New York Shitty Feral Christmas Tree Watch: This May Very Well Be A Record…

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As my walk by 125 Green Street this morning, May 2nd, attests: it’s never too late to discard last year’s Yuletide cheer…

Urban Artifact, Part II: Bathing Beauties

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another view

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I encountered the above tableau on Huron Street while taking Ma and Pa Heather out to dinner this evening. They depart our fair city tomorrow, thus I was very pleased that they got to behold some bona fide Garden Spot magic before their departure. Methinks they were not as enamored of my find as I was. So much for “taste”. Anyway, the fellows sitting nearby (on stools, milk crates, etc.— those who reside on or near Manhattan Avenue between Huron and India will know exactly about whom I write) told me I was the sixth person they had seen photograph this exquisite piece of Greenpoint glory. No surprise there…

Now Coming To The Silver Screen: Joe “373 Scam Avenue” Loiacono

URnotalone

That’s right folks: a mere six months have passed since this fellow was charged with a litany of downright nasty criminal acts and now two brave documentarians have not only decided his is a story worth telling but the Kickstarter community concurred! Follows is Ashley and Arielle’s “pitch”. I have bold-faced my favorite passages and added commentary as I have seen fit. Enjoy!

Set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Joe’s trinket shop symbolizes a fusion of two worlds: where traditional American-Italian ideals meet a new wave of hipsters. (Ed. Note: I am going to go out on a limb here and say if the “Italian Community” thereabouts learned that this fellow apparently represents them they would not happy.) U R Not Alone depicts the evolution of an unlikely friendship between this controversial man and two young women and continues with their dilemma once he is arrested. As they delve deeper into investigating Joe’s crimes and past, they bring audiences on their moral roller coaster ride – questioning the intrinsic societal predicaments he stands for. (Ed. Note: Here’s a “powerful moral dilemma”; you glorifying someone who repeatedly stole security deposits from people, attempted to assault his neighbor with a chainsaw (and as such was hit with a restraining order which he immediately violated) and has an extensive record of domestic violence and sexual assault.*) At a time when cultural and moral values are being re-assessed, Joe’s compelling character demands all who engage with him to challenge what is good, who is bad, what fits in, and what does not. How are those who do not quite fit the mold treated, and is it just?

A LITTLE MORE: In the fall of 2011 we met Joe: an overweight, generally shirtless man – adorned with eclectic jewelry, a fake guitar, and a very large mouth. U R Not Alone follows one man’s struggle with the law and society at large. His story has continuously challenged us with provocative questions and powerful moral dilemmas that will surely stir audiences and confront them in the same right. The film not only has the potential to demonstrate ambiguities, injustices, and manipulations of the American law system, but also highlights and challenges the roles of documentary filmmakers, their subjects, and the responsibility they have to one another as people.

Over the last year, we have followed this man on his path to self-destruction through alcohol, drugs, and false hopes. As we became better acquainted with Joe, we saw a side of him that nobody else seemed to. We watched as an entire neighborhood dismissed, and put away a man that they simply did not understand. (Ed. Note: “not understand” = objecting to being chased down the street with a chainsaw.)

The film depicts the evolution of an unlikely friendship between this controversial character and two young girls trying to capture his story, and continues with our dilemma once he is arrested. How much do we trust this man, and how far do we go for him? What do we see in Joe that the rest of the world does not? Are we being conned?

At a time when cultural and moral values are being re-assessed, Joe’s compelling character demands all who engage with him to challenge what is good, who is bad, what fits in, and what does not. How are those who do not quite fit the mold treated, and is it just?

Follows are a few of yours truly favorite “teasers.” What I found particularly interesting is how this documentary seems to be more about its makers than its “subject”. I love a steaming cup of narcissism in the morning!

Ride to Rikers from Ashley Benzwie on Vimeo.

Kiss the Girl – U R Not Alone from Ashley Benzwie on Vimeo.

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Any and all interested in learning more about this sterling endeavor can do so by clicking here. WARNING/CAVEAT: Some eye and/or mind bleach might be required afterward— so do not say I did not warn you!

*Special thanks goes out to one of Joe’s neighbors and 373 Scam Avenue for the “moral focus” here.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Bomb Scare At Enterprise High School?

Per an anonymous tipster:

There’s a bomb scare happening near Bushwick and Grand.

Yikes! If anyone has the 411 on what is going on, pelase share via comments or email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) come. Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire. Thanks!

UPDATE: Here’s the 411 per DNA.info. Long story made very short and sweet, it would appear someone called the police regarding an abandoned suitcase on the premises.

The Word On The Street, Part I: Sanpaku

April 15, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Street Art, Wow 

sanpaku

This rather curious find hails from India Street. Those of you who are wondering what this word means can get the 411 by clicking here.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Virgin of Guadelupe

April 13, 2013 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Bushwick Brooklyn, New York City, Wow 

La Virgen de Guadalupe - Mother of all Mexico

Taken by Charles Le Brigand.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Live From 66 Clay Street

April 9, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

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Laura Hofmann (who took the above photographs) writes today at 11:11 a.m.:

Hi Heather!

