Love Is In The Air!

December 17, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

Many who are reading this are probably aware of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. They are a community group charged with overseeing the upgrade of Greenpoint’s favorite sewage treatment plant. Each month they meet with the Department of Environmental Protection and talk sewage shop. While this may sound like watching paint dry to some, it has come to my attention that a subject has arisen at the last two meetings which is anything but boring.

Nature Walk, facing north

Per Emily Lloyd, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, “unsavory acts” are transpiring at the nature walk. Per my source (the ever-cool Matt Wolfe of The Greenpoint Courier) she did not give any details as to the nature of these acts, but I suspect they are of a carnal persuasion. I want you to think about this for a moment, dear readers: there are people who (purportedly) see fit to fornicate in the shadow of New York Shitty’s largest sewage treatment plant.

Sewage Treatment Plant

This is like something straight out of a John Waters movie— which of course bears testament to its probable verity: Greenpoint is a John Waters kind of place. I wonder if a shag rug and a bottle of cold duck were used as inducements for these “unsavory acts”? Both of the previous facilitated my entrance into this world. I know this because my mother has told me so.

On a number of occasions.

But I digress. I have created a very special Greenpoint postcard to commemorate the (un?)natural acts which have taken place at the Nature Walk of late. Here it is for your delectation.

Love is in the air!

These can be purchased via my online store at Cafepress. Why not reach out and touch that special someone with a gift only Greenpoint can give? The Shit Tits!

Miss Heather

P.S.: Those of you who are interested in learning more about the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee can contact them at:

Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee
329 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

(718) 349-0150

Disgruntled Williamsburg Parent Changes Tactics…

but his motivations/inducements are more or less the same.

Looking for an apartment…

This, his latest attempt, is subtle…

NORTH Greenpoint

and yet, more desperate. Maybe you, my fellow Greenpointers, can open your hearts and sublet your closet, tool shed or parking space so “John’s” precious children can receive a better education? One their father clearly did not receive: reading, writing, critical thinking, and ethics:

I need to move my two children from an otherwise great location in Williamsburg. but where They currently attend a dismally performing school and I wish have them to attend the school designated for this neighborhood (annotated: GreenPoint). To this end I am prepared to sacrifice as above or pay $$ to anyone who can help effect this (my latest attempt to bribe my children into a better performing school in a less “great” location).

Miss Heather’s mind is a terrible thing to waste. Especially when forced to read and correct the aforementioned drech while waiting to check out at The Garden while not wasted (intoxication makes illiteracy coupled with entitlement go down better for yours truly).

The quality of “North GreenPoint’s” schools is well known. To Greenpointers and one Gowanus Lounge commenter anyway:

why is he doing this now – didn’t do his homework before moving house?

The information that Greenpoint’s two schools were high performing and Williamsburg’s were not was already freely available before the grading.

Clearly John did NOT do his homework. Given this gent’s persistence, it begs one to wonder how many more concerned Williamsburg parents will try to lie/cheat/bribe their way into Greenpoint’s public schools.

Miss Heather

What Would Guido Do?

I created a little controversy recently when I referred to the Rat Man’s stomping grounds as being in Greenpoint. Addrobinson, a frequent New York Shitty commenter, noted:

Its funny you know him as the “rat maniac”, because to me & my friends he is “The Pigeon Maniac”. I always just assume that he was feeding the Pigeons and the rats took care of what the birds left behind. I also find it very odd that you consider that area to be “southeastern Greenpoint”, in all the years I have lived here that is the first time I’ve heard anyone even use that term, let alone call that area it.

What constitutes Greenpoint? This is a very contentious question. If you ask an old timer, as another commenter (Zeebah) suggested, he or she will tell you the area in question (Kingsland Avenue near Frost Street) is in Greenpoint. If you ask a real estate agent, he (or she) will call it Williamsburg. It is simply a matter of who benefits. Which brings me to this:

Martone’s Dairy

This rather nifty old photo can be seen at De Stefano’s Restaurant. Note the location where the picture was taken: Graham Avenue between Devoe and Metropolitan Avenue. Now let’s take a closer look at the neighborhood inscribed on this photo, shall we?

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

Interesting. My curiosity piqued, I asked the owner of the restaurant about this unusual piece of taxonomy. He explained to me that when he was a kid no one who lived in this area called it Williamsburg. That neighborhood was considered distasteful. Greenpoint, therefore, was used because it was considered to be “more classy”. So there have you.

What do I consider to be Greenpoint? Well, this map should give you a general idea.

