Duane reade bedford avenue brooklyn ny

Replacing Wheel Well/ Undercarriage Liner

2023.05.30 18:33 bestlaidschemes_ Replacing Wheel Well/ Undercarriage Liner

Hi There!
Kind of a two part question set here but happy to hear comments on either part.
A couple of years ago, our 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid hit a cave in (thanks Queens NY road crew) and cracked the front rim. Rim fixed - no problems. However, we must have done some damage to the wheel liner, because I discovered the liner at the rear of the front tire wheel well bend down and dragging and now ripped off. The panel seems to run back under the rear passenger seat, so I'm guessing the whole panel will have to be replaced.
Part 1 Question: Does this need to be replaced immediately, and what is the name of the panel?
Part 2 Question: Should we have heard about this from one of the several mechanics that did the regular 6-month maintenance checks?
The car was leased initially, and so these were under the Hyundai lease mechanic schedule; maybe inspection wasn't required. In general, Hyundai mechanic service has not been good - taking recalled plastic panel and not replacing it, ordering the wrong spare tire, failing to change filters, endless poor attitude from people in the office - so maybe I'm expecting too much. But it would be nice to know if this level of detail should be expected as we're now off lease and will need a better shop in the Brooklyn area.
Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to read or respond.
submitted by bestlaidschemes_ to AskMechanics [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 16:58 mococonut Tips on Visiting a Gospel Church for an Agnostic

Hi, my mother is visiting and she wants to go hear gospel music. Funnily enough, we are not religious (my mother is highly spiritual) but she likes the music and wants to hear it live. I saw that some churches used to have tourists come in pre-pandemic but I'm having trouble finding up to date information.
I'm considering the Brooklyn Tabernacle or Madison Avenue Baptist Church based on what I read. But I have a few questions:
  1. Is gospel only sang on Sundays, or does it depend on each church?
  2. Do we stay for the whole service, and how long does that typically take?
  3. How much should we tip (if given the option)?
Edit: Decided to do a gospel brunch per a recommendation in the comments. Thanks all for your perspective!
submitted by mococonut to AskNYC [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 09:56 prodperedD Social Media: The Obvious And Important

Social Media: The Obvious And Important submitted by prodperedD to u/prodperedD [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:36 pvtherman May 30, 2023, Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY, United States Tour Thread [Setlist, Media, Discussion]

I hope everyone enjoyed the Brooklyn Steel show because we're back onto Paramore's 'This is Why Tour' over at the famous, Madison Square Garden. So tonight is the first night of a double header gig here at Madison Square Garden. Understandably so, Paramore is probably going to need two gigs to play for a city as huge as NYC. Just like London which also had two Paramore gigs as well. But makes sense given how huge these major cities. But yeah, NYC are you excited for the first of you double header night with Paramore, Bloc Party and Genesis Owusu! It will be a great one for sure. Like the previous arena gigs, there are early bird GA wristbands that can get you access to MSG's floor for tonight's gig (although I'm not sure how many this time around, usually it has been ~500). Anyways NYC have fun tonight at the MSG and if you're going to tonight's gig, let us afterwards. Enjoy Paramore, Bloc Party and Genesis Owusu! (I'll commit déjà vu tmr)
[Times - are a rough ETA (symbol ~ means "around that time"/rough ETA)]
submitted by pvtherman to BlocParty [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:10 1Soh I love saving $$ at the grocery store!! I also love the circulars, snd usually buy what’s on sale, but not all the time! It sucks that I have to go back out, should’ve brought the shopping cart this time, but I forgot the apples, snd I need more kale! But I did get to Walgreens for the milk. ☺️

I love saving $$ at the grocery store!! I also love the circulars, snd usually buy what’s on sale, but not all the time! It sucks that I have to go back out, should’ve brought the shopping cart this time, but I forgot the apples, snd I need more kale! But I did get to Walgreens for the milk. ☺️ submitted by 1Soh to ghostposter [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 16:56 bimbo_wannabe_ [I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 6: On The Organizational Habits of Unrested Spirits and The Taste of Demon's Blood, Part 1.

[I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 6: On The Organizational Habits of Unrested Spirits and The Taste of Demon's Blood, Part 1.
Previous Part: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/13trg6g/i_accidentally_joined_the_mafia_in_south_brooklyn/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button
Becca invited me to her apartment when we made it back, sent me through the alley behind the building to keep the prying eyes at the minimum. That was fine with me as I was a lot more noticeable than I liked to be, at the moment. I had already lit a cigarette by the time she opened the back door of the stairwell to let me in. It was the last in the pack, and I'd only opened it this morning. The temperature on my phone screen had finally hit zero.
"You're gonna have to give me a second, B, I don't wanna smoke around you in your condition but I really need one."
She gave me another watery grin.
"Little too much blood in the nicotine system, huh?"
"Exactly, my young friend, exactly that."
She propped the door open and sat herself down on the ground. I could tell the high heels were starting to hurt her because she kicked them off and set them neatly to the side, though I knew the concrete had to be freezing her feet off. She tucked her skirt between her legs and sat with her back against the wall, her elbow propped on her bent knee, the other leg stretched out straight before her. It was exactly how what was left of Antoni had been sitting beside me less than two hours ago.
I was getting a little tired of all the patterns appearing in my life these days.
I flipped to my news app, as was my habit. There was an article at the top of page about the preparations the SDNY were making to get ready for the coming storm, but frankly I didn't really give a fuck so I just kept scrolling.
"Your old neighborhood is in the news, B."
"You ain't had enough bad news?" Beccs asked with a rueful laugh.
"Eh, I like to stay abreast of current events. I mean, you got me pegged, B. I'm a nosy fuck. But, uh, fifteen years on the inside, you learn that it pays to pay attention to the shit other people don't notice, cause you never know when the information you pick up is going to end up being the information you need."
She gave me a look that said she had to yield to my point.
"So what's the news from Koreatown?".
"Somebody shot a wedding up, apparently. Says seven were killed, including the bride and groom and the bride's father, as they was leaving the reception. You know, most of these names are Rhees. Ain't nobody you know, is it? Kinda feel like you've had enough death for the day, kid."
There was another look on her face, one I couldn't quite read even with all my people-watching prowess.
"Lemme take a wild stab at it. Two of those names are Rhee Seong-Min and Rhee Bong-Cha."
"Yeah," I nodded. "You do know 'em. I'm sorry, B."
She gave a low, almost rumbling, chuckle. It gave me a little shiver, not from the cold, and not one of enjoyment, either. She flashed a sign, one I'd seen her flash before, but it wasn't from any gang I knew personally, and lacking any official affiliation of my own, I'd dealt with my fair share of different gang members in the Upstate Correctional Facility. Double E's, one backwards, one forwards, three quick shakes of each hand.
"God bless old K-town. But you ain't got to worry about it. I'll not shed a tear over any of them. They's family, but they ain't exactly family, you know. I might tell you about it one day."
The last sentence had a note of finality to it, so I didn't ask any further questions in that regard, but I was still as curious as always.
"If all your family has Korean names, how the hell did you end up as Rebecca and your Dad as Sam?"
"My Dad's name is Park Kyung-Sam. Just Sam was easier to tell people and he, uh, he wanted me to have the same benefit of blending in in American society, and he liked the name Rebecca. So, Rhee Rebecca Hyo-Jin. My Mom's name was Rhee Chung-Cha, but everybody just called her ChaCha, like from Grease."
"So your Mom was the Rhee?"
She made an affirmative noise and nodded.
"She didn't exactly wanna give up her family name, and… my Dad didn't exactly give a fuck cause he was in love with her crazy ass. You know, that's where I get this from. Except my Moms, if she was still around she'd make me look like I grew up to be a calm, quiet girl."
I'd hate to see what was worse than Beccs.
"You done?" Becca asked. I nodded, tossed my cigarette into the sand-filled bucket we kept here for just that purpose. I followed B inside and we climbed the stairs to the third floor. I leaned against the wall as she pulled a ring of keys from her coat pocket and waited while she unlocked the knob and the three deadbolts on her door.
"Pretty serious about your home security, B?"
She shot me a look but didn't say anything as she opened the door. A steady beeping greeted us, and Becca stopped just inside and punched in a code on a security panel. As I stepped around her and entered the apartment, I understood why.
Do you know that part in Coming To America where Akeem comes home to his dilapidated Queens apartment and realizes Semmi has filled it with expensive furniture? Well, it was exactly like that. Becca locked the door back behind her, threw her stilettos onto the shoe rack, and hung her coat on the brass tree beside it. I did the same, removed my boots to place them on the rack as well.
"Jesus Christ, B, this place looks amazing."
There was a gray suede sectional in the center of the living room, a 152 inch Panasonic plasma bolted to the wall. The coffee table, the wool Oriental rug beneath it, and the end tables looked antique, as well as the green velvet chaise set near one window. There were three ornately-carved bookcases set against the far wall between the two windows facing the street, one filled with DVDs, and on the other two almost all the books were old and leather bound. The kitchen was open to the room, separated by a butcher block bar from the living room, all matching stainless steel appliances and black marble countertops. All along the walls were family pictures dotted between massive paintings held in golden Baroque style frames.
They were… stunning was the only word I could think to describe them. Most of them were portraits done in a slightly impressionist style, impasto if my memory served me, seemingly random strokes of thick paint that somehow managed to form the perfect images of faces and a few nudes.
"Jesus Christ, these paintings must have cost a fortune alone."
Becca stepped beside me, her arms crossed over her chest as she surveyed the painting I was looking at. It was done in mostly black and red, the image of a sleeping nude man, one arm tucked behind his head, his other draped across his stomach, his hips and legs covered with a sheet. If I touched it, I could have felt the wrinkles in the bunched fabric. There was something oddly familiar about it.
"They didn't cost shit," she answered.
That made me look away from the painting and back to Beccs.
"What the hell? Did you rob a gallery?"
"No, you mook, I painted them. They didn't cost anything but the price of the canvas and the paint, which, you know, I stole most of that from school."
"You painted them," I repeated, looking back.
As I looked closer at the canvas, I realized why it was familiar. The sleeping man was our dear friend Antoni Zabrowska. I had mistaken his tattoos for shadows, though I had to admit I had never seen him look quite so relaxed. As I glanced around the room, I realized I recognized many of the paintings. I was able to pick out her father's face, Rossi's, and I realized the model for the two female nudes was none other than Nia Bianchi. There was one of a woman in white with bloody skeletal wings that bore a strong resemblance to Becca and I imagined that was the infamous ChaCha.
"That's what I go to Columbia for. Visual Arts."
"You're a goddamn genius, B."
She scoffed.
"No, I'm fucking serious, kid. My sister collects art, and she refuses to go for the big names. Shit like this, she pays 10 to 20 grand for a painting half this size, more if it's one of the artists she likes."
Now she snorted.
"What? Your sister got a money tree?"
"No, my older sister Aurie's a writer. She wrote her first book when she was ten. She's published 20 so far, but she's got 30 or 40 more in backlog that she's still tweaking. She's kind of a perfectionist when it comes to writing, but I guess it pays off. Her books sell like fucking hotcakes everytime she puts one out, two of her series got picked up by Netflix, and Lion's Gate turned her seventh book into a movie. She even got to be involved in the productions.
"She's got a penthouse on the Upper East Side that she bought about six years ago. That's where I lived when I got out of the Upstate. Aurora, she's a fucking Saint, you know. I mean, I had a shitty PO that was up my ass every five minutes but Aurie never said a word about it. She just… always told me she was glad I was home, which, you know, was nice to hear considering that according to my grandparents I died 19 years ago. She was the one that helped me get this place down here, paid in full for a two year lease."
Becca raised an eyebrow at me.
"No offense, Tony, I can tell you're crazy about her, but she couldn't have picked a better place for you than this hell hole?"
I laughed as softly as I could, to save the muscles in my stomach.
"I picked this place myself, B. Cheapest apartment I could find in any of the boroughs, and it even had three bedrooms. I was thinking about having space for a library and a home gym."
Becca snorted.
"Yeah, it's cheap cause the fucking place is about 90 years old. Nobody's been able to get a hold of the slumlord who owns it for repairs in 8 months, but I bet you the motherfucker still collects the rent checks we deposit in his fucking bank account every month."
"Yeah, I figured that out just about as soon as I moved in, but beggars can't be choosers. Besides, Antoni always used to help me out whenever something broke."
Becca gave a small smile.
"They did that for everybody. I used to call them the apartment elves, cause instead of making shoes they were skittering around fixing fucking toilets and sinks, and rewiring burned up outlets and bringing in new refrigerators and stoves when shit broke in everybody else's places. And they bought it all with their own money. Everybody tried to pay them, but they never took a dime for any of it. Ironically enough, Pops used to talk about Antoni all the time because of all the money he'd spend over there every week. Said he had a good heart, just no good sense when it came to what was his responsibility and wasn't. You know, I had my own opinions about Antoni's heart, but I kept them to myself."
"I really wish I had paid more attention when Antoni was working on the boiler, though. Instead of just passing him tools and running my mouth."
"Yeah, you're good at that," she replied with a smirk.
"And fuck you, too, Miss Rebecca. You might be the strong type, but you're not exactly silent yourself."
She laughed.
"Make yourself comfortable. I'll be right back."
I nodded and obeyed as she exited into what I saw was the bathroom as she opened the door and closed it behind her.
The sectional was goddamned heaven, and she'd said make myself comfortable so I kicked out the recliner and leaned back. I closed my eyes for a moment and sighed, and when I opened them I nearly jumped out of my skin. I barely managed to stop myself from letting out a yell as I jerked back up to sitting.
Antoni's corpse was standing by the picture wall, looking intently at a photo of a child Becca wearing a ruffled, cream colored dress with a ribbon in her long black hair. It was the picture of her first Communion.
"Goddamn, you can't give somebody a warning before you do that?"
He neither answered me nor turned to look at me because he was using the stumps of his wrists to adjust several of the frames back straight again.
"Fucking neat freak," I laughed. "She wasn't lying."
He finally turned toward me.
You ever seen a corpse try to look annoyed when he's missing about a quarter of his face? I mean, what am I saying, you probably haven't, but suffice to say, it's pretty fucking funny. He raised his left wrist, and if he had hands, he'dve been shooting the bird.
Almost hysterical laughter burst out of me as Becca exited the bathroom.
"Least the pipes ain't frozen yet," she muttered.
She gave me a strange look.
"Who are you talking to out here? And what's so funny?"
I glanced back to Antoni, but he was gone again.
"Don't mind me, B, I'm pretty sure I got a concussion. I'm pretty much seeing pink elephants at this point." Or, you know, the mutilated corpse of my best friend, but it's probably best I leave it at elephants.
"Yeah," she answered, and crossed the room to hand me something. "Speaking of."
It was a mouth guard.
"What is this for?"
She didn't answer me, but headed to the kitchen and opened a cabinet, withdrawing a cut crystal scotch glass and then opening the refrigerator and withdrawing… two bags of blood. Nia's blood, to be exact. She unscrewed the cap at the bottom of one, punctured the seal with a fresh insulin needle, and to my supreme discomfort squeezed some into the glass. The mouth guard suddenly made sense. It was so I wouldn't break my teeth or bite my tongue off when the convulsions started and my jaw locked down from consuming demon blood.
"Oh no, B, I don't want that."
"Yeah. That's why I didn't tell you why I wanted you over here, cause I knew you was gonna be a pussy about it."
I tried one more last-ditch effort.
"You need that more than me, B."
"I can just take my next dose early, but you, you can't go down and see Ma looking like that. She's gonna ask too many questions."
That one stopped me.
"I've had enough of interrogations for one day, B."
"There ain't no interrogation when it comes to Ma. She just puts it in your head that you ain't got no choice but to tell her the truth, and you do. She's made state witnesses get up on the stand and confess their own crimes, pleading the fifth be damned."
She screwed the cap back onto the bag and carried them and the glass over to the coffee table and set them down. She walked over and opened a closet door, pulling out an IV pole with a little box attached to it, and grabbed a small cardboard box from off a shelf and what looked like a tackle box. She set it on the coffee table after she pulled the pole over to the sectional and plugged it into the wall, opened the cardboard box and removed a cassette from inside and inserted it into the box on the pole.
"What's that?"
"It's a blood warmer for rapid transfusions, so I don't go into hypothermia or hemolysis. Little bastard cost 137 thousand, but at least you can buy them online. You put a fresh cassette in every time, the blood runs through it, by the time it gets to my arm it's body temp."
She opened the tackle box and removed two fresh lines, attaching one to the bottom of the warmer and one to the top, hanging the bags of blood but not connecting the first of them yet. The top had a drip chamber with a filter, and the bottom held the flow regulator and the hypodermic needle with the cannula inside.
"You know, it's not fucking fair, B, you shouldn't have dealt with half the shit in your life that you have."
She snorted and her lips pursed with anger as she sat down beside me.
"You sound like Rossi with that shit. That's why he wouldn't let me die, said it wasn't fair. I was ready to go into hospice, fuck it, I was ready to see my Mom again. But I'll tell you the same thing I told his stupid old ass. Life ain't fair. Cause if it was I'd have my mother and my baby's father and Jimmy's ass would be the one laying in the morgue. You think it's fair you almost lost a finger because of what he ordered?"
I laughed.
"No, I actually think that's pretty fair. That's karma, B. I was usually the one doing the beating. How do you think I ended up in prison?"
She looked hard at me for a moment.
"I mean, you never told me. You were pretty open about having gone to prison, but you never said why."
"Well, I learned to be open about it. Some people get real upset when they find out they're dealing with someone who's been through the system, so I didn't really wanna go through that again. So now I just tell people up front, let them decide for themselves if they wanna deal with me or not. That way they can't throw it back in my face, say I lied to them."
Becca let out a bitter chuckle.
"So what's your story?"
"Well, we still ain't finished your story, yet, but we'll take a detour. The whole thing started my Senior year of high school. First game of the year, I blew my knee out, big as a bitch, tore everything there was to tear, shit was basically hanging on by the skin alone. Orthopedics said I had two choices, keep playing football or, retain the ability to walk on that leg, so… there went all my big dreams of college ball and making it onto the Giants."
I nodded. "Middle linebacker. I was good at it. 6'7, 265 pounds but light on my feet, all muscle. Back then I was running 7 percent body fat, and wasn't even trying. Shit just… all came natural to me. It all blew up in my face. Shitloads of surgery and physical therapy, and then one day the pain pills stopped but the pain didn't. Everyday, every night, I was still hurting."
She nodded.
"I know about bone pain. I could always tell when I needed to up the dose when my bones started hurting. When I started out all it took was an insulin needle. Now I take so much, I'm not even sure I qualify as human. But I guess I won't be much longer. That's always been the plan. Just keep me alive till 30 and Ma's gonna make me like her. That's the preferred age for the Entrance, something to do with the Trinity."
I nodded.
"I started asking around school if anyone knew where to get some Percs but pain management keeps that shit so tight I could only get a few at a time. Not only was they expensive, it wasn't enough. I got hooked up with this kid named Alessandro, he told me if I really wanted to control the pain, he could get me something better and cheaper. He took me to meet his uncle, Colombian guy named Marco. First shot is free and it was… it was beautiful. Everybody always gets sick the first time, but I didn't. And then after that, all my free money from my after school job started going to horse, and uh, I got my last six months off school. I already had all the credits I needed from AP classes, started working full time. They didn't piss test. But, my tolerance was rising faster than my income was."
I took a deep breath.
"I'd been buying enough that Marco was offering me fronts but I never took it. So next time I went, I asked him for my usual and I asked how much it would be for two O's on the front, cause I knew a lot of other users and I was thinking of starting to sell myself. So, he told me he'd give me a pound, and we could settle up at the end of the month."
"Jesus Christ, if you were selling a pound a month you must have been making bank."
I shook my head.
"I wasn't in it for the money. I was in it to keep myself supplied. If I kept my prices right, I could use for free, and I had enough left over to pay my portion of the rent and help pay for the groceries. I got good at it, I'd take a shot, and nod out for a few minutes, then get up and start walking the streets."
Becca snorted.
"You wasn't standing on a street corner?"
"Fuck no. Too visible. I did all my business by phone. I had a burner and gave everyone the number, and when they needed some they'd give me a call and I'd meet them or they'd meet me. I had ethics. I used to have people offering me fucking blowjobs for a bag, but I always said no, shit felt wrong. All they had to do was pay me by the end of the month but, sometimes…"
She gave a grin.
"But sometimes, 'Bitch, where's my money?'"
"Yeah, sometimes people would try to skip out, so I had to apply a little pressure to persuade them to pay. I never killed nobody, it's hard as hell to get money out of a dead man. But, black a few eyes and break a few bones and suddenly they had money they didn't before. Being my size, there wasn't many of them that could fight back. But, I fucked up the wrong lowlife.
"There was this prick, he'd been dodging me for weeks. He owed me like two grand, I'd given him that much because I knew he had money, so when I finally caught up to him, I was pretty mad and, the bitch, he told me he wasn't going to pay me. Thought he was better than me, thought he could fuck me and get away with it. So I beat the mortal hell out of him, took his wallet. He had five grand in there but I figured, 3K surcharge for wasting my time."
I shook my head.
"But I should have done some better research on who I was going after. Turned out the little prick had a socialite for a mother and his Daddy was a hedge fund manager and… I'd hurt him pretty bad. First three months, not only was I dealing with DTs, I was waiting to see if they were going to add Murder to my charges. He was in a coma for that long, and when he woke up, he had to learn to walk again, how to feed himself. I beat him so bad I gave him brain damage."
"Goddamn, Tony."
"Apparently his parents knew their son's habits and knew exactly who I was, cause they went straight to the police, and two days later SWAT showed up, turned the house upside down. I smashed my phone into pieces, flushed it so they couldn't get my contacts, but I didn't think about the fact I still had the wallet with his driver's license in it. My grandparents disowned me, right then and there. I had just reupped so they caught me with 14 ounces, all it takes is 8 for Class A felony possession. I spent 13 months in Rikers, but my sister got me a good lawyer, he knew the judge and the prosecutor personally, golfed with them, so he got me a plea deal. I was looking at life in prison, but he argued that I was a good student that had made a bad mistake because of a chronic pain issue, and they were both first offenses, so if I pled guilty, agreed to go through a substance abuse program and anger management, then they'd give me the minimum sentence.
"15 years, Class A Felony Drug Possession, 3 years, Class B felony First Degree Assault, intentionally causing grievous bodily harm while in the commission of another felony. But, at my sentencing, the judge said I was a big guy, with a big anger problem. I hadn't killed anyone, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Said I was a danger to society, so when I got to the UCF, they put me in dark red."
I nodded.
"23 hours a day in a box by myself, no visitors, barely saw the guards. But, I stayed quiet, made no problems. Prison was overcrowded so I ended up with a cellmate, and I was glad to see him. It could have been Hannibal Lecter and I would have gave him a hug. He might have been a murderer but he was actually a decent guy. Him and his crew had knocked over some jewelry stores in Manhattan, last job went bad. He'd killed three cops, so he wasn't never getting out. Neither was his wife. Life in Bedford Hills."
"That's where they was gonna send me if Ma hadn't got the jury to give me a Not Guilty verdict."
I knew Becca had a tendency to get in trouble because beside the cheerleading pictures in the bodega, there was also a mugshot.
"What did you do?"
She gave a bitter chuckle again.
"Unlike you, I killed someone. 2021, this fucking crackhead tried to rob the store. He shot the customer that was in there, old guy named Mickey, killed him. He used to live in your apartment. Tried to shoot me, too, but the gun jammed and I had the aluminum baseball bat under the counter. I just started swinging. He went down, but I jumped the counter, and hit him again. Blood lust is a real thing. Once I saw he was bleeding, I wanted to see more. I beat his brains out, literally, he was dead long before the cops ever got there. Bat looked like a toothpick when I was done.
"They arrested me, and the DA himself showed up at my arraignment. Said self defense didn't apply, sent me straight up to Murder 2, requested I be denied bail because I had a passport and plenty of money so I was a flight risk. But we all knew the truth. He was still pissed that he hadn't been able to send Rossi away for longer, and I was the next best thing. Ma had to pull a lot of strings to make sure I still got my transfusions when I was in lockup. I was in Rikers for four months, had my eighteenth birthday sitting in the Singer Unit."
"Goddamned patterns," I muttered, then raised my voice again. "You, me, and Antoni all got that in common, except he wasn't like us. He was already in prison. That's what the rose meant, turned eighteen in prison. Life sentence, triple murder."
"He told you that?" She looked betrayed, so I was quick to answer.
"No, the tattoos told me that. Google is my best friend, B. That's what the skull and crossbones, and the coffins on his arm meant."
She swallowed, and nodded again.
"But, I moved down," I continued. "Went to orange when they moved me to Gen Pop, and I had friends waiting for me. Marco was very appreciative of me keeping quiet about my source at trial, so outside Abuela Bogota's was where I hung out the most. But I had friends all over. My sister was smart. She always put way more in my account than I could spend, so whenever I heard that somebody needed something, I'd go to the canteen and buy it myself and pass it to 'em. Nobody had to owe me shit. All I wanted was to be left alone, so I had people watching my back from all sides. I ended up in blue, got moved to the dormitory, started working in the kitchen, ended up running it, cause I was a 'model prisoner.'"
"You ever fool around with any of your cellmates?" Becca asked with a grin. "Cause I did."
I gave an uncomfortable laugh.
"I mean, yeah. 15 years is a long time to be alone. I don't consider myself bisexual even, but if somebody offers, you know…" I shrugged.
"I think the word you're looking for is heteroflexible. That's how Antoni referred to himself. He had a thing for you, you know."
That stopped me dead.
"You're fucking with me, B."
"Nope. He asked me once if I'd mind if he ever got the chance to hook up with you, and I told him no, as long as he didn't mind I still hooked up with my old girlfriends from high school. But he never asked you, said he loved you too much, was afraid of ruining your friendship."
"Jesus Christ," I shook my head, finally decided I needed time to process that, and moved on. "But, my last year there, Covid hit, and, I volunteered to work in the infirmary, but pretty soon the infirmary was filled, they started keeping people in the hallway, and finally they just ended up leaving them in their beds, I was all over the place. People dropping like flies. Everytime someone coughed or sneezed, everbody'd get nervous. I been smoking since I was 16, so I cough my lungs out every morning.
"People was looking at me like I was Death Incarnate. But I never caught it, not even once. And I was all around the sick, I was taking the bodies out to the truck outside the gate. Could've run but I didn't. Only had a few years left. It worked in my favor. They cut the last three years off my sentence, put me on supervised release and now, here I am, 36 years old, and just starting my adult life."
"Rossi got let out of lockup right before lockdown, poor bastard. Me, him, and my Dad all quarantined at Ma's, but of course, you know, me and Dad was essential workers so at least I got to get out of the house everyday. I graduated early, at 16, been working seven days a week since."
I glanced at the glass on the table.
"So let's get back to your story."
She shook her head, lips pursed again.
"Uh-uh, you're not wasting anymore time. Take the blood, but first," she reached out, quicker than I could even register, and used her thumbs to set my broken nose back straight.
I let out a yell, momentarily unable to see as my eyes filled with tears.
"Jesus wept, Becca, fucking hell, goddamn."
"Sorry. It would've hurt more if you'd known it was coming. Besides, you're a good looking guy, Tony, you don't wanna ruin your face."
"Thanks, B," I muttered as I pressed the toilet paper back to my freshly bleeding nose, tears streaming down my cheeks. "Need a haircut though."
"Nah, you oughta keep it. It's very The Dark Knight Joker, just black, not blonde and green."
I laughed quietly.
"Not sure that's the best association, B. A little too psychotic and violent."
She raised an eyebrow at me.
"Alright, alright. It's probably an accurate association, just a little less arson and murder." I sighed and looked at the scotch glass. "So how do I do this, B?"
"Think about it like a tequila shot. Take the shot and then slip the guard in quick. Then sit back, try to relax."
I nodded and grabbed the glass before I lost my nerve. I raised it in her direction.
"Geonbae." She responded.
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2023.05.29 08:31 Lovinglibra THIS SATURDAY June 3 at 8:30 PM IN BUSHWICK - Vision Board Comedy, a comedy show with mini professional psychic readings, has an AMAZING show with incredible comedians from NBC, ABC, COMEDY CENTRAL, HULU, FX & more and it's FREE!

