On Sunday, our gang came across Black & White Project Space, a new non-profit gallery on Driggs Avenue in Brooklyn (n.b. we are an actual gang with matching leather jackets). The space opened on March 7, and its inaugural exhibition, a collection of photos, videos, and objects taken from Brighton Beach, will evolve over a 3-month run.
Out back, a monumental Astroturf portrait of a woman demands your attention–you can see her from the street (camerafone pic by Ryan Muir).
We went down to the brand-new pier jutting out towards Manhattan from the Northside Piers development, apparently designed by the same morons who thought Battery Park City was a good idea (this is not necessarily “factually true,” but Northside has the same soulless, cookie-cutter mediocrity as BPC). I wanted to hate the pier for what it stood for, and I did, kind of. But at the same time it was fun being that far out from shore. It was overcast and New York looked as sexy as she ever does. On the boardwalk itself, some wrought-metal armature forms neat benches and an overhang. It looked like a catwalk gone wrong, sprouting from the wood planks.
A conversation with an NYC Parks officer on the site revealed the Pier is allegedly publicâ€”part of a concession that Northsideâ€™s developers undoubtedly made to the City to repay for the outsize monstrosities lurking where once rusty but inoffensive warehouses sat. But he was skeptical of how easy the boardwalk will be to access for people who donâ€™t live in one of the new condos that straddle its entrance. Stay tuned.
Itâ€™s been a little while since Iâ€™ve walked around in Williamsburg, but wow. Residential buildings are popping up there like mushrooms after a rain. Or, they were, before capitalism broke and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped to its lowest level since they began measuring it.Â My uneducated guess it that weâ€™ll see a lot of projects stall and want for tenants in the next few years.
Half-completed glass and steel luxury condos or extant dilapidated brick warehouses? The choice is yours, Williamsburg. Just kidding! Thereâ€™s no fucking way BK’s industrial heritage will be allowed to remain intact. We hope you like brushed aluminum!
So. While gentrification: Stage Two is coming, it may take a bit longer than initially planned.