Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Neighborhood Chat => Topic started by: artsub on January 14, 2008, 09:13:07 PM

Title: burned out cars
Post by: artsub on January 14, 2008, 09:13:07 PM
does anyone know anything about the totally, i mean totally burned out car sitting on 74th st between 37th and 35th. tonite (monday) there were 3 swarthy looking fellows surveying it and i tried to get some info out of them but they mostly would not speak. maybe the car was accidentally burned and not as i feared sabotaged. anyone heard anything?
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: JD on January 15, 2008, 08:49:22 AM
I don't know what happened. However, I did notice a lot of flashing lights, firetrucks and police cars, at this location around 5 p.m. yesterday.
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: MeliZoops on January 15, 2008, 02:09:54 PM
first things first - i need to address the questionable comment another poster made and clarify....those "swarthy looking fellows" were the car's owner and his friend...

here's the story:
yesterday, the driver pulled up in front of the hydrant which is in front of the door to a building on 74th and the driver got out to go inside, leaving his passenger in the running car.  suddenly from the dashboard, sparks began for no apparent reason and the interior caught fire.  the passenger was able to exit the vehicle and could only stand there to watch it burn.

i met up with these guys on my way home last night and they were waiting for the insurance guy to come out.  it was a shock and a long night for them.  neither one smokes...and after the fire was put out, the hood was lifted and the engine area of the car was completely clean.  no one can figure out what started the sparks.  my guess was faulty wiring from the stereo installation.

i feel very bad for the owner.  what a bummer!
Title: car on 74th street
Post by: Shelby2 on January 15, 2008, 03:05:56 PM
thanks for the info, Meli.  I'm really glad to know it was not an act of vandalism.

I'm not sure if it was the OP's usage of the term 'swarthy' that you found questionable but I had occasion last year to look up the term and investigate it (after using it to describe someone close to me - and not being a native speaker, he had never heard the word). 

While some portion of the public does understand the word to have a pejorative sense, a writer from the Boston Globe found that the word is increasingly being used in a positive and complimentary light.

Here is a part of the Globe article

"I'll go out on a plank, though, and predict that the pejorative swarthy is not gaining speed, despite a temporary revival brought on by political hyperbole and wide-screen swashbuckling.

In fact, the recent evidence hints that if swarthy is going anywhere, it's toward a more favorable sense. Looking at its use in US newspapers over the past five years, I found a generous handful of novel uses where swarthy seems to mean hearty, rich, gutsy, strong, maybe even macho.

Reviewing a performance of "Carmina Burana" last year, a Chicago Tribune writer said "the men launched into 'Fortune plango vulnera' ('I lament the wounds that fortune deals') with swarthy vehemence."

In the Globe a few months ago, food writer Lisa Yockelson wrote that her chocolate drop cookie combined "the swarthy style of a brownie square or bar" with "the luxury of a dense chocolate cake."

In the Washington Post, Michael Dirda said, "Nowadays, comics have grown up and taken steroids: They are swarthy, mean, perverse, complex, adult." And at Beeradvocate.com, a reviewer described a brew called Old Crustacean as "a swarthy beer, sea worthy."

There were even men boasting of their swarthiness. In the New York Times, Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong fame), asked to describe himself, said he was "incredibly handsome. Kind of dark, swarthy, and incredibly fit." The young playwright Paul Baumbasch likes the word too: he's "rakish" and "very swarthy," he told a Washington Post interviewer."


here is the whole article
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/06/03/pirate_pejorative/

Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: spaceboy on January 15, 2008, 04:01:58 PM
Swarthy means dark complexion, no?

Smarmy, though, means sleazy...

