Pay Phone du Jour: Hanging On

February 22, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City 

Blissville Pay Phone

I found this beauty on Greenpoint Avenue in Blissville, Queens yesterday. It is easily one of the finest examples of pay phone abuse I have ever seen. With one very notable exception, of course.

The Monologue Machine

Greenpoint’s very own “Monologue Machine” will always be #1 in my book. Nobody— and I mean NOBODY— can bust up a pay phone like we Greenpointers can! Note the can of baby formula and bottle of beer. That’s what I call a balanced diet!

Miss Heather

Photo du Jour: Special L.I.C. Edition

January 14, 2008 ·
Filed under: Long Island City 

Let’s Go Cowboys!

I found this S.U.V. parked on 21st Street last week.

XOXO, Giants Fan

Obviously someone in the immediate area is a Giants fan.

Today should prove to be very interesting for the owner of this motor vehicle.

Miss Heather

Manic Panicked: Miss Heather’s Amazing Discovery

January 10, 2008 ·
Filed under: Long Island City 

I have been searching for a particular shade of Manic Panic for roughly 3 weeks. I will not say what color precipitated this quest because I don’t want people to know; they’d quickly figure out who I am and then I’d probably get deluged by people wanting autographs or (more likely) get spit on at the supermarket (I’m used to having lit cigarettes flung at me, so don’t even think about it). Let’s just say this hue is seemingly impossible to find. To this end I expanded my search to Manhattan. I even treaded north of 23rd Street; I am that desperate. All to no avail.

What do desperate people do when they have an itch they can’t scratch? They get on the Internets, that’s what! I checked out Manic Panic’s web site and learned they were having a sale at their headquarters this week.

And now for the punchline… (drumroll)
Here is where Tish and Snooky’s dream factory resides:

21-07 Borden Avenue
Floor 4
Long Island City, New York 11101

That’s right folks, in my own fucking backyard.

Today I ventured across the Pulaski Bridge into the disorienting wonderland that is Long Island City. And my quest came to an end.

Manic Panic HQ

I was blown away by the sheer amount of brightly-colored artificial joy that laid before my eyes. And yes, I found the hair dye I was looking for. I effused with joy when I said:

I have been looking for this everywhere! The local beauty supply in Greenpoint didn’t have it. King’s Pharmacy on Bedford didn’t either…

Female employee: Did you try Ricky’s
Miss H: Yes, neither the Ricky’s on Third Avenue in the East Village nor the one by Bryant Park had it.
Male employee: Well, isn’t there a Hot Topic or shopping mall near where you live?
Miss H (WTF?!?): No. Greenpoint is not a shopping mall kind of place.

Long story made short, I got my goodies at a phat discount. Those of you who are interested should venture over there and see for yourself. Other surprises await you as well:

Nobody Lets Baby Into the Elevator

You can learn more about “Baby” at Working Class Cats!

Miss Heather

Miss Heather’s Condominium Select-O-Matic

November 8, 2007 ·
Filed under: Long Island City 

Pulaski Bridge with Condo

Whenever I feel my neighborhood is going to over-development hell in a hand basket, I make a trek across the Pulaski Bridge to Long Island City. I invariably come back to the Garden Spot feeling much, much better. With one notable (and nagging exception): I cannot stop worrying about how John and Jane Q. Consumer will be able to select the perfect condominium to suit their new Long Island City lifestyle. There are simply too many of them to choose from!!!

As the proprietress of New York Shitty, I aspire to inform as well as entertain. Therefore, I have created Miss Heather’s Condominium Select-O-Matic to help these needy people make the right decision. Don’t know which Long Island City domicile is right for you? Complete the following questionnaire and find out!

#1: I am hard of hearing.

A. The above statement describes me.
B. The above statement does not describe me.
C. I cannot read the above statement.

#2: Does the following disturb you?

Stop Son of Sam

A. No.
B. Yes.
C. I am the author of the above missive.

#3: My idea of pleasing scenery is…

A. Queensboro Plaza.
B. A nice pair of breasts.
C. The Queens Midtown Tunnel.

#4: When I go to a gentlemen’s club I prefer:

A. a little Dim sum with my poontang.
B. to wear an artfully placed donut on my member.
C. Titty bars are for jerks. I want HOOKERS!

#5: Showerheads are not just for getting clean.

A. I disagree with this statement.
B. I agree with this statement.
C. I do not understand this statement.

#6: What do you think of the following?

Live Like A Star!

