Summer Is Here

August 12, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Is it just me or has summer truly arrived here in New York Shitty? Sure the calender indicates this season arrived back in June and our weather has been unseasonably cool and wet— but I am not one to trifle with empirical data. I leave the crunching of dates and statistics to the experts.

Rather, I am talking about anger. Lots of it. The later the sun sets, the more surly people get. In the last week alone I have seen two people ripping someone a new asshole on Manhattan Avenue. The fact that the objects of their respective ire were not visible to the naked eye is immaterial. We New Yorkers undergo a transformation in summer. It’s not necessarily a pretty one either. Thankfully the city has seen fit to provide us with an ample amount of advertising to take the edge off.

Case In Point: The Visiting Nurse Service of New York

I am of the understanding that there is a lot of money to be made in advertising. Or at the very least a lot of money is spent on it. One would think that during their “focus group” session someone at this ad agency would have had the presence of mind to point out that thought-provoking, “worst case scenario” missives are lost on G train patrons.

Waiting for long periods of time at sewage stench-laden stations to ride what was recently deemed the filthiest subway line in the city predisposes one towards a certain kind of existentialist cynicism.

As does being forced to look at the 21st century’s solution to Jocelyn Wildenstein.

No sir, Ms. Dickinson’s heavily air brushed bod doesn’t sweeten the pot one bit.

What’s more, reminders that some of us might stand to lose a pound or two only pisses us off.

I quite aware that advertising sees fit to capitalize off the viewer’s vanity/insecurity. (That’s the only reason I can think of why someone has seen fit to market hair dye for pubic hair, anyway.) When one rides the G train such frippery goes straight out the window. Who cares about looking good (or having dignity for that matter) when he (or she) is doing his (or her) best not to throw up?

Think about it.

Miss Heather

UPDATE: It looks like the folks at 23rd – Ely aren’t too big on Ms. Dickinson either.

P.S.: If any advertising/product placement wizards are reading this, give Greenpoint more Dexter posters. We seem to like those.

Could It Be?!?

August 12, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

After serving up free samples of soup last year and months of inactivity, something appears to be happening at 1013 Manhattan Avenue. Will Ichiran be opening for business soon? If so, will it be a ramen shop? I do not know. But this storefront has been open the last three days and signs of human activity have been noted. (Hell, they’ve even been checking their mail!)

Maybe they got wind of Sakura 6?

Miss Heather

UPDATE: Check out this post on Williamsburg Is Dead. It looks like Ichiran will be gracing us with its presence. And soon!

Williamsburg Photo du Jour: Belong

August 12, 2008 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

While not on par with the “Jack Heights” advertising campaign, I thought this one (for 72 Steuben) was equally misguided. These have been popping up all over Williamsburg of late.

As it would happen I have been to Clinton Hill recently. It did not strike me as being the kind of place twenty-somethings who boost Colt 45 from bodegas and have a disquieting likeness to Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver* would call home.** There are too many people wearing sensible shoes and pushing strollers in Clinton Hill. I imagine their selection of malt liquor ain’t so hot either. Just a thought.

Miss Heather

*Pre-rehab Britney Spears or a “before” picture from Faces of Meth —take your pick.

**This is a compliment.

Summer Doldrums

August 11, 2008 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit, Dung of the Day, Greenpoint Magic 

Today I have made two efforts to get out of the house and take a walk. Both times I found myself hauling my ass back home in the rain. I guess it is just not in the cards for me to go out today.

To alleviate my boredom I have tried— really tried— to spend my time productively. Over the last hour I  have fired up the dishwasher, bagged recyclables and even made preparations to vacuum the floor. The bugger is being productive is dull as dishwater. What’s more, I had a creative itch to scratch. Not wanting to bother cleaning this up so I would have a work surface, I decided to venture around the block. It didn’t take long for me to find inspiration.

This piece is entitled “Orphans”.

When I got done I noticed I had an extra leg, so I said “What the hell?”. Waste not, want not.

Surprisingly enough, it didn’t take much time for my petit opus to garner attention. This man not only stopped and looked at it, but he also took several photographs of it with his cell phone.

Back to bagging up trash.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Vive la révolution!

August 11, 2008 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit Signage, Greenpoint Magic 

From Nassau Avenue.

Miss Heather

Found By The Waste Treatment Plant

August 11, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

One can expect a great many things when he (or she) walks by our local sewage treatment plant: men busy at work, garbage, STENCH just to name a few. Now you can throw in photographs from someone’s birthday party. Here they are.

Our protagonist got a new belt…

and a new book. The year inscribed on the back of this photograph is 1971. That might explain the suit to the far left. I wonder when this will come back in style?

The 1970′s were much kinder to women. Her top looks like something one would find today. Mod is back in style.

All in all, it was rather strange to find scenes of domestic happiness strewn along such a desolate stretch of road. One cannot help but think about where this person is now. In any case, I couldn’t get these images off my mind. Hence why I felt like sharing them this Monday morning. Very odd indeed!

