New York Shitty Cares: The No Toilet Left Behind Project

Or: When I learned complaining is futile and did it my damned self.

To Preface: I had initially planned presenting this project after the last of my toilet trifecta was deployed (preferably at a Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting). But given recent events, this being having it made quite clear to me that our Community Board General Manager and Parks & Waterfront Chair do not give a shit (pun completely intended) I have come to conclusion this is the time. I do give a shit. And what’s more, I want to help my fellow citizens take one. That means YOU. So, here it is.

I am content with being a “Greenpoint blogger”. The perquisites (there are some), respect (next to none); and working conditions (best imaginable— I make my own hours, there is no dress code and sexual harassment is a given) which come with said sinecure reach my level of expectations. However low they may be. A very wise man once wrote:

I’ll remain below and from below I’ll spit on their social ladder. Right, spit on every rung of it. In order to climb it, it’s necessary to be forged steel-assed from head to toe. And this I am not.

As a result yours truly has become quite the connoisseur of crappers in north Brooklyn. Under my rather gruff, steely (if colorful) exterior resides an incredibly soft place: my ass. And it, I personally assure you, is not made of steel. So I pick my privies wisely. This is why I will, for example, avoid McCarren and McGolrick Park. These “comfort stations” are generally repulsive. Cooper Park, on the other hand, is generally well-maintained and clean. My only caveat is the toilet seat in the womens’ lavatory at this location is made of metal and in cooler weather the experience can be quite, well, “bracing”. However, in summer this can be can be quite refreshing.

If I, the self-elected queen of crappers, had to tender a (very general) summary of the state of women’s lavatories within the confines Community Board 1 Brooklyn it would be this: those located in the 34th City Council District are generally nicer than those located in the 33rd City Council District. I will leave it to you, gentle readers, to ponder why this is the so and test my hypothesis for yourselves. At your own risk.

Hence why I made this crapper— located in the 34th City Council District— my “pit-stop”of choice during my peregrinations. Until that fateful day.

This was what awaited my delectation on August 17th. The toilet paper strewn upon the floor is nasty to be certain, but what really bothered me was the absence of a toilet seat. This may seem trivial (and all things considered, it is) but this is a playground. Playgrounds are generally inhabited by children. And despite this being the 21st century most of the caretakers of children— be they mothers or nannies— are (still) women.

As chance would have it, Open Space Alliance (which is headed by the very same person who is also the Parks Supervisor for north Brooklyn) was conducting a “town hall meeting” that very evening. The ostensible purpose of this meeting was to ascertain what we, the people, wanted to see happen with our open spaces. Not since kindergarten (and the iron curtain fell) have I beheld such a bureaucratic attempt at crowd/mind control. Upon entering we had to sign in. Upon signing in, he/she was given a pamphlet documenting OSA’s achievements and member organizations (some of which were highly questionable) and assigned a number. This number dictated at which table said person sat (so as to facilitate “small discussion groups”). Thus family members and concerned citizens were separated.

Did I get a number? No. I exercised my right as a “Greenpoint blogger”. I sat where I damned well pleased.

First we had to sit through a presentation extolling upon the manifold benefits this, our, private/public partnership has bestowed upon my community. Speeches from our local elected officials followed. Then, with the assistance of a minder from OSA, each discussion group was assigned to make a list of ten things we would like to see happen with our parks. After these findings were announced by our respective groups— and noted on poster-board— we were each given three green stickers. These three green stickers constituted our vote towards any given project/idea we fancied and were to be applied accordingly.

ASIDE: The first memory I have of a sticker-based economy is a getting gold star for simply telling my Kindergarten teacher I brushed my teeth on any given morning. I didn’t fancy such micro-management then and I certainly didn’t like it three decades later.

If I am going to be treated like a child,

I thought to myself

I might as well have the pleasure of acting like one.

So I brought the missing toilet seat matter to everyone’s attention. A chap named Joe Garber—  a man, I will add, who is renowned in the Community Board 1 circle — backed me up.

Is a toilet seat too much to ask?
I made the call for a toilet seat. Was it heard? Absolutely. Did it get any “stickers”? No. Should such a modest request— one a reasonable person would presume to be a matter of routine maintenance— require a sticker? No.

Yet, over a month later (and despite our Parks Supervisor informing me after the aforementioned convocation that they had fixed the roof in said crapper and to wit I replied “Yes, and now it needs a toilet seat.”) nothing was done. That’s when I crossed the Rubicon and became an outlaw. You read me right O-U-T-L-A-W.