A. This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen.
B. I do not understand it.
C. Cool!

Quiz time is over folks! Time to tabulate those scores and find your new dream home!

I have mostly A’s.
I have mostly B’s.
I have mostly C’s.

Good luck at your new digs, aspiring condo dwellers. To those of you who scored mostly A’s: I’ll be sure to carry a can of mace and box of A-200 Pyrinate with me when I drop off your housewarming casserole.

Toodles!

Miss Heather

UNSAVORY

September 19, 2007 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City 

It

In keeping with this week’s Newtown Creek stink spirit, today I present to you an article from the August 24, 1881 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Although a little longer than I prefer to post, this tome paints a very clear picture of how long this body of water has been permitted to fester. Not only was it used a dumping ground by petroleum refiners, but savory stuff such as vitriol and offal were thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

BDE 8/24/1881

It has come to my attention that a number of Brooklynites think Newtown Creek is exclusively a Greenpoint problem: it isn’t. The photo at the beginning of this post was taken in English Kills. Don’t know where that is? No problem, here’s a map.

I have been advised that anyone who is interested in (seeing and) smelling the stench firsthand (and yes, I have gotten inquiries of this nature) should contact the Newtown Creek Alliance. You can be directed to their web site by clicking here.

Miss Heather

Miss Heather’s New Crib

September 18, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City 

Much is said about affordable housing. That’s just it: said. Very little actually seems to be done about it. At least in my little corner of North Brooklyn, anyway.

Condoland

As the boat approached Long Island City last Sunday I felt like Dorothy did when she reached the Emerald City. “Wow” I thought to myself, “I wonder if there is some affordable housing there?” Alas, it wasn’t to be: the gentleman conducting this segment of the tour noted that although there was talk of including lower-income units in a number of these monoliths, it didn’t happen.

Of course I think this is total balderdash. A developer reneging on a promise? Inconceivable. These chaps are upstanding citizens who have our best interests at heart. They make Abe Lincoln look like the Saddam Hussein by comparison.

Too bad. I was rather keen on having quick and easy access to the waterfront and the numerous quick and easy ladies who ply their trade in Long Island City. One time my husband overheard a very satisfied customer bragging to his buddy (via cell phone) on the Brooklyn-bound B61 bus as it was crossing the Pulaski Bridge. He hit her shit twice for a mere $300. If there is one thing Miss Heather likes it is a bargain. Oh well.

LIC Loft

Shortly after we entered the creek I noticed the above townhouse. It certainly looks affordable. It probably affords easy access to hookers too. But it lacks the scenic city views I require. Further up shit Newtown Creek we go!

Affordable Luxury in Greenpoint

This is more like it! This garden apartment (located in the Garden Spot of the Universe) sports the kind of amenities a Dog Shit Queen DEMANDS.

Living Room

It is lavishly furnished.

Rapid Transit

It is only steps away from transportation.

Greenpoint Yacht

And it comes with a yacht!

Who do I make the check out to?

Miss Heather

P.S.: I’d like to give a shout-out to a very nice chap I met on this tour. He operates a blog about tugboats. Check it out, it’s neat.

New is Beautiful

August 23, 2007 ·
Filed under: Articles of Fedderization, Long Island City 

New is Beautiful

If I had to pick a slogan for the Fedderist Movement in Long Island City, this would be it. Every time I cross the Pulaski Bridge I take a moment to savor this nugget of Orwellian glory. Not content with a single sign touting this piece of newspeak, the owner of this splendid example of industrial park chic gave it a couple companions.

New is Beautiful Times Three

NEW is BEAUTIFUL

As I marched through Long Island City like the good little Greenpoint trouper I am this was my mantra. The underlying logic for me doing so was the presumption that if I repeated this phrase enough times I might begin to actually begin to believe it. Unfortunately this experiment failed miserably. My precipitous fall from Big Brother’s grace happened when I beheld the backside of the giant gray monolith that graces Jackson Avenue.

Behemoth on Jackson Avenue

Could someone please explain to me why, in a city with one of the best mass transit systems in the world, people persist driving automobiles? Much less ones that (undoubtedly) consume an obscene amount of gasoline? Perhaps the owner of this vehicle feels it is his (or her) patriotic duty to use as much gasoline as possible to support our regime’s occupation of Iraq? Who knows? I certainly don’t.

That said, I do have a theory about why developers build ginormous parking lots (like the above one on 47th Avenue).

The Doors

To give their neighbors a little scenery.

