Gold Coast?

June 29, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

I recently read an article that quoted some shill as saying the Greenpoint waterfront is a potential “gold coast”. There is no potential about it: the Greenpoint waterfront is a gold coast. When not on fire, it reeks of piss.

I have lived here long enough to accept the fact that some of the local populace do not/will not/cannot grasp the distinction between “private space” and “public space”: one man’s front yard is another man’s bedroom, kitchen, living room, motel room, and of course, bathroom. It’s entirely a matter of perspective.

Even I have to admit that it easy to get your signals mixed here: the sidewalks are filled with dog shit and you see stuff like the following on a regular basis.

Huron Street

I have heard of hotels leaving mints on your pillow, but Corona?!?
This is truly innovative.

West Street

partytime

This must have been one hell of a gathering: upholstered chairs, a plank, a crutch, and… Kansas University?!? Clearly it was B.Y.O.B., and “Dennis” made sure everyone knew damn well which bottle of hooch was his…

dennis
West Street Street (again)

lid

And again…

lid2

Manhattan Avenue

lid3

What is it with the stray toilet seats in this ‘hood?!? Aren’t they secured to the bowl with bolts or something? Surely they cannot be very easy to lose? On second thought, I have met people here who could break an anvil if left to their own devices. A few Superintendents I have had come immediately to mind. Oh well…

West Street (Isn’t this the 4th item I have featured from this street thus far???)

pottychair

Greenpoint Avenue

pottychair2

To be continued. For some reason I feel the need to go to the bathroom…

Britney Epiphany: Oops, I did it Again (and again)

It’s been rainy and I have been combing my wee wittle brain for non-dogshit related infotainment… Enjoy. Or not. Frankly, I do not give a shit either way.

Britney Spears has gotten a lot of flack of late and it is starting to get me a bit angry.

I do not like someone I consider brethren being drug through the mud for ‘being real’. Wearing rollers, eccentric apparel, and/or toting a child in one hand with a beverage in the other (preferably while wearing high heels) in public is, by Greenpoint standards, *quite* real. It’s normal, actually— and that’s why I live here.

If you’re listening out there Britney, you and your loved ones can visit me at Half-ass Junction anytime. I will not judge you. I got laughed at once while submitting art to the small works competition hosted by NYU (in Manhattan) while wearing hair rollers. My art speaks for itself and my person was getting prepped for other things, thank you.

The fact that the person taking submissions and I got into a rather heated debate over whether or not the electrical cord attached to my device (constructed of an old vibrator, pot scrubber and night light) factored into the overall dimensions (12″ or less in ANY direction) is probably inconsequential, but the outcome was funny as hell. A curator was summoned to settle the argument and with Solomon-like wisdom she rendered her verdict: well, if it was a toaster, you would need the cord in order to plug it into an electrical socket. None of my works made it into that juried show, but victory was mine. I won the battle, but lost the war.

When did I get my affection for Britney, the rest of you ask?

My answer is very simple: when that Pepsi ad with her and Bob Dole aired. Eons ago.

That ad made me laugh my ass off because:

  1. (I suspect I am speaking for the general public here) the fact that Bob Dole rectified his ‘droopy hose’ problem (via Viagra or Pepsi) is decidedly not something I wanted or needed to know. No doubt it made Elizabeth work harder to establish her political career (if you know what I mean).
  2. I am very fond of the caveats for such “E.D.” drugs: especially priapism (an erection lasting more than 4 hours) and blurred vision. I have giggled myself silly many times at the thought of Bob Dole trying to dial 911 (with blurred vision) because he’s gotten up and can’t get down. Maybe they should make panic buttons for this sort of eventuality; with baby boomers retiring, the demand is only going to go up (no pun intended).
  3. Slobs knocking wood to the visage of an unattainable woman is par for the course. I know this because I am female, have a pulse, live in New York City and use the subway.

Apparently, the New York Times and MTA have recently caught on the aforementioned point as well.

Speaking for myself, I have had three encounters with subway masturbators. None of them ventured to touch me and for that they can thank their good luck. I take my personal space very seriously; as Jim Morrison would say, “no one gets out of (t)here alive”.

