Subway Poster du Jour: More Fun With Janice

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

From the Smith – 9th bound platform at Greenpoint Avenue.

Miss Heather

Photo Credit: Mister Heather

Leonard Is Lost!

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Crazy Cat Lady, Greenpoint Magic 

Bob writes:

Our cat somehow escaped from my apartment in Greenpoint yesterday morning and we’re desperate to find him.  Would you be able to post something on your blog?  His name is Leonard and he disappeared from our apartment on the south side of Milton Street, near Franklin.  We asked around and a couple people have told us that they saw him in the backyards between Milton and Noble, though one woman told us that she saw him on Noble Street, headed towards Manhattan (all sightings were last night, Weds 8/13).  He is an extremely large (though not fat or fluffy — he’s more big-boned and muscular) all-black cat with pretty green eyes.

This could describe a lot of cats, but Leonard’s distinguishing characteristic is his size — people have said that he looks like a black panther.  He’s very friendly, though, and he’s probably very scared right now, as he’s never really been outdoors before.  I’ve attached a picture, and anyone who sees him can contact me at rghammond (at) gmail (dot) com.  We’re offering a reward for anyone who finds him.

If you have seen Leonard please contact Bob immediately. Thanks!

Miss Heather

UPDATE August 15, 2008: Leonard has been found!

Hillary Clinton Says Superfund Us!

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

This comes courtesy of the Newtown Creek Alliance:

Senator Clinton Calls on EPA to Use Superfund Authority to Conduct Contamination Tests Along Newtown Creek

Clinton: Testing Is Necessary to Determine Whether Newtown Creek Should Be Placed on the National Priorities List

Washington, D.C. – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today urged the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its Superfund authority to conduct preliminary tests at four known hotspots along Newtown Creek, in New York City. In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, Senator Clinton raised concerns over the proximity and potentially harmful effects of hazardous substances regulated under the Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to New Yorkers living in communities along Newtown Creek.

“New Yorkers living in communities near Newtown Creek have suffered long enough,” said Senator Clinton.  “We know that there are dangerous chemicals in the soil, water and air at sites around Newtown Creek.  It’s time to put the resources of the Superfund program to work to conduct additional tests at known contamination hotspots to see whether a federal cleanup should go forward.

Senator Clinton is the Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health. In October, 2007 Senator Clinton held a hearing to examine the federal Superfund program’s capacity to protect public health and to investigate reasons for recent slowdowns in the pace at which sites are added and toxic waste sites are cleaned up under the program.

Here’s a copy of Senator Clinton’s letter to Administrator Johnson:

August 13, 2008

The Honorable Stephen L. Johnson


United States Environmental Protection Agency

Ariel Rios Building – 1101A

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20460

Dear Administrator Johnson:

I am writing to request that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), use its Superfund authority to conduct preliminary tests at four known hotspots along Newtown Creek, in New York City (Attachment A).

Newtown Creek, which borders Brooklyn and Queens, is well known as one of the most polluted industrial waterways in North America, where chemicals from factories along the bed of the Creek have seeped into the soil, sediment and water.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Office of the Attorney General have found evidence that certain hazardous substances regulated under CERCLA have been released at the Newtown Creek site (Attachment B).  It is time the federal Superfund program conduct the testing that is necessary to determine whether Newtown Creek should be on placed on the NPL list.  As the Chair of the Superfund and Environmental Health Subcommittee and a member of the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works Committee, it is of particular interest to me.

For years, the residents in the vicinity of Newtown Creek have been forced to live, work and play with toxic fumes in the air and contaminated water, soil and sediment on the ground.  This exposure has led to community concern about potential pockets of serious illness.  Superfund was established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites.  The factories responsible for much of the chemical contamination have long since closed and as the cleanup authority of last resort, I see the federal Superfund program as the most effective way to solve this longstanding problem once and for all.  The people of Newtown Creek have suffered long enough.

