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 was in the city the other night with my good buddy Skeleton Pete as our plan for the day was to attend a music showcase that was being held by WeRoqq PR and their Baltimore based band “The Perfects“. It’s always par for the course when Peter and I hit an event that we arrive in the Big Apple a little earlier to accomplish some other wanderings and also be able to get a bite to eat without feeling rushed. As we walked through the streets downtown, I had wantd to see if anything had opened in the space where my beloved Acme Restaurant used to be and while there was still a shuttered space there was also some kind of Middle Eastern cultural event taking place. Both of us are fans of some of the delectable culinary offerings from this region but the event was closing out so we would not be able to indulge. We did strike up a conversation with some of the people milling about and discovered from one chap that this same event was going to take place in a part of Brooklyn called Bay Ridge (“if I had ever heard of it” he continued). I’m very familiar with the region as its home base for PiercingMetal and a lot of my family is here which brings me to the photographs in this blog posting.
I recently updated my computer and when I was in the middle of the process I felt that it was also time to look through all of the drawers and see what other technological devices I might have lying around unused for whatever reason. The initial reason for the dig was based on my being able to return a number of old tech things to Dell for proper recycling as opposed to garbage. Here was one of the things I found, my almost two decade old Iomega Zip Drive. Though it came out in 1994, I didn’t have access to one of them until around 1996 when one of the firms I worked for used them for training demos. After using it to do some tutorials I knew I had to have one for my home and all the massive amounts of files I could now easily save.
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 last week Bay Ridge’s own Street Sounds Music celebrated it’s annual “Gretsch Day” and for those fans of the wonderful instruments that come care of this fine company, this was the place to be on this almost Summer afternoon. Street Sounds is cited as the world’s largest retailer of these guitars and when you see the collection they offer you as a musician you can see why this is the case. This will be the third event of its kind being held at the location and it was going to be a fun filled day of special guests, food, prizes and music. Today was also the annual Mermaid Day Parade out in Coney Island but I felt my time was better spent socializing and reporting on this event. So read on dear readers and hopefully feel like you were there with us.
The store was decorated up for the event with signs whose bright colors welcomed all passerby. Here’s a shot of the shop owner Rocky Schiano and guitarist Paul Pigat.
Next up a little better view of today’s musical menu. As you can see there would be appearances by Fred Gretsch and Joe Carducci along with Miss Kim Falcon. Fred Gretsch III actually was responsible for reviving the company a little over twenty years ago and Joe is their product specialist while Kim is their official spokes model/calendar girl. Now that you know all of these details we can continue along.