Southside Photo du Jour: Blowing Sunshine

June 18, 2008 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

From South 3rd Street.

Miss Heather

Pile Drivin’

June 17, 2008 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

Most people who have the free time to enjoy a beautiful day (such as this one) would go to the park, do a spot of shopping or worship the sun under the auspices of 30+ SPF sunblock. Not me. I am not “most people”. When I received the following missive from my buddy over at Bad Advice this morning (after reading this over at the Gowanus Lounge) I knew what I had to do:

This piledriver is driving me CRAZY!!! The building is bouncing. Good times. Just thought I’d share!

It’s been awhile since I have had the pleasure of listening to a pile driver go about its nefarious business. I even found myself wondering if what I experienced at the hands of the Viridian last year was indeed as bad as I remembered. Faced with option of either getting a headache at the hands of National Grid or 5 Roebling, I chose the latter. Variety is the spice of my life masochism.

Follows is a sampling of my experience. Enjoy!

The acoustics of the area were very conducive to disseminating this din. Here is a map indicating where this pile driver could be heard. And by “heard” I mean not as mere “background noise”.

I found myself walking in time to the sound of 5 Roebling’s ground getting pounded. It was eerily reminiscent of this scene from Ben Hur. You can read more pile drivin’ hilarity from Bad Advice by clicking here.

Miss Heather

In Other News…

June 17, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Casa Mon Amour has new hours for summer! Here they are:

Monday – Thursday: 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

And that’s all she wrote.

Miss Heather

The Glue Wars, Part II

June 17, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

(In order to understand this post, I strongly recommend you read Part I — Miss Heather)

What was then called “The Glue Wars” raged well into 1895. During the four preceding years police raids were conducted, carters hauling offal into Brooklyn were arrested and much legal maneuvering was done by both sides. But as with all things— both good and bad— it came to an end. Perhaps the Coopers tired of the constant litigation and controversy? Only they would know and they’re not exactly in a position to talk. What is known for certain is they sold the glue factory to the City of Brooklyn for the princely sum of $55,000. Follows is The City of New York’s* description of what happened next:

Within a year the site… was outfitted with a playground and landscaping. By 1905 the limestone and brick shelter pavilion had been erected. In the late 1930s construction carried out by the Works Progress Administration transformed Cooper Park into a modern recreational facility. New features included a roller-skating track, sitting area, horseshoe and shuffleboard courts, wading pool, play areas for children and tots, and two softball diamonds with bleachers…

And that, dear readers, is how Cooper Park was born!

Let this be a lesson to all of you out there who think the interests of the people cannot prevail over deeply entrenched business interests and governmental apathy. It can be done. One only needs a lot of tenacity and patience.

Miss Heather

*Which curiously fails to make mention of all the litigation leading up to the sale of this parcel of land.

Strike A Pose

June 17, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Today (with the help of one VERY nice nanny) I made my contribution to Olympia’s online birthday present to his girlfriend. Three arms are, after all, a lot better than two!

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Photo du Jour: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

June 17, 2008 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

From Bedford Avenue.

Miss Heather

The Glue Wars

June 17, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

As mentioned in this post, I have been researching Peter Cooper’s glue factory. This establishment was one of a number of businesses located in Bushwick Green that rendered animal “by-products”. Soap factories, gelatin makers and fertilizer companies were, in fact, commonplace. The result was a rather noxious odor that hung over the area much to the irritation of the local population. In 1891 they started to fight back…

with a little help from their friends in Greenpoint.

An extensive legal campaign ensued. A retinue of experts were brought in, 150 in number, to testify that Peter Cooper’s glue factory posed no nuisance (it created jobs they argued, among other things) and the Health Department had no right to interfere with its operation. On the side of Peter Cooper was Abram Hewitt, former mayor of New York City —he also happened to be Peter Cooper’s son in law and as such had a financial stake in this establishment— and one Professor Joseph A. Raymond. Here is the latter’s take on matters as documented in the March 16, 1892 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

In the end Judge Van Wyck barred the Health Department from interfering with the operation of Mr. Cooper’s glue factory. But this didn’t mean the issue was closed: a three year legal battle followed. The conclusion of the “Glue Wars” as they were then called will be forthcoming later today on New York Shitty. Stay tuned!

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Hanging Out

June 17, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

To see what this corner (at the intersection of Huron Street and Manhattan Avenue) looked like back in the 1970′s click here. Click here for the 411 about The Motion Lounge.

Miss Heather

A Rather Unusual Request

June 16, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I just got this in from a reader who calls himself “Olympia“. He writes:

I wanted to tell you… about a fun surprise in the neighborhood I’ve just done for my girlfriend, that I’d love your help publicizing if you’re willing.

My girlfriend moved to Connecticut from Greenpoint last year. She misses it terribly, and constantly pines for the days spent with friends in the neighborhood. For her birthday this year, I have installed a life-sized wooden cutout of her at the southeast corner of Franklin and Noble Street. I am asking anyone who can to go to Greenpoint and photograph themselves with the Birthday Girl, and then, email or pix message the photo to birthdaygirl08(at)gmail(dot)com. Soon she will have an entire album of images of herself and many, many friends partyting in Greenpoint! I will also be uploading all images to my flickr account, so all can watch as the piece progresses.

If you’d be willing to publish a little something on your blog about this, it would really increase the number of visitors to the project, and really help make her birthday something truly special.

So there have you. If any of you have the time, why not mosey on down to Franklin and Noble and get your picture taken with the birthday girl? Speaking for myself, I am very eager to see how this project unfolds. It is a terrific idea!

Miss Heather

Photo Credit: Olympia

Living Large On McGuinness Boulevard

June 16, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

A number of you I am certain are familiar with this plot of land nestled in the Key Food parking lot. An old house was stood here. That was razed several years ago. Then teenagers started hanging around. The police drove them off. Ever since it has been a repository for garbage and a place for homeless people to hang their hat. Until today.

It would appear this al fresco pied a terre has received a makeover.

A very GREENPOINT makeover.

189 Greenpoint Avenue (which is located just down the street) can keep their flat screen televisions, balconies and roof top terrace. This place has everything.

And much, much more.

What could be more American than a flag in the front yard…

and a little food for the birdies? If you like what you see (and believe you me these photographs do not do these digs justice), head on down to the northeastern corner of McGuiness Boulevard and Calyer Street.

Your dream home awaits.

Miss Heather