Filed under: Area 51
East Coast Aliens’s fall movie season continues tonight with the 1953 winner of the Cannes Film Festival The Wages of Fear. Here is a brief synopsis of the film from the fine folks at East Coast Aliens:
In the South American jungle supplies of nitroglycerin are needed at a remote oil field. The oil company pays four men to deliver the supplies in two trucks. A tense rivalry develops between the two sets of drivers on the rough remote roads where the slightest jolt can result in death.
The acting is superb: handsome young Yves Montand’s Mario, a Parisian gangster on the run from who-knows-what, maintains is Gallic savoir-faire. His compatriot , Charles Vanel, is Jo, an older, more burnt-out wiseguy, but still full of macho moxie.
Director Clouzot squeezes unbearable tension out of nearly every scene.
The stripped-down existentialism of the characters, the starkness of their shared dilemma, the grim and grimy scenery, and the superb black-and-white cinematography cannot fail to hold your attention.
This is real 16 millimeter film folks, not video! Doors open at 8:30 p.m. The price of admission is not indicated, but it usually runs either $6.00 or $10.00 per person.
East Coast Aliens
216 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222
Even if this movie does not interest you, do check out their calendar of upcoming events. A trio of Robert Altman films (including the incomparable M.A.S.H.*) are slated for next month and Life of Brian will be screened on Christmas Eve!
*This isn’t Alan Alda’s M.A.S.H., kiddos. This is one of the most darkly hilarious and mean spirited films I have ever seen. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. Two words: WATCH IT.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Last night my husband and I went to Casa Mon Amour for dinner. Before arriving there (and being chided for not going to their SECOND anniversary celebration last night*) Mr. Heather and I saw an assortment of mattresses headed to that Serta Sleeper in the sky.
99 Freeman Street
Note the plastic sheathing on the box springs. I wonder if this mattress has “tenants”?
230 Franklin Street
Hmm. A mattress, box springs and a day bed. I wonder if they bite?
74 India Street, AKA: Bedbug Central**
While not labeled, I bet these bad boys have bedbugs.
A very close friend of mine (who doesn’t even live in Greenpoint, but in north Brooklyn all the same) just underwent the utter hell that is a bedbug infestation. When are our civic leaders going to acknowledge that we, and consequently they, have a problem?
Greenpoint verse, in rhyming terse:
The Pencil Factory and its (remaining) siblings getting landmarked is great.
After a convenient conflagration made landmarking another property too late!
The new bike lanes and trees are all pretty keen.
I wonder why the city gave them to us, was it for developer green?
If the powers that be in NYC would see fit to redirect their attention to the people who actually live in Greenpoint and north Brooklyn (as opposed to the people they seemingly WANT to live here) it would be greatly appreciated.
Contrary to popular belief poor people (and by virtue of being poor, they are also lazy and filthy in the Neo-Victorian mindset most people seem to sport nowadays) are not the only ones who get bedbugs. Ask a bedbug. He (or she) will tell you they don’t give a damn if the blood is red, white, blue, yellow, brown or green. Rich or poor, blood is blood. They’re equal opportunity blood suckers. Unlike our elected representatives (and the developers they pander to).
If these little critters find their way into my mansion of merde, I can assure you, dear readers, the shitty is going to hear about it. Often.
*Beatrice’s birthday is next Friday, by the way.
**Isn’t interesting that Pistilli would go on the record as being against a hotel in Queens being converted into a homeless shelter while they let a beautiful building like the Astral (in Greenpoint) go to shit?
From The Queens Gazette:
Pistilli Realty Group and members of the community agree that the Westway Motel cannot serve as a substitute for a homeless shelter, the letter said in part.
Yet, retaining a Super who photographs topless women in the hallways of one of their apartment buildings while doing nothing whatsoever about a bedbug infestation (in the aforementioned building) is perfectly acceptable? Perhaps the peeps at Pistilli should be be forced to reside in the Astral for a month or two? Who knows, they might even leave with the six-legged gift that keeps on giving.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
The biggest fringe benefit I get at the junk shop (aside from yelling at crass customers without fear of recrimination) is first whack at all the goodies that come in. Recently I
scored borrowed this:
It was heavily picked over, but within the remains I found a forgotten Greenpointer!
Her name is Winnie Lightner and here is her story.
Intrigued to learn what happened to Ms. Lightner, I looked her up on IMDB. Follows is an excerpt from her biography:
Winnie Lightner was known as Broadway’s “Song a Minute Girl” because she could belt out a song in less than 60 seconds. Her brassy outgoing style lent itself to Warner’s Vitaphone shorts when sound came in and soon Winnie Lightner was a top Warner star. The missing “Gold Diggers of Broadway” was a triumph for Lightner in 1929, and the all-technicolor “Life of the Parry” was an even bigger hit. Despite the huge success of her first few films, Warner Brothers began to assign maudlin roles to Winnie and by 1933 she was at MGM playing second fiddle to stars like Joan Crawford.
