From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: BQE Breeze

July 25, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Taken by Luna Park.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: BQE

July 11, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken July 9, 2010.

Miss Heather

GREAT MOMENTS IN MUNICIPAL IDIOCY: Southside Style

clusterfuckTHUMBYesterday morning I was alerted by a neighbor of mine that, in their infinite wisdom, the Department of Transportation has removed the “dismount” signs from the Pulaski Bridge. I have yet to verify this in person (I will) but this struck me as being yet another indicator of our fair city’s cow-towing to a bicyclist agenda at the expense of pedestrians. What’s more, it is just plain stupid to have bicyclists (who are apparently now legally sanctioned to go full speed ahead) and people on foot sharing a “pathway” which is eight to (at best) ten feet in width. This is a nasty accident waiting to happen— white lines or not.

I spent a fair amount of my morning fuming over this. In fact, I racked my brain to think of anything our city has perpetrated/inflicted on its citizens (traffic-wise) that could begin to compare to what they have done to the Pulaski Bridge. I came up empty.

Then I took a walk on the Southside. Methinks I may very well have found something worse.

Many of you, dear readers, are aware that I spend a significant amount of time looking down. This may seem to some to be an odd practice but I assure you it has a purpose: to avoid stepping in dog shit. As time has gone on I have found a number of other interesting things on our city’s sidewalks. I have documented them on this web site often.

sidewalk

In the case of Marcy Avenue I present to you this.

sidewalk2

These.

sidewalk3

And these.

Why does this irritate me so, you ask? Well, for starters:

  1. This “bicycle lane” is on a public sidewalk. Bikes do not belong on sidewalks, people do.
  2. If my memory serves me correctly one can get ticketed for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk.
  3. As you can see above the city has sanctioned the use of a public sidewalk for use by bicyclists. Somewhere I hear Franz Kafka and George Orwell cackling their respective asses off.

Follows is a map of the intersection in question to further elucidate my point.

map

I have highlighted the bike lane in question (which is located on South 3rd Street) in yellow. The sidewalk cum bike lane (on Marcy Avenue) is highlighted in green. The more eagle-eyed among you might have noticed that someone walking towards South 3rd Street on Marcy Avenue would have a limited/obstructed view of oncoming traffic (be it petroleum-fueled or man-powered) from South 3rd Street. Here’s a street level view to drive the point home.

south3street

I am not a Southside resident, but I do walk around there pretty frequently. Who do I see walking along this stretch of Marcy Avenue most frequently, you ask? I’ll tell you:

  1. A large number of elderly people. Many of whom are pushing carts laden groceries, some of whom have limited mobility.
  2. Young women pushing strollers or accompanying small children.
  3. Hipsters who have turned on and tuned into their i-Pods.

In a nutshell, people whose ability to dodge an oncoming bicycle— for reasons of their own choosing or otherwise— is compromised. I do not know who thought up this “solution” to the bicycling problem but it is one of the WORST examples of municipal “planning” I have ever seen.

yieldtopeds

In fact, if this didn’t pose a serious public safety issue I’d find the above image downright hilarious. But it is a safety issue. And it is no laughing matter.

I have often been accused of being “anti-bicycle”. I am not. What I am becoming increasingly fed up with is this “have your cake and eat it too” mode of operation our city is espousing. Bikes neither belong on sidewalks nor any other pedestrian walkway. They belong on the streets. Safely. To make this happen entails making tough choices. Choices clearly the leaders of this city are unwilling to make (presumably because they will piss off motorists).

This is a farce.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, 10/30/09 2:00 p.m.: Sure enough, the dismount signs have been removed from the Pulaski Bridge.

nosigns

pulaski2

pulaski1

New York Shitty Day Ender: People In My Neighborhood, Dog Days

nassauave

Nassau Avenue

normanave

Norman Avenue

driggsave

Driggs Avenue

meekerave

Not everyone has benefited from the luxurification along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Take this man tired after collecting cans resting under it, for example.

jared

On a more “up” note,  I encountered this young man on Greenpoint Avenue. This gent, Jared, was headed over to Van Gogh’s Radio to hang his art work. You can read more about him here. (Click this link— you know you want to!)

hiponkent

This gaggle of Greenpointers hail from Kent Street. I do not know the woman to the right. I want to: she is always dressed to the nines and has a knack for color coordination.

cafecitobogota

In weather such as this it is always good to wear a hat, like this woman in front of Cafecito Bogota.

redhat2

One need not sacrifice style to beat the heat. The woman clad in the striped blouse always sports red lipstick to match her cap. She knows how to coordinate: her outfits are always painstakingly coordinated with her sneakers. Madison Avenue meet Manhattan Avenue: where natty practicality rules!

christinas

I’m not too sure what this guy is doing. But he’s doing it in the middle of Manhattan Avenue— and no one seems to mind.

bedbugking

Bedbug King, meet the Mayor of India Street and Manhattan Avenue!

ziiggyy

And lastly, my favorite Manhattan Avenue dude: Ziiggyy. The previous is no typo. That’s his name! He didn’t know what to make of me at first— in fact he was suspicious.

I asked:

Can I take a picture of your guitar?

To wit he replied:

Only if you give me $1,000.

If I had $1,000 I’d keep $500 and give the other $500 to you!

I replied. He laughed. The ice being broken, we talked shop while he shopped for a new pair of sunglasses— a task which he saw fit to enlist my assistance. I gladly obliged. The blue sunglasses didn’t suit Ziiggyy so we searched for an alternative. And talked about life— and sunglasses.

