From Grattan Street.
Filed under: Bronx
As I have mentioned previously after checking out my old digs in Morris Park the Mister and I headed to Little Italy. Initially we attempted to do so on foot and ended up at the Bronx Zoo. We backpedaled and decided to let the BX 12 bus do the walking for us. If anyone from Not For Tourists is reading this could you please publish a Bronx guide? I am making this recommendation because although I enjoyed our (not so) little detour tremendously the fact of the matter is my feet most decidedly did not. I learned this the following day. But I digress.
For the previous reason today’s slide show will be a mixed bag. It includes not only photographs of Little Italy, but also Pelham Parkway, Boston Road and several other thoroughfares we happened to find ourselves. Before we proceed I am going to share some highlights from our journey.
I found this lovely old call box on Pelham Parkway outside one of the many Art Deco apartment buildings to be found there. They simply do not make them like this anymore. What’s more, this piece of public property sports one of the most cryptic missives I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
You took a pic of me with a diture camara to wash me and love 1 ones.
Uh-huh. Methinks somewhere in 10462 walks a budding e. e. cummings. Armed with a felt tip marker and unencumbered spellchecker.
The first thing that struck me about “Little Italy” was the presence of a rather sizable Albanian community. This first came to my attention when I spied one of the following piece of religious kitsch.
A clock featuring Mother Theresa praying over a solitary Albanian rose. Not having enough weird crap cluttering up our home I went inside to inquire about this item. I suspect my enthusiasm made me suspect in the shopkeeper’s eyes. He stated it was sun damaged and refused to sell it to me. However, I think he was impressed that I was able to identify a portrait of King Zog. Why would I— not being Albanian— even know who King Zog is, you ask? Well, for starters:
- I read a lot.
- Any country which brought us Enver Hoxha and his manifold contributions to the field of architecture is of particular interest to yours truly. As far as I’m concerned Karl Fischer wouldn’t have a pot to piss in if it were not for this man.
- Anyone named “Zog” is most assuredly someone I will make it a point to know about.
It was also on Arthur Avenue where I found what is easily the most stunning urban gravestone I have beheld to this day.
This bad boy needs to be seen to be believed folks. Simply amazing.
In addition to Albanians this neighborhood also sports a rather sizable Latino community. It was in one bodega on Hughes Avenue that I found the above assortment of pinatas…
and this fragrant assortment of sweets. Before you get the urge to make cruller run I feel compelled to share with you one of the most effective advertising campaigns for weight loss ever concocted.
It hails from this unisex salon on Crescent Avenue…
and is anything but sexy.
I could go on and on about the many interesting things I saw on Arthur Avenue and beyond but I have written far too much already. Instead I’ll leave you with this slide show. Enjoy!
This concludes our virtual tour of the Bronx. Now if you don’t mind I am off to explore the wilderness of north Brooklyn!
Filed under: Williamsburg
From the intersection of North 11 Street and Kent Avenue.
Filed under: Bronx
As I mentioned yesterday after our jaunt to Morris Park we headed over to Little Italy/Fordham. Sort of. You see, we did not know where we were going. At one point we ended up at the Bronx Zoo. We got out via a street called Boston Road which is where I found the following.
I got a big chuckle out of this sign.
Especially since someone was parked in the spot in question and had not been towed.
Then I noticed who the presided over this establishment was and abruptly stopped laughing.
None other than the king of kings himself. This begs the question as to why he is trifling with a towing company. Why not give dear old dad a ring and have that S.U.V. turned into a much more eco-friendly pillar of salt?
No amount of ticketing or towing is going to deter the drivers of our fair city, whether they man two wheels or four, from behaving like selfish assholes. But if one (hint, hint) were to go Old Testament on their asses things might— just might— change.
From Manhattan Avenue.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Tony writes at 5:39 p.m.:
an apparent blown manhole cover in front of chopin chemists on manhattan ave. ten min. ago i heards a boom and the lights dimmed and flickered. it appears that no one was hurt.
To wit I replied:
I tell you when the CHUDs finally decide to come above ground here is where they’re going to do it. What’s more, no one will notice!
Another reader named David noticed today’s excitement. What’s more he took photographs. He writes at 6:13 p.m.:
maybe 20 mins ago or so.Â from my vantage point it seems a manhole explosion.Â police/fire response was quick, under 5 min.
Filed under: Bronx
You know what they say: you can’t go home again. This is probably why yesterday’s trip back to my first digs in New York City didn’t affect me too much: it never really felt like home. This is not to suggest I do not like Morris Park. I do very much. I simply elected to live somewhere else.
The one thing that blew Mister Heather away was how nice this neighborhood is. This is not your grandmother’s Bronx. Or perhaps the argument could be made that it is: roses can be found in almost every front yard, trees provide ample shade and, save the odd stoop-side chat or radio playing, it is eerily quiet.
