Monday, September 21, 2009

*Everyday Chatter

Locals fight Soho Hollister store with stink bombs. [NYP]

Brownstone Brooklyn embraces "the chain that is distinctly, even aggressively, local." [NYT]

Visiting the flophouse above JG Melon's. [NYT]

9/22: A panel discussion of Storefront with Jim and Karla Murray. [Clic]

A journalist digs in to the Post's plundering of the blogosphere. [SJ]

A snapshot of life in the Oro Condos in Downtown Brooklyn--a couple ignoring each other, a mother on her cell phone, a baby gazing blankly behind her, into the emptiness of the floor-to-ceiling window. As a portrait of domestic alienation, it's a modern Edward Hopper:

Why is NYC filled with the beautiful people? [TGW]

The Mary Help of Christians "Spay and Neuter" Your Pet mural has been whitewashed. [EVG]

Another good vintage sign vanishes from the LES. [BB]

One other detail from the minutes: "There has been a large increase in residential burglaries...75% of incidents occurred thru open windows/unlocked windows and doors." Who is leaving their windows open and doors unlocked in the city?


Anonymous said...

"Who is leaving their windows open and doors unlocked in the city?"

I live in one of those typical EV tenements that lost many of its original tenants over the past few years after the building was bought by a predatory-equity firm.

I have yet to see one of the new tenants install a second (top) lock on their apartment doors. As many of us old-timers know, the lock/key provided by the landlord is hardly enough to ensure safety (not to mention, one tenant's landlord-provided key often works in the locks of other tenants' doors).

When I look out my windows, I notice open windows of other tenants that are accessible by fire escape. Sometimes the windows are left wide open without even a screen. Although these are interior-facing apartments (not accessible from the street), it is still conceivable that someone could access the escapes from the roof, or from a back interior door of one of the bars that the building houses on the ground floor.

I also notice little things like people leaving their apartment doors ajar. Once, I came home and noticed that a neighbor down the hall had left her keys in the lock (on the exterior of her door), I assumed by mistake. I knocked on her door to tell her and she answered, talking on her cell, saying "oh, I know -- I was going to get them in a minute -- thanks!" I was truly baffled that anyone would think that leaving keys in the door for even a minute was a good idea.

Our building's front door is often propped open all day. One might think it's the super's doing, but usually he's nowhere to be found when the door is propped open, so I shut it. The building's front-door lock is also insecure (just a simple turn-key and very easy to break). It hasn't been broken for awhile, but for some time there it was broken more often than not. But few people seem bothered by it.

Sorry for the novel, but I am alarmed whenever I encounter situations like this. Seinfeld and Friends were just TV shows -- leaving one's door open for anyone to enter is simply insane. We have no doormen. Anyone can wander in off the street (wonder how these kids will react if we see a return to homeless guys sometimes sleeping by the trash chutes on super-cold winter night?!). I hope no one gets robbed, but I can't say if they did it would totally surprise me, either.

Ken Mac said...

perfect reading of the orocondos ad. Dead souls intent on self worship.

Barbara L. Hanson said...

I even lock my door when I go to the basement to take down trash. Are these people nuts?
And when someone has propped the front door open--usually a mother taking her kid around the block in a stroll--I close it. Hard.

Anonymous said...

That ORO condo ad pisses me off.
It's a perfect example of the lack of communication people have these days.

Jeremiah Moss said...

if i walk out of my apt, realize i forgot something and run back in, i lock my door.

Anonymous said...

I have take a street survey, just randomly going up to people and saying "Hi, where are you from" and MOST responses: CALIFORNIA.

So the East Village is highly populated by people from California. I believe California is very suburban, with private houses. Many people probably don't worry about street crime. So they assume because Times Square looks like Disney Land, and just about everywhere in Manhattan has their favorite California Franchises (Whole Foods Market, Pink berry, etc) They assume the neighborhood to be very safe.

When they are robbed, they are in total shock and amazement. What a surprise. Who cares. Let their stuff get stolen.

Melanie said...

I have never left my windows or doors unlocked--never lived in a place where I could--probably never will.

~evilsugar25 said...

yeah, the door-locking thing is definitely a dyed-in-the-wool-new yorker mindset. i, too, lock if i'm going to throw away the garbage, lock as soon as i come in, never prop open doors (and close ones that do).

i notice friends that have moved here from other locations are not so mindful (until the get robbed) and also say "oh, back home we *never* lock our doors even when we go out."

i can hardly get my head wrapped around that, but i've visited ex-ny friends in colorado and see them *not* lock the door! and it HAS a lock on it! i think if i ever moved away, no matter how long i will have been gone, there is no way i would ever not lock.

i mean, why not? what's the downside? what if there is one burglar in the whole state (perhaps visiting from nyc) and he tries your door, would you not kick yourself if you had a lock on your door and chose not to lock it? my guess is these are the same non-streetwise folks that walk around at "4am, drunk, texting withe headphones on" as another thread has latched onto.