One thing a lot of people do not seem to know is Newtown Creek once had a number of islands. What you are seeing in the above photograph is the vestige of one of them: Furman Island. It is now a part of Queens, but if one looks through the online archives of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (as I have) one will quickly discern it was a vibrant part of this largely industrial (and very aromatic) waterway.
Did you know that Furman Island even helped to prevent a malaria outbreak?!? I didn’t until I read an article from the August 2, 1894 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle entitled Calls It Cologne Gulch: Vivid Portrayal Of The Evils Along Newtown Creek. In this piece an intrepid reporter from none other than Harper’s Weekly goes to Newtown Creek to get the scoop on the poop from a local. Here is an excerpt:
Those of you who have the time really should read this lengthy (4000+ words) article in its entirety. My favorite part is about the “egg factory”. What was the egg factory, you ask? Click here and read for yourself! Be advised you may not want to do so over lunch…
My modest proposal for a little pubic public art in McCarren Park has proven to be surprisingly popular. I don’t know why. I suppose people are into that sort of thing. More importantly I enjoyed doing it— so I have decided to do a series of public art project proposals for New York Shitty. Today’s target: Long Island City.
This is the Pepsi Cola sign which graces Long Island City’s waterfront. It has been moved because it was interfering with development. More accurately, it blocked the “view” the pampered peeps who are buying into the Long Island City lifestyle so desperately desire. Good for them.
This is Gantry Park. Note the lack of people. Sort of strange for an unseasonably cool Sunday afternoon in August. Maybe piers, plant life and Pepsi signs do not appeal to the Long Island City demographic? What will it take to entice Long Island Cityslickers to enjoy the waterfront parks my neighborhood so sorely lacks? I know: ART! But from whom?
Paul McCarthy! Who else?!?
What’s more my proposal* has an additional benefit: it gives Manhattan an eyeful as well!
*This is parody. If you live in Long Island City and are angered by the thought of an inflatable sow blocking your view of Manhattan, think about this: at least you get to look at her face.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
From the Queens-bound platform of the G at Greenpoint Avenue.
I have a confession to make: I’m a bit grumpy today. Those of you who have sent me emails and have not gotten a reply, it’s nothing personal. I am simply not in the mood to talk to anyone.
The reasons I am cantankerous are triple fold:
- Despite my hyper-vigilant slathering of 35 SPF sunblock, I missed a spot yesterday and got burned. It’s a small area mind you, but it is located in an irritating as hell location: the back of my neck.
- I cleaned out the refrigerator today. Disgusting as usual.
- I beheld the following in the bathroom while executing point #2.
The Mister and I have gotten into some interesting arguments discussions about his habit of throwing plastic bottles into the bathroom trash can. Here’s an excerpt from one such dialog from last weekend.
Miss Heather: Man, do not throw the (excised)ing plastic bottles away in the bathroom garbage can!
Mr. Heather: I didn’t throw them away.
Miss Heather: ?
Mr. Heather: I placed them there until we bag the recycling.
There are a couple faults with the logic Mr. Heather chose to employ, but I will leave the more apparent one for you to mull over. Rather, I would like to deconstruct the following sentence to illustrate the other:
I put them there until we YOU bag up the recycling.
I will readily admit I am not the most tidy person in the world— but I am not the filthiest either. For this reason I do not like picking through a basket teeming with dirty Q-tips and the usual niceties to be found IN A BATHROOM GARBAGE CAN to place plastic bottles in the recycling bag. A bag, I will remind you, that is only LOCATED FOUR FEET AWAY.
Such a task adds fuel to my ire. Especially when bending over makes the top I am wearing rub against my sunburn, creating a sensation not unlike someone using 24 grit sandpaper on my person. Very unpleasant indeed!
The way I see it I can either deprogram my husband of this habit, wear a Hazmat suit every time I go outdoors or wage war against global warming. The first is futile and the second is impractical so I will direct my attention to the latter most.