Ms. Lightner retired from show business early and lived out the rest of her life in southern California. Her son, Thomas Del Ruth, is a cinematographer. Some of the more notable films he has worked on are:
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
- Myra Breckenridge (a big, BIG fave of Miss Heather)
- The Outlaw Josey Wales
- Motel Hell
- Look Who’s Talking (YUCK —but the previous four films make up for it)
- Stand By Me
- And a slew of television work including Charmed, West Wing and JAG
But back to Winnie. She never became a big star (or got to play Lady MacBeth for that matter), but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve recognition. She was the first movie performer to be censored for something said or in this case, sung in a talkie (once again, from IMDB):
In 1928 she made a Vitaphone short in which she sang “We Love It,” “God Help a Sailor on a Night Like This,” “That Brand New Model of Mine,” and “We’ve Got a Lot to Learn.” A censorship board in Pennsylvania held the release of the film because of the content of Lightner’s songs. According to film historian Alexander Walker, “Warners asked the censors to merely pass judgment on the visuals – the censors refused.”
The more eagled-eyed among you might have noticed IMDB has “Greenport, New York” listed as her place of birth. I suppose only Winnie (or perhaps her son) would have known/know for certain. Then again, getting censored for a singing a saucy song about sailors strikes me as being a very Greenpoint phenomenon.
Regardless of your place of origin, I salute you Winnie. Your accomplishment might have been lost to time, but it hasn’t been forgotten by yours truly. It was a pleasure making your (belated) acquaintance.
If it is any consolation, I have never gotten to play Lady MacBeth either.*
*First by lack of opportunity (before going into art, I was a drama major), now by lack of desire. Life is tragic enough, no need to dwell upon it. I have long since accepted the fact I am a comedienne anyway. Even when dead serious I crack people up.
CASE IN POINT: When I wanted to take home a magazine with a Jenna Jameson interview in it from the junk shop.
Me (to my boss): Can I take this? It looks interesting. Besides, if lays around here some guy will probably take it down to the basement and jerk off to it.
Brad (coworker): It wouldn’t be the first time.
Me: Yeah, I know. Tony had to go down there and mop it up. That was back in 2002.
Boss: Sure, you can have it. But you might want to check it for “man juice” first.
Me: Already have. I realize that is an occupational hazard here. It’s clean.
My boss thought this was one of the funniest things he ever heard.
Maybe I should take my comedy cavalcade to Community Board 1? I have considered it. They need a laugh. What’s more, they could use a primer post-feminist record keeping. Per a Miss Heather mole:
I was looking through the minutes from the September CB #1 meeting and, wouldn’t you know, the male names are spelled out but the female names only use the surname. I discovered this because I remember one woman standing up and explaining the problems she and her family had experienced because of construction next door. When I looked up her name I only found Ms. Bowe, not her full name. Am I being naive here? Is it common not to include the first names of all females? Looking through the doc, I noticed all male names were spelled out at first mention and the majority of female first names were omitted. Hmmm..maybe I’m looking into things too much!
That’s Mrs. MISTER Heather to you, bucko!
Filed under: Area 51
Today I had the previous epithet shouted at me. TWICE. By the same person, no less. As you can probably imagine, I had a few things to say about this (sorry attempt at an) insult. My thanking him for calling me an asshole (because he was clearly an expert in the field) really seemed to confuse him. If you can’t take the heat get the fuck outta the kitchen.
Unfortunately, in the heat of battle I forgot to point out the obvious: in Greenpoint every day is Halloween. Take the flyer I found in the window of Kam Loon Chinese Restaurant after my encounter with the aforementioned asshole, for example.
We’ve been so busy sitting on our asses it’s Halloween of 2004 here!
P.S.: On an unrelated (and decidedly more upbeat) note, check out the pictures from District Dog’s Halloween party last week. They’re very cute.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Recently we were posited a question which (frankly) I am not qualified to answer*. Here it is:
I just moved to town and I have no idea where to find a good tailor! I am all thumbs when it comes to sewing or else I would do it myself. Please help!
-Short girl with long pants.
I bounced this query off my buddy over at 11222 and she conceded that just about any dry cleaner here could probably do a job as simple as hemming pants. She’s probably right. However,Â I have met people who could break an anvil if given the chance, so I thought it would be a good idea to put this question up for you, dear readers, to answer. If you know of an especially competent tailor in this neighborhood, please help this Garden Spot newbie out and post it in the comments.
P.S.: On a related note, the laundromat at the corner of Green Street and Manhattan Avenue has changed names and hours. It is now called “Apollo Express” and is open 24 hours.
