From the CB1 Yahoo Group: Landlord Harassment & Then Some

Ann-Marie writes:

Yesterday my mother and I were assaulted by our landlord in the building’s hallway. Three real estate agents working for the Corcoran Group were there. While I would not expect them to risk physical injury I would expect them to call the police or try to calm the people involved.

They did nothing. Just stood and watched what unfolded. One of the agents laughed at what was happening. Even after the police arrived the agents still lingered in the hallway watching “the show”. I find them despicable as human beings and wonder if the Corcoran Group with its steller marketing ads would want something like this publicized.

I had called 911. The police took down all necssary information. My mother and I have each filed a complaint and will seek an order of protection through criminal court.

As the landlord was leaving he verbally tripled our rent and said he is going to get us out – by which he will probably file for eviction. We have contacted various agencies for help. Since we live in a “private” house and are not in a rent controlled or rent stabilized apartment not one agency seems to have our situation under their jurisdiction.

Unfortunately I am unemployed right now and lost what little savings I accumulated in the recent stock market crash. So while I would logically look for another apartment or to find a “rent to own” a townhouse (in another state – on my salary and my mother’s SSI we cannot afford New York) my hands are tied. I only ask everyone to pray for us.

I honestly do not know what to say about this other than if what Ann-Marie writes is true— and there is no reason I can think of to disbelieve her— this is appalling. And inexcusable.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, 7:00 p.m.: Laura Hofmann has brought this to my attention:

Ann-Marie served on the Brooklyn Community Board 1 Rezoning Task Force Open Space Committee for the duration of the rezoning process. It is in part, due to her work that everyone in the community will enjoy our community parks.

New York Shitty Day Ender: A Tail of Two Larrys

Earlier today I was bantering with a buddy of mine online. He, not unlike myself, has a heat issue (READ: he has none).* My first and only piece of advice to this gentleman was as follows:

If the problem persists contact the Borough President’s Office.

I myself have done this and the results were quite frankly amazing. Not one, but TWO Department of Buildings Inspectors showed up the next day. They made it clear Marty sent them. Inasmuch as we disagree on many issues I have to give credit where it is due: Marty understands the value of constituent services. Which brings me to the subject of this post.

Inasmuch as I have mulled over a possible career in politics the truth of the matter is I do not think it is for me. It takes a certain amount of, how should we say— moral flexibility— to gain and retain elective office in this fair city. This is something I woefully lack. Or do I? After today’s sequence of events I am beginning to wonder.

The following tale has all the elements of a good Greenpoint story: neighbors coming to the defense/aid of a fellow neighbor, deception and a catnapping. NOTE: certain elements of this tome have been changed/obfuscated to protect the guilty.

AJmarket

Many of you who live in north Greenpoint are undoubtedly familiar with this establishment. It is pretty much the last bodega to be had until one reaches Eagle Street. I frequent this business often. Granted, some of their prices are a teensy bit high but if it means not having to schlep to The Garden I am willing to pay for the convenience. It is presided over by two lovely young women. And Larry.

Larry

He may not look very happy in this picture (he isn’t) but it’s understandable given the circumstances. You see, Larry— and a fair number of folks on Manhattan Avenue— have had a very eventful week.

It all started on Monday. I stopped into the bodega to pick up some groceries. The cashier, who we will call “M” was despondent. I asked her what gives.

We’ve lost Larry, she said.

I asked her what happened. She didn’t know for certain but surmised he either ran off or someone stole him. The next day I asked her colleague, who we will call “N” if he had come back. She told me he had not but hoped wherever he was he was safe and sound. Now jump forward to today, Friday, November 6, 2009.

Larry da Junkman (who will henceforth be referred to as Larry #2), a local celebrity, Seth, and I are bantering. At one point the subject of ladies of the bodega comes up. We all agree they’re really nice. Then Larry says (to me):

When I saw M today she looked like she was on the verge of tears. Do you know what’s up?

I replied:

Didn’t you hear? Their cat has gone MIA.

