Live From Huron Street

August 22, 2019 ·
Filed under: 11221, Fuck This Shit, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

As I suspected, after last night’s storm the Dame sex toy ads are showing signs of distress. This is of course because they are wheat pasted paper affixed onto a construction fence.

I have asked Dame if these advertisements are theirs and if they had permission to post them on this fence. So far, radio silence.

Once again, the NYS code for graffiti:

S 145.60 Making graffiti.

  1. For purposes of this section, the term “graffiti” shall mean the etching, painting, covering, drawing upon or otherwise placing of a mark upon public or private property with intent to damage such property.
  2. No person shall make graffiti of any type on any building, public or private, or any other property real or personal owned by any person, firm or corporation or any public agency or instrumentality, without the express permission of the owner or operator of said property.
    Making graffiti is a class A misdemeanor. — ypd.com

If Dame ain’t claiming this as theirs or stating they had permission to post these advertisements on the fence in question, why does the 94th care?

Simple answer: they enforce/obey the law how they see fit. As such, I am arrested on a very tenuous charge at best— and the police later violate the law by trying to delete photos from my phone while it was in their custody. Tried.

Hooliganism!

Suffice it to say it’s been an interesting week for yours truly. However, as things go, I am a pretty tough bitch nowadays. Also, I have a sense of humor. So when my buddy at Queens Crap had an idea— this being securing coupons for Dame Products and gifting them to 94th Precinct— I decided to follow up on it. I mean, what are they going to do? Throw me in jail? So off to Twitter I went. Enjoy!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is living your best life. I hold no grudges against Dame. They are not the problem. Patriarchy and the upholders of it are.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Huron Street

When is a stripped, abandoned car that’s been left on the street for over a month not a stripped, abandoned car that’s been left on the street for over a month?

When it is called art! Note this is located across the from the defaced sex toy ads of infamy. You know folks, priorities.

UPDATE, 8/21/19, 2:54 PM: I have received word this hilarious item has been removed. I went out and checked personally and IT WAS! See folks:

  1. If you make an abandoned car art, the police will remove it.
  2. Shaming WORKS!

To Protect & Serve

August 20, 2019 ·
Filed under: 11222, Fuck This Shit, Greenpoint, WTF 
Illegally posted adverts for bougie sex toys, Huron Street
“David” is 41 years old and has not figured this shit out yet, it would appear.
Also, his wife cannot speak for herself.
I find this impossible to believe, but it makes for good capitalism/”femvertising”. Before luxury vibrators were invented, women masturbated. With gusto, I assure you.

The nail which sticks out gets hammered down. — Japanese Proverb

Officer of the 94th Precinct taking photos of desecrated adverts for bougie sex toys.
He’s a hammer.

I define misogyny as social systems or environments where women face hostility and hatred because they’re women in a man’s world — a historical patriarchy.

I think most misogynistic behavior is about hostility towards women who violate patriarchal norms and expectations, who aren’t serving male interests in the ways they’re expected to. So there’s this sense that women are doing something wrong: that they’re morally objectionable or have a bad attitude or they’re abrasive or shrill or too pushy. But women only appear that way because we expect them to be otherwise, to be passive.

— Kate Manne, “What We Get Wrong About Misogyny”, VOX.com

This is Officer Chen. He’s a hammer too.

S 145.60 Making graffiti.

  1. For purposes of this section, the term “graffiti” shall mean the etching, painting, covering, drawing upon or otherwise placing of a mark upon public or private property with intent to damage such property.
  2. No person shall make graffiti of any type on any building, public or private, or any other property real or personal owned by any person, firm or corporation or any public agency or instrumentality, without the express permission of the owner or operator of said property.
    Making graffiti is a class A misdemeanor. — ypd.com
Handwritten advert on the same construction fence for a stoop sale, address given

These are interesting times we live in.

We have a self-admitted pussy grabber as Commander in Chief of this country. Donald Trump garnered votes as a consequence of this admission. His glib, degrading remarks about women were not seen as an abomination. Quite to the contrary: they were “plus” as far as his electorate is concerned.

