New York Shitty Day Ender: Three Playgrounds

Jaime Campiz Playground, January 22, 2012

The American Playground, January 22, 2012

Barge Park Playground, January 22, 2012

 

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Dupont Street

Taken January 17, 2012.

New York Shitty Manhole Watch: 11/04/2011

November 4, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

You know what they say: everyone needs a hobby. The epidemic of manhole plundering in my fair burgh has become mine. This phenomenon– and the commentary/observations I have received about it— have summoned my inner “Nancy Drew”. Today she and I went out to play. However, we had a plan. It was as follows:

1. Having received a tip that Commercial Street has been divested of its street/sidewalk covers, it would be on the itinerary.

2. Having observed that these thefts appear to be centered in north Greenpoint, a more thorough exploration of this area would be made.

3. Noting that thefts seem to be happening in relatively secluded areas, a trek down West Street was in order.

Follows are my findings. Enjoy!

65 Commercial Street (in front of the Access-A-Ride parking lot)

Commercial Street at Clay Street

Dupont Street, across Barge Park Playground

West Street, between Freeman and Green Street

Java Street at West Street

A triple header!

West At Calyer Street

Total number of manholes plundered: 8.

Thoughts/observations:

1. All in all, it was a pretty a disappointing foray (making Juan ‘s acquaintance aside, of course). However—

2. I did notice that the recent paving and milling on Commercial Street (an example of which can be seen to the left) might actually help prevent theft of these covers. If they cannot be seen, they cannot be stolen!

3. Similarly, the rather shoddy condition of West Street has also precluded cover theft. Most were so covered with ages old asphalt they were rendered a like so many flies in amber. Fossils. My prognostication is as follows: when West Street gets its purported makeover (and presuming these covers are refurbished in the process) we’ll see more thefts there.

4. I failed to account for the area covered being a rather popular area for parking. Thus is it very likely I missed a few missing covers. Conclusion: another sortee is in order. Preferably on a weekend.

5. While not a street/sidewalk cover per se I do have to wonder if this item from Eagle Street (as seen to the right) was commandeered for scrap.

6. I simply cannot keep on top of all these manholes by myself. Thus I implore you, gentle readers, to photograph any missing street/sidewalk covers you may encounter and email them to me at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Be sure to note the location in the subject line.

Let us leave no manhole behind, North Brooklynites!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A McGuinness Boulevard Mystery

October 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A lady named Laura (who took the above photographs) writes:

Hi Heather!
I’ve been noticing that the metal plates near each of the fire hydrants along McGuiness Blvd. are disappearing. Between Greenpoint Ave and Dupont St. alone, there are five of them missing on the West side of  the boulevard. I’ll bet they’re being taken to be sold as scrap metal. Some of the property owners seem to putting in wooden replacements. There’s more missing on the East side of the boulevard. What’s next, the hydrants?
I cannot honestly say I have seen this. However, suspecting these items were sold for scrap metal is not as far-fetched as it may seem: at a recent 94th Precinct Community Council meeting it was noted by some fellow Greenpointers that the caps from fire hydrants on Monitor Street were disappearing. It was concluded these were probably procured and sold as scrap by some of our more, how should we say, entrepreneurial citizens. Thoughts/theories, anyone?

New York Shitty Slide Show du Jour, Part II: Business As Usual

August 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Freeman Street

As promised follows are some highlights from my sojourn around north ‘Point this afternoon. Aside from the two above-depicted houses (which can be found on Freeman Street between Manhattan Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard and are lacking electricity) the damage was minimal. Rather, it would appear that the Garden Spot has (inasmuch as is possible) regained its sense of normalcy. As you will see we are enjoying our (scant) public spaces, the El Blablazo tree has survived; some hapless soul was (is?) awaiting access to the Box House Hotel and I even met a dog named “Kitty”. While not depicted, Jerzy (AKA: the chap who lives in a truck on Franklin Street), is safe and sound— if quite busy! I suspect he feels the same way we all do: it’s nice to have our neighborhood— replete in all its glorious eccentricity— back. On that note and without further ado, enjoy!

You can view these images in larger format by clicking here.

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: Dupont Street

I am very pleased to report one of yours truly’s favorite bits of Greenpoint goodness has weathered Irene unscathed!

New York Shitty Street Seating du Jour: Greenpoint Selections

August 23, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Street Furniture 

Dupont Street

Eagle Street

Java Street

Miss Heather

Urban Fur: And Then There Were Three

July 6, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Urban Fur 

From Dupont Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Here We Go Again

June 19, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

That right folks: we’ll be kicking off the week with yet another film shoot commandeering a rather substantial part of north ‘Point. Those of you who live in any of the above-listed locations and own motor vehicles be advised they need to be moved by 10:00 p.m. this evening or New York’s Finest will do so for you!

