Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Bum Shit, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day, Greenpoint Magic
I had quite the busy weekend. My Saturday morning started at 8:30 a.m. assembling and collating all the material to be sent along with the angry missive to our landlord. This packet ended up being about a quarter of an inch thick. It was not an enjoyable task, but it was a necessary one, nonetheless.
After purchasing the envelope and postage for this turd, my husband and I rushed to the Bust Craftacular to meet my buddy, Judy McGuire. The Warsaw Ballroom was where we were to make a transaction for a really gorgeous clock I made. This came to pass— after I beheld the horror that is the ‘hip’ Greenpoint/Williamburg parenting cadre.
Let it be known here and now that I do not like:
3. crotchlings in all-terrain strollers (if your stroller is bigger than me, it need not be)
4. the parents who see fit to bring the aforementioned crotchlings in said strollers to venues best left for adult consumption
I could have tolerated the loud music, the crowds OR the stroller set individually, but being assaulted by all three at once proved to be a hell for all five senses that even Dante could not begin to fathom.
It’s a matter of space: my personal and psychological space. When did my allotted amount of space become fair game to affluent breeders/space pirates with crotchlings? I’d really like to know. Perhaps, to bastardize Desmond Tutu, this is why:
When the developers came to Greenpoint they had the lawyers and we had the space. They said “Let us prey.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had eviction papers and they had the space (air rights, FAR, etc.).
But I digress…
My point is this: why won’t these parents act, well, like parents? Any parent worth his/her salt would have the horse-sense to know that the Bust Craftacular may not be a good place to take their small children. If not as a simple act of common courtesy to the other patrons, because the loud-ass music may be unsettling, if not downright damaging, to their toddlers/infants.
The same logic applies to the happy hours some bars have to pander to the ‘hip’ mommy set. Why can’t these women just stay home and ask little “Timmy” or “Caitlin” to “Mix a drink for mommy because she had a hard day” like the civilized folk? If this practice was good enough for Bette Davis, rest assured it sure as fuck is good enough for them.
Start ‘em out while they’re young, I say (because the children are our future): one parent’s alcohol consumption may bear fruit in a lucrative career as a bartender for the child later. Why bother preparing “Timmy” or “Caitlin” for a white-collar career today that will be out-sourced tomorrow? The service industry is our nation’s future, and consequently, their future.
In three or four years I imagine the public schools in Greenpoint/Williamsburg will be inundated with hard-of-hearing children with an attention span of one nano-second— but they’ll mix cocktails guaranteed to knock the teacher on her ass. They’ll cut lines like a pro to boot. The previous may be nice fringe benefits given how badly teachers are paid.
Slipster parents: open up your wallets and hire a babysitter or get off your respective asses and start a babysitting pool like a grown-up. The rest of us (grown-ups) are not the least bit amused by your child’s antics, your adolescent sense of entitlement and overall inability to act your age.
The last time my husband and I ate at Taco Chulo (at 8:30 p.m.) we had the pleasure of being entertained by a todder running amok. This boy climbed atop the sofa, the coffee table and a four foot tall ledge. Had he fallen, he would have cracked his head open or broken an arm. Where was mommy? She was eating and laughing her ass off because it was “cute”.
Until this houseape came to our table (matchbox car in hand, snot flowing from nose) and babbled gibberish at us, anyway. That’s was when (with glowing mommy pride) mamasan sauntered over to our table and told us (while we were eating for chrissakes) that her vaginal dumpling wanted to know what we dressed up as for Halloween.
I told her that what I dressed up as (for Halloween) was unsuitable content for a child to hear and she left. I applaud my husband’s and my own restraint: we were pissed. After she left, my husband and I tossed around answers to this question we would have preferred to give:
1. A pedophile
2. Your REAL daddy
3. Your REAL mommy
4. Your aborted sister/brother who lives in heaven now
5. Your momma’s pimp
6. A child protective services caseworker
This is Greenpoint, not Disneyland (or Levittown, for that matter).
Williamsbreeders: if you want a child-centric/hip-wombyn environment, move to Park Slope. They’ll be happy to take you. You can argue over the gender-ramifications of a child’s hat (via craigslist) to your heart’s contentment. Otherwise, the next time you bring your child into my Greenpoint(less) world, he/she may get a crash course in ‘adult’ repartee.
