months after retiring as Vice President and was interred in the Minthorne vault in St. Mark’s Churchyard, New York City. Tompkins had the shortest post-vice presidency of any person who survived the office: 99 days (March 4, 1825–June 11, 1825).

Dying in disgrace (and being a Vice President) is bad enough. Do we really need to erect crap like this on the street that bears his name?

I mean the man DID help fund the War of 1812— out of his own pocket, no less.

But I suppose if this is the treatment Lafayette gets he is in good company.

Nonetheless, it strikes me as being a little unfair. I mean, if this is how we treat the memory of a pretty good Governor (if a bit marginal Vice President), how will time treat someone like Dick Cheney or Eliot Spitzer? My mind cannot muster anything suitable for Mr. Cheney, but I think I have Mr. Spitzer covered.

Former New York City Mayor James “Jimmie” J. Walker (who was hardly a saint but sure knew how to coin a phrase) was once quoted as saying:

A reformer is a guy who rides through the sewer in a glass bottom boat.

Methinks Mr. Spitzer did a little more than simply ride through the sewer in a glass bottom boat. I think he took a nice long bath.

Therefore I would like to humbly suggest that Greenpoint’s very own shit tits be renamed the Eliot L. Spitzer Memorial Waste Treatment Facility*. Thoughts anyone?

Miss Heather

*Sure, the man ain’t dead yet but his career in politics sure as hell is!

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: Juxtaposition

August 22, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Everything’s Coming Up Roses

August 21, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From McGuinness Boulevard.

Miss Heather


August 21, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Today I was feeling adventurous so I headed down to Bedford Stuyvesant. Entirely on foot. I selected Humboldt Street to get me south of the BQE. It was shortly after passing Richardson Street I noticed this.

Lest you are wondering, this site is where one of my neighborhood’s many finger buildings is being erected. It is located just around the corner from The Luminous. I like to call it “the brown finger”. I’ll leave it to your imagination why.

I’m not too sure what the purpose of these “little houses” are. Perhaps they are the affordable housing component of this development? Maybe the brown finger spawned and these little houses will grow up to become more fingers? Maybe they are supposed to be art of some kind? If it is the latter most, the “cuteness” factor (and they are cute in a strange kind of way) is undermined by the rather tall institutional gray fence which resembles a series of cattle guards placed perpendicular to the ground.

Miss Heather

My Trip Up Shit Creek: Part Deux

I learned a funny thing yesterday. A “friend” will invite you on a boat ride of Newtown Creek. He will later even laud the photographs and the footage you shot. That is, until some person at Channel 13 (who hired said boat and seems to think all the intellectual/creative property gathered from it is his) raises a stink:

Hey Heather,

I’m glad you enjoyed the trip on Newtown Creek the other day. I’m not sure if we officially met but I know you talked to my associate Daniel. I’m writing because I was checking out your blog and I noticed you’d posted several videos of the trip. I don’t mean to be any sort of stickler but it makes me a little uncomfortable to have other people reporting on the same thing which I hired a boat to capture. I don’t have any problem with you posting photos or stories about the trip but the video just happens to be exactly why we were there and sort of crosses lines of exclusivity. So, let me profusely apologize for having to ask but I would really appreciate it if you would take the videos down.

So, my other question would be how you knew about the trip. I didn’t have any problem with people coming out with us as long as they were out of the way but no one told me we should be expecting guests so I don’t really know how that came about.

Anyway, sorry again. If you’d like to chat about it, feel free to give me a call or email back.

Thanks much,

I’m not a chatty kind of gal. Just ask my parents. I rarely answer the phone, much less pick it up and call some condescending chap who wants to “chat” about why my seven minutes of film footage does not undermine his “vision”.

Dear old dad taught me a few things about anger management, albeit accidentally. One of them was I can channel anger in a constructive manner whose effect, in turn, is actually quite the opposite: destructive. Call what I am about to do passive/aggressive or one of life’s little ethical loopholes and/or gray areas. Call it whatever you want. Sure, I yanked the “video” showcasing said “exclusive material” —and I replaced it with another one. This. Now I am bringing back the original.

Pa Heather, this one goes out to you. You know better than anyone that no one can make me shut up.

Miss Heather

P.S.: I’m not taking this one down. If the peeps at Channel 13 have some special interest in publicly humiliating my husband (or training him to recycle correctly) I want a piece of the action. Simple as that.

Urban Artifact: Manhattan Avenue

August 20, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Urban Artifact 

I strongly suspect this will become a regular feature on New York Shitty. “This” being my predilection for picking up weird crap off the street and taking it home. That said, here’s urban artifact #1:

Someone is going to live.

With a little help from 100 disposable vinyl gloves.

Miss Heather

Furman Island Isn’t What It Used To Be

August 19, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek, Queens 

One thing a lot of people do not seem to know is Newtown Creek once had a number of islands. What you are seeing in the above photograph is the vestige of one of them: Furman Island. It is now a part of Queens, but if one looks through the online archives of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (as I have) one will quickly discern it was a vibrant part of this largely industrial (and very aromatic) waterway.

Did you know that Furman Island even helped to prevent a malaria outbreak?!? I didn’t until I read an article from the August 2, 1894 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle entitled Calls It Cologne Gulch: Vivid Portrayal Of The Evils Along Newtown Creek. In this piece an intrepid reporter from none other than Harper’s Weekly goes to Newtown Creek to get the scoop on the poop from a local. Here is an excerpt:

Those of you who have the time really should read this lengthy (4000+ words) article in its entirety. My favorite part is about the “egg factory”. What was the egg factory, you ask? Click here and read for yourself! Be advised you may not want to do so over lunch…

Crosstown Local Photo du Jour: Death By Cell Phone

August 19, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From the Queens-bound platform of the G at Greenpoint Avenue.

Miss Heather

My Trip Up Shit Creek

August 18, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City, Queens, Williamsburg 

I was invited at the last minute to tag along on a boat trip along Greenpoint’s very own Riviera: none other than Newtown Creek! Channel 13 needed to shoot some footage of it yesterday for some online project/pilot they are working on. I was advised to keep quiet —and for the most part I did —except when my enthusiasm got the better of me. As you will see in this little film/slide show I made for your entertainment. Enjoy!

Between the Mister and I we took approximately 500 photographs. You can look forward to seeing highlights of our stygian journey up shit creek on Flickr** in a day or two. Now if you don’t mind, I have a mild sunburn to salve. Ouch!

Miss Hater Heather***

*August 19, 2008: I have been asked by the “friend” who invited me on this boat ride and some imperial wizard from Channel 13 (online) to remove my video from You Tube. The latter writes:

…it makes me a little uncomfortable to have other people reporting on the same thing which I hired a boat to capture. I don’t have any problem with you posting photos or stories about the trip but the video just happens to be exactly why we were there and sort of crosses lines of exclusivity.

I never knew Newtown Creek was so exclusive. I just thought it stank like hell. And got a lot of publicity of late because Senator Clinton jumped on the Superfund bandwagon. But what would I know? I’ve only lived here for eight years and get giddy when I see used condoms floating on Greenpoint’s Gold Coast!

Here’s a revised version of my movie:

**You can see photographs from my trip by clicking here.

***It would appear that I have made a friend (or two) in Jackson Heights. For the record, I really liked this neighborhood and plan to go back there more often. I happen to be a BIG fan of Mohammed Rafi and Bollywood music in general; I cannot wait to haunt their music shops! Sure “Jack Heights” doesn’t have Coney Island White Fish, but I am willing to overlook that. I see plenty of those here at home. 😉