New York Shitty Day Ender: Pale Rider

January 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

When I hear the words “Pale Rider” I think of Clint Eastwood. I do not think of Volvos. Much less Volvos parked on Bedford Avenue. I suppose that’s Williamsburg for you.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Trivia For a Souper Cause

January 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A lot of people have been horrified by the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. Of all the people I know none more so than my friend, poet and Greenpoint fashion plate extraordinaire, Philip. As it would happen he hails from Haiti. He told me when he saw the church he in which he was baptized rendered to a pile of rubble he was devastated. Buildings can inevitably be replaced, human lives cannot. This is why I was incredibly happy to learn that the folks at the Greenpoint Reformed Church and t.b.d. have organized a benefit for Red Cross Haiti Relief.

Samara writes:

Dear Miss Heather,

Thank you for donating a photograph to the silent auction of the Souper Trivia fundraiser for the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen (I am now the happy owner of said photograph, as I bid on it and won it) and for including the event on

There will be another trivia night fundraiser @ t.b.d. on Thursday, January 28th @ 7:00; this time, all proceeds will go to the Red Cross’s Haiti Relief Fund.

The format will be the same: $5 a person to play, teams of up to 6, 5 categories of 10 questions each, plus a picture round. 1st, 2nd & 3rd place prizes are gift certificates to local Greenpoint establishments. Ann will be the MC. The only difference is that this time there will not be a raffle or silent auction.

Please come if you can. And we would be very grateful if you could include the event on

Duly posted, Samara— and thanks for the kind words. In closing I would like to make it known to all business owners reading this that you too can help by donating prizes. Here’s the deal: they need to in increments of six. After the first Souper Trivia Night concluded a problem arose: as prizes were given out to the winning teams it was discovered they could not be distributed evenly to the winners of six teams! Thus far The Brooklyn Kitchen has donated six gift certificates of $20 each as prizes for a winning team. I will be contributing six photographs to be given out as prizes as well.

Souper Trivia Night II
January 28, 2010 starting at 7:00 p.m.
224 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Any and all who are interested in learning more about this event or wish to donate prizes should contact Samara at:

samaraqk (at) earthlink (dot) net

Use your creativity and your heart: donate a prize. It’s for a very worthy cause.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, January 26, 2010; There will also be a prize for most creative and/or compelling answer to a trivia question!

Greenpoint Restaurant Watch: Activity At Ichiran?

January 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

If today had an overriding theme it would be one of restaurants. I started my morning with an employee of Cafecito recounting how one of our more colorful citizens threw a fit last night when he refused to serve her (because she was drunk) and she hit him on the back of the head with a menu. Apparently she threw a coffee cup at one of the cooks on another occasion. Speaking as someone who has been on the business-end of this woman’s behavior (she grabbed my arm and went on a five minute tirade on the sidewalk because I refused to give her Halloween candy last year) I find this behavior, however aberrant or inconceivably, entirely plausible. Not only is this woman certifiably nuts, but she also has a thing for elephants. I know this because she is also a frequent patron of the junk shop. Whenever we get in anything of a pachydermal nature I cringe. No matter how intoxicated or otherwise impaired she may be, this woman has an uncanny ability to locate any and all things elephantine in the store. When she does she invariably proceeds to shout:

Olifant! Olifant!

Over and OVER. To be perfectly frank, it’s downright unnatural— and a bit creepy. But that is not what this post is about. This is.

Video evidence of someone actually working in what has long been promised to be Ichiran’s noodle shop! I pointed this most auspicious (and overdue) activity out to a neighbor, he told me not to get my hopes up. He is under the distinct impression someone is living in this space.

This just keeps getting stranger and stranger folks!

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Photo Du Jour: MLK Day Special

January 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

In observance of (what is left of) Martin Luther King Day I present to you this distressed but still quite lovely work of street art. The artist is Dain and it can be found on Driggs Avenue.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Socrates R.I.P.

January 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I had heard a great deal of buzz about this in my inbox and I regret to report it is true.

Socrates Diner is no longer in business. As you can see the gentleman in the above photograph is dumbstruck. His name is Alan and he was nice enough to tell me a few things he knew about this establishment:

  • It had been in business for at least thirty five years.
  • Its proprietor was a man named Charlie.

Alan went on to tell me he was concerned that Charlie had died. Apparently he does (did?) have a brother, but he had no interest in the restaurant business. He operates a real estate business in Astoria.

In any case, so long Socrates. You will be missed.

Miss Heather

Williamsburg Street Art Du Jour: North 8 Street Selections

January 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Taken January 18, 2010.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Air Brooklyn

January 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

From India Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: REVS HOPE!

From Stewart Avenue.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: The Glorious G

A cleric contemplates the G in despair. I shot this in Long Island City, Queens. Jackson Avenue to be precise. I walked there. Care to guess how I got home?

Miss Heather

A Tale From The Junk Shop

January 16, 2010 ·
Filed under: Advanced Life Forms, Area 51, Crazy People, Criminal Activity, Culture War 

I am not going to lie: New York Shitty’s latest outage really pissed me off. This has happened with enough frequency that even my patience (and believe it or not I am endowed with quite a lot of this virtue— albeit probably at the expense of a few others) was exhausted. To cite one such example of the patience I am indeed capable of I present for your entertainment a junk shop story.