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2023.05.29 08:18 Lovinglibra THIS SATURDAY June 3 at 8:30 PM IN BUSHWICK - Vision Board Comedy, a comedy show with mini professional psychic readings, has an AMAZING show with incredible comedians from NBC, ABC, COMEDY CENTRAL, HULU, FX & more and it's FREE!

THIS SATURDAY June 3 at 8:30 PM IN BUSHWICK - Vision Board Comedy, a comedy show with mini professional psychic readings, has an AMAZING show with incredible comedians from NBC, ABC, COMEDY CENTRAL, HULU, FX & more and it's FREE!

If you're looking for something fun to do THIS SATURDAY, June 3, Vision Board Comedy Show - The show that combines standup comedy, spirituality & mini psychic readings, has an AMAZING show at 8:30 PM in Bushwick! The show is at The Cobra Club in Bushwick! We'd love to see you there for this unique show where you get a little insight and tons of laughs!

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Our psychics will answer the audience's questions during a short segment in the show. Get ready for a night of laughter and psychic insight and join us for this super fun and unforgettable experience.
The show is FREE and donation based so pay what you want if you donate. A donation will give you first choice of seating.
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2023.05.28 06:34 bimbo_wannabe_ [I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 5: The Dead Are Especially Nosy Down Here

[I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 5: The Dead Are Especially Nosy Down Here
Previous Part: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/13sxdo9/i_accidentally_joined_the_mafia_in_south_brooklyn/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button
These last few parts have taken a lot longer for me to write than I thought. A lot of shit has gone down in the last two months, and a lot of it, frankly, is kind of a blur. But I figure, if you've stuck with me this long, then you deserve to know how it all ended up so I'm going to try my best to remember every detail of what happened.
Me? I've spent every free hour I've had, just lying in bed. I've got a lot of healed wounds that still hurt me pretty damned badly.
Blood loss from multiple gunshot wounds and then drowning in the East River, dying and then being brought back while still human, incidentally, takes a lot out of a guy.
But… I'm getting way ahead of myself.
Where were we, again?
Oh yeah, that's right. The funeral without caskets, inside of a Ukrainian restaurant just off the boardwalk in Brighton Beach. That's where I left off at.
Antoni's corpse and I had spoken together for a while longer, about Beccs and their baby, actually, sitting there in the floor in front of the three empty bathroom stalls. The next moment, as usual, he was… just gone.
It took a while to slow the bleeding, and it took even longer to try and clean myself up with just hand soap and paper towels and the water from the sink. Nobody came into the bathroom again, and as I left, I saw why. There was a sign on the door that read 'Out of Order' with something printed below it in Cyrillic that I imagined probably said the same thing as the English.
My new winter coat had been left on the floor in front of the door and the Emergency Exit at the end of the hall had its alarm disabled and had been left propped open with a brick.
I took that as a clear message that they didn't want me rejoining the party, so I exited into the alley and sat on a milk crate chain-smoking until 2 PM when the funeral ended.
The weather app on my phone said it was 10 degrees outside, but oddly enough the cold air felt soothing on my bruised face. My eyes were nearly swollen shut, and every now and again I had to pull some of the toilet paper out that I'd stuffed in my pocket to wipe another trickle of blood from my nose when I sniffed a little too hard and moved the clots loose.
At 1:57, I started to hear people exiting the restaurant, so I moved onto the sidewalk to wait for Becca. The people leaving the funeral only glanced at me for a second and then looked away with a bored expression, like I wasn't even there. Finally, only Becca and Toni's immediate family were still inside.
Tatiana gave Becca a hug, Igor, a gentle handshake, and Antoni Sr. bent down, cupped his hands around Becca's face and pressed a chaste kiss to her forehead. I could see that his right hand was bandaged and he was holding it straighter than his left. Good. I hoped the fucker had broken it when he'd punched me in the jaw.
As Becca exited, I could tell she was angry even before she stomped over to me and shoved me three times in quick succession. Like Jimmy, Becca was a lot stronger than she looked, but now I knew why. I couldn't do much but ball up and take the hits.
"Where the fuck did you go? You just took off and left me there by myself. 'He wouldn't have left without saying goodbye if he had a choice.' You knew, you cocksucker, you knew, you knew he was dead!"
"Yeah, I knew! Antoni was in the news. But we gotta get the fuck out of here, Beccs, you're making a scene, another one, and I gotta get outta this neighborhood before something worse happens to me."
The high color of anger in her cheeks dropped away immediately into a pallid white. She'd been so pissed she'd never once registered the state of my face.
"Jesus Christ, Tony, what the fuck happened to you?"
"Your little Polish sausage's Daddy Dearest just beat the fuck out of me in the men's bathroom, that's what the fuck happened."
"Why would he do that?" Becca asked, but I didn't answer. She looked back to Skovorodka, following my gaze. Antoni Sr. was still standing there, just inside the front door, watching me with narrowed eyes, his hands folded neatly behind his back like a soldier at ease. It reminded me a lot of how Antoni used to stand while we were waiting for the train together.
"Fuck," she muttered, then "Shit," and grabbed me by the arm. "Come on."
"Why would he do that?" She asked me again as we climbed the stairs to the train platform.
"Antoni was Mob, Becca, Bratva. His whole goddamned family is. Him and his brothers and his father and his fucking Russian uncle, and I'd say your Mama Tatiana probably isn't in the dark about what her brother and her hubby and his sons do to make a living, either. I don't know why the Zabrowskas were on the Avenue, but suffice to say it was probably for nefarious reasons, and Jimmy found out about it and took care of business.
"Only I don't think he realized exactly who he was taking out at the time he did it, or else he never would have put the body in the River for somebody to find. And then the other three showed up to avenge their brother, only two of 'em never made it past Bianchi any farther than Antoni did."
"The fuck are you trying to say?" Her tone says she already understands just fine and doesn't want to.
"I'm saying your dear sweet Mamma killed your boyfriend, Becca. She removed all the identifying marks from his body, ate what she wanted, then pulled all his teeth out and chewed off his hands and his feet. They dumped the body in the East River and they found him about 5 days ago, floating off of Battery Park."
"Oh God. That's why. I asked Tatiana where Antoni was going to be buried and she told me in the public cemetery on Hart Island. They're not claiming the body because they don't wanna go to the cops. For the last week I been cussing him for everything he was worth, and he's been laying in the fucking morgue." She pressed her hand to her mouth, and I saw her bloodshot eyes filling with tears again.
"Please don't cry, Becca, cause I'm gonna start crying again and I've cried enough for today."
She sniffed back her tears and swallowed hard.
"But I don't understand, Tony, what the fuck does that have to do with you?"
"They knew, Beccs, they knew how the Zabrowskas died, who killed them, and they knew I helped Moretti get rid of the bodies afterwards. That's why Antoni's father went after me. The uh… the fucking Pakhan thought Jimmy sent me there to rub it in their faces that they weren't going to be able to bury any of their boys."
"How the fuck would they know that?" She barked at me.
"Somebody's feeding them information and not some asshole on the street, somebody from inside the Camorra."
"Who would do that?"
I saw her eyes darting about wildly as she tried to think of the answer to her own question.
"I don't know, uh, the driver that brought Moretti, he didn't look like he was too fond of Bianchi, maybe he's a fucking option."
"Frankie? I mean, him and Ma have never gotten along. He's never liked her and the feeling's mutual but… that doesn't make any sense, Frankie's always been loyal to the Camorra. Rossi always said he practically muttered the Omerta in his fucking sleep, that he was a soldato down to the bones."
"I have no idea, Becca, but it gets worse," I said quietly. If it didn't hurt so goddamned bad, I would've squeezed my eyes shut.
"How the fuck could it possibly get worse, Tony?"
"First you gotta promise you're not gonna hit me again."
Her hand balled into a fist, and I couldn't help but flinch.
"I'm gonna knock you the fuck out right now if you don't stop wasting my time, Cipriani."
"I sold her out, Becca. Bianchi. I told them where she lives and how to find her tonight."
"You what!?"
"I had to! He was gonna cut my fucking fingers off, and I don't know if he was going to take all four or just three but I wasn't about to fucking find out. I kind of need those fingers seeing as I'm a fucking southpaw!"
I held my left hand out to her, curled my fingers inward, but the third finger just… stayed straight. "Ah, fuck, I didn't even notice that."
"Jesus Christ, the tendon's been cut," she whispered, and when she pressed her hand to her mouth again she looked less like she was swallowing back tears and more like she was trying to swallow back vomit. I couldn't really blame her. I felt pretty nauseous myself.
"You know, I'm, I'm not worried about Ma," she said, finally. "It wouldn't be the first time somebody's tried to take her out. She's harder to kill than they think."
"Would, uh, would cutting her head off work? Cause if so I think they're already pretty aware of how to get the job done. They… they know Bianchi's not human, Becca."
Her face got paler, if that was even possible, and her eyes were the size of saucers.
"This is a goddamn nuclear disaster. Jesus fuck."
We stood the last few minutes waiting for the train in silence. As the doors slid shut and we sat down, Becca began laughing wildly.
"So you're in hysterics for real, huh?" I asked.
"You're gonna have to forgive me, I'm a little slow on the uptake today, but I just got it, Polish sausage… only, he wasn't little, you know, he was hung like a fucking horse, and it's a goddamn tragedy for women everywhere that the man isn't on this earth anymore. And he knew how to use it, too. Best sex I ever had in my life… only sex I ever had in my life, but that's not the fucking point." A short, barking sob tore out of her.
I groaned. "You know, that is way, way more information than I ever wanted to know about you and Antoni's sex life. You couldn't, uh, you couldn't let that one pass by, huh?"
"I never pass up the opportunity to make a good dick joke. And he had Good Dick."
I laughed and regretted it as it tightened muscles in my stomach that were still a little angry about being used as Antoni Sr's personal punching bag.
"Touché, Miss Rebecca, touché."
"The two-faced bastard, I gotta give the motherfucker that much, you know, it's a uniquely personal way to say Fuck You to the Underboss, getting his teenaged daughter pregnant. I am so, so goddamned tired of being a pawn in other people's games. He's lucky he's already dead or I'd kill the bitch myself," she whispered.
"It wasn't a game, Becca, what happened between you and Antoni," I whispered back. I knew because Antoni's corpse had told me as much. "Don't ask me how I know, cause I don't wanna talk about it, but it wasn't a game. You didn't know about him and he didn't know about you and it was a big, fucked up coincidence. You loved him, and he really, truly loved you... he worshiped the ground you walked on." Actually, he had said he worshiped the boots she walked in, but I figured it was a translation issue. "It was a regular old Romeo and Juliet: Brooklyn Edition."
She squeezed her eyes shut, snorted and at the same time choked on another sob.
"Yeah, but Romeo and Juliet ended in a double suicide, not a murder and a single mother." Her tiny hand went to her mouth again, and she wasn't able to hold back the tears this time. "I miss him, Tony, I miss him so fucking much."
"You know, Beccs, I miss him, too." I miss him when he was alive, not looking like a walking nightmare, and talking my goddamned ear off half the time, but I wasn't about to tell her that. "He was the first friend I made down here."
"It's fucking stupid. I still remember every single thing he said to me those first few times I met him."
"Odd as it is, I do too, Beccs. He was that kind of guy, I guess, he didn't have to work hard to make an impression on people. It was, uh, three days after I moved in, I think. I was in the basement, getting ready to do my laundry that morning, fighting with the stuck knob on that machine down at the end? And he walks in with his clothes basket balanced on his hip and reaches past me and just… turned the fucking thing, like it wasn't even stuck to begin with. 'It has an attitude, but it likes me,' he says, and I say, 'I can see that.'
"And he, he told me his name. 'Zabrowska,' he says, 'Antoni.' And I laughed and said, 'Nice to meet you, Toni, I'm Tony.' 'Really?' he says, and I say 'Yeah. Really. Antonio Alessio Gioele Cipriani, the third, if you please.'"
"Goddamn, that name is painfully Italian. No wonder you tell everybody 'Just call me Tony,'" Becca snorted.
"Thank you, Miss Rebecca, I can assure you I didn't pick it myself. But, 'Ah,' Toni says and kind of taps his hand in the center of his chest, 'Junior.' And I laughed again and said 'Our parents were goddamned creative when it came to the baby naming, right?' And he laughed, too, and shook my hand.
"And uh, a few days after that he showed up outside of my apartment and asked me if I wanted to go watch a game with him and his brothers at the sports bar down the street. It was Poland vs Korea. I still don't know shit about soccer, I've always been more of an American football kind of guy, but I did learn quite a few Polish swear words that day. Apparently they'd all bet money on the home team winning that game."
"I bet you did. Poland kept catching red cards that whole game. I bet on Korea, of course, and altogether I won 8 grand from four extremely pissed off Polish dudes when we stomped their ass all over the pitch. I had no idea how seriously the four of them took soccer. Antoni wouldn't even talk to me for three days. Probably didn't help I made an ass of myself laughing at all of them. Course, I woulda bet more if I'd known they were good for it. Dry cleaners, my ass," Becca spat.
"Well, in Antoni's defense, he probably did work at a dry cleaners like he told us, just like you work at a bodega, and Jimmy and me work at a restaurant, and Pops works at a hardware store. We all got day jobs. You know, I hate to bust your balls, Becca, but did it… never occur to you to ask Antoni if the tattoos meant something?"
"No," she said weakly. "I mean, I knew they were prison tats but Jesus Christ, half the people I know have been to prison. You've been to prison, half of my cousins have been to prison, hell, Pops has been to prison. You weren't here then, but all of 2016 to 2020 I was wearing a 'Free Rossi' t-shirt everyday, a lot of people in this neighborhood did. Ma got him off on the Murder 1 charges but numbers are numbers, and she couldn't get him out of the Tax Evasion. But I figured, if Antoni didn't wanna talk about it, then it was none of my business what had happened before we met each other."
She'd minded her own business a little too hard this time.
"What did you and Antoni talk about, Becca?"
"Everything! And anything, and nothing, all at the same time. He'd complain about living with his brothers, about Misiu always leaving hair all over the bathroom, and how Ciech always left sugar all over the kitchen counter after he made his coffee. And I'd complain about having to pick up all the empty bottles of makgeolli after my Dad in the morning. I'd help him wash all the dishes his dirty ass brothers would leave piled in the sink, and fold everybody's clothes.
"We got along well, me and Antoni, we were actually very compatible, we were both neat freaks when it came to our housekeeping. We even folded our towels the same way. And he'd bitch about how Igor could never balance the register correctly at the end of the day, and I'd bitch about how my Dad never checked our invoices correctly, and I was always having to cuss out the distribution reps for shorting us on our deliveries myself.
"And we'd watch TV together. He always made fun of me for the lame ass old Chuck Lorre sitcoms I loved to watch, and I'd make fun of him for all the stupid cop dramas he watched, every Law and Order known to man, and Blue Bloods and shit. We just… talked to each other, like we were two regular people, just living our lives. It was simple and it was easy, and it was enough, it was goddamned enough for me. Our relationship was the one normal thing I had going in my fucked up life."
She cracked at the end, sobbing brokenly. She turned her head to the side, pressed her face into my bicep as she wrapped both arms around mine. Tears filled my eyes, as well, and now I was wiping snot out of my nose as well as blood. I felt goddamned sorry for the kid, and I felt like she had a right to cry, but I had to distract her, for my own sake.
"So tell me, when was the first time you talked to Antoni? Was that the same day he asked you out?"
"No, there was some time between the two. He'd been there about a week, I guess, after they moved in. They got there back in like April. I'd fucked with him the first day, you know, asked him where the hell the accent came from, and he said Poland, and I told him welcome to America cause I felt like being a dick. And he said that he'd already been in country five years and I laughed at him and told him, goddamn, I couldn't tell cause he still sounded like he was fresh off the boat. And he got this look on his face, like he was trying to decide if he needed to be offended or not, so I told him I was just fucking with him, that he was doing better than my Mom, God rest her, cause it was seven years after she got here from Seoul before she even learned a word of English and my Dad was the one that had to teach her."
"Makes sense. I moved in in June, Toni mentioned he'd only been in the building about two months hisself."
She nodded, I could feel the movement in the sleeve of my coat where her cheek was pressed to my arm.
