Sunday, November 30, 2008

The New York Subway, 1995-2008

A recent visit to the New York Transit Museum startled me into realizing just how much things change over time... in subtle fashion. When I arrived here in 1995, most of the subways that I took were of the Redbird variety, sturdy iron ladies with gray seats.
Over time, we moved to the shiny silver cars with orange and yellow seats, and today, more and more, the sleek, modern cars with blue benches, automated voices and even LCD maps that show a line's progress are becoming the norm.
Month to month, year to year, as with so many things, evolution is slow to take hold, until suddenly one realizes that the future is upon us. I found a fantastic Web site this morning that exhaustively documents the history of the MTA... which, for my purposes, I focused on the past decade or so (
Even in that time, I have witnessed the end of tokens—and it unnerves me that I didn't save a handful at the time—as Metro cards, which at first were an unromantic flop—were bestowed incentives such as extra rides until they finally took. Today, of course, it's all about the monthly unlimited pass for $86 (and counting). When I look at other cities that use fare cards such as Washington and San Francisco, the concept of nickel and diming by distance/number of stops, instead of by the ride, is truly a folly of metros that obviously see public transportation as an offshoot of driving, as opposed to mighty New York, where it brings together all classes, races, ages and regions as the de facto mode of transport. Long live the subway... in spite of Mayor Bloomberg.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Grand Army Plaza, 1940 to 2008

A recent hike through Park Slope led me to the magnificent Grand Army Plaza and main branch of the Brooklyn Library. Thankfully, while there are heinous new residential highrises scorching the edge of the circle, the primary beauty remains intact.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2 Pierrepont Place... now & then

One of the things I appreciate most about Brooklyn Heights is its status as the nation’s first nationally recognized historic district. Case in point: 2 Pierrepoint Place, the home of the original patriarchs of the nabe, who parceled the land and humbly named most of the streets after their high-ranking kin. Below is a photo of this stunning property in the early 1900s and today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Looking Back...

Some wondrous photos along Montague Street from past days... stand by for updates of these same sites!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Palin's Worst Fear: Russians Invade Heights

Filming began in Brooklyn Heights Oct. 19 for a Russian comedy film, "No Love in the City," about three bumbling guys "searching to find their lost mojo," according to an accommodating, very friendly member of the ensemble of at least 40-50. The cast and crew assembled early Sunday morning, sharing craft food services with Montague Street Business Improvement District workers.

Filming took place on the steps of a Montague Terrace brownstone at the corner of Remsen, though crew trucks were parked all along Remsen and Hicks, with further filming due over the next week. Major production, it appears. Unlike the summer filming in the nabe of "Burn After Reading," which filmed along Hicks Street, only to be set in Georgetown, D.C., a crew member assured that the locale will remain true.

No word on when the film will be delivered or whether it will be shown in America.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NO. 17

Cool cats, I have come up with a wondrous new way to observe the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn... taking pictures of NUMBERS, from 1 to 100... It's giving me an entirely new perspective on all that I observe on an everyday basis. I've got a running record of those numbers that I've covered... and it's become an extraordinary exercise. Stand by... by year end, I hope to deliver the full kitty...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

128 Montague Street... 1916 to 2008

128 MONTAGUE STREET AT HENRY... Andy's is the best Chinese in Brooklyn Heights today. 10/19/08

Public Incontenence

Seems that this lonely ole fire hydrant along Montague Street is in need of an adult diaper...

Purple In The Park

Stunning purple home amid the brownstones of Park Slope, blocks from Grand Army Plaza. 10/17/08

Park Slope Symmetry

Halloween at Junior's


Don't Rain On My Election

Election buttons are all-Obama on Court Street 10/15/08


Overlooking the Brooklyn Heights Promenade toward the Statue Of Liberty... The waterfalls are (thankfully) turned off for good... notice helicopter to the left.

Let's start with where I live

I was geaking around at the Brooklyn Public Library on Friday and found this amazing picture of my apartment building at 62 Montague Street in 1920. The beautiful canopy over the front door is gone, sadly... At this point, there was a railing along the sidewalk to protect pedestrians from the Wall Street Ferry streetcar, which ran down Montague to the river. Of course, the ferry, streetcar and landing are all history now. Instead the Esplanade (Promenade) now creates a beautiful view into lower Manhattan, but prevents access to the water. The second photo is the corner of Montague Street and Montague Terrace, with 62 Montague Street in the background. This was taken in 1914. The third photo shows the bottom of Montague Street at the East River, where the streetcar dropped off passengers to board the Wall Street Ferry.

And today, cool cats...


Coming soon... pictures and posts about my persistent walking tour of the great city of Brooklyn, New Yawk!