Category Archives: Brooklyn

And the point of this is…

New York Waterfalls

While on our evening walk, my wife and I came across the temporary waterfall that was set up on the Brooklyn shore, near the Promenade. Last week, the scaffolding was set up, but the waterfall was not in operation. Now it’s turned on, and it looks like… scaffolding with water coming out the top of it.

There is such a thing as good public art. A few years ago, The Gates, a series of wooden archways with orange curtains, was installed in Central Park. That was fun: the orange contrasted with the white and gray of the park in winter, and each archway was a new revelation, inviting one to see the park again for the very first time.

But this waterfall thing isn’t it. Perhaps the waterfall nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge looks cooler, but the ones that I could see, near the Promenade and on Governor’s Island, were dwarfed by the city around them.   (There is a fourth waterfall further north, on the Manhattan side.)  The waterfalls are not colorful, and not particularly eye-catching. They contribute only noise and humidity, two things that are already here in Brooklyn in more than sufficient quantities.

Who thought this was a good idea?

Pleasant surprises

Last night, while playing with my new PDA, I listened to some of the music files came with the device. Some were inane, but one was compelling: ‘Perfect Weapon’ by Communique, from about early 2004. I’ve given up on listening to the radio and so rarely will popular music seep into my consciousness, so this was a pleasant surprise.

The lyrics are a little silly: “Our bodies keep sweating/We’ve found the perfect weapon.” (You mean that you shower that infrequently?) But it’s propulsive and cool, and that seems very rare these days.

* * *

125 years ago this coming Saturday, the Brooklyn Bridge was opened to traffic. The Brooklyn Borough President (an amiable guy who appears to have no actual political function) noted on the news tonight that the celebration would kick off early with fireworks tonight. My wife and I often walk from our house to the Brooklyn Heights promenade, a short distance from the bridge, so we decided to watch the show.

There weren’t that many people on the promenade when we arrived, but the fireworks show was nice. It was a little chilly in the evening, so my wife and I snuggled together as we watched. I tried to take some pictures to capture the moment, although I still haven’t caught the knack of capturing fireworks with a digital camera.

Brooklyn Bridge Fireworks 2008

The last major anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge was the 100th anniversary, in 1983. I remember the time: I had just finished engineering school, and I was working on the evening of the fireworks. I watched the show back then on a black-and-white TV at my workplace, an exercise in futility if there ever was one, and followed it up with black-and-white pictures in the newspaper the next day.

Twenty-five years hence, when the bridge is 150, I’d like to believe that I’ll still be around, with my wife. We’ll be, well, old, but such is life.

It’s a vaguely pleasant thought.