What is Greenpoint?

The semi-transparent red line indicates the boundaries of the 11222 zip code. The additional shaded sections are areas I consider to be Greenpoint that fall outside this zip code. The more eagle-eyed among you will notice that the Greenpoint Hospital would be considered by many not to be in Greenpoint at all. It is also very telling to note that the engraved text (which read “Greenpoint Hospital”) which once graced the entrance of this building has been removed. I have little doubt this was done at the behest of a real estate professional. Perhaps the developer plans on having “East Williamsburg Hospital” inscribed its place?

I suppose there is no clear cut means of determining what constitutes Greenpoint— or any neighborhood, for that matter. Or is there? As daskol observed:

Guido, the mayor of Withers Street, will kick your ass if you refer to this area as Williamsburg. He might change his tune when it’s time to list his property.

I think it is time for us to stop bickering and ask ourselves a much more important question:

What would Guido do?

Miss Heather

Dangerous Buildings, Places And Things, Oh My!

November 24, 2007 ·
Filed under: Williamsburg 

My buddy over at Bad Advice has been experiencing a very bad problem lately. The fly in Dategirl’s proverbial ointment is the rather fast and loose demolition being conducted next door to her property. The author of the aforementioned affliction is MMG Construction. Ms. Grasso and her funky bunch sure seem to get around.

In the wee hours of Thursday, November, 15, 2007 Dategirl wrote:

I’m really freaked out about what’s going on next door. They’ve knocked out my phone (the lines are laying on the ground across N. 11th!), the cable TV/internet and the building is rocking like, uh, a building is NOT supposed to when they’re working. Thank christ Con Ed and the water supply is underground. I’ve spoken to Marie Grasso (of MMG Construction— Ed. Note) several times. As you might imagine, she’s not been terribly helpful, though she did demand that the backhoe operator repair my cable tv with a roll of electrical tape. (Shockingly, that didn’t work.) I am losing my fucking mind over here

Later the same day The Gowanus Lounge wrote a post about her woes. I, on the other hand, contacted our State Assemblyman, Joseph Lentol via his web page. MMG was tendered a Stop Work Order that same afternoon.

Oh my!

And shortly thereafter someone saw fit to rip it down. Please click on the previous link: if for no other reason so you can behold the following turd of a comment for firsthand:

Anonymous said…

I really enjoy reading your site, as well as the other sites that like to whine and complain about development. Where do you get your information? It is pure fiction!

1. The contractor was never violated (!!!— Ed. Note) for an illegal mechanical demolition. You made that up.

2. The SWO sticker was taken down because the SWO was partially lifted.

You should get your facts straight before bashing people.

Actually “Anonymous” (if that is your real name), the contractors (and the developers who hired them) do most of the violatin’ hereabouts. The area in question, which I recently heard referred to (albeit mockingly, but I am certain you will pick it up as a new piece of sexy real estate jargon) as “McCarren Heights”, is being thoroughly sacked by space pirates. But unlike most corsairs (historically speaking) these privateers for the privileged (because there are simply not enough luxury condos to house them, poor dears) are operating with tacit written approval from a government. Our government, which brings me to this.

Lentol Letter

I received this in the mail today. WAY TO GO JOE!

Those of you who might be interested to know what Mr. Lentol’s district looks like prepare to be enlightened, because here it is.

50th Assembly District

The more astute observers among you might notice that the area highlighted in pink is experiencing a number of*, uh, growing pains*. If you live in the above pinkified area and gentrification is literally knocking at/beating down your front door, I would advise you to contact Mr. Lentol via snail mail at:

District Office
619 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-383-7474

Or send him an email (like I did) at:

lentolj (at) assembly.state.ny.us

In terms of constituent services, Lentol is the best. What’s more he really seems to care. Write him.

Miss Heather

*It’s amazing how much outrage MMG Construction elicits from the media when her idiots bust up something a rich neighborhood. Can someone please explain to me why this woman is still in business? Who is she paying off and for how much? My curiosity is killing me.

What Is Missing From This Picture?

October 16, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11222, Abjectecture, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Yesterday was a beautiful day. So much so I shook off my autumn doldrums and went for a walk. I am very, very happy I did. Read on and find out why.

609 Manhattan Avenue 10/15/07

When I reached 607 Manhattan Avenue I stopped. “Something is missing, but I just can’t put my finger on it.” I mused to myself.

609 Manhattan Avenue 6/3/07

Oh, that’s what it is. That hideous sign I have been ranting about for months has been removed! Wondering if the Department of Buildings had a hand in this most auspicious (and long awaited) event, I hightailed it home and checked out their web site.

