What Is Happening To This Site?

January 16, 2010 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

I have been asked this question by a great many people who have been unable to pull it up. Undoubtedly the new “look” has probably aroused their and your curiosity as well. I certainly found it interesting when I awakened to find it this morning. Anyhoo, here’s the deal inasmuch as I can comprehend:

  • There was a “bug” in my theme which was causing my site to crash.
  • The theme was changed.
  • The folks at Dreamhost did this in order to get my site back up and running.
  • Today my husband will endeavor to put together another one. (UPDATE: This has been done.)

What will this site look like tomorrow? I honestly do not know. I have grown to accept in the last 24 hours that there are some things which are not entirely within my control. But if it is up (and stays up) I will consider it to be a big step in the right direction.

Thanks for your concern. It is greatly appreciated.

Miss Heather

Much Ado About the Gowanus Lounge

January 3, 2010 ·
Filed under: Area 51 


It has been brought to my attention that there has been much speculation about what happened to the Gowanus Lounge. Ben Muessig of Gothamist writes:

Less than a year after the death of blogger Bob Guskind, someone has apparently acquired his acclaimed Gowanus Lounge website and changed its focus. Sources close to the deal told Gothamist that Guskind’s wife was approached by a company interested in paying $7,500 to purchase the domain where the journalist once detailed Brooklyn development and neighborhood minutia…

I have a creeping suspicion who the aforementioned “source” is. It is none other than yours truly. It is in the interest of staving off even more speculation that I am writing this post. Last December my husband, who is the admin for the Gowanus Lounge, was contacted by a gentleman who was interested in purchasing the site: url, content, everything. My husband forwarded this offer to Bob’s widow, Olivia, as it is her property.

After much discussion, soliciting of advice and tough choices a compromise was reached: the url would be sold, but Bob’s work would be migrated to a different site: www.bobguskind.com. This has been done. I will not disclose what was paid for the Gowanus Lounge’s url. This is because it nobody’s business but Olivia’s and the purchaser’s. I will point out, however, that Olivia offered my husband and I a portion of the proceeds as way of saying “thanks”. We turned it down. As far as we are concerned it was the least we could do for a good friend. I hope this clears up any confusion.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: 10 (Plus 2) for 2010

January 1, 2010 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Last night was anything but eventful at the Chez Shitty household. The Mister and I were both tired so we laid down for a nap. We didn’t awaken until midnight when the sounds of merriment broke our slumber. He turned to me and said:

We’re really exciting people, aren’t we?

Call it old age or me being simply antisocial, but New Year’s is something I do not get excited about. The thought of trudging around in sub-freezing weather, dealing with drunk people and their shenanigans does not appeal to me. I’d rather stay home, thank you very much. Besides, if the general din I heard last night was any indication, there were more than enough folks in the Garden Spot of the Universe having fun on my behalf. This kept me up until 3:00 a.m. in the morning. But I digress.

I imagine a number of you reading this had a wee bit too much fun for last night and are now paying the price. The gentleman who operates the bodega across from my apartment noted seltzer, Alka-Seltzer, aspirin and “hangover Helper” were in particular demand today. Regardless of how hard you partied, dear readers, I can assure you there are people out there who did it better and more fabulous than you. To this end I have culled a dozen images from my rather extensive collection of thrift store/found photos I have amassed over the years for your edification. Enjoy!


The only person I know who could pull this man’s look off with a shred of dignity and do it fabulously is Aaron Short.


This has a certain Valley of the Dolls quality I find endearing.


Three words: New F*cking Jersey. Not that this intended as an insult, mind you.


For the less effete among you I offer this, which appears to hail from the East Village.


Yes, we have bananas.




Alcohol: check. Firearms: check. I have little doubt tobacco also had some part in this.


Yes, the gentleman to the left is Johnny Rotten.


Godzilla takes a toke before taking down Tokyo.


Then of course there is the matter of the morning after. And last, but (or would that be BUTT) hardly least, what would New Year’s Day be without a “baby”?


Happy New Year, New York Shittites!

Miss Heather

P.S.: Xris commented today in regards to this post):

Glad to see someone keeping up the tradition of the Christmas snake, which guarded the manger where the little baby jeebus was born.


Sometimes a snake is just a snake, Xris.