I may very well show your kid this, which will undoubtedly result in him/her having bed-wetting episodes and night terrors for years.
P.S.: At least my trek to the Craftacular netted me this constellation of dog shit I call the Guernsey Street Octet…
and these select morsels of bum shit just around the corner on Nassau Avenue.
Every dark cloud has a brown lining in New York Shitty.
As many of you know already, I was once a real estate agent. In this capacity I previewed a number of apartments: some were nice, others not so nice. Contrary to what less ethical real estate agents may tell you, a decent studio apartment can be had in New York City (Manhattan) for $1,200-$1,300 a month. I saw a number of them with my own eyes. The one thing I never saw, however, was a $1,200/month studio located in Greenpoint. Until this weekend, anyway.
Miss Heather has experienced much drama of late. My apartment woes have taken upon a life of their own. The latest manifestion of this phenomenon involves a cat. Yes, A CAT.
You see, a neighbor of ours (apartment 6) was hauled out of here by EMDs about three weeks ago. Given that she was paid numerous visits by ACS, it is probably safe to assume her child was removed from her custody. Her cat, however, proved to be another matter.
This woman gave her apartment keys to a man named George THREE WEEKS AGO with the understanding that he would feed her cat until she came back. After repeatedly trying to contact her, George gave up. She had clearly abandoned the apartment, so he gave the keys to me so I could tend to the cat and (hopefully) find her a new home.
What I discovered upon entering apartment 6 was truly appalling. Aside from some serious maintenance and health hazards, it was just plain FILTHY. Mind you, the following pictures were taken AFTER George had done some cleaning. UNBELIEVEABLE.
George filled six garbage bags with trash before quitting.
This is just plain gross.
And of course, here’s the sweet kitty* who had lived in this shitheap for weeks (months?)…
Mind you, I am not placing ANY blame with George regarding this situation. He did the best he could given the circumstances. Rather, I was horrified by the general condition of the apartment. You could tell it had been like this for a long, long time.
I think the term for this caliber of work is “Ghetto Fabulous”.
Water and electricity do not mix.
I just about pissed my pants laughing at this one. I can recollect at least four different types of flooring material put to use in this apartment.
And last, but not least, here’s a picture from the child’s room…
I am certain the more cynical among you are saying “I’ve seen worse”.
Perhaps this is so, but be advised that the previous defects were the only ones I could document because the place was filled to the gills in REFUSE.
The more observant of you are surely asking “What does this have to do with a $1,200/month studio apartment in Greenpoint?”
My answer is this: You just saw one.
*For those of you who are wondering, she is currently testing out a new foster home and it looks encouraging. But if anyone is interested in adopting her lest this arrangement falls through, shoot me an email: missheather (at) Newyorkshitty (dot) com.
As many of you are aware, I recently decided to market my Jihadi Kitty-making services to the general public via my online store. It would appear that this act has offended some of my fellow Etsy patrons— or at least this is what I intuit from the following (hilarious) message I received from their site administrator this afternoon:
Happy to find you on Etsy! I’m writing with regard to the Jihadist Hello Kitty in your shop. Several Etsy customers have registered complaints that they find this item offensive. While I imagine this was not your intention, I need to ask you to change your item description and title. It is obviously perfectly above board to dress a hello kitty doll in a handmade burka or any other traditional Islamic cloathing. However, to include “Jihadist” in the title and attach pseudo explosives to the doll (!— Ed. Note)–equating the Islamic dress with terrorism does not conform to our policy on this site. Please change the title and description as soon as you get a chance.
Yes, dear readers, it would appear that satire is lost on some people.
Needless to say, I have temporarily removed this item from my online store. No worries, after cleaning up the ad copy, I plan to add other Hello Kitty concepts I have been tossing around such as:
- The Patty Hearst/Symbionese Litterbox Army play set
- The Monica Lewinsky play set
- The Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill play set (featuring the infamous tainted can of Coke)
- The Abu Ghraib play set. (I just need to find a doll ugly enough to be Lynndie England. Maybe a Cabbage Patch doll will suffice? Those things are uglier than hammered dog shit.)
