My Sherita

She was a Brooklyn It girl before Brooklyn had It girls.

Stunning with her cerulean eye shadow; long, curled lashes; oversized nameplate choker; frankly confusing hairdo/bow combination; and pouty lips upturned into a coy smile—she was a Brooklyn It girl before Brooklyn had It girls. She was also a twenty-five-foot-tall pink cartoon dinosaur, and now she’s gone. In late April, Sherita, the long-necked star of a billboard perched at the busy industrial intersection of Atlantic and Classon Avenues, was painted over into nothingness.

For some forty-odd years she watched over six lanes of traffic and countless auto body shops as a sort of yassified version of Gatsby’s Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, accompanied by the copy “Attention LANDLORDS / our FUEL OIL / Price is RIGHT / Come in NOW!” Long after the fuel oil business departed, landlords did pay attention and, as they are wont to do, replaced a longtime resident with something blank, white, and vibeless.

Countless investigations have failed to uncover Sherita’s history. She lives on as a symbol of that urban douleur exquise: the feeling of passing by a beautiful woman for just a …

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