Oh. My. God.

May 14, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Ever had a revelation about yourself that was so profound you spent the next five or ten minutes muttering to yourself “What the fuck just happened!?!” Well, I had one such moment yesterday in (where else?) Greenpoint.

After walking to the very end of Java street to take some photographs, I headed back towards West Street. When I reached this intersection a couple of particularly nasty Polish bums had parked their (even nastier) bums on an adjacent stoop. They were conversing. When I walked by the tone of their speech changed.

Suspecting that they were hurling Polish epithets at me, I tried to ignore them. Until one of them said:

She doesn’t speak Polish, she is an American.

I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around and shot them the finger. What is particularly remarkable about this otherwise banal-seeming event, you ask?

  1. These men were not speaking English.
  2. I understood what they were saying.

Who knew Miss Heather could mowimy her some po Polsku (on top of being quite proficient in the international language of “Fuck You”)? I sure as hell didn’t. Until now.

God help me.

Miss Heather

District Dog

May 14, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

District Dog

This weekend I finally got around to checking out a new store here in Greenpoint: Brooklynski. And when I did, I made another nifty discovery: District Dog. Amused by some cool dog toys I saw in the window, I went inside to take a look.

Front Desk

The gentleman behind the counter and the young woman to the right are the co-owners of District Dog. They were still tired from pulling an all-nighter Friday. (The store had its grand opening the next day, Saturday, May, 12th.)

Poo Bags

I was pleased to see that they had a wide assortment of poo bags and stylish poo bag holders for sale.

Leashes
Snazzy leashes and cool collars were in the offering as well.

I spoke briefly with the proprietress of this store and she told me that on top of being a local pet supply (they offer cat food as well) and doggie spa, District Dog was also interested in hosting a doggie adoption day every weekend. I for one think this is a wonderful idea.

Check them out:

District Dog
142 Driggs Avenue (at Russell Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
www.districtdog.com (FYI: this web site is not up and running yet)

Miss Heather

P.S.: Be sure to check out Brooklynski (which is located across the street) while you’re in the area!

Brooklynski
145 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-0901
www.brooklynski.com

Here are a few pictures.

Storefront

Sign

Duck Booties

These booties came with a matching sweater. I wish they had them in “big kids” sizes ‘cuz I really dig these socks.

Plates and purse

Shells and toiletries

Unlike Greenpoint (especially of late), this store smells really, really good.


There but by the grace of god go I…

May 14, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Crazy People, Greenpoint Magic 

Or the final installment of the Smoke Detector Chronicles

Those of you who are concerned about the plight of “Beepy” the smoke detector (or the low-normal intelligence of the people who discarded him); I am pleased to report he has been rescued and now safely resides in the comfort of my humble domicile.

Climbing out the rear window(s) of my apartment is not as easy as it used to be. This is due to the fact that the landlord next door did some rather crappy construction without a permit. Then, when the fire department and Department of Buildings called him on it, he commenced to perform REALLY SHITTY CONSTRUCTION with a permit. Now I literally have to negotiate a urinal-esque trough to access the roof behind my apartment. Because this idiot didn’t account for rain, gravity and the abject filthiness of his own tenants, I had a pool of stagnant water and refuse to traipse whilest retrieving Beepy. It was gross.

Although I could bore you with the details, I would prefer to entertain you with a letter I am drafting to the manufacturer of “Beepy”…

Kidde Residential & Commercial Division
1016 Corporate Park Drive
Mebane, NC 27302

Dear Sir or Madam,

I want to testify to the resiliency and effectiveness of your “Nighthawk” combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector. My awareness of the aforementioned product was raised under the most serendipitous of circumstances: one of my neighbors unwilling, or more likely unable, to replace the back-up battery for your product left it outside their window. This came to pass on Thursday, May 3rd, 2007. This “Nighthawk” persisted to plead for a new battery for eight whole days despite being pelted with rainfall. Had I not intervened, “Beepy” (as I like to call him) would have chirped on. And on.

After a whole week of incessant beeping (and sleep deprivation), I finally slogged through the offal that inhabits my neighbor’s roof and dismantled ”Beepy”. Prior to him entering my life, I have had no smoke/carbon monoxide detector whatsoever. Much less one as plucky as “Beepy”. Despite a citation (or two) by the NYC Department of Buildings (against my landlord), nary a smoke and/or carbon monoxide detector is to be found in my apartment building. Until now. Please do not report my act of theft— or as I would prefer to call it—- “appliance liberation” to the NYPD. I was only acting in everyone’s best interests.

Moving forward, I will certainly make a point to purchase your product. The noise your “Nighthawk” made was very annoying. So much so, that the people who threw your product (“Beepy”) out the window wouldn’t open their windows until I dismantled him*. Had there been an actual fire and/or people of average intelligence to tend to your distressed device, precious human life would have been protected. “Beepy” now resides in my caring custody and he will persevere to protect again.

Sincerely,

Miss Heather

*No worries, after I blared some music by Britney Spears they closed them again.