And much, much more…
While I (still) intend to write a testimonial about my recent housing woes, the following nastygram pretty much speaks for itself…
November ??, 2006
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Re: Conditions at XYZ Green St. (AKA 123 Manhattan Avenue) Brooklyn, NY 11222
We, the below-signed residents of XYZ Green Street, are writing this letter to voice our concerns regarding the lack of effective management and proper maintenance of this building. Recent events including, but not limited to:
1. lack of heat and hot water for an entire week (11/2/06 â€“ 11/9/06)
2. electrical outages in individual apartments and the public areas of this building as result of questionable/unlicensed electrical work and water damage
3. lack of responsiveness on the part of your managing agent to address the aforementioned issues in a timely manner
have made it all too clear that serious changes need to be made regarding how this building is managed and maintained. It is the purpose of this letter to make you aware of the more egregious concerns we have regarding the habitability of this building and to start an amicable dialogue as to how these issues will be handled moving forward.
1. Lack of heat and hot water: on November 2, 2006 we received a notice from KeySpan stating they had disconnected the boiler that provides heat and hot water to the apartments of this building. This was done because the chimney for the boiler was blocked. This is a very hazardous condition: one that may have caused carbon monoxide to be discharged into the apartments of this building. This situation was made even more hazardous given that neither the apartments nor public areas of this building have carbon monoxide detectors or smoke detectors. Both of the previous are required by law.
KeySpan came to this building Sunday, November 3, 2006 at 9:15 p.m. to inspect the boiler and (hopefully) restore service. We were forced to turn this gentleman away because:
a. The person we were led to believe is the Superintendent (Gerardo) was not on the premises at the time (because he no longer resides here)
b. We had no means of reaching the him or providing access to the basement
As a result, we had to wait an entire week for our heat and hot water to be restored. This is unacceptable; having no heat or hot water for an entire week is not a mere inconvenience, it is a health hazard.
Once again, this building experienced a lack of hot water (or any water, for that matter) November 22, 2006 from roughly 8:00-11:00 a.m. We were given no notice about any work being done to the boiler. Rather, we were told by a gentleman who works for Green Street Plumbing (at 157 Green Street) a week later that you were â€œsweating the pipesâ€. What work was being done to the boiler that would necessitate this practice?
2. Lack of access to the basement: the recent course of events (from November 2 through November 9) could have been easily truncated had access to the basement been provided to KeySpan. In addition to having no means of contacting the Superintendent (or another managing agent for this property) outside of business hours and having no one on the premises with the necessary keys to provide access to the basement, it has come to our attention that this building has been cited by the Department of Buildings for having an illegal apartment in the basement.
This was undoubtedly a contributing factor to KeySpan being denied access to the basement. Either you or one of your managing agents did not want to give KeySpan access to the basement for the simple reason that someone was living there. This not only violates the Certificate of Occupancy (on record with the Department of Buildings) for this building, but poses a serious hazard to all who reside in this building. We (the legitimate tenants of this building) cannot get timely access to the basement in the event of an emergency and the person(s) residing in the basement has/have no secondary means of egress in the event of a fire.
3. Unlicensed electrical work and cosmetic improvements being made to this building: On the week of October 25, 2006 an employee under your hire (and/or under the hire/supervision of Gerardo, the ostensible Superintendent of this building) proceeded to do work in the public areas of this building. Among other things he:
a. installed a motion-sensitive light fixture above the mailboxes by tapping into the existing light fixture located on the first floor above the stairwell. Any work that involves electrical wiring must have a permit from the Department of Buildings and must be performed by a licensed electrician. This work was clearly not conducted by a licensed professional (much less with a permit) and as a result, a number of apartments experienced brown-outs and the public areas of this building had no lighting whatsoever for 36 hours. No measures were taken to redress this problem on the part of your managing agent. We, the tenants of this building, put light fixtures in the hallway so some measure of light would be provided to anyone entering and leaving the building.
b. re-faced the stairs between the first and second floors of this building. He tapped into an existing light fixture (this time on the second floor) in order to power the equipment necessary to do this work. This, in turn, caused a brown-out in apartment #1. In addition, the improvements made to these stairs have already started to fall apart. One tenant fell and hurt herself while climbing the stairs because the metal facing on the 6th stair tread had come loose. This has since been repaired, but the gentleman (once again) tapped into the light fixture to do it— well after you have been ordered by the city (twice) to remove this illegal wiring.
c. painted parts of the public areas of this building with oil-based paint and made no effort whatsoever to provide adequate ventilation, be it by opening windows or the front door of the building. When confronted about this, your employee said he had worked this way for â€œ29 yearsâ€ without trouble and saw no reason why he should change this practice. Oil-based paint, while very durable, requires proper ventilation because the fumes are noxious. As you are probably aware, a number of people in this building have chronic asthma; such fumes serve only to exacerbate their symptoms.
