Filed under: Williamsburg
Last night I wanted to mix things up a little bit, so my husband and I had dinner in Williamsburg. The gnocchi at Baci & Abbracci was delicious. What’s more, we got a little post-meal entertainment on our walk home courtesy of 156 North 12th Street:
New York’s Bravest checking out yet another site slated for demolition.
Hmm. The only valid permit I could find on the Department of Building’s web site was for a construction fence. They barely let the ink dry on this one: it was issued December 19th. Just in time for Christmas!
Looks like someone complained about unsafe demolition the month before. Of course, I am not a building inspector. If I was I’d have one of those funny little cars with a plastic chihuahua on the dashboard like the one I saw on Lorimer Street earlier in the afternoon). So if they said everything was okay it must be okay.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
I received a most delightful nugget of Greenpoint goodness from a reader last night. She writes:
Thought you might find this interesting. It’s a brief reference to our neighborhood from the cartoon “Bowery Bugs” (1949). Steve Brody is off to Flatbush to find himself a lucky rabbit’s foot…
Pete McGuinness (the namesake of my favorite thoroughfare in the Garden Spot) was often quoted as saying “Greenpernt” in the New York Times. At first I took it at face value, but as I have read more articles (in their archives) I came to the opinion that they took delight in making Mr. McGuinness look like a yokel by quoting him in broken English. Per a Forgotten New York commenter:
You might correct an error and at the same time make a small contribution to philology by noting that neither the late Peter McGuinness nor any other authentic representative of Greenpoint referred to the section as Green-pernt [TIME, June 21]. I knew McGuinness well . . . and I never once heard him or anyone else from Greenpoint mispronounce the section’s name. . .It is perfectly true that New Yorkers often render “oi” as “er,” and vice versa, but I can swear under oath that Greenpoint is called Greenpernt only by people from Coney Island, Croton-on-Hudson and Beverly Hills. [Time Magazine letter, July 12, 1948]
Perhaps it was because Pete was Irish? Perhaps it was because his political career survived the Seabury hearings and he was elected the Sheriff of Kings County in a landslide? A “yokel” he may have been, but he was also politically savvy— and the latter was probably what upset them most.
Nonetheless, I am certain “The Fighting Alderman of the 17th Ward” will get a chuckle out of this from his deluxe apartment in the sky. My only hope is it isn’t a Belvedere.
Donald Rumsfeld candies.
I am not kidding. We are up to our eyeballs in these fucking tins— Larry da Junkman has been emptying them all morning. I asked if there were any Alberto Gonzales candies, but he said no. Bummer*. I would have liked to have one of those. I’d use it as a candy dish on my coffee table.
It would not serve conventional confections, however. Nope, it would dispense bons bons suitable for an Attorney General of his caliber.
*I suppose there isn’t any real difference between the two, but in my opinion it takes a raging piece of shit to make John Ashcroft look good.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Believe it or not, this is vodka.
It would appear that a real estate broker has seen fit to give his two cents regarding the “situation” at the Astral to one of my readers/tipsters.
Broker: I am going to have to ask you to stop over posting my ad with yours. I PAY for my ads. I am assuming that I have exchanged emails with you before, as I have spoken with someone (who chose to remain anonymous as well) once before. You do not have all the up to date info I have concerning the building and its dealings. Why don’t you provide me with the same info you have on me, like name, phone #, e mail, and who you work for. Seems only fair. You know who I am.
This is pretty up to date (12/23— Ed. note):
I had a fun time last night. No heat, no hot water and to top it off NO ELECTRICITY. Good ‘ole Tommy tried to troubleshoot but couldn’t figure it out. Said the power to the furnace and water boiler was out as well. He called the maintenance crew and they assessed the problem. He then told me that it was Con Ed problem and they would be there in about 45 minutes.
So I sat in my cold and pitch black apartment with one candle and a flashlight, hoping that Con Ed would get everything back on. 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours,no power. I decided to go to bed in hopes that things would be back on in the morning. NOPE! I got to work and called Pistilli to complain, stating that I had no utilities all night and that it is illegal to not provide them.
They said to talk to the Super, which I replied, “Have you ever met the Super? He is too busy taking pornographic photos to help out any of the tenants.” They said, “No, he doesn’t do that.”To which I replied, “I have proof on the internet if you’d like to see.” They put me on hold and returned to say that the electrician was on his way. I then asked if they were aware of all the other problems that are apparent in the building, mold, BEDBUGS…
They told me if I had any other complaints to put them in the form of writing and mail them in. MOTHER FUCKERS!! I then got the extension to the leasing agent in order to see if I can get out of my lease and have my security deposit back. I have not yet called, basically because I don’t currently have the money to move out of this shithole. Can someone please organize a class action suit against the Pistilli Brothers. This has gone way too far!
