While it is still zoned for manufacturing and is mostly filled with businesses and there’s that thing with the murky water of the canal (actually an official superfund) – it is also an “underdeveloped” neighborhood right in-between some of the nicest and most expensive neighborhoods of New York City.
I truly wish they won’t destroy this charming and rough neighborhood full of character and characters through these ridiculous apartment buildings with parking garages on the ground floor (no stoop, no shop, no cafe = no community!), which have been popping up all over the border to Park Slope and I consider the “Uglification of Brooklyn”.
A few buildings, fortunately, are protected – like the small red building you see sitting alone on a large lot. Whole Foods was not allowed to tear that one down.
The best parts about my walk through Gowanus on Wednesday (besides the summer-like temperatures): Despite how empty the streets of the neighborhood seem with all the warehouses and only few shops and residential homes, a significant number of people started conversations with me:
the guys with facial tattoos admiring the old Mercury Cougar (car) I was photographing and telling me about a 1970s Lamborghini down the block;
the gentleman photographing the cherry blossom trees, who told me about the cosplay event during the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Botanic Garden and who is about to publish a book about Tattoo Conventions;
the man (Richard) who gave me his book about the alignment of the Grand Army Plaza Arch with the Empire State Building and told me that currently the alley to the old IRT was open, then the guy who had opened that gate who told me I had to leave;
the young guy (Justin) who asked me if I had just taken a picture of him wondering if he could use it for an art project he’s been wanting to start featuring photos other people had taken of him – and then the three guys playing handball, whom I asked if I could feature them in my video…
Oh how wonderful it is to live in Brooklyn where people from all walks of life just talk to each other on the street and smile when the sun is out and the cherry blossoms are blooming early.
The music featured is “Always Making Me Blue” by Jason Matherne.