Spotted On McGuinness Boulevard: Hay

November 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

hay

LOTS OF HAY.

Greenstreets

mcguinness

I have no idea what this is about. Is this an attempt at an eco-friendly crash barrier or a feeding station for Roy and Trigger? I suppose only it’s creator knows for certain. I saw we toss in a few pumpkins and a scarecrow or two. McGuinness Boulevard could use some holiday cheer!

Miss Heather

P.S.: While I’m on the subject of parks and open space does anyone know what is going on at Sgt. Dougherty Playground?

planters

planters2

If I had to hazard a guess I’d say these are planters.

sgtdopark

Given this park’s rather lackluster location (READ: a trucker bomb’s toss from the BQE and the Kosciuszko Bridge) I suppose this is a positive development. Then again, taking into account that the only time I have seen a person at this playground it was a gentlemen named Jemal composing music on a saxophone (because he didn’t want to bother anyone) it makes me wonder how meaningful this addition will be. If a rose grows in Sgt. Dougherty Playground and no is around to smell it is it any less fragrant?

People In Our Neighborhood: 128 Beadel Street Speaks!

July 16, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

On July 8, 2009 a missive entitled “128 Beadel Street” from a gentleman named Waldemar found its way to my inbox. He wrote:

Hey it’s Waldemar @ 128. Pass by and check out my Weeping Wall both day and nite and feel free to snap a few shots. For nite shots it’s best after 8PM.

Well, I have yet to make it over to see the Weeping Wall after dark— but I did swing one afternoon earlier this week. What’s more, I met the man behind the Weeping Wall himself: Waldemar!

hand

Not only was he gracious to talk to me for the better part of an hour, but he took me on a guided tour of his home! He is easily as fascinating — if not more so— than the fabulous oasis he has created. Follow are some highlights from our meeting.

HOW HE CAME TO ACQUIRE 128 BEADEL STREET

HOUSE

Using Chinese Astrology (and zero credit) Waldemar landed this house in 1991 (year of the sheep). Twelve years later (2003, once again year of the sheep) he acquired the property next door: 130 Beadel Street (which he has since turned around and sold—but not before giving the front door his personal touch).

130beadelstreet

Waldemar explained to me that the year of the sheep is a particularly auspicious year to purchase property. He is also resolute in his belief that this is how he avoided the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Who am I to argue? Whatever system he has created appears to be working!

He went on to explain he did not want this house to be acquired by people who reside at 132 Beadel, whom he referred to as his “enemies”. He did not go into any details as to why there is acrimony between him and these folks and I did not ask. Although I suspect his aesthetic sense probably has something to do with it.

DragonsNYS

For example, he told me that a number of his neighbors took issue with the dragons gracing his front door. They felt these bad boys— not Beadel Street’s remote location, being positioned on top of the infamous “oil spill” or possibly being located atop the Meeker Avenue plume— were discouraging prospective buyers from purchasing a house on this block. Then he continued his discourse on Chinese Astrology:

Mike Bloomberg is a horse. Horses like to take things away from one person and give them to another. They think this makes them look generous. While the city suffers he is getting richer and richer.

I can’t honestly argue with that. Then I made the mistake of telling Waldemar my Chinese zodiac sign: year of the dog.

Dogs and Horses are friends.*

He said. To wit I replied:

Michael Bloomberg is not my friend. What’s more, I do not think anyone earning under $200,000 a year is his friend.

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT WALDEMAR

  • He is fifty years old and retired.
  • He is single.
  • He is very food-conscious. Not only is he a vegan, but he refrains from eating tomatoes or citrus (which he believes to be poisonous). He will only eat his own home-cooking.
  • He makes his own lychee-infused vodka, which he assures me is quite delicious.
  • He is an animal lover.

It all started with a litter mate of this lovely lass:

CalicoNYS

Her brother was diagnosed with leukemia so Waldemar took him in. He has since passed but Waldemar now counts a parakeet (he rescued from horrific conditions) and a thirty pound cat named “Vandervoort” as roommates. On top of that he has made a number of other feline friends.

FeralNYS

Like this feral fella who likes to lounge on his stoop.

