Yesterday was a Stumble in the Rain

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).
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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.

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A conversation with an NYC Parks officer on the site revealed the Pier is allegedly public—part of a concession that Northside’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 don’t live in one of the new condos that straddle its entrance. Stay tuned.

It’s been a little while since I’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.  My uneducated guess it that we’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! There’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.

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presently: futures past

Paleo-Future, a blog which collects images and video clips of visions of futures past, lead us to the Museum of Modern Marvels, an imaginary institution from a 1937 Donald Duck short.

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The Skyscraper Museum–which actually exists in Lower Manhattan–has their own take on the quaint futurism of yesteryear in an upcoming exhibition called Future City 20 | 21: New York Modern. (Nothing says futurism like alterna-punctuation marks.) True to its titular ethos, the Museum looks at the high-minded imaginations of architects and pop artists in the early 20th century through a skyscraper-centric lens. The show opens October 24th.

Not included in the Museum’s show but relevant nonetheless is the work of Hans Bacher at Animation Treasures. Bacher captures panoramas normally calculated by the perception of the moviegoer by stitching together stills from old cartoons to create large canvases of illustrated landscapes. His extraction of the Metropolis skyline from a 1942 Superman short is a revelatory presentation of pop-culture background as content.