In keeping with this week’s Newtown Creek
stink spirit, today I present to you an article from the August 24, 1881 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Although a little longer than I prefer to post, this tome paints a very clear picture of how long this body of water has been permitted to fester. Not only was it used a dumping ground by petroleum refiners, but savory stuff such as vitriol and offal were thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!
It has come to my attention that a number of Brooklynites think Newtown Creek is exclusively a Greenpoint problem: it isn’t. The photo at the beginning of this post was taken in English Kills. Don’t know where that is? No problem, here’s a map.
I have been advised that anyone who is interested in (seeing and) smelling the stench firsthand (and yes, I have gotten inquiries of this nature) should contact the Newtown Creek Alliance. You can be directed to their web site by clicking here.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
After reeling from yesterday’s revelation that Sotheby’s has seen fit to market a rather craptastic ‘townhouse’ in my humble neighborhood, I have managed to recompose myself. The fact they would even touch a property like this is proof-positive that ANYONE will hawk ANYTHING if the neighborhood “Greenpoint” associated with it. It’s friggin’ ridiculous.
I have been increasingly bemoaning the fact that my neighborhood is rapidly becoming a bedroom community for trustifarian kids and affluent wannabe ‘hip’ 40+ somethings. There is not the same sense of community here there once was. This depresses me to no end— and when I get the blues (like yesterday) I go for a walk.
As I was headed home from a four hour jaunt I swung by McCarren Park to use the bathroom. That’s when I saw a trio of middle-aged Polish women yammering away on a park bench. I don’t know what they were talking about (I do not speak Polish). But whatever it was it must have been pretty interesting because they didn’t seem to notice the homeless dude passed out on a mattress fifteen feet in front of them.
In fact they didn’t seem to notice his buddies either. This is understandable; being the sensible chaps they were, they opted to sleep in the shade.
New York City may be the city that never sleeps, but Greenpoint is it’s napping spot. Fuck, you’ll find people crashed out all over the goddamn place!
I for one am of the belief the above gentleman were hired by the real estate industry as a selling tool. When John Q. Fucktard outlays a ridiculous sum of money for his spiffy new condominium (on Karl Fischer Row, naturally) that ‘gritty’, ‘urban’ feel better be built right in! Even authenticity has a price nowadays— and it ain’t cheap.
That’s what I call good ol’ American entrepreneurship!
We have arrived.
God help us.
I actually got word about this last week but have been so busy I almost forgot about it. Almost. Per the email I got from Tommy and Roy (AKA: The Alter Boys):
We have just received hundreds of pieces of new merchandise, including:
MEN– Coats, Sweaters, Jackets, Vintage Boots, Shoes, Vests, T- Shirts & more.
WOMEN– Coats, Sweaters, Dresses, Tops, Heels, Flats, Leather Boots & more.
Get it while it’s HAUTE! This stuff is going to FLY out the door- so get in here on Tuesday before the
rest of the town does! There will be an open champagne bar (that means free champs ya’ll) and decadent snack treats.
Free champagne is pretty hard to beat folks. Check it out!
Much is said about affordable housing. That’s just it: said. Very little actually seems to be done about it. At least in my little corner of North Brooklyn, anyway.
As the boat approached Long Island City last Sunday I felt like Dorothy did when she reached the Emerald City. “Wow” I thought to myself, “I wonder if there is some affordable housing there?” Alas, it wasn’t to be: the gentleman conducting this segment of the tour noted that although there was talk of including lower-income units in a number of these monoliths, it didn’t happen.
Of course I think this is total balderdash. A developer reneging on a promise? Inconceivable. These chaps are upstanding citizens who have our best interests at heart. They make Abe Lincoln look like the Saddam Hussein by comparison.
Too bad. I was rather keen on having quick and easy access to the waterfront and the numerous quick and easy ladies who ply their trade in Long Island City. One time my husband overheard a very satisfied customer bragging to his buddy (via cell phone) on the Brooklyn-bound B61 bus as it was crossing the Pulaski Bridge. He hit her shit twice for a mere $300. If there is one thing Miss Heather likes it is a bargain. Oh well.
Shortly after we entered the creek I noticed the above townhouse. It certainly looks affordable. It probably affords easy access to hookers too. But it lacks the scenic city views I require. Further up
shit Newtown Creek we go!
This is more like it! This garden apartment (located in the Garden Spot of the Universe) sports the kind of amenities a Dog Shit Queen DEMANDS.
It is lavishly furnished.
It is only steps away from transportation.
And it comes with a yacht!
Who do I make the check out to?
P.S.: I’d like to give a shout-out to a very nice chap I met on this tour. He operates a blog about tugboats. Check it out, it’s neat.
Today I present to you an exquisite pile of poop from Jeremiah Moss, the proprietor of a very interesting blog called Vanishing New York. He writes:
i found this today near the corner of chrystie and delancey. i know it’s in manhattan, but it was just so perfect i had to send it in. i think it looks like an elegant little centerpiece.
