Archives for category: architecture

Gregoire Alessandrini was a student in Greenwich Village in the ’90’s. I was too, but this guy actually did something with his time. He has posted these and so many more on his blog. I spent all day staring at these gems. He was everywhere. We must have passed each other because I have a picture of the same person from Wigstock ’93. There are so many memories here.

Have you ever had a tantrum over the closing of a restaurant?

My fat ass threw the mother of all fits when some killjoy told it that florent got bullied out of its lease at 69 Gansevoort Street. Some filthy animal wanted 30 G’s a month to keep the beauty alive.

Revolting.

My answer to this absolute blasphemy was to give the Meat Packing district, in its entirety, the HAND. I refused to grace its greedy blood soaked cobblestones with my adorable adidas EVER again.

(…until about six weeks later when some trick with significant shoulders offered to buy me a black and blue double porterhouse coupled with a bottomless Diet Coke.)

Guys! it was totally Field of Dreams. But so much more watchable.

Imagine:

The cornfield is a neglected parcel of lower Manhattan. Kevin Costner’s almost-as-boring-as-a-baseball-game character is, instead, played by a colorful Frenchman called Florent Morellet. Shoeless Joe Jackson comes, indeed… but he comes to 69 Gansevoort Street, and that barefoot bitch stays for nearly 23 years… in the form of the pinpoint perfect clientele. If every restauranteur could be so lucky; edgy celebrities, drunk drag queens, transgender prostitutes, and a hodge podge of insatiable late night lunatics.

…and the child that chokes herself unconscious on a hot dog?

…that’s my twentysomething ass.

Interpret that as you will, and let your sick mind meander… my floriend.

I lived relatively close to the World Trade Center in September of 2001. Truly, I thought a small propeller plane accidentally hit that day. I thought to myself, “well now, that will be a daunting scaffolding scenario.”

My three roommates and I watched this horror from the rooftop of our loft. Our building was only two stories so we could hear the people on the street talking their theories of terrorism.

It wasn’t until the second plane happened that I realized this would probably be, historically, the biggest event of my life. I knew everything on my timeline would forever be filed “before” or “after” this day.

This is how I became the asshole with the camera.

My photos will tell this story:

As I said, we observed tragedy from the roof. When the first tower collapsed we collectively shit ourselves and then went back into the apartment we called “fishbowl” (because of its panoramic windows). We could see nothing but a wall of white tornado and zillions of flecks of corporate docs spinning wildly within. There was no way of knowing if we were in the AM or the PM.

We decided to leave, quickly.

We entered the wall of white that was somehow dark. To open our mouths meant to eat the weird whiteness, so we stayed silent until we heard more rumbling and dared to look back downtown. That’s when number two fell.

I walked to Central Park that day. I shed roommates and tears as I walked and gagged and listened to radio broadcasts coming from parked cars along the way. I cried and vomited some more in the park and when it started getting dark I checked into the hotel where I worked.

I stayed there for several weeks. What a wonderful place to work. (The W Hotel. Thank you, Sheraton shareholder and upper management types.)

My slampiece at the time worked in the World Financial Center. A week after the attacks he was escorted into his office to retrieve his laptop. I went with him and was allowed in somehow because the address on my New York ID put me in the zip code.

I took some of these photos from his office at the WFC and the rest of them are just general aftermath. I couldn’t get into my apartment for six weeks. We lived in a demilitarized zone which was the shits. But we partied with firemen from all over the country and you really can’t go wrong doing that.

That experience did more than open my legs to firefighters. It opened my eyes, too. People live in countries where this shit happens weekly.

So don’t bitch about your frizzy hair and gluten allergy.

Spooky FactoryHistory Quickie: The Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg was built in 1856 and by the time 1870 rolled around more than half the country’s sugar was produced here. It was rebuilt in 1882 with brick and stone after a fire crowning it The Largest Sugar Factory on Earth. Basically your diabetes was born here. The refinery survived a massive explosion in 1917 and a year and a half long labor strike from 1999 – 2001. The refinery closed in 2004.

This is what eight odd years of industrial decay looks like:

Portions of the structure were deemed landmarks in 2007. Two Trees Management purchased the site and with consent and support from the New York City Council plan on peppering post modern skyscrapers the perimeter. The buildings will be different shapes and sizes, two of which will be very tall and narrow, connected by a bridge to permit sunlight through to neighborhoods due east. The Brooklyn skyline is in for a change for sure.

I can already see the Apple logo from The Water Club.

%d bloggers like this: