Greenpoint De-gentrification Watch: Six of Spades
Filed under: 11222, Advanced Life Forms, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic
Today I walked to the junk shop with a pervasive sense of dread. Larry da Junkman needed to run an errand and I was to preside over the establishment for a little while. This does not happen very often, but I have been “manager” there enough times to know something really weird will happen. This neighborhood’s more— how should we say— special denizens seem to have a sixth sense as to when I will be the ringleader of the circus that is 1001 Manhattan Avenue. Not unlike cicadas they spend most of their time in a dormant state. That, is until I am left to manage the store. Then it’s time to spring forth from their little chrysalises and herald the coming of Greenpoint glory to yours truly. Today was no exception.
Shortly after concluding a spirited debate about Greenpoint gentrification with my co-worker John (he said Greenpoint has lost its magic)Â and I (who vehemently disagreed) were greeted by a rather jovial old fellow. He asked John if he “worked here” and John said “yes”. That was easy enough; the stereo was playing bluegrass and everything seemed to be alright in the Garden Spot of the Universe. Seemed. Then this chap started tap dancing. Being amused (because it was amusing) we laughed and went back to work. And he went back to shopping.
It didn’t take this man (who I have named Mr. Six of Spades) long to find what he was looking for: a solitary nudie playing card. The six of spades. It was not a cutesy one like the one gracing this post. This one was of Russian origin and, um, more “explicit”. Someone had inscribed “To Max” on the back in ball point pen. He must have been a very special guy to deserve this.
How much this?
Mister Six asked. I, throwing etiquette aside, answered a question with a question:
You want to buy this playing card?
Mister Six answered to the affirmative and I called John over:
You’re a man, what’s the price for one naked lady playing card?
He gave me a WTF look and said:
Twenty five cents.
Mister Six rummages through his pocket and pulls out (I am not making this up): two pennies and a button. This was his “counter-offer”. I stood firm:
Listen, this card is 25 cents. That’s a bargain. We charge a dollar for the trumps.
With this, lo and behold, a crisp new dollar came out of his pocket! I made change and with a “god bless you” Mister Six of Spades was on his way to, I would presume, enjoy an evening of solitaire.
I said pointing at the front door. He nodded.
…is why Greenpoint will NEVER be Park Slope.
We spent the next five minutes working in silence trying to comprehend what the fuck just happened.