From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Archives & Beyond: Fireworks!

July 4, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Yours truly has been hearing a lot of fireworks lately. In fact, I heard some being discharged one very short block away from the location of a two-alarm fire which came to pass recently. Clearly a lesson has not been learned. For better or for worse, dear readers, we Greenpointers love us some fireworks. This in and of itself would not be a problem if we could simply use them correctly. Without further ado here are a couple of items from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives for your Independence Day reading pleasure. We’ll start with a personal favorite of yours truly: the tale of one Uriah Hoare. Enjoy!

June 15, 1860

Those of you who are wondering (as I did) as to why Mr. Hoare was arrested on “suspicion”, I found the answer via an item from the New York Times’s “Brooklyn Intelligencer” section dating from the very same day! It is truly something special.

And of course, when playing with fire crackers it is highly advisable to keep said articles pointed away from one’s face. On June 30, 1902 a Sutton Street resident named James Connolly learned this lesson the hard way.

Have a fun— and safe— 4th of July Garden Spotters!

Miss Heather


From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Archives: Halloran’s Gift

January 1, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

It’s been a long time— too long, if you ask me— since I have shared some Greenpoint goodness from the days of old. Today, I not only had the time but managed to parse a real gem from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives. It dates from January 8, 1900 and involves a member of the local constabulary receiving a very special bit of holiday cheer— if that is what one can call the decapitated head of a duck. Among other things. Enjoy!

Interested to know what 155 Greenpoint Avenue looks like today? Click here. HINT: a once beloved (and famous) cat once called this establishment her place of work and play! Otherwise, you can trace the path of Sigimund’s very dubious offering by clicking here.

Miss Heather

From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Archives: Scandal!

February 11, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This morning was an eventful one at Chez Shitty. After a restless night I finally fell asleep— only to awaken at 7:00 a.m. to the sound of all hell breaking loose. After a thorough examination of the fuse box the Mister quickly deduced there was a power surge. This managed, in turn, to blow out the electricity in our entire apartment. Save, mercifully enough, the circuit which services our refrigerator. The exact scope of damage remains to be assessed, but as of the writing of this post the casualties appear to be:

  • An alarm clock
  • Our humidifier
  • Our telephone (which doesn’t really upset me— I never answer it anyway)

Our Unix cluster was spared due to the Mister’s I.T. prowess (and a surge protector). Our new-ish printer (which was not plugged into said surge protector) was spared courtesy of our cat, Artemis. This pesky cable precluded him from sitting behind said printer in comfort so he saw fit to unplug it. As cantankerous as Artemis is (probably because he has been saddled with female name— FOR 16 YEARS) he has just earned his weight in gold. Or at least tuna.

But I digress.

I shuffled downstairs to tender the “good news”. As luck would have it, our landlord was already on it. He was shouting at someone on a cell phone. This precluded him from shouting at yours truly about last month’s whole “Stop Work Order” fiasco. Some days it is best to view life via bell curved glasses. Today was one of them.

Misery loves company. Which brings me to the above Fedders special and a story I accidentally unearthed via the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives. An “implicated” young lady by the name of Libbie Penney once lived at the above location and her story has ties to a bona fide 11222 scandal. Not that it was news to Greenpointers— as you will learn. Enjoy!

This just goes to show what tee-totaling can do to a community. Drink up, 11222ers! The very moral fabric of our humble neighborhood lies on your shoulders (and in your livers).

Miss Heather

From The Brookyn Daily Eagle Archives: Sticky Fingers at St. Stanislaus

December 24, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

touchyourassTHUMBLast night there was a flurry of activity at Chez Shitty. You see, every year Mister Heather’s father bakes batches of cookies. I can personally attest they are quite delicious as he ships them to use each and every year. This year was no exception. However, as of last night, they had yet to arrive. This greatly concerned the Mister. The man may very well be an atheist but I assure you he takes the matter of his Yuletide treats very seriously.

To this end he exercised vigilance rarely seen after a work day. He even tabled his evening cocktail in order to get to the bottom of this matter. If there’s one thing I have learned over the years it is this: you don’t mess with the man’s snickerdoodles. Phone calls were made, a routing number was secured and online he went. I quipped that we’d probably find the box empty, save a handful of crumbs, in front of our building in a day or two. He was not amused.

I do not want to suggest that my neighbors are dishonest folk. They’re not. However, if there’s one thing I have observed living here for the past decade (and working at the junk shop) it is some people will steal anything. Which brings me to this item I culled from the December 27, 1902 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Not only does this item bear testament to this fact (17 cents, flatware and a shawl do not an excellent haul make) but it also illustrates that nothing and more importantly no one is considered sacred to those who have sticky fingers. Even ladies of the cloth are considered fair game. Enjoy!


I am pleased to report that our cookies have been located! As it would happen they had arrived December 18 and were in the care of the business on the first floor of our building. Why they did not see fit to inform us of their arrival is anyone’s guess. The important thing is certain disaster and the rolling of many a head has been averted.

Miss Heather

The Pickleville Pugilist

December 8, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Last week we learned about what life was like in Greenpoint’s very own Dangertown. Today we will explore (albeit tangentially) another colorfully nicknamed part of the Garden Spot (and beyond): Pickleville. Where was “Pickleville” located, you ask? The Eighteenth Ward, e.g.; the sliver of Greenpoint and “East Williamsburg” roughly contained within Meeker Avenue*, Flushing Avenue, Newtown Creek and Bushwick Avenue (as seen on the map to the left). Why was this area called Pickleville? My educated guess is because there was once a rather substantial German immigrant population in this area (just look at some of the street names and you’ll see their legacy). So much for ethnic sensitivity. But I digress.

This post is about one very special Pickleville resident. Her name was Gussie Freeman — but the Brooklyn Daily Eagle preferred to call her the “the slasher of the rope walks.” A typical turn-of-the-century housefrau Ms. Freeman most decidedly was not. You can learn more about how her claim to fame (or infamy) by reading this article dating from November 22, 1891. Enjoy!

Female boxers in north Brooklyn, who knew? This post goes out to you Gussie (“the Gouger”, “Limpy Sal” & company). You make me proud to be a Greenpointer!

Miss Heather

*Namesake of the Meeker Avenue plume which the New York Times expounds upon in today’s edition. I could have told them people were unwilling to have their homes tested for fear it would affect their property values and saved them a trip. Oh well…

Map Credit:

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