Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
There’s a host of interesting things going on in and around the Garden Spot this week. Follows are a few of them.
Cafecito Set to Celebrate Colombian Independence Day
This Friday, July 20th, at 7:00 p.m. Cafecito will celebrate Colombian Independence Day by unveiling their new arepa menu. Per their press release:
Cafecito BogotÃ¡ (CB) is poised to unveil its full arepa menu at a 7:00pm reception on July 20, 2007 just in time to celebrate Colombiaâ€™s Independence Day. Expect to see an exotic arepa assortment comprised of over 15 mouth-watering choices, which will range from the traditional cheese-infused Arepa Paisa to the innovative Arepa Millonaria confectioned with red caviar. This menu addition will turn Cafecito BogotÃ¡ into BrooklynÂ´s one-and-only arepa cafÃ©, and fabulous Greenpoint into arepa central.
For more details, contact Freddy Varela at (718) 569 0077.
1015 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Dirty Harry Potter Party
After loading up on delicious Colombian food, why not swing by the
Dirty Harry Potter Party at Word Books? Word has it that Jack O’Neill’s pub will be furnishing Sangria. Festivities start at 11:00 p.m. For more information check out their web site.
126 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 383 0096
BARC’s Cat Carnival & Block Party
On Sunday, July 22nd, BARC will be hosting their Cat Carnival & Block Party. For more details click the link embedded in the above flyer and it will take you to BARC’s web site.
Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition
253 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718 486 7489
Finally, I suppose I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the blogger meet-up I am hosting this Sunday at Casa Mon Amour. It looks like it’s going to be a full house, so after tomorrow, July 18, I will no longer be accepting RSVPs.
To those of you who have already responded: I look forward to meeting you. It looks like there will a lot of new and different faces at this event, and frankly, I find this very exciting. I will be sending each of you an email with a rough itinerary for this event in the next day or two, so be on the lookout for it.
Needing a projection screen for Kevin Walsh’s presentation at this week’s blogger meet-up, today I headed over to my boss’s store in Bushwick to pick one up. Although I could have taken the G to Metropolitan, transfer to the L and take it to Montrose Avenue, I decided to mix things up a little. So I took the G to Broadway and hoofed it.
If you want to see firsthand on how completely and utterly impotent this city’s regulatory agencies are in regards to policing irresponsible developers, walk down Meserole or Scholes Street from Union to Bushwick Avenue. The best way I can describe the landscape is Beirut circa 1985. It’s a fucking disaster.
Here is a textbook example of one of the many derelict construction sites to be found in this area. You will probably not be surprised to learn that Robert Scarano is responsible for this turd.
You know, if I were getting the kind of negative press Mr. Scarano has been getting lately, I would at least pick up my trash. Being branded as a litter bug is not exactly stellar PR.
Come to think of it, getting cited for having a “dirty sidewalk” probably isn’t good publicity either. Note: the above ticket lists a “used mattress” as one of the pieces of refuse obstructing 130 Scholes Street’s sidewalk.
Yup, that looks pretty used alright…
They failed to mention the piss and shit stains on said mattress, though. I think I will give above photo the title Scarano’s Skidmark.
To call 130 Scholes Street “deplorable”, “inexcusable” or “revolting” is to make a gross understatement. As far as I am concerned Scarano made this bed and he should be forced to lie in it. I strongly suspect there are numerous others who share the previous sentiment, many of whom are probably relegated to negotiating this eyesore every day. But then again, this is just an educated guess.
To the poor people who have the dubious honor of calling 130 Scholes Street (READ: Robert Scarano) a neighbor: please accept my sincerest condolences.
New York Shitty to Robert Scarano: PICK UP YOUR SHIT!
Have you ever found yourself having a day when you find yourself muttering “I’m not seeing this. Please tell me I am not seeing this!” REPEATEDLY? Well, today was one such day for Miss Heather.
Before I continue I am going to be brutally forthright and state that I do not harbor a very high opinion of the human race. Although I have rarely met an individual who is completely unlikeable, there’s something that happens when otherwise nice and reasonable persons coalesce into a group. In a nutshell, they turn into fucking animals.
