Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Emerald City

Since moving to Withers Street at the beginning of 2007 (after stints on the Bowery, in Marble Hill, Astoria, Clinton Hill, the LES, Sheepshead Bay, the LES again, the Financial District, and the UWS), a lot of the old Williamsburg/Greenpoint factories have come down, and their colors with them. I've gotten photographs of a lot of the graffitied buildings, now ghosts haunting flat earth like just-plowed fields.

It's strange, to have the image of something (graffiti) that itself was an image intended to comment on a place and a time - and for neither place nor time nor image to exist anymore. In this way all the photos of demolished factories on Under the BQE are kinds of Emerald Cities, places elsewhere, vanished, and we back in Kansas. Or we're living in the Emerald City, blessed and bestowing and oblivious to what's outside and what, perhaps, is being lost.

I just know that when the "scaffolding of doom" goes up around a factory, those plywood sheets strung together with nails and chain, my heart leaps a little. Says the Wizard, "Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable."

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