Greenpoint, October, 2015

Friday, January 27, 2017


Continuing our tour of Staten Island garages... When I drove by this beheamouth on narrow little Swan Street in Tompkinsville, I didn't know what is or was. A faded sign beside one bay door reads "Department of Sanitation/Encumbrance Depot/No Trespassing." There were some lights on inside but no sign of activity.
A little digging in the Advance archives reveals that it was created in the early 1900s by the Bureau of Street Cleaning (forerunner to the DOS) as Stable A to house the bureau's workhorses. The DOS currently uses the building to store some equipment, including front-end loaders. How much more fun would it be if it could be reclaimed (or retrofitted) as a stable? We could close Van Duzer Street to traffic on weekends for horse rides and parades.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rough Seas

Time to check in with my favorite bodyshop on Staten Island, based on name alone, The Ferry Collision on Victory Boulevard (from a 62 bus). The little Mayflower at the top is somehow reassuring.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hack Job

Wayne Barrett, the Village Voice reporter and columnist died on Thursday at age 71. The Times obituary sent me to my bookshelf for Barrett and Jack Newfield's City for Sale, the seminal and completely engrossing story of New York City politics and corruption in the 70s and 80s. To my horror, it wasn't there! Must have loaned to it to somebody... (Watch your back.)

Would have been a great way to spend Inauguration Day, reading about Ed Koch, Donald Manes, Meade Esposito, Mario Biaggi, Bess Myserson, the whole gang...  A world of back-room deals, conspiracy, OTBs, Ford LTDs, botched suicides, parking ticket scams...

In his review in The Nation, James Ledbetter quotes Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Meade Esposito: "Today's reformer is tomorrow's hack." Trump Bonus: We don't have to wait to find out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


You might think this is another shuttered Staten Island garage. But no, the seemingly nameless but colorful micro-garage on Van Duzer near Broad Street is in fact very active. Just not when I drove by on Sunday. A Google Map search identifies it as L&M Exclusive Auto. I'll say.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Foreign Auto Service

A faded sign on the side of the building reads Foreign Auto Service, but no clues to the name of this tiny gated one-bay gem on Cebra Avenue, just off Victory Boulevard, in Tompkinsville.
Much brighter neighbor across the street. And just across Victory, check out New Asha for the best, friendliest, cheapest Sri Lankan food on the Island.