"Unlike many of the burgeoning brownstone revival districts of Brooklyn-Brooklyn Heights, to begin with, then Cobble Hill, then Boerum Hill, now Park Slope-the Carroll Gardens neighborhood (Carroll Park, two blocks away, provides the name) did not require a renaissance," proclaimed New York magazine on Dec. 31, 1974. "Since its first occupancy by Italian families, it has remained in single-family occupancy, by and large. An unrenovated house on President Street might be bought for about $50,000, if (and this is a very big if) one came on the market."
Today, the vestiges of this once almost wholly Italian neighborhood are in the social clubs, behind anonymous doors; restaurants like Sam's, at [...]
"And Court Street, where it passed through Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, was the only Brooklyn, really—north was Brooklyn Heights, south was the harbor, and the rest, everything east of the Gowanus Canal (the only body of water in the world, Minna would crack each and every time we drove over it, that was 90 percent guns) apart from small outposts of civilization in Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, was an unspeakable barbarian tumult." —Last week, a team of eager scientists at the NYU's Polytechnic Institute launched a solar-powered remote-control robot equipped with underwater cameras and sensors to measure the water's chemical make-up. Photos and data will be uploaded [...]
"Cul-de-sacs, like the one on Douglass Street, serve as observation posts. At one, Alberto Lasso keeps his collection of empty bottles, gathered from the surrounding streets in carts he built with help from a local welder. Mr. Lasso comes to the same spot every night, sorting bottles of imported beer into cardboard boxes to return for their 5-cent deposits. Once, he saw a car plow through the metal barrier at the end of the street and land in the canal. But otherwise, it's quiet. 'That's why I'm here,' Mr. Lasso said." -Kareem Fahim's ode to the Gowanus Canal in today's Times is nice to read. And the accompanying collection [...]