  1. After visiting friends in Greenpoint (back when I lived in *gasp* Kensington), I took the G down to Lorimer St. to catch the L to go to Manhattan. As I was putting on lipstick, I see a man a yard away from acting strangely. Is he scrounging around for change in his pocket? No. He is actively flogging his kielbasa. I caught him in flagrante delicto. Great.In a subway car of thirteen people, men all, I was the Judas Iscariot (replete with albeit FAKE, red hair); I got up and pointed out to every MTA patron in the car that this guy was tossing off. Most ignored me, but a couple of guys chose to help. I am eternally grateful to those men. As politically-incorrect as the following may sound, it is the simple truth: a Polish man jerking off on the G train will invariably find a middle-aged black man laughing at him (and calling him a “Sick Fucker”) a buzz-kill. Joe Tossoffski bolted at the Nassau Avenue stop and my life reassumed its relative normalcy.
  2. Riding the G, Queens-bound: I see this paunchy, middle-aged Hispanic dude staring at me and a couple of teen-aged chicks. He is playing ‘pocket pool’. I tell the girls this and they laugh at him. Nothing happened.
  3. (Strike Three): May 2002. I was coming home from a date in Astoria, Queens. I was riding the Manhattan-bound N train in order to transfer to the 7 and (eventually) catch the G to the mighty Greenpoint. It didn’t exactly work out that way.

When the N train hit 36th Ave., (once again) I see a man acting strangely. Once again, I have managed to cross paths with a man jerking off on public transportation. And (once again), I make the patrons of said car aware of it. Three men (whom I like to call the magi) acknowledged this: one gets squeamish, the second laughs at him, and the third is stone-faced, but watching. 39th Ave. goes by. Nothing.

Queensboro Plaza: the stone-faced man makes sure I exit the train. I did. The giggler and squeamer stay. The conductor of the train shouted something at me— to this day I have no recollection of what he said— but I shouted back “There’s a guy jerking-off on THAT train!”

Conductor: which car?

Me: THAT ONE (while pointing to the second or third car from the front— my memory fails me at the moment).

The N train pulled out (towards Manhattan). Two or three cars, just enough. Then it came to a screeching halt. Sirens go off. Very, VERY, scary. Over a dozen policemen (plainclothes and otherwise) storm the car. I hid behind a column.

They apprehend the man in question and an officer locates me. He tells me I have to file a report at HQ. I tell the officer that I am unemployed and have plenty of free time.

The officers interviewed the masturbator (who claimed he was scratching himself) and then they interviewed me (the man in question was, most decidely, NOT scratching himself). They pat down the perp and he has drugs on him. I did give them probable cause, after all.
So it goes…

The train (finally) pulled away 20 minutes later. As it did, I saw the ‘giggler’. He was jumping up and down, waving, and giving me a “thumbs up”. It took all my restraint to keep from waving back.

I spent the entire evening (until 4:00 a.m.) at the Queens hub of Transit Police HQ. Briarwood, Queens to be exact. And what followed was the most entertaining evening I have ever experienced. Period. The fact that it was financed by tax dollars (my own included) made it only that much sweeter. When you grouse about paying taxes, remember the following…

I was driven by police car from Queensboro Plaza to Briarwood by the head honcho himself. In transit he tried to deduce if I was drunk or otherwise acquainted with the perp: no on both counts. Sure, I had a couple of beers— two to be exact— but that was over 4 hours ago. I had comsumed four cups of Greek coffee in the meantime. The officer grilled me as to what “Greek coffee” was. I told him it was basically the same thing as Turkish coffee (high octane coffee, no alcohol), but don’t tell that to a Greek person— they’ll find that offensive. He asked me why and I gave him middle-eastern history primer.

By the time we got to Briarwood, he knew I was not drunk: a weird chick wired on caffeine with a command of history to be sure, but not a drunk one. A person who is highly unlikely to run in the same social set as the dude they apprehended.

They made sure the perp did not see my face; they put him in lock-down before I even entered the station. I got to hang out in their office space while they negotiated the paperwork.

Clearly these men are not acclimatized to dealing with women who are not perps, e.g., some (hot-ish, heavy on the “ish”) broad hanging around in their quarters who is a plaintiff. Once they got used to me being there they opened up— and we had a shitload of fun.

They asked me why was there and I told them. We laughed.

They asked me who was on the back of my jacket. Mao Tse Tung, I answered. A couple of them knew who he was, but most were puzzled.

I asked them whose cube had the picture of Clint Eastwood in it, but they wouldn’t tell me. Oh well…

If any of you out there are wondering what transit police deal with (and vice versa), I’ll tell you:

  • First and foremost, you should be mindful that anything that goes down on rapid transit falls under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority, a peculiar inter-state entity. And copious paperwork will follow.
  • Secondly, a lot of very weird shit goes down on the subway system. I learned this firsthand, as some dude pre-empted my complaint on their docket by trying to set a token booth on fire with a Mr. Bubble bottle filled with lighter fluid. The officers also told me some of their work stories, and if there is one moral to parsed from the whole lot of them it this: do not fall asleep on the subway. EVER.

