A Very Sad State Of Affairs

I don’t always get everything I order online. This saddens me deeply because shopping online is my favorite way to acquire things (I don’t have to deal with people). The very big downside to shopping online is SHIPPING. In my case shipping is fraught with fears of non delivery and larcenous neighbors. If a package is delivered by USPS the gamble is on: will I get it? Will I even get a notice of delivery slip? It’s never smooth with USPS. Only one time in the almost 7 years I’ve lived at this address was a package delivered by USPS to my door that I actually received. The other time the package was put on the truck and delivered to my address it was stolen— by a neighbor or the driver, it was never decided.

Woes Continue
I hardly ever get a notice of attempted delivery, often I have to write the number down by hand and drag my butt to the Post Office on Myrtle which keeps very mysterious hours. The mysteriousness of the hours at this location is only matched by the elusiveness of the workers.

It Gets Worse!
I have no problem getting bills or official mail. I have no luck getting personal mail. It makes me very angry because when it comes to mail it should not be a matter of luck and yet it is, on this route. Our mail is divided into 2 boxes, one for the upstairs and one for everyone else which means everyone has to paw through everyone else’s mail to find their mail. So while I am pawing I often see my neighbor’s hand addressed envelopes which can only mean that I am the one with bad luck because I rarely receive mail that has been hand addressed.
Recently our carrier said she was not going to ring the buzzer anymore so the landlord installed a key keeper so that she could unlock the key keeper, take out the key, open the door, deliver the mail and then replace the key and flounce off. Last Friday a neighbor had a party and early the next morning I saw the key on the ground. Someone had busted into the key keeper and the card was either thrown on the ground or fell there. I guess now our mail will be stopped again until the key keeper is fixed. Another month without mail! And I am breathlessly awaiting my Damages Season 2 DVDS from Netflix. Oh Drat.

A Local Business Fares No Better
I had a chat with the lovely Karen of Karen’s Body Beautiful about how she cannot ship internationally anymore because packages sent with USPS get stuck at customs forever or get lost (or stolen). Too bad because USPS is the only carrier that ships internationally at reasonable rates. We had another subject to discuss: people claiming they never got all the items they ordered. She said the first few times she got these kinds of complaints she would just faithfully send out another item. The no questions asked partial order replacement policy at Karen’s must have caught on because a lot of people began to claim they never got all their items, either. Karen said this prompted her to film every order from shelf to box and keep an archive of the videos. This smart step covers her if a customer claims they did not get this or that from their last order. We did not discuss what actions she takes if a customer claims they never got the package at all…

Other Carriers
About 98% of the time I have no problem getting parcels & packages delivered by other carriers, especially UPS and never with Fedex. That was until 12:45 pm on February 24th, 2010 when a package containing my February 22 order of a Waring Pro Stainless Steel Roaster Oven, weighing a hefty 30 lbs, was delivered and possibly left by the front door by a UPS driver. I’m not sure if Front Door means it was left inside or outside (our neighborhood is not nearly safe enough for packages to be left outside). The only other theory is that it was left inside the front door and one of my neighbors took it.

I have to hand it to Rue La La. They promptly responded to my email and said they would put out a tracer on my oven. Until then it’s toaster oven cooking for us, same as usual.

Back to Normal?
I am beginning to wonder if shopping online is a good idea for me anymore. It isn’t as though I live in a remote village where online shopping is probably the only way people who live in remote villages can get good stuff… I’m in Brooklyn! I can get anything I want. I just have to go out and deal with people. Oh well, they’re not all bad.


Just had a chat with the UPS driver who delivers to this area. He was dropping off a package for my neighbor Christina which he left halfway up the stairs.He stated he left my package in the exact same spot.
“Didn’t you get it?”
“No, I did not, somebody took it!” He looked shocked.
“Your own neighbors?”
“My own neighbors.”
We both shook our heads.
He gave me the tracer notice to sign. I picked up Christina’s package and put it outside her door – we share a common hallway that has a securely locking door. Can’t trust nobody. Rue La La told me they were just going to refund the money to me. I am glad not to be out the 63 dollars and change and I am glad Rue La La is so reasonable (I wouldn’t be this reasonable) but I still feel ripped off. Not by Rue La La but by one of my neighbors. My own neighbors? I don’t want to believe that someone who lives in this building stole my package. But that seems to be what happened. So to my sticky fingered neighbor: you’re a poop. I hope the 1st thing you cook with my oven gives you the runs for a week.

The Is No Place To Order Good Chinese Food From In Fort Greene

wah-wah-wahI don’t care that at a quick glance Fort Greene appears well stocked with Asian Eateries. Yes, there are about 200,000 Thai restaurants on Myrtle (OK, 3). And about 340,000 Chinese restaurants (more like 20) with a few spatterings of Indian occurrences but Thai is Thai and Indian is Indian (not sure why I mentioned it now that I think of it–desperation?) and those Chinese restaurants are not Good Chinese restaurants.

Have you ever eaten in any of the many “Dog Food” Chinese establishments on Myrtle, Dekalb or Park? If you are not sure, here is how to spot a “Dog Food” Chinese restaurant: your order is thrust at you through a bullet proof partition and it is always garbage. Their main focus seems to be deep frying chicken and french fries (the fries are crinkle cut and chicken wings are immensely battered and both have been frozen for about 26 years).

Plus, there are faded pictures of food on the walls. I always know the food is going to suck if there are pictures of it on the walls.

The one acceptable Chinese restaurant on Myrtle does not deliver and is 16 blocks from my house. I don’t want to make the 32 block hike for food, even for Sichuan. As the deprived and lazy grow in numbers if we band together we might be able to get a City ordinance to Force Kum Kao to deliver. Or better yet, entice and entreat several proper Chinese food chefs to move in and open shop.

We Can Do It!

Best Place to Eat Late at Night and Eavesdrop


Dumont Burger
314 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-6128

It’s not because you’re nosy and it isn’t your fault you’re so hungry. You were at a show and then they had to go back to Williamsburg to return the band’s equipment. Nobody had had anything to eat and the door had let in more than 15 people (6 bucks a head) so the band had made money! Burgers for everybody! Except me. I’d already had my dinner at Sea. Volcanic Chicken. A disappointment. A huge portion but very bland. Keep your flaming gravy boats, I wish I had waited for the burger and fries. But if I had I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (at Sea), one and a half gin and tonics (at Lit Lounge) and a final Cava (at Dumont). Yes, people. You must eat before drinking.

Dumont is always packed. There are no booths and the seating inside is communal which is why it is a great place to eavesdrop. All 5 of us managed to wedge ourselves into the center table the approximate width of a railroad tie. Next to me were a couple of folks chowing down and discussing some issues. At one point I heard in their conversation

“… Jamaica… doing blow…smoking everything…”

I was too polite to keep on listening but it certainly sounded like an interesting story.

Dumont has great fries. Crispy and salty.

Fresh Fanatic, A Definite Plus

I’ve always said the one bad thing about living in this area was the lack of grocery stores.

Fresh Fanatic To The Rescue

  • They provide butcher service, sell Murray’s Chicken, stock fancy cheese
    and offer fresh baked bread.
  • Their prices seem reasonable.
  • The manager said we can make requests.
  • They are only 10 blocks from our house. I can walk there and haul the Grannie cart home,
    no sweat.
  • The B61 stops a few steps from their main entrance.
  • They are open until 9pm.
  • Fresh Fanatic is far enough from the school on Park & N Oxford that they will not be overrun
    with kiddies buying 25 cent packs of chips.
  • No 40’s, blunts or 25 cent packs of chips!