Though I suppose either is besides the point... poor guy and his burned car.
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: artsub on January 20, 2008, 08:27:24 AM
webster's collegiate 10th. ok sure maybe i need a new dictionary, but...swarthy-of a dark color, complexion or cast.
and i have to say that if i were one of the two friends standing there i think i would have been a bit more forthcoming to neighbors asking about the situation, instead of just sullenly staring ahead and ignoring the fact that someone was speaking to them thereby perpetuating any suspicions that something sinister might have taken place.
anyone thanks for the clarification
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: elyaqim on February 01, 2008, 02:33:24 PM
does anyone know anything about the totally, i mean totally burned out car sitting on 74th st between 37th and 35th. tonite (monday) there were 3 swarthy looking fellows surveying it and i tried to get some info out of them but they mostly would not speak. maybe the car was accidentally burned and not as i feared sabotaged. anyone heard anything?

Tuesday evening, I saw three "totally burned out" cars on 73rd Street between 37th Road and 37th Avenue. The middle of three cars in a row appeared to have been engulfed in flames so strong that the car in front of it and the car behind it were both demolished. The insides of all three looked like big piles of ashes, and ashes and car parts were being shoveled from the sidewalk like one would shovel snow. Does anyone know the story?
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: toddg on February 01, 2008, 02:40:04 PM
A bolt of lightning smiting a car alarm?
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: NY_Epicuriousity on February 01, 2008, 04:15:59 PM
Though I wish Todd's answer was the truth, it turns out a fire started in the pile of garbage blazed out of control, and took the cars with it.
Title: Three cars burned on 73rd street
Post by: Garciavision on February 01, 2008, 11:47:42 PM
What is this new wave? Insurance fraud? It was happening in Williamsburg a few months back :tickedoff:  :-\
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: elyaqim on February 02, 2008, 10:04:14 AM
Though I wish Todd's answer was the truth, it turns out a fire started in the pile of garbage blazed out of control, and took the cars with it.

Fascinating. Here I was presuming that the big electrical devices fueled by gasoline were the origin of the fire. What was the source of your information?
Title: Re: burned out cars
Post by: elyaqim on February 03, 2008, 12:21:59 AM
And speaking of cars, anyone know the location of this one?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/nyregion/thecity/03fyi6.html
Title: Re: burned out cars
Post by: NY_Epicuriousity on February 03, 2008, 01:51:41 PM
elyaqim - to be honest it's mostly conjecture.  I thought I had heard my girlfriend say the garbage had caught fire, when in fact she said the cars were parked near the garbage and it was probably a garbage fire that started things as people are always tossing their cigarettes out over there.

I've heard no "official" explanation - so I apologize for the misinformation.
Title: Re: burned out cars
Post by: toddg on February 03, 2008, 02:12:13 PM
So does that mean the bolt of lightning theory still stands?
Title: Re: burned out cars
Post by: NY_Epicuriousity on February 03, 2008, 03:02:36 PM
Todd - If I see one of the cars where the alarms go off at all hours around the corner from me burned out - that's what I'm chalking it up to.
Title: Re: burned out cars
Post by: NY_Epicuriousity on February 19, 2008, 09:32:04 PM
Well - the trend continues..On 74th street, between 37th and 35th Avenues, another burned out car.  This time a late model Kia SUV with the license plates removed (that reeks of an insurance job.).

This particular one spooks me as it was directly across the street from my girlfriend's car.
Title: Re: burned out car on 74th street
Post by: buddy on February 20, 2008, 08:57:53 AM
webster's collegiate 10th. ok sure maybe i need a new dictionary, but...swarthy-of a dark color, complexion or cast.
and i have to say that if i were one of the two friends standing there i think i would have been a bit more forthcoming to neighbors asking about the situation, instead of just sullenly staring ahead and ignoring the fact that someone was speaking to them thereby perpetuating any suspicions that something sinister might have taken place.
anyone thanks for the clarification

I don't think there's anything questionable using the word swarthy since you inquired as to what happened and were ignored. I would have been suspicious of that, also.  So you posted using a colorful word that expressed your emotion of the situation.  I'm sorry for Meli's neighbor losing his car like that. What a nightmare.  But I can understand, given the circumstances, how it might have looked suspicious.  I'd want to know what was happening also either to help or report it.