From The New York Shitty Inbox: 500 Words Or Less Wanted

submit

This item comes courtesy of the Editor of Staccato Magazine, an online periodical featuring “microfiction”. Matt writes:

Hi Miss Heather-

First of all, I love your site. I live in Greenpoint and really enjoy seeing pictures of our neighborhood (for better or worse), and you did a great job covering the shootings at the Production Lounge and Club Exit.

I wanted to send you this note about a new website I just launched. I know it’s not necessarily what you normally cover, but maybe you think it’s newsworthy since we’re based out of Greenpoint and hope to have some events at WORD or Matchless or other local places once we get some momentum.

At the very least, check it out yourself and let me know what you think.

Well, I checked it out— and despite being a non-fiction devotee (real life is much, much more interesting in my opinion)— methinks this is a wonderful way for aspiring (or established) writers in the 11222 and beyond to get their work out there. Any and all who are interested in submitting work should read Staccato’s guidelines and “About” page.

Happy writing— and good luck, Matt!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Fred & Ginger

harrisonpl

From Harrison Place.

Miss Heather

Bushwick Photo Du Jour: Reflection

104centralnys

From Central Avenue.

Miss Heather

Red Shed Garden

I have walked by this community garden (which is located just across Kingsland Avenue from the Greenpoint Hospital) many times. This weekend, however, I was lucky enough to swing by while their volunteers were busy beautifying north Brooklyn. They were also kind enough to let me come in and take some pictures. My complete set can be found over at Flickr. Here are a few highlights.

I’m not too sure what this chap, the littlest volunteer at the Red Shed Garden, was doing. But whatever it was it required the use of a plastic baseball bat. Doing a spot of weeding, perhaps?

The work these people have done is really impressive. I for one loved the use of a wheelbarrow as a planter.

This is the beginners’ garden. Interesting Garden Spot Fact: the land currently occupied by Mary D’s Housing For Seniors on Eagle Street used to be a community garden. When Mary D’s was built it was promised there would be a community garden on the premises. There isn’t one. The garden you see on Eagle Street is for Mary D’s residents only.

Here’s a nice shot with the old Greenpoint Hospital in the background.

And of course what would a post about the Red Shed Garden be without featuring its namesake? Anyone who is interested in volunteering at this beautiful oasis nestled in the heart of uglyass condoville should contact the folks at Red Shed via their brand-spanking new web site.

Miss Heather

From Bushwick With Love

As it would happen, a good friend of mine resides in Bushwick. On occasion she sees fit to send me pictures from her wanderings around the neighborhood. Today was one of those days. She writes:

I was going to save this and give it to you as an anniversary present, but it’s just too good to sit on till October. This is what I saw while walking my dog this morning. I made sure to swing back by with my camera on the way to the train to work. I did not arrange this. I merely happened by and saw its intrinsic sublimity.

From Bushwick with Love

This looks like one hell of a party (note the baggie of cocaine to the rat’s right). They sure seem to like Heineken down there. I sense a phat product placement deal will be headed Bushwick’s direction soon. With publicity like this, who needs Madison Avenue?

Miss Heather

P.S.: Thanks a lot for the gift, Chintamani! This is like Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Ramadan all put together.

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

Williamsburg Needs Neuticles!

NEUTICLES!

I came across the above sticker yesterday on Maspeth Avenue west of Olive Street. Amused, I took a photo of it. I had my suspicions as to what “Neuticles” were, so upon arriving home I immediately Googled it. They were exactly what I thought they would be (from neuticles.com):

Over 225,000 caring pet owners Worldwide have selected Neuticles as a safe, practical and inexpensive option when neutering.

Neuticles allowing your pet to retain his natural look, self esteem and aids in the trauma associated with neutering.

I spent an hour perusing this web site. I advise you, dear readers, to do the same. It is a comedy goldmine:

Neuticles are just plain neat!
—Rush Limbaugh

I wonder when Rush saw fit to lavish this praise upon Neuticles? Was it before or after he got caught with that illicit bottle of Viagra? If he had followed his own advice and got himself some Neuticles Rush might not have found himself in the previous predicament. He also would have spared the American people a lot of pain and suffering thinking about his bloated sack of pus hot air having sex.

Believe it or not, the “satisfied customers section” is even better:

I’ve put off neutering “Crooked Joe” for months and when I found out about Neuticles and spoke to them it made me feel better about neutering. Joe not only looks the same now- but dosen’t know he’s missing anything.

He’s a guy and I wanted him to remain looking like one.

And my personal favorite:

Frodo never knew he lost anything and is just a happier little dog since he’s been neutered with Neuticles.

Perhaps the previous pet owner should rename her canine companion Scroto Baggins? Just a thought.

Those of you who are interested in this product should be advised that the (s)experts at Neuticles have a vast assortment of nut bags for you to choose from. The budget conscious ball sack connoisseur can purchase the basic, no frills “Original” model, the more effete testicular snob can spend a little extra and get the “Ultraplus” model with Scargard.

Sizes range from XL, for pets weighing 110-190 pounds (in which case one nut will cost you $189 or you can get a pair for $269) to XS, for pets weighing 3-8 pounds (in which case one nutlet will set you back $59 or a pair can be had for a measly $94). What a bargain!

Cat owners, don’t despair: they have the perfect pair of balls for your pussy. All you need to do is grab that mouse, point and click! All major credit cards are accepted.

In closing, I have to confess that I have developed Neuticle envy while writing this post. Yesterday I walked to Artist & Craftsman Supply to buy some paper mache. Such is the real estate hoax of pimping Greenpoint as being an ‘artistic’ neighborhood: artists may reside here, but there are no longer any stores here to facilitate their (my, our) habit. North Brooklyn:

Be an artist or just look like one!

So off to East Williamsburg I went. And in so doing, I became the unwitting (and unwilling) object of affection for a number of fellows along the way. Hisses, whistles and yelling greeted me as I approached the BQE. As I recounted to a friend of mine later:

…my trek to the art supply store on Metropolitan Avenue and back was a gauntlet of hisses and whistles. One especially creepy guy beckoned for me to come over to his van (!!!) and talk to him. This was on Meeker (by the BQE), which made the situation even creepier. I am fucking 30-something years old. I am NOT going to walk over to some stranger’s van and to talk to him. Much less by the BQE. The previous scenario has “coming to the back of a milk carton near you” written all over it.

Perhaps if I had a pair of Neuticles, the previous chap would have left me alone? I don’t want the “XS” model either. I want ’em SO BIG I’ll need a handtruck to carry them.

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

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    Beit El-Maqdis Islamic CenterPlace Invaders VanSunset ParkThe Bus ExperienceHealth HeavenBeach BrothersShoe StopSunset Park
  • Ads