Last week I was amazed by this postcard featuring a photograph by Anders Goldfarb. This photograph was taken at the intersection of Bedford and North 9th Streets in Williamsburg (now the location of Karla's Restaurant). The photo credit on the postcard says "Belinda's Lounge, Brooklyn, NY. 1987." It was only twenty-one years ago, but it looks like fifty. This city evolves at breakneck speed!
I've had a few good history lessons from older Greenpoint residents recently. My favorite time portal is a fifty-something Italian friend named Dan. He likes to reminisce about his youth in Greenpoint, when Manhattan Avenue was lined with movie theaters and a roller rink (those locations are now fast food restaurants and drugstore chains - the roller rink disco ball still hangs in the ceiling of the Eckerd between Norman and Meserole). Dan tells me that he and his friends would spend the mornings swimming in the McCarren Park Pool - admission cost fifteen cents after noon. After a swim, they'd head out to the local theaters and catch two or three movies in the afternoon. I'm thankful for the array of bars in the neighborhood these days - they've quadrupled since I moved to Greenpoint in 2002 - but I'd trade our surplus of banks for a couple movie theaters any day! Here's an old post at my old blog about Brooklyn people.
Sonic Youth just played the last concert at the McCarren Park Pool, and according to the New York Sun, "if all goes as planned, the now-empty basin will reopen in 2011 as a glimmering oasis: an actual swimming pool, albeit downsized to accommodate between 1,400 and 1,700 bathers." I'm happy I got to see Ween and the Beastie Boys perform there during the pool's three-year stint as a concert venue; it's been a thrill having great bands perform in my backyard every weekend.