Introducing The “Blighties”

April 10, 2009 ·
Filed under: Recession, Williamsburg 

blightythumbnailAs some of you might have noticed I have spent a considerable amount of bandwidth this week making light of the development-induced blight that plagues north Brooklyn. There are a number of reasons for this, but to give you a short list:

1. Each and every derelict construction site is a testament to what happens when bad policy-making, easy credit and greed meet with farcical enforcement by the agencies deemed to serve the public interest and safety. Yes, I am talking to you Department of Buildings.

2. A great number of these sites were once places of employment for some, homes to others. Now they’re rubbish-infested wastelands.

3. While the intended effort (ostensibly) of the rezoning in north Brooklyn was to improve the quality of life here the actual effect has been quite the opposite. I suppose there have been winners (like people whose budget for rental property exceeds the per capita income for a family of four here— the last time I checked Greenpoint was hovering around $30,000 a year), but this community as a whole is not one of them. We will shouldering the consequences of their  malfeasance for a very, VERY long time.

4. I have seen my quality of life substantially degraded in the last 2-3 years as a result of points #1 and #2.

Suffice it to say I have become a bit of a connoisseur of development-induced crap heaps over the years. And for this reason I have elected 218 North 9 Street  to receive New York Shitty’s first ever Blighty award. What does it take to get a “Blighty” you ask? Well, I haven’t determined the criteria just yet but this site will be used as a benchmark!


Three indicators of a good piece of developer blight can be seen in the above photograph:

  1. A for sale/for rent sign on an adjacent property.
  2. Lots of concertina wire.
  3. Plenty of graffiti and street art on the fence.


Not to suggest the latter most point is a negative. I think this bunny is cute.


This pile of garbage not so much.


Oh look, part of the fence is down! Let’s see what’s inside!


A pile of rubbish, a busted up toilet…




Congratulations 218 North 9 Street on receiving the first, but certainly not last, New York Shitty Blightie Award! Given the tough times we’re in nowadays— and all the developer blight that has come with it— methinks I will have to ask my good friend Hard Hat Hannah to come out of retirement and lend me a hand.

To be continued.

Miss Heather

Lost In Williamsburg: Someone’s “Shit”

April 10, 2009 ·
Filed under: Recession, Williamsburg 


I honestly do not know what else to say other than if you have seen this gent’s “shit” or know of its whereabouts please contact him at the above email address.

Thank you,

Miss Heather

P.S.: Bruce Springsteen does the dub step to the remix? Who knew?

Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: 11211

April 9, 2009 ·
Filed under: Recession, Williamsburg 


From Metropolitan Avenue.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Video Du Jour: Sunday Afternoon On Manhattan Avenue

April 7, 2009 ·
Filed under: Recession, Williamsburg 

Today’s example of developer blight comes courtesy of a smallish lot on Manhattan Avenue just north of Grand Street. What initially caught my eye was the “gate” to this site gently listing back and forth in the breeze. Having had a considerable amount of experience with illegal weekend construction I figured there would be workers busy hammering, sawing and riveting. As you will see this ended up not being the case.

Public safety hazard or a new jungle gym for neighborhood youth? I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Recession Watch: Priced To Move

April 6, 2009 ·
Filed under: Recession, Williamsburg 


This fully loaded mode of transportation comes courtesy of Maspeth Avenue in East Williamsburg. Not only has it been reduced from $500 to a mere $100, but it touts “cold AC” and (presumably contingent on the physical condition of the purchaser) purports to have “full power”. What a steal!

Miss Heather

A Girl And Her Blog

April 6, 2009 ·
Filed under: Abjectecture, Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Recession, Williamsburg 

It would appear that politicians (and the developers to whom they are beholden) have done a smashing job of removing “urban blight” (READ: the working class/poor) from north Brooklyn. Who needs nuclear bombs when re-zoning, complicity and bureaucratic incompetence/apathy will do the job? Nonetheless the end product is more or less the same: a community whose quality of life has been compromised.

Follows is a revue of developer-induced blight in north Brooklyn I captured yesterday, April 5. I have entitled it After The Gold Rush.