Larry: When, yesterday?

No, several days ago.

I replied.

Larry: I wonder why she is so upset.

Me: I don’t know but I am going to go over there and find out.

When I entered the bodega I did not have to say anything. M gave me the whole sad, story. Here it is in bullet points:

  • Apparently a patron of said bodega had spied Larry in the possession in of a woman one block away.
  • He/she informed M of this.
  • M took the matter up with the store owner in her building of residence.
  • He was rude and/or unresponsive to her.
  • But apparently passed along word to Larry’s captor as…
  • She stopped by the bodega on Wednesday and told M she would return Larry on Thursday.
  • This never happened.

Wanting to make sure I understood M correctly (there was a bit of a language barrier at play) I walked over to the building in question, took a photograph of it, and walked back to the bodega and showed it to her.

Is this the building?

I asked.

She answered to the affirmative. I headed back to the junk shop without delay. Seth, who was standing out front, noted my anger and inquired as to what came to pass. I growled:

Someone is gonna be in a whole world of hurt.

He and Larry #2 quickly calmed me down and had me recount M’s story. They too got pissed and headed over to the bodega to reconfirm what I had told them and develop a plan of action. This was when the Greenpoint magic kicked in.

As it would happen M had a picture of Larry on her i-Phone. Larry #2 and Seth took said i-Phone and paid the business in question a visit. The proprietor, who we will call “O”, at first seemed intransigent but eventually gave up the goods:

  • Larry’s self-elected hostess was an old and rather daft cat lady. In the purest, piss-stained carpet “cat collector/hoarder” sense of the word.
  • He has known her for ten years and she has done this sort of thing before.
  • She has usually come around to doing the right thing in the past. Eventually.
  • She has neither a buzzer nor a telephone, but he would remind her that M wants her cat back.

At some point Larry #2 threatened to call the police if said catnapper didn’t return M’s cat. O seemed to be unfazed by this. But he, in fact, was. As we later learned.

Long story made short, shortly thereafter O paid M a visit stating that “two men” had come to his business inquiring about her cat. And as I was consuming a much-desired margarita this evening at Papasitos I saw M walking down the sidewalk with Larry. I quickly dashed out to learn what happened.

From what I can gather O did in fact speak to the woman in question. And in an inspired bit of trickery, he intimated that the “two men” who inquired about Larry’s whereabouts were police officers. I realize this is morally (and possibly legally) questionable, but then again so is taking someone’s cat and refusing to return him his rightful owner. On that note, I am happy to announce that as of 8:00 o’clock tonight Larry is back on the job!

larry2

Sort of. He isn’t too crazy about the leash but given what it took to bring him home, it is probably a good move on M’s part. In closing M confided in me that she is concerned Larry (who is neutered teenage male with a few more wild oats to sow) may get loose (or stolen— this was never clearly established) again and is mulling over adopting him out to a good home. Anyone who is interested in adopting Larry can shoot me an email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.

Miss Heather

*My heat and hot water has been blissfully restored (the landlord has to make repairs to the boiler) and I am pleased to announce I have taken a much-needed and desired BATH!

Last Gasp: Remember to Vote Tomorrow!

Did you know Mike Bloomberg is running for mayor? If the numerous fliers and callers/hipster hitters of buzzers didn’t remind you of this fact maybe my answering machine (and inbox) will!

Just 24 more hours, dear readers, and it will be over.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Special Halloween Edition

October 31, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Crazy People, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

trickortreatersToday was a very busy day.

First it was awakening to the sound of our cat Frances rather noisy preamble before vomiting upon a pile of books. I managed to move her before she discharged a solitary, runny and repulsive fur bullet. In so doing  we (this was a team effort) managed to knock over a glass of water and ruin some photographs I had laying around. This is not the way I like to start my day. But sometimes that’s the way the kitty cookie crumbles.

After hammering away on the” blog” I rushed to McCarren Park to judge this year’s contestants for the 3rd Annual District Dog Halloween Parade and Costume Contest. I will not lie to you (and I suspect my fellow judges will agree with me when I write this): it was tremendously stressful. So many great costumes, but only so many prizes.