Ten Inches

I love the smell of automotive emissions in the morning!

I certainly hope none of the owners of these Long Island City Humvees has a drinking problem. One wrong pedal to the metal and someone’s living room is going to get an unwanted piece of new furniture. Sheesh.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint is for Lovers

August 14, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City 

Greenpoint is for Lovers

A week ago I strolled down to the northern terminus of Manhattan Avenue to see how the new park is coming along.

Manhattan Avenue Park Facing East

Although you cannot tell from this photo, it looks pretty close to completion. I am really jazzed about this park. I can hardly wait to hang out there and check out the scenic views of Manhattan, Newtown Creek and lest we forget…

Manhattan Avenue Park

I have often cast my gaze across the fragrant thoroughfare that is Newtown Creek and asked myself:

I wonder what those Long Island City slickers think of us humble Greenpointers?

Well today I got my answer courtesy of Licnyc.com’s Online Forum. They think we’re HOT!

“BrandonZ” raves:

If I can just be completely frank… Seriously, I walk over the Pulaski and there are attractive, stylish young women everywhere. I mean, everywhere. It kills me.

Hardly ever on this side of the Creek. What gives? I suppose there’s hardly anyone in general on this side of the Creek, comparatively, so maybe there’s my answer.

The price I pay to be contrarian (and have more transit access) and live in Queens…

Aw shucks Brandon, you just made me blush! I’ll be sure to blow kisses at you as I’m pick-a-nicking and swilling Cabernet at my new park.

Toodles!

Miss Heather

The Fedderist Manifesto

August 14, 2007 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Articles of Fedderization, Long Island City, Williamsburg 

Today I wish to add a new weapon to the arsenal of wretched real estate rhetoric. My buddy Kevin over at Forgotten-NY brought us the oft used and loved term “Fedders building”. What I propose is a modest and simple expansion of his creation:

Fedderize (fed’er-riz) vt. -ized, izing, izes 1. remodeling an old building in order to make it completely and utterly hideous.

Exhibit A
149 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

149 Grand Street

Let’s start with this one. Though it is a pretty mild example several elements of Fedderization are manifest:

  1. The addition of Fedders boxes to an otherwise beautiful facade
  2. Jarring use of stucco
  3. A vinyl awning which has no aesthetic relationship whatsoever with the rest of the building

When I saw this building my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe someone would deface an otherwise okay building by installing Fedders boxes. Whoever is responsible for this should be kicked in the head.

Let’s proceed to the most venal example of Fedderization I have ever seen. In fact, the following turd was the inspiration for this post! Get out your motion sickness bags folks. You’re gonna need them.

EXHIBIT B
1007-1009 50th Avenue
Long Island City, NY 10111

1007-1009 50th Avenue

How-lee Sheeeeee-it!

I remember this building. It was once an unremarkable, if slightly run-down, clone of its neighbors. Now it is a hideous melange of what the fuck:

  1. The first floor and all the window sills are slathered in titanium white stucco.
  2. Two Fedders boxes grace each floor . They look like teats on a sow.
  3. The store front on the right employs the sparing use of marble, which is sort of odd given they didn’t skimp on all the other ugly shit inflicted upon this building.
  4. The store front of the left looks like something one would find in an industrial park. It does not match its companion to the right. One would think the Fedderist responsible for this gruesome twosome would be consistent in his (or her) craptitude. Obviously this was not the case.

Could someone please explain to me why someone would outlay (what appears to be) a lot of money to do this? Although I dislike the practice, I can understand why many developers have seen fit to erect ugly, over-sized, institutional-looking buildings in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Long Island City and beyond: to save money. This, on the other hand, I do not get. Thoughts anyone?

Miss Heather

Night Smelling Committee

Dept. of Heath(er)?

A weekly feature I have inaugurated of late (albeit irregularly to date) is featuring an odd, provocative and/or strangely relevant chunk ‘o’ Greenpoint history for all to savor.

To steal a phrase from my buddy Judy McGuire, Man, oh Manishevitz do I have a fun tale of “Oy vey” before the l’oi ill’splay to share today. Oil spill or otherwise, Newtown Creek stinks… even back in 1892, when the Mayor of Brooklyn came down to inspect the stench personally. The following article is from the August 27th, 1892 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. I have taken the liberty of condensing this VERY VERBOSE article and bold-facing my favorite passages. Enjoy!

