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.
I like the Pigeon Lady.
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.
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:
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.
It was on West 11th Street he pointed out this rather unusual looking townhouse.
It was not only for sale…
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.
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.
A fellow named Chris writes on March 15th (AKA: The Ides of March):
What is with all these dead birds being found? Saw this today on the waterfront of the east river state park. The next photo, you may not want to look at while eating.
Indeedy. Clean up in aisle five…
Seriously folks, why? How? Ew.
Now that the truly harsh wintry weather is behind us (fingers crossed), a great deal urban detritus has been unearthed from the receding snow. In my observation it has been mostly dog shit, cigarette butts (LOTS of cigarette butts), rotten food and empty liquor bottles. Vodka mostly. While certainly not pleasant to look at (much less smell), is this really surprising? No, it is not. We have simply been faced with a record of exactly how much trash is tossed and/or accumulates on our streets and sidewalks over sustained period of time. It isn’t pretty— but a head-scratcher this mostly decidedly is not.
Today— the weather being amenable and sporting a brand new pair of walking shoes— I opted to take a walk around Sunset Park. Upon exiting the subway I was promptly greeted by my first “street find”. It too, is not pretty— but a “head scratcher” it most decidedly is.
A dead chicken inside a cheerfully pink box of Pampers Pull-ups. Note how they coordinate with my new sneaks! There was also a quarter in there. I opted (for reasons which methinks are obvious) to leave both be.
The deceased chicken had a companion in the manner of a(n also) deceased pigeon.
How/why this came to be I honestly do not know. I do not think I want to know. Nonetheless, here it is for posterity.
This was sterling opportunity was brought to my attention by an anonymous tipster. He/she forwarded me the following casting call:
UNION AND NON UNION MALES TO PORTRAY REAL POLISH TYPES – AVAIL 3.1015 READ! MUST HAVE ALL DAY AVAIL! NO CONFLICTS! MUST HAVE ALL DAY AVAIL! PLEASE SEND 1-2 PHOTOS TO CBSBBEXTRAS@GMAIL.COM PUT YOUR NAME / POLISH TYPE IN SUBJECT LINE. MUST HAVE VALID US PASSPORT OR VALID US DRIVERS LICENSE AND SS CARD OR BIRTH CERTIFICATE. PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ANYONE THAT THIS MIGHT APPLY TO. PICTURE SELECTED BY DIRECTOR AND PRODUCTION! VERY PROMINENT SCENE! THINK POLISH THUG TYPES!!!
NOTE: “Blue Bloods” films quite frequently in Greenpoint. One has to wonder what, if anything, the Polish community hereabouts thinks of this. Anyone?
UPDATE, March 6th, 2015: We have another one, folks!
18-65 UNION AND NON UNION TO PORTRAY POLISH MALE SOCIAL CLUB PATRONS – AVAIL 3.10.15 READ! MUST HAVE ALL DAY AVAIL – THINK SKETCHY, CRIMINAL, MOB RELATED, POLISH NEIGHBORHOOD TYPES, ETC. NO CONFLICTS! PLEASE SUBMIT PHOTOS TO CBSBBEXTRAS@GMAIL.COM PUT NAME / POLISH TYPE IN SUBJECT LINE. MUST HAVE VALID US PASSPORT OR VALID US STATE ID WIT SS CARD OR BIRTH CERTIFICATE. NO CONFLICTS! PLEASE INCLUDE FULL NAME, SIZES, UNION STATUS AND PHONE NUMBER IN BODY OF EMAIL. 2-5 PHOTOS ARE GREAT! ***LOOKING FOR PEOPLE TO PORTRAY TRUE POLISH TYPES*** Rate: SCALE/0 Shoot Date: 3/10/2015
From Manhattan Avenue.
As I write this post the Department of Buildings is vacating 249 Norman Avenue (a loft conversion located between Monitor and North Henry Street). The Red Cross has been brought in to assist residents with temporary shelter, etc. This is all I know at this time.
To be continued…?
P.S.: On a somewhat-related note (this being the Department of Buildings) it would appear the Manhattan District Attorney’s office along with the Department of Investigation and NYPD has announced arrests and criminal charges regarding the bribing of Department of Buildings and Housing Preservation And Development personnel. Not surprisingly, it would appear some of the properties involved are in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick. See for yourself. Here’s a teaser:
…bribes in the form of approximately $200,000 for home mortgage payments, a Nissan Rogue SUV, a GMC Terrain SUV, and a Royal Caribbean cruise, as well as cash for airline tickets, home renovations, and other personal expenses…
Reading is truly believing, folks…
An immensely talented and all-around nice guy, Stefano Giovannini, braved the cold and took some wonderful photos of our city’s Bravest fighting what is apparently now a seven alarm fire. Do take a moment to peruse his Flickr set here. They are not only lovely (if one can call such subject matter that) but are an excellent testement to the hard work and dedication of our firefighters.
Filed under: 10002, BAD ASS, Lower East Side, Lower East Side Manhattan, Wow, WTF
This curiosity was found by a fellow Greenpoint resident we’ll call “S”. It presently resides under the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg(h) Bridge. About it she writes:
Double take: Giant flat black camper with window gates and fences chained on. The one of the door and window is worth a closer look…
Indeed it is.
Urban assault vehicle or Airbnb rental?
UPDATE: Someone was thoughtful enough to point out this looks like something from Escape From New York:
Great catch, John! The funny thing is this vehicle has New York state plates. However, I have spied and shot graffiti featuring Snake Plissken along the north Brooklyn waterfront. This one hails from Greenpoint.
And this one hails from the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge:
Maybe they’re trying to escape from Brooklyn? Hmm…
This has to be one of the most terrifying Santas I have ever seen. You gotta wonder what is in that sack of his…
(Taken by Robert S.)
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Urban Artifact, Wow, WTF
Today I had a craving for Mexican food. Well, not “Mexican” food per se. I craved crap. To this end I patronized the Taco Bell located on the Champs-Élysées of the Garden Spot: McGuinness Boulevard. Upon exiting with my bag of unhealthy goodness I noticed two perfectly placed pairs of coordinating footwear atop the garbage can. How they got there is anyone’s guess. I simply found how they coordinated with the building compelling and strangely beautiful.
After snapping this shot I opted to enjoy my burrito al fresco. I took a stroll along Provost Street. There outside the premises of the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Facility— in the shadow of the Shit Tits— I happened upon another urban artifact. It too was compelling but most decidedly not beautiful.
It is rare, gentle readers, that I happen upon something that makes me lose my appetite. After closer examination of the item in question (and shooting burrito bits out of my nose) this is exactly what happened. The burrito was placed back in the bag and out came the camera.
I suppose I should take the glass half-full approach:
1. The parties responsible for the piece of love’s detritus which awaited my delectation engaged in safe sex.
2. Greenpoint— especially its more remote/secluded nooks and crannies— is and has long been for lovers.
WARNING/CAVEAT: once this is seen, it cannot be unseen. Click at your own risk.