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BrooklynBornThis blog started in my head when I listened in the 90's to friends who feared Brooklyn and newcomers who blogged about BK as if it barely existed before they arrived. Brooklyn as Tabula Rasa. My blog satisfies my need to hear and air feelings of B'klyn from the people whose life experience was born here. Also I hope to provide balance to some of the revisionist historical musings I've seen how Brooklyn and her residents used to be, we're still here. If we can all live as best possible while appreciating the past and neighbors we've inherited that would be great too.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photo Wednesday 07/27/11: Paper Subway Crane

I noticed this as I was decending down into the subway one day a few weeks back, a paper crane. was someone trying to tell us something?

Paper Crane Subway edition 2

Speaking of the subways and what not, I just learned that only two years into his six year contract MTA Board head Jay Walder is leaving for a gig outta town. He will stay on until October of this year, then he's Hong Kong bound.

The articles below all reported the story when I missed it last week (when I was probably in the middle of the eighth shower that day)

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/jay-walder-m-t-a-chief-resigns-suddenly/

http://gothamist.com/2011/07/22/outgoing_mta_ceo_jay_walder_to_make.php

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/07/21/mta-chief-jay-walder-resigning/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-j-stern/mta-chief-walder-leaves_b_907389.html

You'll see in the articles above the range of opinion on the story as views differ on what this says about Walder and more importantly the effect it will have on mass transit riders in the city.

Some are trying to make him out to be the railyard equivalent of LeBron James (<--Btw this clip is very amusing if you havent seen it) for taking his talents elsewhere, but as the Gothamist article points out he was make $500k in London then left that job to come here and work for $350k and Hong Kong is offering almost a million annually.

Plus the transit works union, (and I am prounion) has a big sway over the agency thanks to the necessity of the MTA for city life and their contract is coming up at the end of the year while the MTA still struggles to pay off the debt incurred by huge borrowing over the last ten years, (thanks Pataki).

If you dont know Walder is credited with an attempt to modernize the MTA specifically city buses and subways. Things I havent liked under his watch, the cut off of bus service in the boroughs, and shortening of schedules but most of that was the result of budget cuts and a lack of public fighting to keep necessary services. As well as the constant problem with the MTA, that they are not politically accountable to anyone because they are a half private half goverment agency.

Things I have liked under Walder's watch, continued modernizing of the trains (I'm not a fan of robo trains though) and the update and addition of schedule clocks, (mentioned in a previous post) which every major city's subways (London, Tokyo, etc) have. I also like the realtime bus tracking and priorety bus lanes in the city. This and more was the promise and expectations that surrounded Walder's arrival as MTA head.

But yeah, Walder's a native New Yorker, and we know a few things with certainty; when the road's about to get bumpy and what a good deal looks like. I can't fault him for his choice but I'm not very optimistic that Cuomo will find anyone nearly as able to run this city's MTA and complete the turnaround Walder attempted to start.

Paper Crane Subway edition

Looks like NYer's will have to fold up our hopes and dreams into another, this bird has flown.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photo Wednesday 07/22/11: #1 Candy Rush Edition


Candy Rush!, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

So a few weeks back I mentioned the opening of "Candy Rush" a store specializing in Candy and Ice Cream, especially long forgotten treats like those hard candy drops that come on a role paper and (even though they are new versions) the Dip Stik ! (pictured above, and called "Fun Dip") Basically Dip-Stiks were a pouch with two or three sections, each with a powdered koolaid like mix of flavor and suger. The pack also had a white oblong hard candy wand which you used to scoop out the powder and eat it.

Definitely unhealthy, totally fun, especially when as 5 year olds we learned that liking the candy stick made the powder easier to harvest.

We were like little (Chimpanzees!)

Photo Wednesdya 07/22/11 #2Dumb Bike Moves


Dumb Bike Moves, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

The thing about these bikes being locked up here isn't just that they're easy to steal. It's that there were poles just a few feet away that the bikes could have been locked up to. And that the habit of sticking bikes in tree beds is just lazy and not good for whatever is planted there. As someone who's had many bikes stolen in this fair burgh, It's not something you want to experience but this type of move makes me think they'd deserve whatever happens.

#3 dumb bike moves


dumb bike moves, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

Today's Photo Wednesday and this pic comes courtesy of whoever thought it a good idea to lock their bikes up to a wooden post which is probably no more than 6 inches in the ground. As the next pic will show the post isn't very tall so anybody able to snatch two bike and take them home to work on the lock, could.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Photo Wednesday 07/13/11 : The Most Famous man on the Brooklyn IRT

I think I just figured a solution to the summer Photo Wednesday dilemma, which is too many things going on to only have one photo for wednesday. The solution is I'll try loading all the week's contenders from flickr (much faster than coding) and then list them up to number one.

Today's number one is this brother who's name I don't know, and who I've never spoken with, but I've heard his voice. And if you read the IRT in Brooklyn (yes I'm trying to keep the IRT name alive) then you've probably heard his voice too. he has what at first looks like a walkman, or discman. You'll notice that almost last though. What you'll notice first is a sharp crackly crash of sound wrapped around a distorted voice, doing what is either Dance Hall chanting, Kareoke Vocoder, or CB Radio mimicing.

This brother replete in a single ensemble then begins the magic, a full on performance, featuring energy, music, and interpretive dance. What his intentions are can not be known for sure, but he's not shy that's for certain.

I first noticed him two years ago, shortly after Michael Jackson's death. This brother was doing abbrevatated moonwalks at Atlantic Avenue. Where interestingly, is where the above photo was snapped.

This time out I caught a picture and noticed that everyone around watching him seemed to have a story about him already.

He doesn't need twitter, he's trending in the real.

You are now here


You are now here, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

New Mini-Map Placards in the Subways


I don't likey. I'll go into depth laters...

Night Light Films on the East River

Combing the Beach in Times Square

Bier and Building at Der Schwarze Kölner

Lost Paradise in Long Island


Lost Paradise in Long Island, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Photo Wednesday 07/06/11: Vanderbilt Rail edition

Grand Army Plaza Unearthed 01

I noticed these rails being unearthed during construction of new (and necessary traffic / sidewalk islands) at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, I wonder if these rails are old Trolley tracks (which are buried nearly everywhere in northern Brooklyn) or if they could in fact be from the nearly 150 year old Vanderbilt rail line?

What looks to me like wooden rail ties are visible in the shot above.

Grand Army Plaza Unearthed 06

This seems like a lot of rails to be just the trolley, in my opinion of course.

Grand Army Plaza Unearthed 03

Anybody know?

Grand Army Plaza Unearthed 07