Category Archives: Gowanus pics

Mapping Gowanus: Hoyt st. b/w 4th st. and the Canal

 

Gowanus Sonnet

by Adam Reid Sexton

 

Post-Carroll Street, when you are Brooklyn-bound

On what my father called the IND,

The F emerges from beneath the ground,

And fills with light (by day) and you can see.

 

And what you see, if you look to the left:

Scratchiti; the reflection of your face;

A moonscape, blocks wide, edifice-bereft,

Within the tracks’ Erector Set embrace.

 

Perusal at Hoyt’s terminus reveals

Cement mixers, rotating, marked FB,

A Sheeler painting, all blue sky and steel:

Ferrara Brothers’ concrete factory —

 

The swan song of Kings County’s smokestack past,

As out of reach as Whole Foods’ lot is vast.

 

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Mapping Gowanus: Sackett st. b/w Bond & the Canal

Homage to crud

On my way to Sackett St. between Bond and the Gowanus Canal, I may have passed a dozen construction sites, where luxury housing is slated to fill any and every crevice of my hyper-gentrifying neighborhood, Cobble Hill. Gowanus, too, is now home to luxury “waterfront” properties situated on the Canal, which is, never mind, a highly polluted, odiferous Superfund site. The block I was mapping is a piece of pre-gentrified Brooklyn that will no doubt soon be another astronomically expensive enclave, after all there are some large empty lots on this block that simply cannot survive the low interest, cheap money that is fueling the latest frenzy of development.

There was evidence of impending change – a surveyor was there, and a construction site sign that warned visitors not to enter. Nothing was actually getting built, and the block was quiet, save for a few stragglers like myself. I felt like I was documenting some last remains of industry, poverty, detritus, vandalism, and even art.

I was touched by the deconstructed air conditioners that had been slaughtered for their copper, the residue of a meal, a puddle of broken glass, cracked sidewalks, patched cobblestone, a shredded plastic bag, graffiti (even a pathetic “Trump” stencil), and all the crud that left traces of transient activity – a few Bud Lights, an abandoned work glove, a no parking sign for a film shoot called “Cyclops” that I’m guessing was a flop. The block reminds me of the kinds of decayed places I sought out in my teens to kick around and smoke cigarettes or get high. I will miss this block when it becomes sanitized by the encroaching money, eager to smooth out its edges and discard the trash.

Joan Grossman, Feb. 28, 2017

     

 

 

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Strolling Gowanus

When I first started this blog, I had no idea that the tagline I created, “blink and you’ll miss it,” would be so apropos.

Things have been changing so fast in the neighborhood. And in life; it’s hard to keep up.

I thought I’d share some recent pics from the neighborhood. And please do get in touch if you are interested in contributing to the Mapping Gowanus project here. Get your block assignment before it’s a glass condo.

 

The ironic advertisers have arrived.

the ironic advertisers have arrived.

vitamin water 2

mystery water

Urban geometry

the future is reflected

the beauty of age

signs of progress

OK, that’s it for today.

Mapping Gowanus: 3rd ave. b/w 7th & 8th streets

This entry of Mapping Gowanus comes from writer Michael Slade.

A Tree Grows in Gowanus

On Third Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets in Gowanus stands a magnificent tree.  It’s particularly striking because, aside from a few scraggly, almost unnoticeable little cousins, there are no other trees as far as one can see in either direction up and down the avenue.  If a tree could choose where it was to spend its life, my guess is that a busy avenue across the street from auto mechanics and beer distributors would not be at the top of its list.  And yet, here this tree proudly stands.  And because it stands alone, it compels passersby to notice it in a way its relatives in Prospect Park cannot.  And as it does, this tree seems to declaim to resident and visitor alike , “I was here to see what Gowanus was, and I’m here to see what Gowanus is, and I will be here to see what Gowanus will be… because I am rooted here, and I’m not going anywhere.“
SladeTree