Neat Stuff

September 23, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51 

I have been busy making stuff of late.

Here are two recently-completed pieces that I wish to share. I hope you enjoy them as much I as I do.

The FEMA Clock

FEMA Clock

The body of this clock is made from a pencil case I bought from a local 99 cent store before Hurricane Katrina. I thought it was pretty funny at the time of purchase, but I get a real rip out of it now. The penguin playing guitar is a nice touch.

I am toying around with the idea of placing this item for sale on Ebay just to see what will happen. It’s been my observation that many users of Ebay tend to be right-leaning, so I imagine it would not be received very well.

The American Express Lamp

Am Ex Lamp

I have been collecting those fake credit cards that come in junk mail for at least three years now. With some help from my friends, I have amassed around 100 of them as of this post. To date I have used them to spice up the chandelier in the living room, but I elected to pull a few ‘cards’ to make this nifty lamp shade.

Otherwise, I have one cool new development to announce: Jack E. Jett has shown interest in featuring some of my dog shit infotainment on his show. I suspect this weekend will be spent prepping stuff to this end and knocking out a PowerPoint presentation of my latest dog shit findings for all to enjoy.

Miss Heather

This is why I live in Greenpoint

September 15, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

I found this piquant piece of social commentary at the Greenpoint Avenue stop of the G train on September 11, 2006.

Jackass number two

‘Nuff said.

Miss Heather

Hot in the Ass

September 10, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Last Sunday evening my husband and I took the L train home after knocking around the West Village. Upon entering the car, I noticed that there were a few seats left that no one had not seen fit to take: they chose to stand instead. Shortly after I sat down and the train continued its trek to Canarsie, I found out why.

I plopped my ass down next to an older black gentleman. He was a tad scruffy, but clean and kempt. He was definitely not homeless, just a tad odd. He was rocking some strange mojo and the monologue he gave for the edification of his fellow MTA patrons—from 6th Avenue to Lorimer St. (where we got off)— pretty much proved my intuition to be on the mark. I have yet to decide whether or not this man was insane. I am tilting towards “not” only because he was (a hair’s breadth) too lucid.

I can’t recall everything he rambled about (there was simply too much), but I suspect I speak for most of my fellow L train riders that night when I say we found him quite entertaining. His repartee was a vulgar, rapier-sharp brand of wit seldom found anymore, save unless if one went the local library and leafed through anything written by Rabelais. My favorite part of this man’s diatribe(s) was what I call the “hot in the ass” musings. In a nutshell, he asserted that each and every person riding in our car (and in New York City in general) was “hot in the ass”. He even challenged to us to argue the contrary:

I dare any one of you in this car to raise your hand and say you’re not hot in the ass.

No one did. Point made.

For the last week I have been wondering exactly what it is that makes people feel compelled to ramble endlessly in public spaces (e.g., the rapid transit system). Does New York City simply attract the kind of people who engage in this practice or does New York City drive people to it? I am veering towards the latter because the last few days here at Chateau de Ghetto have been pure, unadulterated HELL.

Not only do the events that follow result in some poor 311 operator getting his ear chewed off, but spending $2.00 to ride the subway and scream at total strangers is starting to look damned appealing to me. When everything comes to pass, it would probably be more effective anyway. I am just a silly idealistic pissant who follows the rules and expects others (landlords) to do the same.

It all started with last Thursday, September 7.

My Thursday morning started at 7:30 a.m. This is when the contractors hired by the MTA to tear up the street in front of our apartment (ostensibly to do something with the G train) fired up the heavy machinery. At 9:30 a.m. I hear yelling. I peer outside to see some goon in an expensive suit getting in the face of one of the contractors because he cannot park his Mercedes-Benz SUV in front of his building. Lovely. I go back to working on the computer.

