Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jumping Feline Part 2

Side trip from May

Quincy Street looking from Franklin Ave. to Bedford Ave.

Way back at the beginning of May, when summer held such great promise, I was wandering through that neighborhood from my previous post, but a block away on Quincy Street. I won't say the difference is like night and day but a block away it is less commercial, more settled and comfortable, and possibly a little more immune to the scourge of redevelopment. Which is not to say that the occasional brownstone or row house doesn't fall prey to a developer. All I did was turn 180 degrees to take these two pictures. Why don't they ever attempt to make it blend?

Quincy St. looking toward Franklin Ave.

Just up at the corner of Franklin Ave. across the street from that gray box is my kind of building; colorful, decorated, interesting to look at. What is there to see in those other boxes after you've glanced at them once?

Quincy St. at Franklin Ave.

In fact, walk around the corner to the left and you will find a house that almost burned down.

Franklin Ave. between Quincy St. and Gates Ave.

It's a measure of my dislike of the ubiquitous blue or green glass and steel boxes or concrete boxes that even that half-burned out house looks better to me than anything that gets built today.

And next to that is the Evening Star Baptist Church that is boxy and looks like it might be
faced with cement and but is still a better building than anything being thrown up these days.

Gates Ave. at Franklin Ave.

And on the opposite corner is another favorite building of mine in that neighborhood.

Gates Ave. at Franklin Ave.

Walking down Gates toward Classon I found this quirky and colorful building. Too quirky and too colorful to last too much longer, probably. Why keep something like this when you can replace it with a perfectly bland and colorless nonentity?

Gates Ave. between Franklin and Classon Aves.

At the end of that block, at the corner of Gates and Classon Aves. is, to be fair, a building that almost makes it, almost fits in. But hey, let's not make it a mellow red like the rest of the block, let's make it stand out, a nice cold banker's gray. So chic and so "now" you could almost faint from sheer emotion.

Franklin Ave. at Classon Ave.

But then there is this mellow neighborhood church, the Mt. Zion Tabernacle, a block away at Franklin Ave. and Irving Place.

Franklin Ave. at Irving Place

But, walk a couple of more blocks to Grand Ave. at Gates where we left off last time and, we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. We're in Anytown USA, circa nineteen-aught-one, we are, except for those damn cars, In the Good Old Summertime, where a young man with a straw boater and a striped blazer will run down those steps any moment.

Grand Ave. between Gates and Putnam Aves.

Grand Ave. between Gates and Putnam Aves.

Grand Ave. between Gates and Putnam Aves.

Grand Ave. between Gates and Putnam Aves.

We are, in fact, wandering into Clinton Hill, where we'll get back to my July walk next time.


  1. Hi! The boxy church at the corner of Gates and Franklin was built by the LDS (Mormon) church about 1919. It was sold to the Baptist church in 1963. The boxy quality was typical of buildings in that day -- even LDS buildings. It was built by the Eastern States Mission President Walter P. Monson, under the direction of Joseph F. Smith who was then the president of the church. Pres. Smith must have liked the boxy look, because the LDS temples he had built in Laie, Hawaii; Cardston, Alberta; and Mesa, Arizona all have that same quality.

  2. Thanks. Believe me, there is a hell of a lot about Brooklyn I DON'T know, and I'm always glad when someone adds something to help. Mainly I just enjoy wandering around (or did pre-dog) the neighborhoods. It is pretty obvious that I am no fan of the kind of stuff being built today. I realize a lot of it is inevitable but I just wish it all wasn't so boring. The church is an interesting building, it makes you look twice and then maybe again. Oh, well, maybe some day I'll get back to wandering, I miss it and this would have been a great summer for it.