Monday, September 13, 2010

Stalled in Fort Greeneton Hill

Before I dredge up a few more summer memories and continue my walk to Bay Ridge . . . that vegetative church tower in Bed-Stuy prompted me to keep my eyes peeled for more of the same and, sure enough, I found another one nearby here in Williamsburg,

North 6th St, between Driggs and Bedford Aves.

This is, or was, the Church of St. Vincent de Paul on North 6th Street in Williamsburg, but I don't know for how long.

The front of the church is already blocked off with scaffolding and wire fencing and the omens do not appear favorable. Maybe the congregation is just preparing to repair the church fabric but this being what you might call ground zero of the glass box co-op building, it seems more likely that another old church will make the ultimate sacrifice that the trenderatti might live and prosper. But I hope not; maybe they can find another income-producing use for it.

So where was I a few weeks ago? Wandering Clinton Hill, I guess.

I don't generally take a lot of pictures in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene despite being through there so much. Sometimes I think the place is so damn picturesque that I just want to buy some postcards and have done with it. If I started taking pictures I'd never stop, there would always be "just one more." And even though they are two separate neighborhoods and had separate histories, today they really form one large super historic and photogenic neighborhood . . . Fort Greeneton Hill or something.

These photos were not all taken on the day of the walk to Bay Ridge but over the course of the spring and summer from late May through July.

Washington Ave. near Greene Ave.

You could spend a lot of time going through Clinton Hill and taking note of all the different styles of architecture from different periods and matching different houses with various well-known capitalists from Brooklyn's past who lived in them, but that's more than I want to take on at the moment. I just enjoy walking through the area and looking.

Washington Ave. near Greene Ave.

Clifton Place at St. James Place; Adelphi Academy

Adelphi Academy was founded by Charles Pratt who also founded Pratt Institute.

Clifton Place at St. James Place

It is now part of Pratt Institute.

Clifton Place at St. James Place

I didn't quite get Clifton Place included on the map below. Toward the bottom right, just off St. James Place you can see a capital C, that's Clifton Place; what looks like a large, gray capital I on that corner is the Adelphi Academy.

Another college in that neighborhood is St. Joseph's, centered on Clinton Ave. The following buildings don't all belong to St. Joseph's (one belongs to Pratt) but they are all part of a fairly cohesive few blocks from, maybe, Myrtle Ave. to Lafayette Ave. (And beyond; after crossing Lafayette going toward Fulton St. the homes are equally attractive, I just don't happen to have any photos handy to drop in here.) Most of these are between Willoughby and DeKalb Avenues.

Part of St. Joseph's College

Part of Pratt

This one,
I think, is the residence of the bishop of Brooklyn (Rom. Cath.)

Those above belong to Pratt Institute.

This little beauty (
below) is around the corner at Vanderbilt Ave. and Lafayette Ave.

Paul Robeson Theater, Greene Ave. bet. Adelphi St. & Carlton Ave.

Paul Robeson Theater, Greene Ave. bet. Adelphi St. & Carlton Ave.

Some other older frame houses . . . when the living was easy . . .

South Oxford St. bet. Fulton St. & Atlantic Ave.

Cumberland St. bet. Lafayette Ave. and Greene Ave.

Cumberland St. bet. Lafayette Ave. and Greene Ave.

Adelphi St. bet. Lafayette Ave. & Greene Ave.

Lafayette Ave. bet. Adelphi St. & Clermont Ave.

And to end for tonight . . .

Clermont Ave. bet. De Kalb Ave. & Willoughby Ave.

Clermont Ave. bet. De Kalb Ave. & Willoughby Ave.

Willoughby Ave. bet. Clermont Ave. & Vanderbilt Ave.

And to all a good night!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On to Clinton Hill

I think when last I left these posts, I was on my way from Bed-Stuy into Clinton Hill. Real time and walk time are usually so far apart that if it weren't for my razor sharp memory along with the audio files attached to my photos, I wouldn't know where I was.

The cute little house below is a block away from the final photos in the last post. Close one eye and it looks almost like a miniature Bates Motel house.

Cambridge Place near corner of Gates Ave.

And a block away from Cambridge Place, at St. James Place, a block party was getting into full swing.

Gates Avenue and St. James Place

Gates Ave. and St. James Place

With the sudden beautiful weather that weekend, that Saturday was the day for block parties, outdoor gate sales, yard sales, whatever. A block from St. James Place is Washington Ave., rightly noted for its brownstones and other remnants of the Gilded Age.

There are two large churches in that area and one of them, the Brown Memorial Church, was having its own church street sale that day.

Brown Memorial Church, Gates and Washington Aves.

Brown Memorial Church, Gates and Washington Aves.

Brown Memorial Church, Gates and Washington Aves.

I was going to say that Clinton Ave. was a block away but I generally forget that Waverly Ave. lies between them. It's not a prominent street and I for one tend to forget it's there until I cross it. So, two blocks farther on is Clinton Ave., the street that gives the neighborhood its name.

This young man was sitting alongside the sidewalk on Clinton Avenue between Greene and Gates Aves. giving an impromptu recital. I think he and his girlfriend were setting up another small yard sale. I asked to take his picture, which he politely allowed me to do. I explained to both that I had this blog and might want to add the photo to the blog. But I warned them that for me, keeping up with the postings was difficult and maybe I wouldn't get to it right away. Well, here it is. Only a month later. That's nothing when I think of all the walks from last summer that I never covered here at all!

Washington Ave. between Gates and Greene Aves.

This photo points up a great thing about the Clinton Hill neighborhood, it's a great place for casual strolling. To me, it has always seemed to be to be a very neighborly sort of place; a kind of tip-your-hat, stop-and-chat nabe. Technically it ends in another block at Vanderbilt Ave. where Fort Greene begins, but in reality the two neighborhoods blend into each other seamlessly.

Speaking of Vanderbilt Ave., I want to throw in a couple of shots here from an earlier walk. Actually, it wasn't a walk at all, it was from two mid-week forays to the library after work by bus; mid-May and mid-June, the last a quiet summer evening, just two days past Midsummer Eve, my favorite time of the year.

Vanderbilt and Park Aves.

Whenever I take the bus to the library (either for lack of time or bad weather), I transfer to the B69 right across the street from these houses, so I've had plenty of time to enjoy them in all weather at different times of the year. But mid-Summer for me is the most magical time.

Vanderbilt and Park Aves.

According to the map I use, the houses date from between 1840 and 1850. To me they are three little gems, yet they are right on the edge of what was the industrial section of that part of Brooklyn, and only a block away from the Navy Yard, so probably when they were built they were just three unassuming laborers houses looked down on by the gents further up in Clinton Hill.

Vanderbilt and Park Aves.

I should say "two" little gems since two of them have been restored but the corner one is still pretty much of a shack.

Now before I end for tonight (since it's getting pretty late), I want to add that other prominent church I spoke of earlier. It is an enormous church on Clinton Ave. between Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave., St. Luke & St. Matthew.

Since I cut up through Clinton Hill and Fort Greene whenever I walk to the library, these buildings have become like old friends I use to mark my progress.

Clinton Ave. between Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave.

Next time . . . on to Bay Ridge . . . or at least South Brooklyn.