10:00 a.m.: I hear a very loud sound. Come to think of it, I didn’t just hear a sound: I felt it. “What in god’s name is going on?!?” I asked myself. I wandered to the back of the apartment (from which this din seemed to be originating) to see what’s up. The kitchen floor was vibrating as was damned near everything else that wasn’t nailed down. Not cool. Whilest taking a sip of my coffee, I looked out the window and saw this:

Sledgehammer

I was aware that the landlord next door was doing renovations to the salon he owns/operates, but never in my wildest dreams nightmares would I have thought it would come to this. When you live in a building with an incompetent, intransigent, and LAZY Super (hence why I call him the “Stupor”), it simply does not cross your mind that other landlords do work on their buildings. Much less that they would do such work voluntarily. The landlord next door is destroying my “Backdoor Crapstavaganza” and as the day wore on, it only got worse…

roof

and worse.

Illegal Construction

The noise was bad. The smell of the roofing materials being removed was worse; it filled our apartment with black dust and a sulphurous odor. But his raising the roof and using shitty construction methods really did it.

Yesterday, September 9, 2006 (SATURDAY from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) I watched, listened and SMELLED this man’s dubious plan unfold. And when the ramifications of this man’s tomfoolery became all too clear, I got (*ahem*) hot in the ass.

My bedroom window

This is my bedroom window. It is one of three windows in our apartment that face this man’s questionable ‘renovation’. Three windows that will be partially ‘blocked’ by his new roof. Well not exactly “blocked”; he has been thoughtful enough to cut niches around them. Niches which will probably pool with rainwater that will LEAK INTO MY APARTMENT.

Here is my one of my neighbor’s windows:

Neighbor's window

I am no expert, but I suspect the FDNY would not like this. The roof is going to obstruct the three windows she has facing this space as well. Three windows which provide the only means of egress from her apartment in the event of a fire other than her front door.

Before calling 311, I had the presence of mind to pull up the Department of Buildings web site and review what (if any) permits this man had open. He has one which allows him to do “Interior Alterations and Plumbing as per PLANS. NO WORK ON FL. 2 TO 4”. I strongly suspect what this man is doing is decidely not what the DOB had in mind when they issued him this permit. A permit, I would like to add, that was issued after the DOB received a complaint that he was operating without a permit. That complaint was dismissed, but that’s okay because now they have a new one: mine.

I was about as nice I could be to the 311 operator (he was very understanding and helpful), given the circumstances. These circumstances included having to shout over all the noise the very people I was trying to report were making. Mind you, I made this call from the other end of our apartment. This did not go unnoticed by the city employee I spoke with.

311 Man (hearing noise): Are they working right now?
Me: Yes, they are. They have been working since 9:30 this morning.
311 Man: Do they have a variance to do work weekends?
Me: Not that I know of.

And then I cited the open DOB permit verbatim all the way down to the permit number. I have also reported this to the Stupor of our building (as I suspected our landlord may find these developments disconcerting). The Stupe didn’t care; this guy is his buddy. Tomorrow I will report this to the Fire Department and anyone else I can think of until I come across someone who does care. This is not a mere matter of inconvenience, it is one of safety. My safety and that of my neighbors are more valuable than the dubious eight feet this man is adding to his roof.

Miss Heather

September 5, 2006 Dung of the Day

September 5, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Bum Shit, Dung of the Day 

I found this gargantuan pile (?) of shit at 222 Franklin St. Even I would not go near this one (as Dirty Harry would say “a good woman always knows her limitations”), but to give you a sense of scale, most of it is piled atop a 2″ x 6″.

It’s a big one alright— and by far the most repulsive specimen I have found to date. Given that I have spent over five months tracking dog shit*, that is saying something.

September 5, 2006 Dung of the Day

Miss Heather

*and coming across the occasional human bowel movement, like this one.

Hipsters Need Only Apply

August 29, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Moving Day

I recently noticed that the “for rent” sign has been removed from our apartment building. The apartment in question has been on the market for over two months. It has had no takers (until now, anyway) because it is an overpriced piece of shit.

