Comment Of The Week: 156 India Street

July 29, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I guess I’m late in responding to this, but my then gf & now wife lived at 156, in the back house. I should state that I am a structural engineer. The first time I went there, happy to be invited back to a new girl’s house for the first time, I was absolutely floored by the condition of both buildings on the property.

There were holes in the front house that birds had happily nested in. The hole thing had an odd slant to it. Her friends who lived there asked me if I could do anything, but I knew that reporting it would get the place condemned, leaving them with no place to go and moderate fines for the Owner. Which is pretty much what happened.

My wife moved in with me to a nice place a few blocks away last year, but one of her friends stayed, only to come home to fire trucks & police in front of her house one night. She was given a small window to get her stuff & find a new place to live. As a younger single woman with family & friends in the area, she ended up ok, but there were families in the building who had been there for over 10 years, and I know one Polish family had a profoundly disabled wheelchair ridden child. I can’t imagine what they did.

That there is often no significant penalty to owners/landlords like this is just wrong. There should be criminal penalties associated with this type of abuse.
Rant over!

Yes there should be, but our city doesn’t seem to be too keen on defending the rights of lowly renters. If they were real go-getters they’d own a condo by now.

(Soapbox)

I am not a go-getter. I rent. As do great number of people in this neighborhood. We cannot afford a down payment on a $500,000 condominium and as a result we place our trust in landlords. They are the guardians of our personal safety. Unfortunately all too many of them are like Mr. Nealis.* When landlords fail, we call 311. To little avail. This city should be ASHAMED of itself.

Miss Heather

*Who I am certain would love to have this lot demolished. It’s probably worth more without rent-stabilized housing on it.

Best On India

May 29, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Ever had one of those things you keep telling yourself you’ll get around to but never do? This post is one of those. After much delay I am going to clue you guys in about the happenings at 156 and 158 India Street. On May 19, 2008 a tipster wrote:

The house one lot down from my boyfriend and I received an order to vacate at about 3 pm on Saturday. Fire trucks blocked the street and stayed put.

We went down to get some food and I asked one of the ten or so firemen who were standing around one of the trucks what was going on. He said the building at 156 India was about to collapse and they had to immediately evacuate. I asked if this was due to undermining of the foundation because of construction at the neighboring lot (158 India Street — Ed. Note) and he said no.

It was just due to years and years and years of neglect…. We saw people taking everything they could carry and getting out… and ever since there’s been a police car parked out front of the house with a spot light pointed at the open door to the building.

Funny thing is, about two weeks ago my boyfriend saw a guy coming home to 156 India with a chick, presumably his date…

Male Resident of 156 India: Here we are! My new place…
Chick: You live here…? (Incredulous look)
M.R.156 India: I know, I know, it looks shitty from the outside, but wait ’til you see my space!

Lucky for her she saw it before it collapses into a heap.

This house was evacuated May 17, 2008 after the F.D.N.Y. had the Department of Buildings checked the structural stability on a non-load bearing wall following a complaint of the “BUILDING SHAKING/VIBRATING/STRUCT STABILITY AFFECTED“. The Department of Buildings’s findings are as follows:

(HAZARDOUS) FAILURE TO MAINTAIN EXTERIOR BUILDING WALL. DEFECT IS:REAR WALL IS ROTTED,DEFECTIVE AND PULLING AWAY FROM WOOD FRAME. FIRE ESCAPE IS IN DANGER DUE TO AFFECTED REAR WALL AND COULD DISLODGE IF USED.

Pretty bad, eh? Brace yourself because it gets worse.

The owner of this building was cited by the Department of Buildings for more or less the same problem OVER A YEAR AGO. As you can see, Mr. Nealis was fined $2,500. He has yet to pay up. In fact, if you browse the ECB violations for 156 India Street, you’ll notice non-payment of fines and non-compliance seem to be his modus operandi. Here’s one of my personal faves. It dates from May 5, 2007:

FAILURE TO MAINTAIN BLDG. NOTED: AT CELLAR OF FRONT BLDG=NO FIREPROOF ENCLOSURE FOR BOILER RM,MISSING FIREPROOFING AT CEILING AT VARIOUS LOCATION,ROTTED JOISTS NEXT TO BOILER RM,LARGE AMOUNT OF DEBRIS THRU-OUT

Gee, that sounds really fucking dangerous. You might be interested to know that once again a fine of $2,500 was levied. It remains unpaid. Stick we me— it only gets more interesting. Take this fun fact, for example.