"Him and his brothers started coming in every day after that and you know, I kind of had my eye on him from the first time I talked to him. He was goddamn gorgeous, quite literally the walking definition of 'tall, dark, and handsome.' He had those incredibly blue eyes, and that fucking accent, man, shit put me in knots everytime he came in. I learned them all pretty quick, and Antoni was easy. He got the same thing everyday, box of Newport 100s and a pack of Russian Cream Backwoods with a large slushy. You know I gotta keep the cups behind the counter because motherfuckers'll fill it up and walk out when I get busy. I saw him when he came in, and went over to the ATM, so I had his shit sitting on the counter waiting for him."
Becca had a talent for memorizing all of the regular's orders, it wasn't unusual to see a long line of cigarettes, blunts, medicine, sometimes even crack pipes and Chore Boys, and anything else she kept behind the counter, set up neatly next to the register. She also had a talent for running both registers at the same time when the line got overly long and she was there alone. Sometimes I had no idea how she kept up with it all, but that was just Becca.
"And this drunk asshole came in, right after, he didn't even belong in the neighborhood, he stayed in Bed-Stuy, but he was with his cousin, and his cousin I knew and he was shooting me apologetic looks so I was already on guard. I was in a bad goddamn mood that day, anyway. And the drunk bitch, he walked over to the bathroom and tried to open it."
"Key's behind the counter," I said, and she nodded.
"And the key costs five dollars cause people make a fucking mess in the bathroom and I ain't cleaning that shit everyday for free. Well, drunk fuck got pissed and started talking a bunch of shit and threw his five dollars down on the counter, and you know, I can't stand that. You don't throw money at me, I ain't a goddamned stripper, you can put that shit in my hand or you can get the fuck out my store. And, I said 'Naw, son, for you it's gonna cost ten, five dollar Drunk Dick surcharge for being an asshole and cutting my line.' And the motherfucker… he called me a fucking stupid little bitch, and he told me people like me needed to be sent back to my own country."
I made a sound of disapproval, already seeing where this was headed.
"I hate that stupid shit. Where the fuck am I getting sent back to? The fucking hospital in Manhattan where I was born? Everybody in the store just kind of stopped and stood there, and dude's cousin? He just shook his head at me and walked right out the store and left him there."
"He wasn't gonna get involved, huh?" I asked.
"Fuck no. He wasn't stupid. I… uh, I was seeing red by that point so I balled up his money and I threw it across the store and told him to get the fuck out. I don't even remember half the shit I said to him, but I was yelling and he was yelling back and all of a sudden Antoni was… just there. I never even noticed him walking up. He was a big motherfucker, but goddamn he was quick and quiet when he wanted to be."
Becca laced her fingers through the fingers of my right hand and I gave them a squeeze as she readjusted her head against my shoulder. I turned mine to press a kiss to her hair. She was short enough that I didn't have to worry about bumping my nose. As I turned back, I noticed that there was a puddle of water on the seat across from us, and a pit formed in my stomach immediately. My face felt cold as the blood drained from it. The puddle of water made me more than just a little nervous to see it.
I had new enemies stacking up quick, and the last thing I needed was a pissed off, jealous ghost because his grieving fiancée was getting a little handsy with me. But… Antoni never showed himself, so I could only assume he approved of my offering her comfort in her time of need. Either that or he was waiting till I was alone to express his displeasure.
"'Is there a problem here?' was all he asked and the drunk bitch turned around and he got even more pissed. He goes 'Man, fuck you, white boy. Mind your own goddamned business.' And Antoni kind of got in his face, and goes, 'I have made it my business. She told you to leave. Either remove yourself or I will remove you.'
"And the liquor must've given him a bigger set of balls than he actually had, cause he took a swing at him. And Antoni, he just kind of… leaned back a little to avoid the swing and then leaned back in and… he knocked that bitch out cold with one punch. And then he picked him up, literally picked him up, and threw his ass out on the sidewalk, and kind of dusted his hands off afterwards."
"Well, if he's anything like his father then he could throw a hell of a right cross."
Becca laughed weakly.
"Yeah, his Dad boxes, they all did, you know, from when they were young. Antoni told me he got in his Dad's face once when he was about 16, and Old Papa Zabrowska coldcocked him in the kitchen, and when he woke up on the couch, his Dad dragged him out back in the alley and beat him bloody. Told him if his little grown ass thought he was a man, then he was grown enough to get his ass stomped like a man."
That made me feel a little better, to be honest. At least I wasn't the only one I knew who had caught an ass kicking from Antoni Sr.
"I bet he didn't talk shit to his Pops again after that, huh?"
"I asked him that exact question, he said 'Oh no, no, never again. I learned my lesson.' Toni and his brothers, though, were always getting in fights, even when I knew them. He told me it was hard on their Mama, back in Kraków, having four hormonal, teenaged boys with just shy of a year between each of them, you know cause… us fucking Roman Catholics ain't too fond of any method of contraception."
"I didn't know you was Catholic, too, B."
"Of course. Rossi is a devout Catholic, and that's how he raised me, and Nia, she's an Angel, you know, a Fallen One, that's what they call themselves, but she's even got real wings. A little more leathery and less feathery, but… same thing. She goes to Mass daily, turns out demons are actually very religious. Both of my parents were atheists, and that's how they raised me, but after some of the shit I've seen, you know, it ain't too unbelievable that there's a Big Guy upstairs."
She sniffed again, wiped at her nose and I offered her a bit of toilet paper from my pocket.
"That's how it all got started, the War in Heaven. God created Adam, the first living human body, and he told all the spirits in Heaven to kneel to him. And at least half of them weren't too fond of that idea, and the Morning Star stepped up as representative and said they wouldn't kneel to anyone but God. And they, uh, they lost the War, and He banished them all to Earth, to wander without bodies of their own while the other side got to come to Earth one at a time, to live their lives.
"But… then there was the first murder, Abel. Cain beat him to death with a rock, and the blood on the ground, the first human blood ever shed in violence, it called to God, but He wasn't the only one it called to. The blood, it gave him a way inside of a body. Lucifer. He was the First One. He's still here, you know, I've met him. He has a particular fondness for Nia, he calls her Young One, cause according to him 1607 wasn't all that long ago."
"I guess it isn't when you're that old."
"But, back to what I was saying about Toni, all of them were packed into one place together like fucking sardines, the four boys sharing one bedroom in a two bedroom apartment, and all having vastly different personalities. Tatiana is little, like me, and I don't imagine she could do much to break them up when they got to fighting about everything from who ate all the leftovers to who got the top bunks on the beds."
"Probably not," I answered.
"I mean, I could practically smell the testosterone in their fucking apartment whenever I walked in, and it was probably even worse back then. And apparently, that had been their Dad's method of keeping them from tearing up his wife's house all the time. Whenever a problem inevitably developed, he'd just take them down to the gym and throw them in the ring without any gloves and tell them to fucking handle it, and whoever was still standing at the end was the one that won the argument.
"Uh, but, uh, when Toni hit the guy, all, all I could do was stand there with my mouth hanging open like a fucking fish. I mean, I was in love, right that fucking second, standing there. The hormones were running on overdrive, my head was practically spinning with how fast all the blood rushed south, you know? Everybody was still standing there and Antoni tried to get back in line and I said, 'Uh-uh. Take your shit and go on.' And he goes," Beccs began laughing again, laughed so hard there were tears in her eyes once more.
"He goes, 'Am I in trouble?'''
I had to wrap my left arm tight around my stomach because I couldn't stop myself from laughing either. The makeshift bandage on my left hand that I'd wound out of paper towel had soaked through, I was going to have to change it soon.
"He didn't say that, Becca."
"Yes the fuck, he did. And I went, 'No, you dumbass, it's on the house, and in case I gotta translate, that means it's free. Small price to pay for a security detail.' And he just kind of blinked at me for a second, before he nodded his head and grabbed his things off the counter, went and filled his slushy up."
"You probably scared the piss out of him for that second, he probably thought he'd been found out. That's what they call it, what he was, Obshchak, Security Group."
"He stopped before he left, and told me thank you. And I said 'No, dziękuję', thank you. And then I winked at him and said 'Miłej nocy, piękna.'" She straightened up as the train began to slow for our stop.
"And what did that mean?"
"Have a good night, gorgeous." She said with a watery grin.
"Smooth, B, real smooth. Nothing quite like hitting on a man in his native language. "
"I mean, you know us, Tony, we got Southern Hospitality down here. As long as you're not an asshole, I do everything I can to make sure everyone feels welcome when they come inside. That's why there's a sign on the door that says 'DMZ.' They might have beef on the streets but don't nobody take that shit inside my store. And that means asking the Mexicans down the street if they need a bolsa, and making sure I ordered Farid's miswaks so he didn't have to walk all the way down to the Pakistani store, and sometimes it means learning a little bit of Polish so I could flirt with the new guy downstairs the next time he came in."
We exited the train, made the switch, and stood on the platform waiting for the next to take us back to Avenue U. As I glanced to the side, I could see a puddle forming on the platform next to me, drip by drip. It was already freezing around the edges. As it turned out, I wasn't the only nosy fuck around here.
"And apparently the flirting was well received by our dearly departed half-Russian friend."
"Apparently, cause about a week later I was having a busy fucking Friday night and my Dad had already gone home, and I was trying to shut her down but motherfuckers kept coming inside right up until 11. I made DeAndre from downstairs stand at the door and tell people we were closed and that he was the last customer for the night and after I rung him up I told him to flip the sign on the door and I'd lock it when I finished my cigarette count… only, I forgot to ever lock it, and DeDe's traitorous ass, he fucking set me up. He knew I had a thing for Antoni, and when he saw him coming down off the platform and rushing down the sidewalk, he let him in and told him he was the last customer for the night and to flip the sign on the door."
She closed her eyes for a moment.
"It took me… exactly 16 minutes to notice he was there. I know, cause after I was done pissing myself when I figured out I wasn't alone, the Polish smart-ass showed me his watch. He'd set a timer when he realized I wasn't paying any attention to him, and then just stood there, waiting to see how long it would take. I had my earphones in, and it took four songs," she held up her hand and ticked them off with her fingers. "'Savage Like', 'Money, Sex, Drugs', 'Proud' and 'Only.'
"I turned around and screamed like a little bitch when I saw him. And then I got pissed, cause I was embarrassed, I'd been singing along to all the songs cause I thought I was alone in the store. I started screaming at him. 'What the fuck, you can't read? The sign says Closed.' And he goes 'No, it didn't. It still said Open. I turned it myself.' I hadn't counted down my register yet, so I just went ahead and grabbed his shit and rung him up, cussing DeDe the whole time and I asked him how long he'd been standing there, and he showed me his watch. And he says, 'You shouldn't wear those, it's dangerous,' talking about my headphones, and I said, 'What are you, my fucking father?' And he got kind of a funny look on his face."
I released a weak snicker, holding my stomach tight again. I couldn't resist fucking with them both a little bit.
"He kinda had a point, Becca. Although, I can tell you he was probably less concerned about being your father and more concerned about becoming your Daddy."
"Oh, so now you got the dirty jokes," Becca said flatly.
"What can I say, B, you're a bad influence on me."
"Eh," she said after a moment, "You wouldn't be the first. You know, months later he told me that he'd stood there that long because he didn't think he'd have the nerve to ask what he wanted to ask the next time if he left, which, you know, what the fuck? What am I, scary?"
I couldn't help but laugh again.
"Yes, Becca, you are, you're fucking terrifying half the time. You might be a short fuck but dynamite comes in small packages, you know? He was probably afraid you'd tell him to suck your dick and ban him from the store for a month like every other poor motherfucker I've seen ask you out, and he probably didn't want to go through your particular brand of ridicule in front of an audience, on top of that, with all the other customers laughing him out of the store."
"It ain't my fault I'm this size," she said after a moment, shooting me a perturbed look.
"No shit, Sherlock. It's genetics."
"It ain't even that. It's the blood. I mean, my parents were both tall, you know, for Koreans, anyway, my Mom was 5'6. I probably would've been too if I'd had the chance, but, you know, the blood it… stops things. Why do you think Jimmy looks the way he does? I mean, Pops believes in 'aging gracefully,' as he says, but old Giacomino is a vain fuck, and he's got more of a taste for 'the Stuff' than Rocco ever had. He turned 65 this year, he's only two years younger than Pops, he was already 34 years old when he met Nia for the first time. He tells people he's got a good plastic surgeon, when they ask. And the same thing happened to me. My body wanted to stay 8 years old, forever.
"Rossi had to get hormones, fucking estrogen and progesterone and HGH, off the black market to force my body to start puberty and to fucking grow. It's not like we could go to a doctor and explain why I needed the prescription. I mean, these tits aren't even mine. Ma bought 'em for my sixteenth birthday so I wouldn't feel so goddamned self-conscious. Nia's not exactly flat-chested, as you know, neither was my Mom, and it kind of gave me a fucking complex when I was growing up."
"I mean, is she? I haven't really noticed," I replied, evasively.
"Yes, you have, you lying fuck. There isn't a straight or bisexual man, or a lesbian or bisexual woman for that matter, that comes within fifty feet of Appolonia Bianchi that doesn't notice all of her unnatural charms. It made for some interesting 'family' trips during the summer when we'd leave the city, lemme tell you. I asked Pops once, you know, if he ever got jealous when she'd show up with some random dick she'd run across, cause I used to think it was pretty shitty of her.
"I said she could've at least kept things on the downlow and not throw it in Rocco's face every few days. But he told me no, he loved her, he understood her nature very well and he'd accepted what she was years before I was even born, and that she loved him too, and more importantly, respected him. She always introduced the men to him because that was what he'd asked of her. That it was the one aspect of control he had in the situation, giving his 'permission' for her little liaisons. That it made him feel better to let them know they might be getting a piece, but she'd be ending every night lying in his bed, regardless of what they did."
I nodded. "I guess I can kind of see his point."
"But, the blood, that's how I ended up pregnant. I mean, I'm not a dumbass, I know how babies are made, but I wasn't worried about using condoms with Antoni, neither of us wanted to. I told him if he gave me anything I'd cut his dick off, and he knew I was serious, too, and he considered it a proportional response. I didn't even think I could get pregnant.
"I stopped the birth control when I was 16 because it was making me gain weight and my cheer coach bitched me out in front of fucking everybody, and Rossi's guy said I needed to keep taking it to keep my hormone levels even. So I told Antoni I didnt want to get into my medical history, but suffice to say I was probably fucking sterile anyway, so he didn't have to worry about it, and he told me he wasn't worried about it at all. But apparently my fucking parts work better than I thought."
"Or maybe he had some damned determined swimmers, who knows."
"I don't know why I was even concerned about not using condoms anyway. Technically we were all excommunicated as of 2014. Pope said the mafiosi lifestyle isn't compatible with the Catholic one. You know, I wonder how Antoni would feel about all this, I wonder if he'd be pissed, think I lied to him about not being able to get pregnant."
"You're just gonna have to take my word for it, B, but he's not angry in the least, he's pretty fucking proud of hisself." I'd say his chest was stuck out but he didn't have much of a chest left these days, so I just kept that part to myself. "Pretty sure he said he wasn't worried about it because he was hoping you were wrong about being sterile."
Beccs gave me a strange look but the train arrived at just that moment. The people exiting did quite a bit of staring, unlike the people leaving the funeral, but I just tucked my arm around Becca and shouldered my way past them and found us a seat. The drops of water followed us into the train.
"What's with the present tense, Tony? Is that some kind of cliche 'he's lookin' down on you' bullshit?"
I snorted and wiped the bubble of blood from my nose, staring at the puddle of water that was starting to form in the seat next to us. I could feel the cold emanating from Antoni all along my left side. Oddly enough, it was easing the intense ache in my nearly severed ring finger.
"He ain't looking down on us, B, I can tell you that much."
"So it's a Hell joke?"
"No, not really. But then again, I'm pretty sure we're all in Hell right this second, Miss Rebecca, so yes, yes it is."
submitted by bimbo_wannabe_ to redditserials [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 03:22 petewhetstone QUEER NATION: In honor of PRIDE month here's an article about Queer Nation, a LGBTQ activist group founded in the 1990s. Read it and know we can stand up!

