New York Shitty Day Ender: Reader Comment du Jour

May 9, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Calyer Cooze notes (in regards to this post):

And here’s the latest Craigslist ad! Nausea, indeed. (As seen above, for posterity)

On that note, I had a very interesting bit of information brought to my attention. That being:

239 Banker Street does not have an a Certificate of Occupancy for a hotel. Thus the question becomes why are they being taxed as such? Anyone who cares to take up this interesting discrepancy can (and should) do so by clicking here.

Spotted On North 12 Street: 1%

Taken January 31, 2012.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: India Street Cats Poisoned?

I have received word that someone has attempted— and in one case, succeeded*— to poison the feral cats who call the end of India Street their home. If any of you, dear readers, see suspicious activity please call the police. Otherwise here’s what a commenter in the know has to say about animal abuse:

Poisoning Cats in New York State is a Felony

Punishment for this crime is 2 year in prison and/or a $5,000 fine

To file a report contact:
Humane Law Enforcement of the ASPCA
212-876-7700 ext. 4450

Neighborhood Cats, Inc.

*He was found dead by the colony’s caretaker, a man named Sandy.

A New York Shitty Op Ed: Banned From FB

September 27, 2011 ·
Filed under: Asshole, Fuck This Shit 

(Or: How To Get a 24 Hour “Time Out” Courtesy of Facebook In Two Easy Steps)

It has not necessarily been an easy month for yours truly. This has been doubly the case the last few days; someone placed a particularly nasty piece of code into this web site thus directing it to a host of spam/phishing sites. It took the Mister two days to finally track it down and eradicate it. The result is what you are seeing now. I assure you, dear readers, this format merely temporary. But I digress.

We were not alone in this endeavor to rid New York Shitty of its “guest”. A very nice lady named Lisanne helped us and to this end she and I dialoged via Facebook as the Mister worked furiously until late into the night. Wishing to thank her, I tried to log onto Facebook yesterday morning (so as to shoot her a message). This was the missive which awaited me:

For those of you who are not in the know, this is not the first time I have been admonished for violating Facebook’s “Statement of Rights & Responsibilities”. This was my second strike. I’m not too certain what happens on “strike three” but I imagine I will find out soon enough.

What precipitated my first run-in with the Facebook Police, you ask? The answer will amuse you: Michele Bachmann. More specifically, this rather hideous photo of her eating a corn dog.

When I first spied this photo on Copyranter I cringed. Then I started laughing fiendishly with utter abandon. I was of the distinct impression that the more people who knew about/saw this image, the better. So I made it my avatar. It was a big hit— but alas, I got “caught”. I was given a warning by Facebook and forced to review their rules. Without further ado, here they are:

I’ll be perfectly frank: I stopped reading at “Bullying and Harassment”. The thought of (successfully) bullying Mrs. Bachmann— who has made more than a few people miserable herself— felt too damned good. Instead, I mulled the matter over and came to the conclusion that if this photo was flagged it was, perchance, because the “flagger” in question was a Rick Perry fan. So I decided to oblige him/her with a new avatar! I aim to please.

I know what you’re thinking:

This is what got Heather in trouble with Facebook!

No, it wasn’t. In fact, this was my avatar until last night. Mr. Perry administering “services” to Michelangelo’s “Adam” was somehow overlooked. Go figure. But before I give the reveal as to what happens when you cross Facebook twice (and tender an unobstructed image of the offending item) I would like to take a moment to review a few items I have posted which Facebook did not find objectionable:

This post (regarding the hysteria on non-Hurricane Irene) passed muster.

As did this. So employing a slang term for ejaculate is A-ok. Following me so far, folks? Excellent!

Memorializing a tree that looks like a “lady flower”? “No problem!” says Facebook!

Here’s the deal folks: we’re all adults. I suspect I speak on the behalf of the adult community when I write that being punished for a second infraction of Facebook’s (seemingly arbitrary) rules by being given a 24 hour “time out” (READ: being blocked from uploading any content or commenting on posts) is, well, childish. And this is exactly what happened yesterday:

I was then directed (once again) to their read “Community Standards”.

