Greenpoint De-gentrification Watch: Six of Spades

six of spadesToday 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)  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.

That, John…

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.

Miss Heather


9 Comments on Greenpoint De-gentrification Watch: Six of Spades

  1. rowan on Fri, 13th Nov 2009 4:37 pm
  2. well it is cheaper than buying a magazine

  3. Xris (Flatbush Gardener) on Fri, 13th Nov 2009 5:44 pm
  4. Cicadas aren’t really dormant. They spend years underground, suckling at roots.

  5. missheather on Fri, 13th Nov 2009 5:45 pm
  6. So, I would imagine, did Mr. Six of Spades.

  7. missheather on Fri, 13th Nov 2009 6:10 pm
  8. One need also consider the portability factor, Rowan. Mister Six can tuck this bad boy in his wallet and sneak off on his coffee break for a low key tryst in the executive washroom!

  9. rowan on Fri, 13th Nov 2009 6:37 pm
  10. duly noted, heather. the inexpensiveness AND the portability make this card a wise purchase for relief-on-the-go.

  11. Tony From Kent Street on Sat, 14th Nov 2009 2:12 pm
  12. sorry to hear your co-worker has lost the magic of greenpoint, does he not know of this website?

  13. missheather on Sat, 14th Nov 2009 3:59 pm
  14. He and I talked about this incident again today. Here’s our plan: we buy a nudie deck from Just For Fun (they cost about $2.00 methinks). We sell this guy a card a day for 52 days and we’ll make an eleven dollar profit!

  15. bitchcakes on Sat, 14th Nov 2009 7:36 pm
  16. That, right there, is proof positive that Greenpoint has certainly not lost its magic. It’s like all those awful Christmas specials where “Oh my gosh! Something terrible is interfering with Christmas – it’s going to be canceled!” And then the Christmas loving hero appears and *saves* Christmas. Mr Six of Spades was just that hero, appearing at the very moment John lost his faith in Christm… I mean Greenpoint. All can (tap) dance and rejoice again!

  17. missheather on Sat, 14th Nov 2009 11:58 pm
  18. This week I am going to purchase a nudie deck and put another card where that one was. It will be an anthropological experiment.

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