Kevin Nealis is (or at least was) the owner of another property in Greenpoint with an interesting history: 95 Clay Street. If this address sounds familiar to you, it is because I have written about it. Repeatedly. An apartment building was recently built there with no permits whatsoever.

I don’t know about you, but this Nealis chap sounds like a fun guy. What’s more, he may very well be responsible for a Greenpoint first:

A construction site being evacuated because the existing building next to it posed an imminent threat to public safety.

Or did the chaps at 158 India Street (Best On India LLC!*)have a hand in the demise of their neighbor? Their brand-spanking new Stop Work Order would certainly suggest so:

OBSERVATION OF DEFECTIVE AND SUB-STANDARD WORK IN PROGRESS

I suppose only the Department of Buildings and the owner of 156 and Best on India LLC only know for certain. There is, however, one thing I can assert with total confidence: thanks to one landlord’s total disregard for the safety of his tenants and the Department of Buildings appalling lack of effective enforcement six individuals and/or families are now homeless. This is inexcusable.

On the brighter side, at least this family was spared being displaced. I wonder who their landlord is?

Miss Heather

*I am NOT kidding. Click here and see for yourself!

White Birds Can’t Jump

February 4, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

On Saturday, February 2, 2008 I wrote:

I suspect it is safe to speculate that a number of the people reading this post are busy getting ready for this weekend’s Superbowl festivities. While I think it is pretty neat that New York made it this year, I am not big on sports and will probably find some other way to amuse myself.

Well, as luck would have it, I didn’t have to try very hard to find a way to pass my time. Yesterday, while most people were tapping kegs, rolling out the crudites, ripping open bags of potato chips and prepping French onion dip, I was standing watch over a chicken.

Yes, you read me correctly: a chicken.

Larry Bird on Milton Street

This chicken — who somehow found her (?) way onto Milton Street.

As with most days when I get hit with a mindfuck a minute, it all started innocently enough: with an argument with Mr. Heather. At noon I arose to find him on the computer, as is his usual habit. I notice a take-out container on the coffee table. I open it: inside is one cubic inch of red velvet cake. Recognizing this confection as being the one we purchased at Kombit the evening before, I asked:

How was the cake?

Mr. Heather: It was terrible. Way too dry.

When I encounter a culinary item I find distasteful I rarely endeavor to eat all but one bite. If I do not like something I will cease eating it. Mr. Heather— for reasons known only to him— is not so easily deterred. I did not ask him why he left only one minuscule chunk of cake, that would have invited a lengthy explanation which I, having just awakened, was probably not prepared for. I go to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee instead.

Thereafter I proceeded to the bedroom to change clothes. Mr. Heather was busy preparing a load of laundry. Under the impression we were going for a walk (this was agreed upon the night before) I ask him what he is doing. He replies:

I am going to do a load of laundry.

Me: I thought we were going for a walk.
Mr. Heather: I thought you could help me do some laundry first.
Me: Um, no.
Mr. Heather: Well, can’t you wait?
Me: No.

I will spare you the gory details of what followed. Suffice it to say it involved a lot of passive-aggressive manipulation on the Mister’s part. Disgusted, I offered a compromise:

Fine, I will go to Williamsburg and cash out a gift certificate. You can meet me there later. I don’t want you going with me anyway. I am not in the mood to hear you curse about hipsters every fucking five feet.

And lo, a deal was made! I put on my coat and headed to Willy B on foot. When I reached Milton Street, this is what I found:

Tweeners and the chicken

A pack of tweeners and a woman looking at a chicken.

Having never seen a chicken before (save perhaps on their dinner plate) the children took great delight in chasing her. She was not as enthusiastic and elected to hide behind a dumpster.