To recap:

1. No Threats
2. No Promoting Self Harm
3. Bullying & Harassment
4. Hate Speech
5. Graphic Violence
6. Sex & Nudity
7. Theft, Vandalism or Fraud
8. Identity & Privacy
9. Intellectual Property
10. Phishing & Spam

Are all covered in the 10 Commandments of Facebook. I want you, gentle readers, to keep these in mind when viewing what precipitated my 24 hour banishment from the their community. Drum roll please…

A photograph of one of my shoes into which one of our cats was kind enough to discharge a hairball. I’m not making this up.

New York Shitty analysis: I see lots of objectionable content online and on Facebook in particular. Instead of crying “moral outrage” and advocating censorship I simply vote with my point and clicks. In other words: I go elsewhere. Is a photo of a hairball-laden piece of footwear truly worthy of censure folks? Sure, it is disgusting— but still? After giving the matter some thought (which I am guessing was the purpose of this whole exercise: penance) I have concluded it wasn’t. In fact, I am going to conclude this post with a message to Facebook. Realizing it is “off-color” I have taken the liberty of punishing myself in advance in true Facebook “form”: a bar of Irish Spring right in the ol’ kisser!

Suck it.

Update, October 1, 2011: But apparently making light of rape and deriding rape victims is okay per Facebook. Go figure.

New York Shitty Day Ender: 400 McGuinness Boulevard

August 19, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Or: How To Lose Friends & (Further) Alienate People

By all appearances the matter of a 200 bed assessment center for homeless men at 400 McGuinness Boulevard is not a proposal. It is rapidly becoming a reality— and if what I have received in my inbox is any indication, the powers behind this endeavor have inflicted abuse on the one thing Greenpoint is sorely lacking. HINT: it is not homeless people.

It is trees.

Laura (who took the above photographs) writes:

The property owner at 400 McGuinness Blvd. is already a nightmare for the community. I can’t imagine what things will be like when 200 formerly incarcerated individuals take residence there. Today Mike & I observed scaffolding workers actively damaging a city street tree. I identified myself as a citizen pruner and informed the crew that they aren’t supposed to do that. One worker replied “so what”. I replied, “It’s against the law”. He shrugged his shoulders. I saw I was getting nowhere and called Stephanie Thayer who promised to put in a call to the Forestry Dept. I backed up that call with a 311 complaint. Here’s the complaint number. C1-1-676689666

After Mike & I both placed complaints about the tree damage, we were approached by another worker who explained that he “couldn’t get hold of the super” for direction. He talked to one of the DOT workers in the office under the Pulaski Bridge, thinking he worked for the city and would know the rules. The guys were instructed by the DOT worker, “Don’t worry about it. No one will say anything.” Hmph!!!! I responded by telling him that I’m sure the workers are aware of the rules regarding how to construct scaffolding around a city tree. And if not, should be. I further explained that there is a $1,000. fine for damaging a city street tree and will be reporting it.

I and other community members busted their asses to advocate for city street trees and to care for them. The city is not safeguarding the investment of tax dollars by not taking street tree damage seriously. Something has to be done! There is far too much tree damage happening in Greenpoint…

I totally agree.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Digusting

This very disturbing item comes from a person we’ll call “B”. He writes:

Hi Miss Heather,

I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I were walking our dog last night on west and eagle and came across a garbage bag with at least one probably two dead pit bulls in it…It was truly horrible and heartbreaking as they looked like they were used for fighting and then just tossed out in a black garbage bag…I don’t know what kind of despicable person would do such a thing. We called the ASPCA animal cruelty hotline, but they said they can’t really do anything unless you see the crime in progress and instructed us to call sanitation or 311…so I guess they would just be picked up and disposed of. I hope you can put the word out to people to keep an eye out for anyone dumping anything around there. It was really nasty and there was blood everywhere on the ground…not sure if the bag is still there at this point, but hopefully someone will see something next time and we can catch these bastards.

I have reached out to the 94th Precinct in the hope I can find out:

  1. If this has been brought to their attention and
  2. what is the standard protocol if someone (god forbid) comes across something like this in the future.

Update, 4:21 p.m.: Here’s what I have heard from D. I. Hurson.

Miss Heather, just got your e-mail… I have not heard of any dog fighting in Green point. It sounds from your email that the dogs were dumped on West street (since it can be somewhat deserted. If anyone suspects dog fighting they should call 911 immediately.

