Urban Artifact: Jail Bear International Superstar?

(OR: 726 Days & Counting!)

Yes, gentle readers, this would appear to be the case— and right here and now I am going to share the good news!

This morning started off as any other: I get up, put on a pot of coffee and head to the computer. First I check my email, then I check my site. The latter experienced a spike in traffic. I found this rather strange given I have not been blogging much of late. Thus I perused incoming links. It was quickly discerned that one site was responsible for this. Naturally my curiosity got the better of me: I pointed and clicked. I braced myself in anticipation of material of a highly adult nature. It turned out not to be porn. It is infinitely more awesome than that. See for yourselves!

feminaHU

 

It would appear that our very own Jail Bear has merited the attention of a web site in Hungary. Granted, big in Hungary does not an international superstar make— but it is still pretty darned cool. Given I did not have a Hungarian phrasebook handy, I made my way over to Google Translate to see what they had to say about this ad hoc testement to civic pride. The translation is a mite bit obtuse but the essence comes across:

This is a sad teddy bear sitting behind bars in Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, has appeared in the middle of June. The last two months has kultmacivá, followers, Instagramon hundred over the number of images. Nobody knows how he got here. The Bacardi- glass sometimes replacing vizesflaskára Many people are fed maternal feelings for him, while others say straight creepy. “- read the Facebook page to report overseas.

The NewYorkShitty also collected quite a few photos of the sad maciról, who has been held accountable as part of street art and the Bear Jail – that bear jail – dubbed plüssr?l made ??continuously published photos also make it: here you can watch!

Not only did my humble web site merit a link, but a Facebook page pertaining to Hungarian tourism is featured as well. Fascinating.

In any case, I suspect I speak for a number of Jail Bear’s fans when I write that he is not creepy— at least not in comparison to other things to be found hereabouts. On a number of occasions I have seen parents headed to nearby WNYC Transmitter Park stop so their children can say “Hi” to him and/or tell him about his/her day. He dutifully listens too.

For the above-stated reason I have a very hard time believing Jail Bear is sad. He’s quite beloved. Nonetheless, I decided to take up this matter directly with Jail Bear. The scene which awaited me this morning was quite surprising.

partytime

Jail Bear not only seems to be taking his fifteen minutes of fame in stride, but he is actually quite happy!

jailbear

What’s more, he has something to say to his new friends— and hopefully fans— in Hungary!

greetings

Okay, I’ll admit it: I dressed up Jail Bear and made the sign. But as I told a passerby (after explaining Jail Bear’s newfound celebrity status), I did so— and I quote:

in the interest of fostering positive international relations.

He found this to be a kind gesture. Taylor Swift may the the official face of tourism in New York City, but in Greenpoint (or at least the corner of Franklin Street and Greenpoint Avenue) this sinecure belongs to Jail Bear. In closing, I feel compelled to note that I have never met a Hungarian, much less a Hungarian tourist. Not only does this need to change but I am quite looking forward to the experience…

You didn’t think I was going to pass up an opportunity like this, gentle readers. Really? In all seriousness:

Happy Halloween, Hungary from New York Shitty (and of course, Jail Bear)!

UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: it has been brought to my attention that the fellow responsible for this bear’s incarceration prefers the moniker “Prison Bear”. So there have you!

P.S.: An interesting fact learned today: if one ever finds him or herself in the highly unlikely predicament of needing an empty liquor bottle on the fly, check out the planters outside of WNYC Transmitter Park. You can rest assured they will deliver!

thumbsup

Urban Artifact: 463 Days & Counting!

January 23, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Urban Artifact 

Not only has “Jail Bear” weathered the storm but now he sports the initials “JB” on his chest. One would be safe to presume this stands for “Jail Bear”!

Urban Artifact: Special Post-Snow Edition

December 15, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Urban Artifact 

Bug Eye

Teddy Post Snow Storm

Lookin’ good…

(Taken December 15, 2013.)

P.S.: Forgot to post these shots from December 9th.

Teddy 12092013

Offerings 12092013

Note the bag of pistachios and lamp tendered as offerings. Fascinating.

Happy Halloween From New York Shitty!

(Or: 380 Days & Counting!)

Greenpoint Avenue Teddy Close Up

Halloween Teddy

I can think of no better way to celebrate Halloween in Greenpoint than paying tribute to the Greenpoint Avenue “teddy bear”. As you can see, I gave the furry fellow proper attire for the occasion. This I did yesterday. What’s more, gentle readers, I have the approval of the person who put him there in the first place! This came to pass last weekend while I was headed over the see the new Banksy piece hereabouts.

Me (ensuring the safety of said teddy—  Banksy has “preservationists”—so why shouldn’t this fellow?)
A fellow we’ll call “F” (grabbing a smoke nearby): You like my bear?
Me: You’re the person behind this?

“F” assured me he was— and went on the explain that he saw bear on top of one of the garbage cans on a rainy night. He felt it would be a waste to simply have it go to the dump so he placed in this window and it has been there ever since. He went on to note:

He’s been there for about a year now.

Me: He’s been there for over a year. I have been keeping track.

“F” went on to say he’s surprised how this bear has become an “interactive” community project— and that he was disappointed that the stuffed kitty has since disappeared. He then mused pondered the meaning of  the bear’s “helmet” (the fur creature which has found its way atop said bear).

I noted that maybe this was his “thinking cap” and pointed out that this bear has been a fascinating testament to what happens when one is subjected to the corner of Franklin Street and Greenpoint Avenue 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If he has a brain (and this cannot be ruled out)…

it probably looks like this now.

“F” laughed at this.

Informed my new friend that come Halloween time I was going to dress said bear “up” for the occasion. He felt this to be a sterling idea. (Obviously I did.)

Before parting ways I asked “F” if this bear had a name.

He replied:

“Jail Bear”.

gptave

So there have you.

Happy Halloween Greenpoint (and New York City)!

P.S.: Special props go out to a lady sitting a parked SUV on Greenpoint Avenue watching me install “Jail Bear’s” Halloween attire and documenting it. She was laughing her ass off. That’s the Greenpoint spirit!

Urban Artifact: 173 Days & Counting

bearwithsofa

 

detail

 

Not only is the teddy still there (albeit with what appears to be a tear cascading down his fuzzy mug), but he is presently sporting some arm bands in the manner of “repurposed” gaskets. Snazzy!

Urban Artifact, Part I: 160 Days & Counting!

teddy4252013

The offerings may be dwindling, but I am pleased to report as of today, April 25th, the Greenpoint Avenue teddy bear is still in effect!

BOOBIFIED!

Here’s looking at you, kid…

Urban Artifact, Part II: 100 Days & Counting!

gptave2232013

That’s right folks: as of today, February 23, 2013 this fella has been gracing Greenpoint Avenue with plushy presence. You can see shots of his various incarnations/”accessories” by clicking here, here and here.

 

Urban Artifact: Alas, Poor Teddy…

January 30, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Urban Artifact, WTF 

gptaveteddybear

jackdaniels

This teddy (which has presided over Greenpoint Avenue at Franklin Street for at least 76 days) has undergone an interesting transformation. When I first spied him, he was donning a gas mask. A week later he was brandishing a sign which read “Crime doesn’t pay”. Now he calls Jack Daniels his companion and sports two cigarette burns on his noggin. OUCH!

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