Miss Heather

Live From Dupont Street: Green Sweep Greenpoint

So today was the big day: Green Sweep Greenpoint. I got up nice and early, did a little work around the house and made it to Red Star Bar right on time.  We had to wait a bit because the establishment’s proprietor, Eric, had a flat tire but soon enough we got down to business. Ed Veneziano (the proprietor of Cato’s Army Navy Store and co-chair of the Greenpoint Business Alliance) read out a list of block captains and then inquired as to whether there were any volunteers present. There was one. He then asked yours truly where I had planned to focus my garbage eradication efforts. My reply was as follows:

Dupont Street between Franklin and the sludge tank because it pisses me off.

As many of you have probably ascertained, I am not the kind of person to mince words. This is especially true when I am operating on (maybe) six hours of sleep. On that note I would like to apologize here and now to anyone at this morning’s convocation who had children in tow. I was not trying to be insensitive. Rather, the condition of this particular stretch of road infuriates me to no end. Soon enough, gentle readers, you will learn why.

We collected our garbage bags (I took four), put on our gloves and went our respective ways. I noted to my friend Teresa that I was going to be an “army of one” waging war against trash this morning— and that’s the way I wanted it.

Upon arrival I quickly sized up the situation. I quickly ascertained I had several types of litter to contend with. They were as follows:

1. Residential (as seen at left)

2. Construction debris

3. Discarded automotive parts/products

4. Trappings of a homeless colony (including— but by no means limited to— empty liquor bottles and food containers).

I decided to tackle the latter most first. Roughly forty five minutes into the task at hand my efforts began to get noticed. First it was by two very friendly workers from the adjacent DEP facility (as seen at right).  The driver said my efforts were laudable and then went on to explain that sadly people will only return and add more trash. When I asked him for specifics, he told me that men frequently work on their cars along  this stretch and simply toss aside their unwanted hubcaps, anti-freeze containers, etc. What I discovered as I was cleaning later on supports this chap’s assertion.

Once I had two bags ready (and realized they were really, really heavy) I called Eric to come by and pick them up (so as to to take them to the garbage container secured for the day). When he and Ed arrived I had four bags waiting. They were quite impressed. That’s when I confessed that I had only filled two bags myself; someone prior to my arrival was thoughtful enough to leave two large bags filled with sheet rock to make me look “good”.

When they finished loading the aforementioned bags I took them on a little tour. What they found of particular interest was the fire pit (as seen at left). We quickly ascertained what (or I suppose who) found their way into it: nearby we found two boxes which had clearly contained chickens. Live chickens— or as I put it to Ed: EX-chickens. They went on their way and I continued working.

A man of (maybe) 18 years of age asked me if I was clearing the area for a garden. I answered to the negative but added that having a garden at this location is a wonderful idea. He admonished me to be careful and then proceeded to walk off while lighting a joint.  That’s when I made the first of several incredibly repulsive discoveries:

Yes folks, that there is an value-added tampon! I also found (in no particular order):

1. One condom wrapper (empty)

2. One condom wrapper (unused)

3. One condom (soiled)

Next to the latter most I found ( at right) 4.

I suspect I speak on the behalf of many people reading this tome when I write that really, truly hope this item was used in concert with the aforementioned condom. Call me jaded but there is something about kinky clown sex transpiring in the shadow of a sludge tank that yours truly finds almost charming. The key word in the previous sentence being almost.

5. No less than three bloody rags.

6. And of course what would any trash pick-up be without a shit-filled diaper?

Here you go!

7. And I suppose I should mention one thing I did not find: drug paraphernalia. I was quite surprised by this.

After two more people stopped and asked me if I was clearing the area for a garden (once again I said no but that I was growing to like the idea) I was left alone and started to get bored. Fortunately being an only child has made me very adept at finding ways to entertain myself.

I decided moving forward I was going to play amateur urban anthropologist. My project would be to determine the drinking patterns of the people who use this area as their personal landfill. It was just like something out of National Geographic except instead of arrow heads I was in search of fifths, forties and airplane bottles. These I arranged rather artfully for everyone’s edification and christened the end product “The Dupont Street Drinking Museum”.

Although I didn’t keep count, beer (especially Corona and Budweiser) was the beverage of choice by pretty significant margin (I’d hazard to guess two to one). Following that came all manner and variety of distilled spirits. Vodka and rum were the peoples’ choice. Wine came in dead last with two paltry bottles. I will leave you, dear readers, to draw your own conclusions as to what this data means.

In any case I continued working and found myself getting a bit peckish. No worries: someone was thoughtful enough to leave me some snacks!

Here’s the deal folks: I could continue outlining in explicit detail everything I saw while cleaning Dupont Street this morning. Instead I am going to leave you with a slide show and a few thoughts:

  1. We have a chronic littering problem here.
  2. The question is how do we go about changing this.
  3. Given the interest shown today by passersby in clearing this space and creating, say, a community garden I’d say that may very well be the way to go. If anyone reading tome this agrees with me (and would be interested in making this happen) please shoot me an email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.
  4. In order to get the ball rolling I am going to reach out to a few elected officials and see how we can turn this block into something our community can be proud of. If and/or when I have any news on this front, I will pass it along here.

Miss Heather

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