Choosing to live in Bushwick, Brooklyn if you are not a recent NYU graduate, an elderly DJ, or a long-term resident whose claim to the neighborhood dates back to well before the Jefferson L stop became the Times Square of Brooklyn and briefly rebranded as “Jefftown,” is fairly damning. It’s a lifestyle choice that should be hidden, like gluten intolerance or owning Funko Pops. Unfortunately, I do live there. So does one resident, whom we’ll call Jane, who confessed to the BK Reader last week not only that she pays rent in this zip code, but that she’d taken on a one-woman mission to eliminate the neighborhood’s poop problem:
Bushwick resident [Jane] is tired of stepping in dog poop… and she’s not alone. Over the past month, [Jane] says her block has had a dramatic increase in pet waste on the sidewalk. So she had made it her mission to get her neighborhood — especially the newer residents and dog owners — to clean up their streets.
I’ll admit there is a lot of crap in Bushwick. For a time last year, the giant mural of Donald Trump on Wyckoff Ave. faced off with a two-story, millennial pink billboard that read “Hand up if you masturbate.” There is, however, only a normal and tolerable amount of actual dog feces. I don’t think I’ve ever stepped in any. But dog poop is a natural side effect of living in a condensed neighborhood. The fact that one encounters only so much of it in Brooklyn, despite the concentration of pets, is in some ways a testament to the basic goodness of people or at least the shared aversion to stepping in some. But Jane has been at it nevertheless, aided by an industrial poop scooper and sidewalk chalk:
[Jane], who has two dogs, is motivating other dog owners on local Facebook groups and at the dog park to take responsibility for their dogs and help clean the poopy sidewalks. She’s also spreading her message on the sidewalk in colorful chalk. “Ever since I started writing in chalk on my block, we haven’t really seen any dog poop here, so I guess it works.”
This is what is going on with the chalk:
It seems, though I also lack any data to support this claim, that the area has far more anti-poop posters than actual poop. This morning in fact, I passed a sign taped to a tree, which explained in first person, that the tree felt pain when poop acidity seeped into its roots. Nearby, there’s a sign that says this:
It is sincerely lovely to take on a private project of neighborhood improvement. But drafting others in the task by plopping chalk art scolds on their stoop seems like a fast invitation to finding flaming shit on yours.