Broker: Read that. Thanks. I don’t intend to see any more postings from you undermining my work. I’ll have Craigslist take care of that.You apparently won’t reveal who are and this is growing tiresome. Apart from you and your third party (copy and paste) revelations, I do sympathize with the tenants having issues. Like I said before, I used to live in the building and didn’t have these problems. I’m beginning to think that you’re an agent from another firm who cannot gain access to this building, so you’re attempting to keep me from doing business there. Happy New Year.
Happy New Year to you, Mister Broker Man! I was a broker once and know the law fairly well.
- If this is a rent-stabilized apartment why is the asking rent $1,350? Given the percentage increases outlined by the D.H.C.R., the odds of this apartment commanding a round figure rent-wise are very, very low. Can you say rental overcharge?
- All rent-stabilized apartments include heat and hot water in the rent. It’s required by law— this is not “added value”, which is what you are insinuating.
- If you know this building so well, why do you show pictures of an “identical apartment”?
1. with equal pace, progress or rate; side by side. 2. without partiality; equally; fairly
Contrary to your employer’s name you are being quite deceptive. The fact that you have taken the time to pester a person who (might) jeopardize a $1,350 commission (because you think he/she is a competing broker) only makes you more pathetic. Unless my memory fails me, a broker who knowingly rents a property with latent defects, e.g.; BEDBUGS, lead paint, etc, without proper disclosure can lose his license.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Why did the cat and dog cross the road?
To give chase to the garden gnome and pine cones on the other side.
Note how the bird is now curiously absent.Â Hmm…
Please treat this (insert appliance here) like you would in your own home.
Speaking as a former Office Manager I can assert with 100% certainty that underlying logic for the above piece of rhetoric is among the most flawed I have ever encountered. The presumption being made by the people who pen the above sentiment is simple enough: entreating someone to care for say, the office kitchenette, with the same vigilance as one’s own kitchen will result in a better-kempt place to prepare food. My personal experience, however, says otherwise. The real issue at hand is people treat public facilities like the ones in their own home, that’s why they are so disgusting. Human beings are filthy creatures and any (Biblical) rumors of being us being the better-abled the stewards of this world are greatly exaggerated.
Let me tell you about “Stewie”. My place of employment at the time pandered managed office space and he was one of our “clients”. I’m not too sure how much he and his compatriots paid in the way of rent, but it must have been draconian. This is the only reason I can muster as to why he would steal my lunch. Repeatedly. First I noticed a quarter of my sandwich missing. A week later it had progressed to half my foodstuffs going MIA. A month later I went to the kitchen only to find an empty container in the trash. Going, going… gone!
I was none too happy about this, so I took it up with my boss. I kept my food in his personal refrigerator (which was located inside his LOCKED OFFICE) from then on. Stewie (being the ever-adaptive hominid he was) took this development in stride and began “sampling” the sack lunches of my co-workers. One time my co-worker Mickey opened her Tupperware sandwich container to find a sandwich with a rather large bite taken out of it. I guess her culinary prowess didn’t meet up to his exacting standards— and given that Stewie worked in the catering industry (and would often bring lunch to the receptionists)— I guess it would be safe to say he knew good vittles when he
saw ate them. Within a month everyone stopped using the office refrigerator.
Stewie made himself feel right at home. His activities were not limited to the kitchen either, as I learned from a co-worker; he was also prone to giving colored commentary while going to the bathroom. He was a veritable Howard Cosell of crap. Towards the end of my tenure, the powers that be hired a man we’ll call Mike. Mike didn’t last very long, I presume this was due to him coming to work hopped up one form of medication or another. Some days I would look over from my desk to see him so tweaked he could barely hold a pencil. It should also be noted that Mike had some issues regarding germs. To this end he kept hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes at his desk. He used these with alarming frequency, often to the point of chapping his hands.
One day Mike came back from the bathroom in a more agitated state than usual. Sweat was literally dripping off his forehead. He beckoned for me to keep quiet and promptly closed the office door.
Mike: You know that guy Stewie?
Me: Yes. He’s the guy who was stealing my lunch.
Mike: I just used the bathroom and he was in there…
Mike: He was breathing really heavily, I mean he was pushing really hard…
Mike: I heard this turd hit the water and he said:
That was a good one.
I waited until Mike left for an appointment to laugh my ass off.
What do the previous anecdotes have to do with the McCarren Park bathroom, you ask? Well, quite frankly: not very much. It is simply a preface for the below sign I found posted in a stall of the women’s bathroom there last weekend.