I have long accepted the fact that most people (myself included) don’t have the stuff to be a Stephen Hawking, Eleanor Roosevelt or Mahatma Gandhi. That special something, whatever it is, is simply beyond the grasp of the rest us. So be it.
However, this doesn’t mean one should do a complete 180 and (for example) hold your toddler son’s dingus as he pisses on platform of the Smith and 9th Street bound G train at Nassau Avenue. I saw just this today. Or more accurately, I heard it.
It was about 12:30 in the afternoon and I had a long day ahead of me. As I waited for the G train to arrive I was lost in thought regarding the day’s busy itinerary. I was abruptly jarred out of my private wonderland by the sound of running water.
I look to my right. Nothing. Then I looked to my left and saw a woman kneeling over her two year old son less than five feet away from me. Liquid was hitting the pavement and languidly drizzling onto the tracks. It was piss. After another good hard stare I deduced that she was holding his “wee wee” for him as he urinated onto the platform. Lovely.
Revolted and yet titillated, I could not draw my attention away from this spectacle. Like a deer in headlights, I was mesmerized. The sight of this child passing what had to be at least a liter of water had rendered me helpless.
After what seemed like an eternity, the little boy’s bladder was voided and mommy zipped up his pants. “I have to document this” I thought to myself. So I whipped out my camera and enthusiastically shot some close-ups of this newly christened piece of platform.
Much to the horror of the mother; she grabbed her child and booked it to the other end of the platform. The entire time she glared back at me as if to say “Get away from me, you SICK FUCK!”
Now I understand that this is New York City and this kind of thing happens on a daily or hourly basis. If I was unwilling to live with this operational hazard I would not be here. But— and this is a big BUT— if you help your two year old take a piss on a subway platform in front of 20-30 people you shouldn’t be the least bit surprised if someone wants to photograph it. As I said before: this is New York City, after all.
If you don’t want photos of your kid’s piss splashed all over the Internets, take him to a bathroom where he can tinkle in private.
Simple as that.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Today is apparently the grand opening of the Corner Frenzy’s slushie stand.
Why not savor one of the 24 flavors of soft serve this laundromat sells while washing your tighty whities? It’s not like you have anything better to do anyway.
As one satisfied customer proclaimed this weekend:
Hey, get over here and try this before someone calls the city!*
Fuck Zagat or Michelin, the previous review merits five stars in my book.
Those of you who want to get your summer slushie fix can do so at the “Corner Frenzy” (located at northwestern intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Huron Street).
*This is in no way meant to insinuate this place is unsanitary, though there was no permit condoning such concessions to be found. If anything, this place is probably cleaner than Enid’s (which was recently shut down by the DOH). To be honest, I place the blame regarding the latter on the clients, not the proprietors.
Filed under: Area 51
As I was searching for this week’s installment of Greenpoint fun last night I came across a real gem: a letter written to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle by one Corry O’Lanus. This incredibly lengthy and stream-of-consciousness tome is a long lost literary masterpiece. Regrettably, Mr. O’Lanus never found his way into the pantheon of great satirists like Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, H. L. Mencken or Jonathan Swift. Today I hope to change this.
When I am confronted with this much verbiage I usually try to edit it down to a more manageable size. I cannot bear to excise a single sentence of this letter, so consider yourself warned. That said, this read is totally worth the extra couple of minutes required to read it. You see, Mr. O’Lanus was a very opinionated man and in this magnum opus he expounds upon:
- Income Tax
- The Williamsburg(h) trolley
- The Greenpoint line of the Williamsburg(h) trolley
- The Williamsburg(h) Ferry
- And much, much more.
This piece, entitled “Corey O’Lanus’ Epistle” (from the July 22, 1865 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle) also addresses the age-old question:
If a Greenpointer and a Williamsburg(h)er get into a fight, who would win?
Hint: The title of this post should give you some clue as to the answer of the above question.