Merry Christmas From New York Shitty!

December 25, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 


Santa left a very special present for yours truly’s Christmas stocking this year. What can I say? I’ve been a very good gal. As you can see, my new helper has already proven himself quite useful. Time to take him to the kitchen and put him to work!

Miss Heather

P.S.: This post goes out to my buddy Bitchcakes as I suspect she could use a little extra holiday cheer today!

New York Shitty Day Ender: Focus

December 23, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 


From Franklin Street.

Miss Heather

Gift Giving Advice From The Editrix of New York Shitty

December 23, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

evagaborThe Mister, as are many others I have been told, has developed a fixation on the television show “Mad Men”.  He says it hails back to a time when “men were men”. I do not disagree with him. In fact, this is the fly in my proverbial ointment. Unlike a number of people, I do not view the “good ol’ days” as being that good.

I have zero interest in living in the past for the simple reason that history has been for the large part none too kind to women. For this reason, just as the Supreme Court created a “three prong test” in regards to obscenity, I have created a three prong litmus test of  livability. I call it “The Three P’s Test” . It is as follows:

  1. Penicillin
  2. Indoor plumbing
  3. and the Pill (READ: birth control) being readily available to any and all who may need/want it.

Anything else is, in my humble opinion, obscene. But I digress. The Mister has taken his Mad Men fixation to the next level, e.g.;

  1. wearing shirts with French cuffs
  2. carefully and with much consideration and deliberation purchasing cuff-links for the aforementioned shirts
  3. collecting old-school cocktailian gear
  4. cultivating a lion’s share of cardigans

His failed experiment with Brylcreem was certainly a setback. When the Mister asked me for my take on his dabbling with a little dab will do ya I replied:

Whenever I see Brylcreem I think of Ronald Reagan.

This was not the answer he was looking for. However cruel this retort may seem to you, dear readers, I assure it was much kinder than what I was thinking. If three years of marriage has taught me anything it is this:

  1. Don’t f*ck with the primary bread winner.
  2. Especially if he happens to get up earlier than you do.
  3. I live at the expense of the Chez Shitty welfare state (see points #1 and #2).

All things considered, I don’t mind the Mister going “Retro”. It appeals to his meticulous nature and love of order. It makes him happy. I think it is cute— provided it does not intrude upon my admittedly Laissez faire approach to life. In this respect we are polar opposites. My concept of “organization” (in his mind, anyway) is probably akin to how cabbies in Rome adhere to traffic laws: a madcap adventure with numerous twists and turns yet no one, miraculously, is hurt.

Inasmuch as this drive him crazy, the Mister has learned that attempts to be helpful in regards to my scatter-shot sense of organization, as well-intentioned as they may be (and they are), are futile. It only leads down a road of perdition fraught with frustration and large quantities of profanity. Case in point:


On November 6, 2008 I wrote:

My husband espouses a very interesting approach to gift-giving. I learned this very early on when I received my first Christmas present from him:

a Hello Kitty jewelry box which plays “Everything Is Beautiful”. I did my best to conceal my disappointment. I failed miserably.

Mister Heather:

You’re always misplacing your jewelry, I thought this would be helpful.

I tried out of sheer guilt, dear readers, to use this item. It didn’t work out for two reasons:

  1. The Tupperware bowl I keep my cache of paste in works just fine.
  2. The aforementioned Tupperware bowl does not play an insipid song by Ray Stevens every fucking time I open it.

I really dislike Ray Stevens, folks. So you can imagine my dismay after willfully and deliberating leaving this jewelry box open (so as to run down the hand cranked music box) only to hear THAT RAGE-INDUCING SONG every damned time I opened it. I finally broke down and asked the Mister about it. Here’s his reply:

I noticed it was not playing music (when you open it) so I have been winding it up for you.

I took a deep breath, explained to him that I had let the music box on this item run down on purpose and requested that he please refrain from winding it. I felt like an ungrateful shitheel for doing this but I really couldn’t handle listening to that syrupy sweet song. It would have been like me giving him a humidor that cranks AC/DC whenever he opens it.

