Urban Fur: The Iron Lady Is NOT—REPEAT NOT— In Hell…

thatcher2thumbnailshe’s alive and well (somewhere in Sunset Park)!

Unless you have been living under a rock, several very notable folks passed away last week: Jonathan Winters, Annette Funicello and of course Margaret “The Iron Lady” Thatcher.

It is not my purpose to embark upon the subject of politics. Methinks I have made my opinion of Ms. Thatcher quite clear in the title of the post. Rather, I endeavor to cover a much more important shit: bodega cats. More specifically the glowering one mug see at left.

You see, gentle readers, today I was on a mission of the utmost importance. I am pleased to announce it was successful too. But I am getting one ahead of myself.

A couple of days ago I arranged to go on a walk with a very nice fellow named Rob. He resides in Bay Ridge, I reside in Greenpoint. We agreed to meet somewhere in the middle. Given that this pretty much all of Brooklyn, there were many nifty neighborhood from which to choose. I picked Sunset Park. And at Sunset Park we met.

In the elapsing days before our meet-up I recalled something. There was a rather fetching, if dour, feline who presided over a bodega in this community. Her name was Margaret Thatcher. Yes, as in THAT/THE Margaret Thatcher. Thus I felt, in light of recent events, it was imperative to inquire as to her welfare. Once I arrived in Sunset Park I made Rob aware of our mission. What I recalled as to her place of enjoyment was as follows:

  • It is a Mexican grocery store located on 5th Avenue.
  • It is probably located across the street from Sunset Park.
  • It is presided over by a very affable Arabic gentleman.

On the surface this would seem to limit the pool considerably. Then again, this is New York City we’re talking about. Anything and everything can happen here— usually more than once.


After a few “misses” we encountered this establishment. I told Rob:

I think this is it.

We went in.

After grabbing some oregano to purchase (I didn’t want to “blow my cover”) I cased the place. There was nary a set whisker to be found. I finally turned to Rob and said:

Let’s see how crazy this guy will think I am.*

I approached the counter.

Excuse me, but don’t you have a cat?

Sam: Yes! She’s in the back!

Me: Would her name happen to be Margaret Thatcher?

No, no she’s gone. Someone took her. I have another cat now!

Someone kidcatnapped the Iron Lady?

I inquired.

After some discussion it was ascertained that this pussy was not purloined. Rather, she has retired. The Iron Lady presently calls a “very nice lady’s” home her own. As you can imagine this came as a tremendous relief to yours truly. It was then that Sam encouraged me to go in the back and met his new furry friend: Engine.

Yes, this is a rather odd name. However, we are talking about a fellow who named a cat Margaret Thatcher and when asked made it quite clear he hated her namesake. “Sam” operates on a level of logic not readily understandable to the average person. This (and the fact he let me poke around his store in search of pussy) is why he is awesome.


Without further ado, meet Engine.


She’s a rather, um, substantial lass.

She is much friendlier than her predecessor.


And she loves her some head rubbins’!

Yes folks: some people may be carrying around the cure for cancer or the means effecting world peace in their noggins. Given I still on occasion think it is 2012 I am probably not one of them. But I know my hardworking furry friends— and I am pleased to announce that (at least in Sam’s Grocery in Sunset Park) the cats are alright!

*I am crazy. The difference is I know it and have reached a level of acceptance with it. Hence why I have no trepidation going to Sunset Park, entering a bodega and asking the proprietor if he has a cat named Margaret Thatcher. So there!

And oh yeah: if anyone knows of a cat named Jonathan Winters hereabouts do speak up. I would very much like to make his acquaintance.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: After Dark

October 30, 2012 ·
Filed under: Brooklyn, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 

Neon lights & Wet pavements

School X-ING After Dark

Autumn in New York: Blackouts & Downed Trees

These lovely (if haunting) images were taken last night in Sunset Park by Ryan Rosa.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part II: Brothers

September 26, 2012 ·
Filed under: Brooklyn, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 


Taken by Steven R. Hazlett.

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Vidar

Vidar: Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Chris Arnade (who took the above photograph) writes:

Vidar, 89, left Norway on a whaling ship at the age of 15 just prior to the start of WWII. Unable to return because of the war he joined the Merchant Marines, working as a gunner on cargo ships plying the North Atlantic. Four times he survived being sunk; once he was adrift in a life boat for five days.

After the war he immigrated to the then predominately Norwegian neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn where he found jobs on fishing boats. A hurricane in ’56 led to another rescue at sea. “That was enough. I moved to working on tug boats.” He retired in 1983. He recently was awarded the St. Olaf’s medal by the King for his service to Norway during the war.

I met him in one of my favorite bars in NYC, the Soccer Tavern (Soccer tavern one and Soccer tavern two). He had his first drink there in ’43 while in the Merchant Marines, and still tries to make it a few times a week. The neighborhood now is almost all Chinese, and the regulars, a mixture of Irish and Chinese, like to talk about the bar as the only Chirish bar in New York. “Back then there used to be six bars on this block. Now this is the only one in the whole area.”

New York Shitty Day Starter: A Gift For Mom

May 8, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11232, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 

Hanging: Sunset Park Brooklyn

Chris Arnade (who took the above photograph in Sunset Park) writes:

Three guys hanging out. The stuffed pig is Raoul’s mothers gift for Mothers Day.

Nothing says love like a pig (I speak from personal experience when I write this). Happy Mother’s Day, New York Shitty!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part III: Ismail

April 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11232, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 

Barber of Barber's: Sunset Park Brooklyn

Taken by Chris Arnade.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part I: Sunset Park

April 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11232, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 

sunset park walk 9

Taken by entropymedia.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part II: Bodega

April 8, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11232, Brooklyn, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 

Bodega, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (Bessa-L)

Taken by ravikjolly.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part II: Brooklyn Army Terminal

February 23, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11232, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 

Brooklyn Army Terminal

Taken by Justin Mair.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: Shoes

January 11, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11232, Sunset Park, Sunset Park Brooklyn 


Taken by Single Linds Reflex.

Miss Heather

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    PuppyMakinaNYC After Christmas GarbageYellow Sequin LeafLaundry DayB & D Florist - Atlantic AvenueFulton Street and Christopher "Notorious B.I.G" Wallace WayFiremen
  • Ads