"Being queer is not about a right to privacy; it is about the freedom to be public, to just be who we are. It means everyday fighting oppression; homophobia, racism, misogyny, the bigotry of religious hypocrites and our own self-hatred. (We have been carefully taught to hate ourselves.) And now of course it means fighting a virus as well, and all those homo-haters who are using AIDS to wipe us off the face of the earth..." --- A Queer Nation Manifesto, 1990

  1. Queer Nation Wiki:
    "Another method for Queer Nation to grab attention was the use of banners at protests and rallies. One banner used read "Dykes and Fags Bash Back," another "Queer Nation…Get Used To It!" which referenced the organization's famous chant "We're here! We're Queer! Get used to it!'"

  1. Queer Nation in Newsweek:

  1. A Queer Nation Manifesto from 1990
"They've taught us that good queers don't get mad. They've taught us so well that we not only hide our anger from them, we hide it from each other. We even hide it from ourselves. We hide it with substance abuse and suicide and overachieving in the hope of proving our worth. They bash us and stab us and shoot us and bomb us in ever increasing numbers and still we freak out when angry queers carry banners or signs that say Bash Back." http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/queernation.html

  1. Queer Nation NY
April 28, 1990: A pipe bomb explodes in Uncle Charlie’s, a Greenwich Village gay bar, injuring three. In protest, Queer Nation mobilizes 1,000 queers in a matter of hours. Angry marchers fill the streets, carrying a banner that read “Dykes and Fags Bash Back.”
July 14, 1990: Queer Nation holds a Nights Out event at Alcatraz, an East Village bar and hangout of suspected queer bashers. The group proceeds to King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut, another straight hangout, where Queer Nation members are threatened by management and patrons.
July 15, 1990: Queer Nation marches through Brooklyn’s Borough Park, a multi-racial neighborhood and home of the three gay bashers arrested during the June 16th march. Queer Nation rallies outside the homes of two bashers to alert the neighborhood that “your neighbors are bigots.” ---Queer Nation NY protests

  1. When Queer Nation "Bashed Back"
"Across the country, Queer Nation became best known for targeting cultural homophobia. Some of the San Francisco chapter's first actions were kiss-ins, which would send hundreds of flamboyant lovers to a straight Marina bar or the Powell Street cable car turnaround, where they would make out en masse with gusto."

The LGBTQ Community fought hard for what we have, now go forth and celebrate!
submitted by petewhetstone to lgbt [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 00:59 mikhailnikolaievitch Respect Ultimate Wolverine (Marvel, 1610)

Respect Wolverine

"Maybe your mutation isn't about healing at all. It's about surviving."
History: Years of torture and tampering with his memories made much of Wolverine's past a mystery. Though it's known he was a Canadian paratrooper during WWII, the man known as James "Lucky Jim" Howlett became one of the most influential figures in history when government experiments turned him into the world's first mutant.
Eventually renamed Logan, by the time he escaped the Weapon X program he became better known as Wolverine. He was given enhanced senses, an accelerated healing factor, and razor sharp claws. His entire skeleton was coated in an indestructible metal known as adamantium, and his memories were rewired to optimize their battle efficiency. He was the perfect weapon...and then he escaped.
Though he served Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy, Wolverine turned on Magneto to serve the X-Men as one of its fiercest proponents. Inspired by Xavier's dream, Wolverine never quite uncovered the secrets of his past, nor did he find much happiness in his present. But when he gave his life to save the world he proved his redemption, and survived in the memories of the X-Men who cared for him and the son that never knew him.
Source Key: Ultimate Marvel Team-Up = UMT Ultimate X-Men = UXM# Ultimate Spider-Man = USM Ultimate Nightmare = UN Ultimate War = UW Ultimate X-Men & Fantastic Four = X4 Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk = WvH Ultimate Power = UP Ultimate Origins = UO Ultimates 3 = U3 Ultimatum = UTM Ultimatum: X-Men Requium = REQ Ultimate Comics Wolverine = UCW 
Scaling - Apocalypse - Captain America - Colossus - Cyclops - Deathstrike - Gambit - Hulk - Iron Man - Magneto - Mister Fantastic - Nightcrawler - Rogue - Sabretooth - Spider-Man - Storm - Thing - Xavier





High material reference
Low material reference
Scaling w/reference
Minimal reference
Long guns
Multiple Damage Types


Against Superhumans
Against humans
Against objects


Special materials
Misc. materials
Misc. abilities/information




Telepathic Resistance
submitted by mikhailnikolaievitch to respectthreads [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 18:26 viewless25 Defending the Draft 2023: New York Jets

”Short” recap of the Jets' 2022 Season

The Jets had a noisy offseason in 2022 as they were big spenders in free agency, bringing in CB DJ Reed, TE CJ Uzomah, and OG Laken Tomlinson. The also had 3 first round picks and an early second rounder to give the team one of the youngest roster in the NFL by snaps given. The main headline going into the Jets regular season was, like most NFL teams, centered around the quarterback position. The Jets drafted BYU QB Zach Wilson #2 overall in the 2021 NFL draft. Statistically, Zach's rookie campaign was off to an abysmal start with 4 TDs and 9 picks in his first Five starts before having his midseason interrupted by a knee injury. Zach would return and threw 5 touchdowns and just two picks in his last seven games, playing less dynamically than he had in Tennessee but smarter and safer. Zach went into the 2022 season looking to improve on his 2,334 yards passing, 55.6% completion percentage, 9 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions from 2022.
However, Zach would miss September due to a miniscus tear he suffered in the preseason. The Jets started Joe Flacco at the quarterback position for their opening three games; going 1-2 with a historical comeback win at Cleveland (I didn't have to mention this but it's the most exciting Jets football you'll ever see). After Zach returned, the Jets opened out on a winning streak. However, this had more to do with the star performances of the Jets rookies, namely WR Garrett Wilson, RB Breece Hall, and CB Sauce Gardner. In Denver, the Jets suffered a pyrrhic victory at hands of the Broncos as the team won 16-9, but suffered season ending injuries to OL Alijah Vera-Tucker and Breece Hall. Hindering the offensive line and prematurely ending Hall's OROTY campaign. This altered the course of the Jets' season for the worse. While young stars Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner continued to shine, the team's offense couldn't make up for the loss of Breece Hall as they were forced to look to Zach Wilson to lead the passing offense. Zach Wilson regressed heavily from his already terrible rookie season and as a result of his poor performance and attitude, was benched. The Jets attempted to salvage their season by looking to Mike White, who almost immediately went out with injury, and then later to Flacco (and at one point, Chris Streveler, fresh out of the CFL). Only two seasons into Wilson's career, he's cemented himself among the greatest draft busts in NFL history and for the sake of playefan morale, is completely unplayable in 2023. He isn't going to be cut until at least August, as there's no financial incentive to give up on him until after next season. The Jets missed out on the playoffs in 2023 for the 12th straight season, the second longest drought in North American sports. The silver lining for the Jets this season is that their roster is still full of young talent across the board, as AVT should be back by the preseason, Breece Hall should be back in the early regular season this year, and Garret Wilson and Sauce Gardner are back for their sophomore seasons after winning Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the year, respectively. The Jets had very little coaching staff/front office turnover from 2022. The main exception is the Jets moved on from young offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to sign veteran OC and recently fired Denver Broncos' head coach, Nathaniel Hackett. This move was met with middling reception by fans. As many cited him as an underwhelming retread, though there was potentially one huge upside to signing Hackett and his name is...

Aaron Freaking Rodgers

After acknowledging his failure in drafting and developing his franchise QB, New York Jets General Manager Joe Douglas, scrambled to find a QB the Jets can compete with during their current window where their most talented players are on rookie deals. Joe Douglas doesn’t have the luxury of trying again with rookie QB roulette as he’s already four years into a rebuild that has yielded zero winning seasons. Many considered his huge failure with Zach Wilson to be a fireable offense, but due to his success in building the rest of the team, Jets owner Woody Johnson publicly voiced his confidence in Joe Douglas and let him have another offseason to try to pull a rabbit out of his hat at the QB position. The Jets were connected to almost every veteran QB that might conceivably be on the market from January to March. Around the time of the NFL Combine, the Jets had their options narrowed down to Tannehil, Cousins, and Aaron Rodgers headlining the group. With Rodgers’ ending his career in Green Bay, he then descended into a Darkness Retreat. Afterward, Aaron decided to tell Schefter to lose his number and went on the Mcafee show to announce that he had decided to play for the Jets, despite still being on contract with the Packers. After a month and a half of Jets and Packers fans taking to Reddit and Twitter to argue endlessly about Leverage, the Jets and Packers finally worked out a deal on April 24th, just days before the 2023 NFL Draft. The Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers and a 5th round pick in 2023 in exchange for a 1st round pick swap (Jets go 13 to 15th overall), a 2023 2nd round pick, a 2023 6th round pick, and a 2024 second round pick that can become a 1st if Rodgers plays >65% of snaps in 2023. Many were quick to declare an immediate winner to the trade, though I think with trades like these, you need to see how things play out and what will happen on the conditions before knowing for sure. My knee-jerk reaction to the trade is that it’s an overpay if Rodgers were to retire after 2023, but if he comes back for 2024 like he says he’s going to, then this is fair overall. If Jordan Love doesn’t pan out and the Jets make a Super Bowl over the next two years, people will look back on this trade as a steal for the Jets. Time will tell.

Jets Free Agency

Contrary to popular belief, the Jets did more this offseason than roll out the red carpet for Aaron Rodgers. In free agency, the Jets rolled out the red carpet for all of Aaron Rodger’s favorite teammates. In Free Agency, the Jets brought in:
Over half the names on this list have some kind of connection to Aaron Rodgers. Allen Lazard was the biggest swing for the Jets in free agency with $44MM over 4 years. The Jets cut bait by trading Elijah Moore to Cleveland, but are going to keep Corey Davis for the third year of his contract despite disappointing availability and stats by Davis. Lazard has experience in the slot, despite being primarily an outside the numbers receiver. With Moore and Berrios out, the Jets are a little bit heavier on outside receiver and light on slot receiver, so they’ll likely focus on size over shiftiness over the middle. However, bringing in Mecole Hardman brings a lot of the speed over the middle that the team is missing. Outside of WR, the Jets added more depth on the offensive and defensive lines. The main highlight of free agency for Jets fans was, strangely enough, the punter they signed- Thomas Morstead. Morstead punted for the Jets in 2021 filling in for an injured Braden Mann with an average of 48 yards/ punt and 7 punts within the 20. The Jets let Morstead go to let Braden Mann return. Mann was a decent punter for the Jets at best, but was infamous in NY for a shank a game that eventually became too much. The Jets have also worked out with P Matt “Punt God” Araiza, but that’s a can of worms I won’t get into. The Jets also brought back:
I have much less to say about these players. Ty Johnson has already been cut, which has been a small controversy due to his surgery that was allegedly recommended by the Jets. But especially after the draft, the Jets have a glut of runningbacks on the roster. I don’t see what the Jets see in Solomon Thomas but HC Robert Saleh really likes him. Greg Zuerlin has been a replacement level kicker for the Jets. Quincy Williams is back, which is mostly interesting as his older brother, Quinnen Williams, is in a contract holdout with the Jets. The number for Quinnen Williams is likely going to look similar to what Dexter Lawrence got from the Giants.

The New York Jets 2023 NFL Draft

Pre-Draft Needs

Positions of Need going into the Draft: OT, FS, DT, RB
The Jets' strength on the defense was on the outsides, both on the passrush with Carl Lawson and Jermaine Johnson coming back and in the pass defense, with Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed returning after being arguably the best CB duo in 2022. The weakness was over the middle in the passing game and between the tackles in the run game. The Jets have Quinnen Williams on the 5th year option looking for a new deal this year and don't have another quality DT to complement him on the interior of their 4-3 front. Jordan Whitehead was disappointing for the Jets last year at SS and Ashtyn Davis hasn't fully panned out at FS.
On the offense, the Jets have fewer holes, but have positions like RB, TE, and WR where they can afford to add more talent. The biggest liabilities for the Jets are on the offensive tackle, where Mekhi Becton is coming back from two whole seasons of injury and Duane Brown is 38 and playing likely his last season of Pro Football.

1st Round (15th Overall) Will McDonald IV, EDGE – Iowa State

Before discussing McDonald as a player, we should discuss the Steelers’ trade with the Patriots at 14th overall. This trade led to a lot of criticism of the trade back with Green Bay for Rodgers as well as Joe Douglas’s composure as a drafter. The main thing we know about Broderick Jones is that the fact that Pittsburgh was interested in trading up for him long before the Rodgers trade. Jones to the Steelers was one of the worst kept secrets of the NFL draft this year and the New England Patriots (while not to pretend that Belichick doesn’t love to screw the Jets over) are notorious for trading back in the first round. I’m not going to assert that the Jets weren’t interested in landing Broderick Jones, I think the people who are skeptical of Douglas’s claim that McDonald was their top target are missing two things: the first is that Robert Saleh is a defensive minded coach who is obsessed with having an excess of edge rushers with good bend. Saleh and Douglas are still on good terms, and I would be very surprised if during the draft Saleh wasn’t pounding the table in Joe Douglas’s ear for Will McDonald. The second is that while Jones was on board, Douglas himself said that McDonald was his number 1. You can debate if the Jets should’ve taken Jones if he were available, but he wasn’t and so, the Jets picked McDonald. Will McDonald is a 6’4” 236 lbs Edge rusher from Iowa State University who turns 24 years old June 6th. He was considered a high draft prospect after his 2021 and 2020 seasons where he had 11.5 and 10.5 sacks respectively, but still decided to come back to school in 2022. This, plus the fact that he didn’t begin playing football until he was 17 years old, contribute to Will McDonald IV’s advanced age as a prospect. Some might have called this pick a reach due to his age, but it’s worth noting that McDonald isn’t exactly a “late bloomer” as a player, but rather he has been a competitive pass rusher in the Big 12 since about 2019 and is tied for #1 overall in the Big12’s career sack list. Another reason why Will McDonald IV is an underrated prospect is that many people aren’t familiar with the defense that Iowa St. and how it deflates pass rusher numbers. Iowa State runs something called a STAR defense, or a 3-3-5 (3 DL, 3LB, 5 DBs). This helped the Cyclones against pass heavy, air raid and/or spread style offenses, but means that a premier pass rusher like Will McDonald will get basically zero help in the box. The traits that scouts fell in love with that made Will McDonald IV a first-round talent were his bend around the edge, his top end speed, and his usage of his hands. The weaknesses that were brought up centered mostly around his smaller size, power, and lack of body of work on run defense. But his overall athleticism and potential to bulk up are the main thing the Jets are banking on as they look develop him going forward. McDonald’s athleticism is so over the top, that he’s made a hobby of jumping over cars and doing other acrobatics that will keep the Jets management up at night if he keeps it up through his rookie contract.
The main thing to understand when watching McDonald as a prospect is that the Jets are going to play him a lot differently than the Cyclones did. Due to the ISU 3-man front, McDonald was often moved inside if he wasn’t double or triple teamed as a 5 tech. When Robert Saleh called Will McDonald to let him know the Jets were drafting him, Saleh said “We’re getting you out of that 4i and into that Wide 9”. That meaning, that instead of playing him between the guard and the tackle, they’re going to put him as far out as the o-line is built. I think the Jets will try to get him standing up; even though they typically have four defensive linemen down as I trust Robert Saleh to not pigeonhole a guy to a set role and will just try to set him up to succeed as a pass rusher. The important thing to remember when evaluating McDonald’s upcoming rookie season (or Jermaine Johnson’s rookie season from 2022), is that the Jets have a religious dedication to cycling their defensive linemen in and out regardless of how well or poorly they’re playing. So, for young players like McDonald, Johnson, and Michael Clemons, they’re guaranteed to get a shot, but even if they succeed, they’ll get cycled out. But this does mean that in 2023, we’re guaranteed a chance to see the speed and shiftiness that Will McDonald IV will be bringing to the Jets defense for years to come.

2nd Round, 12th pick (43rd Overall) Joe Tippmann, C – Wisconsin

After the first night of the draft, most were shocked over the Jets’ selection of Will McDonald. And many more in Jets land were disappointed that the team couldn’t find any offensive line help for newly acquired QB, Aaron Rodgers. Fortunately for the Jets on night 2, the board broke their way positively, unlike on night 1. With most of the premier tackles off the board, the Jets then turned their attention interior offensive line. The Jets re-signed Connor McGovern to a 1 year $1.915 million deal after the main rush of free agency subsided and McGovern was unable to find a better deal. McGovern was a serviceable Center for the Jets on his previous 3 year deal, but at 30, the Jets are starting to look for long term options with higher upside. With McGovern making barely backup Center money, the Jets had basically no assets committed to the center position. With every center in the 2023 NFL draft on the board, I don’t think I need to do as much defending of the positional choice for center as I had to do for Edge rusher in the first round. The Jets selected Joe Tippmann with the 12th pick of the 2nd round. The Wisconsin Badger is one of the taller Centers we’ve seen at 6’6” (not including the mullet) and 313 lbs. However, Tippmann has shown on film that he’s able to get low off the snap off the height and in the later block can leverage his size. He had the highest athleticism score at his position (which is going to be a consistent theme for the Jets in this draft). He started his last two full seasons at Wisconsin, shining as a run blocker and allowed only on sack and five pressures over 338 pass blocking snaps. His strengths coming out of Wisconsin are his fluid movement and rotation, his high football IQ, and his size. His main weakness is his sense of balance and his high point of contact. Some might have questioned why the Jets chose Tippmann over John Michael-Schmitz and, while I would’ve been happy with either, I personally believe the Jets made the slightly better choice in banking on a player who is younger, bigger, healthier, and possibly has higher upside. The Jets have been looking for the heir apparent to Nick Mangold since he’s retired. While McGovern was a serviceable stop gap for the last three years and will get a chance to compete with Tippmann this summer, I believe this pick is a great chance for the Jets to find a new leader of their offensive line for years to come. The Jets are at their best in their franchise history when they have a Center with leadership, strength, and durability to support the offense.

