Greenpoint, October, 2015

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Making Tracks

Early afternoon, the day after Thanksgiving. I had East Beach in Charlestown, RI, practically to myself. A 4WD's  tracks (they're legal here in the off-season) suggest that somebody beat me to it. A solitary fishing boat on the horizon, heading in.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ramping Down

Across busy Richmond Terrace from Snug Harbor, a path leads down to the waterfront. Here, I suppose, the old salts came down to gaze wistfully at the ships plying the Arthur Kill. Or not. Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your grog.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You Bet

Old-fashioned, small-scale, low-altitude billboards still adorn rooftops of a few buildings near the BQE in Greenpoint. This one seems to have been stripped down to an older message: "New Casino." Business name? Political statement? Art project? Ironic comment on the neighborhood?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Secaucus Sunset

Traveling by train from Washington to New York. Just outside of Philadelphia we are stopped for 20 minutes while some passengers from a disabled southbound train are boarded into our cafe car. Others stayed on board, waiting for the next southbound train, or a new engine?
In Newark, a parking lot hard by the Passaic.
How many lanes and rails for traffic in this picture? (Even with a couple of the distant Pulaski Skyway shut down for repair.)
The earlier delay has allowed us to be in Secaucus as sunset begins.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Life Span

Happy 50th Birthday to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge!
I won't be on the bridge today. I guess I'll miss the Port Authority cupcakes.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Grammar Breakdown

"Disabled truck approaching Koscisuszko Bridge." Begs the question, for how long has that poor truck been approaching the bridge? Syntactically confusing, practically all too revealing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Block of Ice

Unseasonably cold nights, like last night, are generally good for traffic. Or bad for traffic--and good for drivers. Semantics aside, a trip that usually takes an hour plus was done in 32 minutes. I made the light at Roosevelt Avenue, not a car in front of me. No danger of blocking the box.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Rain gear comes in all shapes and sizes. I was behind this guy for half a block before I realized it was a tray of pizza dough he was simultaneously transporting and using for shelter. Headed toward another corner pizzeria--one that probably would be out of business but for its location below one of the busiest subway stations in the entire system (and one that sees very few Italians).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Third and Long Memories

Twice in the past week, I found myself passing the corner of Third Avenue and 51st St., once in a car and yesterday on foot. When I worked at a publishing house on Madison Avenue in the late 80's, my friend Leslie and I sometimes came here for pizza. The pizza wasn't very good, but it was cheap and a good excuse to get away from the office and the blandness of Madison Avenue for a few minutes.
There wasn't much left of the old Third Avenue in those days. Two blocks north, Philip Johnson's  "Lipstick Building" was going up. There's even less now. Just a lonely block here and there of those four-story tenements with first-floor storefronts.
What was the name of that pizza place?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Leaf Drop and Lane Drop

Roving repairs to Hamilton Ave. create a moment to contemplate the passing season. From the passing lane.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


A girl and her mother beneath the elevated tracks on Roosevelt Avenue. Seen from a Q33 bus.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

And Paving!

It's hard to believe the ground floor of this Queensboro Plaza building is available, what with its spectacular view of Dutch Kills Green, not to mention proximity to the N and Q trains.

According to the developer, New York City Economic Development Corporation's site, Dutch Kills Green is: [A] sustainably-designed 1.5 acre open space ... part of the $45 million Queens Plaza roadway, pedestrian, and bicycle improvement project that has transformed the primary entry point into Queens. The former John F. Kennedy commuter parking lot has been transformed into a green space that features wetlands, native plantings, artist-designed benches and paving."
(Photo: Finnian Allen)
I'm not exactly sure where the standing stones fit in. The place reminds me a bit of Jewish cemeteries I saw in central Europe. Welcome to Queens!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Elmhurst Noir

Just 17 miles on the Gowanus and Brooklyn-Queens Expressways separate Todt Hill, Staten Island, from the temples and bodegas of Elmhurst.
No turns indeed.

Friday, November 7, 2014

S.I. Noir

Harold Street is my preferred back route from the College to the SI Expressway. With plenty of twists and turns, hills and dales, it dumps you onto the expressway less than a mile from the bridge. A few lights, a few stop signs, a foggy night.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lanes and Lines

The SI Expressway seen from Bradley Avenue overpass.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Get Your Bridge On

As you can see, the Research Bureau has been busy. The question is, what are they doing on the Brooklyn side?

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge: A Round Table Discussion from a Staten Island Perspective
Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 2:30-4:00pm

College of Staten Island
Library Archives, 1L-216

Join us for this fiftieth anniversary observance of the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as three College of Staten Island faculty members present observations and lead a discussion of the meaning of the bridge for Staten Islanders.

Staten Island and the Art of Disappearing
Prof. David Allen, School of Education
This talk explores the representation of Staten Island before the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the novels of Jane Bowles and Dawn Powell. In their works, the Island serves as contrast to, even a hiding place from, the social and artistic milieu of Manhattan—a possibility all but eliminated by the opening of the Bridge.

The Demographic Impact of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Prof. Alan Benimoff, Department of Engineering Science and Physics
Utilizing historic maps and GIS mapping techniques, Prof. Benimoff will illustrate the impact the bridge and its network of roads had on populations and land use. Did grass-roots environmental victories lead to traffic and zoning snafus? What would Staten Island look like today had Robert Moses’ vision been enacted?

The Politics of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Prof. Richard Flanagan, Chair, Department of Political Science and Global Affairs
Why was Staten Island and Brooklyn joined by a bridge and not a tunnel? Why did earlier plans to build a bridge fail? What was Robert Moses’ role in the decision to build the bridge? What underlies the bridge toll policy as it applies to Staten Island residents? Prof. Flanagan will explore these and other topics from the perspective of a political scientist. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Choose Your Rainbow

Giovanni di Paolo, The Creation and Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise (1445). Metropolitan Museum.

Saul Steinberg, Rainbow Reflected (1974). Sculpture Center, Long Island City.

Varujan Boghosian, Goodbye to All That (2006). Detail from cover illustration, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks (Charles Simic)

Goodyear Rubber Company, Untitled. Gowanus Expressway (n.d.).