I have to agree with him. There is something distinctly (and dare I say?) “stylish” about this turd’s nest. Perhaps the canine residents of the Lower East Side are gussying up their bowel movements to keep in step with gentrification? I bet Philip Starck is behind this.
Some things go beautifully together.
Chocolate and peanut butter, Bogey and Bacall, automotive repair and barbecued ribs— all the previous are examples of perfect pairings. Other things, however, should never be put together.
1. Greenpoint’s sewage treatment plant…
which happens to be located on 2. Newtown Creek (above) and…
and 3. a depot housing delivery trucks for Poland Spring water.
This is so wrong— and yet, so right— on so many levels.
Filed under: Bum Shit, Crazy People, Dung of the Day, Greenpoint Magic, Other Shit
…As for the explosive gas, it was Keyspan natural gas lines that needed to be repaired, not the oil spill.
Maybe he’s right? It’s something else. Just this weekend I saw the remains of a massive explosion on Java Street.
It’s the Greenpoint Chili Relleno Spill! Maybe I should contact the EPA and request a vapor test be conducted?
*Be sure to check out the novel this
whack job defender of Greenpoint’s virtue wrote in response to my rebuttal. It’s a hoot! Be sure to strap on your tin foil hat first so the many conspirators behind the vast smear campaign that is the GREENPOINT OIL SPILL won’t come to get you!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Perhaps I was a little harsh?
Now it has become apparent I wasn’t. What’s more, this less-than-professional piece of correspondence serves as proof they are paying attention. Even on a Saturday night —which is when I received this turd. Now if I could only manage to piss off all the spammers pitching me penis enhancement pills, I’d be all aces.
Fortunately, I also received a very nice (and very funny) email from the Co-Pastor of the Greenpoint Reformed Church. As the following excerpt indicates, she too has been under siege by the Columbian Cartel. She writes:
Dear Miss Heather,
First off, thank you for the wonderful public service you provide with your blog. You make me proud to call myself a Greenpointer. Of course, some of the locals may call me other things…
I write to you today with an idea. For years, we here at the one-time smallest church in North Brooklyn, have been a part of the autumn-migration pattern of the Columbia University Journalism School student. Originally a novel experience, it has grown to become a minor nuisance. Jesus, of course, commands us to welcome the stranger, so it is difficult to refuse to sit down with a clueless fresh off the U-haul grad student. Nonetheless, it does take a significant amount of time and often ends with being misquoted at that. I gather that as our neighborhood-webdiva-extraordinare you, too, have become a part of this graduate school rite of passage.
Now, on to the idea…last week my clergy colleagues (yes, there are actually four mainline Protestant clergy in GP, though you might not have imagined this) and I gathered for coffee and discussed the fact that each of us had spent significant time that week with one or more j-school kids. Perhaps, we thought, we could organize one giant meeting of all of us with all of the j-students and then be done with them for the year. Seeing as you are now a part of this illustrious group of Greenpointers targeted for interviews, perhaps you would like to join us as we organize such an event. I’m not sure it would benefit us to do it this year, perhaps we’re already interviewed out, but we might definitely manage to get it done for next year. Any thoughts?
Thanks again for keeping tabs on the neighborhood.
WOW… and thanks! You know a situation is totally out of control when church leaders convene to discuss it. Imagine that: the Garden Spot’s very own Council of Trent. Who knows, maybe an Auto de Fe will be next? Get out your marshmallows, fellow Greenpointers! It’s time to roast us some heretics!
Filed under: Area 51
You see a lot of detail in the binoculars, but why would you want to? It’s desolate.
— passenger, 9/16/07 boat tour of Newtown Creek.
Without further ado, here are some pictures from yesterday’s sojourn down Newtown Creek. Enjoy!
See that milky looking stuff? That’s petroleum.
Here’s some more.
Three time’s a charm!
That black cordon in the background collects petroleum that is leaking into the creek. This “product” will be skimmed, sold and converted into gasoline. Profiteering off pollution. Think about that the next time you are topping off your tank at the gas station.
Pollution Recovery Project in Progress.
The gray stuff on the tires? That’s from hosing cement residue into the creek. This practice is illegal.
This is a concentrated sewage overrun pipe. They can be identified by a green sign, like the one to the left.
See this pipe? It does not have such a sign. You are, in all likelihood, witnessing an act of illegal dumping.
This muck was dredged up by the boat as it turned around in English Kills. It is a cocktail of sulfur, petroleum, and 100+ years of dumping god only knows what into Newtown Creek. The water really is that shade of green, by the way; it is incapable of supporting any life whatsoever. It also reeks. The best way I can describe the odor is that goop a hairdresser uses when giving you a perm: acrid, pungent and sulfurous.
Angry yet? If you aren’t, you should be. Allowing a situation like this to persist (as long as it has) is inexcusable.