4th Round, Pick 18 (120th Overall) Carter Warren, OT – Pittsburgh

In 2022, the New York Jets offensive line was a revolving door as the offensive line was decimated by injuries before they even started the regular season. They were able to mitigate these issues for the first few weeks of the season by deploying Alijah Vera-Tucker as a Swiss Army Offensive Lineman, but when he suffered a season ending injury, that had to come to an end. In this offseason, the Jets didn’t add many players who will contend for starting positions at guard or tackle in 2023, but Joe Douglas has made a point to bolster the depth at these positions so they’re better prepared for when Mekhi Becton, who hasn’t played a full game since mid 2020, or the 38 year old Duane Brown get injured.
To prepare for this, the Jets picked New Jersey native Carter Warren in the fourth round out of Pittsburgh. With his 7 foot wingspan, core strength, and leadership experience, Warren has the traits of a prototypical NFL Tackle. Carter Warren’s athleticism graded highly at the combine at the workouts he performed despite not being 100% from his shoulder injury. He fell to the fourth round in the draft as expected due to his season ending injury in 2022 and his overall lack of power and ability to sustain blocks for longer drives. The Jets are looking for Carter Warren to develop into a capable swing tackle or high end backup LT. The team is possibly still banking on Becton serving as the long term starting Left Tackle, but we’ll sort that out when training camp gets here. With veteran Billy Turner on the team and second year Maxx Mitchell returning as a swing tackle, the Jets are hopeful that they won’t rely on a rookie tackle in 2023. But if they do, Carter Warren has the traits needed to keep the offense on schedule when injuries inevitably come.

5th Round Pick, Pick 8 (#143rd Overall) Israel Abanikanda, RB – Pittsburgh

After selecting the Pittsburgh Panther from New Jersey in the fourth round, the Jets elected to take his teammate, RB Israel Abanikanda from Brooklyn, with the very next pick. In the last two years the Jets have brought in a lot of young runningbacks from the draft such as Michael Carter, Breece Hall, and Zonovan Knight. The Jets running back room looked like it was on the road to being elite after Breece Hall’s early career breakout before his tragic season ending injury. Breece Hall had emerged as a physical, downhill runner for the Jets and Michael Carter and Bam Knight were capable change of pace backs, pass blockers, and receiving backs. Breece Hall is going to go back to being the Jets premier runningback if he comes back to be 100% of what he was last year, even with Abanikanda on the roster. But what the Jets were lacking, even with Hall on the roster last year, was a shiftier, higher end speed running back that can break open in space. Hall checks off a lot of these boxes, but did so by being more physical over the middle. In 2022, Izzy Abanikanda’s stats were impressive. He reached 100 yards rushing in 9 out of his 11 games and rushed for 20 TDs on the season. With Hall, Izzy can be a dangerous lightning to Breece Hall’s thunder as the Jets look to round out their offense. Izzy’s athleticism is (say it with me now: ) really good. He ranked 5th out of running backs in this draft despite being a 5th round pick. The biggest weakness commonly cited about Izzy Abanikanda is his pass protection. This has been a recent focus on running backs in the NFL and something that will likely limit Izzy’s day one impact. But the Jets can keep things simple on the offense and just focus on getting the ball of playmakers like Abanikanda. The most exciting thing about Abanikanda is that he’s young, not turning 21 until October 5th of this year (making him born in 2002, if you wanted to feel old today). Abanikanda is an extremely speedy player with home run ability. The value in the 5th round is great for the Jets here and they are now hedged against a key RB injury like they suffered last year. This pick may spell trouble for fans of Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight (apologies to /DynastyFF), but it puts the Jets in a position to be dynamic in the ground game to capitalize on defenses thinking they can afford to sell out against the Aaron Rodgers-led passing offense.

6th Round, Pick 7 (184th Overall) Zaire Barnes, LB – Western Michigan

Getting later into the draft, the Jets start to look for roleplayers and positions where the team is light. Zaire Barnes fills both of these criteria with his special teams experience and coverage linebacker experience. The Jets have Quincy Williams and CJ Mosely playing in the box to handle secondary running coverage. The team may still bring back Kwon Alexander to return as the WILL linebacker in space, but the Jets are looking to bolster their coverage over the middle. The Jets have arguably the best cornerback duo on the outside with DJ Reed and Sauce Gardner and a capable slot corner with Michael Carter II. This means that most of the teams that threw the ball on the Jets did so over the middle.
At Western Michigan, Barnes lined up close to the line of scrimmage and focused mostly on man coverage. In order for him to unlock his potential and make this pick a steal, he needs to unlock his ability to use lateral movement to help in zone coverage. At 6’1” his height is unremarkable but more than adequate for a linebacker within the box. If Zaire Barnes can make himself valuable on special team and take advantage of the opportunities to make a play in coverage over the middle or to make an impact in the run game where the Jets are also light, Zaire Barnes will be able to be a part of this Jets team for a long time.

Round 6, Pick 27 (#204th Overall) Jarrick Bernard-Converse, DB – LSU

In writing Bernard-Converse’s position on the headliner, I opted to just write DB, as he’s played all over the secondary. Looking at JBC’s skillset and the holes the Jets have in their roster, it would seem Bernard-Converse’s best outlook on the Jets is to move to the Safety position. With good tackling ability, high athleticism, and four years of starting experience at the Power 5 level, the Jets are banking on Bernard-Converse’s ability to adapt to a new role as opposed to being a true CB. In coverage at LSU, he did have some issues letting players get behind him due to his ability to trail and backpedal, another sign that he’s likely better suited for the safety role. With Jarrick Bernard-Converse, the Jets are banking on his adaptability and Robert Saleh’s ability to develop a player with raw talent into a contributor on the backend.

Round 7, Pick 3 (#220th Overall) Zack Kuntz, TE – Old Dominion

The Jets have looked to rebuild their TE room after years of it being in disarray. Unfortunately, the group that Douglas has put together, CJ Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Jeremy Ruckert, didn’t quite pan out in 2023. Part of this was on the quarterback play, but part of this is that the tight ends on the Jets didn’t quite have the plus abilities the team needed to get production from their Tight Ends. This is just the beginning of why Zack Kuntz is an exciting pick for the Jets. Kuntz (pronounced KOONTS, unless you’re Australian) was primarily a receiving tight end for Penn State and Old Dominion in college. At 6’8” 255lbs, Kuntz has more than the prototypical size of a blocking Y tight end, but he instead spent his college career using his 4.55 speed to be a menace over the middle. His most productive season was only 692 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns, which is a bit less for the insane athleticism that a speedy and shifty tight end such as Kuntz possesses. Still, it’s hard to imagine how 32 GMs looked at Kuntz and decided over 200 times that they don’t need this freak of nature on their team. The Jets may look into developing his blocking a bit more, but I think they’re probably more excited by refining his hands and getting him over the middle to create some size mismatch. With Zach Kuntz elite size and speed, he’s truly a menace with the ball in his hands.

UDFA Rapid Fire

The Jets traded back in the 6th round at a pretty heavy loss. I believe this is because they wanted special teams and depth and were relatively satisfied with most of the starters they had going into the NFL draft. So, the Jets will likely not have a ton of contributions from UDFAs this year. Here are the 13 players the Jets have currently signed as UDFAs and I’ll highlight a few of the ones I think I have a chance at making the 53 man roster below:

53 Man Roster Projection

POS 1st String 2nd String
QB Aaron Rodgers Tim Boyle Zach Wilson
RB Breece Hall Israel Abanikanda Michael Carter, Zonovan Knight
WR Garrett Wilson Corey Davis Mecole Hardman
WR Allen Lazard Randall Cobb Jason Brownlee
TE Tyler Conklin CJ Uzomah Jeremy Ruckert
LT Duane Brown Warren Carter
RT Mekhi Becton Maxx Mitchell
LG Laken Tomlinson Wes Schweitzer
RG Alijah Vera-Tucker Billy Turner
C Connor McGovern Joe Tippmann
DT Quinnen Williams Al Woods
DT John Franklin-Myers Deslin Alexandre
DE Jermaine Johnson Isaiah Mack
DE Carl Lawson Michael Clemons Solomon Thomas
ILB CJ Mosely
OLB Quincy Williams Bryce Huff
OLB Will McDonald IV Zaire Barnes
CB Sauce Gardner Michael Carter II Brandin Echols
CB DJ Reed Bryce Hall Javelin Guidry
FS Ashtyn Davis Jarrick Berndard-Converse
SS Jordan Whitehead Justin Hardee Chuck Clark
K Greg Zuerlein
P Thomas Morstead
LS Thomas Hennessy

Notes on 53 man roster

Final Thoughts

This offseason will be remembered as the offseason where the Jets made a huge swing for a future Hall of Fame QB. It’s impossible for me to try to put this draft class up against that. But the Jets got a lot of athleticism in this draft that can set them up to be competitive in the long term. It was surprising that they traded back, seeing as they’re in a win now mode, still. I think the Jets got 2 or 3 starters from this draft, likely some combination of Abanikanda, Tippmann, and McDonald. Certain players like Warren and Kuntz do have some longer term potential, too. Nothing will ever touch Joe Douglas’s 2022 draft class, but I thought this class was solid and built a lot of overdue depth. Still, when July rolls around and it’s time for camp, it’s going to be the QB that all Jets fans are looking at.
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2023.05.27 18:26 discreditcampaign917 May 27, 2023 Update


Over the past year and a half, following my complaint to the EEOC, I have continuously been subjected to harassment and retaliation by my former employer. The situation escalated when I came across an audiotape revealing the company's VP of Finance discussing financial fraud. I have attached my EEOC complaint and rebuttal to provide you with a better understanding of this situation. The company has embarked on a campaign of retaliation and attempts to cover up the truth. Recently, I discovered that my phone was under surveillance by private investigators hired by my previous employer, Socure Inc. As mentioned earlier, this harassment began at my local YMCA, where multiple individuals were instructed to participate in a planned campaign targeting me. Socure extended their actions beyond the YMCA by continuously tracking my cellphone's location wherever I went. Initially, I suspected I was being followed, but I later realized that my phone had been compromised. My messages and calls were being monitored, and even my home internet seemed to be tapped into. Furthermore, I have reason to believe that my bank transactions were being monitored as well. I am being targeted because I disclosed illegal activities involving the VP of Finance, which he was afraid to share. I’m one hundred percent certain that Socure hacked into my cellphone to eavesdrop on all conversations. Any and all things that I discuss with my wife would later be discussed amongst gym goers, at multiple Mosque, and random places I often visit. I have attached my EEOC compliant for further assessment of this situation.

The following individuals, whom I suspect were compensated, were involved in collecting information about me and fabricating false allegations:
* Sonia Atherly, the Director of the YMCA
* Stephin Roberts, a YMCA member who became a friend
* Ade A. (last name unknown), a YMCA member who became a friend
* Andre Nelson, a friend from Downtown YMCA Brooklyn whom I haven't spoken to in two years
* Austin Hill, a YMCA member who accompanied Andre Nelson
* Ethan, a YMCA member (last name unknown)
* Torell Taylor, a YMCA member
* Multiple neighbors: units 5A, 5F, and 2X PHE
* Serdar Cam, former neighbor and new neighbor at 322 Gates Ave
* Trevor (last name unknown), a YMCA member
* Justin (last name unknown), a YMCA member
* An unidentified female YMCA member who unexpectedly appeared at a restaurant where my wife and I were in Puerto Rico
* Gavin Tseng, a former friend who orchestrated a scheme involving real estate and a startup concept

Retaliations took place at the following locations:
* Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA: 1121 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* Brooklyn Mosque Khalifa: 120 Madison St, Brooklyn, NY
* Islamic Mission of America/Dawood Mosque: 143 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
* Airport Travels: JFK AirTrain
* Puerto Rico Vacation: Hilton Hotel
* Trip to Milwaukee: Airbnb rental at 1028 East Juneau Avenue, Unit 416, Milwaukee, WI 53202
* Supermarket in Brooklyn: 1420 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* Multiple Banking Institutions: Chase at 1380 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216 & TD Bank at 957 Marcy Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* Multiple NYC Train Platforms: Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station & 125th Street Station
* Apartment Building: 322 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Types of framing and allegations being built against me:
* Resume fraud
* Real estate fraud
* Influencing people to file lawsuits
* Influencing neighbors to complain
* False restaurant reporting
* False robbery attempt
* And more...

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Director, Sonia Atherly - Staged Office Phone Video Recording:
Sonia Atherly, the director of the Bedstuy YMCA, participated in a retaliatory campaign. On September 29, 2022, she requested a meeting with me in her office. During our conversation, she pulled out her phone and began recording from her work monitor, alleging that a masked individual had entered the gym. She even asked me to view the video footage. While I complied, her phone continued recording, capturing my voice in the process. This action appears to be an attempt to counter the accusations made by the VP of Finance regarding fraudulent activities and manipulate my voice recordings to paint a negative picture of my behavior. In response to my concerns, the YMCA director provided the following reply: "Hi Lou. I believe that it was on Tuesday, and I was actually taking photos, so no, your voice would not have been captured in any way. To be clear, we do not record conversations at the Y in any way, shape, or form unless we have signed event waivers. I hope this clarifies the matter for you." On September 30, 2022, Sonia orchestrated an incident where the same individual showed up at the front desk as I was leaving, hoping to provoke a response from me and involve me in their investigation. For months, non-members of the YMCA were allowed to come into the facility and harass me while surveillance cameras were purposely turned off to destroy any possible evidence.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Program Coordinator, Jeff (Damian Best):
Upon my arrival at the basketball gym, Jeff, the program coordinator, and a parent with her child were already present. After requesting Jeff to wait a few more minutes, the parent engaged in a heated argument with him, demanding to know why her child couldn't participate since no one else was there. I reassured her that while I didn't mind, Jeff was responsible for setting the rules. She eventually left the gym in an angry state. Their intention was to have me report the incident to management and portray me as someone who constantly complains. On October 4, 2022, I sent an email to myself for record-keeping purposes.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Member, Ade (last name starting with "A"):
On Saturday, October 8, 2022, Ade and I agreed to meet for a late lunch at "The Green Place" in Brooklyn. I noticed that he kept referencing financial figures related to specific people he worked with. I suspect he has also been recruited to participate in Socure's retaliation against me. Their goal is to capture recordings of me to use them against me, claiming that I habitually record people. Ade also expressed dissatisfaction with the YMCA's adult open gym times during Saturday's basketball hours. He mentioned having discussed it with the front desk. On October 9, 2022, Ade sent me a screenshot of the YMCA's response to his request. It's important to note that I never made any complaints. As someone who lives near the YMCA and often wakes up early, I told him, "I don't want to play." Once again, Socure is attempting to build a case portraying me as someone who incessantly complains and records people to divert attention from their own misconduct. Multiple members were instructed to complain to me so that my name can be implicated. I believe that individuals are being compensated to assist them. In early May 2023, both Ade and Stephin Roberts repeatedly interrupted my workout in an attempt to initiate a conversation with me.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member, Stephin Roberts - Staged information gathering:
Stephin Roberts, a fellow YMCA member, unexpectedly called me after we crossed paths at the gym, which was an unusual occurrence. We exchanged brief greetings, and I proceeded with my workout. I suspect that his intention in calling me was to record our conversation and use it against me, falsely claiming that I frequently record people, which is entirely untrue. Given that my cellphone was being tracked, it seemed that whenever I left my home, I would coincidentally encounter Mr. Roberts. He had been instructed to fabricate a false DUI incident to elicit personal information from me regarding a case on my record that had been expunged. During our conversation, I shared a past experience of mine involving a car accident I had when I was younger while dating someone, as well as my advice on expungement, recounting a personal incident that happened to me. At the time, I thought Mr. Roberts was a genuine person with good intentions. I believe Socure will be attempting to coordinate and get me arrested for theft or burglary based on the previous expunged records, trying to paint a negative image of who I am. I believe Stephin Roberts has been recording me as a tactic instructed by Socure's private investigator.

Friend from Downtown YMCA Brooklyn whom I haven't spoken with in two years, Andre Nelson at Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA:
I haven't had any communication with Andre Nelson for more than two years. However, he unexpectedly appeared at the gym I regularly attend on a Wednesday evening, despite it not being in close proximity to his residence. Subsequently, Mr. Nelson started frequenting the gym with his friend Austin Hill. Together, they began coordinating with YMCA members, informing them about my situation with Socure. Within one week, one of Austin Hill's Facebook friends reached out to me, mentioning a potential collaboration with someone they knew, namely Austin Hill. As I stated, I've never met Mr. Hill nor had any connection with people he knew outside of Mr. Nelson. When I encountered Mr. Hill during the following open gym session, he acted as though nothing had transpired, and I played along. Additionally, Austin requested certain documents from me for his business, but I never fulfilled his request. To confirm my suspicions that Austin was attempting to set me up, I orchestrated an event by telling him, "Yeah, man, girls don't care if you have a ring on. They will approach you. Come to this bar tonight." Upon my arrival at the bar a few minutes later, a woman wearing a wedding band tried to get my attention. However, I sensed that it was a staged occurrence. When Andre Nelson and Austin Hill arrived, they infiltrated the group of members, instructing them to provoke me during the basketball game while secretly recording my reactions. At one point, a member named Justin threw a water bottle, and the situation escalated.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member, Trevor - Staged information gathering:
Trevor started asking and mentioning multiple work-related questions. On October 7, 2023, he mentioned having a quarterly review and asked for suggestions. Within weeks later, Trevor asked me if I knew any lawyers as he was dealing with a housemaid who was suing him. This same situation happened with more than two other members (Stephin Roberts, Kadeem Kirsten) in which they asked me attorney-related questions. I believe he was instructed to record our conversations.
Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member, Torrell Taylor:
As previously mentioned, I believe that the YMCA's Director is monitoring my interactions with other gym members in order to collaborate with them. Their objective is to falsely claim that "Lou is influencing people to document incidents," all with the intention of tarnishing my reputation. Additionally, Socure allegedly requested Torrell to open a restaurant in downtown Brooklyn as part of their scheme to build a case against me. YMCA member Justin repeatedly approached me, informing me that Torrell had opened a restaurant with poor-quality food and suggested I visit. Upon receiving this information from Torrell himself, I decided to pay the restaurant a visit. However, Torrell was not present during my first visit. I attempted a second visit, only to discover that the restaurant was closed. When I texted Torrell to inquire about the closure, he responded that there had been an issue with the owner's licensing. It is apparent to me that this was a staged event orchestrated by Socure to fabricate a case against me by falsely claiming that I reported violations against Torrell's restaurant. As mentioned earlier, I strongly believe that my phone was being tracked, and it is possible that a separate line was used to make false reports under my information.
Furthermore, my emails were also subjected to hacking.

Wireless Earbuds Planned at the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA open gym by Kadeem Kirsten - early 2022:
To ensure my privacy and personal space during the YMCA open gym sessions, I started choosing a spot away from others. I made sure to thoroughly clean the area where I sat, removing any bottles, wipes, or other items. After finishing my workout, I briefly went to the bathroom, and upon my return, I noticed a wireless earbud near the window close to my chair. I suspect that Khadim Kirsten intentionally placed the earbud there as he kept watching me closely. Mr. Kirsten also asked me for legal advice as well as a UX Designer, the same exact topic that Gavin Tseng asked me. Mr. Kirsten is one of those new members who never came to the YMCA. Upon rejecting Socure's settlement offer in January 2023, that's when all of these new members started coming to open basketball nights.

