Sunday, August 26, 2012

20s Third

Another tax photo moment.  The Riverbend Diner, poised between expressway & the waters of Gowanus Bay:

It looks pretty small, though the light is so bright here it's hard to tell if this place extends back deep into its lot. Today you'll see this at the corner of 27th:

Across Third, here's a diner that, unlike the Riverbend, is still serving customers.

There are still some quick stops here. The broad, dark chasm of Third is daunting to cross on foot, and this raw world between highway & ocean is not a place to walk alone at night, unless it's a professional stroll. But it's worth exploring, especially before it turns, as it inevitably will, into a condo-ridden waterside playland. The tottering towers of wrecked cars, the sad blink of a peepshow pornstore sign, the infamous Detention Center (29th), the bargain buys at Rossman's wholesale/retail fruit & veg., the short warehouse-lined streets off Third that come to a sudden halt and offer views of water, ships & Red Hook just across the way.

Note: I just came across the 1980 TV documentary Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive. The film, directed by Jon Alpert, focuses on the lives of six families or individuals living on the Third Avenues of Brooklyn, Manhattan & the Bronx. The scenes in the Bronx examine the sheer hell of life in a condemned and almost empty apartment building & the complete inadequacy of social services in providing assistance.  In the Manhattan portion we visit a Bowery regular and his estranged wife, a twenty-something hustler, and (briefly) some scarily young children looking for customers around Playland. The Brooklyn scenes focus on a family in Sunset Park, the elderly Pascones, hanging on in a barbershop at 11th,  and auto-part workers (by day and night) based at 22nd, just a few blocks from the Riverbend.


Ken Mac said...

Thanks for the diner! Don't know that one

onemorefoldedsunset said...

I wish it was still around!

Marty Wombacher said...

I'd loved to have spent time in that diner! Thanks for putting up the documentary, great film!