I do not know which is worse; the fact these people couldn’t turn this device off on their own or how long they were willing to wait until someone else did it. Then again, any person who sees fit to place this drawing in their window for all to enjoy probably espouses a different mindset than most. This thing looks like something the Manson Family would have scrawled on the La Bianca family’s living room wall. Shit.

Miss Heather

Mother’s Day, Greenpoint Style

May 13, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Dear Eugenia

I saw this last night in front of the Mexican grocery store on Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

Dung of the Day: Part Doo

May 12, 2007 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

Without argument, the finest “Dung of the Day” I have featured lately is this one. I have a healthy respect for the kind of person who sees fit to commit such an act. I wouldn’t want “that kind of person” in my home— or want to shake his (or her) hand— but I respect him. If for no other reason because I do not want to be on his shit list.

Well, the other day I walked back by this poster. Not only were traces of fecal matter still there for the savoring, but someone had since added an annotiation I found amusing.

Throwing some D’s Part Doo

Miss Heather

A few thoughts about the 2007 Brooklyn Blogfest

May 12, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

As some of you know, I attended the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Blogfest this week. Although I found it enjoyable (despite being VERY crowded) I feel compelled to write about a few thoughts I had about the experience. Although (to paraphrase something Dope on the Slope emailed me) the origins of this event are largely to blame for its distinctly South Brooklyn flavor, I felt there were some greater issues at hand. Issues I would like to share with my fellow Greenpointers (and any other Brooklynites who might be reading this). The purpose of this exercise is two-fold:

  1. to offer up some constructive criticism
  2. to initiate an amicable dialogue and/or hear what you think

The previous having been said, here we go…

I read a lot of comments on a number of different blogs yesterday about the Blogfest. The most common criticisms to be found were:

  1. lack of diversity
  2. this event was nothing more than “mutual backslapping”

More often than not, the comments I read of the above nature were worded in *a hem* a very hostile and belligerent manner. Although I disagree with the way these people chose to air their grievances, I agree with the point they were trying to make. Being someone who is friendly to what the Blogfest is trying to do (but has some very serious concerns) I feel compelled to give my two cents. Here they are.

Regarding above point #1

Although race was brought up often, I think geography and/or lifestyle are the real issue. Actively courting other ‘nabes (and the up and coming blogs to be found in them) may help address this problem. Dope in the Slope’s idea of having meet-ups in different ‘nabes is a good one as well.

As I said before, the origin of the ‘fest does predispose it to having a distinctly South Brooklyn flavor, but (and this is a big BUT) the roster of speakers could have been tweaked and/or pared down to mitigate it. Which brings me to…

Above point #2

The amount of attention given to real estate issues (READ: Atlantic Yards and Bruce Ratner) was excessive. Enough so that it even struck me (she who seethes over 110 Green) as being ‘mutual backslapping’ or clique-ish. While I believe the awareness-raising/fact-checking the Atlantic Yards Report does is both laudable and very necessary, I all too often found myself asking “But what about Coney Island, Kensington, Sunset Heights, Flatbush, Greenwood Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, etc., etc.?” In other words:

What about everyone else?

In particular, Norman Oder (of the Atlantic Yards Report) said something that really disquieted me. It was something to the effect that there are enough blogs that feature criticism (and/or were of a personal nature) and what was needed were more blogs featuring real news. There is a value judgment embedded in the previous statement— and it is one I vehemently disagree with. While I understand that Mr. Oder is entitled to his opinion and his interests and/or ambitions are directed towards journalism, my (and many other’s) interests and/or ambitions are not. I am entitled to my opinion too. *Whoop* here it is…

I am an artist (by education) whose favorite avocation is being a jackass. Dishing out the dirty deets and duplicity about the Atlantic Yards Project may be his cup of tea but featuring festering piles of diarrhea is mine. Neither of the previous endeavors is any better than the other; they are simply different. As are our respective purposes and (in all likelihood) readerships.

I honestly don’t care what the subject matter of a blog is. Just as I would critique any other work of art or letters, my only concern is whether or not it is GOOD. It’s a matter of craftsmanship, not content— and I have seen a lot of blogs (of a journalistic flavor or otherwise), that are downright awful.

The issue I am trying to get at this: what qualifies one as being “Brooklyn blogger”? Does earning the sinecure of being a “Brooklyn blogger” require writing about Brooklyn or is simply being a resident of Brooklyn who happens to blog sufficient creds? Speaking as someone who is both of the previous (mostly the latter), I think the answer is both. It is much better to err on the side of inclusionism than exclusionism. And there was (albeit unintentionally) much exclusivity to be had at this year’s the Blogfest.

Hopefully next year’s event will address the above issues. I understand that this being only the second time the Brooklyn Blogfest has been conducted it would be unreasonable to expect geographical or topical parity. Moving forward, (speaking as someone whose readership includes a number of very talented artists in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area who often have their own blogs/web sites), I would strongly recommend that more effort should be directed to welcome blogs that are outside the realm of local current events.

