Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Seeing Wide in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan, 2012

[You should be able to click on any of these images to enlarge them.]

Regular readers will recall that I always try to carry a camera with me. Sometimes it’s just the camera in my iPhone. The quality’s not terribly good—the newer iPhone cameras are much better—but it’ll do in a pinch.
Last week’s trip to New York didn’t allow any time for wandering. Mostly I would find myself with five or ten minutes while the ladies in my family finished their retail therapy.
That’s how I happened to find myself in down at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge Tuesday evening at sunset. A lot more people have moved into Dumbo, as the area’s known, since I was last there. There’s a trendy restaurant or two, a fancy green grocer, a Starbucks and a West Elm store. So I guess that means Dumbo’s officially gentrified.
It was a gorgeous clear afternoon. I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the unseasonably warm temperature and setting sun to walk along the waterfront. I used my “good camera” to take the picture above. Then I thought to pull out the iPhone and use a new app you might enjoy playing with. It’s called Photosynth. It’s free, very easy to use, and it’s a great way to create simple panorama photographs. It stitches both horizontally and vertically and will even take the pictures for you if you follow its directions. So you can have a lot of fun with it.
Here’s the Manhattan Bridge, as interpreted by Photosynth through my iPhone camera.

Manhattan Bridge, 2012

Here (below) is another sample of Photosynth, and also an interesting statement on the evolution of the Greenpoint neighborhood. Greenpoint’s streets were always a mix of industrial and residential uses. There’s a stretch of Greenpoint Avenue, for example, where you can find a chicken slaughterhouse nestled in among a row of houses and apartment buildings.
On the street shown here, apartment and row houses are mixed in among a diverse array of warehouses and light industrial businesses. The flashy new building in the distant left in this photo is Viridiana 137-unit luxury condo development in which Magic Johnson was a major investor. The building wasn’t quite finished when the real estate market tanked and the developers went bust. Now all the units are for rent. It’s one of those places where if you have to ask how much the rent is, you probably can’t afford it.
The building might look a little out of place in this low-rise working class neighborhood. But hey, the chicken slaughterhouse is just around the corner. Location, as they say, is everything.
Green Street, Greenpoint, 2012

1 comment:

  1. Haaa! Great pictures. I always like neighborhoods like this where you're really able to walk around and experience the ambiance of all that's surrounding you.