I have been asked on occasion exactly what constitutes a “Fedders building”. Even after several months of featuring Fedders Friday here on New York Shitty I have difficulty coming up with a satisfactory answer. It is a highly intuitive process, but I will attempt to put my criteria in writing here and now.
A. It must be a building whose aesthetic concerns have been completely subjugated to the utilitarian. In other words, it must be ugly.
B. It must employ two or more of the following:
- Exposed electrical meters
- Exposed gutters
- Large quantities of concrete
- A decided preference for parking over plant life
C. Fedders air conditioner boxes must be present.
Some have said that I have unfairly singled out the chaps at the Fedders corporation when doling out the dubious distinction that is Fedders Friday. Here is my rebuttal:
All buildings which feature Fedders boxes do not automatically qualify as candidates for Fedders fame. It takes a special mixture of the above-listed points to make the cut. The previous having been said, I have noticed there is a strong relationship between hideous outer borough architecture and the presence of Fedders boxes. Not unlike how a special guest speaker at a Psych of Sexuality class in college corrected an errant classmate of mine so many years ago:
While most lesbians are feminists, not all feminists are lesbians*.
The same goes for Fedders. The product seems to attract developers who espouse a certain philosophy to home building: build ‘em cheap, ugly and as quickly as possible. It should also be noted that I did in the interest of parity try to launch a feature called Friedrichs Thursdays. But experience has proven that buildings sporting Friedrichs air conditioning boxes (on a visual level, anyway) are a cut above their Fedders brethren. Until I walked by Union Avenue and Conselyea Street yesterday, that is.
This building is nothing new.
I have walked by it many times, tut-tutting over the exposed electrical meters and sheer quantity of poured concrete. I do have to applaud the builders for making this structure (somewhat) wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, lifts do not count for much when they are obstructed by bags of garbage.
But on Tuesday something struck me as being amiss. Something new had been added to this melange of the mediocre. Something— dare I say it— Fedders-worthy!
It has been retrofitted to have central air conditioning. BADLY.
Note the extensive use of foam sealant and thoughtful placement of the air conditioning units. I have little doubt the experience of sitting on these balconies will only become more pleasurable with the added value of being blasted with air conditioner exhaust.
But let’s get back to semantics. Since this building sports Friedrichs boxes it does not qualify to be featured on Fedders Friday. However, it does embody the spirit of the glory that is Fedderism. Therefore, I would like to give this masterpiece a very special award: The New York Shitty Award of Excellence In Abjectecture.
Way to go, guys! I’ll be hard-pressed to top this beauty later this week.
*Which probably explains why I get along with lesbians so well: I am a feminist!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
After listening to a city employee shout at her cohort Friday night on the Crosstown Local:
Hey, are you familiar with this stop? It stinks. It smells like (expletive) sewage or something! (Waving hand in front of nose) NASTY!
And learning about this missive on Craigslist I decided to head down to the Nassau Avenue stop of the G and see smell for myself. It was pretty bad. Even by Greenpoint standards. And before I continue, let me explain to you what the previous entails:
- Miss Heather leaving her apartment Tuesday, August 12, 2008: Smells like someone pissed behind our stoop again. Or was it the vestibule of our building? I can’t tell.
- Miss Heather on McGuinness Boulevard at Dupont Street, Monday, August 11, 2008: Gee, the sewage treatment plant is particularly ripe today.
- I have looked at (and occasionally stepped in) dog shit damned near every day for over two years.
- I have survived the McGolrick Park crapper of death.
Over the years I have developed a palette for stink. It comes with living in Greenpoint. Oenophiles often invoke terms such as “berrylike”, “astringent”, “citrusy”, “peppery”, “prickly” or “oxidized” to praise or pan the wines before them. I will endeavor to use some of their terminology to describe what I smelled at Nassau Avenue:
Descriptive of wines smells that have a rough, puckery taste. Usually can be attributed to high tannin content. Tannic astringency will normally decrease with age. However, sometimes the wine fails to outlive the tannin.
The initial impact of a wine smell. If not strong or flavorful, the wine is considered “feeble”. “Feeble” wines are sometimes encountered among those vinified in a year where late rain just before harvest diluted desirable grape content.
What I smelled was hardly feeble. In fact it was…
Powerful, attack aroma. Usually denotes high level of acidity, alcohol and/or other flavor faults. (Like piss and sewage— Ed. Note.)
with a hint of…
Smell of Hydrogen Sulfide gas in wine. Thought to be a characteristic imparted by certain yeast strains. A decided flaw.
Simply put, it was gross.
Much has been made of aromatherapy. Pleasing scents are purported to help healing. So Psychology Today says, anyway. What about aromaterrorism? Has anyone done any research as to what the effect foul odors have on one’s psyche? Probably, but I suspect this poster will suffice.
A mind soul is a terrible thing to waste.
Filed under: Area 51
After last weekend’s hommage I would like to go on the record and state that I had absolutely nothing to do with this (image to the left)*. For the full (funny and sort of creepy) story point and click your way over to Lost City.
