The City That Never Sleeps

August 26, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

I have never understood why New York City is called this. If what I have seen over the years is any indication there are people sleeping all over our fair city. In North Brooklyn McCarren Park seems to be a napping spot of choice.

Unless one is homeless I cannot profess to understand this practice. Sleeping in public opens up one’s person to a variety of unsavory number acts. I learned about a number of such deeds from a Sargent at the Briarwood headquarters of the Transit Police several years ago. First you have the lush workers. These are the people who case drunks on the subway and steal their wallets. One evening “the Sargent” was on “lushworker” duty. He spied a rather intoxicated gentleman in a subway car and watched him.

Sure enough, someone ducked in and started to move in. When the constabulary came to the rescue what they found was completely unexpected; their “perp” was administering oral sex to this man. Both were taken into custody and the “recipient” was told what happened to him once he sobered up. One can only imagine the look on his face when he got the news.

Simply put, there are many reasons not to sleep in public. If being robbed or becoming the participant in some anonymous subway sex act is not enough to motivate people to be more mindful of their surroundings, maybe being watched with rapt interest by some drunk dude is. And that’s what I saw in McCarren Park last weekend.

The footage video does not do this scenario justice. I shit you not this chap spent a good ten seconds just staring at this woman. Had this man been in better control of his faculties who knows what he would have done? The lesson here is a simple one: a lot of criminal acts are crimes of opportunity. If you do not give someone the opportunity to commit a crime, it is very unlikely one will occur. McCarren Park is not your backyard.

Be careful.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Au Naturel

August 26, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I recently discovered an incoming link which (in my opinion) is one of the biggest compliments I have ever received. I was rather touched by it and feel compelled to share it here. Luke White writes:

If you can overlook the language (if you can’t, maybe New York isn’t the place for you?) this blog is a pretty much perfect encapsulation of the absolute insanity of Greenpoint. Greenpoint is the drunk six-foot-four eighty year old in a perfectly tied bowtie and with a faint intriguing stench about him who stands on the street corner stacking matchboxes and singing folk hymns…

Don’t forget the Polish elves frolicking in the vestments nature gave them, Luke. That’s why I pay the “big bucks” to live here.

God I love Greenpoint.

Miss Heather

The Greenpoint 100 Is Back!

August 26, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Today I received an email from the Friends of The Greenpoint Library. The Greenpoint 100 is back and hopefully it will be the best one ever! Jen and Shara write:

CALL FOR ARTISTS

The Friends of the Greenpoint Library call for works to be donated by artists living or working in Greenpoint. The works will be sold to benefit the Greenpoint Branch of Brooklyn Public Library. We are accepting works in all mediums (maximum size 11X14 inches). All work will be sold for $25 each. The show will be juried by local gallery owners and prizes will be awarded.

Email contact information and .jpg to: thefriendsofgreenpointlibrary (at) gmail (dot) com

If you are one of the first 100 qualified artists to respond to the call, you will receive a reply with an ID number from 1-100 and the address of where your work must be mailed or delivered.

Accepted artists’ work must be received by Friday September 26 to be included in the exhibit.

Last year this event raised $1,300. I participated and I not only had a lot of fun, but I also got a really beautiful photograph for a mere $25.00 and supported a great cause. Are you going to be one of the Greenpoint 100?

The juried show is scheduled for Saturday, October 4 starting at 11:00 a.m.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Sunflower

August 25, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

NYC Gentrification Watch: Die Yuppie Scumday

August 25, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Dog Shit Signage, Greenpoint Magic 

I am getting sick and bloody tired of this “I’m a real New Yorker and I hate gentrifiers” diatribe. Exactly who is a Real New Yorker you ask? That is debatable. Who is a “gentrifier”? This is an easy question to answer: unless you are of 100% Native American birth (or descended from slaves) you are, indeed, a gentrifier.

There were a great many people in Europe who didn’t find their situation satisfactory so they moved to the “New World”. Plymouth Rock didn’t have a Starbuck’s so they built one. In a manner of speaking. Their Native American neighbors accepted them. At first.

But then they (and by “they” I mean “we”) got uppity. We wanted more— we wanted “civilization”. We wanted “ownership” of land. Something our “savage hosts” did not see fit to give us due to their nascent anarcho-syndicalist leanings (I won’t call them “Reds” because that would be racist). As a result there were fights. Battles even. But we won, albeit it in an insidious manner: disease. Smallpox and syphilis mostly.* Good for us.

