On Saturday, I got some new views of industrial Greenpoint, near the northeastern edge of the neighborhood, at the Kingsland Wildflower Festival. It celebrated the opening of the first 10,000 square feet of green roofs at 520 Kingsland Avenue: a building with three roofs has been planted with a combination of native grasses and wild flowers.
Yes, there were terrific views, as advertised, of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Newtown Creek, plus the opportunity to meet partner organizations. And the free food and beer were a surprise bonus.
But the truly stirring things, as shown in the photos below, were the photos from the back--I'd previously only seen other angles--of Greenpoint's "Digester Eggs," which process sludge in a distinctly modern way.
Partners include property owner Broadway Stages, landscaping firm Alive Structures, and the New York City Audubon Society, with funding from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, which aims to translate an oil spill settlement into environmental gains for the neighborhood.
As I prepared for my Greenpoint tour tomorrow, with a special focus on the neighborhood's Polish presence, I couldn't help but notice two phenomena, somewhat in tension.
While the population has been diminishing somewhat, as Polish-Americans move to Queens and the flow from Europe (after Poland joined the EU) slowed, some symbols of Poland remain ever prominent, representing the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union, the Polish National Home, the Warsaw Uprising, and a square named for a priest who was a prominent Solidarity activist. There's much more, of course--this is just a sample.
Preparing for a walking tour of Bay Ridge on, yes, September 11, I couldn't help take snapshots of numerous 9/11 memorial street co-namings, signs of the enormous loss:
I wondered if these were among the numerous public safety workers--some from Bay Ridge--who perished while responding to the disastrous attacks. (I did see, but didn't yet take a photo of, a street honoring Police Officer Moira Smith, the only female police officer to die in the response.)
Actually, these were civilians. Hindy, Sullivan, and Tepedino worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. Economos and Casey worked at Sandler O'Neill. Yasmin and Miah, a married couple, worked at Marsh & McLennan. They were Bangladeshi immigrants and Muslims.
Gotham Gazette explains that street co-namings have evolved, with some bestowed in sympathy for uniformed service people or civilians (including children) who died untimely deaths, and others honoring people with a long record of community service.
Touring Brooklyn Blog
Observations and ephemera related to my tours and Brooklyn. Comments and questions are welcome--and moderated.