COREY O’LANUS’ EPISTLE
ABOUT THE INCOME TAX
HOW IT SHOWS UP PEOPLE
WILLIAMSBURGH TRAVELLING ACCOMMODATIONS
ENTERTAINING EXPERIENCE ON THE GREENPOINT LINE
DITTO ON THE WILLIAMSBURGH FERRY
I see you are publishing the income tax lists again, I regard them with a great deal of interest; they give you an idea of the individual and collective prosperity of the community.
Particularly the collective— that is the amount of income the collector can collect tax on.
Some people I know don’t seem to have any income, but their outgo is considerable. They probably borrow the money. A national debt being a blessing to the nation— according to J. Cooke and T. Tilton— why should not a personal debt be a blessing to an individual?
I know a few individuals who have been trying the experiment for some time.
One of them in particular. He experimented on me to the extent of ten dollars. He no doubt feels ten dollars better. I don’t.
That’s where the difference lies. A chap who borrows and don’t repay may be blessed; but I’m blessed if the fellow who lends is more blessed to give than receive— when applied to advice, physic, or the measles.
But credit is quite contrary. I thought I’d try J. Cooke’s advice, get in debt and be happy.
I did try. The experiment didn’t quite succeed. None of my acquaintances had any money to lend. Even tailors have lost confidence in mankind and expect to be paid.
To return to incomes— it is a gratification of that philanthropic curiosity which prompts man (and woman) to take an interest in a neighbor’s affairs, when you publish a tax list.
Mrs. O’Pake can’t impose any more airs on us. O’Pake’s income is only $2,000 after all. She has been going it as though O’P had made ten thousand at least.
Then there’s Peter O’Leum, he returns forty-eight thousand, nine hundred and forty-two dollars. Which is preposterous! He pays the tax merely to make people believe he is a millionaire. He can’t deceive us.
O’Bleek’s name don’t appear in the list. If he hasn’t any income how does he pay his board bill at the Upper Crust House and keep a 2:31% team? Which is what we would like to know.
The publication of the income tax lists exposes the hollowness of society, and affords material for moral conversation in select social gatherings where elderly ladies predominate.
I wish my income correctly reported, so I send you the figures:
Income…………………………………. $000,001,37 1/2
Gold Watch………………………………………………. 0,00
Billiard Table……………………………………………. 0,00
U.S. Gold bearing bonds………………………….. 0,000
Revenue from 7:30’s…………………………….. 000,00
Revenue from State Stocks………………………….. 00
Revenue from Bonds and Mortgages…………. 0,00
Revenue from Oil Stock…………………………… 00,00
Revenue from Oil Securities……………………………. 0
Total taxable revenue…………….. $000,001,37 1/2
As I told you weeks ago, I’m not going to the country, but I’ve been travelling.
I have been to Williamsburgh. I went by chance the usual way. That is, by railroad. If you want to enjoy the luxury of travelling at a small expense,
GO TO WILLIAMSBURGH
Take the Greenpoint line. Cars start from Fulton Ferry. They are supposed to reach Greenpoint. I only ventured as far as Grand Street.
Under ordinary circumstances, you can go to Grand Street and back in a day. It sometimes takes a day and a half. The line is open as far as Classon Avenue. When you get to Wythe Avenue, you have to take your chances.
They only got one track on Wythe Avenue. Cars can’t run both ways on a single track at the same time; consequently, it depends on luck and resolution on the part of the driver, whether or not you get use of the track.
I went on car 1,049. We had only sixty-four passengers and eight market baskets. We got half way into Wythe Avenue without impediment. We then met a car coming from Greenpoint. Both cars passed.
The drivers and conductors called a convention to decide which car had to go back to the double track. Conductors tossed up a cent to see who should give way. Car 1,049 went heads; cent turned up tails. Driver hitched horses on the other end and we went back.
We then made another start. Got half way, and met another car from Greenpoint. The Greenpointers wanted us to back out again. Our driver got his back up, and said he would see Greenpoint in— Williamsburgh first.
Greenpoint driver appealed to his sympathies. He wanted to get down to the office to draw his pay, as he hadn’t been through for two weeks.
Our conductor said his family lived in Williamsburgh; he hadn’t been able to reach them on the single track for a fortnight. Passengers backed him up, and told him to stick to his line.
