Brooklyn

Exploring An Empty Church In Brooklyn

This is Greenpoint’s beautiful St. Elias Church, located on shady Kent Street. And yes, that’s a FOR RENT sign on the front. Once serving the community as both a church and Sunday school for more than 140 years, St. Elias is now completely empty, and has been since 2007, when the property was purchased by developers. For a while, the ... Read More »

Shopping Cart Gets Cement Shoes In Williamsburg Park

Note: This is no longer there. I was walking by the small, triangle-shaped Macri Park in Williamsburg near the Lorimer stop today… …when I noticed something that I think is new… At the corner by Metropolitan and Meeker, someone has dumped a 4-foot x 4-foot mound of cement with a Home Depot shopping cart embedded in it: There was no ... Read More »

The Haunting of 136 Clinton Avenue (From the NY Times!)

While searching the NY Times archives recently, I stumbled on a bunch of amusing articles about New York City hauntings from the 1800’s. Today, a modern Times reporter would probably have to shake hands with a ghost before any such article would see print, but back then, superstitions ran high and articles on ghostly occurrences and the supernatural were fairly ... Read More »

Magic In An Old Vacuum Bag Factory – The World of Tom Otterness

Down among the industrial warehouses in Gowanus… …bordering on the canal… …is an old vacuum cleaner bag factory. Today, there’s something very special going on inside: This is the studio of artist Tom Otterness. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ve almost certainly run into Otterness’s sculptures on the streets of New York (or in many other cities across ... Read More »

Ghosts of a Brooklyn Pencil Factory

Continuing my search for a usable elevator in Greenpoint, my boss had given me a few addresses to check out, and as I approached 61 Greenpoint, I noticed a really great building detail I’ve never seen before… Lining the top floor windows are rows… …of pencils! Why Pencils? 61 Greenpoint was once part of the Faber Pencil Factory, located in ... Read More »

Scouting The Occult in Brooklyn

On two different movies I’ve scouted for recently, I was asked to find a genuine “occult store.” Of course, by occult, they actually mean cliched movie magic shop ala the curio shop in Gremlins. Sadly, the reality is that such shops SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST. Literally, there is not a single store in New York that bears any resemblance to ... Read More »

Forgotten Storefronts in Williamsburg

I’m always on the lookout for the remnants of old storefronts. You can pretty much find them in any residential area that has gone through a period of economic decline, and Williamsburg is no exception. One in particular I’ve always wondered about is at the corner of North 5th Street and Berry Street… Now boarded up and most likely part ... Read More »

Abandoned Coney Island – Last Chance To See?

Note: Most of this has since been torn down. When I heard the rumors that Satan’s real estate division, Thor Equities, was allegedly planning to tear down some of the last remaining historic buildings in Coney Island in fear they might acquire landmark status (including the old Coney Island Bank below), I actually felt a chill run through me. For ... Read More »

The Cutest Little House in Brooklyn

Just wanted to share a building with you that really made my day while out scouting recently. I was searching around the elevated JMZ train in Bushwick recently, and happened to turn down Belvidere Street. Mainly lined with ugly, aluminum siding-clad squat buildings, one structure in particular seemed completely out of place on the street… This incredible building, which appears ... Read More »