From The New York Shitty Inbox: Seriously Good Stuff

Noah Devereaux writes:

You’ve been running some of my photos from the flickr pool for a while and I figured I should introduce myself and let you know how much I appreciate your blogging of daily eccentricities. When I moved to New York over a year ago and trying to figure out where to live, NYShitty was one of the things that brought the Garden Spot to my attention. I was drawn by the unpretentious quirkiness that I saw in your pictures and now that I’ve been living here for a while, I don’t want to live anywhere else.

For the past few months I’ve been working on a project about our local treasure, Newtown Creek, that you’ve been running photos from. I’m a photographer professionally but have been bumming around the creek out of personal curiosity and it’s great to be able to have the work in progress seen by a local audience. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of the pictures already but I have a selection of works so far at my website.

Give Noah’s shots a look-see. They’re amazing!

Miss Heather

Quicklink: Waste “Management”

Queens Crap recently received a real gem in his “crap box”: a Department of Sanitation memo outlining how waste is to be transported hereabouts. If you have ever wondered about this kind of thing (and I know you’re out there) here is the answer in a nutshell: it entails shuttling material from Long Island City through Greenpoint to Blissville.

Don’t take my word for it: point and click your way over to Queens Crap and see it for yourself! Reading is believing.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: The Other Superfund

This stunning image hails from Maspeth Creek English Kills and comes from krugerlive who writes:

…i have a lot more shooting to do here. matt and i were stopped about 4 times by people asking if we were turrists. i was not allowed to shoot to the left of this shot because it’s the city’s only control point of natural gas. you’d think telling me how vulnerable that spot is would be more dangerous than letting me take photos from a public road.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Videos Du Jour: Open House

Yesterday afternoon my buddy from the Newtown Pentacle and I sojourned to St. Cecilia’s Auditorium for the Kosciuszko Bridge Project Open House. While hardly standing room only, the peeps behind the presentation were pleasantly surprised by the turn-out. I suspect word about the blue chip refreshments (which included coffee, tea, cream, milk, zero fat milk, water and soda; cookies and crackers with an assortment of cheese) might have had something to do with this. But who’s to say for certain?

In any case, I filmed the proceedings for your entertainment and edification. Mostly the latter. This material might strike many of you as being boring (for the most part, it is) but if you reside in this southern Greenpoint or western Queens you should view this footage. How this projects proceeds (or not) will effect our community for a long time to come.

INTRO: (self-explanatory)

PART I: The process/research leading up to this project & how the bridge will be constructed

PART II: Property acquisition & park space (including a kayak launch on Newtown Creek!)

PART III: A run-down of the four bridge types under consideration

PART IV: End of Presentation, the Q & A session begins

PART V: A Lombardy Street resident asks some very compelling questions

PART VI: An Apollo Street resident speaks and the meeting concludes


I suppose some of you are probably wondering which design I voted for. Here you go.

The rationale for my decision was (more or less) as follows:

1. I found it visually compelling and felt it juxtapose nicely with the Manhattan skyline.
2. This design leaves more open space under the bridge. Given how oppressive this area is currently I believe this to be a big plus.

3. It embraces/showcases the Shit Tits rather nicely!

Priorities, people!

Miss Heather

Now On The Blog Roll Of Gowanus Lounge Dot Com: IDT Energy

In regards to Bob Guskind (to whom they have dedicated a page) they write:

Bob Guskind was a unique man, and his writing will forever stand as a testament to the person that he was.

While we’ve bought the site Gowanus Lounge, we are not trying to replicate or replace his work or his spirit.  We intend to continue to explore issues that are important to the people of New York, while also addressing topics of concern to other markets and communities.

Bob Guskind’s work has been moved to another location where fans can continue to read his prose and benefit from the wisdom that he provided.

Speaking as someone who has had the benefit of Bob’s wisdom I found Gowanus Lounge 2.0’s linkage to “Energy Savings” and “IDT Energy” of particular interest. The Mister and I pointed and clicked. Here’s what we found:

Energy Savings

The IDT Energy Store (You can see the registration info by clicking here). When you click on “Company” here’s what you’ll find:

Yup, the same people who saw fit to plague my community with people hitting our buzzers— REPEATEDLY— stating they were from Con Ed and that they wanted to review our energy bills. Time and time again. This is not purely Greenpoint phenomenon either. You can read other accounts/musings/ranting regarding IDT’s chicanery by clicking on any of the following links:

But I do not want to suggest IDT has plied its dubious trade solely in the county of Kings. No sir, their nefarious reach goes much further. Which brings me to this delightful video submitted from a reader in Harlem.