On a hyper-local level, we have had a Commanding Officer, Pete Rose, who not only felt compelled to differentiate stranger rapes from those committed by persons known to the victims as “abomination rapes”* but voiced lack of concern over an uptick sexual assaults in the precinct under his command. I am sure if victims of date rape were consulted, they would vehemently disagree with Mr Rose’s analysis. If anything, the betrayal of trust from a person considered to be a friend, or even an acquaintance, is even more horrifying. The word “abominable”, as Rose used it, is applicable. Just as I am sure any woman unfortunate enough to be one of the statistics he casually shrugged off would agree with me when I write that any sexual assault is one too many.

In any case a demonstration came to pass, Mr. Rose apologized, and he was later promoted. Whatever came of the woman’s case is anyone’s guess. As is often the case in such situations, the person who the narrative should be about, the victim, was sidelined. This was not an accident.

This is how it works.

The 94th has a new commanding officer now. Some view this as significant, positive change. I for one do not. It is simply a different face on the same problematic entity. In the last 2 – 3 weeks I have referred no less than two women to our elected officials due to inability/unwillingness of the 94th Precinct to ensure the safety of women and take crimes against their persons seriously. These crimes include:

1. enforcing an order of protection and

2. acting in a timely, proactive fashion when a woman has been assaulted.

The above-mentioned fellow, who has been served an order of protection, has violated this order repeatedly. No less than three days in a row, the most recent being Saturday, August 17th. The police were called. They showed up. He was not arrested Saturday night. I know this because had he been arrested, he would have been jailed at the 94th Precinct— which is where I was until 5:00 am Sunday morning.

Interested now, gentle readers? I bet you are!

In the first half of this post I have given a few examples of how the police, the 94th in particular, take a rather glib if annoyed attitude about serving women who are victims of crime. As the “logic” of misogyny goes, this makes sense. Women are not to ask for things, much less be a pain in the ass, even if the matter at hand is their own safety. This is viewed as being nuisance. She doth protest too much.

Conversely, exactly what happens if a woman behaves in a manner upholders of patriarchy— and the police most certainly are that— find undesirable? Having a “bad attitude”, being “abrasive” or “pushy” as Ms. Manne put it? I have experienced this firsthand and let me tell you, it is wretchedly comical. Wretched because what underlies it is just that. Comical because, well, because advertisements for sex toys are at the center of this, my, story.

Which brings me back to the images gracing the beginning of this post. Let’s look at a few of these again, shall we?

This is the construction fence located at the northeastern corner of Manhattan Avenue and Huron Street. On it we have a handwritten advertisement for a stoop sale and paste-up advertisements for sex toys. Now let’s reference, again, the NYS legal definition of graffiti:

  1. For purposes of this section, the term “graffiti” shall mean the etching, painting, covering, drawing upon or otherwise placing of a mark upon public or private property with intent to damage such property.
  2. No person shall make graffiti of any type on any building, public or private, or any other property real or personal owned by any person, firm or corporation or any public agency or instrumentality, without the express permission of the owner or operator of said property.

Both the stoop sale advertisement and sex toy ads were placed on the construction fence. It is reasonable to assume neither of the parties responsible asked the owner of said fence for permission to do this. The first definitely qualifies as being graffiti. It should be noted, I attended this stoop sale. I did not see the police take up the matter of their act of graffiti— which they could have done quite easily because they listed their address.

The sex toy advertisements get a little murkier. They could qualify as graffiti. Personally, I think the DSNY’s “Posting and Graffiti” code** is more applicable (Can you tell I have lodged a lot of 311 complaints? I have!):

It is illegal for any person to paste, post, paint, print, nail, or attach or affix by any means whatsoever any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker, or other printed material upon any curb, gutter, flagstone, tree, lamppost, awning post, telegraph pole, telephone pole, public utility pole, public garbage bin, bus shelter, bridge, elevated train structure, highway fence, barrel, box, parking meter, mailbox, traffic control device, traffic stanchion, traffic sign (including pole), tree box, tree pit protection device, bench, traffic barrier, city-owned grassy area adjacent to a street, hydrant, or other similar public item on any street. There is a rebuttable presumption that the person whose name, telephone number, or other identifying information appears on any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker, or other printed material on any item or structure is in violation. Every handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker, or other printed material shall be deemed a separate violation. Anyone found to have violated this provision, in addition to any penalty imposed, shall also be responsible for the cost of the removal of the unauthorized postings.