Upon discharging my doggie duty I met up with north Brooklyn’s very own beat reporter extraordinaire, Aaron Short, for a quick interview. Once I saw him off safely on the bus I proceeded to the junk shop so I could fulfill my (un)official role as candy giver. The Mister couldn’t understand my sense of urgency. The fact of the matter is I take the responsibilities which come with such a sinecure (doling out teeth-rotting treats) very, VERY seriously. I serve only the best to 11222’s youth: Snickers, Kit Kats, Milky Ways and Butterfingers. What’s more, it’s fun.

officerI thoroughly enjoy interacting with the children of this neighborhood. They’re great kids. The adults, on the other hand, can be problematic. CASE IN POINT: a drunk (at 3:30 p.m., I will add) fifty-something woman (sipping a can of beer in a paper bag FROM A STRAW) demanding I give her candy. I refused. She, in turn, grabbed my arm (A BIG NO NO) and implored me once again to give her candy. I, once again, refused. She then took it upon herself to take the matter up with my co-worker (who I presume she took for “management”). To no avail.

For the next five minutes this woman (if you can call such a creature that) ranted and raved on the sidewalk for the passerby’s edification. At one point she found two young boys dressed up as police officers. She begged these petit officers to arrest me. Later I was told by one woman in the audience she mentioned something about getting a gun. I replied:

She can get a gun. She’s still not getting any candy.

And she didn’t. Intuiting that she was not going to receive anything in the way of confectionary from yours truly she left for greener pastures. I later saw her toting home six cases of beer. So it goes.

Needless to say when I got home I was sorely in need of some peace and quiet. Nothing doing. The following comment was awaiting my moderating touch. Atlas9 writes (in regards to this post):

I don’t understand the problem, sure bloomberg is going for a third term; but he did it by the books. Why freak out about it? He isn’t being dictatorial, and he sure hasn’t made himself chancellor of NYC, so where is the fundemental problem? The guy wants to stay in office… So that all depends on the election. And the election is democratic, so he is essentially following the democratic process. Also, I canvass for bloomberg in the downtown Brooklyn area, and I can tell you I am no hipster. Just as you were so taken aback from the real estate agents, the same applies here. Don’t be so quick to judge. I am here to engage you and others in the area on the democratic process. If that isn’t something you like then maybe you should consider living in a less important area outside of NYC. But If I were you I would appreciate the fact that bloomberg is playing fair and by the books, and that’s something you have to respect. So please, let’s all relax and try to enjoy a small slice of democracy in our increasingly un democratic world. (emphasis mine — Ed. Note)

P.S. Don’t be rude to me when I come knocking. I don’t mind if you don’t like bloomberg and I am more than willing to listen to what you have to say.

Here’s the deal folks: I have neither the energy nor the inclination to deal with Atlas9’s polemic about the democratic process as it pertains to Bloomberg at this moment. I suspect many of you, dear readers and fellow citizens, might. If so, please tender your thoughts in the comments (or via email— you can do so via my “tips” page”). All I ask of you, fellow citizens, is to to keep them as civil as possible.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: McGuinness Boulevard

mickey1

For those of you who are not in the know, McGuinness Boulevard (by the Pulaski) is a veritable paradise of street art.

404

It seems to rotate, but these big-eyed birds keep showing up. I’m not complaining: I adore them.

4042

What’s more they have a few friends…

thedude

and this formidable (but friendly looking) fella. Across the street you can find this.

RDL

A little Pulaski poetry…

LOVE

and indecipherable German-esque gibberish.*

ted

Scrawled in dirt (?).*

heart

With hearts.*

mickey2

And this.*

If anyone knows “Ted”, has expertise in Chicago zombies or can decipher the above missives please email me at:

missheather(at)thatgreenpointblog(dot)com

or leave your findings via comments. Thanks!

Miss Heather

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: Here are some ideas I received in my inbox!

