Having a(n albeit temporary) respite from being stuck at home waiting for HPD to show up, I ran a few errands around the ‘hood yesterday. It was on my way home I found the Holy Grail of derelict dung.
As I was walking down Franklin Street I spied some discarded furniture. After investigating for potential treasure, I found this, the Enola Gay of bowel movements, on India Street.
Mind you, when I say that I found it on India Street I am being literal: the benefactor of this signature piece of bum shit “did it in the road“. I admire his chutzpah. Appropriately enough, it would take a lot of “focus” to pinch a loaf on a bottle of Vitamin Water.
The fact that he managed to thoroughly saturate the business-end of the bottle (not unlike how one salts the rim of a glass before serving margaritas) is a nice touch.
“Nutrient enhanced water beverage” INDEED!
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
I hate the holiday season. This time of year inexplicably turns otherwise reasonable adults into churlish assholes. Their kids are even worse.
I suspect that I speak for a lot people when I say that I’d like to see Santa stuff today’s Dung of the Day (from 97 Green Street) into some (well-deserving) child’s X-mas stocking (or pie-hole).
Ho! Ho! Ho!
I found this monster shit (of probable humanoid origin) at 953 Manhattan Avenue yesterday afternoon. I placed my cell phone (which measures approximately four inches in length) next to it to provide a sense of scale.
Filed under: Area 51
It brings a tear to my eye to know that I live in a country where I am free to market and sell services like this. I am living the American Dream. It almost makes me want to fly out to California and empty Charlton Heston’s bed pan personally. Or something.
On second thought, I think I’ll just have another beer instead.
Filed under: Area 51
Words cannot adequately convey* the housing-related hell I have been through the last two weeks. Simply put, one call to 311 regarding unlicensed electrical work precipitated my entire building having neither heat nor hot water for AN ENTIRE WEEK. This whole sordid affair (in which even the NYC Marathon is a player) reached its (il)logical conclusion this week with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz calling me on my cell phone while I was on the toilet.
John Lennon was quoted as saying “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” My life seems to happen when I’m busy trying to take a shit in the privacy of my own home.
That said, I am (slowly) getting back to giving the scoop on the poop here in New York Shitty. In the meantime, I present the following pithy modification of a New York City Subway poster I spied recently.
*But I’m gonna give it a shot so help me god. I need to purchase more beer first. Stay Tuned. You will NOT be disappointed.
Filed under: Area 51
I am not too certain how I came across this. Just be happy I did.
Yesterday my pal Judy McGuire featured a rather choice item about a man who is despoiling the British rail system with his rectal ordnance. Apparently he has struck thirty times since August of this year. Impressive.
Granted, this person is engaging in some serious anti-social behavior, but I have to chuckle at the level of seriousness with which our friends ‘across the pond’ are approaching this problem. Not only do those of us who live in New York Shitty accept human defecation in public spaces as an occupational hazard, but we find it downright hilarious under the right circumstances. A few years ago I even wrote a little ditty about a man whose avocation was smearing shit all over the men’s bathroom at my friend’s place of employment.
I can only hope the previous acts were a new manifestion of dialectical materialism the pundits have yet to expound upon.
For the above reasons (and many more) I have decided to officially feature “Bum Shit” on this blog. Greenpoint has staggering amounts of bum poo, which brings me to today’s “Dung of the Day” from 259 Banker Street…
I do not like them on a street called Box.
I do not like them with phat rocks.
I do not like them in my house.
I do not like them with a louse.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like bum shit and wipes.
I do not like them, 311 operator (to whom I gripe).*
*Yes, Doctor Seuss is probably rolling in his grave somewhere.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
I have been in a surly mood of late. There are numerous reasons for this and I care not to bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that I have autumn doldrums.
That said, I have (out of idle curiosity/vanity) researched who (if any) famous people share my birthday: January 7. I am sure many of you have done this, even if you will not openly admit to doing so.
It’s ‘psychic lotto by proxy’: you (some lowly cube-monkey earning slave wages) scratch away at a ticket with hopes that the stars will affirm that you are designated for something better in life other than shovelling shit. Or collating copies. Same difference.
I know who my birthday buds are and it ain’t pretty. Butterfly McQueen, Charles Addams (as in The Addams Family) and Paul Clemens number in my ranks, but the others suck. Big time.
- Millard Fillmore: one of the worst Presidents this country has ever had. I suspect our current Chimp in Chief will take him down a notch. This will only provide further proof as to how much Millard Fillmore sucked.
- Nicholas Cage: I was pretty down with Nick at first (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), but nowadays he’s just plain creepy. You can’t tell the difference between a wax statue of him and the real thing. Gross.
- Katie Couric: She offends me the most. I suspect this is due to the ‘perkiness factor’. I am rarely perky. “Perky” is a word neither my friends nor my enemies would use to describe me. When I appear to be remotely “perky” (and my husband can/will attest to this) it is because I am up to some type of anti-social activity. Think Wednesday Addams— or better yet— Uncle Fester or Lurch.
In closing, I have been in a rather shitty mood today. Until I saw this ‘modified’ advertisement on the front of a B61 bus headed down Manhattan Avenue.
This made my day. I wonder if this is what Katie looks like before being Photo-shopped? Fuck, I look like that every day.
P.S.: The other thing that sucks about being born January 7 is that most people fuck it up and think that you were born January 8 (like Elvis or David Bowie). I HATE Elvis, but Bowie rocks.
I have decided to grace Manhattan with my presence today. Among other things, I need to go to the Sanrio store on 42nd Street and buy a Badtz Maru plush. One of my latest projects is to make him over as Abu Masab al-Zarqawi. Cut me some slack, this is important!
Anyhoo, here’s a fun little bit of nonsense I completed this week.
Here is today’s “Dung of the Day” from 96 Scholes Street.
And here is something I happened across yesterday on Union Avenue. Does anyone out there know the story behind this? It’s damned cool.