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Day 1043

Shatnez Testing

November 7th, 2014



Jews are biblically prohibited from wearing garments that contain shatnez, which means a mixture of linen and wool. Clothing labels can be imprecise or untrustworthy, so many observant Jews will have their garments inspected by an expert with a microscope to ensure that they are acceptable to wear.

Day 1043

Flags of Franklin Avenue

November 7th, 2014



Heavy on the Caribbean, but still a pretty worldly collection! From what I can see, we have Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, Albania, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada, Guyana, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia, Uruguay, the United States, Thailand, Egypt, Slovenia, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Ghana.

(Spotted in Crown Heights on my way to the subway this morning.)

Day 1043

Today’s route — 18.5 miles

November 7th, 2014

Day 1041

A sofa’s ignoble end

November 5th, 2014



at the College of Staten Island

Day 1041

CSI

November 5th, 2014



This is the College of Staten Island's central plant. It originally served the same role for the Willowbrook State School; the brick tower now bearing the college's initials (as well as a bunch of cell antennas) was the smokestack.

Day 1041

Big Stride

November 5th, 2014



by Lucille Friedland

Day 1041

9/11 memorial #216

November 5th, 2014



This memorial includes two steel beams from the twin towers and a stone monument listing the 27 alumni of the College of Staten Island who died on 9/11.

Day 1041




For some reason, there is an International Year of Older Persons time capsule on the grounds of the College of Staten Island.

Day 1041

November yellows

November 5th, 2014


Day 1041




The Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office, like the College of Staten Island, has taken over some of the old Willowbrook State School buildings. This building is home to Lifestyles for the Disabled, hence all the pumpkins from the Lifestyles Woodshop.

Day 1041

9/11 memorial #215

November 5th, 2014



This one is located at the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, which was built on land that formerly belonged to the Willowbrook State School.

Day 1041

Traces of Willowbrook

November 5th, 2014



Tucked behind a rose bush at the back of Building 3S on the campus of the College of Staten Island, beneath a faded number 19 painted inside a circle, is a plaque that reads: "To Honor Those Who Struggled Here on the Grounds of the Willowbrook Institution We Preserve This Former Building Number In Their Respectful Remembrance".

The Willowbrook State School was the country's largest state-run institution for the mentally disabled. By the 1960s, it had over 6,000 residents, 2,000 more than it was designed to accommodate. Underfunded and understaffed, it "offered a mean, often desperate existence" to the people who lived there. After a visit in 1965, Bobby Kennedy described the place as "border[ing] on a snake pit".

But it wasn't until 1972 that the wretched conditions at Willowbrook were brought into the national spotlight, when a TV reporter named Geraldo Rivera snuck into one of the wards with a handheld camera and documented the awful scene: "children lying naked on the floor, their bodies contorted, their feces spread on walls".

This prompted a lawsuit that led to the eventual closing of the institution in 1987. Many of the buildings were taken over and renovated by the College of Staten Island, which opened a new campus — the largest college campus in the city — on the site in 1993.

Day 1041

Today’s route — 12.2 miles

November 5th, 2014

Day 1040

A curvaceous Corolla

November 4th, 2014


Day 1040

Ebinger Baking Co

November 4th, 2014



Like the former Ward bakery in the Bronx, this building has been converted into a self-storage facility.

As we learned when we passed by the Snyder Avenue side of this bakery complex a while back, Ebinger's was a Brooklyn institution most famous for its beloved blackout cake, but also had a long history of racial and religious discrimination.