One of the things I cannot wrap my head around is the fact so many people are under the (greatly mistaken) that razing great swathes of (formerly industrial) land and erecting condominiums on them somehow creates jobs. Just take the area around Union Avenue and Roebling Street, for example. There used to be a number of businesses there (including a chocolate factory!). Now there is area is little more than a bunch of vacant lots interspersed with luxury residential properties. Somehow I do not see much job creation coming out of this.
Unless of course one includes baristas who whip up the tenants’ double mocha lattes, bartenders sating the younger set’s thirst for intoxicating beverages or nannies tending after their rapidly increasingly brood of young ‘uns. While the previous are all indeed forms of employment I doubt they and their many service-related brethren have done much to make up for the jobs they have supplanted in terms of sheer numbers or wages. This is a travesty.
There are a great many factors which have led to the situation our fair city finds itself in now. I am currently reading a book entitled “Working Class New York” and it explains a fair number of them. Very well, I will add. Those of you who are interested in learning more about the white collarification of New York should give it a read. For the rest of you who lack the patience to read such a tome 3rd Ward will be screening a short film this weekend that might be of interest.
…Daniel Ross and Tom Vigliotta examine the decline of NYC’s manufacturing industry in Uncertain Industry.Â Over the last 50 years manufacturing jobs in NYC have shrunk from 1 million to 100,000.Â The filmmakers explore what losing losing this vital source of jobs meant for New York City’s economy.
You can read more about this film (Uncertain Industry) by clicking here. Preceding it is an equally interesting feature which explores the so-called “swing states” and the people who live in them. This event is absolutely FREE and a discussion with the filmmakers will follow. Check it out!
Be advised that you have to RSVP for this event. You can do so via email at:
nbagli (at) 3rdward (dot) com
Filed under: Area 51
From Clay Street.
Lauren writes: Hi Heather, I am a lurker of your blog and love reading about local GreenpointÂ happenings!Â I was wondering if you had any insightÂ on the fire that took place on the roof of Paloma last night? I was at the Pencil Factory and everyone filed out right after Obama won the election to watch the fireÂ blazeÂ instead of the tv. I haven’t been able to find anything out about it online — any ideas?
Speaking for myself I was home last night as was Mr. Heather (we both have been sick so we stayed home). Anyone out there have the 411? If so, do tell.
P.S.: This item from Eater has been brought to my attention. Check it out.
This is one of the 4-5 rat traps gracing the front of the ACME fish plant on Gem Street. Those of you who are in the know will attest that this establishment has its own very distinct —how shall we say —perfume. In fact unless one is a serious fish lover (or better yet: A CAT) this stretch of sidewalk does not strike me as being a place one would want to hang around…
much less while perched atop a rat trap. However, given how happy the young woman looks in the above photograph I may very well might give it a shot.
A couple of weeks ago I struck up a conversation with a local bartender here in the Garden Spot. He, unlike yours truly, was Brooklyn born and bred. What can I say? Some are lucky enough to be born in Brooklyn. Others (like yours truly) are Brooklynites who have to find their way back home. But I digress.
He told me about when his father would bring to him to Greenpoint as a child:
Please dad, don’t make me go! They have chickens running in the streets there!
I assured him that on occasion chickens do, in fact, still wander our streets. He laughed and regaled me with some late night shenanigans he has had the pleasure of witnessing while “closing shop”. This includes but is not limited to:
- Finding a drunk woman asleep in a puddle of her own vomit under his car.
- Watching blitzed gents from another nightclub roll down the street knocking over garbage cans and generally (for wont of a better way of putting it) fucking shit up. REPEATEDLY.
Ah, progress— or would that be gentrification? In any case his tales made wandering chickens look downright quaint if I say so myself.
All the previous florid (if abject) rhetoric does indeed lead to today’s blind item. A very curious bit of Greenpoint gossip I overheard yesterday. Something so bizarre —yet oddly appropriate— that I feel compelled to pass it along to my fellow Garden Spotters.
It is RUMORED that a certain bar in our fair burgh had a brawl which culminated in a person biting off another person’s finger. Whether or not this is indeed true I do not know (and like the 94th Precinct would confirm it it anyway). Nonetheless it reminds me of a great story I dug up from the New York Times archives and posted just over a year ago. A tale this bad is good enough to run twice. Enjoy!
Oh how times have changed! Or have they? I’m going to be tightfisted in my prognostication.
For obvious reasons.