Mosque Khalifa on Bedford Ave: Sept 2, 2022, at 120 Madison St, Brooklyn, NY, United States, New York:
During the service at Mosque Khalifa on Bedford Ave, the preacher persistently addressed a specific topic related to my case. He made references to "a brother within this community, one of our own, who made a recording" in an apparent attempt to divert attention to the tape I had recorded. Following my complaint to the EEOC through email, the recording was promptly deleted on the same day, which I later submitted to the EEOC. I started attending Islamic Mission of America/Dawood Mosque at 143 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, and immediately, I was followed by an individual who repeatedly tried to have a conversation with me. I was also followed to a Mosque in Harlem, NY.

T-Mobile Visit Tracking / Unauthorized new number added at 574 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217:
Concerned about the security of my internet connection with Verizon, I visited T-Mobile to add a new line specifically for internet access. To my surprise, shortly after arriving at the store, a male approached the same register I was standing at and started asking questions. A few days after leaving the store, I discovered that a new phone line had been added to my T-Mobile account without my knowledge or consent. I promptly contacted T-Mobile customer service to inquire about the data usage associated with that particular number, but unfortunately, I did not receive the requested information. I believe Socure hacked my home network, such as my laptop, tablet, Television and home camera. For the past year and a half, Socure has managed to view all of my browsing history. I believe they kept contacting lawyers that I reached out to after every visit I made on their website to avoid me from being represented. In additional, after noticing that my email accounts were hacked, I wrote a statement indicating that my emails were hacked in which I got notarized at TD Bank.

Grocery Shopping Brooklyn:
During my visit to the local supermarket, I noticed several individuals following me closely, paying particular attention to the food items I was selecting and the card I used for payment. I believe I was being followed long before I started to notice.
* May 8, 2023, at 1420 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* May 1, 2023, at 1420 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Online Job Targeting:
I have been repeatedly targeted for specific jobs and companies, which I believe are staged by Socure, just as they did by involving me in a company backed by their investors to stage multiple events against me while interfering with my employment. I was lured into Plural, formerly known as Civic Eagle, where multiple African American candidates who did not qualify were being hired without my knowledge. All whom I’ve never spoke with. I suspect that Socure somehow gained access to my T-Mobile account and requested my entire call history to monitor my communications. Furthermore, I believe that when I sought legal counsel after receiving the EEOC's authorization to file a lawsuit, Socure clandestinely intervened in my calls to every law firm I contacted.

Puerto Rico Vacation on Dec 23, 2022:
Upon our arrival at our room in Puerto Rico, we noticed a black male who entered a room adjacent to ours shortly after us. However, after a couple of days, we did not see him again.
During a visit to a restaurant in Puerto Rico, I recognized the hostess as the same woman I had encountered multiple times at the YMCA. She had her head covered with a white scarf. As I was seated facing the entrance, she deliberately made eye contact with me, seemingly aware that I recognized her. After finishing lunch, this same woman followed us to the waterfront and watched us closely.

Neighbor Tracking Movement at 322 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216:
Every time I left my building, I noticed a consistent pattern where the neighbor from 5F would coincidentally head towards the elevator, wait in the lobby, and enter the building exactly at the same time. This behavior raised suspicions and led me to believe that individuals from 5A were strategically positioned next door, potentially tapping our walls to eavesdrop on our conversations. The neighbor in 5A, whom I knew through the YMCA, repeatedly complained about the building while urging me to submit a work order. I also suspect that Socure assisted one of my former neighbors, Serdar Cam, in moving into the building after they discovered my text messages about potentially moving there. Immediately after moving in, Serdar started complaining as well. I believe Socure was involved in placing a previous female tenant in the building, who also complained to me on multiple occasions about the building.

Uber License Training:
Once again, Socure monitored the location of my phone and deployed individuals to the classroom where I was attending classes in Long Island City in early March 2023. After completing the classes, I became too afraid of potentially facing false rider allegations.

New Open Gym Invitation by Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member Ethan, Andre Nelson was present on March 2, 2023, at 300 Adelphi, Brooklyn, NY 11205:
Ethan, a fellow YMCA member, invited me to join him at a nearby gym. To my surprise, Andre Nelson was also in attendance. While playing on the court, I noticed one of the players guarding me had a conspicuous microphone attached to them, and an Asian woman diligently captured footage from different angles with a video camera. I believe they were recording my voice and actions on the court. Additionally, it seems that after complaining about what happened at the YMCA, members are being instructed to engage me outside the YMCA to diffuse the situation. This incident further raised my suspicion that our apartment might be under surveillance, as I had previously mentioned Andre Nelson's presence at the open gym to my wife. Moreover, during the open run, I noticed the unexpected presence of multiple YMCA members from the Downtown Brooklyn location, whom I hadn't encountered in the past four years. I firmly believe that Andre Nelson orchestrated their participation and that they were strategically placed as collaborators by Socure.

New Gym Invites
After fully understanding that I knew about all of the plans in place at the YMCA, with the help of the YMCA Director, Sonia Atherly, multiple members were told to invite me to other gyms to built a campaign of “ this is Lou everywhere he goes”. Over six plus individuals were asked to invite me to new open gyms and men’s league to play in. This is all to avoid further problems at the gym.

Real Estate / Startup Venture Inquiry by Gavin Tseng:
Due to ongoing targeting, I decided to distance myself from everyone for months. However, my friend Gavin Tseng, whom I knew while living in Downtown Brooklyn, repeatedly invited me to his upstate home and wanted me to see properties he was interested in purchasing. It was quite unusual that Mr. Tseng would frequently text me, asking about my availability on specific days. I suspect that Mr. Tseng was recording our conversations during the trips and multiple phone calls, where he sought my help with UX Designing for his apartment rental car service. I believe Socure conducted research on my past work history, including my involvement in a Delegate campaign in Maryland for a real estate professional. I suspect that Socure fabricated false accusations against this individual and used my information to create misleading claims, leveraging my network and devices.

Subways / Stores Staged Evidence Building:
Regardless of the subway station I find myself in, I consistently experience being followed by random individuals who are instructed to approach me closely while holding their cellphones up to my face and posing questions. On multiple occasions, I recall three females approaching me seeking guidance regarding subway directions, and I willingly offered my assistance. However, I have recently become aware that individuals, including camera operators, have been capturing these interactions on film as part of what appears to be a deliberate campaign to discredit me.

March 28, 2023 - Travel to Milwaukee:
While traveling to Milwaukee for a getaway from my wife after several disputes, I noticed that I was being followed at the airport. The surveillance continued throughout my stay at the Airbnb located at 1028 East Juneau Avenue, Unit 416, Milwaukee, WI 53202, from March 28, 2023, to April 11, 2023. I also experienced being followed at the Hertz car rental at 804 Vel R. Phillips Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203, on April 6, 2023, and at the Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlet at 11211 120th Ave, Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158, on the same day.

April 12, 2023 - Returning back from Milwaukee:
Immediately after arriving back in New York City from my two-week vacation, at around 3:45 pm ET, just two minutes after landing, I received a text message from a YMCA member whom I hadn't communicated with in over three weeks. The message mentioned something along the lines of "See you tonight," which I promptly deleted. This unmistakable occurrence served as a clear indication that my phone was under surveillance and being tracked.

April 21, 2023 & May 7, 2023 - Vitamin Shoppe at 12 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217:
As I entered the Vitamin Shoppe in Downtown Brooklyn on Atlantic Ave, I noticed that I was being followed. While at the checkout counter, an African American gentleman positioned himself next to me, seemingly eavesdropping on my account information and the items I was purchasing. I strongly suspect that a similar incident occurred during my previous visit on April 21, 2023, although I was not actively observing at that time.

On May 6, 2023, between 11:30 am - 12:45 pm - JFK AirTrain:
Once again, I became aware that my phone was being tracked. I accompanied my wife to the airport as she was departing for Milwaukee. Upon arriving at the station, an assertive African American woman in her late 30s hurriedly approached us, despite the presence of multiple station operators. She aggressively stopped us and began asking for directions. Sensing something amiss, I promptly distanced myself from the situation while my wife attempted to assist her with the directions.

Friday, May 11, 2023 at Costco Eyewear at 517 E 117th St, New York, NY 10035: While I was sharing my information, a woman in her late 50s approached the counter and closely observed my personal details. I have come to believe that Socure has someone at Chase informing them of my location whenever I use my Chase bank card. The day before, I made purchases with my Chase card at Costco.

Friday, May 11, 2023 at Costco at 517 E 117th St, New York, NY 10035: While conversing with a product representative at Costco, a young female employee in her late teens or early twenties approached with an older Senegalese gentleman in his late 60s. The gentleman sought assistance with a product due to his limited English proficiency. As he showed me his phone up close, I noticed someone recording our interaction from a distance. Once again, I felt as though I was being followed. It seems that a private investigator was aware of my recent purchase of fish oil at Vitamin Shoppe on May 7, 2023, as well as my pursuit of becoming a personal trainer. They orchestrated the scenario with the gentleman asking me specific questions about fish oil. It's worth noting that the material I was studying for personal training explicitly states that trainers should not recommend any medication to individuals.

Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Hoyt Station in Brooklyn: Once more, I found myself being followed into the train station. While I was waiting there, a woman approached me once again, seeking directions. Without hesitation, I gestured towards someone else nearby and firmly replied, "No, ask her." Interestingly, there was a man across the platform holding two cameras, capturing the entire interaction between us. Following the unsuccessful attempt, the woman conversed with the man briefly before they both boarded the train.
Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Bedford and Quincy in Brooklyn: As I neared my apartment building, I noticed two cameramen once again attempting to record me. Sensing their presence and their intention to cross the street, I quickly changed course and crossed over to the other side, putting some distance between us.

Saturday, May 13, 2023 - TD Bank at 957 Marcy Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216: While I was withdrawing cash from the ATM, a white male in his late 20s, accompanied by a dog, was recording me from outside. I also believe Socure did some digging into all of my transactions at my local banks, such as Chase and TD Bank.

Saturday, May 13, 2023 - Credit Card information altered: When I logged into my Discover Credit Card account, I observed that my information had been modified.

Monday, May 14, 2023 - Best Buy Brooklyn at 625 Atlantic Ave Ste A7, Brooklyn, NY 11217: Upon reaching the printing department at 12:14 pm ET, I was harassed by an African American woman in her late 60s. I ignored her and left through the opposite side, but she continued to follow me and tried to engage in a conversation.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at Target 517 E 117th St Suite 201, New York, NY 10035, at 10:46 am ET: Upon realizing that I was aware of the cover-up occurring, where individuals were tailing me and inquiring with their phones in hand, Socure strategically positioned an African gentleman near the entrance of the targeted bathroom. They had been closely observing my actions. Remarkably, this man was dressed identically to me during the incident that unfolded on Friday, May 11, 2023

While waiting in line, I believe a Senegalese couple were instructed to chat about illegal activities intentionally while I was behind them and they absurdly moved to another line.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 - Cohen’s Fashion Optical at 86 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027: While retrieving my reading glasses from Costco, I discovered that the prescription was stronger than what was indicated in the eye examination. The lenses ended up negatively impacting my vision. I requested to review the physician's notes from the exam, but despite waiting for over 30 minutes, they were unable to provide any documentation as the physician was acting very strange. Instead, they gave me evasive responses, leading me to ultimately leave without a resolution.

May 18, 2023 - Chase Bank at 1380 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216 @ 12 PM ET: Around 12 PM ET on May 18, 2023, at Chase Bank on Fulton Ave in Brooklyn, I experienced another incident I believe involves Socure. An individual was sent to tail me, and it began at TD Bank where this person approached the teller in an ostentatious manner, loudly expressing their intentions. I suspect this encounter was being recorded in an attempt to frame a robbery on me. It seems that Socure is continuously monitoring my activities, possibly as a diversion from the fact that their former CFO was untrustworthy. Regardless of where I go, I am constantly being followed, with new tactics being devised every time I step outside my home.
I’m writing to put a stop to this targeting and ongoing harassment.
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2023.05.27 14:28 ahayling [Game Thread] (1) Connecticut Sun (3-0) vs (6) New York Liberty (1-1) ~ May 27th, 2023 1:00PM ET ~ CBS

[Game Thread] (1) Connecticut Sun (3-0) vs (6) New York Liberty (1-1) ~ May 27th, 2023 1:00PM ET ~ CBS

Game Information

Connecticut Sun vs New York Liberty

Game Information

TIME MEDIA Location Broadcast
Eastern: 1:00PM Game Preview WNBA.com Barclays Center US: CBS
Central: 12:00PM ESPN Box Score Brooklyn, NY Canada: Unknown
Mountain: 11:00AM WNBA League Pass Home Team Broadcast: N/A
Pacific: 10:00AM Road Team Broadcast: N/A

Road Team

Connecticut Sun

Team Homepage Team Roster & Coaching Staff
Social Media Local Television & Broadcast
Twitter NBC Sports Boston
Instagram NECN

Home Team

New York Liberty

Team Homepage Team Roster & Coaching Staff
Social Media Local Television & Broadcast
Twitter Yes Network
Want to use my 2023 WNBA Templates and help contribute posting game threads for wnba? Download here!. A potential 255 Game Threads for the entire for 1 person is a lot of work. This season I have two more volunteers to help me out!
Read The Flow Chart if you're Watching Games Courtesy of @cwetzel31 on Twitter for those if you're planning to watch the games.
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2023.05.27 06:00 bimbo_wannabe_ [I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 4: This Afternoon, I Visited A Dead Man's Family

