As if Blue Bottle Coffee were not already about as cool as it gets with their incredible roasts and brews and foams and wild apparatus behind the glass there on Berry in Williamsburg, they had to go that extra step and be as green as possible with their cups. New cups are 100% compostable with a bio-degradable plastic lining, and the lids are compostable too (maybe made from corn?). Good on you BBC. Love you guys!
Someone has been doing some work to the ground floor of 46 Grand St in Williamsburg and I have been checking out the beautiful existing cast iron structural work that frames the opening. Interestingly, the header that spans the original storefront opening and supports the upper brick facade is arched. But more interestingly, it has a truss rod beneath it. I assumed that the original storefront had needed an arched detail at the top, but that made no sense if it would only be interrupted by the rod. Then I realized that the rod is holding the beam in tension to maximize its load bearing potential across that 25-30 span without exerting lateral force on the neighbors to the East and West and without having to be posted in the middle somewhere, thus providing a wide open storefront. Beautiful 19th Century stuff.
I’ve been out here in Bushwick or East Williamsburg for eleven years and one of the things I love most about neighborhoods like this is the blurred lines between clean intention and decayed happenstance. Yummus Hummus is a little place around the corner and they use this old bike, chained to a sign post as an ad board– look closely. It’s perfectly targeted marketing. No one but some freak like me, totally in love with post-industrial rust and dust is gonna pay any attention to that heap of junk.
The Kingston Lounge is an incredible blog by Richard Nickel Jr. (a man I don’t know but would love to…) that documents abandoned and decaying buildings and spaces. Above is a photo from a recent entry documenting North Brother Island, but the blog takes its name from its maiden subject, the abandoned Kingston Lounge in Brooklyn. Incredible photography. Check it all out…
It’s no secret to family, friends . . . strangers I pass on the street, groundhogs etc. that I don’t like winter in NYC too much. With a storm per week for the last month, my bike rides have been confined to smaller and smaller environs. Now I just ride around downstairs.
This certificate of occupancy changed the use of the building my wife and I own from manufacturing to commercial and is the result of the longest and hardest work/fight of my life. After nine years of battle I finally wrestled this thing from the foaming jaws of the New York City Department of Buildings. Anyway I’m really proud of it, so what else to do but… put it on the blog!!