4. Insecure mailboxes: it has come to our attention that the locks securing the top of the mailbox fixtures in our building (to be used only by our postal delivery person when he places mail in our mailboxes) are inoperative. Anyone with access to this building and knowledge of this defect can gain access to all the mailboxes (and the mail contained therein) in this building. The Superintendentâ€™s own daughter was seen accessing the mailbox for apartment #7 (where she and her family had lived previously) by hitting the mailbox fixture repeatedly until it opened.
a. If the Superintendent was concerned about having mail delivered to his new address, he should have tendered a forwarding order to the United States Postal Service.
b. Tampering with mail boxes and mail theft are Federal offenses.
Be advised that this matter has been brought to the attention of the local Postmaster.
5. Access to this building: a number of people have been given keys to this building without any notification in writing from you or your managing agent. This raises some serious safety concerns, as we have no idea who these people are or why they are being given access to this building. Not only was the gentleman (mentioned in item #3 of this letter) given access to this building without notification, but the new porter (?) of this building has been given keys to the front door. Our concerns are as follows:
a. Why was the old porter, Joyce Montero, who resides in this building (apartment #4) relieved of her duties? We were very happy with her services and see no reason why she should be replaced.
b. We are not comfortable with this man having access to this building because:
i. The work he does here is limited in time and scope, yet he loiters around the building constantly.
ii. He has taken to harassing one of the tenants in this building repeatedly. It is our understanding (per what you told an officer of the N.Y.P.D., 94th Precinct, on the afternoon of 11/22/06) that this man is your employee. If this is so, as your agent this man is to clean the building and sort the garbage; he is not to verbally harass, intimidate, or threaten the tenants who live therein. If he cannot (or will not) refrain from bothering the tenants of this building, it is your responsibility to replace him.
6. Door providing access to the roof: this door will not remain closed. It slams continuously during inclement weather and permits rainwater to enter the building. Rainwater has rotted a section of the ceiling on the fourth floor. This damage has since been plastered over (by the same person mention in item #3 of this letter). We have serious concerns about the effectiveness of this repair work and any possible damage to the electrical wiring to the fourth floor light fixture that might have been concealed. Nonetheless, such repairs do not address the origin of the problem, e.g.; the fact that the insecure door to the roof still permits rainwater to enter the building. We want a real and lasting solution to this problem, not quick fixes.
7. Buzzers: this fixture does not operate properly. Not only are they wired in no discernable order (the top buzzer is for apartment #3, for example), but there appears to be no buzzer for apartment #6. This is a constant source of confusion and annoyance.
8. Inadequate lighting at the entrance of this building: it is our understanding (per housing code) that a 100 watt light bulb is to be used in lighting fixtures that illuminate the entrance of an apartment building. The current lighting is clearly not adequate (as of the writing of this letter, said light bulb is inoperative), and as a consequence, a number of derelicts and other non-residents have taken to loitering on the stoop of this building at night. This poses some serious safety concerns. It is not unreasonable to assume that if this fixture was brought up to code, these people would be less likely to loiter in front of this building.
In closing, the above list is a general synopsis of the more troublesome issues we have experienced of late. A number of these defects have already been brought to your attention; you have been cited by the Department of Buildings and Housing Preservation for a number of them recently. Additionally, a number of us would like to know why you have not registered the rent (with the DHCR) for our individual apartments for the last two (or more) years. Some of us have also discovered other irregularities regarding our rental histories which will be brought to your attention via attachments. Following this letter you will find:
â€¢ Images of the above-listed defects
â€¢ A list of open citations from the Department of Buildings and Housing Preservation and Development for this building
â€¢ Cover letters and supplemental material regarding the habitability/condition of individual apartments, rental overcharge concerns and other issues that have arisen with individual tenants
We thank you in advance for your attention to these matters and look forward to getting a written response from you as to how they will be corrected.