Urban LeopardNYS

And this urban tigress who belongs to his next door neighbor (who is not his enemy). He has made special beds for his kitty callers and sometimes places them out for them to enjoy.

INSIDE CASA DE WALDEMAR

Art ObjectsNYS

It is a living extension its owner: filled with fascinating objects from a life lived to the fullest. Take these cylindrical “core sample” looking thingamajigs. He explained to me that when he worked at World Trade Center and they needed to install telephone lines they had to bore a hole through the floor to run the cables through. These are the byproducts of this practice. He likes to use them as paperweights. He sent the one in the middle to his mother in Puerto Rico. She didn’t much fancy it so she sent it back. It just goes to show beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And on that note I will close with a slide show showcasing the numerous items of interest I saw at Waldemar’s chateau. A domicile— I will add— that is actually two apartments which he alone inhabits.

If I don’t need tenants, I don’t want ’em.

Who can argue with that?

Enjoy!

As we parted ways Waldemar confided in me that he rarely goes out anymore.

Maybe once or twice a week…

he said and then he pointed back at his front door

…I have a whole world in there.

Not only is this true, I can personally attest it is a very wonderful one at that!

Miss Heather

*Clarification per Waldemar:

…regarding my statement about the do and horse being friends, it only means that for example the year of the Horse is good for you and what people born under that sign do, benefits you by bringing the best out of you. So in your case, the worst Mayor Bloomberg does the more material that will come your way. (Man is he ever right there— Ed. Note) By the way 2010 the year of the tiger is your other good year, And I predict much success for you and your site.

Video Credit: Waldemar

New York Shitty Day Ender: Behind The Blue Door

July 14, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

bluedoor

peekaboo

From Norman Avenue.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Speaking of doors…

128beadelfrontdoor

This one should be familiar to a number of you, dear readers. It graces 128 Beadel Street which is easily my favorite house in Greenpoint— and possibly all of New York City. Well, the owner of this house has reached out to me and today I met him face-to-face. Not only is he a very nice guy, but he gave me the full tour! Stay tuned, you will not be disappointed!

New York Shitty Day Starter: “Shotgun”

June 20, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Shotgun1

Ordinarily this would qualify as a “person in my neighborhood” but “Shotgun” (as seen in the above photo at right) was so extraordinary I felt he deserved a post of his own. Here it is.

Yesterday and friend and I went for a walk. Just to mix things up I decided we would go to the “hinterlands” of the Garden Spot— in other words: east of Kingsland Avenue, due south to the on ramp to the Kosciuszko Bridge and beyond.

It was at the intersection of Vandervoort Avenue and Cherry Street— an area which can best be described as the “armpit” of Greenpoint— that we encountered a truck selling watermelons, potatoes, fruits, nuts and vegetables. And a very unexpected ray of sunshine.

Shotgun2

Or would that be “Shotgun”  Having interfaced with a number of gun nuts in my life— mostly from the south— I asked the proprietor what gives.

shotgun3

After striking a pose (actually two) he told me:

That’s my nickname! Are you a visitor?

Me: Yes, I’m a visitor… from THAT (pointing north) end of Greenpoint.

SHOTGUN: Greenpoint? That’s (pointing north) over there!

Me: But I am over here! I like to be a tourist in my own neighborhood…

(Laughter)

Me: I hope you have some earplugs or aspirin, Shotgun. How can you deal with all this noise?

SHOTGUN:

Hell, I’m 70 years old. I can take it!

(Even more laughter)

Anyone who can spend 8+ hours next to the:

  • loudest
  • filthiest and
  • overall depressing

part of the Garden Spot and still have a sense humor, much less display a joie de vivre rarely seen by anyone nowadays, gets my infinite respect, admiration, and yes— affection.

I really like you, Shotgun. You rock!

Miss Heather

*Lest I have offended anyone by calling this area such, it was not intended. I use this term with tongue firmly placed in cheek.