Greenpoint driver got belligerent, and threatened to mash our driver if he didn’t get out of the way. Our driver fell back on his muscle. I told him to go in. Drivers got down and went in.
They had six rounds. Our driver came out with two black eyes. Greenpoint claimed the track.
Our conductor got savage about his family and pitched in, and was knocked out of time in two rounds. The passengers then sailed in.
Things got very lively.
I engaged a Williamsburgher, a chap who said he had been three weeks trying to get to City Hall, and he was bound to go through this time. We fought twenty minutes. He said he was bound to fight it out on that line, if it took all summer.
Being in a hurry to get to Williamsburgh, I couldn’t wait to accommodate him, so I left on foot and made good time for Grand Street.
The rest of the passengers are still fighting for the right of way.
The Williamsburgh ferries run in the direction of New York. The boats start at intervals. I waited an interval— about an hour or two. Boat came in and I went aboard.
A shower came up so I went in the cabin. It rained a good deal harder in the cabin than it did outside, and experienced passengers preferred the outside.
Boat started at the rate of a knot and a half an hour and got into the river. Sound steamer came along, and being in the way we ran into her. Ferry boat got the worst of it, was stove in and put back in Williamsburgh for repairs. Being used to collisions the passengers didn’t seem to mind it.
Funny people those Williamsburghers.
The company with great foresight and enterprise keep two boats, so we got on the other boat, which came in about an hour.
An old gentleman on board told me all about her. She was a very fine boat. Built on the model of Noah’s Ark, and with the tide in her favor and a full head of steam, might make three knots an hour.
She had been sunk fifteen times by collisions, had run down fourteen sloops and a schooner, and drowned twenty-five passengers, and was good for as many more. At the outbreak of the war the government wanted to purchase her to capture privateers, but George Law would not take her off the ferry for any money.
Not meeting with anything to run into, the pilot in disgust ran into the bulkhead of the slip, upset the horses on board, and knocked all the passengers off their legs.
Being Williamsburghers they seemed to enjoy it.
Not being used to such diversions, I didn’t.
When we landed in New York the Williamsburghers held a congratulatory meeting on their safe arrival, and the old gentleman referred to, proposed to take up a subscription to present the pilot with a piece of plate. Not being a Williamsburgher I modestly declined to participate, and made a short cut for the Fulton Ferry.
I don’t think I shall move to Williamsburgh.
The travelling accommodations are altogether too lively for
This is a damned good letter. In fact, I strongly recommend parts of it be used as a boiler plate for any churlish letter(s) you might be drafting for the edification of your duly (s)elected public servants. Yours truly would like to suggest the following as recipients:
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Attn: Peter S. Kalikow/Acting Chairman
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3739
- The Honorable Michael Bloomberg
Office of the Mayor
New York, New York 10017
- George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
I cannot help but be perplexed by the rash of juvenile delinquency plaguing my fellow Brooklynites to the south. First it was wet towel popping. Then it was a menacing 12 year old girl brandishing a knife. Now even a Prospect Park pigeon has become a victim of the apparent anarchy overtaking south Brooklyn. Opinions about all the previous abound, mine are as follows:
- The previous incidents are a symptom of a larger social problem— and no amount of police intervention is going to fix it. If you want teens to (for example) quit running amok in public parks, give them a different means of spending their time. Unlike the infant that was menaced by the wet towel poppers, these children probably do not have the luxury of having a stay-at-home parent. Why not start an arts program that will enable these children to expend their excess energy and provide an outlet for their teenage angst? It has been proven time and time again that the arts work wonders for youth, but to date we (the taxpayers) seem to be more concerned about our wallets than their welfare. This needs to change.
- I blame the parents. All of them.
What these people need a sense of community. This is something they decidedly lack. A perfect example of effective group-parenting is the “Mommy Mafia” that resides in the building across the street from mine. The residents in this building are mostly Dominican and Puerto Rican, and consequently, their children are serious baseball enthusiasts. They frequently play a game or two on the street. All the time under the watchful of eye of a parent gazing outside his or her apartment window.