XYZ Green Street Tenantsâ€™ Organization
If it is possible to get “spring fever” in autumn, I have it. There’s something about the first wave of cool weather that makes me restless and reduces my attention span to zero. Shit, it took me a few tries today before I figured out that the Glad “ForceFlex” bag I put in the kitchen garbage can was not defective: it stretches to fit the can. DUH. Anyhoo…
I love taking walks around this ‘hood because I find so many fascinating things. Sometimes they even seem to tell a story, like the photos I am featuring on today’s post. I found the following items in this exact order on a recent Saturday morning…
Cigarette, asswipe and a lotto ticket…
A new work by my favorite Greenpoint ‘sign-maker’.
Some seriously mixed signals. I’m guessing this person’s love interest did not withstand the test of time.
A Slipster Still Life:
- Partially consumed latte: check
- One empty fifth of Vodka: check
- Dirty panties: check
P.S.: Be sure to check out my new stuff on flickr. I have a created “Miss Heather’s House of Pain” for your viewing pleasure. In a nutshell, this is a photo documentary of how truly ghetto my apartment building has become. I am also in the process of creating a photo “set” of nifty pix I have taken around Brooklyn. Enjoy!
Exactly one week ago I came across this via The Gowanus Lounge. Not only do I (more or less) agree with the guy, but I have a few thoughts to add…
Green Street has never been a terribly nice place. The fortress (built by the MTA) at the end of the block has made matters worse:
- I am awakened by construction crews moving containers out of this pit at ALL HOURS. 12:30 and 5:30 in the morning seem to be pretty popular. I am of the understanding that this will be going on for another two years.
- This ‘fortress’ has also created a haven for criminal activity because it limits visibility of the block from Manhattan Avenue. Since that thing went up, tagging has increased AND the druggies have moved in. Don’t believe me? Click here and check out the two dudes I called the police on yesterday because they were shooting up in BROAD DAYLIGHT.
- I have come damned close to being run over trying to cross Green Street and Manhattan Avenue because motorists blow through the stop signs at this intersection. I have called 311 about this repeatedly and nothing is being done about it.
None of the previous items are good for ‘curb appeal’, if you know what I mean. Anyone who would buy into one of the glass boxes o’crap being tossed up here would have to be a certifiable moron. Shit, the only reason I am here is for the cheap(ish) rent.
That said, even I have no idea if even I will be around the next year or two because our landlord is getting greedy. He is attempting to (illegally) evict all three of the Section-8 tenants from our building. These people are very nice and actually help make this building a safer place to live. They are older (one is disabled), have lived here for 15+ years, and as a result, really care about the place and the people in it. It makes me sick. The only thing that is more depressing is the fact that one of the families is not even fighting back.
To summarize, ‘development’ (and the sheer greed that comes with it) is destroying this block— and probably this ‘hood as a whole. It is also destroying the lives of a number of people here whose only vice is being poor or disabled. There will be other consequences down the road, e.g., pushing an already-taxed infrastructure (public transportation, grocery stores, public schools, etc.) past capacity, but the human cost I am seeing (and experiencing) here and now is what really gets to me.
At first I wondered how these people can sleep at night, but then I remembered: they have no conscience. After they turn a fast buck in this neighborhood they will simply go on to the next one.
Just in case the url of this blog (www.newyorkshitty.com) and the content herein have not made it clear already; this is not a child-friendly publication. It is a belief of the Dog Shit Queen of Greenpoint that there is already WAY too much bandwidth wasted on children and their parents’ vanity. Having made my stance on this issue known, I am willing to be flexible when the mood strikes me. Hence this post.
Today I went to the Franklin Corner Store to get some tea. The only upshot of gentrification here I can think of is that my tea of choice, Ito-En green tea with jasmine, is available almost everywhere now. The Franklin Corner Store started carrying it a few months ago and I have been eternally grateful ever since. A day without fragrant green tea buzz is a day that never was for Miss Heather.
I selected a chilled bottle of delicious tea from the cooler and proceeded to the register. The store owner asked if I was ready to check out. I said “Yes” and handed him $2.00. That’s when his young son popped up from behind the counter giggling maniacally. This kid is probably seven or eight years old and today he was hyper something fierce. I can only imagine how much sugar the lad had consumed to get himself worked into this state.
