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

Ghetto-gate Update

September 15, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Headline

After seven days of construction constriction, I am finally regaining my sense of humor. I have no doubt that sleep deprivation and consuming ample amounts of Budweiser* have helped me get back to my usual beatific state. There is a certain dark humor to be found in my predicament: the recent ‘improvements’ going on around me (in the name of ‘gentrification’) are the very reason for my diminished quality of life. “Progress” has my rendered my apartment (which one would presume to be my place of refuge) downright unbearable of late.

Thankfully, the rain has given me a reprieve from any construction-related rooftop hijinks the last 24 hours. Other than the soapy smell of glue** wafting from the untreated plywood behind my apartment or the occasional “pop” made by a(nother) piece of plywood warping, it has been fairly peaceful. I have even managed to get some work done.

Mr. Markowitz, I have the Dog Shit Queen of Greenpoint on line one…
After running errands this morning I arrived home to find an email from a Ms. Luyando from the Brooklyn Borough President’s office in my inbox. I had honestly forgotten about the crazed missive I had sent to Mr. Markowitz’s office last Saturday, so this was a pleasant surprise. Ms. Luyando asked me for some additional information (which in my rage I had forgotten to provide, but then again jpegs like this speak for themselves) and she gave me a case number. I gave her the information she requested and told her she could consult my blog (www.newyorkshitty.com) for images of the questionable construction I was complaining about.

I can only hope she (or one of her assistants) did so. If I were (still) a civil servant I would be overjoyed at the prospect of being paid to parse through pictures of dog crap and blog posts with titles as “Hot in the Ass”.

Otherwise, I am going back on the beat and am currently planning a trek to a very special part of Greenpoint. I spent two (LONG) years of my life in the area I plan to showcase and suspect it will be quite the fruitful snootful. (It was awful then and I see no reason why it would be any better now.) I also plan to do some much needed troubleshooting/maintenance to New York Shitty and add new links to my blogroll this weekend, so stay tuned!

Miss Heather

*The Dog Shit Queen of Greenpoint’s drink of choice is the King of Beers. For obvious reasons.

**My husband says it is formaldehyde. He was a finish carpenter once, so I guess he would know.

Photo Credit: I found this genuine vomi de l’artiste (the presence of red wine is a dead giveaway) in front of 123-125 Green Street.

Dung of the Day: 110 Green Street

September 15, 2006 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

I have never been a big fan of soup with dumplings. Today’s “Dung of the Day” has ensured that this culinary quirk of mine will not change in the foreseeable future. Bon appetit!

Butt Dumplin' Soup

Miss Heather

Nature: 1, Landlord: 0

September 14, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

For reasons one can only imagine, the landlord next door did not see fit to protect the untreated wood on his new roof against the rain. Perhaps he had planned to do so yesterday but the visit from the Fire Marshal threw a monkey wrench in his plans, who knows? In any case, it’s becoming a real mess back there. The last time I saw something as bucked and wonky as this, it was the result of British dentistry.

Uh Oh...

I wonder what the Building Inspector is going to think about this? I will find out soon enough.

Otherwise, he is back at work and concealing his DOB Permits (AGAIN).

Permits?

I wonder if the man wearing a jacket reading “Bureau of Fire Prevention” I saw standing across the street noticed this?

Miss Heather

What I did September 11, 2006

September 14, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Most consider 9/11 a day of remembrance. Ceremonies are held where survivors give statements about how the events of that day irrevocably changed their lives and our current regime doles out their usual fear-mongering and panders their failing agenda. I for one had neither time for reflection nor outrage: I was busy collecting a delinquent payment due to my husband.

An advertising agency has repeatedly failed to pay my better (?) half for his consulting services. Five hundred dollars worth of consulting services rendered over two months ago, to be precise. I suspect these people have been acting in good faith; their incompetence was (is?) the root of the problem.

Last Friday I visited their office and personally picked up a new check. The prior two checks they have cut never found their way into our possession. This is probably due to the fact that this agency addressed these checks to my husband’s DBA and had them delivered via the United States Postal Service to our home. I do not know where these checks went and I do not care to know. What I do know is that my husband and I want our five hundred bucks.

