Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cadman to Fulton to Clark, We Made Our Way on a Lark

Wednesday morning, Blue and I headed southeast to Downtown Brooklyn, cutting through Cadman Plaza before taking a stroll on Fulton Mall and heading home. 

Start time: 6:35am 
Duration: 1 hour
Distance: 2.66 miles 
Neighborhoods: Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights

View 06/27/12 Walk in a larger map

Heretofore unbeknownst to me, the first recipient of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce's "Best Apartment Building" stands just around the corner from our apartment.  "The Granlyn", an 11-story Art Deco apartment building was designed by New York (by way of Lwow) architect Hyman Isaac Feldman and completed in 1931.  From what I understand, Feldman was quite prolific, though not all of his designs held up as well as this one.  According to his daughter, much of his buildings were "hack work."  You can check out the original Certificate of Occupancy for the Granlyn here.

The Granlyn Apartments

Monday, June 25, 2012

Long Time Coming: Pop Up Chapel Proposal (2011)

And now for a post that's a little bit late... last summer, The Knot and Architizer sponsored a whirlwind competition to design and build two "pop up chapels" at Columbus Circle to celebrate the passage of New York's marriage equality law.  From the event website:

The Pop Up Chapel was conceived by a group of friends, tipsily celebrating the fantastic news that all New Yorkers are finally able to enjoy marriage equality. The friends, a motley crew consisting of a software developer, an editor, two writers, and a director (who happens to be a legal wedding officiant), decided that they wanted to do something special to commemorate the triumphant news. In their excitement and mild delirium, they decided to provide a beautiful wedding for anyone who wanted to get married, totally free of charge. They figured "people might want to get married at City Hall, but wouldn't they prefer to get married in a beautiful city park? Especially if they could bring all their friends and family and eat free cupcakes? Who doesn't love cupcakes? And same-sex marriages?" Exactly.

If I recall correctly, the competition lasted less than two weeks, and when the two winners were chosen, they had one week to build their designs.  Yikes!  Maura and I took a stab an an entry, and while our design was not selected, we found the process enormously fun and inspiring.  The winning chapels were built, and each hosted 12 weddings last July 30.  Photos of the big day can be seen here.

Our entry boards follow a brief description of our design proposal:

Over the course of the day, couples would attach colored rings to the structure of the chapel after their ceremonies to mark this groundbreaking moment. If so moved, the couples and guests could use the rings to contribute good wishes, love notes or signatures to the constantly evolving chapel. The structure is composed of faceted triangles, as well as symbols of pride, equality and marriage. Materials are readily available, off-the-shelf products.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Take Me to the River

Yet another benefit of waking up (or being forced to wake up) at the crack of dawn... unexpectedly stumbling upon something like the annual Liberty Challenge.  Every year, on the weekend after summer solstice, the New York Outrigger (a group of dedicated rowers of all levels) hosts an international race that launches from beneath the Manhattan Bridge.  Teams came from all over--Hawai'i, France, Germany, Italy... Washington, D.C.! Similar to the NYC Marathon, there seemed to be an overwhelming sense of camaraderie amongst the rowers.  We caught the beginning of the women's race, which began following a blessing of the canoes by two of the Hawai'ian rowers.  After the boats launched from between the bridges, they looped around Battery Park at the lower end of Manhattan.  Along the way, they inspired a gracious gesture from the Staten Island Ferry, which STOPPED to let them pass by (maybe because it wasn't rush hour).  If I'm not mistaken, they continued up the Hudson and past the Holland Tunnel, before turning around, heading between the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island, reversing course near Red Hook (Brooklyn), and ending up back at Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Unfortunately we'll have to wait till next year to catch the end of the race (2-3 hours total, from what we were told).  Until then, Maura and I might have to take our limited skills to the water and get involved.  

Enjoy the photos!

6:30am: pre-race preparation on Main Street in DUMBO

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tracing Our Steps: Brooklyn Bipods and the Canine Wonder

The alarm rings at 6:00am in our house, but the real wake-up call typically comes a bit earlier... in the form of dog slobber.  Until Blue crashed the scene, I hadn't woken up that early on a consistent basis since high school.  It's been an adjustment, to say the least.  In time, Maura and I embraced the new schedule, using the morning walks to see Brooklyn in a new, uncluttered light.  Part of the fun rests in finding a new route to take each day.  This is my attempt to document our paths through the city, retracing our routes and highlighting observations along the way.

Today--as many days have--led us to DUMBO, where we caught a glimpse of Jane's Carousel, an advertisement for the brand new "Flea Food" (occurring on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the summer), and the demolition of the former home of the Brooklyn Eagle.  Walk with us, y'all.

Start time: 6:30am
Duration: 45 minutes
Distance: 1.98 miles
Neighborhoods: DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights

View 06/22/12 Walk in a larger map

Jane's Carousel @ Brooklyn Bridge Park


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Park presents: Photoville!

Tomorrow afternoon at 4:00, Photoville opens to the public at Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The temporary shipping container village will host exhibitions, lectures and workshops, and it will remain through July 1.  For a full schedule of events, click here.

Photoville and the NYC Skyline from the Promenade