I appreciate your prompt attention and response to this matter.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. However, I am very pleased to learn she has thrown her support behind getting Newtown Creek the attention and remediation it so sorely deserves. Thanks Hill!*

Miss Heather

P.S.: Quick reminder, there will be a boat tour of Newtown Creek next month. Click here for more details. Seeing —and more importantly smelling— is believing. Trust me.

*I also LOVE these striped pants. Seriously.

A Cowboy In Greenpoint?!?

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

When one utters the word Greenpoint a great many things come to mind. “Little Poland”, a rather large oil spill, the eastern seaboard’s largest waste treatment plant, foul odors and the G train are all items— which for better or for worse— that are associated with the neighborhood I call home. And now you can add to the list cowboys. Yes, cowboys.

I bumped into Lenwood on Greenpoint Avenue today. Actually, I bumped into him twice. First on the south side of Greenpoint Avenue: I told him I loved his hat (because I did) and went on my merry way. Upon arriving back to the Garden Spot of the Universe three hours later I happened upon him again. This time on the south side of Greenpoint Avenue. My curiosity got the better of me so I struck up a conversation.

Miss Heather: So what’s the deal? Are you trying to take over the block or something?
Lenwood: (laughter) No, I’m just here for some film work. (comes closer, whispers) There are some very exciting things going on here. See that building across the street?
Miss Heather: Yes.
Lenwood: They’re going to be filming a television show over there. Lipstick Jungle. It has Brooke Shields in it, do you know who she is?
Miss Heather: Oh yes, I know who she is. They’ve been filming around here A LOT lately.
Lenwood: You should contact their central casting. Tell them you want to be an extra. You’ll earn $100 a day!
Miss Heather (laughing): Oh, no, no, no! I prefer to be behind the camera not in front of it. In fact, that’s what I have been doing today: taking pictures! You belong in front of the camera, not me. You have much more savoir faire than I do!
Lenwood: If you take pictures, why haven’t you taken one of me?
Miss Heather: I figured you wouldn’t want me to, so I didn’t ask.

Needless to say, Lenwood obliged. What’s more, he recommended that I take a picture of him posing in front of the Polonaise Terrace. I did. It was the best of the lot!

He was laughing when I took this photograph —as was I. I then asked him if he’d like me to send him a copy of the photographs I took. He politely declined stating that he will be “traveling soon”. (He is a cowboy after all!) My consolation prize was his business card.

I cannot honestly say I have seen many black cowboys in my 30-odd years of life in New York Shitty and beyond. Much less in Greenpoint— where people of color are slowly becoming a more and more common sight. But if I ever find myself organizing an event I will certainly give Lenwood a ring, he’s a sweetheart!

Miss Heather

THIS WEEKEND: Free/Cheap Spay & Neutering

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Crazy Cat Lady, Greenpoint Magic 

This Saturday, August 16, the ASPCA mobile veterinary clinic will be back at Petland Discounts providing cheap and/or expensive spay and neutering services.

Petland Discounts
846 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

For more details (including how you should prepare your pet for surgery) click here and you’ll be directed to the ASPCA’s web site.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Shhh!

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

George Diaz, self-professed bad ass and proprietor of Latino Laughter hams it up for the camera.

Although this is a couple years old I thought I’d leave you with this video showing Grenpoint’s one and only George in action. Enjoy!

Miss Heather

Williamburg Photo du Jour: Driggs Avenue

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit Signage, Williamsburg 

Madboyelroy (the chap who so kindly forwarded this missive) writes:

…i think it is one of the best ive ever seen, they are on the money thats for sure.

it seems williamsburg is just covered in dog waste. is it the city does not police as aggressively as they do in manhattan? why is williamsburg covered in dog shit but park slope and brooklyn heights are not???

Excellent question. Maybe their dogs don’t shit?