One day (about a year ago) a child beaned one of his peers in the head with a baseball. Immediately after this transpired I saw a woman’s head abruptly jerk back inside the window. Ten seconds (if that) elapsed from the moment this offending act came to pass to that child’s mother marching out of the building, reading him the riot act and taking him inside. It was one of the damnedest things I have ever seen. Don’t fuck with the Green Street Mommy Mafia.
Unlike the children wreaking havoc in Carroll Park or the pampered pigeon killer of Prospect Park, the parents of these kids have strictly enforced code of conduct for their children. One parent might be absent, but he (or she) can rely upon her neighbors to make sure said son or daughter walks the line. These kids don’t get away with shit.
Of course, parents also have the option of taking their children with them when they have errands to run. My boss Larry had a piece of work-related business arise recently, and not having the option of hiring a babysitter, he took his 3 month old son Zane with him. To a dominatrix’s lair located in Chelsea. Little did he know this otherwise mundane business trip would become a family affair. And this is what exactly happened when his mother showed up:
My mother pushed her way into the room,”Get that boy out of that shit. He’s not in Coney Island. You look terrible Larry, that woman does not take care of you.”
We Greenpointers may have unorthodox parenting skills, but you don’t you see our kids waving around knives, assaulting people or killing animals either. I for one blame public breast-feeding regarding the latter most.
P.S.: Be sure to read the second installment of Larry’s tale of family togetherness, it’s hilarious.
Filed under: Area 51
When it’s a sultry July afternoon and you are laying out the fly paper, you do not want unseemly body odor to be a deal breaker with the ladies. Take a tip from a pro and do what this SEXY B61 ridin’ BEAST did: install a little air conditioning.
Not only will the summer breeze keep your ass April fresh, but it also gives the womenfolk an enticing taste of things to come.
Don’t be like all the other guys, ADVERTISE!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Yesterday I arrived to work five minutes late. Being a punctuality freak, such a temporal transgression does not come to pass without a damned good reason. And the previous I had: during my ‘commute’ I saw a one of the coolest bikes ever created. I asked the owner if I could photograph it. He said “sure” and proceeded to expound upon his bicycle’s numerous appointments for the next ten minutes.
I for one like the customization of the handle bars.
What would a bike be without mudflaps and a radio? Unworthy of gracing the fine streets of Greenpoint, that’s for certain!
The mastermind behind this phat set of wheels purchased this radio during his recent trip to Puerto Rico. He found the pickings in Greenpoint of inferior quality. They were too “tinny-sounding” for his musical palate. At a paltry six bucks, this lilliputian boom box is not only a bargain, but it is also significantly lighter than his old system, which consisted of a car stereo (powered by a motorcycle battery), speakers and a pair subwoofers that were mounted inside a wooden box. “You could hear that thing all the way down the block”* he wistfully mused.
But it also added a lot of weight to the bike, which made it very hard to bring upstairs. I live on the top floor. You can’t leave a something like this outside, you know. Someone will steal it.
I have always been amazed by the bicycle theft problem in this city. Any bike, regardless of condition or quality seems to be fair game. Now take a masterpiece like this (or better yet, DON’T); as I was speaking to this gentleman I even found myself wanting to steal this bike. A candy-ass lock isn’t going to protect this set of wheels against theft. This bike needs a detachment of the National fucking Guard!
*This is true, you could.
It was originally my intent to focus on the incredibly stupid and fucked-up shit some of the customers at the junk shop say this week, but I have since changed my mind. This is partially due to the fact that I could not understand a damned thing most of them were saying to me yesterday; our core clientÃ¨le du jour Friday the 13th consisted of what my co-worker and I call “bobble-heads”. “Bobble-heads” are people who enthusiastically nod to anything and everything you say. I am certain these individuals are fluent in one language or another, but English it is not among them.
As a matter of fact, I got the idea for today’s post after being praised for my stellar work performance by my boss. He said:
You have yet to make a mistake.
To wit I replied:
Oh I make mistakes alright, but I either cover them up or set up someone else to take the rap for them.
