Filed under: Dog Shit Signage
When I knock around the Italian area of Williamsburg (south of the BQE) I usually stroll along Graham Avenue or Manhattan Avenue. Now I realize that I have been doing myself (and my readership) a considerable disservice by neglecting Leonard Street. Not only are there lots of dog bombs to be found along this strip, but there is a person residing there who is clearly fed up with people not picking up after their dogs. He/she has seen fit to erect four signs to this effect.
These signs can be found on Leonard Street just north of Metropolitan Avenue. I can only hope this person is taking pictures of the dogs (and the people who walk them) who are despoiling his/her property.
Filed under: Area 51
I have been housesitting my friend’s apartment over in Bushwick the last six days. Every day after I get back to my craptastic apartment in Greenpoint I thank my lucky stars that I do not live over there. Sure, Greenpoint has dog shit, bums, and Slipsters, but they have shit over that defies description. Shit like the following…
Leonard Street between Scholes and Meserole Streets
October 16, 2006
Two lids and a plate lay out to dry.
The dishwasher is churning away.
Mmmmm! Just like mom used to make!
A toaster oven?!? This al fresco kitchen has better amenities than my rent-stabilized piece of shit. My landlord is going to hear about this.
One hour later…
Rice-A-Roni, The Leonard Street Treat!
I see Fresh Direct has arrived…
and a lid has disappeared.
E coli: it’s what’s for dinner.
Filed under: Area 51
It’s a clock! The jewels around the rim of the flower pot mark the hour (“12″ is purple) and the flowers serve as the second hand. The “plant” makes a full revolution every 60 seconds. Pretty damned neat if I say so myself. I suspect this item will find its way to my online store at Esty.com sometime later this week.
Yesterday’s jaunt to Bushwick was incredibly fruitful. I found so much ‘eye candy’ that today will be a new first for New York Shitty: there are three “Dung of the Days”! Let’s get started…
Representing Greenpoint, we have a nice pile of bum shit (with asswipe!!!) next to some swank-tastic condos.
Representing Williamsburg, we have this mashed-up pile(s?) of shit gracing the front of the Key Food grocery store at 575 Grand Street.
And last— but not least— representing Bushwick, we have this festive group of butt dumplings which can be found at 91 Montrose Avenue.
This week I will be house-sitting for a friend of mine who lives in Bushwick. I am pretty jazzed about this because I have long wanted to peruse her hood for “dog bombs” and any other weird shit to be found. My friend has seen many choice things there over the years, including a man lacquering chicken feet on the sidewalk and some dude using a running fire hydrant to wash the fish he caught (from the East River???). He gutted them right there on the street and left the guts for all the enjoy. Yummy.
I did not see anything too out of the ordinary today, but I spied my very first piece of Bushwick dog shit signage…
and found today’s “Dung of the Day” in front of William J. Gaynor Junior High School at 223 Graham Avenue.
It sort of looks like Barney— enough to merit a very special PhotoShop project. Hmm…
P.S.: Today’s “Dung of the Day” is dedicated to the fine men and women who have taken on the onerous task of educating New York City’s youth. It has been my observation that few places (other than retirement homes) have as much dog shit piled around them than public schools. You folks get no respect whatsoever.
Filed under: Area 51
Recently I recounted a story from my “Dallas days” to one of my husband’s coworkers. We got on the subject of Hare Krishnas; he had a (VERY) funny tale to tell, as did I. It’s a long story (one which I care not go to into at this time), but it got me thinking about the various men I dated before I got married.
This has been on my mind of late because my wedding anniversary is this month: October 31. Our civil ceremony/quasi-elopement did not go over well with my Southern Baptist inlaws. They sent me a rather turgid email (not even a phone call) stating “Congratulations on formalizing your commitment”.
At the time I thought this was funny as hell. I still do: “formalizing (my) commitment” sounds like being thrown into a mental institution. Then again, I live in New York Shitty, have a cat named “Frances” (as in Frances Farmer) and operate a blog (mostly) about dog shit. I am the self-elected inmate of my own prison of sin. In their eyes anyway; I prefer to call it freedom.
Humor me, the levity helps me laugh off the money I lost by not having the requisite “dog and pony” show in a church.