Fine: $75­–$200 (1st Offense); $150–$300 (2nd and Subsequent Offenses)

So the question becomes exactly what happens when something is written on something which should not, legally, be there in the first place? Something that is a response to and placed upon that illegal item? A snarky, feminist response to femvertising/capitalism at that? One which suggests that maybe David’s wife is, of her own agency, getting sexual gratification elsewhere (e.g.; the mailman)? Or that another woman, “Nikki’s”, claim that she has never wanted to masturbate so much until “Dame” came into her life is bullshit? Now add the alleged critic/author of this commentary is a woman. Me.
Answer: the police don’t like that and they will throw you in jail for it.

Arguably, to make their case, the fine fellows at the 94th are going to have to contact “Dame” and ask if this is their property. If they want to make the case for “graffiti”, this is what they have to do. If so, and presuming “Dame” says “yes”, that would tantamount to them (Dame) admitting they sanctioned placing an advert on this fence illegally (READ: without the permission of the owner of said fence).

Is vandalizing what constitutes vandalism a crime? If so, is it worth enforcing? That’s what’s at play here. These are also questions folks who get frustrated by slow response times and apathy from the police should field to the 94th and their elected officials.

I think it is safe to say the more pressing issue, for Officer Chen, his comrades and what they uphold, is attitude policing. Putting an intransigent woman in her place. (It didn’t work, in case you have not noticed.)

After I was taken to the 94th my husband promptly called Ron Kuby. Ron Kuby called the 94th twice. No one would speak to him. But trust me, word definitely got around the “office”. I could see this quite clearly from the fish tank I was placed in. They were talking and they were looking.

Given the timeline I was provided (later, obviously), it is quite clear my treatment changed tremendously because Kuby made those calls. An officer came in and told me he’d be processing my “paperwork” to get out as quickly as possible. He would check in on me to make sure I was “comfortable”. “Comfortable” In a jail. For an alleged crime which is, from a legal standpoint, highly dubious at best. He also joked that he wanted me to give Kuby his info lest he ever “got in trouble”. Later the same-said officer asked if I wanted softer toilet paper when I asked to use the bathroom. (I refused it, lest anyone is curious.)

All in all, I was at the 94th from 10:00 pm Saturday morning until 5:00 am Sunday morning. Around 4:00 I got a companion in the manner of a rather intoxicated, but highly affable, fellow. He was brought in because— after being ejected from a bar by a bouncer for vaping and calling the police himself— he lost his temper and hit the bar’s window, cracking it. He simply wanted his backpack. This was still inside with his paycheck in it. The bouncer wouldn’t let him get it— interestingly/amusingly, he got it back when he was arrested.

He was quite vocal and, to the police, I am guessing, uncooperative. He refused to take off his shoelaces and roll down the cuffs of his pants. My presence probably prevented his ass from getting beat. They’re not gonna do that in front of white lady, after all. If that was my “purpose” for being there, so be it. I am good with that. Also, he turned out to be a really nice, if incredibly depressed, guy.

After the officers left I pointed to the writing on the wall— literal writing on the wall, made with a marker— stating no one is allowed shoelaces and belts.

So you can’t Epstein yourself .

I explained to him. He laughed and after that we had a long and enjoyable chat. He stated he was an avowed Communist. (I’d say he’s more an Anarcho Syndicalist, for what it is worth.)

I told him I am feminist and in that capacity, knowing damned well I was being recorded, outlined the sordid history this precinct has in regards to treating women (including what I have written here). He found it disgusting— because it is. I hope whoever was watching/listening in enjoyed my TED talk too.

