You can listen to a podcast of Francis Morrone on the Brooklyn Historical Society site.
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As Richard suggested last week, I obtained a copy of the Brooklyn Heights Courier (June 18-24) because it published content relevant to our Along the Shore Workshop. I had time to read the paper today, and the front page has an interesting article about BQE modernization. I also read a story about condos in Williamsburg. But what really grabbed my attention was an article on page 18 about the solar panels at Stillwater Ave. Subway Station. NYC Transit Chief Environmental Engineer Tom Abdallah is quoted in the article. The article states that some of the solar panels are already damaged, not soon to be repaired. (I remember that a member of our group asked about this.) Furthermore, the article states that the solar panels are presently capable of powering only the lights and MetroCard machines at the station. Contrary to what I thought we were led to believe at the architectural firm, the solar panels are NOT connected to the electrical grid. I was very disappointed to read this. Apparently, the project was meant more as an “educational service” about renewable energy, rather than a practical way to augment the electrical needs of the subway station. Were we victims of “Greenwashing”?!
The Ken Burns documentary on the Brooklyn Bridge strikes home the point that the BB has inspired a Bloomsbury-like intellectual and artistic climate of artists, poets, musicians, philosophers, and photographers the likes of Georgia O’Keefe,Joseph Stella, Hart Crane, Frank Sinatra, Lewis Mumford, Walker Evans and Edward Steichen. All these creative individuals have been inspired over the years by what Arthur Miller calls the “steel poetry” of an unpresumptuous monument which does its job and carries its load every day.
a slide show of a week exploring the Brooklyn shore
About Newtown Creek: a professor of aesthetics once told me that you “can’t have the beautiful without the ugly”. I thought I agreed with him until today. Newtown Creek has a beauty all its own. So peaceful on the boat. Different perspective of Lower Manhattan. Beautiful Brooklyn Industrial spaces. “Valuable real estate if cleaned up”. I hope it stays undeveloped. Will look forward to how the land is rezoned in future years. I want to see bridge footprints turned into parks all over the country.
After being introduced to two interesting perspectives this morning, we trekked the streets of the Greenpoint. They told their own story as they led the way to buildings that housed businesses of the past, or that led to buildings that once stood. Other streets welcome new buildings that represent the changes going on. The streets, the shore, the buildings tell stories, if you walk with an open mind.