While my husband was out of town this week, I pondered the motley crew who (at one time or another and of their own free will) CHOSE to take on my manic antics. This group is a veritable rogue’s gallery of manhood, I assure you. Water reaches its own level: freaks beget freaks. Some of them were nice, others not so much, but none of them were boring. I feel sorry for a few of them sometimes.
I parsed through the “coulda-haves”, “shouldn’t-haves”, “mighta-haves” and the “what the-fucks” and have declared a winner— or more appropriately— a runner-up. (I am married now, after all.)
The year was 2000 and I was a temp. I met a guy on the job (we’ll call him “Mike”) and we hit it off. (Yes, I realize that dating in the office is not advisable, but then again, we did not work with each other in any way.) Mike was a comedian who worked a day job to support his passion, I was a nascent Dog Shit Queen and full-time smartass. Do the
We bantered a lot, hung-out a lot, but went out only once. I didn’t get home until 4:00 a.m. that night. Nothing naughty happened, we just had so much fun bullshitting we lost track of time.
After that, nothing. We still emailed each other on occasion, but it was pretty weird. This really got to me at first, but I got over it and moved on.
(Jump forward two years)
I swung by this office to say “Hi” to my old supervisor and asked if Mike was around.
Old Supervisor (sheepishly): Uh, he is not here— didn’t you hear?
Fellow (former) Co-worker: He had a breakdown or something and had to be hospitalized.
F.F.C: He thought his roommates were watching him or something. It was a real mess.
Being the inquisitive person I am, I got to the bottom of this mystery: I emailed Mike. We met for dinner and I got the scoop.
Mike was clearly medicated, but was still very much the charming and incredibly witty man I knew several years before. The story (as I understand it) is as follows:
Mike thought his roommates were videotaping him. He had a nervous breakdown and was incarcerated at Bellevue. One day he managed to escape and (for reasons one can only imagine) decided to go back to work. And work Mike did— until a few men from Bellevue came to collect him. No one in the office thought anything of him being there.
If the previous anecdote is not sufficient evidence that working in a cubicle farm either encourages or requires insanity, I don’t know what is. Something distinctly weird and BAD happens when you throw people together like that.
I left our dinner date sad. To this day I cannot exactly pin down why I feel this way, save the fact that Mike has a long, hard road before him and being ostracized by his former coworkers is not going to help matters.
Wherever you are now Mike, I am rooting for you.
Mike’s musings about other Bellevue residents (to me):
They were really nice people, artists mostly. Like you.
This is one of nicest compliments I have gotten to this day.
(Drawing Credit*: Miss Heather)
*This rendering does not depict anyone mentioned in this post in any way whatsoever. I just felt like including it.
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!
Filed under: Area 51
When I was growing up my parents had a bulldog. “Amos” was blind, mostly deaf and left drool all over the place (as bulldogs are known to do). My parent’s penchant for constantly moving presented Amos with a sizeable challenge: he had to learn to negotiate a new house, year after year. The first week after each new move he’d bang around a bit, but always managed to get things down pat. Damned remarkable.
I make mention of the previous childhood tale because it is very similar to what happens here at Chateau de Ghetto when Miss Heather does a little tidying and redecorating: my husband knocks around a few days as he negotiates the learning curve. Sometimes he hits his foot on stuff and curses, other times he will walk by a new piece of furniture for two or three days before even noticing it. It’s damned funny.
Yesterday I set about finding a new ‘home’ for my four foot tall cardboard replica of the Empire State Building. I was non-plussed with it gracing the top of our refrigerator because it obstructed the New York State flag hanging on the wall behind it. While trying to figure out where else in the apartment I could put this item, I ran into a quandry that I am certain other owners of large Empire State Building standees have run into: low ceilings.
The only space that could accommodate something this tall was the dresser in our bedroom and even then I could not put the “top” on it.
I placed the ‘ESB’ there and had three inches to spare. It was a tight fit and an intimidating one at that: the building literally looms over you when in bed. “How could I mitigate this effect”, I asked myself. Then I had my ‘eureka moment’…
I think it needs more monkies.
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.
I am a recluse. One of the many things I like about Greenpoint is that people leave you alone. I have always been a weirdo. Big time (I document dog shit and make burqas for Hello Kitty dolls, after all). But unlike anywhere else I have ever lived, I can fly my freak flag with pride here without fear of retribution or ridicule. I cannot adequately convey how grateful I am for this privilege.
