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.

Jackson Heights Photos du Jour: The Kinng

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Queens 

Four words: This. Dude. Kicks. ASS.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Photo du Jour: Jack Heights Meets The BQE

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

The masterminds at jackheights.com really go for the jugular with this one. Who, while sitting on the BQE waiting to cross the Kosciuszko Bridge, has not fantasized about being somewhere else? Don’t everyone speak up at once.

On that note I must take leave of the Internets for now. The Mister and I have company in town and today I am going to (drum roll please)…

JACKSON HEIGHTS!

Will I find disenchanted former Williamsburgers? Will this ‘nabe enchant me so much as to make Greenpoint look like chopped kielbasa and borscht? (Doubtful). Only time will tell.

And if it is worth telling, I will write about it here.

Later gators!

Miss Heather

Peace, Love, Understanding And All That Slop

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic, Queens, Sunnyside, Williamsburg 

In case the tone of my humble soap box hasn’t made it clear: I hate hippies. As a teenager the whole idea of “peace”, “love” and “understanding” made sense. Then I came of age and entered the workforce; many of my supervisors were former hippies. Baby Boomers.

I suffered a Communication Breakdown. First it was the way I wrote the number eight. I did not write the number eight like an infinity symbol. Rather, I scribed VIII by making two discrete circles atop each other. “Cindy” said it looked too much like the number 3. I was written up. I didn’t smile and say “Hi” every morning when “Cindy” came into the office. This too was noted by Human Resources and I was taken to task. As was the (second) time I brewed coffee (given to me by “Cindy” for Secretary’s Administrative Professional’s Day), noting that I would like the office vultures to leave me a cup. Then I was admonished for not fostering a “sense of community”. So much for shiny happy people holding hands.

The age old hippie argument seems to be if people can/will communicate with each other better everything will be hunky dory. I disagree. I am a firm believer in smiles and nod school of diplomacy. When someone screams at you in a foreign tongue (and you’re not standing in front of a moving bus) put on a grin, shake your head and look like you understand. Or feel really bad. Guilt becomes Americans.

Simply put, if everyone— everywhere— was better able to communicate with each other we’d be in a helluva lot more trouble than we’re already in. The U.N. would be a diverse chorus of “fuck yous” in every language imaginable with stenographers running for cover.

What is my reasoning for the previous, you ask? Very simple: 1105 Manhattan Avenue.

El Encanto Mexicano.

More specifically, what graced its front door. In Greenpoint this is tantamount to wearing your aunt Tillie’s 300 thread count white sheets at the Million Man March: highly inadvisable.

Amusingly enough, another missive was scrawled in front of Papasito’s.

Mexico Sucks!!

Papasito’s fare is very tasty, but I would not call it Mexican. When I want Oh my god where have you been all my life south of the border vittles I go to…

QUEENS!*

But did I choose to take up the matter of why Poland sucked, Mexico sucked, or Papasito’s being Cal Mex (as opposed to being more traditional) fare? No I didn’t; I simply smiled and nodded.

Miss Heather

*Very honorable mention: Taco Bite, right here in north Brooklyn. Not only do they serve up “Jamaica” (sweetened hibiscus tea) but they are the damned nice to boot. Check them out!