The check I picked up last Friday also proved to be made out to my husband’s DBA, so we could not deposit it. My husband got really pissed, so I took charge. I sent an email to his contact stating when I was going to return for a new, properly-written check: September 11, 2006 at 11:00 a.m.

September 11, 2006
I woke up late and hurriedly put myself together. Most of my clothes were dirty, as was my hair, but I did not give a damn: $500 was at stake. I threw on the first clean tank top and skirt I could find, pulled my ratty hair into a ponytail and headed to Manhattan.

I arrived ten minutes early. This agency had just relocated to a new office, so everything was in disarray: lots of plastic sheeting, plaster and no Receptionist to meet or greet me. I waited and surveyed the cubicle farm around me.

Several years ago I worked in the Advertising Sales Department of a travel magazine, so I have some familiarity with the industry. This office struck me as being just like any other: an incubator (presided over by Baby Boomers) teaming with fresh-faced, edgy, 20-something college graduates awaiting transformation into the surly, burned-out assholes who staff the so-called ‘upper tier’ agencies I had the misfortune of interfacing with. Young and Rubicam immediately comes to mind, but I digress…

I waited for ten minutes before a high-status silverback female saw fit to ask my impeccably-wrecked 30-something person if I have been helped. I told her “no”, explained why I was at her place of business,and handed her the bad check. She ambled off to find someone to help me.

I waited.

And waited.

The cubicle monkeys took note of my blighted presence and whispered among themselves.

The silverback woman came back 10 minutes later and told me that the people I needed to speak with were not in the office, but they would be back soon. I asked if I could wait. Reluctantly, but politely, she said OK. I sat in a cubicle right by the front door (clad in this tank top) in plain view of anyone—staff and clients alike— who came and went. I made myself feel right at home.

For the next forty minutes I:

  • called friends
  • asked the employees around me where the kitchenette was so I could get a glass of water
  • asked around as to where the bathroom was “because I drunk a lot of coffee earlier this morning”
  • made a rather lengthy phone call to the Bureau of Fire Prevention about some construction work that was “blocking the only means of egress* from my neighbor’s apartment (other than the front door) in the event of a fire”

Long story made short: I got our money.

Miss Heather

*It has been my observation that civil servants really like it when you use the proper terminology. It makes their job easier.

Dung of the Day

September 13, 2006 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

I found this cutie pie in my inbox today.

September 13, 2006 Dung of the Day

“Fred Sanford” wrote:

I almost stepped on this upstanding turd this morning while in Canarsie, near the intersection of E. 103rd and Flatlands 6th Street. While initially (and understandably) glad that I’d avoided it, closer inspection revealed a particularly well-formed, gravity-defying specimen that I just knew I had to alert you to.

Thanks Fred!

Sincerely,

Aunt Esther

Miss Heather: 1, Landlord: 1

September 13, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Fuck you up
I returned from running errands this morning to find a fire truck— an honest to god FIRE TRUCK gaggle of New York’s Bravest and handful of chromosomally-disadvantaged onlookers in front of the building next door.

When the Fire Marshal cometh, I guess he likes to make an entrance. If that was his intention, it worked. Ever since the Greenpoint Terminal Market caught on fire, the local yokels around here get very interested when a fire truck shows up on their block.

I have no idea what transpired, but the landlord next door has gone back to work completing his new ghetto-ass roof with two notable changes:

  1. The openings made around several of my windows and those of belonging to my neighbor have been enlarged.
  2. His DOB permit is in plain view.

I guess it is a “draw”. But there is one question I can’t get out of my mind: if this man had to file plans with the Department of Buildings in order to get permission to make these ‘renovations’, why weren’t the fire code violations (which would presumably be manifest in his ‘plan’) caught earlier?

Hmm…

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

Kibbles and Shits

September 8, 2006 ·
Filed under: Dog Shit, Dung of the Day 

Today I got my very first reader submission and it is a nice one. “Ash” wrote:

I found this little gem of a composition on Jewel Street, just off of Nassau. The address was probably like 47 or 49 or something around there. I liked the wet cat food nearby… gives it that special something, no?

The date was September 6th. My dog showed no interest, but she rarely shows interest in shit. Which I guess is a blessing.

Kibbles and Shits

Yes indeedy.

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.

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    All I Want Is EverythingSelling Nouget Candy Torrone at the Feast of San Gennaro Festival
  • Ads