DOB BIS 609 Manhattan Avenue 10/15/07

THEY DID!!!

I would like to take a moment to thank the folks at the Department of Buildings for ordering the removal this of this hideous (and potentially dangerous) eyesore from my community. I’ve given your agency a real drubbing of late, but I believe in giving props for a job well done. Now, if S.P.I.T. would work its regulatory magic on 72 Norman Avenue, we’ll be all aces.

Miss Heather

Miss Heather’s Apartment Share Inferno

New York Shitty is a metropolis of pissers and moaners. Crappy jobs/job interviews, crappy dates, crappy landlords: someone has written a lengthy (and usually pithy) missive (or two) about them all. Yet no one has written about a subject that encapsulates all the previous and more: apartment shares and the people who offer them. Until today.

I care not for landlords, first dates or job interviews— but at least I know what all the previous involve: me getting fucked. Be it metaphorically, physically or both. The same cannot be said about apartment share interviews, as I learned several years ago.

The purpose of this post is to showcase the three worst (and/or weirdest) apartment share interviews I have ever had. I have even taken the liberty of creating a handy checklist to track the depths of depravity I endured. Nothing says “you’ve arrived” (in HELL) like PowerPoint, after all.

CASE STUDY #1: THE DUNGEON

The Dungeon

Vital Statistics

Location: Meserole Street and Graham Avenue
Rent: $450 a month
The Catch: It’s a SRO

Truth be told, I was not very jazzed about the location of this share. Sure, it is a beautiful building, but I am a Greenpoint gal through and through. However, when one is dirt-ass broke, she cannot afford to be choosy, so I checked it out.

When I arrived at the front door I was greeted by a young woman. I think she was from Belgium, though it was hard to tell. She was a very pleasant and elegantly dressed lady— which made up for the decidedly NON-elegant setting.

As she led me through the front door (of her section) of the SRO, a man donning a dragon mask and reeking of marijuana popped out of another door and started giggling inanely. “Okay”, I thought “So he likes to party a little on a Sunday afternoon. Who doesn’t? No problem.”

The room she showed me was very spacious. I’ve seen many apartments smaller than this space, which probably measured around 400 square feet. I even liked the shade of lilac the walls were painted. Very pretty. I even told her so and she thanked me. She had picked out the paint herself.

Then I saw something I have never seen in any apartment/share space before: leather restraints, paddles and heavy chains anchored to the wall by mollies. Given that this was a three month sublease, the presence of these implements was non-negotiable. I could honestly not care less what this woman did (professionally?), but I don’t think I could have handled waking up every morning to the sight of Medieval torture devices. I was offered this sublet, but turned it down.

All things considered this experience was pretty mild (as I later would learn). What’s more, she was really likable and clearly not out to rip me off so I give this share a rating of…

SRO of Pain

CASE STUDY #2: MESEROLE STREET SUICIDE SHARE

Suicide Hall

Vital Statistics

Location: Meserole and Leonard Street
Rent: $500 a month
The Catch: Too many to summarize

The only reason I agreed to an interview at this share was because I confused “Meserole Street” with “Meserole Avenue”. After my interview at this hellhole I have never confused the two thoroughfares since.

I knocked on the door, a smallish red-haired man answered and ushered me in. It was dark. It was dirty. It was the bachelor pad date rape central replete with a disemboweled motorcycle in the living area. Although something about the “head roomie” was unsettling to me, I liked the other guy and heard them out. He was nice.

Then the shoes dropped, one after the other.

  1. Once the “Head Roomie” stood by the bathroom area (which was better lit) I recognized him; this shithead had I.M.ed me on Nerve a month ago. And being a freak (him more so than, me), I dissed him. Whoops.
  2. After making the previous discovery he showed me the room. It was okay, I guess. Then he pulled out a photo album and pointed to a picture of 20-something brunette chap.

See this guy?

I answered: yes.

He used to live in that space. Really nice guy, always laughing. We didn’t realize he had problems.

Me: Really, what kind of problems?

After not hearing from him a couple of days we went into his room and discovered that he had shot himself in the head hanged himself.

Me: I’m sorry to hear that.

What the hell do you say to something like that? How can one NOT notice a DEAD BODY for TWO WHOLE DAYS??? These are both very good questions. I kept them to myself.

I feel that people need to know about this, you know.

He said.

