New York Shitty Manhole Watch: Paidge Avenue

November 17, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This specimen (as stumbled upon by yours truly this morning) shows just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

No Manhole Left Behind: Reader Contribution du Jour

A Frost Street resident writes:

Right outside my front goddamn door

No Manhole* Left Behind: Reader Contribution du Jour

A chap we’ll call “A” writes of this specimen:

Noble btwn Franklin and West, not sure if you got this one already. another one down the block filled with water but my photo didn’t come out!

I will certainly follow-up on this tip, A. Thanks!

*It has been brought to my attention by a member of our own Community Board (who I will kindly refrain from naming— but will note that he has begun to notice a fair amount of such “activity” in his neighborhood) that these are “access covers”, not manhole covers” and calling them “manholes” is sexist unless I made a certain clarification/annotation. I assured him that while I suspected these items had a different moniker, I rather enjoyed calling them manholes. And this is because I am sexist. He found this confession quite amusing. Nonetheless, I rectified this situation today— and yours truly experienced a fit artistic inspiration as a result!

366 Jackson Street

What is missing from this picture?

ASIDE: After annotating the above “hole” a man nearby asked what I was doing. I told him I was documenting lost access covers, as I have noticed quite a few have gone MIA in north Brooklyn lately. Believe it or not, he thought this was a good idea. Go figure.

148 Jackson Street

287 Graham Avenue

I has been my observation that, upon being divested of their covers, these spaces tend to be pressed into service as trash receptacles. Why not put a happy spin on this phenomenon, I say!

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.


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!








News You Can Use: The Man Hole Report

November 3, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As many of you have undoubtedly noticed, I have been quite intrigued about the disappearance of public property hereabouts lately. This is not mere idle curiosity either; when walking down the sidewalk I’d like to have some semblance of assurance that there is, in fact, something upon which to walk. I am not alone in harboring this sentiment. Jay (who forwarded me the photo to the left) writes (in an email charming entitled “another hole”):

Here’s another case of a missing metal plate on mcguinness near driggs. I’m sending another photo of a missing plaque in Father Studzinski Sq at the same intersection.

And sure enough, he did. But still, I could not get this image off my mind.

Exactly how many such covers have been commandeered so as to be “repurposed” by our local scrap metal establishments?

I asked to myself. Well, gentle readers, yesterday morning I found out! I walked from one end of McGuinness Boulevard to the other in search of plundered holes. And find them I did!

Upon heading out on my mission I bumped into my friend Chris at The G Spot. He too had noticed that these sidewalk/street covers have been disappearing at an alarming rate. So much so, he could not recall what they looked like anymore. I vowed to find out and, fortuitously enough, at the beginning of my survey (and at a location I will not disclose) I found one!

As you can see it reads “WSNY”. This means “Water State of New York”. In other words, it is state property. Or soon to be was. Now on with the show!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Ash and Box Street

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Clay and Box Street

Some kind of canister has been used to close the hole. Resourceful!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Dupont and Clay Street

Here a more customized solution has been found. As it would happen, I had the pleasure of meeting the chap responsible for this. He told me this is the second time he has had this plate stolen, he has called 311 to no avail (“they don’t care”) and he asserted quite stridently that he knew the man responsible for both thefts. He is allegedly a resident of the 3/4 house on Clay Street. Good times!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Dupont and Eagle Street

Here we encounter our first (but hardly last) novel use of a traffic cone. Note how it has been pressed into service as a trash receptacle. Genius!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Eagle and Freeman Street

Another block, another hole. Beginning to discern a pattern here?

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Huron and India Street

Someone has been very busy!

McGuinness Boulevard, east side, between India and Java Street

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Kent Street and Greenpoint Avenue

And then as I crossed Greenpoint Avenue the thievery stopped. I have a theory about this which I would like to posit here. Aside from proximity to the Greenpoint “Hotel” and 3/4 house, I observed that north of Greenpoint Avenue these plates were invariably to be found adjacent to fire hydrants. On the south side of Greenpoint Avenue this is not the case. Thus, I would posit that the reason the plates are intact “down south” is because they are not as easy to locate.

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, at Bayard Street

For the most part.

So how many missing covers did I find along our community’s solution to the Champs-Élysées, gentle readers? The grand total (including Jay’s find) comes out to ten. It should be noted that I later found three ones MIA in Williamsburg. In closing I will leave you with an interesting, if unrelated, discovery from my investigation (as spotted at Nassau Avenue).

It would appear that someone is a Jack Daniels fan.



From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: A Dispatch From Engert Avenue

E writes (in regards to this post):

Miss Heather,

I have no idea if this is coincidence or not but last night around 4am we had a break in at our building 76 Engert Ave, a group of young Hispanic teens buzzed their way into our building and took over our lobby (no doorman or anything) and ran down to our storage units and stole a bike and large box of containing personal items to one of the tenants here. I recovered the box but the bike is gone. Called the cops, they came and I went with them to indentify the kids since I only saw their backs as they were running and they were teenage Hispanic kids, the cop kept asking them what they were doing all the way over here and I heard one of them say they were at a party…..

If there is a lesson to be learned here it is: if you live in a building such as this do NOT blindly buzz people in.Have your guests call when they arrive and then buzz them in— or better yet: meet them in the lobby and let them in personally. While this may seen like an inconvenience, the fact is it will help prevent opportunistic crimes such this. What’s more, this is not just about property. It is about protecting the personal safety of your friends and neighbors. Be a good neighbor: keep a watchful eye on who gains access to your building.

Miss Heather

Southside Smash & Grab: Reward Offered

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Criminal Activity, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 


I found a great many of these fliers on Havemeyer Street this afternoon. Am I the only person who has noticed that smash and grabs seem to be becoming more and more common? If there is a lesson to be learned from this flier it is this: store your valuables outside of eye shot of would-be thieves. Keep them in your trunk— or better yet— secure them in your apartment.

In any case, it goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) that if you know anything about the whereabouts of this person’s purloined belongings please contact him or her at the above telephone number. Better yet, contact the 90th Precinct. Thanks!

Miss Heather

11222 Theft Alert!

September 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


Although I prefer to refrain from blogging at the junk shop (the above image of the company computer’s keyboard should explain why) this just came to my attention and I wanted to pass it along ASAP. Apparently a gentleman’s car (which was parked West and Huron Street) was broken into (the lock was picked) this morning. Among the items stolen were (men’s) hockey gear: skates and a pair of mitts. These were contained in a blue plastic bag.

If anyone, dear readers, attempts to sell you anything fitting this description (presumably on the street or at one of our local parks) please bear in mind they may very well stolen property.


Miss Heather

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