Sunday, September 30, 2012

More from DUMBO Arts Fest 2012

One day left, if you've yet to catch it... for motivation, here are some photographic observations from the last couple of days.

Tobacco Warehouse, dressed to the eights
Interactive children's art in the Tobacco Warehouse 
Clockwise from Top Left: Ingenuous temporary seating and counters mounted to scaffolding, festival-goers helping to paint wearable art, backpack art
Top: A construction site gets in on the act, Bottom: "Portable Forest"

Friday, September 28, 2012

Getting to Know You... The Barclays Center in 20 Shots

Tonight the Barclays Center--future home of the Brooklyn Nets, featuring Tyshawn Taylor--officially opens its doors for the first of a run of eight Jay-Z concerts. We stopped by last weekend, as the arena staff was apparently in training, and constructions crews were putting on the finishing touches. Have a look at the SHoP and Ellerbe Becket-designed, Cor-Ten-clad, monument to entertainment...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DUMBO Arts Fest: Now with More Previews!

Much progress since last night, including on the projection mapping calibration. It's starting to get real, real quick. Yo, check this out... see if this one moves you:

Coming to a Bridge Near You

Last night I caught a sneak preview of some very cool projection mapping that will be on display this weekend under the arch of the Manhattan Bridge as part of the DUMBO Arts Festival. Curated by Leo Kuelbs and John Ensor Parker, the installation--Codex Dynamic--will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The images here simply show the calibration that was going on last night in preparation. Imagine what the real thing will be like...


Monday, September 17, 2012

Smorgasburg hits DUMBO

For the last couple of Sundays, the ever-expanding empire of Brooklyn Flea has graced the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO. Though the food market is open-air, the space seems much less scorching than its parking-lot-squatting older sibling in Williamsburg. This is likely due to the surrounding parkland and the 20' high brick enclosure, the remaining shell of a 19th-Century waterfront warehouse. Furthermore, the adjacent parcel of Brooklyn Bridge Park--wedged between the warehouse, the river and Jane's Carousel--proved to be a much more inviting lunch spot than the pavement-bound picnic tables in Williamsburg. 

Alas, Smorgasburg won't stay here forever, as it looks like St. Ann's Warehouse will soon be inhabiting Tobacco Warehouse. H3 Architects have revealed a preliminary design for the theater company, with plans to preserve the old brick facade with the new space inserted within. In response to neighborhood objections over the private development of city-owned parkland, the project will make up for the lost area with the provision for additional green space under the bridge.

In the meantime, take advantage of the attraction while it lasts. Every Sunday from now through November 18, 75-some-odd food vendors will set up shop from 11am-6pm. To whet your appetite, take a look at some of the offerings from last weekend...

The Fat Beagle

3 Pulled Pork Johnny Cakes with (L-R): 1) braised apples, crème fraîche and maple reduction; 2) shaved summer corn, roasted jalapeño creme and pickled okra; and 3) collard greens and pimiento cheese

Sweet Onion Schnitzel, served on fresh pretzel bread with panko, pickled radish, jicama, cilantro, beets and tzatziki
Lumpia Shack
Truffled Adobo Mushroom Lumpia (Filipino spring rolls)
Mile End Delicatessen

Smoked Meat Sandwich

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Song for Summer

Labor Day weekend unofficially marks the end of summer. In New York City, it also marks the last days the public pools are open. Two Saturdays ago, Maura and I made our first trek to the Astoria Pool for one last dip, sandwiched between a trip to the Noguchi Museum and a Greek feast. With apologies to our beloved Red Hook Pool--and of course the Wellington Family Aquatic Center--this is the most spectacular public pool I've ever seen. The largest in NYC, it sits between the Triborough Bridge (left side of photo) and the Hell Gate Bridge. Built with funds and labor coaxed by Robert Moses from the WPA in the 1930s, the pool was the cornerstone of and model for his master plan for the city's pools. Perhaps its reddest-letter day came on its very first, when it hosted the U.S. Olympic Swimming and Diving Trials... on the Fourth of July, 1936. As you can see in the photos, there is ample seating provided by the steps cascading down from the bathhouse and encircling the pool and diving well.

The diving well was long ago abandoned and overtaken by the inexorable march of nature. As a ruin, I find it quite compelling and would love to see it remain as an artifact of the city's history and Moses' age of empire. Unfortunately, local residents and politicians have recently proposed encasing the well with concrete for conversion into a concert venue. Would that it might fail.