The landlord has offered this apartment to my husband and me twice, and both times we have declined. We would like a two bedroom apartment so we could convert one of the bedrooms into an office, but this apartment is a ‘two bedroom’ in only the most rigidly academic sense of the term. It has…

  1. two bedrooms: one was about 10′ x 12′, the other was 8′ x 10′ (READ: a glorified walk-in closet)
  2. maybe 100 square feet more than what we have now, probably less
  3. walls that looked like they have been worked over by Keith Moon and then repaired by a circus monkey on crack
  4. one closet

    And last, but not least

  5. a brand-spanking new remote controlled ceiling fan (wtf?)

The asking rent for this ‘palace’ was over $300 a month more than what we are currently paying. It was all I could to to keep from laughing in the Stupor’s face when he told me the price. He was pretty damned proud of that ceiling fan he installed and the rent certainly reflected this. To be fair, it was a very nice ceiling fan, but it looked completely out of place because the rest of the apartment was a complete and total DUMP.

I have been wondering who my new neighbors were going to be what idiot would rent this apartment. Last night I got my answer.

Around 9:00 p.m. I heard something that is music to my ears: the sound of hipsters of moving somewhere else. I like ‘moving day’ because that’s when they throw out lots of cool stuff. Items only someone with no concept whatsoever of what it is like to work for a living would throw away. Nice stuff that only requires a little ‘TLC’, like this…

Bookcase

…and this.

Lite Brite

I never knew Lite Brite even made tricked-out shit like this. The four lights even flash in tandem when you hit the button twice. Way cool! But I digress…

I peered out my window and saw a guy placing an antique lamp out with the trash. I bolted out of my apartment to grab it. When I came back, new score in hand, there was a eighteen-to-twenty year old chick talking to some dude (around the same age) who must have had at least a thousand dollars worth of tats on his arms and NECK. These “J.C. Penney Punks” (as my friend Mark calls them) were standing in front of my apartment.

Me: Excuse me.
Dude (moves, leans on my front door): Sure.
Me: That is my front door.
Dude: (moves)

*end of conversation*

P.T. Barnum has been (erroneously) credited as saying “There is a sucker born every minute”. If this is so, the 1980’s must have had more such ‘minutes’ than any decade to be had before or since. I find it fascinating that as this crappy apartment gets more (and more) ridiculously expensive, the people who rent it get younger and younger. I suspect this is because they have rich parents and do not know any better.

They will learn soon enough.

The apartment they are moving into is the ‘widowmaker’ of this building. No one has lived there for more than one year. It is Greenpoint’s very own “Room 101”— or perhaps “Room 237” from The Shining is more appropriate— as anyone who goes in there soon wants nothing more than to get the fuck out. They arrive here as fresh-faced, arrogant upstarts and they leave with hollowed-out faces completely bereft of any trace of humanity. And after they leave the rest of us get a good laugh and descend upon all the cool stuff they left behind like the vultures we are.

I suspect this cycle will perpetuate itself again next year. In the meantime, I hope these kids get some serious money and/or gifts for Christmas because I saw their possessions as they moved in. It was a bunch of crap even I would not want. ‘Slipster shit’ if I ever saw it.

In closing, I would like to give the following Greenpoint ‘shout-out’ to all you hipsters out there. I do not mind you moving to my ‘hood. Seriously. This is because I know you will leave soon enough, and when you do, I will score some seriously cool stuff. In fact, the only thing that keeps me from stabbing most of you arrogant fucks in the gonads is the prospect of getting free shit. That’s it.

So please do me the courtesy of not moving here unless you have stuff worth taking. There are plenty very nice people elsewhere who will accept items of inferior quality. Most of these people can be found off the Morgan Avenue stop of the L train or just about anywhere off the JMZ line in Brooklyn.

Your immediate attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Miss Heather

Bowels move on New Jersey Transit

August 23, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Bum Shit 

This is an email I got from one of my husband’s coworkers today.