As I have stated before, when I am left in charge interesting things happen. Today I was a magnet for anyone coming in under the influence of mind-altering substances. Or if these individuals were not under the influence, they should probably get whatever is afflicting them looked into. But I am not paid to be psychiatrist. I am a junk woman. In this capacity I have one goal and one goal only: make the sale or induce them to leave, preferably as peacefully as possible. I have many tools in my arsenal for just this purpose. The axe (which you see at left)  is not one of them. Yet.

My “professional career” has largely centered around dealing with the general public. The first and hardest lesson I learned is a significant number of homo sapiens are quite insane. I rarely shout or raise my voice. I hate shouting. I employ this tactic sparingly, but for those of you who are wondering (and I know a number of you are) I usually employ my “outdoor voice” for purchasers of pornography.* I do not object to “adult material”. I have grown to accept that as long as there is a market for such things (men) it will exist. Rather, a great many purchasers of these materials are cheap. Very cheap. And loud. VERY LOUD. As I said before, I hate shouting— but I have learned that bellowing out every item the prospective purchaser is raising hell over for everyone’s edification along with the asking price cuts down on time spent haggling significantly. But I digress.

Porn enthusiasts with tight wallets constitute a very small part of the troublesome clientele I encounter. For the rest my “public servant” persona has proven to be by far the most effective. This can best be described as a cross between Nurse Ratched, suicide hotline operator and Hal 9000.

CASE IN POINT: Man walks into store.

Do you work here?

He asks. BIG RED FLAG. This man has bought merchandise and held entire conversations with yours truly on a number of occasions. One was about how he blacked-out under the influence of hallucinogenics, went bat shit in a store one day, came back a week later not remembering what happened and couldn’t understand why the help was scared shitless of him. Yup.

Me (reluctantly): Yes.
I want a price for a table.
(with extreme trepidation): Okay.

I look at said table. There is another table on top of it; it has a price tag of $10.00. The table under it is inexplicably the only item without a price tag. I spy a price tag on the ground nearby. I know for a fact all these items were priced yesterday. One item without a tag + one tag discarded on the ground. Face down. Do the math.

Me: That’s strange. This is the only piece of furniture without a price tag...
Isn’t that (pointing to the table on top) the price?

I want you, dear readers, to take a moment to think about this.

Me: I’m going to ask the manager.
I have talked to him about this already. The price keeps going up and down.

It is a common scam at the junk shop for prospective clients, when unsatisfied with the price one employee has given him (or her), to try to solicit a quote from another employee on the sly. They do so under the presumption we do not communicate with each other. We do. Hence why this ruse rarely works. What I find fascinating here is:

  1. This person is telling me he has already received a quote from someone else.
  2. He is not happy with the asking price…
  3. and makes it pretty clear this is why he is asking me for a quote.
  4. In essence he has foiled his own scheme. If indeed he had one.

I take a moment to mull over the previous points and replied.

If you have spoken to the manager about this table I am not getting involved.

Long story made short: he and the manager agreed upon $20.00 for this table. He took it home.


Later a co-worker of mine walked in with the errant price tag. It read:

A steal for $30.00!

She asked:

I wonder what this was for?


Maybe someone didn’t interpret it as a price tag but as an instruction manual.

The End.

Miss Heather

*As it would happen today another junkman, a regular and overall nice guy, came to the store. He (we’ll call him “M”) and Larry da Junkman were recounting tales of a fellow junkman (who we will call “N”). He had recently died. M told a tale about N which inspired me so much I asked him to repeat it. Here it is. Albeit in highly simplified form.

N once decided to rent a bunch of pornographic VHS tapes. Then he proceeded to:

  1. excise all the pornography out of them and return them to the video store.
  2. Inasmuch as I understand, N then proceeded to take all the “naughty bits”, splice them together and compile his own video.

I found this strangely brilliant. I told M just this. He was perplexed:

He was crazy. I could understand if he was an artist or something.

I have often fantasized about taking some of the more vile pornographic videos home, splicing all the pornographic material out of them, returning them to the junk shop and waiting for (the inevitable) hilarity to ensue…

In comes a man exclaiming that his VHS tape “Butts Behind Bars”, purchased for $2.00 has no butts. Only a g-string of a plot. I will look at him with wide-eyed amazement and ask him, being the customer service-oriented person that I am:

  • what was lacking from said movie
  • in explicit detail, e.g.; how many anal double penetrations were you promised? How many did you actually see?

I will document the previous complaint in the same manner I did as a former civil servant: in copious— or this case coital— detail. And laugh my ass off after he leaves.

What can one expect for $2.00 in New York City anymore?  A “Recession Special” cup of joe on Bedford Avenue will set you back $2.00. Riding the subway costs $2.25 per ride the last I checked. I quit checking. I invest my money in comfortable shoes, not metrocards. $2.00 for an excised porno strikes me as being very reasonable— if MTA-esque— bargain: you tender money with the expectation of gratification and receive nothing in return. Just information.

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