The boro of Kings has a lion’s share of amazingly talented and interesting people— many of whom also happen to have blogs. These people usually do not identify themselves as “bloggers”. I don’t. But does that make their contributions (or my own) to the Brooklyn blogosphere* any less significant?

I have lived in Greenpoint for some time and I have a pretty good feel for the people who live here. More importantly, I have a clear idea of what interests my ‘nabes. And Ratner-bashing and waxing philosophical about the role of bloggers (as journalists) are not among them.

Miss Heather

*Apparently Clinton Hill is the ‘bloggiest’ neighborhood in Brooklyn. I beg to differ. Greenpointers, Williamsburgers and (last, but not least) Bushwickers unite! Anyone up for a starting a North Brooklyn blogger insurgency? I am! Let’s set aside our respective differences, build a web ring and kick some brownstoner ass!

Just like a good neighbor…

May 11, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Permit Thief

I found this sign posted next to the construction permits (and a DOB summons for inspection!) at 110 Green Street this evening. What else can I say? (Other than this is fucking hilarious!)

Keep smiling!

Miss Heather

This Greenpoint moment is brought to you by…

May 11, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Drunk dude on Manhattan Avenue

some drunk dude.

Every so often I find myself wondering “Perhaps I am a little hard on Greenpoint?” I mean, there’s got to be other ‘nabes that have a shitload drunks passed out in strange public places, right? Then when I see something like what I captured in the above photo (which I took while walking home from work at 1:30 p.m. today) I realize any doubts I may have been harboring are completely baseless. For fuck’s sake, a dude was tazered about 10 feet from this exact spot a couple of months ago! What is it about this intersection?

That said, one thing you do not see in this photo are the roughly twenty gawkers watching this drama unfold. In all honesty, a drunk passing out in the middle of Green Street doesn’t faze me. I have grown to accept that living in Greenpoint means I will see shit like this on occasion. As long as medical attention is called, all is hunky dory in my world.

What I do NOT like are the flocks on onlookers who (clearly having nothing better to do) stand there like a bunch of cigar store Indians savoring every last abject detail. One of the men rendering aid in the above photo (the man wearing the yellow tunic) isn’t even a resident of Greenpoint: he’s a contractor doing work for the MTA.

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

UGH!

Miss Heather

Best story idea EVER

May 11, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Today at work Larry and I knocked around story ideas. After discussing auto-erotic asphyxiation for about five minutes, Larry told me about a short story he is composing. I am not going to divulge what it is, as it his intellectual property and I respect that. It doesn’t really matter anyway because I came up with a doozy. In fact, it might be the greatest tale ever told.

The premise is this: a man calls phone sex line and dies while servicing himself. The phone sex operator doesn’t realize her client is deceased and continues to talk salaciously. Hours turn to days. Days turn to weeks. Weeks turn to months; the whole time the stiff (with a stiffy) is mutely listening to the sweet nothings these women are moaning into his receiver. A fly wistfully grazes his shaven balls.

The women at the phone bank end up filing a class action law suit against their employer for the carpal tunnel syndrome they got from playing with their bits for months on end. They are victorious and go on to become the most powerful labor union activists in history.

THE END

Postscript: Jump forward to 2300 A.D. An archeologist unearths a rundown studio apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Inside they discover the petrified remains of a man in a Barcalounger. He is surrounded by numerous issues of Juggs Magazine and empty bottles of Night Train. The numerous cum stains around him have become small sedimentary rock formations. A lonely cockroach has been caught in his semen and is now it is preserved for all eternity. After some dusting, the worker notices that the homo erectus she is unearthing is clad only in a stained wifebeater, nothing else.

This is when the significance of her find hits her. She calls her supervisor over to see what she discovered: the man has his dick in one hand, telephone receiver in the other.

Miss Heather

Save Beepy!

May 11, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I was absolutely ecstatic this morning when we had a brief, but substantial, downpour. Not only had the humidity become downright stifling, but rainy days also give me a reprieve from the dreaded pile driver. This is the first morning in at least 3 days I have gone without this jarring and very unwanted wake-up call.

Nonetheless, there is still some ambient noise for me to savor whilest I write this tome.

Smoke Detector 5/11/07

Eight full days and one rain storm later the smoke detector (who I have taken to calling “Beepy”) continues to make its plea for a new battery. I realize what I am about to write may sound ridiculous, but I’m gonna write it anyway; I feel sorry for it. Clearly this appliance has been sorely neglected by its owner. These living conditions are downright inhumane. Even for a machine. I think I will call 311 and report the person(s) responsible.

Or more likely, I will adopt* this little fella instead. Not only will I provide a caring, nurturing home for Beepy, but his services are in great demand here at Chateau de Ghetto. The public areas of my apartment building have not so much as single smoke detector —despite citations issued by of the Department of Buildings making light of this deficit.

Miss Heather

*Steal