I just saw the most obscene, vile, surreal imagery since working in the city (mind you I have worked off and on for over 10 years in NYC). My day is starting with 5 star accommodations when NJ Transit decides to screw up the bus schedule and strand 200 people for over 2 hours at our terminal at Toms River due to a mix up with a broken down bus in the rotation. That was nothing in comparison to the eye candy I observed once I got into Port Authority. I called the Office to let them know that I actually arrived a bit earlier than expected from the delay and should arrive at work between 9:30 and 9:45 AM. I was talking to them on the cell phone and walking down the South Terminal’s main exit; I saw three security guards standing in the middle of the causeway with their arms stretched out in a “T” formation around a large area of the hall. As I got closer I witnessed something so foul and repulsive that I was left mute for about 35 seconds on the phone to work and the secretary was asking if everything was OK. What I saw that threw me mentally off guard was the sight of either a human or large animal’s, possibly canine, pile of shit on the floor. This was not any ordinary shit pile either, it stretched for about 25 feet long by 14 feet or so wide. Not that the load was extra ordinarily large, though it did have a good amount of mass to it, but the fact that the general public was trouncing over the shit like it wasn’t there! They smooched and smeared the fecal matter in the Duane Reade, the Trailways counter, through a newsstand and to the entrance of the subway escalator. I don’t think even Franz Kafka could not have thought up such a blackened image as this. I was so shocked by this fact, that the PA had to get armed guards to stand there with arms out to *prevent* people from smearing any more of it around. I couldn’t speak, it was like being stabbed in the kidneys with a knife; you want to scream, but no voice came out. I then deftly made my way around the mess carefully looking at the ground as smeared shit was extending beyond the cordoned area and I made sure to avoid any shoe-shaped dull spots on the floor. I actually had to exit the South Terminal, walk outside to the North Terminal, go back inside to go downstairs to get the subway. Even now I shudder to think about the earthy colored mosaic of shit pieces fanning out from the main pile, ugh! I thought that you would have enjoyed the setting with camera in hand, I am sure. PA would probably “clean” this by using a mop which would just help spread the bacterial matter around more evenly; something to think about if you see a kid playing on the floor or if you are tired and think about resting on the floor of the terminal. I wonder if anyone could have sued the PA if they slipped on the that heap of tan and brown, or declare a health hazard for the stores that had smudges and soiling extending into their establishments? Anyways, I thought this would have made your day and at least someone would have had a better start to the day than I.

And I thought swabbing up beer vomit from the foyer of our apartment building on Puerto Rican Day sucked.

Miss Heather

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

August 21, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

This Motherfucking Town

I have been up on the roof relaxing. On a lark, I casted my gaze downward towards the open area behind my apartment— to I discover a new item my neighbors have seen fit to cast out their window! This is truly the most remarkable find I have made to date; my husband can’t wait to get home and check it out himself. It can be found here. Happy Hunting!

Miss Heather

Planet of the Shits

August 20, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

I found today’s Dung of the Day this morning at 959 Manhattan Avenue.

Dr. Zaius

The resemblance is rather uncanny if I say so myself…

Miss Heather

Tots, Art and Wombats

August 17, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

St. Paul the Hermit

For someone who is unemployed (and would presumably have a LOT of free time) I am damned busy.

Last night (until the wee hours of this morning) I researched New York State landlord/tenant case law regarding “Estoppel Agreements” and Rent Stabilization Law. I had to do this because our landlord is refinancing his mortgage and gave us an “Estoppel Agreement” to sign (because he wants to prove that people actually pay rent here). I can’t say I didn’t see this coming: I had the pleasure of showing our apartment to a patronizing sleazeball (Read: real estate appraiser) a few months ago. (I have written about this experience, but have yet to post it here.)

After completing this task, I moderated several internal feline disputes that arose from the local tomcat (who I have named “Clarence”, as in Clarence Thomas) making his regular nocturnal round(s). Ironically, Clarence’s hours of choice (for these social calls) are more akin to Dr. Pepper than Coke (or the pubic hairs contained therein): 10:00 p.m., 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.

