New York Shitty Day Starter: A Vintage Siding Slice*

Today I had a moment.

I announced to Mr. Heather when he arrived home from work yesterday.

To wit he replied:

Good or bad?

Good… I think. Although it could be proof I have lived in Greenpoint WAY too long— or my aluminum siding fixation has turned me into an idiot savant of siding.

I replied. Curiosity piqued, the Mister wanted to know more. And I told him.

Well today I found a photo album at the junk shop. Naturally I went through it. (You would not believe the “Kodak moments” I have found at the junk shop dating from the pre-digital age whose subject matter is of such an intimate nature I honestly can’t imagine entrusting it to your local 24 hour photo to develop. But clearly quite a few people did just this. Over the last several years I have amassed quite a collection. Probably enough to start a blog whose sole purpose is to showcase them. Seriously. But back to the subject of this post: my moment. — Ed. Note.)  I quickly deduced the contents were taken in New York City.


This one hit pretty close to home: Queensboro Plaza circa 1982. I dug around some more and found this.


I showed the above image to Mister Heather:

I knew where this was instantly. It’s in Greenpoint. I identified it by the siding.

Huron Street, Greenpoint, circa 1982 meet Greenpoint 2009.


Very little has changed.


There are sunflowers. Which I adore.

west at india ca 1982

And Bloomblight, which I deplore. This photograph was taken at West Street around India Street. Very little of what you see in the above photograph remains nowadays— including the people. It’s a bunch of derelict development sites.

But we have a mural!



It’s particularly fetching when the DOS truck sweeps it up.


The beach (soccer? volley?) ball caught in concertina wire makes this locale ever more inviting. That’s probably why no onesave the beneficiaries of this project– wants to hang out there. It’s good P.R. for politicos, bad policy for citizens.


The above photograph, taken in the 1980,’s is prima facie evidence that Greenpointers had waterfront access— as humble as it was— before the 2005 re-zone. Now we have barbed wire fences. And self-elected intermediaries.

Miss Heather

*This is dedicated to Kevin Walsh of Forgotten New York. Whose “slices”, writings, rants, and person have enriched my life— and inspired me to start this “blog”. This lovable curmudgeon happens to have a birthday this month. Why not send him your regards?

P.S.: The India Street park is being built atop the existing asphalt so as to avoid DEP soil tests. I wonder if Dean Palin, when he razes this mural to build his 40 story testament to folly will test this site for pcbs, etc.?


3 Comments on New York Shitty Day Starter: A Vintage Siding Slice*

  1. xdx on Sat, 15th Aug 2009 4:38 pm
  2. if i ever get organized. .and unpack.. ill send you fotos from greenpoints past. and you will see very very little has changed.. and frankly i think its for the best.

  3. richardk on Sat, 15th Aug 2009 9:21 pm
  4. Conclusive proof that, over a period of 27 years, yellow vinyl siding turns green. How do they make it do that?

  5. bestviewinbrooklyn on Sun, 23rd Aug 2009 4:42 pm
  6. I’m kinda still blown away that you were able to pick it out. I also have to admit that I like the modern-day blue more than the orange on the stoop.

    Old photographs are the new cable entertainment.

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