Sunday, December 2, 2007

The reclusive neighbor

Like nearly everyone in one corner of Ozone Park, Queens, Mary Ann Simulinas can tell you stories about the elusive inhabitant of the silvery blue house that sits opposite a cemetery on the corner of 107th Avenue and 84th Street.

Tangled Up in Blue

“She’s a tough old bird,” said Ms. Simulinas, a lifelong local resident whose home is a few doors away. “There was another woman in the house — that’s years and years ago — but I haven’t seen her since the late ’70s or early ’80s.”

Ms. Simulinas, 47, is by no means the only person with a tale to tell about the elderly inhabitant of the two-story frame house, which has changed colors over the years, starting out as bright blue and passing through a rainbow of shades — silver, red, orange, gold — before ending up in its current silvery incarnation.


NY Zeitgeist said...

My brother lives down the block on Sutter. He heard about the "blue dog" story but also heard that the woman's husband was killed in a hit and run many, many years ago and the house color was some sort of monument to that.

When I was growing up in Woodhaven, we had a neighbor that we called the "Yellow Man". Everything he wore, his tricycle and eventually his whole house was yellow. My pops used to talk to the guy, who was really nice, and the guy said that it was his wife's favorte color. His wife had died and it gave him something to do.

These are the characters that one used to be able to find in the old working class Queens. Once the borough completely prices out the middle class I suppose that the only characters will be those who dress up their Hummers parked on the sidewalks.

Carol said...

This is so true - and it saddens me too. We are losing the characters - the various plant ladies, the Tony the Hats, and the "Old Man whoevers".

Jake the String comes to mind - ask him how he's doing - he'll give you the same sob story each time - like you pulled a string or something.

-Joe said...

I remember "Yellow Man" we used to bicycle 5AM from Ridgewood over the hill and down Cross Bay down to cast fish at "The Cricket"

There was another guy "T Bird" with the CB radios and antennas on his bike.

Another guy called "The Shamrock" He'd walk around the neighborhood in his hat with a green feather whistling.

The best was this German who would go friggan nuts when the neighborhood Puerto Ricen Armondo's rooster and chickens would go over the fence into his yard.
The German would swing open his celler door and come out cursing with a machete and cut there heads off.

My grandfater "The Chief" and Uncle Joe would make Grappa in the yard every year till the still blew up once and set all the clothes on 3 floors of cloths on fire.
(This was on Seneca Ave)

....the cops and FD told him no more of this or they would send him back to Italy. He would just make wine after that.


georgetheatheist said...

And don't forget the guy Louie who waves with American flags to the drivers below on all the Queens overpasses.

RoanokeFound said...

Just a handful of blocks away from this woman, off Liberty Ave. and 104th (or 105 - it's been a while) lies the Battleship.

Not only is the entire house steel plated, with a front door off of the USS Intrepid - the steel railing out front has the tips painted red (a warning?).

Oh - did I mention the radar, barbwire, and cameras?

This guy knows if you are coming or going, and is usually watching you as you do so.

Apparently he is some sort of handyman (one with a trike) whose son was killed *somehow*, and since then he has been slowly enclosing himself in the house.

Kinda miss slipping by his house and seeing if the blast shutters are open or closed.

Momo said...

I remember this house very well; we used to walk past it all the time on the way to the laundromat on Liberty or the pizza place near Crossbay. We passed that cemetery many times and I noted that some of the graves are over 100 years old and there are little babies and children buried there, very sad:( Vandals keep attacking that poor cemetery. This blue house/silver house lady creeped me out. I have seen the house blue, red and silver. On a few occasions it was half and half. She has some stuff stuck on the fence outside but I never got close enough to inspect what they are. I heard she was a teacher, but I never knew her name or anything. I haven't lived in Ozone Park since 1999, and I used to live off 101st ave on 84th street across from the school. I can't believe the Times did a story on her! How cool:)