Driving across the 59th Street Bridge and traffic slowed to a crawl. As we inched forward i saw that emergency vehicles had the bridge down to one lane. Eventually i saw about a dozen ESU trucks and SUV’s. Then I saw a large crowd of ESU officers wearing safety harnesses attached to the bridge. Finally as I pulled even I turned and looked into the dead eyes of a man hanging onto a cable with one hand, leaning out over the edge and threatening to jump.
Fuck me. Hope he reconsiders.
For many years a series of derelict piers sat at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge just below Brooklyn Heights. While Brooklyn Heights was some of the more desirable real estate in the city, the piers were a Godforsaken place. Yes, they had million dollar views. Anyone who has worked on the waterfront can tell you, however, that winters are brutal, summers are stagnant and the weather is a constant threat. Bordered by warehouses on one end, cut off from the neighborhood by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and sitting in a flood plain there’s a good reason these piers sat untouched for decades.
New York real estate will not be denied, however. With property values escalating ridiculously everywhere else even this piece of land would be built on eventually; it was inevitable. And so it came to pass. A plan was developed to turn the large warehouse on one end into luxury housing. Some other parcels would be developed as well. Profits from these residences would finance a park on the piers; it would be open to all and provide amenities to the community.
The converted warehouse quickly sold, and the value of the apartments there rapidly appreciated. They gained so much value that the park had a surplus of revenue. So much so that the other properties being developed could afford to include some middle-income housing. Not public housing, no poor people involved. We are talking about housing for families with income from 50-80,000 dollars a year.
The homeowners in the converted warehouse and adjoining neighborhoods are up in arms. This isn’t what they signed up for! No lower middle class people were part of the bargain. How dare they include people who are less than wealthy. They will overrun the park and crowd the schools. Probably drink inferior wine too.
I am so sick of the people in this city. Hurricane Sandy didn’t go far enough.
The Pope Of Greenwich Village has always been one of my favorite films. Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts turn in fantastic performances. Daryl hannah has never been more beautiful, and Burt Young. Burt fucking Young. It’s also particularly resonant to me because it’s set in Greenwich Village in 1984. I moved to the East Village in 1986 but spent plenty of time in the Village proper. That was a world that I lived in.
At the time I had a buddy named George who lived on Mulberry Street. He aspired to a life of criminality and I wasn’t opposed to some shady dealings either. We used to drink at The Spring Lounge, which is featured in the film, and pick up what odd jobs we could. Ironically enough for two wannabe hoodlums on Mulberry Street we wound up working for a Jewish gangster. That’s a different story though. Stories, really.
Now that I’m older and a solid citizen living in the suburbs I enjoy the film immensely. It brings back some great memories. Noticing that it was on last night I stayed up well past my bedtime to watch it and I noticed something for the first time that bothered me no end. Mickey’s character, Paulie, refers to the safecracker as being “stunatz”. That’s wrong; it’s not a word. You refer to someone who is a little dense as “stunad”. If you have empty pockets you say you have “ungotz”. Knowing Mickey a little bit I’m sure he did his research and hung out in the neighborhood, and I’m sure he heard the words and accidentally conflated them. It’s a little thing but it drove me nuts and I’m going to hate hearing him say it every time I watch the movie.
Whenever I’m purchasing something on a website I get to that point where there’s a pulldown menu where you have to select your state. Every time this happens I think that New York should be first on the list. The rest can remain alphabetized but NYC is the biggest city in the country and the most important, why should we have to scroll down to find ourselves? I realize how supremely douchey that is but I can’t help think it every single time.
Oh yeah, I bought the traditional brown topsiders. Almost pulled the trigger on the ombre but realized at the last minute that they are cloth, not dyed leather.