Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
I happened upon this Greenpoint Red in the usual manner: while engaged doing something else. I was warning a fellow tenant of Chateau de Ghetto that someone has been parsing through our mailboxes. Our conversation came to an abrupt halt when I saw him, this fellow traveler of the Crosstown local.
Miss H: Pardon me, can I take a photograph of your coat? My husband is a card-carrying Commie. Since Castro resigned he’s been really bummed out.
Bearer of the Cloth: Oh yes, the hammer and sickle. But the Soviet Union were not true Communists.
He’s right. That’s why Mr. Heather is a Trotskyite.
*Brazenly. Stealth is not our felon’s strong point: he (or she) leaves the mailboxes open for our edification. Mr. Heather and I have not received mail for two days save a Victoria’s Secret catalog. I left it in the mailbox on Thursday (in the hopes this person would take) only to find it still there on Friday. Bitch.
Today I received a very interesting email from an India Street resident who calls himself The Ghost of Willie the Barber regarding my post about the proposed India Street Park. He writes:
The actual India Street community (that is, people who live here) already had a plan for this park that would have restored the pier and made a real park. This was part of an intensive series of open-forum meetings (part of something called a “197-A” plan) that the city pretty much ignored when they put together the Big Rezoning a couple of years ago.
The City ‘s rezoning plan (which IMHO involved a lot of selling-out on the part of some community activists in league with Council member David Yassky –who, like all NYC politicos, gets most of his campaign money from real estate interests-) basically puts the whole project in the hands of the private owners of the waterfront properties.
This results in the kind of compromised idiotic crap you quite accurately reported on last week. Even if the officials like the Parks Dept. guy at that meeting- WANT to do something serious, they have no real budget – seeing as how any REAL park would need many times the amount of money available- because the street ends in concrete-hanging-over-river and would have to be demolished and re-built. Only developers have that kind of money and the rezoning actually gives developers the last word on when and how such supposedly “public” work can take place.
It is a cruel joke.
Here was part of what the community wanted to do:
THE FRIENDS OF INDIA STREET PIER is a group dedicated to the pier its members “adopted” for the benefit of the Greenpoint community. Although heavily deteriorated, the India Street pier was a popular summer refuge for many residents of North Brooklyn, who spent weekends there sunbathing, fishing, or simply enjoying the Manhattan skyline. But a near catastrophe in which seven Greenpoint residents atop the pier fell into the East River along with the pier when it collapsed in May, 1997 brought additional attention and a sense of urgency to the efforts of the Friends to speed repair of the popular pier.
According to “Willie the Barber,” President of the Friends of India Street Pier, the group envisions a “New India Street Pier” with new pilings to strengthen it and make safer, a 4′ fence on the rear half, tables, benches, and shrubbery that would provide a park-like atmosphere, a food stand that would pay rent to the city, and possibly a water fountain.
The pier would become a nice place for fishing, sunbathing and picnicking. The location offers a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline and the ships on the East River. Recommendations for the New India street pier are an integral part of the Greenpoint 197-a Plan (see section on Waterfront Access).
T.G.O.W.B., India Street
North Brooklyn Greens
So there have you folks. The interests of our community were sold to the developers a long, long time ago. Not that this should come as a big surprise. It doesn’t to me, anyway. Nonetheless, it never ceases to anger yours truly.
Mark my words: if/when the developers decide to step up to the plate and provide park space it will not be out of the kindness of their hearts. It will be in exchange for discretionary zoning. The current limit is 24 stories. Under discretionary zoning they can build up to 40. In the meantime we can anticipate more concrete walls.
In the last installment of Crosstown Local glory we learned what market demographic is interested in a reality television series about millionaire matchmakers: women brandishing rollers while waiting for the L train. Wishing to see if the same was true of roller-clad G train patrons, I carefully watched the “Millionaire Matchmaker” posters here in Greenpoint. Not only did I discover that my fellow G trainers eschew styling their hair while patronizing public transit, but also that these posters elicited very little interest.
The aforementioned findings presented me with yet another question:
Exactly what does the Crosstown Local ridership find compelling?
After expending considerable time and effort conducting research “in the field” I can give you, dear readers, a conclusive answer: sexual perversion.
Exhibit A: the Queens-bound platform at Greenpoint Avenue
I am certain most people are familiar with the middle poster: it raises awareness about shaken baby syndrome. Or does it?
The author of this annotated poster has a very interesting tale to tell. Here it is:
In a land far away, there lived a handsome little prince. On his birthday,
his fatheran alien gave him a magical skin flute. He told the prince that every time he played this flute he could magic…
Tales of alien seduction are not really my cup of tea. But that’s okay the good ol’ G has a little something for everybody.
Exhibit B: the Smith-9th bound platform at Metropolitan Avenue
(Once again) extra-terrestrials are invoked…
as is the threat of the whip. You know, if the movie E.T. took a few tips from this person it would have been a much more interesting movie. To me, anyway.
Speaking of E.T., have you ever wondered what happened to Elliot? No worries, someone on the Smith – 9th bound platform back at Greenpoint Avenue knows.
I suppose in today’s brave new world if the aliens don’t get you, eventually the pirates will.
Last, but hardly least, there’s always the Crosstown Local classic…
Ye olde open mouth paired with penis.
In closing, I would like to share another fascinating Greenpoint mass transit fact: our lascivious imaginings are not confined strictly to the subway. Bus stops (like this one for the B24 across from the sewage treatment plant) are also fair game.
Behold, the penis chicken!*
*When I was in graduate school ten years ago I did a series of sculptures I called “dickheads”. At one point I converted my studio space into a barnyard. Populating this barnyard were approximately sixteen chickens and geese— but instead of beaks they sported dicks. Who knew sexualized fowl were part of Greenpoint’s collective conscious?
I found this beauty on Greenpoint Avenue in Blissville, Queens yesterday. It is easily one of the finest examples of pay phone abuse I have ever seen. With one very notable exception, of course.
Greenpoint’s very own “Monologue Machine” will always be #1 in my book. Nobody— and I mean NOBODY— can bust up a pay phone like we Greenpointers can! Note the can of baby formula and bottle of beer. That’s what I call a balanced diet!
Filed under: Bushwick
While I usually deplore cheesy church signs, I have to applaud these folks for their creativity.
Nothing screams romance like a dozen roses and the eastern seaboard’s largest sewage treatment plant.
Filed under: Bed-Stuy
From Gates Avenue.
Filed under: Bushwick
Remember the good old days when you could have anthrax delivered right to your doorstep? Ah, memories…
Filed under: Bed-Stuy
I have no idea whatsoever this organization does, but whatever it is I’m all for it!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
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Brooklyn, New York 11222
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