If you wander around New York City like I am fortunate enough to do and actually pay attention to your surroundings or the things that you are passing you might very well happen upon one of the many Green Thumb garden spaces. Obviously the term “green thumb” has something to do with gardening and what this organization does is take barren and often neglected lots and turns them into things of beauty and inspiration for all to enjoy. It’s not just relegated to our city of course and is an initiative of people across the whole country but one would have to agree that seeing these every few blocks or avenues is so much more pleasurable than seeing yet another condominium being built.
Archives for : Parks and Recreation
I know that it’s the middle of Summer, but so what. It’s hot outside and there are days when it is next to impossible to get cool or comfortable. Let’s face it, in the big city, there are only so many clothes one can take off in public without getting arrested 🙂 Anyways, while going through photo folders recently I came across these images that were just perfect to be shared during the hot summer months. They were taken a few years ago when I spent the weekend with friends who have a house in the Poconos. It was cold that weekend but not bone numbing in terms of wind or chill so we did a little wandering together to see the surrounding area.
I was walking along Shore Road in Bay Ridge Brooklyn today on my way to an ethnic festival that was being held and for some reason I opted to take a more scenic and “take your time” route by walking through the actual park as opposed to aside it. As I reached the block near where my family lives I realized that I was smack dab in the space where many nights hanging out with friends had happened. I’m not sure what actually led to this being the case so long ago, but we loved our “spot” and very simply referred to it as “the spot” to meet up and some of my neighborhood buddies as well as forming bands of the time would always manage to meet up at certain times and catch up. This was pre-Internet and there were no cell phones or PDA’s and only doctors had pagers. During this time of life growing up, if you wanted to find your friends you called them on the house telephone and you told them where you would be and at what time. Interestingly enough we all managed to find each other much easier than we do today and hence my reason for honoring such a space. The view below shows this spot (which is down the path off around 87th and 88th Street on Shore Road) and as you can see there is not much to it. It didn’t need to be anything in all honesty as the meetings and conversations were the paramount of importance back then.
Of course it looks much different today and this whole region of clearing you see in the next shot was all trees at one time. There were also a few benches that are no longer here. That part made sense because I remember them being in disrepair way back when. Still they were great to have around when one had come down here to see friends after band practice or to keep a Boombox off the ground to play the latest cassette tapes (two other things you don’t see much of anymore either these days). The relative seclusion of The Spot allowed for some radio blasting as we were deep enough down that the trees offered some buffer and we always aimed the radio speakers out to the highway which you can see in one of the other shots. I admit that this does look nice and clean now but some of its original magic is gone.
The next view while a bit darker based on the angle of the sun that I had is kind of the same to my recollection. The Spot was located right next to the Belt Parkway expressway but there was never any need to worry as between the thoroughfare and our meeting space were tons of bushes and fencing. If you climbed over stuff you could see the cars but generally you mostly saw zipping by headlights. That’s Staten Island in the distance and the Narrows Harbor; as mentioned we would aim our music at the highway since it would keep our hanging out something that was unknown to the passing people above on Shore Road. Also down there but not visible is the Bike Path which sometimes was a good space to hang but was too trafficked and a few more blocks travel to get to the right space for our liking. It was easier to settle on this little neck of the woods for a little while before returning to whatever our routines were at the time.
This is one of the things that I have loved most about being a Bay Ridge resident and if you are not paying attention I am speaking of its parks. If you are a photographer then you should definitely pay us a visit and bring your comfortable walking shoes along with a couple of bottles of water and energy bars. You are going to need it. Hoping you enjoyed this little reflective musing. If not, that is okay as well. Plenty more to come here as I walk through life.
I’ve mentioned in some of my narratives about my being almost a lifelong resident of the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn area of New York City and if I am mistaken – well now you know 🙂 The region is rich in its Revolutionary War history based on its location in the city and if you head up to 101st Street and Fourth Avenue you can see one of the areas highlights in John Paul Jones Park. The area is most affectionately known as “Cannonball Park” by residents even though that is not its name. The nickname hails from the massive Parrott cannon that stands proudly between entrances to the park and just off the main thoroughfare. I shot these images back around September of 2010 and had been meaning to share them with the Blog readers but only am getting around to it now. Since this is an ever progressing piece of life in action I don’t think anyone will mind.
Just recently I was headed over to one of the free “River To River” music festival shows because it featured Progressive Rock luminaries Renaissance and Steve Hackett (who played with a little band they call Genesis). These outdoor shows can be good or bad depending on the weather for the day, and the case of this performance while a little bit on the hot side was a day that could be easily dealt with.