*I do my own alterations. Been sewing since I was 15.
I have been remiss in sharing the following masterpiece with you, dear readers. Thankfully, the international coalition of imbeciles working on the facade of said property Thursday night (they were cutting marble with a saw) was just the reminder I needed!
Question: What happens when an otherwise unremarkable four story building on a less than spectacular block is sold to someone with a lot of money and no taste whatsoever?
It gets Fedderized, that’s what! Over the last year I have watched (and listened to) this building evolve from a mildly tatty, but more or less intact four story tenement to the poster child for the prevention of Fedderization. Let’s take a closer look at its, a-hem, amenities, shall we?
1. A front door better suited to grace the entrance of a topless bar.
In keeping with the class the aforementioned adult establishments exude, the first floor of this building is sheathed in…
2. black marble. Wow, it really spices up this frumpy chateau! So much so you can barely notice…
3. the rolling steel door to the right. Why can I not shake the feeling that some wise guy got whacked behind one of these doors? Is it the marble? The garish chrome entranceway? The rolling shutters? Or…
4. the two tone institutional gray stucco juxtaposed with a baby shit beige fire escape?
I just can’t pin it down. Regardless, I think this building should win a Lifetime Achievement Award and be inducted into the Fedderist Hall of Fame. Ordinarily one would have to schlep all the way out to Flushing to see a building this ugly.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Perhaps I am simply slow on the uptake, but I have noticed that a flock of the above birds has taken to roosting on the phone lines of Manhattan Avenue lately. I am not complaining or anything mind you, I think they’re neat.
Besides, if the above pigeon seems A-OK with sharing this stretch of prime sitting space with this chubby little yellow companion, I say he (or she) stays.
Those of you who have been playing along at home might remember that earlier this week (October 30) I caught a chap taking a nap at the above-mentioned location.
What I failed to mention was how cute it was to watch this chap roll over and stretch. In fact, he reminded me of one of my cats. I even stopped and wondered to myself:
I wonder what contractors dream about?
Well, in the case of 158 India Street let’s hope he was dreaming of a brand new construction fence because the one currently in place is a joke.
I am rarely one to argue semantics —much less with an organization as professional as the one working at 158 India Street— but isn’t the purpose of a fence to keep people out? Confused, I decided to point and click my way over to Wikipedia and let them resolve the matter once and for all:
A fence is a freestanding structure designed to restrict or prevent movement across a boundary. It is generally distinguished from a wall by the lightness of its construction: a wall is usually restricted to such barriers made from solid brick or concrete, blocking vision as well as passage (though the definitions overlap somewhat).
Fences are constructed for several purposes, including:
- Agricultural fencing, to keep livestock in or predators out
- Privacy fencing, to provide privacy
- Temporary fencing, to provide public safety and security on construction sites
- Security fencing, to prevent trespassing or theft and/or to keep children and pets from wandering away
- Decorative fencing, to enhance the appearance of a property, garden or other landscaping
- Boundary fencing, to demarcate a piece of real property
- Griffin Edwards face
Griffin Edwards face (sic) not withstanding (I am not kidding, that really is in the aforementioned Wikipedia entry), I am going to go out on a limb and postulate that what graces the frontage of 158 India Street once was, or desperately wants to be, a fence.
However, since it is secured with a piece of coat hanger wire, has a gap wide enough for me to talk through and appears to be collapsing, I think it would be more apropos to call it The Maginot Line.
Or simply a death trap. Take your pick.
If a construction fence collapses and an inspector from the Department of Buildings is not around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Filed under: Area 51
I am pleased to announce that today, November 1, is Casa Mon Amour’s
first second birthday! Follows is the 411 as to what Beatrice has cooked up in the way of festivities tonight:
Join us for cocktail and a slice of cake on Thursday November 1st after 7 pm to celebrate the second anniversary of Casa Mon Amour.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business and kind support for the past two years, we would not be here without you.
Casa Mon Amour
162 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222
Be there or be square!
the pimp-a-licious Stuporintendent of the Astral Apartments.
Wishing to pay homage, I swung by Chez T & A yesterday. It would appear the critter problem at 74 India Street is alive and
Never mind the mushrooms.
Damn the bedbugs.
Sometimes a hardworking man (with a hard-on) needs to take pictures of half nekkid women to blow off steam.
How can fixing shit stand a chance when one can watch two hot chicks pretend to suck face instead? And badly at that.
Bad news Astral dude: Japan cornered the market on school girl lesbo shit a long time ago. I should know: I have volumes of it. I only read the articles*, lest any of you are wondering.
Which brings me to this week’s very sucky motivational poster.
Don’t let the bedbugs bite!
*This is a joke. I cannot read Japanese.