Photo Credit: Lost City
*Among other things, I won’t go anywhere near 42nd Street and know that Ms. Streisand’s first name is spelled B-A-R-B-R-A. At a very tender age my parents acquainted me with what is now one of my very favorite films: What’s Up Doc?
This post goes out to the Judy Maxwell in all of us! What’s Up Doc? is hilarious in a Preston Sturges kind of way. It also happens to be Madeline Kahn’s film debut. As Eunice— the nickname Pa Heather and I have for Ma Heather. Do give this film a whirl— if for no other reason than to learn a little about Miss Heather’s family dynamics. You’ll laugh a lot. Be sure to check out the trailer as well. Very funny.
Filed under: Long Island City
From 21st Street.
A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.
The art work, titled “Complex S(expletive..)”, is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres (yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children’s home*, said museum director Juri Steiner. — Yahoo Canada
I knew there was a reason I liked Paul McCarthy so much in graduate school. I’d pay top dollar to see an encore performance at Carroll Park.
*Thanks for passing this along Flatbush “Big Shit Meet Little Shits” Gardener!
Photo Credit: Applelogen.be
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Very true. But a little compensation is always welcome.
Is it just me or has summer truly arrived here in New York Shitty? Sure the calender indicates this season arrived back in June and our weather has been unseasonably cool and wet— but I am not one to trifle with empirical data. I leave the crunching of dates and statistics to the experts.
Rather, I am talking about anger. Lots of it. The later the sun sets, the more surly people get. In the last week alone I have seen two people ripping someone a new asshole on Manhattan Avenue. The fact that the objects of their respective ire were not visible to the naked eye is immaterial. We New Yorkers undergo a transformation in summer. It’s not necessarily a pretty one either. Thankfully the city has seen fit to provide us with an ample amount of advertising to take the edge off.
Case In Point: The Visiting Nurse Service of New York
I am of the understanding that there is a lot of money to be made in advertising. Or at the very least a lot of money is spent on it. One would think that during their “focus group” session someone at this ad agency would have had the presence of mind to point out that thought-provoking, “worst case scenario” missives are lost on G train patrons.
Waiting for long periods of time at sewage stench-laden stations to ride what was recently deemed the filthiest subway line in the city predisposes one towards a certain kind of existentialist cynicism.
As does being forced to look at the 21st century’s solution to Jocelyn Wildenstein.
No sir, Ms. Dickinson’s heavily air brushed bod doesn’t sweeten the pot one bit.
What’s more, reminders that some of us might stand to lose a pound or two only pisses us off.
I quite aware that advertising sees fit to capitalize off the viewer’s vanity/insecurity. (That’s the only reason I can think of why someone has seen fit to market hair dye for pubic hair, anyway.) When one rides the G train such frippery goes straight out the window. Who cares about looking good (or having dignity for that matter) when he (or she) is doing his (or her) best not to throw up?
Think about it.
UPDATE: It looks like the folks at 23rd – Ely aren’t too big on Ms. Dickinson either.
P.S.: If any advertising/product placement wizards are reading this, give Greenpoint more Dexter posters. We seem to like those.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
After serving up free samples of soup last year and months of inactivity, something appears to be happening at 1013 Manhattan Avenue. Will Ichiran be opening for business soon? If so, will it be a ramen shop? I do not know. But this storefront has been open the last three days and signs of human activity have been noted. (Hell, they’ve even been checking their mail!)
Maybe they got wind of Sakura 6?
UPDATE: Check out this post on Williamsburg Is Dead. It looks like Ichiran will be gracing us with its presence. And soon!
Filed under: Williamsburg
While not on par with the “Jack Heights” advertising campaign, I thought this one (for 72 Steuben) was equally misguided. These have been popping up all over Williamsburg of late.
As it would happen I have been to Clinton Hill recently. It did not strike me as being the kind of place twenty-somethings who boost Colt 45 from bodegas and have a disquieting likeness to Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver* would call home.** There are too many people wearing sensible shoes and pushing strollers in Clinton Hill. I imagine their selection of malt liquor ain’t so hot either. Just a thought.
*Pre-rehab Britney Spears or a “before” picture from Faces of Meth —take your pick.
**This is a compliment.
Today I have made two efforts to get out of the house and take a walk. Both times I found myself hauling my ass back home in the rain. I guess it is just not in the cards for me to go out today.
To alleviate my boredom I have tried— really tried— to spend my time productively. Over the last hour IÂ have fired up the dishwasher, bagged recyclables and even made preparations to vacuum the floor. The bugger is being productive is dull as dishwater. What’s more, I had a creative itch to scratch. Not wanting to bother cleaning this up so I would have a work surface, I decided to venture around the block. It didn’t take long for me to find inspiration.
This piece is entitled “Orphans”.
When I got done I noticed I had an extra leg, so I said “What the hell?”. Waste not, want not.
Surprisingly enough, it didn’t take much time for my petit opus to garner attention. This man not only stopped and looked at it, but he also took several photographs of it with his cell phone.
Back to bagging up trash.