[I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 4: This Afternoon, I Visited A Dead Man's Family
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It was another hour and a half before I finished cleaning the floor in the dining room and the kitchen, and started on Nia's booth. I threw the plate away that Misiu's head had been sitting on, as I didn't really want to risk having something served back to me on it even if I woulda run it through the dishwasher fourteen times. The sprite had dried in Nia's water goblet and the sugar had caked onto the bottom of it, so I threw that away, too. The syrup in the dispenser had congealed. Having left it in the cooler, how it had gotten back onto the table, I had no idea.. I wasn't entirely sure there had just been strawberry juice and sugar in that syrup anymore, knowing who used it for her waffles, so it followed the rest into the trash.
Between the two of us, we'd finished the bottle of vodka and I threw it away also. I had more than just a good buzz going by the time we were done, but Becca seemed largely unfazed. She finished the counting and the calculations, tore the long slip of paper loose from the adding machine and put it back into the duffel bag. The final calculation read $176,547.00. As I watched, she wrote out twenty-seven different deposit slips from various banks across the boroughs and sent me to the front of the restaurant to grab some doggy bags from the register. She made a few notes in the account book, and divided the money up with the slips in the plastic bags, tying them shut and putting them back inside the duffel bag.
"I ain't entirely sure you shoulda been drinking while doing that, Beccs," I was slurring just a bit when I spoke, so I weaved my way over to the coffee machine and poured two cups, carrying the other back to Becca. She took it from me, black and with no sugar, and started sipping at it. "That's a hell of a lot of money to possibly make a mistake with. Hell, that's more money than I've made in my entire life."
"Jesus, you broke fuck, this is just for the week, and it was a slow goddamned week. Besides, I could do this shit in my sleep. I been cooking Jimmy's books since I was 12. He figured out pretty quick my Dad couldn't be relied on. And you know, I ain't that drunk. I got a strong constitution. Per capita, the Korean population consumes more alcohol than the entire country of Russia does, you know."
"Today I Learned," I quipped, and she laughed.
I diluted the industrial bleach in the bucket according to the instructions on the back, after I'd poured the bloody water down the drain at the mop station and filled it with a gallon of scalding water. I coated the table and the booth with the dilution after I had scrubbed the last bit of blood off the tabletop. The two spots on the dining room floor got covered next, and the one in the kitchen. I threw the rags away, poured the bleach water down the drain to rinse out the last bit of bloody residue, and returned to Becca's booth to nurse my coffee while the dilution sat for the required twenty minutes. The bottle had only said ten, but I figured you could never be too safe where blood was concerned.
Becca switched her phone screen on and selected 'Asshole' from the top of her Contacts list. She put it on speaker and the call was answered on the second ring.
"Yeah?" It was Jimmy's voice on the other end.
"Deposit's done. Just under 200 grand. I'm upstairs, and I want this goddamned money off my hands, you fucking wop."
"Alright, alright, hold your hors–" She hung up the call before he'd finished speaking with a smug look on her face, and took another sip of her coffee. Becca had a set of steel balls, I'd give her that much.
Jimmy and Nia came up about ten minutes later, both dressed now. Jimmy looked over the account book and compared it to the adding machine paper and signed an X in the verification box before he took the black duffel bag and disappeared into the back again.
Nia stood beside Becca and reached down to caress her face. Becca looked up and smiled at her, covering Nia's hand with hers.
"Buongiorno, Mamma." Nia bent down and they kissed each other's cheeks.
"You smell sad, cara mia, tell me, who do I need to kill?"
I snorted into my coffee, scalding liquid filling my sinuses, inhaled half a gulp in reflex, and sputtered and coughed until I got the hot liquid out of my lungs and nose, reaching blindly for the napkins in the dispenser on the table.
Becca shot a glance at me, but didn't say anything as she looked back up to Bianchi.
"It's no big deal, Ma. It is what it is. I'm a big girl, I'll be fine, I can handle my shit."
"Che bella bambina, stai crescendo così in fretta.," Nia said fondly. 'What a beautiful baby girl, you're growing up so fast.' "How are you on your medicine?"
"Last shot is tomorrow."
"Give me a few days, my treasure, and I will get you more."
I'd finally managed to stop myself from drowning and I noticed with a sinking feeling that Bianchi had turned her attention to me.
"I'd like to go out tonight. Here is my address. Pick me up at 10 PM." She handed me a little slip of paper with a Stillwell Avenue address written on it in handwriting that looked more like calligraphy than a quick, jotted note.
I glanced to Becca and she raised an eyebrow at me. Don't be surprised if you end up on the rotation, she'd said. Guess she'd been right.
"Yes, ma'am," I answered quietly, and she grabbed the tip of my chin with cold fingers and gave it a little shake.
"Sweet boy," she purred, and then walked into the back herself. Jimmy passed by her, and counted out two thousand dollars to Becca and another thousand for me.
"You did a good job, Ton'. You can come in when you wake up in the morning, it's gonna be a late night. All hell is gonna break loose when that storm hits in two days. They're calling for 36 inches and 45 mile an hour winds, it's gonna be a record breaker, so tonight's your best option. She'll wanna go to Sapphire's Times Square, and make sure they cook her steak right this time. Seared on both sides, if it isn't bleeding when it comes out, send it back." He counted out another thousand and handed it to me.
"For expenses," he said, and then handed me a car key. "You do know how to drive, right?" I nodded. "Take my car. I don't want her on the train. Shit's a little hairy right now."
Well, considering yesterday two members of the Russian Mob tried to cut her head off, I can kind of see his point.
"Gotcha, Boss," I answered, and he left without another word.
"Sapphire's?" I asked Becca, once we were alone again.
"It's a fancy strip club. Couple hundred horny dudes packed in one building, so, a succubus all-you-can-eat buffet, basically."
I looked into my coffee cup and finally put voice to what had been eating at me for the last few minutes.
"What did she mean by medicine, Becca? You sick or something? Cause I used to have a horse problem and that's what I always called it, my medicine, and I can tell you Becca that's not shit you wanna be messing around with."
"Jesus Christ, Tony, I'm not a junkie. I am sick… or you know, I was. It's kind of in limbo at the moment."
"What the fuck does that mean, Rhee, speak English."
"It's AML, asshole." She spat. "Acute myeloid leukemia. I was diagnosed at 8 years old. They gave me six months to live, even with treatment. But the funny fucking thing about terminal blood cancer is it responds really goddamned well to once-weekly whole blood transfusions of the demonic variety, and it just so happens I know someone with a limitless source of what I need to keep the cancer in total remission."
I felt like an asshole.
"Jesus, Becca, I'm sorry."
"Just forget about it, Tony, I don't want your fucking apology."
Becca switched on her phone again, dialing Rossi this time.
"Baby girl," He answered.
"Hey, Pops. We got a problem. The boiler's gone down in the building. It was 35 degrees in my living room when I left this morning."
"Jesus Christ, Becca, it's 19 outside now. Why didn't you call me earlier?"
"Cause you're an old fuck, Rocco, you need your sleep. I'm gonna send the new guy over to help you out. Maybe you can liberate some of your stock of space heaters and electric blankets. Write it off as a charitable donation."
"Jesus Christ." Was all Rossi said, and then hung up the phone.
I waited for the cars to clear the Avenue for just a moment and headed across the street and into Rossi's Hardware. Rossi was in his usual uniform of khakis and a plain white button-down, but he'd already pulled his coat on. There was a U-Boat in the middle of the store floor and he was stacking it with a few electric heaters, electric blankets, boxes of hand warmer packets, Propane tanks with heating units on top, carbon monoxide detectors, and Kerosene heaters. I didn't wait to be told what to do, Pops might have been a nice old man but he had a grim look of determination on his face that told me he could probably be damned nasty if he had a mind to be.
"There are 18 units in that apartment building. One's empty. The wiring is shit in that old place and we're gonna start a fire if there's a heater and an electric blanket running in all 17, and the last thing those people need is to be homeless in the middle of a fucking blizzard." Rossi said, and I nodded, and went to grab more of the Kerosene heaters off the shelf. He grabbed 4 Kerosene jugs from off a shelf and headed into the back, where I knew he had a single Kerosene pump beside a Propane tank for refilling bottles out behind the store.
After I had counted out the correct number of heaters, I headed out the back door and grabbed the two Kerosene jugs he had already filled, carried them inside and set them on the end of the U-Boat. He came back in with the last two a few minutes later, and then he held the door open for me while I pushed the U-Boat through.
He flipped the sign to Closed on the door, and we made our way down the sidewalk. Rossi held the lobby door open as I pushed it inside.
"Start on the first floor. Start knocking doors and handing them out, I'm gonna go upstairs and start calling people down."
"Got it," I nodded, passed by the mailboxes in the center of the hallway and headed to the left to start banging on doors.
"Maintenance!" Was all I could think to yell at first. "We got heaters for youse guys."
The first apartment opened. It was a red-haired girl carrying a screaming baby in her arms, her name was Katrina. The kid, Bobby, had a coat and a hat on, mittens covering his chubby little paws, but his tiny cherub cheeks showed livid red spots from the cold.
"Oh thank God, God bless you, God bless you." She said in a rush, then pushed past me and started banging on the door of the apartment next door to hers. "DeDe! Open up! They brought us heaters!"
The man inside came out a few seconds later, bundled up just like Katrina was, and headed down the hall to the third and fourth apartment as Katrina had gone to the fifth. It took less than five minutes to distribute the supplies through the first floor, Danny from 4A and Vic and Mina, the man and woman in 6A each grabbed a heater and began carrying them up the stairs to the second floor.
"Tell 'em to close off the rest of the apartment. Put the heater in the living room, and crack open a window if it's not electric. Anybody with Kerosene or Propane gets a detector, too. Carbon monoxide will kill you a hell of a lot faster than the cold will." I called after them.
Farid, the guy in 1C, waved to me as he came down the stairs.
"Hey, I'll keep handing these out. Old man upstairs says he needs you."
I climbed the stairs two at a time and as I breached the hallway, I could hear Rossi knocking heavily on the door to 6C.
"Abre la puerta, abuela. Estamos aquí para ayudar. Hola! Mrs. Morales!"
I made my way down the hallway as quick as I could.
"She ain't answering." Rossi said to me. He pulled a little leather folder from his pocket and withdrew a set of lockpicks. The lock was open in a matter of seconds, and I followed Rossi inside as he called for the widow again.
We found her in the hallway, lying face down in the floor. Her walker was overturned beside her. Rossi crouched down and pressed his fingers to her throat.
"Fuck me," he muttered. "She's gone. Call it in."
Rossi headed back downstairs to finish the distribution of the heaters. I told the dispatcher I had gone to check on my elderly neighbor because of the heating problem in our building, her door had been unlocked and I had found her collapsed in the hallway, not breathing. They sent a bus and two police cars, and they took my statement as the EMTs pronounced her dead, and sent for the coroner's van.
"Don't feel bad, kid. Nothing you could've done for her. She's been dead at least 6 hours." The cop tells me. "Wasn't the cold that did it. I ain't a medical examiner, but from the look of the muscles in her face, my money's on a stroke. Lost my Mom the same way. At least somebody found her early. It's the ones that nobody notices missing for a few weeks, those are the real sad ones. You take care of each other, alright? It's only gonna get colder."
Rossi left a Propane heater outside of my apartment. I did as I had told the others, closed my bedrooms and bathroom off, and hung a blanket over the kitchen doorway and cracked open the window before I lit the heater on the tank, and plugged in the electric blanket. I left my clothes and boots on and climbed under the blanket, wrapping my frigid hands around the warming packet.
I jerked awake with a yelp as I heard a rattling at my window. Becca was outside on the fire escape, and for a long second I thought I was having another nightmare because she was wearing a long black dress, and in the six months I had known Becca, I'd never seen her wear a dress once.
She knocked at the window again and I crossed the room and lifted my window the rest of the way open to let her in, and slid it almost shut behind her.
"Jesus Christ, B, you scared the shit out of me."
"Sorry," she said weakly. "Fucking cops are still clogging up the hallway or I woulda knocked at your door."
She looked distinctly unsettled.
"What happened?"
"Mrs. Morales had a stroke last night."
"Goddamn," Becca whispered, and I noticed that one high heel clad foot was tapping out a nervous rhythm on the floor.
"What's going on, Becca, why are you dressed like that?"
"Tatiana just called me."
"Toni's Mom. She told me to dress for a funeral, and I don't know whose fucking funeral I'm going to. I don't wanna go down there by myself, Tony, come with me, please."
"Go down where?"
"Brighton," she answered. "I got this sick fucking feeling, man. You ain't got a suit, do you?"
I did have a suit, one I hadn't worn since I was sixteen, but somehow it still mostly fit, if a bit tighter than I remembered. I had a strong sense of deja vu, looking at myself in the black suit in the mirror. As I opened the bedroom door I saw Becca barreling into my kitchen and I heard the sound of her puking her guts up in my kitchen sink.
She was pale and sweating as she stumbled back into the living room.
"Vodka caught up to you, huh?"
"I guess," she whispered, wiping at her mouth with the back of her hand. There was the ding of a notification from her phone. She unlocked her screen and took a long look at it, her frown only deepening. She stared at the wall afterwards.
"Come on, I gotta stop by the bodega first."
We headed down the street and I stood just inside the front door of the bodega as Becca headed into the back of the store. She was gone for about fifteen minutes before she barreled out of the back and headed out the front door, and I had to stretch my stride to catch up to her. She was already at the platform when I finally caught up to her, and I hurriedly tapped my card on the OMNY reader and headed through the turnstile just as the train rolled to a stop.
I sat myself down beside Becca as the train doors slid shut. Her face was ghostly white.
"You gonna throw up again, B?"
She didn't answer me, but pulled a little plastic stick out of the pocket of her coat and held it out where I could see the two pink lines in the test window.
"You're pregnant?"
"I didn't think about it, you know. My cycles have never been regular but my FitBit said I was supposed to start my period today, and I ain't had one in like… three months."
"Jesus Christ," I whispered.
"Do you think… do you think I hurt it? By drinking? The… the baby." She looked her age in that moment, just a scared teenaged girl.
"You been drinking a lot lately?"
"No, not in months. Haven't felt the need to since…" She trailed off.
"Since you and Antoni?"
She nodded.
"I mean, I'm pretty sure fetal alcohol syndrome takes more than just one time. I'm pretty sure you gotta drink regularly and for a while, you know?"
"I gotta get to the doctor," Becca muttered. "I got no idea what the transfusions are doing to the kid."
"You know, I think it's fine. Baby's got its own blood supply, the two don't mix."
We took the L line down to the New York Aquarium, then got onto the Q line to take us to Brighton, and walked the rest of the way to Skovorodka. There were two large placards outside of the restaurant, three wreaths and a pile of flowers in front of them. I could read it, as we got closer.
'Out of respect for the Putlova family, we will remain closed to the public from 11 AM until 2 PM.'
The second placard had three pictures on it, and I knew which three faces I was going to see there even before Becca began screaming.
I'd never heard anyone scream like that outside of a movie, like the audio equivalent of pulling your lungs out through your throat. I caught her before she hit the ground, but I don't think she even realized I was there.
There was a commotion inside of the restaurant, a blond woman coming to the door. Igor, the last surviving Zabrowska brother, was just behind her. He'd probably been the one to put the slug in Jimmy's stomach yesterday, now that I thought of it, but he'd gotten away alive, unlike Misiu and Wojciech. There was a dark-haired man behind him, and if physical resemblance was any indication, I would say that was Antoni Zabrowska Sr.
The woman, Tatiana, I guessed, exited the restaurant and headed straight to Becca. She gathered her away from me.
"Oh, moya dorogaya, ty bednaya malen'kaya devochka."
I didn't understand much Russian, my vocabulary kind of peaked at privet and spasiba, but I could understand her tone just fine. Becca hung onto her, still wailing, her hands white-knuckled in Tatiana's mourning black.
I opened the door for them and Tatiana somehow managed to maneuver Becca inside. I followed them and Tatiana led her to a table in the back of the eatery. Igor stepped forward and I offered my hand to him. I was surprised when he took it.
"My condolences for your family's immense loss."
"It ain't true, Mama, it ain't true. He's not dead, he's not! You're lying to me! Jesus Christ, tell me you're lying!" I'd never heard Becca sound like that before.
"Oh malen'kiy, my sweet girl."
It was another fifteen minutes before Becca's convulsive sobs eased, each one tearing up out of her guts like she was vomiting razor blades.
"What happened to him?" Becca finally asked.
"Murder, little one. But do not worry, they'll pay, they will all pay for what was taken from us." She pressed something into Becca's palm, closing her fingers around it. Becca looked down and opened her hand.
It was an engagement ring.
She balled her hand around it, banged her fist into her chest, and wailed again. I had a sudden flash of Antoni beating the bloody stump of his wrist into his chest in much the same way.
I don't think I'm ever gonna get those sounds out of my head, no matter how long I live.
"I think you ought to tell them, Becca." I spoke up, eventually. "They deserve to know."
The look on her face said Becca had forgotten all about the little plastic test in her pocket.
Her lips were pressed in a thin white line by her teeth. Becca grabbed Tatiana's hand and laid it over her still flat stomach. There was confusion on the woman's face, then disbelief, then the barest bones of hope.
"I'm pregnant, Mama. Your son is going to be a father."
The funeral turned to a celebration after that. Becca was plied with food and me with drink. It wasn't entirely my concern for Antoni's family that had led me to push for the announcement of Becca's pregnancy. Carrying Antoni's child meant Becca was untouchable, and as long as I was with her, I was safe.
Or at least, I thought I was.
The vodka was wanting out, so I excused myself quietly to the restroom and went about my business. As I was washing my hands, the door opened, but I didn't bother to look up from the sink. It was a mistake.
My vision exploded in white. My ears were ringing. When the world finally swam back into focus behind the shower of white sparks, I realized I was on the floor of the restroom, and at least half of the room lay beneath a wash of red. I touched my face. It seemed to take hours for me to register that there was blood on my hand. Where the hell had that come from?
Hands bunched in my suit jacket and I was dragged back to my feet. The bathroom mirror was shattered, that was where the blood on my face had come from. Antoni's father was dragging me off the floor. He had removed his suit jacket and button down and was wearing only a white undershirt with his dress pants. I could see the two eight pointed stars and the epaulettes on his shoulders. He held me against the wall with his left hand pressed to my chest, and I nearly lost consciousness completely as my head snapped to the left and slammed into the paper towel dispenser as his right fist slammed into my jaw. It whirred and a length of red spattered brown paper slid out of the mouth of it.
My mouth filled with blood within seconds and I gagged on it, only just managing to turn my head to the side before I spat out a mouthful of ichor and a molar. The man didn't seem to recognize the favor I'd done for him, because his fist sank into my stomach and I lost my breath entirely as I doubled over, only to be dragged upright again.
"That's enough, Antoni," said a voice I didn't recognize. I groaned and blinked my eyes as I tried to clear the blood out of my vision.
"It will never be enough, Vadim."
There was a man standing there, dressed in a rather modest black suit, and Igor stood just behind him, turning the lock on the bathroom door.
"You're sure this is him?" The man spoke to Igor, and he nodded.
"He was there in the restaurant when it happened."
The man hummed, adjusting his suit jacket.
"And what," Vadim spoke to me now. "Chiellini sent you here to gloat?"
I tried to speak, instead I choked as blood came rolling down my throat from my sinuses. My nose was broken. Vadim motioned to Antoni Sr. and the man released me. I stumbled over to the sink and coughed out the blood. I took a ragged gasp and turned the water on, filling my hands and then my mouth. I spat the bloody water into the sink.
"Look, I… I got no part in this. I'm here because I'm Becca's friend, I… I considered Antoni a friend. I mean, Igor, tell him, I used to hang out with youse guys, we used to drink together for Christ's sake."
Igor only stared at me, not saying anything.
"And now you're working for the Italian," Vadim said solemnly. "We have eyes on that street. We know you helped the Butcher put our boys in bags. Do you know who they were? My nephews. Not nameless thugs, not trash, men with a family who do not even now have the privilege of burying their dead."
"I ain't got no choice, man. I got a family, too. I got a sister and grandparents, and God knows what happens to them if I don't do what Jimmy says."
"And where is your family? Hmm? They are elsewhere, and you, you are here now."
Antoni Sr. grabbed me again, flicked open a large pocket knife as he pinned my left hand to the wall by the wrist. Igor stepped around Vadim and covered my mouth with his hand. The blade sliced at the base of my ring finger. I screamed and at the same time tried my best to speak from behind the hand muffling me.
"Maybe I tell him to take a finger, one for each of his sons. Maybe then we will be even. Oh, would you like to say something?"
"Please don't do this." I blurted out, and Vadim scoffed. "Wait! Just fucking wait. It was her, Bianchi. She killed them."
Vadim rolled his eyes. "You're not doing yourself any favors. I know who killed my nephews. I know all about Chiellini and his pet devil."
"But I know where she lives! And I know where she's going to be tonight. I'm taking her up to Sapphire's, just me. She's gonna be alone, and if you want to catch her off guard, tonight's the night."
Vadim hummed again, then tilted his head to Antoni Sr. The man let go of my wrist. He looked disappointed, to say the least. I grabbed for the paper towels, ripped them loose, and wrapped them tight around my bleeding finger. I could see the white of my knuckle underneath the blood.
"What is that address?"
I told him. The address was burned into my mind by this point.
"I'm picking her up at 10 PM. I'll be driving Jimmy's car. Black Lexus."
The three muttered between themselves, but I couldn't understand any of the words.
"Clean yourself up," Vadim said to me. "There is no reason to scare the girl."
I sank down to the floor. The tears came hot and fast and they stung in the cuts on my face. I pulled my knees up to my chest and sobbed, cradling my injured hand against my chest.
"You shouldn't cry like that. It's embarrassing." Came a voice from next to me.
"Fuck you, you dead asshole."
Antoni Jr. gave a wet snort, his elbow balanced on his bent knee where he was seated on the floor beside me.
"No reason to be nasty."
"You been here this whole time? You couldn't have stepped in, given a guy a hand?"
"Fresh out of hands," The corpse replied with a toothless grin.
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2023.05.26 21:31 Billy-Beer-76 Flatbush to Marine Parkway Bridge?

Usually when I bike to the Rockaways or Jacob Riis (from Brooklyn) I will take Bedford to Emmons to the Greenway to get to the Marine Parkway bridge. But Google maps suggests that I cut over to Flatbush in Marine Park, somewhere around Avenue V. I had heard that taking Flatbush to the bridge is a nightmare. Is that stretch of it OK to ride on, or should I continue going the long way if I want to live?
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2023.05.26 04:38 bimbo_wannabe_ [I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 3: Today, I Spoke To The Devil's Daughter

