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Day 1328

Red Hook mosaic

August 19th, 2015



This piece was installed in 2006 (photos) by the artist and self-described "fat dyke" Max Airborne, a fat activist and disability justice activist.

May we learn to love ourselves, and may we show each other how. May we be free.

Day 1328

An oddly colored puddle

August 19th, 2015



I took this photo outside Dell’s Maraschino Cherries in Red Hook. Dell's was in the news a few years ago when a couple of local beekeepers discovered that their bees' honey, not to mention their bees' stomachs, had turned "an alarming shade of Robitussin" — if you can even use the word "honey" to describe "a red concoction that tasted metallic and then overly sweet". Meanwhile, unusually large numbers of bees had been seen buzzing around the cherry factory...

Dell's made headlines again more recently, in a much more tragic fashion, when the head of the company shot and killed himself after a team of investigators, visiting the factory on an unrelated matter, began to suspect he was secretly growing marijuana here. As it turns out, he was, big time. His basement farm was "the largest indoor marijuana growing operation any of the investigators had ever seen in New York City".

Day 1328

Le Comte et la Reine

August 19th, 2015





Tin Cans, Galvanized Iron and Terne Plate Drums for Export and Domestic Trade

Founded in 1903, Le Comte & Company manufactured "a specialty general line of metal cans and metal waste baskets". The company apparently managed to stay in business until 1993, though it had long since left Red Hook at that point.

This building is part of a late-19th-century industrial complex that was in pretty rough shape when it was bought in 1998 by its current owner, a man named... Rhett Butler. Mr. Butler, who moved with his wife into the top floor of the building above, spent years restoring the complex to house production studios for the "meticulously crafted, often jewel-like hinges, locks, levers, escutcheons, pulls and the like" that have made his business, E.R. Butler & Company, "one of the most prestigious hardware companies in the world". He also built an impressive-looking walled garden on the property and installed a rooftop hot tub (which I believe you can see here).

Day 1328

Unlikely farmland

August 19th, 2015





There's not much in the way of greenery at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal — just three perfunctory little planted areas surrounded by acres of pavement. But growing in these tiny patches of dirt are some tomatoes and what look like acorn squash (as well as lots of purslane and lamb's quarters).

Day 1328

QM2 in port

August 19th, 2015


Day 1328

Moored

August 19th, 2015


Day 1328

Queen Mary 2

August 19th, 2015







When it was completed in 2003, the Queen Mary 2 was the world's largest passenger ship. It has since been surpassed in size by a number of other cruise ships, but it's still the largest ocean liner ever built. (Unlike the QM2, a normal cruise ship is not designed to make transoceanic voyages.)

The QM2 is so tall that it had to be built with a shorter-than-usual funnel so it would be able to pass beneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and enter New York Harbor. It's still a tight fit (video); at high tide, the ship has only 13 feet of clearance beneath the Verrazano.

Day 1328

Beyond the garden

August 19th, 2015



From atop the shipping container tower at Pioneer Works, we can see the Queen Mary 2, in port at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan.

Day 1328

The garden at Pioneer Works

August 19th, 2015



as seen from the top of the shipping container tower

Day 1328






Fun with Shapes in Space, published in 1960: "How to make 3-dimensional 'things' useful in home, school and community recreation. Including techniques of string construction in addition to other skills and materials."

Day 1328

Tower of shipping containers

August 19th, 2015



This structure stands in the garden at Pioneer Works. The second floor is home to a recording studio and a number of what appear to be electric hairbrushes.

Day 1328

I contain multitudes

August 19th, 2015



I came across this stratified anthropomorphic collage, part of Dustin Yellin's Psychogeographies series, at Pioneer Works, "a cultural center dedicated to experimentation, education and production across disciplines." Founded here in Red Hook in 2012 by Mr. Yellin, Pioneer Works occupies a large brick structure likely built (or perhaps rebuilt) by Pioneer Iron Works around 1882 following a fire that destroyed the property the previous year.

Day 1328

Statuary display window

August 19th, 2015



at Botanica El Phoenix

Day 1328

Yeung Sun

August 19th, 2015



From the NY Times, Dec. 30, 2011:

Some of the neighbors had been heard to express the wish over the years that a divine hand would smite Yeung Sun Live Poultry.

Clucking chickens went into its storefront. Dead ones came out, bound for Chinatown restaurants. So did blood, and entrails, and putrid odors that wafted past the fancy lofts and dark-wood bars of an up-and-coming neighborhood near the Brooklyn waterfront, a place that prefers its industrial grit to look a bit more picturesque and smell a tad less gritty.

So it was with a mix of schadenfreude and guilt that locals greeted the news that the poultry shop had been felled by a freak accident late last week, as city workers dug a tunnel to remedy an even more celebrated stench — that of the Gowanus Canal.
The drilling of a tunnel for a new wastewater force main caused the partial collapse of the building that stood immediately to the right of the Yeung Sun storefront above. The one-story structure, which housed Yeung Sun's walk-in freezer and other equipment, had to be demolished as a result of the collapse, and the lot where it stood remains vacant to this day. (A jagged brick remnant of the building's front wall can be seen above, still attached to the side of the storefront.) It seemed like the end might be nigh for the slaughterhouse in the wake of the collapse, but Yeung Sun managed to hang on and stay in business, dashing the sweet-scented dreams of many of its neighbors.

Day 1328

Had enough?

August 19th, 2015



Theft, corruption and organized
crime cost the port millions of
dollars and thousand [sic] of jobs.


Maybe YOURS!

Make a difference. Don't be a victim.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO GIVE YOUR NAME!
Report theft, corruption or any crime


This sign hangs outside the Brooklyn office of the Waterfront Commission police. The Waterfront Commission was established in 1953 to combat organized crime on the docks of New York Harbor, but by the time of a 2007-08 investigation, which led to the ouster of "virtually the entire executive staff", the commission had become "its own bastion of lawlessness, employing some of the same corrupt, self-serving methods as the gangsters it was supposed to pursue".