No, this post is not about Disney’s adorable animated big eared baby elephant. It is though, about the neighborhood in my second favorite borough Brooklyn, known as DUMBO which, is another of those “kitschy” NYC neighborhood acronyms for, Down Under Manhattan Bridge Organization. You might have heard of the others: SoHo = South of Houston (street); NoHo = North of Houston (street); TriBeca = Triangle Below Canal (street) and NoLita = North of Little Italy. All fun NYC places of interest and history, by the way. So, with all that said last Sunday I took the ferry from Long Island City, Queens sailing south along the East River on the Brooklyn side passing Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg and stopping at my final Destination Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Last summer I blogged about my first visit to Brooklyn Bridge Park, taking the subway and walking all along the river promenade but, I never made it past The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory ( who could?) and forgot about the beautiful Jane’s Carousel that sits between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Therefore, the purpose of this trip was to capture that whirling equestrian ride and wander around the shoreline of DUMBO. Note: a slight photographic digression in the first 9 images which are from Long Island City as I walked to the ferry landing in Hunter’s Point Park. I can never get enough of that neighborhood. :)
When I disembarked at the ferry landing in Brooklyn, there were the usual crowds of tourists and locals milling about enjoying the sun and chilly spring weather amidst the backdrop of New York City’s notable attractions. There was a wedding party arranging themselves on the pier for the photographers and, as I marched down the gang-plank towards land, I couldn’t help taking a few quick shots of the bride and her merry maids trying to control her voluminous veil as the wind blew in strong and annoying gusts.
Like many of the old industrial neighborhoods along the East and North Rivers (a.k.a. Hudson River) that, in their heyday, were giants of the manufacturing and shipping industries, have now become a mix of living museum and mixed demographic lifestyles. As I detoured away from the shoreline, the streets of a hundred or more years ago were still lined with the old and once decaying brick and graffiti strewn warehouses and buildings; now receiving re-gentrifying face lifts. Nobby sturdy cobblestone spread out before me embedded with the abandoned lines of rail track directing the ghosts of rail cars to and from the spirits of awaiting boats and barges.
In striking contrast to these post industrial surroundings, the cheery colorful Jane’s Carousel is juxtaposed to a tiny urban beach head of tumbled rocks and boulders with a back drop of an abandoned building dotted with dark sightless windows. As one walks along the beach, the contrast is intensified by the delightful shrieks and laughter of children and adults riding a herd of painted wild horses with flying manes and flared nostrils, taking them on a dizzying circumvolution adventure.
In processing these images I used an HDR filter to not only enhance the gritty details of an inner-city scene but, to bring out the particular aura of an old neighborhood pushed out from behind the curtains of the past into the future for another chance at a life. Enjoy the ramble both in words and images.