UPDATE, November 6, 2008: This rumor has been confirmed! An anonymous tipster writes:
As a loyal reader of your blog, I thought it my civic duty to confirm the rumor about which you spoke. Indeed, there was a fight in the Red Star bar, between an employee and a patron, the result of which was the patronâ€™s finger being bitten off by the establishmentâ€™s employee. The bar held a luncheon after a funeral service for a local Greenpointer, 28-year-old Kevin Krol, who tragically fell at a construction site and after fighting for his life for about a week, succumbed to his head injuries. A fight broke out, a luncheon attendee tried to break it up, the bar employee got involved and the personâ€™s finger was bitten off by the employee. Deliberately? I donâ€™t know. I know the person who is now short by half a finger, and I can only confirm that this definitely happened. I enjoy your blog very much, and you may post this, I only ask that you leave my name and my username out of it. Thanks, and keep up the great work!
Photo Credit: ScareFX.blogspot.com
It always breaks my heart when I see as many fliers for lost cats as I have seen of late. Follows are two I found yesterday.
No details are given on this flier. However I have seen them on Franklin, Calyer and Oak Street so if you live in this area keep your eyes peeled!
If any of you have seen Chunkles or Cyclops please contact their repsective “people” at the above telephone numbers. Thanks!
Filed under: Williamsburg
From Metropolitan Avenue and North 3rd Street.
From Metropolitan and Kent Avenue.
The one thing a neophyte Greenpoint will (or should) pick up on very early is the fact the local Polish community is very socially conservative. The above flier (which hails from Manhattan Avenue at Eagle Street) is one of many of its ilk that graces the construction fences, fire alarm boxes and light poles of our fair burgh. Given its missive it is hardly surprising that a number of pharmacies located in the Garden Spot of the Universe also refuse to carry Plan B. Don’t believe me? Go to the one located on the northeast corner of Nassau Avenue and Leonard Street and see for yourself; they have signs prominenetly featured in all their windows.
Or better yet, skip them and go to this establishment across the street. It is much more interesting. Yesterday I patronized “Murawski Pharmacy” looking for “quirky” Polish items to send as Christmas presents. When I entered a gaggle of what can best be described as Polish soccer moms were poised around a stroller watching one of number’s crotchling play with a balloon. Even I had to admit: it was cute. Then I walked past them and came face to face with this.
The gallon of Poland Spring water at the bottom left should help you establish some sense of “Tiny’s” scale: roughly the size of my forearm. I was bemused by the fact this device seems to be operated by a hand crank. But I guess at a paltry asking price of $17.99 the user should expect some measure of do-it-yourselfing.
I wonder how many of these they have sold?
Some of you can imagine my amusement when I discovered the above item Monday on The Gowanus Lounge. Having personally made the acquaintance of said “madman” recently and noticing that he is rapidly becoming quite the YouTube celebrity I was surprised to learn that some folks on Brooklynian are curious to know more about the man with the scraggly hair and ill-fitting Dockers. manic_depressive writes:
I hope this “preacher” gets a good beatdown some day. Religious nuts are a pain to deal with.
I have seen many a religious nut in my day. Trust me, m_d this man is not one of them. He operates on an entirely different level. Ywap shares my assessment:
I agree that religious nuts are pain, but this old boy’s no evangelical. He’s mostly harmless.
I’m just wondering if he’s been doing this for a long time, or if it’s something he started after the area became so popular.
This, dear readers, is an excellent question. One which I do not have the answer to. However I learned yesterday this chap is famous enough to merit being Halloween character on Bedford Avenue.
First off, I am a long time fan of New York Shitty. (THANKS! — Ed. Note) I just read one of your articles, “Crazy Guy at GreenMarket“Â when my jaw almost dropped.Â We have been seeing this guy around for years he has a very interesting back story, or at least one we created for him.Â We call him “The Mystic.”Â Â His many rants are a portal into future happenings.Â (Actually they are just non-nonsensical tirades but we like to give them some meaning.)Â My friends and I do a lot of people watching in the neighborhood and The Mystic is part of a larger group we like to call “The Wack Pack.”Â There are several ” eccentric characters” that are always around the hood just being crazy and we have nick names and stories for them all.Â Anyway back to the point,Â we are such a fan of The Mystic’s rants that my friend James actually dressed up as him for Halloween.
Thanks for sharing this choice bit of Halloweeniana, Alf. And for the record, this “madman” has been spired in Greenpoint as well. I will close this post with my favorite sighting as recounted by a New York Shitty commenter, dbcn:
He was at the Associated on Calyer & Meserole yesterday speaking about sperm and eggs and how the sperm fertilize the ova. The checkout girls were not happy.
(Or Obama, Motherf**ker!)
The following pretty much speaks for itself.
Congratulations Barack Obama! As you can see (or HEAR) a couple of (very vocal) fellow North Brooklynites and a bus driver were very happy to learn you’ll be our next President. We have hope, Barack, hence why we voted for you. We want change. Please don’t disappoint us.
P.S.: Your wife Michelle will make a BADASS first lady!
P.S. #2: Contrary to what McCain’s concession speech said what happened November 4th was not simply a milestone for “African-Americans”. It was a victory for anyone who has ever been judged for what they are, not who they are.