Miss Heather

Bushwick Photos du Jour: Advice

August 11, 2008 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Williamsburg 

visit your great grandparents…

have some supper and ask them,
really ask them how they are…

From Bushwick Avenue.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Photo du Jour: Big Brother

August 10, 2008 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit Signage, Williamsburg 

Nothing fosters consideration and good neighborliness like surveillance. If you happen to be walking your dog on Frost Street be advised that Big Brother is watching you…

and your dog!

Miss Heather

Little Murders: Meeting Elliott Gould

August 10, 2008 ·
Filed under: Bum Shit, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

(sort of)

On Friday night I finally saw Little Murders for the first time. At B.A.M. with a very entertaining Q & A session afterward with Elliott Gould. It was a most enjoyable evening and I found Mr. Gould’s frank and irreverent (if esoteric) repartee very refreshing.

I had been admonished by my buddy, Larry da Junkman, that Mr. Gould can be quite cantankerous in person. This, his, assessment was based on interviews he saw from the 1970′s. What I saw on August 8, 2008— 38 years later— was a person who had no time for fools but openly admitted his own tomfoolery. Gould struck me as being a great big teddy bear. Mind you, you my idea of a “big teddy bear” is a little different than most people; I learned warm and fuzziness from my father. A man who has been kicked out of a furniture store for listing William Jefferson Clinton as a reference to rent a bed. But I digress.

Mr. Gould has rather piquant wit —and more importantly, he was not reluctant to use it. When one person in the audience asked him if Little Murders glorified the shooting of a police officer he replied the movie was satire and that the leader of our country would fill Alan Arkin’s role quite beautifully. That bon mot with quickly topped with this one:

You’re the expert taking notes. I’m just the artist.

The above quip is one I will undoubtedly use quite often moving forward. For this reason (and a few others*) I wanted to express my gratitude. What’s more, I had an opportunity. A window, if you will. It was announced at Friday’s event that Mr. Gould agreed to another Q & A session at the 3:00 p.m. viewing of The Long Goodbye the following day. Mr. Heather loves this film so he bought a ticket. And in so doing he became my emissary.

I had to work Saturday. Before I left all the preparations were made. All Mr. Heather had to do was take the envelope I prepared, pick up the 8×10 print I ordered (of this), insert it into said envelope and give it to Mr. Gould. 5:00 p.m. rolled by. Nothing. As did 6:00 p.m. Then finally the call came.

Mr. Heather: The package has been delivered.
Miss Heather: AND?!?

When we met later in downtown Brooklyn I finally got a straight answer.

Miss Heather: So what happened?
Mr. Heather: I told him that my wife was in an art show last year and wanted to give him something.
Miss Heather: Okay.
Mr. Heather: I handed him the picture and he said:

Oh, that’s shit. Does she want me to autograph this?

Mr. Heather: I said no, she just wanted you to have it.
Miss Heather: Good.
Mr. Heather: Then he asked Is this horse shit? I said no, we think it was human or canine.

It was at this point in our conversation that the Mister and I encountered this on Bond Street.

Miss Heather: They put out cat litter but I don’t think this came from a feline. Is that red stuff catsup or blood?
Mr. Heather: I wouldn’t taste it to find out.

The End

Miss Heather

*Among them:

  1. M.A.S.H. is one of my favorite movies. EVER.
  2. Anti-heroes have always been my heroes. Hey, I’m a 70′s child!

Manhattan Avenue Bike Lanes Finally Pay Off!

August 10, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I do not ride a bicycle. I have made this clear. It’s not that I am against them, mind you. Knowing how easily distracted I am I have the presence of mind to know that I should entrust with my well being or simply go on foot. That said, the police appeared to be en force yesterday to ensure our new bike lanes were used by bikes. The result was quite delightful. Even to someone like me.

Anyone who lives in north Greenpoint knows this guy. He can usually be found hanging out by Pio Pio Riko at the corner of Huron Street. When not hanging out, he rides his bike and plays music for everyone’s edification. Some people find him intimidating. I don’t. This chap simply is who he is. What’s more, he has been on a 1950′s kick of late.

The “Bicycle Man” (as I call him) rarely plays music I dislike. He has excellent— if a little eclectic— taste in music. Therefore I cannot for the life of me understand why he cut off the best part of this song. I (and I suspect I speak for a number of people present) really wanted to shout out “TEQUILA” yesterday afternoon. But alas, it was not to be. Maybe another day. In any case this, his, musical interlude really made my day.*

Miss Heather

*ESPECIALLY after watching a rather drunk and belligerent gentleman being expelled from the junk shop and dealing with someone who tried to haggle a 25 cent photograph down to 15 cents “because he didn’t have the money”. After this gent made his counter offer he noted my expression (hands on face, laughing) and said:

You don’t like it.

To wit I replied:

No, I don’t.

His friend (whoever you are, THANKS!!!) finally ponied up the draconian asking price of 25 cents. If you don’t have money, don’t go shopping. Is this such a difficult concept? For some apparently it is.