To All The Landlords I’ve Loathed Before

July 31, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Earlier this week I had an encounter with (yet another) aspiring journo visiting my humble ‘burgh seeking to “get the dirt” on the ‘Pernt. I met him in the most unexpected of places: the local Salvation Army.

The “new influx”of “dumbfux” has provided me a new means of acquiring nice duds dirt cheap. My only wish is that their mothers smoked during pregnancy so there would be more offerings in my size. But I digress.

Who knew the Garden Spot was so newsworthy? I certainly didn’t. The (lack of print) press coverage for my blog and those my fellow Greenpointers (wonderful people all) have seen fit erect makes my inner Dog Shit Queen wonder:

Why hast thou forsaken me US?

The only answer I have come up with that makes any sense is it’s easier to have young college graduates come up here and observe us like the relics we are: to solicit input from the local yokels would lower their employer’s journalistic standards. We are rent-paying Neanderthals in a Homo Erectile world. As antiquities we might be of journalistic or archaeological interest, but our presence and discontentment is

  • incidental
  • accidental
  • inconvenient

to this neighborhood becoming “hip”.

When I walked into the Salvation Army and saw a clean-cut gent scribbling notes on a notepad while a porcine man pontificated about construction practices, undermining adjacent buildings and legal recourse. I knew I was onto something. I hung around. I eventually struck up a conversation with the scribbler.

He wanted to know about Greenpoint.

I told him I blogged about Greenpoint.

He asked what my blog was.

I told him.

He recognized it.

We talked.

What got me more than anything was his apparent surprise upon learning that I knew “the system”. And by “system” I mean housing law, rent stabilization law, the Department of Buildings, Department of Housing and Community Renewal and Housing Court.

I have been to Housing Court and I won. Twice.

Sure, I’m probably on a blacklist somewhere, but who gives a fuck? I don’t. Making that asshole eat shit for a collapsed ceiling, no electricity for ten days and no hot water was totally worth it. The judge even complimented me on the thoroughness of dossier I had painstakingly compiled for his edification.

When my landlord retaliated (by dragging me into court to set a date for making said “repairs”) my buddy Rachael tagged along and cheered as I ripped his paralegal a new asshole. The court-appointed moderator thought I was attorney “representing the tenant”. I told him:

I am not a fucking attorney, I am the tenant!

Housing Court is a very entertaining place. Those of you who enjoy gallows humor and/or care to know how miserably your condo-disabled brethren live should go. I mention this because (after a lengthy sojourn in Low Cal So-Cal) my buddy Rachael paid me a visit today and gave me a memento from my litigious past.

Kings County Housing Court Fountain

This is a water fountain in Kings County Housing Court.

Housing Court Duckie

This is a duck made out of a Post-It note.

Any questions?

Miss Heather

Park Slope Spells It Out For You: What Not To Do This Summer

July 31, 2007 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit Signage 

Today’s example of Park Slope dog shit signage comes courtesy of a coworker of my husband’s, Chris. He writes:

…from our walk to work, between 4th & 5th (Avenue), one block south
of President (Street)…

Things not to do this summer

This isn’t a dog shit sign, it’s fucking instruction manual. Then again, we are talking about the neighborhood that recently brought us a bat-shit crazy bride with an architecture fetish and a vehicular collision with a grocery store, so I guess it makes sense.

please :)

Miss Heather

Catcall Site Du Jour: 240 Richardson Street

July 31, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

It gives me great pleasure to showcase the first submission to my Catcall project: 240 Richardson Street!

240 Richardson Street

Lisacat writes:

This Scarano POS building is on Richardson St. where Monitor ends (240 Richardson Street — Ed. Note). It’s also kitty-corner to the entrance of St. Cecilia’s Catholic School. When the building was just going up, the workers would leer from the upper floors and make those animal noises at the girls in their uniforms. It was perverse and disgusting. These were not Britney Spears wannabes but K-12 kids trying to get to class or go home. This is also the site where I got some photos of the workers throwing trash with abandon from the windows to the dumpster below…

Trashing Throwing

and where they maintained the sidewalk like this.

