I’m stuck in the photographic doldrums! Maybe it is the summer heat and that everything is either green or dry brown. Or maybe, just maybe, the fact that I don’t have any money to travel. A change of scenery would be a HUGE help.
But, I do know that the pull to be creative with the camera, no matter where I am is too strong for me to fight and last Saturday with a slightly ho-hum attitude I picked up said camera and went into Long Island City for an urban jaunt. I revisited Anabel Basin where, in 2012 on a cold grey day, I shot an award-winning photo of an old barge moored alongside an aging warehouse with a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, which was exhibited and eventually sold, in 2013 at Gallery Brooklyn, in Red Hook. I included the photo in the slide show below. You’ll recognize it when you see it.
My mind was wandering as I rode the #7 and I got off at the wrong stop, 45th Road Court house Square instead of the closer stop at Vernon/Jackson Avenues. No biggie though, as it enabled me to walk around and look for local urban industrial subject matter in this ever changing neighborhood.
Aside from PS1, (now a branch of MoMA,) little of the old ambiance of this Queens neighborhood remains. Just a few bits and pieces sticking up amidst soaring new shiny towers of glass and steel. Old cobblestone on a few streets, a handful of Brownstones and Townhouses holding their own, some undergoing a face lift. A faded red fire alarm box, with a fringe of weeds minding its own business as the world changes around it and a staircase to nowhere. I wandered down a few dusty desolate blocks where construction was on hold for the weekend and three motionless cherry pickers loomed over me like something out of Jurassic Park.
I’m not complaining about the new/old LIC, it is still a great neighborhood to live in or visit and has two beautiful “new” waterfront parks; Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunter’s Point Park. As I said I’m not complaining I’m just being pissy.
When I got to 5th Street I took a few images of the colorful walls of the LIC Boat House, then breezed through the LIC Flea Market before walking to the end of the street where the basin lies and the air was a lot cooler. There was no barge moored there this time but, the old warehouse still stood, with its cracks and dull red brick made picturesque by the sun and a blue sail boat. Walking along the promenade out toward the East River you can see the tip of Roosevelt Island and looking right, a perfect wide angle view of the Queensboro Bridge or as we locals call it The 59th Street Bridge complete with white puffy clouds drifting above it.
Digression: For some unknown reason ex-Mayor Bloomberg decided to rename the bridge after ex-mayor Ed Koch, ha-ha what a guy. It will always be the 59th Street Bridge to anyone who lives in New York City!
Back on the basin ~ There really wasn’t much going on as it was extremely hot and I decided to call it a day and make my way home but not before paying a visit to the colossal old Pepsi-Cola sign, a real throwback to the old historic manufacturing days of Long Island City.
Waiting for the N on the platform at Queensboro Plaza, having just transferred from the #7, I took a parting shot of a colossal new sign taking its place in Queen’s future history…. Jet Blue.