Monday, March 8, 2010

Nice day, nice day

Nice day, nice day (that's one each for Saturday and Sunday); who could believe that only a week or so ago, this was Williamsburg local color (OK, I'm cheating a little, the bottom photo is Prospect Hts.):


And yesterday it was in the mid-50°s (!!) and I was walking around practically in shirtsleeves. And, a friend of mine reminded me that Daylight Savings Time begins next weekend. Cause to celebrate and get out in the sun like these folks wandering the sun-washed streets of Williamsburg . . .

Lately, when I walk around Williamsburg I have the feeling that I’ve stumbled onto a huge film set under construction (or maybe even abandoned) where the set designer was given the script for a few movies all jumbled together: Alphaville (make it big and sleek and silver), The Bird Cagetoo pastel, it’s Brooklyn, keep it sober), some early Fellini (lots of vacant land, dirt, no vegetation), with a little dash of Mon Oncle (sleek and silver and futuristic). Try to make it big, at least make it stand out, dominate the neighbors. (South Beachy but not

I was thinking a bit about this again lately because of a story I read last week in the New York Times that I may give a link to later on. It makes life interesting anyway; you don’t know from one week or month to another what’s going to shoot up around the corner or down the block.

I thought this weekend was a good opportunity to walk around and see what’s cooking. Not all these building are recent by any means but they’ll give you a pretty good idea of what’s been ‘abuilding in these parts; a Williamsburg architectural style, if there is one. I’ll try to suspend judgment on them if I can, though I don’t know how successful I’ll be. And it’s not that I particularly dislike many of them, but at times they do seem wildly out of place.

I don't want to be repetitive, either, but I may drop in several pictures of a building or street from different angles just to give a general idea of the street and put a particular building in perspective, like Skillman Avenue above, not untypical of the Italian section of east Williamsburg, mostly unpretentious two story row houses with a few taller ones thrown in here and there.

Five floors isn't exceptionally tall, but it does stand out among the others. Maybe it's that solid unrelieved black, unlike the one below of mellow red brick.

A block further on is Leonard Street, similar to Skillman in the types of houses . . .

Until you reach the end of the block at Conselyea St. . . .

Then back to Skillman Avenue . . .

Those are just a tad . . . imposing.

Now, to be fair, there is an old paint factory on the street that is also pretty large, though I didn't get that midtown Manhattan feel when I walked by; I didn't have the feeling of a cliff looming above me. Then again, maybe I'm not very objective about it.

Skillman Avenue near Graham Avenue. At least the colors match . . .

Before I head over toward Cooper Park there is one more image I have to put in here. I actually took this photo last June when I was wandering around there for the first time. I know I said that I would suspend judgment but for me this is the poster child for incongruity. It is on Humboldt Street between Frost and Withers Street.

Which is not to take away at all from the striking appearance of the building. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure but that of all the contemporary buildings dropped down into that neighborhood, this could be my favorite. It's just that where it is does no justice to either it or the block it's on.

Now as you get further north or east or whatever, you start to leave the cozy blocks of two story family homes. Kingsland Avenue, which comes to a screeching halt at Maspeth Avenue, is more commercial with a housing project nearby, and Maspeth Avenue itself, after it skirts Cooper Park, heads out into the industrial wasteland of factories and salvage yards along the Brooklyn-Queens border.

So, you could even say that these blocks add a welcome splash of color to otherwise drab surroundings . . .

But then there is Maspeth Avenue and Cooper Park. But I have to deal with that later because it is late. I hadn't intended to start this post tonight after switching the blog back here to the old host, but I did and now it's too late to finish. More later . . .

Not Migrating After All

It turns out that the blog host I intended to switch to was much less "user friendly" . . . at least for me . . . than this host. I decided that, in the end, it wasn't worth my trouble. I was spending too much time trying to format the posts when I should have been writing and uploading my images. I think it was great for someone who knows HTML well, but it wasn't for me.

I had hoped to get a post uploaded about the past weekend but it will have to wait a bit now. It's time to hit the sack.