Quality Work By…

I think I’m done for now…

This morning I did a little snooping around the Department of Building’s Building Information System. Needless to say I found it hardly surprising when I found a complaint regarding:

EXCESSIVE OF FLYING DEBRI(S) COVERING HER BACKYARD AND THE WHOLE BLOCK

INCOMING!

Miss Heather

A Very Greenpoint Wedding

July 30, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Life is a funny thing. Saturday night my husband was elated to discover that the bodega across the street has started selling 24 ounce cans of Coors, Sunday morning he was crestfallen upon learning a wedding we are to attend is dry. Of course I already knew this, but I thought it would be fun to see how long (if at all) it would take for him find out on his own.

Miss Heather’s Husband: Hey, did you know they’re not serving alcohol at this thing?

Me: Yeah, so?

M.H.H.: What… what am I going to do?

Me: Beats the shit out of me.

M.H.H.: I know, I’ll carry a flask.

Me: You are NOT bringing a flask to someone else’s wedding. That’s rude.

Had this wedding been a ‘family affair’ the absence of booze would have been a deal breaker. Alcohol is the social lubricant that makes most of my brethren (be they by blood or marriage) tolerable. That said, this is a friend’s function (READ: I actually give a shit) and I know damn well that serving alcohol to the likes of us is effectively soliciting a white trash reenactment of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

I hope that was an empty bottle, George! You can’t afford to waste good (malt) liquor, not on YOUR salary!

The fact of the matter is Greenpointers, alcohol and weddings do not mix. Never did, never will. Take an incident I discovered in the September 10, 1886 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle recently. These newlyweds spent their wedding night in the most inauspicious of places: jail.

WEDDING FESTIVITIES SPOILED

The Bride and the Groom and Their Best Man Spend the Night in Police Cells

John Nile and Mary Lee, residents of Greenpoint, having determined to get married, went to New York late Wednesday night. They found an accommodating clergyman and then looked around for witnesses. The clergyman roused his hired man, Charles Allen, and the latter’s wife from their first nap, and they “filled the bill”. There ceremony being performed, the groom asked all hands out to drink to his continued happiness. The clergyman declined, but the hired man accepted and the trio started their way back to Greenpoint, where the groom thought to occasion could be more fully celebrated. By the time Long Island City was reached the preparatory “nips” caught en route had taken such a hold on the groom that he ingloriously collapsed. In their attempts to “brace him up” the bride and Allen made so much noise that the police took charge of them until yesterday morning.

And I thought I was being hardcore by spending the afternoon of my wedding in Red Hook.

Maybe next time…

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Cannoli

July 30, 2007 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

While I was at work this weekend I got an important email from my buddy over at 11222. She writes:

Shit on a rolled up carpet. Franklin between Greenpoint and Kent. Quite the assemblage. Had to let you know.

I promptly excused myself and hauled my ass over there. She wasn’t kidding; it WAS quite the assemblage. I like to call it the “Greenpoint cannoli”.

Greenpoint Cannoli

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Know your cannoli

Be sure to save room for dessert!

Miss Heather

Cannoli Credit: Seattlest

Penile Endowment & Pete’s Candy Store

July 29, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11211, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Someone put a pubic hair in my Coke!

As I was reading The Gowanus Lounge this morning I found myself taking a psychedelic trip down down the rabbit hole to my days as a single woman about town.

Yes, I am talking about “Missed Connection” post about Pete’s Candy Store. To the best of my knowledge the chap I met there did not have two penises. If he did, both tools were NOT located below the belt, if you know what I mean.

He was special. Very special. And given some of the VERY special peeps I have dated, this is no small accomplishment. To crack the top five in the smash-jaw world of Miss Heather’s all-time favorite male suitors is sort of like being the most retarded kid on the short bus. It is a dubious distinction to be certain, but a distinction it is nonetheless.

In a kingdom of the ‘tards, he who wears the crash helmet with a thick lucite mouth guard is king. This chap was the Hannibal Lechter of my dreams (whose type are only had by my person after eating a lot of spicy food before going to bed).

