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!

Subway Posters du Jour: L.I.C. Vs. Greenpoint

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City 

Everyone knows that Long Island City has a reputation for being a haven of ladies of the evening. Queens Crap has written about it (on more than one occasion). Mr. Heather has even had the pleasure of riding the B61 bus while a satisfied customer crowed to his buddy via cell phone:

I banged her twice for $300!

Yes, it would appear that prostitutes are to Long Island City what Colt 45 thievery and pageantry are to Williamsburg (or alcoholism is to Greenpoint): a dubious, but highly documented distinction. One which I recently learned merited special mention at 23rd – Ely Avenue.

My parents always impressed upon me the value of getting a good education. While I cannot say that it has netted me much in the way of compensation, I do consider it time (and money) well spent. But I realize not everyone likes to hit the books as much as I do. Some people require slight different forms of motivation: for them there is Keller Business School…

or the Queens-bound platform of the Crosstown Local at Greenpoint Avenue. Shortly after I took the above photograph a man sporting the ubiquitous iPod with earbud combo stopped in front of this poster and roared:

AWWWWRIGHT!

Watch out Long Island City. Your next pupil (or john) just might hail from the Garden Spot of the Universe!

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Somewhere Under The Rainbow

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Erin of Leonard writes:

Tonight we found that Greenpoint IS the end of the rainbow.  Or is that actually the sewage treatment plant?  I think it is.

It’s our pot of gold(en water), Erin! Don’t you remember what Emily Lloyd said at the digester tank lighting ceremony? The digester tanks at our local sewage treatment plant will be visible from the observation deck of the Empire State Building! Tourists from all four corners of the earth can gaze upon our “shit tits” and take a dump knowing we are the ones who will receive their offerings. Talk about street cred!

Miss Heather

Photo Credits (and big thanks go out to): Erin of Leonard

Comment Of The Week: Terrify

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Williamsburg 

I noticed the Village Voice linked to me yesterday. It was regarding what I will probably always be known for: bedbugs. I encourage you to read Mr. Edroso’s tome; it’s quite good, if a bit(e) general. ;)

When you’re done with the previous read the following comment from a reader in “East Williamsburg” terrifyandcreate writes:

This is about the picture of the chair with the bedbug sign. I like your blog and look at it every couple of days. Much to my surprise I saw a picture of the chair I put out. I put that sign on it and spray painted red all over it. The upsetting part of this photo is the 3 chairs that are missing! That’s right. I put 4 chairs out the night before. The other 3 had seats and also had bedbug warning signs. They were gone the next day. How is the bedbug problem going to stop if you actually put signs on furniture and people STILL take them? Also people that have lived here for 15 years call this area southside. I still can’t figure out exactly where East Williamsburg begins. Or is this Southeast??! Again thanks for your blog I usually smile or laugh when I look at it.

For the record, terrifyandcreate, I’d call your location “Southside”, but I am certain pundits (real estate agents mostly) would call it East Williamsburg. Call it whatever you want, the fact of the matter is bedbugs are a SERIOUS problem in north Brooklyn.

A problem which this city seems unwilling or unable to deal with. People have asked me why I care so much about this given I have not had bedbugs. Very simple: I know people who have bedbugs. It’s horrible. What’s more, I do not want to get them.

Miss Heather

When Does A Friedrich Become A Fedders?

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Fedders Friday, Williamsburg 

I have been asked on occasion exactly what constitutes a “Fedders building”. Even after several months of featuring Fedders Friday here on New York Shitty I have difficulty coming up with a satisfactory answer. It is a highly intuitive process, but I will attempt to put my criteria in writing here and now.

A. It must be a building whose aesthetic concerns have been completely subjugated to the utilitarian. In other words, it must be ugly.

B. It must employ two or more of the following:

  1. Exposed electrical meters
  2. Exposed gutters
  3. Large quantities of concrete
  4. A decided preference for parking over plant life

C. Fedders air conditioner boxes must be present.

Some have said that I have unfairly singled out the chaps at the Fedders corporation when doling out the dubious distinction that is Fedders Friday. Here is my rebuttal:

All buildings which feature Fedders boxes do not automatically qualify as candidates for Fedders fame. It takes a special mixture of the above-listed points to make the cut. The previous having been said, I have noticed there is a strong relationship between hideous outer borough architecture and the presence of Fedders boxes. Not unlike how a special guest speaker at a Psych of Sexuality class in college corrected an errant classmate of mine so many years ago:

While most lesbians are feminists, not all feminists are lesbians*.

The same goes for Fedders. The product seems to attract developers who espouse a certain philosophy to home building: build ‘em cheap, ugly and as quickly as possible. It should also be noted that I did in the interest of parity try to launch a feature called Friedrichs Thursdays. But experience has proven that buildings sporting Friedrichs air conditioning boxes (on a visual level, anyway) are a cut above their Fedders brethren. Until I walked by Union Avenue and Conselyea Street yesterday, that is.

This building is nothing new.

