Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
From Manhattan Avenue.
*Where last Friday night I spied a fresh-faced young woman brandishing a notepad interviewing a few of the residents in the vestibule.
This image was generous provided by New York Shitty reader (and former Pastor of the Greenpoint Reformed Church), Bodmin. He writes:
I developed the film on Thursday, 15 December; it was probably shot either that afternoon, or on the 12th or 13th. The image is absolutely straight; I never manipulate, except in traditional terms like choosing when to shoot. I’d cased the location after seeing it used in Midnight Cowboy and Shaft (Shaft II, I think); when I saw the sky that afternoon I knew it was now or never for this shot, hopped in my car and drove over the Greenpoint Bridge and got it, somewhere between 4 and 4:30, as the sun set through the magenta murk. It became part of my Cemetery Series, which was put together as a personal memorial to a friend and fellow Greenpoint photographer, Bill Vetel, in that first wave of artists in the 1970s, who had rebuilt an old flophouse down on the block of Greenpoint Avenue between West and the pier/radio mast, and who had died of a heart attack at age 43 earlier in 1983. It kind of shook me; I was the last person to have seen him alive, and he was the first person more or less my own age to go.
Firstly, I would like to thank Bodmin for sharing this lovely image with us. It should also be noted that Bill Vetell’s widow, Barbara, is alive, well and very active in matters of Greenpoint interest. Including Friends of Transmitter Park!
Anyone who lives in North Brooklyn will tell you its streets are a treasure trove of interesting stuff. Just take this splendid example from Huron Street.
No, I am not talking about the discarded copy of Harlan Coben’s Gone For Good my intrepid Greenpointers. It is of the wooden box I write!
I didn’t know our fair city did curbside recycling for ordnance. Before you grab your respective telephones and get your Department of Homeland Security on dear readers be advised that there were no explosive projectiles in this container: only a few scraps from a metal frame.
Alas, there will be no revolution in the Garden Spot. Or it has already begun. In which case I suppose there really isn’t much we can do about it except wait for Big Bertha to be rolled out by the Greenpoint People’s Liberation Army (or some similarly guerilla-ish sounding movement).
Greenpoint never ceases to amaze me with its little surprises. After finding the above item I (foolishly) thought to myself:
It’s not going to get any more interesting than this.
Then I sojourned down to South 3rd Street and was proven wrong. Very wrong.
Even though this smiling little fella was unceremoniously crammed into a bucket of grout I knew what laid before me.
Behold the Southside inflatable schlong! In keeping with my mission to save the world’s (or at least Brooklyn’s) stray adult novelty population* I promptly snatched this little critter up and (being all too aware of the possible risk of bringing some unwanted friends home) I (as I have done with all penises I have brought home before) subjected him to a rigorous inspection. He passed with flying colors and we headed home.
A rather elderly Orthodox gentleman didn’t seem to be very pleased when I hopped on board with my new, 24″ (deflated— but circumsized!) friend. But that’s what I love about America; he can worship in the manner his conscious suits him without fear of persecution and I can ride the B61 with an inflatable penis.
I’m not too sure what I am going to do with my new penis other than give him a thorough soaking in a solution of 3 parts water and one part Clorox. After which I will probably introduce him to the “the girls“. Slowly. I suspect they’ll get along smashingly.
*I was recently given a new batch of abandoned marital aids in need of rehabiliation and some TLC. Stay tuned!
I have a confession to make: I despise the holiday season. Not only are the days too damned short (Sunset at 4:30 p.m.? Is this really necessary?) but the reason for the season seems to be lost on most. Instead of being kind to their fellow man and lending a hand to those less fortunate than themselves many of our fellow New Yorkers are quibbling over who will purchase that last widescreen television, electronic gizmo (that will undoubtedly be obsolete in a year) or trampling some hapless temp at Walmart. In other words acting like class “A” certified assholes. And some Americans have the temerity to wonder why the rest of the world hates us? But I digress.
Fortunately this upcoming weekend there will be an event for people like myself: Monster Island’s 7th Annual Holly Jolly Sabbath.Those of you who are angry, tired, wanting this Christmas thing to be over already and are Black Sabbath fans (like myself) here are the rules.
There is no mention as to whether Ronnie James Dio “Sabbath” will be included in this event. I certainly hope not. I’m an Ozzy gal 100%!
Holly Jolly Sabbath
December 21, 2008 (no time indicated, but I am certain the later you show up the more interesting it will be)
Metropolitan Avenue between Kent Avenue and River Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211
For the record this post was writted while listening to “Crazy Train”.
Sunday was the first day in the better part of a week that the weather was not absolutely miserable so I decided to take a “short walk”. This “short walk” (It was a very beautiful day yesterday after all.) gradually evolved into a trek from Greenpoint to Flushing Avenue. Tired, I decided to take the G train home from Metropolitan. The intersection of South 2nd, Hewes Street and Union Avenue is where I found “Lithuanian Square”.
Perhaps “found” isn’t the right word. “Rediscovered” might be more appropriate. I have walked by this park on a number of occasions. This time, however, I had the time and inclination to see what this monument is about.