It was a sultry summer day in 2002…

My big fat dyke best bud Rachael and I were in a particularly rambunctious mood. Our friendship is a never-ending folie à deux sans the body count. Unless of course you include the male ego as an animal of prey: in which case our faces would be found in every god damned post office in this country. Possibly every milk carton too, but I digress…

We had quite a busy evening ahead of us. First a barbecue party in East Williamsburg, then a night of bar crawling. To this end Rachael showed up at my apartment with a diaper bag full of provisions, among the goods contained in this bag were a container of baby wipes (because New York Shitty is a very dirty place) and an electronic bull horn. After futzing around with the latter for fifteen minutes (and playing “The Yellow Rose of Texas” for my neighbors’ edification) we took our show on the road. We walked.

As we strolled down Manhattan Avenue I would turn on the megaphone and announce every stop of the G train replete with “stand clear of the closing doors”. The people at Greenpoint Avenue were confused by this. The folks at Nassau Avenue were amused by this. A woman at Metropolitan Avenue complimented me on my flawless recitation of the transfers available to the Canarsie and 8th Avenue bound L train. I thanked her and told her that I had done much research on the subject.

We arrived at the barbecue and quickly found ourselves getting bored. This is not criticize the hosts, Mark and Heather, they were terrific. Rather, Rachael and I had an itch to scratch and our fine fettle would be wasted at such an informal function. I was rocking a fuzzy pink tube top, furry pink platform shower thongs and rhinestone earrings shaped like dollar signs. I, in the clarity of hindsight, looked ridiculous.

I was Greenpoint Fabulous, albeit bereft of the usual “whale tail” and “camel toe” one sees in the ‘Pernt with disquieting frequency. In my humble opinion the Garden Spot is the Camel Toe Capital of the universe. If you’re into this kind of thing, brave the G train and come here. You’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.

So my buddy Rach and I headed to Williamsburg without delay. After hitting Union Pool (LAME), Sweetwater (and bumping into someone I went to undergrad school with back in Texas), walking by a school and acquiring a child’s desk we headed to Pete’s. We stopped to catch our breath. Carrying a desk, even one clearly designed for a kindergartner, is pretty tiring. We looked up and noticed a buddy of ours waving at us. We went in, desk in hand.

It was our buddy “Hunter”. That’s not his real name— I can’t remember what it is at the moment— but he bears a striking resemblance to Hunter S. Thompson. The moniker works so let’s roll with it, okay? He was seated with a motley crew of dudes we had never met. A chap who called himself “Snowflake” seated himself in our newly-acquired desk. He fit too.

Despite our best efforts Rachael and I kept calling him “Snowball”. I suspect this was probably the result of watching Clerks and reading Animal Farm one too many times. No offense was intended and none seemed to be taken: he invited us to go home with him later. We declined.

Next to me sat a rheumy-eyed dude whose name (also) eludes me. He probably told me what it was but it didn’t register. My intoxication was not to blame either; this dude was one beer and a bong hit shy of becoming Terri Schiavo. Frankly, I was amazed he could even sit up straight. Despite this handicap, he put on his best moves.

TS (looking at my earrings): Ssssssssso, I see it you’re in it for the bennies?

Me: What?

TS: The bennies, the benjamins.

Me: Benjamins?

TS: $100 bills babe, money.

Me: If I was I wouldn’t be so fucking poor, dude.

TS (while pulling out a one-hitter and stuffing it with grass): Really? Why did you break up with your last boyfriend?

Me: He smoked so much grass he couldn’t keep it up.

(He puts his one-hitter away.)

TS: Let me tell you something…

Me: Yes, and that is???

TS: I’ve got the biggesssssssst dick and the mossssssst money of any man in thisssss entire bar.

Me (raising an eyebrow): Really? Now that is interesting. Are you serious?

TS: Yes, I’ve got the biggessssssst dick and the mosssssst money of any dude in thissssss whole barrrrrr.

Me (to Rachael): Hey Rach, could you hand me the bag?

Rachel hands me the bag and I pull out the megaphone. Even though my suitor’s lips whispered “no”, everyone around us said “yes”. So, as Nike suggests, I just did it.

Me: Hey everybody!

(The dull roar of cocktail conversation and flirtation abruptly stops.)

Me: This guy has the biggest dick and the most money of any man in this bar!