Larry Bird behind the dumpster

When one of these gutter snipes shouted “Let’s put it on a raft and dump it in the East River!” I decided it was time for action: I called 311. Before I continue I’d like to say a few things about 311. Having the pleasure of living in Greenpoint, which can best be described as being in a state of (an over) development free for all, I have called them on numerous occasions. The operators, always courteous, vary wildly in regards to their ability to direct me to the proper agency. This time proved to be no exception.

Call #1

Me: Yes, I’d like to report that there is a chicken wandering around on Milton Street between Franklin and West.
Operator: What?
Me: There is a chicken loose on Milton Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A number of young boys are tormenting it. Can you get someone down here to pick it up?
Operator: Is the chicken injured?
Me: I don’t know. It’s walking around but isn’t very happy.

After being put on hold with the Center for Animal Care and Control for over five minutes I got frustrated and hung up.

Call #2

Me: I know this is going to sound really strange, but there is a chicken at large on Milton Street between Franklin and West. A number of preteen boys are chasing it, can the C.A.C.C. please come by and retrieve it?
Operator: Is the chicken injured?
Me: Beats me, I don’t know anything about chickens.
Operator: I am going to forward your request to the local precinct and they’ll follow it up.

As I got off the phone I noticed the woman with me was engaged in a shouting match with the “parent” who was charged with “supervising” these pack of prepubescent p(h)ucks. Larry, in the meantime, had seen fit to enter the basketball court. Knowing that we had him cornered, the woman and I stood watch over him.

Five minutes go by. My fellow Samaritan calls the 94th Precinct directly* and reports Larry Bird. The operator assures her a police car is on the way.

Waiting for the police

We watch the chicken.

Fifteen minutes come to pass, she calls the 94th Precinct again. After informing the operator that she has been waiting fifteen minutes for the police to show up, she was told she has only been waiting for five minutes.

Larry Bird on the court

We (continue to) watch the chicken. Larry Bird— cornered, confused and cute— tries to keep warm.

Twenty minutes later the police arrived and with them came the crowning coup de grace: they were the same officers who detained me last December for taking photographs of Christmas Decorations. I had told the woman standing guard with me about this incident (people tend to engage in discussions when guarding a chicken, it makes the time go by faster when waiting for the 94th to arrive) and of all things, she happened to be a photographer.

Me: Aw shit.
Woman: What?
Me: Those are the cops who detained me. If you don’t mind, I’m getting out of here. I do not want to talk to these people. You can handle it, right?
Woman: Sure, go.

And go I did. FAST.

Wherever you are little Larry Bird, I hope you are safe and sound. Perhaps you’ll find your way to a nice animal sanctuary upstate where you can shoot hoops in peace.

Miss Heather

*Because I know the phone number for the 94th Precinct by rote memorization and gave it to her. Long story.

More Harassment Courtesy of the N.Y.P.D.

Last night I approved a series of comments regarding my recent interaction with New York’s Finest. Among them was this turd posted by “MASKEDMAN”:

Ahhh Miss Heather
But if your house was broken into by someone who had been casing your neighborhood, so upset you would be at the Police Department for not doing there job.
How you would say they were at a donut shop or such, instead of properly investigating a 911 call of a suspicious person.
You say “Was I dressed in a manner that would be construed as menacing? How would the police know that? Because if they thought that, they would be profiling ooohhhh and just think of the story you would have then!!!!
Give the Officers a break really.

To wit I replied:

I have a better idea: they should cut us a break and (as I said in the comment previous to yours) go after real criminals.

It’s easy to criticize when you have not had an experience like mine and I hope you never do. Your cynicism saddens me. Nonetheless, I wish you happy and healthy holiday season.

“MASKEDMAN” got diarrhea of the mouth— or would that be of the keyboard? Either way it is fear-mongering bullshit:

I find it very funny
People riding their bicycles on the sidewalk, people drinking in public. all against the law.
How can you be upset about getting a summons for beaking ther law?
Don’t know if anyone has kids, but have you ever tried to walk on the sidewalk with a stroller while bicycles wiz by you it’s not fun.
Laws are there for a reason, if you want to play, you have to pay my friends.
Oh how everyone would complain if they were sleeping, and some people were outside drinking beers and making noise keeping them up. But I’m sure you weren’t making any noise, right?
Maybe the cops should just do NOTHING.see how you like it then.