“Lithuanian Square” as it is called (and for the record it is shaped more like a triangle but I’m not going to argue semantics) was created in 1935 (the monument came later in 1957) to commemorate the 1933 trans-Atlantic flight of Stephen Darius and Stanley Girenas —Lithuanian immigrants both— from Floyd Bennett Field in New York City to Kaunas, Lithuania. This in and of itself seemed interesting enough (especially to yours truly who is part Lithuanian*) until I got home and did a little research. That’s when I learned this monument is in fact only half correct: Mr. Darius and Mr. Girenas did make it across the Atlantic Ocean in an aircraft they christened (patriotically, if not very imaginatively) the “Lituanica“. They did not, however, make it to Kaunas. Their airplane crashed 400 miles short of its destination in what is now Pszczelnik, Poland. They died instantly.
Despite the grim outcome of the Lituanica’s quest, the story behind it is a fascinating and uplifting (no pun intended) tale. Unlike Richard Branson, Darius’s and Girenas’s intercontinental jaunt was very much a grassroots effort. As you will learn from this article in the July 18, 1933 edition of the New York Times. LinksminkitÄ—s!
For those of you who are wondering, two years later another Lithuanian made a jaunt across the Atlantic Ocean. His name was Feliksas Vaitkus, the year of his flight was 1935 and he too did not complete his itinerary as planned: instead of making it to Kaunas, his craft crashed in Ireland. Mr. Vaitkus, however, was lucky enough to walk away. He was the sixth person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an aircraft.
*As my Polish friends here (upon seeing my surname) in Greenpoint like to remind me. No worries, they’re very nice about it. They reserve their rancor for Russians and Ukrainians.
From Union Avenue.
The one thing I find myself marveling over from time to time are the articles some people consider worth stealing. I’m not talking about iPods, cell phones, bicycles or other items that can be filched and fenced in a snap for cash. Rather, I am talking about items of a more esoteric (and less valuable) nature. To better illustrate what I am talking about follow are a few things that your fellow Greenpointers have attempted (and on occasion succeeded) to pinch from the junk shop:
- Lace hankerchiefs
- An issue of Architectural Digest
- A box of Christmas lights
- A dozen or so old photographs
- An ashtray and my personal favorite…
- A bookcase (When questioned as to why he was carrying a bookcase clearly priced at $60.00 down the street our inventive thief said that he thought that since it was on the sidewalk it was free. No kidding.)
The above-listed point number six brings me to another aspect of the petty chiseler’s chicanery: the utter ridiculousness of some of the ruses they use in order to get something for nothing. For example, The Thing recently got a number of boxes of old Christmas ornaments. Each box contained nine ornaments. In their naivete the price was established at $3.00 a box. Little did the management realize that he had made a substantial error. This was discovered soon enough. I know this because I had the pleasure of bringing it to the Manager’s attention via a customer who had managed to stuff one such box with as many ornaments as it could possibly contain. And then a few. Mind you, no trouble was taken to fill this vessel with similar merchandise. Hands down this was the most simple-minded, flagrant and yes, insulting, attempt at duplicity I have ever experienced.
I cannot wrap my head around the trouble some take to steal something whose value is (for all intensive purposes) negligible. If time is indeed money wouldn’t it be better to pay the asking price of $6.00 for a selection of merchandise instead of haggling incessantly or stealing? Perhaps this is where I am making my mistake; I am employing reason. Which brings me to the purpose of and image gracing this post. This grocery store is called Sunac Food and it is located on Union Avenue just a hop-skip away from the L and G trains.
Let’s play petty thief for a minute. If you were to steal something would you:
- Do so where large numbers of police are present?
- Do it a stone’s throw from your employer while wearing your uniform?
- Elect to boost a single can of Red Bull?
If you are a certain employee of MTA the answer for all the above questions is (albeit allegedly): YES. Yesterday I popped into Sunac Food to purchase a few groceries before hopping on the G train. As I negotiated my way into the store their rogue’s gallery caught my eye.
and my jaw dropped. Lest you are having trouble reading the above missive, here it is:
This shows you that you NEVER trust any city employee. She works for the MTA and had her uniform on when she decided to steal Redbull. She must have been working overtime. If you see her call 911 for trespassing.
Naturally they have documentation of the purloined beverage in question as well.
I don’t know about you, but as a G trainer this act of theft casts the cutting-service-while-raising-fares ploy by the MTA in an sinister new light. Our providers of rapid transit are not interested in balancing their budget: they’re creating a slush fund for the acquisition caffeine-laden energy drinks!
From Conselyea Street.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
What is “River Ballel” going to be, you ask? My greenhorn Greenpointer, the answer should be obvious: another bar eating and drinking establishment.
River Ballel (Barrel?)
160 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222
Opening Date: T.B.A.
For those of you who are keeping track this brings the total number of bars on Franklin Street back up seven. The Lost & Found Bar closed recently.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Last year this fella only sported a pair of antlers. I have to say the addition of the golden tinsel is an inspired touch. But how could I honestly expect anything less from a person whose Halloween decorations included dismembered dolls and Teletubbies?