Greenpoint, October, 2015

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


From under the Gowanus Expressway, just before it merges with the Prospect Expressway.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hidden Gallery

(Christine Osinski)
I made it down to the Alice Austen House museum yesterday to check out the recently opened show, In Conversation, which pairs early twentieth photographs of Alice Austen with photographs taken by Christine Osinski as she wandered around neighborhoods of Staten Island with her camera in the summer of 1984. Given Staten Island's culture, now as then, it's not surprising that cars figure in many of Osinski's photographs: Cars and kids, kids hanging around cars (like the one above), a guy adding oil from a punch-holed can to his engine, and so on.

The Alice Austen photographs in the show tended more to bicycles and long dresses. That is, until you enter the unmarked bathroom off the larger gallery room. Every photograph hung in this bright little room depicts an automobile Several are being tinkered with by their drivers. One, above the toile, shows guests arriving at or departing from the Ocean House in Watch Hill (Westerly), Rhode Island. What a life!
Are they by Alice Austen? Who knows? One of the pleasures of this little museum is that you sometimes have it to yourself. The door is wide open but the museum staff is nowhere to be seen, or asked a question of. They are probably out in the garden. What a life!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jersey Love

(Time Life Pictures)
With Bridgegate rearing its Chris Christie-size head, reviving memories of "traffic problems in Fort Lee," bombs in Elizabeth and Seaside, New Jersey is having another rough month. It's nice to read a little old-fashioned Jersey pride. A nice piece by David Hajdu from the Chronicle of Higher Education tells the story of his early infatuation with rock and roll, picked up in large part, listening to the table-side jukeboxes at the Gateway Diner on Route 22 in Phillipsburg, where his mother was a waitress. (His father was toll collector on the bridge across the Delaware River.) According to Hajdu's mother, the Beatles dropped in (or maybe it was the Stones...). Leonard Bernstein loved the pudding. A fun read. Makes me want to head west....

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Riding with the King

(September 2016)
Something is up with the Antenna King. For months, I've been passing the iconic sign on the Gowanus Expressway in Bay Ridge. Was there always a faded "Play Free Win $" sign underneath the phone number. Finally had a chance to have the boys in Research Bureau check it out. They went back to a photo from the post "Six Minutes to the Antenna King" from October 2012.
(October 2012)
As I suspected, the Antenna King part had been moved up to make way for the new (old) message. What's the motivation for moving one tattered sign to make room for an equally tattered one? I guess I'll just have to stop in and ask the King? (NB: No area code on the phone number.)

I always think of the Antenna King sign as the poor man's Kentile sign. Who's with me in fighting to landmark it?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

BQE Skyline

I never really thought of Brooklyn as having a skyline until I started seeing it from the Staten Island Ferry. Certainly not something you'd see from the BQE as you burrow your way under the Heights promenade. (BTW: Traffic appears to be moving well in both directions.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Storm Sputter

The boardwalk at South Beach was open for business on Labor Day as Hermine twisted out to sea, though the concession stand was closed (I wanted a dog), and red flags warned bathers off going into the water.
No action on the diamond either.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


It's pretty common to see helicopters from the balcony of our building, often hovering over Silver Lakes Park. Once even dangling a frogman over the reservoir. Maybe, like real birds, the whirlybirds are drawn to green and water. This shot at sunset makes me think of an Apocalypse Now - J.M.W. Turner mash-up.