After that, I tried to go to bed— only to be awakened at 5:00 a.m. by female trouble. In true Miss Heather form, I had no feminine hygiene products whatsoever on hand. Thankfully, my best bud Rachael gave me a new pack of pantyliners recently and these tied me over until the local bodega opened.

For all the previous reasons (and a few more) I feel awful and probably look even worse. It’s easy to pull off that “I haven’t gotten any sleep” look when you are in your 20’s. This is because many will assume you look haggard because were out partying, etc. After you hit 30 however, these very same people will pigeon-hole you (for this very same lack of kemptness and thousand-mile whiskey stare) as being “rode hard and put away wet”. Thankfully, I live in a ‘hood where there is ALWAYS someone who looks much worse for wear than I do.

That said, even when I do not feel so low I tend to be a bit of a hermit. This is due to the fact that I am the “homebody’s homebody” (as opposed to being a hardened misanthropist); it takes a lot to induce me to leave the confines of Greenpoint, much less the demented sanctity of my own home. My apartment is my “comfort zone”. I ventured out today for the sole purpose of purchasing the menstrual essentials: maxi pads and wine.

This meager one block trek netted me treasure, nonetheless. Even though I am terrible at making money (but am very good at spending it), the powers that be see fit to throw me crumbs on occasion. Like today.

I scored this object de arte at the intersection of Eagle Street and Manhattan Avenue:

Art

While I am not usually a fan of this type of art, I think it will go nicely in my bathroom (next to the velvet painting of Elvis).

After picking up my new piece of art, I proceeded to the liquor store. I took my bottle of cheap-ass champagne to the cash register and I struck up a conversation with a sales representative for Wombat Hill Winery:

Me (to Sales Rep): Oh yeah, the wine store down the street carries this stuff. I have not tried it yet, but I think those plush wombats are cute as hell.
Me (to Cashier): When this promotion is over, I want one of those guys. They are so cute.
Sales Rep: Of these three wines, which one would you buy?
Me: The Claret.
Cashier: Claret?!?
SR (to Cashier): Clarets are blended wines. The Cabernet/Shiraz bottle here is a Claret.
Cashier: Ohh…
SR (to me): What would be your second choice?
Me: The Shiraz.
SR: So you like red wines?
Me: Yes. To be perfectly honest, I like wine. Period. But I veer towards purchasing whites during warm weather and reds in cooler weather. This is the general rule as I understand it. My father used to be the Chief Financial Officer for a company that imported wine into Texas— and as a result, I have learned a few things about wine.
SR (pulling out brochures): So do you think selling our Chardonnay here is a good idea?
Me: Yes, I do.
SR: Check out this product. It is probably too expensive to market here (at $30.00 a bottle), but you might find it interesting. It’s a boutique wine from Idaho.
Me: Do you mind if I make a note of this winery, as I’d like to pass it along to my dad?
SR: Sure.
Me: Thanks. I agree that this wine is too expensive to sell here. For now anyway. Soon enough there will be plenty of people living here who will be more than willing (and able) to outlay $30.00 for a bottle of wine. This will be good for you, but not for us (pointing to the Cashier and myself).

*Laughter*

I pick up my wine and instinctively fumble around for my newfound painting, brushing my hand against the Sales Rep’s bag (which happens to contain eight bottles of wine) in the process. The Sales Rep notices this.

Me: Sorry, when I see a bag full of vino, my first instinct is to grab it.
SR: No problem. Here, have a plush wombat.

WOMBAT!

Me: THANKS!
SR: Now I know I sell at least one bottle of wine here.
Me: No worries, I probably would purchase one eventually. (pointing to the cashier) Just ask her.

After expending only ten minutes (and ten dollars) I now have a bottle of champagne (with which to self-medicate myself), a new piece of “art”, AND a stuffed wombat. Not a bad haul, if I say so myself.

