Archives for category: Brooklyn


I like to wear my shortest shorty shorts while waiting for the bus on Graham Ave in the middle of the night. Did that dude squatting down to look at our butts follow us from the L?

Tuesday evening the police blocked off the Bushwick Ave to traffic, a firetruck sprayed water to wash Erica's blood off of the pavement, and a riderless bicycle lay against the curb looking deceptively unharmed.

On Tuesday Erica Abbott was returning home on her bike from a job interview. She only had a few blocks to go when she died. On a stretch of Bushwick Avenue where speeding cars love to run the light at Anslie, potholes converge to form the roadway, and a soulless construction company is in such a big rush to complete a luxury condo development that it blocks the street with debris continually, Erica was crushed to death at around 7pm. She was obeying traffic laws and wearing a helmet.

She was from my community. We brought our dogs to the same dog run. We lived within blocks. We biked the same streets. I have to bike the same portion of Bushwick Avenue where she died to make a legal turn onto my block whenever I return home.

Wednesday night I lit a candle in her honor. I attended a memorial for her in the Cooper Park dog run. I met her inconsolably grieving parents and had nothing to offer them but tears. They already had plenty of those. The man who attempted CPR on her was there holding her tiny bearded Brussels griffon, banjo. Banjo seemed to be the only dog at the park not frolicking. It was a good night to be a dog. As the dogs ran, and wrestled, and had epic tugging wars with knotted ropes the people awkwardly approached Erica’s parents with condolences or milled around in shock.

I learned that she was a dancer. And that many of her friends are my friends. I learned that I knew someone who had a crush on her and would be both elated and intimidated to talk to the pretty girl when he would see her walking her dog. I learned she had two sisters out on the west coast. I learned she was a Buddhist and that she babysat for 3 local children who loved her.

When I returned home from the memorial service the police were out in force on Bushwick Ave. They were hassling every cyclist that came by. They demanded to see ID. The pile of rubble that killed Erica was still blocking a portion of the roadway. The NYPD had missed the point yet again.

This pile of garbage was upright on Wednesday but hadn't been cleared from the roadway. Irene blew a portion of it over and it stayed there for days and killed a cyclist.

On Thursday the construction debris that killed Erica was finally moved out of the street. Now it blocks half of the sidewalk. Last Saturday during Irene it had blown over into the southbound lane and remained there for three days. The neighbors had called 311 about unsafe and illegal practices on the work site several times to no avail. As recently as Sunday a report to 311 was placed to report the site for flooding the basement of the house next door. Nothing was done. And now a woman is dead.

Hey, NYPD, if you wanna hassle someone please hassle these folks. Their negligence killed someone.

Must talk loudly on iphone while shopping for emergency grapefruits.

As the first drops of Irene fell Saturday morning everyone sprung into action. Hipsters throughout north Brooklyn, from Greenpoint to Bushwick, were up at the crack of ten to gather essentials. PBR, Red Bull, and American Spirits were flying off the shelves. Some people even bought produce that wasn’t organic.

After 11am the true scope of this storm was brought into sharp focus: Khim's was out of organic beets.

Can't believe they are closing down the subway. How am I gonna get to Ave. B to get my sleeve worked on?

Irene better not mess with my shiny new Vespa. Should I cover it or chain it down? Naw, Bro- It looks great.

My feelings are more important than yours.

Getting to work via the subway is never fun. On good days it is tolerable and you are thankful for that. I have begun a new subway commute and after just one week I have had it with the pole leaners. Chris Rock once elegantly stated, If you have a daughter it is your “only job in life is to keep her off the pole.” I believe this goes for subway poles as well. Nice job, Dad.

I'm leaning here! I'm leaning here!

Both photos on this post are form the SAME COMMUTE. Rush hour. What is with god’s special snowflakes that they believe the pole was put there just for them? Rub your butt against it and block and entire section of seats because you are that special. Come on, those nasty, pink-eye ridden poles are there so those of us unlucky enough to not get a seat don’t have to go flying across the car every time the train makes a turn or a lurching stop. They are not there for you to claim as your own little subway kingdom. Stay off the dang pole.

Move to the big city and talk like a dolt.

Everyday, I hear 20-something loud talkers blundering their way through the language. Are declarative sentences now uncouth and no one told me? I hear voice after voice trailing upwards at the end of every sentence as if every utterance is a question. Or they communicate in vague phrases that only echo the information that they are trying to express. I witnessed a prime example of this needlessly opaque communication style last night at a local burger joint.

Now there is little excuse for confusion at a place with five things on the menu: Three burgers and two types of fries is all this place offers. But when the couple at the table beside me was served dinner, all inarticulate hell broke loose.

“Our fry situation, is, like, totally, reversed?!” said the young woman in the 60’s style print cotton dress and platform wedge peep toe woven straw sandals. Her face was contorted in disgust as if piles of rodents had just been delivered to her table.

The waiter had little response except for a look of confusion like the one I flash at my cat after he has squealed out a meow that is eerily similar to an English word.

The boyfriend was just starring at the baskets of dinner. Not trusting them now that his date was so upset, but not comprehending the meaning of her outrage.

She tried again while pointing at herself then her date, “I, like, didn’t want the sweet potato fries? But, like, he totally did?”

A light went on behind the waiter’s eyes and he grabbed for the baskets.

The boyfriend finally displayed his liberal arts college reasoning skills, “Naw, could we just swap sandwiches?”

“Oh, yah,” she agreed. They exchanged beef burger for fish burger and had the fries of their liking.

I should stop paying attention to others and just enjoy the view of this grape vine.

Why was it so difficult for these two to figure this out? Why even involve the waiter and why address him with such babble? She would have had a better chance of being understood if she were speaking pig Latin and she wouldn’t have looked as childish doing it.

A few minutes later when this same waiter brought my companion and myself our baskets of burgers and fries, he was still on edge from his earlier encounter and had slipped into non sequiturs. “I don’t know about the fries and stuff?” he tentatively asserted while placing the food in the middle of the table. Incoherence must be catching.