#5 of the Greenpoint 10 is…

November 8, 2007 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

A man who needs little in the way of introduction. Damned near everyone in Greenpoint knows who he is— and besides, no one seems to know his name anyway. He is simply that shirtless guy who lives on Franklin Street —or “Blow Torch Harry” as one New York Shitty commenter likes to call him:

When he lived on Milton he was renovating his bathroom. We could see him from our window. He would be blow torching naked in his apartment. It was classic.

It is my understanding that my buddy over at 11222 is going to give us the 411 on this chap and I do not want to step on her toes. However, I too have a “Blow Torch Harry” story I would like to share. Here it is.

One very brisk February morning I decided to burn a little time before a hair appointment by taking a walk. Curious to see what my favorite Greenpoint celebrity was up to, I swung by Franklin Street to find out. He was busy tending his lot.

Clad only in a pair of tighty whities.

I do not recall what the temperature was that particular day, but it had to have been around freezing. Watching this man conduct his business in his BVDs was painful to watch, and yet too fascinating to avert my gaze away. I was mesmerized and from that moment forward became a “Blow Torch Harry” believer.

You gotta respect a a guy for walking around in sub-freezing weather in his underoos. He looked shrinkage in the eye and didn’t flinch. The fact he also sees fit to weld au naturel on occasion is pure gravy, which brings me to this week’s motivational poster.


The Park Slope Civic Council can distribute free umbrellas (lest the local populace melt with the first trace of autumn rain). We Greenpointers don’t need no stinking umbrellas. Hell, we’ve dispensed with clothing altogether! What’s a little rain water compared to the thrill of going commando with a blow torch?


“Blow Torch Harry”, it is people like you who make Greenpoint, well, Greenpoint. On behalf of all the fellow Greenpointers you have managed to amaze and inspire, I salute you.

I look forward to seeing a lot more of you this upcoming February.

Miss Heather


3 Comments on #5 of the Greenpoint 10 is…

  1. calyercooze on Fri, 9th Nov 2007 10:16 am
  2. His name is Jersey. And he’s a former architect gone mad. He’s friendly. At times.

  3. oldschoolgp on Fri, 9th Nov 2007 10:57 pm
  4. I freakin LOVE that he’s still there. I lived on Oak between Franklin and West in the 90’s. We named him “Popeye” because he looked like a wiry version of Robin Williams from the movie. He used to live on that lot but his house was torn down for fire code issues. He used to scale fences to get away from the fire department inspections. Then he lived in his purple pick up truck with a host of Doberman dogs on Oak for awhile and tried to sell crappy antiques on the sidewalk. That dude just keeps on keepin on.

    Oh, believe it or not, there was once a WIFE.

    I love your blog. I lived there from about 1992-1999 and would be more than happy to give you the freak scoop from that era.

  5. d on Sun, 11th Nov 2007 10:43 pm
  6. I was wondering when this guy would make an appearance in New York Shitty. I live on Oak off of Franklin and see him fairly often, I always wondered what his story was.

    You might want to swing by, I think it’s called Italy Pizza, 2 doors down from the Associated on Manhattan. There is a historical map of Greenpoint on the wall, it looks handmade, and it has cool facts like where the first house in Greenpoint was and other historic randomness. It’s really fabulous.

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