Nonetheless the Mister learned a very valuable lesson that year: trying to organize me is futile…

Years later I cannot part with this item. I never use it, but still I have a fondness for it. Be it due to guilt or sentimentality (I’m guessing the previous). It was a token of affection and I find the thought behind it— as misguided it may have been—  touching. Most importantly, the Mister has quit winding it. He has since observed that my disorganization leads me on many an adventure of discovery when foraging through my (disorganized) stuff:

Oh, I forgot I had this.


Gee, this is neat!

Every day is Christmas at Chez Shitty!

If there’s a lesson to be learned here it is this: don’t buy practical gifts for your significant others. Which brings me to this advertisement which undoubtedly was the brainchild of a Mad Men-esque forum. It comes from the November 1947 issue of Women’s Home Companion.


Can a Washer for Christmas say “I love you”?

“Joe” was doubtful, but “Sue” was certain:

But what a time I had selling Joe! He still thinks of me as a glamor girl. No. 1. How can a girl stay glamorous with three kids on her neck… unless she has a lot of help.

A “girl” with “three kids” is a woman. Methinks “Sue” had a lot of help— albeit of the pharmaceutical persuasion. The Mister can replicate the early 1960’s all he wants; I am firmly entrenched in the 21st century, thank you very much. Even if I cannot text message for shit.

This post is dedicated to Mister Heather— and not just for points 1-3.

Miss Heather

P.S.: I do not want this tome to discourage the ladies reading this from purchasing dishwashers and such sundries for their hubbies. As far as I’m concerned (with tongue firmly in cheek)  it’s their turn to take one for the team. Be sure to hang mistletoe over that Amana or Frigidaire to soften the blow!

P.S. #2: For those of you who are wondering, the lady who graces the beginning of this post is not yours truly. It is Eva Gabor of Green Acres and  “non-slapping of Police officers” renown. I’d have to win the Nobel Prize to tolerate being manicured in such a fashion. I am not a glamor girl. I do not cyber-schtup for $1,700  sofas. Repeatedly. Sweats, sunblock and shabby chic are my M.O. “Slob” is the new black!

Quicklink: 100 Abandoned Houses

December 22, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

100thumbToday I imagine a fair number of you are busy readying yourselves for the trek home for the holidays. For those unfortunates who are chained to desk today I offer for your pre-Yuletide entertainment this nifty find which was brought to my attention by the proprietress of Mousey Brown Salon: 100 Abandoned Houses. This site features exactly what the title indicates: one hundred images of abandoned houses. A number of them are quite lovely, albeit in a poignant kind of way. Check it out!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: 6 Proof Toothpaste

December 12, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Today was a very busy one at the junk shop.* I’m tired. The same goes, it would appear, for my Internet connection. Therefore, in recognition of the glory that is Santacon (and my not being terribly endowed in the patience department) I will be concluding today’s postage a bit early.

As I noted earlier I have been sorting my collection of photography. What I did not mention in this post is that I am endeavoring to sort ALL my printed material. The reasons for this are both practical and selfish. I was recently so inspired by a pair of delightful collages posted by a flickr contact of mine, Verbunkos, that I rolled up my sleeves, dusted off the boxes upon boxes of accumulated material I have stashed in Chez Shitty and commenced clipping. It was in a 1961 issue of House and Garden where I stumbled upon the following gem:


Jigger brand Whiskey flavored toothpaste. This morning I brought it to the attention of the Mister.

Me: I found something last night I want to show you. It’s an advertisement for whiskey-flavored toothpaste.
The Mister: !!!
Me: Methinks they have other flavors and it’s even six proof.
The Mister (getting really excited): I want to see this!
Me: Hold on and I’ll find it for you.
Me (rifling through said magazine): Here it is. Here’s my favorite piece of the ad copy:

Night-before feeling on the morning after.

This may sound like a good idea to the “he-man” demographic this product is directed at, but I would not want to face the morning after kissing some dude’s mug that reeks of Scotch-flavored toothpaste. Then again, I guess there’s worse morning breath to be had…

The Mister: I want this.
Me: I strongly suspect the peeps behind this product are no longer in business. However if someone here was to, say, produce V.S.O.P., Remy Martin or vodka-flavored toothpaste there may very well be a market for it. In fact, I’d go so far to say that at the right price a small fortune could be made shilling the stuff.

