On Halloween night at about 11PM, I was heading over to the Bell House with a group of friends to see a show, when we noticed there were lights on in an ancient radio repair shop of sorts. Hugo Picciani (pictured), the owner, was kind enough to invite us in for a tour of the machine shop. While every inch of the large space was filled with fascinatingly intricate old circuits, wires, knobs, dials, and tools, nothing was out of place, everything was meticulously cared for.
Being that we were experiencing the machine shop via an impromptu tour on Halloween night made seemed to add to the excitement we had.
After climbing down to one of the overgrown banks of the Gowanus Canal via a bridge and chain-link fence, there were remnants of a homeless emcampment, and this baby stroller, that possibly had been thrown over the side. There’s always something odd to me about discarded strollers—whether they are left at a busy intersection somewhere (which I’ve seen a lot, oddly), or in more desolate places, like this one. Perhaps at that moment the child and parent determined that they were beyond the need of this primitive form of transportation… instead moving to two-wheeled bicycles. I haven’t yet found a trashed stroller with the passenger still in it.
A wildflower on a different bank of the Gowanus Canal. Hans, Jenn, Tommy, Andy, D.Mo, and I were able to install eight more bird and bat houses this particular evening, in continuing with the Canal Nest Colony. That massive, vacant brick warehouse in the background is the one that, up until recently, had “NO MORE CORPORATE RULE!” or something painted near the top, with large rollers. Let me know if you know the name of it, or if anyone squats there.
UPDATE (thanks Sari!): This brick building is a former MTA power plant, and has been an active squat for years. I’m not positive about its status today, but many people have stayed there over the past few years. F.Trainer, a fellow South Sloper, wrote/shot a piece for Impose in January of ’08, which sheds a little light on what the conditions may be like in there (though even that is almost 2 years old at this point). Fascinating, and thanks for the heads-up, Sari.
Jenn and I heading over to help some kids color in Halloween images in Fort Greene as part of BAM’s annual BAMBoo! community street party.
• “Naughty, naughty, Montresor!” is a quote from the Tales of Terror series by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. This line is specifically part of a visual/aural hallucination of Montresor (Lorre) as he’s leading constables down into the cellar where he’s chained the bodies of his wife and her lover behind a brick wall. I hadn’t seen the film in maybe 18-20 years, and it brought back great memories. I also watched a handful of other Corman films recently, and was reminded of my favorite film professor back in school, Devin Orgeron, of whom Corman was his all-time-favorite director. Good times.
Junior Boys performed a great indie-electronica set on Saturday night at the Bell House in the Gowanus/Park Slope area. Fellow Canadian duo Woodhands opened for them. It was my first time past the bar area in the space, and my friends and I were very impressed with the large, exposed wooden rafters in the performance space, great feel to the room.
A tree grows in Brooklyn. With darkness setting in so early this time of year, it seems that all of my recent shots have been taken at night. Regardless, this is an example of the unexpected items you may run into, exploring desolate, unpopulated areas of industrial Brooklyn late at night.