Fuck this shit!

I grumbled. I noted the make and model number of said crapper…

and proceeded to the closest hardware store without delay.

At Crest Hardware I purchased a top-of-the-line toilet seat— but I did not stop there. I wanted this bequest to be <em><strong>special</strong></em>. I wanted it to be something its patrons would enjoy. I am of the firm belief (as a former and current child) that little things matter. On one fateful evening while strolling along Manhattan Avenue inspiration finally struck:</p> <p><a href=” http:=”” www.newyorkshitty.com=”” wp-content=”” uploads=”” 2011=”” 10=”” biedronka.jpg”=””>

LADYBUGS!

They’re cute, easy to render and are shaped like toilet seats! Who doesn’t like ladybugs? Really?

A “ladybug” I did make. I took the added measure of preserving my “artistry” with coat of plastic resin (which also makes it easy to clean).

This lass’s installation, however, proved to be problematic. I, an aspiring good Samaritan, unwittingly breached said playground’s etiquette. I left the gate open instead of securing shut with a bike lock. For this offense I was questioned:

You have children, yes?

My lady Inquisitor inquired.

No.

I answered. I was then advised that I, a child-free woman, was technically violating the rules of this playground by simply being there. But she added I’d “probably” be okay. Nonetheless, the bathroom was locked and I had to go back to Greenpoint. With my ladybug. On the way I stopped by McCarren Park’s lavatory (so as to relieve myself):

Only to discover it too was lacking a toilet seat!*

So many toilet seats, so little time.

I thought to myself. Long story made a mite bit shorter…

The “ladybug” was installed October 13th. As of the writing of this post (okay, Monday afternoon), I have no idea whether she is still there or not.** This is because the lavatory in question was locked.

My educated guess is the ladies, delightful women both, who staff(ed) this playground were laid off “for the season”. This is a shame as they kept the premises and my “donation” quite tidy (the first photo being the exception to the rule). Conversely, I gave McCarren— our Parks Supervisor’s “Flagship Park”— a heaping helping of love.

By “love” I mean glitter, rhinestones and a melancholic expression. Would YOU want to be a McCarren Park toilet seat?

I didn’t think so.

Deployment Date: October 23, 2011. I am pleased to report that as of December 5th, she’s still there!

A reasonable person would presume the amount of time and effort Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn— a “parks conservancy group” which has boasted their concerts (that ostensibly benefit our community’s open spaces) have grossed $250,000 could see fit to allocate funds/manpower for something as simple as a toilet seat. But alas, our Parks “Advocate(s)” (and Parks Supervisor) are not reasonable people.

This is why we have a “pop-up park” on my fair burgh’s waterfront which— while purported to have been “ready” in June (per the Deputy Director of OSA) and available to Nuit Blanche/East River Ferry patrons in October— is still closed to the general public.***

And I had to resort to a life of crime.

In closing:

Usually I’d take someone shitting on my “work” as the ultimate insult. But in these unusual circumstances (and I suspect my college professors will back me up on this) “context is everything” and as such I interpret the above-depicted scat as high praise. It is prima facie evidence my humble creation is actually being used! The same cannot be said about aforementioned “pop-up park” or the benches— city/tax payer property all— contained therein.

If any of you toilet goers (and you know who you are) know of a womens’ “comfort station” lacking a toilet seat within the confines of Community Board 1 Brooklyn please shoot me an email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. I have a very special treat in store for you(r ass).

A seriously customized/blinged-out Magnolia** “Progressions” juvenile/adult toilet seat with patented “Gent’l Close” technology.**** (READ: it has dual seats for little ones and adults and cannot be slammed shut.)

This hippo’s getting very hungry. Let’s feed her, north Brooklyn!

*This photo was taken by a concerned toilet-goer October 1, 2011.
**It is!
***Which was mysteriously, inexplicably, open to the public the day after this post was published!
****Made in the good ol’ U.S.A. What’s more, they have the prestigious honor of being  “the official bathroom seat manufacturer for the NASA Space Shuttle”!

New York Shitty Day Starter: Ass

October 16, 2011 ·
Filed under: Bronx, Brooklyn, Fuck This Shit, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island 

Mounted NYPD at Occupy Wall Street

Taken by WarmSleepy.

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.

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