Needless to say after the aforementioned barrage of negative publicity IDT has seen fit to retool its image. In the 20th century the last refuge for a scoundrel was religion. In the 21st Century miscreants and ne’er do wells go “green”…

and operate blogs: idtenergy.wordpress.com

In closing, I leave you with this choice morsel from Gowanus Lounge 1.0 dating from January 28, 2009. Note the comments (and all caps abuse). Here’s my favorite segment from someone who calls himself IDT EMPLOYEE:

PS: THE PEOPLE WHO CLAIM THEY GOT SCAMMED ARE IGNORANT & NEEDS TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND THEM. TO THOSE WHO DID NOT CHOSE THEIR ESCO HAVE FUN PAYING THOSE 3 EXTRA TAXES THAT IDT MEMBERS DO NOT PAY…

Can a leopard change its spots? I’ll leave it up to you, dear readers, to make the call All I ask is please be an informed consumer and do not take this businesses promises at face value. Exercise due diligence!

Miss Heather

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

Introducing The Newtown Pentacle

waxmanLast night I had the damnedest time falling asleep. At 2:00 a.m. I found myself tossing and turning so I decided to get a glass of milk and poke around on the computer. I am glad I did because I came across a pingback from a new site called The Newtown Pentacle. Intrigued I checked it out. Although only a handful of posts strong I have to admit this site looks very promising. As for what it is about I’ll let the author, Mitch Waxman, do the talking (from his inaugural post dating from May 29, 2009):

The colonial era towns of Green Point, Brooklyn and the Queens towns of Astoria, Ravenswood, Hunter’s Point, Bowery Bay, and Middletown were called Newtown in Dutch and English times. In the early 19th century, the Queens villages combined to form Long Island City. The industrial center of the area was and still is Newtown Creek. The most polluted body of water on earth, this ancient inlet was once home to the Maspaetche Indians. Dutch Orchards and English farms gave way to Yankee rail and then Standard Oil as time went by. Today, its waters are a curious shade of copper green, and the largest oil spill in history gurgles back and forth through deep subterranean channels between Green Point and Long Island City.  The architecture of the place is disturbingly heterogeneous. A rough tumble of styles are represented in this area — 19th century wrought iron row houses predominate, but 18th century warehouses are still on active duty in some places. Near Hunter’s Point and in Old Astoria, Antebellum mansions abut hideous Le Corbusier-influenced modernism. To the south and the east can be found some of the most interesting stone work in New York City as one explores the cemetery belt along the Brooklyn and Queens border.
Three million New Yorkers lie in Calvary cemetery alone. In this, the Necropolis of New York City, the living population of Queens is outnumbered three to one.

After a health scare a couple of years ago, my doctors recommended a course of clean living and regimen of physical exercise as the best curative. An amateur antiquarian and connoisseur of odd information, I elected to use my prescriptive exertions as an opportunity to explore and record. I toured crumbling Long Island City, the tree lined lanes of Victorian Astoria, and rusty coastlines of foetid Newtown Creek. Headphones on, camera in hand. The journey has taken me to many odd and forgotten places, and led me to discover a fascinating group of people. Follow me on these long walks, I promise you’ll see something amazing.

The previous isn’t just a bunch of verbiage either: Mr. Waxman delivers. Do give this site a whirl. It’s fascinating.

Miss Heather

Photo Credit: Mitch Waxman

A Very Special Dung of The Day

March 18, 2009 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Dung of the Day, Maspeth, Other Shit, Queens 

(Or: Queens Crap)

weirdcrapnys

My buddy over at Queens Crap (who was kind enough to send me this lovely find) opines:

My initial reaction–sort of round, shiny pellets of roughly medium-blueberry size–is rabbit. It doesn’t look like carnivore–raccoons, et al produce something that looks like cat crap, which is something that you’re all too familiar with. It’s not goose, which looks kind of like soggy, greenish Tater Tots.

And with that sidewalk and fence shadow suggesting an urban area, the color, and my impression of size, it’s not deer.

So, rabbit leads for now.

Indeed. It looks like the Easter bunny came early over in Maspeth!*

Miss Heather

P.S.: Special thanks goes out to my buddy Crappy for sharing this find. We make a great turd tag team!

*And Bushwick too for that matter.

jellybeans

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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