Me: So you don’t like the blue ones. Why?
Zig (for short): I don’t like them. They just aren’t right for me.
Me: So you want glasses with rims?

(Zig sorts through the glasses, puts on a green pair— replete with green lenses.)

Zig: I like these but who wants to see the world green?
Me: There’s a reason for the term “seeing the world in rose-colored glasses”. This is Greenpoint— green lenses aren’t going to make it look any better. Only worse. What about this purple pair?
Zig: But they’re rimless— you said we should look for rimmed glasses!
Me: Yeah, but I think these might just be it.
Zig: (trying them on) They do match my shirt…
Me: And your earring, that’s amethyst right?
Zig: That’s my birthstone!
Me: So you were born in February? I was born in January!

(high five)

Long story made short, Ziiggyy bought the glasses. Upon parting ways I said:

I consider myself to be very lucky to have met you.

To wit he replied:

I do not believe in luck. To believe in luck is to believe in good luck and bad luck. I believe in God’s will. That’ why I do not worry (about luck): it’s out of my hands. I’m happy.

Me (stunned):

Well, thank you for humoring me.

Ziiggyy:

That’s what I do: humor people. Make them laugh, make them cry and…

Me:

make them think!

He nodded in agreement and we parted ways. You can learn more about Ziiggyy and his guitar by clicking here.

Miss Heather

P.S.: This post is for all the “Ziiggyys” in the world. We need you.

Williamspoint Photos Du Jour: Street Seating Selections

Man oh man is it hot out! For this reason I have decided to beat the heat by sidling up to the a/c and rolling out some of my favorite Williamspoint street seating. Enjoy!

indiastreet

This pleather with sneaker and toaster ensemble hails from India Street.

BQEcouch

Although a little worse for wear, this Brooklyn Queens Expressway number has a certain air of gravity about it I find compelling.

brownongreen

A little brown velour from Green Street.

bedfordave

Behold, the Bedford Avenue crusty couch.

throop

Need to beat the heat? This green leather recliner from Throop Avenue is appointed with a can of Arizona iced tea! And last, but hardly least:

lorimer

What this great DIY number from Lorimer Street may lack in elegance it more than makes up for with good ol’ Greenpoint ingenuity. Note the  presence of two cushions so the user can adjust his (or her) comfort level accordingly. Outstanding!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: “Shotgun”

June 20, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Shotgun1

Ordinarily this would qualify as a “person in my neighborhood” but “Shotgun” (as seen in the above photo at right) was so extraordinary I felt he deserved a post of his own. Here it is.

Yesterday and friend and I went for a walk. Just to mix things up I decided we would go to the “hinterlands” of the Garden Spot— in other words: east of Kingsland Avenue, due south to the on ramp to the Kosciuszko Bridge and beyond.

It was at the intersection of Vandervoort Avenue and Cherry Street— an area which can best be described as the “armpit” of Greenpoint— that we encountered a truck selling watermelons, potatoes, fruits, nuts and vegetables. And a very unexpected ray of sunshine.

Shotgun2

Or would that be “Shotgun”  Having interfaced with a number of gun nuts in my life— mostly from the south— I asked the proprietor what gives.

shotgun3

After striking a pose (actually two) he told me:

That’s my nickname! Are you a visitor?

Me: Yes, I’m a visitor… from THAT (pointing north) end of Greenpoint.

SHOTGUN: Greenpoint? That’s (pointing north) over there!

Me: But I am over here! I like to be a tourist in my own neighborhood…

(Laughter)

Me: I hope you have some earplugs or aspirin, Shotgun. How can you deal with all this noise?

SHOTGUN:

Hell, I’m 70 years old. I can take it!

(Even more laughter)

Anyone who can spend 8+ hours next to the:

  • loudest
  • filthiest and
  • overall depressing

part of the Garden Spot and still have a sense humor, much less display a joie de vivre rarely seen by anyone nowadays, gets my infinite respect, admiration, and yes— affection.

I really like you, Shotgun. You rock!

Miss Heather

*Lest I have offended anyone by calling this area such, it was not intended. I use this term with tongue firmly placed in cheek.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Brooklyn Queens Expressway

June 2, 2009 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

donotenter

gothemorrhoidsnys

Or maybe or I should title this post Rear Ender?

Miss Heather

Urban Artifact Du Jour: Sarah, Get Your Gun!

April 26, 2009 ·
Filed under: Clinton Hill, Urban Artifact 

Today your truly has sojourned through no less than Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Clinton Hill and around the Navy Yard. We have company in town and decided to take our friend on the grand tour, if you will. It was towards the end of our excursion that I found the following gem on Clinton Avenue just underneath the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

s-palinnys

I’m not too sure what kind of game Ms. Palin was hunting in the wilderness of Clinton Hill but it looks like whatever it was got the better of her.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Although I already have far too much weird crap laying around this apartment already I brought this item home. Unless I hear from our favorite former Vice Presidential candidate I plan to make an art object out of it. Be advised that buttplug will probably be involved.

Williamsburg Street Art Du Jour: D.O.A.

April 22, 2009 ·
Filed under: Street Art, Williamsburg 

doa

From underneath The Brooklyn Queens Expressway at Leonard Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Comfy Chair

April 7, 2009 ·
Filed under: Street Furniture, Williamsburg 

comfychair

From Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

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