“Hostelity”

May 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: New York City, Plagiarism 

postthumbalaevgrieveThere are things I want to do this curiously hazy Friday afternoon. Writing this post is not one of them. But it touches upon something I myself have experienced twice this month: a web site being used as a source for a print publication story without proper citation. Plagiarism. Thankfully this latest “incident” does not involve yours truly. You see, another thing I dislike doing is sending angry missives to people who have profited from my work. Nonetheless I feel compelled to pass this item along as it is one of— if not the most— flagrant examples of outright plagiarism I have encountered to date.

On May 28, 2009 Vanishing New York, a blog based in the East Village for those of you who are not in the know, wrote:

For some time, the New York Post has notoriously been ripping off blogger Miss Heather over at New York Shitty. She writes about neighbors angry at ice-cream truck noise, a day later, the Post is on the scene. She writes about weird graffiti, bam, there’s the Post with an “exclusive.” In that case, the journalist huffily defended himself saying that because he went to the scene and did his own research, that counts as an exclusive.

This is the Post’s MO. They take a blogger’s story, add their research, and call it their own, without ever crediting the blogger. Maybe they figure, Eh, who reads blogs anyway, especially way out there in Brooklyn?

Well, now they’re pillaging the East Village blogs. They did it to EV Grieve, calling their story on the Bullet Space squat an “exclusive.” And now they’re ripping me off

What is this latest “exclusive”, you ask? Very simple: a darkly entertaining tome about neighbors acting anything but neighborly. In this tale of noise, drunkenness and yes, Conway Twitty, we learn about the dysfunctional relationship between the patrons of the Cooper Square Hotel’s outdoor patio and the people who have the misfortune of living not only an earshot— but also a arm’s length from them and their apparently endless banter. The following are excerpts from Vanishing New York’s “Volumes I & II of Notes From the Backside” to give you a better grasp of the situation:

From Volume I, dated May 19:

…got to try the megaphone this week. About 2 am a drunk woman came out to the patio and wondered at its beauty. I pulled out the megaphone and said in a store announcer kind of voice “Attention Cooper Square Hotel douchebags: shut the hell up and get off the patio.”

Didn’t work. She said “That makes my new york experience complete” and continued to yammer away. The hotel made a half-hearted effort to get her out of there.

From Volume II, dated May 26:

We had a delicious victory yesterday. We saw that the hotel’s co-owner was sitting on the patio a few feet from our window. We put our speakers at the window.

But what to play?

The un-coolest thing we could come up with was Roger Miller and Conway Twitty’s greatest hits. Then we put on this vile, 7-minute comedy routine about a prostitute and a banana. And set it to repeat.

While highly entertaining this does not strike me as being the kind of thing that can or should qualify as an “exclusive” in a paper of record. But this is exactly what happened. Try this quote from the Post’s article on the subject (which went to print yesterday, May 28) on for size:

One resident, armed with a megaphone, leaned out his window and greeted a patron who strayed out on the patio after it was closed. When that didn’t work, he placed the megaphone next to a stereo speaker and shared a crude comedy skit.

Isn’t this more or less the same thing, albeit in less detail? Similarities abound between Vanishing New York’s coverage of this story and the Post’s article. Enough so that both City Room and Gothamist have taken note. The latter called the Post’s exclusive:

a shameless jack of original reporting

I am inclined to agree— or at the very least the timing and similarity of content demand an explanation. In closing I would like to pass along the following thoughts/observations:

  1. In the interest of fairness I eventually did get an apology of sorts from the reporter who wrote about Greenpoint’s “Nazi” graffiti.
  2. It was from this reporter I learned that the editorial staff elected to call his story an exclusive, not him.
  3. The previous brings me to a point I have been woefully remiss in making so I will do so here and now: to merely blame the reporters for lifting material from blogs is incredibly short-sighted and naive. It is all too clear this practice is sanctioned, if not out rightly encouraged, by their higher ups. In other words this is an institutional problem.
  4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are real stories to be followed up on out there, why this one? This is not to “pooh pooh” what the neighbors of the Cooper Square Hotel are experiencing— I understand their plight all too well. \But given the recent uptick in violence against homeless people and “crusties” at Tompkin’s Square Park— and the print media’s reluctance to report about it— I have to wonder where their priorities are. Actually I don’t have to wonder too much— it’s all about the numbers: they publish stories they think the public will read (so as to boost their circulation and reap more advertising revenue). If we didn’t read it, they would not publish it. Thus the story of a 26 year old woman who dies as a result of “wilding” in the East Village slides by and we read an amusing tale of neighbors at war instead. If you ask me this is a pretty damning indictment of not only the print media— but also the values espoused its readership. Yes, that means you and me.
  5. Ideally I envision reporters/print publications partnering with neighborhood blogs (inasmuch as I hate using the previous term) and generating some wonderful stories. Ideally. Frankly I do not see this happening anytime soon because the print media as a whole treats its online brethren (yes, brethren) with nothing short of cynical contempt. And if my experience over the last three years of writing New York Shitty and interfacing with other “bloggers” is any indication, the feeling is mutual.
  6. If anyone afflicted by the noise of the Cooper Square Hotel is reading this: try bagpipe music— just like Colt 45 it works every time!