Miss Heather

My Trip To Jackson Heights

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Queens 

As I mentioned in this post, yesterday I accompanied some visiting friends of mine on a day trip Jackson Heights, Queens. Nary a hipster was to be found when I got off the train at 82nd Street. Rather, I was greeted by this anthropomorphic garbage can and a chap standing directly across from it. He promptly made a rumble in his throat and proceeded to hock up a loogie. “This is going to be interesting” I thought to myself. It was.

My guests are quite the bargain hunters. To this end we perused a number of shops for deals and steals. I found this store on 82nd incredibly amusing. When I hear the phrase “Live it… in leather!” the movie Top Gun does not come to mind. Although the “Iceman” did strike me as possibly having those kind of inclinations.

I’d pay good money to see Val Kilmer in this get up (located just across the street).

Back in graduate school I had to take a course on Constructivist art and architecture in Latin America. Rest assured this class was as boring— probably more so— than it sounds. Looking at architecture reminiscent of that hideous parking lot gracing Queens Plaza is no way to go through life. A classmate of mine agreed, so we’d bring in copies of the Village Voice and HX and review the personal ads. We were always fascinated by the sheer quantity of kinky adverts hailing from Queens. Ten years later on Roosevelt Avenue it all began to make sense.

Hell, even the culinary fare had a certain smuttiness to it.

I don’t think this requires any comment.

But as I stated earlier the purpose of our mission was to shop. And shop we did. This 99 Cent store (America’s 99 Cent Store) at the corner of 78 Street had some of the most interesting wares I have ever seen.

True to its name, patriotism was present.

What’s more American than dogs playing poker? Don’t everyone speak up at once.

And while you’re there, why not pick up a Chador Barbie backpack (or two) for the young ‘uns?

This brings a whole new meaning to the term “sniff test”. All in all, I had a terrific time in Jackson Heights.

I wish I knew about this before I eloped. It sounds intriguing.

But would I pack up and move to Jackson Heights? Probably not. It takes more than fruity underwear, leather men and the Kinng (as cool as he is) to make me feel at home. Some things money can’t buy. For those, I can always trust the G train to deliver.

When I arrived at Court Square the mighty Crosstown Local was waiting to whisk me back to the enchanted village of Greenpoint. Everything seemed normal. Until the train started moving, that is. As if someone had flicked a switch, the rather portly gentlemen across from me started talking. Thinking his conversation was directed to yours truly, I did my best to ignore him. It quickly become apparent I was not the object of his attention after he started rifling through the Chinese laundry bag to his left. (NOTE: if you see someone with a Chinese laundry bag on the subway and said bag does not contain laundry, WATCH OUT).

He pulled out a fifth of Alexi vodka, turned to the right and offered a toot to his “friend”. This would seem unremarkable except no one was sitting next to him. After his imaginary friend declined (I guess he— or she— knows when to say when) he polished off the bottle, put it back and chugged down a bottle of mango juice. DIY screwdrivers. On the G train. At 2:30 in the afternoon.

A Polish woman next to me shot a knowing look my direction. I returned the favor. I speak no Polish whatsoever —and in all probability she speaks little English— but we understood each other:

Welcome to Greenpoint.

I was home.

Miss Heather

Sunnyside Photo du Jour: Christmas Too?

August 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Queens 

From 45th Street.

Miss Heather

Jubilatka Is Closed!

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Anyone craving a Polish donut or a little babka before work this morning probably noticed that Jubilatka was shut down by the New York Department of Health yesterday.

Initially I was pretty shocked by this development (I love their apple pies) but when I looked up their latest inspection online what I found was quite horrifying: 45 points*. A maximum of 27 is allowable for a restaurant to pass inspection. Here’s the violation that creeped me out the most:

Plumbing not properly installed or maintained; anti-siphonage or backflow prevention device not provided where required; equipment or floor not properly drained; sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly.

Looks like I might be shopping for another bakery. Yikes!

Miss Heather

*As a point of comparison, the shuttered Sunview Luncheonette racked up 47 points.