When the officer brought in my paperwork and read it aloud, that I was being charged with “graffiti”, my new friend roared with laughter. Among other things he shouted:

I hope you wrote Fuck Trump!

I told my new friend it was a pleasure to meet him, that I hoped he’d get his situation sorted out and we’d see each other around in the neighborhood. He returned the niceties. They were sincere too.

When I collected my stuff at the front desk I was amused to see my bag was folded in a manner so as to conceal its “graphic”. This:

Yes, that is the President of the United States being urinated upon.
I highlighted the “urine stream” with glass beads because I am crafty that way.

After exiting precinct I said, loudly, “What a fucking joke”. Because this was (and is) a fucking joke. I walked home, called my husband and checked my messages. That’s when I learned the “resolution” of the matter regarding the fellow with the order of protection. You see, as I was conversing with Officer Chen and his comrade, a neighbor of the woman whose Order of Protection was being violated called the police (as is her right). She was messaging me when all of this went down. And she messaged me after my phone was taken by the police. Sadly— but not surprisingly— it played out in a predictable fashion:

I am sure the police snooping around my phone read this. Good.

NOTE: the fellow in question is banned from the entirety of Greenpoint. For nine years, I believe. He has violated this order repeatedly. The woman’s husband has called this stuff in. More than once. The police didn’t seem to have a problem with it either. I will leave you to interpret what that means. But I digress.

After I got home I noticed the woman whose order of protection this is was curious as to what happened. Did he get taken into custody? She voiced this on an online forum. I told her exactly what was told to me (above). Answer: no.

I also checked my photos on my phone. That’s when I noticed the photos I had taken of the officers I interacted with had been deleted. I took photos because I wanted to have their faces/names. I gave the phone to my spouse. He found them in the “trash” and restored them. My attorney has been apprised of this. He is taking up the matter with the CO of the 94th Precinct.

It is worth noting when I proofed the letter my attorney is drafting to the CO I noticed he had misspelled the arresting officer’s name. I sent him a blow up of the guy’s badge. From the photo he/the 94th deleted from my phone. My attorney was very amused by this. Still, it tells you why they delete this stuff, yes? Had the name on that letter been misspelled, most likely the police would simply blow it off.

I cannot honestly say I had any “teachable moments” from this interaction with the 94th. No revelations here, gentle readers. I got into this because I am a woman with an attitude who needed “correcting”. The police are, above anything else, cudgels to enforce patriarchy.

And with patriarchy comes white supremacy. I avoided being sent “downtown” because I am a white woman who is connected. Nonetheless, I am still just a woman and as such I learned the sanctity of advertising— even of the illegal persuasion— is more important than my presumptive right to “talk back”. It’s also more important than enforcing orders of protection and the like, it would seem. We’re along for the ride, ladies.

All police enforcement is selective enforcement. The police cannot pursue each and every crime allegedly committed here. They do not have the resources to do so. More importantly, they do not have the desire to do so. So they pick and choose according to their own caprice. That’s why I went to jail. It is also why the fellow violating the order of protection did not. I will leave to you, gentle readers, to deduce out why.

Postscript:

I chose to dust off the blog and write about my experience. I have simplified the timeline and events in the interest of brevity. I was offered to be connected to the New York Post (!) regarding my story (with the sex toy adverts) by my attorney, Ron Kuby. It’s certainly funny. The thing is my story is simply part of a much bigger and more important phenomenon. This being what women here experience in their dealings with the police. And those stories ain’t funny.

If any feminist reporters/activists/writers want to provide those women a platform/ear I would be very happy to connect you. Also, as I hope I have made clear, my (relatively) privileged status prevented me from experiencing the nastier aspects of police “enforcement”. Most folks are not so lucky. I realize this isn’t much, but, if any of you want to talk I am all ears. I’m here to listen. Only cooperation is going to end this shit. We’re in this together. Seriously.

Lastly,

If the police are thinking this post as an admission of guilt on my part, the answer is No sir. We’ll be seeing each other in court! And I know the police do watch what is posted on the Internet.