So there you go.

Miss Heather

Spotted At 984 Manhattan Avenue: WPIX

Today yours truly decided to take it easy and knock around the Garden Spot. You can imagine my surprise when I spied a television crew on Manhattan Avenue between Huron Street and India Street. It was Greg Mocker from Channel 11, and yes, he was interviewing people regarding the “beeping” fliers yours truly wrote about yesterday. For shits and giggles I decided to hang around and watch him at work. Hilarity ensued. (TEASER: Those of you who are fans of our Community Board’s Public Safety Chair— and you know who you are—  will be pleased to know he makes a cameo appearance at the very end!)

Here’s the deal, folks:

1. Aside from flat-out lying to a chap he was interviewing about the provenance of the story he was “reporting” I find it rather sad that this is the kind of “new item” that apparently merits the professional media’s attention nowadays. There a lot of great stories to be found in Greenpoint. This is not one of them. So much for the media being the “watch dogs” for the people.

2. Those of you who live in the area know (as I do) that the gentleman he is interviewing is not normal. He is very nice, to be certain but I do not know if he is merely learning disabled, has a speech impediment or is struggling with addiction (as many people hereabouts are)— or all of the above. For this reason I find it utterly reprehensible that Mr. Mocker would consider subjecting this man to media attention (and therefore ridicule). This chap cannot help being what god made him. Therefore, it would seem to me that the responsibility falls on Mr. Mocker— as a human being— not to exploit this gentleman’s shortcomings. But this seems to be what he was up to and as such he is putting a “face” on this community that is not only highly inaccurate, but quite frankly also insulting. We come in all shapes and stripes here.

UPDATE, 10:24 p.m.: I have word from my buddy Kevin over at Forgotten-NY that yours truly was given props (albeit as “thatgreenpointblog”) from Mr. Mocker himself! In addition our Public Safety Chair makes a rather amusing appearance. See for yourself:

As you can imagine I am very pleased by these developments. However:

1. I doubt I would have been credited had the above exchange not taken place.

2. I would be really, truly grateful if Mr. Mocker would cover more substantive issues in my community moving forward. And believe you there are plenty of those to be found!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Very Special Problem

January 30, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I recently finished reading David Rakoff’s latest opus: Half Empty. While yours truly found the book as a whole rather enjoyable, there is one passage I found particularly compelling:

In gypsy folklore, when one has a secret that can no longer borne in silence one digs a hole in the ground and speaks those terrible truths into it. I was that hole.

I mention the previous because there are many an occasion, gentle readers, the New York Shitty inbox feels like such a hole. The aftermath of last year’s blizzard— or more accurately the rage that came with it— is one example. Follows is yet another.

On the evening of January 29, 2011 X writes:

Hey Miss Heather, your site was recommended to me by a neighborhood friend and I must say it’s quite entertaining! I have an issue that I was hoping you could help shed light on.  I woke up this morning and discovered this on my windowsill.

It appears that one of my neighbors is so barbaric, they feel the need to discard their unwanted house guests by tossing them out the window.  I found not one but four glue traps on my windowsills and air conditioner!!  Now not only is this inexplicably reckless and unsanitary, it’s incredibly selfish and shows total disregard or concern for their neighbors. I spent most of today calling various government agencies, 311, building management and even the police to no avail.  Everybody seemed to want to pass the buck on this.  Since no one else seems to care, I was hoping you would publish this letter in an effort to expose the despicable coward who is committing this act.  I’m hoping that one of your readers can help identify exactly who is responsible for this action.  Thank you. P.S. I live on Manhattan Avenue between Green & Freeman Street.

I have lived in Greenpoint for going on 11 years now. In this time I:

  • have almost had a pot full of rancid curry dumped on my head.
  • have overheard a verbal altercation between a man and woman in a foreign tongue (Hindi, perhaps?) and then watched in disbelief as a cache of XXX VHS tapes and a partially cooked chicken flew out the window. For what it is worth, I salvaged what VHS tapes were not destroyed upon impact and made the Mister watch them. He told me they were pretty bad.*
  • had to listen to a smoke/carbon monoxide detector outside my window beep away with merry abandon for over 24 hours because its former owner did not know how to dismantle it. TIP: remove the batteries.
  • had to explain the difference between a cat and a raccoon to a couple of chaps who were not in the know.