I am piecing together a very informative and entertaining presentation to illustrate this fact to those who are unable or unwilling to accept the fact they are gentrifiers. In the meantime I’d like to share this touching tale of gentrifier acceptance from (where else?) GREENPOINT.

I went off on this piece of advertising back in April. In a nutshell:

  1. I found this developer’s claim of 240 Richardson Street as being in the heart “East Williamsburg” (or anywhere else for that matter) tenuous at best. It’s Greenpoint— but you know Garden Spot of the Universe (oil spill, waste treatment plant and all) isn’t “sexy”. They’re aiming for “L” appeal.
  2. “Village” suggests a friendly and collegial atmosphere. Something clearly lacking in this corner of Greenpoint.

Until recently.

Back in April this woman called her new neighbors “fucks”.

Now she has seen fit to address them as “pigs”.

It is a small— but significant step— in Greenpoint gentrification. Before you know it we’ll all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: “pigs” and “fucks” Lisacat.

*For those of you who harbor guilt, no worries; they gave us chlamydia.

The Greenpoint Blogosphere Goes To the Dogs!

August 25, 2008 ·
Filed under: Crazy Cat Lady, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Literally. Last night I was contacted by a fellow Greenpointer on a mission. Suzy writes:

dear miss heather,

would you be so kind as to take a gander at my blog?

today’s feature is BOB THE BARC DOG. i hope that you will consider adding this blog as a link in your blogroll; my aim is to get more exposure for the doggies from BARC…

thanks,

suzy

p.s. bob is known as hope at the shelter.  my BF said we cannot call him that; as it is a girlie name, so we call him bob hope.

I do not agree with Suzy’s boyfriend. As it would happen we have a new semi-feral cat in our pride. I wanted to name it “Babka” but Mr. Heather panned the idea. Then I named it Sheba. Mr. Heather liked that name so we rolled with it. Until, that is, until we discovered Sheba was, in fact, a HEba. That changed everything.

Solomon didn’t seem to suit his temperament (he’s a bit of a asshole), so I named him Sue. Despite being trapped and having his “manhood” removed, “Sue” does not seem the least bit upset by his name. As long as I pony up the catnip pellets once a week and dole out the kibble on time he is puuuurfectly content. Otherwise it gets ugly.

Just like Mr. Cash, Sue likes to sing. Especially when he has not has his weekly allotment of catnip pellets. His venue of choice is outside my bedroom window. His audience is our resident felines. Sue likes to regale them with tales about the “nip” taken from his ear. Over so many beers. Sue is one bad dude (or fancies himself as such).

(Bob) Hope isn’t. Suzy writes:

Bob is darned near perfect, except that he does seem rather depressed. I’m waiting for him to come out of his shell, and will update this post over the next couple of days. We’re having a bob‒b‒que in his honor tomorrow night. I betcha he likes steak … just a hunch.

One more thing ‒ Bob makes his bed.

When I brought Bob home last night, I took a king ‒size quilt from the closet, laid it down and folded it in half. Bob took over from there…

we were watching tv, and I guess it was too loud for him, so he dragged his bed into the other room, folded it again, and went to sleep. Bob kinda rocks.

It’s a good thing that Bob is an arranger of bedclothes, as Bob really, really likes to sleep.

This poor fella has been in the care of the wonderful BARC shelter since APRIL! He was found on the street and brought to BARC by the cops. Bob weighs about 50 pounds, is about six years old, is neutered, and has all of his shots. He likes men, women, children, cats, and other dogs. I’m honestly trying to find something wrong with him, but, so far, no go.

Nor do any the lovely (and loving) dogs Suzy writes about on her blog. Check it out!

Miss Heather

Changes Afoot At Casa Mon Amour?

August 23, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Today I awakened to find a very curious email from Beatrice waiting for me in my inbox. It read as follows:

To all of you hot sauce, ceviche, cubano, pernil, maduros, pico de gallo lovers, this week is your last chance to come enjoy your favorite dish at Casa Mon Amour. We will be changing the cuisine and kitchen staff after labor day. We will be open every night for dinner, but closed on Sunday. Will keep you posted to all the changes and improvement we are making to the restaurant. Enjoy what is left of the summer and see you soon.

I have been a fan of Beatrice’s French cooking for some time. Given she spent almost her entire childhood in French West Africa (and as a result is very knowledgeable about its cuisine) I have to wonder (or would that be hope?) that maybe one of the upcoming changes at Casa Mon Amour will be a menu reflecting her French and West African heritage. I for one find this prospect very exciting. But I suppose we will all have to wait until after Labor Day to find out what Beatrice has up her sleeve!

Miss Heather

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