New York Shitty Day Ender: People In My Neighborhood
Today was a red letter day for yours truly here in the Garden Spot of the Universe. My morning kicked off on a less than auspicious note. After being awakened by Con-Ed tearing up the street in front of my apartment dazed, and more than a little confused, I mistook a bottle of depilatory for sunblock. Luckily I discovered my error quickly enough that I didn’t go blind or end up looking like this.
Nonetheless the utter stupidity of my mistake (and the din outside my living room window) put me in a very shitty mood. When queried by my buddy Larry da Junkman as to how I was doing— unlike many people who ask how you’re doing (in the expectation of the perfunctory “good”, “great” or “how are you”)— Larry actually cares. I told him the ugly truth:
I have been forced to listen to my street being jack hammered for six hours straight while waiting for Verizon to repair our Internet line. They never came. I am in a rotten mood and I’m going for walk.
That’s what I love about New York City; if you want to be left the hell alone you don’t seclude yourself in your home like Howard Hughes, you go out. Barring being run over by a car you can rest assured no one will trouble you with small talk or other time-consuming (and soul-sucking) banalities. Hell, even if you are run over by a car the odds are pretty people will probably leave you alone. For a city where privacy is pretty much a hit or miss affair New Yorker’s are very respectful of each others need to be alone with one’s own thoughts. But I digress.
Perhaps it was the brief glimpse of sunshine this afternoon or my choice of apparel: gray pants, gray thermal top and Mao hat— gray— but my quest for solitude did not happen. Quite to the contrary: a number of gentleman were quite eager to make my acquaintance. I suppose it just goes to show how misguided some women here are in regards to their personal appearance. When it comes to attracting the opposite sex in Greenpoint, chuck the glam and look like a very dour, pissed off one woman cultural revolution waiting to happen instead.
Then again my taste in men has always been a bit eccentric. Just ask my husband. On that note here are a couple of wonderful chaps I met while knocking around the Garden Spot of the Universe while trying to be alone.
Location: Monitor Street
I’ve featured Joe on New York Shitty before. He’s a regular at McGolrick Park, playing Hank Williams and Johnny Cash songs for the enjoyment or apathy of fellow park goers. Today we met, talked country and western music and he played a few songs for me. Here are a couple selections. Enjoy!
Joe seemed to be surprised I knew who Hank Williams was. Once I told him I was born in Waco, Texas he seemed to understand. We discussed Hank Williams II and III. Joe saw the latter on North 6th Street once and came away nonplussed:
Hell, I sing Hank’s songs better than he did! You gotta put heart into them.
If you happen upon Joe at McGolrick Park ask him to play “Folsom Prison Blues”. It is totally worth the lengthy and very informative and enjoyable discussion you will have with him afterward. Joe has an encyclopedic (and thoroughly fascinating) grasp of music and life in general. What’s more, Joe is a sweetheart who happens to live on one of my favorite thoroughfares: McGuinness Boulevard.
Location: Leonard Street just south of Greenpoint Avenue
You can imagine my shock and delight when I crossed paths with the man who gave D.I. Fulton an earful at last month’s 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting. Eddie was kicking back on Leonard Street enjoying a ciggie and a brewski with Coco (as in Coco Chanel— he was very adamant that her namesake be known) when he saw me taking a photograph of 157 Greenpoint Avenue* (which is pretty craptastic— and for rent!). He exclaimed:
Take a picture of my dog!
Not wishing to incur Eddie’s now legendary wrath I gladly obliged. What followed was a conversation in the purest academic sense of the word.
You do not argue with the Plato of Greenpoint. You sit down, shut the fuck up and listen. And today at 6:00 p.m. I was his eager pupil— or captive— take your pick. I was his Aristotle albeit without a bottle. Not that I needed one: Eddie had a 24 ounce can of Budweiser which he had been clearly nursing for some time.
Jesus, the King of Kings, can shill wine as much as he wants. This is Greenpoint and the King of Beers is the power behind many a discourse here. My tutorial with Eddie was no exception. He said (while pointing at his chest):
I like the New York Rangers. They suck.
Who can argue with that?
Post Script: Lest any of you are wondering about the photograph gracing the beginning of this post it hails from the comatose Pencil Factory Condos. The chap in said photograph, a teacher, decided to start getting in shape for the summer by doing a few chin-ups on their sidewalk shed. He opined:
People pay $70.00 month for a gym and never go.
The world is your gym. Be it spelled G-Y-M or G-E-M. It’s yours. I like that. What’s more, I for one am glad to see you’re putting this sidewalk shed to good use. It’s not like they’re using it or anything.
*The headquarters for Women For Yassky run by one Susan Anderson of Anderson Capital Management. If this name sounds familiar, fellow Greenpointers, it is because this woman heads the org “Town Square” and surreptitiously let Exxon Mobil participate in and fund Earth Day celebrations at McCarren Park in 2008. She really got her panties in a wad when the (inevitable) protests came to pass.