In closing, my neighbors have seen fit to throw more crap out their window. My new find can be found here. Happy hunting!

Miss Heather

In Praise of Failure

August 16, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Whoops

Firstly, I want to thank all you out there for your interest in New York Shitty. In particular, I want to extend special thanks to Jake Dobkin for seeing fit to feature my blog on Gothamist last week, as I strongly suspect this was the reason for my recent windfall of editorial mentions on other web sites. I have failed at many things, so a crumb (or two) of recognition means a lot to me.

On that note, I present to you the following comment “Anonymous” saw fit to post on Curbed regarding a feature about yours truly from August 14.

First off: Who the hell has time to do follow sh**. This blogger must not be from New York.
In New York, DOG doesnt rhyme with LOG or BLOGGER. Its pronounced DAWG, just like LAWENG ISLAND, CAWE-FFE and WAWK.
There are a ‘crap load’ of neighborhoods with this same problem. Why is this of any significant importants over any other ‘crappy’ neighborhood?
SECONDLY: Curbed really needs to stop covering piss and crap stories. Seriously. Who wants to read about crap all over the city? Its a little
immature, dont you think?

And here is my reply:

To answer your questions Mister or Ms. “Anonymous”…

Q: Who the hell has time to do follow sh**.
A: I have time to follow dog shit because I am over-educated and unemployed. I am not ashamed to be in this position: many very wonderful people are on the “same boat” so to speak.

Q: This blogger must not be from New York.
A: No, I’m not. I’m from Texas— and for that reason hell will hold no surprises for me. I have lived in New York City for 9 years, tho.

Q: There are a ‘crap load’ of neighborhoods with this same problem. Why is this of any significant importants over any other ‘crappy’ neighborhood?
A: I emphatically agree. But for the time being, Greenpoint is keeping me pretty busy. Had you perused my site, you would have noticed that I do showcase dog shit from other locales on occasion.

H

I have no problem whatsoever making light of my (numerous) shortcomings: e.g., being unemployed and from the State of Texas.* I suspect the same cannot be said for “Anonymous”, whoever he (or more likely she) may be. How did I come to this conclusion you ask? Very simple.

  1. “Anonymous” wrote a pretty long missive.
  2. This missive was written during business hours, leading me to believe that this person (a woman in all likelihood) is pretty unhappy at her place of unemployment. I’d wager money she is a low-level Administrative Assistant— or worse: a Receptionist.
  3. I deduced that a woman (probably under 30) wrote the previous because:
  1. Men do not make such a fuss about “immaturity”.**
  2. Women over 30 have accepted “immaturity” as part of the human condition.

It is not my purpose to vilify this person; rather I want to give her some personal advice. As a woman over 30 who has been a Receptionist and pretty miserable— both personally and professionally, on occasion— I offer the following thoughts:

  1. If you are unhappy enough to post such a turd on a comment board (especially while you are on the job), you need to make some life changes.
  2. If you are going to rip on one someone (in this case, Curbed.com and myself) do yourself a favor: do your research before you type.*** You clearly did not do this, and as a result you made a jackass out of yourself. I speak from experience when I say this.
  3. Lighten up and get off your high-horse. You are no better (or worse) than anyone else. Nobody likes a busybody lecturing to them about propriety. As William S. Burroughs said:

    Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can’t mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has.

  4. Revel in your failure. You are in good company: there are many more failures in this world than success stories.

Then again, what would I know? I follow dog sh**, after all.

Miss Heather

*If I do not put myself down, someone else (more likely than not, during the course of a job interview) will do it for me.

**For example, here is an excerpt from a recent email my dad (who just turned 65) sent me regarding his latest rectal assault against water-conservating toilets:

… This morning at 8:15 Mr Dick finally managed to stop up # two toilet.

***This is why I require registration in order to comment on this site. I want people to think before they write and have the courage of their convictions to actually attach their name (even if it is just a first name) to what they submit. That’s it. I do nothing with this information.

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