After five full seconds of silence, everyone resumed their respective conversations and this chap got the point.

When Rachael and I left two very touchy feely gals were draped on his shoulders. Although I suspect they were more interested in each other than him, my act of mischief probably gave him ample material to submit to Penthouse Forum the next day. Or he awakened to discover that someone stole one of his kidneys. Either way, it’s a happy ending.

Miss Heather

Alas Poor Fozzie

July 29, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a customer at work. The woman I bantered with is a lifelong Greenpointer whose mother, at 99 years of age, has lived her entire life on North 8th Street. The topic of our discussion is a pretty popular one here in Greenpoint. It was instigated with an observation (along the lines of):

Gee, it smelled pretty bad here a couple of days ago… I wonder what it was?

This is an excellent question. Was it the sewage treatment plant? Was it Newton Creek? Was it the oil spill? Is it (shudder) something else? The world may never know.

All I’m saying is something’s gotta smell pretty damned bad if even a Muppet sees fit to take precautions.

Fozzie, RIP

Alas poor Fozzie, I knew him well.

McGuinness Mobile and Fozzie

Who knew the D.O.T. recruited Muppets? Perhaps the Foz and his fuzzy brethren got pushed out of Prospect Heights by gentrification and were relocated to the ‘affordable housing’ being built here? Perhaps Big Bird procured it for them? With Snuffalufagus’s help, obviously; it takes a non-entity to find a non- entity.

Maybe Fozzie couldn’t adjust to his new digs and decided to say Goodbye cruel world! I bet Oscar is adjusting well, though. He would like the Garden Garbage Spot. A LOT.

McGuinness Mobile

In any case, Fozzie (R.I.P.) left behind some pretty phat wheels. The McGuinness Boulevard sign is a nice touch.

Miss Heather

Something to do this Sunday Afternoon

July 29, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

I recently got an email from one of my readers, Fisher6000, alerting me to an event being held today at Socrates Sculpture Park. She writes:

I wanted to let you know about an opening this Sunday at Socrates. In addition to great art, there will be Cajun food and a band!

Open Space

Opening Sunday, July 29, 2-6pm

Deborah Fisher
New Orleans Elegy, 2006
July 29-October 28, 2007

Deborah Fisher’s New Orleans Elegy is a living work of art that will change over time in its appearance and meaning. Fisher is interested in the structures the earth makes: how crystals grow; accreation; and the way rocks organize and build themselves. New Orleans Elegy is a map of New Orleans made of steel wire “streets” and a bronze overlay. Over time, the interaction of the metals will cause the streets to decay from the bronze leaving only a trace of where they once were.

Takashi Horisaki
Social Dress New Orleans–730 Days After, 2007
July 29-October 28, 2007

Takashi Horisaki’s Social Dress New Orleans-
730 days after, came from his deep concern for New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Horisaki spent his first three years in America living in New Orleans, LA, eventually earning a BFA from Loyola University. His visit to New York in June 2006 made him realize how much those of us living outside of the victimized area fail to grasp the reality of the tragedy suffered by New Orleans residents and the glacially slow recovery process. Conversations with his professor in New Orleans inspired this project. “He told me how difficult
it is for him to make his own artwork still, and I wondered if I, a neutral person- not exactly an outsider, but with some perspective on the situation- could express their feelings through my sculpture.”

Michael Mercil
Shadows From A Dream Of The 20th Century, 2003-2006
July 29, 2007-April 6, 2008

Michael Mercil’s shadows from a dream of the 20th Century, is a set of three carved black stone monoliths. The individual pieces approximate the size of grave markers; stones that mark a beginning of western sculpture. Mercil is not a stone sculptor, but here he uses traditional materials and methods to entertain notions of origin and temporality- of the past, as legacy for the future, and the future already becoming the past. The substance of this work materializes the question: “What is the object of sculpture now?”

Socrates Sculpture Park is on the corner of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, NY. For more information go to www.socratessculpturepark.org

This sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. If I was not attending the Forgotten-NY tour of Little Neck today I would definitely go. Check it out!