I have walked by it many times, tut-tutting over the exposed electrical meters and sheer quantity of poured concrete. I do have to applaud the builders for making this structure (somewhat) wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, lifts do not count for much when they are obstructed by bags of garbage.

But on Tuesday something struck me as being amiss. Something new had been added to this melange of the mediocre. Something— dare I say it— Fedders-worthy!

It has been retrofitted to have central air conditioning. BADLY.

Note the extensive use of foam sealant and thoughtful placement of the air conditioning units. I have little doubt the experience of sitting on these balconies will only become more pleasurable with the added value of being blasted with air conditioner exhaust.

But let’s get back to semantics. Since this building sports Friedrichs boxes it does not qualify to be featured on Fedders Friday. However, it does embody the spirit of the glory that is Fedderism. Therefore, I would like to give this masterpiece a very special award: The New York Shitty Award of Excellence In Abjectecture.

Way to go, guys! I’ll be hard-pressed to top this beauty later this week.

Miss Heather

*Which probably explains why I get along with lesbians so well: I am a feminist!

Is It Really That Bad?

August 13, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

(The stench at Nassau Avenue, that is.)

After listening to a city employee shout at her cohort Friday night on the Crosstown Local:

Hey, are you familiar with this stop? It stinks. It smells like (expletive) sewage or something! (Waving hand in front of nose) NASTY!

And learning about this missive on Craigslist I decided to head down to the Nassau Avenue stop of the G and see smell for myself. It was pretty bad. Even by Greenpoint standards. And before I continue, let me explain to you what the previous entails:

  1. Miss Heather leaving her apartment Tuesday, August 12, 2008: Smells like someone pissed behind our stoop again. Or was it the vestibule of our building? I can’t tell.
  2. Miss Heather on McGuinness Boulevard at Dupont Street, Monday, August 11, 2008: Gee, the sewage treatment plant is particularly ripe today.
  3. I have looked at (and occasionally stepped in) dog shit damned near every day for over two years.
  4. I have survived the McGolrick Park crapper of death.

Over the years I have developed a palette for stink. It comes with living in Greenpoint. Oenophiles often invoke terms such as “berrylike”, “astringent”, “citrusy”, “peppery”, “prickly” or “oxidized” to praise or pan the wines before them. I will endeavor to use some of their terminology to describe what I smelled at Nassau Avenue:

ASTRINGENT:

Descriptive of wines smells that have a rough, puckery taste. Usually can be attributed to high tannin content. Tannic astringency will normally decrease with age. However, sometimes the wine fails to outlive the tannin.

Check.

ATTACK:

The initial impact of a wine smell. If not strong or flavorful, the wine is considered “feeble”. “Feeble” wines are sometimes encountered among those vinified in a year where late rain just before harvest diluted desirable grape content.

What I smelled was hardly feeble. In fact it was…

OXIDIZED:

Powerful, attack aroma. Usually denotes high level of acidity, alcohol and/or other flavor faults. (Like piss and sewage— Ed. Note.)

with a hint of…

ROTTEN EGG:

Smell of Hydrogen Sulfide gas in wine. Thought to be a characteristic imparted by certain yeast strains. A decided flaw.

Simply put, it was gross.

Much has been made of aromatherapy. Pleasing scents are purported to help healing. So Psychology Today says, anyway. What about aromaterrorism? Has anyone done any research as to what the effect foul odors have on one’s psyche? Probably, but I suspect this poster will suffice.

A mind soul is a terrible thing to waste.

Miss Heather

Ellot Goulde

August 12, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

After last weekend’s hommage I would like to go on the record and state that I had absolutely nothing to do with this (image to the left)*. For the full (funny and sort of creepy) story point and click your way over to Lost City.

Miss Heather

Photo Credit: Lost City

*Among other things, I won’t go anywhere near 42nd Street and know that Ms. Streisand’s first name is spelled B-A-R-B-R-A. At a very tender age my parents acquainted me with what is now one of my very favorite films: What’s Up Doc?

Here’s a snippet.

This post goes out to the Judy Maxwell in all of us! What’s Up Doc? is hilarious in a Preston Sturges kind of way. It also happens to be Madeline Kahn’s film debut. As Eunice— the nickname Pa Heather and I have for Ma Heather. Do give this film a whirl— if for no other reason than to learn a little about Miss Heather’s family dynamics. You’ll laugh a lot. Be sure to check out the trailer as well. Very funny.

Long Island City Photo du Jour: Bushit

August 12, 2008 ·
Filed under: Long Island City 

From 21st Street.

Miss Heather

Priceless

August 12, 2008 ·
Filed under: Dung of the Day, Other Shit 

A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.

The art work, titled “Complex S(expletive..)”, is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres (yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children’s home*, said museum director Juri Steiner. — Yahoo Canada

I knew there was a reason I liked Paul McCarthy so much in graduate school. I’d pay top dollar to see an encore performance at Carroll Park.

Miss Heather

*Thanks for passing this along Flatbush “Big Shit Meet Little Shits” Gardener!

Photo Credit: Applelogen.be

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Lorimer Street

August 12, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Very true. But a little compensation is always welcome.

Miss Heather