Sean writes:

The German on the wall, I believe, basically says that love, to who ever wrote it, is that he cant be without a woman.

Jason writes:

I believe the last glyph that you posted was the Japanese character for Enter or Entry…  That would explain the arrow as well…

Griff notes:

That last pic looks suspiciously like a logo for Aphex Twin?

Aphex Twin

UPDATE, August 22, 1:30 p.m.: Here’s a few more!

Robert writes:

I saw that graffiti the other day while walking my dog.  I thought to myself that someone was copying the style of A.R. Penck.  A German artist whose work in the early 70’s was a mix of made up symbols and language.  I work at MoMA and we have a few examples on our website of his early 70’s work.

http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=86742

wiki say
Despite the anti-art aesthetic the rough and ready quality of their construction, they have the same symbolic, archetypal anthropomorphic forms as his flat symbolic paintings. The paintings are influenced by Paul Klee’s work and mix the flatness of Egyptian or Mayan writing with the crudity of the late black paintings by Jackson Pollock.

But who knows?

Not writes:

http://www.newyorkshitty.com/?p=24135

that’s the lowercase greek glyph, lambda..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda

context: it’s a usage popularized by the video game, half life..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-Life_(video_game)

Erik writes:

The “lambda” looking symbol with an arrow that you photographed is actually taken from the video game Half Life 2.  It is the symbol for the rebel/resistance organization fighting a conquering extraterrestrial species.  The lambda symbol appears throughout the game painted on walls, with arrow directing the player to a safe room stocked with weapons, health, etc.

See http://www.visualwalkthroughs.com/halflife2/routekanal1/31.jpg for an example.

*I had to do some Photoshopping to make these images easier to read.

Williamsburg Video Du Jour: It’s The Economy, Stupid!

June 2, 2009 ·
Filed under: Crazy People, Recession, Williamsburg 

Summer has arrived in north Brooklyn and with it Bedford Avenue’s favorite mad man has resumed plying his trade. Namely ranting and raving about the various and sundry things which aggrieve him in the middle of the street. Much to the edification, amusement and confusion of passersby. Today’s topic (as I could best ascertain) was the economy. Enjoy!

If President Obama is reading this mark my following five words: give this man a job!

Miss Heather

Crosstown Local Photos Du Jour: What A Piece Of Work Is The Crosstown Local

May 5, 2009 ·
Filed under: Crazy People, Crosstown Local, Greenpoint Magic 

Nassau Avenue

shakespeareonnassau

O Wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O Brave new world
That has such people in it!

Greenpoint Avenue

bedbugsareback

What piece of work is a man the G train! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so. — William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

Miss Heather

Thoughts About A Demagogue

April 16, 2009 ·
Filed under: Asshole, Crazy People 

I care not to dwell upon my pre-New York Shitty life. I left Texas in 1996. I have neither been back to the place nor do I plan to go there anytime soon. It’s history. But when certain things are brought to my attention, like the above video which came via The Huffington Post by way of Pa Heather, who wrote:

I guess this means a passport will be needed to enter Texas?

I feel compelled to revisit those not-so-good ol’ days.

The first time I became acquainted with Rick Perry was while pumping gas in Dallas: his name graced each and every gasoline station in the Lone Star State. As (then) Agriculture Commissioner and, it should be noted, Democrat such stuff under his jurisdiction. The second time I encountered Rick Perry was in college. In a classroom, not at a “kegger”. The course in question was either Texas history or economics— I do not recall. But I clearly remember the introduction/caveat the teaching fellow gave us:

  1. She was an avowed conservative Republican— in the truest pre Neo-Con Goldwater sense.
  2. She was against abortion because she thought birth control should be made readily available to everyone.
  3. She promised not let her personal politics color either the discussion in the class room or her grading. She delivered.

What’s more, she utterly detested Rick Perry and was not the least reluctant to make us aware of this fact. Often. She once said he was a member of the “good ol’ boys” network and was seeking  “higher office”. He got it. Albeit as a Republican.

