Saturday, October 31, 2015

Full circle

A five minute stroll west takes you to Red Hook. The Gowanus Nursery has some very tempting selections (I have already bust my gardening budget so must twiddle my thumbs for a while).

Giant shopping malls cruise liners berth another five minutes way. The giant screen on board was playing giant music videos.

15 minutes south and you are near the waterways behind Fairway, where Sandy wreaked havoc two years ago.

An empty building is painted, near the projects.

And the edges still look like a ghost town - this will not last: already the condos are rising.

Asters on the water.

And back north again, 25 minutes, into Gowanus, the neighbourhood flanking the great green greasy canal, also subject to major real estate development.

Bug services required?

Still in Gowanus, on 3rd Street, just past the new-ish Wholefoods.

And in Boerum Hill, the other excellent little nursery, GRDN Brooklyn. These asters would be perfect in rock gardens or as ground covers full sun - Aster ericoides. I could shop here every week.

West again from Boerum Hill to Brooklyn Heights and the water of the East River and New York Harbor, at Brooklyn Bridge Park, whose phoenix-like development I have witnessed from scratch (though not too long ago the common milkweed patch outside the park's headquarters was destroyed to accommodate a carpark - a little ironic, given that so much indigenous material has been planted).

It is still golden rod season, in the city.

The smooth cordgrass grows with its feet in the salty water. It has fared better than the pickerel weed that used to be in the marsh just above it, which has since been swallowed by more aggressive plants.

Circling home again on Henry Street... 

...where there is a window cat. Carroll Gardens is a place of cats.

A grey cat in a front garden nearby - we see it in our garden, sometimes, but it is very scared when called. I think it is feral but is fed at this house. It and an all-grey friend are often waiting, a few doors down.

Petro is on the sidewalk almost every day, a friendly little greeter of passers by.

So skinny, though. She must weigh 5lbs.

The tantalizing grapes ('Niagara,' I think) on the arbour outside the Dunkin Donuts on Court Street. Who picks them? I asked the girl who sold me my Catskills jelly donut a week ago - the owner, she smiled, pointing upstairs But he doesn't. They just hang there. It's killing me.

And much later a rising moon over the sunken and roaring BQE, a useful bridge to Columbia and Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, and the adventures they offer.



  1. Lovely post. Makes me miss Brooklyn.

  2. It's so nice to have you back in the old neighborhood. I feel like we have all come home.

  3. Very appropriate that you are home. Love your ramblings, but they make me want to visit Brooklyn. :-)

    Does Petro have a human? (The term 'owner' sounds strange on a cat.)

    1. Petro has a collar with name and address, which is a few doors down from where she hangs out (I think she's a she). The window is always open a crack and I think that is how she gets in and out. She seems to have a friend - possibly Abyssinian - who stays put on the inside of the windowsill.

  4. Beautiful post - that house on Henry street is gorgeous! And that bridge - what a great photo.

    Please feed that skinny kitty - she's so tiny!!!

  5. "The smooth cordgrass grows with its feet in the silky water." Sheer poetry, Marie
    As one who grew up in NYC and on Long Island, I well remember the days when we would hold our noses as our Dad drove us past the Gowanus on the BQE. And when the older, more traditional ocean liners docked along the West Side piers. So many changes in The City; good thing I don't live there anymore; probably wouldn't recognize anything! (Except the Cloisters, right?)
    Great pix & living that bright blue sky.
    Thanks so much,
    Diane in Denver

    1. I thought of you today, Diane, as I was walking in Fort Tryon Park. The leaves were very pretty.

      Thank you for the compliment, though I think your eyes saw more poetry than I intended.

      Sometimes we still have to hold our noses over the Gowanus.

  6. Fix: "loving that bright blue sky,"

  7. Hi Marue,
    Sometimes we are gifted with a fine poetic line or phrase as a surprise happening.
    Thanks for remembering me while walking in the park of my early youth. That makes me smile. Cheers,
    Diane in Denver
    with a slight early morning
    trace of snow, now gone


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