Friday, September 3, 2010

Super Post Panamax Cranes

October 2008

One of the best things about having access to the roof of our building, is the view over New York Harbour.

August 2009

We see Governor's Island, and the constant shipping and boating activity on the fabled waterway. We also see the huge white monolith - floodlit at night for some bizarre reason - that sucks out emissions from the tunnel that connects Lower Manhattan with Red Hook in Brooklyn. And superimposed on all this, we see my beloved super post panamax cranes, or, as I prefer to call them:

Super-Post-Panamatic-Saskwatch-Eating-Cranes. You have to say it fast. Channel Julie Andrews.

That's what I called the ones in Vancouver, when Vince still lived there, which are newer and even more impressive.

June 2009

I like cranes. I like their usefulness, their strength, their angles, their iron. I like their transcendence of change.

July 2009

The two cranes visible from the roof are just across the 6 lane BQE, in Red Hook, with its long standing ship-working history.

September 2008

The cranes far across the harbour in New Jersey look like dinosaurs coming to drink at an ancient lake.

October 2008

And my cranes look across at them.

September 2008

Lady Liberty between them, not waving but drowning.

October 2008

The other evening, while pursuing caterpillars on the farm, I looked west as usual at the cranes, and, suddenly, there was a building in the way...

An ugly building.

August 2010

When did that arrive? And how did I not notice it happening?

It's one of those nasty, instant condominiums. And it has cut off one of the cranes. My cranes.

August 2010

I walked past the building, which is on Congress Street, this week as I've discovered some tennis courts just on the other side of the BQE (where you can exercise and breathe in the fumes of 6 lanes of heavy traffic). The building is brand new, and I believe it was airlifted into place. Possibly by Jehovah's Witnesses. No other explanation.

2 September 2010

New York is under tropical storm watch and we're battening down the hatches ahead of Hurricane Earl. I hope we get some weather.

The cranes will be fine.


  1. Saw the weather chart...looks ugly. Hope you'll be OK up there. (The blackies say to tell Estorbo to stay indoors and sleep.)

  2. While visiting in May I noticed that quite a few of these ugly condos have popped up in Brooklyn. Ugh.

  3. Those photos are unnaturally colorful! I think only the jehovas could airlift in a building, something supernatural.

    You will get something from Earl.

  4. dinahmow - Estorbo has quite a lot to say...I've told him to say it on his own blog.

    Hi Monica - They area a Williamsburg and Greenpoint special, but I think Red Hook is now prime 'gentrification' territory. Not that there's anything gentrifed about the blockhouse.

    Frank, it's natural colour, I promise. No photoshop in that colour. It doesn't do that every night by any means.

  5. Yes, could be the JW's ... And please stay safe from the storm. I am sending hot CA vibes.

    Regarding the hornworms ... I did some research and now think what I saw as a child on the sweet potatoes my uncle planted (which ended up almost taking over the back yard!) were Agrius cingulata, children of the Pink-spotted Hawkmoth. But they look like the tomato hornworms I had in my Sacramento garden.


  6. I love it when the skies turn those vivid colors, though it's all too fleeting when it happens.
    & the one with the roiling clouds is especially amazing.

  7. Funny. Driving thru Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, today I was fascinated by the cranes there. They look like your NJ cranes, and are mostly turquoise, with a few PINK ones thrown in for good measure! They were all "parked" at the top of the lift for the weekend. I would love to be able to watch them work - like enormous grasshoppers. Glad you have a front row seat to observe. I'm jealous!

  8. wonderful pictures of the cranes...and amazing skies behind them! and i love your word picture of them as dinosaurs communicating with each other across the waters...yes!


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