Sunday, January 22, 2012

Doing More Right Things

Down the block at Metropolitan Ave. there is a large storage (?)/showroom building owned by Puccio, one of our long-time local businesses (Puccio Marble & Onyx). It was a big white concrete box with plywood covered window openings scattered around the two sides facing the street.

It wasn't the prettiest building around but was at least suitable to its purpose and had no pretensions to anything else. Not the worst building in our neighborhood, either.

Then, one day at the end of last May, the usual wooden barricades appeared along the surrounding sidewalks that herald either a major transformation or, worse, a demolition.

I'm happy to say that someone made the right decision and the building was transformed rather than demolished, possibly because Puccio may still be using the ground floor. One of their stone yards still sits at the far end of the building. I am thinking this because the large garage doors were left, but perhaps it's now parking for the apartments above.

They made the right choice because I'm sure that if it had been demolished we would have been saddled with another example of Williamsburgh Moderne. All colored glass and cute little Plexiglas balconies.

It's still pretty unpretentious but it's better than inflicting a gash on the neighborhood. And they even saved the trees (with luck they may plant a few more along the Driggs Ave. side).

Over the weekend I watched the (original) 1974 production of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Not only was it a slight shock to be reminded that the subway fare at the time was only 35
¢, but the ransom demanded by the hijackers was only $1 million, and even that was split four ways! For $250,000 you probably can't even buy a co-op in Bed-Stuy these days. I haven't seen the remake but I wonder what Travolta demanded from Denzel.

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