Saturday, December 29, 2012

(1) Staircase non-sequitors, (2) a trip to Staten Island, and (3) Woodhull Hospital and environs

Two sets of stairs: one at the Asia Society, Upper East Side, and one at Chavela's excellent restaurant, Crown Heights, Bklyn

At the College of Staten Island CUNY, waiting for the shuttle to the Staten Island Ferry. Waited half and hour in freezing weather, and it's snowing. Then a flock of geese begin to circle overhead. A reward, indeed.
The scene on the Staten Island Ferry
. . . and the gangplank is lowered at the South Street Seaport, Manhattan

. . . the newly cleaned tiles at the subway station at Whitehall Street, which had been completely flooded during Hurricane Sandy
The water line on the upper level, just below street level, is still visible as escalator repairs and tile cleanup continue.
The R-Station on my way to Hoyt-Schermerhorn to catch the A and then the G: what the subway looks like without its signature tiles

Flooding at Hoyt-Schermorhorn, on the unused platform across from the Brooklyn-bound platform.
. . . and lemon-lime cream pie with graham cracker crust and a large marzipan strawberry on top awaits me at home.
A quick visit to Woodhull Hospital, Bushwick reveals an artwork installed on the ceiling of Corridor 2B, and a Kwanzaa display, below, situated near the Community Needle Drop-Off point.

Woodhull's massive, prison-like exterior

Fat Albert's, across the street from Woodhull, and the inside of the B15 bus for the ride home up Marcus Garvey Ave.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's been a while . . . Brooklyn beckons, however modestly

Mural on Throop Ave. now sequestered behind a bright fence -- not quite enough of a barrier to keep the angst in check.

While on the other side of the corner, the wall creates a color field painting, backdrop to the B52 Gates Ave. bus.
The facade of a medical building on Dekalb Ave. near Marcus Garvey with a lot of irregular white spots, not decoration, but what's left over after the marble facade was removed from the upper floors.

. . . and just off Bedford Ave., there's a small house with a lot of white iron grillwork, which makes it stand out from every house on the block, both prominent and protected behind its decorative bars.

The light fixture in a pizza parlor on Franklin Ave.
This man (center, walking) just got off the bus after getting directions to a nearby homeless shelter from the bus driver. He walked with purpose, a mission to survive. Could be anyone. I wish him the best of luck.
Grocery store window in the full glare of the eastern sun.

A sign on the wall of a middle school on Lafayette Ave. Worrisome.
The next lot of photos shows a couple of elegant 19th century buildings that have been re-purposed by 20th century shop-keepers. Let's hope that the 21st century can restore them to their former elegance.

The bottle place at Bedford and Gates. Evidence of someone's diligent labor.

Storage bin at the Bedford-Nostrand G-train subway station plastered with stickers.

From the B61 bus in Red Hook

Clean lines and sterile atmospheres in Williamsburg's expensive condos. The in-house gym, below.

View from the street (Broadway, Manhattan) of the offices of a real estate company. The same clean lines as in Williamsburg's expensive condos. Live and work in the same kind of environment, devoid of charm and displaying almost no evidence of human agency, no joy.

The firehouse on Quincy.... and below, they pay me a surprise visit. Just checking the hydrant, as it turns out.

The Social Security Administration, downtown Brooklyn. Avoid visiting at all costs.
From the window of the Bushwick Car Service on my way from Williamsburg to Bed-Stuy one rainy night.

Mr. Fulton, used to be a McDonald's, whose branding is so successful, has penetrated so deeply, that I recognize the line of the roof -- this one decades old. This and the next few shots were taken from my seat on the B26 bus, at the corner of Fulton and Flatbush Aves., a particularly unpleasant arrangement of buildings, signs,

And the unpleasantness continues as we cross Flatbush Ave.
A charming little office building near Lafayette and Flatbush, with its water tower stand intact, but the water tower itself is missing.

And next door is a bigger, newer kind of monstrosity. I am mourning the loss of Brooklyn's old character to rapid development and the wiping away of the history of neighborhoods. This construction project is a few blocks from the hideous new Barclay's Center. Things can't stay the same forever.