For this reason I have taken the liberty of turning off the comments for this post. I am in no way obligated lend an ear to those who wish to abuse me. More importantly, perhaps, I am sparing the NYPD/94th Precinct (further) embarrassment. You see, no less than 12 years ago I got detained (courtesy of the Patriot Act) for taking photos of Santas. Yes, fucking Santa Claus. I blogged about it. And some brain genius using a computer with an IP address attached to the NYPD registered to comment so as to post antagonistic comments. You can’t make this shit up. Cheers!

*This actually made it into the excellent book written by Kate Manne, “The Logic Of Misogyny”. Page 198, via footnote.

**Also applicable is the concept of “abandoned property”. Abandoned property belongs to no one and everyone. The 94th loves to use “abandoned property” as a justification to remove bicycles affixed to street signs and such. This is really funny given the fact they are attached to said fixtures with locks suggests they belong to someone.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Signs of the Times

The neighborhood sure is getting fancy. Of course there still is plenty of “wiggle room” for the properly motivated person to “act out”. Head down to Freeman Street by the Shit Tits and knock yourselves out fellow reprobates. Tell ’em Heather sent you.

XO

(Taken February 3, 2018)

Today At The Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch: Four Years

It was four years ago to this day that a motor vehicle crashed through the guardrail gracing the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch. In the elapsing time this has not been repaired. I felt a “celebration” of sorts was in order and so it came to pass. Follows is footage I shot. Enjoy!

Part I: Introduction

Part II: Introduction/”Never Forget”

Part III: Fellow Greenpointers/Parks Users Weigh In

Part IV: Fellow Greenpointers/Parks Users Weigh In, Cont’d

Part V: Balloons!

Part VI/”Blooper”: The “4” Balloon Pops!

Next up: Jerzy Popieluszko Square!

Heidi’s Recovery Fund

Please take a moment to read Heidi’s story (of which the above screencaps are an excerpt), donate if you can and please spread the word. She really needs our help. As is the case with many people nowadays unfortunately, she stands to lose weeks of wages and is not insured so this accident (which is in and of itself traumatic enough) stands to be financially catastrophic to Heidi. Thank you for your time.

P.S.: Since we are on the subject of the intersection of India Street and Manhattan Avenue, I would like to present the following which I wrote fairly recently on this site (in regards to an email from the Department of Transportation regarding the “Manhattan Avenue Parking Spot of Death”, specifically some “Vision Zero” nonsense tacked onto said email):

Let’s consider pedestrian safety on the block in question. If “traffic enforcement” took the time/effort to, say, hang out at the intersection of India Street and Manhattan Avenue and ticket each and every motorist and bicyclist who blew through through the traffic signals located there they would make a tidy sum. They would also actually be doing something which does facilitate safer streets for pedestrians. But it is much easier to go after the long-hanging fruit of people parking in an ambiguously marketed parking space.

I wrote this on April 17, 2017. This accident came to pass May 10, 2017. Are the Department of Transportation and NYPD Traffic paying attention?

A Manhattan Avenue Park Spot Of Death Update: “Fixed”

April 18, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This is what I was greeted with bright and early this morning. Per a witness, the Department of Transportation showed up at midnight so as to do this. They made a lot of noise too. In any case, here’s to not having to watch some unfortunate soul’s car getting towed, folks yelling at traffic enforcement agents upon discovering they have been ticketed, etc.

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Manhattan Avenue

A little value-added from my sojourn to the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch this morning. It should settle the question once and for all as to the whereabouts of Scooby Doo. He is under a car on Manhattan Avenue between Clay and Dupont Streets and appears to be hammered as fuck. Possibly via the contents of the now empty bottle of tequila in the adjacent tree pit.

Cheers!

Quicklink: And Now A Word From The New York Times

April 17, 2017 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Spring is here and with it— not unlike the swallows returning to Capistrano— the New York Times lavishes attention on my humble community. This being Greenpoint, of course. My colleague at Queens Crap found this interesting and saw fit to bring this tome to my attention as follows:

The Times discovers Polish people in Greenpoint.

