Someone left this on Rediscovering Brooklyn, so I’m passing it on:
Great blog! Congratulations! This post about the shipping industry back in the 50′s is very interesting and, of course, raises many questions. I can only recommend a novel by Valerio Evangelisti, Noi Saremo Tutto (2008) or in French, Nous ne sommes rien soyons tout. The book tells the story of Eddie Lombardo and his family, the dock culture between 1920 and 1960.
Someone also left a comment about how I’m a horrible videographer, but I’m keeping that gem for myself.
I’ve posted two links for those who would like to learn more about some of the connections between the film On the Waterfront and labor/corruption issues in Brooklyn.
The first link is to a New York Times article from 1990 describing the final days of Brooklyn ILA local 1814:
The second link is an excerpt from a new book on the New York waterfront called Dark Harbor. The excerpt describes the infamous case of Peter Panto whose life and legend is said to have inspired both Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan to pursue film projects set on the New York waterfront.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard was profiled in the New York Times over the weekend. The article was published on the web May 12th and I believe in Sunday’s print version of the Times. Here’s the URL and if it doesn’t work the article is still up on the Times site. It’s an interesting article regarding the “past” and what can be saved even with the best of intentions. While it appeared the community was headed for an amicable solution and a new supermarket, it now appears some of the most desirable building to save are beyond repair. I don’t think anyone posted a link to this but my apologies if it appears in the blog already. I didn’t see it after a quick review. These buildings were forgotten for decades and now that they’re on the radar screen, they are fading again. William C. (urban888)
Brooklyn Navy Yard New York Times
Because we are studying the landmarks of Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront, perhaps it is appropriate to begin a discussion about whether we should be nostalgic when a city, a region, or a nation deindustrializes.
Chapter Two of Levinson’s book details the nature and conditions of the men (and it was all men) who worked Brooklyn’s (and other places’) docks. Their work was made necessary by the industrial manufacturing that was going on along the rest of the waterfront and elsewhere in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In chapter Five, he describes various forces and conditions (land-transport costs; labor concerns; crime; decrepit facilities; geographic disadvantages—and containerization) that made that work unsustainable.
We knew when we were reading Lucy’s story that we were going to have feelings about it. Does the story that Levinson tells of loss and change evoke feelings? Of what sort?