Let’s see: this was either the most diabolical form of revenge ever exacted (Where’s Candid Camera?) or this guy is being honest. Given the lack of overall intelligence he demonstrated on Nerve, I’m leaning towards the latter. I bet he is still trolling the Internets for leg too. My advice: no woman in her right mind is going to put out in a place that reeks of motor oil.

When I took the above the photo a meathead busy recycling beer bottles shouted:

Take a picture of the building across the street, it’s much nicer!

Leonard Street Fedders Special

And, inasmuch as I hate to say it, I agree. At least no one has blown his (or her) brains out here hanged him (or herself) there.

Yet.

With so many different factors at play, I am going to stick with simple suicide on this one and give this share a…

Meserole Street Suicide Den

At last! We are down to our last contender from the Universe’s very own Garden Spot: Greenpoint, Brooklyn U.S.A.!

CASE STUDY #3: STONER SPECIAL

Nassau Ave Bachelor Pad

Vital Statistics

Location: Nassau Avenue and Monitor Street
Rent: $600 a month
The Catch: It’s total fucking rip-off… and more!

I slog my ass over to this place. It stinks. Literally. Only a block away from Kingsland Avenue, the corner where this building is situated sports a perfume I like to call Petro le Um #5. Being the eager little domicile hunter I was (because I have a strong distaste about being homeless) I go in.

It is a loft. I do not like lofts. Inasmuch as the real estate industry likes to throw around the buzz phrase “artist loft” my experience has been that “artists” generally do not inhabit such spaces. I write this as an artist. 252 Norman Avenue was no exception.

I look around and note the “stoner special” layout of the living area: three really big, threadbare sofas encircling a very expensive widescreen television set. I am shown the room that is for rent: it is (maybe) eight by ten feet. It has no windows whatsoever. They are asking $600 a month for this piece of shit. In 2001.

I am then subjected to a gauntlet of questions by the residents of this place. I smile and answer them politely. Then I go home.

A weeks goes by and I get a phone call. It is one of the fellows from this apartment.

Me: So did I get the share?
Dude: No, but I thought you were cute and wondered if you’d like to go out on a date.

WTF!?!

When I told my buddy Larry about this recently, he opined:

You should have gone out with the guy and moved in with him. That way you will have a place to live and not have to pay rent.

Funny man, that Larry.

That said, there is something so utterly WRONG about using apartment share interviews to pick up chicks. It takes real chutzpah to call someone, tell her she did NOT get the share and then ask her on a date. Truth be told, it gave me the fucking creeps. So I give this jerk a…

Stoner Special

In case you are wondering, I ended up putting all my shit in storage and sofa surfing until I found a place of my own. I can honestly say that one month of sofa-surfing wasn’t that bad when faced with my alternatives.

Miss Heather

Mattress with Benefits

June 18, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Mattress

I encountered the above mattress yesterday evening on Greenpoint Avenue. Upon closer inspection I learned this item has some “added-value” you’re probably not going to get from the likes of 1-800-Mattress, Macy’s or even IKEA.

Mattress Detail

Tasty.

Miss Heather

How many hipsters does it take to turn off a smoke detector?

Hell if I know. All I’m saying is for the last two hours my husband and I have had the pleasure of hearing “BEEP, BEEP” at four minute intervals. OVER AND OVER. Why? Because our ‘nabes tossed their smoke detector behind their/our apartment.

Smoke Detector

Why didn’t they just remove the fucking battery!?! And to think these are the very folks who will be bankrolling my social security in my old age. I’m already staking out my spot under the BQE.

Miss Heather

UPDATE: it is 12:45 a.m., May 4th, and the alarm is still going strong.

SECOND UPDATE: 9:52 a.m., May 4th, STILL GOING.

THIRD UPDATE: 4:13 p.m., May 4th, STILL GOING.

FOURTH UPDATE: 8:35 p.m., May 4th, STILL GOING STRONG.

Miss Heather

Night Smelling Committee

Dept. of Heath(er)?

A weekly feature I have inaugurated of late (albeit irregularly to date) is featuring an odd, provocative and/or strangely relevant chunk ‘o’ Greenpoint history for all to savor.

To steal a phrase from my buddy Judy McGuire, Man, oh Manishevitz do I have a fun tale of “Oy vey” before the l’oi ill’splay to share today. Oil spill or otherwise, Newtown Creek stinks… even back in 1892, when the Mayor of Brooklyn came down to inspect the stench personally. The following article is from the August 27th, 1892 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. I have taken the liberty of condensing this VERY VERBOSE article and bold-facing my favorite passages. Enjoy!