Fun With Rock Photography in New York City

April 13, 2009 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

(Or: Don’t F**K With The DOS’s Boulder)

dosrock

It could be argued that the only thing I like more than getting a good mind fuck is administering one. You know what they say: it is much better to give than to receive. Today I arose to a beautiful day and after catching myself staring wistfully out my living room window one too many times I decided to table the blog and go for a walk. A long walk. On days such as this I long to get a little taste of spring time— albeit not in the manner many of my fellow New Yorkers do. When they head to the park or take a nice stroll along the waterfront I pay a visit to the hinterlands of north Brooklyn Industrialville. To bastardize my buddy Brando Robert Duvall* from Apocalypse Now:

I love the smell of PCBs in the morning.

Which brings me to the not-so-small rock gracing the beginning of this post and the subject of mind fucks. I found this item on Gardiner Avenue just north of Varick Street. For those of you who are not in the know this rock is located on a rather sizable plot of land owned by the Department of Sanitation. This facility is patrolled by a security guard who I had the pleasure of meeting. He was your average Joe with a job to do; in this case, preventing people (ostensibly terrorists) from photographing their installation. Our conversation started as follows:

You can’t photograph that.

He said. To wit I replied:

I’m not going to argue with you, but could you tell me why this rock is painted green?

“That rock belongs to the Department of Sanitation” he said “and they do not want anyone taking photographs of their facility”.

Understood.

I said. “Believe you me the last place I want to hang out at on a pretty day like this is a waste transfer facility on Whale Creek. I simply like to photograph oddities. Take that truck down the street, for example…

bettybooptruck

…I’ve found Betty Boop on more things than you can possibly imagine. Just a couple weeks ago a found a refrigerator covered in Betty Boop stickers. I took a photograph of that too. As for that rock, well, I suppose it makes sense that the Department of Sanitation would paint it green. As you said, it is their rock and they can do with it whatever they wish. There are a lot of big rocks in this area. Many of them are painted and I have taken photographs of a number of them. There’s one at the intersection George Street and Evergreen Avenue someone has clad in plaid.

plaidrock

I really like that one.”

sandgravel

There’s also a rather nice boulder at the corner of Vandervoort Avenue and Division Place. It advertises sand and gravel for sale. A pretty witty selling tool if you ask me.

therock

Then of course there’s the rock at Morgan Avenue and Rock Street.

bigassrockgone

That one has since been removed. Why I don’t know. Some people thought it was ugly but I rather liked it.

And then you have Arbitration Rock. Haven’t seen that one yet but I plan to!

It was at this point my new friend smiled. I suspect his years of experience informed him that a daft 30-something broad clad in pink pants, pink shoes, pink shirt, pink jacket and pink hair held at bay with an aqua blue bandanna (I lost my pink one a month ago) babbling about North Brooklyn’s boulders did not constitute a security breach. At least not one worth contacting the authorities about. Long story made short he relented and let me take a photograph of the Department of Sanitation’s rock.

Whoever you are security dude I will be eternally grateful to your generosity for allowing me to add this big boy to my collection. Thanks!

Miss Heather

*See comments.

Bi-Borough Photos Du Jour: People In My Neighborhood

yellowchick

Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

juniorandson

Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

tuesday-afternoon-on-vandervoortnys

Vandervoort Avenue, Greenpoint

jemal

Anthony Street, Greenpoint


hellokitty

expressionofyou

mordred

manwithicecream

Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

103amonth

Crosstown Local, Queens

skateboarder

5th Street, Long Island City

kidswithsinatra

44th Drive, Long Island City.

Miss Heather


Greenwick Photos Du Jour: The Word On The Street

March 18, 2009 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

kyle

Lorimer Street

haveagreatday

Norman Avenue

visa

Jewel Street

now

Meeker Avenue

yorsnys

Vandervoort Avenue

iloveyoupowersst

Powers Street

i-heart-money

Grand Street

bornrulermeadownys

Meserole Street

yo

ourheartslie

White Street

exceptusnys

no-war

Cook Street

Miss Heather

Williamspoint Photos Du Jour: Cash Money

March 16, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

greed-is-good

Roebling Street.

truckonmickeygs

McGuinness Boulevard.

bitches

Bedford Avenue.

buymorestuff

Ainslie Street.

capitalism

Keap Street.

cashmoney

Vandervoort Avenue.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Little League

January 15, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

littleleaguenys

From Vandervoort Avenue.

Miss Heather

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