Monday, May 28, 2018


Proposal revealed for new public park on the Gowanus Canal’s Salt Lot (6sqft)
The Salt Lot is a triangular piece of land just south of the point at which all three branches of the Gowanus Canal meet. The city-owned site hosts a NYC Compost Project facility, as well as the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s nursery and educational facilities. However, the EPA has mandated a new four-million-gallon retention tank be placed there to manage combined sewer overflow. Gowanus by Design (GbD) saw this new infrastructure requirement as a catalyst for sparking conversation about much needed public urban space in the area. They’ve therefore created a conceptual proposal for the Gowanus Salt Lot Public Park, which includes three buildings constructed with materials that reference the Canal’s industrial history, along with sloping hills and wetlands.


Two Trees completes Gowanus assemblage with $62M deal (The Real Deal)
The city is likely to rezone Gowanus in the near future, and developer Domain Companies recently bought two sites in the neighborhood — 420 Carroll Street for $47.5 million and 545 Sackett Street for $26.5 million — with an eye on building a larger project.
However, Marks said Two Trees does not seem to be following this strategy and noted that Lowe’s has a long-term lease on the Second Avenue site. He described the assemblage as a very long-term investment and said that the company’s short-term plans likely just involve leasing to commercial tenants.

Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize New York City Transit (MTA)

40 Years of Chronicling the Unnoticed (NY Times)
Mostly, I was assigned to the Metro staff, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The Times explains the world, but I always felt that Metro qualified as its pulse. Covering the billowing activity across the miscellaneity of the five boroughs was never tiresome, never trite. Some reporters relish traveling to Novosibirsk or Malacca. I liked Canarsie. I liked Bayside. They were local. I liked being local.

Prince Street Girls (Magnum)
The Prince Street Girls series ultimately captured the transience of youth. Only two years later the same girls are photographed casually smoking cigarettes at Manhattan Beach, midriffs proudly displayed in their ever-shrinking crop tops. Espadrilles replace trainers, and lipstick, gum. They are now nubile teenagers, as their self conscious posturing in Meiselas’s portraits suggests. Reflecting on their budding sexuality, Meiselas writes: “In the early seventies there was little discussion about the dominance of a sexualized culture or the influence of advertising, so who were they imitating?” Maybe they were posing to impress each other. They were still in their awkward little bodies trying to find themselves.”

Weegee the Famous, the Voyeur and Exhibitionist (New Yorker)
Bonanos describes the Speed Graphic camera—even now, still part of the Daily News logo—as being “tough as anything, built mostly from machined aluminum and steel.” It was the only press credential Fellig needed at murders and fires, where, after leaving Acme, in 1934, he continued to show up with a manic freelancing zeal. A couple of years later, he was living in a room at 5 Centre Market Place, with no hot water but with a handful of books, among them “Live Alone and Like It” and “The Sex Life of the Unmarried Adult.” He decorated the place with his own published photographs—“like taxidermied heads on a hunter’s wall,” as Bonanos puts it. 

The Spectacular Personal Mythology of Rammellzee (New Yorker)
His generation grew up after urban flight had devastated New York’s finances and infrastructure. Ramm channelled the chaos into a spectacular personal mythology, drawn from philology, astrophysics, and medieval history. He was obsessed with a story of Gothic monks whose lettering grew so ornate that the bishops found it unreadable and banned the technique. The monks’ work wasn’t so different from the increasingly abstract styles of graffiti writing, which turned a name into something mysterious and unrecognizable. Ramm developed a philosophy, Gothic Futurism, and an artistic approach that he called Ikonoklast Panzerism: “Ikonoklast” because he was a “symbol destroyer,” abolishing age-old standards of language and meaning; “Panzer” because this symbolic warfare involved arming all the letters of the alphabet, so that they might liberate themselves. 

Derelict London - Toilets (Derelict London)
After 15 years of running this Derelict London website I am still stumbling across lots of closed down toilets. A BBC report in 2016 said at least 1782 facilities have closed across the UK in the last decade (disclosed after a Freedom of Information request).
Gradually a few are being regenerated but not as public toilets.

Dog Days At Club Row (Spitalfields Life)
In Club Row itself are to be found bicycles, tyres, an occasional motor bike or a superannuated taxi. The police are frequently seen about here looking for “unofficial goods”. Chance St sells furniture and “junk”, Sclater St is a nest of singing birds, rabbits, white mice, guinea pigs and their proper nourishment. In the Street of Wirelesses the air is heavy with crooning, and Cheshire St is clamorous with “Dutch auctions”, or demonstrating remarkable inventions like the World’s Smallest Darning Loom (“Stop your missus hating you … now you can say ‘you might darn this potato, dear, while I have shave’ … and she’ll do it before you’ve wiped the soap off!”).

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