Streetside Call Boxes Functional Again, and “Captain Cleanup” Caught in the Act

We have word from a reader that Verizon has installed new fiber optic communications cable, and that consequently the streetside fire and police call boxes at various locations around Brooklyn Heights (The one in the photo, an obvious recipient of the loving attention of “Captain Cleanup,” a “BHB Ten” honoree for 2013, is located on Remsen Street near the Montague Terrace intersection) are once again functional.

On the subject of “Captain Cleanup”: Some weeks ago, I was on one of my almost daily strolls when I noticed a couple of workers repainting the drinking fountain (or “bubbler” for you Red Sox and Pats fans, or you Packers and Brewers fans) near the Promenade’s north end. The next time I walked by, the fountain was a shiny solid black.

IMG_0466_1A few days later, I saw a man, evidently “Captain Cleanup” himself, painstakingly applying detailing to the previously all black fountain.

IMG_0512_1Here’s the finished job. Nicely done, in my opinion.

Share this Story:

, , , , , ,

  • AnnofOrange

    This activity is one of the great things happening in our neighborhood. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

  • miriamcb

    I love it when I run into him. I’ve seen him a couple times this spring out on the Promenade and Remsen. He also told us that he was planning on working on the Twin Towers tree case up by Squibb Park. I LOVE seeing all his work about town :) Another hearty THANK YOU!

  • AEB

    His graffiti paint-overs on sidewalk mail receptacles–well, he’s doing god’s work!

  • Willow Street Watch

    He may be a totally good guy, but what he is doing is license, I don’t think he’s asked anyone their views. He’s using public property as his canvas.
    Which is inherently disturbing. But if its generally OK with a genuine majority of the community, not just artsy types, and its retrained, then at that point it would be supportable…..

  • GHB

    It’s city property, and in the case of mailboxes, government property.

  • Andrew Porter

    Alas, the city has stepped in and repainted the fountains solid black.

  • Captain Cleanup

    Well, I appreciate the kind words from most of the readers of the blog. I would like to say that I do not attempt to take too much artistic license with the repair projects I undertake. Fireboxes are painted traditional red, the mail boxes blue (that shade is the only one that rustoleum paint comes in), the relay mailboxes green, and so on. I add some trim to the objects just to make our historic area a bit more visually appealing and interesting. For instance, I added draped cloth effect on the Statue of Liberty clothing on the Statue of Liberty tree guard at the top of Squib Hill. I see tourist now taking pictures of the miniature elegant Lady Liberty all the time – where as previously they simply walked by not even noticing the old rusted Lady. The 9/11 Twin Towers on the tree guard at the same location were painted shiny silver, which was as close to the color of the towers themselves that I could think of. The above article indicates that two men painted the decrepit water fountain at the Squib Hill end of the Promenade. This is incorrect. I repainted the water fountain black unassisted and then had to return another day to finish the trim work after the black paint had dried. This water fountain was nothing short of disgusting. I also made a point of cleaning the filthy brass drinking bowl. That took a good bit of scrubbing with metal polish. Next to the fountain, I also painted the totally cool Parks Department manhole cover which displays the department’s wonderful maple leaf logo. I understand that there will be many people who do not appreciate my color choices or believe that my work is illegal or irresponsible. I know that what I do is not for everyone. With that in mind I always attempt to keep things to their original basic color so as not to offend people. Regarding the legality of my activities, legal statutes state that any actions regarding these objects must be an act of “defacing” them in order to be a transgression of the law. I hardly consider anything I do as an act of defacing. I would argue to readers here, and any legal authorities or judge, that I am attempting to and am actually restoring these objects to their original condition and color (excepting the minor trim work applied). In my efforts I am actually repairing a defacing that has occured previously at the hand of grafitti artists and other such vandals.

    Captain Cleanup

  • ClaudeScales

    Sorry; I must have had a memory lapse. I thought I remembered two men working on painting the fountain black. At my age…

  • Captain Cleanup

    You are correct were two men there for a time. One of them was a log time friend of mine who I had not seen in quite a while. He was unaware of my painting activities and stopped to chat with me for at least an hour while I worked on the fountain. This was no doubt the “second” person you are referring to. As much as I would have enjoyed his help, or help from anyone, he was unprepared for the task, not expecting that his early evening walk would lead to anything of that sort. As a most interesting twist, my friend worked for many years at one of the world’s largest paint companies.

  • gatornyc

    Please keep up your great work. Our community is much the better for it.