All the previous have been at the behest of one neighbor or another and came to pass years ago. I had honestly thought Greenpoint’s gentrification had eliminated this kind of behavior. Obviously this is not the case. If anyone has an idea as to whom is responsible for this dastardly (and downright disgusting deed) please shoot me an email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Your identity will remain anonymous.

Miss Heather

*Little did we know at the time but this was the first of numerous pornographic purges from this residence. Among the DVDs to be had were “Latina Girls & Dirty Old Geezers” and “Raw Meat”. Tasty.

Spotted On McGuinness Boulevard: Imperialism

January 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Given the spate of rather nasty weather lately yours truly has been spending a great deal of time indoors. Today when the temperature reached a downright balmy 38 degrees I decided to take a little stroll down McGuinness Boulevard. I had a very pleasurable excursion until I reached the intersection of Java Street. This is where I found myself standing in slack-jawed amazement at the following.

Why do the people responsible for this crap think mimicking the Death Star somehow denotes “class”?

I mumbled to myself. Then I proceeded to cross the street so as to take a closer look. That’s when I learned that the above edifice may very well have the same expansionist designs, “Manifest Destiny” if you will, as espoused by Darth Vader, et. al.

Why can I not shake the image of a python unhinging its jaws and slurping down a rather large and unhappy mammal— or perhaps a spider injecting some digestive substance into its victim and waiting for it to rot from within— when I behold the above grotesque? Needless to say I will be watching with rapt interest to see how the guys at 285-303 McGuinness Boulevard (which has racked up a rather impressive number of complaints and a Partial Stop Work Order) will work around this little problem. My prognostication is as follows: if they fuck with their diminutive neighbor’s satellite television it will be war. Provided of course it hasn’t escalated to that level already.

In any case (and to close), I suspect no one will be surprised to know this edifice (which I have christened “The Anacondo”) springs forth from the G-E-N-I-U-S, north Brooklyn’s good friend and Greenpoint’s gift that keeps on giving … (drumroll, please)

Bobby Scarano, stand up please!

Miss Heather

P.S.: Anyone care to place bets as to when Fox News/Murdoch’s Tuskin Raiders send a television crew out to document this atrocity? They point and click in single file (to my web site) to hide their numbers!

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina

(Or: Stupid Customer Tricks, Part I)

Some of the people reading this site are aware that as of January 6, yours truly joined the ranks of the unemployed. Can I honestly say I am surprised by this turn of events? No. The junk shop has been running pretty “tight” lately and the owner did what he had to do: he let someone go. It is the purpose of this post to embark upon on my brave new life, get a little closure and illustrate what “skills” the junk shop has taught me. Are you listening potential employers? Here we go!

A few weeks ago someone I had not seen in a long time entered the store: Martin. He waited patiently as I was dealing with a particularly vexatious individual. Once this woman exited the store he asked me how I was doing. I replied:

Much better now. I wanted to punch that woman in the face.

To wit, my coworker commented:

That’s not very nice.

I replied:

If I didn’t say it, I’d probably do it.

While definitely hyperbole (I am not a violent person) my fit of Freud stands: it is better to blow off steam with one’s mouth instead of letting it find its way to your fists. Martin understood this and suggested I create a list of ruses that junk shop customers use. I have borne witness to a number of tactics people have employed in an attempt to get merchandise for a lower price (or free). Some of them are downright hilarious. Now that I am unencumbered with employment I will attempt to share the “top ten” with commentary and some hope of catharsis.

1. The merchandise is in some way damaged/broken/defective.

This is without argument the most common. When confronted with this ruse I point out “condition”  has been taken into account when I stated the price. Occasionally the exchange would end at that. Usually it didn’t. More often than not the client in question will persist. In these cases I would point out the obvious:

If it is broken, why do you want to buy it?

I have never gotten a satisfactory answer to this question. But occasionally they’d say:

I can get this at the 99 Cent  Store.

And I encouraged them to do just that. Sometimes they followed my advice but more often than not they paid up and shut up.

2. (related to point #1)  The article of clothing in question does not fit properly.