Cut you a break for what Miss Heather? Just don’t investigate the complaint. You can’t be serious

Thinking this guy was just some angry jerk-off, I humored him:

If you are going to be abusive, Maskedman I am going to revoke your account. I have gone through enough hell this week. I am the victim in this situation. Not you and certainly not the NYPD. Simple as that.

Here is his piquant reply:

Well Miss Heather, I’m sorry you took me as abusive, I was simply asking a question and not trying to be abusive.
But, if you think that is abuse, NOW I can understand why simple questions by the Police to understand your actions causes you to call the Officer names like Barney Fife. You’re way too sensitive.
By the way, you should really THANK the Police for the job they have done there in the 94 Pct. THEY are the reason you can walk around that precinct looking at decorations, instaed of looking at hookers, pimps and drug dealers (as it was years ago). But instead you get mad at them for simply doing their job.
Victim? Victim of what?
You really have to think about this Miss Heather.

PS Please don’t assume you know me, or know my experiences, as I quote you “when you have not had an experience like mine”. I was pulled over by the Police all the time when I first started driving because I looked so young. They would pull me over, ask me for ID, question me, then send me on my way. I didn’t mind, ya know why? because I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I had NOTHING to worry about and they were just doing their job. Have a very Merry Christmas Miss Heather, and enjoy your New Year.

I did “think” about this. I also looked up “MASKEDMAN’S” I.P. address. Guess what? He and the N.Y.P.D. are one and the same:


“MASKEDMAN” writes:

Please don’t assume you know me, or know my experiences…

The sentiment is mutual: I do not want you to know me or my experiences. Ever read the Bill of Rights “MASKEDMAN”? I suspect you haven’t so here it is via Wikipedia:

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

First Amendment: Establishment clause, freedom of religion, speech, and press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment:
Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Third Amendment: Protection from quartering of troops. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Fourth Amendment:
Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment: Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain. No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sixth Amendment: Trial by jury and other rights of the accused. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Seventh Amendment: Civil trial by jury. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Eighth Amendment
: Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment: Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment: Powers of states and people. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Now that my history lesson is over, I’ll tell you something: I forwarded “MASKEDMAN’s” IP address to a lot of people. Here’s what one anonymous tipster had to say:

Good for you for putting word out.

I think he is probably harmless — the kind of guy who won’t hear anything critical about the police force. Interesting, though, that he is spending considerable amounts of time reading and posting to blogs from his office.

Have you seen this? The NYPD censoring this Wikipedia page with more or less the same IP info and location. (They also apparently notified the NYTimes–see Wiki comments.)

also naming Sara Berger & male colleague (albeit a different one) in NDSS room 701
maybe Sarah and the lads are just “techs.” But the room appears to be the “we watch the internet” room. Who knew?

I guess it’s probable that’s the location of NYPD’s IT and they’re not really in room 701.
It still raises the question of why maskedman isn’t doing some work.

Isn’t it nice to know your tax dollars are paying “MASKEDMAN” to surf the Internet and harass civilians who have the temerity to stand up for themselves? The timing of “MASKEDMAN’s” missives is also interesting: they came to pass after a lot of negative press via the ‘blogosphere’ and on THE SAME DAY Channel 12 contacted the 94 Precinct regarding my “incident”.

Miss Heather

Love Is In The Air!

December 17, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

Many who are reading this are probably aware of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. They are a community group charged with overseeing the upgrade of Greenpoint’s favorite sewage treatment plant. Each month they meet with the Department of Environmental Protection and talk sewage shop. While this may sound like watching paint dry to some, it has come to my attention that a subject has arisen at the last two meetings which is anything but boring.

Nature Walk, facing north

Per Emily Lloyd, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, “unsavory acts” are transpiring at the nature walk. Per my source (the ever-cool Matt Wolfe of The Greenpoint Courier) she did not give any details as to the nature of these acts, but I suspect they are of a carnal persuasion. I want you to think about this for a moment, dear readers: there are people who (purportedly) see fit to fornicate in the shadow of New York Shitty’s largest sewage treatment plant.