My interactions with the outside world have also become much more interesting as a result: in Greenpoint people just say “That’s Miss Heather, she’s like that”, everywhere else people say “What the fuck!?!” Or worse. For example, I am thoroughly confounded by the fact that when my (whiter-than-driven-snow) honky highness wears a t-shirt with Angela Davis on it, very little is said. But when I wear this…
I get an earful. And then some.
Of all the things I have made, this jacket is the “Holy of Holies”. I wear it with pride and guard it with a ferocity not unlike how a tiger protects her young. Lest any of you harbor any confusion whatsoever as to who this guy is, click here before you continue reading.
Am I a Maoist? Absolutely not. I like to think that my jacket is a Mao inhibitor that features a shiny happy pink man with a twinkle in his eye. Would this guy start a Cultural Revolution? Probably not— except perhaps if it involved fairies, bunny rabbits and a bubble machine a la Lawrence Welk.
Around here people are pretty used to seeing this jacket. Some are amused by it, a few get confused by it, most simply do not care. This is “Little Poland” after all. It’s not like I am walking around with a jacket with Stalin on it, after all.
Here are some of my favorite questions/comments regarding this article of clothing:
- Middle-eastern store owner: Isn’t he the guy who went crazy and killed a bunch of people? (He’s not that far off the mark— ed. note)
- 50-something year old Chinese food delivery man: (Chinese) MAO ZEDONG! (Chinese) MAO ZEDONG! (Repeat four more times).
- NYC Department of Transportation employee: Is that Reverend Sun Myung Moon (Uh, no— ed. note)
- Two 20-something year old Chinese dudes waiting for the E train at 23rd-Ely Avenue: (laugh their asses off).
- A few people: Is that Chang Kai-sheck (Wrong side, kiddos. If I was Taiwanese I’d probably beat the crap out of you— ed. note)
- Several people: Is that Pol Pot? (Close, but no cigar— ed. note)
- Even more people: Is that Kim Jong Il? (If only. Kim Jong is seriously Illin’ with that Elvis-esque pompadour. Too bad he is a nut job with nuclear technology— ed. note)
- 50-something year old goon smoking a cigarette outside the 53rd Street stop of the E (to his buddy): Looggit DAT! Dat chick has fuggin’ Ho Chi Minh on the back of her jacket!
No, I do not have Ho Chi Minh on my jacket.
The number of Vietnam-era men (and one can safely assume veterans of this ‘conflict’ are in the group I am talking about) who get Mao confused with Ho is absolutely mind-boggling. Here is a picture of Mao…
and here is a picture of Ho.
Not exactly dead-ringers, huh? I was not old enough to remember any of this shit when it happened; I was too busy toilet-training and shoving crayons up my nose. Perhaps hindsight helps in this respect, then again, maybe the reason the whole this ‘conflict’ got as fucked up as it did was because these dudes had no idea whatsoever who they were after? Anything Asiatic goes.
(Come to think of it, the previous scenario is not dissimilar to our fine country’s current cluster-fuck in the middle east, but I digress…)
Last Friday I had the mother of all Mao jacket incidents. In Greenpoint, of all places. I had just got off the train. I passed by a liquor store, and as I did an older man exited and started walking behind me.
Old Man: HO!
Me (to myself): What the fuck?
Old Man: HO!
Me (to myself): Fucking pervert!
Old Man: HOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Me (getting mighty pissed, I turned around): WHAT?!?
(The old man points at my jacket and asks in broken English if it is Ho Chi Minh.)
Me (please kill me now): No, it’s not Ho Chi Minh.
After a weekend’s worth of reflection I can safely say that the old man wasn’t doing anything wrong. Rather, my vanity got the better of me. Scrawny broads aren’t terribly popular here, much less those who are (clearly) over 30 and married. To skirt-chase me would be like hankering for some man’s leftover potato chips: crumbs. Greenpoint men want the full four-course meal.
If this post (my 101st!) is good for nothing else, consider it a public service announcement. All the previous dudes are dead now save two: Rev. Moon and Kim Jong Il.
- Reverend Moon fancies himself a savior and fancies money-laundering and tax evasion (among other things).
- Kim Jong Il has the atomic bomb. He tested it today.
Take your pick.