Greenpoint Street Seating Du Jour: Added Value

December 14, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


The street seating (a partially disassembled office chair) in the above photograph is the least interesting thing going on here.


Rather, it is this objet d’art that caught my eye. Upon closer inspection I noticed it has been wired for some hitherto unknown purpose and sports a chain for easy hanging. If this is your sort of thing (and you know who you are) head over to 1079 Manhattan Avenue and pick it up. Just don’t complain to me if this creation blows your fuse box or gives you some unwanted houseguests!

Miss Heather

P.S.: While I am on vaguely the subject of trees, the El Blablazo community Christmas tree is looking pretty fabulous nowadays!


Many more ornaments have been added.


Here’s a view facing west.


Someone has even added a teddy bear. Too cute!

When I brought this to the attention of the creator of the tree pit that started it all at 1071 Manhattan Avenue, he was non-plussed:

Now you can’t sit on the bench.

Me: I think it is rather nice. I even hung a few ornaments on it myself and gave him some Christmas lights. We have no room whatsoever for a tree. I really like the fact they have created a community tree we can all add to enjoy. I’m certain after the holiday they will dismantle it and people can sit on it again.

Ever since he heard about you putting our tree pit on the Internet he has been trying to impress you.

He said. To wit I replied:

I am impressed! By the way, I like the backrest you added to your bench.

The 1071 Tree Pit Man: Thanks. The women were complaining about it being uncomfortable so I added it. I want people to be comfortable.

Methinks the rivalry heating up!

LAST GASP: Community Pride is Contagious

November 18, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


First came the infamous bench/newspaper stand/tree protector at 1071 Manhattan Avenue. This has been since retrofitted with a more comfy back rest.


Then 1074 Manhattan Avenue stepped up to the plate with “El Blablazo”. This tree pit now sports a wind chime!

And today my buddy Laura (who took the following photograph) advised me that 1086 Manhattan Avenue has joined the fray!


She writes:

Apparently, tree guards are the in thing! Cool!

I for one am touched how the folks of north Greenpoint have (literally) taken matters into their own hands. It just goes to show that one need not rely upon “community groups” or the Parks Department to make a difference. Community pride is the new black: it never goes out of style.

Ingenuity, moxie and elbow grease; that’s the north Greenpoint way. It’s your neighborhood folks: make it yours before someone else decides to make it for you.



Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Manhattan Avenue Is The Pits!

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


Last weekend was a busy one for yours truly (hence why today’s postings are delayed: I slept for twelve hours last night. I suppose I was tired.) However, I was not so harried as to fail that something is afoot with north Greenpoint’s tree pits— such as this faux stone and tulip number as seen above (and can be found north of Eagle Street). This suspicion was confirmed when I patronized the local liquor store at 1071 Manhattan Avenue.


I wrote about this, a most amazing tree pit, back in June. In the elapsing months it would appear my tome came to community’s attention.



I have known the proprietor of this store, Ada, for years. So you can imagine her surprise when I told her I was the person who wrote this. She immediately grabbed the man who made this and gave him the good news. He did not want me to publish his name, but agreed that I could call him “Anonymous Plumber”. Follow are a few things “Anonymous Plumber” had to say about Greenpoint’s most famous tree pit:

  1. He was the one who designed and fabricated it.
  2. It is constructed entirely of wood he and his neighbors had laying around. He stripped it and varnished it. How’s that for resourceful!
  3. He didn’t understand what the big deal was— but did note that after his pit garnered so much attention the bodega across the street decided to follow suit.


Could this be the beginning of a Greenpoint tree pit war? Although our newest tree pit protector/street seating is more Spartan (Modern?) than its predecessor, it is a most welcome addition to the neighborhood. Inasmuch as I rail against the pervasive sense of apathy which plagues my community this is a (very welcome) reminder that some people do in fact care— and are willing to invest some time and elbow grease to make the Garden Spot a nicer place. Way to go guys!

Miss Heather

Best Tree Pit In Brooklyn!

June 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

oldsoulSo let’s recap. We have recently learned that Manhattan Avenue is now graced with a terrifyingly nice art gallery and in the previous post we checked out a wonderful garden on the Southside (where the sign to the left can be found). What do these previous two items have in common, you ask? Not very much I suppose— but they are both very germane to this post.

Inasmuch as I harbor a fascination for the abject the fact of the matter is I also take great pleasure in things that are visually pleasing. The furniture I saw at Gallery 1889 was aesthetically stunning but not the kind of thing I would want in my home. It was a little too sterile and user “unfriendly” for my taste. Simply put, I liked the form but there was a sore lack of attention to function.

Now that I have established my philosophy about items made for human use I would like to segue to the subject of trees. Or more specifically how people in Greenpoint tend to treat them. This is can be summarized in two words:


1: Like



But Greenpoint’s trees (and tree pits) are not only used as ad hoc trash receptacles and public lavatories. Anyone who has the misfortune of living on Greenpoint Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street will tell you they are often employed as bike racks with appalling results. Yours truly has seen many a bike lock and/or chain digging into the trunk of some hapless tree all because some asshole is too damned lazy to keep his or her bicycle in his/her apartment (where, I will add, it belongs).

If one cannot bother to be friendly to our leafy companions he or she should simply leave them alone. I fail to understand why some harbor such antagonism towards our photosynthesizing friends. Especially when you can do something incredibly nifty that helps them and gives you a place relax and/or watch the world go by.


Which is exactly what the folks at 1071 Manhattan Avenue have done.


Someone put a lot of thought and effort into creating this premium example of street seating. I will highlight a few of my favorite features.


First up: wire mesh has been employed to discourage canines (and their human counterparts) from giving this tree a golden shower. Or using it as a waste basket.


Speaking of trash, note how a bag has been thoughtfully placed on the back of the bench to provide a receptacle your garbage. As for the table/newspaper rack that’s genius. Plain and simple.


The garden (replete with tulips) is the icing on the cake!

In closing whoever designed and executed this, the best tree pit in Brooklyn, deserves some real and lasting recognition be it from our municipal government or the design community as a whole. It has an elegant simplicity and feel for human use one does not see much nowadays. In other words it is a perfect marriage of form and function. This is the Falling Water of tree pits.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Special thanks go out to Laura Hofmann for reminding me to write about this. Thanks!

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