Political turncoats strike me as being like recently converted non-smokers: they turn their ire on those who remind them of what they once were. A more cut and dried way of putting this I suppose would be hypocrisy. But to merely call Rick Perry a hypocrite would do him (and hypocrites in general) a tremendous disservice. He is much more complex.

And stupid.

Rick is correct when he says this piece of legislation concerns both Texans and Americans alike. The reason I left Texas was I, as an American, hated living “under the thumb of tyrants”. A fistful of thumbs including but not limited to racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, anti-intellectualism, and George W. Bush made me aware that, at long last, it was time to go. The state I was born and (largely) raised in no longer existed.

This “frog in the pot” was seared medium rare, got the hell out of Dodge and has since gained the clarity of hindsight (and a more extensive knowledge of cinema and politics) to pigeon hole a bone fide demagogue when she sees one.

The above clip comes from a movie called A Face In The Crowd. It stars Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau and, interestingly/ironically enough, was directed by Elia Kazan. This film is over fifty years old yet I find it strangely reminiscent of Perry’s speech. Homespun rugged individualism and “honest cracker barrel talk” posturing as upright citizenship on television which is in reality nothing more than partisan politics, sensationalism and racism. Plain and simple.

Go ahead and secede, Texas Rick. I won’t miss you.

Miss Heather

P.S.: If you’re reading this (p)Rick, I take serious offense at your quoting Sam Houston in your speech. As it would happen, Governor, I am one of his descendants. Obviously I never met the man, but my grandparents told me stories about him. I reputedly sport the “Houstonian jaw” which I am about to unleash on you.

While a slave owner and anti-abolitionist, my forebear was against secession. Sam Houston was “Pro-Union”. After living with Cherokees and watching the Trail of Tears unfold he became aware of the plight of Native Americans. It upset him tremendously. Some of his finer swan songs to this effect can be found in the Congressional Globes dating from the Buchanan Administration, which I happen to possess.

Call it gut instinct (or my Texan cum Brooklyn temperament) but I doubt very much that my great, great, (great ?) Grandpa would fancy being quoted by you, (p)Rick. While hardly a perfect person (I am anything but proud about having a slave owner in my family) he did have principles/a moral center— however misguided. This is something you seem to lack, (p)Rick. I’m going to go out on a limb here but I’d guess Sam Houston, my forebear, would call you an asshole. Or worse.

Crosstown Local Photos Du Jour: Fool’s Gold

March 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: Asshole, Crazy People, Crosstown Local, Greenpoint Magic 

oro1

Initially the Mister couldn’t understand my fascination with this poster other than the fact it is really, truly, seriously, BAD product placement. Some watery tart doing yoga on the on the East River does not appeal to us Greenpointers. As a matter of fact we find the water here quite revolting. But I digress.

Who’s Cluck?

Mr. Heather asked. I pointed out the subtle commentary via ball point pen.

oro2

He got it.

theproblem

I wonder if either of the previous fellow G train travelers is aware that Dean Palin, the mastermind behind the Oro Condominiums, has been given the greenlight to build a 39 story tower on West Street? I don’t think so. Well, he has (courtesy of our local Community Board) and it’s ugly as hell.

Miss Heather

TOMORROW: Empty Cages Collective Does Bedford Avenue

February 27, 2009 ·
Filed under: Crazy People, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

eccmarch

After the amazing turnout at last weekend’s event the folks at Empty Cages Collective are hitting us up with another adoption event tomorrow, February 28, 2009, from noon until 5:00 p.m. Why not come by and meet some of the finest kitties this city has to offer?

Empty Cages Collective Cat & Kitten Adoption Day
February 28, 2009, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
NYC Pet Supplies
241 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

To close on a related note I simply must share this slide show featuring some of Empty Cage’s newest residents. WARNING: the following footage is incredibly cute. Enjoy!

These adorable fur kids were born on February 21st to a feral mother at Empty Cage’s facility. As you can see they’re happy, healthy and too damned precious for words!

Miss Heather

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