This is Long Island City. Note the numerous condominiums and the fleet of Fresh Direct trucks which (undoubtedly) service their culinary needs. I made a rather interesting discovery yesterday during my trip up shit creek. One which I would like to share with you here.
I have never patronized Fresh Direct nor do I ever intend to. After learning about their labor practices last year there is no way in hell I am giving this business any of my hard-earned money. What is wrong with simply buying groceries from a grocery store or a produce stand like a normal person? It’s probably better for the environment.
Filed under: Area 51
From East 23rd Street.
I was invited at the last minute to tag along on a boat trip along Greenpoint’s very own Riviera: none other than Newtown Creek! Channel 13 needed to shoot some footage of it yesterday for some online project/pilot they are working on. I was advised to keep quiet —and for the most part I did —except when my enthusiasm got the better of me. As you will see in this little film/slide show I made for your entertainment. Enjoy!
Between the Mister and I we took approximately 500 photographs. You can look forward to seeing highlights of our stygian journey up shit creek on Flickr** in a day or two. Now if you don’t mind, I have a mild sunburn to salve. Ouch!
Miss Hater Heather***
*August 19, 2008: I have been asked by the “friend” who invited me on this boat ride and some imperial wizard from Channel 13 (online) to remove my video from You Tube. The latter writes:
…it makes me a little uncomfortable to have other people reporting on the same thing which I hired a boat to capture. I donâ€™t have any problem with you posting photos or stories about the trip but the video just happens to be exactly why we were there and sort of crosses lines of exclusivity.
I never knew Newtown Creek was so exclusive. I just thought it stank like hell. And got a lot of publicity of late because Senator Clinton jumped on the Superfund bandwagon. But what would I know? I’ve only lived here for eight years and get giddy when I see used condoms floating on Greenpoint’s Gold Coast!
Here’s a revised version of my movie:
**You can see photographs from my trip by clicking here.
***It would appear that I have made a friend (or two) in Jackson Heights. For the record, I really liked this neighborhood and plan to go back there more often. I happen to be a BIG fan of Mohammed Rafi and Bollywood music in general; I cannot wait to haunt their music shops! Sure “Jack Heights” doesn’t have Coney Island White Fish, but I am willing to overlook that. I see plenty of those here at home.
Filed under: Williamsburg
Yeah, I know: the words “gainful” and “employment” are not usually associated with our fair neighbor to the south. In any case, for those of you who are seeking gainful employment I have some very good news.
“rawvo456″ is hiring! Don’t forget to attach your curriculum vitae to your application.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
Lest the chartreuse water is not a dead giveaway, this photograph was taken on Newtown Creek. While many of you were lounging in the park, eating brunch, nursing a hangover or doing whatever people do in north Brooklyn on a Sunday morning I was on a boat cruising Greenpoint’s most (in)famous waterway. And as always it did not disappoint. You can look forward to reading more about my journey (including film footage) later today!
Filed under: 11222, Advanced Life Forms, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic
The last twenty four hours my inbox has been abuzz with fashion. More specifically the stylings of a certain physician whose office is on Greenpoint Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street.
Walking up Greenpoint Ave yesterday (from Franklin going towards Manhattan Ave), Matt and I noticed this advertisement in a window (attached). It was just screaming your name, so I had to make sure you saw it.
My name is Mike, I’m one of the writers of the NAG blog- thanks for the bloggy love- we got a lot of hits from you.
This isn’t NAG blog material, but totally up your alley…
The attached picture is of a poster is in one of the newly-renovated buildings on the south side of Greenpoint Ave b/t Manhattan and Franklin. Everything about it says “please don’t let this man touch your privates, even in a medical context.”
What is all the Garden Spot fuss about, you ask?
Nice bow tie.
Filed under: Area 51
I know what you’re wondering and the answer is yes.
This gentleman is futzing with an iPod mini while wearing a cassette as a pendant and sporting a Nintendo game cartridge for a belt buckle.