SMELLS FOR THE MAYOR

Two Newton Creek Samples Were Quite Enough
His Honor’s Brief Trip Upon the
Slimy Stream With the Health Commissioner, the Corporation Counsel, Alderman Fitzgibbon and a Committee of Citizens— Relief Promised.

Mayor Boody had cold and rainy weather for his visit of inspection yesterday to the much complained of factories on the shores of Newton Creek. The citizens from the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Wards who accompanied him would have been much better pleased over a heavy and sultry day. The smells would then have been at their worst, so far as the daytime is concerned, for after all it is at night that the vileness of Newton Creek odors is most apparent and oppressive. As it was Mayor Boody in a very few minutes yesterday got quite enough of creek smells and was more than satisfied long before the committee of citizens was.

The mayor, accompanied by Health Commissioner Griffin and Corporation Counsel Jenks, was driven in a carriage to Chapman’s docks at the head of Grand Street. He was met there by the committees of eastern district citizens. The only other representative of the city govenment was Alderman Fitzgibbon, who accompanied the Seventeenth Ward delegation and whose home is within the district invaded by the noxious smells…

Alderman Fitzgibbon and other members of the party welcomed the mayor, health commissioner and the corporation counsel and escorted them to the steam propeller Mascot. It was raining smartly then and a stiff breeze was blowing, but the heavy, sickening odor from the neighboring fertilizing factories and from the filthy creek itself saluted Mayor Boody’s nostrils even before he left his carriage. Health Commissioner Griffin bore the smell like a veteran, but Corporation Counsel Jenkins looked unfeignedly sick from the start. The smell seemed a little worse than he had prepared himself to meet.

Through the slimy waters the boat coursed, while members of the committee sitting in the wheelhouse with the mayor told him they were sorry the tide was not low, for then the smell would be many times worse. Mayor Boody, intimated, with a laugh, that the situation as it was seemed sufficiently atrocious. A stop was made at Cord Meyer’s bone boiling establishment on Furman’s Island, only a hasty and superficial examination was made, but the smell was such that Mr. Jenks turned away in disgust and gasped for fresh air. The mayor tried hard to conscientiously sniff all the odors that were to be caught, but began toshow signs of not relishing the task. When the party re-embarked the boat steamed to Andrew Wissel & Co’s place, also on Furman’s Island. Wissel has the contract to remove offal from King’s County, and out of his unsavory stock he manufactures fertilizing preparations. Wissel’s son in law, a young man of pleasing manners and speech, tried hard to convince Mayor Boody that the atmosphere was not polluted, but the mayor’s nostrils were as wide open as his ears, and with a significant sniff and a still more more significant look he started off towards the boat.

A whole creek full of stench producing establishments remained, but Mayor Boody asked to be taken back to the Grand Street dock, where his carriage awaited him, “I have had enough of this,” he said. “I realize that you have a grievance and I want to live to help you.” “It is a crying shame.” said Corporation Counsel Jenks. The he stopped suddenly and listened without comment to members of the committee who explained that the odors which had sickened him were nightly pervading miles of Brooklyn thoroughfares and ruining the comfort and the health of thousands of people. The health commissioner had little to say, but both the mayor and corporation counsel freely promised to do what they could to abate the nuisance. “We will use all the power possible,” the mayor said in substance, “but it is your duty also to exert yourselves. A nuisance exists here and it is for you to prove it a nuisance. Everybody who suffers from this nuisance should be prepared to come downtown and testify against it. The trouble has been that when two or three citizens came down to testify that these smells were a nuisance the other side invariably presented a greater number of witnesses who were willing to swear that no nuisance existed.”

The mayor and his party were cheered by the delegations as they re-entered their carriage. Afterward some of the delegated sailed the length of Newton Creek and paid a brief visit to Rosenberg’s fat rendering and bone boiling establishment near Calvary Cemetary Bridge. At no time during the afternoon, however, was anything like a thorough examination of the alleged nuisances on the creek shore made.

In the evening an executive meeting Seventeenth Ward citizens was held at 101 Monitor Street. Henry T. Steinhaner presented a report of the mayor’s visit to the creek and also reported, with much detail, the result of several night trips which have recently been made by Seventeenth Ward citizens to Newton Creek factories. This report is not to be made public… the intention being to use it in the courts as evidence. Members of the night smelling committee say, however, that their experiences have been quite stirring at times, and that some day they will make interesting reading.

And they have! It is interesting (and a little depressing) to learn that even in 2007 nothing has really changed. Same shit, different century.

Miss Heather

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