Sewage Treatment Plant

This is like something straight out of a John Waters movie— which of course bears testament to its probable verity: Greenpoint is a John Waters kind of place. I wonder if a shag rug and a bottle of cold duck were used as inducements for these “unsavory acts”? Both of the previous facilitated my entrance into this world. I know this because my mother has told me so.

On a number of occasions.

But I digress. I have created a very special Greenpoint postcard to commemorate the (un?)natural acts which have taken place at the Nature Walk of late. Here it is for your delectation.

Love is in the air!

These can be purchased via my online store at Cafepress. Why not reach out and touch that special someone with a gift only Greenpoint can give? The Shit Tits!

Miss Heather

P.S.: Those of you who are interested in learning more about the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee can contact them at:

Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee
329 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

(718) 349-0150

Disgruntled Williamsburg Parent Changes Tactics…

but his motivations/inducements are more or less the same.

Looking for an apartment…

This, his latest attempt, is subtle…

NORTH Greenpoint

and yet, more desperate. Maybe you, my fellow Greenpointers, can open your hearts and sublet your closet, tool shed or parking space so “John’s” precious children can receive a better education? One their father clearly did not receive: reading, writing, critical thinking, and ethics:

I need to move my two children from an otherwise great location in Williamsburg. but where They currently attend a dismally performing school and I wish have them to attend the school designated for this neighborhood (annotated: GreenPoint). To this end I am prepared to sacrifice as above or pay $$ to anyone who can help effect this (my latest attempt to bribe my children into a better performing school in a less “great” location).

Miss Heather’s mind is a terrible thing to waste. Especially when forced to read and correct the aforementioned drech while waiting to check out at The Garden while not wasted (intoxication makes illiteracy coupled with entitlement go down better for yours truly).

The quality of “North GreenPoint’s” schools is well known. To Greenpointers and one Gowanus Lounge commenter anyway:

why is he doing this now – didn’t do his homework before moving house?

The information that Greenpoint’s two schools were high performing and Williamsburg’s were not was already freely available before the grading.

Clearly John did NOT do his homework. Given this gent’s persistence, it begs one to wonder how many more concerned Williamsburg parents will try to lie/cheat/bribe their way into Greenpoint’s public schools.

Miss Heather

What Would Guido Do?

I created a little controversy recently when I referred to the Rat Man’s stomping grounds as being in Greenpoint. Addrobinson, a frequent New York Shitty commenter, noted:

Its funny you know him as the “rat maniac”, because to me & my friends he is “The Pigeon Maniac”. I always just assume that he was feeding the Pigeons and the rats took care of what the birds left behind. I also find it very odd that you consider that area to be “southeastern Greenpoint”, in all the years I have lived here that is the first time I’ve heard anyone even use that term, let alone call that area it.

What constitutes Greenpoint? This is a very contentious question. If you ask an old timer, as another commenter (Zeebah) suggested, he or she will tell you the area in question (Kingsland Avenue near Frost Street) is in Greenpoint. If you ask a real estate agent, he (or she) will call it Williamsburg. It is simply a matter of who benefits. Which brings me to this:

Martone’s Dairy

This rather nifty old photo can be seen at De Stefano’s Restaurant. Note the location where the picture was taken: Graham Avenue between Devoe and Metropolitan Avenue. Now let’s take a closer look at the neighborhood inscribed on this photo, shall we?

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

Interesting. My curiosity piqued, I asked the owner of the restaurant about this unusual piece of taxonomy. He explained to me that when he was a kid no one who lived in this area called it Williamsburg. That neighborhood was considered distasteful. Greenpoint, therefore, was used because it was considered to be “more classy”. So there have you.

What do I consider to be Greenpoint? Well, this map should give you a general idea.

What is Greenpoint?

The semi-transparent red line indicates the boundaries of the 11222 zip code. The additional shaded sections are areas I consider to be Greenpoint that fall outside this zip code. The more eagle-eyed among you will notice that the Greenpoint Hospital would be considered by many not to be in Greenpoint at all. It is also very telling to note that the engraved text (which read “Greenpoint Hospital”) which once graced the entrance of this building has been removed. I have little doubt this was done at the behest of a real estate professional. Perhaps the developer plans on having “East Williamsburg Hospital” inscribed its place?