Miss Heather

Code Brown: 51 Street and Lex

July 27, 2007 ·
Filed under: Bum Shit, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

I have always made it a point to avoid the 51st and Lexington hub of the MTA. There are a number of reasons I eschew this station, but the two main ones are:

  1. Its thoroughfares are clogged worse than sideshow fat lady’s arteries.
  2. It smells bad. Really bad.

The latter always confused me; I could never pin-point the source of the stench. Sure, everything looked clean (inasmuch as that is possible in subway station anyway), but my nose always told me something was amiss. This was the first lesson I learned about living in New York City: always trust what this highly underrated organ is telling you. Stink don’t lie.

Today I got a submission from Jen (of the wonderful blog, lastnightsdinner) from the 51st Street and Lexington subway station which, ironically enough, features last night’s dinner for someone… or something.

She writes:

I took a different route home from work yesterday than normal. As I walked to the back of the 6 train platform at the 51st/Lex station, I noticed a couple of guys in business casual wear wiping their feet. I looked at the platform in front of them and noticed a trail of flattened shit that lead all the way to the elevator. I’m hoping that the poop was the result of a service dog who couldn’t quite make it outside and whose owner was unable to clean it up, but to be honest, this being New York Shitty, I doubt that was the case.

Anyway, I couldn’t not take photos for you. Enjoy!

1,2,3,4,5,6,7…

All good dinners go to heaven…

Here’s look at you kid

Here’s looking at you kid!

Miss Heather

Zen and the Art of Buzzer Maintenance: Bushwick Style

July 25, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Shittercom System

This is the intercom system for my building. As you can clearly see, this fixture has seen better times. The sweet salad days of its youth, e.g.; when this appliance was not only wired in a coherent fashion and allowed the residents contained within this building the luxury of “buzzing” people in are, alas, no more.

What was once a facilitator of convenience to others has become my nuisance. The only people who bother using this “intercom system” are drunks, junkies and fools. A motley crew that god (for reasons only known to him) has seen fit to protect. In Greenpoint. With a particular emphasis on my block.

Unless of course one of these ne’er do wells takes to hitting my buzzer repeatedly at 2:00-6:00 in the morning. You see, I quit going to church at a very young age. Being pontificated at like a child by children and hypocrites of all ages did not sit well with me. But I did a learn a thing or two during my indoctrination. For example: it is much better to give than it is to receive.

On a hot summer morning/night who would not like a nice cold cup of water (or two)? I know I would. Especially if I happened to be shit-faced drunk and/or high. That’s why I see fit to “water the plants” whenever someone sees fit to pummel my buzzer when most people (myself included) are asleep. The problem is (at such odd hours and being very sleepy) my aim isn’t very good; most of the water I pour finds its way onto the stoop below. Exactly where the “buzzer-pusher” is.

To those of you who I have accidentally showered (and we both know such an attempt at hygiene on your part would come to pass by accident), please accept my sincerest apologies. My hand and eye coordination are not what they used to be. If I was not enfeebled by old age (READ: being in my 30’s) I assure buckets of boiling oil would find their way to you.

That said, I recently found a buzzer “fixture” in Bushwick and it inspired me. Not only was it out of the reach of drunks, mischievous children or ornery little chicks like me, it was also a test.

None of the above

Speaking as someone who has taken oodles of tests, I am familiar with the logic of “multiple choice”. From Kindergarten to the grave, one’s worth— be it financially, personally, sexually, etc.— is decided by such examinations. The first of many inquiries about my worth as a human being came in Kindergarten. The fact that I used scissors with my right hand and could not write with the same said hand was troublesome to my teacher.

Was Miss Heather retarded?

That was the issue my teacher brought up at an urgent meeting with my mother. My mother (not being a elementary education professional, but being my mother) made the presumptuous suggestion:

Did you try to let her write with her left hand?

It worked. But I digress…

When faced with a question I couldn’t answer on one of the many standardized tests I took— be they in junior high school, high school or college (each designated to highlight the defects of the previous institution and my person) I rarely picked “none of the above”. Perhaps if I label my buzzer as such the luck will rub off?

Hope springs eternal. In the meantime I’m keeping a pitcher of ice water ready.

Miss Heather