[I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 3: Today, I Spoke To The Devil's Daughter
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Jimmy cooked me breakfast this morning, down in his apartment, and we ate together at the bar while I tried to fathom what the day ahead of me was going to entail. At about 6 AM, a red light started flashing above our heads and an alarm, one I recognized buzzed throughout the restaurant every time there was a delivery at the back door, began blaring.
"They're here early," Jimmy said, and wiped the corners of his mouth with a napkin, tossing it into his plate and standing. He left into the bedroom and returned wearing a quilted dressing gown. Nia emerged in the matching shirt to Jimmy's pajama pants, and together we climbed the stairs back up to the restaurant.
Nia slid onto a table and sat with her legs crisscross applesauce in front of her. The silk button down was so big on her it reached past her knees, and the sleeves swallowed up her hands. She looked like a particularly lethal five year old playing dress up with her father's clothes. She'd balled her hair into a messy chignon at the back of her head, and she smiled sweetly to me as I followed Jimmy into the receiving area to the side of the kitchen. Joey was still laying there at the back door to the alley, but he'd been covered with a white sheet, and the blood had plastered the fabric against what was left of his face.
Jimmy hit a red button on the wall, and the receiving bay door started clumping upwards, panel by panel, until it was rolled up near the ceiling. A white van, no windows of course, backed up the rest of the way into the bay and the back doors opened as Jimmy hit the button again, and clump by clump the bay door closed once more.
A bear of a man crawled out of the back, and Jimmy stepped forward as they wrapped their arms around each other and laughed. Another man crawled from the driver's side, and began pulling equipment from the back of the van. A reciprocating saw, black construction bags, bottles of bleach. There were two 50 gallon drums back there, labeled with the symbols of some kind of corrosive chemical.
"You enjoy the trip to Maine, Teddy?" Jimmy asked.
"Of course. It's always nice to visit new places."
The man's name was Theodore Moretti, he'd introduced himself to me one morning at the bodega. I'd been standing there waiting to buy a pack of cigarettes, and he'd been in deep conversation with Becca about a 'runner'. He'd been asking about someone by name, I didn't know the guy myself, but Becca had been telling Moretti exactly where to find this guy, that he was hiding out at a girlfriend's in Bushwick. Afterwards, he had passed her a thick fold of money and she'd slipped it into the kangaroo pocket of her hoodie, not in the register. Then he'd turned around and told me his name and shook my hand, like I hadn't just seen and heard what had happened right in front of me.
"We got new people in here?" Teddy asked, looking in my direction. I gave him an awkward wave, feeling like a moron.
"Eh, Joey had an early, involuntary retirement." Jimmy replies.
Moretti mumbled something beneath his breath and crossed himself.
"God rest him. He was a good kid. I'm gonna have to drop by and check on his Ma. She's probably taking it pretty hard."
"Not right now, anyway, ain't nobody told her yet. I'm gonna need you to take him down to the funeral parlor when we're done. Tell Goldberg I'll pay for it all, but right now we got bigger issues inside."
The nameless driver passed me the two bottles of bleach, rolled the trash bags up into a neat ball, and set the Sawzall under his arm. We followed Jimmy and Teddy inside.
"What a fucking mess," Teddy said, cheerfully, as we breached the back dining room. The driver set down his burdens on an empty table and I set the bleach bottles beside them.
"Teddy!" Nia squealed, hopping down from the table. She leaped into the man's arms, and he picked her up off the ground and kissed her full on the mouth, and not the kind of kiss your overly friendly Aunt gives you at family reunions. Jimmy barely seemed to notice.
The driver was looking at Nia with a disgusted expression. As I watched, he crossed himself and muttered a prayer underneath his breath. He pulled on a pair of black protective gloves and shook out a garbage bag, crossing the room to pick up the two heads lying there, and tossed them inside with all the gravity of a chain gang member picking up litter. He exited back into the kitchen, and I imagined the heads were going to end up in the steel drums in the back of the van.
"Bentornato, amore mio." Nia says, when Moretti let her up for air and set her back on the ground again.
"Grazie, tesoro."
Moretti made short work of the bodies after that, rigor mortis having mostly let go by that point, breaking them down at the joints and cutting the torsos down into two even, easy to carry pieces. I tried not to gag as I took pieces of bone and flesh, fat and organ with my gloved hands, placed them into the garbage bag, and carried them back into the receiving bay. The driver took them from me and dropped them with a splash into one or the other of the drums. He was wearing a respirator and a pair of safety glasses, and my eyes watered from the acrid smell exiting the van.
After the butchering stopped, the two men carefully picked up Joey's body between them and placed him on the floor in the back of the van. Moretti crossed Joey's arms over his chest, made the sign of the cross on what was left of his forehead with his thumb as he mumbled a prayer, and then covered the body with the sheet again.
They left soon after that, Nia kissing Moretti goodbye, and I was left with the bottles of bleach and a bucket and scrub brush, with the instruction to clean the congealed blood off of the dining room and kitchen floors, and to sterilize the booth and the table so we'd be ready to open tomorrow morning for regular business hours. Jimmy and Nia headed back downstairs. Jimmy left me with his cell phone number in case I needed anything. I was given a sign to hang on the front door, 'Closed For Cleaning,' and I set to work doing just that.
It was a hell of a lot harder cleaning up dried blood than I had ever imagined, and I worked myself into a sweat within minutes, and though the water in the bucket turned a darker and darker red, I seemed to be making no headway on the pool on the floor.
"Jesus fucking Christ, what happened here?"
Fuck, I forgot to lock the front door back.
I looked up and found a police officer standing in front of me, Sargeant Nuzzo from the 61st Precinct. I dropped the brush on the floor and raised my hands in the air reflexively.
Nuzzo released a sound of disgust and waved his hand in front of him.
"You know what, I don't even wanna know. Where's Jimmy?"
I gave the Boss a call, told him he had a visitor, and when the man came upstairs in his dressing gown again, he didn't seem in the least bit surprised to see a cop standing in his restaurant.
"What's the news?" Jimmy asked.
"They got jack shit up in the 1st Precinct. No calls in on the tip lines yet, I mean, it's kind of still early to tell, but it's been a month since the first one and as long as you guys keep it quiet from now on, this is gonna become another unremarkable footnote in the City's history. Trust me, we got a whole fucking warehouse space filled with nothing but cold cases. Give it another few weeks, and nobody will even remember these floaters."
Jimmy handed Nuzzo a wad of cash and sent him on his way with a fresh cup of coffee. I made sure to lock the door after he left, and went back to scrubbing the floor.
About twenty minutes later, I finally started to see the white of the tile through the first blood pool, and I heard a fist banging on the front door. I slipped off the black rubber gloves and headed to the front door.
"We're closed," I said loudly.
"The fuck you are," Becca Rhee barked at me. "I'm fucking freezing to death over there and if Jimmy wants his money laundered properly, you'd damned well better let me inside. I keep double pressing keys cause I'm shakin' so goddamned hard."
She and her father lived in the apartment next door to mine, I'd been too concerned about my own shit to think about the rest of the poor people in the freezing apartment building.
I should have known the bodega was just another spoke in Jimmy's business wheel.
I didn't have the energy to argue and unlocked the door, stepping aside to let Becca through. She had a Brooklyn Nets beanie pulled down over her ears, and she looked like she was wearing at least three layers of clothes under her jacket. She headed back into the second dining room, and tossed a black duffel bag on one of the clean tables. It made sense as she opened the bag, revealing stacks on top of stacks of money, a calculator, and a handwritten account book. There were no windows back here for passerby on the street to see the suspicious circumstances occurring within. She removed her coat and tossed it haphazardly onto another table.
I locked the door back behind me, and returned to the dining room, slipping my black gloves back on and returned to scrubbing the floor.
Becca was nineteen years old. In the bodega, there were old pictures from when she was in high school. She'd been a cheerleader, back then, had even gone to a few national competitions, and that made sense too. She was only about 4'6 and she'd probably made it easy on her teammates when they tossed her into the air with as tiny as she was.
"Go in the back and grab me a bottle of vodka." She reached into her pocket, withdrew a 50 dollar bill, and slammed it down onto the end of the table. I stared at it for a moment before I spoke.
"I can't do that."
"Why not?" She yelled back.
"You're too young."
"Are you fucking kidding me? What are you gonna do, call the cops on me for underage drinking, you fucking mook?"
Well, she kind of had a point, when I thought about it, so I grabbed the money and went and retrieved an unopened bottle of Skyy from the back, and stopped by the fountain machine to grab two glasses.
"You want a chaser?" I asked, turning back to look at her.
The glass fell out of my hand and shattered on the floor. Becca was in the side of the booth facing me, and there, standing just behind her, was a corpse… It was Antoni.
"The fuck is wrong with you?" She screamed at me, and I hurriedly left the room to grab a broom and a dustpan, returning to sweep up the pieces but… Antoni was still there. He raised the stump of his right wrist and jabbed it in my direction, then down at Becca. If he had hands, he'd have been pointing.
She'd grabbed the bottle and a new pair of glasses and had seated herself back at the booth. She took a large gulp of vodka that made my eyes water in sympathy as she hissed in a breath and chased it with a gulp of cola.
I disposed of the broken glass in a nearby trashcan, and within a few minutes she'd counted out several thousand dollars and wrapped them in bank bands. The adding machine whirred and the paper coming from it got longer and longer.
I returned to my place on the floor, put my gloves back on, and started scrubbing at the blood again. I looked up in her direction every few minutes, but Antoni was still standing there, staring at me with no eyes, and dripping a puddle of water on the tiled floor, 'pointing' at me.
"I need another drink. " Becca said to me, and I could hear tears in her voice. I removed the gloves again, and grabbed the glass off her table and went to refill it with cola. As I carried it back to her, I saw that she'd pulled her cell phone out and dialed a number from her contacts. Antoni jabbed his wrist at her again. I felt like a creep for spying on a teenaged girl's personal business, but I looked at her phone screen despite myself.
The contact was simply listed as T, and there was a picture attached to it. Becca was in the picture, wearing a pair of sunglasses. It had been taken at the top of Deno's Wonder Wheel and she'd been kissing the man beside her with her hands cupped around his face. The man had been the one to hold the phone up and take the picture.
The man… was Antoni Zabrowska.
The phone rang and rang, of course the owner wasn't capable of answering his phone anymore, and she eventually jabbed the End button on the phone screen and banged her fist into the table.
"Stupid motherfucker," she hissed and snatched the cola out of my hand as she downed another double shot of vodka.
There was another fierce movement from Antoni's corpse and I cleared my throat.
"You wanna talk about it?" I asked.
"Fuck you," Becca hissed in return, and then turned her phone face down on the table.
"Hey, I'm a good listener, and whatever you say doesn't matter, right? I barely exist."
She scoffed at me, took a sip of her cola and then wiped the tears off of her face like she was embarrassed they were even there. She sat for a moment longer in silence.
"It's stupid… I shouldn't even be worried about it. It's not like I'm the first dumb bitch to believe a line from some asshole that wanted to get his dick wet. He even took me to meet his fucking mother, who does that when they're just gonna turn around and ghost you? He told me he wanted to get married. And now the motherfucker doesn't even have the decency to ignore my calls. He just lets his phone ring, and I know he's home. His bedroom is right underneath mine and I can hear his fucking phone ringing, but he won't even answer the door." Her voice cracks.
The corpse behind her bent, wrapped his arms around her shoulders and pressed his torn lips to her cheek. She gave a massive shudder.
"Jesus Christ, why is it so fucking cold in here?"
I swallow and seat myself in the booth across from her.
"Did you tell Pops, you know, about you and Toni Z?"
She stared at me for a moment, then looked back down at her phone.
"You nosy fuck," she muttered, then, "And fuck no. Pops thinks I met a guy at college. He'd have a fucking calf if he knew I was dating a thirty year old, which I think is pretty fucking hypocritical considering he's dating somebody 348 years older than him."
"Bianchi?" I asked, and she nodded, her eyes narrowed at me.
"Say, how the hell did you get wrapped up in all this?"
"It was uh… kind of an accident."
She laughed and took another sip of her soda.
"Do you know the first time I met Nia Bianchi?" She asked. "I was four years old. My mom was alive back then, and she and my Dad had just opened up Rhee's. We've got fourteen different locations, now, but back then it was the first one. My Mom, she… had some shady contacts up in Koreatown, and they were expecting the store to be a new way to run cash through to clean it, but… my dad didn't do such a good job picking the neighborhood we opened our first store in. Jimmy Chiellini showed up one day, with a fruit basket to go along with his intimidation tactics, and demanded the same tribute he gets off of every business in this neighborhood.
"My Dad told him to fuck off, and for a little while it seemed like things were going to be quiet. Then one day I went outside when the ice cream truck came by, and… I never made it back inside. Somebody snatched me off the street. I took a chunk out of his hand when he grabbed me and stuffed me in the car, and put a bag over my head. They tied my hands and feet, and then they drove a short distance and took me inside somewhere."
She poured another shot and offered me the glass and I took it with muttered thanks. She held the bottle up, and I clicked my glass against it, and she took her next shot from the bottle itself.
"I was sitting there. I couldn't see anything, so I was listening. I was listening hard. I could hear Jimmy speaking off to the side, and a woman's voice. She says, 'I don't like children, Giacomo, they have no taste.'"
Becca let out a bark of laughter.
"And Jimmy goes, 'Jesus Christ, Nia, I didn't bring her here for you to kill her, I just need a place to keep her for a few hours. They're gonna crack fast, nobody needs to hurt the kid. You don't like kids, then just think of her as a tiny adult. Christ, really, just talk to her, play a game, tell her a story. Keep her occupied for a few hours, it's all you gotta do, Princess.'"
She sniffed back tears and turned her phone face up again, flipping to her gallery and opening another picture of Antoni. He looked remarkably… soft in the picture, dressed in a pair of flannel pajama pants and reading a book. He'd looked up and smiled for the camera. Becca ran the pad of her thumb over the image of his face, and took another gulp off the vodka.
"She called Rossi. Demons got no experience when it comes to children. Children are innocent, they got no use for 'em. And that was how I met Rossi, too. He brought me a Happy Meal and we played Monopoly for three hours while we waited for Jimmy to come back and get me."
"Demon?" I asked.
"Diavolessa che ha rapporti sessuali con maschi addormentati. La succuba." She said, in perfectly accented Italian which I have to admit impressed me, because I'd also heard her speaking fluent Korean with her father, Sam.
'A female demon that is thought to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men, a succubus.'
"Rossi knew what she was. Jimmy had met Nia on a trip to Napoli to visit family, and made a deal with her, back in '83, for a steady supply of food in exchange for her services to the Brooklyn Camorra. She's an attorney, you know, a damned good one. She can get anyone out of anything, and she can make anyone dissappear off the face of this earth if she really wants to. And all Jimmy has to do is make sure she gets laid on the regular. Don't be surprised if you end up on the rotation. She can't stay too long with any one man because she'll suck the life out of them, literally."
I held my glass out and she poured me another shot of vodka.
"My parents had to break down, they had to give into Jimmy to get me back, and my Mom… she paid the price for it. There was a drive by one day, and she died in front of me, laying right there in the middle of Avenue U. But before she died, my Mom took Rossi to a lawyer. She forced him into adopting me, and Nia, too. I think Mom knew what was coming, even then, and I think she knew my Appa was going to go off the deep end when she died. And he did. He's been working on suicide by liver failure for the last fifteen years. It's a slow fucking process."
I swallowed the shot and grimaced, looking over Becca's shoulder where Antoni's corpse was still standing. There were two lines of blood leaking out of his empty eye sockets, almost like tears.
"Look, Becca, I know you're mad at Antoni, and I ain't saying you ain't got a right to be but… I knew Toni pretty well. He loved you, he wouldn't have left without saying goodbye if he had a choice… just… keep that in mind, B. He might have some things going on you didn't know about."
I offered her glass back to her. She just stared at me, not saying anything. Antoni bent again, pressed another kiss to her hair, and suddenly he wasn't there anymore. The puddle of water on the floor, however, was.
Becca released a shuddering breath and gave another shiver.
"You gotta turn the heat up in here, this is fucking ridiculous," she said.
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2023.05.26 03:12 StyleP Living in an illegal apartment and considering a law suit

Brooklyn, NY
For almost three years, my partner and I have been living in an apartment in Brooklyn. Moved in during covid, got a decent deal on single unit 1 bedroom. A few issues upon moving in as far as setting up cable and utilities regarding our address, which didn't seem to exist, but we never really thought much of it. In the following years, we have had a myriad of issues. I was charged and never reimbursed for failing to have a smart meter installed, somewhere else in one of the other buildings that I don't even have access to. A broken radiator leaving the apartment below legal temperature. We were left for months during the winter with only one radiator in the apartment. The solution was to give us one electric heater. As a result our electric bill sky rocketed, at one point we had a bill of over $1,000. Windows leaking during rain. Burst pipe below the bathroom floor. Broken washedryer in the unit, took months to be replaced. Cockroach infestation which took months to get under control. Mold has been around the windows, removed and come back.
During this time, we have been in frequent contact with the property manager. Lot of emails regarding the condition of the apartment, and trying to get all of the issues fixed. There has not been much support. Things take months to get fixed, they are done poorly, and the problems come back. We have holes in the walls and floors, simply taped up. Behind the toilet is covered with tape to keep the cockroaches out. Because of all the problems, and lack of urgency being shown to fix them, we withheld rent for one month in spring of 2022. We have still not paid that rent.
After months of back and forth, and still problems, I had a lawyer send them a letter demanded forgiveness for the month of rent we withheld, and for all the current problems in the apartment to be addressed with a deadline provided. The letter was ignored. The lawyer said a lawsuit would have been difficult for us because we resigned the lease while these problems were occurring.
Recently we have begun to explore the possibility that the apartment is illegal. Based off of the certificate of occupancy for the address and comments from long time neighbors saying this space was used for commercial purposes. If that was the case, it would explain why there have been so many problems, as the space was never meant to be a living area and was not constructed to code.
At this point we are strongly considering a lawsuit, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Should we call the housing authority and set up an inspection of the premises? Go directly to a lawyer first and go from there? Does our withheld rent restrict us greatly?
Thanks for taking the time to read.
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2023.05.25 22:42 destroydesigns 6/3 ClubDrugs, Bad Bloom, Sugar Milk @ Brooklyn Music Kitchen

6/3 ClubDrugs, Bad Bloom, Sugar Milk @ Brooklyn Music Kitchen
JUNE 3 - Brooklyn Music Kitchen177 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn
ClubDrugs - Chicago Goth-Pop / Darkwave / SynthBad Bloom - NY Shoegaze / alternativeSugar Milk - NYC indie rock / alternative
$10 - 7PM


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2023.05.25 21:04 ncdeac SF (getting paid a little better) v Brooklyn (w a commute)

I've been living in Raleigh, NC and through a lot of life changes recently, I think it's time for me to get out and try something new. I've always lived here and feel like I'm starting to outgrow the area as someone in my late 30s.
A couple adjectives to describe me: single woman, queer, pretty liberal but not extreme leftist, very into art/burning man/creative pursuits, love talking philosophy, reading and learning, like getting outdoors and fitness as much as I can but not totally obsessed - would want some type of green space. I love big cities and areas that make micro-mobility easy (getting somewhere by foot, bike, skateboard, train, bus and not always in my car). Good food is always a plus.
I finally have some job opportunities that interest me in both places - SF job is firmly on the table (been working a temp job here recently and they want me to stay full time) and Manhattan job I'm 75% sure I'll be offered. I have friends in both places, but more in Brooklyn. I work in a medical field and both are way more than I would make staying in Raleigh and I should be comfortable either place but they're hard to directly compare because:
- SF job pays about 20k more after tax
- NYC job has a ton more PTO (the team I'm working with is off almost 3 months out of the year)
- benefits pretty equivocal otherwise
- housing: seems to be a wash, I have friends who I've lived with before who are happy to have me as a roommate in SF and live in a convenient area. I'm expecting somewhere around $2k a month with roommates either place
- commute: Can get by both places without a car but would probably still have one either place. I can ride my bike to work in SF (but honestly I'm a little scared of the public transport here so that makes it a little harder to get around). I'd probably end up living in Brooklyn to be near my friends if I picked NY and would have to commute to Manhattan most of the time and NJ one day a week. Good to have time to read a book and decompress though
- overall culture: obviously, NYC is a lot more dense and a lot more to do, but you have to deal with all the big city stress. I do really love the green space, cool weather, and awesome food in SF - but I honestly don't feel quite as safe here as I do in NYC.
Both are crazy expensive, and I'm definitely not burning any bridges to be able to come back to Raleigh (my employer here is happy to have me back any time). It's good to have options!
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2023.05.24 16:42 Cythreill Is K&C softening its opposition to cycle lanes?

What do we need to do to get them to support cycle lanes?
Map is an image, with green and orange lines highlighting cycle lanes and the centre border area (bordered in red) being K&C.
submitted by Cythreill to londoncycling [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 14:20 bjm525 Prescribed Infant Formula Claim Denied - Any Help?

My 9 month old was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy when they were 2 days old. Since then, we have had to give him Similac Alimentum, which was prescribed for the first year by our pediatrician. Our coverage with United Healthcare/Oxford includes a pharmacy benefit for this prescribed formula, which covers ~50% of the cost.
The infant formula shortage in the USA is still very much a thing. We have tried to order the formula through OptumRX (UHC's pharmacy) to receive our pharmacy benefit, but they are out of stock and have been for months. It is out of stock at local pharmacies (mom/pop shop, CVS, Duane Reade, etc.), so we needed to buy wherever available (Target, Amazon, local grocery). I need to feed my baby.
I submitted my claims for the formula, however they were denied as 1) they were not purchased at a pharmacy and 2) they were considered out of network and I have not yet met my deductible. I live in NY, so I believe Hannah's Law applies. My claim appeal has also been denied. It has been legitimately impossible to purchase this necessary formula through a pharmacy of any sort.
I am preparing to respond for a second appeal, and I wanted to see if anyone had input. I am fortunate that spending $15/day for this formula as opposed to $7-8 doesn't hurt THAT bad, but what is my insurance coverage worth if I cannot take advantage of this benefit.
Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated!
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