Only women employ this argument. And I have learned the best rebuttal is as follows:

If it doesn’t fit, why do you want to buy it?

This is quite effective, which is a shame because I always wanted to try the following out:

Yes, you do look like you need to lose some weight.

Yeah, I’m an asshole. But I do not blame some anonymous saleswoman for the the fact my waist is 25-26 inches versus 22-23.

3.  Stating that the item in question is a gift for a friend.

I realize this one sounds totally crazy— but it is a lot more common than you think. Staring at the person incredulously usually works. In more persistent cases openly questioning how good the friend in question is if he/she is haggling over a gift at a second hand store works like a charm. No disrespect to the junk shop— it has some really neat stuff— but that is not really the point. Lesson learned: shaming works.

4.  I do not have any money.

I am not pulling your leg. I have heard this corker more times than I care to admit. Usually from the 20-something “hipster” demographic.  Here’s a real life example:

(man brings a solitary photograph up to the counter)

Me: Twenty five cents.
Man: I only have fifteen cents, will you take that?
Me: (puts face in hands, laughing)
Man: You do not like this?
Me: No, I don’t. Twenty five cents.
Result: Man’s friend ponies up a dime and he buys his photo. I heave a sigh of relief and ponder what I am going to purchase from the local liquor store after I get off work.

Another retort from yours truly:

But of course, this is the Free Store! We get stuff in and give it away to people.

Seriously folks, if you do not have money why are you shopping in the first place? I do not think this is an unreasonable question.

5. Steamroller

I cannot think of a better way of categorizing these people. They can best be illustrated by example:

A fifty-something man in a leather jacket with Carl Perkins haircut enters the store, plops down an old hardback book and a solitary dollar bill on the counter. I turn to my coworker and ask:

How much is this book, (excised)?

Two dollars.

My coworker replies.

“Carl” then proceeds to raise a holy stink, pointing out that, among other things the spine of the book is loose.

My reply: Two dollars.

Carl continues to throw a tantrum. I am unfazed. He starts to storm out the door in a fuss.


You can put that book back where you found it like a big boy.

Carl: You can put it back!

That’s when I proceeded to toss said book into the dumpster (and so in doing breaking the spine altogether) in front of “Carl”. Problem solved.

I also realized that despite all my attempts at deprogramming the Bible has, in fact, touched my life. Solomon was really onto something with that whole baby thing. If Carl wanted that book bad enough he would have paid two dollars. Or written it himself.

Shouting: don’t do it.

Not only do I dislike shouting, but I had the misfortune of being issued a phone number at my first apartment in this fair city that was one digit off from the Bronx County Medicaid office. I have also been assigned a cell phone number which clearly belonged to someone incarcerated at Rikers Island. I cannot honestly say the calls I received from either were particularly pleasant (the callers usually accused me of “covering up” for whomever they were attempting to reach) but I have to say the latter most were by and far the most interesting! I have also been a civil servant. Which brings me to…

6. Stonewalling

I do not consider myself to be “political”. I harbor a very strong interest in community affairs to be certain. Whether one is a Democrat, Republican and so forth? Absolutely not. This is probably in large part due to the fact I cannot honestly tell the difference anymore. But there is one thing that living in Greenpoint has taught me: I am most certainly not a Communist.

There is no nice (READ: “P.C.”) way to explain what I am about to tell you so I am going to grab the Bolshevik by the balls. I am not a political scientist. I am an artist, history minor, Greenpointer, malcontent and failure. And in the previous capacities (working at the junk shop)  I know all too well that while the Soviet Union (and the Warsaw Pact, for that matter) might be gone, standing in line will be its enduring legacy.

I cannot tell you how many times I have quoted a price only to have the person in question (usually an elderly Polish woman) simply stand there. It’s rather creepy— but having been a civil servant (and observed how the local Post Office handles such folks) I know what to do: ignore them. The last time I did this a woman fussed with her wallet for a good two minutes. But she finally relented to pay the outrageous capitalist price of six whole U.S. dollars for the merchandise in question. She wanted to pay five. Naturally she paid with a fifty dollar bill.

And for this Vladmir Ilyich Lenin— and Joey Stalin— I take a virtual shit on your grave.

(to be continued?)

Miss Heather

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