What surprised me was how little Morris Park has changed over the years. Sure,Â there’s a new Dunkin Donuts on Morris Park Avenue but all (or at least most) of the mom and pop businesses were still there. As a matter of fact, Patricia’s (which serves some of the most amazing Italian food you’ll ever eat— including a dish called spaghetti alla Frank Sinatra) was not only still around— but it was expanding!
I suppose you could say that what north Brooklyn lacks— or what some are endeavoring so hard to eradicate here— Morris Park has in abundance. It is in every conceivable sense a working class community. This probably why I find this neighborhood so interesting. Follows is a slide show I have assembled of my favorite photographs from this day trip. Not only do these images illustrate what I am talking about but I have to confess I am very pleased with a number of them. Enjoy!
Tomorrow we will continue our virtual trip to the Bronx by checking out Little Italy!
You know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from New York Shitty
Nice and easy
But there’s just one thing
You see, I never ever do nothing
Nice and easy
I always do it nice and rough
So I’m gonna take the beginning of this post
And do it easy
Then I’m gonna do the finish rough
This is the way I do lost cat named Tina Turner proud!
This weekend I had dinner with some good friends of mine at Casanova Restaurant. Located on the Garden Spot of the Universe’s answer to the Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es (READ: 388 McGuinness Boulevard), it has been my observation that many will not give this sorely underrated eating and drinking establishment a whirl. This is a shame: the food is good, the price is right, the service gracious, the wait staff courteous and the rear dining room is fabulously decadent.
What does my previous effusive endorsement of an Italian restaurant have to do with a lost cat, you ask? My answer is very simple: pleasant surroundings are conducive to enjoyable conversations. And enjoyable conversation was the main course this particular evening. Upon hearing one person’s encounter with a “rat-sized” tea cup chihuahua named “Vinny” we aired our respective opinions about pet names. One person present said he was amused by pets who have “human” names ( “Vinny”).
I told him I found pets named after inanimate objects fascinating. Especially food: “Tortilla”, “Chocolate”, “Pickles” (who I was told was dumber than a bag of hammers) and Uni, my very own calico, are examples to name a few. When I adopted Uni from her college student “parents” (who were, not surprisingly, Japanese) they said I could change her name. I didn’t want to: it suited her purrrfectly.
For better or worse what we are trained to answer to is not our decision to make. Speaking for myself my mother picked “Heather” for me because she thought it was “unique”. 30-odd years of hindsight (and being mistaken for any one of another “Heathers”) proved her wrong. But I digress.
What’s in a name? Well, in this case, quite a bit.
If anyone has seen Miss Turner please contact her person at the above-listed phone number or email address. And before you judge this pet owner for his choice of pet names I’d like to remind you I have a cat named Frances. As in Frances Farmer.
She has always been “cantankerous”, this I will confess. Shortly after I had her spayed— 15 years ago— I decided to go out of town for the weekend. When I came back home she hissed at me, climbed atop my pile of laundry, looked me in the eye and took a shit. As a senior kittizen she has slowed down considerably— but Miss Frances (AKA: “Stinky”) gets her digs in when she feels like: two weeks ago she pissed on Mister Heather’s head. While he was sleeping, no less.
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet?
— Williams Shakespeare
Filed under: Bronx
I mentioned previously the Mister and I were going to revisit my introduction to New York City: Morris Park, 10461. This we did. And in so doing we walked by one of my favorite contradictions: Peace Plaza.
“Peace Plaza” hosts a number of monuments to those who have fallen in war. World I, World II, the Vietnam “conflict”, Gulf War 1.0 and the terrorist attack on New York City are all commemorated. But among the previous memorials the following is by far my favorite:
How many war monuments in New York City do you know of that employ a term occasionally (but not usually) used in reference to a female dog?* You can leave it to the Bronx and good ol’ L.B.J. to “keep it real”.
*This is not to suggest I am offended by this. I find it amusing.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
As you may be aware, your property is locateed within an area designated to be rezoned by the Department of City Planning and the City Council in the next few months. This rezoning, which includes restrictions on building size, will have a significant impact on your property (Investment) and will have an impact on your rate of return.
New York laws provide affected property owners with only a limited time to protest these changes. We encourage you to participate in the public hearing on Wednesday JUNE 3, 2009 @ 10AM at Spector Hall located at 22 Reade Street New York, New York.
Go the to the following web sites for more information:
These zoning changes come 3-4 years far too late. Please, come and make a difference.
Protect you retirement investment.
Speaking as someone who thinks the previously mentioned proposed “downzone” doesn’t go far enough I’d love to know who the “we” behind this flier is! Somehow I can’t shake the feeling this missive was not the product of some local mom and pop landowner.