On Monday, I got a text message from one of these ladies that said, “Inquiring minds want to know…why has Becca not posted anything in her blog for a month? [frowny face]”
Let’s chalk it up to the January doldrums, shall we?
(Did you know the Doldrums are a place? Or, really, a band around the earth that traps sailors with its desperate, stifling calm. Yep.)
Today, I decided to embark on a new project, one that I had conveniently already begun without realizing it. Since we won’t be in Brooklyn for much longer, now seems like a good time to wrap up loose ends. For RZ, this means developing a complicated schedule for visiting as many delicious NYC dining establishments as possible. For me, this means taking pictures.
Introducing the Third Avenue Project
I live half a block away from Third Avenue, one of the uglier streets in New York City. It is grungy and dirty and loud. The Gowanus Expressway runs overhead, so there are two levels of multi-lane traffic thundering along at all hours. There are auto-body shops, live chicken-n-bunny slaughter houses, 24-hour porn shops, random wholesale and discount places and lots of razor wire. There’s also the produce store (also 24-hour) and the hilariously named Pet/Dog Delight, where we score deals on giant bags of cat food. Very late at night, there’s a good chance you’ll see a gorgeous tranny hooker or two.
Usually, Third Ave smells like car exhaust, but I’ve also known it to smell like roasting coffee, baking bread, multivitamins and cupcakes, odors that probably indicate some of the things that are made in the mysterious, ancient factories on cobblestone side streets that run down to the Bay of Gowanus. Beyond our tiny bay are the giant industrial skeletons in Red Hook, a sliver of land between me and the New York Harbor. There are great views of the Statue of Liberty. On the opposite side of Third Avenue, you can see Green-Wood Cemetery, one of the most beautiful and silent places in NYC, only two blocks away.
Third Avenue, at least by where I live, has not suffered one shred of gentrification. It hasn’t benefited from it either. But despite its general atmosphere of unpleasantness, it’s never quiet enough to seem sinister.
I think some people even live there.
So I’m going to be taking lots of pictures of this strange place that I have lived so close to for so long, but that seems so far removed from my quiet street. The general range will be between 23rd Street, where I live, and 33rd Street, where the post office is. All of my past and current Third Ave photos will also live on Flickr, here.
Here’s the first batch; some of them were taken a while ago, some were taken today.