Sunday, November 6, 2011

Links & Walking

The director of Jurek-Park Slope Funeral Home (NY Times)

On this night, down in the funeral home’s furnished basement, Ms. Amen prepared for her annual Halloween party. She put a Frankenstein figure in a full-size coffin, and repurposed a child-size coffin to serve as a beer cooler...
Last year, she surprised the partygoers by popping out of a coffin, long legs first, in a tiny miniskirt. This year, she would top that, she said, by wearing a leather dominatrix outfit and singing a few Rolling Stones numbers with a backup band at midnight.
In terms of funerals, things were quiet, though she was waiting on a “pending,” a Staten Island man who was “hanging on by a thread,” she said.

I was walking right by there yesterday.  Here's our Lady of Czestochowa, a block away on 24th, which like Jurek, bears testament to a once-thriving (well, & ailing too) Polish community.

Across Fourth Avenue, there's a huge apartment complex thar runs from 23rd to 24th. The ever upwardly-mobile Brownstoner once described it as looking like a mental hospital, and I suppose it  does have an institutional air, but I rather like it.  Call me crazy. What I like best about the place are the arched doorways  (on 23rd, Fourth and 24th) which reveal its inner courtyard.  What mysteries lurk within? I wish I knew someone who lived there.

There did seem to be a massive amount of poorly stored garbage outside the building yesterday, but perhaps I just saw it on an unusually bad day. Despite the mess, I could imagine living there, but not on nearby 21st between Fourth & Third.  The stink of the Al-Noor Live Poultry market pervades the whole block - a heady mix of ammonia & chicken shit. Though largely a light industrial block, there are some private houses and small apartment buildings, and I don't know how the residents deal with the smell.  In addition, the avert-your-eyes spectacle of the chickens themselves is too sad to bear for very long.  Swing away from the crammed crates of darting beaks & feathers, and look down the street instead.  There's the ghostly Grain Terminal, over the water at Red Hook. It's a beautiful view, and you almost forget the smells and the clucking. 

I ought to walk around this part of Third more, but unlike the gentrifying stretch further north, the avenue here is under-expressway functional, & a dubious choice for prolonged loitering.  Here it is at 24th.


Marty Wombacher said...

Great photos, thanks for taking us along on the walk!

peggy said...

oh my goodness. that ny times profile of ms. AMEN was totally crazy-town. scary.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Yes, it was disturbing!!!!

peggy said...

and she buried TWO boyfriends.