Thereupon the Mister started devising ways to make whiskey toothpaste. I told him to find a regular, unflavored variety (preferably one with baking soda in it so as to provide effervescence and negate the need for soda water) and mix his liquor of choice in it and see what happens. How the hell the Mister will get it back in the tube is his own damned problem.

I have put far too much thought into this matter than I feel comfortable with already.

Miss Heather

*A piece of advice for prospective hagglers: claiming a dress/skirt does not fit you is not sufficient justification for knocking off $5.00 from the asking price. Moving forward if anyone tries this (again) I am either going to say:

  1. That dress does not look too big for you.
  2. Why yes, now that you mention it, you could stand to lose some weight.

Seriously. This is almost as lame as the ever-popular “it’s a gift for a friend” argument. If the person in question is as good as friend as these people (women all) purport, why are these people shopping for him/her at a junk shop? This is not to suggest the junk shop does not have nice stuff: it does. But these items are never the subject of gift-giving haggling. Inasmuch as I can deduce (given the behavior I have just outlined) a good friend merits a $15.00-$20.00 present with anywhere from a $5.00 -$10.00 window of “bargaining” and a LOT of soul-sucking interaction.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: How Not To Operate a Bicycle

November 10, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 


This item comes courtesy of a reader named Jan. He writes (in an email entitled “It Had To Happen One Day”):

I was walking down Driggs headed into Northside Wburg this past Friday morning and walked into another comical edition of clowns on bikes.

Between the Union St. turn off by teh dog run and the intersection of Lorimer St. two bikers had what used to be termed “a cornfield meet”.  Dude texting and listening to iPod on his bike going the wrong way down Driggs head-ons a young grrrrl going the right way down Driggs.

grrrl who is paying attention yells “WATCH OUT!!”
dude  “uh, there’s no signs saying that”  – continues to text
dude  “um sorry”
*GRRRL checks bike handlebar/wheel alignment*
**dude gets back on bike, adjusts iPod headphones, rides off a little more wobbly.


**grrl is annoyed, but bike seems ok, she rides off.

We also need to tell people that Manhattan Ave is NOT a bike lane, so don’t f-in yell at old people crossing the street or pulling out of parking spaces.  The bike lane is on Leonard St.

This brings me to something that really bothers me. No, it is not bicyclists. Rather, it is people who are too busy futzing with their various and sundry peripheral devices to watch where the hell they are going. Is it just me or does walking down Manhattan Avenue on any given Saturday or Sunday feel like a game of Pole Position?

Miss Heather

About the image gracing the beginning of this post: this rather nifty sculpture hails from Grand Street between Berry and Bedford Avenue.


Amusingly enough it has a sign on it admonishing people not to climb on it.

Williamsburg Construction Watch: The Blair Witch Project?

Some of you might have noticed that I have a category on this site called “Area 51”. For those of you who are not in the know this is a reference to the mysterious military installation in Nevada. Many theories abound about this establishment but no one really knows what goes on there. But back to the point of this post.

When I awoke this morning my head felt like Keith Moon’s hotel room after a bender. I don’t know why. I’m guessing the weather, not alien abduction, was to blame. I decided to shake the cobwebs out of my mind by taking a little walk around Williamsburg. What I got in return was a colossal mind fuck which could fall under a number of categories. Among them:

  • Bloomblight
  • Construction/Destruction Porn
  • Gentrification
  • Culture War
  • Halloween

This is the reason I created the category “Area 51”: it is a repository for things that defy easy description. On that note, here they are.

#1 5 Roebling Street


These monolithic slabs of King’s Crap sit atop the space formerly occupied by the now deceased “Giant Fart Cloud Building”. It was at this site that I found two items of interest.


I cannot for the life of me figure what this missive means— much less to whom it is directed. Perhaps the following artifact (which is located approximately 20 feet away) has something to do with it?


Truth be told this gave me the creeps. Big time. Thankfully I got some good mojo shortly thereafter on North 10 Street. Which brings to…

#2 178 North 10 Street


What could I possibly find uplifting on this block, you ask? The first and only use of Feng Shui at a construction site I have ever beheld, that’s what!


A bagua presides over 178 North 10 Street.  Having some knowledge about such stuff, baguas are usually employed to redirect/deflect bad “chi”. In the case of this block one has to wonder what is the source of said bad vibrations.




Or this?

Miss Heather

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