To wit, I replied:

That pharmacy they have a photo of has a fierce selection of sex toys.

It’s true. This pharmacy does sport such items. To prove my point I strolled over there bright and early on this Smigus-Dyngus Day so as to get photo documentation. I feel it is my responsibility as a citizen journalist with “street level” knowledge of such things. Without further ado, here is what awaits you at the Murawski Pharmacy which, it should be noted, is the only establishment which sells such wares. “Just For Fun”, also a Polish-owned and operated, used to sell sex toys but it has closed. The owner, a lovely lady named Barbara, has retired and moved to Florida. The storefront has since become a CitiHabitats office. But I digress. Bring on the photos!

Here we are.

Welcome to the Wall of Sex. It is proving to be Wet Monday indeed. Hallelujah!

I rather like how stickers, including a price tag, have been employed so as to conceal the “naughty bits”. While I am on the subject of stickers…

Even the penis pumps hereabouts are purporting to be gluten free nowadays. If that ain’t a sign of gentrification I honestly do not know what is. And, yes, the New York Times made sure to conjure up the golem which is the “G word”. Among other things:

As in other parts of our city, conversations in Little Poland often turn to gentrification. Faced with higher rents, many residents are leaving the neighborhood for other Polish enclaves in Ridgewood or Maspeth, both in Queens.

I already knew this. A lot of people know this. But I suppose if one’s targeted “readership” are people who actually enjoy the Time’s “The Hunt” column— and not just for the gallows humor it provides— this would be “news”. The previous having been written, let’s get back to the topic. This being things Polish in Greenpoint. You see, Mr. Lee was not the only one walking around Greenpoint yesterday, I was too! And at McCarren Park I saw something quite compelling. So much so I took photos of it!

This is what greeted me upon arrival at Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square. It would appear a mishap of some kind has come to pass. I would hazard to guess this mishap involved a motor vehicle. Folks are always driving into things here. Pedestrians, fences, buildings, trees, more pedestrians, if you can think of it, chances are an automobile has hit it. Not even Newtown Creek is safe, as we learned on July 9th, 2013 via Gothamist.

Which brings me back to what I beheld at Jerzy Popieluszko Square yesterday. I found the manner, “style” if you will, eerily reminiscent of the “treatment” the Manhattan Kayak Launch has received “post injury”.

Save of course the “caution” tape.  I am guessing the powers-that-be (the Parks Department? Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn?) saw fit to appoint Jerzy Popieluszko Square with the tape (which costs $9.95 plus tax for a 1,000 roll of the stuff) because it is part of McCarren Park and as such is part of the “flagship park” of Community Board 1. Prestige is at stake, my friends.


Which brings me to the above photo. I wanted to make sure everyone is aware the photos of the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch in this post were taken today, April 17th, 2017. Yes, gentle readers, we are closing in on four years of this fence being in this state of disrepair. This begs the question as to how long the fence at Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square will remain in its present state. If the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch is any indication, I’d say the prognosis is not good.

The state of repair (or disrepair) of facilities in any given community speaks volumes about how the city and its various agencies views/”values” said community. Let’s apply this to Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square. Here you have a park dedicated to a fellow who is highly revered by the Polish community. As the New York Times has ascertained, Greenpoint has a rather substantial Polish community.

Let’s do the math. The premises have been damaged and a “make do” solution in the manner of two barricades and approximately 7-8 yards of caution tape. I am not sure what the barriers cost, but at 1 cent a foot the tape used cost 24 cents.  As for when this will be repaired, maybe someone in the “mainstream media” will ask the proper “authorities”? Perhaps even someone at the New York Times! You know, “watchdogs acting as guardian of the public interest” kind of stuff. I will leave you now with a few shots of the McCarren Park women’s comfort station. These too were taken yesterday, Easter Sunday.

(Insert “Wet Monday” joke here.)

UPDATE, 4:12 pm: Apparently the fence at Jerzy Popieluszko Square has been in this state for few months. Amazing how McCarren can get a tennis bubble, but basic shit like a fence languishes. Of course fences do generate $55.00 per hour in revenue.

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