The Greenpoint Hotel, Part II: Meet Mrs. Edwards
No, I am not talking about the wife of certain Democratic presidential candidate. Rather, I speak of the lovely wife of the proprietor of the Edward’s Hotel (which we learned last week is now the infamous Greenpoint Hotel). Petty thievery is not the only amenity this hotel offers: if you are (mis)fortunate enough, you can also win a one-way trip to the pearly gates! Per an article entitled Cheap Rooms and ‘a Drug for Every Floor‘ from the January 1st, 2006 edition of the New York Times:
Even as flophouses go, the Greenpoint Hotel has an unenviable distinction. According to a motion for foreclosure that federal prosecutors filed last month, the hotel has decayed in recent years into one of the most dangerous S.R.O.’s in the city, a Brooklyn version of Manhattan’s notorious Kenmore Hotel, where drug dealers and prostitutes ruled until a federal takeover in 1994.
About 20 deaths have occurred in the Greenpoint Hotel since 1998. Most of these were due to drug overdoses, but at least one was a drug-related murder, according to the motion filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn by the office of the United States attorney, Rosalynn R. Mauskopf.
Drugs may very well be the vehicle of choice for rendering one’s person deceased there nowadays, but back in 1894 casting an amorous glance towards Silas C. Edwards (the proprietor and namesake of the Edward’s Hotel) would have been equally effective. Mrs. Edwards was apparently a woman to be contended with— what’s more, she had a jealous streak a mile wide. Fortunately the recipient of her wrath lived to tell about. From the December 4, 1894 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle I give you a tale of broken hearts, a broken leg and… broken crockery!?!
As the previously mentioned New York Times article noted the Greenpoint Hotel now sports:
…nearly 200 rooms, crammed into a maze-like four-story structure… typewritten signs ask residents to refrain throwing bottles of urine out the windows. (A quick inspection of the neighboring backyards suggests the request has frequently gone unheeded.)
One hundred years may have elapsed since Mrs. Edwards (allegedly) flung this woman and her chamber pot out the window, but little else has changed. Inasmuch as the times have changed, everything remains more or less the same. One man’s 45 ounce bottle of malt liquor is another man’s pissoir; life was much more civilized back then.*
*This is sarcasm.
P.S.: I’d like to give a shout-out to all the folks who braved the crappy weather and went on yesterday’s tour of Greenpoint. If my writing about the Garden Spot has motived so much as one reader of this blog to take a genuine interest in the future of this great neighborhood, I consider it time well spent. Thanks!