Mike & I smelled smoke and moments later there were lots of emergency vehicles at the corner of Clay & Manhattan. No one seemed to know what happened but someone was treated in an ambulance. And fireman were on top of the the three quarter house…
I have received word that no less than eleven fire trucks were called.

ambulanceLH

Yikes!

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Impromptu Buffet At The C-Town

This evening the Mister and I, feeling peckish, made a trip to the grocery store. It would appear we were not the only ones.

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Who were hungry, that is. Nothing says “givin’ it to the man” 11222 style quite like eating his grapes…

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quaffing his Vitamin Water XXX…

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and of course noshing his sauerkraut and mushroom pierogies.

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Note the bite taken out of this one. Yum!

Greenpoint, you ROCK!

Photo Credits: Go out to the Mister who kept admonishing me to keep quiet or they would think I did this.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: What To Do With A Dead Raccoon?

March 1, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

A lady we’ll call “S” writes (in an email entitled “Nature red tooth and claw in Greenpoint “) yesterday evening at 10:51 p.m.:

Hi Heather,

Knowing that you regularly report on raccoon sightings and doings in Greenpoint (in fact, last year you published a picture of a raccoon looking through my back door at my cat) I had to tell you the terrible event I witnessed tonight. At about 7 o’clock while I was cooking dinner I started to hear weird high pitched sounds coming from my back yard. Like a strange bird, or kids yelling or like a dog yelping in pain. My cat was frantic at the back door. So my daughter and I got flashlights and went out on our porch. We could hear thumping and rustling sounds coming from the space between the porch and the house next door. We shone our flashlights down and saw raccoons wrestling. At first it wasn’t clear what they were doing. Mating? Fighting each other over some food? As we watched it became clear that this was a serious fight between the two. The larger raccoon was biting and then jerking its head to the side the way carnivores do to tear at their prey. I tried to stop it by banging on a pot and then throwing some water down on them, but they remained locked in combat. We tried to take pictures of the fight, buy it was too dark. Eventually the larger one killed the smaller one and proceeded to eviscerate and eat part of it. We could tell from the crunching sounds. We left him to his meal and when we came back out a short time later the victor was gone leaving the dead raccoon. And I’m sure not going down there to investigate until daylight! This was amazing to me because I have never observed raccoons to be aggressive or violent with each other. There is a group that lives in the nearby backyards and I would see them frequently until the weather got cold. Recently the weather has been so mild it’s hard to believe that they have been driven to cannibalism by cold and hunger. Zombie raccoons?

Now what does one do with a dead raccoon? I considered putting a post on Craigslist to see if there was an amateur taxidermist who might want it. Then I started thinking of the responses I might get. Joel, the nice guy at 311 told me to call tomorrow and to emphasize that the raccoon might have had rabies so that animal control will come and take the corpse. Otherwise I can bag it and put it out with the rest of the trash. Ewwwww! Can you think of any other way to deal with it?

Besides sharing the weirdness of this incident with you and soliciting your disposal ideas, I also wanted to know if you have heard of anything like this. Maybe you should warn people that raccoons could attack pets left in the back yards. I don’t want to see an anti-raccoon crusade start in Greenpoint. I always thought it was kind of magical to see the raccoon group making its rounds, eating apples in my tree or sleeping on the fire escape. But I am going to be a little more cautious in the future.

Your fellow wildlife fan,

S

PS–I just remembered that this morning I saw the Cooper’s hawk in my back yard. It’s a regular Mutual of Omaha show around here!!

After re-reading this item (there was quite a lot to absorb) I brought it to the Mister’s attention. His response was as follows:

Cook it.*

After calling him a wise-ass (which he is) I pointed out that some time ago a raccoon was found with rabies in Long Island City and as such consuming one may not be such a good idea. He agreed. We also agreed that advertising it on Craigslist would in all likelihood net some responses this woman may not find palatable. In the end we concluded that 311 was the way to go, the operator with whom she spoke counseled her well and, yes, pet owners need to be mindful we do share our community with these critters. While raccoons are generally not aggressive, they can be. Take note, north ‘Pointers!

*NOTE: This comes from a man who recently saw fit to prepare popcorn with leftover bacon fat. In so doing he created what can best be described as sauna /steam room whose aromatic ambiance was not unlike being in a vat of hot dog water. It took running the exhaust fan for 45 minutes to make the kitchen habitable. Yup.

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: What Is Wrong With This Picture?

February 27, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

646manhattan

I spied the above bit of hilarity this afternoon while waiting for the bus. Curiosity piqued, I looked up this building on the Department of Buildings database. What I discovered was interesting.

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Sure enough, complaints have been lodged regarding this property. As the lattermost item indicates, the Department of Building’s Emergency Response Team paid this edifice a visit January 4, 2013. No “construction activity” was noted. The fact there is a door (replete with a lock, no less) where one usually expects to find a window seems to be missed as well. Or maybe it wasn’t? North Brooklyn is funny that way!

planrejected

 

Follows is the most relevant permit issued by the Department of Buildings to the owner of this property.

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Perhaps the Emergency Response Team should pay another visit?

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