“You are a true product of corporate America.” he replied. He is right: I am. It has been my experience that there is no better place to find a spiteful, incompetent and/or worthless human being than your local cubicle farm. The people who populate these god-forsaken labyrinths make a three-toed sloth seem like howler monkey on crack by comparison. These languid creatures have elevated abject laziness and intransigence to an art form. Over the years I have endeavored to learn their black art.
A fruit of the above course study is my implementation of the “goodie bag”. Better known by some as “grab bags”, these are sacks filled with jewelry or craft supplies which I price at a deep discount. The reason I have elected to add the goodie bag to my arsenal of time/sanity-saving bag of tricks is threefold:
1. There are three types of jewelry I handle: cheap ugly crap, cute vintage jewelry and “nice stuff”.
- The crap goes in the dollar bin where older Polish women detangle and pick through it for fifteen or twenty minutes on end. My logic: keeping these women engaged in the pursuit of some plastic piece of bling keeps them out of my hair. That one dollar string of beads saved me one or two hours of mind-numbing work.
- The “nice stuff” goes in the showcase. My logic: to do otherwise is to facilitate theft. Thieves constitute a sizable portion of the junk shop’s patronage.
- The cute vintage jewelry goes into goodie bags. My logic: after several months I got tired of repeatedly pulling these items out of the showcase, only to have people haggle and waste my valuable time. The goodie bag solves this problem; the jewelry is grouped, bagged and clearly priced, thus eliminating the need to dialogue with these soul-sucking shrews.
2. Sorting all the above jewelry is a very time-consuming task which requires a lot of concentration. Maintaining the required attention to detail becomes impossible when you are being hassled every five minutes by some miscreant raising a fuss over a lot of jewelry that costs a whopping five bucks.
3. The time I save preventing all the previous scenarios can be spent doing other things, like checking my email or working.
The evolution of the goodie bag was not without its setbacks, as you will see. But after a couple months of experimentation I have the process down to an exact science. Here it is.
The first step to goodie bag production is to gather all your tools and place them on the counter.
Next, you select the items to be bagged. Today’s sack stuffers will be vintage clip-on earrings and some craft supplies.
When selecting earrings to place in a bag, group them in lots of 5-7 by color and style. Speaking as a woman myself, I am very grateful when items are grouped in such a manner. That way one does not have to slog through designs and colors one does not like in order to get to “the good stuff”. Follows is an example of a poorly prepared and properly prepared goodie bag.
The bag on the right is consistent in color and overall “feel”, the bag on the left is not. Such a random assortment of earrings is an invitation for someone to to rip it open and/or haggle with you because she “only likes a couple of pieces in the bag”. I shit you not, there are a number of people who see fit to use the previous bargaining tactic on me. I suppose it would work if I actually cared. I don’t.
As you fill the baggies, place them in a bowl behind the counter. Make sure this bowl is out of eye shot or people will try to grab them.
When the bowl is full (like in the above photo) you are ready for the next step: pricing.
Since the items in question have been sitting on the shelf awhile, I am going to price them crazy cheap: $1.00-$5.00 a bag. Upon being labeled, the bags go into a bin. Once again, keep them out of sight or you will be beating back overly enthusiastic bargain hunters with a stick.
Once the bags are priced you are ready for the next step: tamper/theft prevention.
TAMPER/THEFT PREVENTION, PART I
Each bag is folded and stapled no less than three times. This is done to discourage someone’s sticky little fingers from getting into them.
TAMPER/THEFT PREVENTION, PART II
After each bag is stapled, out comes the packing tape. Tear off a three foot long piece and wrap it around each bag.
As I was preparing the above bag my boss commented:
You are the most focused worker I have ever had. You take on a task and do not not stop until it is completed.
I admonished my boss not to mistake malice for due diligence and reminded him about the time I discovered someone had opened once of these bags and placed a razor blade in it. Then I said:
I’d like to see that bitch try to get into this bag.
Once you have wrapped each bag, place them in the proper container for sale. Make sure there is a prominently placed sign advising customers that these bags are “priced as marked” and are not to be tampered with.
Congratulations! You have completed today’s goodie bag tutorial!
Total time elapsed: three hours.
Hours of aggravation prevented: incalculable.