And, true to my previous prognostication, someone treated it “like their own.”
Here’s a close up. Judging from the sheer amount of toilet paper, it must have been “a good one”.
One of the pleasures of the holiday season is taking the time to catch up with your buddies. Usually this entails mundane chatter like “How’s the job going?”, pet-related banter, etc. Not this year. I thought I would have the biggest bombshell of a story (being detained by the police), but this ended up not being the case. Not by a long shot. The very same day I had my little tete a tete with the police, a good friend of mine had an interaction of a distinctly different caliber. Here is her story:
It was a Wednesday night and I was walking my dog at 11:00. This is NOT a particularly spooky time of night around here, what with all the hipsters and families. True, a few years ago my cell phone was stolen out of my hand in broad daylight, but that was by bored preteens in the summer, and it was entirely non-violent in nature. I no longer try to text people and walk the dog at the same time, nor do I wear girlie sandals to walk the dog anymore.
On this particular fateful night, I looked dumpy because I’m walking my dog and don’t give a shit. Jeans, messy hair, no makeup, big winter coat, e.g; I don’t look like a hooker in any way, shape, or form. I notice a heavyset Hasid standing alone on the corner of Montrose and Leonard next to the softball diamond. There is a park right next to said softball diamond, with swing sets, jungle gyms, benches, picnic tables, and a restroom which I have never investigated. I have often seen fathers bring their kids out here at 11:00 at night. There are often other dog walkers about. Tonight, no one else is out at this precise moment, although a number of cars passed. There are many street lights on.
I hesitate, then go ahead and let the dog lead me across the street so I am within earshot of Hasid. I know he can’t touch me anyway. I am now 3 feet away. This was when Hasid asks me for the time. I say I don’t know and show him I have no watch.
Hasid: Oh ok. Um, you wanna have fun?
Hasid: No, you don’t want to have fun?
Hasid: Oh, ok. (hesitates, then quickly) You know where I can get some fun?
Me (shrugging): There is a bar up Montrose a few blocks.
Hasid: Oh. I can find some fun there?
Me (corralling dog): Maybe.
This is when my dog suddenly looks up from sniffing other dogs’ pee. He notices my potential suitor and takes two steps towards him. Hasid lurches back in reflexive terror. Dog, who thinks everyone must be his friend, looks at Hasid, perplexed. I begin to lead dog away from the scene of potential fun, averting my gaze. Just before I’m out of appropriate communication distance, me makes his final offer:
Not even for money, you don’t want to have fun?
I begin to lead dog briskly away, head still down. I am not frightened in the least. I am somewhat amused, but would like to end the conversation nonetheless. The Hasid stands a moment alone, puts his head down and then hurries back across Broadway with the urgency one usually has to get out of a cold, driving rain or perhaps as though pursued by invisible harpies. This is the exact opposite direction from the bar I told him about. I continue to walk my dog, chuckling to myself from time to time. I see occasional passersby. The dog is once again lost in checking his peemail, oblivious to the recent affront to his owner’s honor.
I dunno, this is pretty damn funny, but not as funny as the guy who was taking a piss on a tree right out in the open and shouting after me “God bless you, Mommy!” What do you think?
New York Shitty analysis: Ah, “East Williamsburg!”. If this chap wanted to have the kind of fun I think he was seeking he could have easily hopped on the G train, taken it the 21st Street in Long Island City and found him some. Dilettante. Then again, maybe he simply wanted a partner to play miniature golf with at The Bushwick Country Club. Alas, now we’ll never know.
I thought being detained by the police for being “a suspicious person” was pretty shitty. I have never, however, been mistaken for being a “working girl” and I take a certain amount of solace in this fact.
Maybe it was the dog?
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Anyone needing a pair of ankle boots or sneakers should head down to West and Noble Street.
As the above rhyming verse makes clear, serious footwear users need only inquire.
Filed under: Williamsburg
From Jackson Street in Williamsburg: one hungover cherub.
P.S.: Tomorrow I will more or less resume my usual number of posts. During the last two weeks I taken a break from writing and have put a (VERY) small dent in my “to read” pile. I am currently reading “Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice” by Julie Sze. Not surprisingly, Greenpoint/Williamsburg is one of the neighborhoods featured.
Last Sunday I read “Hack” (by Melissa Plaut) in one sitting. I strongly recommend this book. Among her many work-related anecdotes, Ms. Plaut recounts an incident on Greenpoint’s very own McGuinness Boulevard (pages 168-169) that required the attention of the 94th Precinct. And attention she got, sort of. Read it for yourself.