Sunday, August 10, 2014

Everything That Rises Must Converge

I hadn't walked this way for a while, so the building work caught me by surprise. Then I realized what it was: the new Brooklyn parole center coming to Second Avenue. News of the move was quietly released last month, long after the deal had been done, an approach which (understandably enough) ruffled local feathers. Even though the center needed no community approval, the Department of Corrections could at least have deployed better PR skills.  No need I suppose, and unlikely to make the center's arrival any more popular.

Well, so another big building will loom over the canal, but at least this one serves a social need. Parole services have be housed somewhere, even if I dare say many would prefer that place be Brownsville or East New York or another far flung corner of the borough conveniently out of sight and mind.  Is this better or worse than new high-end rentals soon to arrive on nearby toxic banks?  It will certainly add to the supreme reality/fantasy, industry/luxury dissonance of Canal Land - where scrap yard meets gourmet ice meets lumber yard meets retro shuffleboard meets autoshop meets death-fix musee meets sanitation garage meets rock climbing wall and so on and so forth - and an extra frisson of urban grit for those craft-beer quaffing Whole Foods rooftop customers, lounging conveniently right on the other side of the still & murky Gowanus waterway.

A sunny day waterside

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