    If you’re lucky, you’ll be pick-pocketed. If you are unlucky (and male) you may wake up in the drunk tank and have an officer tell you that a man was administering fellatio to your person while you were passed out. Whole bunch of no fun.

By 4:00 a.m. the police gave up on interpreting the new paperwork from the D.A.’s office and I was driven home. I got home around 5:00 a.m. and was so hopped-up on (free) Diet Pepsi I could not go to bed. I finally fell asleep around 7:00 a.m.

I was awakened at 8:30 a.m. by the Queens County D.A.’s office. I answered her questions. Shortly thereafter, an officer came by my apartment to have me sign a statement. I read it and signed it. The arresting officer would testify on my behalf. Good. I go back to bed. About 30 minutes later my mother calls and berates me for sleeping and not looking for work.

No good deed goes unpunished. But then again, I think I earned my severance pay that day (and then some), thank you.

Syntax: 97 Green St.

You know you have either hit a very high or a very low point in life when you ask yourself: where’s a pile of canine diarrhea when I need one?

I have been asking myself this very question for the last month. Sure, I have found dog shit. (Lots of it.) I have even found homemade pornography right outside the front door of my building recently. But diarrhea was not to be had. That changed today.

After getting a sandwich at the Franklin Corner Store (and waiting behind a dude who was so drunk he didn’t even remember the cashier giving him back change for the beer he bought at 1:20 p.m.), I walked by 97 Green Street.

I have featured this location a number of times in the past, and once again, it didn’t disappoint.

dogbombs

And “dog bombs” were indeed to be found, along with some diarrhea…

hooray

…and some edgy ‘street art’ made by our local (and ever increasing) corps of artsy hipster types….

fuckdapolice

This kind of shit never ceases to amaze me. Seriously.

Was this to be found in East New York? No.
Bedford Stuyvesant?? No.
East Flatbush??? Once again, no.

I found this missive in front of an artist’s loft in a rapidly gentrifying section of Greenpoint (a redundant phrase, I admit). In what manner has this person been oppressed by “the man”? Did he (or she) get admonished by the police for playing music too loud? Drinking beer out of an open container? Not cleaning up their dog shit??? I’d really like to know.

I do not always agree with the tactics or mentality employed by some of New York’s Finest. That said, in a civil society, the job of the law enforcement is probably the hardest to be had (I couldn’t/wouldn’t stomach it). And we are (still) a civil society, despite the efforts of some of our leadership, but I digress…

I would not bite the hand of an organization which is saddled with responsibilties as various and sundry as defending public safety and personal property (the latter of which includes keeping a registry of i-pods so they can be returned if/when reported stolen). Such protestations by people who (for all intensive purposes) have the world on a string mock the very real and aggregious problems had by those who are not equally served by law enforcement.

‘Nuff said…

texas

Hmm. I am guessing the message here is “Texas Sucks”. While hardly original, I imagine very few people (hereabouts, especially) are likely to disagree. It’s sort of like saying “I hate people who burn puppies, what about you?” No sir. No disagreement here.

I do wonder, however, about the motivation which underlies the creation of such a work. Has this person been so scarred by Texas that he (or she) had to make it known via a sidewalk chalk drawing… 1,377 miles away? That’s some serious shit. And I thought being born in Waco sucked. (It does— especially since that whole Branch Davidian thing.*).

In closing, I would like to say this post was long, long overdue. And I would like to thank BARC for featuring my blog on their blog. I strongly support their cause and encourage you to do the same (I am anti-dog shit but 100% pro-dog). I am so inspired by what I have seen today (and want to share the Greenpoint love), I will leave you with this…

mr. shithead

*If you are wondering, and want to learn from somebody truly ‘in the know': the worst thing about Texas are Texans.

Back with Flack

June 1, 2006 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Apparently my piquant commentary regarding the recent “ugly-ass” renovation at 198 Green St. (as linked by Curbed.com— thank you guys and gals) hit a nerve: the so-called ‘architect’ of and soon to be resident of this atrocity saw fit to defend himself.

Mr. Modernist can sheath that turd in stainless steel to his heart’s desire, but it is still a turd, my dear. That block is a HELLHOLE. Unless you are dealing or consuming, it is most decidedly NOT a place to live. As he (or she) will learn. Soon enough.

BTW Curbed detractors: I am a “she” not a “he” thank you.