The sad reality is re-zoning, tax bennies, and easy credit have done little to benefit my neighborhood. There were once businesses that gave people decent, well paying  jobs. Affordable rental property was once in abundance in Greenpoint as well. No more. Thanks to our city’s leadership much of my wonderful neighborhood has become a wasteland peppered by vacant lots, failed condominiums cum overpriced rental property, illegal hostels and super-sized tourist destinations operated by and for the affluent.

The time is long overdue for north Brooklyn to be developed in a manner sensitive to the needs of the people who constitute this community, not the ones Mayor Bloomberg’s rich cronies envision living here.


Miss Heather

P.S.: This one’s for you, Bob.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Carbecue

April 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: Culture War, Greenpoint Magic, Recession 


Ah yes, nothing says Spring has arrived in Greenpoint quite like a charbroiled S.U.V. Take this splendid example from Kent Street as captured by Kitchen Prof March 29 for example. I have little doubt shenanigans such as this will provide ample added-value in the way of scenic vistas (if not property appreciation) to the tenants of the Pencil Lofts for some time to come! Nice.

Miss Heather


April 1, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Recession 

(Or, Are You And A Significant Other Looking For A Little Extra Cash?)

One question I am asked quite frequently about my junk daze is as follows:

How do you do it?

As you can probably intuit from the video gracing the beginning of this post my answer is simply:

Very easily.

I have reached a point in my life where very few things disturb me at a core level anymore. This is not to suggest I have seen it all. I haven’t and I do not want to. Some would say I have a very vivid imagination. Others would call me a colossal pervert. They’re both probably correct. Which brings me to this rather eye-catching flier I spied on Manhattan Avenue recently.


$290 divided by 15 comes out roughly to $19.30 an hour. Not a bad a rate for keeping one’s clothes on.*

Miss Heather

*Although I suppose you could do those online questionaires in your birthday suit if you are so inclined.

Coming Up: Craft On Draught

March 25, 2009 ·
Filed under: Brooklyn, Bushwick, Greenpoint Magic, Recession, Williamsburg 

fabricthumbnailI’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning of late. You know, getting rid of stuff you told yourself— REPEATEDLY— that you would do something with. But never did. Here’s your opportunity to dump, drink and make. Leslie writes:

Bring out your busted sewing projects, tired T-shirts, hideous hand-me-downs—basically all the crappy clothes from your closet that you don’t want anymore, or the stuff you’ve been meaning to make awesome—for the ultimate happy hour of destruction, reconstruction, and social mixing!

You provide the scrap, we’ll provide the beer, inspiration, crafting tools, and help from author-crafters Heather Ross and Kayte Terry—plus special projects for purchase: Scrappliqué undies, totebags, cards, jewelry boxes, picture frames, onesies and T-shirts (with that new T-shirt smell)!

WHAT: Craft in Draught Debut

WHEN: April 2, 2009.

WHERE: Spacecraft Brooklyn
355 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

(718) 599-2718

WHY: Because it is fun and your $15.00 admission fee (or two for $10) “gets you free beer, and a raffle ticket to win a copy of WEEKEND SEWING by Heather Ross, COMPLETE EMBELISHING by Kayte Terry, grab bags of goodies from Etsy and STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books, cute fabric bundles from Heather Ross’s Mendocino line, a gift certificate to Housing Works Bookstore Café , and other assorted surprises!”

HOW: JMZ at Marcy, Bedford Avenue stop of the L or the B61, baby!

To RSVP for this event you need to shoot an email to:  rsvp (at) spacecraftbrooklyn (dot) com

Otherwise it should be noted that Craft in Draught will alternate between Spacecraft and 3rd Ward the first  Thursday of every month. “East Williamsburg” will get your turn in May!*

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11237

Miss Heather

*Bonus points if you also haul in your wool sweaters and socks, to be felted in preparation for the Felt Up for Spring!

Crosstown Local Photo Du Jour: M.T.A.

March 18, 2009 ·
Filed under: Crosstown Local, Long Island City, Queens, Recession 


From Court Square.

Miss Heather

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