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
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
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.
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.
This is a water fountain in Kings County Housing Court.
This is a duck made out of a Post-It note.
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)…
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.
Filed under: Area 51
It gives me great pleasure to showcase the first submission to my Catcall project: 240 Richardson Street!
This Scarano POS building is on Richardson St. where Monitor ends (240 Richardson Street — Ed. Note). Itâ€™s also kitty-corner to the entrance of St. Ceciliaâ€™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…
and where they maintained the sidewalk like this.
I think Iâ€™m done for nowâ€¦
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
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…
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”.
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.
Be sure to save room for dessert!
Cannoli Credit: Seattlest
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 Ã 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?
TS: The bennies, the 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.
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.
Alas poor Fozzie, I knew him well.
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.
In any case, Fozzie (R.I.P.) left behind some pretty phat wheels. The McGuinness Boulevard sign is a nice touch.
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!
Opening Sunday, July 29, 2-6pm
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.
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.”
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!
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:
- Its thoroughfares are clogged worse than sideshow fat lady’s arteries.
- 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.
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!
All good dinners go to heaven…
Here’s looking at you kid!
Filed under: Area 51
This week I had a rather unpleasant experience which has motivated me to start a little project. Before I go into the particulars of my newest enterprise, I would like to take a moment to give recognition to the man who inspired it. This guy.
As with most great ideas, this one was forged in the mighty crucible that is dialoguing with one’s fellow man. Unlike the Algonquin round table, however, my verbal jousting partner (who I like to call “The Wheelbarrow Man”) was not a great thinker along the lines of Dorothy Parker or Alexander Woolcott. This is because he lets his “other head” do the thinking. At least what came out of his mouth reflected this, anyway.
It happened on South 4th Street. Before I crossed Union, I had been cat-called twice. After I crossed Union it happened again— all in the span of 30 feet. Three times was a charm. To me it was, anyway; I suspect the above gent wished he had kept his pie hole shut.
Wheelbarrow Man: “Hey baby, I love you!” (hissing sound)
Me: Go to hell.
WM: (laughter, his cronies stop and watch)
Me: (turn around) So you think this is funny!?!
Me: WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM!?!
WM: (I take his photo, he ducks and stops laughing. Cronies still there.)
Me: How would you like it if someone spoke to your FUCKING MOTHER LIKE THAT… (expletive en Espanol)?!?
He shut the fuck up. His minions stood there aghast (as did I). Then I continued walking. Ten feet away a hipster chick on a bike shouted:
I like your hair!
And, in my nice little girl voice, I said:
Now this is hardly the first time I have found myself embroiled in this kind of situation. I have simply noticed that such exchanges are happening with a lot more frequency of late; this is undoubtedly a consequence of living in an area where there is a LOT of development going on. Luxury development mostly.
Which brings me to my proposition: I wonder what the would-be takers of the above development (which is located at 246 Union Avenue) would feel about buying a condo that was built by a person of this caliber? In a world where child labor is decried and drinking anything other than free trade coffee is a(n unwritten crime), why wouldn’t prospective buyers be interested in how their spacious condo (with views of Manhattan and appointed with only the finest appliances) came into being? Which brings me to my project: a map documenting development sites whose workers see fit to engage in such behavior.
Obviously such a compendium of crappy construction workers (and the developers who employ them) will be a collaborative effort. To this end, I am soliciting contributions from readers. Here are my specs:
- Take a picture of the offending person (if you feel safe doing so, obviously).
- Take a picture of the development where the aforementioned asshole works, be sure to note the address/intersection and what the gent said.
- Send them to me: missheather (at) newyorkshitty (dot) com and I will add them to the flickr group I have started for just this purpose or…
- join the aforementioned flickr group and add them yourself. (On a related note, anyone who could help me with with “geotagging” these pix will get my eternal gratitude. Right now I have a proxy map up.)
To get the ball rolling, I am going to close with two other sites whose workers cannot control their hormones.
When I walked by this site a gent hauling a wheelbarrow saw fit to shout “Hey Mami” at me. I took his picture.
Nice panties. Well, after I took his photo this man was totally undeterred. I watched as he hissed the same exact thing to every single woman who walked by, including one woman who was on the verge of tears while talking on her cell phone. I wanted to punch him in the face for that.
I was headed to the grocery store when this chap (indicated by the arrow in the above photo) saw fit to yell “Hello gorgeous” at me. All I wanted was to buy some lunch, instead I was served up like a piece of meat. The more astute observers among you will notice that this building is a “Belvedere”. What you may not know about this site can be found on the Department of Building’s Building Information System. It would appear that the peeps at 150 Java Street are not the most considerate of neighbors; complaints about garbage, falling debris and illegal weekend construction are common.
It begs one to wonder if the construction practices at this site are reflective of the people who work there: TOTAL AND UTTER SHIT.
Had any of the previous men called me a “n*gger”, “faggot” or “k*ke” I have no doubt they would be fired. Why should harassing a woman on the street be any different? Just a thought.