He kept bobbing up and down behind the counter, playing some demented version of “Peek a Boo” with me. All the while giggling his ass off. I enjoyed this tremendously, especially after I noticed that he had a price tag affixed to his forehead.
Me (to the store owner/father): How much does he cost?
Store Owner (without missing a beat): $2.25
We both laughed and after four attempts (the kid could NOT stand still if his life depended on it) I got this pic.
It might be a good idea to move the candy out of this child’s reach. As Cindy Adams might say:
Only in Greenpoint folks, only in Greenpoint!
I can only imagine what unholy furor the previous exchange may have precipitated had it transpired in Park Slope. Any ‘nabe laden with mommies who
take make the time (and have the lack of a sense of humor needed) to bicker over the gender of a hat on Craigslist is a very scary and dangerous place in my book. I cannot state this with 100% certainty, but I’d wager one (or several) of the following scenarios would have come to pass had this child been found with a price tag on his head in Park Slope:
- A humorless dowager calls child protection services to accuse the store owner and me of human trafficking.
- Well-meaning Woman “A” (whose sole sense of purpose in life— because she does not have one— is poking her nose into other people’s business) cries racism because Latino children cost less than white children.
- Concerned Woman “B” points out the plight of trafficked women in Europe and Asia and calls Woman “A” racist and sexist.
- A debate ensues over what constitutes being ‘Latino’, as there a number of children in The Phillippines (which is in Asia) who are of Hispanic descent. This in turn…
- Starts a vitriolic exchange (on Craigslist naturally, high-minded virtue is only plausible if it can be voiced for free) as to what constitutes being “Hispanic” and what constitutes being “Latino”…
- And on.
- And on.
- And on into infinity… or when Craigslist.org crashes due to all the traffic. Whichever comes first.
- A brigade of lactating mommies start a “Suckle-In” in front of the offending store while chanting “We Will Overcome”.
- Edgy moms start putting tags on their children’s foreheads like…
- “Kaitlin, an Empowered Wom(b)yn Production: Priceless”
- “Max @ $2.25: an act of solidary for the oppressed child at the corner store”
Readers: Please shoot me an email if you think I missed anything in the above list. Outraged mommies are also encouraged to give feedback; I understand that your humvee-sized strollers (and the kids in them) would be irrevocably damaged from riding the G train.
That’s why Greenpoint kids rule and Park Slope kids drool: Greenpoint parents have a sense of humor. They let their kids act like kids.
I have always liked the Franklin Corner Store because their Cuban sandwiches are unbelievable*. Their kids are damned cool too. They can count on my repeat business for a long, long time.
*Just try their “New Mexico” or “El Mexicano” sandwich. Vegetarian Heaven in a mouthful.
When not documenting dog shit, I set aside time to tackle some of life’s more vexatious questions. The list of questions laid before me is quite long and includes:
- Where is the goddamn remote?
- Why can’t my husband put his used panties in the dirty laundry hamper?
- What did I do to deserve this?
- Why doesn’t Sanrio make a Islamic fundamentalist Hello Kitty doll? I have seen French Hello Kitties, Brazilian Hello Kitties, even Hello Kitties dressed up like The Statue of Liberty, but alas, there was no gun-toting, Koran-quoting, burqa-wearing Hello Kitty to be found anywhere…
I decided that if such a doll didn’t exist, it should, and set forth with my 20+ years sewing experience to make this happen.
In case you are wondering: yes, she does have a gun.
Here it is: my very first PoopiPoint Presentation for all to enjoy. Be sure to check out the accompanying Crap Map too!
I found this rather choice dog shit sign on Clay Street last week. For those of you who are not proficient in Spanish, “Poopi no mas” roughly translates as “Poop no more” in English.
This would be a damned good band name. Too bad I have almost no musical ability whatsoever or I’d start a band and christen it “Poop No More”.
Otherwise, what started as a modest 4-5 slide PowerPoint presentation outlining my findings from September 20, 2006 has mushroomed into 13 slide magnum opus as of writing this post. It is quite an extraordinary piece of work. I hope to have it up this evening or tomorrow at the very latest.