I suppose there is no clear cut means of determining what constitutes Greenpoint— or any neighborhood, for that matter. Or is there? As daskol observed:

Guido, the mayor of Withers Street, will kick your ass if you refer to this area as Williamsburg. He might change his tune when it’s time to list his property.

I think it is time for us to stop bickering and ask ourselves a much more important question:

What would Guido do?

Miss Heather

What Is Missing From This Picture?

October 16, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Yesterday was a beautiful day. So much so I shook off my autumn doldrums and went for a walk. I am very, very happy I did. Read on and find out why.

609 Manhattan Avenue 10/15/07

When I reached 607 Manhattan Avenue I stopped. “Something is missing, but I just can’t put my finger on it.” I mused to myself.

609 Manhattan Avenue 6/3/07

Oh, that’s what it is. That hideous sign I have been ranting about for months has been removed! Wondering if the Department of Buildings had a hand in this most auspicious (and long awaited) event, I hightailed it home and checked out their web site.

DOB BIS 609 Manhattan Avenue 10/15/07

THEY DID!!!

I would like to take a moment to thank the folks at the Department of Buildings for ordering the removal this of this hideous (and potentially dangerous) eyesore from my community. I’ve given your agency a real drubbing of late, but I believe in giving props for a job well done. Now, if S.P.I.T. would work its regulatory magic on 72 Norman Avenue, we’ll be all aces.

Miss Heather

Miss Heather’s Apartment Share Inferno

New York Shitty is a metropolis of pissers and moaners. Crappy jobs/job interviews, crappy dates, crappy landlords: someone has written a lengthy (and usually pithy) missive (or two) about them all. Yet no one has written about a subject that encapsulates all the previous and more: apartment shares and the people who offer them. Until today.

I care not for landlords, first dates or job interviews— but at least I know what all the previous involve: me getting fucked. Be it metaphorically, physically or both. The same cannot be said about apartment share interviews, as I learned several years ago.

The purpose of this post is to showcase the three worst (and/or weirdest) apartment share interviews I have ever had. I have even taken the liberty of creating a handy checklist to track the depths of depravity I endured. Nothing says “you’ve arrived” (in HELL) like PowerPoint, after all.

CASE STUDY #1: THE DUNGEON

The Dungeon

Vital Statistics

Location: Meserole Street and Graham Avenue
Rent: $450 a month
The Catch: It’s a SRO

Truth be told, I was not very jazzed about the location of this share. Sure, it is a beautiful building, but I am a Greenpoint gal through and through. However, when one is dirt-ass broke, she cannot afford to be choosy, so I checked it out.

When I arrived at the front door I was greeted by a young woman. I think she was from Belgium, though it was hard to tell. She was a very pleasant and elegantly dressed lady— which made up for the decidedly NON-elegant setting.

As she led me through the front door (of her section) of the SRO, a man donning a dragon mask and reeking of marijuana popped out of another door and started giggling inanely. “Okay”, I thought “So he likes to party a little on a Sunday afternoon. Who doesn’t? No problem.”

The room she showed me was very spacious. I’ve seen many apartments smaller than this space, which probably measured around 400 square feet. I even liked the shade of lilac the walls were painted. Very pretty. I even told her so and she thanked me. She had picked out the paint herself.

Then I saw something I have never seen in any apartment/share space before: leather restraints, paddles and heavy chains anchored to the wall by mollies. Given that this was a three month sublease, the presence of these implements was non-negotiable. I could honestly not care less what this woman did (professionally?), but I don’t think I could have handled waking up every morning to the sight of Medieval torture devices. I was offered this sublet, but turned it down.

All things considered this experience was pretty mild (as I later would learn). What’s more, she was really likable and clearly not out to rip me off so I give this share a rating of…

SRO of Pain

CASE STUDY #2: MESEROLE STREET SUICIDE SHARE

Suicide Hall

Vital Statistics

Location: Meserole and Leonard Street
Rent: $500 a month
The Catch: Too many to summarize

The only reason I agreed to an interview at this share was because I confused “Meserole Street” with “Meserole Avenue”. After my interview at this hellhole I have never confused the two thoroughfares since.

