HAPPY 2012 also hung around for quite a while.
can be spotted in this teeming backyard garden alongside figless fig trees (looks like it's gonna be another sorry year for figs), pole beans, and a zillion peaches.
I have a hard time believing that. Let me count the reasons why:
1) It's a big number on a sign stapled to a utility pole.
2) We're in Queens Village, a neighborhood of modest homes, about a 7-mile drive away from where the US Open is played in Flushing Meadows. There are enough fancier areas located closer to the tennis center to satisfy whatever minimal demand there may be among the super-rich for $10,000/day housing options that are not in Manhattan.
3) This sign was put up by, or is at least almost identical to signs previously put up by, a company called Major Event Rentalz. With a name like that, I'm automatically suspicious, unless they're cutting my hair.
4) Major Event Rentalz is one of a number of similar companies (including the purportedly unrelated Major Event Rentals) that promise you big bucks for renting out your home, but make you pay a hefty sum up front for listing your place. If that sounds shady to you, you probably won't be surprised to learn that the State of Indiana sued Major Event Rentalz and another company in 2012 for ripping people off in the lead-up to that year's Super Bowl in Indianapolis by charging them high fees and never finding them renters.
This sign on Whitehall Terrace is attempting to communicate to drivers that they can take an immediate right onto the ramps to the Grand Central Parkway, but are not allowed to cross the striped-out median area to turn right onto the Clearview Expressway ramp.
What's especially weird about this situation is that vehicles heading west on Whitehall Terrace, like the car above, encounter no indications, other than this cryptic sign, that they're approaching the Grand Central Parkway and are about to be forced onto it. Whitehall Terrace is just a little local street where drivers unfamiliar with the area might end up while looking for something nearby. Hoping to stay in the neighborhood, they'd turn right at the stop sign — the only direction you're allowed to go — and suddenly find themselves having to decide within about 70 feet whether to take the eastbound or westbound ramp to a parkway they never intended to be on in the first place.
This sign states that the fine for illegal dumping can range from $600 to $12,500. An older version of the sign, visible on the reverse side, dates from a time when the upper limit was a mere $1,500. I don't know when that was, but I did find an NY Times article that says the maximum fine was raised from $2,500 to $12,500 on January 1, 1985.
Now even the newer sign is out of date. The current range of fines for illegal dumping is $1,500 to $20,000.
A second hexagon, partially visible above, can be found on the other side of the tree.
If you look closely, you can spot four big pumpkin-like gourds and another that resembles a giant zucchini.
This one doesn't qualify for full barberz status because the z-in-lieu-of-an-s (Queens Hottest Cutz) is not part of the barbershop's name.