Miss Heather

Image Credits: EVGrieve via Vanishing New York.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Strange Tastes Ahead

April 30, 2009 ·
Filed under: Manhattan, New York City 

strangetastecuisine

If anyone from this establishment (which is located at 20 Henry Street in Chinatown) is reading this: you might want to do a little word smithing on this advertisement.

Miss Heather

Photo Credit: Richard Kerschenbaum

Great Moments In Real Estate Advertising: Pardon Our Appearance

April 17, 2009 ·
Filed under: New York City 

One thing that always gives me a chuckle is some of the florid and occasionally downright pompous ad copy our real estate friends use to describe their product. Take the following, for example.

ecoindulgent

Did I just read ECO-INDULGENT?

I said to Mister Heather as I walked by this site. To wit he noted that getting gold certification was no small achievement. I assured him that I too thought this was pretty cool. BUT…

pardon

when there’s a rather large SUV idling directly underneath said signage touting eco-friendliness it sort of subverts the message, if you know what I mean.

Miss Heather

East Village Photos Du Jour: Gearing Up For Easter

April 11, 2009 ·
Filed under: Manhattan, New York City 

derobertis

pasticceria

hawkishlambs

From De Robertis Pasticceria, 1st Avenue.

Miss Heather

Calling All Shittites: Contributors & Tips Wanted

mrpoopyheadthumbNow that my life has resumed some sense of normalcy (or at least as close as it gets with yours truly) I can finally get around to doing a few things I’ve been meaing to do but have gotten lost in the shuffle. Soliciting tips and contributors is foremost among these things.

Over the last few months I have increasingly come to the opinion that New York Shitty would be augmented with the addition of some other, new “voices”. Recent events (such as the untimely passing of Bob Guskind and the impending demise of the Greenpoint Courier) and my growing acceptance of the fact that I am only one person have made me realize that expanding the content on this site and providing a large forum are much more important than I had previously thought.

So here’s the deal: if you are interested in being a contributor to this site please email me at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. But before closing this post I would like to make my criteria/preferences/”plan” known:

1. I do not consider New York Shitty to be exclusively a “place blog”. However, there are some geographical areas I tend to focus on more than others: Greenpoint (obviously), Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, southwestern Queens and to a more limited extent: Bedford Stuyvesant and the East Village. Here’s a map to give you a general idea of what/where I am talking about.

nysmap

The previous having been written I want to make it clear that I am open to material from outside this area. I simply do not want it to override the north Brooklyn-centric nature of this site.

2. What kind of content am I looking for? I’m pretty open to suggestions. One thing I would really like to have happen is feature an adoptable pet once a week. If this sounds like something you are interested in doing, let me know. Otherwise I want to make it clear what I do not want: schmaltz. If you are going to write about your children it better be fucking good. Family Circus (and its ilk) put me in a blind rage. It also goes without saying that racist, sexist, classist, anti-Semitic, homophobic material, etc.— in other words hate speech— will not be published.

3. What’s in it for me? New York Shitty is not a for profit site, therefore I cannot afford to pay you. However, plans to convert this site (along with a redesign!) are in the works. So perhaps some day compensation will be involved. For the time being, however, a little publicity and/or link love is all I can offer.

4. Please be literate.

5. Unless you have sustained a serious brain injury or have multiple personalities please refer to yourself in the first person. Which brings me to my final point…

6. Please do not be insane. The world wide web has enough crazy people posting crazed missives on it already. I have no intention of adding to this problem.

This is pretty much all I can think of. I want to leave the possibilities for this site as open as possible.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Miss Heather

Map Image Credit: Google Maps

New York City Back In The Day

March 3, 2009 ·
Filed under: New York City 

Yesterday, March 2nd, my friend (and fellow Greenpointer) at Mobile Pictures sagely observed:

…I was thinking about how all of the southern states must be shut down and everyone is at home watching the Golden Girls or the Price Is Right, while us New Yorker keep trudging right along. Sigh.

march1959

I suppose inclement weather is our burden— as “Yankees”— to bear. But as this photograph from fifty years ago clearly attests we New Yorkers don’t let a little (or a lot of) fluffy stuff get us down. Not only do we endeavor to persevere but we look damned stylish to boot!

Miss Heather

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    Commodore Barry ParkSohoSailors Snug Harbor - Staten IslandRed HookWinter Fall (The Rose)Meatpacking DistrictDowntownSoHo
  • Ads