I knocked on the door, a smallish red-haired man answered and ushered me in. It was dark. It was dirty. It was the bachelor pad date rape central replete with a disemboweled motorcycle in the living area. Although something about the “head roomie” was unsettling to me, I liked the other guy and heard them out. He was nice.

Then the shoes dropped, one after the other.

  1. Once the “Head Roomie” stood by the bathroom area (which was better lit) I recognized him; this shithead had I.M.ed me on Nerve a month ago. And being a freak (him more so than, me), I dissed him. Whoops.
  2. After making the previous discovery he showed me the room. It was okay, I guess. Then he pulled out a photo album and pointed to a picture of 20-something brunette chap.

See this guy?

I answered: yes.

He used to live in that space. Really nice guy, always laughing. We didn’t realize he had problems.

Me: Really, what kind of problems?

After not hearing from him a couple of days we went into his room and discovered that he had shot himself in the head hanged himself.

Me: I’m sorry to hear that.

What the hell do you say to something like that? How can one NOT notice a DEAD BODY for TWO WHOLE DAYS??? These are both very good questions. I kept them to myself.

I feel that people need to know about this, you know.

He said.

Let’s see: this was either the most diabolical form of revenge ever exacted (Where’s Candid Camera?) or this guy is being honest. Given the lack of overall intelligence he demonstrated on Nerve, I’m leaning towards the latter. I bet he is still trolling the Internets for leg too. My advice: no woman in her right mind is going to put out in a place that reeks of motor oil.

When I took the above the photo a meathead busy recycling beer bottles shouted:

Take a picture of the building across the street, it’s much nicer!

Leonard Street Fedders Special

And, inasmuch as I hate to say it, I agree. At least no one has blown his (or her) brains out here hanged him (or herself) there.

Yet.

With so many different factors at play, I am going to stick with simple suicide on this one and give this share a…

Meserole Street Suicide Den

At last! We are down to our last contender from the Universe’s very own Garden Spot: Greenpoint, Brooklyn U.S.A.!

CASE STUDY #3: STONER SPECIAL

Nassau Ave Bachelor Pad

Vital Statistics

Location: Nassau Avenue and Monitor Street
Rent: $600 a month
The Catch: It’s total fucking rip-off… and more!

I slog my ass over to this place. It stinks. Literally. Only a block away from Kingsland Avenue, the corner where this building is situated sports a perfume I like to call Petro le Um #5. Being the eager little domicile hunter I was (because I have a strong distaste about being homeless) I go in.

It is a loft. I do not like lofts. Inasmuch as the real estate industry likes to throw around the buzz phrase “artist loft” my experience has been that “artists” generally do not inhabit such spaces. I write this as an artist. 252 Norman Avenue was no exception.

I look around and note the “stoner special” layout of the living area: three really big, threadbare sofas encircling a very expensive widescreen television set. I am shown the room that is for rent: it is (maybe) eight by ten feet. It has no windows whatsoever. They are asking $600 a month for this piece of shit. In 2001.

I am then subjected to a gauntlet of questions by the residents of this place. I smile and answer them politely. Then I go home.

A weeks goes by and I get a phone call. It is one of the fellows from this apartment.

Me: So did I get the share?
Dude: No, but I thought you were cute and wondered if you’d like to go out on a date.

WTF!?!

When I told my buddy Larry about this recently, he opined:

You should have gone out with the guy and moved in with him. That way you will have a place to live and not have to pay rent.

Funny man, that Larry.

That said, there is something so utterly WRONG about using apartment share interviews to pick up chicks. It takes real chutzpah to call someone, tell her she did NOT get the share and then ask her on a date. Truth be told, it gave me the fucking creeps. So I give this jerk a…

Stoner Special

In case you are wondering, I ended up putting all my shit in storage and sofa surfing until I found a place of my own. I can honestly say that one month of sofa-surfing wasn’t that bad when faced with my alternatives.

Miss Heather

Mattress with Benefits

June 18, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Mattress

I encountered the above mattress yesterday evening on Greenpoint Avenue. Upon closer inspection I learned this item has some “added-value” you’re probably not going to get from the likes of 1-800-Mattress, Macy’s or even IKEA.

Mattress Detail

Tasty.

Miss Heather

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