Bond Street & 64th Street, Southwest Corner

Monday, April 19, 2010

Under a spreading chestnut tree . . . .

Originally posted April 10, 2010

Well, under a spreading honey locust tree, or three of them, anyway . . . but, alas, this lovely small town Fourth of July weekend scene (actually it was the 3rd of July, 2006, and in Manhattan to boot) …

Fulton & Gold (DeLury Plaza), looking southeast from Ann Street

no longer exists, as I was reminded today when I attempted to catch the C train to Brooklyn at the Fulton Street Station—

(it wasn't running at all, and the A train in the Brooklyn direction wasn't stopping at Fulton Street, so I ended up taking the 2 to Borough Hall and then walking to Jay Street to catch the A, which was making the C's local stops — ah, the pleasures of the New York subway system on the weekend … )

— In any event, I was there at Fulton and Gold early this afternoon and once again moved to regret that the trees are no longer there, having perished for the sake of the Fulton Street station renovation — or perhaps for some other reason? In any event, there they are in the photograph, in all their former glory, nearly four years ago.

As I am running around town both on ordinary errands and also photographing corners that I'd missed previously, I am continuously struck by how many corners have changed, and how much they've changed, in the very few years since I took most of the photographs that constitute New York in Plain Sight.

Old awnings down, new awnings up, old buildings gone, vacant lots in their place, or even new buildings up already, new shops in the old locations, the prior tenants scarcely even a memory already, this shop empty and for rent, that one being renovated, and the one over there is now a restaurant — I suppose that the nature of the changes varies with the economic climate, but I wonder if the rate of change isn't fairly constant no matter what the economy.

This is at least one of the reasons why I've begun to contemplate reshooting the whole island again next year, and I do hope that I'm able to arrange things so that I can do that.

The little park where the trees once stood is John J. DeLury, Senior Plaza, named for the founder and 40-year president of New York's Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association. Dating from 1985, the architect of the plaza was Bronson Binger, with landscape architects Christopher Kusske and Elizabeth Hand (from Norval White & Elliot Willensky's great AIA Guide to NYC, p. 44).

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