Miss Heather Goes To Astoria
Last night Mr. Heather and I went to Astoria to dine with the brains (and brawn) behind Bucketman. We had a most enjoyable evening. I hope they did as well.
Many of you probably don’t know I once lived in Astoria. Back in 1998 I lived in an illegal basement apartment for a measly $550 a month (all bills paid!). I am certain such sweet deals (like the one I had) have gone the way of the $850 studio in the Garden Spot. But I digress.
My memories of Astoria are by and large fond ones. In the fuzzy clarity that is my Greenpoint hindsight, I remember it as being a nice family-oriented neighborhood with killer produce stands. My reasons for leaving were purely personal (READ: financial).
As you can imagine I was very curious to see how my old stomping grounds look in 2007. To this end I arrived early so I could walk around and see what’s cooking. What I saw was still more or less recognizable despite rampant construction and destruction. There were still lots of children at play whose parents laughed while watching them and gaggles of old coots staring at me like I have eight heads (and for the record, I don’t— I only let them out for special occasions like office parties and bar mitzvahs).
I searched in vain for a pile of poo that could compete with Greenpoint’s gargantuan doggie dumplings, but none were to be found. Just an anemic nugget here or there, little more. In a fit of poop induced pique, I pointed this out to Mr. Heather and he sagely reminded me:
This is a classier neighborhood, Heather.
How very true. Even the demolition sites have a certain genteel, down-home feel to them.
CASE IN POINT: 30-03 Newtown Avenue, a modest two story structure in the process of being demolished.
Some of you might have noticed that part of the roof is missing. Some sourpuss complained that fine folks at First Class Wrecking didn’t have a permit to remove it. The fact is they do. I am certain it was all a big misunderstanding. Besides, with a door as warm and inviting as this one— a door of superior quality to the ones which grace most of the crappy condos I see here in Greenpoint nowadays, I would like to add— I am certain he (or she) won’t hold a grudge. Unlike many of the first class wrecks I have seen in Greenpoint, this one has a first class door to go with it!
Am I experiencing demolition envy? It is entirely possible. Especially given the painfully polite note affixed to this door. It is a veritable Amy Vanderbilt of construction-related communiques.
Isn’t it nice of them to advise employees (and would be trespassers) to lock up when they leave? Given this house (deceased) received two complaints about being illegally converted into a SRO*, I suppose it makes sense. As Motel 6 likes to say:
We’ll leave the lights on for you.