SMELLS FOR THE MAYOR

Two Newton Creek Samples Were Quite Enough
His Honor’s Brief Trip Upon the
Slimy Stream With the Health Commissioner, the Corporation Counsel, Alderman Fitzgibbon and a Committee of Citizens— Relief Promised.

Mayor Boody had cold and rainy weather for his visit of inspection yesterday to the much complained of factories on the shores of Newton Creek. The citizens from the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Wards who accompanied him would have been much better pleased over a heavy and sultry day. The smells would then have been at their worst, so far as the daytime is concerned, for after all it is at night that the vileness of Newton Creek odors is most apparent and oppressive. As it was Mayor Boody in a very few minutes yesterday got quite enough of creek smells and was more than satisfied long before the committee of citizens was.

The mayor, accompanied by Health Commissioner Griffin and Corporation Counsel Jenks, was driven in a carriage to Chapman’s docks at the head of Grand Street. He was met there by the committees of eastern district citizens. The only other representative of the city govenment was Alderman Fitzgibbon, who accompanied the Seventeenth Ward delegation and whose home is within the district invaded by the noxious smells…

Alderman Fitzgibbon and other members of the party welcomed the mayor, health commissioner and the corporation counsel and escorted them to the steam propeller Mascot. It was raining smartly then and a stiff breeze was blowing, but the heavy, sickening odor from the neighboring fertilizing factories and from the filthy creek itself saluted Mayor Boody’s nostrils even before he left his carriage. Health Commissioner Griffin bore the smell like a veteran, but Corporation Counsel Jenkins looked unfeignedly sick from the start. The smell seemed a little worse than he had prepared himself to meet.

Through the slimy waters the boat coursed, while members of the committee sitting in the wheelhouse with the mayor told him they were sorry the tide was not low, for then the smell would be many times worse. Mayor Boody, intimated, with a laugh, that the situation as it was seemed sufficiently atrocious. A stop was made at Cord Meyer’s bone boiling establishment on Furman’s Island, only a hasty and superficial examination was made, but the smell was such that Mr. Jenks turned away in disgust and gasped for fresh air. The mayor tried hard to conscientiously sniff all the odors that were to be caught, but began toshow signs of not relishing the task. When the party re-embarked the boat steamed to Andrew Wissel & Co’s place, also on Furman’s Island. Wissel has the contract to remove offal from King’s County, and out of his unsavory stock he manufactures fertilizing preparations. Wissel’s son in law, a young man of pleasing manners and speech, tried hard to convince Mayor Boody that the atmosphere was not polluted, but the mayor’s nostrils were as wide open as his ears, and with a significant sniff and a still more more significant look he started off towards the boat.

A whole creek full of stench producing establishments remained, but Mayor Boody asked to be taken back to the Grand Street dock, where his carriage awaited him, “I have had enough of this,” he said. “I realize that you have a grievance and I want to live to help you.” “It is a crying shame.” said Corporation Counsel Jenks. The he stopped suddenly and listened without comment to members of the committee who explained that the odors which had sickened him were nightly pervading miles of Brooklyn thoroughfares and ruining the comfort and the health of thousands of people. The health commissioner had little to say, but both the mayor and corporation counsel freely promised to do what they could to abate the nuisance. “We will use all the power possible,” the mayor said in substance, “but it is your duty also to exert yourselves. A nuisance exists here and it is for you to prove it a nuisance. Everybody who suffers from this nuisance should be prepared to come downtown and testify against it. The trouble has been that when two or three citizens came down to testify that these smells were a nuisance the other side invariably presented a greater number of witnesses who were willing to swear that no nuisance existed.”

The mayor and his party were cheered by the delegations as they re-entered their carriage. Afterward some of the delegated sailed the length of Newton Creek and paid a brief visit to Rosenberg’s fat rendering and bone boiling establishment near Calvary Cemetary Bridge. At no time during the afternoon, however, was anything like a thorough examination of the alleged nuisances on the creek shore made.

In the evening an executive meeting Seventeenth Ward citizens was held at 101 Monitor Street. Henry T. Steinhaner presented a report of the mayor’s visit to the creek and also reported, with much detail, the result of several night trips which have recently been made by Seventeenth Ward citizens to Newton Creek factories. This report is not to be made public… the intention being to use it in the courts as evidence. Members of the night smelling committee say, however, that their experiences have been quite stirring at times, and that some day they will make interesting reading.

And they have! It is interesting (and a little depressing) to learn that even in 2007 nothing has really changed. Same shit, different century.

Miss Heather

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