LAST GASP: (Literally)

July 14, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 


Earlier today I relayed more deets via the Greenpoint grapevine regarding the suicide at 141 Dupont Street. Lest I have not made it clear already I think this man’s suicide is a sad testament as to what happens when older residents feel like (and are treated like) strangers in their own neighborhood. I— and undoubtedly most, if not all the people reading this—  have a “network” of friends to fall back on when life slips us a Mickey. This man didn’t. Or worse yet: he didn’t feel he had a shoulder to cry on. He should have had many.

The most endearing quality of Greenpoint is not its scenery, transportation options (pick your poison: the G train, B43 or B61 bus), affordable housing (there is none) or restaurants. It’s the people. While I still very much consider Greenpoint to be a community walls are being built. They are invisible but very existent nonetheless. Us versus them. We are all to some degree or another guilty of this. I can only hope moving forward we all will take some time to give an ear (pull out the earbuds), lend little heart to our fellow Greenpointers and be better neighbors.

What this man felt before he chose to end his own life will never be known. I can only relay what I have been told. Which brings me to this:

…i guess he was found with a bag over his head and a noose, and had been there for some time. a few of us on the block had noticed a stench about a month ago, but put it down to rats or it just being greenpoint

I’ll admit the Garden Spot of the Universe has been particularly malodorous of late. But enough so to merit equating the smell of a decomposing body to “creek reek”?!? That’s bad. “How bad”, you ask?

The following (from 838 Manhattan Avenue) should give you some indication.


Passerby (laughing her ass off and pointing excitedly to her friends):

Someone is finally doing something about the smell! (laughter) It’s gotten so bad they’re actually doing something about it. (more laughter)

It’s that bad. And, as one Brownstoner commenter, DitmasSnark, so sagely opined (regarding ‘Stoner’s the Viridian offering one bedrooms rentals for mere $2,200 a month):

“I guess some people will pay extra to be within 6 blocks of the G train.” Not to mention three blocks from the sewage treatment plant.

’Tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

CORRECTION: that’s 2 (short) blocks from the sewage treatment plant. I live in that ill wind. The collection ponds are at Provost, Green, Huron, India Streets. Just follow your nose.

How can having a doorman, fountain, rooftop cabanas counteract a neighborhood that smells like a well worn jock strap or dead body? Much less pay $2,200 for the experience? I guess what P.T. Barnum was (reputed to say) is true: there’s a sucker born every minute.

Miss Heather

From The Greenpoint Grapevine: More About The Dupont Street Suicide

July 14, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 


Remember the dead body recently found on Dupont Street? I do— one does not easily forget such things. In my initial post about this tragic passing of events I reported the person was homeless. I have since heard buzz that this is not the case.  Anonymous writes:

so i just got some more sad details about the suicide on dupont. (this is second hand from a neighbor, i still need to confirm)

it turns out that the guy wasn’t homeless, but lived with couple other older polish people on the second floor of my bulding at 139 dupont st. i guess his wife decided to go back to poland and he stayed here, residing somewhere else.

i guess he then decided to take his life. i guess he was found with a bag over his head and a noose, and had been there for some time. a few of us on the block had noticed a stench about a month ago, but put it down to rats or it just being greenpoint.

i didn’t personally know this man, but would seem him often, coming into my building drunk. he always wore workers clothes and looked like he’d lived a tough life, hard to tell how old he was, probably in his 50’s but looked older.

i do know that the apt he lived in was vacated recently and i hadn’t seem him around, though one night he was sleeping in the hallway.(not the first time i’d seen this, i don’t think he actually had keys to get in the building, they always seemed to buzz him in or look out the door when the heard someone coming up the steps.)

when they found the body, it looks like they had found a piece of wood that he had scrawled a note on.
i overheard another polish man translating it for the cops, and on it was my address and 131 dupont, with the message to give his tools to someone named ritchey,

there hasn’t been any activity on the consctruction site since the fall or early winter. one neighbor says they saw workers go in there on the day before the cops came, and they ran out. he also thought that they might have been (undocumented workers) and probably didn’t want to get involved, the guy who found him the next day was english speaking.

that’s about all i know.

it sounds like a really sad story, esp now that i know the guy was a neighbor and i can put a face to him

Indeed. But one need not have known this man to feel genuine sadness for the circumstances that led up to his suicide. I suspect I speak for many when I write that I hope he has at long last found the peace that so eluded him in life.

Miss Heather

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